Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Would You Look At This!

See this house? This old farmhouse with shiplap walls and original wood floors? 

It reminds me so much of Freeman House. And... it's mine if I want it. A nice lady wants to give me this house. For free. All I have to do is hire someone to move it 3 hours east, and then come up with a suitcase full of cash to pay them.

Insert hopeful/dare-I-dream/get real/never-gonna-happen/can you believe this?/this-stuff- only-yet-doesn't-happen-to-me sentiments here...

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Garden Gives Me Tomato Sauce.

In the winter, when you're straining your eyes seeing seeds into soil, breaking your back planting garlic, and freezing your fingers poking onions in the ground, you dream of this day: tomato sauce day.

Homemade, homegrown pizza-and-pasta sauce day.

I have the magic bubbling on the stove now. Fresh, sun-ripened tomatoes... onions I planted in long rows... garlic I ordered as cloves from Missouri... basil grown from seed- all of it went into my scuffed, black pot this morning. It's been puft puft puft-ing contentedly since. I'll eat what I can and freeze the rest for later.

Ever since Deb debuted her tomato sauce recipe, I've been messing with it. I add onions, a touch of olive oil, and herbs to mine, though. It tastes heavenly. (If you make it, don't skip the butter.) Totally worth all the work to make it happen. And so affordable when you grow it all yourself!

Here's to summer, hardworking girls everywhere, and the sweet taste of success, huh? -Brin

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

If you know somethin' well...

If you know somethin' well, you can always paint it 
but people would be better off buyin' chickens.
-Grandma Moses

I found my diary from 2002 the other day. I scarcely recognized the girl I read about in those pages. Brin from 2002 had this amazingly glitz life: reporting career in Dallas... dinner in high-rise restaurants... handsome boyfriend... fancy shoes... condo decorated by a professional... appointments for facials... concert tickets. Man. Brin from 2012 has an amazingly messy life: tutoring English and writing at a local college... dinner from a crockpot... ugh, men... rubber boots with caked-on manure... a little red house... appointments at the vet... and rodeo tickets. My, how time changes everything.

The other night, as I was feeding the chickens, I told them a little about my old life. Colonel Heaven, the keeper of the flock, stood quietly and listened. I was telling him about people, places and things I missed: the old boyfriend, the Granada, riding DART to get facials. And then I told him how ridiculous I felt, standing in the dirt telling a chicken about the good old days like some prattling old lady who stands alone in a pasture talking to hay bales. I laughed and he crowed.

A dear lady wrote me last weekend and asked why I haven't published anything yet. I told her it's because I have to revisit that old life to tell my story, and for now I'm only ready to tell the entire thing to a flock of feathers. (I'm sure the lady now thinks I'm crazy.) But maybe I could paint it- a dark and clashing collection of colors bleeding across many canvases. After all, If you know somethin' well, you can always paint it...

...but people would be better off buyin' chickens.

(Oh! And if you're on Pinterest, help me add to my 'Chicken Littles' board, would you? :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Little Red House

I live in a little red house at the top of a small hill. Have I said? She sits, solemn and weathered, under two oak trees. Her red wooden boards and aging white trim are nailed on, the nail heads rusted in place. When it's windy you can hear her sigh. But she's a strong, resolute little house, and I feel safe inside her walls. I've been here going on two years.

Beside the house sits a little carport. It's leaning slightly and reminds me of an old country barn. At the back is the chicken coop with its heavy beams and old tin nesting boxes. My chicken feeder- a hand-me-down from the man who cuts grass for the local school- hangs from a thick, rusty chain. I like it in there- in the carport/barn and coop. One day I'll organize and show you.

I tried growing organic garlic again this year. I know it isn't time to harvest yet, but I had to pull most of it. The chickens discovered it and, hearing that garlic and chicken don't mix until dinner time, I had to get it out of the ground. Well, all except for a few spare cloves I sunk into soil last fall alongside the little red house. They're mixing well with cherry tomatoes now, and I hope they do well enough to provide me with seed garlic this fall. (It's all getting so expensive now, isn't it?)

Over the next few weeks I'll do my best to show you a few pictures of life around the little red house. Meanwhile, I have towels on the clothesline and cookies in the oven and some scrubbing to do. Talk soon, right?

Love from my little house to yours. -Brin

P.S. I'm trying to get in touch with a Shelly from WI who emailed me last week. Shelly, if you're reading this, my reply to you is bouncing back. Could you please write again? :)