Monday, May 20, 2013
My oldest sister, Donna, turned 65 in April. The celebration was yesterday, in the beautiful home of her daughter. It was a near perfect weather day, though perhaps a bit chilly. But that stopped no one from having a good time. Here she is with daughter, Emily. Laughing. There was a lot of that going on. A pot luck supper was served... and the food was as good as a serious belly rub. We had six hours (total) of driving to be there... but wouldn't have missed it for the world. Happy birthday, sweet big sister! I love you.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
I sometimes joke that I would like, "She got a lot done!" carved into my tombstone. The days in which I feel that I have accomplished much are among my favorites. Today I got up and took care of all the livestock, then went to work. I worked all day, and while there did a few extra things, like decluttered a messy counter, reframed a couple photos for the lobby and bathed the resident cat. Then I got home and ran a hot wire fence around our side yard. Next, I turned the horse out there so she could mow for me. Multi tasking! Feed the horse, mow the yard. I then moved the baby chicks from the small brooder cage in the kitchen to a kiddie pool in the garage. They were getting...um, odoriferous! They seemed very happy in their new space. After that, more multi tasking! I have a flower bed that has been completely taken over by a horrible plant called Bishop's Weed. I have been battling it for years, and decided that this year I am going to just smother the garden to kill EVERYTHING and then start over. I consulted with some gardener friends who suggested I cover the flower bed with thick layers of newspaper, then cover that with hay. I got 90% of the bed done tonight. This accomplished two things; weed murder AND removal of hay from the garage floor where it had built up over the winter from spillage of the bales as I fed. And... I tied Luna goat near another troubled area. Turns out she is excellent at weeding AND pruning! During all this I also popped a ham in the oven. It was done to perfection when it got too dark for me to work outside anymore. After I ate I had a lengthy interview for an article I will write tomorrow morning before work. Yup. I got a lot done.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
On Saturday, while at work, my boss/friend was called to the phone. The receptionist had a funny look on her face when she came to ask her to take the call. It was a short conversation, and when she got back I said, "Is everything ok?" "Everything is fine," she said. This was all very odd. I found myself thinking, "Maybe the call involved someone doing something nice for me." My next thought was, "WHY would you think that? It is not your birthday, it is not Christmas, why do you automatically think that any out of the ordinary call means that something nice is going to happen for you? How egocentric ARE you?" I berated myself. Then I thought, "Actually, that is sort of a nice outlook on life!" Later I found out that call WAS about me. My daughter had called to consult with my friend about a Mother's day gift. I've given my reaction a lot of thought, and I have decided that I like the fact that in my heart I believe that many mysteries are lovely things, waiting to bloom.
Monday, May 13, 2013
The call came before 8 AM. My friend Marion (she who instigates livestock trouble!) was on the line. "I just got a call from the post office. The chicks are here. I'll be by in a bit with yours." I had a zing of excitement. The brooder was ready with clean shavings, room temperature water and a chick feeder full of food. I have 25 meat birds, and am raising 6 layers for some friends. We carefully counted them out of the box. Marion would hand me a chick, I would dip its beak in water, then reach for the next one. They are tiny... golf ball sized,and they were LOUD. As they were removed from the tight quarters of their shipping box, they drank deeply, then found the food and ate and Ate and ATE. Then they piled up under the heat lamp and napped so soundly they looked for all the world like dead chicks; legs and wings splayed and heads flat on the soft bedding. They will outgrow this small, warm space in just a few days, then graduate to a small wading pool for a while. After that it will be a chicken "tractor" with pasture until they are grown. At every stage I will find them fascinating.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Sweet daughter Rachel came home for the weekend to spoil me on Mother's day. It is nice to have her home, I am prone to sneaking into her room in the middle of the night to just look at her, reveling in knowing she is here and safe. She is fun to be around when she is awake, too! Today we shared a time honored (maternal) family tradition and spent time "junkin'". We like to haunt antique stores, seeking treasures. We had some success today, I found a sturdy and very comfortable little stool that will be a perfect goat milking perch, and Rachel found a beautiful antique picture frame that she plans to turn into an earring holder by stapling wire screening to the back. We chatted, giggled a bit, and listened to some loud music. She gifted me with some cash so I can treat myself to a manicure or pedicure, something I enjoy but rarely indulge in. Even the goat kids remembered Mother's day. I received this bottle of "Love my Goat" wine, with a funny note. My day was sweet, from start to finish.
Many years ago when we lived in Memphis, I was at a customers house and saw what he called, "poor mans stained glass." He had taken the trunk of a cedar tree, trimmed the branches so that they were 4-6 inches long, then inserted antique bottles on some/many of the branches. The light danced happily on the multicolored bottles and I thought to myself, "Someday I am going to have one of these." Fast forward to this year. After Christmas I scurried around and collected a number of discarded Christmas trees. The goats were delighted by them, nibbling off all the needles and some of the bark. This week I was gathering the poor, naked things to put on our burn pile and I thought, "This trunk is really pretty, even though it is naked. It would make a great bottle tree!" So I nipped off the branches with my trusty garden wackers and then... I gathered up a selection of old bottles from the front porch, and... With the help of my daughter dug a nice little hole to "plant" the tree in. Then we got busy... This is a work in progress, I want to rearrange a bit and add more bottles, but I am pleased with the effort and had fun. It is nice to know, too, that the Christmas tree served many uses! Holiday decoration, goat fodder, and now garden art!
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Yesterday we took a drive to Liberty, Maine, where I interviewed someone for an upcoming article. Then we swung into Liberty Tool, a place we'd been by a few times but had never explored. I was enchanted by the time I hit the front porch, laden with fascinating objects. Inside... what a feast for the eyes! Three floors of tools, antiques, odd whimsical items,and some very funky signage. Outside there were some things of interest, as well... It was a lovely diversion in a busy day.