Thursday, September 20, 2012

Awww Shucks, I Have To Shop

My relatively young chicken wellies have bitten the dust. I bought them from the scratch and dent gardening supply house at a slashed price last season because the printing wasn't flawless, and I thought I could live with that. (There were a few unnaturally elongated chickens along the bottom of the boots. It didn't bug me much. I didn't notice it every time I put them on. Really. It was fine.)

Apparently, the rubber wasn't as quality as a typical wellie, either, because the darn things sprung a big leak right on top of my right foot last month.

Awww, darn it.

I guess that means I have to get BRAND NEW ONES!!!

I'm the queen of wear-it-out, but I have to say I'm tickled pink that I have to find new boots. I mean, I HAVE to; I can't go sloshing around the muck in flippers all winter, now can I?

Hmmm, tickled pink.



Or maybe orange, being that it's so on-trend?

I could go with pretty flowers for my pretty (theoretical) garden...

This is a nice green, though, and says I am all business...I not only have a green thumb but green toes, too.

This green is OK, too, but I'm not loving it.

But, there's something about these that I love. What is it? I can't put my finger on it, but I love them. Is it a little touch of Dr. Seuss in my garden? Is that it?

And these...well, what can we say about these?

We can say that I am fairly certain they will never plant their fancy bootys on my soil, fetching though they may be, that's what we can say.
And still I keep coming back around to these...Seriously. I'm finding the pink irresistable. 

What do you think?  Pink? Stripes? Orange? I hate decisions.

Quick, I gotta get some fellers ordered. The rainy season is just around the corner.

Thank heavens for faulty workmanship. ;)

Love from the farm,

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Quick Year In Review

OK, it hasn't really been a year since I've just shared a little about what's been going on around here, but it sure feels like it. So, we'll tell our stories in pictures.

And, sorry to those who snorted your morning beverage out your nose when you read the title of this little rumination. You and I both know that there's never anything quick about my musings. Sorry about that.

Here we go.

In no particular order.

Karlie and friend Kallee have been having lots of county fair fun this week. Kallee's pig won several big awards in the 4H competition and was sold at auction for $5 a pound. With a 309 lb pig, that's a nice little chunk of cha-hing for this 12 year old. These two and their aviators, along with Macy and Kallee's little brothers were loaded up to go on a picnic with my Mom today.

Awww, there's my girl's eyes. So cute our newly crowned 12 year old! Yes, our baby is 12. I don't want to discuss it.

We can, however, discuss the cake she chose for her birthday. Darn Pinterest. (Just kidding, Pinterest, I love you. I do. Don't shut me out. Please. But this creation was just so over the top chocolate and sugar craziness and she never would have known about it if you didn't exist. That's all I'm saying.)

It was funny the number of people who said, "Tell me the CAKE isn't chocolate, too." It wasn't - it was yellow. But, honestly, under 2.5 POUNDS of M&Ms, we could have just filled in a funnel cake center with pure cane sugar and come out about the same on the nutrition label. What you can't see is that the cake fell apart because of the weight of the frosting. So, there are big vertical crevices crossing the cake...which, of course, we filled up with M&M's. I wasn't kidding about the 2.5 pounds. We had to tie the ribbon around the KitKats to hold it all together. That's not a delicate ribbon with whimsical lollipops adorning it, that there's a girdle. The girls who ate this at the sleep over were very quiet the next day. Very quiet.

Let's pause for a gratuitous puppy love shot before we move on. This sweet thing is underfoot these days, along with his two chubby brothers. Oh. So. Cute.

OK. On to Bijou.

Bijou climbed this tall electric pole on our property last week. We stared up at her for awhile and wondered how she was going to get down. Then we had to quit staring up at her because it was raining in our eyes and open mouths. Some time later, she came down. We're not sure what that little pilgrimage did for her.

Bijou is an enigma.

Adam is still in South Africa and having a fabulous time. See? In his cartoon of himself? That's a good time face and arms if ever I saw them. It's made it much easier having him away knowing he's feeling like that. He surpassed the one-year mark on Aug. 30. He's turning 21 this week. Now THAT's impossible. Really. Not possible. I remember when he was wee. Now, he's nearly 6-foot-three. (There's a folk song in those two sentences, I can feel it.)

Some people may look at our little weed patch and see...well, a weed patch. I see pretty flowers near the woodpile and the wonder of nature and signs of the Creator and...who am I kidding, we're a 2.75 acre weed patch with dollops of scrap metal and rusted feed barrels. We have a little work to do on our patchy little homestead.

Onto funner things. We have a new layer...I just read a blog yesterday by a lady who said she read a blog where a lady called these little eggs "fart eggs."  I laughed, but then I decided that I really like the soft, warm fuzzies I feel when I see these teeny eggs and realize one of our little chicks is growing up. So, I'm not going to think of them as fart eggs. I am not a 10-year-old boy. I am NOT.

Now, today is Miss Macy's birthday. She's 14. I'd lament her age, too, but I suppose that's wearing thin. Let's just say she's fabulous and I celebrate every single day we've had with this girl. (That's because my memories of the first 6 months of her life that she spent SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS EVERY WAKING MOMENT have grown fuzzy and I don't grind my teeth anymore.)

Nope, she's a quirky, witty joy.

She participated in the Jr. Miss Pageant at the county fair this week and earned a third-place trophy. Photos to come.

Can you read it? It says "Tanner Ave." There are lots of Tanner references around these parts. This street is in a nearby town. Apparently, Tanner was the family name of some important regional figure, at one time. My favorite ode to Tanner is "Tanner Wash,"  a (usually) dusty, wide wash that crosses under Interstate 40 west of us. Whenever we pass the sign, I like to bark the command, "Tanner, wash!"

Oh, it never gets old -- I chuckle every time.

Oh, all right, it's gotten old. None of them chuckle anymore. Not one of them. Fun suckers.

Hey, we got a new stove! A pellet stove. It's supposed to keep our whole house toasty. I'm a sucker for wood stoves -- they're romantic and nostalgic and crackly -- and I'm trying to muster up similar romantical feelings for this utilitarian object. I like that I love so many of our "tools" around here - wood fires, kitchen gadgets of all kinds, beautiful Dutch ovens, cozy quilts, the works.

I want to love this too but I haven't gotten past the fact that we'll buy sacks of little pellets and pour them into the back for a quiet fire, which is just so boringly functional. Oh well, Mike found some beautiful rock slabs he's going to use to fashion a foundation for this, and eventually we'll do some kind of rock wall backdrop. I know he'll make it look great.

And, we still have our fireplace in our room, so I can have crackly whenever I really need it. The pellet stove will be a wonderful way to stay warm this winter and I'm grateful for it.

We've had some gorgeous late summer storm skies here. The evening I snapped this the sky was gun metal grey and on the move...then the sun just hit that point on its way below the horizon that shot a burst of rays that lit up the barn to this crazy golden hue.  I love the big dramatic skies we get here.

And, I love this girl...even if she is thwarting all my desires and growing up on me. Dang it.

I just glanced back at these photos and thought of you poor people! If Adam were here he'd make me Photoshop all these pictures to fix the lighting and color and I'd crop them and everything. You're getting straight from the Droid to the blog and that's not very nice. Sorry!

Still, it's just a glimpse of some of the stuff that's been going on around here.

And just so you can rest assured some things never change:

We still have the girls and the old grey barn. So life is still good.

Love from the farm,

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's Like Magic!

Guess what I just discovered just this moment?

After MONTHS of not being able to log in to this here blog (except for a fleeting moment in July when I could get on but couldn't format, hence the astoundingly long run-on paragraph below), I decided randomly to try again (I do this every week or so and then I "harrumph!" and pout with my arms folded for a second when I get the same poopy error message) AND IT WORKED!! 

And what do I do first thing out of the box? Saddle you with an astoundingly long run-on sentence. I'm nothing if not consistent.

Now, I just need to start uploading some photos and we can get this show on the road! I just plopped that photo up top there for fun - just so you know that even with long absences, some things don't change around here. We still have chickens. And stuff sitting in front of the barn. All is well.

That's one of the girls -- one of our scrawny, home-hatched girls, bless her little pea-pickin' heart --  on the old "hay for sale" sign that the former owner of our little farmstead likely had on account of all the alfalfa fields that still surround us that he used to hay and that I hope one day we'll be able to buy. (By the way, "hay" is not only a noun but a verb around here, as in "hey, I saw you out haying the other day. That cutting looked sweet." I say things like that sometimes to make it sound like I know good hay from a hole in the ground. I don't. Mostly I just think it's really pretty waving in the field and like when it has pretty purple blooms and bees buzzing. You know what bees mean - pollination goodness for everyone. And the smell of fresh-cut alfalfa? Oh my goodness.

But I digress.

While we're digressing, though, and talking of hay, did I ever tell you I have an Uncle Hay? George Hay to be precise, and we always grew up calling him "Uncle Hay," but at some point I heard he decided he didn't want to be called "Hay" anymore. I don't know why, and I'm the tiniest bit ashamed to tell you that I have flouted his wishes and still call him "Uncle Hay" because that's all I know and I can't get used to anything else. I speak to him about once every 6 or 7 years; it's hard to develop a new habit with that level of infrequency. Plus, he doesn't look like a George to me. And, I already had my Uncle Frank and Aunt Lois decide earlier in the decade that Uncle Hay laid this on us that they had decided to go by George and Anna, after five decades or so of life, and that was a hard change for me, too. So really, Uncle Hay's request was just too much for me that decade; I'm sorry, Uncle Hay. And if it's really a problem, let me know. It's a new millenium, I'm up for a new challenge.)


Back to the hay fields surrounding our property.  I'm not holding my breath they'll become ours anytime soon yet because a) medical bills and taxes mean it will be a L-O-N-N-N-G time before we make any more major purchases, and b) **and this here's the big one** the fields come with a couple of wells and a S*W*E*E*T big ol' irrigation pump. And around these high desert Arizona parts, any farmer/rancher worth his salt is reticent, to say the least, to let go of water. And the farmer/rancher who owns the surrounding land is worth a lot of salt. And, his exact words to me when we purchased this place that also has its own well were (picture middle-aged, weathered farmer man shaking his head and looking down as he says,) "I can't believe I let those women talk me into selling my water."  Not 2.75 acres of land, a house, barn and outbuildings, mind you. To him, the thing of importance was that he'd let water slip through his hands. Even just a modest homestead/small irrigation well. It all counts. This here's drought territory.


I don't expect we'll be posting that "hay for sale" sign anytime soon, hence my not shooing the hen off it.

But I do hope to be posting here more again soon.But in shorter sentences. I promise I'll try. Swear.

Love from the farm,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

{tap...tap} Anybody Out There?

We're still here! Swear! And, boy, have I missed getting on here! So many times I wanted to settle in for a good chat but i kept getting error messages and had no patience to sleuth out why. But I'm back now...miss me? It's been many months since I was here, and much has transpired that you'll likely never hear about. Chiefly because for some reason I have the worst memory ever. It's a little alarming how poor my memory is. Seriously, it makes me nervous sometimes. Probably years of screamer migraines have left little pock marks in the grey matter. All the more reason to write when the iron's hot! So let's start now. Adam the spry missionary is having a fabulous time in South Africa, where it's presently winter. He's requested mint cocoa and cream of wheat for his birthday care package. Sitting through an Arizona summer, those two items aren't all that appealing right now, but you can bet I'll be hunting them down. I don't dare say this part too loudly but our little farm seems to have fallen out of favor with the local coyote cartel. They are no longer raiding the henhouse, thus the girls are growing and laying and setting. It's fabulous. We have eggs coming out our ears...and a maturing flock. It's a beautiful thing! The kids start school August 1 which I think is ridiculously early! I want them to have a few more weeks of no alarm clocks or disapproving lunch ladies reminding them they need mo money. Boooooo..... Best news of the hiatus: TanMan has had three great months and has felt better than he has since he became sick when he was 10. He's starting high school. So exciting. The co-best news was my sister getting the all clear on her cancer scan. She is out of the woods, free and clear, good to go, and all that jazz. We are over the moon and so grateful. We'll see if I can get back in the saddle here and check in a little more often. Hope you're all happy and healthy and sporting a healthy summer glow! Love from the farm, Teri

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some Days Are Pretty

Things here in this space lately have been focused on the down and dirty, so I figured I'd better share a little bit of the ...well...the at least not grody, before I completely scare off every last one of you.

I thought I'd share some of our more aesthetically pleasing and not poop-centered antics. The fact that these antics took place off the farm is not an indicator that non-poop-centered fun cannot occur here. This fun just happened to happen elsewhere, OK? We straight? Good.

Last Thursday, Mike, me, Dad and Mom were at the hospital in Flagstaff awaiting the outcome of my sister Lynda's spinal surgery. Everything went well - the surgeon was surprised at how uncomplicated Lyn's surgery turned out to be given that he had expected it to be a tense, long, and well, kind of dangerous endeavor.

Still, everything ended up going really well; no chest cracking or collar bone removing needed after all. The services of the cardiothoracic surgeon and neuromonitoring guy standing in - just in case - weren't needed, either. In fact, from the way the surgeon was acting afterward, I got the distinct impression those guys were just hanging out in the surgery theater, playing with their DSIs and IPads, totally leaving all the spine cutting and swabbing and suturing to Dr. Glover. Slackers. (Did I mention they put a little canister full of ground up bone in Lyn's neck in the hopes her spine will knit itself back together? Our bodies are so stinkin' cool.)


It was Thursday evening, after the surgery, that I was sitting with Lyn and Mike in the ICU, listening to the rhythmic, slurpy sound of her ventilator as she slept, that I noticed some soothing sounds coming from the hallway. When I stepped out of Lynda's room to find my way to the, I saw this guy sitting at the end of the nurse's counter in his wrinkled, undyed, unbleached, natural fiber button down shirt, strumming away on his acoustic guitar. Hangin' out. Just playing for the sick people. In his Birkenstocks. Eyes closed. Dude.   Not a half hour later, this fresh-faced, utterly serene 20-something girl with light brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, no makeup, dewey skin dotted with a light sprinkling of freckles, glided quietly into the room, stood in front of me and quietly said, "My name is Promise."

Well, of course it was.
Because this was Flagstaff after all, and nowhere does granola-lite like Flagstaff.  Not smelly, been hugging the trees a little too long granola like you might find in, Flagstaff has a much cleaner, soft-spoken brand of hippy chic going on here.
It made me smile to see these two characters in the ICU that night, and brought back the memories of my years living in Flag. Going to NAU, going to work for the Forest Service, getting married, having a baby, falling in love again, getting married again, this time among the quaking aspen, having another couple babies....  There's lots to love about Flag. It's a pretty mountain town, a bit unexpected for those who envision Arizona as desolate desert with cactus and rattlesnake, and that's all.
The city (which is technically a metropolitan area, but I don't buy it) has lots of little charming elements that make it a great place to stroll.

A couple weeks ago, I accompanied Lyn to a pre-op appointment that went waaaaayyyyy longer than we expected and it became apparent we weren't going to be able to high-tail it back home before the newspaper office closed, as I had planned. So, on to Plan B - stroll a bit.
First, we stopped by Late For the Train, a fabulous coffee shop where you can get all manner of drinks and goodies and all-natural baked goods.

They've changed things up a bit since I used to stop in here all those years ago when I lived in Flagstaff and worked just down the road from this yummy smelling place.

 See the ladies sitting at the table there?

They're another brand of Flagstaff resident. They're what I like to call the Patagonia crew. Or, in today's vernacular, the North Face group. Some of you may know them as the Eddie Bauer gang. You know the type - these gals could take off at any moment for a hike in a box canyon near Sedona, or strike out across the broad expanse for a little cross-country skiing action before heading to work in the morning. Time to break in the powder at the top of the mountain? This is your crew. And all of this will be done with brisk color in the cheeks and perfectly symmetrical, smooth, no-frills hair.

Yep, they're another face of Flagstaff.

I don't have photos here of the leather-elbow-patch professor set, environmentalists, artists, archeologists, or frat boys represented here. Perhaps another time.

Anyway, back to our wandering.

We checked out our favorite shops downtown. (See that rippled aluminum ceiling? Yep, I got a line on some of that stuff that we'll be putting into play around the house and farm. Yee haw.)

This cool little place wasn't here last time I wandered through. I didn't get to stop in, but will give it a try next time.

Ahhh, the candy shop. I love this candy shop. I've never bought anything in it, mind you. No, I love it because it is right next to the only public restroom I have found during my downtown wanderings, and usually, by the time I get to it, I am so glad to see it. This trip was no exception.

After the obligatory pit stop, Lyn and I went in to our favorite downtown shop, P.J. Chilcottage, and as usual, it did not disappoint. I was having way too much fun window shopping and forgot to take pictures of the darling boutique clothing items, clever decor offerings and many hand-made soaps. I loved these darling headbands, which I did not get for my girls, by the way. I had already snatched up some other cute hair things for them.

Then, I found these awesome children's books with big, fat, retro primary-colored artwork and I was sold. I knew I had to get one for niece Ellie.

See how pretty Gretel is? See how innocent Hansel looks? See how freaky the witch is?

I decided not to scar my sister's only child with the creepy put-the-kids-in-the-oven story, and opted for the much kinder, gentler story of the little girl being chased by a drooling wolf intent on devouring her with its crunching, slashing jaws.

See? Isn't that a much better tale for a just-turned-six-year-old? Nothing can be scary when you're looking at those chubby cheeks.   Then, I saw this card and thought again of Miss Ellie.

We haven't spent nearly enough time talking about Miss Ellie in these parts. But, trust me, this card fits the bill. I'll talk to you more about her later, then you'll be nodding and chuckling with me, agreeing the card is perfect.

On we strolled.

We found this place.

How darling is this, I ask you? I didn't ask Lynda to lounge on the lounge for a photo. Our stroll was pre-surgery and she wasn't much for the up-and-down motion lounging would have required.

Still, darling, darling merchandising.  Lynda picked up a few fabulous little things in here for our Aunt Carol's birthday. Shhhhhh, don't tell her.

For every Fizz in Flagstaff, though, you also have an Incahoots; you know, just to keep the cosmic balance.

If anyone has an explanation for Miss Greenie, here, feel free to fill me in. I'm not sure what disturbs me more - her head, those eyebrows or that horiffic purple bow.

It's a conundrum.

Here's the rest of the window display. I only included it so you can see that Chip 'n Dale are really creepy when you let them grow to gigantic proportions. And also because I think the reflection of the buildings across the street is kind of cool. I was using my unsophisticated phone camera with my woeful photography skills, so you can't expect much from me on these little outings.

By the way, if you have any friends who like to dress in drag ... and you know you have those friends ... this is the place for them. Wigs, flashy clothes, shoes...the works. I couldn't get past the smell of old shoes, so I didn't last long in the store. But the determined cross dresser would undoubtedly find some jewels in there, I tell you what.

OK, next we stopped at another candy store. Only this place isn't just for someone looking for a pit stop. This place is for serious candy lovers. See this girl here?

She's making caramel in that big ol' vat.


I didn't have any. In fact, I didn't have any candy at all that day, in spite of it being everywhere around me. Not sure how I let that happen.

I did buy Mike some candy, though. Contained in that cute little bag are turtles - milk and dark chocolate varieties - and a couple big slabs of peanut brittle. He was a happy boy.

If you decide you want to get in on some of that warm caramel action, just stop in here next time you're in Flagstaff.

They're sure to have something that will make your skirt fly up.

We went to a few other great places, and just enjoyed our strolling. Flagstaff has really evolved into a neat little mountain town. I remember it being less charming when I was a young girl and visited there. Now, it has a character that I really enjoy.

Son Adam loves Flagstaff and has never quite forgiven us for moving him from there about 13 years ago. Before he left for South Africa, he'd steal away to Flag for a hit, every so often. (A hit of Flagstaff, that is, not anything our granola-lite friends might have had to offer. Just to be clear.)
You know you're in a bit of a romantic state when even the murals and grafitti have you all gooey.

This slightly creepy mural really fascinated me and I know it really would have tripped Adam's trigger.

This nod to the Native American influence of the region was spray painted on the wall of the alley next to the candy store.

But it was this scrawl that I drove past while we cut down an alley that just made me all warm and fuzzy inside. Just a plastered, unfinshed cement wall with such an optimistic message.

I loved it.  Talk about seeing beauty where most might not expect to. Talk about hope.

This turned out to be my favorite image of the day. It kind of epitomizes life right now.

Lyn's coming out of a dismal, grey period where she felt lousy for a couple years, found out cancer was the culprit, cut out her thyroid, blasted the leftovers -- and her insides -- with radiation to obliterate the dirty cells, then waded through months of pain waiting to get well enough to tackle her spinal injury.

I believe there is ample opportunity for beauty and life to grow out of the desolate place she's found herself.

And, I'm ready to hang out by her side till she's ready for the sunshine to do its thing in her life again.
Love from the farm (with rejuvenating trips to pretty here and there),

Friday, January 27, 2012

I...I...I Gotta Go!

I thought I'd sit down and catch up on a few of my favorite blogs, but it turns out I gotta get out of here. Because I just witnessed something that I shudder to describe. It can't be described. Shouldn't be described. SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN. EVER. (Mom, stop reading now.)

Sometimes farm life is just way too...farmy.  I'm about to subject you to the dark underbelly of farm living that most self-respecting women won't discuss. Won't even whisper about. I'm going to blow the doors wide open on this secret shame that women are supposed to be genetically hardwired to keep quiet.

See, our old swiss cheese Adobe farm home is right next to a (now dormant) alfalfa field, then surrounded by high desert and pasture and grazing land around that, with homes and corrals here and there. If you don't know already, swiss cheese + fields + wide open spaces = mice.

Mike has been on a quest of late to kill all the mice that have taken up residence since the fall. We haven't had mice around here since the first year we moved in; but this year, we've got 'em. And we are working hard to get rid of them.

Mike's tried a few different methods  to get rid of the critters. We've considered poison, but we'd hate to have the poisoned mice run outside and get eaten by one of our cats (although, if the cats were doing their job a little better, we might not have this issue, but that's another topic altogether.) Right now we're down to just good old fashioned traps. You know the kind? Put down the cheese or peanut butter, then SNAP

This morning, Mike reported he caught/killed six mice last night. Six. I didn't want to know there were six mice around here. There aren't enough Clorox wipes in the world for the kind of obsessive disinfecting I'm fantasizing about. But, that's not the end of the story.

Guess what, Mikey? One of your contraptions caught one more little fiend this morning. Then, Ben the Kitten found the trap. (Little late to the game there, Benny.) And nothing good has come from that development. No, no, nothing good at all. And I am absolutely not getting close enough to intervene.

So, I'm leaving the house till he's done with his barbaric adventure.

I'm going outside to build a moat around the house to keep any more of the whiskered fellers from finding their way in.

Ew. Ew. Ew.Ew. Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.

(By the way, lest you think those other bright, shiny apple-cheeked farm bloggers don't have anything so icky happen in their little farming adventures, think again. They do. I'm sure of it. They must. Mustn't they? Please?)

Love from the farm,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thwarted Plans...And That's OK!

(WARNING: There are a startling number of parentheses in this post. I'm not sure where they all came from, but they appear to have hijacked this entry. I hope you'll make it through OK. T-Dub)

Today, I was going to A) sleep in, then B) can up a bunch of chicken and beef I bought on sale this week, then C) go into the office and write a few articles for Wednesday's paper.

That was the plan.

I did Part A.

Then I jumped into Mike's truck, ran to town, grabbed the family a dozen donuts and myself two sodas (one for now, one for the fridge) through the drive-thru at our local donut shop, and got back home without anyone finding out I left home in my jammies. (Except the drive-thru girl, and I think she'll keep it between us.)

All set to start on Part B of today's plan, I went to the refrigerator only to find no chicken. Not a single breast. What happened to my chicken? Then I remembered...I'd put the chicken in the freezer because I didn't want to chance it beginning to get even a little "off" before the weekend. I bought it from a grocer I don't usually buy meat from and I just didn't want to chance it being anywhere near on its way out, you know?


As much as I was looking forward to putting up the jars of meat for the year (we're down to our last pint of canned chicken), I admit it didn't take me long to decide to use the time I'd planned to work on Part B of today's agenda another way.

I hopped back into bed with my favorite Christmas present.

OK, technically, it's Mike's Christmas present, but it is one of my favorites.

I caught up on updates from a few of my favorite blogs on the magical glowing Kindle.

And, now, I'm going to again crawl back into bed next to my slumbering husband (he worked from 6p last night and got home after 7a today) and do a little in-depth studying of a subject I feel the need to master:

Nothing like snuggling up next to your sweetheart on a blustery winter's day, and learning the fine art of letting things rot. So excited! (And by the way, I'm not kidding when I say blustery. I've been watching leaves swirling outside our front picture window the whole time I've been writing this. I love swirling leaves.)

Where was I? Oh, I was excited. Very excited...I can't wait to become a master composter.

(See the little glimpses of bedding surrounding the Kindle and book? That's my VERY favorite Christmas present this year...a beautiful quilt made by my Aunt Carol for Mike and me. I LOVE it! Not only because it is exquisitely crafted -- I'm fairly certain she won a ribbon at the county fair for this, this fall; I'll have to check -- but it's made with love and care, which she imparts in all of her handmade creation. She is such a lovely lady...I adore her. Thanks again, Aunt Carol. It makes me happy everytime I look at it. Every single time. So happy, in fact, for the first time in our 15 years of married life, Mike and I make our bed every day. And, I'm sure that makes my Mom happy, too. And Mike's mom. Our messy bedroom is pretty much legendary. Aunt Carol had no idea how many lives she would touch with this quilt.)


Before I go back to bed with my Diet Pepsi from Donuts Plus (there's an oxymoron), let me leave you with a shot of this little sweetie.

Macy was bringing in firewood and picked this little guy up and brought him in to say hi.

Hi, little rooster boy, who hatched in our home a few weeks ago. Glad to see you! Do you remember this place? Smell familiar? No? That's because you and your aromatic sibs aren't living in here anymore. Still, we love you dearly and are glad to see you growing like a little weed. (Note the lovely natural color variation in Macy's hair. Remember those days, ladies? The days of free color highlights? Those were the days.)

OK, we've covered a lot of territory this morning. I'm going to leave you now and go crack my book open for the very first time.

Don't even get me started on how much I like to crack open a new, never-opened-before book.  Or snuggle next to a sleeping husband. Much as I like Mike's Kindle, I'm a bonafide non-virtual book girl, through and through.

I'll get to Part C of the plan a little later on. Part B was going to take hours. No sense abandoning the plan altogether.

Love from the farm,