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The Perfect Farm

Ahhhhh. The perfect farm. What is the perfect farm?

A rust red 2 story barn that is manure free. Cool in the summer & snug in the winter. Hay loft is full of beautiful hay waiting for colder days. Enough stalls for each goat. A milking parlor to suit my needs. Perfectly mineralized pastures.

Goats that produce gallons of delicious milk without any health problems. Chickens

that actually lay their eggs in the nesting boxes in the chicken coop & not on the floor in the barn that get stepped on. Turkeys that grow to be succulent Thanksgiving dinners. Meat chickens whose flavors are unrivaled by any supermarket bird.

A garden with perfect straight rows without a single weed. Produce aplenty. No bugs except honey bees & butterflies to pollinate. Greenhouses full of greens in the dead of February. An orchard with blemish-free fruit to put up for the lean months when our hemisphere is frozen to a stand still.

My personal favorite idea of a perfect farm: No sweat. Ok. that's just right now. ugh. I'm am done with Summer. The constant sweating is disgusting.

You see, there is no perfect farm. Animals get sick. Barns always need repair of some kind. Gardens always have weeds & pests. Fruits trees succumb to frost, drought & disease. The weather is never perfect for farming.

Ultimately, my ideal farm would include my children. Working by my side. Helping each other. Learning from each other. Watching them grow into adults who will embrace this imperfect farming lifestyle.

Right now I'm having a hard time watching my girl grow into a young woman. My

Hannah is 14. Her birthday is in a couple days. It doesn't seem possible. Hannah is my oldest child & has autism. I have come to the realization that she may never live by herself, get married (she thinks kissing boys is gross), drive a car or have children of her own. I know that she may eventually get to do these things, but for now I can't see them in her future. I'm not a pessimist. I'm a realist.

But for now I'm watching her do her best around the farm. She enjoys helping with the baby goats. She LOVES babies. If I can't find her in the house or yard, she'll be down at the barn holding baby goats whether they want her to or not! Hannah loves collecting eggs & telling the chickens what to. Hannah likes to plant seeds & put the plants in the garden. In the last couple of years, she has decided to eat vegetables. She enjoys grazing veggies when she's helping harvest them. Hannah is very fond of baking.

There are days when I struggle with the fact that she'll never be like the other girls her age. Other days I'm perfectly happy that she'll never be the them. Hannah still likes preschool TV shows. She likes to have her toenails painted. Hannah doesn't like certain subjects of school. She doesn't have a cell phone. She has just figured out how to cast Youtube from my tablet to our TV & stream her favorite songs.

It was during one these music video montages she was having that she was listening to the artist Pink. Hannah enjoys the song "Perfect". I have to admit that it's high on my playlist, also. The clean version.

"Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel Like you're less than, less than perfect Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you're nothing You are perfect to me!"

I don't know what Hannah is thinking all the time. I know she understands a lot. I always hope that she understands that I don't need her to be perfect. She is perfect to me.

While I don't live on a perfect farm with a perfect life with a perfect family, It's all mine. It's perfect to me.

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