Friday, October 23, 2009

if you think i'm wierd just say so::part three

Part three...farming, fibers, and fabric. Oh yes, you heard me. I understand that this may be too much for just one post, but I thought I'd condense my weirdness so as not to make you think that I am actually weird. So let's start with farming, shall we? Now, I didn't grow up on a farm, but my grandparents have a beautiful farm and I spent many a summer there during my childhood. When I was young I loved it. The chickens, the dogs, the creek, tractor rides, veggie picking, the black snakes--okay, maybe not the snakes, but that's one reason to love the dogs, and and the cows, the stinky, adorable, velvety-nosed, mooing cows. Of course, as I got older I lost the appreciation for the farm. Being a teenager in the city didn't mesh well with spending time at the farm. I regret that now, of course, but at the time I just didn't want to be there. My grandmother knew so much...and still does...sewing (mostly without patterns), crocheting, gardening, canning, playing the piano, playing scrabble. My grandfather, the farmer, the driver of the tractor, the handler of the cows, sower and reaper of acres and acres of crops. There is so much I could have learned from them both while I was young and I didn't. But now, oh, now that I have children and have become disenchanted with city life, I long for a simpler life. A life that takes me back to the farm. Any farm. I don't want a huge farm. It wouldn't even have to qualify as a farm...a few gorgeous acres would do just fine. I want to garden in a big way so that I can do some canning to provide food for my family that we grew on our own land, in our own dirt, and was harvested with our own hands. Food that's good and fresh and can be enjoyed year-round. Some chickens would be nice, too.
(miss O age 3 helping grandma gather eggs)
I love fresh eggs, fresh brown eggs. My grandma had chickens for as long as I can remember. I love their low, long and drawn out clucking. I love the smell of sweet feed. I know with chickens comes the coop which will need to be cleaned out. I am well aware. I also want goats. Yes, you heard me, goats. Not cows so much, although I do love them, but they are considerably more work, require more land, and well, I'd have a hard time taking them to a butcher. I have wanted goats for a long time though. I have a vivid memory of a coloring book I had when I was little. A Holly Hobby-ish book, I believe, and one of the pictures was of a little girl in a buggy being pulled by two goats. Right then and there I wanted goats. Why? Well, 30 years ago it was because they were cute but now not only are they cute, they provide milk which we can drink or I can use to make cheese or soap. With a family full of lactose intolerance and sensitive skin it just makes sense to me. Maybe even an angora goat or two just for their lovely yarn potential. But now, that takes me into my new found love of fibers. Last fall I learned how to crochet and just a few weeks ago I learned how to knit. Knitting makes my brain hurt sometimes because I have to use both hands, but it is getting easier and I enjoy it. Going into a store that sells a variety of yarns is really amazing. Angora, alpaca, silk, bamboo, wool, cotton...the textures and sheen, the smoothness and softness. I mean, come on! It is so hard to choose. Thankfully my grandma has given me a ton of yarn to feed my new want for yarn. I have so many projects in my mind and several in progress. At the end of the day when the girls are in bed it is nice to relax and crochet or knit. It's quiet and relaxing.

(Shadow attacking the needles)
Something about that repetitive motion is soothing...until the cat sees the yarn moving around or hears the clicking of the needles then I have to fight him off until he gives in a curls up beside the skein of yarn to sleep. Okay, now the fabric. If you know me at all you know that it is hard to resist fabric. I do enjoy sewing and over the past year or so I have gained much more confidence in my sewing skills. I love to sew things for my girls and occasionally for myself. I enjoy sewing gifts for family and friends as well. However, as of late the sewing has come to a stand still. With homeschooling in full swing it is hard to squeeze in any sewing time and when there is time to sew I'd rather use that time to be with my girls playing or reading or something...not sitting at the machine. I can't sew while they're in bed at night because the machine is too loud. So my machine sits patiently waiting for the next project. I have some projects on my list that the girls can help me with, so when the time comes and the sewing machine is up and running it will be something that we can do together. Okay, so even though my sewing machine is resting I still love fabric. My mom and my grandma feed that obsession so there is never a lack of fabric. I am still trying to use up my stash before I actually purchase any new fabric but at the rate my suppliers feed my habit I will never need to go to the fabric store again! Unless I need more thread, of course...but that's another story.
So there you go. I love to sew which makes me love fabric, I love yummy yarn fibers so I learned to crochet and knit to justify my want of yarn, and I want to live off the land and have goats and chickens so farm living is the life for me. I want my children to appreciate hard work and to be hard workers. I want them to know where their food comes from and how to grow it themselves. I want them to appreciate and love all things handmade because handmade things are special and made with love. I want them to grow and make and appreciate and learn. I want them to sow and tend and harvest. I want them to feed and nurture and love. I want them to see in me these qualities and I want them to follow. Don't get me wrong, I love modern conveniences and life in the 21st century. However, family, homegrown, fresh, and handmade are words that I want intertwined in our vocabulary, our lives. So I'm a little weird, it's okay...
Have a great weekend. xo ANG

1 comment:

Hermione J. Schwartz said...

If that makes you weird, I am weird, too. We've (finally) started making plans to sell our house in the city and by a small farm in the mountains. The dogs and cat will come of course, and we'll add a couple goats, a mess of chickens, a sheep or two and if I get my way some ducks. I'm tired of food raised who knows how and who knows where. I am ready for my hands in the dirt and being surrounded by animals. Here's to getting to the simple life. =]