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.