10.08.2015

ORCHARDS AND PUMPKINS AND SCENES FROM THE PALOUSE

photos from a birthday weekend spent picking apples at the wsu orchards, sprinkled in with a whole lot of nonsense, is about to happen in this post. are you ready?

this is the view of our house from inside the coop. lucky girls. 

I am happy to report that I am a new mama eight times over. Four hennies in the coop out back, and four chickies in the brooder in the basement. Yikes. I absolutely love it. As of now my ladies are finally clucking happily in their coop again after I (stupidly) let them out (way too soon) the other day for ranging and then had to usher them back up into the coop before nightfall the hard way. With a fishing net. 

My ladies are STUPID. Or else stubborn. Oh my gosh I just love them to pieces. 

The other day Linda gave me her very first egg. It was on the day when she was being the biggest turkey ever. I thanked her profusely, because that is the kind of thing I take very seriously. A woman's ovulatory output is a gift and not to be taken lightly. It felt like a "Hey, I like you! I don't hate it here!" greeting card from Miss Lonely Linda just for me. Of course it's Linda's egg. OF COURSE. Linda is the stubbornest. There's got to be a correlation. On the days she's allowed outside to range she immediately roosts up in the lilac tree behind the canning shed and she DOES NOT BUDGE. You can reach up there with the back end of a broom and poke her rudely in her bum and she does not care. It's all sneak attack grabs at her thighs with Linda and then she gives you THE LOOK as you carry her home. The rest I can catch with the net, after cornering them between the juniper shrub and the rose bushes, but Linda. Linda makes you work for it.

The guy at Tri-State was really fantastic when I went to buy that fishing net. Here's this dumb girl in the fishing aisle, worrying about net thread count or whatever because heaven forbid I trap my ladies with synthetic netting material, and the dude goes, "Goin' fishin'??" like it was the last thing on earth I would be doing (well, it is) and then I said, "Yes, I am. For chickens." He laughed and shook his head and backed away slowly, and there I was left to ponder whether I wanted a wood handled fishing net or aluminum? And then I drove through the McDonald's on the way home for a Diet Dr Pepper and got to reenact that exact conversation with another guy, the drive through window guy, because the net was too long to fit in the trunk so it was angled next to me through the passenger seat and he was like, "Here's your soda, uhhh, nice fishing net?" 

I was afraid that I had traumatized the poor ladies with that fishing net but ironically enough, every time I've had to play chicken hockey I've been rewarded the following day with a big fat egg. So, I mean . . . chickens, man.


Earl the Squirrel was outside running laps this morning across the top of our crooked old fence, back and forth from his oak tree at the edge of the lawn to some pot of acorn gold near the front that he must have discovered. I'm not normally one to name my backyard squirrels or anything, but this guy is just the funniest dude, you'd have done it, too.  

I love to watch Earl in the mornings. He is very intense about things. Occasionally he'll stop at the window and I'll glance in his direction from the work table in the kitchen and we'll have ourselves a real moment. That Earl is a soulful old dude. He knows what's cookin'. He scrambles so loudly with his nails against the wood as he goes back and forth in his duties that it's hard not to feel he's become a necessary fixture in our morning routine. "Hey, Earl," Huck says to the window when he comes into the kitchen for a waffle. He looks like he's in pretty good shape for the winter, that Earl; he's got his beady little eyes on the prize. 

I think my favorite thing about Idaho that my penchant for romanticizing the stupidest things gets fed out here like a king. ;)


Please to appreciate Huck's Lloyd Christmas hair. (I kind of miss the swoosh.) (But seriously is he not the cutest thing or what, crap.)


Giant sunflower meets giant sunflower seed addict, begets much pondering on the meaning of life, et cetera. ;)


The WSU orchards are open for the next weekend or so, if you're in the area you should definitely plan to spend a few hours there before the season ends. 

And there goes Earl again. He has easily been back and forth with at least 6 acorns since I sat down here just now.


I worry when I write posts lately that I might sound sad. This is a funny, funky time in the life of Ye Olde Natalie, and I'm not sad, per se, but I'm definitely feeling things. (And starting Clomid again soon, so, you know. WATCH OUT. ;)

I'm still figuring out how I feel about Idaho Round Two. You know, life in Idaho the first time around was marked with a whole lot of sadness, and that old sadness scared me when we first made plans to come back. I didn't know if it would find me again. But New York changed me more than I realized. The stress of my life in the city--the people, the keeping up, the competition, the games--it was a lot, and now that it's gone, it's noticeable.  It takes a certain kind of person to thrive in that environment, and while I loved it there--oh I loved the city--I definitely don't think anyone could ever accuse me of having thrived there. It wasn't a perfect fit. Dressing for the angles of a stressed out version of me was fun though, I admit. Clothes fit worried Natalie different than they fit healthy Natalie, and I embraced it as best I could, but I was hard and I was uptight and I was worried all of the time. Now I sometimes feel waylaid a little, but I never feel that New York edge, and I am so grateful to see it gone. I'm dressing for the softer me again, literally and metaphorically. It's good. It's an adjustment. It's hard for me, because this is my limitation right now in my life, but I'm happy. Sorting through things, yes, getting myself prepared for another round of fertility treatments, yes--another round of exposing my vulnerable hopes to the harsh air of possible failure--but I'm welcoming it. The different ways I experience myself and my life out here has been both melancholy and sweet. And the different decisions New York pushed me to make have made this time in Idaho so much better, so much easier, so much more whole. New York stretched me hard and fast and put me through the wringer, but it's made Moscow me a better Moscow me, and for that I'm so thankful.

And I guess I want to say for those following along, and for those especially who are maybe on a similar plot line as me, trying to navigate new-old changes and not sure how to label these feelings that swoop in and out when things get upended: I like it. I'm good. I am whole and I am raw and I am experiencing it all. And I'm in it for keeps.

There is no looking back.

30 comments :

  1. I don't mean to pry or be one of those people, but I know you've mentioned taking the big C before. I know doctors can be different, but there is said to be a 6 cycle lifetime maximum and I hope your doctors have been on board with that. I wish you and your family nothing but the best and hope that all is well.

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  2. Your writing is ah-ma-zing these days. Fall looks so good on you! I am loving your poetry out west. I live in NYC with a nine week old baby boy I named Hank (Henry) maybe subconsciously bc I love your blog so much! Anyways just to say I needed clomid for him - so I get it - and I totally get you on such another level now being a momma. Anyways keep doing what you are doing you are such a light!! It's all happening for you! 🍁 (if I published a version of this twice I'm new to this commenting business! )

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  3. this post was so lovely and refreshing. idaho seems to fit you well. good luck with all the endeavours......and your upcoming clomid trial...well, I just feel like that will work for you because it's almost that time again to start making FALL BABIES, and we all know that's what your family specializes in :)

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  4. You're back! Huzzah. Those last four graphs, girl, were refreshing and felt like the you that captured my heart. Thanks for sharing that in this space with us.

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  5. Oh, and by the way, Idaho looks so good on you. Now let me go get my plaid out the closet.

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  6. yay! happy for you ♥ and for idaho/wa/or/mt - i love the northwest. it really is a special place :)

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  7. I think your photo of the inside the chicken coop is gorgeous.

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  8. Chickens! Yes! Love the ladies.
    I just wanted to let you know that I love your writing and find you very inspiring, but also relatable. Also, farm life looks even better with a little guy, Huck is adorable.

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  9. I think in some ways melancholy seems to be the name of the season this year. That or hormones are just out of whack for about every female I know, including myself. I appreciate your posts so. We are a military family currently stationed in Turkey, with a Dad/husband who constantly travels through Europe for his job, and are now being moved out of Turkey (sans Dad/husband) back to the states...specifically my (very small and country) hometown for the foreseeable future. I think I've experienced every emotion possible in the time leading up to this, and now I just have know idea how to feel. And maybe that's ok for now haha! But we do always have the busy lives of the creatures around us to focus on right?

    Latest Post: Arriving At The Amalfi Coast & Travel Mishaps Continued ~ http://thebarnnc.blogspot.com

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  10. I have been re-watching a lot of Felicity lately, and looked back on some of your posts about when you started re-watching the show too. In a way you kind of mirror her by finding out who you are, and where you truly belong. I can imagine what living in New York must have felt like, but in no way should we ever feel that a city defines who we are. I'm sure it was hard too when you mentioned the "competition." In no way should we ever feel the need to compete with anything or anyone! I think that's the hardest thing about mothers. I've been there, and I'll tell you as you grow older none of that will matter. You lived in NYC as if you owned it, and we all make a choice as to how we are going to let the place we live affect us. I've been in Jersey for seven years now, and although I love the east coast, south jersey isn't my cup of tea. But I don't let it affect who I am. I know we are here for a reason, just as you did living in New York for the past five years. You were there for many reasons, and I saw that you made friends outside our faith, and that was wonderful! I love that you are outgoing, and accepted every one you met with open arms. And I see that you have brought that with you to Idaho. You're older, and wiser, and I know blessings will continue to come to you the second time around! They always do! Keep your chin up, and enjoy that little Huck! I hope all is well with Brandon's job, and that your hennies give you lots of eggs! You're going to be awesome living in your old stomping ground with your sweet family!

    xoxo

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  11. Do you ever look at The Pep Talk Generator? I do quite often. Daily, even! Anyway, this came up the other day, and I saved it. Maybe it's appropriate or maybe not, but I'm passing it on to you!

    You know what, babe? Sometimes, life gets really weird. You think you have your shit on lock and you're cruising to your own song but then the song changes and you're left trying to take steps in the dark. This will happen to you at the worst of times and you'll grapple with what you want and maybe even who you are! And babe, that's okay. The movement will shift you into a better position to become the self you seek to be. Just remember to be patient and hold on to the best parts, surround yourself in good things and let the song change. Maybe it was just time for a new tune.
    Kelsie McNair

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  12. Oh, HNJ, your words are soul-stirring. I feel like I'm reading chapter one of book two, and it's already so, so good.

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  13. I remember the adjustment to Moscow. It's a strangely heavy and light one, and you captured so many of my emotions (and many unique to your history) perfectly. I hope you can make it out to Bishop Orchards for cider pressing this month! http://www.bishop-orchard.com/cider_page.htm Bucers coffee shop was a big ol' blanket of comfort in the winter. Phenomenal place to write. Camas Prairie Winery is the perfect place to bike to for a long afternoon of writing in the spring/summer. I love to see you finding space and happiness in Moscow. All my best to your family.

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  14. I can't figure out your chicken problem. I've had chickens for years and I've never had to wrestle them to the coop. Ours go in the coop every night on their own as the sun is going down. It stumps me that they are causing you such problems. We've had several different flocks and I've never had to do that. Also, the best way to catch them--if you need to--is grab their tail it works every time.

    I'm glad you're settling back into Idaho. I've never been to New York City, but I always loved seeing it through your blog. However, I've been pleasantly surprised to enjoy your posts from Idaho just as much. I wish you the best with your new fertility endeavors and I'm loving Huck's hair, but--then--I always sort of like his hair.

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  15. Well this was super fun to read. Thanks! Sending baby vibes your way.

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  16. I love your blog so much and love reading about all of your family's adventures! You all seem to be just thriving back in Idaho. Your journey sure has been inspiring me to move back to WA from NYC as my heart has been telling me to do for awhile.

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  17. Here's my best chicken wrangling advice-

    Feed them everyday out of the same colored pail (I use a bright red bucket) so they get conditioned to gather around you when they see that bucket. Then, at the end of ranging, throw some dried meal worms or other treats in the bucket and walk to where you want them. They'll all come running, even the stubborn ones. They want the treats! It works like a charm.

    Also, from the front lines of the fertility battles, I hear you. You're kicking ass, and it's hard to feel the feelings (all the fucking feelings), but it's also kind of wonderful because it makes sure you know every inch of yourself.

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  18. i love reading to your stories even more now that i know your voice from snapchat! you brighten my day. thank you!

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  19. From one lady going through a weird change/new chapter in her life (I'm a 28 year old newly widowed woman who sold everything she owns to move to LA), to another, I am so glad to hear you are doing well :) Time only moves forward, so let's embrace it. High five to ya sister!

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  20. You're speaking right to my soul here, sista! Thanks for this heart felt post! ❤️

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  21. I've actually been super impressed at how positive you've been in this whole moving back to Moscow journey. You've taken it in stride and I'm amazed at how fully you've embraced life there. "Bloom where you're planted" is certainly something you seem to do well.

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  22. Every time you write about it, I'm like maybe *I* need to move to Moscow now? All good things. All good things.
    www.thismomsgonnasnap.com

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  23. I just love your honesty and your observations about the little everyday things. I love hearing about Linda and Earl, ha! Good luck on your upcoming treatments. I actually found your blog through references to your previous treatments, so I'm all ears. I love that you can talk so openly about such a difficult and personal situation.

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  24. Beautiful post and reportage, you made me live a day in the country as if I were there with you. Talented and congratulations! :)
    Luna
    http://www.fashionsnobber.com

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  25. Love this post and the photo of the chickens in the coop. Sending good vibes your way.

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  26. This is the first I've ever seen of your blog--my best friend suggested it to me. I am in LOVE!
    This is gorgeous. I love the way that you feel about your chickens! My husband and I are hoping to move to a home that will offer us space for a chicken coop for sure.

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  27. Wow! What an amazing day!!!
    www.lakeinloveweddingcomo.com

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  28. I think your blog may be my favorite

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