Friday, August 29, 2014


Some people seem to think that home schooled kids don't get enough socialization. Ha! Really?  I think our home schooled children have more social interactions than many of their peers. Our lives are a whirlwind of activities, parties, get-togethers, playdates, and events. Take last week, for example. The week started with a knap-in on Whidbey Island, where flint knappers got together to practice their trade. The kids flint knapped and practiced archery with the seasoned, old farts folks.  Luke wore the buck skin shirt he made.  Don't worry, the deer he is shooting at is not real.

The next day, they hung out with one of their friends at the creek, and then a few days later, they spent two days with another friend, at another creek.  When I say "hanging out at the creek", I mean more like throwing mud at each other and hurling themselves off a log into the ice cold water.  The picture below reminds me of a picture I took of the pigs a few days ago.

Their friend Alden.

Their friend Charlie.
That same week, we took their pal Charlie on a hike to Heather Lake, and later back home to a sleepover.  Charlie is another home schooled boy, and he is delightful: extremely polite, charming, well behaved, considerate, and kind.  Plus, my kids adore him.  They had a blast on the hike, and later after the hike, when they played rowdy football until dark.  Then there was a sleepover in our Fort, and then the next morning at 7am another rousing game of football.

That's Steve and the boys in the lake.  Me?  No. 

And with all these activities, we managed to attend our friends' housewarming party, which turned out to be super fun - for us and the kids.  We have such an awesome community of friends.  Here is Eva with her best buddy at the party.  Yes, Eva is also getting lots of socialization, despite being home schooled.

Let's see, what else happened this week?

Preparing the figs from our tree for dehydrating:

Having the roofing delivered so Steve can start putting a new roof on.  After many days of hot weather and sunshine, it promptly starting raining after the roofing delivery.

Also, I cut into the Cabra Al Vino (wine soaked) cheese I made a few months ago.  Isn't it pretty and oh-so-fancy?  And doesn't Steve look oh-so-happy for getting to try it?

I will leave you with a picture that shows that fall is coming.  There are plenty of crunchy leaves on the ground.  The air is getting colder.  Mornings feel autumn-y...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fame for our homestead - and a wedding!!!

Will you look at this daliah?  Does your heart rate speed up when you gaze at it?  This flower is one of hundreds my friend Brandie and I picked for her wedding.  I have an amazing, generous friend who is a flower farmer, and she let us cut as many Daliahs as we wanted.  We were giddy.  We picked, with our hearts pounding out of our chests.  We kept screaming at each other, "Can you believe this???"  And then, with my minivan stuffed to the max with flowers, we drove to our homestead, where we got ready for the wedding.

I'm still feeling high from the experience with the flowers, the wedding, the 70 people celebrating this love at our homestead...  I won't publish any pictures of the bride and groom to give them their privacy, but I will show you some of the going-ons, like dancing to our own neighborhood band (Jumbled Pie), dressing up in a fancy dress and leading the goats to pasture, posing with my friend Andrea (we sang at the ceremony), enlisting the help of young guests to collect duck eggs...

The wedding and party were a rousing success!  Steve and I felt honored to host this event, and although it was a lot of work to get ready, we didn't feel stressed out at all.  In fact, the day before the wedding, many friends showed up to pitch in with whatever we needed help with.  Several ladies marched into my vegetable garden (the backdrop for the band) and weeded it.  They weeded it!!!  And not only did they weed it, they also looked gorgeous and cheerful doing it!!!  I kept staring at them, shaking my head in disbelief. 

And then, just like that, the wedding was over.  The aftermath of the party was cleaned up, the tables and chairs returned, the flowers slowly moving towards their demise.  And life returned to normal.  It felt bittersweet, that.  Going from glamour, noise and fun to... digging in the dirt, milking goats, shoveling manure, harvesting produce.  But there's nothing more grounding and soothing than doing just that, and so we started feeling our rhythm as a family again.  The kids helped with the onion and potato harvest.  They also helped pick apples and pounds and pounds of figs.  They harvested carrots for dinner, basil for pesto, and blackberries for dessert.

I will leave you with a shout-out for our Homestead.  We got published in Grow Northwest Magazine!  There's a two page article about us and our offerings, and you can check it out here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


If you are like me, and you have lots of projects that need to be finished but never make it to the list of priorities, I advise you host a wedding at your place.  That's what we are doing.  This Saturday, our dear friends Brandie and Bradley (from Arizona) are getting married at our homestead.  We are weeding and mowing and gussy-ing and cleaning and trimming and pruning like maniacs.  Our place looks stunning (except behind the rented port-a-potty, where, for some reason, random crap still lingers).
I am freaking out slightly worried about the weather.  A few days ago, the weather forecast predicted sun and 96 degrees on the day of the (outdoor) wedding.  Now, it is pouring, and there is a chance of rain for Saturday.  Since the bride and groom don't seem to be too worried, I shall settle down and think positive thoughts.
Brandie and Bradley brought their little dog Watson with them.  He seems to be very interested in the big dog-looking animals who also sport curly tails, like him.

We are not just working to get ready - we are also allowing plenty of time for fun.  For example: hiking one of my favorite mountains, Hidden Lake Peak.  This is a pretty strenuous 9 mile hike that you might not want to undertake on the hottest day of the month (ask me how I know).  It was a hot magical hike, with lots of sweat wild flowers, giant patches of snow for sledding down on, a fire lookout on top, and very sore knees great conversations on the way down.  I still can't believe tiny Watson made it all the way to the top.  And down again.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

It was hazy because of the wild fires on the East side

Watson was hot, like the rest of us, but the hell of a trooper!
Kai putting up with my constant picture taking.  Thank you, Kai.
And that would be Lukas, throwing snow balls at his brother.

The Sahlin family, minus Eva, who wouldn't have lasted five minutes.

Doesn't this picture look heart stoppingly dangerous?  That's because it is.
Hidden Lake, with ice floating in it.

Steve and Bradley
I will leave you with an image of last week's market in Marblemount, where Kai and Lukas provided musical entertainment with fiddle and keyboard.  They also sold a record amount of their own tie dye shirts, birdhouses and carved spoons!

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