Friday, November 11, 2011

goose sex, cheap dates, and wolf moons

I was outside the farmhouse around five tonight, and the wind shocked me. It came out of nowhere, pushing my hair into my face and causing my damp hands to freeze up instantly. This was some serious hearkening, folks. It was as if winter just stabbed me with a telephone wire and shouted into a tin can on the other end. I tightened the scarf around my neck and hustled through the remaining chores. It was full-out dark already, and the sheep still needed ten gallons of water for their nightcap, Jasper needed hay, and the door to the chicken coop needed to be closed for the night. A farm needs you in ways that can not be argued against, wind be damned.

When the sheep had their fill I headed down the hill to the coop and peeked my head into the yellow straw lined house. I was spying on my over-sexed geese, seeing if they were in the family way... My suspicions were spot on. In a corner was a nest of giant goose eggs. Saro and Cyrus were giving it the ol' Thanksgiving try. It seemed like every November they start a brood, sometimes with success and sometimes not. Between their morning sexual congress by the mailbox and Atlas's happy adventures, this place has turned into an all-out brothel. I hope the neighbors don't get the wrong idea.

Goose and sheep sex aside, days like today make me think I have a shot at this author/farmer thing. The morning started with a two-hour interview with a journalist from New York City. She was writing a book on the resurgence of domestic arts and DIY culture across America and the role of homemakers. We had a good talk, and I showed her around the farm. By the time she was packed up and waving out the driveway, I realized I had never thought about many of her questions before she asked them. She wanted to know about my thoughts on feminism and homesteading, about the role of women, about trend in suburban moms getting chickens and herb gardens. Some of the answers surprised me, and I realized how much of a traditionalist I am at heart. I might be a woman with her own empire, but at the end of the day I just want to be taken care of, and take care of things. I want this because I feel like it's my biological right as a member of my sex, and because it makes me happy. I don't think wanting to be a wife or mother makes me any less a feminist than wanting to be a welder or an Air force Pilot. Nor do I dare say my desires should be anyone else's. But when it all comes down to it: I'm a simple gal. If I ever find the right man I'll happily get hitched, take his last name, and stay home to take care of the kids and dinner. I got the 14th amendment and a mortgage with my name on it. I'm all set.

After that conversation about a future I don't actually have, I realized I was running late for my lunch date. Every once in a while Jon Katz and I meet up to catch up on our books and lives, and to just chat. We're a lot alike, and share the same belief that stubbornness and determination are the true cornerstones of success in our industry. We met up at the Burger Den to talk about some proposals and books I'm working on, and I got to see some updates for his website and hear about his book tour. He's a NY Times Best Seller taking time to tell a newbie author his tips on intro paragraphs and chapter lists. His guidance and advice is something I have come to not only appreciate, but look forward to. Jon knows me better than most people, and a great deal about my personal life. I was confiding in him about some recent drama and he shared some advice with me today I was ready to hear, but fearful to do. Sometimes you need that. You need to explain a situation in the most basic, honest, and vulnerable ways and see it through another person's logic for it to come out clean in the wash. I feel lucky to know him, he's been a grand friend up here in the brambles of Washington County. Also, he's a cheap date, since our combined bill was under 20 bucks for all we could eat. God bless the Burg'den.

Everyone out there enjoying this Wolf Moon? That's what the Almanac calls it. The November moon is a big bright beam out there, and the last few nights it has been so bright It cast shadows inside the farm house at night. Deer walking around the yard stand out like make believe things in the blue light. Folklore says the night right after the full moon is a time to prayer to remove things from your life that are negative, bad thoughts, fear, guilt, all of it. As the moon wains into dark it's supposed to carry those prayers home. I don't think it can hurt. Wolves after all, are very fast dogs.

Tomorrow: More hay from Nelson, cheese making with some local raw milk I scored, and a lot of time spent writing. I am a girl with a mission, and tomorrow that specifically means dead grass, raw milk, and Microsoft Word. Take that, Louie Pasteur.

21 Comments:

Blogger Flartus said...

You fit more into one post than most of us cover in a week! Your cup truly runneth over.

November 11, 2011 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Love this post! I'm a take-charge gal myself. I raised two boys, got my master's, forged a career...but did like getting married, taking his name, and having someone "just help"! I've always thought that marriage should be about true blue friendship at it's base line. I finally found one that was...couldn't be happier!

p.s. I read you faithfully...though I don't always comment!!

November 11, 2011 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger kringsrud said...

Hi Jenna --

Who was the journalist? I would be interested in seeing the outcome of her story.

I look forward to reading you every day.

November 11, 2011 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

There is honor in taking care of a home and family. It makes me sad that some people don't see it that way. It's not always enjoyable, but name me one job that is. I've had a lot of jobs over the years, but this is the most rewarding one I've ever had.

November 11, 2011 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Daisy Farm said...

Your life is very full. I so enjoy reading about your days. But you know, anytime you are alone....be it young and single or middle-aged and single again....when you're a one man show around your house, garden, job, farm, etc., it's a challenge. So many chores but as along as you find joy in the chores, they never become just another job but things we all do to be self-sufficient. It makes the rewards at the end of a busy day so much better. Press on Jenna!

November 11, 2011 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Karen Rickers said...

Apparently the moon changes north of the border. A friend had looked it up in one of our almanacs and told me earlier today that the present moon was called the Beaver Moon! :-D Well ... we have a lot of beavers up here.

November 11, 2011 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger unpackingtreasure said...

What kind of cheese are you making? I have some raw milk,too!

November 11, 2011 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Florida Farm Girl said...

Hello, Jenna! I came across your blog back when you did the giveaway to the John C. Campbell Folk School but somehow it got shuffled out of sight. Tonight I found you again and I'm so glad. I've added you to my blog list. Even though I'm twice your age, you rant about getting on with your dream applies to me as well as to anyone. Thanks for the reminder. I'll be keeping up with you daily.

November 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Great post, Jenna! And yes, I am enjoying the wolf moon!
I love your blog! If you weren't 3-5 hours away, I'd be helping with the sheep...

November 11, 2011 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

Up my way it's a full beaver moon for November.... But regardless what you call it, it was lovely, and brought us our first snow!

November 11, 2011 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger TransFarmer said...

I had to read this title twice. I thought it was "good sex, cheap dates..." That totally put a different spin on the blog for a second, lol. Best of luck to the geese.

November 12, 2011 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger kristen said...

Jenna,

I just heard an artist (and song) I think you might like -- not sure if you've mentioned her or not. The artist is Amelia Curran, album Hunter Hunter, song title Hands on a Grain of Sand. Check it out! :) (It came on Pandora - I have no connection to or knowledge of the artist.)

(This comment is reposted because I wasn't sure you saw the first one and I keep thinking of you and your crew when I hear it.)

November 12, 2011 at 1:55 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

My days start at 3 AM and watching the "moon" sets this past week as I've driven into work have been absolutely amazing - I've had a hard time keeping my mind on the road. ; ) My work day starts at 5 AM in a Retail store so I miss most sunrises but these Moon sets have definitely done away with any feelings off loss on the sunrises.

November 12, 2011 at 3:53 AM  
Blogger Agility Fun said...

I just found your blog through Jon Katz's blog. I follow his every day. I loved your post and so admire your lifestyle.
I live in rural New Hampshire and have a great love for dogs,sheep and all other animals.
I am so looking forward to following your blog.

November 12, 2011 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Trekout2 said...

The moon this week has been amazing. I have spent the week at our hunting camp in Texas gathering venison and wild hog for our meals this coming year best part is we live off the grid out here and at night we take our chairs out on the field edge by camp and talk about the days hunt and hunts gone by family and community. Then my friend breaks out and starts playing we all sit back quietly and enjoy god gift to us. Last night was a little different we took a ride in to this very old farming town near camp were it was Friday night fryed catfish all you can eat at the only restaurant in this town. It's an old Building from the late 1800 made of red brick wood beams and wood plank floors good and worn. It has the old display cases from it's grand days when it was a feed and supply and train station back in it's day but tonight the building was run buy a woman who was sick of the corporate world and wanted to go home to this farming communty and build a social place and she sure did. With Willie Nelson tunes filling the room and long tables were you take a seat next to a stranger and talk about farming ranching and living the simple life no need for big tv's new homes or trucks you make do with what you got if it brakes you fix it. It all made me think of you and the good folks on this blog.. Thanks everyone I enjoy coming here reading Jenna's daily stuff and your comments.

November 12, 2011 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger The Sprouting Acorn said...

Jenna…. was looking at the photo and see some hand hewn logs there behind your stove…. couldn't help but wonder if you have a little cabin under all that newfangled siding. Love the logs. Love the logs.

November 12, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

"It was as if winter just stabbed me with a telephone wire and shouted into a tin can on the other end." Jenna, you come up with some great metaphors!

November 12, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Acorn, your guess is as good as mine?! I'm not sure if it was part of a back porch or summer kitchen or some sort of wood shed?

November 12, 2011 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

and thank you that kind comment about the metaphors!

November 12, 2011 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Humbly Homemade said...

I am new to blogging and after making my first post, decided to try and really immerse myself in this "world" by finding someone to follow, I found your blog, and truly enjoyed reading it! Ironically enough I too am a resident of Washington County, small world.

November 14, 2011 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I am new to your blog...and I'm loving it. I'll be visiting your site often.

November 15, 2011 at 11:19 AM  

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