Sunday, August 8, 2010

home companions

I've been savoring these cool end-of-summer nights. It really feels like fall is near. last night I dug two flannel shirts out of storage and washed them for that extra fluffy just-out-of-the-dryer feeling and set them by the back door. At 6PM I had a date planned. Me, the pasture, the flock, and my man Garrison.

Up under the apple tree I set down a blanket and the crank radio and listened to Prairie Home Companion. I like this spot, this repose. Leaning back with my hands behind my head, listening to the latest goings-on at Lake Wobegon: I was rather content. I wasn't alone long. I shook my staff at the tree above and apples fell with a plop. Sal came loping over and a small platoon of chickens came marching up to join us (they like apples too). I liked hearing the rhubarb pie song with the birds cooed and Sal hovered and then tucked his front legs under for a rest. Sal often comes and lays beside me. He's a sucker for an ear scratch and knows I''m the baroness of all things apple. So we enjoyed each other's company on the hill and watched the farm. Home Companions, indeed.

June Carter is doing well. Quite the barn cat, her. She's fast and clever and scrappy as hell. As I watched from my perch, I saw her sit right in the middle of the chickens and nibble around the cracked corn along with the birds. Possibly catching crickets, possibly eating feed. I guess her cat chow wasn't cutting it.

I just had six rabbits and four cages picked up by a reader, Susan and her friend (who generously offered her truck to carry off the load). I was glad to see the animals off to a farmer who wanted them so much, and was happy to add them to her menagerie. I realized the rabbits weren't that much work at all, but I had simply taken on too much, too fast. A common beginner's mistake. So today I scaled down to just six rabbits. I still have my pair of original breeding angoras and four meat rabbits ranging around the farm. I may very well keep the Cali doe over winter too in case I want to breed again, but the rest have a certain fate. By Labor Day all the meat rabbits and remaining Cornish Crosses will be freezer-bound. I may need to consider a chest freezer...that's eight animals and my freezer still has spring rabbits and chickens.

So this was an interesting update: serene hilltop entertainment and kitten antics along with livestock sales and slaughter plans. What is this place, but a farm?

P.S. No dates ever did come of my man post in July. I got a few kind responses but none of them felt right. Some were too far away, or a few decades ahead of me, or just felt wrong for me. (There were five responses of single men, and a few dozen encouraging emails from women and married men telling me good luck.) But who know's? A new season is just around the bend. Perhaps this October will be the best one yet...


Blogger Tami said...

I've wondered about your 'man' post but thought you'd tell us in due time. Good luck with the 'hunt' as it were.....

August 8, 2010 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Fluffy flanels, warm and comforting, waiting by the door. You are home and a man is just searching for a way to get home to you.

August 8, 2010 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I found great comfort in watching this:

August 8, 2010 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

Garrison Keillor is a god. I can listen to him anytime and come away feeling comforted, entertained and bemused. I think it has something to do with the fact that having grown up on the Canadian prairie, I know the people he talks about, in one form or another. I often listen to the PHC podcasts on my iPod when I can't sleep. His voice is so soothing.

August 8, 2010 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Harpy 101 said...

Great update. That gent who will (or WOULD if the situation warranted) break down doors for you is gonna be quite a guy. He'll admire and love you and he'll be caring and kind and strong. That'll be another book. ;)

Thanks to you I've got cucumbers and canning equipment ready in the kitchen and episode #324 of Home Town Tales booming; also thanks to you, I just happen to know that here in Colorado people seem to be very fond of the Buff Orpington bird for backyard coops. Nice lookin' birds but the name reminds me of a soap opera character. Your special brand of inspiration rocks, Jenna!

August 8, 2010 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Jenna, what about co-worker dude with the Aussie pup? He sounds really interesting. And a dog lover too. A herd dog lover at that. Ya know, when you aren't looking, there'll be a whole slew of guys around.

Your evening sounded so nice. I love PHC. That's one of my favorite Sat. things to do. And it is feeling a little fallish all of a sudden. We might just get a small one here in Ga.

August 8, 2010 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Harpy! home town tales!!! I adore that podcast, it's such a great mix of news, modern folklore, and some such. download the creepy toys and haunted movies shows, and haunted connecticut: which blew my mind talking about how a circus burned down in Hartford.

August 8, 2010 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Rhonda Jean said...

I wondered about "the man". Not much good comes easy or fast. Think slow cooked onions in beef stew rather than instant fries. I reckon your man is still maturing, still slowly stewing, and maybe admiring you from afar. Be patient. Those things happen when you have stopped expecting them.

Give Sal an extra ear rub from me when it pleases you.

August 8, 2010 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

No rush on him, whomever he is.

August 8, 2010 at 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My birthday gift this year from my hubby is going to PHC in Denver at the end of the month as he broadcasts from the Botanical Gardens! I'm so excited. We're towing the kids along too. Sounds like you had a mighty fine evening.

August 8, 2010 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Julie, i'm jealous!

August 8, 2010 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Geek 3000 said...

We dropped 180$ on a small chest freezer in the spring. Totally worth it. It fits half a cow and half a pig with room for fat meat birds.

August 8, 2010 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger Erika said...

I only caught bits of PHC on the radio as we were driving last night. I pretty much try to live by his motto, "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch." It always makes my heart happy thinking about it.

August 9, 2010 at 1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice way to spend an evening. As for finding a date (or a mate), my own successes have come from (a number of dates, some successful - meaning they led to repeat dates, some not so much. And one that led to marriage.), and classes (you have something to talk about automatically). Parties at mutual friends have led to some interesting encounters. Never met anyone at a bar, or in a grocery store or anything like that. My opinion is that you need time to mature to where you will match the man you want to marry, if that makes sense.

On a completely prosaic topic, upright freezers are a helluva lot easier to keep neat and see what's in there. We got one of those chest ones after years of upright freezers and I hate it just as much as I thought I would. It's impossible to move things around when it's anywhere near full. Which the top now is full of half gallon jars of frozen goat milk and god only knows what's underneath.

August 9, 2010 at 1:33 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

'Nuther word on chest freezers...we were steered away from chest freezers because although they are more efficient than upright freezers (cold just tumbles out of an upright when you open it), chest freezer invariably get stuffed loaded on top of them. Knowing me and horizontal surfaces, I decided an upright is the way to go.

Now I want to replace the fridge/freezer with a straight refrigerator, no freezer option, because I seriously dig my upright freezer!

August 9, 2010 at 2:03 AM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Enjoyed reading your update, and wanted to add that daughter, myself and g/kids drove your way on our return to Ohio from Canada. As we drove through Vermont, I kept saying "Jenna's farm's out here somewhere', we were both envious as it's a beautiful place. Then when I saw your post mentioning Salem I looked it up, sure enough, we were about 15 miles from Salem at one point.

We both loved Vermont, what wonderful country, we spent a lot of those long hours on the road working out how we could both move from Australia... and still do what we both love and make a living etc.

August 9, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Sue Steeves said...

Sounds crazy, but after years of scorning the idea of internet dating I posted a profile and met the best guy I have ever known....we have been together for a year and I have never been happier. Despite the fact that we live in southern california he totally digs and supports my backyard farming and mini-stock (meat rabbits). I even got him to fall in love with goats and chickens while at the fair. The goal for us both is now a small farm. I NEVER thought I would find someone who supports my efforts for sustainability, but he thinks I am prettiest when covered in garden soil and thinks I am the bee's knees when I make cheese & bread. Don't give up hope, if I can find a goat man in so cal then yours has to be finding his way to you!

August 9, 2010 at 12:21 PM  

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