December 2013- hard core winter

will it ever end?!?!?!

will it ever end?!?!?!

quitter

Sadly I couldn’t handle the winter job on the dairy. I quit ASAP after I knew it wasn’t going to work, and I’m glad I did because the emotional pull was already pretty strong. Even after just a few days of immersion into the dairy kingdom, I wanted to help them, be their relief milker, because they need a break! But, right after I began milking, I woke up that night with a numb arm and a strange sharp pain pulsing in my shoulder joint. Freaky! It was hard, hard work. I loved the routine and step by step way of accomplishing a very intensely important job. Very unlike our crazy thing over here! Watching the cows come in, from down in the pit parlor, in a single file these behemoths of animals, has got to be one of the greatest thrills. I really love cows now and know a bit more about how they operate and what to look for if someday we do get a milk cow of our own. I so appreciate the owners giving me a chance. You don’t know how hard dairy farmers work, it is insane. Heidi of a Wise Choice Dairy took this pic of me about to start the evening milking training with her.

goose, cranberry and duck egg aioli sandwich, with some napa salad on the side.

goose, cranberry and duck egg aioli sandwich, with some napa salad on the side.

Little Blue in the 3 degree morning, he followed me around this morning doing chores. Heelers are so devoted.

Little Blue in the 3 degree morning, he followed me around this morning doing chores. Heelers are so devoted.

Chopper the massive snow pig. He’s about to swing his snout around and grab my coat sleeve, you can see that sassy twinkle in his eye!

Chopper the massive snow pig. He’s about to swing his snout around and grab my coat sleeve, you can see that sassy twinkle in his eye!

baby steps from the she-cave

It’s 2:52pm. It’s almost time to do the afternoon chores. I really need to take a shower and maybe wash the dishes before Andrew returns from his Eco-Entreprenuer Meeting in Minneapolis. But instead, I’m sitting here, sweating in my snowpants in the she-cave. Sweating from excitement. I just hit “send” on a very exciting email message with a very exciting attachment. This winter, I’m pursuing my desire to be a serious writer and I am starting to put content out there. It’s terribly exciting. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear back.

omg

I just got an email back from the editor ALREADY. My article is getting published in ACRES USA magazine in the March issue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love winter?

Well, I am in a fantastic mood. It’s ridiculous. I set my mind on something happening, and they both worked. Positivity spreads like a virus. Witnessing this happen in my life is like watching a nature show, shaking my head in disbelief.

Today, for the first time in over 2 weeks, I left the farm. Until I was backing the rattling Subaru down the driveway over the clumps and bumps of ice hardened snow, it hadn’t hit me. I’ve been a serious farmbody……….and I LOVE IT! Not many people would be so enthused to stay home every single day, but it’s my dream come true.

Already I am fearing this winter joy and freedom will end too soon. Spring will come and will no longer have the luxury of hours and hours to just sit there. Working on my writing projects (I just rediscovered a manuscript I had been crafting last winter!), browse around on fascinating blogs and look up amazing recipes to pin, or work on The farmstead Kitchen series we’re doing on our farm website. I will appreciate every single day of this winter.

On my outing today to the giant metropolis that is Turtle Lake, I marveled over the (new to me) ice covered roads and stayed in 3rd gear the whole 7 miles there, carefully taking curves so I didn’t slide off the road. I gawked out my fogged up window at cows standing by their barns, noting if they were steers or heifers by “checking their plumbing.” I cranked up the car heater on the floor level to warm my toes. I gasped at the beauty of the ice glass covered trees, brush, cornstalks and even barb wire fences- the ice storm that hit hard a week ago hasn’t melted off the trees yet. The crystal clear coating is as thick as almond bark on a pretzel, and it was shimmering and tinkling in the crisp cold. I could feel the sounds they make, deep within my core. It’s a giddy feeling that I am having a hard time putting into words. My only regret for today? that I didn’t bring my camera.

I went to the post office to mail a package (Heidi get ready!), and then to the library to finally get my own library card and check out some novels, and then stopped in at this little tiny ramshackle thrift shop. The woman sitting in the corner didn’t make eye contact when I came in all joyful to be out on my big adventure off the farm.It was sort of disappointing- what a poor saleswoman, Oh well, I enjoyed wandering around looking through all the junk and soaking up the sunny warmth in the shop. I asked her if I could try on a few pairs of jeans and when I came back I joked that only 2 pairs fit because my snowpants had mislead me into knowing my actual girth. I confessed I also still had my pajama pants on. And you know what, she got this twinkle in her eye and then said “me too.” She told me how the cold had been bothering her since she’d had hip and knee replacement, and so she now wears 4 pairs of pants. I told her I could relate, we keep our house cool to save money, and I wear my snowpants nearly 24/7. After that, we chatted a bit more about her previous life as a bookkeeper on a dairy farm, how consignment works, my soapmaking and her neighbor who also makes soap. What a turnaround. I gave her $14 for my jeans and other assorted weird things I found and left smiling even bigger. I do just love winter at home on the farm, but getting out is a good idea too.

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