children, dresses, Embroidery, fabric stores, girls clothes, sewing, sewing for kids, single parenting, summer

A gaggle of Geranium Dresses

So the past few days I have been busy sewing up some Geranium dresses. I have made three for Persephone and two for Fiammetta. As well as a whole lot of bloomers/bubble shorts (tree climber pantaloons) for little P, baby V, and the shop. On the two dresses with short sleeves I used the Geranium Expansion Pack.

First off, was this white linen, sleeveless dress for Little Miss Percy Pie.

I used Kam Snaps on the back because I don’t know how to sew button holes! 😂 and I really like the way these open metal ring ones look. 

Persephone’s dress was sewn using Kaufman Essex Linen in white. It is a Linen cotton blend.

It turned out really nice. I keep thinking how lovely some embroidery would be on there!
The Second dress I made was for Fiammetta. She wanted sleeves and picked the gathered sleeve from the expansion pack. I am not too fond with how this one turned out but Fifi likes it so that’s what is important! I ended up shortening the sleeves a bit from what is pictured because the length of them really bothered me. The ended up looking really long. I like the way the whole dress looks better with shortened sleeves. But I don’t have a photo of that!  This dress also differs from the way it was made. Instead of a gathered waist she wanted a pleated skirt. And I sewed her a straight size 8. But because of her very thin little body I probably should have sewn a size 7 bodice with a size 8 length skirt. She’s long and thin just like I used to be!Back of 2nd Geranium with Gathered Sleeves

I didn’t get the best photos here.. Fiammetta was helping to grate some cheese for supper. Excuse the messy house! 🙂 and we had the tent set up in the parlor as the kids were having a campout for a couple days!side of second geranium

The pink fabric is Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Blossom Pink.  The bottom fabric is Brambleberry Ridge Rosemilk Metallic Mint also by Michael miller.  I bought these fabrics quite a while ago to make some dresses for the girls but never actually got around to it!2nd geranium

Fiammetta's Geranium

Third dress and I think my favorite of the bunch is this pretty little gold dress for Persephone. I used the fitted, short sleeves from the expansion pack and I LOVE the way this dress turned out! I will be making many more of this style for the girls in different fabrics. It looks classic and sweet. I’m thinking of possibly adding pintucks on some future dress skirts.

Persephone Gold Geranium Fitted Short Sleeves
I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Gold. Again, it was purchased quite a while ago but never used. I have plans of making bloomers for the shop out of this fabric as well.

Gold Geranium Octopus Tree Climber Shorts

For the bloomers and lining of the dress bodice I used Salt Water Octopus Garden by Tula Pink.  I would link to that but it is sold out. I bought this fabric back in 2014 but didn’t know what I wanted to make out of it so I’ve held on to it for a while! I have since decided to make a bunch of bloomers with it and list them in the shop. Now that the baby is getting older it’s a little easier for me to be at the sewing machine and get some stuff done!

Kam Snaps again on the back. In fact I used Kam Snaps on all the dresses! It makes for easy dressing for the girls as well. Plus they are sturdy and durable.


Fourth and fifth dresses are a matching set for the two girls. We did the gathered skirt with the cap sleeve option from the original Geranium Dress pattern. I used Michael Miller Brambleberry Ridge Flight in Metallic Mint. This too has sold out. I really love Michael Miller fabrics. They are very soft and lovely to sew with. Fabric.com also has very reasonable pricing. It’s nice to shop from local shops but it’s a lot more affordable in a lower income household to buy online.


Persephones dress is a size 4. I did deepen the hem to 2 1/2 inches instead of what the pattern called for. It makes the dress a bit shorter and a bit more retro 1960’s look.



Again, I sewed a straight size 8 for Fiammetta but I probably should have gone with the smaller size 7 bodice with a size 8 length skirt. She’s such a skinny Minnie.

I did deepen Fiammettas hem as well. Since she is older and her dress is a lot longer than Persephones, I was able to make her hem 3 inches.



The expansion pack has so many options! I plan on making the girls some long fitted sleeve dresses for the winter. Next up is a long fitted sleeve dress out of the white linen. I am going to lengthen the skirts to floor length for both girls and sew up a red sash from the expansion pack. Perfect for celebrating Santa Lucia Day and the Winter Solstice this year. I just have to figure out how to make a crown of greenery and candles!
After I tire of dresses and the girls have a few new things to wear for the hot weather I will get back to sewing for the shop!

And since little baby girl woke up from a nap I was able to snap a few photos of the girls together.. so I’ll leave you with these ❤️

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home life, Instagram, journal, Social Media, Supernatural, The Hygge Journals

Hygge Journaling Course for my “It’s Always Sunny” family

The Hygge Wife has just put together a journaling course and I was gifted the opportunity to take part in it.  I’m planning on journaling here, on this very blog, for the duration of the month long course, in my attempt to keep myself accountable and on task!

“The Hygge Journals was created to help you live the intentional, hygge-centered lifestyle that you’ve always wanted to. It is the lifestyle that I have built over the last couple of years (ever since finding hygge) and that has changed my life for the better. It is a month-long journaling course in seeking hygge. Throughout this course, you will be given a series of journaling prompts and activities that will inspire you to seek hygge and live intentionally.”

“What is The Hygge Journals?

  • A 30 day, intensive journaling course to help you immerse yourself in journaling and finding hygge

  • Lessons on starting a journaling practice and using it to become more intentional

  • Activities to help you create a more hyggelig lifestyle and household

  • A course that will help you create tangible life changes towards a more meaningful life…”

 

I am excited to get started and to see what it is all about.. I hope to utilize this time to help keep myself and my home calm and centered, to create a real cozy atmosphere that my children will remember and want to come home to as they age and move out of the nest.  To help lead me to be more of the woman I want to be and the home I wish to have, you know,  instead of the crazed lunatic asylum we currently live in 😉  My home is like an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” without all the drugs and alcohol.. Lots and lots of screaming and yelling over one another..  I suppose that can be cozy in it’s own way?  Maybe?

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I definitely need to recreate this photo with my family..

 

I found The Hygge Wife while perusing through her instagram page one day.  She takes very lovely calming photos.  I would not mind recreating some of that atmosphere in my own home!

 

Stay tuned to see if I will be joining Misha Collins with Gishwhes as I will definitely post about that as well!  Not sure if my little application was accepted or not..

 

p.s. I totally figured out how to add those hyperlink into the body of the text!!  woo hoo!  I’m probably going to over use this function all the time!

 

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Blasphemy, children, christmas, Embroidery, Holidays, home life, Homesteading, painting, sewing, single parenting, Winter, Yule

The road so far

Yesterday morning woke up to a chicken torn apart in our back yard. That kinda sucked 😦 goodbye sweet Chicka!  Had a quick little burial under the plum tree.

So it’s December! It’s actually 5 days in to December. I got my good old fake tree up before thanksgiving but I honestly have not had the time to get it decorated. (I like to use fake trees because I think murdering trees sucks. Even if they were specifically grown for it I still don’t like it.) I wanted to decorate our tree multiple times already but I can’t find those dang ornament hooks. The little kids have been begging me to go through the boxes of ornaments to find them but I am not looking forward to a sea of breakables across the floor while I search. Valentino isn’t the gentlest of baby’s. Actually, he is quite the turd!
Though, I do have other areas of holiday goodness.oh you beautiful, beautiful lamp you! It’s a Major Award!! This baby is in the front parlor window. The tree got demoted to the back family room this year so my beautiful lamp could take center stage. Ginger kitty wanted to be in the photo too. Don’t mind the laundry piles and the baby clothes I’m working on embroidering on the chairs there!our naked tree. I’m hoping to find those ornament hooks or I just may break down and go spend the $1.50 to buy a new bunch of them. I just hate to do it because I already have like 3 boxes of the things from previous years.

More messy! Need to get rid of those pumpkins still! Haha! Threw some candles and some lights in the front window and call it good. It actually looks a little different now though, I cut out a bunch of stars from white computer paper and taped them up on the top half of the window.I bought a wreath and some garland from Costco so I can enjoy a little bit of that fresh tree smell.put up a string of lights in the dining room window.. ahh the ambiance. The kids keep knocking it down somehow. Plus it got stretched out a bit as time went on.
I love these star lanterns, but these are actually a year round lamp I keep up in the front parlor.

I was able to find some of our winter/xmas books in the boxes yet to be unpacked and get them arranged with some nutcrackers on our lonely shelf. I need like 5 more of those things to hold all of our books!

And although I am not a follower of the christian persuasion, I did put up my moms old chreche above the computer desk. I just think it’s pretty.. And peaceful.. And I love images of Mary with her baby. I’m a sucker for babies 😉 I also like it because it was my moms.

Some people may be aghast to learn of this, but I fondly recall childhood memories of my middle younger brother and I hanging baby Jesus every year from the rafter above with a noose I lovingly hand crafted from speaker wire. My mom would get so mad. I still hang the noose on my tree every year. I try to put it next to the ornament said brother gave me a few years ago of a stately Santa figure stuffing a small child into his red sack. That child must have been naughty! 

Hung up some of our old advent calendars, just for decoration. That big Santa face one is from 2002 when Ophelia was just 1 1/2 and we had our very first apartment together. Our collection grows every year! Especially now with 6 kids and sometimes each kid getting their own calendar. We don’t reuse the calendars though, I don’t want the cardboard getting weak and the little doors falling off. We never buy the chocolate ones, yuck. Eventually I want to get around to making a reusable advent calendar.. let me just add that to the list!


We just had to get a new fridge the other day, the old black one was on the fritz. So again, please don’t mind the mess! But here are our cupboards dressed up for winter. I put lace on the inside of the glass cupboard doors so I didn’t have to look into our messy cup cupboards all the time! Damn my realistic unmatching cups! Damn them to fake hell! Sweet little Persephone again!old black fridge. It went with the other appliances better. Oh well, I’d rather have unspoiled food!close up of the kitchen wreaths. I bought them at Michaels when they were having 50% off all fake goodness sale. It isn’t really called that. I liked the holly leaves and berries in these ones. Plus, sparkle! I had to use my own ribbon though. These ones came with a tiny red hanger.

So, some of the things I’m working on for my shoppy poo. I decided to move all my painted signs to their own shop, Painted Lady Signs at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PaintedLadySigns Some of the lighting isn’t great. Sorry!

I also make those mobiles in many colors in my original shopmade a silver and gold version of the reindeer names in honor of Yukon Cornelius! 

I just finished up these Joy signs this morning.
I am still in the process of moving all my signs from the original shop Mary, Mary Quite Contrary at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MaryEGuad but there is a lot more signs posted on both shop sites. These are just the holiday ones I’ve been working on lately..  as for other items I’ve been working on in the original shop..

I always have some classic Pooh or Peter Rabbit thing to work on! So $&@%* precious!!

Some Holly and Mistletoe baby gowns. I love gowns. They are so convenient when baby’s are first born!

Little stag/Reindeer head gownand I even converted a couple Reindeer heads into Rudolph with a little red nose 😊

Some cozy flannel baby blankets. They are about 42″ square. I love these blankets. I made them for all my kids and they get used for so many things!

Sweet Persephone modeling for me ❤️ This one is my favorite! I kept one of these for Valentino. I am also planning on making all 4 of the little kids matching pajamas out of this flannel. It’s so cute and cozy! Hopefully I can get to that before the solstice as I want to gift each of my kiddos new jammies! I would make the 2 big kids the same pajamas but I need to find a pattern for their size too. I wish Oliver and S patterns made teen sizes!
So there we have it, for now. My list of things to accomplish or clean is never ending. 

And here is a mug I bought for myself so I can sip hot cocoa out of something cute for a change.

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christmas, Holidays, home life, single parenting, Winter, Yule

Visiting Santa at Skagit Valley Gardens

Since we missed the correct date to see Santa last year I made an appointment to guarantee we would make it this year! 
This last Saturday we made it down with time to spare. Valentino was not a happy boy!


 But I was able to get some cute photos with the other kiddos. Ophelia and Settimio didn’t want to be in all of them but the professional photographer got a few. I get to pick up the photo cd next weekend, with all the photos the professionals took. So for right now I just have the photos on my phone. 


My oldest brother and his son met us there and my nephew  Jacob got to be in some of the photos too.

Skagit Valley Gardens always looks so magical with the many trees dressed up for Christmas. It is one of my favorite places to ornament shop, though I have to admit this isn’t quite so fun with all the little ones!

He looks so sweet when he isn’t crying!

Afterward we went back home for lunch, then headed over to Nanas to decorate some shortbread cookies. I never seem to get photos of that! Always too busy either helping or trying to keep a baby distracted. 
A little less smooth running than in years passed but all in all it was a nice day. 
These might be the last photos you see of Settimio with his luscious hair 😔 he wants me to shave his head over winter break!!

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birthdays, Chickens, children, home life, Homesteading, Spring

Assessing Growth (I spelled ass)

Thursday we celebrated Settimio’s 12th birthday. Sometimes it is hard to believe he is almost a man. He is nearly as tall as I am. I do think he will surpass me in height this coming year.
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Settimio chose banana pancakes for his special dinner. We also made 3 lbs of bacon!
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I have never been a fan of bacon but lately I’ve been enjoying it if it is cooked very crispy, almost burnt. He decided on a chocolate and peanutbutter ice cream cake so I picked one of those up from Dairy Queen, as well. Overall I think he had a nice birthday. Spring break started the next day so they got to stay up late watching a movie. Friday, was a reserved make up snow day, but since the kids had no snow days this year in our very mild Pacific North West winter they got the day off. Though, we did have to get up nice and early for a dentist appointment. Such a nice mom I am to schedule their dentist appointment on their first day of spring break! Ahhh.. they finally get to sleep in.. Nope! Gotta get up to be to the dentist at 9 am! Oh well, at least it’s done and over with for 6 more months.

Today is Saturday, day two of Spring Break 2016(!! Said like a stupid mtv announcer!!) and Fiammetta has a birthday party to go to in a little while. We have already been up for about 5 hours. Well, the 4 youngest kids and I have. The eldest 2 are still snug in bed, as they usually are on the weekend mornings (afternoons and eveings as well if I let them!). The littles have all eaten breakfast, made messes, cleaned up, gotten hurt, climbed trees,
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ran around inside and outside screaming, climbed the railings,
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etc.. etc.., and now are calmly watching a bit of television while I nurse the baby in bed. It is always very lively at our house. After vacuuming this morning I decided to go outside and assess (heh heh I spelled assess, I’m pronouncing it asses in my head) the growth of our garden and weeds. So many dang horsetails are coming up. I really dislike those things!

The other day when I was outside I tied a some disposable water bottles to a couple branches of one of our cherry trees.
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I need to do more branches so they grow downward instead of upward. Makes for easier picking in the future.
image I actually need to tie water bottles to all the fruit trees to train their branches downward. Must remember to pick up some more next time we head to costco!

I planted the fruit trees the first or second year we lived here, as well as a plethora of other plants. I planted a total of 2 different kinds of cherry trees, (here is our other cherry)
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a pear tree with different varieties grafted on, (the next 2 shots are the pear, it’s hard to see all the flowers in front of the other big flowering tree/bush behind it. Not sure what that one is called but it smells beautiful!)
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(The pear from a different angle, you can really see how vertical the branches are)
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and 3 grafted espalier apple trees. The apple trees really need a good pruning. They are not looking very espalier at the moment! I also planted a variety of other plants including a lilac bush/tree,
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a climbing hydrangea, 4 currant bushes, a spirea, (the spirea is in the foreground, the climbing hydrangea behind it)
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and some hostas.
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I don’t remember the variety of this one but it is the only one that survived. I love its variegated leaves!

The kids and the chickens followed me around the yard wanting their photos taken too. Every time I turned around there was a chicken! This is Goldie.
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I also got a couple of our cats Ginger
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(she looks like such a stuck up b**ch, she can be fiesty but she’s a sweetie)
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and Arya.
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Arya likes hanging out on the roof. She is all black but in the sun her coat looks red too, it’s very pretty. She also has extra toes on all her paws, and she doesn’t smell very good. I don’t know if it’s her breath or her butt, but it grosses me out a bit. 🙂 haha!

The Phlox I planted grows back thicker each year.
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When it flowers it looks so pretty and smells so sweet. This particular one has white flowers.

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This shot is going up the side of our house from our back yard up to the front. The first cherry tree I showed you is right up there just past the stone steps. The second cherry tree is right behind me. I used to have a whole bunch of creeping jenny, a ground cover type plant, planted along the side of the house. The creeping jenny was spreading so far it had almost covered the entire pathway. My sweet chickens have torn it all up and now use that area for dust baths. I need to move the tiny fencing, now it just looks weird! I would love to put more ferns or hostas toward the right side near the fence. We had over 100 – 150 strawberry plants in various places through out the garden but it looks as though the chickens have torn up and eaten them as well.

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Sal is so cute 🙂 we cut his hair the other day. He wanted me to but then wasn’t pleased with the results. At least it grows back quickly.
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A view from under our deck. To the left is the huge hydrangea that was here when we moved in. I’ve trimmed it down low multiple times since we’ve lived here. I wonder how large it would be now if I hadn’t! One tier down from where the shovel is are a few blueberry bushes our landlord dropped off 2 summers ago. They have a blueberry farm and were thinning out their crop so I asked for a few bushes. All back outside of our fence is a large field and blackberry brambles. To the right of this picture is our chicken coop.
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Stays snug and dry in the rain.
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This is going from our front door up to the road where we park. To the right is the garage. On the side of the garage is various plants including a fuschia. It’s very pretty in the summer. On the left is a citrusy smelling, yellow orange peony bush. It is just starting to bud.
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It smells so wonderful in the late spring/early summer.

I am hoping I will be able to stay more on top of weed pulling this year in the garden. Last summer was very unpleasant with the high temperatures while being pregnant and still trying to do the Farmer’s Market. This year I won’t be doing market because it has been extremely hard to get anything done with the new baby in arms minus a husband to occasionally help out around the house. I am keeping my etsy open and hoping to be back at market for the summer of 2017.

I need to get out in the garden soon with out the baby and get the horse tails pulled up before it gets out of control! Although I prefer the introspective, colder months I do find myself looking forward to the season of growth. I’m hoping to get a few more pots for the deck and expanding our herbs and tomatoes.

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Mishapocolypse 2017 that is for Ophelia 🙂 xo

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Chickens, children, home life, Homesteading, spirituality, Spring

Spring has Sprung!

Happy Easter, Ostara, Vernal/spring Equinox!! Spring is here! Heading into my least favorite time of the year.. but it still is beautiful and every day and season is a good time to be alive, even if I do prefer the darkness 😉

Here is a picture of some of my children and subsequent thangs..

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Sally is climbing the trees, Fifi and farmer girl Percy posing for a picture. Both in their salt water sandals. I kind of want to get myself a pair!

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A little sign for the front gate I picked up on amazon.com, wanted to warn people of the probable chicken poo!

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This is Coco.. don’t remember her breed but she isn’t fond of being picked up!

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Coco and Cute Chicken behind her.. They are both the same breed and the most skittish. They are still sweet and curious and all the girls follow us around when we are outside.

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Hi Cute Chicken! 🙂 That is what Persephone named her. And there’s our Peep in the background.

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Here’s Goldie, she’s a golden sex link and our most outgoing chicken. I usually get to hold her. She is also our most adventurous! Often times she jumps our fence and I will find her wandering the neighbors yards. Sometimes two or three houses over. She even explores the blackberry brambles out back.

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The only one I didn’t get a close up of was Peep. She is a Silver Laced Wyandotte. She is also pretty personable. You can see her on the far right of the coop. I put a blanket on the roof to help keep heat in during our winter. It was pretty mild here in the Pacific Northwest but we did get some chilly nights. Their coop is under our deck and it is pretty waterproof, so even when it rains little water gets under there.

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Fresh eggs! Our girls aren’t big on laying in their coop so I have to search the yard for newly preferred nesting spot. They switch it up on me every couple of weeks! It’s like a mini easter eggs hunt, except instead of candy filled eggs I get to find a clutch of these beautiful brown, sometimes spotted, protein filled, treasures..  It’s kind of fun to find the new nest, like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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I will leave you with a picture of me and my little sweetie, Valentino. He’s wearing one of the little bubble suits that I hand embroider and sell in my etsy shop. I love Peter Rabbit baby things, and Beatrix Potter books and illustrations. To me she captures the true essence of innocence and childhood. Happy Spring to all! May yours be filled with all the lovely things in life!

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Elements, Uncategorized, Winter

Forces of Nature

We first moved in to our home in March of 2012. This year we have lived here for four years.  Settimio was the first one in our family to celebrate his birthday here.  Our house was still so sparse and there was much unpacking to do!

We have spent four winters in this little house by the bay. One winter we had a light dusting of snow that melted before the kids came home from school. This winter has been by far the wettest I’ve seen here. There has been almost constant rain and we’ve had our little road flood numerous times. There has been standing water on our road almost the entire winter. It will slowly drain away only to be replaced a couple days later with more rain water. At one point the city closed the road and had people come in to fix the drainage problem. The back field behind our house has looked more like a lake than grassland.

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off my back deck, looks like a lake! to the far right is the bay. to the middle and left is supposed to be a field!

Last night we went to sleep with the wind blowing and howling through the trees up and down our little valley. We live just outside of city limits on a little plot of land between two bays.  The bays lie North and South of us, East and West of us are two hills.  We live on the lower end on the West hill.  So, when the wind gets blowing it just whips right through here, it can be pretty amazing.  Quite a few trees have fallen this winter and knocked out electricity for a time.  The power company is pretty good and usually gets the electricity back on quickly.  I don’t think we’ve gone longer than one night without.

Throughout the night I woke to the wind blowing against our little house. At times I worry that the trees might fall and land on our roof but they seem to be pretty sturdy.

This morning I awoke to the wind blowing and Ophelia telling me to come look at the water of the bay blowing up and onto the road.  Water on the road is not new, but never before have I seen it come from the bay side.  I came out to see and there looked to be two little waterfalls flowing from the bay down into the road.

 

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I have never seen the water this high before.  Some of the driftwood are pushed up off the beach onto the grassy area and the waves are spraying up.  It’s hard to see but the little waterfalls falling into the road are off to the left.

There is a little hill built up by the bay, presumably to keep the water in or out depending on your point of view.  I heard that before the road was built the water from the bay came all the way up behind our house.  Beautiful, scary, and amazing this wind has been.

 

I love the noise and watching the clouds fly by, the bright morning sun breaking through the clouds illuminating the earth making anything with a wet surface shine like liquid silver.

It truly is beautiful and you can feel the power emanating from the elements.  I’m surprised we still have electricity, though oddly and unexpectedly we don’t have water. A water main has broken but thankfully crews are on there way to restore them.  As I sit here writing I can hear the mighty wind whoosh through while my chickens cluck and bawk at the inconvenience of it all!

Days like this I love to open all the windows and doors and let the fresh air flood in, giving the house a much needed cleansing. It’s a wonderful feeling lying in the warm bed with the baby softly snoozing beside me feeling the cold, clean air around us.

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