Down the Path…

…and into the woods…

…to find forgotten things melting back into the earth…

…and the river…

…and some quiet, while the Boy raked and weeded, helping to prepare a bed for planting garlic.

…and found carrots, which might have gone the way of the abandoned truck (although, a wee more nourishing for the soil), but now we have a sweet bushel and a half.

I have more photos than words these days…in a new place, I find my eyes are searching and feasting, I have dirt under my nails and sore arms from my obsessive wood-chopping (I can’t believe I had to come back to California to learn this skill…you’d think I would have picked it up after four Vermont winters!)…I am full of sensory experiences that don’t translate well to the written word…it will come in time, but all is freshness, touch, smell, the sound of goats, ducks and frogs.

And somewhere in there, I am bothering to list things:

Earth and Sky Fiber Set with wool nubbins, icicle and tussah silk, 1/2 oz.

I am also somehow managing to get in many an evening of spinning, and there are oodles of felt scarves to photograph over the holiday weekend. Look for those and new Mitt Kits in the shop over the weekend and into next week.

Tomorrow, we get on the Greyhound for a looooooooong ride down to my Mom’s house. Wish us luck keeping the Boy entertained for 8 hours on a bus (and myself, for that matter)! Whooooooo!

At least we shall have warm hugs and a feast to celebrate the journey’s end. Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday!


Unexpected Journey

Today he said, “Mama, let’s go Explore!”

Who could say no to that?

I’ve been spending too much time mourning over the loss of being able to bicycle anywhere we need to go, mourning my old life and my own space…when here my son gives me a gentle lesson in being present.

We started our Journey in a now-familiar place…

Madrone everywhere. He calls it Redwood, and when we walk into this little circle he says in the sweetest awe-filled way, “Mama! They’re so beautiful!

We called around for the shy gnomes hiding amongst the rocks, but instead of pointy-hatted friends, we found a pile of old tin cans…

…which somehow was just as exciting.

We ended up on what we now know is probably a deer path, but at the time we were following one of the farm dogs and assumed she knew where she was taking us. Suddenly, we were on a very steep hill, making our way down towards the river by slip-sliding through the mud and poison oak and down the mossy rocks. Eventually, we made it safely down to the river’s edge where we met some mushrooms.

And busied ourselves with Fetch.

The way back up was daunting, precarious, and once or twice even a bit frightening. The pup led the way and it differed from the path we’d taken down, but she got us home and for that I am quite thankful. Home…where we stripped down, scrubbed with Technu and threw our clothes in the washer. I am not susceptible to poison oak, but C gets it baaaaaad.

In shop news, I am posting new goodies on a daily basis. I have added some acorn-dyed wool nubbins, from my experiments whilst staying the Bay Area. This dye batch was very special, the acorns having come from beneath a venerable and beloved pre-Colonial California Coast Oak named Grandpa Dad. He is quite magnificent. Besides the wool nubbins, there will also be some acorn-dyed tussah silk noil going into the shop. I decided to keep the merino and merino cross for myself, which you can see in the middle picture below.

Noils on the left, merino in the middle, nubbins on the right. The nubbins can be found here.

Also, some yarn! My focus for the next several sessions are to play at striping yarns with the rainbow of kettle-dyed falklands and merino I brought with me to the farm. Biohazard is now in the shop. Click the pic to get there.

Night night!


We have arrived…

…at the farm.

Although it is not as I had imagined, and I have had to compromise much this past week as we try to find our place here, I think it will be a valuable year of experience and learning for all three of us. It will see us better prepared to take on the challenge of our own farm again and I intend to glean as much practical knowledge as I can, build my confidence with small livestock and my own intuition. It all sounds great in my head, but I’ll admit it’s rough in practice. It’s all so new and I need to allow myself some time to settle into this new life, but I can’t help feeling like I’m just bungling around, completely out of my element.

Today, my shoulders are sore from wielding large, heavy, sharp tools. I chopped wood, I did. It took me the better part of the day, but many pointers later and I finally achieved that nice, satisfying split, even with this knotty fir, something I never quite got the hang of in Vermont. I hope to bring this skill back there with me someday (yes, I am saying that out loud).

I met a dog and cat.

I met Spot.

I hoed some rows of cabbage.

And the Boy (no longer the LG because he says he’s not little anymore) was given a saw…

…with which he made many tiny pieces of wood out of one large piece.

I am giving myself the challenge of posting every day about our adventures here, and undoubtedly about my dreams of where this will take us (or bring us back to). Perhaps it will help relieve the feeling of isolation that is already creeping in even though I am trying my best to will it away.

Nearly all of our worldly possessions are in storage right now, but I managed to bring enough of my studio to continue with The Spun Monkey…in fact, I may end up being more productive since the Boy is happiest following Papa around the farm and busying himself with the gravel pile and a wheelbarrow. Yesterday saw two yarns off the bobbin and another I am about to finish…I won’t have quite what I had hoped ready for Craftland, but the shop will be well-stocked over the next week or two with new felt, new yarn, and entirely new spinning and crafting supplies.

In G-F news, I am addicted to this bakery:, and am thankful they deliver. I have yet to bake my own G-F bread tolerable for everyday toast/sandwich/etc. Desserts I can do, but loaves are just not happenin’. I am thrilled, though, absolutely thrilled with this G-F pastry flour recipe from Urban Organica. The biscuits were great, but then I used the flour for tahini shortbread cookies and they were amazing.

The sun is out. Time to get dirty.

Oh, but not until I show you where we dropped off the U-Haul:

…amidst forklifts and a beautiful view.