Saturday, July 31, 2010
I keep waiting for the time when I have time - time to write all the things we have been up to this month. But it never comes. So I'll jam it in.
There are only three weeks left before school starts. How did that happen? But slowly things are getting done, progress is measurable, and the freezer is filling.
The past two weeks have been manic. First, I went across the bay overnight with my friend Jennifer and painted a house in Bear Cove. The cove was mystical and healing, and Jennifer and I, who share many life experiences, both past and present, spent most of the two days trying to sift through the riddles of life. We came back through rain that exfoliates in a skiff, feeling cleansed inside and out.
Then it was back to the farm, where my first genuine wwoofer (willing worker on organic farm) had shown up. I've known people in the wwoofer circuit for years - my sister has them, as do my parents - but I always felt they would be an imposition on my life and privacy. Not anymore. Srishti came through for a week, took over my garden with ghusto, cleaned, weeded, helped me get a truckload of wood, and insulated my chicken coop with random pieces of insulation. She rocked. I think she's coming back, too. Yes!
On Friday, the kids came back and we piled immediately in the car and headed for Kasilof. Every year, the dipnet fishery fever hits Homer. The nets appear on the top of nearly every car and people talk in code about the tides and fish caught and processed. I had never participated because I can't eat salmon (allergy) but when my friend Judy and her son Oskar came through from Oregon and wanted to camp out on the river for the night while their friend Alan fished, we jumped on board. It was a great time - people everywhere pulling in fish after fish with huge nets and waders. And the kids rallying on the sand, playing and splashing and wondering at these amazing fish. Another connection to our world that they couldn't get any other way.
We returned home the next day smokey and smiley and set to work on the many things we had to get done around the farm. The hoop house is so full now - vines climbing everywhere, lettuce almost going off it's so big.
Sunday, Liam and Matt went out fishing and Thea and I spent the day hanging out together. It's always interesting to have just one of the kids - a completely different experience than having them both. Thea and I played and gardened and mucked about, generally enjoying the space.
Then Judy and Oskar came back for the week and our house overflowed with people, but it was a joyful full house. Judy is a outdoorswoman extraordinaire, so I took advantage of her expertise to dispatch our chickens during her visit. We spent an entire day chopping off heads and plucking and so forth. It was a big job, but one I am so glad we did as several of the birds were getting too big to survive much longer. At the end of the day, I had 100 pounds of chicken - the birds averaged 10 pounds each.
It was interesting that Liam and Oskar were far from bothered by the whole process - they were more intrigued than anything else. But mostly, it was a nonevent. Chicken goes in hand-made funnel (feed bag nailed to tree - smart Judy) and the heads were cut off. Liam was impressed by the blood. That's about it. Thea wasn't there that day so I don't know what she thought. But a few days later when we got the birds out of the cooler and processed them, Thea was very interested.
One day this week I snagged Liam and his friend Casey and went back to Kasilof and tried my hand at dipnetting. It was a really strong current when we got there, and it was hours before a fish came through to anyone's net, but eventually we pulled a couple out of the water. Lessons were learned, the kids played like crazy on the beach and at the end of the day there was fish in my freezer for bartering and gifting, and the kids slept all the way home in the car.
The last thing that happened this week of note was that I got my dryer back. For weeks, I have been trying to hire or otherwise cajole someone into coming up and helping me rewire my dryer, a 220 plug that was taken out by the remodel. Many, many friends were wary of touching the 220. But Eric, my oh-so-good friend, came up on Tuesday night and lined me out on what to do and the next day, armed with the right wire and boxes and so forth, I tried my hand at electrical work. After a couple hours wrestling with conduit, I prevailed, wired, boxed, flipped the breaker, waited for smoke, seeing none, plugged in the dryer, and whadayaknow? It worked. I danced around like a crazy woman. Then wired the rest of the re-addition. That was a productive day by any standards.
Today is my weekend day with the kids - two sisters, farmer's market, pick-n-pay, dump run, weeding, planting, insulation work, and the ice cream party in the afternoon - Liam's prize for participating with ghusto in the summer reading program at the library. Busy, busy. Wouldn't have it any other way.