Thursday, July 31, 2014


a "pet" moth on her belly button

iced tea for two? 

 growing chicks still with their "mom"

 gardens growing like crazy

 new gardens being made - this one for next year's garlic

hanging out at the farmers market

Emmy helping make coleslaw.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


(Our family at Nolan and Rachel's wedding)

Blogging has really been the last thing on my mind lately.  But  I miss sharing with many of you and also writing something half way intelligible from time to time as well keeping up with a photo journal of sorts of our family's life.   

I often feel like I don't have much to share as the cycle of the seasons keep repeating themselves and what I do from day-to-day rarely varies much from year to year, now that we have been on our small homestead for five years.

But there are changes, just more subtle.  For example, the gardens are producing more than ever and we are getting so much in such a small area.  All I have done is add our composted manure after each year of planting to the walking rows and around the plants and then to new garden areas the year or two before I plan to plant.   So rewarding!   

Oh and we are down to just five children living at home (from 7).     Right now there are two away with grandparents so with just 3 children, the house seems so empty and quiet.  I am catching glimpses of how our life will gradually be changing as each child goes off on their own.  

Working to balance family, community, business, homestead and handwork means for me that I don't often notice big changes and instead need to keep a record each day of what happens.  That is primarily what this blog is about.  It helps remind me of all the subtle changes, small and large accomplishments, the baby steps and big steps, attempts and failures, and of the beauty that can be found in the daily repetitiveness of our simple life.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

In the Gardens

We are eating the rest of the first lettuce, kale, cabbage, turnips, onions, peppers, peas, and carrots.

The cabbage is doing so well this year that we will have 12 very large heads and I will plan to make sauerkraut with about 6 of those but would love more recipes with the others.  Any cabbage ideas?

This year our gardens are on the small side as we were busy with the wedding during the planting season and I didn't want to feel too overwhelmed.

But over the last few weeks I have been adding composted manure (from our goats and chickens) to old and new garden beds to expand quite a bit next year. (At least that is the plan for right now.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Knitting and Reading

I am hoping I will be able to link up with Ginny's yarn along today.
Often with dial-up I am unable to do the special link thing.

I have been knitting lots lately.
Using Peace Fleece yarn I have been knitting Plain Vests for my fiber shop.
I finally finished these little booties - it is the Stay-On Booties pattern from the book, Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas.
Finally, I am knitting a garter stitch blanket using all of the miscellaneous balls of dk weight yarn I have.

I am reading a book that is a quick read - fast and enjoyable, Orphan Train. 
Unschooling, a Lifestyle of Learning by Sara McGrath is also a great read if you want to understand more about unschooling.  I found it particularly helpfpul with supportive ideas to appease the state and am planning to order her unschoolers journal  to help me keep track of all of the daily learning that happens naturally.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


the heat
the Vermont State Parks
eating from the gardens each day
wearing sundresses
watching the "mama" hen with her chicks
flowers throughout the house
feeling like every day is vacation even at home even among the daily chores
 and work
(love this song, Can't Complain, by Relient K)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Living Your Values

"To make public protests against an evil, and yet live
dependent on and in support of a way of life that is 
the source of evil, is an obvious contradiction
and a dangerous one.  If one disagrees with the
nomadism and violence of our society, then one is 
under an obligation to take up some permanent
dwelling place and cultivate the possibility of peace
and harmlessness in it.  If one deplores the destructiveness
and wastefulness of the economy, then one
is under an obligation to live as far out on the 
margin of the economy as one is able: to be as
economically independent of exploitative industries,
to learn to need less, to waste less, to make things
last, to give up meaningless luxuries, to understand
and resist the language of salesmen and public
relations experts, to see through attractive packages,
to refuse to purchase fashion or glamour or prestige.
If one feels endangered by meaningless, then one
is under an obligation to refuse meaningless pleasures
and to resist meaningless work, and to give up 
the moral comfort and the excuses of the mentality
of specialization."
- Wendell Berry

I think that much of my frustrations of the past year have been the result of not living in align  with my core values.  To keep them fresh in mind, and to live consciously each moment - choosing to make 
even the smallest of decisions reflect what is important in my life and in the life of my family - letting my life speak for itself.

What do you think of the quote?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


(But no complaining here as this past winter is still fresh in my memory.)

So we are spending a little more time inside.
Yesterday morning I declared Monday mornings baking day for the week.  
We made bread, banana bread and cookies.
Abby made rabbit treats.  Sarah wanted to join in and came up with her own version of chicken treats.
Later at the table we were drawing, coloring, reading and knitting.