Friday, May 29, 2009

Family Coming

My father and his friend are coming to visit from Massachusetts tomorrow. I have done some extra cleaning, cut some lilacs to put in vases, baked oatmeal raisin cookies, bread, and a cake, and think everything is just about set. We had baths this mornig. Laundry will be on hold for the two days during their visit.

They hope to meet us at Isaac and Abby's baseball game and then we will go out for lunch at an outdoor seasonal restaurant nearby. My father will probably want to rest a bit while I prepare out dinner - to be cooked outdoors on our fire pit. We just moved the picnic table near the outdoor cooking area and we are planning to have some steaks and rice and salad - very simple.

With a large family it can sometimes feel overwhelming to host others. I have and continue to pray for peace and to remember to be a thoughtful hostess and to let go of the unnecessary details that often spin through my head - like the house is just not as perfectly clean as I may like.

The picture above is of Abraham. He was busily playing outside. Nolan, his big brother, put his bandana on him - oh, too cute... I am thoroughly enjoying the moments with this little one as they go by much too fast.

Enjoy your weekend.
Warm wishes,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tree Swallows

We have left a bag hanging on our mailbox because a tree swallow has decided to nest inside. We have a small hole one side of the mailbox, and thus it makes a nice protective home to lay her eggs.

Sorry the picture of the eggs inside is not clearer. The eggs are each just 1/2 inch long and white. She laid one egg each day over three days.
Now to learn how long before they hatch? Hmmm... Now to look that up.

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Toy

Mike and I designed this new toy and Mike made some up using ash and maple.

They are great for toddler's developing their fine motor skills.
We really enjoy making toys that are good for children and good for the environment. All that we make won't ever have to end up in the landfill as they can be added to the compost pile.
Warm wishes,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Through Our Children's Eyes

Sarah, age 5, asked to use the camera and after she looked at them on the digital camera, she said, "Mom, these should go on the computer."
This one she took through our front storm door window.

This one is a our refrigerator artwork.

And this last one is looking out our back window at our gardens.Abby, almost 9 years old, took this beautiful picture of Abraham, 16 months,while she was helping with him the other day.

I am off to get an early sleep to begin another week.

Warm wishes,


Friday, May 22, 2009


Last year my husband built this really simple farmstand to go on the corner edge of our lot.

Here is a picture of it today. I am thinking that maybe that background board needs to be painted. Chalkboard paint maybe?? Or white??? any thoughts....

Today I have brownies, oatmeal raisin cookie bars and eggs out at the stand. Also added a jar of apple blossoms for decor. We have mostly men that stop by our stand, which I find interesting.
We live three miles down a gravel road that is lightly travelled and still manage to sell quite a bit, which is a blessing. Our first farmers' market is June 6.

I am looking forward to the veggies from our own garden. Although, we have been enjoying delicious lettuce from the local organic farm that has greenhouses.

Enjoy the weekend. We are hoping to visit some barn and yarn sales as well as complete some more planting.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Our family lives on a very low income because of our desire to work towards a family centered, low impact, homesteading lifestyle. We are not against earning a lot of money. For us, however, it is not our first priority. We do not believe in supporting big business and thus make very few purchases. We also carefully choose what we do purchase by considering the impact that purchase will have on the environment.

The first step on our journey was to eliminate as many bills as possible. To that end, we bought an old mobile home (vintage 1984), and put it on 3 1/2 acres that we lease in northeastern Vermont. We moved to Vermont from Massachusetts.

Below are some simple, inexpenive, and environmentally friendly ideas that I have been making around our homestead to spruce up our yard a bit.

Here is the trailer hitch end of our mobile home. Mike built a box around the hitch. We added lattice for the sides. On top our thirteen year old son made us some birch edges. I filled a freebie sap bucket with some plantings.

Here is a picture of a bench I made today. I took two birch logs and dug some holes about 4 to 5 inches for them to rest in. I found some lumber we had for the top of the bench. I have not nailed it down yet, however, as I am going to keep my eyes out for a weathered barn board that is wider.

Finally, I use rocks as I find them for borders and walkways.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dandelions and Mud

While I was planting yesterday, Sarah was busy making mud. This is her creation and her comment, "Mom, isn't it beautiful!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Reading

This is a nice blog - Down to Earth

Lots to read and learn

Have a wonderful weekend.
Warm wishes,

Friday, May 15, 2009

Organic Hat and Gnome

I knit up an infant hat with a matching knit gnome in organic cotton yarn for a local farmer's god-daughter's new son. The organic cotton is colorgrown, which means that it is not dyed, but instead it grows a specific color.

More to come soon for our store.


Clothes Dryers use 5 - 10% of residential energy use. Taking the time to hang wet clothes outside can be enjoyable, good for the environment, naturally remove stains, and leave a pleasing scent in the clothing.

Don Laughlin described the clothesline as a "linear solar fabric dehydrator in the backyard."

Also, there is an advocacy organization called Project Laundry List at

We just use a very simple line made of rope hung between trees. Nothing fancy here!

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Show the Chickens

Sarah, our five year old, came inside and said, "Mom, you have to show the chickens who is the boss of the eggs."

She later filled me in a little more. I guess that when she goes to collect eggs and there is a chicken laying in the box she holds the head down while checking for eggs under her so she won't get pecked.

Enjoy life's gifts today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Simple Life

"The simple life is one in which there is always time to remember the divine purpose behind each of our tasks, time to listen for a possible divine amendment to the day's schedule, and time to be thankful for the divine presence at each moment of the day."

- Llyod Lee Wilsoln, 1993

Living simply has made it easier for me to be closer to God each moment of the day. As I pour a pitcher of water into a stainless steel pan from our water reserve to heat on the woodstove, I am reminded of this precious resource God has given us - water. I cannot take it for granted.

As dusk approaches and the light in our home dims, I am keenly in tune with the approaching darkness and begin to light our lanterns.

Here is a picture from my favorite time of the evening as the sun is setting behind the mountains and the light is filtering through the trees.

I also like the above quote about listening for divine amendment to the day's schedule. As mothers, it is even more important to listen to our children and the opportunities that may present themself at any moment, before that moment has passed.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Knitted Sheep

I just came across these adorable knitted sheep at Flutterby Patch - a lovely blog. The pattern looks very simple. These are going to be fun. I just know Sarah will love playing with her own sheep and dressing them with different coats.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Dandelions are a child's delight.

Abby made a dandelion crown today.
Warm wishes,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Home and Business

Our home life and businesses blend sometimes effortlessly and other times more chaotically.

However, I think the blessings outweigh the challenges and we keep on keeping on.

The picutre above is an example of what you may find if you stepped inside our home mid morning.

Abraham playing with a spool of yarn inside Isaac's guitar case while Isaac is practicing on the couch, using the little rocking chair for a rest for his music book.

Here is a picture of rainbow gnomes I knit for a wholesale order for The Little Wooden Toy Shop in Southold, New York. I have posted the pattern in my blog previously and the link is in my side bar.

Warm wishes,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In Between Planting We Eat

Here is Abraham at 15 months sitting on a big person's seat at the kitchen table. He already enjoys drawing. (Those plastic crayons I would never buy as they are not good for the environment - however, Sarah was given some for her birthday).

Today we planted parsnips and calendula. Yesterday the rest of the brussel sprouts were planted. I need to get out right after the lunch clean-up and hopefully before it rains to plant some lettuce at our plot next door. Our soil here just doesn't seem to support lettuce well. The first batch is coming up, but much too reluctantly. Also wanting to get planted some broccoli seeds.

Then we are off to Isaac's guitar lessons. Our mentors in the field of homesteading, Pati and Phil, live just two miles away and Phil has been giving Isaac guitar lessons for just over one year. There homestead is peaceful and it is also where we are sharing a market garden plot.
Enjoy the beauty that the day offers.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Home Based Again

Today, dear husband is giving his two week's notice at the landscaping company. After much prayer and counsel, we feel led that this is the right time to make the move to embark upon our various businesses full-time. We have our farming - eggs and organically grown veggies, firewood harvesting, handcrafts, and property services management.

Keep us in your prayers as we will be working more than ever and that we keep our eyes on God during this exciting new chapter in our family's life.

Warm wishes,


Handmade Sale Books

I made these little books to keep track of our egg sales and feed costs and the other for keeping track of our baked good sales.

They are just made from leftover paper we pick up for free from our local printing press - two holes punched out of either end on the crease with a yarn tied around the binding.

We set up our farmstand on the first of April and I put out our eggs and baked goods out to get customers used to stopping before our veggies are ready.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

In the busy time of spring don't forget

  • mend a quarrel
  • seek out a forgotten friend
  • write a love letter
  • share some treasure
  • give a soft answer
  • encourage youth
  • keep a promise
  • forgive
  • listen
  • be kind and gentle
  • laugh
  • express gratitude
  • speak your love, speak it again, speak it again once more

I needed to read the above - found it tucked inside a book the morning. As we are moving towards increasing our market gardens, growing our handcrafts business, and growing our property services business, I need to remember to take time to be quiet, pray, and love.

warm wishes,