Weekend Coffee Share: I’m Back!

If we were having coffee, as soon as you sat down, I would exclaim, “It’s so good to see you!”  It has been months since I’ve engaged in the virtual coffee shop world and am so glad to be back.  How have you been?  What is your drink of choice?  (I’ve been favoring iced lattes lately.)

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you all about how work has been going.   Since getting home, I’ve been doing field work for my dad on the farm.  It’s exhausting, spreading moldy bales under trees and spreading massive frost-protective blankets across strawberry fields, but I’m thankful for the opportunity.  Plus, I sleep very well at night! Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share: Fall, Family, and KITTENS!

If we were having coffee, we’d be lounging on my couch watching rain dribble down the large windows of my living room.  My hands would be cupped around my favorite mug covered in Shakespearean insult typography and yours would hold a mug shaped like a large, round penguin.  (I hope you like penguins.)  Our chat would be a quick one–I have to head to work soon.

After exchanging pleasantries, I would probably spend a great deal of time complaining about the heat.  If you live  the tropics or desert, you’d scoff and roll your eyes.  It’s perfectly justified–eighty-five degrees and humidity, no big deal.  But, you see, it’s September.  September means sweatshirt-and-shorts weather–the best kind.  I don’t think it follows the rules of fashion, but there are few things more satisfying than wearing a sweatshirt and shorts.  Is this a Minnesota thing?  Or do people where you live do this too?  Anyways, as much as I love summer, I am ready for the weather to cooperate with the season.  The time for heat is past.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my younger brother, Sam, went back to college.  In typical little brother fashion, he’s really annoying and drives me crazy most of the time.  I would tell you about the weird/creepy things he does, but am reluctant to post such things on the internet for the sake of privacy.  So, if we ever meet in person, you’ll just have to ask.  I’m going to miss having Sam around.  This summer has been the most time I’ve spent with him in four years, since I started college.  We worked together every day and now I’m the only child in the house.  Who am I going to fight with now?

If we were having coffee, you would hear all about the kittens we found this week.  When you live on a farm you usually have barn cats.  Our resident mama cat, BooBoo, is pushing fourteen years and has stopped having babies, which means childbearing duties have fallen to our other female cat.  She’s had multiple names over the years, but we’ve finally settled on Gollum Kitty due to a cough that persisted most of the summer.

Aren't they the cutest?
Aren’t they the cutest?

To say it nicely, Gollum Kitty isn’t the most intelligent feline out there.  She’s also quite small, despite being two years old.  When I heard little mews coming from the bushes by my house, I was shocked to find not a kitten or two (which is usual for Gollum Kitty), but SEVEN.  They’re only a couple of weeks old, but their eyes are open and are just starting to explore.  Five of them are white with different colored spots, one is sandy with white feet, and one is all black.

When I visit the kittens, I feel like a little kid again.  All I want to do is pet them.  Last night, during the groggy moments between sleeping and waking, the kittens were always on my mind.  I woke up this morning to a thunderstorm and my first thoughts were devoted to their safety.  (It turns out, my dad got up early and moved them from the bushes to one of our cat houses.  So they’re safe.)  It’s only been a day and my parents are sick of hearing me gush about how much I love the little fur balls.  They’ve charged me with taming them–a task I’m a little too excited about.

I just glanced at the clock and it’s time to head to work.  But before I go–what would you share if we were having coffee?

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link-up at Part Time Monster

Closed for the Season

Well, friends.  Strawberry season has come and gone.  Thank goodness.

IMG_5118-0I’m not going to lie, I’m happy to see it go.  Although it was our shortest season yet (clocking in at two and a half weeks of picking), it felt like my family’s pick-your-own patch was open forever.  For two weeks, I was in the fields every day without break.  Although things slowed down significantly after the 4th of July passed, I got really sick of making small talk and trying to find pleasant ways to explain why the berries at the end of the season were smaller than those at the beginning.

Now that we’ve closed, it’s back to full-time fieldwork.  We’ve been hard at work during the non-open hours  over the past few weeks fighting what I affectionately call the Battle of the Weeds.  Now that we don’t have customers consuming all our time, a few days of solid hoeing should help us finally gain ground in our newer strawberry fields.

Now that we’ve closed, I get an extra half hour of sleep every night.

Now that we’ve closed, I hope to spend less evenings crashed on the couch and more on my bike.

Now that we’ve closed, I ACTUALLY need to figure out what I’m doing with my life.  (But more on that later.)

Here’s to the end of a short, but good season!  If you need me, I’ll either be sleeping or pulling weeds.

Pleasant Valley Thursday: Inaugural

Working on the farm was the first job I ever had.  Imagine little thirteen-year-old Amelia in a baggy t-shirt, athletic shorts coated from head to toe with a layer of dirt…  you get a pretty accurate picture of my formative teen summers.

Now that I’ve graduated college, I’m at home working, once more, for my dad at our family’s apple orchard and pick-your-own strawberry patch.  It’s not the most glamorous thing in the world.  In fact, most of the work is far below my education level.  But work is work and I’m happy to do it.

Every Thursday, I’ll be writing about my on-the-job experiences.  Starting this past Monday, I’ve been working from 8 AM till around 4-5 PM every day.  Before I get into any details, though, please take a moment to watch the following video.  Even if you only watch a few seconds, you’ll get the picture.  A few weeks ago, a guy flew his drone over our property at sunrise and pieced it together.

This is where I get to work every day.  You can’t deny that my home is beautiful.

Jobs this Week:

  • Fill sandbags and haul them to the strawberry fields
  • Read the handbook for the new lawn mower and test drive it
  • Weed newly planted strawberry fields
  • Plant strawberries… Fill in gaps where the planter machine missed

Currently, I’m the only one working.  My younger brother is joining me tomorrow.  The rest of our summer crew will filter in over the next month or so.

Low: I ripped the skin off a couple of my fingers tying sandbags.  It now hurts when I bend some of my fingers.

High: It drizzled all morning and the heavy rain set in the afternoon.  Because all my dad’s indoor jobs had to do with fixing broken machinery, he let me off work at noon!  No mechanical experience, no problem.  I had the whole afternoon to relax and get some around-the-house projects done.

Finally, everything is in bloom and it’s lovely.  I took this photo while mowing yesterday.  Enjoy!

Contraditions

I’m a model student and get straight A’s, but at least once a semester, I blow everything off and take a long weekend.  (Four day Easter weekend?  I think, yes.)

I’m an English major, but have absolutely no desire to be a writer, teacher, librarian, or scholar.

I love academia and intellectual life, but I grew up on a farm and know what it’s like to get my hands dirty.

I grew up in a house of boys, but my friends are primarily girls.

My family owns a strawberry patch, but I don’t like strawberries.

I have a deep abiding love for cats, but am extremely apathetic towards animal death.  (Growing up on a farm does that to you.)

I’m a blogger, but lately, have had no drive to blog.  (Sorry about that, guys.)