Seaweed Experience

August 12, 2015 · 6 comments

I admit it felt a little like running away. But I was very excited about learning from Ryan Drum and spending time gaining some knowledge and experience in all things seaweed. My eldest daughter came along for the weekend, under the guise of “help me with the baby”. Truthfully, it was more like, “This is gonna be SO! COOL! Wanna come?!” So we headed out while it was dark and met the first ferry at sunrise. It was beautiful, of course. Sunrises usually are.




After seven more hours of travel (by car, by foot, by another ferry…) we spent four hours in classroom time, the “classroom” a large field adjacent to a dairy goat farm on Lopez Island. The sun was lazy, the shade welcome, and Poppy slept through it all in the middle of us, splayed onto a beach towel. We students were attentive and crosslegged in a meandering circle, trying to keep up with Dr. Drum’s sharp puns upon puns (upon puns…). I asked some questions. They were probably dumb. But then I was proud of myself for the bravery. You know…brave enough to ask the dumb questions.




One evening, we took an herb walk and ended up on top of a hill that overlooked the water, other islands, dusky sky. The air was full of bromine and I just wanted to bottle it up and take it all home and smell it over and over and over. I didn’t miss my computer or my cell phone or the internet at all. What I really wanted at that moment wasn’t Verizon; it was a kayak!




Harvesting seaweeds was such a delight. So many kinds! They were set to dry on top of sheets, or hung from the canopies. It was a little odd, smelling so much sea salt in the air…while in a dry grassy field. We met many wonderful herbalists and botanists and just-interested-in-seaweeds-ists. I like to think I made some new friends.




Our last meal was ah-ma-zing. We all worked together and made seaweed culinary masterpieces. Superhero popcorn with kale and kelp and nettles and more. Nori wrapped salmon. Potatoes with sea lettuce, and sweet bull kelp pickles, and sea lettuce miso soup, and more. Needless to say, my family is eating seaweeds in just about everything these days! Did you know that ALL essential minerals are provided by dietary seaweeds?




I know what some of you are thinking. I could never do something like that…I don’t have the time…I’m too busy teaching my kids math to learn anything new for myself… 


If that’s you, please go read this post: Moms Need to Keep Learning, Too. Read the comments, too. Then, maybe grab a journal and scribble down a dozen or so things you’re interested in, you’re curious about. You never know…you may end up one weekend on an experience of your own.




P.S. If you’ve been waiting, Present is now available on Kindle. Take it with you on your time away :)

Present ebook ipad mini web



Go Take a Hike

February 25, 2015 · 1 comment

Have you been outside lately? I don’t mean the ten minutes it takes you to get into your car or to gather advertisements from the mailbox. I mean, have you gone outside to take a walk, to look at the rain (or snow) drip from the tree branches, to watch a bird or two? Have you closed up the schoolbooks, stuffed your pockets with granola bars, and called a “Go-to-the-park and play and do-nothing” sort of day for the kids? Have you taken the time to sit on the porch or deck or even the curbside late at night,  to find the north star and watch wispy clouds pass in front of the sliver moon?


If not, why not? I’m not convinced we always need to be at our checklists or dust bunnies. I can’t remember what I was such in a rush to do a year ago this day (but it probably had something to do with packing!), but I also can’t remember many days of just lazy meandering. It is a struggle for me to even *schedule* a time to spend *doing nothing*, because in the back of my mind even while relaxing (or trying to), I am thinking: I ought to….I should be…this is too lazy…what if…who’s called/emailed/texted…”redeem the time!”…when I get back home…


I hope to change that. I hope to take advantage of our beautiful surroundings and get out more. I love living in town; I love walking to the store, walking to the bookmobile (our library on wheels), walking to get a heaping cone of ice cream. But I also miss the quiet of our woods, and my dear husband decided our family needed a monthly hike.


I’m glad for it. We’ve begun that plan slowly, starting out with hikes that are super short, so that we can build up to longer ones this summer and fall. I’ve already reserved a campsite for our vacation (I know! It feels like we’re already camping!). I’m hoping to crack open my Handbook of Nature Study more and actually DO a lot of the suggestions with my children.


This river is practically in our backyard. People come from all over to visit our area to see places like this. Doesn’t your area also have all kinds of things that are meant for tourists to see and do? Have you done them?




Here is the amazing waterfall that we would have missed if we hadn’t gotten out of the car and taken the short walk. Methinks we need to come back in the heat of summer; the spray would feel so refreshing then! And yes, that’s my goofy husband showing his power compared to God’s creation.




Have you been cooped up inside all winter? Can I encourage you to set supper into the crockpot and go take a hike instead? It will do wonders for everyone.





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Natural Face Care

April 1, 2014

My post on homemade face cream continues to be a favorite among my readers. Ironically, I very rarely make that face cream. Mostly, because I’m lazy   That’s not to say that I buy fancy facial products though. I just can’t spend that much for it, nor do I want all of the *interesting* ingredients […]

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An Alternative to Obamacare

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download   Rather than join the chorus to rant about Obamacare, I thought it might be more helpful to hear about an alternative. Join us as we talk with Jamie Pyles about Samaritan’s Ministries and hopefully answer any questions you may have about this organization.     If you decide […]

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“I Need to Go to the Store”

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I say those words far, far too often. In my case, it’s about twice a week, which may or may not sound as ridiculous to you as it does to me. But for as many years as I’ve worked towards decreasing my dependence on the supermarket, here I still am. I find it not only […]

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How To Juggle Multiple Sourdough Starters

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I’ve been feeling the need to update my post on whole wheat sourdough bread, mainly because baking with sourdough is far, far easier than the recipe I left there. And now that I’ve been at it for several years, I’ve also gotten to a nice rotation in juggling multiple sourdough starters. I get most of […]

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A Happy Home is Not Painless

November 2, 2013

Nothing brings out true colors like the palette of suffering.  I wrote about this earlier and it still remains one of the most popular posts.  Suffering is an excellent schoolteacher, both in your own life and in the life of others.   SUFFERING IN YOUR OWN LIFE   PHYSICAL PAIN   I took a wrong […]

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Fall: Time to Harvest (Fruit), Time to Plant (Ideas)

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Right on cue, the rains have fallen and the winds have begun to dust the alders and firs outside my home. Autumn is here!  Down the gravel drive, unpicked blackberries lie limp on the vine, their leaves turning reddish and preparing to die down for the season.  I am thankful for it.  I love this […]

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Eat Well

August 30, 2013

pastured eggs, kale, chanterelles, red onions, tomato, fig, seaweed bulletproof coffee on the side   It doesn’t much matter that we know we’re eating junk.  Guilt over the half bag of cookies? Check.  Late night snacking? Check.  Dare I say soda-pop? Check. But, eh, you only live once and a little bit, moderation even, doesn’t […]

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Peasant Bread: Sourdough

January 15, 2013

  Salt. Water. Flour. And starter. That’s how easy it is to gather the ingredients for simple, wholesome sourdough bread.   I remember the folks at Forgotten Way sharing how we ought to for the sake of health and finances “eat like a peasant” more.  Well, by choice or by force, more of us are […]

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January 5, 2013

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Basic Herbs in My Home

November 15, 2012

It’s that time of year when harvest is closed and the dark and cold outside foster rejuvenation of mind and body.  It’s a time to find quiet, catch up on reading, pick up the knitting needles (or scrapbooking…or whatever…) again and take advantage of more hours to sleep.  For me, it’s also a time to […]

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Natural Childbirth: Yes, You Can

March 18, 2012

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Families, Food, and Faith

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Most moms want their families to eat well, because they recognize wholesome food creates the building blocks for good immune function, amongst other things.  Too many times I think we ascribe the “common cold” (for example) as a matter of germs, when in fact, it could just be an overloaded little (or big) body trying […]

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Natural Face and Skin Cream, Part Two

January 12, 2012

Well, I was so excited about the fabulous cream I made last night that I wanted to share it with you pronto!  And then….something was nagging at me….like….didn’t I blog about that before? YEP.  You can read how I did it here.  So I guess that makes this post “Part Two”. But…seeing as how I […]

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Elderberry Syrup

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Elderberry syrup is really easy to make, and a great support to the immune system.  Start out with as much fresh or dried berries as you would like.  I used two cups dried. Cover with water, and simmer for about 40 minutes or so, until the berries are soft and the water looks dark with […]

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Healthy, Quick, Easy Schoolday Lunches

September 14, 2011

Update:  Today (Wednesday), we had leftover cabbage slaw (made w/cilantro and homemade mayo), tossed with leftover chicken (our own!) and mozzarella cheese, topped with crunched saltine crackers and onion bits.  It was delish! It is really difficult for me to craft a new lunch every day because, face it, lunch is in the middle of […]

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Thirteen Years Later…

August 2, 2011

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A Decision, Not a Diet

May 15, 2011

Meet my friend Cindy who is in the process of finding who she really is as she battles (and triumphs over!) obesity. She is an inspiration and I know you will be very blessed to hear her words. I'm so thankful to the Lord that I know this woman.

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May 5, 2011

It’s the end of day two of alternating bedrest with shuffling feet around the house taking care of whatever I can do in hour-long spurts. Oy, my head. I don’t even care what the propane guy thought of the lady that spoke to him with hair in disarray, pajama bottoms, tied cardigan and obvious children […]

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Homemade Green Mix

March 24, 2011

I was inspired to put together my own family’s green mix after watching one of the homesteading videos in which they did the same. Her mix was far larger than mine (and also I assume way more costly) and I didn’t want to end up with more than we would use within the year, so […]

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Preventing and Healing Dental Cavities

March 8, 2011

It is very possible to heal dental cavities through the use of nutrition. In fact, decay is caused by a lack of vitamins and minerals in the diet. In this podcast, we'll challenge what *really* causes cavities, and question the current practices of treating them. Get ready to be armed to fight for the health of your family in a whole new way. Long podcast, but lots to ponder!

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Hours in the Kitchen?

December 2, 2010

I recently read a comment about how preparing and eating healthy food sounds like a good idea, but this particular person didn’t want to spend “hours in the kitchen”. I do find it curious that activities such as cooking (and exercise for that matter) that foster good health typically have a bit of dread involved, […]

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Natural Hair Care

October 27, 2010

It’s nice to be beyond the love/hate relationship I had with my hair when I was a teenager (I wanted to say “young lady”, but no, I was a “teenager”). My naturally wavy hair eagerly curled up with perms…until a month later when I was sick of scrunching and wanted to iron it all back […]

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Farmed Fish: A Good Catch

October 1, 2010

I loved Sally Fallon's word for those who claim to *know it all* about proper politically correct foods: diet dictocrats. These are the same folks that say red meat is BAD, saturated fats are BAD, eggs are BAD, bread is BAD. So it was no surprise that my assumption about fish was: wild fish=good. Farmed fish=BAD. Then I met a solid Christian gentleman who, of all things, farmed fish. And he asked me point blank, "So....what do you think of farmed fish?" Listen in on our conversation and be ready to challenge your own assumptions in the process.

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First Aid Kits: What’s in Yours?

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Confidence in reacting to the boo-boos of life is stoked by being prepared for them. I keep two first aid kits: one at home and one in the van. As usual, my focus is on natural remedies and a drugless approach to treating the everyday scrapes, bumps and tummy aches.

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Milk From (Your!) Front Yard

September 6, 2010

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What’s in Your Pantry?

August 8, 2010

What's in the pantry matters! You do have control over the food you provide and prepare for your family. Learn to create a health-promoting, wholesome kitchen, learn to cook from scratch, and learn to take control of your families bodily AND financial health. It really matters!

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Dr. Mom: Loving Health Care for Families

July 17, 2010

Even in doing all the preventative measures talked about in Part One, moms still need to have a plan in treating illness when it occurs. It is our responsibility to watch over and encourage vibrant health in our families. Here are some thoughts in treating illness when it happens.

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Summer Goals and the Art of Learning

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Every summer when the children pack up their schoolwork for a short while my mind goes into overdrive planning all of the things I myself can be learning in the time I usually spend teaching them. Suddenly I have hours of blocks of time that I can devote to research and reading and gardening and […]

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Dr. Mom: Preventative Health Care for Families

July 4, 2010

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Keeping our families as healthy as we can is ourresponsibility. The Lord has blessed us with amazing provisions to use in supporting our body's attempts to stay healthy. (We have access to clean water in this country, for starters...) Here are some thoughts regarding how to keep your family well, using the methods I've used for at least a dozen years.

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June 17, 2010

I had the most delicious lunch. It was a baked potato with olive oil, salt & pepper, cut tomato, and a salad with raw red onion and sauteed garlic scapes with oyster mushrooms. The dressing was divine. Here is the recipe for the dressing blend, adapted from 7-Day Detox Miracle: 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 […]

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The Chains that Bind

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Beware of who you lament your workout (or lack thereof) woes to. Two friends of mine ganged up on me encouraged me to start working out again after I explained whined about my body feeling rather weak, even though I was walking/jogging on my treadmill. “It’s only twenty minutes!” said one.“You’ll feel so great!” said […]

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Finding Courage in DisCOURAGEment, Pt 3

April 2, 2010

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Sometimes it is really hard to take every thought captive (listen to Part One) or to get working on what is needed or required (listen to Part Two). Sometimes, our discouragement grows because we just are not as healthy as we could we feel like we're physically and/or mentally dragging. Let's investigate various aspects of how taking better care of ourselves might bolster our courage.

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Natural Face Care

March 6, 2010

I’m pretty fickle about health care products, and can’t seem to find *the* magic potion that I will love for more than a couple of purchases. When I was in my twenties, I bought the fancy (and expensive) department store lotions to combat the “signs of aging”. I laugh about that now! As I learned […]

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Flu Busting

November 9, 2009

It seems like every year we get the same warnings about the flu d’jour (or d’season, as it were). These seem to be mostly brought to us by newsanchors who make it their mission to cause widespread panic and fear no matter what content is on their teleprompter, so although I take steps to protect […]

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