Monday, June 20, 2011

Full Circles

For some unknown, on the conscious level at least, I awoke yesterday morning in total funk. The already toasty sun had risen and was sucking the moisture from the newly wet ground from the recent thunderstorms, and was holding in its grasp making the air thick and heavy. This phenomenon of weather makes me go into a frustrated mode because of the toll it takes on my energy. On Monday I had ridden three horses at mid morning, came in with a massive headache and was nauseous. There are so many things of life on a farm that require outdoor participation and weather plays the major role of how easily or how dreadfully awful it can be to do anything productive. It just pisses me off to feel trapped, and to counter that I must emerge into a creative and productive mode at something. Finding that outlet is the challenge, many available, but which to choose is the rub.

the garden earlier in spring
 Horses fed, yesterday morning, I wandered back into the house, my shirt damp from the efforts spent, and pondered the next move. Breakfast seemed a good diversion, and so did the previously unopened bottle of Champagne my daughter had given me for Mothers day some time back. It being Fathers day, it just seemed fitting to use it as sort of a Parent in General day, and so we fixed up some Mimosas with some mango/orange juice. My mood was improving as I cooked the eggs and spread peach preserves and almond butter over our toast. It is just amazing to me how much of my energy, thoughts, and emotion are wrapped up in food and how it can, so strongly, affect my mood and outlook. The day began to improve in my attitude as we shared our breakfast fare and moment together. Afterward we ambled to barn world to let the fed critters out of their stalls and check on the garden.

Our summer’s garden is now putting forth nice quantities of lovely red tomatoes, though some are picked early and fried green before ripening, yellow straight neck squash, and lots of tender green beans, sweet banana peppers, fresh basil and parsley. Very soon our incredibly tall and well fed corn stalks, courtesy of the copious amounts of composted horse manure we applied to the soil before planting, will be yielding numerous ears of the best sweet corn ever bred, Silver Queen, the most divine of taste. The okra, too, is flowering and soon it will be putting forth pods to be chopped, rolled in corn meal, fried, and devoured.

In giving thought to the food chain thing and your being what you eat, as I said, this year we heavily loaded the row crop part of the garden with rich, black, composted horse manure. So, the horses ate the grain, turned it to poop, which turned into compost, which we put on the ground to feed the plants, which will be feeding us its fruits, which will fuel our bodies before passing through to continue the cycle…I realize I am becoming one with my horses in more ways than one. Neigh. In grocery store world one is so removed from the process that it is impossible to realize this connection and the flow of the source of our energy. Growing a garden does remind me to appreciate the simplest of vegetables. It did not get here by accident and must be used to the fullest.

Food is naturally so beautiful. Raw vegetables, fresh and clean, are purity and potential. I opened a cantaloupe the other night that was gorgeous, with a creamy veined skin yielding to a lime green rind that quickly blended into the wonderful soft orange sherbert color of the center meat of the melon. It was the first of the truly summer melons we had tasted this year, the winter’s grocery store versions mealy and never sweet. This one was sublime and the reason one eats cantaloupe, and keeps one always in search of the next perfect one.

Life continues to roll along in the farm world despite my whining about the heat and my bad attitude about it. The horses are hot and swish their tails in a steady rhythm to thwart the biting mouths of the horse flies that plague them. I cover their coats with various sprays to try to keep them free of these flying chain saws but not much works, really. The dogs spend their days in shade, panting, spend time in the pond cooling their bellies, and when they look pitiful enough, get to come inside to enjoy the benefits of air conditioning. Life slows to a meandering pace this time of year, coping with lizard weather. Things still get done but at a snail’s pace instead of a rush to the finish line. The passing thunder storm this week dropped some much needed rain and cooled the air, and gave respite if only for a few hours, and was welcomed by all.

With the passing of seasons, the rhythms of life mark their time and things have a way of being fresh and unique, and at the same time, are a constant in the annals of the passage of time. It is nothing new for mares to become pregnant in early summer, and so again, Joline is doing her part to follow this tradition, but she is doing so now at twenty years old, carrying an early pregnancy which will hopefully make it to term, and become what will most likely be her last foal. Should she make it through to the birthing and weaning of this foal, Joline will have earned her retirement and will have to do nothing more than eat grass for the rest of her days, her job will have been done, and well.

On another front, an equally repeated occurrence in the general course of most lives has happened, but one which is totally new and unique to me. That is the announcement of my eldest daughter’s pregnancy. While people have been replicating for some time now, for me, the idea of a new person coming into my life, that is part of my life, of me, and of all the ancestors from generations past, is a bit mind blowing. “I am going to be a grandmother” isn’t something that is rolling off my tongue easily yet. It is a concept difficult to conceptualize. There will be a new person on this planet in December. Yet another of a life changing event that is as normal as the passages of days, but stands huge in my sights. My immediate thoughts turn to “how in the heck will we ever baby proof this house?” That thought, is daunting and a bit overwhelming, but one that will have to be met with at some point down the road.

In my mind, however, lurks the strong disbelief that I am old enough to be a grandmother at all, and that my child is old enough to be a parent. Time keeps on ticking, right into the future. It will be interesting to be on this side of situation after having witnessed the change in my parents when they became grandparents. They turned into goo-goo babbling idiots for a while there and let the grandkids get away with murder compared to our restrictions as youths. I suppose we will not be too different. I think that is the plan in life.

Another hot weekend, another tomato sandwich or two, or three, some added bacon, but mostly mayonnaise, salt, pepper and a perfect slice of red goodness. There are a few things that can’t be improved on and that, is one, and reason to not totally hate summer. So while I type and wait on the sun to leave for the afternoon so that I can do afternoon chores, those wonderful round orbs are out there enjoying the heat and are becoming one with that compost and are filling to perfection to become our next ‘mater sandwich, another circle complete.


  1. Emily's preggo! Excellent! We look forward with great anticipation to the next Dauber/Flowers/Folmar prodigy.

  2. The continuation of this terrestrial existence is at times beautiful in it's simplicity. I love that last picture of the three of you. Congratulations, ma'am:)