Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peace be with us all.

Beside me a very small young man is dreaming. Like every loving parent in America, today when I look upon him, I am flooded with more then the usual river of emotion. Most of us as parents try not to let our minds wander to the darkness of what it would be like to have them suddenly no longer with us. But on days like today- we do. Like a flag in our souls for those parents whose bodies and minds are screaming for their babies, we allow ourselves to fleetingly imagine the torture. For we can't allow it in for more then a moment-even the thought is paralyzing. Having a little five ( going on 6) year-old kindergartner in my home- I could not even let myself go there at first. It is only this morning I can bring our nation's tragedy home. The girls are spending the night out. As I woke I was thoughtful that it is Hazel, who takes up the most space in our home. Both physically, and emotionally, she at 5 is, what 5 is. For a moment- in honor of all parents whose children won't come home- I allow myself the darkness. I allow myself to cry.
The most startling and surprising moment of this tragedy for me has been that I am neither startled or surprised. I did not have a moment where I wondered how this could be true. I actually live in a world where I am not shocked to hear kindergartners where massacred in their classroom. It is not only because shootings have become common on the news. It is not only because of our "gun culture" that I am not surprised. It is because of our culture. I am not surprised or shocked that children were murdered, or that we have murders among us.
We evaluate our lives, our routines and try to protect our children from being harmed. But maybe we should be looking from the other direction. My greatest tragedy would not be harm coming to my children. My greatest tragedy would be harm coming from them. If we want to live in peace- we must live in peace. That means being less concerned with what is done to us then what we do. It means laying down our presumptive defenses, and allowing vulnerability. It means being concerned for the welfare of all, especially children. Being an example of peace. Holding something sacred. Collectively. We have dozens of problems in our culture and not one, not one, could not be solved within one generation of collectively holding our children as sacred.
Let us not simply light candles, but acknowledge the flame already burning. Please join me in offering this blessing, and offering it often, so we may embody this blessing and pass it amongst us until the sun rises on a world of peace.

i honor the light within you, and the light within each of your children. those who have come, but could not be with us today. those who have climbed our laps and backs all day, and those who are still coming. blessings on you and your children. namaste.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Readying for winter play

On my feet warm boots must go,
So I can play in the snow.
On my head does go a hat,
And mittens to go pat pat pat.
When I'm ready, I sit down,
In turn Sherene ( or mama) will zip my winter gown.

On the path of middle childhood . . .

Last night the tooth fairy came to our home and left some golden coins under Hazels pillow. Lyra says she thinks each family must have their own tooth fairy as every family has a different tradition. Here the tooth fairy leaves golden dollars. A few more for the first tooth than the others. You can tell by Hazels smile as she talks about her loose and lost teeth, that she recognizes this places her in a new realm of childhood. That she has arrived in a new place. Welcome young traveller!

Winter 2012 Edition of ROTH

Beautiful edition of this seasons Rhythm of the Home. Check out their very generous giveaway on the ROTH blog.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Children with anxiety

One in five American children suffer with anxiety. So often it goes undiagnosed and instead- we as adults improperly label these children.
Awareness helps!
Spread the word. Children get stressed too.

Children with an inherited propensity to anxiety do not just become anxious because of their genes, so what we need are ways to prevent the environmental catalysts — in this case, parental behaviors — from unlocking the underlying genetic mechanisms responsible for the disease,” Ginsburg says.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our tree of thanksgivings.

There is an envelope of blank leaves so all our friends and family can post their thankfuls as well.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Preschool/bread making recommend

One of my daycare mamas ( thank you Sarah!) brought me this book one day last month. As soon as I read it, I loved it. The story is adorable and I do not want to ruin the details. It fits right into the type of preschool/ kindergarten work we do. In the story, there are several families from various parts if the world all baking bread from their culture. Aside from the bread they make, there are other small details that show the author really did her homework rather than relying on stereotypes. On top of that, the recipes in the back are wonderful! Being a bread maker by nature I have tried making many of these breads before- not one recipe has been as simple and delicious as these. Highlighting the true intent of any bread, in any culture: to nourish many with the efficient use of time and resources.

Everybody Bakes Bread by Norah Dooley

Monday, November 5, 2012

Smoked Salmon Chowder

6 strips bacon
4 small white Potatoes
1 onion
Salt and pepper

1 lb Smoked salmon
1 quart Chicken broth
1 pint Crushed tomatoes
1 pint Cream

2 large leaves of Swiss chard, finely chopped

Chop bacon and cook until crispy brown. Remove bacon pieces and about half of bacon grease. Leaving just enough to coat the stock pot. Add chopped potatoes and onion, salt and pepper. Cook until firm but tender. Add chopped smoked salmon. Stir to coat and Cooke about 2 mins. Add chicken broth. Let simmer about 5 mins. Add tomato and let summer 5 mins again. Add cream and turn down hear to low, stirring every few minutes. Add swiss chard. Cooking on very low heat for 10-20 minutes.
Garnish with bacon

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

May your days be filled with magic . . .

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Drunken Housewife

Okay, all in fun here! I was having a blue evening and a good friend recommended a stiff drink. I confessed to having no alcohol except homemade vanilla in the house. Wondered if it would taste good in milk, and then the rest is in the recipe . . .

1small shot of homemade bourbon vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
1 heavy tbsp of maple syrup
Stir, add ice and enjoy your sneaky treat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I am really really proud that after years of practice I am capable of not engaging with someone who infuriates me. I do not have to respond. I will, however, spend the day processing my anger. And giving myself the space to to that. Some people must exist only to create struggles that the rest of us may strengthen from. I offer up this prayer- may I feel compassion for the prison you have created for yourself. May all that know you strengthen from the turmoil that you spread. May the deeds and seeds of our lives spread further then the pain and poison in yours. May we all, including you, have peace. May this day be the start. May this day be the start. May this day be the start of something wholesome and new.
With this prayer my heart is opened. I can see the pain you must feel. And I can let myself heal.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Song for Generosity

I have my place, a wondrous place, for only I am me.
What I have, where I am: is the perfect place to be.
There is a special magic, there is a special key- for when my heart is generous, the world belongs to me.

Verse for Friendly Play

Gentle feet and gentle hands: that's the way to play.
With respect for my friends: that we may share our day

Song for frustration

Hand over my heart,
I whisper what I need,
So on these words,
My mind and soul shall feed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Majestic monarchs

Magnificent milkweed munching monarchs majestically migrate to Mexico.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Girls are sleeping late, misty sunlight surrounds the house. Bread is rising. A warm, sweet snuggler nursing. Heaven is where your heart is.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Autumn! It's time for pumpkin whoopie pies!

This edition of Rhythm of the home asked readers to share the traditions their families look forward to living in tradition to autumn. We shared our way of celebrating and one important recipe is the pumpkin whoopie pie. We enjoyed them today at the park in the autumn sun. Below is a link to the recipe.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Children's yoga practice

This week we started our autumn rhythm which includes a yoga practice on thursday morning after morning lessons. We incorporate yoga into everyday, asana most days. But on thursday mornings it is more formal. We bring out mats and I have a story and related asana practice. This week as we set down I felt I needed to center the children in a special way. It was our first class of the season and they had been looking forward to coming together that way. I wanted to tie us all together and set the right tone. Originally, I had decided to start with the sound of Om three times. All the children love this. But for some reason as we gathered, I decided we would "Om" the name of each child three times. With the very first breath, it was obvious from the energy within my own body and the looks in their eyes we had hit on something. Each sound was so rich and each special. Even the same sounds within different names had unique qualities. This is now our new favorite way to start the whole day- not just asana practice. So I just had to share. Aside from the special sound each child's name pronounces, by doing several names you can hit all the various chakra sounds. Obvious energy was moving within my body after how many names the children requested. Beautiful to see the natural understanding within them to the universal sound.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Connections and Patterns

We experienced a heartbreaking tragedy in my region last week. A train carrying coal through a historic town, tumbled from its tracks. If only it had tumbled somewhere else along the route it would not have caught two young women out sitting by the river that night. This town and spot is a place so many young people from my county have hung out over the generations. So many of us have been touched by this tragedy. And the shops along main street effected as well. They did not want to hamper the investigation. Or profit from the tragedy. And the clean up and road closures kept business away any how. So this weekend many of us locals hit the shops and restaurants to show the merchants some love. I relished a dinner out with just my husband and baby boy, some antique shopping and fabulous ice cream. While poking in the shops I landed this great find. Some terrific old children's books- brand new. They are hard to find copies of real treasures. This morning I poured over these and our some twenty library books for our first lessons of the autumn season. Hazel starts her kindergarten year and Lyra is starting on 4th grade. Somehow I have managed to tie lessons together through butterflies and nature and pattern, science, and math. It's amazing how one thing can always lead to another in this world- and how there is always rhyme and reason, pattern and magic hiding in every corner.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Plum Jam

Late summer unfolding. My son's first season almost past. Think the jam and the boy are keepers. Imagine these plums will always remind me of a little snuggler held close in his wrap.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lian David Cauley 6/17/2012

Our little one was born on fathers day. Unfortunately we need a new computer so I have been unable to share his sweet face and our fun birth and first month. Until then, here is the image of my sweet boy from my perspective as I carry him about all day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reclaimed Joy

I am so happy to be a guest on the Rhythm of the Home blog this month. This month as we plan, ponder and prepare to change our lives and our family. Also to honor the all those that love us, we are so happy to share our day to day, week to week, year to year with you.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Home: through my eyes

I have waited with great urgency to be grown up, have a family and a home. I actually had a hope chest filled with household goods I saved as a girl. Magazines, cookbooks, bedding, little candles, small lamps and furnishings. I rushed and hurried to get here, assuring David that when we owned a home I would calm down. And I did. I never intend to leave this home, to move anywhere else or need anything more. I love it, no I really love it, in my heart and bones. When I first saw it for sale, I didn't even look at the listing- for a whole year. I cried when I found it was the only house in the zip code in our price range- I knew that more than anything I wanted my children to have one place to call home, forever. But not that house. Then I walked in with our realtor and caught my breath. From the inside looking out, from the heart of our home, it was exactly what I needed and wanted. Not too large, not too small. A cheerful place that needed our care, and spirit, and that had been waiting for me as long as I had been waiting- longer actually. On top of all that, our home is in my hometown.  A planned community with pathways and parks and lakes and values I embrace. Along with all my family, who all live in town.

One day last month my husband mentioned how every time he comes home from work, he sees all that needs to be done to our home. We have a list, a long list. Trees to be cut down, a fence to be built, the whole yard should be re-graded, windows need replacing, and doors, and garage doors. Thats just the long term projects. There is also indoor projects we want to do, to the kitchen, and closets and bedrooms. My husband is a carpenter and spends his days in very expensive homes, finishing and replacing the tiniest of details. He sees these finished homes, that he's just finished finishing, and then comes home to ours. He was seeing a home that needed work, mostly because he wants me to have finished home. I was seeing a home that will provide years of planning, excitement and family projects. I was not seeing a house that needs work, but a home that will mature and grow as we care for it. I've waited all these years for these projects, what would I do with myself if they were all done!

My girls have been thinking much about the homes they will live in in the future. They were feeling much the same as Heather was feeling in this post .  I walked them through the dreams I have for this little 1/4 acre. No, we will never be able to have farm animals within the limits of our town. We will be able to grow enough to feed ourselves as years go by. The county has just knocked out a ban on bee keeping, so that dream seems within reach. This will be our home, and as years go by, it will come to be everything we dream it can be. Until then, these are some of the little corners of my home that take my breath away and remind me that this little three bedroom suburban house is MY home. And where I am meant to be.
The sunshine I drink in with my coffee in the morning

Sunshine on honey floors

Our bedroom in the trees, the only room I've purchased drapes and bedding for- one room, almost done.

I do not know why but I just love these two doors side by side

The dresser my grandmother bought when her mother died, and my fertility art work from college. Grandma's books too. 

I light the incense here every morning after straightening the bathroom for the day.

This doorway to the master bathroom. Pretty sure this is why the house was on the market for a year. And why we got such a good price. The hall bath leads to the master bath, or um, potty. Actually very practical for a young family. 

My new sewing room, fashioned to make room for baby- and our musical sleeping games. 

Washer and dryer I found on Craigslist for $100. And David went, picked up, set up, and tuned up. Works perfectly and reminds me of the ways we work together to keep this home running smoothly. Plus, they are stackable!

The Andrew Wyeth that hung in my childhood home, now hangs in mine. 

Along with my own art work, and my grandparents hutch, the knitting basket the girls and I use, the globe- all little details of us. 

My own kitchen, where I place things I use and need and nurture the people I love. 

A small patch of outdoor sun that we have found grows things!

Transplants from the woods taking root all over the yard.

The color our home will one day be

More sunlight.

I just love the angles of our home, and those are not changeable, or fixable. 

Pathways that take us to parks and pools and lakes and friends.

Another little alter of sorts, pictures of my grandmother, little snip-its the girls have brought me, poems and quotes. Above my cutting board, reminding me as I move through the day of who I am, what I am, and why. 

 Another angle I love: the slope of the hill with the roof lines. 

 More sunshine. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

A post worth reading.

This post below deserves a read. It is a real blog post in so many ways. Shares information about mothering, shares what the author learned through blogging, through mothering. Its just a record, a thought, a glimpse. Its important.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

a simple trip to Africa

Hazel wants to go to Africa. For her 5th birthday. Well, I couldn't quite pull that off. I like simple celebrations for children's parties because, when you have 2.5 children someones birthday is always around the corner. Not only do I not want a big expense, but if I spend a lot of time preparing for the parties I find myself telling the girls to wait for me while I work. I figure, they would rather help a happy mama bake cupcakes and contribute to the decorations. Our library has a wonderful service where you can pick out what you want on line and reserve it to be ready for you when you come. I choose a handful of African children's CDs and books and had them ready for us. We made cake and the girls set up the outdoors while we waited for our dear friends. Hazel refused to believe she was actually 5 until after the party, despite turning 5 last saturday and having already had several family celebrations. Now, we are officially a big girl. 
                                                                                        some beautiful handmade gifts from our friends

                                                                                               a little bit of the baby bump
                                                                  Lyra likes to go in for the squeeze, which is why I have
                                                                                               that look on my face

                                                                                                      our favorite boys

                                                                                              tent created by the big girls

                                                         The children had a scavenger hunt where they used the books to      find the habitat of safari animals I had hidden in the yard. Then they tried wrapping their babies African style  and carrying them round the house.

                                                                                         the troop

                                                                                 my beautiful, magical, wise little big girl