Sunday, May 25, 2014

Three Things

I'm checking in to share the story of my day, though it will be a bit short. I'm tired, bleeding, and extremely happy. The tired comes from a day of ripping out old, worthless, fencing in the sheep paddock and creating a new fence that no longer gives the flock access to the hillside that has turned to dirt and rocks since they ate it bare years ago. That hurt bit of land is now being harrowed, seeded, and will grow new grass and heal up. I originally wanted to rip out all the old fencing, entirely replace the old paddock with new fencing, add electricity to it, and harrow and seed today but the reality of the Holiday Weekend made that a death march and not a work party since only I was here to do the work. Originally a bunch of folks signed up but they had other obligations over the holiday and it was down to just two of us able to do the work. I told the last volunteer to enjoy her vacation day and I lowered my expectations to Jenna Scale. It took a few hours but I got my small part of the bigger plan done. I'll chip away at it every day I can and in a few months all there will be is an entirely new paddock, healthy grass (or at least erosion-stopping turf) and the entrance to my house won't look like the cover of a Stephen King novel. I'll take the wins where I can get them.

So that is why I am tired, physical work in the sun. The pounding of posts, the uphill carrying of water and hay, the usual bits. But believe it or not I didn't get hurt in all the posts and wire work. I am bleeding (well, was) because after the work was done I popped a chicken in the oven from last weekend's meat bird workshop and promptly forgot about it while saddling up Merlin. I wanted to just ride up the mountain, lose my head a bit, relax. Merlin wanted to run. When he gets into these moods you just hang on and he was pumping hard through a forest trail when I realized I was about to get taken out by a dead pine tree branch. I ducked just in time, my head down as low against Merlin's strong neck as it would go, but the soft fleshy parts of my arms got ripped up good. When he slowed to a trot and walk at an open field on top of the mountain I looked down at my scratched arms and knew it was worth it. He ran fast enough to make my hair fly back on a windless afternoon. I'll take scars any day for that.

And the extremely happy? I'm that because chores are done, my belly is full of kale and chicken, and I am about to head out to my hammock and welcome the fireflies back to the mountain. Saw my first one a few nights ago. It was like lighting a firework in my bloodstream. So glad they are back, you just can't know.

Sweat. Blood. Fireflies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like an excellent day to me, even if your work did have to get scaled down!

Jenna, I know I'm a fairly new reader and one voice among many, but I just have to tell someone who will understand my excitement: I brought home my very first pigs to raise today! Every time I read your blog I re-evaluate what is possible "today" instead of "someday" and this is the result. So thank you - this pork is partly your fault! :)

May 25, 2014 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Congrats! And I am honored!

Someday isn't real. Glad you got your pigs!

May 25, 2014 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Su Ba said...

Oh how I miss fireflies! We don't have them in Hawaii. Years ago when I lived in NJ I bought a string hammock for the sole purpose of laying outside and watching fireflies. I still have and cherish that memory. Fireflies on a summer night are magical. Enjoy them for me, Jenna.

...Su Ba,

May 26, 2014 at 12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like a pretty marvellous day, even with the blood! I keep thinking about what you wrote a while ago, about not needing to be comfortable any longer ... I'm not there yet but I have been working hard on living more in the present, and not borrowing trouble as I have been wont to do.

I am also going to look at a possible acreage this week, and I'm sure you can guess how excited and hopeful I am that this is the One Day House! 5.5 acres with a small house and two outbuildings and a view of the sea ... I really didn't think I'd even be looking this summer but here I am! And I will put a lot of that down to reading your blogs over the years.


May 26, 2014 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger English sheep gal said...

Well I'm so glad you got some work done on your fencing and reseeding plan, (did you see the article from Sheep magazine I included in the recent package, about the benefits of planting chicory for parasite resistance in lambs?) but so sad to read you ended up working alone. Earlier in the week it seemed you had a whole team of volunteers lined up, and could make big progress. Wish I lived closer - rather than the other side of the state, would be happy to help with hands on projects round the farm, chance for a great learning experience.

Congrats to you on not using almost everyone dropping out as a reason to put off this project. Chicken with kale and watching fireflies from the hammock after a dramatic ride on Merlin sound like great rewards.

No fireflies yet here in Western NY, but been planting the veg garden this weekend - 2 varieties of kale went in yesterday! We ate our first crop of mixed salad and spinach leaves (grown under a cold frame) with our dinner last night.

May 26, 2014 at 11:09 AM  

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