Friday, January 23, 2009

Inaugural photo session

JMT (Julie and Jeremy Tarr) got their butts up to DC for the big event. Julie sent me these pictures of the crowds, which I like because they give me a little microtaste of the excitement and of the lovely diversity represented. Enjoy. Perhaps I can convince one of them to write a little recap of the experience while it is still fresh.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Third weekend in January: ice, mead and a porky product party

Sunday found me iced into the holler- a solid sheet of ice covered the entire driveway. I had S and T over for a belated birthday breakfast for S. We had "west coast french toast" and tea and then topped it off with hot chocolate spiked with brandy. They stayed a while and it was cozy and fun. Then I mosied up to the Mecho's to see what was going on up there. Well, little did I know there was a gathering already going on and the blackberry blueberry mead was flowing and the pork products were in full swing (see Moonmeadow Farm blog about recent hog killings.) Well, 3 glasses of mead and a bunch of laughing and carrying on later, I decided I was hungry and guess what food was available...
First I will tell any readers who do not already know that when I am sober I find porky products pretty much utterly nasty (except an occasional piece of Hickory Nut Gap sausage or a freshly fried up home cured piece of Mecho bacon). But apparently when I am drunk and happy, I think they sound really appealing. I kicked the personal porky product party off with some pig tongue. Then I moved on to a cup of pig head broth. I topped off the experience with some pig liver pudding. I will say, the broth was very very good and delicious, and I would like to eat it again (except I think the rest of it was used to make "head cheese," which I suppose I will have to try next). The icing on the porky product cake was that I got to fumble through a large pot of cooked head parts and fish out the jaw bones and take pliers to extract large and small pig teeth. It was really, really fun. Anyone who enjoys taking out teeth and pushing them back in is twisted and messed up... Ooops, I mean those people are really cool and enlightened. There was this weird gray gelatinous substance inside the big tusks, and I considered eating it (for probably the same reason I considered eating some of the deer brains that fated night), but, once again, I didn't.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Special for Heidi

Thursday's Morning To Do List:

Wake up 6:30 (to allow time to lay in the warm bed for a while)

Get water from creek for dishes

Go to outhouse and sit on the frozen seat and poop

Scrape thermometer (not essential, just for shits and giggles)

Heat water for dishes in camper

Thaw dishes that are frozen under the snow onto the outdoor table

Wash dishes quickly in the horizontally blowing snow before water gets cold and when water gets cold abandon mission (leaving some dishes frozen to the table)

Remember to believe in unicorns (and pegasus)

Clean out White Nite's cage and find new dry bedding (straw) in barn for fresh
bedding and "freshen"

Gather all laundry and overnight stuff to take to Sally's

Evacuate: Load up with back pack, very very full laundry bag, food bag and overnight bag and hike up to the top of the icy driveway to parked car

Go to work and act normal

PS Coming home last night I parked up at the top because of the ice and I stopped in to say hi to the neighbors. This is what I walked in on...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2nd Weekend in 2009: BINGO in Hot Springs

Stacey and her cupcake

The prize table

Jenna wins with the help of her lucky slingshot

Megan wins Bleach!

Mr. Bingo caller

Saturday evening found me with a group of Hot Springs ladies looking for a good time in a small town. Mid-winter, pub closed, rainy, post holiday lull... Luckily the Hot Springs VFD picked the deadest weekend of the year to host a very special BINGO fund raiser at the Community Center. Well, I got on my BINGO outfit, which included a side ponytail and lucky unicorn necklace, hit a little sip of brandy from the new flask (thanks JDH 4th)to warm up, and headed into the valley.

Everyone in the posse had a good luck charm: a unicorn necklace, a mother mary, a baby, a crystal elephant... When Jenna showed up empty handed I loaned her my slingshot as a good luck charm and wouldn't you know, she won that game. Winners of games didn't win money, but rather various assorted household items that had been donated from Dollar General. It was a unique kind of BINGO, and I got a kick out of it, but not as much of a kick as I wanted to get. I think I require a certain level of weirdness to get stimulated to the point of excitement, and the BINGO didn't quite make it. But it was amusing and a good time none the less. I won one game and got a glass picture frame with hearts on it. Jenna won 18 wash cloths. Megan won a bottle of bleach. Enjoy the mini photodocumentary. Love, Dana

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009's First Weekend: seed swap and gun shooting

Stacey's first shot with her 20 gauge

"T" getting serious

me getting serious

Don't mess with the ladieez

If my first weekend of the year offers any insight into the essence of 2009, I am stoked (well all except for about an hour of getting thoroughly spooked at the seed swap, but first things first...) The seed swap at Beth and Christopher's place was my kind of fun (see link to Milkweed Diaries blog). Sitting around drinking all sorts of mead and playing with seeds and shooting the shit about gardening and homegrown food is really and truly my kind of a good time. Beth and Christopher win a special award for hospitality in my little invisible book of awards, for providing a very warm and comfortable environment, awesome homegrown food served (no potluck, yay!) and very interesting and worthwhile friends to visit with. Oh, yeah, and there's always the option of taking a dip in the wood fired hot tub out under the Swannanoa sky. The openness of the Swannanoa River Valley opens all sorts of psychic portholes into imagining native life on that very soil many many thousands of moons ago. Conversation after the seed swap and dinner was "bumpin'" and ventured into some dark and spooky places for a while, as well as some good old clean fun places. Being surrounded by loving good people was crucial during the scary stories (about a local serial killer). Thanks to B and C for another wonderful evening.
Sunday was a day at home. I did some bush-whacking on the land for a while, exploring through the brambles and overgrown pasture and baby forest. It was a whopping 70 degrees, and I was sweating in a tee shirt. Then in the afternoon, SG came over for some gun shooting practice (on inanimate targets). She and I both acquired 20 gauge shotguns last year, and this was SG's first time shooting hers. We met up with S and T and shot the hell out of some Busch Light cans. Please enjoy the visuals from our photo shoot of the occasion.
My evening after that was spent chilling out, making and eating homemade vegetable soup and reading my current very good book, Equinox, written by a South Dakota falconer about his personal experiences with falconry.
Please, if there is a god out there, let 2009 be awesome...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Eve (un-monumental) Happenings

This was written last night...

I have always had an aversion to New Years Eve. Something in me always believes and expects something monumental to happen, and I develop anticipation and anxiety about this projection, and then nothing ever happens. It is always cold and anticlimactic. Last year I had a small mellow bonfire with SM and I burned all my calendars of 2007 and set intentions for the year. We also drank a ceremonial herbal drink (which we seem to like doing together on various occasions). It was calm and nice and sad and refreshing and nice.
This year, three planets are visually lined up with the moon (venus, mars, and jupiter). That seems monumental. I have decided work on an herbal potion for a friend this evening while the alignment is occurring. I figured it couldn’t hurt, and maybe it will strengthen the potency of the medicine.
Last night was quite a night for me. Jenna and I went to Weaverville for pizza. Jenna drank half a Guiness and got a little drunk. She got all giggly over nothing and it was really fun. We had a good rest of the night and I came home to the Airstream at about 10:30. On the drive home I remembered a stupid scary movie that I watched post of on TV during the day. It was about a serial killer. I thought about how it was dark and I would be getting home alone and there was nobody within yelling distance who could hear me if a serial killer was waiting for me in the dark. When I got home, I noticed the door was not closed all the way. I tried not to get scared, and I came inside and turned on all the lights. Of course nobody was in here. I felt relieved until I noticed that my feet were squishing on something. I checked the rug and it was soaking sopping wet. I took it outside and hung it up and it literally dripped. I mopped up the wet floor and stood there thinking about why my door was opened and my rug was wet. It hadn’t rained. Everything else in the camper was dry. There was no water jug or refrigerator leakage. My mind had already partially switched into irrational mode because of the stupid scary movie. I started thinking maybe someone was playing a trick on me. Then I thought maybe Moonpie, the neighbor’s dog, had gotten in and taken the rug into the creek and some neighbor had noticed it and gotten it out of the creek and brought it back inside. I tried not to think about it too much, but I did check in all of the closets and cabinets to make sure the serial killer from the movie wasn’t hiding in them (as if any serial killer, even a midget one, could fit in there...) I thought about loading my shotgun and sleeping with it under the bed, but I decided that was stupid- if a serial killer snuck in here in the night I wouldn’t have time to get it from under the bed. I comforted myself by realizing that this is one of the safest places in the world to live.
I was awoken at 1:45 am by some strong gusts of wind. I lay there for a while trying to will the wind to stop. It didn’t work. I got up and spent 20 to 30 minutes wrestling my awning again (just like 10 days ago). I kept having to pause and look all around and make sure the serial killer wasn’t there. And I had to pause and admire the dark, beautiful starry mid winter night sky. I finally got the awning rolled in and went back to bed. I had strange dreams for the rest of the night.
This morning I went for a walk through field and forest and got a little nice, which is always nice. I had a lunch date planned, and by the time I found my way back to Chapel Hill Road I was almost about to be late. But right then a friend drove by and gave me a ride. On the walk I found part of a turtle shell, an old farm with a lovely falling apart house, and a bunch of turkeys. The weather was cold and windy, but it was beautiful.