A Winter Hat


From the new blog, where I’ll be telling the story of our homestead as we make our move to Oregon, here’s a little project I managed to accomplish, just in time for some chilly weather. Follow Little Fall Creek to see what we’re making, cooking, or brewing next!

Originally posted on Little Fall Creek:

The cooler weather has begun to move in, and in spite of my little one’s resistance to wearing anything resembling a hat, I knew it would eventually become imperative that her nearly bald little head have some insulation.

I haven’t picked up knitting needles or a crochet hook since before her birth– the longest interlude I’ve taken from crafting, ever. I miss such projects desperately, but so often my hands are full with things more pressing (like a squirming toddler). But with an rising urgency to get her Christmas stocking underway– I feel terribly guilty that it wasn’t done last year– I needed to get back on the creative horse.

So I grabbed a few balls of yarn for our last three-hour drive over to my mom’s house and crocheted a little beanie. It’s not my finest workmanship, but she makes it look good. If I’d taken more time I…

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The Move! And a Question for You

The Creek

I can finally write the words that have been poised for announcement for some time now. I’ve written about the dream, the seeming impossibility. The life change that seemed to live in a future that would never approach. And yet, almost suddenly, it is upon us.

We found our homestead to be, 600 miles north. Thirteen heavenly acres with a bridge and a creek, a pasture, a forest, and a sweet Little House.

And it will be the beginning.

As part of this new path, which will be inevitably littered with bumps and twists, fear and bliss, I’ve decided to reroute into a story all its own. A story as it unfolds of Little Fall Creek.

This blog, This Mom Gig, has been a grab bag, disjointed at times, because that’s life, and this is about life. Little Fall Creek will be about the homestead: more winemaking, recipes, crafts, nature, and building a new life.

Let me tell you how we’ve come as far as we have, and where we hope to go from here.

And tell me, if you would: what content do you most enjoy? The homestead? Cooking? Photos? Challenges or anecdotes of motherhood?  What would you want to hear?

Fall, Tomorrow, Maybe

Today might be the last hot day of the year. The daylight will already be waning when I leave the office, and the air will be swimming in the high 80s, thick and yellow.

But tomorrow, perhaps, the fall will seep in. It’s supposed to rain– what a novelty. We’ve been here in the Central Valley of California a bit over three years, during which it’s rained 18.12 inches in total by official record, far surpassing what I would have estimated. I can recall only a small handful of smatterings, typically lasting a matter of minutes.

Tomorrow the temperature is expected to plunge and supposed to last. The first day of cool weather and the last day before burn restrictions come into effect and bar fires.

So tomorrow may be a singularly perfect Friday: chili on the stove, fire in the fireplace, rain on the roof. Pajamas early, and pumpkin wine beginning to ferment.

And outside in the town, come to think of it, children will be out in the rare weather knocking on other people’s doors for candy.

One of the last fires of last spring…


I find myself often entrapped by having too many ideas, too many projects yearning for fruition, too much inspiration and optimism and excitement and want, to do anything.

When I get up at 5, after I’ve rushed to make coffee and settle into the couch where I write, there are too many words, too much potential, and I’m frozen.

I ought to work on my book. I’m slogging through the miserable half-ish-way point, hating every word before and after its smeared onto the page. Word-count, word-count, word-count. Blogging becomes a cop-out, a misuse of words and time and thoughts.

There are exactly two months until Christmas Eve, two months that will undoubtedly feel like one. I need  to knit my daughter’s stocking. I felt so bad last year for not having done so, justifying that she would not remember at only a few months old. And it will be hat season eventually– when might I start crocheting?

A word here, a stitch there.

Creative energy is finite, and time more so. The two seem to stumble over one another.

And here it is: time for my daughter to awaken and for me to shower and prepare for work. Any accomplishment, such as it is, never is enough to convince me that I’ve spent well.

Truth, Terror and Postpartum Depression


In the wake of my daughter’s first birthday and in the midst of gentle days and the promise of autumn, I look back only six months to my black hour, a tunnel of my life that seems to have been lived by a different woman. Crazy Good Parent shares my account of postpartum depression.

Originally posted on Crazy Good Parent:

DSC03459-01by Kelly Barrows ofthismomgig.com

I knew I would struggle with PPD.

I knew I wouldn’t help myself until it was too late, until I was in the dark and fog, my feet planted in muck.

I knew I would be exhausted and self-questioning, under pressure and scrutiny in my new role as a first-time mother. And I knew that this part, the part about being in my head, would be harder than giving birth at home, harder than getting up in the night to nurse, harder than trudging onward into parenthood.

By the time I knew all that, though, it was already too late.

I started, by all indications, preterm labor at 34 weeks. I had been slaughtering rabbits in the summer morning heat. I called my midwife and we talked about my options. We discussed bed rest, and the fact that it’s proven to have little or no…

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Highs and lows from life on and off our baby-brightened homestead


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