Many of you are farmers or producers, so many of you will know when I say this is the time of year when we all live in Chaos Town. It's this time of year that always gets to me. The stress level gets high and that one little extra thing always threatens to push me over the edge into either a trip to an insane asylum or alcoholism - which ever I can achieve faster. The kind of chaos that makes me think my best friend is Curios George
This week has been full of those moments.
The looming disaster as our well decides whether or not it wants to continue to work this hard in dry times is top of the list.
The health inspection that happened yesterday and then had to go through two separate health districts for approval - two who each have their own ideas about how we should do things - so we end up trying our best to do it all. This time around it is the need for an 'approved food grade' hose with approved 'food grade' fittings on the end for filling our wash tubs - which by the way get filled with the same water we drink, water that is tested two to three times per year and is treated with a sanitizer to ensure food safety and filled from the garden hose that I drink out of all the time. Haven't died yet but then again maybe I just have a phenomenal immune system.
Or how about the fact that the Health Dept. insists that we need a 1,000 gallon septic tank on our little restroom in the barn? Yes, the little sink and toilet that will use a total of about 3 gallons per visit and that will only be used when and if we have tours or classes. Maybe a total of 100 times per year. And guess what? The usual box stores and home improvement places are not allowed to sell 1,000 gallon plastic holding tanks in ND. I could go concrete but then how would I get it in the hole? Guess we'll be sneaking one in across the state border - right after I blow my project budget and fork over the extra $400 for it.
Or how about the fact that we have grown so fast this year in our number of customers that we're short on a few things. Yeah, that would push me over the edge. I've found a grower with large plants in the varieties I need however he's 162 miles one way away. Our new dependable vehicle is tied up two days a week running deliveries and we are tied up two other days a week harvesting and maintaining - leaving very limited time to go get these little gems - especially when we need them NOW!
Today my issue is GreenSource Windows out of Minnesota. http://www.greensourcewindows.com/ They very kindly came and put in four new windows last year - did a good job from what we could see and were good at customer service at the time. However in the -28 degree cold snap of January, one of the windows snapped. Just snapped. No one touched it, it just broke. Getting a replacement on their warranty has been grueling. Contacting them has been a nightmare and although after many many phone calls they did say they would be here today to install a new one - it's late afternoon and not so much as a phone call. I think I can feel myself drooling and talking to myself as I slip into a psychotic break.
These are the kind of things that make me put the running suit on the dog because I shouldn't be the only one who's miserable.
Things aren't ALL bad. A few things that were threatening to give me the proverbial shove off the cliff this week have been fixed - woohoo!
The rat that I've been trying to catch in the barn for almost a month is now deceased. On Sunday I proclaimed to the whole family that it had now become a family mission to rid the barn of the rat. It was a battle I could no longer fight alone. The guys went 'hunting' on Sunday with no luck. However - our barn dog Millie was listening to my 'this is a team effort' speech and Monday night she took it upon herself to rid the farm of the vermin. She was awfully proud and I was awfully relieved. PS - the rat was a male - we checked. We're hoping we was a lone bachelor but we (Millie and I) are keeping a watchful eye - and ear - out just in case.
We did get the Carmine Jewel cherries picked - beat those birds out and that's good. They are now gently soaking in a nice rum. It's turned a delightful shade of red and when they're done soaking they are headed for a coat of dark chocolate. MMMMM, can't wait. They make me happy.
We also picked a bucket load of fresh raspberries. Got them all in the freezer for later eating pleasures - later when we're not in Chaos Town and we can really enjoy them.
I also got invited to a wine tasting event tomorrow. Sounds like great fun and maybe a little relaxing is just what I need.
The third succession of dill and basil are up and the zinnias are starting to bloom. Maybe its time to do another recreation of a famous painting...
And of course, I have my family - Tall Dark and Handsome and the Boy stand beside me daily, hold me up, pour me another drink and some days the fact that I love them more than anything in the world is all I really know for sure.