In the circle of Homesteaders I follow online there’s the tradition of naming your homestead. (FYI: homestead is a way of saying, hey I have a farm, but not a farm farm, and I like to make stuffs from scratch, preferably with things that came from my not really a farm farm) I’ve seen lots of cutesy names, sweet names, encouraging names, and none of them suit this place.
Not that this land is cursed, or doomed, or that we’re out of our league. It’s just one of those places where ANYTHING that can happen, will.
Like the time we went on vacation (for the fist time in years). The second day we were gone dogs attacked the goat, breaking her leg (she’s all better now, thanks to lots of Cheetos and momma time). The fourth day we were gone a semi pulled down the electric lines in front of our house, catching our lawn on fire. This was all during a drought which killed my entire garden… also the same summer that we were infested with twelve-year cicadas that killed almost all of our mimosa trees. (no the trees didn’t make yummy drinks despite their name, I tried)
Or there’s my venture into rasing chickens. I waited years for chickens, because after all, chickens are cool and all the cool homesteaders have chickens (as does my hero, Ma Ingalls). I looked and researched and planned like no tomorrow. A family member built me a small coop (the wrong coop by the way, which is odd when I handed him exact blueprints of what I wanted), and I bought my chicks (which by the way were not the chicks I researched because the feed store lied about what they were getting in, and yes the kind of chicken is important, heaven forbid I get plain eggs or plain-looking chickens because that would not be cool!), and then I was pregnant. And things got fuzzy, and I found them all murdered in their coop and told the boy that they all flew home to their mom.
That didn’t stop me. The next spring I got four more, and they ran away twice, and caused me to climb trees while I was a wee bit under the influence of wine, while my son did disco lights with the flashlight… and they, despite my record all lived… and have destroyed every garden I have on the entire property… because my husband who doesn’t like chickens and who WON’T eat their eggs doesn’t want them to be pinned up.
And then I had to get more. Because these things are like an addiction, and chicks are cute, and they had pretty new breeds at the feed store… and half of them died. And never tell your son that you buried them under a pretty rock because chances are one will keep getting drug back from the neighbors field and left on your front lawn. Not that I would know. Because after all we buried them under that pretty rock, the one with the daisies next to them.
Somethings that happen here, that I couldn’t make up if I wanted to aren’t even our fault. Like loose horses in the yard, screaming banshee cats at night, and the notorious Moosen Goosen which turned out to be a runaway peacock… because this stuff happens at normal homes…. right?
Don’t even get me started on the garden, and the rocks, and the snakes and the bugs, and the door to door religious salesmen… and oh my gawd when did bears show up this close to St.Louis!? And did someone mention wild boars, because I’m just not really in the mood for wild boars and they were NOT on the spec sheet when we bought this house!
And it’s heaven and hell, all wrapped up into one smooshed marble cake with uneven icing, because you couldn’t make me enough cupcakes or coffee to get me to move… but some days there’s not enough beer to stay.
So you can find me, writing and wrangling snakes, slowly loosing my mind while cussing out chickens, with a to die for farmer’s tan, down at The Bad Luck Ranch… because ranch sounds so much cooler than a farm. And I still do have all my horse tack somewhere around here…
Ps. My email is possessed, and isn’t letting me reply to anything… I’ll get back to you after it starts to take my threats seriously!