Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In My Garden


It's amazing to me how fast this spring has flown by! We are nearly in May! By this time my last year, I was harvesting my bok choy, radishes, my carrots, beets, and peas were all sprouting. Since moving set us back in the garden area, my heart longs to be able to start.

While this house and property were our dream, it didn't come with an area designed for vegetables. And one would think that with all this space, finding a place to put one would be as simple as pointing your finger. Unfortunately it hasn't been that easy. We found our garden space (after much deliberation and consideration of things like sun exposure, wind, ease of watering, etc.) and now comes the job of making it workable! 

We are having to level it out and, once that's completed, will build raised beds throughout and construct a deer fence. It's been quite the challenge (I will go into more depth in another post) but I have never been so excited to get my vegetables going!! I think its because this will be the first time in my adult life that I've been able have an actual vegetable garden instead of spaces and flower beds where I crammed them in! 

So just as a little fun update, I wanted to share some of the seeds I've started and hope make it into their permanent beds!

Let me start with tomatoes. I promised Cam, and myself for that matter, that I wouldn't attempt to start tomatoes from seed this year since it would be hectic with the move; I'd simplify our lives by just buying them. Well...I changed my mind apparently when I started seeds, and I now have 18 different types, and their all doing well! I have my usual suspects: the Hawaiian, Big Rainbow, German Green, German Pink, Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, to name a few. But a few new varieties made themselves onto my list as well. I have the Box Car Willie, Abe Lincoln, Kumato, and a non-heirloom called Pink Beauty. This last tomato was Cam's pick after hearing about it on a podcast he was listening to. The couple hyped it up so much he just had to try it, haha! But I can eat tomatoes like apples in the summer so I'm not complaining one bit!!

I also started some broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and bok Choy as well. As far as the cruciferous veggies go, I found a fun Asian cabbage I'm trying, a conical cabbage that I'm stoked about, a yellow cauliflower, and purple cabbage! Those go with the standard old faithfuls as well.

My squash are getting jump start too but I'm being a little more specific this year. I'm only planting those that I liked and did well last year. So I have my delicata, acorn, carnival, sweet meat, gold nugget, pumpkin, and I'm trying my hand at the turban and Georgia candy roaster as well! It should be fun come fall harvest...I LOVE squash! And I love how well they keep and versatile they are to cook with!

I also started some melons but I am going to refrain from sharing those just yet. I seem to have poor luck growing these wonderful vineing fruits so most of them don't usually survive the transplant. So when my garden's finally built, I hope to be able to give these guys the care and attention they need to thrive!! That's my goal anyhow :-)

So, that's what I've got started. They line my laundry room counters sitting under grow lights. I've begun moving them outside during the day for the natural light and the wind to help strengthen them. I've also decided to try using a seaweed fertilizer on my recently transplanted veggies. It's less smelly than the fish I've used in previous years and I've heard good things about it. Plus, my worms are in shock from the move so I didn't have any of that to use either.

Hopefully, after this weekend, I'll be able to actually get things in the ground, but I'll keep you updated! I'm so excited!!

What have you started so far this year? Does anything really excite you to try? Do you have any tips or advice? I'd love to hear what's going on in your gardens so please share!

So...Get out and play in the dirt :-)

Monday, April 28, 2014


Ever since we started the very daunting moving journey, it has been difficult to focus on any one thing. We always had to clean something, pack something, move things here or there, get out of the house, be in the house, be homeless...the list was endless. It also meant that we didn't spend much time with loved ones and friends because what we thought needed to happen took precedence. More than once, I found myself wondering if this was really what God had planned for us. I was weary. I was beaten down.

In hindsight, I am able to see just how poignant those 6 months were. I am realizing that while we did what we thought we had to do at the time, perhaps we lost sight of what was truly important in our lives. We put living on the back burner so we could get to where we thought we were supposed to be.

Someone once told me, "what's going to really matter at the end of our days? Will it be the classes you took, the grades, the business of life, the projects you finished, or the parties you attended? Or will it be the peace in remembering the time you spent with those you love and who love you?" As I pause now and reflect on this, I see just how off path we were.

But  I am feeling peace now, even though I have TONS of ideas and dreams; a peace that penetrates to my core. I long to be with those who mean something to me and I know I mean something to them. And at the end of the day, I know that's what I want to remember.

While this prayer may not be the perfect example of the story I just recounted, I think it ties in well.

I Am Your Child
'The living, the living - they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness.'
~ Isaiah 38:19~

Lord, I live today as Your child. I plan to focus on this identity. Undoubtedly I will be asking for guidance, messing things up, getting Your pristine plans dirty, and constantly asking, "Why? Why?" But You are used to the floundering of Your children. You are a patient parent. The lessons You have taught me in Your Word and through Your active love are helping me grow. I can see the person You want me to become.

Like a child, I will run in lots of different directions before asking the way. And by then, I will probably need to be carried. It is very exhausting being a child. But now, as You lift me up and comfort me with Your promise of love and grace, I settle down. To be wrapped in Your faithfulness is all I needed...I just didn't know how to get there. When I am done resting, will You tell me a story? I love the one about the day I became Your child.

(Prayer taken from One-Minute Prayers For Women, one of my favorite devotionals)
I hope this prayer and story give you comfort in the week ahead!
Have you found yourself in this very place in life? What comforts you and how do you want to spend your life? I love to hear your stories so please share if you like! I may be sometimes a little slow to respond to comments, but I always read them!:)

Friday, April 25, 2014

{this moment}

Today, I'm joining Amanda (soulemama) and many others with {this moment}.

A simple picture from the week. No words, no explanation, just a simple moment of time captured and shared.
(I took a few liberties with this post and decided to share what my week looks like; daily, not just one moment. Each picture tells a story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have been!)

(With the last two pictures, look closely at the top of the tree...)

 Please feel free to share your moments as well! It's so fun to see what other beauty is captured in a weeks time!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Home Sweet Home


After years of waiting and dreaming, I can finally say I moved into my own little slice of this planet.  As hectic as things have been with moving (and everything it entails), it has been tough to share some of our initial experiences out here.  In just a month, we have already seen so much and created an even longer list of things we want to do.

Before I start sharing our grand ideas, I want to give you a quick tour of our yet to be named little family farm. 
Our new farmhouse is set on a grassy hill on the outskirts of our 28 acre property. The 28 acres is made of 18 acres of grass farm field, 2 acres of pasture, and about 8 acres of “dry property,” meaning 8 acres of sagebrush and juniper.  With much consideration, and knowing that neither of us are farmers (at least not yet ;), we decided to lease out the larger field to be used for grass hay. The pasture and untamed winderness are ours to use.

The house is perfect. It's a single story home with a beautiful brick hearth (which means I finally have my fireplace, yay!!) and picture windows with breath-taking views! From the front room and the kitchen, you look out upon Mt. Jefferson. From the bathtub, you can see Mt. Hood! As for the rest, they overlook the property and the surrounding fields. One more great aspect: a HUGE laundry room. It has a sink, cupboards, drawers, built in hamper, the works! (It's currently being used for laundry and seed-starting :)

We also have a huge shop and a very quaint bunkhouse. It's rustic, having only lights and a wall heater, but a perfect size for a little guest house...minus the bathroom situation. Thankfully it's not too far from the house.

Bell our new farm cat

 When we left our old house, our little family consisted of Cam and myself, our two dogs, and three cats. But by the time we moved into our new home, we had accumulated four more! We inherited one 12 year old barn cat, and three Barbados sheep; one ewe and two rams, and the ewe was VERY pregnant. It has been a lot of fun watching them interact with the other animals (those still here waiting to be moved) and with us.

We have been here a month now and already we have created close to 3-years worth of projects we want to start! Our first is creating my vegetable garden along with planting our "orchard" (I'll call it that because I always wanted to say I had one, but really its just a few fruit trees, ha!). I consider myself truly blessed to be here and cant' wait to see what God has in store for us!

I also wanted to throw something else out there that I was looking for some feedback on.  I started this post by saying "our yet to be named family farm" but I do have an idea, actually it was my dad's idea. You see, the house is on the top of the hill of our property and just beyond the yard is a hillside of rock. Not just little rocks, I mean BIG rocks and hard-pan very near the surface. The only way to really dig in it is with a pick-axe, which I just had to purchase (I'll be sharing that experience soon).  So, my dad came up with, Stony Hill Farm.  So what do you think? Keep it? Chuck it? I would love to hear any feedback and/or any suggestions or ideas you might have! Creating a name is a fun part of this whole experience and we want something fitting and unique!
Mt. Jefferson from our couch in the front room :)
I'm looking forward to sharing what we've done so far and what we are hoping to do! Hopefully this was a good sampling of the joy we've experienced so far!