Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Seem To Have Skipped The Entire Month of May

It's been over two months since my last blog post, and where am I today?

I'll tell you where: pretty much exactly where I was two months ago.

The first batch of chickens, the Magnificent Seven posted about in April, have moved outside. A few days after my last post, Ivy and I took a long drive into Austin and came home with a box of 8 tiny Silkie chicks. Three were yellow, four were black, and one was partridge. Of those, we lost one yellow chick who ate out of my hand without hesitation, and the one little black chick who was turning silver.

Right now we're eagerly awaiting the day when the silkies will be able to join their older siblings out at Sunshine's farm. The coop still isn't finished, but they're living in a wired-together conglomeration of old rabbit hutches and dog crates, and they have plenty of room.

The garden... has failed. Or rather, I failed it. I couldn't make it out there every week, much less the multiple times it would require to keep up with an 80 square foot plot, weeding and harvesting and reseeding. Eventually the community garden folks told me to put up or shut up (in so many words), and I had to admit that my plots would be better taken care of with someone else. It's making me seriously rethink my dream of Persian PenName: Hobby Farmer, and that might be for the best.

I do still want to live on a small acreage of land, with fruit trees and goats and chickens and perhaps a mini-cow, milking my own animals every morning, making my own preserves and living off the bounty of my own land, but I might have to start smaller than homesteading on my own with a terribly limited skill set. At least I know how to properly milk a goat now, and butcher and castrate them, and trim their hooves. Goats and chickens I'm feeling pretty secure on.

This past week has been pretty rough on me. Sunshine and I had to admit that we make better friends than partners, which was rough, but probably one of the most grown-up decisions I've made; Ye Olde Camry broke down, and according to the one mechanic in town I implicitly trust it's going to be somewhere between $250 and $400 to fix, and I'm considering trading it in for a used Smart Car or a moped or something; oh, and my bike was stolen.

That, and they announced that they're going to start laying people off in the library where I work. They're not using longevity or merit as part of their criteria, so there is literally nothing - not one single thing - that I can use to say "oh, well they won't cut me, because of this very valid reason". All things being equal, about one in every ten people are likely to be cut, and we won't even know in what departments until the end of next month, and no particular names until the end of August. I started job hunting, since that just seems like the smart thing to do in these circumstances, but my heart's not really in it. I'm also looking in other states, since... I've never really been in a position to move out of Texas before, you don't get much more ready than single and newly laid off.

I'd have to take my share of the chickens with me, of course, or sadly give them to Ivy until I got a yard. Banties are tough little guys, though, so I'm sure they wouldn't mind a climate change all too much.

I have family in Indiana and Tennessee, so it might be nice to move closer to them. My Aunt Nina is dying of an MRSA infection, and there's nothing I can do about it. She'd already gotten to the point of not recognizing anyone by the time I heard she was sick, so even if I spent the money to get up there and visit her, she wouldn't know. And as much as it hurts me to say it, I don't have the funds to take a trip she won't be lucid for. It's crazy, really, and it makes me cry if I think about it for too long, so I'm going to change the subject now.

I got my hair cut. It's pretty short now, and definitely falls somewhere on the "Oh, so I see you like the ladies" end of the spectrum, but I like it. For now, anyway.

Ivy got a cat. Her name is Lolita, and after a few days of tense hissing and angry growls, she and Ripley seem to be getting along well. She is a fluffy tortie, mostly black, and she is still a bit skittish around me. I can definitely see the difference in confidence level between her and my cats, and I have to wonder if it's because she's changed owners at least twice in the past year; Ripley's never had reason to think she would live with someone else, and I don't think Heed could even formulate the thought.

Ivy has been teaching me to cook. I can make steak now! And mashed potatoes, and veggies, and pies. Lots of pies. I make elaborate baked goods when I'm sad, these days, and after Sunshine and I had our talk I started right in on some pie crusts. I've already eaten half the chess pie I made, but I ran out of energy before I could finish the shaker lemon pie, so that's probably my project for tomorrow.

I started buying fabric last month, intending to make a quilt. I don't think that's going to happen anymore, but I do believe I'll have a number of nice skirts before the week is up. Probably all on the same pattern, a tiered peasant skirt, which will be odd not only because it will mean that I now own non-costume skirts voluntarily for the first time in my life, but because I've got enough fabric that I'll have more skirts than actual pairs of pants.

In other news, I made a tweed Godzilla plushie. Finishing up a denim one too, and they'll be given to Sunshine's kids.

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