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May 5th 2012

head first

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Gearing up for mothers day, bridal meetings, dahlia planting, weddings, and hopefully tucking about a million and one babies out into the field once this torrential rain lets up. Boy, this spring is one for the books!
To everyone I owe emails and phone calls, they’re coming, I promise!
This week I heard mumbled, ” being the jack of all trades and the master of none” in reference to my wild, flower filled life. Hmmm? I acted like it was funny when she said it but that comment really stung.
From the outside, it does look like a blur of heavy labor, beautiful flowers, exhaustion, obsession, joy and bubbling over excitement. If you need things in order, my life will likely break you out in hives ;)
Yes, there is a pile of dirty laundry in the basement taller then you or I, every dish in the house needs washing, the lilies are days past watering, the cats need fleas drops, I haven’t cooked a real meal all week and the chicken run is a puddle of mud… but there are too many wonderful things that I want to experience and be part of night now. So, we just work around the mess, eat a lot of gluten free pizza and move forward through these crazy days.
I want to dive head first into all of these glorious weddings that have found their way to me. I want to deliver van loads of packaged flowers in the middle of the night. I want to add another greenhouse, another batch of roses, to fly to California to take a workshop from one of my heroes…. the list goes on and on.
In my heart I know we’re on the right path and somehow we always manage to keep all of these balls in the air. But sometime those naysayers on sidelines, with a twinkle in their eye, just waiting for me to fumble get under my skin.
But falling is just part of the process and the faster you get up, the faster you’re back in the game.
These two quotes are my anecdote to the negativity:
Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.
The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.
both by Oprah Winfrey 



  1. growingflowers on

    Thank you for writing and giving a glimpse that your life is, ALSO, not just filled with flowers. What a relief….. I keep trying to figure out how to write about the challenges in my blog, cause I know I love reading other people's real life stories.

    Your life is so full of intention and beauty. But I find that intention, kindness, hard work and all of that good stuff is never enough to ward off the naysayers. It's the truth. You are such an inspiration Erin! I love reading your blog, and basking in the flowers……

    love to you!

  2. Zoe Tilley Poster on

    …master of none? Ha! You grow all those flowers – so graceful, so bountiful – in all those beds that look like they are cut from chocolate cake, on only a couple-or-three acres, with your lovely family (which from this side of the screen look to be healthy and happy)… I would not say you are master of none, but quite the opposite.

  3. Stolen Flowers Farm on

    To hell with your naysayers, Erin!

    Being a jack of all trades is a goddamn good thing on a farm!

    What's even better is being Your Own Mistress.

    These "growing pains" will pass, Erin. You will get to a place where their opinion of your life means nothing.

    It's perfectly OK to have dirty dishes, muddy paths, and mountains of laundry, as long as the Sweet Babies and Handsome Husband are well cared for, and truly feel loved. And yours appear (via cyberspace) to be in pretty good shape.

    Erin, you are a Rock Star, a sought out expert, in a beautiful, very exclusive culture. You are inspiring women all over the country.

    You are sincere, modest, generous – perfectly virtuous (drinking and cussing are what separate us from the Angels). Keep doing what you're doing.

  4. McKenzie Powell on

    amen sista! (and if you're going to her workshop… maybe you could do some serious convincing and make me go. i want to soo badly. i just need someone to convince me. then maybe we can share a hotel room since we'll both be so broke.) ;)

  5. Morgan on

    I'm so excited to have stumbled across your website and blog for the first time this weekend. My dream is to someday have a little flower farm where I can design wedding bouquets and arrangements for weddings in Moscow, Idaho. You are so inspiring and lovely! "Jack of all trades, master of none" is something I've heard my entire life. Pffft. From where I stand, you are truly a master of creating and surrounding yourself with beauty. Cheers!

  6. Bare Mtn Farm on

    Not much more I could add to the great words and inspiration being given to you by all the others above. Except to say; from those of us in the trenches like you, we know how damn hard this job is and it Does take a master to do it all. Who cares about the laundry, the dust bunnies, the blackberries and the dishes, they will all get done at some point but nature and the flowers are moving now and you need to dance with the passion and joy of doing your job so very well. You are the Master of all that surrounds you. You are the Master of your dreams!

  7. cooksmarket on

    This life that you live comes once, and ends in a moment. Each precious second spent in a dance from adventure to adventure makes life worth while. I have never attended a funeral where the child of the departed told stories about their mother's laundry pile, no they tell the stories where the moments are filled with chaotic, crazy, love and dreams. What you are doing with your business, family, and your own life is inspiring the world in its own special way. Also I have found that mastery is a very illusive prey, better to hunt for improvement and joy. You are amazing and what you do is making a difference, and in all your pictures your kids are dressed, the animals are happy, and the food guide pyramid looks like pizza for a reason.

  8. Beyond My Garden on

    With my husband beside me, I immediately noticed the Alis Chalmers, knowing he would be trying to figure out d? or c?

  9. Heather on

    Chin up. This too shall pass, as my mother always said. I say treasure the moments of joy. Put in one load of laundry a day. Teach the kids to do their own. Whenever you find time to actually cook, cook a lot and freeze it. My best ever two gifts were a freezer from my husband and a bi-weekly cleaning lady provided by my sainted mother (who cares a lot more about dust bunnies than I do). Having a clean house for a few hours every other week and a meal or two in the freezer did wonders for my feeling able to cope with my chaotic, creative life.

  10. Flying Bear on

    incredible…you are truly an inspiration! i'm just starting out on the crazy, scary and beautiful journey of living the life of my dreams and you have been my blogging, flower-filled, farm mama inspiration for a long time! i love your dirty dishes and thirsty lilies, and i love your successful business and creative genius…it is all amazing! thank you so much for writing with so much candor and vulnerability and truth and joy :)
    with love,
    Melissa from Flying Bear Farm

  11. Laura on

    love your quotes … so true… keep up the good work… and continue to do what you love… there will always be dishes…and laundry…but fresh cut rose… or magnificent bouquet of local flowers.. is a masterpiece…. a joy to many… we love your blog.. it brings me great joy every night..after I come home from designing everyday with flowers sent from S America… poor things… my dream is to quit that and paint..I am seriously thinking of doing what I really love…

    have a great weekend…

  12. Brooke Howsley on

    To me you are the master of it all! I just arrange flowers grown by other talented folks, so it constantly amazes me that you grow these premium pretties. And your design style is one most talented designers never achieve. Add to that running a fun and creative household/farm and you've got a life most people would envy, as crazy as it must sometimes feel… We're all out here secretly cheering you on, so just give that lady one of our numbers for an earful.

  13. Bow Street Flowers on

    Master of None? wtf? your flowers don't just grow themselves into their gorgeousness. I'm hoping she didn't really know what she was saying: like people say 'sayings' thinking it means all of what they're trying to say. Maybe she admires you for ALL the things you do so well. Dunno, but the proof is in your farm, your family and your minfulness. You go, Erin… you're doing amazing things. To heck with the laundry. It'll get done.

  14. Linadlou on

    I must add my voice to the above 'Wise Women'. All of us creative types know the laundry will wait (and breed even more) so making this the best Saturday of the week is very important! I can't agree with the small minded 'someone' that used the 'master of none' quote. The way I see it, you're master of your own adventure.

  15. byrdandspry on

    I'm going to add my voice to the support above! I love what you are doing – your flowers, reading your blog, your take on it all! It's an inspiration to me. Life is for living, isn't it!

  16. Amelia on

    Some people are judgemental and stupid for who knows what reason. You have a life, which maybe they don't, and it sounds like you're loving it and living it. So you've got a bunch of stuff on your plate; good, better than an empty one. My laundry day used to be when my husband ran out of underwear!

  17. Julie on

    I learned a long time ago that you need to cut unkind people from your life. It sounds brutal, but honestly–life is too short to listen to meanness. As my daughter enters those tricky tween years, we've started experiencing some ugly voices among a few of the girls she grew up with. I've told her repeatedly that no one can make you feel bad unless YOU let them. Don't give them that power. Always, always be true to yourself, be kind to everyone, and no one can take away your power to succeed at what you love to do.

    So now, Miss Erin, I'm putting on my mommy hat and telling you the same thing! What you accomplish is so much more in one day than many people can begin dreaming of in a lifetime. Don't let the meanness into your head. You have a beautiful family, a wonderful life, and an amazing business. Laundry will ALWAYS be there. Think about the incredible memories you are making for your kids. Yay YOU!

  18. flowersandhome on

    Let them mumble! Do your thing! I for one think it's wonderful what you do, I wish I could do the same, sounds a lot of work but so fulfilling and exciting.

  19. Laurie (Fleurie) on

    Being a fellow florist I can understand. I too have the household things that go on hold, the dinners on the run and and and the list goes on. But it is spring and it is springing out all over!
    I grow flowers to provide myself and others joy. To add fun stuff to my flower orders and add that wow-what-is-that factor. I have seedlings all over the place waiting semi patiently while I make pretty flowers for people's most special of days.
    Do what you do and let the skeptics do what they do. Only other flower-obsessed folks understand.
    I admire your outlook on things.


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