Zambereileen Instagram Photos and Videos

zambereileen Amber Gibbon @zambereileen mentions
Followers: 4,505
Following: 824
Total Comments: 0
Total Likes: 0

Missing my blue-eyed mountain girl today (and all the live-long-days since we’ve been up in Washington). Still, ...
Media Removed
Missing my blue-eyed mountain girl today (and all the live-long-days since we’ve been up in Washington). Still, having so much time without me at home has helped Esmé to shoulder more responsibility and realize just how capable and independent she really can be (which is a wonderful learning ... Missing my blue-eyed mountain girl today (and all the live-long-days since we’ve been up in Washington).
Still, having so much time without me at home has helped Esmé to shoulder more responsibility and realize just how capable and independent she really can be (which is a wonderful learning opportunity for all 13 year old kids to undergo, IMO). Zach and Esme have been making healthy dinners every night for just the two of them, feeding/tending the horses, steers, chickens, cats, dogs and kittens, getting Esme to/from the bus on time, doing laundry and dishes, watering the houseplants and keeping the home fires burning- literally and figuratively.
I have a hunch they might be missing me.... mayyybee just a little wee bit. 😉
Read more
This is the time of the year when the barn cats stake out the cabin and make mad dashes through legs, ...
Media Removed
This is the time of the year when the barn cats stake out the cabin and make mad dashes through legs, under snowy boots and through narrow cracks in fast closing doors. They dart inside, race up the stairs and disappear under the depth of the beds, where they lie in wait for us to hopefully forgive ... This is the time of the year when the barn cats stake out the cabin and make mad dashes through legs, under snowy boots and through narrow cracks in fast closing doors. They dart inside, race up the stairs and disappear under the depth of the beds, where they lie in wait for us to hopefully forgive and forget their trespass.
I wouldn’t mind so much except that one or two have been know to hide so well, and for so long, that they were indeed forgotten about and thus happily trapped inside for hours on end. This resulted in not one, but multiple, puddles of disgusting cat urine that were only discovered via careful sniffing and much cursing.
If they would only be so polite as to open the door and let themselves outside when nature calls, or better yet, train themselves to use the commode, then I wouldn’t mind sharing our cozy cabin with the whole brethren of fuzzy, furry felines.
Until then, the wee beasties can just stay out in the barn where they belong.
Read more
It feels odd, checking out of my family’s regular routine and finding instead a rhythm with/for ...
Media Removed
It feels odd, checking out of my family’s regular routine and finding instead a rhythm with/for my father. Fiadh has slowly adjusted to the new situation and tending to her and my father requires juggling skills and a strict schedule. They both can be rather demanding- Fiadh lets her needs ... It feels odd, checking out of my family’s regular routine and finding instead a rhythm with/for my father.
Fiadh has slowly adjusted to the new situation and tending to her and my father requires juggling skills and a strict schedule. They both can be rather demanding- Fiadh lets her needs be known via a new extra-loud holler she’s been working on perfecting, and my dad has an extra-extra loud cowbell he rings when he needs attention too. Between the two of them it’s quite the cacophony of chaos at times.
Seriously though, it’s been rough and I miss my own home something fierce. I miss Esmé and Zach and I know Fiadh misses her evening routine with Dada.
On a lighter note, my dad seems much better and actually sent the hospice people packing. He’s decided he’s not giving up, that he’s getting better and shall keep on keeping on. He’s pursuing treatment and has hope for the future. As far as we’re concerned he has way more than 3 weeks to live and we’re making plans for the months ahead and year to come.
The only thing that can make my heart lighter is to have my family up here too. Only 8 more days until I get to hug my Marine, giggle with my daughter and kiss my hubby while Fiadh snuggles in his arms.
Read more
I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because I’ve been processing some deep emotions about my dear ...
Media Removed
I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because I’ve been processing some deep emotions about my dear father and the state of his failing health. A few days ago I received a phone call from one of his nurses, during his most recent stay in the hospital. She told me he was not getting better, that he ... I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because I’ve been processing some deep emotions about my dear father and the state of his failing health.
A few days ago I received a phone call from one of his nurses, during his most recent stay in the hospital. She told me he was not getting better, that he is in fact getting much worse and that when he was released from the hospital this time he would be sent home under hospice care.
During our conversation I asked her the dreaded question, “How long does he have?” To which she answered, “Honey, we don’t know for sure. Maybe days, maybe weeks, mayyybe even months. But if he were my father I’d come now.” So, I went home, booked a one-way-ticket for Washington, did a hundred loads of laundry, made another hundred lists, made a few freezer meals for Zach and Esmé and let go of any expectations for a peaceful, joyful family Christmas.
Now Fiadh and I are once again tucked inside my childhood home. Fiadh is asleep in my old bedroom and my father is in a hospital bed, breathing oxygen through a mask. And I am awake, pumping breast milk and wishing Santa would give me the gift of time. Just a little more time with my daddy.
Read more
Earlier today, while Fiadh was napping, I ventured out into the snowy cold to hastily do some chores ...
Media Removed
Earlier today, while Fiadh was napping, I ventured out into the snowy cold to hastily do some chores without a 15 pound barnacle attached to my hip. While I was feeding the cats I thought I heard some crying, but when I checked in on Fiadh she was still fast asleep. It was then that noticed Ragnar ... Earlier today, while Fiadh was napping, I ventured out into the snowy cold to hastily do some chores without a 15 pound barnacle attached to my hip.
While I was feeding the cats I thought I heard some crying, but when I checked in on Fiadh she was still fast asleep. It was then that noticed Ragnar acting rather weird, pacing back and forth in front of the barn and continuously glancing in my direction as if he were waiting for me to come see what he was on about.
So, I dumped the cat kibble into their bowls and plodded through the snow to the barn. Halfway there I heard the crying again and immediately realized it wasn’t human cries, but canine.
As I drew near the barn my astigmatic eyes finally focused in on the crack in the door- and the fuzzy muzzle peaking through. Sure enough, there was Foxy, “stuck” inside the barn for who knows how long.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes in exasperation and scold her a bit. The silly lab could have easily slid through one of the stalls and circled around back, but for some reason she was totally fixated on the big sliding door.
After a gentle tongue lashing I heaved the door open and she bounded out to freedom. While she and Ragnar went for a victorious lap around the yard I went in the barn to see what there was to see.
As soon as my eyes adjusted to the dim light I saw the bag of cob on the ground outside the feed bin. There was a dog-head sized hole in the bottom of the previously unopened bag, and more than half the grain was missing.
No wonder Foxy was stuck inside the barn- she ate more than 25 POUNDS of grain in one sitting and her belly was so fat from her greedy gorging that she couldn’t fit back through the crack in the door she had come through in the first place.
I suppose there’s a lesson in it for both of us:
I’ll make sure to put all bags of molasses-laced cob safely inside the feed bins.
And Foxy will make sure to sneak only enough food to ensure her escape route remains viable.
Rascal.
Read more
I couldn’t resist taking a portrait of this beguiling bovine babe when we crossed paths during an ...
Media Removed
I couldn’t resist taking a portrait of this beguiling bovine babe when we crossed paths during an evening stroll. I was drawn to her shy curiosity, the way she used the last of the scrub oak leaves to camouflage her large, creamy body and how she couldn’t help peaking through the foliage to ... I couldn’t resist taking a portrait of this beguiling bovine babe when we crossed paths during an evening stroll.
I was drawn to her shy curiosity, the way she used the last of the scrub oak leaves to camouflage her large, creamy body and how she couldn’t help peaking through the foliage to watch me, watching her.
On a completely different note I just want to thank everyone who commented on yesterday’s post. If I haven’t written you bs k yet, please know that I did indeed read every last kind word and chuckled over the chubby belly comments that seemed to be the overall theme of the day. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read my often long narratives, and double thanks to those who then take more time to write a response. You guys are golden, beautiful creatures and I’m blessed to know ya.
Read more
If any of you new mamas out there are lamenting the fact that hubby isn’t pulling his weight, sleeps ...
Media Removed
If any of you new mamas out there are lamenting the fact that hubby isn’t pulling his weight, sleeps through those midnight diaper changes (or perhaps has never even changed a dirty diaper) doesn’t seem to hear when baby is yollering and lacks general enthusiasm for all things cute, chubby ... If any of you new mamas out there are lamenting the fact that hubby isn’t pulling his weight, sleeps through those midnight diaper changes (or perhaps has never even changed a dirty diaper😏) doesn’t seem to hear when baby is yollering and lacks general enthusiasm for all things cute, chubby and pastel, then I have the answer to daddy/baby bonding!
Simply wait another 20 or 13 years and then deliver unto him a last wee child. (😜😂)
I promise his heart will melt, the baby will become the apple of his eye and he’ll be happily wrapped around her miniature finger. Diaper changing (yes even the blowout poopy ones!) will be fought over who has the honor to tidy the baby’s tiny hiney, Daddy will become an expert on all things baby and will happily carry the wee sprite in his capable arms from sun up until sundown.
Sound too good to be true? Well, this is my current reality. Now, don’t get me wrong- Z was a wonderful father to both our other children (even if he did sorely lack in the diaper changing department back then😉) but the bond that has developed between him and our new, last little lass is something else.
Every evening when he returns home, Fiadh is his first priority. He walks inside, sheds his jacket and boots, scoops her fat little body into his arms and plays with her until supper is ready. He happily watches her for hours, taking quiet pleasure in her every accomplishment, no matter how small.
Perhaps it’s because she isn’t relying solely upon me for sustenance, and Z has had the chance to rock his little daughter to sleep while she dreamily swallows milk, cradled safety in Daddy’s arms. Or maybe it’s because he too knows just how fast our fledgling children grow, spread their wings and flee the nest, soaring wide, far and free...
PS: I promise the wee lass does know how to smile, in fact grinning is her go-to expression. She was just quite sleepy in this picture and I love the moody, dreamy look in her eye. However, I’ll make sure my next baby post features her toothless grin, promise. 😘
Read more
The first skiffs of snow blew over our mountain late last week, covering the homestead with a fine ...
Media Removed
The first skiffs of snow blew over our mountain late last week, covering the homestead with a fine dusting of icy glitter and causing much confusion amongst the young pullets of barnyard flock as they had never been confronted by the suspicious, toe-freezing, white stuff before. Thankfully, ... The first skiffs of snow blew over our mountain late last week, covering the homestead with a fine dusting of icy glitter and causing much confusion amongst the young pullets of barnyard flock as they had never been confronted by the suspicious, toe-freezing, white stuff before.
Thankfully, they’re led by the older (if not necessarily wiser) Original Girls who have all experienced long Mountain Winters- and lived to tell the tale.
Leading by example, the older hens demonstrated how to scurry single-file through the snow and down the shortest possible path from Coop to Under Porch- the wonderfully dry dirt area underneath the tall, wrap-around deck of the Main Cabin.
Alas, one of the young pullets has a stubborn, Irish-like streak and would not deign to fall in line and follow the sage example of the Flock.
Instead, she opted to hurtle her fat body through the air, somehow managing to maintain at least a few inches above the freezing, toe-curling, snowy ground. She wasn’t graceful, but her clumsy flight proved effective, and I often found myself glancing out the window to see a plump black chicken haphazardly flying across the yard, looking more like a determined crow with a bum wing scavenging leftover grain from the field than a snow-hating young hen with places to be.
Read more
A little different than my normal posts, but since today was Small Shop Saturday I wanted to share ...
Media Removed
A little different than my normal posts, but since today was Small Shop Saturday I wanted to share the story of a necklace dear to my heart as it represents connection, community, generosity and the beautifully creative work of a talented Maker, and sweet Friend, Shannon McIntyre of @brokenpinestudio ... A little different than my normal posts, but since today was Small Shop Saturday I wanted to share the story of a necklace dear to my heart as it represents connection, community, generosity and the beautifully creative work of a talented Maker, and sweet Friend, Shannon McIntyre of @brokenpinestudio in Bend, Oregon. 🌿
Shortly after Fiadh was born a small package addressed to me arrived in the mail. I brought it home and slowly opened the carefully wrapped little box, untied the hemp twine, lifted the lid and there, nestled in a soft bed of moss and lichen, was the daintiest silver chain and the smallest turquoise ring I’d ever laid eyes upon.
Attached to the box was a short letter from Shannon, wishing blessings upon our family and our new little mountain lass, then explaining that the lovingly crafted jewelry was intended to be “baby’s first turquoise” but should be worn by me until the day I choose to pass the piece on to Fiadh.
So now I wear the wee turquoise ring on the dainty chain around my freckled neck on a daily basis. It’s my go-to piece that goes with everything and makes me smile every time I clasp it on.
Some day I’ll let Fiadh wear the little ring on her little finger (when she’s old enough not to eat it!🤪)and later clasp the same silver chain around her little freckled neck so the ring can ride on the saddle of her dainty collar bones. And I’ll tell her the story of her birth and about the generosity of a silversmithing friend in Bend.
Thank you Shannon. 🌿
And to all of my friends here who also love turquoise jewelry and handcrafted heirlooms, do go visit and follow @brokenpinestudio. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.
Read more
I spent yesterday running errands a with my wee lass, getting ready for all the festivities of today. ...
Media Removed
I spent yesterday running errands a with my wee lass, getting ready for all the festivities of today. Now we’re heading down the mountain, flurries of snow nipping at our heels, to Grandmother’s house we go. We’re loaded down with the dark purple taters we grew to make lavender mashed potatoes, ... I spent yesterday running errands a with my wee lass, getting ready for all the festivities of today.
Now we’re heading down the mountain, flurries of snow nipping at our heels, to Grandmother’s house we go.
We’re loaded down with the dark purple taters we grew to make lavender mashed potatoes, apples and oats for apple crisp and all the ingredients for Esme’s pumpkin mousse.
We’ll spend the day at Grandma Rose’s in Jacksonville with my brother in law’s family and my little sister in law. This will be the first time any of them have met our little lass and I can’t wait to arrive so we can see their faces.
The only dampner on my day is the missing chunk of my heart. This is the first holiday without my Marine, my dear firstborn @c3bar, and although I miss him everyday, I feel it particularly keen today.
Read more
This view. That woman-child. That boy dog. That two-name mountain. That frozen pond and frost-kissed ...
Media Removed
This view. That woman-child. That boy dog. That two-name mountain. That frozen pond and frost-kissed meadow. It’s all tattooed on my heart, on the back of my closed eye lids and inside my full moon dreamings. A time and place that’s become woven into my DNA, courses through my muddy veins, ... This view. That woman-child. That boy dog. That two-name mountain. That frozen pond and frost-kissed meadow.
It’s all tattooed on my heart, on the back of my closed eye lids and inside my full moon dreamings.
A time and place that’s become woven into my DNA, courses through my muddy veins, and rooted deep within my cracking marrow.
To breathe this fresh mountain air everyday is a gift beyond ken, one that I wrap up every day and lay at my children’s feet. A gift they may cast off, toss into a corner to gather dust and cobwebs. Until one day they discover it anew, brush off the filth of time, give it a quick spit-shine and, eyes shining, behold a buried treasure. Golden. True.
Read more
This morning, when I danced bare-toed in my Birkenstocks through the blistering cold of the frosted ...
Media Removed
This morning, when I danced bare-toed in my Birkenstocks through the blistering cold of the frosted grass to I let the chickens out of their coop, my friendly flock greeted me with sad news. Sometime during the long hours between daybreak and dark the flighty little soul of True Blue, one ... This morning, when I danced bare-toed in my Birkenstocks through the blistering cold of the frosted grass to I let the chickens out of their coop, my friendly flock greeted me with sad news.
Sometime during the long hours between daybreak and dark the flighty little soul of True Blue, one of the most popular of the Original Girls and a Top Hen in the pecking order of the flock, took her last flight and broke free from her mortal, feathered chains. .
I had noticed that True’s molting was particularly rough and her raven black feathers took twice as long as the other hens’ to fully regrow. She ran around the yard looking like she’d been out partying till the wee hours, rode hard and put back sopping wet. Even with extra tasty organic morsels, mealworms and apple cider vinegar-laced water her once magnificent blue-black feathers never regained their former glory.
So when I opened the coop door this morning and the Popular Girls scurried past me, clucking and gossiping their way to the feeding pallet I immediately noticed that True Blue wasn’t part of the first served-In Crowd.
I waited for the rest of the flock- the other Original Girls with lower rank, like poor hen-pecked Eyebrows and The Hen, followed by the four younger birds who just hatched this spring and have no rank at all.
Once the coop was empty I stepped inside, letting my eyes adjust to the gloomy room before scanning the roosts and the feather-littered floor for any sign of True Blue. I finally found her cold, stiff body in the nesting box nearest the floor.
I crouched down and gently lifted her nearly weightless body from the nest, and then spied something shining in the nest.
I leaned closer, straining my eyes in the dim light and reached out to grasp True Blue’s last earthly egg, a beautiful, true blue color that literally shone like a jewel in the shadowy, empty coop.
I carried True Blue’s body and her lovely last egg out into the morning sunshine, and as I stepped from the dark coop into the light of day I felt a flutter and a cold breeze fly past my shoulder. Perhaps it was True Blue’s soul, lingering near her body and then following, flying, out the door, into the beyond.
Gone.
Read more
Time is a funny thing. Sometimes, when things are a bit hard, lonely or the weather especially tedious, ...
Media Removed
Time is a funny thing. Sometimes, when things are a bit hard, lonely or the weather especially tedious, the days can seem to drag on forever. But then, when I look back throughout time and space, the years seem to have flown by in the blink of a grey blue eye. I think about my son, and missing him, ... Time is a funny thing. Sometimes, when things are a bit hard, lonely or the weather especially tedious, the days can seem to drag on forever. But then, when I look back throughout time and space, the years seem to have flown by in the blink of a grey blue eye.
I think about my son, and missing him, I try to visualize his face as I say my thousandth beseeching prayer for his safety and strength during boot camp.
I can easily conjure the ruddy, dimpled cheeks and tousled, wavy, red hair of his toddlerhood while simultaneously seeing that image superimposed over the chiseled cheekbones and ginger ‘stache of current days.
With that metamorphosis in mind, I wonder how he’s changed since he’s been gone, and if I’ll recognize the man behind the sky blue eyes when he returns home from his quest, triumphant yet forever altered...
Read more
I was feeling so optimistic for spring and then it went and snowed all over my parade. Yesterday, ...
Media Removed
I was feeling so optimistic for spring and then it went and snowed all over my parade. Yesterday, there were green shoots poking out from amidst the muddy, water laden pastures, and today all green has disappeared under a freezing blanket of icy white. And yet, I suppose that is the volatile ... I was feeling so optimistic for spring and then it went and snowed all over my parade.
Yesterday, there were green shoots poking out from amidst the muddy, water laden pastures, and today all green has disappeared under a freezing blanket of icy white.
And yet, I suppose that is the volatile nature of April, who often reminds me of tempestuous tweenage girl: sunny, warm and full of the promise of fruitful days to come, and then suddenly a hormonal storm descends, a cold shoulder of contempt freezing hearts as she thunders her feelings at all who dare to cross her path.
And then, almost magically, the clouds depart and it’s all sunshine, rainbows and melting hearts— until the next storm blows in.
Read more
The spring thaw is spreading over the mountain, washing away the snow and sending waves of water ...
Media Removed
The spring thaw is spreading over the mountain, washing away the snow and sending waves of water down pathways of least resistance. The color green is swelling up from the water-logged earth, pushing new shoots of life through the tangled, winter-worn pastures and offering tasty bites ... The spring thaw is spreading over the mountain, washing away the snow and sending waves of water down pathways of least resistance.
The color green is swelling up from the water-logged earth, pushing new shoots of life through the tangled, winter-worn pastures and offering tasty bites to hungry birds and beasts alike.
Every day we see new birds alight in the swollen pond and hear new trilled melodies great the rising sun.
And with each day passing day our little lass is swelling within me... stretching, rolling and kicking with all the force of spring.
Read more
Late last night, during a bout of pregnancy related insomnia, I found myself going through old photos ...
Media Removed
Late last night, during a bout of pregnancy related insomnia, I found myself going through old photos on my online Google Photos drive. These two pictures stood out for me, as they show the sibling bond between Cedar and Esmé and are really representative of the life we lead. The first photo ... Late last night, during a bout of pregnancy related insomnia, I found myself going through old photos on my online Google Photos drive.
These two pictures stood out for me, as they show the sibling bond between Cedar and Esmé and are really representative of the life we lead.
The first photo was taken in June 2014, soon after Cedar first cut his wavy ginger locks and began the transformation from boy to man before our eyes. Esmé was a rascally, vibrant, leather-footed little 8 year old who thought her brother walked on air.
Some things change, and some stay the same... The second shot was taken a couple months earlier, (and ironically, exactly 4 years ago to the day) on April 6, 2014 after a spring snow storm. My dad had recently given Cedar his old single-shot .22 Winchester from his own youth, and big brother was running little sister through the paces of gun safety, operation and accuracy.
These days we’re all missing that ginger haired big brother and wondering how his first week of boot camp went, if his Drill Instructor is as intimidating as we imagine him to be (probably, yes😳) and when we’ll receive the first letter home from our Marine in training.... And now I’m just sitting here by the warm hearth, listening to a couple baby chicks rustle about in their shoe box, thinking about my kids and how fast they’ve grown, dreaming about our new little lass to come and keeping the home fires burning while the spring rains melt the last of the snow in the secrecy of night.
Read more
These are the golden days of pregnancy, after the woozy, dreamlike fog of the first trimester has ...
Media Removed
These are the golden days of pregnancy, after the woozy, dreamlike fog of the first trimester has passed and before the weight of uterus and baby drag a mama down into the relentless doldrums of the third. These are the days when energy feels boundless and the staccato quickening deep inside ... These are the golden days of pregnancy, after the woozy, dreamlike fog of the first trimester has passed and before the weight of uterus and baby drag a mama down into the relentless doldrums of the third.
These are the days when energy feels boundless and the staccato quickening deep inside the womb remains a whispered secret between mother and child.
These are the days when formerly brittle fingernails begin to strengthen, hair grows shiny, soft and lengthens ever longer, when sleep urgently beckons and dreams become as vivid as reality.
These are the days when a husband’s eyes shine as he gazes at his ripening wife, the woman goddess carrying his mystery child. Marveling to himself at how she glows from within, as the magic of creation unfolds before him.
These are the days of creation and magic and wonder and grace.
#20weeks
Read more