Backyard Tetris

So there’s a problem with have a teensy tiny backyard. If one thing has to move, then five other things have to shuffle as well. Some time ago, we decided that the kids and the chickens really needed large, designated chunks of the backyard, and we needed to just pave the back corner, which is a wasteland. This meant moving the paving stones and the flowerbeds, laying down weed blocker, finding mulch, and rearranging toys. It also meant getting rid of a pile of firewood, moving my tomatoes, moving the newly discovered okra plants (“I planted those last March! Why are they sprouting now?!”), removing part of a fence, moving my herb garden, borrowing a truck to get a chicken run, emptying the shed, partially dismantling the shed, MOVING THE SHED … I think it would have been easier to sell the house and start over.

But all this work has a bright spot at the end. When it is done, my yard will be well and truly functional, instead of limping by. It might not be the function that I want, but it will do something well instead of doing everything poorly. I have put to rest my dream of having goats. It just isn’t going to happen at this house. I kind of wish I knew how long we were going to be here, but I’m not banking on that. I don’t even know if we’re going to ever have acreage. It was one of our dreams starting out, but things change. One way or another, we’re getting to a good place, even if it’s not the place I’d envisioned. Our children will be happy, and my first farm love, the chickens, will be happy.

Speaking of chickens … in a couple of months, the baby chicks we hatched will be ready to be outside with Ember. Yay! I will be very pleased when they are OUT OF MY KITCHEN. They make a mess. I wish I knew which ones were roosters already! I live in fear of all of them turning out to be roosters. Ah well, lay or crow, then you’ll know …

An EMP Pulse At Least Would Have Been A Better Explanation

I am cursed by technology. Within the past few months, the following pieces of electronics have failed me: digital camera, iPod touch, Nintendo DS, printer, Wii, laptop, and digital scale. Yes, even the little scale rebelled. Some of these poor devices were victims of encounters with a small child, or water, or a combination of the two. Some of them, however, just died a horrible death for no reason that I could fathom. These things are supposed to come in threes. This is more like a plague.

However! Some exciting things are happening in analog-world. Cameron has started kindergarten. That deserves a post all its own. I am hatching chicks, to replace the three birds we’ve lost this summer. Again, will delve into that another time. I have a drum carder, and it cards wool just like … well, like a drum carder. I’m writing, I’m doing yarn crafts, I am obsessed with comic books. What else is new?

Well i’ll tell you what else is new! I would like to remind the world that I have a new book of short stories available at Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. It is free or “pick you price” through the former, and $3.96 (currently on sale) through the latter. These particular stories are not romance/erotica, like my work through Circlet Press is. Below is the Smashwords summary, and the cover. Enticing, right? I would love to hear what you think!

“In Hearth and Harvest, Julie Cox explores the roles of parents and children through stories steeped in magic, wonder, grief and inevitability. A farmer hatches an unlikely egg; a barren girl searches for a god; death and birth abound, and creators clash with their creations. These six stories find the fantastic in the mundane, and the grounded, dirty world in the unreal. ”

Cover