June 1, 2017

Green Acres: For Better or For Worse

June 1, 2017
I'll shoot straight and not beat around the hay bale.  I've been in a dark and desperate pit of depression and anxiety and basically spent February, March an part of April completely unavailable to life.  I've struggled with depression for years, but anxiety? Not so much. This was my first rodeo with anxiety and it was nothing short of debilitatingly awful.  After seeking professional help, taking specific supplements, surviving a near intervention from my dear friends, hitting the floor in tears of prayer, leaning on my family and holding on to Big Dog for dear life...I'm back and better.  Dare I say, better than ever?  But I have to tell you, I was convinced I'd never, ever, ever be better.  Never say never.  God answered my prayers and delivered me better than I was before.  The fog lifted.  

I look back and can't believe how bad I was.  How scared and desperate I was.  I was truly convinced that was it.  I'd forever be in a state of unbearable anxiety.  I'd never know anything but depression.  I'm thankful for my family and friends.  And walking.  I walk with a friend and it's been just about the best medicine.  However, in a strange and not so believable way, our green acres has had a way of keeping me from going back to the pit (I thought the only cure was a patio home).  After all, farm chores are the best chores.  Maybe.  Sometimes.  Occasionally. 

Fourth to walking, prozac and supplements, mowing is also good medicine.  A good dose of accomplishment will keep your head high.  If you're like me you know the importance and feel good of vacuum lines, a fresh swept barn, an empty dryer, dishwasher and my favorite (drum roll please) a freshly wiped down countertop.  But lately, mowing has been therapeutic and somewhat delightful.  Mowing to a farmer is like tea to the Englishman. 

See the line of definition?  The very definition of utopia when it comes to before and after.  Awe, the smell of freshly cut grass.  Is there not a candle for that?  Wait, actually the smell isn't so lovely.  Not when you mow over more than you can count piles of manure.  I mean, if you visualize it, not only am I covered in grass clippings and dodging bunny nests but I'm also inhaling manure spores for crying out loud.  Ew. Gross.  So gross. Flying pieces of manure.  Ugh.  

I apologize for that graphic but I pledge to keep it real on here even if it's stinky.  Anyhoo, I'll draw the line there.  Except, I drew a line, a deep and very defined line when it came to Big Dog getting cattle.  I said with certain certainty that there was no way we were getting cattle.  I put my boot down and had my hands on my hips and said no way no how brown cow.  Big Dog has always been a good listener but lately, his game of ask for forgiveness instead of permission is strong.  My firm stance was totally ignored and he brought home FOUR cows.  I think my hands have remained on my hips until writing this post and to be honest I haven't put on my big girl panties and truly forgiven him yet. 

The cows are all too appropriately named, by my eight year old daughter. Brisket, Steak, Hamburger and Roast.  I do declare.  I can't take it and question if she's truly my child.  

I thought sheep were dumb.  No.  Cows are dumb. Dumb cows.  I swore I wouldn't take a liking to them and I've stuck to my guns.  They even got out to graze on our neighbors pasture and I don't care.  Not one bit.  Big Dog was out of town, of course, and I wouldn't even go look to see where the dumb things got out and try to get them back in.  Dumb cows.

The grass is always greener.  I need a zoom lens.  These dumb cows won't even let me get within 100 yards of them.  I can hear one of them mooing as I type trying to figure out how to get get  over the fence and join her runaway homies.  Dumb cows.  

On a positive note, spring on the farm means new life (and hella lotta work).  And by new life I mean mail order new life.  Despite my toddler fit, Big Dog insisted we needed more chickens.  For the love.  When is enough enough?  Alas, mail order is the way to go when getting baby chicks.  Nothing cuter than picking up a box of chirping chicks from the post office and having the twenty people in line stare at you. 

I don't know why Big Dog thinks we need more chickens.  Fifty Shades of Eggs for your  rated G viewing pleasure. 

We ordered fifteen but ended up with fourteen because one was D.O. A.  Poor fella.  But aren't they cute?  And the gray chicks!  They came with feathers on their feet.  I'm obsessed.  

Just the sweetest, softest thing. That is until you pick it up and it poops all over you.  I literally scared the poop out of this gal.  But we got cleaned up and snapped this pic real quick.  

Isn't she cute, that little chick.  And my daughter obviously.  Oh, the arm?  Right.  Indeed.  It wouldn't be kosher for Big Dog to go out of town and tragedy not strike.  This little miss fell off a four wheeler and broke her arm.  And just because I'm a pro at broken arms because her twin brother broke both arms last September doesn't mean I took lightly to this accident.  It could have been much, much worse so I am ever so thankful that it is just a broken arm. One broken arm. Now she's in a purple cast and will be back to barrel racing in no time.  Deep breath.  

I've managed to NOT kill my lil rose bush.  And have learned to stop and see the beauty of the farm.  Well, I mean I'm working on it.  I'm a glass half empty kind of gal and so positivity is a challenge.  But I'm getting there.  My therapist has assigned me with seeing the good in things.  To notice the leaves on the trees and butterflies on the flowers or the soft baby feathers on little chicks.  It's a process. An expensive process.  Our deductible is just a leeeeeeeeetle high. 

In addition to spring chicks, we have a spring garden.  Sort of.  But at least the tomatoes are interesting.  We are expecting triplet tomatoes.  

The dogs are still pals and work tirelessly at keeping the coyotes away and posing for a perfect picture minus a muddy backdrop.

Diamond is still kicking it.  But for real.  Poor Diamond is being harassed by a stud miniature horse, named Apple Dumpling.  The whole thing is just weird and confusing to the kids.    Anyone want a horse? 

And the pigs.  Lottie is shockingly still alive.  Covered in mud sores, she still manages to get up once a day and eat.   It's not clear if Lottie has eyes.  Wilbur is still with us.  He's much more active and has apparent eyes. 

And now I'd like to end this post on a humble note.  While feeling pretty good about myself as I mowed four pastures in a row, I also managed to mow the garden hose.  Sure did.  Who knew that one must turn the mower implement off when finished mowing?  Better a hose than an actual water line.  We've had a our share of water line catastrophes.  

It's good to be back and active on the farm.  But I feel some respite coming on.  Life on the farm is no vacation.  It's always something.  Always, always.  You can count on it.  After all, it's green acres covered in horse and cow manure.  

Wait.  Hold it right there.  Before I can post this I must bring you up to speed on the cows that left our farm for greener pastures.  My heart tugged, just a little, and I agreed to help  Big Dog round 'em up and bring 'em home.  Bahahahahahahahah!  

Since we aren't actual cowboys, we round our herd, I mean Big Dog's herd, on ATVs. And you know what happens when you chase cows on an ATV?  You basically get flipped off and loose manure in your face.  Never get too close to the rear of an anxious cow on an ATV.  Especially when the wind is blowing.  

I learned this pretty quickly and decided I'd had enough of flying manure and decided to keep my distance.  Long story short, we were unsuccessful at getting them back over and called it a night.  Two days after our ATV escapade, the dumb things figured out how to get back over on their own.  Just like that.  There they were standing in their proper pasture staring at me.  

Oh and apparently we have witches on our land.  I haven't slept sound since.  The proof is in the cauldron. Witches.  Why else would there be a cauldron randomly sitting at the back of the land?  Great.  As if I need a 187th reason for one of our kids to crawl in bed with us at night.  Thanks, witches.  

And that's all I got.  For now.