Sunday, February 24, 2013

When things don't always go smoothly

I have to say I always hate it when I get this odd feeling that something I just read or wrote is about to play out in my life.  Because it's usually a little 'heads up' feeling that I get.  I got that the other day when I was responding to a comment from Sarah, about having a goat birth kit.  Just as I hit the 'publish' button, I got *that* feeling.  I tried to put it behind me.

Fast forward to the following day (which was two days ago as I write), and one of our goats, Honey, started showing signs of labor.  A new friend of ours had asked for us to call her when a goat went into labor as she really wanted to see a kid be born.  So I called her, and she made it in time (the day before she missed a birth by 30 minutes).  I headed out with all the children and our birth kit.  This was Honey's fourth kidding, so we felt confident that she at least knew what was up, and that she would take care of her kids.  Honey was pretty much as huge as a house :-)  We were pretty confident that she was having at least twins, if not triplets.

Pushing started, and about 5 pushes later out comes one big kid.  Wow, maybe she only has twins in there, due to how big the first one was.  We waited, a handful of minutes pass, and she starts to push again.  We see the 'bubble' with hooves in it.  This is good, hooves are supposed to come first.  However, I see that the hooves are not facing the right this kid sunny side up?  Honey pushes, and pushes, and pushes.  This kid is NOT moving.  I try to see if I can help with a head that may be kind of stuck, but I don't feel a lump from the outside.  Oh boy.  I let her push a few more times and still this kid is not all.  So I reach in to see if the head is at an odd angel.  I don't feel a head, this kid is coming out back feet first.  I don't feel anything else so why, oh why is this kid not moving?  I decide I am going to have to pull on the hooves when Honey has a pushing contraction.  I do so and all of a sudden out pops a head, NEXT to the legs that I am pulling on!!!!  WHAT!?!  I am telling you NOTHING was next to those legs just seconds ago.  We try to push the head in, it won't budge.  I am trying to pull the legs out, they won't budge.  For a few seconds there I thought we were going to loose Honey and these kids.  Finally the breech kid starts moving, but then gets stuck again.  We look to see that the umbilical cord severed.  OY.  So I just pull like mad, because at this point they are all going to die if one of these babies doesn't get OUT. 

In one fell swoop, BOTH kids came out...AT. THE. SAME. TIME.  Can anyone say, "OW!!!!"?  I can assure you Honey did.  The poor thing :-(  The breech kid was very limp.  I didn't know if it was already dead.  I rubbed it vigorously, and it started to cough/sneeze.  I had one of the girls sprint inside to grab a bulb syringe as the kid was too weak to really cough/sneeze out the goop.  To make a very long few minutes shorter, all the kids made it!  One of them had a hard time getting the hang of nursing, but now they are all champs.  There is NO doubt in my mind that Honey and the two kids would have died had we not been there to intervene.  I was able to also give them some much needed Nutri-Drench, which I think really gave the two stuck kids a 'leg up' those first couple of hours post birth.

All I know was that I was praying our other two pregnant goats were not going to go into labor anytime soon.  I was exhausted.  Things have eased up a bit as we purchased a heat lamp.  With the kids, from both triplet mamas being weak, and it being cold here (freezing temps over night), I had the girls taking turns going out each hour to hold the kids to warm them up.  They would go out for 15-20 minutes, then come back in.  An hour later another two girls would go out.  The kids were using up too much energy to try to stay warm.  I knew this would make it difficult for them to grow strong and stay  healthy.  The heat lamps have made a world of difference.  Today it was a nice warm day, and all the kids (7 in all) were out jumping around.  Baby goats are SSSSOOOOO cute playing, jumping, butting heads.  So, so, so cute.

So now we wait.  Two more goat mamas to go.  One a first timer.  That is always nerve wracking as some goat mamas don't have their natural mama instincts kick in like they should after a kid is born.  I am praying that both have an uneventful birth and that both of them will be good mamas.  Pippi, a second time mama, had a bit of a difficult time bonding with her baby last year.  After the first day or two of confinement with her baby, her mama instincts kicked in.  As a matter of fact we were all laughing over remembering how she was always 'loosing' her baby.  She would start maaa'ing for him.  Her maaa'ing would start to esculate.  Then she would walk around frantically, basically yelling/screaming for him. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Goat birth kit

I was getting up to take some pictures for this post when there was a knock at the window.  Moira called in, "Do you have that birth kit ready?  Looks like Lily is in labor!"  So I got up and did not take any pictures :-)  Instead I got myself outside to see 'where' in the labor she might be.  Around 10:30 this morning Lily had triplets!  Two girls and a boy.  I am glad we where there.  Lily didn't have any problems with the birth process, but one of the little girls did have difficulty getting up to nurse.  She was growing weak, and needed some energy booster and a helping hand to hold her up to the udder.  But I am happy to report, a handful of hours later she is up, nursing and playful.  Phew!

I wrote the other day that I would share what I have in my goat birth kit.  Please, please, note that we are still very much novices at this whole goat thing.  As a matter of fact I had to go to my online goat source, Fias Co. Farm, to get some info on weak kids.  This birth kit is bare bones, but so far has worked out just fine.

This is it.  I have wipes, for wiping things up ;-).  In the blue baggie are a handful of gloves.  Next is a bottle of Goat and Sheep Nutri-Drench, with a small syringe.  This is the first time we've had to use this.  It came in handy for the weak triplet.  The next grouping of items, Antiseptic, dixie cups, dental floss and scissors, are for tying off, cutting and cleaning the umbilical cords.  The large yellow and green tube is a dewormer (Safegaurd).  Female goats need to be dewormed right after the birth since it takes a lot out of them and the worms can get a 'leg up' and over take her.  Last in the picture is the homeopathic remedy, Pulsatilla.  Pulsatilla is known for helping a stalled labor, or to help weak contractions.  I've used this a few times with our goat births, and it really works wonders.  Not pictured are some towels and washcloths.  I had them in a plastic bag.  I put all of these items in the blue tote, the same tote I use for our milking supplies in. 

This was Aubrey trying to help me out :-)  I was laying things out on the table, and he was picking them up and examining them.

See.  Silly boy.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Help with milk jars

I finally got around to two things on my to-do list.  No, wait, three things.  The first was the goat birth kit.  I will post about that soon.  I can assure you it is very, very minimalist!  I suppose I really need to look into things further to see if I should add to it.  The other two things were to organize the medicine cabinet, and to make up a new system to keep tabs on our milk. 

First, the medicine cabinet.  I can't stand clutter.  Never mind that I live in the midst of clutter.  Oy.  Jeremiah took all the kids with him to run errands a few days ago.  This gave me a good chunk of time to get some things done without all the 'help' given by wee boys.  So some before and afters:

 The dreaded before. 

After. Much better.  Now to try to keep it this way!

The second item completed was to try out a system this milking season to keep our milk in order.  What do I mean?  Well, with two goats in milk we get one and a half gallons of milk a day.  Now, we can run through our share of milk, but sometimes those milk jugs get jumbled up and I don't know which jar is the oldest (and therefore needs to be used up first).  So during one of my blog readings I came across this great idea over at Reformation Acres.  As I pondered if this system would work for our family I thought it best to tweak it a bit for a couple of reasons.  Quinn (at Reformation Acres) uses colored sticker dots. She tapes them to the metal canning jar lids.  She says that she has to re-do them every so often as the tape wears off.  I thought...Me?  Having to re-do something....hmmmm, I can see that falling apart right there!  Hey, I know my weak points!  Secondly the dots are taped to the lid, which means I would have to *search* for the right color lid when it was needed.  Oh, my...that could be a disaster over here!  So I came up with my own system.  Granted I do not know if it is going to work, but I have it at the ready for when we are swimming in milk from all 5 of our female goats. 

I decided to cut out colored circles from paint chips (each color is for each day of the week; Sunday: pink, Monday: red, Tuesday: orange, etc.)  I laminated them and put a magnet on the back.  This way all the magnets (theoretically speaking) will reside on the side of our fridge.  When we bring in our milk on a Monday we will grab the correct colored disk and put it on the lid.  When it comes time to wash the jars I can just take it off with ease and place it back in it's proper space on the fridge (again, theoretically speaking).  Here are my pictures of my future milk tracking system:

The colored magnetized disks at home. 

If anyone counted you would see that I have 8 colors, not 7 (for each day of the week).  The eighth color, brown, is for our yogurt and kefir.  Both can be a bit hard to tell from just looks.  So I have half the disks with the letter 'Y' on it, and the other half with the letter 'K' (y=yogurt, k=kefir).  This will also alert others that a mysterious jar with white stuff in it is my fermenting kefir, and NOT rotten milk to be poured down the drain.  Poor, poor kefir grains.  Aubrey 'killed' my kefir grains that I was using to ferment coconut milk, and a certain someone else 'killed' my regular milk kefir grains.  Thankfully I have a friend who is giving me some more!

The theoretical beauty of the system will be this:  A child sees three milk jars in the fridge.  This child knows we need to drink the oldest milk first.  According to the order of the rainbow colors (we are using pink as number one) they can clearly see that they need to grab the jar with the orange tab. 

See?  Magnetized.  I am a bit concerned that the magnet is on the weak side.  I can see that it may come off as someone is opening a jar.  That could get 'messy'.  Time will tell.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Let the kidding begin!

Not the joking kind...the baby goat kind :-)  We have one baby goat so far.  It was a first time goat mama that was first up.  She only had one kid in there, but it was a big one since it appears it was from our Nubian goat (she's a dwarf). 

Here is how it all played out (oh, come on now, we all love a good birth story).  It was a Friday, and that means choir for all the girls and then horses for the older two later in the day.  It was also shopping day.  That makes for one very busy day.  Moira went out before choir to feed the goats.  All was well.

After choir Moira and Flannery decided to hang out in the back yard.  It wasn't too long before one of them came knocking on the window (we all know that is much easier than opening a gate and coming into the house).  Moira said that Midnight (our black Nigerian dwarf female) was acting funny.  For those of you who do not have goats and have never been around any, I will tell you that goats have personalities.  Big time.  Midnight can be summed up as a stuck up prissy goat.  No, really.  We have one who is so quiet and gentle, timid almost.  Another who is bossy.  They really are funny creatures.  Anyways, during this goat's pregnancy she has not wanted to be touched.  She pretty much just stayed clear of everyone.  Well, on this day, just hours after acting 'normal' she was following Moira around, maaa'ing and maaa'ing, even trying to climb up in her lap!!!  Clearly, clearly something was up.

That 'something' was *labor*.  We kept watch over her, putting her in the goat barn to give her her own space.  I was rushing around inside putting our goat birth kit together.  It was on my list of to-do's and hadn't gotten around to it...yet!  I finally pulled everything together and went out to see what was happening.  There was Isabella, kneeling on the ground, with Midnight's front feet up on her Isabella's thighs, and Midnight's head lying over Isa's shoulders!  That was a site to see.  I thought Isabella did that, but it was the goat.  The poor thing was scared and in pain.  Not much was happening, just regular labor contractions.  The older two girls were very disappointed when horse time came and they had to leave.  I dropped them off, and went out to check on the goat.  Two of the boys were inside, the baby was out with me, as were the younger two girls.  I observed her for a bit.  After a few contractions she ended up lying down, and with the next contraction she started to push.  So I called all the kiddos over.  Jedidiah did not want to see, so he stayed inside.  It wasn't long (10 pushes or so) before we saw 'something'.  Now, for a 'perfect' birth (is there such a thing?) you should see two little white things come out first.  Those white things are the hooves.  The baby goat should be in a diving position.  As this 'something' was starting to come out I saw that it was a black something and not the white something that it should have been.  Groan.

I was a bit concerned for two reasons.  One, this was a first time mom, and two there was a possibility that the daddy was our larger Nubian and not our male dwarf.  Sure enough, the next contraction brought a wee nose out.  I have to say it was a funny site to see this little nose sticking out, with a wee little tongue trying to wipe the goo off itself.  I believe the best policy in birth (human or otherwise) is to observe *first*.  The idea of 'first do no harm' comes to mind.  Don't try to fix something that's not broke fits too.  But after a handful of contraction, with only about a 1/2 inch more of the baby protruding, and a yelling goat, I thought it was time to help.  I helped by first just putting gentle pressure on the area around the baby's head, to see if I could help *during* a contraction to ease it out of the birth canal. It took much longer than I thought was acceptable.  I was getting very concerned that Midnight was going to be able to pass the shoulder, which is the widest part.  Aubrey was completely freaked out by the goat screaming so Saoirse brought him inside, Jonah stayed out to watch.  I decided to stand back and observe a few contractions to see if she was going to be able to get this babe out on her own.  Not happening.  So I had to "go in".  Yup, just what it sounds like.  I located a leg, that was bent under (making the shoulder area even WIDER!) and took hold of it with a finger.  On the next contraction I pulled as Midnight pushed.  It took just a little bit of pulling and out Popped a baby goat!  Phew! 

With Midnight being so stuck up and prissy, we weren't entirely sure how good of a mama she would be.  But she did great!  She started licking off her baby right away.  Let me tell you, this baby is head strong!  She kept trying to walk over to all of us (by this time Saoirse, Aubrey and Jed joined us) to try to nurse!  I would pick her up and put her up to her mama's side to nurse and she would fight me!  The little rascal.  I sent everyone inside, and I stepped out.  We have half doors on our barn, so I was still able to observe.  It took a little while (30 minutes or so), but she all of a sudden "got it" and has been a nursing champ ever since. 

The baby is a female and she has floppy ears...just like our Nubian.  Oy.  Midnight is being a very attentive mama, which makes our jobs soooo  much easier.  We only have one more first time mama to give birth, and three others who have been through this before.  I've been concerned each night since it's been so cold here.  It took a bit for us to work out where all the goats should sleep so that the new mama and babe keep safe, and that the other mamas have a safe place to give birth in, should they go into labor over night.

Here are a couple of pictures of the new one, named, Muffin:

JUST born.  Still all covered in goo.

Midnight being a good mama and cleaning her off.

 Before cleaning.

 After.  Ha, ha.  Midnight needs to work on those hair combing skills :-)

 Trying to stand for the first time.  Can we say, wobbly?

 This was probably only 20 minutes after birth!  She was sooooo alert and inquisitive.

Finally, nursing on her own.

She is always in motion and this is the only picture that Flannery was able to get of her that was not blurry.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In the kitchen

There is a saying, "Those that fail to plan, plan to fail."  Hmmm, yes, something to consider if you decide to tackle the GAPS diet!  Since we had been on the diet not too long ago I at least had some past experience to grab from.  However, there are those small, or not so small, details that seem to have escaped my memory.  I am thinking it was a matter of preservation :-)  Ha, ha!  Seriously though, how could one forget that "I'M STARVING" stage that all my kids had gone through?  How could I have forgotten that you need to stay 3 meals ahead to keep on top of everything?  Wait, forget 3 meals ahead, think 3 days ahead.  Now I suppose if you have a smaller family you could get by with making the amount of food that I cook in a day.  It may last you 3 days.  But when you  have a larger family?  Oh my.  I am totally used to cooking in "bulk".  But 'bulk' to others is what a regular meal looks like to me. 

All that jumble mumble to say....I did NOT plan ahead for meals.  Now, had we just gone back on full GAPS that would have been possible, though still not recommended.  I put us all on GAPS intro, and that takes a LOT of pre-planning.  We need an insane amount of food to keep up with the demand of 'starving' children.  Anyone who has done such a diet understands this idea of 'starving'.  I am not at all exaggerating when I say that 10 minutes after Every. Single. Meal/Food. my children would be begging for more food.  Not just "Hey, mom, I'm still hungry, can I have something else to eat?" kind of begging.  I am talking all out..."MOM!!! I'm HUNGRY, I am SOOOOOOOO HUNGRY,  I NEED MORE.....(fill in the blank)!!!  MOMMY!!! My tummy, I'm sooo hungry, I need more food!!!!", that kind of begging.  That lasted for 3 to 5 days.  I thought I might die.  Alright, maybe not die, but pretty close to it.  Seven children?  All "starving"?  Ugh.  I was at my wits end!  I was spending ALL day long in the kitchen. 

I have since tried to make up for my lack of planning by making lots and LOTS of food.  Funny thing, sad actually, most of that food has been wiped out!  Oy.  I was not able to get but a days worth of schooling done last week.  This week has been better, but we really need to get back on top of things come next week.  Thankfully the "I'm starving" stage has come to an end.  But I still have a very long list of things that need to be done to keep on top of the food situation.  I really did not like all my thoughts having to revolve around food the first time we went through GAPS, and I have to say I don't like it any better the second time through!  Oh well.  Already I am seeing some changes.  Jed's face rash has subsided.  Not completely gone, but soooooo much better.  Definitely a yeast issue.  The baby is the only one who is handling this well.  His eating experiences were all on GAPS foods. He is just gobbling everything up.  Every one else?  Not so much.  I just keep reminding them that they will feel much better the longer we stick to this. 

Here are just a couple of pictures from my kitchen adventures:

In Blogger fashion, my pictures did not load in order.  Oy.  Here are 3 jars of fruit kvass.  The red ones are made with apples and raspberries.  The yellow one is made with apples, mango and a few cranberries.  The red ones taste good, the mango one?  Not so much.  It has a bitter taste, possibly from the cranberries.  I will have to try it again without the cranberries.  I do not ferment my things on my window sill, I just put them there to get better lighting.  I am actually thinking of making some cozies for my jars as I read that those good bacteria like to multiply in the dark :-)

This was to go after my picture of my sauerkraut.  You'll see below that I was having a hard time getting the cabbage to stay below the liquid line.  So I rigged up this contraption of a cut to fit yogurt top and a medicine cup to keep the cabbage submerged.  With this method I am able to keep the cabbage down, but I can't seem to keep the liquid from bubbling up through the air lock!  So I had to rinse the air locks out and try again.

My dehydrator has been running constantly these days.  Here are some sunflower seeds.  I also soaked and dried some almonds, and currently I have pumpkin seeds dehydrating (after taking a little bath for 24 hours).  Although this is a lot more work, it is supposed to help our bodies to better digest these seeds.

Jedidiah has been a little ham lately. He *insisted* I take a picture of him tasting the seeds.  Excuse his messy face he was just indulging in some smoothie.

See, there are his sisters making more smoothie (Jed is off to the left there).  Smoothies are NOT on intro, but I have a few children who can not make it through intro without great, great difficulty.  Jed is one of those.  I have to say he is handling it much better with the addition of the smoothies and with the help of his growth hormones.  Jedidiah's lack of growth hormones was causing daily cases of hypoglycemia.  Those episodes were happening while on full GAPS (something GAPS is supposed to help with, which alerted us that something bigger was going on in his body).

Looks like Aubrey is following in Jed's smoothie drinking foot steps!  Last night we had an "emergency".  Thankfully I was able to get my brain to work out a solution.  Our current blender decided to take another vacation.  I am not joking when I say that the above girl child freaked out.  No, really, she really freaked out.  I remembered that I had a stick blender we could try to use to make the smoothie she was trying to make.  Phew!  Our new blender can't get here fast enough.

Green and purple sauerkraut fermenting.  You can see that the one jar has it's contents trying to escape.

Some of the almonds that were done dehydrating.

Two pots of stock simmering.  Some days I have 3 pots of broth going!  There can never be enough broth you know. 

On top of these things I've been busy with much more!  Making meatballs, cooking multiple, multiple chickens, deboning said chickens, making yogurt (letting it ferment for the proper GAPS 24 hours), soaking/cooking/dehydrating beans (for future use on full GAPS), and lots and LOTS of dishes.  Oh, the dishes!  We are in serious need of buying more bowls and plates.  Most of ours decided to up and break on us.  We have 8 bowls, and about 11 plates.  We have plenty of forks, but our spoons decided to go missing.  Where are my spoons?  Ugh.  Wash, wash, wash.  Oh, and wash some more. 

Well I need to get up and do some T-Tapp.  I've been very consistent with it.  Then off to accomplish some schooling before a dinner of soup.  I am sure my children are going to cringe at the word "soup" in the future!  Ha, ha!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A new blender

For some, a new blender wouldn't be post worthy :-)  But I am very excited, as are the children!  Funny the things we get excited about.  I should say though, this isn't the normal blender that we get.  Yes, we go through blenders every 18-24 months (No joke!!).  I use my blender daily.  Sometimes multiple times a day.  Presently we are using it about 3 times a day, if not more.  Our current blender has many, many issues.  It is on it's last leg.  Every once in a while, if liquid gets into the wiring (from a hole), it shorts out and can not be used for hours or days at a time. 

I've written before about how I buy things (appliances or other bigger ticket items) on the low end of the scale (performance for example) to  make sure that I will actually use it.  It would be silly to buy a big ticket item, use it a few times, and then have it sit in my cupboard for months at a time.  With my wheat grinder I had a $20 used machine that could only grind 3 cups of flour at a time, with a total of 6 cups to be done before you had to let the machine cool off.  I used that for years before it became evident that I was going to work it into the ground.  So we made the jump to an Electrolux mixer. 

I did the same thing with our camera.  After years of using a good quality camera, and trying to do more with it than was possible, I was able to get a Canon 40D.  I wrote that the one exception was our dehydrator.  I did indeed have a Nesco $35 model from Walmart that I wasn't really using a whole lot.  One reason was because I didn't know what was possible to do with it!  :-)  The other was because I didn't know that the Nesco had accessories, like the mesh screens.  It never accord to me to even look for something like that.  After watching some videos on dehydrating I just *knew* I wanted to dive in.  So I took the dive and got an Excalibur.  I am very thankful that my 'rushed' purchase of the dehydrator was not in error.  I've been using my dehydrator constantly.  There are days where it isn't being used, and then there are days in a row that it is going non stop.  I am actually using my Nesco as well since I have been doing sooooo much with the dehydrator I needed more room.  I will post about that work soon (GAPS related).

All of this to say.......we made the plunge and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new Vitamix blender.  We have all seen this machine in action at the demos that are held in Whole Foods.  My kids have been asking if we can get a blender like that for months now.  I've been eyeing the Vitamix for years now, and now with our 6th..8th?  blender in that many, it was time.  We decided on a red colored model!  Ha, ha.  It will really stick out in my kitchen. 

I want to also add that all my big ticket items, with the exception of the Electrolux, were bought used or refurbished.  And when I say, "I", got them, it was my hubby that did the work of looking and comparing what was out there.

We have been crazy busy over here.  GAPS intro throws a wrench into your life in a big way :-)  All of my time has been spent cooking, preparing, cleaning, repeat.  I didn't think of taking any pictures of some of the things I've been up to, but I will try soon, now that we are getting a wee bit more settled into GAPS. We still have a long way to go since things are still crazy, but we are starting to make progress in the right direction.  It helps too that I don't have 5 children at my feet crying that they are starving!!  No joke that they were crying, complaining, whining, 10 minutes after E.V.E.R.Y. meal/food/snack/etc.  All.  Day.  Long.  That made for some very, very, very long days.  Phew!

Goats and GAPS

Besides the fact that those two things start with the same letter, they have nothing else in common :-)  First the goat.  Come to find out he had tetanus.  And he is still alive.  Though I do think he would be in better shape, or end up in better shape had we figured it out sooner.  Even the vet didn't think he had tetanus, nor my friend who I call on all thing goats.  The poor thing was on his way out, by the time we got the anti-toxin he had labored breathing, lost all control of his limbs and his neck was stiff.  Within an hour of the injection he was trying to stand up, though unable to.  Two more hours after that I came out to the barn to find him standing!  Today, two days later he is out in the yard, eating hay :-)  Unfortunately he is presently blind.  I think he lost his vision hours before we got him the anti-toxin, though, the high level of vitamin B we gave him (as per the vet), causes temporary blindness.  So it is a wait and see kind of thing.  We are just so grateful that he is recovering, and having noticeable gains every few hours.  He is acting like himself more and more. For example he sneezes on you if he doesn't like what you are doing.  He started doing that again.  We have to feed him his water with a large bottle as he can not handle putting his neck down to drink.  I think that has to do with overall muscle weakness, after the muscles were locked up for hours.  The first few days we had to give him multiple injections of medications.  Now we are just down to giving him aspirin twice a day.  On top of that he is drinking more with each bottle, so we don't have to go out there every hour.  This makes doing our next "g" more doable.

GAPS.  It was time.  I've been dragging my feet for many, many reasons.  But after round two of big time illness this winter, I thought it was now or never. I finally got all those chickens deboned, and put the bones into my pressure canner.  I don't cook them with pressure, I just need the pot for its very large size!  And so, last night for dinner, our adventure began.  I thought it was overly dramatic that kiddos awoke feeling aweful already, you know from GAPS.  Um, I don't think so, since it's not like we don't have soup for dinner at normal times.  Anyways, things went downhill from there.  Lots of yuckiness all around.  I am allowing for blueberries and strawberries since I know that a few of my children are not able to deal with a rightful trial of intro.  But, I suppose with all their misery they are going through with those allowances, something is working.  Everyone is *STARVING*.  Ugh.  I really, really forgot about that very inconvenient by product of intro.  I will have to make up a bunch more food to have on hand.  I did NOT go into this well prepared (food wise, since emotionally and mentally I was prepared). 

I was in the kitchen earlier to make up some more soup when the baby dropped a pot on my toe.  Ow.  And, Ow, again.  For a second there I thought he broke it!  It is completely purple and painful, though with the help of some Motrin wallking is fine.  I was really bumming since I've been staying on top of doing my T-Tapp.  I did a 13 day bootcamp, and have been doing the full workout every other day.  On the inbetween days I have been doing the 15 minute routine and the "Hit the Floor" routine.  Today would have been a full workout day, but I decided to forgo it as trying to get my foot into a shoe just didn't seem doable (I didn't try though).  I am hoping I can pick up where I left off.

Sunday, February 03, 2013


I can finally report that everyone (well, almost everyone) is on the up and up.  I should say that everyone is on the up and up with the horrid upper respiratory bug we had.

So life should start to return to normal.  But instead, it is not.  Unless of course, possible dying animals is normal.  One animal, actually.  Our Nubian male goat.  We are ever so hoping that the items that Jeremiah is away getting right now will help him turn the corner, but at the same time we are preparing our children that he may not live.  At first I was thinking it was this one type of worm.  Still a possibility. It could also be a possibility of tetanus.  Jeremiah is off getting the antitoxin, plus some penicillin.  The vet thought it may very possibly be a vitamin B deficiency.  She's seen goats exhibiting the same symptoms (totally rigid, can't get up, laying on side) hop up and start walking around after 1 to 2 hours of getting some high doses of vitamin B.  I am trying not to get my hopes up. 

Jeremiah is back, so we should know soon if it is vitamin B.  If not pray that the other things work, or that he would pass quickly.  As a precautionary, if he does die we are to get him tested for rabies.  I know I don't have to ask you all to pray about that!!!  Goodness, at least 6 if not all 9 of us would have to go through rabies treatment if that were to be the case.  

I'm so nervous.  I hate to see this poor goat suffer.  We have been doing all we can, even covering him with a blanket and giving him pedialite.  I think the vet asked if we could give him an IV.  Hmmm, that surpasses our comfort level, but at this point, dehydration isn't playing a role.  We can't put him down, one- because there are options that we are still trying, and two- he has to be 'whole' to be tested for rabies.  But this is stressful on all of us.  Yes, we are aware he is a goat, but everything here on our homestead is valued, right down to the cats. 

Before this all happened I was already having a rough few days.  Thankfully I was reminded that a lack of time with the Lord is probably the root cause of my anxiety :-)  Ah, yes.  That has been slacking.  It always seems like a catch 22.  I need the Lord for my days to run (for me to remain at peace, to train my children, to work diligently), but my days right now are crazy, crazy, crazy, and it seems like I don't have any time to spare to spend time with the Lord.  Of course, I've been down this path before and know without a shadow of a doubt that somehow time 'multiplies' when you spend that needed time with the Lord.  It is also hard for me to even focus since I am so anxious.

Most of that anxiety comes from our health...or lack there of  (keeping in mind the ROOT CAUSE of my anxiety really rests with not having peace from the Lord).  Most things are probably very fixable with going back on GAPS.  Cooking for GAPS just seems entirely impossible this time around.  To help with that I put myself in a situation of 'do or die'.  Ok, not really, more like, 'do or loose a whole bunch of money on rotted meat'.  When we went shopping, I had the girls put all 6 chicken roasters in the fridge, not the freezer.  I also had 6 BJ's sized packages of stew meat defrosting in the fridge, to can up.  That people is a good chunk of money.  So the pressure was on.  I managed to cook all 6 chickens, though they wait to be deboned, meat put up, and stock made.  I was also able to can all 6 packages of meat, resulting in 12 quarts of meat.  Would have been 13, but one jar broke in the canner.  Bummer.

Jeremiah was also able to drill holes in 6 of my metal mason jar lids.  He then equipped them with air locks.  These will be used to make our fermented foods.  It was too late last night to start the sauerkraut, but I was able to put together a beet/apple/strawberry kvass.  Regular kvass, to me, is YUCKY.  I am hoping with this combo and with the lack of immense amounts of salt, that this will be doable. 

Besides the health issues, I just have the regular run of the mill anxiety over teotwawki.  Let me first say I am very proud of my husband for all he has been doing in this area.  But that being said, it is very stressful to me as I try to balance home life and prepping for teotwawki.  Too many what if's.  Too many conspiracies, too many real (horrid) truths, too many, too many.  I try to take each day as it comes, trying to make it normal :-)  Ha, ha!  But, when the thoughts of impending doom loom over me it is hard for me to function.  I hate that feeling like our world is about to fall apart at any second.  Again, root cause...see above!  But when simple things happen, like an illness, I start the thoughts rolling..what would we do if we couldn't get to a doctor, what would we do if we didn't have access to a store, what would we do if....Although these can good exercises, they start to control my actions and my responses to my family.

I must go and feed the goats.  Moira is a bit low on energy (we are pretty sure of the cause, but please pray it would resolve quickly) so I thought I would take that over for her.  Jeremiah has come back in from giving our goat the injections, and he says things do NOT look good.  Please pray that the goat can get relief quickly, one way or the other.  Thank you.
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