Friday, January 30

Reporting in: Live from Whidbey Island

The end of the month is here, thus the decision had to be made. A little like Carmen San Diego, I'm on the move again. This time, folks, I'm headed to the crossroads of America. That's right my friends, Victory Acres Farm (my new employer) can be found just outside of Upland, Indiana.

The farm apprenticeship begins the first of March. The farming season will be quick approaching and I'm stoked to see what life on the farm brings. Who knows what I will have learned a year from now? Hopefully I still have room in my ole brain for some new knowledge, after spending the past year enrolled at Lavender University.

I am amazed at this decision, never guessed I'd be rolling back around to Indiana for a spell. But the longer I thought about it, the more I thought - Why not?

It tears me up to say good-bye. To mountains and sea, to Bald Eagles and Harriers, to Orcas and porpoises, to Spyglass and Lavender Wind Farm, to Bailey and Amber & Dan. But you know? It is as it should be. And I'm feeling fine.

Hello Hoosierland. Hello Basketball. Hello sweet corn. Hello watermelons and hello Beefsteak Tomatoes. It has been a long time old friends. And I can't wait to see you Mom & Dad, Grandpas & Grandmas, Lana & Kyle, Evan & Emily, all my cousins, my friends, my aunts and uncles. And even you Jackson, even you.

Monday, January 26

an unwelcome visitor

I love visitors, generally speaking. Hosting guests is exciting. Usually when people arrive for a short stay I get to do extra fun stuff. Visit new places, or at least go to some old favorite places. Eat out, play games, laugh out loud, tell stories.

Some visitors, however, are unwelcome no matter when they arrive.

Some examples include:

  • giardia
  • ticks
  • rats
  • sweat circles under the arms
  • slugs in the garden

I've had experience with each of these types of visitors in my 30 years of life. One, more recently than the others. A year ago when I arrived here on Whidbey Island I often heard stories of the island's most common pest, the rat. I filed these tales away in my mind until they became pertinent.

The stories became pertinent about two days ago when a rat was in Bailey's dog food bag. A few days before, I had heard an unfamiliar sound coming from that direction, but had written it off as a wind gust. Hmmmm. And then I heard it again. And again.

Needless to say, the rat scored the big one when it found the hole in the drywall behind the water heater, and right next to the dog food bag. Three times that night (starting at 3 am) I had to get up and kick the food bag so the rat would run back into the wall. Freaky.

A full day later, the wall is patched, there are a number cubes of rat poison under the house in the crawl space, and I haven't seen the unwelcome guest since.

This picture is of another rat that we found poisoned in the pump house. Relative of the unwelcome visitor, I'm sure.

Random Info
On rodent poison: "To kill mice apply 1 to 2 blocks of poison in high traffic area. For rats use 6 to 23 blocks."

Wow! Does that rat advice seem a little intense? 23 blocks of poison? That has some scary implications about rats, doesn't it? Am I the only one that is disturbed by this?

Wednesday, January 21

Rocky Mountain High

For the last ten days I've been hanging out in Colorado. I think I've decided to make it an annual trip. Last January I spent time in Colorado Springs, Denver and Breckenridge. This January I made it a priority, to do the same. I am fortunate to have great friends in Colorado. I love visiting, relaxing, and getting beat up on the slopes.
Kajsa Joy is my friend Rudy's (IWU alum) daughter. She is six months and beautiful.
Me, Erin, Megan, Cliff and Riccara hit the slopes on Saturday at Breckenridge.

Calli treated me to a tasty lunch at a small town restaurant called "Taste Buds". The special - Rocky Mountain Oysters. That's right folks, you are looking at fried bull's testicles.

Chad and Megan fight for the title of "battleship champion". Megan wins...again...and again.

a new season

Thanksgiving has come and gone, Christmas has come and gone, kind of like 2008. What ever happened to that year, anyway?


I'm sitting here, trying to remember what I've been up to these past 365 days? It was about this time last year that I made the move to keep heading west out of Montana. Nearly as west as I can get without getting a salty sea bath. And with the old year coming to a close and the new one before me, I'm once again contemplating my next step. What to do? Where to go? What's the best thing for me this year?

To give you all a peek into my future - God willing, this is what 2009 will look like for me.

My 2009 life plan consists of living and working on an organic CSA farm. I have applied and interviewed with five CSA farms in different parts of the country and am in the last phase of deciding which farm program will best fit me. My goals for the year include gaining first hand knowledge and understanding of how a CSA farm works in hopes that I will be qualified to be a small farm manager the following year. I've slowly and painfully narrowed down the options to three - a farm in WA, one in NY and one in IN (that's right, hoosierland). Can you believe it?

By the end of this month I will have decided which farm will be my new home for the year. I'm excited, a little nervous, and mainly curious as to what this new year will bring forth for me.

Friday, January 9

This Blessed Thing We Call Water

Water. The life giving liquid created by the bonding of two hydrogen atoms to one oxygen atom. We can't live without it. It quenches the thirst that no other liquid can quench. It is good.

It is good, that is...only when it is, in fact, good. Bad water can be quite detestable.

Below are two pictures taken in my house. This is the water that is coming out of the tap. The lower picture (toilet) is the "clean" water after the flush. I'm not lying.

I'm a little scared. Yikes.