Thursday, August 29, 2013

Was this Caravaggio's favorite time of year I think it must have been.

We have arrived at that strange time of year where its still summer and things are so full of life but you can see the end coming. Things are starting to decay almost like a blight is edging closer gobbling up the green abundance of summer. It dawned on me the other morning on my way to work that I bet this was Caravaggio's favorite time of year. One thing I always have loved about his work is that even in painting a still life the fruit is a little bruised the leaves a little yellow showing a little disease. I think Caravaggio was really into portraying the cycle of life and he seemed to love to capture things just past their prime descending into decline and death. He always showed the dirtiness of life too most artists paint people with clean feet not good ole Caravaggio he painted dirty feet he was the real deal and told it like it is. Yes he is one of my favorite artists could you tell? I like a little dark side with my sun.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Free to be you and me and thoughts from the fair.


Free to Be... You and Me
Its funny I will be 44 in less than a month and I still find myself struggling sometimes with being who I am. I saw this woman at the county fair the other night at the rodeo and for some reason I was just struck with her it probably was because she was decked out in full cowboy style - boots, wranglers, plaid shirt, topped with a sweet cowboy hat. There was just something about her and I found myself saying oh man I would love to look just like her. Then I pictured myself in her outfit and I started to laugh and I said to myself but EB if you dressed like that you wouldn't be dressing like yourself. Funny after all these years I still find myself every once in awhile wanting to be something other than me. But then probably because of my age I realized that I was okay just being me and I wouldn't look so silly in maybe a pair of cowboy boots just maybe not the whole outfit!

When I struggle with identity and making sure my motives are authentic for some reason I always come back to the above it was huge when I was little. The 70's were cool weren't they? Free to be you and me. The world would be a kinder place if people just followed this simple maxim.

not me and its okay.
I love the county fair and the Washington County one in my opinion is one of the best around especially in the agricultural sense. But I always feel and probably always will feel like an outsider. I know its not my story and I can grow as much vegetable as I want and sell them at market for years and call myself 3 Dogs Barking Farms but I don't ever think I really feel like I belong. Maybe I need to get some livestock well if I did that I would have to move and so far I am not ready to move and do I really need to buy livestock to try and be something I know I am not? I wish it was my story but its not.

well I do have a rooster and his name is clive hes been staring at me lately not sure what he is planning.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Planning a day at the track and living small dreams.

So tomorrow Tommy and I are going to go to the track at Saratoga this will be the first time this year we go to the public part of the track also known as the front stretch. We are going to bring a couple of chairs and maybe find seats near the paddock so we can see the horses get tacked up and all that good stuff and maybe even spot a winner. I love horse racing always have since I was little. Well more to the point I love horses only like a girl can but when I was little I had asthma and the doctor told my parents that I couldn't ride so the closest I could get to them was to go to the track. Now I don't want it to seem like I spent my life hot walking horses with a program in my jean pocket (now that would be a dream but I cant really imagine my parents getting up a 3am to drive me to long island everyday) but my dad would take me a couple of times of year and depending on the time of the year that would be Belmont, Aqueduct and if I was really really lucky Saratoga. It was one of those things we did usually just the two of us and I guess that makes the memories even more special. I remember my first big score (I think I won $20 and I thought I had it made) was on a horse named Cookie now again I would love to say I picked Cookie because of her form in the daily racing form but no it was because her name was Cookie. What ten year old could resist hell I probably couldn't resist that name at 43. The great thing is its something we still do together today usually we go for a few races Sunday afternoons after I've done my farm chores and hes watched the golf on TV.

My parents moved to Saratoga about 12 years ago and my husband and I followed about 9 years ago and I have to tell you that the track at Saratoga was definately a check in the pro column on the list of pros and cons of moving to the North Country.  After a few years I was successful in nagging my dad to buy a small percentage in a racehorse and that began our adventures on the backstretch. I love the backstretch its quiet and calm there are lots of horses (of course) its where the outriders hang out when they don't have a race and I love it when they watch the races on the TV next to the food stand on horse back. I'm sorry that's just cool. Last time I even got to give one a leg up when he was having trouble mounting it was the first time I got to do that and in my excitement i almost launched him over his horse and into the next county. But tomorrow Tommy and I are going to do the track the normal way I will have a couple of beers and enjoy the people watching while trying to make some modest gains betting small and Tommy will wander around looking at all the delicious food that's to be had. My best memory at the track one of those well I can check off one thing off the things to do before I die list was when we won with Rereadthefootnotes a few years back I got to stand in the winners circle and to completely honest I cried.

I was never a person who had big dreams I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up never had a passion for something that ruled my life. I always envy those people who are consumed with something like that guy from New Zealand who has spent his whole life looking for the giant squid (finally got it on camera a few years back) or the couple I took a class with who were both soil scientists at Cornell and you could tell soil is what they talked about 24/7.  I used to think horse racing was it for me until I tried to spend a few days handicapping and turns out not one of my talents. But at least now I have found farming and so far its the one thing I am actually passionate about and it does consume me as far as I am comfortable being consumed by something. And besides standing in the winner circle there are a few things I have accomplished that I thought were important when I was younger or small dreams I had, I live somewhere completely beautiful and I live on the Hudson River. You can tell I never dared to dream big I was and still am not comfortable with big dreams I prefer small reachable dreams. Can you tell I am a Virgo?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Degrees of failure and yes we finally have vegetables.

Finally after a week off from market things are starting to pop and for the first time all year we had a nice table and we just about sold out. Nothing beats going to market seeing a good crowd selling almost everything and enjoying a beautiful day. I ran out of time in the morning picking stuff and I left Romaine and Haricots Verts to be picked for next week so I am optimistic (fingers crossed) that next week can be even better. 

The first potatoes are ready these are red thumb, red norlands and german butterball. Glad I planted as many as I did its one thing I did right this year. Although you can't imagine how dirty I got digging them in the rain the other day. But things are finally looking up but I am being cautious in my optimism I cant see into the future so I have no idea about what problems are coming my way. I was turned onto this post the other day farm drama written by Shannon Hayes and this quote in particular really struck a note:
That’s farm drama. It happens every other week during the growing season, every few hours during lambing season (which is now) and haying season (which is starting). If any of us truly sought sympathy, we would be wasting time seeking it from each other, much less any other farmer. This degree of failure is just part of the day for folks like us, and any sad stories are likely to be easily one-upped by the next farmer".  
I love this quote it pretty much sums it all up even at market you hear the undertones of panic people telling the tales of misfortune of some person they know who's field was decimated by deer or the other guy who lost huge fields to blight and you just pray that the bad luck doesn't come your way. You know its out there you just don't know when its going to come knocking on your door. But I am trying to stay positive and not let fear get the better of me. Signing off now to go plant for fall and trying to sneak some last summer crops in too a bit of a gamble but what the hell it might pan out it might not only seeds and labor right?