Polliwog Farm

Latest Posts

The god of loss

Yesterday we harvested 8 of our ducks. The whole time my mind was swirling, finding metaphors and perspectives all throughout. I’ve learned that this is how my mind seems to operate when I’m happy and doing the work I feel like I was meant for, even if it’s hard. I can dive in, immersing myself in a very earth-bound task, and it’s in that simple physical place that I seem to find the most meaning and purpose. It’s this connection between my physical and spiritual places that aligns in a way that makes me swarm with gratitude and energy for life.

Our little flock, before.

Our little flock, before.

This is not to say that harvesting these beautiful animals was easy or satisfying in a way that I could categorize as “comfortable”.… Continue Reading...

Lessons in Farming: Duck poop is nicer than self-pity

 

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Jeff hurt his hip mysteriously and has been laid up for the past day. He went to the doctor and it looks like it’s some kind of a strain. He’s resting for a few more days and we are hoping it won’t be a long recovery, but it’s one of those things you don’t want to screw up early on just to make life harder for longer. So, rest. Which, knowing Jeff, the whole ordeal is a bit torturous. I gave him my most serious eyebrows and told him that resting an injury like this is the most effective thing to do here, so don’t even think about… yeah. He’s accepting of things, for now. But for me that means things ramp up a bit.… Continue Reading...

October update

I really thought I was going to miss the internet more than I do. It reminds me a lot of when I quit smoking. I couldn’t imagine life without that need. But then I quit and, while I still miss it, I’ve adapted well to the feeling of clear lungs full of oxygen and a life unburdened by the constant tug of that addiction. It might seem a bit drastic to tie those two things together (smoking and the daily use of the internet), but it’s really the closest comparison I can think of. When I’m home now, I inhabit this space, it’s just me and the things around me. This place has got a clarity that frees me from the incessant noise of the limitless information offered.… Continue Reading...

Life in August

My absence here has been largely an issue that stems from the lack of internet in my house. I hadn’t mentioned it here before, mostly because I don’t have a lot to say about it just yet. It was a decision that Jeff and I made when they were putting in our electric, since that’s generally the time they run cable too. We determined that we didn’t mind the idea of going without internet on our farm, and that actually we’d like the challenge of not having it tugging our attention out of what’s in front of us there. We liked the idea of focusing on the physical space, just in this one spot. Plus, it’s not like we don’t have internet wherever we go- we still have our smart phones, so things like emails and quick internet searches are still very much a part of our lives.… Continue Reading...

On into life

There is a lot of grief swirling around me just now, to the point where living life normally feels a bit absurd and unkind. So I restlessly confront that feeling and ache to do some higher good, and all that seems to await me is a squirming puppy or hungry kids or a spill that needs cleaning up. It seems to me that in times like these- when you temporarily lose some perspective (likely in service of growing some more)- you just have to put your head down and do the next thing. Makes me think of a passage out of one of my favorite books: 

“The living can’t quit living because the world has turned terrible and people they love and need are killed.Continue Reading...

The best-worst time

I’m really going to have to be writing more often if I’m to avoid the crazy long involved posts that keep me in this perpetual catch-up mode. Life on a farm is awesome and messy and everything I’d hoped for. I spend almost the entire day thinking about how to take care of everything and everyone, which is all at once peaceful and lovely and chaotic and relentless. It’s a different pace- no crazier than the old one, just new. Jeff and I are working to hone the skills as best we can, but we are okay with it not going perfectly. It does remind me of the shift from non-parent to parent. There is no “off” switch, no respite from parenthood. But you do learn to flow and deepen in commitment to it, and it all syncs up with your identity sooner or later, if you let it.… Continue Reading...

On process, carving out new spaces, and dealing with the occasional rabid coon

The past few years have taught me a lot about myself (and about Jeff, for that matter). I learned that I have a high preoccupation with process- What’s right in this situation? What do we want to do? Why? How do we want to live? These are the questions that rattle around in my head daily. I like this about myself and I feel it brings good things into my life and work, but it sometimes can feel complicated when the people around me aren’t equally concerned with such things. I know there are many ways to approach a situation, and this just happens to be mine. I’m working on forgiving myself my own way of living, as this process-oriented way of being feels, to me, to be inexorable from my person.… Continue Reading...

In our mud puddle.

We’ve been in the house just a month and a half, but again time feels funny- so funny, in fact, that a few days ago Vera said “How long have we been in the house? 6 months or something?” 

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I’m meditating on rhythm and ritual and structure as a way of enabling me to sustainably live in the creative way I want. This farm living will only work well if I can still feed my family at the end of the day, you know? I don’t want to get swept up in an impractical and overly-busy farm life only to burn out and create a less-than-peaceful space for the moments we need rest and togetherness. I’m seeing the potential freeing beauty in a morning chore routine… Is this growing up or something? I can see it giving me freedom- both in terms of time and just the alleviating some of the mental load that life requires.… Continue Reading...

Taking root.

Well, the transition from construction site to home/farm has been swift and merciless… but I suppose we’ve been waiting long enough. We are having so much fun! During the house build I’d feel sad and stressed from time to time, and Jeff was really helpful and comforting with his insight about me. He wisely asserted that I’m best when I have deep roots- I’m happiest with a strong sense of “home” and when I can dig into that, both literally and figuratively. Obviously the house build was challenging for me in that regard, and there was a fair amount of emotional and mental endurance that I had to tap into to get through it. I wondered what it’d be like when we moved, and I had to talk myself out of the belief that everything would be awesome and better the very minute we moved.… Continue Reading...

We’re here!

It’s been one week since moving day, and I’m always amazed by how time works both fast and slow simultaneously, depending on your perspective. Since the last post we worked our tails off trying to finish everything as quickly as we could, since we knew our apartment was being rented out as of April 1st. This was stressful, not because we didn’t think we could finish the house and move in time, but because so much of this process has been dictated by the powers-that-be. We weren’t sure that they were going to let us move in- specifically because our long driveway is in need of widening (fire safety thing) and it was going to take more time and money than we felt we could conjure up in time.… Continue Reading...