It’s a rough day when, at the end, you realize you’re probably just getting old(er). The Man and I have been spending what seems like our every free waking moment — few and far between as they may be — working on new pens. They’re overdue and there’s a self-inflicted urgency to get them done so we can move on to both the usual early summer chores and the unusual ones. This weekend early heat, beating sun, and a swarm of mosquitos so numerous and obstinate we occasionally feared they would actually carry us away seemed to be conspiring against us however, which meant far more of it than we’d like was left undone at the end of Sunday evening and we both came in a little worse for wear.
Though the frequent iced tea and bug spray breaks certainly didn’t help the pace of our work any, it was the sun that took its toll on me. It wasn’t until a few hours after quitting time that I began to notice the heat radiating off my own shoulders, but radiate it did and still does. I’d share a picture of them with you, but I’m unconvinced of the internet’s ability to accurately portray this particular shade of lobster-esque. I’m not sure what’s happened to my skin, but I’m blaming whatever it is on age. I’ve always been a pasty shade of white, but the Native American half of me that was hidden beneath the pale exterior would always shine through after a few hours in the sun. “I never burn,” is my mantra. And right up to the past year or two that’s been the truth. Now? I’m on my second sunburn of the season before the first of June and I’m not impressed, not impressed at all.
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No matter how much I’ve anticipated them, the words of a farmer who has lost are among those things that will always make my heart ache.
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In the next month I’ve got some travel on the books and have decided to leave The Pig Dog with his trainer while I’m on the road (and in the sky.) I want to tell you that I am entirely at peace with this decision, but I’m not much for lying. I’m excited about this decision, coming home to what will likely be a well-started dog is not anything I’m about to turn my nose up at. I’m confident that this decision is the best possible decision under the circumstances, he requires more supervision and attention than the other dogs and both will be in short supply while I’m away. But I’m not entirely at peace with it. Too many stories of border collies who want to work only for one person dance through my head. I worry a little bit about that even though he’s not shown too much indication of being a one-person dog thus far.
Tomorrow I’ll take him back for his first session since last fall to feel out where he’s at. I’m hoping to get video to compare/contrast with where he’s at when I get back. And, of course, plan to share them with you as we go.
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My garden still isn’t even worked up and there’s more rain coming this week. So there’s that. I did manage to unload a couple dozen tomato plants on family and friends this weekend. I started just the right amount for a normal year, but unforeseen engagements that will be taking up a lot of our summer have me cutting back on the planting plans substantially.
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I turned in the final manuscript for my children’s book last month and have since been able to review some illustration samples. I’ve wavered a bit on whether or not to mention these milestones. Not for lack of excitement, but because it’s a picture book and it feels a little odd to be telling you about it when I’ve nothing to show, but I trust you understand getting a book to the showing phase takes time. Meanwhile, two things: 1) I can tell you that the title is The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen (miraculously the same title it started with) and 2) Heather Knopf is already hard at work bringing the pictures to life. Though her website is under construction, trust me when I say she’s fabulous. Her samples were everything I’d hoped for in an illustrator and that’s not a short order.
The publication date is in early October. I’m having a hard time grasping just how little time there is left between now and then — it’s only a little over four months out — and am getting increasingly excited to bring farm-to-fork conversations to families through Patrick.
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Well, I suppose that should do it for this week. Thanks for sticking with me through the past couple of crazy weeks and the blog post dry spell. You’re all the best!