Monday, August 25, 2014

Wild Abundance

Dear Friends,

I recently had the opportunity to teach a class on wild edibles to some ladies from church. I had a fun time teaching, and I hope that I inspired at least some to go out and partake of the wild goodness around us.

I made pine needle popsicles and dock leaf pesto, which everyone loved. I shall have to write out recipes next time!

I am working on a sketchbook of wild edibles for the Kansas City area, which is coming along at a snail's pace. So many books to write, so little time!

There is always something new to learn about the world around us, and always surprises coming up in the garden. This "mystery plant" has turned out to be Evening Primrose, which is exciting, since I've wanted to grow it for some time, but never did (or so I thought). I guess the fairies must have been busy helping!

We are busily feeding about 20 Monarch caterpillars, plus a few other caterpillars (question mark, giant swallowtail, and black swallowtail). This Tiger Swallowtail was just passing by, since we don't have the kind of food its caterpillars like (yet). The two tropical milkweed plants I overwintered in my kitchen windowsill last year have been a great investment.

AnnaMarie and Audrey have started up their early morning scripture class at our church again (it runs 9 months out of the year), so they will have the opportunity of seeing many beautiful sunrises, such as these below. I am sure that they will learn many wonderful new things while growing spiritually as well.

Love to all,

''Give fools their gold, and knaves their power;
Let fortune's bubbles rise and fall;
Who sows a field, or trains a flower,
Or plants a tree, is more than all.'' 

~John Greenleaf Whittier

Friday, August 15, 2014

Quotes on Motherhood

Dear Friends,

I picked up the book Mothers: a Celebration by Alexandra Stoddard a few weeks ago, and felt impressed to read it a few days back. Alexandra Stoddard is one of my favorite contemporary authors, writing about homely, family things. This book is no exception, filled with wisdom and quotes along the margin. 

It hit the spot for me, as I was in the midst of feeling that I would never catch up on the daily treadmill of laundry, dishes, mending, meals, child care, schooling, household repairs, gardening, etc. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the joy and wonder of being mothers. Truly it is the most amazing gift to be entrusted with the care and training of fellow Children of the King (which is, by the way, what the girls decided to call their singing group). 

Here are some encouraging thoughts from the book that I would like to share with you~

"The woman who creates and sustains a home, and under whose hands children grow up to be strong and pure men and women, is a creator second only to God." ~Helen Hunt Jackson

"A kiss from my mother made me a painter." ~Benjamin West

"Truth, which is important to a scholar, has to be concrete. And there is nothing more concrete than dealing with babies, burps and bottles, frogs and mud." ~Jeane J. Kirkpatrick

"The tulips is a tulips even when it is nothing but a dry and shriveled bulb. The egg is a bird. The acorn is an oak tree. . . The finished work does not require a great will to make it, but the willingness to let it unfold." ~Eric Butterworth

"One of the greatest gifts a mother can give to her child is a peaceful, serene atmosphere at home, and that includes enjoying each others' company quietly, between some motherly fussing about." ~Alexandra Stoddard

"The first, the most fundamental right of childhood is the right to be loved. The child comes into the world alone, defenseless, without resource. Only love can stand between his infant helplessness and the savagery of a harsh world." ~Paul Hanly Furfey

"Being a mother fills our soul with the gift of the transcendent. We're given an inflow of spiritual energy because our soul is attached so solidly to the soul of our child. William James assures us, 'There is actually and literally more life in our total soul than we are at any time aware of.' A mother is a caregiver, a love giver, tenderly nurturing this precious soul of her child. The family rituals we share weave a spiritual net that supports our children. It gives them faith, hope, and love of life." ~Alexandra Stoddard

May you have a blessed day today, dear friends, finding joy in all that you do, wherever you are. Know that our Heavenly Father's grace is sufficient to cover the gravest sin, and to give strength where we feel we have none.