Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Am Leaving the House Today

This is only notable because, except for a brief trip to Wal-Mart with A. to get fishing supplies (for A., not for me) and a few walks on my parents' street with Cubby, I have not actually left the house since we arrived. This isn't exactly a trial at my parents' resort-like home in the hills of Tucson, but I suppose I should go somewhere at some point on this trip.

So we're going to the Tucson Harvest and Farm Festival. Oh yes, we are.

I realize it is somewhat ridiculous for us to attend a farm event in a city which we visit to escape our own small farm, but it's free and there are animals for the small children of our family to view and . . . well, it's a FARM EVENT. In TUCSON. As if we would miss it. It's like our natural habitat. I mean, I found two garlic cloves in the pocket of the shirt I brought on this trip, apparently left there from when I planted garlic at home and had a couple of extra cloves I stuck in my pocket and forgot about. So I am now the sort of person who travels around with my own personal garlic stash and attends farm events on vacation.

Yee haw.

P.S. Melinda asked yesterday how Cubby fared being parted from his beloved mother. My mother shoveled yogurt in his face when he got hungry and he didn't even realize his milk supplier was absent from the fun. Nice to be missed.

Friday, November 12, 2010


It is nine o'clock in the morning. My mother and father have kidnapped Cubby and taken him to the zoo with my brother and my niece. There is bacon cooking on the stove and I'm eating a brownie. There is no produce threatening to go bad if I don't do something with it RIGHTNOW, no calls from neighbors about sheep in the road, no wood to carry in for the fire, no chores to be done.

In short, life is pretty good right now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


After sitting around drinking coffee and talking for awhile this morning with my mother, I checked the weather forecast for the day in Tucson. Sixty-seven degrees and sunny. Nice.

Then my mom and I went our separate ways to get dressed. I put on jeans and a tank top and wandered down the hall in my bare feet, where I met my mother emerging from her bedroom in jeans, a fuzzy cowl-necked sweater, and shoes. It would not surprise me to know she was wearing long underwear under her jeans.

Sixty-seven and sunny is all relative, apparently.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Well. Thank God THAT'S over with.

We had two flights yesterday. The first one was only a little over an hour, and Cubby was fine. But by the time we got on our second flight of the day, Cubby realized that it was two hours past his bedtime. And he was not in his crib. He did not understand this, and he did not appreciate it.

That was a three and a half hour flight. Of those three and a half hours, Cubby slept maybe an hour and a half. And not in a continuous block, either. It was Unfun. He didn't cry for long periods, but 15 minutes of baby-crying-in-an-airplane time translates to about 15 HOURS of regular time.

But at least all of our flights were not only on time but early, so the misery wasn't unduly extended. And here we are! Nana immediately began ingratiating herself with Cubby this morning by providing him with a new fascinating toy every few minutes, so I think he's going to have an excellent time this week.

Oh! And I totally forgot to tell you that I finished up with the apples the day before we left. So now that I have freed myself from that self-imposed encumbrance--and safely transported an infant three thousand miles--I am free to enjoy myself with nary a care. Let the vacation begin!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I'm kind of all over the place this morning, what with our imminent departure and the fact that I have not, as of yet, packed anything.


Therefore, I present to you a cop-out list, which is at least all related to traveling. So that is the tie that binds this mess of thoughts together.

1) I was prattling on the other day to A. about our flight times and short layovers and dinner times and the food I was bringing on the plane. Then I interrupted myself to say to A. "You don't care about any of this, do you?" To which he replied quite seriously, "I would rather starve for 12 hours than plan ahead that much." Behold, Reason Number One why A. would not be a good primary caretaker for a baby.

2) I'm bringing several toys on the plane for Cubby's entertainment. Although a couple of the toys are actual children's toys, the others are all items meant for another purpose that nonetheless meet the criteria for children's toys suitable for plane travel. That is, they are small and fascinating to the child. These items include a Pez dispenser, a metal spoon, and a (CLEAN thankyouverymuch) snot baster. Ghetto toys? Perhaps. But if they keep Cubby entertained, I care about that NOT AT ALL.

3) I'm really, really hoping I won't need those toys, however, since I purposely chose late flights in the hopes of having a sleeping baby on the plane. This brilliant plan may, of course, totally backfire on me, and I may end up with a baby who WANTS to be sleeping but is instead having a nuclear meltdown. Let's all cross our fingers that Cubby gets lulled to sleep by the roaring of the engines and the soothing atmosphere of an airplane cabin. HA.

4) We are landing in Tucson at 10:05 p.m. local time (assuming all goes well). (PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE let it all go well). Which will be 12:05 a.m. body time. I have only one thing to say about that: God help us all.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Wages of Sin

Okay, so maybe "sin" is a bit of a dramatic word choice, as it wasn't sin so much as a certain baby of my acquaintance that prevented me from keeping up with my garden chores this year. And since it wasn't sin, that means the wages won't be death! WHEE!

Reeling myself in from the religious tangent now.

So! I finally got out into the garden yesterday to do some clean-up. It wasn't pretty out there.

There were many, many pounds of dead tomato, pepper, squash, and broccoli plants to be pulled out and disposed of. In my garden, "disposed of" means "flung over the fence into the gully." Which is easier than, say, bagging that mess up for trash pick-up or something, but still requires that I get all the dead and rotting things to and then over the fence. While not breaking an ankle in the holes left from digging the potatoes that were near the fence. And not slipping and falling in the half-rotted sheep-shit straw that I used to mulch the zucchini plants near the fence. It was a delicate dance, indeed.

The Chioggia pumpkin vine was all entwined with the evil blackberry canes and the weeds and wild grape that were also growing in the blackberry thicket. What an unholy mess THAT was. Yikes.

I spent a long time picking up half-frozen and rotting tomatoes. While wearing gloves, thankyouverymuch, because EW.

I spent even longer pulling out whatever the obnoxious weed is that totally took over the garden this year. It's shallow-rooted, so it's not really hard to pull up, but every time I pulled a handful out, about a thousand tiny white seeds would drift down onto the soil, ensuring that there will be another battle with this evil interloper next year. This made me say very bad words.

On a positive note, however, I discovered a hidden butternut squash that I pulled out and cooked for dinner last night. I also pulled out a cabbage plant from which I had harvested the main cabbage head awhile ago and then left the plant in to grow baby cabbage heads. Did you know you could do this? I discovered this fun fact last year when I left a plant in after harvesting the cabbage, just to see what would happen. What happens is a second, small harvest, which I sauteed for dinner last night. Nice.

Also for dinner last night (it was a big dinner), I dug up and cooked leeks and the potatoes from the late planting the MiL did. And then there was Chickie, of course. But I didn't dig him up from the garden. Because that would be gross. And disturbing.

And then it was time to go inside and await the awakening of the little princeling, so I didn't get everything done that I wanted to do, but it was a good start.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Eating My Words . . . And a Chicken

It was a beautiful fall morning when we got up today. Clear and cold with a tinge of frost over everything. A perfect morning for chicken killing.

Yes, I am afraid that Chickie tricked us all and was not, in fact, a female Chickie, despite my confident announcement to that effect months ago. Dammit. We noticed quite awhile ago that Chickie was starting to get chuffy, in the way that all roosters do. But we put off the dispatching of Chickie because A. thought he was a magnificent rooster. Which he was, but he was also a mean bastard. And, in the last few days, the two roosters had started duking it out in the coop at night, driving the hens out and causing chaos and confusion when it came time for roosting.

We can't be having our hens out at night because of rooster pissing contests (figuratively speaking, of course) in the coop. Chickie had to go.

So this morning after Cubby went down for a nap, we grabbed the cleaver, a sharp knife, and a bucket and went to bring Chickie to his doom. Actually, A. was the one who grabbed Chickie. He got a nice hard peck on the hand for it, too.

It was Chickie's last defiant act, however.

Half an hour later, A. was looking down at a denuded Chickie and solemnly intoning, "Good-bye, rooster. Hello, roaster."

So clever, that A.

Chickie most likely will not actually be a roaster, however, due to his age. He'd probably be a little tough. I haven't decided exactly how to cook him yet. Some kind of braise.

Order has once again been restored to the chicken coop courtesy of A. the Grim Reaper and his cleaver.