How to Prepare For Vacation with Kids... Goat Kids
Goatcation - an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling. While being a goat.
Greg and I recently went to Austin for a week long vacation. I got to meet my insta-bestie, Deborah, of Society Letters, and Greg got to cruise his new truck to Texas. It was a win-win for everyone.
But, as any seasoned ranch wife knows, prior to vacationing, one must prepare. And by prepare, I mean one must find someone willing to care for a small menagerie of farm animals. Luckily, our neighbors were willing to take care of the cats, chickens, duck, and horses. But my chivas - they are on a level of their own. Finding someone to take care of my precious angels, that was a task on its own.
So I turned to Alex's family - and praise the lord, they agreed to it. My goats have so many special needs, that sometimes I wonder how any normal person is able to raise goats.
Leading up to the goatcation, I prepared a lengthy document that was as ridiculous as I am, it included things like:
"Buckwheat gets the smaller bottle, but drinks it too quickly, so you have to make sure to make him go slow."
"Taking their temperature in the morning gives the most accurate reading. Normal is 101-103.5."
Anyways, I felt slightly crazy, and slightly justified leaving the book of instructions, but hey, I didn't want them to have to find out any of los chivitos special needs the hard way (as I have had to).
Before I left for the land of the Armadillos, I went over to Alex's house to get the goat's vacation home ready for them. This is where I hope to portray the craziness that insued...
When I got there, I rolled up with a Tahoe full of goat shavings, fence panels, goat bottles, Vitamin D milk jugs, a dog, two goats, probiotics, antibiotics, rectal thermometers, and the goat's favorite blankets and tarp. I had approximately thirty minutes for housekeeping.
Oh, and did I mention I opted to wear a dress for this task? I guess I still have some learning to do. Side note: Don't try to crawl over a barbed wire fence in a dress.
I lugged the tarp, shavings, and panels over to the goat's vacation home and began to set up their paradise. Securing the panels to the barbed wire fence with a few pieces of bailing wire I had geniusly brought with me. Only, it wasn't enough. So I scavenged around the house in search of some more - finally finding a truck-bed full of bailing twine, I began tying the panels to the fence every couple of inches, because goats are crafty little creatures, and I didn't want to risk any chances of them making a maiden voyage back to their homeland.
It was at this point that I learned 'not to climb over a barbed wire fence in your favorite JCrew dress'. I was happy no one was home because A) They would've gotten to know me on a whole new level if you know what I mean, and B) I shamelessly had to lift my dress up to source rocks that would hold the goat's house down in case of severe wind.
A few new holes in my dress later, the panels were up, the house was covered in blankets and tarps (loaded down with rocks), fresh water, baking soda treats, an assortment of greenery, and their favorite story books (just kidding... kind of), and we were ready to go.
45 minutes in, I stood on the opposite side of the fence from my babies and had to tell them goodbye. Is this what every mom faces when she leaves her children?
I packed up Coders the dog, and left the goat's medicine and instructions with their bottles and probiotics, and headed down the road. Their cries echoed in the background, and I turned around only once to make sure they hadn't discovered any escape routes, and then I was off for vacation.
The entire week I missed them, dreamt about them nightly, and couldn't wait to get home to them, but I felt immensely grateful that Alex's family was able to care for them while we were gone. The moment I got home, I pretended that the goats would be sleeping outside, but as soon as I got them home, we celebrated with fresh apple blossom branches and chardonnay in the kitchen, and we planned our next vacation which is commonly called a 'staycation', let me know if you want an invite ;).
Here's to all of you who love your animals just as much, you are not alone.
Thank you Rachel L'Antigua for these photos!