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Wednesday 21 May 2014

Summer Fun

The theme for right now is "work hard, party hard".

I have been working like mad and putting in the garden, still getting fresh milk in the morning and patiently waiting for the discovery of our first chicken egg (probably in the next week or two!!)

The weather has been sunny and delicious and David and I have been hitting the beach.

In our rural community there are several roadside stands. This one is our favorite - the cookie stand!

A real perk to living on an island is having friends with boats.

We scooted out into the bay for a swim and David was so excited.

The Arbutus trees are flowering right now and they are putting on a beautiful display. These trees are very special to me. They only grow near the sea, and they have a special smooth and papery bark. They are usually great for climbing and after they flower they produce lovely little berries that can be made into jewelry. The native people thought these trees to be sacred. 

I still remember the moment when I moved out to the coast and these majestic trees greeted me at the shore, as if to say, "Welcome Home."

I look at these next photos and I think, "Dear David, sorry about your bangs. Love, Mom"
Good thing he doesn't care what they look like.

Here is David playing on the dock and eating some junkies after a long day in the sun.

Something about this picture strikes me as hilarious.
I dug out my old wet suits from my surfing girl days and some friends and I went snorkeling. The dudes were spear fishing and we had a big fish for dinner on the beach.

Cloudy sunset
As if that wasn't enough fun and socializing, for breakfast there was a sourdough waffle party. Needless to say all of my crafts are getting neglected! However I do have some photos of the garden to share. Every year I think I'm going to scale down the garden, plant fewer beds and less plants, and every year I get carried away in the Spring and the garden gets bigger.

C'est la vie. Should be some good eating this summer.

Wishing you all a blessed day.
May you have just what you need in this moment!

Sunday 18 May 2014

Ode To Snowdrop

Hello, blog world. I've taken the last week off from the internet and spent time healing with my family and the goat herd. We lost our beautiful baby goat, Snowdrop, last Sunday.

I relocated three of my goats to a new home and during the scuffle of transport I somehow left Snowdrop in the house. We did this often, as she would eat some grain and join us in the living room to get some treats, or get brushed, or pet and played with.

But this time she decided to explore another area of the house, the door was open, and the chicken food was in there. I didn't know anything had happened until the next day and by that time, it was too late. She was ill and died very quickly. I tried everything to save her. I was devastated.

Firefly and her daughter, Lucy. I love Firefly's eyes in this photo, dilated and full of sympathy.
When I told the rest of the herd that Snowdrop was gone, I was sobbing. From her first moments, rescuing her from the snow and then bottle feeding her round the clock after her mother rejected her, lying on the sawdust with those two little kids at 3 am, the look in her eyes when I gave her the bottle. I swear it was like nursing a baby, the love she gave us. She followed me like a puppy.

Lucy was bewildered when I grieved with the herd.  
We are trying to bond more with baby Lucy, but the connection is not the same, because she has not been bottle-fed or handled often. In time I hope that she will learn to trust and love us as Snowdrop did.

Firefly the great.
The thing about goats, although they form strong bonds with each other and their caregivers, is that they forget. When a baby is removed from it's mother, the mother will cry for a while and then move on. (Unlike elephants, who do not forget lost members of the herd and continue to honor them and grieve, as a human would.) So while the goats understood that I was in pain and they were silently sympathetic, they no longer care to remember their lost friend, and Snowdrop's mother was sold, so she is not here to grieve her, either.

Gordon, the whether
It was difficult to go out and be with the herd after her death, because so many goats were gone. I not only missed my baby who died, but the three other goats who had found a new home. The herd felt so small, and there was -and still is- a big hole left by Snowdrop's passing. She had so much personality, and was so beautiful.

I grieved because I will never get to milk her, or attend her birth and raise her kids as well. For all that we had been through together, all of my hard work and nurturing, only to lose her to one stupid mistake.

As you can tell I am still very sad, though the pain is healing and I have realized that in no way am I interested in boarding out my goats, I love them all. They are so giving. They give me milk, meat, poop for the garden, strong leather, and most of all they are loving and adoring animals. Milking my goats is the best part of my day, a time for quiet, for appreciation, reflection.

I visited the goats that I sold, including Nemo, my youngest milker, who licked the tears from my face when I told her that Snowdrop was gone, even though she didn't understand. They are very happy and have lots of salal and brambles to eat at their new home.

I will continue to mourn this loving creature that I was blessed to care for, for only ten weeks. She has traveled across the rainbow bridge and I can only hope to breed my billy goat from the same line as Snowdrop, who was the only girl goat left from Barney, the gentle Alpine goat I bought last fall and then sold after breeding him.

We will never forget you, little thing. Thank you for blessing our lives with your companionship.

She was a part of my family.

Thank you for visiting and for reading my story.

Saturday 10 May 2014

Photos: Gardening In Gowns

My friend held a work party in her garden today, with a dress code.

We all wore gowns and fancy duds to work.

It was a fun party with all of us there in our party clothes and we filled many wheelbarrows up with weeds, to make way for raspberries and vegetables.

The little ones were helping out with tools and we built a little fort in the garden.
David breaking for some shade and a drink, on the pile of costumes.
The boys playing cars.

It was a great day full of sunshine, gin and tonics, gowns, some cross dressing, and wonderful friends.

Thank you for visiting and have an awesome day!

Thursday 8 May 2014

A Bit Of Art

I have been busy working and gardening and only making small progress on quilts this week. I shot a few photos of some of my other work to share.

For a long time I was really into needle felting. Another fun way to work with wool, which is such a versatile and amazing material.

I made this little scene for an art show last winter, themed "Little Houses".

This big felted bag cried out for decoration so I felted a scene from my own life.

I still have a few paintings kicking around from when I used to paint with oils and acrylic. Most of the better ones I gave away as gifts. The rest, I'm not sure if I like them. I don't want to hang them up in my house but I also don't want to throw them out.

Maybe I'll hang one up in the outhouse :)

This one was always my favorite.

I have a nice little collection of paints and maybe someday (retirement?) I will pick it up again. Painting is something I enjoy but I've never stuck with it enough to be great at it.

I pressed some violas in a homesteading book. I hope they turn out and I can use them to make cards.

This guy continues to be my joy and has discovered the game of "Hide and Seek".

I love to hear him counting, even if he is peeking a little!

You mean I'm not supposed to peek?
Little Red Hen is looking for a hiding spot.
I'm downsizing the herd and moving 3 goats this weekend - two billies and a milking mama, Nemo. They are going to a new home on the island. I'm even considering boarding out my other two milkers for a little break from the daily commitment. I love my goats and milking them is one of the best moments of my day, quiet, meditative, fruitful. However between all of my obligations and other commitments I would welcome a reprieve. I could actually sleep in on my days off! I am lucky to have other friends with milking goats who would welcome a bit of extra milk for a while.

Last night I slept outside with a warm breeze and frogsong. It was lovely.

The time keeps trucking along, the trees bursting into flower, berries forming.
Wishing you a deep breath of fresh air.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Feast or Famine

Over the last few weeks I have done some fun stash building.

First there was the mother load of fabric from Judy's cedar chest, and then I got a sweet package in the mail from Carli at Good Earth QuiltingCarli introduced me to the tern "blended quilts" - quilts made up of both new and repurposed materials. I like the idea of blending new and recycled fabric to create something that is both beautiful and also exhibits the heart and purpose of traditional quilt making.

She sent me this beautiful fat quarter bundle of organic cotton prints. They are so lovely and I can't wait to work with them! Thank you so much Carli! 

Some I-Spy bits and pieces
I also went shopping this weekend, which is a big deal. Because I live on a remote island I only go shopping once every month or two, and it is an all day affair full of errands, driving, riding the ferry, and hauling our stuff from place to place. The ferry is "passenger only", so we have to haul all of our stuff on and off along with all of the other passengers. It can get totally crazy with everybody's boxes of groceries, building supplies, laundry bags, plants and animals, you name it.

My sign for the drill that I left on the ferry.
A couple hours after I got home, after everything was unpacked, I was super bummed out to realize that I had left my BRAND NEW DRILL on the ferry, with a huge box of screws. A well-meaning friend loaded it on to the ferry and forgot to tell me. It wasn't with the rest of my stuff and it got covered up by some other cargo and I stupidly went home without it. When I went back to get it, it was gone. Ouch.

Citrus blossoms on the marmalade tree.
What can I do but let it go. Not that I didn't kick myself for a while, but it does put things into perspective. In truth I have so much, and I only lost a mere tool that can be replaced. Thank goodness for the health and abundance in our lives, and if somebody out there yoinked my drill then that is poor karma for that person.

So there.

Besides, when I consider the value of all the great stuff that I have brought home from the Free Store, I am super lucky! Check out this beautiful print that I found today. About 3 yards of little wagons and wishing wells. Pink with grey is so sweet.

And check this sweet quilt made with Moda's 30's Playtime fabric. It is showcased on a Craftsy course called "Quilting Quickly". Yeah! Just my style! I bought a couple of charm packs of this line and now I have some pre cuts in my stash for when I feel like zipping something together like this.

That is, after I transplant about a gazillion veggie starts.

The roosters are all so cool. How to decide which guy shall rule the roost?

I finally started practicing yoga again post-pneumonia. I painfully damaged my intercostal muscles and at one point I was sure I had broken a rib from coughing. I barely even touched my toes for the last 2 months and it was hard for me to start up again.

I'm workin' on it.

Sour Pie Cherry trees in flower
Wishing you a glad heart and a grateful spirit.
May the Fourth be with you!


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