Monday, August 22, 2016

New Friends~ **edited & more added

This has been a summer of new friendships.  And I've needed them.  Some of the women I now consider my friends I met shortly after moving back, but it's taken time to establish relationships and believe I can really call these my friends.  After so many, so very lonely, years I am simply grateful. Part of it is just the wonder that someone would want to be my friend.  So blessed.

One of the funny new friendships just happened.  We switched the schoolhouse into a guest house and put it on Air BnB a few months ago.  It's been great.  Sometimes, I am just really sick of more laundry and making up beds and scrubbing the bathroom I just scrubbed the day before.  That's true.

But overall, it has been simply wonderful.  We've met people from around the world, had guests I've not actually even seen as they came in late and left early, guests that have stayed for weeks, and everything in between.

This last week we had a family for three nights that had four kids, all the same or right around the ages of ours.  It was so fun.  We even just did dinner the second night all together, laughing and eating together on the front porch.

We talked late into the nights, kids playing together all around, and even spent one day at the lake together hiking around and fishing.  We talked a lot.  This post is for my new friend.  It's a list of links to many of the things we talked about.  We could still be talking, but they had to go home.  Here's to hoping this will be a friendship that lasts beyond the visit.

Homeschool Links:
I've really enjoyed Sarah's blog.  The link here is for her post on looping.  This is new for me and something I didn't really get until watching the video on the post.  I'm loving this.  We are adding different loops into our days slowly.  I had tried to figure out the things best to loop for us and finally felt a lot more clarity about it after having a great discussion with the kids.  I learn a lot from them.

Even though her kids are all grown now, Sally Clarkson has been instrumental in influencing how I see homeschooling beyond a school at home.  Her book (and Clay, her husband) Educating the WholeHearted Child is practical and inspiring.

I love Schole Sisters because I strongly believe in the need for us to continue to grow and learn as women.  And I don't mean just trying to keep a step ahead of the kids' lessons!

Pam links to a bunch of other posts on her Facebook page I wouldn't have otherwise known about, plus her memes make me laugh and that's always a good thing.

Skip Counting Charts & lots of other useful HS printables here.  I also use the Calendar Notebook printables.  I put them in a binder and laminated them for Dumpling & Pumpkin years ago and am now using them for Cupcake.  It works so well especially without room for a bulletin board.

Pretty Places I Like to Hang Out:

Random Things I Use to Preserve/Store Food
Steamer Juicer
Reusable Canning Lids
Screw on Lids for Canning Jars

Miss Potter
Wives & Daughters  (the others in the pack are favorites as well)

I'm out of time for now.  I'll be sure to do links to my favorite Permaculture books next.  :)  Leave a comment on whatever else I should include!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Still Alive!

I'm hoping to get back to regular posts soon.
All is well.
A photo posted by Orchard House Farm (@orchardhousef) on

This was a fun pit stop last weekend.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

springing into summer~

Spring ended at some point.  We finished up school for a bit and I've been busy at the Farmers Markets each weekend.  I have two more weeks and then a break until Autumn.  The extreme heat of Summer is too much for my Body Butters and various Balms.  They'll melt into puddles of oils that just aren't pretty.  ;)
I was beginning to think I would not be able to get back here to blog again.  With my personal accounts and my business accounts both on Google, they just don't play nice together. I've only got a moment, but wanted to say all is well.  Well, well enough.
The bulk of my spare time has been spent putting in the gardens.  It's a lot of work to start from scratch.  Story of my life, isn't it?  I've got two garden areas this year that I've put in.  One is a half circle across the front of the house.  There were huge evergreen bushes that went past the roof line.  They were torn out (thanks, Dad) just before we moved in.  We did nothing there last year except grow weeds.  Now, I've got weeds and flowers and herbs and veggies.
The other garden is a 32x32 square out back.  I'm trying to put all my permaculture reading to use, but it's hard to do without a master site plan and that's just not possible at this time.  I'm trying to start something that can be incorporated into whatever the future plan is.  And keep the deer and bears and weeds out until more permanent (read:  not so ugly) fencing can be done.
Anyway, between the Markets, the garden, and the kids' daily swim lessons, I'm outta time to write.  Hope all is well in your neck of the words.
What are you growing?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016



One of the fun things our local Library does is have what is called a Books & Brews Night each month.  We meet up at a local brew pub to talk about books.  It was going to rotate to various pubs, as there are a million in this little town, but after the first meeting everyone liked the one we were in so there we've stayed.

The first meeting was mostly people that worked at the Library and a few others of us.  Over time that's changed so that last night we filled to bursting two large tables and had only two Librarians.  In fact, there were so many of us and the pub was so crowded it was hard to here across the tables.

The format is nice because it is so laid back.  People ordered food and drink as desired and thankfully the pub just does individual tickets so paying off at the end is a breeze.  Everyone introduces themselves and then we just share about what we are reading, or whatever we've read lately that we've liked.  Everyone notes whatever sounds interesting to them, but no one reads the same things.

I've got a stack of cards with book ideas and I've read a lot of them.  Some are good, some I just don't bother to finish.  It is fun to discuss each others' recommendations that one has read at following meetings.  I've definitely read some books I never would have otherwise checked out.

Over time and with the monthly discussions, I've learned whose suggestions might be worth reading and with a few folks, what I probably won't bother with.  Let's just assume I am by far the most conservative (in content, not quantity) reader of the group.  Different people show each month and so there are more readers to meet which is fun.

There's no guilt if you haven't finished a certain book, or if you dislike someone's suggestion and no one is stuck reading a book they hate before the next meeting.  I like this.  I would like it if there was someone else who liked to read more classical literature so that that could be discussed, but whatever.  I've diversified my own reading enough so that helps.

Also, one of the librarians mentioned Good Reads.  I had not heard about it and don't usually do appy things on my phone, but turns out I love this.  It's the first time I've been able to remember to write down all that I'm reading and keep track.  Usually, by the middle of February I've forgotten to list them.  You can rate book and write reviews if you like.  It will also suggest other books to read based on your personal reading lists which can be a nice feature.  Personally, the list of books I want to read is so long, I'll be blind before I will finish them all!

What are you reading/what have you enjoyed reading lately?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin