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this magical bowl

September 13, 2012

6:45 am

Col: (climbing in bed) Mama, come see my new convention!

Me: Hmmmnzz.

Col: No, no. My con….traption.

Rose: (whispering): Remember about the shoes?

Col: No, my in…vention!

Rose: Your fancy ones? Remember you said I could wear them in the morning?

7:05 am

Rose is clomping ecstatically around in my “fancy shoes,” the ones that possibly accentuate my weird feet because so much of them is showing. Col is zooming his 6-wheeled lego speedster across the tile floor. I am making out with my coffee and resetting my noise-tolerance to, on a scale of 1-10: eleven, and wondering how I got so lucky to live with the funniest people in the world.

Col’s lego contraption/invention crashes against a wall and tiny colored pieces bumper-car across the room. “Take a picture of that,” Col says, “and put it on your blog.”

I’ve been writing this blog 3 years this September.

Remember this blog header photo from fall 2010? We ate that chicken in Col’s arms last month. Yikes!

Recently, I was searching for something in my blog archives (had I already called fermenting the unschooling of the kitchen world? Why yes, yes I did, right here). And there I was in my usual spot in the library completely caught up in my own archives for an hour, an hour of precious work time, laughing over our quirky lives, immensely grateful I wrote our stories, and wondering how Rosie went, in 3 years, from muppety chipmunk to long legged doe-girl.

Rose, 2007.

Rose, 2010.

Rose, 2012. Sigh.

I love this little blog space, how it’s this magical bowl, catching all the stories that I think will be indelible in my mind, but then get bumped over to make room for the next, mundane to-do list (clip chickens’ wings and promote upcoming Edible Weeds class; okay, not so mundane). It’s reassuring to have a place to put these stories. Like this one:

Rose, outside watching the chickens, informs me that Dandelion pushed Penelope out of the way.

“Oh. What did Penelope do?”

“Nothing. She’s like Col. Because he never hits me back.” Rose says.

Later, I try to tell Col this story and he says, a little burdened from his own good-naturedness, “Rosie already told me about saying that.”

“Oh okay. What did you think about her noticing you never hit her back?”

“Well, I guess that’s what’s good about me,” he says, returning to his shark drawing.

“Yup Col. It is.” His sister concurs. (And kudos to Rose for recognizing how things are and being magnanimous enough to promote and publicize Col’s pacifism).

Col, 2008. Double sigh.

Col with praying mantis friend, 2012

2012, note: tube socks tied around knees to protect Col’s legs from our friend’s dog who likes to jump up and greet kids.

There’s nothing like inviting people to shine their tiny public spotlight on your life, how it encourages noticing the details of your own, unique life. Everything becomes illuminated, including how Rose keeps checking her broken cell phone “to see if Nana called.” Or how, in reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader to the kids,  I’ve been the one childishly snickering when I read the words “poop deck,” while the kids are like, “okaaaay mom, can you keep reading?”

There’s something about sharing the details of my days that unburdens me from them. So that even the skunk that lives under our chicken coop, and the raccoon that poops in my greenhouse every night are partly villainous but also simply part of the larger story of growing food and a family at 6512 feet.

What’s happening here? Caption needed. Photo by Katie Burford.

And then there’s the deliciousness of you guys. Your e-mails and comments and gifts and recipes and friendships. Thank you for reading 6512 and growing. Some of you have been here since Day 1; some of you generously share this blog with your communities; some of you sponsor this blog and put cash in my pocket; some of you gently correct my grammar; some of you are quiet and anonymous, yet steady followers (though it’d be lovely to hear from you today. Wink wink).

Thank you for being here.



59 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2012 8:04 am

    I am always here, peering into your teaching world; you not only teach your children, but me as well. I love hearing about Durango life and the microcosm of your garden world as I sit at your feet learning. And I so wish I could have a taste of the vegetal delights created in your kitchen. Keep feeding me, though the fare would be words only.

  2. Michele permalink
    September 13, 2012 8:11 am

    The picture of the 4 of you in front of the store reminds me of the Fancy Nancy book where Nancy has everyone dress up and they go out to Little Kings for pizza. So fabulous and fancy! :) I love your blog and have shared with many!

  3. September 13, 2012 9:06 am

    Happy blog birthday! What a wonderful happy bowl it is! And, I too, can get sucked in to reading my own archives for an hour. Glad to know I’m not alone (and that is what these blogs are all about in the end, right, shouting out “I am here, I am here, I am here!” and hearing an answer).

  4. Jaymi White Newman permalink
    September 13, 2012 9:28 am

    Hi Rachel! I started reading when Nici (dig this chick) mentioned you on her blog and I’ve been hooked ever since! Thanks for sharing your life with all of us. Love, Jaymi

  5. Jennifer permalink
    September 13, 2012 9:30 am

    You enrich my life and inspire me, and I thought you should know! Many, many thanks. Jennifer

  6. Nasha permalink
    September 13, 2012 9:36 am

    I heart you.

  7. Sarah permalink
    September 13, 2012 9:41 am

    Hello from the Oregon Coast. I am a “quiet and anonymous” follower. Love the intelligence, humor, and humility of your family, garden, and blog. Thank you!

  8. September 13, 2012 9:54 am

    I love your blog. I know i don’t comment enough, but I love coming here for inspiration. Your family is adorable. You do so much, maintain such a cheerful spirit. Keep at it, will come back to the magic bowl to be nourished ;D

  9. September 13, 2012 10:03 am

    The picture of Col in his ‘conquer the world’ get up, tube socks, helmet and 1 lensed glasses, with Rose trying to strike an appropriate pose while standing next to her oddly dressed sibling, is my favorite. That is childhood. That is parenthood. Taking the time to notice the treasure in those moments and take a picture. Allowing your kids the freedom to be silly, and courageous and wonderful. I love this blog. Seriously, every time I see that there’s a new post in my blog reader, I settle in, coffee in hand, and devour your posts. I am such a fan of your family, your lifestyle and your writing. If you ever quit this space, I might just have to quit the internet. ;)

  10. Bree permalink
    September 13, 2012 10:26 am

    I used to comment on your blog more frequently till wordpress got all weird, but I’m still a faithful reader!
    And I totally agree – you do have the funniest kids on the planet.

  11. David Smith permalink
    September 13, 2012 10:41 am

    Is that Bro in the picture of Rose back in 2007? I thought that old boy passed away well before 2007. I often wonder how long his bones will last buried near the house addition. Skeletal remains always makes for a good homeschool science experiment – just make sure he’s shown the respect he deserves. Greatest cat ever!


    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 15, 2012 2:25 pm

      Unfortunately, Bro and the kids never intersected. That’s Bee! (AKA Little Bee, or Bee-head) But I’ll always remember how after Greg Oldson moved in and lived with us for about a week, he was like, “Oh. And I have this cat.”

  12. September 13, 2012 11:35 am

    oh, rach, we’re so so lucky to have you. happy blogversary! love you, yer fam and this blog. as fer the foto caption:

    rosie: “mama. i’m going to eat this dog biscuit, but just a tiny nibble, cuz col ate some and i want to eat some, too, ok mama? ok? is that ok?”
    rach: “whoa whoa whoa. col ate a dog biscuit?!?”
    col: “rooooose! shh!”
    dan: “ooookay, kids, let’s just bring it down a notch or two…rach, i’m going to grab us a couple more beers.”

    • Jamie permalink
      September 13, 2012 1:27 pm

      I hope that is really what happened…. lol for real!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 14, 2012 9:16 am

      Oh, you know us well dear one. xo

  13. Chris B-E permalink
    September 13, 2012 11:40 am

    Is it something in the September air?

    I totally ditched all kinds of deadlines this morning to go out and walk a trail that travels through a marsh, a hardwood forest, and a patch of red-gold prairie in about a single mile.

    And then I ditched the goal of getting a quick, healthy, heart-moving walk in and stopped at every bench along the way to write and take photos and notice what was around me. And within one of this morning’s posts to myself, the one titled “ralph bleak memorial bench by the marsh” are these words, written next to an idea for a blog or series of essays I might write, “…inspiration by 6512 and Growing to write in the style of this is what I do and maybe you’ll do it to! with the great joy and occasional vulnerability Rachel shares…”

    Returning home, was then totally tickled to see this 3rd anniversary post. It’s that kind of day, I guess. 6512 and Growing is truly a bright spot in the great tides of email flooding my in-box – a sincere thanks for writing and then putting it out into the world so candidly and so well!

  14. Christine permalink
    September 13, 2012 11:46 am

    Thanks for the lunch-time reading.

  15. September 13, 2012 11:51 am

    “There’s something about sharing the details of my days that unburdens me from them.”

    Absolutely, something about both sharing and reading others’ words. And it’s pretty hilarious that you ate the chicken from your original header. I’ll keep reading if you keep writing, deal?

  16. September 13, 2012 12:01 pm

    love, love, love you~
    here’s hoping that someday a road trip has us sharing a beer or coffee while the kids run….

  17. September 13, 2012 1:13 pm

    Great post! I totally dig the anorak your husband is wearing in the “wacky-family.jpg”, can you tell me more about it?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 14, 2012 9:21 am


      That is a jacket Dan sewed from an elk hide he tanned traditionally (brain-tanned). He’s also made vests, moccasins, gaitors, and everyone in the family has an elk blanket on their bed.

      xo Rachel

      • September 14, 2012 2:33 pm

        Wow! Dan is a remarkable man. Now I must search your website for information on the elk hide.

  18. Jamie permalink
    September 13, 2012 1:29 pm

    I can only say “Ska!” I want to go to there!
    Love & thanks for sharing everything!

  19. Anonymous permalink
    September 13, 2012 1:55 pm

    Almost to 250,000 hits – congrats & thanks for the stories! It makes us feel not so far away!

  20. Jessica permalink
    September 13, 2012 3:07 pm

    Happy blog anniversary! Thanks for sharing peaks into your life. You have provided wonderful gifts to those of us on the other side of the screen!

  21. September 13, 2012 3:12 pm

    This is my first visit here, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You have a gift for words. I, too, was rereading some of my old words just this morning and was so glad I had put them down. Because I did. Forget, that is. You think you’ll always hang on to the stories of your kids’ childhoods, but they eventually fly away. You’ll never be sorry for recording it all. Thanks for sharing.

  22. ellen884 permalink
    September 13, 2012 3:51 pm

    Very sweet and sentimental post. Thanks for this look backward.

  23. September 13, 2012 3:53 pm

    Wow I loved this. Wanted a picture of the shoes Rose was clomping around in and the lego magnificence. Love your writing. Love your family. Thanks for sharing. xo

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 14, 2012 9:27 am

      Embarrassingly, the shoes are not that fancy. I mean, I *did* wear them to my wedding, but if I wore them to the grocery store, no one would bat an eye. Love you too.

  24. teresa permalink
    September 13, 2012 4:28 pm

    love to you and that beautiful family of yours! you are the only blog that i subscribe to! i cannot help but think that your rose and my zoe would be fast friends. fancy clothes, dress up shoes, and covered in dirt. ha ha.thank you so much for sharing your days with the world. we appreciate it!

  25. Melissa permalink
    September 13, 2012 5:20 pm

    happy blogaversary! ha, speaking of stories, you would like the story of the random guy who took up residence at “big daddy’s” house next door (remember that we live in the hood), asked me for some hot water, and a spoon, and a bowl, for his ramen and eventually was cuffed by the BPD and taken who knows where . . .(avi: mama, how come that guys is always in his jammies?) there’s so many good stories to tell and I am glad to read yours!! and one day i hope to take a writing workshop from you! or go to a book tour event, because let’s face it, your book deal is inevitable!!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 14, 2012 9:59 am

      omg. You live next door to “Big Daddy” and his random, jammie-wearing, ramen-eating friends? Oh Melissa! That is too much.

  26. Sabrina permalink
    September 13, 2012 6:23 pm

    This is the only blog I follow AND its the only one I’ve ever followed! I’m not one to tweet or blog but your writing style and story telling ability engaged me from the start. I have completely enjoyed the experience of seeing your home, garden, animals and family. I hope you’ll keep doing this for a long, long time…

  27. September 13, 2012 6:49 pm

    You exude the joyful chaos that is family. Love it. Pure bliss.

  28. Emmanuelle permalink
    September 13, 2012 7:18 pm

    This is not my first grateful comment here and it always goes more or less along the same lines, but I’ll say it again : thank you for gathering – and sharing – your stories in this magical bowl of yours!

  29. September 13, 2012 7:58 pm

    Poop deck? Totally hilarious. I would laugh, too.

    And yes, I do remember that header from fall 2010. I love that photo. Happy three years!

  30. Anonymous permalink
    September 14, 2012 12:34 am

    Thank YOU for being here!

  31. September 14, 2012 9:20 am

    I love, LOVE that 2012 picture of Col & Rose.
    Thank you for being here.

  32. Kathleen permalink
    September 14, 2012 9:36 am

    i’m envious. so happy for you & your clan…happy that you will always have this blog. such a gift. xxoo

  33. Brigid permalink
    September 14, 2012 9:57 am

    I love you

  34. Anonymous permalink
    September 14, 2012 10:35 am

    Quietly sending my love always!
    -Rachel and her many boys :)

  35. September 14, 2012 10:58 am

    not my first comment, though i’m often quietly laughing from my side of the screen as i always get a kick out of your exploits. happy weekend to you all!

  36. September 14, 2012 12:13 pm

    A quick hello! I’ve been noticing the date these last couple days and reminiscing too. Today marks our two-year farming anniversary and soon the same for our blog. It seems time flies yet on the other hand it seems as if we’ve been at it forever. Congrats on all of your work and dedication to this blog, and thanks for sharing :)

  37. rose permalink
    September 14, 2012 1:28 pm

    i’m here, following along as always, but due to the one-handed typing thing, not commenting as much. my lap is always full of wriggling six month old baby boy. and it is so. good. i am grateful that you write your stories and share them with the world. i feel like i have a friend in durango. ;)

  38. September 14, 2012 1:58 pm

    i’m so happy i discovered your blog. thinking it was through ivey’s? maybe? not that it matters, i’m here following along and enjoying the ride. thanks for everything you put into this space!

  39. Linda permalink
    September 14, 2012 5:13 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    I’m still here, since the beginning. I’ll keep reading every single post for as long as you continue to send them. Your writing is wonderful. Thank you for sharing so much of your amazing life and family.

  40. Barb permalink
    September 15, 2012 3:56 pm

    photo caption: Col says: next round’s on me! xoxo

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      September 16, 2012 8:45 pm

      Undoubtably! (He surely owes us a round).

  41. Nancy permalink
    September 15, 2012 5:14 pm

    I adore this blog because you make me laugh and you keep it real. xo

  42. Anonymous permalink
    September 15, 2012 11:30 pm

    I visit your blog pretty much every day as part of my unwinding ritual (flaking out on the couch after work, dinner, and wrestling the two youngest out of three kids to bed). I appreciate your writing, your sense of humour, your candidness about farming and family life, the awesomeness of your slice of life, and your lack of pretension. All the best to you and your magical family. I hope you continue with this blog for many years to come!

  43. September 16, 2012 9:06 pm

    Hi, I’ve been here a few times and enjoy the lightness…. Thanks for that! I wish my blog were more story-oriented, like yours, but i end up just putting photos on for friends and family to see. HOPEFULLY I will remember the funny things my kids say! Photo Caption: “No you can not dip your cookie into my beer!”

  44. Amy in Oregon permalink
    September 16, 2012 9:26 pm

    Hi Rachel, I don’t comment often but really enjoy your writing, photos, recipes and everything else!

  45. Ang permalink
    September 17, 2012 7:49 am

    Hello from the Ontario Canada. I too, am a “quiet and anonymous” follower. Your sense of humour and unique storytelling style is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your life and photos and please don’t stop anytime soon!

  46. mwieser permalink
    September 17, 2012 3:31 pm

    I am in conversation with a couple of people about either cooking and gardens and parenting, but by having a blog you are my most consistent and well rounded reference point, really. So you’ve got me eating weeds and fermenting a thing or two and not feeling too bad about needing a nap at 9 a.m. I might have thought of/done these things but not without feeling more alone. Thank you.

  47. Meg permalink
    September 20, 2012 9:42 pm

    Your blog just makes me happy. I am glad you are out there doing what you do.

  48. October 5, 2012 5:35 pm

    huzzah for 3 years! way to go rachel! i love your take on what a blog space is. yes, it provides such a great container. i like the magical bowl metaphor. i never once thought there was any grammar to correct here, but then the funniest thing, in the very post where col made a convention, rosie conferred, and i think what she did there was confirm/concur. i can’t decide if you did that intentionally, so i don’t see this as correcting anything. it’s perfect exactly how it is, as are you. xoxoxoxoxo

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      October 5, 2012 10:11 pm

      ah shit. that’s a bonafide grammatical error.


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