It feels like it has been forever, but truth be told, things have been so busy around here that the time has flown. There is a little part of me that feels bad about not checking in more, not sharing all of the wonderful spring activities that are happening here on the farm. But that feeling is overridden by the fact that I am enjoying just living in the moment so very much these days. The thought of trying to capture it all and translate it into words seems impossible at times. How does one share the feeling of waking to a bright sunny day, birds singing outside windows that have been left open through the night to let the warm spring air in. How can I share with you the smell of a huge bush of lilacs near the front door with it’s sweet fragrance or the numerous climbing roses that trail over outbuildings, covered in blossoms. And there are so many little things – bushes filled with flowers that in turn are covered in bees, most of which are bumbles but I still get excited every time I spot one of our honeybees! Or the little yellow bird that I saw in one of the Japanese maples two days ago – a little fellow I have never seen before, jumping around, a faded red spot on his head, playing with a little Nuthatch. And the hummingbirds! I love that I often hear them before I see them, scrapping over who will eat first. The whir of their wings as they whiz overhead.
We were also really busy lately trying to finish the seemingly never-ending deck addition. Do you remember what it looked like “before”? It was a big flat tall wall with very little character. We rarely spent time on that side of the house and the garden went untended, filled with weeds.
I am thrilled to share that this is what it looks like now!
We used simple classic fixtures and the ceiling is white tongue in groove that is simply a continuation of what we have inside the house. I wanted a very subtle railing so I opted for this wire fencing to create a barrier but enable light to pass through and potentially things to grow on it.
Conversation for this project began last July and here we are in June, not quite finished but, for now, perfectly fine to use. We have had a few contractors working on it, but in the end it took handsome husband and daddy to finish with the paving stones. The two of them are a pretty amazing team and they work really well together accomplishing a new project every May when daddy visits. I love to see their easy interaction, discussing how to do this or that and each taking a part of the job without really discussing it. I feel so incredibly blessed to have them both work so hard on a project that has caused me more than a few tears and angry words. They knew how much I wanted to get this project wrapped up enough to be able to use the space- seeing as it IS time to begin enjoying meals outdoors! I never dreamt that it would take this long to finish this project but am so happy with how they finished up the last big job. The only thing left is a brick fireplace of sorts that we will create inspired by one we saw while on holiday in France. Thankfully that isn’t an integral part of the space as right now I need a little break from working on it.
The fireplace will be made from old bricks we bought from a man who is renovating a house in West Seattle. I absolutely love them- and am grateful to my dad and to #1 for making trips with me to pick them up, loading and unloading them. NOT an easy job…
I will say that I have enjoyed sitting out there every day that the weather has been nice- which has been often lately. It is sunny when I need some warmth but shady when the heat climbs to more than I can handle- usually around 75… ;)
So, as we have been making some changes here on the farm, and as I am working on some other changes with regards to projects and building The Grow Hope Foundation, I felt that it was time to change the name of the farm. I have been wanting to do so for some time now. While Blackberry Farm is appropriate seeing as we have endless blackberries growing on the property, I didn’t like that there was another Blackberry Farm- and amazing incredible Blackberry Farm already in existence. The name didn’t really feel right. Thus, after trying different names, combinations of things that we grow, things that we like, etc, the farm has been renamed~
And- now that we have made that change- it’s time to really focus on other things- namely, The Grow Hope Foundation. With my trip coming up I have so much planning and organizing to do. I have been making lists, prioritizing, researching and planning. I have so many ideas and thoughts and am so excited to get there, photograph all of the progress that has been made, meet with the team on the ground in Uganda and discuss where we go from here. We are all really looking forward to having time together in person to work out the details going forward after a year of work in the community. I can’t wait to capture what has been done so far as well as meet the people that I feel like I already know from all that I have heard about them. I am so excited to return home and share with you all that I learn there and to move forward with making The Grow Hope Foundation a strong successful organization that helps people create opportunities and enables them to improve their circumstances. I know that together we CAN make this happen!
Have a wonderful weekend friends~