Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What A Month!

Have you ever had an ENTIRE month disappear and you have no idea where it went? That's how it's been on Thyme Square Herb Farm THIS month. What a wild ride it has been.

First, one of our new piglets got sick - which is not his fault - turns out it was the farmer who sold them to us and wanted the money so badly that he removed little Pork from his mom before he was ready. He was on the brink of death one morning, so we brought him in and my nursing skills were put to the test. I had to tube feed him with a syringe and a length of I.V. tubing and I got a few ounces of milk in his belly. After repeating this a few times, he started getting his strength back and was able to take a bottle (I must admit, this definitely bought back some old memories - a face only a mother could love).He spent about a week living in a cage on the kitchen floor, but he got his strength back and has made his home in the barn once again. I must say though, this is really challenging my mantra of "Farm animals are food, not friends".

No sooner did Pork makes his way back to his wife, Beans, did we have a goat go into labor. She wasn't acting quite right, and since she had had a violent run-in with the other mama goat a few days before, I once again brought her in case she needed some help with labor and delivery. She had a very rough day and unfortunately, we lost her and her baby. That was a very sad day.

Once again, no sooner were we getting over this latest mourning, that Marley, our Puggle, came running into the cabin. I gave him a scratch under one of his chins and felt a walnut sized lump (here we go again!) I kept a close eye on him all day figuring he had had a run-in with one of the thousands of spiders around the farm. The next morning, we woke up to find that his head was literally the size of a basketball. So, off to the vet he went, who informed us that Marley had tangled with a snake. This set off a chain of NUMEROUS vet visits. (Who's idea was it to move where it's a 50 mile drive to the vet each way??) Marley went through several injections and several rounds of antibiotics and he didn't seem to be getting any better. We just prayed and spoiled him as usual. He was content in staying under the bed where no one would bother him. A few days later, around 3 in the morning, he decided to jump up on the bed for some love. He took his front paw and gave his neck a scratch. There was a sudden loud popping noise and his neck literally EXPLODED all over the bed, the walls, the linens, US, everything. It looked like a crime scene. Marley took off running, leaving a massive pool of blood and infection everywhere he went. This was such a nice way to wake up in the middle of the night. The next morning, we rushed him back to the vet, where he was sedated and doctor made two huge incisions into the sides of his neck and drained the rest of the infection. He came home on more antibiotics and with instructions that I was to flush his neck twice a day with Betadine. He had a very rough week after that, but he's a real trooper and he got through it with no infection and his wounds are closing up- however, he did scare quite a few on the mountain, including the Fed-Ex delivery lady who will most likely not be back.

Think I'm finished? Not so quick! Once that excitement began to wear down, we were contacted about 2 Blue Tick Coon Hounds that were abandoned on a near-by farm. So being the softies that we are, we went and rescued them. They took a couple of days to get adjusted to their new surroundings, but regardless of their enormous size, they were two big teddy bears. We named them Old Dan and Little Ann. Saturday, we were working the Farmer's Market most of the day and came home to find that Old Dan had passed away in his kennel. We aren't sure if the reason the previous owners dumped them was because they knew he was sick and didn't have the money for the vet (or even cared) but he wasn't showing any signs of illness. Little Ann has mourned for a few days, but she is getting better and is still her loving self.

I would like to give a HUGE thank you to a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, who donated a MASSIVE amount of dog food to us this week. He had heard that we rescued the hounds and knew what big push-overs we are for homeless animals and wanted to make it a little easier for us. You know who you are and we can't thank you enough.

On top of all the drama, we have been preparing the farm and the animals for winter and I have been doing quite a bit of canning in preparation for the colder months. It's time to stock up the shelves so when we are snowed in on our rickety old gravel road, we will have enough supplies to get through.

It is my goal to get my cookbook written before Spring. I've been saying it for years, but this will be the year that I will have a manuscript ready to go. I am also entering the exciting world of extreme couponing (I'm sure you've seen the show on TLC) and I'll be teaching myself the ropes this Winter.

I also plan to get lots of new recipes on the blog very shortly. Be sure to let me know your feedback and any that you try and really like. Send me pics too! I'm looking forward to some fun recipe contests and give-aways that I will be hosting in the next few months.

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