Sunday, May 24, 2015


So I went away last weekend.
It was wonderful.
It was quiet.
(If you've met my family in person, then you know how important that was.)

I rested, read, prayed, planned and just enjoyed the break.

Back home, I decided I needed to be intentional about incorporating the elements of the retreat into everyday life here.

Atmosphere means a lot to me and affects how I feel quite a lot.  To that end, I've got to figure out a balance between what I need to be happy and what everyone else here needs to be happy.  Those things aren't always the same.  Go figure.

Flowers, candles and beautiful music fill me with joy.  I need to have a peaceful place I can step into where I can comfortably create things and rest.  Everyone else wants places to play.

So, I cleared off my bedroom vanity of the crazy piles of books covering it and laid out the big lace runner.  Then, I only put back on the things I love and really want on it.  I've got my Bible open on the center, candles all around, a beautiful rock, a seashell, more lace lovelies, and flowers.

I made this arrangement the other day and just love it.  It's a little wild, but it makes me smile.  I've refreshed the white flowers and pulled out the droopies as needed.  I brought in a little creamer filled with lillies of the valley so that I can sketch them today.  Lavender blossoms fill the little heart dish by the candle as well.

I also hauled all my craft supplies that I'd been storing and put them in the school room.  I even set up a little corner that I can sew in.  My hope is that with everything more easily available, I'll create more.  It also makes it more conducive to encouraging the kids' creativity as they can use my supplies as well.

So far, I've only done some simple watercolour samples to teach the kids some painting techniques, but I've got lots of plans.  The kids have also been making their own felt play mats and been introduced to the glue guns.  It might get a little crazy around here.

I decided I needed to stop hoarding all my special things and let the kids discover what they can do.  I hate wasting things and cleaning up all the messes, but the time seems right to let go of all the rest of my much-hated perfectionism.  I don't want to pass that onto them.  Plus, they are now able to help and not just make the mess.

It's been a full week trying to arrange things and being more open to it all.  I feel like I was gone a lot, but don't feel harried.  Maybe because I can retreat to our room and enjoy the peace in there.

I'm also happiest when I am creating beauty.  I even took a couple hours one evening with my Dad and learned from one of his friends how to make a wooden spoon.  It was a blast and I hope to make a ton more.

 The kids and I went to a neighbour's home who is an artist one afternoon as well.  She and I are discussing planning an art and craft sale here at our home out under the cherry trees.  It was fun.  Maybe I'll make and sell some spoons along with all my other stuff.

This will be our last week of regular school lessons.  I'm certainly looking forward to being done.  I'm ready to be done, especially with math.   We've also got planned a field trip one day with other home schoolers to a local candy factory.  That should be fun. 

Well, I need to see about making lunch now.  Sweetheart made pancakes this morning for everyone.  They were delicious!  But I think everyone is probably about ready for lunch.  Hope you have a great rest of your weekend.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I'm in the middle of life here at home, getting ready for a few ladies to come over tonight for the first time, but I find myself really looking forward to tomorrow.

As soon as school is complete tomorrow I am going on a personal retreat.  The last time I was alone for an extended time was my trip to Portland about four years ago.  Since we have only one car and no extra money, I had to get creative on how to make this work. I've got a free place to be here in town and wheels to borrow if I need them.  (thanks mom!)

I was hoping for lovely weather and endless walks, but snow and rain are what is forecasted.  No matter.  I will not let it ruin this time.

I'll be back online next week.  Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I love memoirs.  I do.  There is just something so fun about a glimpse into another's daily life.  I guess it was the early version of blogging.  I love peoples' stories.  I love to hear their voices.

I am currently reading two biographies, one on Dietrich Bonhoffer and one on Beatrix Potter.  They are fascinating.  They aren't the quickest or easiest of reads for me.  Maybe though I just picked two people who did too much.  ;)

Maybe someday I'll write a memoir.  Sweetheart and I talked about writing fully about our time in Idaho.  We haven't figured out if it would be a comedy, or a tragedy.  Probably a good mix of both would fill the pages. 

Anyway, I went down this rabbit trail inadvertently.  I really just got on here because I wanted to share a quotation from a book I read awhile back that stuck with me.

"We don't wait for inspiration any more, having found that inspiration is mostly the application of the seat of the pants 
to the seat of a chair."
~Louise Dickinson Rich from We Took to the Woods

In other words:  sit down Kimberly and get to work.  So, instead of trying write something inspired here and doing nothing at all in this space, I'm just writing.  We'll see where it goes. 

By the way, I took this picture just after the blossom picture above.  I turned around and saw these guys just hanging out in the back where the garden will go.  See why the fence may be important? 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Start Small

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been reading a lot about Permaculture.  I've really liked what I've read.  A lot of the books were on planning how to set up your land for the best yields and ease of use. 

When we arrived at our place in Idaho we had no plan.  We were immediately in survival mode.  And that's where we lived the whole time.

Now, we're planning how we want this place to be.  I don't know if all our plans will come to be, but adjusting the plan is a part of it all.  One of the ideas of Permaculture is, "Start small and work out from well-managed areas." 


So even though I have a larger plan inside my head (that will hopefully make it onto paper soon) we are starting small.  This year it will be two manageable raised beds.  We'll do deer & chicken fencing first that allow for future garden growth, but we're not trying to plant the entire acre this year. 

We decided to wait on the bees this year.  They need to be close enough for weekly maintenance and for daily shovelling out in winter, but we don't want them right here by the house we are currently living in.  We could put them out in the back acre where they will probably end up, but it would be a real pain come winter.  As bees are notorious for not wanting their hives moved, we will plan for them for next year when we have a better sense of how things will lay out. 

We'll probably end up with chickens soon, but I want to have good, secure housing and a safe, dependable chicken run first.  As that isn't ready, I'm not buying chicks.  If it doesn't happen until next year, I'm good with that, too.  I do miss our little feathered friends (and their eggs) though.

We've jumped right into so many things.  It's not all together a bad thing, but depending on the situation it can be quickly overwhelming for me.  I've discovered I don't like being overwhelmed. 

That said, I can get stuck not trying new things by waiting for situations to be perfect before I begin, so sometimes it is good to be pushed out of my comfort zone.  I've certainly learned to do a lot more than I would have otherwise.

I think this way of thinking may help me in so many areas.  We'll see.

"Start small and work out from well-managed areas."


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