Lots of Little Things I’m Grateful For

Last week I wrote a really touching and sentimental post about how grateful I am for the farm, and then I was like, “Seriously? If anyone who reads this website doesn’t know that… if I’m not showing that I’m laughing every day, even when shit gets hard, or when the well pump breaks and I find a salamander living in my basement, then I’m not telling this right story anyway.” So I didn’t post it, and the short version is this: I’m really effing grateful for the long and winding road that brought me to the Liberty House and the life I lead because of it.

I’m also really grateful for the last five days, because it gave me just enough time to see friends and family, and get on top of some things around the farm.

For example:

I made one hundred ravioli.
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If you’re wondering what the hell that has to do with Thanksgiving… well, I come from an Italian family, and this is the holiday we eat homemade ravioli (and meatballs) along with our turkey.

A hundred of them, apparently.

I also did a little organizing in the barn after last weeks final push to clean up the rubble pile

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I’m actually planning to build a few lumber racks on the walls to stack some of this barn wood.

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(Which, as far as I’m concerned, is worth its weight in gold.)

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And in the midst of all of this organizing and stacking, I borrowed my neighbors tractor (which is conveniently parked in my barn for the winter) and which has convinced me that I TOTALLY NEED ONE OF THESE THINGS.

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For real. This is my new Craigslist obsession.

Speaking of my neighbor, after The Great Donkey Herding Incident of last weekend, he insisted that I also learn how to drive the old jeeps, just in case I ever need to herd the donkeys when they are not around.

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He actually took me up a hill just off the back of my property that is so vertical we actually didn’t make it to the top, and instead slid down backwards.

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And I was all, “You do remember I’m the girl who flipped a car over on what is basically a straight, flat road, right? You really want me driving this?”

Turns out, I’m not great a driving a stick. I suspect that because I use power tools, some of you will be surprised at my inability to drive a manual transmission car–as if operating a miter saw and the ability to use a clutch at all rely on the same skill set– and to you I will say this: Yeeeeaaaaah. I’m not so good with the shifting, I’ll just stick to my big diesel truck. Thanks.

It was a lot of fun though.

And, depending on your geography, you may or may not know that there was kind of a big football game going on around these parts over the weekend as well…

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I actually don’t watch football, ever, but that’s not to say the donkeys didn’t get into the spirit.

It was an all-around beautiful weekend. I was relaxed enough to spend some time just sitting in the front yard with the Nuggets…

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And, at the last minute, decided I was going to be completely traditional this year and went to get Christmas tree.

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The truck made this significantly easier than last year. So significantly easier, in fact, that I may have underestimated the size of the tree I chose…

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Only by an inch or two, though. (Those are 9′ ceilings, if that tells you anything…)

But, here’s a secret… one of my favorite parts of the weekend actually didn’t have anything to do with “getting things done.” These days I’m usually in such a rush to get farm chores and other things done that I don’t take the time to really see my property. But since I had so much time on my hands– and was actually ahead of the chores, for once– I took an hour to walk the the fields beyond my property…

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It’s a great way to see things from another perspective.

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And a reminder of the beauty that comes along with the work that it takes to keep this little farm going every day.

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Totally worth it.

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16 Responses

  1. This makes me absolutely ache with homesickness. Though I recently moved to “the country” (a small town outside of Seattle called Sumner, but I commute to city central every effing day), I still have reach-out-and-touch-you neighbors, and my heart is so lonely for open spaces. I grew up on a farm in Montana, and – though I ran to the city at 17 – lately my roots have been itching. I’m so happy for you that Liberty House and Black Feather Farm have become such a great home for you. And, obviously, I’m also more than a little jealous. 🙂

  2. Ravioli sounds wonderful! Just love reading your stories, great lady. You are such an inspiration.

    My husband and I are project hounds too. So it is great to see your passion and gratitude towards things that require our brains and hands.

    Our Thanksgiving day was blessed with an article about the loft. http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/nov/28/dove-release-business-burton-area/ Hope the story brings warms your thankful heart . . . it did to ours.

    Wishing you and your family (and animals)a very JOYOUS and SPARKLY holiday season . . . from our loft to your farm.

  3. We make ravioli too, but for our Christmas Eve dinner before going to Mass. My husbands family is italian and his Grandmother was the best. I miss her so much, but am glad I learned how to make ravioli from her. Love this post about your farm and enjoy reading your adventures in getting everything done. I wish I knew how to do half the shit you do, because then I wouldn’t have to go through the hell of explaining to my hubby, just what I want, and him looking at me, like I have three heads. Merry Christmas…

  4. I’m grateful for you and your blog. It’s always a delight to read your articles. You’ve taught me so much, and inspired me even more. Thank you!

  5. Your love for your farm and your life in general shines through every post on the blog.

    It is one if the things that make your blog my absolute favorite blog of them all. Your posts are full of love, your dedicated and an inspiration to us all (women AND men).

    🙂

  6. I’m incredibly impressed by how many of your “10 things that must be done” list (yes, all 20 odd items) you have accomplished. I stumbled across it the other day and was gobsmacked when I realised how many of these (huge) items you have ticked off. Did you realise how well you have done?

    1. Hell, I haven’t revisited that list in a long time… but you’re right, made a ton of progress! (It’s nice to know I’m consistent with prioritizing projects.)

  7. If you’ll be around kids in the next bunch of holidays, buy a copy of “Mr. Willoughby’s Christmas Tree”. It goes into very popular and touching detail about what happens when the tree is a smidge too big. My kids (and I) love it.

  8. Ditto the thanks for your blog. You really are a charming writer and it is with great delight that I follow your successes and setbacks. Your barn has meta morphed into a thing of beauty. It’s huge! Big enough that when you finish your to do list you can take up flying lessons and park the plane in it. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Oh and, I thought of you when I heard someone say there are only two kinds of skylights. Those that are leaking, and those that are going to leak. Merry Christmas.
    Margaret

  9. I think the “Nugget, foreground; Liberty House, background” photo in this post may be one of the best you’ve shot for the blog. It’s simply beautiful.

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