Thursday, August 2, 2007

summer countdown

its hot again! yesterday we piled all the kids and some grownups into our 15 passenger van and drove to the mountains for a swimming hole adventure in the Shenandoah. it was so nice to get off the farm and into some nice, cool water! we stopped at the farm stand on the way (virginia ham, holloway's corn and rat cheese) for some fresh local peaches. lately my diet has been consisting of fresh corn, watermelon, cucumbers, and peaches. sky and i are going to a local you-pick blueberry place tonight, so i'll be diversifying to include blueberry pancakes and smoothies...

we (ez, sky and i) played music for awhile last night, in anticipation of the Communities Conference contra dance we'll be putting on in a couple of weeks. Ezra is all about the jazz standards these days, so we put together some "interesting" new sets.

today i'm buckling down, sorting through all of my stuff and (hopefully) getting rid of/sending home most of it. i don't like having my room overtaken by crap, so i'm gonna try andget it all done today so i can have my room back. count-down mode is taking over as my departure looms ever closer...

Monday, July 30, 2007

cool harvest

well, the belly dance hafla was quite an event! i'll try and post some photos soon. a bunch of awesome musicians came out; they set up middle eastern-style and rugs and cushions on the floor. there were a bunch of drums, and Crow who was playing oud, fiddle, guitar and a drone-box thing. i played fiddle for a while, Crow asked me to tune down a whole step since everything is in the key of C! it was so hypnotic playing that way, it felt really good. an afternoon of music interspersed with bread-baking and meditation.

but.......there was distant thunder by late afternoon, and when i finally got down to the barn at 7pm for the evening milking, the storm was starting to blow by. treating sick cow and 3 very rambunctious calves meant that the darkness and storm were closing in at herding time. it was exciting and a bit alarming to be hooking up electric fences while lightening flashed in the sky! i biked home just as it started raining.

now its monday lunchtime, we just finished a 4 hour, all harvest garden shift. giant, gorgeous rainbow chard, okra, squash, zucchini, eggplant, way too much corn, and roma tomatoes for salsa. it feels really good in all the usual cheezy sorts of ways to be doing lots of gardening, but sometimes i wish i could relax a little bit more on garden shifts. i always worry that i'm not working hard or well enough.

10 more buckets of apples appeared in the kitchen yesterday, so its good that the applesauce train is chugging on! today is thankfully grey and cool, but the rest of the week is supposed to be in the scorching 90's.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

summer sunday

sunday noon and i'm listening to "a prairie home companion" in my boyfriend sky's room. i grew up on this radio show and it has deep nostalgic resonance for me. sky and i are always arguing about the relative merits of national(istic, as he calls it) public radio. despite their increasing level of corporate sellout advertising and somewhat conservative news reporting slant, i'm a fan. npr news, not to mention the other great programming--this american life, wait, wait don't tell me (the npr news quiz show), and of course, a prairie home companion are like familiar old friends to me. listening to these shows makes me feel more connected to the larger cultural movement that i consider myself a part of--liberal/radical, artsy, and silly. living at twin oaks can certainly feel isolating sometimes and its been a real blessing to have several good npr stations here, as well as work that can fit around or include radio-listening.

speaking of work, i've got to finish dealing with the jars of applesauce we canned last night. the applesauce shift it turned out to be quite a production! apple bits covering everything, lots of steam burns, and about 30 beautiful of jars of (admittedly a bit runny) sorghum-sweetened applesauce. we got rid of 5 big buckets of apples, but there's about 13 still waiting in our walk-in fridge. we're going to do another round tomorrow night, cooking up the apples in our big tilting skillet, then running them through our very ghetto electronic apple-saucer.

this afternoon, a couple of folks are hosting a belly dance hafla, drummers and belly dancers jamming out on the grassy lawn. i'll probably drop in and play along a bit on the fiddle. after that i've got the evening milking shift, which will be a bit of a circus as we've now got 3 new baby calves that need to be hand fed--and they are some wild and vigorous babies!