When we decided to move to the country, we knew there would be changes.....I just didn't know how many I would make! I had the vision of the quaint home in the country, with pretty flowers and gardens. A large dog on the porch, kittens in the barn, chickens in the barnyard, perhaps goats or sheep in the fields. Doesn't that sound like the perfect picture of country living?!
Well ladies...it's all imaginary! Don't get me wrong, we love the country. We love our country home and all the critters that live here! It has just been a journey of hilarity mixed with tears!
We moved here in the midst of a drought. It was 107 degrees the day we moved in. The ground was a lovely shade of parched gray! If we could have sold poison ivy from our woods, we would be millionaires! Instead we were hot and itchy!
Upon arrival, we got the house liveable. Then we took a breather until the spring of 2007. We knew if we didn't get a head start on the poison ivy, we were going to be in trouble. Goats seemed to be the answer. Interestingly enough, they think the stuff is candy! To have goats, you have to have a fence. To have goats, you have to have a guardian livestock dog, unless you want to feed your goats to other wildlife. To have a dog to guard the goats, you have to have fencing.
Ahh fencing. If you have ever fenced, you know it's not on your bucket list of things to do! After pounding in a few hundred posts (exaggeration) we decided to have the fence put up. That was another journey of fun. There was a very sweet man that we hired to come and fence. I noticed that my boys were lined up watching him work with very serious expressions. No words, no pushing, just very serious expressions. Finally I asked them what they were doing.
Jonathan: Shhhh! We are waiting for him to die. Me: Whatttt!!!! Ben: Shhh! He is going to die soon! Daniel: Look mom, he's got one of those smoke sticks in his mouth! Me: Whattt!!!! Ben: You said if we smoke cigarettes we would die. This man has smoked so many today, we know it's going to be soon! Me: Hysterical laughter. Boys, you must not sit here and wait for this man to die. Ben: No mom, we aren't, we have shared the gospel with him and are waiting for him to make a decision!
Later I spoke with the man about his audience. He told me we have very interesting children. I told him why they were so interesting! He laughed so hard and said that they had continued to ask him if he knew where he was going to go when he died!
Well, the fence did get put up without any deaths! Then came the dog! We arrived home with the dog before the fence man had even left. He instructed me to not get the dog out of the van until I had taken it to the vet for shots and a checkup. You see, this was a "free" dog. More on "free" another time. After parting with more money at the vet, we took our 50 pound flee and tick infested puppy home.
Fence up-check, Guardian dog-check! Now for those sweet little goats!!!!! We fenced a special little circle for the goats. We didn't have a barn, so they were going to use large dog crates with tarps over them for temporary shelter. (two years)
We had strict instructions to not allow them to get "bloated" or they would die! I was so afraid for them to eat too much, that we watched them like hawks on road-kill! They finally acclimated to our woods and true as told, they ate the poison ivy! They ate the honey suckle, they ate the grass, they ate the weeds and they loved roses!
One thing they did not like was to stay put! They loved our front porch! Do you know what it's like to look out your windows and see a heard of goats laying in the heat of the day on your front porch!!! They also left droppings on my front porch! My front porch with the pretty white furniture and the pretty hanging baskets. My front porch with the pretty roses planted in my flower beds! Did you know that goats can wiggle under a three inch hole in the fence? With that picture in mind, let's leave the goats on the front porch and move on to the sweet little kittens!
Our "first" kittens were named "Sweetie" and "Lou". They were so sweet. Little black kittens from a friends farm. They were going to be our mousers and snakers! If there is one thing I hate, it's snakes! A snake welcomed me the first night in our home. I found it in the basement. Fortunately, it was stuck on one of those sticky traps! It was a copperhead!
Little Sweetie and Lou were going to love us and keep us safe. We just forgot one important fact....kitty's like to travel. They like to go across the road. Okay, so now we were looking for more cats. I decided we would name our next cat "Hope"...Hope you live! She did! So did her babies and her babies after that!
We had lots of babies. The babies had babies! We were becoming a cat farm! I mean we were thriving!
This little saga is going to have to be continued tomorrow. Thanks for going on my journey! Lest you think it has all been hard, don't. We have had a wonderful journey. Can you guess what is our next addition to this little farm?