Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fanciful? Me? Pshaw!!

I just planted the first utterly useless, completely impractical plants of the year. Call it whimsy, call it vanity, call it frivolity, but they exist here, beside my front porch, solely to please me. That is their only function. I can't eat them, can them, dehydrate them, or make medicine from them (i don't think...). Their presence here, on the farm, is to do naught but be pretty, smell good, and attract pretty little animals. I will waste water, time, and effort on them. I will fight to keep the chickens away from them. I will sit beside them on my porch and watch as butterflies and hummingbirds frolic among their blossoms. And I will breathe in their delicate scents. They will make me happy and that's all they need to do.

What are they, you ask? What flowers could possibly cause me to so suddenly wax poetic? Nothing exotic or fancy. Just jasmine and gardenias. And, oh man, do they smell good! Already! The jasmine is rife with flowers and the gardenias are laden with buds. Of course, a little of their visual appeal is hampered by the fact that they are surrounded by a crudely constructed chicken wire fence. And they're still a bit too small to actually SEE from the porch. But, whatever. They're pretty and I love them. End of story.

So I'm trying to figure out the best place to publish a bunch of my photos. I was going to do it here on the blog, but it's not going to work. Upon deciding to post more photos, I went for a nice little walk around the property this morning to see what I could see. I like to photograph small things. I'm not very good at still life or landscapes or portraits, but I'm ok at macro. Not good, just ok. So, expect lots of pictures of little stuff from the woods and gardens. The only addendum to that are photos from our trip out west a couple years ago. The Pacific coast lends itself to good photographs. It's the beauty of the place, not the skill of the capturer.

In other news, aside from bragging about my pretties, the rest of the seedlings are going in the ground today, ready or not (but mostly ready. I'm not just gonna toss fragile little baby plants out into the cruel, cruel world to fend for themselves.). Which means!!! I get to reclaim my bathroom! That lightstand has been in there for months, since before I moved up here, really. I have no idea what I'll do with all that extra space. I'm giddy with anticipation...although it'll probably end up home to mounds of clutter just like the rest of the house.

I refilled the birdfeeders yesterday. It had been awhile. I kept wondering why all the birds just seemed to disappear when a month ago or so they were all over the place. Duh. All the feeders were empty. I was inspired to check when I saw, for the first time in my life, what I later identified as a scarlet tanager. Freaking gorgeous bird! I want to bribe him to come back and bring all his buddies, so I refilled the bribe dishes! Keep your fingers crossed that he hangs out for a bit.

I'm going to go watch for him right now.

Oh, also, a personal request. After falling victim to the heinous economy, big sister has an interview tomorrow. Send her some good mojo for me, will ya? She's gonna rock it, I know she is.

That is all :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time flies!

Wow, long time, huh? Sister-in-law brought it to my attention that I've been utterly slacking in the blog department lately. She's right. I guess it just didn't cross my mind that there are actually people out there who want to read my drivel! So, here we go! More drivel!

The days up here on the farm have been hectic busy interspersed with rain. Lots of rain. And on rainy days, I really have no idea what to do. Sure, I could clean up the house, or unpack the rest of the boxes, or start more seeds, or any number of other very productive things...but mostly I sit and wonder what I should be doing. I've been doing a bit of baking (and my bread is coming right along!), some candlemaking, and a bit of other making-of-things, like laundry soap and dish detergent.

It's ridiculously easy. seriously. And for two gallons of laundry soap I paid dollar. I'll post a recipe in a few days. Now, my laundry situation is probably a bit different from the lot of you. I don't have a washer or dryer. I knew this when I moved up here and I figured I'd just truck it down to the ol' laundromat once a week and knock it out. Wrong. Never have I been to a more soul-killing, mind-numbing, beige place in my life. I went twice. It was all I could take.

I'm not sure what exactly it is about the laundromat that wreaks such havoc on my psyche...but, man, I just can't deal. So! I've been handwashing our clothes for the last few weeks. And boy, that takes some getting used to. I haven't really established a system as yet. I've just been tossing everything in the tub (or the sink for the unmentionables) with some detergent; soaking for a bit; agitating (elbow grease, people, elbow grease!); draining; refilling; rinsing; wringing; hanging to dry. But! The universe took a shine to me this week and I found this post on one of blogs I read. This woman is an inspiration. And her laundry post was so freaking timely! I now have an idea brewing on how to actually make this handwashing laundry thing efficient. Now, if I could find a wringer, I'd be in business!

What else...hmmm. I mentioned the ridiculous number of chickens we got a couple weeks ago. Well, we still have em. And as nature goes, they're getting HUGE. They'll be moving out of the well-house into a temporary shelter B conjured up for use until the proper and fine (read: made of pallets) hen house is ready. There have been a few losses, which I think is kind of inevitable when you have that many babies. While sad, it's part of the game up know, making food.

Speaking of food, the garden is rocking right along. the squash and cukes have their flowers, the strawberries are jumping out of the bed begging to be smashed and boiled into jam, the peas are out of control, everything is looking good...and my tomatoes haven't died yet! I haven't mentioned it yet, but sometimes (every year) I have problems with my tomatoes...they just don't seem to want to stick around. So far, so good though!

So, life is good up on the ridge. Spring has been magical; I've danced around a fire under the full moon; I've seen so many shades of green it's mind-boggling; I've walked on carpets made of moss; heard Mother Nature cry out her welcome in all the voices of the forest; and gone to sleep under the stars.

Blessings to you all!