Welcome Back to the Jungle

159 :: The "Lawn"

This is what the “lawn” looks like after six weeks away.

165 :: Garden Jungle

And the garden is a jungle. But at least there is kale growing in the jungle. And lots of garlic. Oh, and volunteer plants I would have weeded out weeks ago. How I love the volunteers. And so they get to stay. Nasturtiums in the garlic beds. Cosmos in the onions. Calendula everywhere. Hundreds of borage plants for the bees.

160 :: Chef

166 :: Minty

The garden is wild. The children have not brushed their hair in days. The puppy is happy.

162 :: Theo Boy

The chickens are settling back in.

161 :: Bird

And sometimes Amabel and I spend the morning collecting beautiful bits of plants and arranging them just so, creating this lovely, yet rather pointless assortment . . . instead of weeding, but . . . it’s lovely here, in the jungle, isn’t it?

165 :: Making Order

Walking Back in Time with Jill

151 :: With Jil

Here we are, on the winding Gousty lanes, exploring with our dear friend Jill, traveling back in time together. There is a timeless quality to the lanes going up and down the hills, connecting old houses. Old houses like old friends talking, remembering, as we do, our shared history.

I love watching my girls as they observe the friendship between Susie and Jill, dear friends who spent years raising their children together. My girls love to hear them bantering stories back and forth – stories from when I was the age of my daughters. I see my girls imagining Grandmommy when she was my age, with little ones like I have now. Imagining me as little like them. Imagining me with Jill’s daughters and the worlds we created and the words we invented. And how those little worlds and those words live on in the stories our mothers tell all these years later. Walking together.

Washing Wild Leeks

138 :: Washing Wild Leeks

I adore this tiny man, standing up at the sink, helping Papa with fermentation projects. Give this little boy a sink full of water and a few kitchen utensils and he gladly “help” in the kitchen for at least a half an hour.

Gousty in the Mist

137 :: Misty Gousty

Misty Gousty walks with James and Maia. Watching all the little leaves unfurl. Hens exploring the forest. Wallace maintaining order with a long metal rod. (Where did that come from?) Greenhouse full of baby plants. Rock wall sprouting lilies of the valley. Oh, spring. I love you.

137 :: Chicken Escape

137 :: Opening Scene

So Little, So Much

125 :: Tiny House

We had a lovely tour of this tiny house on Sunday. Then on Monday, we went to visit our dear friends, the Lanhams, on their beautiful farmstead.

126 :: This I Love

126 :: Sculpture

126 :: Boys

126 :: In the Workshop

126 :: Together

I am always overwhelmed with wonder when I go to visit the Lanhams. Their farm, Little Valley, is my dream home – and has been since I was 10 years old. It’s a dream that I cannot shake, no matter how far off the reality of owning over 200 acres in Leelanau County (and maintaining a collection of beautiful, old buildings) really is. But, when we visited on this particular day, the day after touring a tiny house just a few miles away, the contrast of the two homesteads was just so striking. I love the idea of so little to care for, on the one hand. And I love the idea of so much to care for, on the other hand. What is this all about? It’s such a paradox, isn’t it? Longing for so little. Longing for so much.

126 :: Big Barn