Sorry for the Radio Silence...Update on Classes, Posts, Kids and More

Things have been a little nuts here.

Two weeks ago Eric and I took an emergency placement of two children, six and 17 mos.  It turned out to be one of the most exhausting and stressful placements we've ever had, not because of the kids, who are delightful (although I had somehow forgotten what 17month olds are like - the "oh, yeah, I was hoping you'd pull all those books off the shelves and try and feed them to the cat" quality of that age toddler ;-)), but because of really complicated circumstances I can't talk about.  Let us just say it involves a lot of things we've never been buried in and there have been a LOT of ups and downs for the kids, for us, plus some language complexities since the family is partly non-English speaking (I forgot how tiring it is is to constantly be translating, until the "automatic" kicks back in) and everyone is pretty exhausted.  The children are wonderful, but the circumstances are hard.  They will probably be with us until the middle of next next month.

Add in finishing my book (which was supposed to go to the editor umm...a bit ago), Passover preparation plus seder for 26, and Eli's rapidly approaching adaptive bar mitzvah (he doesn't have a lot of language due to autism), and we've been overwhelmed.  In the midst of all of this, I had the odd experience of something I wrote (My piece below "What Foster Parents Wish Other People Knew) going semi-viral, showing up on Andrew Sullivan,  including an appearance (sadly without me, I was out foster parenting when they called to get me on the show) on Talk of the Nation.  Which was pretty freakin' amazing.  I've had a lot of interview requests about it since then, which have also been keeping me busy.

Oh, and we had six baby goats born in early March due to an accidental fence crossing last year, and have been nurturing our babies through - Clara, Beethoven, Mussorgsky, Nocturne and Sonata are all doing beautifully now, as are their mothers.  Normal baby goat season will resume shortly, as hopefully spring actually comes.

So, apologies for the comparative quiet.  Things seem to be settling down a little now, we're actually getting a tiny bit of sleep, and I hope to be back to normal, finish the bloody book, and get started on other things.

Among other things, I've had a LOT of questions about when I'm going to run classes again, and I had planned almost two weeks ago to put this information up, but well...things ensued.  I'm offering three classes, two of them brand new over the next month and a half, so please email me at to find out more.

All my classes are offered ONLINE on FACEBOOK (you do have to use FB to participate, but I'm happy to help you create an anonymous account only for this class) and are ASYNCHRONOUS (ie, you participate when you have the time, I put material up on particular days and respond as we go)  The classes I'm offering are:

1. NEW! Sustainable Garden Planning to be offered over 4 weeks, Starting Thursday April 5 and running to Thursday April 26.  The class will focus on maximizing your garden, whatever its size or shape with perennials, season extension, critical edible crops for sustainable production and food security, and crops suited to preservation.  I'll help you come up with a garden plan designed to get you the most from the fewest inputs both purchased and of time and energy.  Cost of the class is $100 and I have a couple of scholarship spots available as well, email me for details.

2. NEW! Crisis Intersections and Personal Planning  This is a four week class running from Tuesday April 9 to Tuesday April 30 on how energy, climate, economic and various social and demographic issues are likely to intersect.  The class will focus on the feedback loops and connections between them with an emphasis on understanding how the future may play out given our complex collective crisis.  My husband Eric Woods, a Physics Professor focusing on Environmental Physics will also participate in this class to provide some additional perspective.  The goal here is to help people understand more fully what is coming, and also to be able to get a better sense of how it will play out in their region, their local economy, their communities, etc...  Cost of the class is $100 and I have a couple of scholarship spots available.  Please email for details.

3. Food Preservation and Storage This is a six week class beginning May 2 designed to get you ready for the garden/farmer's market season, to teach both basic and advanced food preservation, and also to help you build up your storage.  We'll cover all the major techniques from canning to drying to lactofermentation, we'll also talk about bulk purchasing, food storage on a budget, dealing with special diets and health issues and many other subjects.  I'm going to limit the class size here to make sure everyone comes out with a plan for their next steps and the skills to take advantage of the season's produce, so please register early.  Cost of the class is $150 and I do have a few scholarship spots available.  Please email at  for details.


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Glad all is well. Kiss those babies for me. Goats too! :)

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