Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Longest To Do List

I have many bizarre loves. I love Mondays, really I swear I do. It is my most favorite day of the week and always has been. It's like a new notebook (which I also love), a blank slate, a fresh start. No matter how much last week went to hell, hooray it's Monday and we get to start over again. As I just mentioned I love new notebooks. All new projects need a new notebook, and I love new projects. I have a lot of notebooks. And of all my bizarre loves, I love To Do Lists the most. You'll never see me refer to a To Do List without capitalization, each one is a title unto itself. When I write To Do List: Monday on Sunday evening, it is a magical moment for me. 

Every so often though the To Do Lists team up with my minor OCD tendencies and reach maximum overload. It's rare. The last time I remember getting to that level my oldest daughter, Gelf A, was a newborn baby. My oldest son (Gelf E) was 4. I was entering my third year of college. I had moved into a new home (on the very day my daughter was born) and I was working part-time. I had so many running To Do Lists that I also had one titled Master To Do List just to keep track of the others. Like I said it doesn't happen often, Gelf A is 20 years old now. 

Much has changed in those 20 years. I've taken on so many more responsibilities than I had then. Forty year old me looks back at 20 year old me and thinks, "Rest while you can kiddo, you've got so much more to do.". There are 6 Gelfs now, 2 are adults so that helps. The little ones are home-schooled, and LOIs (letters of intent) need to be written now or rather they need to be written last month. Add build time machine to the list. There are chickens, geese, turkeys now and a horse coming soon. Oh and parrots & cats too. Summer produce needs to be turned into preserved foods for the winter. There's bread to be baked, broth to be simmered and someday I will dust off my sewing machine. You know, because I want to make my daughters matching sundresses this year. Oops. I meant matching ponchos for this fall. 

The To Do List is rapidly approaching maximum overload. I am rapidly approaching maximum saturation. My horse friends are going to laugh at me, but I think once my horse gets here it will help. I know there will be so many more items on the daily To Do List, but one of them will be *spend time with Ariel. It'll rock to check that item off daily. And Monday is right around the corner. To Do List: Weekly is just about ready to shred. This week I'll add "Be more spontaneous" and "Relax more" as a line items this week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Save the Date: Saturday October 5th 2013

I planned on waiting until it was utterly official, and the little details like a name for this grand event was decided upon. But ya, remember how being reasonable isn't a skill of mine? Neither is being patient.

The Grand Opening, Great Unveiling, Big Introduction, Super-cool-you-don't-want-to-miss-this Day is set. Well the date is set. The idea is set. The name, eh we'll work on that.

But Denise what is it, you ask. Good question thanks for asking. October 5th is going to be the official grand opening for the farm. It will be part swap meet, part craft fair, all parts cool. We'll have local vendors of all varieties. Small-batch, hand-crafted soaps & personal care items, jewelry, and leather goods. There will be animals for sale, fresh produce, baked goods and a concession stand with all local fare. Buy and trade with small businesses, craftsmen and real people from our community. There will be demonstrations. There will be swag, really cool swag. Networking. Bartering. Entertainment. If you're really good & you ask nicely, there may be pony rides for the kiddies.

Mark your calender now, Saturday October 5th. You don't want to miss this. If you're interested in vending please contact me via our Facebook page.

Monday, August 19, 2013


These were some of our first babies here on the farm. Two of our Rhodes Island reds went broody this summer and suddenly we were not just chicken tenders (sorry silly pun) but chicken breeders too. Are we farmers now? Could I put that on my resume now? I hope to never write another resume in my life, but the question remains. Am I a real legitimate farmer now? And if not now, when is the deciding moment? 

We moved to our 'farm' in February of this year. When we got here it was simply a house in need of some TLC, on a substantial piece of land also in need of much tender loving care. The only critters that were here were dispatched quickly by my queens of the jungle house-cats Trixie and da Vinci. Was it a farm then? When did it become a farm? Early in the spring we added chickens. A feeling of legitimacy came with establishing a flock of chickens. Chicken farmers, check. We lost about half our flock to a fox. Chicken farmers uncheck?  

We put in a garden. My partner suggested we keep it reasonable. After all we have a newborn baby, a toddler, a 5 yr old and an 11 year old (there's more btw, those are just the little kiddos)- they're all home-schooled, a couple still in diapers, a couple still nursing. I heard him say it, I'm just not a fan of being reasonable. I had the gentleman with the tractor plow a 40' x 40' plot and then another 10' x 20' for good measure. I bought so many seedlings of so many varieties, but only got around to planting about half. Squashes, tomatoes, corn, blueberries, peas, all sorts of yummy stuff got off to a decent start. Farmers, check. Summer came, and like a line in one of my favorite Prince songs, then the rain came down down. The weeds came up, life got busy and well maybe once again, farmers uncheck. 

Geese came next. We started with 2 little goslings that could sit in the palm of our hands and swim in our bathtub. An accident took one and that fox took the other. Goose farmers: uncheck. We replaced them with two pilgrim geese, a heritage breed that I really love. They've grown so quickly. They now race around our yard with their massive wings flapping. They look like kids playing airplane. Still too young to lay eggs, but yes I suppose we are geese farmers, check. 

Our adventures in farming have continued at much the same pace. We added rabbits. Every last rabbit escaped because I didn't inspect their temporary home well enough. I caught 75% of the escapees. That's right I caught them. I am a rabbit wrangler now, and yes a rabbit farmer. 

We have more planned, so much more. A horse is going to be joining our crew in two weeks. Rabbit babies should be making appearances in nest boxes soon. There are eggs in the incubator. A better-late-than-never fall garden is going in the ground this week. I want to add quail, ducks and guinea fowl before the summer is over. I really want to add cows in the spring. I think this must be what farming looks like. We make plans; some will work and some won't. We learn, we revise and we grow. 

Farmers, check.