Sunday, January 13, 2008

For Christy: we share similar dreams

My apologies for the lengthier nature of this particular post. I had a lot to say today :-)...

Having been a city girl for so long has, apparently, made me a bit of a skeptic. Being really new to the blogging world, I'm actually surprised daily by all the online (and no-strings-attached) kindness that I encounter. Fellow bloggers are quick to reach out, post helpful and funny comments, present "awards", etc. It's wonderful.

What happens a bit less frequently, however, is finding a blog that touches you personally. Finding a blog where the words used, or a picture posted, strikes a chord within you because it's close to your own heart is startling. This happened to me today. A blogger who reached out to me this morning, Christy, is making a journey very similar to mine. She has been planning her own move to a farm for what feels like forever to her. Her posts describe many of her dreams, struggles, and challenges in frank and honest words. In one of her efforts to manifest this dream of hers, she posted a picture today of a miniature toy farm that she and her family have been setting up. It's as if focusing on these little representations can keep her dream alive when no other movement seems to be happening. Christy's blog touched me because this feels quite familiar to me. I know what it feels like to want to change your life so badly you can taste it, while at the same time fearing that it will never happen.

And although the specific details of our two lives are different, my own internal journey has been very similar to Christy's. Whenever my spirits dipped or my dream felt exceptionally remote, I would find myself reaching for some tangible sign - anything at times - that we could still make this move happen. The things I chose to be my "tangible representations" appeared in many different forms.

Many may find this silly or have a hard time understanding, but I've found that when you want something desperately, often it is the small things and private thoughts that allow you to feel like you're moving forward, even if all other evidence indicates your dreams have stalled. Even if that small thing is a toy or a magazine clipping or a silver charm found on the pavement in the shape of a cowboy boot. I'm a true believer in thinking things into reality. It is that desire and positive energy that makes incredible things happen.

After reading Christy's post today and being so affected by that one simple picture, I went through my photo files and found some of the small things I have relied upon during low times over the years to help me feel like my farm dreams weren't disappearing:

I started keeping a ceramic rooster named "Mike" in the rabbit hutch in our urban backyard over three years ago. He makes me smile:

I began collecting reading material (and decorative objects) on a subject I had been obsessing over:

I started saving old advertisements on farm trucks and farm life:

I requested all my friends and neighbors to stop recycling their empty egg cartons and start saving them for my future eggs:

I began photographing farm tools and accessories that I wanted to have once we had a piece of land:

I played with toys...
Wooden animals from East Germany stood on the sill over my sink:

And Playmobil farm critters were arranged just so:

And my son and I began volunteering at a farm sanctuary, the Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary, where we have learned much about gently raising healthy farm animals and living the rural life:

Of course, like for Christy, there have been many low moments for me along the way. There have been times when I was 100% certain that I would never have the opportunity to really become a "farm girl". Along the way, my dream has refined and reshaped itself many times. And now that our move to the country is really about to happen, I find myself still trying to figure out what the HECK I am really going to do once I'm there. Yet the desire to move to the land has never once waned or changed. The yearning to have a place where I can live with many animals just keeps growing.

Please check out Christy's blog, Farm Dreams, if you get a chance. Her goals for 2008 have her doing an incredible number of cool things that I will be interested in reading about and, if I'm brave, possibly attempting myself. Among these things are...learning to dehydrate food, making soap, experimenting with herbal remedies, learning to can, and hatching eggs with an incubator.

Good luck, Christy! I truly know what you're going through. May 2008 be the year your ultimate dream comes true. :-)


  1. What kinds of chickens do you plan on having? I'm not in LOVE with our chickens, but I think they're cool. They were at their cutest as little chicks ;-). How many are you getting? I love googleing chicken pictures and looking at them all. Surprisingly, there are A LOT of differant types of cool chickens in the world!
    Love the rooster, Mike :-).
    ~Mellimaus, on the dog account...(I don't feel like signing in)

  2. Hi Mellimaus (and Abby)... (the dog has her own account?! Lucky girl...) You gave me a good giggle over this when I realized it was actually you! :-) For chicks, I'm thinking I would like a few each of: Americauna (easter egg chick, also lower cholesterolegg), Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, and Wyandottes (not sure which color). I don't think I've seen the pics of your hens yet - do you have some posted? I'd love to see!!

  3. Thank you! What a thoughtful post. It made me smile and brought tears to my eyes at the same time. I love the farm stuff and pictures you have collected. Here's hoping your wish that we move in 2008 comes true!

  4. Oh, and I love Mike! How adorable!

  5. I always love visiting your blog, but I found today's posting particularly poignant. You have a great voice and a wonderful story: thank you for reminding me about the importance of reflecting on daily significance in our life and creating our own sense of place.

    Can't wait to visit Christy's blog!

  6. What a beautifully written post, and it was so nice of you to dedicate it to CHristy, she so deserves it! I cannot wait to read about your adventures on your new land!

  7. Hi Danni! I can help you with the soap making! Let's get together the next time I'm up in Portland and I can show you how - I'll bring all my stuff and my lye.

  8. Hi Christy - you're welcome :-).

    Hey Kathryn - thank you. Coming from you especially, this is an incredible compliment. You know how I feel about *your* writing!

    Farm_Mom: I love reading your blog! And I can't wait to post on our adventures at our new place...less than 2 weeks to go...!

    Mindi!!! How fun - I would love it if you taught me how to make soap. Are you a fellow blogger now? :-) I would love to read about your and Mike's adventures (and the new hens!!).

  9. I have deep deep chicken love (if you go to my blog you can see how often I talk about them) I am a lucky girl to be currently living my mini farm dreams and want you, christy and all the farm girl want-a-be's to have your dreams come true too. I rooting for you all.

  10. I followed you here from a comment on Christy's blog. What a beautiful post!

    Good luck with your move, I hope it goes smoothly. We're now aiming to move from our small farm to a bigger farm (or one the same size with better water rights).


  11. This is a very lovely post! I hope that all your dreams come true.

  12. How great to find stories of other people living "my" dream. My family and I are moving to a ranch at the end of the month and so excited. There are so many people here who don't understand our desire to live a slower life, so it's fun to find people who do. Good luck on your move!! Where are you moving to?

  13. We also share similar dream beginnings, farm girl. You should check out earlier posts on my "Laughing Orca Ranch" blog.

    Even now, I appreciate being able to go back to those early posts and see how far we've come. Wow.

    We were literally living hand-to-mouth getting most of our food from local food pantries and not knowing each month if the bank would take our little urban house away from us.

    I can truly tell you, and Christy, too (which I did when I discovered her Blog several months ago) that dreams really DO come true.

    I find myself pinching myself every day, just because it still doesn't seem real; the wide open spaces, mountains all around, llamas in my pasture (soon to be goats and horses, too) and chickens in our coop. Wow!
    I am in wonder at all of the magic.

    And I know just how you feel. I didn't collect many of the things you did because we were literally broke, but I did read every book AND blog on chickens, farm animals, gardening, self sustainable living, and farm life.

    I wanted our new rural life so badly, my entire being ached for it. So, yes I know. It's heartbreaking waiting for it to happen. And hardly noone else seems to understand.

    When you gush over adorable chickens and beautiful and tell people you want to milk your own goats, they just roll their eyes at you and say "Ewww, creepy!" They'd rather buy their milk and eggs at the store. They don't care where the source comes from.

    Trying to survive in urban suburbia is diffciult when you have this ache within, because it seems that noone else understands, and they seem so content with their concrete jungles. When we lived there, we felt like 6-eyed,5-legged, green and purple spotted aliens. We did not fit in at all.

    So, yes I know. And I am so very happy for you that your dreams are finally coming true.

    I can't wait to read your Blog as your farm magic unfurls itself in all of it's glories and challenges. It's all good. I know you will be so content and happy now.


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