This year my husband really got into that act of a Homemade Christmas. His only rule? Everything must be made from found objects. His list included 2 different styled necklace frames, a tub caddy (for me! couldn't help but ask if it also came with new tile in the bathroom so I would actually enjoy the bath), and a pointe shoe "shadowbox" for our dancer. These gifts were made from an old dresser drawer face, an old picture frame and chicken wire, and oak pallets.
This awesome car shelf for the car loving 3yo is probably my favorite gift of all. Made from the support slats of an old mattress box spring.. Finn loves it too!
My brother, Matt, telling stories.. like only he can.
On top of the world.. kinda. But the view from here is still good.
Growing up the daughter of a VW/Porsche mechanic had its perks. Traveling in the back of a VW bus carries so many memories for me - from when I was a toddler to my teenage years. My brother now does VW restoration/conversions and holds the torch for the family business. So when we visit him we get to throw the kiddos in the van and hit the back country roads of Idaho. It brings my heart such joy to hear their laughter as we explore the state we call home.
Reminds me of so much. And for that I am grateful.
A New Year... with new goals and lessons to learn. I say, bring it on! And if you're actually still kickin' around this old blog of mine, you will see more of me here and NOT just on Twitter and Instagram. Because, yes, it is a New Year's goal to do so. Imagine that.
I want to share more of our farm life, the struggles and triumphs. It's been a crazy good road. One that I take for granted, I'm sure. But I am back again, to share the madness as we travel down this road. Most folks say we are crazy.
Spring brings with her so many new babies on the farm! 35 new layers added to the flock, with another 15 tomorrow. We also have 25 cornish meat birds growing like crazy. Mid May they will make their way to the freezer.
We've added a pedigree Pygmy buck to the herd. He should make us some beautiful Kinders with our Nubian does. The bunnies are here, with the first batch of the season about ready to butcher. And the first of 5 new calves was born this past weekend!
This pretty lady decided to go broody, she's been sitting on 14 eggs for almost 3 weeks now.
This is this first year to welcome turkey chicks born on the farm. After introducing a male heritage turkey to the flock, we were told our turkey hen would still be too young to produce. She proved them wrong! The mama had decided it best to sit on eggs in the neighbor's brush pile. After hatching, we moved her and the babies back to the farm.
I have recently, as in today, been afforded the luxury of "extra" time
off. I am going to take this "vacation" as a chance to move forward in a
positive way, a new direction. Feels only natural to pick up my
blogging here and over at Craft-Crazy. A forced time to pause and reflect... quite honestly, perhaps exactly what my family needed me to do at this moment.
Life moves too fast for me sometimes. It's easy to see, by the looks of this blog. I used to come here often, now I rarely make the time. I am not going to apologize for the lack of posting, like some bloggers do. Nope. It's just the flow of my life.
I can understand why many folks have simply dropped the blogging and found their bliss in instagram. I mean, take a look at my IG feed and you will see... I have a very full and busy life.
Who knows, maybe I'll be back here tomorrow to share more of what's been happening on the farm. So much goodness and learning, frustration and triumph. It's a mixed bag. A strange trip -one worth sharing, for sure.
Just unloaded 19 photos from Jan 2013 off my "big" (Nikon D3000) camera.
None for February. Wow... that is a sad, pathetic display.
They're not even great photos, mostly just chore progress photos. I take pride in my photos, I don't necessarily think they're the best, but they're mine. They follow our life and the roads we take. Me not reaching for the Nikon means I am not taking the time I enjoy to slow down.
If I had to pick, and I just did, this photo of 'Black Bart' and his girls would be my favorite of the lot. Looks like they're having some sort of coop meeting. Chickens are funny creatures. The January garden is doing exactly what it should be, resting. But boy oh boy, do I ever miss her company!
Although iphones are great (love Instagram!), I have a new found determination for getting my real camera back in hand. And with that, finding my way back to this lonely little blog I call mine.
September means garden harvest is coming around full swing. The season is bittersweet for me, but definitely more sweet than not. A lot of work here on our little 5 acre farm. If I am not harvesting and processing something out of the garden every day, I feel I am failing. (a fresh bowl of salsa qualifies as success -I know to go easy on myself) I also feel completely blessed to have the opportunity to fail or succeed. I know it is a privilege.
Every year our garden space gets more organized, and with that, more productive. Finding my grove when it comes to bringing the harvest to table, as year around as possible, takes time... and I am impatient. Lessons all around, I guess.
I take notes, if only mentally, of what my family really does eat and how we can maximize our garden's potential. I did not plant any eggplant this year, but the garlic was doubled. Tomatoes add up to 65 plants and the bell peppers have never been so big. (perhaps it was the drink of compost tea we gave them earlier in the season) The pole beans are so-so --should've had them picked before now, same with the pickling cucumbers. The okra is over ripe, might have only a handful to fry up. And although fried okra is one of my favorites, it may not make the garden cut next year. I think more cutting flowers in the okra's garden space will bring me more enjoyment -I really do.
Our basil plants have had 3 cuttings equaling up to 2lbs basil butter (this stuff is delicious) and 20 cups of cashew pesto in the freezer. This makes me happy. Imagine me grinning really big -because I am. This last weekend I processed 15lbs of tomatoes into jam, and another 15lbs cored and in the freezer. The onions, potatoes, carrots, beets and pumpkins are all growing nicely. This evening I picked a large tote full of bell and hot peppers, the first big pepper picking of 2012. Take a guess at my to-do list tomorrow.
The other day I slipped out to the garden, picked 2 lbs of peppers and then made some of my favorite "Mama's Hot Sauce!" Yep, that's what we call it - and nothing beats a bit spooned over a farm fresh fried egg! (or anything really)
This recipe comes
from one of my very favorite preserving books by Karen Solomon... Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It and Other Kitchen Projects. (no, it's not really this mama's hot sauce, but hey -that's it's name around these parts) Oh the season is sneaking up on us, the time that I get lost in baskets of fresh tomatoes and peppers, green beans and corn!
Somehow managed to have the farm all to myself this past weekend.
I spent it in the garden harvesting basil and tomatoes.
With the 2nd cutting of basil, I put away 12 -2 cup portions of the yummiest pesto I have ever made. (from beauty that moves) I've already got my eye on the basil for another harvest.
Garden freshness is really starting to pop. The first big flush on tomatoes have me thinking about tomato jam, preserved whole tomatoes, salsa, and freshly roasted toms. Teddy bear sunflowers make a nice back drop to the many (55!) tomato plants we have this year.
Cut flowers in the kitchen window, above the sink. This year, our garden keeps these fresh. (went a little crazy with the zinnias, but I would never admit that to my husband!) Green beans are on, peppers are hot and ready for a big first harvest, onion and red potatoes happy, and the corn is taller than me. The pumpkins are looking nice and the squash is off the hook as well.
Trying to keep it contained is a good problem to have.
Took a vacation. It was a long time coming. Too long. Came home to lots of chores: a rental that needs addressed, a remodel to push forward with and lots of farm life happening. Garden harvest on my mind and school is just around the corner. Trying to remember to breathe properly.
It's important to do so, you know.
Oh and, did I mention? My boy spent his 2nd Birthday on the beach -Happy Birthday Finn!!
We really did have a lovely trip to the beach, with lots of fun stops
along the way. Yep, just can't seem to get my feet outta the ocean and
back here on land in the desert.