3 Bags Full

Last January was rocky, and regularly unpleasant.  The start of 2012, by comparison has been as light and easy as the fluffy sheep who are my temporary charges.

Our family has taken up with the Bourgeois, who own Philosopher’s Wool in beautiful Inverhuron.  We are farm sitting while they take some time to themselves to travel.  We are staying in the Guest House, an incredibly beautiful structure, which has in floor heat (practically heaven) and character pouring out of every beam and nook.  The children have learned how to weave on looms, I am learning to knit again and am working on mastering the art of sock darning.   Life, despite having two houses to mind, is radically simple.

When they have been home, our hosts have been an inspiration, a source of guidance and a huge support.  Ann and Eugene are in Costa Rica at present and my kids (and I) are wondering WHEN, OH WHEN are they going to come back.

We are here until about March, and are taking advantage of this little adventure to purge at the Duncan Farm, and do some light renos.  Seeing as we moved The Essentials into the Guest House, that what remains at the Duncan Farm is largely expendable.  I am hoping to move home to a simplified home, which will be easier for me to tend to.

We learned a big lesson in 2011, in business that bigger is not always better.  I have taken that to heart.  I need to tend the family, friendships, the flock, the farm and the finances in a more focused and specific way.  I need to continue to chase after personal happiness, and not worry about those who are on a different bend.

Seed catalogues have arrived and I am beginning to plan 2012’s garden.  Bob is burning through his grade 1 curriculum and Mags is reading already.  I am lounging on luxurious woolens, keeping an eye on the children and the chicken coop and am being reminded regularly what a hunk of a husband I have.

Right here, right now.


  1. Allie · January 24, 2012

    I too am trying to purge at the moment. I wish there was a wool farm for me to farmsit to help me in my endeavour. My task is definitely not as sumptuous as yours sounds.

    Also–what a convenient time for you to post this, as I’m just in the process of buying a whackload of yarn for a baby blanket, and I think to myself–why am I not going Canadian?

  2. Alex · January 24, 2012

    Belated Happy New Year to you and yours xx

  3. Jana · January 24, 2012

    Sheep are lovely! We have three (and maybe more on the way) at my sister in law’s mini farm in the states.

    You’ll have to try your hand at spinning as well as knitting (and sock darning).

  4. Pete (Dad) · January 24, 2012

    The Hunk did a brilliant job of Addressing the Haggis this evening at the King’s Pearl. Proud to be part of this beautiful, blessed family with grandchildren who will make a difference because of how they were nurtured and loved.

  5. Jeff · January 24, 2012

    I can’t help but admire your quest for simplicity and happiness. It’s consistently fascinating and I appreciate your willingness to share it with the world.

  6. Amandette · January 24, 2012

    Fantastic, Ashley. Good to hear your spirits are on the up-and-up.

  7. ella · January 24, 2012

    So happy to hear things are going better for you atm.

  8. kirsty · January 24, 2012

    i googled the name of a friend who committed suicide which led me to a suicide girl link and because I’m in a cement mexican apartment on a dental holiday with my two little children and you had fabulous eyebrows I clicked to your website and was totally sucked in! I grew up in Inverhuron and was totally awakened to a new world by the wooly woodsy philosopher’s farm. And now I’m homesteading on Lasqueti Island and totally enjoyed your posts. I want goats, but have commitment anxiety. I assume you are having to sell your farm because of all the wind turbines and just wanted to say what a drag and I wish you well on the next chapter. At least BNPD didn’t meltdown.
    I don’t usually comment on websites, but it was feeling all cosmic.

  9. Twwly · January 24, 2012

    Thank you for sharing, Kirsty. Yeah, turbines in every direction. We’re not selling at the moment, there’s no farms without them up already or planned, and we have no intention of giving up farming.


  10. kirsty · January 24, 2012

    yay! Have you read Trauma Farm by Brian Brett? I’m in the thick of it–you aughta gotta!

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