Tuesday, October 15, 2013


This was our kitchen when we first got our farm.  It is about 10' by 10' including the cabinets.  If it weren't for the pantry, I don't know where we would keep food.  As it is, my counters were covered with kitchen supplies that I had not yet found a home for.  To make it appear at least a little larger, I painted over the brown mustard yellow with a white linen low VOC paint.

We only made a few changes as the hope some day is to make it larger.  We went to the Pike Place Market and bought a lovely hand blown lamp shade for a pendant lamp to replace the fixture over the sink, painted two of the walls a beautiful sunshine yellow, and hung old crocheted hot pads around the top of the wall.

Now when I turn on the light, it looks like the sun is shining in the kitchen.  I stand at the sink and hand wash my dishes in the warm glow, gazing out at the chickens running through the yard, or watching the birds flitting in and out of the apple trees.  No matter what the weather is outside, we now have a slice of sunshine in our home.

Changing of the Seasons

Another year is slowly coming to an end.  The dark days of winter approach.  The elk have begun moving from out of the mountains into the foothills for winter grazing.  We have been waiting since the last sighting in spring for their return.

We mark the seasons by the days on our calendars, but that is really just a number.  It is the changes in the plant and animal life that truly marks the changes of the seasons.  This year I canned, froze, and dried food for the winter months.  The broccoli are still desperately trying to put on seed as I continue to harvest their wonderful flower buds for our dinners, although I have allowed some to go to seed and have harvested their seeds too.  The fall trees and flowers are putting on a show.  The pumpkins and squash sit on the bistro table outside looking lovely as the skins harden.  Soon I will cook them too for my family.  The frosts have begun to paint the ground each morning, making the air crisp and lovely to breath.

My goal this past year, and years to come is to track the change of the seasons on the farm and be a part of them.  Following a more natural rhythm in my activities.  My quilt top is nearly ready to be layered with the bottom and the batting, and put in the rack to be quilted this winter.  The house is nearly winterized, and the woodshed nearly built and filled.  The barn needs a last door, the eaves closed in and the last gutter hung.

Thank you elk for coming, and reminding me that the next change of the season is upon us.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Growing up

Sometimes we need to come back home to walk through the paths of our childhood so that we may put some of the ghosts to rest,

and move from the summer of our lives towards our own winter.  Both are beautiful, and both have a lot to teach us.

During the nearly 30 years I was gone from home, my father built this bridge on the farm where I grew up.  After finally returning home, my daughter and I spent a year living with my parents on that farm, healing from a difficult period in our lives.  That year I was able to help my mother recover from open heart surgery, help my father slowly turn over the reigns to part of the family business, and help my daughter gain emotional security.  For myself, I gained some peace of mind.  Walking through the woods, digging in the dirt, and living in the room of my childhood allowed me to reground myself and to put my feet back on the path to the future I wanted for myself and my child.

I will be 48 this year, with a child in college and another in the 3rd grade, and I am taking a walk down the road that has always called to me, only this time I chose it for myself.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Yard Art

In my yard I have planted a bell.  Not just any bell either, but rather one made from the top of a cylinder that used to house a gas.  The artist used other found objects to complete his sculpture, and I have lovingly placed it in my yard amidst the native wild roses and equally wild herbs (but not native).  Sometimes I sit on the bench and stare at the bell or at the different plants taking over the beds, and sometimes I ring the bell.  Sometimes we all need to ring something's bell now and again.

Do you have yard art?  What kind?  What ring's your bell or crank's your motor?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Unplanned Events

Last night was business as usual.  We got home, I started dinner, my partner started a fire, and my daughter let the dogs out and fetched the eggs.  After about 10 minutes I said we should bring the dogs in as it was very wet and chilly, our little dog Jill (aka Jilly Bean) was already in.  Casey (aka Casey Dilla), our big dog was not coming when called.  Micheal went out to find her and discovered her gone.  Our escape artist had made a run for it and was off in the neighboring middle school.  By the time I could get dinner turned off and go after her, she was nowhere to be seen.

After several hours of calling for her and no dog, I called Home Again as Casey is a microchipped rescue, and let the know she had run away from home.  Not 10 minutes after I called, I see this very wet brown face pressed into the sliding glass door looking pitiful.  She came back smelling like she had bathed with some very nasty fish.  I called Home Again and let them know her walk-about was over, then stuck the dog straight in the tub.  She was filthy.

So a wonderful evening of stitching turned out not quite as I planned, but at least it ended well.  Boy will my daughter be happy when she wakes up and sees Casey back.


We are still scrambling to make everything winter ready, especially as summer stopped so abruptly,
but at least the barn is mostly ready.  The new roof was the last major project on it, and the major project for this last summer.  We got one gutter up just before the rains came, so as soon as it dries enough, we will get the other one up.  We still have the sliding door to make and hang, and the overhangs to finish, but those will have to wait until after we get a woodshed in place.  Always something to do around here.