Saturday, May 31, 2014


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Reece, you had one request when you woke up this go and feed the chipmunks. So we did.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, May 30, 2014


Seventeen years ago today Justin and I moved into this lovely place we call home. I remember the day clearly. We picked up the keys from the lawyer's office in the early afternoon, picked up the moving truck and headed back to our apartment to pack up our stuff. I had to work, so I left Justin and my dad to get everything in the truck and I met them at the house later that night.

It was 7:30pm when I arrived, and the first thing I remember is hearing the coyotes howling in the quarry behind our property, it was eerie and exciting. Then I stepped into our home, it was a moment I have never forgotten. It was my dream home, an old schoolhouse, and it really felt like home. It didn't take long to move everything in, we didn't have much, and once it was all in the house we settled in for the night.

The next morning, bright and early, my dad showed up to knock out a wall, we didn't waste any time making this place ours. While my dad and Justin worked, I unpacked, adding my touch here and there. The next week was spent settling in, and painting. The next weekend Justin's parents stopped by, his mom and I worked together in the gardens, and Justin and his dad worked around the house here and there. My first tomatoes were planted that weekend, and some herbs.

As the roots of those first plants took hold, so did our roots, and slowly they have made their way deep into this place we call home. So much of our lives is in this little piece of land. We are connected to it, and even though we thought about leaving a few times, we never did, the pull to stay was just too strong. And so over the last seventeen years we have made memories here, many good memories. There have been gatherings with friends, celebrations with family, quiet times only Justin and I, and eventually Reece joined us, and we welcomed him into the world and into our arms, right here.

This place is home, it has felt that way from the first moment we stepped into it all those years ago, and today, it is still home. A home full of memories, and so much time ahead to make more.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


This little man of mine is growing, changing, transforming before my eyes. He is full of energy from the moment he gets up until his lovely long lashes close at the end of the day. He can't sit still at mealtime, and as soon as he is finished eating is asking to be excused. He eats his meal and 15 minutes later is hungry again. He is all about doing things by himself. His arms and legs are growing and his torso is thinning out and lengthening. He wants to climb, and forget walking anywhere, he has to run, jump or skip. He is questioning authority and wants to be in charge. He will spend 45 minutes setting up his farm and animals to play, and then not play, but instead move onto something else. He will sit on the swing in the backyard, Justin in the swing beside him, and talk, non-stop for an hour about his life. He is full of joy and laughter one minute and then upset and frustrated the next.

This, in the Waldorf world, is known as the six/seven year old transformation, and is said to start around the age of five and a half, which Reece turned just a few weeks ago. It would seem we are right on schedule. Steiner called this transformation the "first puberty", and from our experiences so far, that is about right. I am reading a book, written by Waldorf teacher Ruth Kerr, appropriately titled You're Not the Boss of Me. In the book, Joan Almon, another Waldorf teacher, likens this change to that of the caterpillar spinning a cocoon and emerging as quite a new creature, a butterfly. It is a transformation on many different levels, his body is changing, his consciousness is changing, and his connection to his world is changing. With all of those changes comes confusion, and frustration.

And that my friends pretty much sums up our last few weeks. It is wonderful to watch as he moves through this change, exciting and interesting, and at times very challenging. I find myself having to dig deep, very deep some days, for grace, love and patience as he, and we, move through this transformation.

It will be of no surprise to you, that both Reece and I are finding our solace in nature as we move through these changes. The moment our feet hit the trail, there is calm and peace. On Tuesday we visited a spot we hadn't been to since the fall, and it was lovely. Time by the moving water, tossing rocks and getting our hands wet, and then a stop at the pond to catch frogs. We spent far more time there then we intended to, but Mother Nature had our backs, and we let her arms hold us both, soaking in the peace and comfort she was offering.

From what I have been reading we are just beginning this transformation, it is a slow journey over the next 18 months. You can be sure we will be spending a lot of time in nature.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Around the Garden

The magic continues this week around the garden. Bits of green peeking out here and there from seeds planted last week, those that were peeking out last week are growing strong and all the beds are now growing something. There are a few empty spaces here and there for a little more seeding of kale, Swiss chard, beets, salad greens and carrots.

The potato beds went in towards the end of last week. We are sticking with the no dig method that we tried last year. It worked like a charm and required very little up keep. Some planter boxes were added to the chicken coop so we could take advantage of the sun in this spot. Strawberries, calendula and parsley are growing in them. The raspberries underneath are doing very well, and I am hoping to add a second row of canes in the next week or so.

The herb garden is doing well, and I have already harvested some comfrey and have it infusing in oil. We have been harvesting and enjoying the nettles at meal time, and some of it has been dehydrated for tea.

Reece was inspired this weekend and asked to do a little work on his garden. Together we weeded it, planted some seeds he had started in the house a few weeks ago, put some green beans in the ground and planted a tomato plant. On Friday we will head to the garden center to pick him up a few eggplant starts. Last week he made a garden stone, and has yet to decide where in his garden it will go.

Some of you have asked exactly what we have planted and have growing around the garden, here goes: Swiss chard, kale, tomatoes, beets, salad greens, carrots, strawberries, raspberries, green and yellow beans, peas, cucumbers, potatoes, butternut squash, zucchini, pumpkins and garlic. In the herb garden we have: lemon balm, motherwort, comfrey, beragmot, echinacea, St. John's wort, chamomile, lavender, peppermint, nettles, calendula, allheal, catnip and yarrow. We also have culinary herbs growing as well: basil, sage, parsley, rosemary, dill, orgegano and chives.

The herbs all came from Richters Herbs, a lovely herb greenhouse not far from where we live. The seeds for most of our vegetables are heirloom seeds from The Cottage Gardener, also pretty close to where we live. And sometimes I pick up packets of seeds here and there at different garden centers, you can never have too many seeds, right?

It feels good to be at the point we are at now, just a little more planting to be done, and then moving onto the tend and nurture stage, as Meghann put it yesterday. Tend and nurture, I like that part, and the other part I like is the eating part, which will be happening a little more with each passing day.

How are things around your garden?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Morning, Noon and Night

Morning, noon and night...three little peeks into my day yesterday.

 Morning, 7:45am

 Noon, 2:30pm

Night, 6:45pm

***If you would like to play along leave your link in the comments section so I can stop by and visit.***

Monday, May 26, 2014

Our Weekend

This weekend has left me feeling so very blessed. We started our Saturday with a trip to the market. It was a quick walk around hand in hand with my little man and his friend, picking up organic salad greens and kale, and the first asparagus of the season, as well as some delicious raw chocolate. Then it was off to a children's concert with the band Woodlandy Dandies. The concert was awesome, the kids had a wonderful time and I enjoyed catching up with friends. We headed home for time in the yard, me gardening and Reece and his friend playing in the sunshine. Our evening included dinner on the back deck by the fire, and then once the little man was tucked in, a quiet night of knitting and reading for me, while Justin watched a little TV.

I was up with the sun on Sunday, and out the door for a run, while Justin and Reece slept. They were both awake when I got back, laughing and playing. I made pancakes, while they headed outside to play. And then we enjoyed our first breakfast of the season outside. Yes, we actually ate breakfast outside. We have been enjoying lunch and dinner on the back deck here and there over the last few weeks, but the mornings have still been a little chilly, until yesterday. It was lovely. Justin lit a fire, and we sat out there enjoying the bird song and the beauty around us.

After breakfast,  I washed the woolens and put them outside to dry. This is our final farewell to winter. They are now washed, dried and put away...until the fall.

The rest of the day was spent in the garden. All the beds are now pretty much growing something.  There are still a few rows left open to do a second seeding of lettuces, kale, Swiss chard and beets this week. It was wonderful to be out there in the sunshine, my hands in the dirt planting the food that will help sustain us this summer and right through the winter. Once I finished up Reece wanted to plant a few things in his garden. We started some flowers inside a few weeks ago, and he wanted to get them in. He also requested some green beans, tomatoes and eggplant. I had one tomato plant without a home, so he adopted it and planted it in his garden. He borrowed some green bean seeds from me and we planted them together and this week we will hit the market and pick him up a few eggplant starts. He was pretty happy with his garden when we were done.

We finished up the day with dinner on the back deck, that was the third meal of the day outside, and then another quiet night, me reading and Justin watching TV.

How was your weekend?

Joining Karen

Saturday, May 24, 2014


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Reece, you rarely sit still these days, I was lucky to catch you this morning, sitting for a moment and taking in the beauty around you.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, May 23, 2014

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Into the Woods

With the sun shining overhead, we went into the woods looking for adventure. As soon as we stepped out of the car we were greeted by the sound of the ruffed grouse. As we meandered along the trail, and over bridges, we heard the ruffed grouse many more times, stopping each time to take it in. It is a pretty amazing sound. As we walked on, the water ran along beside us, creating a sense of peace and tranquility only the sound of rushing water can offer.

We moved from forest to meadow and back to the forest again. We stopped to let a cardinal serenade us, watching him fly from treetop to treetop between songs. As we walked by the pond we heard the frogs and all attention turned to finding them among the cattails and logs in the water. We found quite a few and sat for a while watching them.

We moved on, intrigued by the name of the trail ahead, The Turtle Trail. Wondering if we might find a turtle we followed the path to another pond. No turtle, but lots of tadpoles. Little hands began reaching into the water. There were tadpoles fished from the pond, then released. Laughter filled the air, the sun warmed our cheeks, and nature soothed our souls.

Tired, but happy, we headed home. It was a great morning in the woods.

What's going on in the woods where you live?

Joining Country Kids

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Around the Garden

Front beds



Mesclun mix

Strawberry flower

Back beds


Service berry flower

Apple blossom

Well, it happened, as it always seems to on the long weekend...we got frost. And that is why all planting of sensitive plants waits until after the long weekend. I had plans of getting the tomatoes, and the herbs in the ground last week, but as soon as I head the forecast, all of that changed.

I was a little disappointed, but I would have been even more disappointed had I planted them and lost them. This weekend is looking very promising, so the plan is to spend a good chunk of time getting everything in the ground as the sun shines on us.

There is good news though, the seeds are starting to sprout. Beets, kale, mesclun mix, and salad mix are all peeking out making this homesteader very happy. Every year I plant those seeds and every year I hold my breath while I wait for them to peek out. It is pure magic to me, and it never gets old. Carrots and peas were also planted this weekend, so hopefully they will be showing themselves above ground soon.

And did you see that strawberry flower? We walked in the woods on Saturday and noticed the first wild strawberry flowers and then on Sunday morning as I walked around the garden I noticed the first flower in our garden. Exciting! The strawberries are not the only thing to be showing off, the apple tree is ready to burst with beautiful blossoms, and the service berries are blooming too.

We have been eating a little from the garden this week, just herbs, but it is something, and the simple act of walking to the garden to gather food before our meals feels so right. We have enjoyed omelets with chives and a little parsley, and lemon balm and peppermint have been added to water. And the best meal of the week, hands down, our nettle pizza. It was delicious, so much so, we will be enjoying it again this week.

There is just so much goodness around here right now and every day there is something new. My little homesteading heart is very happy.

How are things around your garden?