"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, June 9, 2011

meeting Jane

For Debbie - With gratitude for your care of my story - enjoy our how-not-to-do-it book

You know how sometimes life buzzes at a pace that you don't want to try to keep up with? You do and do and do yet somehow you end the day having done nothing that needed doing?  So the only thing you can imagine TO do is to lose yourself somewhere remote?  Really, it seems the only answer. I once upon a time found myself fantasizing about living somewhere no one could find me.  Someplace where my little family could squirrel away and quietly home school, worship, enjoy the land, be self sufficient.  In my fantasy I pictured us smiling, as we would cook, spin, weave, knit, gather eggs, milk the cow...  The landscape was perfect, the house and outbuildings were in perfect repair.  I don't recall any laundry, dirty dishes, grumpy children, or sweat.

Then someone loaned me the book Homestead by Jane Kirkpatrick.  Boy did this woman burst my bubble.  It was bound to pop anyway as I am a realist (really), yet I'm happy to blame Jane.  I loved the book.  And although her experience couldn't have been further from my utopia it still had a rustic (complete understatement) charm.  This book was a true account of how 2 sane people made an insane decision to conquer an untamed land...  She spoke of places that are familiar to me as this crazy move brought her to eastern Oregon.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Jane.  She came to speak at the bookstore right in this here town.  She was wonderful.  A gifted speaker, personable and entertaining.  A very real person.  She was promoting her new book, The Daughter's Walk.  I bought the last book on the shelf for my grandmother which leaves me to rely on the public library.  It sounds fascinating!  I'll tell you more about it after I finish reading it.

Blessings, Debbie   


  1. My dream has always been to live in the wilds of Alaska and live off the land. Of coarse, I was told I will be there alone since my family doesn't want to leave the east coast. I have a group of non- adventures here I tell you. I am going to see if I can find the book since it sounds like I would love.

  2. With all the homesteading fad going on, it's probably a matter of time before some people may tire of the hard work. Some people are meant for it and others not. When someone goes homesteading in a more remote place, it can get lonely. I find that homesteading is for the realist. Jane's book must be very interesting! Good post. Maybe a reader interested in homesteading will pick the book up due to your mention. Have a great day.

  3. I always thought it would have been fun to be a lighthouse keeper on some remote island. Actually had friends that lived in a lighthouse. Lucky! The book sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. What a wonderful opportunity to have a signed copy of a treasured book! Looked like a fabulous day :)

  5. Oh I have that little dream...and yet God keeps putting me on smaller and smaller yards, more and more city and less and less country. I know I would just die if I really had to live off the land.

    How much fun to meet the author. Patricia Polacco is one of my favorite children's authors and I have met her and she signed our books....just a fun experience.

    Oh you live a very interesting life...I so enjoy...maybe you should write a book.

  6. I am blessed to be able to homestead on a farm, though not in a primitive way, and found out just recently of how much I didn't know about true homesteading when we lost electricity for 8 hours, thus going into panic mode. {lol}
    I know this was such a treat for you to get to meet Jane, and am looking forward to your review of her new book.
    Always such a joy to visit with you.

  7. I am past that point having come through many hard years now...looking for the simple life! ;D

  8. I need to perhaps experience something like this for maybe two weeks. If I could even last that long. I go in to panic mode when we lose power, or even if the cable or internet is not working. Oh, and no telephone puts me right over the edge. I am by myself so I would be in a real pickle! xo,

  9. I have never heard of her but I will look for her books, they sound intriguing. It is always so nice when you get to meet people you admire.
    Me too, I use the library for everything. I had that dream too, I wanted to home birth and the whole nine yards. I wanted to live of the grid and be totally self-sufficient. Do you remember the magazine Gentle Spirit? I am glad because I learned so much, but aw well, My husband was never on board, he is my voice of sanity.
    I will see if her books are in our library system.

  10. How very cool that you got to meet her! I read Homestead a few years ago and was amazed! I know I couldn't have done it!

  11. Me again, I got on the library site and reserved Jane's books, thanks for writing about her. I like the books you like so I bet I really like her. Thanks for your comment what I found out is yes it was hard, but I don't look like I do in my head, in my head I am the size of a barn. So that was a shock to me. You are right I don't know if I will do another one, but I really do like chopping weeds.
    I listen to Charles Stanly on my iPod and Home makers by choice so it makes for a really enjoyable time.
    It is true too, we have friendships with people we never met but already feel like they are our best friends.
    The beauty of blogging.

  12. Debbie, I've so enjoyed your comments in my corner that I decided I'd have to break my self-imposed rule and add another blog to the list I am following. It's always a joy to catch up with you here.

    I thought a bit about your utopia and mine...a quiet cottage by the road with flowers and herbs growing in a garden and with no outbuildings...heavens no...and no veggie garden and no homeschooling (though I taught for years and though I homeschooled my own children for a year)and no canning or freezing just baking and eating. Sigh. Perhaps we are not quite kindred spirits, but I can enjoy your world just because you write so beautifully of it.

  13. living off the land - indeed hard - I know for me I don't have enough skills to do it alone - I would need a group of skilled and train in all areas of homesteading - but we can still dream of the smiple life it is (yet hard and difficult) and maybe plan well enough and learn enough to get through the lean years and get a few workhands to stick it out with ya..and then again umm - work -- with health issues I would have to look for a few very skilled workhands - So that dream has been replaced to a much smaller one but I still want land so i can have my with veggie garden, flowers, herbs, and greenhouse in the yard for all year around use - so this is my dream but I still want a red barn and farm house with the greenhouse and on and on -- wink!... hugs

  14. My utopia is a quaint island off the coast of NC; Ocracoke Island. It's very quiet especially in the winter months and I would just enjoy getting lost in the life. Now I will go look for her books and thanks for the blog entry!

  15. I also have had that dream...in the dream I am much younger , teaching my children valuable skills, enjoying the view...today, I'm more realistic because my back is "S" shaped from scoliosis, and reality is I can not lift, bend, stretch, etc to all the hard work.
    However, I'm living as sustainable as my body will allow here in the sub-division:0 I will NOT give up!

  16. I'm all for living off the land but it's hard work. A little bit of modern comfort mixed with it and I'm in Heaven. JB

  17. It is nice to meet you Debbie. You have a lovely blog here so I am going to follow along. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment, it is nice to know you were there.

    How lovely for you to meet your favourite author. I bet she was very informative and interesting to listen to. I too am interested in homesteading and the skills that go with it. I could handle living away from the world for a while doing my own thing...

  18. I have had that same fantasy. My husband generally looks at me with an "as if" expression when I mention it. He's right.

    The books sounds fascinating. I need to check our library. Meeting her must have been great fun.

  19. Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog so I could come check your blog out. I've been enjoying looking around-you've got a great blog!

    How exciting to be able to meet a favorite author! I'm going to check out her work via the library-thanks for suggesting her book.

    Again, it's nice to "meet" you.

  20. What a treat for you....getting to meet someone you admire and appreciate. Yes, I think we do romanticize pioneer living. But if you read Laura Ingalls Wilder's books...especially The Long Hard Winter....you can see that there wasn't much easy or idyllic about it! They were strong people with strong faith and determined hears and minds. I admire their tenacity.

  21. Dear Aunt Deb - look at all these people who love you! You don't even have to pad your comments with your own endless chatter to gather a group! How cool is that? I have so many friends who would enjoy this book. Rachel would, I know. Me? I have no desire to go off the sewer grid. But we did put together almost an acre here, backed up to the river, in the middle of a very humble (and not particularly picturesque until the trees grew up) neighborhood. I will say that part of our "rustic" charm here is the natural folks we know well and have come to love because of and sometimes in spite of our diffs. I want to know all about the book once you've read it, please. Please?

  22. What is so amazing about Jane Kirkpatrick is the research of her novels. Our book club read one several years ago and it made a great discussion. I'm so impressed that you got to meet her. Bet that was some message she gave! Thank you so much for writing about it!



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