Those of you who follow our Facebook page may recall my recent inquiry of which post to work on first; moving the turkey house, our fight against parasites to keep our goats healthy, how we prepare to face the winter, or general farm updates. I will get to every one of those topics- just as soon as Sean and I return from visiting Daddy Dale and Momma Twombly for the weekend at their Florida condo.
In the brief lull between putting to bed the Creatively Maine Pop Up Shop to settle in for the the winter and the rush and worry of kidding season, we received the most wonderful message asking us if Sean, the girls, and I could get away for a 7-10 day visit. At the moment we received the message, we were just finishing the 6 week whirlwind of coordinating this year's winter pop up. Looking out over a half dismantled shop and thinking ahead to the massive work it would be to put our home back into order (In addition to display items from the other Artisans, the majority of our furniture lived as displays at the shop), we quickly agreed. Dancing for joy ensued. It wasn't until we delivered a sample of goat pellets to Shea of Gentle Meadow Goat Farm for testing that reality reared it's head. As I stood, holding a plastic bag of fresh goat droppings, I suddenly remembered, we have a herd of goats we only just got the Barberpole worms under control for, ten of whom are pregnant with some of our girls due to kid at the end of January or the beginning of February. Plus, temperatures are running in the single digits at night and don't often warm up past 30* during the day; the perfect weather for frozen, burst pipes. And, there is Molly to consider. Our working at the shop each day had been rough on her, missing her pack. If we left her home with Cait, Molly would surely believe we'd abandoned her forever. And, there is the homestead to consider as a whole; who will feed, water, and care for everyone? With a sad heart, I realized, a family vacation to Florida was not in the cards for us this year.
Until Sean stepped in with his almost magical power of reason. He arranged for us to go for a long weekend with his Dad and Mom. Sean watched the goat does meticulously for signs of kidding while I cared for putting our home back together and returned to creating our farm products to restock our shelves. He loaned Shea our van and arranged to have her "on call" in case the pregnant does decided to kid early in our absence. (Goats have a habit of making things not run smooth. ;) ) Our girls offered to remain at home to feed, water, care for the animals and generally hold down the fort. Obstacles thus attended to, with a grateful heart and thankful spirit, we boarded a plane.
Day one of our long weekend showed us how capable our teenagers are-equipped to keep the home fires burning, literally. I am so proud of them. Each phone call to check in is answered with positive updates. I hope this short time away helps to build their confidence in themselves.
Sean and I are having a lovely, relaxing visit. In addition to seeing Heron, egrets, osprey, and wood storks wandering everywhere, we got a close look at the manatees in the canal, dolphins playing in the bay, and took a walk along the beach. Sean and Daddy Dale played a round of Frisby golf. We've enjoyed games of spades and dominoes. It feels strange not to be dislodging ice from buckets, working in my studio, or attending to other homestead needs, but the short rest was both welcome and needed.
I'll get to writing those other stories when we're home again- when I have my laptop full of images handy. For now, I can post on my cool, new tablet, but I don't yet know how to insert images where they should live. I'm learning. Thanks for visiting with us this morning, friends. We're glad for your company.