Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Toad lilies, goat farms, and branding
Our dear Dr. Faust has suffered a set-back. Nothing major or serious, but truly a disappointment for her. She has had to abandon her dream of having a model goat farm at Elmwood. Even with me helping as project manager, running a dairy large enough to supply cheese for the dining hall would be too much of a distraction from her day job, especially now that the financial community is belly up in a ditch and even the World's Richest University has to sit very very still and take deep cleansing breaths.
So Drew has scaled back, for now anyway. She thinks of her goats more as pets than a demonstration of the Sustainable University. Sure we'll make a little cheese, but it'll just be for friends and family, and maybe we'll have a tasting as a fund-raiser for the Mathew Brady Memorial Darkroom.
The old 4-H-er has to get her hands dirty, so she's started a shade garden in a lovely spot at Elmwood. Her biggest delight now is tending a collection of toad lilies that surprised us by blooming a few weeks ago. We moved two plastic chairs to a spot of grass near the new flower bed and fell into what could pass for political discourse, or maybe not.
Miss Grimke: Do you consider yourself a maverick?
DGF: Perhaps. But a maverick is someone or something that has been not been branded. I'm afraid I've been branded.
Miss Grime: Branded what?
DGF: Feminist, for one thing. When I get depressed all I have to do is remember how the old boy Civil War historians got their boxers in knots over Mothers of Invention.
Miss Grimke: That cheers me up, too!
DGF: Here's what I don't understand, and I'm a highly educated individual. How can you be a maverick if you brand yourself a maverick and a maverick is unbranded?
Miss Grimke: Greater minds than ours will have to answer that question, Dr. Faust.