The good, the bad, the ugly, and the adorable

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First of all, the good news! I finally have my date for surgery and they moved it up 2 weeks from the dates they first told me. My surgery will be on July 18th. We need to be in Atlanta by the 14th so I can go to all my pre-op appointments. I am beyond relieved and happy. I have been in so much pain for a long time but the past few days especially. This morning I woke up in less pain and was afraid to move because I didn't want to have it come back. I will have three really amazing Doctors working on me and I have so much faith this will give me great relief. I am not looking forward to the recovery, but it's a small step towards feeling so much better. 

The bad news is that we have to pay for all three Doctors up front and then wait for TriCare to reimburse us the 75% they pay. That's tough - it's a whole lot of money. But we'll do whatever we have to. I am so fortunate we have some options - we don't have the money, but we have ways to make it happen short term and a lot of people don't. I have read about so many people that are unable to see these kinds of specialists because they are all out of network providers and need to paid up front. I feel very, very, blessed, to be able to even be doing this at all. I know what would happen to me if I couldn't and didn't have this option and it's not pretty.

So now we need to get ready! I'm excited, anxious, and scared, all at the same time. But I must say I'm the least scared I've ever been before a surgery and this is one of the most intense I've had. I've always worried about what would happen after, and this time I'm not. I really feel this is my only hope and with that, I cannot be afraid. Whatever happens after has to be better than what's happening to me right now. I also feel pretty confident in the Doctor's I have and I'm sure I'll feel even better once I meet them in person.

The ugly is, I went up to the barn yesterday to find Max with a facefull of porcupine quills. I've had dogs quilled before, and all three of our previous dogs before Max got them. But Max is five and there has never, ever, been a porcupine in the barnyard or goat yard. Thank heavens. Only once a skunk. 

But it's a spring of painful firsts... porcupines in the barnyard, stinging nettles around my gates and chicken house ramps... Thankfully he only had about 20 (which is plenty) and all in his nose, none in his mouth (because that is hell and we would have had to rush him to the emergency Vet, somehow. Try moving a 125 pound dog full of quills. Yikes.) So we tied him up, I held his mouth so he couldn't kill Kevin, which he thinks about doing on a good day when Kevin is not pulling very painful quills out of his mouth and he was an angel. Really, an angel. He hated it but knew we were helping him. It was over quick thankfully and today his face isn't even swollen. I'll watch close for any sign of trouble, in case one was broken off or he gets any kind of infection. Then he'll be off to the Vet. The key was to get him out of immediate danger and pain. We did that in a major downpour, on Father's day. I made Kevin brownies. I think it helped.

And as for the adorable... let's just say there may or may not have been a Puffin in the bed this afternoon...

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and in the kitchen...

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Douglas is thinking "another goat in the house?"

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Yesterday the downpour was not appreciated by some of my plants...

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But it was by others...

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Especially my buttercrunch lettuce which popped right up... 

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On Saturday I went out in the mule for a ride to my best wild strawberry patch... it's about a mile from the house through our forest trails. I picked berries for about an hour, hour and a half. It was beautiful outside and it felt so good just to be in the forest, quiet, and enjoying my surroundings (and strawberries.) It might have been what heightened my pain levels but I don't care, my spirit needed it so badly.

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It was beautiful at one of our creeks, and amazingly even though I was tramping through the bush I only found one tick on me.

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The Devils paintbrushes are out, one of our favorite wild flowers... also known as Hawkweed.

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and the bumble bees are out, a very welcome sight!

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I love this time of year, when all the fields are just full of wild flowers...

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This is one of my favorite fields on the property, it's always loaded with flowers...

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and in other news, we got the call this morning that we are the proud new owners of a used square baler and a rake... no mower yet but if we cannot find one on time, our equipment dealer told us he'd let us use one of his so we could get some hay in. Hay have not been taken off these fields in 60 years. And the last time hay was mowed it was not by a tractor it was by hand and horses. We have no idea how many bales we'll get, our fields have not been seeded so the hay is thick in places and sparse in others, but we do have timothy hay and lots of other good stuff goaties love. We need to get this done before we leave the farm and head for Georgia, by the 11th of July.

and these things also happened:

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Our road worker/digger helper Charlie got his digger stuck trying to lower one of the dams for us. We don't want the pond drained, but the water was way too high and taking over our yard. Usually Kevin manages it with the tractor but it was so high he couldn't even get the tractor back there. They had to use the winch to get the track that was thrown off back on the bobcat and then Charlie was able to pull himself out.

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They found an antler right outside our little barn in the big summer pasture... just lying there, waiting to be found!

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Kevin took this picture from the other side of the pond looking back at the house...

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and this one of wildflowers in one of the fields...

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And they saw this muskrat!

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who wanted to know what they were doing taking pictures of him... darned paparazzi...

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and there was a whole lot of this.

It seems like it was a long day. We have lots of work ahead.

But me, I'm standing on the edge of the forest trail peering down the long, dark, wooded trail... but I can see that it's lined with wildflowers and wild strawberries, and not so dark and scary after all. I'm ready for this adventure...


Jocelyn said…
That tongue is hilarious! I like all your pictures, and I think it's so funny how a few of your goats have those "eyebrows".

You'll be ok. I'm glad you can see that, even though the surgery is scary, there's a light at the end of the tunnel!
jaz@octoberfarm said…
this is great news!!! one month from today! how long is the recovery and how long will you be gone? you will be so happy when this is all behind you!
Dee said…
I am so glad you got the date for your surgery and it was even moved up! Fingers crossed and prayers for your health and speedy recovery!
I'm so happy that everything is working itself out.

Congrats on getting setup to bale hay. We just baled our field for the 1st time last week. Got 150 out of it, a small field. Next cutting will be better.
Mary Ann said…
Oh, Donna, I'm so very, very glad for you. Congratulations!
Heather Clisby said…
Hi - Random Stranger here, just dropping in to say hello. Not sure what your health issues are but I can see you are facing your surgery with lots of bravery, love and support - so you'll be just dandy.

Beautiful photos. I certainly hope one day, I can find a goat in my own kitchen. Thanks for the cute pups too! Congrats on the baler.
12Paws said…
Praying for all details to come together for you. Your farm is so beautiful as is your state of mind. Knowing the end result will be an upgrade in your physical health makes the "ordeal" doable. I know you will stay positive and be a perfect patient.
That's great news about your surgery! I am so happy for you that you are getting the treatment you need. I really hope it turns your life around! :)

Poor Max! I bet that was painful for him. I'm glad you got him all taken care of and he sounds like he's doing ok now.

I think I'd have Puffin in my bed all the time :)
Nana-Bob said…
I am SO happy for you guys. Soon you will be pain free!!! You should have a party, we can all come and bring a dish, lol. I wish!

On a side note, aren't "ramps" good to eat? Are they painful? I know nettles can be until you clean them or boil them or something, lol Just curious why they were in the painful paragraph, lol.
Dewena Callis said…
Two weeks early! Wonderful! Paying up front though is hard. I wish I had Oprah's checkbook and could help. I'll keep praying daily for you and Kevin and all the babies on the farm that will miss you while you're gone. And I hope Max stays away from porcupines while you're gone.

Puffin the Adorable and acting like, "What's the big deal, don't I belong here?"

Beautiful wildflowers and those green fields. And the three snuggles using Mommie's legs as a pillow. You do have a beautiful life and you deserve a life without all that pain. It will happen.
Lana88 said…
I am confident you are going to do great in very capable hands. :) Things look lovely around your place... and oh so busy! Puffin is precious. And poor Max! Hopefully he heals right up. I was afraid for a day or two we were going to have to call the vet out for Bill, but he looks to be doing much much better, his lameness is almost gone completely. Whew! Hang in there, an exciting new adventure awaits you!
Ha - those photos are adorable!! So happy to hear you have a set date for surgery but you're right, that stinks about paying upfront. We have Martin's Point which replaces Tricare. It seems better but, unfortunately, it's not avail. in all areas.
Misty Meadows said…
*Crossing fingers* everything goes to plan for you and Kevin! Good luck with haying. Hubby has all my equipment ready for me to start haying next month.

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