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Farm Frustrations

The last few weeks have literally flown by... I'm more than a little glad for the new year, a fresh start, and a chance to get back to regular routine after all the holiday merriment. Time to get back to all those things I've neglected over the past few weeks.

A couple months back, I wrote about a book I had just started reading, one that I got so caught up in a shot off a post before I was even on chapter 2. It was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I just finished that book yesterday.

Yeah, it took me that long to finish. It's not like it's War and Peace or anything, but I've been busy. Plus, I could feel my enthusiasm for it waning with each page. It's a great book, the writing is great too, but it's all so... great.

As in I love spending 30 hours a week, after work, weeding my garden.

And my kids prefer soybeans to Twinkies.

And our heritage turkeys hatched their own chicks, something less than 1% of 1% of all turkeys do.

And we decided to homestead and it was SO EASY.

OK, I'm paraphrasing. But seriously... was it really so effortless? Did everything the author touch turn to gold? No major failures? Not even one tiny one? Maybe it took me so long to get through the book because I was having a major attack of farm envy. Or feeling like an unsuccessful idiot.

If I sound frustrated it's because I AM. Out of the 180 onion sets I planted, twelve have sprouted. Which is better odds than my other winter veggies. Not a thing there. No carrots, no lettuce, no spinach. Just a few straggly radishes have sprouted. I can't even get my Swiss chard to sprout, and it's the zucchini of winter veggies.

My little goat Hazel has been unsuccessfully bred no less than 8 times. I know she's capable of getting pregnant, because she has kidded before. But nope... not for me. We've been doing the breeding dance for nearly 12 months now. I'm hoping this last one took. I'm unconvinced.

Lilly the Wonder Goat has developed another abscess in her remaining udder. Trying to clean out an open wound on a creature who has no desire for you to be up in her nether-regions... watch out for those flying hooves. She has an appointment with the vet Friday. We're weighing our options.

It's like an uphill battle lately. Reading about someone else's perfect year homesteading was just enough to get my hackles up. Maybe a touch of salt in the wounds.

And after all is said and done, I did basically like the book. I just didn't fully relate to that "sunshine and rainbows" life. My homestead is dirt and weeds, sweat and struggle, and lots and lots of poop of all types. Everywhere.

And that pretty much sums it up lately.

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