Sunday, June 19, 2005

Wavy Manes

Hi ho everybody! I'm back in the cities for Father's Day (I got my dad an AWESOME camoflauge John Deere baseball hat from Fleet Farm. Seriously.)and I'm commandeering my mom and dad's computer for a few minutes here to finally get a blog going.

The humidity of the summer has made Colby's and my hair unusually curly. He's got kind of a carousel horse thing working right now. It's hard to put in to words my time at the farm over the last week. Every so often I think about something I have to record for posterity - some way the clouds are moving all wispy-like, or how the infinite greens blend seemlessly together in our woods. About how much I adore the pastoral, open view from our hammock. Or how when I get up in the morning and look out the window or ride a horse fast through the grassy knolls with my hands tangled in mane I still have to pinch myself. And then pinch harder.

In other farm news, after our move in last weekend Jay left for Seattle for his grandfather's memorial service and is there until tomorrow night. I've been at the farm all by myself, sometimes enjoying and sometimes enduring the solitude. Fortunately I have no shortage of equine and feline friends to keep me company. On Thursday, miracle of all miracles, the excavators FINALLY came and graded the quonset building and put in a load of sand. I've since been moving the sand around a bit, making it work. The weather has been in the 70's and breezy - still warm enough to get a bit of a sunburn without a hat, but very nice. The new Belgian comes on Thursday - as flooding has kept the load from coming from Alberta. This has given Jay and me much needed time to get his stall built and we'll be able to get the new pasture fencing up for him. The biting flies have been the latest in the series of plagues on my poor horses. This time Colby developed his hives on his belly and tender nether regions, and Mistie's udder swelled up. Thinking I was helping, I was spraying them fairly religiously with fly spray ... which gave them chemical burns. Unbelievable. Someday I'll get a handle on these $@%#(I&#&^@)Midwest bugs.My training horse came in on Sunday and I've been taking him out on the trails, with some fairly spectacular bolts and bucks (a quarter horse that's afraid of cows - now that's a first!)Generally a good challenge I think, with lots of riding for me.

We're practically peeing in our pants with excitement over the nearing arrival of our Portland gang! Julianne, Corrie, Christa and Steph are much anticipated. We're going to try and scare up some inner tubes for a float down the Red Cedar River and are thinking of other ways to experience some good old fashioned country livin'. Honorary John Deere baseball caps for all!

So sorry to all who have emailed me recently. I'm on a computer about once every two weeks and tonight I had just a half hour to get this done (a far cry from my time at Hopkins where I just sat at the computer and waited for emails to come in). I'll respond to you at some point - but I'm not ignoring you and I love your correspondance as always. Phone is still the best way to reach me for now: 715 658 1581.

Much love and sunny warm days to all!


Monday, June 13, 2005

The Grand Exodus Has Begun

Much like Charis and Jay's move into the Minneapolis house almost exactly a year ago, we had a very typical hot and humid midwest summer day for moving them out to the farm this past Saturday. The rains held off though, and half the boxes and furniture in the house were graciously packed up by our wonderful family, then promptly unpacked two hours later in Colfax. The farmhouse is looking beautiful (if I do say so myself) and is wonderfully complimented by the furniture that has been generously handed down from all of our parents. There is a little bit of everyone's family at the farm, creating our own version of a castle out of chaos. The peonies are in full bloom, the vines are making their way up the sides of outbuildings, and the horses are fat and happy. Flannery and Gus are great cat-heroes, adjusting to yet another (and hopefully their last) move. Aside from the bed boxspring falling on Flannery (who miraculously trotted away from the scene), they seem to be managing just fine (aka, cowering under the bedroom covers for a few hours before venturing out into the farmhouse for a look at their new digs).

It was really hard to leave the farm that gorgeous Saturday evening after a satisfying day of moving and a hearty bbq dinner at the picnic table with the family.

Chris and I have space galore at the Minneapolis house for anyone looking for a place to stay this summer! That is to say, it's very quiet and sparse...but still our home for a few more months. I wonder how long I'll continue to see phantom cats prance by our room out of the corner of my eye, or mistake the neighbor's music for the sound of Jay's horn from the basement. My morning just isn't the same without Gus following me around, begging for a few minutes of birdwatching time on the porch before I go to work. But, this will be a good summer of adjustment. We have a lot more change to look forward to - I feel like we're all on the cusp of when the really good stuff starts to happen.

Mom and dad came home to Minneapolis from China the same week Charis and Jay moved to the farm - it's great to have them in the neighborhood, especially now that the house is a little lonelier. It's been such a treat to hear mom and dad's travel adventure stories unfold as they process the enormity of their experiences. We await photos and more details to come and have already enjoyed chrysanthemum tea, candied ginger and other wonderful souveniers.

I haven't talked to Charis and Jay since Saturday, but imagine they are busy getting the barn and pastures ready for the arrival of both Charis's training horse and also our newest member of the farm horse family early this week.

Plans for the deck continue to unfold and the posts will be dug and cement poured as the next major step. Many thanks to Eric for setting up the electricity in the basement for our washer and dryer. We will think of you each time a fresh load is taken out of the washer to hang on the line to dry. Also thanks to Kevin for more deck planning advice, and dozens of premature thanks to those of you who will get roped into helping us measure, cut, place, and nail the boards that will create a fantastic outdoor living deck space (and hot tub home)!

And that's the latest news from Minneapolis/Colfax. Have a happy Flag Day (and 37th anniversary, mom and dad)!