Saturday, June 5, 2010

A True Blackrock Welcome

My sister arrived yesterday for a short visit, and one of the very first things she did was help A. dispose of a dead deer.

Perhaps I should back up and explain? Okay. I'll begin at the beginning and go on until I reach the end.

Yesterday morning, Cubby and I went out for a little chariot ride and some fresh air. Except HE was the only one riding--I had to push. Just ONCE, I would like him to push me around. Lazy bum.


We went down to the mailbox so I could mail yet another thank-you note and pick up the morning newspaper. As soon as I started down the driveway, I could see that the newspaper box had been knocked to the ground. Assuming it was just some punk-ass kids with a baseball bat (mailbox bashing is a popular late-night activity for teenagers in the boonies), I continued on my way, cursing* those kids these days, because I am 80 years old.

When I got down to the road and could see to the other side and down into the slight dip that leads to the lakeshore, I saw . . . something. My first panicked thought was that it was a dog, because it was the same color as Mia and Leda. Upon closer inspection--by which I mean a second look from far away, not actually closer because I'm a wimp--I saw it was a dead deer. That was very, very dead and already covered in flies. Yay. It had obviously been hit on the road sometime the night before. This time, however, we were not going to be salvaging it for our freezer. You know, because of the flies and all. A pretty good indication of a lack of freshness.


It still needed to be moved, however, so the dogs wouldn't try to cross the road to get to the delicious-smelling carcass on the other side. (I'm sure there's a joke in there, but I'm not clever enough to make it.) Also so I wouldn't keep coming face to face with a putrefying deer every time I went to the mailbox.

So I wheeled Cubby back up to the house, where I informed A. that there was a large dead deer right next to our mailbox. He called the DEC to report it (technically the legal thing to do) and they said if we dragged it onto the side of the road, the highway department might take it away. A. very politely replied that it would be a hot day in Blackrock before the highway department got around to THAT (or words to that effect). Then they told him he could just dispose of it himself and no one would care.

Except he was really busy yesterday. And then he had to drive to the airport to pick up my sister. And then we had dinner. And then it was 8 p.m. and the deer was STILL down there, getting grosser by the minute in the stifling humidity. So A. and I grabbed our work gloves and hauled the thing into the back of Big Red. Then my sister--you know, our guest--climbed into the cab of the truck and went with A. to dump it in a gully where scavengers other than our dogs would eat it. Of course, she's a veterinarian, so dead animals aren't exactly a novelty to her, but still. Gross.

Last time she was here, she helped us spread shit-straw on the garden. This time she's hauling around a dead deer. I really don't know why she keeps coming back. Must be the novelty factor. You just never know what's going to happen on a visit to Blackrock!

At least the food is good.

* Only in my head. Because of the BABY, you know.

Friday, June 4, 2010


It occurs to me that I may be the most intense homebody I know. I do not like to leave my house. And I'm not just talking about traveling for several days with an infant. I don't even like to be away from my house for several hours. Of course, I usually enjoy myself once I get out and go somewhere, but the getting out part is a definite hurdle and I'm always very relieved to get home again.

And it's not just because I have a small, completely dependent life form to care for now, either. I was like that before gestation. A. doesn't understand it. He goes nuts if he doesn't leave the house for a couple of days. I can--and do--go literally weeks without leaving the property. This is admittedly a lot less boring when living someplace like Blackrock, which provides entertainment and work to keep me occupied on a daily basis. If I still lived in a shitty studio apartment, I don't think I'd be quite so hermity.


Shall we have an Audience Participation Day today? Yes? Yeah, I thought you'd been missing them. So please, share with the class: Are you a wanderer, or is the very thought of putting on acceptable clothing and leaving your house enough to make you break out in hives? (Or, you know, something in between.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Humidity is good for my skin, if not for my hair. I'll just have to keep repeating that to myself today.


P.S. Did I ever mention what a fan I am of dry air? No? Well, I am. And, as far as that particular preference goes, I definitely live in the wrong climate.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Accidental Gardener

It rained most of Monday night and into Tuesday morning. The garden desperately needed the water, and I was pretty happy to have a nature-mandated break from outside chores for a day.

HAHAHAHA. As IF I would take a break from chores for even ONE day. Please.

Later in the afternoon, after the rain had been over with for awhile and Cubby had fallen asleep, I decided to go outside for a quick look at the garden. Since I was just going to look, I put on some leather slip-on shoes with no socks (HELLO sweaty feet!) and went out.

You'd think I'd know by now that I can NEVER just look at the garden. I decided that since I was out there and Cubby was asleep, I might as well dig up those volunteer potatoes that were in the way of the carrots. Then, since I was out there and Cubby was asleep and the ground was finally not hard as a rock, I decided I might as well do some hoeing and weeding. Then, since I was out there and Cubby was asleep and the ground was finally not hard as a rock and I was hoeing and weeding anyway, I decided I might as well hill the potatoes.

And that's how I found myself in the middle of the First Hilling of 2010, minus socks or appropriate shoes. Then the sun came out and immediately melted me into a puddle of sweat.

The end.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Little Pick-Me-Up

Hello, duckies! How was your long weekend? Did everyone have a sufficiently patriotic Memorial Day? By which I mean, did you all sit around eating charred flesh and drinking large amounts of spirituous beverages? That's nice. I didn't. I thinned beets and carrots in the blazing sun and did laundry. And hauled around the giant infant, of course.

BUT. I don't have to go back to work in a cubicle today, and for this I am profoundly thankful. For all of you who DO have to go back to work in a cubicle (and for everyone else, as well), here's a little something to ease your pain:


That's right! We have added another baby to the Blackrock menagerie. You're looking at Poppy the Hen, puffed up to twice her normal size and clucking menacingly to inform me that I best keep the hell away from her precious chick or I will pay the consequences. Poppy did this all by her ownself, just sitting on down with her egg one day and getting up three weeks later to present the world with her baby.

The chick was actually born last week, but didn't venture outside (and therefore into good camera range) until just recently. But now it hops around quite happily after Poppy, pecking busily at tiny bugs and generally being all chicken-y.

And yes, there was only one egg Poppy hatched. She's starting off slowly.

Now everyone keep your fingers crossed that this chick turns out to be a girl. Because I could really use one more hen, but could really NOT use one more rooster. The rooster position is filled, and any subsequent boys must be, ahem, disposed of.

So! Please send happy female thoughts to this chick, and everyone have a lovely day!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Before we commence with our regularly scheduled programming today, please go read this post and take your moment of reflection for Memorial Day. You back? Okay, on with the show . . .

I must tell you, my friends, that Cubby? STELLAR traveler. He probably whined less than I did during all the flying and switching planes and running around hither and yon in New Orleans.

Of course, he was being carried or pushed in his chariot all the time, as well as being fed on demand, so what did the kid have to cry about, right?

For real, though, the child exceeded all my expectations for good behavior. My expectations actually included the foregone conclusion that he would scream the whole time we were on the planes, as well as fuss day and night the entire trip because we were away from home. But apparently, I'm the only one who fusses when away from home.

He seemed to like the chaos and noise of the airports, adrenaline junkie that he is. He slept most of our in-air time, and when he wasn't sleeping, he was cooing and playing. Or rather, watching while I played with toys on his behalf. There were a few shrieking episodes, mostly when I wasn't getting him to his milk supply fast enough (he didn't care that I was wedged into a minuscule airplane seat as well as trying to cover myself with a blanket so as to preserve my modesty). But overall, two big thumbs up.

He slept pretty well the whole trip. I woke up a lot to listen and make sure HE wasn't waking up, but that was my problem. He smiled and cooed and played nicely with all the new people who wanted to hold him. He mostly cried when we were inside air conditioned places--which is EVERYWHERE in New Orleans. But bring the child outside into the sticky heat and he was oh so happy. I, on the other hand, was a sweaty mess the entire time, but as long as Cubby was content, what did that matter? My mother, who may be the person genetically responsible for Cubby's love of disgusting heat, took many a lap around the hotel with the little dictator in his chariot, bless her heat-loving heart.

And then, when we got home, he actually slept the ENTIRE NIGHT. Which meant that I slept from 9:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. And good LORD, did I need that. He must love his mother after all.

I'm not saying I'm raring to go anywhere far away with Cubby anytime soon, but I have to give him props for just going with the frantic flow around him the whole trip. So thanks, Cubby. You're aces, kid.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


You know how there are certain things you always do first when you get home from a trip? Well, for me, that's looking at the garden.

Okay, so it wasn't actually first. First I extracted a screaming child from the backseat of the car and changed him and fed him. Then I petted the dogs. Then we went to a family member's birthday party on the lakeshore. Then I came home, changed the again screaming child (it was a long day), fed him again, and put him to bed. And THEN I went to look at the garden.

The garden exploded in the four days we were gone. Weeds EVERYWHERE, but also blooming pea plants, potato plants that are all of the sudden a foot tall and rapidly approaching the first hilling (BOOO), carrots and beets that grew three inches and need to be thinned, surprisingly large lettuce and spinach and basil and tomatoes.

That's right. The tomatoes have lived to die another day. I know you were worried about the tomatoes. I certainly was. I think they'll all make it, although I don't know how much this little, ahem, episode will set them back. We shall see. I'm just glad they weren't all dead when I got home. Not dead is pretty much all I ask for.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have many loads of laundry to do and dogs to pet. It's so nice to be home.