Monday, August 31, 2009

Sabbatical Day 1: Organization, Restoration, Rejunvenation

I have seven weeks off from work. Seven incredible, precious, fragile weeks. I say precious and fragile because I'm so achingly aware of how important every minute of each hour of every day of this "free time" is. It's hard to believe Day 1 is already over! But Jon and I accomplished much on this first day, mostly running errands and getting our house in order before taking off for the San Francisco Bay Area for time with family and friends.

After spending a few days in the Bay Area, we're driving down the California coast on our own to get away and reacquaint ourselves with one another, with a time we shared before work was so invasive and a mortgage introduced itself into our otherwise unburdened life. The time when we had adventures together--HOORAY! This will be our first unfettered trip together since we moved to "the farm". We're incredibly excited, but also eager to return home afterwards to wrap up harvest season, work on some long-overdue projects, and explore our own backyard--both literally (as in, the farm) and figuratively (e.g., the state of New Mexico).

There is at least one overnight camping trip in our near future, and one trip to Taos for a storytelling festival. Otherwise, I intend to regularly go to yoga and play golf, and I enrolled in art classes several months ago to keep me on track to completing some art projects I've been looking forward to for years. And I intend to catch up on sleep, eating healthier, and getting fit again. A tall order in seven weeks!

Now, the trick is continuing any new, healthy habits after returning to work in late October.... Any and all advice on how to do that is appreciated!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Harvest 2009

Production is looking up at the Ashe farm (still looking for an official farm name to start our "business" next summer, selling to farmer's markets, schools, etc. Stay tuned for a poll!). Last year we had less than half the planted area we have this year, and harvest time is at least twice as busy. Because we planted a bit late (June vs. May), our harvest is later than others in the neighborhood, but that's not such a bad thing--we missed any early frosts and hail and are now enjoying the abundance for missing those harsh conditions.

Here are pics of one day's harvest these days. August and September will be busy months!

In the photos: Japanese eggplant, yellow hot peppers, pickling cucumbers (which, by the way, make AWESOME half-ripe pickles, my favorite!), yellow sweet pear tomatoes, Chadwick cherry tomatoes, Lady Godiva squash, yellow bush zucchini, and monster radishes! You can also see the watermelon and honeydew melon patches ripening for market next week. We have about 40 melons on the vine so far, and we broke into one of the honeydews last night--a phenomenal experience, like nothing we've ever tasted from a store....

And the flowery, honey-like AROMA that emanated from that melon both before and after we cut into it--if we could bottle and sell that smell, we would be set for life!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cat's Got Your Toe

Poor Watson had an accident on Friday and broke or dislocated a toe on his back paw, poor thing! I was interrupted by howling, blood-curdling screams during a conference call Friday, but couldn't immediately find where it was coming from. I thought Alma (our other cat) and Watson were in a bad fight, which they NEVER do, or that some wild animal snuck into our home and was attacking Watson. It was a horrible, distressful sound.
When I finally understood it was coming from the closet in our office, I was even more confused. I flung the door open, and there was Watson, frantically swinging by one back leg, his little claw stuck in one of the joining corners of our metal shelves.
Jon rushed in to help, and as we tried to grab Watson, he panicked even more, scratching and biting us so ferociously, I felt like he would break one of the bones in my hand. Jon finally managed to hold him while I tried to jimmy his bloody claw out of the shelf. I finally had to yank his foot free, which was not pleasant, and he screamed even more, flying out of Jon's arms and limping badly around the house, continuing to scream and bleed. It was just horrifying.

We also had visitors in town from California that day--our friends Laura and Paul--who were already waiting for me to finish my conference call when all of this happened so we could go out to lunch on this, their first day of their first visit ever to New Mexico.
So, Jon rushed Watson to the vet while I stayed behind to finish my conference call and to go out with Paul and Laura. I felt so guilty leaving Jon and Watson behind, but Jon is a great Kitty Dad and made sure Watson was well taken care of (poor Jon also experienced one of the worst storms we've ever had here in Bosque Farms while I was out galavanting around with Laura and Paul--he SO deserved a beer!).
I know it's sick that I'm smiling in the photo above, but Laura and Paul asked me to say "cheese" as they caught me comforting poor little Watson after he came home quite drugged from the vet. He's doing better now, nearly a week later, but he's still on sedatives and antibiotics since he started getting a fever over the weekend. Please say a prayer for our little guy, that he'll be able to walk (and terrorize Alma) normally again!