Just Sad

Last night Ruby died. We don’t know why. The kid she was carrying also died.


In the dark, we dug a hole next to Bob, buried our beautiful goat girl and tried to make sense of it.

We examined our lifestyle choice; Maybe we’re just no good at it. Maybe we should just plow up the gardens, sow lawn, get rid of the livestock, and we at-Homesteaders get “proper” jobs.

Image (3)But then morning rolled around again, like it always does, and the menagerie needed feeding. As we walked down the path, they were so delighted to see us; quacking, clucking and maa-ing. They scrambled over each other to get to us, and in the goat paddock, our two big girls nudged us with their noses and leaned up against our legs as if they were comforting us rather than berating our lack of experience or perceived shoddy care.                               So, there will be no lawns sown in the near future at Union Homestead. We’ll continue mucking along in our haphazard way, sure in the knowledge that this is real life. You win some, you lose some, and sometimes it takes a while to see the big picture.

As for those proper jobs: there is no way The Milk Maid is ever, ever, ever going to squeeze her feet into a pair of high heels again.

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28 thoughts on “Just Sad

  1. Oh I’m so sorry. What an awful thing. But I’m glad you’ve decided to keep on keeping on. And high heels are bad for your ankles anyway. I was scrolling back through the blog, trying to figure out when Ruby arrived on the scene, and discovered what I’d forgotten – that she and Otis were born just over a year ago. It feels like Ruby has been part of the story of the Homestead so much longer, so maybe that’s her legacy – her strength of character that has made her pretty much unforgettable..

    • I very much like the idea of a Ruby legacy. In the depths of despair last night it was hard to get past the idea that we had somehow in our ignorance or ineptitude caused this to happen. In the cool light of day, it’s much easier to realise that sometimes bad stuff happens despite all your efforts.
      As for high heels and grown up clothes…ick 🙂

  2. Sending all our love xxx we built a memorial garden for Frenzy the baby Mouse we rescued and subsequently lost to a pet cat so can only imagine how sad you guys must be over a Ruby x

  3. Gosh, that is such a shock! We all look to ourselves for blame but sometimes things happen that we just can’t fathom. Your attitude in the cold light of day is commendable, you have to live your dream for yourselves as well as all those other animals who share your life. I write this with a broken wrist so hubby is having to do 2 peoples work, we wondered if we could continue with this lifestyle but as you say ‘high heels suck’. Give me wellies anytime! . RIP Ruby xx

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. As you know, the lifestyle we choose is wonderful when all is going according to plan, but sometimes things happen that make you doubt yourself and your decisions. Hope the wrist mends quickly and your back to “all hands on deck” again soon.

  4. We lost a couple of young hens in rapid succession about a year ago and spent a lot of time wondering what we had done wrong and how we might do better. And then we remembered the two oldies, one of which is still laying even though she’s nearly 6, and decided that sometimes these things happen. Keeping livestock has its ups and downs, but more ups… plus you know that your animals are always better cared for than those on industrial farms and that the food you get from them is fabulous and not the only benefit.
    And as for high heels – I haven’t missed mine for a moment since I walked out of my ‘proper’ job eight years ago!

    • The best thing about the blogosphere is the number of kindred spirits out there. Thanks so much for your kind, sensible, considered words. I’d still pick this way of life over any other 🙂

    • Thanks for your kind thoughts. Ruby taught us so much and that and her crazy antics will mean she will live forever here on the Homestead 🙂
      When you finally manage to sling that last pair of heels into the back of the wardrobe (or mission bin!) the feeling of liberation is unbelievable!

  5. I am so sorry! When you are in shock in the middle of the night it is easy to feel guilty and depressed. I am glad you have decided to continue working your small-holding and caring for your animals. Bad things happen.

  6. Sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you, I enjoyed, ever so much, hearing the tales of Ruby. You fight the good fight and live how we are supposed to live, with compassion for animals, family and other people. Don’t ever doubt yourself. And keep on keepin’ on!

  7. Dear Home Staeders, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Ruby and her baby. Was she not born on the Homestead? Your animals become part of your life and therefore your soul. I so understand your sadness. let it be of comfort to know that Ruby, just as all your other animals was a happy girl in a good place!!!
    I am happy that your doubts were short lived, pleasepleaseplease never return to the unhappy life of high heels and lawn mowing! The world needs the Union Homestead. xo Johanna

  8. so very sorry for your loss. It is hard and we all question ourselves living this kind of lifestyle when these things happen. It’s a learning lifestyle and we learn as we go as there is no right or wrong way to homestead! Tina

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