This college teaching thing is really putting a cramp in my ability to do things around the homestead. A goat died last week, and I've no doubt it was parasites. We haven't checked the does in a couple months. I did finally give copper boluses to all the bucks last week. I think Draco was really deficient because he grabbed the bolus, chewed it up, and swallowed it. That is not normal. A copper bolus is just tiny little bits of copper -- no sugar or flavors or anything that would make it appetizing. He kept trying to get the other boluses that I was giving to the other bucks. He was losing hair on the bridge of his nose, which was what clued me in to the fact that he was deficient. I am thinking he should probably get another one in a month.
Now that all my children are attending the local junior college, and I'm teaching three classes, there is less time than ever to do the things that need to get done on the homestead. I am very happy that we haven't missed any goat births, but we are definitely not utilizing everything around here to its fullest potential. Margaret is only milking the goats about half the time, so we could be getting twice as much milk. The kids are old enough that we could be separating them from their mamas every night. Soon, when the kids start getting sold, we will have to milk the does twice a day.
People sometimes send me emails and ask if it's possible to do this while working full time. In the past, I've always said that you could have chickens and perhaps a few goats or sheep if you work full-time, but you could not do everything we do and work full-time. I know people who work full-time and have sheep or goats, and they do occasionally lose a lamb or a kid that's born when they're not there at the birth. I've been thinking about how I will change things next year when Margaret is at the University of Illinois, then when Jonathan leaves, and finally, when Katherine is gone.
I admit I've been wanting to have my cake and eat it too. I want all the benefits of a self-sustaining homestead, as well as the extra money that I get from teaching. I am starting to realize that that is a lot harder than I had originally anticipated. Any working mom knows how hard it is to have a career and little ones. I don't know why it never occurred to me sooner that this is no different. This might be even harder. Instead of a couple of children, I have dozens of lives that depend upon us. Instead of just having a house, I have two barns, a chicken house, and 32 acres that need care and attention.
It's pretty obvious where my heart is. I moan and grumble about unmotivated students. I procrastinate when it comes to grading. When I go out into the pasture, I lose track of time as I watch the goats play and see one thing after another than needs to be done -- things I want to do. Over spring break, I completely forgot about the classes I was teaching, but when I drive off every day to teach my classes, I keep thinking about the animals and hoping that everything will be fine until I get home again.
Seems pretty obvious what I should be doing. Why is it so hard to make that full-time commitment to the homestead?