Update From Bottle Tree Farm(s)

We’re still deciding on the “s”…some of it may depend on the availability of domain names.

It is a beautiful Sunday morning at the farm and I was checking in on my online classes so, since I’m tethered, I thought I’d do a quick farm update.  This weekend was all about the chickens.  We had four in our pen in Williamsburg.  They had an automatic door so it was easy for them to get in and out, and since they live on the compost pile, food wasn’t a problem.  The SmokehouseUnfortunately, they had also discovered how to escape and when we went home last week, I discovered three of them roosting outside of the pen.  (Chickens are really good at getting out but not so good about getting back in.) It was time to bring them to the farm.

We’re using part of the old smokehouse, which took me several days of work to clean out.  The pen was easier, and now they are happily scratching away and clucking contentedly.  Chickens evidently deal with change pretty easily as I’ve even found three eggs in the past 24 hours.

Bob is making trips back and forth to the convenience center; there was lots of plain old junk and trash in the smokehouse. But there were a few treasures as well: bee smokers, two file cabinets filled with interesting stuff, a metal table, buckets, several tool boxes, and lots of other interesting bits.   We donated the two lawn chairs to the chickens for roosting, along with two crutches.  (The former owner was a doctor.)  The center section is next and it is similarly filled, as is the dairy barn.  The secret is to just hack away a bit at a time without thinking too much about the big picture.

I am especially excited about the library.  I spent some quality time in there on a cold, rainy day last week, getting organized by figuring out where various collections would go: education, history,  and nature are my three big groups along with lots of fiction, of course.  I have the next group of boxes ready to go inside and unpacking should go much more quickly.  After years of having books everywhere, including the linen closet, I find myself just standing in the room looking at the spines and imagining all the hours of reading ahead of me.  The same rule goes there as with the farm: a bit at a time.

I did take a day away from revisionist history to read The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.  It was refreshingly good with its insights into history, religion and politics.  It makes connections between the past and present in ways that would make people like James Loewen (Lies My Teachers Told Me) happy.  I did find the story a bit thin in some places with a reliance on coincidences that were a bit too coincidental.

Now, it’s back into history with Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. It is a bit depressing really, especially when you consider that the attitudes and ideas he discusses are still very much part of our lives even now as reflected in all the budget conversations and deliberations that are going on.  I’ll leave you with this story from Weekend Edition about the school funding fight in New Jersey.

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