Sunday, August 28, 2011

picking and canning and freezing! oh my!

garlicky dill pickles

blue lake green beans

just picked


roma tomato

if you're a constant reader here at julie king art then you've heard me say this before: in life, we are always either giving in or fighting back. there is no middle ground. for too, too long i gave in to the pressures of love, relationships, aging, work stress, caring for ailing parents -- just life in general. one of the things i've learned as i continue to fight back and find myself again is the value of feeling fulfilled and satisfied thru work. i can't seem to get enough of gardening, harvesting, canning, freezing and being one with the great outdoors. it gives me a feeling of wholeness that i've not let myself feel for a long, long time. i'm sure that part of that feeling is due to not working a stressful corporate job. my little retail job at the antique mall is just enough for me right now. i continue to plan and scheme ways to earn an income in an unconventional, bohemian way. many say i'm whack to pursue this; there is pressure to rejoin the leagues of unhappy people toiling to pay uncle sam and be fulfilled thru a big paycheck. thoughts of returning to that lifestyle bring on a mini panic attack. i simply can't see myself doing it. only time will tell if i can continue to support myself in the way i'm choosing. it is a choice that i'm very content with right now.

my dreams these days tend to be about homesteading on a small farm. i'd like a small house on a couple of acres where i could have chickens, goats and a big garden. i see myself driving a small tractor, making goat soap and putting my harvest in a root cellar. i could sell my wares at local farm markets, live in blue jeans and fall asleep each night to the sounds of nature. when i reflect on how i've changed my lifestyle and realized some dreams over the last year, then i know that the homesteading dream can be a reality for me. i'm fighting back, my friends. i'm fighting back!

Friday, August 26, 2011

dogs and chickens

it is starting to feel like fall here which is my favorite season. i'm loving the cooler nights, the angle of the sun and harvesting the end of my vegetable garden. the cooler weather has found me out on the cardinal greenway, a bike path made on an old railroad bed. it runs behind the house a ways and is a wonderful place to bike or walk the dogs.

i'm still amazed at how well the dogs and chickens get along together. there is still the occasional urge to chase but the chickens aren't afraid so it never lasts more than a few feet.  all the animals -- dogs and chickens -- have found the corn field and the bean field and like to explore beyond our property. i'm a nervous wreck when the dogs get into the field because i can't see them but they come right back when i shake their dog biscuit bag. smart dogs!!

the chickens are very curious and will come visit me in the yard no matter what i'm doing. they flock whenever we're breaking green beans and peck at the ends we throw on the patio. we put our pineapple and melon rinds out for them to peck on and they have quite a feeding frenzy. mom and i both have had our painted toenails pecked a few times. like i said they're very curious.

we hope to have eggs soon. some experienced chicken farmers have said we'll get eggs in august and others say not until late september. i give them a little pep talk when i'm closing them up in the barn every night. i tell them that we've been good to them for all these months and now it's time for them to be good to us. then i close with "think eggs, girls, think eggs"! last night when i went into the shed one of the hens was sitting in the nesting box. fingers crossed that that is a good sign!

watching the chickens is very relaxing. they seem to have their own ebb and flow of moving around slowly pecking for insects and then all of a sudden they will all take off running across the yard. they are definitely a flock and huddle closely together most of the time.

for some reason they are attracted to this plant on a stump in the yard. i call it playing queen of the hill. 

and so goes my life on the farm. my next post i'll give a report on the overwhelming veggie garden harvest. life is good my friends. life is good.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

still lifes

many days
i only see the world
in still lifes
textures patterns
light shadow
nuances of artistry
in my still life
my simple life
my bursting
with color

listen for the stillness
where truth lives
on and on and on