Thursday, October 4, 2012

Getting Ready, and Books!

I was standing on a wooden chair in front of my house yesterday, mopping the vinyl siding with a squeegee. This is not something I usually do on my farm. But with Antlerstock coming up I want the place looking its best. Green mold had grown on the creamy white siding from the month of wet weather and it was looking a little too much like a hanging ham instead of a storybook farmhouse (which is what I am going for). So I stood outside mopping my house, wishing I had more red mulch, and trying to figure out how to make soap in the rain.

All in good spirits though, you see. Antlerstock might devour this whole week but it will be a blast and I can not wait. By this time Saturday morning the whole place will be transformed. People are coming from all over America (and the world!) to visit this little 6 and a half acres a writer and her dogs share. I have gotten four people's offer to supply us with tents (Yay!) and the show will go on. So rain be damned and may the Tein Eigen burn on!

It is an unusually muggy day here, humid as a rain forest and gray as moorland. I love it. I love precipitation and I love wet, miserable weather. The more rainy, blustery, and cold the outer world the more my home becomes a sanctuary, a place of happy respite. I just did a pile of chores outside, everything from cleaning out rabbit cages to taking notes in my moleskin about what feed was low and how to stack the hay in the barn. Nelson is brining in a load of 50 bales Friday. By the time people are here from Antlerstock I will have been cleaning, mowing, stacking, and preparing so much all I will want is firelight and an adult beverage.

I have been getting requests for book recommendations. Someone wanted to know what to read to learn more about Scottish folklore and Celtic history and music, another is interested in sheepdog training. If you are interested in Scottish folklore, I suggest starting in the shallow end and working up to the deep end. One of the reasons I am learning Gaelic is to read the original stories and tales as they were written, but diving into a 12th century storybook might not be what you are looking for. I don't have a title for you, but I can suggest a type of book. Find a basic introduction to Celtic folklore and legend. Stories will lead you to other resources and legends and build from there.

And as for dog training I suggest a video or two, instead of a book. Starting with Time Well Spent, by Aled Owen (Gibson's great grandfather is on the cover!). Or the two video series The Shepherd's Pup about starting with a young border collie from the puppy on. If you live in the North East, I suggest joining NEBCA, because it has a library for members and you can rent out videos and books for just the shipping costs mailed right to your door!

And if you just want to read something for entertainment, here is my recent love affair with fiction which was recommended to me by one of you! The Emberverse Series by S.M. Stirling! It is a series of books that take place starting in 1998 in Oregon near Salem and Corvallis. The books are a fantasy series, but not in the dragons and wizard sense, instead one day around dinnertime a white flash lights up the sky and all modern engines, firearms, electricity, steam power and every other modern convenience or invention simply stops working. Cars stop working in the middle of the highway. Planes fall out of the sky. And all of America (and the rest of the world) has to figure out how to restart society in the chaos. What happens in the destruction of one world is a creation of a new one with new religions, new societies, and a sort of Feudal reality America has not seen in hundreds of years. There is A lot of Celtic folklore and legend involved, as one of the surviving tribes is lead by a woman named Juniper Mackenzie, who starts a modern Celtic Clan in the Pacific Northwest. Anyway, it was these books that got me into Archery this spring. Since gunpowder stops working the bow and arrow become mighty once again and are a huge part of their life and culture. You can get all these books on as well (which I suggest for your commute to work or in the gym or doing farm chores). You can get it for free here. They start with Dies The Fire and in paperback I think it is eight bucks.


Anonymous Sandra said...

Thanks for the "Dies the Fire" recommendation. It sounds like the same premise as the new TV show "Revolution". "Revolution" also has a young heroine who is pretty good with a crossbow!

October 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

To your comment:

fans of Dies the Fire are seeing their favorite series turned into "inspired" TV series! Is Revolution the JJ Abram's one?

October 4, 2012 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Hmmm...leave the red mulch for the fast food chains and gas stations, your old house will be more charming with a natural brown on the beds. Thank you for the reading recommendations and thanks for telling us about Cottage River, I'm really enjoying the series.

October 4, 2012 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always feel like there's something really nice about the preparation and anticipation leading up to a big event, then the satisfaction of it actually happening. Antlerstock sounds great - I'm hoping I can make it down one year.

Thanks for the recommendations - I've just started Emberverse, and there do seem to be some similarities with Revolution, which I've also just started watching. I rather enjoy getting to think through the whole "what if something happened" question, at least in a fictional way.

October 4, 2012 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Hmmm...leave the red mulch for the fast food chains and gas stations, your old house will be more charming with a natural brown on the beds. Thank you for the reading recommendations and thanks for telling us about Cottage River, I'm really enjoying the series.

October 4, 2012 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

Just went and bought Dies the Fire on Kobo. I'm always looking for new book series as i'm a voracious reader,lol.

Lately I've being thinking a lot about bows. I saw this on-line:

Thinking of making one just to try archery out before I spend a few hundred bucks on a real bow.

October 4, 2012 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Jenn MySquareInch said...

You can buy a cheap bow for $20-$30 at most sporting good stores. They are made for kids but my daughter and I use the same one. If you get into it you can donate it to a club and get yourself an adult version.

October 4, 2012 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Kirstyn said...

Jenna, thanks for the random book review of a series that I expect to love! I don't read a lot of novels because I'm too busy keeping caught up with my stack of nonfiction, and it's time consuming to search for a novel that fits the bill. But a sustainable based plot with Celtic twists? Sounds like a winner in my book.

October 4, 2012 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

May the Sun Gods shine down on Antlerstock & may your weekend be one of laughter & friends.
Don't stress yourself over things that need to be done, Jenna. Enjoy yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 4, 2012 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

I now have 'Dies The Fire' on hold at my library, thanks to your recommendation! I'm always on the hunt for new books to read ( I think I check out 40+ every two weeks!?), and this one sounds intriguing!

October 4, 2012 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger The Village Queen said...

Glad you enjoy the humid and wet, one of the reasons I moved west. Its a happy thing where we love where we are planted...
Those books, so well written and the tv show stole the idea and its totally watered down as well. Scaryest book I read in ages, no sugar coating of the chaos in the beginning. But great series. Hope you have fun this weekend!

October 4, 2012 at 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Uta said...

Jenna, I hope you are not serious about the red mulch. It is colored not natural and a lot of times it is chipped demolition debrise. It can kill plants and trees, so please don't use it. If you must use mulch use compost or ceadar chips.We also chip our own branches which makes nice mulch. Your place looks to original to use red mulch.

October 4, 2012 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I just got "Dies the Fire" from the library. Can't wait to start it.

October 4, 2012 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I just got "Dies the Fire" from the library. Can't wait to start it.

October 4, 2012 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

PansWife! Whoever you are, I laughed and wonder if we have met. I'm a landscape architect and red mulch triggers something in me similar to revulsion. I spend hours every year (week) talkin folks out of it.

Jenna please take this in a lighthearted manner. My clothes don't match, I live in a 90 year old cabin, and my house needs a good mopping. Mulch nerds exist. :)

Have a most wonderful Antlerstock, we will send clear weather vibes!

October 4, 2012 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

Thx Jenn MySquareInch! I think I might go pick up one this weekend :)

October 4, 2012 at 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Maggie said...

jenna!i just happened on your blog and i love your little posts. i'm a journalism major (junior) but my heart is on the farm, with horses, chickens, and lots and lots of organic gardens. it is SO inspiring to see another young woman succeeding at having a small farm! it gives me hope that i can too. i'd love to hear more tips and what you do when as far as seasonal planting/cooking/animal stuff. thanks for the breath of country on my stuffy campus :)

October 4, 2012 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Crisy said...

Fantastic Book!!!I loved the concept of the horses vs the bikes...never quite thought of that before!

October 4, 2012 at 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Carol in NC said...

Read 'One Second After' by William Forstchen. It's about life during the first year after an EMP attack. Scary stuff and a real page turner. I couldn't put it down. Crazy! I became a seed saver after I read that book!

October 4, 2012 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Hi Amanda, Sisters in Mulch here. I'm not an LA, but pretty close. Yeah, I tell my clients unless they start selling burgers or pumping gas I won't touch the stuff. My other pet peeve is white rocks. Now back to homesteading.

October 5, 2012 at 7:43 AM  

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