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dishing out the dirt

dishing out the dirt

El-D took issue with last week’s post in which I highlighted the rationale behind “His & Hers” seedlings.

It seems I got something wrong.

It happens.

Apparently, this happens a lot.

I confess, not too long ago I wrote about his awesome Amish Friendship Rolls.  Afterwards, Dear Readers, I was informed that I had deceived you. Please realize this wasn’t an intentional deceit. He made Amish Friendship Bread the week before the roll incident. I saw warm steam rising from fresh baked goods and I went crazy.  In my feeding frenzy I shouted the good news of great joy from my bloggy version of the highest mountain.

Except I shouted it all wrong.

They were yeast rolls people. YEAST ROLLS!

I’m sorry if the error offends your sensibilities.

And here I stand wrong again.

El-D does not, in fact, require “an intricate mix of dirt samples taken from various points in the yard.”

He informed me that the dirt he used in this year’s seedlings came from the yard of our OLD HOUSE, as in the house we moved out of when we moved to the farm last June.

During the chaos of moving somehow this detail managed to escape my radar.

That means that all last summer as I was writing about stuff like the practice of letting go, I had no idea the dirt from my former life had followed me to this one.

When I heard this I had a momentary existential crisis:  Is my whole life a lie?

Then after meditating on it awhile I recalled the words of a great yogi:

I have affixed to me the dust and dirt of countless ages…who am I to disturb history?

–PigPen

…and now I’m happily back to everything being right-wrong.

Arugula, freshly picked

Arugula, freshly picked

I’m the black sheep vegetarian in a family of meat eaters. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it.

This is not a brand new thing.  It’s been two years since I converted. Still, when I get invitations to family functions they say things like this:

We’re having a party. I know you don’t eat x or y…or z — good lord aren’t you starving yet?? Well, you can come anyway.

I swear I am not trying to wreck havoc on people’s dinner parties (unlike The Good Greatsby, whose humorous post can be found HERE). I don’t mean to be difficult, but I might be a little complicated. The vegetarian thing is just what makes sense in my heart and in my head.  I’ve tried to explain it all, but I obviously haven’t really done a good job of it because just a week ago I was asked (again):

So…I still don’t understand…are you doing this for religious reasons or what?

And then there was there was the following exchange with the Resident Teaologist, who when preparing lunch couldn’t find what she needed:

Resident Teaologist: You said you had arugula, so I didn’t get any at the store, but I don’t see any in the fridge…

Me: That’s because it’s out in the yard.

Resident Teaologist:….oh.

So we go out to the yard to pick the arugula.  She stares at it and says,

It’s so weird that you are about to eat something that was just growing in your ground.

I had to giggle. That this bewilders others bewilders me.  How did we ever get so far removed from our food? And what have we lost as a result of this distance?  And what exactly have we gained?

Once plants and animals were raised together on the same farm — which therefore neither produced unmanageable surpluses of manure, to be wasted and to pollute the water supply, nor depended on such quantities of commercial fertilizer. The genius of American farm experts is very well demonstrated here: they can take a solution and divide it neatly into two problems.

–Wendell Berry

We’ve been here almost three months now and everyday I still wake up and think to myself, “Holy crap, I live here” (in a really good waking-up-full-of-awesome sort of way).

After four years of my life being complicated by crazy commutes, floods, earthquakes (over 800 in fact), entire flocks of blackbirds falling dead from the sky, getting stuck in horrible snowstorms, and generalized chaos, the quiet is a welcomed change.  A friend shared this song with me recently and we decided it was my theme song for this year.

Everything is blooming all over the place. It makes me downright giddy.  Enjoy the blossoms!

Even the tea blooms thanks to my former Indentured Servant, now current Resident Teaologist (whoohoo!)

These happy yellow flowers actually bloomed a couple weeks ago.

Double Rainbow! Oh My God! Oh My God! 

–Yosemitebear Mountain Giant

Color is joy. One does not think joy. One is carried by it.

— Ernst Haas

~~~~~@~~~~~

Yesterday’s drive to Mason, Tennessee featured squirrely roads and plowed up corn fields.  We arrived at Castlerocks Backyard Market just as a warm, light rain began to fall.  The farm was gorgeous — ducks and geese everywhere, fruit trees, and berry bushes.

A light mist followed the rain and a rainbow appeared.

Under this iridescent skyscape  the mistress of the market generously shared her time and knowledge.   Then we received our new girl for the coop.  We christened her P. Recious Rainbow.

That’s P. Recious Rainbow on the Left.

And this morning our girl left a gift.  The first egg.

And today, a second rainbow peeked out of the rain clouds.  A double rainbow, faint in this picture just above the brighter bow…

What an abundance of joy to be found in the simplest of things.

Dear Readers, may you never miss a rainbow because you were looking down.

I leave you with the voice of Yosemite Mountain Giant, the man knocked to his knees by rainbow rays…

Nothing is what it was intended to be, in the hands of a creative person.
~~*~~

You know how the contestants on the Price Is Right jump up and down when they win something exciting?

That’s exactly what I did when I first laid eyes on the gift Skattur & Wendell created for the farmwarming party.  In a fit of inspired genius the two transformed an old bike into a new sign for the upcoming business.

The sign will be posted in front of the office once The Angry Russian has completed rennovations.

Ours is a little farm in the making.  Bit by bit we’re unpacking, cleaning, rennovating, and planting.

The butternut squash is looking good

I’m so grateful for all the help we’ve had.  Work has never been so fun.  Friday morning the doorbell rang unexpectedly at 8 a.m. – and the day began with women doing messy yardwork to the beat of thunder in a warm summer rain. It was the best Friday morning I can remember in almost forever.

Saturday friends and family came to warm and bless our new home with their presence.  It was a wonderful day full of fun, smiles, and surprises. And now we have even more to plant! There were so many unexpected gifts.

Once everything is placed, planted, and photographed I will assault you with pictures.  For now, here are a few scenes from the weekend’s festivities…

The ever present Bean

Lisa, Lisa, Dave and Dave warmed the farm with a few feathered friends…

M R ducks!

Folks at the farmwarming party took it upon themselves to name the duckies:  P. King is the fella in the water, P. Queen is the one standing across from him, head cocked at a jaunty angle.  Kiki and Hiram are the brown feathered couple in the background.

Eventually, the place will be filled with Goaty Goodness — Beady Boop got me started with goat fence.  Another friend is determined to give me a pig she can train in the name of science (as soon as we convince The Devil it’s a good idea…)

The Angry Russian spent the day installing tile in the cottage.  Four friends fought over who would get to hire him next.

“You could totally start a business called Rent a Daddy” one said.

“…or Pimp My Dad” said another.

I told them all they’d better back up off my dad — he has to finish my cottage first!

Mike found the Devil in the livingroom with his conservative grandmother, parents and aunt. “Here’s a little something for tonight….” he said with a sly smile and wink as he presented the Devil with a gift in a Victoria Secrets bag.   It was a DVD of The Money Pit.  So appropriate!

Thanks to everyone for making my home and weekend so happy!

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