Sunday, January 23, 2011


the sky is blue today!

after five days with almost constant rain, all of us here on the farm {stefan, heike, frank, phillip, & i} were starting to get a little desperate.

in other weather related news, i felt my first earthquake early yesterday morning! exciting {?} and a little scary. thankfully it was a 4.4 quake and didn't cause much damage. i didn't know what it was and i just fell right back to sleep.

yesterday's work involved drying garlic cloves for a couple of hours, cleaning the house, etc. today's work was of a different sort - weeding!

i was so excited to get outside heike could have told me to do anything and i would have done it. i ended up weeding entire garden beds with my hands and just one tool. it was pretty intense b/c nz weeds are a good deal heartier than nc weeds.

today also marks day seven without a shower and day five without changing my clothes {mom, can you believe it? i really cannot either. i sleep in this, work in this, etc. tonight i change and i'll be so happy!}. b/c water here is precious {regardless of the torrential rains} i haven't even ventured to ask about showering. i realized on the first day in picton that i had only taken two showers the entire trip! then i made the mistake of telling my picton friends that. i have now gained an international reputation for not showering. i made sure to take two in picton alone, but now i'm back to the same habits.

also, friends thank you all for the little updates. i just skyped with emily and dana and abby has been a great source of laughs. she's kept me updated on all the cool lady bloggers and their lives!

keep in touch world, i miss you, but i am so happy to be here. today, i've felt incredibly strong, healthy, and inspired and i just wish everyone was here with me to share this.

more to come, but i need to let others on the internet. . .

{photos from fantail organic garden [my new home here] yesterday}

Saturday, January 22, 2011

a walk

here's a short {but boring} recap of the past couple of days for you all:

- the weather has been a little dreary and wet, therefore my days have been spent doing one of the following activities: cleaning dishes, cutting things in the kitchen, vacuuming the floors, or washing all the windows and mirrors. not bad work, just a little sad that i cannot get outside to pull weeds or stare at a flower.

- went for a walk down the road today {see in the photos} and it hit me, i'm in new zealand AND i'm in the middle of nowhere! really, picnic bay has only about four houses and the nearest town {to get groceries and such} is over an hours drive! amazing. { i do love eating food almost entirely made on the farm. even the meat we ate today for lunch was at one point one of their pet pigs.} also on this little walk of mine, i came to realize just how beautiful this place is. thanks to all the rain, everything is thick, healthy, and green. you can literally walk outside, take a few steps then see/hear a mini waterfall.

- i spent my free time today trying to figure out my next move. i want to make it to blenheim soon, but i still don't have the next farm lined up. there are so many options but it is difficult to find a way to get to the farm or to find availability.

{click any picture to see it larger. . . 1.) found this lovely vine of one of the trees, 2.) see that little bit of blue roof? yup, that's my house for the next couple of days!, 3.) directly outside of the driveway. on my hour or so long walk down this road, only one car passed me. the only thing i heard were little bird noises}}

Thursday, January 20, 2011

life on a farm

even though it was a good three days after i had originally planned, i've arrived safe and sound at the farm here on the outskirts of picton!

new zealand thus far has been one crazy, beautiful adventure.

my week has turned out somewhat different than i had imagined it would, but i can honestly say i loved every minute of my three day stop-over in picton.

after my water taxi ride today i spent the day picking beans and peas from the garden then i helped in the kitchen, peeling, cutting, freezing food and cleaning.

day one of this wwoofing experience = a very good one indeed!

i'm just so thankful that i finally have internet right now too. after nearly four days without it, i was ready to see what damage was done. as expected i had a series of new fb friend requests/ emails from crazy parents and various family members/water taxi information/etc. just waiting for me.

about the only thing really bugging me is this nasty little sinus issue. i have been wayy too generous with my water bottle these past few days {really funny actually b/c no one here/ or at least none of the other travelers from outside of the states understands how a camelbak works!} and there is always all this pet dander flying about in addition to the seasonal changes. . . so. . .
i'm not in a very good state right now {health wise}.

even so , i'm delighted to be here!

{picture from the farm}

Friday, January 14, 2011

the wellington life

+ walking + hot yoga + running + walking + making food + walking + eating strange new foods + sunburns {check out my white winter skin in pic. 5} +

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

soft lights

* * * * * *
"it is where we go, and what we do when we get there, that tells us who we are." - joyce carol oates

* * * * * *

this is what an afternoon in beautiful welly looks like . . .

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

first few from wellington

it has been one terribly lazy wednesday!

all i have done is skype with family and friends. . . really, that is all i have done!

i don't know what to make of all this free time.

photos from yesterday:

1.} eggs benny lunch & journal time

2.} view from my walk with bilbo and sonas

3.} sonas { her name means happiness in gaelic} in the flower field

4.} the hill i climbed in the morning

5.} me & sonas on the porch

in a few minutes ken and i are taking the cameras out for a little walk.

*also: ab's monday snax were particularly entertaining this week.

{click any to see it larger}

Monday, January 10, 2011

in wellington

new zealand is a marvel.

i have had the opportunity to seen a lot of stunning places in my life {ex. cinque terre - photograph above}, but one of the most beautiful sights i have ever seen was on the flight from auckland to wellington.

nz's beauty is a beauty that kills.

i have never seen anything quite so strange or beautiful. it is incredibly unpredictable and full of surprises. i was fortunate enough to get a window seat and every minute some new and exciting scene would come into view. unlike the intense blues, greens, and golds of the mediterranean, nz's colors are of a much softer quality. the sun hits the water here and everything is washed with this sparkling metallic color. at one point i looked down and to my great surprise there was this massive, picture-perfect volcano in the middle of nowhere! i felt like i was living in a dream.

i unfortunately had my camera up in the overhead bin for most of the trip, so little of this part of the journey was documented. : (

after a long couple days of travel, and four long flights, {plus some trouble in auckland - er. . . missing a flight to welly along with a group of other unfortunate people} i really couldn't be happier to be here. i have had a truly blessed first day and a half in nz and i can only hope the rest of the journey will be this easy.

i had a ride from the airport and i have a place to stay for a while. ken and orla, friends of eva's have been kind enough to put me up for a couple of days. a little after i arrived, i went out to dinner with ken and orla and a big group of their friends from ireland. i had to navigate the bus route on the way back {alone}, because the two of them were on bikes, but thankfully their lovely home in newtown is in the center of town. i honestly don't know how many people are living here at the moment! i've been sleeping on a mattress in the living room and i have two roommates on the couches right beside me.

i feel asleep last night in a matter of minutes and didn't roll out of bed until 8:30 this morning. i had intended to go for a run, but i ended up just walking around town for two hours. there is this big, tree-covered hill overlooking newtown and i decided to climb it this morning. getting to the top was somewhat challenging, but i managed to make it to the top. it was so quiet and peaceful up there {minus the animal sounds coming from the zoo below! *kels, there is a zoo only a two minutes walk from the house!} so i sat on a stump and meditated for a couple minutes. it was too perfect, i only wish i had my camera then too!

i'll post pictures soon! this place is fascinating.

after working everyday, all day for so many months now, today has been so strange and disorienting. not only am i in a an entirely different place but i don't have work to do. i can wake up and decide to do whatever i want whenever i want.

i don't know what to make of all this. . . i still cannot believe i'm here, this far away from everything i know. . .

all the love from wellington!

{i'm off to go find some food and then to take the dogs on a walk in the park}

Saturday, January 8, 2011

goodbye to all that

" i travel not to go anywhere, but to go. i travel for travel's sake. the great affair is to move."
- robert louis stevenson

* * * * * * * *

so i leave for nz in a few minutes. patrick was just over, maria, sarah, and mrs. cargo were over earlier and right now, mom, kelsey, alex, and i are at the kitchen table watching the snow. {i hope this means i can still fly out on schedule!}

it is currently 60 in wellington, and i cannot believe that i leave on the 8th and get there on the 10th! i still don't know final plans, but i know it is going to work out.

packing has been a funny/challenging experience. so far, i have enlisted sarah,
maria, brandi, and mom to help squeeze everything inside my backpack!

speaking of backpack, though, i still need to finish packing a few things. . .

i'm really just writing to say thank you. thank you everyone for all the love and encouragement. i couldn't be any more excited/amazed that one of my biggest dreams is coming to fruition!

whatever happens world, this is what i wanted all along.

i don't know what awaits me, but i know this will be one of the greatest challenges/adventures of my life!

with all the love in my heart,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

is this really possible?

you've gotta love a packing post!

all along i knew this was going to be a challenge, but who knew packing for six months would be this ridiculous? i have just now starting this forever long process, and i don't know when i will finish. tomorrow is hectic, so packing is left to tonight. . .

the list of things never seems to end, but i really couldn't be any more excited. i have received so many sweet cards/letters/emails/calls today and yesterday, i feel incredibly loved right now {plus mom made quiche just for me tonight for dinner}

{so sorry for the poor image quality, the big cam. is already in a bag - the first thing to go in!
*in the photo also, the camera pack looks just as big, if not bigger than my regular pack, but in reality is much smaller, so, i'm having to get creative. . . traveling sans cameras would be easy, but i couldn't imagine a trip without one!}

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

one more thing -

this video just made me *bawl my eyes out.

maggie doyne is one remarkable person. and those kids, good grief! please take time and read her beautiful blog. i have been following her and her life for some time now and it never ceases to amaze me.


a new phase

in preparation for all the changes 2011 will bring/have already brought, i've decided to change the look of le blog a little and introduce the brand new look of grace farson photography!

please take a minute and check out the new photography portfolio [at] agfarson[dot]wordpress[dot]com.

it is still a work in progress and i'm just now working to understand the fundamentals of wordpress.


also, since this post is all about the new phase of my life . . . i feel like sharing a few of my new years goals. . . ever since i was little i have loved our family tradition of talking through our new years resolutions over the dinner table. i love getting inspired by all my friends and family at this time of year. even though the year has started off dramatically different than i had hoped, i know 2011 holds great surprises, adventures, and challenges!

here are a few things i hope to accomplish in 2011:

- survive on my own for 6 months abroad!
- return to a simpler way of living
- journal and draw daily
- teach yoga and meditation {at home [davidson and chapel hill] and abroad}
- have my qt and meditate every morning
- make friends abroad and at school/ reconnect with other friends
- stay in touch with family and friends throughout the year {esp. while i'm away}
- learn more about truly organic living {i hope to learn how to milk a cow, shear a sheep, plant new varieties of plants, take care of a beehive, etc. . . i really cannot wait for this!}
- start memorizing isaiah 58
- memorize a poem
- run again! {2x/wk}
- be wise with the decisions i make/ how i use my {limited} funds
- see everest
- go skydiving with padre
- learn to speak a little nepali/ brush up on my sanskrit
- ride a horse/ some other interesting animal
- take beautiful/interesting photos and study/intern with a photographer
- buy a bike and ride it like it's my job
- get involved in a bible study
- learn to use film cameras {ae-1 and reflex primarily}
- find a roommate/ figure out the college life
- make a chain of blessings each day of my first semester
- write more letters
- learn how to knit from ms. beth in the summer!
- pull out the sewing machine and make lovely little things with sydney campanella!
- read 5 c.s. lewis books
- rock climb with andrew in the fall!
- have weekly cooking nights at sarah and kelsey's places
- listen more/ love more/ witness more
- learn to french braid
- learn to play the accordion {ha. . . this will be on my list every year until it happens. . .}


yes, so it is a bit long and exhausting, but. . . 2011 = crazy travel/part of summer at home {it is actually the year of two summers!}/the start of my life at carolina, so why not dream big?!

what are your new years goals friends?

{all photos from venice this summer - click to see any larger!}

Sunday, January 2, 2011

sunday styles

in honor of my last day at mainstreet books today, i made a little collage of my sunday looks over the past fourteen weeks or so. . .


the year has not started off quite as i had imagined it would. . .

yesterday was really hard and sad and i felt anxious the whole day. i feel like at any moment i will start crying and never stop.

it is only 1:00 {i'm at work and it's silent, so i thought i could take a moment to write a little}. i've already cried twice today. rather than everything starting to work out in these last six days in the states, everything seems to be spinning out of control. i am still leaving saturday, don't get me wrong, but my last week at home has started off rough.

my heart aches for the law family, but i am truly thankful that ms. susan is now in a place of great peace and love. she was such an incredible person and i will never forget my first memories of her. i just told mom last week one of my most vivid memories from church at david cox involved ms. susan. i still remember helping pack up the kids toys after the service and i was carrying this big plastic bin when she stopped to help me carry it over to the other room. i remember thinking, not only is she the most kind person in the world, but she is so beautiful. when i think back to church in the old days, i think of the laws.

i also had to say some sad goodbyes to some people i love dearly last night/today. i said my goodbyes to brandi and georgia last night and i cannot imagine just how much georgia and griffin will change in six months! by far the worst goodbye was to abby and guion. as much as i love work at mainstreet, i just wanted to sit with abs all day long. i still have time with other people, but not her. she leaves for va again today and i honestly don't know when i'll see her again. late summer hopefully! sure skype/email is a blessing abroad, but even so. . . i don't know what my connection will be like or what the future holds. it's just not the same. . . i'm dreading the other goodbyes, but at the same time, i know this is exactly the way i want to spend most of 2011!

the party last night was smaller than in the years past, but really chill. even though i've never been as obsessed with tradition like sam, i'm big into keeping christmas and new year's day the same from year to year. my only regret with last night was that i wasn't all there. . . my head and heart where torn and i felt incredibly sad throughout the night. i acted the part of hostess, but inside i just wanted to curl up in mom's bed and cry.

with all that is going on, i'm really starting to loose it. i'm going on next to no sleep these past few nights. k and i opted to share a bed last night since we had a full house, but i kept her up through the night. at 4:30 she rolled over and said "grace, you still awake," i answered back and at that point i'd been up since we went to sleep. there is just too much on my mind right now, and i have a disability that runs in the family. . . you know, the one that inhibits me to say no. i'm working today, monday, tuesday, and wednesday all day, which leaves me only thursday and a little of friday to plan for six months. i have college stuff, taxes, emails, and paperwork to sort through in addition to packing/planning!

i know full well that everything will work out, but right now i feel overwhelmed. i'm so sorry to gripe, but i needed to get some of this off my mind . . . and because i don't have my journal here with me at the store, i decided to post all of this on le blog.

2011, so far you have left me sad and burdened, but i know that even on a grey and rainy day like this, there is light.

my last goodbye of the day is mainstreet. it has truly been the greatest job in the history of jobs. i'm incredibly thankful and blessed to get paid for something i enjoy so thoroughly enjoy.