:12/30:

This past week we have hunkered down and avoided going outside if at all possible.

Yes, I am getting a bit of cabin fever, but at lease I am hunkered down in my own home.

My heart is just hurting for all my fellow Californians who have lost their homes, loved ones, workplaces, businesses, pets, and lives to the fires.

I have avoided going to the news sites to read anything or see any video about the fires. The one time I did so was to be greeted by the grizzly image of a dead deer.

However, I have broken my social media ban to check on people I know. I have quietly gone on Instagram and Twitter to make sure they are OK. Unfortunately, some of those people have lost everything.

Around the homestead, we have let any outside work go undone. We can rake leaves and pick up chestnuts later. The garden won’t suffer any for being mulched a couple of weeks after we had planned. Our lungs are much more important to us. The only real outside time we spent was doctoring one of our chickens. Chewy got attacked by some sort of canine, but Helios and Sol, our roosters fended the predator off and herded the all the girls back to the barn.

I am taking the time to knit like crazy on D’s Chicane sweater. I bought the yarn for him back when B was a few weeks old, so it’s….thirteen years past due. Thanks to the smoke, I have only half a sleeve left, and then I can wet block all the pieces and sew it together.Then it’s just a matter of sewing on the zipper. It can’t be that hard, right?

I’m also taking advantage of the enforced seclusion to put together a curriculum of sorts. No, not for the kids. This one is for me. I went into the garage and dug through our still-packed book boxes to get all the homesteading books I have bought over the years. There are many! Most of them I have read or leafed through, but this winter I am really going to study them.

This is exactly what I need to get me through my long cold winter days: knitting, books and a warm cuppa coffee/tea/apple cider/mulled wine….mmmmm, mulled wine. A kitten sleeping on my lap doesn’t hurt.

 

: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.

:8/30:

At the beginning of the year I chose a word to be my focus: CREATE.

I wasn’t sure quite what I wanted to create. Was is a book? knitting projects? this blog? new habits? new hobbies?

Truth be told I am still not quite sure, but at the same time I am more certain.

I do not have specifics of what I want to create. I just want to be creating.

I think I spent most of my life not thinking of myself as a creative. I drew, but I was no artist. I knit, but I was no maker. I wrote, but I was no  writer.

I wanted to be all of those things, but how to chose? My interests would flit from one thing to another. I would get obsessed with a project, finish it, and decide I wanted to do something completely different next. Round and round my mind would go, never really focusing, never really settling.

Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s just maturity (which is not necessarily tied to age), but I now feel like that’s perfectly OK. Who says a writer can’t be a musician (Stephen King) or an actor can’t be photographer (Viggo Mortensen) or a knitter can’t be an artist (Sina) or a writer can’t be a knitter (Penny Reid)?

I mean, could you imagine telling Da Vinci to stick to just one medium?

So why should I expect that of myself?

Why should I try to pigeonhole myself?

I am not doing this as some career shift (though it would be nice to find a way to make an income from my creating.) I’m doing this because something in the very heart of me demands I let it out, in all it’s various expressions.

 

: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.

:small steps are a big deal:

We planted a graden. Not a big one.

In fact, it is only three vegetables right now. Given how much work this property needs to just get it cleaned up, that is all I can handle right now. We have Swiss chard, yellow squash, and zucchini seedling starting to push up through the soil.

In getting the small area ready for our modest kitchen garden, we decided to go for a permaculture approach, it calls for far less weeding, but there is still weeding.

I was out there pulling the individual weeds that fought their way through the layer of hay we had laid out, and it struck me that such a small thing is such a big deal. One small weed doesn’t seem like a lot, but the fact that I am nipping them in the bud, one by one as they pop up, means I won’t have to deal with the later. I won’t be overwhelmed as the garden grows. I will be able to enjoy coming out here for a few minutes each day to water and tend to my vegetables, and not dreading the amount of work that needs to be done.

Small steps are a big deal.

I’ll leave you with the sunset the other day when we went to take the trash out.

IMG_0027.JPG

:forty-three years ’round the sun:

img_5833

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.

: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.

:a bit of a ramble:

IMG_4565

Trying to come up with a topic every day for this uncategorized blog is not coming easily. For years I have read blogs from artists or homeschooling moms, baby blogs and CrossFit ones. I love having an insight into people’s everyday lives. It is one of the reasons I wanted to do this blog.

But there also seems to be this tremendous pressure to monetize blogs and make them look super curated and artistic.

I’m not sure that is me.

I just want to share a little bit about myself, and make connections with readers and bloggers.

My life is not super fancy. I don’t have a gorgeously decorated home. I live in a tiny 800 square foot cottage in the mountains. I’m a true homebody unless I’m traveling somewhere. I love to craft, but I’m not a guru in any one discipline. Probably because I love to do all the things, so I never get really good at any one thing. Hell, I’m a beginner or dabbler in almost all of the things I do.

I can guarantee anyone who comes here will mostly see ramblings about my day and photos when I remember to take them. They will see me write about fears and insecurities (a lot). They will read about my attempts to make art, both in writing and through textile and visual means.

And they will see me document the life I want to make for myself.

I am embarking on a journey into the Creative Life.

It is a world I have watched, standing outside in the cold, with my nose pressed against the glass, and longing for the warmth within. I would tell myself that was for other people, people who were “good at it.” Even as I tell my kids that they have to start and make mistakes before they could develop the skills they wanted, I never let myself hear my own advice.

It has only taken forty-two years to give myself permission to live that creativity.

:my word for the year:

This word basically embodies 2018 for me.

I want to create a book (or two).

I want to create art.

I want to create reality from my dreams.

I want to create connections, both in real life and on-line.

I want to create something from this blog.

I want to create.

One thing I have wanted to focus on is this blog. Right now that focus is just to blog every weekday. It does not matter to me if it is just a photograph, a list of what happened to me, or a long rambling entry. This blog has been in existence for years, and my fear of failure has muzzled my use of it.

This year, all bets are off. I just want to write and share. Make it my job. I have no idea, in this age of Insta-blogs, if it will go anywhere.

Of course I care if people read it or get something out of what I share, but that is not the point. The point is not perfection. The point is not likes or comments. The point is to do it.

I want to create.

And I want to share it.