Friday, May 21, 2010

Processing Reality

Focus is THE word for the year, possibly for the rest of my life! And while I'm very excited about The Pledge, I need to remember it isn't all about quilting. Certainly not a quilt a day, nor even a week. I do have a stack of past work I can draw on for show and tell when I'm stalled in a process. But I also have a short attention span and way too many bright (and not so bright) ideas. Which brings me back to focus.

So, here at the Coop, visitors will find me up to my neck in Real Living.

As the minute hand swings past the number 12 regularly, so the word reality has past through my thoughts this past month. It has passed through before but time is ticking faster and louder. This past week in particular.

Have you ever noticed that there are no lamp cords in the decorator magazines? They are a reality but they are missing from the glossy pages. I notice because I live in an old house and especially up here in the playroom where I have a couple of tripping hazards. Reality should involve honesty.

I blog instead of doing the 'Dear Diary' thing. But unlike those old diaries with the little gold keys, I have visitors who click through my ramblings. So I wanna have nice pictures and witty words. But I need to be honest. You need to see the extension cords. I'd show the smudges and strike outs but I can't figure how to do that on the 'puter.

My blog header is a result of a dozen photos as I searched for perfect. But the reality is that The Coop has a broken window, a door that sticks, and the whole thing desperately needs painting. It also needs some landscaping and weeding. I removed the offending bricks, I bought some very bright paint last year, and well, ventilation is good! The nursery order is lined up by the shovel and water hose awaiting placement and the damdelion program is in effect. If I don't get some control over them they will choke out everything and the only colour in the hen yard will be green, yellow and white and not the cobalt blue and lime green I have in mind. Neither will you be able to see the Faeries (and some frogs) that live in That Faerie Place beside the coop. It is a WIP and I'll keep you up to date on the process.

The hens and roosters are doing their thing. But there is a shadow overhead. In fact there are two. Crows! They work in pairs, one on look out, while the second harasses the hen who can't watch all the chicks and the crows pick them off one by one. They will even enter the coop and carry away eggs. I have shadows that lurk as well- procrastination, distraction. But I look up, see the crow flying away with the egg in its mouth and I get onto high alert. Focus. Get on guard.

Some eggs are allowed to hatch. Some are collected for consumption. Processing of food is a big part of the focus here on the farm. Frankly I'd rather not process food. My farmer is way more interested in all that than I am and I'm happy to leave him to it. But sometimes he is busy with his own stuff, bringing in my allowance, and paying the bills. ;^) So to get motivated I bought this big whiz bang mixer and I need to start getting excited about how creative baking and cooking can be. Actually, I'm scared of the darn thing. I watched the CD that came with it and I thought, a sewing machine looks less scary! nnnggghhhh But I can't function productively on potato chips and I need some healthy non gluten snacks.

So I'm not always sewing. I have great plans and ambitions for all kinds of creative things. Visitors are always welcome at The Coop. Honestly, I don't really like clutter nor extension cords so often things do look nice but don't look in the drawers or open any closets. I'm not sure the last time the kitchen floor got washed and the windows have the grandkids finger prints and the peanut butter smears as well. The Playroom is another story. It usually is a mess. But that does speak of activity and hopefully creativity. 8^)

I also have to confess that yesterday was a potato chip day. I can't seem to leave town without them, nor a new magazine. vbsigh

Now I need to double time it. The transplants await. The damdelions are roaring. I hear a crow cawing! Now here is hoping I don't trip over the @#*&#~! extension cord as I rush off to wrestle with the processing of my to-do list.


Molly said...

Your home looks so warm and cozy and welcoming. I'd love to stop by and have a cup of something with you!

KatieQ said...

When I looked at the picture of The Coop you posted today, I couldn't help but smile because it looked like a face. The windows look like eyes, the wooden bit in the middle looks like a nose, and the terra cotta color planter looks like a smile. No wonder your chickens are laying eggs, The Coop is smiling at them. I know the crows have to eat too, but it's sad to hear that they are making off with the chicks.

Createology said...

Elle what a great post on reality of daily life. I too have issues with FOCUS and made that my word for 2010. You are so right about cords and everyday life...They Happen! We need to pick our battles and fingerprints are not important. So enjoy your day and keep the crows away. Happy creating...

Lesly said...

That photo of the Coop DOES look like a smiling face! Thanks for sharing, Elle - I think a lot of us can relate. Except to the crows - I had no idea that crows steal chicks and eggs! Mother Nature sure can be a b***h sometimes.

Twisted Quilts said...

Oh yes reality! I much prefer fantasy but we must face our real life in the end. Maybe the reason I am attracted to fantasy is that my real life is so ordinary and most days that is absolutely fine.

Anonymous said...

Elle, It's always fun to meet someone else pursuing "real living" as you call it. We're aspiring to a country life, with a veggie garden and a cattle fence in the works so we can start raising our own meat. You visited me on my sewing blog lately, but may enjoy a review series I'm doing on a book called "Radical Homemakers" on my business website:

Thanks for being brave enough to share your reality. My garden is truthfully FULL of weeds at the moment!

Anonymous said...

Just have time for a quick comment while feeding the baby... Great post and I look forward to reading more of your process posts and thoughts. Also wanted to comment that the picture if the coop in this post looks like a smiley face. I saw the face immediatly and it made me smile too. :)

elle said...

You gals are THE BEST! I went and had the Faeries show me the smile. Just made my day! Thanks for helping me see the silver lining!

Annie Crow said...

You may see the things that need fixing - I see a warm and inviting PRIVATE place to go work. Plus chickens! How very cool.

How are you progressing with your gluten-free baking attempts?