My week at Half-Way Farm

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I survived. It was a whole week! There were chickens and goats and gardens and a whole lot of sun! When Angela asked if we would stay at the farm, I agreed to right away. I was so excited. We didn’t have a family vacation planned for this summer but the change of scenery from our apartment to the farm life seemed so exciting. Lisa, my mother in law, warned me, “You’re going to feel out of sorts and finally get your rhythm on the day they get back.” Well, she was right. I have some experience with “farm-ish-life”. My in laws have a 10 acre property with a beautiful garden, a pond and a fully staffed Hen House. Jordan and I live in an apartment now but we used to live in the woods on the lake with 7 hens and a flourishing garden. We still tend the garden from afar (thank goodness), but we had to send our chickens to Nana’s house. Lisa takes care of them like they really are her grandkids. It’s so cute. 

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Anyway, it’s not like we had no experience with farmy things. We are driven and focused to get our own farm one day. This felt like a little taste to hold me over until our turn. I was excited. This was gonna be good. We did our walk through and I nodded, smiled, and “yeah, sure”ed along the way. This was going to be a sinch.

Fast forward to day one. I’m walking along and doing a quick check on all of the animals. Chickens? Lovely. Goats? Adorable. Bunnies? Dang. 2 bunnies down on day one. I told you about it in A Baby Bunny and Some Bread. The next day, Babbs didn’t make it through the night. 3 bunnies down. Ralph, the goat, was acting different. Well, I don’t know how he normally acts, but his tail was down and he seemed bored. I was freaking out. I cannot let anything else die during this week. 

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That morning I hard a thumping and fluttering and found out that the kids had caught a little coccoon in a bug catcher. Out came the butterfly! I didn’t know what to do. What if they were saving it for a bug collection? I didn’t want to disappoint them, but I really couldn’t let anything else die. I ended up taking pictures and letting it go. I’m too much of a softy.

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At this point, I’m ready to call it quits and call them home. I told Lisa, “That’s it! I’m moving to the city, eating McDonald’s and voting for Obama. I’m not cut out for this.” She told me to hang in there and just keep everything alive until Angela came home. That’s what I did. I ended up getting into a rhythm. I became quite the goat whisperer and just fell in love with those furry little things. Valentino got medicine everyday that I had to squirt in his mouth. The first day, it took both of us to hold him still and give him the medicine. By the end, I could just wrangle him and get it done in a moment’s time. He instantly forgave me and was my goat friend again. I found a little bouncy seat for Daniel and so I was able to bring him outside with me so I could pull weeds in the garden and get stuff done outside. I even got to see Heika for the first time in a month. It really was feeling like a little working vacation. 

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Valentino is my new Goat boyfriend. Seriously, he has the cutest personality.

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I was getting the hang of things on the farm. It really was feeling more natural. Except for the kitchen. I felt like a total loser in her kitchen. I didn’t know where anything was and it felt like I was baking and cooking in slow motion. Everything took me twice as long and made me feel like a clumsy amateur. I botched some food, people. My first batch of baked oatmeal was pretty lame, and I didn’t bake anything as well as I usually can. I tried to surprise them with a beautiful Beet Down Red Velvet Cake for Angela’s birthday and it was pathetic. She has her ingredients in these adorable jars but they weren’t labeled so I had to guess. What I thought was baking soda was actually cream of tartar. So, my cake was caca. I eventually busted out some lovely bread and a tray of veggies to roast for dinner when they got home. I even made them some baked oatmeal for the next morning so that they could just get home, get settled, and not have to deal with meal time. They were coming home and I had just gotten my groove.

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Farmer Mae

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Each morning, I was able to drink a cup of french pressed coffee on their adorable porch. I heard roosters crow and goats bleat. I saw the sun sparkle as it slowly rose over the big red barn. It was loud with quiet. It was buzzing with peace.  In the afternoons, Jordan would be out in the garden working and green thumbing as he does so well. Lila was running around and was in her element. It was a glimpse of my dream and in those moments, I felt inspired and encouraged to hold on and keep dreaming. One of these days, it will be our turn. I’ll be hearing my rooster crow. I’ll be on my very own porch. There will be a little pile of my kid’s shoes in the corner and their little fingerprints will be on the windows. I’ll have my own rhythm. I’ll have bread rising in my own kitchen. We’ll have our very own farm one day, and it will be worth the wait.

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For now, I love our apartment. It is perfect for us right now. I can clean the whole thing in an hour and I have a dishwasher in the kitchen. It is our first space all to ourselves and we really love it. Of course we want a great big farm and our great big dreams to become a reality. Until then, we can always stop by Half-Way to get a glimpse and keep the dream alive. 

Thanks for having us over Reeds! You guys are rock stars and work your butts off! 

2 comments

  1. Cathy Nickels says:

    Darla I have no farm and processed food. But I need a house sitter. ;). Love you and miss your smiling chatty face!

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