After 15 and a half years one would think I'd be prepared for the inevitable, but a little part of me thought Spencer might have figured out how to be the exception to this silly little rule of life. I know that he will never ever be replaced, but I've learned it's best to keep my eyes forward. So, I went out and got a new dog...Hazel. She's no Spencer, but anyone who helps cut down on our grocery bill is welcomed in our home.
It seems all that they say about goats is true. She's cute, friendly, and noisy. And in less than two weeks, through no fault of her own, dear Hazel has wrought havoc in my family. Let's pray this does not escalate, but so far we're off to a rocky start in the goat farming business. For one, I suspect my in-laws now find me to be ridiculous as they are real farmers and I have one goat. They haven't said so. They don't need to, I am fully aware that dairy farmers carry the street credit in these parts and I am filled with shame for my yuppy farming ways.
Additionally, I've discovered that my husband will not lower himself to milking an animal by hand. I did not know this about him until now and sort of wish it had come up in conversation during our courtship. There is no need for a milk machine for one goat. Milking takes all of three minutes. Granted, we are only getting about a half cup of milk, but we get it in no time at all. I give this half cup of milk to Ella, who last year was diagnosed with a cow milk allergy. I am hoping that in a few years when Ella becomes a teenager and hates everything in the world she will remember the time her mom went out and bought. a. goat. for her to have milk each morning and feel loved. Ella finds goat milk to be delicious whereas everyone else in the family finds it to be somewhere along the spectrum of kind of palatable. She proudly carries her little thermos of goat milk to school each day. Today she came home from school and reported that the milk was a little warm at snack time when she drank it and by evening she was curled around a toilet vomiting up goat milk smelling yuckiness. So there's that.
There is a learning curve to farming that I am slow to climb. Chad has brought up the word impulsive a time or two since Hazel showed up at our door. And with all respect to my husband, he is wrong. There was much thought given to all things goat for months before Hazel was purchased. I believe the word he is looking for is unprepared. Because I am that. I will remind him it is part of my charm. I have made it through most of my life so far by winging it and each day find things like the weather to be such a surprise. I'm in no way saying this is a good thing, and as I speed read through goat books I realize that a little preparation may have helped here. At least with regards to preventing the possible listeria my daughter may have picked up (ugh!) which she may very justly hold against me during her teenage years. I suppose I have plenty of time to get prepared for that.