Saturday, December 14, 2013 poor neglected blog...

I have missed you!  I was doing great the first part of November and it wasn't that I was no longer grateful, but you may have noticed my last post was my "thankfulness" for my TN.  Well, I was going into a flare-up and had some pretty rough days.  You would think, I could still at least write, but I just wasn't able to do it.  I'm still fighting the fight, and am still here.  I am going to go back and post the rest of November's posts in the next few days and get back up to you may want to scroll back for the next week to catch them, I will be back dating.  And also trying to get current on what is going on now.

Thanks for your love and support!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm Thankful for...Day 18

I'm thankful today that this is the only damage on our farm after high winds, and tornado watches.  Many communities did not fair as well.

Thankfully, I had taken the meat chicken to freezer camp two weeks ago, or they likely would have died from heart attacks.

Thankfully none of the animals (or people) were in the path when the telephone pole (that held our martin house) snapped.

Thankfully I have a very handy husband that can fix or rebuild my moveable chicken coop before we need to grow out more birds. 

Thankfully the storm is over.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm Thankful for...Day 16

I am so thankful for the love and understanding my family has when I am in the midst of a full blown Trigeminal Neuralgia attack/seizure.  They are not only are aware of my pain, they also see some of the habits I have when I'm about to have one.  I'm blessed that they take care of me and all my chores when I can't.

I am also thankful for the support group I've found on Facebook that all have some form of Trigeminal Neuralgia.  I know that my family love me and don't mind hearing me "gripe" about what is going on, but I also know that they want to "fix" it....and there is no fix, at least not yet.  I like that I can go online and read what others are doing for their pain and post and know that they completely "get it".

I am in extreme pain today, so no pictures or fun today.

Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm Thankful for....Day 15

I'm thankful that our "pets" feed us.
I was also so excited this morning to find that one of my two Americauna pullets came "online" this morning!  We have green eggs again!

Love them!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

I'm Thankful for...Day 14

I'm thankful to find beauty in the little things around me.

The sun was shining so brightly in the window this morning onto all the jars of pears I did yesterday.  They just sparkled!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm Thankfull for....Day 13

I am grateful for the fact that my family has never really been hungry.  I am thankful for the food on our table.  I am especially thankful when it comes from the work of our hands.  It just seems to taste better that way.

This week we've had lasagna made from Bessie Cheese and homemade tomato sauce from our tomato harvest.  Fresh bread made from raw milk (from a friend) and home ground wheat.

We've had fish flavored with home grown dill weed that I finally had to pull the whole plant and prepare it to be dried.  (It's too cold now to keep it going)

Dill (before)
Dill Weed after...(OK, it's not all of it!)
And today, I spent the whole day processing pears from off our tree.  I pulled about 10 gallons for us.  Gave about 10 gallons to friends down the road, in exchange for the 10 pounds of grapes they gave us last month.  I've given away about 5 grocery sacks to various people who have been on the farm in the past few weeks.

And given the chickens about 30 gallons of bug/wasp eaten pears or ones. I also have 30 gallons stored in a trash can in the coop to dole out over the next few weeks.

Weldon gets 3 pears each morning as well.  He stands in the corner of the pasture closest to the house and pear tree waiting for me in the morning for them.

Here was my set up. Far on the stove is the juicer, behind which is the pan of very light syrup.  Then the peeled and sliced pears in citric acid water to keep them from discoloring.  Then you can see 3 jars packed and waiting to go into the canner, and a casserole dish that will later become cinnamon pear crisp.  And my handy dandy peeler. The only thing missing from the picture is my huge canner.  (I might need a bigger stove!)
Final count 12 Quarts of pears sliced.  7 Quarts of pear juice that will later become Sunshine Jam (Peach/Pear-my favorite!)

My poor ole body lets me know when I spend the whole day on my feet working on canning, but in the end it is worth it when I hear the "pings" of the lids vacuum sealing and see the jars on the shelves.  I know that my family will eat well through the winter!

(And 19 more jars for the 101 challenge!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm Thankful for...Day 12

I'm thankful for Random facts that make me smile.... (And the fact that with God, nothing is actually random!)

Like today at 2:15 was 11/12/13 14:15 !

What were you doing then?

I was looking at our first snow of the season.

I was considering:

Other random cow facts:
  • Cows can recognize their names (though they may not come when called!).
  • Cows have a memory of about three years.
  • Cows can sense a storm coming and will lie down. (Which if you've ever heard my theory of the percentage of chance of rain....)
  • A cow can climb up the stairs, but cannot climb down. This is because her knees cannot bend properly.
  • A cow produces around 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.
  •  A cow stands up and sits down about 14 times a day.
  • A cow usually spends 6-7 hours in day eating cud and around 8 hours on chewing it.
  • Almost all the cows chew at least 50 times per minute.
  • An average cow has more than 40,000 jaw movements in a day.
  •  Cows can drink up to 35 gallons of water a day.
  • Cows do not bite grass; rather they curl their tongue around it.
  • Cows have almost total 360-degree panoramic vision. (Otherwise known as "Mom Vision"
  • Cows have an acute sense of smell and can smell something up to 6 miles away.
  • I miss my Bessie Cow.
Oh, and one random Pig fact
  • Pigs can run 11 miles an hour...that's faster than a 6 minute mile!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm Thankful for....Day 11

I'm thankful for the soldiers that have sacrificed for our freedoms.   (Even though those freedoms look to be going away...and the current state of our military...)

Anyway, many include current and future military in this day.  But it is a day of REMEMBERANCE of those who have served and sacrificed.  Like my step-father-in-law who landed on the beach at Normandy.  Or my uncle who received a purple heart for his service in Vietnam (Which he still is unable to speak of).

Being a pacifist, I can't imagine the sacrifice of the mother's (wives, sisters) of those veterans. 

All that being said, I am grateful for the freedom that we do have because  of the our Veterans.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm Thankful for...Day 10

Today I am grateful for my disabilities.

My gratefulness is probably surprising.  It's easy to thank God for all the blessing and good things in our lives. But did you ever consider thanking Him for something that doesn’t seem like a blessing—such as a trying circumstance you want Him to remove or change? A grateful heart is most precious to God when, humanly speaking, we really don't want to give thanks.

The afflictions of this life are God’s powerful invitation into deeper intimacy with Himself. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.  I can count it all joy when I meet trials of various kinds,  for I know that the testing of my faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2-3)

If we don’t experience difficulty, why would we need God in our day-to-day lives?  Troubles move us toward Christ. 

The apostle Paul was the greatest Christian who ever lived. Paul was given insight into the things of God that no other New Testament writer was given.  He even saw things he was not permitted to describe. So why should Paul, of all people, suffer affliction? 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
  7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Real faith is not receiving from God what we want, but it is accepting from God what He gives. He is good and faithful, and so thank Him and praise Him anyway
Romans 8:28

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I'm Thankful for...Day 9

Like most little girls, I read the Little House books (and watched the TV show).  I had (have) family that farm for real.  I have always wanted to either have a farm and be a farmer (or a rancher) or run a hotel. 
My wonderful Man has helped one of my dreams come true. 

I am grateful for our farm animals.  They contribute to our family with milk and eggs, but are a part of the family too.  Some of them will give the ultimate sacrifice to feed us.  I don't ever forget that, but while they are with us they are loved and spoiled.  I know that they have had the best possible life we can give them. 

Me and Weldon (and Bess)

Bess talking to me and Iona
The last batch of meat chickens AKA
Nugget, Roast, Fajita, Drumstick, Teriaki, Parmesan, and Sandwich
Yellow Cat who keeps the mice at bay.
Iona, the barn dog that guards the rabbits.
Weldon (Bess) and one of the Roos

Friday, November 8, 2013

I'm Thankful for....Day 8

I am thankful for the furry critters that live in our house and love us unconditionally.
As I write this Danny is asleep under my desk with his head on my foot.

Even when they make us crazy with barking, fleas, ticks and rolling in "stuff" that smells so "good" on farms...


Also grateful that I don't get bit when doing things like this!

"Hello..Welcome to Z's Tree...How many in your party?? Booth or table?"

I am Thankful for....Day 7

Yesterday I was thankful for family that are friends...
today I am thankful for the friends that become family!
I've read a saying that friends are the family you choose....
...and I have been blessed with some very special ones!

First is Reyn BFF.  We have been friends for ....mumble...mumble...well, I'm not going to put how many years but since we were both in 2nd grade FOREVER ago.  She and I were both the "new girls" as we moved to the school district at about the same time.

She shouted in a boy's ear that was harassing me....and we've been BFFs ever since.  She is one of my most diligent encouragers of my blog and leaves comments all the time so I know that I'm not just writing to the wind.  She has always been an encouragement to me and has supported me in everything...hairbrained or not!  She is my sounding board, my joy, and is one of those friends that you can call at 3 am crying and making no sense...and she understands.

I'm so, so blessed...
My Soul Sisters
Second, are the ladies and their families that have come into our lives and stayed.  Our kids are friends, our hubbies are friends, and we all have a great time together.

Me and KA (the awesome lady that recently did our portraits!
and the one that takes cryptic FB posts and comes to the rescue)

Not the greatest picture...I don't have a picture of my friend, HH, probably because she's frequently off patching up a booboo on one of their 5 kids-the oldest son is Boy's BFF)

Finally for today is a relatively new friend, that I only know through the internet, but I have been blessed beyond measure by her words and support.  My dear Man used to tease me about my "imaginary" friends on the internet.  And SP is my BIFF (Best Imaginary Friend Forever) that has made the leap despite the fact that we might run into one another at Lowe's and not even recognize each other (grin).  She was my first "cow" friend and has been a support to me in my first year of cow ownership.  But it was when Bess became ill, that we became very close.  She was asking all the time via IM how she was doing.  Helping me to cope...knowing that despite a cow being "just a farm animal" how attached you can be.  It was then that we started to explore and expand our friendship until now I consider her a soul sister too.  (And am considering moving to her farm in Tennessee!)

Just yesterday, I was chatting with both my cousin BFF, and my BIFF.  I said basically the same thing about my day to both of them (in separate chats) and they both came back with the SAME response! 

I am wonderfully Blessed and so very thankful to have these lovely women to share my confidences and heart with, knowing that they will come along side of me and pray for me.  There are many people that I consider my friends, and I love them for what they are to me, but for most there are only little segments and pieces of my life that they share....unlike these 4 women that know it all...and love me anyway!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I am Thankful for...Day 6

I am so thankful Family that are Friends.
Families have all kinds of quirks and we don't always agree and get along...but we are always family.  I'm grateful for the family in our lives. 
Man's Mom and My Man

Man's Older Brother

My Dad and Me

My Mom and Me

Boy and His Nana

Boy and his Pawpa

My Cousin and BFF (and my cow!)


I love all of my family!  I have a very, very special relationship with my Cousin/BFF.  We talk on the phone almost every day or IM.  We are the closest in age in our family.  Our fathers are brothers, but in my heart she is my sister.  She coined the term a few weeks ago, that I was her "Soul's Twin."  Brings tears to my eyes and is so true.  We have joked that we are a "driving force" in one another's lives...mainly because we have to drive to see each other.  (We have always lived at least 400 miles apart).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I'm Thankful for..Day 5

Today is my precious son's 13th birthday.  I can't hardly believe it--I have a teenager!  Generally, he is a very good boy.  He's got a sweet disposition (and a temper-hmm wonder where that comes from? grin).  He's always had the most empathetic heart. 

There are times, that I lament about the life he has because of having a sick mom for much of his life.  I can remember when waiting for my first spinal surgery, him coming up to care for me.  I missed his whole 7th summer-riding a two wheeler, first sleep over, and who knows what else. But I also believe that God does not make mistakes, and the compassion and caring heart that he has was given to him just for that circumstance.

He's definitely Dad's Boy and they are such great friends.  I pray that it will always be so.  Yesterday morning they even sang a song they had "modified" while working in the woodshop.  They are so fun.  Right now, they are on a Father/Son Adventure I am missing both my guys!

I love this Boy and am so blessed to be his Mom! 
(Extra special thanks to my friend at KAPhotography :) for these gorgeous pictures!)
So since I am home alone, and you are kind of stuck with my "remembering"....I can remember the day he was born....let me throw another log on the fire and tell you all about it....
We lived in Phoenix, Arizona at the time.  I had a difficult pregnancy with our little guy with Gestational Diabetes and morning sickness that lasted 9 months and all day.  (When I gave birth, I was a pound lighter than when I got pregnant.)  I had been on bed rest for about 9 weeks when I went to my doctor's appointment on November 3rd, 2000.  The baby's due date wasn't until Thanksgiving (November 23rd), but he was already big.  It was supposed to be a routine check, so I went to the doctor alone. Our doctor gave me the news, he needed to come out, soon!  Otherwise, they were going to schedule induction/ c-section the following week.  My bed rest was lifted and she told me to go home and get out walking to see if we couldn't entice him into coming out on his own.
I called my sweet husband at work, and he immediately spoke with his manager and was home within an hour. (I guess a somewhat weepy wife will do that-ha 'somewhat!'.) He took me out and we did what we loved to do but hadn't done in months...spending the evening and all day Saturday shopping at the thrift stores.  I remember I was buying copies of Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley High books to make sets to sell on eBay.  I spent the evening of the 4th listing the lots of books on eBay and complaining that all the walking had made my back hurt....(, no...actually in labor)
About 5 am on Sunday, I got up to take care of the call of nature....only to have my water break!  Still being somewhat clueless, I just thought I didn't make it in time to the bathroom. I laid back down for another hour.  When I got up again, I realized, that my water had actually broken, so I woke my dear guy up and told him it was time to head for the hospital.
Desert Samaritan Hospital, Phoenix
We were checked and admitted.  In between labor pains, we spent the day reading the Sunday paper.  Despite the labor, I was not progressing.  The baby still had not moved down into birth position as was still really high.  I also wasn't dilating.  So mid-afternoon, I was given Pitocin to further induce the labor.
10 hours was getting concerning as I still was not dilated (only to 4 for you mom's out there) and he still had not dropped down.  My doctor was amazing.  She let me continue to labor because I was determined to have this baby the old fashioned way.  But we had to start discussing options.  I had planned to go without an epidural as I had a phobia of anyone messing with my back, as when I was small I had a spinal tap and still had that fear. (little did I know years down the road...) In discussions though, we discovered if I ended up needing a C-section, Man couldn't come in if they had to put me under.  If I was numbed with the epidural then I would be awake and he could be there.  4 nurses and my husband holding me down, they got the epidural in.
Now I had been in labor about 12 hours going on 13.  More and more people in masks kept coming in and out of the room.  Still the baby was high and not much progress. We soldiered on....until the baby's heartbeat became slower and irregular.  From the moment it was decided that an emergency C-section was in order until I was in surgery was a head-spinning 10 minutes.

My Man stood behind my head during surgery.  There were 4 doctors, one of which stood next to DH and I heard him telling him all that was going on.  There were also about 5 nurses.  I wonder who was taking care of everyone else?  It was only minutes until I heard a baby cry, and actually at that moment, thought it must be in the next room because they couldn't have possibly made the incision that quick.  But, No, I heard my Love tell me that he (the baby) was beautiful.

They brought the baby up for me to see, but I couldn't see him very well, and it was a quick peek.  I cannot handle anesthesia (who knew, I didn't at the time) so I started to get sick.  The baby needed immediate attention too.  So I asked my Honey to stay with the baby.  Bless his heart.  He had to walk out still seeing me not quite "put back together" yet.
8 pounds 10 ounces
21 inches
(Can you imagine if he had gone until his due date?  He would have been bigger than our Thanksgiving turkey!)
All the pictures I have from the recovery room has our Baby squalling!  Apparently, he had a good set of lungs and was pretty upset about being poked.  But when his Daddy touched him he settled right down.
Meanwhile, I was in my own recovery area.  The epidural was still working well, so well that I couldn't feel anything below my shoulders. I couldn't feel my hands at all.  The nurse brought me some ice chips to munch on.  She left to take care of someone else (I assume) and I decided that even though I couldn't feel my hands, I could pick up the cup of ice and get a drink....and dumped the contents of ice on my chest.  I just lay there with ice all over my chest until she returned (because I couldn't get my hands to work to pick them up and put them back into the cup and I didn't want to dump them on the floor and make more work for someone.) She came in and laughed and laughed.  She asked why I hadn't called, I told her it was no big deal, I couldn't feel the cold :)

Because I had gestational diabetes, the baby was born with low blood sugar and they needed to get some calories in him right away. 
About 11:30 pm, I finally got to meet my son, properly.  Many babies had been born at Desert Samaritan on November 5, 2000, so they didn't have anywhere to put me after recovery.  My son and I spent our first time together in a  closed off nursery.  We tried to get him the latch on, but he wasn't able to.

After I got into a room, they still kept him in the nursery to monitor him due to the low blood sugar.  I was a bit of a hormonal mama bear after going for hours without seeing him and pitched a bit of a fit at 5 am and he was finally brought into my room to stay.

Every mom has in her mind how her birth story is going to go, and if we're honest, rarely does it go the way we plan.  Everything I had hoped would happen, didn't.  Everything I feared did.  I did not want an epidural.  I wanted to have him naturally, not by C-section.  I wanted to be able to breast feed, he couldn't then wouldn't latch...but when it was all over, God had blessed us with a beautiful baby boy to hold and love.

We ended up staying in the hospital 3 days.  After the fact, my doctor told me that I could have never and would never have a baby "the natural way."  Had it been the "old west" days, we would have likely both died in childbirth.  My pelvic floor bones are very tight together, so much so that the baby's head could not even enter into the "dropped position".  My Man joked that the Baby "heard" we had a new digital camera and wanted to look good for his first pictures. (And isn't he just GORGEOUS??)

While we were falling in love with this little Guy the country was arguing over "hanging Chads, pregnant Chads " and who the next president would be.

We had an extra day in the hospital for the Baby's recovery. He became jaundiced just as they were preparing to release us for home.  He spent a day under the Bili-Ruben lights in the hospital.  Then the hospital sent portable lights home for him to sunbathe under for the first week.  We also had a nurse that came daily to take blood out of his tiny foot to check all the various "levels"
Look at that little smoosh face!!