Tuesday, November 15, 2016


It's unusual to start with a morning photo of the moon, but in fact, it is that lunar spectacle that catches my eye as I walk to the cheeper coop just before the sky takes on the light of a sunrise. The moon had moved in the course of the night from east to west and it strikes me that it, too, has a path and yet it feels mysterious and unfamiliar to me -- unlike the sun, whose movement I follow all year long, constantly. Poor, forgotten moon! Well, you get your moment today as I start my post with you in mind.

farmete life-4.jpg

Breakfast is in the sun room. I float three ideas past Ed. Poor guy, he hates just saying no to everything that I put on the table, so he picks a yes for one, a maybe for the second and sticks with a no to my third (which, predictably was the most significant and so it had little chance of sliding in on the coattails of the others).

farmete life-9.jpg

The "yes" is simple enough: I want to shave that Santa Claus beard off already.
You look so much younger without all the white hair spilling down your face!
Is that important?
No, but let me trim it off anyway.
I do. He looks way better.

The "maybe" has to do with holiday lights, or as I prefer to call them "winter lights," because I like it when they go on when the days are short (now!) and stay on until the first crocuses break ground in March.

It's no secret that Ed's not much of a holiday guy, but he has a soft and sweet side to him and he can actually get quite engrossed in projects that have a direct or indirect link to seasonal celebrations.

We test the lights on the porch: good and ready to flip on, starting tonight! But I remind him that the ones around the entrance door gave out last winter. In other words, we need new ones.

We're off, on this again sunny and mild November day, oddly out of sync with a mission to find winter lights for the farmhouse.

(The landscape around us is so pretty when the sky puts on that cornflower and cotton balls look!)

farmete life-10.jpg

In one of the big box stores, I form a ridiculously strong attachment to a blue-yellow-white combination of lights. And I also notice the twinkling characters (you know -- the deer, the snowmen, etc) that people scatter on their suburban lawns. There was a time when I would regard this as kitsch of the highest order. Nothing I would ever put in my yard!

But over time, Ed and I have softened on our tolerance for some small aspects of it. Perhaps it's a bit of a joke for him (after all, he has attached a forlorn stuffed Santa that he found in the gutter to his motorbike and believe me, Ed does not believe in Santa). Maybe it is for me as well, though I do find some prettiness in putting light into the landscape for those dark winter nights (which are that much darker here in the country).

I look past the Santas and elves and pick up a large light filled chicken (chicken??) decked in a winter scarf -- how about this?
You're kidding?
No, it's actually sort of charming.
I absolutely refuse to get anything that's not LED. Imagine how horrible it would look with bulbs burning out!

In this, I find permission to continue, so long as it's LED!

In the next big box store, we find nothing that passes our critical eye (and the LED requirement), but we do agree to extend strings of light along the farmhouse path.
Look here, these lights twinkle! -- I say this with some bit of excitement, which a little bit surprises me.
They don't match what we got for the door...

Still, we bring them home -- a mishmash of lights, twinkling and not twinkling, colorful and monochromatic. And of course, we conclude that they really dont work well together and therefore must be returned and exchanged for a more coordinated effort, but I call this a step forward! A day ago I would not have believed that Ed would accept the task of pounding posts into the ground along our walkway so that I could deck the place with twinkling light bulbs.

But for today, we're done. It's noon -- time for me to pick up Snowdrop!

farmete life-12.jpg

(For a moment I am tempted to drag her to the stores with us to look at lights again, but I resist such selfish thoughts. Ed and I take forever to decide on any purchase, even one that doesn't call for great cash outlay. Snowdrop deserves a better afternoon.)

We walk with her to the coop where she studies our routines: check for eggs (none), load in more wood shavings (spoiled birds!), clean out the bucket of chicken droppings. Ah, farmette life! (Snowdrop is all too familiar with these small tasks and she is an experienced and excellent chicken caller: her loud "cheepers! come here cheepers!" can be heard far and wide as we call them in for their bread treat.)

farmete life-14.jpg

At the house, she feels the need to snuggle with her penguins. She is a tired girl. A nap will be a welcome pause after a full day.

farmete life-19.jpg

And indeed, it is a long nap. We're all recovering from bugs and viruses. Sleep, good sleep -- it's an essential.

The evening creeps in. Snowdrop is intensely engaged now in every game! Here, she's shopping. Target, she explains to me. 

farmete life-12-2.jpg

She and Ed decide on what essentials to put into her gorcery cart.

farmete life-26.jpg

Eventually, she piles a bowl with toy veggies and proclaims she is eating "soup for supper." To my knowledge, she has never had soup for supper (though it is indeed a staple at the farmhouse), yet there she is, piling on the vegetables ladled into a bowl from the toy soup pot.

farmete life-50.jpg

It's a quiet night. A darker night. A beautiful night.

Sleep well Snowdrop.

All of you -- sleep well.