I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

a few days

What a funny few days.

Friday night D returned home from a week away to Thailand on business. Two days to travel, two days there, to days to return home. His internal clock is still not back on track. Saturday, of course, was pretty low-key as he slept in and then tried to get back onto our time.

Sunday was church, lunch out for D's birthday, and a laid-back afternoon and evening. Sunday night was the discovery of the first loss of a chick. I knew it was bound to happen sometime; there is a certain mortality rate in raising meat birds. One in our third batch of 14-15 isn't too bad. Hopefully it's our only one, though.

Yesterday was waking up early to start the first of four loads of laundry, then clean the house from the weekend's mess. The remaining chicks had their pen cleaned, thoroughly enjoying scratching in the new fluffy wood shavings.

Tim was due to come at 10 so that we could record some MIDI tracks for string parts for the CD. Basically this lets me play the parts we want to hear, we adjust any errors on the laptop, and then my music scoring program turns what I played into neatly-written music for the musicians. Amazing, really.

So walking out to see the cows standing where they shouldn't be at 9:45 was a bit of a bother. And they just don't listen to logic. One call to the farmer later, and he was on his way over to round them up and fix the fencing.

All was well for a 4 1/2 hour session that saw 2 songs completed. It's sounding good, I'm just getting impatient and wishing we were farther through the process. But I have to remember not to sacrifice quality for my impatience. And I'm sure someday I will learn to do that.


Thursday, 23 July 2009


Yesterday was a trip for the girls and I that we don't really count as a field trip, or a fun trip, but one that we make and learn a bit as we go. Yes, the chickens' one-way trip. Well, they do travel both ways but there are some severe changes between going there and returning home.

At 5am I was up and loading fourteen chickens, none of whom were pleased at being picked up (still have the scratches to show for it!), into a crate in the back of the pickup. Coolers were loaded in for the return trip, and off we went to the abattoir. Yaaay! I handed them over flapping, didn't really watch what happened, and returned four hours later to pick up fourteen neat, tidy, oven- or freezer-ready roasters.

I'm getting hardened though; last year was my first go at this and yes, sappy me had felt terribly guilty and I had even shed a few tears as I'd driven off after handing them over. This year? I watched what was happening with some detachment, passed them across, didn't feel any remorse, and drove away asking the girls if they thought we should go grab some breakfast. I don't think that hardening is translating across my life, just (a) I knew what to expect this year, and (b) I knew how good they were going to taste.

So, after 10 weeks of growing from little fuzzy day-old chicks, I had almost 100 pounds of chicken. Five of them were over 8 pounds, a size of chicken you just don't see in the grocery store. One never made it to the freezer and was supper last night, soup today. So even if part of me is hardening to farm realities, I'm happy again to fill my freezer with food I've grown, and to know where what I'm eating is coming from.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

miscellaneous oddities

Perhaps it's something we said. Summer stopped by for a bit, then left in a huff and I'm just not sure if we've been forgiven and it's coming back. Today it's rainy and dreary and cool and I'm just sort of thinking. So today, a little peek inside the world called "what Barb thinks about sometimes".

The little swallows sitting on the roof of my back entryway yesterday looked so cute, like a little flying school waiting for their turn to try.

Goaliemom and hubby are in Ukraine right now, undergoing the adoption process for our new niece. An amazing journey with which I know I cannot truly relate, but I am so, so excited for them. Can't wait to meet her!

I can't keep up with the dog's shedding. I vacuum like a good housewife, then 2 hours later you'd think I hadn't pulled the cleaner out for a month. Am contemplating skipping the middleman (floor) and simply vacuuming the dog. Yeah. Sam will looove that. D brushed him the other night and we have enough fur in the garbage can to make another dog - yet somehow, Sam is not yet bald.

And sort of vaguely roughly sort of kind of on that note, last week I did a first and used the spa gift certificate (Mother's Day!) to get my legs sugared. Sounds yummy, but isn't. Sugaring is like waxing - they apply stuff to your leg, talking nicely and soothingly so that you're lulled into a sense of security, then RIP the hair out. Granted, it was less painful than the time I tried a home-waxing thing on my legs a few years back (still have scary memories on that front). So I decided to go for a 'half leg', meaning just from the knees down. I wondered what they'd do if I went in and asked for a half leg but "just the back, please, that's half" or even better, "instead of two half legs, can you just do one whole one?". But I didn't want to anger the nice spa lady; she might hurt me. More so. All in all though, not too bad and I've gotta say not having to shave my legs is probably worth it. Today I go for a followup to catch the little hairs that managed to escape their fate. Oh yes, little ones, you will be found. And then your fate is sealed.

My garden motivation this year is about zero. Can a garden have a year of fallow? I'm working outside so it's not general laziness; there's just no itch to get growing stuff. Granted, with all the rain the growth itself doesn't seem to be an issue so much as what is actually growing.

I am liking the parts for the strings I've written but find I'm second-guessing myself. Not that that in itself is any surprise. I'm just wondering if they're too busy, but figure Tim will know and it's easier to scratch out some notes than to write new ones in. Uberguitarist sent me a lovely email about listening to the rough mixes and that was a huge encouragement.

Rain on the farmhouse's tin roof is still one of my favorite sounds.

The first batch of chicks is just about ready to make the one-way trip; they're big and plump now. While this is nothing new from last year, the change for 2009 comes tomorrow with a second batch of chicks. If all goes well we end up with 28 chickens in the freezer by fall. Not too shabby. Good thing we bought a second deep freeze.

I've written four new songs since starting work on the CD. The whole creating while creating thing is interesting. Perhaps creativity begets itself? Likely so. Of the four songs, one will appear on the current CD ('Something New'), while the others will be floating around in my mind and if a second project happens, they'll likely find their way there. It's an interesting shift in my writing, though, as while much of The View From Here will be songs written for and started in our church, the new songs are less overtly "worship music". About half of View's songs were written for our congregation to sing along with. None of the four new songs have that setting. Inspiration is an interesting thing. I love the songs on View but I must say some of these new ones are becoming favorites with me. I'm so fickle.

I ramble a lot.

I poached some salmon last week in white wine, then used the liquid in the pan, added some sauteed mushrooms and cream to make a sauce. Oh. My. Sooo good.

R is back from NC and had a wonderful time. She worked hard and was a bit homesick, but thoroughly enjoyed herself. I think she may have caught up with her sleep now. A and M had a good week, too, and it was good to see them step up and take on some of R's typical chores. A day camp is in the plans for next week and a sleepover with their best buddy Snowman has been on the request list for a little while now.

And with that, I've reached the back corner of my brain, found only more dog hair (surprise!) and some little rambling thoughts skittering around for today.