My Very Dear Friends, for I feel you are
all my friends, though few of us have met.
Keith and I will be leaving our beloved Calamity Acres this spring.
I have hesitated to write about it, though I have known now for almost a month.
You see, it has become too much, and my body is telling me it's time.
Keith has had medical problems for the last year, and we found out
in October that he has kidney disease. Really, for a year, he has not been able to do anything outside, so I have done it. Sometimes, my grandson was able to come and help, but mostly, it was I.
This winter has been very hard on me... I fell on Friday and tore my knee up, and
yesterday, fell in the old henhouse, and narrowly missed hitting my head on
a concrete block on the floor. I was trying (stupidly) to put a heavy
metal water fountain up on the closet for the poor birds who
have not come down in days. Instead, I landed in the starling poop and nasty
bedding in there.
I realized, laying there, that it was stupid of me to keep risking life and limb.
These were the third and fourth times I have fallen this winter.
If I were like certain other "farmers" I know around here, I would ignore the
needs of the animals and go out once a day to water them, but I have never been made like that. I take warm water out multiple times.
This is very hard on my body, and I have been having traction on my back these last few weeks.
Today, it was below zero when we got up. I have to take one load out, then come back and warm my hands before going again. In years past, we were able to run a heated trough for the bigger animals and the water fowl, but our plugs are all but one dead in the old henhouse now. The eaves were repaired last year, and one has come open again, and the starlings know how to get in there, so it is a losing battle. In fact, when I finish this post, I'll be going out again to take warm water and bring in the nasty fountains.
If I have one huge regret... it is that we did not start with goats nine years ago, but waited so long. Friends, I cannot recommend them enough... they are like big dogs, and you would love them if you were around them. I will miss them terribly.
We are trying to rehome everyone, but have had absolutely NO luck so far. We are in the worst part of winter, when everyone is tired of caring for their animals. I have had an offer from a friend to take the three girl goats, but not the wether, and I can't do that. Another man wanted to buy two of them to stake out on his place to eat weeds this summer. I don't want mine on a leash, prey to any roving dogs or coyotes.
I am going to try again next week, and use Craigslist, which I have hesitated to do. I actually tried to donate them to the 4H Goat project, with no success.
The place where we are moving is on one acre... and the house is larger.
We will be working on this house to get it ready to sell... it needs much work... so our plan is to move, and then I will come here daily and work on the house, and take care of the animals, until they are re-homed.
This is not an easy decision. When we moved here, we thought it was forever. We have much money and
countless hours invested in our gardens here, and the infrustructure, much of which Keith built himself. He did all the cross fencing, as well. We are praying that some family who wants a smallholding will see this place, buy it, and love it as we do.
Our beloved former pets lay here, as well... and we will be leaving them.
This week we go to Houston, for a family reunion for the Yoders. Keith will drive
down on Wednesday, and I will fly on Friday, coming back on Sunday afternoon, all planned before we ever dreamed we would be moving. Grandson Chris will be here from Garnett on Wednesday, and will watch the place for us, and also get some sorting done in the outbuildings. We were told by an auctioneer that we don't have enough for an auction... but we know our outbuildings are stocked with useful stuff for farm and garden... and hope to have a big barn sale and get rid of most of it.
The greenhouse components we bought last year will be Craigslisted, too.
At the new house, there are NO gardens. In the front, there are some spindly bushes... but not one tree or garden other than blades of grass in the whole yard. I hope to start working on building new beds this summer... for flowers... and we will grow only tomatoes and maybe lettuce at the new place.
I also plan to take a few chickens... maybe four to six.... Keith will laugh when he reads this because the number keeps going up.
We will still feed the wild birds... but not on an open feeder! No starlings are to follow us!!!!
(laughing at that, they are out there again this morning).
I won't post any pictures today, because I have been dreading writing this whole post for weeks. I was encouraged to do so by two blogging friends who know about our move... in hopes that someone will be looking for (free) hens for their flocks.
Now, I'm going to put my coat and boots on and go out in the sunny TEN degree day and take some warm water out. The ducks are not happy... the birds are not happy... the goats marginally so.
I know many of you are struggling as we are here, and I keep reading on Facebook of baby goats dying in the cold... it is the most disheartening winter I can remember.
I am trying to remember daily that when God closes a door, He opens a window for us... and that is what keeps me going.
I will continue to blog about things here until the move... and
then possibly, blog about starting over at the new place if anyone is interested in hearing about it. I have always blogged as a record for what is going on in our lives here... and I am so grateful that I did, because we can look back now over the years and see Brandon, see our pets, our big animals, and our beautiful flowers as they were.
Thank you all for all your words of encourgement to me, you have no idea how much I treasure them.