Surprises

Recipe: Cinnamon Coffee Cake Chocolate Chip Muffins

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It's been a busy time at the homestead, with preparations for Christmas, ongoing volunteer work, kids' activities and much much more (including my full-time job), but I always love an excuse to bake. This time, it was for my eldest son's school holiday party, taking place today. My son requested something cinnamon-y, while my husband [...]

Comments Are Back… And More To Come

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The past few weeks have been busy but I do have some good news to share. After much wrangling, I've managed to get the comment function to work on this site. It seems that the Disqus commenting system and/or the Facebook plug-in somehow conflicts with the software I'm using for the design, so it turned [...]

Better To Have Loved And Lost?

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It's a bit more lonely in my home office than in recent days. I didn't even know I was missing anything, but after my husband found a lost Chihuahua just before Christmas, I found -- and my whole family found -- surprising pleasure in its presence. We loved the sound of his little feet scurrying [...]

Living Simply: Being Happy With Less

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Behind all this back-to-nature, recycling, renovated-school-bus, simple living philosophizing that I do on this blog is a simple desire: to focus on the right things, to be happy. And, of course, to teach (by whatever means) my kids that way of looking at the world. You may or may not be familiar with the concept of [...]

Moments In Nature

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I've been remiss in updating this site. No more time now than at any recent time, but I'll share this amazing video in the meantime.

The Find

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There's a certain type of story you'll encounter a lot in DIY or crafting circles. I call it "The Find." The story generally starts at a garage sale, in a grandparent's attic or barn, by the side of the road, or at some other unlikely location for discovering anything of value. But there is is... [...]

No Waste: Cooking With Sweet Potato Greens

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Remember way back at the beginning of this gardening season, before daily 100-degree heat advisories set in? I had finally filled up my raised beds with soil and, lacking any other planting opportunities, I plunked some sprouting store-bought sweet potatoes in the ground in my enthusiasm. Yeah, they didn't look very promising. They got even [...]

Chop Wood, Carry Water

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I'm a late convert to a pleasure that many people probably discover much earlier in their lives -- the joy of a job well done. And by job, I don't mean my day job, or any kind of pushing-paper (virtually) endeavor. I mean labor of the "chop wood, carry water" variety -- useful physical labor. [...]

Time Flies

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Remember that nest, and those eggs, belonging to the bird family residing in our garage? Well, after our weekend away, more eggs appeared. And, not long thereafter, we began to see the mother and father bird bringing in bugs for these little baldies... (click on any of these pics to take a closer look) And [...]

Seeing The Beauty Around You

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One of the joys of living in New York was the people watching. Maybe you try to be subtle about it, but, if you're not looking at the masses of people you pass every day -- wondering about where they're from, what their lives are like, about the relationships between them, and what they value [...]

Alternative Living Spaces: School Bus

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I've written before about folks adopting untraditional living situations to find balance in their lives. Here's another interesting example: an Austin couple who deliberately lives in a renovated school bus called "Rosie," which is parked in a friend's back yard. (Pictures)

That Tingling Feeling

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They talked about it for days, and I refused to believe it. So many times, especially here in Texas, it's predicted, but fails to materialize. The weather forecasters get you dreaming of snow angels and snowball fights, but what you get is wet, or just cold. Last Friday, the elements delivered the goods. I walked [...]

Different

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On New Year's Day morning, I wanted to make our breakfast special, so I pulled out the frozen package of pastured bacon I'd gotten in December at the Sassy Pea Market. Little did I know I was in for a surprise. Instead of the thin-sliced, salty, deliciousness I was accustomed to buying a the grocery [...]

The Best Gift

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SWAGG is a free mobile app (download here) that lets you shop smarter using your mobile phone. Buy, send or swap SWAGG GIFTS and organize your old school plastic gift cards. For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), up to [...]

Beauty – And the Appreciation of It

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My colleague Bill Brazell turned me on to this amazing Pulitzer Prize-winning piece from the Washington Post. It starts with a very simple premise -- what would happen if a world-class violinist posed as a street musician in the D.C. Metro? -- and manages to explore profound questions of beauty and priorities. The bit that [...]