Sunday, April 29, 2018

Let's Go

It's a soggy and muddy morning here at the farm. Gibson is beside me, his wet fur damping my hip as I sit on the living-room floor in front of the computer to write. I like the smell of wet dog, always have. It's comforting and homey. The coffee is perking post-chores and I am very excited to grasp an oversized mug and partake. Nothing else warms you from the inside out in weather like this than a good drink and outside work behind you.

Things at the farm are moving optimistically forward. There are now four happy lambs here, and possibly more on the way. I've contacted the shearer to come for his annual visit and have a butcher to call soon as well for a pig or two. The sound of chirping chicks is background percussion of this blog post. The brooder here in the living room is life and noise indoors.

Outside the house Aya Cash is molting like mad and dropping more and more feather's every day. The goats are shedding their winter undercoats and (hopefully) pregnant and showing soon. I am running a lot, my therapy and anxiety-fighting activity of choice. I am up to about 20-30 miles a week and it feels good to have a body that can do that for me. I'm grateful for her. There's a barrage of water out there now and even snow in the forecast for tonight - but by Wednesday it might reach 80° and I beyond excited for that! Till then I'm trying to keep up with the quickly-mounting list of spring chores as more babies arrive and the gardens begin demanding their good work. Even an operation as small as this requires my everything.

Everything. What a word.

This farm is what I wake up and live for. It's not just my home, but my entire empire of passions.  One address that holds a woman's hope and force. This farm is where I write, design, and draw. It's where I hunt, ride, run, explore, and grow. It's where I learned to saddle a trail horse, train a hawk, herd sheep with dogs, and butcher my own chickens for Sunday roasts. It's nourishment for hand, heart, and head.

But it is also the source of all my anxiety and fears. There's no safety net here and I am dealing with the realities of not selling another book anytime soon. Luckily I am taking on as much freelance work as possible, and hopefully word of mouth will spread the logo and illustration sales that help support the farm work here. The encouraging part is even when things are like they are now, I have managed to keep just ahead of the wolves at the door. Making a mortgage payment (albeit a late one) every month but regular payments tell the bank you're not going anywhere. I cast new grass seed in the lawn, an borrowing a power washer for the house's siding. I want to stay here as long as I can with the animals and life I built.

This is not a complaint. It's my choice. No one ever said it would be easy, or get easier. But here's what does accumulate naturally: my self confidence. I am nothing like the girl who bought a black pony. Creating and keeping this place has sculpted a woman who is proud of her work and home - however humble. I'm not done telling this story or unearthing the resourcefulness that keeps it afloat. I owe it to me, to the dogs, to the three new lambs I just bartered for, to the bank, to you.

If I can keep going so can you. So let's go!