Sunday, November 8, 2009

a living or a life?

meet Martha.

The weather the past few weeks has been so beautiful, feels like late spring. Yesterday (Saturday)I Slept in until 7am and awoke to the bright morning staring me right in the face like a hungry chicken. I wanted to be outside immediately. I wanted to do something, walking, planning, counting fallen leaves, something, anything to give me a reason to go outside. The new flock of sheep was a good reason, so after morning chores and after breakfast Linda and I went out to the sheep yard and sat with our eleven new additions to the farm.

They have been keeping their distance but after a while I was nose to nose with Annabelle and some others showed a slight interest in me as well. I was pleased their response wasn’t fear. I know it will take a little time for me to earn their trust and I’ll give them that, I expect to have a fruitful partnership with them for many years.

Ya know I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had with the previous shepherdess of my new flock, Heidi. She asked me if I was a full time farmer. Strangely I was taken aback a little, I didn’t know quite how to respond, a simple yes or a simple no really was not a kind of answer this question deserves. But it’s complicated. Yes, I farm full time, like more than eight hours a day but I make a part time wage, so I don’t as some would say make a living, but it’s how I live. I work very part time at OSU Stillwater teaching cooking classes, for this I get a tangible usable wage that I couldn’t be more grateful for especially deep in the throes of February when the cash spring has dried to hard cracked red clay. But for me it’s not about making a living, it’s about making a life. I don’t know how to express that in a sound bite but I think it’s a good conversation to have.

Everyday I’m torn about this very thing of making a living and making a life. I’m happy. I mean really happy. But I stress about making ends meet. I’ve never felt more happy and content in all my life but I worry how I will pay the hay bill. What’s the compromise? Is there one. I could be unhappy and be stressed about the same things right.

Yesterday Belize one of my milk goats looked a bit under the weather so I put her on the stantion, let her eat grain while I stuck a thermometer up her butt. She had a high temp. So I mixed several aspirin with warm water and molasses and sucked up the mixture into a syringe that had the needle removed and squirted it in her mouth. I checked her every few hours, shes doing better this morning. Several days ago I found a hen unable to walk. Can’t for the life of me figure out entirely what’s wrong, been giving her water and food but no success, she’s one of my oldest hens and she seemed content and calm, but I made the decision to put her down, if I hadn’t I was sure she would die a slow death of starvation and dehydration, now she is in my freezer.

I have such a profound respect for the cycle of life and my role in it. There is death in my future I’m sure of it. So that settles it for me. Making and celebrating a life comes before making a living. Yes I am a full time farmer like most making a part time wage, but living a life I love.

BTW I went to the Garden Diva open house Friday night. Denise from Clear Creek Lavender brought some of her yarn which she had dyed herself. May I just say I was moved in ways that made me wonder what the hell is happening to me, how did fiber get so firkin cool?????? cant wait till my first sheering. .


Pastor Kathy said...

Have you considered fiber shares? This fiber freak would love a local community!

Lisa said...

wow, that sounds like something to look into. thanks for the suggestion.