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This rain just doesn't stop. Days and days of mud and damp and a roaring creek outside my door. But despite the deluge, summer marches on. Yesterday morning, I found myself knee deep in the Battenkill, casting in the rain. I can't help myself. This summer has become one of trout and warm stones on the riverbed and the absolute joy of reeling in trout.

I think it's the perfect sport for me right now, as it gets me outside a lot and doesn't involve a lot of wear and tear on my ankle, which is still not healed from last summer's big break. And since my only cost is the gas to get to the river and a few dollars in flies every few weeks to restock what I lose, it's been an amazing way to become a better angler, have fun near home, save money, and fall in love with the sport all over again. I can't tell you how many times I wish I still worked with Orvis, just to bother the folks in the fishing department about all the questions I have now that I have more time to fish!

Besides the river, I have been trying to set a game plan to tackle the rising costs of staying here. Figuring out next steps and how on earth I am going to pull this off. But the good news is in the past week I have had a few sales come in, and I am on my way to half of the June payment already, and that's very encouraging.

The farm is shaggy and lush. Without a lawnmower, the horses have kept the grass down and I try to tame the edges with the weedwhacker, but it still has a somewhat wild vibe that I kinda dig. Not that you come here to read about trout and lawns, but it's amazing how much thought I dedicate to those two things. I have always been a dad at heart, apparently.

The farm feels like it is trotting happily into July though! The pigs have doubled in size since I bought them, and the lambs are getting fatter on the hill grass and brush. The chicks that were hatched are all still growing and thriving, learning to be CAF birds in the wilds of the mountain, chasing bugs and drinking from mountain streams. If I was a chicken, this is the farm I would want. Sure it comes with a higher statistical average of early demise through accidental death but the day-to-day sure as hell beats living in some dirt-floor coop. I feel the same way about my own feral life. You give up a lot of security to feel free.

Today is mostly dedicated to weeding, freelance, and (possibly) another dip into the river to fish if I get through my to-do list in time. I will say this summer has felt lovely and slow. The days feel long and my body feels warm. Three egg customers this week got fed from my hens. The gardens are in full swing, and eating snap peas has been better and crisper than I could imagine! The squash beetles are bad, but they always are. And the orb weaving spiders decorate the house after dark like a Tim Burton side quest and I adore them, too.

Life is hard, and scrappy, but good. I feel a kind of excitement and possibility this summer and it's been so wonderful meeting new people and reaching out to old friends. Next week my bestie Becca comes to visit a few days, slumming it on the farm, and she's going to help me on some bigger projects around here. After that I hope to spend the next few months leaning into whatever good luck might float my way, be it at the end of a fly line, a good sale, or opportunity to see some new places.

But even if nothing in my life changes, I am proud of the life I built here, of the farm I tend, of the body that cares for me, and the weeks of sunshine and soft bellies ahead. Here's to a summer to remember!

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