Category Archives: About Us

C is for Cat, Cousins and Curls

Curls-I have a love/hate relationship with my hair, and specifically, my copious curls. They were an endless annoyance as a child. I think I hated them in part out of spite, just because other people loved them…and seemed, to me anyway, to be cruelly oblivious to the amount of coaxing, yanking and de-tangling I required because of them! With age I have come to appreciate them and I know that I would never, ever go back to the mindset of my teenage years, where I wasted hours and hours each week trying, with only minimal success, to straighten my hair.

I remember my first boyfriend, upon hearing my threat to ‘just chop it all off’, wrote me a letter pleading with me not to cut it. He went on to tell me all about how it was wild and beautiful, just like me. Over-exaggerated adolescent romanticism aside, he was right about the fact that it is, very much, a part of who I am (though I still rather resent the upkeep…).

And since I didn’t get around to taking a curls only picture, you get random old picture of me with my hair down!

Cousins- Between them my parents have 9 siblings, each of which grew up to marry and have at least two children a piece, providing me with a wealth of cousins! (30 to be exact) Our large and lively family had a big impact on me growing up, and probably goes far to explain my current love of large families. Since I’ve not been able to go and visit them, I really find myself longing for the days of sitting around, eating, laughing and talk, talk, talking. Talking about who’s getting married and who’s pregnant, and how best to tame our curls (yes, it’s a strong family trait), or finally rid ourselves of them for good! (I have been known to excuse myself from these conversations on the grounds that I have made peace with my curls, see above, and do not wish to have any little inklings of dissatisfaction planted in the fertile ground of my somewhat addled mind.)

Ideally, this post would be accompanied by a picture of my cousin Jessica and myself (born 13 days apart), circa 1981, propped up on a quilt in the yard, while wearing coordinating gingham dresses (one pink and one blue). Since that photo is not currently available to me, I’ll have to settle for this poorly scanned photo of me introducing little Iain to Jess’s brand new baby daughter. If you are reading this Jess (the one person I ever allowed to actual iron my hair…and singe the tips!), I love you and miss you terribly!

I mourn for the fact that my own children are rather lacking in the cousins department. They have three cousins, from Steve’s older brother’s first marriage. All of whom are nearly as old as I am, and none of whom they actually know. The closest thing they have to the bounty of peers that I grew up with are the children of my own cousins, of which there are many. It makes me sad that they are not able to grow-up together (we live out of state and sickness has prevented us from traveling).

Cat-This is my beloved cat, who happens to be named Constance, making her a very suitable topic for the letter C. I rescued her from a shelter, shortly after moving into my first apartment. She has a very sweet disposition and incredibly soft (more like a rabbit then a cat). When I was pregnant with Iain, at night she would curl herself up in the area just above my belly. Once he was born she made her home somewhere near his feet. Sweet girl.

I miss her as well. She is still living down at the own house. Once the addition is done, we will finally have room for a liter box and at that point we will be able to be reunited again, once and for all. For the time being, it’s still just a quick pat, now and again, when I go down to switch over the laundry or grab some food.

I’m a firm believer in the fact that home becomes every-so-much homier when there are kittens about. Unfortunately, my mother is terribly allergic to cats and so, when my sweet old girl does leave us, we will have to remain without feline companionship. Quite a shame.


B is for Birth, Belly, Books and Blessings

Birth- In the past I’ve considered becoming a midwife or a doula, but as dedicated as I am to homebirth and supporting women and babies, in whatever birth they chose, I don’t believe that is my calling. At least not at this point in my life.I’m kind of a birth story junky. Probably my favorite publication is ‘New Nativity II’. I’ve been a subscriber for years, and I always read it cover to cover, usually more then once! Perhaps one day I will share my own birth stories here.Belly- Being all of five foot nothin’ (maybe I should have saved that revelation for ‘S for short’…) and having babies who are on the larger side, creates in me the tendency towards some serious belliness! The funny thing is that with my last two pregnancies, I was actually rather small in the beginning. In fact, I was given a hard time for being “too small” (whatever that is! And how exactly is that other people’s business, I’d like to know…). Then somewhere around 7 months my muscles hit maximum capacity or something and poof! Super-huge belly…

In my 39th week of holding sweet baby Galen

And while we are on the subject of mama bellies. I think that this site should be required viewing for all adults. In a world where everything is nipped, tucked, and air-brushed into oblivion, these images and the message behind them, are so very empowering.

Books- Ah, books! I love them ssssoooo much! And for that very reason, I am going to make an uncharacteristic show of restraint and opt not to post a 9 page symposium on my bibliophilic tendencies. Except to say that I’m a total book snob. Especially children’s books. They must be beautiful, well-written, and magical, or they don’t make the cut.

Galen has recently developed a love of books. He’s coming to it far later then my other children did (I was starting to worry about that boy!). He now carries a pile of books around the house with him. Whenever we have a moment where his brothers are otherwise occupied, we lay out a blanket on the floor and curl up with a big stack of board books. I am deliriously happy about this stage he’s in!

Blessings- Over the years, several blessing have found there way into our daily round. At every meal we sit around the table and hold hands, while reciting the following blessing:

Thanks to the earth,
thanks to the sun,
thanks to the rain,
for all they have done
to bring my my food.
So strong I will grow
and loving in life
from my heart I will show.
Blessings on the meal!

Even the littlest one among us got into this at a very young age. Whenever he was set in his own little chair the hands immediately shot out, with an “eh-eh”, as if to say “come on, it’s time!”.The other blessing that has stuck with us for years now, comes at the beginning of our bedtime ritual, and goes as follows:

Now I lay be down to rest.
I pray that all the world be blessed.
Lady moon and sister star,
watch over me from afar.
Mother earth is always there
and keeps me safe within her care.
The lord of dreams will dance and sing
and happy dreams will to me bring.
And when I wake to greet the day
brother sun will light my way.
~Kitty Degler

Our bedtime routine then progresses to our seasonal verse, followed by reading and personal prayers.




A is for Apples, Acorns, Autumn and Age

Over the past couple of months I’ve been watching other bloggers doing the “Encyclopedia of Me” thing and I’ve really enjoyed seeing what others have come up with. Life has been so busy around here that I thought I might actually benefit from a bit more structure myself! Though I’m going to adapt it to be both about me and what we are doing these days. And so, without further ado…


Autumn- Is my favorite season. I love the food, the colors, the scents… I love, love, love the sound of the wind! But it’s more then those things that I can quantify. It’s something deeper then that. There is something about this season that resonates with my soul. Which I think is kind of a fancy way of saying that I’m moody and temperamental too!

And with autumn comes….

Apples- Our home smells like apples today…and cinnamon and cloves and cardamom. We went apple picking on Wednesday, at an abandoned orchard. That night I filled my huge crockpot with apples to bake and let the scent seep into our walls and our dreams in the night. And today before our play date at the pond, we made apple crumbles. Two large platefuls went to B the Builder, a whole one accompanied me to the first gathering of a knitting group and the remainder was cleared out by us over lunch.

In a field full of fallen apples, sitting next to piles of bags full of apples, there is nothing quite like the one apple that happens to be in your brother’s hands!

While the “pie birds” aren’t necissarrily required for this dish, they are absolutely essential to the ritual…

Acorns-We did finally get around to making our acorn muffins. I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty they were. Admittedly, we used a fair bit of hazelnut flour to make up the difference between the amount of acorn flour we produced, and the amount the recipe called for! We added fresh apples (what else?) and dates to the batter and ate them outside, for breakfast, in the garden. We left two of the littler ones as a treat for Reddy the squirrel.

We saved all of the hulls from flour preparation and used them to dye a bit of wool. We used cast iron for the dye pot and let it act as the mordant as well.

Age/Aging- I don’t think I’m doing it well. Which is rather a pity because I hope I still have a long ways to go! Looking back at old pictures like these ones of Elijah and I, picking apples in 2003, sometimes startles me a bit. I find myself taken aback by how young I look.

Apple picking 2003

The face in the pictures seem very different to me, from the face I see in the mirror these days. Much more so then seems reasonable for a mere four years. I think a lot of it has to do with being sick for so long. In fact, when I look back at old pictures, I can actually see where things start to change over, the point at which I start to look pale, tired and weak. Neither my appearance, nor my body ever seems to have fully recovered from that. I guess it’s lucky that I tend not to care too deeply about such things.

Apple picking 2007

Big news…

(No Becky, I’m not pregnant…

Yes, I’m certain.

Not even a little.

Absolutely positive.


There has been a lot going on here lately. So much, in fact, that I’ve not found the time to talk about it here. There is simply too much to say. My current intent is to summarize as best as I can.

I feel like I need to give a bit of his and herstory for those of you who are new to this blog.

In the Autumn of 2004, the children and I became extremely ill due to extended exposure to toxic mold within our home. Our house very quickly became completely uninhabitable for us. Soon after we were diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities as well as a seemingly endless list of allergies and countless other interrelated ailments.

What happened next is a very drawn-out and tedious story. The long and the short of it is that after many attempts at renting and/or buying a new home (while still working to pay off the mortgage on the house that we couldn’t live in, and also couldn’t sell), out of sheer desperation, and truly fearing for our lives, we started the “Little House” project.

A tiny shelter in the back woods of our property.

Construction started in November of 2005.

We moved into our unfinished 14 x 14 two-story home during the summer of 2006.

We haul water from our old house, make use of a home-made composting toilet and receive our phone and electric from lines run tree to tree and fished through a hole in the wall. Subtracting the space taken up by the hearth and the stairs, it come out to well under 300 sq ft of living space for our family of five. And I have never been more grateful for a home in all of my life.

**I love these hands**

We have always planned and hoped to add on and improve. To make it almost “life-sized” as I like to joke. Through an odd twist of fate our dreams are becoming a reality. And soon.

Steve has been taking down trees and clearing the way, while I’ve been trying to read every design book I can get my hands on. We hope to be braking ground on our new addition before the month is out! It is not as we had planned, but as it turns out, every once in a while, things turn out better then planned…

Things like water and septic are still a long way down the line, but this is a huge step for us.

Steve will be taking all of his vacation time to work with our friend and neighbor on the construction. “B the Builder” will be doing most of the framing, but we will be helping out where we can. Once the framing is done we will be tackling the entire interior ourselves. We are hoping to have a weather-proof shell by the time the cold weather rolls in and at least some additional living space soon after. Do wish us luck! We go for the permit tomorrow and I’ll admit I’m rather nervous!

Galen Michael Millar

Galen just turned one. He is an incredible, charming little guy and our resident love-bug.

He has about 50 different nicknames.

Everyone who meets him falls madly in love with him.

He has the most enchanting eyes, blue with a brown star in the center.

He laughs whenever everyone else laughs and wants to be just like his big brothers.

He frequently hums little songs to himself, sometimes combinations of sounds that he makes up, other times recognizable songs!

He’s a silly little monkey with an amazing ability to climb, dismantle and/or get into everything.

Galen is starting to walk and talk and has just cut his tenth tooth.


Elijah Rain

Elijah is part human child, part woodland elf. He absolutely embodies 4. Those of you who have spent much time around 4 year old boys know exactly what I mean by this!

Elijah’s presence can be positively identified by either the constant humming of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suit or lively strumming on the ukulele, usually, but not always, accompanied by lyrics to various folk songs, belted out an alarming decibel.

He can identify every bird that comes to our feeders, and tell you exactly what each likes best.

Elijah has a great love of all things paper. He creates beautiful drawings and amazingly intricate paper snow-flakes. A trail of paper scraps follows him where ever he goes.

He’s convinced that there is a baby hedgehog living with “Daddy red-squirrel’s baby” in the wood pile behind our house and they have adventures together.
His current interests include making himself very, very dizzy.


Iain Alexander

For those of you who remember Iain as a rolly-polly preschooler with chubby cheeks and pudgy knees, there have been some changes! He’s grown into a tall, slim boy, shaped remarkably like his father. He is an avid sledder, certified dare-devil, aspiring poet, and wanna be knight, who has decided to take up archery, ice skating and the guitar. He is a knitter and a woodworker. He has three pen pals.
Iain loves to use big words and if he can’t find one to suit his purpose he has no qualms about making one up. He is currently trying to grow his hair down to his toes and never seems to have more then one sock on. He just turned 7.

About us

It occurs to me that I never really took the time to introduce us. So, on the off chance that there is someone reading this who isn’t my husband or best friend, here you go…

I am Melody, a full-time Mother and Waldorf-inspired home educator.

I’m a constantly crafting, babywearing, extended breastfeeding, natural and organic living insomniac and aspiring domestic goddess, with a love of all things green. I am currently working on healing from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). I believe that anything is possible. This is my little corner of the web.

My beloved is Steve: web developer by day, devoted father by night, amateur builder on the weekends and all around amazing and beautiful man.

Together we dream of being surrounded by gardens.

We live with our family on a breathtaking plot of four acres, in the woods of New England, where we have two houses. The first house is infested with toxic mold. The second is a tiny rustic cottage that we are slowly building up around ourselves. I live in the cottage with our three man cubs while Steve divides his time between the two.

I will post intro’s to the wee ones separately as they are awfully cute, and blogger will only let me post so many photos at once.