Friday, May 15, 2020

Loss on the farm

Today was a day I have been bracing myself for for a long time. We have been working hard on the chicken coop and run, but it isn't quite done.  In the mean time we have been letting the chickens free range. Considering we have dogs on either side of our tiny little lot, I thought for sure we would loose a chicken or more to the dogs, or the creek in the backyard, or the road, or sickness... Today was the day. My oldest (and biggest animal lover) ran inside screaming. He had been down the street helping his grandma with something heavy. When he returned home, he saw a wooden pallet with chicken feet sticking out under it. Somehow the chickens knocked it over and one of them lost their life to it.

If you are going to raise animals, you know that death happens. It is just a first of many heart aches that will keep coming if we continue to pursue this lifestyle. Animals die for so many reasons, and sometimes we don't even know the reason why. An accident is hard to wrap your head around. So many what ifs.

As I held my weeping children I wondered if this was a kind thing to do to them. I wondered if allowing them to love on the chickens instead of emotionally separating ourselves would have been a better choice. I wondered if we were cut out for this "farm life."

I watched my boys dig a grave for their beloved pet. I heard my 5 year old sob that she was still a baby. I couldn't have counted the tears on all of their faces. Even my one kid that says she isn't an animal lover told me that she felt like she was going to throw up.

None of us have been raised on a farm. I know that this kind of loss becomes a familiar companion if you have enough animals. Maybe someday this won't hurt so much to witness. But for today it hurts.

Yesterday I watched in awe as my boys all worked together on the chicken coop. I couldn't help but to feel like the hard work was helping them become men. Today I had the same feeling. This time with a little more sadness in my heart as I watched them cry, dig a grave, and respectfully bury our sweet chicken. Experiencing loss is helping my children to grow and mature.

As much as my natural instinct is to shield and protect my kids, make sure nothing sad ever happens, and if it does fix it right away. Yet, I know they need to go through this. I know that heartbreak is always the price for love. I need them to know that life hurts some days. I need them to know that I can't keep it from coming, but I am here for them when it does.

It reminded my of my Father in Heaven who also is there for me when my heart hurts. He knows that protecting me from all pain isn't helpful, but He is still there for me when life hurts.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Teamwork makes the dream work

Teamwork makes the dream work. I don't really know where I heard this phrase the first time. I am sure it was some kind of motivational someone or something. I have to say that in my marriage, it is a lot of me "teaming" up with my husband and him doing most of the "work" part. I'm not saying I sit around all day and just do nothing. But my hardworking creative man surely is the one who truly brings my dreams to life. I have some major farm dreams, but for now, all my barn dreams had to come to life on an itty bitty chicken coop. We are still working on the chicken run, but the coop is pretty close to done. When Josh suggested we paint the coop with an American Flag, I got super excited! Even when the coop was done and I thought it looked really good with just the raw lumber, I knew I still had to paint it to look like an American flag. (Don't bother counting--there aren't 50 stars.) 
What blows me away the most is that we have spent very little money on this coop. Josh has make it out of almost 100% recycled materials. He truly is a master upcycler. I LOVE this about him. (Even if the ability to make something out of junk makes it hard to throw things away sometimes ha ha ha!)

Then for Mother's Day I was gifted this cute solar lamp. I have a thing with farm lights. Where I grew up there wasn't such thing as street lamps. I often would wake up and go walking early in the morning or catch the bus before the sun came up. The only light that shone above the houses in my neighborhood was a house that had a barn light (very similar to a street lamp, but for their out building.)

When I was on my mission I remember a lot of really dark mornings in Wyoming during the winter. I remember loving seeing the barn lights on those dark mornings and feeling such a "home" feeling.

I am a "country girl" through and through. It is amazing that it has taken me until my 40's to realize how true this is for me. I never would have denied it, but now I know that it is a part of me that won't go away. I don't want it to go away. "I'm from the country and I like it that way."

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Dreaming as I watch the "farm" come back to life

As life keeps passing us by during this pandemic, I have felt like some dormant dreams
have been awakened in my soul. I have been loving the home centered life and truly feel like
I want to know how to make it more permanent. Our family has been working and relaxing right
alongside each other. It has been a dream come true. 

A long time ago I had dreams of homesteading. I live on less than a quarter of an acre in suburbia.
We have done what we could to produce more fruits and vegetables on our little slice of suburbia
and now we have added chickens to the fray.
It has been great watching my husband build the coop right alongside my boys. I have seen compassion awaken in my kids as they have learned to love on these chickens. To think a few years ago we had no pets. Now we have chickens and cats.

Yesterday some young men came to the door selling pest control. They told me that people in
my neighborhood were wanting their service to help with the bugs, spiders and rats
(we have a creek running through our backyard and can get some rodents.) I told them I had
chickens and cats so I was good! I love that my animals can provide so many benefits. 

I still have so many dreams. One short term dream, and by dream I mean I have little to no control
so I just need to keep praying and be okay with what God gives me, is to catch a swarm of bees.
I have two baited hives in my yard. I don’t have the resources to buy bees at this time, but if the
opportunity arose, I would jump on that route too. Then my future dream is to be able to get a piece
of land someday to have more animals, and more food growing.

Some days I feel too old for my dreams. I wish I would have been more aware of these dreams at
a younger age. I hope though that it isn’t too late for me.