Passions of an Odd Chick

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Get By With a LIttle Help From My Friends.

Well, it's not really true that I've been neglected (see previous post). But it is true that we've been working really hard with no days off - grateful, truly, for the work in this economy. I'm also grateful for the work in how it strengthens the team-building aspect of our marriage and how I learn something new everyday. Work is a gift and as I get older, I'm learning it is a gift we can easily take for granted.

This was a large mixed-media piece I did before the heavy work began. It is on watercolor paper, with another watercolor torn up and collaged on top. It still looks like background to me and I feel I must add something over the top - maybe some large black silhouetted calligraphy- spiritual words.... Or not. I would be very grateful for your comments and ideas because I'm a little dry on creative stuff right now. Someone just needs to light my flame again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sweet Farmer doesn't love me....

I'm not sure Sweet Farmer loves me anymore.
No kiddin. I haven't seen him in days. Last night I came in from cutting a large triticale (it's a grain crop) circle at 3:30 a.m. and he only opened one eye and said, "glad you made it in". That's it.....nada. nothin. zippo. I saw him briefly when he came in the night before at 4:00 a.m. from baling hay when I got up to pee, but before I laid back down, he was sound asleep!!
The other day I made him kiss me for 10 seconds. After a bemused grin, he went after the task with gusto, but couldn't finish because he burst out laughing when he realized I was actually counting down with my fingers. Yeah, he couldn't even make out 10 seconds.
He personally showed up to fill my swather machine with diesel the other day (i knew it - he was missing me, he usually sends the "pit crew")but when he finished, he just jumped in his pick-up and drove off with a wave. I called him, and said I .... WAS .... going to give him a big, juicy kiss and offered him other lewd things over the phone- but he just laughed and said it was hot and he was too sweaty and then mocked me with my own line that's he's heard many times before, "i don't feel very pretty right now".
He did bring me a fake bouquet for Mother's Day that he found when driving through our itsy-bitsy town that a sweet Mexican woman had put together and needed the money AND A HOSTESS chocolate cupcake that I instantly tried to eat the whole thing in one bite and ended up with all the cream on the end of my nose. He knows I'm a sucker for stories of how a busy farmer tries to find the perfect gift for his wife when he lives in a town with an only a convenient store and a bar -and he waited until Sunday.
We talk of date nights and down time. He promises me sweet, beautiful, long romantic dinners. I know it must be true. And when he does take me out, us both "feeling pretty" again , he'll look across the table like only he can at me and say so sweetly, "you know what? you're the prettiest girl in the room".
And I'll have his undivided attention once again.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tea Party Tuesday

I'm so glad that Kimmie at Art in Red Wagons invited me to her tea party. I know she would love for you to come on Tuesdays also. Today, I had Chamomile and Citrus Tea from Mighty Leaf and dreamed my whole house was clean. I'm glad to have the afternoon off.

I love blogland for this very reason - friends that remind you to slow down and share your day with someone.

This is what I would share if I sat down with you for a cuppa-

Yesterday, I got a call from an older friend of mine who is a real hooooot. In fact, she's the best birder woman I know. She has 421 birds on her life list!! She called to give me a tip about Orioles. She says add a drop of orange flavoring to your regular hummingbird recipe and you'll have the colorful sweet things come home to your house. She, in that instant, reminded me of a passion I had let fall to sleep, and immediately I was awake and alive and ready to begin again my journey to really seeing and knowing the birds of the air. So I'm heading to our wildlife refuge (Bitterlake Wildlife Refuge) to get a closer look at my long-lost passion. I'll pick some other friends up a long the way - would you like to go??

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Birds for Church Members

Today I was cutting a hayfield- first one this season. I know God wants us to take a day of rest, but it won't be this day. But I did have a small church family join me, a red-tailed hawk, a bald buzzard and some large crows (not pictured). They were there for the church picnic I provided after my chopper uncovered small rodents that ran out from under the canopy of green hay, or minced those unseen and less fortunate. They would play and pluck and carry their new prey off like some scary animated movie above my head. They remind me of the seagulls that follow a fisherman's wharf, these large birds always show up to strut around and defend their small piece of raggedy game on the fresh shorn turf. I was glad for the company and entertainment. I was listening to Family Life Radio with its modern inspirational hymns and heard songs like: "Life is Good, Life is Sweet like the earth beneath my feet" and I had to agree. And I would change it to my public radio station and listen to classical music. It can feel very surreal to float over a Windsor green hayfield to Bach's "What Joy is Mine, O Friend of Mortals". I ate my carrots and my unroasted nuts because I'm determined to watch my nutrition - it helps so much for stable blood sugar and not feeling sleepy and groggy when I work in a machine 10 or more hours a day. It's a good tired at the end of the day, and even though I missed going to church, I had many sacred moments just alone with my thoughts and silent prayers for sick friends and my son who is at loose ends these days. I miss my drawing and painting but I had hours to dream of new compositions. So, it wasn't a day of rest but yet I feel regenerated. This must be what the Psalmist meant when he prayed that God would bless the work of his hands. I hope you had a blessed day also.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Day In the Life of a Farming Couple

I'm back in the fields again which I am very happy about. Today saw me cutting triticale in my windrower with a chopper and trucks waiting right behind me. I listened to an audiobook on my ipod about Frank Lloyd Wright and the women in his life -fascinating stuff while I went round and round. Later, I went to see what Sweet Farmer was up to.

Many people think farming is just large scale gardening - that any unskilled person with a strong back and a green thumb can make a farm grow. But profitable farming practices are not for the unskilled, and you don't necessarily need a strong back- just a smart head on your shoulders. Sweet Farmer has worked very hard this year preparing his planter to be more accurate and successful in its drops to increase his yield.

This year we have added GPS systems to his tractors. Now his John Deere is full of monitors and beeping and manuals on the subject.

To get the most yield on a modern farm, tractors have to plant exactly parallel to the previous row that was seeded. And while modern farmers may be experienced at driving a straight line, technology does it significantly better. This guidance system actually steers his tractor once he get it turned toward the field and corrects any error within an inch or two. So he reads his manual and his monitors with his hands in his lap.

He watches another monitor that reads sensors on each planter box to inform him as to exactly how much seed he's dropping per box per acre so that if one fowls up for whatever reason, he won't have blank spots in the field.

He also added seed disc that actually improved his flow of seed to the field and doesn't double up seed in some spots and no seed in others. And we didn't stop there, we have even upgraded the machine that flows seed into the planter boxes that doesn't split or damage the seed. With the costs of fuel, fertilizer, and seed -every seed matters and the accuracy of planting has become extremely important.

Farming, just like other industries, has moved toward technology to improve its profitability. It is a challenge to stay up and maintain the balance of profit while you upgrade. I thought you might be interested in the day of the life of a couple of happy farmers.