Sunday, February 12, 2006

Semi-Permeable Barn

If you live in/around NYC and your computer stayed above the snowline today- "welcome".

Very little snow in Woodstock today (1"-2") but the threat of a big snow, plus heavy snow in other areas, kept many people away from the farm. Still, a decent amount of work was done and combined with what was accomplished yesterday, the barn's exterior is nearly finished. It is not so much as "being built" now as much as it is "being finished". Some final exterior wall work needs to be done, a small part of the roof needs to go up, add doors to taste, build interior stalls, get the water and electricity running and it'll be just about done.

I got to the farm around 10:30 and spent the early part of the day cleaning out 2 of the 3 chicken coops with Jen helping on the first one. From there I helped Doug put up various wall boards for the rest of the day. Chris was working alone on the second level of the barn for much of the day and the floor of the hay loft is now nearly finished.

Morgan was there for a short time running the Dingo before his back started to bother him and he had to go home. I found out that Morgan will be leaving the farm soon to try and start his own excavation company. I'll miss working with him. We've only worked together a dozen times or so since I started at the farm but we've had a good time together mucking-out animals and doing a million other chores.

That's about it work-wise. A short day with few people but productive considering the weather.

A quick animal story from the day.

I always have to visit Olivia and Dylan at least once if they're locked in the barn. Around lunch time I went into Olivia's pen where both her and Dylan were downing some hay. I was petting Dylan when he suddenly became very interested in my left-front belt loop. He started to nibble on it and then began to bite and pull on it. Definitely funny but I wanted to keep my belt loop so I pulled back. And when I pulled back he just kept coming for it and wouldn't let go.

Remember Olivia? She's standing three feet away during all of this and I guess the temptation was too great- so she starts biting and pulling on my front-right belt loop!

Back-and-forth, back-and-forth, left-right, left-right- I couldn't figure out if I felt like a puppet, a yo-yo, or a Chippendale!

I hopped the rail, doled out the head mushes and left.

Speaking of "head mushes", Dylan's horns are now visible without having to push the fur back on his head.

Still speaking of "head mushes" I met a new cat today. "Bella". An absolutely adorable Tortise Shell! I immediately thought that her name was "Bela", of course, and I told everyone about "Boris" and about how Noreen and I almost always had Tortise Shell cats (one was a Calico, but same thing). Sheila DOES have a friend who has a cat named "Bela".

Anyway, this cat has just the sweetest face and disposition. For those of you who've met Boris and remember "Calico" from years ago, think "Boris' face and disposition with Calico's markings". Jen and Doug said the reason that I hadn't seen her before is because she rarely ventures out from the upstairs. She was quite comfortable walking on the kitchen island and at one point was chewing very deliberately on a plastic bag of walnuts!

Lunch: Tofu cream cheese on a poppy seed bagel with a sprinkling of leftover popcorn salt from Jen and Doug's popcorn bowl from the night before! (You can't make this stuff up!) Also had some noodles with peanuts and a few vegetables with a mildly hot sauce.

I told Doug today that I've mentioned to people that this different kind of eating (at least for me) at a farm in Woodstock, NY is as close as I ever may get in my life to eating at "Alice's Restaurant". A wacky thought, I know, but the farm is a place where people are volunteering not to convert a church, as in the film, but to build a farm. There is a couple, Jen and Doug instead of Alice and Ray Brock, who guide the show. And lunch is an important part of every workday where everyone shares lots of talk. There is always an honesty to the food and an energy to the talk that is very appealing.

Okay, now that I've embarrassed everybody, it still comes up "Alice's Restaurant" for me(!).

More barn and less Arlo Guthrie next week.


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