For dinner tonight, we ate acorn squash, cottage cheese, and sautéed brussel sprouts. It was an admittedly unexciting meal, but I was tired, and planning on working through dinner, so I didn’t put too much thought into it.
I sat at my desk eating the brussel sprouts with my fingers and taking bites of squash between thoughts as I drafted an email to a client. I finished up the correspondence, and then finished off my plate, quickly shoveling the cottage cheese into my mouth, so I could put the plate in the kitchen and clear some desk space.
As I put my plate in the sink, I noticed that Jeremiah had dumped about a third of his meal into the container of scraps for the chickens. Specifically, all of the cottage cheese along with just a bite of squash and a few brussel sprout leaves.
I called into the living room where Jeremiah was busy painting.
“Not so much on the cottage cheese?”
“Yeah. Sorry. I tried. Just couldn’t do it.”
But more on that later…
A few of you might have noticed that I haven’t written in a little while. Two weeks ago marked the International Hoof Summit in Cincinnati, OH. For Jeremiah, that means a week-long farrier Disneyland with exhibits and presentations and farrier toys. He gets to hang out with colleagues from all over the world and exchange ideas and share insight on particular cases. He looks forward to it all year.
For me, however, the Summit means a week of tending to things by myself, hopefully still managing a work/life balance. (I failed miserably by the way. I’m not entirely sure how I would manage weeks like this one if I didn’t work for my dad.) This time it meant trying to fix the horse fence in 15 degree weather, falling into the manure pit (at least once) while trying to dump the wheelbarrow, and unfreezing a frozen lock on the chicken coop every day for three days straight. While he was gone, we had two blizzards and my mom went into the hospital with pneumonia. (She was finally discharged yesterday.) And, just to top it off, Miss Amelia had to go to a semi-emergency vet visit thanks to a complication from her stick escapade. (She just finished her antibiotics for that today.)
Of course, two days after he got home, he came down with some sort of farrier flu (I’m assuming…) and is only now feeling a tiny bit better. He’s been stuck inside since and going a little stir crazy. As soon as he goes outside, it seems he is back at square one. So, I’ve been doing most of the chores and trying to keep him from trying to help. It only sort of works.
And then, a few days ago my pet hedgehog died.
I spent the morning paying bills, trying, like everyone, to stretch every dollar just a little farther than it wanted to go. Since taking over the farm, we’ve stretched things a little farther than we’re used to. Mostly that’s due to having propane heat and a big old drafty house (as opposed to natural gas and a little bitty old drafty house). It’s been a lesson in tightening our belts a little, but it’s totally worth it to make this place our own and live this farmhouse dream that we’ve both had since childhood.
Still, with sick husbands and mothers and puppies, and bills to pay, and stalls to clean (and by that I mean all the shit to deal with, whether literal or figurative), and work to do…it can get a little overwhelming, can’t it?
And sometimes we need a reminder that we have it pretty good most of the time.
Back to the cottage cheese and my lazy dinner.
“So, what did cottage cheese ever do to you?”
Jeremiah has some weird food hang ups, including the belief that avocados are actually alien eggs; I expected to hear that cottage cheese was against his religion or something. But that wasn’t what he said.
“When I was a kid, and we lived in Arizona, there was a stretch when things were really bad. One week, my parents didn’t have any money for food. And the food pantry didn’t have anything much either. Just cottage cheese. So we took the cottage cheese. We ate it, just cottage cheese, for about a week. But some of it was bad and it made us sick…really sick I haven’t been able to eat it since.”
That’s one way to put things in perspective.
So, tonight I will enjoy a glass of cheap wine in my way too chilly house. And I’m going to raise a glass to “pretty good most of the time” because when you think about it, that’s something worth celebrating.