Croquet mallets versus softball bats — only one will survive!
In typical Eric style, I let a major event in a family member’s life go by unmentioned (cf. “I’m a bad family member.”). My youngest sister graduated college a week ago today, after seven years (or so) of classes, a marriage, and two and a third children. She can now teach teens our language, literature, and the art of drama. Many, many congratulations, Lauryl! Remember, if you ever need a break from teaching, you can always come help weed carrots.
The next time you’re in Eldon, Iowa, stop by the Dibble House, best known as “that house behind the dour couple in American Gothic“.
And did you know that the couple was supposed to represent a typical American small town resident and his daughter, and not a husband and wife? Perhaps Grant Wood could have been more clear.
Generally speaking, the muscle of whales tastes like horse meat. It’s The World Whale Eaters Union!
Here’s a fantastic presentation of the geologic history of the western US, complete with very detailed maps. It’s things like this that make me wish we had lifespans of at least several hundred years. There are so many interesting things to learn, and only 100 years isn’t near long enough to learn them all.
I just was told that a pack of dogs came through the farm just now. It appears that, except for one hen that is sitting on some eggs, all the chickens are dead. Hopefully most of them made it through and are just hiding somewhere, but Chris has found a lot of bodies and no signs of life. It all happened in a few minutes.
Another two weeks at the most, and they would have been safe inside the electric fence with their new barn.
UPDATE: Maybe not a total loss. Only one of last year’s flock is now missing. Our transexual rooster guided them to safety, somewhere. A few of the little birds have come home, some wounded. I’ll have to count bodies tonight.
ANOTHER UPDATE: All ten of the older birds are OK. The young flock was hit hard. We recovered twenty-five bodies. Twenty-seven are home, some with what all appear to be minor wounds. Fifteen are missing. I found a few birds alive a couple acres away, still hiding in the briars. Many of the bodies were in the thickets, too, and there are likely to be more we missed.
If India and Pakistan nuke each other back to the stone age, India will be ready. Their miltary is studying texts from 2300 years ago to learn such secrets as a single meal that will keep soldiers going for a month and a poweder made from fireflies and wild boar eyes that will give them night vision.
You’ve heard it a million times, but have you ever heard it done as an EXCITING SAMBA? It’s the theme from Jeopardy, and other great MIDI tracks courtesy of Laura May, Musician Extraordinaire.
A rural Alabama county has a problem with residents not having any type of sewage system. Often, raw sewage runs out a pipe onto the open ground, in the woods or on a field. This can, of course, cause problems. The county is faced with jailing the residents who don’t install a proper system, despite the fact that the residents can’t afford a proper system. The county is one of the country’s poorest, and the geography makes septic systems very expensive. The story quotes one comment from a single mother of four kids with no running water, no septic, and a high power bill (which raises all kinds of questions about what choices/circumstances have put her in that position). Jailing her would solve nothing, yet the problem can’t be ignored.
This has relevance to my life because my neighbor recently sold off his land except for two acres on my property line. He’s constructed a make-shift home out of an old trailer balanced on tall stacks of cinder blocks. His water line is a buried hose running from his electric well. His electricity is supplied by an extension cord running a few hundred feet from the well to the trailer. The electric company pulled his meter (though he unsuccessfully tried to get around that problem). His waste is running right out onto the ground, and has nowhere to go but into my fish pond, and from there right into the river. The county has finally become aware of the situation, and now we’re waiting to see what happens. Prosecution with jail time is possible, though I’d hate to see that happen. We’ve made an offer to purchase his land, which would give him enough money to relocate someplace with existing facilities, but he’s not accepted the offer.
The New York Times spent 36 hours in Athens, including Saturday breakfast at the Farmer’s Market (though they forgot to mention it).
Some of you may have been wondering (after my not writing all week) if we survived market last week.
The short answer: yes. But barely. We had a lot to harvest, and Chris ended up having a last-minute appointment of her own on Saturday, so I was pretty much on my own. Harvesting took six hours or so, lasting well into the night on Friday, through several periods of rain. After a couple hours’ nap, I awoke to a downpour. A quick check at the radar confirmed it would last all day, and include lightning and possible hail. And so I set off into the storm to sell vegetables at the outdoor market. Folly, maybe, but I was still eager to be there, and the vegetables would not last another week. (Nor would that have lasted unharvested another week). We bought a pavilion a few weeks ago, mostly to keep the sun off of us, so I didn’t have to stand directly in the rain for several hours. Still, there were drips and gusts, so nothing stayed dry. A few customers came by, maybe a dozen or so over the six hours I was there. The take at the end of the day: $15. Not bad, considering. But I’d only sold a few percent of the goods I brought. Fortunately, the next day was better, so I brought everything along to a membership meeting at the theater and sold off quite a bit more and increased the week’s take to $56. Even still, the chickens got to eat most of what I’d picked.
This week will be better. There’s not as much to harvest, so tonight’s work will go faster. Chris can help this time. There are thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow, but not as severe as last week, and they may miss us yet.
To see the weekly newsletter, visit the farm’s website. They’re in MS Word format — I’ll port them to something more universal sometime.
Six months ago, I promised to post the text of our wedding ceremony here, and now that we’ve done a reinactment for those attending the lifewarming party, it’s time to do so…
This Saturday, Chris and I will take our first harvest of vegetables into the Athens Organic Farmer’s Market, which was the subject of this recent newspaper article.