I love where I live. Really. I. Do.
I just see it coming and there is nothing one can do about it once the ball starts rolling down that hill. What? The urban - ness of an area. I can't explain it, but will try.
The little minor things individually mean little, added up, change everything. You just start to feel different...
The first thing you notice is the traffic. Where you once drove down the street alone not another car in sight, slowly becomes filled with cars at every stop sign. Behind you. In front. There are more urgent drivers. Faster. Ruder. Honk their horn at you when you're at the stop sign. Try to pass you on the road when you are going the speed limit. You see more and more younger drivers with their rash and un-thinking moves they make.
The one thing that made this area so enticing 'to me' was how you felt upon hitting the first of many wide open spaces as you drove home, the stress of your day just started to melt away... while you were driving out of the urban and into the rural landscape.
Everyone is in a rush. And you can feel it. The vehicle behind you --pushing you to go faster.
You start to avoid certain stop signs and cross roads, as they are becoming more and more dangerous to cross. You start hearing on the news, yet another accident at this or that intersection. So, you take alternate routes that are safer, just not quicker. And start to realize that no route is safe any longer.
Honking. Everyone is honking at you now. The first thing I noticed when I moved was the silence. I didn't use my horn for over a decade. I didn't wave my hands, because I just got cut off.
Random drive-bye's become more un-nerving. I get it that people want to see where the goat farm is, possibly see the goats, usually they stop, roll down window, wave, say hello... not anymore. It's more of a check you out, a type of snubbing situation. Will they or won't they buy from you. They park at the street and just stare. Or they expect the opposite, you're in the middle of daily chores, and they just walk on the property unannounced. To purchase. Not even asking first if you're closed, open or have product. Totally disregarding the 'no trespass' signs. They don't care what your situation is, only theirs.
You feel like you live in a fishbowl.
Going to the store becomes a chore... When you start having to schedule your time to get to the store after the rush, because there is no place to park during certain hours. Or the aisles are too crowded, waiting in long lines. You've just altered your life to avoid people. And still nothing has changed, infrastructure is still the same. This area was 80% built out when I moved here.
No one is smiling. Everyone seems so self-absorbed.
People are just not the same. You look around, and one day notice, YOU are the only one that is in working farm clothes, where in the past you were one, among many. And you, nor they, gave it a second's notice that you were in muckers, dressed this way, or smelled funny. It didn't matter the store, restaurant or service place everyone looked a lot like you did. Or drove a vehicle like yours. I noticed just yesterday i was in a parking lot full of mercedes and town cars.
Bills continue to increase yet the product doesn't change. Shopping, food and anything retail seems to cost more.
Neighbors start to change. While overall younger isn't necessarily a bad thing, it is when they move in and the first thing they want to discuss is why the road isn't paved. Or they move in and put up lights around the whole property. It's lit up like Shay stadium. Or every imaginable service truck is in front of their house, weekly. Why have 2 acres if you don't plan to be out side on it? ... ever.
I drive by homes now that I've never seen a person out doors.
The sense of urgency in people's actions. Where they jump in head first, before thinking it thru. I find this an urban thing. Farm thinking and rural thinking are just slower. More methodical. Trust worthy. More and more purchasing livestock, farm type animals, have them a few short months and then realize forget this -- it's too much work. Or they're too dirty. Or destructive. I do blame this partly on the person selling, but in fairness what one doesn't ask, how can the other learn. And then it becomes a lack of accountability or worse, its the animals fault.
I never locked my doors, nor the vehicles, or the shed, never worrying about stolen animals, my safety, the animals, or dogs getting picked up for roaming. There is this type of urban 'do-gooder' syndrome that just can't wrap their head around - it is what it is, or live and let live. Now, it seems, I need to lock the doors - just in case. They have to fix it, better it, get involved, change it. There is something to be said about minding your own business. You will know it when a rural neighbor is in need--they ask. Their lack of observation is palpable. Or skewed to some urban ideal, that it should be that way, or they think something is wrong, or it's abandonment. Stop changing the very thing that was so enticing when moving here.
Assessing a situation is always urgent, dangerous, or worse, they think they know better then the person, property, animal in question. People are quick to call in government services to solve an issue.
Instead of adapting, they want it changed.
Properties are purchased and the next thing you see is massive changes. Lots fully treed, homes hidden in the brush, are now cut down and home is sitting in the middle of all fake grass. Why didn't they purchase a home on land already clear cut, I'm sure there are plenty out here just like what they were looking for. Putting your stamp on the property is one thing. Changing it to look urban is another....
I lived such a beautiful quiet rural lifestyle. I changed to fit into the area, not the other way around. And this is the problem. People want to live a more simple, quiet existence, but they don't really make the necessary changes to accomplish it. They are still in a rush. They are still on the iPhones in the middle of nowhere. They still have on headphones walking on a path. They don't know how to enjoy the natural beauty of where they are. They want to change the very existence of why they thought they moved out here in the first place. They don't leave the urban thinking behind, they take it with them. And then they want to know why you aren't like them.
Every year the kids at St. Andrews School (Boca Raton) hatch (or try to hatch) out eggs we give them in their embryology classes. I've written about them before, HERE. This year they hatched out all 12 of them. As promised, I keep a log of them as they grow. Here they are:
Above is the photo card they sent me as a thank you!
Can you see which chick became which pullet?
I have two roosters here: One is a mutt. The other is a Black Copper Maran. You can see the influence each create. The maran gave me some beautiful dark colors.
The colorings of these pullets are just extraordinary.
I love it.
I don't normally pay so much attention to how quickly they grow.
This year I decided to keep all the girls. 5 of them.
Usually, I pick one or two, sell the rest.
I can see so much...
I can see how two sisters who came out together grow differently.
The first two shots are at 5 days old. 2nd two shots of them now at 7 weeks.
At 5 days old could barely get them out of the stall.
7 weeks I can't get them back in.
I see how the two wombats are inches above the Nubians.
But only 4 days older.
I see that Sable's daughter is whiney, and capricious,
and all about her even at this age. Just like her dam.
I can see the runt is almost half the size of her sister.
And see why her sister is twice the size of her. She is a fighter.
And she likes stealing from the others.
But, if her sister calls from far away she is the first to come to her aid.
I see the runt take advantage of it, too.
The runt, I might add is just wonderfully sweet... and getting so much
attention only wants to hang with humans.
She bides her time and puts up with the others, till I go out again.
I see them play all day. I see them roam further on their own then I like.
I see the leader of the pack stick up for them when Gimpy comes to menace.
I see the dams sniff them but, meh, not interested in them.
But then give a side glance.
I see all the conformational stuff, too.
But, this is more fun.
|desi #1 triplet.|
|Fern #1 and #2 and both are cute as can be. Sweet just like their dam.|
|Runt always last to know which way they go.|
|Potential herd queen in the making. Queen of the kids. She is the bold one.|
|left to right Desi#1. Fern #2. Sable #1. Fern#1. Runt (Desi #3)|
There are just certain days in your life you never forget. The day I picked up Samson and Delilah were one of them. Raining. Lost. Dark. Crying babies. Bottle feeding. Thinking what the heck did i just get myself into.
Little did I know then the impact she would have on my life. The trajectory was all her. If she hadn't had a precocious udder, would I have even started milking?
For years this is how we milked. Even when I started to have small groups come to the farm to learn. And she loved it. She was the center of attention. And she always stayed that way. Every goat that came on this property (till recently) knew it, and never tried to take it away. She was the first to eat. First on the milk stand. And first to get her morning hugs. She was the Herd QUEEN.
When I finally got a milk stand she didn't want to have anything to do with it. She would run out and stand by the gate where we would normally milk. Finally, we agreed it was easier on the stand. Then she realized she wanted to be milked last because the last goat on the stand can hang out with me while i clean up.
Her best pal was Oliver. Who kept them safe. I'm going to miss him too. He was just put down last month and they are both buried next to each other.
She was the goat I learned to do everything to. A bucket of food and she would let you do practically anything to her. Here we were shaving her for Linear appraisal by the ADGA.
For a very long time it was just her, Samson, and Oreo. I had a job off the farm. I worked in Stuart. And didn't even have any chickens. Just one lone rooster. How boring I was.
She above all the others lived a charmed life. She only had to whisper a bleat and I would come running. They had the whole property to roam. They never left each others side. Or mine. For years after Samson was gone she lived in the house. And we would take long goat walks. Her teaching the next generation how things worked. If you were talking to me, she would be the goat that was standing by my side, as if she was in the conversation too.
This is her first day here. She lived in the garage and slept in the kennel. 10 days old. I was too afraid to leave them outside. Alone. Now when the kids are born I toss them out almost immediately! My my.... how things have changed.
She was without a doubt the prettiest kid I've had. She has milked 8 years of her 11. Thousands of pounds of milk. She became a Superior Genetic goat a few years back. Which isn't an easy feat. Sadly, I only have 3 offspring of hers. Every year I would sell her kids because I knew what she could do and could produce. If anything, I regret not keeping more of her offspring.
When she died I laid her head on her stomach the way she normally enjoyed sleeping and that is how i buried her. And though i've had death here before with the full size goats, she is the only one I've buried here.
Thanks to Delilah every time I sell milk, eggs, cheese, honey or soap it's all because of this little girl and what she inspired me to do.
She will be missed.
Here are some links to other stories about her and growing up.