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Eating ancestrally allows me to connect to the past and the wisdom of my ancestors. You have a recipe for us!! Get ready, Megan is about to bring the magic! This recipe embodies my absolute love for chestnuts and the chestnut flour I spoke of earlier! This cake is also naturally gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free, and is about as simple as you can get for cake. It does have more of a brownie texture than a crumbly-cake texture though, and you may also want to add a decent amount of stevia to it if you want it very sweet. In a large mixing bowl, sift the chestnut flour. Add the stevia and pinch of salt, mix well and then gently start adding the water to the mix.

Stir the mixture extremely well making sure to eliminate any lumps, then add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and half of the apples, maples syrup, and mix again. Lightly oil an inch pie plate with olive oil and pour in the batter. Sprinkle the cake with rosemary leaves, cinnamon, the remaining apples and pine nuts. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and bake for about 40 minutes. As I said, it has more of a brownie consistency - a delicious fall Tuscan brownie, that is! I stumbled across a video yesterday about one mans journey from Oregon to Patagonia. It moved me to tears and awakened a part of me that I had lost touch with during this time of illness in my life.

I have not truly opened up about exactly what has been going on with my health over the past six months. Partially because I am yet to be diagnosed with anything specific, and partially because I have not wanted to except that its truly happening.


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One day I was the girl I had always been vibrant with life with a burning desire to explore the whole world, to learn,to discover. I was planning a massive trip to South America, the last one we would take before we started on our adoption journey. Then overnight plans changed. I started having tingling on the left side of my face that turned into full body sensations, joint pain, nausea, dizziness, the symptom list goes on forever.

I was practically bed ridden for most of Christmas and New years. Both a blessing and a curse. I found a magnificent woman who was a Neurological Relief Chiropractor who changed the course of my illness. It sounds small, but this is huge improvement. Still this illness is strange, it leaves for a bit and then it will present itself with a quiet fury out of the blue. I can be down anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. Obviously there is a physical toll, but the emotional turmoil it has caused, the internal struggle has been the most maddening part of the whole journey.

For the past six months travel to me has been traveling to the doctors office. I started to make myself do small trips, Malibu for the day, more recently Mammoth Lakes for my sweet friends beautiful wedding. Baby steps. But still there is this feeling like part of me is missing. Who am I if I am not the girl who jumps on planes to go explore this world? Who am I if I cannot be giving all I have to helping people around the world and at home? Seriously who am I now? Watching this video reminded me that I am still exactly who I have always been.

Maybe at this moment I cannot ride my bicycle across countries, but I can continue pushing myself gently and discovering beautiful places all around me. Celebrating life in every flower, every smile from those I love, every gust of wind that makes my blood rush. In a very strange way I am so thankful for the course of my life and the may deviations it has taken.

Being sick is the worst, but my goodness does it make you appreciate things in a whole new light. Every touch from the one you love, every smile, every laugh, every tear is imprinted into your mind. Every small success is triumphant, every breath is counted and sent gratitude. For me laying my head on my husband and hearing his heart beat is better than any concert I have ever been to. You love harder, you love your body with every fiber of your being and encourage it to heal.

For anyone out there suffering from an invisible illness, or any illness for that matter you are a champion. You are faced with fear, and darkness everyday but you RISE. Breath deeply, and begin again. From when we are born into this tumultuous world, to the day we close our eyes for the last time we are made of dreams. We see the world in front of us and yearn to make it into a painting of our own creation, to leave parts of ourselves on the walls of this extraordinary life.

We grow, we learn, we create, we love, we break, we rebuild and with each success and every failure new dreams are born. Hilary Pearlson is a dreamer of beauty, a woman who is building an incredible lifestyle platform to share passions, holistic wellness tips, fashion, and other pieces of loveliness. So many of us get lost in this life that sometimes seems to be filled with never ending movement.

Hilary reminds us to care for ourselves, to allow ourselves moments of quiet, reflection, and intimate joys. Simple pleasures like curling up in a blanket with a rose face masque on listening to your favorite song. Making your kitchen into a haven of creativity and nourishing nutrition. I have fallen in love with Hilary and her sunshine smile. She is powerful in her grace, and she is so adoring about the life that has been given to her. Her dedication to making her dreams a reality, while continuing to dream of even more beautiful things makes my heart full.

Each of us is on such a unique journey and we are all so vastly different, but we share certain commonalities that link us together and make every minute so special. Here is a peek into the mind of this remarkable woman! Hello Hilary! So lovely to have you! What lead you to the creation of Jewels of A Dreamer? Thank you so much for having me! It is an honor to be part of The Vibrant Kitchen and a blessing to be able to call you my friend. I have actually been reading blogs religiously for the past 10 years before I even really knew what went into creating a blog.

I always felt so inspired by what other women were wearing, eating and how they would share their lives and thoughts on this completely open platform. I had always wanted to create something similar but never made the jump. I could continue on the path I was on, which would have been to add to my resume of fashion internships and eventually get a job in the industry or I could go after my dreams.

Creating a place where I could share everything that inspires me, connect with like-minded women and have a place to express myself. What are some of your dreams for the future with your beautiful platform? I have SO many! The overall, big picture dream is that Jewels of a Dreamer will become a treasured resource for women looking to feel inspired and incorporate a more holistic, loving approach into their life.

Whether that is making the switch to non-toxic beauty, introducing herbs and superfoods into their diet, making conscious purchases when shopping or what to cook so that they can feeling energized and at home in their body. Also, to create a strong and empowering community around supporting other women. This is the manifesto I am inspired by daily. Separately, I also have dreams of products I would love to create as well a coaching program where I would be working with women one-on-one, more on this to come soon! Autumn most definitely. I feel as if I am floating on a cloud for the few glorious months it lasts.

The cozy sweaters, warm cups of tea and walking aimlessly for hours on end. I fall in love with living in New York City all over again. You have been on a healing journey, would you mind sharing with us a little about it and what lead you to holistic wellness? As others who are on a healing journey can relate, my story could fill a book so I will try to give you just the cliff notes. Every since I can remember I was constantly sick. When I was 15 it was recommended to my mom that I should be tested for celiac disease, which ultimately I tested positive for.

That became a small piece to the puzzle answering the questions of what was going on in my body. After adopting a gluten-free diet, I began to heal my gut but for me, that was only the first of many steps to figuring out what my body was trying to tell me. When I was 17 I had serious jaw surgery which required a lot of testing of my blood count numbers. Those results came back very worrisome and it was recommended to my parents that I should undergo a bone marrow biopsy to be tested for leukemia.

When this test came back negative we all breathed a collective sigh of relief and I continued on to finish high school and move to New York to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. After being pushed by family to get blood work we discovered my hemoglobin blood oxygen level was a 5 which explained the difficulty breathing normal is They called Dan, my then boyfriend and now fiance to rush me to the hospital for immediate blood transfusions and further testing.

And so the journey began. Going through the transplant was the hardest 2 years of mine and my families life. But we made it through and I am so thankful for all of their love and support. It was truly a huge relief. I strongly believe I was on the wrong career and goal path and my transplant completely shifted my journey to where I was supposed to go. I was vegan, bought organic food and practiced vinyasa yoga. Dying was never an option to me. To this day I still go to treatments and appointments, although as time goes on, my immune system is getting stronger and it is becoming less and less.

My healing journey through holistic wellness will never be over and my hope is that through Jewels of a Dreamer, I can share the tools that I have learned and I hopefully can help even just one person going through their journey. Do you have an item of clothing that will carry you through summer? I have been infatuated with midi-dresses right now in all colors and patterns. Perfect with dainty jewelry and a head scarf for warmer days or with a few extra layers during cooler evenings. What colors make your soul come alive? As I have been diving deeper into my journey with kundalini yoga I have been feeling extremely connected with white.

Yogi Bhajan taught that wearing white expands your auric radiance by at least a foot. It also helps to deflect negativity. It is an energy that I find hard to put into words but I am very drawn to it, so it is something I am embracing and exploring. Do you have a daily ritual to restore your spirit and body? My morning ritual is the most important to me by far. I have been working with my friend and mentor Taylor Eyewalker and as we go through lessons based in the Kundalini teachings.

I wake up and begin with the first of many beverages for the day. Right now it is a mix of Sun Potion chlorella and The Beauty Chef Antioxidant followed by warm lemon water which helps to hydrate my body after sleep. Afterwards, I sit down and go through my readings, chants and meditations. I then blend whatever tonic herbs and superfoods my favorite brand is Sun Potion that I feel called to with my tea and a healthy fat like coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut oil or ghee to start the day with focus and energy.

These herbs keep me buzzing with joy all day long. In the evenings, I journal and reflect on my day - how I did or did not uphold my vision and whether I was clear in my communications with others. Can you share a couple of your favorite skincare treats? Absolutely, this is one of my favorite topics!! There are so many favorites to choose from. Once I made the switch to green beauty and got to know the people and stories behind the brands I was using, I immediately felt so connected to the love put into every product that touched my skin.

It has been a beautiful experience for me into the power of plants. My skin is very thankful! Touch, sight, hearing, taste, smell… which do you love more than anything else? This is a hard one! I feel so thankful for all of my senses. Every day as I am going through my list of gratitude I recite all of the ways I use my senses to experience life. It is with infinite gratitude that I wake up being able to explore the world in so many different ways. To be able to experience the beauty of this world through sight is an incredible gift. To look into the eyes of those I love, admire the style of those I pass in my every day, to see the food I create and that is created for me, to experience nature, as a creative person it is my fuel and inspiration.

The memories and experiences through taste are also of incredible importance to me. Food is such an integral part of my life and so many relationships and conversations that have created who I am fundamentally were over meals that I can still taste if I close my eyes. I am so inspired by the wellness community.

Every day I am meeting women both in-person and through social media who are stepping into their power and making a difference in this world. We are creating friendships where we support each other and connect on many levels. It is an honor to be part of their journey and to watch them flourish. Grace of God by Gurunam Singh. The first time I heard this song it brought me to tears.

I play it daily as a reminder of the support system all around me. A literary quote to live by? I have always been inspired by the playful yet deeply current quotes of Dr. One of my absolute favorites are:. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go Another top pick and one of my biggest inspirations is Marianne Williamon:. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Growing up in Miami I always took the endless sunshine for granted but once I moved to New York and experienced my first true winter, I valued the sun for many reasons beyond the warmth it gave me. I have since found the sunshine to be one of the most potent sources of healing and take advantage of soaking it up with proper protection!

Scent to me brings back memories. Are there any scents that bring you back to your childhood? I feel so attached to scents. I find it to be a magical experience when I catch a scent unexpectedly and am instantly transported to another time in my life. The perfume Angel by Thierry Mugler is what my Grandma wore and takes me back to her sofa, curled under her arm chatting about life. The smell of freshly brewed coffee reminds me of parents, they are both big coffee drinkers and the smell would encompass the house waking me up every morning. If you could visit any five places in the world where would you go and why?

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The scenery, people, fashion, food and experiences they bring. To soak in every moment and photograph these places is a dream of mine. Roadtrip across the US - so many places to see, people to meet and vintage to acquire! Do you have any non-profits you support and would like to bring our attention too? Be The Match. The good news is that a cure exists. By registering with Be The Match all it takes is a swab in your mouth you have the opportunity to save a life. To be a match with someone is truly a miracle and a few hours of your life will save the life of another.

To be a dreamer means to be unstoppable in the pursuit of your passions. A dreamer is someone who pushes boundaries, thinks outside the box and explores new ideas. Who creates experiences, enjoys all the fun life has to offer while releasing what is no longer serving them. A dreamer wants to bring joy to their life and the lives of others and is ambitious in their objective to manifest an idea into reality.

A dreamer does not give up but instead takes each life experience as a lesson to be learned and a stepping stone. To hold a vision of possibility and fulfill their destiny. You can also follow her gorgeous Instagram account at jewelsofadreamer. It is an extraordinary moment in life when it dawns on you that every individual on this earth has the capability to change the world around them. For some this moment occurs early on, for others it may happen much later in their life. You are alive because another being gave you life. Each of us is so deeply interconnected, each of our delicate lives gently intertwined continuously moving, changing, and growing.

It is an undeniable truth that there is an unfathomable injustice in the world. And at times it can seem a daunting task to bring equality and justice to the forefront. And then you stumble upon people like Courtney and Bill. People who consciously came up with a way to start a company that not only takes care of them, but takes care of people and animals.

There is truly no other way to describe it. I am not exaggerating when I say I have found the company of my dreams. Hand in Hand has their original line, the Clean Water Collection which provides bars of soap and clean water to those who need it most in Haiti. This collection provides essential small business loans to entrepreneurs in Haiti to create jobs and strengthen their communities. The Rainforest Collection is incredible. Every single product purchased saves square feet of rainforest to preserve the natural habitat of the worlds great apes.

The artwork for this collection was painted by Sarah, Henry and Grandma; three rescued chimpanzees at the Chimp Haven Sanctuary who regularly paint for their own enrichment. My heart is full just talking about Hand in Hand Soap. Seeing companies like this rise, gives me so much hope for the future. Thank you Hand in Hand Soap for being a light in this beautiful world.

Some of the sweetest moments in life happen while sharing a meal. The closeness that it can bring between people, the laughter around a dinner table, the extension of nourishment from one being to another is extraordinary. Proper sustenance is a basic human need, and maybe this is why it is such a great joy to share with those around us. Over the course of two years Kristin took to the road and visited every vegan restaurant in the United States. Beyond highlighting some of the most amazing vegan food in the states, Kristin's book documents a personal journey through family memories, growth, and inevitable change.

The book will touch you in ways that you never expected. The way this book will touch you is exactly what sets it apart. She makes you feel desperate for the mouthwatering food she describes with precision and ease. Hello Kristin! It is such a joy to have you. Before anything else, congratulations on the publication of your incredible book! Thank you, Michelle. It's great to be here, in this moment, with you. To jump right in, was this an adventure you had always foreseen for yourself, or was it something that you came to later in your life?

Oh gosh no. Having said that, there was a point wherein I realized I was talking about how I'd like to travel someday, but was never doing anything about it.

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It wasn't long after that, the project idea came to me; in what seemed like a completely random fashion. When did you decide you wanted to make your adventure into a book? Did you keep a journal during your travels? I never considered myself a write blogger maybe, writer no. I hadn't considered writing about the journey at all until an acquaintance approached me about a new business he and his wife were cooking up.

One day on a call he shared with me that they were starting a vegan owned and operated publishing company, and asked if I was planning to write a book about my travels. After a few more chats we decided we'd create a coffee table book together—and then that eventually morphed into a memoir. It wasn't until a couple of years after signing the contract with Vegan Publishers that I was thumbing through an old journal I kept long before the trip began. I randomly stopped at a page that listed a few life goals.

Well, I still get the happy-shivers when I think about it. Regarding a journal while traveling—no I didn't keep one. I was way too busy trying to keep up with blogging for the project website that I rarely kept personal notes for myself. My days were packed with writing, driving and eating my way around the country. T his wonderful book really dives deep into your life.

Is there a childhood memory that has defined you as the person you are today? I suspect that many of my childhood memories have remained with me, because they've shaped me in one way or another. But the ones that are the strongest, and still make me incredibly emotional, are those that involve having grown up with horses.

Our family pony, Spirit in particular. She taught me SO much about compassion, kindness, respect, hard work, and dedication. I'd spend hours in the pasture with her, hanging out, grooming her, learning how to work with and around her. We grew up together. She was 8 years old when she joined our family, and I too was 8 years old at the time. She spent more than 20 years with our family. I talk quite a bit about her in the book.

During travels we are almost always confronted by some of our largest fears. Did you have a moment like this that you could share with us? One thing that required a huge adjustment was sleeping in the van. I'd often be parked on side streets or in Walmart parking lots. One of my biggest fears was someone breaking into the van while I was asleep. I even slept with a can of mace on one side of me and a hammer on the other. Thankfully nothing bad like that happened. However, almost EVERY night I'd have a nightmare that would lead me to panic-myself-awake for fear that someone was breaking in.

It made for quite a few sleepless nights and tired days. What would you like your readers to take from your book? Is there a particular message that you felt compelled to share with your readership? There are two driving feelings that led me to share what I did. They are: 1 Give yourself permission to be led by your passions and intuition, and 2 Most people are good people.

During your time on the road how did your personal feelings with the vegan life change, did you become even stronger in your activism? Before the trip I was pretty firm in my dedication to veganism. And since I had fallen in love with food AFTER becoming vegan, it made the driving force behind the journey quite enjoyable to chase, of course.

It's also filtered into my career. I do freelance work for an animal rights group, and mentor vegan business owners through their marketing projects and event promotions. Vegan is my life and I can't imagine it being any other way. I think everyone would love to see you travel the world and visit vegan restaurants popping up globally.

What are your top five places you would want to visit in the world and wh y?


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  4. In no particular order, the following are on my list of to-visit: Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and England. Mostly because I haven't been to any of these places and I've heard great things about the vegan food stuffs there in certain cities, of course. I f I had a camera that could take a photograph of the inside of your imagination, how would you describe what we would see? The inside of my imagination Share with us your absolutely perfect meal. Every last detail! I can't begin to tell you how long it took me to write that chapter. But the short version is: I'm pretty sure I lost consciousness during that meal.

    Did you have many home cooked meals on the road? If not, did you miss them at times? Not many. The few I did have were fantastic though. I can't say I craved home cooked meals more or less than the food I was eating while dining out. It did, however give my body a nice break. When it was all said and done I gained about 25 pounds from the trip! If you could go back and go one more place, or change anything about your trip would you?

    I managed to visit all the places on my list. And I wouldn't change a single thing! They are all equally magnificent! I'm incredibly thankful to have them all. Can you share a favorite quote from your book with us? To conclude this amazing interview is there any last words you would like to say about your book, your journey, or anything else?

    You know that thing you keep telling yourself you want to do someday? Don't wait. Do it now. If you want it badly enough, you'll find a way to make it happen. And I'm willing to bet you won't regret it. Purchase this amazing memoir today by clicking HERE! I have always thought in terms of possibility. What would be possible if every single person that could gave one dollar a day for one month? Even if we down play the numbers. Even if we say only 2 million people could give one dollar a day for one month that would equate to 60 million dollars. Now let your imagination go wild.

    Think bigger. If every company became a giving company, giving a percentage of profits each year to ending hunger and providing education to those who do not have access to it, we could eradicate poverty. A pretty amazing idea. Just seeing what they do makes me giddy with hope for the future. That's more than 50 million people in the United States. With every bag sold, one meal is donated to someone in need. Every time you pack your child lunch, every time you pack your own lunch or have a picnic with friends or bake treats for family you could doing so with GIVEBAGS.

    And each time you would be making something for yourself or someone else you would know that someone around the nation was not going hungry because of the brown bag in your hand. Pretty amazing. A simple concept made into something that has the power to change lives. That is true innovation; that is compassionate living.

    Hello Joshua! It is so lovely to have you! They came up with the idea while on their honeymoon where they traveled across the country for 6 weeks quite the honeymoon, right? While they were traveling they noticed the large amounts of homeless people going hungry. From this experience, they realized they had to do something to give back, not only to the homeless but also to those kids and families who are suffering from hunger. Flo and Rebecca grew the company and I took over last year when they had to move to Germany temporarily for work.

    They plan on returning to join the project in a few years. I see people from all walks of life come in and out of the hospital. I know how important it is to give back to those who are without and that is why this company is so important to me. Since our founding, we have been able to donate thousands of meals to this organization. Feeding America works by gathering a surplus of food from farmers, manufacturers and the government.

    Then they distribute the food to over 60, U. As for pursuing more giving projects in the future, we definitely are. We are in the process of designing a new product. What are your thoughts on giving companies? Do you think that every company has the ability to give back in some way? I definitely do. Of course, there could be more and there needs to be more.

    I believe fostering an environment of philanthropy in business is so important, especially in large corporations, as a way to set an example to employees and customers alike on the benefits of giving. Are your bags made from recycled sources? Is becoming a green company something that is important to you? Further, we like to encourage our customers to recycle their bags when they are through with them.

    We believe embracing green living, as a company, is especially important to the giving back process. Not only does our product give back by providing meals, it also gives back to the environment by choosing to not further pollution. Are there any plans to branch outside of America and donate elsewhere in the world? As the company grows, we would love to have the opportunity to branch out to global charities. All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.

    Perhaps we should never procure a new suit, however ragged or dirty the old, until we have so conducted, so enterprised or sailed in some way, that we feel like new men in the old, and that to retain it would be like keeping new wine in old bottles. Our moulting season, like that of the fowls, must be a crisis in our lives.

    The loon retires to solitary ponds to spend it. Thus also the snake casts its slough, and the caterpillar its wormy coat, by an internal industry and expansion; for clothes are but our outmost cuticle and mortal coil. Otherwise we shall be found sailing under false colors, and be inevitably cashiered at last by our own opinion, as well as that of mankind.

    We don garment after garment, as if we grew like exogenous plants by addition without. Our outside and often thin and fanciful clothes are our epidermis, or false skin, which partakes not of our life, and may be stripped off here and there without fatal injury; our thicker garments, constantly worn, are our cellular integument, or cortex; but our shirts are our liber, or true bark, which cannot be removed without girdling and so destroying the man. I believe that all races at some seasons wear something equivalent to the shirt.

    It is desirable that a man be clad so simply that he can lay his hands on himself in the dark, and that he live in all respects so compactly and preparedly that, if an enemy take the town, he can, like the old philosopher, walk out the gate empty-handed without anxiety. While one thick garment is, for most purposes, as good as three thin ones, and cheap clothing can be obtained at prices really to suit customers; while a thick coat can be bought for five dollars, which will last as many years, thick pantaloons for two dollars, cowhide boots for a dollar and a half a pair, a summer hat for a quarter of a dollar, and a winter cap for sixty-two and a half cents, or a better be made at home at a nominal cost, where is he so poor that, clad in such a suit, of his own earning, there will not be found wise men to do him reverence?

    When I ask for a garment of a particular form, my tailoress tells me gravely, "They do not make them so now," not emphasizing the "They" at all, as if she quoted an authority as impersonal as the Fates, and I find it difficult to get made what I want, simply because she cannot believe that I mean what I say, that I am so rash. When I hear this oracular sentence, I am for a moment absorbed in thought, emphasizing to myself each word separately that I may come at the meaning of it, that I may find out by what degree of consanguinity They are related to me, and what authority they may have in an affair which affects me so nearly; and, finally, I am inclined to answer her with equal mystery, and without any more emphasis of the "they" -- "It is true, they did not make them so recently, but they do now.

    We worship not the Graces, nor the Parcae, but Fashion. She spins and weaves and cuts with full authority. The head monkey at Paris puts on a traveller's cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same. I sometimes despair of getting anything quite simple and honest done in this world by the help of men.

    They would have to be passed through a powerful press first, to squeeze their old notions out of them, so that they would not soon get upon their legs again; and then there would be some one in the company with a maggot in his head, hatched from an egg deposited there nobody knows when, for not even fire kills these things, and you would have lost your labor. Nevertheless, we will not forget that some Egyptian wheat was handed down to us by a mummy. On the whole, I think that it cannot be maintained that dressing has in this or any country risen to the dignity of an art.

    At present men make shift to wear what they can get. Like shipwrecked sailors, they put on what they can find on the beach, and at a little distance, whether of space or time, laugh at each other's masquerade. Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. All costume off a man is pitiful or grotesque. It is only the serious eye peering from and the sincere life passed within it which restrain laughter and consecrate the costume of any people.

    Let Harlequin be taken with a fit of the colic and his trappings will have to serve that mood too. When the soldier is hit by a cannonball, rags are as becoming as purple. The childish and savage taste of men and women for new patterns keeps how many shaking and squinting through kaleidoscopes that they may discover the particular figure which this generation requires today. The manufacturers have learned that this taste is merely whimsical. Of two patterns which differ only by a few threads more or less of a particular color, the one will be sold readily, the other lie on the shelf, though it frequently happens that after the lapse of a season the latter becomes the most fashionable.

    Comparatively, tattooing is not the hideous custom which it is called. It is not barbarous merely because the printing is skin-deep and unalterable. I cannot believe that our factory system is the best mode by which men may get clothing. The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly clad, but, unquestionably, that corporations may be enriched.

    In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high. As for a Shelter, I will not deny that this is now a necessary of life, though there are instances of men having done without it for long periods in colder countries than this. Samuel Laing says that "the Laplander in his skin dress, and in a skin bag which he puts over his head and shoulders, will sleep night after night on the snow Yet he adds, "They are not hardier than other people. In our climate, in the summer, it was formerly almost solely a covering at night.

    In the Indian gazettes a wigwam was the symbol of a day's march, and a row of them cut or painted on the bark of a tree signified that so many times they had camped. Man was not made so large limbed and robust but that he must seek to narrow his world and wall in a space such as fitted him. He was at first bare and out of doors; but though this was pleasant enough in serene and warm weather, by daylight, the rainy season and the winter, to say nothing of the torrid sun, would perhaps have nipped his race in the bud if he had not made haste to clothe himself with the shelter of a house.

    Adam and Eve, according to the fable, wore the bower before other clothes. Man wanted a home, a place of warmth, or comfort, first of warmth, then the warmth of the affections. We may imagine a time when, in the infancy of the human race, some enterprising mortal crept into a hollow in a rock for shelter. Every child begins the world again, to some extent, and loves to stay outdoors, even in wet and cold. It plays house, as well as horse, having an instinct for it.

    Who does not remember the interest with which, when young, he looked at shelving rocks, or any approach to a cave? It was the natural yearning of that portion, any portion of our most primitive ancestor which still survived in us. From the cave we have advanced to roofs of palm leaves, of bark and boughs, of linen woven and stretched, of grass and straw, of boards and shingles, of stones and tiles. At last, we know not what it is to live in the open air, and our lives are domestic in more senses than we think.

    From the hearth the field is a great distance. It would be well, perhaps, if we were to spend more of our days and nights without any obstruction between us and the celestial bodies, if the poet did not speak so much from under a roof, or the saint dwell there so long. Birds do not sing in caves, nor do doves cherish their innocence in dovecots.

    However, if one designs to construct a dwelling-house, it behooves him to exercise a little Yankee shrewdness, lest after all he find himself in a workhouse, a labyrinth without a clue, a museum, an almshouse, a prison, or a splendid mausoleum instead. Consider first how slight a shelter is absolutely necessary. I have seen Penobscot Indians, in this town, living in tents of thin cotton cloth, while the snow was nearly a foot deep around them, and I thought that they would be glad to have it deeper to keep out the wind.

    Formerly, when how to get my living honestly, with freedom left for my proper pursuits, was a question which vexed me even more than it does now, for unfortunately I am become somewhat callous, I used to see a large box by the railroad, six feet long by three wide, in which the laborers locked up their tools at night; and it suggested to me that every man who was hard pushed might get such a one for a dollar, and, having bored a few auger holes in it, to admit the air at least, get into it when it rained and at night, and hook down the lid, and so have freedom in his love, and in his soul be free.

    This did not appear the worst, nor by any means a despicable alternative. You could sit up as late as you pleased, and, whenever you got up, go abroad without any landlord or house-lord dogging you for rent. Many a man is harassed to death to pay the rent of a larger and more luxurious box who would not have frozen to death in such a box as this.

    I am far from jesting. Economy is a subject which admits of being treated with levity, but it cannot so be disposed of. A comfortable house for a rude and hardy race, that lived mostly out of doors, was once made here almost entirely of such materials as Nature furnished ready to their hands.

    Gookin, who was superintendent of the Indians subject to the Massachusetts Colony, writing in , says, "The best of their houses are covered very neatly, tight and warm, with barks of trees, slipped from their bodies at those seasons when the sap is up, and made into great flakes, with pressure of weighty timber, when they are green The meaner sort are covered with mats which they make of a kind of bulrush, and are also indifferently tight and warm, but not so good as the former Some I have seen, sixty or a hundred feet long and thirty feet broad I have often lodged in their wigwams, and found them as warm as the best English houses.

    The Indians had advanced so far as to regulate the effect of the wind by a mat suspended over the hole in the roof and moved by a string. Such a lodge was in the first instance constructed in a day or two at most, and taken down and put up in a few hours; and every family owned one, or its apartment in one.

    In the savage state every family owns a shelter as good as the best, and sufficient for its coarser and simpler wants; but I think that I speak within bounds when I say that, though the birds of the air have their nests, and the foxes their holes, and the savages their wigwams, in modern civilized society not more than one half the families own a shelter. In the large towns and cities, where civilization especially prevails, the number of those who own a shelter is a very small fraction of the whole.

    The rest pay an annual tax for this outside garment of all, become indispensable summer and winter, which would buy a village of Indian wigwams, but now helps to keep them poor as long as they live. I do not mean to insist here on the disadvantage of hiring compared with owning, but it is evident that the savage owns his shelter because it costs so little, while the civilized man hires his commonly because he cannot afford to own it; nor can he, in the long run, any better afford to hire.

    But, answers one, by merely paying this tax, the poor civilized man secures an abode which is a palace compared with the savage's. An annual rent of from twenty-five to a hundred dollars these are the country rates entitles him to the benefit of the improvements of centuries, spacious apartments, clean paint and paper, Rumford fire-place, back plastering, Venetian blinds, copper pump, spring lock, a commodious cellar, and many other things. But how happens it that he who is said to enjoy these things is so commonly a poor civilized man, while the savage, who has them not, is rich as a savage?

    If it is asserted that civilization is a real advance in the condition of man -- and I think that it is, though only the wise improve their advantages -- it must be shown that it has produced better dwellings without making them more costly; and the cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. An average house in this neighborhood costs perhaps eight hundred dollars, and to lay up this sum will take from ten to fifteen years of the laborer's life, even if he is not encumbered with a family -- estimating the pecuniary value of every man's labor at one dollar a day, for if some receive more, others receive less; -- so that he must have spent more than half his life commonly before his wigwam will be earned.

    If we suppose him to pay a rent instead, this is but a doubtful choice of evils. Would the savage have been wise to exchange his wigwam for a palace on these terms? It may be guessed that I reduce almost the whole advantage of holding this superfluous property as a fund in store against the future, so far as the individual is concerned, mainly to the defraying of funeral expenses. But perhaps a man is not required to bury himself.

    Nevertheless this points to an important distinction between the civilized man and the savage; and, no doubt, they have designs on us for our benefit, in making the life of a civilized people an institution, in which the life of the individual is to a great extent absorbed, in order to preserve and perfect that of the race. But I wish to show at what a sacrifice this advantage is at present obtained, and to suggest that we may possibly so live as to secure all the advantage without suffering any of the disadvantage.

    What mean ye by saying that the poor ye have always with you, or that the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? It is true, the encumbrances sometimes outweigh the value of the farm, so that the farm itself becomes one great encumbrance, and still a man is found to inherit it, being well acquainted with it, as he says.

    On applying to the assessors, I am surprised to learn that they cannot at once name a dozen in the town who own their farms free and clear. If you would know the history of these homesteads, inquire at the bank where they are mortgaged. The man who has actually paid for his farm with labor on it is so rare that every neighbor can point to him. I doubt if there are three such men in Concord. What has been said of the merchants, that a very large majority, even ninety-seven in a hundred, are sure to fail, is equally true of the farmers. With regard to the merchants, however, one of them says pertinently that a great part of their failures are not genuine pecuniary failures, but merely failures to fulfil their engagements, because it is inconvenient; that is, it is the moral character that breaks down.

    But this puts an infinitely worse face on the matter, and suggests, beside, that probably not even the other three succeed in saving their souls, but are perchance bankrupt in a worse sense than they who fail honestly. Bankruptcy and repudiation are the springboards from which much of our civilization vaults and turns its somersets, but the savage stands on the unelastic plank of famine.

    Yet the Middlesex Cattle Show goes off here with eclat annually, as if all the joints of the agricultural machine were suent. The farmer is endeavoring to solve the problem of a livelihood by a formula more complicated than the problem itself. To get his shoestrings he speculates in herds of cattle.

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    With consummate skill he has set his trap with a hair spring to catch comfort and independence, and then, as he turned away, got his own leg into it. This is the reason he is poor; and for a similar reason we are all poor in respect to a thousand savage comforts, though surrounded by luxuries. As Chapman sings, "The false society of men -- -- for earthly greatness All heavenly comforts rarefies to air. As I understand it, that was a valid objection urged by Momus against the house which Minerva made, that she "had not made it movable, by which means a bad neighborhood might be avoided"; and it may still be urged, for our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them; and the bad neighborhood to be avoided is our own scurvy selves.

    I know one or two families, at least, in this town, who, for nearly a generation, have been wishing to sell their houses in the outskirts and move into the village, but have not been able to accomplish it, and only death will set them free. Granted that the majority are able at last either to own or hire the modern house with all its improvements.

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    While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings. And if the civilized man's pursuits are no worthier than the savage's, if he is employed the greater part of his life in obtaining gross necessaries and comforts merely, why should he have a better dwelling than the former? But how do the poor minority fare?

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    Perhaps it will be found that just in proportion as some have been placed in outward circumstances above the savage, others have been degraded below him. The luxury of one class is counterbalanced by the indigence of another. On the one side is the palace, on the other are the almshouse and "silent poor. The mason who finishes the cornice of the palace returns at night perchance to a hut not so good as a wigwam. It is a mistake to suppose that, in a country where the usual evidences of civilization exist, the condition of a very large body of the inhabitants may not be as degraded as that of savages.

    I refer to the degraded poor, not now to the degraded rich. To know this I should not need to look farther than to the shanties which everywhere border our railroads, that last improvement in civilization; where I see in my daily walks human beings living in sties, and all winter with an open door, for the sake of light, without any visible, often imaginable, wood-pile, and the forms of both old and young are permanently contracted by the long habit of shrinking from cold and misery, and the development of all their limbs and faculties is checked.

    It certainly is fair to look at that class by whose labor the works which distinguish this generation are accomplished. Such too, to a greater or less extent, is the condition of the operatives of every denomination in England, which is the great workhouse of the world. Or I could refer you to Ireland, which is marked as one of the white or enlightened spots on the map. Contrast the physical condition of the Irish with that of the North American Indian, or the South Sea Islander, or any other savage race before it was degraded by contact with the civilized man.

    Yet I have no doubt that that people's rulers are as wise as the average of civilized rulers. Their condition only proves what squalidness may consist with civilization. I hardly need refer now to the laborers in our Southern States who produce the staple exports of this country, and are themselves a staple production of the South. But to confine myself to those who are said to be in moderate circumstances. Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have.

    As if one were to wear any sort of coat which the tailor might cut out for him, or, gradually leaving off palm-leaf hat or cap of woodchuck skin, complain of hard times because he could not afford to buy him a crown! It is possible to invent a house still more convenient and luxurious than we have, which yet all would admit that man could not afford to pay for. Shall we always study to obtain more of these things, and not sometimes to be content with less? Shall the respectable citizen thus gravely teach, by precept and example, the necessity of the young man's providing a certain number of superfluous glow-shoes, and umbrellas, and empty guest chambers for empty guests, before he dies?

    Why should not our furniture be as simple as the Arab's or the Indian's? When I think of the benefactors of the race, whom we have apotheosized as messengers from heaven, bearers of divine gifts to man, I do not see in my mind any retinue at their heels, any carload of fashionable furniture.

    The Highlands

    Or what if I were to allow -- would it not be a singular allowance? At present our houses are cluttered and defiled with it, and a good housewife would sweep out the greater part into the dust hole, and not leave her morning's work undone. Morning work! By the blushes of Aurora and the music of Memnon, what should be man's morning work in this world? I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and threw them out the window in disgust.

    How, then, could I have a furnished house? I would rather sit in the open air, for no dust gathers on the grass, unless where man has broken ground. It is the luxurious and dissipated who set the fashions which the herd so diligently follow. The traveller who stops at the best houses, so called, soon discovers this, for the publicans presume him to be a Sardanapalus, and if he resigned himself to their tender mercies he would soon be completely emasculated. I think that in the railroad car we are inclined to spend more on luxury than on safety and convenience, and it threatens without attaining these to become no better than a modern drawing-room, with its divans, and ottomans, and sun-shades, and a hundred other oriental things, which we are taking west with us, invented for the ladies of the harem and the effeminate natives of the Celestial Empire, which Jonathan should be ashamed to know the names of.

    I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart, with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way. The very simplicity and nakedness of man's life in the primitive ages imply this advantage, at least, that they left him still but a sojourner in nature.

    When he was refreshed with food and sleep, he contemplated his journey again. He dwelt, as it were, in a tent in this world, and was either threading the valleys, or crossing the plains, or climbing the mountain-tops. But lo! The man who independently plucked the fruits when he was hungry is become a farmer; and he who stood under a tree for shelter, a housekeeper.

    We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven. We have adopted Christianity merely as an improved method of agri-culture. We have built for this world a family mansion, and for the next a family tomb. The best works of art are the expression of man's struggle to free himself from this condition, but the effect of our art is merely to make this low state comfortable and that higher state to be forgotten. There is actually no place in this village for a work of fine art, if any had come down to us, to stand, for our lives, our houses and streets, furnish no proper pedestal for it.

    There is not a nail to hang a picture on, nor a shelf to receive the bust of a hero or a saint. When I consider how our houses are built and paid for, or not paid for, and their internal economy managed and sustained, I wonder that the floor does not give way under the visitor while he is admiring the gewgaws upon the mantelpiece, and let him through into the cellar, to some solid and honest though earthy foundation. I cannot but perceive that this so-called rich and refined life is a thing jumped at, and I do not get on in the enjoyment of the fine arts which adorn it, my attention being wholly occupied with the jump; for I remember that the greatest genuine leap, due to human muscles alone, on record, is that of certain wandering Arabs, who are said to have cleared twenty-five feet on level ground.

    Without factitious support, man is sure to come to earth again beyond that distance. The first question which I am tempted to put to the proprietor of such great impropriety is, Who bolsters you? Are you one of the ninety-seven who fail, or the three who succeed? Answer me these questions, and then perhaps I may look at your bawbles and find them ornamental. The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful. Before we can adorn our houses with beautiful objects the walls must be stripped, and our lives must be stripped, and beautiful housekeeping and beautiful living be laid for a foundation: now, a taste for the beautiful is most cultivated out of doors, where there is no house and no housekeeper.

    Old Johnson, in his "Wonder-Working Providence," speaking of the first settlers of this town, with whom he was contemporary, tells us that "they burrow themselves in the earth for their first shelter under some hillside, and, casting the soil aloft upon timber, they make a smoky fire against the earth, at the highest side.

    The wealthy and principal men in New England, in the beginning of the colonies, commenced their first dwelling-houses in this fashion for two reasons: firstly, in order not to waste time in building, and not to want food the next season; secondly, in order not to discourage poor laboring people whom they brought over in numbers from Fatherland. In the course of three or four years, when the country became adapted to agriculture, they built themselves handsome houses, spending on them several thousands.

    But are the more pressing wants satisfied now? When I think of acquiring for myself one of our luxurious dwellings, I am deterred, for, so to speak, the country is not yet adapted to human culture, and we are still forced to cut our spiritual bread far thinner than our forefathers did their wheaten. Not that all architectural ornament is to be neglected even in the rudest periods; but let our houses first be lined with beauty, where they come in contact with our lives, like the tenement of the shellfish, and not overlaid with it. But, alas!

    I have been inside one or two of them, and know what they are lined with. Though we are not so degenerate but that we might possibly live in a cave or a wigwam or wear skins today, it certainly is better to accept the advantages, though so dearly bought, which the invention and industry of mankind offer. In such a neighborhood as this, boards and shingles, lime and bricks, are cheaper and more easily obtained than suitable caves, or whole logs, or bark in sufficient quantities, or even well-tempered clay or flat stones.

    I speak understandingly on this subject, for I have made myself acquainted with it both theoretically and practically. With a little more wit we might use these materials so as to become richer than the richest now are, and make our civilization a blessing. The civilized man is a more experienced and wiser savage. But to make haste to my own experiment. Near the end of March, , I borrowed an axe and went down to the woods by Walden Pond, nearest to where I intended to build my house, and began to cut down some tall, arrowy white pines, still in their youth, for timber.

    It is difficult to begin without borrowing, but perhaps it is the most generous course thus to permit your fellow-men to have an interest in your enterprise. The owner of the axe, as he released his hold on it, said that it was the apple of his eye; but I returned it sharper than I received it. It was a pleasant hillside where I worked, covered with pine woods, through which I looked out on the pond, and a small open field in the woods where pines and hickories were springing up.

    The ice in the pond was not yet dissolved, though there were some open spaces, and it was all dark-colored and saturated with water. There were some slight flurries of snow during the days that I worked there; but for the most part when I came out on to the railroad, on my way home, its yellow sand heap stretched away gleaming in the hazy atmosphere, and the rails shone in the spring sun, and I heard the lark and pewee and other birds already come to commence another year with us.

    They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself. One day, when my axe had come off and I had cut a green hickory for a wedge, driving it with a stone, and had placed the whole to soak in a pond-hole in order to swell the wood, I saw a striped snake run into the water, and he lay on the bottom, apparently without inconvenience, as long as I stayed there, or more than a quarter of an hour; perhaps because he had not yet fairly come out of the torpid state.

    It appeared to me that for a like reason men remain in their present low and primitive condition; but if they should feel the influence of the spring of springs arousing them, they would of necessity rise to a higher and more ethereal life. I had previously seen the snakes in frosty mornings in my path with portions of their bodies still numb and inflexible, waiting for the sun to thaw them. On the 1st of April it rained and melted the ice, and in the early part of the day, which was very foggy, I heard a stray goose groping about over the pond and cackling as if lost, or like the spirit of the fog.

    So I went on for some days cutting and hewing timber, and also studs and rafters, all with my narrow axe, not having many communicable or scholar-like thoughts, singing to myself, -- Men say they know many things; But lo! I hewed the main timbers six inches square, most of the studs on two sides only, and the rafters and floor timbers on one side, leaving the rest of the bark on, so that they were just as straight and much stronger than sawed ones.

    Each stick was carefully mortised or tenoned by its stump, for I had borrowed other tools by this time. My days in the woods were not very long ones; yet I usually carried my dinner of bread and butter, and read the newspaper in which it was wrapped, at noon, sitting amid the green pine boughs which I had cut off, and to my bread was imparted some of their fragrance, for my hands were covered with a thick coat of pitch. Before I had done I was more the friend than the foe of the pine tree, though I had cut down some of them, having become better acquainted with it.

    Sometimes a rambler in the wood was attracted by the sound of my axe, and we chatted pleasantly over the chips which I had made. By the middle of April, for I made no haste in my work, but rather made the most of it, my house was framed and ready for the raising. I had already bought the shanty of James Collins, an Irishman who worked on the Fitchburg Railroad, for boards. James Collins' shanty was considered an uncommonly fine one. When I called to see it he was not at home. I walked about the outside, at first unobserved from within, the window was so deep and high. It was of small dimensions, with a peaked cottage roof, and not much else to be seen, the dirt being raised five feet all around as if it were a compost heap.

    The roof was the soundest part, though a good deal warped and made brittle by the sun. Doorsill there was none, but a perennial passage for the hens under the door board. The hens were driven in by my approach. It was dark, and had a dirt floor for the most part, dank, clammy, and aguish, only here a board and there a board which would not bear removal.

    She lighted a lamp to show me the inside of the roof and the walls, and also that the board floor extended under the bed, warning me not to step into the cellar, a sort of dust hole two feet deep. In her own words, they were "good boards overhead, good boards all around, and a good window" -- of two whole squares originally, only the cat had passed out that way lately. There was a stove, a bed, and a place to sit, an infant in the house where it was born, a silk parasol, gilt-framed looking-glass, and a patent new coffee-mill nailed to an oak sapling, all told.

    The bargain was soon concluded, for James had in the meanwhile returned. I to pay four dollars and twenty-five cents tonight, he to vacate at five tomorrow morning, selling to nobody else meanwhile: I to take possession at six. It were well, he said, to be there early, and anticipate certain indistinct but wholly unjust claims on the score of ground rent and fuel. This he assured me was the only encumbrance. At six I passed him and his family on the road. One large bundle held their all -- bed, coffee-mill, looking-glass, hens -- all but the cat; she took to the woods and became a wild cat, and, as I learned afterward, trod in a trap set for woodchucks, and so became a dead cat at last.

    I took down this dwelling the same morning, drawing the nails, and removed it to the pond-side by small cartloads, spreading the boards on the grass there to bleach and warp back again in the sun. One early thrush gave me a note or two as I drove along the woodland path. I was informed treacherously by a young Patrick that neighbor Seeley, an Irishman, in the intervals of the carting, transferred the still tolerable, straight, and drivable nails, staples, and spikes to his pocket, and then stood when I came back to pass the time of day, and look freshly up, unconcerned, with spring thoughts, at the devastation; there being a dearth of work, as he said.

    He was there to represent spectatordom, and help make this seemingly insignificant event one with the removal of the gods of Troy. I dug my cellar in the side of a hill sloping to the south, where a woodchuck had formerly dug his burrow, down through sumach and blackberry roots, and the lowest stain of vegetation, six feet square by seven deep, to a fine sand where potatoes would not freeze in any winter. The sides were left shelving, and not stoned; but the sun having never shone on them, the sand still keeps its place.

    It was but two hours' work. I took particular pleasure in this breaking of ground, for in almost all latitudes men dig into the earth for an equable temperature. Under the most splendid house in the city is still to be found the cellar where they store their roots as of old, and long after the superstructure has disappeared posterity remark its dent in the earth.

    The house is still but a sort of porch at the entrance of a burrow. At length, in the beginning of May, with the help of some of my acquaintances, rather to improve so good an occasion for neighborliness than from any necessity, I set up the frame of my house. No man was ever more honored in the character of his raisers than I. They are destined, I trust, to assist at the raising of loftier structures one day.

    I began to occupy my house on the 4th of July, as soon as it was boarded and roofed, for the boards were carefully feather-edged and lapped, so that it was perfectly impervious to rain, but before boarding I laid the foundation of a chimney at one end, bringing two cartloads of stones up the hill from the pond in my arms.

    I built the chimney after my hoeing in the fall, before a fire became necessary for warmth, doing my cooking in the meanwhile out of doors on the ground, early in the morning: which mode I still think is in some respects more convenient and agreeable than the usual one. When it stormed before my bread was baked, I fixed a few boards over the fire, and sat under them to watch my loaf, and passed some pleasant hours in that way. In those days, when my hands were much employed, I read but little, but the least scraps of paper which lay on the ground, my holder, or tablecloth, afforded me as much entertainment, in fact answered the same purpose as the Iliad.

    They took us hiking through some beautiful woods. The children's fingers quickly became stained with the magenta berries. But thanks to you, I was able to point out to the children not only the name of the berries, but also the little gem you shared regarding their use as ink for writing the Declaration of Independence, which we are studying right now! It's wonderful how these associations are made without much effort as we go about our daily lives, isn't it? I read Edith's biography and was quite surprised to find out how weird she and her family were.

    I gave the biography to the library for their sale but will never part with "Country Diary". She may have been odd but she certainly wrote and illustrated a great book. She said she could not help getting all excited and the volunteers taking money were curious as to which book made her so happy. I just discovered this morning that you have a blog, Karen--and I am thrilled to find it! What a lovely place for us homeschooling mothers to find inspiration and encouragement. I have taken the Edith Holden book out from the library, and I was amazed at her careful artwork and penmanship.

    It truly is an inspiration. I am in the process of reading Pocketful of pinecones, I love this idea of the gentle art of learning. I am a 50 year old Mother of 3 adult children, grandma to a 3 month old grandson, I did not home school, our children went to a private Christian School. I am now encouraging my daughter and future daughter-in-law in this gentle art of learning. I plan to purchase these books, one by one, and share them with them. They are both planning to home-school, so I feel that even though I missed out on this wonderful opportunity, they will not.

    Thank you for allowing God to use you to share with so many others, what every Mother should consider. God Bless You Upon your recommendation I puchased the video. It is food for the soul and a feast for the eyes. Thankyou for telling about it. I am enjoying your blog so much.