the big thanks and the little thanks.

daisies_folkwaysfarmOver the last few days I have been involved in some very deep spring cleaning. The weather has been a bit too cool to do any extensive work out of doors so I took advantage of being inside to clear a winter’s worth of dust. With Niko and the dog being away, it’s usually somewhat easier to tear things apart. Today as I sit to write this, I feel I can breathe better, although there is still plenty to do. There is always plenty to do.

Leelu and I went to story time at the library this morning. I try to take her at least once a week. She doesn’t get as much social toddler interaction time as I’d like and this is an easy walking distance way to sing and dance with the other sillies. This morning she was unusually participatory which was great. More often than not she is just the great observer, but today she was clapping her hands and  rowing her boat with the best of them.

The sky today is overcast but it is nice enough to have the windows open. I hear the soft chinking of the chimes on the front porch and the birds singing their stories back and forth. My house is clean-ish and I am enjoying a mild reprieve with you and an afternoon cup of coffee. Right now, my priorities lie within.

My friend is in the hospital right now, recovering from surgery. My heart has been with her and I think that is why everything feels soft today. My approaches are lighter. My breath is deeper. The choices we make are ultimately ours to make. To be able to do so is a blessing we have as humans. I think collectively, our most important choice is to be grateful. To choose to recognize it as a choice and to practice it with your whole heart. The big thanks and the little thanks. Like right now: I am grateful for this cup of coffee and the daisies smiling at me from my bookshelf. I am grateful for story time with Ms. Tiff. I am grateful for my children and my husband. I am grateful for my friend, her loving and generous spirit, and her courage.  I am grateful for the mountain land that will one day be ours and the family that is patiently waiting for it to be so. I am grateful for you. I am grateful for me. These things big and small, and so many others am I grateful for.

Thank you.

the rundown.

It started snowing at 3 yesterday and didn’t stop until well after dark. So I knew when I woke this morning to tend animals I would be in the thick of it.

Disclosure #1: Niko is the farmer on snow days 95% of the time. He’s out of town presently, working some magic on our land dream, so the farmer is me. Uh oh.

After pulling on jeans over my flannel pajama pants, donning 2 pair of my husband’s socks (I own none of my own) and multiple layers of long sleeves plus the best hand me down snow jacket ever, (Also from Niko, via his late grandma Fedgie. I love Fedgie. Pieces of her wardrobe are why I stay warm.) I set to it.

Disclosure #2: I am a full fledged, salt water in her veins, Florida girl. Even though at 17 I left the state and carried my gypsy soul all over the place, it’s where I come from. I grew up on fishing boats in the middle of the ocean, y’all. It took me at least 10 years of winter living, from mild-ish Colorado to drastic Upper Michigan and beyond to learn how to dress properly for the weather. And even now it’s up for debate.

2 buckets of warm water sloshing around my rubber (fishing) boots (thank you, daddy), milk pail and miscellaneous supplies in hand, I was off to the barn. Chickens first. You’d think they’d bum rush after all the hollering they’d been doing, but after a quick look see out their door, they decided better of it. I put fresh water and feed in their coop, collected egg (yes, singular) and made my way for the goats.

folkways farmSara was very happy to see me, and thus, slightly irritated when I merely replaced her water bucket and headed to the greenhouse. I do believe she was downright offended. If goats could talk… With Niko gone I have to be extra diligent with watering. More often than not, I just forget. And Spring is about priorities (more on that later). At that moment I had to check in on seedlings before it completely left my mind. With our early starts this year both in the kitchen window and in the greenhouse, I have high hopes for a happy garden. With any luck I can can :) from my own tomatoes instead of purchasing cases from the farme’rs market, though I will still purchase plenty of other things. Lippis is my favorite. Support your local farmers, y’all.

Our soil is happier this year, too, thanks to the goats. Goat poop~ it’s where it’s at. Our compost pile has never been healthier, and neighbors have reaped the benefits as well.

With milking done, I came inside after shedding hairy, snowy clothes in the mudroom (I think I’ll invest on a good pair of Dickie overalls for easy removal) and started coffee and oatmeal on the stove top. Milk strained, dishes done, I could finally sit down with my girls for breakfast.

That was the first 2 hours of my Sunday morning. How was yours?

Happy Sunday. Happy Springtime. Be grateful everyday.

 

the thing about sunshine.

The thing about sunshine is that you just wanna be in it. It doesn’t matter what else needs to be done. All the tasks that involve being not in the sunshine very simply become something that can wait, and you go about finding new things to do. Like shoveling goat poop. Yep. Shoveling poo can be the most pleasant check off on your to do list if that poo shoveling is done in the sunshine. Yes, Siree. There is no frown that sunshine cannot fix.

It was a beautiful day through and through. We lingered in bed just long enough to enjoy games of undercover hide and seek, that even the teenager came in for after the beckoning holler from her little sister. We enjoyed French toast for breakfast courtesy of an awesome husband/daddy and homemade cinnamon bread. Soooo good! And then the next several hours saw us hard at work and play in the yard, listening to the bees happy buzzing and watching the goats chomp leaves and explore new territory. The first little shoots of Spring are showing their beautiful faces and I am giddy! After yesterdays Homesteading Fair and talking to folks about the farm, today was a perfect continuation of the love and positive energy of moving forward.

Tonight I meet up with my lovely Circle of sisters to learn something new and celebrate this magic moon. It is a blessed day and I am so happy to be here.

So happy. That’s the thing about sunshine.

of sunshine and snowdays.

Yesterday the sun was shining. The temperatures were glorious. It was a perfect day for working outside and Spring dreaming. Unfortunately I was inside all day on the phone with insurance companies and one medical provider after another dealing with the financial leftovers of the car accident. I understand now why it is so important to have an attorney. Unfortunately (again) I do not. This car accident has caused nothing but pain, stress and grief for my family. The stress of it is truly exhausting. Sigh… And breathe.

folkways chickens

This morning we met some new neighbors. A nice young couple that wanted to meet the goats. They kept goats in Hawaii, among other things, and were happy to see urban farming happening just doors down from them. We were happy to meet possible future goat sitters. I hope to go out to the land with Niko come Solstice time. Finding someone to mind the chickens has not been an issue so far, but milking goats comes with a whole new set of difficulties, which is why I haven’t spent a night away in almost a years time.

colorado folkways farmIn typical Colorado fashion, on the heels of a warm, bright and shiny yesterday came a cold and snowy today. We made the best of it with blueberry chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and an afternoon family movie; the latter of which never happens. It was nice.

And now to catch up on some writing with a hot cup of tea, snuggle time with the little one, and dreams of Spring from the inside out. You just gotta roll with it. :)

Pancake time

Blueberries! Yum!

saturday.

folkways farmIt’s a brilliant day. You’d never know that just two days ago we woke up to a winter wonderland. Again. Colorado is a great place to live if you’re working on being present. I am simultaneously crocheting a scarf while writing this post. I write on scrap paper, outside with the chickens. You gotta take advantage of the sunshine at all costs. So I write a paragraph, crochet a row, write a paragraph, etc…

I’m enjoying a solitary moment right now. Niko took the baby on errands, Daisy’s inside doing homework, and I am here in the sunshine, with you. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. So much is happening so fast. And we have to keep riding that momentum because the next year is going to count for a lot.

folkways farmMy best friend came to visit last week. She of my gypsy days when we lived by the road and the wind. We sat outside in this same spot and talked about life, age, everything we have done, and everything we’ve yet to do. We are both so grateful. We know we have been blessed. Our friendship alone is evidence of that. While she was here I shared with her the dream of our future farm. She of course is behind us 100%. I had a nice little day and a half vaca during her visit and then it was quickly back to the grind of living. It’s a good grind though. Like fresh coffee.

My nose is stuck in gardening books and the library hold shelf is overflowing. I can’t help it. I never get through them all but I always end up inspired by what I do manage to get through. Though our sights are set on that future farm our feet are still planted on this one. There are garden plans to be made. Seeds to be started, and as always, new tips to learn for growing better. Every year we get a better hang of things. I’m really excited about what this season will bring to my kitchen.

Last year was good. This year will be better.

dream big.

farmlandIt’s time to find my way back, with more drive and more purpose than I’ve ever shown before. With my workshop behind me it is now time to put my focus into this farm. Our future. There is a great deal of lesson to be found in living in the now. It is a meaningful practice and one that, as a yoga teacher I often employ. It is a path to be respected, but lately I have learned a new way to honor both being present while still looking forward. I heard recently said, “We cannot fully live in the now if we do not know what we are living for.” Right now I am basking in some long awaited sunshine which calls me to express enormous gratitude in the now, but also allows me to sing forth praises to the coming of spring.

With Imbolc just behind us (that day of fire that has been relegated to the groundhog), it becomes easier to set your sights on the sun with the growing light and the waxing year. Seed catalogs are arriving in the mailbox, and although the earth is still too cold to plant, the spark of inspiration has been ignited. You start to dream wistfully for warmer days and dirt in your fingernails. The Sun is a promise. The wheel turns.

For Folkways, the blossoms in our visions are not only from those hard shelled seeds waiting for the earth to ripen, but exist in a not so far off reality we have designated as home. We have found the future of Folkways in an 80 acre parcel of land 6 hours west from where we are now. It is a piece of earth that has found its way deep into our hearts. It is right. We are on a forward path and will work hard everyday to make our dream come true.

It’s a big dream. But life is big. Too big to dream small.

You’re going to be hearing a lot from me these days. I’m going to be working diligently to turn this blog into a presence of its own. I want people to know about us and our dream. I want to inspire helping hands that will help us manifest our vision, and in turn, inspire other big dreams to happen. If your dream is to live in a Manhattan highrise, a villa on the Mediterranean, or to become a sustainable farmer like me, I want us all to know we will do it.

So from here on out, expect big things from Folkways Farm. We are here. And we will grow.

The first item on my agenda is to increase readership of the blog and to fan out the Facebook page. So I will be offering giveaways. I was inspired to do this from one of my favorite authors, Jenna at Cold Antler Farm. She is a force to be reckoned with and continues to inspire me with her joy and perseverance. Thank you, Jenna.

Our first giveaway will be a $30 gift certificate to our Farm Store. Here you’ll find handcrafted items from my bloom daisy shop, homemade goat milk soap or goat milk/cheese shares, books on farming, natural building, and sustainable living, cob workshops, sewing and crocheting lessons, as well as private yoga classes and spiritual programs from One Rhythm, and much more!

All you have to do to enter is this: Sign up to follow this blog (in the upper right corner of this page), “like” us on Facebook and share our story with one other person. Whether that’s through word of mouth, or passing along our link on Facebook, or any other method of your choosing. Then come back here and leave a comment on this post that you’ve done so. That’s it! You’re entered! I’ll announce the winner on the New Moon, March 1st.

Thank you for your love and support and as always, DREAM BIG.

Love <3

dream good, stay glad, and wake up and fight.

Woody Guthrie's 1942 New Year's Resolutions.

Woody Guthrie’s 1942 New Year’s Resolutions.

These last couple of months have kept me busy and away from writing here. but I’ll be back in early February on a regular basis again. I am so grateful for the many blessings that my family and I have. I would say we are lucky, and then my wonderful neighbor Dawn would remind me ‘not lucky, blessed.’ So yes, we are blessed, and looking forward to 2014.

We’re in the future now, folks. Wow. 2014 is totally Science Fiction. But then, our lives today are Science Fiction compared to 50 years ago.

We’ve had one good snow so far this winter season, and I hope for land’s sake we get many more. Here are a few recaps in pictures:

Leelu loves the snow.

Leelu loves the snow.

Sara thinks snow is awesome. Heidi on the other hand...

Sara thinks snow is awesome. Heidi on the other hand…

Magic is afoot around here lately and I’ve no doubt that this coming year is going to be about hard work and moving forward. Our dreams are in sight. We have the power to make things happen and we’re going to do it. I am so grateful that I was blessed with such a doer for a husband. He balances my flightiness quite well.

My kids are healthy and that is always something to be thankful for. They both get more adorable as each day passes. I don’t know how it happens, but I speak the truth. Here is a happy Christmas time photo of the girls:

My cuties.

My cuties.

Happy new year tidings from Folkways Farm. As Woody says, “Dream good. Stay glad. Wake up and fight.”

 

 

twas the night…

Twas the time of Deep Winter when darkness prevails, and all through the homestead we shared olden tales

of lives long ago when times were much harder, to survive the long winter they stocked full their larder.

The seasons harvest put by with much canning and drying, when hard work meant the difference between living and dying.

Those things that today are taken for granted, when barely a thought goes to seeds that are planted.

But there are those of us trying to go back to the ways, when life was simpler and we found meaning in our days.

Modern day farmers and urban homesteaders, we work though mistakes and try to do things better.

We have conveniences that our forefathers did not, we try to find balance so our children are taught

that life can hold meaning under a deep winter sky, that we can learn much from our forebears gone by.

On our small city lots we plant veggies and grains, we raise chickens and bees and are never quite the same

because we start to see what matters the most, when we raise the bird that becomes the roast,

to feed the bellies so close to our hearts, food healthy and happy is a good place to start.

We are blessed to find balance when things aren’t as hard. We have Google at our fingertips and goats in our yard.

We have heat in our homes, refrigerators and cars, but still we can find joy in looking at the stars.

In this season of dark in the 6 degree chill, we light up our trees and sing out good will.

I’m happy we have our little town charm, but still keep the dream of our hundred acre farm.

But for now the chickens are nestled in their coop built of clay, the goats in the barn have clean straw and fresh hay.

The bees are wrapped tight in their top bar hive home, settled in for the long run with their shared honeycomb.

You start where you are and you do what you can. Teach your children well by nurturing the land.

Winter is here on our small little farm. The animals are tended, our toes are all warm.

The children are snuggled in our warm family bed as we huddle for space moving tiny limbs from our heads.

We wait for the Solstice and the return of the light. But for now from the darkness we bid you a goodnight.

Happy Holy-Days, from Folkways Farm.

winter is here.

winter at folkways farmIt’s times like these (when this cold rolls in) that I always step into a deeper part of my gratitude. I remember all of the forces that came together to provide my home with heat. 2 years ago, we did not have any. Our windows froze up effectively creating an ice box out of our house. Our outside winter wardrobe was worn inside these walls. But because of the love and generosity of good friends, I write to you warmly, holding my baby that refuses to wear socks (I try, she pulls them off. Over and over again.) They are calling for lows of – 6. Winter is upon us. Snuggle up your loved ones, folks. Warm blessings, to you all.