Is it Gray, or is it just Winter?

 

We’ve been lucky with fairly mild weather so far.  But now it seems to be turning colder.  And wetter.  Cold and wet are like friends who egg each other on to be a bit more extreme.  One by itself is ok.  Both together — they go way further than they’d independently dare.  And with the sun not being as high in the sky . . . it’s as if the supervisor has turned their back so that Cold and Wet can be even bolder.  It makes for a bit of melancholy.  Or does it?  Some people enjoy the long evenings.  Time by the fire.  The  opportunity to do crafts, or read a good book.  Or watch movies and play games together.  It’s like permission to NOT farm. 

 

But the problem comes when farming HAS to be done.  Then it’s cold and wet and dark, and you still have to get out there and put wood in the fire and feed the cows (do they even feel the cold?  It doesn’t look like it.) and chickens.  Chickens definitely feel the cold.  They all snuggle on the porch by the front door – collecting the heat that slides through the crack that was supposed to be fixed three years ago.  I can tell they’re there, because a collection of “chicken dust” always blows through in a certain pattern when the heat from the house isn’t strong enough to push against the cold air from the outside.  And chickens don’t lay many eggs in the winter time.  I wouldn’t want to either. 

 

And when there are evening things to be done (as there invariably are – like school board, and the other school board, and Pathfinders), it just seems like it’s way too late to be going out in the wet and the cold and the dark. 

 

I wonder how people do it where it’s perpetually dark, like for months on end.  I can’t imagine it’s just dark.  I think that cousin Dark is the worst influence on Cold and Wet.  Send in the sunshine!!  I’m not cut out for this.

 

You can join me in seeing all sorts of skies here. You might even see some sunshine!

 

 

Crossroads and Fire

 


 

 

 

 

I long for milder weather when I can sit on my porch and watch the flames of the jiko.  More than that, I wish the flames of the jiko would help me to think more clearly.

I made a conscious decision to NOT make new year’s resolutions this year. (Does that mean I made a resolution?  I’m DOOMED)  I’m so tired of unfulfilled resolutions.  What is the point!?  Why do people think that the change on a calendar page is going to improve their ability to follow through better, avoid everything bad and accomplish everything good?  Really!?  Does it happen?  Why can’t we just decide on a random Tuesday in February that we want to make a change and expect positive results?  I guess people do.  It just happens with a vengeance around New Year’s day. 

I hope that the people who DID make resolutions experience success.  There are plenty of things I’d like to change about myself.  I didn’t resolve to NOT make those changes.  I just decided that the change wouldn’t have to magically happen in January.  Except for that "Juice In January" thing.  I bought a juicer.  It’s all the rage.  Everyone has a juicer.  And they’re juicing.  Some of my friends even juiced in December (WHATever!!!).  I’m juicing in January.  But not every day.  And not every meal.  Just sometimes.  Except for one week.  I am going to do an entire week of juicing.  But not this week.  And probably not next week.  And mostly likely not a Sunday – Saturday week either. It is not a resolution.   It’s just something I decided to do.  And I like alliteration, so I’d be hard pressed to figure out how to use my juicer in February.  I think I’ll Fry in February.  Everything I eat is going to be fried.  Yeah.  That’s it.

Here’s an interesting thing . . . I "resolved" to NOT make any resolutions, but here I am at the beginning of the year with a new blog post.  After what, like 2 years of NO posts?  Is it a resolution, or just something that happened?  I think that’s the issue.  If you start doing something at the beginning of a year, then people (or I) automatically label it a "resolution" and put all that pressure on a person.  And watch how laughably unsuccessful that person might be.  This blog post is NOT part of any resolution – it’s just something I’m doing.  Maybe I won’t do another post for like 28 months.  So go ahead, and hold your breath (or not). 

- – - by the way – - – when I started my blog originally, it wasn’t on January 1 either.  Just so you know.  I’m rebellious like that.

The Attack of the Dead Rooster

 

There once was a happy family of chickens. Among those chickens there were two beautiful roosters.

 

One of the roosters was mild-mannered and happy.  The other one was . . . well – he wasn’t mild-mannered.  Or happy.  He thought he was the boss-rooster and did his best to make his dominance known.  The hens suffered much under his authority.

 

This rooster was so mean, that even the neighbor’s dogs (who have had many tasty chicken dinners at our expense) decided that this guy was just good for nothing.  He did teach the rooster a lesson, however.

 

Despite this scuffle, the rooster survived, albeit with a reduced ego.

 

(By the way . . . the dog who attacked this rooster is dead.  And it wasn’t by my hand, even though I threatened repeatedly to run over him with my car, and would have had I not worried about the damage that would have happened to my bumper and to significant family relationships)

But one day, very recently (yesterday), this rooster made a fatal error.  When I let the chickens out of their coop for a break from  the mud that is their home (with all the rain this week and last), the rooster challenged me to a cock fight.  Now, this has happened in the past and he has received quite the beating.  I’ve witnessed him flying backwards by 10 feet (with help from my foot) he’s met with a broom, and a shoe, a hand, and various other implements of torture by various other people.  But this time, he made his lucky fatal strike.  He spurred my ankle.  With a vengeance.  Had I not been in a hurry, I think I might have sat down and cried.  I didn’t realize the extent of the damage till I got to my destination.  This is the "cleaned up" version . . . I was actually leaving a trail without knowing it)

Now, trust me . . those little puncture wounds (did you see them on BOTH sides of my ankle!?) didn’t hurt very badly.  They didn’t want to stop bleeding, but they didn’t hurt very much.  But my ankle ACHED.  Like BONE-ache.  It was as if poison had been injected into my joint or something (that’s how it felt – it’s not actually what happened).  As the day progressed, the pain increased.  A day later, my ankle looks like this:

Red, swollen, itchy, and . . . not as sore as yesterday, but definitely tender.  And a bit cripple.

 

I called Prince Farming at the office part way through the day yesterday to make sure I didn’t need an amputation or anything.  I could almost hear him laughing at me and I was sure he didn’t understand my pain.  But last night, under the cover of the moon and clouds, that darn rooster mysteriously disappeared.  I asked Prince Farming where he’d been, but he didn’t want to talk about it.  Nor did I.  But my relief is great.  Now guests and family can come and go without my having to chase chickens out of their paths. 

 

- – - – - – - – -

Several Hours Later – - My ankle is more swollen, and more sore than it was last night this time . . . it’s hot to the touch, but there is currently no streaking (indication of infection).  I walked without much of a limp for most of the day, but by this evening I can’t put any weight on it .  Must be time for bed.  I have a presentation to do tomorrow – hope I can refrain from hobbling.

I Love Numbers

 

Those of you who have read my blog for a while or keep up with me on Facebook know that I love numbers.  I take photos of my odometer when I’m on the road and a cool number shows up.  And when I look down and see this:

I get slightly quite very annoyed.  Anyone riding in the car with me wonders if we have a flat tire, or if I forgot my phone or purse at home, or something else worthy of a loud gasp and an emphatic statement.  But I have learned to take it in stride.  I can anticipate the next good number, and often I actually can capture it ON the number, not a mile or two past.  Like this

  People make fun of me, but the more I talk about it, the more I realize that there are other people who appreciate symmetry in numbers.  And really – who wouldn’t!?  It makes perfect sense to me.  In fact, someone recently emailed me this photo.  Notice the odometer reading AND the speedometer reading.  I had to text back and inform this person to be careful of the pictures that get sent.  They might be used in harmful ways if placed in the wrong hands.  But it’s safe with me.  I’m just sharing it with a few personal friends, right!?

Well, today is an amazing day.  My dear friend Louise reminded me of it’s approach, and today it happened.  Check this out.  This morning at 5 minutes and 6 seconds past 4am, the clock and calendar said this:

04:05 06 07/08/09

Now THAT is a beautiful thing.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

UPDATE:  For those of you who don’t read through my comments, Madge pointed out an even COOLER number (can’t believe I didn’t see it coming . . . I must be slipping in my old age). 

12:34:56 7/8/9

 

Top ____ List . . .

 

I was going to make this a "Top Ten" list, but then I wasn’t sure how many things I’d end up with.  My next option was a "Top xx List" but then I worried about what kind of hits and nonsense that would produce.  So I’ll stick with a less conspicuous and more ambiguous option.

This is a list of things I could blog about but a) didn’t; b) won’t; c) can’t;  d) shouldn’t or e) might still

1)  The chickens’ first eggs

2)  Landscaping my yard – the strong desire and almost a vision of what should happen, but strong doubt that the inspiration will stick for longer than the rain.

3)  Grass planting and the agony of spreading hay over the seed all by myself because my kids went camping and Farming had to drive for 3 hours to get the fertilizer and then spread it so our farming day "together" ended up with me unrolling 3 huge bales of hay that I spent less painful hours last year putting into the bales.  And I’m not done.  But I am still sore.  ALL over.  (hey – that’s an entire blog entry right there)

4)  My precious daughter’s 13th birthday surprise

5)  Learning how to ride a dirt bike with a clutch (that would be me)

6)  My commitment to blog 10 times in the next 20 days with no whining, apologies, or fear/hang-ups

7)  The behindness of where I am with work and other assignments  (don’t tell anyone)

8)  A very fun trip to Charlotte to visit friends over Easter

9)  Stamping that I’ve done and still wish to do

10)  A stamp room that is photo-worthy for an "after" shot (I already have several "before" shots that could be recipient of some sort of "least inspiring of creativity" award).

11)  A link to a cousin’s site introducing his amazing work with "World Outside My Shoes" – look for a book in the near future

12)  Observations of Prince Farming’s 25th Highschool Reunion

13)  Book reports on my new pass-time (audiobooks – have to LOVE that invention (or discovery) coupled with iPhone)

14)  The chicken’s new house and their general life to date

15)  Spring time beauty on the farm

16) The death of a cow.  And a few chickens.

17)  A wonderful and stress-less weekend with Prince Farming while the kids were gone

18) The search for a boot jack or pattern for DIY

19) My kids’ "summer jobs"

20) More sky watch posts

21)

 

 

 

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