Deadlines, Projects, Markets, and Wonky Ducks

Summary:  Your network is your net worth, I had a mess of projects that somehow all ended up with deadlines last week, did my first market with the Goaty Goodies, one of my horses got stitches after trying to jump out of the trailer on the freeway, and my duck injured her neck.  So, basically, things are normal.

Well howdy.  It’s been a hot minute or 40.  I had three major projects looming over me for the past couple of months.  The biggest, most time-consuming one was writing a grant proposal, which I do NOT recommend.  Ever.  Under any circumstances.  Just hire a grant-writer and get on with your life.  But, NOOOOOOOOOooooo.  The same thought-process responsible for every Pinterest Fail in the history of Pinterest landed me smack in my office chair slaving over 90 pages of grant-application-workplan-government-form-what-the-hell-is-this for 2 months.  Here’s hoping it’s not a grant equivalent of my Pinterest Fails (let’s not discuss the tomato-cage Christmas tree).  It’d be a great grant for the Uncorked Cowgirl business, and I’m a big fan of finding interest-free funding for business.  Grant awards will be announced September 30th.

Meanwhile, we slogged through a crazy insurance issue wherein our insurance carrier for the past 8 years simply dropped all Equine.  We heard about it first from another outfitter who was informed at renewal time that the company wasn’t providing equine coverage any longer.  That’s a fine way to try to crawl out of the abyss of the pandemic if your business survived it at all.  The pandemic has had businesses pivoting like whirling dervishes.  Finding insurance for wine-tasting experiences proved to be more difficult than finding insurance to MAKE, SELL, AND SERVE ALCOHOL.  Ultimately, in order to continue our trail-riding business we had to re-vamp our tours and remove any winery visits.

If I didn’t have a bleeding ulcer before all of that, I certainly flirted with it during my attempt to get us insured.  Which did eventually happen.  For half of what we used to pay for our premiums.  So, there’s that.


The other project due was my first-ever market!  WOOOO!  This was the one and only deadline I had complete control over.  I mean, if stuff was looking off I could’ve cancelled.

Oh no.  Have you met me?  I just let all those other things beyond my control stack up against the market deadline and the next thing you know, your girl is pulling 2 all-nighters like she’s in her 20s and cramming for finals.  (I know, because I did.)

Last time I pulled an all-nighter was when I camped out in the chicken coop to try to catch the vermin that attacked my chickens the night before.  End result, I cut my foot on some wire, had to get a tetanus shot and major cut-clean-up, and never figured out who the culprit was.

But anywayz.

In the midst of all of this, the other night I went out to feed the goats.  There, between two garbage cans of goat-chow, lay one of my sweet duck hens.  She’d caught herself up in the fence while gorging on goaty-chow-kernels.  I can relate.  I extracted her — no small fete — and she seemed okay except that she couldn’t lift her head.  She’d take a couple of steps, her head hit the deck, and she tumbled.

Y’all — hit me with insurance problems that could close down my business, let me go to market and never make a dime, but let a sweet critter of mine suffer unnecessarily?  The pain is unbearable.

I’m happy to report that after 4 days of stall rest with her buddies, gobs of ducky feed, and loads of love, she appears to be all better!

I was hauling Axel home from a lesson and there I was cruising down the freeway when I caught a glimpse of Axel’s front hoof poking through the window above his manger.

I love the little dude, but there are many good reasons that my autocorrect turns my voice-to-text from “Axel” to “Asshole” and I don’t try to change it back.

This is not normal.   He attempted to crawl out, thrashed around and then gave up.  In typical Axel fashion, he quietly resumed munching hay with nary a further thought about his attempted escape or whatever provoked the thought anyway.  By the time I pulled over and checked on him, he looked over his shoulder placidly, slowly blinking his soft brown eyes, and gave me the equine equivalent of “‘sup?”

When I unloaded him at home I did a thorough check and that’s when I saw that he’d cut the top of his head.

9 staples later… (click for image — kinda graphic, not terrible but…)

And you know what’s atypical about the whole week?   The grant application.

Wonky ducks, business “emergencies”, horse injuries – all that is pretty standard.

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