sunrise : let out chicks. scrub waters. feed the masses.
morning : collect summer's first tomatoes in a dusty ol' shirt.
late morning : chase piglets through the amaranth forest that is now the garden pen.
noon : breakfast of tomato, cuke, onion salad with sunny side up eggs and creamy cheese.
early afternoon : fight with health insurance agency. accept defeat. spend 2 hours researching Other Options.

proposed late afternoon : collect ingredients all over town for littlest sister's birthday. two cakes. one very spoiled sister.
proposed evening : trail run with molly, fi, elizabeth, and the overweight but enthusiastic pups.
proposed nightime : sleep. sleep every hour that it is dark, because that is how much a young farmer needs in these long summer days.

1. [[see "morning"]]
2. one of 15 cats on the farm. they've got the mice routine covered, so there is a bit of downtime for these fluff balls.
3. we have 7 (Seven!!) house pigs. such pigdom requires a good amount of double tasking as littlest sister is accomplishing here.


whiskey before breakfast

my littlest and only sister turns 25 this weekend. which, officially, makes me an Old Woman. and so, to commemorate this, i took her south west of asheville, to the mountains, for some sister time. no animals. no boyfriends. just running trails. her mandolin. my tent. a couple of bananas. and a generous ration of beer.

i haven't left the farm in months. not since early march. unless you count the hospital when nick was sick. which i do not. it was hardly 36 hours away. but i reveled.

1. the view from our campsite. it smelled like california. like the sierra nevadas. it was fully glorious.
2. we create a mess. cowboy boots. bananas. smelly running shorts. this was just the spillover. the back was a solid wall of clothes and sleeping bags.
3. we did a solid amount of trail running. which makes me a happy Old Woman.
4 & 5. breakfast. fiona and i have a history of under-packing for food. dinner was an avocado, a cuke, and an onion. we invested in a loaf of bread in town to help it all down.
6. i love her.
7. even if she plays the first chords to whiskey before breakfast over and over and over again as she learns the mandolin.


it can't possibly be friday

this is where florence and pascal sleep. they would like to wish you a bon week-end but they are out. which is quite clear as there appears only to be some straw, a feed bowl, and pascal's kiddie pool inside right now.

everyone on the home farm is rather indisposed au moment. fi, billy, and molly went in search of a swimming hole. nick is lounging in the hammock. rudy is recuperating in the sun from an unwanted bath. so is rose. bella is standing in the pond, afraid to go past her ankles. the chucks are making their rounds. the cats are in front of the fan. and i....well, i am about to make nick and i some drinks with ice cubes and hope in my outdoor tub to soak away the week. have a good one.


theives in the onion patch

we seem to be in a root vegetable groove. i have been obsessively reading --well, as obsessively as a farmer such as myself can find time to read-- root cellaring: natural cold storage of fruits and veggies. and so the roots are comin out! yesterday we spent a brutal 5 hours digging onions. there was a brief scare that somebody had stolen all of our onions. it turned out they were really just hiding in the weeds. i have Neglected that garden...with a vicious passion. today was potatoes and carrots and garlic. i really know how to show these kids a good time. the prospect of storing...hoarding... all these wondrous veggies all year round is too tempting. the smugness that could come with preparing a potato salad with your own potatoes for one of those random, glorious, and singular warm weather days in january when everyone jumps to cookouts and short shorts! root cellaring appeals to the parsimonious kate and the vainglorious kate.

1. purple & orange carrots. in june. no. big. deal. (isn't IT a big deal? one farmer implied they were impressed)
2. i think my sister is the most beautiful.
3. this garlic is not so beautiful.  but it will, as they say, get the job done.
4. god bless the flowers that reseeded themselves from last summer. the wasps and beneficials thank you.  i was a neglectful flower seeder.
5. onions! curing in the greenhouse.
6. litter in my garden. shameful. as it was me. definitely.  and i walk by that blasted bottle every day. haven't picked it up. you should hear the Lecture i pour onto others when they leave so much as a spade or a dropped tomato in my garden. ahhhh, finding hypocrisy in ourselves is one of the everday joys of life.
7. just a reminder to you all, that i am, indeed, a cowgirl.


my sister is here. my mandolin pluckin', barefoot runnin', tree talkin' sister. and her boyfriend. for a month. farming and summer and my sweet sister. i don't know how i could be so lucky. so you'll have to excuse the lack of photos as we are diving right into the first two days of summer with a healthy amount of family, music, dominos, and beer.


give me color

i beginning to understand that i take color for granted. seeing it. touching it. absorbing it. i am often overwhelmed or overpowered by a color. but i rarely appreciate it for its very being. i know a man who doesn't see color...or rather, sees very few colors.  and every time i am with him i become obsessed with the concept. i point to endless objects asking him to describe what he sees for me and never satisfied with the answers. i cannot grasp a world without all of the colors. but color is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. it is different for everyone. which makes me love the color i see even more. does this even make coherent sense?

so, in response to having had a rough go at it last week,  i would like to begin this one by being Reflective and Thankful....two qualities i tend to shove away whenever the world spins too quickly for me.

photos in living color:
1. today's red dress that is already covered in half chewed granola --thank you, rose.
2. red yarn for wrapping presents for babies.
3. sunflowers from a friend's farm.
4. bowl of granola and yogurt for breaki.
5. speaking of Thankful...the grass around our house is coming back fiercely...and i know a little girl calf that may be interested.
6. bag balm for my cracked man-feet and soon for rosie the goat when we start to milk her again.
7. oh thank heavens for the wind to provide some cool relief, as the sky, today, is an unforgiving blue.
8. the washing has finally made it outdoors after a week of cutting corners between hospital and work.


....just a flesh wound

thank you thank you to all of you sweet friends that sent so many good vibes to nick last night. he had a feverish sleep but did much better this morning according to the doctors than in the past 2 days. there are many theories regarding an actual diagnosis for nick. i have mine. nick has his own. the doctors seem a bit befuddled and just about everyone i have spoken with has given me their own ideas. but no matter i suppose. even if we don't know what happened...or why he fell so ill. we do know that he is better and will be coming back home. and that is all i can ask for.

thank you all so much. it really means the world.


i need you all to think good, strong, powerful thoughts for my nick today. its his 2nd day in the hospital. all we know is it is somekind of infection. or maybe its a virus. they know very little. but he is quite ill. i would tell you more but i don't know much more myself. some hours he is my nick. and some hours he is just lying there...all hooked up to machines...the exoskeleton of my nick.

i've been paralyzed with an unknowing of what to do or how to help or where to sit and stare at him and will him to get better. his father is here. which is a godsend. but its so very terrifying to one morning wake up, kiss your love goodbye, and then, in what feels like an eternity and also just 5 minutes,  you are rushing across the state in the middle of the night to get to his bedside at a hospital in a town you don't know very well.

i shouldn't be on the computer right now. i feel a weight of guilt at blogging while he is lying there. truthfully, all i want to do is shop online....or go to a wedding....or pick onions. i want to do anything but be in that hospital room. not because i don't totally and completely love nick, because, i do. he is my partner in every way of that word and seeing him hurt and sick destroys me. but i want to pretend so badly like this isn't happening. so very very badly. i just want to take him home and shake us both and say you're not sick.  that's probably high on the list awful things you have heard today.

so please, think good thoughts for him. because i need him to be back to being nick. i need us to be able to kiss and hug and laugh and work and play and sing and farm and garden and argue and eat and sleep and be kate and nick together. i hope that this is all just a big scare. that nothing is as serious as they say it could be. that tomorrow we'll come home and forget all about it.


a chocolate milk chuggin' fool

oh its been a long one. you mustn't be cross with me for being such a negligent recorder this week. we were thrown right into the bowels of Farm Summer. it started off innocent. i spent monday, as promised, soaking in jordan family time accompanied by some much-missed a/c & bbq. tuesday morning i swung by the aeroport to get miss molly and we treated our selves to latt├ęs. and then...

and then things got Out Of Control. i don't know if we were just needing fresh blood (molly) or if it were inevitable due to the heat of it all. but somehow the calm and zen of tuesday somersaulted into the insanity of summer's past. 6 am with-the-sun wake ups  and go go go until the heat beats you down. then you get fed, splash some hose water on your face and neck and body that has somehow become the same color as the carolina red clay, and then it is back at it again like a woodpecker to a tree. working as vigorously and fiercely as the day we first met the farm. i've barely had time to debrief with my boyfriend let alone attend to the fierce amount of correspondence the internet demands.

things are calming just as the weather is approaching. thunderheads have circled the farm for two days now and are closing in though we don't let ourselves dare hope we will be blessed with rain. but i do hope. trying to head to the woods tonight for a run. with molly. i love her here. and then tomorrow, hopefully, a birth of another friend. and just on the other distant side of tomorrow....very faintly glowing there, is my weekend, with promises of the seashore for a couple of days with some lovely friends.

1. the beets i planted with maman are here. hailey, molly, and i ate them for lunch. they did the job.
2. first zinnia of the season. i threw caution to the wind and only planted sunflowers. all other flowers were under direct order to re-seed themselves. and its actually sort of working.
3. & 4. molly and i gave the piglets hose downs. they loved it.
5. i made myself proud in the amount of tractoring i did on this little sweetie today. i was beaming like a jackass driving it on the main road waving very cooly and nonchalantly at every driver-by.
6. i schooled molly in an impromptu chocolate milk pounding competition. that intern has a lot to learn.
7. outdoor tub time with my root cellars book and a spritzer. finally. also, i made (!!!) that bath tub tray. feeling terribly smug to-day.


le week-end according to the farm.

another working weekend gone. one week through june and we are as hot as can be. i am getting overly and prematurely nostalgic for this farm. for this good southern state. for these animals. for these southern people. i can't believe we are just 2 months shy of leaving them. i'm hoping to Soak It All In as best as i am able. 

for instance, today; morning with pascal & florence & rose all in the front yard all --more or less-- harmoniously waddling about while i read about root cellars. afternoon will be pool time with melissa & everly. evening will be pleading with said melissa to teach me how to put on eyeliner and braid my hair in between feeding and bathing and putting to bed deux bebes, as though she isn't busy enough. that is a good southern Soak It All In day for my dairy.

Soaking It In photos

1. pascal's first day in the pond. it was a good 20 minutes of him flapping about before nick reminded me of the thriving snapping turtle population we are harboring. i got rudy in there toute suite to serve as turtle bait.
2. what a LITTLE egg. found in the egg boxes on saturday. somebody is definitely not earning her keep.
3. ninja photo of us 2 on our way to raleigh for dindin with the jordans & a big bouquet of sage for melissa
4. my favorite corner of the bus. cleaned out all the nesting birds, sleeping cats, nosy wasps and daddy long-legs for miss molly who arrives first thing demain.
5. ahh i miss this bed. i miss this bus. i can't wait until the next time nick and i live in mobile housing. 
6. i ate them all. no...maybe nick had 2. but i have an insatiable appetite for cookies at 7 am...so nick doesn't stand a chance.
7. rose diving for strawberries in a box of compost from the market
8. bathtime for a filthy farm mutt.
9. rosie-the-goat had her babies. a boy and a girl. they are delicious.


hey, we made the paper..

well, the local farmer's market e-newsletter. sweet photo, even if i do look a bit deranged. i think nick and i were mid-heated argument over which beer is tastier.

thank you heather for the pic. and thank you kari for passing it along.


handmade, homemade, locally sourced, organic iced cubes

1/2 lemonade + a splash of slovenian raspberry syrup (it must come from slovenia) + 1/2 sparkling water + a couple handmade, homemade, locally sourced, organic iced cubes = the spritzah. 

the well water isn't really doing it for us lately. and one beer has been just about knocking me off my feet when it reaches 100°. so nick & i came up with the spritzah --which, similar to the particularity of the syrup, must be said with a subtle, yet confident, boston accent--

we go through anywhere from 3 -18 spritzahs a day.  we had to buy lemonade and sparkling water in bulk at the market when it became in such high demand here on the farm. oh our life is an exciting one. i hope you all have a bon week-end.

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