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time out

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northbound_97_197_3We took a short breather last week, and headed up to the mountains for a stay in a fire lookout tower. After having stayed in one last summer, I perused all the possible openings for the next season and found a couple nights available at Fivemile Butte. Fire lookouts are not easy to book as they fill up very fast. I made the reservation with excitement and abandon. Having just returned from weeks of camping that was the current mood, and it worked out well because how do you know what will be happening so many months up the road? There is no point in deliberating over it. Just go with it!

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Admittedly, I would never have taken time out to go camping right now, but the timing could not have been more perfect. It has been a stressful past month or so, and a shift was really needed.

 

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When we finally arrived after the long journey up, the weather started to quickly change. The sun gave way to clouds; the wind, which had been blowing pretty hard for the latter portion of our drive, started blowing harder; and we felt a slight mist start to fall. Steven chopped some kindling and a few extra pieces of firewood and I continued packing things up the stairs. For me this was a welcome activity after sitting for so many hours.

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We set up our space, explored around the property for a while and then settled in for the evening.

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We had cooked a pot of beans and rice at home to bring along, and while we had packed other meals, that turned out to be such a nice convenience and all we really needed for our nights up there. We heated tortillas with cheese, beans and rice, on our griddle over the woodstove and were just so happy to be up in the trees and mountains. Amidst our chatting and general enjoyment we didn’t pay too much mind to the wind, but once we went to bed it became apparent how rowdy it was. I woke in the middle of the night and laid awake for quite some time, heart beating hard, imagining all the possible ways we could potentially survive if the tower blew over. Even on our very windy coast, I am not used to that kind of constant heavy wind. In the morning I learned that Steven went through something similar! In the morning we also discovered we’d had a visitor, snacking on apples and pooping on the table. Mice just have no table manners.

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By morning the clouds had cleared and the wind had calmed down significantly. It is such a treat to wake up in a tower in the sunshine. In my opinion, it’s impossible to wake up on the wrong side of the bed under these circumstances. Even if you find mouse poop on your table.

To the west of the tower Mt Hood is pretty impressive and can be seen from a lot of places on the site, and to the north, even though a bit hazy most of the time, Mt Tahoma and Mt Adams could be seen.

We took the mornings slow, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the views. While the days were fairly warm, there were freezing temps at night and the mornings were pretty chilly.

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We took some short hikes, finding lupine, arrowleaf balsamroot and other spring wildflowers starting to bloom. We saw deer and various birds, and the bees were going crazy for the flowering manzanita. After tromping around we snugged up in the sun next to the woodshed where we were sheltered from the breeze, and just blissed out on the warmth and rest – me with my plant guides and Steven with his milk thistle seeds.

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This trip inspired me to want to get out camping more in all seasons. I realized how few experiences I’ve had in the mountains when the wildflowers are blooming, and I like to imagine stepping out with my snowshoes on in the winter. And as always, I feel so restored by nature. There is nothing so healing as the earth, the wind, the sky, the sun, and the allowance of the time and space to just let go and be.

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block printed cotton

 

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I’ve added a few lightweight, block printed cotton summer totes to the shop. The material directly above, in particular, is so nostalgic for me! Reminds me of warm sunny days in college, in the grass with friends, playing guitar, reading, making embroidery thread wraps in each others hair, sitting out at open air concerts… Simpler days with lots of time (so much more than we realized) and little worries.

 

These totes are lightweight and easygoing, washable and packable. I imagine them carrying a beach towel and swim suit, weekend farmer’s market finds….

 

Enjoy this last bit of the weekend. xo

 

 

SPRING SALE

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Hi folks! We are having a spring sale!

As you may know, we rarely have a sale and 20% off — well, that is truly unprecedented :)

From now through Friday, April 17, save 20% off any order over $60 placed in the shop by using the coupon code SAVE4SPRING. This does not apply to custom orders.

I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much for your support.

seasonal observations

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iris_march29_0Some springtime observations and garden notes…

The bats (and flying bugs) are back, and have been back for some time now. The swallows are as well!

The osprey has returned and we’ve been watching to see where it decides to nest. The dead tree it has nested in every year could be in better shape.

Elders are flowering. Already?

Crows are around again; paired off, talking loudly, and constantly gathering nesting materials.

The wooly bear caterpillars are super abundant, like I’ve never seen. Last year we hardly saw a single one.

Our apricot has set lots of little fruits for the first time, and the stanley prune flowered abundantly. Even the apple tree has put out it’s first 2 blossoms. It’s struggled, so this feels like a great sign of progress.

Herbs, like thyme, chives and rosemary are flowering and others such as oregano, savory and echinacea are putting on new growth like crazy.

In the garden the slugs have been scarce so far this year. I’m amazed. And so relieved! The peas and fava beans are growing with vigor, carrots have abundantly sprouted, with almost no help from me – due to a seemingly perfect balance of rain and sun. Beets and cilantro are putting up green growth, and borage – which made it through the winter (with total ease), is about to flower. I planted corn last week. This is a first for me, and I am super excited! I purchased a variety which is said to do well in cooler conditions – heirloom seed of course. I plan to do a 3 sisters style planting in that bed.

Last week I did another round of planting in pots – some garden staples, some for the general landscape and some just for fun… more peas, more lettuce, more basil, more sunflowers, goldenrod, baby’s breath, cosmos, blue fescue, echinacea, and a bunch of other things I can’t remember at the moment.

Something gives me the feeling this year is going to be pretty excellent for growing plants.

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A few snaps around here lately…

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+ Studio lights. You really can never have too many…

+ I took some time today to update my older Pocket Wallet.

+ The new version now has a snap cover, to keep cards more secure.

+ I’ve been slowly adding new things to meadow + mark, and have a pile more to photograph soon.

+ We made a recent visit to one of our favorite beaches. A day at the ocean is always so restorative.

I know it’s spring break for some of you, and I think on some level I am feeling it myself. I have had a hard time snapping out of weekend mode, and it’s almost Wednesday! What ever the case is for you, I hope your week is treating you well xo

shop promo and a giveaway

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I wanted to let you guys know that for a limited time, I’ll be including one of our leather coin purse key rings with any order from our shop amounting to $120 or more. Leather colors will vary.

I try to send gifts to my return customers, and these classic little triangle purses are always fun to make and give. The addition of the key tether takes it to a much greater level of usefulness I think. I’ve got one in my bag with a spare car and house key, some change and a folded 5 dollar bill. Just in case.

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What would you keep in one? Leave a comment below for a chance to win one of your own. I will choose a winner at random on Monday night, March 23.

This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified. Congrats lovely lady!

It’s spring! Officially! It has felt like spring here for a while now, but in the last week or so a real transformation has been occurring. Bugs of every kind are on the move, the swallows are back to make nests in the boxes we built them, wooly bear caterpillars are everywhere eating every green thing, the crows are flying sticks to and fro making a racket in their nest building mode, deciduous trees are starting to leaf out, evergreen trees are releasing huge yellow pollen plumes, and the frogs are CRAZY loud each night. CRAZY LIKE I LOVE IT. I LOVE SPRING!

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Last week I planted fava beans. We fell in love with favas last year and decided we would grow at least as many, and hopefully a lot more, this year. I saved as much seed as I could, which wasn’t easy as we wanted to eat them all. I planted carrots, beets and cilantro as well. This year I splurged and also purchased a rare, heirloom black carrot (which is actually a deep, dark purple). It cost a ridiculous amount, relative to the number of seeds included, but I plan to grow them in the hoophouse (to avoid cross pollination) and grow some of my own seed. I am really passionate about growing heirloom seed, and growing and harvesting my own seed. I try to grow some of my own heirloom seed each year.

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We also spotted a snake last week for the first time this year. I have a fantasy of snakes hanging out sunning on our porch with us and living in our hoophouse. They’re probably one of our best slug predators and one of the most unusual creatures to be around. They’re pretty shy though… Here it is trying to escape my rude interruption.

snake_0In order to make way for my new plantings I removed my aphid infested kale, which was kind of a bummer, but also a huge relief (there is plenty more). I usually spray down any aphid clusters with a solution of castile soap and water. Then I come back the next day and clip those parts away. This at least helps reduce the aphid population in our immediate area. I think most of my aphid issues so far this year are from new hatchings of eggs that overwintered.

kaleThat basket of kale above was salvaged from the plants I removed. We had a kale broccoli crustless quiche that night, with corn tortillas. That is most always a well received meal here.

rosemary_0Happy spring friends. Easterners, it will warm up soon xo

Hope you all have a beautiful weekend.

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