Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Blood & Kailyards

It’s been an interesting couple of days. Since being tested for Lymphoma I have been to my dentist for x-rays to see if there were any complications/infections in my teeth. There are not. I have also been tested to Lyme and other Tick-borne illnesses and waiting on results. I am glad to be taking care of this, having the tests and appointments, but also quietly dreading the bills. It's hard enough making the money every month to fend off the worst of the stalking threats. Now this.

While waiting to figure out what is going on with me, I am actively trying to ignore it. I’ve hoed up and started setting up the kailyard behind the barn. It’s been such a cold and wet spring I haven’t had the weather or want to get out there and clear up and compost. Now I am. I have spinach and lettuce and kale to plant and tend. I have 8 plants of butternut squash to start my fall squash pile with. I have all the laying hens raised as chicks outside all day foraging and being proper chickens (though they do tap on the glass doors at dusk to come inside to sleep in the brooders at night. I let them.

The three bottle lambs are doing so well. The smallest one, named Ser Pounce, had a rough start and was very skinny and took a while to train to the bottle. Now he’s a small tight ball of energy that rivals a kitten! Podrick and Lyanna are also doing well. When it is over 50 degrees they are outside in the lamb pen on the hill. Otherwise - in these windy, rainy, and sleet (yes SLEET filled days) they are inside on a pile of hay in the dog crate in the living room. Across the room from the chicks gathering at night, of cats curled up by the wood stove, and of me and the dogs sipping tea and watching a movie before bed. Quite the peaceable kingdom, even if the outdoors are savage lands.

So I am moving this farm towards its goals, CSA, customers and seasons. I am worried about what is going on with my body but it isn’t like the flu - not anymore. I am able to go on gentle hikes and walks, but I am not running. I am sleeping more than usual, but not a worrying amount. I am trying to rest and heal. I have these medical costs to deal with on top of the normal farm bills and mortgage and that has lit a fire of frugality and shameless promotion. I am actively looking for art and soap sales. I am hoping these warming months will encourage people to come here for fiddle or archery lessons. I am also looking forward to long hikes, hot runs, cool rivers and the real heat and humidity I so love.

Basically I am trying to keep the farm going among all this dreariness. This has been one of the coldest, wettest, springs on record (since 1895) up here. Grass won’t grow. Mud collects and pools. What I would give for a sunny afternoon on dry earth… A chance to get some pasture back I already fenced off from the horses (who are not happy about it) and to play fiddle with the lambs once they are outside full time on the hill.

Hoping for luck with better health, easier times, and a lighter heart. For now I am grateful for the hoe and bottle - meaning gardens and young lambs - they are keeping my heart turned towards the farm and better, easier, warmer days.

I am best at the keep going. So I am going to keep.