Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Birds and Things

For whatever reason, these photos that I uploaded from my phone are all wacky in their spacing and sizes, and not chronological (of course). But, even so, I think they're a good batch and don't have the patience to figure out what the html issue is, so apologies for the huge block of text followed by awkwardly skewed photos with no proper breaks between them.

The chickens continue to grow as the days go by. I can hardly believe that just a few weeks ago they could easily fit in the palm of my hand. Now they've got taller and proper feathers and man alive they can scurry quite a bit, which makes picking them up and getting them accustomed to being handled is more of a challenge...though just as gratifying once the impossible has been achieved. This is one of the chickens in my hand. The sign came from some of the building materials S. and L. gleaned to build their house lo so many years ago. Really neat history, that house has.
Last week I went to see LAKE perform at the Bayview Community Center. It was a kind of funny crowd of folks, of whom I knew about four people. I liked some of the band's songs, though some were perhaps a little more earnest with lyrics like "Don't hate yourself." Or maybe it was "don't hang yourself." In either case, a little funny. Their overall musical stylings were kind of like a slightly more upbeat Yo La Tengo vibe. 
I am thinking that this chicken may need to be named Penelope for no particular reason other than I feel like it's a good name for a chicken. 
I have long hated all caterpillar-related things. I guess I don't actually hate butterflies or moths. So really I just hate caterpillars, which is unfortunate considering the fact that the tent caterpillar population on the island has sky rocketed over the last three weeks. They are everywhere and in such massive numbers it is stultifying. Though they make me feel very weird in my brain and body, the reality is that I have to get over it if I want to do anything outside, which I do. But the sight of the lambs' food area, which is brimming with caterpillars from the ground to the roof, is still enough to stop me cold for a moment. 
A week or two back, W. and I went to the local farm store to get more chicken feed and then decided that a really good idea would be to get fishing rods and licenses so that we could start our professional fishing careers. Since then I've gone fishing twice at two different lakes. Neither time did I get a single bite, let alone even a tadpole of a fish, but I still have faith. We also got the fresh/salt water licenses, with the extra clearance to crab and dig for clams, so later this summer is going to be very exciting. This is a photo of my second lake trip, during which I lost my bobber and lure to a poor cast into a tall tree. While no fish were caught, I did see quite a magnificent adult bald eagle, and the view wasn't so bad. A boat would also probably lead to more success. 
I think one of the ways I cope with how disgusting I think all these caterpillars are is to remove myself from the reality and simply document it. The lambs seem totally ignorant of the squirming life force all around them. Ah ignorance. 
We had a series of incredibly warm and sunny days last week, of which I took full advantage, going to both a beach away from the farm and then going down to the farm's beach to soak in as much sun as possible. At the farm beach I saw this juvenile eagle, sat at the base of a landslide from last year, and once sweaty and hot enough, got myself into the brisk waters of the Puget Sound for a bit of swimming and floating. 
To get to the beach you gotta go down a steep cliff with plenty of switchbacks and stairs. To get to that path you gotta go through the ewes' main pasture and this gate. Stupid caterpillars. I've taken to carrying a stick with me so I can touch things without getting them on my hands. 
Can't even turn water off without caterpillars interfering. 
W. and Jett also joined me at the beach one day. Jett isn't really a water dog, but he so wanted to please W. that he did get all the way in for brief periods of time. Then we saw some seals. 
Full moon, Mt. Ranier, beauty. 
I had another delightful run-in with this pup when I went to an off-farm beach the other day. I was reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which I enjoyed more than I had expected I would. I ended up reading the monster of the book in only three or four days. 
Before the caterpillars took over the universe, I found that it was quite delightful to go to the lambs' pasture to do a little reading before milking or other farm tasks. One of the things that causes this delight is the lambs' tendency to come and check on me every 10-20 minutes. There are at least 40 lambs in that field, so when they come, they come in a big gaggle. Totally surrounding me and having no concept of personal space. They come right up and nibble at my clothes and one even succesfully nipped the scrap of paper I was using as a book mark and ran off with it (I got it back).  
Loving the boot life. 
Last weekend we welcomed three piglets onto the farm. This photograph would suggest that I have very warm and caring feelings about pigs, and that they are sweet and cuddly. The reality is that I tried chasing and picking this one up on my own but was thwarted by the terrible squeals it emitted when I got my hands on it. L. actually was the one who really picked it up and then handed it to me. So this photo op is not quite as sweet as you might want it to be. The pigs are smart and a little scary. The other night W. and D. pointed out that the reason that pigs aren't all that friendly is because they are smart, and because they understand in a way that other animals do not that we are, in fact, going to kill them. Fair enough piglets, fair enough. 
One of the photos of my mother that I found a few years back when I was going through her things. It was already in this frame, and I've hung it on the wall of my room here at the farm so I can see it every day. 
I went to Seattle two weeks ago and had an especially delightful evening with M&A. We went to one of their favorite restaurants, Pair, and had a lovely meal. I enjoyed a well crafted dirty martini, tasty fondue and a rich crab fettucine dish. 
The first lake where we went fishing. 
Another, earlier, example of my sitting in the lamb field and being mobbed. 
And another. It's hard to get quite the photo I want, which would give you a better sense of just how many sheep are surrounding me. Many. 
A view of the chicken coop. 
Earlier this month I joined W. and L. when they went to a nearby community food bank, where C. works, to participate in a May Pole celebration. They had pre-twisted crowns to which you could add a range of flowers and accoutrements. I think this photo is a little more 'flower child' esque than I really am, but the day really made it a necessity. 
W. and L. provided the music for the event. 
The actually weaving and circling of the pole went pretty well, though one man was on stilts and that really did complicate the whole thing. If I had been him, I would have realized how he was causing more trouble than help and would have backed away. But this stilt man had a different perspective on life, apparently. 
I think I mentioned the fact that I like lifting heavy things, and that I did a lot of it one day a few weeks ago. By the end of hefting 20 or more lambs from one place to another and then rolling out and putting up more fencing, I was pretty well covered in shit and perspiration. And I was incredibly pleased about this, so I asked H. to take a photo. Something about the lighting makes it slightly hard to tell, but my arms really are just smeared with dirt and whatnot, as was my shirt. Later that day I jumped into the Sound and felt wonderful and like I had earned it. 
I feel strong here, and capable. Well, sometimes I feel capable. 
Before the caterpillar takeover: lambs under the oak tree. 
This photo makes me just remarkably happy. This was taken on another wonderfully sunny day. I had the day off and had gone to an off-farm beach to read a book and wear a strapless dress. When I returned I went to one of the stratoloungers and shot the breeze with S. and D. while they gardened. At some point I suggested I take a photo and the conversation led to the thought of some kind of redone American Gothic shot. It took attempts to get it just right, but I am still quite pleased with how it turned out. A. in the background is eating an apple. 

I found some really lovely shells and other knick knacks on that beach adventure, as well as seeing this found art piece.
The view from the ferry on a not particularly lovely day. 
I think I've also mentioned that a fair amount of ping pong has been played over the last month. On one such round of ball, Rodo was just too exhausted to hang inside with us. I found him out on this step, just enjoying the sun and taking a nap.
E. and her husband made a wonderful feast of food a few weeks back - teriyaki lamb, dumplings and a salad. Just very tasty! We also enjoyed probably the fanciest tequila of my life that dinner. It came in a purple bottle and was s-m-o-o-t-h. 
The lambs are kept in two different pastures. These lambs are a bit closer to the main hub of the farm/right by E.'s cabin. I think I was picking up E. for milking one morning when the lambs all came right up to the fence and started baaaing at me. I would like to say it's because of the quality of my company and jokes, but really they were just hungry. And as soon as I put the grain and hay into their feeders....
Their interest in me became nil. 
The grown up sheep still waking up one morning before milking. 
My day off strapless beach look. 
More trampoline hijinks. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Sans Mother

The gifts or cards I may have given my mother when I was a child are lost to me. I’m sure a succession of kind-voiced pre-school and early elementary teachers assisted me in the construction of any number of tokens. Construction paper cards most probably. Perhaps something in the shape of a heart? Wobbly print messages and uneven attempts at cursive signatures. Some probably are in one or another box kicking around my father’s house in Tennessee, or the storage unit just a bit of a drive away from town. But as far as my ability to actually recall any of my childhood gestures is concerned, those pockets of childhood are ones I cannot access.

I remember realizing it was Mother’s Day once during high school, but I’m not sure if I did anything about it. My freshmen year of college I wrote my mother a poem for the holiday, which reflected on the life she had - and woman she was - before I existed. Before I was even a sparkle in her eye, as they say.  Another year I sent her flowers in a vase, which I think she appreciated in theory…but perhaps not in actuality? It may have been that she didn’t like the vase. I don’t think I did anything especially meaningful or thoughtful on my mother’s last Mother’s Day. May would have been about month or so after she was diagnosed with, and immediately started treatment for, Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I’m sure we spoke on the phone, and I probably said something lame about my lack of actually doing anything about it. I think about that occasionally, how often I didn’t do the sweet and thoughtful things loving daughters should do to celebrate their mothers. For the most part I think my mother knew I appreciated her, but I could have made more of an effort.  And here we are, a bit shy of four years after her death, on the eve yet another Mother’s Day. Last year I was perturbed by the number of emails or advertisements I would come across that exhorted the gratitude and love my mother would feel for me if I would only buy her a heart-shaped pendant designed by Jane Seymour, or chocolates, or flowers, or a Snuggie. It struck me that the internet - with all its social media and targeted ads - should be evolved enough at this point to know intrinsically that their products or services were no longer relevant to me. And that, in fact, the constant stream of mother-related marketing only made me hate their products, which I would not have ever purchased for her even if she was still alive.

I think a lot about my mother’s absence in my life. I try to imagine what she would think about certain choices or events in my life. What words she might share with me were I to share one of my disastrous men stories with her. Her advice or perspective on my recent unhappiness, and choice to leave Philadelphia for a sheep farm clear across the country. The possible activities in which she would have been involved, had she lived. I see what some of her friends are up to, and I imagine she would have participated in many of the same things. She had cut all this fabric for a quilting project before she got sick. My father gave the materials to her friend, Jill, who made a series of pot holders and the like and sent them to me. They are beautiful, and they  make me think of my mother’s capacity for making good friends and staying creative. They also make me wonder what my mother would have done differently and what her vision was in comparison to Jill’s excellent execution. 

The poem I wrote for my mother started with lines describing a photograph I once found tucked among her things. It was my mother, naked in the woods. Young. Well, late-20s early 30s. When I first stumbled across the photo and asked my mother about it, the one thing I knew clearly was that it was a photo not taken by my father. That my mother had multiple lovers or relationships was its own revelation. Over the years, as I got older, she told me a bit more about her private life and romances. And I feel that this was a privilege and demonstration of her trust in me. When she died I wrote a eulogyfor her, which I read at her memorial service in Sewanee. Some months later, I received a message from the man who took the photo.  Somehow he had stumbled across either my blog and eulogy, or an obituary elsewhere, and got in touch to express his condolences and to suggest that he send some photos he had of mom to me. I responded and expressed interest in the photos as well as gratitude for his thoughts. We didn’t start any kind of lasting correspondence, but he did respond once more, sharing a few more memories and his own perspective on the time they knew each other. An excerpt from that email includes:

“Your eulogy was so very apt - it really rung true to my experience.  She was quiet and sweet but, yes, plenty of serious insights and extremely droll commentary on life around her.  She was a little bit of a muse to me at the time.  We rambled around southern Ohio a lot, photographing and trying to understand life and art.  I took her to meet my best friend in Philadelphia and we visited my family (in Detroit) among other trips during that year.  Mary was the kind of friend you never had a second thought about introducing to everyone you knew.”

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of people sharing little thoughts, memories or impressions of my mother with me. From time to time someone has shared such a recollection and I shake my head a bit internally, because their version of my mother only partially synchs up with my own, which I generally believe to be relatively accurate. But at others, there is new insight or a confirmation of my own idea of her, and this is comforting. When someone is no longer in your life, whether due to death or simple emotional parting, it can be easy to create some stand-in sense of them in your mind. The sort of thing where you think to yourself ‘oh yes, X would think Y about this’ or ‘there is no way that X would ever do such a thing!’ But the fact is that you can never know their true reactions or potential thoughts once they’re outside of your world. What new things might my mother have done in the years since her death? What expressions of gratitude or love could I have created to show her I cared on Mother’s Day? To make this a properly Hallmark-like post, I would start writing about the perfect tribute I could make to her at this point. It would be just amazing in its attention to her spirit and interests, and touching and unique. It would be the heartwarming/tear jerking kind of thing that folks like to read. But honestly, I don’t have the idea. I don’t have that perfect gift. I don’t have that tidy and emotionally satisfying conclusion to give you or myself. On the whole I don’t think my mother really has the ability to still know what’s going on with me in death. I like the idea of her being able to keep up, but I don’t feel that is actually the case. And perhaps that prevents me from being able to consider thinking of her in the present tense or to really engage in that line of inquiry. Or to really entertain the narrative that feels most natural to this post – discussion of past failures as a daughter, a few new thoughts or memories about my mother, summed up with a proverbial bow of an idea for the absolutely spot-on gift I could have given her to let her know I valued all she brought to my life in the role of ‘mother.’

So if I’m not going to end this post with that tidy bow, then how do I end it? On the whole I do not feel like Mother’s Day is the holiday to mourn or regret. I’d tell all those with living and breathing mothers that while you should certainly make some effort on this day, it’s really all the other ones that count just as much. I was generally very open and honest with my mother, especially after I went to college. And she returned my honesty with her own more often than not. And that is something that not all children and parents can do. Perhaps on this Mother’s Day my suggestion would be to try to find new channels of communication with your mother. I am so glad that we were able to have the kind of honest dialogue that allowed me to know who she was outside of the strict confines of ‘parent.’ Though I understand that not all folks want or could potentially have this kind of relationship or conversation, I do encourage pretty much everyone to try to break out some of the habits and boundaries that have arisen between themselves and their mothers.  Not that I’m some sort of guru. I guess I just so valued getting a more all encompassing sense of who my mother was, and not only in relation to me, that I feel that those who keep their parents in such strict little boxes are missing out. And that when their parent eventually dies, they will only then realize how much more they could have known.

Perhaps instead of a heart shaped necklace or box of chocolates, you could take this Mother’s Day as an opportunity to ask your mother to tell you stories that aren’t about you.  That’s certainly something I did from time to time, but which I wish I had done even more. And if you, like me, have lost your mother, perhaps this can be a day where you try to dredge up memories you haven’t been able to surface in the past. Some little snippet of a moment. Some whole cloth example of your mother’s kindness, toughness, care or passion. And perhaps that day can just be the first of many. Because believe me, the thing I wish more than anything else is that I had more opportunities to ask my mother about herself and her experiences. And, selfishly, about my own origins and phantom memories that without her corroboration could just as easily be dreams as fact.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

More Farm and PNW Times (Warning: Graphic Images Of Reality Below)

At this very moment in time (Saturday the third of May), I am sitting on a ferry that will soon depart Whidbey Island and bring me to the main land. From there I'll drive into Seattle and set up a tent at one of our weekly farmers markets - today is especially hectic because we are repping and selling cheese at three locations rather than the normal two. Figured while I was sleepily sitting - with an eye to my right to hopefully see the farm's beach from afar and across the water - I could do a little blogging. My return to the farm after my NYC adventure brought more sunny days, and more lambs turned out and introduced to the glory of eating and sleeping outside. This first photograph illustrates both the sun and the lambs. Before they're freed we give them one more set of shots, which does require a bit of wrestling. We did a big batch just the other day. I actually enjoy this part of the work a lot. These lambs are not the wee average eight to ten pounds they often were at birth (though some certainly weighed less, and a few, more). At thirty pounds and thirty days these lads and lasses are usually ready for the larger space and fresh grass and a diet that does not include milk formula. The majority of the lambs I handled had already been thriving and growing for a number of weeks. In other words, I think it's probably fair to say that the smallest of the lambs we dealt with was probably forty pounds with a larger number clocking in at some point north of fifty pounds. What I like about the shots and moving lambs from one place to another may be in large part because of the increased strength you need to do it. For giving them shots you need to have one person with the needle and medicine and another holding the lamb so it doesn't wriggle or run away when pricked. They are like small children in the sense that some of them know what's coming - a shot and a hurt and an ouchie - and are none too eager to be held still for such a purpose, which requires you to really be strong enough to hold them still and to have the understanding of sheep to know what their first attempted moves and escapes will be. I'd say I'm generally pretty good at that sort of thing.
L. And S., the husband wife duo who look over the whole farm operation,  have a friend who knows a little something about welding. His work is everywhere on the property and always pretty to look at.
Part of the gate that officially lets you know you've reached the farm. Heron with frog. Not sure that the aforementioned welder friend was at all responsible for it, but very neat nonetheless.
One evening after milking I went to the barn to feed all the sheep (the routine is that they are milked, and then fed). It had been a cold and generally rainy day, so when I emerged from the barn and saw this, I was surprised and gratified by the perpetual beauty this place is capable of generating. This isn't the first rainbow I've seen extending itself from the sky to the sound, but it was one of the more dramatic and surprising.
I took this photo in the cheese room to remind myself how to set up the press for the next time. The cheesemaking operation is, of course, the entire point of the farm. The process to make cheese is at once very simple and incredibly complex. I'm still an entirely ignorant person in many regards about the intricacies of the whole thing, but I have enjoyed being part of the process. Watching 30 gallons of milk go through the process of being turned into curds and whey, and then pressed cheese that will age for any length of time is quite neat. I should say that the aged cheese we produce is also incredibly tasty, as is the yogurt and other fresh cheeses we make. I'm glad to be even a small part of such a final product.
We still have rabbits. More and more really. They grow up quick and they procreate quicker. As cute as they are, we raise them for meat so it's probably good that they bulk up so quickly in terms of cost. You'll see a bit later on what the fate of these rabbits are. Well, you probably already conceptually understand their fate, but if you so choose, you can really understand.
A view out the back of the golf cart, heading away from the milking parlor. On this particular day I think we went down to the main grazing area for the grown up milking sheep and communed with them for a bit. These sheep, unlike the sheep I worked with ten years ago, are far more friendly. This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The Icelandic and Shetland sheep I worked with in New York were bred for their fleece and heartiness. They gave birth with few complications and spent the majority of their time independently doing whatever they liked until shearing days came around. The sheep here, however, have to interact with us on a daily basis. So it comes as no surprise that if you walk into their pasture, a good portion of them will come up and be curious and say hello...or at least check your pockets and overall self for any trace of grain that they could potentially enjoy. We are but grain giving mechanisms in many ways. In any case, there were three or four of us in the golf cart, which made it slow going back up the monstrous hill that one must traverse to get from the houses, garden, and cheesemaking facilities and the milking parlor and main barn.
A. is a trampoline enthusiast and quite nimble. He is also very insistent. His insistence has led me to jump a bit on this trampoline in spite of my inherent fear of falling over or accidentally bouncing him off with my considerable weight.
On one of my days off I drove north and east to tulip country, where I went to Tulip Town and saw a lot of tulips. It was a weekday, and an overcast one at that, which cut down on crowds in a way that made the experience far more pleasant to me than it might otherwise have been.
Yup, plenty of tulips...and me with a weird face.
When I originally posted this photo my caption was: "I'm just wondering where all the money and hoes are at."
S. and Rodo in one of the two resident stratoloungers on the property. On the east coast you might refer to them as recliners or la-z-boys, but on the farm they are stratoloungers or nothing at all. They both look rather grumpy in this photo, but really they were both struggling with the sun in their eyes and the fact that I didn't really warn them that I was taking a photograph.
Beauty all around. A view of the milking parlor from a slightly different angle.
Baby pine trees with dew that I encountered one morning while on my way to feed a herd of lambs on one of the farther out pastures. They were probably as tall as my hand at the time, now they reach my knees.
The views the far lambs get on any given day. I often like to sit on the foundation with a cup of tea after feeding and just take it all in.
It's only a five or ten minute walk to get to the property's beach. I often go down an hour or so before milking and read and have a beer while enjoying the view. Yesterday in fact I went down and had a swim after a more strenuous day of lifting 40+ lb lambs and creating new fence lines. Floating in the chilly water while gazing at the mountains was pretty great.
More trampoline.
In addition to my tentative jumping on the trampoline, I find it the ideal location to read or lie down during sunny days.
Water for lambs.
On a different day off I went to a beach off the farm and enjoyed a coffee as well as a new book while looking west-ish. I would like it to be clear that I was not reading 50 Shades of Grey, just Shades of Grey, by Jasper Fforde, which is an entirely different reading experience. I've read quite a few books thus far and should really do a round up at some point.
I also made a new friend on this beach excursion. According to his collar, this dog was named Rylee. He sat right by me, entranced by the shadows my hair and book reading cast on the driftwood/log I was leaning up against. Anyone who passed by us would have assumed that the dog and I knew each other well. I was happy to go along with that impression for as long as Rylee wanted, which was at least thirty minutes.
The bumper sticker on this vehicle was a gem: "the only thing faster than my truck is my zipper." I have many thoughts about this. For instance, well, how fast is your truck? Is it actually all that fast? Also, assuming your truck is so fast, why would you want your zipper to be faster? Are you suggesting that you will unzip and have sex with pretty much anything that crosses your path? If so, how is that a good thing? Are you suggesting that once you are having sex, you climax quite quickly? If so, I do wonder if that's the best possible advertisement for yourself. Basically, to me, this bumper sticker only succeeds at one thing: making it entirely clear that you are an idiot...and most probably bad in bed.
Another day I took the ferry across to the main land, sat at yet another beach and read more of my book before seeing Grand Budapest Hotel.
After the movie I took advantage of a nearby Korean restaurant and had me some banchan and tofu stew.
E. Is another intern on the farm. She and I went to the local thrift store a few weeks and she bought two amazing lamps, which were quite hysterical to transport home due to their impressive height and width. We stopped for drive-thru coffee on the way back, and the barista (baristo if a boy?), at first didn't even realize there was another person in the car, the lamp so obscured E.'s entire self. She also bought two of the most magical crushed velvet, royal blue chairs. The lamps and chairs combined - as well as a myriad of touches- create E.'s quite lovely outdoor seating porch. Some of us refer to it as "Tacky Chic" while she refers to it as the "Shabby Shack." In either case, I really do need to take a photo two of her set-up...there's some magic there.
Sunny mornings are the best mornings.
My view of farm folks all sitting outside on a nice day from the vantage point of my studio's porch.
Lambs like when I sit amongst them and drink tea. Or at least they're quite curious about it.
Those who care less about tea, care more about photobombing.
After our first batch of chickens died rather avoidable deaths, weeks went by without any attempt to try again. That changed when W. and I took the reins. Nearly two weeks later we've done quite well. The wee little chicks you see in our hands are now easily double if not triple their size, and while we did lose one to a bum leg, we're still nine strong. It's very exciting. I go to the coop at least once or twice a day and sing the chickens a song while getting them accustomed to human touch (and giving them food and water, of course...chickens cannot live on song alone unfortunately).
On Easter Cuz K. Sent me this photograph and it made my heart sing. I later spoke to my uncle E., who allowed that he was the creator of this huge sign. Serious lurve to all involved!
E. the son and co-farm owner/runner celebrated a birthday a while ago. The party was pretty fun and involved ping pong. We've all, to different degrees, gotten quite involved with improving our ping pong skills. When the table first came to prominence I held back, remembering my seemingly interminable weeks of middle school ping pong PE, which I hated. But eventually I gave it a try, and while I am nowhere near the master that others are, I do think I've developed a relatively decent game. Well...kind of.
The party included much in the game category, and at some point a cake few of us ate ... and numerous funny father/son photos.

And then at some later point of time, I learned how to kill and skin rabbits. By this I mean I observed the process. Next time around I'll probably get hands-on, but it was good to watch. It's very similar to chickens, really. Except that rabbits' deaths aren't accompanied with the possibility of them running away while already dead. The skinning process is more delicate than you might first imagine, but altogether makes sense. While often the rabbits are sold to restaurants, this batch was personal use. I believe L. used a Julia Child recipe to cook them and, oh my, they were tasty. These photographs are certainly a bit graphic, in the sense that all reality and death is graphic. So if you don't like knowing what's underneath the fuzzy fur or what the animal looked like before it was packaged for the grocery store or presented on your plate, then I'd just stop now. But, as with the chickens and photos of sheep giving birth, I just find it really educational. I keep expecting to get strangely squeamish or to have so strange sense of guilt or nausea, but I don't. This is most certainly and largely due to my knowledge of the treatment of all the animals on this farm, and the fact that treatment has been humane and good. Shrug, if you're going to eat meat or any animal product, might as well really know where it came from. Also, the light and colors were amazing. I'll really need to use my real camera the next time.
In the far bucket is ice and the butchered rabbits while in the tub are the parts we couldn't use.
And yet another day of sun sitting, beer drinking and a little sing-along, which aptly enough was "Keep on the Sunny Side."
That same sun day featured J. coming and visiting the farm from her normal perch near Bellingham. We hadn't seen each other since I visited her on my first day off back in September. Ah how the weather has changed! We went to a local watering hole and met up with C. and ate a lot of fried food and then stood in the parking lot for a while talking about tattoos.
And that's the latest wrap-up. I'm pretty excited about some photographs I took in the last week or so, but we'll just have to wait for me to hit another critical mass before posting them.