Something Old, Something New

2011 is right around the corner, a brand new year.

I love the New Years Eve. For me it is a day of reflection and a day of hope and optimism. New Years Eve is the time to review your goals for the year, assess where you are and where you’ve been and plot your course for the shiny new year in front of you. The excitement and joy is bubbling up in me already and the wine hasn’t even started yet!

This year I’ll have plenty to reminisce about. After 7 years we finally opened our creamery, the Little Brown Farm officially got certified in July and began selling cheeses to the public in August 2010.

In other news, there was both sorrow and joy. We lost Frankie Nov. 4. Frankie was the canine love of my life. All of our critters are special, but he was ‘the one’ at least as far as dogs go. I miss him dreadfully. However, I don’t have much time to dwell on that emptiness as Maggie came to live with us about a week after Frankie’s passing. I’d love to tell you the date, but I’d have to look it up. Shrouded by the heavy fog of mourning, most of November and many of the details escape me now as the clouds finally begin to clear.

Maggie is a rat terrier puppy. She is amazing. She cuddles as though she was created just for that purpose, but she wasn’t, she was created to chew and dig and run and basically be a puppy. In spite of the constant chew messes and destroyed items (3 headsets so far) I adore her. Dino and Bella have been very tolerant of the new puppy and they play wonderfully together.

Other large events include my husband being laid off from his job. Although he had made it through several years, including a few sales of the business and rounds of layoffs, his division was dissolved in September. We are certain it will turn out for the best, but we are scared in this economy as the months tick by and the job offers don’t arrive. The farm is not self-sustaining yet. The anxiety is like being in a vice that squeezes half a turn more every week. The stress is palpable, but we are resolved in our confidence it will be okay, we just don’t know how yet. We are looking forward with joy and hope at the opportunities that will arrive in 2011.

2010 had some other incredible news. Last winter my daughter and her boyfriend came up to live here for a few months. They helped us through kidding season and finishing the construction on the farm. I was so nervous about what we were getting into having them come up for such an undefined, extended period of time. Now I just miss her like crazy. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle this kidding season without her. She was capable, unflappable and managed bottle babies, goat medical issues and a few flat out crises and allowed me to survive the season and keep the herd healthy. Why must she go live her own adult life instead of just staying with me??? Oh, that’s right, so I can continue to be proud of her and appreciate her. *sigh*  

2011 offers exciting challenges. We are increasing our number of milking animals and will be selling our cheese for an entire season. We’re hoping to have enough product to extend our market a little bit. It seems likely that by March, when we start producing cheese again and babies are still coming, I will be busy about 18+ hours a day. I will be exhausted, but I’m already excited about it. It is indeed a labor of love.

I sincerely hope your 2010 was as fulfilling and I hope your 2011 is as bright as ours. Now it is time to be sure everything is in place for the wine and cheese and chocolate to be consumed in celebration of 2010 leaving gently and 2011 coming in with joy and graciousness.

Happy New Year!

Frankie puppy
Frankie as a pup
Maggie and me

Maggie and me on our way home

Dino and Frankie

Dino and Frankie - brat (Boston/Rat terrier) buddies


About Chief Milkmaid

A former executive, now goatmilker and cheesemaker, I am the Chief Milkmaid of the Little Brown Farm.
This entry was posted in About the Farm, Critters, It's Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Something Old, Something New

  1. Wrenni says:

    An excellent post. 😀 I am very much enjoying the mix of personal and more goat-related information you’re sharing, and the post sizes seem perfect! Like bite-sized morsels of information, that keep a reader wanting more.

    Keep up the good work, Chief Milkmaid.


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