Thank You, Governor Brown

Dear Governor Brown,
I want to thank you for what you said in your State of the State address yesterday, January 24. I strongly support your efforts to stand up to the Trump administration in the areas of climate science, immigration, health care, and women’s rights, education, and others. Thank you for leading California with compassion and intelligence, with a firm commitment to science and integrity, and thank you for valuing all the people of our state, regardless of their immigration status. California will indeed be a beacon of progressive values in the months and years that will follow. I appreciate that you stood up at the very beginning of the Trump administration and are prepared to lead the way and fight for the American values we all adore: truth, justice, tolerance, progress.
I’m tired of conservatives claiming to have a lock on patriotism, and that liberals are not patriotic. I am sick of the party of “Family Values” that doesn’t actually value people. Democrats do. Thinking about issues critically and acting according to our conscience is what democracy is all about. That is what I see you doing in your governance.
I believe you are right. “When California does well, America does well. And when California hurts, America hurts. When we defend California, we defend America.”
This is my first time writing you, although I have certainly voted for you. I’ve been a Democrat since I could first vote in the 1990s. I am proud of you and of our Senators Feinstein and Harris. Please continue to protect the rights of the people of California to good education and health care. Fight for our democracy, and for the safety and future of our planet.
Thank you. RESIST.

Earth Day 2015

Happy Earth Day.  May we all make the world a better place with our amazing cleverness, cooperation, and compassion. Sending love and blessings to all.

Happy Earth Day!

Our little patch of Earth is presently covered in flowers. All of my beautiful plants are laughing uproariously in color. It makes me happy.


No filter Aurora, I think

California is experiencing a very serious drought. And I’m conflicted about having a garden at all. I’ve been building and growing and tending this little oasis of ours for 16 years now. I think often about taking out my lawn, but then I watch my children playing in our yard and feel so grateful that we have a place to play! I am withholding water from these plants. I’m taking Navy showers (brrr!) and saving every drop of rainwater I can capture whenever water does come from the sky.

I promise to bathe my children rarely. I promise to make them wear the same pajamas several nights in a row. I promise to save shower water. I promise to let the yellow mellow at night. I promise to eat less meat. I promise to plant only drought-tolerant plants. I promise I will only drink coffee and champagne from now on if I can keep my garden alive this summer!

Foxgloves are coming

So far, the yard is doing pretty well on water rations, but the temperatures are still cool.


Last week Asher asked if we could make a cactus garden. I bought him three little cactuses and brought a few more from my kitchen window out so he could make this. He painted the vine wreath with green and red paint, and then we buried it into the little garden so it looks like an arch now.

2015-04-15 15.50.52

2015-04-15 16.23.16

We also planted a tiny vegetable garden. I debated about this, but figured it was a good cause, especially since the drip watering system will be watering this box anyway. We planted 2 sungold tomatoes, 1 rainbow tomato (that might be the name), two types of cucumber (one is a lemon cucumber), 1 summer squash, 1 Japanese eggplant, 2 purple basil, 2 sweet basil. (We like to make pesto.)

Today, after school, I’m going to see if I can get the boys to plant some seeds with me and do some art for Earth Day.

And now poetry:

The Robin’s Song

God bless the field and bless the furrow,
Stream and branch and rabbit burrow,
Hill and stone and flower and tree,
From Bristol town to Wetherby –
Bless the sun and bless the sleet,
Bless the land and bless the street,
Bless the night and bless the day,
From Somerset and all the way
To the meadows of Cathay;
Bless the minnow, bless the whale,
Bless the rainbow and the hail,
Bless the nest and bless the leaf,
Bless the righteous and the thief,
Bless the wing and bless the fin,
Bless the air I travel in,
Bless the mill and bless the mouse,
Bless the miller’s bricken house,
Bless the earth and bless the sea,
God bless you and God bless me!
—Old English Rhyme


Canticle to the Sun

Praised be God for brother Sun,
Who shines with splendid glow,
He brings the golden day to us,
Thy glory does he show!
Praised be God for sister Moon
And every twinkling star;
They shine in heaven most bright and clear,
All glorious they are.
Praised be God for brother Wind
That storms across the skies,
And then grows still, and silent moves
And sweetly sings and sighs.
Praised be God for Water pure,
Her usefulness we tell,
So humble, precious, clean and good,
She works for us so well.
Praised be God for brother Fire
Friendly and wild and tame,
Tender and warm, mighty and strong,
A flashing, flaring flame.
Praised be to God for mother Earth,
Who keeps us safe and well,
Whose mother heart all warm with love,
Dark in her depths doth dwell.
—St. Francis of Assisi

Here are a few links I’ve enjoyed this week, and thought you might like them too:

Plantable gift wrapping paper

Plantable paper earths with seeds

Crochet earth ball pattern. I wish I could make this but I can’t crochet!

Recycle your Crayola markers

Green gifts from National Resources Defense Council

Elemental play book

Finally, our Late Spring Festivals E-Book is on sale for 50% off at Little Acorn Learning. It’s only $12.50 until 4/24/15.

OK. This was a rambling post. It’s what I get for trying to cram weeks of living into one blog. So, back to the message:

Happy Earth Day to all beings near and far, finned and furry, scaly and feathered, mossy and green. May we humans all make the world a better place with our amazing cleverness, cooperation, and compassion. Sending love and blessings to all. ~~~~

A Little Prayer for Rain

Slight Rain

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”  —Langston Hughes

Today. Some rain may fall today.

Our terrible CA drought. All this pale and red earth should be underwater. #drought #folsomlake #northfork #california #water

Almost two weeks ago, Jeff and I went for a hike up to the North Fork of the American River, where it flows into Folsom Lake. Water levels are so terribly low. All the pale and red dirt you see should be covered by the river.

Our terrible CA drought. North Fork of the American River at Rattlesnake Bar State Park, Newcastle, Ca. All this pale and red earth should be underwater. #drought #folsomlake #northfork #california #water

While the rest of the country freezes to death, California is so very thirsty.


Camping Bliss


We had a beautiful time camping with Lucas’s fifth grade class last the other weekend. We went to D. L. Bliss State Park on Lake Tahoe. Everything about the weekend was lovely.



I was so taken with the beauty of this place. We are definitely coming here again. We hiked on Saturday along the lake and were treated to views like this. Asher, Ian, and I hiked almost four miles, which was impressive for our 5-year-old.


All along our hike we were treated with exquisite sites: bleached, dead manzanita branches and glittering green and gold leaves of living manzanita; vanilla-scented Jeffrey pine trees; sparkling lake waters in tiny coves;


sparkling lake waters in tiny coves (I could have spent my whole day here!);


a trickle of a waterfall and a wet crossing;


and wildflowers and gorgeous evergreens at every turn.


This is Asher along the hike—after a snack of trail mix and a little rest, he was ready for more.


The waters of Lake Tahoe truly are blue. Clean. Pure. Inspiring blue. With shallow bits of aquamarine to take your breath away.


We hiked all the way to Emerald Bay, where the Vikingsholm historic site is. As we three were stragglers, we were lucky to meet up with our friends in time to book up the mountain to the road  and then catch rides back to our campsite. Lucas hiked back with friends and a few parents, making a round trip of about seven and a half miles. Along the way, his sandals disintegrated. It didn’t stop him.


We spent part of Saturday afternoon and Sunday on the shore. The only problem with this place is that dogs aren’t welcome on the trails or beaches, as it’s a state park. We had our little Solstice dog with us and we like taking him camping, but I can see that this is something of a limitation. Thank goodness one of our friends was willing to keep Solstice while we hiked the trail on Saturday!




We swam in cold water, which didn’t slow the children down a wit and was surprisingly lovely, once I got use to it. The children played in kayaks and rafts. Adults sunbathed and chatted. It was relaxing and wonderful and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.


And if by chance you are wondering, Where are the photos of Lucas? It was his class camping trip after all. Well, all I can say is he never once sat still long enough for me to take his picture. He was riding his bike, off with friends, hiking, or in the water the whole time. And, for the most part, we tried to give him his space. Here is one of the few I have of him, out in a raft on the lake.

Summer Solstice Celebrating and Feasting


Sunlight is flooding
The widths of space
The son of the birds echoes
Through the realms of the air
The blessing of plants sprouts
From the being of the earth
And human souls lift themselves
In feelings of thankfulness
To the Spirits of the World.

—Rudolf Steiner


Happy Summer Solstice! Here is a little tea concoction I made and it was so yummy, we’ll definitely do this again:

  • two green tea bags
  • lemon slices, squeezed into the water
  • lemon balm leaves
  • sweetener of your choice

(Steep all day, strain, and then chill before drinking.)

We have had a marvelous day and I hope you have, too.

Forming the Giant Cookie

Summer Sun Mosaic Cookie Before Baking

We made a giant summer sun mosaic cookie together. Here it is before baking. And here is the basic giant cookie recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. This kind of thing goes over really big with my children. Lucas made the face; Asher did the eyebrows and the sun rays around the outside. Since the boys got soooo excited about putting the Reese’s candies on top, I realize now that I didn’t need to put peanut butter chips into the dough.



We painted suns, inspired by my co-author and friend Eileen Straiton’s project in our Midsummer Festival E-Book. I think once they’re dry we’ll hang them.





Then we had a beautiful Solstice feast of shrimp tostadas and several fresh salads. I needed lots of circles and colors and fresh veggies in this meal. We even added in some nasturtiums from our garden. We had so much gorgeous food, I wished we had guests to share it with! This is one of my favorite things: Eating amazing California food outside in summertime, when the day has been hot but the evening delta breezes pick up just in time.


“Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.” —Walt Whitman

Solstice in a Sunbeam

Also, today marks six months since our little dog Solstice came to our family. He followed our boys home on December 21 and hasn’t left our side since then. We love him so much, and we’re all grateful to have him.

Here’s to unexpected blessings that follow you home and take up residence in your heart.

Here’s to abundance of joy, nourishment, learning, and opportunity.

Here’s to family traditions carefully conceived and simply crafted.

Here’s to courage, doing good, and generosity.

Blessed Be.

Birthday Beach Camping

I’m catching up from last month! I guess life has been pretty busy, and pretty good lately.

Old Family Tent "DAD" by Lucas

We went camping for my birthday in May to Wright’s Beach, which is where my family always went for vacation when I was a kid. I love this beach with my whole heart.

Lookout over Wright's Beach

We spent two chilly nights there in Ian’s old family tent. We wandered on the beach, collected small seashells and pebbles, flew kites, and read books. Lucas did a lot of whittling with his new pocket knife, making arrows and spears and assorted sharp and pointy items. The boys bickered a lot, and unfortunately this beach isn’t terribly safe for playing chase with the waves. There are signs posted everywhere saying how Wright’s Beach is one of the deadliest beaches in California. Funny, I don’t remember that tidbit from my childhood, and while I do remember gettting knocked about by the waves, my brother and I always survived. When the ranger came around in her truck to tell us under no circumstances should we allow the boys to touch the water, well, we decided to play by the rules. Still, we had plenty of fun and Daddy’s delicious grilled steak, plus s’mores!

My Favorite Beach Learning How to Light a Fire

Wright's Beach

My Boys

The next day we packed up early and drove five minutes down the coast to Duncan’s Cove, where the beach was more sheltered and the wind wasn’t so bad. We explored and found lots of wildflowers. Lucas found a great rock to jump from onto the sand below. It was quite a drop!

Leaping Off

Happy When Moving

Here we did let Lucas get his feet wet. Asher didn’t let the waves get anywhere near him before he began running for the dry sand.

My Little Trekker

It was cold and windy up on the bluff. The views were amazing and so were the flowers. Asher enjoyed wearing his camelbak.


We picnicked on Portuguese Beach before beginning our drive home. A beach picnic with beautiful seagulls, sandwiches, champagne, and peach pie is tops in my book!

Asher's Wistle

Lucas at Lucas Wharf

This is one of the fun things about Bodega Bay. The Lucas Warf sign photo.

Enjoy Life!

We stopped at the candy and kites store. I enjoy all the flags and spinning things. Ian says I am allowed to be an old woman with flags someday, as long as we make them ourselves.

It was a great weekend and I’m glad I got to show my children this place that’s so special to me. Even if we never go there again, it was delightful to have all those fond childhood memories come flooding back.

And after we came home, I had some fun playing with my seagull photos. Tee hee!

Seagulls High Drama


Spring, How I Love Thee

Tree Blossoms

Helicopter Seeds Forming


Neighbor's Daffodils




Neighbor's Magnolia (Tulip Tree)

All are scenes I found while walking in my neighborhood. Welcome, spring!

Balmy Sunday

73 degrees on February 6? I love California! Many thanks to my favorite rock stacker and my favorite acorn planter for showing me this beautiful, local hike to Goose Flat. It was nourishing for my soul and I can’t wait to bring my family here.

Happy Path

Goose Flat with Rock Stack and Sailboat


Leafing Out

Stack, Top-Down

Shore of Lake Natoma

Bare Trees and Nest

This Moment: Day of the Dead

Breaking the rules here to explain that my son was being contemplative in the cemetery, not mourning a loved one. He was having a quiet moment with his own thoughts.


Inspired by SouleMama {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Coast Redwoods Day Trip: Muir Woods National Monument

We visited Muir Woods National Monument last Sunday. It’s a gorgeous old-growth coast redwood forest that sits on the edge of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area of California. We were hoping for a shady, easy hike for our kiddos in a breathtaking environment and my, did we get it! The price of admission was free, thanks to the National Park Service offering free admission the week of April 17 to April 25 in honor of Earth Day…

… which is today. So Happy Earth Day!

It was a perfect day. Gorgeous, warm. The park was crowded, but not so much that we felt we had made a mistake by coming. While hiking we heard at least six different languages being spoken, and possibly many more. At some point, my Californian ear just gives up and tries to determine a basic geographical origin, not a specific language. People were mostly very friendly.

Sequoia Sempervirens

I took this picture while sitting on a bench and leaning way, way back to shoot the tree behind me.

Twisty Roots

Twisty roots beside the path.

Like Stained-Glass Windows

Sparkling leaves (Bigleaf Maple, I think).

Illumination Apple!

The woods were bathed in shafts of sunlight and great swaths of shadow.

Leaping the Rivulet

Leaping over a rivulet. Everywhere Lucas went, Asher followed closely behind. I think we all hiked about four miles that day, and Asher kept right up.

Yellow Caterpillar

Lucas has a great eye for spotting creatures and also a gentle touch.

He Brought His Sketchbook Along

Goethe would be so proud! Lucas took his sketchbook and colored pencils along so he could draw in the forest. He chose as his subject the Bicentennial Tree, which started its life right around the time of our nation’s birth. There was a plaque and everything.


The creek runs through the park, at times quiet and other times burbling.


Another of Lucas’s trail finds: a very quick beetle.

Wild White Iris

A pretty lady we met along the way. Ferdinand Iris?

Too many pictures in one post? Probably. Sorry. I have many more on Flickr if you care to visit Muir Woods with us—sort of. Anyway, I hope for Earth Day you get to visit some unique, wild, or beautiful place on this earth, even if it’s only your own backyard.

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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