Oh Autumn, how I love thee...

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This is of course, the best time of year on the farm. Not only is Autumn beautiful, she brings along with her colorful delights, crisp air, less bugs, the harvest, and of course, fallen leaves to play in!

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And who doesn't love playing in fallen leaves I ask you? It's one of Rollie's most favorite things! And mine too.

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I have been beyond joyful, beyond grateful, that I have been able to get outside with my dogs, play in the leaves, and just laugh, and focus on something else other than my physical pain for a while. Something I had often thought I'd never be able to do again.

I have much healing to do and not all of my pain is gone but it is much improved. It is improved to the point where I can breathe again and where I feel like myself again, my creativity, my dreams, humor, it's coming back and coming out again... and I feel myself waking up inside as if from a long and terrible dream caught between two worlds.

I am so very grateful to these amazing Doctors, Dr. Sinervo and Dr. Dulemba for helping me, for offering me a chance at a much higher quality of life when no other Doctors would, and for dedicating their lives to women living in terrible suffering because of a disease that so little is truly still known and accepted about. If I had not been able to get to them because of Kevin and a lot of perseverance and probably a little magic, I would not have all this hope once again in my heart. The other day I wrote that I had felt a loneliness in this past year like none I had ever felt before. I have lived in isolation for much of my life and I have known loneliness... when you miss human contact, or a loved one you can no longer see, but this was much different than anything I'd ever felt before. It was a loneliness I was not familiar with, and that I did not understand.

I realize now what it was that I was missing. It was not human company, friends, or loved ones passed... It was myself. I was missing Donna, because I felt her absence more than I ever had before. But she has come back to me, and I can feel it. That spark is there again, that girl who wants to drink life in, good and bad.

Just getting on the ground to sit with my dogs and then getting back up, is amazing. I couldn't have done that before without swelling up so that I looked 6 months pregnant and crying as I did it.

I'm not cured of course, but I feel better, I feel stronger, and I have much faith I will continue to feel both, and I'm just so grateful for some relief, relief I thought may never come, that I could scream.

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Now back to Autumn, every one's favorite time of year...

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Even Norman loves the cool breeze in his hair, the fluffy leaves at his feet...

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And the nicest part is, we've actually been able to get out and enjoy it together!

I've been over doing it a bit because I've been so excited to be able to do anything at all, that I can hardly stand myself. Today I have taken it off to completely rest. But it's been a very happy time at the farm. Yesterday and today Kevin and Jim planted 10 pounds of garlic, so it can start to set roots before the frost comes. It's been REALLY warm this week, we are talking in the 70's F and 80 degrees F one day! Today it's actually cooled off enough to start a small fire in the wood stove. I have been busy harvesting what I could, which was quite a lot considering our growing year.

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This was just one days harvest of peppers, tomatillos, some herbs, carrots, and cucumbers...

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Yesterday I spent all afternoon getting a few dozen bundles of herbs hung up to dry, along with some flowers, peppers, and this falls harvest of garlic (which is so delicious by the way!)

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My ghost chili (once the hottest pepper in the world) did grow!

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And I properly labeled it and put it away for safe keeping, just in case.

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I managed to get some of my banana peppers pickled, candied some jalapenos, and pickled my pimento peppers. I also made a few jars of spiced pickled crab apples which are so darned tasty!

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And Kevin found another giant Puffball mushroom, a fall staple round here, but this one was twice the size of my head this time! Enough to feed a small Country I think. If you haven't eaten a giant puffball, they are spongy and really delicious. Inside they have the texture of tofu or cheese, which is really strange, but also great for using in a variety of dishes. It's also one of the easiest wild mushrooms to identify because it's pretty hard to mistake a mushroom the size of your head for something else. Also they are solid all the way through and perfectly white... if they are any other color inside like brown, they are past their prime.

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 I have also been doing a WHOLE lot of cooking again! It feels so good to be back working in my kitchen. I've been cooking every day. These banana scones with a brown sugar cinnamon glace were pretty tasty...

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One of the first things I made after we got home was Pad Thai... I had a craving!

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And sweet potato biscuits which are one of my absolute favorite things.

It's been nice to cook again, but not just cook, to be creative, and enjoy it. I've got all sorts of new recipes I cannot wait to try now.

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Our last Prairie dog, Olive is doing well but slowing down considerably since the summer and since her friend Nelly passed on. She is the last of our 7 Prairie dogs and is 15 now.

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The goats are very happy, they love this time of year and of course they are very hormonal, frisky, and playful.

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I never knew Brie could fly but apparently she can!

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It makes me smile to see them all running around, playing, be happy...

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The bucks of course are nice and smelly but have no access to the girls. Poor Buckwheat won't be getting any action this year, and I haven't decided yet if the Pygmy buck, Barnaby, will or not either. I'm thinking about it, and won't breed until October anyway if I decide to.

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Braveheart, our blind ram, is very excited and hormonal. He doesn't get mean but he has been running into everyone because when he gets excited he forgets where he is. When he's calm he can get around everyone and everything just fine- but not when he's hyper. It's hard to believe he will be 8 years old this December.

And my little Ruby the ewe lamb is growing up! She has the sweetest face of all time too.

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And of course, so does Puffin... cutest and littlest goat on the farm. When someone was here the other day and I told them she was a year and a half old he choked, he thought she was just a few months old because she is so tiny!

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Braveheart (Lambie) does love a good snuggle with his mom. He responds to our voices so he runs toward us when he hears us and away from any strange voices he hears. Nothing freaks him out more than a strangers voice.

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The dogs are very happy to be active with me again, but Douglas also makes sure to keep reminding me it is very important to rest... and in his opinion, as much as possible.

I'm so happy to say although I am exhausted, wear out quickly, and need to be careful... I'm so excited about everything again. About living. As crazy as that might sound, but I know it won't to anyone who has dealt with ongoing physical pain. Or emotional for that matter. To anyone in the midst of a struggle, struggling with a painful disease, or a painful heart, just remember that although it might not happen today, or tomorrow, there is always hope, always a way forward even when we cannot see it in our sight.

I'm looking forward to being much more active in blogging again too! And sharing with you guys,  and trying new things...

But for now, I'm most looking forward to pulling the apple crisp that is almost done out of the oven and eating it with some ice cream! 


Willow said…
What cutie patootie pups you have good to see you all out and about.
So glad your feeling better.
That's so wonderful to hear! I seriously read this post with a huge smile on my face - it radiated joy!
So glad to hear that you are finally getting back to feeling well again! It will take time, and I totally get your excitedness about feeling well! Even after a rough cold or flu its good to feel better - so I can only imagine what its like for you. Happy October and keeping on healing! :O)
The JR said…
Donna, I am so happy to hear how much better you've been. This is a blessing come true.

I LOVE all the critter pictures. great picture of you too.

DON'T you just love harvesting the things you grow. I picked 6 gallons of black eye peas yesterday. We shelled until 10 pm last night. Will be so worth it this winter.

I've been using the heck out of my new vacuum sealer. Also dug my dehydrator out and we learned how to make jerky.

Happy to hear from you.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
welcome back!!! i can't tell you how good it is to hear that you are feeling better and getting to do things you enjoy! there is nothing quite like it is there? good for you and i hope you feel better each day!!! a perfect time of year to make a comeback!
Mary Ann said…
I made apple crisp over the weekend, and I have three large apples left, and am going to make one JUST our size for the two of us. :-) I'm so glad you are feeling so much better!
Faye Henry said…
I would love to have your recipe for Pad Thai if you don't mind.. Thanks..Enjoying your blog..
12Paws said…
Dear Donna--so very happy for you and "new" self! Thanks be to God for how He worked through your expert doctors! I'll pray that your healing continues. Loved this blog post--all the loveliness of autumn and your delightful furbabies. Take care.
Mark Kimel said…
Am soooo glad you are doing so much better than before. I'll have to say that much of that magic was healing from our Heavenly Father as you and Kevin both have been much in my prayers for healing and strength.
Mark (Carolinablue)
Mark Kimel said…
Am soooo glad you are doing so much better than before. I'll have to say that much of that magic was healing from our Heavenly Father as you and Kevin both have been much in my prayers for healing and strength.
Mark (Carolinablue)
Mark Kimel said…
Uh ohhh, didn't think this was posting. Sorry for any duplicates.
jody said…
Oh Donna! Im so happy! That you are feeling more like yourself!! So nice to see you doing the things you enjoy! Love all the pictures! Your beautiful fur babes and the yummy things you have been doing in the kitchen!! Enjoy your days! Remember to rest!
Heather Hogan said…
I'm so glad your surgery went well and you are getting back to feeling like yourself already! I am looking forward to seeing more of what you do and enjoy... like flying goats! You got a beautiful autumn for healing this year.
Terra said…
I am excited for you that you are enjoying life again. Your photos of the fall leaves and your dogs are stunning, and a goat who flies and the world's largest mushroom!

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