Really, if you stumble on this, feel free to step over my little rant. I'll understand. I can barely stand myself today.....if you do want to stick it out, scroll down to the photos and start there. Far more fun than the introductory trainwreck.
What an exasperating day. Well, to be fair, today was relatively benign, it's just a whole bunch of tempered frustration boiled over today and exploded all over my quiet little, moderately drama-free, life.
In the scope of world issues, I'm sure no one particularly cares that I have a squatting renter. But to me, it's huge and I'm incredibly upset about it and have to purge this negative energy. Today, I found myself locked out of my own farm (or rather access to the blown fuse in the basement) and was elevated to a brand new level of pissed-off.
I suppose I should embrace the unplanned electrical outage as a drill or something positive, like a little step back in time. Yeah. That wasn't going to happen. I have things to do, like bills to pay to, you know, keep the lights on.
I felt poked.
So I poked back and I'm sure my squatter hung up the phone convinced that I need anger management classes. Maybe I do. Today, I'm ok with that label. What I'm never ok with is someone else calling the shots on my life, my gig or my land. ever.
That said, my productive afternoon was shot to hell and I never did get to that fuse box and I wound up doing the unthinkable...I took to hiding in bed with a new magazine and re-runs of The Big Bang Theory.
I don't know if hiding under the covers really helped. I'm more inclined to move soil and break a real sweat to work through this level of frustration. Nonetheless, I was willing to try, I just didn't have it in me to do anything else and I felt genuinely defeated.
It's been several hours of sulking now and I suppose we could even say my damn mooching squatter won. He got the best of me today.
So, I reach for my laptop, edit a few photos, find my happy place on the net and daydream about the possibilities my farmstead holds, once it's all ours again.
It's always smart to start at the barn.
She needs some work and may be small, compared to others in the area, but she is the heart of the entire place. This photo is the back side and gets little sunlight except at sunset. Yet, this area is teaming with tree and grape vine growth. A natural canopy that the cows picked completely clean (from underneath) last summer.
I bet they loved the coolness the leaves and stone provided during the dog days of July and August. I loved the wild grade syrup that I was able to put up from the clusters that hung too high for grazing.
The vines are mature and worth wrangling. I'm undecided how to fashion it, but I think a trellis of some sort is in needed to reign it all in. I'll cut back some of the trees too, before they get too big and start to put pressure on the barn walls.
I wish this tree was healthier.
It's completely falling apart and I suspect it may have been the victim of lightning at some time in its lengthy history.
This photo kind of shows just how dire its state is with that tangling trunk over a story up.
Right there on the left at the tippy top of the tree, that large section there, it isn't even attached to the tree. At all. I'll troubleshoot pulling it down before it falls down. But still, the tree completely exceeds my abilities and a retirement plan will eventually have to be worked out.
These two photos are where I'd like to put the pigs this spring.
There's shade and sunlight, room to run, jump, bathe and rotate.
While walking the farthest west line, I realized this seemingly open space is actually a new nursery for young saplings. So instead of giving the pigs free access to all of it, fencing off just 30-40 feet will provide a foot-hold for future timber. A stand that will one day provide shade from the late summer sun and a winter break from the north wind.
This was one of the first spaces that reenforced the notion that when in doubt, it's best to leave it alone. A sort of "measure twice, cut once" philosophy, if you will.
More rambling, there are all of the wild blackberries....
...and still more....
....and more blackberries....
I think you get the idea. Unfortunately, they've been so neglected and over grown that they're barely productive anymore. I think I'll cut back two of the four spaces, then see how the results work out over the next year or so to see if I should do the same with the other two briars.
I think my feet are back on the ground. I'll give it a break for now.