Sunday, September 30, 2012



These beautiful sunflowers sprouted from bird seeds that had fallen from the bird feeder.  Near the end of my farmer friend’s life we placed a few feeders in front of his sun room, the room he spent his days in.  The birds that frequented his feeders became his life.   In addition,  he also had a one hummingbird feeder.  Those were the birds he marveled over most.  He could tell you a multitude of fine details about them.  Even how many had visited on any given day.  Towards his final days the hummingbirds stopped coming.  He took that as a sign saying his days were numbered, he was right.

Some words I recently wrote to someone who was very dear to him, someone that  understands the loss: “I miss that man!  As time has passed since his death my longing for him grows deeper. I think of him so many times throughout the day, many with a smile on my face but many with selfish tears running down my cheeks. He was so much a part of my everyday life knowing every little detail of my days as I did him. I miss our companionship, I miss his unconditional love, I miss his hugs, I miss his smell, I miss EVERYTHING about him! I was driving by the house today and I stopped to put the trash cans in the garage that were by the road.  Maine Man had put them there earlier in the day….the last of the trash from cleaning up the property. I grabbed the cans and just as I started walking forward a Monarch butterfly swooped in very close to me and flew off. I took it as a sign… he was there. This afternoon MM asked me to go out and drive the tractor while he stacked the hay. I agreed after bribing him, “well you’ll have to milk my goats then” I said.  (hee, hee)  Any way I was driving my farmer friend’s “favorite” tractor and the sun was shining down. It was simply gorgeous out and I could not help but smile looking up thinking how proud he is looking down on me driving that big old tractor doing what he lived for. I am comforted from the fact that I feel his presence, his spirit often but still struggle with the fact that I will not physically see him, talk to him, hug him until we meet again.”

I can honestly say that I have never lost someone so dear to my heart as that man!  Now that bird feeder sits outside our home-school room windows and we often marvel over the frequency and variety of birds visiting .  His soul lives on in many different forms….I am so very grateful for that.

Friday, September 28, 2012

{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.

Inspired by Soule Mama

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

From Caterpillar to Butterfly


The kids hatched out a couple Monarch Butterflies.  It was fun to listen to them talk of what stage it was in.  They did this project completely on their own as they have in previous years.  It is amazing to see these kids seek out knowledge on a daily basis even when they are not asked to do so.

Above is my best friend from high school….more like a sister.  This was taken the day before she married her soul mate.  She was a stunning bride and I am so very proud of all of her accomplishments and the beautiful woman she has become on the inside and out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dessert Anyone?

These stinking things are my arch enemy!  They return year after year in our gardens and always move on in the greenhouse.  This year they even devoured our Jalapeno plants, peppers and all.  The kids enjoy feeding them out to the chickens although I think they just play tug-a-war with them.  Just as well, they serve no purpose here….nasty tomato horn–worm!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Felted Soap

A little more than a week ago Biker S, the kids & I felted a few bars of soap…..just for fun!  We followed this tutorial.  It was a quick, simple project to do.  We used store bought soap because we  did not have any homemade soap on hand.  Later today I will be making some homemade goodness along with one of my friends so maybe I’ll capture a few photos in hopes that we have good results!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


A couple times a week I download a bazillion photos onto my laptop.  Several times a day as I am doing dishes, driving down the road, walking through the woods, cooking dinner, or milking the goats my mind overflows with thoughts of different posts I could write based on activities in our everyday lives.  Then after my work day is done I lay in bed with my laptop with no desire to do anything other then mindless surfing.  So today I’ve decided to do a series of regular posts with little writing in effort to ease my thoughts and share some of what we’ve been doing.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Growing Shitake Mushrooms

Lots of people have asked me lately how our gardens grew this summer.  I can’t help but chuckle and say, “they grew some great weeds.”  This summer was very busy for us, caring for our farmer friend at the end of his life, our first year haying, and most recently my sister’s (well almost) wedding.  Basically gardens don’t survive from neglect but apparently mushrooms do!  March of 2011 I posted about planting mushrooms.  Last summer we eagerly checked on them never to find even a hint of a mushroom.  I talked to someone and they told me to give it another year.  We left them as is and glanced at them a time or two this summer.  Still no signs of growth….

…..Until a few days ago when Maine Man discovered these!

I cooked some up today with a splash of olive oil and a dash of sea salt.  They were enjoyed by all.  Tomorrow I will try and deep fry them like they serve at the Common Ground Fair.

I would love to hear from anyone that has grown or foraged mushrooms in the past about how you preserve them.  My plan is to dehydrate and/or freeze what we don’t eat fresh.