Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rita, Come Home

Rita the Puppy is missing. We are not happy.

That's all.

UPDATE: Rita has been found! We put up signs all over this morning, and someone called pretty much immediately to tell us she had been seen a couple of hours earlier at a house no more than a half mile from us. She was still at that house when the MiL went there to look. Rita was gone for just 24 hours, but that's quite long enough. She apparently lacks the skill that allows our other dogs to wander far afield and always find their way home. Dumb dog. But, a dumb dog who is HOME, so we forgive her. For now.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lambs Gone Wild

The five lambs have been chowing down on their pasture to the extent that they've somewhat exhausted the grass in there. Little piglets. So A. has been letting them out to graze on the property at large. This is fine, to an extent. They have mostly been hanging out on lawns distant from the house, eating forsythia leaves and grass. Except yesterday, the lambs lost their tiny little minds.

I kept finding them on the lawns right next to the house. Next to my laundry, specifically. And you might not know this, but sheep have no bowel control. They just shit wherever they happen to be standing. So if they happen to be standing near the house, that means there will be sheep shit near the house. I drove them away repeatedly (with the help of Rita the No-Longer-Pitiful Puppy, who just LOVES to herd sheep), but they kept coming back.

Then, later in the afternoon, I went outside to discover them standing in the shed. Eating wet newspaper. Really? Newspaper? What the hell is THAT about? Apparently, they forgot they were sheep for a second and instead decided to behave like goats. So I drove them away yet again, and then called A. to come put his crazy lambs away because they were running wild. He came down and found three lambs grazing on the lawn. And the other two back in the shed, munching newspaper.

He managed to tear them away from their tasty snack by dangling corn in their faces and put them all back in their pasture. Where they have been bawling to be let out again (or possibly bawling for corn--all the bawling sounds the same to me) ever since. At full volume. Non-stop.

I'm going to enjoy those lamb chops this year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

About that Kitchen Sink

I had no idea our kitchen sink (peeking coyly from the background of this photo) would attract such a loyal following. But since more than one person has now remarked on their love for it, I thought perhaps I should spotlight it, for all you old-sink lovers out there.

And make no mistake about it, this mother is OLD. Original to when the kitchen was added on to the house. That would be in the 1920s. It's a big ole porcelain-coated farm sink. A farm sink is one of those big, deep sinks with no dividers, suitable for gutting chickens and other farmy kind of things.

Its age is starting to show, however. The porcelain is wearing off, leaving rusty spots of what I assume is iron showing through. It gets stained easily and never really looks clean. Something will need to be done about it soon.

The MiL is all for replacing it. A. and I think we should just get this one re-porcelained. I don't want to dwell on how long I might be without a kitchen sink while that is being done, or how much it will cost (answer: more than we think it should--always), but I don't want to get rid of this sink. I LIKE this sink. I think this sink deserves a spiffy new coating of porcelain and a new lease on life.

And I think you agree.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A.P.D. in the A.M.

My mind, it is as blank as a new journal. As empty as North Dakota. As vacuous as Paris Hilton.

That is to say, what the hell am I supposed to write about this morning? Why, something that requires YOU to write to ME!

I just love Audience Participation Days. You know you do, too. Don't deny it.

So, this morning, we shall discuss the beverages that get you going for the day. For most of my life, including in college, I only drank water in the mornings. How disgustingly healthy of me. A few years ago, I started drinking coffee (this coffee, but of course), a single cup with milk and sugar. Lately, I've been not wanting the coffee so much and have instead been drinking a big glass of orange juice.

A high school friend of mine had a father who drank Coke in the morning. This seemed weird to me at the time, but I now realize the caffeine is the important thing for most people, and Coke has that too. Albeit less than coffee. I suspect that those crazy kids these days probably drink those frightening energy drinks in the morning.

And what about you, duckies? Coffee heavily doctored with sugar? Coke? Herbal tea with honey? Straight vodka? What gets you going in the morning?

Monday, August 24, 2009

This Could Have Ended Very Badly

Yesterday morning I was preparing to go out to the garden to harvest some things, and decided to just pull on the rubber boots sitting outside the door. Because sometimes laces are just too tiring to contemplate. The boots had been outside for awhile and had fallen down, so they were lying sideways on the ground. I pulled on the left one first, then the right one. And I felt something lumpy in the bottom of the right boot, under my instep. Figuring a rock or something had gotten in there, I took the boot off and turned it over to shake whatever it was out.

And out came a small toad.

It was still alive, though it looked a little dazed. Probably paralyzed with fright, considering it came within a half-inch of being squished to death. I was none too happy myself, thinking of what horrors might have occurred had I pulled those boots on without any socks on my feet (which I sometimes do) or if the toad had been under my heel rather than under my instep, which would have most certainly resulted in a revolting mess.

Thankfully, neither of those things happened, and Mr. Toad recovered himself enough to hop away, thereby attracting the attention of the dogs. I had to call them off so it wouldn't have another brush with death.

Being a toad is a dangerous business.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Warning: Strong Language Ahead

Screw this blight. Seriously. I am ANGRY at The Blight. I wish to seek REVENGE on The Blight. Except how does one go about exacting revenge upon a fungus?

It's all very irritating.

The Blight has spread to the potatoes. So I spent a couple of hours yesterday cutting off all the potato foliage (known, incidentally, as haulms--your vocab. lesson for the day). The nasty, wet, rotting potato foliage. And then I shoved it all into garbage cans to be hauled down to the beach for burning. It's dirty, sweaty work, made worse by the smell of rot and decay and the fact that I may still have been too late to keep the fungus from spreading to the potatoes underground and destroying the whole crop.

Pointless labor is so very unsatisfying.

The anger at The Blight only comes when I reflect upon the hours and hours I spent planting and hilling potatoes (and remember--I HAAAATE hilling). To say nothing of planting, coddling, transplanting, constructing intricate supports for, and tying up all those tomato plants. The Blight WOULD affect two of the most labor-intensive crops in the garden. Also the two biggest.

The Blight hit me where it hurts--potatoes and tomatoes. My two most favorite garden crops. It's been a difficult year for gardening, no doubt. A year with too much rain is worse than a year with not enough. As depressed as I am about all of this, however, I feel even more sorry for all those people who decided to start gardening this year. And there were a lot of them. I hope they don't get discouraged and give up. Because one of the nicest things about gardening is the opportunity to try again the next year.

Hope for next year--it's what keeps all gardeners going.

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