Image11212013161049After attending the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Convention last week, I feel greatly uplifted.

I had a booth to share my Songs, Chants, and Fingerplays.  (

As I handed out my flyers, I explained that I emphasize a vocabulary of innocence and integrity.

It felt so good to be around thousands of people involved in uplifting society through educating young children.

When I handed our my flyers, I thanked every teacher for her work with young children.

There were a few men who are working in this field, too.

I thanked them for them involvement and presence in the classroom.

Each time, I got a smile back with a deep sense of love in the eyes of the teacher.

One teacher shared with me that every morning when she wakes up, she knows she has a purpose.

The vender hall had two thousand booths.

I had several conversations with other vendors.

The view that the world is changing and that we are able to help it in the direction of unselfish ideals and to instill values which will grow up through society to enrich and improve it, is prevalent.

We are all part of a great work.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage


Real Homesteading!

I feel like a real homesteader now!  At least as much as a person living in suburban North Texas can.  I have been canning for about a year now.  Once a friend got me started, I have continued to explore canning on my own using the Ball Canning Guide and other approved sources.  I pressure-can vegetables and meats, water-bath can fruits, make jellies and jams, and I turned fifty pounds of tomatoes into salsa for my man a couple of weeks ago.  We will see how long it lasts!

More recently, I have been learning to make fermented milk products.  So far, that includes buttermilk, cream cheese and farmer’s cheese, yogurt and ricotta.  In order to continue with more kinds of cheese, I will track down a favorite source for rennet.

I have only grown a few things in my garden.  I am still learning about the importance of good, excellent soil.  However, my green onions returned this fall without any prompting from me.  All of the fruit trees have survived the summer, (peach, plum, apricot and pear and grapevine in the back yard) and two kinds of figs and gooseberries in the front yard.

Non-stinging pollinator mason bees love to visit all the flowering plants, red and blue salvias, Rock Roses, Mexican Sage, Texas Sage, Pink Skull Cap, Turk’s cap, Yellow Bells, Mexican Hat, Mexican Petunia.  Since I find more trees cropping up, I know the birds are doing their work well, too.

I have three fleeces to process, but that won’t happen soon.  Someone will have to remind me how to spin again with my drop spindles again once I get past washing and combing the fleeces.

Quilting continues, however.  I might finish the top of my “Moonscape” quilt.  I’m only a couple of rows of sashing away.  My “Leaves of Green” quilt needs wider borders to be big enough to cover the bed. My “Bird of a Feather” first applique quilt needs a few more special rows of sashing to complete the top.

I love how all the projects fit together to make a home.  They are all good breaks as I continue my business of writing Music Stories of songs, chants and fingerplays for young children ( and start my day with spiritual study and posting for

 © 2013 Kathryn Hardage

Gratitude for Artists

I am so grateful to artists.  I have had two artistic experiences today, and I am so grateful for both of them.  We attended the Picasso and Matisse Exhibit at the Kimball Museum in Ft. Worth this afternoon.  I remember seeing a different Picasso and Matisse exhibit when my two youngest children were homeschooling many years ago.  This exhibit is set up entirely differently with many paintings I have never seen before.  Seeing the paintings of these two artists along with several of their contemporaries gives a remarkably rich context.  I appreciate the historical setting as well, around the time of World War II.

As I am learning to draw and paint, I am able to be more and more appreciative of the dedication and skill of artists to convey ideas and record what they see.  Looking at color, texture, shading, composition, with my beginning awareness, is so exciting.

 My second experience occurred later in the evening when I opened The Children’s Book of Virtues, a collection of poems and stories by William J. Bennett.  The illustrations are by Michael Hague.  As I studied a row of tulips at the bottom of a page, I could see more about the shading of each blossom and the grasses and leaves at each base.  Here are my tulips.


I am so grateful for the time each of these artists has spent learning and perfecting his craft and then developing the individuality that is his signature.

As I read several artist blogs, I appreciate how the women and men each present their views, topic choices, continual observations, and uses of different media.  It is relaxing and comforting to look at these artists and to observe their processes.  But it is hard to actually do for this beginner!  It is worth learning for me, even on a slow timetable.  It is an incomparable skill to have.

I am grateful for the dedication of those whose work continually encourages me.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage