• Stall door with christmas lights on it.
    Barn Restoration,  Growing

    Old Wood

    My adjustment to living at Dancing Timber Homestead is slower than I imagined it would be. I think it’s because stone and wood speak slowly, in whispers. It’s taken some time, but I’ve begun to hear the barn. I met a woman whose family may be tied to the history of the farm when we went to a local Mennonite research library. From the stories and bits and pieces of information I’ve managed to uncover in the past year, our home is very PA Dutch German (built) and several Mennonite families lived here and farmed the land. Because they were farmers, this makes their stories nearly silent. My new friend,…

  • Stone wall is crumbling
    Barn Restoration

    “Mom, Chill!”

    I get a certain look when I’m completely caught up in berserk stressed mode. I don’t breathe. Don’t eat. Don’t sleep. Am wracked with guilt over failing to be Super Mom.  Oh, and it’s all my fault. The other day I had that look. My energy field was bound to attract vampires any second. Stefan and his girlfriend, Audrey, were watching TV and in their zen of chips and cashews and cuddles, while mom is unglued rattling off a pile of stress-release-words to the husband-who-survives-mom’s lunacy with his typical, calm “Stop. How can I help?” response. Stefan looks up. “Mom, chill.” In my mind, I think the barn is going…

  • Barn and Shed in Winter
    Barn Restoration

    Five Typed Pages to Nowhere

    At least once a week one specific memory darts into my head to pinch me with yet another relentless reminder that there is no valid reason I should be living on a farm with no hot water in the downstairs bathroom, when a year ago, we had a perfectly new house with working pipes. The memory is of me having yet another panic attack just before it came time to sign the mortgage papers. My husband, Eric, and realtor, Dawn, were standing on the front porch of our beautiful house with 30 minute mow time lawn and flower beds with mint duking it out with the chives side show. They…