Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Young Elderly Love

Remember me recently mentioning our 87 year old former neighbor, Wilburn? Well - he done got himself married this summer, the week before we moved no less. We got the invitation a week before the wedding; his sister and neice were informed the same week as we were, only he stopped by their house to tell them in person.

Wilburn n' Evy

Here they are, in all their wedding splendor. Aren't they cute? I really like how he wore a pink shirt to match her pink dress and I ADORE the outrageously large floral wreath adorning her head. It suited her so well; and it went with the cake, which I might add, was absolutely delicious and made by one of their pastors, Luisa. It was some kind of spongy peach something-or-other: tasty beyond reason.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Reflections on our new existence

It is strange how settled I feel here. It doesn't feel that peculiar to me to look outside and see barns and silos and corn. I find that fact to be very odd. After all, we've only been here a month! It might have to do with the fact that I lived with my parents in a semi-rural community for the last 5 years I was home; or perhaps it is because of all the reading and daydreaming I've done about living rurally throughout my existence; maybe it is because I spent many years visiting Squeeze's parents on their [former] 40 acres of woods in Wisconsin; or perhaps I am just unflappable. (I doubt it is that last option.)

Still: it feels, all in all, fairly normal. Sure, I've made trips to a farm to buy eggs and been appalled by the stench and filth of the way pigs really live. I also asked my neighbor today, who owns 50 ewes and 3 rams, "So you guys pretty much are Sheep Farmers, right?" Additionally, I can't identify the purpose of any of the differently-shaped barns or outbuildings. And I know I'll feel sorry for any kind of non-laying hen we may butcher in the near-distant future, no matter how good it may taste.

The point is, I like where I am. It amazes me. A month ago, when we were in the week-and-a-half limbo between closings, I wondered what on earth we were doing. Was I crazy? Did I really spend the last 6 months working towards this? Could I be happy? What were we thinking? For the record: even Squeeze, who has been scheming on this much longer and more seriously than I, felt similarly. It was the feeling of being uprooted, not being able to call anyplace home, that did it to us. We couldn't go back to Minneapolis, because someone was already living at "our" [their] house. We couldn't move into "our" farmstead, because someone was still living here in their home. It was a terrible feeling.

But now we are looking forward to the future with vigor; exciting plans unfold in our heads. Fruit trees, berrying bushes, and large vegetable gardens all dance in our heads. Squeeze recently discovered a cistern next to the nearest (and ugliest) barn. [15-20 years ago, our place was a fully operational hog farm -- the barn in discussion was specifically built as a farrowing barn. (The only reason why I know this term is because our neighbor told me.)] The barn itself is fully equipped with air movement, a heating system, and now, we've discovered, a cistern -- all key ingredients for a greenhouse. Furthermore, either of the dairy barns could be cleaned out and fixed up into retail barns; the chicken coop just needs to be aired out, cleaned out, and re-roofed; there are gooseberry and chokecherry bushes in the grove, waiting to be moved into a fully-lit location to burst forth with robust life; etc. etc. etc. We are very pleased with our new micro-environment. There is so much potential here; all it requires is a bit of scheming and a lot of work.

Gardens and gooseberries dance in our heads!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Feast and famine

We've been in some serious need of new dish clothes for many months now.

Case in point:

This dish cloth was actually used just yesterday. Seriously. Can you imagine wiping a toddlers after-meal hands with this? I did, yesterday. I wear my underwear into this state as well, as several friends can probably testify. I also hate shopping and I've been procrastinating because I'd like to buy some dish clothes that someone actually made rather than the boring rinky-dink ones (like above) that are Made in China. Or make my own. Or find some interesting old ones at a thrift store; but I think everyone pretty much wears theirs out, although perhaps not to the state of Example A. I've been getting rather desperate until today, when Squeeze unpacked yet another obscure box (this time, a wooden trunk from our 87 year old former neighbor, Wilburn).

In it was a gold mine of old bath towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, and dish clothes. Yesssss. We scored! Not only are they free and perfectly usable, but they are interesting, old, and carry sentimental value with their attachment to Our Wilburn. AND there is a pink kitchen towel with (of all things) a poodle on it.

Please feast your eyes:

Furthermore, we actually have the drawer space in our new house to keep them all together. In Minneapolis, they were divided up and only a few actually made their entrance into the kitchen. I am very pleased.

In other news, our town's library is as dismal as I first reckoned it to be. Not only is it one room, but it seems like a quarter of the kid's books are lame-o Disney stories and the adult selection consists mainly of grocery check-out romance novels, formula mystery & western novels, and (what I consider to be) the generally boring NY Times best-selling novels. Yawn. My favorite thing about libraries is to be able to browse amongst numerous interesting titles & covers and choose a book that intrigues me. I can honestly say that I was disinterested in every single thing I laid my eyes on. It was endless eye-rolls; I felt like a complete snob. I was plunged into an afternoon of despair on Saturday (in addition to not being able to avoid being the human jungle gym for Starbeans for most of the day). Ack - and this is what I have to resign myself to! Our home library is much more interesting than anything our public library has to offer.

Now, I know I can use the inter-library loan system; but like I said, I love being able to browse through actual books, not the catalogue. Maybe I'll get over it. (It's doubtful.)

Friday, July 27, 2007


I haven't posted a picture of Starbeans in quite some time. Here he is, with a frog his Dada caught for him. He was very pleased, as you might imagine. According to Starbeans, frogs say, "Rid-dit!". He will be 2 years old in less than a week. My sweet baby.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Belly picture

Here I am, at 27 weeks. Sorry about the cropped shot; I did it less for reasons of privacy and more for reasons of vanity. My head wasn't quite as cute as my belly and it therefore got the hack.

My mom sent me this dress today, along with another outfit. I am so glad, because with the last pregnancy I suffered in a few different shirts (hand-me-downs from a certain decade past) and a pair of too-hot rolled-down exercise pants. They just weren't me, but I wore them because they fit - and I would have suffered like that again. I hate shopping, except for thrift stores - and the maternity section at thrift stores is always horrific. [Not to mention the fact that it is almost impossible to go on a mission and find what you want when you want it; they are more of a snag-it-when-you-see-it kinds of places.] In addition, I prefer to wear dresses in the summer; I have a few skirts that still fit, but nothing substantial to speak of. And now I have this cute little ditty (of which Starbeans said, "Bubbles on it"). This, I like. Thanks, Mom!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No one can be more pleased than me; then a spiral into mournful reflection

I'm back!!!

It feels so good to be back online. I'll be posting much more regularly; probably every day, knowing all the thoughts streaming through my mind, with the earnest desire I have to stay connected with my cronies.

Here is a picture of our view from the north, taken last night. The field is corn; nothing but corn. The trees are part of what is called a "grove" out here. Before the land was conquered by Manifest Destiny, trees only existed along streams and rivers [maybe lakes as well?]. The grasses were so thick that little seedlings couldn't take hold, for reasons both of growing space as well as water. Now, most of the land is tilled and the ecosystem entirely changed [destroyed]. I've really been feeling quite mournful about it lately; it seems like nothing is left untouched by the Forces of Progress. I may seem quite naive in this arena, but I am only 29; I can imagine I'll be discovering life until I am dead. It isn't just the [out of control] expanding push of housing developments and strip malls that decimate the land. It is everything. It is people; and it saddens me. I am a part of it, because I am human.

A sea of corn

Nonetheless, the view is lovely. There are a couple of other farms in the distance, as well as a smattering of wind mills. The locals call them Wind Towers. Electricity producing, wind-propelled wind turbines. We live in an area called Buffalo Ridge, which is said to be one of the windiest spots in the midwest, maybe even the country (I need to do a bit more reading on that). There are literally hundreds, maybe thousands of wind mills throughout this area; they turn as the wind blows, which, I've noticed, can come from any direction on any given day. Maybe this is true everywhere?

Anyhow, it is electricity powered by nature. Quite exciting, although I must admit that they mar the beauty of the landscape. I'll have to take pictures of them closer up, so you can see what I'm talking about. This picture is exceptionally dark, as I took it last night, although my digital camera, which has come from the Age of Dinosaurs, has been dropped one too many times -- which may also be contributing to the picture quality. We are planning to buy a new camera in August (I can't wait).

I'm off!!! I need to get to the bank and the grocery store before Starbeans' nap.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


We will finally be connected back online this Wednesday. I can hardly wait. My most used tools for communication - email and blogging - have been all but wiped out for a month now. It is miserable! I'm at the library, again, of course; two women have referred to Starbeans as a little girl, even when the children with them recognize him as a boy. It is interesting how socialization seems to play a role in identifying gender. Because he has long curly hair, all the adults think he is a girl; but it seems like this kids know better.

This week, Starbeans has said, "The end!" when we've finished books; and, "Tow truck, ere aow ooo?" [Tow truck, where are you?] when looking for his self-fashioned "tow truck" made from a piece of toy fencing and a fire truck. The surprises never end; although I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised. 'Tis the season, after all: he'll be two in a week or so.

We are going to see our midwife today. I haven't seen her since May, so I am eager to have a check-up and hear her opinions on things. Moving while pregnant has certainly sped things along (figuratively) -- I'm hardly aware of what week we are even at, let alone remembering that I'm pregnant. I like not obsessing over it, although I have been lying in bed within the last couple days wondering about what it will be like to have a newborn again. I must say that I am really looking forward to it, even though I fret a bit about what it will be like to share myself with another child. I know it is possible, but sheesh...how is it done?

Another thing this move has accomplished is absolutely zero talk of naming. We didn't get truly serious about it until the end last time, but we had at least conversed about it throughout the pregnancy. With this pregnancy, I would say that we have talked about it a total of 2 times in 6 months. That doesn't add up to much.

I'll have more reflections on living in a rural community after I get back online. I need to to reflect and revise. The library is not conducive to that kind of thing -- it is more rush, rush, rush. Starbeans is very entertained today, which is nice. He is fiddling with books and stuffed animals.

A woman just mentioned that the new HP is out -- I can't wait! I think I'll be able to borrow my SIL's copy in a couple of weeks. I hope it doesn't get spoiled for me before then. You can bet that my entire family each has their own copy and will have their nose in it for a number of hours or days, depending on the person.

And now I say adieu. Adieu!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Still internet-less

Just checking in (at the library) to say...HELLO.

We bought a kite at a local coffee shop this past week. It is so cute -- one of the old-fashioned kite-shaped kites. We moved to one of the windiest spots in the midwest, due to the topography -- so the kite can lift off the ground and go sky-high with just one person. It has a little poison dart frog on it -- so cute.

Bah! I feel rushed and can't get my thoughts together. We should be back online by the end of the week, hopefully. Pregnancy is going well; Starbeans is changing almost every week. He started calling me "Mommy" out of the blue last week. It had always been "Mama" until that point, and now it morphed to "Mommy" most of the time. I like it, though -- it is so adorable. He is also singing songs that go like this --


and so on and so forth. The first Mama (or Dada, or Bupa, or Mimi) is always high and the second is lower. Doey is my parents' dog, Joey.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Internet deprivation

I have been without access to the internet for over 2 weeks. Ack! It has been terrible.

The short synopsis:

  • We didn't get to move into our new place until Tuesday, July 3rd. There were all kinds of hang-ups with title easements -- we stayed at my in-laws for a week and a half. It was relaxing, but also quite discombobulating. We both felt completely uprooted, like we were going to be going "home" to Minneapolis after a long weekend of visiting. Starbeans, of course, loved being at Bupa and Gramma's house.
  • Since we moved in a week ago, I haven't been able to leave the house. We only have one car; that worked just fine where we were before, but is going to be a bit of a problem where we are now. If I don't want to go stark raving mad, that is.
  • Our town's library is open 3 days a week for 8 hours and 1 day a week for 4 hours; that is so much better than my in-laws' library, which is open 3 times a week for -- get this -- two hours. What a farce! I'd go nuts.
  • We don't have internet access yet. I've been too busy trying to manhandle our existence under control. Unfortunately so, because I've missed it a lot. I do know that it looks like our monthly bill for high-speed internet connection will probably be twice that of what it was. Figures.
  • This is so unbelievable, but it took us 6 hours to clean the kitchen and bathroom the first day we were there. Not to mention the rest of the house, but these two rooms were the most urgent. As my MIL said, the kitchen was as dirty as any normal kitchen that needed a yearly scrub-down, but it wasn't cleaned [for us]. Not by a long shot. I thought that it was a normal social custom to clean for the new arrivals??? We were quite perplexed, especially since our place in Minneapolis was spotless, right down to all the walls and windows being washed. Seriously.

I've got to run -- Starbeans needs me. I'm at the library; this is the first chance I've had at going online since June 23rd. Wow. I'm sorry if I've left you all hanging -- I'm sure I've left a few getting a little nutty with curiosity.