country life

Don't call me chicken

We've taken a big step here at Minnow Creek Lane.  I clean chicken poop now.  And chickens poop a lot.  Add that to my resume.  Sells well on Wall Street. 

Living in Manhattan did I ever dream of chickens? I can't say that I did.  Maybe hot wings with bleu cheese dressing.  Never the live kind.  But here on Orcas, where everyone raises chickens, things are different.  We have a stable, begging to be used for something other than Gerry's second shop, and I don't fancy myself a horse lady, despite looking quite at home in a pair of riding boots.  Chickens seemed like the natural introductory choice for a couple of city slickers.  Easy, right?

The quickie

It's that time of year again when I can't help all my dirty thoughts.  I spent a full ten minutes today scrubbing the stains from my hands.  Dirt stains.  Last week I was more likely to be prying a white, sticky, gluey mess from my forearms.  But Spring has arrived, the days have gotten longer, and the garden now trumps any indoor project, as magical as it may be, centered on flour, water, salt, and all that wild yeast hanging around my house.  I still want to tell you about my winter adventures with sourdough cultures and naturally leavened bread (and the extra "loaf" I've acquired), but it'll have to wait for a rainy stretch.  Today I'm filled with the alchemy that is Spring.

Garden Tools: Excel and then some

This is what happens when you cross a Wall Street junkie with 8 raised garden beds.  I tried.  For nearly two months I resisted the temptation to "organize" my garden, but alas, last week I broke down.  I know, it looks bad, but there is something to be said for having an action plan -- and putting my type A skills to use in the garden isn't the worst plan I've thought up.  This may actually be helpful: It's a map of what's currently in the garden (and the next round), and a diary of when it was planted, what varietal, and how frequently to succession plant.  When I was mastering Excel as an analyst at CSFB many years ago (probably to calculate year-on-year growth in industrial production in Argentina or to simulate the effective exchange rate produced by currency hedging strategies - FUN), I can't say I had the foresight to see its usefulness as a future novice farmer.  A transferable skill- we’re making progress.

Taxi ! Water Taxi ?

It’s been one-month since our movers arrived.  Let me rephrase that.  It’s been one month since the 18-wheeler that carried our most dear and useless belongings (a closetful of female power suits and countless silk breezy blouses) got stuck on our one-lane dirt road and two burly yet ever so polite movers showed up at the door to our empty new nest asking where the nearest UHaul location might be.  That’s right, they needed to rent a smaller rig.  The beast made it 3000 miles cross country all the way from New York City but couldn’t make it down our stretch of heaven.  Instead, it sat ominously parked by the main road on view for all our new “reduce, reuse, recycle” 4,453 neighbors (that includes summer residents!) while the movers packed load after load into a glorified mini-van to shuttle back and forth.