Barn Yard Neighbor Hate Letter Incident, but I hadn't heard another complaint and I really, really, REALLY wanted a Goat that was "in milk." Heidi-esque visions of fresh milk and homemade cheese intoxicated me. Hell, I might even learn to yodel! I brushed off remaining trepidations about how I would fit "goat milking" into my busy life. Dolly is an angel...easy to milk and very affectionate. She is milked twice a day, which is manageable, kinda sorta. It has definitely taken more time than I had imagined, so schedules needed to shifted and expectations adjusted. There was a very real learning curve. Truth be told, I spend a lot of time scraping goat poop off my shoes, the 7 p.m. milking is occasionally done in my "going out" clothes, and my back yard plants have been decimated by the girls, but I wouldn't change a thing!
7 dogs running in and out all day. White Tile. You get the drift. So, after months of grumbling and mopping I decided to take matters into my own hands, literally. I laid a mosaic floor over the white tile in my kitchen and back porch. I painted the worn cypress kitchen cabinets a happy green and had new tile installed on the counter tops. The space now looks like an illustration from a vintage story book that has come to life. It is probably too much color for most folks, but I love it. Best part---I only have to mop three times a week instead of seven!
I had the tile under control, and was developing a nice rhythm relative to animal care......until a friend turned me on to the Raw Meat Diet for dogs. I was complaining about the dull, flat, itchy coat on Poppy. Poppy is my latest foster dog turned adopted dog...a weird little guy, but I love him. He has a high pitched bark that is annoying beyond belief, he eats pillows, socks and Other Important Things with impunity, and he looks like a tootsie roll with legs.
A whole hell of a lot, at first! Fortunately, I muscled through it until I got it it down to a manageable routine...spending about two hours a week traveling to the meat packing place and another hour or so cutting up dead chicken parts. A rice cooker makes rice production Easy Peasy and with twenty five chickens, the eggs are no trouble, either. I have two shelves in the freezer filled with dog food, and my refrigerator...well, that is another story!
My pups have lost weight they needed to lose, Poppy has a bright, shiny coat, and ....[drum roll, here]....the poops are indeed smaller. There is no tarter on any teeth and best part....it is less expensive than the food I had been feeding them previously.
Once again, I have a positive outcome accompanied by extra demands on my time...but who has the time? In between all of the above silliness, I had more company over the last three months than I have had in the last thirty years combined, as well as out of town celebrations and commiserations. Throw in menopause and business deadlines. It has been one whirlwind after another forcing me to think long and hard about making some changes to simplify my life. I contemplated ending my time as a Foster mom to little dogs in need of rescue. I briefly pondered getting rid of the goats. I considered---for a nano second or two--- a hiatus from my weekly fiber group. I worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the crazy life I had created when my out of town teaching gigs heat up over the next few months. The nagging doubts have turned into a clamor and I have been more than a little overwhelmed.
|Yup, it really is THAT orange!|
I think that I am simply going to do what I always do when things get out of control: Slow down if I can, pray for more patience, and enjoy the rhythm of the chaos. Laugh a lot and cry a little. Bend when I need to bend and stand tough when I need to do so. Oh, and try to remember NOT to go for a dramatic hair change when I am a hormonal mess.
....so that's what I've been up to.
It's all good....I am even contemplating adding a fiber goat to the barnyard...or maybe some purple highlights on my next trip to the salon!