Many things in our home previously belonged to our relatives. I claimed many books, dishes, pieces of furniture, and framed artwork from my grandparents' homes after they died. Daniel's parents and grandparents have given us household items that they don't need anymore but that are still useful. Making use of these things in our home is a way … Continue reading The Dishwasher Ladybug
I'm writing a 3-part series on composting over at Kitchen Stewardship; here's how to get started with my composting system using 3 ordinary flowerpots, and I also mention two FREE composting systems my family members have used. Here, I'm explaining my general approach to the garden I nourish with my compost. The idea and the … Continue reading Darwinian Gardening
My grandma would be 101 years old today, if she were still alive. Last year I tried to write the centennial tribute she deserved, but I was recovering from a brain injury, so not only was everything a struggle but I felt really terrible and inadequate about everything...and also, I realized, "Grandma meant so much … Continue reading Grandma, Grace, Portage, Petunias, and a Jade Green Sweatshirt
Our two-year-old Lydia loves poetry! Most young children enjoy hearing rhyming, rhythmic words, but Lydia is particularly fascinated. We have many picture books with rhyming text--like the wonderful works of Dr. Seuss--but we've also found several longer poetry books that she enjoys and so do we. Poetry is very helpful in getting children interested in … Continue reading 4 Great Poetry Books for Young Children
My family has an ancestral home, a place that's been owned by our family ever since it was built in 1910. It's a large, elegant, three-story brick house on the main street of a pleasant town in Ohio. My maternal grandmother grew up there, and although she itched to leave that town because of the … Continue reading That Time I Drank 33-Year-Old Grape Juice
Grandma meant so much to me that I can't cram it all into one article. Here is just one story that I hope will show you a little bit of what she was like and how she shaped me.
When I was born, my mother quit her paying job so she could be home with me. When my kids were born, I took 12 weeks off and then returned to my job. It's my father, not my mother, who has been my role model for balancing parenthood with employment.
Welcome to the April 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family History This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories, lore, and wisdom about family history. Please read to the end to find a list of … Continue reading Seder and Holy Week: Family Traditions, Old and New
This is a controversial and confusing question. Some people go on and on about how parenthood melted their selfish hearts and made them realize the importance of devoting themselves fully to making their children's lives perfectly wonderful and completely safe. Other people go on and on about how children are hedonistic little leeches whose spirits … Continue reading Should Your Family Be Child-centered?
My paternal grandmother wrote a lot of poetry in her twenties, some of which was published in a poetry column in her local newspaper and some of which she read on a local radio program. After she passed away in 1991, my dad compiled her published poetry into a little booklet which he printed and … Continue reading My grandmother is blogging from beyond the grave!!
I mentioned in my most recent multi-week menu post making Mexican Pizza, an easy and versatile meal that my mom makes frequently. As I wrote that, it occurred to me to ask Mom if there is a recipe for Mexican Pizza or she's just been winging it all along! She has no written recipe, but … Continue reading Mexican Pizza
This is Daniel's mother Elsa's traditional Thanksgiving side dish. I'm posting it in July because I'm about to post a way to make a similar but non-baked dish if you crave something like this (and/or have sweet potatoes to use up) in hot weather! We had made the original recipe many times, referencing a copy … Continue reading New England Yam Bake
More than three years ago, I posted many ways to eat kale, beginning the article with an acknowledgement that many people think it's just a garnish and that, personally, I grew up knowing kale as a notorious vegetable used by my maternal grandmother’s family, seasoned with cloves and cayenne pepper and cooked “until the wallpaper peels,” to … Continue reading Kirn Family Kale
My only child weaned 5 years ago this month, and I've been meaning to write this article ever since! I finally got inspired by a recent magazine article arguing that the whole concept of breastfeeding being any kind of good idea is A PLOT TO KEEP WOMEN DOWN!!! and supporting this argument by quoting outdated … Continue reading Breastfeeding While Working Outside the Home
One habit I am very grateful my parents taught me is this: When you finish your dinner, stop eating. If you get hungry again before bedtime, you may have dessert. In my childhood home, "dessert" was often canned fruit in syrup, homemade yogurt with jam, tapioca pudding, fruit crisp, a bagel, or something else that … Continue reading Don’t Save Room for Dessert!
A few weeks ago, I explained how we appreciate the little forests within our city. During our Thanksgiving trip, Nicholas (almost seven years old) and I found a much larger forest to explore--in a place where we never knew there was a forest. Cousin Mike hosts Thanksgiving in his home near Albany, New York. I've … Continue reading Adventure in the Forest Across the Street
My paternal grandmother would be 100 years old today, if she were still alive. She died in July 1991, when I was 18. Her name was Janette, so we grandchildren called her Janmother. Janmother was an outstanding high school student but never went to college. She married just after turning 20, and at times she … Continue reading My grandmother got a few things done.
Today is my son's last day of kindergarten! This has been his first year in public school, and we are very pleased with our neighborhood public school, Pittsburgh Colfax. It's a great example of how an urban school can thrive when faculty encourage parent involvement. On "Take Your Special Person to School Day" last month, … Continue reading Our Neighborhood Public School Works for Us!
In my family, Christmas stockings are not just for children! Everybody has a stocking, and we play Santa to each other by stuffing the stockings with little treats when nobody's looking. It's no fair to peek into your stocking before Christmas morning--when we open stocking gifts first thing, before breakfast or even coffee! For the … Continue reading Practical Stocking Stuffers
A year or so ago, my church's assistant pastor began a sermon by saying, "You may never have really noticed our stained-glass windows." My jaw dropped. How could anyone not notice our stained-glass windows?! They're beautiful! They're very colorful, they depict a variety of Biblical characters and saints and symbols from obvious to obscure, and … Continue reading The Bluest Blue