Friday, October 23, 2009

Desperately Seeking ... Sage

The last two weeks have flown by as I've been packing and sorting, tossing and Goodwill-ing. And not only are the boxes piling up ... so is the tension! How on earth will I get all this done in one week?

I've got little time to write, but wanted to ask you all for tips on how to get through this stressful period. Got any tips for a 12-hour road trip in a moving truck, pulling a car trailer and three goats? Please help! And let's not forget the unloading, sorting and unpacking that will follow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Do We (Really) Need?

With my new ultra-frugal mindset, I've been reveling in all this "simplifying." As I pack up the debris of my life in preparation for my impending move, I've begun to question my old ways. "Why did I need to buy that?" I've asked myself many times, rolling my eyes, as it gets tossed into the Goodwill box. I look around at some of my stuff with a whole new set of eyes. Things just look different now. I don't really need new clothes, new shoes, or that bauble from the Pottery Barn catalog. (I will make an exception for the Duluth Trading Company though!)
When you get down to brass tacks, what do we really need?
 The things I need are this:
     1. The genuine, honest love of my partner
     2. A roof over my head (preferably with running water and electricity)
     3. Home-raised, home-cooked food*
     4. Work to occupy my mind and satisfy my innate curiosity
     5. Wide-open spaces to commune with nature and the night skies
I'm on the road to these simple pleasures, and I can't get there fast enough! In the meantime, I'm making this delicious soup with home-raised chicken:
*Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup celery, diced
2 packages (4 oz. each) long grain/wild rice mix with seasoning packets
5 cups chicken broth
5 cups water
Combine all ingredients in a greased slow cooker. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours or until rice is tender.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Whirlwind Week

Over the past week I visited California to attend my aunt's wedding. She met the man of her dreams and three months later, they got married. She's the most generous, genuine person I know, so of course I was overjoyed for her. I brought my Kansas sweetie along and he met my entire family. In a predominantly female family, I think the few males were elated to have a real man's man to reconnoiter. Oh yes, conversations about hunting and ear-sniffing coyotes and the differences between cowboys and farmers abounded. (Hint: farmers don't press creases into their jeans. And, farmers wear Levis; cowboys wear Wranglers.) My California kin are decidely cowboys, and me and the Mister are definitely farmers. Glad to have that all established.
As soon as I landed back in Kentucky, before I could say "Jack Rabbit," I hit the road and drove to upstate New York, almost 600 miles. Though I can't really divulge entirely what I'm working on just yet, I will say that it's a television show. We shot the pilot among the glorious fall color along beautiful Oatka Trail in Mumford. It's a breath of fresh air learning a new medium in which to communicate: challenging, but ultimately rewarding because I can feel myself growing by being pushed out of my comfort zone. I never had to face 55+ mph winds while trying to write an editorial from my desk! Stay tuned for progress reports on the show.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Extreme (Goat) Home Makeover

This morning I continued to "strip" the barn as requested by the purchasers of my farm. By now I've hauled out about 20 cartloads of spent hay, and I couldn't help but mutter under my breath about how wasteful those spoiled little goats of mine are.What goes through their mind when they eat hay ... "oh, this isn't a good piece, I'll just let that fall out of my mouth." Their wasted hay always makes the greatest garden mulch for me, peppered with little pellets of nitrogen, but since I'm moving, it just needs to be hauled on out.

Where the goats are going in Kansas, they will not be living in the manner to which they've grown accustomed. In Kentucky, they have a four-stall horse barn, individual doghouses, Cool-A-Roo beds in the breezeway and a lovely, enclosed barnyard with logs to climb. They are simply pets, and they're spoiled. Rotten. My sweetie is "Mr. Range Animal" and thinks they are absurd. I've always known this to be true about my goats, but it is what it is. So, when we arrive in Kansas soon, the three Pygmy goats will be sharing space with a flock of chickens and their housing will consist of a converted Butler building to which we've cut windows and installed screening. The goat ghetto?

I actually think it will be a lot of fun to see them in their new surroundings, reacting to chickens and nibbling on all the new plants. I still need to figure out logistical points like getting them warm water in the winter, but I know it will all work out. Adventures in livestock ... sign me up!