Monday, November 30, 2020

Let me cheer you up!

This is one of the strangest Thanksgiving many of us have spent in our lives, don't you think? We usually get together with family and friends and have a huge party - but not this year.

This year, our dear friend and her daughter came to feast with us, since they are in our "family pod". We haven't seen very many people since the pandemic hit, but we do spend time with a few select "family of choice" folks.

I think this Thanksgiving was one my favorites ever, because it was quiet and sweet, with lots of nature.

I would love to take you by the hand and show you what we encountered on our walks in this beautiful area we moved to.

This barn is not on our property, but we look at it every day out of our back door. Isn't she gorgeous?


It can get super windy here, which I love. The bird life is INSANE. The Skagit Valley is famous for its bird watching opportunities, and with that, also hunting. When we walk, we hear lots of shots from hunters shooting ducks and geese.

Good thing they can't shoot swans, eagles and herons, because I love them.


In the afternoon, we went for a walk to Padilla Shore Trail, an area I adore because the view is gorgeous, the wind can be vicious (which I love), and wildife watching is a treat.

We "ran" into playful otters, lots of eagles, herons, an owl and hundreds of other birds. My naturalist-nerd friend was in heaven, and our girls got their feet wet.


The next day, we hiked to Samish Overlook. This is a spot we see from our kitchen and dining room windows, and it's also a place that holds incredible significance for me.

It's the place my host family took me when I came to the United States from Germany for the first time. It was 1992, and I was an Au Pair for a doctor's family. On the first weekend in America, they took me hiking, and I watched hang glider pilots launch themselves off the mountain.

Little 20-year old me was awe struck by this adventurous sport, and I struck up a halting conversation with the daring hang glider pilots. My English wasn't very good back then, but I must have been charming enough to have one of them offer to take me on a tandem flight the next weekend.

Of course I took him up on this, and my life was changed forever! I spent the next two years training to be a hang glider pilot. (I never did a solo flight. It's a long story which I might tell one day).

Anyway, when my friend and I went hiking on Thanksgiving weekend, we ran into a guy I used to fly with and now had switched to para gliders. Fun memories!

I hope you liked our little walk just now and felt yourself inspired and your spirits lifted by the pictures. Nothing like a little natural beauty to cheer you up, eh?

How was your Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Incredible news!

Many of you have wondered what is going on with us and our homestead. After I announced that we are selling Marblemount Homestead in July, I haven't published a single message here.

I'm gonna make a long story very short and tell you: we decided to KEEP our homestead!!! 

Yes, we DID move down valley to the Skagit Flats in March, where we started a new garden and smaller scale homestead.

But every single time we went up to Marblemount to prepare our wilderness property for sale, or to show it to interested buyers, or to visit friends, I bawled my eyes out. I've had more migraines from crying about the prospect of selling our place than I can count.

So we are happy to announce that we found wonderful young folks to rent our place. They are dreaming of having goats, a garden, and many bonfires around the good old fire pit. We are so happy!

And I can finally stop crying.

In the meantime, so much has happened, you guys.

Ever since moving from our home in the wilderness to the Flats in the West, we've been impacted by the pandemic, just like the whole world has been. Before we moved, we had visions of the kids going to a better school with many more opportunities. Well, school has been all online for nine months. No in person meetings with new friends.

We had visions of going to the local YMCA, working out, swimming, meeting new people... Nope. It's all shut down.

We dreamed of a huge housewarming party with lots of friends. Nah. We do hang out with a small select group of people, called our "pod", but there are not lavish parties...

So instead, as always, we take solace in nature. We've been biking, hiking, kayaking, and playing in our beautiful Pacific Northwest as much as we can. 

My hubby and two sons climbed to the very top of Mount Baker! What an amazing albeit exhausting feat!!!

It was a smoky summer due to many wildfires.  So our hiking and outdoor activities were pretty numbered in August - just another checkmark in the 2020 S**t-show...


Aside from being in nature, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer in zoom coaching sessions. I've been working more than ever as a Feminine Power Life Coach for women, which is incredibly rewarding, and also takes a lot of my life force energy in these crazy times working from home while also homeschooling kids...  Ahhhh, the balancing act of being a working mother....

And on top of this, we grew a productive garden! I made lots of pickles and sauerkraut!

We picked apples from our Marblemount orchard one weekend, and when we came back the next week to get the rest, all that was left were humongous piles of bear poop. Oh well... We had enough fruit to press into cider to give us ten gallons  for fermenting into hard cider.

In other news: Our kids continue to grow and flourish. I can't believe our oldest will be 18 in a month. And our middle kid got his driver's license in October. And the baby of the family is not such a baby anymore.


What a journey in these uncertain times! What this is all teaching me right now is to be very, very present in the moment, day to day, hour to hour. Everything is so darn fleeting. It's so easy to get lost in the anxiety and stress of it all. So I hold the ones I love close (if they let me), and I breathe in all the goodness. At least I try.

How about you? How are you doing????

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