The Family

Both Pearl and Maeby went dry while we were off attending to other things—for different reasons. Pearl was in year two of lactating and was ready to have some time off and get bred, and Maeby  perfected the art of not letting her milk down, except for her calf, which became a real problem when we sold her calf! So she essentially withheld her milk until she dried herself off. Rotten cow!

ED was not happy at all about the prospect of a winter with no milk (or cream, or butter—though I do have a pretty nice stash of cheese).  So she bought these two beauties: Joann and Madge.

So Pearl and Maeby are off at the neighbor’s getting bred, and we’re back in the milk!

I have no idea what the new normal is, but I’m trying to find out! For now, it consists of sunny fall days, DH set up in his “office” on the front porch, so many friendly, kind, loving, concerned, and helpful friends, food—lots and lots of wonderful food, trips over the mountain to doctor’s offices, and long de-stressing walks along the river with Split, my faithful, neurotic Border Collie.

Mostly, these days, I’m full of gratitude for all we have. Thanks for everything, I have no complaints.




DH had a backache all summer. Not real bad, just enough to bug him, like a catch up between his shoulder blades. At some point his fingers and feet started tingling, and then his legs started getting weak. Then one day while working down in Atlanta, his legs couldn’t support him, and he fell, after which he had very little use of his legs. He drove himself home (!), and we took him for x rays, which didn’t give us any answers—the doctors were looking for a pinched nerve or a slipped disk. We ended up in the emergency room at 4 am, and long story short, turns out he has stage 4 prostate cancer which has metastasized to his bone, and the problem with his back and legs was a tumor on his spine that was compressing his spinal cord.

We ended up in Johnson City, TN for (I think) 11 nights in the hospital, and after surgery, he’s slowly recovering the use of his legs, and his prognosis is good with radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone treatment.

The girls held down the fort while we were gone, and did an amazing job of it. They cooked and cleaned and butchered chickens and milked the cows, and fielded phone calls and emails and visitors. I have such a wonderful sense of confidence in their abilities and adulthood. I want to make sure they get lots of downtime and rest now!

Our family and friends rallied around us, making us both feel loved and supported every minute of this little ordeal. DH had texts and phone calls every waking minute of his day, and we had lots of visitors, and gifts and food and flowers…

The hospital staff was wonderful, too. I can tell you right now, nurses don’t come close to making as much money as they’re worth!

So we just got home yesterday, and I find myself beginning to speculate on what this means for our family and farm. This has been a big change for us, and I suspect the changes have only just begun.

ED and Bernard bought a cute little Morgan gelding today.  It sounds like he’s a lot more fun to ride than lazy Marlene. Speaking of Marlene, she’s smitten.




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