Friday, December 14, 2012

Love On A Gloomy Friday

I found this little guy this morning while setting up the Farm Store.  I stopped to appreciate the significance of its shape, stepped outside to take this picture, and then continued setting up.  I emailed it to the woman in charge of the Farm's web presence.

And then my New York Times app flashed across the screen of my phone, BREAKING NEWS.  Heartbreaking news.  A mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school.  Children gunned down.  It seems to have set the entire world ablaze.

I hope to live in a world where everyone has access to affordable mental health care and support.  A world in which children are safe in their innocence.  I'm lucky to have the relationships I do with my parents— they always loved my brother and me.  They even loved us through our teenage years when we didn't necessarily love them back, or love anyone other than ourselves [and sometimes not even then].  Love is all around, but sometimes the patience to seek it out is lacking in our frenetic lives.  I think we owe it to ourselves and everyone around us to take a moment out of every day to appreciate love in some way.  Wouldn't the world be a better place?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

A Softer Side, A Harder Edge

I finally figured out what's missing from this blog... the entire "High Heels" side.  By now any readers must be fairly sure that I do, in fact, wear my Mucks a lot.  They're great [and so comfortable!] but... the Heels side of things is so much fun!

I just got a haircut.  For the last 10 years, I have been growing my hair out and chopping it, 10 to 12 inches at a time, for Locks of Love.  This time I'm going to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths instead [read why here].  In the past I have always cut it in the spring when the weather is warming up... but a few weeks ago I realized that it didn't make the foggiest sense to have a nice styled head of hair right as Farm Season 2013 was gearing up.  I need to be able to put it all in a ponytail by then!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cows n' Tumbleweed

"A cow is a very good animal in the field; but 
we turn her out of the garden."  
                                 — Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving, already? Whoa.

Another farm season is coming to a close... I spent most of the spring, summer and fall at Leistikow Farms with the goats, sheep, grapes, greenhouse/sauna and a yard that needed prepping for a wedding. A frenetic and fantastic month was spent at Rock Creek Farm during October— and in case you were wondering, a pumpkin patch is absolutely the best place to work around Halloween.  The farm store at Cure Organic Farm is open until mid-December, but suddenly it feels like I have a lot of free time again.  Time to ride my horse, time to clean up the yard, time to think about more painting projects in the house... And some time to rest.  My hands are slowly healing up from their perma-dirt and cracked state that ruled the summer.

I always intend to occupy this space more than I do.  Distractions are pretty great though; horses and dogs and goats and friends and food and time spent outdoors and time spent indoors with a great book. Yes please.  But I'm going to make a pledge to myself to get something up here at least once a week.  So there's that.

In the meantime, I spend some time over here, too... .  Christian and I collaborate on that one, or rather, he cooks and I eat and take pictures.  I make a mean cocktail too.  Come visit some time and find out for yourself!  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Newest addition to the Farmily...

We've been waiting for this sweet, tiny little creature to arrive for months.  Her mama, Lilly, took her sweet time getting ready to have them, but Daisy and her twin brother finally arrived the day I took over farmsitting duties so George and Kim could have a vacation.  The mamas seem to get a kick out of waiting until everyone leaves— when I took care of the farm in January for a week, 12 lambs were born.

Newborn goats are the I'm-going-to-shriek kind of cute.  Comical ears sticking out in all directions, a bemused look on their face, that waggling tail and infant-like bleat.  Resistance, as they say, is futile.  Daisy is the smallest kid I've ever seen, but she's sassy and insistent upon regular nursing.  It appears as if she's trying to make up for time lost in utero, because her brother is about as average as a baby goat can be.  When she sees him getting ready for a meal, she's quick to run over too.  Afterwards, they shake their little tails and stomp their little feet and jump around... and then it's nap time.

No doubt my estrogen levels spike any time I'm near the goat pen, and I convince myself that picking them up is really for their benefit— clearly these babies need to be handled regularly by humans.  It's for the kids! and in my their best interest...

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Rain at last!

A few days ago, someone told me the Boulder-area had gotten 3/4 of an inch of rain so far in July, which was more than we'd received in all of June.

It's been brutally hot the last few weeks-- animals, plants and people all suffer when previously-established [and long-standing] record streaks of triple-digit temperatures are broken. The heat coupled by a lack of rain has resulted in runaway wildfires all across the state and the region. Apparently, however, there's an upside this year; the weather patterns, coupled with all the haze and smoke that has been haunting us, were favorable to result in "monsoon" rains, to use the technical term I heard a weatherman use on the radio.

It rained today, starting in the afternoon and stretching languidly into evening. A cool grey sky, loop-de-loop clouds and a humid breeze begat a soaking rain. Goats, horses and dogs suddenly feel fresh and playful once more. Even the parched grass is starting to look feisty and green. I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and drink this newness in.

I asked Christian today, is it strange that I'm excited to do chores in the rain? My skin and soul have been thirsty too. No, he replied, not strange at all.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Country Wedding

No, not mine.

We've been preparing for a wedding at the farm for over a month now. The celebration took place yesterday and it was deeply satisfying to see everyone enjoy themselves, the food, and the simple beauty of the, and a, farm. One of our roosters, whom we call Handsome, even invited himself over and hung out behind the bar for a while.

My favorite part may have been the father of the groom breaking down into tears and exclaiming, "this is the proudest day of my life!" to a tearful audience... But it may also have been the many gracious guests who thanked us for the work we did. Or perhaps the guests who were excited about their first trip to a farm and had questions about the animals, or just took a walk through the vineyard and hops to explore. It's tough to pick a favorite because, after all the work and thought and sweat you put into an event like this, having everything go smoothly (while looking gooooood) is incredibly gratifying.

After 14 hours yesterday, I headed home exhausted but exhilarated. As George put it so well, if you plow and the smell of the fresh earth doesn't speak to you, well, farming isn't for you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Testing testing...

Apparently I can post directly from my phone, which will make pictures even easier to share! Not quite sure how this will work but let's give it a whirl, shall we?

I'm intoxicated presently by the heady aroma of strawberries. My fingers are red from juice, as I slice them in preparation to be frozen. We're trying to preserve food when we have an abundance, and I hope it will be a spectacular success come winter when all this currently-growing bounty has been plowed back into the earth and a cold wind is howling through the greenhouse.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Gathering Eggs

It may seem like a simple pleasure to take part in the daily ritual of egg-gathering.  Once you've tasted one of these, however... an egg to you will become anything but simple.

You may even be so inspired as to take them directly to the kitchen, along with some fresh spring chard of course...

After topping it with some sour cream, into the yolk— rich, fresh and golden— you go!  Talk about a real breakfast of champions; this will keep you energized all day long!  Not only because the food is rich and packed with nutrients to nourish your body, but because you gathered the egg and cut the greens and ate it sitting on a porch step in the sunshine.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hello, dream life.

Everything is perfect.  I won't bore you with details about what a wonderful boyfriend and partner I have, how much fun our dogs are, how much we love where we live.  But trust me, I couldn't have imagined anything better than where I am and what I'm doing.  These days I'm hardly ever on the computer, much to the chagrin of countless people with whom I mean to, and want to, stay connected.  It's pretty great, too, because just about all I do is sign in to pay a bill here and there.  While I'm not out working dawn till dusk outside everyday... some days that's not far from the truth.

I'm working on two, yes TWO farms.  Leistikow Farms which raises lamb and goats, hay, numerous grape varietals and produce in a greenhouse is my home-away-from-home these days.  George, Kim and Olivia make even the longest and most difficult days of work or life so much more bearable, richer, filled with a lot more laughter.  As of last week I'm also working two days a week in Cure Organic Farm's farm store.  Both jobs are a lot of fun, challenging in different ways, and shining examples of what local food can be— and what local farmers are capable of accomplishing.  I feel incredibly fortunate to be learning from some of the best farmers/people/characters in the area, and also to have this Farmily around me.

And oh, did I mention the BABY GOATS?!

So cute they make even the most hardened and impassive people melt.  Close to 70 have been born to date, and when you walk into the goat pen it appears to have been raining babies.  They snooze, they scamper, they do kick-flips off the barn walls, they nibble on your shirt or pants or neck or anything that comes within nibbling range.

See that handsome boy on the right?  When he was born [actually, pulled from his mama due to sheer size and limits of physics], he had swelling in his shoulders and neck that rendered him unable to lift his head to nurse.  We didn't realize this until he was 12 hours old or so, by that time quite weak and Eeyore-esque.  What struck me about him was how massive his head, neck and shoulders were, like a little bulldog.  I scooped him up, gave him a bottle and named him Biff.  Christian and I want to buy him from the farm and make him ours... and thus borne, a menagerie.

Are there any other additions to the Farmily, you might wonder?  Well as a matter of fact...

Not only do we have the most handsome boy in the world, but also the most beautiful girl:

I started leasing Roxy from George and Kim— joyful joy, HORSES!  It's been so long, far far too long, since horses have been in my life.  Everything about them feels like home to me, from their soft whiskers tickling your hand as they nuzzle for treats to the sweet green smell of their sweat.  I could shovel manure for the rest of my life and be a pretty happy girl.  

So, Roxy.  One day Christian was returning from a business trip to Toronto and said he had a surprise birthday present for me.  My birthday was a month off and he told me he was going to keep it a surprise.  Silly me, thought he had found a unique store of some kind in Toronto... but when I picked him up from the airport he jumped in the car and blurted out, "IboughtyouRoxyhappybirthday!"  My stunned open-mouthed silence turned to Are you serious?? and tears.  Mine!  My horse.  I'm still trying those words out in my head a month later.

Last but not least... something else I've always wanted.  Still not quite sure how it happened but I bought my very own American Freedom Machine.  I call her Bumble.  My Buttertruck.

Livin' the dream... still in my high heels and muck boots.  Wouldn't have it any other way.  I promise not to ignore this blog any longer... I'd like to go back to regaling you with pictures of random bits of beauty and cuteness, and the occasional rant or video or who knows what.  Life is too unpredictable to have it any other way!


P.S.  Here's the blog I've been neglecting this one for, in case you're wondering...