south OC

This sounds like a perfect place for somebody I might know. It’s a guest house on the property of a woman I like very much. There are chickens. It feels like it’s in the woods.
It’s the kind of place I would have chosen for myself back in the day when I wasn’t a part of a family of four.
Here’s the blurb:
My name is Jodi & I have a small 1-bedroom available in Trabuco Canyon for rent. The property is in downtown Trabuco Canyon, where there are more oak trees than houses; dirt roads, roosters, horses and hiking close by in all directions. There are currently two residents in the main house, next door to the 1-bedroom rental.

About me: I am the director of Earthroots Field School and my yard is where I experiment in sustainable living. There are always projects going on in the yard. We have ever transforming grey water-fed gardens, rain catchment, compost piles, fruit trees & chickens. I play guitar, teach children, love spending time in nature, am very crafty and enjoy spending time with my family. I eat healthy, get plenty of sleep and love adventures.

The ideal renter enjoys rural living, doesn’t mind the extra commute, and earns a comfortable & steady income.

Please read the craigslist ad for more details. Feel free to pass this along!
Jodi Levine
(949) 400-3340

Visit the posting at to contact the person who posted this.
Under the Oaks

Available: Small 1-bedroom with micro-kitchenette and bathroom. Current residents living in separate house on property will rent to a responsible, conscious person with interest in sustainable living.
Rent includes use of laundry, WiFi and shared garden space growing organic food.
Available Now $900 per month + $1000 deposit
This oak canopy 1/2 acre lot is a 10 minute walk from O’neill Regional Park, with hiking, biking and horse trails. We have chickens, a dog, veggie gardens and fruit trees. We are developing our water reuse system and rooftop rainwater catchment.
This canyon community is horse-friendly and off the beaten path of OC.
We are health conscious environmentally aware educators & musicians
By appointment only.
Jodi (949) 400-3340

Location: Trabuco Canyon
it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Original URL:


This last Friday Christian and I participated in a monthly gleaning hosted by the local Irvine homeschooling group – where we went out for two hours and helped harvest, or in this case plant, food in the Incredible Edible Park. While I got a bit lost and arrived late, we were able to plant cauliflower starts in teams of three until the job was done.

This is the kind of win-win kind of activity that I just LOVE.
To start, The Incredible Edible Park is eight acres in the middle of suburban Irvine that was donated to Second Harvest Food Bank by Edison.
This garden provides over 300,000 POUNDS OF FRESH PRODUCE EVERY YEAR to this local food bank.
Although there are two daily full-time workers (riding tractors), volunteers do much of the planting, weeding, tending, and harvesting work.
Christian and I get to get our hands dirty and learn about gardening.
For FREE! (I love Earthroots, a local non-profit that has a Toddlers in the Garden program – but that costs $25 per two hour session. Luckily, I am able to offer web editing services for a trade…)
We normally get a part of the harvest to bring home as a “thank you.”
And the best part? We are working with a group of HOMESCHOOLERS!
Wait, is the best part that we are feeding the homeless?

We plan to go back the first Friday of every month from now on.
I even got permission to post it as a meetup for the South OC Attachment Parenting Meetup group.

If you want to join us, let me know and I’ll send you the particulars. The cauliflower we planted this weekend will be ready in 60 days. I’m already looking forward to next month.

Aiden turned six on Monday – and he wanted the same train adventure that his sister had had for her birthday the previous month. We took the same Amtrak line south from Irvine, but stopped in Solana Beach for pizza at the Pizza Port and boogie boarding at the small cove beach there.
The boogie boarding was a blast – really exhilarating.
Great day!

The gang that rode the train (grandma, great grandma, and great aunt met us for lunch too).

We made short work of the lemon-y birthday treats.

The girls couldn't get enough sand play - they were very focused.

Birthday boy impressed us all by catching come good waves! Christian was content to balance on the boogie board and pretend he was surfing.

All the babies crashed out hard at one point or another. Here's Oliver in zoneland.

We’re getting ready for our annual World Breastfeeding Week Family Picnic. I’m in charge of the vendors. This is the meetup description I posted for my attachment parenting meetup group.


August 7, 2010, 11am-2pm
Alta Laguna Park in Laguna Beach
(PCH to Laguna Ave, which turns into Park and you take Park to the top of the world and turn Left on Alta Laguna, the park is on the right).

Bring your sunscreen, sun umbrella, and blankets or chairs.

This event was a tremendous success last year – besides raising several thousand dollars for the local La Leche League groups, about 150 families had fun all day long.

Again, we’ve already scored some wonderful donations for our opportunity drawing and online auction and family gift bags. The first 100 families get a goodie bag! So far, the gift bags will include Natrcare products, a copy of Mothering Magazine, samples of Tanner’s Tasty Paste, Badger’s Lip Balm, xylitol chewing gum by xclear, and more.

There will be 9-10 vendor booths with local businesses including an on-site photobooth with Steph Fowler Photography (see last year’s sweet pics here), the Shoebox (professional shoe-fitting for our toddlers), and cloth diapers through

We hope to see you there; it will be great fun for the whole family. We’ll be having a BIG bake sale, all-natural hotdog sales, and a craft and game for the kids. Please pass this info along to all your friends.

See you soon!
Sierra, Kimberly, and Hope – LLL Leaders
and core volunteers Liz, Jeannie, Noel, and Jaimie

If you would like to volunteer an hour of your time setting up, breaking down, or minding a booth, check this link to peruse our volunteer sign-up, bake sale, or items needed spreadsheets (through google docs).
Then contact me and I’ll add you to the list!

P.P.S. To see what was in the 100 FREE gift bags we gave away LAST year, check here. This year, the loot bags promise to be even better. We’ll post a list of items soon.

[The strike lasted three days. Here is an article at the oc register recapping what happened and what was tentatively resolved.]

The teachers’ union of Capo Unified has officially announced a teacher strike starting tomorrow.

An email from the principal tells me what my child will be taught should she choose to attend school tomorrow:

“We will have college educated substitutes that have passed the California requirements to substitute in public schools.  Many have asked what will students be learn. As stated earlier – life skills. More specifically, students will learn three separate things that will be useful for a lifetime. They will:
1.      Determine their personality type through the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of their personality. They will discuss which personalities they work well with and what professions may be a great fit. Many of you may have taken such an assessment in your career.
2.      There will be a personal finance lesson on steps to buying new and used cars. (Hopefully with their own money.)
3.      Students will learn about the process of personal self image and the role that microbes play in their everyday lives. Foodborne illness, the threat to food safety, and adolescent slowdown will be reviewed.
These assignments are meant to be enriching exercises for our students.”

Bella will be at home studying for her three AP tests, which are unfortunately scheduled to take place in two weeks time.

Good news: Bella got a 100% on her last pre-Calc test! That brings her one B up to an A – finally! Woo-hoo! GO BELLA!

We were three moms, five children, and three strollers...

For Anna’s 4th birthday we took the Amtrak train from Irvine to San Diego, the #7 bus from downtown to the Zoo and back again. You’ll notice that there are not any pictures of animals – we didn’t see many! Besides which, once we were on the go, there wasn’t much time for photo-taking.

The whole day was a travel adventure and we had so much fun that Anna’s older brother asked if we could do the exact same thing for his birthday next month.

While the Amtrak is considerably more expensive than Metrolink – it’s the only service from OC to San Diego.  A trip of comparable distance (OC to LA) on Metrolink costs $15 or so on the weekend (20% less than during the week) and you can purchase a Friend and Family Pack which costs $29 FOR FOUR ADULTS ALL DAY! The Metrolink ticket (for the time being) also includes free rides on the LA subway and bus system the same day.

But the view to San Diego is waa-aay nicer. You ride along the coast and get a great view the whole way up and down. Worth the $40 round trip once, I guess.

Here’s a short clip from our return trip.

One of my favorite events of last year was the May Faire that was hosted by the Waldorf School of Orange County and it’s almost that time again. This year’s May Faire will be May 1, 2010. I am definitely going again. It is everything you could want in a family-oriented holiday celebration.

Imagine hundreds of children (and parents!) dressed in white and wearing flower crowns. There were flowers EVERYWHERE! Honestly, you’ve never seen so many flowers in one place in your life.

Every grade performed a May Pole dance of increasing difficulty, until the sixth grade did some kind of spider dance that wound the entire pole in an intricate pastel pattern – and they UNdanced the pole. It was fascinating and impressive to watch.

The audience, on picnic blankets, was rapt. None of the vendor or food booths were opened until after the performances were over.

Folks entering the Faire. The flowers smelled wonderful and set a festive, gay tone.

After the grade school performances there was a small bluegrass band called Dogwood performing for the rest of the day – with a CALLER! She called square dances, Virginia reels, line dances, and other simple fun dances for the whole family, all day long. That alone was more than worth the cost of admission (which I don’t remember precisely – but it seemed small – under ten dollars.)

There were also some craft booths (making a flower garland was free – making a small bumblebee from wool roving cost a dollar), game booths, vendors of artisan wooden crafts, and other natural products, and the food? Well, you might expect some hippy vegetarian grub, and while that was an option, there were lovely grilled turkey panini sandwiches and heaps and heaps of buttery baked treats for sale. You could also choose grilled eggplant panini – yummmm. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, considering that it was a school fundraiser picnic – but I shouldn’t have been – everything detail of this event was deliberately and consciously planned. I even caught myself wanting to meet the organizer and offering to be her apprentice!

It was all very very sweet and I look forward to attending this year. Christian will enjoy it even more this time around. Maybe we’ll see you there?

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