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The best-worst time

I’m really going to have to be writing more often if I’m to avoid the crazy long involved posts that keep me in this perpetual catch-up mode. Life on a farm is awesome and messy and everything I’d hoped for. I spend almost the entire day thinking about how to take care of everything and everyone, which is all at once peaceful and lovely and chaotic and relentless. It’s a different pace- no crazier than the old one, just new. Jeff and I are working to hone the skills as best we can, but we are okay with it not going perfectly. It does remind me of the shift from non-parent to parent. There is no “off” switch, no respite from parenthood. But you do learn to flow and deepen in commitment to it, and it all syncs up with your identity sooner or later, if you let it.… Continue Reading...

On process, carving out new spaces, and dealing with the occasional rabid coon

The past few years have taught me a lot about myself (and about Jeff, for that matter). I learned that I have a high preoccupation with process- What’s right in this situation? What do we want to do? Why? How do we want to live? These are the questions that rattle around in my head daily. I like this about myself and I feel it brings good things into my life and work, but it sometimes can feel complicated when the people around me aren’t equally concerned with such things. I know there are many ways to approach a situation, and this just happens to be mine. I’m working on forgiving myself my own way of living, as this process-oriented way of being feels, to me, to be inexorable from my person.… Continue Reading...

In our mud puddle.

We’ve been in the house just a month and a half, but again time feels funny- so funny, in fact, that a few days ago Vera said “How long have we been in the house? 6 months or something?” 

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I’m meditating on rhythm and ritual and structure as a way of enabling me to sustainably live in the creative way I want. This farm living will only work well if I can still feed my family at the end of the day, you know? I don’t want to get swept up in an impractical and overly-busy farm life only to burn out and create a less-than-peaceful space for the moments we need rest and togetherness. I’m seeing the potential freeing beauty in a morning chore routine… Is this growing up or something? I can see it giving me freedom- both in terms of time and just the alleviating some of the mental load that life requires.… Continue Reading...

Taking root.

Well, the transition from construction site to home/farm has been swift and merciless… but I suppose we’ve been waiting long enough. We are having so much fun! During the house build I’d feel sad and stressed from time to time, and Jeff was really helpful and comforting with his insight about me. He wisely asserted that I’m best when I have deep roots- I’m happiest with a strong sense of “home” and when I can dig into that, both literally and figuratively. Obviously the house build was challenging for me in that regard, and there was a fair amount of emotional and mental endurance that I had to tap into to get through it. I wondered what it’d be like when we moved, and I had to talk myself out of the belief that everything would be awesome and better the very minute we moved.… Continue Reading...

We’re here!

It’s been one week since moving day, and I’m always amazed by how time works both fast and slow simultaneously, depending on your perspective. Since the last post we worked our tails off trying to finish everything as quickly as we could, since we knew our apartment was being rented out as of April 1st. This was stressful, not because we didn’t think we could finish the house and move in time, but because so much of this process has been dictated by the powers-that-be. We weren’t sure that they were going to let us move in- specifically because our long driveway is in need of widening (fire safety thing) and it was going to take more time and money than we felt we could conjure up in time.… Continue Reading...

House update, end of February

So remember how I was all “One more month to go!” *exactly* one month ago? Yeah, well, whatever. Time is relative anyway. Eventually that gap will close… that pesky gap between my vision and our reality. I’m rolling with it. We are working hard, we keep our chins up, minimal tears have been shed (mostly mine, and all good and cathartic) and we are closer every day.

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Today, along with enjoying the gorgeous snow, I was mostly confined to the apartment with my sweet kiddos who suddenly came down with the flu. Poor Asa has spent most of the day in a feverish haze. I’ve been restless and itchy to get to my projects, but it’s been a good day and I appreciate the opportunity to slow down.… Continue Reading...

House update, end of January.

There hasn’t been much time for writing, but when we started this project I felt determined to document it here for us to look back on. Every minor detail- the first stake in the ground, the foundation, the first walls being framed… those details are special and each small stitch in this house feels meaningful to me. It’s silly, I guess, but I want to remember it all. I want to remember the hot bright day that we put up that ridge beam, and the cool fall days when we attached siding, and the cold winter days where we wore face masks and stuffed pink insulation into the wall cavities while we listened to the radio.

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We are hoping we’ve got one month left to go.… Continue Reading...

The zen of goop

Just before leaving to work on the house today, Jeff indulged me with a quick cup of coffee together in the living room. He’s a guzzler, I’m a slow-sipper. I could tell the whole time we sat that he was thinking about the house and his list of to-dos for the day. His knee was bouncing up and down like it does, eyes darting to and fro while he clearly strained to be still and listen to my thoughts about some article I’d read. In years past I would have taken that whole scene personally, but I know that’s not it. It’s not personal at all.

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Sillies from the other night. Jeff’s face cracks me up here! I swear Vera can make the exact same face, with the same nostril definition and everything!

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Poop logs and nannyberries

Crabapples that we found out at Dawn Farm. We made them into crabapple sauce, crabapple barbecue sauce, and some are infusing in vinegar for the next several weeks.

Crabapples that we found out at Dawn Farm. We made them into crabapple sauce, crabapple barbecue sauce, and some are infusing in vinegar for the next several weeks.

My farming philosophy has changed so much over the past couple of years that it’s kind of funny to think myself a farmer. This farm is merely the container that helps the outside world (read: the reality of taxes) make sense of what it is I’m doing with my time. Yes, I work to produce food, but I’m finding more and more that I’m drawn to something a little less tangible. Do I want something that meets my needs and is viable for my family? Absolutely. Do I care about how human beings eat and about the future of our food?… Continue Reading...

Going through it

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Feels like a lot of endurance has been needed lately- physically, emotionally, spiritually. It’s been a time to just breathe and keep holding. I took a yoga class last night where there was a lot of focus on breath, which is always great, but the instructor mentioned that in one of his classes where they’d hold the poses for a long time, the focused breathing was what got them through it. I latch on to concepts that I need, weaving them into my current life-themes and making sense of things. This resonated with me. I do feel like we are holding this pose, our muscles are burning and our mind is beginning to doubt and whine and wriggle around. But we can do it, we can hold a little longer and get stronger, and move intentionally into the next thing.… Continue Reading...