Monday, August 25, 2008

The Balance Between my Car and my Kitchen

After taking the groceries out of the back of my truck today and gazing upon the contents of the bed I should be ashamed. My truck, simply put, resembles a garbage dump. That is not to say I dont clean it several times a month, but the collection of empty bottles, the case the bottles came in, the spilled seed for feeding the ducks, the poker chip case, the baby backpack, and the portable poddy rather speak for themselves. Additionally, other random items that roll around in there included a box of couplers for the dripline, some yellow nylon rope, a quilt, corn husks, and a red igloo cooler. I won't bother providing a description of the back seat where the kids sit and the condition of their car seats, just leave that to your imagination.

Busy mom or lazy mom you make the call. They say you can tell alot about a person by their garbage and messes. If a total stranger, God forbid, looked in the back of my truck they could easily ascertain that I have a toddler, feed some kind of fowl, drink a goodly amount of water, that I hike with my kid, ate some corn on the cob, and I recently participated in a poker game of some kind. Just what do the curteousy clerks who put the groceries in the back of the truck at Nob Hill think? I bet they have seen it all.

In contrast, at any one time, a snapshot of my kitchen counters is the polar opposite of my truck. Clean, free, and unfettered I would like to call it. The counter tops are basically as uncluttered as physically possible. Crumbs or spills are wipped up fastidiously and I regularly microwave my sponges such that bacteria does not even get a chance to grow thus spreading pestulence on wipeable surfaces. If and outsider looked upon the counters I think they might feel free to eat from them. So maybe a stranger would say neat freak in a funny voice, while roling their eyes back in their head.

So, what is one to make of it? I think everybody has to have their own garbage dump. Likewise, one place close to purity or with earnest cleanliness. It is another layer of the yin and yang in our lives. Without it a person could not appreciate or recognize the other. Personally I find it a freedom accepting that I can be a pig somewhere and a clean freak somewhere else. Occasionally, the kitchen becomes the mess and the truck gets cleaned and a roll reversal occurs for but the briefest of moments, but in the end these two portions of my life fall back into order/disorder. They know their places...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Chicken House

My descent into hillbilly hell is not yet complete. But I am on my way and it appears I am in free fall. Landing, unquestionably, will be some time soon for sure. For the time being, the arrival of the chicken penitentary, ie the chicken coop, has solidified my pre-registration into red neck pergatory, however one looks at it. Guilt by association could not be more applicable here. My husband has welded this marvel of architecture together from an old and damaged shipping container; and the rectangular shaped building is complete with peeling paint and a generous helping of rust. Welded wire closes off one end for ventilation and a metal shop door provides an entry, and thusly configured, no chicken could possibly escape once within the cell. The San Quentin of chicken coops has arrived. Last week Mike drove into our yard towing a small trailer with the coop on board. The spectacle of removing the coop from the trailer with Mike's crane was only eclipsed by the the physcial presence of the coop itself: an industrial strength chicken jail. Maybe some naughty children might find their way inside too...

So we are going to have chickens to lay eggs. Kind of obvious now. Maybe not so hillbilly either considering a dozen organic or free range eggs cost nearly 4.00. Between the two families on our property we go through at least 36 eggs a week. Next question: Where are the inmates, ops, chickens you ask. If you build it they will come. And they are coming. Several months of fostering by my inlaws has assured their survival to young adulthood. My sister-in-law and I will be the primary caretakers for the chickens and I fear our close proximity to said coop and the consumption of eggs produced from the coop will sink me lower into the abyss. I can hear a banjo playing furiously in the back of my mind. But maybe I lament for nothing. This is apparently the cost for fresh eggs.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

News from the Farm

I would like to introduce the newest member of our menagerie, Lucky the kitty. Long story short we were not sure if he was going to stay and now there is no question about his position in our family.

A few weeks ago I heard a great yowling from across the road after dark. Great I thought, a lost kitten. Having two and half non-native predatory species inhabit our territory was well enough. (One of three cats is very lazy and does not hunt but once a year thus 2.5 hunters) Last on my list of wants or needs is another mouth to feed and manage, but alas I walked over to where the winning orignated at a 12 inch culvert pipe in the neighbors drainage ditch. In the dark night the noise fell to silence, nothing there. Waste of time. So the next day dawns with infrequent crying coming again from somewhere across the street. I give in, against my will, to now save this creature and arrive at the same culvert pipe to be greeted by a jet black kitten, about 10 weeks old, maybe a pound in weight. With road rash on his face and rump and a sunken in gullet I brought him to my portch and began feeding him. Let the cheers begin...

Damn lucky kitten I think, probably hit by a car, alone, then gains sympathy from unwilling human. Raven black with faint tabby stripes, I'd better call him Lucky then to ward of those superstitions. The kids and baby start playing with the little ball of fur right away with intense fascination since this kitten allows them to carry him around like a rag doll. With limp legs dangling from his tightly held body he sanginely accepts even the youngests mauling. Baby Ella, 19 months old, likes to grab him from his back end and walks around with his tail and butt in her face. Lucky just dangles there, claws neatly tucked within his dainty paws. That's a nice image yes??? He is a Keeper!!

The Day the Swallows Came Home

The tree swallows are here already.  They arrived January 30 much to my dismay.  Swooping and calling and chirping their merry song over my ...