Sunday, June 12, 2011

Woolie Worm!

The first morning we woke up back at the farm I walked into the family room and looked out at the view.  I was a little overwhelmed at how high the grass was after being gone for several weeks, but I was happy to be back.  Then, suddenly, I realized...I wasn't alone.  I had two eyes staring back at me.

I quickly grabbed my camera so I could tell Kevan about this new kitty.  Aubie found him also and was sitting in the window looking at the new kitty.  I think Aubie was jealous because he's not allowed to go outside.  They talked to each other in kitty language for a little bit.

I knew, for sure, that this kitty would run the moment I tried to get near her.  I went to the kitchen to get her some food and water.  I just knew she would run the moment I brought it to her.  Boy was I wrong.  She seemed so happy to see me and acted like she was starving.  As she was eating I went to wake up Kevan.  This is what happened next...

She loves us.  Unfortunately, she was in need of a lot of love!  We petted her off/on all day.  Then, she cried all night long!!  Sorry Judy!  Judy spent the night and had to turn the air conditioner on to drown out the meow-ing.  We were pretty scared that this was going to be an ongoing thing, but once we fed her once more and loved on her she stopped her continuous crying. 

When we are outside she is always there following us around.  If we are working she will lay near us to watch.  When we went fishing she followed us all the way down to the pond.  She is a sweet girl!

She doesn't leave the yard.  When I feed her in the morning she is waiting on the porch and she is pretty much on the front or back porch the whole day.  Sometimes she wanders a little, but always comes when I call her.  We decided to name her "Woolie" since Kevan thought she looked like a Wooly Worm.  lol!  She is so adorable.  She still cries at the window now and then, but that's ok.  She just needs a little love and then she calms down again.

She is really funny.  She acts like she needs love so bad, but after about 5 minutes or so of petting or brushing her she tires of it and will try to bite you if you pet her anymore.  It is pretty funny.

When we went to Michigan I was scared she wouldn't be here when we got back since no one was here feeding her.  But, she was on the porch when we drove up.  I'm not sure what we will do with her when we head back to the city, but for now I am feeding her and loving her.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Why a Farm?

Kevan and I have been asked why after years of living in the city would we want to move to the country?  Not just that question, but why move so far from a major city?  Well, let's go back about 4 years.  Kevan and I love  When we travel we love listening to books together.  We listen to political, historical and Christian books mostly, but this time we chose a book called, "The Omnivore's Dilemma," by Michael Pollan

The book talks about the Natural History of Four Meals.  Mr. Pollan talks about corn, chicken, industrial farming, organic and sustainable agriculture.  He goes through the life of corn.  From the seed, to the farm, to the elevator and all of the different places that corn ends up before it gets to our table.  Same with chicken.  It is ironic that during Michael Pollan's discussion of corn/chicken in our fast food that Kevan and I were sitting at a fast food place eating a fast food burger, cheese curds and a high-fructose corn syrup filled Root Beer.  Anyway, this book opened our eyes to the food we eat.  It made us stop and think about where our food is coming from and do we really want to eat this junk?

Now, everyone knows we still eat fast food, buy from the grocery store, etc., but this book was the start of our journey towards moving back to the land and trying to find a way to grow (vegetable, meat, dairy, etc) our own foods. 

Another book that I loved was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. This book is the journey of one family from the city in Arizona to land in the Virginia mountains where they live off of the land (or from local farmers) for 1 year.  They grow their own vegetables (including asparagus), make their own cheese, harvest their own eggs/chickens and visit the local farmer's markets to enjoy only locally grown foods.  The book chronicles their journey through this and the struggles that each family member had giving up things they love that they cannot get locally (coffee, chocolate, bananas, etc). 

After reading this book Kevan and I made our own mozzarella cheese, canned several items and it also kindled the dream of one day owning my own chickens for eggs and meat.  We started to read more farming magazine's (Countryside Magazine is my favorite) to get a better idea of living off the land and this gave us a dream of living off the grid and not having to depend on the electric company for our power.  So, while we are still living part of the time in the city we are still researching and living through the books and magazines we read.

It was not only the the books that changed our heart to want to live a simpler life, but also my father-in-law's 80-acre farm. 


When we visit my father-in-law life seems to slow down.  The days seem longer and you are consumed with the beauty that God created.  It makes us stop and appreciate so many more things that we just take for granted on most days.  You notice the birds, the flowers, the clouds, the sun, the rain and you can even imagine the history of this land and the family that lived here before.  When we are in the city we just do not notice these things as much.


We have seen several baby cows shortly after birth and have rejoiced that God allowed us to be there for it and see this beautiful baby cow that He created.


One of my favorite things to do is get up early, go for a walk and find a place to read my bible.  There is no feeling like it.  It just doesn't feel the same to read my bible in my room in the city as it does to read my bible sitting outside where everywhere I look you see God's creation. 

While visiting we've fished, hiked down to the creek, had a picnic outside, walked the land, drove the 4-wheeler around, fed the cows, moved hay, and dreamed.  Dreamed of one day having a house on the hill overlooking the amazing view that God has blessed my father-in-law with every morning.

Although, there are always things that are not so pretty.  There are spiders, ticks, chiggers (they love me), cow deaths, cow pies, drought, flood, mud, freezing rain, extra dirty laundry...but we are hoping the good days will outweigh the bad days. 

I just finished the book Accidental Farmer, by Tim Young.  He has a chapter in the book about the realization of the hard times on the farm.  I know that there will be hard times, hard chores and sadness at the death of animals we love, but Kevan and I feel this is where God wants us.  Life is about hard times and good times whether it be in the city or in the country and we are choosing the country.

To answer the question about why we would move so far from a major city.  The answer is LAND.  There are not many big parcels available anymore.  They are now strip malls, subdivisions or just too expensive to purchase.  As you get away from the city land becomes more inexpensive.  When Kevan's dad purchased the Mountain Creek place at an auction this became our "trial run" at living in the country, far from a nice movie theater and our favorite chain restaurants.  We have to plan our purchases now when we go to town and sometimes we don't leave the house/property for days.  Living in the country is so different than living in the city and having access to so many things.  Especially sushi and Starbucks.  We won't find either in our little rural town.

We are thankful that his dad (and God) provided us with this trial run.  We hope one day we will have the means to build a house on his father's 80 acres and live out our lives there just as my father-in-law is.  And, if God chooses to bless us with children one day they will have a beautiful yard to play, learn and grow up and have vegetables and meat that we have grown ourselves and know where it all came from.