Andrew's Blog

A City Boy Making His Way in the Country

It’s true. I’m a fraud.

I hope this beautiful picture of the sun setting over the Orchard House bee hives will distract you from the fact that I’m a fraud. I’m like a fat-free Oreo or a compassionate conservative. My life is a lie. This has nothing to do with the fact that I chose American Idol over Top Model. (Please Tyra, don’t cut me.)

The truth is, I’m an addict. Is there an Intervention for eBay? Can someone stop me from the urge to buy salt and pepper shakers that look like chipmunks, or vases in the shape of rhinoceri. I talk of loving beautiful things, but give me a set of ceramic nuns playing baseball over a Tiffany desk set any day. Am I really more Liz Lemon than Jack Donaghy? Is that possible?

Don’t get me wrong, I know famous artists. I like expensive things. I think Jonathan Adler is the real fraud! A $500 ceramic hippo. Girl, please! I can get me one on eBay for $20. And maybe that’s why I love it so much. Maybe I shouldn’t be ashamed. Maybe, just maybe, I’m alright. I can both scan for delicious bargains on-line and frolic in the world of fine art. I could be on Gossip Girl, but live in the Village. Sip champers with Valentino while wearing JCrew. Maybe, you can have it all!

Correction America, I’m not fraud. I’m diverse. And hip. I’m a reduced calorie Oreo. (Cause I know my limits.) One of the best characteristics of Orchard House is that it feels like a home. It’s eclectic enough to display items you may have never seen, but not so stuffy that you feel nervous walking around it. Like our lamb, cute and thoroughbred at first glance, but just a generic head-butter in the end. Loved? Yes. With a golden fleece? For sure. But you’d never know it as he tries to dislocate your knee.

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Are you really a bee?

Today, while filling up a bucket with water, a bumblebee hovered in front of my face. For seconds. Like it was deciding whether to launch mini-photons into my eyes. Perhaps it was a small airship, with a small crew, and even smaller mugs of coffee on board. It was probably just a bumblebee though. Deciding whether to sting me or not.

Really, I think it was looking for water. It was hot today. And everything needs a good drink every now and again. Even flying insects. Even the little men inside that mini-spaceship would need water. Although they probably would have those Star Trek devices that replicate food and water. That is, of course, unless they’re like the aliens from Signs. I think they arrived in mega-ships though.

It’s interesting after one mows a large portion of their lawn, the insects that show themselves. Worms and butterflies and moths and gnats! And the swallows diving through the air to eat them all up. I saw some crows attacking a hawk. I saw vultures floating on the gusts. (But they didn’t show themselves because of the mowing.) And I saw bumblebees. Staring at me as they cruise-controlled next to my tractor. Following me. Watching me. Deciding whether to sting me or not.

I may be paranoid. Or I’m a marked man.Whether it’s a real bee or a group of aliens trying to abduct me, they will not take me without a fight. But I’m also not going to be stung. So if you see me running, it’s not because I’m scared of photons, or afraid of being shrunk, it’s just because I don’t like pain.


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Carpet removal. And possible tetanus.

Who created these devices? To elaborate, they are pieces of wood with numerous sharp nail-like talons on one side and large nails protruding from the other. They are used to lay carpet. I don’t believe they started in this profession. At some point, they had to have been used in the Spanish Inquisition or Mexican-Amerian War. Maybe Judd Hirsch invented them. God I hate him!

You would think, in this glorious decade, in the 2010s, that someone would’ve invented a better way to lay carpet. Why do we still use these demonic tack strips? Maybe because of the Diablo himself. They are inane, cruel, and better suited for use in a developing country. Somewhere that knows no better.

If you can do better, you should. We are past the point of nails on wood. Or one would think so. Today, while pulling up these medieval devices, I was stabbed in the multiple fingers one or two times. Maybe I have tetanus. Who knows?! Isn’t that part of the fun?

Today I declare the need for more humane carpet installation techniques! Isn’t there a velcro or glue or heavy-ply that can lie on its own? Hardwood floor installation doesn’t face such difficulty. Laminate? A breeze. Cement floors? Paint ’em. Let us raise our voices and decry this unnecessary nailing excess. We are American afterall!


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Today was wet. And disappointing.

The rain continues. Like Noah, I too have contemplated the necessity of an ark. Although I only (and this is potentially), have a breeding pair of sheep, some ducks, and chickens. The rest are all sniped. I guess that would make us an American ark. You don’t need to be a breeding individual to be saved. You just need to be cute!

But why disappointing you ask? Eh, I don’t know. Just some unfruitful discussions and a day where I couldn’t plant my cabbage. I sense this boy and his rooster have known the same melancholy. Perhaps he hasn’t dealt with wet llamas, but instead detests his woolen hosiery and girlish mary janes. Although I would have killed for a pair in my youth.

I’m in the midst of preparing our new room – the Whitman. I need to rip up some carpet tomorrow. That’s exhilarating. My work out for the day. I’m combining purple and brown. Dangerous. Je sais. I paint with the courage of a Navy Seal entering Abootaballabomb (or whatever it is). It’ll work. And I have an orange accent pillow. I like living on the edge.

Tomorrow I’m antiquing. And I’m always happy antiquing. I have two new rooms to furnish after all. Our game room is ready for furniture. The Whitman, still a work in progress, needs everything. And I love buying everything. Just ask American Express.

I guess I’ve lost focus tonight. It could be all the rain. It could be the Trevor Project commercial I watched. Or just maybe, and just maybe, it’s the crazy month we have before us. A crazy but exciting time. Orchard House is growing. We’re launching a side business (to be revealed later). And the weather grows warmer. I also bought 2 more sheep today. They’ll be arriving in late June/early July.

If the rain continues, I welcome you all to join us on the Orchard House ark. We may sail away to a flooded world, but we’ll have a fully stocked gin cellar, and a little lamb who thinks he’s a bucking bronco. Oh, and a few dogs. Who think they’re people. But don’t give them any gin. We’ll all regret it in the morning.

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I’ll take a martini and one EpiPen. To go.

The bees have arrived. They came in boxes, nah, hives, this afternoon. We have four. And they’re green. Which is nice as they blend in with nature. This is all I know about them. I am not their caretaker. They are owned by a very nice Russian man. He gets stung. I get the honey.

Our bee farmer arrived today, in a small car. Somewhere, hidden inside, he had these four hives. An apiarian clown car. That’s a technical term. I’m learning the lingo. Like EpiPen. And swarm.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m scared of bees. Not because I’m allergic, per se, but because getting stung hurts. And one could become allergic at any moment. It’s the same reason I don’t eat peanuts on an airplane. I’ve seen those stories about people smelling shrimp and then dying from an allergic reaction. Does this makes sense? Probably not. But I’m crazy. And so are bees. They buzz around like a gaggle of 12-year-old girls at the roller rink. Looking for boys and drinking Dr. Pepper.

I suppose they have all they need. Water. It’s somewhere. Food. I guess it’s the flowers. Warmth comes from all the beating wings. And comfort? That comes from the queen. I’m assuming as we have 4 beehives, we have 4 queens. And I’ve named them. Changela, RuPaul, Manila, and Jujubee. No doubt they will keep their minions in line. Working the workers and bringing the drones their beer. Let’s hope for a fruitful working relationship. And let’s leave the EpiPen at the pharmacy.
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