April 30, 2011


 Everyone can do at least ONE thing in this world to make a difference. It can be small and simple or large and complex. . . it is all worthwhile. 

Head on over to Suzan's oldgreymare and share something today and the first day of every month to come. Be sure to check the links on the right side bar to read precious posts of Project Genesis. You will be inspired.

Today I am sharing creative recycling ideas for toilet paper rolls. . . .

Seed starters:
Directions here.

Directions here.

  Floral Wall Art:
Directions here.

Binoculars for children:
Directions here.

Vintage favor pouches:
Directions here
These could also be adapted for children with brightly colored paint and chenille stems as handles.

 Farm Animals: 
pig, chicken, chicks, horse, cow, lamb, goat, dog and cat
Directions here.

And more . . .
very impressive ART:
Minature masks by French artist Junior Fritz Jacquet

Paper cutting by French artist Anastassia Elias

Mini sculptures by Japanese artist Yuken Teruya 

Be a part of Project Genesis TODAY!

happy day!

April 29, 2011


A new visitor arrived at our pond early this evening. I ran back to get my camera.

On closer inspection, I realized he was with a friend. They swam further away when they saw me.

I sat and watched awhile and was happy I did. . . 
because soon they took flight.

It's the little unexpected treasures that come upon us. . .  that make life so worth living.

Check out Photo Challenge- Bird at RAZMATAZ
                        happy day!


Inspiration from SouleMama

Linking to Farmchick Photo Friday                                         

happy day!

April 27, 2011


~ feel ~

(Please feel free to join in One Word Wednesday, just leave your link in the comments). 

                                     happy day!

April 25, 2011


A quote for Monday . . . 
“I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel when introducing a young child to the natural world. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil.”  -Rachel Carson

      happy day!

April 22, 2011


Make every day Earth Day . . .

Take the time to marvel . . .  
in the beauty of all living things.

Be inspired by what is all around you. 

 Reflect on your life and your world
     and decide how you can make a difference.

            Relish in the quietness and the wildness . . . 
 seeking solace, inspiration and joy.

Delight in the small things . . .

and show a child the true meaning of wealth.

                             Dare . . .
                                     to care.

Listen to this SONG (from
Read 100 ways you can save the earth by Going Green here.

"I'm not an environmentalist.  I'm an Earth warrior"
  ~Darryl Cherney

                   HAPPY EARTH DAY!

Linking to Farm Friday and 
Farm Friend and Farm Girl Friday.


Joining in for Photo Challenge - Easter
with Chania at RAZMATAZ 

happy day! happy Easter!

April 17, 2011


 "Mindfulness means moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness."

"It's cultivated by refining our capacity to pay attention, intentionally, in the present moment, and then sustaining that attention over time. 
It means becoming more in touch with our life as it is unfolding."
"Parenting through mindfulness has the potential to penetrate past surface appearances and behaviors and allow us to see our children as they truly are, so we can act with some degree of wisdom and compassion. The more we are able to keep in mind the intrinsic wholeness and beauty of our children – especially when it's difficult to see – the more our ability to be mindful deepens". ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

   Twelve exercises for Mindful Parenting

  1. Try to imagine the world from your child's point of view, purposefully letting go of your own. Do this every day for at least a few moments to remind you of who this child is and what he or she faces in the world.
  2. Imagine how you appear and sound from your child's point of view, i.e., having you as a parent today, in this moment. How might this modify how you carry yourself in your body and in space, how you speak, and what you say? How do you want to relate to your child in this moment?
  3. Practice seeing your children as perfect just the way they are. See if you can stay mindful of their sovereignty from moment to moment, and work at accepting them as they are when it is hardest for you to do so.
  4. Be mindful of your expectations of your children and consider whether they are truly in your child's best interest. Also, be aware of how you communicate those expectations and how they affect your children.
  5. Practice altruism, putting the needs of your children above your own whenever possible. Then see if there isn't some common ground, where your true needs can also be met. You may be surprised at how much overlap is possible, especially if you are patient and strive for balance.
  6. When you feel lost, or at a loss, remember to stand still and meditate on the whole by bringing your full attention to the situation, to your child, to yourself, to the family. In doing so, you may go beyond thinking, even good thinking, and perceive intuitively, with the whole of your being, what needs to be done. If that is not clear in any moment, maybe the best thing is to not do anything until it becomes clearer. Sometimes it is good to remain silent.
  7. Try embodying silent presence. This will grow out of both formal and informal mindfulness practice over time if you attend to how you carry yourself and what you project in body, mind, and speech. Listen carefully.
  8. Learn to live with tension without losing your own balance. In Zen and the Art of Archery, Herrigel describes how he was taught to stand at the point of highest tension effortlessly without shooting the arrow. At the right moment, the arrow mysteriously shoots itself. Practice moving into any moment, however difficult, without trying to change anything and without having to have a particular outcome occur. Simply bring your full awareness and presence to this moment. Practice seeing that whatever comes up is "workable" if you are willing to trust your intuition. Your child needs you to be a center of balance and trustworthiness, a reliable landmark by which he or she can take a bearing within his or her own landscape. Arrow and target need each other. They will find each other best through wise attention and patience.
  9. Apologize to your child when you have betrayed a trust in even a little way. Apologies are healing. An apology demonstrates that you have thought about a situation and have come to see it more clearly, or perhaps more from your child's point of view. But be mindful of being "sorry" too often. It loses its meaning if you are always saying it, making regret into a habit. Then it can become a way not to take responsibility for your actions. Cooking in remorse on occasion is a good meditation. Don't shut off the stove until the meal is ready.
  10. Every child is special, and every child has special needs. Each sees in an entirely unique way. Hold an image of each child in your heart. Drink in their being, wishing them well.
  11. There are important times when we need to be clear and strong and unequivocal with children. Let this come as much as possible out of awareness, generosity, and discernment, rather than out of fear, self-righteousness, or the desire to control. Mindful parenting does not mean being overindulgent, neglectful, or weak; nor does it mean being rigid, domineering, and controlling.
  12. The greatest gift you can give your child is your self. This means that part of your work as a parent is to keep growing in self-knowledge and awareness. This ongoing work can be furthered by making a time for quiet contemplation in whatever ways feel comfortable to us. We only have right now. Let us use it to its best advantage, for our children's sake, and for our own.  
    1. ~From "Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting"  by Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Mindful parenting 
enriches our lives as well as the lives of our children.

happy day!

April 15, 2011


We saved most of the white eggs this month for us to decorate. Here is a sampling of our white canvases, from our Blue Andalusian, Ancona and Polish hens.
Some of the eggs we will blow out for Pysanky. 
Pysanky is the ancient Eastern European art of egg decorating, often called Ukrainian egg decorating. Detailed  directions are here.

Do you know how to blow out an egg? 
There are great directions here. We used this gadget from Hearthsong.

We used our large duck eggs in the past but have no female duck this year. 
First, you make a design on the blown out egg shell 
and use melting wax to cover your design.
You can color the egg first if you choose and then do the wax or leave it white.
The results are beautiful.

 For our hard boiled eggs, we plan to use all natural dyes using:

  •  beets for red, 
  •  tumeric for yellow,
  •  red cabbage for blue, 
  •  frozen blueberries for purple, from the recipes here and here

I especially love the results from the eggs wrapped in onion skins.

Why don't you give it a try! It's fun for ALL ages!

happy day  happy creating!

Linking to: 
Farm Friday
Farm Friend and Farmgirl Friday


Inspiration from SouleMama:

                                                           happy day!

April 13, 2011


The Mallards are back! 
Each year they return to our pond in mid April and stay for a week. We noticed them yesterday, a male and female, swimming together. The other day a drake sat alone on our bridge. 
We stopped the car and just watched. Their arrival heralds spring and each year we eagerly await their visit. 

 I got out, to get a closer look with my camera, and they swam faster in the opposite direction. . .
not knowing if I was friend or foe. 

He seemed to hurry her along . . . 
                 faster and faster . . . 
until he felt she was safe. 
Can you see her?

You can tell he was comfortable because he started to preen his feathers. . . 
He swam just past her, but every now and then would stop and look around.
He knew she was close by, safe and sound, camouflaged in the cattail reeds

It's the little things in life, and the unending joys of nature, that make our hearts sing and enrich our lives. Being rich has nothing to do with money.

happy day. . . happy spring!