Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Weekend!

Dear Friends,

A merry Friday to you, and a happy Memorial Day weekend! We hope that you will be able to spend some time in reverent meditation, remembering those dear to you who have passed away, as well as those who gave their lives for the cause of freedom.

We are so excited to see a bit of sunshine right now! We have had rain and clouds so much that we wonder if we were not transported unawares to Mordor ;) . But we know that the moisture is desperately needed in this desert land, so we are grateful for all that we can get.

We are preparing as much as possible for the birth of our new little one (Who, Lord willing, will be born peacefully at home.), with one of the sweetest chores being hanging out the little blankets and tiny clothes that will soon be required (When they finally dry, they should be REALLY fresh :) ). Having a baby is one of those things that never quite seems real, until it really, truly happens, but hanging out the baby things and readying the bureau help make it more tangible.

Mr. Graham has been helping us make our own plant presses and herbariums, using the instructions on this video

and this blog. We finally will not have to hunt through all our heavy books in search of a snippet of greenery that we stuck in!

~Plant press a la "Shabby Chic"

We also have been studying flower parts and types of flowers, which I think has been more educational for me as the teacher. Do any of you know of a children's book that you would recommend to help make learning the plant parts more easy?
~AnnaMarie's "flower cluster types"

We have been trying to learn each new flower that we see on our visits to nature, as well as the mushrooms that will be sprouting up everywhere after all this rain.

~Mystery mushrooms

And, in wild eating news :) , We were tickled to be able to buy these two books to give us new information and ideas for thriving off the land, no matter what situation arrives. I would highly recommend both of these books, "The Forager's Harvest" by Samuel Thayer, and "The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide" by Linda Runyon. So far, we were surprised to learn that Siberian Elm seeds, both immature and mature, make tasty food, and that you can grind up dried lamb's quarters, clover leaves, and even grass to use mixed with flour for baked goods. There's no reason why anyone should starve when things are rough! But the time to learn and become accustomed to these foods, even just a little, is now when we have the luxury of exploring and experimenting, NOT in an emergency situation.

Oh yes, and the robins are finally FLEDGLINGS! Can you believe how fast they've grown? Here they are at eight days old~

And here is a little English sparrow we named "Jack", who really isn't dead, just hypnotized. We rescued him from going into the highway a few days ago, and (AnnaMarie) fed him on watermelon and sunflower seeds until he was big enough to fly back into his tree. Springtime is full and overflowing of new life of all kinds! Even though it may be cloudy and rainy (and snowy and windy), we count our blessings to be alive this time of year, and to explore the beauties and wonders all around us.

Blessings and love to you,



"The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze."

~Julian Grenfell

p.s. We've just posted an article by my father about, of all things, eating weeds! My mother was always embarrassed by his "weed patch" :) .


  1. Marqueta~
    So glad you are having a bit of sunshine today! I really do hope it holds out until your little one is born. So nice to have all the baby things ready and waiting for *the arrival!*
    My youngest daughter made a plant press in Girl Scouts many years ago that I have been using. I have been asking Gentleman Farmer if perhaps he could cut some for me to make for my Etsy Store, but that hasn't happened yet! It is fun pressing pretty little flowers and using them for bookmarks, cards, decorating homemade soap and candles! Your plant press is *oh, so chic!* ;~P
    Sorry, I can't help on the book for AnnaMarie. Her drawings are spectacular! Looks like she could make her own book.
    It has been raining so much here the last few days, I don't think even the mushrooms will survive! We are wondering if we will see the ark float by!
    Oh, the little robins are cute at last! And, Oh, dear! Little Jack! (How does one hypnotize a bird?) So sweet that AnnaMarie feed and nurtured him back to health and saw that he went back to his tree! Yes, springtime is full of His Glory!
    Blessings to you and all your dear family!

  2. How sweet, I loved getting ready for my babies of course that has been years ago my oldest will be 16tomorrow.

    Babies of all kinds grow so fast!

    Have a Blessed Day


  3. Such beautiful pictures of new life in the springtime!! The little baby bird look like they have grown so much~it has been a while since my last baby!~ YOu must be so excited to be getting ready for another little blessing. I can feel the harmony and bliss for you right now~my children were always so excited waiting for the baby to arrive!! And such nice weather we have been having. It will be great to take your baby for a walk in the carriage and not have to stay in because of cold/wintery weather. God bless you and your famiy, Rose

  4. Dear Marqueta, I am still praying for you. Homebirths are so wonderful. I am praying you can homebirth., Enjoy the sun for us xoxoxo Clarice

  5. Marqueta,
    I am so excited for you in the anticipation of the new little one! You are so blessed! I always wanted a big family and do so enjoy coming here to read about your lovely adventures with your dear children! The drawings are wonderful! Sweet of your daughter to nurse the little bird...
    Blessings to you and yours!

  6. Love the flower drawings and baby bird pictures. Looking forward to seeing your new sweet little one!

  7. I love all your pictures !

    candy :)

  8. Hi Marqueta, You have so many sweet fuzzy babies to sigh over. Where do you find them all? I'm so pleased the bedraggled little Jack was nursed back to health and has now flown. We have many silly little baby birds that insist on sitting in the middle of our lane and are not at all frightened when our car roars up to them. I can't bear to think of squashing them so give them a prod and off they fly. Fantastic that your girls are learning so much about the natural world. A recent survey in England found that one third of adults couldn't recognise any birds or trees and many kids have no idea that vegetables grow in the ground, they are convinced they are manufactued and then bagged for the supermarket!!! Very sad. Love to you all. Eli x

  9. Dear Marqueta,
    What a delightful post!
    Thank you for sharing snippets of your life.
    Such an exciting time for your family ~ I do hope you will be able to have the baby at home!
    I used to press flowers years ago ~ I love your flower press. I think I may start to do this again.
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Memorial Day ~

  10. Mi Querida Amiga,

    Que alegria que te estas preparando para tu nuevo bebe!

    La bendicion mas grande es la anticipacion de el bebe, y la felicidad que trae cuando lo cargas y le comienzas a dar la leche! No hay nada mas precioso que eso.

    Como madre, yo se que tu te estas cuidando mucho, ya que la salud de el bebe es supremamente importante para ti y tu familia!

    Yo estoy esperando la llegada de este bello nino or nina, para saber que mandarte. Yo quiero que este nino sepa lo esperado que es:)

    Los pajaritos han crecido mucho! Aqui, tenemos un nido de Cardinales. Y sus cantos son musica para nosotros :)

    Con mucho amor mi querida amiga,


  11. Carrie at is also observing and photographing a family of Robins through the floor of her deck. You should see the pictures she took of her "family of 3".

    Nice blog. It was a pleasure to visit.


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