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As the seasons change and the morning air shifts to brisk, I feel compelled yet again to nest. I get butterflies in my tummy just thinking about Autumn: dragging out the board games, swapping swimmies for sweaters, apple pie…red wine. It’s true, I love it. Somehow being able to cook for hours on end, hanging out inside with a fire and some jazz, gets me where I live.

Like my girl friend said the other day, “When it’s Fall, I never feel like I’m missing anything if I just want to do the cozy thing inside.” And it strikes me: the freedom that actually limiting possibilities creates! When the multi-task list is forced to be shorter, when I don’t feel the juxtaposition of being pulled simultaneously to windsurfing and baking bread! Sweet relief, the Autumn List (this I can tackle!): cook, read, eat, rake, play, craft, dance, sing. Sounds so do-able.

But, of course, the whole concept of home (and Autumn) varies like crazy across cultures, across time-zones, from family to family. Right now “house” for me is a pretty shabby apartment. When I was a kid it was in the projects of Washington, DC.  A few years ago it was a hobby farm with a view and a few years from now it may be a shipping container. And no matter what, as long as I’m there usually with my kids, sometimes with my sweater and wine it always has been and always will be my home.


Natural Pod is giving away one of our newly launched, (first) FSC® C012337-certified Doll Houses. This beautifully designed, heirloom toy stands 2.5 feet tall when it’s set up, but then easily dismantles (no screws or glue) and stores flat when it needs to disappear. And to help make it a home, it comes with a single bed, double bed, 3-seat sofa, stove, dining table and bench! See what Green & Clean Mom and UpScale Baby had to say about the Doll House just this week.

What do I have to do?

  1. Tell us. Write it, video it, sing it, haiku it. But just tell us how it is you make your house a home either below or on our Facebook page. Do you cook more (like me)? Knit more? Craft more? Do you work more so your time at home is so minimal that baking and fires are just the stuff dreams are made of? Do you host a killer soiree? Do you work at a soup kitchen as more and more people are forced to adapt to the Autumn chill of their home-lessness?
  2. Nominate who gets it. That’s right, it’s not just anyone who’s getting this Doll House. It’s someone, some place, that opens its doors, that creates the concept of “home” for all who walk through its doors. It may be a non-profit center for families; it may be a Grandmother down the street who plays guitar for the neighborhood kids every Tuesday afternoon. You let us know…who do you know that opens their arms? (And please make sure that if they’re the winner, they’ll actually want to receive a big, beautiful doll house…)
  3. Encourage your friends to do the same. So here’s how it’ll get fun: when your friends “tell us” how they make their houses homes AND they nominate the same doll house recipient, the challenge will be on! The nominee with the highest number of unique, contributing supporters before October 31, 2009 will receive the Doll House (a $595 retail value) at no cost to them!
  4. Become a Natural Pod Facebook Fan. When you become a new fan of our Facebook page, we’ll give you an extra entry!

Is this going to be fun or what?

Every Monday (the 5th, 12th, 19th and 25th…mark your calendars) we will update our Natural Pod blog and Facebook Page with a running tally to see which nominee’s ahead and to share our favorite stories, videos, sonnets with you. On the 31st of October (a Saturday Hallow’s Eve itself!) Natural Pod’s very own Bridgitte and Dalit will tally up the results and figure out which nominee got the most votes and we’ll post the big results!