2015: The year everything broke. Including me.

Notice the missing light above the barn doors? It broke. But this picture is still beautiful.

The auger. The livestock scale. The truck. Wheelbarrow. Chainsaw. Stock tank heater. The truck. The Square reader. My iPhone!!! Chainsaw. THE TRUCK.

And when I replaced the battery in my car, I couldn’t find the radio code. Anyone that knows me, knows my personal therapy is driving my manual Accord like it’s an Audi with the sunroof back and radio blasting (especially to drown out any screaming from the backseat).

And the screaming got worse. The kind of high pitch squeal scream that stabs your ears like an ice pick. Sean screams when he wants something, when’s he’s excited, when he’s in pain, when he doesn’t like something…but like all children he’s just cute enough the rest of the time to stop you from killing him. That and he’s the only grandson on the Maynard side, so I feel extra pressure to ensure his survival. And so I’ve spent the majority of my days for at least the last six months stopping myself from killing him and stopping him from killing himself.

Then there was the parasites. Normally we have a hot, dry July that kills parasite eggs by burning them. That never came this year. What would have made a difference is if we could have caught up with fencing to permit more pasture rotation. But that time was instead spent going through the entire herd, checking eyelids and agonizing over the look of their poop then giving dewormers again only to still lose some. And the ones we lost were some of the best.

To quote The Dancing Outlaw: “There’s love in it. There’s also sorrow, hatred, and madness.” He was talking about marriage, but that pretty much describes farming. And parenting. And being a business owner.

I’ll spare you the details of my multiple meltdowns. Some of those closest to me were viciously and senselessly attacked as I held a defensive position in my weakness. I’m so sorry. Thank you for your forgiving love.

When I was an Air Force investigator, folks would ask how I liked the job. My response was, “Just like any job, ours has highs and lows. It’s just ours are much more extreme than most.” I guess I’m drawn to that kind of life. Because the highs out here are straight up amazing.

TONS of awesome things happened this year. I am so grateful to all of you for your support. Because of all the good and what we learned from the bad in 2015, awesome things are already set in motion for 2016. This year we will expand to Lexington markets (don’t worry Richmond: we’re not leaving you!). We’re going to the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville!! I’ve gotten good enough at my tri-loom weaving that I’m proud to start showing it off. The Kentucky Alpaca Association is totally revamping our annual event & I’m super excited about it. I will learn how to spin fiber into yarn. We might actually go on a family vacation (to an alpaca show of course). And my garden will be epic.

2015: thanks for all the great life lessons. But I’m not going to say I’m sad to see you go. 2016 and I are running away together. With a little less bourbon this time.