Friday, June 26, 2009

Country Living

Anastasia at our new farmer's market holding the Swiss Chard I scored. Um. yum. I find it ultimately amusing that there is a magazine called "Country Living" and it has everything to do with antiques, quilts, faux country decor, and all those tipical "country" related items showcased in large mansions of houses on large plots of land. It seems to miss some of the larger realities of real country living. There are many things that never get featured in "Country Living" that are true establishments of real country living.

Before I moved to the country, no one ever warned me of the "critters." I could just say insects but then I would miss the "varmint". Critters seems to encompass them all. No matter what we do, we find mice in our house from time-to-time, ticks on our legs, mosquito bites on our arms and blasted groundhogs eating our perfectly un-manicured garden. To all of these I shake my fists and then let them go being there crittery little selves. I have never seen so many spiders, ticks and other creepy crawlies until I moved to the Shenandoah Valley. NEVER. No amounts of camping could have prepared me for weekly tick removals and spiders living in cracks in the wall. But I have come to accept these things, and they don't bother me as much now as they did before.

Bugs, crawlies and varmint are one of the unromantic realities that I have come to accept. The romance however lies in the pristine beauty of nature. The rolling mountains, the winding rivers and creeks, the cows in the pastures, the farmers on their tractors, abandoned barns in overgrown fields of wheat. *sigh* I am lost in beauty nearly everyday. And I love it!
Anastasia and I were out tending the garden the other day and found the wild blackberries that surround our yard were in season, so we picked a bunch, made some blackberry corn muffins, and just ate them straight. They were that perfect balance of sweet and tart. Anastasia ate hundreds of them on her own. They were that good. And we went to a local farm and picked some of these:

So I finally baked one of these:

So my June is complete.
*Edit: I did edit this post after I felt that classifying people as rednecks, etc might not be very kind because I absolutely love some of my country-folk neighbors/friends/family etc. So if you noticed my post completely changed, that is why. Nick also told me varmin should be varmint. oops. This is why I married an editor.... or one of the benefits of marrying the love of my life who also happens to be an editor.*


Annie said...

I LOVE COUNTRY LIVING. My mother-in-law has subscribed me to it, and I love how EVERY ISSUE features a gay couple and the miracles they've worked on some kind of fixer-upper. And I also love how their idea of "bargain" means "less than a thousand dollars" but rarely includes any price under $50. I know I sound bitter, but I'm completely serious. I love that magazine. But it's kind of like rice milk... you can't really expect rice milk to taste like milk, just as you can't expect Country Living to provide an accurate picture of living in the country.

p.s. Does Nick shoot your critters with his handgun? If so, that's HILARIOUS.

Clare said...

No, he just bought a 22 rifle, accurately called a "varmin" gun. I think I have to learn how to shoot it, since I am the one who spends countless hours in the garden and actually wish that groundhog dead.

But yeah, that magazine is really funny in how inaccurate in depicts country living. lol.

Nick-dog said...

I just bought that gun today. We'll see what critters get capped with it, but it needs a scope and all that.

I've been using the shotgun with target shot to shoot rabbits, but I wanted a more precision rifle. The .22 is old school. We will see what happens.


Clare said...

Yeah my organic gardening book said the best organic remedy for groundhogs is to shoot or trap them. haha.

Kelly said...

I love this post. (I, too, have a subscription to Country Living as a gift from my mother-in-law, and enjoy the pretty pictures - cause that what's it's good for ;) Now I live in the suburbs, but am close enough to farms and real country that we get our fare share of "critters." I must say, I'm not used to it yet, but I'm learning that I must deal.
And that swiss chard is amazing! I planted some and the rabbits ate it all.

Clare said...

Kelly- I am glad you enjoyed my post! Yeah I planted Swiss chard, it is just taking forever to get big enough to harvest! And it looked so nice at the market I had to buy it!!! Just learned to shoot today... so maybe my garden critters will soon be history!