It is turning into a very gray May. The rain is welcome, but it doesn't do much for the spirit when there is so much to be done around the farm. This morning chores went well in a mist of fog and sprinkles. By the time the coffee was ready and I had been through my emails it was time for the horses' farrier appointment. Happy to report the horses' feet are doing well and they look pretty smart with their freshly trimmed hooves! Dave was wonderful, as always, and we got some recommendations for local lesson barns to perhaps start Shannon out with a professional. She's ridden both Merlin and Mabel, but nothing grows your confidence like a real professional, sound lesson horses, and some dedicated time to learn. So I am personally very excited to see if Shannon gets more excited about riding the horses. She already enjoys spending time with them, grooming, and simply being around them. Time will tell!
This weekend while Shannon was away I got to spend some time camping with the dogs here on the mountain. I am getting restless excited for the backpacking/hiking season to really hit. Saturday I loaded up my 65L pack with my overnight gear and let myself hike with a full pack to see how it felt. I'm 38 now. Things get sore a lot faster, and things I used to think nothing of doing all day (swinging an axe, shooting a 50lb bow, mucking poop all morning....) now leave small tears and injuries. But I have also been slowly racking up miles every month as I get more and more active. Back in January I walked 39 miles and ran 1. Yup, just one. But this April I ran 60 miles! And walked/hiked over 50, well over a hundred miles all together! And all that running and hiking had me carrying that pack without much of a sweat. It felt really good. I'm happy about that. And I was really happy to sleep outside in my 2 person tent with a gentle rain hitting the roof and two snoozing dogs beside me. It's a magical thing to wake up in the wilder portion of your farm. Sometimes I forget I am in my backyard.
I wanted to thank you all for the kind messages, jokes, stories, and questions you have sent through the website! One person sent an email feeling so low, and somewhat helpless with their own stuck desires wanting to farm. Besides the pandemic - they were living in the middle of a city and their farm dreams no longer even felt possible. I wrote back explaining what they could do right now to turn their thought process around, start working towards their dreams. I will collect that exchange into an essay for later this week. So much of getting to the point of farming full time is giving yourself permission to even believe it is possible and not allow other people's timelines or goals become the measure of comparison. More on that later!
Besides all that - things are good. We are running our first chickens to be processed this week and getting the broilers to customers who bought them. The next batch is doing well and feathering out at a little over a week old. They won't be moving outside to the coop for a bit. Rabbits are due to kindle soon, fingers crossed all goes well with 2 new mamas!
We are healthy and had no issues with our vaccines. I can't urge you strongly enough to get vaccinated. We are in this together and if we don't achieve herd immunity we could be dealing with mutant variants and a lot more of this pandemic than any of us want. If you have any hesitancy - speak with your doctor about the facts. We will get through this.
Okay, I am off to mail out some orders and then dive into the barn to work on expanding the pig's paddock. The farm is UP TO DATE with the mortgage and I am hoping to make the May payment soon as possible. I never want to be so behind again and gods willing we will make it soon if sales are good. Offering discounts on soap orders, pet portraits, logos, the WORKS - so send a message if you are interested in any of that.