Friday, December 19, 2014

on being a murder suspect albeit briefly.

picture has nothing to do with story just like this picture of booker

Been awhile not to sure what to talk about maybe too many things going on what about something funny or maybe odd? I don't like to tell tales of woe doesn't seem to be a point sometimes. I tell enough of them in my head anyway to need to share them  Okay I know I will tell a story from a long time ago a story where I was a suspect in a murder case. Does that shock you me suspected of murder? Maybe it should maybe it shouldn't. For some reason this story popped into my head the other day driving home and I thought well that would be an interesting thing to write about. So here it goes.

It must have been my freshman year in college maybe mid winter or so I might of even been home on xmas break. My friend Andrea was over for family dinner and after dinner like many college age kids do we stepped outside on the front porch to smoke a joint. Shocked you again didn't I? So anyway Andrea and I are chatting and puffing when an unmarked car pulls up to the house and she immediately says police and I am much more na├»ve then Andrea and I think of course they are here because we are smoking a joint. (Could you imagine if a cop pulled up in front of every house in America when some 18 year lit up a joint?)

So they approach us identify themselves as detectives flash their badges etc. and ask for me. I admit to being me and they ask if my parents are home and I say yes. So they talk with my mom in the other room and then take me into the living room and start questioning me about the nice lady who lives across the street who was recently found drowned in a local reservoir foul play being suspected.

Now here is where strange coincidences occur.....So it turns out that the lady that has been found in a reservoir about 15 miles from where we live is actually my neighbor and mom to some childhood friends and also was my cheer leading coach in 6th grade. Now you might wonder why they would be questioning me was it just the normal door to door legwork murder investigations warrant? Well not quite.

See a few days before maybe even the day the poor lady's body was recovered from the reservoir a college friend and I just happened to be taking a drive to talk and listen to music and just get away from school for a bit and where did I happen to be driving my little blue Subaru yes the same reservoir. What are the chances? And when they ran my license plate and realized that I was at the scene of the crime and lived across the street well bells must have been ringing for sure. So that's how two police detectives ended up driving up to my house while Andrea and I were smoking a joint. Life is strange sometimes and yes my alibi was confirmed and I was taken off the list of suspects.

But the strange thing about the experience was that it made me feel so vulnerable that just being in the wrong place at the wrong time can get you suspected of terrible things. I am sure there is a flip side too where you are in the right place at the right time and something fabulous happens to you like you are the millionth customer at Bloomingdales or something or you get picked to star in a movie because you have the right kind of look but I don't have any of those stories to share.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Being stubborn and hoping for the best.

After a busy summer micro farming I finally took some time out to start to clean the house hopefully it will get me jump started to getting the house ready to sell. I can't believe how bad I let the house get I can't believe the things I found (yuck gross). But I think living with someone who is suffering a profound depression and has for quite some time has dragged me down so much I could no longer see or care what was happening around me. Now just ask my mother I have always been messy but this is taking it to new heights the Discovery Channel could walk in and start filming a new reality show. I think one of my problems is sheer stubbornness see I work a full time job in corporate America have a long commute and because apparently I am bonkers I have added farming to my life so my free time especially in the growing season is minimal now add the fact that the husband is totally and completely unemployed I think he should clean the house. Now he agrees in principle but apparently disagrees in practice. Frustrating to say the least.

Now the rub is that we need to move we need to move badly for several reasons. First of all there are only two of us and we live in an historic 2700 square foot colonial house built in 1775 and it is completely terrifying to own.  You are always waiting for the next shoe to drop now this would be okay if we had something like a savings account okay well I have one theres just like $45 bucks in it so it's not much help when things go wrong. So to save my mental health and sanity it's time to down size the house and upsize the land I need some land people land all my own.  Living in the midst of someone else's 196 acre lot of rolling corn fields is wonderful but their land not mine.  Also we have no community where we are there is a Stewarts (of course) a company the makes flags and um well that's it. It's one of those places that unless you grew up here or have joined the volunteer fire department friends are hard to find.  Lastly money we need to find a situation we can truly afford.  So there are the reasons to move oh one more I think the house is a bit haunted....

Tommy swears it's the house that depressing him and in away I agree because it's overwhelming but I also know that you bring your troubles with you. Don't we all wish when we pack up to move we could put all the bad things we don't want to deal with in a box that gets left behind? I turned 45 this week and I know that as much as it's a lovely thought it just doesn't happen.  I hope he is not too shocked when we finally do move that he still wants to sit in a room with the curtains drawn watching certain movies over and over and over again. I hope it's not the case but I think I know better. What is the saying hope for the best but expect the worst?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Welcome to the jungle and silencing the haters in my head.

this is just a picture i found mine is actually worse. yes worse. 

I haven't posted probably a lot this growing season about my little side business 3 dogs barking farms maybe a mention here and there but I think my blog has taken another direction and has become more of a creative entity talking more about the human condition with a good dash of humor thrown into the pot and less about the daily dealings of a small fry vegetable grower. But I do still try and grow vegetables to sell at work and at a small farmers market so here is an update on how the year has gone so far.  As usual the one thing I have REALLY excelled at is growing weeds I have all types sizes and breeds and maybe have even cross bred some new ones along the way. They are tall and mighty and stand a good chance of blotting out the sun if I am not careful.  My little garden resembles more the jungles of Vietnam then a vegetable garden in upstate NY but that's pretty par for the course around here I usually manage to stay ahead of the game until some intangible moment in the season where the weeds brush me and my efforts aside and just freaking take over. If you looked at the garden you would probably even have a hard time seeing vegetables I mean I know they are  in there and I even know where most of them are which of course comes in handy when it comes time to harvest.

So I have resorted to cutting the weeds or small trees that they have become down with a lopper you can't pull weeds this size you will end up pulling the vegetable up with it. I cleared a whole path today between the a row of beans and a row of tomatoes. It was kind of nice sitting under this canopy of weeds finding my vegetables see that's how tall they are you can sit under them and nobody would be able to find you. Funny thing early yesterday morning when I was desperately trying to find something to pick to bring to market I swear I could only find a handful of beans and frankly went to market with a paltry offering but low and behold today as I am clearing them from the weeds freaking so many beans were there my head almost exploded well maybe it was just early yesterday and I had no coffee and was running late as usual trying to get down to Ballston Spa. So the beans had a good laugh at my expense but you do know whats on the menu tonight for dinner right? you got it beans! I think I will grill them along with some sweet spare ribs I bought for dinner today.

Its been a great year for growing things not too cold not too hot not too wet not too dry and so far I think I am doing pretty well except for the weeds of course. It does get overwhelming sometimes when you had a long day at work and you come home to do more work outside and all you see is a sea of weeds but you seriously just have to quiet the panic in your head stop yourself from jumping on the riding mover and mowing the whole thing down take a deep breath and say to yourself you have been here before you are on vacation all this week you have plenty of time to take care of the weeds plow new rows and get the last plantings in for fall. Here's hoping I am blessed with lots of energy this week I am sure I am going to need it along with many many many deep breaths. Someone might want to hide the keys to the mower.

Friday, July 4, 2014

On our Nations Birthday Tommy tries to give birth to a kidney stone no not a nation.

Omg when I found this image of kidney stones I wanted to form a band agony pain and misery.

Day off today from work to celebrate our nations birthday and before I even got out of bed my husband said we need to go to our parents my stomach hurts and I want to take a bath. Now this might seem like an odd request but in my life its totally normal see my husband has been battling what we think are kidney stones and was due to get the tests done on Tuesday paired with the fact that we are out of propane and take that piece of information digest it and realize no propane no hot water. Now I got paid yesterday but just haven't had a chance to order the propane and honestly I have gotten used to cold showers they are kind of nice in summer and I like to punish myself I think sometimes make things harder for myself than they need be payback for sins I guess I think I have committed. For some reason when Tommy (husband) doesn't feel well or is pain he wants to take a bath so him waking me up saying we need to go to your parents to take a bath doesn't sound as strange to my ears as I am sure it does yours.

So we drive the 18 miles or so to Saratoga to my parents and walk in and demand a bath luckily my mother is in possession of a very swank tub that you can actually float in so Tommy deposits himself in the tube I leave the merman to his business and make a cup of coffee. Luckily enough for me my parents' good friend Pat Keane is visiting so I get to sit down over coffee and have adult intelligent conversation for some time. I love Pat Keane one of the smartest people I know I first met him after hearing countless stories about him (he was an almost mythical creature to me) about 20 years ago and we got talking about college (pat is a retired college professor and has written tomes on Emerson etc) and he asked me what my major was and thinking i would awe him I said philosophy and for some reason we started talking about Hegel. Now Hegel I have never gotten I am still trying to read and understand or maybe I would just settle for being able to read his phenomenology of spirit but even at 44 years old i cannot manage it. So I tell pat that 20 or so years ago and I remember he just looked at me (with a little pity in his kind eyes) and said really? I always though Hegel was talking about a b c d  e and summed it all up for me basically in a nutshell. Damn not a smart as i think i am am i? 

An hour or two pass Pat leaves for home and I finally pry Tommy out of the tub as I had planned a full day of farming and the dogs were home and probably needed to use the bathroom. But as we ventured home I finally clued into how much pain he was in and said would you like to go to urgent care? And to my dismay he said yes as my plans for getting things done today flew out the window. But I swallowed my dismay ( I was kind of a shit to be honest) and said okay lets go. I really thought going to urgent care would be a fruitless waste of time but to my surprise in under two hours we got an exam pain pills a pee test a blood test and a cats can all to confirm yes Tommy has a kidney stone. The staff was really awesome and did not seem bitter that they were spending the holiday talking to the likes of us. So armed with prescriptions and instruction on how to sieve your pee for stone home we went to relieve the poor dogs. 

Didn't get anything done I thought i would today but I feel better getting a final diagnosis for T than waiting till Tuesday he was in so much pain it was scary he turned quite pink to be honest. Going back to my parents tonight for a cookout (told Tommy he couldn't get back into the tub every time he goes everywhere trust me that tub is awesome) then home to pick some salad mix and radishes for market tomorrow. Will battle peas, beets, chard and lettuce in the dawn hours tomorrow. No rest for the wicked slightly annoyed wife of sick person who always is punishing herself for imagined sins and slights against the world. I should stop that I really should. Happy 4th everyone enjoy and don't blow your fingers off and have to go to urgent care. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

who do you pray to when you dont believe in god?

One good thing about being an atheist is that I don't have to worry to much about the big questions heaven hell purgatory oh where will I end up have I been good enough or have I been bad enough? It takes a lot of pressure off a person so honestly I just try to be as good as I can be because its the right way to be not because of any punishment or rewards. But this isn't a manifesto about religion its just me thinking my thoughts. And I don't even know if I really consider myself an atheist I just don't happen to believe in any religion we have come up with so far it doesn't mean I am not open to it or wouldn't believe if the opportunity arose. If God say hey EB here I am believe I wouldn't say well hell no I would say oh there you are okay I get it now. See I am not unreasonable.

But anyway back to my topic so when you are an atheist and you really really want something and all you want to do is drop to your knees by the side of your bed like a little kid and pray with all your heart with your eyes shut tight what do you do? So like I predicted I knew I would know my new home when I saw it and its not like anything I would have thought I would fall in love with. And honestly I haven't even seen pictures of the inside but I don't care that is what I want. But now the tough part comes can I get my present debacle of a house together in time to sell it quick so I can buy my little cabin on the side of a hill with the prettiest view ever? That's when I want to drop to my knees and pray pray pray but I guess instead I will just have to start working my butt off get the house on the market and see what happens. I guess winning the lottery is out doesn't seem to be a reliable answer to my problems. Oh little cabin wont you be mine?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Off to NYC and thinking thoughts for my dog.

It's that time of year again where my mom and I escape to New York for a weekend of art food and ballet. We are on the train now sitting in Albany I love to train ride especially the part where you ride along the Hudson truly beautiful and I love the Hudson it's my favorite river.  Unfortunately my mom chose seats behind three chatting women so I might not make it to NYC with my mind intact they are showing each other videos of their dogs and talking on their phones now while we wait. Seriously someone might not make it out of here alive. I like to think I am a patient person but secretley I am not. Shhhh.  I don't mean to begrudge the ladies a good time but it's early why don't we have some quiet time instead I am willing to bribe you seriously I am. Apparently they have planned my nightmare NYC trip a broadway show the nbc studios etc etc but again who am I to judge?  I am sure there are many who would rather take a bullet then go to museums and see ballet three nights in a row.

I swear booker was depressed this morning this is the third time this month the suitcase has come out and he was very subdued and not his normal maniac self or maybe it was something he ate. I try not to put human type feelings on my pets but sometimes you just can't help yourself can you? He is normally a bit of a nut in the morning (ok always) but today he just sat in my lap looking sad while I played with my iPad waiting to go. But again lord knows what was going through his head I can't even teach him to shake so the chances of this dog being capable of deep thought is probably slim.

I brought dog treats with me for the homeless people with pets not sure if I will have the balls to hand them out or not I can be strange like that I can have all the best intentions and at the last minute fail to deliver I like to think its part of my charm but honestly it's just annoying.

Cheers for now more to follow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Remembrances of office buildings past and off to NYC for some fun.

Strange the things i find interesting. The hotel we stayed at this weekend just happened to look out on a few of the office buildings I had worked in when I lived in CT. Don't know why  I found these pictures so poignant it was almost like looking at an old family album. I looked at each building and remembered the jobs I had had the people i had worked with. It was almost like looking out at old friends those buildings of glass and steel. What a different life I led then to the one I lead now neither one better than the other just a person in a different place at a different time. Still work in an office but now the office building is on top of a paper mill talk about Yankee ingenuity in good old upstate NY why build a separate building right?

Also fell in love with the crosses on the church next door. I was reading a murder mystery set in medieval England at the time maybe that's why I kept fixating on them or maybe I finally found god in Stamford, CT. I jest.

Last day home today before my Mom and I take our annual trip to NYC to eat good food go to museums and spend our nights at the Ballet. I am truly looking forward to it I need a break right now bad and a weekend in NYC with my fabulous mother is just the ticket. I am sitting in bed with the dogs and the cat while its crappy rainy and wet out writing when I should be out finishing up what I have to do before I leave farm wise. But its cold and damp and bed and writing seems like a better idea. But there is no rest for the wicked so I better go re-mulch the garlic and see if its too wet out to take another pass with the tiller. I have to keep reminding myself that what ever I get done now I dont have to do when I get back.

A visit to my old hometown putting to rest a great lady and the road to Inverness.

On the way to the cemetery this part of my home town is largely huge houses behind huge walls.
This past weekend my parents and I drove down to our old home town in CT to meet up with the rest of the family to bury my grandmother Dorothy's ashes who died last December at the great age of 102. As timing had it we actually buried her on her 103rd birthday kismet i think. I have a strange relationship with death I don't always think its a bad thing or maybe even often think its a good thing. My grandmother was ready to go and took the matter into her own hands and stopped eating she had made her mind up and god bless her for it. I think the notion of keeping people alive when they want to die is a form of torture people should be given a way out when they need one I know I know there must be religious and cultural reasons this isn't the way things are but I don't have that burden I am an atheist. Why would any God want us to suffer oh scratch that what a loaded question and I don't have the strength, time or knowledge to argue comparative religion right now.

After the service at the cemetery we all got into our cars and made our way to my Brother Dave's restaurant Cafe Mirage and had lunch together. As sad as saying farewell to my Grandmother (who last time I saw her on her 100th bday came over to me and patted me on my end and said you were also such a good girl) it was so nice to spend time and catch up with my extended family which of course in the modern world we live in I do not get to see very often. We enjoyed the beautiful food my brother had prepared had a few drinks and told great stories making us laugh out loud and wipe our eyes at the same time. A fitting tribute to be sure  she was a great lady.

the great grand kids

I will share my favorite Dot story. About 15 years ago or so some of the family decided we would rent a house in Scotland for a small family reunion. One day we decided we would take Dot up to Inverness where her father was born so my parents, dot and I get into the rental car and make our way North. Not very far into our trip the traffic comes to a halt due to a horrific car accident and we are stuck for hours in non moving traffic. My dad has little to no patience when it comes to things like this and the tension was running high. Thankfully my Grandmother by this point in her life was pretty deaf so my dad's mumblings and swearings under his breath were lost on her. My mother promptly found a xanax in her purse took it and looked at me and said i love you daughter but there are limits. Finally traffic eases and we make our way to Inverness after what felt like an epic battle. Nobody had the foresight to research things to do in Inverness so we found a pub and had a great lunch my father commented to his mother well at least you have now seen Inverness in which she replied oh I have been here before. Yes I thought my dads head would explode.

Grandma Dot on her 100th bday,

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Just one of those days and taking the seedlings for a bit of a ride.

We all have them those days where you say why did I bother waking up what was I thinking I was so much better off under the covers with the hubby the two dogs and fat albert the cat curled up beside me. But alas we must get up and go to work so I jump in the shower and for some reason I grab a fistful of shampoo I mean a fistful and I lather up my hair into an afro of hair and shampoo. At the same time I notice that the once plentiful water coming out of the shower is now a trickle yes a trickle. Now granted I am not really awake and my problem solving at 6:45 am is not legendary so I stand there like an idiot with a slow trickle of water not making much progress on the huge amount of shampoo in my hair. So I pop the hand held thingy out of main shower head and try that I make a little progress then I figure out if I turn the shower off then on the pressure comes back on and I was able to finish my shower. Honestly I envisioned myself being late to work standing there for hours trying to get the shampoo out of my hair. Just one of those mornings.

I finish getting ready put the dogs back in the bedroom with Tommy give them kisses and wish like hell I could join them but go to work like a good girl instead. Dash out of the house check the chickens who are still in lockdown and still pissed about it. Give them grain and water and jump in the car and start my drive to work. About 5 miles down the road (too far for me to turn back) I remember that I grabbed trays of seedlings last night from my parents house (their basement is ideal for starting seedlings my house is too cold because I am too cheap to turn the heat up) after we had dinner so I could start hardening them off and get them in the ground in the next week and yes people they were still in the back of my car. I left them in the car last night to protect them a bit from the nighttime temps and I had planned to pull them out this morning put them in a shady protected spot but again I am not very awake at that time in the morning and yes I did take my seedlings to work with me.

I figured I would roll with it and show them a grand time and stop at dunkin donuts what seedling doesn't like donuts but alas the line was too long and no coffee for me and no donuts for them. Stupid lines. So now the seedlings (a good chunk of my growing season future) sit in my car in the shade in Cohoes NY. Hopefully it wont get too hot for them fingers crossed they will be okay. Just one of those days.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The fruitlessness of chasing chickens and always being a rookie.

planting beds

Finally it seems we have shaken off winters long and grueling grip and its that time of year to start putting the food in the ground. Its a overwhelming time as well as a beautiful one my list of things to get done is always longer than my energy is and its something  I always struggle with. But thankfully we got to till last week and till till till we did and now things are going in the ground easier than ever before. Thank you fancy Italian tiller. I have nicknamed it the beast. The garden beds look better than ever lets just hope we catch some breaks and things grow as well as they can. 

I have taken a lot of time of in May to be able to plant and this weekend I made a three day weekend by taking today off. Friday started off well I transplanted 2 beautiful rows of broccoli and they looked great. But I noticed as I was planting that the chickens kept coming over and taking bites out of the transplants. Now I don't know if you have chickens or not but the silliest enterprise ever has got to be trying to chase them. Just time wasted they always win they always go the exact opposite way you think they will they always go just where you don't need them to go with their dinosaur feet. I finally after making an ass out of myself got them out of the garden and back to other areas of interest and I thought I was good to go. I even put out lots of chicken crack aka scratch to keep their collective chicken mind off the tender broccoli and I thought I thought I succeeded...but rookie mistake (I think I will always be a rookie) I left the house to make a quick trip to the grocery store and I came back thinking all was good i spied no chickens near the broccoli but I decided I would face my fate and go look and low and behold the broccoli was still there but still there with not many leaves left.

So now the chickens are on lock down until things are big enough that they can withstand a few or many chicken nibbles. The ladies are NOT happy with me but too damn bad. The good news they do have a little run off their coop so nobody please accuse me of chicken cruelty they can still go outside they just cant wreck havoc for now.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Home again after a short trip to Chicago and feeling like myself again.

chicago had my first latte with goat milk!

Last Sunday I flew to Chicago for work for a few days and I got to say it was nice to travel again I actually like to fly and I love love love hotels. My work has recently upgraded us from customer service to inside sales so to reinforce the change they have decided to send us out on the road to shadow our sales guys in the field. I was a bit nervous about it to be honest I figured hey I am inside sales for a reason but shocker I was actually pretty damn good at the ole firm handshake look them in the eyes and sell them paper routine. It's not something I would ever want to do full time but I could see getting out in the field once a year or so to be a good thing it sure built my confidence up and I guess I needed that because after that small trip I feel more like myself than I have in ages. It's good to be back. Not sure where I have been but I have definitely not been very present the past days weeks months maybe years in my own life. I'm back baby I'm back hope I didn't miss too much while my mind was elsewhere.

So with a much more whole sense of myself I returned home last Wednesday to embark once again on my hybrid life of full time worker slave to the man inhabitor of the salt mines and part time vegetable farmer. But like I said that trip did me good seems to have put things in a perspective again something I have been seriously a bit shy on.  So my day job is going well when I returned to the office I was met with what you always want to on earth do you do your job it's impossible....I wanted to say maybe for you he he he. Again confidence building to say the least. On to my part time existence as a grower of vegetables....

I feel like I am behind schedule (as usual) but I think I should be okay I have 5 weeks until the first market and fingers crossed I will show up with more than one bag of lettuce. We had to drill a new well and since they had the big man toys out Tom (my parents house wizard) decided to dig up the septic so it easily good be pumped but also graded the lawn around the new well got rid of the hideous weed that was eating our garage but also cleared out the junk trees that were behind the garage leaving me with a few new grass free zones which I am going to turn into veggie beds. I wasn't going to cut any new beds this year figuring we are going to sell but I figured what the hell the hard work had already been done so now I have a great spot for the potatoes! Always a silver lining right? Damn straight I am a big believer of silver linings and can find one just about anywhere.

i tilled all that yep i did garlic growing nicely in foreground.

Also good news is the new fancy Italian tiller is actually easy to use and I no longer have to relay on Tommy to get the tilling done.  I even filled it with gas and started it all by myself today man I felt like Joan of Arc, Madame Currie and Gloria Steinham rolled all into one. Take that lazy husband take that! Ha I will till when I want to and nobody can stop me! Till till till till! I did feel good though nonsensical writing aside.  I hate having to rely on others and now I really feel like the destiny of my little micro farm is truly in my own hands and that feels pretty freaking awesome. So you know they warning signs they put on things to try and stop stupid people from doing stupid things? So on the tiller there is a big warning don't touch engine engine hot sign and what did I do yep I reached out and put my whole palm flat on it after I ran out of gas I guess I just needed proof that yep it was hot very hot. What am I five? I needed empirical knowledge of that I couldn't just trust the stupid picture and my own 44 years worth of experience. Nope I guess not.
future in seedlings.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Try plugging it in and the mighty Hudson decides to get angry.

I couldn't help but notice driving down the road to work that the river was getting pretty swollen but I figured the rain had stopped and hopefully the snow in the higher passes was either melted or will melt imagine my chagrin when I was driving home from Washington County after stalking various towns and houses looking for home to see the river was VERY high. My stomach immediately started to knot upon seeing houses almost a story under water right on the river and yards shrinking every where else. It put an end to a pleasant journey home from work traveling the wrong way to home but still searching for a place to call my own through cambridge, easton and finally at stop at the grocery store in greenwich to get the weeks groceries.

As I drove down my road I see two side roads/driveways that are FEET under water FEET not inches FEET! I drive by the little fishing cabin about a 1/4 mile down the road and its a good 3 feet in the water. At this point my stomach starts to flip and I am gripping the wheel saying to myself here we go again just 3 years ago this happen and it scared the shit out of me I thought it was a one off but maybe with climate change this is just a sign of the times.....The farmers corn field looks like a pond I start to panic pull in the driveway the chickens are calm and just want their daily ration of scratch I give it to them forgetting the groceries. I remember to grab the groceries rush into the house look into the basement to see water not a ton but not good I rush out the side door see no water coming out of the tube from the sump pump.....Run in yelling at Tommy to get up and fix the pump and apparently he doesn't even notice its flooding apparently hes too depressed to look out the window I try not to scream that that is one of the benefits of you being home just fix it.....So he finally emerges from the confines of the couch goes down to the basement and says I don't know its broke. I put a call into Keith the heating dude as I call him  panicking and he says he will either be out in the morning or send a guy out. I go outside with booker and put a marker in the backyard where the water has risen to so I know if its getting better or worse go back inside and figure might as well make dinner. The nice guy shows up to help and guess what people guess what was wrong with the sump pump? It WASNT PLUGGED IN! OMG seriously not plugged in and we couldn't figure that one out?
corn field not a pond

Oh well so crisis averted just a little embarrassed at least I am not a guy nobody expects even now a days for a girl to understand anything. Sad but true. I swear when we find our next home I am hiring someone to show me where things are how they work and hopefully how to fix them. This is ridiculous! So wish us luck looks like the river is receding. Fingers crossed. In good farm news the garlic has sprouted and the water didn't reach them.
back yard again not actually a pond

yep still a yard and not a pond

Happy spring everyone and always remember your plans and schedules mean nothing to mother nature. She doesn't care if you should have already planted the peas she just doesn't care. Don't blame her really what are the cares of mortals to her?
hard to see but there is garlic growing! a success well so far!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fist fulls of dirt and forever land.

Well it looks like the weather has FINALLY broken the breeze was actually warm today if a little brisk for my liking oh what I am kidding damn near blustery out but its okay I will take it. Went out tonight to look at ground took a couple of fistfuls of dirt to see how wet it is. Always feel like Scarlet O'Hara when I do that. I know that most people of my generation who have a yen to farm blame little house on the prairie but for me its Gone with the Wind yep Scarlet throwing up her radish or carrot or whatever it was starving to death and clutching that fistful of dirt while remembering her fathers words about the value of land. Now that's what stirs my blood not that Little House doesn't who doesn't want to be half pint? How did I get off on this rant oh yeah my hands in the dirt finally man it felt like the snow would never leave us (not that it might not show up again lets be real) but for now it seems that spring is actually here and I am ready to farm.

Okay I am kind of ready to farm as usual am I behind on somethings and ahead on others. This whole maybe we are moving thing has really thrown me for a loop its so hard to start seeds when you don't know where you or them will end up. I have finally made the decision that moving wont happen right now we can do it in the fall so just settle down start your seeds and get your hands in the dirt. But the problem is that when I farm dirt its serious its a serious relationship and its hard to know that this could be the last time I farm this little plot of land my mini farm in my backyard. Makes me tear up just to write this. I know I am being over emotional over dramatic over thinking etc etc etc but still when I get my hands in the dirt its serious nothing I take lightly that's for damn sure. So its with mixed feelings I start the season but I don't want to take a season off I am too old with too much to learn and I don't dare miss a year. Hell I cant miss learning from all the mistakes I don't even know I am making yet.

On the search for home front we have narrowed it down after many hours of driving around up and down and all around to probably around Ballston Spa general area or Cambridge/Greenwich/Easton area both areas have nice small towns with interesting characters and maybe I will fit in and find some community in one of them. There are some great farms out there all ready had my heart broken a few times but its early days yet and our house isn't ready to be shown yet so hopefully this fall we will find our dream place and it wont hurt so much to move. Hard to leave the Hudson behind but I guess I can always come visit. Funny I am the emotional one and my husband just wants to move and he didn't have second thoughts until I said well we wont be able to go to the Old Fort Dinner in Fort Edward and a wave of doubt crossed his face and I said don't worry again we can always visit.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Driving around looking for home.

the house.

I am under some pressure from outside sources to sell my house. I have mixed feelings about it and frankly the thought makes my stomach hurt. So maybe if I write about it things will become clearer. The problem is I live in the most beautiful spot in the world. Its true. Another problem is that the house itself is just too big for us now there being only two of us. Out of the 9 major rooms in the house we are using about 3 of them. Its a stunning house built in 1775 on the eve of the revolution classic colonial with gorgeous beams and white wood work. But like many or maybe most old houses it requires a ton of work on pretty much a constant (exaggerating a bit) basis. But the house does need work and it usually falls on my parents shoulders to help us out when things go awry so I understand if my father would like me to at least entertain finding another home.

So I have agreed to look around to see whats out there. I know what I want I just don't know if its out there. So I have been driving around lately looking for home. Number one thing I need is a beautiful view right now I have two the Hudson River in the front and rolling green hills that remind of England in the back. Don't think I am going to find another spot with two but one will do but it has to be BEAUTIFUL. Living somewhere beautiful is one of the only things I have accomplished in my life and I am not giving it up. I am not a person who can live in a development honestly if I move from here I want a farm a real farm. Which of course leads to other problems like no longer having an excuse to be a real farmer if you have a real farm. Excuses will go flying out the window on that one.  But its a chance I guess I am willing to take.
the back

the front
I have lived here for 10 years and haven't really made a lot of connections one of the main problems is I don't really have a town. So that would definately be something that I would be looking for a little community probably one a little goofy since that would be my and definitely Tommy's only chance of fitting in. Always wanted to find a little town like the one in the TV show northern exposure not sure it exists but I am out there driving around looking. The other day I got off exit 12 on the northway and drove around looking and looking for the spot that feels like home.....Went yesterday to salem and drove through jackson and cambridge and greenwich and schyulerville looking for home....Did more errands in greenwich today looking around looking for home. This week I think I will try west and north of saratoga and see if I cant find home. I have a weird feeling that I will know it when I find it. But honestly its a large bill to fill and I am not sure if its out there. Oh and I need to be somewhat close to my parents in Saratoga they are getting older and I don't want to be too far away.

So if you see a silver honda crv wandering the back roads of either warrren, washington or saratoga counties its probably me looking for home. Beep if you see me.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday ramblings and signs of spring.

You can tell its been a long winter when its in the upper 30's and people drive by on motorcycles and bicycles. The sun feels stronger today and I keep going outside to drink it up like a starving person. The chickens are outside and they are having a ball they just walked past the living room window hopping from snow free patch to snow free patch. Its been a long winter to say the very least but spring must be coming right? I looked at my preliminary farm plan yesterday to get my head around what I need to do soon and I noticed that I had the first planting of peas going in on March the 23rd. Um I don't think that's going to happen but hell you never know.

Woke up this morning to the sounds of birds chirping and a great celtic fiddle song in my head. Instant good mood. We have been having issues with our well so we were without water for a few weeks so you can only imagine the dishes that backed up. I think I just washed every dish in the house but that chore is done even if my fingers are a little pickled. Trying to make some spelt bread in the bread machine for my dad who cant have gluten right now so far looks good fingers crossed it turns out okay. Going to their house later to start the first of the seeds for the upcoming growing season its time to get the tomatoes that go in the high tunnel going as they will get planted mid to late April for an nice early start on the tomato season. And yes if all goes to plan which it rarely does. \\

After dishes I ran the garbage up to the dump we dont bother having a pick up service the dump is up the road and its only 2 bucks a bag so you really cant beat it. Love being a girl and pulling up to the dumpster jumping out and throwing the bags he-woman style in front of the group of guys were are always standing around shooting the shit. They just shake their heads at me which is fine. Wish I had brought my camera today there were some great shots I missed today.  I call the leader the "dumpmaster" and no matter what the weather he always says its a beautiful day.

When I came home I noticed the chickens were yucking it up outside taking dirt baths and stretching their legs. Looked like they were having a great time here are a few picks.

dust bath time!

garlic sleeping under the snow

mighty hudson rolling by

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wake me when its over and dreaming of warmer days.

Planning time for the 2104 season is underway and planting time will be here before I know it. Today I did the taxes took a deep breath after getting the results a nice little refund take another breath breathe in breathe out. Can you tell things have been tight? Then after tackling that yearly chore I needed to start wrapping my mind around this years planting schedule. The tomatoes that go in early in the high tunnel need to be started now and to do that I had to go through the new seeds that were bought this year and the seeds I already had. I did this while sitting in bed but to be honest sitting in bed is where I usually tackle the big stuff of life. Ziggy came to help and found a little spot not yet covered with seed packs to sit and purr. Nothing more soothing that a cat purring. So I found the seeds I needed to start today and then figured out while I was at it I might as well organize them. Time to start thinking about spring.

Today is March 1st and it feels and looks like Jan 15th except the days are longer and the sun does feel a little stronger. I guess warmer weather will show up at some point but I keep checking the forecast and all I see is more polar vortex kind of crap. I don't mind winter I like the break and it gives us all something to bitch about but this winter has just been too hard too dark too cold and yes way to damn long. I am about to take a leave of absence from work so I can hibernate until spring actually shows up. I can even see the sign on the bedroom door "shh human hibernating don't wake till spring". Well I guess that is not really something I can do there are jobs to be done and bills to be paid but its a nice thought. Can you just imagine going to sleep right now while its cold and bare and waking up to birds singing the sun shining and that wonderful wonderful smell of things growing. Oh how I miss the smell of dirt baking in the sun or that feeling of digging in the soil and finding that still moist and cool soil just prime for planting. I can  picture myself now sitting in the dirt planting something with one of the cats usually Ziggy or maybe Fat Albert coming to check on me and to see what I am doing and then usually laying down in whatever I am trying to accomplish in that special way that only cats can be "helpful".

I read through some posts from last year and I actually started to cry there was so much anguish guilt paranoia and nerves last year trying to be successful at growing food it kind of floored me. I hope this year is better I hope I do better find more energy make better decisions have better luck (okay any luck) work smarter work faster and get some nice results. At least this time of year I haven made any mistakes yet there is always that. After I read those posts from last year I thought again about why do I do this why try and have another full time job on top of the one I already have? Honestly I think I like the struggle of farming its so different from the corporate world I work in where you just go and do your job day in day out. I think that there is something so primitive about growing food and choosing to try and do it makes you part of the past and breaks you from the mold just a bit of being a normal person. Well that makes sense doesn't it what normal person would want to do this? And that's fine with me I have avoided being normal my whole damn life.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Getting yourself stuck and getting yourself out with a little help from a stranger.

Big snow. Big snow to say the very least. Yesterday morning we woke up to I dont know how many inches but some spots I was hope to my knees some spots I was up to mid thigh.  Luckily the night before I had parked my car facing out with one straight shot one straight chance to make it out of my un-plowed driveway. So I do my hair which consist of drying and straightening my bangs look in the mirror and say oh how cute. I then open the back door to a wall of snow step out to mid thigh snow try and figure out where the steps are and make it to the car. Start the car let it warm up a bit and survey the task at hand. Okay gun it keep it straight blow through the mound of snow at the end of the driveway and make it to the nicely plowed road laid plans.  So I make pretty good progress but about half way down the driveway it occurs to me that I should check for traffic before exploding onto the road and in that one moment of hesitation off the road i went stuck on the left hand side in snow that is higher than the wheels. I go to open the door to see first hand the pickle I have gotten myself in and I cant even open the door. I sit I swear I start to laugh try to door again and I was able to open it enough to squeeze myself out into yet again thigh deep snow. At this point I am looking at a seriously stuck car and as I look around for help I remember you are in the middle of nowhere if you are going to get out its going to be all you girl.

I trudge back to the back door and thankfully find a shovel trudge back to the car getting wetter and wetter. I once again stand in the road and look at the mess I was in. I had my camera in my bag wish I had taken the time to snap a shot because it was pretty epic. So once again I think about the options open to me and I realize the only thing I can do is to start to dig and dig I did. My once cute bangs were now not only completely wet but also frozen onto my forehead. I managed to dig 3 wheels out but the back left one was stuck bad. As I stood panting and sweating leaning on my shovel I think to myself well maybe a truck with a plow will drive by and take pity on me...I scan the road both north and south and see no truck coming my way so back to shoveling and wheezing and laughing I go. Finally I see not one but two trucks coming both equipped with nice big plows and drive right past me they did. Neighborly my ass. So back once again I go back to the task at hand gasping for air heart beat at epic levels but it feels good I have a problem and I am not asking for help not playing the girl card just digging the car out of the snow.

So finally a third truck with a plow drives by and this one actually slows down passes me stops and then backs up and rolls down the window. I walk up to the truck the window rolls down and as I walk up expecting to see a guy but instead the prettiest young woman with eyes like a cat is behind the wheel. She asks me if I need help and I say yep I sure do. She surveys the damage and says not sure what I can do for you but I can at least push the snow away from the front of your car. She takes a couple of passes and then says don't worry I got myself stuck the same way the last storm I say but I was so close I almost made it! She laughs and says why don't you try and back up and I will see if I cant get that huge chunk of snow from under your car. I wade through the snow get back into the drivers seat and begin the old back and forth rock it back and forth and I start to actually make progress she backs out of the way and I continuing to reverse forward reverse forward turn the wheel reverse forward and finally I break free! I wave to the lady with the cat like eyes and plunge on down the road feeling pretty damn good.

I got myself into a fix and got myself out without asking for help without running inside to wake my husband and have him come out swearing and muttering under his breath and shout strange instructions at me that never make much sense. So instead I grabbed a shovel and dug myself out and with a little kindness from strangers was able to make it to work. I arrive at work about an hour and a half later soaking wet but proud as hell. Spring please come I am tired

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Being depressed but going for a walk with the dogs instead.

Worries too many worries right now some of them are just vague fears that I am having trouble battling against and some are the daily worries of adult life. I don't mind being upset when you know what you are upset about but I don't like being sad, nervous and worried about vague fears I cant put my finger on. If you know whats pissing you off or making you cry or keeping you up at night at least you can formulate a plan. But if you don't know whats wrong theres no fixing it. So that was the mood I woke up too and as I tried to go back to bed with my head under the covers sleep eluded me and I realized that this was the first Saturday in a long while that it was possible to take the dogs and myself for a walk without getting frost bite or being lost in a snow storm. So in an effort to beat back the gloom I shut the chickens in the garage grabbed a leash for hell puppy Booker and took a walk.

Must say it worked I am still worried about what I have to worry about but I am up and writing and taking pictures it always helps me to create a little. And to be honest this is a busy time of year for me this is when all the planning for the upcoming growing year gets done the seeds ordered the crop plan laid out research done on new things to try etc. So in an effort to beat back the gloom and worry of winter (I always associate more worry with winter than other seasons....will I have enough propane will the pipes freeze will I get to work and back okay will the dogs and I go stir crazy) its time to plan for the glory of spring.

I attended a farming conference last week and I really learned a lot and got re-energized about farming. To be honest I was having some doubts this fall and early winter about farming and whether it was worth it or not. Something happened at the last market last year that jaded me and the funny thing is I cant for the life of me figure out what it was all I know is that I went into the day with my usual energy and love for growing vegetable but came out of the day with a bad feeling in my stomach. My stomach always tells me like it is I just wish it was better at communicating. I have spent quite a bit of middle of the night worry time trying to figure out what happened that day to give me that feeling and I don't know what it is but regardless attending the conference and learning so much as definitely put me back on track. I am not going to stop trying to figure out what happened to make me a little jaded about farming because I know its important and if I have learned anything in 44 years its not going to go away until I figure out what it is. So time to sign off and get the seed catalogs and spreadsheets out and to do a little work with budgets and all that good stuff. Stay warm everyone happy new year and I hope the year of the horse is a  blessed and prosperous year for all. Cheers. Here are a few pics of our little walk today.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Eating pizza at the dump crying like a baby.

Every hear a song and for some reason it just floors you? The first time I ever heard this song I lost it. Its just a song about a man and his mule but for some reason every time I hear it I cry. Today we went to Stewarts to get some cash and a little lunch so we could take the garbage to the dump. As I was sitting in the car waiting for Tommy to finish throwing the garbage into the dumpster the song came on and as I was chewing my pizza I started not only to tear up or cry a bit but to bawl like a baby spitting pizza out because apparently I cant chew breathe and cry at the same time. I love when songs hit that nerve hit that button on our shared universal unconscious that brings us to another time and makes us feel anothers pain. Its when art does its job. Its not always just about beauty i think its also about tying or bringing us to something that is bigger than ourselves.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

time to start looking forward but for clarity's sake need to take an honest look at the past.

Its one of my favorite times of year well besides being in the middle of the dregs of winter but its planning time for the upcoming planting season. I love the planning part its so pure and innocent, I think, I scribble, I look at seed catalogs I make my plans and as of yet I haven't made any mistakes...yet. Something to be said about no mistakes....yet because there will be mistakes and plenty of them trust me. Next week I will attend an organic farming conference in nearby Saratoga for the 4th year. I love the NOFA-NY winter conference its maybe the one time of the year where I drop the snarky attitude and become part of a larger group or movement. Its a great place to learn and I really cant wait I am going to take classes in growing wheat on a small scale (I hope its really on a small scale hate when someone says small scale when they mean 5 acres and I am like um oh I thought you meant 1/8th of an acre) a class on growing flowers for market which would be great you can charge a premium for flowers at market and it makes a nice addition to your normal vegies etc, what else? how to build a small greenhouse using cover crops and so on and so on. I think I will take about 8 classes in all and I am really excited its a great trade show too where you get to see great stuff from seeds, to tools to books to machinery and where I believe you can even get a new scythe just in case you were in  the market for one. 

In other news I have decided to launch a side business off 3 Dogs Barking Farms called 3 Dogs Barking Designs. I am excited for this Tommy is going to teach me photoshop so I can really get going on designing my needlepoints but then I had the idea of taking some of the themes I plan on using for needlepoints and making notecards. Now a perk of working for a paper company I got free samples so soon I am going to launch a store on etsy selling the kind of notecards I would love to buy. I'm excited to see what I come up with my little brain is bursting with creativity lots of goofy ideas for the legions of goofballs out there (i hope) that are my tribe. I love when one idea leads to another then to another and to another so here's hoping the designs in my head come out like I want or hopefully come out better that would be nice for a change right? 

Okay so lets acknowledge the elephant in the room.....last years growing season.. Argh what can I say it pretty much sucked. There were a few things I achieved on the scale I wanted to like lettuce mix and arugula but to be honest that was pretty much it for success. If it wasn't for lettuce I would not have gotten to market at all. I hope I learn a lot next week because I have to get better at this if I am going to bother trying  to farm at all. Its just too much heartbreak to take without a little reward now and then. Another (successful) farmer said last year that farming was like playing the slots you keep putting your quarter in and getting lemons but every once in awhile you hit a jackpot. Last year was just a nightmare it rained incessantly and it was a struggle to get the seeds in the ground then most times than not if it did dry out enough to prepare the beds the tiller would break and that would just mean more and more delay. There were a few bright spots my green beans were a huge hit at market and I already mentioned the salad mix. I keep holding onto the salad mix what else can you do when it was pretty much the only thing you did right you keep talking about it!

The tiller started costing us so much money our John Deere dealer actually refused to fix it anymore and made us deal with the fact that if we wanted to start farming smarter we needed an upgrade in equipment. So now in the garage is the fancy italian walk behind tractor that should fit our needs just right. I need to start working smarter I don't have enough time working a full time job to be wasting what time I have working inefficiently. Farmers must be the most optimistic of people I mean they keep at it year after year even when they get their butt handed to them time and time again. The thing that really gets me is that you can do everything right and still fail you just never know especially in today's crazy weather pattern its not climate change my ass world we live in. So as I sit and type and dream of the upcoming season I try not to think of floods or drought or crazy plagues of insects you have never even heard of before and try and make myself believe that the success is totally up to me and all it will take will be to learn the lessons of the past to gain new knowledge to farm smarter to be dedicated and do things when they need to be done and to hope against hope that this will be enough. Mother Nature please be kind to me. 

P.S. I love living here I just went out to take care of the chickens let them out of the coop give them fresh water and feed and little scratch etc in my barn coat a t shirt and shoes no pants for me! ha!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pictures from a trip to the grocery store. A winter day like I like it.

Stayed home from work today threw my back out Friday morning. Its getting better but one more day taking it easy should hopefully fix me up. Even though my back was out I still needed to do some chores letting the chickens out and going to the store. Its nice out today the sun is out and its not very cold winter days like I can handle. The grocery store is about 10 miles away but the scenery between here and there is pretty damn great here are some shots.

chicken enjoying the sun having breakfast

clive the rooster seeing if its safe to come out

one of my favorite views looking at washington county and vermont beyond

the pig literally crossed the road never seen that before

frozen hudson and the sun finally