Sunday, April 26, 2009

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

Winter ended so abruptly. I felt like it dragged on, fighting all through March to stick around, and then suddenly, it was gone. Yesterday actually felt like we skipped Spring as well. It was sunny and hot, and The Logger managed to get a sunburn. I conducted my favorite Vermont activity of laying in the grass for a good portion of the day.

I went out early to hit up a rummage sale at the Dorset Church. I took Nisi with me and she was a huge hit with the old ladies. It's so funny that so many of them just loved her. She's not a little lap dog (common to Dorset), and she wasn't doing anything particularly cute. She was pulling at the leash, as usual, because she's not really used to a leash being a free-roaming farm dog. She was not letting me take my time looking through books. However, I was glad to let the old ladies coo over her because it kept her occupied while I browsed. I finally found the ultimate rummage sale score: Cranium, with all the pieces, pretty much new for $2. This is so coming to Dorset this summer. I love that game. Sadly the clay is dried out, but this is easily replaced.

I got back in time for Talula's birthday picnic. She is 2 years old as of yesterday, which she celebrated by finally saying "Guv," quite clearly. Talking is great, but I love to hear kids pick up names especially. It just kind of makes me happy. We had a fun picnic with bubbles and balls and yummy food and good friends. The kids loved it. I took many pictures with Bonnie and Oliver's camera. None are going up on this blog today because both mine, and their camera is downstairs. Oops.

I took a quick break from the fun to go buy some darning materials from the local yarn shop that I had been wanting to check out. I found some really cool stuff made entirely from bamboo. It was ultra-soft and beautiful and a decent price, but it was hand-wash only, so it wouldn't be a good thing to patch socks with. Both Elyssa and Oliver want me to show them how to darn, which I think is a fun and thrifty thing to know, so I'm more than happy to show them.

We went for a dip in the freezing stream in the afternoon. Well, Max and Guv took a dip; Bonnie, Talula and I put our feet in. Good, clear, running water beats a pool any day. You come out feeling clean and refreshed instead of stinking of chlorine and wanting to get into the nearest shower. Or maybe I'm backwards compared to most people.

Today is another nice day, though thunderstorms are expected this afternoon. It's good for the plants, so rain wouldn't actually ruin the nice-ness of the day. Hail might. By the way, has anyone ever heard of a Hail Cannon? Yeah, me neither.

Link-ity Link:
Sticking up for the little guys: Rats

Monday, April 20, 2009

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

Lots of excitement on the farm. The ground is thawed and it's been so warm out, so we're finally getting the beds at the Big White House ready for plants. Oliver is also planning to use a little more land this season and he ran the plow through it to get it ready. It was full of huge boulders that the tractor couldn't move so he rented an excavator. The Logger is pretty masterful at large pieces of machinery so he moved most of the boulders, and stacked them up at rock sculptures in the process. He wasn't very into the idea of Elyssa and I using the excavator, so I asked Oliver instead and he was excited about it.

Elyssa in the excavator. My camera didn't happen until after I had taken my turn.

The excavator is completely complicated to me. There are two joysticks that control all of the claw movements and the swivel of the machine. It's hard to remember what does what and some mountains of mud were definitely dropped from high up, resulting in mud baths for all. The goal of this operation was to take this muck out of the pond and make a big pile for it to dry out a bit. Then Oliver wants to mix it with other composty-chicken-poopy stuff and make some super-compost to put in the beds.

Max took a turn

This dog, who belongs to a neighbor, was very curious about the claw of the excavator.

Then we went out to the beds to till them and get them ready for planting. Oliver went through with the tractor while Elyssa and I picked up the big rocks in the beds. I do not know how to drive a tractor, but I will. If only so I can look this cool:

Tillin' like a villan, yo.

Plus this fun link:
Abundance Not Deprivation - Lose Weight by Eating More

Monday, April 13, 2009

Penn Station - New York, NY

What a trip. I'm so tired I can't focus on my free trashy newspaper. There's no internet in Penn Station, which makes me sad. I haven't had much internet the past few days, so these posts are going up later than when they were written. Oh well.

My train doesn't leave for two hours, but I had to come into Manhattan early to load our rental lights onto a truck to be returned and no one else could really make it without a huge hassle. I guess it's better that I didn't end up going back last night. All the the train ticket prices have gone up so I can't transfer to an earlier train without paying extra money, thus I wait. I haven't spent any money here besides the $7 I spent on a Metrocard.

Last night we were finishing up strike at 8pm, and it looked like we'd be leaving pretty soon. Strike had gone well and we got things done pretty quickly. I called Ceora to tell her I would be staying another night and that I'd probably be leaving in a half hour. Then we all went up to storage to put all of the Keen crap away and realized there wasn't really any room. It ended up taking an hour to get everything away and organized in there. I got on the train at 9pm and I was exhausted. When I got off the train, my feet were killing me and I kept telling myself that I would be there very soon, at which point I would take off my shoes, make dinner and sit on my ass for at least an hour. However, when I got there, no one was home and I couldn't get in. I called Ceora and she said they were in the pita place right next to the train station. It's only 4 blocks to the train, but I swear I almost cried. I didn't want to lug myself and my stuff back where I just came from and I didn't want to buy any food, but I was wicked-hungry.

I left some of my stuff just inside the entryway and went over tot he pita place. Part of me wanted to call her back and tell her I was just going to sit on the front steps and wait, but I knew that I was just being a whiner. When I got there Marcy ended up giving me the rest of her food because she had ordered something massive. So I felt a little better once I was sitting for a few minutes and munching on falafel. Yay for Marcy always ordering more food than she can eat! Then The Logger called, which I had also been pouting about. I had not been able to get through to Teleion all evening and it had gotten too late to try calling again. Turns out the phone was off the hook, so he called me from Oliver's cell.

The theatre was full of pompous musical theatre people this morning, complaining about not being able to get into the theatre before 9:30. I admit that I also got there early, but that was because I wanted to take the train in with Iggy, I didn't expect that they would let me in early. So I hung out and used their free internet for half an hour (yeah didn't fel like getting on blogger, whatever). Keith kind of got a little upset and over-reacted about my being there so early, but I told him that I was happy to wait and that my train had taken less time than I expected. But these freaking musical theatre people were going on about their reading and their Tony Award Winner (apparently he has no name), who would have to come through the back doors. Then the truck driver arrived and didn't know he was supposed to be picking up my lights. And also he's a little high-strung and started ranting about the musical theatre people. But he helped me get everything onto the truck quickly and without hassle, so rant away Hayden truck driver, chances are I agree with you anyway, I'm just not in the talking mood this morning.

So now I'm finally going back to Vermont after the longest one-day trip ever. I love my job, but coming here for a single day just to work and go back is a shock to my system. I have to switch gears so quickly I feel like I've been hit in the head with a book. When I have a few days here I just get into NY mode and I don't feel so sulky. Also, I did not go to Dumpling Man on this trip. Boo.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Amtrak train - Somewhere between Albany and NYC

I'm doing this ridiculous one day trip to NYC to strike Heroes (if you didn't see it, you totally blew it because that show was awesome). I'm hoping that strike ends soon enough for me to leave tomorrow night, because I am, yet again, being a big baby about leaving Vermont. It's funny because I used to be this way about New York. It was always home to me, even when I wasn't living there. Whenever I left I felt really sad about and going back was the best thing ever. Now it just seems like a hassle. I hope my feeling for Vermont don't change like they did for New York.

I talked to my friend Jess on the phone today. She works in Dorset over the summer as well and said she couldn't wait to get back because the city starts to make her feel claustrophobic. I told her that the big difference for me is that in NY I am thinking and worrying about myself all the time; How will I get there? Who is going to harass me? Is that guy gonna try and steal my bag if I fall asleep? Will the train be late? Is that pee that I just stepped in while wearing flip-flops? In Vermont, I don't worry about myself. I'm fine, I'm healthy even when I'm sick, I'm never stuck in traffic and if I step in poop I've planned for it. It's one very huge stress that I no longer have: myself. Even if I don't know what I'm doing with my life after Dorset, I do know that I'll be safe and healthy. I won't be stuck in a terrible situation involving bed bugs and an opera singer, or staying in an apartment long after roommate relations have gone sour because I can't afford to find another place. If I disagree with the people I live with here, it's nothing serious and I don't think we let it carry over to the next day, or even the next hour. With so much space, it's easy to step away from the tension. I think that makes living with anyone easier.

Wonderful Link for today:
Really great and easy tips for healthy eating (no, really, I think you should check this out)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

Last night started Passover. I admit I did a little Wikipedia research on Passover a few weeks ago just so I had some idea of what was going on. I liked having a reason to give the kitchen a thorough cleaning and Oliver made the stove look new. I bought all of the suspect foods for $1. The dinner was super-yummy: Spinach-eggy-lasagna-type thing (with matzo as the noodle layers), roasted potatoes, carrot salad, fresh horseradish from the garden, salad, and an apple-salad called haroset.

I really enjoyed Passover, and I think the Jewish holidays as a whole have been so much more fun than the Holidays I'm used to with my family. There's a good chance that this is because holidays in my family are just a good excuse to get together with family and friends and have a huge homemade Italian meal. Religion never had a place in my home. My parents never talked about God or their beliefs and I never really asked. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've been to church. This is all fine with me, as I find church boring. I remember my neighbors used to put a candle in a cupcake on Christmas and sing happy birthday to Jesus. This weirded me out and I've never seen or heard of anyone else doing this.

The thing is, I think Christian rituals are kind of meaningless. Most of the big holidays are not even accurate in their timing; they were timed to coincide with Pagan holidays to sort of over-ride them. You can't have a fertility celebration that leads to an orgy on the day Christ came back to life, that's just not right. And what the hell do chocolate, egg-laying bunnies have to do with Christianity anyway?

OK, these points have all been made before by other people, in more eloquent or fiery ways. So what is my point? My point is that I respect that the Jewish holidays do their own thing, as far as I can tell. They have stories and reasons behind everything. I may not really understand the point of having an entire set of dishes that you only use once a year because you don't want trace amounts of chametz on the plates, but at least I can understand the story and symbolism behind it. I understand the historical significance of it, even if the logic side of my brain is making an argument that sounds more and more like my mother every day.

I think, by far, my favorite part of the day was actually the cooking. Specifically the macaroons. Both Guv and Talula stood on stools to watch/help me make them. We had to separate 12 egg whites for the macaroons and I was showing Guv how to do this by moving the yolk carefully from one half of the eggshell to the other. I cracked an egg and gave him the halves and let him try it once. We were doing this over a separate bowl to be sure that no yolk got into the batter and also to make sure there were not blood spots in the eggs, which sometimes happens, even though the eggs are not fertile. Talula always wants to do what Guv does, so she wanted to try separating the egg whites as well. I cracked an egg and gave her half and then dropped the yolk from my half to hers. She got very excited and threw the yolk into the batter. Luckily it didn't break, so I just scooped it out, but Guv and I thought this was rather funny and whenever anyone else laughs Talula does too.

Do these boots make me look fat?

Links of interest:
12 Endangered Animals That People Still Eat
Gay Rights Groups Celebrate Victories in Marriage Push

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

What a fun day we had a few days ago! We decided to clean up the weeds in the big greenhouse that had our salad all winter. As the weather has warmed up the weeds kind of took over a bit and the salad got a little overgrown. Bonnie and Talula even came to help out and the chickens did their part. Guv was at daycare, so he missed all the fun, and Eden slept through most of it.

The plan was to pick out most of the weeds, move the chickens in there for a few days to let them get the rest of the salad and weeds and bugs, and then move the chickens out to Teleion Holon for the summer. The weeding went pretty quickly with so many people.

Helping Daddy

The chickens were not so interested in moving into the big greenhouse, they just wanted to eat and run. Right now half of them have moved in and the other half are staying in the smaller greenhouse that has been their home all winter and become very muddy. We leave the door open during the day so that if they want food and water, or if they want to go into the other greenhouse where food and water have been provided without having to search for it, they can do that. At night we close the houses up as best we can.

The salad greenhouse looks great with all the weeds pulled out and the chickens doing their thing. We even fixed the greenhouse sides so that the wind wasn't blowing them all apart and wreaking havoc. I'm so excited to move the chickens out, clean up, and start planting!

I got one, but it's gross. What do I do with it?

I also want to point out that I've updated my links section, as promised. I am also going to try and end each post with a link or article, or something I find noteworthy. For today, I'll kick this thing off with two links:
Are the lab rat's days numbered?
Iowa Court Voids Gay Marriage Ban

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Teleion Holon - Manchester, VT

I've got to go to New York in a few days. For one day. I really, really don't want to. It's just a big stress and I'm only losing money. Basically, my pay for being the Master Electrician for the show I put up also included the day to take it all down. This means I have to spend another $72 to travel back to NY to work for one day, on a job I was already paid for and then travel back to VT. I'm a little grumpy. And I'm taking my food with me, because I am determined to spend no money except for subway rides. Even if that means not eating a meal or five.

Today we're going to visit Jay's land out in Jamaica. I'll try to take pictures. I will leave you with these pictures that Bonnie took. Don't even act like these aren't the cutest kids you've ever seen in a greenhouse.