Sunday, September 26, 2010

Autumn Equinox and Michaelmas

This is a most special time of year for me. It is the midway point from Summer Solstice/ St John's Tide to Winter Solstice/ Christmas.  We have enjoyed marking this time with an Equinox bonfire and potluck with our friends. The flowers are still so glorious and cheerful.  

Jasper made Dragon bread and dyed a silk cape with goldenrod at his little morning class, and I helped to prepare for the community Michaelmas festival by making a felted dragon and some scenery for the puppet show. It was a good learning experience to be a part of the production.

Jasper in his cape of golden light

The lovely princess was made by Becca.

I got to be the King in the story. This beautiful puppet was made by Lenka. They are so glorious in action, with their flowing silk bodies.
Ines practicing the scene with the knight
The tamed dragon

Weaving with nature at the festival. The kids also made beautiful wool felted comets with trailing ribbons.
Mother Earth leading the children to the puppet show. During the show, we had a torrential thunderstorm. It was quite dramatic the have roars of thunder in the dragon scene. But after getting thoroughly soaked (with glee...) as we crossed the property, the sun shone again for the potluck and cider pressing time.  The children delighted in playing in the mud puddles.

The Michaelmas dragon was gifted to Vivienne(something that Mia and Jasper insisted upon), honoring her bravery and strength after a very unfortunate playground accident. She slipped on a ladder, landing in a very tender place and had to miss the festival to rest at home with Daddy. She is feeling much better today.
Jasper's favorite tee from the local and fabulous Ollie Kate
Brave and True
Will I Be
Each Kind Deed
 Sets Me Free
Each Kind Word
Makes Me Strong
Fight for the Right
Conquer the Wrong
~author not known

Check out more wonderful photos at the Moment to Moment Blog!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Harvest Day

Today, we got our main lesson work done and then headed out to the country to pick berries and apples. We drove out to Long Branch Environmental Education Center. It was a perfect afteroon for enjoying the warm autumn sun. We found lots of delicious blueberries!
I believe that this aster is called the Michaelmas daisy. To find out more about Michaelmas and ways to celebrate it,  check out Carrie's blog, The Parenting Passageway.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Summer, Goodbye...

The days are getting shorter, and the evenings are cooling off more. Jasper and Vivienne asked to take a lantern walk this evening. I love to watch the colors of the nature becoming mellow and golden. We are approaching our third week of school, each day adding a little more depth and consistency. It takes time for us to settle into our rhythm, but we are getting there. This week I hope to gain more fluidity in the flow of each day. I would like to incorporate more nature walks, bread baking, cooking, family reading time, singing and art making!  Mia is preparing her own circle garden, and I am starting to introduce biodynamic preparations to our patch of land.

 During my  Foundation Study program this past weekend, I got to learn more about biodynamic agriculture. It was inspiring to learn more about Rudolf Steiner's methods for healing the land. As we all know, it is a much needed impulse for these times. It gave me much food for thought.

Here are a few highlights from our last couple of weeks: Starting a fun tee-pee mushroom growing kit for Mia's 5th grade Botany block. Yes, you grow edible mushrooms on a roll of toilet paper! You have to check out Forest Organic's glow-in-the-dark mushroom kit, as well.  Expect an update in another 6-8 weeks!

 Some other enjoyable sources for Botany.

Making elderberry syrup for the cold and flu season. Many thanks to my friend, Ines, who shared her harvest of fresh berries. (Remember to be sure that you can properly identify a plant before you make medicine with it. ) Speaking of medicine making, the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference is around the corner and I can't wait! You will see me behind my camera, taking photos. What a wonderful weekend it will be!

Heritage Weekend at the Folk Art Center. We are blessed to have so many inspiring elders to teach the younger generations to appreciate and carry on the craftsmanship and fine skills of the mountains of North Carolina. Some of our favorite demonstrations included flax being transformed to linen for spinning and weaving, natural dying, wood carving, and pottery making. Mia enjoyed sharing a conversation with Bill Alexander about the bark basket that she made at roots camp, crafted just like the large berry baskets that he was demonstrating. Jasper watch as Hugh Baily made a whimsical horse and circus man from clay, and could have stayed the whole day. He was transfixed on the process. We also really enjoyed talking to Bill Henry about his beautiful miniature vintage tool replicas that he carves from tulip poplar with a pocket knife. I really enjoyed listening to the Blue Eyed Girl band, they really know how to play beautiful music!

Our nature table taking on an autumn theme...
And having our friend, "Uncle Cy " visit from Sunny California. We got to enjoy a breakfast of cat-head sized biscuits and "Uncle Funky's" grits at the Tomato Jam Cafe. Yum, delish. (We missed you, Lindsley!)

More celebrations of autumn to come!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


A few weekends back, we got to enjoy the local Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. It is the place to be your own eccentric self! Many participants come in costume and it is a wonderful place for people watching. There are so many creative minds all in one place, it is great fun. We also got to dance to a favorite local world music percussion band, Nataraj. Their drummer, Renjith, happens to be a very talented musician who plays kirtan with Sangita Devi. Vivienne's favorite part was getting a giant lemonade.

We headed home as the sun began to set.