For those of you that don’t follow me on Facebook, I have a quick brag I want to share.

My best friend Susan is in July’s issue of Martha Stewart Living!


The photographer came down to Virginia a few months ago and spent a day with us taking some stunning photographs of Susan and the farm.  I hope at some point Susan will be able to get her hands on some of the photos, because, well.  Stunning.

Get yourself a copy of the July issue now and read all about Susan and Juniper Moon Farm!

Celebrating Summer

We welcomed summer and the Solstice a few days late this year, but it was no less sun – drenched and magical.


Oona’s favorite book.





Cat naps are a necessity on hot summer days.



Pigs looooooooove carrot tops!



These purple beans turn green when cooked.  Magic!


Dinner was Brisket Tacos followed by s’mores stuffed with mini Rollos on the back deck.

Welcome, summer.  We hope you are lovely and slow and full of lazy fun.


The Princess and The Pea!


Last week was a flurry of excited preparation and nightly exhaustion.  I don’t think Oona has ever slept so well!

On Monday the girls were assigned their parts in the play – a re-working of The Princess and the Pea.  They then had until Saturday to learn their parts and perform it.

Maddie was cast as the Princess.  Emily was cast as a phony princess vying for the prince’s attention.  Neve was a wind-maker from the prince’s wintry kingdom, and Oona was a dust bunny from under the princess’ bed.


We knew at least two other families’ worth of kids taking part, so it was a fun mix of old and new friends.



Maddie as the Princess, with her buddy – the pea.



This is what happens when they ask my kid to make a funny face.


Oona, and our friend’s daughter Laura, front left.


There’s Emily on the top left in the funny flower pot hat.


Paul’s parents came down from New York and we spent the day in town going to both performances.

It was a wonderful, magical experience for the kids and we are thrilled they were able to take part.  We are sure to do it again next year!

On Hold

This week normal life has been on hold while the girls are at theater camp preparing to perform in The Princess And The Pea.  It’s a week – long camp hosted by Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater in conjunction with Missoula Children’s Theater.

Children audition for their parts on Monday (everyone who is registered gets a part), rehearse all week, and present the play on Saturday.

Since the theater is a bit of a drive and Oona’s schedule is a bit shorter than the older girls I have been in town pretty much all week and away from home.  It’s been stressful, crazy, fun and a total whirlwind.  We can’t believe that the performance is tomorrow already!

In the meantime the gardens and the house have been completely neglected.

The sheep and goats have of course not been!  In fact I had a hectic day meeting the vet back here to administer copper boluses to everyone for parasite control and then screaming back into town to pick up the kids.  The same amount of work is still going into livestock care; the hours have just shifted a bit.  Still, it will be a nice return to normal after Saturday!


Hidden cache of eggs discovered in the mint.



There’s always time to play with lambs!




Oona named the surprise new chick “Dorito”.

And now I am back off into the whirlwind.  We’ll be celebrating the Solstice on Sunday, and we can’t wait.




The Longest Week


Hello, my poor neglected blog!

This week has been one of those “knock you down on your backside” kind of weeks, but I’m cautiously optimistic that things will be a little less crazy now.

Here is a brief rundown of the weeks’ highlights:


I harvested my first bunch of radishes.  And they were yummy!  I just love the crunch they give to a big, green salad.


We’ve had “escaping dog” syndrome.  He’d rather hang closer to the house during the day, and then he heads back in in the evening.  It’s a good thing we have all that barking power out there, too.  Last night we heard a chorus of coyotes off in the distance.


My hydrangeas bloomed!


Emily discovered a missing chicken hanging out in the honeysuckle overgrowth in my front garden.  And she wasn’t alone.  She’d apparently been secretly brooding over a cache of eggs, and one had hatched. I haven’t gotten pictures yet.  And no, we really don’t need more chickens.


The entire flock got wormed.  Maddie helped me with the first half; I finished them up on my own.


They’re not too pleased with me now.  The indignities of having a medicine cocktail shoved down your throat will do that, I guess.


While walking out to check on everyone this evening I spotted a tiny turtle in the stream.  He darted away when I tried to get closer, but it was a brilliant moment nonetheless.  It’s rather nice spotting something wonderful in the stream instead of all the copperhead snakes that we have been finding.




Alabama still doesn’t like it when I try to take his picture.  It gets in the way of him stuffing his face with hay in his bid to become world’s fattest sheep.

Starting tomorrow the kids are in theater camp all week.  Hopefully it will be an easy week.


Difficult Days

Today we were forced to say goodbye to our darling little Beatrix.

She had a bit of diarrhea the last two days, and despite treating her with everything we could, she had passed on when I went to check this morning.

Losing animals is always difficult; it’s especially hard because since we only had two lambs this year we got to know both of them well, and spent a lot of time with them.

I have a call in to the vet to be sure there was nothing else going on I may have missed.  Darby and Amelia are doing wonderfully – they are still penned out in front of the house on grass and I am loathe to put them back out in the field now.  Since there is no grass back there yet it has gotten very muddy with the heavy rains, and I worry that may have contributed to Beatrix’s decline.   Amelia is also still very skinny despite the grass and grain, and I fear she shouldn’t go back to a hay – only diet at this point.

I pray everyone else stays healthy and the heat and mud don’t become more of a problem for anyone.  I have been out to the field four times a day to check on everyone, and I am having to fight the urge to just stay out there all day now.  But, having me fret over them constantly won’t help, either.  These things happen despite our best intentions and care.



My heart is very heavy today.

We’ll miss you Beatrix.

Birthday Week

Last week we had our inaugural campfire, our inaugural swim in the pool, and Neve’s tenth birthday.

Quite a week!


These are aebelskivers I made for Neve’s birthday breakfast.  Aebelskivers are a Danish food – they are little, filled pancakes.  This time I filled them with wild blueberry pie filling.

They were yummmmy.


She asked for Dr Who related items and spa gifts.  She got both.


The traditional Carvel Ice Cream birthday cake.  If you can’t tell, it says “Treat Yo Self”.

Neve requested it say that since she loves the show Parks and Rec and “Treat Yo Self” is from her favorite episode.  After cake we all gathered around the computer so Neve could read the beautiful birthday message Susan posted on her blog.


The pool was opened on Neve’s birthday and she spent the day in the water.

We’re happy it’s campfire (well, porch fire) and pool season again.

We’ve got plenty of marshmallows stocked, new roasting skewers, and a stack of new Mad Libs for our evening pleasure.


This summer is even more special for me because as we sit out and carouse around the fire we hear the occasional bleating from the sheep in the field.

Absolute bliss.


Neve is a connoisseur of properly roasted marshmallows.


So is Oona.