Thursday, July 9, 2009
Random summer musings:
There are bees living in my compost pile. They do not like it when I try to turn the pile over. They warned me the other day that they didn't like me messing with their pile. Today I thought maybe I would see if they were actually living there, or perhaps they had just been visiting the other day, and their warning sting on my hand had just been a mistake. Nope, no mistake. And they were not just resting their wings on the way to someplace else. They are squatters in my pile, and have claimed it for their own. Today they let me know that FOR SURE. (And they were also thinking, I"m quite sure, "lady, how dumb do you have to be to keep coming back for more of us? We TOLD you the other day, WE live here now - leave us alone.") OK, message understood today. And I was able to find the bee sting swabs today, so at least my leg, and my the middle finger on my right hand are not currently as bothered as is the area of my left hand between my thumb and first finger. It makes me not idealize the thoughts I've had of "beekeeping for honey" quite so much. It makes the thoughts of doing that a bit more realistic. I know most people say they don't get stung often, or at all, when doing it, but hmmmm - right now, bee stings seem a bit more painful than, say, the occasional peck on the hand or foot by my chickens, so... I think I'll just stick with chickens for awhile.
I don't fancy myself much of a cook, though I guess I CAN cook well enough. I just really, really, really don't LIKE to cook. Unless I hit upon something that everyone raves about. That happens rarely, but when it does, when they actually ASK me to cook something, it makes me feel good and makes me want to cook it for them. This summer it has been homemade pizza. I got a quick and easy dough recipe on line from another blogger, and love, love, love it - it doesn't have any yeast in it, so it doesn't need time to rise. AND, from Cold Antler Farm, I got the idea from Jenna to make pizza in a cast iron skillet. These two things combined have made for some awesome pizza dinners this summer. Simple, asked for, raved about, and delicious. THAT'S my kind of cooking! And I got ambitious last night and made a home made cherry pie, and bread from that "Bread in Five Minutes a Day" recipe. Which just points out even more that I am a baker, not a cook! But we ate well yesterday, from my hands. THAT feels good.
And eggs. Chicken eggs from MY chickens. I never, ever tire of opening the back of the coop and finding an egg, or two, to bring in. It totally just warms my heart. I can't explain it, but a chicken egg, fresh from my coop and my chickens, is so important to me. Right now, because my own 4 little hens are new this year, I won't get eggs from them until maybe September or October? But a friend's dad gave me two of his big Auracana hens "on loan" for eggs, until my own start laying, and so from them I get a blue egg or two every day. I love it. It is totally making my summer, and so is sitting and watching the chickens. They each have their own personality, and I love them all. My life is becoming more my own each day, more what I want it to be. I guess I find it interesting to see how my life has changed, evolved, and how my dreams have changed so much, yet, deep inside, have really remained much the same. I couldn't have known when I was 14 or 15 that I would want to own chickens some day, or live in Alaska, but the dreams I did have back then were of the same genre - the one I remember most clearly was wanting to live in a cabin in the mountains of Colorado, being a writer there, and having a dog with me for company. I wanted to have a wood stove and cut my own wood, and grow food from a garden, and just live, be fully alive. Well, life has a way of happening - college, a job, a husband, children - before you know it, you are often set in a way of life that seems "normal," and happens to most people, but it doesn't mean that you are locked in it, or that some of your old dreams can't still be. Granted, I probably never will live in Colorado, or be a solitary writer, but I do have my dogs (and how thankful I am for them - more than I ever could have known back then when my life was far more full of people!) - and the things inside me that moved me back then are still at work in my life right now. They may manifest themselves a bit differently now, but that's ok. At least I know my heart, and my dreams, are still alive. Funny how a bowl of blue chicken eggs can be such a tangible reminder of that.