November comes...

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And November goes, with the last red berries, and the first white snows.

With night coming early, and dawn coming late, and ice in the bucket, and frost by the gate. - Clyde Watson.

November has always been one of my favorite months. I love this "in between" time. I enjoy the crisp mornings, the frost, and first fluffy snowflakes that fall from the sky. Usually November is a great month to work outside here. The odd year like last year we got quite a bit of snow very early but usually November doesn't bring us very much of it, it gives us a nice firm ground, gets too cold for the ticks, and is cool enough for hard work like cutting wood. We don't bring our wood in around here in the summer or even September like a lot of people do. The forest is covered with ticks, and tons of flying bugs at that time still, and it's also way too hot. October and November are the best months for heavy outdoor work, and although it gets cold, I always love how moody November is.  She's temper mental and maybe reminds me of myself.

Things on the farm have been busy but going well. I have started back to doing part of my chores after a year. This past year feels like such a daze to me. Of course I still need Jim to lift water bucks for me and clean pens, I cannot do that kind of physical work without inflicting a lot of pain on myself, but I am feeding, I am getting a bit more routine and a little bit stronger. But it's slow going. I'm very tired and it's easy for me to loose focus or become forgetful. My Doctor reminded me the other day that on top of everything else, my surgical fatigue alone is going to last quite a while. I know that, and I'm doing my best to pace myself and just be grateful for any and all improvements. If I'm being honest sometimes I feel a little traumatized by the past year and my last two surgeries. I am so grateful for them and the fact my pain is so greatly improved or gone - but I'm just plain worn out still is all. But I know that will come to pass. I found a good Doctor in New York State to take care of my more basic health needs and management too, which makes me feel so much better. I do not need to worry about returning to my Doctor here who has told me repeatedly to "pretend this isn't happening to me." I don't have to fight so hard anymore to get help, and I'm trying to learn that, and move forward from it.

I had a general check up and physical with my new Doctor this past week and my heart rate was through the roof as was my blood pressure. It always is at appointments, and although this was a general check up and nothing stressful, my anxiety was ridiculous. But he listened to me, helped me, and there was no problem. I have to learn that hopefully all those bad Doctors who do not listen and did not care are behind me now. I can finally turn the page on that chapter of my life and move forward knowing it will be OK.

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I cannot even express how good it feels to have even a little bit of myself back. Max is awfully glad too.

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The animals have been adjusting OK to the cooler temperatures. They have put on nice winter coats and no one is lacking for food. Of course it hasn't snowed yet either. I'm sure won't appreciate the first morning they come out to find snow on the ground.

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Lavender has never seen snow so it will be interesting to see her reaction. She is growing like a weed!

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Puffin is keeping adorable and... round. It's a shape.

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Got cookies?

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Buckwheat is keeping nice and stinky! The bucks rut has slowed down but both boys are still in it. I look forward to having his nice silky white beard back when it's over!

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I'm amazed at how many nights so far we have not needed a fire. We were heating much earlier last winter, not that I am complaining.

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Our current wood stove is aging but holding up well enough, it's always taken good care of us. But Kevin managed to get a great deal on a bigger wood stove, a Napoleon, which are great stoves. It also has an ash box which is nice, it might help cut down on some of the ash in the house. I'm not sure if we'll install it this winter or not, but it's here now and if our old one gives up, we have a backup.

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The dogs love walking this time of year and don't mind wearing their coats, unless it's this one. Rollie hates the hood on this coat but I think he looks adorable! And the dirty looks he gives me just makes me find it ever funnier.

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It's always hard to adjust to it getting dark so early though. The animals go in the barn at 4:30 right now and it's completely dark by 5 and that's changing every day.

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Last night on the way home from the feed store we had our first real snow, it was just a dusting but it's the first time we've actually had anything stick to the ground. No matter how much I will complain about the snow and cold every year, I love it when it snows, especially the first ones... I can't help but feel the same excitement I did as a little girl when those big fluffy flakes fall down from the sky. There is something a little bit magical about it, even if later in the season it will make life harder, sometimes it's worth it for the way it makes you feel even if it's only for a few magical moments.

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The boys have the same love/hate relationship with it. Fun to play in, but kinda cold!

They will not wear boots, no matter how I try to convince them, they get annoyed enough at wearing a coat. You'd think they'd appreciate a nice coat/ pair of boots more, but the Wawas like to pretend (for a very short period of time) that they are big tough dogs... then they just ask me to pick them up.

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Since I still need a lot of down time but am too hyper to relax like a normal person, I've been doing a lot of knitting. I have a bunch of finger less gloves/arm warmers for sale if anyone is interested... They are great for Christmas gifts/stocking stuffers. I have the longer style which are also arm warmers and the shorter style which have a stretchy top/bottom and go just above the wrist. I take Paypal and they are $10 each with $3 shipping in the U.S. and in Canada, just email me for rates. I've been trying to get my Etsy shop up and running in between other chores too, so hopefully soon.

Today I am working inside while the dogs sleep by the wood stove. The guys are out cutting wood and taking advantage of a decent day.

I hope everyone has a warm and beautiful weekend! 


wendywoo said…
What a great post! So glad you have your optimism back and are feeling so much better. I live in central NY, so have similar weather, I like this early part of the winter also. Deep snow and horizontal sleet you can keep! Keep on keeping on!
The JR said…
Good to hear from you. I am extremely glad to hear how much better you are. That is such good news.

Love seeing the critters. All the boys look so happy.

I've picked up my crocheting again and have been going to town making scarfs and now a shawl.

Happy weekend, stay warm
Mary Ann said…
It is so good to see you post again, and to see what's going on up there!
Ian H said…
Your health improvement is the best news I've heard in quite a while! I know what you mean by post surgery tiredness, but it will pass! Unfortunately we had to give up our Acreage, but new places mean new things! If you pass through next summer, don't forget to stop in.
Bobbi D. said…
I am so glad you are feeling better and doing so well. Glad you have some extra hands around there too. :) The puppers look so cute in their jackets and I bet they are nice and warm. Have a great November!
Heather Hogan said…
I love your long exposure picture of the snow falling! As always, your blog makes me feel good to read. I come here after taking in all the negativity that people throw out on Facebook (where I have to go to check up on my family). Then I see you with all your animals, and your ambition despite your struggles, and it makes me feel better about the world that there are people like you in it.

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