First, I had a baby for a week which was exhausting. I realized that I don't really enjoy newborns. I always worked with toddlers, and found them awesome and fun to play and learn with. 3 month olds...not so much. I enjoyed the experience but I think that I'm going to be one of those parents that enjoys babies when they are a little older. I knew how exhausting the entire experience would be, and wasn't surprised. One fun part of it was that she just learned how to smile and will mimic you, so I'd spend hours smiling and talking to her. She also loved when you rubbed her nose and would laugh/smile at that. Okay...some of it was fun.
The same day that I handed off the baby, I headed out to Frostburg, Maryland for a Baha'i summer school program that I attended last year as well. I have so much to digest after my weekend Baha'i retreat that I'm not, and may not for awhile, be ready to write about it. In short, I had a wonderful time but I have mixed feelings on organized religion of any type and struggle to figure those issues out. Maybe I need a new series called 'finding my religion,' even if I don't have a conclusion to it, and may never.
Since WV was closer than driving across Maryland home, I simply went there for the night to visit a couple of friends. My friend's have a farm and I love it! I really had fun playing with the goats, the little one who tried to eat my camera every time I tried to take a picture of her, and ran around following us where ever we went, doing their best to eat EVERYTHING. I also got to pet some ducks and chickens. The ducks are so so soft, and hilarious to watch waddling around, snuffling their beaks in the puddles of water left over from a few days of rain. I was also able to see the house that they are building on their land, and discuss all those things that we take for granted--like toilets attached to sewers, water supplies, and electricity. When are you building a house for yourself, these things aren't a given, rather they are expensive and a pain to get. I learned more about different types of toilets than I ever thought I would.
I also got to shoot my first gun. I guess it isn't technically my first since I did shoot bb guns as a child, and a 22 with a teeny bullet sounds about the same. My friends had to buy a gun, basically to kill all of the raccoon's that were destroying their animals. They lost a lot of their birds, and all their turkey's but one that bravely fought off an attacking coon, before they started trapping and killing the raccoon's. They have caught 8--no wonder their birds were getting eaten.
Something you have to get used to when you have a farm, or you hang out on farms is the inevitability of death. We as a society seem to have desensitized ourselves to gun violence in cities, but the idea of killing raccoon's, or killing a chicken for dinner, makes people cringe. As much as I'd rather not be the one to do the actual killing, it is how nature works. In the same vein, I would rather pick my eggs up off the ground, and cut my lettuce from my own garden than go to the store. I couldn't think of something more fun to do with kids than let them chase after chickens, and ducks and get dirty. I was fortunate as a kid to never be too far from some dirt, and animals and I hope to give my kids a similar experience.
|Mr. Duck kindly let me pet him. He is supppppppper soft|
|I saw this flower at Michelle's house and had to take a picture|
|Andy hold the little goat. She is still small enough to be a lap goat|
|The bigger goat (sister) climbing the wood pile.|