Our First Anniversary

Our First AnniversaryToday, Philip and I celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  We have a bit of our ice cream cake to choke down for the sake of tradition, and this afternoon, we’re going to see The Maze Runner in IMAX and then dine at Pasture, our favorite farm to table restaurant.  (I’m hoping they still have the cocktail that includes strawberry jam.)

So I’m excited about this anniversary, but mostly – and I say this at the risk of being overly sentimental – I look forward to spending the rest of my life living our dreams with this man.

For so long I searched for someone who would “get” me but also be his own person, someone who would walk this farming, artistic, community-oriented path with me but who would take the dream to hand and shape it with his own person.  And now I have found him.

So today, my hope for each of you is that you have this person – dear friend, partner, child, companion – who will walk your life with you as they explore their dreams with passion. 

Happy rest of your lives, Everyone.


Oh, Autumn

This morning, on my writing blog, I tried to craft an ode to this, my favorite season.  I don’t know how well I did, but it was – is? – a sort of way of saying thank you to this land and a gratefulness that we move in my favorite season – when I can see the beauty here and look forward to a different form of it on the new farm.

Here’s what I wrote:

Out the kitchen window, I can see the golden hue beneath the lingering green of the grass.  It’s set off by the burgandy gift of dogwood leaves.  The light this morning – after a long night’s rain – is blue and soft, slanted just enough to bring all these colors into full show – the lighting designer of nature doing Her best work.

Stop by Andilit and read the rest if you’d like. :)

And do tell me what you love about autumn?

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Holding My Inner Tasmanian Devil At Bay

17 days.  Whew!!  Now that came up quick.  17 days until we close on our new house.  Holy Moly!

Meander reclines

Meander knows no stress.

We’re still trying to figure out how to house the chickens at the new place – makeshift one of the standing outbuildings or build a mobile coop before we go.  Plus, we need to finish up packing and planning for the temporary goat paddock beside the house.  (We’re quietly optimistic that the present owners will leave the children’s swing set so that we can see Olive and Acorn go down the slide.)

Plus, then, there’s the turning off of things like electricity and the turning on of things there.  And then packing, have I mentioned packing?

It’s kind of easy for me to get spiraled up into a whirlwind of stress and anxiety.  (Picture the tasmanian devil with a book in one hand and a pen in the other.) Right now, we’re both running at the tipping point between sane planning and nutty packing, and if we have one wrench come in – a problem with a well at either house, an unexpected animal emergency – you may just witness some sheer panic on my part.

Tomorrow, we take the puppies for their “fixing” time, hoping to get them ready for the trip and also not add to the stress of a new place.  The kittens will follow on Thursday.  We have a well inspection at the new place tomorrow, and I’m setting up the closing proceedings with the lawyer for this farm tomorrow afternoon.  Oh, and Philip and I still have our full-time jobs to do, too.

If you have good energy or prayers or just really encouraging words to throw up for us, please do. We could use them. . .

I’m trying to take a couple of notes from Meander’s book and let what needs to be done come as it will AND when the time for crazy running comes, give yourself over to it and drop your tail for less wind resistance if necessary.

We’ll keep you posted.

If you sign up for our mailing list (check the top, right-hand corner of this page), you’ll be receiving some exclusive pictures of the new farm soon. :) 

Looking for the Joy Amongst the Stress

From where I sit beneath a blanket I’m sharing with Meander on the couch, I can see all the goats munching away on the tall stalks of late summer flowers.  Wilma leads the way – with her slightly stiff gait – while Olive and Acorn waddle up behind her.  It’s a peaceful sight . . . one I will miss this week.

Bella The Great Pyrenees

Bella raspberries you.

I’m headed out on book tour for The Slaves Have Names, and I’ll miss everyone here, especially Philip, of course.  I’ll be traveling the back roads of Ohio this week, and I”m very excited and nervous.

But it’ll also be a nice break from all the moving-related work- or at least from the surprise visits that bring me to the door in my pjs.  I’m hoping to get ahead on some work for October so that when I come back, I can jump in with both feet on the moving prep.

This week, Dad offered to build us the mobile coop we want for the new farm, so he’ll do that at his place and we’ll load it up on a flatbed when we sign the paperwork for the new place.  Philip and his dad are planning away on the goat fencing we’ll need, and I am looking forward to the car ride with all 3 dogs. :)

Plus, I’m talking with a friend about how we will honor the enslaved people who once lived and worked in this new place.  Our first act as the owners of this farm will be to pour our libation in honor of them.  I am awed and honored by that responsibility.

Still, the stress of all of this is weighing on us. We’ve both had trouble sleeping of late, and we are eager to get the final pieces – inspections and appraisals – settled so that we can sit easy with our plans.  Moving is – as I should have remembered – quite the big deal.

But overall, we are beyond blessed – all the animals are healthy as are we.  We have enough means to buy a house – a privilege many in our world do not have. Our families and friends support us and take joy in our plans.  And we have each other, which is a gift each of us thought we might never find.  So even in the stress – in the busyness of a book tour and the packing of books, in the weight of moving 30 critters safely, in the worry of waiting for an appraisal – we take our joy . . . because that’s one of the things we’ve learned here in droves – joy comes when you look for it . . . in the crow of a rooster or the thundering tumble of kittens.  We just have to see it.

What’s bringing you joy today? 



30 Animals, 3 Outbuildings, 1 House, and 2 Humans in 1 Week

Yesterday, we accepted an above-asking price offer on our current farm.  To say I’m thrilled would be an understatement.

Two Farm Kittens

Sabeen and Jelly Roll

And so would saying I’m a little stressed.

We have to move all our belongings – which includes quite a bit of farm equipment – and 30 animals to our new farm in the course of a week.  Whew.  My chest hurts at the thought.

Plus, did I mention I’m gone for a week on book tour next week? :)

Yet, I know this - things only come together this perfectly for a reason. We will not have to care for two high-maintenance properties at once – which saves us hauling our mower up and down the state of Virginia.  Plus, the sale means we can pay back what we borrowed for our downpayment as well as pay off some other bills.  That’s all excellent news.

So today, we will set out a schedule for that week – what we will move when. We will figure out what supplies we need to fix up the temporary goat paddock and chicken coop.  We will pack more boxes, and we will take lots of deep breathes.  In through the nose, out through the mouth.

Plus, the image of me in a Subaru hatchback with a red dog and two big fluffy white dogs while Philip has six goats in dog crates covered in blankets on the back of the struck and Philip’s dad with 5 cats in his car. . . . well, that alone is enough to crack me up.  Plus, we’re going to kidnap the chickens once they roost for the night so they’ll be calmer, and I’m enjoying the mental picture I have Philip snagging each of them to put in the aforementioned dog crates for the trip up the road.

If nothing else, this time will give us lots of laughs. ;)

If you feel like being a part of the mayhem, we’re moving between October 9 and 15th, and we could use help.  We can’t pay in cash, but we have food and lots of animal loving to go around.  Plus, we give pretty good hugs.  So join us if you will.  Goodness knows, we could use you.


Quiche, The First Egg, And A Discount

From my office, I can hear one of the Brahma Mamas – who might actually be a Cochin, not a Brahma – cackling again.  I suspect when I go out, I’ll find another egg. It’s so exciting!!  The First Chicken Egg

In fact, tonight, I think we’ll have quiche – in the honor of these lovelies.  I use this recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. . . if you try it, let me know how it goes. :)

This week marks two years of my time here on the farm. . . I wrote a bit about that time and about the discount on God’s Whisper Manifesto that you can get this week, over at my other blog. . . I hope you’ll check it out.

One other tiny thing . . . we’ve got some good interest in this current farm, so keep us in your thoughts, prayers, and energy.  Fatigue and anxiety are plaguing me a bit just now, so good news and forward movement would be excellent.  Thanks so much.


The Details and Dreams of Moving

Olive and Acorn, the Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Hug

Olive and Acorn Cuddle On Top Of The House

It’s been a busy few days around here – with prepping for our first showing yesterday and our home inspection on the new place.  And this morning, we woke to find that the big sassafras behind the house had split off a huge limb that we must now chop up.

But despite the busyness, we are all well – the goats had some parsley this morning and loved it, and I put up an herb toy for the chickens – a suet feeder full of herbs – that Daffy has taken to quite fully.

We’ll be spending today sawing and cleaning out the coop.  And probably some packing, too.

All the while, we’ll be dreaming and thinking of how we will shape our new farm.  So today, I spent some time thinking of how we will design our front room – the reading room, and I hope you’ll stop by my writing blog to share your ideas for what needs to be in that room.

Meanwhile, if you’re eager to see how everyone is doing here, be sure to follow our Facebook page. We post pictures most every night, and if you check last night’s, you’ll see Acorn making the leap from house to house.

Thank you so much for journeying with us.  We’re so grateful for you.