Saturday, October 02, 2021

Kitty's Choice

Maria is enjoying all of her classes, including Cartooning. This week's assignment: A single panel gag. I am pretty sure our own Feynman cat inspired this scene. Even the "best" cat food can't compare with whatever is on the dining table, and Feynman is usually the first one to come for dinner!

Friday, October 01, 2021

Oh My Goats It's October

This is my picture for "Hello, it's me, October. May I come in?" It's not as though I didn't expect Ocotber. In fact I am always in a state of being eager for October. And yet. It's here, and it feels sudden, and full of urgency, expectations. "Ready or not," time seems to announce, as it stands inches from my nose, "Things are happening, and this could get messy, busy, chaotic. We are here, and coming in. Open up!" I hesitate. I stammer. Just, oh my goats... I feel so unprepared, half-dressed, apologetic, embarrassed, and it's too late to duck and hide, or bolt the door.
Months and months ago, I discovered that in my stash I had 5 skeins of chunky yarn, so I started a shawl. Maybe it's been a year. I can't remember. I do remember committing to making a very relaxed, easy pace sort of project, so it gets worked on sporadically... a classic wip: work in progress. I thought it would make a very large shawl, since it's chunky and the pattern is loose, open? Anyway. I played the game of yarn chicken with the last skein, thinking I would be able to complete one last row, but I came up short by about 6 inches from the end. Nutz. I bought one more skein, convinced it was the same yarn. It is not the same yarn. Maybe I will have to frog the last row. Maybe I will put it in a drawer and forget it exists, and deal with it later. Maybe this is not an interesting subject, and it could account for why Chickenblog will always be an odd place, for the most random and nearly pointless discussions on practically anything.

One more random, possibly pointless musing before I sign off: The hens laid eggs. They hadn't stopped, by the way. It's just that I took a picture, because I found them to be particularly beautiful. In truth, I always find them to be particularly beautiful, so there really is nothing to distinguish this event from all the other times I gathered eggs.


Happy October!

Ready or not, open the door and welcome in the possibilities, the messy, busy, urgent things, and hopefully the soothing, inspiring, joyful things, too. I know I am stalling, hesitant. But time presses on, doesn't it? Oh my goats.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

September Farm

The light is changing. It's softer, diffused. Hard edges get a glow, and soft edges are a bit luminous. Maybe it's the angle of the sunlight, coming in lower. Maybe it's the overcast mornings, the deep marine layer, which has even brought rain. Maybe it's wishful thinking, my annual longing for any sign of fall. Happily, this year wishes are coming true, and we have had cool days, cooler nights, mists, and breezes. I have yet to see more than one tree at a time changing color, when I would love to see an entire grove or forest. But show me one branch of orange or yellow, or just dying leaves, and I feel a giddy surge of wonder, awe.
Ada is dressed for sweater weather in her golden caramel coat. She looks like a pumpkin spiced emissary, a harbinger of autumn, brisk mornings, warm mugs of favored beverages, handcrafting gifts, hygge, and nostalgia.

Some of the hens are molting, which is never a good look. Sometimes they molt very late in fall, and I feel worried for their chicken skin in the cold. They look humilitated, but it's never been fatal. I wonder if this early molt could be a sign that our fall will continue to be cool, that winter will come sooner, colder. Maybe? Maybe I am just doing more of that wishful thinking, longing to anticipate and enjoy continued good weather... rain, fog, storms, those brisk mornings.

I might go back out and sit a long while with the goats. What I would like is to stay long enough for Grace to kind of lose interest in me, so I can get more pictures of her. She is so energetic! And she's big. Bigger. She looks like a grown up goat, but still with her baby voice and enthusiam. It's not easy getting a focused photograph of her. She zooms in and pushes me, or she bolts and frolics, so I can only capture blurs and butt shots. Her youthful exuberance has influenced Tasha and Ada, who have more spring, more gambol since Grace moved in. When all three goats are out on the lawn, we all feel more spring and gambol. It's fun to be around happy goats, to feel their cheer.

Emma Thompson, our dowager hen, a Cuckoo Marans from the 2013 chicas.

Chickens, and goats, and cats in the house. That's our farm in September. Those dears, and some volunteer spoon tomatoes around the yard, and the last of the passionfruit which I should turn into curd. All that, and happy memories, and a few ideas, like planting a mandarin tree, filling in the old, broken pool, and upgrading the septic system with pits, to replace the leach field. Okay, not romantic, pretty farm talk, there! However! Once we do make a few improvements, we will have some options around bigger plans and hopes for this Big Blue House, our Bird House and Farm. One step at a time, and moving forward... it makes me eager to make this report, again, next September.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Friendly Fall Inspiration

An abundance of autumn beauty from Puanani, at Alberta Hen House, in Portland. She posted a beautiful scene and sent me more pictures, which I love. The colors and textures, the different material she used, all of it so skillfully arranged, have me breathless with seasonal bliss! This sort of decorating would tempt me to visit a pumpkin farm, or craft fair, or wish for a big autumn bouquet, but she's leveled up, bringing all of the beauty and inspiration to her own home, and I feel inspired to try something similar. I will be on the lookout for fallen leaves! I wish I had sunflower heads, but maybe I can add pinecones.

This is a post inspired by a bit of Fall activity... not my own, but that of some talented and inspiring folk. I've been enjoying their recent activities and figured you might like them, too. I am putting a cart before the horse, by not asking permission to use their images. Apologies... I can't help myself. Do you mind, Alicia? May I share, Puanani?
Does this make you want to play, too? It's like large scale floral arranging, and I am captivated by her results. Puanani probably found lots of good materials in her own lovely garden, and she is crediting her local nursery, Bloke PDX. You guys, they have something called a "Pumpkin Palace!" I'd love to pop over!
On a smaller scale, though no less delightful, Posie Gets Cozy is restocked with new, and old, Autumn Designs for sale. This is her latest cross-stitch offering in a seasonal series, called "The Mist and All." I am so tempted!
Somehow, I was rational and resisted, until I saw this design! I love them all, but The Leaves By Hundreds Came broke my resistance. Surely, I will get the house clean, remember to cook and pay bills, and do a teeny cross-stitch? Right? If I thought I could do all things, then I would add The Mist and All, too, and this next one...
The Things of Autumn, because Alicia Paulson makes Autumn Things even more breathtaking, and of course, cozy. Posie's shop is full of kits and gifts, and inspiration, for any season.
One more link, and a last bit of inspiration... I would love to see portraits of friends, like Puanani's, in your gardens, in places that make you smile, and fill you with delight. Sit beside your pumpkins, beneath a tree, with your cat, or with an armful of the last flowers of the season, and get your picture taken. I would love to see you smiling.