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,