Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Real

Back at 10-12 hour days explaining gobbledygook, a few things pull me back to the real.

1. Goat babies.  This is birthing time at the homestead.  Poppy delivered a boy and a girl yesterday, and today Luti dropped 2 boys and a girl.  Fresca's probably next.  Luti's the boss of the barnyard.  If she wants something, she gets it or takes it. The way she has babies says it all.  She stands quietly and nibbles hay between pushes, without a single holler. She could have been Dr. Lamaze's inspiration.  Like all of our goats, Luti's boys will be named and much-loved every day of their lives, even though they're destined for a freezer.  Luti will charge on, no matter what.

2. Running and walking.  Today was a zero running day.  Instead, I walked with Karen, Lex and Rosie,  around and around our field.  The dogs love the .69 mile square and so do I.  If I carried a camera, I could always find something worth shooting on each side of that square -- for a start, pointed peaks, crisp creek, rolling river, pretty plants, and pleasing plantation. Ferry Field, a name given the ground underneath our feet, is the site of an encampment during that War of the Rebellion or War for Southern Independence, depending on point of view.  Each year, someone shows up with a metal detector to dig for relics.

3.  Gardening.  If I don't move dirt, I inspect it, checking to see if any new friends have appeared or changed.  Tomato and onion seeds continue to hide in starting trays in the greenhouse, while the early bird brassicas -- cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli --  seem pleased in their pots.  Ten varieties of lettuce are on the verge of salad dressing, maybe for our guests next week.  Outside, spinach seeds have sprouted.  Peas and onion sets play hard to get.  Last year's parsnips are greening up.  Maybe they're grateful for more time.  I've cracked open the coldframe for its baby lettuces.  The fruit trees and grapevines wait patiently for grooming; do they know the best time to prune is when there's time to prune?

4. Dining.  Yes, I like to dine.  Rarely -- today was one of those days, my gourmet chef wasn't in the mood -- I stir things up in the kitchen, this evening a well-balanced diet of cornbread and brownies.  We tossed the cornbread with our home-made maple syrup.  It's standard practice to use food we find on the homestead, but certain things, such as maple syrup, are especially extra special.  We still have a couple buckets hanging on the maples.  The goats drink those buckets bare.

5.  Music.  Even if it doesn't play, music's there, milling my mind.  On my way home from Ohio last week, a CD found in my parents' collection introduced me to Yma Sumac, a Peruvian singer born the year of my parents, 1922, who could sing -- she died in 2008 -- like a man or higher than a coloratura.  Some of her songs filled my head as I pieced Regulation Z changes into an update due next week.

"You worry me," says Virginia, "spending so much time on unimportant things."

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