Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Special Kind of Lonesome

Today was another in a series of firsts- the first day at a new school and the first day my daughter rode the school bus. I know, nine is a little old for the first time on the bus thing, but we've never lived where she went to school before. She's always depended on me or her grandma to take her to school.
This morning, I watched her climb aboard and into a little independence (and, I'll admit, died a little inside). My little girl is not so little anymore, and I guess when you get to nine years old, it's not as cool if you wave to your mom or she blows you kisses as you drive away- apparently, it's just embarrassing- so I refrained. She seemed okay, mostly just a little nervous since the neighbor didn't get on the bus with her. I think it was harder for me, really.
My husband has said he doesn't get why I always take the first day of school off from work every year. It's for this: the first time all summer when I get a day of peace, all to me, but it is bittersweet. In the same moment, I am forced to remember that time slips away; as I age, she slowly grows up and further away from me. The first day of school is as much about beginnings as it is the ending of another year of her childhood.
I take the day off to mourn that loss.

This is the good kind of lonesome though- the setting-free-the-things-you-love kind. Can't wait till she comes home and tells me all about the rest of her firsts, today and in the future. The dog and I will be happy for the break to the silence.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spreading the Poultry Love

My co-worker, Teresa, and her husband Jerry are also taking up farming, but for environmental reasons. I feel quite blessed to know them. It's kind of like having a personal trailblazer ahead of you, trying things out before you and helping you along. They are raising poultry this year and a variety of produce, including some heirloom varieties. I think their hope is to sell the produce- Teresa has said Jerry takes some to market now- not sure if they are thinking of a CSA or not.
Teresa is my "chicken friend". She is my mentor on all things poultry and is patiently waiting for us to have a coop. She says she has chickens to add to our operation- a sort of living housewarming gift- when we are ready.
I need a snow blower for the coming winter before I can even consider a chicken coop. So no chickens this year, sadly.
So, instead she brought me some lovely eggs to try from her chickens and ducks, all organic, unpastuerized and free range. The dozen I got is called the "fashion pack"- they are all so beautifully unique are artfully arranged in the carton. Sounds SO deliciously yummy and local. I can't wait to try them tomorrow!
In my case, yes, the egg comes before the chicken.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Of Worm Farms and Patience

One of my favorite discoveries as I grow older is that if you stop trying so hard and just concentrate on having fun, sometimes the good things just come to you. Take as an example my daughter's "worm farm" she created at my father's house as he planted his garden this spring. What began in a child's imagination as simple exploration of the dirt around her turned into something beautiful, something edible even...
After sitting around outside for several weeks in the bucket she built her "worm farm " in, a plant appeared inside. It followed us to our new home soon after, and, since we have no garden, found a home in an old landscape planter at the front corner of our house, because it was fun and seemed the right thing to do with a worm farm plant. We started watching and watering. And it grew. We waited. And it flowered. We waited some more. And, behold, tomatoes! (They are pretty darn tasty too, I might add.)
I found a few other things that spontaneously grew here too, with no prompting from me. Like these:

These successful surprises led to other experiments in buckets with dirt, this time my own (and my husband's)...and for the first time ever...
there is food on my porch and in my yard. I am so blessed.
Next year, a garden.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The View from Out Here

When I have my morning coffee, this is what I see- a vision of the idyllic Ohio countryside, right outside my house, with Jersey cows, chirping birds and, if the dew point is right, some fog rolling across the back.
Now- don't be shocked- this is not a picture of my house. It's my neighbors. But in combination with the Internet, it is close-by inspiration for what I really want to do with my life: I want to write and I want to farm.

This blog is (hopefully, to become) a chronicle of my evolution, from a suburban housewife and retail employee into a freelance author/photographer and farmer.
My husband, daughter and I bought our little slice of heaven this spring, and right now there's not much to talk about as we get settled. We have no livestock and no big garden (yet), but we do have 2 cats, a very furry dog, and solid mid-western work ethic. There will be lots of learning along the way I am sure, and probably some tears to come as well, as we will learn a lot of it as we go, but for right now, we're just getting started...