Something that I miss about San Diego is the sideyard, that yard we had on the side of our house, where friends used to gather. So many great things happened there: poems under the streetlights, loud live music, deluxe beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), yoga mat washing by way of rare rain, hot pepper roasting (& peeling), yoga class by Britta, yard sales, the explorations of a young chicken named V’Nilla… That being said, we also experienced chair thievery with frequency. And people used to walk their dogs onto the lawn and let them shit and just leave it. Hummingbirds buzzed through there and friends visiting from the east came and sat in the sideyard with their faces facing the sun and said, “Aaaah.” People purchased Misha’s photos there and we parked our bikes there and we grilled fish out there and we sat with tea out there under the purple umbrella that Misha bought because he knows how much I love purple. We grew good mint out there and a kale plant that looked like a palm tree and a bush of African blue basil that the bees adored. And before we left, we invited everyone over to buy and take our stuff, and we made fancy popcorns, and we played bocci, and drank beer and lemonade from a cooler. It was our living room, carpeted with the spikiest grass I’d ever known, and Misha would turn off the sprinklers and then every week dudes would come and mow the grass and turn the sprinklers back on. And now that we’re not living there anymore I hope heartily that whoever is living there is loving that little square of green as much as we did, is using it as hard as we used it, and is calling it a sideyard.
(The sideyard was also where I discovered I could wear bocce balls as earrings, no big deal, just wearing these bocce balls as earrings next to my boyfriend. I’m assuming we lost that game of bocce based on the look on Misha’s face.) (Photo by Marilyn, a true friend who I met–you guessed it!–in the sideyard.)
I made you this internet collage comprised of (beautiful) images that remind me of you. I really hope you like it.
Happiest of days to you, friend. I hope your weekend is full of even better things than Ellie giving the sneaky middle finger to you in a photo, though it’s hard to imagine what’s better than that.
I was given a fur coat for my birthday this year (by my mother-out-law, who gives amazing presents–raw silk scarves & notebooks & dark chocolates & the most pristine and gorgeous hand-me-downs). I’m not here to give my opinion on fur, mostly because I’m not sure of my opinion on fur. But this is what I do know. This coat is a beauty. This coat is so warm that when I walk outside in it, I feel like I’m still inside. It covers my entire body and it is both warm and beautiful and utterly deluxe. Here’s a picture of me the day I was given it, which was a very very snowy Saturday, a day I was not expecting to leave the house but then I did and wonderful things happened.
Today I wore the coat outside to let out the chickies. The chickies had no sense of my my unnecessary glamour, but they were pretty pumped to hop up and out of the coop. Tomorrow, I’ll wear it to a black tie Academy Awards party downtown, which I am attending mostly so that I can wear my new fur coat. Also for the company. Also for general deluxeness, which is scarce in February in Vermont.
And soon friends will arrive in Vermont & it will be my birthday & I will wear the fur coat again. And then spring will come & the snow will melt revealing the hidden garlic & I will be twenty-seven & eager to plant things & eat them. And the fur coat will hang graciously on its soft pink hanger, waiting until I need it again.
Photos by Misha, who else.
Today I bought blood oranges. Like the ones below painted by Emily Proud, an artist I discovered through another artist, Lisa Congdon. I don’t know either of them personally but maybe someday they’ll come over to the farm and eat citrus with me.
I bought them in preparation for The Storm. I also bought bacon, of course. And, as usual, kale. Also milk. And a knobby three-knuckle piece of fresh ginger.
Meanwhile, down at the coop, the chickens are all, “Where is the grass? Why can’t I have it? Why aren’t babies coming out of these eggs I’m sitting on? I’m cold!” They’re huddled on their roosts underneath their red-bulbed headlamps as I write this. If I make a ruckus the rooster Claude will crow & crow until he lets me know that he heard me do it. Having a rooster really gets one thinking about the term “cocky.” That dude walks around like he’s the king of something awesome. Because he is, I guess.
OUR CHICKENS LAID THEIR FIRST EGGS
There needs to be something MORE
than capital letters to convey my joy. I swear
I feel like my best friend just had a child.
I feel like I just won golden admittance
to Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. Our little
chickies, getting sexy, making chickies!
For breakfast tomorrow: eggs on toast
and sauteed shiitakes, all of which
we’ve grown ourselves, oh heavens.
(that’s a Brazilian bean soup in the process on the stove)
We’ve named our homestead Littleleaf, come visit. Raspberries grow through the chilly autumn nights.
We bought chickens from a man named Dan; we haven’t named them yet. I visit them every day and hold each one for a couple of minutes. They don’t love me yet, but soon.
Last Sunday, we celebrated. We bought our first farm animals, and before that, we planted the greenhouse full of food. I harvested all the cherry tomatoes, which are still coming.
Homestead in the background, man in the foreground.
The day was warm. We inspected tools in the barn. Well, Misha did.
The sun sets earlier every day. The trees are the color of our chickens.
All photos by Misha. See more.
Sometimes a day involves burying dead chickens and stripping lemon verbena for tea. Sometimes that day also brings the tiniest of tiny carrots into your life. For me, that day was Wednesday. I was harvesting carrots for lunch with Misha and pulled out a handful, including the tiniest of tinies!
Here’s a shot of the smallest four, which I brought home (the others were eaten in a salad).
Then, on Thursday, I planted melons and lettuce and stacked onions for drying. And found a small onion for this project.
Then, while looking through photos, I found this one that Misha took last summer, where my face is big and shiny and strange looking. But look what I’m holding!
Onions & tomatoes come from Suzie’s Farm; the carrots are from Wild Willow.
Stay tuned for more tiny tinies!!