Views Around the Cabin

February 22, 2012 · 5 comments

Life has been pleasantly busy around here. Henry’s wrapped up in his beekeeping business, I’ve been spending a lot of time at Gathering Together Farm taking photos of tomato grafting and fancy Valentine’s dinners. Levi has decided he’s interested in spelling and also wants to learn Spanish. Charlotte is doing her own thing: singing, dancing, and making up stories.

The cabin isn’t really clean enough to give you the full view of what’s going on, but I thought I’d share a few photos taken this morning in my home. (See here and here for a virtual tour.)

The pomegranate above is the very last one from the batch that we brought home from California. It’s a little shriveled but in surprisingly good shape, considering it’s three months old and has been sitting on our back porch.














We’re working through our garlic braids from last summer. We have them hanging from the rafters in the kitchen.

I bought a bunch of margotbianca batik towels for my booth at the Corvallis Fall Festival. I told myself that I was going to give them all away when I was done with the show, but well…I’ve kept most of them for myself (especially the linen ones). I use them constantly, and they really brighten up the wood on wood color scheme of our house.

We’re getting tons of fresh eggs from our chickens every day. I’ve declared that we have to eat eggs in at least one meal per day. In the last week, we’ve had crepes, french toast, egg salad, homemade mayo, and fresh pasta, plus eggs fried and scrambled. It’s delicious, but we’re getting behind with the springtime supply. I will start gifting some away to neighbors and family members soon.

I still love my rake-head hooks. I’ve been looking passively for another one or two but haven’t found any yet.

These satsuma mandarins are from our greenhouse. This is the tail end of the season. The early ones were absolutely delicious, but what remains are pretty pithy with heavy membranes. We started juicing them, and though we don’t get much liquid out of any one individual mandarin, a bucket full will yield a couple quarts of juice. It’s pretty potent stuff, but I love it.

Henry thinks the texture issues may be due to excessively hot temperatures over the summer. He’s working on a remedy for this year.

Every year, the six or so weeks from Christmas until my birthday are when I feel the most unhealthy. Fresh fruits and vegetables are limited, so my diet takes a turn toward snacky carbs. The days are so short and weather so dreary that my exercise regime is inconsistant at best. It’s not like I gain 10 pounds or anything, but I just start feeling kind of gross.

About this time every year, I realize that I need to eat more deliberately and pick up the pace a little in the physical activity department. We don’t generally buy much (or any) fruit or vegetables over the winter because we have our own, which I’m pretty proud of, but kale, potatoes, onions require time, energy, and creativity to prepare. I’m working on putting out the extra effort to assure that I pack plenty of greens into my diet.

My newest Adam Carolla-inspired activity is jumping rope. I was NOT the jump-rope champion of my fourth class (unlike my sister in law), and my talent for sports that require both coordination and aerobic capacity is seriously lacking, but I’m working on it, and after two weeks of jump roping 20 minutes almost every day, I’m getting noticeably better. While it takes almost no financial investment or set-up time, my biggest challenge is staying in the barely-big-enough space in the bedroom so that my rope doesn’t hit the wall or any furniture. Even if I’m not perfect, it certainly gets my heart rate up, and that’s the point. I’m hoping to keep it up at least until the weather allows for more outside activities.

Henry’s dad made Levi this collection of blocks for his first birthday. He played with them for a while, but then they somehow got put away on a shelf and overlooked for a couple years. I pulled them out on a recent afternoon (when Levi was bugging me, “What can we DO right now?”), and he loves them. I won’t be putting them away again for a while.

Henry’s current reading selections. Apparently Brother Adam is a real beekeeping guru, but his writing is pretty technical. Henry’s probably read through that book three times.

Every day, Henry tells me about this or that bee project currently exciting him. I’m really happy that he’s found (another) new passion.














We hang laundry to dry inside our house in the winter. It takes up a ton of space in our tiny home. I can’t wait for the weather to turn to spring, so I can hang laundry outside again. (Someday, I will tell you about my fancy schmancy washing machine that I absolutely hate.)

Henry’s mom sewed the quilt on the bed.

All the handmade furniture in our home has taken on new meaning since the fire that burned down Henry’s dad and stepmom’s shop. I’m extra grateful now for what that space allowed Henry’s dad to accomplish. (FYI They’re in the process of getting plans for a new shop approved right now as they do what work they can in friends’ loaned spaces.)

In other news, Wayward Spark now has its very own Facebook page (as opposed to sharing with my business Red Onion Woodworks). “Like” it if you want to. You can also find it in the sidebar “Find Camille on…Facebook”.

Hope you and yours are doing well. Take care.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

mae February 23, 2012 at 12:24 am

So jealous of your satsumas, that photo is almost making me drool! They are my absolute favorite fruit but I haven’t had one since moving to the East coast. I don’t know how the stores get avocados from Italy and artichokes from Chile in the middle of winter yet I have never seen a real satsuma in Massachusetts. Not that shipping satsumas all the way over here would be practical, and they wouldn’t taste nearly as good… but as a West Coaster sometimes I yearn for them pretty intensely.

I know the coast is pretty mild, but is it cold enough in the mountains for you to store a lot of food outside during the winter? Do you and/or Henry do any meat smoking/preserving?


Camille February 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm

A couple years ago, we enclosed our back porch and turned it into sort of a mudroom where we keep canned goods and other stuff that needs cooler temperatures. My parent’s have an above-ground root-cellar-type building that keeps potatoes/onions/squash from freezing in the winter (as well as keeping fresh veggies cool in the summer), so we have some stuff over there. It’s not cold enough to keep things frozen outside.

We don’t do any meat smoking/preserving. We don’t really eat a whole lot of meat, and we rarely ever buy it. Henry is sometimes gifted various packages of cured or frozen meats from his clients, mostly wild game like deer, elk, salmon, bear, mountain goat, etc.. We sometimes trade for frozen beef from friends, and this spring, Henry has a pollination contract with a grass seed farmer/cattle rancher who’s going to pay with beef.

We’re sort of foragers/farmers/barterers when it comes to food, though I do go to the grocery store on occasion.


abby February 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I am such an imagery person – I love these glimpses and the stories behind them. And 20 minutes of jumping rope? That is quite a workout! We hang our laundry to dry inside too through the winter. Though our house may have more floor space, I too am ready for those quick drying, sunny and spacious outdoor drying abilities. Feels like we are getting closer!


Camille February 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Jump roping is kind of mundane, but it totally serves a purpose. I’m actually getting a lot better and a lot more in shape.


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