We’ve procrastinated, dithered, hummed and hahed and finally it’s happened: Geraldine is now a Homestead resident. Huge thanks to Boss and The Glamour Hippie for sharing this gorgeous specimen of Saanen goat goodness with us; she overflows with the promise of stockpiled feta and the return of goats milk to our morning coffee.
Tomorrow we load Nessie into the back of the van and head on out to the farm. Our first goatie charge who taught us how to effectively contain, house, feed and milk these inquisitive, inventive, at times infuriating beasties just didn’t live up to her potential. A milking goat that can’t effectively be milked? It’s not exactly on the Homestead “must have” list. Of course we’ll miss her; the look of feigned innocence telegraphing yet another sneaky master plan, her outraged stare down the section when the breakfast chef is a bit tardy pulling on the gumboots, and her way of dissolving into a goofy, lip-curling bundle of ecstasy at being brushed: there’ll be a big Nessie sized gap on the Homestead for a long time. But if we’re going to be serious about his way of living we can’t carry passengers.
It’s time to walk the walk.
We know, we know, we know. Long time, loyal readers of our weekly missives will have heard it all before. We don’t blame you for your eye rolling, smirky smiles; your “Yeah Right” to our Tui billboard “No passengers” affirmation. It’s been a long time coming, we know, but this week we’ve experienced a very necessary (to the type of life we mean to live) shift in our ethos. To make this place work, we’ve got to harden up.
It all boils down to promise.
Everything, it seems to us, enters your life with a healthy dollop of it: animals, appliances, tangibles, toys, plants, people, and sometimes one or two of them will fall short of expectations. Maybe they were flawed, perhaps our expectations were unfair, whatever the cause, the effect is the same and requires some form of action. How profound we are! It’s all so easy to be clear-cut, hardened up, logical beings on pseudo paper.
The next subject for our new ethos, creating an annoying blip on the Homestead Passenger Radar are Ed, Felicity, Gwen and Hilda: the ducks. Arriving full of the promise of mountains of eggs for little input, they’ve fallen a smidgeon short of the mark. In the pro column: two eggs. And the cons? A humongous leap in poultry feed consumption, the task of cleaning out the pond every Saturday and check out their effect on the back yard!
Dinner table conversation last night set an ultimatum: they have one calendar month to come good on their promise or…else.
How menacing do we sound? What tough guys!
We experienced this promise fade in the vegetable garden this year, too. The tom-pom tomatoes that sounded so fun and novel with their “resemblance to a cluster of red cherry tomatoes fused together” definitely missed the mark of their pledged “ability to have independent segments removed without damaging the rest of the fruit”. In hindsight we should have just opted for another planting of good old Tommy Toes and novelty value be damned. Fancy, smancy doesn’t go very far in filling dinner plates.
But enough of this philosophizing. Back to the new arrival.
Geraldine is gorgeous. Feisty yet genial, quick witted, and funny, her “maa” is a perfect C, a fact we may have confirmed that with our ukulele tuner but don’t tell anyone as it makes us sound a little odd. She is now sporting a very smart black collar, the donning of which was greeted with much preening and cat-walking, and trotted along on the end of her lead this morning like she had been doing it forever. Although she quickly stamped her “authoritah” over both Nessie and Leia, a stealthy creep down the path to peak into the paddock this morning proved she is no Eric Cartman as all three residents were found snuggled up together in one shelter.
In short, if her milk supply lives up to hearsay, Ms Geraldine will greatly exceed her anticipated agenda of provider with the added bonus of the figurative blue beret of paddock peacekeeper. In return, we’ll try to keep up our end of the bargain.
It’s a promise.
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