Don’t Worry. Even My Mom Missed It.

DirtifiedDid you miss the part in yesterday’s post about the great giveaway? My own mother — who reads all my posts like a good mommy should — certainly did. I buried it good, so maybe you did too.

Don’t miss your chance this week to enter for a FREE copy of Dirt! The Movie on DVD provided by moi. And guess what? The good people at Benenson Productions have been kind enough to offer three more copies to help promote this awesome award-winning documentary to spread the word about healthy soil and how we are linked to it. Such nice wonderfully dirty people, they must be.

So…what are you waiting for? Read the rules then leave a comment to win –>

Come on…Get Dirty!

Evening Rush Hour

White Ibis

“It is nice finding that place where you can just go and relax.” ~ Moises Arias

Sitting out by the creek watching the birds come home to roost for the night is a daily pleasure. On this particular evening, through the steady din of motor vehicles themselves fighting to get their pilots safely back home, I completely get how life can be so simple as a favorite roosting tree. And I am thankful that I work and relax in the same wonderful space — no transportation save my feet to get there every day.

The Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are a regular for evening fly-by’s, leading the way with their noisy ‘whistles’ to other small groupings like them that it’s time to move on. The White Ibis may be a quieter bunch, but they are most beautiful contrasted against the rosy sky.

Continue reading Evening Rush Hour

Mish Mash Monday

“The skin of the earth is the most important of the minerals.” ~ Wangari Maathai

My Pick:  Dirty, dirty, dirty.

I think a lot about making my own video on how to build compost and garden beds (using the compost/lasagna method), but who has the time? Your little piece of earth (the area of soil closest to you) can provide so much for you if you just take a little care to urge it along. Layering organic waste — waste comes in many styles, shapes and sizes — to build beds up, right where you want them to be. There is absolutely no need for you to break your back, empty your wallet at the local garden store, or be an expert of any kind. Plants just know what to do once they find a home in which to thrive.

Brown + Green + Air + Water + Microbes = Healthy Earth

Kid Pick:  Fun With A Purpose.

Alex Chacón in Central America takes selfies to a whole ‘nuther level: Selfie + Drone = Dronie. Go on a virtual tour of Veracruz via a man and his drone, for just three minutes of your time. Turn on your sound, and get ready to fly!

Sure Beats ‘American’ or ‘Caucasian’ or ‘White Chick.’


 Photo courtesy of Vegans With Voices

Giveaway! For My Most Faithful Followers.

DirtifiedIf you are reading this message ‘deep’ into one my my non-garden, non-vegan, non-birding posts, I consider you a most faithful follower. I’d like to reward you with my first ever giveaway — a free copy of Dirt! The Movie DVD. This award-winning documentary will open your eyes to our relationship with soil. Learn how it is you can be a better steward to the earth, and find out what makes me tick (‘Dirt’ comes before ‘Kids’ in my book).

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • ‘Like’ this post
  • Also ‘Comment’ saying that you’d like to be considered, and anything else that’s on your mind!
  • Be a US Postal service customer (a/k/a/ have a stateside address)
  • Be okay if there are more than just you for me to consider; my kids will draw the winner
  • Allow me to email you directly (via the Comment email) to firm up delivery details
  • Tune in next Mish Mash Monday to see if you won!
  • Don’t wait! Commenting will be closed next Sunday at noon when the contest ends.

Good luck!  And thank you for your contributions to DirtNKids.

 What I Hope To Look Like In A Few Years, A Haiku.

white hair in the breeze
my twigs as wings gaining lift
flying as the clouds

Photo courtesy of Portraits of Wildflowers

Oh my gawsh! Is it really March already?

Birding Blind…Chair Optional

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

The kitchen and breakfast room is where I do the bulk of my birding, much as I spend my days prepping all those greens and veggies to eat. Binoculars are perpetually hanging around my neck while there, the camera always within an arm’s reach. I see a host of birds right from where I stand, out on the feeders, in the birdbath, among the trees — even as far as out as back by the creek.

The yard is an oasis because I worship my soil and everything in it. I trim bushes and trees only ‘moderately’ so that little birdies get protection from predators; they have plenty of great reasons to come close to my windows where I can enjoy their personalities up close. None of my other neighbors give them that same care and respect, so the little guys have come to prefer my yard to gather in great numbers, not theirs.

Continue reading Birding Blind…Chair Optional

Winter Birding – Photography in Dim Lighting

8. Water

Once per week, usually on the weekend and weather permitting, the DirtNKids family picks a spot for nature hiking, birding and — for Mom — nature photography. Many times, it’s right in our own neighborhood during the school day when Dad’s at work, but when Dad picks the spot, we usually go well south of Houston to our favorite public park: Brazos Bend State Park.

Continue reading Winter Birding – Photography in Dim Lighting

Vegan Holy Grail! Chocolate Cake, an FAQ


I did it. I found the Holy Vegan Grail: chocolate cake. It’s been since just before Valentine’s Day I finally discovered this very easy recipe, but it was so unbelievable for my longing taste buds, I had to make it again (and even a third time)…to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

*pinch* Nope. Still awake.

Cake for breakfast anyone? (Yes, please!)

Continue reading Vegan Holy Grail! Chocolate Cake, an FAQ

Brrrr…I Need Me Some Hummingbird Fluff

So much for our early spring weather! Temps are back into the 30’s (temporarily, I hope) so all of us near the Gulf Coast can experience a modicum of winter before the spring/summer temps are regularly back in the 90’s (which they normally are).

Continue reading Brrrr…I Need Me Some Hummingbird Fluff

Mish Mash Monday

Brazos Bend Sunset

“Educating yourself does not mean that you were stupid in the first place. It means that you are intelligent enough to know that there is plenty left to learn.” ~ Melanie Joy

Veganism is not a religion. It is not a diet or even a ‘lifestyle.’ Being vegan is, simply put, living the very values you already convey — nothing more. For decades, probably like you, I let others dictate many choices for me. Once I learned how to think and act for myself, vegan is what I became.


One Square Inch of Silence is the book by Gordon Hempton I’m consuming at the moment. It is true what he says, that silence is an endangered species. The sound of people on the nearest road from me drown out everything else at all hours of the day and night. It never ceases.

Nature has her own sounds, her own words to speak, but we’ve somehow forgotten to listen. As we grow our population centers, fly in our airplanes over pristine spaces, build our roads to get to and from this place or that, and destroy more and more of their habitats to make way for more of ours, perhaps she might be trying to tell us something. Without the silence, we are unable to hear her message.

Krista Tippet of interviewed him some weeks back which prompted me to read the book. Click on the link for the full interview, or listen to this excerpt from the Olympic National Forest in Washington, a place I’m hoping to visit sometime very soon!

Is there room for wild nature on a planet with seven billion people? There are many of us who say unequivocally, yes. If you missed the series A New Wild on the first pass on your PBS station, don’t worry. It can be watched entirely right there on your computer screen. Homes, Forests, Plains, Oceans and Water, whichever you like first, you’ll want to watch them all, breathtaking and thought-provoking every one.

Winter Wrens and Woodies, Liebster Award

Ox Beetle Grub

“The earth is what we all have in common.” ~ Wendell Barry

Spring Has Sprung In Winter

Right on schedule every morning in the spring, as the sun begins to rise, the Song Wars begin.

Tea-kettle! Tea-kettle! Tea-kettle! we hear from outside our bedroom window.

Nature does things on her own schedule.

Continue reading Winter Wrens and Woodies, Liebster Award

Pink Distractions

9. Details

“Beautiful has never been my goal.” ~ Pink

With now daily walks in the yard as sun sets in the evening, I’m reminded how beautiful everything is outside, whether there are flowers or not. It’s fitting that pink is the first color to show here, exploding forth from the grays and greens and browns that have dominated the yard since November, demanding my attention.

You have it, my Pretties. You have it.

Yellow may be the color of happy, but pink is of the heart.

Continue reading Pink Distractions