Friday, April 22, 2011

While being out completely on my own the past few months I have learned quite a bit. I have learned how to speak up for myself  while at the very same time how to let things go.

As a wwoofer I was given the opportunity to see life in a whole new way. I experienced many things that I would have never even known existed. Making food, sharing space, working hard, and having conversation with so many individuals was my favorite part of the experience. I made friends from all around the United States and even the world, and was welcomed by complete strangers to share in a part of their life.

Being on my own also gave me more guts and a far greater realization that I can really do things on my own. It takes a little work, a lot of courage and optimism, but I can do it. I can create my path and succeed. I can do it!

Now I'm just thinking about the plane ride that I will be facing on Sunday...It will surely be better than the bus and the train, but it's going to test me. It always does. But I'm ready for it.


Monday, April 18, 2011

It's official. My week at Deer Creek Farm in Sheridan, Oregon has come to an end. Tomorrow I'll be driven to Salem and be on my way back to Southern California. It's not a trip I'm looking forward to, but a trip that I know I can enjoy. After a day on a bus being home will be nice, but I'm glad I'll only be there to enjoy it for a few days, because any longer and I'll go slightly insane.

Things I'm mostly looking forward to at home consist of coffee shops, my sisters and my pup Zayda. Throw in a few friends and I'm set to leave again.

Sunday morning I'm off to Ohio to begin the next portion of my adventure. I call it SUMMER LOVIN'. To me that means that I get to be loved up, love where I am, and just love living. Sounds pretty nice, right? I thought so. So yeah, countdown to Sunday begins! Six days!

Friday, April 15, 2011

me and Brewster
Patty and Scott are great company to have, I'm beyond glad they are here to hang out and help feed the animals with me. They are wonderful people who have funny vulgar mouths and love to cook.

Today Patty and I hung out all morning. I made oatmeal and watched Criminal Minds while snuggling with the cats and dogs. Then I took out the piles of trash from inside the house to outside in a horse trailer. Afterward I took a nap and listened to some music. It was a very nice morning, minus the rain that's been coming down for the past two days.

When I woke up from my nap I got my dirty clothes back on and went out to the horse barn to start cleaning stalls and filling waters. The horses were being extra funny today. Lips were curling up, whinnies were being heard, and bodies were rubbing up against me. Along with that was the playful behavior of them taking the rakes out of my hands, tipping over the poop buckets and trying to eat my clothes. I wasn't too sure about miniature horses the first day I met them, but now I am really starting to warm up to them. They're like goats, just a little bigger and without horns and with beautiful fluffy manes. After feeding the horses I met up with Patty again and we went out to the alpaca barn to feed all of those weird looking animals. I managed to make amends with Smokey, the evil Llama, and he mostly left me alone and kept his spitting for Patty.

Now after finishing all of our feeding chores Patty and I went back inside to meet up with Scott who made us dinner! Delicious chicken with delicious rice with a little bit of delicious asparagus and swig of delicious wine to wash down all of the deliciousness.

I love great days with great funny people who yell at dogs with lines like "for goddamn jesus fucking tits!". Definitely characters. Definitely good company. Definitely a fun and interesting day.

Tomorrow we're going into town and then I have my work cut out for me! I have a list of chores I still need to get done before Matt and Marguerite get back from their show. Whew! Night ya'all.

Scott, Me, Patty!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mini Horse/Alpaca Farm in Oregon!

Now in Oregon, my life for the week is that of an Alpaca/Mini Horse farmer. I have spent my days so far cleaning out horse stalls, staring at Alpacas and running away from one of their evil llama's named Smokey. Marguerite and Matt, the owners of the farm, are amazing and fun and feed me chips and wine, which I do not mind at all.

My first day on the farm I got to learn feeding schedules. I was so very tired from being on the bus all day, but I had a lot of fun. The horses whinnie and the Alpacas have intimidating teeth and the Llama spit!

My second day I helped clean and organize a horse trailer, cleaned their center aisle of the horse barn, cleaned a majority of the horse stalls and emptied at least ten buckets worth of mini horse poop in the process. By the end of the night I was ready to sleep. And sleep I did!

Now, the end of my third day, I am very tired AGAIN! It's a great feeling. Today I accompanied Matt to a nearby farm to retrieve some horses and horse show stuff. This basically means that I rolled two horse carts, and carried a bunch of jumps and poles and horse saddles up a huge hill where the trailer waited. I then came back to the house, had lunch and then cleaned all fifteen mini horse stalls and emptied some alpaca poop buckets. During stall cleaning I also had some sun breaks where I laid around with the dogs on various pieces of wood whenever the rain/hail storm broke and the sun shined down on us. After I finished the stalls and Matt finished grooming his horses, we had some coffee and left to meet up with some of his clients for horse training.

Tomorrow Matt and Marguerite leave for a horse show! I will be at their home to keep the animal stalls clean and do some spring cleaning out around the farm. It should be pretty fun as well as leisurely. I'm rather excited.

Pictures will be up as soon as I actually take some, and real stories will follow soon after!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Working on the goat farm has been nothing but fun since I arrived late January. I've gained muscle, farm know-how, a greater lust for life, and many wonderful memories with wonderful people and animals. I have tested myself with the elements and managed to keep a smile on my face when it was dark and rainy for days at a time.  

Waking up at 5:30 to do an outdoor shift in the 30 degree rainy weather was no easy feat at first. My fingers were numb (my toes more so) and everything was frozen making work difficult. Add in the fact that at this point I could also barely make a hay bail budge and carrying two buckets of water made my arms muscles spazzy. I had my work cut out for me. I went about slipping on ice, and trying to lug heavy bags all around the farm before the milk came up from the milk room to be processed. Often times I had barely gotten anywhere in my list of things to do and would have to work a long while after processing milk. My work was cut out for me!

Now I lift things easily, and everything is a breeze. The animals love me and come up for their daily dosage of love (now that I have WAY more than enough time I sit down with them and give everyone hugs, kisses and scratches behind the ears).
Being in the milk room has improved drastically since the beginning as well. No longer do I come out of the room covered in goat poop and frazzled. I recognize each of the goats teats and can tell when one of them feels sick. I can open the milk room door and holler "Come on down for milking my friends!" and have a mob of my newly found goat friends running at my door.

I remember when I was heading out here I was worried that I would be lonely living on a farm. How wrong I was! Not only have I had wonderful interns (that are very very different than I am) to share my days with, but I have had an entire farm full of life to hang out with. Animals are the best company. Hands down. On days I have felt down I go to the tent we have the goat kids in and sit in their hay feeder with them. Hooves go flying across my face and tugs are felt at my head as they pull my strands of hair every which direction. In fifteen minutes I can easily overdose on baby goat love and feel back to normal.

Now I'm preparing myself to leave. Slowly cleaning up my trailer and tidying my belongings together. I look out the window and feel pangs of sadness knowing that I'm going to be leaving chickens clucking me awake in the morning, and being chased out my door by a ferocious turkey. No longer will I have to wake up at 530 to feed animals or milk out fifty goats. Working on this goat farm has been the best impromptu adventure I have had and I will definitely be coming back for stints whenever I can.

Next week I will be heading out to Oregon where I will be working on a mini horse farm for a week before ducking home for a minute and beginning my next adventure of living in the Grand Teton National Park for six months.

Life is exciting and brings a smile to my face constantly.

...I'm going to have to start brushing my hair again. :)