Saturday, December 15, 2007


Gentle Woman
you birth the Gift of Light
Guide us
as we walk the Way
that we too
may become
a gift of light
for the world.
(from the collection of Passages
used during Meditation for Mothers.)

I like to think of the Christmas story as every mother's story and "every mother" as anyone who has at some point, in his or her life, surrendered to the force and power of our great and loving universe. Through this surrender, Hope, Love and Light are "born", again and again into this world. Let us honor our mothering nature and may we all become true bearers of light.

Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Herbal Salv-ation and January 2008

Our Old Style Life Skills Series workshop for January 12th 2008 is "Herbal Salv-ation". Jean Pollack of Mystical Rose Herb Company will share her skills to help you create useful salves for your family and home.
As a mother of ten children and a nationally certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Jean brings wisdom and experience to each of her classes. Learn to make traditional home remedies with herbs while hearing more about the practicality of this ancient art.

Take home salve you create to soothe away winter dryness.
This is the first of the Old-Style Life Skills Workshops for 2008. Held at the UCC Parish House in Cornwall on Saturday January 12th from 10:30-1:00, with a pot-luck lunch, to continue the shared conversations. $35/family. Contact or 860-672-0229 to reserve a space.

Upcoming Motherhouse programs:
Jan. 8 - New Moon Gathering - call Rachel at 860-672-6328 for details.
Jan. 25 - Family Round Singing - starts at 7:30p.m. at the Cornwall, CT Town Hall. For more information call Nan at 860-672-6013
Feb. 2 - Family Contra Dance - 7:00p.m. at the Cornwall, CT Town Hall. Call Jane at 860-672-6101 for more details. Suggested donation of $5.00 per adult, $3.00 per child.

Visit to see the 2008 schedule.

Kick up your heels with Engel Woolen Clothing

These great looking long underwear from Engel combine the lightweight durability of silk and the oh-so-soft warmth of Merino wool. Nita says they're the most comfortable she's ever worn. They're even nice enough to dance in! We feel good knowing that Engel organic wool is from sheep raised with kindness and care.

Keep yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors and your neighbor's friends warm and cozy this winter with gifts of good wool. You can-can stay warm!

Because wool keeps you warm, even when wet, these Merino woolen fleece pull-overs from Engel are perfect for inclement weather. Merino wool is the softest of all wools. Naturally resistant to dirt, stains and odor it is unnecessary to wash wool clothing frequently. Great for all sizes. Try 'em you'll love 'em.

Available at our on-line market at

NEW - Motherhouse Gift Certificates for 2008

Debra Tyler writes

I'm thrilled to have finished these gift certificates in time for the holidays!

The first certificate shown in the pictures posted can be used for
any merchandise
shown on
Good for any dollar amount, they must be used within one year of purchase.

Looking back at the wonderful Old Style Life Skills Series offered in 2007 and ahead in 2008, we offer this second certificate so that a workshop opportunity may be given as a gift.

The third certificate was inspired when someone e-mailed me hoping to give her brother a "cow milking adventure" at Local Farm. For a family of up to 4 members this certificate is for participation in any one of our five 2008 Keeping A Family Cow workshops.

All three gift certificates can be bought directly from

Dave Tyler's Peanut Brittle

From Debra Tyler, for the holidays...

One of my favorite memories during this cool, dry time of year, is of my father "whipping up a batch" of peanut brittle. He would stand at the kitchen stove, intently stirring the sweet smelling, bubbling mass of sugar, butter, and peanuts; waiting for that perfect moment when the peanuts were browned and syrup just the right consistency. After he added the soda, there would be exactly thirty seconds of frantic, focused stirring with his cherished long handled wooden spoon. Then he would tip the sauce pan just so to let the fragrant, rich brown confection pour out onto his custom-made stainless steel baking tray. When the candy had cooled, he would give it a sharp whack with the handle of a butter knife to crack it into bite-sized pieces. (The crumbs were all saved to to go on oatmeal or ice cream). Bagged up into sandwich bags as holiday gifts, he would present it with his own special flair and flourish to all his friends.

Mom recently sent me a copy of his recipe. bringing back all those magical moments in the kitchen and reminding me that the stainless baking sheet we offer through , Nourishing Hands section, was modeled after Dad's original and is hand-made by our Cornwall neighbor, Terry Bell. Here's the recipe. Happy Holidays!

Peanut Brittle

In heavy 2 quart saucepan mix 2 cups sugar, 1 cup Karo (clear) syrup and 1/2 cup water. Boil hard for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1 inch stick of butter (2T) and 1/2 Cup raw Spanish peanuts. Turn heat to medium and stir while cooking 15-20 minutes longer. The exact end point is the challenge. (Practically no frothing, nuts browned and syrup
beige in color). Remove from heat, add 1 tsp. soda and stir like crazy for 30 seconds. Spread on buttered cookie sheet. Careful - it is Ultra Hot!
Crack up when cool.

November's Mother-Daughter Retreat

A quiet, festive day of moms and daughters preparing for the holiday spirit. A picture says a thousand words!

Memories made...

Visit for the 2008 schedule of programs

Being a "Yes" Mom.

Our Motherhouse Board member Vicki Harkness sent this wonderful story on her own posting recently. We thought it was a voice to be shared. Hope you enjoy it!

Written December 9, 2007

I have read before about being a "yes" mom. I love being a "yes" mom but it is something I have worked at and didn't come that naturally to me in the beginning. I love coming up with creative ways to be able to say "Yes" to my son. Sometimes I fall back on old habits and want to just say NO. No can be so much more easier, but YES is liberating. It feels good to me and my family. It does however take creativity and patience. For example, my son likes to utilize all the rooms down stairs for his creations and play. I really don't mind. It's fun to see him at work. Yes, it makes it difficult to walk around but he's being creative. I don't want to stop that. I am fortunate to have help each week to clean the house, but before they come the toys and such need to be put away in order to clean. It's a rhythm that we follow each week, same day approximately same time. Before becoming a yes mom I would just say, "we're picking up your toys today as the cleaning folks are coming and that's that". Now way before they come I give reminders that we need to put some things away so the house can be cleaned. There's always a slight struggle but afterwards we all feel better with more open space and less clutter. It used to be a major struggle before I became a "yes" mom. I've been working on how to be more creative and even avoid the slight struggle. One night he built an amazing structure on the bedroom floor, which happened to be the night before our help is expected. Before he built the structure, both myself and his father reminded him that tomorrow we are going to need to move it before the help comes. He really doesn't like to move his structures once they are built for a few days. That morning I told him about how construction crews can move houses. We talked about it at length. We then talked about post and beam structures. We live in a house built in the mid-1700's so he knows quite a bit about post and beam structures. However, he didn't know you could move one by disassembling it beam by beam and post by post. We talked about how an old neighbor of ours moved an entire post and beam structure by labeling each post and beam with numbers and then drawing a diagram of the structure showing his matching numbered pieces. Joshua immediately starting numbering the structure he had built on the floor. He informed me he was going to move it to his train table so it would be off the floor but we all could still enjoy it. YES, yes, yes, no tears over picking up, mama didn't get her patience tested, and we got to learn about moving buildings in the process. I'm really happy when I get to be a YES creative mom, but there are days when sometimes I fall back on old patterns and the creative juices are not flowing. They are few and far between these days and it makes us all happy!!

Gingerbread House Workshop

The November Old-Style Life Skills workshop was a seasonal joy for those who could attend. Kids of all ages created the magic of the ginger bread house at this Motherhouse event taught by Wyatt Whiteman.

Visit to see the 2008 schedule of programs.