Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tired ears.

Part of my job as an adviser is be one of the faces of the college to prospective students and their parents.  During this time of year, advisers sign up to mingle during lunch with the families and answer any questions they may have.  Because the mingling occurs in a dining hall, sometimes it is hard to be noticed among all of the various other people who are there. Solution: bright yellow T-shirts with ADVISER printed in black across the back.  Which is fine. If you are skinny. And 25 years old. I’m neither.  I felt conspicuous which, I suppose, is the purpose. I always felt embarrassed for the old gray-haired cashiers at Kmart who were forced to wear cutesy little red bows or elf ears or Santa hats during the Christmas season.  You could tell by looking at them that they sure as heck would not have chosen to wear that crap. I think that it is disrespectful and rude for an employer to require employees to dress like fools for the sake of the store or for the sake of the holiday.  I kind of feel like that when I wear this shirt.  There really isn’t anything wrong with it. I like T shirts as much as the next guy – it is the writing on the back that bothers me.

  Anyhoo……I guess if that is the biggest complaint I have, I’m doing pretty good.  Besides, I just love talking to prospective students and their families.  It is the best part of my job except for talking to students on a daily basis - which even for an introvert like me, is really appealing.  But there is where the line is drawn. Talking to people who aren't students, who aren't part of my job, is draining. Crazy draining.  I have a friend who likes to verbally unload at the end of the week and I just can’t do that.  I can’t listen to one more person’s issues.  At the end of the week, actually at the end of every day, I need some time to collect myself and to re-energize.  Sometimes that doesn't happen.  The act of quilting helps quite a bit.  Using my creativity helps to re-charge.  I've always been that way - I remember from the time I first had kids, the time after work was sacrosanct.  It was for the sanity of the family.  

Cat hen?

I can only believe this cat-hen (who surely appears to have fur rather than feathers) is a descendant of  some Silkies that I had several years ago.She certainly makes a striking resemblence to a cat - named Prickles - that I had around the same time.  

Ocean waves

Yesterday was a perfect today - and today is looking to be much the same.  I did pick up fabric for the ocean's wave quilt and for the strawberry social quilt I'll be making - hopefully will have at least one block of each done today!

Didn't get any part of the chicken coop done, didn't get any part of the kitchen repainting done........
We have a powerline running through part of our property and every 5 years, the responsible party clears the land below the power line.  For the past 18 years, I have enjoyed the beauty of a gorgeous birch tree that grows on the edge of one plot of our woods.  It has always been well out of the way of the powerline.  Even if the tree had grown into the largest birch tree ever, its branches would never have been anywhere near the powerline.  I was crushed when I went to see it yesterday and it had been cut.  

I've come to believe that may people believe that if you can't speak, you are not considered a living thing.  This includes dogs, cats, all other animals, etc.  I get tired, really tired of the bullshit.  That birch wasn't diseased, wasn't impacting the power line, wasn't doing anything but simply beautifully existing.  Why the heck can't we leave things alone!!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2015


This is the best time of the is chilly enough to wrap up in a quilt, warm enough to have the windows open a crack so that I can hear the birds and a forecast for a beautiful, sunshiney day!  My dog is sleeping behind me, I have a hot cup of coffee and I just know that it is going to be a great weekend.  And then.....Casper my boxer comes scampering into the living room and the 3 little dogs wake up in a frenzy of yipping and barking, howling and whining, and the mood is broken.
So I am waiting for the bank to open so that I can take out some cash so that I can go to the Amish fabric store to pick up the last of the fabric I need to make my daughter's quilt.  I thought I had enough but as I was rethinking my color choices, I realized that since I had a few extra dollars - instead of buying paint for my kitchen, which really needs painted because Casper my boxer caused a fire that seared the walls about 4 years ago - instead of buying that, I would buy fabric.  Because logic in my mind works that way. Any quilter would agree.

I'm also hoping to work on a new chicken coop.  I have the wood - but I misplaced my cute pink electric screwdriver.  Well, I didn't misplace it - I hid it from my son and my husband and now I can't remember where I hid it.  I have a feeling that my husband saw it and hid it in retaliation for me misplacing his broken, cordless drill.  A truly healthy, adult relationship....... The chicken coop is an ongoing project for me.  I have some of my old hens and a rooster cooped.  But then I have this posse of rogue chickens with a couple of roosters who live in the milkhouse.  They need a coop because whenever I get used to collecting eggs in one place, they switch it up on me.  Right now, they are hiding them.  I can tell it is a game to them - there are 3 brooding hens who never have eggs under them.  They make a racket when I check underneath them every day for eggs but nothing.....  However there are always one or two or three eggs over in the far corner of the milkhouse.  A week ago, I could count on getting six or seven eggs.  I guess I need to follow them - I'll add that to my list of things to do today.

So now it is time - by the time I get dressed and cleaned up, I'll be able to make it to the bank and then to the quilt shop shortly after it opens.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Off the wagon.

Or so to speak. For a couple of years, I was the champion of electronic books.  I loved the fact that I could download books at any time, could have thousands of books at my disposal, could adjust the font to compensate for my aging eyes, and would never need to search around for a bookmark every again.  All good things for someone who is a little bit more disciplined and more motivated than I.
However, I found that I didn't read as many books without the three week deadline to complete before having to pay a fine.  I found myself missing the feel of worn pages, of having something to hold, and even having my favorite bookmark to fiddle with and do a little toothpicking (yuk, I know).  I missed everything about reading books.  I missed going to the library and never realized how much I missed it until our local library closed for a week last year due to funding cuts.  What a shame.  Sure it is easy to browse electronic books - just click on a link to read a little blurb about it - or read reviews online - or to have a newly released book magically download to your reading device overnight.  But I've decided that I am fine with sacrificing the speed and ease in accessing reading material.  I worry a lot about the loss of our library system.  In this age of instantaneous satisfaction, I'm not so sure that our youngest generation has any idea of the pleasure of waiting in anticipation for an event or for the climax of a good book. On my strolls around town, I've noticed more and more of these little libraries popping up.  And seeing these makes me very happy.  There is no doubt that electronic communication and information is important to me - I love being able to catch up with friends through social media and I love the ease of being able to write without worrying too much about mistakes.  But being able to hold, smell, and read an actual book is like comfort food. Without the calories.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One Old Goat Farm

So I am at home today with what I thought was a migraine but apparently is a headache aggravated by allergies.  Fun stuff.

I've always suspected that things happened here while I was at work. The goats, chickens, dogs, cats.....all seem to be a little tired when I get home.  Well I haven't quite figured out what makes the dogs so tired other than sleeping overdose but it seems as if the party begins shortly after I leave in the morning.

I was dozing on the sofa when I heard a gobbling.  On the deck.  Which honestly isn't the strangest thing I've ever encountered here.  So I decided to go outside and see what was going on.  Well, there wasn't a turkey on my deck but there definitely was a turkey strutting around just below the deck.  Feathers fanned, gobbler (or whatever that thing is) dangling......he obviously was just so proud of his stuff.  Now the neighbor's chickens weren't so impressed.  They were all congregated on the wooden bench under the lilac bush watching the turkey with great disdain.  It was obviously they were tired of having to dealing with Mr. Turkey's illusions of grandeur.

Down below the turkey and out of sight of the neighbor chickens, were Donald and Daisy, the ducks who appeared from nowhere a few weeks ago and who have set up residence in the milk house.  My 9chickens, a motley crew of mixed breed fowl, have accepted the ducks as members of their family but strangely enough, egg production has gone down since the ducks moved in.

And as all of this was going down, the goats were watching with great interest hoping that somehow, food would be involved.  Clover, the pony who is older than me, ignored the whole thing because obviously she has seen it all.

It was kind of nice to see this menagerie in my backyard this morning.  I snapped a few photos and then went back to sleep away my headache.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The difference a smile makes.

This morning I felt as if I were cheating.  I had a free coffee waiting at our local Sheetz – and with two kids heading off to college in a few months, I need to save wherever possible. So I grabbed my morning caffeine at Sheetz. McDonald’s in my area has free coffee every Monday and I always stop and grab a large cup.  On Mondays that I really feel flush, I’ll buy a breakfast burrito – I’m not a total mooch. Just poor.  But I have to say, I’m tempted to stop at McDonald’s every morning during the week.  Not because I love their coffee (which I do), but because of the fantastic service I receive in the drive-through.  I’m always treated kindly. Always.  And it makes my day.  It seems so little that the ordertaker – or the person who hands me my order – takes a second to smile at me and that it makes such a big difference in my day.  But it does.  Which isn’t to say that the folks at Sheetz aren’t nice because they are.  But they are busy and there are always people in line.  At McDonald’s however, for a split second, it is just the ordertaker and me.  Eye contact. Personal connection. Whatever. We smile at each other and say ‘have a good day’.  And it’s the best.

A torrid love affair

 I've written about the ducks quite a bit. It's a little like Peyton Place around here I think. A couple of months ago, the male d...