Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Stock #9...#9...#9...

Sorry, I don't really care for The Beatles all that much, really (although I can appreciate their place in the history of 20th century music, and I HAVE been known to tap my toes or sing along...), but I couldn't resist! Anyway, it's been a busy week, so let me start out by saying KITTENS!!! Here's a little miracle that took place in my house on Thursday - Kaia, the sort-of homeless kitty (who was pregnant) showed up at my door Tuesday night, soaked from the rain, hurt from a fight, and looking pretty ready to pop, so I took her in, fed her, and made a nice place for her to relax and give birth. Which she did. Not in the nice little spot I made for her, though, in my bed! Eeew, I know, but I went straight to the laundromat when she was done, and my blanket is fine! So it looks like I'll be caring for her (and her babies) for the next 8 weeks or so...Anyone want a kitten? They are awfully darn cute!

So, that's been pretty fun and exciting on a daily basis, not to mention that my son is in love with them, and wants to keep them all! I keep insisting to him that we will only keep one of the kitties, and maybe Kaia, herself, but we will have to wait and see how things pan out - hopefully, the process of giving them good homes won't be too heartbreaking for him... Oh, and the story on Kaia is this: she was given to my BF as a too little kitten (shouldn't have been taken from her mom), and ended up at my place for 'kitty-sitting' when BF ended up in the ICU for a week. She went back to him for a few weeks, until he, um, got arrested, then came back over here. I took care of her until she started attacking my son, at which point, she ended up at the downstairs neighbor's. He mistreats her, so when she felt ready to give birth, she showed up here, where (I suspect) she knew she'd be taken in, fed, and cared for. I'm glad she did, and she's been a regular sweetheart to me (and my son) since. I have to seriously consider whether or not I can give her regular pet status, although I will most likely keep one of the kittens. I have time, yet, so I haven't decided!

In other exciting news, BF, the boy, and I went to a wonderful barbecue this past Saturday hosted by an old buddy of ours, and his newish wife. We all had a blast, enjoying home-cooked deliciousness from our hosts' bountiful garden, and my son got to indulge his love of drums while the guys were setting up to play! He even got to jam with them for a bit, which made him feel pretty special, but ultimately, I had to drag him off the stool so the guys could do what they had come to do! The little guy was pretty pissed off, and definitely took a few minutes to channel his inner rock star by pouting and sulking, but he got another chance to play a little later on - thanks, guys! My friend whose drums these were made sure to tell me that I should definitely make the trip down to Sam Ash (music store he is GM at) and get my boy a set of skins post-haste, as he exhibited some serious talent (mama gushes with pride)!

I can't tell you how nice it was to see some of these folks, some of them for the first time in almost 20 years! The food was superb, the music incomparable, and the good vibes from good people felt incredibly special and renewing! That's BF, by the way, in the last photo - taking it all in and letting it fill him up with the kind of joy we used to know in our (ahem) youth. He closed his eyes, presumably to let the music (and the sound of this young woman's voice!) wash over him, and erase the hardships of the years, and just feel like we all did back then. That there was no where else to be, and nothing else to do, then listen to these guys play, and be happy. It was
probably one of the best times I've had since I moved to NY - the kind of great time where old friends hang out at the same place we all did back then, except now we have our kids with us, and they are meeting each other, and running off together to play. I want to hold on to that feeling as long as I can, and longer. I want to remember how to be joyous, and to feel free...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Blog!

The address to the new blog is

It's the Soons Orchard blog, and my boss, Sharon and I are tag-teaming the posts! Feel free to stop by, and check out what's going on the store! See you there...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Stock #8 - Back to Work!

So, unfortunately, this is what my summer looks like now! No more carefree meandering through woodland glens to swim in frigid mountain runoff in Vermont, no leisurely staining of furniture or afternoon movies, no sleeping in and reading in bed until my child makes ME breakfast! It's back to work, for me! The first image is our counter, piled high with 'stuff'. I can't pretend to know what most of that stuff is...looks like some cookbooks, the front door floor mats, my purse and Klean Kanteen, and a whole lot of crap!

The second image shows the center floorspace of the store with little to no floorspace. Everything is pushed into the middle of the store so the back section of floor can be painted (I didn't end up having to do THAT, either!). Looks like one big mess, huh? Guess who gets to put all the pieces back together after they've been scrubbed spotless? THAT'S right...yours truly!

Which brings us to...image the third, which is obviously the apple shelves, now empty, and ready for scrubbing clean so's I can paint them (they look great, by the way)!

Image 4 is the cider mill, also stripped down and bare for painting - there's a new layer of flat black spray paint on there, and the floor has a new coat of gray on it (thanks again, R!)

This is the rest of the cider mill - rolled out through the big garage door so the floor in the cider room can be painted.

And THIS...THIS is our NEW DONUT BAG! Yaay! Now maybe all of our customers will remember to tell their friends where they get their donuts...We took delivery on 28,000 of them, I hope they live up to our expectations!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Farms and Gardens

I drive by this spot four times a day on weekdays, driving my son to and from daycare. It's the corn field of a dairy farm in the foreground, and the mowed grass in the background. Having moved to New York from Vermont two years ago next month, I thank my lucky stars that I still get to see such beautiful sights as this! In a world of vanishing family farms, I feel blessed to work at a 99 year old orchard still run by the family who founded it back in 1910. I'm glad that my son knows that food comes from seeds that are planted in soil, and tended by people who then harvest it, so we can eat it. I'm glad he (mostly) understands that food has seasons, and the food we grow at the farm is healthier (and tastier) than the stuff in the supermarkets. My father was a farmer way back before I was born, before he moved to this country, and I am also thankful that he taught me to respect and appreciate the natural world. That I now get to pass this gift on to my child is a wonderful way to connect my son to his grandfather, whom he never knew. My father helped shape my spirituality with his love of nature, as it was out in the fields where he felt most connected to the Absolute. The best way that I can see to honor my father is to pass his gift - shop local, support family farms and farmer's markets, and plant a garden! You will be rewarded with good health, and the literal fruits (and veggies!) of your labors.

These are my son's pumpkins that are about two inches taller by now than they are in the photo, and have been seperated and replanted into additional pots. As I wrote in a previous post, he also chose to grow lima beans, strawberries, carrots, peppers, and hopefully some fruit from pits he saved (peach, plum, apricot - though I don't hold much hope for these!). We also just put two avocado pits into water, and hopefully these will sprout as well. I can't imagine a better way to spark a love of good food in a child than to help him grow some himself! I hope it works, and I'm looking forward to the joy of harvesting those veggies with him, and either eating them raw, or cooked up into yummy dishes. We planted so many, I'm also hoping to have enough to share! Next summer, I would like to build a terrace garden out in the yard, on the slope my landlady says she could never get anything to grow on. Well, I'm relatively certain I can grow A LOT of veggies on that slope, with a bit of planning and a bunch of elbow grease! Our container garden is starting to take over our porch, as we separate the seedlings into larger pots. Unfortunately, I'm probably going to have to put little cages around them soon, to put off the chipmunk and various other woodland creatures who helped themselves to our strawberries while we were out of town!

Summer, to me this week, is about going back to work and getting the store all set to open for the season. Painting, scrubbing, washing, sweeping, making peanut butter, answering the phones, doing inventory and ordering, getting ready for the markets. Peaches are ready for picking this week, and it seems like the whole county is waiting for them! Folks call every day wondering when the peaches will be in - folks who know the value of a good old locally grown peach. Nothing better! I will be posting on the orchard's new blog, and I will post the link as soon as I can - which is as soon as I know what it is, and how to do it! Join me over there for updates on how things are going on the farm this season - I am looking forward to sharing!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The last day of vacation...

Daisy's Eye View

Merry Go Round

I want this bike.

So. It's my last day of vacation...sounds pretty depressing, right? Well, after a month off, it IS pretty depressing! I was just getting about ready to give myself up to summer, and jump into a camper van to tour the festivals as long as it was fun, and the cash held out! Of which I say to you, can be a very long time, indeed. Alas. I will be going back to work on Monday morning like the responsible adult that I am - or try to be, on occassion. ; )

It's 4 o'clock in the morning, and I'm spending more time just staring at the screen wondering what to type than typing. I guess I should turn in, and just accept the fact that staying up too damn late doesn't make the vacation last any longer! Looking forward to making some money, though...

Got a lot done, could have done more, but at least my kitchen is CLEAN! And I have a few stupid new things like a toilet seat, tp holder, and towel bar. My little veggie starts are doing great, and I need to transplant them already - we're gonna have a lot of pumpkins and carrots, if all goes well! The chipminks ate all my strawberries while I was in Vermont, little bastards, but I can't hardly blame them...hoping the plant feels like putting out a few more. BF will be by to help me finish up the boy's furniture and bedroom, thank goodness, it's just the kind of project that I need to do WITH somebody! I need the company, and someone to help keep me on track!

I'm just now remembering that I wanted to try out this new format, but it's too late, and I'm too past tired to deal with it now, so I'll have to keep it in mind for next time...Happy 4th of July, America!