Skip to content


:: September gorgeousness under Sheep Mountain::

6512 and growing is the story of growing a family (plus 7 chickens, thousands of honeybees, a large garden and a small orchard, while butchering an elk or two) at 6512 feet, our Colorado hometown elevation.

This is our family’s continuing story, one that started with a doll-sized baby and his life-saving oxygen tubes, and has evolved with a momentum I am running to keep up with. Someday Col and Rose will read their story and blush, or shrug and get back to whatever it was they were doing. Maybe they will wonder why I was compelled to record the details.

This is why.

My friend Amy, also a mother, made the observation that in pre-child life when an intense period of time occurred (travels, beginnings, a slice of life so poignant you could eat it), there was inevitably an end to that period, after which reflection and insight came rushing in like a toddler who’s just discovered running. In parenting there is no end (we hope most fervently), just more, of everything. Those fleeting gems like how at 4 years old Col called robins “red belly breast birds” (you’d think “robin” would be simpler) or how Rose at 2 explained that she can’t see out the tall window because she’s “too big” will collapse under the scaffolding of tomorrow’s story titled: how Col wore three dresses and ran around the garden begging to pull carrots. So, my efforts to slow the fast moving train long enough to see precisely how the morning sun glints off the sooty smokestack, is this blog.

Being able to share our stories helps free me from being buried by them, and reminds me that although it sometimes feels like life (and the chaos of children) is happening to me, really it’s just life happening.

This is the story of how Col and Rose kept me and Dan from climbing Sheep Mountain, but instead showed us the meadow voles scurrying around our campsite.

Thanks for reading.



36 Responses leave one →
  1. Margie permalink
    September 13, 2009

    Hey Rachel,
    Love the blog! Great job with the writing of course. Insight into why the days just zoom by and before you know it your children are gone from home. Enjoy each day and each moment (yes the bad ones too-they make the good ones even more special!). Keep it up.

  2. Chap permalink
    September 17, 2009

    Hi, guys!

    I will be great to keep track of all your goings-on through this blog.

  3. jen wolf permalink
    September 23, 2009

    oh the sweet whistle of autumn, caressing our bare skin with the heat of the sun, whilst quietly planning for the first frost, the first snow, and then the months of steely grey and a somber melody… we too are relishing in the harvest, the bluest skies refelcting on the bluest lake, the incredible warmth, and you say you have fruit flies? we have adopted a couple hundred for our very own pets too! contradictions or not, in our house we just plain “don’t care for them much”. as always rach, i love settling into your thoughts from afar, hearing, remembering, tasting what a sample of a slice of your life… missing the comfort of closeness, but loving you all the same. and laughing out loud while you put words to what many of us are feeling, the clowns in the comedy show do indeed grow side by side. hugs, love and light to your dear friend- the wolf pack

  4. Marilynn permalink
    October 15, 2009

    Rachel, It was good to finally meet you, appropriately on the river trail behind the library, a spot you probably frequent on a regular basis. I am thrilled to be able to read your blog, and not just wait for articles in the newspaper. Your writing touches a place in my heart that has been brave, but lonely since my daughter grew up and left home 20 years ago. You have reawakened memories of tiny, pudgy hands, and giant carrots, and the wonder of raising a child. Memories are rich and sweet, and you have served them up in delicious mouthfuls. Thanks, and keep on writing. I’m sure your blog will become a published book in the near future. Marilynn

  5. Cody, Lianne, and Kiva permalink
    December 9, 2009

    Hi Rachel,

    I greatly enjoyed reading your rendition of our recent snow storm. Great photos, and wonderful writing. That makes it very fun to read. I guess the seasons have officially changed. It sure is interesting getting 4 of them around here.

    Our friend Don, with 4 year old Cyrus are on-board with the idea of a homeschooler’s collective. It would be great to gather interest and organize this winter.


  6. December 22, 2009

    Perfectly said!

  7. December 29, 2009

    Wow, what a wonderful “about” page!

    Thank you for coming by and commenting on my blog. I’m glad to have found yours!

  8. January 23, 2010

    What a wonderful site, I love all the pictures, and your writing is fantastic. My kids are grown my grandson lives in TX. It was so nice seeing your family and all the wonderful cold snow. Thanks A Big Bunch for sharing,

  9. Cody, Lianne, Kiva permalink
    January 24, 2010

    Hi Rachel,

    Just wanted to give a hello, and put out the intention to get together soon with some other home-schooling parents. Mellanie is interested, and we know a couple of others. Maybe we can go to the children’s museum next weekend. The kids can play and we can talk. It would be nice.

    Love the writing. Love checking into the blog. That snow storm was a biggun! I am interested to know how you tie the sleds to you when you ski.

    c, l, k

  10. February 26, 2010

    just found you surfing Kyndale….. loving the blog :)

  11. February 26, 2010

    haha…meant to type surfing through Kyndale :) oopsie!

  12. March 25, 2010

    This is perfection: “So, my efforts to slow the fast moving train long enough to see precisely how the morning sun glints off the sooty smokestack, is this blog.” I feel the same way about my own blog. Can’t wait to read more of yours.

  13. April 15, 2010

    So I’ve read three of your posts now, and want to comment every time, but for some reason each time I feel quite speechless. It’s like you’ve already stolen all of my own best words. Won’t you please think about giving them back? Love your writing, love your blog, love your Purpose for writing it.

  14. June 18, 2010

    A visit via SouleMama’s This Moment has brought me to your place. So far all I have read is your “about” and I’m ready to subscribe so I can read more. I lived in Denver years ago and loved Colorado. It was always my dream to return….maybe someday, but I can enjoy it until them with you.

  15. August 6, 2010

    I just stumbled upon your blog and feel so at home here. What a lovely space you’ve created. Can’t wait to dig in deeper to your past posts. :) As a 5000 foot elevation mom, elevation always intrigues me. Cheers!

  16. September 23, 2010

    Hi, nice to meet you !

  17. October 22, 2010

    wait! i did not know you kept bees! yahoo! maybe i did know this and forgot, my brain is working overtime.

  18. Calamity Jane permalink
    January 12, 2011

    Hello there new friend. Calamity from Apron Strings. I’m wondering how the hell it took me this long to find your gorgeous blog? I can already tell your heady, raw, sassy writing will be my new stalking material. Thanks for finding me, so I could find you.
    Just so you know, I’ll be subscribing through g**gle reader. Also slowly making my way through yer archives, starting at #1.
    See ya around!
    Ps. The before and after photos of your suburban lot are INCREDIBLE! So inspiring.

  19. January 25, 2011

    I didn’t need another blog added to my reader but alas, I linked over and am hooked! Thank you for sharing, with such beautiful crafted precision, an amazing life for other mamas to reflect on. Cheers!

  20. March 4, 2011

    Thanks for stopping by my blog….
    I can really feel what you are saying above. Serious mama stuff! I’ll be back, for sure!

  21. October 1, 2011

    So glad I found your blog… we may be long lost sisters. I am raising my family, chickens, horses, and am planning that large garden just a couple thousand miles east in the knobs of Kentucky. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Feel free to drop by my blog –

  22. Jan permalink
    November 17, 2011

    I love the Bangle Trio but they wouldn’t be big enough for my super-wide hands. :o( But if I won I’m sure I could find something because I love it all! By the way, is anyone else seeing everything with a black background? Very hard to read.


  23. March 8, 2012

    Well sheesh! I just found you in a roundabout way through a mutual friend we have who sent me to Erin Goodman’s website and blog…and I scrolled down and thought, “I know that lady, and that’s totally in D-town.” So my parents home and the house I grew up in is right around the corner from your hood…if you still live in the same place…and I always knew of you and your cool ways. So it’s a delight to connect in this virtual realm. So happy to see what you’re sharing here. What a joy to have my blogging world and my d-town world collide.

  24. April 27, 2012

    A friend send me the link to your blog. I love it. Thank you. We’re parenting and obsessed with urban farming here in Berkeley, bit different, but, well, you know. Your blog is inspiring and comforting and makes me think big. Glad I found it!

  25. August 11, 2012

    Powerful words. I am excited to follow your blog and hit up some recipes!

  26. Celeste permalink
    August 28, 2012

    I found your blog in a search for peach bbq sauce. What a lovely blog. Bookmarked. There’s a whole lot of gems on here. And you bowhunt! I’ve just started with archery & that is a big interest to me.

  27. September 13, 2012

    Lovely story. Speaking as a mom whose kids have alit for their own adventures, I applaud you for recording these days. Because one day, though it’s REALLY hard to believe, they do come to an end, and you will cherish those memories you have recorded. Kee up the beautiful writing :)

  28. September 14, 2012

    Hi! I just found you through Gnowfglins and have been spending some time reading my way through your blog. Enjoying what I’ve read so far!

  29. November 17, 2012

    Kia ora and hello from New Zealand. I just found your blog after a link from Mama Non Grata and I’ve been reading it for the last couple of hours, book marking recipes and reading quotes out loud to my wife. We have recently moved out of the city and are living in a cottage on my parents 7 acre piece of land which is covered in permaculture organic gardens. So your posts on preserving food are really interesting. We are also trying to start a family, so greatly enjoying your stories about your kids and your parenting philosophies. I’ve now followed and look forward to reading more.

  30. Anonymous permalink
    January 6, 2013

    Loved you article in the Durango Paper regarding Loving Unconditionally. I am in NE Minnesota, and a friend in durango sent your article to me. It is So beautiful and wonderful to hear this simple act of loving and validating beginning with us, as individuals. and to hear someone tell us to love ourselves first is indeed a blessing. How can we love our neighbor, unless we love ourselves? Thank you for that reminder. I am a writer , a mom, grandmom, and teacher of sutdents at risk. I am mom to an autistic man, and am working on the Angel Blessing Cookie for Bullied Individuals now,along with getting a website compiled for help for parents in schools for their children if autistic or in any way being bullied. The cookie is coming out to help make us aware of our communication and how it impacts us, adn our world. Thank you and I will look forward to reading more here regularly. Lovely place here,,I can feel the peace….Blessings and Love,Merri at Willow House

  31. January 25, 2013

    So glad I stumbled upon your blog via soule mama this moment. I love seeing how your home transformed into a wonderful place of magic and food!
    I will be following your mountain homesteading journey as we journey ours :)

  32. May 11, 2013

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this subject.

    I like all of the points you’ve made.

  33. May 19, 2013

    Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up
    losing a few months of hard work due to no backup.

    Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  34. September 2, 2014

    fantastic work, many thanks for sharing your journey.

  35. March 12, 2015

    You’ll find it near unthinkable to find well-updated women and men on this theme, even though you appear like you fully grasp exactly what you’re covering! Thanks A Lot

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Birds, Bees, and Bunnies « Fluffy Bunnies

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS