Monthly Archives: June 2014

For My Daughter…

As I write this, it’s the last day of school for summer for my daughter. Our town has an “Intermediate school”, for fifth and sixth grades. Come fall, my girl will move up to middle school (gulp), and this summer, she’ll turn twelve years old.  Twelve. The last ‘official’ year of childhood before being a teenager.  How does that happen so fast?

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Summer Seas


” The world today, ” Beston writes, ” is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot”. 1927

Dear Sisters,

If you’re just stopping by for the first time in a while let me catch you up! Some of us are in the final pages of Henry Beston’s,The Outermost House. And, oh what an adventure it is to live as he did day by day, hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute on the great beach!  Whether you’ve been reading along or not, what could be better than to visit The Cape Cod National Sea Shore after reading about “life in the dunes” in Henry’s, The Outermost House? Grab your sunscreen, your favorite summer dress and join me on the summer seas!

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Go You Chicken Fat, Go!

For those of you who are rudely reminded of traumatic childhood gym classes by the title of this post, I apologize.  I’ve been having a good time the last week and half reading up on this previously forgotten song.  And it comes the same week that I: 1) officially donated my remaining chickens to Louise’s Farm School and 2) consumed a fair amount of chicken broth while battling a stomach virus.  So I got rid of some chicken fat while being nourished by some other chicken fat.  I am a bit sad about the officialness of no longer being a chicken owner…those were some good chickens.  I will have to visit them.  But at least I have broth stocked up in the freezer and reliable local egg suppliers.

I have always been interested in my parents’ lifestyles while growing up in the fifties and sixties.  My mom lived in rural north central Minnesota on a lake about six miles out of the nearest small town.  She would tell me about her horses and all of the chickens they would get every year for laying and meat.  She shared the music she listened to, games she and sisters played, foods they would eat and what school was like. I love these stories of days gone by, days that I could never really know.


Portrait of a Rooster

Portrait of a Rooster

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How Do You Take Yours?

Someone stopped by the farm last evening, a neighbor’s cousin from out of town. We were all standing around chatting and he asked if we had visited some local attraction. And I said, “All we’ve done is work since we moved to this farm, but one day!” And he said something that went right through me and stuck to my heart and brain.

“I’ll let you in on a secret,” he leaned in to me. Then he said, “On a farm, the work is never done.”

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Glorious Color and Other Tidbits

The month of June has the busiest, craziest, most-dragging-on weeks of the year for us, but they’re also a happy time.  I feel like “Olaf” in the movie Frozen…summer is here! Cooler weather? “Let it go! Let it go!”  Time to get busy, get plantin’, and really enjoy life. Come join my family as we transition to the new season.

My favorite peony plant never disappoints...

My favorite peony plant never disappoints…

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Solitary Dune

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Dear Sisters,

Since we last met, June has made her arrival and with her plenty of last-minute late-spring activities. Here at Dandelion House I’ve been sowing seeds in the raised beds and borders, preparing for a yard sale this coming weekend with my momma, and car shopping for our oldest. I’m happy to announce he finally found one that fit his budget and one he loves! He didn’t give into impulses to spend beyond his means and when the right one came along he was ready. Life has been non-stop in our world but I stole away to Henry Beston’s ” Solitary Dune”  every chance I could to finish reading his book, The Outermost House. Have you been reading your copy too? I thought I might have caught a glimpse of some of you walking the beach at low tide, chasing birds into flight just to watch them from their perfect flight patterns, and star-gazing on a perfectly clear autumn night. Come on in and let’s chat about our time away in the dune tops! Continue reading

Simply Rural

Every once in awhile I question my inherent ruralness.  I am MaryJane’s RURAL farmgirl, right?  But, what really makes me, my experiences and my blog rural…?  I live in a yurt, but I also live in a neighborhood that feels like a suburban subdivision.  I enjoy driving trucks and tractors, but own neither.  I have to run to the big city to get exotic foods or to find a mall, but I can get nearly everything else in the nearby towns…so what is it, what makes this whole time in my life rural?

After much thought and re-reading USDA census reports and Webster’s definitions of rurality, I figured it out.  For me, as I’m sure it is and equally is not for others, the rural life rests in its simplicity.

The historic Palmer Train Depot.  No trains come through here anymore, but the depot holds a weekly farmers market as well as seasonal and special events.

The historic Palmer Train Depot. No trains come through here anymore, but the depot holds a weekly farmers market as well as seasonal and special events.

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My garden? Well, yes, Memorial Day came and went. You’re right, that definitely means that the long-awaited time FINALLY arrived to plant a garden in my NEW gardening zone. It’s much colder here than in ATL. Anyway, I have been impatiently awaiting the day after Memorial Day, when it is safe to plant here. I bought seeds, and planted seeds inside in Jiffy pots, and absolutely could not wait for the day AFTER Memorial Day to begin my gardening journey at this Farm.

Oh yes. I’ve dreamed of getting my hands into that old gardening soil, where the previous owners of this farm planted their kitchen garden for years and years. And years. I’m told it is the same place where their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents also planted their kitchen gardens. Last year was a gardening bust for me because I had taken down that line of 12 big white pines between the ancient gardening spot and the barn. And, as a result, there was the enormous mess of those 12 trees left laying right in my garden spot.

This year? most of that mess is gone. Not all, but most.

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