Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Forward to 2010

So many things are on my list of goals for 2010.
It's truly been a rough year and I for one am glad it's behind us.
I've learned much.

The coming year I will welcome with an open mind and forgiving heart.
There are cob structures to be made, hoop houses to be built, walls to be painted, paths to be found, fears to conquer, friends to love, fancy chicken houses to be erected, treehouses to be repaired, pigs to raise, harvests to share,celebrations to enjoy, chickens to tame, doggies to train, children to love and teach, classes to attend, plants to grow, earth to dig, trees to trim, camping to do, friendships to strengthen, oneself to be found and embraced,laughter to be shared, sewing to be done for the family, farmers markets to frequent, and on and on.......

Yes I have high hopes for 2010.
If perhaps I'm able to live just a bit off the grid, then I will have accomplished one important goal :)


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Living and remembering a gypsy life

It's been quiet here, I know.
So much has been happening around me. It's seems as if lately life has been a flurry of activity.
Not good, not necessarily bad.
A birthday came and went.
I've always been an overthinker. I analyze and stress over whatever it may be at the moment. I'm trying to make major life changes.
Therefore.....I've been doing just that....doing.
Rather than thinking and researching, reading and concentrating, I just threw caution to the wind and I've been doing.

We've been spending more quality time as a family.
I'm considering school and I'm making changes within myself.

Here are the things I do know.
I want to farm. Growing things brings me the greatest joy.
Consumer is not what I want to be known as when I die.
Photography makes me happy.
Sewing gives me satisfaction.
My family is the light of my life.

I've been reading the books of Juliette de Bairacli Levy.
She seems to me to be an old friend.

There was once a time in my life when my friends and family would not have recognized me. There was a life I used to know that seems to never have been at all.
I lived on the banks of the columbia river. No house, no electricity, no running water. It was a primitive life. Aside from the time spent with my children, it was the happiest time of my life :)
A blogpost on that life will soon follow. I need to listen to my heart for a bit and remember things exactly as they were.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tea and Change

Today was an amazing day. It was calm and productive.
I awoke to frost and rushed out to break ice for the animals and make sure everyone was safe.
Sadly I found that my favorite hen had been abducted by raccoons.

Walking into a pen of feathers is indeed sad.
She was missed during head count :(
I gathered up all the hoses and what not from the garden. It was put off day after day.
This is the reason I want to move to town. Less on my own shoulders.
Perhaps when the kids marry and have children of their own, I can live this lifestyle again :)

My son helped me to unwind soakers and lay them to thaw in the sun.
We cozied the bunny up in an empty chicken coop with water and food and lots of bedding. He was truly grinning at me when I left him.

The mint was still standing, only partially covered in frost. I brought a bit in(what I hadn't already harvested) and made mint tea. My son had been craving it and he was such a help this morning.

I sliced most of my ginger and put it in the dehydrator. The house smelled lovely of mint and ginger.

DO you recall I grew my own ginger this summer.
Put a root(or many) in some nice warm soil in a sunny loacation and it will thrive.
You can grow it indoors during the winter.
We always have ginger on hand. I keep it in the freezer and grate it over many a meal...a favorite being chicken and rice with garlic....mmmmmmmm.

I dry it for tea.
Tea is my new hobby. I've loved tea since I was girl. Back then it was Earl Grey and Constant Comment.

I grow my own herbs for tea and stevia for sweetening.

If I had the time and money for bees I'd have my own honey. For now I buy local raw :)

The kids and I cut snowflakes and painted Christmas scenes. We made long garlands and put them up in archways. I'm thinking perhaps tomorrow we will string popcorn.

Christmas has always been special to me.
I was born on Christmas eve.
My step-grandmother use to tell me how naughty I was to have been born when she was up to her elbows in pie dough. She always made divinity and many other goodies. She was a crochet-sewing-knitting-machine :)
I was not a bit interested when she wanted to teach me.
As I learned to crochet a chain I was B-O-R-E-D *yawn* I do all of those hobbies with great joy.

The special time was spent more with my grandpa. He was my friend.
He taught me to garden and to cook some things and he always, always had time for me.
Every birthday is was a cherry chip cake for me. My favorite.
I'm allergic to strawberries or it might have been you know..and little girls.........

When I think about my grandpa I miss him so much. All these memories threaten to carry me away. It saddens me greatly to know that my kids don't have what I had.
We don't have relatives to go be with during holidays. There are no invites, there are no family get togethers. No crafty grandmas are to be found. No grandpas to sit with you in the grass under the apple tree and eat carrots fresh from the earth.
If I could go the market and purchase for my children a loving family I would indeed do so. I would do it right this very minute.

I love this life....but I long for so much more. I know that's wrong of me.
I long to give my kids summers away at a cabin on a lake and winters skiing and holidays full of laughter and hugs....weekends of aunts and uncles and teasing, mischievous cousins who love you half of the time and are mad the rest, lol.
Perhaps I'm selfish in much of these longings.
I'd like a family of my own.
A father, a mother, siblings.
My father is a man who has absolutely no contact with me or my children and never will, thankfully.
My mother struggles with her own demons, having never let me in and probably never will. She lives her life happily in her own little world of friends and a particular lifestyle. She will never know me. She will more than likely never acknowledge what a horrible childhood I had, yet I do know it might have been might have been much much worse. Not that it matters. I love and respect her for what she has given me.....the greatest gift of all. Life.
I have no siblings. Once upon a time I had a brother and a sister. I don't know where in the world they ended up....if they are alive.
My father lost them when they were small. I shall never know.

I know. Shoulda, woulda, just isn't.

I'm needing Change. I'm feeling trapped and a bit lost. A bit lonely.
I am so very blessed. I know this. Never do I doubt it.

There are moments when waves of happines wash over me and I can't believe how blessed I am. I appreciate every second of my life.
I want to make it a purposeful one.
I say I too much.

My swap pillow arrived. I simply adore it.

She didn't even know I purchased these fabrics to make a quilt.

Sent mine out as well and hope my partners enjoys it.

I'm feeling this overwhelming urge to run through my house tossing everything in sight into a waste bag and giving it a toss right out my door.
My life feels cluttered. When I walk in the door of my home I feel immediate stress.
Yes I do realize that being a mother of five is stressful in itself, but there is no peace here in my home. There is no zen....if you will :)
I look around and see so much unnecessary clutter, junk, stuff.

Do we "need" it? Do we "need" even a little of it? Do we "need" any of it?
I'm ready. I'm ready to donate and recycle.

I was just telling the kids tonight,(as I moved the pile of twenty or so dirty towels to the wash) we really need twenty towels....?
Then I washed about a hundred and two socks :( Seriously.
The blankets I understand. They make sense.
Here's how it goes in my house.
Most mornings not a single comb can be found,not a matching pair of socks,not a glove or snow boot. Yet, yet....we have a zillion of all of these things.
Do we have too much? Do I give them too much? Is the reason they are not resposible with "things" because they have too many "things".
I'm very tired and stressed and tired ;) Happy and excited for the holidays....but tired.
When I go to plug in my phone, my charger is missing, to brush my hair, my brush has gone into hiding,to charge my laptop, the cord is nowhere to be found....this is how it goes....daily.

It's to the point where respect is missing as well. Manners are a thing of the past. Kindness is forgotten. I'm the maid/chef/teacher/warden/farm hand/etc...lady that no one pays a bit of attention to unless something is needed.

Most of this I can handle. I'm a mom (SUPERWOMAN)
What I can't handle is the disrepect toward me and what matters to me.
The compost is not for grease and hamburger and melted crayons.
The recycling needs to be separated.
I want paper bags and no just this one time plastic will not do.
No I don't want that brand of dish soap.
Yes I care about organic or not.
Yes you will pick up that gum you just threw on the ground( I have stepped in gum about umpteen times and everytime I get more frustrated)
No I don't want you to watch that program.
No it is not ok to do that and this and that and that other thing.

Dammit. How do I help them all to care. How do I get my point across that this is important to me. There is one thing I really want my family to learn.
I say family because as much as I love my hubby he is no different than the kiddos.
He's a tv vegging, twinkie eating(I guess he hasn't had twinkies in a while, he claims), plastic bag getting, non recycling, sock losing man.

That one thing is conscientiousness.

I'm going to make some big purchases soon.
The whole house thing is still up in the air. I'm considering building. If we can afford it..if...........if.....crossing my fingers and wishing on a star.

I'm going to help myself along in this endevor, even if it is alone.
My list goes something like this...give or take some things

Country Living Grain mill.
Food dehydrator

where is that list??? I will find it.

Aside from the fact that I want to purge purge purge..I do want some"thing".
Dear Santa...I have always had goodwill mismatchy plates and oh how I adore them....but please will you bring me just one Chirp plate.
I promise to take good care of it and keep it safe and hug it and kiss it and tell it bed time stories......

It has been so foggy and cold as of late.

Please pardon any and all PMS that may have come through in this post ;)

Eventually I will learn how to make the photos bigger....for now please click to enlarge :) night night or...... morning....or happy mid-day to you, lol.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Symphony

to live content with small means
to seek elegance rather than luxury
and refinement rather than fashion
to be wealthy not rich
to listen to stars and birds
babes and sages with open heart
to study hard
to think quietly
act frankly
talk gently
await occasions, hurry never
in a word to let the spiritual
unbidden and unconscious
grow up through the common
this is my symphony

- william henry channing

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.

good enough to read twice :)

Following my heart

That is what I'm trying to do. I'm listening to that tiny little voice inside of me and trying to figure out what to do.
I live in the woods. I see trees, trees and more lovely trees.
I'm lonely and feel isolated, yet............yet I love it here.
My organic garden is just big enough that I can get lost in it, we enjoy walks up to the stream through the trees, my children can run free finding salamanders, treasures from the earth and of course there are trees that need to be climbed.
This morning as I was placing my dried herbs into jars I felt overwhelming satisfaction. I make my own teas, grow my own food, enjoy eggs from our chickens, and truly I see the the forest with a childlike wonder, but it's difficult and heartbreaking while at the same time heavenly. I'm torn.
My childhood left much to be desired. I was isolated and left longing for love and companionship. These are the feelings that have resurfaced since we made the move to the country.
There are two beautiful vintage homes we have been looking at in town. Both have charm and personality, porches and wood floors, fire places or hidden rooms, swings and lovely detailing. Oh they are both so wonderful in so many ways.
The drawback? Tiny little yards. Each being less than half an acre, more near a quarter. City water, bleck!! I would miss our water. Oh our water is sent from the heavens indeed so pure and good.
Pesticides drifting over from the neighbors....on no. What a terrible thought.
Noise and nosiness, yet that could be pleasant sounds of happy bustling and friendships.
Maybe my sweet neighbor doesn't use pesticides on those roses...."would I like a bouquest or two? Well of course I would love some...I've been meaning to make some rose petal jam and won't you come over for tea?" blah de blah de blah :)
Oh this is where my bestest cousin bursts into fits of laughter because I might just be having a relapse of childhood and hallucinating to think we are playing with our barbies.....well nanner nanner to you girlie.
Yes I do so want to move to town, but at what cost?
It is possible to have in town what we have here. Most of it anyway.
I won't have the deer to gaze at and talk to, yet they also won't be having their way with my lettuce.

click to enlarge and see the intruders :)

We will have to give away many(most) of our hens. We give away or sell so many eggs anyway that I think a few less chickens is ok with me.
I won't have the woods to walk through....yet they frighten me much of the time anyway....yes I admit it. Being in the woods alone frightens me. I feel uncomforatble in my garden...not at peace as I should.
I love this life. I also know I would love a life in town. In town I can walk everywhere...therefore saving gas and staying healthy.

We could try to buy the place we are in. It is for sale...a bit high in my opinion. But what's the price for 5 acres of land, a stream, wildlife, a large pond...trees...
This is absolutely perfect if we wanted to go the permaculture route(which I would love to do).....learning more, growing,'s so perfect, but unless I have another family or two who wants to move here and do this with us I'm leaning toward town.
Indeed I love the idea of being completely self sufficient, but I can't do it alone.
My husband works and has little to no time to help around this "farm".
Our children try to help, but they are small and end up being more work for me.
My two oldest are city kids and at this point I'm not sure if I can mold them into farm kids.....I've been trying for a year.
I would love to hear any advice you might have to offer :)

I'm not certain yet what how this will play out.
I'm a strong believer in the fact that whatever happens will happen because it was meant to be.

Here is what I have been working on, aside from herbs and such that I will be talking about on my next post :)
Sorry I haven't been around much. My hubby purchased a few new toys for me and I've been playing.