Thursday, November 21, 2013


On our farm we have lots of good helpers. We are going to use images from circa planting season Spring 2013 to illustrate this point.
Here we go.
Tanner is a good helper. See Tanner spreading soil booster on the garden bed.

Mike is a good helper because he runs the tractor to dump good, aged pig poo and compost on the garden.
Mike's mom Sharron is a good helper because she does LOTS of work around the farm and added beekeeping and honey producing to our bag of tricks.
Karlie, Mike and Macy are good helpers because they plant the garden while I sit in a chair and supervise because I smooshed my back in a dramatic little farm accident that did not have nearly enough witnesses considering it was so spectacular.

See Tanner looking like a handsome farm boy in his Grandpa's old boots and Dad's old jeans while spreading this cool, natural soil booster on the garden just before the storm hit.
Chickens are good helpers because they give us eggs, poo for the garden and lots of entertainment.
Here we have two helpers in one -- Macy and a future egg layer and chicken poo pooper.
Now, do you want to know who is NOT a farm helper?
Well, I'll tell you.
These guys.
This is Otis and Jackson.
Otis is Jackson's son. And his nephew. He is not, however, his own grandpa. We take inbreeding only so far around here.

See this teeth baring frolic? This is standard fare from these fellas.
Chasing away coyotes? No.
Protecting the chickens? No.
Herding a few sheep maybe? Well, we don't actually have sheep, but still, I'm guessing the answer would also be No.

These fellers are content to let Tanner work away on the garden bed, while they shamelessly squander the last moments before the looming storm overtakes the farm. These pooches serve no practical purpose on this farm and they appear to be perfectly OK with this sad state of affairs. 

At least this fella is working hard at filling a void...a void left by Mike and the girls planting the plant starts that had previously filled up this tray.

These guys don't work on the farm, because actually, they don't even live here. They live a couple houses down and yelled at me every time I went to feed and water them while their owners were on vacation. They don't do one darn thing for us, either, but at least they have an excuse since they don't live here.

These guys? No excuse. No excuse at all.

Oh, well. I guess if you're no help at all, being cute, devoted and loveable provides some measure of compensation.
But cute doesn't get the tomatoes picked, now does it?
Otis and Jackson may need to undertake some reflection and self evaluation this winter to see if they can step things up a little bit come next planting season.
Love from the farm,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas Temptations

The sky is wet today, the wood stove is toasty and it feels like winter, which means it feels like Christmas. And I want to listen to Christmas music.

Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who have gone on record that I get annoyed when Christmas leapfrogs Thanksgiving right after Halloween, so I either have to eat my words or stifle my desire.

I'm stifling my desire. Because when I say I've gone on the record, I mean to this rather disturbing degree:

Yep, I posted that on Facebook awhile back.

So, I'm stuck with my darned publicly proclaimed stance, which means even though I'm feeling Christmasey and the wassail is filling the air with its orangey-appley-clovey-cinnamoney aroma, I am not listening to Christmas music today.

I am, however, listening to Frank Sinatra Radio on Pandora, and it's kind of the same thing.

Can't wait for the day after Thanksgiving when I can crank those cra cra Christmas tunes.

So, I lift my mug of wassail and proclaim cheers to Not-Quite-Merry-Christmas Wishes from the Farm.

Take it away, Frank,

Thursday, November 7, 2013


What mysteries, what secrets, what veiled dreams lie behind Macy's rose-tinted glasses? What can we say that we know about this 15-year-old inscrutable puzzle?

We are going to explore the answers to those questions and many more through use of interpretive dance and song.
Just kidding.
We're going to turn to snapshots I've captured on my phone over the past 6 months and lurk on her Pinterest boards to find the answers. Pinterest reveals so much about our personalities and inner desires...and in some cases our innards, I suppose, but we won't go there. Today.

Let's start with Macy's not so guarded secret: this girl may qualify as a bona fide ex pat, living right here in northern Arizona. See Pin #1:

London is calling and she is loathe to deny its pull.
Macy has lined out the itinerary of the trip she'll be taking with best mate cousin Megan following graduation in three years; and thanks to Adam's layover in London on his return flight from South Africa this summer, she has a map of London over which she pores, plotting the routes she'll take while visiting. In 2017.
Why the keen interest in all things London?
Well, let's return to Macy's pins to see what they reveal....

This pretty much says it all. Oh, Benedict Cumberbatch, you and your sneering witticisms have captured the heart, soul and every waking thought of my sweet daughter. She is intent on relating to you entirely when you meet, which surely will happen because Macy's mind is made up and you don't underestimate the power of this girl's determination.
In preparation for your meeting of the minds and matching of wits, Mr. Cumberbatch, she has honed her snarkiness to a fine, fine edge. This choice of pin reflects a good dose of self awareness:
It also reflects the restraint she employs to keep some of her hysterical observations and vanquishing quips to herself. Good girl. Moderation in all things. You have more than three years before you jet off to London; you'll need someone to talk to between now and then.
In spite of what restraint she may exhibit, it is still evident that the inside of her head looks like this pretty much every moment - waking or sleeping:
This is not to say Macy is one dimensional -- heavens, no.  This girl has many facets, and oh, how they shine. Often, however, the shine is a glint of mischief in her eye when she alights on some fantastic idea. Like this one for instance:

Yep, this happened. Macy discovered this on Pinterest, and it didn't take her long to convince me to help her give it a try with Karlie's tortoise Scooter. 

Have you heard of the great Pinterest fails? Well, this was one of them. We thought for sure this would be an easy little diapering job and allow us to let Scooter roam the house without fear of him leaving behind tiny piles of poo or miniature puddles. No such luck. Apparently the tortoise pictured above didn't have a tail, because Scooter's runty little tail was not about to abide this obstruction. Darn it. We thought it was sheer genius.

Now don't take my scrutiny of Macy's innermost musings as criticism. I didn't say I don't like how the girl thinks; I just admit it is a little off beat at times.

Speaking of off beat, Macy's heart is broken that these guys no longer have the beat, at least not with one another:

I daresay that she is as torn up over My Chemical Romance's split as I am at the prospect of George Strait announcing he won't be touring anymore. And that's saying a lot.
This is serious heartbreak, I tell you. True anguish. The below is wholly accurate:

I am confident if I listened in on her evening prayers, I'd hear an entreaty for a reunion tour.

Moving on to more Pinsights....

Macy isn't a big sports person. She'd like to participate in them, but we're still on that long road of managing her asthma to a point that she can exert without turning blue. In addition to not being a sports gal, she isn't much of a sports fan either. Reference the below Macy pin:

Enough said.

Macy can be a good sport, though. Take helping out around the farm.

Farming and gardening aren't really her thing. She'll do as she's asked and generally appear to endure to the end.

But the reality is, her true feelings about the whole thing are never far from the surface.
I believe her fingertips were caked with dirt here. It was apparently distressing.
It isn't that Macy doesn't like outside stuff. She likes outside.
See? Here she is liking outside with her cousin Megan up at Sundance in Utah.

And here she is liking outside with friends in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona.


But working outside is a different story. She'll do it, and she'll do a good job. But she will find a way to make the work palatable so she can get through it.

It was admittedly a little disturbing that while helping me hand pollinate some zucchini plants that I thought were under producing (yeah, we can discuss that one later), her coping mechanism was to pretend to eat the little life producing pollen babies.

Whatever gets you through it, I guess. Ya weirdo.

I kid because this kid can take it. She is just the funniest, quickest, wholeheartedly proud, self-proclaimed nerd I know. As funny and quirky as this girl is, though, man, she's got some depths.

I love that she has boards filled with pins relating to how to raise happy, healthy children; organization and finance; dreams of travel and books she cherishes. And I love that sprinkled generously among her dreams and likes and recipes are gems like this one:

and this...
 and this...

 I love that she believes this without going completely over the top trying to prove it:

And, I love that she chooses to hold on to this idea:

And that the caption under this one read simply, "Remembering Boston."
I'm glad that this sentiment about integrity resonates with her:

And that she's decided this for herself:
But mostly, I love that at the end of the day, she knows what really matters:
That's my girl.
Love from the farm,

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Holey Ground

A while back, Dad and I were chatting about the pigeons that take over our barn from time to time.
OK, so it's pretty much all the time.
Admittedly we haven't done THAT much to deter them.
When we moved our first mama cat and kittens down to live in the barn, we didn't have a pigeon problem.
When the fluffy white Harry Potter owl lived in the barn, we didn't have a problem.
When a feisty little chicken hawk took up a roost in the barn, we didn't have a problem.
But, other than those brief weeks and months, we have pigeons. And plenty of them.
"Well, why don't you just have Tanner grab some boards or tin and cover the holes in the barn? I remember doing those patch jobs when I was a kid," says Dad, all innocent and guileless.
He didn't understand why I snorted the soda I was sipping.

This is just one wall of the barn.

We would never see Tanner again.

Love from the farm,