What is wilson silverleaf? We're organitarians; it's best for our bodies and the planet. We cloth diapered Nina for the same reason. We drive a hybrid car & wish we could afford solar panels on our house. I'm a strong advocate for homebirth, full-time mom, & also a movie junkie. We don't have a tv though; we watch dvds on our computer. We love contradancing. I garden & knit; Larry's a puzzle lover & plays fantasy football.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

showing off the new pants Jayne made

Nina & Naomi

Lily likes to "keep an eye on Nina"
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Today Nina found a bottle of L'Occitane mouthwash in the garage. It says bain de bouche on it, which she has been running around saying all evening. She now officially knows more French than I do.

later on in the evening, I was telling my mom about Nina's proficient use of French. I held up the phone and the "bain de bouche" and Nina joyfully shouted "mouthwash!"

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Safety First
Lately, whenever we get in the car, if I don't put on my seatbelt as soon as I sit, Nina screams, "Buckle, buckle!" It's great, because sometimes I do forget.

Friday, September 22, 2006

yarmelke fun

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Rule of For(ward)
I am on several very lively message boards, so I get a decent amount of emails every day, many of which I read. But the real gem in the inbox is a message from an individual person, even better when it's someone I like a whole lot and would love to hear from. So that makes it an huge disappointment when it's a forward sent in bulk, especially heinous when it's a chain letter (folks, I don't send them on, so don't bother). It's such a bummer know that I'm there in your address book, but the only time you click on me it's totally impersonal.

So here's the rule: Please don't forward anything unless you've actually spoken to me or sent me a real- or e-mail since the last time you forwarded something. And that way, when I see an email from you I'll know it's either something really worth fowarding or, even better, a little personal love letter. Either way, bound to make me set aside a special little part of my day for sending you warm fuzzies.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is partly set in Bath. Many of the points of interest on the Jane Austen walking tour had to do with the book, so I've decided to read it--via email. I found out about www.dailylit.com from two sock knitters. Brilliant! It'll only take me 3 months to get through it, five minutes at a time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Larry's grandpa Hy sent this cool desk to Nina; she likes to sit at it and draw
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Nina and I went for a walk at the "sandbox" today. She wanted to get out of the backpack near the end, so she walked along the water and for the first time, in the water. She actually got quite wet and for the first time really seemed to enjoy it. Yay, she's becoming a beach baby!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Last year we invited Larry's college buddy Justin to come have Thanksgiving dinner with us. When I asked him to bring potatoes, he brought some beautiful organic ones, and also...a potato head family.

Nina loves to play with them

And Larry loves to take pictures of it!
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Last year I planted some heirloom tomato plants. They grew very poorly and produced maybe 10 tomatoes total. But one of those 10 must have dropped to the ground and seeded, because a volunteer popped up a few months ago. It is now sprawling over a 5 plus foot area, making tomatoes like crazy! Mother Nature's infinite wisdom...
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Friday, September 15, 2006

On one of our rambles around Bristol, Nina and I had seen a cookery school that had a brasserie and a restaurant. We looked at the menu and decided to come back with papa and our friend Matthew (a colleague of Larry's). It was really nice, the food was lovely. But, my friends, what I want to tell you about was what they had for Nina. First of all, their high chairs were Stokke Tripp Trapp chairs, and not the older version, the brand spanking new one with a wooden rail and higher back for younger kids. The new american version has a plastic rail; why? Anyway, it was really nice. Also, instead of crayons, they brought a gorgeous set of wooden colored pencils and a coloring book. It definitely bought us some time.

Also, they had organic beer. It was really wonderful. In fact, almost everywhere I went in England had organic something or other, whether it was beer, milk, tea, or coffee, or something else random. At least it was available and I appreciated it. Often if the coffee wasn't organic, it was likely to be fair trade. So I had to drink a latte a day, right? Also, the drug store in the airport had rescue remedy, tea tree oil, and some homeopathics. I was surprised, happily so.

We took the train to Cardiff, which is the capital of Wales. It is a fairly young city, as Europe goes, only 200 years old. It has a castle which was built on the ruins of a Roman wall in the 1800s by a rich Scot. You can go inside; it is apparently very richly furnished and a very good representation of what the home of a wealthy person looked like in the 19th century. But you can't take a stroller in, and I knew Nina was getting too tired to walk much more.

So I casually mentioned that we might take the double decker sightseeing bus. Nina had been talking all week about the "two story buses" and decided that her life would end if she didn't get to ride this one. So I had to decide whether to spend my last pounds on the castle or the bus. Bus won out. As I mentioned, Cardiff is very young, so it was a real stretch to find an hour's worth of material for a bus tour, but they did a pretty good job and I guess it was worth the 7.50 pounds to give Nina her "two strory bus" experience. She really enjoyed it.
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nina and I took a day trip to Glastonbury, which is supposed to be where Avalon was. For those of you who don't know, I love the Arthurian Legend, particularly Marion Zimmer Bradley's version, The Mists of Avalon. So to be that close and not go was almost unthinkable; it felt like a pilgrimage to me. I would have loved to get to Tintagel also, but it was too far this time.

Anyway, we got on the bus around 11:00 and were there by the early afternoon. It was very rural all the way, so Nina got to see lots of sheep and cows. Our first stop was Glastonbury Abbey, where we had some lunch and played in the ruins. There are tombs there which are purported to be Arthur and Guinivere, but who knows...

While we were at the abbey, we asked about getting up the Tor, and were told that we couldn't take a stroller and that there wasn't anywhere to leave it at the bottom, so I was a little upset about what I was going to do with it (carrying it up didn't seem so attractive to me).

So, we were following the signs, and I saw one that seemed a bit neglected, but it pointed in the right direction, so I followed it. That turned out to be one of the best things I could have done! It led to the dirveway of a little ashram called
shekinashram; it was so cool to see the prayer wheels in the midst of Glastonbury, at the foot of the Tor. After spinning them, we went in to see if they would let us leave the stroller there. They were super nice about it, offering to bring it in, but even though it was raining, we had the raincover on and left it in their beautiful little garden. It was a real lifesaver.

Right outside the ashram was a sign for the footpath to the Tor. So we gamely walked through the turnstile into just exactly the experience I had been hoping for. This was definitely not the path most people take on the way up. Instead, it was one of those public footpaths across private land (complete with turnstiles) that I always heard about but couldn't see how to find. Most of it was grazing land with cows present. Nina was really excited to see "cow poop" and had to point out every single pile she saw. The other super cool feature of this path is that there were blackberries rioting everywhere; Nina and I ate our share.

About 3/4 of the way we joined the path that most people take up; it seemed paved and well-travelled; I am so happy we stumbled on our alternative route!

Nina was a super trouper; she walked almost all the way up, only needing to be carried a few times, for a few minutes at a time. I was seriously amazed at how far uphill she walked. The adorable
boots I bought her at Target paid for themselves!

We didn't get back to Bristol until 7:00; Nina fell asleep as soon as we got off of the bus and only woke up to eat a few bites of dinner.

This day was the highlight of the trip for me.

This cow was a little more friendly than Nina wanted it to be!

We made it to the top! Nina wasn't too happy with the wind up there, so we didn't stay long, but it was pretty spectacular!
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We're getting closer to the top!

There were blackberries all along the path; it was good to have a snack

Closer still

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First look at Glastonbury Tor

Nina at a turnstile

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Nina cavorting at Glastonbury Abbey

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Glastonbury Abbey

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Glastonbury Abbey

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On the bus to Glastonbury
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