Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm on a roll

Okay I'll admit I took a hiatus from blogging. All that had really been on my mind was the frustration I had with a horrible grout experience only I was responsible for and I couldn't bore you with that now could I.

But I've lightened up a bit, maybe it's the HOPE of spring time. Maybe the excitement of going out on a limb and planning the first
No matter the reason here's another one for you.

"Mom, do you think the Southworth Grocery sells laundry soap?" asked Andre'.
"We're out...Oh I'll make some" replied Mom.

Now that's not a conversation you hear everyday. Anya and I had talked about doing this when her realization of how much laundry you do when you have 5 children become apparent. So I bought the ingredients and waited until my expensive eco friendly laundry soap was gone.

So this morning I combined...

1 bar of grated Fels Naphta soap(grated in the food processor)wash thoroughly before making these. The most delicious muffin/carrot cake ever!
3/4 cup of WASHING soda
3/4 cup Borax

Stirred and stored in a 3 cup reusable Gladware container with a 1 tablespoon scoop inside. How easy is that. 1 tablespoon of low sudsing natural laundry soap for about 1 cent per load, I can live with that. I found all three ingredients near packaged laundry detergent right next to each other on the shelf at Fred Meyer. I'll let you know how it works.

Monster puppy, Norsel is going to take me for a walk now.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

I am dumber than sheep!

This came from the mouth of a man whose Mother and Grandfather roamed the hillsides of Bowler Flats, Montana with their herds of sheep. A generational sheep herder. Wow, not many of those living in these parts, Southworth, WA that is.
So after today we wonder who is turning in their graves, Grandpa Miller or Uncle Leonard!
Of course we had to try again and let the animals graze in their new paddock, and we had to see how Paquito got out. Well he got out quickly and quite easily by stepping right OVER the 3ft. plastic. Once back into safety Tony went back to shoveling rocks we love to do that here when I recieved a phone call I was in the house from Tony. "3 sheep are out. HELP" Laughing on the way out I grabbed a bowl of sheep candy and jingled my way down the hill toward 3 very happy sheep and one husband running around laughing at the situation. We saw the fourth join us by walking right UNDER the plastic! As we led the sheep back up the hill Tony said " I am dumber than sheep, blog that one."
As we tore down our campsite barrier we decided to spend some $ and put up some metal posts and wire fence. It will look better and be much more secure. Sorry to those of you planning to advertise, we'll come up with something else I promise.
At least post pounding today was done in the sunshine and together. The animals stood at the fence watching all day just waiting for us to finish.

Another lesson learned.

I wonder if it's really true what my Mom said last year. "Cinthy, people wait their whole lives to leave suburbia and buy some sheep.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Ma & Pa Kettle kind of day

As Tony and I were out in the lower field pounding in posts that ran 100' with black plastic attached to them we both just laughed at how this looked and how once again we realized, we don't know WHAT we are doing!
We started laughing much earlier as we both walked into Del's Farm Supply in our Carhartt and The North Face farmer apparel and didn't have a clue on what C & DT toxoid is, how to select syringes and even the thought of administering these shots makes us cringe. The young woman was very helpful. Answered all of our questions and didn't laugh at us at least not in front of us. As we drove away Tony smiled that 10 yr. old Smiley smile and said how much he liked going there! Next stop, the neighborhood hardware store. Looking for some type of temporary fencing for the sheep. Practicing pasture management is very important for livestock owners. Left with only peat moss for blueberries. Tony had another farmer moment as he handed his utility knife to the young man at McClendon's to help him open the bales of peat moss. At a large chain hardware store we found a very inexpensive alternative to expensive temporary fencing.
So there we are enduring the pouring down rain, hail and very cold weather, because that's what farmers do to get the job done and putting up this 400' of black plastic on our picturesque field. Tony suggested selling 10' sections for advertising any takers?, Andre thought we could place our logo everywhere. Then again it could be a camp site for Tonyfest 2008 July 26th plug. I think it's important that we keep laughing together. That whole stressed out decision making scene just isn't as healthy.
The grand entrance was made. Our curious animals made their way into a greener pasture, we felt so proud. They looked so happy. So we started applying peat moss on blueberries. Every once in awhile glancing to the west at the sheep and llama, llama, where's Paquito? Well against all we were told Paquito jumped the fence plastic to an even greener pasture. I am sorry I don't have a video of that hour because you would have enjoyed it I'm sure. As with most of us the idea of something sweet in the middle of the day can take us away from the task at hand. Once Paquito heard the llama candy jingle in the dish he followed with rapt attention. Bringing the sheep back in was easier too. For some reason Giaever our Aussie/border mix herded them in better than out. Hmmm, maybe it was Norsel, our lab/Newfoundland monster puppy.
Finish off a day like this with homemade nachos and a Mac & Jack and you've got the makings for a pretty good life.

Trivia for the day: Do you know where the true characters for Ma & Pa Kettle are from?


Friday, February 29, 2008

Eat Local

Times have changed. 100 years, 75 years, hmmmm - maybe 50 years ago was there any other way for most Americans but to eat what they or their community grew? Now it's a movement. Oh, don't get me wrong I love the idea and am in the process of creating a space for my family and local community, Southworth, to do the same.
When we moved out here our daughters teased us every time we said the word FARM! The only thing growing here was an old small fruit orchard.
Tony and I attended several WSU extension courses on sustainable farming and learned quickly that if the land you live on isn't making you any $ you need a plan. So we created one.
We are only getting older so we took into consideration the amount of work and return for it. Heirloom tomatoes are delicious but a lot of work for $4.00 a lb. So the first crop we settled on was blueberries. Upfront labor for preparing the soil, measuring rows, double digging, was hard and took time but our first crop is in! 240 plants. With some TLC, pruning and 3 dogs to help keep deers at bay we are on our way. It is very exciting. In a few years we'll have a small crop to sell.
Contributing to a movement, to our health, and to our community. I like the sound of that.
Last year I was given a book that I loved and learned so much from reading. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. She shares about her families journey committing to eating local for 1 year. Even if you don't have a space to grow your own food anyone who eats should read it to learn about what you are eating. You will be shocked. It was also fun to read about the author as a wife and mother. A very funny lady.
Kitsap Co. is trying to better it's community by creating a food coop. Plans are under way but as with anything it may be a couple years. In the mean time here is a list and map of farms where you can begin supporting your health and local farmers from the ground up.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Before I am blog-xiled

Well I must have seen this coming. Otherwise why would I have said there will be some 'fill in the blanks' after the fact. I have been scolded as of late to get back into the blog world, people really do read this stuff.

Trying to condense the past 6 months isn't so easy. Looking back I realize the things that were so important then, selecting sinks, countertops, cabinets, flooring, all that remodeling stuff really took alot of eneregy and filled my head and my sleep with temporary importance. Things got done. The kitchen is beautiful. I even like cleaning it! But you know it's just stuff. What really matters is what happens in your home. The laughter from a grandchild. Cuddling on the sofa with my man. Playing the 'family game' with new friends. Sharing our hearts, our time and love express more than any finished project can.
We are slowing down this year. We admit we took on alot, didn't know how to do alot, but we really did get alot done.

No matter how full and complete we think we are I have learned there is room for more. Unconditional love. Love that comes unexpectantly and in this case very quickly. Our daughter Anya and husband Jeremy are adopting 3 siblings and this process is an overwhelming expression of love. Our lives will never be the same.

Read her story, her words.

I will be back. I hope you will be too.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Back To School Haircuts

Our little lambs had their 1st shearing this week. Now they're naked! And I must learn to spin! Ya Right! Well, Maybe. Any hints or helps out there?

I think we are very happy. A sense of accomplishment. Not pride, just happiness. Like building compost bins and designing showers and making birdhouses and selecting cabinets and countertops kind of happy.

If I was a poet I would say...
"Pick blackberries when they are full of sunshine."

I don't think Tony liked the grilled Ceasar salad.

Did you know that Sasquatch lives here?

Farmer Rosie

Friday, August 31, 2007


July was better than June. June was hard. June came with sadness. June also came with many decisions to be made. It became obvious we had never done this before. What, you ask, had we never done before.
Decide on very big changes involving an excavator!

I think Tony and I were divorced about 9 times that month! I soon learned, after whispering with a few dear girlfriends, that I was not alone and even the most civil become down right cave-ish when it comes to agreeing and seeing the same end result. Needless to say we made it thru!We can laugh now and keep moving forward with a sense of humor and accomplishment.

July saw the end to a few small projects. Seeing grass grow was very fulfilling but that meant there were many more rocks to rake elsewhere so that grass could also grow there. Monotonous.

There is a bathroom being built and a kitchen being dismantled. It will have it's turn soon enough. So I am learning how to cook just about everything on the BBQ. Hey, if we could eat like royalty at Banks Lake shouldn't we be able to do that at home. I think the key was the expertise of many hands.

I think I have been decrowned as GC. It is really a hard job. I don't know when to call who and when to call them!

It seemed like every week in August had a celebration. The perfect setting to celebrate my little bro's 40th - Banks Lake. Tony jumped off a 58 ft. cliff, YIKES. Andre learned to wake board and we all climbed Steam Boat Rock. FUN FUN FUN
There were weddings and more birthdays and celebrations of life and long lost friends and more laughter and more wine and more progress.

A fine month, a fine month indeed.

Farmer Rosie