Monday, November 28, 2005

a painting

As the weather is getting more dreary, I thought I'd post a little oil sketch I did in warmer times. I give you June.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a quiet little Thanksgiving. It was just the three of us this year. Big Daddy roasted the turkey. After paying $1.99 a pound for an organic, free-range bird, I've decided to follow Jamie's example and raise my own next year. I may even raise a few extras to sell and cover the cost of fattening them up to perfection. Monkey helped me make the whole wheat dinner rolls. She loved rolling the dough into little balls to make clover leaf rolls. We had cranberry sauce, green beans, brussel sprouts, wild rice pilaf and sweet potato to go along with the turkey.

After we got the turkey deboned and all the good bits in the soup pot, we went for a walk at the park. It was a lovely day here. The sun was shining and it was in the mid-40's. The chickens spent most of the morning outside celebrating the fact that they are not turkeys.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Morning

The forecast is rain, followed by rain/snow tonight, followed by snow after midnight. I'm keeping a disbelieving watch out my window.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Grande Dame of Little Creek Farm

The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of... Thoreau

Chelsea enjoys a Sunday morning in her favorite spot.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Girl's Day

Big Daddy is out of town again. Monkey and I quite enjoyed ourselves in his absence. To start, I helped escort Monkey's class to a performance of Peter and the Wolf. She sat enthralled through the whole performance, barely moving a muscle, except for the moments when she tried to mimic the ballerina portraying the duck. She is in love with the duck. Her favorite instrument is the violin. She announced that she will play one - a pink one, and she would like it for Christmas. She says, "I will be a violinist."

"Oh," I say, "I thought you wanted to be a doctor like Dr. E." "Yes," she replies, "A doctor like Dr. E. Only I will be an animal doctor and take care of their hearts. I will have a pink telescope (stethoscope) AND I will play the violin." And after a slight pause, "And I will be a ballerina princess." That's my girl.

Later we dined out for lunch, did some grocery shopping, made curried split yellow pea soup for dinner, played Candy Land, and roasted marshmallows over the fire. Monkey was in bed a half an hour early tonight. She needs her rest if she plans to follow the career path she's chosen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Life As Usual

Life here has been just rolling along. Nothing exciting has been happening. The chickens are happy and are laying their eggs. Everyone is healthy. Perhaps that is why I let almost a whole week pass without any blog entries.

We have been experiencing unseasonably warm weather, but I think that may be at an end. Temperatures are supposed to drop 20 or 30 degrees over the course of the day and it's rather wet and misty. Big Daddy is excited because he wants to set the fireplace a roaring. (He likes to burn things. It brings out the Eagle Scout in him.) We traded a load of mulch for a load of firewood with my friend, Susan, a month or so ago and he's been anticipating winter ever since.

It is a good day to make a pot of soup and a loaf of bread.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Monkey Speak

The Monkey has a distinct vocabulary. I'm not sure if her play on words is a sign of genius, or a sign that she needs serious help. Here is a sampling of the latest entries into the Monkey Lexicon.

Boobier = Bra. "Mommy look at that giant pink boobier! You need one - a pink one."

Kabbalah Bar = Granola Bar. "I think we should have a kabbalah bar now, Mommy." (If she suddenly starts speaking with a fake British accent and wants to wear pointy boobiers, I will be worried.)

Yogi Posie = Yoga. "Get out the mat and let's do some yogi posie!"

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Border Collie

Last night was Gigi's second night of Obedience School. She did quite well, as I expected her to do, as we have already been working on sit and down and come. It's very odd having a dog like Gigi. When out on a walk or hike; strangers ask, "Is that a Border Collie?" They comment on her beauty. She draws attention. I am now the owner of a Border Collie.

I'm used to being the owner of Biscuit the Wonder Dog. Biscuit is a dog of indeterminate breeding. People will ask what kind of breed she is (their guess is as good as mine...), but they don't ooh and ahh over her in quite the same way. Biscuit has been allowed to pass under the radar. At agility trials she's overlooked until she quite often has the fastest time. Or when she fails, she still is visibly having the most fun. She surprises people and then makes them smile. Biscuit actually has quite a fan club. But her fan club is made up of people who have watched her perform - successfully and poorly. They love her because of who she is.

With Gigi comes expectations. Her breed is generally intelligent and quick to learn. People tend to respond to her because of what, not who, she is. They judge her before we get to show them what we can do (or cannot do). They expect her to do well. It puts much more pressure on me.
It is an interesting addition to this training process.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Lady Bug, Lady Bug

I thought fall had finally arrived, but I was wrong. The leaves are changing and falling, but the weather is unchararistically warm. Today is in the mid-70's. First snow, then this. My crocus (crocii?) are getting ready to bloom.

And we have an infestation. An invasion. An all-out assault upon our house. The ladybugs are marching. They are swarming. They are doing whatever you would call an unholy number of them crawling over the plants and the sunny sides of our house. They are everywhere. A small platoon have made their way inside the house and are hanging out in the corners of my study. I'm not sure what to make of it. Perhaps the surprise of warm weather lured them out of winter hiding or hatched them. I'm not privy to the lives of ladybugs. I like them in my garden, but I don't particularly enjoy being pelted by the little beetles every time I walk out my front door. I find them in my hair, on my back, on the dogs' backs. They are everywhere.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Behold the Glory of the Beech

Fall color is arriving finally. And even though the predictions were dire, nature has once again proved herself to be above our petty worrying. Actually, I think it would be pretty difficult to have a "bad" fall here. In the morning and late afternoon the colors really glow.

The fall plantings are hanging on in the garden. The leaf lettuce and arugula are thriving. The red romaine and kale have turned out to be the chickens' favorites. Their future is a little "iffy" at the moment. I think I can fence off the kale and it will bounce back. I did plant it for the chickens after all. I just hoped they'd be able to enjoy it when the weather turns really nasty and they are hankering for something green. If I'm going to let the girls out each day to forage, I'm going to have to plan on fencing the garden next spring.

I ordered 200 egg cartons. How's that for optimism? They were a good price and my labels look fabulous on them. I'm offering a discount of 25 cents to anyone who returns a carton to be refilled. I'm also thinking of making chicken trading cards to include in the carton. Collect all 9 (at the moment) and receive a free dozen! Now I have to get mug shots of all the girls and Rufus, the Lord of the Hen House and the lucky winner of the Which Rooster Will We Keep? contest.

*Also, if anyone knows how to add a "What I'm Reading Now" category to my sidebar, please share how to. I am truly befuddled at times by the technical aspects of this blog. Thanks!