We took a little break from the farm this past weekend. While the momentary reprieve from manual labor felt good, we’re looking forward to everything fall will bring at the farm (minus the mice, of course). If you need a little break this week, check out my favorite procrastination links from around the web…Read More
Let me introduce you to the Bettys. We are four friends who, many years ago while getting squiffed together, decided to call each other ‘Betty.’ We are the founding Bettys and if you hang out with us, you are an honorary Betty.
Yes, I know. A very youthful constraint, to name ourselves after hot skater girls. But in our defense, we had just put on the middle school carnival. I challenge you to spend six hours in a gym with two hundred tweens without reverting to those vapid days.Read More
It’s a rain-soaked, soggy day in Wisconsin, and I’m thrilled to finally have an excuse to take a day off from weeding. I know the rain will only bring more weeds, but a day off is not a bad thing. I hope you take a break to enjoy my favorite procrastination links from around the web this week…Read More
Do we look like two soldiers in the pic above? We are settling into a workflow now. There’s Atticus who loves freeing things like trees encircled in wire, limestone paths covered in dirt, or fieldstone fences drowning in hostas. He wants to see progress now, dammit, now. There’s Walter who won’t let anyone weed anything because of medicinal properties and nutrients. Stinging nettle can cure blah blah blah and purslane tastes delicious with blah blah blah. There’s my nephew Graham who loves the slash and burn approach. He has sharpened the antique tools hanging on the walls of the chicken coop and if I don’t keep a close watch, the 40-year-old tamarack pine will be pruned into a telephone pole in an afternoon. There’s Nick who is painting chickens and Jane who pets chickens and Liz who names chickens and George who says chickens are dicks.
Many areas of the farm make me swoon. Other parts make me hyperventilate. My husband and I face a vast task ahead.
Yet it feels like summer vacation every single day. The bare grass on my feet and the itch of mosquito bites are like a muscle memory. I pierced my toe with a pitchfork and marvel at the blood. I scraped my face on a chicken box and just kept going because gathering eggs is so flipping fun. Our work is play. There are endless things to do and nothing to do. It is heaven.
I’m shocked to discover that God is everywhere. Atheism is hard to maintain in August on a flower farm. I suppose that atheism and nature grow in inverse proportion.
And dirt, man, it’s relative. There is such a thing as clean dirt. I’ve enjoyed watching Dona, my husband’s favorite new helper, eat her granola with grubby hands. She’s healthy as a horse, with the strength of a carnival strongman and the endurance of Betty White. A diet of good dirt must be one of her secrets to prolonging her youth.
Anyway, here’s a video from our first week. We’ve already made quite a dent. More to come of course!
I hope all of you gardeners are reaping the delicious rewards of your hard work, and that the rest of you are hitting your local farmers’ markets for the vegetables that abound this time of year. While you are eating the rainbow, take a break and check out my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More
Chickens: the creator of eggs, nature’s alarm clocks, and delicious Sunday afternoon dinners. Not that I would dare to consume any of my beloveds at the farm. I would, however, shame a few of them, which has become quite the trend on Instagram.Read More
The warm weather continues here in Wisconsin. I hope you find a few moments of air conditioned peace. During your next lemonade break, check out my favorite links from around the web.Read More
This week’s post is a little sloppy because the weather is fine so I am required to report for weed duty. They are unstoppable, the bindweed, the lamb’s quarter, the farter’s button, overrunning every inch of our idyllic little farm like the oligarch tourists swarming over Lake Como.Read More
It’s going to be a hot one in Wisconsin this week. Perfect for taking a dip in a lake. I hope you are staying cool wherever you may be. If you need a little break this week, check out my favorite links from around the web…Read More
Lots of people in the Milwaukee area know our farm well. It was a thriving business and a popular destination for over forty years. When folks learn that we are the new owners, the first question they ask is, “What about the chickens?”
The chickens are staying. As of Monday, we are in charge of their welfare. All thirty-nine of them. Scott and his staff are done renting and we are keepers of the coop.Read More
I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing Fourth of July weekend. If you need a little break as you head into the week ahead, check out my favorite procrastination links from around the web…Read More
I’ve written about how to shop an estate sale before, guaranteeing that you will net high quality furniture, art, and household items at bargain basement prices. I don’t understand why, when I attend an estate sale, it’s not like Back Friday. Perhaps people don’t have the time. Perhaps there is the stigma of buying something used something once owned by a person who now might be dead.
Or maybe people are intimidated by the rules. My husband being one. Here’s a funny story:Read More
July is officially here and we will be taking full possession of the farm! I’m looking forward to sharing posts about the gardens, chickens, and antique glass house in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you need a little break check out my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More
I am off to a writing workshop at the University of Iowa this week. And after that we will be taking full possession of the farm! I’m looking forward to all of the projects and gardening that await us! If you need a little break this week, check out my favorite procrastination links from around the web…Read More
In its heyday, the mangroves at Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, sheltered a barrel of wild monkeys who so loved their mistress, Evelyn Bartlett, that they seemed to know exactly when she was en route from Massachusetts. By the time she arrived for the winter season, they were gathered in the branches overhanging the porch, awaiting the toast points with strawberry jam that Evelyn fed them.
It seems outrageous, calling to mind Mrs. Thurston Howell III, doesn’t it? But such are the privileges of the very very wealthy. And what good fortune that Evelyn Bartlett (whose maiden name was indeed Fortune) did not sell her valuable property to Fort Lauderdale developers, that instead she donated all 35 acres to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.Read More
The farm has been keeping me busy these days, especially the never-ending weeding! But I couldn’t love the gardens more. If you need a break this week, check out my favorite procrastination links from around the web…Read More
English is not his mother tongue but that doesn’t stop my dad from going through the fine print on contracts. “Part and labor for one year,” he reads aloud to me.
I correct him. “Parts,” I say.
“Do parts include silly putty?” he asks me.
“What are you talking about?”
He had noticed a leak coming from the new air conditioner. The front panel is attached via round bolts threaded through oval holes. Which explains the minute threads of cooled air escaping past his outstretched hand. He calls the HVAC guy and tells him to bring his silly putty.Read More
I am off to a writing workshop at The Clearing in Door County, Wisconsin this week. I’m looking forward to some time focused entirely on writing. If you need a little break this week, check out my favorite procrastination links from around the web…Read More
It’s back! Season Two of that wonderful whodunit/howdunit/whydunit Big Little Lies, executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, will air on HBO beginning Sunday, June 9th.
Longtime blog readers will remember my erudite young friend Max who hated La La Land. Our disagreement made for a good blog post. Max has strong opinions and backs them up. Also, he’s a classy debater. And he is currently working in L.A. as a producer. So I like turning to him for an insider’s perspective. What follows is our chat about Season One. It took place two years ago. I jotted it down. (Yes, I often write down the clever things you people say to me.)Read More
As we remember those who have served our country, I hope you have a day filled with sunshine, picnics, and time spent with family and friends. If you need a little break as you head into the week ahead, check out my favorite links from around the web…Read More