Bones Deeply Warmed

Cherry preserves, pineapple sauce, cherry pie filling, blueberry pie filling. 

IMG_5512Cherries from a local farm, pre pie filling. 

I am taking an Instagram break this summer which is giving me some time to focus on projects here, listen to my own thoughts, and lengthen my days. Yes, lengthen my days. For the first few weeks I still had the app on my phone and found myself checking in (lurking) once in a while. Sort of defeats the purpose. I have since removed the app and my world is palpably quiet. I’m not one who struggles with perceived negative dynamics of Instagram (don’t have other social media to include), so I wasn’t needing a “break” from conflict or harshness; it’s just that Instagram is the loudest, busiest part of my life and I felt called to know what my days would feel like without it for a decent amount of time. It’s been so nice, and truly, my days have lengthened and softened remarkably. Suffice to say, I will be sharing many photos in this post as I still enjoy taking them, and my camera roll has been filling up!

9A205619-598F-4912-B053-275222B1ACCE-2Blueberries by the wood stove… July in northern Vermont. 

2021 will be the year we light the woodstove at least once every month, maybe twice. Twice was the case for July, and I am sure it will be at least twice in August. Cool, autumnal August. I imagine more years will follow similar to this, but lighting the woodstove twelve months out of the year is new for me and feels worth noting. A local friend told me she recalls a year in which snowflakes fell from the sky every single month. If it weren’t for needing to keep gardens alive, I wouldn’t mind seeing that. 




7F9B442D-0963-43BF-B3B2-2A66C998E865-2Four broccoli harvests so far, each amazing!

Speaking of the garden, I’ve noticed tomatoes are beginning to ripen and corn is reaching overhead. Soon. We’ve already frozen many gallons of broccoli, and peas are coming in now. I planted them a little late so they are a week or two behind. August and September are full throttle harvest months which at the moment I welcome. These last weeks have felt relatively restful with the rush of spring and planting season far behind us. Our squash patch has a garden of its own this year and is taking advantage of the unbridled space. 



Freedom Rangers arrived, and the inside of our newly built summer coop for the layers. 

In the early morning I head out to feed the animals and give the pigs a scratch behind the ears. We welcomed fifty meatbirds a week ago and they are doing very well tucked into their spacious brooder. We went with Freedom Rangers this time and I am pleased to say all fifty are still with us and thriving. We didn’t have big losses with the Cornish Cross as many others report, but there is no denying they are an odd, unnatural feeling breed to raise. I am enjoying these slower growing, more chicken-like Rangers. Our layers have been moved to their summer coop with rotating pasture, and if I’m being honest they haven’t taken very well to it. Disruption in routine and familiarity I suppose. They’ll figure it out, and maybe even come to appreciate their new (improved!) summertime setup.

323194D5-92E6-4C2D-BA5D-B75F4F0CDDCEVisiting family helped harvest the garlic scapes a few weeks back. Much appreciated!

Like many of you, we have our attention toward winter. Finishing firewood, preserving food, and watching our window for outside projects quickly closing. I imagine we’ll have a hard freeze within the next six weeks, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few snowflakes within eight. Lately I’ve been wondering if living with such pronounced seasons makes time pass more quickly; just when you’re settling in, the wind picks up and carries you to the next with little warning. 


IMG_5335Harvesting cucumbers and carrots as needed, and homegrown pineapple from my sister’s house in Florida. It ruins you for grocery store pineapple!

I awoke at 3:00 this morning feeling ready to start the day so that is what I did. By 10:00 my work for the day was done so I settled into a comfortable chair for an indulgent weekday morning chapter in my book… okay, two chapters. Uncle Kurt stopped by for a short visit. In a few minutes I’ll take a drive to the farm to pick up our milk for the week and by the time I return home, it will have chilled enough to light the woodstove. We’ll settle in for the evening, bones deeply warmed as only a woodstove can do. Outside the window, cool rain waters the gardens, again. 

17 Responses

  1. Your harvests are looking fabulous. It is amazing how much more time (& peace) we have when we step away from technology. I’m glad you are feeling the difference.

  2. You are wise to focus on summer, as it seems to fly by in some climates, for sure. (Says the gal who grew up in Alaska!)
    I love this peek at your garden, your endeavors. Thanks for blogging.

  3. So lovely to receive this in my email this morning and I like you have the same feel for social media…miss the quiet moments of the blogs. I look forward to you opening up Hearth and Home…am in a place I can $ it again. Take care.

  4. Your words warmed my heart, Heather, and inspired me onward. What a wonderful gift to give. The stillness and mental *space* from removing your Instagram app (I did the same some months ago) can be felt in your writing.

  5. Although you have been missed on Instagram, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciated and enjoyed this quiet, beautiful moment on your blog! I’ve been trying to cut down on social media, but may have to take the leap and just remove them from my phone –I’m sure the peace and stillness would make a measurable difference! I’m so happy that you are getting the most out of and enjoying the current season.

  6. Lovely to sit and read your blog post. Good for you for doing what feels right . I love the photos and posts on Instagram but often find myself getting too absorbed in it all. Setting limits really helps. Good luck with all the harvesting and preparations over the next month. And …. you’re right , time and seasons do seem to pass quickly 🙂

  7. What a joy to see this pop up in my email! Taking the slow time to read thoughts and enjoy photos. I was wondering if any of your family would be able to come and visit again yet. How nice to have young people around.
    We are settling in to our new life of living with family again and seeing our grandsons everyday, so thankful for this opportunity.
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. I am struck by your writing today. It has always been good but the way you form your sentences in this one is really great!

  9. I have been wondering if I could delete my IG app a few times a year. I’m usually pretty diligent about weekends off but…there’s always those temptations.
    A hard freeze in six weeks??? I’m not sure whether to be jealous or thankful—we’ve still got another four months before ours.

  10. I’ve missed your posts so was very happy to see this one. Your photographs make me pause and sigh a happy sigh. Your skill/eye is always so calm and joy-filled. Thank you for sharing.

  11. I’ve been missing your voice in my days and I’m grateful to come here and find your words and your pictures. Thank you!!

  12. Thank you for this delightful post. As a Southerner suffering through extreme heat and humidity, it’s shocking and miraculous to think of needing a woodstove this month. Some years we have no snow at all. Your preserves are a thing of beauty! So rewarding to see them lined up and glistening in their jewel tones.