Monday, May 28, 2007

3-cat mornings

You've heard of a 3-dog night, right? Well, this weekend had a couple 3-cat mornings. You know, when the cats snuggle in (carefully spaced, in the case of these cats) and advocate for staying in bed all day, like they do? Purrrr... yeah. The weather (dreary and cold) seemed to encourage sloth, too. But goshdarnit, the to-do list and some energy reserves prevailed, and this is what we got done this weekend:

Things planted this weekend (between WF and I):

Raspberries ("overflow" canes from a co-worker)
Persian Garden Kress
Kale (3 varieties)
Lettuce (4 varieties, some from Seed Savers farm)
Leaf Beet
Mustard Greens
Chinese Cabbage
Various flowers (pansies, snapdragons, petunias) transplanted

Loads of Laundry done and dried:

Band-aids applied: 2
(both from bedsheet-changing injuries-!?!)

Sneezes sneezed (from cleaning the super-cluttered spare room)
137 (not really, didn't actually count)

More days needed to get caught up on all projects:
About 365 (or infinite, eh?)

Actual real produce consumed from our garden:
Self-planted mustard greens, the best type! (See I'm not so far behind after all... the garden is helping me out. Whew!)

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Darn, I’m ready to stop working evenings (and days, and weekends, and...) The house is a mess, and poor WF has been fending completely for himself for dinners, etc lately. He usually does quite a bit of the cooking, anyway (I’m not really a stellar homemaker in the best of times, ahem) but I just haven’t been home at all lately... Busy bringin’ home the bacon, I suppose.

We’re mired in some cold, wet weather, so the gardens are just sitting... It looks nothing like this a year ago, that’s for sure.

Lutsen-cat is doing pretty well, limping along. Her back leg (torn ACL a while back) sits out at odd angles and flops around a bit, but she’s getting around enough to take a few whaps at the other cats and demand to be let outside, where she’s started to follow WF around the orchard again. Hoping she makes a more complete recovery eventually.

The chickens are fine, laying eggs but not sitting on them. WF got the chicken tractor up and running (vroooom-cluck!) so some lucky hens get to spend the days “outside” working up the ground. Still hoping for some pictures of the newly-hatched progeny over at our friend’s house. The friend’s 13 year old daughter is THRILLED with the hatch; she’s been writing us great updates on the blessed event.

Hmmm, the creative juices are just not flowin’ today; suppose I should pack up and head home, work-projects put off (until tomorrow, of course). Hoping sleep will help, gotta stop reading interesting books right before bed. Later!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Breaking (pipping?) News!

Breaking news, indeed...
I crack myself up (ha)! We just received word that 10 eggs from our hens have hatched out a friend’s house; he and his family have been using an incubator to start their chicken-raising adventure. Chicks are fine so far; hoping for pictures soon.

Guess all that overzealous rooster attention is leading to something good, anyway. Doing his part to spread Buff Orp genes around our region. Now if only one of OUR hens would decide to hatch out some of those fertilized eggs here, herself...

A rooster-related request for all you chicken-keepers out there: Schmutzie (I’ve mentioned her before, a bit more quirky and risqué than this humble site) recently got some very sobering news. She would love some inspirational pictures of strong roosters to collect here. Rooster-owners, how about sending some “real” chicken power her way!?

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Friday's average temp: 70ish
Today's average temp: 36
Today's weather highlight (lowlight?): waking up to snow on the deck
Time until Summer Solstice: 1 month
Yep, that's Minnesota for you!

Maybe it's the weather, but I'm just not getting into garden stuff yet. We have some brave cress and lettuce in the garden, but nothing blog-worthy yet. I just don't feel like the sun is quite ready to bless us with growing season yet, so why force it? In fact, the sky was looking downright grumpy today! Felt like something was watching us...

But the chickens are brave.

A few of the hens have been outfitted with their new "fashion for passion", ala this entry a while back. The roosters have been getting a little, shall we say, overzealous lately. The young rooster is managing to sneak in a little action more often, much to big rooster's dismay and vocal annoyance. But I suppose the saddles can keep the hens warm in this crazy weather, too!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Amazing spring colors last night. The chickens were not impressed; they were just hoping that I'd let them out!

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Bright Idea


“Not only are CFLs much more expensive than incandescent bulbs and emit light that many regard as inferior to incandescent bulbs, they pose a nightmare if they break and require special disposal procedures. Should government (egged on by environmentalists and the Wal-Marts of the world) impose on us such higher costs, denial of lighting choice, disposal hassles and breakage risks in the name of saving a few dollars every year on the electric bill?” -- Steven Milloy, editor of Junk Science, 4/30/07


Wow. Environmentalists AND Wal-Mart? Not often you see those two things lumped together as part of a right-wing consiracy about government control. This has been discussed many places before, but seems to be coming up more often. There was a high-profile case in Maine about someone being told to hire a contractor for $2000 to clean up a broken bulb. Not necessary, but it is important to be careful with these bulbs.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but to me the answer is clear:

USE CFLs. (Indeed, they are the ONLY type of bulb we use at our house; solar power requires low loads). They also reduce emissions from coal-burning power plants in an important, significant way.

BE CAREFUL WHEN HANDLING THEM. They do contain a small amount of mercury. Use care when cleaning up a broken bulb.

RECYCLE THEM WHEN THEY BURN OUT. We're lucky in MN that there are lots of options for doing so; hope it will get easier all over the country soon.

It's as simple as that. It's NOT a governmental conspiracy for "denial of lighting choices". Sheesh!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Another great truth remembered today:

Puppies sure are cute!

(Congrats to new puppy parents R and A!)

Summer's near:

2 firsts today:
The StingStop came out:

(Darn ticks; I really react to bites from anything that cares to bite me. Anyone have any good anti-itch secrets?)

And bare feet were spotted! This is a special Mother's Day mother-child foot photo courtesy of WF. I'm too shy to show the top view, so here's our feet view. Guess who's got the unpolished toes! (I've just never accepted the idea that my toes should be shiny for public display).

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blessed Geography

On a more serious note (I suppose that last entry was fairly flippant, eh?): many people in places near here (MN Gunflint Trail) or in places I used to live (Kansas, Nebraska) are dealing with some very scary natural phenomenons; fire, tornadoes and floods.

My heart goes out to all those people. We have been blessed with safety, fairly normal weather and an intact house; I'm grateful for so many things. Need to remember that gratitude and not let myself fall into complaining too much about ticks and mosquitoes; I'm happy to be HERE!

Coming Up for Air

OK, still here, just busy again... the glow of the weekend retreat lasted until early this week, when a series of events decided to pull me back to earth; boom. The earth is a really nice place, though, I just need to appreciate my generally soft landings. How about a list of springy things, for now:

1. Remember this rhubarb in this entry, not so long ago? The rhubarb now is unstoppable: it's ready to take over the world. I released it from its confinement, and it's exploding. It is surviving the chicken nibbling quite well. Now it tells me to get some baking/preserving done one of these days.....

2. The chickens are laying well, but no one has gone broody. WF is brooding a bit (heh) about this, hoping that one of the "girls" decides to sit on a nest and hatch us out some eggs again this year, soon. This day looked promising, but turned out just to be regular nest-box congestion (hurry up! I gotta... lay!)

3. The wood ticks have hatched, and they are much less welcome. I spent a bit of time in the woods last night, and ended up with about 15 opportunistic little buggers, some not making their presence known until late at night, crawling... eeesh. Hate ticks.

4. Leaves are definitely emerging from buds these days.... The weather has been crazy warm (80 degrees at least today). WF's excited to see how the apple trees and buds are doing; that man is apple crazy. I love the little mouse-ear leaves on the apple trees... it really IS spring! (Some mosquitoes came by to whisper that in my ear... bzzzzz).

And last (but not least, and not very springy, I suppose); Miss Lutsen the cat is taking it easy after injuring her knee (of all things!) the other night. We didn't see how she did it, but she was very vocally frustrated and hurting. Quick vet trip revealed that she's likely torn her ACL; sports injury kitty!

The vet tells us that cats can often heal pretty well from this, and she does seem to be doing better. It's hard to see her limping around, though; she's been the athletic one, following WF around the orchard like a puppy. I've been looking for more info about these types of things in cats, but apparently there's not alot that can be done short of an elaborate surgery; we'll see how her healing goes. I'm trying bone meal and vitamin C for support for now, trying to keep her calm and indoors. Send kitty recuperation thoughts!

Lutsen thanks you, and I thank you for reading. Really time for bed. Happy spring!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Raising Soul


So, where to begin? I sit here at my computer, a small sprig of cedar nearby. We have cedar here, but this is special, “imported” cedar. It is a reminder of an amazing experience, a weekend spent in reflection and reenergizing in Vermont. A small retreat center on the shore of a big lake (Lake Champlain), spring just beginning to spring, buds bursting, fiddleheads unfurling, eagles soaring. And an amazing, gifted workshop facilitator who gently led the group while participating, herself. Creating sacred space, ritual, hugs, healing, laughing, connecting.

Words really do pale when I try to explain the experience, even to myself. I was shy about telling people that I was going on a retreat to connect with my soul (sounds kinda cheesy, eh?), but something drew me there. I had a free plane ticket waiting around from years of occasional flying, so it really was a very reasonable indulgence, price-wise. I savored every minute of the trip. Met some people I consider kin. Found inspiration for the journey.

I really don’t understand why or how the experience held so much power, but it truly did. I went hoping to just rest and maybe relax; I found instead that I was asking (and receiving answers) to big questions that were simmering in the back of my mind. The Universe can provide some pretty obvious signs, when one is receptive. I was truly blessed, and am feeling powerful and hopeful for the future. The world looks different to me, in a very beautiful way. I hope to share this peace with WF, as well, and maybe... Namaste, Universe, and aho!

I will perhaps be writing more on this, and sharing bits with some of you personally, but I did want to share the link here. Visit Annie O’Shaughnessy’s Soul Flares and see for yourself. The website just gives a tiny taste; it’s hard to show so much impact in a little page, I think. Trust me, it was AMAZING. Go if you can. Read the good thoughts on the page if you can’t get away. Annie is planning on creating a “Wild Soul Tour 2008”: perhaps we’ll even host her in Minnesota. She’s not a guru offering a religious experience (not a cult, don't worry) just a regular, soulful, honest person who has a great skill at connecting. I hope many more people can find this kind of power and peace.

Thanks, and blessed be!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Today's message to the Universe (through the handy technology of a land-based blog):



(And please, take care of my suitcase. I'd really like it back at some point. There are some lessons in there, too). Thanks!