Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Home Again

After a fantastic visit with my sister in San Francisco, I have just returned home and found everything as I left it - wet dogs, a chainsaw in the pantry, sheep feed and a glut of eggs in the porch. The lambs are fatter and more demanding, and two chickens have gone broody on eggs. And it's raining as per normal.

Even though my daily life is very rural, I like urban life well enough, especially its many conveniences like public tranport and longer opening hours. What I wasn't prepared for was people, more specifically their germs. After 10 hours in an airplane breathing in recycled air steeped in all manner of international sickness, I ended up contracting flu and spent most of my holiday flat on my back staring at the TV. I'm still laid low with it now.

But, hey, a break is a break and it was a change from my normal routine and a chance to catch up on rest before the season gets into full flow, and more importantly spend time with my sister.

And we have good news to report - the field is officially ours! Mike has named it Milkweed Farm, though "farm" is a bit grand for a 10 acre patch. We have sold the first cut of hay already to pay for some much needed fencing. More on that to come.

Apologies for this short and rambling post, but I'm dragging around doing the bare minimum until the flu and the jet lag passes. I was attempting to make us some dinner when Mike came home with another pheasant anomaly for me:

The cock bird has a crossbill. It's not an inheritable birth defect; rather a result of the physical position he was in inside the eggshell. Mike must have let him go on as a chick. He advocates giving everything a chance. If the bird had to feed completely in the wild from the ground, he probably wouldn't have survived. Because we put down hopper feeders, the bird was able to scoop wheat from the feeders and thrive (though he's a bit small for his age).

Mike was so impressed by his resilience he said to the bird, "Well, you managed to survive the hard winter, I reckon you ought to have some fun this summer" and has decided to put him in the breeding pen as a reward. That's an insight into the male psyche for you. I find a cup of tea and a good book is quite pleasant, but I'm pretty sure the bird would agree with Mike on this one.


Dan said...

Great news on the field! And a big awww, for the pheasant.
I hope he enjoys his summer - he's gorgeous! I'm sure he'll do Mike proud!!
And yes, everything deserves a chance in my book too!
Hope you are feeling better soon!
Best wishes

Terry Scoville said...

Welcome home and speedy recovery. Congrats on your 10 acre acquisition! As for the Pheasant you summed it up well. What else can you say. . .

Sara said...

Welcome back, get better, and congrats on Milkweed Farm!

Cynthia said...

Congrats on the field!

Paula said...

I am really glad to know that you are home safely, and so sorry about the flu. Next time, try some Airborne before you go, and you should also know about Umcka, which shortens the duration of colds and flu, and lessens their severity, and if you take it in time, you can prevent yourself from coming down with it!

I would love to know what you did in Baghdad by the Bay, but that's only because it's still my favorite city. Still holds the magic for me, although I really like Portland- still, it's not San Francisco.

Hope you're on the mend soon, and glad you're back safe, if not sound.

Jennifer Montero said...

Thanks to everyone for their congrats and well wishes!

Paula - Next time I will try those remedies. Having no kids to bring home germs, and seeing so few people I just hadn't developed any immunity, so I really got caught out!

Before the illness, we did lots of walking in the Mission, Castro, and Noe Valley districts. And we took the ferry to Sausalito. The food in SF is unbelievable! And the people so friendly.

Maria said...

I'm glad you're back, and sorry to hear you got laid low by flu! Glad to hear that the farm/field is yours though.
Missed your posts and pictures of the gorgeous countryside :o)

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Glad to have you back, Jen. Sorry you spent your vacation sick!

I'm delighted to hear that you got your field! And I don't see any problem with calling 10 acres a farm. There's a local farmer here who cultivates less than half an acre, and grows an astonishing amount of food on it. Besides, if you can toss around comments like 'we just sold our first cut of hay,' you're definitely a farmer. I bet you even have a tractor!

I can't wait to see what you do with Milkweed Farm.

Poppy Cottage said...

Pretty Fab. Milkweed Farm. I like it. Nice to have you back.

Actually have a builder here!!

Hope you feel better soon.

Jennifer Montero said...

Maria - Thanks and glad to be back in the countryside!

Tamar - Can't justify a tractor & implements yet, but it doens't stop me window shopping at the local agric merchants! You're right, one acre can sutain a family so I guess 10 can count as a farm.

Colette - Congrats on your builder!! I look forward to your next post to see the progress. Fancy teaching me to crochet over a cuppa soon?