The main reason for my long absence is that in order to share what's been going with our little farm, and the decisions we've made in the past 6 months, I have to think about and share some hard things. It has been hard to find the time of energy to do that, but I feel up to the task today. :)
In early August, my sister in law was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. It had spread to much of her organs and lymph system. Soon after that, for a variety of reasons, she and my brother's three children came to live with us for an unknown period of time. We were suddenly very busy with the farm, milking, homeschooling our own four children, and loving three more sweet ones. We suddenly had children aged 16, 14, 11, and 9, with an added 4 year old and set of nine month old twins. All the changes and the added emotional challenges for everyone involved ...well, you can imagine. After about three weeks, I dried off my does early. At the end of October we had decreased our herd to 6 goats total. We now have the four does below and two bucks.
The great news is that my SIL is doing WONDERFULLY! She has been able to have the children at home with her since mid December, and she seems to be holding up fine and is very glad to have her family all together. She had two chemo treatments, after which the docs didn't hold out much hope for her. She decided to fore go the conventional treatment options and try lots of prayer, a product called Protocel, as well as some very careful diet choices and exercise It seems to be working, as she continues to feel and look better and better all the time. You can learn more about Protocel with an online search or in the book, Outsmart Your Cancer by Tanya Harter Pierce, should you be interested.
Because of the many unknowns in the future, we have decided to hold off breeding any of our goats this winter, and see how thing play out. We may breed one or two does this spring if all seems stable, if any of them go into spring heats for us.
Also putting me at a bit of a stand-still are the breeding choices I've left myself with because of who I chose to keep and who I let go when cutting my herd back. I'll try to post a bit about that in the near future.
Suffice it to say, I am missing two human babies and a sweet little girl who have gone back to their own wonderful parents, as well as missing the excitement of having a new crop of spring kids to look forward to, and all that delicious fresh goat milk. How forlorn it occasionally feels! I'm off to hug my own human children, and see if I can talk the younger ones into a snuggle and some read aloud time. Heaven knows I'll have to wrestle the oldest two just to get that hug, let alone snuggling up for a story!