The More Things Change – Thankful Thursday

This year has been really…difficult…is the best word I can think of. Maybe different? I don’t know, and I know that the year isn’t even really over yet. It just seems like it is at the moment.

I guess the only thing on my mind that I’m really grateful for-

No, just thought of another thing.

Perspective.

I hadn’t realized just how much I was appreciated at home-

That’s not quite right either.

I guess I hadn’t realized just how much I do at home, how much I contribute, until this past week. I’ve been sick and unable to do most everything I usually do. I was able to do laundry this week and that’s it. Barely I have it in me to do family history because my brain’s so fuzzy I don’t want to mess anything up.

I haven’t been able to do a lot during the last ten years or so, or at least that’s how it seemed to me until I got sick this week and couldn’t do much of anything. I hadn’t realized just how far I’d gotten until this moment when it comes to doing things.

So I’m grateful for perspective this week even if that perspective came from underneath a mound of blankets.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday.

Tough Morning – Thankful Thursday

This morning was really hard for me. My sister woke me up before she had to leave to take her kids to school and then head to work to let me know that one of our goats had died in the night.

One of the baby goats, the little bucklings that were born in August and were still small enough to pick up and hold.

We didn’t really know why he had died.

I went through my morning chores: laundry, dishes, checking on the animals and their waters. (Everything freezes over multiple times throughout the day because the temperature is always below the freezing point of water right now.)

I did all of this while crying, because I am a crier, but still able to work even when doing so.

I felt the need to call a friend who also has goats (and has kind of been our go-to person whenever we have goat issues that crop up.) She came right over and listened to me before checking on the only little goatling we have left. She let me know that in the cold weather, most goats’ digestive track slows incredibly fast and it’s very easy for them to become bloated and if they are headbutted (which is how goats play) and it hits them just wrong (which is a worry mostly for the smaller ones that aren’t quite 5 or 6 months old yet, which our two youngest goatlings turn 5 months around Christmas) they can rupture something and die. Being bloated also makes it harder for them to keep warm because it hurts to cuddle up with others if you are too bloated.

My friend was actually surprised that the smaller of the two goatlings had survived the last few nights with how small he is and how bloated he was.

“Those other buckling must really like this one, the only way he could have survived the last few nights was if he was cuddled up with them even when he didn’t want to be.” she told me.

I thought back on it and I did recall that Cowboy and Ventus (our next two youngest after the little ones, but they are closer to 7 months old) do like the little tri-colored goatling that survived.

My friend showed me how to hold the little goatling and pat at his stomach to help him burp out all of the gas that was keeping him bloated. She also showed me how to use a pinch of baking soda every couple of hours to help him to burp without me. (It works kind of like Alka-Seltzer for a goat.) She also told me that just a milliliter and a half of regular human yogurt can help to encourage the good bacteria that’s in his digestive track to start working more, helping him to digest his food better and not end up with all of that gas in him.

She’s also going to come back in a few hours and have a look at my little goatling to make sure he’s doing okay.

That was a really long way to come to, to find what I was grateful for today.

What I’m grateful for was my friend who was willing to come down and help me even when she didn’t know what was wrong. Because I was still crying too much to explain beyond the fact that we had lost a goat in the night. She made sure I was all right and then immediately checked my other goats (while showing me how to do so as well) to make sure they were okay and when she found one that needed care and attention she showed me how to do it and then stayed with me for a bit longer to make sure I not only knew how to do it, but that I wasn’t alone.

I am very blessed to have such a friend.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday.

Many Blessings – Thankful Thursday

There are many things that I can be grateful for today of all days.

I can be grateful for the snow that blitzed us last night (and stuck around to freeze my nephew’s fingers off when doing animal waters this morning).

I can be grateful that we finished getting the roof up for the pigs’ shelter yesterday before it snowed (except for the tarp I have to sew to go over the top for added protection.)

I can even be grateful for the wood that we have to keep the living room warm from the wood stove.

But mostly?

Mostly I’m grateful for new friends made this week, old friends that I got to hang around with before today (they went to Oregon to visit family for a week), and for how snuggle-y our animals are whenever it’s snowy and perfect to curl up with a book and a cat or dog.

Hope that y’all are also having a great day, whether it’s Thanksgiving for you or not.

Be sure to check out the original Thankful Thursday!

Through the Cold Night -Thankful Thursday

So, yesterday,  my eldest nephew and I were going to finally finish the new pig pen before it snowed last night and into today. While we were over there getting the first of the last four panels ready, he heard cheeping.

But there were no birds anywhere around us.

So Chris looked over the fence between our yard and our neighbor’s calf yard (which is currently empty).

“Martha! Martha! Look!”

I glance over the fence and there I see it too.

Our broody hen that went missing had eight little chickies following her around the pen our neighbor puts bulls in when they get hurt or sick. (It was currently empty as well, thank goodness.)

Chris climbed the fence while I got a box and went around the long way. (I was not climbing that fence, no sirree.) It took us a bit, but we finally caught the chickies and the mama. We had to let the mama go, because we found her nest where she was still spending most of the day sitting on eggs. (She must have been on break with the littles. I’ve seen her do that before when she still had eggs to brood over.

We moved the eight little chickies into a nice brooder box (after hurriedly assembling one) and put them in the garage with the bunnies and some nice heat lamps and prayed that they would survive the sudden drop in temperature that was coming last night.

They made it. (Their mom also returned to her broody nest that we weren’t going to try and roust her from. Hens peck something fierce.)

So today I am grateful that Chris heard the chickies yesterday. (Even if we still haven’t finished the pig pen and now must do so in the snow.)

Check out the original Thankful Thursday.

It’s Hard To Be

It’s hard to be vigilant when things feel comfortable and convenient. – Matt from mustbethistalltoride.com, Diagnosing Relationship Failure is Not for the Self-Assured

If there is one thing I have learned about living out on a farm it is that the convenience of living in the city was hard won by those who came before us. But at the same time we take most of it for granted.

It takes twenty minutes for us to get into the nearest town. Just to get to town, not the store or the gas station or a specific place, just the outskirts of town where the first houses are. And that’s if the weather’s good and there’s nothing wrong with our car. (The car wouldn’t go over 60 mph for a while there without overheating within 10 minutes. In hindsight, it was only a matter of time before it died and we had to get the truck.)

I grew up in a small city. I have to call it a small city because  to most people that’s what it is. It’s not a small town because it’s bigger than that, but if you compare it to any other size city anywhere else (including Denver, Colorado, just one state over) it really is just a small city. But that didn’t mean it didn’t have it’s conveniences just the same. I grew up being able to walk to a 50 cent and then dollar movie theater, a community swimming pool and a public library (although that last one was a bit further away and up a very steep hill that was more a part of the mountain we lived right up against.)

Now the only library that’s convenient is the one that I’ve spent my whole life compiling. The movie theater is what movies my niece buys at the thrift store to go with the old VCR that her brother found at the same thrift store (those VHS tapes are the sturdiest things outside of a nokia phone, I swear) and we try to visit one of my sisters who live in an apartment at least three times during the summer to go swimming there.

But we have our own animals that have helped supply a good portion of what we would be getting at the store: milk, eggs, cheese (we have to make it), sour cream (ditto), and meat. We try to grow our own vegetables, but something always goes wrong. (It’s funny that the garden that had goats and pigs getting into it actually fared better and gave us more crops than the one that three chickens got into. The irony.) We gather wood and straw for the winter and have to repair the shelters and sheds that we use for the farm ourselves.

I have learned things that I never thought I’d learn (how to midwife for a goat is always the first thing that pops into my mind).

But while there’s a lot less convenient things out here, it’s also the place I’ve been the healthiest and happiest since I was a small child. It’s hard work, but it’s work that I have found to be very satisfying. Most of all, I’m happy here.

(Though I will still be grateful that the store is less than an hour away.)

To Feel or Not To Feel – Thankful Thursday

Of all the times this year that I have pulled my hair out over things, wanted to scream in frustration (and actually followed through on that desire), wanted to throw things (but didn’t, because no matter how I throw it, it always ends up hitting me), I am grateful for the ability to feel.

Even when it’s just feeling like I’m going to be sick.

Because not feeling is scarier than feeling like you can’t contain yourself within your own skin.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday. (I will update the link later, when I’m done with my Nanowrimo writing for the day…or possibly some time next week. Things are busy here.)

More Than One Way To Speak

Vocal is not always the way it works
Or how you let the words out
Infinite are the ways to express
Certainty and determination
Even as you shiver with confusion


NaNoWriMo starts today and wouldn’t you know it, I have laryngitis at the same time my main communication for the month is going to be written.

Moved – Thankful Thursday

I’ve said before how grateful I am for when we moved out to the farm several times and for differing reasons. Yesterday I got a new one, but it’s one that, while incredibly relieving, is also one that I hadn’t wanted.

My sister emailed me a link yesterday to a news article. After reading it, I just kind of sat and didn’t think about it. Now, it’s something that I’m having trouble not thinking about if I am sitting still and not actively doing something.

There was a shooting at a middle school in the next valley over.

A valley that I used to live in.

At a school that all three of my sister’s children would have been at if we hadn’t moved.

There’s only one person who was shot and the article states that the injured student is stable and that he made it through surgery all right.

I’ve been at a school where a student brought a weapon and we went into lockdown. I’ve been evacuated from my high school because there was a bomb threat. I’ve had a robbery happen across the street at another school and had it go into lockdown.

This was so much more frightening.

So I am grateful that we moved. So incredibly grateful. Because the thought of any of my sister’s kids being there fills me with such terror that I’m having trouble even writing this out.

I can but pray for those still there.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday. (Hopefully it will cheer us up. Now I must go do something to keep my brain from cycling about this.)

Phone Call – One-Liner Wednesday

Don’t you just love it when someone you’ve been waiting to get into contact with finally texts, but for some reason your phone won’t text back, or call and your landline won’t dial out to that ONE NUMBER, but will to everything else under the sun?


It’s been that kind of week.

Check out the original One-Liner Wednesday.