Life off The Farm

I thought I would take a short break from talking about the farm today. Instead, I thought I would tell y’all a little of what my life off the farm looks like. Although when I do get off the farm, it’s not very far. Farming is a pretty all consuming thing, which invades almost every aspect of my life. See my blog posts so far.

Anyway when I am not farming (or reading about farming, or watching youtube videos about farming, or talking to other farmers), I like to read mostly fantasy and science fiction. Robin McKinely is my favorite author. I just finished reading My Side Of The Mountain. Yes, this is a children’s book, but I had never read it before. It is probably a good thing I didn’t read it as a child as I would have taken it as a life plan and tried to run away to live on my own. I did read the Hatchet as a kid and thought it sound amazing. My family has a family book club. Each year three members of the family get to pick out a book for the whole family to read. We started this before any of the kids (my siblings and me) were married, so we have modified the rule so that when a married couple’s year they get a combined 500 pages. So if they want to pick two separate books, or parts of two separate, or one larger book they can. This year’s books are A Time Of Gifts, Carry on Mr. Bowdich, Why We Sleep, and States and Capitals United We Stand. I have not started any of these, which does not bode well for my getting all of them read this year. So reading. I love to read, and do a fair amount of it in my free time.

I also ride my horse. I know I mentioned them earlier. I could do a whole blog post about horses, about my horse, about why I love horses, and so on. As a child, before I learned how the world worked, I wanted to grow up and be a horse. That should tell you all you need to know about how long and deep the obsession over horses runs in my blood. If I could make a living doing something (anything) with horses I would. But that is even harder than making a living farming. I am very fortunate that my horse is only a mile and a half from where I live, in my parent’s backyard. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds. They have 5 acres with one fenced off for the horse. The neighborhood they live in connects to the neighborhood I live in so I ride from their house to mine sometime. There is also a creek running through the middle of the city that has park and wide floodplain that I can ride on. While not the same as riding at a state or national park it is also better than being stuck in an arena all the time. Neither my horse nor I would like riding in endless circles.  Related to this is another non-farm thing I do. I refurbish old horse trailers. I am currently working on an original Hartman. This one I am planning on keeping for myself, normally I resell them. I do one a year, since I only work on them half an hour or an hour a day. It takes a long time but is very rewarding.

Despite my love of reading and horses, what I most do in my non-farm time is hang out with my family. I am one of seven children (second child, first girl), and most of us live together or very close by. I have two nephews, and they come to the farm (the mulch pile is their favorite part). So my family is big and getting bigger every year as people get married and have kids. I love my family and I love hang out with my sisters, and brothers, my mom and dad. We talk about everything* and play cooperative board games, we watch Chinese dramas and West Wing, and documentaries.

Sometimes my family gets a little claustrophobic and I get out and go see other people. I have several best friends.  All I have known for more than half my life. They keep me grounded and sane when the farm and the family are driving me up the wall. They are definitely the kind of friends that you call at 2 a.m. or fly across the country for. They are also the kind of friends that help me bury a body, or bail me out of jail. Best of all they are friends I can rest with. We can be together and be silent. In fact, most of my blogs are written at my friends house while she works from home and I blog/plan my week/watch Netflix.

Until next time,

Farmer Jo

*No, really, we talk about everything from current politics, to the best way to sneak into a library and organize the books by color of the binding

One thought on “Life off The Farm

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