Thursday, February 6, 2014

holding down the farm.

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I was left “in charge” of the farm last Friday and Saturday while the tribe went to a Virginia Biological Farmers conference in Richmond. My brother was asked to speak on “Harmonious Herd Management” so we spent all week reviewing, editing, and finalizing this slideshow. I was pretty excited for him to show it - speaking about the everyday passion of his comes so naturally to him so I knew he had it in the bag. I stayed back with my youngest niece, who is two, and we had our fun feeding pigs, checking a new mama milk cow & her calf, and just being ready for anything the day threw at us.

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I used to work on the farm, not really tending animals, but I did occasionally have a run at it. None of it was new to me, but it has definitely been a while since I carried water and feed buckets. All of our farm animals are free-roamers, but the predominately grass-fed pigs need some supplemental food that is carefully curated by my brother and local feed company, not to mention the occasional kitchen scraps we throw at ‘em every now and then. The pigs were all nested in the hay barn when we got there and came running out as soon as they saw those buckets being emptied. I just love watching their ears flop when they run and I can’t help but imagine their feet as high heels. They are quite comical to watch. I mean, look at big mama just laid back in the middle of them all…you can’t help but smile at her.

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The herd was beside us on the hillside eating and lounging about so we had to go and say hi to them and see Hippie. We only have one like him, but we all know he is just happy as a lark with this cold weather. And yes, he actually does know his name. :)

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Next up was feeding some neighbor’s pigs we have in the barn and checking on a mama and her calf who was rescued from the freezing weather. The calf seems to be doing great all huddled in the hay pile and even stood up to greet me when I went closer to visit. So sweet.

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My copilot all bundled up and snuggly.

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We went over to my brothers to check on everybody and it was my first time seeing the newest member of the milk cow family, Blackbird. He had them huddled up in the barn with a ton of hay for comfort and eating, so we just needed to check on her water, feed hay, and make sure the calf was nursing good. Oh yeah, and I had to shovel out manure into the compost pile to keep the barn clean for them…so you know that was fun. That little thing was jumping all around the barn, feet flying in the air, hopping up and over hay bales with no trouble at all…so darn cute. Her mama, Piedra, wasn’t tooooooo keen on me being so close to her new baby, but she soon got more concerned with her delicious hay than me.

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It was fun to throw on my newly-purchased and much-anticipated coveralls over all the layers and head out early to tend everyone. I’d say we made a pretty good team.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014


If you’ve been visiting here recently, you may have gotten the hint that I am on this quest for simplifying my home. If its not as apparent as I think…well, now you know. I am so tired of piles forming and shifting all over the house, covered tabletops, and items taking up space that are not being used or really needed. I mean, I’m no hoarder status, but it’s too much for me to be completely happy and content in my own home. There is absolutely no reason one person should have/need/collect so much stuff. No reason at all. And I know that about myself and I embrace it…but now I just want to minimize.

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In the past, I have made conscious efforts to collect those items that I could sell and list them on eBay, which I have been quite successful in doing so. I’m pretty good at collecting items for Goodwill, and probably do a drop every couple of months or so. Although, I’ve now switched from Goodwill to the DAV because of Goodwill’s gouging prices and other than that, I’m not really sure of its purpose? I don’t know. So I start a bag during a regular clean-up, and I just add to it as the days go along. When I feel like it’s full enough, I drop it off. Sometimes I drop just the one bag, sometimes I’ve collected a couple - but now I want to collect more. Get that ahhhhhh feeling.

I was reading down my Twitter feed the other day Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge made mention of a 30-day Minimalist challenge she is taking part put together by her contributor, Amy. Well, obviously this intrigued me so I clicked my way through mentions and links, and finally came across this:

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Not that I am the greatest with challenges, but this is more of a calendar’s view on doing something everyday to minimize my space inhabitants with the ultimate goal of having less. I’m not totally ready to get started, I’d like to clean first, but this challenge is a great start. And I can’t say I’ll complete ALL of the days, but I just love the idea of having specific small, daily goals to keep me inspired and motivated.

 // images directly linked with a click and rounded up from my “abode” Pinterest board //


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

tools for destressing. via a weekend trip to nc.

This past weekend was one that I have been looking forward to since I had to raincheck it a couple of months ago. I was really feeling the itch for a little jaunt then, and I was surely feeling it on Friday as I was pulling out of my driveway. I headed down to Greensboro, NC to spend the weekend with my bestie and her family in our college stomping grounds. I enjoy going back every now and then - it feels so familiar to me after spending close to 7 years there, but yet it’s new and fresh so it’s not a tiring destination.

After passing out in front of the tv on a Friday night around 10pm while watching Banshee (if you haven’t seen it and like action packed cable shows, you should check it out for a little weekend entertainment), we were bright-eyed & bushy-tailed for running errands and a little shopping on Saturday…one stop being on the main drag we used to hang out on weekly back in the day. It feels like a whole other life when I’m there, and especially on Walker Ave in the daytime and all that comes with that. Many a good time was had hopping around on that street and we can’t help but recap a little when we’re down there…playing pool, dancing on hip-hop nights, late night hot dogs, taking pint glasses for our apartments (yes, I know…terrible!), etc. I don’t know, we just had a lot of fun on this street so it holds a special place in my memory.

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My bestie took me to an a-w-e-s-o-m-e place for dinner on Saturday night…I still can’t stop thinking about how delicious that margarita was. Listen to this: tequila, fresh lime juice, cilantro, pineapple, jalapeƱo, and agave. Holy mackerel. I posted a picture of it and probably got the most likes on my Facebook than any other picture I’ve taken. Quite the popular toddie flavor idea it seems…definitely one I want to try and remake. And it went perfect with my ahi tuna tacos with kimchi and garlic aoili topping. Yeah, chew on that one a bit. So good.

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On Sunday, we did one of my favorite things to do after slumber parties...which is to hang in jammies as long as possible, drinking coffee together, and flipping channels. LOVE. IT. Total requirement when planning trips, and totally required when visiting me. I can’t even talk about early departure times…not even gonna happen. I always put off leaving as long as possible because it’s just so nice to get away and getting back in the swing of to-do lists and daily stresses is not something I crave after a little time away. It takes me about two and a half hours to get home so I know those nagging thoughts are gonna swoop in at some time in my travels, and especially when I cross the VA state line. It’s become automatic by now, and not something I look forward to. But, they’re there, so I started thinking of ways I would like to curb those negative thoughts and get them before they get me…which they seem to love to do….

Here were a few ideas I came up with on the drive to help with knocking those stressors the eff out:

1. Make things with my hands. Channel that negative energy into something positive. It’s also a great time for reflection.
2. Go outside.  I have plenty of space to go out and walk so I need to take advantage of that…even if it’s piddling around in my yard with the wind whipping my hair and 30 degrees out…get some fresh air.
3. Valerian tea at night. This will help me to wind down in the evenings and help with sleeping more soundly (and getting to bed earlier). It can also serve as closure to the day which can be pretty exciting…especially if it was a busy one.
4. Epsom salt baths. I am not a bath person. I get bored and just don’t see the point. But, I’ve been reading a lot about how healing epsom salt baths are so I thought I would give it a try. I mean the first line of benefits says “ease stress and improves sleep and concentration.” Sold.
5. Be prepared. Scrambling before anything is a sure fire way to stress me out, so if I have to make 20 lists in preparation of something, then so be it. I’ve got a planner and plenty of pens & pencils, so there is no excuse for being stressed and unprepared anymore.
6. Yoga. I’ve been going to yoga on a weekly basis on and off since October and I can definitely tell a mental and physical difference when I don’t go. My sister-in-law and I started back up after the holidays and I’m planning on keeping it up. Yoga is just such a badass.

So, there’s my list. It’s now out of my head and onto “paper” so I have no excuse to be stressed out and totally cray, right?! If you have any ways that have helped you, please share them in the comments!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

11 things.

You may have seen this show up in your feed if you follow Chelsey at The Paper Mama, and I love the idea of totally random questions that give you a little idea of the person you are asking. So much better than the "what is your name, how old are you, what do you do questions.” I remember right after I graduated from college, every one I ran into while out and about asked me the same few questions - so much so that I wanted to wear a t-shirt with all of the answers listed so I wouldn’t have to answer. It would’ve said something like:
1. Yes, I am excited
2. Elementary Education & Psychology
3. Nope, no job yet
4. Greensboro, NC
5. No, not dating anyone special
6. I have no clue what I am doing with my life
7. Be quiet
But, I never got around to the t-shirt, and just answered the questions with a smile. 

But these questions are so much more fun! So, I thought I would join right in and invite you to do the same!
Questions from the 11 Things post:
1. Are you a cat or dog person? Or, bird person?
     I am a straight up dog person, but I do have two pet finches that yes, I do talk to in a high-pitched voice.
2. What was your favorite food as a kid? Is it the same, or has it changed as an adult?
     I looooooooved my Mom’s chicken divan she made every now and then. And Doritoes…they   unfortunately deserve some credit too. Oh, it has definitely             changed as an adult as I’ve become aware of food and try to eat as clean as possible. I have yet to make a ‘clean’ chicken divan, and I’ve kind of had to forget Doritoes even exist. RIP Doritoes…so sad.
3. What is your favorite hobby?
     Scrapbooking and weaving are my favorite hobbies at the moment.
4. If you HAD to move to a different state (or country) where would it be?
     State: California & Country: Somewhere Scandinavian
5. Are you a winter or summer person?
     I love both equally.
6. What makes you happy?
     Being with my nieces & nephews, a day with nowhere to go, a clean house, going somewhere new, and singing along to live music
7. What is the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked?
     Probably #9 below. Ha!
8. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why (question found here)?
     ELVES! They know all of the secrets….
9. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next (question found here)?
     I would probably look at that taxidermist a little strangely, but I’d do it.
10. What was your first job?
     Wrapping presents at a women’s clothing boutique during Christmas break. I was 15 and cried the first day. Yep.
11. What is your favorite utensil?
     A spoon is for scraping!

So, here are the questions for ease of copying & pasting:
1. Are you a cat or dog person? Or, bird person?
2. What was your favorite food as a kid? Is it the same, or has it changed as an adult?
3. What is your favorite hobby?
4. If you HAD to move to a different state (or country) where would it be?
5. Are you a winter or summer person?
6. What makes you happy?
7. What is the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked?
8. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why (question found here)?
9. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next (question found here)?
10. What was your first job?
11. What is your favorite utensil?

 Make sure you link up!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


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Oh my gosh. Happy New Year! (Even though it’s January 14th)

So I started off the new year feeling fresh and footloose and fancy-free…okay, so really only the ‘project’ department of my life did I start off like that…AND I knew I wanted to set a year-long/attainable goal that would keep me making all year long. (More on the ‘making’ word in another post.) Anyway, I have gotten really into fiber-filled projects that use all of those beautiful yarns I’ve been hoarding all of these years just waiting for the knitting needles. Well, while they’re waiting, my plan is to start and complete one woven wall hanging every week. For me, totally doable. They can be as small & simple as I like or as big & crazy as I’d like…it’s all up to me.

The plan is to complete one weave between Wednesdays and then post on Instagram using #52weaves and hopefully blog the monthly collection on here. If I go over to Thursday or Friday, big whoop, I’ll just try better the next week. I’m totally okay with that. I just don’t want it to start snowballing and I’m catching up just for the sake of catching up instead of stretching my weaving limits. This is a project for me that I know I can do and want to do to prove to myself I can complete a year-long goal and really, to push myself to be doing something creative every day. I’m pretty excited for it - to see what comes of it and to watch how I grow in my weaving capabilities.

I’m also kind of excited to have my very own hashtag.

So please, follow along on my Instagram @petaline, and look out for those (or join in!!) #52weaves postings every week!

Anyone else set personal or project goals of any kind this year? I’d love to hear about them!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

currently. (aka: alive & kicking)

watching: Now that the Christmas season is over and I’ve been through Elf, Love Actually, A Christmas Carol, and yes, Badder Santa a hundred times…I’ve moved on to back seasons of Always Sunny in Philadelphia to keep me laughing as I scurry around my house cleaning, organizing, and creating space for the new year. It’s been a great choice so far - I highly recommend.
listening to: Joy the Baker podcasts and just knowing we would be friends if we knew each other.

thinking about: change, cleansing my home for simplified living, what actions I want to take to be happier, healthier, and more productive. And of course, how I’m going to go about my Project Life album for 2014…am I going big again or taking it down a notch by using a Handbook….

looking forward to: starting fresh again. The new year is always a great excuse to do this and give meaning to all those things I want to do and maybe actually do them all in the name of “new.” I don’t do resolutions for obvious reasons, but I do partake in projects throughout the year to maintain focus. I’m looking forward to seeing what this new year brings and making a pact with myself that it HAS to be different than 2013. It has to.

reading: I just dove into Book One of The Clan of the Cave Bear series. My sister-in-law is way ahead of me, and has been distracted by it ever since she started reading so I knew it was one I wanted to read. Getting lost in a story is something I have always loved, so here I go.

making me happy: my Christmas tree. I know Christmas is over, but I can’t wait to turn the lights on in the morning and see it standing there in all of its magic and glow. I hate taking it down and put it off for as long as I can stand it. I try not to let it carry into the new year, but sometimes I just can’t help it. If it makes me happy, why deny myself?

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and thank you so much for reading and supporting this space of mine. I am not a regular blogger and idolize anyone who is. It is a space for me to feel like I am connecting with like-minded folks out there, and I hope to take it up a notch in 2014 with a new design and more scheduled postings of my daily life, projects, and thoughts on current social themes…because boy do I have a lot. :) So, again, thank you for hanging out with me and I look forward to what this space will bring in the coming new year.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

around my town: holiday market.

MG 1980We put on our first Holiday Market at the Birdshit Saloon last Saturday promoted by and featuring a local potter in the Lynchburg area. We used to throw in some local crafts on our farm open house days, but it’s been a while. We had a nice turnout and hope that the event will grow each year. That is, if we do it again…which I think it’s all pretty unanimous that that will happen. It was nice for folks to have a one-stop-shop destination, all local, and they got to talk to all of the vendors who were all family and close friends. We saw a lot of familiar faces, but there were a few new ones which was nice to see that word got around and interest was shown in putting on something like this in our area.

This pottery is made by Bea Clements, who was the featured craftsperson of the day. I think her pottery style is so pretty with the carved lines and earthy colors. I ended up buying a new mug for the coffee I’m really not supposed to be drinking…oh well. See that line of brown mugs? Yeah, that’s mine all the way in the back. Love it.

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Here was my little setup which I really enjoyed. I love Christmas lights so much, so once these were added, it was like, Boom. I actually displayed my stamps which I’ve been against in the past for some reason, but it seemed to click that this was gonna be the setup from now on. Not sure where my ‘display head’ has been lately, but each time I set up my table, I can’t help but learn so much for the next time. The pegboard behind my table held my sign and a few woven wall hangings I made to sell, which I ended up selling all but one of them. If you follow me on Instagram (@petaline) you may have seen the one I just finished last week. Yeah, couldn’t sell that one yet…and not sure if I’m ever going to. Maybe if I make some more like it, it won’t seem so special because it’s pretty darn awesome to me at the moment. Toot toot!

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Next to me was my sister-in-law’s father with his awesome metal art. He never ceases to amaze us with his work and has quite the family following around here…. Matter of fact, I got two of his works as birthday presents!! I love the copper with the dark metals…beautiful! 

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My sister-in-law’s sister and brother-in-law were all set up with their goods from Owl Ridge. Maggie had jewelry, knitwear, and ornaments that she had made and Cody was selling his homemade soaps. I bought a few pieces from Maggie…I love her use of natural materials in her jewelry and makes it extra special when I know they came off the farm. They will be up here permanently after the middle of December and I see many a crafting soirees in our future…and maybe even a few craft show adventures. (If we can find some that fit our aesthetic. It’s been bleak around here.)

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Our neighbor makes these incredible knives in his blacksmith shop and has recently teamed up with a few guys to expand their product line to include those awesome neck knives you see on the top row. They’ve been all the rage around here and top sellers when they set up at events. He handed me one for my birthday which I was pretty darn stoked about.

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And then I just have to put this one of my niece so proud of her petaline prints. purchase. Let me tell you about this girl…killing it on sales. She set up a little table and was selling drawings from 12-5 without skipping a beat. When other girls came in with their parents, she coerced them to work the room selling her artwork. Hustlin’, I tell you. Love this girl.
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// Reminder: Use code FESTIVE20 for 20% discount of total purchase in the shop until December 18th! //