Monday, July 9, 2012

The darkness on the edge of town...

                                                                        Dress- gift from Nicole
                                                                             Clogs- thrifted

 In my last post, I wrote extensively about my tender feelings for the midsummer nights of my native land, but that is not to say that my summers in the PNW are anything, but sweet as salmonberries. It is only that when I lived in Finland, I was a student, free as a bird to walk around wistfully and consume ice cream and now I'm a homesteader, a business owner (this makes me laugh out loud), a wife, homemaker, keeper of literally tens of thousands of animals (current animal count: roughly 40 000 and 9).
                                            Skirt- gift from Mali
                                               Boots- Mali's
                                               Top- no idea
                                      Vest- gift from Nicole 
                      Crystal bullet- Sadie Rose (Check out her giveaway here)

So every summer since I moved here, I've found little time to revel in summer months. The ecstasy of summer is different here, more frenzied, instead of languid. It is an American thing for one; hardly anyone in this country gets four to six weeks off in the summer (my mom gets like ten!), so the whole United State doesn't exactly shut down for the month of July. And secondly, I live in what can only be termed a popular tourist destination, in the middle of a tourist destination on a tourist destination in fact. Right around now, people out here start saying things like "See you in the fall!' to each other.
We try to cram so much life into these days, shorter than those endless ones up North, so much growing so much dancing, so much fun, so much rowing, so so much sunshine. 
Each summer I find myself hoarding projects, experiences, ideas, trying to make all of them real, often struggling even maintain the balance of our suddenly hectic everyday life. So far this summer, I've succeeded in making rhubarb preserves, harvesting spruce tips and preparing rose oil, keeping ducks and failed at well, most everything else. Our house is still in shambles. My garden all weeds, neglected until it's time to plant for fall and winter (like, next week). Sleepless nights over my book project, my crafts, my packages, completing and publishing my many lingering posts.
Sleepless nights over my suddenly feuding, impatient, incomprehensible animals. 
  IMG_6965 IMG_7000 
Sleepless nights reading the Dalai Lama, Dr. T. Suzuki, trying to get back to my practice, laughing at myself because I'm wasting sleep for feeling like bad Buddhist. 
                              Dress- a gift from Sara in the spring when I most needed it. This was my staple frock for April. Thank you.
                              Vest- a gift from Nicole. It's a Gunne. 
                              Bone necklace- Found and made into a necklace at the Symposium (but more about that later)
On the small blessings front, I'm happy to report that I've totally hit my dressing stride, and though I have little pictoral evidence, have worn only ensembles I've really enjoyed in the last week. While a minor thing, there is a special comfort in throwing something together in about five minutes and then feeling like you never want to take it off.
Daffy and Dilly, our ducks are a lovely addition to the flock, but a lot of hard work too. I've pretty much given up on being able to keep them locked up during the day, which makes me really worried about their safety against marauding predators.
  IMG_6990 IMG_6988 
Fort the first time ever, my current batch of chickens is engaged in warfare amongst each other, something that I can neither explain, nor really control. They pick on Dusty the bottom of the pecking order chicken, and now she too has to roam free during the day, compounding to my worries. 
Each day I find new work in recognizing the small blessings, trying not to concentrate on my worries and simply be in this time, this space, this blessed summer.
More frequent postings may be in the not too distant future. 'Till then, sunshine, moonshine, my friends.


  1. Such a lovely post Milla! Thank you for brightening up this dark, dank Irish evening! x

  2. hey, i recognize that red frock from sara! it was once mine :) :) :) she bought it from me in our very first trade/interaction. i love to see things making the circles with perfect seasonal grace no less. you are a summer vision and your projects sound merry and consuming and utterly fulfilling. you inspire me to greatness, ever enriched by the earth's bounty around me. hope those chickens chill out and that harmony will soon be restored to your mini animal kingdom. much love buttercup.

  3. sob. you guys get summer sunshine? i am DYING here. no sun. ever. ever. ever. ever. ever. ever. did i mention? EVER. i'm seriously dying. i feel like i am shriveling up and dying. okay enough dramatics. but wow. so jealous of sunshine. this post was so summery, and i've been gloomy and sad lately, so thanks!

  4. thank you for always putting into words the things that rest in my heart. xo

  5. Beautiful photos, so summery. I agree that wearing outfits that make you feel happy and really yourself are an underrated joy. You always remind me to enjoy the little things in life, something too easily forgotten.

  6. You sound busy busy little petal. Don't let the busy grab hold too tight, have some rest when you can. what's with the ducks and the chickens going stone cold mad?! That must be a bit scary trying to understand them. You're as pretty as a peach, and I'm glad you're getting your sartorial groove on. If there is a next time, then we MUST converge.

  7. Sounds like you are having a gorgeous summer - can't wait to hear more about the book project especially!

  8. so many animals!! wow! the weather has been so lovely, we're having a pretty wonderful summer here so far. xo m

  9. The days may be seemingly endless here in the summer-- but the summer sure is not! I feel like I need to take in every moment, and not let the summer slip away.But I choose to do it languidly :) Save for a few frantic days of cleaning our "new" home after my dad moved out and before dear husband went back to work (four weeks of vacation is too short!).. We started today with a sauna and picking flowers in the garden wearing just towels around our bodies. The girl spends most of the time naked, really. But somehow I've also managed to make juice - rhubarb-mint and blackberry leaf-mint (we do have a lot of mint!) and um, clean some more..

  10. Mmmm rhubarb preserves. We kept ducks regularly as I was growing up, and we'd only put them up with the chickens at night to keep them away from any nasties. In the end, it was a raccoon with rabies and a litter of babies to feed that was some of my ducks' undoing, since it would attack in broad daylight. Your ducks are probably safe so long as you tuck them away at night :) Also, if your chickens aren't all getting along, perhaps offering them a few more roosts? I don't remember how your coop is set up...

  11. Gorgeous buddhist business lady aka Milla.

    What a rich tapestry you weave, of light and shade and experience, so many gold threads and so much heart, all this awareness you have of how you are and how things are, can seem a heavy load some days, ones thirties can be like that, I think, You are near the thirty mark, aren't you, if I remember correctly.
    Since I was 3O, just a FEW years now, Its like a fire for life was built beneath me, I have such a passion to want to do everything and beautifully and heartily and with all integrity and soulfully and suddenly and now, and can't I have IT MY WAY! now please!!!!.
    My twenties drifted, as I wondered about the world and myself, and curiously meandered about..... Now its all focus and doing. I love it but am often exhausted, and always watching, observing the experience, and when I remember, I too, allow it flow through me. But all this studying and reading and meditating has made me very keenly aware of when I do fall way under the mark of being on the path, and practicing with my spirit, and at that point it can seem a mighty task to not critisize. Encourage myself kindly back to myself, WHAT NO WAY!!!! I do find it next to impossible to make myself do anything in this state, I have to want to, and if I don't want to, boy can I resist. I am learning though to speak to myself like a kind mother: ) it may sound funny. but I treat myself like a kid, or that aspect of me that resist, I try to encourage..... I could talk a lot about tis, but it already looks like I am offering a little more than you may have expected in a comment, so I look forward to one day haveing a tea, which by the way may not be impossible. I have just been offered a week to myself in the states in October, while my daughter is staying with her grandparents in Georgia. I have never been west but for Portland an dam thinking it maybe time to. Also. Do you just sell local in your shop. I had a crazy idea, that I could send some of my prints over to sell there!!! Be fun to imagine there in such a wonderful space.
    Anyway.................I am so excited to be here where I am even if its full on, now, and as I look at your work, your blog, your homesteading, your shop, your craft, your life, I am so excited to have discovered you, and so grateful for the colorful window you so generously offer us in, and that you can share your worries and concerns and allow us to see the reality. Milla, though I look at you and see such a light warrior, a spirit so full and utterly engaged with aliveness, a suberb buddhist and an amazing being..... xx E

  12. those are some killer outfits milla! oh, and i love the title of this post, one of my favorite bruce songs :D all sorts of prettiness going on up in your neck of the woods!

    i understand the sleepless/restless nights. i understand too feeling bad because i don't live up to my own standards, but as long as the desire to improve is there and i am indeed trying, i have to be satisfied myself. "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" ahhh, words i understand oh too well! baby steps. and baby steps aren't bad. they are much better than a landslide right?! :D

    anyhoo, enjoy the rest of these sunny days friend!

  13. Oh man I stumbled upon your blog and I'm so happy I did. Its adorable. I love the name. And all these pictures. I LOVE.

  14. Ok, spontaneous chicken warfare and sleepless nights aside, you make busy look darn beautiful my dear Millakin :) Not to mention all your adorable outfits might just be cute enough to inspire me to pick myself up out of the sartorial slump I've been feeling lately. Send some of that summertime style mojo down here please!

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