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There are so many things I want to say to you today.

I want to tell you about the look on Micah’s face when he plays with legos. That absorbed concentration. The way he seems to lose himself in those plastic bits of bumpy logs, like they are gateways to some nether world of (space) craft.

I want to tell you about how I almost took a baseball bat to Woo Commerce Ninja Forms… you know, I really thought that setting up the forms and stuff to sell a few t-shirts would be easy. I mean, I built my site for crying out loud! I have broken and fixed everything – from my files that my server hosts on up – I’m so bad at this, I’m actually really good now!! But no, the universe has the last laugh – and I find I am wandering around tables and css and other things that remind me of (natural, unmedicated) childbirth, only it’s going on in my head. Fun times.

I want to tell you about the battle I watched yesterday between a wasp and a spider. It looked like something straight out of Animal Planet. The spider won. The wasp now lies bundled by my printer.

I want to tell you about how Moxie wanted to escape across our moat. She tried to climb the fence that contains it and couldn’t. So she looked around, found a rope that had a light at the end of it, swung it OVER the fence with the side with light anchoring it on the other side. She then proceeded to try and climb the rope over the fence. When she saw me looking at her, she stopped, gave me a HUGE smile, tilted her head and laughed long and loud as if to say, “ha! You caught me! But aren’t I fun?!”

I want to tell you about how she walks like a boss into school, waving to everyone, it almost seems to me that she makes people wave to her. Even kids who are not remotely interested in her. She stops directly in front of them and keeps waving, making eye contact, saying, “HI!” until they wave back.

I want to tell you about how Mack loves to keep his hand in my armpit.

I want to tell you about the Apple Festival we had here on the Lost Coast – and oh my! That delicious fresh apple juice!

I want to tell you about Mikey’s new coffeepot that he ordered off of e-Bay for a tiny sum and how much he loves it, this battered tin can of a thing that actually works.

I want to tell you about how we are trying to read through relationship books now because we’ve been together for 7 years now and I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been with someone for 7 years? Relationship books as answers seem very attractive. We tried to read the 5 Languages of Love, the 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work and now we are on Getting the Love You Want. I wonder if we’ll actually finish it.

I want to tell you about our magnificent fig tree and it’s heavily laden branches.

I want to tell you that misty mornings make me feel closer to God. That the dew drops on grass and spider webs make me wish I could speak in the language of poetry.

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It rained 3 and a half inches here in the past week or so.

I have a difficult time thinking of “3 and a half inches” as a lot of rain. Mikey says that if it fell on our roof (with rain catchment), it would be 1,934.21 gallons of water. So basically, it rained almost 2,000 gallons of water.

2,000 gallons of water, pouring out of the sky over the past few days, yeah that’s about right. That’s exactly what it felt like, and it got to that point where I was NOT diggin’ it: the trip through the mud to the outhouse was not fun after my first slip (and I hurt my knee), the outdoor shower completely lost its allure, the clothes were piling up and we can’t wash/dry them in that weather… but the worst, the very worst was that our inverter was affected by all of the rain and goes off every 10 or 20 minutes. The inverter stores the power from the generator; an inverter on the fritz means NO ELECTRICITY, and of course no electricity means NO INTERNET.

I do not do well without electricity or the internet. Not one little bit, not well.

Coincidentally (?) I got sick, and so there I was relying on Sudafed to make me feel human enough to carry forth the business of taking care of the kids without electricity, in the pouring rain and dark.

As you can imagine, Mexico started to look mighty fine (we’ll be leaving after harvest, at the end of October or beginning of November) and I started dreaming about the trip south.

But then… the clouds parted. Literally and figuratively: Mikey found a way to connect the generator directly to power in the yurt – INTERNET! ELECTRICITY! Things are good. And the mists came and I felt so much better. I took some long walks and I am convinced that this land is a chalice of God’s. It is blessed by something divine and it just takes my breath away.

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new life is everywhere. it is absolutely BURSTING through the ground, growing so fast that I blink and it’s more – greener, taller, bigger.

I’ve never seen anything like this

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Two days ago this was hard, bare, dry dirt. Full stop.

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Happy adorable little frog

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I love frogs. And I love spiders. I love lizards even more. I love all of these little buddies that eat bugs. I’m not into bugs.

Except for butterflies (they are bugs, right? technically speaking?) – this one flew right in our yurt to say hi –

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She was fluttering around and then it was clear she wanted back out – it took a while

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But I was able to usher her back to the trees.

There are so many butterflies flying around now! They seem to happy and laid back, flying in and out of our house, drying their wings and making us all smile with their fluttery-ness.

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October is coming up.

I’ve got a lot rolling – the book is DONE, ready! I’ll have it out on this blog next week.

What else, I’ve finished a couple of silk screens so there will be t-shirts available for purchase if you want. I’m excited about this because I’ve wanted to make t-shirts for the past 20 years but never managed to get things in gear. Well, I FINALLY have things in gear, along with a tub of really sweet American Apparel shirts (so soft!), so I’ll be in business soon.

Down syndrome Awareness Month is also coming up and that’s a busy month for the blogosphere. It’s the month where everyone squeezes in a years’ worth of stuff into 31 days! My book will be my main contribution this year – I’m giving it away for the entire month of October.

I’ll wrap up now.

Last photos:

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There is a song called, “Round Here” by The Counting Crows. I didn’t like it half as well as I liked “Omaha”, but the chorus of Round Here catches my brain like an infectious ear worm –

Round here we always stand up straight
Round here something radiates

I listened to that album on-repeat as I drove across the United States by myself when I was 25. This was right after graduate school and I was on my way from Vermont to San Francisco to catch my plane to lead a bunch of high school kids to rural Japan for an exchange program. How sexy. How fun. How random. What a nightmare, me leading a dozen high teenaged kids through Japan!

But anyway.

The Counting Crows.

So I listened to that album as I drove my self down to New Orleans, around through Arizona, looping up and over back home. Round here, something radiates

Round here, so much radiates right now.

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Small birthday parties with joyful (joy-filled?) kids and handmade delicious cupcakes

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Our heroine was utterly thrilled. You know it.

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Cruising in the yurt is happening round here

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Babe’s growing her bandana, boy’s saying “bye!”

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Peacocks in rearview mirrors – oh, Lost Coast, you have me so hard

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The trees with their eternal green, meadows frosted with flowers

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That’s also happening round here

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Backyard hikes. My children are strong. They run up those hills like they are flat ground and I pant, struggling to keep up with them.

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A washing system is in place round here. We’ve got the washer set up, the dryer is this right here. It’s a million miles above the plunger system

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Outdoor showers are still happening round here. Hopefully always will. There are few things that I love more than looking up at the trees overhead in the shower, the mountain behind us.

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Joyrides are happening round here. Sometimes. When he can.

Farming is incredibly hard work – you all know that – but what might be hardest about it for me is the solo parenting. Mikey is gone from sunrise to sunset, literally working his ass off all day. I feel for him and I feel for his fatigue but sometimes I can’t simply because I’m so worn down and ground out from the care of the kids and the struggle to make everything come together in a reasonable way. Moxie runs off and one way and MacQuinn laughs maniacally and goes the other way – and I there I was, trying to hang up the clothes.

It’s not easy.

But the joyrides happen. When they can.

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Moxie has discovered that SHE LOVES TO BREAK EGGS

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Everywhere! She loves to break them EVERY-WHERE!

So that’s happening round here. Just like potty training.

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This is an interesting thing because it seems like MacQuinn is taking to it more than Moxie is. When the timer goes off, he trots happily over and does his bit.

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And Moxie is NOT HAPPY ABOUT GOING.

Nevertheless, we’re sticking to the regime (- every half hour, naked on the bottom) because school is starting soon. Moxie needs more practice.

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Work is happening:

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We’re expanding the barn, building a deck up there

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Things are ripening –

Hops are happening!

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And apples! Oh man, apples are SO HAPPENING

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We have mountains of apples. Piles.

– Strawberries!

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And BLACKBERRIES!meriah nichols aug (2 of 3)-3

Glorious blackberries.

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Pick ’em and go for it!

meriah nichols aug (1 of 1)-7It’s kind of amazing.

Two-hour trips into town are happening round here. They need to. We have to stock up on TP and stuff

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We invariably hit health food joints there where I get to read scintillating local news:

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And of course, indulge in delicious California “comfort food”

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Kombucha, crunchy bread with lots of vegies, roasted chickpeas and stuff, drooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool.

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Deers in the meadows round here – deer everywhere maybe. Like the mice, I think they are great until they want to get a little too intimate with us.

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Sweet Moxie  is happening. She’s growing big and strong and even sweeter and more devilish by the minute. This girl. Oh, this girl! How I love her. Who else gets stuck in a milk box?!

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But he gives her a run for her money:

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He’s talking more these days, moving solidly into the world of Toddler.

And the whole way, he’s looking up to his big sister:

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Life round here.

Like the song says, something radiates.

Maybe it is the air of the Mattole Valley? Maybe it’s deeply rural life which at once tenderly embraces you and makes you see visions of rainbows in the sky with hummingbirds sliding down – and then in the next  moment can bitch-slap you back to an alternate reality with the frickin’ mice invading everything you own. Life here: it’s raw. It’s earthy. It’s so real you can taste the dirt and somehow in that, there is a sweetness that keeps you coming back for more.

 

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*****
*****


 

I drove the 9 hours from the Bay Area back home, a drive that is gorgeous and endless and full of twists, turns and potentials for puking. I love that feeling of finally driving into the Mattole Valley, seeing it all unroll and undulate underneath us as we view it from the high road, I love the golden grass that moves in the wind, as if it is a part of an earthen ocean. I love the trees, deep green and dripping moss, love the Mattole River that splashes through. Love the ocean that brackets it all, hugging the forests and valley in a deep and final embrace.

So, with all this love in my heart, I came home.

And… holy cow, but I kind of exploded:

My brand new-to-us clothes washer?

Wasn’t working, something to do with the water lines

The electricity was off, we had to get diesel for the generator – and no electricity means no INTERNET and I can live without a lot but the INTERNET is not one of the things.

Then…

Yeah, those little cute suckers ate their way through a great many of our clothes and I’m not just talking about the clothes I wouldn’t mind getting rid of: those little critters ate their way through EVERYTHING: pillowcases, sheets, kids clothes, my clothes. It was pretty awful, like viewing a clothes-version of a horror movie: The Mice Attack!

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MEANWHILE, although the dog trainers at CCI had told us all (repeatedly) that our dogs are dogs first and service dogs next, there was nothing to *really* prepare me for the difference in Kiana once her collar was off and she had full access to our yurt.

Un.Buhh.Leeeev.Able.

She’s on collar? Perfectly behaved, sits, heels, ignores pizza on the ground in front of her. Off the collar? SHE IS A WILD DOG out of Juvenile Detention.

She tore her way through 2 balls, the handle of the rocking horse that does not belong to us (groan), got into food from the trash, shat on carpet twice and oh, so much more. So much more.

The next day, I loaded all 3 kids and Kiana and drove the 2 hours each way to Target and Costco and bought a ton of plastic boxes to store the clothes in. Also bought some more health staples (cuz there is nothing like leaving your husband alone for 2 weeks for finding your fridge FULL of bacon and 20% fat-full hamburger. #slimkitty4thewin, y’all 🙂 ) I did that: I went to Costco and Target with 3 kids and a service dog on leash. I did that so well and so fine that people were pointing in amazement, like we were all 3 headed unicorns spouting rainbows, and I got it, man, I really did because more than not, I’m the  mom with the screaming kids… this was rare form, 3 perfectly behaved little ones with one perfectly behaved service dog. [Pizza and popcicles and the fact that Moxie understands bribes now had something to do with it, but WHO CARES?! It worked!!!]

SO anyway, we came back and Mikey had fixed the washing machine, the water heater works again too. Plastic boxes protect our clothes, Kiana has her own toys, she’s calming down, our kids are so very happy here on our hill, and I thought to myself:

yes: the honeymoon is over.

I know what this place can be about: it’s about roughing it, figuring it out, trial and error. It’s about shaky internet access, about alligator lizards, mice in drawers, snakes in the tall grass. It’s about poison oak and outhouses and outdoor showers and home-butchered venison on the grill.

It’s about adventure, in all it’s messy glory.

It’s about life, gritty and raw and honest and beautiful, so beautiful it makes my heart clench up and my breath stop -beauty unfolding in us, beauty that surrounds us, beauty that beckons.

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It’s about freedom and joy and the upsets that lace the sides

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About new seasons, flowers and plants that I’ve never seen before

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And ones I have, and am terribly excited to see spring into fruition

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This is about life

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and as the roses fade and drop, I am left with two thoughts:

1. Some roses leave rose hips, and with those more is beautiful and more can be made

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Rosehips from roses.

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and, 2. every fallen rose leaves a star in it’s place

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Life lesson in there, I’m sure

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Where once we had a canopy of roses, we have a canopy of stars.

The honeymoon is over

This is home. Warts and all, beauty throughout, it’s home and we love it.

I hope your weekend is full of stars.

 

I’m at the training center, working hard with my new service dog, and better believe it, I cannot WAIT to tell you all about it!

But I can’t right now and I have about 50 million photos from what’s going on at home on the Lost Coast scattered around on Lightroom – so I thought this would be a good time to catch you up on some more doings there:

Mac-Q is discovering trains
Mac-Q is discovering trains
Moxie is discovering headlamps
Moxie is discovering headlamps
and how fun it is to work with them on Mac
and how fun it is to work with them on Mac

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these guys are blooming wild
these guys are blooming wild
she tried to smell it
she tried to smell it
and I swear, a hummingbird came RIGHT UP as I was taking this picture, looked like it was going to join Moxie, then flew away
and I swear, a hummingbird came RIGHT UP as I was taking this picture, looked like it was going to join Moxie, then flew away
but of course. hummingbirds would want to hang out with this one
but of course. hummingbirds would want to hang out with this one
these are also blooming
these are also blooming
and the grapes are starting
and the grapes are starting
she's checking it all out
she’s checking it all out
the solar panels too
the solar panels too
dinner included a leg of deer that Mikey and my nephew shot, skinned, dressed.... and grilled
dinner included a leg of deer that Mikey and my nephew shot, skinned, dressed…. and grilled

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Micah is REALLY INTO floss right now
Micah is REALLY INTO floss right now
like, I get to say stuff like, "Micah, if you put away your toys RIGHT NOW, I'll let you floss!"
like, I get to say stuff like, “Micah, if you put away your toys RIGHT NOW, I’ll let you floss!”
God, I love this kid
God, I love this kid
this one too. Mr. Bucket-Head
this one too. Mr. Bucket-Head
NEWSFLASH!! The washing machine is hooked up!!!
NEWSFLASH!! The washing machine is hooked up!!!
HAHAHAHAHAAAAA
HAHAHAHAHAAAAA
oh, how sweet this is. clean clothes that cost me no pain
oh, how sweet this is. clean clothes that cost me no pain
and a little buckaroo on it too (- seen from the kitchen, looking out)
and a little buckaroo on it too (- seen from the kitchen, looking out)

Other news from the Lost Coast:

Josie runs the Lost Coast Camp and Josie is also the mother of Moses, who has Down syndrome. She’s one of those women that are the glue and glitter of a community – they hold it all together and make it sparkle at the same time. Read more about Josie’s story here (-  it’s pretty amazing in that goosebumps-on-your-arm way)

The Lost Coast camp helps gives kids in need scholarships, and operate generally on a shoestring budget as a nonprofit. They need help, and 2 really easy ways to help out are:

1. Shop AmazonSmile to Donate to Lost Coast Camp 

  1.  sign in to your amazon account first! Now:
  2. Type smile.amazon.com into your browser
  3. Look for the box that says “Pick Your Own Charitable Organization
  4. Type “Lost Coast Camp” there
  5. Select Lost Coast Camp, the one that is in Petrolia
  6. Now it will ask you if you want to install a plugin for your browser. Do it! It’s much easier to remember to use Amazon Smile if you have a little orange button on your web browser.

2. Support the Sun Salutations!

Josie and a few others are going to do 108 Sun Salutations on June 21st to raise money for the camp. Join! Donate! Support!

It’s all here on their CrowdRise

AND! If you live in the Bay Area and have a child over the age of 6, consider the camp and/or help spread the word about it – thank you!

Over and out: hope you are having a great week and thanks for giving the Lost Coast Camp your attention

I’m getting ready now to go the Hearing Dog Training (did you miss that post? It’s here)

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I’m terribly excited and terribly nervous – terribly, terribly. It’s just because I don’t know what TWO WEEKS of training is going to be like, and also because,(holy cow!)  it’s going to be TWO WEEKS with just the kids and my mom and I .

That’s long enough to turn the rest of my hair stone grey and that’s a fact.

I’m probably going to be sending you updates from the camp so those of you that are interested can follow along

Moving on,

Round here this week:

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stoll’n

My friend Heather came by our yurt with her clan for JUST ONE NIGHT. We had a lot of fun speed-chatting and catching up and talking even more – Heather’s been on the road full time with her family for over a year now and she blogs at Stoll’n – “What RV Thinking?!” – and she’s a riot – and I love her. And miss her.

Other ’round here’s:

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washing Dora
washing Dora

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"running"
“running”
hey!
hey!
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she takes care of him
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chomp

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and more –

morning boogie
morning boogie

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inspector moxie
inspector moxie
grins like that are effective tools in keeping us wrapped around her little finger
grins like that are effective tools in keeping us wrapped around her little finger
KALE MAN
KALE MAN
mr mac-q, also known as "velcro"
mr mac-q, also known as “velcro”

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Meanwhile, Mikey and my nephew Jrin De are working their butts off:

meriah nichols_-10Mikey has lost so much weight from farming that his belt LITERALLY is what is holding his pants up.

Not to be outdone, Project #slimkitty4thewin is going strong:

 

Yeah, I didn’t take any photos for the first few days… that’s because I was curled in fetal position, shaking for some BACON…damn but that was hard!!

I’ve learned that this food stuff is pretty serious. I’m learning so much – as a former anorexic/bulimic, my approach to weight loss was always just to not eat, or purge whatever I did. This is kind of a big deal for me to be actually learning how to eat well, eat clean, eat nutritiously and keep it going the good way, the right way, the way I’d want my kids to.

And speaking of kids:

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He got all excited over chia seed “pudding” – that there is just coconut milk + coconut water + chia seed. We poured some grade b pure maple syrup over it all for the kids, but that there is desert these days.

They are adjusting, so much so that they REFUSED mac n’ cheese two days in a row. I was shocked. What is happening to them? Wait, I NEED them to like mac n’ cheese, that’s a go-to, easy-feed!

I guess I’ll get that quinoa pasta stuff and try it the old school way. Maybe they’ll go for that?

***

That’s all the news round here – most of these photos I had posted on Instagram (- I’m meriahnichols there, if you’d like to follow my feed) – I hope you have a great weekend and I’ll be checking in next the hearing dog training center (squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!)

photo by Fran Stoll
photo by Fran Stoll

PS

My site transfer wasn’t as clean as I thought it was (- but is it ever?!!) – if you were lost in the shuffle or if you’d like to be added to the email list (to receive posts by email), here’s the sign up form:


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Tea Collection’s Semi-Annual Sale: Up to 50% Off Entire Morocco Line
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

It is here! Just in time for pool parties, backyard barbecues and summer adventures; Tea Collection’s Semi-Annual Sale is featuring the entire Morocco line at up to 50% off! This line is bold, filled with the brilliant hues found in the Marrakech medina, and buzzing with patterns that line Morocco’s streets in the intricate tiles. And now, all of these beautiful styles are on sale—desert and surf inspired graphic tees for boys, twirly patterned dresses for girls, colorful floral onesies for babies and more—all filled with the magic of Morocco. 

This.

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This little fella is a what is called an “Alligator Lizard” and he’s a native of this area.

He was also in my dishes the other day.

I did not get a photo of him in the dishes because by the time I peeled myself off the ceiling (- where I had jumped and plastered myself), he was gone

You’d think I’d learn my lesson with that, huh, and get with it and have an empty sink at all times? But no! I didn’t!

I left dishes in the sink overnight and look what I found:

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*facepalm*

 

I’m one pent up Mama right now, chock full of stories that are begging to get out. I want to talk about my friend Heather visiting, about the yoga class I went to, about how we went swimming in the river. All of these will likely come on out in due time, but I haven’t been able to write ANYTHING for the past week because of all the blog cleaning up I’ve been doing.

Did you notice? Take a look up at the header – this blog has shifted from withalittlemoxie.com to meriahnichols.com . Same header, the blog title is the same, nothing has fundamentally changed except that I finally decided to put everything under one umbrella. That’s all of my sites: withalittlemoxie.com, meriahnichols.com and downsyndromeblogs.org – all in one place.

In anticipation of your questions, I’ve got some answers!

Where is Downsyndromeblogs.org ?

The navigation bar (above the site logo – see it? On the black strip up there?) has everything tucked into the categories. If you hover over “Down syndrome Blogs”, you will get the whole ball of wax – categories, ultimate blogroll, etc – something to bookmark!

I’ll still work on Down syndrome Blogs and I’ll add new blogs once a month, more often if possible.

Why’d you do this, Meriah?

1. It’s a pain in the ass maintaining 3 sites with limited internet access. One site, I can handle. Three, no.

2. I am claiming ownership on it all. I’m really putting my name to my game.

Are you thoroughly exhausted with trying to figure out stuff?

Uh…. yeah… how you’d you know?! Plugins, schmugins, filter this, and code…wwhhhhaaaaaaaaat? Seriously, I couldn’t have done it without my friend Susan – I got really lost around the FTP process and she guided me through that whole maze – then served as my sounding board with all the issues that cropped up. Someone who has patience for someone else asking them about mailchimp plugins at the crack of dawn…yeah, she’s a saint. Bless & thank you, Susan! 

Will you miss withalittlemoxie.com?

Yeah. I will. But change is also exciting.

It does suck  big time that I just lost all of my post-share counts. My post on the 10 Dumb Things the Hearing Say to the Deaf? Last I checked (on Saturday), I had 5,900 shares and over 40,000 views – I’ve never had so much traffic on my blog from one of my own posts, and it was pretty ‘YAY!!!’ (- coupled with a Dora dance) – but now it just shows “o”. So sad.

I took a screenshot to frame and smile at –

proof!
proof!

Just looking at those numbers make me droop a little inside – they are ALL GONE NOW.

But I’m pretty sure it was worth it. I lost all my numbers before, with the installation of multi-site (which I ditched), so basically it just looks like nothing I’ve written has ever been read or shared.

Blah-blah-blah blog-yada-yada – I don’t care, just give me a cute picture of something!

Here ya go:

 

drooooling
drooooling
for the last of our cherries
for the last of our cherries
oh yeah
oh yeah
tea roses explode
tea roses explode
and these guys. ouch
and these guys. ouch
little hands
little hands
"aaaahhhh"
“aaaahhhh”
mmm
mmm
say, "ahhhh!"
say, “ahhhh!”
*giggle*
*giggle*

meriah nichols_-11

Hope you are having a good one

– oh, and I almost forget – the last question I thought you’d ask:

Am I still getting my posts via email?

I sure hope so! If you don’t, please sign yourself up:

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 THANK YOU!!

********

PS

#ModSummer

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So, we had to go to the Bay Area again to eat:bay area foodOh man, were we ever on an Asian food junkie-fiend-fix! We were gulping down those kimchi pancakes, spicy soup, chicken feet, taro balls and what-have-you like there literally was no tomorrow.

But I was just kidding; we didn’t actually go to the Bay Area to eat. We went to SHOP:

ikea

In between Ikea slathering Swedish domination on us in the form of the hunt for un-pronouceable things on Aisle whatever, Bin something-or-other, I had some epiphanies:

1. There are more people in my mom’s apartment complex than there are in my entire valley

2. It seems fewer people there know one another than they do in my entire valley

I am thinking that this ruthless combination of not knowing a community or neighbors leads to fundamentally not caring about each other and that is what is dissolving our society, what is ripping it at the seams and making so many of us sad inside.

***

I passed a homeless man sleeping on the street in Oakland and I thought to myself how I’d never see that on the Lost Coast. I don’t think people slip through the cracks as easily when they the cracks are as narrow as they are in the country. Don’t get me wrong – I think there are other things (and meth/pot come to mind here), but overall this area seems infinitely better for the depressed soul.

We came home – and I swear, the minute we entered the Redwood Grove that signals the beginning of the road to the southern part of the Lost Coast, I felt something in my heart open up and relax.

way home

Home.

This is it.

We’re home.

****

And this is what’s going on around here:

meriah nichols_-21Cherries! 

Yeah, I’ve never had cherry trees growing around me before. Moxie and I went over to our orchard (squeee! orchard!!!) and picked some. We were going to bring it over to Mikey, busy farming but uhhhhh…. yeah…. we got distracted.

meriah nichols_-24 meriah nichols_-23 meriah nichols_-22 meriah nichols_-20 meriah nichols_-18 meriah nichols_-17 meriah nichols_-13 meriah nichols_-19Apples!

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Figs!

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Mac-Q discovered that grass just doesn’t taste very good…

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Kermit in the shower!

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And the flowers are all opening up and saying, “hi!”

hi!
hi!
hi to you, too
hi to you, too

meriah nichols_-27

 

meriah nichols_-28

There are 5 million things around here to explore – vibrance is in the air, right along with dragonflies, hummingbirds and hawks.

meriah nichols_-3 meriah nichols_-2 meriah nichols_-4We’re looking at a whole lot of Ikea picture-book-building things this weekend, I know I’ll be happy Mikey’s willing to face those blank-faced stick figures they have in the directions, and happier still to just have some furniture to make our yurt a little more of a home

Until it’s all done, we have so much to enjoy outside

meriah nichols_-29
strawberries!
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butterflies

meriah nichols_-9May your weekend be filled with all the magic it can – if you live in one of those densely populated communities, I hope you get to know someone that makes you smile.

***

PS

The book that I’m pulling together? I was set to hit “publish” yesterday and guess what. Yes. The entire program crashed and I don’t know what is happening. I might have lost it all or it might be tucked away somewhere in there? Blurb is checking on it for me now. fingers crossed. More than fingers crossed: PLEASE GOD LET THAT NOT BE LOST!!! I don’t know if I can do that all over again!

 

I have been sick and yesterday I spent a long time looking outside.

The trees were moving something fierce with the wind, it felt so bright and alive and all the voices of the internet turned down, waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down in the silence of my mind and the free beauty of our mountain.

Mister Roger’s wise words, “in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal” wandered around my head as I sat with that throbbing head cold (and sore throat and extremely active little kids but that’s another story) and tried to fit that sentence around Rick Smith and every other person that I’ve never met that does things that annoy me online.

In the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal

and it seems to me that from the perspective of infinity, it’s joy that rules.

I need to remember that.

And so… here’s some joy:

tweedle dum and dee

(he is wearing her handme-downs, poor tyke)

meriah nichols outhouse and rain-19

meriah nichols outhouse and rain-7

meriah nichols outhouse and rain-4

Joy in the simple things. 

Like throwing rocks.

meriah nichols outhouse and rain-5

They have these little grunting conversations with one another, “uh?”, “uh, UH UH, uhhh…” “DA”, – “uh?” – and so it goes.

Joy.

meriah nichols outhouse and rain-3

meriah nichols outhouse and rain-2

meriah nichols outhouse and rain-15

Joy in playing with each other meriah nichols_-20 meriah nichols_-18

The chicken coop that still doesn’t have any chickens…. I don’t think we will get any this season because we will be leaving to travel again in September/October and we don’t think anyone is going to be here to take care of them full time.

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So the chicken coop is serving as a magnificent playspace right now.

cherries are coming along
cherries are coming along

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It’s like she runs and hugs the world

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Joy in FINALLY getting chicken grilled right.

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With marinades from total scratch! Maybe I’ll be like the deaf version of Pioneer Woman?!

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Joy in this stuff, which is called Fels Naphtha soap.

It removes oil from your skin – like, POISON OAK oil, so my skin is finally healing from the masses of poison oak welts I had going.

meriah nichols_-6

In the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal

we all – every single human being, bar none – responds to joy, and there is joy to be found and had in every moment. Sometimes it takes some looking for. Sometimes it is hiding in little cubbie holes, sometimes it is tucked away with the lint in a dryer, sometimes it is right out there in the open and I just have to open my eyes, like really open my eyes, and see it

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Then… it’s everywhere

 

 

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I hope your week is going well – you are finding the joy, even if it’s just a rad cup of coffee – and hope you are staying well.

****

 From Blurb:

I’m finalizing my book now, I hope it will be done soon (I’m at the point in which I start debating the spelling of “which” with myself) – and I am doing it all with Blurb, best book company, ever.

Yes, I’m an affiliate with them, which means I’ll be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, but it’s icing on the cake because I really love this company – they represent quality and innovation.

So here’s a deal for you if you are looking for that:

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alittlemoxie

Last weekend we were in the Bay Area on a whirlwind trip of look-see-buy: we needed a small 4×4 in a big way. We bought what we needed, along with clothes for school (ack!) and reams of Ikea ideas for another day.

I was exhausted in the way that hauling 3 kids everywhere solo is – snap, buckle, unbuckle, ‘GET IN NOW!’, snap, buckle, unbuckle, ‘DAMMIT!’, schlep, schlop, cry, wail, snap, buckle, unbuckle, ‘it’s okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, honey‘. Crumbs, smears, juice stick, stuck, boogers, diapers, wet pants, ‘NOOOOOOOO!’ – it’s never ending, constant, draining, sucking, drying, taking, fetching, unyielding, demanding, NEEDING.

I almost became one with my car seat as I slid down deep in it, unspeakably happy to be back. Home.

I enjoy our home, I enjoy this life here.

Enjoy. A Photo Essay.

enjoying the roses

enjoying the roses

enjoying the kids enjoying this space
enjoying the kids enjoying this space
YAY!
YAY!
enjoying the blossoms
enjoying the blossoms
and the big, fat bees
and the big, fat bees
enjoying these trees
enjoying these trees
enjoying her spirit
enjoying her spirit
enjoying THE CAPTAIN OF THE FIG TREE!!!!
enjoying THE CAPTAIN OF THE FIG TREE!!!!
enjoying this buckeroo
enjoying this buckeroo
enjoying watching her discover things... like the bark of the tree that folds back
enjoying watching her discover things… like the bark of the tree that folds back
enjoying our little rainbow
enjoying our little rainbow
enjoying new life, new leaves
enjoying new life, new leaves
not enjoying washing these things, but enjoying the smell and freshness of them when they are all done and dry
not enjoying washing these things, but enjoying the smell and freshness of them when they are all done and dry
oh.... yes
oh…. yes
enjoying morning walks
enjoying morning walks
the chicken coop, the mist
the chicken coop, the mist
enjoying her laughter
enjoying her laughter
enjoying the find
enjoying the find
enjoying welcome gifts from neighbors (- on the next mountain)
enjoying welcome gifts from neighbors (- on the next mountain)
enjoying the unfurling
enjoying the unfurling
enjoying the light
enjoying the light

Happy Sunday!

We walked down our hill on Saturday morning to play alongside the creek that flows by the road.

Just the kids and I. Mikey is as present as he can be at home but there is SO MUCH TO DO on the farm right now! SO MUCH! He absolutely has to be out there, rain or shine and getting the big things done.

So just the kids and I. We walk down, down, down, down, down following the switchbacks that curl themselves tightly around the strand of spring water that flows down the mountain side in small bursts of water fall, ending in the creek at the foot. The creek picks up our spring water and carries it on to the Mattole River.

Here’s the photo essay:

one of the many tiny waterfalls that flow down our hill from our spring

one of the many tiny waterfalls that flow down our hill from our spring

man of the mountain
man of the mountain
okay; LITTLE man of the mountain
okay; LITTLE man of the mountain
the creek
the creek
mountain miss
mountain miss
,,, poses!!!!!!
,,, poses!!!!!!
omg, get outta here!!! SHE"S POSING!!!
omg, get outta here!!! SHE”S POSING!!!
hilarity
hilarity
can't believe I kept the camera straight because I was laughing fit to kill
can’t believe I kept the camera straight because I was laughing fit to kill

meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-19

"moxie, can we go now?" - "NO!"
“moxie, can we go now?” – “NO!”

meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-17

…but then she changed her mind because she saw THE BRIDGE.

I don’t know how it is with your daughter, but with mine, she’s drawn to bridges – oh, anything dangerous for that matter! – like the proverbial moth to the flame. I’m gonna give her this though: she’s smart. She’s very balanced. I don’t see her taking insane risks and that’s why I trust her to cross the bridge the way she wants to.

BRIDGE!!!!!!!
BRIDGE!!!!!!!
bridge love
bridge love

meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-13– and repeat 5 times. Or 10. She can go back and forth all day.

meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-14 meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-12 Oh yeah. The stone tossing happened….

I feel like it invariably happens whenever there is a body of water, however small or large, the kids MUST THROW SOMETHING IN IT.

meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-11 meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-7 meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-6meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-10 meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-9 meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-8

And MIKEY! Came down the hill! – he had called us on the walkie talkie and a strange guy answered, which really freaked Mikey out. So he ran on down to make sure we were okay.

We were, and just really happy to see him.

meriah nichols saturday morning photo essay-4

PS. Mac-Q was asleep on my back for a good chunk of the time… sorry, more photos of him next time

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