According to my mapquest.com query this morning I now know that I am approximately 2026.33 miles away from the farm. I’m in Seattle visiting my family for Christmas. My scenery has changed from leafless black jack oaks, gold and red prairie grass to towering pines and cedars. It’s snowing in Seattle now and thick snow covers roof tops and lawns and the streets are littered with stranded cars. My sounds are different too, instead of my goats letting me know it’s time to eat… again, and the clucks and squawks of the socialite chickens. I’m listening to heavy metal music coming from the bathroom where my niece is showering and further in the background the minute by minute weather reports from the TV that never sleeps is singing:
" by 3pm you’ll be seeing the snow move into the city, bringing one inch per hour….expect delays and heavy traffic …...”
It’s different not having my sister here. I’m trying not to think about it too much. There are photos of her on top of the entertainment center in the living room pre and post chemo and somehow her stocking is hanging over the fireplace which I have said nothing about but it disturbs me just a little, well maybe more than a little. I mean how can we leave it there hanging empty on Christmas day? I am so ready to have a break down right now! But....My brother-in-law is a rock and I've actually been having really good time with him.
What keeps me sane besides Lester is thinking of the farm and all the great people back home. I want to use my time wisely here so I’m doing more planning then I intended to. I’m here ten days and it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with my family I rarely see since moving to Oklahoma, and I can also work on things to do with the farm like planning and bookkeeping that I procrastinate wildly when I’m at home, where there is always things to be done outside.
So while I’m in Seattle with nothing more to do than read, chitchat, and eat my way across the city, I will start the “blueprint” process of drawing scaled plans for the cheese processing room. I’ve taken all the measurements and now plan to use the current models I have of other farm processing rooms and fit them to my operation. I have now visited 14 farms either in person or virtually and have come to realize that there should be no reason I should not be able to transform my current laundry room and pantry (which is actually a room added on to the house and separate from the house itself) into my new on- farm cheese processing facility. I would of course move the washer and dryer to another area of the house and use the existing plumbing and drain but should only need to install a floor drain. I already have a large two door commercial refrigeration unit. And really, based on what I have seen from very productive cheese makers this space would be more than adequate. This would save me tons of money that I could then put into better equipment. So this is the path I am going to journey on and hopefully it will bear fruit.
I also have had some times to visit other farm blogs which has given me a sense of the larger world outside of my own. Most of the blogs I have visited have beautiful prolific writers and share many similar experiences. I’m so new at this blogging thing that I need to learn blog etiquette. Like, can I share their blog on my blog? Do I, should I get permission? I’m terrible shy so thinking about leaving a comment gives me shingles. So what do I do? How do I open this door to this new very intriguing world or rather how do I simply step through?
My dear friend Linda is taking care of the farm so it’s in very good hands but it’s hard not being afraid it will be overwhelming to her. She has farm sat before and finds it suits her so I think I just have to let go of my fear and count my very huge blessing instead. I’ve got nine more days to count this particular blessing so I pan on making the most of it including trying to not let myself be homesick, which I am, very, very homesick. So I’ve come up with a plan; when I’m trying to push off to sleep I’ll just count backwards from 2026.33.
That's all for now. I'm going to try getting down to the market (Pike Place) tomorrow, I still
haven't eaten any salmon or crab and I've been here 28 hours already.