Living… simply living….

Remember homemade pies the way your grandma made them? A big mound of meringue with coconut lightly toasted and sprinkled on top!

My kids and I headed to The Valley today to visit an old friend. I’d heard about her lovely home and farmland through friends and from pictures she’d posted over the last year and a half. I’ve seen photos of goats being sheared…pigs being fed…chickens roaming free…horses grazing the property. I’ve heard stories of making sausages…gathering eggs…old pickle recipes rediscovered, created and bottled. Photos of her beautiful, wide eyed, delightful children growing up in this amazing environment.

Homesteading is the term that applies to anyone who follows the “back-to-the-land” movement. Living a self-sufficient lifestyle. Lessening your carbon footprint. I think the Sullivan’s are well on their way! It’s good living…clean living…and they make it look absolutely amazing!

The family chose to build their home in the town of Windsor, surrounded by stunning views of the countryside. Built from reclaimed timbers of an old barn that had been taken apart and stored years before….framed up with the beautiful pegged beams…starting with the original plans and changing them to suit the needs of a young family. The kitchen being the central part of the house with an amazing modern farm table placed in the middle of all of the activity. Full of food. Full of laughter, family, adventure and love.

Brendan Sullivan is a professional chef. He and my friend Lisa are the owners of Presto Pastaworks and On the Wedge Pizza in Sunnyside Mall…fresh and healthy food for everyday meals and catered events. Beautifully presented…so much like the way the family is living!

Lisa makes it all look so…wonderful…so easy. Yet I’m well aware that making it look this easy is so much work. I’m in awe of her talents. On top of raising two young children and tending the animals…working the farm with her handsome husband…the art on the walls in this dream home is hers. I was reminded of what a talented artist she is, her large oil paintings are remarkable…she’s at peace with herself and it shows. Amazingly, with everything else going on in this mom’s world. she’s painting again…and her works are available for commission.

We sat around the big farm table with the sun beaming in through the kitchen windows enjoying the company of old friends. The children played outside without any desire to come into the home while we were all too happy enjoying one another’s company. Old friends… rediscovering each other after so many years. We spent the entire afternoon that way until finally I was dragging the children away from the land and the animals… not wanting to leave this heaven on earth…and me…totally understanding.

The pie….well…before I start feeling all bad about myself…thankfully my friend doesn’t have the time to do it all! She picked it up at the bakery in town. I dropped in and purchased one on my way home. (I might tell my “city friends” I baked it myself!)

I could learn a lot from my old friend…we all could. Simple living…family…love. Home grown goodness. Taking something old…making it new again.

That old friendship…new again.

To speak with Lisa about commissioning one of her paintings, email The pieces vary in prices that are extremely reasonable. Painted with your room’s decor and color scheme in mind. Beautiful…peaceful…exquisite…just like my friend!

Free range eggs can be purchased at $2.50 a dozen. Lisa’s daughter is saving for her dream vacation in Disneyland.

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie can be found at “Mr. Fresh Farm Market” in Windsor.