Feeling Discouraged

I am sick of the cold. It was 10° F yesterday but a stiff wind brought the wind chill down to -25° F. The animals were miserable and so was I. I’m tired of cold, I’m tired of frozen fingers and feet, I’m tired of my nose dripping and eyes tearing in the wind, I’m tired of dark skies and digging out gates, I’m tired of bashing ice out of frozen water buckets. Tired, tired, tired!

On Tuesday the slaughterhouse told me they had no record of the appointment I’d booked last fall (over a year in advance!) for one bull and one steer next November. Yes, they had the appointments for lambs in September and pigs in October, but — scanning the pages — “Nothing for beef.” Now there are no openings left. I hung up the phone with a feeling of exhaustion. I haven’t even managed to get through this winter and I’m dreading next year’s, with a bull in the barn.

No lambs yet. I checked last night at 11 PM and again at 4 AM. On the second trip, snow had drifted deeply over the driveway and the truck floundered to a halt. “Don’t even think about it!” I snapped out loud. The truck obediently reversed and then lunged forward through the snow and made it down to the barn.

Tomorrow will mark three weeks since I sat down with O.B. to discuss the final work on the garage apartment. He estimated there was a week of work inside, and a week of work outside.

“So, two weeks and we’re done?” I said eagerly. I need to stop hemorrhaging money. I need this project to be finished.

“Call it three weeks. It always takes longer than you think.”

I stopped in yesterday to pick up the bills he has promised, over and over, to give me. He was not there. The bills were not there. It was difficult for me to see much progress made since three weeks ago, even on the inside. The outside has not been touched. I am so upset by the lack of communication that it is hard for me not to think about just shutting down the job.

Everyone tells me this is what contractors are like. But I’m running out of steam.

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3 Responses to Feeling Discouraged

  1. Rae says:

    Some contractors are like that, but not all. Ours is great, and we’d send him your way, but you’re sort of across the country from us. As hard up as a lot of contractors are for work these days, there’s probably a lot of them that would jump to complete the job for you, and at a reasonable price too.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      What a good idea to start seeds! Anything I start would have to grow inside until June, so that’s out for me at this point.
      Yes, a steer is always safer, but I need to keep Duke a bull to breed my two cows next fall. We ARE severely underserved in slaughterhouses in this area. However I would be surprised if we got any more, due to the animal rights movement.

  2. Jo says:

    So sorry to hear this. This has been a doozy of a winter, aye? We’re feeling it here in MN too. I think I might try to add a bit of color to the white by starting a few seeds indoors, just some sprouts or greens or something. Anything!

    I know next to nothing about cows, but is it too late to castrate your bull? Would having another steer in the barn be better than a bull? I am amazed you have to make appointments so far ahead of time. Sounds like you need another slaughterhouse in your part of the world!

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