Squish Squash Squoosh

I am still recovering from an intense weekend, and not just from Bioneers. So let’s save the inspirational woo-woo from the conference until Wednesday and talk about squash, shall we?

Saturday morning now officially begins like this:

Delicious jam cheeks courtesy of The Other Mary’s rocking blue/raspberry.

Brother Leo came over.

And we all headed out to the El Sobrante East Bay Waldorf School’s Autumn Fair.

This is the part of the post where I wish I had beautifully lit photos with interesting angles of my little darling, serenely creating a toddler work of art out of wool felt that was dyed with oak galls and hummingbird kisses. But what I gots for you instead is what we managed with an overdue nap, strained good humor, and the one activity we could afford since the admission was free but participating in activities would have cost us upwards of 50 bucks. No so hyped on the Waldorf after this weekend.

Capture the flag….a perfect game for someone who’s ongoing chant is, “NOOO! Me! No me! Mine! No mine!!!”

This was cute…a sleeping giant whose “treasure” could be stolen with only the sleepiest of grumbled protests. I tried to entice Fern but she was busy eating rocks and screaming at the kid on the swings, “No me!!! No me!!!”.

We used up all our pennies to go on the hayride. When Fern was asked to scoot down so more people could fit on the wagon, she began a meltdown totally appropriate to the situation. The other parents glared at us for ruining the pastoral moment. I shoved a boob in her mouth and the fiddler struck up a mesmerizing tune, so everyone survived.

Yeah…it was kinda like that.

As we were leaving, Fern continued with the tragic operatics. I placidly held her boneless, screeching form in my arms as we walked across the field. Every head turned to follow us, and Jeff, not usually given to paranoid stink eye suspicions turned to me and said, “You would think these people’s kids never had tantrums.”. Indeed, if there was a test for Waldorf parenting, apparently I failed it. I’ve been very attracted to Waldorf, given the excellent results I have seen (*America, Ilana and others*) but we will need a reparative experience before I seriously consider going into debt for Fern’s elementary education. Unschooling is looking like the better option all the time.

Not to be stopped in our quest for the perfect pumpkin, we were brave enough to step out the next day, for the Tolay Lake Fall Festivalย (Thank you SO much for the recommendation, Missa!!!!).

Tolay Lake regional park is a relatively new acquisition by Sonoma county, and has a rich and ancient history of Native American use. This wikipedia post is worth the entire read. I am particularly interested in the restoration project and I wonder if they need volunteers.

There was a hay maze that Fern took on like the boss she is.

The outfit was her pick, btw.

There were llamas. Llamallamallamallamallamallamallamallamallama.

And snakes of all sizes.

An albino giant somethingorother.

Baby rattlers under glass. There were three messes like this. I wonder what they will do with them all?

“Look Fern! So many fun things! What should we do first? Fern?…Where’d she go?”

Enough with the flags, already.

Jeff found a friend.

So did Fern. Oh, but not the horse…

…but rather the fence that went “clangety clang.”

They had squash for sale.

We have been loving Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor. Fern kept absconding with acorn squash and rolling them down a hill to her own glee and to the consternation of the vendor.ย 

We bought her one and she carried it around for the rest of the day. She was completely un-phased by the trip to the pumpkin patch (the hayride was relatively peaceful). She had already found her beauty. Who needs a pumpkin?

Mama needed a pumpkin, that’s who. (Fern said so!)

So many to choose from, but I finally found “the one”. I said to Fern, “Show me how much you love pumpkins!”

And this picture is how much I love baby double chins. Yum.


That about covers it. The 2nd attempt at salsa was a success and tastes like salsa flavored kim chi. Except better. I’m still loving your comments from a couple posts back and I still have yet to comment back, but will soon.

Happy Monday!




24 thoughts on “Squish Squash Squoosh

  1. Looks like fun! We’re getting ready (Thurs) for our homeschool co-op field trip to a u-pick farm. Can’t wait to get our pumpkins! Our chickens ate all pumpkin seeds from the garden this year ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We like Waldorf education, too and we unschool. There are some great Waldorf curriculums you can get and they aren’t expensive. We use them for handwork and other ideas. Little Acorn Learning is one for the younger children. Happy Autumn!

  2. i am very anti waldorf. very. it’s one of my hulksmash issues. waldorf was created by a racist, xenophobic CRAZY MAN named Rudolph Steiner, who believed in the Aryan Race being the supreme race. he fabricated an entire philosophy based on his ravings, about how white people are from Atlantis and black people are black because their Ids are weak. he was an anti semite. oh, i could go on and on and on and on and on and on.
    check out this link:
    its my favorite because it breaks down the bullshit and then also counters all the bullshit “but this is why it’s somehow magically okay for this crazy ass cult to be our kids school”
    (did i mention how much i HATE waldorf?lol) here are other excellent resources i have found in my research about how much waldorf sucks ass:
    crtitiqe of “anthrosophy”
    quotes by His Craziness Himself:
    and the specifically racist/xenophobic/antisemtic quotes:

    so uh, yeah. i’m not a fan. not even for all the weird faceless dolls, wooden toys and nature tables in the world would you ever get my kid in one of those schools. also, i’m not a fan of their actual educational curriculum. often they don’t teach kids to read till they are 7 or they lose their “milk teeth”
    i admit i am a very science and fact based person and i don’t do well with hippie woo woo stuff, but man. do i hate steiner and waldorf.

    1. preach it sister! thank you for this. i knew steiner was out there, but i did not know about the anti-semitism/racism. i’m ok wth how “woo woo” he is, because there are little kernals of wisdom mixed in with the crazy. but the racism is a big no go. i am also not cool with the emphasis on christ consciousness and old testament stories. i find little redeeming value in biblical myths, and while christ was a great dude, i don’t want a christian-centric education for fern. she can explore that kind of stuff on her own without indoctrination. i’m not completely throwing waldorf out, but i will closely examine its application at whatever schools we explore.

      thanks for all the links too.

  3. things i like about this post:
    jam face
    looney tunes
    a little boob milk action
    fern walking like a boss
    the fuzzy thing
    the flashdance inpired outfit.
    p.s. i like waldorf. i hate how much everything costs. i wish i could unschool and have waldorf influences as well as montessori, and nature based education and have a group of folks to hang out with and do awesome school like stuff together but call it unschool.
    my kids respond well to waldorf education and we have some tuition help from the grandfolks and i have to work and so does tom, so for now its a good option.

    p.p.s. we were headed to tolay next weekend. it looks awesome!

    1. mary, you pretty much described what i hope to create/find for fern…if/when that “group of folks” forms, there will always be an open invitation for you and yours. xo

  4. i love this post! i could go on and on about judgey looks from strangers. their expressions seem to say, “oh my! i would never let my child act like that” or maybe, “wow. they have no control over that child”. i have 4 children, so you can imagine i’ve gotten pretty much every look out there. i use to care a couple of kids ago, but now i just stare back with a look of my own, which says, “yeah! you got a problem???”

    as far as waldorf is concerned, i’ve noticed they aren’t the most welcoming. and schools are mega bucks! as are the toys. i homeschooled for 6 years and unschooling and real learning is what i like. my two oldest are in regular school this year, but i’m planning on going back to homeschooling with my younger two. i really love how the kids are free to be themselves and not feel pressured to conform. i could talk a lot about this topic.

    love the breastfeeding pic!

    1. i would love to hear more of your thoughts on this topic! i think there will be future post asking for input about homeschooling/unschooling/waldorf etc. please add your wisdom! and i think i will channel your ‘tude. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. wow. i’m excited to become more educated on mr. steiner. i hear anti~semite and i get really intensely agro on my judgements of a person. suck ass! i thought he was a cool guy. i don’t know if i can even read his bee book now. i love brigit’s intensity in her comment. wish we could have been there with you, i could have had one of my kids, or maybe all three throw a tantrum just to keep fern company. those events the waldorfians throw are so expensive. i had one of my worst ever most nauseating pregnancy experiences on a halloween night at the waldorf school here. maybe there’s a reason why i was so so sick at that school. i ‘ve been finding those same kind of friends around here the past few days that jeff found. ok. night!

    1. i actually thought of you because of how you have mentioned your kids in public before. i wished you were there! we could have been our own circus. and i have no doubt that you had a psychosomatic response to waldorf. makes sense given this weekend! xoxo

  6. Lovely lady, you are such a dead-ringer for Mary-Louise Parker (who I think is super hot, btw) it’s crazy! Yay, I’m so glad you guys went out to the Tolay festival! How fun, it looks just as I remember it. Fern powerwalking her way through the hay maze is so awesome, so much determination in that wee face! She’s really adorable. I think we’re gonna take Clover this Sunday and now I’m totally looking forward to it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. thanks missa! i used to get that a lot, but not as much lately. i love her too…”you look just like that girl from fried green tomatoes…”. have fun at tolay and thank you so much again for the recommendation. one of these days we need to organize an outing with our girls!

  7. I looooove this post! My reasons are the same as Mary’s. You had me at the very first picture, and then some… My own daughter is 22 months old, and I’m still trying to figure out what direction we should take when it comes to schooling / unschooling. I find your blog inspiring. Thanks for sharing bits of your life with us. : )

  8. Oh I was just about to tell you how wonderful waldorf education is, and give it another go or two!!! then I read back on some of your comments. Brigit has some really strong feelings on this, good on her for having the courage to express that, I have very different feelings about it, but thats how it is.

    I am working on a blog at the moment which talks about how my life has shaped me and will write lots about the experience I have had with waldorf here. Its been amazing for us, I have never seen a hint of racsim in fact quite the opposite, the loving respect of each child is tantamount to how they work. I have learned so much about parenting through my daughters teachers, and its been so valuable to me. Like anything, you will always have people who take it the word, AND I am pretty sure I have met a few fundamentalist waldorffers, but I do know that little M had thrived in the pure magic of the kindergarten, and I wouldn’t want her anywhere else. There are a great deal of people who have carried on the good work of Steiner and evolved it way past its time, the deeper messages are beautiful and full of hope and the honoring of each child And parent.
    I would be practicing a kind of buddhist way at home, though I am loathe to define myself too much. Life does have a strong spiritual element for us, and one that stays close as we can to the nature around us. The rhythm in the pace and peace of what m receives each day in school, to me seems a amazing foundation for a life, full of heart and respect for the magic of being alive.

    It is a very different way of educating, in fact I would go as far to say, that it is completely different way of seeing a child and their education and that can be a challenge to take on board. I have always kept an open mind as to whether its what we will always do. Homeschooling appeals to me too, but as a single parent it would be too intense for me.

    Any admonishing looks you got was not from anyone who practices steiner principles to the heart, loving eyes would have met you then I am sure, though you may have come up against some pack mentality, which never feels good. I would have had your back had I been there: )
    The expenses of waldorf events usually reflect the materials that they use in their games. I am quite surprised at the prices though, here it would bepocket money prices to join in on games.
    You will find some schools will quite elitist, have higher fees then others, that can make a big difference to the energy of the school too.

    Here our school has just gotten government recognition and is now part funded, its brought the fees down to a quarter of what they were, giving lots more people an opportunity to be a part of it.

    On other notes, Well done for keeping your humor, I reckon Fern is doing exactly what comes naturally, clanging gates and all. Her facial expressions are priceless, thanks for sharing the ups and downs with us and all the great squashy bits in between.
    What am I like with these giant comments. obviously have a lot to talk to you about: ), if I keep commenting here, I will have no time for my own blog.

  9. the one where fern is a blur absconding with a squash is a tie for first with the one of your boob. good times!!!! this is such an awesome, real post. i am quietly cheering about your unschooling mention. hell, you’re already doing it, sister. and with more oak gall and hummingbird kiss-dyed magical goodness than a waldorf classroom can boast.

    1. yes, you unschool as well, right? let’s have a conversation about that…especially since you are working with an only child and fern’s in the same boat. love you mb.

  10. i could look at the pic of Fern in the maze all day! she makes me want to get out and speedwalk…..then go take a jazzercise class!

  11. I have mixed feelings about Waldorf and Steiner too, but that aside, there is a snobbishness that is expressed in almost any “alternative” scene these days, especially when money comes into play. I feel that a lot of things have been co-opted by people who just believe in buying a life-style, for whom saying things like “I buy all my produce from a local, bio-dynamic, certified organic, wind-powered farm.” is more important than just going about figuring out what’s right for their families and the planet. I’m sure that the alternative kid scene is little different.

    Boo to those parents indeed and yay! for you home/unschooling Fern! You are already doing natural learning with her, and I’m sure she would turn out amazingly educated, not to mention spirited

    Big hug to you.

    ps. yeah, what does one do with a tangle of baby rattlers?

    1. yes, i totally know that snobbishness. that’s what i was talking about in the next post re: bioneers. what a waste of time and besides the point as well. hopefully i can find families that take the best of waldorf but forge it into something new, with authentic heart. folks like you, for instance. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      as for the rattlers, what is your address? i can send you a box if you like. ๐Ÿ˜›

  12. hahahahahahaha. She is soooooooooo gorgeous and cute with that pumpkin. When other people’s kids tantrum I smile indulgently and chuckle…..hehe Fern looks to be quite the determined little pumpkin.

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