The Homestone

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Who's singing on the meadow?

 Let us not speak of spring just yet.  
There will be time for that.
It is late winter on the meadow and all the snow we're getting now is going to make the forest sing when the sun finally encourages the dandelions to bloom!
 The Red Winged Blackbirds (just the males so far) have returned to serenade us
and if you close your eyes, they sound like bells and a babbling brook.
 The Purple Finches also grace our snow piles
picking off seeds we offer them and apparently oblivious to the cold.
  They also sing. 
Tough little dinosaur descendents!
  Vincent reported that Sprucey the Squirrel was seen tipsy on fermented apple cores this morning
and who could blame the little critter?
  A normally elusive otter zips along the edge of Mackin Creek in full view ... 
heading somewhere fast.
David and I are happily
heads down working with some lovely folks on their commissioned rings.
Vincent is putting a fresh coat of paint on the woodworking shop!

We have (bug killed pine) firewood a plenty and over meals we talk of plans for the warmer months ahead.
Sheep and chickens, sunken gardens, soffits and eaves,
 Visitors and Visiting

Outside, the snow continues to fall 
and spreads her soft blanket over any urgency to Spring Up and tackle our To Do Lists.
Life is good.
And we are well and truly blessed! 

As I wrap up this late March post we spot a Flicker on the feeder
Vying for a go at the suet.
Outnumberd by hungry blackbirds... he'll be back :)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

And the years fly by ....

The other day I opened my inbox to find this email from a blog reader.  

"Hi Nicola,

I just wanted to let you know that I love reading your Homestone blog - it brings me peace and warmth every time I read it. You and David are truly living the dream out in the "middle of nowhere" and I hope one day to be living peacefully in a similar setting. I appreciate your updates and look forward to them every month. Your photography is beautiful as well. 

With gratitude and wishes for a happy and healthy Winter."

... such an uplifting email from an old friend we haven't yet met.
In this era of instant posts and updates, it is this kind of email that renews my enthusiasm about old fashioned blogging and warms me right down to my toes. This format for sharing snippets of our lives seems rather old school now, but I will carry on.  Buoyed by the recent letter from Valerie and similar sentiments expressed by so many of our visitors.  To all our readers and clients; Thank You for your understanding and appreciation of  our 'slow life' on the meadow. 
We are truly blessed. This morning, like many winter mornings ... we watched our moose grazing comfortably as we had our breakfast.
David and I are quietly celebrating ten years of offering Touch Wood Rings online.   Eleven years of living in this wonderful place we call home. And even longer sharing our lives online with anyone who might be interested in following along.  

This technology is a wonderful thing.  It has allowed us to live and work far 'away from the madding crowds' ~and to pursue an independent off grid lifestyle.  

It's not always easy, but every day is magical ... we wake up and are surrounded by peace and quiet ~ wildlife, wild flowers ... wild weather.  Each day and every season offering it's own particular flavour.
We provide all our own services; solar power, water, heat, fire protection; everything ... I cook on a wood stove.  We don't have a telephone but rely instead on satellite internet for all our communications. The sun is shining today so we have lots of power and there is a bitterly cold wind blowing but that's okay .... it's the sun we need.  
Happy news!  We are bringing sheep back to the meadow later this spring!!  We had sheep until a few years ago and we miss them.  They are delightful animals and we are happy to be their keepers in exchange for their grazing habits, the lovely wool which they are happy to be rid of come the warmer weather ... and the very best fertilizer.  They help with fire control; grazing the edges of things where we aren't able to mow.  Here are a couple of pics of some of our little flock from a few years ago ...
  David with a new lamb as mama looks on tenderly.
And so ... life goes on and we love everything about living here.  There is so much more we want to do and the years go by so quickly.  We remind ourselves to Seize the Day ~ Every day!    Thanks so much for dropping by and we always love to hear from you.

Friday, January 24, 2014

January garden dreams

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”
 Wendell Berry

January has been the month of the Moose here on the meadow.
We haven't had much snow to speak of since the end of December 
but we've had lots of four legged visitors. 
We're all enjoying a Chilcotin Chinook at the moment. 
The four leggeds and the two leggeds.
  The sun is doing it's January thing.  Colouring the sky at sun up and sun down.
Every day ... a few more minutes of light.
 The seed catalogs find their way to the kitchen table even though it will be about four months till it's time to plant. This spring we have plans to build a Walipini.  An underground or pit greenhouse. We have Lots of other plans too ... getting on with our addition is at the top of the list. For now, we are enjoying the moose, the sunshine and the snow.  
I'm really excited about our new greenhouse and will document it's creation.
As always, thanks for dropping by.
Hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve and Moose on the Meadow

December 31st.
It is a beautiful sunny day today. We awoke to two Moose on the meadow this morning. 
In Native American legend, the moose is thought to represent a balance between gentleness and strength. Moose medicine is about the power to shed the past which seems most fitting on this last day of the old year.

And here it was just six short months ago ... and soon again.

For now though, let us walk awhile with the beauty of Winter.

Bright blessings on this New Year’s Eve.
With dearest love.
Nicola and David

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve on the Meadow

 Wishing you a blessed Solstice ~ let there be light!
 And a Christmas decorated with the laughter of loved ones,
the warmth of good cheer and every joy in the new year too.
 Much love
Nicola and David

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mid December

The morning of the 15th
and the afternoon on a walk in the sunshine
 We've already seen about 2 feet of snow.  
Then some sun and a few warm days.


 It's still dark by 4 in the afternoon 
but soon the darkness will give way to the light.

To Know the Dark
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark.   Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings. 
~ Wendell Berry ~