Unfarmgirl-Like Conduct

In my mind, Farmgirls lead a highly organized life of pure simplicity. They are left sided thinkers. They are practical. And they are brave and strong.
My confession is this. That’s not me. No, wait. I am brave and strong. But otherwise? Nah.

I am messy, cluttered, scattered.I am a right-side of the brain person. That is my excuse. I have a sign, “I’m creative, you can’t expect me to be neat too.” My house and my car and my office have always drawn concern from other people, but the cluttered-ness rarely bothers me or my husband (he’s just like me.) There have been times when we say, “hey, let’s be more organized.” But, it doesn’t stick. Both of our offices have piles and piles of files and documents. We know what is in each pile. We understand the system. We’re okay with it.
BUT. Now we have a strong desire to be more organized and simplified. Now we want to move to a small farmhouse.
Whoa. I, at this very moment, have a snake on my patio. Yes, Jake the Snake has returned this year to terrorize me. My little dog Strudel was just barking like crazy and I went out to see what the commotion was all about. Blue, my big orange dog came with me. (Oreo, my “I’m-a-lover-not-a-fighter” dog, stayed up on the deck, but joined in the barking.)
When I realized it was a snake, I wouldn’t go near where the dogs had it cornered. (I guess I haven’t progressed as far as I thought I had with my snake phobia. Hmm, it sure was easy to convince myself that I had recovered from snake phobia when there are no snakes around! But now that the snake has returned, so did my unnatural and debilitating fear of them.) So Blue and Strudel have the thing cornered and won’t let up. The snake is striking at them. They’re darting and backing up, darting and backing up. I want to go and “protect” them from the snake, but I can’t. I’m paralyzed. So I yell, “Come! Come! No! No!” from afar. They bark their heads off and do not leave the snake.
I know three things. I don’t want them injured and I don’t want them to injure the snake. But I don’t want to go down there.
What’s a Farmgirl to do?
If I were my Grandma, who was a “real” Farmgirl, I’d have taken my hoe and “off with his head!” But that’s not me. I don’t want to injure or kill the thing. It’s not poisonous.
So, this “Farmgirl,” goes inside and gets some leftover lemon rosemary grilled chicken (it was good, btw). I stand on the deck and tell the dogs to come and get a “treat.” That’s a word they know well. Strudel comes running. I give her some lemon rosemary chicken and lock her in the house. Blue is going nowhere. He is interested in only one thing: the snake.
I slowly walk down the deck stairs. I start towards Blue with the lemon rosemary chicken, but as I do, he gets more ferocious and aggressive with the snake. I realize that he is protecting me. “Treat, Blue! Treat!  Blue!” Nothing. He is after the snake big time.
What do I do now? I mean, really? What?!

(This is not the snake in question. I didn’t have my camera today. This is the snake picture from a few years ago.)

That’s where we are now. Jake is down there somewhere. I finally convinced Blue to get close enough to me so I could grab his collar. I get him inside and life goes on. But the snake is still down there.
It makes me question myself. Can I handle life on a farm? Can I handle all the creepy crawly things that come my way? I was down in my garden here (in the backyard) the other day. I had finally gotten off my duff to plant some seeds. Out of the corner of my eye I see movement. I look over and it’s the biggest, grossest spider I have ever seen in my life. His body was the size of a quarter, at least. And he had fuzzy black long legs. And he just sat there and looked at me.
And I had to move. I stood up to shake the willies away. I got away from him and worked in a different part of the garden. So, I doubt myself.
Do I have what it takes? Am I tough enough?
I was talking to someone who used to raise chickens for one of the big chicken companies. She said that she used to walk through the chicken house in the mornings and pick up the sick birds. “Whonk!” she said, “I’d hit their head on the side of the bucket and toss them in.” That image haunts me.  I’m not much of a whonker.  I’m not made out of that. For her, she did what she had to do.
(Of course, I now know that the sorry conditions of chickens being raised for the big chicken companies. I know my own little flock would be nothing like that.)
But. I. Just. Worry.)
Blazoned in my mind is the time I accidentally killed three baby bunnies in my garden. It was years ago, and I haven’t gotten over it yet. It was horrible, and I’ll spare you the details, but I haven’t forgiven myself for causing their deaths. I stayed out of the garden for a long time after that. That’s what I mean. I’m not tough. I want to be, but it’s not the way I’m geared. I still tear up when I see a dead animal on the side of the road. I used to cry when I had to read autopsies of babies and children.
So, I don’t know if animal husbandry is really in my future. I read a blog post on urban chicken keeping that made me realize that as much as I like the idea of a chicken coop and fresh eggs, I’d love those chickens too much. I don’t know how to separate that emotion from your chickens. Goodness gracious, I catch moths in the house and take them outside. Yanno? How do you find the inner strength to handle all the sadness that comes along with keeping animals?
Have I told you the Mercedes and the mice story? Okay, this post is getting completely off the subject, so I won’t tell it here, but tomorrow I’ll post it at www.rebekahteal.com (where I never make an effort to stay on subject. Ever.) It’s good for a chuckle.
So I started a list of things I need to learn to do before I move to a farm:
1.       Use a chain saw.
2.       Shoot a rifle.
3.       Hammer a nail straight. (as well as other basic carpentry skills).
4.       Take care of a horse (working on that one).
5.       Be less creeped out about creepy, crawly things.
6.       Learn how to operate a tractor.
Of all that, I think number 7 is the hardest. That is the confession I meant to make when I started this post. Of course, that was before the snake incident which led to that other “I’m not tough enough” confession.
So here goes. Recently we had some terrible storms at night. One night our weather radio sounded, so we gathered blankets, water, and the three dogs and headed down to the safest place in the house, our master closet.
We lay out on the blanket and told stories about all kinds of things. My daughter rarely goes down to this closet as it is tucked away in a corner of the basement. So she was asking about all the clothes hanging around and I was telling her about this gown and this dress and these shoes, whatever.
That’s when I really saw it for the first time. My closet. And all that stuff.

This is part of my closet when it was first built.

And so, I got up from that blanket and started going through my clothes. What a ridiculous number of clothes for one person to have. And believe you me, if I’m thinking about moving to a little farmhouse with little closets then I better get rid of some of these clothes.
So I started pulling clothes off the hangers and folding them up in a pile. Soon it was so high it was about to tumble over. So I started a new pile. And then another. My husband joined in, going through his clothes and starting his own piles.
When the danger was over from the storm, we headed up to go back to bed. But something important had happened down there. Epiphany.
The next morning, I went to the closet with bags. I filled bags and bags and bags with great clothes and took them to Good Will.

As I watched the guy toss my white silk blouse into a dirty bin, I almost stopped him to say, “Never mind! I’ll take that back!” or “You’ve got to take better care of this stuff. This is GOOD stuff.” But I didn’t. I just took my slip from him and drove away. And thought, “I hope some little girl enjoys those gardening boots as much as my little girl did.”
And so it begins.
Shed. Shed. Shed.
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

Leave a comment 24 Comments

  1. Jan says:

    I think that this is the year of epiphanies! I have realized now that I have inherited lots more ‘stuff’ from my mom that I have created many spaces of clutter and disarray. I have been on a cleaning and tweeking phase for a couple of months now, finally finishing my bedroom (which isn’t that large, maybe about the size of your closet! LOL), complete with a new coat of paint. I even had my antique headboard reupholstered! Woohoo! Anyway, there is great satisfaction in simplifying spaces…
    I think that you would be wise to stick to the creatures on your farm that don’t require any ‘harvesting’. I spoke about getting chickens to my hubby, who reminded me of the normal process of disposing of hens that lay no more eggs(chicken soup, chicken and dumplings..). I told him that I simply would have no heart for that and I would have many retired hens!!
    Yikes, I don’t have snakes and I am so GLAD…

  2. Sherry says:

    You’ll do fine….if you take it a day at a time. You will get tough in little bits. I am not afraid of spiders or snakes..but I don’t like to be surprised by them. I kill them only when I absolutely have to…usually I find they want to stay as far away from me as I do from them. As for the chickens… I have 9 right now…and have lost 5 in the past…I hated it and miss them..and shed a few tears…..but I will still keep them. I love my chickens…they are friendly, curious and a blast to watch…and yes…if I lose one to a fox once in awhile….I try harder to keep them contained, but also realize….the fox has to live too. I would rather they went after the rabbits then my chickens though…so I try to make it safer. And if you get moved to a farm…..I would start out with goats…they are super easy and a load of fun. Good Luck…..hang in there…you can do it.

  3. Lori Blevins says:

    Beleive me your alot tougher than you think. I learned this when I moved to the country, you find the strength that you never knew you had. As for the icky bug and snake problem, game chickens will take care of that problem and give you wonderful fresh eggs.

  4. Nan Roberts says:

    I’m sorry you’re scared of critters. If it had been me, I would have dragged the dogs inside and gone to talk to the darling snake. Somehow, I’m not afraid of these things. Dunno why.

    I have a friend who keeps a small flock of chickens and uses the eggs, but they all have names and she has no plans to eat them. I will have a probelm with that too when I get to have chickens. I’d like to get over that, tho, because part of the deal is raising my own meat.

    I’m so glad to knowyou are messy. I am really messy and disorganized, andit gets me down. I dn’t know what is in all the piles. And I will be moving soon, too.

  5. meredith (hereford girl) says:

    Oh, you need to calm down! :) I am a farmgirl living on a cattle farm where the two people who own the place also do all the work (that would be me and my husband) with help from our 12 year old daughter. This is how we make our living and I can tell you a few things.
    #1- We name all our cattle and know each by sight.(there are about 100 head)
    2. We dont eat our friends- other people do, but not us. We give them a good life with the best of care,and the least amount of stress. How could we turn around and eat them?
    3. I am phobic about snakes and spiders.
    4. I cannot run a chainsaw.
    5. I can run tractors, bobcats and shoot a pistol or a rifle- some things you just have to learn!
    6. I have several horses, not hard to care for if you have good quiet ones and a good vet nearby for emergencies!(And a good farrier you will enjoy spending time with- horses need their feet trimmed about every 8 weeks. If your horse needs shoes you will see him even sooner!)
    7. I would die for a closet like the one you are emptying out! or the clothes to fill it! Sure wish I lived near YOUR Goodwill!! :)
    You will do FINE being a farmgirl- but the clutter, now I have no advice for that- I fight it every day!

  6. Kim K says:

    It’s cathartic to shed "stuff." The older I get, the more I realize just how liberating it is to pare down to the basics. I still have a ways to go, but I am working on it too.

    As for the creepy crawlies, can’t help you there. I’d never go out on my deck again if I had ever seen a snake on it!

  7. Rhonda Lane says:

    You are most definitely on the right track! I hope you will soon feel how liberating and how GOOD it is to donate all of those extra items and free yourself of the burdens. I moved from the congested Chicago burbs out to the country almost 8 years ago and it’s just fabulous in SO many ways. I don’t miss the past lifestyle one little bit either. Wish you the best!

  8. Kelly Ryan says:

    Rebecca, I think you are a compassionate person and maybe you just need to listen to that and honor that about yourself. Maybe you could farm fruit and veggies? Personally, I don’t animals need to be farmed. I think they need to be protected. Their lives on factory farms are horrific and I can’t imagine being part of that for any reason. However, even for animals are a small farm, being sent to slaugher is completely brutal- this is not euthanasia.
    I’ve been vegetarian for 21 years and mostly vegan for 16 years and it’s been such a great journey. I like being able to look animals in the eye and know that I am not their predator. I’m also the heathiest and most energetic person I know!
    I truly understand your desire to connect with farming- just listen to who you are and honor that.
    Kelly in CA

    I truly understand

  9. Kerri says:

    I live on a farm with chickens, 3 horses, and a huge garden! Thank the good Lord above I have never come into contact with a snake!!! I am a farm girl who is completely hand utterly terrified of snakes!!! If one was in my garden then that would be the end of my garden! I hate feeling this way, but I can’t help it! You did well to even open the door and call your dogs as far as I’m concerned. Our snakes aren’t poisonous either, but HEAVENS I can’t take the sight of one!

  10. Cristine says:

    I also think that you will do just fine. Once you get out and go exploring on your own, you will realize that you have no choice but to do fine. There are certain things that are facts of life. Creepy crawlies are one of them, and wherever you live, I’m sure there are places in the amazon which have much, much worse creepies. Be thankful we have the mini versions here in the U.S. Death is another thing that is a fact of life. There are certain animals which become so domesticated where it is considered cruel to kill them(cats/dogs) when raised in a farm setting, like Meredith’s post, you can only become so attached because death is just a part of the cycle of having cows, or chickens, or pigs. A lot of people are really freaked out by animals being killed, but when it is done properly, it is swift and painless and over within a flash. That is where respect for the animal and its life comes into play. There is no suffering before, during, after. I’d encourage you to watch "food, inc." if you haven’t already. It is gruesome, but it will give you an idea of what commercial animals go through verses what home-raised animals go through too. My dad raised Purdue chickens for about 10 years and it was a shame that some needed to die,(I never killed any, but I’ve filled many a 5 gallon bucket with dead chickens) but they were very well raised in clean houses with clean equipment. Their lives were good. Their endings were not so good. :( yet another part of life. There is no avoiding it. Demand will not let humans completely stop these processes.
    I grew up on a farm so your list of "things to do" are second nature to me, so I will tell you what I know.
    1. Use a chain saw. Hold on for dear life with both hands and be extremely careful. It gets heavy fast so take your time, and please whatever you do, don’t cut into the ground or your chain will be dull and sharpening a chain needs to be a lot further down your list…If your chain is good and sharp, you won’t have to push down on it to cut through and it should throw out nice big chunks of sawdust. if it’s fine dusty sawdust, the chain is dull and needs sharpening. Do not go buy another one, they are expensive and can be sharpened. Try watching a youtube video?? Keep it full of oil too.
    2. Shoot a rifle. – squeeze the trigger, don’t pull it. Squeezing is a softer more gentle movement, where pulling quickly will shift the gun just enough to miss your target. Imagine the difference between squeezing a sponge in your hand or smooshing an egg in your hang until it breaks. I still don’t care for guns much, but again, part of life.
    3. Hammer a nail straight. (as well as other basic carpentry skills). the head of a nail changes every time you hit it so never take your eye off of it and watch as it changes and strike accordingly. Don’t hold the hammer up close by the head, hold it down lower by almost the end of the handle and let the weight of the hammer and the "pendulum/centrifugal" motion do the work for you.
    4. Take care of a horse (working on that one).
    5. Be less creeped out about creepy, crawly things. There aren’t many creepy crawlies that have Rebekah on their list of things to annoy. They are more afraid of you than you are of them. Ignoring things will be much more effective. Your body produces scents when you are scared or stressed and they can take advantage of this. Just remain calm and don’t make any erratic movements. As long as it’s just a black snake, and I don’t think they can jump, go get a pitchfork or a rake and scoop him up. See? It’s about 6 feet from your body. Carry him out and throw it in the woods. Maybe it would be a good idea to learn about snakes in your area so you know what they like to eat and which ones to avoid. The first time I had to kill a poisonous snake I couldn’t even look, but I knew for the pets’ sake it had to die, and if you’ve ever known someone who’s been bitten by a poisonous snake, it’s horrible, so again, must die. Kinda like ticks, and fleas. It’s survival of the fittest, and you need to be the most fit.
    6. Learn how to operate a tractor. Learn this on a flat surface and again, be very careful. My property is a bit hilly, and I still get nervous about going uphills. Figure out where the gravitational center is and realize it’s much higher than a car, and you are more prone to tipping. If you know how to drive a manual transmission, the rest shouldn’t be too hard. Safety is key!
    7. SHED STUFF I DON’T NEED AND ORGANIZE WHAT I HAVE. If you haven’t used it recently enough, then don’t bother keeping it! Nursing homes take donations sometimes and lots of churches will take things for their needy or for an annual yard-sale/fundraiser, and of course goodwill. Separate your needs from wants. :) If it’s something you really might need to use one day, start organizing, but still storing so the stuff is at least out of your every day life which will give you room to….

    Breathe a little.

  11. Emma says:

    I too have wondered how I ever got this far on the farm. I do not use the chain saw nor will I ever use a gun, but there are so many things I thought I could never or would never do. I never though I would raise chickens and yes I have had to slaughter a few in my time.I Name many of my special animals including the pigs I raised from babies and knew their day for the processor would come and I did love my pigs. I sat for hours watching them, feeding them treats and brushing them. I learned that pigs could be cruel too as my momma pig ate 2 litters of piglets. We even checked every hour on her before her birthing process to make sure nothing went wrong and somehow she did it anyway. You learn to get tough, and you learn to deal with the bad and love to share the good.
    As far as Moving and letting go of things I too go through this all the time but now it is getting closer to the time where we will be having to think about what goes to the new house and I have been going through all kinds of things and saying good bye to them.It never seems to take long to get that stuff back in some other way. I hate snakes and spiders too but I am a bug collector for a hobby. Go figure. I wish you the best in clearing out things and cutting back. Emma

  12. Emma says:

    I too have wondered how I ever got this far on the farm. I do not use the chain saw nor will I ever use a gun, but there are so many things I thought I could never or would never do. I never thought I would raise chickens and yes I have had to slaughter a few in my time. I Name many of my special animals including the pigs I raised from babies and knew their day for the processor would come and I did love my pigs. I sat for hours watching them, feeding them treats and brushing them. I learned that pigs could be cruel too as my momma pig ate 2 litters of piglets. We even checked every hour on her before her birthing process to make sure nothing went wrong and somehow she did it anyway. You learn to get tough, and you learn to deal with the bad and love to share the good.
    As far as Moving and letting go of things I too go through this all the time but now it is getting closer to the time where we will be having to think about what goes to the new house and I have been going through all kinds of things and saying good bye to them. It never seems to take long to get that stuff back in some other way. I hate snakes and spiders too but I am a bug collector for a hobby. Go figure. I wish you the best in clearing out things and cutting back. Emma

  13. Joan says:

    Rebekah, I being raised on a farm have mastered all but #6 – and for that, because I do not care to harm them, I use Snake Away – ok yes I have to apply it often but so it goes and it works – the snakes stay in the areas I have given them and it I stay in my areas. I said I have mastered all but #6 well that isn’t quite true – #7 is the one I can justify – I am a crafter of all kinds of things and so I do save stuff to aid in my crafting addiction – and I won’t say it is a bad thing. So as you go on your ‘farm girl journey’ I wish you the best with #6 – for the rest – you’ve got time.

  14. katie says:

    Due to life changes…I moved from the country to the city, as a result "stuff" had to go. It is very freeing. Now my little home has my most cherished things and the kids and goodwill have the excess. Along the way I found out how little I needed to feel joy. Still miss the chickens but new puppy "Lucy" is pretty cool…Country life will naturally toughen you as you realize that the circle of life isn’t always kind. There will be the coyote, cougar, or neighbor dog that will challenge farm life.
    But hey, the chickens (if free range) will take care of lots of creepy critters…You will be okie dokie!

  15. Coreen says:

    When I lived in the city, I worked for an opthalmologist whose desk was piled high and definitely NOT organized. He had a little walnut and brass sign sitting near the front which read "A neat desk is a sign of a sick mind."

    I learned to be a country woman 31 years ago. There are icky parts, but you soon realize that they have to be done in order to keep the homestead going. The good parts outweigh the gross. There’s even room to be foolish. We are planting two more fruit trees this week. We already have 14 full-sized fruit trees, and there are only two of us! Perfection is impossible and only causes stress for all concerned. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!

  16. Lorrie MacKenzie says:

    You sound incredibly brave to me. And kind. You faced your fears to gather up your dogs and let the snake live in peace. I have realized that some things should never be tried. I wave my hands around as I speak so have accepted that I can never use a chainsaw without endangering everyone (including my dogs) around me. I realize that if I have chickens of my own, one section of the hen house will have to be for geriatric chickens that I love and will keep ’till the end. I don’t think that means I shouldn’t have chickens! Although I couldn’t eat anything I know so a cattle ranch is not in the cards for me. I have found that reading the book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui once a year is really helpful. It points out that keeping things that we don’t use or don’t love makes the energy around us sticky. And I can totally picture you in a small farmhouse!

  17. Brenda says:

    I am the most unorganized person there is at least at home at home not to bad at work trying to clear out stuff that I have no ideal why I kept. As for living on the farm I don’t think I will ever get over jumping when I see a snake or one of those wolf spiders that could carry away my cat.But sitting on the swing at the end of the day or the start of the day with a cup of coffee or tea and hearing the sounds of country can’t beat it.

  18. Mona Kolanek says:

    Just thought I would share that the beginning of this year I learned about the Flylady.net. It has been a huge help in pairing down and getting and keeping organized. You might want to take a look at it.

  19. KimberlyD says:

    I’m 50/50 My living room and kitchen neat not very cluttered, for that is what company sees, but my bedroom messy, piled with things, desk cluttered, closet over flowing, I too need to clean out my clothes and give away. So what does that make me, I can be in some area’s left brain but I’m also right brain in other area’s. Guess thats why my creative side never gets done…I get to many projects going and don’t finish them…lol!

    When I was a teenager we had dash hounds, my parents and our 2 dogs and I went to see my aunt and uncle, we come home the dogs get out first even before we have a chance to get out of the van this headless very long garden snake goes flying into the air! Our female dash hound Danka killed it before we even seen it alive! I’m not scarred of them use to pick them up along with my brothers, but my mom was and she didn’t get out till my dad made sure there was no more snakes alive around…lol!

  20. Shery says:

    Dear Rebekah,

    I married into my ranching roots, but I was not the daughter of a rancher. I was a town girl who was mentored by my grandfather/retired rancher. I loved animals ‘too much’. I still enjoy animals more than people. There, I said it. It wasn’t a choice, it is in my spirit from the marrow out. Ranching is hard on a softie. I cried a lot the first couple of years. I cried a lot while raising … and losing … horses… and calves and chickens and lambs etc. Would I ever cheat myself out of the profound satisfaction that far outweighed the down side? Never. I needed to be stronger. Not tougher, but stronger. Tough is only a good thing if you have a tender heart. If you’re just plain tough, your heart is MIA. Farm life is a more well-rounded like and it makes for a more well-rounded person. You have plenty of love in your heart to lose things you love. A good heart just makes more love to go around. The less you love, the less you have to go around and the less you have to work with to make more. Love profusely, cry when your heart breaks, wipe your eyes and love all over again. It is part of the healing. You’ll grow the right kind of callouses to protect the innermost parts of your heart. Some heartbreaks never heal over altogether and that is ok. It helps us be more compassionate. Go for every bit of the farmgirl experience that entieces you. What doesn’t work for you, let it go and move on.

    So what if you aren’t as organized as some. Those folks aren’t as ‘whatever’ as you are on some point of character. Farmgirls at their best aren’t left or right…they’re right square in the middle. Ambidextrous in character.

    You’re off on a new adventure. You’ll be fine for the most part. When you aren’t fine, you’ll get over it and be better for whatever the experience was that stretched your limits. You’re in for a lot richness and your grandma will be so proud.

  21. Nancy says:

    What a great first step! We drag so much STUFF with us, and it’s wearying. Keep up the winnowing!


  22. carol branum says:

    Becka,Honey you hire help…Got me a guy that will work for a six pack of beer!When hes sober he works real hard!LOL…Have a great day! love ya carol Branum..PS.Had to too many hot flashes!Bout to melt now as we speak.

  23. Ruth Ann says:

    I LOVED this post Rebekah! You and I are a lot alike! Me no like-y snakes…and I’m a wanna be farm-girl. I’ve been going through every room of my house trying to shed stuff too. I need to learn how to shoot a rifle also. We’ve got cute squirrels that ate all…ALL I say…of our peaches last year. I didn’t get one! So the College of the Ozarks head Agri guy said to get a gun and "harvest" the critters. I didn’t know what he meant so he clarified himself "Git you a gun and shoot them squirrels". Oh. Ew. Really? I’m not sure I can do that. I think I’ll try hanging some aluminum pie pans from the tree branches first to try to scare them away. Well, we’ll see. If that doesn’t work I’ll have to pull up my big-girl farm boots and "git me a gun". Then folks can call me Ruth-annie Oakley!
    Happy farming!
    Aunt Ruthie
    Sugar Pie Farmhouse

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I have lived in the country for years, just moved to the city (liked the country better). I have to tell you that I still don’t know how to use a chain saw, they scare the bajeezes out of me. And although I have fired a few weapons I could not for sure fire a rifle, nor do I want to.

    And I hate to tell you, but as one messy to another, it is SO much easier to collect "stuff" living in the country. In fact I think it is a being a country girl means you do collect stuff … never know when that empty orange juice container can be used for something. :)

    I also believe there is a new kind of country girl, not the one that is out there to survive, but one that is out there because they love the country.
    I didn’t kill the wildlife for eating my livestock in fact when I found a fox eating one of my chickens I was not sure if I should be more in awe of such a beautiful creature or horrified that it was eating my chicken. My thinking was that if we killed the fox, raccoon, etc. more would just replace those. It was better to just figure out ways to keep my livestock safer.

    Good luck on your list though! Just think of the country as a new adventure!

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