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Thursday, April 30, 2009

first of May and counting

- -

For a few years now we've had a family reunion we call Farm Day at the beginning of August. Children ride the red 1941 Farm-All B tractor down the hill to the meadow with Uncle Don; adults sit in a circle of camp chairs in the maple tree shade next to the house and gab - or play badminton, ping pong or croquet; guys pull out guitars in a grass circle; and my brother Jim helps grill brats and burgers. However this year, instead of Farm Day, we'll welcome 150 of our friends and family for our daughter Lesley's Farm Day Wedding: three months from tomorrow.

THREE MONTHS FROM TOMORROW!

Don is fully in gear and has recruited farm hands to help clean up the beds. He only pays them chicken feed, but they are enthusiastic and hard working, though sometimes a tad lippy.

Too bad they can't weed out this grass in the herb bed. Oh well, Don will be digging it up anyway to plant a Three Sisters garden. The herbs, tulips, daffodils, lilies and irises - but hopefully not the persistent grass - will get transplanted to some other as yet un-dug bed. (Peter's the digger.)



Notice all the Don Don Don and they they they and busy busy busy? They - those plucky chickens - clucked at me as I lay around on the ground with my camera, "Woman, you are so lazy, look at these grapevines! Didn't you weed them last year? Look at you lying there making strange noises with that black box. [I make strange noises?] These grapes should have been pruned in March, what a mess! You're a pitiful farmer's wife." Khan brrraughed at them to shut up, or else. He knows who writes the checks.



I was slightly offended and felt guilty, but Bishop showed me how to ignore them as they go about their business. Thanks, Bish, you're a real pal.



The thing is, if I keep taking my cues from Bishop, and all I do is an approval here and there of Lesley's wedding shoes and the restaurant taste test for the rehearsal dinner (yum!), then poor Don will have to rely on these ladies, who I think can't landscape the yard or hold a paintbrush.

Awright, awright, you squawky hens, I'm up, I'm up.

60 comments:

kanmuri said...

Wedding on a farm! That sounds so nice!!! Can't wait to see the pictures!

I love Bishop, he's so cute! :D

Sally's World said...

great pictures, your cat looks just like ours...cute...

Butler and Bagman said...

Good pictures. Hungry looking cat. A wedding on your farm could be great as long as someone doesn't "chicken" out...Do I get first prize for worst pun of the day?

Susan said...

LOL! My chickens have a lot to say to me, too! Now that David has fenced in the veg. garden, when I go in there and close the gate, they stand outside and complain, complain, complain!

I have to say that even though you haven't started yet, your yard looks about a hundred times better than ours! We have sorely neglected it in the last couple of years. You've inspired me, Ruthie!

And, of course, the pictures were wonderful!

Susan said...

The new header is pretty, but I really liked the peonies! You know I don't like change! :)

J.G. said...

Three months away?! Something tells me you'll be doing your share of the work as the time draws nearer. How exciting!

Barry said...

Everyone's a critic these days, even the chickens!

California Girl said...

You sure that cat is ignoring them? Pretty non-chalant; probably waiting to make his move.

I always enjoy the chicken photos.

CottageGirl said...

You have plenty of time ... 3 months is a long time!!!
Your farm looks just lovely the way it is. I know it will make a beautiful backdrop for such a special event!!!
What a great time for you, Ruth. I'm so happy for you and your family!

Oh yes... and happy birthday to Lesley!!

dutchbaby said...

T minus ninety and counting! The excitement must be ramping up. I can't think of anything more lovely than a wedding on a farm you call home. Will Khan be the ring bearer?

Bishop looks like a wise old soul. I just want to scratch his chin - I bet he'll purr.

*jean* said...

whenever i see your delightful chicken pics, i can't help but get that "there ain't nobody here but us chickens" song in my head...oooo there it is!!!

how wonderful to have a wedding there...sweet...

Dakota Bear said...

Three months to go, have fun planning and enjoy each moment it goes too fast.

Your chickens are handsome. Be like Bishop and just take it easy.

Ruth said...

Konnichi wa, Kanmuri. I will share pictures leading up to the wedding, and then I'll most likely share photos the photographer takes, as we'll have the rights. I don't plan to carry my camera that day, but you never know.

Bishop is a "she" - I realize her name is quite masculine. She is named for Elizabeth Bishop, the poet. Her brother is Blake (for William) but he is no longer with us. I hope he is well wherever he is.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Sally, Bishop is an American Wirehair, and we worship her, like the Egyptians.

Ruth said...

Ding ding, B & B, ding ding! That would be your prize bell.

Peter said...

I'm also rather convinced that your participation wil become more active as the big day approaches! Don't imagine anything else! :-)

To have a marriage at your farm sounds fabulous!!

PurestGreen said...

I love the vibrant colours in your photos - they are playful and fun and tell a great story.

Crossing fingers for perfect weather on the farm wedding day!

ds said...

Actually, you seem remarkably calm for a woman planning her daughter's wedding at home in ninety days--the pictures were quite steady (also gorgeous). We used to host family reunions every August when I was growing up; my dad would hitch the Farmall H (or was it the M?)to the wagon & give all the kids hayrides, too. So many memories...think of all the lovely memories you'll be creating for your Lesley, her new family & yourselves. Enjoy, enjoy, and HIDE THE CAMERA!!!
Bishop as in Elizabeth--of course!
Love the new header (but I'm a sucker for the moon)!

Sandy said...

ahhh they are so adorable!!! I'm falling behind here, just can't keep up around blog world lately. I need to come back.

The wedding...oh wow, it will be here before you know it.

Babs-beetle said...

Ha ha! Oh I want to be at that wedding! It sounds glorious :O)

Ruth said...

Susie - That is a great image, you inside the fence and the chickens hollering atchu.

Thank you, glad the yard looks good in the pics - you know I wasn't going to pick the places that look really bad, right? Like I didn't show you the peeling deck and porch.

Yes, the peony tulips in the last header were pretty. I crave change so much I have to force myself to leave things alone sometimes. And I find that I want to change my own stuff more than I want others to change theirs. Seems like you changed your header recently, no? :)

Also, I like to give my non-flowery side a voice too. Part of me wants spare and bare and simple, no petals or fluff. So you'll see both.

Ruth said...

J.G., I promise I will. I need to design the beds this weekend so we can start planting next weekend.

Ruth said...

Barry - I'm the worst - of myself, and I deserve it much of the time.

Ruth said...

California Girl, Bishop is a sly one, I admit. She is a marvelous huntress. But she looks very different when she is about to pounce. It's funny when she misses a bird and then tries to look nonchalant, like she is still cool.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, I always tell other people that no one else will notice what you do as the host. I think the most important thing is that we feel comfortable, and everyone else will. And there is something to be said for "shabby chic" too, I mean I hope shabby is chic.

I only had a quick phone call with Lesley this morning on her way to a meeting. I hope she's had a happy day. I'll her again tonight.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, it sure is feeling more real now. It's fun envisioning different things, and all the happy people who will join us to celebrate.

Bishop is a sweetheart, but watch out when she purrs, she drools - A LOT.

Ruth said...

I don't know that song, Jean.

We have gone back and forth about whether to let the chickens out of the coop on wedding day. So far, the decision is no. But it would be fun to see them involved somehow.

CottageGirl said...

I forgot...
Love the new header!!

Shabby chic on a farm ... are you kidding me? It will be so lovely. I'd like to be a little bird in a tree (away from Bishop!) looking on at the festivities and wanting some of the sunflower seeds!

Ruth said...

Dakota Bear, thank you for a good reminder to enjoy it all, the planning and ups and downs leading to the day, and to take it easy. You'll be glad to know it is very, very easy for me to follow your advice.

Ruth said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Peter. If history is any indicator, we get done what we need to, and what doesn't get done, we don't worry about.

This property has a way of luring people in and making them enjoy it. We are fortunate to occupy it and share it.

Ruth said...

Thank you for that, PurestGreen. We're all crossing everything. We will have a tent, so if we have to move everything under there, we will.

Ruth said...

Ah, I love to hear that, DS, about your childhood family reunions on the farm. Don needs a tractor with a hitch and a hay wagon.

I'm glad you like the header, and the moon. I needed something less fluttery for a while.

Ruth said...

Time will fly, Sandy, and then I'll be having grandbabies too.

Whoa, guess I'm rushing things a little.

Ruth said...

Babs, I wish everyone could come. The more the merrier.

Ruth said...

Oh thanks, CottageGirl, I thought I'd change it for May.

I will imagine a few blogger birds perched in the trees that day. Fun thought.

laura said...

Great pictures and text!! I think you should hang with Bishop as long as possible; there'll be plenty for you do soon enough!
What a wonderful wedding it's going to be; one to remember.

Ruth said...

Laura, I'll think of you this weekend when I take my sketchpad out to design the gardenscape for planting.

Believe me, in the coming weeks, I won't hurt myself. I am much too kind to myself to strain my brain or my body - or my mind for that matter. Pity.

Montag said...

Beautiful pictures!

My mother-in-law had an expression:
it's just a hen's race from here.

So how far is a "hen's race"?

shicat said...

Sister this is my kind of planning. Laying around,tasting cake, and taking pictures.While hubby and the clean-up crew clear the grounds.Everything under control. No worries. Love the chickens and the teal colored barns are just beautiful. Still amazed that Bishop doesn't get hungry?

Antique show third sunday in June if it's on Saturday we could go to both the show and Treaure Mart. It would be a lot to get in but fun, fun, fun. ( maybe need a few extra ice teas!)cbockel10@hotmail.com

shoreacres said...

The entry is lovely and humorous, but it was your off-handed comment that rang a chord: "I don't plan to carry my camera that day, but you never know."

Even scientists have come to understand that the presence of an observer changes the behavior of the observed. I'm equally convinced the camera changes the nature of our participation in the world around us. It makes us more "observer" and less "participant" - and can objectify the world around us.

It's not that we shouldn't take photographs - only that we need to think now and then about what we want to achieve, and the circumstances of particular situations. This had been on my mind, and then got buried. Thanks for surfacing it again!

rauf said...

Rehearsal dinner with real food Ruth ? The wedding could be an extended farm day with additional guests with the usual attractions like tractor rides. You can get say 100 plants and tell the guests to plant them and Lesley and Brian should plant one together with the wedding guests cheering. Plant a tree, pour water, the wedding ceremony over den have dinner.
Good idea Ruth ?

Oliag said...

Having survived two daughter's weddings I can say it all goes by in a flash...the work and the fun...actually I would like to do them over just for all the fun I had! Your plans sound wonderful!

We have a family reunion/cookout every July but no one owns a tractor here:(...we must make do with games of spud and horseshoes...

Elizabeth Bishop! ..a poetical cat! my kitty is named after Sally Ride...she was very adventurous when young:)

Ruth said...

Montag, I'd say about 20-30 feet. I laugh every time I see one.

Ruth said...

Oh, Cathy, I have a headache this morning, and I'm exhausted from my week at work, and I doubt I will do anything toward wedding plans today. So, more laziness I'm afraid. And I'm just fine with that. I deserve it after the week I've had.

Yes yes yes, I may have to wait a few weeks to finalize a yes, but I hope I can swing it. We have so many commitments in the summer with family and the wedding. It will be fun to meet you - and even if it isn't that day, it will happen.

Ruth said...

Linda, thank you. That extra reflection is helping me too - what do I want to accomplish? Knowing there will be an expert capturing the moments of the day, I can relax and just let it all happen. If something doesn't get photographed that I wish did, I'll have to preserve it in my brain cells.

Ruth said...

Hehehe, rauf, dats funny about real food. Reminds me of my sister Susan, as a young girl was riding in the car with the family, and Dad said something about an artificial lake they were driving by, and she said, "the water looks real to me!"

I like your idea of planting something! Actually this came up before, I don't remember if it was from you or someone else, that Lesley and Brian could plant a tree at some point of the ceremony. I love this idea. Let me tell them and see what they say.

Ruth said...

Oliag, that makes me happy, that you would do it again. That's the best news.

Bishop and her brother Blake were just the second time I got to name a pet. First time was a beagle Don and I had when we first got married; I named her Madeleine for a character in the "Winds of War" who had brown eyes. So with Blake and Bishop I thought I could leave my mark for the poetry world. Turns out Bishop is a very poetical cat, and I didn't know it yet when I named her. Blake is gone, and he was a handful. Maybe Wm. Blake was too.

Moi said...

after daffodils, it's tulip sprouting everywhere, dont you think??? :) But I dont mind them either......I get to see them in colors I have never seen before.....bright or faint...they are pretty :)

And you have such a full life, Ruth.....have a good weekend :)

shicat said...

I bet you have a lot going on. We can meet in fall when your free? or winter.... :) Take care the work week is looooong I took yesterday off and boy oh boy does that help.It's all about time.

Anet said...

I can't believe it, 3 months away!!
It's going to be wonderful.

We are think of a Three Sisters garden too! We came across this studying Native Americans. Interesting how the plants help each other.
Love seeing the chickens and Bishop!

Ruth said...

I agree, Moi. The colors of tulips make them more interesting to me than daffodils, but I do like both.

My life is un-full this weekend, thankfully. I needed to grab some serious quiet couch time.

Ruth said...

Cathy, I may be free in June, I just don't know yet. Please don't write it off. But I'm trying to be realistic and also respect our summery commitments. I'd like to walk in AA with you when it's nice out! I go in December with Inge every year, and we freeze.

Ruth said...

Good, Anet, I don't remember how Don found out about them, somewhere in his blogging or garden research. It's a simple idea that seems to work well. And it will be good for kids to see and learn from, like Noah.

Fannorama said...

Hello! Thanks for your comments on my photoblog - I know I'm a little behind right now (in uploading, not taking photos) but it's the best project I've ever had.

I've been reading your blog for a while now, secretly I guess, but just recently decided to put it on my little list. I am from Michigan as well - I grew up in a small town called Romeo (near Rochester) and went to Michigan State. I love seeing all your photos of Spring and of your farm. It's a nice little reminder of home.

You would think that living in a tropical country, I would have had enough of green, but there's something special about Spring back home, about flowers that only bloom once a year, about green that is awaited, instead of green that is constant.

Well, thanks for the lovely blog and the gorgeous pictures, I look forward to reading more!

VaNeSsA said...

Ruth, I have to tell you that I absolutely adore your pictures of your chickens. When I was a child, we had chickens (and one horrible, onery rooster), and I loved those silly birds. I live in a city now and because of my husband's business am likely to move to another city or suburb, so my prospects of chicken ownership are not promising, but one can live vicariously through another, can't one? :) PS I am going to check out Don's page (ans Susan's) for more possible chicken portraits.
How lovely, this community that the internet has allowed to exist, in which noone finds me odd that I think chickens are adorable!
PPS Small is wonderful!

Ruth said...

Fannorama, my husband has family living in Rochester and many who used to live in Romeo (actually a few still there) and when husband was born he lived in Romeo. I'm glad you found your way here from Taiwan to feel Michigan now and then. Spring here really is something.

Those photos you posted of rush hour are fused in my brain!

Ruth said...

VaNeSsa, there is always one ornery rooster. We had one when our kids were little too, and he went down. He scratched me down the back of my legs - ouch! Khan went at our son the other day, and Peter kicked him. I wonder if he'll get worse.

I'm glad you can enjoy our chickens from the city - too bad you can't see them move - so funny. As Montag said, little races all the time.

Oliag said...

heehee...I love the thought of Wm Blake being a handful...and I bet he was too!

Ginnie said...

I'm so glad you're still taking time for your camera, Ruth, midst all the preparations!

Ruth said...

Boots, I haven't really started doing anything for the wedding yet. :|

All in good time.