05 June 2010

things a farm girl should know . . .

I keep on forgetting my grandma Lolly didn't grow up on a farm. Sometimes I expect her to know things that a farm girl should know, like how to treat slugs in the garden.

(She told me to stick a rusty nail close to the stem down near the roots of my tomato plants. That's for cutworms, so she was on the right track and I can't find fault with her desire to help.)

No, grandma grew up in town, the daughter of the owner of a small gas station. She and my grandpa farmed a small dairy farm later on, but that she married into, so she can't claim she was a farm girl.

And I don't think she'd want to.

My grandma Lolly is known for her watermelon lipstick, baked chicken and petal pushers. She was my first boss. When I was fifteen she taught me how to count back change to weekend campers at a local RV resort.

My sister and another cousin worked with us and I don't think we'll ever forget grandma Lolly laughing and shouting at us for some of the practical jokes we played on her. (Like fixing things to the ceiling fan and waiting for her to flip the switch and turn it on, or the time we all smeared on her watermelon lipstick and waited for her to notice our movie star lips.)

It took her fifteen minutes.

I'm home for the weekend, so grandma Lolly and grandpa Bob came over for dinner. Grandma Lolly brought one of her signature desserts. Her signature being to never bring the same thing twice. This new recipe was a daring improvisation from Country Woman or some other magazine. A confection of crushed nuts, coconut, pudding and whipped cream.

"Just something new." She told us. "Just something different for once."

Meanwhile the chickens were running around the yard outside the kitchen window. Grandma looked up and suddenly shouted.

"That roaster is attacking that hen. Look at it!"

We looked. No, we had to tell her, what she was seeing was something more along the lines of affection between the roaster and one our egg-laying hens.

"I suppose," grandma Lolly said, "this is a farm after all."

Yes it is, grandma. Yes it is.

P.S. The top image is of a card I illustrated for my cousin Ashley's birthday and the fiber is some yarn I spun last night . . . while I was watching the chickens chase each other across the yard.

The colorway is called Barn Raising, which is appropriate for this farm girl, I think.

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