Just Winging It Over Here
You are unflappable.
Nothing ruffles your feathers for long.
Gusts of wind may come and go, trying their best to send you sideways,
But you’re strong enough to weather whatever comes your way.
Here’s What’s Happening At Good Spirits Farm
On Monday, after two weeks in the chickie nursing unit, Little Brown Chicken returned to the flock. She seemed to be doing pretty well, but I noticed on Monday night that she chose to return back to her nursing ward (one of the lambing stalls in the barn), versus going into the coop in the evening.
On Tuesday night, I completely forgot that Little Brown Chicken had been opting for sleeping in her stall, and let Veli loose after the chicken shack was safely closed. When I remembered and checked the stall, the door was wide open and LBC was nowhere to be found. She wasn’t in the chicken house, either.
By now it was pitch dark, and Veli was also suspiciously missing. She knows chickens are off-limits, and so she always slinks away when she has one.
Oh, did I panic, running around the farm, calling for Veli in hopes that I could find her while LBC was still alive. Eventually, Veli came running—but she wasn’t toting LBC. It was too dark to look for a pile of feathers, and so I resigned myself to the possibility that there would be a grim scene in the grass the next morning.
The thing about farming, especially with animals, is that it feels like you have to be perfect all the time. The moment when your brain wanders, critters literally die. You have to remember that you have one chicken who may be in the barn before letting your dog off-leash. You must remember to turn the electric fence on and shut every gate behind you every day for the rest of your life. Farming is an endless loop of “don’t forgets” and then lying in bed worrying about what you forgot.
This particular night, I got lucky. I don’t know where LBC spent the night, but it must have been outside Veli’s reach. I came out Tuesday morning to find her waddling around with the rest of her chicken friends. Sweet relief!
Proof of life! Also, Veli got an apology for being falsely accused. She says, “I would never!*”
*Okay, I might**.
**Okay, I definitely would. Chickens are delicious.
We have had a series of unseasonably warm days here in Tennessee, and the warm air and sunshine has been such a boost to my spirits. Watching your flerd munching grass on the first warm evening after weeks and weeks of cold weather is like eating a sundae after subsisting on bran flakes: So exquisitely sweet. I am not foolish enough to believe winter is over, but oh, am I thankful for this little break.
Here’s What I Loved This Week
First, this adorable paper sunflower bouquet from Fresh Cut Paper that my Twitter friend (and regular friend, at this point!) Nicola sent to me. They’re so cheery and will never wilt! I had no idea paper flowers were a thing, but I love them!
One thing I have been really enjoying in my newfound alone time is practicing the violin. I stopped playing for such a long time because, well, honestly, proper violin practice sounds horrible. You hammer the same two notes practicing a shift over and over again. I guess I never felt like subjecting anyone else to that torture.
But playing again has brought me a surprising amount of comfort in these past few months. When I discovered a professional violinmaker living in the city closest to me (which is not really a big city!), I wanted to take my violin to her for a once-over.
It turns out that this instrument—which is very, very old—has really been through it. (Me too, violin, me too.) At some point, the neck detached from the body (okay, luckily I haven’t had anything *that* grim happen). When they put a new neck on, the angle was slightly wrong.
This instrument has always been soft, but it also has these sweet, deep notes. That’s what drew me to it years ago. However: it is neither brassy nor brilliant, and you really have to push it hard to get it to sing.
The local violinmaker (whose name is, amazingly, Sara Deliberato…if you are a musician, you’ll get why that’s a great name), felt it was a good candidate for a minimally invasive neck repair called a New York Neck Lift. (Yes, this sounds like the newest hot cosmetic procedure, but is really just the placement of a tiny shim).
Sara couldn’t promise that there would be all that much of a change in the instrument’s sound. A 5-10 percent improvement was her best guess. I decided to go for it. How often do you have access to a professional violinmaker in your backyard? And, when you own something this old, it feels like you are just a temporary caretaker. This work needed to be done, and it felt like my job as the current steward to get the repair made.
So: While the procedure to right the neck angle sometimes improves quality slightly, in this case, it DRASTICALLY improved. When Sara played it for me at pickup, I could not believe it was the same instrument. It’s now bright and beautiful and a total joy to play, and I’ve been having such fun revisiting all my favorite Bach sonatas and partitas in the hours between dinner and bedtime—and not worrying one bit if a note squeaks or a passage is terribly out of tune. Veli and the sheep are the only ones close enough to hear, and so far, they haven’t complained.
(Big fans of Baaaaa-ch over here!)
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