Here.

January 27, 2017 § Leave a comment

Leona plants an Oregon White Oak acorn at her new 4H club in hopes that she’ll have a fair entry in August.


I spent the last two weeks planting seeds. Not in the ground, not yet, too wet, so very, very wet, but in my kids.

Play dates with potential friends, art classes, 4H clubs (one not great, one so great), meeting with new doctors, new neighbors, and hiring sweet babysitters who, according to Bea are “joyful without pretending”.  

The school rhythm is established. The house is our home. We have a pew at church.

Four of the five older hens are laying, and in just two weeks the five “chicks” will be four months old and ready to join the flock. We’re only a week out from 10 hours of daylight.

I’m up what feels like too late most nights in deep conversation with my almost 9 year old and too early cramming PNW gardening books into my brain. Both leave me feeling profoundly incompetent.

Somehow I thought we’d have more time to float, to be in the in-between. But we are here now, firmly rooted, and everything is growing so fast. 

This is the part where I just trust that everything is planted in the right spot and, even if it’s not, do my best to keep up.

School.

January 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

Subpar.

January 13, 2017 § Leave a comment

I use the fact that I’m married to a professional computer genius to suck at computers. I never update my phone or restart my computer, and I always have a backlog of at least 6 months of photos stuck somewhere (What even is the cloud? Why is mine full? Will it rain? Should I be worried?). I always assume that he’s just going to fix it at some point, surely before I get to the point when everything breaks. Just like he’s going to take care of that low pressure light and oil change in my car, the one he never drives, before my children and I careen off the highway after a blow out or the engine explodes. Logical. Responsible. So grown up.

Whenever I decide to make a reappearance on the blog, my technical laziness reacts with my vicious perfectionism and bites me in the ass. My choices are to a) figure out how to fix all the technical problems myself (aka, break everything and cry), b) wait for my husband to fix everything and then not understand how it works (and cry) c) move forward with the limitations I have and accept that my blogging will be subpar.

Options a and b mean that I continue to blog as I have done for the last 9 months, in my head, which is not called blogging, it’s called talking to yourself.

Option c means blogging. I’ll speak for you and say you really don’t care about the quality of my writing or photography. There’s no way for you to care at all if I’m not actually blogging.

So here’s what I want to do, and y’all, don’t hold me to it, because I am but dust: I want to be a crappy blogger. I’m going to post bad photos from the wordpress app on my phone and just crank it out. I can barely keep the poop in my two year old’s pants, still haven’t figured out the light switches in the new house, can’t keep my dog from eating all the duck poop, and need to learn how to muck a pond while wearing men’s size XXL waders. I don’t have time to “create content” or mull over saved drafts if I actually want any blogging to be done. I don’t have the patience or character to be good at photography, writing, or the internet. 

I don’t know how to solve my technical difficulties, or my existential ones, so I’m just going to press on within them.

Pretend I’m your grandma. Pretend I’m that 87 year old lady who’s always accidentally posting Google search terms as her Facebook posts but never notices. I just want to show you pictures of my chickens and marvel at the miracle of pressure cooking. I just want to visit with you and I only know how to push the one button to do it. Set the bar there, and this will all be far more impressive.

Let’s start at the very beginning…

January 8, 2017 § 1 Comment

My name is Rachel.


I live on an eleven acre farm in western Washington, on the Kitsap Penninsula. I have 1 husband, 3 daughters, a standard poodle named Davy Crockett, a barn cat named Ninja, a duck named Duck, and 11 chickens whose detailed roster I’ll provide later.

We moved here from downtown Austin, TX just 11 weeks ago in a whirlwind of obedience, hard work, and ridiculous grace.

This is our house:

This is our barn:

This is my kitchen sink:

Placeholder.

January 4, 2017 § 2 Comments

There is a lot to say, but that is a poor excuse for not saying it. When I started this blog, I did it with the intention to be generous with my story. I confess, generosity doesn’t come easily to me. I have always struggled with fear that there wouldn’t be enough for me — time, food, love, space, money, acceptance. But the truth is, I have never actually experienced an actual lack of any of those things.

I live, have always lived, in abundance. I wrestle with, have always wrestled with, the lie that there will not be enough.

This is a placeholder post, a wedge, an acknowledgement that there is enough time and space to tell the very large story of the last 9 months.

Since I last wrote here, I’ve used Instagram and Facebook the way they ought to be used. The story can be pieced together in pictures. You are welcome and encouraged to try. And I do intend to share the stories that go along with the illustrations…eventually. They’re written, as usual, in the stacks and stacks of notebooks someone will oneday find my body crushed beneath.

But I don’t want to lose ground by continuing to say that I can’t blog about life in real time just because I haven’t been.  “A person can’t jump from walking down the stairs with a half-broken back and questionable sanity at the downtown YMCA in Austin, TX to hauling a half ton of horse manure in the snow at her farm in in the Pacific Northwest without copious amounts of explanation!”

Or can she?

It’s more like will she?

Always with the first times.

April 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

  

I am scared of everything.

April 13, 2016 § 1 Comment

I’ve got to come to terms with the fact that I will be afraid every time. The fear is always there. It is not an omen, not a mark on the map telling me to go another way. It is just a faulty compass; the instruments, not the stars.

Things I fear:  Phone calls, grocery store check out lines, drop-off and pick-up, requiring assistance of any kind, hitting send, lunch, success, leaving the laundry in the washer too long, failure, burning down the house, observation, medicine, all the things my children will inevitably think and feel about their childhood, running out of gas, parties, invitations, knocking on my door, no one ever inviting me to anything or knocking on my door, vine borers, my husband’s untimely death, stuff stuck to the bottom of my feet, holidays, 4 o’clock, alcoholism, the word publish.