Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall is my favorite...for many reasons!


Well, I’m pleased to report that the nightstands project had good results. They don’t look half bad. Of course, it helps that they are mostly observed in low light. And speaking of light, my lampshades turned out fairly well too. I just took an old map of the USA and ripped it into random pieces, modpodging them this way and that over the shade. I made sure that nothing lined up, and nothing was predictable, and so it’s hard to find something wrong with it.  At least I have learned one thing in my crafting adventures: if you’re not the most precise, don’t do anything that requires straight lines or pattern matching. Random is the imprecise one’s friend!

I’ve been working on other projects too…mostly of the maintenance sort, but it feels very good to be catching up on them.

I don’t know what it is about summer, but, even after harvest is over, I find myself pacing in the house, wringing my hands while I look out the window, waiting for something urgent to call me to action.

I can sure waste a lot of time that way…I think it is my own version of post-traumatic-stress, that is, Post Harvest Traumatic Stress.

When Fall arrives, it seems a switch in my brain flips, and I come into my own again. I wake up on time. I get into a routine, and return to rational thinking…well, mostly… and some days I get a lot done!

And I have a long list of things that need to be done…all that stuff that didn’t happen while I was pacing and looking at summer out the window…

So far, I’ve cleaned up the garden, and froze the veggies: carrots, peppers, even beets (that’s an experiment).  The flower beds are cleaned out. I had no mercy this year! I always have a hard time throwing out plants that are still blooming, but aphids were taking over; I was tired of watering; the coming rains make the container plants look bad…Goodbye pots and baskets! Goodbye annuals! And now – I’m glad it is all done.

Today, Caitlin helped me tidy up and sweep out the Horse Shed – aka The Repository For Things We Don’t Know What To Do With. No mercy there either…A large pile of “Why do we still have this?” stuff will travel to the dump tomorrow.

Oh, Autumn…besides pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider donuts, pumpkin bars and cozy firesides, I love thee because I get stuff done!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Another verdict is in...


…I suck at painting.

And, as luck would have it, I really enjoy doing it.

It’s been long enough since my last project that I forgot just how lacking in talent I am at painting furniture, so I determined that our nightstands would look so much better if they were painted Old White.

I followed the suggestion of our Annie Sloan Chalk Paint expert, Chris (and thank you, Chris!) and thinned the paint a little. It helped quite a lot! But it still couldn’t make up for my lack of dexterity, and the slapdash way I go at these things.

It became apparent early on that my vision of the finished night stands would not match the reality of the results.

So this time, I decided to do something different.

I accepted that they wouldn’t be perfect, and chose to enjoy the process without worrying about what other people might think when they know that I painted them, and not some factory in China.

I can only accomplish so much, and, besides, my nightstand is always covered with stuff. That doesn’t allow for close scrutiny anyway.

And I’m going to keep on painting…because I like it…and, operating on The Hundred Pie Principle (that is: you can become a good pie baker; you just have to make a hundred bad ones first), I just someday may be able to have both pleasure and success.

Or maybe just a lot of sloppily painted furniture.

I hear ARC will pick up stuff you don't want right from your front door...so I'm covered.

Low light makes these babies look fabulous!
 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Years of my life...


On Sunday, we took a day long vacation.

This is a learned skill for Honcoops. They tend to think that working without suffering physical or mental distress is a vacation. Who needs a day off to do unproductive stuff? Besides, you’re not really working unless you are suffering some kind of physical or mental distress.

I guess it lets them know they are alive.

That kind of stuff has the opposite effect on me. It makes me think I’m dying.

Anyway, it doesn’t come naturally for Honcoops to take a day off, just to relax and do fun stuff. I’m really quite proud of The Farmer for learning to do this, and not under duress.

Our first stop was IHOP because we’ve seen just a few too many ads on TV about their pancakes, waffles, and omelets.

But when I saw those two magic words on the menu – Eggs Benedict – I forgot about pancakes. The Farmer stuck with pancakes and ordered his favorite – Double Blueberry…along with his eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns…and so on!

We tucked into our delicious breakfasts, and after I had finished, I began to wonder how many years of my life I have spent watching The Farmer eat…watching, and waiting for him to finish. Thirty-four years together…potentially 37,230 meals have been consumed in that time...If you assign each meal an hour of time that would be over 4 years of my life. Let’s be more reasonable and cut that in half.

That’s still 2 years, folks. TWO YEARS of trying not to pick at the food left on the table, unsuccessfully, I might add…TWO YEARS of waiting to clear the table. I should at least have been reading a book.

Of course, The Farmer and I are as different in our approaches to eating, as we are with working. I’ve been trying to improve on this, especially since my polite and proper daughter-in-law joined our family, because I became aware that I pretty much look like a country bumpkin at the table. Emily Post, I am not. I eat too quickly, and voluminously. I just love to crunch and munch…It’s not so much about fueling up. It’s about the experience, and I like to experience a lot -- quickly. I’m trying to learn to savor more slowly, and be graceful as I empty my plate…but it’s a work in progress.

True to form, The Farmer has a plan for consuming his needed calories for fuel, and is irritatingly meticulous in his preparation of the items on his plate. The rest of us are finishing up by the time he has everything properly salted, buttered and situated on his plate. Then he still has to consume his food, which is also done with concentrated attention to the proper proportion of, say, gravy to mashed potatoes in each bite.

I distinctly remember sitting across from him in a restaurant after one of the boys’ far away football games. I was exhausted, and wanted to get to our hotel to get warmed up in a cozy bed. I had not ordered a dessert because I was trying to be “good” with my calorie consumption. He decided that he HAD to have a piece of blackberry pie, WITH ice cream. For 30 minutes, I watched him peel off a tiny sliver of pie, and then repeatedly stroke the ice cream until he had the perfect proportion on his miniature bite of pie before finally putting it in his mouth.

I think it was the closest I ever came to popping him one.

And last Sunday, there I was again…watching the blueberry pancakes being carved into small pieces that were carefully coated in blueberry sauce, then syrup and whip cream…and I began to ponder the years I have spent in this activity…years of my life watching him eat.

Thank God, for a carafe of coffee.

It made it tolerable, and that was especially helpful as the cook forgot to put blueberries in his pancakes the first time. They had to be redone, and didn’t arrive until I was finished with my plate.

Eventually, my impatience began to show. The Farmer looked across the table at me and said, “Relax! We’re on vacation!”

Oh, the irony…on so many levels…

So – I heeded his admonition, and we had a wonderful day, exploring, driving Chuckanut, and visiting Dillon and Tiffany and her parents at their campsite.

We had dinner out before heading home…and I remembered that I have a smartphone which can keep me occupied while I wait.

I think I learned a new skill too.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's going to take more than that...

A group of farmers from Belarus visited our farm the other day. They left an assortment of goodies as a thank-you gift.
 
Included was a miniature broom that is hung in your house to keep the evil spirits away.
 
Well, the evidence is in.
 
It doesn't work.
 
The devil made them do it, they said.

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)