GAGGLE. 1 : a flock of geese when not in flight 2 : a cluster of people lacking organization

Over the last year, I’ve been writing a book about our family’s adventures on our little farm, and it didn’t take long before a pattern began to emerge. Every year or two, I get An Idea. Whenever this happens, Jon and I begin a series of intense discussions where ultimately my superior logic and unfailing optimism wins and we end up implementing The Idea, with varying degrees of success.

For instance:

  • I ran a very successful dog rescue… until a 120lb rottweiler pooped ALL over my living room and scarred my husband for life.
  • I decided to purchase one milk goat and ended up with ten (several of whom didn’t give any milk, and one who couldn’t reproduce.)
  • I decided to purchase five “inexpensive” sheep to live with the goats, only to discover that 1. goats hate sheep, 2. these particular sheep were wild, and 3. one of them had a slight problem with vaginal slippage. One hefty vet bill and several expensive fences later, we butchered them all.
  • I decided to follow Joel Salatins example and implement rotational grazing only to discover it doesn’t work out nearly as well with one milk cow on two acres as it does with 900 beef cows on roughly 100 acres.
  • I purchased a beef cow and bull in hopes of starting our own little herd, only to discover the cow was so wild we couldn’t even get her home (we sent her straight to the butcher) and a bull living with a milk cow who must be taken from him twice a day was not a particularly safe situation for our children (we butchered him, too.)
  • I decided to try my hand at a permaculture garden and dug giant ditches throughout my ENTIRE front yard, only to realize a year later that none of us actually enjoyed gardening. (But we ARE still growing strawberries, and have 500 fruit and nut trees planted, so I consider it a raging success! Only I’m not QUITE sure what we’ll do about those ditches…)

I also have a TEENY TINY tendency implement Ideas without Jon’s input at all. For instance:

  • When a friend couldn’t keep her chickens anymore, I volunteered to take them, even though we didn’t have anywhere to house them. $300 later, we had a brand new shed and five pet hens who didn’t lay eggs.
  • When a friend told us he needed to get rid of some honeybees, I volunteered to take them, despite the fact that Jon is terrified of them and we didn’t know what we were doing. A year and $600 worth of equipment later, all three hives were empty after the bees decided they were better off on their own.
  • When another friend could no longer keep her geese, I volunteered to take them, not knowing they were aggressive and would torment the entire family every time we walked out the front door.

Which leads to the following conversation between Jon and I today, after sadly discovering that our female goose had passed away:

(His sentence ended with “have enough material for the book.”)

So I decided to play on his sympathy and let him see first-hand how sad the gander was after we brought his mate to the house to let him say goodbye:

At this point I texted a friend: “Jon accidentally gave me permission to buy more geese!”

But I REALLY knew my ploy was working when, a few hours later, Jon asked about him again:

(Sort of.)

I’ll be sure to post pictures when they get here.

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