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Blog-o-versary giveaway!

September 16, 2010

It has been one year since I hung my 6512 shingle up in this rarified place called The Blogosphere.

And for awhile every time I pressed “publish” and cluttered up the inernet with more words, I thought to myself, That’s it, my last post. Blogging is time-consuming, rarely pays, and keeps you tied to your computer; I’ve wondered, about 211 times in the past year, why am I doing this?


I know there’s a much admired movement to write blogposts in 30 minutes or less. However, it takes me that long to upload pictures, accidentally delete them, brew another cup of coffee, eat five chocolate covered cherries, and re-upload the photos, all before a single word gets written.

Although I write two other columns in exchange for US currency (redeemable for beer and Montessori tuition!), my editors have read me my rights about what is not palatable for the general public (roadkill and nasal secretions, primarily), and I love that 6512 is my space to write freely.

This blog is my personal sieve, to catch the stories and details and photos which otherwise would sift to the bottom of the sack of outgrown toys and clothes, slated for the thrift store.

Blogging is like the bedraggled, alter ego of scrapbooking. Instead of capturing a moment of cut-to-size perfection, blogging is like snickering to a friend about how I made these 2 gorgeous loaves of bread and after offering a slice of toast to the kids, Col asked hopefully “um, is it going to be bread from the store?” I’d always rather read about the gritty and sleep-deprived underbelly of motherhood than anyone’s airbrushed life.

I just opened my backpack (to get the chocolate covered cherries) and dicovered the sun-bleached deer femur which Col found on a recent hike and begged me to tote home for him. Spotting the leg-bone reminded me of how on this same hike Rose wore pink cowboy boots on the wrong feet with no socks and got three blisters, which require a pharmacy’s stock of new band-aids daily, at 6:30 am. If life is in the details, this is it, baby.

What I didn’t expect is that these details and stories might hold value for other people too. Someone recently e-mailed me to say that since reading my blog she’s been paying more attention to her kids’ conversations. Me too! I told her. There’s nothing like shining this tiny, dim public spotlight on your words to encourage noticing the details of your own, unique life. Everything becomes illuminated, like the way I can call Rose by shaking a bottle of vitamins. Or the way Col promises to be careful but breaks the baby food jar holding the lego-bamboo leaves for his baby panda and everyone is so annoyed until he curls up on Dan’s lap and says “Oh Daddy, you’re my only loving Daddy and I love you.”

And there’s the friends I’ve made, from Missoula to Vermont. Though I wouldn’t recognize your voices, I know your stories, and as a mother, I don’t feel so alone.

Jennifer Mattern, who writes the fantastic blog Breed ‘Em and Weep, says about receiving comments, “there’s that wonderfully seductive, press-the-lever-and-get-a-pellet positive reinforcement built into the form.” So true. And perhaps I’m not much more sophisticated than a rat, because when you leave me a comment, I reflexively skip back to my computer, tapping out words, seeking more pellets. I once lamented to Dan about all the readers who don’t comment, who remain these nameless clicks on my “views” graph. “Imagine how it was before blogs,” my wise, rational husband said, “no one ever heard from their readers.” Oh, right. My friend Siana once suggested an easy fill-in-the-box comment form. You could put a check mark next to 1) I loved this! 2) WTF? or 3) Too much roadkill and nasal secretions.

One year ago, at the start of this blog, I was fretting over frost and solo-mothering while Dan was stalking elk in the high country. Sound familiar? I’ll just start posting archives from here on out because thankfully, nothing much noteworthy happens around here. Except there’s those children who stretch and evolve in their sleep, constantly tenderizing my heart with their earnestness, inhabiting their tiny bodies like firecrackers. Last year when I pointed out that the oaks were changing color, Rose, then 2, asked  “can we eat them now?” This year she sang the colors sweetly to me like an autumn angel from her carseat: “lellow, o-nange, gween,” and then she turned and bellowed at Col for looking out “her” window.

This blog wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without you readers; your comments make me nod, laugh and fuel my writing fire. And by the way, thanks for all the encouraging comments on this post. Why don’t you all move here and we’ll start a home school co-op?

Pssst, I have a little gift for you, a giveaway.

All plants gathered locally by the 6512 team and processed in my mouse-sized kitchen

The contents:

Arnica salve – how anyone survives toddlerhood without arnica is a mystery. This salve is excellent for bruises, muscle aches, sprains and strains, and that forehead goose-egg endemic to childhood.

Pinyon salve – made from the sap of the illustrious pinyon tree of the Southwest. Heals the gnarliest of skin irritations including my summertime cracked-heels. Also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. We use this as a topical anti-bacterial and it has healed some of Dan’s deep, angry carpentry mishaps.

Lavender Lip Balm with cocoa butter. Delish.

Osha tincture – Resinous root of the Southwest mountains. Our wintertime go-to anti-viral. Indispensable.

Chokecherry jam – I’ve been talking about this enough, it’s not really fair not to share.

I hope you win. All you have to do is leave a comment (and make sure to include your e-mail address, which no one will see, so I can track you down). I will pick one winner randomly on Thursday 23rd, evening.

Comments closed.

In gratitude,

Rachel  ::September, 2010; 6512 feet::

74 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2010 9:22 am

    Oh, me, me, me enter me….. and do know, I’d be so lost without your words…. really. Who needs airbrushed blogs when you can read about sunbleached femurs…. not I :)

  2. Michelle permalink
    September 16, 2010 9:46 am

    Even though I rarely leave a comment, I read every post & love your blog, it always makes me smile.

    Your giveway is an excellent incentive to leave a comment, I’d just love that package.

    Happy Anniversary!

  3. September 16, 2010 9:55 am

    I too am a grateful reader who notices and appreciates so many more details thanks to you.

    I am always inspired and often moved to tears or laughter (or both!) as I read you beautiful words.

    Congratulations on this lovely milestone! Thank you for shining your beautiful light!

    love light…


  4. Peggy permalink
    September 16, 2010 9:56 am

    Although I would love your give-aways, I’m writing only so you know that I LOVE the blog and read it every time I get an email that you have put up a new posting!! Thank you so much for sharing your life with us – and (personally) for making me realize I am not alone in my parenting trials and tribulations. It truly is a challenge every day – and sometimes there is power in numbers when it comes to knowing you are not going crazy!!

  5. September 16, 2010 10:03 am

    i am too writing in love of the blog:<)
    i think the giveaway would be more fun won by a mom miles away…

  6. Emily permalink
    September 16, 2010 10:34 am

    seriously, you could write about anything and your writing would win me over. Your writing makes me laugh, cry and see my own “seedy underbelly” with new eyes. Thank you for blogging.

    ps – you’d make my homeschool group SO much fun.


  7. Kathy permalink
    September 16, 2010 11:10 am

    Hi, Rachel,
    We are all here in Denver, Trish and I and all our children, doing something I thought would never happen. Another part of life, much like birth and raising children, that is caring for an aging and declining parent. Waiting… seeing all his children together, blessing him with our presence, giving him permission to leave this life. I feel like we are all the munchkins waiving goodbye to Dorothy, knowing there is adventure on the other side, but not knowing where exactly the Emerald City might be and how to arrive there for the answers. But of course it’s much more than that.

    Yes, your writing is also something I look forward to, every blog, every thought. Your writing causes me to remember what I did raising my children, that Robin began running at 10 months old and has not stopped yet, even at 30, and Sarah continues to listen better than anyone else. You remind of times gone by, distant memories that brighten my life in the moment. So we are living in the moment now, and should continue to do so, seeing what is before us before it flees.

  8. September 16, 2010 11:58 am

    This is the best post about blogging that I have ever read. Happy Anniversary, and I hope that you never stop.

  9. September 16, 2010 12:23 pm

    Rachel, you are in my top five favorite bloggers–please don’t write a last post! I’d feel so much like something was missing. Every time I read your blog, I think to myself “this mama has big things in her future.” I’ve been so inspired by you, as a writer, as a mom, and as a gardener/nature guru (as in, you are a nature guru, not me!) Thanks for putting your words out there for us to to read.

  10. Melissa Neta permalink
    September 16, 2010 1:17 pm

    Where do I begin?

    Your generosity really touches me–not only are you putting all this good stuff out there with your writing, you also comment regularly and respond to your readers with sincerity and compassion.

    I also prefer the underbelly of motherhood . . . and you have been a positive influence on my family, as Leeor is also reading Eating Animals and we are getting more and more thoughtful (and picky)about where our food comes from, so thanks for that recommendation.

    Your writing inspires me so! Once upon a time I was an English and Dance major wanting to write and then I moved to NY, got overwhelmed, came back to CA and somehow wound up a social worker, which I love passionately, but the blogging scratches my writing itch (guilty of the 30 min, unedited version, however).

    Too bad you don’t teach writing workshops in the Bay Area!

    Here’s to more procreation with your (not so secret) lover! xo

    PS. Love the photos of your kids; love the “only loving daddy” blurb from Col.

  11. Michelle permalink
    September 16, 2010 2:38 pm

    Hey Hey Hey!

    Well hello. I’ve been reading for quite some time now. It’s funny that although I’m not your friend from Missoula, I almost felt as though you were mentioning me (I think though, that I found you through her!). I enjoy your words and attitude… Keep it up girl.

    PS: Hope you got flowers for the anniversary like when you hit 30,000!

  12. September 16, 2010 2:55 pm

    Rachel, I’m so happy that you push on and continue to share with us the details of your life – your words are a gift to us.

    Happy blogiversary!

  13. September 16, 2010 3:10 pm

    Happy One Year Anniversary!

    I love reading (because you’re obviously a wonderful writer) your posts. You write about so many things that I’m most pasionate about in my own life (motherhood, food, not so much the roadkill but those posts always make me smile, nature, colorado).
    Today I’m caught on your flower photo. Stunning.

  14. Diane Petersen permalink
    September 16, 2010 3:12 pm

    Okay, no more reading without posting for this Mama! I have to tell you that you remind me of the way my own Mama used to write. If only she’d had a blog or a computer or a neighbor that wasn’t a five mile trek away to listen to her. You have this amazing ability to see it all, the bitter and the sweet and to tell stories with such an exquisite quality that can totally change everything that I know. Every time I sit and read your blog I feel better, more creative, happier and more sure of myself. I feel like even though I’m not really getting anything creative “done” these days I am at least staying connected and allowing the juicy nature of creativity to do it’s thing. You inspire me to get in the dirt and play with my boys and to remember how important it is to TELL THE STORY! Keep passing down the bones! Thank you so much….

  15. abozza permalink
    September 16, 2010 3:32 pm

    Aw, you know I love your blog! I love the comments you’ve left on mine, and even when I forget to comment on yours, I’m always reading! Okay, maybe I skip through the ones that have pictures of deer carcasses, but the rest, I read. :)

  16. September 16, 2010 3:53 pm

    I am just wholly enamored with you, Rachel. Can’t wait until we do know each other’s voices and our kids study deer bones and worms together. I think it’ll happen.

    I so get you when you say you went back ad forth and wondered why the hell am I doing this? Been there and wondered. Ultimately, this medium feeds me in a real and thrilling way…I need to write and take photos. And I like people and stories and connections. Blam. Blog.

    Imagine if I didn’t get to read 6512? And I am so thankful for your candid, thoughtful and adoring approach to motherhood. You inspire me to be a better writer and mom. Love that.

    Lots of love.

  17. September 16, 2010 3:58 pm

    The best thing about legos, I think, is their ability to be any food. Any food at all.

    And the best thing about blogging is finding friends like you. Congratulations on one year of nasal secretions and roadkill and virtual friendship!

    (And can I win please??)

  18. Ami permalink
    September 16, 2010 4:25 pm

    Wow! Nothing like a giveaway to garner “the love”…. :)
    I should win, by the way, because today is my birthday….

    Besides that – I want you to know how grateful I am for your blogging. I’ve thought about doing it myself… everytime I make a perfect batch of kale chips, randomly sew an item of clothing for my kid, or get the garden in such perfect, working order that I can make it out to the beach to hunt agates… then I think, but the time! The time it would take and then there’s the issue of putting up a front about who I am that doesn’t include the days I might be vomiting, crying over spilled milk (literally), or watching cheesy movies all day while I’ve just started my period.
    So I applaud you for your unique ability to tell it like it is, inspire others with your words, and to remind us all to be better.
    Thank you so much for your blog, and tell Dan that even when people wrote books they’d get feedback… it was just written in letters, right!?
    Love to you all! AMI

  19. September 16, 2010 4:29 pm

    Rachel – you enrich my life by your words, and by how utterly *different* your life is from mine, and yet so similar at the same time. I soak in every detail of your life that you give to us, your readers, and am always thirsty for more.

    It’s odd, this world of blogging, because I’ve never heard your children’s voices, nor felt their little hands in mine, but I feel like a long lost aunt who adores them from afar.

  20. September 16, 2010 5:20 pm

    I haven’t commented here often – but wanted you to know that I too love your blog -love your words, your writing, your stories.

    I have to agree with you about the the bloggers who appear to have an “airbrushed life” – they hold nothing for me. “This” is what I like to read about – someone’s REAL life…and all that entails.

    Oh and YES to chokecherry jelly. My grandma and I used to spend summers picking and boiling and straining and then slathering on toast. She passed away in April at 90, and what I wouldn’t give for a taste of that sweet memory.

    Happy Anniversary. xo

  21. September 16, 2010 5:48 pm

    well, i’m glad you’re here and that i found you. i find it so interesting to have reconnected in this way. your honest take on parenting and your offbeat (to some) sense of humor keep me entertained. what a lovely giveaway. thanks for the opportunity! ;)

  22. September 16, 2010 7:17 pm

    Oh, Oh, Oh, me, me, me!!! So awesome of you!! I have a 2nd year blog annerversy comin’ up, and have yet to do anything—- infact I think maybe all of 13 people read my blog— me being one of them!! So not sure how successful a giveaway would be ;)

    ahahahah Llove you blog though!


  23. September 16, 2010 7:59 pm

    with all the work of baking bread for those requesting store-bought, and every other little thing… pellets are not nearly enough! but at least it’s something. cheers to you, your fantastic and hilarious writing, and your bloggoversary! mmmm osha!!!

  24. September 16, 2010 8:18 pm

    What they said.

    Seriously, just one year? It feels as though you’ve been doing this for a lifetime, and I mean that in a good way. Like others, I am consistently inspired by, comforted by, and in awe of your writing. Sometimes I live vicariously through you — gardening, for example. Sometimes I feel thankful that, since you are so good at camping (or any number of other things) I don’t have to be. And I so, so appreciate that you write about imperfection rather than perfection.

    But mostly it’s the fluidity of the writing, running like a current through the posts, that keeps me coming back.

    There is a book, or many, in your future — yes?

  25. September 16, 2010 9:00 pm

    Happy Anniversary! I’m glad you didn’t stop posting at any point. I’m also strangely glad to see your notebooks with handwritten notes. In the past few years, I’d gotten so used to composing on a computer that my recent return to composing (for a public audience) on paper has felt deliciously like a return to an old friend. What is it about writing things out by hand?

  26. September 16, 2010 9:33 pm

    hey you!
    i want to wish you a happy blog anniversary. i am so glad these keys that i am typing on right now got me to your place. you make me laugh, you make me think, you are my kindred spirit during hunting season ( and he is still out there somewhere ) and if you ever come to see nici in missoula .. i am only 100 miles north :) pick me up and i will come along!
    cheers to you.
    with lots of love.
    this post makes me want to turn my damn comments back on. they are so special … these blogging homes and blogging friends.

  27. September 16, 2010 9:45 pm

    “…inhabiting their tiny bodies like firecrackers.” Love it. You challenge me to not only thrive in the details of life and motherhood, but to find the words to capture it. Thank you! Happy anniversary.

  28. Steph permalink
    September 16, 2010 10:07 pm

    Happy One Year Anniversary!!!!! I have thoroughly been inspired by your blog, not just by your writing but also by your multi-faceted talents and life skills. The prize package looks wonderful! I wish you the best of luck as you begin your second year of blogging!


  29. September 16, 2010 10:07 pm

    Also, I just realized my one year blog-o-versary is next week! When I started reading your blog, I figured you’d been blogging forever!

  30. September 16, 2010 10:30 pm

    This is the first time I’ve come across your blog, lovely to meet you. Happy Anniversary for your second year. I’ve only just started a few months ago, and keep it sweet and simple. Beautiful photos. Your salves look amazing, we don’t get those herbs in Dominican Republic.

  31. Emily permalink
    September 16, 2010 10:42 pm

    Well now I don’t feel too guilty because I have left a comment before so I’m not a total lurker :) When I discovered your blog through another friend’s blog I called my sister that same day and told she HAD to check you out because not only does she garden and preserve food and go mushroom hunting and have cute kids and a husband that hunts but when she writes about all that stuff it’s clever and funny and really GOOD writing all around. Thanks for being a part of my morning routine!

  32. September 16, 2010 11:41 pm

    Let’s start a home school co-op! but can you move up here? pretty please?
    Love this post… as always <3 <3

  33. September 17, 2010 4:30 am

    Thanks for being YOU Rachel. I appreciate all of your honesty. And I’m totally going to win this give-away!!

  34. September 17, 2010 6:50 am

    Congratulations on one year in bloggy land!! Keep posting…nasal secreations, roadkill and all!

  35. Alexis permalink
    September 17, 2010 9:32 am

    I have never commented but I love reading your blog! I don’t live far from you and I love your stories!

  36. baba permalink
    September 17, 2010 9:41 am

    Wow! How moving to listen to so many of your devoted readers.
    Here I thought you were writing the blog just for the great enjoyment of the grandparents.
    Congratulations on sticking with your dream and on the wonderful writing (and picture taking).

  37. September 17, 2010 11:10 am

    Congratulations on a wonderful first year – I am a steady lurker and really enjoy your photos and stories. I’m in it for the chokecherry jelly, which I was unable to make this year because I couldn’t find any chokecherries- dang cold summer.

    Thanks for sharing!

    From one gardening, canning, elk-loving mama to another :)

  38. September 17, 2010 12:31 pm

    Your words always ring true for me. Know that you have a reader in Columbia, Missouri.

  39. September 17, 2010 4:28 pm

    I loved this post!

    Bullseye, Mama. Life is the details – all deer femur and blisters, Mama.

    Happy Anniversary! I appreciate what you offer the bloggy world and I adore peeking into your high altitude lifestyle.

    We’ll skip a stone in honor of your year at our late-afternoon beach run. And, just for you, maybe a sandcastle or two.

  40. September 17, 2010 4:38 pm

    I began this post all Yay! a giveaway! and then was surprised when I got to the end and felt excited all over again, Yay! a giveaway! :)

    Count me in. I get a little thrill thinking of your uber-local goodies put to good use thousands of miles away, here in sea-level Seattle!

  41. woowoomama permalink
    September 17, 2010 5:08 pm

    i found you through stacy so it is only fitting to comment right after her.

    happy anniversary.

    i say, write as much as it fills you up. you know?

    i’d totally be in the homeschool co-op. can you find us all housing?

    robin (woowoomama) (um, was i supposed to log out or log in i can’t remember it shouldn’t be this hard)

  42. September 17, 2010 5:17 pm

    Happy Anniversary ~ I loved this post. While we are miles (and years) apart, I love to read about your life and times. The stories about your children make me smile ~ every.single.time! You are living a life I once dreamed about when I first moved to Colorado 33 years ago…but it wasn’t meant to be for me. I’m living vicariously through you and enjoying every minute of it! :)

  43. Audrey permalink
    September 17, 2010 6:09 pm

    How could I not comment in hopes of adding to our stash of “Rachel’s pharmaceuticals”? :-)

    Happy anniversary; I remember fondly talking with you about blogging before you began. Doesn’t seem like so long ago!

  44. Barb permalink
    September 17, 2010 8:14 pm

    ok, i’ll face it, time flies! Seems like I just started lapping up all your writing, and soaking up pictures of Col and Rose (and other beautiful plants and animals, but mostly Col and Rose), who count my lucky stars I am related to!!! thank you thank you for the blog. (Note to self: invest in a bandaid company).

  45. September 17, 2010 10:00 pm

    i cannot read everyone else’s comments, because then i am sure not to leave one of my own. i will say that, in my experience, a giveaway is a sure-fire way to get folks to leave comments though!

    i love love love your blog even though i often don’t leave the pellets. sorry! please keep up the great work!

    love you!

  46. September 18, 2010 2:02 am

    I come here to read about your life and leave the better for it, every time. Somehow, “thank-you” for all that you offer and inspire doesn’t quite do it. But, it’s what I can offer: “Thank-You” :-) Thank you for real, truthful life and process.

    I’m in my first year of blogging as well, and I’ve realized it is a growth process, that catches me wondering why I do it, where it’a all going, who takes what away from what they read, and is anything I write about or share actually helping anyone?? Do they leave my blog a better person for it?

    I think mostly I let go, and trust that it meets the needs of those who read, otherwise they wouldn’t drop in to read ;-)

    Happy Bloggiversary!!


  47. September 18, 2010 12:30 pm

    Pick ME!!! I’ll whack someone in the head with a pinyon branch for the Osha tincture! What a booty. Happy ‘versary with the wish that you know how truly BLESSED and HAPPY I feel when I stop in to read your words. They are like chocolate covered cherry dreams.

  48. Judy permalink
    September 18, 2010 9:02 pm

    Deep-hearted thanks for this years-worth of words – and for sharing such intimate & lively moments ‘n’ tastes – especially of the children. It makes these two sweet “grands” seem not quite so far away!

    – Judy

    P.S. I love Rosie’s shades – is she wearing lipstick?!

  49. Chi-An permalink
    September 18, 2010 10:43 pm

    I’ve been blogging for 7 years (since my first pregnancy) and while I can never hope to reach the gorgeousness and luminosity of your prose, just as I will never be able to wean my kids off of mass-produced yogurt, you inspire me with every post. Your words and pictures inspire me to write more and post more pictures, and your thoughts and stories inspire me to live in the moment and laugh rather than yell or cry.

    Thank you for being there, thank you for being you, and thank you for sharing little bits of your life with us.

    Best wishes from San Francisco,


  50. September 19, 2010 8:04 am

    Happy anniversary! Though I certainly understand the temptation to quit — blogging is so! much! work! — I’m so glad that you haven’t. It’s a rare gift to be able to write out of a deep connection to your life. Thank you for sharing that gift with us!

  51. September 19, 2010 10:07 am

    I’m transported by the sunflower/daisy photo. If it took you 30 minutes to upload just that one photo…please have 30 minutes from me because I’ll be staring at it that long. So much pleasure does it bring.

    The sky and clouds behind. Ah.

    It takes me forever to post. I’m so glad someone told me they take longer than 30 minutes. I was feeling like the lone wolf.

  52. jen wolf permalink
    September 19, 2010 7:42 pm

    my dear friend Rach, how your sweet voice echos in my memory, how I can taste the peach salsa and smell the heady smokey scent of dan’s elk skin coat, how I can watch your tomatoes bursting from their vines… through your excellent wisdom and charming humor, I can feel the connection just like all those 14,000 plus readers and friends. You serve us all a dose of the REAL, the life that is TRUTH is nothing if not EXPLORED. We love you from deep, great lakes, and Happy Happy Blogversary- Good luck in the hunt, mike is out with a bow, although I don’t think a vintage one of the Yew era.Hugs to those babes and each other! Peace.

  53. September 19, 2010 8:32 pm

    Just wanted to say that more than receiving the giveaway, I want the recipe for that lip balm and arnica salve that you make, if you would be willing to share it.

    I do enjoy stopping by on your blog. Really enjoy your writing and your insight.

    Peace and light, Nicki

  54. Diane H permalink
    September 19, 2010 9:17 pm

    I’ve read every blog word you wrote for about the last 9 months and forwarded several of the local food ones to friends. My husband shared your roadkill link with several people, including his mother. Please take this as kudos for sharing your precious life and family with us <3

  55. September 20, 2010 8:13 am

    I’ve just found your blog in the past couple of months and I must say I’ve enjoyed devouring your posts. I just started my first small garden this year, but you definitely inspire me to do more. I roasted my own green chili’s last night and felt so capable!

  56. Maggie permalink
    September 20, 2010 3:13 pm

    A comment : )

  57. Maggie permalink
    September 20, 2010 3:24 pm

    Okay… Okay, so I’m not so think as Funny I am… I mean, the last comment from me sucked lemons. It’s just that I used up all my creative juices on my response to the wrong post and…

    oh what the heck! YOU ROCK! YOU ARE MY HERO! Each time I read a new post, I shake my head in wonder, pinch myself to see if I’m dreamin’. I love not only your words, but the way you weave them together to make us smile. And even though I don’t have kids, I find myself shaking my head yes yes yes each time you describe a new “war of the worlds” between eeenie and meenie – I mean Col and Rosie, or your descriptions of thinking family life should be one way when it just refuses to submit to your way of thinking. And though I don’t have a vegetable garden of my own, I can still remember slinking through yours and nabbing my FIRST taste of broccoli right off the stalk and thinking “so this is what broccoli is supposed to taste like.” You are queen of the wild… and I deeply love and respect you. Mags

  58. September 20, 2010 10:28 pm

    well looks like i stumbled back here just in time. i just had a blog giveaway and the person who said “IT IS MY DESTINY” won. is a sucker for that stuff, apparently. so i’m going with that.

    IT IS MY DESTINY to win this giveaway.
    IT IS MY DESTINY to have come back to this wonderful space.
    IT IS MY DESTINY to be reading your blog again.
    IT IS MY DESTINY to have chokecherry jam in my belly, lavendar balm on my lips, pinyon salve on my heel cracks.


  59. September 20, 2010 11:26 pm

    I can’t remember if I’ve ever commented, but I do really appreciate your writing and your take on life. You make me laugh, think, and look at my own life in wonder. Happy Blogiversary!

  60. Nancy permalink
    September 21, 2010 10:10 am

    My kids are grown (30’s) so reading your blog is a trip down memory lane. On a car trip years ago I ‘lost it’ when my son yelled, “Mommy, Kate’s looking out my window”. I pulled over, turned around and reminded them (louder than I’d like to remember) that the windows were mine, the seats were mine, the steering wheel was mine, etc….” :)
    More recently, my son visited and we were cooking on the grill. He was setting the table and searching for ketchup. I told him I didn’t have ketchup and he exclaimed, “HOW could you not have ketchup in the house?????” So together we made homemade ketchup (a quick version). So you see, many a blog entry serve as a memory of a personal event. Happy Anniversary and keep on keeping on…what would I do without it??
    I look forward to your future book!! I love your writing style.

  61. September 21, 2010 4:50 pm

    Namaste Rachael!
    you hang in there with your steadfast blogging – you are helping many, inspiring a lot, and cause pause to many of us ‘professional’ writers…we shake our collective electronic quills at your subtle majesty of writing about…well..It All.

    it’s been seven years of near-daily blogging for me. it’s a Discipline…a Practice…and most of all; a Service of Love.

    hope to see your Clan down at the river before the snows fall!

    head bowed,


  62. nataliechristensen permalink
    September 21, 2010 8:56 pm

    I can’t believe you’re only a year old! I thought you were a wise-old, years long blogger, a legend really. Well, I guess you are to me ( a legend), no matter what your cyber-age. Definitely loving you from Missoula.

  63. September 22, 2010 11:11 am

    love reading your posts, talking with you at CH and sharing recipes. please enter me in the drawing, but most importantly keep inspiring through your words. hugs

  64. September 22, 2010 12:41 pm

    I just found your blog via a comment you left at Soulemama. And I love it! You are articulate, hilarious, inspiring. Incidentally, I also just celebrated my first blog-o-versary and wrote a post about why I blog, but it is not nearly as well-written as yours!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  65. Natalie permalink
    September 22, 2010 1:02 pm

    Not only are you a wonderful grower and preserver of foods – you make all these “magical” tinctures and salves too! You’re an amazing woman, Rachel!

  66. September 22, 2010 2:58 pm

    Happy Blogiversary. I hope that like other anniversaries, it’s a happy double whammy–happy for us that you’re blogging, happy for you that you live this particular life and have these particular experiences, and have this space to write about them. I’m not a 30 minute blogger either, but looking through my photos and slowly uploading and writing about my life is like doing all the laundry at once–sometimes a pain in the ass, but it makes me realize what I have. So here’s a virtual toast to this anniversary, and more to come! …and a wish to win this give away.

    Many thanks,

  67. Jamie Gustine permalink
    September 22, 2010 6:44 pm

    HI Rachel, I read often and never comment – I should though. Your words often play through my head for days and now play an important role in the way I view my world, our town, and my child – thank you!

  68. Kara permalink
    September 22, 2010 7:09 pm

    I’ll admit–I’m one of those voiceless clickers who follows without a trail. And, I must also admit, your give-aways are my main temptation in showing myself now. But I love your writing, Rachel: I share it with friends, who I hope too become clickers in turn. After a time of not reading, I especially delight when Judy, as today, sends a link to bring it back onto my radar; I read the story she sends, but then follow my clicks to unexpected delights and reremember why I love to read this blog. I follow no other.

    PS I do like Ellen’s analogy in her comment: how often we forget to appreciate what we already have. Your words, likely like hers, help your readers, too, to recall.

  69. Jan permalink
    September 23, 2010 12:21 pm

    Oops! I almost missed my chance to wish you a Happy Anniversary! It isn’t just “cute pictures of the kids” that keep me coming back. It’s the chance to experience, via your words, how you live. (A waitress in Jackson Hole once talked me into trying elk, which I thought was really nasty. I suspect it wasn’t so much the elk as the chef! I think it was served at your wedding and it was great. Congratulations, Dan!) You also somehow manage to connect the generations and help those of us who are Grandmas remember how it was in the way back when.

    Thank you for a fascinating glimpse into a year in your world.

    Aunt Jan

  70. Lindsay permalink
    September 23, 2010 5:03 pm

    Makes my day when the RSS shows another posting from elevation 6512!

  71. janie permalink
    September 24, 2010 3:31 pm

    Hey lovely,
    I miss you. How can I order this Rachel medical kit? I miss you.


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