Saturday, August 25, 2018

farmette days

In the afternoon I sit out on the porch sipping a coffee and munching on a brioche smothered with Dreamfarm goat cheese and I consider the very real possibility that we can't really tell if we're open to new ideas. When earlier I had asked Ed if he liked the new mattress and he said  -- it's okay but I liked the old one better, I retorted -- that's because you didn't pick the new one! You only like the stuff you pick, never things that are imposed on you.

He didn't agree: I look for new ideas from others all the time. I definitely am not stuck in my own way of doing things.
So long as you get to do the final pick, you're good. But if someone picks for you -- you resist to high heaven!

It's always fun to analyze the behavior of your loved one. Less fun to examine your own approach to life.

Like Ed, I think that I work hard to keep an open mind. And like him, I think I adjust all the time for ever the more clever game plan. And possibly, like him, way too frequently I'm bogged down in preconceptions and stale ideas.

Take the garden. I pulled on garden gloves, picked up clippers and set out to clear weeds, grasses and spent flowers out of at least some of the flower beds. I must have spent five hours on this, and for at least a handful of those hours, I had Ed's help. And still, as I step back to survey the progress, I can't help but think that the garden is past its prime.

Then along comes a guy who stopped by to pick up our broken TV. Apparently he likes to dabble in taking apart these things. He thanks us for the set and then says -- your garden is so beautiful! I am so jealous!

I was about to do my usual protest -- faded, past its prime, should have seen it in July. But then I considered the possibility that the flower beds are actually quite colorful and pretty to look at.  There is an interplay of perennials and annuals, but that's okay! Giverny relies heavily on annuals in the fall season. They aren't a lesser flower, they just have a different blooming habit in our northern climes.

Just because there isn't a single lily in the picture below, doesn't mean that I should treat it with less affection!

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Then there are the cheepers. Peach, the light brown hen was definitely stepping into the shoes of a lead hen when the three young ones were introduced to the flock. I used to glare at her as she pushed the little chickens away from the food.

But she doesn't do that anymore. If she's the top hen, you'd hardly know it. Look at her gently "kissing" the beak of Pepper!

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And here's a cheeper story for you: I kept telling Ed that the coop is to small and there isn't enough space for them to roost and lay eggs. He has been steadfastly saying that it's fine and that they take turns. After all, we tend to collect 3 - 4 eggs a day. Two little ones are probably not laying yet.

But when I went to feed the girls, I could not find Tomato. I searched everywhere and finally found her in the barn behind some boxes. When she got up, I saw some fifteen eggs in a neat little pile right where she had been sitting. Obviously this is not just today's loot!

Did that change Ed's mind about the coop? No. He claims that some chickens just like to lay eggs in their own special spot and we can now collect Tomato's eggs from behind the box.

We just like our own ideas, that's all.

(The big bed..)

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(the bed by the parked cars)

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Breakfast, on the porch.

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And after this late morning meal it's back to work in the gardens.

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(A view toward the porch: in July, it's all about the lilies. Now, it's a mixed bag of yellows along with phloxes and annuals.)

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Toward evening, Ed asks -- want to play tennis?
Play tennis? I want to sit on the couch and have someone serve me a good dinner.
Then how about biking over to get some fresh corn?

This is what happens when you go away -- your energy levels soar. You want to shake things up. Be a better person. Move more, do more. Oh, all this tapers off soon enough, but still, you return feeling just that much changed. Ed hadn't spent a night away from the farmhouse in more than three years. Shuffling his routines around a bit on the boat and now at home has surely been a good thing. Still, I have been working for five hours...

Ed, here's my final compromise: I will lift myself off the couch to motorbike with you to get corn.

The corn farmers also raise cattle. A baby calf was born just today. I span the field to find the babe, but am distracted by the show of cattle love before my eyes. Wait, isn't the mounting cow a female? Indeed: it appears that a cow in oestrus (meaning in a period of sexual receptivity) will mount anyone in sight!

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Still later, I ask -- would you like me to put away the cheepers tonight? That odious chore that is less odious when you don't have to do it!
I'll make us some popcorn.