Home Again, Home Again

Seasons Greetings Farmgirl Friends,

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Joyous Festivus!

Winter has finally come and stuck around. The exciting tease of flurries and chill that begins to poke around in October has given way to snow that accumulates, temperatures that remain below freezing, and the shortening of days. As I write this, we are two days shy of the winter solstice and our number of daylight hours hovers around five and a half. The sun rises after ten a.m. and sets well before four p.m. It is winter. It is time to eat, love, create and enjoy.

We have been treated with beautiful hoar frost several times this December.

We have been treated with beautiful hoar frost several times this December.

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Tropical Farmgirl

The last time I wrote I was preparing to leave on a family vacation to Hawaii!  We have returned to Alaska, but I’d love for you to join me for a trip down memory lane to three weeks ago….

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A walk through paradise. Those are mahogany trees framing the left. They were planted when the farmer started this farm a few decades ago.

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Illumination

Ava wanted to play with her flash light today for the first time since April.  It’s an old promotional flashlight that I put in her stocking last Christmas (funny how the best things are often free/unexpected).  She loves shining it all over the floor and stairs while our dog, Moki, chases the cast light.  Moki gets a little neurotic about chasing lights and shadows…but it’s fun! While we were playing, it dawned on me that the ambient light was low enough to allow for the flashlight to work!  Darkness is setting in, but with it, we are gifted illumination.

Is that an adorable gnome I see looking at me?

Is that an adorable gnome I see looking at me?

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The Seasons of Our Lives

Aaahhhhh…You can almost hear the collective exhale as we make our way through September.  The hectic days of late August are behind us, and we are settling into new routines at work, school, in the garden, and at home.  There is a welcome relief that comes along with the end of production and the beginning of rebirth.  A new season has begun! And with it, the headiness of autumn.  In my experience, autumn is a time for big thoughts and formative realizations.  We are instinctually preparing our bodies for the long stretch of winter where–traditionally–we would be spending our time with our thoughts, our food, our families and our fire.  Might as well start the whole hibernation mode with a clear brain–but first to sift through everything that has been brushed aside during the action packed summer!

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Shadows of ourselves. September affords beautiful “golden hours” and a lot of shadow fun! This rural girl finds that concrete has some perks…

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Waste Not, Want Not

Hi Farmgirls!  Harvest season is in full swing up here in Alaska, I imagine your gardens are producing (or everything is bolting?) in excess with the amount of heat the lower 48 has been getting.  On the farm, we have seen especially high yields of peas, zucchini and broccoli–nearly to the point of having too much to sell and eat!  In the past, I would have dedicated a few days to putting up food for the winter, but it turns out that small children make this pretty difficult.  Who would’ve thunk?

These girls are so helpful!  Yes, that is a mud goatee on Opal...soil is good for gut flora, they tell me.

These girls are so helpful! Yes, that is a mud goatee on Opal…soil is good for gut flora, they tell me.

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“It’s Okay”: Advice From a 2.5 Year Old

I just wrapped up an after dinner family photo session hosted by the one and only Toddler Farmgirl Ava.  She has a sudden interest in photography, I think it has something to do with her other Babysitter Farmgirl friends who just started Instagram accounts.  Anyway…she was pretending that a clothes hanger was her camera.  She wanted us to give ourselves bunny ears and make funny faces.  We obliged and she snapped away some “pictures.”  It was really great, innocent fun!

Funny face photos on a nature hike!

Funny face photos on a nature hike!

I then asked if she had any other color cameras, maybe a green one?  She replied that all of her other cameras “had clothes hanging on them.”  Hilarious!  The imagination can have its limits, apparently.

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When Life Gives You Lemons

Hey there Farmgirls!  First off–Happy Solstice!  I hope you are navigating this powerful time of the year with as much grace and focus as you can muster. This one has been a doozy with the full moon and solstice happening at the same time.  I’ve been hearing of troubles and woes from almost every corner of life.  As for me, I’m just kind of frantic and unfocused (So many unfinished projects and tasks!), but I already feel my body anticipating and getting ready for the slow relaxation that comes as summer progresses.

This girl has been enjoying the long days of solstice time!

This girl has been enjoying the long days of solstice time!

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Country Girl in the City

Hello Farmgirls!

I hope this finds you well as we all continue to dive deeper into the green of spring and heat of summer.  I am in the second half of a whirlwind visit to the Midwest with my family and have been enjoying watching the bright new greens transform into their slightly more permanent, deeper hues.  The trip started with beautiful blossoms on the apple, cherry, plum and lilac trees and is finishing with some of the most lusciously green and huge-leaved maples and oaks I’ve seen in a very long time!  When we get back to Alaska, we’ll get to experience it all again.  How lucky are we?

Country road, take me home...(driveway to my mom's farm in MN)

Country road, take me home…(driveway to my mom’s farm in MN)

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…And We’re Back!

It’s been awhile Farmgirl sisters…Time for some catch up, let’s get to it:

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  That pretty much sums up parenthood, right?  I’ve come up with another summation: childcare and coffee.  That’s what my days have been made of for the last couple of months (and laundry…piles and piles of it! Thank you washing machine!).  Like many aspects of parenting, just as we are getting used to this phase it shifts as we emerge out of Opal’s newborn days.

She's getting to be a big girl!  #MNrepresent

She’s getting to be a big girl! #MNrepresent

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Nourishment

{sorry for the delay, friends!  Technical difficulties on my end…}

Perhaps, like me, you thought that bone broth was SO 2014.  Well, apparently it was, but it continues to be uber cool garnering adoration from the New York Times, trendy diet fads and new best selling books.  It isn’t really a new thing though—folks have been making bone broth since prehistoric times.

Bone, fish (in a blue jar) and turkey broth

Bone, fish (in a blue jar) and turkey broth

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