Thursday, July 29, 2010

The games we play.

Sometimes they're great fun, but they can be...tiring. We have, thankfully passed beyond the psychoanalysis game. We've also, again thankfully, passed through the dirty, smelly toilets game. Now we have different games.

Game number one is the dialogue game. Say we spot a butterfly on a flower. The Spawn wants to know what the butterfly is saying. And what the flower is saying. And back and forth until the conversation comes to a close, which isn't always as easy as it might seem.

Game number two is to have me or the Better Half "do" something. This means we have to provide the voice for some...thing. Sometimes we "do" a stuffed animal or puppet. Sometimes we "do" other things. Recently we went to a park and the Spawn realized she'd not brought an animal with her. We resorted to "doing" a goose feather. Today she was playing in the sprinklers and wanted me to "do" my pants, which had gotten rather damp from the water. She will often provide the voice for some animal, plant, or other herself, which can rather confuse the uninitiated.

And, of course, the eternal why. Not a game, per se, but equally fatiguing at times. Why is it a beautiful day? Why do we have to wear clothes when we go out and about? Why does that taste good/bad? Why is it cloudy? Why are you happy the blueberries are ripe? My version of "just because" has become "that's its nature" (in answer to such questions as "why does Caruso (the cat) sleep all the time?").

All sometimes fun, but sometimes I want to run gibbering into the woods for a while.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My daughter, the llama.

DSC_0014.NEF, originally uploaded by Sue_Solberg.

The Spawn has taken to being a llama quite a lot lately. And, of course, llamas spit.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lessons learned

Well, it's been almost four months since we moved to this house/property. They've been hectic. Fraught even, at least in spots. But we're still plugging along and may even have learned a few things.

Infrastructure first! Acquiring animals before there's fencing and/or shelter for them is not a good idea. It leads to greater hecticness and fraughtitude.

Railing against the weather does not make it improve. This is one of the joys of the lifestyle we have chosen. The weather DOES make a difference and there's still not much we can do about it. Especially without infrastructure (hopefully we'll have some raised beds in the garden for next spring, for instance).

Never, ever underestimate the ingenuity of sheep and goats. I think if they really wanted into Ft. Knox, they'd find a way. Grape vines are a snap in comparison. So is four foot range fencing, or so the alpha ewe seems to think.

Never, ever underestimate the ingenuity and determination of raccoons. They are pernicious creatures. I don't care how "cute" they are, they are far too fond of poultry as a meal.

You can lead a child to the woods, but you can't make her walk. The Spawn doesn't much care for our woods, except as a source of dainties. She'll happily eat salmonberries, thimbleberries (yumma, yumma, yumma), or blackberries. She will NOT happily walk back there to collect them. Ah well.

There's other stuff we've learned too, but it's pretty small, all things considered. Llamas are very undiscriminating when it comes to proving their masculinity. Roosters are not fond of competition. You CAN stuff day-old chicks under a broody hen and have her raise them (until the raccoons get her). Trees do not dispose of themselves after being felled. And selling firewood won't pay for the cost of felling and chopping the darned things.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

An idea whose time has come!

I've known people who were metaphorical pencil sharpeners, but never one who was a literal and professional pencil sharpener.

Though I can't say I'll be sending him any of my hard earned cash.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Aren't we organized?

This is probably our most official garden plan yet. It's a mess, but better than just throwing things into the ground at random, which is how the first half of the garden went in. Anything that gets pulled out at the end of the summer--all the squash, for instance--will get cover crops of some sort so the beds won't be totally flattened by the winter rains. We shall see how it goes.