Friday, December 12, 2008

monsters and full moons

I heard an awful sound tonight. Something like a cross between a human moan, a dog's howl, and a dying antelope being dragged through the parking lot of a Best Buy. It was a long, draw-out, wail that bounced off the hollow all around the farm and frankly, it scared the hell out of me. It actually spooked me enough to drop the lantern when I was out feeding the sheep. I was in the middle of bitching about a design slump I've fallen into (yes, I talk to the sheep, don't judge), when I spun around at the horrid sound.

Dear lord. It was coming from the farm.

When I pulled myself together, I located the noise. It was coming from near the coop. It's dark here in the middle of the woods, but with the growing moonlight and stars above, I was casting a shadow on the snow. I could see everything around me clear as day, and there wasn't any stray dog around, neighbors outside, or people in the drive. What?

The howl came again, twice as loud as before. Now I was a little freaked out, and it was definately coming from the chicken coop... but this was no chicken.

I creeped up. (This looks especially ridiculous when said creeper is wearing a giant red parka and a hat with ear flaps and sheep are peering out from behind her, chewing hay loudly whiles he whisper-yells back at them to "quiet down, because I mean busniness here!") I peered into the coop and saw no beasties. Just Winthrop, the Light Brahma rooster. He stood among his throngs, craned back his neck, and then...

Howled?!

Yes friends, I think I have a wererooster. It looks like a mere chicken, but during the full moon he turns into hybrid of sorts. Some monster of the night that sounds like a horror-trailer backdrop. No joke. If come morning there is nothing but Winthrop and a pile of bones and feathers, we know what's up. So you heard it here first. WereRoosters. Keep the kids in after dark, I'm not making any promises about the safety of stray cats. It's a crapshoot out there fluffy.

Anyway, I hope wherever you are, you look outside and up tonight or tomorrow. This moon you and I share is at it's brightest and closest to our little planet it'll be for the next 52 years. So darling, please look up. We only get these things for an instant.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

dusting off the dog sled

So they are calling for a real storm to hit Vermont today and into tonight, meaning by the time I get home from work (fingers crossed) there will be a few inches of fresh snow on our dirt roads...You know what that means people? The dog sled is coming out! The first storm of the season is a big deal for the dogs and I. We get excited for it. giddy for it, we can't get over it. And tonight I'll do the usual pre-first-run ritual: Hot coffee, dark chocolate, and a good movie set aside for when we come in from a few miles on the Sandgate roads. We'll shake off our coats, serve up some hot caffeine, and then collapse in a pile on the couch in front of the roaring fire. I need to pick up some new batteries for the lantern so snowmobiles don't confuse us for a pack of wolves on the lam. But folks, I can not wait to be holding that brushbow. This is torture being in an office right now...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

here is your early christmas present.

Since I can't actually give you fine readers something to touch, I'll offer an experience we can share. It's easy. All you need to do is get in your car on a snowy night, and follow these instructions. Now, these three parts are the key to this working. You need to be driving. It needs to be dark. And you need snow. If you live in Arizona, or don't drive in bad weather, I am sorry but there are no possible exceptions or exchanges in this scenario. I will try to be more inclusive next year.

Now, what you need to do is when you're in your car, and moving forward through the dark, driving, snow - pop in Radiohead's Ok Computer and listen to Let Down. It's the closest thing to magic I can share. Promise.

The only possible daytime snow driving song is the Flaming Lips, Do you realize. This is also wonderful, but not as good.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

chomp chomp

mornings like these

Woke up to a bed of fur and teeth - which sounds kinky, but I just live with Siberian huskies. I love waking up in this super-warm pile of wolves and quilts. Jazz and Annie sleep like the dead, generating heat and sighing heavy all night. When they dream they curl their lips and wimper or growl at their nightmares. So I'm used to this morpheous pile of fangy sleep that occasionally wakes me up with a paw in the face or a growl in my ear. Regardless, I like it.

Outside there's a fresh light coating of snow, and the weather report says an inch or two is on the way. On a Sunday morning, this is poetry to me. Mornings like these are why I live like this. To walk outside into the snow, with hay in my arms and to the morning bleats of the sheep, is nice. It's just plain nice. Today I'm baking bread, lighting the fireplace, and making new straw beds for the animals. When the flock's fed and chewing their cud on clean warm straw - it feels good. I love taking care of them. It even feels good enough to justify indulging in some overly-caloric pepermint mocha coffee back in the cabin. Or that's what I'm telling myself. Don't judge.

The chickens and geese aren't as aloof about the snow as the sheep. They walk out into it when it first comes, and then their little dinosaur feet get cold and awkward and they go back into their large coop. In there is fresh straw, water, and feed. I don't blame them. Dinosaurs and snow do not mix.

Right now, the farm is quiet save for the four roosters- Rufus Wainright, Chuck Klosterman, Sussex and Winthrop - who are crowing from the coop. Or they were until the great horned owl started to call and then they shut up. Chickens are made instantly quiet by birds of prey. I'm not worried.

Last night I was in the Northshire bookstore in Manchester. I picked up a pamphlet of the Indiebound Next List. I knew I was in it this month, but standing in a bookstore reading about your own book was a sureal moment. I picked it up as an emotional souviner and shoved it into my magazine. I was holding the new issue of BUST with Jenny Lewis on the cover (if you're not familiar with her, think Neko Case light for indie kids who are still too scared of liking anything quasi-country. I like Rilo Kiley though, and It's a Hit, still makes me smile whenever I hear it). Anyway, I finally read in all it's glossy glory, the review their editor, Debbie Stoller wrote about my little book. Here's the quote that made my weeked.

"Maybe you can stitch together a skirt. Perhaps you prefer to shop vintage. You might even manage to grow some of your own food. But whatever it is you do, Jenna Woginrich can kick your earth-friendly, DIY, recycling ass."

Thank you Debbie. And now I'm going to make an unforgivably large pot of coffee and spend the day working on some design freelance. I have the NEBCA newsletter to finish today. Which is bittersweet since I don't have a border collie anymore and just found out from my landlord I never can. Two dogs is the limit at the cabin. Oh well, what can I do? And now I have something to bite the bit on for the future right? This demands I keep moving forward with it all. I also have some fun goat logos to whip up for one of you fine readers. My day is packed. The snow is falling. Jazz is already back to sleep. Life rolls.

I also think a farm breakfast is in order before I fire up the mac, and right now quiche has my ears perked. Or maybe pancakes? This is a good problem to have, and I'll eat them with gusto. Have a great Sunday folks.