Farm Life

A questionable horizon

goat with chickens
This is my buddy Stencil, the ringleader of the mischievous Goon Squad. He might be my favorite animal on the farm. He’s my constant companion throughout the day. These broiler chickens are also wonderful to have around. Seeing them run when they hear food hit their dish might be the best thing ever.

This is going to be a short and sweet post because I need to jump into bed, watch Sherlock and give my body a much-needed rest. I’m not going to lie, I’m struggling. My job should be getting easier but it’s only becoming more painful. My body is just not tolerating the work and yet the rest of me absolutely loves it. Ahh…the irony of it all. Usually I have the exact opposite problem. A big part of my job is being able to lift heavy bails of hay, jumping in and out of truck beds, shoveling wet bedding and wrestling large animals for health checks. To make matters worse, they just received a load of hay bails that are so heavy that it took two of us to load them onto the truck this morning. They’re each about 75 pounds and they make me want to wet my pants every time I lift one. And don’t think for a second that I’m alone in this sentiment. My big, strong, male co-workers all agree: they’re pants-wetting heavy, no doubt about it.

It looks like I may face a tough decision ahead. I love this job, it’s everything I’ve wanted, but I’m in such physical pain that it keeps me up at night. Even my trusty Aleve isn’t cutting it. Morning yoga and hot packs at night are helping so that’s a start. And my friend Carrie gave me this homemade coconut and peppermint oil concoction that I’ve been using as a muscle rub. It feels amazing and has helped to aleviate the some of the soreness. Whatever she puts in that stuff is pure magic.

I guess overall, I’m just having a hard time accepting the fact that I might not be living in a “normal” 37-year-old’s body. Perhaps years of grueling field work and improperly healed injuries are catching up with me. My co-workers and supervisors are so understanding (which makes it all that more crappy if I decide to leave). They keep telling me that this kind of work is not for everyone and only I can say for sure if it’s too much.  However, I’m not willing to throw in the towel just yet. I’ve still got some fight left in me and maybe I’m just experiencing some prolonged growing pains. At least that’s what I’ll tell myself… until the muscle rub wears off and my body snaps in half.

Farm Life

My life on the farm

Farm chore list.
These are my duties for the day. By “sheaths” she means clean horse penis. Yup, I had to take a photo of that. This is my life and I’m actually enjoying it! What does that say about my mental health? Don’t answer that!

Welcome to the freezing arctic tundra of New York! Good gracious, it’s cold!

It’s been a little while since I checked in but I have a decent excuse…I hope. I’ve actually been itching to write every day for the last few weeks but I wanted to overhaul my blog before I went ahead and posted anything else. I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about switching up the blogs without losing readers so I needed some time to ponder the best course of action. Yesterday, I was able to combine my two blogs and hopefully those that may have been lost in the shuffle will somehow find their way back.

Regardless, I need to catch you up. On Monday, I finished my second full week of work at the animal sanctuary. So far, so good, but man do I hurt. It’s physically painful and there are some moments when I can’t help but wonder if I’m strong enough to efficiently do my job. All of my co-workers say that I’m doing great but I have my doubts. However, the pluses definitely, by far, outweigh the minuses. I work outside (which is usually great except for working in 2 degree temps which I did today), I have no desk or office, I’m never sitting, I can cancel my gym membership, I usually only work with three other people, all of my co-workers are absolutely wonderful, I hang out with animals all day, there’s no drama, the days go by fast, I know what’s expected of me, a professional chef cooks the staff vegan meals on a semi-regular basis, I get cruelty-free eggs and wool, and it’s straightforward, uncomplicated work. It’s everything I’ve always wanted so I can’t complain. Not one bit. In fact, I’ve never felt happier. And yes, in my spare time, I’ve been doing a lot of sewing, quilting, and overall tinkering. I’m so much more productive and imaginative when my livelihood doesn’t depend on what I’m creating. It’s really taken the pressure off and I have a feeling that my crafts will flourish because of it.

Here are some farm photos for you to enjoy:

Mr. Tumnus and the rest of the goats.
The goats specialize in unzipping my coat and eating my clipboard.

Cows and vehicles

cows

Chickens
The roosters orchestrate the perfect single-file assembly line for health checks & glove heists.

farm injuries

And I know you’ve seen the following photo of Lambert laying an egg, but I just wanted to report that Lambert died today. We are all very, very sad, especially his lady-love Hannah. We’re not sure why he died. It was all extremely sudden seeing as though he was a mere, seemingly healthy, 1.5 years old. He’s going to Cornell tomorrow for a necropsy, which will hopefully tell us more. He was a part of the beloved Goon Squad which roams the farm wreaking glorious havoc. He was a wonderful character and will be missed by all. We brought his body back to the farm to let the rest of the Goon Squad and Hannah say goodbye. They each lined up to sniff him and pay their respects. Each one walked away with their heads hanging and wandered off for a little alone time. Hannah didn’t know what to think and seemed reluctant to approach him. To date, she has outlived three partners so she is, sadly, no stranger to loss. RIP Lambert.

sheep