Monday, November 30, 2009

Chick in a Box

Ha ha. I am so funny.

First, how were all the Thanksgivings out there??? Oh my gosh, I hope they were every bit as lovely as ours. We had such a grand time. Seriously perfect food, lovely walks, even a few snow flurries on Friday morning. A cute baby to pass around the table, folks to talk to around every corner. Even a backyard football game. My pies came out tip top, although next year I might need to make a few more. Must have leftover pie, c'mon, and it was slim pickings Friday morning.

The big goofy part of our trip was that we brought Ruby Sue with us. She is our Rhode Island red who survived the possum attack about a month ago. Ruby is a champ. She has been fine pretty much from day one, but was sporting a fairly sizable bare spot on her rump. And boy do other chickens love to peck a girl when she's down, and we had legitimate worries about infection. So she's been our little house chicken for quite some time now, heading out into her own little run when the weather is fine. After the surprise of it all wore off she even started laying eggs again. What a chicken. Our super duper fabulous neighbors (Hi Sarah and Meg and Claire! Hi Liz and Kara!) took on our regular flock duties, but tending a house chicken seemed like pushing the communal goodwill that is actually present in boatloads in our neighborhood so into a travel box and off Ruby went. There was one successful escape attempt, but all in all it was pretty uneventful. She even laid my mom and egg. I think she's glad to be home though. We're going to try to put her back with the other ladies in a week or two, 'cause Ruby isn't coming with us on the airplane to Maine for Christmas. Right.

Anyway, we came home with a possum trap, and darn it, we are going to trap some vermin around here.

We also came home to the first head of winter broccoli, yum. Also to B's delicious pancakes with blueberry sauce on them. Life is pretty fine in our neck of the woods. My man is finishing up a hell of a semester and we will both enjoy his lack of homework when he's finally finished. And I've just got three little weeks left to go before my own winter break is stretching out luxuriously in front of me. Also, there is eggnog at the store now, and we will have a tree up any day now. Nog and tree is just about all it takes for me to get that lucky cozy holiday feeling. May your holiday coziness be available in scads.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pears and Such

Right. I am still kicking over here. How many times can I say that work is nuts? I think I have hit the limit, so I will stop with that.

I have been reading David Foster Wallace essays lately. His fiction makes me feel incredibly stupid so I avoid it at all costs, but his essays leave me lying on the couch giggling so hard that B comes in to make sure that I haven't gone completely off the deep end. So now I am sad all over again that he had to go and knock himself off. Fucker.

Jane Goodall on John Stewart. Seriously, I just love putting eyes on the woman, but I completely cringed through the entire interview. We love us some John Stewart, but he is such a terrible interviewer, and this had to be one of his worst. When he told her at the end that she was a wonderful person I nearly died. I suggested that she stab him with her condor feather, but she did not hear me through the intertubes.

Pears. B and I have taken to buying one Bartlett pear each week at the grocery store. Just one. It is cosseted through the entire shopping process, and I literally carry it home in my hand because you can't throw a pear in a shopping satchel with sharp milk cartons and hard jars and whatever, you just can't. It sits on the counter for two and a half days, and then on Tuesday night we have a pear for dessert. It seriously blows our minds every time. A good pear, at least if you are asking me right now, kicks the ass of any apple or peach or plum or orange or whatever. These pears taste like a thousand wildflowers - nectar and honey and sunshine and every summer scent that is sweet. We can't buy more than one pear, because if there is anything to know about a pear, it's that it must be eaten at exactly the right moment. With Bartletts, I think that this is just a hairsbreadth on the side of unripe. A hairsbreadth. One nudge in the wrong direction and the texture will be mealy. No good. Also, I believe you should eat a pear with a knife. Now you know how I feel about pears, and maybe you should pick one up soon and have some summer in your mouth.

We are getting a land line. We are ridiculously excited about this, as two cell-phones-off-and-at-the-bottom-of-a-bag-anyway kind of people. For example, it bothers me that we don't talk to each other's friends and family very often, not because we aren't extremely fond of all our people but rather because my best friend is going to call my cell phone, duh. Plus I hate the cell phone hiccup delay thingie that makes normal people interrupt one another. So, now we will have emergency cell phones and a real phone for all our people to call. That is when the telephone people get it working, because of course it didn't just work when we plugged the phone in.

And that, I believe, is the news. Oh wait, I learned another completely kickass fiddle tune, complete with a tricky many fingered chord bow rock thingie that makes me stupid happy.

Be well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Oh man, I just keep forgetting about this here blog. Work has been dunking my head underwater fairly regular like lately, and by the time I get home all I want to do is wrap myself in a quilt and float on the couch. I have even worked out how to play fiddle tunes on the couch in said quilt. It is not ergonomic but it is warm. Our house is really cold in the winter, darn it. My banjo is really lonely, and the guitar only slightly less so. Sorry old friends, there's a new toy in town. It is really rewarding to practice; the improvement curve is fast when you start out sounding like you are stepping on a cat.

Garlic is in, four kinds, easily twice as much as last year. Between the red onions and the garlic, and the yellow onions that we will plant in the spring, I am guessing a good fourth or fifth of the garden will be lovely allium plants next summer.

The House Chicken (see Kelly, you got your chicken name after all!) is doing fine. We even let her out for a little romp last weekend, although the behavior of our other girls (who could not reach her because she was outside their run) suggests that the reintegration may be difficult. She didn't rank high to begin with, and now she's got this tempting spot to peck at. She may be a basement chicken for some time to come, poor thing, she'll need every last feather to cover her behind.

Anyway. I'm afraid that's the news. I have been killing books right and left, but none so good as to mention. Looking forward to Thanksgiving with family. I'm on the menu for blueberry and pumpkin pie. I just want my mom's stuffing. Yeah.

Be well out there.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Well Shit

Shit shit shit. I am really mad about this. I am mad about it every time it happens, but since my man is from Maine, and my best girlfriend is from Maine (I like Mainers, it's true) and she and her gal are headed back to Maine, this struck a little closer to home. There was some really great, creative campaigning on the no side - I don't know that anyone is calling this a campaign failure. Just a dumb American failure.

In other shit, last weekend a predator, likely a possum, ate one of our chickens. This chicken. Our sweetest, dopiest chicken. One of our best layers. A family favorite because she had been through a lot and was scrappy as hell and had a neck about a mile long and when she stretched it in your direction you had to giggle. Ben found her, and then I found her sister, Ruby, who had been chewed on but was still looking spry. She's in the basement infirmary now, being fed yogurt and vitamin e mashes and greens and other special treats. We cleaned her up, clipped feathers that would impede healing, and covered her in neosporin and choice chinese herbs. She is lonely, but eating like a champ, and we are hopeful. We learned about 300 lessons in the span of 12 hours, and I feel tougher, sadder, and wiser. The other girls are all fine, and looking fine - the molting has feathered them in with shiny new tail and wing feathers, along with sweet downy feathers on their tushes and undersides. I take a lot of joy in seeing them look so handsome.

In still more shit, my camera is really issuing a death rattle. I think that's why I haven't been here much. The camera want is pretty strong over here right now, I miss seeing the world that way.

Need a haircut. This may be as long as it gets, washing my thick mop is driving me nuts.

Can I express complete and total bewilderment, even disgust, at the crafting trend of making food objects out of felt and soap and yarn?? Who on earth would want a FELT piece of pumpkin pie? Or a knitted doughnut? Or a soap piece of pizza? Seriously, I look at these items and just feel disappointment, like big "oh the world" disappointment.

In random other food thoughts: we discovered oat groats and now I cannot stand oatmeal. Groats are the bomb, just cook them up the night before and heat them up in the morning. Awesome. Also: pickles in your barley soup. I read this old recipe that did that and was speechless for a moment and then I made the best barley soup ever and diced up the last of our summer pickles and it was truly amazing. You will probably be all "woah, there are pickles in here" even when you put them in there yourself, but it will be good.

Also, this movie is lame, even if Hilary is sure nice to look at.

May the shit avoid you all.