I seem always to want to take a process one step back. I learned as a kid from my mother how to crochet, and later taught myself to knit. One summer at a little country fair, I watched a woman at a spinning wheel turn wool into yarn. She had a business called "Arachne's Obsession." Isn't that a great name for a spinner?! I chattered on all the way home about how super it would be to take the handwork I had always done one step back and make the yarn myself. That year my husband presented me with my very own spinning wheel for Christmas. I was thrilled with the wheel, but not so much with my first attempts at yarn making. It's not as easy as it looks. I've since learned that people actually pay for the thick-and-thin yarn I produced, but then I was so disappointed. Perseverence does pay off and I now produce yarn I'm proud of.
It's that same wish to go backwards that brought me to goats. We were at a local flea market and, don't ask me why, I got to talking about goats with one of the vendors. She mentioned that a family down on Mt. Aukum Road had kids for sale right then. Hmmm. On the way to the feed store to get Louie, the pig, some feed, I chattered on (I do that a lot) about how great it would be to actually have our own milk and learn to make cheese. We passed the goat farm, and by the time we got to the feed store, I'd convinced Steve that owning goats would be a good thing. We bought goat chow along with pig feed and then went back to look at the goats. Of course, we fell in love and bought Lucy and Ruth on the spot. We had to ask them to hold the girls for a couple of weeks because we had no space ready for them. Impetuosity can get you into trouble. We had to fix up the shed, tear out barbed wire fencing, run a water line, and put up a new square-wire fence. I had no idea how to milk a goat and had to ask if I could come to the goat farm for lessons. Ohmigosh! You can't believe how excited I was and how thrilled at instant success. I called everyone I knew to share the news. Then came the morning the girls arrived, just as we finished the last of the fencing. We settled the girls and went in, tired and happy, to make breakfast. I looked out the kitchen window, and there were the goats, who had jumped the fence and followed us to the house. We ran out, herded them back to the pen, and Steve dug out a high spot where he thought they'd jumped out. We went back to the house. And there were the girls again. Before we went out again to catch and release, I thought I'd turned off the burner on the electric stove. As we returned again, there was a strange sound and I opened the door to a smoke-filled house and a blaring smoke alarm. My heart pounded as I realized I could have burned down the house! My husband did not say anything, and there was nothing I could say. We sat at the table, wordless, for the better part of an hour. Then he got up, said, "Come on," and we went to the hardware store and bought an electric fence. And that's how we came to raise goats.