Monday, June 22, 2009

Twofer Day

Dad’s watching Moulin Rouge on tv today. It’s a total Alexandre Dumas Camille rip-off, but whatever. Who else would know that? Even the consumption thing comes straight from the Younger Dumas’ book. Not that I’m complaining, just narcing on Hollywood.

Humid as ten kinds of craziness today. I made jam by myself and replanted some cucs while Dad raked the very wet hay. At least there’s some wind. Maybe it’ll have a chance to dry.

Dad spent Father’s Day raking and baling. I started to pick up bales and stack them in the barn today, but had to stop before I ran the tractor out of diesel. We had a good Father’s Day though, for all of Dad’s hard work and my hangover. Gram came to supper, I made a painful five hundred words, read a great book, and Dad slept well with a full tummy. He’s painting today and has the diesel can, so we’ll get back to haying when he gets home.

Did over 2,000 words the other day. Haven’t had a rush like that it awhile. Went out and haven’t had a rush since. Well, today a little bit, but only a quick 500 words. It’s hot today. I write a little, do a little outside, curse and swear the humidity and heat, then come back and cool down. I don’t do well this far south. Strawberries sure taste good today though, which is saying something since heat makes food go down hard. Rum helps with that. Or at least it does according to my piratical sources. :-) One downside about writing about pirates, I always have rum on my mind.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Night Out

I may not be MIA, but I went out with Jamie last night and it sure feels that way. Ogh.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What I'm Listening to: Beautiful by Eminem

It’s raining today. Of course right after we cut hay down. We spent seven hours fixing the mower conditioner the other day and $400 in parts and the cutter bar broke again on the last round. Dad got quiet down about it. It’s frustrating when you can’t fix something. We’ve got 108 bales up so far and lots of wet hay in the field.

I’m rereading Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. It’s interesting having that on my mind while farming. I’m sure that was never in the author’s imagination when the books were published. :-)

My honey is still injured and looking at surgery. It’ll be a long time, if ever, before he is right again.
The second batch of chicks is growing like crazy. They consume so much feed it’s unbelievable. They have full-run of the chicken coop now and have started going all the way to the top rung of the roost. They’re growing up so fast.

The garden is coming up good. Most the tomato plants have made it, to our increasing surprise. For some reason, none of my cucs have come up and only one summer squash has poked its head up. But the herb garden on the hot tub looks great. It just needs to go in the ground. One of these days we will decide where the permanent, or semi-permanent, herb garden will go.

Gram and I did strawberry jam together yesterday. It was actually really fun. She just washed up things and got the jars ready while I did most of the work with the strawberries. Dad told me while I was growing up that time with grandparents is precious and once they’re gone, you never get it back. I regret not listening to him earlier and try to make up for it with Gram. She enjoys the time we spend together and I realize now how important it is.

Movie recommendation for the day: Warrior Queen with Alex Kingston. It’s a Masterpiece Theater film and very well-made, as Masterpiece Theater’s tend to be. It’s uplifting and sad all at once. Or maybe it’s just the Celt in me that thinks so. There’s a line in it that actually comes out of the Celtic ideas about life and death. See if you can spot it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chicken catching 101

You know you live in the country when your best friend calls you, asks what you're doing later tonight, and, when you say nothing, she asks if you want to help her catch chickens.

Hey, I can't make this shit up.

Our neighbors have a lot of chickens and they need to move them. So my friend calls to enlist my help, knowing that of all her friends (she was the popular girl in high school) I'm one of the only ones who'll say sure. (Which of course I did.) It remains to be seen if we have to carry each chicken individually from one coop to another or if we'll be allowed to put them in cages or containers and move 10-20 at a time. In my mind, this would make more sense, but in the rules that govern the fine farmers of this area, new ideas may go the way of the horse and cart. Which I hear may make a come back after General Motors gets on top of this bankruptcy thing.

So remember to call your friends the next time you need to catch a chicken. It's one of the ties that bind in a tight economy. Or its at least good for a laugh.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bad Pirate Movies

My honey is getting an MRI done on his arm tonight, seeing how bad he managed to hurt himself lifting lawn chairs. Hopefully it’s not career-ending. I’m sure he’d hate to give up his dream of laying tile for a living. (That was sarcasm by the way.)

The garden and my herbs are growing well. So are the chickens. The little Barred Rocks are starting to get wing feathers and the older chicks have developed a keen curiosity, especially in the dog. Maxine lays and stares at them until they come to see her, then Max nips at the chicks through the wire, they bite her nose, and Max tries to get them to play with her. The chickens just kind of stare at her like she’s nuts (which she is). Of course, I must not be much better since I get as big a kick out of the whole process as they do.

Watched the Redwings game last night. Not bad. But Friday’s the big one. Looking forward to that one. It’s gotta be better than this badly acted, mildly pornographic pirate movie, cleverly titled Pirates, that I’m watching right now. At least it’s so bad it’s funny.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Burger birthday night

Did the Gramma birthday dinner no. 2 tonight. I'm gonna become famous for my veggie-beef burgers and potatoes, I know it. Gram bought herself a lemon cake, fulfilling a family tradition that I began of making (or, in this case buying) one's own birthday cake. It was a nice time with just Dad, Gram and I. She likes the small scale Sunday dinners.

Joseph, my honey, tore his bicep last night lifting lawn chairs. It's not that ugly but very painful, and it's his right arm, so he's gonna be a one-armed tile layer for the next few months. Poor guy.

I finished reading Flannery O'Connor's most recent biography today. It hit me funny. Maybe just because I've been thinking a lot about life and death lately, and that's mostly what she writes about. Combined with her life cut short by lupus, I guess it was bound to hit me funny. But it's a great and interesting read, if you've read Flannery O'Connor and are interested in the mind behind the stories.

Redwing hockey rocked last night. 5-0. We'll see how they do in Pittsburg.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hockey and hay

Getting settled in to watch game five of the Stanley Cup. Go Redwings.

We got hay in today and yesterday. Dad cut part of the field a couple days ago, I raked yesterday, and he baled last night. We forgot until we were hooking up the baler to go to the field that the hydraulic hose on the baler was cracked. No time to fix it. So he baled like a son of a bitch and we retrieved 42 bales from the field today and stacked them in the hay barn. Good thing too. The afternoon went dark and it’s supposed to rain.

Nothing else new. Gram’s birthday dinner tomorrow. Thursday was the day, but I had two dates that night and Dad was exhausted and pissed off about the steel building. $300 to get the bolts sent and they didn’t send enough. Again.

All right, it’s hockey.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What the hell Redwings?

I read two other books recently, Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly, and The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam, that I thought I’d cover. Both are nonfiction and very interesting. Under the Black Flag is about pirates, 17th and 18th century, not modern, so the romance factor is higher for people. It takes the common ideas and often misconceptions about pirates and discusses the reality of the times and lives of the sailors. For nonfiction, it’s highly entertaining and interesting.

The Road of Lost Innocence is about prostitution and sex trafficking in Cambodia. Cheery, I know. Somaly Mam runs a shelter program to get young girls who are sold by their parents or guardians, or just abducted, out of the brothels. It’s a heartbreaking story, but eye opening about the abuse of women in other countries, something we Americans can’t always comprehend, in my opinion.

Dad knocked down some hay last night and I ended the discussion about the three tomato plants Gram bought, about whether to put them in pots, what kind, etc, by planting them in garden. You wouldn’t believe how many conversations have covered how much root space tomatoes need, how deep, etc. Easily solved by putting them in the ground to let them do whatever they need to do. Chickens good. Need to move older 20 to new grass. Cows moved to front lot. And today, it’s just chilly and windy. Odd June.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I love big books

I just finished reading World Without End by Ken Follett. Great, great book. I've always been a fan of long books and this one follows Pillars of the Earth spectacularly. It's the continuing saga of Kingsbridge Priory, 200 years after the building of it in Pillars. The characters are the descendants of the original cast and are no less complicated, frustrating, or emotionally stirring than the first. The Gwenda-Ralph relationship is enough to get anyone pissed off. And Caris and Merthin are an example of how love can last a lifetime. No romance in the story is a Cinderella love, but instead shows how love takes many guises and changes over a lifetime. Even the plague acts as its own distinct presence in the novel, taking the place, I think, of the finicky cathedral that took so much presence in the first novel. In World, the church acts more as a setting and less of a character in its own right.

Anyway, there's your book review for the day. Good book. Go. Read.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Go Redwings! It's ya birthday!

Go Redwings! It’s the Stanley Cup! (Pretending to hear me sing is a whole lot prettier than me actually singing, so feel lucky, people.)

I love hockey, so Stanley Cup season is great, even if I have to go to the bar by myself Tuesday and Thursday night to watch the Pittsburg games on Versus. Could they have fit any more guys in the net last night? That was quite a pileup. And both goalies are great, I don’t care who you are. I’m a Penguins fan so long as they aren’t playing the Redwings. Then I gotta go with the red and white. (Hey, the Lions suck. At least we got the Redwings and the Pistons, although basketball makes no sense to me. Ball. Tall men. And the point is...? And where the hell is the goalie? ;-)

We lost one chick over the weekend and are three or four tomato plants down. I got herbs potted yesterday and more started. I still need to get the hill plants in, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. The peas are doing well, but the tomatoes are a little iffy. I fertilized them last night, so we’ll see.

Dad’s steel building luck ran out. They put up and tore down the end walls on Saturday, had to move the bolts and plates drilled into the concrete, and turned out 250 specialty bolts short. Job from hell.