I really have no experience making jam. But fruits make me happy, especially stirring them. And jarring them. Also giving them away.
Have a fruitful weekend!
In which I spend time with superb ladies, learn about “nature names,” drink beer for dinner, watch the last nub of sun hit a land I may someday live on, stare into the red red eyes of a rabbit, play with chicks with good hairstyles, sleep three to a bed, wake up just past dawn to milk a cow and a goat for the first time, drink muchly-creamed coffee, eat purple potatoes for every meal, meet three stout sheep…and enjoy myself outrageously.
(All photos taken by me at Kate & Nick’s beautifulheavenlyanimalfilled farm.)
This is one of the farms that will not be our home.
This was at the farmers’ market in Montpelier, when Ellie was visiting, and we met up with Kenzie, who is also a Suzie’s Farm Person, and she had those long fabulous dreadlocks.
This was when Ellie and Scott and Josh were staying over. I made Misha wear my happy wreath because he was happy, too. And we drank that whole bottle of bourbon. And life was sweet and Scott jumped in the pond and Josh ended up getting a free Suzie’s Farm hat.
This is my favorite photo of my friend Andrew, because the sun is all up in his face.
These are some bodacious poppies and some pretty Unidentified Other Flowers that grow beneath the grapes in front of our house.
This is another farm which we won’t live on. But boy, was it pretty.
This is my pen pal, Shannon. She’s even better in person than written. Plus, she’s married! Also, a poet!
This was the fourth of July. Misha didn’t even mean to wear red white and blue and we had sausages for dinner.
This is Misha with flowering mullein on Cape Cod. He really loves that plant. And in this photograph, he even matches it!
This is my family in the early 90s. I don’t think I’ll ever be as baller as I was that day on Cape Cod, with that stance and that minnow net and that belly-bearing bathing suit. Also: how cute is my sister. Also also: notice how all our bathing suits match!
This was leaving the Cape just today, admiring the font of the Sagamore Bridge, admiring structure.
Last year I met garlic scapes
and I loved them on impact
and incorrectly called them snapes
for almost a year. Then I learned
their name and learned their twisting
goose-necked beauty and cut them
thinly into dishes. Now they grow
in rows outside our kitchen
and they grow in rows at the farm
where I work in the kitchen
and they’re filling the crisper drawer
and they’re all over our salads
and they’re harvested in baskets
and they’re not a food to sustain a nation
or even a main meal ingredient
but they’re one of our first little harvests
and for that I am grateful.
(Photo by my partner & co-farmer & longtime love Misha, whose blog is titled Microcosmic DreamSCAPES. Coincidence? I think yes.)
(For more of Misha’s farm photos, click here.)
(We are Free Verse Farm!)
We’re planting our seeds. We’re
sowing them in. We’ve made
our selections, we’ve sawed
the boards & nailed them,
we’ve scarified the seeds
who need a little scaring.
Some seeds are smaller
than any item I’ve ever
collected. Some seeds
are blocky, brown & sharp.
We’ve showed them where
they can live in light
on the the dining room table
where the bulbs are big
and the view is right.
No one’s perfect, as
they say–I disagree. I say
a seed is perfect, through
and through. It’s got all it needs
to do inside of it, it knows
and does it in a mere
two days. The seeds
are growing on the table.
The seeds are chatting
with the moon, rising greenly
with their necks to greet her.
(gif by misha m johnson, the most talented photographer in the upper valley)
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.