Monday, October 6, 2008

sore arms = warm nights

My right arm is killing me. I woke up with a stinging ache, and now know what two hours of constant sawing can do to a girl. Yesterday I used a small bowsaw (a gift from my father, thank you) to start hacking up the hundreds of fallen birches and sugar maples all over the woods on the farm. I wanted them for firewood to help warm up the cabin on chilly nights. With cheap quick-burning pine costing seven dollars an armful at the local gas station. I think the two hours of hard work was worth it. Outside on the porch is four giant armloads of heavy, long burning logs from the downed trees. The fireplace will be happy till next weekend when I stock up again.

So sore arms aside, the weekend went well. Yesterday I spent the whole day at the farm. From waking up to a breakfast of potatoes and eggs with Vermont cheddar cheese (and coffee), to ending it with a long well earned fire and my weekly Sunday night fiddle Lessons. To start a day eating food you grew yourself, and end it with old music is a perfect combination.

I spent the long day doing nothing in particular. I took the dogs on a lazy three-mile walk along our winding Sandgatian roads and then came home to bake and do livestock chores. I made a small round loaf for lunch and washed it down with cold cider. When I wasn't sawing I spent the majority of the afternoon reading a book of New England ghost stories in the hammock, bundled up in blankets. It's not really cold here, but in the shade up in our hollow it's about 45 degrees at the warmest part of the day. So yes, blankets make all the difference.

Having a day to work, care for animals, read, bake, and play music with fiddle students is bliss. If I could someday manage it, I would love to open a center for Appalachian arts. A place where you can apprentice in everything from dulcimer 101 to hand dying wool. It would be an open farm for intro weekends to livestock care (How amazing would it be to take a weekend farm vacation focused on learning to raise chickens and going home with some pullets and and a coop in your back seat!) Writing about this stuff is one thing, but helping other people do it themselves is by far the more rewarding part. I bet with the help of some border collies and luck, it could happen. I need to calm down with all these big plans huh?

Here at Cold Antler, the sheep, poultry, and rabbits (including the four new bunnies) all seem to be doing well. I have already decided that this coming weekend Sara and her friend are going to help me flip the sheep and trim hooves. And Saturday is the big Fall Foliage Sheepdog Trial in Cooperstown New York (who cares about baseball when there's a sheepdog trial going down!) If any of you are in the area, stop in and watch those dogs work and say hi to the girl running around volunteering in the floppy hat.

P.S. I recently found out i can not, under any circumstances give anyone an ARC for a donation. If you sent a donation, email me back and I will work something out with you or refund you shortly. I am sorry, I didn't know.

9 Comments:

Blogger Mare said...

I love your blog...Your day yesterday sounds idyllic to me...I wish i could go to the dog competitions in Cooperstown, but i am neck deep in weddings the next two weekends. I adopted a dog from a rescue who i think would excell in herding and agility and would like to talk to folks who could give me advice...She somehow got shipped up from down south with a litter of dachshund/poodle mix puppies, and she is neither of those breeds. Looks like part Australian cattle dog and border collie to me-and i live in the city...sigh...

October 6, 2008 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Morgen said...

I sent a donation and please just keep it. Give the chickens and sheep a hay bale or two on me. Have a great day.
Morgen

October 6, 2008 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger E said...

If you're going to get your own wood you'll soon be needing a chain saw. As usual don't get a cheap (expensive in the long run) one. Find someone who can show you basic chainsaw safety (including good gear) and you'll be fine.

Or find a local source of firewood by the cord. Buy in the spring so even green wood will season. Ask for hardwoods cut to fit your stove.

Splitting is more fun than sawing so if a chain saw is not an option you can at least split and stack your wood. Same advice there - get a good splitting ax.

October 6, 2008 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Darx said...

Please don't calm down on the big plans. Please keep making them. The energy of the big dreams is such a delight to behold. I'd like to make a small donation to farm costs even though you aren't doing the book thing. Please let me know how to do that.

October 6, 2008 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I added a general donation sidebar button. Any donations will help the farm!

October 6, 2008 at 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

I second that opinion on the chainsaw, Jenna. Is wood your only heat? Do you have a little propane or oil at the cabin too? If not, you should have a few cord stacked already to go. When it snows up there, it will just be too hard to find downed trees and the other stuff won't be dry enough to burn.

I'm sorry we didn't get together on Sunday but it sounds like you had a lovely time reading and hanging out. Next Sunday?

October 7, 2008 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

The house has an oil tank, I just am trying to put off using it long as I can. The fireplace will turn from heat to ambiance in a few days/week

October 7, 2008 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger cjtibbs said...

Love your blog, i live far away from the cold, in Florida but it still sounds wonderful, i am a country girl and love the country life.

October 15, 2008 at 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE your big ideas about the arts center. I would totally come there for "vacation" to learn wool spinning, etc.... Keep planning!
Erica in San Jose, Ca

June 19, 2009 at 3:21 PM  

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