Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Crazy Brain Strikes Again

In case you are not in the habit of automatically checking down there at the bottom for the time I publish whatever drivel has spilled out of me that day, I'll just tell you that it is currently five in the morning. Five (5) A.M. On a Saturday.


I woke up around two this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. This is not a new thing for me, as you may recall. Which doesn't make it any less annoying when it happens.

I was consumed this time by such engrossing thoughts as where will the Chioggia pumpkins go in the garden . . . and what should I wear under those awesome white pants I just bought so the pockets don't show up so much . . . and where the hell are we going to store the 100 bales of hay A. is supposed to pick up today . . . and damn I wish I had done the dishes last night because I hate waking up to piles of dirty dishes in the morning . . . and I really hope Cubby's diaper rash problem that showed up so quickly goes away just as quickly . . . andandandandand.

All essential things to be pondering at two in the morning, obviously.

I gave up on sleeping at four and got out of bed. Then I did the dishes, so at least that was one worry I can dump out of my crazy, over-active brain.

I suspect I will not be feeling very spry around, oh, four o'clock this afternoon. But at least the dishes are done. Yay?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Operation Potato: Complete

That's right. The potatoes are in. Let us all take a moment for thanksgiving.

Now that we've had that moment, let's take another to appreciate the size of the potato field. That I dug up all by hand.


So that's nine full rows of 15 plants each, plus a couple that I stuck in near the beets, plus a small patch of nine Lehighs behind the blackberries. Which is 146 plants. There are also twenty or so of a very early variety elsewhere in the garden that the MiL planted some time ago.

I hope 160 plants is enough. It will probably be just enough when we start eating them, but WOAH WAY TOO MANY when it comes time for hilling.

Oh hilling. How I hate you.

But let's not think about that now! Instead let's admire the cabbage and broccoli plants, which all received a nice healthy mulching with sheep-shit straw this past weekend.

Sauerkraut ahoy!

I picked up some bell pepper plants from Andy the Plant Guy yesterday, but will wait a couple of days to put those in the ground* because we're supposed to get into the forties at night for a couple of nights. And yet, it was 92 degrees on Tuesday. What the hell, Mama N.?

Then this weekend, there will be corn and squash and cucumbers and melons and maybe the MiL will plant the leek plugs she's picking up from her cousin tonight.

Lots to do still, but the potatoes are in, so everything is now right with the world.

Happy Friday, duckies.

* Along with the hot peppers that I still have to buy seedlings for because the FFA kids didn't start any hot peppers. What's up with that, FFA kids? Don't you like salsa?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Thrill of Being Bad

It's pretty sad that in my case, "being bad" means I did not go back outside to plant more potatoes after Cubby went to bed last night. I was burned out. So instead I sat inside, had a gin and tonic, and watched YouTube videos about making charcoal.

Yes, that's me being bad. Pathetic, I know.

But let's talk about that charcoal. Because there is a whole YouTube world out there devoted to making charcoal. The topic first came up last night as I was starting the charcoal grill to cook some steaks. As I was pouring the charcoal in, I was thinking, "I bet we could make this." We buy the natural charcoal, you see, not the briquettes, so it is literally just charred bits of wood.

Then, in a spectacular example of mind meld, A. came wandering into the kitchen with Cubby and said he really should try making charcoal. (A. should try making it, I mean, not Cubby. Just to clarify.)

There is a reason we're still married, obviously. And that reason is a shared interest in craziness.

So I did a random search for how to make charcoal online and found two YouTube videos that A. and I watched together. One was titled, "How to make charcoal like an eco redneck" and featured a guy in sweatpants and Sorrel boots burning a "big pile of shit" (his words) around a repurposed metal drum full of bits of wood with nails in it. The other was a four-part video showing with great historical accuracy how the colliers of Pennsylvania used to make charcoal over a nine-day period.

Much as we enjoyed watching the rigid detail with which the Pennsylvania guy made historically accurate charcoal (and much as I enjoyed the two little boys helping and the chickens that wandered around in the video to great hilarious effect), I think we're going with the big-pile-of-shit-and-drum method. Because we are rednecks. Eco rednecks even.

Eco woodchucks, actually, which I think is a term I should be using regularly.

We may not make the charcoal for awhile, as summer tends to be busy time for us. Then again, we might make it this weekend. You never do know. So stay tuned for our adventures in eco woodchuck charcoal making sometime in the future.

Also, possibly adventures in tallow soap making. But that's another story entirely.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mad Dogs, Englishmen, and Me

I slept until 7:15 this morning, which as anyone with a kid knows, is something of a damn miracle. And yet, I did not wake up feeling fresh and rested.

This may have something to do with the fact that it's not even eight in the morning, but is already 76 degrees. But it mostly has to do with the fact that I was digging potato rows in the midday sun yesterday.

The dogs, incidentally, were crashed out in the cellar. Definitely not mad.

I'm not really mad either, except in the irritated sense that the potatoes are STILL not all in the ground. Thanks to all the rain and the unsuitability of soil conditions, I just haven't been able to plant them. I'm about a month behind in getting them in, so now that I can dig the ground up, I am. Never mind that it was 92 degrees yesterday with full sun and Cubby chose to take his afternoon nap at the hottest part of the day; when he sleeps, I dig.

Which is why I am somewhat weary today.

However! I have seven of the ten rows in the main area planted. So three more rows, plus a random patch for the Lehighs, and the potatoes will be all in. Then I just have to plant the peppers. And corn. And squash. And cucumbers.

Maybe I should just go back to bed now.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Reminder

Memorial Day means a lot of things to people. Probably first and foremost these days, it means a day off of work. Plus barbecues, beer, and all those other summertime rituals that get dusted off and put into heavy rotation starting on this three-day weekend.

But while you're enjoying your day off, plus your barbecue and beer and whatever other hedonistic pleasure signifies a holiday for you, please remember what Memorial Day is meant to be about. You can read all about it here, but in sum, it's a day to remember all the soldiers who have died in service. So just do that. Remember them. And then go on and do your thing to celebrate your holiday.

Peace out, poppets.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

More High Fashion

I can no longer wear sandals as everyday footwear in the summer. At least, I can't wear MY sandals, which are leather slip-ons with no back. And the reason I can't wear them?

This guy. Who is the reason for everything, pretty much.

He just . . . moves so much, you know? And I have to move with him. Up and down and round and round. I can't race around so much in slip-on sandals. So no matter what I'm wearing--skirt, pants, shorts--I have to wear socks and real shoes. If it's wet, I wear the ugly ladybug shoes. If it's not too wet, I can get away with my running shoes. But neither of those really goes so well with, say, a skirt. It's not a look I can pull off.

And so I have resigned myself to a summer of stupid-looking but functional footwear. Such is the reality of motherhood.