The Storks are Nesting

DSC_0286.jpg

DSC_0239

I just turned 39 and I may have begun nesting. I suppose this typically happens before the child is born but maybe since having him I’ve become aware of what world I want him to be raised in.

That world is one that is away from the humans. It has goats and green things and high speed internet and Amazon Prime and Xbox Live for socializing. And a burn pit! I want to burn things. And I want a pond. I want to be able to build and play with remote control boats... and learn how to fish I guess.

Maybe it's not about him after all... maybe it's all about me and the nest I want to live in?

We have been toying with the idea of moving onto a farm for a few years now. We left an urban lifestyle in Baltimore in '08 to a neighborhood on the cusp of urban but find that we are straddling two worlds. Down the road we have an abandoned urban eatery named “Chicken, Steak and Chocolate Cake” while raising chickens in our city back yard. Not far from the house you can buy Lake Trout wrapped in newspaper for lunch or you can make a sandwich from a tomato grown in our backyard garden. We have a fox and hawks that eye up our hens as well as city rats that steal their food. We are either moving back in or further out. After our trip to the Beekman 1802 farm this weekend our vote is for the later. Further out! We're taking the chickens but leaving the rats.

I was told we were going to visit the farm of these two guys on TV. I didn't know we were going to meet in person the objects of my wife's desire. She rarely has 'crushes' or gets giddy or starstruck but I witnessed all of three of these this weekend. They all happened simultaneously and manifested themselves in a blush and a babble that I've never seen before. She was a schoolgirl in their presence. I'll admit, I was a bit of a schoolboy too.

Three fabulous boys and a girl with a crush #beekman1802 #beekmanboys
 

I was brought up to speed on the Beekman boys on our drive up to Sharon Springs, NY. I knew a little from her love-stuck ramblings in the past but was eager for a crash course. They are two city dwellers from Manhattan who stumbled upon and bought a farm outside of Albany, NY and relocated from the city. They met a local goat farmer who was looking for a new home for his herd and they went into the dairy business. Their story was then featured on the Planet Green Network, one of the Discovery Channel networks, as a TV show about their adventures in farming. Since then, the farm and business has grown and turned into an empire selling more more than goat milk.

When we met Josh and Brent outside of their store in Sharon Springs NY and I told them I'm envious of few people. They are on that list. Relocating to an idyllic farm after living in the city is the realization of the dream we've been nurturing since our son has come around. I love the idea of giving him the space to run and explore and learn from his surroundings while still traveling like we do. And did I mention the pond for remote control boats!

DSC_0286
The idea of being able to stretch out, look at the stars and wait for the Amazon Prime deliveries to roll in on the UPS truck is a fantasy worth exploring more. Maybe our city nest will be relocating to a farm where it belongs.

My failed attempt at dog whispering

I was driving home today and saw a dog running around the neighborhood a few blocks from the house. Being the good neighbor and dog owner that I am, I figured it best to try and find the little fella's owner before his nose gets too cold, he gets lost or has a run-in with our village fox. I'm not sure what kind of dog he was, I'm no good with dog breeds. He was brown. He looked friendly enough (you can see where this is going). I stopped the car and approached him on foot. Before we go any further. There is this sheet of ice in the road around the corner from the house that we joke about every couple of days. "When will that melt! Where does it come from? Why only there?" This is exactly where I parked. On the one sheet of ice in the neighborhood left since the snow melted. I didn't slip - I didn't fall. That would be to easy of a punch line. I approached the dog. I had on thick gloves and a winter jacket - this made me feel invincible. He still seemed friendly enough. I held my gloved hands out like the actors who play dog handlers in the movies do when the help out innocent dogs who just need a friend. He watched and waited.

As the gap between he and I shrunk to just a few feet... he went bananas! He barked and bared his teeth and I think did a flip I've only seen skateboarders do. His back end came up and around and he landed a 360 during the time it took for one bark. Or, at least I think he landed it. I skated across the ice and was back in my car when I saw he completed his dance and was racing to the car window. I hit the gas but went nowhere. His face was on my window and my wheels spun under me. The noise of the car making no purchase on the ice underneath made him even wilder! As I revved my motor, he revved his. When I finally had a grip on the pavement below, it was a Dukes of Hazzard scene as my car slid sideways and out and skidded out of my trap. My friend followed me for about a block jumping up and trying to bite my side mirror. I've fallen many times and looked around to see who was watching but this was the first time I looked back hoping none of my neighbors watched me drive frantically away from a dog!

Part of me wants to go back tomorrow and see if he is still out. Part of me doesn't. Thinking back on it now, I think he was a pretty small dog.

Cats in the cradle

As we unbox gifts from friends and family and ready the nursery... the cats definitely sense change is in the air! We've done our best to keep the room animal free since it's the one room in the house not overrun with dust bunnies and tumbling tumble weeds of animal hair. The dogs are curious but as long as they get fed... the don't seem to mind to much. The cats on the other hand know something is up. Turn your back for a second and they've snuck in through a partially open door. Look again, and they are in the crib.Apparently, this is their Camelot... their Fortress of Solitude. I'm sure this will pose a problem when they learn it's not for them and they're just keeping it warm for the true owner. I think in their eyes this is the one place they can relax out of sight of the dogs. This is one place they can rest easily... until I come around with the camera. Of the two cats, we've had Leroy the longest. When we brought Agador Spartacus home, it took weeks before Leroy would look us in the eye. As soon as we would walk in, he'd turn his back and continue to pivot as you walked by so his face was opposite ours the whole time. While it may be fun and games now to play in the crib and sniff around the new boxes - I'm guessing the same jealousy will arise once another human enters the nest.

Leroy's Got the Mad Munchies

Leroy Eats

A few days ago - Leroy was looking pretty rough. First Agador Sparticus had the sniffles - and then Leroy showed signs of full on Respiratory Infection. We woke up with him mouth breathing and salivating and drooling and looking like he was losing the fight! But with a house showing an hour away, I had to get the dogs out too? I loaded them all up in the VW and off we go running red lights and cutting off school buses.

Bella and Prudence

They kept him overnight and sent him home with meds and orders to rest. To paraphrase, "Fat cats like him need to eat. In a few days his liver will fail if he doesn't eat." But he wouldn't eat! We figured maybe he was turned off by the food since we loaded it up with meds to kill the lung infection. When I gave him his food yesterday, he sniffed it, sneezed and then dry heaved. Today we got him some munchy meds and off he goes!