Monday, December 12, 2011

a short ode to imagination, sunlight and ices

the wild, unruly hair of an elven queen
always stuck with mosses and bit of leaf

unpretentious, with a smile always playing on her lips
she is both mirthful and wise
sunlit jewels are caught in her hair, as well,  like snow

when the sun shines and we stand near her just right, we know why we listen to her advice

Sunday, December 11, 2011


 Moonrise over our farm
the Lady Awakens

 Sunset beyond our farm
the Lord Sleeps

This sunset makes me long to open our Winter Solstice Wish Box we made last year...
my kids have already been asking when we can see how our wishes came out, and when can we make new ones? Hooray for wishes and dreams that we hold together as a family.
My life is as stark as the trees and hills and as soft as the plums and peaches and indigos in the sky.

I have this urge to write today: I am home, I am home, I am home.
And in my home I am all that I believe I can be, with all the failings and misgivings and needs for improvement, I accept me as all I can be. I'm doing my best for everyone, knowing it is not, will not ever, be everything for them, but even in my failings, perhaps I teach my children something: that we are not everything, but we can always try.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

a new magic

the hours are beautifully brittle
great golden days turned sharp,  ice-white
like october's flowers suddenly waking in december
hoary and hanging tightly to themselves

I am there

my heart is the drooping head
of a sunflower in winter
when the great turning has slowed
morning is languid,  through a veil

I am there

dawn's burnished fingers touching seeds
each one, a thousand thousand,
before stepping over hills so slowly
suddenly and forever before me
is lightness

I am there

~Katie Estvold~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

my winter morning

" Life purpose isn't what comes easiest,
but when I Integrate
my insides and find a 

"...between Helping too much & Helping too little, and when I learn to
as well as

"...I manifest an inherent ability to create extraordinary forms of
Service &
~adapted from The Life You Were Born To Live~

I've been trying to figure this out. I pull out my journal every day now to read over this. After last week, things are really beginning to come clear. 
Think about that: extraordinary forms of Meaning. wow...what does it mean? I'm having trouble bringing it down from the airy clouds above my head and into my real life. 
However, if it is as simple as seeing LIFE from other points of view, that has made me sit back on my heels. It has created an "extraordinary form" of meaning, making my life more full. It has made me stronger. Hearing kind words from someone who sees life almost in a complete opposite as I do, brings beauty and inspiration. My heart grew stronger when I was given permission to stand up for myself...there is an amazing beauty and sweetness about life in that kind of gift.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

my heart is working hard

Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Fall in with it and turn it your own way.
~Robert Frost~

Saturday, October 15, 2011

four poems for my farm

rusted out broom corn
torn and painted
tells a story of bird beaks
and worm bites
a washed out clinging mantis
of rough winds
and a life of purpose

a tiny bridge of experience
the little spider
traveled far and rough
over every spiney bit
finally arriving at the pinnacle
trailing behind it the lifeline
to get back home
much quicker this time

looking close at the ground this morning
i finally straighten up
and the hills and the leaves and the wood and the rocks
all suck up my breath
to make a mist
that hangs low and softens my  heart

sit and listen
to a long story of basil and lace
blooming and covering
and quietly making magic
in our fall garden
that sits washed and proud
full of purpose and beauty


there seems to be a theme for me this morning about beauty in purpose...not only this morning, but something I strive for in my life. Nothing truly is in my house that I don't find either beautiful or useful...truly.
straight out of the camera again today...which is another theme in my life.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it, and who doesn't?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about the maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?

~"Some Questions You Might Ask" by Mary Oliver ~

I just ordered the best little gem ever: House of Light by Mary Oliver
Each poem is like a piece of sunshine in the palm of my hands. I gasp and close the pages once I've read one poem, holding the book to my chest, amazed.

Monday, October 03, 2011

lovely morning

 here is monday, on our little farm
 sun golden with promise
but i like the promise of the darker stuff today
rain and gray makes me happy, too
all photos are Straight Out of the Camera today
I don't have the energy to play with Picasa this morning...i barely have energy to hit shift for capital letters
son is sick, and mama gets to stay home with him today

Saturday, October 01, 2011

wherever I am

“Sometimes I need 

only to stand 

wherever I am 

to be blessed.” 

~Mary Oliver

Thursday, September 29, 2011


love this, absolutely, in every single way

my son tonight when I came in to tuck him into bed - oh my heart

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


 "When we realize our mission is to love and forgive, we realize that every situation is an opportunity to do so. What we might see as a problem is looked at differently when we recognize that every event is part of a divine curriculum,
 set up by God [goddess, spirit, etc] for our growth and healing.
 "Sometimes our challenges in one area provide answers in another. A problem with a nasty neighbor becomes an opportunity to use our 
spiritual power,
 praying for someone as a way to resolve conflict.
 "Dealing with a difficult employee becomes an opportunity to work on
communicating compassionately,
without compromising our truth.
 "Having to make a difficult decision becomes an opportunity to
learning how to ask God [goddess, spirit, etc] for guidance.
"Every situation is a lesson in becoming who we are capable of being."
~Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace

I do not like the idea of surrender. I've done that before to a person that everyone was telling me that "God" was. I didn't like it. In fact, I still balk at the idea of "surrender" - it sounds weak and narrow-minded.
But, I'm coming to understand a certain kind of surrender. The kind of surrender that I can understand. If I surrender to the Divine, I imagine myself coming before a Great Mother with my head held high saying, "Help me understand what I do not understand. Give me strengthened grace and unbreakable kindness. Stand with me today and fill me with your Peace." That I can understand, knowing that every moment there is a lesson I can learn to make me better. 
I can walk into the Goddess like an enveloping mist, letting her tendriled edges wrap themselves around me, supporting, uplifting, smiling, nudging, and ultimately believing I am always trying my best. When someone doesn't understand it, it is THEIR misunderstanding. 
Keep going forward, she whispers.
Keep your head up, she prods.
You are ready for this, she encourages.
You've got this, she smiles.
I surrender to her by listening and believing.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

a letter to his teacher

I had the opportunity today to write a letter to my son's teacher. She asked for a letter about our children. Here was mine:

Dear Julie,
I really loved your idea of having parents write letters about their children. What a wonderful way to get to know your kiddos.
Ethan is my first born son. I had no idea how much I could love another person until he was born.
He is deeply thoughtful about life, and really always has been. He asks the big questions. He also asks the little questions. He asks lots of questions. He is interested in quiet, secret places like the barn loft, and how machinery works. He loves to take things apart and put them back together. He plays legos, saves money, rides his bike, takes photographs, loves camping and sleeping with kitty cats. He is fascinated by science, especially prisms and how light works.
My son’s responsibilities at home include taking out the garbage, unloading the dishwasher, keeping his room clean (which he is very good at) and is the sole caretaker of our 8 chickens. He is soft-hearted and hard-headed, which makes for interesting conversation at our house.
He had been saving up his money for months and months and eventually had $30, which he was being so careful with and thinking of the best thing to buy with it, when his dad’s birthday came up. His first thought was to get Dad a $20 gift card to Home Depot. That was all his own thought, and he was deeply excited about giving it to Daddy. Dad was all teared-up. He knew how long Ethan had saved that money and all the things he’d been thinking to buy with it, but to spend it on his Dad…wow. Really it didn’t surprise us that much, because that is EXACTLY the kind of boy he is. He said, “It isn’t THAT much you guys, I still have $10 for myself!” haha…
Ethan is a bossy older brother, and can really be a know-it-all at times. He is learning to keep his opinions to himself, and I’ve seen his inner struggle with it, and feel nothing but compassion, as I struggle with that myself. I tell him, “Honey, people don’t want to hear things like that. Unless you think someone will get hurt, just keep your opinions to yourself!” I fear it will be a life-long affliction for him.
He has always been interested in rocks and fossils, and anything to do with natural sciences. I can see him being a geologist, an archeologist, or a mechanical engineer. When he was little, he would bury things so he could dig them back up. Right this minute, he is wandering around the farm with the camera around his neck, taking thoughtfully angled photos of anything, but especially the cats.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my son! A parent’s dream is to have a captive audience so they can talk and talk and talk about their child. I love my son so much it hurts sometimes, so I appreciate knowing that he is well-cared for at school and that his teacher has a real interest to know who he is. Thank you!!
Katie Estvold 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

my own advice

"be transforming everyday - gentle - powerful - change - let it go - let it be"
"A Brilliance of Being - Kind - Unafraid - Joy - Warmth - Honesty - Non-reactive - Giving - Inner Beauty"

I came across an old journal from a year when I was feeling particularly artsy, and I had the best time just reading everything I'd written. I used much of what I learned that year in my book (my precious little baby book that I know might be hideous, and am well aware of how "freshman" it is, but would just die to hear anyone say an ill word against it) but thought I'd share my pictures with you today.

"Transform - Dream - Vision - Imagine - Create - Begin - Expand"

really love this one
"Sometimes change is TOUGH and it hurts"

this one makes me a bit weepy...what a hard time I'd been going through and I was "on the mend" - how happy I was beginning to feel.
This one is truly truly a breakthrough - I finally figured out who I was, deep down inside, and was ready to live the way I believed. It was like a wind went through me that cleaned me out. All the cobwebs were gone. I was ready to Live Out Who I Was.

the cover of that journal
one of the last pages...still true!
 For my birthday, my sweet friend D gave me this: a new, unlined (my FAVORITE!!!) journal! She remembered from sometime in the middle of summer that I had touched and admired this journal. The red is definitely ME, the leather is ME, the images are ME. LOVE LOVE LOVE this gift. And now I'm inspired to do more drawing in a journal.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

of a saturday

sick today...taking photos from my bed...
luckily picasa is easy to use
I barely had the energy to heat up some tomato soup today...but it was worth it
watched the best movie this morning with my little girl called "A Shine of Rainbows" and it was so sweet and wonderful...we both highly recommend it.
more movies
more hot apple cider

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

fall beauties

"When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
the whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words.

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth,
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you."

~Robert Frost~

What a melancholy poem by my old pal Bob...even though I'm not feeling this way, I always LOVE that he can evoke these strong emotions in me that I can't explain except to try and have someone understand the poem the way I do...You see, I love the allusions to what is really going on, like:
 "headless aftermath" and "half closes" and "sober birds" and "stands bare" and "disturbed" and "softly rattling" and "last remaining" and "carry again" - I love the is very "Sleepy Hollow" to me...I get it.

Ol' Bob was a great thinker, I believe, and could see the connections between the life of the earth and the life of a person...intricate and yet simple. Once you "hear" his voice in his poems, the words seem to lay bare their meanings...what talent...I would've loved to sit and talk with him about things.

**The evenings are so dear to me these days. I feel as though my eyes are inward and down and I am in the midst of schedule and lists and remembering in Kindergarten...I am eternally thankful for my little piece of earth that wraps me up in a full embrace every single day. It says "Hello!" when we drive in, and seems at rest and happy to have us. Home, Home, Home...the best three words I ever heard.**

And then...two of the five kitties:

 best friend kitties - Seal & Boo


By the way, I LOVE the movie "Practical Magic" and finding this today made me sooo happy...not that I'm going to be doing a blog party, but I love to see the photos and the art that they came up with to promote it...

Friday, September 09, 2011

end of summer garden

artichokes - Eme's favorite ...okay, my favorite, too.

broom corn - to make brooms out of - are actually...err...brooming

 red flax - a plant that is amazing to me in many ways

 sunflower heads drying - so beautiful...we harvested our first four ears of corn was the sweetest corn we've ever had

love these sunflower heads

 sunflowers from Trader Joe's and my owls peeking out...fall is upon us

i love my scrubbed wooden table with sunflowers and primitive owls

favorite thing I've grown this year in my garden...Sweet Annie...nicest smelling herb I've EVER smelled...a chunk of it is hanging on my front door today to dry...

I took a photo of the sweet annie, and would you look at that arrow? there was a preying mantis hiding right in front of me. What a year for those! We've seen more in one summer than I've seen all together in my entire life...
nothing profound, just sharing today