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     “Mama said there’d be days like this,” but for Pete sake, she never warned me those days might just roll into months! 2015 has been a rough year for us, and the scary part is that it’s only two and a half months old. If it keeps up, I am scared to find out just what is in store for us.

So far this year we’ve had car trouble – my transmission went out and we have yet to get it fixed. We’ve been using one truck, and although it hasn’t been too bad, it can still get a little sticky when we both have to be at work at the same time. Because that transmission is going to cost a pretty penny, we’ve been scaling back on all the extracurricular spending that we can. Doing so has really stretched this Farm Wife’s creativity in the kitchen a bit, but that can’t do anything but help.

My website had some problems, so I spent a lot of time trying to totally rebuild it. It took the better part of February, but I finally got it up and running. Within a week’s time, we had to put one dog down, and thought we lost one of our kittens. We’re trying to start up another income-producing venue in the way of growing and selling vegetable and herb plants. Everything was doing great until our weather went topsy-turvy for the South and we had some serious freezes. Even a heater in the greenhouse couldn’t prevent half the seedlings from freezing.

Just before the worst of the weather hit, Randy had to go to San Antonio to help our daughter rebuild her porch. She’s in a Historical district, and their rules and regulations are strict. The first one they built just wasn’t good enough (even though they did a beautiful job), and it had to be torn down and completely redone. While the Country Boy was away, it was up to me to hold down the farm. I was reminded of some of my greatest blessings in the form of friends and neighbors. Danny came and put hay out when I couldn’t get the tractor started, and Charles loaned me his truck to run what few errands I had to do. It was a good thing I was stuck at home, because the computer at work crashed, and I had to rebuild all of our accounts the old fashioned way – by hand, without the benefit of software.

It’s been raining on and off for the past three weeks, and our farm looks like we decided to go into the mud wrestling business, instead of farming. At one point, I was having to try and push Bossy, a 1,900 pound Jersey, out of a mud hole in the weaning pen. The mud was so deep her lower belly and udder were caked, and it took the both of us to get her to higher ground. We have ruts in the pastures that are literally knee-deep in places, from using the tractor to put hay out. My chickens’ feet are so caked with mud they look like some mob boss came by and were sizing them up for cement boots. And their water bowls are full of clean fresh water for about 90 seconds – after that, the mud seems to creep up the sides and slink into the bowls like something out of a B-rated monster movie. My rubber boots have now sprung a leak, and that was after I took one wrong step and ended up calf-deep in mud. That doesn’t even count the muscle I pulled in my thigh trying to free myself from the quicksand-like ground.

Yesterday, I got all ahead of myself. It was one glorious, sunshiny day. Even though I spent the better part of it between my two jobs, I still managed to come home in time to spend a few minutes outside. I made grand plans for today, part of which included spending time weeding my raised bed garden and getting it ready for planting. Oh, I could just about taste that fresh lettuce and the early peas. I even got up early this morning to get a head start on inside chores, so I could slip outside and begin the work.

After slipping through the muddy chicken yard, I think I scared my chickens when I walked in the coop before it was light out. The guineas didn’t know what to think, but they finally got out of the tree and came to join the chickens. (I even laughed at one of them, as they had a bad case of bedhead – or would that be tree-head. That poor guinea’s head feathers were going every which way, which isn’t really a good look for a critter that already resembles a Frankenstein reject!) I managed to get one flat of Roma’s bumped up before Randy came out to put hay in Bossy and Bart’s pen. And wouldn’t you know it. The tractor wouldn’t start. Battery problems again. By the time we finally decided to move the hay fork to the big tractor, a few big fat drops had begun to fall. I got the gate and Randy drove into the pasture with a round bale on the back, and I cringed as I saw the ruts go even deeper. As I eased my foot down on what looked like solid ground, I managed to find the one soft spot and sank my boot up to my calf. Ah, trust me. There is nothing like feeling cold mud slide down into your boot.   And the worst part of it is, there isn’t a catalog around that sells floaties for cows and chickens. If there were, then I would have to order those babies by the case.

Through it all, I realize that hardships are a part of life. If I look at it through a Reality Lens, I don’t have near as many problems as others do. I’ve learned over the years to keep things in perspective – there is no way I can truly enjoy the wonders and joys of life, if I don’t know and understand the difficulties. It is those difficulties that we slog through that help us grow stronger and learn new things.   It also helps us to learn balance. We may lose a few feathers when we stretch our wings that far, but even the lost feathers can create a beautiful bouquet.

Even so, Mama may have misspoken when she said ‘days’ instead of ‘months’, but I’m truly hoping her prediction stops here. I may have a beautiful feathered centerpiece for my table, but I’m not so sure bald wings would be all that attractive!