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30 :: April








I think it's been several days since I've emptied my camera card. I didn't even share all the juice photos I've taken but oh my I'm so addicted to juicing right now. I'd like to come up  with a juice for every color of the rainbow. 

Years ago, long before there were blogs, we made our own laundry soap. I have no idea where I learned to make it, but my recipe was pretty much the same as what you see posted nowadays on blogs. My friend and landlord was a master soap-maker so we used all her seconds and scraps for the grated soap portion of the recipe. We enjoyed homemade laundry soap for quite a while... and then it seemed to stop working. Clothing had a filmy feeling to it once dry, and colors were dingy. We switched back to regular laundry soap from the market. Then blogs came into my life and I was reminded again about homemade soap, so I tried it again with a new water system in a new home. Same thing, it worked fine for quite some time, and then stopped cleaning thoroughly. I really want to get this right though, so I'm back to researching and experimenting once again. Hopefully I land just the right combination of ingredients for long and successful laundry soap making.










These days. They are good, for sure. Each day warms a bit more than the last. Spring!

27 :: April


In addition to our love of smoothies we are playing around with juicing. This quart sized glass contained the juice of 1 cucumber, 4 stalks celery, 6 kale leaves, 1 apple, 1 pear, 1 inch of ginger, 1/2 lemon. No water added, just straight up fruit and veggie juice. With a huge garden being planted we thought this would be a great way to keep up with all those leafy greens and other veggies. And it just might be the way for me to fall in love with beets. I'll eat them, but I don't love them. I want to love them.




Dressing up the porches a little bit this week. This basket I believe was a roadside find a few years back. I feel a connection to the person that repaired the handle with a piece of a Maxwell House coffee can. Oh, how I'd love to talk to them, learn from them. This is the kind of resourcefulness I hope to get better and better at as the years roll on. 


















I slipped into a funk at some point during the day. No reason, well maybe a lot of reasons. But I decided to prioritize stillness with a walk in the healing woods and it made all the difference. Apple blossoms smell amazing. 


And in a moment of deep wisdom (written partly in jest, of course) I said yes to take out. Stillness and take out, they turned the day around beautifully. 

26 :: April




 It is really something to witness a person living out their natural talent and gifts. He's so good at this, talking endlessly and with ease about literature, math, history, and the mold growing on those muffins we forgot about in the back of the pantry. She is like him, the two of them with identical minds feeding off each other for hours each day. Then, "finishing" early and deciding it's the perfect afternoon for the batting cages. We all have our strengths, keeping the homeschool mojo going for the long haul is definitely his. 




We went to the store for dog food and guinea pig supplies and left with a car full of plants and pots and potting soil. They had concord grape plants and blackberries too! We don't have those yet, I may stop back in on Friday. Grapes would be lovely.




There is another girl on her team that homeschools which is a nice connection to have. The other kids always treat her with kindness, curiosity, and a surprising amount of envy, when the obligatory "where do you go to school" question comes up. Still, at this age, it's natural to want to blend in, to fly under the radar... especially for someone who doesn't like attention (at all). 

I'm off to pot up some lemon verbena and pineapple sage. I also need to take a good look at my to do list. I've been putting so many things on the back burner for three months and now I want to doitallrightnow!

No, try this. Make a list, do two or three projects per day.

Yes, I can feel my shoulders relax already.

25 :: April


He is firmly planted in our homeschool routine now. This did not happen without a learning curve for all of us, but oh my he brings so many amazing things to the table. There is a definite dance now between him and I, balancing work and home... it's not unusual to see this homeschool dad making pancakes in a suit, in between court hearings and contract signings. Everyday I am grateful for the flexibility we have right now, it hasn't always been this way, and it may not always be, but right now it is just right. (And dressy!)










With one project coming to a close, I've returned to the work of unpacking and setting up our still new to us home. I do best when I can focus my energy on one or two projects at a time; homemaking to the degree that I enjoy it has taken a back seat the last few months. It feels good to return to the domestic side of myself. One of the projects at the top of my list is the couch slipcover. With a little help from Pinterest tutorials I really hope I can pull this off, I invested in 20 yards of fabric (the blue in above pic, pillows to be made from the gold floral) so my fingers are seriously crossed on this one. The woman at the fabric store was so helpful, boosting my confidence and directing me to the best thread and needles for the project.

My parents are coming to visit in two weeks and part of me would like to have the cover finished by then, but part of me would like my mom's help. Mom used to sew all of her own clothes in high school, and even sewed her own wedding dress, the family first communion dress (from her wedding dress lace), and I believe she sewed our baptism dress too. Her yearbook states that she was "most likely to have a future designing clothes for Phyllis Diller"... Mom had, um, a certain style.


I'll be sure to post a pic when the slip cover is all done. 









The days have been good. Heavy rains from the weekend have passed, the garden is slowly being planted, and my uncle drove up the street with his heavy equipment to help us take care of some tree stumps and such. (Well, he and Adam did the work, I passed out beer and sandwiches.) Last night the lawn was mowed for the first time, which always smells so good. Things are humming along over here. Glad to be enjoying the busyness of life. 

20 :: April




The geraniums have been moved outside. There was not a bit window space left as the seedlings grow and grow and take over the sunny spots throughout the house. So, a week or so earlier than I'd like, the geraniums moved on out. I'll keep an eye on any frost warnings. 

We are finally getting rain! The gardens are just about ready for planting, I'm afraid I missed my chance for peas. I may try a few anyway. But lettuce, broccoli, kale, chard, and the like are begging to be planted already. We found some rhubarb on the property and a few apples trees, now to see if those trees are healthy enough to produce fruit. I'm sure the deer love them, if so.








Because I work from home I can collect all the kids on school vacations. Most of Emily's friends go to school outside of the home so this is really exciting for her to have them around during the day. One of her good friends does homeschool though and had to take a break from the day to skype in for a class meeting. The girls crowded around for a bit to check out the online classroom, then we headed to the kitchen to (quietly) bake a cake while the meeting took place. We used my go to chocolate cake recipe (with wheat flour, sucanat, coconut oil type substitutions). We pureed raspberries for the top, and a perfect dessert was served. 


They ate the cake straight form the oven, piping hot... the entire thing, no less. 


After two days of a bustling more than usual household, I was home alone last night. Sunset dinner for one on the deck, lost in thoughts of gratitude over the closing of Whole Food Kitchen this coming week, and 30 Day Vegan that is registering now. Sharing my love for simple, real food is a humbling dream come true. I am here and you are so very far over there... yet we meet through this screen to cook, share, learn  and grow, together. What a pleasure it is. 

19 :: April
















The seasonal shift is so strong right now. Seeking expansion and quiet, equally. Today was beautiful, filled with great people and long talks and a husband that came home early. I'll be sewing again soon, it's been so long. My sewing machine was packed up in November, it'll be nice to hear it humming along. I've made progress in my very small knitting world... but my vision is for that world to become big and wooly and warm. Practice makes progress. I know a sweet and talented woman who is eager to walk me through the places I need walking through. I see flowery patterns when I close my eyes and everywhere I look when they're open. Colors are vibrant and swirly, blending and contrasting. Canvas and paint, paper and pens... I'll take either. My sensitivity has been heightened lately, tender to the bone. While that makes it hard to do things like navigate the DMV and tax season and big stores with fluorescent lights, it makes for brilliant creativity. I love a silver lining. 

17 :: April












I scheduled two hours with my inbox this morning. Very satisfying. Not completely resolved, but on its way for sure. Then I had an hour of meal planning/grocery list making scheduled. After that, a small window of time before we had to leave for piano and softball. Adam took care of homeschool today as I worked... so with this 30 brief minutes of time staring at me I wrote "rest" on my to do list. Rest is very important work. Smartest moment of the day. 


Two years ago I made a list of short-term life visions. I came across that list the other day and was kind of stunned that four of them had been realized. I turn 40 in six months, it's as good a time as any to take care of that final item. (And because I love a good list, I'm sort of anxious to wrap this one up and create a new one for the next few years.)

7 :: April








The family cookbook is out, the house is sparkly, and lots of veggies were eaten today... all in preparation for the rest, merriment, and family that is to come. 

Enjoy these days, in whatever way that is deeply meaningful to you. xo