A Weekend at the Farm

comments: 26









































Hello! How are you?

Summer is here and I am thrilled. Amelia has three more days of school and then we are FREE. I've never been so happy about the end of the year before in my life!

Andy Paulson turned FIFTY a week or so ago! I spent the week before his birthday making a secret video (which turned out to be over 38 minutes long). I texted all of our friends and family and asked them to make a quick video of themselves saying "happy birthday" to him. Like, everybody. Literally every single person did it. It was epic. Some people were so creative they made entire little movies and wrote original songs! And so many people dropped in little comments in their videos about something very specific to themselves and Andy together. That was so moving to me (let's just say that when I showed Andy the video on his birthday morning I literally wept, sobbing, through the entire thing, ha!). But some people remembered stuff from college, from Missoula, from childhood, just all sorts of inside–Andy Paulson jokes that kept adding up into something just . . . I don't know, but it was pretty spectacular. I am a genius for thinking of this and feel free to steal the idea because it was epic!

The day before his birthday we went for a two-night stay at Dolan Creek Farm. What an enchanted place. From the minute we got there it was so pretty, the weather was so nice, the birds were so vocal, the sunset was so rosy, the breezes so cool. I mean, it was literally magical. The pictures above of Mt. Hood in the distance? Those are taken from the porch of the studio. Just, right from the porch. Where you sit and drink your coffee. And cows come up to the fence to say hello. And swifts swoop across the fields. And bullfrogs call across the pond. Agh. Andy kept saying, "It's just so big! There's so much space here! I'm never in this much space!" Amelia was beside herself with delight, getting to help gather eggs, bring the chickens in, and feed the horse her dinner. On the full day that we were there, I carried a quilt and my little chair to a big tree down by the pond and finished my book (All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews). Birds and bullfrogs kept me company. Andy and Amelia explored the farm and found another hidden pond. They played cards and ran through the fields. At night we barbecued and the owners, Kirk and Chris, started a campfire for us and showed us around the barns and talked to us about the history of the farm and the pumpkin patch they have in the fall and what it was like for their kids to grow up here. (Several nights later, Amelia stayed up way too late listening to music on her iPod and when I came upstairs she said, "Mama, I just listened to a song that reminded me of the farm ["Thank God I'm a Country Boy," which she and Andy had been playing all weekend] and I'm so sad! I want to go back to the farm! I want to go to the farm! Why can't we go for my birthday! [We can, but we can't stay overnight, because they don't let you stay overnight in October because pumpkin patch, etc.]" Anyway, she just utterly melted down, went downstairs to get a drink, came back up with her dad and did the whole thing again, crying true tears. I turned into broken pieces of hay. My god, my darling girl, I would give you a life on a farm if I could. It was my dream when I was a little girl, too, though I've never really mentioned it. Farm Fever is real. I was a bit older than she is but I used to cry myself to sleep I wanted a horse so bad. My parents' garage fell down in a snowstorm when I was ten and they rebuilt a new garage and painted it barn red with white trim and I thought I'd die of longing. No horse in there, just bikes and floaties and tools. Evermore.)

Anyway, it was the first time that we had been off the property at home in almost a year, and my god, it doesn't take much for us Paulsons. Two nights and a day at a farm forty-five minutes away on the backroads and we are REBORN. Ready to tackle these last few weeks of school, make some plans for the summer that involve rivers and trees, text friends to invite them along, hope for our own invitations, etc. Let it be, let it be! Vaccines!!!!!

My electric bicycle has arrived, and though I need to make some modifications to one petal so that I can fit my wonko orthopedic shoe on it safely AND figure out how to lift it into the back of the car (it's so heavy! it's so heavy!), I am further on the road to freedom and reinvention and I need it. Yesterday I saw a video on Instagram of a bunch of people dancing and singing to a band on the road by the reservoir in Mt. Tabor and I've never vicariously related to anything more. If only I had my pedal and could join them! I will get there. I'm meeting a bike guy on Thursday after I visit my friend in her rose garden and . . . just . . . life on earth. It can be so hard and so beautiful.

Much of the soap that Andy and I made six weeks ago and beyond six weeks is now cured, and wrapped, and ready to go! I think I'll have a launch. I've got two new patterns/kits, one a hoopdy and one a cross-stitch that will be ready within days of June 16, which is when all printed patterns get here. We'll have some reissued older kits, too (and just, for the record, this is literally the only time ever that we are reissuing kits — it is happening, and has already happened for some), and we'll have seven kinds of soap, and lotion bars. No, guys, I don't know how I do it either! I'm thinking Monday, June 21, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Here's a cool chart that tells you when that is for you!

So, I'm making fish balls for dinner tonight, and this is one of those recipes where you can make almost all of it in the morning and then fry it up at dinner time. And I need more recipes like this, because I am good at things in the morning and I am bad at things in the evening, especially at dinnertime. I recently had my knives sharpened by a mail-in service called Knife Flight and I cannot recommend doing this enough. It is unbelievably great to have nice sharp knives — today I sliced green onions into transparent wafers (not like I have awesome knife skills, but that's how much having a sharp knife will do for you) and chopped up a pound of cod, and it was pure pleasure. I've also cut myself five times just by waving the knife around carelessly and touching it where it used to be dull (the bottom corner edge, hello; the tip, ow). Anyway, it was really perfect timing because I'm trying to cook a lot more. Here is my cake I made over the weekend and other stuff on Instagram, too.


I mean, just look at this. I can't wait to go back either, Amelia. It was just so, so nice.


Bobbie Jean says: June 08, 2021 at 02:34 PM

Oh, my shiny stars! I had a look at that cake and scrolled on until I saw the photo of Andy. My heart fluttered. Judge Judy went mute. There was no sound in this room. Lord, have mercy, I see why you fell in love. While he is still handsome, he was BEAUTIFUL.

No, this is not me lusting after your mister. I'm an artist appreciating art.

Dang, girl.

Be well.

Wowwee, what a spectacular view at that farm! I wish I lived in Oregon so I could go visit it often. :) Thanks for the update. <3

FlutterbyMamba says: June 08, 2021 at 06:36 PM

Charming life you lead. That last photo of Mimi with th chicken says it all. Now that’s a summer opener. Cheers!

I'm so glad Andy had a nice birthday and that you all had a lovely few days away. I love long holidays but I'm almost thinking a few days away is better, I'd just like it to happen more often, ha ha!

Wow, what an amazing spot, it looks perfect. I can totally relate to wanting to live on a farm and wanting a pony SO MUCH when I was growing up. Whenever the children ask me what I want now, I still say, 'A pony'. Glad you had such a good break. CJ xx

What a delight to read this in my feed this morning! Lovely views!


What a wonderful post about life! We too, just received so much special love from friends...my husband just resigned from our church and there was a recognition on his behalf. I thought to myself, this is so much nicer than a eulogy at a funeral, because you can hear the appreciation and love for you in their own words which YOU would never hear at a funeral, (since you are dead)!! I hope I explained that correctly, and not being disrespectful at all.
Glad to hear you have weathered this past year and have hope for the future. Blessings on your life, and thank you for sharing photos and thoughts.

oh oh oh! how beautiful! i wanted to live on a farm/in the country when i was a kid, i still do actually. a very happy belated birthday to Andy.
love, kisses & magical wishes...

Mary Ann Scanlon says: June 09, 2021 at 05:13 PM

Vaccine is such a wonderful thing! We are getting out a bit more, seeing family without masks and even doing hugs. I hope we all remember the lessons fat e last 18 mo. and bring some grace to the new normal too. I spent a couple of summers on 2 different farms. never really were my thing I am afraid. I hated the warm fresh milk and the bale of hay with a snake chopped up just did me in! So glad you have had great times!

Jane Corbett says: June 10, 2021 at 07:13 AM

Oh Alicia, I wanted to live on a farm when I was a girl, too! I was so sad that we couldn't buy the farm that my mother grew up on, and live there. I had dreams that it would happen. When I was in Grade 7, my best friend Susan lived on a farm, and I loved going to stay with her for sleepovers and weekend visits. We had such fun playing in the barns, picking wild strawberries, chasing kittens, gathering eggs, and just romping in the fields. How I loved it! Thanks for bringing back all of those memories. xo

Hi Alicia! Happy Birthday to Andy. Big one. What a great post and beautiful photos. So glad you got away. Hope you have a great summer. Here's a toast to vaccines!

Happy birthday to Andy!! blessings for many more!! Wonderful post! The photos with Mount Hood in the background are marvelous! Hope someday to go visit Portland. Your young lady has grown a lot!!
Thank you for this lovely post Alicia!

Susannah says: June 11, 2021 at 05:32 PM

That photo of Amelia running towards you in the field immediately made the "Little house on the prairie" theme song start in my head. "Duuuuun dun dun Duuuun dun dun Dun-na-nuuuuun!" I haven't seen that show in decades

Happy birthday Andy!

What a magical place with Mt Hood looming in the background. I'd cry to go back, too. Happy big five-oh to Andy!

Oh, you live in such a wonderful place with so many magical location around! The mountains, the farm. I just read Little house on the prairie in May and I thought of Amelia and you, all the dresses you’ve made for her, all you forest walks and vacations in the cabin. And I’m looking forward to see new cross stitch project, and new blog posts.

Lovely photos! Some fifty years ago I went horseback riding at a farm near Portland.

I love that autocorrect changed pedal to petal! Happy cycling to come.
Loved hearing about your magical stay and seeing your always stunning photographs.

oh goodness Alicia! I am in 'catch up mode' and what a great post to catch up with you. The farm looks and sounds amazing. Where we live, there are lots and lots of places like this. It makes me more thankful to live on the homestead. The Paulsons can come squeeze chickens here anytime :) take good care. xoxo

Cathy Smallwood says: June 16, 2021 at 10:22 AM

Your photos never fail to take my breath away with their beauty! Thank you....so much!

Such beautiful photos Alicia and my goodness, Andy is still as handsome as ever! And Amelia holding that snake skin, I nearly died! We live on a beautiful little farm with spectacular views and it is magical. But we cannot leave and go away for a few days and we are often without power for long periods at a time. We again love to go and visit our Son in the Big Smoke for a day! But are always glad to be back. Your blog posts are still one of the highlights of my life!

If you have farm love- and it really does seem like you do - please watch "the biggest little farm"" you will swoon and gasp and laugh and cry and be amazed at what is possible if you just follow your hearts desire and apply more effort than you can even imagine.... Wishing you all a magical summer filled with delight

Mary Ann in Vermont says: June 17, 2021 at 05:42 AM

Loving this so much--as I always do! As much as I adore you on Instagram this blog of your's will forever be my favorite. xo

Birthdays, farm life, Amelia, new bicycles, John Denver, soap, memories, sharp knives, and fish balls--OH, MY!! xo

Kristina Migoya says: June 19, 2021 at 08:11 PM

OMG, thanks so much for the Knife Flight recommendation. We are both chefs in this family (formally trained and all) and I am embarrassed to type this that our knives are awful. We have not found a place to sharpen them since we left NY. It is such a brilliant idea and I love their story.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com