Tag Archives: lifestyle

time keeps on slipping… some more

Indie Cat

Boo!

Did I scare you?

Haha!

It has been that long that I am positive that all hope was lost. Which is fine. Because, boy oh boy, has it been intense. So intense that I literally called my mother and a few goods friends back in July and told them it was time to stop writing. I felt like I was loosing all sense of focus. Also that I was, and still am, ready to just do it and stop talking about it.

Well, a little has gotten done. So, we’re doing. But an awful lot of things have gone untouched. Several amazing wonderful things are happening and many deeply sad things, too.

We grievously lost the battle of cancer with this sweet gal at the end of July (and boy do our hearts still ache deeply, it literally aches as I write this), THEN 5 weeks and 2 days later we lost this equally sweet and important gal to simple old age, just one year after the loss of this special guy.  Oh, we’re not done! Then, amazingly, after quite some time of unsuccessful attempts we get pregnant!! (Same thing happened with RCB. We were so emotionally and physically caught up in the experience of loosing our black lab that we got prego without even realizing!). Not to mention that we sent our wee sweet lad off to Kindergarten!!!! Can we say big year for us? (not the same as the bird big year, although I think it would be fabulous to find and see as many species of bird as you can in one year) Or a big 5 months! It is all so overwhelmingly wonderful, yet unbelievably sad at the same time. We’ll grow and strengthen with the losses and soar with the gain.

So, I took time to just be. It’s going great. The house is quieter with only two cats and a kid. (Chi-si is living in the studio with my in-laws. While she is sad about the loss of her buddies she is thrilled to have her ma and pop around!). However, we laugh constantly that the cats took responsibility for filling in the gap where the dogs were concerned! They beg at the dinner table, are constantly in and out and sleep with us for the loss of the warmth!

Now I am ready to journal, explore and share again. I miss writing. So, keep your eyes and ears open! We’ll see what we can’t explore together! New horizons!!

Happy to be back! Hope you are all well!!

ONE LOVE-


No Signal

(photo from google image)

After many discussions, and for more reasons than one, we have FINALLY called it quits on the T.V.!!!! I couldn’t be more thrilled with our decision. We nipped it in the bud.

Already, we’ve sat on the porch before bedtime, ate dinner alfresco per daughters request, played kickball in the yard, hung with the pups, dabbled with the paddle boards, read several articles and have gotten a lot further along in paper work than we have all summer break. I have visions of getting novels read and tea sipped this winter by the fire. Long nights of deep discussion while noshing on freshly baked goods.

Of course, we will do net-flix-a-booger. We aren’t totally going A-Wall! I will have to catch up on How I met your Mother on occasion, maybe a little Dexter too. The little one would miss Curious George terribly on those not so feel good days. But there is a lot of time to be filled now that there is dead air. I’m positive we will have no trouble filling it.

Just more of that fine balance coming our way!!

ONE LOVE-


the heat is on

(the sunflower. essence of summer. gifted in csa box)

I’m sure you can only imagine where we’ve been. Yep. We’ve been in the kitchen cranking up the canner. And boy have we canned some stuff. We got the green beans canned, potatoes jarred, the lemon mint vinegar put away and managed to get some beet and sage relish under our belts.

During all the time prepping, on top of the time canning, my wheels really began to churn. As we got deeper into the ebb and flow of the canning process the deeper my thoughts went. My first initial thoughts were why would anyone not want to can. The empowerment to take locally grown food and turn it into something for your family to take delight in on those long winter nights is pure pleasure. That was the first twenty minutes.

About an hour into the process I started thinking about my grandmothers, their lives and their chores as farm wives. Children, cooking, cleaning, feeding the farm help, feeding her family, tending to the family garden and canning all the goods that come from the garden. That was their job. Full time, year round, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Grandma Birdie had three children. Grandma Iris had four. Now granted they had help at the house doesn’t mean they were sipping mint julips on the porch while barking orders. No. These were farm wives. They worked their fingers to the bone.

These thoughts led me to begin thinking why women and families left such practices behind. Oh the thoughts started swirling then. Surely, women got tired of the long hours without pay and demanded more respect. No, that really wasn’t it. Not once in Birdie’s life did I ever hear her mutter one negative word about her life. It was what they did. No question. Without pay? They got paid when the crops where sold. Their duties were symbiotic with all duties required on the farm. They were part of their own ebb and flow. Duties required to make a farm successful, just like planting, watering and tending the crops.

So, if it wasn’t that then really what was the reason? We are probably two hours in now for a four hour process. A break from my thoughts to help tend to my own child and animals. Of course, I have help. My husband is partaking 100% in the processing which actually has me involved only half of the time as my predecessors. Once I return though I am right back into thought.

I start thinking back to all the farm stories I heard my entire childhood. My PopPop would gather the men all around at every family gathering and he would roar out stories. The good, the bad, the ugly. Smaller farms were getting bought out by big Corporate companies. So, what now? Maybe those wives didn’t have a choice but to find work outside of the home to help support their families. My grandmothers continued to stay home and tend to their homes, gardens, now grandchildren and canning. I do believe that the population split for many reasons. Leaving less families canning.

Bringing along the baby boomers. Our mothers. Fighting for all. Why do we have to stay home clean your mess? We won’t go into the details but strong woman became a logo in many homes. I’m certain this was the demise of canning. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly grateful for the stand. The cause was and is great. There are more and more opportunities for women like myself to succeed in the work place. I am able to be a successful co-owner of a business that is doing extremely well. My partner, aka husband, is proud to run our business side by side. Equally. But I’m not really concerned about the political issues women face, not in this post anyway! I’m here, in thought, trying to figure out what happened to the task of canning.

Here comes my generation. Generation X. The Generation that all feared. Well, maybe not feared but with a name like that there doesn’t seem like there was much confidence in us! We are the generation, all of us, ALL men and women,  trying to find a balance between parenting, working, house chores, choosing and maintaining sustainable practices. We are trying to connect with our past and flow with the future. Make them work together. So, we both clean the house, both answer customer service calls, both tend to the child, both choose new practices and figure out how to do them together.

As we are doing this all together there still feels like there is a gap. While we were both prepping the potatoes, the water bath, the jars, and lids our child was left to entertain herself. A little TV here, torture the dog there (the dog thrives on the torture:), play with her toys in her room. All fine, positive skills. The balance was/is hard for me. I like to interact with her. We do that whole attachment parenting thing. Even though she doesn’t nurse or sleep with us anymore (all her choice) we still like to connect with her. Challenge her. Help her strive. For the time being, until she is old enough to partake, canning in the kitchen took me away from that. Some recipes take up to 4-5 hours.

So where’s the balance? It titter totters everyday for all us. It is an art we all try to master. Canning is making a come back. I love the craft. Can’t wait to teach the child. However, if you can’t find room for it in your life without throwing off all your balance then that is ok too. At the end of the day you have to do what is right for your family. Make choices with your spouse that are right for you all. As for me, I will choose specific days to can. Not go wild like last week. It was a bit heated (literally) with the canner on full steam for three and half days straight. It is hard. It is time consuming. It is rewarding. Just remember, if you choose to can, respect your time and energy. If not, that ok too.

ONE LOVE-

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just peachy

I never really considered myself a southern girl. I mean, I am from the south, my family are farmers and I love bar-b-que. Yes, I’m southern. But, as noted, I don’t have the greenest thumb considering my background and I leave the south a lot to travel.  It wasn’t till I started cooking, baking and eating local, seasonal fruits and vegetables that I recognized just how rooted I am in my southernness. Defining southern summers is when I accepted there is no denying, I am deeply southern. Two definitions for starters, Watermelon and Peaches.

So, when we went down the mountain to visit our friends located on the NC/SC border it was like a kid in a candy store when they took us to a local fruit and veggie stand. Why the giddiness? Three words. South Carolina Peaches. Juicy, ripe, ready to devour southern peaches! And boy did we slurp! Between the Nectarines and the Peaches we were quite sticky.

Of course, we bought some home as they are starting to show up at the stores but not the outdoor markets just yet. Ever since I was gifted with the “Canning and Preserving with Ashley English” book I have been counting down the days to make the Peach Lavender Butter. Yes, that is what I said!! We have three over the top, beautiful lavender bushes we planted when we moved into our current residence. Never used them for culinary purposes until just recently. I couldn’t be more thrilled with this treat of deliciousness. More thrilled with the opportunity to can such delicacy!

After gathering all the ingredients and contents to can we started at 9:00 am and finished up right around 11:30.

Blanched the beauties, which is an amazingly simple task!

Stored and ready for winter delights!

Check out this post of the same recipe from same author in detail!

Happy Summer Slurping!!

ONE LOVE-


what a doozy

Friends, what jet lag! This family has a way whacked schedule. The poor kid, we’ve gone to bed at 2:00 am both nights. Slept till 12:00 noon yesterday. Michael and I pulled ourselves out of bed at 9:00am this morning determined to battle our confused minds and bodies. How do you get a child on board? You don’t. You let their body and mind work through it as long as it takes. So, she is still sleeping!

Although, we concocted a plan that involves heavy, physical, fun activities, after dinner, pre-bed. Like a long bike ride and a tool around the park! I suppose that is a way to encourage her body/mind to leave the 6 hour time difference behind. Wear it out!! 🙂 I’ll let you know!

Jet lag or not, we are still amped to be home. Both of us fired up about chickens, plotting the property for our future coop, as well as other landscape plans we have had up our sleeves for years but never executed! We walked the 1 acre yesterday and mapped out possibilities. Why the big deal? What’s the excitement? Mostly that for our nearly 12 year relationship (celebrated 9 years of marriage on the 11th) we have been on the go people. Always looking for a new place to discover, live, play. Our time was always spent finding a new river to paddle or a new pub to taste.

Fortunately, our kid has slowed us down. She has kindly forced us into a pleasant flow and hum of a schedule. For the first time, we have actually slowed down to smell the roses. And, my friends, we have discovered that we love this place. We really love our home, our community and the opportunities here. We want our roots to grow deeper. As always when you travel you appreciate home but this time, we are ready to dig into the dirt. Help our own paradise flourish!

I hope you are all well! I look forward to sharing more with you when my brain gets a proper reboot! While I break out the blender to make a coconut, mango, banana smoothie, make sure to take the time to inspire your mind, body, heart and soul!

ONE LOVE-


perfectly new zealand

(click on photo for ALL PHOTOS. photo pulled directly from the blog solely for the purpose of luring you to her post…)

Perfectly New Zealand. Each photo truly expresses the mood, emotion and energy of New Zealand. We want to go back. We want to sink our toes in the soil and stay for a long time. How could you not resist the call of the fog, the sheep, the green, the blue, the sky, the mountain ,the water?

Once it bights, there is no chance you will ever get the sting out!

ONE LOVE-


WakaWai presents…

an evening with…

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 09, 2012.

We are EXCITED to bring you this special event!! Come join us for an evening of amazing music and tasty micro brew beer!! A great way to share a night out with your friends!

This is WakaWai’s (waka-why) way of infusing lifestyle and elements by seamlessly joining gear, music, video, rivers, oceans, lakes and mountains. We love to be outside, listen to music and drink beer. So, start your summer off right! Spend the day outside partaking in your favorite element (whitewater, lake, mountain, beach…) then join us for the tunes and beer!!

Click here for event details.

Click here for a sample of John Brown’s Body. or here.

Click here for a sample of Chalwa.

Click here for a sample of the beer. or here.

Share the event with your friends. Make sure to get your ticket. Schedule the babysitter (if needed). Mark your calendar!

Hope to see you there!!

ONE LOVE-