Creating an Urban Homestead

Posts tagged “friends

You Ought to Be in Pictures

Picture Party – Images by Christine Prichard

We hosted a multiple photo session bonanza at The Okey Dokey Ranch last week. Foul weather forced us into the garage; we had hoped to do an outdoor shoot. But we managed to get some fun and unique images anyway. Flash was a wonderful assistant, right-hand man and post-production whiz. Marley and Avery even got into the spirit by entertaining young and old while we shot, and shot, and shot.

A big thank you to the families, and especially the children we photographed–you were the best!

I’m posting some of my favorites here. Don’t you just love the sepia and hand-colored versions?

Funds raised from this shoot were donated to Alabama Waldorf School.

Life is But a Dream—or Maybe Just a Big Bowl of Soup

Nothing like the holidays to bring back memories of holidays past. Former lives within this life haunt me—so many moments and people that are now gone forever. They are real in my mind but elusive as a dream.

Life is so much more fluid than I ever knew. My mind keeps bumping into the people of the past as I cherish time spent with people of the present.

“Their souls are in the halls of my mind,” says Flash of his dearly departed. I know what he means. (more…)

Slow Food and Fast Food, Love and Pain

Avery eats his first turkey leg. Photo by Flash

Avery eats his first turkey leg. Photo by Flash

Flash, CC, Marley, Avery and I celebrated Thanksgiving early this year—a potluck with friends. Somehow, I ended up cooking my very first turkey for the shindig. After two short years of cooking regular meals and 10 years of vegetarianism only recently ended, it seemed a daunting task. (Mike was such a fantastic cook, I was truly handicapped in the kitchen by the time he died in 2007. I rarely cooked a meal in the 17 years we were together.)

Since returning to my omnivorous roots back in February, I’ve been purchasing local, free range, antibiotic-free meat from a farmer that I met while on a photo assignment years ago. Vegetarian at the time, I made a mental note that if I ever were to purchase meat again, it would be from Charles Ritch of Goose Pond Farm.

And I’ve made good on that promise. (more…)

Second mom

“She’s like my 2nd mom. I mean, if you couldn’t afford to keep us, we’d probably go live with them,” said Marley through tears after Elena, her piano teacher and our former neighbor, departed after a visit this weekend.

Elena has been Marley’s teacher for more than two years. Since moving to Ithica, they have been doing their lessons over the internet. We hope she can keep coming back periodically for visits/lessons.

Pesto @ The Ranch

Ashley came by this past Sunday and we made a batch of pesto. Yummy. I started out by harvesting all five sweet basil plants from my garden, which was enough to yield about 10 cups of basil leaves. The recipe goes something like this: (more…)


Five years ago, a young couple—friends of friends–died in a freak car accident while traveling to their 4th of July vacation spot in Asheville, NC.

Their three-year-old son lived. I remember being blood-curdlingly horrified by the story.

The woman had once been a teacher at The Redmont School, where Marley was attending preschool. That was the extent of our connection–two degrees of separation.

I worried for their son, bargained with fate to undo what had been done, obsessed about the unfairness of it all.

And finally, I spent several hours in bed, paralyzed with fear about what could befall my own children, seriously considering never taking my family out into the world in order to protect them. Then I realized that even at home, an airplane could fall from the sky and hit our house, or a meteorite could pulverize us anywhere on earth. The realization that I am not in control hit me hard that weekend. (more…)

Hail to the Queen(s)

queen bee

So we found the queen today. Make that two queens. My friend Julie and I gingerly pulled frames out of our new beehives , looking for we weren’t quite sure what. But we did know enough to look for the queen in each hive.

We purchased the bees last week. At that point I knew nothing about raising bees. But since I try not to let lack of knowledge keep me away from a new adventure, I heartily agreed that we ought to put some hives in the back 40 at The Okey Dokey Ranch, since serendipity was nudging us in that direction anyway.

Julie had met this guy named Paul at Crestwood Coffee a few weeks back who was looking for a home for his bees due to an impending move to Houston. She and I had talked about raising bees in the past, with no real plan. But here they were, practically falling into our laps!

I figured it was time to take the plunge—kind of like getting pregnant. If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never do it. (more…)

Farewell, friends


“I never thought this day would come,” said Marley, right. Her best friends Veronika and Yan packed up and moved to New York. Their family and ours along with other friends spent the morning in our kitchen packing food, eating, telling stories, while the kids watched a DVD together. Such a sad ending to a Mayberry-like relationship with our sweet neighbors Anton, Lena, Yan and Veronika. They were there during the worst time in my life and I’ll be forever grateful for their love and friendship over the past two years.


The Gate from Hell

I would have cried had it not been so ludicrous; picture me in a downpour wearing heels and white pants while a dragging a metal gate behind the 12-foot trailer being towed by my minivan.

First sign of trouble: a disturbing grating noise coming from behind the van as I drove to see a performance of “The Nutcracker” at Samford University. My first thought; please don’t tell me I’m dragging my gate down the street. I’m already late. (more…)

Thanksgiving weekend

On this weekend, I want to again thank everyone for their love and support. We could not do this alone. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at my mom and stepdad’s house along with my aunt. It was nice and quiet.


Space Cleansing

It’s been an intense weekend. Many social events, and also a more private happening. A cleansing of the “trauma energy” in the space in my basement where Mike died. (more…)

This week's gifts

I am blessed. In the past 7 days:

5-people (including me) brainstormed in my living room and set up a long-term meal and playdate schedule and more (“meals” to include drop off meals and shared meals at my house and at other people’s houses) (more…)

Curses and blessings

I have a really mundane voice mail message from Mike on my cell phone. Every time it pops up into my ear, I am startled and then strangely comforted. I guess I’m pretending that if his voice is so close and so real that everything must really be okay. (more…)

Haunting outing

Went to Art in Avondale Park today. Crisp blue sky, autumn chill in the air. My mom and father-in-law came and helped with the kids, who marched in the parade and did arts and crafts. Ran into many friends and acquaintences. (more…)

Shattered trust

I’ve always had this fear that something would happen to my children. I have often thought about how devastating it would be if one of them were killed. Same with my parents/other relatives/friends.

Split personality weekend

I was of two minds this weekend.

Saturday, several people came to help in the yard. And other people took care of the kids while we did this (thanks Anton, Elena, George, Samantha, Adrianne). We got two trees planted and mulched, one tree cut down, two tree stumps removed, wood stacked, and many lettuces and parsley starts planted. And the driveway swept (thanks to George; fellow leaf blower hater). (more…)

The healing power of food

Call me a sucker. The way to my heart is through my stomach. (more…)

Death of a dream

Some friends and I started to inventory Mike’s production gear last night (thanks Julie and Tom). I’m going to sell it. It doesn’t justify itself as rental gear–not enough income. And the rate at which things become obsolete, selling sooner rather than later makes the most sense.

And when I sell, I’ll be able to pay off some of our business debt.

Yipee. (more…)

How to help this week

Okay, I’m going to write this notice on the blog and will enter it onto the calendar tomorrow. (I’m new to the calendar, too and I have very little time today to tinker with it).


Survived the weekend

This is going to be a short one, since I have about 5 more minutes of kid-free time. I am determined to get them bathed and in bed on time tonight and hopefully for the rest of the week. With any luck, we’ll even get to school once or twice on time. (more…)

Good Night

Just a quick note to thank everyone who attended tonight’s event at Rojo. Or donated a print. Or played music. Or hosted the event. Or purchased a photo. Or picked up my tab. Or had a kind word or a hug. Or organized the event. (more…)

Thanks again

I’m realizing, once again, that it will be nearly impossible to thank everyone adequately for all of the love and support sent our way. (more…)

Blog updates

My friend Wade Kwon came over to help me with some updates to the blog (a thousand thank yous), and just want to make you aware of them. Will be doing more updating as time goes on, so please come back to visit often.


A letter from family friend Dan Boudreau

I did not have the privilege of knowing Mike Prichard all my life, the way I have with some of my friends. I had known his wife Chris for years, and in fact we had just taken an apartment on Grand Avenue, when she and Mike first met. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about all of that. Chris and I were supposed to be hanging out and having fun, but she was now spending most of her time with Mike, and I was spending most of mine sulking over losing my friend. Over the next couple months, as I got to know him better, I came to realize that I wasn’t losing my friend Chris, but rather gaining another named Mike. (more…)