Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Stock #11

Very short (and late) post this week, just wanted to say, "Look what I built!" I ordered this loft online, unfinished, back in April, and it has been lying around on my living room floor in various incarnations since then...

From shipping boxes, to raw wood, to half-stained, to one coat on everything, to a second coat on half of it, to two full coats on ALL pieces (yes, each piece needed to be stained individually, and there are more pieces than you can see...). Then I emptied the boy's room, put two coats of paint on, and FINALLY assembled the damn thing yesterday (Sunday, August 9).

Many thanks to my BF, who helped IMMENSELY with this project by helping me stain when he could, when he had a free day, and came over to work on it while I was at work - also for helping get the room painted, and with the finally assembly. I COULD have done it without him, but I'm glad I didn't have to!

Luckily, the boy was visiting with Grandma yesterday, so he was not underfoot during the final process! I'm pretty excited to see his reaction when he gets home this afternoon! He helped me empty his room out, so it won't be a total shock, and when I called to say goodnight to him, I told him it was done. Still, I think it will be quite a surprise...and we still have to set the rest of his stuff back up (toys, bookshelves, dresser). As of now, it's an empty room with a loft in it!

And, just because, here's a picture of one of our early apple varieties over at the Orchard - Summer Macs! Yum! Mr. Soons claims to be the first person in NY state to grow these, back in the 1960's - I'm going to believe him!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Stock #10

Welcome to Soons Orchards - open for its 99th season! It took some blood, a LOT of sweat, and maybe a tear or two to get everything ready for the opening this year, but I got it done - even when my employer popped in (after most of the summer here or there) 3 days 'till opening wanting to rearrange and paint all the furniture! I sucked it up, and made it happen. And nobody even said 'thank you'. No 'job well done' or a pat on the back. No glasses of champagne and toasts to a profitable season. Just business as usual - which is to say, disgruntled employees bitching on day one that they don't want to be here, that they need full-time, year-round employment.

And I'm thinking, "then why did you even bother punching in? Why don't you take your bad attitude right back out the door, and leave me to do my job in peace?" The image to the right is the pretty-as-a-picture little nook just to the left of the front door where I come in every morning. This is one of the reasons I consider myself so lucky to be working where I do, as I water and deadhead the flowers so those that choose to take a little break on our bench have a nice place to reflect for a moment before stepping out of our time-warped farm market back into the hustle and bustle of daily life. Could you walk past this happy little scene, and then choose to have a bad day? Talk about stopping to smell the flowers...

This is just a fun juxtaposition between the Farmer's Choice order (right) having come in on time, and the Webster's order (above) having not! Looks good, huh? The Webster's actually came in on Thursday, the day before our 'soft' opening, so the hutch was actually full on opening day (whew!). Kinda makes you want some jam, doesn't it? Doesn't it? I think it does...! Comes in damn near every variety I can think of, and a few I couldn't have made up...

Finally, we have Slingerland's honey, which is significant, because this is the honey made by the bees that are 'rented' to fertilize our Orchards, who live just up the road from us! We sell a lot of Slingerland honey during the allergy season - some of our customers swear by it! I don't have allergies, so I wouldn't know, but I do know that the local-est honey you can get is what is best to take for allergies, and it doesn't get any local-er than this! The Slingerland's have been selling their honey at the Orchard for just about 60 years, as far as he and Mr. Soons can recall, and I'm willing to bet they're right about that - they were both just teen aged farm-boys back then, and I have to say, it makes me glad in my heart to hear those two get going about 'the old days'. If there were ever a reason to go to work in the morning, for me, it is the possibility of hearing cool stories about simpler times from the sort of people who take the effort to make sure those ways don't die out completely by following in the long-standing traditions of producing a quality product with integrity and expertise. I, for one, see no need to look any further for the sort of work one can feel good about doing, and people one can be proud to say they know. My job may be hard, sometimes, but I am thankful that I have found it. I will not get rich doing this work, but I will make an honest living, and the lessons my son will learn on the farm will be invaluable in the world that he will find himself growing up in. Please support your local farms and farmers - they are our past, and also our future! I don't want to even TRY to imagine my world without them!