Wednesday, May 17, 2023

A New Path

 I wrote and published what I have cut and pasted below, on a new blog I was going to start on November 3, 2018.  Over the years since, much has changed yet much remains the same.  This will be more of the direction that this blog will take as my children are getting older now - Emily, our youngest, turns 12 this year.  We are still on our farm in Vermont, have one grandson with another on the way and life, overall, is wonderful.  But so much happened over the pandemic that has changed me in so many ways and has  made me stronger - I plan to  share my story, share my research, and share my quest for creating as Charles Eisenstein says, "the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible".  

Here is what I wrote on November 3, 2018 - 

As I sit writing from our living room on this rainy dark November afternoon, many thoughts are going through my head.  It seems that so many people, including myself, take what the media says at face value and that the media has become so polarized that many of us are simply left wondering what to believe.   I am  starting a blog to post my thoughts and articles I plan to write as I spend time researching areas of interest.  I am specifically interested in exposing hypocrisy, questioning norms, and creating thoughtful discussion by asking questions which I am sure I will often not be able to answer.

At the age of 49, our youngest child of 7 is now 7 years old.  We still homeschool the three youngest and run our online handwork business and are starting a small farm on our new farm in central Vermont.  Over many of the last 20 years, our family has often chosen a nonconventional path.  We have been mostly home based as far as work and school and have not chosen to put the acquisition of status or stuff as a priority. 

During the 2016 presidential primaries, Bernie Sanders woke me up politically.  I had been only marginally following any type of governmental race in the past.  My husband and I watched rally after rally.  While the mainstream media were not covering them, we found them on youtube and kept up with his schedule.   When we learned of the extreme corruption in the Democratic party that potentially denied Bernie Sanders the nomination, I became angry and determined to do something.  With my family and business obligations taking up most of my time, I didn't do anything much concrete except reply to some tweets or instagram posts or wrote up some blog posts and social media posts of my own.

I don't know if I will run for office someday, but that is a possibility.  At this time, I just want to share an alternative view that perhaps you might not hear from many other outlets. 


Paul Kingsnorth

Excellent conversation:

Paul Kingsnorth: Why I Changed Sides in the Vaccine Wars

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Nothing Will Change After November 3rd

Ink and Pen by Sarah

Nothing Will Change After November 3rd

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Baking and Beeswax Candle Making

This morning I baked a loaf of bread and a Gluten-Free Apple Cake.  My friend gave us some apples yesterday as they own an orchard and have a business selling hard cider.  I thought I would share the recipe.  You can find it here.

I also poured some more beeswax candles as our stock was running low and I also like to give them for small Christmas gifts when attending a gathering or when I need a little something to express my gratitude.

Warm wishes,

Monday, December 2, 2019

Monday, December 2nd

Hello friends,
Today we woke to a few inches of freshly fallen snow and all looks beautiful.

I thought I would share a little bit about our handmade and simple advent season during the days of December leading up to Christmas.

Today, it was Abe's turn to open our little advent calendar filled with milk chocolate pieces.  I bought it at our coop food store for $3.00.  This was an example of a compromise.  Not being able to buy a more expensive fair trade chocolate calendar, I did buy it at our local food coop store so that we can continue this tradition.

Each morning, Emily finds a Christmas story book wrapped under our Christmas tree for us to read and add to our Christmas book basket.  This makes it nice for me because I don't have to wrap 24 books at one time and I can also re-use the wrapping paper and yarn tie each night.

After they came in from helping to shovel and playing, I made them some hot cocoa.  For each cup of milk, add 2 Tablespoons of cocoa and 1 - 2 Tablespoons of sugar.  Whisk all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until hot.

I baked a loaf of bread and Emily made some sugar cookies.  I finished the turkey soup that was made from our Thanksgiving turkey and that is what we are having for dinner tonight.

I have added little bits of Christmas decorations throughout our home and will add more throughout the month.

Our homeschooling lessons were cut short today when a friend called to see if Emily and Abraham wanted to play as he had a snow day.  He came over to our house and then they went over to his.

The turkey soup was delicious and now I am at my secretary wood burning more ornaments.

Would love to hear about what you are making and doing during this beautiful season.

Warm wishes,

Friday, November 15, 2019

Handmade Holiday 2019

So excited to be sharing another year of a mostly handmade holiday with you.

Let me start by sharing why I believe in making handmade or supporting other small businesses.   
  • Shopping local, supporting small businesses, and making for yourself is good for the environment.  Think about all the miles saved with transportation, giant warehouses, less packaging.
  • I challenge you to not support Amazon or Walmart.  When money and power is consolidated in the hands of a few, by default we lose some of our freedoms - freedom of choice, whether it is in our political candidates through financial influence or the fact that they become a monopoly.  Amazon is getting in the business of elections (through the cloud) and military supplies.  Amazon has a contract with the CIA.  Amazon continues to buy out smaller businesses which means that Amazon will determine pay scales, products and so much more.  It is a scary situation and I challenge you to boycott them.  I know it is hard.  Sometimes I think how easy it would be to just place an order for that book I would love, or that product I need within 2 days, or the fact that Amazon is offering that product for much less than anywhere else.  Our family lives on very little financially (perhaps might even be considered to live in poverty for a family our size) but we consider boycotting Amazon to be a principled sacrifice.  Walmart is much the same with so them pricing out smaller businesses putting them out of business and much of their products being imported.
  • There is something intrinsically special about making a gift for someone.  As it is being made, it is fun to think about them and just the act of making is so satisfying. 
  • Supporting local businesses helps to feed a local family that is using their gifts to offer something unique to your community.  
  • There is something much more human about walking into a local store, seeing another human being, speaking to them, creating small talk, and getting to know others in your community.  I am so afraid that we are losing some of our basic aspects of being human when we choose to do so much online out of convenience or to save money.

There are so many more reasons and I would love to hear yours.

If you search this blog in the search box, Handmade Holiday, you will find many posts of handmade ideas from years ago of sharing from blog readers.  It is very inspiring!  

Finally, please use #handmadeholiday2019 to share on instagram and/or leave your ideas in the comments with links if you have them!

Warm wishes,

Edited to add:  These are my views and I do not judge others that choose to live or shop differently.  Some of my adult children use Amazon and I still love them!!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Harvest Festival

Sarah with brought one of her chickens.

 Abe and Emily


 Emily doing the pumpkin on a spoon race.



 Friends working on the cider pressing.

Emily hugging the sweet baby goat.

We moved to the most amazing small town in the world.... at least I think so.   The community is full of caring, involved people that work hard to serve one another.  This past Saturday, the non profit organization in town (which Mike and I have become involved with), but on a Harvest Festival that is geared toward the children. 

There was the cider pressing, the reading of Stone Soup while two cast iron pots of soup boiled over the open fire.  There were donuts from a string, fiddlers, a petting zoo with the sweetest little baby goats, caramel apples, a bouncy house, and more.   I brought wool to do needle felting and it was truly rewarding to see the joy in the children's faces (and adults!) as the wool became a work of art.