Monday, November 28, 2016

One day left, and a new baby pixi hat

Yesterday, I noticed that I never took pictures of the baby pixi hat I knitted a few days ago.  I knew that it wouldn't fit my seven-year-old daughter, who is usually my model for kid's hats.

Then I remembered that our friend and neighbor had family visiting over Thanksgiving - with a REAL baby!  I called them to ask if they would be willing to let me borrow the kidlet for a little photo shoot, and they came right over.

I'm so glad they did, because look!  Is she the cutest baby ever?

But what I want you to do is tear your eyes away from the cute baby and look at the hat.  Because it's for sale in my Etsy store, and I still have my 15% off coupon for you, but only one more day.


Actually, as soon as I listed the hat, it sold immediately.  So now I am taking custom orders, and the cool thing is that you can choose different colors.  Here are the colors:

I am a super fast knitter, so I can crank them out pretty fast in time for Christmas presents.

I have lots of other things for sale as well.

Also, I offer the same 15% discount for my online workshops to learn cheese and yogurt making, fermenting foods (including the best bread you will ever eat), chicken raising, and soon-to-be-announced my knitting tutorial for fingerless mittens.

Coupon code for 15% off - expires Tuesday midnight:


Sunday, November 27, 2016

A walk in the woods, and why grandparents are the best

Since I was confined to the sofa for a whole week (my back is much better now, thanks for asking), and since it has been dumping record rainfall for weeks, I hadn't gone outside for a while.

So when the sun came out the day after Thanksgiving, my sweetie and I went for a walk in the neighborhood, which consists mostly of trees, rivers, and mountains, and a stack of firewood here and there.

Before I tell you about our Thanksgiving, why don't you come along for a walk?

As soon as I stepped outside, the winter sun warming my face, fresh air streaming through my lungs, wind ruffling my hair, something deep inside of me relaxed and let go.  

I NEED to be outside, which is easy to do in the summer, but harder to pull of in winter.  Do you guys realize how much rain we get here?  It's like a rainforest, except colder and muddier.

Being outside with the trees and the open sky is like going to church for me.  Here, I find spiritual sustenance and feel the bigger picture of life, gain perspective on things that are going on around me.

Outside in nature, my anxious worrying seeps into the earth, my troubles float down the river, my negative feelings poof up into the air, and I feel renewed, ready to love and forgive once more.

My best friend Lindsay is a psychotherapist deeply connected with nature, and she has studied in depth all kinds of interesting research.  She once told me that people who have had abusive childhoods and weren't able to attach to people instead might attach to nature.

That's me.  That's totally what it feels like.  The term "Mother Nature" literally feels true for me.  I never felt emotionally nurtured by my German family of origin, but instead spent time in nature, where I felt truly happy.  I spent hours walking the German countryside with my dog, even when I was quite young.

I've been feeling quite sad lately about my family of origin, the disfunction and disconnection of it, the bad blood.  

In stark contrast to that side of my family are my husband's parents.  They are visiting us from Minnesota right now and are some of the most non-judgemental, loving people I know.  They LIVE for their grandchildren.

I keep thinking 'When will they get impatient or sick of my kids?', or 'Should I keep the kids quieter in the house?' or 'How come they don't get tired of playing games with the kids all day?', but all I have seen for years is the deep love and commitment they show for our kids and for us.

Before they arrived, seven-year-old Eva asked, "Mom, are Gramma and Grampa gonna spoil us?"

Why, yes, little girl, they will, and they are, and they have since you were born, and don't you forget that you are very, very lucky to have them in your life.

Here we are giving our dog Raka her birthday present.  She just turned one.

Let me leave you with images from some of our critters in our backyard.

So, so thankful for this amazing life.

What are you grateful for?  Leave a comment here.  Let's spread some positivity around, shall we?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I resisted doing this, but...

I hate shopping.

This might be because for most of my life, I've been poor and didn't have any extra cash to spend on stuff, especially on things that weren't strictly necessary.

So I never understood the hype of Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or at least I judged it to be a terrible marketing ploy of big corporations wanting to stuff their own pockets.

And even when I didn't have much money to spend, I have always been drawn to supporting small, local businesses instead of big companies.

Now, we are a small business ourselves.  

We hosts retreats at our homestead, teaching people homesteading and wilderness skills.

We teach individual courses at our homestead.

We have online Etsy stores, selling our handmade goat milk soaps, handspun yarn, knitted accessories, cheese presses, and traditional wooden bows.

If you are like me and hate shopping, want to support small Mom and Pop businesses, and are getting antsy about buying Christmas presents for people, I want to give you an opportunity to spend your hard-earned dollars with us, Marblemount Homestead.

We offer a 15% discount on all our online courses, as well as a 15% discount on purchasing our handmade wares in our Etsy store.

Coupon Code: GIVINGTHANKS - expires November 29

Our online courses are fun and entertaining, and self-paced, so you can start whenever you like and take as much or as little time as you want. 

You get my movies (me in the kitchen and garden, oh my!) and e-books, and you can download them and keep them forever, watch and read as many times as you want.  

And best of all, you get to interact with me LIVE, ask as many questions as you want, and have me hold your hand.

These courses make GREAT presents for people who are interested in healthy living!

Click here

Click here

And here's a little peak of some of the items in my online store:

We wish you peaceful holidays, lots of yummy food, and great family and friends!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Back spasms, fancy breakfasts, and a forced rest

My twelve-year-old son Luke throws open the front door, stomps in with muddy boots, and shakes off his wet wool shirt.  His blond hair, flattened by rain, lies dark on his head, his cheeks burgundy from the wind.  I take his cold face between my hands, warmed by the wood stove and a cup of steaming coffee and choke back tears.

He looks at me, puzzled.  

"Thank you," I manage.

"No problem," he shrugs.  

I hurt my back and have been on the sofa for a full week.  Standing and sitting sends my back into spasms, and a combination of laying flat on my back, popping ibuprofin like candy, and applying a heating pad keep the worst pain at bay.

Four days ago, the pain felt a little better, and I walked out to the barn to check on the goats.  I didn't lift anything, and yet, when I returned to the house and bent slightly to lower myself onto the sofa, my back went into violent spasms.  Again.

Since then, I've committed to laying low, so to speak.  A nearly impossible "task" when running a homestead, a household, and raising kids.

My three kids and husband now do everything for me, and they do it willingly, hence my sentimental tears when Luke came in from doing morning chores.  I am touched by their uncomplaining help.

Do you think lounging on the sofa all day long for many days suits a person like me?


Still, here are some perks about this whole f*#%$%^ situation:

1) The kids make amazing breakfasts.  They made home made waffles three days in a row, with all the fixings.  Whipping cream, maple syrup, blueberries, the works.

2) I get to practice receiving.  I like being the one nurturing, supporting and holding space for others.  Now it's my turn to be nurtured.  Bring it on, baby.  Where are the waffles?

3) I get to rest.  I don't have to explain this one, do I?

4) My family cooks breakfasts, lunches and dinners.  Heck, some of them CATCH dinner.  Here is Luke after landing a beautiful silver salmon in the Skagit.  Steve cooked it up that night.  It was delicious.

This back injury is not the best timing.  We borrowed a handsome (albeit stinky) billy goat from a friend so that he can breed my goat ladies.  

I would really like to be out there to observe it - not because I'm a pervert, but because I want to see when the baby-making occurs so I know at what exact date to expect goat babies.  I want to be there when they are born.

I'm not used to feeling so disconnected from my animals and my garden.  Usually, I do chores outside first thing in the morning, every single day, month after month after month.  

Ideally, I would trudge out to the goat barn several times a day to check if goat sex was happening, but I can't do that with my awful back.

Instead, I send the boys outside to report any strange behavior and to check the goats' rear ends, since there will be tell-tale signs if the deed happened.

Yup, nothing like homeschooling to give you an education in real life.

When I went to the barn the other day before re-injuring my back, I took the camera to capture what's going on at the homestead in fall.  I was blown away to see so many things blooming so late in the season, even after weeks of steady rain. 

Come with me for a little stroll.  You don't mind if I lean on you every now and then, will ya?

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