Choosing to love the farm again

I do love it here. I really do.

But, there are days when I want to cry, call ‘uncle’ and walk away.

Last week CountryBoy headed to Arkansas to be with his Mom and brothers for Thanksgiving. I stayed behind to take care of the animals, check the guests in to the cabin and kept the fire going. We both had lovely Thanksgivings, him with his family and me with our adopted Kentucky family.

Friday evening a young couple and their dog checked in to the cabin for the weekend. Their intention was to do some hiking around the area and possibly check out the Red River Gorge. Sadly, it started raining Friday afternoon and did not stop. Some time in the wee hours of Sunday morning it finally stopped. Thankfully, they were still able to cook their meals on the grill during lulls in the rain and enjoyed some time relaxing.

During one of the lulls in the rain Saturday afternoon I walked around with my camera. I wanted to cry…

The water flow off the mountain in the above photo is normal. The water flow below is not…

To make a long story short – the ditch that the water flowing normally flowed into was inadvertently covered up when the new road to the cabin was created during the summer. We were in a drought and although we realized the ditch had been covered we didn’t think about it again and because of that I was now witnessing the gravel in our driveway washing away creating deep ruts and just making a mess of everything.

CountryBoy threw out grass seed after the road was finished but there were areas where the seeds didn’t take or it hadn’t filled in completely. Much of that dirt washed into the culvert clogging it so the water running off the hillside and the mountain had nowhere to go but over the culvert and down our driveway.

After a while I no longer saw the water but instead, dollar signs being washed into the creek. Gravel costs money and there it goes into the muddy creek.

I headed back up the driveway…

and into the barn…

Mud puddles around the feed cans. sigh.

That side of the barn typically gets wet when we have a lot of rain because of its location at the bottom of a knoll but pooling and creating mud puddles was a first.

It doesn’t help that there are several sheets of tin missing…

The missing piece on the left is near the chicken coop and the missing piece on the right is over Mabel’s pen. Thankfully her bedding is nice and dry.

I’ve already been frustrated with the barn because of the shabby roof that needs replaced and the water issues in the barn that we’ve always had. It’s beginning to be more of an eyesore rather than just an old tobacco barn. We are not able to fix the roof ourselves (trauma alert, for sure, if we were to fall) so we’d have to hire someone. We know a guy but he doesn’t work for free and the tin isn’t cheap either. We really don’t need a barn this big. A nice, reasonable size barn that we can maintain would be ideal. But, we have other issues that need tended to first so the verdict will remain undecided for now.

Heading out of the barn – what a muddy mess…

The orchard is along the ditch line and now that it’s gone there was standing water everywhere…

As I mentioned earlier, the rain stopped some time in the wee hours Sunday morning.

CountryBoy had made it home safe and sound the night before missing the worst of the watershed. The rain had been stopped long enough that he was able to hop on the tractor and he made short work of fixing our deeply rutted driveway before our cabin guests checked out. He graded the cabin road as well but, thankfully, it wasn’t too bad and we didn’t lose much gravel there…

To say I was down-in-the-dumps would be an understatement. All I could think of was the extra work and the money it would take to fix this problem. We were making such headway at bettering the farm and then BAM – a new problem to deal with. Images of my vision for the farm were shattered to pieces. Yes, I’m being dramatic here but shattered visions are very real when in the midst of one’s turmoil or disaster. But given time, the pieces are eventually put back together and all is good again.

Thankfully, CountryBoy wasn’t (and still isn’t) too concerned which is good since he’ll be the one having to do much of the physical work. Me? I’m still wondering how many more hours I’ll have to work to pay for it all.

Speaking of work, I had a particularly rough week at the newspaper immediately following the watershed disaster which hasn’t helped my desire to call ‘uncle’. I won’t go into detail but let’s just say I’ve really had to psyche myself up this past week to show up and do my job. But, that’s neither here nor there – just something I’ll have to deal with for now.

I am thankful, though, that every time we have some sort of disaster or problem arise here at the farm that we take turns having melt-downs! CountryBoy says he’s usually the one with a melt-down because he knows it’s mostly up to him to come up with a solution and provide the manpower and I’m usually the encourager saying it will be alright but, this time? It was my turn. Maybe because he didn’t actually witness it? Who knows. Whatever the case I’m glad he’s OK this time.

To lighten things up after a long Monday we washed off the dust-covered metal skewers and roasted some marshmallows in the fireplace that evening…

This shot was taken a split-second before it burst into flames! CountryBoy gobbled it up not minding a scorched marshmallow whereas I tend to like mine lightly toasted. Sticky-finger-lickin’ good!

I had good days and bad days last week – even to the point of looking online at properties for sale in the area but then I decided that I would only be trading one problem for another. So, yesterday afternoon I conscientiously made the decision to love the farm again and to continue to tackle problems and make steps towards fulfilling my vision – one day at a time. I grabbed my camera and walked around the farm a bit knowing that in doing so I would remember all the good things of our farm…

One of them being the woods beside the barn. I love the woods. The peace and quiet and beauty soothes my soul and creates an energy within as I walk on the dry leaves absorbing the sights and the sounds of nature…

and even though we’ve had several hard frosts some plants are thriving on the forest floor. It was wonderful seeing some green. These woods will remain untouched because you just can’t improve nature and God’s handiwork.

On my way to the woods I walked along an access road beside the barn where I happened to discover where the tin over Mabel’s pen ended up…

do you see it amongst the branches of the pine tree?

As I walked around I made the choice to love the farm again and to just keep plugging away doing whatever is necessary to fix any problems or disasters that come along as long as we are able. My biggest problem is my vision for this farm. I see so much potential for our twenty acres but that potential/vision far exceeds our budget or manpower. I must somehow learn to let go and be content with what we are able to do whenever we are able to do it. As one that thrives on projects and fulfilling visions sooner rather than later that’s not an easy feat for me. Pray for me y’all! I’ma gonna need all the help I can get :)!

I love this little path alongside the barn and the knoll. I need to make time to walk it more often (and I’ll try to ignore the dilapidated fence). That’s the key – making the time to do things that I enjoy.

In other news, CountryBoy built this little lean-to for the side by side last week with scrap wood, scrap tin and some pine trees he cut down. This will help protect it from the elements.

Speaking of the side by side, we’ve allowed our guests to take it up to the cabin. They have loved it and thought it a great part of their stay. And, speaking of guests, this is the first weekend since we’ve listed it on Airbnb that we have not had any. I say we’re off to a good start and hope that it picks up and continues to be a good investment.

I mentioned my vision for the farm and one of those is creating a permaculture garden. I am reading up on it and I think we are going to try our hand at it in the orchard…

I hope to add more fruit trees, some nut trees and trees that help with nitrogen, and some flowers & veggies to this space. I’m hoping to use a combination of permaculture ideals and companion planting. Right now, I’ve got some learnin’ to do on both topics and then I’ll be mapping out where to put everything.

I know this was a long post and if you’ve made it this far, thanks! You’re a trooper. I don’t want this post to sound like I was/am complaining. I am certainly not. I just wanted to share my thoughts and feelings at the time. It’s part of my ‘keeping it real’ commitment. I am better now. It was just a dip in the rollercoaster of life and especially life on a farm. And if I’m completely honest with myself, I wouldn’t have it any other way. So there will be no crying ‘uncle’ but rather cinching up my waders and digging in to rectify the latest problem. Quite possibly quite literally, ha!

8 Comments

  1. This reminds me of a show I once watched about a couple who were given a few acres and the tools a person would have in the 1800. They had to build a house and farm with no other help. What sticks in my mind was their comment that they had to be constantly working or starve. I guess we all desire a “all done” moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every now and then I would LOVE an ‘all done’ moment but… where’s the fun in that, haha! I constantly remind myself that no matter the difficulties we face here at the farm we STILL have it easier than the pioneers such as that show portrays.

      Like

  2. Thank you Suzi! God’s doing some great things through you and Ronnie… And the farm! Hang in there. This came to mind as I read.
    “… but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
    Romans 5:3‭-‬5
    You’ve got this 🙂,
    Cathy

    Liked by 1 person

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