Gosh it’s been a minute.
This summer has been a whirlwind. Which you can probably understand by the fact that we’re most of the way through fall and I’m still talking about summer. Oops.
Sally photbombs with reckless abandon
Farming is so much work. I didn’t move here thinking it would be easy, I’m not a complete dullard. And there are things that are hard that I totally expected to be hard. But there are so many utterly unexpected hard things. And so many things that aren’t actually that hard, they just all need to be done right now this week this day this minute and there’s only one of me to do it and suddenly the day is gone and I still have seventeen things that needed to be done yesterday on my list for tomorrow and oh things could die if I don’t get my act together and do it.
(I know I didn’t post about this explicitly, but our move to Oregon was inspired by a need for someone to manage our family farm. It’s a long story — quite literally, as the farm was founded in 1921 — but suffice to say, I wanted the job and the in laws were willing to take a risk on me doing it.)
But it’s been a magnificent summer nonetheless.
I rode an elefante.
I went to Rebecca Farms with the Gallops Saddlery team and had the most wonderful time.
I went to a dopeasfuck wedding.
I ran another horse trials and it was even better than the first two.
We set the dressage courts with a laser level and it was LIFE CHANGING
Timer and I have been working together better than ever. There were lots of days I had to skip rides this summer and even this fall, but he’s a champ. He’s teaching me a ton. It’s fabulous.
I have many learnings to share. They will have to come later.
I hatched chicks!
And we had a power outage the day they hatched so I spent most of a night with them stuffed in my robe desperately trying to figure out how to keep them in 95*F+ temps until we got power back.
View this post on Instagram
Let me tell you about last night. . At 1:36 am the incubator low temperature alarm wakes me up. I'm annoyed about it because I'm super tired and had a hard time falling asleep. I'm also pretty sure the last egg in the incubator is dead, so I don't really care if the incubator cools down. I fumble through the dark to get to the thermometers and turn the alarm off, and the hallway light won't come on. Power outage. . Then it hits me. No power, no heat lamp on the chicks in the brooder. . I rush over to the brooder and put my hands on the chicks – they are peeping loudly and are cool to the touch, but not huddling together for some reason. Immediately I'm like fuck fuck what do I do? The only things that generate heat in this house right now are me and Ellie. So I throw on my thick robe, sit down next to the brooder box, and tuck the chicks into my bosom. They are annoyed and loud at first, but as they warm up they settle down and fall asleep. They are sooooo soft. . For some magical reason, in my house that is typically a black hole of reception, I have three glorificent bars of LTE. I start looking up what other people have done in this scenario. Disposable hand warmers? Don't have them. Candles? Are you nuts?! A bean/rice bag warmed in the microwave. I don't have power, Karen, the microwave is NOT a solution! . Fortunately, what I do have is a lot of Mason jars and plenty of hot-as-fuck water. I make the chicks a "huddle box" – a small box packed with a towel to trap as much of their own body heat in as possible. Seven chicks are *still* in my bosom at this point. I tuck the chicks into their box and then start filling jars with hot water. I pack the huddle box into a cooler then pack warm jars of water around it. I throw a jar in the box with the chicks for good measure – they can't get burns from skin contact with 135*F glass, right? . Then I trudge outside in the wind and rain and dark, grab an armful of wood, and start building a big fire in the wood stove. And when I say big fire I mean I build a fucking conflagration. I baby it along with a lot of pages from last year's seed catalogs and a whole cardboard box. (cont.)
We pressed and fermented 20 gallons of cider. (Theresa, my door is open to you. Bring some growlers.)
And canned 42 quarts of tomatoes.
And those were all the things I somehow managed to squeeze in around farm work. I’ve never wished for rain so badly in my life. Which, more than anything, I think, solidifies my status as a farmer now.
So writing fell to the wayside, unfortunately. And so did reading. Though I squeezed blog reading in on many water runs this summer, and it was wonderful to be able to satisfy the horsey itch a tiny bit in those brief times. But I have some thoughts, accumulated from a few months of sitting. And I should have some time to write here soon. I keep thinking the time when I’ll have time is just around the corner, but hopefully I’m right this time.