Tuesday, January 4, 2011

much ahead

A calm night here at the farm. Highlights after work included such fantasies of wonder as mending a pair of jeans and washing the swine's water bucket... But don't be fooled, because everything is in an underground state of transition. Animal farms slow down a bit come winter, but comas don't mean death, son. No no, this place is just at a resting heart rate. The days are slowly creeping into light and the farm is lazily writhing back to life along with it at a steady clump.

Life and death are square dancing here. The one remaining doe in the rabbitry is preparing a nest for possible kindling any night. The goose is sitting on five eggs now, and if all goes as planned by the time the folks arrive here for the Chicken 101 workshops there will be goslings and bunnies to meet as well and discuss. Along with all this new life that will shake up this farm in just a few week—I am calling local groceries and kitchen supply stores to get the right wrapping paper, bags, and marking pens Vicki requires for her work here on Pig's harvest day. I'm also flipping through the hatchery and seed catalogs to plan a modest harvest of meat and eggs, along with the stack of sheep books by my bedside to study up on lambing. Good god, there will be a lot of noise around here come May...

I can not wait to look out my office window and see a pack of lambs running up and down the hillside. In my head Blackface lambs look more like muppet monsters: all shag and tiny horns and weird splotchy faces. What a sight that will be after this heavy winter! And they want more soon, too. A storm is in the works, perhaps this weekend. Let it snow I say, I have hives and hens to think about. And a happy little memoir about love on a farm that makes it seem almost possible, and I giggle like a 14-year-old when I read it.

And yet, amongst the kingdom of the animals is a little container in my kitchen of sprouting snap peas. A tiny triumph in a Cabot yogurt container. I was so happy to see the first peaking green that I learned a new fiddle tune (Rye Whiskey) to welcome them into the world. I set them down in front of the music book and played to a pot of sprouts. I held a benefit concert for a future day spent shelling peas barefoot by a banjo. Damn, it felt good to learn a new song. I play that devil box nearly every day but always the same favorites. It felt good to be a student again, try something new. Or new to me rather: since all my songs are old time tunes from ages ago. Which is what I prefer. It's how I know it's a good old one—cured by generations of other fools in their planting kitchens.

Much ahead. Much more already here.


Blogger Sassidy Sparks said...

Muppet monsters is the most hilarious description yet! Can barely wait for the pictures. Have a great night.

January 4, 2011 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Girl, you need to write a book. That's all I'm sayin'.

January 4, 2011 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Oh I love Rye Whiskey!

I'm very partial to Austin Nichols Wild Turkey, but good grief - it's 101 proof!

January 4, 2011 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Jenny Glen said...

They are the cutest lambs ever! They have little heart shaped heads and fuzzy wool. And the little boys have tiny buds where their horns will grow. Please post lots of pics when they are born - I wish I still had a flock of them.

January 5, 2011 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree that if you can find the time in your busy schedule you need to write a book girl. It would surely sell.

January 5, 2011 at 5:44 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I have never commented before but just wanted to let you know that I was grinning like a fool the whole time I was reading your post. I've had a rough winter of recovering from a bowel resection that went horribly wrong and I ended up with an ileostomy after 3 surgeries in November. Your blog is the first one I read every morning, just to get my day started on the right foot. You always manage to bring a smile to my face or make a comment in one of your posts that helps me get through the day. Thank you so much for that.

January 5, 2011 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

How can you not like a person who fiddles to produce??

January 5, 2011 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger Aranea said...

Keep playing to those snap peas and you might just have the biggest harvest of them yet :P

January 5, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, sheeps. I can't wait to see pictures of the lambs!


January 5, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hello I was just wondering what the memoir was. Any book that makes a person giggle like a 14 year old has got to be good.

January 5, 2011 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

When you learn a new song do you use sheet music or learn by ear?

January 5, 2011 at 3:33 PM  

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