In which there's a "new" kind of inclement weather, and also there's food

Another "new" 2020 crisis: we've closed the libraries because of smoke.

The libraries aren't, like, wide open or anything anyhow.  But we've had staff in buildings, and materials available for curbside pickup for more than a month...until Friday.  
Friday, the PTB's remembered that, due to COVID19 restrictions, buildings with staff inside are flushing 100% of the HVAC air out of the building and taking in 100% new air, continually.  This minimizes the amount of virus floating around in the internal atmosphere, which is good...

...but when the outside air is rated "dangerous for all things", the procedure is not good.  So, they sent everybody home Friday afternoon, and declined to "open" the buildings (to staff) on Saturday.  Our next "open" day is Tuesday.  Maybe we'll have rain before that?  
We can hope.  

It's exhausting, and frustrating, and it's just hard work to exist right now--just like the usual kind of inclement w…

In which "never say "never" " is a thing, and Fee and I ride Tevis

I can truthfully say that Susan Garlinghouse convinced me to do it.  
Although her most famous horse, the Mighty John Henry, sustained what most would call a career-ending (if not life-ending) injury last year, Susan signed him up for Tevis this year.
And if JH can do it, why not the Dragon?

But, wait.  Isn't the Dragon retired from endurance competitions?
Yes, she is retired.  The sustained concussion of 50+ miles of trotting was causing her too much discomfort--and you know I've always said that "sound enough" isn't sound enough for endurance, and that she would never do another one.
And, hold on.  Isn't Tevis considered one of the toughest (possibly the toughest) 100 mile ride in the world.
Again, the answer is yes.  
But this year, now that the World Has Ended, the answer is also no.

This year Tevis (like so many other things) is a virtual event.  And this year, competitors have 100 days to complete 100 miles.
This year, Fiddle and I can do it!

For leg #2 of our Te…

In which blackberries are delicious, and there's a poem I like to share

Every Swamp kid picks blackberries--either in great huge buckets as part of a family effort, or just as a casual grab-n-go while waiting for a friend, or a bus, or whatever.
Most adults here also pick blackberries, usually in moderation, a bucket or two each summer, made into jam to carry summer forward into winter, or syrup to drizzle over Sunday pancakes.Moderation in blackberries is not my style.

When the berries are ripening, at least one of us will head down to the bottom of the pasture every morning to pick some.  Blackberries top our summer oatmeal breakfasts, they go into jam and syrup, they get mixed in with applesauce to add a bit of color and tang.I know that blackberry pie is the go-to dessert for many people, but I'm more about crunch.  Over the years, I've messed around quite a lot with recipes, and am quite happy with this one.Haiku Farm Blackberry CrispThe bottom:Blackberries, mixed with sugar, agave, maple syrup, or whatever you have handy until they are as swee…

In which we run away fast and bring treasure back with us to the Farm

Jim had a wedding gig booked for the ocean, and he invited me (and Foxie Loxie) along for the ride.   Oh, heck yes.

Jim got dressed up and made sure the people got married

...and I ran away with my dog to the beach!

We had perfect weather, and the water was lovely

It was a quick trip--a little too quick.  We didn't have time for an important Ocean Vacation Tradition:

However, I am not without resources.

When we got home, Jim got busy with the clams--in the smoker!

While the clams smoked, I prepped the vital accessory: 

When the bread was done, so were the clams.  Time to make chowder, the Haiku Farm way:

All Smoke and No Fire Clam Chowder
Ingredients: Broth - I made broth from a smoked chicken.  You can also use canned chicken or veggie broth, or water, or whatever you have.
Clams - I cut the smoked clams into little chunks with a pair of kitchen scissors.
Vegetables - I included corn, carrots, potatoes, an unripe butternut squash, celery, garlic, dill weed, and thyme.  Then I fou…

In which I am told "no", and this is splendid news. Stay safe, all y'all!

Like most people, I generally prefer to be told "yes" when I ask a question. Yesterday was the exception.

I think I've been pretty careful since lockdown started here in March:  I wear a mask in public.  I wash/sanitize my hands a LOT.  I mostly stay away from people.HOWEVERWhen a co-worker at the library fell ill with a fever and cough, we all got sent home, the building closed for a mandatory deep-clean, and...I worried.To be fair, I am a world-class worrier.  I hold a black belt in Self-Doubt, and in college I took a double undergraduate major in Fretting and Vexation, with graduate level work in Apprehension and Second-Guessing.  Fortunately, my mom insisted that I also study something that would lead to a paying job, which is how I ended up as a librarian.

I called my favorite crisis manager and described the situation:  I was in the library with the potentially-contagious person for more than 5 hours last week, but we were not in prolonged proximity--staff members mos…

In which some things are different, but some important things are the same

Some parts of 2020 look like parts of every other year.

But some things are very different from usual