Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Greeting the Day

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a sunrise. I’m still not really watching the sunrise, but I’m up for it. I’ve been up working all night. All week, I’ve almost made it but then had to go to sleep. Tonight/this morning, I’ve had, just had, to finish this book I’m working on, so when Mike left for work at a little after 5, I went ahead and opened the front door, opened the window on the screen door, and opened the curtains on the living room window facing east. The birds have been fantastic to listen to. They are absolutely raucous. I’ve heard so many that I couldn’t even pick out many of the individual songs. I hear crows and owls, and some chirping, some singing. Early, before it started to really get light, I heard one song that just made me think of the shooting sounds in an early ’80s video game.

And the smell! Nothing beats the smell of an Indiana summer sunrise. The humid, cold air are crisp but almost cloying, but there’s a heavy scent, almost of iron, to go with the smell of lawn clippings and damp asphalt and damp earth. Soon, the corn will be tall enough to offer its own musk to the blend—one of my favorite smells in the world, corn in the middle of an Indiana summer, though its smell is usually strongest and best in the evening, just around sunset.

I just wish I were more awake and didn’t have to work right now, so I could REALLY enjoy the morning with a nice walk. I guess I’ll have to be content with my cup of hot, strong, very sweet English breakfast tea while the birds sing to me as I edit, stealing glances out the window to see one narrow strip of sky slowly change from purple to pink to powder blue to baby blue…

And I guess I’m going to have to eat some more strawberries for breakfast.

* Stringham high: Sunrise
* Stringham low: Sleepiness
* Stringham super-high: Caffeine and sugar
(It's the simple things today...)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Call Me Old-Fashioned (Update)

Well, after doing some digging (it's amazing what you can find on the Internet if you're persistent enough--what's that? Fine, you can call it stubborn as hell if you insist), I learned who owns the property around us. Crazy us, we always thought it was people with the last name of German. Nope, when people referred to "the Germans," they were actually referring to a German man and his son who own the farmland (and boy, is there a lot of it!) around us. They once also owned the hog farm but got into some nasty, nasty trouble, apparently--too much pollution killing too many fish in our little creek--and were forced by the state to sell that operation. Anyway, I now have the knowledge of just how much land around us this guy owns, including houses. So we can make housecalls. I totally would, if I could drive... But that's neither here nor there. Now I just need to find a way of contacting this gentleman. But that seems to be a little more difficult, as he's not listed in the phone books. (Gee, I can't imagine why, with a great part of the county getting pissed off at him and his dad a few years back....)

Anyway, that'll probably be a fight for another day. I actually need to get some work done today...But if anyone's got any ideas on how to find a phone number for this guy without paying one of those "background information" companies $40 or so, I'd be open to them.

Call Me Old-Fashioned...

But I like to know the people who make regular jaunts across my property.

I opened the front door this afternoon to see the day and saw a white Chevy(?) club cab our by our power lines. I was interested, wondering if this was a truck from our electric co-op as was here a few weeks ago. But then I remembered this is Sunday. And they were cutting across our property rather than driving along the nicely mown path along the edge of our property (you know, the one we mowed so if they wanted to drive farm equipment across our land as a shortcut, they wouldn't mow over anything we had planted like they've almost done before). Well, I watched the truck as much as I could. I don't know if they were already planning to turn around or if they did it because they caught sight of me opening the door, but they started driving away (across our property and toward the field behind our house) almost as soon as I saw them.

I lost sight of them for a bit because the garage got in the way, but I walked outside and watched the truck drive along the path they are apparently keeping mowed next to their field. I immediately walked our property to see if they had damaged anything, and to be fair, I don't think they did. But there's a sinkhole near the area they cut across, and I don't want someone else getting their truck stuck in OUR property. And besides that, I'd like to know who the hell thinks he has the right to just drive onto our property whenever he feels like it.

To be fair, I don't really mind people on our property too much, having grown up in an area with a feeling of community, but I sure as hell like to KNOW the people DRIVING across my YARD. Well, if I could drive, I would have gotten in M's vehicle and driven to the hog farm and asked there, but alas, no such luck. I did walk a bit in the tracks the truck left behind, walking along the cornfield. But I gave it up after I had walked only a small portion of the track and realized that it would probably take me a half hour or more to walk the length of the track around the field and trees and creek, and then I'd have to walk all the way back. I thought about firing up the Montero and driving along their field, too. I figured it would be equal...but I gave up the idea. I plan to introduce myself and just say I like to know the people who are moving across my property, but you never know when my temper might get the best of me and I let loose with a, "Who the fuck do you think you are, just driving across our property without asking or introducing yourselves!" And if that happened right after I'd done the same thing...well, righteous indignation has a little less to be righteously indignant about in the face of hypocrisy.

So I wait patiently for M to get home from work (yes, on a Sunday...good OT) and see if we'll ever finally carry out our plan to meet these people. (Incidentally, anytime they're out in the field and we're out, they're always gone on their high-speed equipment before we can get near. I'm not sure if it's because they're rude, afraid we're people like the previous owner--who purportedly liked to approach people in his driveway with a shotgun--shy, or what.) But this is getting silly. I'm getting tired of being the only one home and seeing a strange vehicle in our driveway or field. I figure walking out there with my rifle, just in case, would send the wrong impression, especially if I'm trying to set up neighborly ties. *sigh*

* Stringham high: Weather below 80 degrees!
* Stringham low: Preparing some strawberries last night to make freezer jam and encountered an inchworm on one. I knew it was just a matter of time before something like that happened, but, well, there went my enthusiasm for cleaning them at 2 AM. Guess I'll have to tackle them again today. lol.
* Stringham super-high: Going to help a friend with wedding plans this week!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Seeing Red

I know, I know, you're all tired of hearing about strawberries. But seriously, how can I not share this crazy abundance? After today's haul, we're out of large bowls. We're going to have to resort to using plastic tubs unless I get some of these strawberries frozen or canned. I guess freezer jam is in my future tonight. (That's just one bowl of berries...for scale, ook at the full-size mouse in the lower left corner and the 32-oz mug in the upper left corner of the first picture...)
And Becca's entire household will be sick of eating strawberries by the time I leave, I think...unless I accidentally make too much freezer jam. I'd live to make perserves and conserves and other such tasty canned morsels, but I just don't have the time. Still, jam works. We can make lots of tasty things with jam :)

* Stringham high: Our garden is growing carrots this year!
* Stringham low: Transplanted tomatoes are struggling so far :(
* Stringham super-high: Salad greens and turnips and radishes growing insanely!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Strawberry Supernova

I eat them for breakfast, I eat them for lunch, I eat them for dinner, and I eat them for dessert.
I'd even eat them for elevenses and tea and supper if I were a hobbit.

No, this isn't a repeat from a few days ago. This is what we hauled in in a little more than an hour this evening...this white bowl is much larger than the other, and it was filled by ONE of the five rows of strawberries.

The mustard container? Strictly mustard, vinegar, and salt.