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Thursday, June 14, 2007

This may sting, a little.

I wanted to tell you something. I thought of it late last night. But this morning. . . I have no clue what it was. I am a little distracted today. About mid back, the muscle tissue is swollen up over my spine. I am not sure how I manage this injury. It's just a tad uncomfortable.

Since I have already mentioned that it seems like I am always hurting, I suppose it would be a good idea to tell you about illness and living on a working homestead.

There are days that I hurt so much, be it from an injury or a migraine, that I think I would like to be able to sleep in all day. Its not like the animals will starve if I don't feed them. They are all grazers, including the birds that eat bugs and grasses. Although my goats are a bunch of spoiled little kids, and they will let everyone know that I am late with their alfalfa pellets. They are also a bad influence on donkey {the sheep} he has gotten into the oh woe is me act with them. {did any one notice on the previous post, the picture with the fridge door shut? If you click on it and look at the fencing behind it, donkey is standing there, staring} But this is about taking responsibility, even if I hurt all over, living things are depending on me to care for them. I must do the at least the minimum work around here.

I have no one to take over for me when I fall ill. Those things must be planned out ahead of time, like when we leave the homestead for a weekend. If things are very bad, I can call on a neighbor to at least feed the animals, but they too have their own work and you never know how long it will take them to get to your place. The best thing is to do it yourself.

We have been lucky thus far. In the six years that we have lived here there have been no major injuries, but we also don't have the major machinery. My husband has been bit, through a pillow sheet, welding glove, then through his thumb nail by a feral cat, some minor cuts and bruises from farm labor, and has been nailed by the rooster a few times. All of his laid up in bed {or he should be in bed} injuries have come from outside of the home, work. I have re torn a tendon in my shoulder, been attacked by the rooster, cut many times by fencing, have fallen I don't know how many times, on ice, mud, or attempting to move things. I have grown use to tetanus shots. Only one child has yet been hurt to the point that and emergency room visit has been necessary, our oldest, and that happened on a friend's ranch.

I have seen injuries get pretty bad out in the fields. At my mother's farm, my grandpa Lucky ran over their dog, Hopeful, with a swather. He survived, minus a leg and his manhood. A 2 year old child was ran over and killed by a swather. A man lost his hand in a turbine, and continued to work the field while his grandson ran back to the house to call for help. A women lost her hand. Another woman was picked up by a tornado as she fed her cattle, and was set down alive in a neighbors field. It can be rather scary when you think of all the things that could happen.

But you can't dwell on the possibilities, or nothing will ever get done. If you are planning on homesteading, and from the feed back I have received thus far, suggests that some of you are, I am not trying to scare you. When you are planning, think about what frequent injuries or illness you do have. Those are your only predictable ones. Make sure you can work through them, or have projects that can wait on you. Homesteading is an adventure, but it is one that ought to have some planning involved. Some of my mistakes have occurred because of little prep time.

And when you get ill, or sustain an injury, sometimes you just have to suck it up and move on. Your homestead depends on you. OK, now that did sound a little preachy, I did not mean for it to sound that way. I just want you to be prepared to hurt, to bleed, to fall on the ground in the middle of a field and weep, it will happen more often then you would like to admit. Though I haven't seen my husband cry, yet. But there are days were I can see the frustration in his face and his manners. We get so tired.

16 comments:

Jeff Roberts said...

I think we need to nominate you for "Extreme Homestead Makeover" :-)

Phelan said...

ya know, that would be great! With all the trouble we are having building the house, and all the large projects. I could use someone else doing it all for me. ;)

Donna said...

I milked from one to half-a-dozen cows for over twenty years. Cliff couldn't milk, so I did it no matter how feverish and sick I was. I remember a couple of times when I had to leave the cow and go vomit. In later years I had a machine milker, so that speeded things up; but still, in the middle of winter with freezing temperatures outside, you sure don't enjoy being forced outside when you ought to be in bed.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

I concur with Jeffy.

Phelan said...

Donna, one thing I do not look forward to when we get our cows.

Tim, is this about the white trash thing?

Jeff Roberts said...

I can see it now...Ty does an ergonomic blogging room for you as his secret room for the episode. Next to the keyboard are buttons like "Feed animals", "Mend fence", and "Shove a mirror in Donkey's face so he can stare himself down"

Gina said...

Oh, Phelan, I can so relate to the last bit about seeing the frustration on hubby's face. I know that look. I've seen it so bad that I have gone so far ad to suggest we go back to town. It's not an easy life, for sure. Fortunately, it has some rewards, I guess.

Killi said...

This is why I'm paranoid about falling or hurting my back again. There is only me & Annon. I want to move the feed sacks, but 1) they could easily damage my convalescing arm & 2) now they're damp, it'll need 3 of us to carry them so they don't disintegrate any more.

My eldest has just told me the date of her wedding & it'll be in England next year; I'm already panicking about leaving the animals for it, but I can't not go to my own daughter's wedding. I can manage a day away from here, but I freak at anything longer than 12 hours. The dogs are my biggest problem as I can make arrangements for the other animals, and after last Summer.............

abbagirl74 said...

Well, your tired self needs a night out. When Annabel gets here and we figure out an evening, I will let you know. I would love for you to come with. Sound fun?

KF-in-Georgia said...

My parents took Red Cross first aid courses, including CPR. It would take a while for the volunteer EMS crews to get to them, and then they're 45 minutes to the nearest hospital.

And they're just out in the country--they're not actively homesteading, dealing with livestock, etc.

Monika K said...

Just stopping by to say how much I enjoy reading your blog and that I'm living vicariously (and sometimes precariously) through you. (-:
Cheers!

Wendy said...

I can relate ... sort of ..., although I don't live on a homestead proper. I am self-employed, and if I don't do the work, it doesn't get done. I can't have a sick day, and the day I gave birth to my daughter, I was back at work that evening. Half of my clients didn't even know I'd given birth. The other half didn't even know I was pregnant ;).

It certainly isn't the same as having to brave the elements to take care of your herd ... or flock ... or whatever, though, and I have all the respect in the world for what you do. My little "homestead" doesn't compare, for sure, especially with regard to the amount of work you have to do.

Phelan said...

Jeff, I room to myself! ~gasp~ Why I never had one of those here. Once construction can begin on the house, I thought about calling out for a barn raising to see how much help we can get. That's the closest I'll ever get to one of those shows. I wonder if Donkey would start saying "pretty sheep" if I gave him a mirror. Ok now tha'ts something for the nightmares.

Killi, wish I was closer to help you out. Currently I have plans to be in Ireland next spring, but we will see. Congrats on the wedding!

Gina, there are rewards, many. I will tell you about some of mine next week.

abba, sounds great. Let me know when.

KF, Hi you! Your parents were smart. Dan and I have a background that covers the medical part of many things. W have a emergancy kit that includes a few things that other people wouldn't carry because of the animals and feces.

Monika K, welcome and thank you. Glad some one is enjoying it. :D

Wendy, I really hope that most don't have the amount of work that I do. You, my dear, are a very strong woman. Myself, I rested for as long as possible in the hospital after my children were born.

The Fool said...

Hi Phelan. Preachy? Not at all. Most people carry a rather dream-like notion of what homesteading entails. You make it real. Life is waht it is...blemishes and all. The beauty is in the whole. You are a beautiful person, Phelan.

The Fool said...

Oh...and thank you for posting the strawberry recipes. Yum!

Killi said...

Thank you ~ we'll be fine, we usually are. If you do make it to Ireland next year & lizmo & sirroy let you out of Dublin, try to get to co. Tipp so we can meet. It really is Bedlam here :) but you'll be very welcome ~ all of you

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