I am having a pretty terrible, awful, disappointment of a day. The reason for this suspiciously over dramatic attitude, you ask? My beautiful Jersey cow makes the creamiest most delicious melted-ice-cream-sweet milk you have ever tasted. This milk makes grocery store milk taste like water, no- bad water, stale been in the bottle in the hot car for a week water. Today, I learned that my elixir of the gods is once again almost a year out of my reach. My stupid cow is not bred. Not bred despite spending her summer with a bull she seemed quite fond of. Not bred. Insert whatever sound comes out of you when you are devastated here. I am beyond words.
While sitting in my misery I am fighting despair by reminding myself of the many good facts that are still a part of my life. Facts like, we don’t need this milk, we just want it so I can justify to my husband why we keep and feed this 1000 pound dog-horse. Although I am disappointed, I am not afraid. Her lack of milk does not mean we will starve, it just means I will have to put more work into solving this problem. Since this will be the third time I have solved this particular problem, it is decidedly disappointing.
I find that farm work is much more circular than I thought it would be. When we installed our fences, I thought we were done with fences. Then we got goats. Now I routinely mend fences. I just go from fence to fence in an endless flow of fence building. Same goes for the barn. I have built the goat pen three times now; they have destroyed it four. I would say they are winning but, as the wind blows through the hole they pounded in the side of the barn, I feel a little vindicated. I admit that in the rebuilding of the fences, barns, feeders and waterers I have gotten better at building fences, barns, feeders and waterers. I guess that is something to be pleased about, but those skills are not really resume makers, and aren’t improving my entrance chances for heaven, not with the thoughts I have about goat murder while making repairs. So, I don’t know that these things I do are so much skills as just things I do. But I am grateful. My kids are getting older, I can go through as many as two days in a row without anyone crying. Parenting is an unusual job in that if you do it really well, you eventually get fired from the day to day operations. It occurred to me the other day when a friend was lamenting that with her child gone, she and her husband both needed to work, that hey, I should probably get a job pretty soon here. I almost forgot that I could. And then I thought about it some more and realized I didn’t want a job. At least, I don’t want to work inside, in one place, with a boss. I have been unsupervised, chasing people around trying to get them to be where they are supposed to be, undamaged and with everything they are supposed to have, for over 20 years now. I never lost anyone permanently and I mostly enjoyed the freedom of this line of work. There was even a time when everyone thought I was the boss. That was a good day. I guess I will just have to apply my skillset to fighting these farm battles, because being stubborn is my superpower, it got me through my last job, maybe it’s what I need to get through this one.