Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Days of Future Cow

I have big plans, y'all. Big. I have this grand plan for our homestead and it involves a huge greenhouse (because the 8 month growing season in South Carolina obviously isn't long enough, duh), a cow, and homemade cheese. And yogurt. And butter. And sour cream.

I just can't get enough. Every time I go to the store and spend SO MUCH money on dairy, I long for a cow. Every time I run out of yogurt or see all the crap ingredients in store bought yogurt, I gaze dreamily off into space, waxing rhapsodic about the joys and benefits of having a cow. My cow. My very own cow.

I choose these times to blatantly ignore all the hard work and early mornings that go along with having a dairy cow. All the mud and poop and sweat and pre-dawn milkings fall by the wayside in those daydreams. It's me and my cow, getting real.

And I'm THIS close to convincing B to go along with this insane plan. We're talking about how to manage our pasture for a  future cow AND future goats (and maybe even future sheep, but that ones on the back burner).We're talking about electric fence and milking stands and bottle feeding baby cows. We're really talking about it...

Our own dairy cow.


I wanted to photoshop my face over hers...but I don't have photoshop,
 so you'll just have to use your imagination

Friday, May 23, 2014

It's Gettin', It's Gettin', It's Gettin' Kinda Hectic

For truth, it's getting crazy here. We made one small change and it completely disrupted and changed EVERYTHING. My once idyllic, peaceful, leaf-on-the-wind (Firefly ref, if you didn't get it, we can't be friends) mornings are now like the morning show in the seventh circle of hell.

We got a puppy.

She's Satan's puppy, I shit you not. And because EVERYONE who has a two year old says "hey, you know what would make this better? A tiny animal who bites and pees all the time and cries more than a newborn baby. Lets get one!!"...I'm totally kidding, nobody says that. Ever.

 Except me.

I'm being melodramatic. She's a treasure. A sweet, tiny ball of energy named Tess (also referred to as Tiny Bone because she has a tiny chew bone and the Littlest Dude thinks that's her name). She's a Boykin spaniel (state dog of South Carolina, sorry Georgia, I still love you) and I'm sure once she grows up a little, she will be a boon companion. I'll post pictures of her as soon as she stops wiggling long enough so that she is more than just a tiny brown blur.

In other news, we will be harvesting chickens this weekend. Yes. That means what you think it means. I have this rooster who has crowed his way into my rage. He wakes early, even by rooster standards (3am!!!) and crows consistently once every 15 seconds or so. His over-zealousness and eagerness to greet the day has sealed his fate.

We are still working on fencing and general farminess. We are in talks with one another about the feasibility of getting a dairy cow instead of (or in addition to) a herd of goats. I dream of cows. And cheese. And butter. And yogurt. And cream. And some of those things you just can't do with goat milk. But a cow. That's something. I just don't know if I'm ready for that.

Also on the list of farminess upcoming, bees!! We're totally getting bees next year. As soon as we figure out whether or not Max is allergic. Rumor has it, I had a great-great-grandfather who died of a bee sting, so we need to rule it out. If anyone in my family reads this and corrobororate, holla.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The State of Things and Stuff

A few updates:
  • I'm getting callouses on my hands.
  • I have ant bites all over my feet and ankles.
  • I have a farmer tan in the shape of a tank top.
  • I regularly pull dirt/leaves/straw from my hair.
  • My fingernails have permanent dirt under them.
  • By 8am every morning I've dealt with the feces of at least 3 different species of animal (not including my toddler)

It's starting to feel like a farm in the spring around here! We've still go so much to do to meet even half our goals for the year, though. We sat down to make a list of priorities a few days ago and it completely filled an entire sheet from a legal pad, three columns in my old man's very small print. It's ALMOST overwhelming, this task that we've set for ourselves. Almost. But I keep thinking about this time next year when we have our goats (or maybe our cow, shhhh don't tell B) and our beehives and our little duck pond. And we're drinking fresh milk and eating fresh butter on fresh bread with our own honey.

Just call me Ma Ingalls, right?

*Update on the dishcloth- still not done.
**Update on actually adding photos to this blog- my camera, she's broke. Until she's repaired, I'll leave you with this:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

What a Crock!!

Oh, Spring, you always get me. One day it's dreary, cold, and rainy, and the next SPRING! IN YOUR FACE! Before I even know it though, you're gone and its summer. One of the tragedies of living in the south I guess, the brevity of spring. When you're here, you are amazing, cool mornings, sunny afternoons, dogwoods and daffodils, but you are fleeting for sure.

Today was probably one of the last 75 degree days we'll have here for a while. We are expecting 90s all next week (I know, right? Back off summer!!) so I wanted to take full advantage of the spring-ish weather while I could and spent a lot of the day getting dirty. I lopped branches and raked mulch and pulled weeds and watered and walked around and looked at stuff. Lots of stuff here to look at. That's one of the best parts about moving to a new place in the spring, getting to see all the old landscaping and fruit trees come to life and surprise you. I have hostas I never suspected and some roses hidden away that I just found and hydrangeas that I thought for sure were dead as a doornail (what the hell is a doornail and why are they always referred to in that particular figure of speech? Anyone?). There are apples and pears and a fig tree that need love and oh oh oh the pecan trees!

Also, my garden is coming to life, but that's a post for a different day, after I have fully photo-documented all my tiny little sprouts. Because who doesn't love pictures of tiny, baby bean plants, am I right?

Also today, I scored the BEST FLEA MARKET FIND EVER. No seriously, look:

I'm not sure the year it was made, but it's an antique stoneware butter churn  crock, sans lid and paddle. I've wanted one of these for years and every time I see one, I covet the crap out of it. They are always way too expensive though. I've seen the anywhere from $60 or $70 all the way up to $150. Imagine my delight when the dude selling it let me have it for....$23.

I died.

Right there on the spot.

Now I just have it sitting on my living room floor so I can look at it and touch it when I walk by. I'm smitten.

It's been a good day, y'all, a really good day.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Toe-ing the Line

I spent a portion, a good portion actually, of my weekend dealing with shit in one fashion or another. Literal shit. Feces. Excrement. Number two. Yucky poo-poo, as my toddler calls it. And bless his toddling heart, not all of it was his. Most of it, in fact, was from a horse and was toe-ing the line between shit and dirt. It's a fine line, that one. When does poop that has been sitting around for Lord knows how long actually become dirt? At what point is it ok to touch bare-handed? At what point does it go from being "yucky poo-poo" to being "hell yeah, let me stick some tomatoes in that"?

Well, this weekend I bare-handedly stuck some tomatoes in a big raised bed filled with it, whatever it you call it. I'll try to get some photos this weekend. You can totally see pieces of intact horse poop (I'm refraining from using the word "turd" because I think that word is in poor taste. "Shit" isn't though. Shut up.). It's a cross between hilarious and off-putting. Y'all can be the judge. But the tomatoes I planted look AWESOME so far, so, yeah, horse shit for the win.

And that's the first step. The garden is planted. We're working on our fence and cleaning out the stalls (which are full of the aforementioned  horse shit) and making big plans. We've cleared the first hurdle, we bought the farm (literally, not in the metaphor-for-dying way). Well, we bought the property anyway. It's not quite a farm yet, but it has all the potential. It may take a couple years and I'm sure the rest of my hair will turn grey, but it'll be a farm, dammit.

Baby steps.

**update on the dishcloth...still not done. Carry on.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Broken Links Abound!!

Sundorwondor is under construction. I'm working on new ways to excite wonder. Pardon the broken links. I'll be back in action asap :) <3 y'all

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Dishcloth Manifesto

I'm sitting at my kitchen table, drinking coffee and watching birds go all out on each other for seed in the snow. I've been watching them for two days now and I can't get enough. There are cardinals, sparrows, eastern towhee (thanks Amy for telling me the name), titmouse(mice?), chickadees, and a few others that I can't name. The more I watch them, the more I think about our (potential) new home and all the little things I'm looking forward to, all the small touches that make a house a home. Bird feeders and windchimes and suncatchers in the windows, the familiar holiday decorations that a family sees year after year, the smells and sights that let you know this is your home not just the house you currently occupy.

I try to envision what our home will be like and I realize that it's entirely up to me (well, us, but mostly me) to make this house into the home we want it to be and I start to feel a little lost. I start to think about the things I'll need, the art for the walls and candles to burn and the wreaths to hang for this to be our home. And then I remember that we don't have those things that we've never before placed much importance on those things and then I get sad.

But THEN I realize that that's really stupid. And it is. Then I say to myself, K, don't be daft, don't be a consumer, don't go blow your tax refund on some crap to hang on the wall. So I take to the internet for inspiration, to my old favorites. There is a very particular aesthetic that I associate with the kind of lifestyle we hope to lead once we settle. A country, farmhouse, handmade, soft, and homey aesthetic. A simple aesthetic. There's a woman named Amanda Soule. She has a website, SouleMama. I WANT to BE her. Meaning that her aesthetic, her STUFF, is the stuff I want.

But, it's sooooo haarrddd to make all that stuff. The knitting and the crocheting and the sewing and making stuff..I mean, I kinda know how to do it, but I've never actually completed a project involving yarn or fabric or needles or any sort. Never. I lack follow through (to put it mildly).

But, since I don't have crafting gnomes at my beck and call to create pretty things for me, I guess I better get crackin', huh? One of my goals for this year is to actually complete a knitting project and I thought dishcloths would be a good place to start.

All your dishcloths are belong to me

I mean, dishcloths. That's gotta be easy, right? Plus, it's something for my home.

For a person who knits, I'm sure it would take all of about an hour to make a dishcloth. I'm giving myself until the end of March. I have a goal. I have a deadline. And soon I will have a dishcloth.

Tally ho!!