one thing a day

How sweet is this? Rory is walking Miracle back to his stall in the barn. Miracle had followed Rory back to the house and then stood in front of the big window baaing for his friend to come back outside. 
I feel like I'm out of words this month. I have tons of pictures, but when I write anything out it sounds redundant...like I don't have much creativity left beyond the photographs. I think all of my extra creative juices are going into the work being done around here. I believe Infrastructure is the word that will describe our year. Everything we are doing this spring has to do with systems and structures. Each day Rory has us answer this question, "What is one thing we can do today that will make tomorrow easier?" It's a really great question and puts different items on the top of the list that haven't been at the top before.

Tasks can be small or large. We started with putting a gate on the temporary garden fence. Last year we never had a gate and had to take the chicken wire off of five spots on the T-post to get in and out. We already love our slick garden gate.. Now we're building a fence all the way out to the orchard to help us get the sheep from barn to pasture each day. We have the electric lines marked for building a taller chicken yard so our layers have more room in their yard and stay out of my yard (notice Hattie below...she has a definite love/hate relationship with those birds...) The list goes on and on. But it's so great. Each one of these projects will make our days run more smoothly. It's a fun question to ask each day.
One night last week it all sort of hit me that we're really doing this. That somehow our lives turned from urban and techy to rural and farmy. Even the Becca of 6 years ago wouldn't believe this all was coming. But here we are. Raising pigs. Reading books on rotational grazing. Building long fences and thinning the raspberries. I know we've been at it for five years, but I'm just saying that sometimes I still find myself surprised at my life!

Spring Break 2018

We didn't take any days off of homeschool for a spring break this year. Honestly, our days run so much better with our normal routine that I'd rather do a normal day than break the rhythm. So we kept chugging along. But then last week the weather turned glorious and our farm to-do list grew by the minute. Rory needed our help and so we stopped our normal school and got to work.
And we got so much done! We still can't really look at the master to-do list without feeling utterly overwhelmed so last Monday we hung a whiteboard so that at the end of each day we can write our Got Done List. And this helped us to feel so accomplished. As we should! We did so much. I took pictures of three of the days just to document for posterity...)

At one point we realized that Spring Break likely was originally for this very purpose...for the children to help with planting. Now days it has turned into warm weather destination vacations, but originally it was likely to help on the farm. So we called the week Spring Break and Rory said, "there is no other place in the whole world I would rather be or rather be doing than right here, planting seeds." And I agreed. It was a glorious, satisfying week.

today on the farm

We are in full swing around here and are picking projects off the list one by one. But we're making progress! Last week spring hit us hard and we were overwhelmed. But on Saturday we sat down and revamped the master list, talked through the order that everything needs to be done, and got our heads around all that is ahead. And it's a lot. But we signed up for this! And we do love it. Especially all of the darling animals we love and enjoy. Today I decided to get my camera out and document much of the day. Here is what I saw:
Our laying hens have gone all World War Two on me. They are each digging a bunker and settling in for the day. It does look very comfortable, sort of their own tempurpedic hole. But watch your step on our farm...you may twist your ankle in a chicken bunker.
This is new and fun! We planted wheat and oats on Monday. And the third plot will be feed corn for our pigs next year. It's a learning venture like everything else with the plan to learn what we can this year and then see how we want to do it next year.
These two have been working hard together all week. Ivar has definitely grown into a serious helper and loves to be right by his dad's side. This is the pig pen we built this weekend. I've got more pics of this process to share in another post.
And there's Alden, happy as always, watching the sheep and keeping an eye on the rest of us working on the pig pen. He's a charming boy. And so, so agreeable.
 The sheep had to keep a close eye on the new digs for the pigs.
Ivar and Elsie have been playing Laura and Mary all week. Except it's actually 'Pa and Mary-who-can-still-see.' They play in their woods and make soup and food and go for "trips into town" by the well house. Today I saw them buying things while in town and I greeted them, "Hello Charles. Hello Mary, so good to see you." Elsie froze with wide eyes and shook her head, "please don't say that mom. It makes me feel weird inside." I said, "does it embarrass you?" And she said, "yes! It totally does!"

I was a little sad that I don't get to play along. So later I stopped by with a basket with a cloth that held chicken eggs. I told them I was a neighbor coming by with a gift. Elsie opened it and said, "I thought it was going to be a real snack. Go back and take the eggs out and put something in here we can really eat." So I guess that is how I'll get to be a part of this story line...
Today the broiler chicks moved out of the garage and out into the chicken tractor. If you could smell my garage. Yikes!
They Layers came to welcome the Broilers to the neighborhood. Or to tell them who runs this farm. Hard to say.
And finally we moved the pigs out into their new pen. They were a bit spooked to be out of the barn, and it took some serious coaxing to get them out, but all is well that ends well. As Rory said, "Our marriage has so many of these unique, shared experiences and they're all layered and compacted on top of each other. We are like steel-reinforced concrete or fiberglass...all of these things packed one on another. It's building one very strong foundation." And it is. We are in this together. It's a lot going on, but it's good fun. It feels full and right.
Now I'm off to bring more slops out to these guys and to feed Miracle his last bottle of the day. And then I am going to hit the hay.