I follow some really amazing women’s blogs and yesterday came across this post: I am a Farmer . It made me sad and filled me with longing because, well, I am not a farmer. Not yet. And sometimes that breaks my heart. It’s all I want to be right now but I am having a hard time prioritizing it – because there are just too many other people and things that need my attention right now. Instead of waking up each day and putting my hands in the dirt, instead of feeling at one with my property and the earth, instead of filling my home and my heart and my belly with good healthy plants and food and light – I go to work.
And that’s not to say that I don’t love my work. I do- at both jobs. Sometimes I feel like I’m exactly where I need to be because I connect with a particular student in a way that they so obviously needed that moment. But sometimes I also feel chained to my desk, and captured by a screen. It’s also nice to be getting two extra paychecks every month that help fund our renovations and make our finances less stressful. I’m very lucky and I can’t complain. And I don’t really want to watch poor piggies getting hacked apart, which is probably obvious if you know me, but I do want the rest of it. The feeling of accomplishment and the knowledge that I am healing our earth and our community in my own small way. I want it so badly.
In happy news, I worked into the night all by my lonesome putting all the siding on the chicken coop yesterday so all it needs is a roof and a coat of paint. I may not be a farmer but I am growing more capable and confident each day.
This is why people blog, YOU are why people blog. After my last post I received so many sweet emails and Facebook messages and supportive comments to let me know that I am not alone and that I am loved. It’s nice to feel like there is a community surrounding you, because often nowadays your community is widespread and far flung. Thank you for that, because it made being overwhelmed so much easier and helped me ease back into being whelmed (“I know you can be overwhelmed, and I know you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”)
We arrived in Neuremberg, Germany yesterday and since Wayne and I had many many hours of traveling time together we were able to talk a lot (more on that later). We made a decision that we need to stop focusing on our plans so much and get back to really enjoying our present. What better time to start again that than in Germany?!
It’s also important for me to remember that I have accomplished a great deal in the past two months and that the remaining items on my long to-do list are not a reflection of how productive and awesome things have been. For example, check out this sweet compost bin that my mom and I built while she was here last.
It’s time for some Real Talk. So far, the new and improved blog is gorgeous (amiright?) and has featured lots of pretty pictures of lots of happy things. Well, mostly. We can’t forget the epic farm dog incident.
But the truth is that over the past few weeks I have been constantly teetering on a tiny little string that separates ultimate giddiness and shit-show meltdown. Yes, I am super happy about my gorgeous new home and the land and the opportunity and my great new job. And yes, I am totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of things going on and all the NEW NEW NEW. You know what happens when you are overwhelmed? You drop the ball.
In this case it means that I haven’t done the edits to my dad’s business website, put up resources on the NASPA KC I’m the website coordinator of, finished the farm’s business plan, done much by way of preparing for my mom and grandma to move in, found a wedding party dress, finished unpacking our house, planned or packed at all for Germany (weleaveonThursday), and every once in a while I go two whole days without checking my UF email and students get worried. I’m obviously a horrible person.
Didn’t I tell myself to simplify? Didn’t I learn a big lesson over the past two years about prioritizing and the simple life and such? Sometimes running at all of your goals full steam means that you are lost in the woods totally out of breath with no clue how to get out. I know it would be helpful to pause, stretch, and look for moss on the trees but there is no time for that! Instead I’ll just keep running until I see something I recognize.
In hopes that you leave this post happy and not stressed out, here is a picture of me holding Dolce like a baby before bed.
You may have read my last post regarding my first experience with Dolce’s new farm dog status and been wholly disgusted – like I was. Her escapades have continued, but recently she redeemed herself in our household and re-earned her spot at the foot of the bed.
The spot that used to be the dining room is now being used as our office. I was in there on the phone with a student’s parent when I noticed that Dolce was staring up at our kitchen counter and whining. It was annoying but I ignored it. The next time I looked over, her paws were UP on the counter top and the whining was continuing. I was SHOCKED. She has been trained to ignore the kitchen and never puts herself up on our furniture like that! I should have known that something was up but instead I just looked for food, which there was none of, and shook my finger at her.
The next time I looked over Wayne has black gloves on his hands and is carrying around a reusable shopping bag oddly, while Dolce stares. Can you guess what was happening? There was a mouse in our kitchen! I’m not the kind of girl who gets squeamish about rodents – this mouse was super cute actually. I totally wanted to keep it for a pet but it certainly could not just run around on our kitchen counter. So I position myself at one end of the counter and Wayne starts to chase it to my side. That silly adorable mouse did not want to go into my loving hands and instead jumped off the counter and tried to run away. Less than a second later that mouse disappeared. I might not have known where the mouse went, it happened so fast, were it not for the teeny bit of tail curled around Dolce’s lower lip. I wish I had gotten a picture, it was like a cartoon. Instead of stopping for a photo-op I immediately rushed over and grabbed her mouth with both hands and shook the mouse out of it so that Wayne could scoop it up and put it outside. It was unharmed and still totally adorable, I wish he had let me pet it first.
So now Dolce has her first farm chore – house mouse alert!
We finally have the guest bathroom down to the studs and the floor is up. Who would have guessed that beneath all of that pink tile was 2 inches of mud (heavy, hard to break, kind of like concrete mud) that needed to be broken up and carried away? ANSWER: a professional contractor. But not us. Tonight we CLEAN.
Actually, I clean while Wayne makes a drawing of all of the electrical and plumbing changes that need to be made and does research on the tools he needs to do it. We all have our skill sets, right?
With the room all bare and empty it’s hard to envision what will be going in it’s place so I thought I would share some of the pictures and ideas that have inspired our vision for the guest bathroom. Links are below the collage but all of the ideas came from our Pinterest and Houzz renovation boards.
1. I pretty much love every room in this house but this bathroom cabinet is amazing. Wayne is going to build something similar himself!
2. Here is a DIY for some pretty cool industrial lighting. Our bathroom will feature distressed wood and industrial finishes.
3. This bathroom is just beautiful and relaxing. We have found a light wood grain porcelain tile that we love and we’ll continue that into the stand up shower area just like they do here.
We’re also considering a non-white bathtub (but also not pink like the old one), a walk in shower that doesn’t use glass, and a chandelier! What do you think?
Something awful happened. I was in our bedroom putting away clean clothes when I looked down at Dolce lovingly, laying calmly in her bed. It’s been cold so I had given her one of my favorite blankets and it looked like she had been chewing on a spot right between her two paws – like it was a little puffed up and looked wet. I looked closer and I thought perhaps she had a bone wrapped up in there, as she sometimes does, and went to remove it so that she wouldn’t chew a hole in the blanket (which has happened before).
IT WAS A CAT PAW. MY DOG BROUGHT IN A CAT PAW AS IF IT WAS A TOY AND I TOUCHED IT. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.
No, I did not take a picture. I was too busy screaming at Wayne to get it away from her and washing my hands up to my elbows. This is a thing right? With over 7 acres and a legit forest along two sides of our property she is bound to see and chase animals. She has already chased geese and found two other dogs to play with and barked at the deer. But does she really have to find dead animal parts and bring them inside? Really?! I let that dog sleep on my bed!
Even these cute paw prints don’t make up for this.
In other news, I was able to meet with a farm consultant this week and it was a really awesome experience. I applied for this program through the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association where you are matched with basically a long term mentor who knows the industry and the market well. We talked about my plan for setting up the business, my target market, and the different revenue streams I should focus on. He was really knowledgable and made me think about things I hadn’t considered. I am so freaking excited for how badass my farm is going to be and can’t wait to get started.