There are a whole lot of time scales mooted that tell us how long it will take you to establish a habit. To retrain the brain. To exchange a bad habit for a good one. Or introduce a new useful system into your daily routine. Twenty-one days. One thousand times. Three months. I was listening to a fellow on a Ted Talk the other day when I was washing dishes – the only way dishes can be made enjoyable is listening to an audio book or a podcast and I particularly liked the Ted Talk interviews.

( Tia is practicing coming in and out of the Milking Room. In this next image you can see Del watching from the Waiting Room).

Anyway this gentleman, whose name I immediately forgot, had written a book or something, who knows, about adding one specific thing to his regular day for thirty days. Just to try it on, he said at the beginning of every month he established something new. Like eating vegan or meditating or cutting out plastic or writing one grateful thing a day. The objective is one we can all relate to: improvement, working on being a better version of ourselves. I wanted to ask him if he had commitment issues!

I guess his premise was just try it on totally for thirty days then keep it or discard it. I wonder how many improvements we can implement before our lives become sugary with health and goodness. Hundreds probably. But I love challenges. And a month feels so palatable.

I decided to take Sheila for a walk every day until the end of the month.

Then I would start a new month with a new challenge. And Sheila needs the walks anyway – to shake off winter.

We have had three walks, slow ones, short ones too because every time I turned around she slipped back through the gate and started for home. Or it rained or I got too busy to get down the back. So the first thing I learned is that each challenge has to be dependent only upon oneself – not the weather or an old pig.

After trying it for almost a week, I decided this fellow had more control over his life than I do. But I will persevere because I like the concept of exercising one new idea for a short intense period. I also like spending time with Sheila. I will think smaller when I start next months challenge.

In the meantime Sheila is very happy that we are walking again. By the end of the month I will just open the gate – she can take herself for a walk while I weed the asparagus. Yes, asparagus time is coming. The rhubarb is already popping up.

Here is Sheila on a walk the day before yesterday when the sun was shining.

The other day the Fedex woman drove up the lane and Boo was being naughty so I yelled Sit BooBoo Sit! I turned to check that he was sat and both Boo and Jude the pig were sitting together watching closely. When Boo runs to greet a vehicle so does Jude. When I call SIT Boo sit then Jude sits. They are pretty funny.

The FedEx driver laughed so hard she almost backed into a tree.

But Jude is beginning to dig terrible holes everywhere – my front flower garden is gone – no daffodils this year! And I cannot leave him locked in his corner pen for the whole day. He goes to his forever home on the 30th. He can dig to his hearts content over there. His job will be to do all the prep digging in the gardens.

I am over winter. My farm jacket no longer zips up, my winter farm pants are held together with gaffer and I have thrown all the holey worn out cotton undergloves into the compost. My wrecked but old comfy leather work gloves went moldy while I was in New Zealand so that’s that. Winter OVER! We won’t be warm for a while but at least the bad cold is moved off.

Every time John moans about the cold I glare. Nope, it is not cold anymore put sone warm clothes on.

EIGHT big duck eggs yesterday. If their production keeps improving like this I can start selling duck eggs again next week.

The chickens are not doing as well. They did not have a good winter either. I need at least a dozen a day before I bother listing them.

Ok! Work, then a meeting with my organic grain grower. His name is Harold. You will like him.


17 Comments on “THIRTY DAYS

  1. I bought two new pair of leather gloves at the industrial supply store the other day. My old ones have seen better days. I tossed two old jackets that were frayed and the zippers went out on this winter. I generally wear FD’s old jackets from his employer. The fabric is tough, and the zippers are generally what give out first. It’s a good time for me to look over what needs tossing and what I pack away for next winter. Spring is here… the transformation begins.

  2. I’m still giggling at the thought of you ‘encouraging’ Sheila to take the walks down the back with you daily! And remember your comments to a Farmy member recently about the trails and tribulations of ‘herding pigs’!!! Yes, that would be Sheila!!! 🙂 No doubt she has her own mind!!! And your comment, “After trying it for almost a week, I decided this fellow had more control over his life than I do. I will think smaller when I start next months challenge.”
    I do like the idea of adding a challenge each month! And I will do it too! It will be to write in the journal I had planned to begin in January, but has not been opened yet! Hopefully, after 30 days it will become a daily occurrence! 🙂

  3. Sheila got fuzzy over the winter! I agree that our commitments must be independent of others because we can’t insist that the others involve WITH us. I have undertaken during the period of Lent to give very public shout-outs every time I have a great experience with a business of any sort. I get tired of being the grumbly one, and people are far more likely to share the bad than the good, so I am going to turn the statistic on its head. ALL GOOD!

  4. Welcome back! I know you’ve been back for a while, but I haven’t been able to write any comments lately. We’ve all been quite sick at our house. But we’re getting better. I’m glad you had such a lovely trip. The parts you shared seemed beautiful and restful and so different from your farm work. So good to be with family. I’m excited about the fact that you’re going to be milking again. When I first joined and started to follow the blog you were milking a lot. And I enjoyed the way you wrote about that too. I lovethinking about the walks you have with Sheila. Did I understand you to say that Jude is going to a new forever home? Is that elsewhere on your farm or is he going somewhere else?

  5. I love listening to Ted talks as well. I listen to audiobooks while I sew if the machine isn’t running so fast that I can’t hear. The image of Boo and Jude sitting on command will stay in my mind and bring a smile all day. I’ll be laughing just like the FedEx driver. I need to work on some better habits too. Have a sunny day.

  6. Boo and Jude are such good pals….I bet they will miss each other’s company when Jude goes to his forever home…..have a lovely warmish day!

  7. We are going to seriously miss Jude and hope to learn more about where he is going and what kind of place it is. This will be a big adjustment for him and us too—not to mention Boo. He’s had to say goodbye to other friends too I remember—Marcel, for one.

  8. I will miss Jude too. I do hope the new owners will appreciate he sits and stays on command. Yay for the ducks laying again. Laura

  9. Jude is truly a puppy in another skin… I wonder if he could be trained to herd other animals 🙂 I’m enjoying the idea of you and Sheila taking a nice contemplative ramble together – I notice that her idea of a walk involves a certain amount of light snacking along the way!

  10. it does look like spring is coming to you now. Sheila has the most fantastic coat and I wish I could see Boo and Jude sitting to attention. Those ducks look as happy in a field , as they do in a puddle.

  11. I had another pleasant visit by way of your photographs and chats, for which I an grateful. “Del watching from the Waiting Room” is my favorite, but two other pictures– the ducks in the golden fields interrupted by wood fence posts and the great tree yawning and stretching –remind me again of the spiritual richness of life at the farmy. I think for the next 30 days I will try attending to trees here as they wake up and get dressed for spring. There are times when I wish I had an obedient dog, little worker pig in the garden, and a peacock on my porch. The neighbors would have have so much to chat about and smile.

    • And the light at the end of the road picture — it’s so hopeful. All of today’s photographs are all memorable. You see so much while you are working and talking with the animals. What a gift. I heard a poet say once that if he allowed himself to really look, he’d never make it through a day of responsibilities and plans.

  12. I listened to that Ted Talk too on NPR’s Ted hour. I love the idea of just doing something for x amount of time. Using that philosophy, I’ve talked myself into doing a triathlon , running a half marathon and learning to play the ukulele. 🙂 Love, love, love your photographs! Spring is king!

  13. I will so miss Jude (aka piglet). Love the 30 day idea – I have been skipping every afternoon – trying for 30 days and then on to something else.

  14. I will miss Jude (aka Piglet). Love the 30 day challenge idea. I’m currently trying to do 100 skips every afternoon.

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