Thursday, March 2, 2017


I'm so excited that one of our families who has gone back to my roots...the farm! Saydi and Jeff have moved from Boston to a 140 acre farm that was recently bought by one of their friends who needed a family of caretakers until they can move in next year!  Jeff had been looking for a way to get back to the earth and Saydi was looking adventure and a way to make some great memories for her darling children who are at perfect ages to "remember"!

Even though we had just returned from our trip to London and CH, Richard and I saw a break in the rain in California on the weather forecast, we took off to join in the adventure! What we found was pure delight. From the old days when I was a kid, I immediately remembered how much idyllic it was when life felt like an adventure every day and how great it was to roam free on a beautiful piece of land. And as a Mother I also remembered how hard it is!

Here are Hazel and Em at their new front gate!

And an overview of the houses and barns from the top of the rise above the farm:

Just to get a little reality in the mix before I show you anything else, the house (in the background) has no central heating!  It's eleven-year-old Charlie's job to get a fire going in the cast iron stove in the living room every morning before everyone gets up.

Jeff leaves for work (setting up an office for his company in Silicone Valley) at 6 a.m. and gets home about 5, so Saydi and the kids are on their own on weekdays. It had been raining almost every day since they arrived and a giant mudslide came down the hill and took down a couple of fences on it's way (part of which you can see on the left of the picture above).

Soon after they arrived, a mountain lion came and killed one of their two sheep! That was a little disconcerting! There is a caretaker on the property and he tied the dead sheep to a tree hoping that the mountain lion would come back for more meat the next night so he could shoot it and eliminate the danger. They tried to get the only other sheep into the barn for safety but, as you may know, sheep are not the smartest animals and try as they might that woolly guy wouldn't cooperate. SO here is Charlie, pretty pleased about this dramatic story and....the carcasses of the first sheep with one leg tied to the tree and the other, who sadly met his demise the next night in the background. Real world farm life!

The other thing that was troubling upon arrival was the delivery of a new puppy which will grow into a very large dog very soon! As puppies do, she was nipping at the kids and jumping on them with dirty paws and Emmeline and Peter were terrified!  The first couple of weeks on the ranch, Saydi along with the enormous task of setting up a new/old farmhouse and a new life for their family, she also had two little children clinging to her legs for fear of the dog!  Sadly this is the only picture I got of that fluffy white pup! Luckily by the time we got there the dog had settled down a little and the kids had faced their fear and bravely made friends with him! 

Because of all the rain, the property looked like something straight out of Ireland! Brilliant green and moss covered trees were everywhere and Saydi was totally into feeling the joy! 

The kids are thrilled with their new charges: a gaggle of baby chicks, two fat little pigs. Hazel and Charlie immediately loved the dog who is settling into his place in the family! 

Let's take a closer look at those "little" pigs! Sorry about the low light in the barn! 

There is so much to explore and so much to learn! 

And such a sense of the freedom of childhood! 

Peter loves driving his own car around the grounds! 

There's always lots of work to do on a farm!  The owner had sent about 50 trees that needed to be planted so we all worked to get some of them in cloth bags surrounded by soil to prepare them to be put in the ground. 

I hope they don't plant this one:  

Luckily the wild California Coast is only about 10 minutes away.  We loved exploring that while we were there too. In about half an hour we could be at Half Moon Bay. We went there to enjoy a gorgeous sunset one night and a fire at the Ritz.  Dreamy! 

Saydi tries to have one day a week where each child is "the child of the day." when they get special time and attention. As you may have noticed, this was Emmeline's day. I had such a lot of fun helping this little musician with her violin lessons. Saydi is homeschooling and Richard and I got a chance to teach the kids. He taught them how to write poetry and I taught them what I had just learned in London about one of my new favorite people: William Wilberforce, the man who, along with a team of good people dedicated much of their lives to end slavery in England. The next day Richard did a lesson on writing prose and I had a chance to share some stories about my mom and her family. 

The sunset was simply spectacular! 

Last week, the owner sent over two baby goats!  Look at those kids' faces! 

Saydi produced some remarkable meals out of that old fashioned farm kitchen and we had some spectacular meals around their little table. It was so exciting to see that great family settle into"the dirty life" with a passion! Richard's brother and his wife joined us for a day and an evening and we were entertained by the kids' rendition of Hamilton! They know almost every word of that Broadway phenomenon! For lots more details, beautifully written from the mind and eye of Saydi and some fabulous photography, check out Saydi's blog here


bostonshumways said...

Oh mom! I love to see this through your eyes. Makes it look a little different than living through it. What an adventure we're having! Thanks for coming. It was so great to share this beauty and these kids with you. I love what you are always teaching them.

richard said...

Love your blog the best!