The Pirate

so often I see something my kids do and I think "I want to be that" 

with a set of pink wings and a hippie vest and a pirate hat

not caring one bit about anything but being in their own moment

I want to be completely in each of my own moments

completely authentic to my true self

no matter what anyone else's opinion is

even when I mix pink fairy wings with a wicked cool pirate hat…


the coolest pirate i know 


he really is the coolest darn pirate I know!



I had not yet shared with you all the most amazing (and intimidating) Christmas gift from my husband.

A spinning wheel.

A beautiful little travel wheel called Joy, made by Ashford.

She sat for a few weeks…. looked at longingly by me because I really had no idea how to use her! No spinning classes in my neck of the woods were about to help things out either. I did try a bit….. but due to life and my not knowing a darn thing about spinning…… I spun something that resembled a chain of Q-tips.

I should have taken a picture for you.

Then I got an email from Amy letting me know a skein of handspun yarn I requested from her was waiting for me. I told her about my sad spinning wheel story and she said “come on over, I’m not a teacher, but I’ll show you what I know“. 

So I did.

And spinning is just as meditative as knitting. And my oh my is it ever fun to chat with a kindred spirit while you laugh at your mistakes. Thank you Amy!! 

She even gifted me with some hand-dyed fiber… which I have been working on… and it looks something like this……



first handspun


could we just call it art yarn?

So I’ve got one bobbin filled full of gorgeous hues of purple, greens and yellows. It is thick and thin and curly and I am working on loving it just the way it is. There is a whole process that comes after the filling of a bobbin, which I know nothing about….. but I’m sure that will come with time. Right now the few moments here and there that are filled with this spinning are leaving me relaxed and free of tension….. ahhhhhh…. it’s a beautiful thing.

And in the spirit of embracing things for what they are, I was told those lumpy bumpy first spun yarns that aren’t quite “knit-able” are perfect for making dryer balls…. who knew?


Monday Bites ~ Hummus

I love Hummus.

With garlic.

With Lemon.

With Red Peppers.

With Olives.

Served with fresh hot naan or crunchy vegetables or smeared on homemade bread topped with sprouts and tomatoes and avocado and whatever other vegetable I can find. When I eat hummus I know I am putting good fuel into my body. And when my kids scoop it up with veggies and bread and finish it off with a spoon…. I know they're fueling up on the good stuff too.

But being a family of six we just can't splurge on a 5 dollar plastic container of goodness that *might* last two snack times. So, we needed to make it. This is my favorite basic recipe. It is far superior made with beans you soak & cook yourself, and it's cheaper that way too. Not to mention you don't have a can to toss into the garbage.


Gypsy Family's Favorite Hummus::

2 cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans (or 1  14 ounce can)

3 TBSP sesame tahini (think peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds)

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

2-3 TBSP lemon juice

1-2 cloves fresh garlic (the more the spicier!)

sea salt to taste

*puree all the above in your food processor/blender. Add a bit of water if it is too stiff to puree. If you like the creamy stuff at the grocery store add a tablespoon or two of yogurt. I always make the basic batch, take half out for the kids and then spice up the other half for us spice loving hummus people in the house.

Delicious things to add….. 

*kalamata olives

*roasted red peppers

*swap the lemon juice for lime & add a bit of chipotle powder or cumin

*balsamic vinegar

* toasted sesame oil

*fresh herbs, especially basil





this week…..


it's just been a peculiar week….

I do like that word….

I haven't much to say today…. 

so I will just leave you with some photos from the week.

taken with my new camera lens (thank you honey xoxo)




for joe

for Joe


craft hope

in progress :: craft hope


boy in tree

tree climber

    my boy

my boy


off he goes

off he goes…..  



Wishing you a wonderful weekend friends!


Grandma Sal’s Cake

It is the cake I want every birthday.

Joe's Grandma Sal is no longer with us, but this cake still reminds us of her every time it is made. Chocolate & homemade whip cream…… what's not to love!?!

The original recipes was to bake a boxed chocolate cake. You can get them in the Health Food store and they don't have unpronouncable ingredients on the box. I know they have allergy free ones of all kinds too. We make the Chocolate cake from Moosewood Celebrates, it rocks!

Bake your cake, let it cool and slice the 2 layers in half so you have 4 layers.

Use all but 3 TBSP of a pint of heavy whipping cream to make fresh whipped cream. Add cocoa powder and a bit of sugar to taste. Vanilla and chocolate liquor are other good things to add. Frost the cake with this.

Mix the remaining 3 TBSP of heavy cream with about half a cup of chocolate chips. Melt and cool slightly so it is no longer piping hot but still pourable. Pour over the cake top.

Isn't that easy too? Well, unless you bake the cake from scratch like Joe did. It really is my most favorite ever. Especially since this year Joe mixed the chocolate ganache with Godiva Liquor to pour over our pieces…. oh my yumminess!  He was a pretty smart guy to serve this as dessert when he proposed to me 🙂 That was the first time he ever made it, and you know what? It just keeps getting better…..


birthday flowers

Birthday Flowers ~ What a treat :) Best of all, they were hand delivered by an adorable brown haired boy in Captain America Footsie pajamas!



Me, smiling at Mr Three singing me Happy Birthday.

All day he told me it was "our" birthday and yes let him blow out the candle.


the best cake ever

The best cake ever……


from my mama

From my Mama


One hard thing about being away from "home" is being away from my mom. She really is my best friend. And though it certainly isn't about the gifts, I just want to say it is so amazing to open a box of goodies from someone who knows you so well. Each item carefully wrapped in gorgeous fabric. Dark chocolate treats and my favorite coffee.  Danica's Habitat apron & napkins. Some new knitting & sewing books and a lovely necklace. Thanks Mama! I love you! I miss you more 🙂 xoxo ~ me

Just for fun, here is the lovely proverb on my necklace::

May your life be like a wild flower….

Growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.


just thinking…..

mulling over in my brain


a birthday

my birthday

one of those big ones

you know, one that ends in a zero or a five

it seems monumental

and yet it's just another day

inspired by this list

i thought i should make one for myself

did you know i am a list maker?

so here it is

30 before 31

1. grow (more) food in my backyard

2. learn to spin yarn

3. make clothes for myself

4. start composting

5. knit for charity

6. embrace where i am here & now

7. do yoga for myself & with my kids

8. send handwritten notes to those i love

9. get outside   .   every day   .   no matter the weather   .   taking out the garbage does not count.

10. finally organize 10+ years of pictures

11. explore often

12. visit the gulf of mexico 

13. knit a pair of socks

14. take a girls only trip 

15. never pass up an opportunity to make my kids laugh

16. bike walk or jog

17. sing too loud while doing housework

18. create beautiful pottery with this

19. make a quilt

20. write more

21. laugh a lot

22. read more books, specifically farming & homesteading types

23. leave hope notes

24. encourage the young people in my life

25. listen to my heart

26. take better pictures

27. create a family cookbook

28. knit myself a sweater

29. bake yummy treats to share with friends

30. let it go if i don't cross off everything on the list


on our way

On our way with granola and Heather's cranberry bread & cranberry butter, see # 29 



On the way to the park with friends we saw a group of Pelicans basking in the sun. These are Brown Pelicans, the Louisiana state bird. With the recent cold spell we've had here, I am sure these poor chilly birds were thinking they should have kept flying south this year. 

Some fun facts about the Pelicans:: (just in case you were curious)

*Brown Pelicans are the smallest Pelican weighing 6-12 pounds with a wingspan of over 40 inches. The largest Pelican is the Dalmatian Pelican and it can weigh over 30 pounds!

*They have to drain the water from their pouch before they can swallow. And sometimes while they drain the water out, gulls steal their catch right out of their mouths!

*Fossils tell us Pelicans have been around for over 40 million years.

*Pelicans incubate their eggs with their feet.

*The Australian Pelican has the longest beak in the world.

*The Brown Pelican is the only Pelican that catches food by diving from the air into the water.

*The Pelican's pouch can hold up to 12 quarts of water!

Here are a few snapshots of the (Immature) Brown Pelicans we saw……

immature brown pelican

pouch stretch 

See this one stretching his pouch out?


pelican yoga? 

Pelican Yoga?


off he goes....

Taking off….


my favorite one


Aren't they cool? We sure did enjoy watching them for a bit. We wondered why they stretched their pouches out…. maybe because they were cold? Or maybe they do this often….. it was our first close encounter with this guys so we were just amazed by everything they did! And any time four kids ages 7 and under sit entranced watching nature I am just amazed. 


Spaghetti & Meatballs with BPA?

So who's been reading about all the BPA in canned goods? 

(A fairly unbiased article can be found here.)

We don't use water bottles, rarely buy food packaged in plastic, but now I'm reading it's in the lining of canned foods and even worse, canning supplies.  

So how safe are my organic diced tomatoes? That is the one canned staple food in our house. Eden brand is the only one I can find that might be a better choice. And how can I find some safe canning lids without switching all my jars over to the Weck brand? Though I do love the Weck design 🙂 I emailed Weck to see if their lids would work on your standard jar…. they won't. Bummer.

I'm having trouble filtering through the BPA media…. so if any of you have read anything that left you feeling like there was some sort of solution, I would really appreciate you sharing it here.

Sorry to have such a serious post, but I am curious what you guys are doing about this….. and what you think about it too….. 

Now I am going to ponder the safety of my french press as I read owl books with Miss Seven.


because they’re funny…..

Aren't yours?

I just know my kids are the funniest kids ever. Just like you know your kids are the funniest kids ever. Think about it….. can anyone else make you laugh like them? Humor is highly regarded around our place… which I'm sure turns up the goofy volume a lot. So for as many times as they really truly are funny….. there are many other times that I have to explain, while trying to keep a straight face, that I know the dog did not squeeze lotion all over the bathroom counter. Mr Three has decided Sid is the best person to blame for his naughtiness lately. Which is hilarious because he comes to Joe and I and says quite seriously…….

"I wasn't naughty, Sid made the mess."

See, that's funny. 

These little tidbits are the ones that I forget the easiest and long to remember the most…. and rarely can you capture a photo of these humorous moments. But here are a few recent things that made me smile…..

poppy This is Poppy the elephant. She likes to eat oranges. I highly suggest not removing her from this spot.


i left a note
Upon getting Mr Three down for a nap, I could not find the girls. Until I spotted this. Drawn in chalk. In letters nearly a foot tall. On our back patio.  When they arrived home Miss Eleven asked me quite seriously…….

"Did you get the note I left you?"


oh boy 

For those of you who personally know Mr Three….. you'll enjoy this one. We rescued this skateboard from someone's curb (trash pile). And now, I am going back inside to get his helmet. Maybe I should run.


Thanks for all your kind words last week…. the comments and emails really meant a ton. You sure know how to make a girl smile 🙂