Ellen Rowland is the author of Everything I Thought I Knew, a collection of essays about living, learning, and parenting outside the status quo. Her essays and articles have appeared in Life Learning Magazine, The Homeschooler Post, Otherways Magazine, The Washington Post online, More Magazine and Natural Life Magazine. Her poetry has been featured in Braided Way Magazine, Rue Scribe Journal, The Mindful Word and Pivot and Pause Anthology, among others.

 After spending 15 years in New York City, where she built a career in art and design and met her french-born husband, she and her family moved to Senegal, West Africa when her children were three and four years old. They built an earth house, lived off-the-grid, grew their own vegetables, and began the journey of learning through living. She and her family currently reside on a small island in Greece where they plan to restore a goat barn and call it home.



What is a muddy life, you ask?

It’s a deep, lusciously layered puddle where nothing is ever just black or white–including people, perceptions, ideas and identities. A muddy life is our own uniquely swirled concoction, one that’s hard to label because the outlines are smeared and murky. But that’s O.K. We like it that way.

A muddy life slips outside the box, slides past the status quo and doesn’t get mired down by what the Joneses are up to. A muddy life is fed by a rivulet of constant questioning with heart and mind wide open.

My own muddy life is about taking risks, something I’m terrified of doing, although I’ve never regretted taking the plunge. Risks don’t always work out. But when they do, what joy!

Mud surrounds us during the rainy season. Sometimes we leap over it. Other times we lay down stones to make crossing to the other side a little easier. But most of the time we just play in it.

On this blog you’ll find all sorts of stuff on sustainable living, interest-led learning (also known as life learning or unschooling), musings on family and culture and an occasional mud pie recipe!

I hope you’ll enjoy your visit and come back often!

Ellen (the Muddy Mom)

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle wonderful.” –E.E. Cummings


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