:11/30:

 

I want…

…to grow things.

…to knit with a kitten on my lap.

…to wear wool socks.

…to sew a dress.

…to draw my own herbal grimoire.

…to drink wine as the moon rises through the trees.

…to sit around a bonfire in the cold of winter with friends and family, roasting s’mores.

…to read a new book with rain pattering against the windows.

…to watch the original Dark Crystal, and hope the new series doesn’t ruin it all.

…to make every ornament for the tree next month.

…to curl up with my love in a cold, dark house under warm, thick blankets.

:9/30:

My heart breaks for the people of Paradise, CA.

Here we are dealing with the smoke from that fire. Those in the valley have it worse. I don’t even want to imagine what the people in Chico are dealing with. My family have been calling and texting to check on us. I have to assure them I am fine. California is as big as three other states put together, so these fires are not near us.

Still, my heart breaks.

:6/30:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: fall is my favorite season.

There is just something about the colors and the crispness of the air and the the still warm sun that lifts my spirits.

Even before I found knitting again, I have always lived for fall.

We moved to Miami from Philadelphia when I was in fifth grade, and the loss of the seasons made me hide from the sun and the brutal heat. SoFLo has a never-ending summer that took me years to become used to.

Where we live now is at just enough elevation to feel the change of season slightly love than the valley.

It is glorious.

I love the fall.

:3/30:

One of the new things I have decided to do is to begin sketch journaling. There are a few things which prompted me to start one. I have always, always, always been fascinated by journals which include drawing. I love seeing those old travel journals and artist sketchbooks of victorians. I love sketchbooks that incorporate ephemera and photographs in with the writing. But I really do not consider myself an artist.

To say I was never really encouraged to express of pursue any kind of creativity is an understatement. Coupled with an almost crippling self-doubt, I never did the things I wanted. It took decades and an uber-supportive husband (and watching my Breezy blossom as an artist) to give myself permission to try.

I also found this amazing artist. Her name is Samantha Dion Baker and she is a graphic designer and illustrator from New York City. I first found her on Pinterest. It turns out she is mostly on Instagram (Yes, I broke my self-imposed IG ban to look at her work!) It was beautiful. I also found out she has written an inspirational book on starting sketch journaling. I ordered it right away. It was so worth it!

img_0730

This book has prompted me to start sketch journaling in my bullet journal. I had finished the lined journal I was using, So I jumped into it on November 1st. Here are the first two pages:

img_0725

img_0731

One of the things that really called to me about how Samantha Dion Baker does hers is that she focuses on the beauty of the mundane in her life.

At that point I decided not to just draw random sketches, but to use the pages to draw a true record of my life. I thought, Instead of writing out my day for may journaling practice, why not illustrate it?             (Draw Your Day, page 3)

She can turn a piece of fruit or a tin of tea or a the bodega on the corner into a beautiful record of her life. Her book took the intimidation out of sketch journaling.

I also realized that the long-hand written journals I have are not anything I want my kids or Doug EVER reading. They are filled with a log of anxiety and worry and fear and anger. Page after page of it.

I have ordered the three of them to burn any handwritten journals they find, unread upon my death.

Pretty grim.

I don’t even want to ever read them again. Those books represent hours of my life, and I am ashamed to share them with anybody. 

I know now I do better focusing on positive. Plus I really do want a record of my life to pass down.

So now I am going to throw myself into documenting my days in my journal. Doug got me the a brown Traveler’s Company notebook. I’ll be moving my planning over to it in December (though it is already here and I am so tempted to start now!) I have a few pages left in my current bullet journal, so I will finish out November there. But I am on day three of art journaling, and really, really loving it.

:2/30:

In the course of my sixteen plus years of marriage, I’ve lived in six states. In that time I’ve added to and gotten rid of at least two houses full of furniture. You learn quickly that the more you have, the more you have to move. The result being that I keep what I love for the move, and get rid of the rest. Usually, I end up at Ikea buying cheap things to replace what didn’t make it in the move. Sometimes it’s just cheaper than hauling it to a new state.

The result is that we when we moved into our own house (finally!) we didn’t have much in the way of real furniture. Sure we had beds and a couch, but not much more beyond that.

So I am now turning my attention to getting things to fill the house. And while Ikea is around the corner from some of the kids’ activities, I’ve chosen to go the thrifting route. I (and Doug) have been watching Craigslist, Free-cycle and a local group for things we really love and that will fit what we want our little homestead to be. I don’t really have a style picked out. I just know that Doug and I both love cozy and character, things that stand the test of time and can weather trends. We also want quality pieces.

Unfortunately, doing things this way takes not just tenacity and the time to dedicate to the search, but also speed and the ability to stomach some disappointments.

Then last month I scored three amazing pieces in one day.

I found this dresser for Doug:

img_0683

This amazing roll-top desk for myself:

img_0675

img_0674

And the cabinet on the left there. It is actually a match for the dresser, but it is going to house my fiber stash

img_0676

I’m still on the lookout for bookcases and a couch which better fits the feel of the house, but this is a good start.

The best part is all three were FREE!

Yup.

Go, Pili.

:a dragon and a headache:

I want to tell you all about our bountiful chestnut harvest, our plans for the barn, and the twenty-four hour blackout we enjoyed, but I have a massive headache.

Sorry, kids.

So, instead I’ll leave you with photos we took of the Space X Dragon 9 launch taken from the back of the house. If it wasn’t for that blackout, we would have missed it.

Sometimes the Universe sends you blessings in disguise.

:how i spent my summer:

Actually, I’m pretty sure you don’t want to know. My summer…my summer was a bit on the horrible end of crazy.

Now, how I ended my summer. That’s worth a read. Here on the Grace Homestead I’d like to introduce you to our two newest members.

Hercules (A.K.A. Herc or Boo Cat), who came to us at four weeks old and in the mouth of our kill-everything dog Cassie. I was shocked when D sent me a text asking be to bring home kitten formula and some litter. This is the only cat Cassie-girl has not tried to kill on sight. He came from our neighbor’s property (the had two stray litters), and due to an injury we figured we would keep him and nurse him back to health. Farms do need a cat after all.

img_0047-1

and Atalanta (A.K.A. ‘Lanta), from the other litter on our neighbor’s property. She’s three weeks younger, and the mom abandoned the whole litter. We took her and the rest went to a neighbor down the street who works with kitten rescue.

img_0052

img_0051img_0049img_0050

We have also added our flock of chickens back into the homesteading dynamic.

The business of raising orphaned kittens and caring for a flock has given this place a bit of a boost as far as how our days are spent. The garden ended up producing a little bitty zucchini and three giant yellow squash plants. We have so much squash, I don’t even know what to do with it!

img_0048-1

As far as the writing front goes, I am getting back into the swing of things. I did a ton of reading this summer, and it has fired up my juices to get back to my story.

img_0053

I’ve got my BuJo all set up to get back into the swing of our regular school year and to make sure I start looking at my work as a writer as my WORK.

:family time:

My parents and mother-in-law all came together for a visit this week, so our days have been spent playing board games, weeding the garden, letting them see a bit of the kids homeschooling days, and eating. My mother took one look at me and decided I needed to gain back the weight I lost when we were buying the house. I feel like she is definitely trying to making it happen in the week she is here! LOL.

Really, we have just been here at home most of the time, enjoying the beautiful weather. California has delivered on it’s reputation with sunny days and cool nights. My mother-in-law has also helped identify some of the flowers and trees on the property.

Tiny (blurry!) grapes.
We took my MIL to Santa Cruz to see the Pacific Ocean. The flowers were a riot of color and she absolutely loved it.

 

SaveSave