5 Solutions To The Kid Gift Problem

The problem: your kid has a lot of friends, and wants to give gifts to every single one of them. With your money. Of course, it is absolutely wonderful that your charming and thoughtful child is thinking of his or her peers over the holiday, and you want to encourage this independent spirit of generosity. You just don’t [Continue Reading...]

The Slow, Painful Truth About Chores and Patience

It seems like there is this phase kids go through where they really want to imitate their parents. My 14 month old son is in that phase now. This’ll tell you all you need to know about how I’ve spent the last 14 months of my life: he just adores wiping up spills, sweeping and pushing his mini-vacuum [Continue Reading...]

Sharing The Good Stuff

I’ve been tending to two sick kids all day, and now that they are in bed, I’ll be honest, an original blog post just ain’t happening tonight. What is happening is a nice bourbon on the rocks and some reading. So instead of trying to pull a blog post out of my ass, I will direct [Continue Reading...]

Little Monkeys Making Messes

Dirt. Dirt, dirt, dirt. When you garden, a certain amount of outside comes in. Fine. When you cook 2 to 3 meals a day on a stove (in pork fat, no less!) a certain amount of grease distributes in a fine layer over everything. So in my 7 years as a gardener and my lifetime [Continue Reading...]

Baby Moccasins And Other Off-Season Adventures

The peak marathon of late-summer work in the garden is finally over. Oh sure, there’s clean up and garlic and cover cropping and all those other tasks, but there’s no urgency. The days are shorter and the tasks are less immediate. I’m still preserving pears and apples but the weekend-long sessions of salsa and canned tomatoes [Continue Reading...]

The Kids Who Will Save The World

You know how you read the newspaper (or whatever passes for a newspaper in your world – for me it’s the Google news homepage and my blog feed reader) and by the time your coffee is tepid you’ve discovered thirteen new ways in which The World Is Going To Hell In A Handbasket? Like most [Continue Reading...]

Labor Pains And The Harvest

As I sit here writing this, both kids just tucked in, a slew of new little boy’s toys to find a home for, and half a brightly colored, overly-sweet, train-shaped cake sitting picked over on the dining room table, it is one year to the hour since my boy was born. His was a fast labor: 90 minutes [Continue Reading...]

Toddler: 1 – Zucchini Chips: 0

I made zucchini chips for the first time. They were easy, they were a hit, they made zucchini into something fun. Something really fun. Maybe too fun. This is how it happened.  Zucchini Chips 1 medium zucchiniOlive Oil, for brushing dehydrator traysSalt, to taste Slice zucchini very thin. I used a Japanese slicer (like a mandoline, but better, [Continue Reading...]

Rock Solid Plant Labels

I garden with kids. My 7 year old is a dream garden helper, when I can pry her out of her books and get her to help. (I have the nicest problems, truly.) She can thin seedlings, pick peas, weed and chicken wrangle. I really don’t know what I’d do without her.  My 10 month [Continue Reading...]

Father’s Day Dreams

As boys, we are taught to dream big.  To throw the game-winning touchdown, to fly the Space Shuttle, to slay the dragon. The world is our oyster, we can be anything. Over time, the probabilistic realities of life and our own limitations get in the way. We grow up and take the jobs that our [Continue Reading...]

What Moms Want, What They Really, Really Want

Chances are good that if you are reading this you are a mother (much of my readership being female and of a certain domestic bent). Chances are excellent that even if you are not personally a mom, there is a mother in your life: perhaps your spouse or the woman who brought you into this [Continue Reading...]

Even Urban Homesteaders Get The Blues

My little boy had surgery last Wednesday. He’s fine, it was an expected and “routine” procedure. I put routine in quotes, because turning my not-yet-eight month old over to surgeons is, blessedly, pretty out-of-the-ordinary for me. Because he was going under general anesthesia at 7:30 am, he could not eat or drink, including nursing, after [Continue Reading...]