Showing posts from March, 2009

In which questions are asked, and some of them are even answered, sorta.

1. How old were you when you first started riding? plastic spring-y pony, age 3. zoo pony, about the same time.

2. First horse ridden: Dixie, a black-bay mare of unknown age and uncertain parentage. She belonged to my friend Carrie's family, and I thought she was beautiful.

3. First horse trotted on: Dixie

4. First horse cantered on: Dixie

5. First Horse fallen off of: Dixie. Yes, all on the same day.

6. Most recent horse fallen off of: Fiddle. My fault, not paying attention, no excuses. Fell right into some nice (oof) comfy (yow!) blackberry bushes. Last winter.

7. Most terrifying fall: that rolling-down-the-sand-hill thing with the Toad, maybe 7-8 years ago...everyone unhurt, but I thought for sure he'd broken my brand new saddle (it was fine).

8. First horse jumped with: what, on purpose? Midnight, I think.

9. First horse who ran away with you: Toad. Don't ask how many times. I lost track.
10. First horse that scared the crap out of you: Toad.

11. First horse shown : shown what?…

In which we continue fence building, trim trees, and have Korean Food Night

We are determined to keep Mimsy from visiting the neighbors, especially via the road. It's just too scary to call a dog and have her take 5 minutes to wander back from wherever her nose has led her. Luna rarely goes more than three feet from me, but Mimsy has a sense of adventure that needs to be curbed in the presence of traffic.

Criminy, chicken wire is a lot more expensive than I remember from previous adventures. We salvaged a bunch of wire and some posts from the chicken pen built by the former owners, and I made a quick-but-expensive stop at Lowe's this morning. The dog fence is almost finished now--we've got all the materials we need for now, except a 12-foot gate. I'll be haunting Craigslist and Freecycle this week, for sure.
While I was building fences, Jim and Willy got out the Implements of Destruction and had serious discussions with some of the fruit trees. Although most of the pear trees were loppable using hand tools, the apple tree at the top of the orcha…

In which Hansel and Gretel inspire me: we don't get lost in Spring

Hansel and Gretel used shiny rocks to find their way home the first two times they were abandoned in the woods. The third time they used breadcrumbs, and we all know the complications that came from that little debacle.

The little birds might scoop up a little bit of my trail-marking equipment to use as nest-building material, but Fiddle creates plenty for me to use.

We never get lost during shedding season!

In which we build a short fence, and Luna discovers a Predator

Mimsy's harrassment of the local bunny population led her too far astray today--and much too close to the busy road! We got her back, safe and sound, and then got busy building a doggie fence around the orchard to keep dogs away from traffic. Thanks to our new neighbor Kathy L., we have a bunch of short t-posts that are perfect for the task. More photos of the fence when it's finished--we have to run to the hardware store in the morning to pick up more chickenwire.

Meanwhile, the local lagamorphs will be relieved. One of the Wildlife Rights Representatives (photo at left) told us that if we didn't corral that sniffing dog immediately, we'd be finding coal in our easter baskets instead of chocolate. Eeek. We got busy immediately.
Luna had a small adventure today. Having lived here nearly three weeks, she has explored the property with her usual zen-like cluelessness. I'm not sure why she suddenly looked up...but she did. That's when she (finally) noticed the horr…

In which we are mostly moved In, and start to add more colors inside

This is the view from my breakfast table.

Jim and Willie attacked this little hedge-y area yesterday when Jim discovered that the whole thing consisted of a very weird stump and a bunch of hazeltree suckers. They didn't finish clearing out all the suckers, but they made a good dent.
Mimsy enjoys exploring the "sniffs" in the orchard in the morning. Bunny tracks, mole hills, bird scratchings--this dog could stay out here all day, just practicing her inhalation skills.
Luna prefers to sit decoratively in one location, until someone notices her and takes a picture.
Mom offered to buy interior paint for my birthday, so we spent a week looking at paint samples taped to various walls around the house, tearing down the colors we don't like and marking our initials on the colors we do like. We finally made color decisions, and I emailed the list to Mom, telling her to choose whichever room she wanted to paint.
She wrote back that she "had a lot of fun" at the paint sto…

In which Food From Far Away is a Very Good Thing for tired folks!

We've declared Sundays "Korean Food Day" at Haiku Farm, which puts Willie in charge of cooking Sunday dinners.

He was every enthusiastic and raced into the kitchen as soon as we got home, laden with packages and bags from the Korean grocery store in Lynnwood. I'm happy that he's comfortable with this task, because I'm trepidatious about cooking with ingredients when I can't read the labels!

I'll ask him to send me the Korean name for these foods. (click the picture to enlarge)

The squares are a pounded fish, the cylindars are a dumpling-ish pasta, and the curly noodles are curly noodles. This dish included a couple kinds of seaweed (including one that is just for flavor--Willie and Jim both warned me not to eat the large stiff leaves) and some spices.

Can you guess what this is? Jim's favorites!

We also had a small korean melon, which we ate before I remembered to take a picture. I wonder if I can grow them in our garden here?

Update: I found the melon…

In which we truly understand the meaning of "A Full Cord of Wood."

Jim's dad came out with his shovels and rakes and implements of destruction on Saturday to begin the job of pruning the orchard. He dodged my camera, but he was so inspirational that soon there was a crowd in the orchard, busily chopping, sawing, and snipping branches.

Some were more adventurous than others in their pruning focus.

Others were determined not to miss important Spring Break Slacking Time, and took a more relaxed approach to clipping suckers from the pear trees.

We still aren't sure what types of trees are up there, nor can we tell (yet) which trees are which. We suspect that the most upright of the trees is probably a cherry.

Most are probably apples and pears.

At least one tree has a large collection of peach pits around the either it's a peach tree, or the local squirrels are playing an elaborate hoax on us.

Later in the day we had a cord of wood delivered, and Jim and Willie and I took an hour out of an already tiring day to get it all stacked in t…

In which a Very Useful Gift is given by wonderful people!

My co-workers at the library presented me with a Very Useful Thing as a housewarming present. I may be the only woman in America who is this thrilled by a wheelbarrow...but I'm really comfortable with the distinction.
Look! They all signed it, too.

In which we channel the Lorax, and speak for trees (and also plant some)

Mom and Dad delivered a fabulous housewarming gift: a box full of baby trees, courtesy of a seedling sale hosted by the Washington Farm Forestry Association. Despite snow falling early in the day, and torrential rain predicted for evening, my mom and I scampered down to the bottom of the pasture to plant fifty little seedlings. Jim and Willie carried buckets of water for the cedars, which had gotten a little dry in the back of dad's truck.
The pasture grass has a strong root structure (hooray for pasture!) which is really difficult to break up and sprinkle around the little trees, so we improvised a bit and discovered an advantage to having moles: the dirt around molehills is soft and crumbly.
I never thought I'd say this, but here it is: Hooray for Moles!
We tried to plant them in straight lines around portions of the pasture perimeter, but since neither of us is very linear, the trees are evenly, but rather casually, spaced. The lack of straight lines is going to make my frien…

Moving in at last! In which a horse trailer proves to be quite useful.

We outran the predicted rain yesterday, and moved most of the furniture while the sun was still shining! An empty horse trailer turned out to be perfect as a moving van--plenty of room for boxes AND big enough to accomodate the extra-long futon.

The piano (also known as the "sea-anchor", to indicate that it is unwilling to change location) proved to be the most challenging part of the move. Finally we were able to get it in place using a series of ramps, furniture dollies, a car jack, and a large dose of brute strength.

Unfortunately, we moved the piano in the evening with not enough light to allow me to take photos. I asked the guys if we could do it again today in daylight so I could get some pictures, but they declined. Humph.

In which a surprise turns out to be a very, very welcome thing!

Sunday evening while unpacking boxes at the new house, Jim got a call from his dad. Richard had just returned from vacation, and retrieved a voice mail from Jim's ex-wife in Korea: "Your grandson is en route to Seattle, arriving Monday morning, 11:30am."
Twelve hours notice for the arrival of a 16-year-kid into our lives. We were startled and then delighted with this young man who has joined us in America. Now he is here, and we welcome William "Willie" Beidle to Haiku Farm...just in time to help move the piano!
Most of the furniture-moving will happen this weekend if the weather gods will cooperate with us (always an iffy proposition for the Swamplands in March), and then we will actually MOVE IN on Sunday!!!!
And then: let the fence-building begin!

In which even snowfall doesn't slow us down (very much): we're MOVING!

Finally, the key is ours!

We loaded up the trucks immediately--we've been packing those boxes for WEEKS!

We discovered that the boxes will fit through the bedroom windows--why bother going in-and-out of doors? One person on the outside to "pitch", and the other person indoors to "catch"--moving boxes goes much faster this way!Johnny Depp (aka Captain Jack Sparrow) went in the front door. He didn't need a cannon or anything.There are lots more boxes to move--and furniture, we've barely started on furniture--but it was such a pretty day I had to take some pictures.
These are the neighbors' horses. They wanted to know if we'd remembered to pack the carrots.... No, not yet. Soon.

Jim took this pretty picture of the trees in the orchard.

Notice that there aren't any pictures of the old house. There's a reason: boxes everywhere, it's just complete chaos. Tonight I'm hoping to move a bunch of the boxes into the dining room so I can have eno…