Dear February, you will not be missed.
I wish I was posting with great news of our creamery completion. The goal was always to be licensed by March. Unfortunately, February did not have a sense of humor. We hit a string of bad luck mainly personified in the shit floor job we received from a contractor. (Yes, I thought about not swearing here as I’m personally working on cleaning up my own mouth with Gizmo starting to talk…but, there’s just no better way to describe how angry I feel and how terrible he was). I could post his name and all that jazz but the reality is that his stories aren’t adding up and we’re now worried that not only is this guy not who he says he is he’s also not the kind of guy we want to piss off. And so, very quietly, we have been dealing with the repercussions of his “craftsmanship.”
First the walls had to be recoated due to inferior product. Then the floors had to be sandblasted. After that the floors had to be recoated. But, instead of working with the beautiful surface that our concrete guys poured for us we’re now dealing with a heavily pitted concrete slab. I’m hoping a third coat of epoxy will suffice. The extra work (not to mention extra money/money wasted) has set us back a month. The new pipeline install is scheduled for April 6th.
Of course it’s never “just a floor”.
We’re also dealing with Peyote the wonder goat breaking her leg (cha-ching) with every other day visits to the vet to determine whether or not she gets to keep it (cha-ching, cha-ching).
Then there is Shark Week, who has sealed his fate as not a livestock guardian by almost killing a lamb. We are currently waiting to take him back to the rescue, which will hopefully happen soon.
And then, here’s the best part. About a month ago it was a beautiful sunny day so I let the dairy girls out of their sacrifice pasture to roam around the farm. LIKE.AN.IDIOT. I was so giddy at the sight of sun I totally forgot that I was re-stringing electric fence and had left our row of 5 year old Leyland Cyprus, the ones that will eventually block the view of our only neighbor’s house, totally exposed.
Are you wondering how long it takes 30 dairy goats to skin and eat all the branches off of 5 year old evergreen trees? Yeah, me neither. I could have lived my whole life without knowing the answer to that question. To add insult to injury, as they were out and about, with full tummies full of the closest thing I have had to a privacy screen in 5 years, they were FLAUNTING their lady bits at me. And wouldn’t you know…almost every single one of them looked like they were in heat.
My stomach absolutely sunk. You know this, but it’s worth saying again, as mammals, goats only give milk if they have given birth. Without baby goats you don’t get milk. Without milk you don’t have a creamery.
I’m not sure what went wrong here. I’ve had a buck in with them since June. Luckily, I have a girlfriend nearby who has impeccable dairy stock and was able to rent me her buck for the month. So I did that (you may recall the perfect scrotum conversation on facebook) and hopefully was able to catch everyone who didn’t settle (around here dairy goats usually stop cycling in February).
Against all odds, I am cautiously optimistic and still, clawing and fighting to hang onto this dream.
Because, like I told our new painter, who is incredibly meticulous, and so apologetic every time we have to push the pipeline install back, there are real problems in this world. Delaying an opening a month, or even 6 months if I have to wait that long for all my goats to give birth, is not a real problem.
I’m still one of those lucky souls who gets to take a stab at living her dream.
I have a daughter who thinks I can fix anything. This could be because my vocabulary includes the phrase, “It’s okay, mommy will fix it”. But it could also be because she sees something in me that too many years as a member of the human race has smudged my ability to still grasp.
I’m scared shitless (again, swearing is necessary here) I’m going to fail. I have hinged so many things on the success of this creamery—things that you shouldn’t be reckless with, but that I am, because the chance to fulfill a dream doesn’t come along every day. I lay awake at night terrified that I have literally ruined us.
But that’s not what Gizmo sees. When she has a nightmare, or something spooks her, she runs to me. In her mind, my arms are the safest place she can be. Mommy can do anything (yes, I tell her that too, I'm not above brainwashing my child) and at this delicate young age, she still believes it.
What if, instead of worrying about proving her wrong, I focused on proving her right?
And so, I'm not going to spend anymore time on February and how much she sucked. Here we go March, I welcome you with open arms. May you bring the installation of my milking system, healing for Peyote, a new home for Shark Week, and, if I'm really lucky, just a couple baby goats.
~ XOXO ~
Of course, there was one really fun bright spot in February. Duluth Trading Company, who I did a photoshoot with back in October, chose me for the cover! I didn't know this until I was asked to participate, but Duluth uses real women as their models. I have always loved them as a company but now I love them even more. Even better, they're looking for new models! If you want to nominate yourself, or someone you know, check out their latest blog post.