January 1, 2014

Wrap-Up.

In 2013, I...

Visited Southern California...
and drove through Joshua Tree on my way home. Heaven.
Spent time with my favorite ladies.
Experimented with sheet mulching, hugelkultur, and other gardening bliss.
Road tripped to New Mexico, where I also turned 36. 
Attended my niecie's graduation. How did I get this old??
Went on a 17-day road trip to the Northwest. Such a happy trip that I kept laughing in my sleep.
Gathered with my entire family to send my oldest niece off on a mission.
Spent 3 weeks at Elevation. And a lot more weeks planning Elevation.
Learned about herbs in Boulder, Utah.
Went on hikes with the littles.
Visited the Grand Canyon for my very first time!

Attended not one, but TWO farm to fork dinners. Sigh.
Slept on the floor for 4 1/2 months, including one full month outside in a tent.
Moved into my own apartment. Growing up!
Slammed out the prize for ugliest Christmas attire at our family Christmas party. Boo ya.

And celebrated New Year's Eve desert-style.


2013 has been a good, old-fashioned, heck of a year. Life is such a gift, yeah? I like it. 
Happy New Year all!

December 24, 2013

Music for your Christmas Eve.



Love you all. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

November 7, 2013

Wendell Berry.

Manifesto:
The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay.
Want more of everything made.
Be afraid to know you neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery any more.
Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something they will call you.
When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something that won't compute.
Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace the flag.
Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot understand.
Praise ignorance,
for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium.
Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion--put your ear close,
and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world.
Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable.
Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap for power,
please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head in her lap.
Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and politicos can predict the motions
of your mind, lose it.
Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go.
Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

October 23, 2013

Cowboy in our blood.

The most awesome thing you've ever seen:


My nephew Asher, who is one of my favorite friends, recently took up an obsession with cowboys...so much so that his mama took him to Cal Ranch and decked him out in these duds. He loves this outfit like it's his best friend and insists on tucking his belt next to him in bed at night. I can hardly handle how excited he gets about the simplest things. He also has some cow print chaps that he wore last Friday when I took him to a local farm to ride on a wagon and pick out a pumpkin. Everyone was smiling at the little 2-year-old who loves cowboys and meanwhile Asher was walking around as if he were born to do this. And maybe he was! He's related to these people after all....

This is Grandpa Jack holding my dad. Asher's middle name is Jack--after his great grandpa pictured here.
Here's my dad about the same age as Asher. When I showed Asher this picture he said, "No, that's me!"
My dad a little older. Classic!
My Grandma Delora riding a horse (love it so much!)...this is Asher's great grandma who was married to Jack.
And Jack again...maybe my favorite picture of all time. This is him on a cattle drive with his brothers.

Ah! These pictures fill my heart so much. I love my family heritage and feel sure that my own deep love for the land and wide open spaces was passed on through this line. Be proud, little Asher, you have a rich history to be grateful for.

October 9, 2013

Update.


  • I love teaching. I love my students. I feel very blessed to spend my time with a bunch of pre-teen heroes.
  • Still sleeping on the ground...although I've moved to a tent in my backyard. This beautiful, fall desert weather makes for some awesome sleep, I tell ya. 
  • I'm babying some goji berry and moringa plants. Pleeeeease bless they make it!
  • Can't get enough of this. Grateful for my faith.
  • Loving October...it's my 3rd favorite month (after March and September, of course). 
  • Giddy about morning walks in the desert where I see vistas like this:

  • I hope life is giving you lots to be giddy about! 


October 7, 2013

Music for your Monday.

You bury yourself in work, life, family, church...and by the time you look up an entire month has passed by. Just. Like. That. Never ceases to surprise me.

Hello, friends. Hope you have a great Monday.



September 5, 2013

Grand Canyon

I finally made it to the Grand Canyon! What a blissful day...I was overwhelmed, grateful, and excited about every single detail. The North Rim is just over two hours from my home, which is the weird part (how have I not been before??). Glad to spend the day with sweet friends. 































We left just before that rainstorm in the distance pommeled the Canyon. Can't wait to go back! 

August 30, 2013

Farm to Fork.

Last week I spent two days helping my dear friends with their Farm to Fork dinner. It turned out amazing, as always. I really love Red Acre Farm and appreciate all the effort they put towards the local food movement.

This was at about 2:00 in the morning the night before. Spirits were high, despite the look on Sara's face. She was the head chef for the event...and boy does this girl have talent! (And she's only 18!)

The rest of these photos were taken from their Facebook page. Is that legal? I meant to take my own pics, but didn't actually see most of these things due to being in the back cooking the entire meal. Did I mention the food was SOOOO GOOOOD?  


























We did sit next to the campfire after everyone left to soak in the moon and talk about the gorgeous food and feel the satisfaction of such a lovely, community-building experience. They swear every year that they're not going to do it again, but I hope I'll be back helping next year.

August 26, 2013

August 23, 2013

Herbs.

I had the incredible opportunity to attend an herb class in Boulder, Utah a couple of weeks ago, where I learned how to make herbal medicines and also gather and forage for herbs in a compassionate way. It was such a lovely and healing experience...in ways I didn't even expect. Our plant mentor was a very wise and beautiful friend named Constance who has a garden that makes you feel like you're coming home.

My friend Jason accompanied me on the trip...where we made sure to get dessert and other delights at Hell's Backbone Grill. That's homemade ice cream and chocolate chili cream you're looking at. YUM.

Then we camped overnight off of the Burr Trail and were swallowed up in a billion stars. Jason is the kind of friend you want to road trip with because he packs a lot of delicious, healthy, homemade food and also tells you awesome stories. Like when he was in his early 20s and decided he would be a good dad someday so he came up with names for his kids. For the boy: Haas (pronounced Hoss). For the girl: Gidget. Also when it's late at night and totally silent on your trip home, he'll ask things like, "What do you think Meredith Baxter-Birney is doing right now?" And I always take his questions seriously, which leads to very awesome discussions.



The Grand Staircase Escalante is one of my favorite havens.


The garden. Don't you feel like little fairies are dancing around in there?


Some dear permaculture friends who also made it to the class.

I can't wait to connect with the plants in my local area and start making plant medicine. I really believe in this kind of healing and the benefits that come from working with nature in such a symbiotic way. Constance practices the Wise Woman Tradition of herbal healing, which makes a lot of sense to me. If anyone is interested, here are a few of many books she recommended:

The Secret Teachings of Plants
Opening our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs (I have this one and I loooove it)
The Wise Woman Way
The Book of Herbal Wisdom

August 21, 2013

Back to school.



























These views are from my early morning walk today...where I always have my phone and thus a camera in case I get bitten by a rattlesnake or attacked by a coyote (you can never be too careful in the desert). It was a perfect start to this day--first day back at school. I thought about my students and envisioned the upcoming semester and tried to send out love to all of them before we even meet. I'm really excited...super excited...to teach STEM to a bunch of interested and eager middle schoolers. How rewarding is that? I watched the introduction videos last night that the students were assigned to make and I could hardly handle how adorable they are. I think it's going to be a really wonderful year. (Here's my intro fyi).

Even though summer isn't technically over, I feel like it's time to bid it farewell. I had an incredible 3-month break (major perk to being a teacher...feels like everyone should have that privilege). Now I'm ready to head into the fall. So long, summer. You've been good to me.

Have a beautiful day, friends!

August 19, 2013

Elevation.





I just returned home from my 3rd session of Elevation for the summer, where I work as the Assistant Outdoor Program Director. These photos are actually from May, but the location is always the same...a beautiful canyon in Veyo, Utah. The students and staff that attend are top notch in every way--so courageous, kind, helpful, and bright. I really needed this little week-long reprieve in the wilderness. Feeling very grateful for generous smiles, yoga in the sand, starry nights, and late night swims in spring water.