Friday, May 29, 2015

Moments In The Garden

Last week the colors in our little orchard were glowing. If someone asked Do you like corals, deep orange colors, paler shades of greens? I would hesitate to say Yes. But nature always does it best, and if I saw apples on a tree, or succulents washed in a light rainfall, if the corals were the colors of peaches and apricots, and the pale greens the undersides of apple clusters, then I would say Oh, yes I do, with conviction. It was just these sorts of colors that drew me into the garden, where I found hearts and almost ripe peaches, Anna apples weighing down the tiny tree, and Dorsett Goldens, too. I added links in case you are in a similar growing region, because these two varieties have been completely wonderful, fruitful, happy trees. {Sunset calls this area a Zone 24: Marine influence.}

Today, Alex and I harvested two baskets of Anna apples. It seems early. Certainly not like last year when we picked in mid-June. They're ready, though. Crisp, not too sweet. They are tart enough to make a delicious pie, sweet enough to enjoy with a sharp cheddar. I think the Dorsett apples will be ready in another week, or two... and then! Baking? Canning? Apple sauces? We've learned from previous attempts that neither of these varieties stores well, so we will stuff ourselves now, and wish we had more, later. The other fruit making an early showing... our white fig. It's like dessert off a tree, truly luscious. We ate the dozen wee peaches. And the plum? Well, technically there were two plums. One for Maria, and one for a crow. Lucky crow! If our peaches, plums, and apricots ever produce like the apples, I will have to beg Marla and Sharon to come teach me how to can! They posted a gorgeous picture of jars and jars of canned peaches from their garden. The colors were glowing!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Funny Birds

Let's see. What have we here? Chicks, about six weeks old. This is not the age, nor stage, at which greeting cards use chicks for Easter cards. They are not in the phase where you'd say they look adorable, not as a first impression, anyway. No, this age is goofy, odd, awkward, ungainly, in-between. They are freaky feathered fowl. The last of their down flies off them like fluff from a dandelion. Their true feathers are coming in, and sticking out. They still peep like wee chicks, but they flap, flutter and fly with all the grace and coordination of Elaine Benes getting a dance started... they are funny!
Pippy and Pepper, Silver Laced Wyandottes. I might add, this is a doubtful stage and age, when one cannot be too sure of things... Are they chickens? Are they hens? Did we rescue genetically mutated starlings?

Sweet fancy Moses!

Pippy has more white feathers on her head. Write that down, for the quiz.

Just kidding. We still can't tell our Thompson from our Thomson.

And we still haven't settled on a name for this Ameracauna. I shouldn't name her Hazel, like I was considering, because that's our rat's name: Hazel Nutt. I think it's risky to name a hen when she's going through this phase... it inspires less than flattering suggestions! {Why am I thinking Phyllis Diller??}

The darker Ameracauna hasn't a name either. She may not be an Ameracauna. She may be a burrowing owlet, or an orphaned hawk. An escapee from the dinosaur cloning lab. We just don't know.

Fiona is the Buff Orpington. She's the tamest, the youngest, and the most likely to be an actual chicken.

And here's Pepper, photobombing. Funny birds.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

5 Things When I Am Sick

1. Do Not Blog: Do not post on social media. Do not say, "No one has ever felt this way before. I am the most sick. Was ever a woman made to suffer more?"

2. Do not describe symptoms... not in order of miserableness, nor in alphabetical order, not repeatedly to anyone within earshot, not in text messages.

3. Drink tea. Wash hands. Wear socks. My mother will be calling, and I want to sound convincing when she asks, "Are you drinking plenty of fluids? Are you washing your hands? I hope you are remembering to wear socks."

4. Find a comfortable position to "rest" in, then enjoy total recall of every errand, chore, appointment, commitment, duty, and obligation I've neglected, ever. Let it fester.

5. Imagine that, before I was sick, I was totally going to do all of those things I cannot do now.

6. Release a single tear of pity for noble martyrdom.

7. Resist the urge to make numbered lists... who can keep track of anything with only one eye open, and a raging sore throat??

8. Smell something. What is that??

9. Taste nothing. Food mocks my pain with bland flavors, but of course my appetite cannot be suppressed!

10. Think about my brain. Think about The Oatmeal. Think about making some oatmeal.

11. Read the entire Internet, then telepathically implore my friends to update their FB status, preferably with cat memes.

12. Smile, because at least I have an uncanny capacity for amusing myself.