Thursday, September 28, 2017

Autumn abundance and gorgeous-ness in our neck of the woods

So much happened in the past two weeks, I don't even know where to begin.  Big emotions are happening here, I can tell you that.  Our three homeschooled kids are now in public school, and it's bringing up lots of sadness for me, but also incredible pride in how well they are doing.  I'm happy to hear from their teachers something I knew all along: that they are all great kids, leaders, courteous and motivated.

Oh, and also this:

I've never seen my oldest kid in a tie, but last week at homecoming, he showed off his newly acquired outfit (which I purchased at Value Village).  Actually, obviously the focus of his pride here is not his clothes, but his date, who was crowned homecoming princess the night before at the football game.

This is mind-blowing on so many levels.

First, my son is old enough to have a girlfriend?????? (He's almost 15.)
Second, can you believe that I now attend football games????? (I hate football, mostly because I don't understand the rules.)

I'm happy to see that my kids fit in well.  I'm thrilled to know they are expanding their horizons.  I'm glad that I'm overall pleased with this small public school, about which I've heard such bad things for years.  I think the teachers are all incredibly nice and helpful and committed there.

But Gosh darn it, I hate putting my sleepy kids on the bus every morning at 6:30am and welcome them back home at 4pm.  I'm having a hard time getting used to them being gone all day, doing things I have no idea about, learning stuff I have no control over...

It's a good thing, really, it is.  It's just that my mother's heart misses them.  I'm so glad they are growing up.  But this transition is so sudden and feels so harsh.  I feel so many conflicting emotions.  But it's a good thing.  But... but... but...

Here's the bottom line: My kids are getting used to school, and they like it.  They are thriving.

Having all this time freed up during the day leaves me to pursue my own passions.  I'm working on something amazing for you (actually several awesome new things), but I'll tell you about them another time.

Besides working, I also take time for self care.  Mostly, this means biking and spending time in nature.  Cause if you have a place like this, why would you not want to be out in it?

The garden is winding down, and I sowed cover crop in many of my garden beds.  I have to put floating row cover on the soil, lest the pesky birds gobble up all the seeds. 

It definitely feels autumnal, with colder temperatures, plentiful harvest bounty, and ripening fruit.

I just picked a bunch of our European plums, and also some of the daliahs blooming in my garden.

We had to light our wood stove for the first time the other day, and our twinkling lights in the kitchen turn on earlier every night...

Remember the baby ducks our mama Ancona hatched?  They are now almost full grown - it happens super fast with ducks!  (And human children.  Sigh.)

They hang out with our chickens, share food and compete with Raka the dog for food scraps I throw out into the yard.

And talking of food: I'm making a lot of it right now.  There's nothing like a perfectly grilled chicken on our new Traeger BBQ to welcome my kids back from school.

And bread!  Bread!!!  Look at these perfect, beautiful loaves.  They taste as good as they look, and I'm sorry to keep pushing this, but you should take my online course to learn how to make this, along with other things like sauerkraut, greek yogurt, kombucha and beet kvass.  The whole course is only $39, it's totally self-paced, you get to watch me demonstrate how to make all this in my kitchen, and if you read my students' testimonials, you'll want to buy it.

Don't you want to make and eat this bread? Sure you do! Take my online workshop!

In other news of the week, I'm not the only one bitten by the biking bug.  On Sunday, my seven-year-old daughter rode 20 miles with me, and not just on flat, smooth blacktop.  No, she biked up and down some pretty tough logging roads with big hills.  This kid rocks.

Also, we've been spending some quality time at the river.  The salmon are spawning, and it smells ripe out there.  Unfortunately, we can't fish because the season is closed, but we still like to watch the salmon with their huge humps battling in the water.

I'll leave you with images of other busy-ness last week:

Making lip balm with my lemon balm infused and calendula infused oils...

Knitting more hats and head bands.  Winter is coming, people...

And my favorite picture of all, the care package I put together for my friend who just gave birth to her baby son.  The basket includes all things made and raised here on our land by us: a loaf of bread, Gouda goat cheese (I teach another online course on how to make Gouda), tomatoes, cucumbers, smoked salmon caught by Luke last year, goat milk soap, fig jam, a tin of homemade salve, and some pork chops.


  1. My daughter's first day at University of California Santa Cruz is today. She started in community college and when she finished she took a hiatus to work and prepare. Get her head right. I really respect that. She's 25 and going through school at the pace that's right for her. Now she'll succeed.

    What a life. Some day, mom, we'll be lying on our death beds and thinking "Did I spring board my kids right?" and at this point I think we can both say yes and that is monumental.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful life, truthfully (yes?) honestly (yes?). I get really depressed sometimes (might be cyclical) and if I didn't have you in my in box I think I'd be a lot more depressed.

    1. Awwww, honey, now you made me cry. Again.
      Sending hugs. Thanks for the wonderful feedback!

  2. Yeah... kids.... Looks like my youngest one is hitting puberty too now. All 3 of them in that age. I now know where grey hair comes from......
    They develop so fast. Have a real hard time keeping up. And you would not believe the discussions we have here!! No fights, discussions! On topics like politics, society, political correctness, history and how it is all interconnected. Nature, gardening and homesteading are not very high on their agenda though.
    And in the end you can only show them, guide them, release them and hope they'll turn out alright. Sure we did ok, but they have to finish the job and complete the cycle for themselves. They have to make sure they turn out alright themselves too, y'know.
    Damnit if you weren't that far away, I'd come over just to keep you company a bit. And whine about how we are getting old!!

    1. Wow. Three of them in puberty at the same age??? I only have two in that stage, although Eva ACTS like she has PMS already.
      Goodness gracious. We sure are earning our grey hairs, eh?
      And about the discussions nowadays: Same thing here. Verrrrry interesting topics come up around our dinner table...

  3. Beautiful in so many ways, thank you for sharing your life. It is lovely to see someone so proactive and open to growth. Happy days to you and your family!

    1. Molly, you are so welcome. Happy days back right at ya!


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