Sunday, May 5, 2019

Encouragement

Podrick! First lamb of 2019!!!
I can not tell you how loudly I cheered in this living room when the farmer I emailed about delivering large bales (3'x6' of hay) to the farm was willing to barter for graphic design work. He was an ad on Craigslist, and was hard to find to begin with. People are almost out of hay up here, and all of my usual sources were out and politely explained I needed to get my bales elsewhere. I found this farmer in a nearby town and after he explained the price and delivery rates I countered with an offer of my logo work. A farm is a business, and sometimes people want a logo or a flyer or tee shirt design. Eric let me know he did need some graphic design work done and would deliver the bales the next morning. On a handshake we traded a few hours of my time and professional skills for all the hay I need for quite some time. I also didn't have to spend a dime, which is a HUGE bonus. I needed this kind of good news.

To celebrate I did some planting in the recently cleaned up Kitchen Gardens here at the farm.  Lettuce and other springs greens were planted alongside some kale. Not the biggest garden push but a start and food in the ground. They say a garden is the strongest act of hope you can offer. My hands have soil on them and the gentle week of rain is encouraging them on.

And the big news: the first lamb of the year is here! I still need three or four more but I bought a bottle lamb this morning at the May Poultry Swap. He's a darling little cross of Icelandic and Dorper, I think. They weren't really sure. His name is Podrick. I hope he has company soon as I can find them for sale around here. I need to make more stops at sheep farms, phone calls, and such. But to have sheep back! Even a singular sheep! This is also great news.

I am still dealing with broken teeth. I am eating just soft foods. I have a checkup with my endodontist this week and I'm terrified he'll need to redo the root canal. I am trying not to think about it if I am honest. The good hens of this farm are laying well and the chicks I raised to add to the flock are outside now - being scrappy CAF hens like the should. I have all the scrambled eggs I could eat.  I am grateful I am not in pain.

I wrote yesterday on Twitter that the problem with always figuring things out is eventually everyone assumes you'll always figure things out. That even if every month is a white-knuckled struggle the fact you keep doing it is all the proof they need to not worry about you. I get more messages saying "I'm sure you'll be fine!" than I care to admit. These are worse than messages where people urge me to throw in the towel, at least those people are being realistic about how dire things are. Even the guy who wrote to tell me it was pointless getting root canals if you can't cap them because you'll lose the teeth meant well.

I feel like people that send me the most panic-inducing emails are the ones that don't have to worry about being home alone all night, or have a regular checks coming in. Guys if your advice is "Oh well, you're screwed" it's okay to keep it to yourselves...

So on this Sunday I am trying to figure out what I can figure out. I have plants in the ground, a lamb to bottle feed, and feelers out for more. I have a mortgage and livestock to raise. I have a mission to wake up to and fight to keep every morning. And this bit of luck - the hay trade and new lamb - these things bring in a fresh wind of confidence. Not the kind of arrogance that assumes I'll be okay - but a rung on the ladder out of panic.

If you are out there and can support this farm, please do. I need the help. Holy Crow, do I ever. This year has been the hardest and I just want to get through each month, I'm fine with it being hard I just need to know I'll be okay.

If you want to: contribute to the writing or buy some soap or artwork. And if money is out of the question because your as up against it as I am - send a nice word of encouragement via email or on socials. I always ask for that during rough times because I need it. I need it as much as I need to make sales. Maybe one or two of you will do so, and when that happens the world seems kinder and the readership feels realer and I feel so much less scared.

Thank you for reading. I hope this spring leads to something better. I am getting there slowly with this hay and lamb and some planting. Fingers crossed and hands dirty in hope.