Monday, January 31, 2011

It Happened At Night -

Finally it happened at our house. When I went out to feed Sadie the Cat and Max the Dog at about 5:45 a.m., I saw the toilet paper hanging from our trees (the photo on the right is the view from the porch out towards the front gate. The other photo is what our house normally looks like). It was a beautiful job - in fact, with all of the trees around, I've often thought that our house would be the perfect candidate for an epic teepee. But, of course, Max the Dog lives out there, and would surely alert us of any hanky-panky, since he lives to bark at joggers, UPS men, and all kinds of critters. As I gazed at the strands, which had gotten moist from the night's fog and had then semi-frozen in place, I could imagine the perpetrators' glee as they realized they were in teepee wonderland.
....Have I mentioned that we have a dog? Yep - and a big, black, scary-looking one at that. And, he barks. A lot. But not that night. The dog that knows when someone is driving down the street with a dog in their car, and lets us know about it, chose to stay inside his doghouse, on the front porch, and sleep, instead of letting us know that our house was being strewn with paper (four days later, and after one rainstorm, there are still pieces of it twenty feet up in the tree tops). My first emotion that morning wasn't anger, but was extreme disappointment in my dog. What was he thinking? What was he doing? What had he eaten earlier that night to put him in some kind of apparent food coma? Shame, shame, shame.
We wondered who could have done it, but not for long - at 7a.m. Jason got the news that it was two junior high girls from down the street (why was this not a surprise?). That made me feel just the tiniest bit better - at least Max the Dog hadn't ignored a car or vehicle pulling up in front. Ironically, as I am typing this, that dog is barking at a group of cyclists heading down the road. What a dog!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We've Been Just a Little Bit Busy....

I can't believe it's almost February! We have gone from one event to the next in 2011. Jason finished up his soccer season by playing on the all-star team and being the leading goal-scorer, and has moved on to basketball season. Grace has been cheering at high school basketball games, and over the weekend went to the Winter Formal, which she also helped plan and decorate. Jamey has been keeping cars running, trying to keep the roof from leaking - again, cutting and trimming the yard (we are having spring-like weather and the poor plants are confused), and doing his 'regular job' down at Cal Poly. And as for me, well, I've been doing stuff too. I decided to read a book along with Grace (it's an assignment for her Honors English class) and it took me two weeks to finish. The book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (over ONE THOUSAND pages!), and while it was very interesting, I'm glad I'm finished, because while I was in the middle of it, my library called to tell me that the book I had placed on hold had come in. That book is Novella Carpenter's Farm City, about her adventures in urban farming - much more up my alley (and a mere 269 pages). She talks about raising chickens and turkeys, recycling, hippies, growing tomatoes.....hmmm, familiar!
Along the same lines, I've been to two 'Wild-At-Heart Farmgirl' meetings this month. I even recruited my sweet friend Heather to join. She is a true farm girl at heart - just look at the amazing cards she made me for Christmas! (top photo) And, last summer, she and her family moved to a new house not-really-but-kind-of-so they could have a place for chickens, and now she has four laying hens. This past Monday, we went to Theresa's house in Grover Beach, walked down the street to the monarch butterfly grove (they winter there, about 20,000 of them, from all over) and then learned to make yo-yo's. Not the Duncan, walk-the-dog yoyo, but the grandma's quilt-type yoyos. It was quite a victory for me, because it required sewing and I don't sew. Fortunately, that is not a required skill to join the farm girls. We made heart-shaped Valentine pins (see above photo), but also got ideas for canning lids, greeting cards, Christmas ornaments, and all kinds of yoyo things. And I have to say, I may not know how to sew, but I did pick out some pretty cool fabric! And now I have something else to do in all of my nonexistent free time!