Saturday, September 29, 2007

as if I wasn't losing enough sleep already

Headed outside for nightly rounds with the flashlight earlier this week, just because I like to check up on everyone before I go to bed. You know. Make sure no horses are cast against their corral panels, make sure no cats are in a stand-off with a coyote, make sure no chickens have already lost said stand-off.

Anyway, I heard a thump coming from the pump house. Instead of running inside and strongly suggesting to my husband that he investigate the source of the sound as I'd done the night before, I decided to cowgirl up and do it myself. I made some noise as I approached the door, and a fat ol' raccoon promptly scurried down from the window of the pump house, which we keep half-open so the cats can come and go as they please. Relieved that it was only a raccoon, I opened the door and shined the light in, just to make sure the cats were okay.

If I'd been thinking clearly I would've run inside for the camera so I could have gotten a picture of the TEN little beady eyes staring back at me like, "Lady, we're trying to eat here. Would ya mind turning off the flashlight?" Yup, that's right. Five raccoons were hunkered over the cat food, fattening themselves up for fall inside our pump house.

photo via

Unfortunately, though, my brain was otherwise occupied with setting up the baby monitor near the chicken coop so I could hear the raccoon family when they moved the party over to the coop for a nice dessert of Silkie Hen Tartar. Yes, you heard me correctly. I use a baby monitor for night-time chicken surveillance.

Because I have become that person - only with poultry instead of felines.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

why do I do this to you?

Is it because I like to torture my little handful of faithful readers?

Is it because I am somehow channeling a flashy, gay man?

Nay to both. I can tell you why I do this in one little word...

MISHA!(even if he is wearing gold lame')

doing my part

Found on the back of a Brach's candy corn bag:

"Did You Know...? Each year Americans consume enough Brach's Candy Corn that if laid end-to-end, would circle the earth 4.25 times...WOW!"

Punctuation issues aside, I'm glad to know I'm making my own small contribution to the accomplishments of humankind by just about EATING MY WEIGHT in candy corn for the past few weeks.

Somebody, please stop me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

soap of the day

Pumpkin Spice. KNOW it's fall when I start batching Pumpkin Spice soap. At the craft fairs these bars sell right on through the Christmas shopping season.

And, okay, okay, they don't look that glow-y with that soap opera (no pun intended) lighting in real life. It's just that I've recently downloaded the free trial version of Photoshop Elements 5.0 and I've been adding that angelic halo to every photo I can get my hands on. (Thanks, Heather.)

woo hoo!!!!!!

It's fall!

I love, love, love, love, LOVE fall!

And it's here! It's here! It's here (click the card on the top row that says "FALL")!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

pre-fall musings

One friend says she worries about me when I'm not blogging because that must mean I'm unhappy, or overwhelmed, or something. Lest anyone else has been concerned the past week or so, I'm not unhappy. Overwhelmed? Maybe a little. The work for which I get paid has picked up significantly, as has the work for which I don't get paid - mending fences (literally), whacking weeds, building chicken enclosures, picking tomatoes and lavender, painting the arena fence...and that's just the outdoor chore list. These days the inside of my house routinely looks like a hurricane has blown through. And, of course, craft show/soaping season is rapidly approaching, which means that soon I'll be elbow-deep in suds daily.

But I'm looking forward to fall's official start next week. This is, hands down, my very mostest favoritest time of the year. I don't know what it is. Something about the change of light - the way the sun hangs lower in the sky. Early mornings you can taste woodsmoke in the air, and the leaves. Oh, the leaves in northern Arizona are like nothing you've seen outside Vermont (which I understand is a fall-lover's paradise). Hopefully, we'll be heading up the peaks sometime in the coming weeks for a picnic in the aspens. The whispering of those newly-golden leaves set against the trees' white bark is something to behold, I tell ya.

Here's another sign of fall, spotted behind the house the other day:

I think this tarantula might still be a baby. But they do come out this time of year, all those males traveling sometimes in herds (for lack of a better word) toward the elusive scent exuded by a female. Or maybe I'm imaging that. I'm pretty sure that's how it goes, though. I wrote about in in-depth for my very first novel (which rests comfortably in the back of my closet).

Speaking of which, that's another thing I like about fall. Once that first freeze hits I'll be more inclined to anchor myself to my desk and get to work on my newest projects, which have been percolating inside my head the past few months as I've been outside in physical-harvesting-working mode. Brings things back into balance for a writer, fall does. Now I'm off to check in with some blogs I haven't read for way too long, like Heidi's and Ken's.

I'll leave you with this, which is just gritty, over-produced and Bob Marley-ish enough for me to go, Hmm. I like it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

it's nostalic movies about the performing arts from the seventies Friday!

I've always been a sucker for movies about the performing arts world. There's a good chance it started with A Little Romance, which came out when I was just nine years old. Diane Lane was such a beautiful, fresh-faced young girl who later grew into a glamorous star (and dated Mr. Bon Jovi, incidentally. She also appeared in one of my favorite mini-series of all time, Lonesome Dove). Sir Lawrence Olivier shines in this film - simply shines. The Vivaldi concerto that serves as the theme music for much of A Little Romance had such an impact on me as a kid that I hired a solo violinist to play it at our wedding as I walked toward my waiting groom...

Then there was The Competition, starring Amy Irving and Richard Dreyfuss. I used to watch it back to back on the Showtime box that sat on top of our television. (Anyone remember the glittery spandex purgatory that was Aerobicise?) I love the scene where Amy Irving discovers during a tense competition that her piano has one out-of-tune key. The look of pure diva horror on her face is incomparable.

And who could forget the piece de resistance of nostalgic seventies movies about the performing arts - The Turning Point? Can anything generate a more hearty sigh than a topless Misha in his heyday? I think not.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

demolition boy

When the kids and I got home from School Day at the County Fair (it's always held on the first day, a Friday, from right when the gates open until the afternoon), we were full of news to tell Dad when he got home from work. First of all, the kids' Silkie pullet "Falanis" won a blue ribbon (which means the bubble bath paid off). Second of all, they had RABBITS at the fair. Third of all, the Demolition Derby was going to be held on Saturday and Sunday, and we actually SAW one of the cars - a Bondo and neon-spray-painted work of art - going by on a trailer.

Our son hadn't been to the Derby since he was a toddler and, really, I see now that we were jumping the gun a bit when we took him then, because it is inevitably a loud, hot and crowded affair, complete with beer-swilling rednecks wearing "Goat ropers need love, too" t-shirts with the sleeves cut off. Needless to say, I LOVE the Demolition Derby almost as much as I loved Willie Nelson's "Help Willie Pay the IRS" concert, which I went to in the late nineties.

Anyway, I told my husband when the gates would open on Saturday, and he actually looked at me and said, "Do you think he (our son) would really be into that?"

Hmm. Let's review. A bunch of cars racing around in what is essentially a mud pit, smashing into each other until only one car is left running.

Nah. An eight-year-old boy totally wouldn't be into something like that.

So, they went both days, and had a blast. Son called it the Damn-you-lition Derby in total innocent earnestness, which seemed so appropriate somehow.