So. Went treasure hunting this morning. Why I got up at 6:30 am on my day off... well, I'm just glad I got sleep at all. Insomnia, you know. Pretty soon I'll be starting underground fight clubs. I kid lol. What's weird is that lately, when I DO sleep, I just have crazy dream after crazy intense dream. But I suppose that's a story for another time, off the subject at the very least, so here ends that digression (there will probably be others though).
Anyway, I got up way too early for a day off and decided to go check out the garden. There's this zucchini I've had my eye on for several days now, and I had a craving for some zuc fried up with eggs and cheese for breakfie. Our zucchini crop has been quite pitiful this year, sadly, so we've all been like vultures circling the ones that do pop up. Well, I hadn't picked it yet when I noticed some tomaters near by... which then led me to a bare patch in the earth. Somewhat like a kitten following a butterfly, I suppose. This bare patch marked where I'd previously dug up a couple of yukon golds. It was a purely experimental dig- see, this particular potato plant had sprung up of it's own accord; apparently, we'd missed a tater during harvest last year and lo and behold, a volunteer!
Now, as I'd only pulled two big taters out of this spot and a handful of little ones, at 7 am this morning I thought, why not? There's bound to be more in there. So I started to dig. And by jove was it a fantastic and exciting treasure hunt, and like any such adventure should be, it was fraught with peril as well as rewards. Not the kind of Indiana Jones, finding gold and jewels, running from giant boulders and head hunters type of adventure, but plenty good enough for me. Yes, I had my share of peril. I encountered TWO nasty scary yucky grubs- tho of course I was gentle and placed them in other pastures even though they GROSSED ME OUT. Also I encountered a big fat earthworm, which yes I know is great for my garden but I have a phobia ok? I bravely ignored my squeamishness and carefully relocated heshe (as I'm pretty sure earth worms are, um, both sexes?).
Anyway, the terror and the dig were well rewarded. Look at this loot. I'm going to make a huge batch of bacon potato cheese soup (yes the former vegetarian has fallen so far) and I'm going to throw in some onion stems- the flower stalks have this exquisite flavor-and I'm going to spread the wealth. I'm going to take some to Mom and Potterman, and my awesome friends/ neighbors Ociffer Martooni (which does her funny side justice but she's a beauty too, also she is the aforementioned bestower and addictor of pedicures lol) and her hubby the king. Not that he is some patriarchal monarch, nor a crooner from Tennessee, but somehow he just ended up with that nickname.
Somehow it just seems like a miracle that this beautiful food grew right here in the dirt in my yard. And I tell ya, you don't see yukons this big in the store, nor would they be as tender as these if you did. It's almost like they have no skin at all. If only I had I good knife for chopping them. Working where I do, with quality utensils, makes me a tad displeased with what I have at home. LOL but I'm happy, and if junky knives are my biggest complaint, then I'm luckier than most.
Wow, so many hummingbirds surround me! (Sitting in the garden writing this.) The daisies are translucent with the morning sun, and even more pleasing to me than these little bomber humming birds is all the bees. They hover 6 inches from my face, scoping the flowers. I know that would freak some people out but it's worms and grubs that get me lol. When I see these bees legs laden and heavy with pollen it makes my heart skip with joy. Bees are the... messengers? harbingers? procreators? of our future. Not to go too far on a tangent, but human kind has tried to replicate what bees do for us and has so far failed. We NEED bees to pollinate our crops. The circle of life, yo. End digression.
Later I'll tell you about my new family members but at this point I don't want to jinx it. I've lost too many furry kids and these new ones are attaching to my heart at an alarmingly quick rate. Plus I think they make my nose run. Lol but it's more than worth it.
If you're lucky, I'll put up the soup recipe, and if I don't, it's really just cuz I'm a slacker. Please pardon my vernacular, like I said, I got up at 6:30 on my day off and I'm about ready to crawl back in bed.
As we always said at the dinner table when I was a kid: rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub, yay God!
P.S. Sorry if the pictures don't show up; I'm sure you've seen potatoes before. My hard drive blew up recently and not only was it a terrible time, I lost many things. Photoshop was one, and it was the tool with which I usually condense photos for the web.
The craziest, most unimaginable thing in the entire world happened. It wasn't this hawk, though that was pretty darn cool too. It sat in this tree about 25 feet up for at least an hour. It kept crying it's sad sweet cry. I think it had hurt it's leg, but luckily, not a wing because that would have been a death sentence. All the little birds were really pissed about it chillin' there and kept dive bombing it the entire time it sat there. The hawk would duck if he had to, but mostly just ignored them. And boy were they talkin' some schmack to it, too. Turns out it was a Ferruginous hawk (buteo regalis) and yes regal is a great latin name for them. They are the largest hawk species! Cool!!!! And I got million great pics but I was too lazy to put 'em up. Ha.
Anyway like I said that's not the crazy thing. Are you sitting down? I just cracked myself up because how many people STAND at their computers? Here it is: I got a job... that I LIKE. Omg I think the world stopped turning for a sec there. I never ever believed in such a thing. A job you like? That's like Unicorns and Dragons. A nice story, but pure myth. And the day I ran out of money (well, the liquid cash I'd been living on) I got a job. For good pay, too. I didn't know I was going to like it tho. I figured it'd just be, you know, work. Hopefully tolerable, but even if I hated it I'd have income. And it turns out, I love it.
I'm a sous chef and all I do every day is FUN STUFF!!!!!! I make cakes and pies and rolls from scratch. I peel taters and make tater salad. I even make the salad dressings! I make apple walnut salad and pasta salad and the darn YUMMIEST chicken salad ever!! I boil eggs and peel 'em, and that may sound menial, but to think that I get PAID to do it!!! I get paid to do one of my favorite things ever, prepare food! I mean, some of my favorite websites are just recipe collections and I love reading them. I was considering culinary school for sheesh sakes. Now I'm getting the real deal on the job experience can you believe it?!?! 'Kay I think I'm going to wear out my exclamation key now. Suffice to say, I'm stoked.
So, I have all these great pictures of my recent trip to PA, and I had some of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell that would have been PERFECT for this holiday. But I'm house sitting in Phoenix right now. (I love starting a sentence with "but" 'cause it's such bad grammar.) And I had all these great blogs planned out based on my trip but... I forgot my "connect camera to computer" cord thingy. I might just have to go buy one- it'd probably be cheaper than the gas to drive home, yeah? And I'm tired of having sad blogs and I know this does her no justice but it's all I can take. Here's the last picture I ever took of Lilly. She's got her head deep in a sour cream container. 'Kay gonna go cry now but after that I'll get back to my awesome trip visiting my loved ones. Whenever I get a cord, that is. Because I've got a lot to share. Wow, I started sentences with "and" and "because", too, which I think is also incorrect. Ah well. ttfn.
Yes dear, that is why I planted those rows of corn. Just for you. Because it's the perfect kitty bed in the warm afternoon sun. And it just doesn't get any better than that. Now cover your ears because I can't hold back the high pitched AW any longer.
That was the closest thing to a name he ever had. Also lil' booger, and precious angel, and sweet baby. This is him one day old. Actually just under 24 hours, Wednesday evening. Also 1 day old here. That was when I noticed his big sister didn't look too well. I thought she wasn't breathing right, though I didn't want to be a panicky new grandma. My mom had I already been up all night before with the birthing, and we were pooped. After a while of the girl crying I had to call my Mom, even if it was a false alarm. Which unfortunately it wasn't. We tried all kinds of things, from cat cpr to an inhaler. We thought that she was pulling through whatever it was, but the next morning she was panting again, so we took Mama Leonidus and all the kittens to the vet. Turns out Leo wasn't producing milk, and the vet asked us to leave the babies there, emergency status. They had a mama cat there that they were going to try to get the kittens to nurse on, but they were worried they were too weak even to nurse. It was 11 am. The vet said to call around 2:30. At three we were able to talk to the technician, and she said we could come get the kittens, but she needed to go over a lot of things. Right after we got there and were shown to a room, we were told the littlest girl had just died. The tech told us that she'd had many a litter not make it even with bottle feedings and supplements, but she gave Mom and me all the things we'd need to try to keep the last two alive. I really couldn't have done it alone, just the 2 hour feedings would have me on sleep deprivation. Mom took the worst shift, too, the wee hours of the morning. The other girl didn't make it through the first night, and I buried her and her sister together the next day. Lil' dude, though, was a tough booger and he was really hanging in there. Look at that fat belly. His wiry limbs were incredibly strong, and so was his voice when he felt disgruntled. And Leo kept up with the duties she was able to, like washing him. And hiding him. I had to lock her out of my room where he was so she'd stop taking him out of the box with the heating pad; he had to stay warm. When he made it to 7 days I felt like we might not be out of the woods but we had reached a landmark. One week old, another one of those and his eyes would be open, in another he'd be clumsily getting into trouble and exploring the world, eating real food. I've had the pleasure of showing kittens the outdoors for the first time in their lives, and it's never any less exciting for me than it is for them. I couldn't wait to see what he would look like as he matured, having a dwarf persian mom and - I'm assuming- a normal father. What combo would little dude be? Anyway, he died a few hours into his eighth day. Died in my hand, though I begged him not to, and god to not let him. I buried him with his sisters. That's all I can write because my throat is closing painfully and distraction is how I deal with things like this. I just thought I should finish the kittens' story so that when I never mention them again you'll know why. I know we did everything we could but it just hurts.
If a picture says a thousand words, how many words are synonymous with miraculous, precious, and beautiful? "Lil' black brussels sprout heads", according to my mom, is one. Well I guess technically that's FIVE words. Also, to be completely honest, I can see that they look a little alien. They have bat qualities, with their thin, fuzzy, almost translucent skin. And they can look a little, well, rat- ish. Even kinda like monkeys. And yet they are also the most breathtaking, gorgeous, perfect little beings. I have spent many, many hours just admiring them and it's true, my breath does catch. When Mama Leo lets me catch a peek. She seems to be trying an "incubate the eggs" method of mothering. I'm kidding, she's just keeping them warm. In fact, it turns out she is a fabulous mother. She purrs and snuggles and kneads the air while they are nursing. If she shifts positions, and one baby isn't happy with that, she keeps adjusting her body until they are all comfortable (omg they make the MOST INSANELY cute baby noises in the universe!!!!! I mean, it's far from meows, it's little cries and snifflings and tiny complaints and sucklings- ok deep breath). When she finally got up to eat, though, (then relieve herself, then eat... then pee again then eat some more, poor dear, that was a lot of work) I had them all to myself!! They are literally so amazing that I find myself tearing up with a lump in my throat. Also, lucky for you, if a picture's worth 1,000 words, than five pictures is worth 5,000, right? Five also happens to be the number of pictures Blogger lets me put per post. The little angel brussels sprout adorable alien babies are only 15 hours old and I have 25 pictures so far. If I'd had more than four hours sleep that number might have been tripled by now, but I'm trying for restraint. Yeah, right. Good luck with that.
May 19, 2009, 10:30pm, it's a girl! One poor baby that never developed and was stillborn, who still deserves to be remembered. May 19, 2009, 11:30pm, it's a boy! May 20, 2009, 1:00am, it's a girl! Congrats Leonidus!!
*For the win. New growth abounds out in the beautiful summer-like weather! And not just where we planted things... This potato came up on the edge of the bean bed- guess we missed it during last years harvest 'cause all the potatoes we planted this year are on the other side of the garden! There's at least 20 of those coming up. Then another potato volunteered a couple feet away from that one. And then... another in the compost pile hee hee! Then there's the sunflowers. There're at least 30 of the suckers coming up all over the place- they'll be mixed in with pretty much every other veggie, fruit, and flower bed, from the taters to the peas. Speaking of peas, got about 6 of them that volunteered. This pretty little clump of red leaf lettuce came up all on it's own, before we'd planted any. So if this is what the garden does on it's own, you can imagine how great it's going to be with all that we've planted- and we've planted a heck of a lot, and the best part is we planted every bed with tons of different flowers, so in the squash there will be larkspur, in the cabbage will be zinnias, and cosmos in the taters. We even planted a couple rows of sunflowers randomly into the corn rows! Can't wait!
I always thought that was a weird expression. But watching Nikita try to get her entire body underground, it made sense. She was going for broke. I don't know what the heck was in there, but she wouldn't leave. Not even for dinner!
I watched for awhile to see if a packrat or bunny would suddenly make a break for it, or if Niki would actually get in there... but then it started getting dark.
"Okay Niki, that's enough," I said. She listened to me about as much as a stump would, so I thought I'd foil her plans with a big rock! And that worked about as well as her listening to me. I finally had to take her by the collar, but you know what? I'm still curious about what was in there. And now I'll never know. Poor Niki. I feel your pain.
Okay, MAYBE you could make it through your day without looking at my toes. Three pictures of them, at that. But I can't. I just want to look at them all day, freakishly long though they are. In fact, having never had a pedicure, I was worried that they would take one look at my toes and grimace with horror. Maybe they would even say they couldn't touch them. Or maybe I was just scared of having a stranger touch my naked feet.
I certainly wouldn't have done this on my own, but my lovely friend, who works hard and plays hard too, wanted to treat me and Mom to this. Mom and I were both scared. We held hands. And it was soothing, painless, and rather pampering.
I haven't had coffee in a month or so and this morning it sounded nice so I brought some to the front lines with me. Yes, the former coffee snob now has a can of Yuban in the cupboard that has lasted... four months? Hey, at least it's organic.
Look at this arrogant tumble weed!! Just growing in my yard like it belongs there. Rude!
And you gotta get the root when you pull 'em- if you just break them off at the surface they WILL come back, with more branches. They're like hydras I tell you! Monsters!!
Does that make me Hercules? I doubt he had flowers painted on his toenails though.
I don't mean the Geo Storm parked next to the earth moving tractor. Though I suppose I could. Hey look it's my shadow. I should have waved. And is that Mr. Handsome there? Perched just so to catch the last rays of warmth that day? It is! "Hi Mom!" "Look, they named a tractor after me. See? Right there! I rule! Isn't that great?" Ah, the ego. It's a beautiful thing.
Where were you at 2 a.m. this morning? Tucked cozy and warm asleep in your bed? Flagging down the bartender before last call? Thanking Potterman for getting an ATV? You got me. After a mini road trip, he, Mom and I were stuck in the snow halfway up the driveway. We weren't very far from the house and could have walked it- the snow was only 5 or 6 inches deep. But you see, there's this way of thinking that sets in when you live in a town where you buy your beer from a gas station and the restaurants close in winter.
It's the Stockpile Syndrome. So when we drove by the Safeway 50 miles from home, we had to stop. No, the food wasn't the problem. It was the 9 six-packs of tonic water, several bottles of wine, and a case or two of beer. (I'm sure there were some non-drink related beverages, but they just aren't as important. ) As we climbed the last couple thousand feet toward home, it started snowing. And when it's that cold, you can't leave sealed containers of liquid in your car. Well, you can. Go ahead, I dare you. I'm just glad it wasn't a lesson this cali bumpkin had to learn first hand.
Anyway, what does this have to do with the bald eagles that have moved into the neighborhood? I daresay I digressed a bit, that's what. Ah yes, the trip. I didn't see Pheonix when I got home, but I figured he was just out being man of the yard. But when I woke up at 11 he still hadn't come home. A handy snow trait: I can tell if my kitties have come or gone. So I geared up in all my snow armor and took off to find him. Everywhere I walked there was only unblemished snow, not a print in sight.
Just as I was starting to really panic, a bald eagle flew over me, maybe 30- 35 feet up. It was amazing, beautiful, majestic... and big. Really, really big. I walked quicker and kept calling my kitty boy. I was nearing a neighbors weekend cabin when I thought to stop and listen for a second. Nothing. I went on, calling, stopped again. And there was the tiny high pitched meow that incongruously belongs to my big handsome cat. He crawled out from under the cabin, never breaking the ceaseless stream of merr-owwws that he and his sister have mastered.
Whether he was snuggled for the night or hiding from eagles, I don't know, but he appreciated the lift home. And the warm canned food. And my cozy, warm bed where he is sleeping right now. I guess I have to accept that I'm in the wilds now, with coyotes and eagles eyeballing my cats, where four wheel drive isn't just for show, and the beer comes in cans. Luckily I think Pheonix realizes it, too. That's why he switched to tuna juice. And two foot drive; human required.