Septic tanks are part of living in the country. They need care and upkeep just like any other working part of a farm. Mine was overdue for a checkup and this was my big fat reminder. I called the guys who pump out tanks and it looks like three hundred bucks till its all said and done. As far as home improvement bills it could be much worse, and that is the positive spin I hope to take on this lump of bad luck.
I don't think I'll ever shower without flip flops again.
I'm not going to lie, things are tough here. But I see no reason to write about that at all besides that poop rant. Let me tell you what is good instead, because that is what I need to focus on. If I sit down and write about all the hurdles I need to jump over before Mabon I'll be useless to myself and this farm. If I write about the good stuff I'll have the energy to edit another chapter, work another few hours on graphic design, pitch more workshops and classes, muck out the goat pen, or just sit back and realize some important stuff. Important stuff like I am wasting my time on this farm worrying about keeping it and rarely breathing deep and loving the time I still have here.
SO here is some good news. If you helped out last month by being part of the Kiva Loan for the "new" truck then you should have seen your first repayment made today. Thank you. Thank you so much for making that truck possible and for being the reason I can drive around the county. Every month you'll see the money repaid and emails sent to announce it (from Kiva, not me). Know that Big Red is running well, was inspected and is road safe and legal in NY, and I adore her. She's what we trapped Anna Kendrick in, where Friday takes her naps on my thigh as we drive home from the hay banks, where Gibson hangs his head out the window at dusk, where I listen to your cassette tapes (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire right now, thanks Lane R!), and what gets me to book signings, speaking events and general shenanigans. I am so thankful for the truck and so proud to make that payment.
Other good news: my agent has two possible book proposals he is pitching and a book deal before winter would be a godsend. I haven't had an substantial income since the Birchthorn Kickstarter a year ago and another book deal would be a morale booster, for sure. Speaking of Birchthorn, the novel has a professional editor I hired who will be combing through it for polish and presentation (as well as story notes) and then the digital version will be in all of the backers hands as soon as possible after that. Once every backer has their copy I will offer it for sale online for a few dollars if anyone is interested in buying it. Finishing that project will be another point of pride for this farm. I can't wait to hold the hardcover in my hands!
As for the farm in general - things are good here for all the animals. The sheep are fat and no longer escaping, thanks to better fencing and apples as far as the eye can see. (It was a great year for apples!). I have two new ewes coming to the farm in a few weeks, wool ewes from Patty's farm, and I am glad to have some breeding animals under 5 years old in the flock! Sal and Joseph are doing well, and Monday and his gals are too.
The pigs are outside in the woods behind the barn. (I have a great story about one of them getting drunk, but I'll share that later.) All of the pigs are enjoying their newly-improved outdoor shelter and time in the forest. I just got a new piglet delivered this weekend and he is the barn waiting a roommate. He's a red wattle mix and sweet as a lamb.
Merlin is bonnie, rides like the wind, and looks dashing with his salt and pepper beard and mane. He's getting older but handsome as Clooney in a kilt with a wind machine blowing through his hair. Swoon.
Anna Kendrick is eating off my glove, used to me and the farm, and is going to be a great hunting partner! Can't wait to see her fly to the glove and she will get there soon.
The kailyard is being planted with winter greens and getting ready for season extension with hoops and cloth and plastic coverings. I'll give it a go. This farm loves kale!
The poultry CSA went smashingly this year! Still another 40+ birds out there in tractors but they are doing well and growing fat and this farm should have a nice stash of chickens even after all the shares are out. I delivered birds to four families so far (one trip by horse cart to a neighbor!) and people are enjoying the homegrown meat and I am proud of that too.
Firewood (a month's worth) is already stacked and dry and I contacted a friend from the Draft Horse Club who has another 2 cords to sell me for $400 - a good price for 2-year old dry hardwood custom cut to fit my bunbaker's 14' firebox. I have not bought the wood yet but it is easier to find $400 than it is to find dry wood at that price!
Hay is waiting for me in barns, set aside and that is a blessing. Patty's farm, Common Sense Farm, and Greene Farm all have plenty and my animals will be set. Big Red is 4 Wheel Drive and can get us there and carry so much more than the broken down Dodge ever could. I'm grateful for that!
Okay, just writing all this has me feeling better. I'll figure it out and keep you all posted. If you want to help just read the post below this one for some ideas. If you want to sit back and just watch the chaos - well, I appreciate that as well! Some people like watching my story to cheer me on and others like watching it to hope I cave in and quit. Either way, that's some fine entertainment free of charge and I'm glad you're reading.
Time to milk the goats. Be good.