Monday, June 15, 2015

My parents are up visiting from Pennsylvania. The past few days have been spent with them out enjoying the local fare that is my Veryork. We went to local places like Gardenworks for flowers and shopping and Jackos in Salem for sandwiches and ice cream. We drove to Saratoga to meet friends from Tae Kwon Do for dinner at Druthers. We got caught up on family and stories and so far it has been a good visit. We don't spend much time on the farm because it's not their thing. (My mom puts on special shoes to walk from the car to my front door - 16 feet - in case of poo.) So there are no farm meals, rides in the carriage with Merlin, picnics, chore sharing, goat cheese snacks or such. It's just not their thing and I respect that. And frankly I don't get to spend a lot of time just eating out and seeing the local city life so it has been fun all around. They leave tomorrow morning and will probably return in the fall. I'll keep half and half from Stewarts on hand for her coffee since she called it "real milk" compared to what it hand milked from my goats. Oh, well.

This weekend was either spent recovering from my four-hour long black belt test Friday Night or preparing for their visit. I was so sore I rubbed Tiger Balm all over my back and arms and went to bed smelling so strong from the muscle rub that the dogs wouldn't share my bed. But all the aches and pains were worth it. I started martial arts as a pre-teen and studied on and off for years never making it to black. Now that I am home with my life on the farm and choices have been made and savored - I was ready to commit to getting my black. Now I am a certified Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do with the Kukkiwon in South Korea. It's a life-long goal finally achieved and now I am a full-fledged instructor at my school. It's my job to teach more people in the sport and it's a rush and an honor.

The farm continues on into the summer. The fireflies are out, the meat birds are bulking up, and I am preparing for the Arrow's Rising Workshop this weekend with eight people total. I am so excited to hand some folks their bows for the first time. Two days of learning to shoot, coursing through the forests and ridges here, learning the sport as I learned it. It's also a rush and an honor. I adore all things martial, I really do. Which is easy to say when archery is for targets and hunting and fighting is for tournaments and none of it is for actual warfare. This is a luxury of this time and place in the world.

There's not much new here but there is a lot I want to address this week on the blog. I have been stewing over a piece on Farm Sanctuaries for months. I want to share some new recipes and stories of the routine here every morning. This is the busiest time of the year and it shows in the constant presence the place needs. I think that is the hardest thing for guests to get used to when they visit the farm - our tether to it. When you have dairy animals, feeding routines, water carried in buckets, hay in bales, moving fences and puppies - you just can't be gone for the day in the city. Not when you run a joint by yourself. Some day I won't be alone here but right now it's just me and my promise. So I stay.

Friday is growing up wild and strong. She is a handful in ways Gibson never was as a pup. Even in crates where you think she will be totally safe she finds ways to destroy her bowls or rip up the pieces of floor she can get to through the coated metal crate walls. She's a nut and hard to hold. That said, she is becoming part of this home and she reminds me of me as a kid - pain in the ass that never listened. I turned out okay. She will, too.


Blogger Harmony Hill said...

They all say "payback", you'll get yours. But in this case it's joyous and capricious and all things lively. Good!

June 15, 2015 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

I totally get this, Jenna - to some in my family, my milk (and cheese and ice cream and yogurt...) aren't "real" either. And yet somehow my eggs are simultaneously "too real."

June 15, 2015 at 11:05 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

P.S. Looking forward to your farm sanctuary thoughts and new recipes!! Hooray!

June 15, 2015 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Sylvan said...

My extended family would rather eat store bought spinach that comes in large plastic tubs then eat the spinach I have grown that is twice as large and so sweet and buttery...Like you, I just accept that and enjoy my bounty.

June 16, 2015 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

Puppies have no respect for bowls, beds, or crate trays. I wouldn't bother with the bowl. She can get ample water on board when she is out of the crate. When you have to leave her for long periods in the crate, give her a meaty beef bone to entertain her. When you process your meat birds if you haven't before,keep the feet. They are great dog treats.

June 16, 2015 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

Enjoying your blog so much. I just got here, and am trying to read all of the archives, but I lose my place. I do enjoy your book suggestions, along with your books. I have The Contrary Farmer with me as I type.

Your writing is reaching us, way over in the west. Keep writing. Keep farming. Thank you.

June 16, 2015 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Tanya T said...

haha. I remember when we came to see this barn we brought rubber boots to wear into the chicken coop and the current tenant looked at me sideways. Congratulations on the black belt! We just got a new kitten at our house and can relate to the craziness and oh the joy of having a baby around.

June 16, 2015 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Sue Sullivan said...

Oh, dear. I'm sorry to read that your family finds your passions so incomprehensible and alien. That can set up a huge longing for acceptance and approval from them that makes for much misery.

Give yourself the luscious, heart-filling balm of enjoying everything about your life deeply, all the things you wish they would share with you (or rather, don't lose touch with that. You seem to do that very well.)

Expecting one's parents to understand and embrace one's passions is just as invalidating and distance-creating to the relationship with them as their rejection of your passions.

It has helped me to face square on the fact that I don't really have that much more time with my parents on the planet (especially living far away from them and visiting only a few times a year), and to deeply consider what I will miss about them when they are gone. I will miss the things that they love to do and the ways that they love to live (especially as I will likely rarely ever live that way/do those things without being with them to prompt me), because that is what makes them happy and will miss that happy energy of theirs most of all.

June 16, 2015 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Kevin s said...

Yeah my friends and family think the things I do, like making my own sauerkraut or canning the produce from my garden, are totally nuts. But you just need to smile and be who you are. Acceptance and validation of how you live your life is not all it is cracked up to be. If they love you they will accept you as you are.

June 16, 2015 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

I think of all the hurts that I have endured, it was the fact that my parents did not support my decisions were the most hurtful. I don't mean the hardest. Just hurtful. And once I realized that, I was able to pick myself up, examine what I was doing to see if it was rebellion or solid decision making and press on.
I'm 51, still a 'kook' in many ways, but 6 months ago, my dad told me in reference to one of the most painful periods of parental dissatisfaction that I 'might have made the right decision'. I had, let it be known, and the result was a blossoming child, less stress and strain on MY family, even financially it was the right decision. It just wasn't the decision that my mother and father wanted at the time. You would think this would make me so happy, so proud. But it didn't, just sad that he couldn't say 'you were right, we were wrong. I am glad things have turned out well.'
You have to live YOUR life. You will make terrible, awful mistakes. You will make really great ones that will change the world for the better. Ask the advice of the people who can help you follow YOUR dreams. And that may not be your parents. It doesn't make them any less important, just not wise in the ways of your goals.
Blessings, dear Jenna. You are one brave, successful, ferocious woman.

June 17, 2015 at 9:47 AM  

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