Saturday, April 17, 2010

SpRiNg BrEaK!

Long Field, below our knob pasture, with red buds blooming.

Our nine bred heifers (so far 3 calves have been born and there are 6 more to come). Tonight on our walk I decided that we should name them Cora, Dora, Explora, Flora, Gomorrah, Lora, Moira, Nora & Zora–as they are heifers, we will keep them for a long time to have more calves.

One of our new Buckeye chicks.
If you are wondering what became of the pantry essay contest in honor of In The Pantry's 5th anniversary, the winner will be announced on April 21st (the exact five year date from my first blog entry). There were many fine and varied entries and I probably need a committee to decide (so I'll consult the hens if you don't mind). If you've wondered why I haven't blogged in a month–I think an embarrassing record for me here–this is what I've been doing instead:
  • Walking, a lot. The weather has been opportune and winter was long. I've been really getting to know our farm a bit better this way and enjoying longer stretches of the ridge roads, sometimes solo and sometimes with my menfolk and always with our puppies. (I still call them that, even though they are a year-and-a-half now–but hollering "PupPEES!" out the door is easier and more vocal than saying, "DOGS!")
  • Delighting in spring in all ways but not in the intensive cleaning that I should be doing.
  • Submitting queries and article ideas to new magazine possibilities.
  • Spinning my wheels about "what's next" and excited about what dreams may come (isn't having something to look forward or hope for always the best way out of any funk? Not that there is anything wrong with being "funky"...).
  • Planting seeds for some summer flowers and vegetables.
  • Planting some fruit and ornamental trees, as well as blackberries, near our future farmhouse site across the road (and adjacent to existing farm buildings and Ida's old house and future guest house).
  • Tending to new Buckeye chicks (30 arrived in early April from Welp Hatchery).
  • Enjoying our new cattle: 9 bred heifers and three babies, also since early April.
  • Baking snacks for, and helping to coordinate, our fencing crew.
  • Entering photography contests here and there (and taking lots of photos of our glorious Appalachian spring).
  • Enjoying our boys' nice Easter vacation week.
  • Reading everything but what I'm supposed to be finishing at Cupcake Chronicles (and catching up on lapsed reads, as well as this month's selection, too: so gaining on that! Right now we're reading the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout).
  • Singing with the Pleasant Hill Shaker Singers (it is so great to be singing again!).
  • Doing a lot of rain dancing of late (drought here) and missing our usual April thunderstorms.
  • Helping with a benefit Haiti Auction run by the Old Order Mennonites in Casey County.
  • Polishing my resumé, dusting off some clips and gathering more recent ones, and applying for an amazing job opportunity.
Anything but blogging or writing. In fact, I'm not on the computer much at all these days. I have had a flurry of book orders from some rejuvenated press and if you've ordered a copy of The Pantry in the past two weeks, they will be shipped out asap on Monday, April 19. I try to be but, alas, I am not always as expedient. When you are the writer, marketer and distributor, and live off the beaten track from the local post office, these things don't always get tended to as quickly as they might be. Thank you for your patience with the lack of blogging, too. I do intend to write more soon.

In the meantime, enjoy the beauties and wonders of spring wherever you are.



PS In fact, it's been so long since I've blogged that Blogger has gone and changed some formatting things like ways to insert photos and the whole "Compose" bar is different. So I'm hoping for the best here! I'd like to think that every new Facebook or Blogger change is for the better but we do get set in our ways...

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