Waldorf In The Home

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Watercolor Tuesday - Blue Borage

Part of Ella's second grade curriculum was learning how to plant and grow herbs. We read all kinds of books about herbs and Ella got to choose what herb she wanted to grow.  She choose Borage as her favorite and planted this beauty back in late May. 

The flowers are star shaped and the bunch of them together look like fireworks. The plant actually has the opposite affect, it's properties are very cool and calming.  It is also very purifying and good for the skin and a cup of tea is is gentle detox for your body. I've read that borage oils was very good for arthritis as well.  The entire plant is edible, and the leaves are high in minerals. The flowers and leaves have a cucumber taste and can be added to salads, bath teas or made into little candies, or pretty little ice cubes like the ones we made today.  

 Clean hands are essential and as well as feeling gratitude for the plant's gifts. 

We decided to get even fancier and added Nasturtiums petals. 
(Do you like Viv's impression of a bobbly head? I do.) 

Ella's favorite herb: Borage has a rich history and the medicinal properties are promising. You can learn all about it here and plenty of other places on the web as well. It is a treasure to any garden, and a nice companion to tomatoes and basil. Here is another link that I like, I bet you will enjoy it too. 

So tonight, we are all enjoyed a glass of borage ice water while I read aloud Harry Potter out on our front porch. 

I am loving this cool, breezy weather and feeling rather calm. 

Namaste, Nicole

Monday, July 28, 2014

Saying Good Bye to Three Sisters

When we bought our home, we fell in love with this Ash tree that we sweetly named Three Sisters. They were  a bit over 100 feet tall each and they grew up together, attached at the trunks. Sadly, they were dying, and it became dangerous to be in our yard on a windy day.  

The girls and I held a little tree ceremony for them and thanked the tree for protecting us from the winds and providing us with shade when we were hot. We hugged them and promised them that they were going to place where they could continue to be more useful; a new picnic table, some fire wood, or perhaps a fine, pretty chair.  It was a sad farewell and yet a brand new, hopeful beginning for us. 

Food gardens! Removing the Three Sisters opened up the sky for us and now we will have enough sun to grow lots of organic food. Geir gets all the credit for these gardens. We used our vacation money for this piece of sky and we are in love with it.

 I admit, I was worried that I would feel so disenchanted with the removal. I've been depressed over lost trees before and I really dislike removing trees, or the end of any life cycle really. I  love trees so much, and especially the Three Sisters.  I think they felt my love, because they left me the most beautiful gift: 
a stunning nature alter!  

 This weekend was probably the best-ever vacation we ever had. We ate home cooked food all weekend. We made fun little drink concoctions using herbs from our gardens and sparkling mineral water. We listened to great music, enjoyed each other's company, ended a great swim season with lots of ribbons, sang out loud, worked in the yard,  and said goodbye to the Three Sisters. 

Love, Nicole

Friday, July 25, 2014

{this moment} - The Red Garden Fairy

A Friday ritual. Photos - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Following along with SouleMama. 

Namaste, Nicole

52 Weeks of Nature ~ Morning in July


              Philadelphia in July 29/52   - July Mornings  

I felt so present this morning.  In good spirits. We all slept so deeply. We had the windows open and a cool breeze floated through the house the whole night long. 

It is also the fifth day at Summer Soul Camp with Heather Bruggeman from Beauty That Moves.  I've never met so many cool Campers and Heather does not let down as Camp Leader. I've read her inspirational blog for years and her Camp is just as divine. I am also loving every single postcard that comes my way. 

It is quite enjoyable to capture beauty in everyday life and even more enjoyable when others do the same and share it with me. 

My favorite thing to do is to get up early in the morning. I love drinking a cup of hot tea & milk. Stretching. Setting intentions for the day. Meditating. Throwing a load of laundry in and folding what's sitting in the dryer. Changing the cat liter. Feeding the birds and watching the color return to my yard while the dark night fades away. After two hours or so Child one creeps up to snuggle, and soon Child two slides in and asks for breakfast. 

I am ready.

My husband's morning is much different. He reads. Thinks. He makes coffee. Washes the dishes. Cares for the chickens. Waters the garden. Takes out the trash. Spends time with all of us. 

We eat. 

He goes to work.  

The girls and I leave for swim team. 

July mornings - we love them and we will soon miss them very much. 

Go Dolphins!!!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Backyard Camp - Plantain & Bee Stings

Camp was great fun today - we learned how to treat a bee sting with the medicinal herb Plantain. Just about every one of the twelve Campers had a great bee sting story to share. They loved sharing their story and it was a great   introduction to our lesson, albeit a little dramatic as bee stings are like that. 

 Photo By Wendy Sheahan-Coyne   Thank you Wendy. 

They were so motivated to learn how to care for a bee sting. I get it, bee stings hurt!  They learned that with just one or a few of  Mother Nature gifts:  Plantain, Lavender, Raw Potato, and Honey they could ease the pain of the sting fast and reduce swelling. How empowering is that? Also, Plantain is by far the easiest to have on hand because it grows just about everywhere - and it is free.  Here is what Plantain looks like:

We passed around and learned about dried lavender, lavender oil, fresh lavender, potatoes and honey - and observed how cool the potato felt on our skin, the medicinal smell of the lavender, and the taste of sweet honey. Then we went to forage the Plantain - after we discussed the plant and its medicinal properties.  I taught the Campers how to make a poultice from the leaves - and they all made some for themselves.  I also taught them to thank the plant when forging its leaves. They thought that was pretty cool. They chewed a leaf and applied it to a bug bite, mosquito season is here and we all had a least one bite on us.  I wish I had a picture of them chewing their poultice. It made my heart so very happy. Our plantain poultice worked and calmed our itches down.

Then it was time to learn how to collect and use this medical herb in the winter months. We washed, chopped, ripped, and massaged the leaves to make a Plantain tincture and a Plantain oil. 

Next we recorded what we learned. Here is a sample: 

We kind of rushed through the second page as time was running out and I promised free play and watermelon. I like to keep my promises and they really like the backyard and watermelon. I sent them home with an info sheet for Mom and the Campers can fill the rest out at home if they want to. Plus, the truth is play is way more important than any worksheet. The learning was in the doing, the chewing and the listening. 

Engaging children with nature is love of mine. I am so happy to be able to share my passion of medicinal herbs with them. 

There are so many blogs, and resources to learn more about Plantain and I encourage you to google them. To me there is nothing more satisfying than to heal ourselves with natural remedies. 

Namaste, Nicole

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

52 Weeks of Nature ~ Chicken Tails

                             Philadelphia in July  26/52  Chicken Tails

What are these pretty white flowers in my garden? I've named them "chicken tails" and I just love them.   

I've committed to 52 weeks of Nature and I plan to stay committed I am just a little behind. 

I took these photos at week #26, it was early in the morning before the Tiger Lilies woke up,…those sleepy heads! They put on a beautiful display but are sadly gone (it is actually week #28 as I write this post) and now the glory goes to our Crape Myrtle. Perhaps she will make her debut in week #29. 

When we bought this house we fell in love with the garden even though it was completely overgrown.  We had no idea what was hiding beneath all the weeds and rubbish. We were happily surprised to discover the beauty once it was cleared. The woman who owned the house previously, we were told, was a professional gardener and her hard work and love is flourishing.  

It has been four years now since we bought the property , and every Spring and Summer we find something new and beautiful. It is our hard work and love now, and it brings us so much joy. 

Happy Anniversary House and Garden! We love you. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

{this moment} - Morning Commute

A Friday ritual. Photos - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Have a great weekend! Nicole

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Goddess Wednesday ~ First Aid Kit

I love these sisters from Sweden. Their indie-folk music is a band-aid for my soul. They have amazing voices that mesmerize me.Their lyrics are deep and get me inside myself. Singing along with them heals me and stokes my inner light.  They are Goddesses in my book.   I discovered them a few years back and they are making it big.  I was excited to hear them play on my favorite radio station WXPN Philadelphia. I also discovered Evan Murdock and The Imperfect Strangers on my local PBS station. Check them out here.   These guys get me outside of myself and make me want to dance and strum on my mandolin. Good times. 

Music is definitely in my First Aid kit, what is in yours? 


PS: Blogger will only allow readers who have an account with Google to leave messages on this blog. If you want to leave a message, stop by my Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you and please share some of your favorite new music.