Worth Reading: Harper Lee


"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."

Louisiana, 1995. Texas, 1996. Ontario, 2009. Mississippi, 2017. These are a few of the times and places Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird has been banned. The novel, published in 1960, has met widespread disrepute since the 1970's. It has been taken off of bookshelves, removed from reading lists and syllabi, kept away from students' impressionable minds.            

Scout spends a good two-thirds of the novel listening. And so, over the course of the story she observes, offering her own opinions and views about matters but nonetheless clearly still a child learning to find and stand by her own beliefs. It seems like Scout’s transformation should be obvious and central to the plot of the story. But for me, her metamorphosis is subtle, as perhaps a person’s change of heart would be. Shifting and changing in slow movements like the hands of a clock, seemingly imperceptible but moving just the same.                    

Truth is rarely easy to swallow, rarely comfortable. And that is where many have issue with Lee’s novel. She did not shy away from truth. She could not, she lived it. But I would hope that many skeptics would change their tune if they took into consideration when To Kill a Mockingbird was written. Lee penned a present truth, calling into question the very framework of the society she grew up in. By doing this she challenges the reader to bring about a world that acknowledges those who are shoved into the shadows, speaks for those who are made silent, one that battles stagnate indifference.                      

Does Lee make the reader uncomfortable? Yes. But the reader should be uncomfortable. The reader should re-evaluate, doubt, wonder, squirm, reread. Without these discomforts, we will more readily repeat the atrocities we try so hard to forget. 




I bought these cookies at an after-Christmas-sale for $1 nearly 7 years ago. They have a shelf life in common with Peeps!

I keep them tucked in a drawer with my poetry trinkets. I take a peek every now and then when I need a reminder.

Much more than stale crumbs,

this is the wonder of chemistry


"Joy is intrepid!"




Fox, Crow, and Mistletoe


Inspired by this Native Vermont image discovered while poking about on Pinterest, take inspiration from a food chain. Take inspiration from the “>”mathematical sign, from the chain of dominance in games such as rock-paper-scissors. Now, write a poem!




Rock Paper Scissors


Rock is greater than scissors,

Crushing is greater than slicing,

Stoic stone crumbles the sharp

Metal beaks of plastic cranes


Scissors are greater than paper,

Slicing is greater than folding,

Sharp metal beaks chew through

The crumpled skin of a dry lotus


Paper is greater than rock,

Folding is greater than crushing,

Long petals stretch their crumpled

Flesh over the face of stoic stone



The Countdown Begins


Paper chains are a glorious way to anticipate celebration. Construction paper, wrapping paper, or even hand painted paper can be chained together to signify the countdown has begun.

Paper chains can also slow us down, remind us to remember.

With 2019 fast approaching, why not make a paper chain to stop each day and celebrate the memories of 2018? Write what you remember on the link torn from the chain, fold it, and tuck it into a jar as a keepsake  

Paper chains?

The possibilities are endless  


A Glorious Mess Revisited

This after Thanksgiving craft bears repeating! Thanks Tracey…


I am the Martha Stewart generation—a young mom before the days of DIY, blogs, Handmade Nation, and Etsy (and email and cell phones for that matter). Crafting in those days was mostly the realm of groovy-hippie-types or country-calico-quilters. And although I had a certain appreciation for both asthetics, I didn't quite fit in anywhere on the maker's spectrum. All that changed when I first laid eyes on the premier issue of Living magazine. Everything about it ignited my graphic-designer-modernist tendencies; the sophisticated color palettes, the charmingly smart photo styling, the graphic play of patterns and materials, everything seemed perfect. And I wanted to make stuff like that!

I credit Martha for inspiring me to make things that I liked and that felt like "me". She brought both class and wit into handmade objects and she creating things with one's hands. making things with my hands is both a soul-nourishing and using my hands for more than just clicking and typing makes me feel human, creative, like I'm both giving and receiving. 


So let's get to making:

These popsicle stick stars are my favorite—well suited for mass production, quick to put together, and infinitely customizable.

All you need are:
– popsicle sticks
– glue gun
– paint

The possibilities are limitless. 


Pumpkin Pancakes for the Last Week of November

Who says there is no time in the morning for a cozy breakfast?

What is a fall morning without the scent of pumpkin pancakes tickling the kitchen? 

Pancakes are quick breads and quick breads are great recipes to introduce little ones to cooking. With a little preparation before hand—pre-measured ingredients in portion bowls makes cooking with kids a very Montessori experience—cooking with little ones is quite academic.

First, assemble all the dry ingredients in a one bowl and the wet ingredients in another—a perfect task for little hands. Whisk the ingredients in each bowl (they are gonna love this part). Next, have them fold the wet into the dry, counting how many strokes it takes to just blend the ingredients. When it comes time to cook the pancakes, best for mom or dad to be in charge, but  when it come to clean-up, by all means let them wash some dishes the old fashioned way in a sink of sudsy water!

– Sara

Pumpkin Pancakes
Dry Ingredients:
– 2 cups flour (I use part whole wheat or nine grain flour)
– 3 T brown sugar
– 2 t baking powder
– 1 t soda
– 1 t allspice
– 1 t cinnamon
– ½ t ground ginger
– ½ t salt

Wet Ingredients:
– 1 ½ c milk
– 1 cup canned pumpkin
– 1 egg
– 2 T vegetable oil
– 2 T apple cider vinegar

Haiku of Thanksgiving

These pumpkins don't grow on vines but they have something in common with fortune cookies and piñatas. 

The Recipe:
1. Take a lunch-sized paper bag and fill the bottom with torn paper.
2. Before twisting closed, insert a handcrafted thanksgiving haiku
3. Twist the top of the bag tight.
4. Paint using pumpkin colors.
5. After the paint is dry, use ribbon and raffia to decoratively seal the stem. 

Display during the Thanksgiving season and tear open when it's time to celebrate gratitude.