Friday, November 27, 2015

Being Thankful, Part Deux

 Shopping is my least favorite activity. Being at the mall ranks up there with being dropped in a pit with vipers, or swimming with sharks.  
So this is how I will choose to honor Black Friday today:
Painting posts. Black. Voila.
Then, I'll resume planting wheat in the horse pastures.  Something I did on Thanksgiving Day.
Does it get better than this? Me thinks not.
Especially because it almost didn't happen.  Unhooking from the box blade was an arduous challenge Thursday morning because the three point hitch was refusing to un-hitch and the hydraulics were being equally cantankerous.  I have a hate-hate relationship with hydraulic lines. 
Thanks for the guidance of two customers and the feed store owner on what to plant and seeding rate.  Next, thanks to at least 4 creative farmers who posted Youtube videos on how to calibrate and service this blasted planting drill. Tinkering and unclogging little tubes... two hours later:
I'm loaded up.
And fully functional.
Wishing you the same marvelous day I'm about to have-- again.  As long as playing in the dirt is something you relish too!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Being Thankful

Many things, I am thankful for this month.
One:  I've  been promoted to manager of the farm.
The employees here resent being called minions and they refuse to call me by my rightful name:  Supreme Leader.  But, I'm working on it.
In retaliation, I'm performing corporate restructuring.  
Garrett has been named CFO and Pete will be Party Planner.  Cole, the trust fund baby, will not be soiled by work.
In all seriousness, a huge thank you to my friend, Ann, who got me started on this dream farm.  And a tremendous thanks to my bosses who trust me with their spot in Paradise.

Next on the agenda:  gratefulness for strong friendships.  Geovani and I worked together for 10 years.  Even after being in each others face for 70 hours a week, we were like glue.

What my Dad and I are both thankful for:  a day off.  Yes, for my father's birthday, I took him off the farm. We drove a couple of hours to Southern Georgia to visit ANOTHER farm.  Premeditated torture.  Plus, I brought all the dogs.
I couldn't figure out why we were the only ones enjoying a park on the banks of the Chattahoochee.  Gale force winds, perhaps? 
"Are we having fun yet?"

I can't vouch for my long suffering father, but I had a blast discovering forgotten gems of a town. My favorite:  Fort Gaines.  A frontier festival the previous day had left all the historic buildings open... 

"I think I can see a golf course, salvation, in the distance."
Mercifully, we eventually made it to White Oak Pastures.
A five generation farm who bravely took the plunge into organic, sustainable agriculture over a decade ago and have proven that it can be done well and it can support an entire community.  If Armageddon comes, I'm heading there.  They are completely, completely vertically integrated.  From producing their own compost with all their waste to making their own sugar, they grow it all.  The farm restaurant is staffed by Elton John's former personal chef.  During the course of our lunch, we met the owner.  He invited me to drive my truck anywhere on his farm, as long as I closed the gates.  Then we met the sheep herdsman's wife.  What a bonanza, what a day trip!
And I came home with full coolers for many more meals.
Guinea fowl, goose, rabbit, lamb heart and kidneys, sausages, so much more. 
Thanksgiving came early to the Smith residence!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


A few weeks ago, a little snowbird flew down from Canada.
This wasn't Dad's first rodeo, he packed work gloves.
He arrived at 6 on a Sunday evening and by 6:05 he was whisked away to help me feed livestock.
He toils well.
Or digging up sweet potatoes.  He was nonplussed about the black widow spider who hitched a ride into the house.
The weather has been miserable... killing frost, 6 days of rain, flooding.  The dogs are most adaptable -- preferring to watch me work from the coziness of the truck cab.
Sometimes they volunteer to venture out in the elements.
Mostly though they rough out inclement weather this way:
Ordinarily, we're a pack of four.  This month, it's been 5.
99% of the time, I value my posse's constant presence. 1% of the time, they're downright underfoot.
Par for the course around here. 
Unfortunately, my truck wasn't able to avoid a bad water hazard after torrential rains a couple of weeks ago.  We fell into this crevasse late one night.  Nearly took out my radiator.
All along, Dad has kept on toiling...
Loading steel.
Building a barn. (Notice how safely he's perched)
Isn't this what everyone does when on vacation?
Do not be chagrined for him, he loves it.
It's genetic, he can't sit still.  
I tried to take him out to local tourist attractions:
Once.  Because one attraction is all we have.  
Drive thru folk art gallery.
See, I know how to treat guest right.
Let's hope he comes back in Spring.  Tons of work during planting season, ya know.