Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer TUFavorites

ah, the bittersweet end of summer.  the joy and sorrow of a public school teacher.  it's the moment i know is inevitable, but that seems astronomically far away--until it is upon me.  i look forward to it eagerly whilst wistfully clinging to the last wisps of summer vacation.  these wonderful wistful wispy last wisps. whoa.

anyway, what a summer of TUF it has been!  new adventures, old comforts, expansive activity juxtaposed with blissful time-whiling.  as an ode to this summer, it seems appropriate to pause and honor those events, items and places that contributed to the TUF increase in awesome we have witnessed over the past few months.  i give you, in the order of how they occur to me right now...the TUFaves:

1) New Tattoos by Bart Willis at South Side Tattoos.  bart is probably THE best tattoo artist you'll ever encounter, and also one of the kindest and funniest guys you'll probably ever meet in your life as well.  i sent him a digital picture of my favorite Remedios Varo painting (Still Life Reviving, 1963), and he fit me into his busy schedule the following week.  as he tattooed a beautifully faithful reproduction of this painting on my right shoulder, we discussed the ins and outs of chicken keeping, air conditioners and being grown ups.  he's just the best, all around.  if you want a tattoo and live in austin, go to bart!

2) Toobin' the Comal River in New Braunfels.  for whatever reason, i had never toobed before.  i think i may have been one of the very few in austin to never have experienced this leisurely rite of passage. so last wednesday, i took my maiden voyage with dan and three other dear darling friends.  someone should have broken a champagne bottle on my butt.

it was a brilliant time!  since the drought has gone on for so long, the 'normal' tubing river (the guadalupe) had very little water in it.  however, the beautiful (if short) comal river is spring-fed, so it stays refreshingly 72 degree-ly full!  i had the great good fortune to go with experienced toobers, and there was no shortage of beer or hilarity as we floated away the afternoon.  we got rock-star parking, and had excellent toob service from Corner Tubes.  several world crises were solved, hunger and racism were eliminated from civilization, dogs and ducklings were cooed over, and emergency broadcast systems were tested over the course of our double float.  we all got lightly broiled and sundrench-delerious.

3) Air Conditioner Repair by Autumn Heating and Cooling.  okay this one is boring.  remember how i mentioned that bart and i discussed air conditioning? well.  the reason was because ours went out, and this is a summer not only of TUFun, but also excruciating, record-breaking heat.  we here on the Totally Urban Farm usually do a really good job about staying positive, but when the condenser goes out, you get the run-around from several other AC companies, and it's 96 degrees in the middle of the night one night, positivity starts to fade a bit.  however, autumn ended up being quick and professional, and installed a new outside unit and inside coil for half of what we might have paid.  so yay for them! and yay for a liveable indoor environment!

4) TUFriends Who Have Chickens. I am so honored to know people who are paving the TUF way already, having gorgeous chicken coops and gardens and compost piles and whatnot.  this beautiful set up was built from scratch by our friend Cliff, who has designed a coop that opens every which way but loose.  see the little chicken size door?  is that not adorb?  they have five ladies at the moment in different stages of maturity, all of whom are lucky to be living in backyard chicken heaven.  also: they have a really cute schnauzer whose derrier is apperrier in this shot.

5) TUFriends Who Give Us Chickens.  at the very beginning of the summer, we had just the two Original Chickens, pearl and ninja.  they came from a good friend who had to move away, and we were so happy to receive them.  then in mid-june we acquired twitter and tumblr from Callahan's (another TUFave!) for $12 and $4, respectively.  THEN, just last week, another friend needed to move and hooked us up with sammo and bolo, the two beautiful new girls.  so, we build the coop, and suddenly we have 6 chickens, 4 of whom were free, lowering the average cost-per-chicken to $2.67 each.  we have even had the great fortune to have a TON of organic chicken feed and a bag of hay donated to us from our other dear friends, who lost their two dearies in a tragic accident but who would like to enter into an eggs-for-feed arrangement with us--so TUF!  the lesson from all this chicken acquisition?  if you build it, they will (keep) come(ing).  so get building!
p.s. i'm just kidding about the 'keep coming' part.  6 chickens is ALL we need!

now these TUFaves are specific, recent and still fresh on my mind. but there have been many TUFventures from june and july that remind me what an eventful summer it has been!  so, as i soak up these last few days of TUFsummer 2011, i also want to deeply appreciate you, Dear Reader, who cares enough to slog through all my blither and participate in creating my TUF memory and inspiration.  thanks.

a whole new level of TUFness cometh...being a science teacher, increased egg production, fall gardens, pickle attempts,, as always: more soon!

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