Saturday, March 31, 2012

waiting for the cows to come home

The day ended with a cow search. We got worried earlier when we came home and we didn't see them. Linda drove around on the four-wheeler and could not find hide nor hair of them. We did find a washed out fence and evidence they had crossed over to the other side. NOT GOOD!!!! Concerned we drove over to the neighbors... reluctantly, to see if he might have seen or heard them. Last time there were cows here (not ours) they broke through his fence and caused a ruckus, We have four and we're talking forty back then. all in his front yard. He was a raving maniac as he came barreling down our road to notify us of things that cannot be repeated here on this very polite and proper blog. So for this visit I was my most politest and I tried to act sweet and ignorant, the men folk around here like that and generally respond in a more helpful manor.But if need be I will pull out the bitch and get down right frightening  (if m' kin folk could see me now). I told Linda stay in the car, if we have words don't curse! no shit, no fuck, no temper, just in case things turned south.

Thankfully all was well, he re assured me no one would shoot us as we embarked on a search of lord only knows who's land. (see it worked)!!! Cow patties and hoof prints were followed through the washed out fence over the creek bed, up inclines through brush and brambles, out into pasture down to the the creek bed again and up to another pasture on some one else's land while carrying a bucket of grain. No cows. COWS COWS COWS! we hollered while shaking the grain bucket. no holler back. Shit. I can say it, its my fucking blog! oh but I regress. Sun is going down. Oh and did I mention I had hurt the back of my heal so I could barely walk in my muck boots, I limped through the search. Oh and did I mention Linda got attacked by blind kitty yesterday and has a sore and swollen arm and wrist. We're a pair I tell ya.

No cows. The search reconvenes in the morning. More than one person has told us the cows will come home and we'll be a waiting. Shit  

Friday, March 30, 2012

this time

Sometimes the days run together. When I think about it real hard I can come up with what day I think it is. I don't feel confused or out of sorts it just kinda of works like that during busy times on the farm. Today was not just Friday, more importantly it was transplanting day. Yesterday and the day before were planting days. Some weeks are barn weeks or garden weeks. Monday through Sunday makes no difference when things need to get done. Two weeks from now we start kidding then shortly after we'll be lambing. The hours of the day are just that. It makes no difference what time it is. What matters is the night time temperatures, day light length, wind speed and direction and soil temperature and rain.

When the sun comes up its starting time, when the sun starts to go down its quitting time. Time to put a good meal and a cold beer in me.  My feet up, a book or a rented movie to watch on the computer and of course a few Ibuprofen. There is stillness in all this for me, a sense of well being. A feeling that I earned my keep. that's more satisfying than else I could think of. Each day I catch myself lost in gratitude.

Tomorrow is brunch with good friends the last time until late summer any and all of us will have time to gather, laugh share stories and break bread. The season begins and many around the table tomorrow will be embarking on a new season of growing food and making a life. Its the busy time. We'll hug each other in passing at the farmers market and call or e-mail for encouragement but for the most part each of us will spend the next six months in isolation. I at least will have the benefit of many visitors to our farm table dinners. I'll get to share stories meet delightful and interesting people and hopefully cook them one of the best meals of their life But until then I'll be still and quiet, listening to the sounds of the farm, aware, awake and grateful.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A very good day

I'm minutes away from a badly needed shower, you'll hear that a lot from me. Today was full of activity, from first light out in the field finishing up the planting, watering tender seedling and laying more drip irrigation tape, and a for a few moments I sat in a row between beds still and quiet, listening to the wind whistle through the pea trellis. After field work it was time to tick off the little stuff that makes a big difference like repair work on leaky water troughs, They are just small holes but enough that it wont hold water for more than four hours, cant have that now can we. The day found its way to evening animal chores. Chickens got fed, eggs were gathered, waters got filled, goats got pet and kissed and at about 6:15 I escorted the sheep from the pasture back to the barn, and So went the day.

Its a day I feel deep in my bones, a satisfying feeling to sit and look out at the sunset with a good day behind me. I look forward to a dinner of pasta with clam sauce, home made bread and homegrown salad. I'm famished and thirsty, a good supper and glass of wine will smooth over the soreness in my feet and lower back. A good night rest will ignite the flame of tomorrow.

All is well on the farm tonight. From where I sit I can see the hens making their way to the hen house for the night, some wait till the last light to go in. I get that. These moments are priceless and I've learned to plunge into them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The re- plant

Decided to Take a short little lunch break and post an update while I snack on a rare mango I allowed myself to buy (no other reason than I am a tight wad) and green tea. I've been in the garden since eight this morning re-planting seeds that literally floated away in the 7 inches of rain we received last week. Not complaining, I am very grateful, the ponds are full and the grass is growing. There is more to this place that a one and a half acre garden plot. The sheep tell me this. But its true, grass is the second most valuable thing this farm produces, the first of course is water and we are far from producing it so when it comes we take it like the gift it is, nothing happens with out it, so a little day re-planting? not a problem.

This morning the temperature  rose fast. With the sun just coming up I required a light sweatshirt and my carhartt vest, by ten I was down to a t-shirt. Its 12:41 and its 78 degrees out, I'm tempted to loose whats left of my clothing if it wasn't  for the occasional wrong turn down our road trick and a possible visitor. I'm already dirty and sweaty, something I'll get very used to from now on. But a nice breeze has been keeping me cool and comfortable and I'm starting to awaken muscles I haven't used in a little while. Ah spring!

The good news is potatoes are up! planted two weeks ago with the help of a couple of CSA members we planted about 300 pounds. Onions fared okay in the downpour and all my tomato and pepper starts look good. The things that got washed away were lettuce seed, arugula, peas, carrots, beets and a other spring like things. Luckily I have plenty of seed and I'm almost done. Planting has always come with a large amount of anxiety for me, mostly I question the seeder. Am I sure the seed is really coming out? I've been using a beautiful COLE seeder on long term loan to me from a friend and Its amazing how fast I can blow through the field. These things run about 500+ dollars and I must say worth every flipping penny. I don't know how I survived with out one for this long. It seems like every year I discover and acquire a tool that makes this kind of work such a more pleasant experience. My prized wheel hoe, the six row seeder and now the cole seeder. Oh what pleasure!

Well time to get back at it, have a few more rows to plant till I'm off on another project.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Looking out from a bluff at Discovery park in a Seattle neighborhood. This is my favorite park in Seattle. I used to come here often to walk the dogs, be close to nature and get a little exercise. I'm reminded of impermanence. How things change, Never once on a walk here did I ever think I would be posting a picture on my blog while sitting in a little house on my farm in rural Oklahoma.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Seattle

I've been back for a while and just like any over-extended person, there was way too much to catch up on at the farm to sit down and write. This is a way of thinking, I am making every effort to dislodge. I'm back in full force, got all planted that I needed to and now I wait for germination and kids and lambs! Thanks to the rain, pastures are well watered and ponds are filled. The trip to Seattle was good but I realized something rather disturbing. I've lived in Oklahoma now for almost nine years, I've been home to visit plenty of times but my memories of Seattle are in grey scale.  No blue skies, always grayish. The water, grey, the sand, grey and black, the rocks, the streets, the buildings etc, grey scale. No blue, greens reds, oranges. What is this?

I have no doubt my move to Oklahoma nine years ago was an effort to run away from my suffering, run away from the pain I felt had inflicted on others and myself. But no one has to tell me running from oneself isn't futile. I caught up with myself pretty fast and luckily decided to stay put and step up to the challenge of searching and nurture my well being. But still I have skeletons . I still have pain. I'm reading a book right now by Thich Nhat Hanh,  The Heart of Buddha's Teaching. He suggests that to come to a place of well being one must first acknowledged the pain that they feel, embrace it like a crying child and then try to understand the root cause of the pain.

This goes against everything I was taught. I was taught to ignore my pain. Even now I might accidentally slam my shin to the point of raising a tear and shake myself out of it and force myself to stand tall, ignore it and keep working. I'll check for blood and if its not bleeding enough I just let the wound alone and pretend its not there. Just yesterday I hit my thumb with the hammer really hard and I ignored it. I caught myself and forced myself to sit there for a moment feeling. Ouch! How did I learn this? How did I learn to ignore my pain? I don't do this anymore at least as much, and recently I've come to seek out my pain. Physical and emotional. Sadness,? I always looked for a cure. But it was just this morning I said to myself after my meditation, you know its okay to be sad. Trying to be happy all the time just isn't feasible or necessarily good for me. So I'm feeling sad, sad for many things, and many people, just sad. I don't want to find a cure I just want to feel it. I'm not saying I want to become attached to it. I wont, but I have to quit ignoring it.

My trip home opened a door for me. While I was there I began to see color, blue and greens in millions of shades. I looked into the faces of my niece and nephew and saw such light and tenderness in them, no judgment, no disappointment. The ocean was so green and there was so much color in the sky.  My memories don't reflect the truth. Hmmm.....I'm making my peace, slowly making my peace.

There is just so much to be sad about and so much to be grateful for, and so much to be joyous about. There is so much to feel and so much to love. There is so much love to be had, felt and received. So many opportunities to feel each step and each breath with a smile or a tear or both. I guess really living is the ability to feel and experience it all, not just feeling one thing or the other. But learning to feel it all at once while still keeping both feet on the ground.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Seattle Bound

Yup, in a couple of hours I'll be on a plane on my way to my home town. We get in a little late but not late enough to have our first stop be Sea Garden in the I district, for crab and black bean sauce with longevity noodles which only the regulars know to order. I'll get this out of the way first so I down have to spend the whole time I'm there wondering when I'll I'll get to eat this. My family is indifferent about it and will go there only to appease me, so this is one less thing they will have to deal with.

Looks like I've got all my ducks in a row at the farm and the farm sitter should have no major issues. I'm sure there are things I've forgotten but the important thing is all of the animals are well taken care of. Dust, etc well....

I'll talk to ya later!