My story started in November 2011. We had been talking about homeschooling our kids as a family. During this time one of my boys was in first grade, and his public school teacher contacted me to inform me that he was really distracted in class and wasn’t getting all of his school work done. She then went on to inform me that he had been that way for a few weeks and asked me to finish the homework packet she would be sending home specifically for him because he wasn’t able to do his assignments in class like the rest of the kids. The next week she sent home the school work they had done that week in class, and his teacher had solved the problem simply by putting a 0 at the top of all of his assignments which were all blank. That is when I realized that when it came to his education he was already doing nothing, and surely I could do better than nothing. Even a little bit was better than nothing.
Since that experience I have had several other experiences where I realized that doing something was better than doing nothing, and what I needed was courage.
HAVE THE COURAGE TO TRY
More recently I had an experience where I was designing my daughters bedroom. In the process I thought I would like to try to build a door. I had never built a door before, but I reasoned that I could at least try. Armed with a pile of reclaimed wood I determined that I would start by building a barn style sliding door for her bedroom. At the time she didn’t have a door and surely something was better than nothing, and if I didn’t love it I could do something else. I had learned the lesson have the courage to try. I love the door that we were able to build and with each success comes more courage to try new things.
Have the Courage to Succeed
Recently I decided that I was going to grow sunflowers. I went to the store and purchased sunflower seeds. I came home and planted my seeds. The next morning my miniature dogs dug big holes tossing my dirt and seeds everywhere. Ugh!!! But I wanted to grow sunflower seeds. I had only used half the package so I planted the rest of the package because I was determined to grow some sunflowers. The next day one of the dogs dug up my seeds again. I guess newly raked dirt is the best for digging in. Still determined I planted some more sunflowers. I pulled out my second package of sunflower seeds that I had purchased at the same time as the first package. This time my husband built a cover for my garden bed made of clear plastic to keep the dogs out while letting the sun in.
Two weeks later sunflowers started popping out of the ground, and I was super excited. Then I started losing sunflowers from rats eating the tops off. Ugh!!!
But I wanted to grow sunflowers, so I went to the store and bought more seeds. I planted them and watered them and waited two weeks. This time when the seeds camp up I put cayenne pepper around them to discourage the rats. It worked for a little bit but I would still manage to lose a plant here and there. Finally I went to the store and bought rat poison. I had to make sure my dogs couldn’t get to it but the rats could. I was able to figure this out and finally two of my sunflowers were now tall enough that the rats didn’t eat them anymore.
I wanted to grow sunflowers so I kept trying. I knew that if I wanted sunflower seeds I would have to keep trying until I succeeded. After my plants were 2 feet high my goat found the flowers and ate the tops off. UGH again! Well, I wanted to succeed so I just kept letting those plants grow and soon they grew new heads and I finally got my sunflowers. Sometimes we just have to keep going. We need to have the courage to try until we succeed. We need to have the courage to succeed.
Have the courage to fail
In the spring of 2014 I got a phone calling informing me that some of the goats I wanted were available for purchase. Fast forward a year later and our two does gave birth to a total of three kids. Two girls and one boy. We really enjoyed our three new additions to our home and added a fourth buckling a month later. After a few months we found one of our doelings with her head caught in the opening of an old dog door. Our goat pen at one time was a dog run and our doelings and bucklings had decided that they liked to go into the old sleeping area for the dogs.
A few days later she started struggling to breath and died. Eventually all four of the goats died from the Hanta Virus because the area they had inhabited had been infected by mouse droppings in it. When they had become trapped in the sleeping area they had kicked up the dirt and droppings and had all become infected. I had screwed boards over the openings immediately after I had found her trapped, but the damage was already done and within two weeks all four of my new goats had died. I learned a lot from that experience and we still have goats and we purchased more this year, but I learned that sometimes we need to have the courage to fail. It is through our failures that we learn and grow. It is when we are determined to keep going despite our failure that we can become amazing despite our weaknesses. We knew that we could give up on raising goats, but we have the courage to keep going knowing that we will fail sometimes. Its not the failure that defines us, it is the will to keep trying after our failures.
Find your limits
We have raised pigs 2 times, and some day we may raise pigs again. However the reason we aren’t currently raising pigs is because we have a limited amount of resources ,and we need to make sure that we have enough resources to take care of the animals that we have. Pigs require a lot of resources, and we chose to raise chickens, ducks, and rabbits instead of pigs for the time. If our situation changes then perhaps down the road one day we will raise pigs again along with all of our other animals. It is important to realistically look at what you can handle. I love pushing our farm to do more and to be more, but if I don’t make responsible decisions then our farm will suffer instead of prosper.