Things have gotten really busy around here lately. I made a comment on facebook yesterday about all this. I feel like someone taught me how to juggle with three pins and now they just threw six more into the mix.
Pin 1: My normal life. Not that I really have time for one, but I try. Normal things include everything here on the farm. Morning and afternoon chores, keeping the snow plowed and the driveway clear, keeping my tush warm by loading wood into our outdoor boiler, cleaning the house, cooking the meals, doing laundry, washing dishes and all the rest of the household chores, and still managing to do some crocheting projects here and there. I have no issues with the outside work like taking care of the animals and keeping the driveway plowed (or mowing the lawn in the summer) but, I would love to have a maid/housekeeper for the rest!
Pin 2: Biomass. I am working on getting this project lifted off the ground and things are slowly managing to work together. It is like a door that has locks, little one's too, that line the whole side. One tiny key is given to me every so often to help me get that door open. I have all but a few of them unlock now. I can flex the door by pushing on the bottom and get peeks to what is on the other side but, I can't get it all the way open to walk in there yet! And that is just the first pin..one project!
Pin 3: Agriculture activism: This is a pin all on it's own because it is very time consuming. I have to follow what is going on in Washington, DC and with groups such as the USDA. I do my best to help where I can with any farm who asks for assistance. I know that small, family farms are the heart and soul of our country. Too many people have forgotten that! Milk prices paid to farmers are the same as they were in the late 80's. Yet, mind you, we all know that fuel prices have gone way up. Seed prices are higher. Grain prices seem to be raising by the day right now too (I will talk about this in a very detailed upcoming blog). Machinery prices are high. Fuel surcharge prices for milk pickup are higher than ever. So many small things that cut into the profit of every farm! It sickens me when I listen people complain about the price of milk, cheese and other dairy goods in the store...which are also high, I do agree...but, your local dairy farmer sure isn't getting that extra money! I could go on and on with this one..but I will stop it here and save up what I have to say for another day!
On to the rest of the pins!
Pin 4: Expansions. Yes, in a way this does follow up under the biomass but, it has become a bigger thing in the past six months. Now it is the same size as the biomass project we are working on. Two seperate counties in other areas of the state are agressively pursuing this type of venture to come into their area. Unfortunately, each new area has it's own requirements. It isn't as simple as saying, look I have a plan to produce that will utilize the areas grasses. You still need buyers and raw materials. This takes talking with people in the area, finding out the raw material base acreage. It takes finding a source that can use the finished product. Both steps really aren't difficult when you know what your up against, but it isn't just a snap of your fingers either. It still takes time!
Pin 5: Seminars/Conferences. Unfortunately, these things should come with a warning tag! Prepare, prepare, prepare some more! Making sure you cover the topic in detail is the best thing to do...but usually you are limited on time..so it is write the speech, tweek the speech and edit more!
Pin 6: Mentoring. This is the one pin I wish I had more time to take care of. I love helping people. It feels good to work with people who want to make themselves better individuals. I am a noble ambassador now, found out this week actually, for assisting people with leadership and interpersonal skills. The comments that were made to me, "You are a great inspiration. Your words are always kind and you show great compassion toward the issues of others. Your work has shown your true dedication and optimism for life." The title is just a title but one that I will always cherish. I will be the first one to admit, I did shed a couple of tears (of joy) for being able to pay forward what others have done for me!
Pin 7: Social life. Yeah, this one is down near the bottom of the pins. I wish I could take time to go hang out and visit more with my friends and family. Unfortunately, right now, time just isn't on my side! It is hard on me sometimes. I have two people that I really wish I could go visit with more often. Just to tell them face to face who much they mean in my life. One I chat on the phone with over coffee almost every morning. The other, I talk with on chat as much as possible. These two woman have been loyal and have earned my trust more than anyone else ever has. Girls, I love you both more than you will ever be able to comprehend!
Pin 8: Photography. Something that means a great deal to me. For little reasons. I see things differently through the camera lens. When I look through the view finder, I see a smaller section of the world. One that shows me the little things. Like the blooming flowers of spring, dew drops on spider webs, robins that follow me around, a look in an eye, so many little things! I could spend the rest of my life with my camera lift to my eye! It is such a beautiful world out there. You just have to remember to take it one frame at a time. Those frames make the world come down to size, to make you notice everything around you, everything that we have been blessed to recieve!
Alright...so there aren't six extra pins, just five. Still a lot to juggle. There are days that I miss the old way of life. Where I got out of bed every morning, got dressed and left for a normal job. But, I am not going to pull any punches...I love my life just the way it is. I don't care if some days I work so hard on so many things. I don't care if I don't dress in the current fashions. I don't care that I don't to have a new car or truck. I don't care that my clothes are usually all rumpled and stained, ripped and torn. I am doing something productive with my life...I am learning who I am and what I can give to others! I love where God has led me in my life! I am blessed with so much.....I just wish that God had provided me with a secretary and a housekeeper during this difficult transition period in my life! I pray everyday that he reconsiders that thought. I bet he sits in Heaven laughing when I sit here praying for that...saying, remember young lady, I won't give you more than you can handle!
So, no matter how many pins I juggle, I know that I have got it all under control, that I will find the strength and patience to do it all! Some how, some way...housekeeper, secretary or not!