Friday, July 18, 2008

Weird People, Chickens, Rain Barrels, and Me

I seriously don't know how time gets away from me so fast. I've got a ton of pictures to upload to the Back to Basic Living website, a new page on canning that is almost complete, and a page on putting together a rain barrel. All I need to do is make a little time and finish all these things up and get them uploaded. The problem is that I seem to have so many projects going on at the same time around here that I never finish one before I've started another. I'm sure I could use a lesson in organization. Or maybe a lesson in focusing. Probably both. Maybe I'll start an online course.....

I had to go into the D.C. area last week for work. I started working from home about a year ago, and I rarely have to go into the Big City, so I shouldn't complain. But I will.

I had to spend two days in that madhouse. A friend was kind enough to put me up for a night so I didn't have to get a hotel. That was the nicest part of the trip. The work days were long and it cost a fortune to eat breakfast and lunch there. And I don't mean to be ugly, but those city people can be just plain weird. Honestly. I worked in D.C. for several years, and I always knew the people could be a bit odd, but I guess in the interest of self preservation, I tended to ignore or overlook it. I suppose it is a matter of surviving in such a crowded area that makes some people become completely self absorbed and totally unaware of their surroundings. No eye contact. No acknowledgment of another's existence. Bumping into people without an apology. Talking on cell phones at the top of their lungs in the middle of a crowd of strangers. IPod ear buds fastened securely in their ears to remove them, if only mentally, away from all the people. Not everyone is like that in the Big City of course, but there are enough of them to send me high tailing it back to the homestead with more resolve than ever to never leave here again. And with a new appreciation for my chickens. Maybe I'm the weird one.

[NOTE: Because I know some of the people from my work read my blog, please let me say I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU. I'm talking about the other people. You are wonderful. Seriously. Unless you happen to be one of the ones I don't like.]

Speaking of chickens, they are getting big! They will be eight weeks old tomorrow. They're learning to cluck, but they haven't given up peeping yet. So the chicken yard is routinely filled with noises of peeps, clucks, and an occasional crow. Very cute.

I have a bunch of pictures of the chickens to upload to the website and I'll try to get that done soon, but in the meantime I wanted you to see how big Duke and Bobby Lee are getting:


Look at that comb and those wattles! I swear that Duke just makes me swoon. Bobby Lee is a wiry little thing. I think he looks a bit like the Road Runner. He's handsome and I think he'll really be a sight when he fills in and matures. That's watermelon at their feet. Those chickens love watermelon. They get really excited when they see me coming with it. They even act like they love me when I show up with watermelon, so I make a point of giving them a few slices everyday. Of course they'd act like they love Atilla the Hun if she showed up with watermelon, but I don't like to think about that.

Bernie has been stringing the fencing wire. He's got about 1/4 of it finished. He and I worked on putting together our rain barrel last weekend. I was going to write that this is another project we have yet to finish - but Bernie went outside and finished it while I was typing. Yay! Here's a picture of it:


We had to install the rain gutters on the front and back of my garden shed (and yes, by "we", I mean Bernie) and then put together all the fittings for the barrel to make the intake portion, and the drain on the bottom of it. I have to tell you it was like a scavenger hunt at Lowe's to find all the fittings to concoct those things. But it was kinda fun. I'm working on a webpage to describe what we did, with pictures of each step, in case you are interested in a rain barrel for your place. Ours holds 305 gallons and we plan to use it for watering the garden.

I made some soap last night - Cucumber Melon. It smells heavenly. I haven't made soap in a little while, so I decided that since I'm swirl impaired even on a good day, I would just stick with something a little more basic and make it all one color. It's a light, refreshing pale shade of green.

We've been busy around here, and we're loving every minute of it. I suppose it would be nice to actually finish a few projects, but then I worry we'd miss something else that's fun and just waiting to get started. I think I'll go discuss my options with the chickens.

Come to think of it, maybe I really am the weird one.

Bee Free,

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