"A farm is a manipulative creative. There is no such thing as finished. Work comes in a stream and has no end. There are only the things that must be done now and things that can be done later." Kristin Kimball
The 48-hours preceding this picture are so numerous and so exhausting and so tear-inducing, that I will spare you the minutia.
Instead I'll summarize by saying:
Life can kick your butt.
Motherhood can kick your butt.
And it's when you feel your butt is thoroughly kicked, that your farm decides to wind up and kick you again.
We had a mother sheep randomly reject a baby at the worst possible moment -- literally as I was driving into town for a ballet/karate/graduation trio.
We have a chicken brooder that must be finished by this week ... like, it has to be because there are 500-something chickens arriving that otherwise won't have a place to reside for the first two weeks of their life.
I could give you the reasons the brooder isn't done, but it doesn't matter really, does it? I could tell you of the grand conspiracy that weather plays in your plans when you need it to most cooperate.
"A farm asks, and if you don't give enough, the primordial forces of death and wildness will overrun you. So naturally you give, and then you give some more, and then you give to the point of breaking, and then and only then it gives back, so bountifully it overfills not only your root cellar but also that parched and weedy little patch we call the soul." Kristin Kimball
That's what I was doing when this picture was taken. I was giving ... again, even though I didn't want to. It was getting dark. The rain was falling ... hard. I was already soaked through from ...
... oh wait. I didn't tell you that part.
6pm. I've just got dinner for eight on the counter ready to go, when I hear my husband calling for me. Well over 12,000 steps into my day, the men were feverishly trying to finish up the brooder, when my husband (who, shall I add, had just finished his 3rd night shift in a row and was operating on a pittance of sleep) asked me to grab a few kids and move the sheep into "The Arena".
We had five sheep that are going to the processor tomorrow morning. We are on the schedule. We have to go. (Covid has backed processors up so much!) And so we need to catch them. "The Arena"is a much easier space to catch sheep as it has hard fences. (I never knew a "hard fence" could make me so happy. Seriously. Giddy.)
So I ask Isaac to watch Hannah, and I recruit Sidge and Abigail. We jump into the side-by-side and launch off down the dirt road, the sky appearing a bit ominous all of a sudden. Moving sheep across the farm is no small task. And it becomes even harder when it starts pouring rain and the temperature drops ten degrees in a matter of minutes.
That ... was icing in the cake. Moving and catching sheep in chilly rain when you aren't at all dressed for it and completely unprepared for it.
So that's what I had just completed when JB snapped the picture of me on the steps outside our home. I had to go put the chickens to bed. It's about a quarter-of-a-mile walk. I could have taken the side-by-side, only we had accidentally blocked it in, and I didn't feel like moving a truck to get another vehicle free.
I decided to walk. In the cold, wet, weather. I had just changed my clothes to dry off from our previous endeavor and just didn't want to get all wet and rainy again. So I put my boots on without socks (because they would have required me to walk into my bedroom and that felt too difficult), threw on my bath robe, and grabbed one of the girl's umbrellas.
We can't skip closing the chickens. A predator could get into the egg-mobile and decimate our layers in one fell swoop if he/she saw fit. So walking I-a-went even though it was completely and utterly the last thing I felt like doing.
"The threat the farm has got on you, the one that keeps you running from can until can't, is this: do it now, or some living thing will wilt or suffer or die. It's blackmail, really." Kristin Kimball
To sleep I go,
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