Friday, September 25, 2009

Really, I Am So Not Ready

Yesterday it was the sumac, blazing crimson cones sailing above the mottled leaves. Today I see the locust trees have turned golden. Not ready, so not ready for fall. OK, I take it back, I am so not ready for the end of summer.
Over the course of the last three weeks I have made many an attempt to accept the inevitable. I took on a student teacher, one way to avoid the traditional start of school issues. I come home early and pretend that I never left the house. I turn off the alarm clock in my sleep to avoid getting up in the dark. I turn a blind eye to the dead annuals in the deck pots.
Well, it ain't workin' folks. Today is the day I accept defeat. I shall blame it on the morning weather guy who announced that today we shall have only 12 hours of daylight. It is time to move to the dark side. Sorry, but fresh apple cider, pumpkins and corn stalks on the stoop, crisp Saturday afternoon walks, none of it makes up for the loss of daylight.
Excuse me while I book I ticket to someplace South of the equator.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Move Over Farmville, I Milked a Real Cow

Saturday was girl family bonding day. Mom, sis, sister-in-law, daughter, and moi did something truly unique. We had dinner with my Amish poultry 'dealer'.

So here's how it happened...Years ago a small group of Amish families moved from Pennsylvania and Ohio to Lyndonville, NY. No fallings out, just cheap land and lots of it. They have a nice furniture store, lumber mill with custom cabinetry, a general store or two, and a bakery. My parents have been supporting their businesses for years. Recently, we found a flyer at Yoder's Market for a fresh chickens and eggs.

Saturday evening, James and Clara, opened their home to their customers for an evening of fun and fellowship. We arrived at the farm around 4:00, in time to take a short tour of the property. This young family has been on the property for about three years. They have a lovely horse, turkeys slated to be Thanksgiving dinner, over 100 laying hens, numerous chickens being raised for sale in the very near future and three cows. We went to the family's pasture via hay ride courtesy of one of their Amish neighbors and were given a proper tour by James and his three very young sons. Their oldest child, all of seven, was bursting with pride (a non-Amish quality to be sure) in show us how well he and his father were running their operation.

Learning how much work goes into the raising of these fine fowls gave me a real appreciation for their quality. Each and every day their pasture area is moved, no small feat, as this requires the moving of a fence, small shed, water and feed stations, and various bits and bobs. The chickens feed on live insects and high quality feed. Their health is evidenced by the quality of the meat in the young birds and the volume of eggs produced each day - close to 60 per day.

After our hay ride back to the farm we enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by Clara. Homemade whole wheat spaghetti, sauce from their garden tomatoes, meatballs from their own steer, deviled eggs, and an out of this world applesauce. Dessert was a strawberry smoothie made with the farm milk, yogurt, strawberry preserves and maple syrup.

I left with a new found admiration for this family. Five children with one on the way, a spotlessly clean home, the children so healthy and happy, and a group of new friends. A very nice day, indeed.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The End of Summer Read

Growing up, I had never had any experience with the Mormon religion; my only exposure was the father of a family in town who left his wife for a Mormon woman. Ironic, don't you think? The 19th Wife has certainly done a job filling in the blanks.

Ebershoff's novel was read by the majority of the girls in my tea group, so when I found it at the library I thought I would give it a go. First, read the NY Times review. Now I am asking that you take that and eliminate all the negative adjectives. Yes, he did do all those things in his narrative, but 'cacophony'? 'Exhausting'? Hardly.

Jordan goes home seeking the truth about his mother's role in his father's murder. Along the way he befriends creepy little Johnny - that did not move the plot. The second thing that did need scripting was the love affair between Jordan and Tom, the excommunicated LDS managing a hotel. Time would have been better spent on the roles of the attorney defending Jordan's mom, and his secretary, Maureen. But I found the story of the "Firsts" a renegade sect straight out of Big Love fascinating.

The second story line focused on the 19th wife of Brigham Young, Ann Eliza. This section showed the real research of the author. Frankly, I found all the bits and pieces intriguing; I learned a great deal about John Smith and his early ministry. How the church moved to and from polygamy was also fascinating; the political moves of powerful does one resist?
Great literature, it is not. But well worth the ink and paper.