Thursday, August 26, 2010

Time Flies (when you're having fun!)

I can't believe I haven't posted a new blog in over a month.  Either I'm lazy, or I'm having too much fun.  I do have to say Shaun and I have both been pretty busy, but we've had a little bit of fun in our time off.

Shaun has been working pretty full days for Bin 239, a wine bar down town, and I have been baking in the hot desert sun on the Prescott College campus, pulling weeds, picking up cigarette butts, and propagating native plant species.  I've been learning a lot about native plants and have started 'adopting' stray baby yucca, agave, and bear grass plants, as well as some unused rocks to make my yard beautiful!  Of course the plants are small, and my landscaping is coming along quite slowly, but it looks a lot better than when we moved in.  You have to start somewhere right?  While clearing some dead sticks and leaves to make room for my agave, I was delighted to discover a little patch of Hen and Chicks, which I have separated out and transplanted all along our walk.  Our landlord's wife told me they used to be planted all along both sides.  It sounded beautiful to me, so that's where I put them! (And it's always worth scoring some points with the 'boss', right?)  As a bonus, while trying to uncover the hose to water my fresh transplants, I found a little green stick of an old chopped off rosebush.  It was attempting to grow one sad little grasshopper-eaten leaf, so I watered that too.

Happenings in our yard have really been pretty exciting.  A week and a half ago Harvey and Suka cornered a skunk in our shed, resulting in the entire block reeking of the smell of burnt rubber, and very quick use of all of our baking soda and peroxide.  Every time we watered the garden for a week, the smell returned.  We've seen skunks on our evening walks multiple times since then, and last night we had another close call with one in our yard! 
I'm sure the skunk (or skunks?) are coming around to check out what we're feeding our chickens.  And the chickens!  What fun!  They love to follow us around the yard, and eat cicadas out of our hands.  The dogs have been treating them very nicely and lay down to wait patiently while they walk all around them and peck at the tips of their tails.  Our white chicken (named Colonel Sanders) has been laying the same perfect little brown egg for two weeks now, every day right around 9:30.  Shaun has been giving the other hens little pep talks and FINALLY today the little hen Jabberwok laid her first!  (It was definitely her, since the fluffy cheeked americaunas will lay blueish-greenish eggs.)  When chickens start laying, their eggs are small.  Eventually, they get larger until they reach whatever size they are going to be, depending on what kind of chicken it is... Well, along with jabberhen's new egg, we had another little surprise.  The Colonel's perfect little brown egg turned out not so little!  I guess she thought she'd make up for lost time and just go ahead and make a huge one!
The expected eggs... the new egg... the unexpected huge egg!
I love it!  For those of you who haven't spent much time with backyard chickens, you should know that they are hilarious!  Incredibly entertaining...


School starts at the end of this week.  The lazy campus I've worked on all summer has turned into a buzzing hive of activity and excitement.  Returning students stroll through the grounds with a bounce in their step, yelling excitedly at the friends and classmates they haven't seen for months.  The new students walk around with bewildered looks on their faces, closely flanked by a parent or two, usually carrying maps... 
I feel a little bit caught in the middle.  I'm a new student, but I've been on campus all summer, so I know a lot of the faculty and senior students.  I'm a first year student, but I'm not fresh out of high school starting college for the first time.  It's awkward right now, but I definitely have an advantage after being here all summer.
I am so nervous and excited for this upcoming adventure.  I've been looking forward to it for over a year now and suddenly the beginning is just days away.  The block officially starts for us Saturday, however I won't start any actual classes until October.  
My roommate and I will spend the first week of September on a ranch with the rest of the incoming class (150 students), then we'll split into groups of 10 and spend the rest of the month backpacking, each group in a different area of Arizona.  Poor Shaun will be all alone in the house.  At least he'll have our pups and comical chickens to keep him company.  As excited as I am, I'm dreading the time away, but it will be good for us.  
I feel like there's still so much to do before I leave.  But for a trip like this, all you can do is pack up and take it as it comes.  If I make it through (don't worry, we've been practicing hiking around our neighborhood) I'll be a full fledged student... WOW! 

To keep ourselves preoccupied and out of trouble (those bartenders at the Drunken Lass are quite fun) we've been gardening, hosting 'couch surfers' (a cross country biker, and a new prescott student waiting for his room mates to arrive), baking bread, raiding fruit trees in the lawns of businesses (apples, peaches, and plums, YUM!), brewing tasty things atop our fridge (honey wine, ginger beer, apple cider, kombucha), and fermenting other tasty things to eat (kimchi, yogurt, cheese!)!   So many good smells and flavors in this house!
With all the fruit and food scraps, the chickens and our box of worms have been very very happy... almost as happy as Niels and our jar of honey wine!

Here are some great adventure photos...

Don't look for another blog for a while!  I'll post again in one more month!
Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. hadn't seen you since shortly after the knitting at the market - goodness you've been busy! Brannon always speaks of orientation with great fondness so I'm sure you'll have a blast!