I know you come here for the pretty photos, so rest assured there is a big backlog of beautiful plants, animals, recipes, and adventures waiting to be resized and color-corrected, and they will be posted soon.
Apart from working 40+ hours/week at the day job, I’ve just been really busy. Lots of that “busy” is stuff that would be perfect for the blog, but I just haven’t had time to document it in detail.
We’ve been harvesting/canning/fermenting/drying: Oregon Grape, apples, pears, blackberries, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, asian pear, dill, kale, and a bunch of other stuff. Planted arugula and carrots for us, and a whole bunch of perennial rye grass for goats. Started blackberry, Oregon Grape, and blueberry wine, and the new batch of chocolate stout is ready. Got a great deal on oak parquet flooring for the kitchen, and the loft area is just a few days of labor from becoming our winter bedroom. A few cords of wood are waiting in a pile for me to find a deal on a used chainsaw, which needs to happen soon if we’re to be warm this winter.
I learned to “process” chickens from live bird to frozen grocery item. I wondered if it would bother me, taking a life with my own hands, but although my reverence for life has grown throughout the years – all life; we escort even the hideous-looking earwigs and vicious wasps outside to continue their lives – it felt nothing but right. I feel like I have much more of a right to eat chicken than I did when it came from a supermarket all prepared and shrink-wrapped.
Next month I’ll be going on my first wild turkey hunt, which I’m very much looking forward to, and somehow that doesn’t clash with the fact that our property is a no-gunfire-except-in-case-of-emergency refuge where a momma turkey and her five babies visit several times a day to eat seed fallen from our bird feeders and the deer who ravage our raspberry plants and chives will be fenced out rather than shot. As I write this sitting at our outside table, the turkeys are pecking and cooing not more than five feet away from me.
Coyote have been howling their eerie chorus in the hills at night, and the days, which were fifteen-plus hours long just a short time ago, are noticeably shorter. Part of me reflexively tenses at the thought of winter’s approach, until I look back at how green things are in the rainy season and remember that December and January are often perfect for BBQs in Western Oregon.
The man who considered CBGBs a holy place of pilgrimage and mourned the “cleanup” of Times Square is now reluctant to visit “the city” (Eugene, a small but vibrant town of 138,000 about half an hour away) more than once a week. If I’d known how much country life would agree with me, I would probably have left years ago – but then I might not have met Teri, who is my glowing inspiration and the anchor of my life.
What a long strange trip it continues to be!
And I promise you lots of pretty photos very very soon.