Monday, August 29, 2011

If Money were God........

Money would be constantly on our minds.

We would praise money, want more money and we would spend a good portion of our time worrying about our standing with money.

We'd give up our lives, our souls, our well-beings for the sake of pleasing those we loved who needed money.

We would be thankful for every dime that crossed out paths.......we would thank Money.

We would enjoy life when money's presence was felt and feel in the dark and lonely when it wasn't.

We would get angry at money for doing things we don't understand like disappearing faster than we can make it.

To achieve inner peace, we would need to commune with money whenever possible, shopping to feel better.

There are many things that can be worshiped.  I'd like to say I don't worship money but I can't.  Today it seems impossible not to.  In fact, it is impossible not to in my current situation.

Two Words: Self-sufficient FARM













Money worship is one of the top reasons I've always wanted to be a farmgirl.  To go back to caring about the things that actually matter.  

Freedom.  Living.  Faith.  Love.  Chickens.

Everything else is pointless.




Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Post About Nothing

 This is going to be a very strange post.  But I can't just sit around thinking about things so I'm going to post about nothing because if I tell you specifics about what it's about.....I could get in lots of trouble.

I have a flare for drama like anyone else and I suppose retaliation against me is pretty far fetched but it feels like a possibility and so I'm scared.  And as I have used my real picture on here, I had better play it safe and deal strictly in vagueness.

When you are in the position to do the right thing, do you always do it or do you let the fear of what might come after what you've done trump any possibilities of doing the right thing?

Sometimes I let fear rule.  This time I am not.  And it's scaring the shit out of me.  Which is quickly followed by anger of course.  I SHOULD be angry at someone for being such a low life, slime ball, power hungry, control freakishly corrupt individual and putting me in this position, should I not?

I am not nearly as afraid for myself as I am for someone else who has waaaay more to lose than I do.  But what IS the price of your dignity and self-respect anyway?  The inside of my mouth, which I can't seem to stop gnawing on, is a testament to my level of anxiety.  Yet I dare not leave the phone.

Don't worry, this will get old fast and eventually I will leave the house, go on an errand, go for a walk etc. because being ruled by fear and anxiety can be paralyzing and frankly; I like moving too much to sit around and let that happen.

Already I feel my hips swaying and my foot tap tap tapping to Jack Johnson's 'Bubble Toes' that just came on, because it always feels good to be on the verge of doing something you know for a fact God would be proud of you for doing.  Nothing like making dad happy.

Live in truth peoples.

It's quite the ride.


"When you move like a jellyfish, rhythm don't mean nothin', you go with the flow.....you don't stop............la da dada da da.....la dada da da da da.....la da dada da da........la dada da da da da.......hmmmmmm.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Seasonable

This time of year is hands down my favorite.

Ok so lots of it has to do with my profession (plant geek) and the fact that the plants are finally giving me a break:  die! die do you hear me!  It's over!  Time to get over summer and REST!

Geesh these plants just don't know when to call it quits you know?  Don't they know I'm tired?

The mornings feel like Fall, the noon hour feels like Summer and the evening feels like Fall again.  Can you see the yearly tug-o-war?  And you know who wins each time.



But in the meantime, enjoy the change, enjoy what's left of Summer with a bit of Fall thrown in because it knows that Summer can be brutal and it's nice enough to temper it so we have a good opinion of Summer when it finally lays down to rest.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Farmday Friday!!!!

CIDER!

Mmmmmm!  Cider season is nearly here!

Hubs and I are always scoping Craigslist and Freecycle for farmy goodness for free or otherwise.  Last year we were lucky enough to find an old cider press for a reasonable price.  What luck!  We'd been looking for one for a while and if you just keep looking, eventually something pans out.

So last Fall he went knocking on doors and so did I.  What for?  Apples what for!  Have you ever noticed how many people have apple trees in their yards and just let the fruit fall off the tree, on to the ground to rot and fester?  For shame!!

There is free food out there if you just look. I have a couple trees in my neighborhood I get apples off every year.  A neighbor has a bunch of apple and pear trees that he lets me pick from for free.  One year I made apples crisp once a week.  The guys at work loved me. Tell me if you want the recipe, it's simple simple yumminess.










So free apples everywhere, and pears too.  We collect them and deal with them as we will.  I make crisps here.  He makes hard cider there.  I kinda like what he does a little better.

This Farmday Friday is all about homemade cider.  It's amazingly delicious.  We sampled it straight from the press then about 6 months later we had the fermented hard stuff which is also awesome.  Hubs likes an experimental kitchen like I do; sometimes he throws in raspberries, blackberries, pears and the like and creates a concoction that can 'ner be outdone.

Enjoy!  And don't mind the bugs, they're extra protein anyway.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sam's Song

This is Sam:


Sam is my constant companion.  I'm going to tell you the story of Sam or Sam's Song if you will.

I was on my way to work one morning in early December two years ago.  Taking the same route I always take, no biggie.  At the crest of one of the small hills I noticed the car in front of me slowing down and I wasn't sure why.  When I reached that same hill I saw this:

And I knew.

Well while some people could just leave a dog like this in the middle of the road when temperatures are getting colder and colder, I simply can't.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with a dog but leaving it there was not an option.  So I pulled over in the nearest driveway and called to the dog. It came bounding towards me and I had a momentary second thought as I imagined this 55 lb lanky dog ripping my face off. 

Instead it sat down square in front of me and started barking in protest, head thrown back and sounding for all the world like his heart was broken.  At this point I noticed 'it' was definitely a neutered 'he', that his ears were immaculate, that he had absolutely no collar nor was there any sign of him recently wearing one.

I cleared out the back seat of the car and I had barely enough time to get out of his way when he hopped right in.  But the back was not good enough for him.  He climbed right over the arm rest and sat in the passenger seat as if to say 'ok, let's go'.

Only he wasn't that cool, calm and collected.  He was very anxious.  He couldn't sit still and his face was right up at the windshield.  I stopped at a few houses nearby and asked around, nobody knew him.  I stopped at work to tell them what had happened and let them know I'd be late.  My only other choice was to take him to the local shelter.

Sam at the Shelter
Sam at the shelter
Which is a no-kill shelter, so don't worry.  But my thoughts ran something like this: "I can't take care of a dog, I work too much, I don't have time, I have a cat, what if he kills my kitty?, what about the expense? Vet bills, food etc. there's just no way" So I took him to the shelter and tried to forget about it.

That night I was talking to my boyfriend (now husband) and I couldn't get this poor dog out of my mind.  I thought for sure someone would claim him.  If your dog went missing surely you'd call the shelter right?  But I still hemmed and hawed and couldn't imagine having a dog.

After a couple days and the weekend to think it through, I started visiting him in the shelter.  They would hold him for a week before adopting him I found out so I could visit him whenever I wanted.  Finally after realizing that there really was no choice, that this dog had kind of chosen me, that my husband was perfectly willing to have another dog and that I envied his companionship with his dog while he and I were(are) still living in separate states........I called the shelter to put a hold on him. 

They told me someone else had already put a hold on him.  I nearly cried.  But in the next breath they said that I had first dibs no matter what because I had found him.  I was ecstatic!  I had talked to my mom and she agreed to foot the first vet bill and the shelter adoption fee as an early Christmas present.  Most of my family thought I was nuts.  Except my sister because she's cool that way.

And I obviously didn't have anything to worry about with cats - oh he was interested for sure but good training always pays off!!
 So December 9th 2009 I became the happy mom to one 55 lb German Short-haired Pointer and I named him Sam-wise.  Because sure, there are days I want to kill him but more often than not, especially after nearly two years of training him to be a really great dog, there are days where I feel like he carries me. Even if by making me laugh out loud.




 Besides my husband, he's quite possibly the best friend I've ever had.  He's constantly surprising me with his ability to learn because like me, he pays very close attention.  
Good boy. 








Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How Knitting Saved My Life

I used to be a smoker.  People who learn this about me are often shocked.  I don't look like a smoker they say.  Exactly what does a smoker look like?  Hm.  Who knows.

So anyway I quit about....6 years ago.  I've faltered here and there but all and all I quit cold turkey and I pretty much owe it all to knitting.  The Christmas of the year I quit, I knitted 12 hats for kids aged 8-16 who were tenants of the State, living in a safe house where I worked.  I never got a thank you.  Meh.

I am just thankful that I had some 12 people to knit for because as Dar Williams puts it "So big surprise, I just stopped smoking, yeah, laaadeeeda now don't remind me, I think I'm going insane"

Three days.  That's what it took before I knew it would take.  But I had to keep my hands busy.  I had also decided to go on the South Beach Diet and lose 30 lbs. 

Did I ever mention I enjoy a challenge?  Keeps things interesting.  I've been accused of creating them and seeking them out.  Well it worked.  I learned to knit, thanks to my mom (and Debbie Stoller; author of Stitch-n-Bitch) and have never looked back.
 
I pick it up when I am stressed, anxious, happy, sad, worried, fearful, calm, peaceful or quiet.  I take it with me nearly everywhere I go.  I am lucky enough to have a husband who sincerely loves my hand knit gifts to him.


I drool over patterns I know I'll never try because I'm way too practical and try desperately to knit something for just about everyone in my life.  Not always a good idea (knit tie out of sock yarn? Yeah, don't try it)
 
I'll never give it up.  Almost on a daily basis I thank God for my hands.  I hope when I am old and gray I can still use them nearly as well as I can now.  They are the one of my brightest blessings. 

And if not....anybody know how to knit with your toes?  Yeah, I'm all over that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ode To Men


Every once in a while I feel the need to post something such as this.  A post in praise of men.  These days it seems that men are portrayed by many of the media as dumb and invalid.  What a shame.

Without MEN I would not want to live in this world.  And it's not just because they are good at lifting heavy objects.  Men....despite what some people think.....are smart.

Here's the deal; they are smart in different ways.....

My great uncles and grandma on Coney Island
It drives me so completely out of my mind that in today's society where everyone is preaching how we have to be tolerant, we have to accept different viewpoints, different religions and different physical attributes the biggest boldest most obvious way that we can be tolerant in our day to day lives is completely and utterly ignored.

Men are different than women.  Women are different than men.  THIS IS WHY WE WORK WELL TOGETHER.

And tolerance?  Even the word implies that you do little more than not say negative things about a group of people, I do more than that with men.

 I value and respect the ways they are different from me because when we are together; it's like peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, peaches and cottage cheese, man.

It's awesome.  When I'm over emotional and obsessive, men are calm and collected.  This drives some women wild.  They think that because the man is not reacting in the same way as they are that they are either stupid or belligerent or they 'just don't get it'.

I'm here to tell you that you don't have to be an emotional mess to get something.  You don't have to react as if the sky is falling.  Besides, how useless would it be for him to react the same way I do?  We'd both stand there wailing and gnashing our teeth and all that would be achieved is a sore throat and a stiff jaw.

I remember one time an acquaintance was telling me about how her and her husband had gotten lost.  She was the navigator and he had tried to help and it was obvious that he was the better navigator from the way it sounded. 

Dad
I said, "Well, men can be much better navigators than women" to which her jaw dropped, she was duly offended as if she represented the entire female race and started to say "You DID NOT just say that!" at which time someone walked in and I talked over her, to them, so I would not have to show what I was really feeling and shout "DITTO!"

Now before you go doing the same thing and deleting me from your followed journals take a moment to hear my side of it.  We women (yes I am a women and am therefore including myself in this statement) can be so stinkin' knee-jerk about our reactions can't we?  So just hang on.

First: I said 'CAN BE' which implies that of course there are times where women are better navigators than men.  I, for one,  am a fantastic navigator.  But that does not mean that all women are fantastic navigators.  As a rule, men have minds that can do the analytical stuff much better than women.  There are always always exceptions of course but there will also always be some things that men are better at than women and women are better at than men as a whole. AND THAT'S GREAT!

Why?  Because if all women started being better at all the things men are typically better at......wouldn't we start............feeling like men?

Now I love men.  I do.  But I don't want to be one.  No thanks.  I don't think that me not being better at the same things he is means I'm inferior.  Just different.  If I'm feeling inferior that's my problem brought on by me or the negative messages constantly slung at me (goodbye television, I do not miss you) but it's still my problem and not his.
 
My bro and his son
So please, 'Save the Males', love your father, your brother, your husband, your nephew for the wonderful men that they are.  Don't wring your hands over the differences between you.  Try instead to remember that two pieces of a puzzle will never fit together if they are exactly the same.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sew-day Sunday

 Ah...Sewing.  I've been doing a good lot of it this month.  A little project here and there.  I love the variety of it.  And of course teaching myself new things is always a blast.  The last two projects I've worked on have taught me so much.  First is the tank:

I took a comfy tank I already have and laid it on top of some fabric, cut it out, sewed it up and voila!  A snug yet comfy tank!  The original was stretchy fabric and this is just plain old cotton.

Prolly would have made it a tad larger had I thought of it.  It's good around the house though and hey, I learned about finer stitching to prevent unwanted gathers and to allow for extra room if the original garment is stretchy! 

Lessons learned are never a waste of time.

Next is the birdy cozy.  

I have two parakeets, Riki & Buster (both female of course, one recently started laying eggs) that make a holy mess and I was this close to putting them up on free cycle when I realized I could maybe sew my way out of the problem.  I developed this birdy cozy:

Drawstring at the top and bottom, enough fabric to allow for some flexibility, their mess is contained and I can simply open the bottom 'hatch' and empty it in to the trash can with a little shake!  This was sooper easy.  And cute if I do say so myself.  

My next sewing project is to finish up my merit badges from Mary Jane's Farm - I've decorated them too which is fun.  Should be a cinch. Then I think it's time to make more skirts.  The two I've made I wear all the time.  Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Feeelings.........

We're a little obsessed by them as a culture IMO.  I was sitting here, tired, thinking, I really don't feeeeel like posting on my journal.  But it's been so looong and I want more followerrrs....(can't you hear the w(h)ine?)  And I don't even have any decent cheese!  Badda boom.

My cheese making success last year
Well, as it may be, no, I am not always in the mood to do the things that are:
  • good for me
  • good for me
  • good for me

Uh oh, I'm sensing a trend here. Ever notice how those sneaky little trends happen, you don't know how, you barely know why but there they are?  Like a 2x4 in between the eyes?  Ouch. 


So yes, I have trouble doing things that are good for me.  I've known this about myself for a while and while I try not to get too introspective (because that feeds in to our society being overly concerned with feelings) yaddah yaddah yaddah

I have often wondered why this is true of myself.  But that's it.  Just wondered, never really figured it out.  
Try not to dwell.

And just push onward really. 

Hmmmm....maybe if I put in at the end of my posts a blip about the next post
**Coming Soon** Ode to Men

You see I THINK about blogging all the time.
And now I THINK I'll sleep on it.
G'night dears.

OH but hey!

**COMING SOON**  Ode to Men
A yearly post in praise of the male sex who seem so under appreciated today.  
**Stay Tuned!**


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Change is afoot----and not a smelly one

OH Glorious day!  I can't remember the last time I felt this hopeful.  Never lose hope, and I haven't.  We found a piece of land, we've nearly bagged it and the guy we're buying from is not a lunatic.

Yaaaaaaaay!!

Scoop:  6 little acres of former pasture land. For under $5000

Amazing.

I am teary, blessed and feeling wonderful about this.  My mind is swimming with the possibilities!  Not treading water mind you but swimming like with a tail and fins speeeeeding through all the things this will mean.

  1. Starting a self-sufficient farm
  2. Actually living with my husband, imagine that!
  3. Leaving my job
  4. Moving everything I own!
  5. The culmination of three years worth of working towards this goal
So now..........off I go to apply for the loan.  Wish me luck!!