Puppets in Paradise :: A Day In Vermont

New England is WONDERFUL.

We’ve been here for 3 weeks… 3 glorious weeks of sunshine, nature and newness and we continue to be ever so excited for the adventures that each day invariably brings.

For instance, it rained the other morning. We were sitting eating breakfast when suddenly it drew dark outside and an almighty din descended upon our little townhouse. We looked at each other with big eyes… What’s that?

RAIN??

Yes, it was rain, sheeting down in a torrent of the largest raindrops we could ever imagine. We could hardly see for the rain. It made the air thick and white. We ran outside, spreading our arms towards the heavens and let the sky drench us in all his glory. We felt excited and inspired, as if this marvelous rain had washed not only the leaves and trees but also our souls, clean.

Of course, we have experienced rain before… but the gentle Southern Californian kind. The kind one can miss, where minute droplets on the windscreen alert us to the fact that it is raining.

There was NO missing THIS rain!

And then, on Saturday, when we, on a whim, decided to drive 30 minutes into Vermont to attend a theater gathering called Puppets in Paradise.

As we set out, we were quite oblivious to the wonders that awaited us.

We followed the hand-drawn signs down a gravel road to park on the grass of a large meadow (I was thankful that my new car has 4 wheel drive!) and we then walked up the path into the most glorious gardens. Unbeknownst to us, we had entered the world famous property of gardening authors, Gordon and Mary Hayward. Their magnificent property is called ‘Paradise’… hence the day being called ‘Puppets in Paradise’.

Mary and Gordon’s special talent is using flowers and plants and other natural elements to make a myriad of delightfully intimate spots in the garden to sit and ponder.  On this day, each of these secluded areas had a puppet stand for a puppet show.

We watched each delightful show and the magical setting added to the enchantment of the day.

There was  a kite show in the greenest meadow.

A puppet mime struggling to catch a train.

A clown enchanted with paper cranes.

A naughty boy who reminded me of Teddy as he recited his lines of ‘I don’t care!’

Mother Moon who danced on the lake shore after everyone else has gone to bed.

And the children’s favorite, a cussing and cursing puppet who got stuck in the mud while a crow ate his hat and a goat stole his beer.

The day ended with a stop at the local farm stall to stock up on farm fresh fruit and a delicious Korean meal in the nearby Vermont town of Brattleboro.

Our one sadness is that we are without Matthew who has returned to California to tie up loose ends there.

Hurry home, Dad.

 

Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Puppets in Paradise, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog

We remain incredulous that we have found ourselves in this most magical land.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

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New Adventures : We’ve Moved To New Hampshire!

I have BIG news to share (oh boy, am I excited to tell you) … our family has officially moved to the beautiful state of New Hampshire!

I can’t tell you how much we are loving it here. It is green and lush and full of life and vitality. There are oak trees everywhere, and maple and beech and ash. Their leaves are still bright green but the color of fall is creeping in like the cool morning air. We feel like we are in our own special paradise and Matthew and I keep pinching each other to make sure it’s really real. It is! And we have really done this!

We feel like we are back in England. Well, I suppose we are… green, historic, welcoming New England, of course!

There are trees everywhere, EVERYWHERE! I’m in a constant state of awe. I look up, I look down, I look around and, everywhere, there is color and life, teeming with joy and wild exuberance.

Matthew caught me in this photo, in sheer amazement in the beauty of the cathedral around me.

 

Nature Walk Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Nature Walk Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog

 

Yup… we have embraced a new adventure and our lives are fresh and exciting once more.

We are so happy!

Teddy and Kitty have started school… Kitty in 7th Grade and Teddy in 4th Grade. For the most part, they have taken to this huge change with grace and eagerness. There have been a few tears of longing for familiar places and old friends but they have started to make new friends and even look forward to the new challenges that they know each day will bring.

 

First Day Of Monadnock Waldorf School, Keene, New Hampshire, School Photo on The Magic Onions Blog

 

Matt and I drop these two monkeys off at school each day and then we set out into the wild places to explore the beauty of the New Hampshire flora and fauna. There are wilderness reserves everywhere. We are like two excited little children discovering a wonderland. We have so much to learn… like the names of trees, mushrooms and birds. Our minds are expanding and so are our hearts and souls.

 

Toadstool Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Nature Walk Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Mushroom Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Mushroom Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Forest Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog  Nature Walk Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog  Forest Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog

Forest Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Mushrom Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog

Forest Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Mushrom Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Acorn Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog Moss Photo, Keene, New Hampshire, on The Magic Onions Blog

 

Keep tuned for more details of our move and many more photos of our new adventures.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

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$75 Back To School Giveaway!

Back To School Giveaway : Imagine Childhood : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Yay! Today one lucky reader will receive a $75 gift certificate to one of my FAVORITE shops… Imagine Childhood!

Imagine Childhood is a family owned and operated company specializing in earth-friendly goods, craft and activity tutorials and educational supplies that support and nurture the magic of childhood. Our carefully curated collection focuses on products that inspire children to create, imagine, and explore. With an emphasis on quality materials, our toys and tools are made for real kids and real adventures.

Take a peek at our 2015-2016 Lookbook for 200 pages of inspiring and thoughtful gifts! We’ve spent the last eight years combing the globe for unique heirloom quality toys, tools, games, and craft projects, many of which are $25 or less.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

In addition to our shop we also share free crafts, activities and recipes on our blog here and our recent book, IMAGINE CHILDHOOD: Exploring the World Through Nature, Imagination, and Play- 25 Projects that spark curiosity and adventure, can be found here.

Description of the giveaway:

Today one lucky winner will receive a $75 gift certificate to the Imagine Childhood!

To enter, simply pop over the the Imagine Childhood Shop and let us know which products catch your eye.

 

Back To School Giveaway : Imagine Childhood : www.theMagicOnions.comBack To School Giveaway : Imagine Childhood : www.theMagicOnions.com Back To School Giveaway : Imagine Childhood : www.theMagicOnions.com Back To School Giveaway : Imagine Childhood : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Good luck, everyone. We will announce the winner on Sunday, August 21.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

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Sponsor Feature and Giveaway : Waldorfish

Lucky us… Waldorfish is offering us all a 20% discount on their WONDERFUL StoryStarters kits (you can read all about them below). Use the code MAGICONIONS at checkout.

 

Waldorfish was originally born out of a desire to provide modern, relevant resources for our community of teachers and families.  We have grown into a global community of teachers, parents, and homeschoolers. Altogether diverse and curious in the ways we live our lives, our online community shares a commitment to goodness, warmth, truth & beauty as it works for each of our families. As an international community, each of us is wholly different. We come to the table in kindness, listening & sharing to learn (not to agree or disagree). A great place to start if you are new to our work is this page, which includes links to samples of our tutorial videos and several free pdf’s and e-books!

 

Waldorfish : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

Trained both as public and Waldorf teachers, we have been involved in art & education for over 20 years and currently homeschool our two children. With our Waldorfish work we teach adults & children in person as well as online. Our courses guide soul-filled teachers and families towards confidence in integrating the arts and story-telling into their (home) school days!

Waldorfish : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

In 2014 hundreds of our community members – teachers, parents & homeschoolers, asked us for storytelling resources. They felt drawn to create a culture that pulls in and directs their families from deep within. We followed this thread with our whole hearts – we dreamt up and designed the fundamental images needed for an inspiring tool – our Story Starters deck. Now families around the world are using the deck & accompanying online classroom to ignite unique stories for and with their children & students!

Waldorfish : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

“It has been said that next to hunger and thirst, our most basic human need is for storytelling.” ~Khalil Gibran

 

There is no one more valuable than the storyteller. They are our visionaries, the entertainers, the jesters, guides and crooners. When we give our children the gift of story, we give them their ticket, a limitless wellspring to carry them to any career, a lifelong magic trick in their back pocket.

 

Along with the healing and therapeutic potential held within stories, they also ignite in their tellers yet another invaluable quality.

 

“There’s a Native American proverb on my office wall that says, ‘Those who tell the stories rule the world.’ As technology increasingly intertwines us, I believe that’s increasingly true. It’s our job as businesses and workers and leaders to make sure the good guys are the ones telling the best stories. And like any skill, we’re going to need practice at it.”

~ Shane Snow, Why Storytelling Will Be the Biggest Business Skill of the Next 5 Years.

 

Storytelling is a timeless skill. It has been the precursor to change as long as we’ve been on this beautiful, mysterious planet. And that’s exactly what these times are calling for, yes?

 

Change-makers.

We don’t want to bore our children. Or to lecture them. We want to mystify them! To enchant them into the glimmer of their own futures, to be awed in the face of giants (and giant obstacles). And to know themselves as great and creative problem solvers. Change-makers.

 

Waldorfish : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

We created our Story Starters kit to guide even very new storytellers towards confidence. Along with the 40-card, double sided deck, the kit also includes our online classroom:

  • 3 audio recordings (over an hour total!) with sample stories & ideas
  • 19 page e-book with even more resources & inspiring ideas
  • muslin, drawstring carrying pouch
  • access additional pdf’s with storytelling activities

 

Perfectly sized to tuck into a bag, the Story Starters can come along just about anywhere, and are water resistant (yay!).

 

“The cards are lovely! The pictures are beautifully done and include a mix of objects and scenes we have experienced and some which are exotic to us. This gives us a chance to tell stories from our knowledge of the world and others that come more from our imagination.” ~Susan F.

 

Waldorfish : www.theMagicOnions.com

 

This kit is an opportunity to create new tales that are custom-crafted to address the emotional needs and moods that are currently living within your family. Stories with clear moral lessons are healing & potently effective teachers. A well-timed cautionary tale can be so much more effective than “Don’t do that!!”.

 

Stories show us that an enemy can become a friend. Stories remind us that other people have had similar problems (and have successfully navigated them). Stories told through the lens of many different belief systems help support the importance of tolerance.

 

By seeing how someone in a story overcomes his or her troubles or character quirks, our children can learn to do the same.

 

All our best,

Robyn & Brian Wolfe

 

We would love to connect with you on social media!

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/waldorfish

Robyn on Instagram: @therobynwolfe

Brian on Instagram: @brianwolfe

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/waldorfish

 

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Thank you, Robyn and Brian.

Blessings and magic,

Donni

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