Thursday, January 23, 2014

The gift I didn't know I needed

Does it ever happen that something comes to you that so deeply fills you up, and you didn't even know that particular hole was there, needing to be filled?  Well, that just happened to me!  My amazing mother-in-law (whose birthday it happens to be today... happy birthday Aurora!), fabulous and intuitive woman that she is, sent me a giant box of roving for my birthday. 

A few years back, while visiting my beautiful East Coast family for a special 90th birthday celebration, I discovered the most amazing little fiber farm* in a neighboring town to my mother-in-law.  This particular farm raises Icelandic and Shetland sheep, two breeds I am pretty keen on and whose wool I really enjoy spinning.  Well, despite the fact that we had precious little time to spare, I carved out an hour or so to go visit that spot and arrived to find not only the most picturesque, dreamy 100 acre rolling farm, but also a fiber and yarn store where they sell their self-produced and processed goods!

Needless to say, I was in heaven.  A giant Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog named Ranger greeted us in the driveway and escorted us into the shop.  There I found rack after rack after rack of the most lovely natural color and dyed roving and yarn. Yum. And through the back doors of the shop, a mirco fiber mill where all of the farm's wool is processed.  And just outside the front door.... that's right, 100 acres of rolling pastures crisscrossed by streams and dotted with sheep.  Oh my.  I kind of get a little fluttery just thinking about it. 

So, anyway... back to the box of fiber.  Mother-in-law extraordinaire sent me 40 oz of beautiful Shetland roving in the most lovely natural colors from the above farm for my birthday.  In all honesty, it's been quite a shamefully long while since I sat down at my spinning wheel.  But today, with that gorgeous fiber peeking out of the box at me and a baby who happened to take an oddly long nap, I dusted the wheel off and got to spinning.  Oh my goodness....

I had no idea how much I needed that!  As soon as my foot began treadling, the wheel began spinning, and the fiber began sliding through my fingers, I just felt a sort of peace and contentment that I've been lacking these last few weeks.  The simple joy that comes from just making, doing, creating.  As that wool spun up into yarn, my breath deepened and much stress and tension that I've been clinging to seemed to soften and slip slowly from my shoulders.  Ahhh... yessss....

Sometimes I get so caught up in the everyday this's and that's that I forget to create.  I am slowly learning that allowing myself to be creative and artistic and giving myself that time is so very crucial to my happiness.  It feeds my joy.  And without it, I get a little lost.  So thank you, Aurora!  Thanks for a gift much, much greater than the physical gift itself.  I really needed it... and I didn't even know!

*I'd post a link to the farm, but I cannot seem to find a website for it.  Sorry!

Friday, January 10, 2014

When darkness settles in

My goodness, it's been grey here the last few days.  So dark that it seems the light never changes from the low light of early morning.  It just sort of stays that way all day long into the low light of nearly-dark.  So, what have we been doing in such conditions?  Well....

There have been some kitchen trike shenanigans....

Some hunting for forest treasures....

Some knitting....

Some planning and dreaming.... 
(That's the pasture at mid-day! See what I mean about the darkness?!)

And, there have been many other things too, for which I have no photos.  It's hard to capture much when the light remains so low.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thirty Six

a little summer color and light on this grey winter day
I tuned 36 yesterday!  Yay! And in celebration, I'd like to list 36 things that I am grateful for on this lovely day.  In no particular order....
  1. discovering a new passion for aerial acrobatics. oh my goodness, yes.
  2. huevos rancheros filling my home with amazing smells as I snuggled in bed yesterday morning
  3. sweet cards made by even sweeter children
  4. a new knitting pattern book full of delicious potential
  5. emails with a sheep breeder
  6. homemade gluten free cookies made for me by my baking wonder kids
  7. so many new words spilling from the lips of my nearly two-year-old munchkin
  8. the wild giggles that explode from deep in his belly as he plays with his pops
  9. my rapidly increasing strength and flexibility due to diligent aerial practice
  10. new babies on the way, growing in the bellies of ones that I love so very much
  11. finding time to read books again
  12. lengthening days
  13. the occasional decent night of sleep
  14. the trust and companionship of good friends
  15. a partner who makes me my favorite breakfast and dinner on my birthday
  16. sparkling blue eyes of my three amazing children
  17. finally getting my pullover on the trapeze
  18. a toddler who finally naps consistently on his own
  19. a partner whom I trust with all of my heart
  20. his hugs, which warm me to my very core
  21. fresh eggs from our chickens
  22. fresh milk from our cow
  23. fresh kale still coming from our garden
  24. the soon-to-be drying off of our cow, which will offer me one less thing to do each day
  25. the night out I am treating myself to tonight with some dear lady friends 
  26. a house that sometimes stays tidy for an hour before the next whirlwind moves through
  27. soups... warm, hardy soups that fill my belly and warm me from the inside out this winter
  28. the big smiles that greet me each morning as I open my eyes to Jade leaning over me saying, "play?"
  29. big ideas and plans for our home and land this year
  30. my beautiful daughter sitting across from me as I type this and her magical smiles
  31. the powerhouse wood stove that is the heart of this home all winter long
  32. birthday wishes from loved ones that brought smiles to my lips throughout the day yesterday
  33. the tiny juncos that visit the feeder just outside my window 
  34. the fact that Jade does not want to touch his runny nose, but rather runs through the house shouting, "bubble!", every time he needs his nose wiped
  35. a thirteen-year-old son who still offers me hugs every single time he thinks I might need one
  36. the year to come and all that it will bring!