Showing posts from October, 2014

Flecks #29

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

How to collect soil samples.
That my local grocery store has a "guess the weight" pumpkin. No, I didn't guess.

Things I'm celebrating this week:

Halloween! I experienced my first trunk-or-treat. My friend Laura and I went in on a trunk together. Her husband lent his drawing skills for this Great Pumpkin theme.

Happy Halloween!
Your turn:
What did you learn this week? What are you celebrating? Leave a comment and I'll share a "Woohoo!"

Colors of Fall

I don't have a lot to say today. Nothing really. Sometimes being wonderstruck is more about seeing. And when you're seeing what we're seeing, how could you feel anything but?

Here is how we are experiencing fall in New Jersey.

Plus, a few from the farm...

Mother Nature is dressed in her finest. And that, my friends, is worth seeing.

Interview: Sonia Marsh

Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives. Which is exactly why I love this interview series.

This week we are visited by Sonia Marsh, author of the award-winning Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island, and the founder and editor of the My Gutsy Story® Anthology series, the latest of which will be released on November 1st. Be sure to check out the details at the end of this post.

Now, please welcome Sonia.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

This might come as a shock to those who know me online, but my life has taken a dramatic change since my marriage is ending after 28 years. What has surprised me more than anything, and left me “wonderstruck,” is the amazing support I’ve received from so many people. I had forgotten how kind people truly are, and how willing they are to help. Thanks to not being afraid to ask people, and to all my netwo…

Soil Testing and Learning What I Don't Know

The scariest thing about going from hobby gardener to farm owner is that I feel like I need to know things now. Things that I don't know. In fact, I don't even know what I don't know.

Right now if my tomatoes don't come up, I say, "that sucks," and move on with my day. Last year when a groundhog ate my entire garden, I was upset. It was wasted work, but at least I could go to the grocery store.

At the farm, things will be different. Because we are hoping to grow and preserve more food for ourselves and also sell our harvests, the trial and error approach I'm used to taking is less practical.

So right now I'm learning everything I can. I'm talking to organic certification specialists, conservation specialists, and I'm looking for experienced farmers willing to answer dumb questions.

I've signed up for a two-day bionutrient workshop. It's probably important to mention that last week is the first time I heard the term bionutrient. This course…

Flecks #28

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

How to make my own guidance cards. I'm learning from Mindy Tsonas and a bunch of other women about this creative, intuitive practice.
How to use Asana to keep track of all the millions of things my husband and I have to do to build our new house and grow the farm. The project management skills from my full-time working days will come in handy.
How to measure vegetable oil. My son was helping me make brownies and I asked him not to pour the oil yet because we had to measure it. I came back to find him like this...

Things I'm celebrating this week:

Lots of work coming in. This is a good thing, especially because we have a lot to do to build the farm and it will take money. But phew! It's a lot and I'm not going to lie- it's a little daunting.
Fall colors. Trees have been showing off in golds, reds, and oranges- so lovely. The leaves are beginning to fall so I'm s…

Interview: Paola Dias

Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives. Which is exactly why I love this interview series.

This week, please welcome Paola Dias- a photographer, writer, and mother whom I've had the extreme pleasure of getting to know through these interwebs. (As she lives in Brazil, I may never have gotten the opportunity otherwise.)

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I am not working on my creative projects as much as I would like. And that upsets me a lot. My creative projects nurture my soul and are very important in my journey.

Some days can go by and I don't write or photograph or bake anything. The ideas are coming but they are not turned into real action. It's a sad feeling of not being productive and not careful with the things that are very important to me. Life takes the lead and we must step in to reclaim creativity as a priority. It is my choice and no one will make…

Found: A Love Note to Myself

So I'm rereading Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life. I don't often read a book more than once, and occasionally when I do I find I'm not as into it the second time around. Sometimes things speak to you in the moment and when that moment passes, the words aren't as meaningful.

This is one of those books I immersed myself in when it was first published. I'm a fan of Glennon Doyle Melton's blog, and I jumped right on board when she announced her book. I sat with highlighter and pen in hand each night reading her stories.

My friend has been reading Carry On, Warrior in recent weeks and mentioning various parts that are funny or wise. Our conversations made me want to revisit it, so last night I curled up with Glennon's book once again.

Right from page one her honesty astounds me. She puts all her baggage right out up front. She shares her demons and never makes excuses for them. I wish to live (and write) as bravely …

Interview: Christianne Squires

Wonderstruck interviews are back! I love this series. For those of you who may be new to this blog, all guests answer the same five questions. It's amazing to see how different their answers are from one another. Plus, hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives. Watch for new interviews on Wednesdays.

Today I'm delighted to host Christianne Squires of Still Forming. I met Christianne through an online booksmith course and was captivated by her positive, enthusiastic energy. Be sure to visit her website (link is at the end of the post) and consider signing up for her Cup of Sunday Quiet e-newsletter. It's one of my favorites.

Enjoy this time with Christianne.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

In the last year, I've become enamored by a personality typing tool called the Enneagram (pronounced "any-a-gram"). It's a deep and rich tool that has existed…

How to See the World Through the Eyes of a Child

We were visiting our new farm (if you missed that story, catch up here) and I was snapping pictures as I often do there (I've amassed quite a collection already). While poised for some close-ups of little yellow flowers, three-year-old Jonas said he wanted to take pictures of the flowers, too.

My first thought was to say no because it's a camera and he's three. Then I realized I had my pocket-sized point-and-shoot which is a good size for him and I was there to supervise, so why not? In this digital age, I don't have to worry about him using up film. So I let him play.

As I looked back through the photographs, I realized how awesome it was to see the world through his eyes. I got to see what he thought was significant, the things that drew his attention. All by simply handing him a camera.

Because he is so perfectly un-adult, he doesn't worry about things like composition or lighting or focal point. He says, "Mommy, I'm going to take a picture of yellow flowe…

Flecks #27

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

What a "somerpepper" is. It's basically a somersault that you do after doing another somersault if you're three and proclaim, "I'm going to do a somersault and then a somerpepper."
That putting on a ruffly sundress makes said three-year-old think I'm a princess. Incidentally, putting on tights makes him ask why my pants are "that way."
What a rain garden is and which plants to grow in it.
How to take a cutting from a mint plant to start a new one. Whether I actually learned this one will become apparent in a month when my cutting either grows or dies.

Things I'm celebrating this week:

My husband's birthday! Happy birthday, love! Wishing you many, many more. With me. Obviously.
Being featured on BlogHer! The story of our farm purchase appeared in their Work/Life and DIY sections, as well as right on the home page. That's a first …

We Wanted a Little Space and Maybe a Tractor

About this time last year, my husband and I started discussing the future. What did we want out of life? What did we want to do with our time? Do we want to live where we live now? Do we want to go somewhere else?

I wanted space to garden. My husband wanted enough space to warrant a tractor- maybe 7-10 acres. We live in farm country now and we wanted to be near farms wherever we went. We wanted good schools, local businesses, and that certain feel that you know only when you... well... feel it. Though wonderful, we weren't sure the town we are in is the town we want to stay in forever.

The more we discussed, the more we realized a change might be in order. And with my stepson graduating from high school next spring, and our toddler not yet in first grade, the time to make a change might be approaching quickly.

Throughout the spring and the summer we drove around. A lot. We looked at listings online during the week and spent our weekends driving by them, exploring different cities. We…

Flecks #26

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.

It's been a while since I've done a flecks post, especially considering my summer hiatus. Today feels like a good day to reflect. Will you join me?
Things I learned this week:

Being present in the moment is a continual practice. Just because I learned to embrace my surroundings yesterday, doesn't mean it will come naturally to me today. I have to keep pulling myself back to what's important right now.
If you order a Kindle Voyage now, it is estimated to arrive a full month after it's release date. So that's a bummer after all the work I did to trade in movies and video games for cash to purchase it. I guess it gives me time to get through a few more actual books from my to read pile.
If you think you successfully swatted away a mosquito but your elbow still itches like crazy, check again because the bastard may still be biting you. Repeatedly. Maybe even seven times in that elbow, five …