Saturday, November 21, 2009

it's not all work

It's Saturday morning and I just wanted to check in to make a very specific point: homesteading isn't all work. This morning I am sitting here with a hot mug of coffee, quilts on my lap, a Civil War documentary on screen, and enjoying the company of my wolves in a warm cabin. I can still hear the occasional cracking charcoal from last night's fireplace. Inside the pit the ash is all black, but if I kicked up the coals I could light it again with some kindling and warm this place up beyond bliss. The sheep are out in their pasture. They're strutting around eating the last of the green grass and eating their new mineral block and hay. Finn is on his chain, chomping dead leaves and nickering at Juno (my neighbor Ed's fast, fast dog). The bathroom door is shut, and inside are the five goslings in a cardboard box under a warm light. All made it through the night. I slept in till 7.

I had a breakfast of eggs and will soon be on my second cup of coffee. From the living room I can hear a hen on the porch just outside the cabin door. I can't see who it is, but I'm guessing it's one of the ruddy production birds I got from the Poultry Swap this past May. They sound different, trill their clucks. To know a chicken by voice is a weird place to find oneself a few years out of design school....

Don't get me wrong, there is work to do this weekend. A lot of work. I need to buy some hay, write a few thousand words, run errands in town, clean out the goat pen... the list goes on and on. But there is also a lot of time to kick back and just enjoy this little empire I made from my own rib. Time for things like coffee sweetened with a dollop of ice cream (I ran out of creamer) and the Siege of Atlanta. Possibly a few rounds of Down in the Willow Gardens on the Banjo. (I am a woman who loves a good waltz.) So here in my wool socks and heavy sweater, in a cabin hidden at the end of the world, I'll grab my 5-string and prop my feet up and smile. It's not all work on this farm. A lot of this life is paying attention and enjoying the food along the way. If that means the occasional black and blue mark and feeding animals in the rain—fine by me.


Blogger Sarah Sanders said...

Enjoy your day, Jenna! Your new babies are so sweet - wishing you all the best! ;o)

November 21, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Spenser said...

Can't wait to see them all grown up.

November 21, 2009 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger David Shearer said...

For being so young Jenna, you have an uncanny grasp of what's important in life...

November 21, 2009 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

Spoiling the grand babies so soon.

Way to Go!

November 21, 2009 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Can't Complain said...

Great Blog ! I am envious of your lifestyle. Have a great day !

November 21, 2009 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

love your lifestyle! My husband wants me to ask if you are a frailler? He got a look of your banjo and is a bettin' man.
he's a picker too

November 21, 2009 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

i'm a frailer! but just learning, only know a dozen or so songs on clawhammer banjo. Fiddle is my true love.

November 21, 2009 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger The pale observer said...

You paint such a cozy, lovely picture... I love to escape to your world for a few minutes.. away from the palm trees and malaria spreading mosquitoes and 35 degree celcius weather all year here... THANKS!

Holli in Ghana

November 21, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Naomi said...

I felt very similar when I watched 8 baby rabbits jump all over the house yesterday afternoon. It was bliss. Congrats on sleeping in.

November 21, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Morning's Minion said...

I've been reading your posts for a bit, enjoying the re-connection to VT. My g-g-g-grandparents spent a few years in Sandgate, so it was interesting to follow your links and read Sandgate history. My husband's mother was a Hurd, although I don't know of an exact line to those in Sandgate. He has a tribe of younger cousins down Shaftsbury way who are involved in bluegrass/mountain music. Maybe you frequent the same gatherings.

November 21, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

WHEN did you start picking a banjo? I only remember your fiddle and dulcimer...

November 21, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Katherine Ruth Laws said...

Hey, I was wondering if you might happen to know of any homesteading schools or anyone who might be willing to teach a 16yr old. I probably coundn't pay, but I could work it off.

November 21, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

started playing banjo when I moved to Idaho, the winter of 2007/08. I play a few tunes and if you go back to the first october on this blog there's even a recording of one!

Where are you ruth? There are schools all over the country, some amazing ones in Tennessee.

November 21, 2009 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger chadruss said...

oh ouch! the battle for atlanta against the tyrannical invaders from the north!!!

November 21, 2009 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger chadruss said...

oh ouch! the battle for atlanta against the tyrannical invaders from the north!!!

November 21, 2009 at 10:20 PM  
OpenID localnourishment said...

Leftover (melted) ice cream is the PERFECT special-occasion creamer for coffee. I'd almost rather have that than the frozen confection the night before!

November 22, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Katherine Ruth Laws said...

I'm from central Ohio

November 22, 2009 at 2:16 PM  

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