We’re in!

Well, maybe not Todd.  He’d been out chasing this guy…


But, the rest of us and our many, many, many boxes of belongings are officially home.  Mom‘s here, too.  She’s come to help and stay for the next two months, while John’s in South Africa for work.  Dad flies in later today for the same reason.  Through the window of my temporary kitchen office, mom walks past, probably switching the laundry and definitely making me wonder how we ever, ever could have done this without her.

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We’re moving!

Please don’t ask me to pass the mustard.  I wouldn’t have a clue where it is right now.  If you’d like to borrow a certain pair of cute shoes, you’re out of luck for at least 3 weeks.  And if I get a paper cut while moving, I’m out of luck because there’s no WAY I could find a band-aid.  We’re (almost) packed up, and I haven’t even gotten back to California yet!  We’ve had help, and John’s there overseeing and taking pictures.  Probably a little heavy on the later, god love him. The cowgirl hat above is standing tall, anxious to be one of the most sought after possessions in less than a week.  Farmers need hats.  And though it’s beyond me how this actually happened, we’ve become farmers.  Yippee!

Before

During

The clock looks a bit lonely in the picture directly above.  I guess she’s still got teapot, but not for long, I’m sure.  I didn’t call the second picture AFTER because Dad kindly pointed out that the final step in this adventure is really the farmhouse kitchen, whereas DURING was taken mid-pack.  Photos mostly down and appliances moved, I’m going to miss this little (little) kitchen.  She and I wrote a cookbook together.  We learned how to preserve lemons, make a mean pot roast and burn a potholder in the oven (yup.) My neighbors would walk by the kitchen window with a “Hi Molls!”  And, I cooked to the sound of children playing in the courtyard.  It was a great place to live.

Actually, it all looks a bit depressing right now.  No soul.  No happy buzz of daily life.  This is the familiar part where a bit of sadness creeps into the heart and the head gets filled up with very tangible memories.  Each grand stage of life is beautiful.  And, each stage eventually ends no matter how long it lasted: moves, retirement, job changes, children, even death.  Whatever the circumstances, it always gets a bit messy before it gets straight.

xo – Organic Spark

Digging in the dirt.

Lately, I’ve been changing houses, cities and jobs like they’re socks. So let’s change something else, just for kicks…

Our baby Organic Spark has joined forces with a media network comprised of a fantastic group of traditional foods bloggers called Real Food Media.  Organic Spark will be a featured blog, sitting pretty next to the incredible company of blogs such as: Nourished Kitchen, Cheeseslave, Hartke Is Online and Health Home Happy.  As a by-product, a banner advertisement now resides in the right-hand column of our blog.  I was hesitant to incorporate ads into Organic Spark. I simply can’t stomach supporting things for which I don’t believe.  It’s no fun faking a smile.  Luckily, Real Food Media offers a solution without a bit of compromise.  Their standards for sponsors are so high; I feel lucky to have their ads on my site.  Supporting the companies who join Real Food Media is a pleasure for which I am grateful.

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Introducing… Apricot Lane Farms!

Last weekend, John and I traveled from our temporary home of Chicago to Moorpark, CA; the first time we’ve gotten to visit Apricot Lane Farms together, since learning that we will definitely be making it our home.  Rachael Ray’s husband once said (and I roughly paraphrase) that nothing feels real until he shares it with Rachael.  I’m sure many couples understand that phenomenon, and since John takes all the pretty pictures, Apricot Lane Farms can finally become real for Organic Spark, too.  I’m so excited to share these pictures with you.  So let’s get on with it!

Standing in a pasture, peeking up the driveway to the main house.

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Navigating the seasons.

I learned something recently.

One hot Chicago day after a string of frigid weather landed me with a bad seasonal cold, one that just wouldn’t go away.  After John came down with a variation of it, we decided to go to the doctor to make sure we weren’t passing something back and forth.  Much to the surprise of my stuffed-up nose, I wasn’t actually sick, at least not in the traditional sense.  Here, I had a mean case of seasonal allergies!  What?!  I have never had allergies that involve wheezing, coughing, a brick of a nose and exhaustion, but I think the doc was right because I feel just awful after a nice long springtime walk with Todd these days.  And maybe it’s not a surprise; thinking back over the years, my legs have gotten very itchy at times for seemingly no reason, and the past few days, I have woken up in the middle of the night itching like a mad woman.  Looks like I just might have found the culprit.  Focusing on the connections learned is the only way to restore gratitude, otherwise… I just want to pout.

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