Being a planner, a ponderer and a dreamer makes living in the “now” tricky business. My mind is always working, always busy. Along with training myself to eat tomatoes, because they’re really healthy, I’ve had to train myself to be present and in the moment, because…it’s really healthy. Probably more so than eating tomatoes but eating tomatoes is much easier to do than staying present. And I don’t really like tomatoes.

As I prepare for the new fall season to take over and a new school routine to govern our lives, I’ve been nesting, reflecting and anticipating. Nesting, so our home matches our needs as we get ready to spend more time inside because our warm weather frolicking around with no deadlines is over. Reflecting on this past summer and all of the new adventures that came our way and moved us closer to more dreams. And anticipating the adventures and coziness to come and the digging in to some more dreams that need to be worked on.

Spring cleaning is a thing. I’ve done it, there are books about it and it even has its own phrase. I’ve never heard of fall cleaning but it’s become my thing over doing spring cleaning. There’s a lot of living that goes on in our home over the warm summer weather months and we are more interested in being outside than we are in keeping a tidy home. Not that it’s particularly tidy any other time of the year but probably less so in summer. Living in a seasonal part of the country you are aware that the warm weather months come to an end too quickly so wasting your days on things you can do when you’ll be spending three quarters of your year inside is just plain silly.

My makeshift desk at the farmhouse was cluttered in no time. My signature style…

But since there is a toy on my desk, let’s blame the kids.

More than any other time of the year, nesting takes a hold of my spirit in the fall as I get excited to prepare our home for the darker colder months to come. The furniture can be rearranged to allow for cozy moments and spending more time in the same space together. Dust bunnies, stray toys and piles need to be cleared to start the fall season off with a fresh space as we prepare to keep the windows closed.  Fresh air will no longer be moving the dust around for our minds to believe that it’s clean enough so we’re free to frolic.

This year, there’s a new homestead to prep. It’s a temporary one because it needs some major lovin’ to be our full time home, so we’re only camping out here in the nice weather. It’s our new old farmhouse. It will need to be readied to winter by itself and that means cleaning up the camping life we made here. There are repairs to be made to the house and barns so that the boxes and things from our storage units can now be safely stored here. Although I have some concern about the safety of storing things in a barn because you know the resident critters are going to think we left all this stuff there for them. I’m not sure what it will all look like when we open the barn doors and send in the daylight next spring.

If you’ve been with me for a while, I’ve talked nonstop about the boxes in my days from our move halfway across the country. (Actually, it’s about a third of the way when you look at a map but halfway makes the story sound more dramatic.)  I have restrained from taking to you about boxes for a few months now because I knew that you were tired of hearing me whine about moving boxes and that you would roll your eyes and move on to see what Chip and Joanna Gaines or the Pioneer Women were up to since they aren’t moving and don’t need to talk about boxes. It’s also probably because I haven’t blogged very often since I’ve been spending time with our new old farmhouse that doesn’t have internet service and I don’t blog from my phone and because the rest of my time was spent in my dreamy heirloom earth friendly over-sized garden handpicking squash bugs, tomato caterpillars and weeds. And the rest of my time was spent with my family squealing with delight because we can’t believe that we actually get to legally step foot on this property and don’t have to stalk it anymore and are so blessed to be the next caretakers in its journey.

It’s such a lovely spot that people stop often along the roadside to enjoy it and we love sharing it with you all. One such occasion found around forty motorcycles rev by, then stop for picture moments. I heart that.

But since you asked…yes, I am still moving boxes.

But this time, they are finally going to stay put at our forever home so that opening them and putting them away will be the next adventure. That’s exciting! I can handle that. There are so many treasures I have had packed away for a very long time. Dishes, linens, baking apparatus and decorations have been missed.

It’s much easier to start tidying up now than when it’s cold and windy. And for me, my personal style gets bored after a while of the same thing so I’m now ready to close up the heirloom garden adventure. There are other pursuits waiting for me. But that lovely heirloom garden is still hanging in there. Despite my environmentally friendly battles with squash bugs (but not non-violent), their eggs and their babies and the tobacco hornworm (basically the tomato caterpillar) that I foolishly thought my newbie garden had escaped when the most seasoned gardener can’t, it’s thriving.

Despite being in over my head with transplants and planting way too late in the season, it’s thriving. It’s happy, despite me.

Tomatoes and old windows…dreamy.

row gardening

my hot mess heirloom garden

I do take satisfaction in that even though I’m ready to move on. I’ll hang in there with my heirloom garden because it hung in there with me. It’s huge, it’s messy. It looks like a game of garden Twister. There is no room to put your foot and every vine and plant is mingled with another species. It’s beautiful. It’s another dream started and I can only daydream about next year’s heirloom earth friendly garden (still not non-violent) and what it will become. So exciting!

Having acquired an old farmhouse property this summer that my heart had loved for years has proven to be the usual “Aaryne” style adventure. If you want to know what your next day, next month and next year are going to look like, you don’t want to live with me. My kids have been brought up with my crazy adventures so to them, this is all normal, but my husband would prefer to know what his days look like. He has learned that when he goes off to work, there are enough hours until we meet again for things to look mighty different upon his return.

Future ponderings include my heirloom flower plants. I overindulged this year on heirloom geraniums and mums because I am tired of the same offerings at the stores and shoppes. Plus, I am on an heirloom kick. As my little babies have grown over these past months (my plant babies that is), I am watching what they do, how they smell, how high maintenance they are and whether I would love to share them with you in your gardens. Not because I am being selfish, but are they worthy to share. I rearrange the pots into teams every so often as I know who will make the cut to hang in there with me over the winter months and to hopefully become cuttings that are available next season for me to pass along and share with you all.

“Isn’t she lovely…Isn’t she wonderful” – sing along


Mums and geraniums…ahhhh. And heirloom too – even better.

Another dream and project is to create my own compost. I decided to Google “cheap compost bins” because it was getting late and this project needed to happen NOW. We inherited apple and pear trees that will need some love. This year they are producing fruit but the majority of it is not edible. The country gal in me felt that the fallen rotting apples were a free and plentiful addition to a compost bin versus just tossing them away so I’m buried in that new project. There are also leaves and grass clippings to feed into the compost bin so as long as I need to clear all these things, it might as well “become” something.

My initial goal was to clear out the rotting apples because the new ones falling now just might be ripe and edible, so it would be easier to spot them and make my selections. Plus the rotting ones stink. But I haven’t been able to keep up with it and I pretty much just made big piles of rotting stinking apples under the trees.

Periodically though, I manage to pull out our sleds and load up some apples for the compost bin. It’s a start, so I’ll take it. And as I suspected, the apples and pears falling now have a better selection for eating so I’m now buried in more harvest to stock away. We’ve eaten numerous apple cakes and apple crisps and applesauce already. I’m supposed to be making pie dough and more applesauce. Add it to the to-do list, along with freezing more tomato harvest.

I won’t complain, it’s so much fun and great for our kids to see and participate in.

My soul is so content and happy. We haven’t purchased carrots, cucumbers or tomatoes from the store in a couple of months. That’s fun! For all you seasoned homesteaders, I know this is not news. But for you new dreamers out there, it’s never too late to begin what makes you happy.

We also inherited a grape vine that is now ready for harvest. (They weren’t ready when I took this photo. I’m new to the scene but I know these are not ripe in this picture!)

The harvest season really needs to come along in March when we have nothing to do but stay in and cook. Poor planning on Mother Nature’s part if you ask me.

Harvesting teeny tiny grapes takes discipline for me because it’s not in me to stand still for long periods of time tediously taking off tiny items one by one. But by golly, this gift came to us and I’ll make juice and maybe even some jelly if I die standing there still wishing I were picking pumpkins instead. 

At least I’m not her… 

Go forth and make moments that matter my BFF’s!