Monthly Archives: October 2016

Strips the chicken

Strips, if you remember, was born then her mom died the next day of a freak accident. She was raised alone in my bathroom. I finally put her and her buddy outside. I thought that were going to be fine but Mac disappeared two days ago. Since then Strips is back to following me around and trying to get into the warm house.

 It seems I have one of those house chickens who rides on your shoulder.   

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A Stormy, Windy Mess

I didn’t realize this storm was coming. I knew “rain” but not 5 inches in a day rain. I wasn’t prepared.

Luckily I got lambs butchered the day before the storm so I was able to consolidate the flock into the barn. That’s a story for later …

But back to the storm. I pulled apart the winter lean to for the pigs for repair and cleaning. The outside run was pulled apart so I could take the tractor in, clean it out, put in wood chips and put up gutters. But I ran out of time.

The rain came. It was only the night before that I heard it was a storm that would last 5 days. I left the pigs in the pen for a day but walking up to the sound of a deluge I knew I needed them moved. 

A hot wire on the inside, repair here and there…in 45 minutes I got it livable, though not how I want it… I opened up their pen and in a matter of minutes the girls had jumped ship from their muddy pen into the barn yard. 

High and dry for the main girls. 

I’m glad I moved them because the next day their hoop house had its own private swimming pool…

Yup. It’s pretty bad out there. It was supposed to be a storm if the century but luckily it was just nasty, but nothing terribly destructive. The creek rose at least a foot in a matter of days.
I had hoped to disc and reseed that pig pen but my friends never had time to come out with a disc so…. The whole section needs to rest and recover for possibly another year now. Yikes! 

Time flies by when you are farming …

Pain in the Back

One thing about farming alone/single is you gotta buck up. Of course all farmers have to do this anyway, but I don’t have a hubby or a farm hand who can do chores when I’m not feeling good. 

Few weeks ago I bucked some logs on a hill and loaded them into the truck. Later that day I moved a bunch of dry wall.

I don’t believe in taking nice selfies.


The next day my back hurt. I mean, it didn’t feel like I pulled a muscle but I assumed that’s what it was. The pain was intense. Like, I was dizzy from pain intense. For the next week I gobbled up pain killers just to get by. It responded to the pills great so I shrugged it off and kept going. It finally went away after a week. 

Then I developed a fever. My coworker who sits 3 feet away from me stayed home with a cold the week before. I must have gotten her virus I guessed. But this fever…it responded to the aspirin, but when the aspirin wore off I felt my body shutting down. 

I kept going to work since we were down two people and behind. My boss encouraged me to try and do overtime…but I wasn’t functional. 

At night I sweated through the sheets. I drank water quarts at a time. No appetite. I woke up laying in bed wishing someone could feed the animals. Maybe the animals will forgive me, understand, sense that I’m sick and that’s why I’m taking so long feed them. Halfway through morning chores I was out if breath. Still, I have to go on. The neighbors are elderly, I don’t want to ask them tocarry the 40# buckets of Feed to the pigs. It is just easier if I do it. 

So I did.

But I was tired.

Finally at work I called it quits. The back pain was back. I was becoming hysterical in my mind. when I asked a co-worker to feel my head and i really had a fever for the first time difference looked me with concern and acknowledged I was very sick. I cried. I don’t have keep proving I’m tough. I told the boss I couldn’t do my closing shift and left.

I immediately crawled in bed sweating my way through the sheets drinking water like a camel at an oasis. I slept.

Midnight I woke up. The diagnosis hit me: kidney infection. The back pain, the fever, the excessive water I was drinking (already at half a gallon that night)…it all was coming from my kidneys. 

Calling someone to me would take 45 minutes to get to me, then 45 minutes to a hospital. To much time. I ate more aspirin and drove myself to the ER. I walked in and told them I had a kidney infection. My asprin had reduced my fever so I was a normal temp. I asked to do the urinalyses, came back with blood and lucyotes so they agreed with my diagnosis and started me on antibiotics.

I drove home, slept for a few hours then got up to feed and water the critters. Can’t not feed them. 

I spent almost three days in bed. I believe I was on the edge of major problems when I figured out was up (kidney failure or sepsis are common results of an untreated infection) It was harder to get up and do chores once i accepted I was sick. The antibiotics left me nauseous and unwilling to eat.

So where did the kidney infection come from? Well. I didn’t take antibiotics soon enough. I had a bad UTI and I treated it naturally with cranberry juice, citric acid and lots of water. Ate things that help with UTIs, but no antibiotics. The pain from the UTI went away around the same time as my back pain started. Yes, the infection simply moved up farther in my body and became far worse. In on much stronger antibiotics since I didn’t nip it in the bud. Lesson learned. This is also important in livestock: better to solve a problem early on than wait until it’s a bigger problem. 

It’s been a few weeks getting over it all. Today was my first big homemade meal in weeks. Everything but the milk in the tomato bisque is home grown. Hopefully I’ve got my appetite back.