:saturday list making:

Hello, dear readers!

Today was a day of making lists and seeing just how much work has to be done around here. Doug and I walked the property, taking turns pointing out to each other the buds and new leaves on trees and grapevines, wondering where this irrigation line runs to, and whether that section of fence will be easy to repair. It is almost overwhelming when we look at it. Then we take a deep breath and grin at each other like loons.

There is nowhere else we would rather be than looking a years worth of work.

One of the things on my list is to go see what the library has on growing grapes. I’ve grown a vegetable garden before, but wine grapes are totally different. Thankfully, I just need to let the vintner who tends the vines do his job, and then I get to enjoy the fruit of his labor, as it were. People have asked me why I don’t make him pay be, but to have a knowledgeable vintner tend the vines and then give me cases of wine as payment is more than a fair deal. Heaven knows if I had to do it, these vines would be in a sorry stated and there would be no wine! However, I do think I need to educate myself on what grows on my land.

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List, list, lists! Today was trying to get it all down on paper. And, yeah, that’s my trust Lamy. It’s ruined me for all other pens. 

Today I also met a neighbor. I have to say, I have never lived anywhere where the people actually came out to meet you. We have met five neighbors on our road so far, and most of them went out of their way to come welcome us. Despite the fact that we are so close to the city, it really is rural living here. I just love it.

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The gorgeous Cali sky through the budding branches of one of the big chestnut trees. 

Now we are going to watch a movie together. I hope your Saturday has been as lovely as mine!

Good night. 🙂

:scotch broom:

Oh, my! This stuff is a menace. And. It. Is. Everywhere.

Every day, I try to get out there with a pair of gloves and I just pull, pull, pull. They have to be pulled out by the roots or they come back. The worst ones are the ones that grow from the cut stumps that were not pulled. Some of those I can’t get out at all.

I am loving doing it though. The day was sunny and warm, the breeze cool. When I pulled the root of the plant out, I could smell the damp earth. Sometimes even tasting the scent in my mouth when I breathed in.

Sun on my skin. My muscles working hard.

I found myself using “deadlift form” when I pulled the big ones out. Flat back, shoulders straight, pushing through my heals. Tomorrow morning my hamstrings are going to feel this.

It’s going to feel good.

Functional movement at its finest.

This side of the vineyard had some damage during the Loma Fire in 2016. The fire department actually worked hard to save this property, but trees still came down on the fence and some of the vine posts got pulled down. 

I’ve managed to work my way down the fence. I’m only about half-way, but the recent rain and humidity makes the soil have more give. Hopefully I can get the majority before it all dries out. 

:thursday morning high and low:

Good morning!

This morning we had the low of a small panic attack after seeing smoke. I turned the car around and hightailed it back to the house to call it in. Thankfully it was a reported controlled burn, and the kids and I were able to get to their riding lesson on time.

Then, when we got to the stables it was to find the kittens big enough to walk. One of the barn cats (showed up as a stray) managed to get herself pregnant before they could get her spayed. It’s actually lucky for us because we are going to get to bring two of them home!

I’m actually sitting here writing this post on my phone with two of them napping in my lap. The tabby is one of ours and the black one has already been claimed by one of the riding instructors in another barn. Actually, all four kittens have already been claimed.

It’s not even noon and the day has already been pretty eventful.

:first blackout:

So we just had our first blackout. It only lasted about half an hour, thank goodness! We have not yet gotten a generator. The giant diesel one on the property was fried long ago. We just lit some candles and the kids decided to make a “prepper” list of things we need to do if this was a serious situation. LOL!

Sitting around talking in the candlelight was a great way to end the day. Here are a few photos I took of our day. Have a great night everyone!

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Bone broth I made in the crockpot overnight.
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A walnut. We do have a walnut tree, but it is far from where we found this one. Maybe a bird or a squirrel carried it. Breezy thought it looked like a little owl.
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Spring leaves on the oak (?) tree!
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I have no idea what this bush is, but those are some looooong thorns!
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Cassie-girl taking a break after she chased the kids around on our morning walk.

:tuesday:

Oh! What a night. At midnight, we got up to find the smoke detector that was losing battery. The beeping drove poor Cassie-girl into a quivering, whimpering mass. Fortunately, we finally figured out how to turn on the heat. At least we weren’t freezing our buns off at midnight, while we got the beeping to go away. I guess I’ll be adding 9 volt batteries to the list of things I need to get while in town today.

Tuesdays are always our busiest and latest day. Usually I’m pulling into the drive around 7 PM. With a high of 55 today, I think a crockpot full of stew is going to be just the thing to welcome us home!

I am still trying to learn my way around this new house. There is so much to do! Not just the everyday cleaning, cooking and chores that come with a home and kids and pets, but also the unpacking and general cleanup any new move requires. When there are almost five acres worth of cleanup it’s a whole different story.

I told Doug that we a a little out of practice as homeowners. We’ve been renting so long, the list of tasks as a homeowner and fledgling homesteader looks ginormous!

Good morning!

Finally. FINALLY! I’m back.

Hello, dear blog. I’m so sorry I’ve neglected this space, but I had my reasons. Please, hear me out.

You see, dear readers, I (and D) have had a dream for a very long time. We have dreamt of a place where we could breath the fresh air. A place where wildlife is but a step away. A place were we could grow food, tend to our own animals, and let our children roam the land. A place were the city lights are far enough away to see the Milky Way stretched out above our heads on a clear night.

A little homestead where we could steward the natural beauty around us.

We always thought we would find that place once we returned to the East Coast. We have searched Landwatch and United Country for years, looking for the perfect place.

However, we knew with D’s job, that staying in the Bay Area would be a smarter move until we were ready to retire to our country dream.

But, have you seen the prices of rent and mortgages around here?! Oh! They are crazy. Just. Nuts.

Then, we were given the golden opportunity to live in a tiny (800 sq ft) cottage in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We loved the last two years there. D was able to work in town, but we were able to enjoy the quiet of country life.

Then, one day we were clicking around on Zillow last fall, as one is wont to do *cough, cough*, and we saw an open house not too far away (at a steal compared to the houses in the city!) We thought, “Why not? It will be fun to just go look.”

And so we went.

And now here we are:

The (blurry, sorry!) view of the morning from my front window

At the end of last month, we became the owners of an almost five acre homestead in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The view you see there is of the Santa Clara Valley.

There is a lot more to this story, of course. It was a whirl wind process! The deal went down in only 30 days. The fact it was the first property we looked at and then we got it is, from my understanding, unheard of in Cali. I truly believe we were meant to live here. So many things happened to make it possible, it was like the Universe aligned the planets, just to we could be here.

That’s not to say the process was easy. No! I lost ten pounds from the stress of it all (I was not looking to lose weight!)

Anyway, I finally feel I am ready to return to this space. I’ll be posting more often, and as we settle into this space, I will show y’all around.

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