Monday, June 16, 2008

Granola Crunchy

Well, for those of you who thought I was already crunchy enough, SURPRISE!!! I'm managing to become even more crunchy: Onward and Upward!

Since the Westport school system decided to not put my subbing paperwork through until last week, I have been spending about two days a week helping out on T's farm over in South Dartmouth (yes, that is where Marty took me on our first date). I never thought I would love farm work as much as I do. Ellen has been teaching me all sorts of great things. My first week included some cheese making 101. We made a chevre, a semi-soft queso blanco, and brie, all with raw goats milk from the farm. I've also learned all about planting and pruning, and even had a little lesson in goat milking last weekend.

Goat milking was not the only highlight from last weekend. Oh no, no. When I showed up to the farm on Friday morning T and Ellen were helping one of the mama pigs get ready for labor. They gave her some natural pain reliever and we took off to move some sheep. When we got back from the back fields, we found three little piglets running around! As we stood there watching how cute these new babies were, out popped a fourth and a fifth baby piglet! They come out snout first, very stream-lined, and immediately get up and wobble around on their new legs. What was most shocking was their first duty in their new little life: chomping off their own umbilical cord so that they can be free and clear to go begin nursing. The mama pig has about 10-15 piglets, each with their own cord to chew through. Amazing. Life is crazy!

Friday night also held some adventure. Marty has a pet horse that his dad keeps here on the small farm, and what do horses eat? That's right. Hay. Welcome to haying season, my friend! T, Ellen, Pops Vieira, Marty and I took a few trucks down to another local farm to pick up hay. We spent the evening throwing and stacking hay bales onto the trucks and then did the process over again to get them into our barns. Well, it wasn't so bad at first. But after hours of being around the hay, this little girl with allergies was not doing so well. I starting in with a massive sneezing attack, immediately took a shower and medicine, and proceeded to almost pass out at dinner from being so tired. I'm not sure haying is my favorite activity, but I wanted to be a part of it.

Aside from all the farm work, I've also started teaching art lessons. I love it! One 7 year old girl from our ward comes over on Thursday afternoons, and while listening to Disney classics, we bust out some pretty sweet art projects. So far we have learned to mix paint colors, created a "seasons tree" based off of all the colors we created, and have started a tree on canvas using real wood and rocks from outside that we hot-glued onto the background she had painted. We'll have to stop lessons for the summer while I am gone, but she wants to start back up in the fall. I'm hoping to maybe get a little class together of about 5-6 students.

However, even with all this exciting stuff going on, I am ready for the summer to officially begin! Marty is done with teaching TOMORROW, and we take off in a week for North Carolina. I can't wait to see what kind of adventures we have down there!