Tuesday, August 21, 2012

About a duck

baby duck swimming

Here is the thing about a pet baby duck: he is equal parts terrified of you and desperately in need of your constant company. And he's obsessed with feet. So you have to be very, very careful where you walk to avoid having a duckling literally underfoot.

bird not to scale: that is, he looks much taller in this picture than he does in real life.
We've only been together two days, but I'm very quick to make a list.

Things a duckling will do to your delight:
  • Paddle his little feet in your bathtub
  • Wiggle his little tail
  • Flap his little wings (They are so little! Sometimes he tips over and needs help getting up.)
  • Cuddle
  • Eat bugs right out of the air as they fly by
  • Provide hours of entertainment much cheaper than cable
Things a duckling will do to your dismay:
  • Poop his little turds in your bathtub
  • Poop his little turds in your kitchen
  • Poop his little turds in your lap
  • Poop his little turds on the stuffed bear that you got for him to cuddle.
  • This is serious. There are a lot of little turds.

Here is some advice before you get a duck:
  • Get a box for your duck. Make sure it's a box you don't care about because it will soon be full of poop. Even if you think you're a free-range duck kind of household, find a box. In the last 24 hours, I have learned that there is no such thing as a full-time free-range duck kind of household.
  • Buy stock in paper towels. (*Not sustainable, but like I said, there are a lot of little turds. Almost enough to order these duck diapers.) (About duck diapers: you might think they're a joke like I did... until I got a duck.)
  • Feed the cat. You don't want him getting any ideas.
cat thinks baby duck is dinner

You can see a tiny clip of Watson here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Watson, I presume

I was feeling wistful about how grown-up Peso is getting and worrying for You, Internet, since this blog is so much more entertaining with baby animals around. Then I got a text from our friend Hannah, who was offering us her duck.

Abe said heck no, saw a picture and promptly recanted (Isn't that how everyone gets their pets?).

Watson, our baby quacker
ohmygoodness, he snuggles!!!
If Abe had needed more convincing, this duckling's name is Watson, as in "Wat, Son, could be cuter than this face?"

Hannah dropped him off yesterday, so today I have a memory card full of duck pictures and Watson poop all over my floors.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ode to Tomatoes

The street
filled with tomatoes
light is
its juice
through the streets.
In December,
the tomato
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
murder it:
the knife
into living flesh,
a cool
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
its flag,
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
at the door,
it's time!
come on!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth,
and fertile
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


This is a picture of the new office manager at Gonstead Family Chiropractic. The job's part time but there's potential for growth, and he's excited about the schedule (off weekends! off Wednesdays!) and the opportunity to do work he believes in. He started this week.

And this is the new Operations Manager of Changed Choices. (Me, not the cat, although I suspect Peso would do an excellent job promoting community partnerships and he's fascinated by "tweeting.")

These are the changes I mentioned before. I'm sad and scared and excited (and way more emotional than I realized. Has that ever happened to you?). I'm giving up my restaurant job and my housing and credit counseling position, starting something all new and looking forward to weekends off with my husband. I'm all over the place during this transition, so if I'm less here for a while, wait for me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

get what you need

I look forward to Saturday morning all week: to collecting the eggs from the chicken coop with Abe, driving to the farmer's market for juicy "Local Toms," and drinking coffee with the neighbors.
Right now I'm craving summer weekends and routine. I know exactly what to expect on a Saturday morning in August: hot and sticky humidity, coffee and a breakfast burrito, sleepy kitties and at least two loads of laundry.

Lately I've had to make some tough decisions and it feels like everything is changing. (A post on that is coming soon.) I've noticed this: As a kid I had no trouble identifying the things I wanted, but I wasn't in tune with my needs. As an adult, I easily identify my needs, but I have a harder and harder time knowing what I want.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

taking a minute to smell the begonias


The pollen on a bee's wing,
His hum against the pane,
Are hints that Summer thinks of us,
Would woo us back again
To old beliefs we had in dawns,
In sunsets and in dew--
Before this hurry blotted out
The primal me and you.

-Nellie Seelye Evans

Monday, August 6, 2012

the other kind of hops

vining Cascade hopes
I've shown you the more animated hops we've grown at Carolina Backyard Farm. These hops are destined for a delicious homebrew as soon as they're dried out and sticky enough.

Cascade hops
More information on growing your own hops here and here.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

a little help with the laundry

Peso doesn't mind sorting the socks.

Friday, August 3, 2012

happy weekend, y'all

Lowes Foods supports local

Lowes Foods has a kinda/sorta CSA!  Their program is seasonal and started in June, but it's not too late to participate in the three week program or week-by-week. The cost would be about 2.00 per pound for the 6 week program, about $2.16 per pound for the three week option, and $2.32 to purchase week by week. Depending on how many more costly items (like blueberries) are included, that's very comparable to the farmer's market, and includes the convenience of making one stop for groceries.

From their press release: "Lowes Foods Locally Grown Club will feature six to ten varieties of assorted produce in each box that may include zucchini, yellow squash, green peppers, blueberries, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches and many other seasonal items. Customers will receive over twelve pounds of produce each week for the entire seven weeks, one three week period or for a single week. Customers simply sign up through Lowes Foods to Go, pay in advance for their subscription and pick up their box each Saturday in the Lowes Foods to Go pick up lane."

Lowes has partnered with a number of North Carolina farms and with Pilot Mountain Pride, which is an awesome aggregate organization of small farms in the Winston-Salem area. Formerly dependent on tobacco production, by banding together with "Pilot Mountian Pride," farmers have been able to retain employment and increase the viability of producing local food for their community. This video about their project isn't perfectly polished, but it totally inspires me about the possibilities for local food and small farmers.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A backyard attempt at technology. With pets!

We recently met a friend's 3 month old kitten who rivaled the size of our 8 week old Peso. Provided I can keep Franc out of his kitten kibble, I think our baby boy is well on his way to being the pet mountain lion of my dreams.

I get a lot of questions about how we're getting along with two humans, two felines and a hyperactive coonhound under one roof. I failed at blogger-video-uploading only six times before I gave up and created a youtube account so I could show you. Enjoy, and stay with me: the very best part is the end.