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Updated: 2018-02-07T12:31:23.034-08:00

 



I swear somewhere else now and you can, too.

2018-02-04T12:28:04.180-08:00

Hi. Yes I have been sucking at posting to this blog.

I moved to the country and started working on a farm and - SHOCKER -  I spend less time with a computer.

But I DO spend a lot of time with the cell phone.

And I do still take photos of plants and Jada and the farm and Bubba with chainsaws and me being stung by angry stinging insects..

Plus all that other stuff you've come to know me for and about which we all used to chat enjoyably over our respective beverages from different points on the maps.

Let's do that some more, but just over at Instagram where I post the photos and the swears now.

I may make it back to the blog here and there, but dudes - I'm just going into my first season where I've done the whole crop plan for 1.25MM square feet of greenhouse and I'm going to be photoing the whole fucking lot of it and that'll be over there where it's fast and I can get back to anxious breakdowns between farm catastrophes/thrills.

OK - speaking of catastrophes/thrills - I'm going to go shing the hill now because LO spring is here a lot of months earlier than last year and the weeds are really something.

Pleaseletmenotslicethroughawaspnesttodaythankyou.





Unscytheable

2017-07-31T20:52:15.316-07:00

MUST SHING THE GOLD DEVIL.There has been some serious SHINGing going on around this muther fucker.And by SHINGing, I mean scything because of the SHING SHING SHINGing it does when I'm slicing oh-so-satisfyingly through acres of 10' tall thistles and the tall grass before it turns into fire bait.SHINGSHINGSHINGI love it.Seriously, it is like therapy. Like hillbilly dun lost 'er shit therapy. Our neighbors think we're nuts. And dangerous. Which is really something coming from the likes of these fine armed folks.The cow horn holster (for the whetstone, obviously) isn't helping. Anyway - I've been scything. Grass, thistles, wild pea tumbleweeds that are a super pain in the ass to scythe because of the stupid ass way they grow and then get all snarled up and grow giant trunks that are really hard to SHING through.It's been fairly successful. And despite the physical effort it looks like I'm exerting, it's actually way lighter work than hauling around that weedwhacker. Plus I'm not breathing in gas fumes. Or straining to hear Gojira over the roar of the motor. Or sweating my tits off in coveralls to avoid having grass shot up my pooper.That shit's a fucking scene, man.But with the scything I get to ditch the coveralls, groove to whatever French metal I please at a reasonable volume and peacefully SHINGSHINGSHING my way across the hillside.I mean, until I SHING a yellow jacket nest, of course.SHINGWHATTHUFUCK?!Then it's just all scythe-throwing and girlish shrieking and Bubba yelling "WHAT WHAT WHAT??" and me running through the woods at a rate so expeditious that after the Great Yellow Jacket Mauling of 2017 concluded, he tried to comfort me by telling me that he was impressed I could run that fast in work boots.Cover me in stinging insects and I bet I make a sub-2hr marathon.Plus the ones on my hands and stomach yayYeah, so there's apparently a trend emerging where I make unwelcome advances at stinging insects and end up bringing new meaning to my old standby freakout of OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.And this is an OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO that Bubba can't rescue me from because he's allergic as shit to stingers.So, yeah, probably not the best and smartest move for me to be hurtling myself down the hillside in his direction looking for help. I realized my error about halfway down the hill, but I was moving at such a speed (see sub-2 hr marathon in work boots) that momentum, gravity and the spacing of the oak trees predetermined my path. A path which dumped me out nearly at his feet. And me waving my arms and shrieking "NO NO NO" didn't deter him from coming to my rescue and then being aggressively shooed away so that I could find and kill those stinging fuckers myself.ASSHOLES. UGH.Later, after I came down from the adrenaline and rage from my yellow jacket-fueled run, I inspected the yellow jacket nest from afar.It seemed ACTIVE.When I went back the next morning to fetch my scythe, which I'd hurtled to the ground in my hasty escape, I found it laying ever so conveniently across TWO entrances to a massive nest.Delightful.Thankfully it was cool out and there wasn't much action on at the nest yet, so I pulled my hoodie up, cinched it down around my face, hiked out there, snatched up my scythe, gave the nest a good old American middle finger (it was 4th of July after all) and marched back to the house.ASSHOLES. UGH.And then, because I will NOT have my foggy morning dog walk ruined by the likes of a bunch of asshole yellow jackets, I went downstairs to make tea and go for my walk.Love fog. LOVEIT.Except then SUPER FUN fishing a yellow jacket out of my sweatshirt when I sat down to put my shoesonyaythanksforthat.I'm afraid that one bore the brunt of my rage at his entire nest and species. There was not a lot left of that dude when my boots and I were done with him.GEEZGODDAMN.So yeah, scythes are awesome for cutting grass but not good for defense against stinging insects.Got it.---------Update a month later, here. Hi! I'm on vacation yay!The nest was just raided the other night by another suddenly-a-lot-less-loath[...]



The depths of my plant nerd

2017-05-08T20:26:17.363-07:00

So, there went April, I guess.I had thought that oh yeah I can totally do a post a month, fer sure and then I took on a big old fucking job at the farm and yeah no.Good thing I only told myself I would post at least once a month and not you guys. Well, until now.Whatever - HI! It's May! April sucked ass! Work is busy! It's like this for everyone! I'll stop whining.Instead, I'll just give you guys another reason to think me a big fucking nerd.I am on vacation next week.Which is not nerdy.I plan to garden ALL week long.Which is only vaguely nerdy. At least that's where it registers on my scale of nerdiness.I chose to take this week off because it follows the plant sale at the college where I got my horticulture degree and this way I can prep for my vacation by buying a shit load of plants for my week of garden nerding.Which is, like, pretty nerdy, I guess.Last fall I gave my plant list for the native plant restoration project I'm doing at my house to my program chair from the horticulture department and he had the crop production classes grow out my plant list.Am I getting warmer? I feel like this is warm nerd territory.What if I told you that I planned to take this week off last year? Before I even knew that the California native plants of my heart's desire were going to be custom grown for me from a list of my own devising?THAT WOULD BE NERDY.I didn't do that. I only decided after the offer was made.So, I'm only sort of plant nerdy. Like, on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is "What is a California Poppy?" and 10 is "IF YOU DON'T CALL IT ESCHSCHOLZIA CALIFORNICA YOU CAN DIE IN A FIERY HEAP OF FRESH CUPCAKE SHAPED WILD TURKEY SHIT!", I'm probably around a 6.You know, where 6 is "I will ever so carefully weedwhack around all lacy poppy foliage on 5 acres of hillside in order to spare every last flower so that it may spread its seed far and wide because I love them so so much."That's my level of nerdiness. I think, anyway.So, if I live through this week of work, which is always in question until I finally tear off my boots at the end of the week, I will embark on a week of plant nerdiness that, until now, has only existed in my wildest nerd fantasies.Wanna see the plants I'm getting?Aesclepias speciosa, California MilkweedCarpenteria Californica, Bush AnemoneLupinus arboreus, Bush LupineErigonum grande var. rubescens, Red BuckwheatEschscholzia californica, California PoppyDiplacus aurantiacus, Sticky Monkey FlowerSalvia spathacea, Hummingbird SageAnd also others that I don't have photos of yet. And that the internet won't let me paste into Blogger for some mysterious reason that I don't have the energy to sort out.So yeah, much gardening will happen in my life next week. I have big fancy plans to buy all the natives at the college plant sale whilst shoving grannies out of the way to get to all of my precious baby plants if I have to. After which, I will spend many days digging holes, planting, mulching and fighting off the deer with my gloved hands.And scything.Because Bubba got a scythe to tame our hillside grass and it works so well and he is so badass that I had to have one, too.JUST LOOK AT THIS AND TELL ME YOU DON'T WANT ONE.I won't believe you.The man cut 1/4 acre of grass and weeds down in 20 minutes.20 MINUTES.And he wasn't even out of breath.So yeah, mine's en route. As is the cow horn whetstone holder because if you're going to use a scythe, why not go for the psycho gold and carry your whetstone in a cow horn?And also why not wear your black hoodie with the skull and cross bones on the back, with the hood up, and pump French death metal until your neighbors are convinced that Death Herself has moved in next door?My answer to these questions is obviously WHY NOT INDEED.Photos to follow.[...]



And suddenly there was RAIN FOR, LIKE, MONTHS.

2017-03-19T20:16:27.243-07:00

There's just something about a freshly newly stacked pile of firewood that makes you feel good, right?I'll never be cold. EVAR.Not like it's all super fucking cold around here or anything. I mean, it's still Northern California we're talking about here. So, like, in the 30s in February counts for cold.We're more worried about shit like flooding than extreme cold. allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/pH7N2cAjVRg/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pH7N2cAjVRg?feature=player_embedded" width="320">Flood Day it is, then? OK.We have just the one wee bridge to get out to our property, so when it goes under the otherwise non-existent creek, it's this new thing called Flood Day that's like Snow Day but way less fun.I imagine. Having only had a handful of Snow Days in my life during my undergrad in Flagstaff, anyway. And really what I remember are things like ill-fated attempts to get up to the local ski hill and then bailing out to the local brewery to hear war stories about snow shoveling, so what do I know of The Fun of Snow Days. I can say, however, Flood Days are kind of not as fun because they also usually involve repeatedly checking the status of the household mudslide."Eh. It's about as big as before. It still looks like Playdoh spaghetti squeezing through the fence rail."Yippie whippy.Trillium chloropetalum, Giant WakerobinI do really like the between-storm damage patrols, though. Because who doesn't like to walk around in soggy woods with a big poking stick and muck boots?Don't tell me. I like to believe that I am normal.This was the first time I'd seen sun in, like, 5 days, so, some forgiveness, ok? Cabin Fever is a real concern.Adiantum jordanii, California MaidenhairDryopteris arguta, Wood FernFallen Quercus agrifolia, Coast Live OakDryopteris arguta, Wood FernI also dragged out an old blanket and Bubba hauled some giant limbs down our gully while picking off dead stuff from all the other oaks before it could fall and cause undue alarm in the night.I don't really need to wake up to the sounds of I Don't Know What That Was But It Sounded Big falling down around my house while I'm trying to sleep any more than absolutely necessary, is my thing.The storms this winter have been intense is all. So - noise.Clean up. Maintenance. Chainsaws. Digging. Leaking. Listening. Fixing. Noise. It's all going on in earnest.And there's also SO MUCH GREEN and plants waking up that is so yay.So, like, happy spring from out heres.[...]



I'm not going to have a vegetable garden

2016-09-29T20:46:57.866-07:00

So I've finally said the words.No vegetable garden here. Probably ever.Which, if I'm being honest, I knew when we bought the place.Despite my wild out loud fantasies of tractoring and row crop growing and getting goats for the manure-making (and obviously face cuddling), I knew.Because this place is on a seriously not fucking around slope and the only sunny space I have that's flat is right annoyingly out at the front of our property where we have to have space to deal with the solar panels and for, say, the corralling of 402 goats during their 5 annual days of glory eating the poison oak.I can have a vegetable garden or I can have a goat corral for five days of the year. I went goats. Doy. As though there are people that DON'T want this on their property.Also deer.Deer, cottontails, ground squirrels, jackrabbits, skunks, opossum, rats, field mice...there are a lot of creatures here that love to eat/make a nest of/fuck up a vegetable garden.Dudes - even the succulents I planted in a pot on the top level of my deck within five feet of Jada The Predator's jaws weren't safe. Something fucking ate them, too.Sidenote: Name that movie. Hint: That is not a complete quote.So yeah, despite whatever delusions I may have vaguely entertained when we bought the place of the vegetable garden I *might* have *one day* once we don't need that flat spot for necessary maintenance activities of our main power source and the hungry naughty wildlife has left their native habitat of our property because they decide they want their kids going to the good schools in Los Altos rather than this bumpkin shit (honestly, I have no idea of school systems. I don't have kids. But you get it.) - maybe then.But until then, no.And that's totally 100% OK.Seriously. I'm fine with it.Because...natives.California natives and an essentially untouched 5 acre oak woodland that has almost every Sunset Zone 16 exposure imaginable.Ok, go.Like full sun, part sun, part shade, shade, deep shade, dry shade, wet weather creeks, slope, flat, well draining, clay, sand, under oaks, fog drip line, east/west/north/south facing whatever - all the exposures and conditions.The same Zone 16 that Sunset deems "one of Northern California’s finest horticultural climates."And the same house where the previous residents decided to plant vinca and let it run amok in the front and then never did a shitting thing about the poison oak choking out the Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia for my plant nerds! Woo!) in the back and then put in a bunch of tragically tight-spaced non-native water hungry Poplars and surrounded it all, including the oaks, with drip and sprinkler irrigation.For the win.Ugh.But to bring it back. To make it right, plant-wise. That's the fun now.So, sorry tomatoes, but our field grower is perfectly excellent at growing tangy rich dry farmed Early Girls and drunkeningly luscious heirloom cantaloupe and more frilly perfect dill than I ever knew even existed in a single crop anywhere. And I grow basil and cucumbers year round, so we have that and all the other shit that comes off the farm. So no one needs a vegetable garden then, too.Instead, I'm growing lupines, Lupinus arboreus now.These are some native annual lupines which are different but still awesome and they will stay.They're there. In the dug out ruts in the side of the slope there. Promise.And buckwheat, Erigonum grande rubescensObviously California poppies, Eschscholzia californiaAnd Matijla poppies, Romneya coulteriNext spring, this thing is going to be huge and gorgeous. Swear it.And Bush Anenome, Carpenteria californicaOk, kinda cheating here since this is one from our old house. But I still love this plant and I'm having LOTS here. And Flannel Bush, FremontodendronThis was before the deer dined on it. It looks OK now and next spring BETTER and then in a few years UH-MAY-ZING.And California Lilac, CeanothusDo you like the high contrast photo that I t[...]



The new bermudagrass

2016-07-18T18:29:45.006-07:00

Remember when I was all, "BERMUDAGRASS CAN GO FUCK ITSELF", or whatever?Because it was the worst/the devil's landscape material/etc?You may remember. I remember. But now I laugh when I remember how much I loathed the Bermudagrass because...Poison oak.OH FUCK YOU.People, I'm not saying that I'd take 5 acres of Bermudagrass over the poison oak, but what I am saying is FUCK THAT SHIT and also, our perspectives toward yard work have changed.Specifically, we are extra not fucking around.The days of maybe I'll wear flip flops while I do some light gardening are way over.You know - coveralls speckled with filth are basically the same.The days where I yard work myself to a near stroke only a few times a year when the vegetable garden goes in/comes out are super over. allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/tWDWG4-4m9g/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tWDWG4-4m9g?feature=player_embedded" width="320">Every weekend, folks. Be jealous.The days where going out to do yard work does not involve a pre-treatment, hooded Tyvek suit, elbow length gloves, full face coverage and an invasively thorough Technu post-treatment hosing off are over, too.Strange that the gloves are what makes this scary.These are the salad days for sure.But - we are making just the tiniest bit of progress with the 5 acres of Bubba-eating poison oak, so there's that.BeforeAfterAnd, while Bubba happens to be violently OFFENSIVELY allergic to poison oak, I happen to not be allergic apparently at all.And...vomit.Though I'm sure that now I say that, I'll die of poison oak inhalation or something stupid.And I think you know that this was finally the moment we were all waiting for - GOATS.Let me allow that to sink in.GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTSSSSSSSSSFOR FUCKING FINALLY, RIGHT?And not because I somehow convincingly demanded it or looked extra pathetic or made some censor-worthy offers to Bubba - oh no.IT WAS HIS IDEA.Because of the almost dying twice of poison oak since we moved here less than a year ago.But yeah - GOATS CAME.And not just, like, one or two goats. NO, PEOPLE - 402 GOATS WERE AT OUR HOUSE. allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/uS7mqh_yR_4/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uS7mqh_yR_4?feature=player_embedded" width="320">And, for a few minutes on our road, and then for 5 munchy munchy days of blissful oak, grass and POISON OAK eating they were on our property doing their adorable, insatiable, bottomless-bellied bests.I said, "This is the greatest thing I've ever seen" approximately 100 times. Every minute.Because COME ON...I mean, before was all:And then after 5 days of endless goat attention, it was all:And during I was all:It was all.Anyway - yeah. Poison oak is basically our lives and, as a result, we've gotten REAL.After they took the goats away (it was a sad day), we armed ourselves with The Poison Oak Station.So, yes, this is a repurposed repurposed tool cabinet that some kid made (unsupervised, I'm thinking) in shop class that Bubba bought and cut up and welded back together to be the FrankenSmoker and then cut up again and then here we are.Now it's, luxuriously I might add, lined with cardboard and filled with everything we need to almost hopefully probably if we're really careful not get poison oak while we use the Not Fucking Around tools to, basically, go to battle.I mean, what even is this thing?Brush ax. Kaiser blade. Sling blade. Take your pick.We call it the Dothraki Death Blade because - I mean you can see why. It's kind of like a scythe crossed with a giant machete and bolted onto an ax handle.And it FUCKING WORKS. For chopping shit back anyway. That's its main purpose. And we have a lot of chopping shit back to do. So, that's one tool we can't do without.Then there's the super long tree saw with the hookey-loo that can[...]



You should probably just ignore me

2015-11-12T21:06:01.300-08:00

So, let's rest assured that I've not lost my incredible delusion.When we were moving, I was making absurd declarations left and fucking right. "I'm going to shut the gate and hide forever."Or, "Imma get drunk with the neighbors and eat their beautiful cake off the plate with my hands because I'm terribly behaved.""I'm going to make your lunches, Bubba, because your day is going to be very long thanks to this new shiite commute." Translation: "I'll do it, like twice, and then melt down the special lunch container in the dishwasher and then sort of put it on the back burner for a while. BUT I'LL GET BACK TO IT. Swear.""I'm going to wait until I've done the whole landscape design before I put in a single plant."Crazier words have never been spoken.But I'll just quick pull these dead ferns out and that's it. I'll stop after that.BecauseImeanhonestlyThe fucking place looks haunted.So much mental vomitingFuck it. I couldn't take it. SO I PLANTED 6 SALVIAS SO WHAT?!For the sake of Money ChickenThen some leftover bark mulch happened that was a mistake.Then some pumpkins came home with me from work because they're EVERYWHERE at work and it's impossible to keep them from just falling in the truck.Marauding bastards COME AT ME BROJust...for daysAren't the white ones the coolest? I think they are. Even though Halloween has passed and now all anyone can talk about is fucking Christmas.Isn't this echeveria awesome looking?Let's never speak of the holidays again. Or the fact that this door is positively shrieking for a succulent wreath.Also, I may have some Mimulus en route in 4" pots.And I may be kicking off of work early on a coming Friday to get some native iris rhizomes to restart my wild meadow.BUT THAT'S IT.I'm totally going to get a whole landscape design together before I plant anything else.[...]



Eventually my eyes will stop watering.

2015-09-30T20:15:26.685-07:00

I really thought I'd have more glamorous shit to report from our New Life In The Country, as it's been called, but who the hell knows why I thought there would be glamour in the country.Mostly we just have skunks.Hey buddy! NO THANK YOU.OH MY GOD THE MOTHER FUCKING SKUNKS.Remember how I got so over our old house projects before that I never wanted to hear the word, "kitchen", again? Or garage. Or bathroom. Or porch. Or fireplace. Or bar.Because of the all-consumingness of those projects? Because we were spending all of our waking hours discussing the ins and outs and details and plans for those projects? Those projects that were going to result in a remodeled kitchen, a garage with electricity, a bathroom without a time machine shower,  a not-collapsing porch, a push button fireplace and an effing BAR?OH TO BE SAYING, "BAR", OVER AND OVER RIGHT NOW INSTEAD OF, "SKUNKS".And then to get a fabulous new BAR instead of...just not skunk smell.Yeah. So, we're there with the skunks.These sick bastards went to absolute town on our house one week before we moved in.Sprayed the garage. Sprayed the guest house. Sprayed the deck.Our eyes are watering, but still - COCKTAILS ON THE DECK. MUST HAVE IT. NEED THOSE ONION GOGGLES. Also, please enjoy our ski fencing while the deck railing is finished. I'll just say that moving day was fragrant. Eye-wateringly so.Yay.So yeah - all the glamorous fun projects like tearing out miles of heinous carpet, redoing a tragically tiled kitchen, setting up a media room or staking out my new garden has taken an abrupt backseat.Because WHY DOES IT STILL SMELL SO BAD?See...glamour. It's my life.Thankfully, we now have A Skunk Guy.We have traps set and they're baited with hard boiled eggs (I almost vomit a lot) and they're sitting out waiting to catch us the grand prize of a funking skunk.That will probably spray again when The Skunk Guy comes to take him away.Hooray.At least we got the garbage disposal fixed on the home buyer's warranty!Oh, not glamorous either.Ceiling fan spins now?OK, also boring.New propane tank!Snore, I know.But the stairs! We had the hilarious contractor built us some awesome stairs! And they're pretty!You'll have to do.And he had his painter do the painting part and OH MY GOD LOOK A THE PAINTER GUY'S DOG:I'm sure you realize that I cuddle raped the absolute pants off of this dog.And then we've had some good looking sunsets.Nicely done, Country.And twilight turkey hunting.And Jada's kinda in heaven.Plus, we're managing.Beer is why country dog walks are superior to suburban dog walks.So fuck the glamour.We have skunks, sunsets, stairs, turkeys, a happy dog and beer.[...]



I ate my body weight in pretzels. And parsley, basil, dill, radishes, lettuce, cabbage, chives and arugula.

2015-09-11T14:36:54.561-07:00

So, I went to Germany to look at some farms.And look I did. A LOT.My eyeballs are tired from all the lettuce looking.And cute displays of herb looking.If you don't look at this and squeal then I just don't understand you.I mean, who DOESN'T want to look at and sample a half dozen types of dill?Or talk to plant breeders about the latest in hedgerow design?Or watch the corn wave around in the breeze?This girl does, that's for sure.Plus parsley. I tasted a lot of parsleys. Parslies? Whatever you know what I mean.And eat pretzels.So many pretzels. I ate them all.And see the latest basil varieties.I smelled, tasted and cuddled all of these basils. IT'S MY JOB OK.And I work VERY hard.I had to pinch this basil's cheeks because come on. CUTEST.And, bless the friggen Germans - the straight lines and organization. Best ever.Probably I will have to make this at home.And eat pretzels.Breakfast, lunch and dinner pretzels. Plus pastries. Plus YAY.And see way more arugula than necessary.Yeah. I don't grow arugula, but apparently a LOT of people do. There was much talk about it. And eat pretzels.Which gave me a chance to eat more pretzels. And drink beer.And mushrooms and carpaccio.And look at squash towers."WOW! The Germans are so efficient that they've figured out how to grow squash vertically!" - The hilarious BubbaFor work. Lamborghini tractors. Because Germans do not fuck around with farming.My greenhouse manager and I - working VERY HARD.Market research. At the market. VERY WORKY.The shoppers in the store didn't really know what to make of a dozen growers poking around the living herbs section taking pictures and smelling and modeling with all the plants.This was very cool - a package of herbs for a specific type of herb sauce that they make all over Germany ("green sauce"). We all marveled at it in the store. And then BECAUSE WE WERE WORKING VERY HARD, we went to the growers who produce this special "Green sauce" herb package to see how they do it.And check out how the Europeans pack out their herbs. SO COOL - Cut bunched dill shipped in watered pallets.Hehe - cute chivesAnd the very first chance I had, there was currywurst. Don't you call it hot dogs.So yeah, Germany. Farms. Vegetables. Herbs. Beers. Pretzels. Clean boots. Cool people.ENJOYABLE.Now...Hawaii.See y'all in a week or so. When I will be "not even that tan".[...]



Best thing I've ever heard.

2015-09-06T21:39:03.956-07:00

So, the craft room's up. And apparently open for business.But I can hardly be mad since Bubba, the owner of these fine shorts that sorely need ass-mending, also turned this nightmare...Into this...MAKE THE BULLSHIT GO AWAY. THAT IS MY WISH.And since he is awesome and even though it's not even my birthday month anymore, away they went. To I do not care where.But speaking of birthdays, I had one. In the country this time.And I approve.We actually use our dining room here. It's very grown up feeling when I'm making happy faces with my bacon which happened right after I took this photo.So, if you ignore the WT neon ski fence placeholding for the forthcoming railing our hilarious contractor is building, you can maybe enjoy the future awesomeness of our patio table under this beautiful oak that will have twinkle lights or mini lanterns hanging from it. But you have to ignore the WT neon ski fence first. Good luck with that.Our neighbors have chickens. Lots and lots of fluffy pants having chickens that do not yet know how much they like being cuddled. BUT THEY WILL KNOW.Jada had her way with our neighbors' dogs' toys during our first visit to their house. Because she is a lady.This is not our view. It's our neighbors' view. But it's a goodie and we will enjoy very much sitting on that lovely deck getting drunk for many weekends to come.Also, these neighbors are British and they own a fryer and they make fucking "chips". YES. PLEASE. And then they do things like say, "Have a chip buttie!" And then I say,  "And just what the fuck is a chip buttie?" and they go, "Well, it's just this thing we Brits do where we butter some soft french bread and stick 'chips' in the middle and that's that." And I say, "YES. PLEASE."And while we're on the subject of our hilarious and awesome neighbors who totally accept my foul mouth AND have chickens - here's the first container of eggs they gave us when we moved in. Except for the wee one there, which we were told was the first egg their chickens laid back in the day and "Look at how small it is compared to the eggs they lay now!" And while we held the eggs (CAREFULLY) and admired the difference, hilarious neighbor goes, "The chicken that laid that big egg there - she's got a cunt like a bucket." Yep. We're home.Plus, Jada never wants to leave their deck, so there's that.And did I mention that they make homemade fries all the time? Like, cut fresh from real potatoes and deep fried in an actual fryer? I FUCKING LOVE THESE PEOPLE.Also, I love cooking actual meals again and eating them on actual dishes in our dining room that we're totally using in this house because why not? Also because it's the only place we have furniture on that floor, so it's either eat at the table or eat on the floor and I think I've covered how wretched the carpet is, so no.And in case you don't know what a giant birthday cupcake looks like, here you go. My hairdresser is an hour and a half away now, but you know my ass is going up there regardless because this is what happens on my birthday at my hairdresser's.  This is down the hill from our house and I'm sure there's a Jeff Foxworthy joke for this, but I refuse to make it. Much champagne was had in the name of my birthday. Plus chips. Always chips.And ripping out of spaghetti mess cables wadded up not at all neatly by my side of the bed. EW. AWAY WITH BULLSHIT.And face pinching. So that was my birthday, in a shell.And now I'm going to go look at some farms in Germany for a week.Even cleaned up my work boots for the trip because I can't be visiting their German farms in dirty boots covered in American filth now can I? No. Because I'm a lady. And also I refuse to pack dirty boots into a bag with my clothes. Ew. [...]



OHMYGODWEFINALLYMOVEDSHITDAMN

2015-08-23T16:21:04.815-07:00

So, yeah. We're here. In the country.FUCKINGFINALLYALREADY.AhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhThe bees are here. With a view.Jada's here. On the horrible carpet. Because she's the only one that likes horrible carpet.All of our shit is here.Our hilarious contractor is here pre-filling our new fridge with pink-bowed beer for Bubba.Jada's new buddies are hereSure as shit the turkeys are hereI've even cooked a few dinners after stripping clean (except for one. I left one tomato. On each plant. Because I'm a lady.) my vegetable plants. I needed help lifting this.All people use roofing material as a patio coffee table. ALL PEOPLE SHUTTUP.Weird kitchen with ugly tile countertops and the fabulous fabulous view.Our Realtor is a hero, awesome and hilarious.Too bad Jada doesn't love him AT ALL.What more do you need for move day than (clockwise from bottom left) Fruity Pebbles, Rice Krispies and caramel, cinnamon, dark chocolate old fashioned, bacon maple chocolate, apple fritter, Oreo caramel, dark cherry cordial, sprinkles, strawberry Pocky, glazed old fashioned and salted caramel dark chocolate Rice Krispies donuts? WHAT MORE I ASK?OK, that also.Especially after this farewell from San Jose.Figures.Jada was the only one that loved the horrible grass.So, we're here. We're in the country. We're unpacking and adjusting and meeting the neighbors and marveling at how the movers knew exactly how we wanted our furniture arranged. Perfect.We've built a new stairway and deck.Put on two new roofs. Cuddled our painter's dogFound some good breakfast spotsHunted turkeysHunted turkeys and stargazed (while taking shitty pictures with the phone).And next weekend is my birthday and do you know what I'm doing for my first birthday in our country house?I'M SETTING UP MY CRAFT ROOM MUTHER FUCKERS.Yeah. We're going to be just fine "Way out there so far away from everything! What are you going to do?".Hey, I might even write a meaningful blog post one day. MIGHT. Good to see you guys, by the way. You look hotter from here anyway. [...]



So...the fucking marigolds.

2015-06-17T14:09:00.893-07:00

I planted too many marigolds.Those are bush beans in there. True story.The flower that I have always maligned has, like, run a-complete-mok in the garden.I planted too many marigolds.I tell myself this every time I go to the garden.Because this past winter when I was planning my garden, all the while knowing we were totally planning to eventually sell our house and the garden and move to the country (yes, we knew. Don't be all mad.), I made a pact with myself.Or something like a pact - like, a decision. Or a mandate! No, that sounds weird.Anyway, my *strategy*,  let's call it since that sounds marginally less Plant Lady Crazy, was that this, quite possibly my last vegetable garden at this house, was going to be AMAZING.Perfect.Over the top with fucking awesomeness.Like, no whammies whatsoever.I was going to just kill it. In the way that killing it is having it be the best vegetable garden I've grown ever.So, all I planted were Sure Things.Like, firstly I took stock of what plants I'd saved seed from. Those were my home team advantage. I already knew they loved it here.Then, for the Sure Thing ones for which I didn't have saved seed (like they were hybrid varieties) but I knew did REALLY well here, I went into my seed stash and raided whatever I had left to grow out into seedlings.Then I set out a garden plan for the final round of my crop rotation in the garden in which I have grown vegetables for 10 years and, as extra insurance for the AMAZING HOLY SHIT garden, I also chose and sowed marigold seed that I hoped wouldn't make me sad every time I went to the garden.Because marigolds are really good in the garden and also terrifically ugly.They repel pests and attract beneficials while all the while looking like burned up wads of tissue paper that somehow missed the trash can and blew into the yard. But they do all that fruity shit for the garden that is actually quite good and real but for which people think I'm insane and, like, a whimsical moon maiden to believe and I don't care because fuck those guys.I'll have burned up dark orange tissue wads protecting my last garden in this house because it has to be AMAZING HOLY SHIT or, like, BUST or whatever.And so I found marigolds that were in a color I could stomach and wouldn't make me think that I had a bunch of blossoms on my vegetables because they were the same yellow color as the majority of my crops' blossoms. Which was the other reason I came to hate marigolds because I have only ever grown the yellow ones and I'd get all, "OOH! The tomatoes have blossomsohnotheydon'tit'sjustastupidmarigoldjerk."Less jerkyHate that.So, I got these. Dark orange. I love orange. You know this.And then because I hardly ever grow marigolds and have, obviously, very little idea how big they actually get, I planted about 105 of them in and around my vegetable garden that is not even 100 square feet.So, yeah...the fucking marigolds.I planted too many.Are you seeing the burned up wad of tissue paper thing here?And every time I come out here to check on how the AMAZING HOLY SHIT garden is doing, I think to myself, "WOW! This garden is doing AMAZING. HOLY SHIT!" and then, "I planted a too many marigolds. This is fucking ridiculous."The "Watermelon" bed. Mmhhmm...Also, "Wow. Those are way bigger plants than I remember them being. No wonder my work crew thought I was insane for wanting to put 3 plants to a 1 gallon pot at the entrances to my greenhouse. They must think I'm a moron."Whatever. They're huge and the garden is really AMAZING HOLY SHIT so I'm fine with it.The "Cucumber" bedThe Tomato bed that was saved the indecency of being overrun by marigolds but instead by nasturtium.The tomatillo bed - spared the marigolds, but still a little scared.Though I am having a hard time finding the A[...]



We *may* eat a lot of peaches. If we can get out of here without murdering anyone. I don't think they get a lot of peaches in jail, is what I'm saying.

2015-04-24T16:55:51.376-07:00

So, we're kind of in the middle of some more crazy crap in our quest to become the least responsible adults, but instead of diving into that just all right out of the gate, I'm going to talk about plants.Cheaper than a therapist right here.Because I'm a plant nerd and also because this crazy crap involves me leaving a garden that I have so literally poured in blood, sweat and tears. And swears and The Money Chicken and bees and a load of seeds and an apple tree that we chose special for Bubba out of a farm stand line up of, like 20 varieties.To be clear, the bees are coming with us. As is The Money Chicken. Plus, also a billion weekends, half a sabbatical, a business, after work cocktail hours and a cat.Yes. Rocket's back there.All buried in her old sunning spot (In an urn. Or whatever's inside the little wood box the vet gave me. Not, like, all alarmingly stiff and taxidermy-y wrapped in a blankie or something.) with her middle paw toe just standing at the ready.So, yeah. Memories and shit.Oh, and also the front yard meadow. Bye, buddy. You look effing amazing. FINALLY.We're moving!Eventually.But for now - the plants.I'm having these discussions with each plant sort of non-verbally.Carpenteria californica, we need to talk...Like, I look at the bush anenome and in my head I'm, like, "Hey, buddy. Remember the good times we had when I went to that hippie nursery in the woods and picked you out of all those other sorta boring-looking native plants just based on the little picture stuck in your pot and the fact that you didn't need summer water? Yeah? Remember? And then you got awesome. I never watered you after that first winter and BOOM you've gotten bigger and flowered more and when I pruned you properly thanks to all the horticulture classes you got all gorgeous and then I read this thing at a nursery about how come more people don't grow you and I felt proud. Remember? Yeah. You're cool. I'm going to plant you again."Or whatever.Each plant is like this. I'm fucking losing it. How will I really drive away and leave behind the grapes that like their fall pruning and making of wreath from their prunings behind? Who will do that now? HUH?Um, no one. Because most people are normal.And the citrus trees with their monthly fertilizing?Um, no one. Because no one fertilizes their citrus trees adequately.And the everything else with their everything else needs?By having some shitty ass neighbors, that's how.Oh - you didn't think this was going to be all about plants without any bitching, did you?HAVE WE NOT MET?Anyway then, don't misunderstand me, the majority of our neighbors are AWESOME. And by AWESOME, I mean AWESOME. You know this.As I type, they're out there dropping off treats, voluntarily taking Jada to their houses when agents have to come show our house to clients, hosting dinner at their houses so that we can get in our hanging out time before moving, texting us with well wishes, offering to help us pack and all kinds of nice awesome things. You know - awesomey stuff that awesome neighbors do when they find out you're moving and want to help/show that they'll miss you/be awesome some more.But those aren't the neighbors I'm talking about.I'm talking about the shitty neighbors and the only purpose that they're serving right now is the one that will make it possible to leave all the plants, our sweet house and everything else behind.Because of fuck those guys.THANKS SO MUCH TO THEM for providing the crucial "How do we get our asses to the country?" puzzle piece.YES THANKS.Because yesterday, after eight (!) years of saying nothing about the fence that we installed (on our own dime mind you because they refused to pay a cent - you remember) they want it changed.Before we move.So that they can reclai[...]



The garden has become self-aware

2015-04-05T11:11:37.214-07:00

Remember how that one time I went away on vacation or something and came back to find that the garden had done just fine in my absence?Like how it almost didn't need me poking around in it and doing things to it and whatever to get it to grow and do what I wanted?Yeah. That was a fun realization actually. Like, YAY! I don't have to be always doing things in order to have the garden be all productive and happy! I can slack off and be lazy and still the garden will do its thing just fine! Woo!Let's start cocktail hour right now!Except that what I wasn't realizing, probably because I was suddenly really excited about full time cocktail hour, was that it wasn't just that the garden didn't need me, it was that the garden didn't want me around while it hatched its plan to take over the universe.Starting with Bubba's chair and the potted Clementine.Yes, friends - the garden has become self-aware.I take.Because while I was off growing plants at work all the live long day and leaving my plants at home to mostly their own devices, they apparently got together and decided that the time was right for a land grab."SECURE THE PERIMETER."And lest you think it's just the nasturtium that's getting all I CLAIM THIS LAND IN THE NAME OF THE KING and that perhaps I've lost it just a little bit more than usual, let me assure you that the plants are in on this together. So, we'll just be having the front porch then. And we feel like the walkway is pretty much ours already.Meanwhile, what's up here? That's probably ours for the taking, too.This cable is merely a highway by which we may more easily commandeer the outskirts of the yard.Poppies are the friendliest of all occupiers.We obviously need a table to go with our chair and potted citrus. I mean, where are we supposed to put our cocktails and light reading otherwise?They've been taking notes.So, yeah - the garden is really in full swing and I don't need to tell you that it has very little to do with me and really a lot more to do with the force of thousands of plants being left unsupervised to do just exactly what they wish while I go running off to tend for thousands of other plants that I like to think need me SO MUCH OTHERWISE DEATH.And I'll continue to believe that because it's what my boss believes and that is what I like to call job security. Which, in farming, is a rare and also very nice thing.DON'T LEAVE US. WE'LL DIE FOR SURE.[...]



Oh, just a whole bunch of random shit. And photos.

2015-02-24T06:45:29.366-08:00

Ugh. I just hate going so long without talking to you guys.I get all, "Oh, I'm sure I'll come up with something meaningful by the weekend and then I'll write it up full of scrumptious swears and it will be like nothing happened."Like I never all the way mixed up my life and routine and then went on acting like I was going to be able to keep all non-work related aspects of my life unchanged.Well, we all know I'm a delusional ass, so let's not act so surprised.But yes, I have been delinquent in my posting.Happens, I guess.So, the good news is that I am making this shit happen right now, but the bad news is that I have no direction, so that is when we go to the photos on instant upload to see what the fuck I've been up to that I want to tell you guys all about.Usually this involves food or food, so let's just start with food and see where that takes us:We resurrected one of Bubba's smoked tri-tips from Chesty and almost blew our brains out with deliciousness last night.I pulled the first spring onions yesterday when I was pruning back the dill and discovering lots of oddly shaped radishes. Asses.I brought some of my basil over to a friend's house the other night and she proceeded to make me a drink fit for a fancy person. Which I am most certainly not.I had a hair appointment on Valentine's Day, so obviously I brought my hairdresser a Valentine of vegetables. Because I'm, like, 80 kinds of weird. Just not the harmful type of weird. That's an important distinction.I made those annoyingly awesome chocolate ganache cupcakes for Bubba and it got sort of colorful in my kitchen for a hot second.Mostly because of my new crazy ass silicone cupcake cups.I ate so much of this frosting while I was making the cupcakes. Seriously. I didn't end up making dinner because I was so full from frosting. Way to go, me.I redeemed myself with this badass salad. It's not particularly photogenic, so I'm not sure why I took a picture of it. Or why I'm showing you. Made a little Best Sauce Ever. Yep. with my cuddle-worthy wooden spatula. Ooh! I forgot about this, but I totally made the pumpkin mascarpone soup again and WHOA is it still just as good as I remembered. So, food is done. Mostly. I mean, depending on whether you count the garden as food.Which we do. In the future beans will be here. For now, only my neighbor's gorgeous tree and a tipi.Future beans having a day outside. They were into it.This is my first full season with my pink lemon and it is looking pretty promising. Also, there's a big ole lemon on there, so it's going to really go into a cocktail here at some point. That's how I'll know it's a success anyway.To sow spring seed, one must wear one's coveralls even if it's just mostly for the pockets and so that I don't tear up the running clothes I'm wearing underneath because I'm too impatient to change clothes between running and gardening. I liked having monster beans hatching on my grow rack so much, that I may always start my beans indoors first. It's just too hilarious. RAWWWWWWWWWWWWR! Sorry. That could not be helped.Hi, Tallest Monster Beans. I'm sorry that I didn't lower the light right on top of you like I know I should have. That's why you're freakishly tall now and no one will want to be your friend at school. Sort of hard to tell from this crap phone photo and the mounds of dry leaves, but the front yard meadow is sort of looking decent right now. And it's about to look way better. And then it'll look sort of blah for a while, then haggard, then ugly and then HEY! It looks kinda good again! And we'll have gone full circle. I didn't even know how to hold it is how odd this radish was.This has been a rather radishy winter[...]



Not all about the fish this time.

2015-01-29T20:15:25.855-08:00

So, you know what I've been doing aside from working all the live long day and then making room in the liquor cabinet for new gin?ONLY COOKING MY FACE OFF IS WHAT.Yeah. I've cooked some stuff recently that was rul good. And I baked a thing that was rul good. And I have a crush on a new vegetable. Because that's a thing a person can have - a crush on a vegetable. It's called love, people, and I encourage you to try it.In my case, I have Bubba and Jada and life and this muther fucking parsley:It's as big as my fork, milder than your typical parsley and, after a light frost, is just a little bit sweet so that you go, "WHATTHA YUM?" when you first try it.Everyone, I'd like you to meet the fourth member of our love square - Giant of Italy parsley. And before you get all, "You can't love parsley like you love Bubba..." and other nonsensical shit, do remember that I tend to get a little overexcited about vegetables. I mean, right?You know I sort of have a thing for growing vegetables. And I have tasted a lot of types of parsley and grown a lot of types of parsley, so it's not like I just tried it for the first time and declared it the soul-fillingest parsley of all time. It's totally not like that. Because, until I just had this parsley the other night with butternut squash ravioli I awesomely froze for myself a few months ago, I just grew parsley because it was an herb I chopped up and put in the base of every soup and meatloaf and meatballs and a billion other things I make because parsley is a standard.If by "Standard", I mean "BITCHIN", which I do.Or am I the only one that puts parsley in everything? Is this maybe a personal problem I have? Is it possible that I don't really want to lay down my life for this variety of parsley now that I've enjoyed its riches in my mouth which sounds really really bad?No, none of that can be right.Mostly because it sounds absolutely lewd.And, while I do love this parsley, I don't want to, like, marry it or something.I just want to eat it with every meal. Or whatever. I'm sort of a slut for food lately because I keep getting really good stuff from work and then from my garden and then my lovely Bubba who announced that he'd like a chocolate cake which prompted me to (accidentally) find the world's most incredible chocolate cake recipe.So yeah, fuck vegetables for one second - chocolate cake.That's the real story here.Just you try to look away. IT'S AN UNDOABLE THING.Firstly, I'll warn you that the recipe is from Cook's Illustrated, so while 100% awesome and worth it, you need to be prepared to dirty every tool in your kitchen twice and have to do dishes in between projects.Because this recipe is a total project.Like, I had a strategy going into it (make the frosting first, put it in the fridge to firm up, THEN bake the cake, etc)(hey, that's a strategy!)(Shut up.) and there was proprietary shopping involved and then there was lying down with a cocktail involved after I finished baking and frosting this cake. Sort of took it out of me, all of that mid-stream dish doing. But I can say that it's the best chocolate cake I've ever tasted, Bubba nearly flushed his wedding ring down the toilet when he took his first bite and declared he loved it more than anything in the world and even my not-sweets-eating boss was "stoked" on it. The only things I did off-recipe were to bake it in a 9x12 glass dish as a sheet cake rather than as cupcakes, not try to fill the thing awkwardly with ganache and then I put a bit of this awesome vanilla bean baker's salt on top. Then Bubba pledged his love to me (as long as the cake is joining us) for th[...]



Everything I said last time except the opposite.

2015-01-18T14:29:18.992-08:00

It's kinda sweet how I naively think I've figured out a few things in life. I mean, I have learned to wear proper shoes when shoveling so that I don't bruise my arches, how to light the furnace so that I don't blow my face off and how to hive a colony of bees so that they don't swarm the neighborhood.These things I know how to do. And I KNOW that I know how to do them because I've done them wrong a bunch of times (or one tragic time) and then right a bunch of times (or a few triumphant times), so I feel confident when I say that YES, I know how to, like, do that kind of shit.But the funny thing that I haven't yet learned how to do is how to NOT say I know how to do something until I've first done it successfully once and then repeated the thing successfully again.That's what I should do.But instead, I just go declaring victory when victory hasn't yet even been proven a single time.I'd make a terrible scientist. All declaring YAY! I've found the cure for cancer! after just making Kool-Aid in a flask or something.Anyway, today's lessons in Finny Doesn't Know Shit About Shit are as follows:Dr. Fischoeder's Cleaning Lady, Consuela, doesn't clean a damn thing.In fact, she makes more of a mess than Dr. Fischoeder and it's pissing me off.Is that Consuela I see growing on the treasure chest? Why yes it is.It would seem that Consuela is colonizing the fish bowl. Edging Dr. Fischoeder out perhaps or perhaps just making herself at home and commandeering items that she deems to be her own.I take.So all of that nonsense about the moss ball being "like a cleaning lady for the fish bowl" was complete crap. Not that I really announced to the world that it was The Truth And Nothing Else, but I did repeat what I'd been told by the dude at the aquarium store and that was a mistake. Don't always trust the stoned freak working at the aquarium store. Noted.And then there are the paperwhites.Damnitall if I didn't think I'd finally won the battle of These Things Fall All Over The Fucking Place just a little too close to the paperwhites so that they heard me and then rebelled.WE WIN. AGAIN. STILL.Yeah. If these flowers weren't so fucking beautiful and didn't smell like heaven and weren't being so hilarious, I probably would have ripped them out of their vases just for mocking me and making me a liar, but they are and they do and so I haven't.Can't fall over in a vase this tall you say? IS THAT A FACT?And while this has nothing to do with me being wrong, but more the seasons being off or our tree being absurd, our tree thinks it's fall.January, November - what's the diff?I mean, who couldn't use a little fall in their winter?Even Jada's confused by this tree.Yeah. Nice try out there, awesomely beautiful but crazy tree.And then, because I I was feeling bakey, I made the best chocolate cake of my entire life last night.Also the cutest napkins ever, courtesy of my delightful sister who knows me very well. Yeah, if you're looking for a chocolate cake recipe and none of your good-for-nothing cookbooks that claim to have all the recipes in the world in them (Hi. Joy of Cooking. Not as thorough as expected.) have a recipe for just plain chocolate cake, go to Cook's Illustrated and be free.Thankfully, Bubba had the bright idea for me to scan all of my Cook's Illustrateds into my tablet and then start using that for my recipes, so I just had to search my tablet for "chocolate cake" instead of leafing through a thousand pages of magazine to find it.He's a smart one, that guy. Which is why I let him eat cake straight from the pan with his hands like a fucking animal.I used this recipe for chocolate cupca[...]



Blame the basil or Dr. Fischoeder or the paperwhites or my hat or whatever

2014-12-30T20:19:58.756-08:00

I could get all oh I'm so ashamed that I haven't posted since, like, November, or whatever and oh I'm so sorry, people and shit, but I'm not and I won't.See, friends, I've been working my tits off over here trying to get my newly designed hydro system to grow a saleable crop of basil before the year is out and YAY DONE.On day 363 of 2014, my first harvest was loaded on the truck. All 70 pounds of it.Farewell, babies. Mama loves you. Now get the hell out of here before 2015 comes and you make me a liar.Nothing like dragging shit out until the last possible moment to make a good impression on the boss.So yeah - it's been ALL BASIL ALL THE TIME in my life since July (well, really since a while ago) and I've hardly done anything else, but here I am to say...hi!Missed you guys.Also, Mr. Fischoeder got a new accessory.See, Bubba's been traveling a lot. LIKE, A LOT. Like, going to China twice in a month and then Colorado and then Vegas and then London and then London again a lot. And we haven't gotten to hang out and indulge in our ongoing stream of senseless bullshit silliness like we're used to, so now he pranks the fish to see if he can get me to laugh hard enough to vomit.My life is very romantic, yes.So, the day before he left for his most recent trip to China, we had lunch. He came down to the farm and took me out for noodles.And next to this one noodle joint in the midst of a billion Mexican restaurants is an aquarium store. One that I actually went into after our noodle lunch to get some random shit for my hydro system (it's really something to be The Weird One in an aquarium store, by the way. Load of freaks in there.) and the same place where I got Mr Fischoeder's cleaning lady, Consuela.What I did not know was that Bubba went into said aquarium store, hung out with my favorite turtle for a while and then did a hilarious thing.And later that day, when I was standing at the bar sorting mail and decided to look over at Mr Fischoeder and Consuela between recycling a thousand catalogs of bullshit, I nearly honk-laughed myself into the grave.Yup. Treasure chest.Now, I didn't vomit, but when I lay gasp-honking for air on the kitchen floor, Bubba knew exactly what had happened and left his suitcase mid-pack to show his naughty face and pretend ineffectively to have no idea why I might be happily laughing myself to death. And also to see if I was going to laugh-vomit.He is hilarious. And also a perfect gentleman.And Mr Fischoeder, who's actually recently been promoted to Dr. Fischoeder and moved to a lit and heated location on the grow rack so that he and Consuela would survive the cold winter, is getting used to his elevated status in life.He's started pooping behind Consuela is how I know.Civilized, this guy.And I finally cracked the code on the fucking paperwhites.You know - those little white daffodils that smell incredible/reek balls (depending on who you ask) and grow in gravel in a little bowl in your house in winter when everything else outside is hiding under snow/unraked leaves?They look awesome at first and green and pretty and then suddenly they're too tall for their bowl or whatever and Aw shit the paperwhites fell over and I have to, like, tie them up with a piece of rustic twine or something to keep them from crash landing on the floor while also keeping them from looking stupid?You know.Well, not this year. This year I win the paperwhites game. Which no one knew they were playing, but we all were.JUST TRY TO FALL OVER NOW, YOU BEAUTIFUL FUCKS.The hurricane vases were my secret weapon in this game against the paperwhites. "GET TALL, YOU FUCKS!" [...]



Mr. Fischoeder gets a cleaning lady

2014-11-20T21:06:31.601-08:00

Probably I haven't told you that I got a fish.Please enjoy the fish's ironic backdrop because we know he does.Not that I haven't caught fish - I've definitely told you about that - but that I have an actual fish living in my house. In a bowl. A fish bowl.Like a pet fish would.And like any pet fish, his name is obviously Mr. Fischoeder.Because we love Bob's Burgers and when you love that show and then you get a fish, what the hell else are you going to call it? Ravioli?No, that was for my pre-Bob's Burgers fish. Now, though, there is only one name - Mr. Fischoeder. Because it sounds like Fish Odor and that's amusing.Every time I feed the fish or stare drunkenly at him in his big bowl (now anyway, he used to live in a tiny glass vase and before that in the ill-fated and useless AquaFarm), I laugh."Hehe - Hi, Mr. Fischoeder. You look lovely today, Mr. Fischoeder. You have no odor, Mr Fischoeder. Come face cuddle me, Mr. Fischoeder."And so on. Because I'm a child that's also really easily amused.Do those exist? I may be the first.Anyway, so I have this fish with the amusing name and the pretty fluttery fins and also a semi-sordid history with pet fish.Like, during my undergrad I basically rented some fish to swim around in a fish tank in my apartment and keep me company while I lay hungover on the floor with my hair stuck to the carpet with barf.And also to entertain the maintenance guy who came around every so often to unclog my kitchen drain that was definitely not full of aquarium gravel.Oh no. Never ever.Once I graduated, I promptly returned to the aquarium store from which I purchased this little school of tetra and gave them back. They took them, quarantined them, and then started what I can only imagine was a mildly lucrative fish rental program for strange undergrads that have no time or the sobriety level for normal pets, but can't be left alone while they muddle through their hangovers.I imagine. I don't know. That's what I would have done if I were an aquarium store owner.Then about eight years later, when I was working on a new product at Google and it finally came out of beta, my cheeky sunuvabitch of a coworker got us all beta fish in little bowls with little gravels and ha ha he he ha.My beta fish was blue and cheerful and I named him Ravioli because obviously.He swam around in that bowl for almost a year and a half until one day I came in and he was not so much a fish, but a cloudy mass vaguely resembling a fish. It was a wee bit grody, but I gave him a proper burial and sent him to the great fish bowl in the sky toilet.Farewell, Ravioli. You were a regal and trustworthy friend. Or something.Then I quit that job and my life in high-tech to be a farmer. But instead of being a traditional farmer, I became a hydroponic farmer and got to also grow food the aquaponic way, and that is with fish.About 400 koi, to be not exact at all.And also a few sneaky hider catfish that swim along all dark and sneaky at the bottom of the dark tank so that you don't know they're there until you drain the tank and OH WHOOPSY who's that on the floor? Sorry, buddy.But I was mostly really good to those fish. I made sure their feeders were full, clarifier was emptied regularly, airstones were pumping away and all that fun stuff that aquaponic growers do to keep their fertilizer machines working away happily. I even answered questions from snide bullshit hippies who gave me beef about how I was exploiting another creature for my own gain."You seem like fun!"Asses.Anyway, then I got the AquaFarm. I'll spare you the stupid details, but basically after runn[...]



Definitely not boring or sad

2014-11-04T21:36:58.094-08:00

Um, right - so Jada.This dog - she's taking years off my life is how much I love this girl.I dare you to not adore me. GO ON TRY IT.Because a few weeks ago, right after Bubba took off for a week's trip to London, girlfriend had a majorly bizarre meltdown of the butthole variety that very nearly wiped me from this planet with worrying.See, if you've followed her exploits over the years, you know that she's basically bulletproof.She backcountry skis.She hauls 1/3 of her body weight.She kills and eats every wild thing.She's also delightfully predictable and reliable and easy going about pretty much everything.Ride in the car for 2 days to go skiing? This is acceptable with papa scratchins.Everything except her butthole. Suddenly. Alarmingly.See, I came home from work one of these Bubbaless nights with the intention of taking her for a walk and returning to sit my living room couch while a friend regaled me with stories of girlfriend catching up.Which was SO not to be.Instead, my night was more like taking her for a walk in which she was all sad and weird and then returning to hover around her while she did not eat but instead her butthole took on the look of a baboon's.Which, no I did not take a picture. THAT'S HOW WORRIED (and horrified) I WAS. NO PICTURES. ONLY WORRYING.I ended up taking the baboon to the vet and spending the next two days immersed in 4 alarm WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE DOG, EXPENSIVE SLOW TALKING VET?! mode and ending up with the very best diagnosis an oncology vet can just ever fucking deliver.Oncology vet without a sense of humor: Jada has an abnormal colon.Me: So, you're saying it's not cancer?Oncology vet without a sense of humor: It's not cancer. The very end of her colon is just abnormally shaped.Me: So, you're saying that her butthole is weird. Canine Abnormal Butthole Disease.Oncology vet without a sense of humor: It's not a disease. It's just an abnormally shaped colon.Me: I bet you don't give that diagnosis a lot, huh? "You're dog has a weird butthole, ma'am."Oncology vet without a sense of humor: It's actually her colon.Me: I can't believe I've said butthole, like, a hundred times and you haven't laughed once. Come on. This is my coping mechanism. This and drinking.Oncology vet without a sense of humor: Jada has a weird butthole, yes.Me: THANK YOU! I need a drink.Anyway, yeah, the vet really never came all the way around to join me in my coping mechanism humor so I'm just letting it go.But still - Weird Butthole is the best diagnosis ever. And not just because it's not cancer.But the real story. Which, surprisingly, is not about weird buttholes or cancer.Nope...nipples.As in, Jada was returned to me without any.Now, I don't know what goes on in super expensive fancy ass oncology veterinarian offices, but nipple shaving off is apparently one of the things.Again, I don't have pictures, so you're just going to have to take my word for it here, but I'm sure you can imagine my alarm when returning home with my beloved sweet slightly still doped and recently repeatedly ass-probed dog to find, upon belly rubbin's that UM...smooth.Like, imagine this but with a pink bare belly with six red spots ALL SMOOTH. Creepy.The hairlessness and pinkness was no surprise. Obviously she has to be shaved before they can do the ultrasound thing to look for cancer in her guts. But the nipplelessness was a surprise.As were the red spots where her nipples used to be.THEY SHAVED OFF HER NIPPLES, PEOPLE.Because apparently her Cleansing Retreat of six enemas, a colonoscopy, a biopsy and ultraso[...]



Turkey baster knitting. Because I can't knit like a normal person anymore.

2014-10-19T16:06:55.857-07:00

So, someone said they wanted knitting talk. Or, yarny talk. Or something to do with the header of this blog that now seems wildly misplaced.And I thought, "Yeah. Knitting. What ABOUT that anyway?"Then I went to Ravelry. Because in times of Maybe I Should Knit a Thing, But What? That's where I go.Despite the fact that I have a whole shelf full of knitting books full of patterns. And all kinds of shit I've printed out over the years and organized in a binder like an old fashioned knitting lady. And patterns folded up with their yarn, all halfway done and foolishly hoping to be finished in my stash in the closet.I'm FO-averse, friends. That's one of my knitting problems. I get started on something and, unless I'm totally obsessed with the finished object it is meant to become, I get part of the way through the thing and just go, "Meh, I'm over it. Let's play PS4."Oh yeah, because now we have PS4. Which is another one of my knitting problems. Because knitting usually makes me angry and when I'm angry I need to kill things and society says I can't really kill things so instead I play PS4 where I'm rewarded for killing things.Also in PS4, starting over is a matter of hitting a button and in knitting, starting over is a matter of frogging usually hundreds of stitches during which time drinking is out of the question.Which brings me to another knitting problem and that is - no drinking.Seriously. I can not. Because when I do, shitty shit happens and then frogging happens and then I'm hauled off to prison on homicide charges.We can't afford that kind of bail, so I (we?) have decided that knitting = no drinking. And since cocktail hour is a much hallowed daily event in this house since graduation and starting a new job and Bubba starting a new job and JMT and and and, the result has been zero knitting since April. Though one might contend that April's knitting project looks like it was conceived and created by a very active drunk.Which brings us to today and the new knitting project I'm about to start. Because despite the fact that I've "Cast on" on Ravelry, I haven't cast shit on. In fact, I haven't even knit the gauge swatch that I'm totally going to do because, brace yourself, I LEARNED SOMETHING.People, friends, remember when I knit that perfectly awesome sweater for Bubba? And it came out all perfect and awesome and actually fit him?You remember.All of that was made possible by me actually knitting a gauge swatch. Because if I'd forged ahead knitting forever and all the while hoping that the gauge would magically come out right even though it NEVER DOES when I don't knit a gauge swatch first, it would have come out unmagically like a pile of shit.And I've decided I don't want a pile of shit. The dog spends her time preparing those for me on the hourly and that is just plenty, thank you puppy.Instead, I'VE LEARNED that I want a wearable knitted object that fits and in order to have that I'VE LEARNED that I must always knit a gauge swatch first. And then I'VE LEARNED that I must be for real with the measurements and accurately judge whether my gauge swatch is the size indicated by the pattern or whether it means I need to reknit the swatch with a smaller/larger needle or whatever to get it right.I'VE LEARNED, is what I'm saying, and for this all of your lives are safer. I promise you.But that's not actually why I haven't started yet. It's because I've also learned that, for me, starting a new knitting project is a fucking project in and of itself.I hav[...]



There's a reward at the end of this post. Probably.

2014-10-08T17:13:10.116-07:00

I have an hour to kill before I can go pick up Jada from her surprise emergency trip to the vet that's scaring the ever loving fuck out of me, so I decided that this was a good time to write a blog post about...I have no idea.I could write about death, since that seems to be a pervasive theme of my 2014, but I don't really dig on morbidity unless you count my phase of loving black toenail polish and listening to Depeche Mode.Which I don't.I do, for the record, still love black toenail polish and am waiting extremely impatiently for my two lost toenails to regrow so that I can make all 10 toes look as busted as the few that remain.My feet are still fucked from JMT, y'all, is what I'm trying to say.I have two missing toenails, two blackish purplish soon-to-be-gone toenails, one warped toenail and five semi acceptable toenails that would look a lot more acceptable with a coat of shiny black polish.As Bubba would say, "Oh my goth."He's hilarious.I could also write about work, because it's SO awesome at work and I love it SO much and it stresses me out SO much that I need an outlet for it, but I've never been a write-about-work blogger, so it's hard for me to do that now.You tell me - would that even interest you? To hear about working in a greenhouse on a farm? Keep in mind that it is a farm mostly composed of greenhouses and herb crops and we don't have, say, a bunch of cute fuzzy animals and farm chic shit everywhere and my office is on a loading dock rather than, like, in a distressed red painted barn and I grow crops in a hydroponic system rather than in the dirt like I've been told "real" farmers do.Just keep all that in mind and then make your decision: work talk or no?I could write about why Jada's at the vet and how it was so super sudden and extra scary and how my heart has been breaking all day and I'm so fucking worried and Bubba's traveling for work and the two of us have been over-worrying all day long via Chat, but that'd be boring for you guys.Or sad. And I don't like to write about shit that's boring and sad.What about the holidays? KIDDING. Just saying that word made me throw up and curse Macy's and Costco.And if you haven't seen what's happening at Macy's and Costco right now, then you and I could be friends. At least on Facebook. Because my friends have been posting pictures of what the inside of these two stores look like and it's scarier than when I first started watching Walking Dead.I get scared during Walking Dead, OK, so shuttup.TV! We could talk about TV! I mean, the series that are on TV and then go to Netflix or Amazon Prime or some other streaming service because we don't have regular TV anymore. Which I love.I don't know why I held on to DirecTV or cable for so long. It's all a bunch of nonsense and lame content or good content saturated with stupid ads to the point that we can't even watch TV in hotels anymore.We're spoiled by no commercials and on demand content of our choice.So what if I watch Bob's Burgers every single day? And I binge watch series after series without going into the kitchen for a snack during the commercial breaks?Oh wait - those are two awesome things. Yeah - fuck you, regular TV.OK, so we talked about TV a little.How about the garden? I mean, it's been so hot here and so dry that the summer garden has been long since pulled out and the winter garden planting is on hold until it's not seedling-melting temperatures anymore, but we could talk about the garden.That's all I have to say about the garden: It's been [...]



Let me know if you have a door that needs kicking in.

2014-10-01T16:31:32.675-07:00

When I told people I was going to quit my nice corporate high-tech advertising lifestyle to be a farmer, I got a lot of warnings.I mean, after they asked me how long I'd been doing crack cocaine and/or whether I'd recently suffered a tragic head trauma, of course.In some cases, I sought out these warnings and in some cases they were just offered up by the knowledgeable and completely ignorant alike.Because it's super useful to get farming advice from people who've never even been to an unincorporated part of town without sidewalks, but WHATEVER, I was letting everyone get in their potshots.Fun.Meanwhile, one of the warnings that I internalized and, for a good bit of time went forward completely ignoring, was doled out by my beloved Bubba who said, without delay mind you, that, "Um, baby, you know you're going to have to wear proper shoes now?"Because the man fucking loves proper shoes.I didn't and still don't, but after the first day of my Organic Agriculture class, during which time we were commanded by our instructor to always wear closed-toe shoes to his class because HELLO we are farming now and FYI those digging forks can slice through your bare foot like a pitchfork into compost, I relented and got some proper shoes.Which Bubba assured me were not proper FARMING shoes, but at least they had closed toes and I had to wear socks, so for that he granted me a pass."Nice try" - BubbaMy instructor...well, he was less impressed with Vans as farm appropriate footwear, but because I'd wear my red rain boots more often than not, he then granted me a pass, too.Dancing with broccoli. Because that makes red rain boots seem normal.I'd made it - in my mind, anyway.I got used to wearing socks (ew) and closed-toe shoes (ew again) and it wasn't the end of the world. Like, my feet didn't shrivel up and die, they just shriveled up and didn't breathe until I got home and aired them out while wearing the delightful flip-flops.And then I went on for a few years through my horticulture degree and working in the greenhouse and working on the farm and then graduated and got a job as a grower at a farm and wore my "Proper Shoes" with my socks and, alas, my feet didn't die.I mean, I've died a little inside every time I put on the Proper Shoes and Socks combo, but everything else was going so well that I just let it happen.Made peace with the situation, if you will.Until last week.Last week I was sitting in the first of many Farm Meetings, where the growers sit around a conference room table looking awkward and annoyed and go through the never-ending list of things that need doing or following up on so that we can produce our respective crops and keep the farm...farming, and I received The Mandate.One of the items on our farm director's checklist from a previous Farm Meeting, to which I was not privy, was to ensure that all members of the Production crew, from the growers to every single field crew member, was wearing ANKLE COVERING footwear.This was being presented as an obvious fact and the annoyance on all growers' faces that it was coming up again because some grower had someone on their crew who was still coming to work in, like, tennis shoes or something, was extreme.Which is when I looked at my director and pointed to my Pumas.Oh.Thankfully, he has a decent sense of humor and also patience with idiots, so all he said was, "Certainly YOU of all people have, like, a pair of hiking boots that will cover those ankles. Wear them."He's right. I do have a[...]



Three people will be sad. Everyone else will just be all, "Yup."

2014-09-18T21:47:18.726-07:00

So, I kinda don't know how to say this, so I'll just come out with it.Rocket, the famed deceptively cuddly yet certainly face-rippy and forever-living Maine Coon cat beast of our house is no more.You woke me? I WILL MURDER YOU TWICE. Her reign is over and she can no longer stand between Jada and her dog food or Jada and the dog door or Jada and her dog bed.Even during her final days, when she was such a rickety deranged hairball that she'd spend solid hours staring at the wall behind her food bowl without eating - not eating, just staring - she'd summon all of her two wits to make sure to inflict her dominance over the sweet patient dog at every turn.Where am I? Hopefully in your way, dog.And let's not forget about the ankle-slapping-until-you-gave-her-the-cereal-bowl thing.The sweet patient dog who, no matter the encouragement by certain Mes and Bubbas, never went after the always taunting cat.We all tried cuddling with Rocket throughout her many hundreds of years (18) of looking beautiful and fluffy and oh look how cute her fluffy feet are with the elfin toe furs and we all came away with bloody stumps.Yes. Come closer to my toes. That's always worked out so well for you.At one point she got a whiff of Nair (stop your judging - I was in college)(the first time I went to college - my undergrad - not the college I just went through)(just to be clear - I was young) and went on a wall shredding rampage through my college apartment during which time she broke a framed poster of pretty doors (shut up), launched herself off of the front of the fish tank which totally splashed and then finally landed, snorting like a wild hog, on the wicker chair that I eventually abandoned at Google approximately 10 years later.OK, so that whole Life of Chair wasn't necessary, but still. The cat was fucking crazy.You forgot we were talking about a cat, didn't you?Anyway, yes - Rocket finally went off into the night and she didn't do so quietly (bit my hand at the vet) or gracefully (rickety as a backwoods Arkansas footbridge), but at least I finally got to pet her fuzzy elfin feet without getting my face torn off.Which I realize makes this sort of a morbid post, but come on, you know you would have done it, too. THEY'RE SO FUZZY.The one time I didn't come away with a flesh wound.Bye, Punk Rocket.[...]



I caught some fish and then didn't die of heat stroke.

2014-09-13T19:12:02.150-07:00

Dudes, can I tell you something?I'm over summer.Yeah. It's happened. I finally OVER-summered after years of being all "OH I LOVE SUMMER THE MOST! Fall sucks! Don't say Fall! It's the new F word!".And now it's been summer for, like, three years and all I want in the fucking world is some rain and then some snow and to wear my down booties in the house without Bubba being all, "Really, dude? It's 90 degrees."I know, my love. I FUCKING KNOW.Ugh.He hates it, too. It's not right for me to get all sweary at him about it, especially since we're both pretty sure I brought this on us myself.Perhaps the entire state has me to blame for the drought and this bloody forever-taking hot ass muther fucking summer.Perhaps.Either way, I'm over it. And in a very visible LOOK AT ME MOTHER NATURE - I'M COMPLYING act, I'm setting out to bring about fall.Like, starting today.I went out to that yard and I gave everything its fall pruning. And I went out to the garden and took down the tomatoes and peppers. And if this state had adequate water resources to do so, I'd wash my car, but we do not so I'm only fantasizing about it while my beloved Duchess is buried under a heap of dust and bird doo.Also, I'll probably bake some cookies. And if that doesn't turn on some fall weather, I'll start a knitting project, plant some bulbs, make chili in the crockpot and, like carve a fucking pumpkin or something.What else is fall-like that I can do to get some NOT-SUMMER to happen, people?It's gross out here in California, is what I'm saying. This state is dry as a popcorn fart and I have stopped enjoying it.A week ago though, I enjoyed the piss out of it.Can't catch the biggest cutthroat of one's life in winter, friends. That's something.Or the biggest wild rainbow trout of one's life either.It was approximately 100 degrees in this tent and that beer wasn't nearly large enough.Riding this bike down the mountain in Mammoth was like descending into hell itself. But with extra sweating. Why, hello Eastern Sierras. I haven't seen you in five whole minutes.So, yeah, it's hot here.The yard work today was nearly my final act.I had to lie down afterward is how bad it was. And then I had to have cocktails. You know, to cool off.So, fall soon, then?[...]