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Today marks our 4th year anniversary here at the farmhouse. It’s been pouring buckets today, which reminded me of our not-so-smooth move here in 2012. We had been talking about moving to the country since before Ella was born, but in a “wouldn’t-that-be-nice” kind of way. By 2006, I knew as much as I loved our home on Humboldt Street I really wanted the kids to have the room to roam I had growing up—and I wanted it back too.


But we loved our little downtown Victorian, a block away from the girls’ school with dedicated teachers and wonderful families. We walked downtown all the time, regulars at Peet’s and frequenters of the farmer’s market. We did so much work on the house, and we all deeply loved our home. But my mind was always painting a picture of what living in the country would be like. By fall 2006 we were actively looking at and putting offers on homes, and by 2011, after five years of being continually beat-out by other offers, a pretty funky looking home came on the market. T...

“On the Farm” feels like a bit of a stretch for most of December, I think “In the Car” was where we spent most of our time! So much hustle and bustle leading up to the holidays and with all the items on the to-do list that it really makes the downtime at home special—doesn’t it? It’s all the busy that makes those pockets of free time and quiet family activities so treasured.

 Yesterday’s activity was putting up the tree. We always do live trees not only because of the way it scents the living room, but it’s a favorite post-holiday treat for the goats.


A few years after Tom and I were married, I started collected glass ornaments, a few every year. Sometimes they were just Christmas-y, but others were special to the year depending on what we did. Those folks at Olde World Christmas really have quite the collection range. When we lived on Humboldt Street we had an artificial tree because the space was limited and the ceilings high, so we needed a tall, narrow tree. But when we moved here I...

I think it’s fall. The calendar says so. Our trees that “turn” are turning lovely shades of red and gold. I see these leaves falling from the window as I grab my purse to pick up the kids and think how it’s fall, my favorite season, and then walk outside and am bowled over by a wave of heat. I’m usually a fan on Indian Summer, but enough already! I have a couple of butternut squash idle on the kitchen table, reminding me that I ought to be making soup, but it’s too hot. Ugh. But there are hints of autumn crisp early in the morning (since all the windows were left open to combat our lack of air conditioning when we go to bed), and when we walk out to lock up the goats in the evening. They hover around the gate and cry for us earlier and earlier now that it’s getting dark a little earlier. Their milk is dwindling, we’re watching to see who goes into heat first because hot days or not, it’s already time to start thinking about our breeding plan for next year. How is that possible? We've a...

My great-grandfather met my great-grandmother when he was over in England fighting during World War I. They married in the UK, and once the war was over traveled by boat back to the Bay Area. My grandmother was almost born during that overseas journey, but fortunately it didn’t happen until they were back on American soil. (And I say fortunately because I guess that my great-grandmother got it in her head to name her “Fleeta” if it did happen on the naval fleet they were on. I am certain my grandmother’s life would have had an entirely different trajectory has she been christened Fleeta.

Instead she skated by as Dorothy Lorraine Cabral. Her mother, as a mentioned before, was English, and her father was American but of strong Portuguese (more on this later) heritage. Most of his family lived in the farming communities of the Central Valley. Granny and her brother, my great-Uncle Will, would spend their summers in Atwater on the farms for most of their childhood and early teen years.

So wh...