I’ve heard that my whole life.  I’ve been through several hurricanes.  Two in New Orleans and one in Charleston.  This past weekend was not the actual hurricane but all the rain from it.  It rained from Thursday evening till Sunday afternoon.  We at the Hollow got 11 inches.  11 INCHES.  Good golly.  Plus it had been raining off and on for about week before that.  Before this past rain our grounds were already at a saturated level.  So the added rain made much of South Carolina a lake.  I am fortunate to live on the side of a hill.  There is a creek at the bottom, but it did fine.  Just there was no drying out for the animals and we are now suffering.

I lost two birds due to the rain.  They just couldn’t fight off what ever was making them sick.  I had them in the barn, but it was too late.  I have Sir the Dorking rooster in there now.  I’m doing everything I know, but he just isn’t acting like himself.  All the bucks were thin from not getting enough grazing in, but today they look good and acting like “bucks”.  I’m getting loved on again.  I think they think I stopped the rain.  Awww.  The other birds seem to be doing well.  I managed to get all the water bowls cleaned and disinfected.  They were truly disgusting.  The ducks were very pleased with this.  The brooders are a never ending mess, but that has nothing to do with the rain.

I try very hard to do right by all the animals.  Yes, we raise many of the animals for meat.  All the turkey will someday be a dinner.  Most of the chickens running loose are layers, so they really have nothing to worry about.  All the brooder birds are for food.  I have rabbits for breeding and rabbit for food.  The bucks are for breeding.  But there is Gyro.  He is the one lonely sheep.  He is to be a future meal.  I know this is hard for some people and truthfully it is hard for me.   He’s cute.  He’s sweet.  I never knew this was going to be a thing.  Then with all the rain he has gotten ill.  He has a high worm load and nutrition has been off due to not grazing.  I have been giving him and the bucks extra chaffhaye, pellets and hay the whole time.  That worked good for the bucks, but the sheep needs and prefers grass.

Yesterday the sun was out and Gyro was lying in the grass.  I thought he’s enjoying the sun.  But I then realized he hadn’t called to me like he always does.  He had had breakfast, but still no talking to me.  I went to check on him.  He was not doing well.  I noticed the mushy poo and his eyes lids were pale.  I went into panic mode.  I started asking all my farming friends for advice.  Reading all kinds of info on anemic sheep.  Made a mad run to the store for all the things he needed.  I drenched him and dosed him with molasses water (he is not a fan).  I moved him to the garden to get fresh grass.  I put out water and more chaffhaye.  I dosed him with more molasses (still not fan).  By evening he was looking better, but not out of the woods.  This morning he called to me.  Still not his usual call, but it was a good sign.  I gave him more molasses water (and you guessed it, hated it).  I have him back in the garden.  He’s a fan of the clover.  He also loves to sit under trees.  So there I put him next to some clover under a great tree.  He is in no means out of the woods, but I have done all I can, yet I still feel awful.

I sat with him for awhile.  I cleaned up his backside where the mushy poo was.  I pulled the wool from around his eyes.  I just sat with him, praying he returns to health.  Praying he will make it.  But at the same time I feel guilt, because his ultimate goal is to be my dinner.  Why does he have to be so damn cute.  This farming thing sucks sometimes.  The fact is, I want him to have a good life no matter what the end goal is.  I want him to be healthy and happy.  This is what most farmers want.  There are a lot of people out there making noise about how farmers are bad.  We aren’t all bad.  There is no money in sick or dead animals, so we do everything we know to keep them healthy.  And being happy is part of that.

The forecast is sunny for the most of the week.  Most people in South Carolina are happy for that.  It’s going to take a week for the water to dry up.  People are hurting all through SC.  Lost homes, cars and some lives were lost.  They say it was a 1000 year record of rain.  I believe it.  The long range prediction calls for more rain this fall and an eventful winter.  Time to get busy around here and get ready.  Come Hell or high waters I will make it and be all the better.  Have a good week everyone.


Sad I cut off TJ’s head.

This past weekend was rough.  But there was a lot of good.  I got to see all my niece, nephews and their spouses/girlfriends.  That was nearly perfect.  These kids(well to me they will always be) are amazing.  They are doing great things and make me very proud.  My family means the world to me.  My niece Taylor is in love with the farm, especially the fluffy little chicks.  She made everyone come out to the farm to see all the animals.  It was the first time I saw them truly smile in awhile.

First stop was the barn.  Taylor wanted to see her fluffies.  She was shocked and bummed to see how much they had changed in one week.  Everyone else was blown away with how many chicks there were.  The turkeys were showing off for them.  Good turkeys.  When I explained how long (or in this case not so long) it took to raise the birds to a finishing age they were amazed.  They had no idea it was that quick.

Next stop was the goats.  Taylor had warned everyone about the pee face.  My nephew TJ’s wife, was very intrigued by this phenomenon.  Valen was all too glad to give a full demonstration.  I swear to you she squealed when he peed on his face and did all the other things that bucks in rut do.  She said, “I had hoped he would do it while I was here.”  This is why I keep this family.  She was also desperate to pet a sheep.  One touch is all she got.

Finally the rabbits.  Much happiness was achieved here. Both TJ and Taylor held one of the Flemish Giants.  They were thrilled.  I didn’t realize how big those girls had gotten.  Whoa.  Lots of smiles here.  Again surprised at how young the rabbits were and how big they were.  City kids.  They had a great time.  They asked about all the different birds, snuggled the barn kitties, pet the pups and just enjoyed the farm.  For a moment time stood still, our grief was put aside and we just enjoyed ourselves.  To me that’s what it’s all about.  I was able to give a smile to them when they needed it most.  Animals are amazing.  That day they served more than just being a future meal, they were healing.  I love where I am and so glad to share it with them that day.

Lots of happy thoughts today.  Moving on and healing.  My kids are good.  Sadly we were also battling a virus during this whole thing.  The Girl was the last to get it and it’s taking it’s toll.  She has been resting and it will pass.  We have weathered the storm.  Good things await us and we will welcome it.  Bonus that yellowy shiny thing is in the sky this morning.  I’m praying it will stick around for a little bit today.  I got to see the moon this morning while feeding the animals and it was glorious.  Now to see the sunrise assures me things are turning the corner.  Happy Wednesday, hug your fluffies.


That rabbit got big.

Oh but there is.

Today is the day I try to start moving on.  Today is the day I start healing my heart.  The past few months have been rough.  I have watched a man that I have loved as my own father for 20 years, my children’s beloved grandfather, a man to model all men from, slowly pass.  A week ago I got the call he had passed.  I was relieved and sadden.  It was 4 am when I got the call.  It was dark and the ex was trying to tell me details.  The cat is on my dresser and she starts to puke.  The phone crashes.  Stuff is flying from the dresser.  I ram into the corner of the dresser and say many words that would have the kids yelling, “Sailor”.  The ex is yelling from the phone, “Are you ok?”  I finally get the phone back and tell him I will take care of telling the kids.  I lay back down, but there was no going back to sleep.  I lay there thinking of all the things that had to get done.  Then I realized “I” had to tell the children.  Hardest thing I’ve ever done.  To see your children cry and there is nothing you can do.  Breaks your heart.  Still I had to move and get things done.

So much at the farm had just been done to get through the day.  So many plans went on the back burner due the back and forth to the hospital.  But still I had to move and get things done.  I quickly fed animals.  Got food for the kids.  I went to the funeral home with Jessie (the kids grandmother).  Sat there with the ex and his soon to be wife.  Awkward doesn’t even describe it.  She and I planned out the memorial booklet.  Jessie put me in charge of the service and getting food to the house for all these people.  So I did.

I had food coming out their ears.  The kids were doing good.  They had said their good byes, but they were still sad.  I had not had a chance to think or breath.  I just kept moving.  We had a couple of birds that had to be put down and it was more than I could bear, but I did it.  Friday we met with the Pastor for the service.  We had no pianist.  Jessie’s sister in law was being her usual overbearing self.  I told everyone to let it slide we need to get through this.  Friday evening we went to dinner with the whole family.  I sit down and the ex and soon to be sit right next to me.  Oh goody.  Mid way through the dinner he breaks down.  The kids are watching and I want to flee.  Jessie’s SIL steps in and well it wasn’t good.  Still we moved on.

Saturday still no pianist.  I’m on the edge.  I feel like a complete failure.  The Pastor says we will put in God’s hands and keep trying.  So we did.  The funeral was at 4 pm at 11 am we found one.  Thank you God.  Soon after that my niece, nephew and spouses came to visit the farm.  It’s a mess, but they loved it.  They were enjoying all the fluffies and smiled for the first time in days.  After they left I got cleaned up and realized I hadn’t eaten.  My sugar was crashing, but I knew the church ladies were bringing lunch to Jessie’s.  So the boys and I decided to eat there.  Little did I realize all hell was about to break out.  The week was about finally catch up with me.

I get to Jessie’s and was confused that no one had put out lunch.  People need to eat.  It’s lunchtime and no food till 6 pm is going to way too long.  I was told that they were going to wait till 6 to eat.  What!!  I can’t wait till then.  So I decide to get a little bit out for me and the boys.  In walks SIL.  My sugar is about to crash.  I explain that the boys and I have not eaten and we need to eat.  I explain that I was only going to get out a little bit.  She tells me no.  What?  I’m not a child.  I got this food sent here.  Step back woman.  I don’t really remember all I said, but I finally decide to walk away(lots of mumbling, maybe even sailor words) and leave to get food.  I go to the bed room to get my purse and she follows me and shuts the door.  She is less than inch from face.  I am now in trapped animal mode.  To my horror, in that room was the ex, his to be, niece, spouse, nephew, spouse, my youngest and my daughter.  I am being chewed out and told that I wasn’t going to behave this way, TODAY.  Really.  Once she realized she had the whole freaking family watching her chew me out, she let me out the door.

I am now in full on sugar crash, how I was able to walk is beyond me.  I left.  I don’t know where I went, but I found myself back at the house and sat in the driveway crying.  Crying like I hadn’t all week.  The week caught up with me and it was ugly.  My heart was breaking and that bitch wouldn’t let me eat.  I’m screaming, “I just wanted one freaking chicken tender.”  I really wasn’t making sense.  The craziest part of all of this, my ex’s to be was consoling me.  She was telling no one thought I did anything wrong.  Oh the craziness.  She’s actually quiet nice.  Who knew.  And everyone in that room was horrified at the SIL behavior.  Everyone knows I have hypoglycemia and when I say I need to eat, I NEED to eat NOW.  Poor Jessie was making me sandwiches and everyone ate lunch.  Everyone was hungry.  So I’m not crazy.  Imagine that, people needing to eat lunch.  I hide away from the SIL to eat.  Every time she came near me, my ex told her to leave.  Wow.  So he’s not so bad.

I left early for the church.  Trying all the way to not cry.  My church really came through for me.  The Pastor did a wonderful job.  The singer was beautiful.  The pianist was a God send.  And the man playing taps was amazing.  We all got through it.  We told stories of Pop’s wonderfulness.  Katie and Christine came to support me.  And they made me laugh.  We did eat again at 6.  By 8 pm everyone left.  The house was clean.  I went home and slept soundly for the first time in months.  I got up and did some chores, but spent most of the day in bed.  I felt hung over.  My body decided to stop and I let it.  I went over to Jessie’s for dinner and clean out her fridge.  I told the ex’s to be that she was pretty ok.  I think we are good.  I told the ex he’s still an ass, but I liked her.  He was good with that.  I did say it jokingly.  No matter our differences, I love his family and always will.  He knows that and appreciates it.

Sunday night was another good night sleep.  I think it’s going to take awhile to catch up.  This week is all about getting caught up.  I need to process everything.  Katie, I and a friend are in the middle of a sheep disaster.  The proposal was to process the sheep and I almost had a nervous break down.  I’m just not there yet.  I have lost people in the past.  I have lost grandparents who I loved dearly.  I don’t know why this was as hard as it was, but it was/is.

I’m better.  I know it’s all for a reason.  I look at who Pop was and how much he was loved.  I see that and realize that’s what I want of my life.  I want to be the best me.  To be that person who can be depended on, who comes when needed, who loves unconditionally, who is the rock.  After all this I realize I am that person.  A life long friend of Jessie’s made it to the funeral and she pulled me to the side and thanked me for all I did and for being the “Rock of Gibraltar” through all this.  She didn’t see my ugly moment.  But I took what she said and realized I am strong, people do depend on me, I come when needed, I love all.  Pop taught me well.  I am truly thankful for the time I got with him and he will be with me in my heart.  I told the kids they were lucky to have such a grandfather and to have so many wonderful memories with him.  They get it, but they miss him.

Pop was my go to guy.  I look around the farm and see many projects he helped me with.  I was fixing something the other day and looked through my tool bag and saw many that he had given me or I borrowed.  I can’t give them back.  Then it hit me, he’s going to help me with many more projects with these tools and I smiled.  It’s good.  I’m good.  The farm is good.  Life will get back on track.  Our hearts will heal and life will be good again.  Friday Pop would have been 74.  I have plans of making an apple cake (that man loved my apple cake) and saying Happy Birthday to a man that meant so much to so many.  No more tears, just smiles and good thoughts.  You rock Pop, now rest in peace.  Have a great week everyone.

babies 027

Earlier I went out to check on the birds and take out the compost bucket.  The birds favorite part of the day.  They all came swarming me.  I took note of all them.  Counted all the littles and the ducks.  I noticed my favorite and friendliest missing.  I deposited the compost and went to search her usual spots.  She was no where to be found.  I’m not worried yet.  She’s a small Brahman (hence the name Brahmy, I’m real creative, I know) who tends to hide.  I hear a hawk over the field.  The turkeys begin to call out to all the birds.  I see the littles take cover.  Then I see Sir (the Dorking) round up his girls and Goose herds all the ducks.  I’m having a proud moment.  These guys are taking care of the ladies.  Still no Bramy.

The Eldest is with me and he finds his favorite, Comet.  Then he tells me the turkeys in the turkey tractor are acting nuts.  One got out the other day due to a hole.  I had fixed it.  I had noticed a hole this morning that I had planned to fix this evening.  I did a head count.  All accounted for, but one was sitting on something.  At first I thought it was another turkey, but they were all accounted for.  Then my heart sank.  My Bramy.  My sweet, sweet Brahmy.  She had gotten in the hole and the turkey had killed her.  I am kicking myself.  I just never imagined she would go in their pen.  The Bourbon free range and never mess with the chickens, but these Mammoths are not a friendly bunch.

The Eldest was very upset.  He loved her as much as I did.  She allowed you to pick her up.  In fact she demanded it.  She would nestle in my neck.  Most chickens just see me as the bringer of the food, but there are the rare one that want loving.  And now that one is gone.  The Eldest still has his Comet and The Girl’s Butter is still here, but Brahmy was different.  She was my pet.  She didn’t really lay any eggs and she really wasn’t big.  But she was sweet.  I’m going to miss that.  I’m still very mad at myself.

Any thoughts I had of keeping any of those turkeys for breeding just went out the window.  To the chopping block they go.  In a month they are gone and I’m ok with that.  Revenge will taste good with gravy.


Not that I really wanted to get out of it.  It’s just real inconvience for the farm, my kids, my family and the people I owe money to.  But I was willing to do it.  It’s my civic duty and all.  Not that I don’t already have three years of civic duty under my belt from that time I served in the US Navy.  Anyway.  I went in ready for some real time Law and Order.  What I got was much like that time I spent in the Navy, hurry up and wait.  A LOT of waiting.

I was really nervous going into the court house.  I had no idea what to expect and how it all worked.  Well they go through everything.  There’s a film.  Who knew.  Oh and they provide coffee.  Don’t drink the coffee.  I have become a coffee snob.  There I sat in a room of 200+ people wearing clothes I only wear on Sunday.  They said to wear casual work attire.  Well my casual work attire consist of t shirts, shorts (that may or may not have holes) and crocks.  There was a line about what was considered respectful of the court.  So church clothes it was.  The judge goes over the rules, we are sworn in and THEN we are told to stand individually and state our name, age, occupation and marital status.  Also they just let in the lawyers, “to put names to faces”.  Oh goody.  I’m having a panic attack just writing about it.  What the hell.  Worst part, my last name starts with a W, so I go damn near last.  Oh sweet Jesus let me die now.  Everyone stood up happy and confident.  They all spouted off their info and sit down like that was everyday.  My hands start to sweat, I’m screaming in my head.  Finally it’s my turn.  I have really no idea what I said.  But I do know this, my voice cracked and I nearly passed out.  Like all the color drained from my face.  This was the thing of my nightmares.  At least I was wearing clothes.  I sit down and notice lawyers scribbling.  In my mind I can imagine the things they were writing next to my name.  “Crazy, nervous, no confidence, divorced.”  And the fun is just getting started.

Apparently our judicial system has a pecking order.  Much like the barnyard.  The biggest always go first and get the best of the best.  So I was very pleased to be of the first 50 to get to up to the 2nd floor for selection of the most pressing case, which was a murder trail.  Cool.  I got this.  Law and Order episodes cued in the brain.  Nothing like that at all.  Jurors are called to stand, lawyers pass over or select.  I am never asked to stand.  Sad.  We all go down to waiting area and WAIT.  I’m chosen to go with 35 to go back up and this time is some crazy felony case.  There were two armed guards.  Whoa.  I can do this.  My odds are good.  They go through the list and need just one more juror and they call my name.  I think I smiled.  The prosecutor picked me.  Yay.  Someone wants me.  The defense excuses me.  What.  What the hell dude.  I have seen all the Law and Order and all the SVU.  Like I know this.  I sit down.  I feel like someone just passed me over to play in the game in grade school.  I’m sad.  Ok.  There are still more cases.  Suck it up Buttercup you will get on a case.

Right as I get back we are let loose for lunch.  I know downtown like the back of my hand and found a great place for lunch.  At least I could enjoy that.  Then it’s back to the waiting room.  They gather 30 more jurors for the final pick of the day and I’m not chosen.  I’m having some serious mixed feelings.  Yay, I may get to go home early, boo they didn’t want me.  But then wait, there was an error and they call me out.  The final change.  I might get picked.  But no, I am passed over again.  I did get to leave early and the county payed my parking fee.

Sadly I didn’t get to hone my L&O skill, but I was able to get an idea how things really work in the court system.  I also was able to work the real job so I can pay my bills, because jury duty only pays $11.50 a day.  Tax dollars at work.  Also the farm needs to be tended to and it’s really just me.  The animals were pleased.  If you are wondering how it is that I got out of jury duty.  Well I was too nervous for the lawyers.  And maybe the divorced and middle aged, white and a woman.  The data collector in me was taking in who was picked and who never got called to stand the picking process.  It was interesting.  What does this have to do with farming.  Nothing.  Just what I did this week.  I hope you all have a great weekend.  Katie and I are going to a homesteading festival tomorrow.  That should be a lot of fun.


And who ever decided this is a good word to label people who can’t spell, Thanks!!!

I’m going to dedicate this post to all those who have found countless spelling errors, words left out and just general grammar disasters.  Here’s the deal, I do proof read.  Like a thousand times.  I’m DYSLEXIC.  I either see no mistake, see a mistake, but don’t know how to fix it or my brain just shuts the words down completely.  Like sometimes I don’t see words.  No letters, nothing.  I love to tell stories, but getting them in written form is nearly impossible at times.  So I have decided that I need to write more.  This is what my teachers made me do in school.  They said it was exercise for my brain.  My 7 year old self could only see my brain doing push-ups and flexing.  And yes I giggled.  I have to say this, my first grade teacher may have saved my life.

I’m no spring chicken.  I grew up in the seventies.  I also grew up in a very small town in Arkansas called Mena.  Ron Howard is about to make a movie about the things that went down in my hometown.  Woohoo.  Drugs and guns.  Anyways.  So in the ’70’s it was thought that only males could have dyslexia.  They knew it was a genetic disorder.  But because girls develop and acclimate easier than boys, girls were slipping through the cracks.  By first grade I could not say my A,B, C’s.  The state testing labeled me mildly retarded.  Yeah, that happened.  But my first grade teacher luckily had had my brother in her class before I came along.  Being genetic he was also dyslexic.  Imagine that.  Only he had a different form.  He had the flipping the letters kind.  One of the easiest forms to diagnosis.  Lucky me had the kind that makes you look mildly retarded.  You see I don’t always see letters in my head.  It goes all blank.  The more stress the less likely I will ever see them.  Talk about stress getting up in front of the class for a spelling bee.  Nightmare.

But in steps Ms. Emerson.  She took me to the resource teacher and I blew them out of the water with my math skills, my science, my social studies and I had some mad puzzle skills.  I was brilliant, ok I was just really smart.  My teacher urged the resource teacher to test me for dyslexia and she did.  She was blown away.  Sadly the state did not recognize that I in fact had it, but my teacher played the system and got me the help I needed.  Thank God I had these forward thinking teachers.  There was a lot of grumbling about men and their telling us what is what.  I was in resourc classes up till 6th grade.  I got called stupid a lot and it really did a number on my self esteem, but I could read.  I was in normal classes.  I graduated.  I went to college.  The Navy took me and gave me a job.  I married and raised kids.  I run a farm.  Teachers have a hard job and I am truly thankful to those two ladies.  I also have to give props to my mom.  She bought me books that I loved and allowed me to read them over and over again.  She also bought me comic books, which developed my inner Geek.  And for all those who thought it was only a guy thing, my mom has dyslexia, hers is similar to mine.  My mom holds several degrees and she never stops reading.  My daughter, she has it too.  The Girl has the exact same form as me.  I was able to help her navigate the world of words.  She is a brilliant young lady.

As far as the farm and dyslexia, well I have to double check and triple check when reading meds.  But really it doesn’t affect me at all.  Only when I try to write about the day to day stuff and then well you guys can figure out what I’m trying to say most of the time.  I still have a great passion for reading.  I don’t do as much as I would like.  It really does help keep the connection between my eyes and my brain working good.  And writing helps to.  I’m no Steinbeck, but I do like to share things.

Katie and I can’t stop dreaming of the future of the farm.  I dream of a teaching farm.  I dream of children, adults and the elderly coming to learn about a simpler life.  In the near future I will be returning to school.  My goal is to get a degree in sustainable agriculture and be able to teach.  I already have a BS.  I was on track to be a physical science teacher working with special needs kids.   Still a passion of mine.  Maybe we can work that in there too.

So be kind when you read my post.  I hope you all have a great week.


Farming Ain’t for Everyone.

I grew up in the country. We always had a big garden and animals of all types roaming around. We had at least ten acres. My brother and I would play for hours in the field. I loved it. I always thought I would have a family and live pretty much the same way. Boy was I wrong. My parents divorced and both remarried.  Life was never the same again. As I got older the crazier my family life got and the more I wanted to get as far away as possible. I was young girl with big plans. I left home soon after graduating high school.  I went to college to become a Geologist.  I wanted to go to work for Soil and Water Conservation.  I was going to change the world.  That was until I ran out of money and still had no degree.  Crazy how that works.

That’s when I decided to join the Navy.  Again big plans.  I would be able to finish college with the GI bill and have a cool job.  I was stationed in New Orleans, LA.  Party city.  Woohoo.  The plan was to become a Seabee(it’s a construction rate).  I was going to get a school and be surveyor for the Navy.  I was going career Navy.  Go me.  Well that didn’t happen either.  I met the love of my life, ok I met my ex. I apparently got that wrong too.

So we got married and had a kid and pregnant with the second.  New Orleans was just not my idea of where I wanted to raise my kids.  And when the ex was medically discharged my dreams of career Navy were over.  We had two choices of where to move after we got out of the Navy, my hometown in Arkansas or his in Virginia.  He had no desire to live in the country and my home town was at least two hours from ANYTHING.  Rural Arkansas (pretty much sums up most of the state).  The ex was not a fan.  We wound up in Roanoke, VA.  Which is close to where he grew up.  It was a beautiful place and it had potential.  But sadly we didn’t stay there too long.  We actually moved several times (like five times) after that.  He never seemed happy.  Always chasing a dream.  His not mine.

We finally found ourselves in Greer, SC and I was done moving.  Like done, done.  I wanted a house with land.  The ex wanted a house with lots of room, so he never had to go outside.  The great outdoors didn’t call to him the way it did to me.   He referred to outside as “The Big Room”. His idea of camping was a hotel without internet. Yeah, I’m not really sure how we ever married.  Our children are conflicted on how they feel about the outdoors.  They love it, but it’s dirty and has bugs.  Oh the damage I have to undo.

Over time the ex realized I wasn’t the one and we split.  I left the 4400 sq ft home on the 1/4 acre lake lot to “The Hobbit Hole” (we just call it the Hole now).  The Hole is an old farm house, parts of it are about 100 years old.  It’s only 1400 sq ft, but every inch is used space.  Only one bathroom with a pocket door.  This totally freaked the kids out a first.  I got a lot of “how do I lock the door”.  You don’t.  Trauma.  We lucked out and it actually has four bedrooms.  Thank you God.  Best part is the land and the barn.  It’s a little over an acre and my  wonderful landlord encourages me to farm.  Whoa!!!

The ex still can’t believe I’m doing all this.  He’s cool with it.  And is surprised how involved our kids have become in it.  The Eldest likes to brag that he’s a homesteader.  It’s cute.  The Girl being a vegetarian has taken some time to come around.  She is now the keeper of the bunnies.  She loves them.  ALOT.  The Max helps a lot, but he’s still not a fan of all the dirt.  I take what I get.  We have only been at this for a couple of years.  They were much older when we moved here, so there are years and years of how things use to be.

The house was not the house we had originally intended to move into.  It’s funny how things work out. At the time it was down right scary. The house we were suppose to moved into fell through two weeks before move.  With a week to spare we found this place.  The men from the church descended on the old house and removed all my stuff and put it in the Hole.   I can’t tell you how much stuff we got rid of.  We shed 3000 sq ft of stuff.  And it felt GREAT!!!

Three years here now and I still love it.  The kids love it more than they did.  The ex moved into a cookie cutter house with his new woman.  They are happy and good for them.  That’s just not me and never will be.  I dream of lots of land, dirty hands and toes in the grass.  Simple.  I want simple.  And I think I have it.  The Girl and I did some more plotting in the barnyard last night.  We spend a lot of time out there.  I think this must be how it was in the times of our grandparents or their parents.  Sitting around discussing the farm and preparing for up coming changes.  It’s was good, real good.  My heart is happy.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


farm 002And getting a farm.

Several years ago my husband decided he didn’t want to be married anymore.  Seventeen years and he was done.  Some said it was a mid life crisis.  Well I hate to break it to them he has had a few of those while married to me.  Maybe I’m hard to live with or maybe he’s just an ass.  I’m going with the later.  Anyway.  In December our divorce was final.  Like it was over.  For reals.  Whoa.  I began to do a lot of what do I do next in my head.  How do I label myself?  Who is Melynda?  Thinking about this was never ending.  It was a long series of “First”.  First Christmas, first anniversary, first Valentines’s Day (which always sucked to begin with).  Kids had birthday, I had school meetings.  In my head these were first.  But here’s the real deal people, I have been doing this all on my own for years.  I was already a single lady who just happen to be married.  The ex did a lot of travel and he simply just let me do all the work.  Yeah, he was an ass (don’t get me wrong he was a great dad, just a lousy husband.)  So I’m done with all that.

I remember after I moved into the “Hole” (the house is kinda like a Hobbit Hole) I thought, “I want chickens.”  That Febuary 14, (yep Valentine’s Day, that’s how I roll) I got four chicks.  And a month later I got four more.  I was so excited.  Most women after their man leaves would get hair cuts, buy a new dress, date everyone, or something crazy.  Not me, I start building a farm, I planted a garden.  I started doing all the things I had wanted to do all those years.  I started being Melynda.  Whoa……

At first it was just a few plans then walks in my enablers Katie and Megan.  Over time we added Christine and then Frankie to our merry band of renegade farmers.  It’s a really nice blend of ladies.  We throw ideas off each other and vent when someone has some stupid person disrupting their lives.  Our very own support system.  I love these ladies and my life is so much better having them.  I really don’t regret my marriage, because he was the one who encouraged me to get to know Katie and Megan.  Also those great kids I have.  Life after divorce was hard, but I am happy and I’m doing what I know I’m suppose to be doing.

So what’s in my future…..Anything I want.  Who am I ……Melynda, mother, farmer, friend, one damn good person, anything and everything.  Katie and I have been doing a lot of farm talk and by next year we should be a solid working farm.  Some day we might even make some money at it.  There is a lot to get done.  We need a logo, a label, a nice website and all that legal crap.  So much to do.  Plus we have the day to day stuff to do and the prep for winter (I hear it’s going to eventful).  Everyday is a new challenge, but also a new blessing.

My kids are spending more and more time out in the barnyard.  They really enjoy the animals. The days are getting shorter and temps are getting cooler.  Fall is just around the corner.  This is my favorite time of year.  What a great time to start new.  My marriage ended before I was ready, but I have found my way to where I really needed to be.  I have found my home on an old farm at the bottom of the Hollow.  Have a great day.



These past couple of month have been hectic at best.  Life throws us curve balls and we just have to figure them out.  Things break, you start a new routine, new animals come to the farm and you get news that changes everything you had planned.  Life is rough sometimes.  I grumble a lot about this.  Sometimes I have my little pity parties and fall to the ground screaming, “Why?? Why God? Why me?”  I know everyone has those days.  I’ve been having a lot.  I’m not usually that way, but this has been a harder than usual summer for me.  Yes there is a lot going on here at the Hollow and at Katie’s, but it’s the real world creeping in on me.  But I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  This past weekend was kinda magical for me.  It brought me a great amount of joy and peace to my heart.  So here the story and how everything fell in place.

I’ve always been a “I can do this myself” kind of person.  I’m sure that was my first full sentence when I mastered speech as a young child.  I have never liked to ask for help.  I am stubborn to a fault.  This past month the washer and the mower have been broken.  I have been going to Jessie’s, the kids grandmother, house to do the laundry.  Bless that woman.  She truly is a saint.  But Friday I had had enough.  That lawn was out of control.  I had tried everything I knew to remove the wire that was preventing the blade from moving.  So I broke down and called a man from church.  This man always tells me ‘let me know if can do anything for you”.  I’ve heard that from many people and then never get any help.  But this man is different.  I told him the situation and asked if he knew someone who could help.  He was at my house 30 minutes later with tools and together we got the wire off.  I was so happy and so blown away with his eagerness to help me.  Thinking about it right now brings tears to my eyes.  I thanked him many times.  He looks around the place and I told him about plans I have, the things that need fixing.  He tells me to send him information on the washer and he was going to see how he can help me get the washer fixed. Another one going for sainthood in my book.

That afternoon I was mowing the lawn.  Woohoo.  The kids laughed at me for being so happy to mow.  Jessie took The Max to the football game.  I finished the evening chores.  Dinner was done and the kids were doing their own thing.   Life was looking a little more promising.  I looked around the property and began thinking of all the things that need to get done for the up coming winter.  I live less than a mile from the High School, so I hear the crowd cheer and the lights make the sky glow.  There were still a few fireflies and the new kittens were meowing from the barn window for attention.  I sat there on my little pop chair and thought this is good.  This is where life is good.  It’s pure, it’s simple and it is perfect.  I went to bed with a lighter heart and slept very well.

Saturday I was able to meet the girls at market.  We caught up on things and just enjoyed being with each other.  We all split a bag of corn and that was just about the greatest thing ever.  We are easy to please sometimes.  I got home and rounded up all the kids.  We went to Skytop to get apples.  The Eldest went and this made me very happy.  So many times he has other plans.  I really miss spending time with him.  We met Katie and her family there.  It was a beautiful day.  Best part was having The Eldest and Andy to pull the cart.  Truly perfect.  I got more apples than planned and stuffed my face with apple doughnuts and apple cider.  But I did not care.  We got home and Timmy the goat had gotten out.  Surprise.  I made mental plans to reinforce the fence.  The kids help me round him up.  Other than the stupid goat it was another perfect day.

Sunday I get to church and see my lawn mower fixing friend.  He tells me to get my trailer out of the fence, because he had plans.  No arguments here.  Another man from the church came to me and said he had some lumber for me and asked if I needed any wood for the up coming winter.  Wow.  I love my church and I love my church family.  I left church feeling truly blessed.  I went to Jessie’s with more laundry and I brought cookies for Pop.  Pop is another of the blows for this month.  He has been sick for a really long time and several weeks ago I had to rush him to the hospital.  We thought he was having a stroke, but it was much worse.  We found out he had blood cancer.  There is no cure, but can be treated.  He was given about 5 years of life.  That was hard for everyone.  Pop is 74 so we know the end would come, but to know the amount of time is really hard.  Pop has been a great man in my life.  My parents divorced early and when I married the kids dad, Pop became my dad.  Jessie and Pop are my exes parents, but when our marriage ended they stuck by me and the kids.  They moved from Charleston to help me and the kids.  They dropped everything to help me.  So to hear this news broke my heart.  Pop is fighting and he is getting better.  I have started going over more and having a broken washer gives me reason to do so.  Maybe that’s really why the washer broke.

That afternoon I set out to fix the fence.  I had decided to do it one section at a time.  The Eldest came out and said he felt like being productive.  He was a tremendous help.  He pounded all the new poles in the ground and tightened the fence while attached the poles to the fence.  It was really nice.  We also spent more time together.  Later after dinner, he went to his room and The Girl and The Max came to help with evening chores.  Well The Max came to play with the kittens.  After all was done I sat on my pop chair and watched the kids trying to catch one of the ducklings.  I watched them laugh and enjoying the farm.  The Girl was telling her brother all about ducks.   He was touching something that had dirt on it (he’s majorly OCD about dirt).  The sun was setting, there was laughter in the air, gentle meows, and chirping the birds.  There was peace again.  Life was good.  My life was good.  My head and heart were happy.  Yes there is a thousand things to be done.  There will be more stress to come, but these moments, these sounds of joy, these are the things that I do this all for.  Life of a farmer is hard, it’s sad sometimes, but we know this is why we do it.  I hope all of you have a fabulous weeks and find those joyful moments.

Several months ago Katie and I went in together to buy some Bresse chicken eggs. They hatch, not a good hatch, and they didn’t all seem to Bresse standard. Long story short, I have two that fit the bill and looks like they are a boy and girl. I had high hopes to breed them when the girl starts laying.

Well Saturday morning I noticed the one was really dirty on the butt. I thought maybe it was all the rain we had had. But I pick her up and see she had a prolapse vent. Oh joy. So I took her in the house and gave her a bath and pooked it back in. Oh the fun we have here at the Hollow.  I did some research and realized I didn’t have any Preperation H. Not something I really need at the moment.

So after market I stopped at CVS and picked some up. I thought to myself to have fun with the cashier and walk up to the register like I had hemmoriods the size of melons. This made me chuckle as I plopped it down on the counter. The young man didn’t even bat an eye.  He ask for my rewards card, scans the medicine and ask if I found everything I needed.  Clearly I had.  I look at him and reply, “I sure did, oh wait I forgot the gum.”  Still stone cold and rings up the gum.

I get home and give the bird another bath and apply the medicine.  She is none too thrilled with this experience.  I explain to her it’s no picnic for me either.  I repeat this Sunday and Monday. Last night I’m thinking I’m going to have put this bird down.  I prayed to God to let this work and last night went in to check on her and low and behold her vent was still in.  Much hooting and hollering was done.  Scared the crap out of the bird, literally.  But when she crapped her vent stayed in.  I may have kissed that bird.

So this morning no bath, but did apply some more medicine.  I will never be without Preperation H again.  This stuff is amazing.  The bird will stay in the house for today, but tomorrow I will move it the barn for a week to fatten up and chill before she goes back to the run.

It’s never dull here.  Ever.  Have a great Tuesday.