Every day is a school day. Of that we on the Homestead have no doubt.
Sometimes circumstances conspire to ensure speedy, if slightly ham-fisted, acquiring of skills that become invaluable. Mastering the ability to successfully hammer in fence staples is a good example of this. A talent that had sadly eluded The Milk Maid despite a desperate desire to be able to play her part in the upkeep of the plethora of ramshackle Homestead fences, it took a home-alone discovery of a goat with her head through a hole the paddock fence, speedily ingesting the contents of entire bee garden, to unlock the mystery. Turns out it all comes down to putting the longer staple leg at the bottom and hammering like you mean it.
Other times, corners cut in haste, steps in methods discounted, or blind eyes turned to the tiniest of issues have a way of snowballing into disasters of such magnitude that lessons are not just learnt, they are burnt indelibly into the Homestead psyche. The one badminton shuttlecock not retrieved from the Homestead roof after a spirited Christmas Day tournament serves the as perfect example of this. This insignificant item slipped from the collective Homestead memory without a trace until it was retrieved from a guttering downpipe in the exceedingly early hours of the morning, during a violent August thunderstorm. Who knew that blocked guttering can make the rain cascade down the inside the window as well as the out?!
Today we learnt that we never did get round to replacing the rainy-day tarpaulin over the milkstand. When we appropriated it for the firewood seasoning area, milking season seemed such a long way away, and we could have sworn there was a spare one in the garage.
Nothing, not even a hearty downpour, is going to stop Geraldine from enjoying her breakfast but the mere centimetre of milk in the bottom of the billy has certainly taught us our lesson for today.