What's been happening here...

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Gosh time has got away from me! It's hard to believe how fast it's moving and sometimes I can barely catch up. Where to start? :) I tried to update the blog a few days ago but I've been having major computer issues... thankfully Kevin has been working on it because it just drives me crazy. It's not fully fixed yet but since it's working right now I thought I better take advantage and update the blog while I can! 

So to start... my month on the chemo drug to shut off my hormones was rough. The side effects were hard to manage but my pain did get better - I actually had a few days of NO pain, except I had a constant migraine I could not keep at bay, despite taking medication constantly. However I did see some changes without a doubt and amazingly after 8 months of painful digestive issues, they improved to the point of almost not being there. So that confirmed to me that all of my symptoms have been connected to the same thing and not several different things as some of my Doctors had lead me to believe here. So I feel better having a clearer idea of what has been happening to me. I couldn't take a second injection because of the side effects so I'm feeling pretty miserable right now... But there is hope.

I have surgery scheduled with an awesome surgeon the end of August and while I am not in any way excited about surgery number 7 OR recovery - I am excited that this will likely give me some relief once my body adjusts to the changes and heals. Because of the results I saw on the medication we feel pretty confident we have a good handle on how to move forward. I feel so terrible right now anything is worth a chance but I feel so positive about it and so hopeful. I just wish it wasn't the end of August and it was tomorrow!

Because of issues with Insurance we cannot afford to go back to my amazing surgeon in Georgia, so we've been working on that for months trying to figure out what we could do and what our options were. So we'll be making the journey this time to Texas, near Dallas and we will not be flying. After my really painful and difficult flight last year after surgery, we are going to drive. We considered taking our 40 foot 5th wheel which would be great for comfort and recovery, but it also makes it harder for us to find places to camp and causes us to travel slower, so we've settled on taking our slide in truck camper. It's 11 feet and it's great for camping, we've taken it on many trips to Alaska, but the only trouble is, you have to climb up into the bed, which I won't be doing after surgery. The table turns into a bed thankfully, although we've never used it, but we'll set it up nicely so I"ll be able to sleep there while I heal from surgery. This surgery should not be as painful after as my last one, I had several procedures done at one time and should only be having two done this time, unless the Doctor finds something else.

In the meantime, I'm plodding along, doing a little here and there as I can. The men have started haying and have been working hard to get our fields cut when the weather allows as we've had so much rain it's been crazy. My plants have suffered because of it, but so far everything is making it through OK, but the tomatoes were very unhappy for a while. We still have a lot of work left to get our haying done, but we are getting some pretty great bales this year, and lots of bales off of two of the fields we did not cut last year when we woke these old fields up for the first time in 65 years! The fields we cut last year and seeded in the spring are all nice and green, and thick.

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Hay drying in the sun...

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Rollie rushing to check out the fields

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Farmer Kevin making square bales!

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When I took this picture I was thinking, Dreams really do come true. This picture is like an image taken from my mind, one I'd seen many times in my dreams. It's important to stop and realize when we see things right in front of us we always dreamed about... sometimes we don't notice, like a pain that is no longer there, we forget... it's important not to.

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this is security!

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The animals are all doing well, except tired of the bugs bothering them... 

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In case you didn't already know... flowers are delicious.

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Here is a picture of Henrietta with her head through the fence, eating greens on the other side...

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Henrietta: um, you didn't just see that... 

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Out there in all that tall green stuff is one darned cute little horse...

I talked to an interesting woman a week ago who drives her Mini's...I got to meet her horses and heard all kinds of fun things about driving. I had not thought much about a Mini horse driving a cart, I know they can pull one, but she showed me pictures and told me that a lot of older fellas that used to drive heavy horses and can longer handle them, drive minis for fun. She had a great Pony whom was just a star. I am used to ponies to being quite naughty but this guy was just a real charmer.

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Also a week ago, I wasn't feeling well but wanted to do something so I decided on drying some herbs... I figured that should be a safe thing to do and it's light work. I harvested some of my herbs but also decided I should take advantage and go collect some nettles some to dry as well (they are amazing for herbal teas, so many health benefits.) We have nettles everywhere but there is a big patch in the goat yard which is close to the house, plus I could say hi to the kids.

So off I went and I had a great snuggle with the goats and safely collected some stinging nettles without getting stung (because that sucks if you do) But on the way out, Aurora (one of the Pygmy girls) pushed open the gate and sneaked out.

It's not really a big deal because she doesn't run away, but she's kind of naughty. I did the right thing and asked for help, something I rarely do, normally I'd just catch her myself. Jim came to help but somehow I couldn't resist and I ended up tripping and falling...

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And that roll of fence wire beside her had a piece of it lying under the grass, that's what tripped me... and also stabbed me right in the butt.. at the top of my thigh. Thankfully it was right where it was getting meaty - a reason it's important to have padding, but I still hurt myself pretty good. We took care of it so there was no infection but I sported a nice multi-colored bruise for several days, and a deep wound.

You win some, you loose some. 

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Olive, our last Prairie dog is doing well and enjoying the abundance of clover this year...

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And I am trying to enjoy the abundance of raspberries. Our bushes are super full. We have acres and acres of wild raspberries. Because I cannot be in the sun right now without getting sick it makes it hard for me to pick them in large amounts, but I've been out when I can to at least pick some. This patch is right behind the house.

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They are so delicious. I wasn't able to pick any last year because of leaving for my surgery before they were ripe so I am enjoying them this year.

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and so is someone else...

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Douglas loves wild raspberries.

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And Rollie just loves adventure!

(and also raspberries.)

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The gooseberries are looking really good too - as are the blackberries and wild grapes. I think it will be a good year for everything - however it needs to dry up for the grapes, they don't like it being so wet.

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I also did manage 1 batch of strawberry jam! I'm so hoping to be able to get more canning done this year. Usually I spend 2 months canning. Many nights I've stayed up until 2 AM working on apple butter or canning some kind of pickle or relish. It's been a long time since I've been able to really catch up on my canning and refill our pantry properly because of my health. I have a list of things I really want to make this year no matter what, so hopefully I'll be able to. I need fresh pickles badly, and I really need to make some Chow Chow relish because I dream about it constantly.

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This is how my stash of goods usually looks in the fall (and this is just part of it) and I cannot wait to be able to refill it again.

It amazes me it's the middle of July already. I hate to rush it and won't wish that because I want all of our gardens to grow well and everyone to enjoy the nicer weather, but I really look forward to the end of August, and hopefully moving in the right direction to get me back. I know it won't be a simple process but this entire year has been very rough, and I'm so ready to move forward.

We had to stop haying because of rain again for a couple of days but hopefully tomorrow it will resume!

I know I promised last time not to wait so long before updating the blog,and it's hard to promise that I'll get back into the normal swing of things right now when things still are not normal, but I promise not to go so long without an update. June was a tough month for me... but I learned a lot and I have my heart focused on the future, and on feeling better :)

Thank you so much to everyone who reads the blog for all of your patience and support! It means the world to me.


All those cans are amazing. You make me want to do better at it.

I sure hope this surgery works for you, what an ordeal you've had. I'll be thinking of you and sending good thoughts whether you are able to post blog updates or not.
littleRamstudio said…
All your raspberries are amazing and it is so funny that your little Pug loves them too!

Hoping you feel better soon, wishing you well with your surgery.

jaz@octoberfarm said…
well, this is great news! i sure hope this surgery gives you a lot of relief! i need to get better with my canning too. strawberry season blew right by and i only canned a bit of them. those raspberries are amazing.
Dee said…
Always glad to hear from you. Glad you are able to do a few things. Hopefully you are on the right track and the surgery in August will give you some reief.
Mary Ann said…
Donna, what good news about the surgery being scheduled! I'm so glad for you!

Where was Norman in all the pictures???
The JR said…
I hate you are still having health issues. Hopefully, this surgery will help resolve the pain.

The critters look happy. We did our 2nd cutting of hay at the beginning of the month.

The veggies look great.
Good news about the surgery! Not long now and it will be the end of August! Time is zipping by this summer. We have had so much rain - and as is usual we are all flooded or parts of the province under emergency protocols. Not fun. Our raspberry bushes are full too, must be the year for them. I love all your canning. I wish my pantry could look like that. The best I do is pickles. Be well and hopefully things look up for you health wise!
Bobbi D. said…
You just get better and don't worry about us. We will be here. I have been thinking and praying for you a lot and I am so glad there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Blog when you can, but you come first. I am learning that very same thing so we can do this together. Hugs!!!
Heather Hogan said…
I hope that both your trip and your surgery go well, and it is nice to see you are still hanging in there (and excelling at some things, just look at those strawberries!) despite your struggles with pain.

My strawberries didn't do as well as last year because of the wet weather (the same weather that's hindering your grapes, I suppose!) They would mold before they would fully ripen. I am, however, seeing some little zucchinis and harvesting tons of lettuce and had some great radishes already. Pretty exciting for the very beginning gardener that I am. My flowers are also doing fabulously in this cool/damp summer weather.
Your blog continues to brighten my day so I hope you have better luck with your computer and the energy and well-being it takes to continue posting. Your critters are too cute and your land so beautiful!

(LadyCynthiana on Instagram)
Hay! I remember you posting about the lack of hay and now you have so much! That's amazing! I don't get to smell it in the city, but I remember the smell of hay drying in the sunshine.
I'm thrilled you have a surgery date and hope for the future. It will be here before you know it. Bless your heart for going to Texas in August though. Normally, it is miserably hot in August and September. It's so crazy that there isn't a qualified surgeon in any of the states closer to you! You might be able to get some peaches and pecans though. Not sure you'll have a chance to do any shopping though. When I lived in San Antonio, there were roadside stands right off the interstates and main roads with local produce. Pecans would travel well back to Canada, peaches probably not. But they are delicious.
You constantly amaze me Donna!! All the canning and care you do with your animals!! Adorable picture of your prairie dog and clover!! I sure hope that this surgery will do the trick!! thoughts and prayers!!
Bobbi D. said…
Been thinking of you. Hope you are doing well. Hugs, prayers and good wishes!!

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