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Preview: the Contrary Goddess

the Contrary Goddess

life on the farm

Updated: 2018-04-18T07:43:23.836-04:00


Pagan Fire


The day came when none of us work off the farm.  The day was some grey, it had rained overnight, a good day for burning.  We'd previously dismantled the old big hot house that appears as the bones of some beached whale or something in many of our photographs, and there was semi-rotted wood with nails to dispose of.  Burn in a barrel. About half was done before the barrel was full of



"I like to think of hope as a fact," she said.  I was listening to the radio.  This was a promo for some show I'd never hear, a singer-songwriter writing whiny songs.  That she felt were hopeful.  "I like to think of hope as a fact, because no matter what you are going through, you do get through it." Hope at Yule is faith, and faith is what you believe in that you know isn't true.  Hope at Yule

love your food


This is Ferd at a few days old.  You can't not love that.  It took him until day 3 to take his bottle.  That was a tough and tense couple of days, sadness held at bay with hope.  Then when we switched him to a bucket, that took until day three again.  Again, he could die, and his dying would be a sadness. And then the horns.  He's going to be a bull, and a dairy bull at that.  Notorious.  He

winter squash


I didn't capture, here anyway, the beginning in the garden, or the end on our plates.  I even missed the final step of a piece of cheese melted on the top.  But this is my favorite method to fix winter squash:  slice them, clean out the seed cavity (and the chickens love those seeds), spray with a little oil, pre-bake a bit turned upside down, turn over, fill cavity with diced onions,

practical is beautiful


Never in my life had I seen this, no matter that I've eaten and cooked and seen cooked potatoes all my life.  Potatoes that you wash, then peel, then cook.  Although I stopped peeling all but mashed potatoes pretty quickly when I became chief cook and bottle washer.  I even tried to not peel those but went back to it. But then Spice World came into our lives and along with it Indian food that we

high on the mountain


Last night we got the little truck stuck on the steep part of the road.  By "we" I mean the husband.  By "stuck" I mean, basically, sideways, back wheels in ditch, bumper against bank. This morning Mack came, since he had to come get daughter #2 for work anyway, and pulled it out.  Much easier than the come along.  Then he came for coffee. This afternoon we figured we'd better get some work

middle of the road


I was on my way home after work, a little bit late, grilled over a fire burgers waiting on me when my neighbor stepped out into the road and flagged me down.  A little small talk about the draft horse auction and probably some other things then he said, "Look, I watch what you do on Facebook and I think about it" (so do I -- I love it when people have good arguments that make me reconsider or



Proof you can't poison your way to fertility. And growing season is almost over, and no protection for winter rains.  And that equals less fertility.  And it makes me sad.

revisit: Littling Along


I don't think the photo will come, but it is just a photo of some canned pickled broccoli.  What I was thinking about was having written about "stepping out of the stream" -- surely somewhere I've written more extensively about that idea but evidently not here as this was the only post that showed up to that search.  Oh well.  I'm doing everything I can figure out to do, and some things I'm not

you don't get to eat and not participate in blood sport


Mack mows hay with a hay bine.  A hay bine mows the grass and "conditions" it by crushing it.  Mowing the inside of the 20 acre orchard grass hay field (he'd done 10 outside passes the last clear drying weather), a full grown turkey hen went through the haybine.  "I don't know why she didn't move.  I stopped, of course, to throw the pieces out of the hay, and I expected to find a nest she was

the Alpha and the Omega and the Alpha


The week before I'd visited with a farrier, a "proud deplorable" with a sticker that said as much on his truck.  He'd offered me one some time before but I'd declined to trade in my Bernie stickers.  But that day he'd asked, "Who do you think will win?"  "No question, Hillary."  And when I said it, I thought, oh fuck, I hope that doesn't come back to bite me.  But surely that many people can not

you can't eat it


I wonder sometimes -- quite often actually -- what the hell people think that they are doing that is all that bloody important.It is June.  Fruit is coming in by the basket full.  Maybe not bushel basket but, harvested diligently there are TONS of gooseberries, and harvested and weeded diligently the ever-bearing strawberries and whatever kind of dual harvest raspberries we have are producing

It is delight


This is what you need to understand:  At times it kills you.  It is hot, hard, blistery.  It fails, and at the last moment too, after lots of hard work and hope.  Or right at the beginning, gut punch, feels like you can't even get up.  It is hot and your back hurts too.  And it is slow -- two hours turns into four.  Nothing works quite right.But here is what else you need to understand:  It keeps



even if I did neglect to get a photo of the strawberry bed.  I didn't forget to weed it a bit.  I swear that May has become my favorite month.  Even if it never stopped raining this May.

satisfied mind


She said, "I don't really want to go down there and take care of the strawberries.  But there is something very satisfying about having done it."That was a daughter before she took her boyfriend from the house down to the garden in the rain and put a net over the sour cherry tree and harvested a few strawberries that are about to flush.  This is where we are.  Cherries.  Strawberries.  Poke. 



Despite everything of all this "living differently", of all this "consuming less" stuff, we've never successfully recycled long term.  That's the confession. We only really tried one time, when we first moved up here and were so fresh, so idealistic.  We bought the bins.  They blew over and even when they didn't, they filled up with water.  Stinky water.  Then we couldn't find a place to even

sexy, year to year


It seems that 5 years ago today we were doing a first plow (we usually did two plows, then several harrow days with a horse) on the rectangle garden.  Today, although a year we don't have access to a horse to work it with, the corn and potatoes are in, along with some squash and melons and cukes and stuff.   And Jerusalem artichokes flourishing from those we didn't eat out of there last year.Corn

solitary pursuit


It is quite the solitary pursuit.  As I age it seems more and more that is true of everything.  Why talk?   So I walk and look, thinking "morel".  Thinking "they are invisible".  And I see wet because it has been raining except for yesterday and today.  I see where the creek has been up over the growing things and is still bold, and the wet spot there where it doesn't drain where it used to.  I



Persisting through Trump or anything else, although he and his idiocy has certainly given some immediacy to the need. The original tRump fava beans are blooming  the original nine The nine, the next set, and then the next bulk (not up yet)  peas discern the seed "beds" (gallon water jug size squares of started seeds we transplant from)  some lettuce, some palm kale, and

after evening chores, late winter


Sun setting red washing the mountain's usual winter shades of brown, and grey, and green so dark it seems black, with glowing red ember red glow, the ridges and hollers, the crinkles and creases, the backbones and furrows brought forth in high relief.  The whole mountain range marches away but I head to one gap and then don't go there, turning before, entering into my very own mountain.  Other

the three bucket campaign, writ large


I've written before about roads being alive and the efforts to maintain them and water saying hahahaha.  Well, right now, we happen to be in a position to be able to buy a small dump truck load of rocks ("dirty rocks", these are) and have them dumped at the barn, and have the tractor at the barn give me a front end loader full at a time in my truck, which, it turns out, does not take too long to

the family persisted


My first reaction on election night was disbelief -- I really didn't think it was possible that that many Americans were that stupid.  But I had a bad feeling when Ohio went.  I went to bed.  I woke up about 3 or 4 and checked the computer.  There it was.  And my first reaction to that was, you just elected Hitler. I still think that; I still think every action this administration has taken has

it felt like a calling ~ not one single arrest


Not one single arrest.   MORE than 500,000 people marching FOR and  So really, all you have to complain about are the f-bombs.  Well, fuck you. And fuck everyone who said "be careful".  Now is not the time to "be careful".  "Careful" makes you afraid and leads to bad decisions which can kill you.  PAY ATTENTION.  Pay attention.  And if "fuck" gets their attention, if pussy

in my mother's shoes


I never would have thought I could go.  I might not have thought I would have ever wanted to go. But I did.  The horror of Trump and the opportunity of a bus ticket. And I'm a catastrophizer you know.  So I plan.  I make lists.  I gather together.  I get back up ready. There are more important things than signs, but I knew fairly early on what my signs would be. Hopefully there will be a

Why do without what everyone else has?


And so we come up against a bitter cold weekend.  Maybe the lowest of the lows will abate somewhat but we're looking at single digits, and highs in the 20s. And when it is this cold, the house is somewhat cold, period.  But for us it isn't that our heat pump is out there running non-stop and can't keep up, it is that the bedroom stays below 60, often nearing 50, and in the mornings often below