Monday, September 15, 2014


Friday I felt it - I felt it more than I ever have - connected - connected to family, homestead, and Creation.   

Today wasn't all that different than most.  But the air was very cool, crisp and energizing.  
I felt quiet, at peace, knowing that what I am doing to care for our family and homestead is full of meaning - not in terms of money - but in terms of the interconnectedness and results.   

Between shoveling the compost we get from the goats to put on the garden bed I am preparing for the garlic planting next month, to pulling and peeling the outer leaves off the leeks and feeding them to the goats.  The leeks will be used with our cabbage to try out the Cracked Pepper Leek Kraut recipe from the most recent issue of Taproot.

By having our son, Nolan, and his wife Rachel come by while their car is being repaired.  Nolan goes down to the workshop to work for our business for a couple of hours and Rachel picks apples from our trees and makes apple crisp with Sarah and Emmy.

By eating our first butternut squash for dinner and giving the guts to the chickens for a treat.
Jars of dried calendula and lemon balm ready to be used for the winter's tea.

Simple but not easy.  Hard work but rewarding - both for the soul and body.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Knitting and Reading

I am knitting another little top down sweater with a pattern from Elizabeth Zimmermann's book, Knitter's Almanac.

This one I am making more of the yoke in garter stitch and then am going to switch to a shade of purple for the rest of the body and make long sleeves.

I am ready a really great book that I found at a library book sale,  As soon as I read the recommendation on the back by Barbara Kingsolver, I was hooked.  It is a memoir in which the author at age 50, questions many widely held assumptions of our culture.  While I certainly don't agree with all of her views, I appreciate her rawness, her honesty, and her beautiful writing.  Has anyone read this?  I would love to hear what you thought.

Here is a quote:
"Sometimes speedy life whizzes you along so fast that nothing registers, like landscape from a speeding car or meaning in a speed-read text, so that every saving in time is paid for in lost experience."

Joining Ginny today.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Just Grateful

(Our first pumpkin pie - recipe for filling and crust from Nourishing Traditions)

This September weather has been so amazingly beautiful.  The skies have reached their peak of blue.  The sun's warmth is still felt but the air has a crisp fresh feel.   The nights are cool enough for wool sweaters and snuggling.

This past week I was reminded to be grateful for health - health of body.  I did something ridiculously foolish last Tuesday.  A woman stopped by the library to donate books and she had them in a large tote in the back of her car and said she needed help bringing them in.  I, of course, being the strong, capable woman I am - offered to do it myself.  My lower back felt the errors of my ways almost immediately and for the rest of the week I suffered in pain.  I was reminded to be grateful of how seldom I am in pain and cannot imagine how others deal with chronic pain.   I was reminded of how caring and helpful my husband and children are when push comes to shove.

Then Saturday night Emmy woke at 3:00 am complaining that her stomach hurt.   I lay with her in our bed comforting her, rubbing her belly, praying that God would give me wisdom to discern if it was something serious or just a temporary bug.  About an hour later I had my answer when she sat up to vomit.  Although we had to change our sheets and bedding, I felt so grateful to know that it was most likely a passing stomach bug of some sort and although it meant that I needed to be vigilant for the next hour or so (because as most parents know, generally another episode of vomiting is imminent), I was comforted and felt at peace.  

Today Emmy has the sparkle back in her eyes and color in her cheeks and the energy of an almost three year old.  And I just might carry my first bucket of water to the animals after nearly a week off.  All is good.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Favorite Zucchini Bread Recipe

1 1/2 c. grated zucchini
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. melted butter
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. chopped nuts

I just combine all of the ingredients and pour into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 - 55 minutes.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

One Day

Emmy painted rocks.

Abraham received 2 magazines in the mail and chose to do some work in a workbook.

Sarah found a Woolly Bear and she looked up what to feed it and then got to work on building him a house.

Busy with business and then we all worked together in the afternoon to get the "shop" cleaned up.

So much more happened, of course, but all of this is pretty typical of our nonstructured but routine daily life.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Knitting and Reading

I have been enjoying lots of knitting.
The vest on the left is the Shalom, and is for me!  I used size 10 circular needles and Peace Fleece yarn.

The pattern for the little sweater vest on the right is one I adapted from the Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  I am looking forward to working up different versions of this top-down pattern in many sizes and some with sleeves as well.  I need to sand the maple buttons Mike made for me and then sew them on.

I am reading through Cold Antler Farm and love Jenna's writing - her humor and passion is contagious.  Keeping the dream alive!

My more intellectual reading is Creation of the Heart of Man.  This is a study on the Orthodox Christian perspective on environmentalism.  I am working on my own study of environmentalism and Christianity because my heart tells me that the two go hand and hand, so I am digging into what the Bible says about this topic and am reading viewpoints and thoughts from other authors.

Joining in today with Ginny.