happy as a pig in ...


I just got in the door from a relaxing walk. I was walking on a boardwalk nearby, taking it all in, practicing my diaphragmatic (fancy word for belly) breathing and mid-breath it hit me... my blog. I left all of you hanging about my lungs and that surgery! In my defence, I have absolutely no defence.

So firstly, I want to let you know that I have since found out that I am NOT a candidate for the surgery. Something about the scar tissue being inside of my pulmonary lining and not just around it? And also because the risk of how much I would bleed doesn't outweigh the potential benefits. So yea, not sure what that means about my anticipated double lung and heart transplant, but I must say I'm not feelin' it. Let's hope this ticker just keeps ticking and that my lungs settle down. At least I don't have to decide, right?

And secondly, I want to tell you about this amazing place I visited not too long ago. In the new year I decided to go back to my vegetarian ways, that quickly shifted to following a vegan diet, which in turn, led to me visiting this amazing place called Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary. (Eating as a vegan has also had other really positive effects on me including, but not limited to, feeling good overall, clearer skin and a better digestive system, but who cares about all that, wait until you see pictures of the super cute animals I met!)

Cedar Row is a a family run (The Poole Family) farm that started in 1999. They rescue and care for animals coming from places of neglect, abuse and slaughter from meat, milk and egg farms. They have hundreds of farm animals such as pigs, goats, donkeys, cows, sheep, chickens, and even ducks. I met a beautiful goose (or maybe she was a duck? hmmm.) that was destined to be "foie gras" at one time. Someone explained to me how foie gras is made and that duck/goose now holds a very special spot in this big heart of mine.

The farm is not open to the public but they do host events on occasion. We went to a working visit. I was a little hesitant because of my limited abilities in general, let alone farm work, but the owners, Siobhan and Pete, were more than happy to have an extra body there. They also guarantee that they can find work for anyone at any ability level (you just have to be over 12 years old.) They sure did.

Here's me shovelling some mulch: (okay fine, I totally posed for the picture and didn't actually shovel at all - but don't I look like a natural? Shovelling is on my "No List" - I did push a few wheelbarrow loads around though...kind of)

Here's me washing out and disinfecting feeding bowls.

And yes that's me brushing a donkey! Of course!

Here are a few other pictures of our day there. It's so amazing. When you arrive you are greeted by pigs that act just like dogs. They are playful and want you to pet them and even know their names!
Bardot -a little piglet greeter - such a sweetie
We divided into two groups and some people worked in a barn while others worked out back with some pigs. It was definitely a lot of hard work. And then we all sat inside and enjoyed each others company and ate a delicious potluck. It was so nice to be able to eat all the dishes that people brought. Although being a vegan feels good - it is certainly tricky to follow at times. So this pot luck was pretty awesome.


  1. Love this! Great photos Jess!

  2. Hi Jess, it's Em, I love this post! Especially the pic of you brushing the donkey's hair - sweetest ever! This is the first blog entry I read and enjoyed it so much I went back and read the others. You are an amazing writer, knitter, nail painter, donkey groomer and overall person! I knew the last part but am so glad to discover these other totally rad qualities! You've also been going through a lot and I appreciate you sharing your experience. You've inspired me and I am sending love and healing your way. Can't wait til your next post! xo

    1. hahah yep nothin like brushing a donkey (seriously though, nothing)
      wow thanks for all your nice words. I hope you keep reading :)

  3. ^^Amazing! Donkey groomer! Love it. Your new title Jessie! ;) I also loved this post and I just wanted to say it. -CarrieG

    1. Donkey Groomer - it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it

      Thanks for saying it
      I'm happy you read it :)