My life is always in a state of fluid movement. So, when a friend referred me to a woman looking for some live in farm help I jumped at the opportunity! My best friend laughs at me because one of the main reasons I ‘jumped’ at the opportunity was because Cardin came to me one morning and asked how much a horse was, he had had a dream that we lived with a bunch of horses. When I woke up and checked my Facebook, sure enough there was the referral. Instead of dumping my money into an RV, which was my initial plan for my tax return, I instead fixed up my car and drove us to Louisiana; 1,855 miles. The drive took us 3 days, and I wish we would have taken more time to really take in the places we were travelling through, maybe even camped along the way; lessons learned from travelling. This said, the land was pretty much barren, dirt as far as the eye could see, and driving through the state of Texas was somewhat torturous; are we out yet, are we out yet? I can’t even describe the look of joy on Cardin’s face when we got closer to Louisiana and he started seeing trees!! He was born in the Seattle area and hikes in the Hoh Rainforest or up in Snoqualmie were a weekly adventure. He misses the trees, well missed the trees, I can’t get him out of them!
We have been here since February 11th and are leaving on April 28th. Our time here has been exciting, trying, heart breaking, eye opening, loving, wet!, and many other things that have enriched our lives and spirits. We have made life long friends of humans and animals here. I was contemplating staying long term, however I can’t seem to quiet this need to be nomadic. Our home base for now is still in Riverside, CA, but we don’t plan to be there for quite some time. Kansas is next on our list, but before I get to that bit (in another post) I want to continue on with Louisiana (I am very easily side tracked).
We came at a very crazy time of the year for this area, Carnival (Mardi Gras). I have always wanted to go to Mardi Gras, at least once. This experience was quite different than what I had ever imagined, especially since I was a part of the parades. Hours of walking with the horses and dancing down the parade routes, and days in rows of getting home around 2am to get up early and get the horses and gear ready for the next parade; it was a time full of stress, sleepiness, angry words, hard work, and fun (usually all in one night haha). Watching all the different types of people, young and old, screaming for throws. When I say screaming, I mean literal horror movie screaming, I was a bit terrified the first big parade I walked in. The trash, booze, and debauchery flows thickly and I found it hard to choke down at times. I don’t think I would ever ‘willingly’ just go and be an observer of one of these parades, but I will work them for the money! Hypocritical I am sure, but I am okay with that for now; we shall see how I feel in a year or two. All this being said, I don’t really care for Carnival, but like I said it is good work.
I still haven’t had the chance to ride yet, might not get the chance this year and that is ok; we will be back in November. Caring for the horses was some intense work for me at first, especially since I spent the whole last year sitting around at my Dad’s house. I have lost a lot of fat and gained a lot of muscle over the last couple of months. I have a deep love for the horses here, and I will admit that at times they scare the crap out of me. I have made some realizations that I prefer to see horses running freely in the pasture than I do when they are all tacked up. There is such a peaceful elegant presence about horses that can calm the soul, and a healthy respect that they can bust me up if they feel they need to. The Saddlebreds especially freak me out, I have to move very slow and cautiously to not spook them too badly, as well as keep a watchful eye on where I am in orientation to them in the stall. But, even though they are jumpy, I love them all. All the different personalities, and the ways they show their emotions. I can see why she surrounds herself with these majestic animals. Also, the biggest animals I have ever really been so close to and cared for; especially the English Shires, Izzy is 17.3 hands tall and she is so very beautiful. When I watch her out in the paddock she looks like something from a fairy tale dream. One of the amazing experiences I have had here that I will never forget was helping birth a baby goat, I actually had to reach my arm up into the beautiful Buttercup (Nubian Goat) and help her with her babies. Very slimy but such an amazing experience that I am so happy to have experienced.
As time has gone on here at the farm I am made aware that I really don’t want to do this work on a long term basis. Each day is harder and harder to get out of bed, I am tired and worn down. I love it here but cannot stay forever, so we made the arrangement for seasonal work and that works perfectly for us. Allows us to continue travelling around this crazy US. As for Louisiana itself, we are still exploring but have learned quite a bit. We recently went on a swamp tour and took a hike through what used to be Logtown. It is a very interesting world down here, in about a week will will go and explore New Orleans (without parades haha) and I will devote posts to each of these places, but this post is just more of an update and little peak into our lives here so far. I am excited to see what other years bring for us here.