especially lamb masala
So the party was that night, and with just a few hours till the decorating committee and musicians showed up, I had cleaning, cooking, mowing, mulching and other regular farm chores to blast through. In the rush I mowed the Crafstman push mower right next to the hive, thinking they would act as calmly as they usually do when I putz around the garden area. Instead of acting like a monastery, it became an aircraft carrier. a few guards shot out, and circled around my sweaty hands. I accidentally clamped down on one in my left palm as it squirmed between my fingers. It said goodbye to the world by shooting a stinger down into the tip of my middle finger. I cursed and grasped my left wrist with my right hand and shook it at myself. I held up the one sore finger to inspect it.
Oh boy...I couldn't help but smile at the prank. I stood there giving myself the finger on behalf of one pissed-off martyr. Talk about getting the last word...
By 6PM Wendy and Jim had set up their drink station, buffet, and people started showing up. Diane came with three Freedom Ranger chicks as a housewarming present and they went into the brooder with the turkeys. Folks took tours around the farm via Wendy. She seemed proud to be here, and was happy to show people around. It was touching to overhear.
We grilled burgers our Riding Instructor Hollie made from her brother's cows, and Jim made the kind of Mojitos you just don't forget. Diane brought a wheel of her 2-month-old aged cheddar she made herself. For this farm it was a high class time.
After we finished our dinner in the front room of burgers and jerk chicken, we all retired to the living room where Ed (fiddler) and Tom (guitar) were already playing some tunes. They were wonderful, and as the night got rainier, the conversation louder, and the sun set in the gray sky, we could still see the sheep outside the horizontal windows over the daybed in the background. It made all the preparations and stings worth it. Hell, Ed and Tom made this month's mortgage payment worth it! (If you click this link here, you'll get a to listen to a tiny bit of it) Wendy see,ed thrilled to have the friends, food, music and the farm all come together for her big day. Actually, everyone aboard CAF that night seemed to be enjoying the same relaxed grin.
Or maybe it was the Mojitos?
Writing this, I realize how perfect this life might seem to many of you. Some nights like last night, I get tricked into that too, but I promise you this place is far from paradise. I feel like a lot of you have been following this blog for years, and maybe you think this is the end of the three-part story? Girl gets in a tight spot, Girl freaks out, Girl buys farm. But I can't stress enough how far I need to go to get to my own goals, and how bumpy the ride is getting there.
There are serious problems here: issues with stress and anxiety, family expectations and support, financial woes, and also going through this whole adventure alone and not sure if that will ever change. It makes a girl tired. Very tired.
I don't write about these harder things as often, because honestly, I try not to even dwell on them. I learned a long time ago the only way to maintain this crazy dream is to inhale positive thoughts and ideal circumstances only. If I ever stopped to realize the risks, dangers, and irrational things that go into living this way: I'd never had done any of it in the first place. And I say that as a woman who has been knocked unconscious, rammed, sunburnt, cut open, and cried herself to sleep with worry more times than I care to admit.
But those bad things aren't the majority of my life. They're maybe a third? And usually I'm two busy with the rest of that fraction to give myself the luxury of much fear or stress. I learned if you stay busy enough, and put blinders on towards a goal, you will reach it and not focus too much on the possibility of negative outcomes. So I do that, and I pray that someday I'll stop working in the middle of the carrot patch, take a deep breath, and realize my twenties are behind me and I get over myself a little. Start lengthening my stride.
Cold Antler Farm is my refuge, my goal, and my motivation every day. It's my purpose and it's my responsibility, but you have to understand that as much as I love it, it isn't getting easier. But you know what? I don't think love is ever easy. Not if it's genuine and you're honest with yourself. Not if it's worth it.
Would I trade it all in to be back in Knoxville with just two dogs in an apartment? Never.
...But I do miss Indian food.