it is the throes of our busiest time. each minute it seems is occupied with absolute must dos, the mental space to write anything is almost nonexistent.  i am compelled to write though, as i love this opportunity to put words to the thoughts brewing in my mind as i pick, process, and plant my way though these august days.


raising your children is hard work. i have traveled the globe and tended the earth, been through life and death more times than i can recount, but the soul searching, day in day out of raising my kids is definitely my most challenging journey: fear and doubt can weigh so heavily.  it is with great jubilation that i share a glimpse of the home educated, home raised, first born babe of mine as a teenager.

he turned 16 this year and with it came the right to drive. yikes. i am impressed that  my child is the one who bought his own first truck with his own hard earned, well saved, cash. heck, he even has money left to fill the tank. makes a mama proud, right?


then there is the duck coop. we are in the midst of a mild, manageable, familial obsession with ducks. our flock is still quite small, but homeless nevertheless. when our feathered friends outgrew their brooder, my boy had to take charge.


sometimes i take my son’s drive for granted, i have lived with it each day for over 16 years. the workmanship, care, design, and effort that went into this coop is beyond my description. it is by all definition a solo project, he asked for help only when he needed a ride to the wood shop up at the farm stay. the execution of this project is a true testament to this fella








he is growing up. he’s taking responsibility for himself. he treats others with respect and kindness.  there are days when i wished he was kinder to his younger sister. there are days when i beg him to be a bit more respectful to me, his mama. we are in adolescence after all. now, for just right now, i can catch a glimpse of the adult he is becoming: capable and trustworthy, kind and honest. i sail the smooth waters. for now.





The rain has stopped for the time being, and I’m so grateful.  We’ve gotten somewhere between 6 and 8 inches of precipitation this week.  I know it could have been worse, but it’s still just too much.deluge 2

Nothing has been blown over, but there will be repercussions in the garden.  Time will tell.

There’s nothing like a deluge to show you where you’re at.  For instance, this deluge revealed to us the substandard nature of our livestock living quarters.

My thought for this week is as follows:

Necessity is NOT the mother of invention.

Do people falling from cliffs invent airplanes? (No.)

Do starving people create agricultural innovation? (No.  They often eat their seed supply.)

this is our funky goat house. oh well.

this is our funky goat house. oh well.

Necessity is the mother of funky contraptions that will do until we can come up with something better.

So be it.

withalittlehelp from my friends…

Let me just say that you know you’ve got some real good friends when they take a day away from the demands of their own very busy farm and make the trek to your farm to shear your sheep for you. Before they shear their own flock

Let me just say that I am seriously indebted to those dear friends…IMGP1489Thanks to Paul and Robin and the Hill and Hollow shearing team, my lovely Shetlands are packing around a whole lot less wool this evening than they were this morning. A few of the ladies are almost unrecognizable to me now that their distinctive fleeces have been sheared away. I even think the ewes don’t quite recognize one another! And now some of the lambs that were born early in the lambing season look like giants when they stand next to their dainty mamas. IMGP1486Last year, I sheared my own small flock with hand shears. It was a fairly long-winded process for me, and a little hard on the back, but one that I enjoyed very much. This year, though, I have added a few more sheep to the medley and well… here’s the news… I’m pregnant. Maybe I forgot to mention that. So to think about hunkering down over the sheep for their parlor time, and to think about how my already expanding body (the fourth baby does that to a woman) would feel after the shearing process… well, my aging self is learning her limits. I think that it was in the same breath I told Robin that I was pregnant I also asked if they would please, please shear for me this year. We joked that the whole reason I got pregnant again was to have the leverage to guilt-trip them into shearing my sheep… heeheehee. (It worked!)IMGP1476What a truly lovely day it was. The weather was nearly perfect, the sheep were mostly well-behaved, and I got the gift of spending time with some of my most favorite people in the world. And my sheep are shorn. That’s my perfect image of the perfect baby shower. What a lucky lady I am.IMGP1467Now, would you look at this pile of wool!!! Baby #4 will have no shortage of woolen garments to wear, I can assure you! IMGP1484