May 28, 2010


I saw a whippoorwill last night! Joe and I were coming home from a contradance when we saw a strange bird sitting in the middle of our driveway, right in the headlight beams. We stopped to watch it, and it miraculously stayed put and continued to sing his whip-poor-will song over and over again!! I LOVE hearing all of the whippoorwills on summer nights, but I never actually expected to get to see one up close.

As if the whippoorwill sighting wasn't exciting enough, today I saw a frog hanging out in my pond!!! I KNEW that if I built it, they would come, and they did!! Now I'm just waiting for Mr. Leopard Frog to bring home his wife and start filling that pond with babies!

Warning: The following photo has been known to cause lettuce envy amongst those who view it.

May 24, 2010

More OBX pics

Here are a few more OBX photos, courtesy of my sister Jenny.

May 21, 2010

I've been trying to prolong the feeling of "staying on top of things" as long as I can, but it is fast becoming impossible. Between our place and my boss' farm, it is a snowballing list of things that need to be transplanted, planted, watered, weeded, cultivated, etc. etc. etc. I've spent all day getting the last of the tomatoes and ground cherries out of the greenhouse (which they had seriously outgrown) and into the garden and still the greenhouse is full of flowers and peppers anxiously awaiting their turn for freedom. In anticipation of this crazy rush, Joe and I decided to take a preemptive vacation this year. Our 4th anniversary was last Sunday, the 16th, so we decided to go camping at the Outer Banks of NC to celebrate. Since more is merrier, we invited along my sister Jenny and her family (and by sheer coincidence my sister Lauralee and her family also crashed the camping trip) and spent several wonderful days indulging in the following activities - playing and doing absolutely nothing (and a lot of driving). Here are a few photos from our trip.

Savannah, Alan and Katie Mae with their Uncle D.

Super cute beach bum Katie Mae with her much beloved daddy

Sandy sunflower Savannah

Lauralee, Jenny and myself (check out my nice farmer's tan)

Joe and Alan kicking back in a sand chair

May 11, 2010

There are several parts and pieces of nature that I have yet to find any good reason for, such as ticks and mosquitoes (pretty much any small creature that wants to suck my blood). Until recently, I would have put poison ivy on that list as well, but my latest encounter with the itchy plant has given me a new perspective. For almost a week now I have been suffering from an intense case of poison ivy, including swollen face and hands, that has made me believe that poison ivy may have been put on this earth to give me a deeper understanding and compassion for those who suffer serious addictions. While I have been very fortunate thus far in my life to not have personally experienced a battle with addiction, I can imagine it would go something like this:

Almost unconsciously, I find myself gently scratching my hands. It seems so innocent at first. It feels SOO good, and it's just a gentle scratching, more rubbing than scratching, and I can quit any time, really. But soon, the innocence and pleasure are gone, replaced by an angry burning and an overall horror when I realize I can't stop. In fact, I'd probably go so far as to claw my own skin off!!! Help!! I need an intervention! Somebody tie my hands up!

At least my personal training in empathy will only last one to two weeks. :(

May 08, 2010

It is getting a little crowded in the "shower" these days! The following plants are patiently awaiting their introduction to the real world in another week or so:
8 different kinds of tomatoes, basil, 4 different kind of peppers, calendula, chamomile, ground cherries, wonderberries, dwarf marigolds, dwarf zinnias, signet marigolds, dahlias, alysum, gazanias, portulacca, and oregano.

May 07, 2010

Today is the ninth full day I have been without Joe, who is currently volunteering his time at a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in Blue Ridge, VA. Luckily I only have one more full day without him because 1) I miss him teribly and 2) I'm falling apart over here! I never realized how many of my "good" habits were really Joe's habits that I follow by association. For instance, Joe regularly flosses, goes to bed early, rises early and (generally) eats healthy. Since he's been gone, I may have flossed twice; I've been staying up so late (well, only 10:30, but after 4 years with Joe, that's LATE!) that I force myself to stay awake rather than just turn off the movie and go to sleep; and at least one meal each day has consisted of a banana and saltine crackers with peanut butter (in my defense, I have been adding chia seeds to the peanut butter to increase the health value).

I may be being a little bit hard on myself here because I have also been eating delicious, fresh salads from the garden at least one meal a day. Without Joe, and without refrigeration, I have little motivation to do any real cooking, so I feel like I've been grazing and snacking for 10-days now. Also in my defense, during Joe's absence I have managed to:

  • Continue earning a living

  • Keep all our animals alive and healthy

  • Keep the greenhouse and garden watered

  • Do some serious beehive maintenance (with wonderful help from my little sister, sorry about the sting Jenny!)

  • and, Install a frog pond!

So, maybe "falling apart" is a bit extreme, but I'm still looking very forward to having him home again. Wilson, on the other hand, is definitely falling apart without Joe, but that's another story.

May 01, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

Ahh, Saturday morning. I worked hard all day Thursday and Friday; Joe is away on extended meditation activities; I have no obligations to anyone today - sounds like the perfect recipe for sleeping in a little later, doesn't it? Well, that was the plan.

The first kink in the plan came when Foxy started meowing at the door around O-dark-thirty (sp.?) Foxy likes to bring the fruits of his nighttime hunting expeditions into the house to enjoy on the rug right below our bed. Joe, usually being the first one out of bed in the morning, has on several occasions had the misfortune of stepping into the juicy remains of Foxy's nocturnal feasts. Because of this, Foxy has lost his dog-door privileges and now gets his revenge by meowing at the door at unpleasant times. I'm an old-pro at ignoring him, however, so that was only a minor blip in the sleep-in plan.

The real upset came at 6:20 A.M. when the hunters who own the land behind ours drove back to do some early morning turkey hunting. This set Lily and Wilson into a barking frenzy. We don't get many visitors back here, especially ones that aren't actually "visiting", so any arrival is an event worth barking at, but Lily seems to think these particular guys are up to no good and will follow them back into the woods barking, barking, barking. While I can understand her distrust of guys who skulk around in the woods with guns, as a general rule I think it's best not to unnecessarily irritate people with firearms. So, out of bed I went, onto the porch to call Lily back home. This took a while as Lily, even though she was coming, kept stopping every few steps to sling one last insult back over her shoulder.

With Lily and Wilson inside and calmed down, I headed back to bed despite the fact that I was now wide awake. I could still have my few minutes of stillness and listen to the birds waking up. Well, more like one bird waking up. Chickadena decided to park himself right under the window and practice his new crowing skills. This started a session of dueling roosters as Reynaldo declared his supremacy from over at the pen.

At 6:45, I was out of bed for good. There's nothing like getting up early to get your day off to a good start! I managed to beat the heat and got my new frog pond installed by noon. There's always tomorrow morning for sleeping in….and the good news is, it's against the law to hunt on Sundays. :)