Thursday, November 14, 2013

Call from Keith

We have this partner thing pretty well figured out.
Keith milks the cows, I enter all the sales receipts into Quicken
Keith fixes cow and hog fences. I fix the horse fence.
Keith wrestles with the GK's and winds them up.
I unwind them with stories and bribes and put them to bed
Keith chases all the big animals BACK home while I

Keith and Ashland convincing Mrs Dalloway she should be at
home rather than visiting the neighbors



  ...Deal with the inspectors.

It's a fair division of labor. Physically he handles 80% of this farm while I handle 80% of the consumer/inspector/regulatory stuff.

So when I get a call in the house from Keith who is outside that says "Hey, that lady is here in the store to do that stuff with the thing, do you want to come out? I grab my Wellies and go.

We avoided getting a retail license for as long as we could when we first opened the farm store. It was on our property, not in the middle of a mall and getting a retail license seemed ridiculous. But being as we did report the income to IRS, yes I know, call us foolish, we knew there was a paper trail back to "The Spotted Wattle" (Name of our store)

And because we were already knee deep in arguing with the state Department of Public Health about raw milk rules, we though we might as well play nice with our county Public Health Department.

Page 1 of 2 for grocery store inspections in Livingston County, Illinois

I mean come my peak years, I think that was age 30 to age 33 and 1/2, I could have taken on several regulatory agencies at one time-- and did--but now I do better with one sword fight at a time. I also must admit it's fun to abide by the rules in one area, getting the perfect report with no deficiencies,  while fighting with the bigger IDPH and insisting on no rules for raw milk.

Fills my inner need to be a complex aka a schizophrenic Manurepreneur I guess. Fortunately our inspection went well.

So with the pig and the inspector taken care of, or so he thinks,  Keith leaves to deliver meat to Peoria  Ten minutes later, Mrs. Dalloway hits the road again

What is her deal?!? Plenty of food, nice hutch, cute babies to snuggle up with, gobs of room in her own pasture but Nooooooo. She has to go exploring. So in Keith's absence, Ashland the wonder Shepard and I try heading her back home again. While nipping her in the rump she weaves back

and decides to chase Ashland for awhile and then when I'm not looking she makes a quick right into the machine shed.

Stirring up a few ducks. But I'm smart. Smarter than a pig as I like to put on my resumes and I grab some milk and some grain and convince her to return to her sweet babies
Who pretty much slept through the whole deal. She probably would have settled down but I did not want to take any chances. Somewhere in that fence line she had found an opening and  since Keith was going to be gone a few hours and I had lost  all patience with her highness I take matters, and a big drill, into my own hands

There, THAT should keep her in for awhile. Yeah, I don't even care how longingly she looks back at those wide open pastures. You got responsibilities mama and if you don't like to, too bad, Should have considered that before you went romping in the field with Big Wally.

And just to be sure I'm not chasing her keister around the yard again, I added a little insurance
Now, forgive me, gotta go find a shovel while I dig a big shark filled moat around her cage.
P.S. Don't miss the Illinois Valley Community College Homesteading Conference this spring, April 5, 2014. (Oglesby, Illinois) I'm fortunate enough to be one of the speakers. Guess what I'm yakking about? How to raise hogs on pasture. Yes I am. That gives me just 5 months to learn how to do so.


  1. We also divide up the tasks; I do everything, whilst Lady Magnon gives the orders.

    1. Order giving is not easy. It takes extreme brilliance in fact to know what must be done and when. My best to Lady M.

  2. Mrs. Dalloway what are you thinking, you have a house full of children to take care of! The shame of it all.....

    1. And again this morning she is out by the road as Keith was sure he had the fence fixed. I am now suggesting a very large collar and a towing chain to stake her to the ground!

  3. Perphaps it just spates of post partum departum? Maybe Mrs. Dalloway needs a little therapy.....

  4. Put a ring in her nose? Hobble her back legs? Mrs. D. is sure determined.

  5. I think the problem is caused by the pig's name. Dalloway too closely resembles Dally. She is just trying to live up to what she thinks her name is!