December 7, 2010 § 2 Comments
It’s the time again. I’m not sure how Christmas found us so soon this year. But I have to say, I ‘m ready to decorate the tree, visit with family and friends, wrap presents, and bake cookies. Somehow I fit it in amongst the usual farm and market chores – just like everyone else. I wish I could stop the clock for a few weeks and just move slowly through the holiday preparations. As is, I fit in festive activities between the tasks and low and behold there are decorations – cookies – and goodies under the tree each year. I think it’s the Christmas music and eggnog that gets me through. (Yes, I do drink eggnog each year. It transports me back to fond childhood memories.)
I’ll be taking a bit of time off from my writing over the next few weeks. But come the first of the year – I’ll share cheese techniques – garden tips – skin care recipes – and humorous farm stories. Like today – only Tuesday and already one of the goats took out a piece of the plumbing under the house and 6 baby chicks are running all over my outside lanai teasing two fairly tolerant dogs on the other side of the glass. My mother, who is visiting for the next 6 weeks gets exhausted just watching us. She thought I should write about my trials yesterday getting Feta goat out of the garden. I explained that without video – it was only a story peppered with fairly colorful metaphors. Besides, how many goat stories do people want to hear?
No, I decided to share my Christmas list entitled “What to get a farmer for Christmas.” This was to help my husband, Tim, who says he never knows what to get me for Christmas. It is set to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Imagine this is the last verse – with tune in mind – as you read:
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Closet doors and trim – Wood stove burning bright – Shingles on the house – Help in the garden – Goats fenced in tight – Front door swinging wide – Yummy Jamba juice – One Potting Shed . . . Folding laundry table – Trip to my favorite beach – Sofa and bookshelves – and a Chicken in a Kumquat tree!
Granted they are a bit challenging to wrap. But I think the wood stove and sofa will be there by Christmas morning. I’ll let you know.
Hoping your holidays are filled with goodies – good health – and blessings.
Mele Kalikimaka – Merry Christmas,
December 2, 2010 § 1 Comment
I played hooky last Friday from the farm. Thanks to the firmly-implanted work ethic, I was riddled with guilt leading up to the day off. Tim and I haven’t taken a day off since the summer. Somehow each week goes by and my “list to do” just gets longer instead of shorter. So the day you planned on going to the beach somehow becomes the day to catch up on weed whipping or dealing with that leaky spot in the roof. But this time when a friend asked if the family and I wanted to go out on his boat and snorkel, I thought – simultaneously – “I have so much to prepare for my weekend farmers’ markets” and “What a perspective to see the island from a boat!” Fortunately, the later thought won out and thanks to Charlie, we spent a glorious day on and in the water. We watched the amazing antics of a large pod of Spinner dolphins leap out of the water. At one point, a pod swam around and under us as we snorkeled. The day was capped by the opportunity to float above a Spotted Eagle ray. (The photos are compliments of the web. I need all my faculties to snorkel so no underwater camera for me.)
As I was floating, I thought, “My current life – as beautiful as it is at times – is not sustainable.” I work toward making my farm sustainable but I don’t work toward making farming sustainable for me, personally. Working three farmers markets a week, preparing product and managing an online business, weeding or hauling rocks until nightfall and one’s back tells you to stop, waking up on top of the covers in clothing that looks suspiciously like what I wore the day before – is not sustainable. Throw in two kids, one husband, a menagerie of animals, well . . . you get the point. Several conversations with folks this past week showed a common theme. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. As I was listening, I realized that we all need a different paradigm: We need to create a more sustainable life. We need to say, “Enough. I’ve worked hard enough today and now I’m going to enjoy a book – head out to the garden – play a game with the kids – or just play hooky from work.” The world will not collapse and you will feel better. The recharge made me approach the following day’s tasks with a greater sense of optimism. It’ll get done.
Charlie gave the family more than a day off last Friday. He reminded us that in order to achieve a sustainable life, we need to embrace the idea that play is as important as work. It really is that simple. So . . . before the year is out – take an unexpected mental and physical day off. Think of it as preventative medicine. We could all use a little less stress in our lives. This current path of work until you drop – not worth it. Play – a healing connection between mind, body, and life.
A hui hou,