Friday, July 23, 2010

Planning Meals

We've reached the glorious time of year when the garden no longer suggests a menu - it demands it.

On Monday morning, my little sister leaves for a year abroad in Japan. During the last two weeks, my mom and I have been making her favorite foods - puff pancakes, homemade pizza, Jucy Lucy burgers, meatloaf, lemon linguine. But tonight the garden is throwing in its vote as well. So along with our lasagna, tonight we'll feast on cucumber salad and roasted green beans.

Had I been able to stop myself from eating every last one, we might have had berries over ice cream for dessert.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


There's something about chipped, pink fingernail polish that makes me feel so freakin' cute.

When I was about five years old, I used to "paint" my nails with Crayola markers. Instead of chipping away, it smudged, and that wasn't nearly as satisfying.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Learning to Say "No"

Do you remember when he said that I could get a cow? Well, I'm beginning to come to terms with the fact that despite my love for bovines - for the swirl of hair on their foreheads, their wet noses and cloven hooves, their hot smell, dark eyes, and (perhaps most of all) their large, wide-spaced, fuzzy ears - a cow just isn't in the cards. When I look at it financially (small incomes, large student loans), when I look at it logistically (the length of time we plan to live here, in the country), I can't fit in my little dream Jersey or Guernsey in a way that makes practical sense. It's hard to be a grown-up, because you have to be the one to tell yourself "no." I've been looking for ways to soften the blow, first by being grateful for what I have (such as a coop full of chickens), and secondly by collecting old photographs of women and their Daisys, Bessies, and Buttercups.

I suppose what I'm doing today isn't so different from imagining horses into my life as a little girl. When I look at these old photographs, I imagine the affection, joy, and frustration that comes with knowing an animal intimately. I put myself in these women's shoes for a moment. Of course it's not the same as chasing after my own cow, barefoot and cursing, or feeling the rough tongue lick the grain from my hand. But looking at these old photographs make me happy. And if I look for the silver lining in all of this, that small happiness comes without chipping ice out of water buckets in January or stacking hay in July.

1, 2, 3

Out to a Movie

While browsing through the local antique mall yesterday afternoon, I learned two things:

1. Our small town used to have its very own movie theater where, as our entertainment guide assures us, you and your date could catch Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, John Wayne, and Jimmy Stewart, all in the month of August.

2. Junk mail used to be much more fun.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I don't need this,

but I want it. I want it very, very much.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My chickens...

... are beautiful.

Every morning after letting my feathered teenagers out of the coop, I gather up the feathers left behind on the straw floor. They feel like little presents. Walking back to the house, holding my little bouquet, I think, these may not bring summer indoors like pink zinnias and yellow snapdragons, but these Buff Orpingtons and Cuckoo Marans, the Speckled Sussex and Wheaten Ameraucanas, they're just as nice.

That feather in front? That was left for me by my dear Lulu. I'm head over heels.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 15


Mayson and the pigeon

chicken tail

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lack of Imagination

My husband believes in magic. It's something I love about him. Last night as we were driving home, we saw a black cat walk into a corn field. "Hello," said the cat. "I'm off to kill some wildlife, and maybe drive another species of bird toward extinction."

"Now, how do you know he's going to do that?" asked Aaron. "Maybe he's gathering a few ears to make popcorn."

"Oh, Aaron, I'm fairly certain that cat isn't going to make popcorn," I said in my "now you're just being silly" voice.

He smiled and said, "Katie, your lack of imagination is disappointing."

There's a low, wet place along the river where a thick grass grows sparsely, and at almost perfect intervals. He wants so badly for it to be a garden created by someone who, in protest of our industrial food system, took a hoe to a bit of state land.

I, on the other hand, am too grown-up for such things. I say to myself, "I don't believe in fairies," and I kill one every time.

I wonder why some of us, in our hurry to grow up, are so quick to throw out that sense of magic we felt as children. Aaron is giving it back to me, a little bit at a time. Now I imagine a bit of dialog for the Red-winged Blackbird chasing a Great Blue Heron across the falls. Sometimes, on my way to work in the morning, I imagine fairies on the cliffs along the river, hiding in the heavy moss and ferns.

This world needs more dream weavers.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Important: Perishable Live Birds

... was written on the cardboard box. The woman at the post office handed it to me, and I could hear a soft clucking. What was inside?
A Wheaten Ameraucana cockerel, a Blue Wheaten Ameraucana pullet, and a future of blue eggs and fuzzy-muff babies. Because, as Aaron said to me this evening, "If I can't grow a beard, I want my chickens to."