Yesterday we celebrated my birthday...late. Hey, these days we have to make an appointment just to get the three of us in the same location!
I also realized that my blog's anniversary came and went...oops! Then I discovered on my sidebar that no post archives prior to 2007 are showing...what?? I started blogging here in Spring 2006.
Well, anyway, Happy Birthday To Meeee, and Happy Blogaversary to TheBackForty!!!
If I were more together, I'd have a giveaway to celebrate. I'll have to search the stash and see if I can come up with some of those winter crafty things somebody might be interested in....dunno...some gift-giving seed packets??
Yesterday to celebrate my B-day, we had a relaxed breakfast at home and then hit the road to go about an hour away to a more rural area that has a couple good feed-and-seed stores geared more to the Ag people than city folks. I was in seed heaven as the owner measured out scoopsful of bulk crop seed into the metal hanging scale...pink-eye purple hull peas, fordhook limas, clemson spineless okra, snap bean seeds. And a couple tablespoons each of yellow crookneck squash and cucumber seeds...hooray!!! We wandered around browsing the open-air shed, and it was perfect weather...warm sun, bit of a breeze...and animal feed, tack, and equipment all 'round. There were handprinted ads for horses and dogs for sale tacked to the counter, and all the math at checkout was done with a handheld calculator...cool! It's a good thing they didn't have chicks in or we may have bought them, too, and then had to figure out the next step later. :)
Well, it's BIG HUGE news for me, but if I can slowly save my money the next few months, we've both agreed it would be feasible to purchase a dog. To some this is an easy matter, but we're being very VERY careful with our money just now and are unable to justify additional expenses because we have an actively-decreasing amount of debt, and do NOT want to lose our momentum in seeing it ALL go away by sometime next year. This is THE crucial year in that equation for staying consistent.
So there is no big rush, but it's nice to know that I can trim a bit here and there and sock it away in anticipation of getting a farmstead dog! (for the future farmstead, of course, and the present farm-girl-in-waiting)
On the way to the Feed-and-Seed, we passed a five acre family farm that has one of my favorites...Barbados Blackbelly Sheep. I'm not sure why I have such an affinity for this animal, but EVERY time I see them, I KNOW we'll be raising them if ever given a chance...the same way I know I want a Jersey cow and some chickens...I just know. Every time we've passed that way in the past, we've had to stifle the urge to just pull in and knock on a stranger's door and ask to see their sheep. In fact this was part of Jack's plan yesterday, but after we pulled onto the side of the road, I had an attack of shyness and insecurity and we had a conversation that went something like this:
Me: Are we really going to just drive up and go knock on their door?
Jack: Well, I know you really love those sheep. Don't you want to?
Me: Sure, I want to, but I wonder what they'd think of our just driving right up there and wanting to see their animals...after all, the sheep are in the back of the property this time.
Jack: Well, we don't HAVE to, I just thought you'd enjoy it. Y'know, like ask them questions.
Me: What kinds of questions? I'm not sure what questions I'd be asking at this point. But I'm sure I could think of some.
Jack: Well, I thought you had a lot of questions. Yeah, if you don't, we probably don't need to bother them.
Me: You mean it would seem weird to just stand there and say "hi, you don't know us, and we're not selling anything, but we were driving by and for her birthday, my wife would love to see your sheep"?
(this is when we both start laughing)
Jack: I just thought you'd love to see them.
Me: I would, I would, and I'm really glad you thought of it! I'm just worried this might be like the time we left a note with our phone number in it on the mailbox of the neighbor we don't know who lives a mile down from our house, telling her we love seeing her border collies always waiting for her at the gate every afternoon, and asking her if she got them from a breeder she could recommend to us. And then we never heard from her and noticed she was kind of freaked out for several days and had locked up her dogs??
Me: OK, I'm just feeling shy about approaching strangers and kind of barging in...
Jack: No problem. I just thought you had questions
Me: Well. I could ask them how they deal with the parasites down here and if they have to worm their sheep a lot or if they are bred to be highly resistant? Like "Hi! It's my birthday and I wanted to ask you if your sheep are parasite-resistant and by the way can I go look at them?"
Both of us: (Looking at each other for a second)
Jack: We're weird.
Me: Yes. We're freaks. But you know, if we lived in the country we wouldn't be having this conversation. People in the country like talking about their animals. The "country" here is too near the city.
Jack: So we'll stop here another time, right?
Me: (laughing) Yes, I think that would be better...
And then we see it.
You know the type, the little church on the side of the road with the marquee that has some weekly phrase or inspirational quip to catch the attention. This inverted V-roof one sat in a neatly-manicured little pastoral patch of ground flaked by a small blacktop parking lot.
Beside the road, its marqee read
IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH?
FIND OUT THIS SUNDAY APRIL 30
We passed the church as we continued on down the highway.
Me: I don't know about that, y'know.
Me: About that church back there. Did you read the sign?
Jack: Yeah...what about it?
Me: "Is there life after death? Find out this Sunday!" I wonder if Jim Jones tried that on his marquee. Y'know...with free Koolaid and refreshments in the fellowship hall before service?
Jack: You're sick (laughing)
Me: I'm just sayin'...
We spent the rest of the day hanging out together eating Mexican with our daughter at a local dive, and went home and planted all the poo piles with the newly-acquired seed stash and watering everything in. We sat quietly on the back porch at the end of the day, pondering the Great Questions of Life (such as Life After Death and its relation to sermons and Koolaid, ha!) and listening to the evening sounds approach. We passed a gallon of Spring water back and forth to each other for some long swigs. Tired, sunburnt, happy!
A perfect day.