Sunday, June 13, 2010

"It's All Good"

Influenced by 21st century parlance, when I look for answers to my "picture perfect" approach to The Farm, I guess it's finally time to admit I am OCD Weeds. I hate them, but lucky for me and The Farm, I love to pull them because they butcher beauty. While I know that weeds are plants without a purpose, a weed is a weed, is a weed, is a weed and is dead on my farm. Speaking of butchering beauty, our person who cuts the grass had his zero turn mower platform off balance, so his guide wheel cut deep grooves into the grass I have so carefully cultivated over the years (couldn't he see what he was doing...). What gripes me is that he cut the areas I told him are mine to hand cut, so keep off. Didn't work.

Please let's not confuse him with the best crew ever, Michael and the men (a rock group in your future?). They made up for the butchering by making everything else picture perfect. Michael reminded me that the land would heal (better for the 4th family picnic; can you bully Mother Nature) and ultimately, it's all good (his mantra and I am beginning to buy in).

When the occasional car drives by, I notice that almost always it slows down and occupants look. It is then that I realize how beautiful the farm is, but like any form of beauty, natural or man-made, it requires constant attention. Aching muscles, long days, and acts of God that take shape in the form of severe weather events keep the men and me busy. For the occasional drive-by who must think what a pretty place, I often wonder if they can even begin to count the cost in human effort to keep it pristine.

A downed tree, never hard to find when you live in an open area, aka wind tunnel with no city shapes to cut the impact, can wreak havoc, not to mention cutting off the upper holding ponds and channels from attention until limb removal. Mickey and I thought we had one limb, but keener eyes (and Eric's non-allergy to poison ivy) proved one tree felled the limb of another, so two entangled removals. Luckily, my husband is freighted with tons of common sense, enough for us both, so he never sold the backhoe I so wanted him to ditch for more room in the big barn. Instead, he contracted for a second barn, keeping the backhoe just in case. In case happened this weekend, when Michael and Mickey decided the best, most effortless way to remove the wreckage was, you guessed it, the backhoe. It was also the best way to relocate a LOT of stones and move around and aerate the hay piles from last winter, now creating great mulch for my eventual garden. Llamas do make the best fertilizer.

With all the goings on with several frequently loud initiatives occurring simultaneously, you might wonder what the barn animals do. If the llamas do not feel threatened, they hold ground. But when the noise and equipment even begin to encroach, we relocate them to either upper pasture or the chute, for their own well-being and safety. Sometimes they move on their own or Miss Cierra's initiative, and sometimes I move them. Food is a great motivator. But the best in the barn for holding fast and true has to be Allie Cat, who imposes her own boundaries, the concrete pads, never moving beyond them. She is stolid, and only vehicular traffic in her barn will motivate her to upper ground upstairs in her hay loft.

Sometimes you miss the best photo ops, and one of them would have made a great film clip. Since I was on the hose, you will just have to imagine the scene. Michael and Eric are holding the plastic sheets, connected by a wooden frame at the top, that comprise the flexible "door" for the girls' stalls. Every summer, we take them down and the guys wash them. Someone has to hose them off--the plastic sheets, not the guys--but I managed to do both. It really does help in times like that to remember, "It's all good."

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