Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nature Deficit Disorder

There are many studies that can be found showing the importance of nature to overall health and doctors are actually beginning to "prescribe" this to their patients. Thankfully I'm finding many movements around that strive to get kids outside, be it in a park or just in their own backyard. Check out more information & news stories on Richard Louv's website:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

"What do you mean I can't come in? It's just mud ... I've been embracing nature."


Ok, I'll get it, is this better?

Hope you get the opportunity to get out and embrace nature today. National Wildlife has a drive on to get kids and families outside and I encourage you to check it out and consider signing their pledge. You can discover more at where they have activities, articles, and more. I just noticed they have a study up detailing how much time kids spend "plugged in", I guess my terminology was correct in that previous post.

I know I'm not writing much/any and I do have a few things I'd like to share with my cyber friends. I cherish your input and motivation to keep striving and growing. I've been reading your post but been in a writing lull, maybe I should say I've been busy living. Hope to get more things up soon, but you know I couldn't let Earth Day pass by without a little something.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Imagination Playground

We finally went to see Alice in Wonderland this past weekend and what a playground for the imagination it was. It really got me thinking about my dreams for our little place unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding talking flowers. What I can find are bushes, trees, and vines that bear berries and fruit so I can have my own little garden of Eden. There are also many other plants I'm learning about that offer other multifunctions in a landscape. I want to use all of these to create meandering pathways that open onto random courtyards and conceal little niches and hideaways. Little rooms created with living walls to sit and read or just stare up at the sky above while enjoying all the fresh nutrition nature is providing. What I see in my mind is really quite fun, now I just have to acquire the motivation to actually put it on the ground. I still haven't posted for you my "walk about" where I photographed our place as it actually exist today. Hmmm, am I hiding that reality from you or me. I am taking workshops and reading books .... but need to do more to take it from a dream in my head to reality on the ground. The last workshop I took was on designing and constructing rain gardens. These are simply bio retention systems designed to retain stormwater while blending in with the yards landscaping and preferably using native plants. At this workshop I hit the jackpot by meeting Sarah Vroom from Bountiful Backyards. As quoted from an article at, they are "an “edible landscaping collective” based in Durham that designs gardens, provides ongoing training, and organizes workshops on everything from vermiculture (worm composting) to mushroom cultivation". Being true permaculturist they work within the area they live, which is still a little ways from me, but I hope to be able to use their consulting service to help springboard some designs, learn more about the plants, and gain inspiration to move me beyond my comfort zone which I seem to be well rooted in these days.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Contracted Time

I've been away for a bit seeing family and attending workshops which I'll hopefully write about soon. I'm continuing on my quest to absorb as much environmental knowledge as I can and motivate myself to get out there and live it. This week though I want to explore something else that's been on my mind, purge my thoughts as I often do here at KAP. A few days ago, quite suddenly and unexpected, I lost my beloved sweet boy C C. He went into intestinal distress and after trying for hours to save him we had to make that most dreaded decision to put him down. Last Sunday morning started off promising to be a beautiful day with the boys happily eating their breakfast, after which I turned them out to pasture. By mid afternoon the nightmare began and ended just as the sun was about to rise on Monday with my husband and I pulling out of the parking lot of the NC State animal hospital with an empty trailer and heavy hearts. This began my pondering of if I'd known would I have done anything different? It was a long miserable winter but would I have braved the elements and spent more time with my guys if I'd known he wouldn't be with me come spring? We all think from time to time how would we act if we knew how much time we had here and have been momentarily moved by the many songs on the subject such as Tim McGraw's "Live like you were dying". My question though is how would you act toward another if you knew you had a set contracted time to be together. If the day you met you filled out and signed a contract stating a start and end date for the relationship. Would we speak kinder, look one another in the eyes more, have more patience and let those pet peeves fall by the wayside. Would we snap less and bite our tongue from correcting them over trivial things they may say or do. Would we be more attentive and less distracted when we were with them. The list goes on and on and as I mull it all over the next question I have is are we even capable of maintaining that sort of intensity in all our relationships even if we knew it was not to last forever?
Unfortunately I had not done a post for C C yet on either blog so I've put one up for him now over at Sweet T Farm if you would like to see more pictures and learn a little about him.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pimping Myself

Meadow Linn of Savor the Day posted a competition to name a drink. My husband and I had so much fun with this and I really want to share it with ya'll. I have it at my new blog Sweet T Farm and since I have more people visit here I just had to come and pimp myself. I hope it makes you laugh.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gardening for Wildlife Habitats

“More than just plants grow out of helping a child tend a garden,” says Judy Sedbrook, a Denver-based master gardener with the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. “Gardening gives children a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, and it enables them to learn about the environment.”

I found this quote on the National Wildlife Website. I was excited to see they have a section giving tips on gardening with children. I went to the site to get information on having my yard designated as an official Wildlife Habitat. I found not only the above mentioned information but that currently there is a drive in progress to create 150,000 Wildlife Habitats. I thought some of you might be interested and you may find your yard already meets the requirements.

As to my previous post, I've been working on the flip side to the dream - the reality check. I've walked the property, taken photo's of where it is now and look forward to one day looking back and seeing how far it's all come. At first I was seeing how far I've yet to go, but now I can see that a little progress toward the dream has been achieved. I'll get some pictures up soon to share as documentation and to lay out a path to lead to the next step.

The picture shown above is our group of ladies along with some children planting our first vegetable garden last year. I have to give all the credit to the ladies for that happening, I tend to say someday or next year too much. They have been wonderful motivators to just go for it and I thank them and many of you for that as well.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


"It is so true! that jungle that we create for ourselves can be very tricky to get out of sometimes. We need to teach this stuff to our children when they are YOUNG so that their jungles don't grow so thick and dense."

This comment was recently left on one of my post by Dawn of Today and Everyday. It is one of the things that got me thinking about what I started this blog for. What are my dreams for our little farm and what am I doing to accomplish that. Well to put it simply I want it to be a place to get unplugged. I want to create an environment where kids can come, connect with nature, and just BE. There is so much stimulation in the world today and things that desensitize kids to the point they feel little empathy, compassion, or connection with life. I want a place where they can come and get their hands in the dirt, plant seeds, and watch life grow from the care they give it. I want them to know where there food comes from and what the body was designed to eat. A place where they can feed chickens and gather eggs, taste honey straight from the hive, learn the importance of all life and how it is interconnected and dependent on one another. Learn to respect nature not fear and destroy it. I would like them to have the opportunity to groom and care for the horses to see what they need as well as enjoying riding them. I want them to play around the pond, float in the canoe watching the clouds drift by overhead, and interact with the frogs and other life that reside there. I want them to swing beneath the Live Oaks and dance freely under the sun. I want to give them a place to sit quietly, listen to their thoughts, and learn to understand their emotions. I want a place for kids to learn to self regulate in any situation, to observe and respond rather than judge and react. Hopefully our little farm will become a place that in some small way helps kids journey through life without creating jungles.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow at the Beach

We don't often get snow here on the coast especially more than a dusting. This weekend we received 7" -8" which is melting pretty fast and leaving me with a lot (more) mud and slush to tromp through. On top of that I awoke to down tree limbs and pasture fence and we were supposed to be travelling this weekend. Needless to say I was not seeing a winter wonderland. I half heartedly took pictures anyway thinking the moment needed to at least be documented and I'm glad I did. The fence is fixed, the boys are safe, family came here, and life is somewhat in order again. Now I can look back at these photos and see the beauty that was right before me the whole time. I need to practice what I preach, I always tell my girls when they are in a delimna "things always work out".

Over at my blog Sweet T Farm I am beginning to introduce all the animals. I started with my littly guy Gapi and I'm putting a link to each in my sidebar. I had introduced Rebel here so I used that link for him.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Exploring Sweet T Farm

In the beginning KAP was solely a place for me to sort my thoughts concerning a need I felt for children to learn mindfulness. Somewhere along the way it became more of a therapeutic place for me to find my own way and share some of my life with others. I have had many reminders lately concerning the root of this blog and I would like it to stay a place to explore those thoughts. I want it to be a place to ask questions and share thoughts with you as I continue to grow and learn from your wonderful comments. I also want an outlet in which to just play and free write. For this reason I have started another blog and I hope that you will join me there as well. This blog is named for our little place, Sweet T Farm, and through it I would like to share a bit of life along the southern coast of NC. So come on over for a visit, Rebel is waiting to welcome you in.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nature's Painting

As the days grow longer it reminds me of a post I wrote last winter. I hope you don't mind me recycling but it is still true even with all the rain we've had this winter and this is a nice reminder.

The days are gradually inching their way longer. I always dread when the time changes and the days shorten. In these winter months the sun has started setting by the time I leave work and it is dark shortly after arriving home. This leaves me doing many barnyard chores by the glow of a few solitary lights. I so yearn for the long days of summer when I can come home and there is still time to stay out and play. A time when more can be done on weekday evenings to lighten the weekend load and I am not relegated to shut myself away so early. But there is a bright spot in the winter darkness as there is beauty to be found in any season. During these shortened days the light around the coast is somehow more serene, the air crisp and fresh. It seems to cradle the soul and create a dreamlike state of mind. My drive to and from work involves crossing four bridges over three different bodies of water. As the sun is setting on my way home, I can forget for that time about the darkness that awaits me, for it is as if I am driving through a painting.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blank Page

One night earlier this week as I was dreaming I saw before me a notebook. I watched as it opened to reveal a crisp, clean, fresh blank page. It radiated warmth, beauty and a sense of importance, yet it was only a blank piece of paper. My initial feeling was puzzlement which then turned to slight disappointment. Why was there no story, life directions, or words of inspiration to motivate and guide me? I continued to stare at the page and then a smile began to spread across my face. The realization that this was for me to write on was making it's way into my thoughts. This was my page and I could write ANYTHING I wanted. This was my place to write my story with no limitations. It was no longer a blank page but a page full of promise and possibilities.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


A knowledge of the path cannot be substituted for putting one foot in front of the other."
M.C. Richards

There are two thoughts along these lines that battle for supremacy in my head:

"Look before you leap"

"Leap and build your wings on the way down"

Whenever I am planning a project or setting a life goal I tend to want to know absolutely everything before I begin. I want to read the books, shadow someone, ask every one's opinion, weigh the options and the pros and cons, think of all the ways it could fail and have a back up plan ..... Yet with all this I can still feel unprepared to achieve the goal and that usually leads to never beginning. At the same time I also believe most skills and knowledge are acquired best by doing, getting your hands dirty, making mistakes and picking yourself up and starting again. I am constantly in a debate against myself between the one side shouting acquire the knowledge and skills first and the other pushing and saying just get in there and do it. I know there is a balance that lies somewhere in between and that each situation is unique as to how it should be approached but the battle rages on as to which side gives and when.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1st Person 3rd Person

When I began playing with fictional writing recently I started by writing in third person. As the story began to turn semi autobiographical I found myself at times slipping into first person. I had to decide one way or the other from which viewpoint the story would be told. I thought about which each meant: 3rd person - an observer, 1st person - living the moment. As this went through my mind it brought up the question, from which viewpoint was my real life story being told?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Look Within

"The greatest wisdom is in simplicity.Love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness. It's not complex or elaborate. The real knowledge is free. It's encoded in your DNA. All you need is within you. Great teachers have said that from the beginning. Find your heart, and you will find your way."

Carlos Barrios Mayan Ajq'ij

Friday, January 1, 2010


"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm" Henry David Thoreau

As I sat today watching the rain fall yet again, I found my enthusiasm running low on this the first day of the new year. As the drops sent ripples across the pond I thought of one of my own post, Exchanging Energy. Rereading it and Dawn's post about Joy reminded me that finding my enthusiasm is not something I should do just for myself but for all those I encounter along my journey. Now this isn't to say that I should always be Ms. Perky but I do hope to maintain an awareness of how I'm effecting those around me. The path to peace and happiness in the world is created by each individual finding it in themselves.