Eighteen: 52





 the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every week.


O, this week you…

…ate breakfast with your bike helmet on because you were so excited to get out there and ride.

…dug right in. To everything. When the old pine crashed through our garden, you were there with the wheelbarrow to help remove the debris. When the compost was delivered, you helped shovel our neighbor’s share. When I finished turning a garden bed, you were there with the hose. Spring has turned up your Helper Monkey Frequency to an awesome degree. I love it! And you seem to be having so much fun…bonus party.

…did most every task with a thick layer of dirt crusted onto you. When we started on your homework, I couldn’t help laughing. Look at those hands! It’s all about the warmth of brown earth right now…gotta wash away all those memories of bright, clean snow! Good riddance to that!


C, this week you…

…cared so sweetly for all our green babies. I love how you call me during the day to make sure I’m keeping an eye on the greenhouse and making sure our future vegetable friends have everything they need.

…bore it all with grace when things didn’t go according to plan this weekend. Somehow we’ll get it all under control, one day at a time.


Later today…fiber post!


Seventeen: 52



 the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeezes, every week.

Keeping on task, better late than never. This was a week of recovery, of too much on our plates, of feeling really, really tired at the end of the day. No one wanted a camera in their face.

Experiencing joy in the freshness of Spring has been temporarily replaced with the Herculean tasks of reworking fencing for the beasts and birds, readying the garden for planting and babying the seedlings in the greenhouse, felling trees and general clean-up. It’s busy, busy, busy time before the mellowness of early Summer can set in. At the end of each work/school day, we are taking advantage of the extra hours of daylight. It’s a rewarding sort of exhaustion, but this week it made for grumpy photo subjects, especially after several days of dealing with the sicko. I wrote about waking up from that haze here.

And about the ridiculousness of piling the plate so high here.

And a Luminous post about mornings here.

Oh, oh, OH! And don’t forget THIS: there are handspun yarns, hand dyed yarns and a few other special treats by The Spun Monkey hanging out at the Cloverhill Yarn Shop booth THIS WEEKEND at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. GO!

Five (or Six) Senses Friday

Okay, does anyone here remember FSF? I had to search back nearly two years to find my last post! Well, I’m bringing it back. Like, right now. It may be past midnight, with C still down the road working the last sap boil of the sugaring season (for us, anyway), and I may have stayed up too late to make maple marshmallows for a certain freshly-eight-years-old sort of person who wants to have a s’mores party, BUT it’s still Friday somewhere, so here goes, and in case you don’t remember:

FSF is a weekly ritual of sensual reflection. Play along if you wish, in the comments or link to your own blog. What is striking your senses this week?


Hearing: Drip, drip, drip. The last of the snow and ice have melted off the roof this week. The sound of Winter’s grip finally, really and truly letting go is a glorious thing, even more so than the return of myriad melodic bird sounds. Fact.


Smelling: Sweet, sticky steam. The last hurrah…until next year, of course. Really, there is nothing like a maple steam facial. It doesn’t exactly clear the sinuses, but it’s happy-making. Another fact.

Tasting: Some of the last of our summer-in-a-jar. Tomatoes, peaches…all must go, so they are making heavy appearances in our cooking lately. My body is growing tired of our winter cache and craves the first greens. Soon!

Seeing: The miracle of Springtime. Just when I think I can’t handle the white and brown for a moment longer, I nearly crush a bright green clump of bulbs just emerging (they weren’t there yesterday!), or see that the amaranth has germinated and magenta stems are reaching up towards the strengthening sun, such a treat for my color-starved eyes.



Touching: Fiber. It’s been a while since I really wanted to. I have the opportunity to work on a really fun project (more on that soon!), and it’s been wonderful to make friends with my wheel again. This is a good thing.

Feeling: Hopeful and energized, increasingly so as Winter retreats. I’m making lists and plans.

What’s happening with you?

Eleven: 52





the 52 project
Portraits of my main squeezes, every Sunday.

O, this week you…

…were a total wildman. The picture above was taken at bedtime, and represents the Energy That Would Not Quit which has possessed you for several days straight, and well into the night. Am wondering if you have a secret stash of chocolate-covered espresso beans, or something just as magical, that I should know about.*

…could summon the calm in those moments when Papa and I struggled with very hard news and powerful feelings of sadness. Thank you for that.

…made a huge leap in your reading. It was exciting and you were so proud of yourself!

…were excited about the signs of Spring popping up in our little world, even though the temperatures have reverted back to Winter chill. You couldn’t help running outdoors without enough clothes on because it just looks so warm and inviting. I have to admit, just seeing the sun out after so many weeks of cloud cover made me feel warm from the inside out, too.

C, this week you…

…were smoldering in the maple steam.

…couldn’t resist filling the whole kitchen with more and more seed trays. I wish you could get paid to create the bountiful garden you envision. You would be so happy.

*And if you do, can I have some? I need an infusion of your seemingly boundless energy right about now.


We really needed it.

Sometimes the ocean just calls to you, and you have to answer.

Sometimes you need to feel small and vulnerable.



Sometimes you need a little reassurance.

And then the calm washes over you. The sea air penetrates every pore of your skin and you know that there was no better way you could have spent an afternoon.

It was there we cleansed our berry-stained fingers, searched for mussel shells and marveled at the dessicated shark in the sand. Oh, yes, our first stop was the organic berry farm…

We picked.

And we picked.

He said, “I’ll put one in the box for every one I put in my mouth.”

14 pounds later, we have 10 jars of blackberry jam, a 1/2 gallon jar of blackberry-apple fruit leather, a couple quarts of blackberry vinegar and a tray of blackberry-kefir popsicles in the freezer.

It feels really good to put something up. The garden has not yielded enough of anything to warrant preserving and so I was getting a little antsy to can something, anything. Soon, though, I will have the neighbor’s giant quinces to distract me. I see membrillo in my future.

The oxhearts are ready, btw. I rather like them as a bouquet, but they’re even better as a snack.

Next time: adventures in wool washing…14 pounds so far this week.

Affectionate Harvest and Otherness

Despite our ultra-bizarro summer weather, a few vegetables have actually managed not to die. The prolonged coolness of the last several months has left us with stunted squash and a pitiful tomato crop, but roots are reveling in it (even if we planted the seeds a wee too close together…”They’re hugging!”):

While I’ve been absent from this space, life has gone on in little creative ways. When it wasn’t 106 degrees, we could draw from nature without our crayons melting, but mostly I’ve been spinning spinning dyeing spinning while The Boy has been building sawing nailing painting. Quiet, lots of quiet. Internally, I’ve had a lot of work to do, so just keeping quietly focused is how I’m getting on at the moment. Many large life decisions looming…

Btw, when the crayons did start melting, we got an idea…

More on that later.

Well, triple digits and heat advisory in the forecast again for tomorrow…of course, I have plans to be outside and up to my elbows in hot, soapy water, washing some beautiful alpaca from Sandy over at the Homestead. In order to gear up for the fall season, I’ll be starting up a regular schedule for updates so you’ll always know when to expect new items in the shop. More on that later, too.

In the meantime, Putter has a new jet pack, so I need to make sure he’s not getting into trouble.

Wish I had a jet pack

Happy Tuesday.

Some Things

* The shelling peas are getting fat.

* The jarring of the latest batch of kimchi is on the schedule for tomorrow morning. I’ve been listening to it joyfully percolating in the crock. I love you, early cabbage.

* I came home this afternoon to find C tending the hives. He added another super and fiddled with frames, had the stirred up bees swarming around him…all sans suit. He’s feeling a great deal calmer about everything since injury forced him out of work last week. Without carrying all that stress around, he can exude the peaceful confidence required to handle bees without full-body protective gear. He still had his head net and gloves, of course…it’s not as if he’s asking for trouble. Working with the bees is becoming a meditation for him and he approaches them without fear. So far, he has not once been stung and, from what he can tell, the hive is quite happy. Yay bees!

* Road trip this weekend is canceled. The forecast for central Oregon is flippity-flopping back and forth about that “R” word…and I’m not really interested in waking up in a soggy sleeping bag. Hopefully, no rain for the Black Sheep Gathering because we’ll be heading up for that rain or shine.

* There is some Navajo-Churro fleece in my near future. Some for you and some for me. I cannot wait.

* I’m going to bed happy and tired, on account of I’m all “swimmy.” I spent a lot of time in VT in the water, but I realized today that I never actually swam. There was a lot of wading. A lot. With a toddler. Now I have a boy who doesn’t mind hanging out on a noodle with his auntie while I swim some laps. Wow. It sure did bring back some warm, fuzzy childhood memories to come home and feel so tuckered in that way only swimming makes you tuckered and HUNGRY. So hungry! Dinner tasted amazing.

* More yarn going up. I’m stalling on nuno photos…maybe C should start modeling them instead.


*Happy Thursday. xoxoxo