Postcards from Eastern Oregon

I'm soaking up every beautiful day in far Eastern Oregon at my Mama's home. The Wallowa-Whitman mountain range, the Snake River, Eagle Creek, Pine Valley, Oxbow, Brownlee... this place is heaven on earth. 

Pine Valley and Halfway, OR

The irrigation ditch on my Mama's property.

My Mama's barn.

The Snake River.

Brownlee Reservoir.

Oxbow Dam.

Imnaha River.

Home in Oregon Again

Some places are magical because of the curvature of the land, the quality of light, and the verdant energy inherent in the soil. And some places are magical because it's inhabitants. My Mama's home is both. My family and I are staying at my Mama's farm in Eastern Oregon for a month. It's a heavenly place and I love what happens to my brain and my body out here. I slow down. I notice things. I breathe deeper. And I feel truly "home". Here are three snapshots from my first day. And yes, that is a double rainbow at the end of my mother's driveway. A sign? I think so.





Interested in more posts about my Mama's farm? Click HERE.

Far and Away

I'm still hiding away at my mother's home in Eastern Oregon. Please forgive my lack of posting here on the blog. I just can't bring myself to sit on the computer for too long, especially when landscapes like the one below call me out, out, out.

Her home is the white house with the red roof in the foreground. The neighbor's hay field is green this time of year and the Wallowa-Whitman mountain range towers above it all. Isn't it dreamy?



Summer Splendor at The Farm

As you can tell, I took a week away from the blog. On July 1st, I drove from Dallas to the eastern border of Oregon to visit my mother. We lovingly call her home The Farm. One of the things I look forward to the most is her summer flower garden. Ever summer its a little different, but there are always some 'greatest hits' that re-seed year after year. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure:








More of my Mama's farm house in Easter Oregon HERE.

My Mother's Farm Kitchen Renovation

This week, I wrote an article featuring my mother's newly renovated farm kitchen for Houzz.com. First let me say that my mother wins the prize for the best sport with the most positive outlook. I so admire all of the work she and my step-father have done on their 120 year old farm house in eastern Oregon that I can't help but crow. That's why I keep covering their innovative remodels! (Be sure to check out her BATH remodel if you haven't already.)

But today I want to share their KITCHEN, which is nothing short of amazing when you think that they did it themselves with the help of a few local professionals for the plumbing and electrical. Definitely read the full article, but in the meantime here is my mom and step-dad's beautiful handiwork.

BEFORE





AFTER













See it all on Houzz.com by clicking HERE.

Apple Pie

During my holiday at my mother's farm in Eastern Oregon, Rob and Linda (organic orchardists from Eagle Creek Orchard) brought us two crates of late harvest apples. Forgive me for not remembering the variety. All I remember is the sweet taste.

I happily processed all of the apples with my Mom's hand-crank apple peeler and made two apple pies and multiple quarts of applesauce for my son, Charlie. It was such a pleasure to take beautiful whole organic fruit and create comfort food for my family. Thank you Rob and Linda for the Christmas bounty!

If you'd like to take a peek at their farm house in Eastern Oregon, check out my Houzz article HERE. Rob and Linda are tree whisperers and they've done incredible work on their orchard.









Also - don't forget to enter our Radical Homemakers giveaway!
Click HERE to enter to win 3 books by homesteader and author Shannon Hayes.


Enter HERE!

Postcard from the Farm

I'm still in the Christmas lull, spending my days in the warmth of my mother's farm house. Neighbors stop by every once in a while for a cup of coffee. They come bearing gifts: a dozen fresh eggs from their hen house, a box of precious pears pulled from their root cellar or a stack of garden magazines from their archives for leisure reading. I'm happy here. I'm always happy here.


Winter Beauty on the Farm

Hello dear readers. I hope this note finds you all well and happy. It's Christmas Eve here on my Mama's farm in Eastern Oregon. Yesterday was a beautiful, unseasonably warm and sunny winter day that clocked in around 45 degrees. Usually this valley is covered in snow at this time of year. I walked a few acres with my camera in hopes of capturing a little taste of the season out here.

All is calm. The air is cool and the cattle are pastured. Every once in a while I hear the hum of a dusty Fed Ex truck on the high road delivering last minute packages. Huddled quail flutter about when I approach their blackberry bush unannounced. A rooster and his two hens follow me around the property wondering if I might lay some scratch on the winter ground. Inside the house, my husband is attending to our sick child. Even the most idyllic moments are mixed with the realities of life. We're all a little under the weather.

The most keenly felt reality is that my brother, who died at the beginning of Autumn, is not here with us. He was supposed to be. We planned this trip last year when the world was bright and spirits were high. But this year, I am filled with melancholy and longing. My chest cold rattles away in my bones and my brother's absence is sharp. I am surrounded by beauty and family, but winter has a way of reminding me that some plants, even the the hardiest, do not survive the hard freeze.

Hug your loved ones tight. 
Buy the good kleenex.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Light always follows the dark night.




















Cabin Life Feature

The May issue of Cabin Life Magazine is hitting news stands today. Page 66 features two of my photos! This is a very recognizable place to most of you. It's my Mama's tool shed, one of the many outbuildings on her land in Eastern Oregon. She and her husband have lovingly restored it over the past few years, rebuilding it from the ground up, while also keeping as much of the old structure in place as possible.






Here is what the shed looked like when my Mama moved onto the land.
What an incredible transformation!




I'm so pleased that my mother allows me to photograph her amazing work and exploit her talents. This week I also published a feature article via Houzz.com about her recent bathroom remodel.

Check it out HERE.


Postcards from Eastern Oregon

My mama's farmhouse, which I've written about before, is experiencing some snow this month. She sent me a few recent snapshots. It's oh-so-beautiful. Here in Dallas temps are in the 60s and I'm spending the day sick in bed. I wish I could transport myself to this wintery wonderland and spend the day in front of my mama's bay window peering out across a snow covered hay field.



A Certain Kind of Light

One of my favorite things about my mother's farm house in Oregon is the evening light. It's pretty spectacular. Here are a few shots of the tool shed, some flowers and my son sporting his favorite hat.









My Mama's Spectacular Bathroom Remodel

Last year, my handy Mama and her handy husband, Obbie, built a bathroom from scratch on what was once their canning porch. Their old farm house, which I featured on Houzz.com last summer (HERE), is located in Eastern Oregon. It was in dire need of a new bathroom. They did such a fantastic job, that I want to share it with you here!






My favorite thing about this bathroom is the origin of the vintage turn-of-the-century cast iron sink they installed. My mother spotted it on the side of a river near their home. She could only see a piece of it sticking up out of the ground with her binoculars. She and her husband waded across the river, carried it back across to their truck and hauled it back to the house for cleaning. After having it resurfaced by a professional in Portland, OR, it was ready for their bathroom!







The 100 year-old claw foot soaking tub was found at an antique / consignment store in Central California and transported to their farm house. My mom refinished and painted it herself.




My Mama found the awesome green vintage bath fixtures below at a salvage place in Portland, OR. They were the color inspiration for the whole bathroom.









And just when it couldn't get any better - they built an open, door-less walk in shower. It's handicap accessible, built with my son, Charlie, in mind. I love love love love love it!






The door to the bathroom opens into the laundry and mud room. Because there wasn't much space for a swinging door, they did a barn door style installation. The door was picked up at a garage sale and Obbie added the privacy glass. Isn't it brilliant?




And here are my sons trying out the soaking tub while their grandma looks on.





Oregon Trail

As some of you know, I spend two weeks every summer at my mother's home in Eastern Oregon. Well, this summer is no different and yesterday I, along with my brood, descended on my mother's home. I'll be posting for the next 10 days from her farm house, but until then I hope you enjoy these few initial snap shots... more to come!







Golden Hours...

It's that time of year again. My mother's home is calling to me. This July, as I do almost every July, I'll be taking my family to Eastern Oregon for a much needed visit to my mother's house, which we lovingly call "the farm". Since I'm in a day dreaming mood, I thought I'd share these images from my Pinterest board entitled "The Cottage".

"You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by."  - James M. Barrie


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P.S.
And don't forget about our 75 dollar giveaway from Novica!  
Click HERE to enter!

Al Fresco at Eagle Creek Orchard

My Mama just sent me these beautiful photos she took while at a luncheon the other day at Eagle Creek Orchard.  The orchard is near her home in Richland, Oregon, one of my most favorite places on earth.  I thought you all might enjoy seeing the photos - a small spring celebration amidst a grove of pear trees.  For more information about Eagle Creek Orchard, click HERE.  You can also find Eagle Creek Orchard on Facebook





The purple door to their fruit stand.



Weekend Paint Job



Last year my mom painted her living room butter yellow.  It was a fine color, but I could tell she wasn't completely happy with it.  She also had a gorgeous wood side board that she wanted to paint.  She was feeling a little weird about painting a wood antique, especailly one that she's had in her home since 1992.  But this week, she took the jump and started painting.  Here are the results!








I love it.  I think it suits her style so much more.  It also makes all of the furniture and art pop and look more cohesive.  The color is called Olive Sprig.  I'm not sure which manufacturer.  I'll have to ask her.  Here are some more photos for good measure:







Great job, Mama!  
I love it and can't wait to see it in person!

Sarah Saw Something - Farm Edition

I'm back at my Mama's Oregon farm for one night before my husband and I drive cross country and home to Dallas with our son Charlie.  As many of you know, Charlie has craniofacial surgery on August 1st.  My husband and I will be in the hospital with Charlie for a few days and then home for his recovery period.  We are leaving my three year old, Walker, with his grandmother during Charlie's surgery for obvious reasons.  This will be the first time that Walker has been away from both of us for longer than one night.  Gulp.  I'm making no bones about it... this shit is hard.  So, we've really enjoyed this last day together on my Mama's farm - playing, lounging, snacking and loving on each other.




Journaling on the front porch.

Walker peeling his first ever orange!

Playing Gin with my husband.


My Mom and her sweet husband take Walker for a spin on the 4-wheeler.

My mom and Walker enjoy an apple in the rocking chair.

Visiting Eastern Oregon

I'm almost at the end of my time at my Mama's farm in Eastern Oregon.  But before I go, I want to share some of the surrounding area with you.  This part of the state has so much to offer.  Below is a photo of Eagle Valley, where my Mama's home is located.




Here is a close up of the sweet little town of Richland, Oregon.




Below is the Brownlee Reservoir, located just outside of Richland.  My mom has a little flat bottomed row boat and my step dad, husband, brother and son all headed out onto the water last week.





We also spent some time this week in nearby Hell's Canyon where we took a 
jet boat up the Snake River, which runs along the border of Oregon and Idaho. 



While we were on the boat, we saw all sorts of amazing wildlife on the shore 
of the Snake River.  Below is a bear cub climbing the rocks along the banks.





We ran into another mid sized brown bear foraging for food in the underbrush.



And check out the bald eagles below - not one, but TWO!



Here are some quick snap shots of the two communities that surround my Mom's farm house.  Richland and Halfway, Oregon are separated by a small mountain pass.  Both communities are really special and very different.




My favorite place to eat in the area is Levi's Cafe in Halfway.
Cool, hip, funky and yum yum yum!





Across the street from Levi's Cafe is an antique store called Pat's Pretties.  This place has an enormous fabric and quilting store in the front and a spectacular antique store in the back.  I always find the best stuff here!



This is some of the booty I came home with this week:





My Mama found the two following items at a local yard sale:





Both Richland and Halfway have wonderful little public libraries with internet access.  This is where I've been doing most of my blogging this week, as my Mama doesn't have WiFi at her house.  Her home is a tech free zone.




The greatest little thrift store EVER.  Jacob's Dream in Halfway, Oregon.



...and the Artist's Co-op, halfway Whimsy.  Not to miss!



I am also charmed by all the little sweet churches in Richland and Halfway.  They're open all the time and each one has a piano.  I was able to sneak in and play a bit in between services.


Thank you everyone for allowing me to share this beautiful place with you.  I've had such a beautiful time with my family this week - much needed as I prepare my sweet Charlie for surgery on the first of August.  This time was so precious to me and I'm happy to have brought you along, via La Maison Boheme.  I'll be out for the weekend, so enjoy a few days off.  I'll be back on Monday!

The Barn

Its been a beautiful week at my Mama's farm in Eastern Oregon.  It is truly one of my favorite places in the whole world.  I dream about moving here someday.  Last night was overcast and windy.  The skies threatened rain, but decided to spare us.  Instead, we were treated to a rainbow in the distance.  Here is a photo of the barn that lies on the southern side of my Mama's property.  Mom always says, "My barn is like the ocean.  I love looking at it, but I don't really want to go in."



Here is another shot of the main house.



Last night, my son and my brother were hanging out in the side yard.  
It was so picturesque, I had to grab a photo.


There are so many beautiful flowers in bloom right now.  
I love the purple Delphiniums below.


Tomorrow, we'll finish our week in Eastern Oregon with photos of the surrounding valley, local wildlife and the two communities of Richland and Halfway, Oregon.  Cheers!

Gardens and Out Buildings on the Farm

Thanks all for your sweet comments about my Mama's farm house!  I love this place so much and enjoy sharing it with you here!  Today, lets take a look at the surrounding gardens and out buildings.






Isn't this genius?  My Mom has nailed an old coffee can under a 
can opener on the back porch to catch the bottle tops.  Such a great idea!






My Mama acquired this vintage tricycle from a local yard sale.  She sanded it down 
and spray painted it red.  She also painted the spokes white.  My three year old 
loves riding this beautiful bike up and down the garden paths!





Mama always has some beautiful wreath or ornament nailed to the door of the 
old pump house.  She found this pretty thing at a thrift store in Cedar City, Utah.


I snapped a quick photo of my Mama a few nights ago.  
Isn't she lovely?


My son, Charlie, loves going naked in the sweet open air. 


My Mama made up a little sandbox to the side of the tool shed for 
Walker to play in.  He spends most of the afternoon hours here.


This was the view last night from the front porch:



This is one of three outbuildings on the property.



I caught a glimpse of the wood-chuck who make a home under the old chicken house.  
He has a mate and my Mama has named them Chuck and Lou Ann.  




And here is a great shot of my Mom holding my little Charlie!



Check back tomorrow for views of the barn and the surrounding valley!
XO  - Sarah