We lost our final matriarch of the goat herd here, Kendra, this weekend. She was 9 1/2 years old. The last couple season have been a mess around here, and the worm-loads have been over the top from normal. Kendra kept going and pressed on despite the issues, but she had dropped weight during all the treatments and health boosts, and just never really packed any measurable weight back on. She was eating well, she was active, just thinner and slower. The added stress to her taxed system with the early onset of wicked heat this year proved to be too much in the end. She's better off...we miss her terribly though, as do her remaining pasture mates.
I am trying to make suitable arrangements for a new family for Judy and Bo, the Jersey and her 21mo old bull calf (hmmm....can I still call him a calf at that age? He's a big ol' baby, really). Without the cows to give me fencing headaches, we just have 2 does, 3 bucks, and the blind goat and her seeing-eye companion. Easy peasy homesteading there.
Over the weekend we also drove a couple hours north into Tennessee, and checked out an abandoned farm. ohmygosh there are some great possibilities up there. So the issue at hand now is do we essentially start again with debt we currently don't have? There's more potential there on so many levels...at least 1 spring running in the property, 64 acres of mostly woods (less than 10 acres in open land), like-minded fellowship everywhere you look in the area. One issue plaguing us here is the lack of sustainable water. The pond here is quite seasonal, dependent on heavy rains to be even slightly useful, and as the heat rises and the rains move on, it's cement dry like the rest of the place. It's is very rural, whereas the Tennessee property is on a 'main road' and while it's all country out there, it isn't as secluded as we currently are. Still, water is a big deal. If The Lord wants us there, it'll happen. Just have to watch for His opening doors. I'm excited and nervous both. We own our current homestead, it's all ours, lock, stock, and barrel. To begin a payment loan again...I just don't know.
Another bit of news for the weekend came out of nowhere and isn't exactly appreciated. Dewey won't be working the next job here more locally, but instead will be headed to New Jersey thru August 2015. New Jersey. That's 1000+ miles and over 15 hours away. That's the farthest away he's been sent for work. Now, we could get a loan for a right-sized travel trailer bunkhouse and call it an adventure, travel to New Jersey with him and visit the area, all the historic sights and more. We could simply get an apartment and stay up there with him for the year as well, but to be honest, my children (and myself) are not exactly "apartment dwelling" sorts. My children (and myself) are backwoods, country living hillbillies. We wouldn't survive an apartment lifestyle for long. A bunkhouse style camper we could do...http://www.cheyennecampingcenter.com/value_leaders/P30FBSSOK nice.
But, I'm too cheap to invest in a camper when I want a house that I have qualms and pauses about financing.
So...perhaps another year of the single-parent routine ahead. Either it will be starting new on a new homestead, or it will be getting money into this place and straightening out all these unfinished projects in the works...the back addition, the kitchen remodel, fencing repairs, serious barn work, and bringing in truckloads of real dirt so this place might be more productive on a better scale. And a serious water system put into place.
But Tennessee....dreams and ideas....