Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some days, the computer and I just don't agree

I had a lovely post lined up.  One about writing letters and how it's a lost art that I've been doing for years.  And then the computer decided to make my life a little more difficult.  Ahhhhh....time for some coffee and time to step away from the computer, before I throw it out the window.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week-long Retreat

I'd really like to say I've been absent from blogging due to a retreat somewhere warm, sunny and preferably with a fiber art workshop involved....but no.  I've been cleaning, organizing and ick cleaning my carpets.  Oh joy!

Pardon the sarcasm!  I am joyful.  Glad to have my mother to help me do all those things, glad that this means all I now need is a renter - a good one - and I can be toodleloo on my way!

But I missed Farmday Friday and Soundtrack Sunday!  Can you ever forgive me?  My goal truly is to blog every day, every day a little piece of Fearlessness but goals are something you work towards right?  So I had to let it go in the name of Moving to Be With My Husband.  This week....I'll do better, Promise.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The World Ahead

Consists of craziness and happiness all in a big messy bundle.  Isn't it funny that that's how happiness usually happens?

I'm leaving Indiana.  I'm moving out to be with my husband finally.  Three years of long distance (unmarried or not) is plenty.  So I'm renting this place out until it sells and packin' up! 

When I left Maine, I didn't leave that much behind.  A crappy job, a messed up relationship, some sweet cats, a few great books that belonged to my grandmother.  I missed the books most of all.....guess the cats weren't THAT sweet.

This time is different yet, much better.  I think many people don't understand how I can leave such a great paying job where I have all this prestige, respect and am doing what I thought I loved.  I get it.  It sounds great. Things usually do when you're not the person doing them.

Alright so it pays well; I've never cared about money, it's the bane of my existence, we are all slaves to it, it ruins's time to move on.

Prestige; I'm a wallflower at heart, I do like to teach others but prestige makes me noivous, an overinflated ego is a great way to fall on your's time to move on.

Respect; this one's harder, I do enjoy having it from others, it was duly earned thankyouverymuch, but again, it plays in to the ego thing, I don't have to have it in order to know I'm worthy of's time to move on.

Doing what I loved; note the past tense, when you're taken in to your counselors office as a Sophomore in highschool and asked to "pick a career, any career! you can do absolutely aannyything!" how exactly are you supposed to respond to that?  So, I don't hate what I do, I think I chose well but the kicker is, I never really wanted a career.  If I had been given the choice between a career and pursuing my own interests in homemaking, herbal arts, arts, crafting, gardening....I would never have had a career; they aren't just hobbies, people used to live that way, why not again?'s time to move on.

All those for moving on?  Aye!  AYE! AyE!  aye! aYE!  aYe! ayE!

All those for staying put?.................................anyone?..................................................

The Aye's have it!  Stay tuned......................

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sew-day Sunday Success!

Sunday's the day -


Juniper's a bit of an attention whore.

And I think she was crossed with a monkey.

The original has a hidden stitch so it doesn't show on the outside when you sew it down the middle but you know what?  This one does; and that's what makes it mine.

Sew-day Sunday

There are just too many things to blog about today.  So since I seem to have a fondness for designating days for certain things; Sunday will be Sewing Day.  In a previous post, I mentioned that I have yet to really tackle sewing.  If I make it something I have to do a little bit of on Sundays, perhaps my husband won't have to wear skirts.

So here is some fab fabric I found:

I'm going to start with a fairly simple reproduction of a headband that I got from my friend Heather who is also known as Crimson Tate: Modern Quilter.
She has an Etsy store!  Check it out!

I have a couple things to change about it, it's too tight and gives me a headache for one thing and I also want to try using a little thinner piece of fabric.  So, here goes.  Oh and I wouldn't dream of trying to sell these.  They're just for me.  If you want to see some super cute ones go to her Etsy store!  They're very reasonably priced.

And just for looks:

This was my Saturday morning drive to work yesterday.  Ahhhhhhh.......

Last but not least the big news too is; I'M LEAVING!  Husband and I put our foot down.  No matter what happens with the land we want to buy, I'm moving out to him  in April.  We've set April 20th as the day to leave.  Mom and dad will help me move out there.  Now I just have to find a renter for this place.  See what I mean?  Waaaay too many things to blog about today.  Now I have to get going on the sewing because I may not have much time left to learn!

Sunday Soundtrack

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

Seen the movie?  This is one of my favorite movies of all time.  The music from it is fantastic and on a Sunday, it's just the thing to keep on the move without rockin' out too hard.  Cause truly, Sunday should be a slow-down day and too much of a beat doesn't facilitate that does it? No.

So a sing-a-long really; with old and new artists to keep you moving, yet chillin' on your slow-day Sunday.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Farmday Friday; Yay!

I almost forgot Farmday Friday!  I was sittin' on my couch letting my mind wander for the first time this crazy day and thinking about my blog; I love my blog.  I love that 14 people love my blog.  I am not so stupendous as to lust after 40 or more but hay, once I'm on the farm, who knows what adventures might draw people here.  It could happen.  Truly.

So FARM.  Lessee........Sewing!  Oh yes; that one skill I am still trying to master.  I have a sewing machine from maybe 1965.  It's in pretty good shape.  I got it for $10 at an auction and it came nested inside this very pretty cherry laminate wooden table with three drawers.  Handy dandy.  One of my first projects on it was this skirt:

I didn't use a pattern.  I simply laid the fabric on my bed.  Used a yard stick to cut at approximately the same angle on both sides, then sewed it up and put elastic in the waist band.  Ziiiiip!  Done.

Easy peasy.  Too easy.  I have to challenge myself with sewing and I'm not doing a very good job of it which is not like me.  I think I just have to love what I'm working with.  "Do what you love" and all that.  Annnnnd therein lies the problem.

If I'm on a farm, I'm not going to be able to do what I love on a whim.  "Oh. I feel like.........knitting today" etc.  That will not fly.  I will have to, as my father says, suck it up, and do what I have to do.  So what's the lesson here (there's always a lesson).  I think our society is geared towards pinballing from one preferred stimulus to the next based on knee-jerk, whimsical desires.  Now, don't get me wrong, you can't always treat your life as ser'ous bidness.  BUT if you never push through and do those things that must be done even though you don't feel like it, then you'll never know the self-respect that comes from having that discipline.

OH.  Don't get me started on discipline!  I'm still teaching myself that one.  So off I go this weekend, to diligently work on learning to sew.  Because seriously, I really don't think my husband is gonna wanna wear skirts.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Procrastination is going very well, thank you.

I've been trying to sell my home for three years.  Yup.  You know when that big 'ol bubble burst?  I decided to meet the man I was to marry (and am now married to) put my house up for sale and try and move.  Well obviously you can see how THAT went.  Well I've been taking it off and putting it back on the market and this Thursday it's going back on again.  Oh Lordy.  Why - why can't I be better about keeping up with housework?  Because now here I am, two nights left to get this place lookin' up to snuff for showings and I have stuff everywhere in huge piles that only I know the secret to.  Then I get overwhelmed and have to sit down frequently and do things like.....write a blog post. 

OoOoOo....pretty picture.

It's like I'm reclaiming my house from months of laziness.  I'm paying for it.  The benefit to all this is showings.  Once it's up and looking like someone might actually want to buy it again, the showings that will happen will keep me walkin' the line of a clean homestead.  Of course, it's depressing because if you want to do anything at all, and of course my farm skills need to be honed and they all require massive amounts of stuff being strewn about because I'm visual like that, who wants to do anything but sit in a nice clean chair, with a nice clean book that can be put back on the shelf easily and go out for every meal so as not to dirty up the kitchen?

Oh my God the kitchen.  I don't want to think about it.  Surely the flour on the countertops leftover from my raging success with breadmaking yesterday, was left there intentionally because I plan on doing more baking anyway.   Right?

*sigh* back to work.....the prize?  Finally living with my sweet husband. 
It's worth it. 
Every little bit.

Sunday, March 13, 2011



Sunday Soundtrack

Sea Change
Hm.  Well in Highschool, I remember they came out with a great song that everyone loved to have played at the dances.  Not exactly what you might expect for a Sunday Soundtrack BUT like some artists do; they've changed.  Their album Sea Change is nice.  Nice.  Mellow and great  for a Sunday.  Not at all like my initial exposure to them but hey, bands have a right to change...they are people too.

Worth a listen on a Sunday.

Only for bread

Will I go to these lengths.  It's nearly midnight; or 1am since the clocks switch tonight, and only for bread would I be up this late. 


Will rise overnight 4-6 hrs and in the morning I will try, try again to make sourdough.  It's just like anything, the more you try the more you notice what's happening beneath your fingers and the more you notice what it feels like when it's 'just right' (because eventually it WILL be 'just right')!

As I say: learning something new is really just about paying very close attention

Example: bread = better each time I try it.

And the painted nails just make me laugh........

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Farm Day Friday - on a Saturday? Oops.

I noticed that I'm not talking about the farm nearly as much as I intended to on here.  The plan is: buy the land, move to the land, start a self-sufficient farm and 'get off the grid' and blog relentlessly about it (as long as that doesn't interfere with milking the cow, feeding the chickens, sowing the crops canning/harvest yadda yadda yadda) so my friends and fam can have a consistent update on what's going on since many of them are hell and gone from where I'll be.  Ok.  Sounds good, now how in tarnation do we do it?

Anyway, I'm officially designating Fridays as Farm Days.  I will only talk farm.  Farm dreams, farm plans, farm updates etc.

But I have to post a purty picture or two.  Have to.  Even if they have absolutely nothing to do with what I'm talking about, I just don't see why me or those who read this have to suffer through a mass of text and no prettiness.  So here:

Is my lovely orchid.  This is last year.  It's getting ready to bloom again right now!

Farm Update: we had found some acreage we were ready to buy.  The price was right and we loved it.  The owner however, is in Florida and she just wasn't going to be convinced to do any paperwork while she was down there.  So we got our hopes up and then she basically said; You have to wait until I get back.  *sigh*  We've been looking now for 3 years basically.  On and off.  Craig's list and elsewhere and it's been hard dealing with people.  We know the urgency (the growing season is only so long people!) but everyone else has their own lives and they have to live them too.  Ok so live and let live.  That's fine  But work with us!  So we decided to wait until she comes back in about a month.....pretty picture time:

So here we are........waiting.
But that's ok, it will happen when it happens right?  In the meantime we've ordered seeds for the garden and are accumulating all sorts of great stuff to use on the farm from friends, families and auctions so who's to say we aren't supposed to be waiting this long while we keep getting great stuff that we won't have to buy once we're out there?  Patience isn't just a virtue, it's a necessity.  If my dog Sam hasn't taught it to me then this whole situation certainly has.  It will happen, but not when or how we think.....isn't that always the way?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I give up!

Lent.  Well....thank God for it that's all I can say.  If it weren't for Lent, I might never learn discipline in this world where we are taught to do whatever suits our fancy.  This year is a tuffy.  I'm giving up worrying.

I come from a long, long, long, long line of worriers.  My grandmother was one, my mother is one, I'm sure their mothers were worriers too, though I have no proof.

  What is it about women and worrying?  What do we get out of it?  Does it extend our lives?  And if it does why would we want an extended life of worrying?  Oh to be relaxed!  To not strive every day, worrying all along the way.

Next I will be worrying about whether or not I'm's that ingrained....I hardly know I'm doing it sometimes.

What do any of these pictures have to do with worrying?  Nothing.  They're beautiful and they're all I have access to at the moment.  And in them, I can find absolutely nothing to worry about.  Yay!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fearless Fiber Art

Boiling wool in mordant so it will take the dye

So I'm thinking about trademarking the Fearless Farmgirl name.  I don't have delusions of granduer or anything, I just like the sound of it and it could apply to lots of things that I will end up selling on Etsy.  Like fiber arts.

Wool dyed with elderberries

Fearless Fiber could be any fiber that I have washed, carded and prepared for spinning like what's pictured here.
Wool dyed with Celandine poppy stems and leaves

All natural dyes if I can help it, fearlessly dyeing with anything and everything I can possibly find.  That's how I got in to this mess!  Dyeing is addictive!  It changes the way you see everything.  You see a pretty flower and think, "Wow, I wonder what shade that would yield?" Forever. Dye.

Drum carder to make batts
And batts made on the drum carder..........................................

And finally; Fearless Farmgirl Products would provide fantastic hand spun yarns and hand knits.  I could make a whole life of this.....too bad I've got a day job.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Soundtrack - HEM

Back again to talk about what I listen to on Sundays, my days for rest and relaxation.  Have you ever tried HEM?  They're a great band (out of New York I believe) with a mellow sound, so mellow sometimes you could fall asleep to it.  But, in some songs they pick it up a bit; it's a nice mixture for a Sunday.

Take a listen to Half Acre off their Rabbit Songs album and many others here: Listen to Hem  You may be very glad you did!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chicago Flower & Garden Show

 Welcome to the Chicago Flower & Garden show!  Today I gave a talk to 70 people at the flower show and it went very well.  I was pleased with the response from the audience, I made them laugh..which I always try to do.  It was fun and very doable.  Talk about Fearless!  When it's part of your job you have to conquer your fear.  This was the first time my workplace had been represented in any way at the flower show.  What am I supposed to say when they ask me to talk?  No, I'm skeert?  I don't think so.  So you get over it.  I was nervous, no doubt, I have talked to a room of 100 before and I kept telling myself that.  It helped.  That and my parents were there
 Funny; I remember when their presence would have made me more nervous, now it brings me comfort.  I suppose that's called growing up.  I'm glad I grew up some, it's well worth the wait.  But I ramble on!  Enjoy the pictures!  I wish my camera were better but this is all I managed to get.  And if you were there...sorry I missed you!




A wooded bed, they even brought in the oak leaves.  I love it. Ugh but it's sideways!

Friday, March 4, 2011

5am Botched Bread

Baking bread at 5am is just *the thing*.  It's about the only reason I would ever be up at this crazy hour.  I may only bake bread so I can wear this apron my mom made for me.  Ain't it cute?
So for a while now, I've been trying to find the perfect bread recipe that I can bake up on a weekly basis and freeze, eat, gift......whatever.  I've vacillated back and forth between them but they've been mostly whole wheat and recipes that take a while to rise, especially in winter.  Recently I've been trying the sourdough from Mary Janes Farm Ideabook (which is on its way in the mail to me yaaaaaay).  Right off the bat I think I messed up the starter.  Added too much of the ingredients etc.  Sometimes, fearless farmgirls can be a little TOO fearless and forget that reading the directions does not mean they are not who they say they are.   

Cat hair is another issue....if there are ever any hairs in my baking, this is the culprit.  She's gotta be where the 'action' is and if her food bowl is empty forget it!  You won't get a moment's peace.  But how can you not love that face?  Ok back to bread.

I've baked up 3 loaves of this bread and each one has been so so but this morning's really takes the cake (pictured left, bread, not cake).  I decided to add a packet of yeast to it since I messed up the starter anyway.  Well it rose so well that the minute I touched it it deflated.  But you know what?  I put it in the oven anyway.  The whole point of this learning curve is to...well...learn something.  I've never baked a deflated loaf of bread before.  We'll see what happens.  Some of my yummiest creations have been  happy accidents.....I just have a feeling this will not be one of them.  Oh well!  More bread for the birds!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Because everyone's ready for spring.......

 How cool is this flower?  Mitella diphylla a.k.a. Bishop's Cap.  Native.  Demure.  I like it.
 Something to be said for pretty too....remember these?  These are f-l-o-w-e-r-s and they are pretty.  This late in to winter, I begin to forget what they are.....priums?  pramule?  Oh, primulas!  Mmmm.
And the show off.  Don't you think roses are just showing off?  I mean...enough already.  You have many petals but just because all your stamens have been messed with to make you look....well....frilly...that doesn't mean you're the best!  Attention whore......

Ahhhh spring.....where are you?