Over the weekend...

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Not only did we eat an entire ice cream cake, but we got our first bales of hay ever off this farm in our history here and the first bales in 63 years! AND as a side note, we are getting our final bills for my surgery and it's looking way better than we ever imagined. It's looking like we may be able to manage this by only slightly tightening our belt for a bit and not by having to sell half of what we own and not doing anything at all for the next 10 years. I was so upset we were finding this out on my Birthday morning - until I found out it was amazing news and not at all what we expected! The best present we could have hoped for! The things that fell into place for me to get to Georgia to see this one very specific Doctor are just amazing and I can't explain them any other way, other than an act of God. We look back and see so many things that fell into place even when we didn't realize that is what was happening. It was nothing short of a miracle. 

I was able to make it out to see the very first square bales come out of our new (30 year old) baler too. It was hard on me, that's the most I've been up since I've been home and it was a little sore, and very exhausting, but not too bad overall and it was totally worth it to be a part of the moment and see that.

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The first bale had to be broken apart until the settings were right for the tightness of the twine...

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Look at that, a bale of hay!

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Our one bush field gave us 46 square bales. These fields haven't been grown for hay or improved. In the spring, we'll start seeding our best fields to start improving them and the quality. The fields are weedy but with most of the goats favorite things, it's the same as their pastures as far as food variety.

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Jim was hard at work raking all the loose hay back into proper rows...

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And at the end, the sun even came out! It was threatening rain the entire time the guys were working but it held off.

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I wore my stomach brace the entire time and I wouldn't have made it without it's help - I really need that support holding my gut in still if I am going to be standing up for any length of time. I stopped wearing it about a week and half after surgery and haven't needed it, but sure did on Friday while I was up. There was a tremendous amount of satisfaction in seeing our first bales of hay ever and also just knowing we heading towards more independence. 

Because it was my Birthday after all, I said I wanted the goats to get double rations and enjoy some of the first hay off our bush fields. I handed some of them (the ones in the goat paddock) the first flakes.

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Sammy as usual was there to make sure he got most of it...

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The taste testing went over pretty well... even with the worst of the food critics...

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Even the babies enjoyed some to compliment their fresh grass they are still busy enjoying through the day....

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Firefly says "that is the funniest looking dog you have with you!"

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The big, the medium and the small!

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The wild grapes are just about ready to be picked. I was hoping to make some wine this year. I'm not sure yet if I'll be able to make it or not.

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The milkweed is out and everything is in it's late summer bloom. It's quite beautiful in the forest right now.

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I had my usual dinner audience extra interested in my Birthday dinner too, considering steak was involved.

Since Friday it's just been slow going for me, lots of lying of in bed, movies, and knitting. I'm knitting up dishcloths and pot holders like there is no tomorrow. I'm a beginner knitter and never really have much time to dedicate to it, but since I'm laid up I figured now is as good a time as ever to practice. I started teaching myself a new pattern for a scarf but I'm having some trouble getting it down pat so I've been practicing repeatedly until my eyes cross. One night Kevin thought something was seriously wrong with me because my eyes were so weird looking from all the starring at loops and knits and purls.

The guys have been working on different projects, fixing the ATV, cutting more hay, and baling it.

Today I took a big chance and went into town for the first time in almost 5 weeks with Kevin because Norman had a Doctor's appointment and I really needed a change of scenery. Our truck is quite comfortable and I sat on pillows. I was shaking because I was terrified of pain (the ride home from Georgia gave me a big fear of that) but it turned out not to be too bad at all. There was quite a bit of discomfort but no real increase in pain, and it was nice to just get out for an hour after so much time not just at home, but in the house. Normally when I feel like I need to "get out" I go out in the forest...or barn... but since I can't do that right now, I figured going to town and getting a doughnut was the next best thing.

Next week Norman is having dental work done - just routine stuff... except he has an enlarged heart and has been on medication for it since he was a year and half old. We've managed it well with meds and diet (keeping his weight down and stable) and he's a pretty healthy boy, but it gives me a whole lotta extra concern for him going under anesthetic. If I'm being honest, I'm a complete nervous wreck about it. The Vet took blood today so that our clinic can send it away to a lab to check his heart values more intensively. Tomorrow they'll let me know what the results were. We are doing everything we can before hand to make sure we are ready and safe going in. He'll have two Vet's there and an amazing Tech and I trust them a lot. But it's still likely I'm going to need sedatives - I don't know who's heart is going to have a worse time his, or mine.

Meanwhile the dogs were just annoyed I messed up our new routine, they enjoy their new lifestyle of getting up to get breakfast and going back to bed to lounge around all day long. 


jaz@octoberfarm said…
i hope norman will be ok! great news about the hay. glad to hear you are getting around a bit. i bet you are bored. i am the worlds worst knitter! i can only knit scarves and only do one basic stitch. it is hot and humis here. i need fall weather!
Good deal on the hay! Your New Holland looks like it's in a lot better shape than ours.

I'm sure Norman is going to make it thru with flying colors.

lol...very hard.....at that last picture of the boys eyeing your plate.
Denise in PA said…
Yay for home grown hay!! My Peke Lilly needs a dental cleaning too and I keep putting it off because I'm so afraid of the anesthesia, so I understand how you feel! Love your jammies!!
I'm so glad that your medical bills will be more manageable than you thought - what great birthday news! :) And congrats on the hay and being able to get out and watch the process! Looks like the goats enjoyed their special treat :)
Mary Ann said…
First off... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Many happy returns of the day!

Didn't I tell you Tricare would take care of you???? :-)

You look fabulous, Donna... in going-to-be-great health! I'll say a prayer for little Norman, too!
12Paws said…
Thanks for this upbeat post. Happy for you regarding the medical expense--oh yes indeed--God will always make a way--we just have to listen to Him & step out in faith. Praise His Name! Happy for you also that you were able to get your beautiful self out amongst your beautiful surroundings! Just take care & pay good attention to what your body says--good healing takes time.
k said…
Sounds like some good birthday gifts - hay and good news about the medical bills. Puffin is too cute.
Congratulations and Happy Birthday!! You look great and hope that you continue to feel better - especially after getting your medical bills!!

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