Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Notes on the Farm - Sent from my iPhone

Life's pretty funny. We spent Saturday morning in downtown Austin cashing in our AT&T gift cards for shiny new iPhones and then promptly went next door to Starbuck's to play with our toys. Basically this meant that I browsed the internet with the thing and Jer started adding as many free apps as possible. We didn't talk to each other at all. Just drank our coffees, played with the new technology, and watched as the huge Whole Foods across the street became packed with strolling shoppers. Three hours later found us up to our ankles in raw manure, putting out a fresh round bale for the livestock and snipping the ropes that encase the hay. It was a far cry from our urban morning. It's not a knee-slapper, but our life has become pretty funny in its contrasts - if for nothing else.

I see that Jeremy mentioned the sparkling new chainsaw I was gifted. Let's be honest: it's the adult version of a Fisher-Price "My First Chainsaw." It makes all the right noises, but it's basically a baby chainsaw with training wheels. Since I have no idea what I'm doing and sport fairly inadequate arm muscles, it's perfect! I'm proud to say that I took out two cedar trees (saplings) and cut an entire trunk (stick) for firewood! Because of My First Chainsaw, my land contributions will be many.

And a word on Boo. Oh holy crap - that was quite an experience. I re-read a post prior to the ordeal in which I nonchalantly stated that I would help as much "as the vet will let me." HA! HA! HA! Aaaaaaahhahaha! Boy oh boy was I being pompous. As it turns out, I have a fairly impressive gag reflex when it comes to the following: scalpels, pain, blood, scalpels, blood, but mostly - testicle removal. Sorry people, I'm just telling it like it is. Jeremy did, in fact, watch the entire ordeal the way one might watch a train wreck. It was riveting enough that he was unable to avert his eyes, however he kept one fist in his mouth the entire time, wincing throughout and periodically exclaiming, "HOLY CRAP!" and "EEEWWEeeeeeoooowwwwwW!" So - he provided some additional drama that wasn't very productive. My favorite part was when he thought the procedure was finished and said, "Ok, it's done, you can look now," at which point I tentatively peeked out from behind a tree in time to see the vet begin work on the second (because, Jeremy, there are TWO) testicle. He quickly apologized for his error and pushed me behind the tree again. That's as many details as I'll give, unless you ask for more details, and then I'm happy to provide them. I generally work through trauma best when I can talk about it. Thank you. And for the record - Boo's now a nicer guy in general. He just seems a little more calm, cool, and collected which in turn makes Chula less of a snot. When he annoys her now, she kicks him - and he doesn't kick her back! Progress.

Finally - it deserves an additional note, because it's really exciting: we did meet with a builder who was recommended by a central Texas artist, Lyn Foley, whose own barndominium was recently built by this man. And boy oh boy does he work fast. He blew onto the land like a small tornado; asking questions and setting up appointments with subcontractors for bids and generally getting our firmly-stuck ball - rolling. We have no contracts signed at this point but finally are learning some solid information about what a build entails. In fact, the electric company came out yesterday for a bid on the cost of installing the appropriate number of poles and wires to our home site. After measuring the distance the poles would span from road to house, the man politely scratched his head, chuckled, and suggested we reconsider our home site. As usual, it appears we've chosen something "unconventional" since most people would position their homestead closer to a gate, to a road, to something already hooked up to the 21st century. We, however, have chosen a spot nestled at the edge of the forest and in the far middle spot on the land. Take that convention and technology!! The irony being, of course, that the meeting with the electric company was set-up entirely with the use of my new iPhone. So we're not exactly going off the grid when we get out there, so what. Besides, I've gotten lost in the woods enough times to appreciate the value of a good GPS system on my phone.

In the end - I doubt we move the house location to accomodate the electric company, or the water company, or anyone else since the bulk of the burden and cost falls on us. And we generally like to take the more complicated route for some reason. Regardless, it was a happy holiday and hopefully the beginning of more than just a new year. A new....home? Happy holidays!

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