Friday, November 30, 2007

To Tree or Not to Tree

That is the question.

Now, it's not a question of live versus fake Xmas trees... it's a question of putting one up at all. I have a fake tree. Yes, I know, it's made of plastic and one day it may end up in a land fill. But Larry and I are opposed to supporting an industry that kills trees. I'd MUCH rather buy a live tree every year and plant it in my yard. I did that. We have a tree that is roughly as old as our marriage. It was in a pot on my porch in Michigan. I brought it to Colorado and planted it in the yard in our new house. Hurray. But I digress...

The question is whether I put up my fake tree or not. I remember a day - before Ally-cat, before Hobbser-bear... when there was Ditka and I and a little house in Berkley with barely any furniture... a year when I had 2 trees. One filled with all the cheesy ornaments I bought in college, and a few from my childhood. And the other was a tribute to my Greatgram, who crocheted beautiful snowflakes. Ah. Those were the days. Or should I say, that was one year.

The next year, I had another dog, and a roommate, and more furniture and only room for one tree. And Hobbes still managed to knock it over.

We didn't put up a tree last year because the POS rental house we lived in was too small for us. Besides, the tree was buried in the garage. I only managed to squeak out one little xmas decoration and I put up no lights.

Now that we have our own home again, and I am finding spaces for lights and snowmen... I keep looking for a place to put a tree. But there are 4 wagging tails in the house, sometimes 6. There is a dog who shall remain nameless (Hobbes) who likes to pull down glass balls from the tree, bring them to me and go CRUNCH on them. There is also a cat. Cats like cords, and sparkly things.

And we have rooms full of furniture. I won't put a tree by the front window, that's just begging tails to knock everything off, or even knock the whole thing over. We have a relatively empty spare room... but no one hangs out there. Who wants a tree where you can't see it? I thought of putting it near the fireplace. Larry said BAH HUMBUG! Larry wants to cram it into a corner by the dining room table. Sigh. I don't even know what kind of ornaments I have anymore. HECK, they travelled 1200 miles and sat in boxes for 2 years now, I don't even know which ones aren't BROKEN! I'd love to put one up and see what silly things I have... like my Chewbacca ornament, and my Seuss ornaments... and that laundry pin reindeer we all made in the first grade, and old shrinky dinks... I want to put one up just to see what it will look like. Maybe I can barricade it behind the dining table so the dog tails can't wreck it. So I am still debating... Do I cram one up somewhere just to have one? Just to tempt fate that when Larry brings the GP pups into the house that they won't wreak havoc on it? That the cat won't climb it? That Hobbes won't meticulously pull every ornament off the lower branches, and bring them to me to play fetch? To tree or not to tree...

Monday, November 26, 2007

I hope I found my home

OK, that's really nebulous, but what I mean to say is that I am starting a new job in 2 weeks. I gave my notice this morning, so it's back to the whirlwind again. I know, I have done this before... it's 2 weeks of trying to wrap up loose ends, make a clean finish, say goodbye to all the people I will miss, and then building new relationships at a new company - and that takes months. But at the same time, it is exciting. And I really do hope this time I found my home. The product is something I think is way cool. The company values match my own, the people I have met are very cool. And I get to wear jeans to work. And one of the owner's brings in her Bernese Mountain Dog to work. Yeah. That's what I am talking about!

The company is EarthRoamer - www.earthroamer.com if you want to see the products they build. Hopefully this is the place where my restless soul can set up shop for a long time. No sales, no travelling, no fancy clothes. They are building a new building in Lafayette, so it will allow Larry and I to continue carpooling to work together - which saves us $$ and cuts down on the use of fuel. I've actually gotten quite used to it. We might even, egads, get to meet for lunch every now and then!

Last year, my best Christmas Present was a buyer for my house in Berkley. This year, it's going to be a fresh start - at a company where they have made it clear that they already appreciate the skills I can bring. And I won't be making anything for the military, ever again.

Things are really starting to tie together. We have our farm, with chickens and sheep and dogs and a big garden. Now I will be starting at a new company that makes a product I think is cool. All the pieces are coming together out here in Colorado. So.... is it time to go skiing now?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

November Update - Turkey Day

For most people I know, Turkey Day is just a reference to the Thanksgiving Holiday. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, turkey day on Long Shadow Farm was the day our turkeys became thanksgiving feasts for several people in the area. We had happy buyers come today to buy their fresh, all natural, thanksgiving turkeys from us. Imagine that! They weighed less than we thought, at about 20 pounds each, with the Turkey King weighing in at 27. With the biggest birds falling prey to coyotes, who knows how much the real Turkey King would have weighed. The Rooster King also bid adieu today. I think I got a video of him crowing, as it is a sound I will miss. But, he will be coq al vin for us tomorrow night, which is better than the hens suffering months and years of his amorous torment. The hens are laying about 6 eggs a day for us right now. I have pictures of our first eggs, which are surprisingly large for first eggs, but our morning omelets are FANTASTIC! Enjoy the pictures!

As a size reference for how big our pups are (about 6 months right now) I thought I would get Hobbes in the picture. He is in the picture. He's laying on my lap in front of Goliath. Aptly named, as he almost blocks Hobbes out entirely. And he's no where near done growing. These pups even make ME look like a little hobbit.


This is the Turkey King. And his buddy, in the background, the Rooster King. They were fun to have around, and they are food for someone now. It was a long day getting them ready for "market", but it was their destiny. A couple people today thanked us for making their holidays extra special for them! That was sweet of them. I hope they enjoy the natural birds as much as we do.


This is our big rooster. I kept one of his pretty green tail feathers. I didn't want him to go. But he really was gettig rough with the hens, so Larry decided he needed to be dinner. This was my reminder that these are not pets. Sigh. So we said goodbye to our pretty rooster. Au Revoir, fella!


Silly turkeys, they have to try out anything in case it might be tasty food. This is 3 female turkeys getting a taste of Larry's bike. One even pecked the car today.


Schroediger, who had NOTHING to do with bird catching today, says it sounded exhausting and took a nap in our honor.


Grish would have liked to help out, but he also took a nap, instead.


Atlas says "Are you done yet? Can we play now?"


These are our first eggs! They are so yummy! We can't believe it, but fresh eggs from pastured birds taste SO much better than the ones at the grocery store!


One of our girls is laying some mighty big eggs! Look at that sucker!



OK, this is an awful video(as in, poor quality)... but I captured it more for the sounds than anything. What we have here are turkeys hanging out with me. They are making regular turkey sounds, which are far from the "gobble gobble" sound we all think they make. They HAVE gobbled, but more often they peep like this. In the beginning, you can also hear our rooster give out a good crow. They don't just do it in the morning. He did it ALL DAY long. I will miss him. The blue faced turkey is our ONE tom. He's curious about me, so I took some extra film of him. Enjoy the turkey sounds! I can't wait until spring when we get to do it all again!


Monday, November 12, 2007

It's Official

According to the State of Colorado, we are now a registered business, with a trademarked name! WAHOO!

We are

"Long Shadow Farm"

Now, let's get to business....oh boy, filing taxes is going to be FUN this year!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

October was a blur

But what a fun blur it was. I'll soon be posting pics of my adventures, as well as updated pictures of puppies who are growing faster than I thought possible. They are just too cute for words!

I had a great few weeks - came home for 2 MSU football games, which were fun, no matter the outcome. Really, truly, you gotta know I love Tailgating! I went to the SWE National Conference and saw a lot of great friends from all around the US, as well as my good friends from SWE Detroit. I got to hold lots of babies - teeny new babies, not so new babies, and play with toddlers of all ages. And even hang out with my friends who have yet unborn little ones. And I got to hang out for a night with the ladies on the town, and make a complete idiot of myself fueled by cosmos and chocolatinis. I had breakfast at some of my favorite breakfast joints, ate Buddy's pizza, middle eastern food (twice even) and even drove by my old house.

So thanks to everyone for putting up with me, keeping me company, welcoming me into your homes, letting me crash in your spare rooms, listening to my ridiculous stories about chickens, sheep, turkeys and very large puppies, and providing me with enough hugs to get through the holidays. It's good to be home again, now I have a house to clean!