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  • Writer's pictureJenna

May We

Here we are in May. My updates here have been few and far between and my updates on social media have been too much too often. The news about the current state of women's and gay rights has been a hard blow here. I can't tell you how horrible it feels to be considered not worthy of equal standing in our country. I feel like our nation is divided by people fighting for liberty and people fighting for equality. And you can't fight for liberty if the government making decisions about your life, body, and future doesn't even see you as a full human being. Reroduction rights, laws where teachers can't even say the word gay.... Scary times. It's going to be one hell of a summer and this farm is fighting back.

So depending on where we’re meeting you may or may not miss this mess. I say mess with love, because while I am a total mess of politics, garden dirt, sad attempts at dating again, sweat, hay and weeds, etc... I feel like the farm is in the best shape it has ever been. Maybe not financially, or umm.... structurally— but the system of freelance, farm work, frugality, and trying my damndest is still paying off.

At the end of the day, around dinner, I take my bowl of rice/meat/veggies to the top of the hill and take in the farm and the slowly-greening world around me. Leaves are just starting to unravel on the tallest maples. Apple trees have not blossomed yet. I sit with the dogs up there, often a ukulele at my side, and look around. I see three beautiful ewes and their goat pal on fresh pasture. I see my mare and Merlin (27 now!) grazing in the back field. I see the flock of chickens all over the place, having their chicken lives out in the sunshine. I see all the gardens I have been working on and expanding on. I thought last year’s gardens I tended with my ex, that those were a lot. I am growing at least a third more than last year. I’ve had a lot of nervous energy. A lot of pacing and anxiety. For the most part it has been put to good use.

The last few springs I had someone here to share in the work, bills, and the dream. They helped me see the farm in an entirely different way, and brought with them the energy and effort of just starting out on a piece of land. All those repairs, improvements, efforts - I am dedicated to maintaining and improving those systems. I am dedicated to completing projects we dreamed up together. I am dedicating to growing more, earning more, working harder. I don’t think I have worked as hard in the past 20 years as much as I have in the past 5 months. For example, before I head out on my 5 mile running break today I have 5 clients to send work to, this post to write and share, all the AM farm work, and meals to plan for later. That 5 mile run is my break. Then I am back to sitting inside to work on paintings and logos. I will never say no to a job. I can’t. Not if I want to stay here and fix the only home I have.

There’s such a need for repairs around the farm house. A decade of letting things slide has caught up with me. I already had a roofer here in April, repairing a leak that came right into the middle of the living room. One thing sorted. There’s a whole section of the roof that needs to be replaced but so far it isn’t leaking so it’s not as drastic as the kitchen and bathroom floors, which are sagging and warped from water damage from water standing against the home too long in the spring during the thaw. I didn’t realize that it was draining too slow and causing this damage, but my friend Chris worked in construction and is very handy and we’re going to tackle it together - ripping up the floor and replacing and repairing it.

I’ve made some connections with my new Amish neighbors. I am hoping they can help with some repairs around the house and farm as well. Since their farm is also a sawmill I was hoping to have their help with some repairs like setting up supports in the basement for the floor and putting up new wall on the horse’s pole barn before fall. Right now I am still working on the April mortgage, a couple hundred short, and in a good sale day I can make that happen but you guys know how life is. A bag of dog food for the month and a tank of gas is a hundred bucks now. We are all feeling the pinch from inflation and so my life has become insanely frugal. If I don’t have to leave the property, I don’t.

Right now my main concerns are just continuing to make a humble income every week. It’s been up and down. I am a month behind on the mortgage and catching up is getting harder and harder. It requires more sales then possible at once, and I worry my endless promotions on social media are having a negative effect. My part time writing gig has dried up to nothing, So I have been doing everything I can to figure out how to make a living. Last week I sold my acoustic guitar. I’m running sales on all my art and soaps. If you are interested in anything I create — logos, pet portraits, soaps - do send me an email as they are the best way to support this farm. And if you don’t want to buy anything, that is fine too. I am grateful you are reading.

I’m still here.

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