Fangboner Farms

Farewell My True and Faithful Friend

Farewell My True and Faithful Friend

Today is one of the hardest days I've ever had.  Jack, my yellow lab, lost his brave battle with lymphoma.  We had 6 great months of chemo and remission.  But he got sick quickly over the last week and the time had come to let my boy rest.

No funny stories - I can't do that yet.  The time will come when I can share his stories of eating Mimi's foot board as a puppy, his talent at suckering even the hardest of hearts into giving him a belly rub and riding in the utility vehicle in his CitiFest Event Crew t-shirt working events with us. 

But today is about grieving.  And appreciating.  I hate movies like "My Dog Skip" and "Marley & Me". You know what happens in the end.  And I knew going into this relationship what would happen in the end. But man, these last 11 years have been worth every awful feeling I am having now. 

Jack was with me through some of the darkest times in my personal and professional life.  He was there with his smile, his warm body climbing up on the couch with me to snuggle and his ability to let me know he loved me and thought I was the most wonderful person in the world.

And I felt the same about him.

Jack wasn't perfect. He liked to chew too many shoes.  He could be crabby when tired.  And sometimes he would think he was alpha dog and growl at the cats.  But he had such a huge capacity for unconditional love, an ability to meet people and enjoy them and to be the best companion I could ever ask for. 

I am grateful for the last 6 months.  Knowing he had cancer, and treating it, gave me a better appreciation for every day with him.  He got to move to the farm with me, we still had shorter and slower ambles together and help me adjust to my new life. I have no regrets in treating him.  

I have always felt that we as humans aspire to be more like dogs - an unlimited capacity for love, acceptance and an appreciation for living each moment to the fullest.  And to take long naps.

So today after Alex and I brought him home from the vet's, Roland had made a grave for him out under a huge old oak in the back of our property that I can see from all of my back windows. Thank you Jack for making my life better, richer and much much fuller.  You'll always be my boy.

American Gothic - Fangboner Farm Style

American Gothic - Fangboner Farm Style

So I have wanted to take a picture of Roland and me in the style of the old painting American Gothic.  Remember it?  The man and woman standing in front of the farmhouse?  He is looking ahead, she is looking off, slightly bored. He has the pitchfork, she has her hair in a bun. I just thought it might be fun to do it up but in our personalities.  The city girl and the country boy.

This past weekend, my sister Joan and her son Jeff, his wife Julie and their son Nathan came up to the farm.  Julie is a phenomenal photographer - warning shameless plug ahead - and you should check out her gallery of work. So I conned her into using her great talent to make us look good - and in turn create a new American classic.

So here you go - Roland and Jan in "American Gothic Fangboner Farms Style"

Julie said she has some ideas for even better versions. I'm anxious to see what she can come up with next.  I think she did a great job but maybe next time, even more Photoshop so I can look younger . . .

But it does capture our personalities.  Although I don't ever wear a suit when I'm picking herbs.  Just when I'm wheeling and dealing to sell the herbs!

After a Long Intense Labor, the Babies are Born!

Finally.  After months of work, preparation, sleepless nights and lots of heartburn, the babies have arrived!

I bottled, labeled and sealed our first batches of herbs and sundried tomatoes today. I am proud, excited, tired, fearful, nervous, and not quite sure of the next steps.  I mean, I've read the books, watched the movies and documentaries but now I have my own.  In the words of a famous and inspirational influence of mine, "Ruh Roh Raggy!"  (that's a Scooby Doo reference for those of you who don't look to him as a major influence on your life as I do)

It certainly feels like I've been pregnant these last few months in getting Fangboner Farms off the ground.  At first I was so excited with the possibilities - I mean it is something I've always wanted to do and I did need the right partner to make it happen. Then after awhile, I was sick.  Tired, queasy and thinking, what am I doing?

That passed into the middle stages of getting comfortable with the idea, swollen ankles (lots of standing, squatting and on my feet a lot in the gardens) and water retention.  I know, you didn't need to know that one but I'm telling myself it's not extra weight from nervous eating but "just retaining"!

Then the anxiousness of getting ready to launch, all the final prep work and no sleep. I won't get graphic with delivery details but I will say, I was ready for these babies to get on out of here!

So after months of planning, I now present to you the Fangboner Farms collection

Aren't they just the cutest things you've ever seen?  I know, I sound like a first time mom, but I am with these guys. I don't have a favorite (although I have always told Alex and Mimi that the other one was my favorite just to keep them on their toes) but the Classic Blend is where I started.  Rosemint Blend is an idea I had just because I love rosemary and mint.  And the tomatoes started because what was I going to do with all those cherry tomatoes????

 So world, here are the baby herbs that Roland and I created and hope will go forth and prosper! I just hope I don't get any more stretch marks from this pregnancy...