18 days until spring

Despite having 3 feet of snow on the ground, I am dreaming of digging up dirt, planting seeds, hatching chicks, yoga sessions on our back deck and making herbal tinctures in the summer sun.

I am eager for spring. At work, I sneak in a few blog posts from the Elliott Homestead just to satisfy my appetite for blooms and homesteading projects. At home, Mosi sleeps in my lap while I scroll through local hatchery sites. Charlie draws maps of our garden and keeps our houseplants alive. I think we are ready. Ready for warm, thawing winds and new growth.

Every once in a while - when I get too excited - I have to remind myself: “baby steps Laurel. Baby steps. Slow down. Celebrate the small victories.”

Small victories like surviving a full work week.
Finding good books at the library book sale.
Trudging through deep snow drifts on a sunny afternoon.
Watching my tulips and paperwhites grow tall and green.

This afternoon was especially a victory. I went out to take care of the chickens and collect eggs. The usual brown eggs were tucked away in round nests, but in one dark corner I noticed a solitary, olive-green egg. At first I thought it was a duck egg left behind by our recently deceased duckies, but on closer inspection I realized it was a genuine Joanna Egg.

I could have not been a prouder homesteader than in that moment.

After 12 months of the most nurturing care, nutritious food, warm housing and companionship, our beautiful ameraucana (Joanna) has finally figured it out and laid her very first egg!
I am almost too proud to actually eat it - I’ve waited too long to have a lovely green egg!! Here’s to hoping she will keep laying and not give up.
Yes. Today was most certainly a small victory.

So even though winter still resides in our hills, Charlie and I give thanks for each day. And we both lean on the promise of spring.

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oh deary

(Right now I am reclined on my peacock blue love seat, wrapped up in a fleece blanket with Mosi sleeping beside me. Sunday morning couldn't be cozier!) 

Sometimes I wish I could stay home more often and lead a slow, unhurried life. I wish my mornings were focused around meditation and quilting. But wishing is not going to change anything. As it is, we wake up at 5:30 AM to do the chores and pack lunches. I drop Charlie off at PCEI and drive over to the Credit Union where I work. (Someday I will start my own business and devote all my energy to creative projects.) We work all day, we make the commute home, and for a brief couple of hours we garden and catch up on housework before bed. 

I'm not intending to sound negative or complain. Truly, I am extremely thankful for jobs that are both challenging and enjoyable. The paychecks we get make it possible to travel and host family and friends. And for the first time in our rambling, roving life together, I can feel a sense of permanency and contentment - our roots are growing and deepening. 

And oh how I love our little home! It is so perfect for the two of us... (and perhaps a future Baby Herrick if the stars are so aligned.) Chickies and duckies live very happily in the backyard, eating worms and chasing moths. They know Charlie is the food-provider so they follow him around the yard like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Mosi has learned not to stalk the birds or she will get sprayed with water, but she still loves to sit under the lilac bush and watch them from a distance. All-in-all our home is a peaceful, happy place; a space to decompress and relax after long work days, which is something a home ought to be. 

(The pictures below are from this spring.) 
Lilac Lemonade
Crab-apple Blooms
Mosi's Loveseat
Picking Flowers
Three Little Ducks

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duckies

a day on the farm

Spring is so close you can smell it in the air: the fragrances of warm sunshine, damp earth, crocuses and new grass. Spring is the promise of good things and the celebration of Life. It is my favorite season out of the whole year. 

Yesterday, we got to help out a local farm by doing some chores in the morning and evening. I've forgotten how good it feels to slosh around in the mud carrying buckets of feed. I've missed the smell of dusty horses and the cackling of hens. We cleaned out the brooder, fed and watered all the animals, walked the dogs, collected eggs and laughed at the dapper mallard duck and his ladies. I could not stop fawning over the lambs and taking pictures of their sweet faces. Eventually Charlie had to pull me away. "Laurel" he said, "the lambs will still be here if we come another day." Finally, as the sun was just beginning to sink low, we climbed into our muddy Subaru and drove back to our tiny apartment. 

I'm thinking I should start offering promotional photography sessions to local homesteads and farms :) That way, I can hang out with animals and little green planties all the time...

egg basket
barn cat
baby bunnies
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lamb
please excuse my bed hair and extremely photogenic face ;) 

please excuse my bed hair and extremely photogenic face ;)