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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:quick hello, dear blog:

Oh! The things life throws at you. I am, as anyone can see, not posting. However, this time it is a deliberate decision, not neglect. Life has thrown some curveballs at me and none of it is shareable. I am willing it all to be over soon, so we can all settle back into our version of normalcy. That way I can get back to posting and sharing in this space. One really good thing I can share is I am back to knitting and working on a Rikke Hat for the cold snap we have coming up.

Also, R.I.P. Stephen Hawking. Your brilliant mind shall be missed, rest now.

:no stitches west for me:

Stitches West 2018 is about to happen. The vendors are starting to set up in the marketplace. Thousands of knitters are about to descend on San Jose…

…and I will not be a part of it.

I want to go.

So, so badly.

It does not help that it falls on my birthday week each year.

You have no idea how badly I want to go.

But, alas, I will not be going this year.

This year is a year of prioritizing a few things above knitting. Yes, I know, it didn’t sound right to me when I wrote it down either. I am trying to comfort myself with the fact that I have plenty of yarn and fleece in my stash to tide me over. I don’t really need more.

It’s not working very well.

I could go and just look and touch and squish and sniff the yarn, but I am afraid it would make it worse. I do so love all the pretty yarn.

So I will stay away, and hope that next year I’ll really get to enjoy it all.

:forty-three years ’round the sun:

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At times I find it hard to believe I am in my forties, married, and have two children (one of which is my size).

Today I turn forty-three.

I love my birthday, though I don’t actually celebrate it in the traditional sense. For me it is more of a personal new year. It is a day when I love to think back on the past year and my life in general. When I would love to sit in a cafe bookstore, surrounded by the things I love: books, a journal, a good pen, and coffee.

A day to reflect, and then an evening with my family is all I would need to make my birthday special.

I do not shy away from it, or hide it’s existence, or wish I was younger. I don’t see the point. I know others do, and they have their own reasons for doing so. To me, a birthday is a celebration of the unique person who is me. On that day, at that hour, a singular being was born into this world. A person who will bring their own creativity and wonder and beauty to existence.

And that is reason enough to celebrate.

Today, I will actually not get the chance to spend my birthday as I wish.

Instead, I will be driving all over town as a homeschool mom. Tonight I will get home late and in the dark to make dinner. But after that, when the kitchen is clean, I will break open a hard cider, cuddle on the couch with my husband, and toast to one more year ’round the sun.

:planners set-up for the week:

I’ve got a crazy week ahead of me and a husband who is off for President’s Day, so today’s post is going to be quick.


Here is my #beforethepen in my Happy Planner.

And here is a new bullet journal spread I am trying out, inspired by Diana Meier-Soriat. I wish I could read German, so I could understand her blog!

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:happy caliversary, graces:

Yes, I know it’s Valentine’s Day today. Congratulations to any and all who follow it and have reason to enjoy it.

But, for us, it is the three year anniversary of our arrival in California.

This is momentous.

You see, Doug and I have a bit of wanderlust in us. I’ve written about our many moves before.

Probably the longest we have ever been in any one state is when we were in Georgia, and even those ten years were broken up by a nine month stint in Colorado.

Three years in Cali, makes this the second longest stay in any one state in our marriage. We have always been excited about the new place we will be calling home. Every one of them has had their appeal.

California has graced us with glorious weather, good friends and some heart racing experiences (wildfires and floods!). We have gotten to camp, see whales, keep chickens, homeschool, ride horses, have our first taste of country life. Well, at least I have. Doug’s a small town boy, born and bred.

So, while today most people are celebrating Valentine’s Day, we are celebrating our Caliversary.

Happy three years, Graces.

:gone country:

I grew up in cities and suburbs. My mother’s idea of camping involves a top-of-the-line fifth wheel with all the conveniences of home a hotel room without room service. I was raised to play inside, keep my dress clean, and blow out the curl of my hair.

My mother has no idea where she went wrong with me.

I live in a tiny cabin in the mountains. My kids only wear shoes to go outside if they have to go into the chicken coop. Yes, we keep chickens. The driveway down from the main roads is steep enough to give FedEx fits. We can see the Milky Way from the deck of our house because we have no light pollution.

I love the warmth of the sun on my skin.

I love the feel of dirt beneath my feet.

The idea of sitting outside beneath a tree, just for the chance to feel the solidness of the trunk behind my back and the wind in my curls is relaxing.

Actually being able to do it is lovely.

The days we do go down to the city are stressful, and I look forward to the weekend when we can all just settle at home.

Doug and I have been on a search for a home of our own. A place where we can steward the land and the wildlife. Having lived in the country for the last two years, I can safely say I have absolutely no desire to live in the city or a suburb ever again.

Of course, I have no crystal ball to tell me what the future will bring, but here’s hoping.

:pluviophile:

Pluviophile: (n) a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days

I’m not very fond of labels, but I came across this term recently. I had never heard it before, but I absolutely love it. We live in California, where the sun shines on us almost unbated for months. When winter comes, it brings rain.

I love the rain.

I grew up in south Florida, where rain would come at precisely the same time every day. At 3:20 PM a sudden deluge would hit. Traffic would stop on the highways due to poor visibility, and you could not see the buildings across the street. Fifteen minutes later the sun would be shining again and the pavement would be steaming.

Here, the rain brings with it cooler weather. By the time the rainy season comes around, I am just parched for rain as the brown grass. We light the wood stove, and I love to snuggle in and write in my journal. My daily journaling goes from two or three to five or six during these months.

I especially love it when it’s the weekend and I don’t have to be anywhere. My husband and I will sit in a quiet house and write together (He prefers to write on his laptop.) Sometimes I’ll light candles. I always want to light the wood stove if it’s cold enough. Other times I’ll read from my current book pile. Right now my wrist is still healing from my sprain, but the itch to knit is very strong on these morning. We always have a French press of coffee to share in the morning. I don’t think I could live without coffee. I am Colombian after all.

I know lately the word hygge has been much bandied about the internet, and I can see how the weather can affect a people so strongly as to make them create a culture around the survival of the cold dark of the Arctic winter.

But I like pluviophile.

It suites me.

I love my sun, and I know I fall apart without enough of it, but learning to not just enjoy, but find joy in the patter of rain and the smell of the damp earth and the warm coziness inside is heavenly.