Fastest Summer Ever

Hello Farmgirls!

Whew, it’s already decidedly autumnal here.  How has this summer been for you? It has gone by lightning fast for us. We have been busy with many visitors and an ever more energetic group of kids. Of course, after a year of being apart from some of the people we love the most, it was amazing to see grandparents, cousins, siblings, and friends. My mom celebrated her 70th birthday and we were able gather and celebrate. It was one of those parties that ended up being even better than we imagined it could be. My brother and sister in law went all out with the “70” decorations—balloons, yard signs, candles, the whole shebang. We are not a decorate-for-birthdays kind of family, so it was very fun!

Cousins visited and played in the tundra

Cousins visited and played in the tundra

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My Brood

Brood (noun): a family of young animals, especially of a bird, produced at one hatching or birth.

(verb): think deeply about something that makes one unhappy.

(noun, informal): all of the children in a family.

From the Old English brod: “to breed”.

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few kids who have grown up on small scale farms.  A favorite activity is often–“How many mouths are there to feed on our farm?” Even on a small farm, these numbers can add up! A couple acre plot with chickens, ducks, pigs, a horse or cow or two, dogs, kids, cats…even if the animals have a lot of space, can already be in the hundreds-of-mouths-to-feed territory. The count can be especially high if the counters try to estimate numbers of bees in a hive or worms in the vermipost bin.

Kiki/Hana Gana/Shadow--My favorite hen

Kiki/Hana Gana/Shadow–My favorite hen

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You Know You Live in Alaska When…

Hello Farmgirls,

Has spring sprung where you are? How are you doing? “March Madness” (not the “sports games” kind as Ava calls it) is almost behind us as the ever quickening addition of light to our days starts to wind down.  The Equinox to Solstice slide has begun.

Alaskan kids are lucky! Most people never get to see a glacier in real life.  These kids get to see them when they are babies, and practically out our back door.

Alaskan kids are lucky! Most people never get to see a glacier in real life. These kids get to see them when they are babies, and practically out our back door. (Maybe I’m thinking about writing, here)

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Hiatus

Farmgirls.

Hello! It’s been awhile.

Hey! It's me.  I'm back.

Hey! It’s me. I’m back.

I missed you, and I apologize for the long silence on my end.  This year has been many, many things, with one of the main things being: TOUGH! It has also been beautiful and fun and sad and boring and confirming and confusing and… all of the things.  I have a feeling many of you have had similar feelings and experiences.  After writing in April, I missed my next post and then just could not get myself to write. I thought of the readers and other Farmgirls and knew I should at least pop in to say, “Hey! I’m alive and okay!” but there was this huge mental block holding me back. I have to admit that my mental health was hanging in there, but the break from writing deadlines was necessary to keep it that way. Time kept moving on as it does, and it got to that weird place where my absence had been too long to address.  Thankfully, one of MaryJane’s dutiful employees reached out and asked if I’d be up for writing again (Thanks, B!).  Writing is one of my best outlets, and I appreciate being gently nudged back into practice.

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SIP

Hello Farmgirls,

Ummm. I’m nearly at a loss of what to write. It all seems pretty trivial at the moment, but maybe a little triviality is part of what we need during these unprecedented times?

First off, how are you all? I truly believe the nation and world is in a collective stage of grief.  Many of us have had our fair or unfair shares of grief in life, so it is a familiar feeling–only different in that everyone is experiencing it.  There is so much uncertainty in where this is going and what the world will look like when it’s “over.” I’ve spoken about it with others experienced and studied in grief, we are grieving the loss of an imagined future.  This is normal and okay.  Sometimes it’s good to have a way to label our experiences and emotions. Please be kind to yourselves and loved ones while we navigate these murky waters.  Cracking under the pressure is expected, crying at the most menial of occurrences is a healthy way that your body and psyche forces you to check in, ignoring it all is a natural coping mechanism. Acceptance that this is happening is the goal. It is where we can find our own integrity.

Moki has been increasingly lazy, or perhaps depressed? Either way, she is cute--finding different pillows to lounge on.

Moki has been increasingly lazy, or perhaps depressed? Either way, she is cute–finding different pillows to lounge on.

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Snow Daze

Okay, I know, I know–I’m a little obsessed.  It is time for my yearly ode to snow.  I just love it so much that I can’t help myself.  In reality, it is so much on my mind over the last few weeks that I can’t think of much else to write about!  It all starts with or comes back to snow.  Living the rural life with a fair amount of land, not too many indoor options for kids, and a lot of driveway means that a lot of snow results in a lot of work and play!

Fern enjoys the good stuff.

Fern enjoys the good stuff.

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Balance

Happy New Year and New Decade Farmgirl Friends!

Our snow family greeting the new year and new decade!

Our snow family greeting the new year and new decade!

It’s been a big time for change and newness around here as we get settled into our new (to us) house, new routines and new part of town.  I’ve been asked approximately 4.3 million times how we are liking our new house, if we are all moved in, etc. etc.  My usual reply is–yes! It’s great and yes all of our stuff is in the house.  Note: I did not say we are all moved in :).  It’s proving to be difficult to “move in” with all of this newness happening with young kids around.  I’m generally okay with this and try to find the humor in it…but there are times of darkness and turmoil! (like when I decided to collect and organize ALL OF OUR SHOES).

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Framily

Happy Holidays, Farmgirls!

Hope you are all doing well during this busy and cheerful season. We’ve had an eventful few weeks up here in the North. It started with a girls’ trip that Ava and I took to Seattle to visit Ava’s cousin and have some sister-free fun!

On the plane, ready for take off!

On the plane, ready for take off!

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Where’s the Snow?

Hey Hey Farmgirl sisters,

How are you all doing?  I’m having one of those uninspired (or perhaps unmotivated?) snaps in life, a writer’s block if you will.  If I recall this is normal for me during this time of the year, during the break between harvest season and celebration season. There’s a stagnancy in the air.  As strange as it sounds, I believe it’s good to be uninspired sometimes. For me it’s a feeling of contentment in that there is nothing that needs to be bettered, accomplished, pursued or created.  I can just go about with the daily rhythms of life and the demands of various responsibilities without daydreaming about what I could be doing or feeling down on myself for not accomplishing all of the things.

Although dinners have been a bit boring. Sorry, family.

Perhaps my last bits of inspiration were spent up making Halloween costumes.  It was a warm Halloween up here!

Perhaps my last bits of inspiration were spent up making Halloween costumes. It was a warm Halloween up here! We had a spider, bee and honey pot (and Ninjago friend).

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A Tale of Three Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

Just kidding, it was just regular times—most of them great! We just finished up a two week trip to Minnesota to attend the wedding of my little brother. It turns out he isn’t so little anymore, and I couldn’t be happier for him and his new wife. It was a beautiful wedding on a lovely Wisconsin farm.  The weather didn’t cooperate but it helped prove that their love conquers all! After six years of getting to watch them grow in love and life, their marriage is sure to be a great one.

The adorable couple during the reception.  What an amazing building!

The adorable couple during the reception. What an amazing farm building!

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