Sunday, December 11, 2011

Showering with Meat Loaf

According to USGS, 2.5 gallons of water are used every minute the average shower is running. Have you noticed that it’s really hard to tell how long one has been in the shower? It’s like a time warp for me, a brief black-out. I decided to do a little experiment to gauge how long I’m bathing. And what gauge, you might ask, did I decide to use?

Music! And not just any music, but my favorite music of all time – MEAT LOAF. I challenged myself to a five-minute shower, and the song closest to five minutes long on the Bat Out of Hell album happens to be Track 2: “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night).”* I was setting myself up for an awesome bathing experience.

I did so well. By the time the intro was over (On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses? Will he offer me his mouth? Yes. Will he offer me his teeth? Yes. Will he offer me his jaws? Yes. Will he offer me his hunger? Yes. Again: Will he offer me his hunger? Yes. And will he starve without me? Yes. And does he love me? Yes. Yes. On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses? Yes. I bet you say that to all the boys.), I was already washing the shampoo out of my hair. I actually turned the water off a full forty-five seconds before the end of the song, which afforded me the pleasure of drying out my hair to the clapping breakdown until the fadeout.

Showering to Meat Loaf songs as a means of keeping track of water usage is environmentally responsible, saves money, and gives you a needed dose of incredible power rock piano music from the 80’s. You cannot lose.

*This is an amazing music video. I highly suggest you view it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Goat Obsession

You all have checked out the website of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, right? I spent a lot of time perusing it late last night, largely due to my recent obsession with keeping goats. The ALBC keeps records of which livestock breeds are dwindling in numbers and growing closer to extinction. There are 11 kinds of livestock on the watch lists and 5 categories for each kind: study, recovering, watch, threatened, and critical. There are only two goat breeds on the critical list, the Arapawa and the San Clemente (groovy California island goats) - both are charming and I am considering becoming a goat breeder just to preserve the lineage of each. Geez.

What sent me over the edge into goat lust, you ask? I checked out this book from the library: Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese, by Brad Kessler. It is dedicated to possibly my favorite author, Annie Dillard, so I knew what I was in for as soon as I read the dedication. The book is about Kessler's move with his photographer wife away from New York City to a farm in Vermont, where they herd goats and make cheese. It's positively dreamy.

Recently, I got a bad diagnosis on the health of my lower back and I'm going to have to sort of change my plans so that I don't cripple myself. My plans were still pretty atmospheric, so it's not going to be a huge sacrifice - especially because of goats. Goats, you see, come in many sizes. There are such things as mini milking goats, which have a weight that will be manageable to me in the future. I may move more towards maneuvering mini milkers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My blogging enterprise took a hiatus during my time at Blue Heron Farm because a) I didn’t have access to the internet, and b) I started doubting the value of blogging in general. I usually view it as a great exercise because it forces me to organize my thoughts about what I’m doing in a way that is accessible to others. I usually think more deeply about what I’m doing when I’m trying to describe it to someone other than myself. During my time on the farm it didn’t feel right to publicize it, I don’t know why. But here I am, back on the internet a lot, feeling like I can check in with y’all.

I hurt my back on the farm, just as I feared. It didn’t get better and then my boyfriend decided to take an internship in Sacramento, CA, my hometown, so I left the farm early to accompany him and get some medical attention for my back.

We’re living with my folks until we get our feet on the ground – a.k.a. until I get a job. So far, the job search is looking bleak but coming home has been wonderful. I’ve been visiting with all kinds of people that I have missed for the five years I lived in Seattle. I’ve been getting to know Sacramento as an adult, which is something I’ve been longing to do ever since I left.

It was sad to leave Seattle. We have so many good friends there, three of whom are pregnant. In a lot of ways, Seattle feels more like home than Sacramento does. But this is a good move for us, and we can always visit or even move back if we don’t find a niche here.

So, there’s your update. Since I’m job hunting and spending a lot of time effing around on the internet, I might just be putting stuff up here so I can remember that I found it. Maybe it will be interesting for you, too!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This is what it's all about:

Friday, June 10, 2011

My ideal self:
·            Never needs to rest during a day of hard, physical labor
·            Doesn’t crave cheese all the time
·            Has no self-doubt
·            Wakes up early to exercise and listen to the news before work
Mary Oliver has a poem about waking up early that inspired me last night to leap out of bed this morning, but that intent was squashed when my alarm went off and it was pouring rain out:

Why I Wake Early
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable, and the crotchety –

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We’re swinging into the busy season now. Anne says it gets busier once the blueberries start fruiting, so I’m glad to be able to ease into it. This last was the first week of the CSA, and I spent all day today harvesting, washing, and boxing produce. We are harvesting:

• Radishes (pink, red, and French Breakfast)
• Loose-leaf lettuce
• Hot mustard and mizuna greens
• Arugula
• Pac choi
• Spinach

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On Sunday, I drove to Walla Walla with Chandler, Becky, and Tierney, three young farmers in the Western Washington area who represent the Washington Young Farmers Coalition. We were in Walla Walla for a farm walk at Welcome Table Farm, organized by the Tilth Producers of Washington. Andy and Emily (and their wee one, Hazel) run the farm using human and HORSE power!

Even aside from the draft animal prowess, I was really inspired by Andy and Emily because they have managed to put together a farm with vegetables and a diverse company of animals, which is what I would ideally want to do with a farm. They have a 40-50 person CSA, sell at the farmers market, and sell wholesale to restaurants, so they have a diverse market vegetable operation. They also keep horses, goats, sheep, hogs, and layer and broiler chickens.
The draft horses, Avi and Dandy, are gorgeous. I don’t know much about horses but these two looked beautiful (and muscular!). Andy and Emily purchased them as draft-trained adults without much practical draft experience and have been learning as they go.
The farm walk was well worth the five hour trip down, and it was really fun to meet the three fellow passengers of Tercy Tercel. Walla Walla country reminded me a lot of the Sacramento area, being warm and hilly and with the same amount of deciduous tree cover. I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, unzipped the tent, and stood up into a night FULL of stars! It took my breath away. I love the lush world of Western Washington but I really miss warm, wide-open spaces. Everything smells so good when it’s warmed by the sun.