Friday, June 4, 2010

i need some encouragement

I think what had me so wretched over the holiday weekend was Salmonella. All the symptoms match to a T, and I went to the hospital this morning to hand in my test kit to see if my predictions were correct. It's been almost a week since I first fell ill and my stomach still gnaws with internal pain and cramps and other colorful intestinal problems. It's given me quite the lesson, but it's also made me gun shy about the farm. I worry CAF gave me food poisoning. And now I'm skittish around her, worried that rushing to do too much Thursday left my poultry processing in the kitchen get sloppy. I must have got distracted from the chicken I was dressing, and had to take out the puppy or answer the phone or something and forgot to wash my hands.

The bout of illness has made me weak. I am so tired. Three flights of stairs is a mountain, a watering can a 50-pound weight. I no longer look forward to feeding the sheep or chickens but do so with a heavy head and heart. It feels wrong to not look forward to the farm when I pull into the driveway after work. I hope it's just the poison. This feels like a real low point.

The sick weekend let the place get dirty. The grass needs to be mowed. The house cleaned. The dog poo in the yard pitched into the woods. But the energy to do these things is gone right now and just looking at all that is ahead of me is exhausting. I am on maintenance mode: keeping everyone fed, sheltered, watered, and kept but extra chores are being saved till I feel better.

The fox has taken my ducks, more of my chickens, and seems to have my work schedule down because he now comes in broad daylight when I am at work. So I need to build them a pen or keep them locked up in the coop at all times. It's too hot for the latter. I'm too tired for the former. I feel beat. In so many ways, I feel beat.

So what I need is some encouragement. I rarely ask for it, never really, but tonight I need it. I really do.

I don't feel like myself. I don't like it.


Blogger Laura said...

Don't let this one incident steal your dream. You won't do everything perfect the first time, but that does not mean you should never try. It's taken me years to keep algae out of our pool and I still can't time planting the garden but every year I've made progress and so have you. I hope you feel better soon.

June 4, 2010 at 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's tough to be sick like that and on your own!! But once you are on the mend everything will fall back into place and you will find your rhythm.
Is there a friend nearby who could lend you a hand for a few days?
It will work out, you've been through a lot this year, you will get through this! Chin up, girl;)

June 4, 2010 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

We all have bouts when everything just turns to shite, including our health. You're taking care of the important things. The rest will get done in time. Same goes for your spirits - they too shall soar again with the confindence you have within you. You are an amazing woman - don't ever forget that and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!
Now go put on some great tunes and surround yourself with your hounds!

June 4, 2010 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Meag said...

The best things in life are hard and disgusting and painful.....and absolutely glorious. You would not be so inspirational or so passionate if what you were doing was easy. You would feel much worse off living a cloistered , uninspired life that didn't fulfill your biggest and scariest dreams. You know this. Its why you do what you do.

Be scared, be worried but make that part of your strength. It is the strength that will get you through. And everything will settle. So pull into your self for a second if you need to but know that you'll only be stronger and more determined on the other side. Life always works itself out. Life and love need strength.


June 4, 2010 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Zucchinimom said...

You are not feel guilty! Your first priority is getting better. Once this is behind you, all will be right with the world again! Dog poo isn't going anywhere, a house that needs cleaning isn't going anywhere, throw your animals some feed and give them water...they'll live! Concentrate on yourself and your will get back on track! Feel better, get some sleep, get some more sleep, have some clear broth and drink lots of water!!!! You can get through this and get back to your bad self!!! Take it easy, girl! Praying you will feel more like yourself soon!!!!

June 4, 2010 at 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Get as much rest as you can, and take things slowly, even if you feel overwhelmed by what you have to get done. You will get over this and feel strong and motivated again.

June 4, 2010 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Dayle said...

Four little words will take you through life. They apply to when you are at the high points and get too cocky and at the low points and want to give up.....the words to ALWAYS remember are "THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS!"
Hope this passes quickly for you!

June 4, 2010 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I hope you're feeling stronger soon. Whenever plain yogurt sounds like a good idea, try some; it might help things get back on track. I'm feeling a lot like you are right now, completely different circumstances, but mine includes a migraine that started last Sunday and just won't quit. Feeling physically ill often causes spiritual illness, so try not to let that get to you. Hang in there, it'll be better soon.

June 4, 2010 at 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes these trials give us perspective. You have yearned for your farm so much and for so long that a bout of sickness can give you pause to think a mistake might have happened. Don't fall for that. These moments might give you pause but help you appreciate more those moments when all is well (including yourself!) Take care - thoughts and prayers are with you!

June 4, 2010 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Miss M.J. Ma'am said...

Wow, sorry you are so run down from this.
You can only take it one thing at a time, and maintaining is all you can do right now. We all wish we lived closer so we could help out! This farm has been your dream, and look how hard you worked to get it......hang in there, you will feel better and stronger soon.

June 4, 2010 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

You are an amazing and strong person. Right now you feel like all your chips are in and you have a losing hand but its just because you are sick, and you have deadlines. Its tough to be sick and care about anything else. You will bounce back very soon. I have only been reading your blog for a little less than a month and even I can tell that you are a true farmer and that means that you love your farm and you put it first before anything else. You are sick as a dog and you are still out there keeping the farm running. Yes you are only doing the bare minimum to keep it going but lesser folks would just let it go and not care about the welfare of their animals. You deserve a big pat on the back and a big cup of tea with lots of antioxidants (to help you start feeling better). I hope you bounce back soon Jenna because you truly are a big inspiration to so many of us.

June 4, 2010 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

You are tired and sick. Know that when you are rested and in good health things will seem much better and not so dark.

By the way, I'd be surprised if your chicken gave you salmonella you could have gotten that anywhere. And if that was indeed the case, then it was a lesson well learned. Better you than someone you sold one to.

June 4, 2010 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think your doing too much.You have a problem, alot of us share,that you have a part of your brain that creates beautiful, wonderful ideas. And then you try to force your body to do this stuff. I think you need to reaccess your priorities and take your foot off the gas for awhile.I don't know, I suffer from the same compulsion myself, to build stuff, be the master of my own universe. It's seductive, that's for sure. However, your body is trying to send your mind a message.Maybe you should listen. Peace

June 4, 2010 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

At the beginning of every new venture, there are set backs. It's first about struggling, investigating, then learning and adapting. You are struggling on five fronts, which is very very hard. Tackle one at a time. Heal yourself and feed your animals. Those are the most important in the short term. If that's all you do for the next week, let yourself be ok with that. Then figure out why you are losing animals and why you developed salmonella. Those are ultra important in the long term. Then clean your house. You live alone. It's ok to be a little dirty. You'll get better and the setbacks will become step forwards.

June 4, 2010 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Hunington said...

On a positive note, you don't have to worry about what the landlord thinks!

I'm praying that someday you will find a permanent 'helpmate' to get you through times like this. Maybe one with hair on his face. : )

June 4, 2010 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Corn and Wine said...

You could have just as easily picked up salmonella from the breakroom at work as CAF. When someone is as sick as you are, everything seems like a monumental task. CAF has been a well oiled machine up until now.....and now that the machine has blown a gasket, it just seems like it would be easier to give up and get a new engine. But you've got one of those trusty old Chevy's. All you need is a friend or two to help you get that engine running again. Heck, you might even need to get a hired hand out there to help for a few days. Maybe you could trade some chickens or honey for their labor. You've got pioneer stock in you, daughter! And pioneer ingenuity is what you need right now. The land is your lifeblood. Don't let this setback overwhelm you.

June 4, 2010 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Sonya --Dime Store Thrift said...

Oh honey, I am so sorry...I know you will pick back up here. It seems that when one is sick EVERYTHING can feel so troublesome and exhausting. We are all covering you in prayers and good thoughts.

Is there anyone you can ask for help for a couple days? We all need someone. This is where a good friend/relative needs to step in and you need to ask.

We are all rooting for you sweetie! I know you are very independent, but sometimes you need to humble yourself and ask for some help. We all do.
Hugs, Sonya

June 4, 2010 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Big virtual hug from Jacksonville, FL, where I live vicariously through you. My debts just forced me to put my farm dream on hold another year, but I soldier on, buoyed by your pictures and insightful posts. I snitch your pictures for my computer backgrounds, and my eyes rove your landscapes for glimpses of the New England of my youth. Please know how much good you do for those of us still working on the dream. I wish I lived nearby, because I'd be knocking on your door of a Saturday morning to help build shelters for the animals. Instead I have a feral duck sitting on eggs on my apartment porch, a handful of container plants, and a long eye on my future little patch of land. It's a start, seeded by your blog posts. Feel better soon, my friend; sending strength your way!

June 4, 2010 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

Miss Jenna...
I quietly lurk around your blog - dreaming of the day that our family can enjoy the wonders and the hard work of a farm like yours...Everything happens for a reason...I have this tattooed on my wrist (in sanskrit) to remind me that it is true. As difficult of a time that you are having - it is all worth it. You are an amazing, strong woman - You are someone that many of us look up to - you will move on from this stronger and smarter with another lesson learned.

June 4, 2010 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger @JDHealingTimeOnEarth said...

First of all, a big motherly hug. And from there I'll move on to some particulars. I agree with Peter. Too much, too soon, and not as prepared as would be wise. Consider it a huge lesson learned.

Probotics, from the cooler section of your health food store, the strongest available will help the gut regain balance. Lots of fluids, too. If you're not on a vitamin supplement regimen consider finding one that works for you. Your body is screaming for some extra support because it is depleted. Build yourself back up first so that you have the strength and energy to move on to your dreams for your farm.

Have you read Gene Logsdon's Two Acre Eden? I suggest it. It will help you determine how much is too much considering you work full time away from your farm.

I also agree with another reader who suggested that your Spirit is saying pay attention. It is.

Cyber-hug from a cyber mom.

June 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Tracy Bruring said...

You know there is nothing like getting that sick to teach you a hard won lesson. I used to think my grand mother was over doing it back on the farm by being so clean and careful to wash her hands all the time. She knew. You and I grew up in a world of antibiotics. Granny didn't. If you did make yourself sick, you can be cured. You are young and strong and when this passes (even with the help of antibiotics) you will keep bleach on hand in the kitchen...I do now because I made myself sick as well.

I think I have told you not to give in to your feelings of trying to lay out all your dreams (and get all your dream animals) at one time. Dont get them until you are good and ready. With good perminant fences and pens. Good luck sweetie. You will survive and come out the other end really appreciating how young and strong and capable (sp?) you are.

June 4, 2010 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

I can't blame you one bit for feeling low, given all that you've taken on and how sick you've been.

It's okay to ask for help-maybe a friend or neighbour could come help you sort out the fox problem, as that seems most pressing. I'd be mad as hell if a preditor were filching my farm!

Hang in there-this too shall pass. Nothing worth having ever comes easy and I know you know that.

June 4, 2010 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Several years back, my husband had camplylobacteriosis. The health department was absolutely certain that he got it from eating poultry. But I never get sloppy about chicken. I Clorox everything in the kitchen when I'm done. Turns out, it was from raw milk that he drank at our friend's house. In any case, you might have campylobacter. He's never felt right since- he gets tired easy, his gut always hurts, etc. If the salmonella turns up negative, you might want to have them check.

Rest when you can, and take it as easy as possible. Praying that you feel well soon.

June 4, 2010 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger KristenAnn said...

Hey, encouragement here too from Augusta, MI! I agree with the poster that said you could have picked up that salmonella from anywhere, but also with the folks saying to take it as a cautionary lesson. I'm going to go scrub my counters down with some bleach now too, actually, because even when we think we're doing everything healthier by making everything we eat ourselves (or processing it), we forget about the crappy little germs we're so susceptible to.

Take care of yourself, girl - everything else will wait until you're darn good and ready to deal. And if you can swing it, do try and get a temporary helper - a local Yahoo group up here called EatLocal regularly posts for intern-type folks for local farms. They provide some much-needed help and you get to teach them a little about what you know, plus a few bucks or some barter if you've got it. Maybe post on Craigslist or network with folks you know?

Good luck, feel bettah, and keep on keepin' on! :)

June 4, 2010 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

This is my first comment left on your blog. I've been a lurker for over a year now. You have no idea the confidence you have given me to try new things. I have chickens now because of you and "Made From Scratch." I make your bread recipe from the book twice a week so that my 3 year old doesn't eat bread from a bag. I'm 28 and I thought that if I ever *ran away from home* I would drive to CAF and ask you to put me to work. You're inspiring and as the saying goes...this too shall pass. As super-human as your feats seem to me, you are still human, capable of illness and being unmotivated just like the rest of us. Ask me how long its taken me to build my coop...a freakin month and I don't have illness to blame. :-P Good luck, Sport! YOU GOT THIS!!!

June 4, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Jenna- first of all, salmonella poisoning is usually associated with the larger agricultural concerns, and not with the small family farmer, like you. So it just as easily did not come from your own farm.

Why is owning your farm different from renting your farm? You didn't have this problem before...did you bite off more than you could chew right away? I hope not, because I really want this to work for you.

Maybe this episode is the universe trying to tell you to slow down, or at the very least, here is what bad can happen; when you lick this, all will be good.

This next part of my message is for anybody reading it who is anywhere in the vicinity of your farm. Hey folks! Go help a sister out! If I were not so far away in Oregon, I would skip planting onion starts, which can wait, and come help you.

Hang in there honey; don't let this dark period color your farm blue. It will pass, and go to your memory as something you licked and triumphed over.

sending you as much good energy and thought as a I can....


June 4, 2010 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Noanie said...

Balance in life is important. Doing to much will get you sick. This is for us all to learn. Your strength and drive will return. Enjoy being sick. It's about stopping and smelling the roses. If you forget the universe will come and sit on your head until you say ok. Hire someone to make you a fox proof area for your ducks and chickens so you don't have to worry. Breath in and out and listen to it. All is truly well.

June 4, 2010 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Charlotte Scott said...

Real life is an arse sometimes, ain't it?

When I'm discouraged about my little place, thinking that it's never going to be what I want it to be, then I take a stroll through my archives and through my 10 year plans from years ago. Amazing how far I've come.

Jenna, you will pick up, you will get better, you will sort out the fox, you will feel fantastic again about CAF. Just maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow. All good things take time.


June 4, 2010 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hang in there kiddo! Since reading Made From Scratch I have four laying hens, a dulcimer laying here on my coffee table and a newly installed beehive. We've always gardened but because of you we're at a whole new level. You are an inspiration, but please slow down a bit. You don't have to do everything you've always wanted to do on your farm right away. You have the rest of your life. Set smaller goals, cut yourself some slack and listen to what your body is telling you. Hugs from sunny Florida.

June 4, 2010 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

There will always be a few cloudy days and even some rain, but those days help to make growing plants strong and help them to survive.... It's that way with people too.

If everyday was perfect then your not doing it right. Chin up and head into the wind.

June 4, 2010 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Yes, this is only temporary. You will be the same Jenna who put in that garden, put up those fences, made all those plans for all those animals. You and Gibson will go out chasing sheep, and this will fade into memory. Promise.

And as you go on, and have bad days here and there, you'll be able to say, "Well, at least it's not as bad as that time I gave myself salmonella. That SUCKED!"

If it is salmonella, I hope you can get past the fear of your own food. Go ahead and cook your meat to well-done for a few months, until you get your confidence back.

Take care and try not to worry about the future. We humans always somehow muck through.

June 4, 2010 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger caracastson said...

You can do it. Norwok virus hit pretty hard after a family gathering a few years ago. Awful, awful feeling. I live alone and it was pretty scary. That's just to say that you're not alone. Feel better. Take baby steps.

June 4, 2010 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger Mother of Chaos said...

Big hugs from out here in California, too. You're just tired and run down right now - everything looks gray when you feel so rotten. Even having exactly what you always wanted seems like a raw deal.

Hang in there. The joy will come back. It will. Pinkie-promise.

June 4, 2010 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Jenna, go pick up that little puppy of yours, sit down, close, your eyes, hold him tight, and take a few deep breaths. Life happens, and it's not always fun. There will always be grass to mow and poo to fling. Do what you can until you feel better and don't beat yourself up over it. As far as 'biting off more than you can chew'; well we never know what we can handle unless we push the limits and give it a shot. It's a part of learning. AND as far as having a 'help-mate', I remember all too well feeling that same way not 5 years ago. You just never know how fast those things can change, as I met and married in three months! Yes, it's nice to have the extra help (other times it can be a nuisance! LOL). But the important thing is that you are living your dream with or without the extra help. You'll be okay. Just breathe. Rest. And remember how far you've come.

Hope you are feeling well again soon!

June 4, 2010 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

OK - I'm gonna do something I've never been able to do before - I'm going to quote an author back to herself:
"The same mess of hope and fear lies at the beginning of any adventure, but just deciding to engage in the things that keep you alive might be the most hopeful and fearsome part of it all."

I read that excerpt from Made From Scratch in Mother Earth News a few years back, and I cannot say what that did for me. I thought, "damn right!". When you know how hard you have to fight and you do it anyway, you know it's worth it. You are more than alive, you are LIVING.

Take it easy on yourself and take it one day at a time. You've got it in you or you wouldn't have come this far.

Take care, girl.
Heather (from the Left Coast)

June 4, 2010 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

the house does not need to be cleaned, the yard does not need to be mowed ,the dogs will live without their walk for a week or two, if the stairs are too high sleep on the couch.

as for the chicken poisoning, you should have seen me, and my hole family except my dad who did not try it, when i made a bad batch of sausage. you live (though you want to die) and you dont do it again.

feed and water the animals, change your sheets, have a shower, and go to bed. everything will still be there when you get better. believe me.

June 4, 2010 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger TB said...

Hang in there, Jenna! Don't focus on everything being overwhelming. Just take care of yourself, feel positive about the great stuff that you are doing with your life, and get it done when you can. I agree with another commenter. The four words to focus on are "this too shall pass!"

I'm pulling for you! And if I lived closer, I'd be there to help!


June 4, 2010 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

I'm sorry that you're still feeling so bad. Don't beat yourself up about getting can only do so much. When I feel overwhelmed I think of my favorite quote from the chinese philosopher Lao-tzu, " A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Right now you just have to take life one step at a time and you'll make it through.

Sending you lots of good healing energy.


June 4, 2010 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Hugs from California.
Hang in there. As said above "this too will pass".
Take care of yourself and pamper YOU. Yes the animals are a big responsibility for a single person. (I am in the same boat.) You just "cowgirl up" and handle what needs to be done and you have shown you can do that. You'll be feeling better soon and back to full steam ahead. Just take care of yourself so it is a speedy recovery.

This is a wake up call for me on handling poultry. Because I have so much to do around the house and have animals I have in the past overlooked having things perfect, but butchering poultry has to be handled exactly right. I've got 11 roos to do this weekend and I will make sure I have my scalder and ice chest and everything set up and they get processed according to the check list.


June 4, 2010 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger RabbleRoost said...

If you have crazy diarrhea (yeah sorry about that...) it might be c. diff too? Not sure of symptoms other than that, or the scientific name for it, but it's a nasty bug to get.

You might have gotten salmonella (if you have it at all) because you were vegetarian so long and your stomach just wasn't ready to fend off anything that might have been lurking? Not sure if that's possible, but it's one theory.

Here's something I think a young, open-minded person like you might like to hear in a time like this, but first you should know what I'm talking about. The first part of the verse at Psalms 83:18 reads: "That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah..." talking about God's personal name, versus his various titles of Lord, Father etc. Just like people call you Jenna, not Ms. Book Writer all the time. :)

Okay, NOW here's the encouraging thoughts!
Remember what Jehovah God promises will happen soon at Isaiah 33:24 - "No resident will say: "I am sick.".
Revelation 21:4 goes on to explain - "And he will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away."

Taken from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. You can use your own copy of the Bible to look those scriptures up if you want. :)

Even if you don't belive in God, I hope I've given you a little bit of encouragement.
Everything will turn out okay in the end.

June 4, 2010 at 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This too shall pass. Don't let this rough bump in the road knock you down! You are a tough girl and you will recover from the illness, give your body the time it needs to heal and get healthy again. And as for the sly fox who has out witted you. I say game on!

June 4, 2010 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

First of all, don't jump to conclusions until you get the test results.

But I admit I wondered about the illness and whether it might have been something you ate. If it makes you feel any better, I worry about salmonella and e coli all the time. I started milking my goat a few weeks ago and I live in terror that I'm not being careful enough and I will poison my family with raw goat milk or bad cheese.

But the trade off is - truly - healthier food overall, raised in a humane way. And how many times have you known someone to eat at a restaurant and get food poisoning? It's quite common.

If it was salmonella or e coli, you may just need to be more mindful of what you are doing when it comes to food processing.

As for the chickens, maybe you can advertise on Craiglist to get someone to come help you with the chicken coop. (just be careful inviting people to your home - thankfully you do have your dogs.)

Realistically, you cannot do it all yourself without occasional help. You work a full time job and have an entire farm to take care of. Neither my husband nor I work and we still need help around here to get it all done. (admittedly we're older but still) You need to figure out a way to get some help with stuff like infrastructure when it's needed. It's not a failure to be only one person with only 24 hours a day and 7 days in a week to get things done.

June 4, 2010 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger RabbleRoost said...

By the way, I got some nasty food poisoning from pizza that got left out one night... Bent over double and having to fill waterers out in the snow is terrible. :(
I know how you feel. Hang in there! It'll take a while, but once it runs its course (with medical treatment or not if you decide to go that route) you'll have a new appreciation for your "good old self." :)

June 4, 2010 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

Those 4 words, "This, too, shall pass" were my sister's favorites. This WILL pass, Jenna, and you will be stronger and wiser and braver than before. Really. Take small steps right now, get as much rest as possible and don't get discouraged. You'll get better and the sun will come up and Cold Antler Farm will thrive. Just give it a little time.


June 4, 2010 at 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep on keeping on! I read your book and loved it, and I've recently become a follower of your blog. This too shall pass-- it's a rough patch, but I have confidence you will come through with flying colors. Have I thrown enough cliches in to at least make you smile?

June 4, 2010 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Being sick and tired makes everything seem 10 times worse than it normally would. The farm means its going to take you a little longer to recover than before that's all. When you feel better, look around for a neighborhood kid that would like a little extra money in a situation like this. Darn it all, sometimes you just have to ask for help. I hate when that happens. :)

June 4, 2010 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger karl micheal said...

Jenna...When I was a young boy and a member of the school FFA, I was contacted by several people needing help with their chores for short periods of time. Their pay to me was in the form of fresh baked bread, maybe lunch and dinner on the work days, and possibly some fresh baked cookies. This was fine with me as I also got credit at school for special projects. Maybe you could get a FFA student or 4H member to help you for the same type of payment. I know that times are different than the 60s, but country kids haven't changed that much. I sure hope you recover soon and can get back to your fun!! Praying for ya.

June 4, 2010 at 11:55 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

Oh Jenna. Me too. When I am that tired (and when one is that sick one is always that tired) the whole world seems dark and impossible. Do the bare minimum to keep everyone alive, treat yourself gently, and every time those overwhelming thoughts pop up, put them away and tell yourself you'll sort it out when you get your strength back. Nothing makes sense when your body is run down - but that won't last forever, even if right now you can't see clear to the end. Lots of sleep and fluids and I'm thinking good thoughts for you. Treat yourself gently, and put the rest on hold. There will be time enough to tackle it all when you are better.

June 5, 2010 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

A big mom hug from NYC. And remember, when in a crisis with things depending on you, put the oxygen mask on YOURSELF FIRST! Smarter people posting here are saying that your animals will be fine for now with minimal care, so concentrate on getting yourself well first. You will make your deadline, your bees will thrive and your livestock will grow. You have a glorious summer ahead of you and come September, the fruits of all your labors. Stay calm. Sending you good vibes and prayers.

June 5, 2010 at 12:11 AM  
Blogger Herbert Rodney Lorfing said...

hey chica keep your head up..this is only a test..think of all that has came before, many have delt with so much more, i have great faith in you. i have never met you but follow your words, they have great character as i am sure you do as well. take a week and ease it up a bit..ask help if you need it. thats what friends do. then pick yourself up shake it off and kick the shit out of that fox!

June 5, 2010 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger John Taylor said...


You can't let this get you down. If "sloppy" practices got you sick then there are ways to be more careful. I am sure there are many a farmer who have got sick from their farms because they were trying to do too much at once. Don't beat yourself up but learn from this. Be more careful about cleaning your work surface, tools and hand when processing poultry and you'll be fine. Don't let this steal your dream. You may just need to focus on getting what you have squared away before moving forward with plans to expand your livestock. Hang in there, fell better and take care of yourself.

Grace and Peace,


June 5, 2010 at 12:17 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Jenna, you are young and otherwise healthy. I know you will recover and get caught up with chores. I was thinking, as I read along the last few months of your blog, that you were taking on too many new things too soon, and stress will make you vulnerable to illness, it will comprimise your immune system.
Now, Dr. Mom says - fresh ginger tea w/ lemon and honey, probiotics (health food store), rice and apples (good for diarrhea), no sugar - very bad for fighting illness... and get a copy of this book:
Please let us know when you get test results. I'll say a prayer for you now. Hang in there!

June 5, 2010 at 12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry you've got so much to deal with all at once. Try to be good to yourself, let slide the things that can slide for now, and if there's anyone who could help a bit here and there, I'd suggest asking (as bad as I am at following my own advice on this). You're clearly doing as much as you can despite facing a few battles, and the rest will fall into place - maybe tomorrow, maybe a little while from now, but it will - so don't be too hard on yourself if you can possibly avoid it.

June 5, 2010 at 1:26 AM  
Blogger DeDe said...

Oh Jenna, I'm so sorry you're feeling crappy. Would that I were a bit closer to you and I'd be right over to help out!

Please don't give up on CAF! This too shall pass and everything will work out. It always does. Just don't decide anything until you are feeling much better.

Sending you healing, encouraging vibes your way.

June 5, 2010 at 1:32 AM  
Blogger Cheryl at The Cottage Times said...

The only good thing about being so sick is how amazing you feel once you are better.
You can try the B.R.A.T. diet. I use it for my family when we have stomach issues (thats putting it nicely, of course!)
B=Bread, R=Rice, A=Apples or applesauce and T is for Tea! It helps food bind and seems to work.
I am so happy to know you have fulfilled your dream of a farm. It's no surprise to me that you caught a bug.
The amount of physical and emotional energy you have put into this: finding, buying and moving in takes alot out of a you. This maybe the reason for your gastro-distress. Stay hydrated, try the BRAT diet and I hope to hear that you have caught that dasterdly Fox!

June 5, 2010 at 2:24 AM  
Blogger Sylvan said...

Don't hesitate to call friends up who live near you to help in this time of need. That's what friends do, help one another through hard times. Enlist them to mow the lawn, move the dog poo and help you where you need the help. Jenna you know that you'll return the favor some day...

June 5, 2010 at 2:45 AM  
Blogger nancmcp said...

Hey Jenna - I knew I wouldn't be the only one to offer encouragement! I'm on my mobile these days and can't comment, but I still look every day for your latest post. Today's post touched my heart and I came over to my daughter's house to comment.

I love that you share the ups and downs with us. If you just shared all the good stuff, your blog would be interesting, but I'd eventually lose interest in reading about a 27 yr old superwoman. You are an exceptional young woman and that comes through in your writing. Never thought I'd be old enough to call someone an exceptional young woman!

I don't think you have the lab tests back. You could have had the flu. Could be your body's response to eating meat again. Could be a wakeup call to pay especial attention to processing. I trust that you've learned that lesson, and if it is Salmonella, there won't be a recurrence.

Wish I were closer to give you a hug, tell you how much you inspire me, help you with chores right now and tuck you in with a cup of tea.

Hang in there!

June 5, 2010 at 4:54 AM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

Oh hun. You can't let this beat you. There are going to be downs as well as ups and it's just real unfortunate that such a big down has come so soon after getting CAF. You are working hard for your dream and that's they way it should be. Nothing we truly want comes easy.

You'll get through this!!!! I'm sending you lots of positive thoughts and hugs over the pond!

June 5, 2010 at 5:39 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

It's always worse when you're sick. Especially when you've tackled a farm by yourself - just ask me. But you'll feel better and the joy will come back. Do you have a neighbor who could throw together a pen for your poultry - maybe a quick chicken tractor? Seems like that's the most urgent need. Just pace yourself, don't beat yoursef up, and do some things that bring you joy. It will all come back around to the goodness of CAF. It's okay to feel lousy and ask for help.

June 5, 2010 at 6:24 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

If it's salmonella, it'll be one week of serious knocked-on-your-ass sick, and then two weeks of feeling like you've got to get to the toilet RIGHT NOW. It'll be almost all false alarms, but it's no fun, especially with the weakness as a bonus. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

You'll get through this, Jenna. You will. Oh, and guess what? All the work will still be there, waiting for you, when you do. Sweet, eh?

June 5, 2010 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

I wouldn't count on the Salmonella theory. Usually it isn't seen in chickens raised as yours are.
Did you have your well tested before you started drinking the water?
This too shall pass but if you can get some help from friends you'll have a better mental outlook.

June 5, 2010 at 6:42 AM  
Blogger Velma Bolyard said...

jenna, ease up. give your body time to heal. it might need a bit. allow it. for now, essentials are all that's necessary. really. i have been in your shoes, and it will take time. be kind to yourself, your job is to heal. birds can be replaced. you cannot.

about feeling alienated from your homestead--that will lessen. again time and recovering your confidence. you will see it through.

June 5, 2010 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Oh Jenna, I am so sorry. Hang in there. I think it is more difficult when the thing we love so much makes us feel so bad (being injured by livestock also comes to mind). There's that age-old relationship issue of: I love you! Why would you do anything to hurt me? Hang in there. Wish I lived a little closer so I could come give you a hand but the biggest priority right now is taking care of yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it; one of those things that independent people have a very hard time doing, I know.

June 5, 2010 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger And This Little Pig said...

Jenna, you are woman, and you will roar again. Do only what you have to do, to keep everything alive. No more. Take the time to recover. It will all be there waiting when you feel better, the grass, the house, the dogs.

Now Mr Fox, or Mrs... and I'm already ducking the flying boots, is it legal to put out baits or trap, he or she is taking your livelihood, and your duck and chooks lives, so take his/hers. Just make sure your own dogs/cats are locked up.

One foot in front of the other, Jenna you will get there in the end


June 5, 2010 at 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

文章是唯一不死的東西,時間飛逝,文字記述的心情就是一種傳承! ....................................................

June 5, 2010 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Dear Jenna,and encouragement you get!...
Believe in yourself, I know you do and this next few days just do what you would like to do like maybe sitting on the couch with Gibson and just drinking a coffee. Or listening to some music you like.
You have big plans and dreams but you can't do them all in one day and for now maybe just getting by is enough. Jessica from The Netherlands

June 5, 2010 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Dancing shepherdess said...

Just rest. For the chickens, see if someone can help you with a fully fenced (ground included) area- like a tractor for them. When you are processing meat, do it on a schedule when you can focus. Farms are work 24/7, but it has to be done like in a walk, not a run.

June 5, 2010 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger jill said...

I wish so much I was living on my own farm right now, worrying about the fox killing my chickens and whether or not I had processed my poultry correctly! You have come so far - remember what it was like just recently, when you were still struggling to buy CAF. This is a time to reflect back while you rest and acknowledge to yourself all that you've accomplished. I'm not trying to minimize your suffering - on the contrary, but even if you find out you have salmonella, you can't be sure where you got it.

You're just discouraged because you're sick - I think you did too much too soon and relapsed.

What illness you have isn't as important as you think - you'll be more careful in the future with poultry processing as a result, but that's a good thing on all counts anyway. Think of it as "hey, it's not the farm, it's my other fulltime job and deadlines!" As another poster said, stress compromises the immmune system - you've had ALOT on your plate lately. You'll never know what you were exposed to and where.

Do the minimum you need to do for now and rest ALOT. REST is the poor man's medicine. I agree with the BRAT diet, as it's very binding - bananas, rice, applesauce and TOAST. Lots of hydration.

Things will look alot different to you when you're back on your feet. It's normal and natural for you to feel overwhelmed and discouraged right now. CAF is your home, your lifeblood, your heart! You will embrace it all again in good time. I'm way down in Georgia, otherwise I'd be out there right now mowing and watering and anything else you need. Hang in there - it WILL pass. And when you're feeling better, don't do too much too soon. Best of luck - we are all pulling for you!

June 5, 2010 at 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aw Jenna, I'm sorry you're feeling defeated and low. For sure that's one of the most difficult parts of getting sick, right up there with the physical symptoms.

I second what others have said about yogurt and rest, broths and toast. Also reaching out for help if possible, and resisting the urge to beat yourself up over this.

I've also only been reading your blog for a few weeks, and am just so impressed and inspired by your get-to-it-ness and vision.

Your body will heal, and your farm will thrive.

Focus on the basics, get yourself better and think of all these internet folks rooting for you!

June 5, 2010 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger Theodore White said...

Stay tough Jenna,

Use Ginger Root for your stomach, it should get rid of anything virus that's left. You can boil it as a tea, and it's magic.

Add some honey & garlic to anything solid foods you're trying to eat.

Last quarter moon week has started, so you'll have to get a friend to help if you can, and see about having some shepherds help get the fox. A few dogs around barking, and patrolling might do the trick.

Build up your strength with the ginger root, honey & garlic during the week. You should feel better very soon!


June 5, 2010 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

A couple of months ago, a fox family took out 12 of my animals in the space of 2 hours, and I was home. Never heard a thing. So I understand how horrible a fox can be.

When I get depressed about everything that needs done on my farm, I ask myself a question. It keeps me motivated- "why is anything worth doing, always a pain in the butt to do?" It seems to be one of life's rules. You just have to chalk one up for the other team, and keep playing.

June 5, 2010 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that taking care of yourself and resting won't help you get through this nearly as much as taking care of your animals and getting the things done that need to get done. You're young and healthy and your body will see you through -- drinking ginger tea in bed will only give you time to think about how crappy you feel and worry about the chores that aren't being done.

Make yourself get up, recruit help from a local friend or two (I don't even know you and I'd certainly help you in a heartbeat if I were closer), and build something to protect your poultry. I think it's possible that will make you feel like a farmer again.

June 5, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Je Pense said...

Sometimes the things most important in our lives hurt us. Maybe your farm made you sick, but its animals and crops will feed you, its walls will keep you warm, and its farm-ness will fulfill you.

June 5, 2010 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Spring Lake Farm said...


As everyone else has said, I hope you feel better and stronger very soon. I know when this happens it will change your outlook tremendously. Take care of yourself first, animals second, house and grounds third, etc...

Just a thought....have you considered getting a Livestock Guardian Dog? This would allow you some comfort while away at work. It's not an immediate fix but one that I feel would serve you well going forward.

Take care,


June 5, 2010 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger farmwifetwo said...

Yes, the farm may have made you sick, mostly b/c you aren't use to the farm and may need to take more precautions at the beginning. Vegetables need to be washed with soap. Your hands cleaned every time you touch your animals. Gloves and then soap would probably be best. Using raw milk will also make you ill. I have a friend who married a dairy farmer and learned quickly that city girls shouldn't drink milk right out of the cooler.

Have you had your well tested?? Mine with it's high mineral content may have been a contributor to my kidney stone a year ago. It's all filtered now.

The coop needs a run. Mine is huge... now if I could just get the Man to fix it so I can get some chickens... btwn the fox, the coons, the coyotes, the hawks, the..... Your livestock makes for a tasty treat.

Samonella/ecoli quite often comes from spreading manure on vegetables. This is what caused the huge spinach outbreak a few years ago. Simple as improperly cleaned food.

A little research. Maybe having a local chicken farmer come and talk to you about your birds... incase it came from there... something you've missed in their diet???

It's a well known fact that moving the city to the country isn't as easy as it looks. Country kids are use to the contaminents in the soil, in the water, the barn, from their pets... Don't worry, it works both ways. I had a boyfriend in Univ who's sister became violently ill from the slightest amount of chlorinated water... he and his bro were also ill, but not like her.

June 5, 2010 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Sense of Home Kitchen said...

Rest will give you a new perspective and if there is a friend that can lend you a hand to not feel shy about asking.

Make a list of priorities for the farm and take care of what you have before taking on more.

Even when we are doing what we love there are low points and times we wish we hadn't taken that path.

Hope the weekend brings you rest and healing.


June 5, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Jenna, so many other wonderful people have said such wonderful words of encouragement for you and I am pressed to find more.
You have been through so much, both with your farms and this illness.
I hate to say this because I have heard it so many times myself, but, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. A bit extreme, I think, for most situations, but I think it rings true.
I think the key for both - the expression, and the farm, is to take responsibility, but not too seriously.
Being in charge of a life, or lives, is a serious responsibility. But at this time, think you need to lay on the couch and rest. Think about all you have accomplished and about all the wonderful days and months and years and years to come at Cold Antler.

June 5, 2010 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger MollyKnits said...


It is okay to not be super woman! One of the reasons you have inspired me so much is your willingness to admit mistakes, regroup, and forage ahead!

It must be extremely difficult to be a one woman show, but the encouragement you give to others is making a difference.

June 5, 2010 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Aydan said...

I've heard that food poisoning can make you weepy and depressed, so it's not surprising that you're not looking forward to the farm.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you feel better soon!

June 5, 2010 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Tobi said...

Sometimes the universe throws us opposition to test how badly we really want to reach our goals.

Make your list, and do one thing at a time. Small steps, and this, too, shall pass.

June 5, 2010 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

Just to clarify some thoughts expressed. The EColi on the spinach epidemic came from factory farm cow manure the producers of which ate corn. Salmonella is usually found in factory farm chicken, not in chicken allowed to grow up in good conditions. Raw milk is a very healthy food if proper cleanliness techniques are employed when the cows or goats are milked. Pasturization kills bacteria but also changes the lactose structure. Small homestead farms are usually pretty free of nasty bugs because of the husbandry techniques.

June 5, 2010 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Nothing and no one can do everything all the time. Let the grass grow and let the dog poop pile up. WHo cares?!

Just take care of you.

And don't feel bad about giving yourself food poisoning (if that's even what happened, there IS a nasty flu going around) I gave myself food poisoning and I don't even have a farm. It happens. You will recover, and so will the farm. And then you can go kill that damn fox.

June 5, 2010 at 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey--I think it's remarkable all you've accomplished in the last month. I don't think I could have moved and planted and raised and reared and cooked and killed and plucked and played as much as you have, all while working full time. I would have gotten sick from lack of sleep weeks ago. The salmonella could have come from a meal you ate somewhere else, the fox may meet his Maker soon by your hand or somebody else's and I'm sure things are growing and sprouting in your garden. I know that when I try to do everything by myself, it's easy to beat myself up for what goes wrong, but I hope you push through it--you're accomplishing amazing things!

June 5, 2010 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Emma said...

I fully believe you will get through this. I hope you feel better soon, because it sounds just miserable! :(

This is one of those times when you need friends/family/community. I don't know how many local connections you have so far, but this is the time to call on them. That is what communities do, right? And I know you believe in that concept, as I do.

BEST WISHES TO YOU! You WILL get through this and be fiddling with a smile again soon.

June 5, 2010 at 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Jenna. Hugs and best wishes from everyone here! You are our favorite blogger ever and we love hearing your stories! You are better than a cop of coffee in the morning and every time I read your blog I feel I learn something new, even if it is to start slowly when I first get my own farm.
It's hard doing all of this work without a thank you, but I am positive your animals are thinking it! :) Thank you, Jenna! We are all pulling for you.

June 5, 2010 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Montero said...

It's part of building up immunity to the bugs are your farm. You've just been innoculated. It sucks but it's unlikely to get you again.

Just finished reading 'We Took to the Woods' and Louise Rich pointed out that she only averages about 10bad days for 355 good ones out in the country scratching a healthy living from her surroundings. I can second that. I hope those odds cheer you up.

Housekeeping and dog poo can wait. Prioritize and do what you can. And don't beat yourself up about it. Just keep yourself and the animals alive for now. Nothing else matters.

June 5, 2010 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger DebH said...

Hope your feeling back to normal fast!! But, I will tell you to keep up the fight, "What don't kill ya ..makes ya stronger". It does, and yes it can be very hard work, but we learn to do what we can handle. I do a farm 90% on my own...and what I can't finish..I rely on a neighbor or my son down the road. But, I WILL do what I can to keep up and try not to bite off more than I can chew. Somedays are just harder than others...
Also, it could be a million things that make you don't beat yourself up. You'll be back to normal in no time!!

June 5, 2010 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Kris Mo said...

Jenna - it's hard to add something here now that hasn't already been said. But take heart! You asked for some support, and I'm teary at the virtual FLOOD of love that has washed your way from this beautiful community. And guess what? You're the one who has created it. Just like CAF, you've woven us all together, and we're all here because you inspire us, awaken us, and allow us to be a small part of your incredible dream. Just as we revel in your triumphs, we also wallow with you in your sadness, sickness, and feelings of defeat. You're never really alone. Feel better in body and heart soon!

June 5, 2010 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Jenna, I have been where you are right now. My husband drives a truck and is only home every other weekend. But even when he is here I do the farm by myself. And I have been sick like you too. And I have milk goats. And they have to be milked no matter how bad I feel. Twice a day. That really sucks though about that darn fox. It sounds like your flock will have to be kept up all the time while you are gone. I am sending get well thoughts up to you. You will be back to yourself soon. But in the meantime, take it easy and don't rush it. Things happen. Just get well! I love your blog and your adventures on your new farm.

June 5, 2010 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Jeremy and Jenny said...

in early June i always feel beaten. it's just the nature of farming. things pile up and you fall behind and there seem to be to many things to do and not enough time to do them. but in a month the farm will be in full bloom and everything will feel right with the world again. without the lowest of lows the highest wouldn't feel so good. Keep your head up and get well soon.
Keep up the good dirt.

June 5, 2010 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Amigo van Helical said...

It seems that you've had a setback, Jenna. You are strong and young, and you have many readers who are rooting for you. Gather your energy. Breathe deeply of the warmth and life around you. Rest as best you can.

We see you. Your triumphs are ours. Be well.

June 5, 2010 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


June 5, 2010 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I've been a lurker and have enjoyed reading about your adventures! I've never posted but since you are asking for encouragement... I thought now was the right time! :) You have finally managed to claim your dream 'owning a farm'. Until this time, dreaming & planning & making lists of to-do's has been the reality. NOW... you are living the has become reality! :) The 'honeymoon' period is over and the reality of the NOT SO SIMPLE 'simple life' is hitting. From your posts, you sound strong and able! You have been sick and obviously frustrated with the fox, and have demands put on you by life that you can't avoid dealing with, even in sickness. HANG IN THERE!! IT WILL GET BETTER AS YOUR BODY HEALS!! Write in a journal so you can re-evaluate how you are looking at things during this time. A month from now, most likely, you won't feel so down and beaten. Take small steps and grow at a careful small pace! YOU CAN DO IT! :)

June 5, 2010 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger said...

Go back and read your own posts about this being your dream. Its so hard when you are exhausted and sick and frustrated, but this is your heart and soul. I pray that you rediscover your enthusiasm despite all of these setbacks. Thank you for showing ALL of the lifestyle that so many of us dream about.

June 5, 2010 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger HotFlashHomestead said...

I'm with Dan and Peter. Too much for one person to handle! Within just a couple of months, you bought a farm, got a new puppy, began raising lots more livestock than you had before, and have plans to bring even more, in the form of a flock of sheep. And the fact is right now, you still don't even have the right set-up to bring your goat home.

What you have right now is a set-up that works long as everything is running smoothly -- but rural life isn't like that. I know in your heart you already know that.

Anyone who farms alone CAN do it (I know you can, you have a real heart for it!!) but you must realistically assess how much you can reasonably do on a part time basis, and factor in things like what will happen if you get sick. Every farmer needs a PLAN B, and emergency back-up plans for caring for livestock. For most of us, this is our spouse, our grown kids or our neighbors.

Before adding anything more to your farm, you need to realistically assess how much you can do on your own, and how much it's fair to ask friends and neighbors to do in an emergency. Or you will burn out, or you'll burn out your helpers. I want you to succeed, and the only way to do that is to not bite off more than you can chew. Everyone who farms but has a job in town has been where you's the decisions you make from here on in that will determine your success or failure. You CAN do it all -- but you may not be able to do it all AT ONCE.

June 5, 2010 at 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

被人揭下面具是一種失敗,自己揭下面具卻是種勝利。 ..................................................

June 5, 2010 at 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna,
Just wanted to say I finished your book last night, and checked out your blog for the first time today. It sounds like you're having a tough week and I hope it gets better for you! I have to say I feel your pain. Although I've only got a garden and 10 chickens to care for, I've also got a 2 year old and I'm 35 weeks pregnant. Some days I just have to do the bare minimum and leave the rest for later. It sucks to feel like you have no energy, but it's okay to ask for help too. Maybe having a friend or neighbor over to help you pull it all together again would be just the ticket!

Hope it all works out, and take care of yourself :)

June 5, 2010 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Bri said...

along the lines of what everyone else has said... "YOU CAN DO IT!" :) You're my hero Jenna, I dream of someday having my own little plot of land and critters and a garden to fill it with. Reading about your triumphs (and sorrows) kindles the fire of my dream. You're a tough girl, I know you can pull through, focus on the sunshiny part of it.

June 5, 2010 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Beth Rees said...

Oh Jenna, you'll survive!! I'm so sorry that your heart is heavy. I truely believe that it's just the sickness. As soon as you're better, you'll be rarin' to get to those projects! You are an exceptionally strong person and you will pull through!

June 5, 2010 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Jenna, So proud of you for sharing your concerns. Our foremothers had to learn all of these things as they went about their farm lives. We need to be reminded to take care with all we do. Sometimes we forget. So sorry you were sick, but if it was something you did or didnt do, bet it won't happen again....and you saved others from a mishap just because you were caring enough to share.

June 5, 2010 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This too shall pass and you will be back to your old self reliant with a positive attitude self.

June 5, 2010 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Look at elecronet fencing from premier if you havent already. I've started using it after I lost some lambs, to I still dont know what. Its really helped, I use it for the chickens, all 150 of em.
It's especially hard when you loose animals that rely on you. I know the discouragment and the self doubt. These things do unfortunatly happen even to the best of us but so do the amazing experience you've had up till now. You'll be looking closer doing things a little different and you will find the harmony in your farm, as a matter of fact you may not feel it now, but this experience just helped make you a better farmer. So rest now take care of yourself and face the changes needed. and if you need to ask for some help. Really. I mean it :)

June 5, 2010 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

I second the Electronet fencing from Premier. It's the only thing that has really worked for me.

I've butchered chickens and other poultry at home all my life and never gotten sick from it. I really doubt it was from that. Do you have well water? Have you had it tested?

June 5, 2010 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

Oh, and food poisoning, been there done that once and it really sucks. And it wasn't meat that was contaminated. In our case it was Russian dressing that had been left out too long (like overnight I suspect) refrigerated again and then brought out days later and poured over salad. The only one that didn't get sick was the baby because she didn't have enough teeth to chew raw vegetables.

June 5, 2010 at 6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sending some loving and healing vibes your way.

June 5, 2010 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Keep going Jenna, you're my inspiration. And are you sure it's a fox? It may well be a Fisher, also called fisher cat or Marten. Nasty critters, those.

June 5, 2010 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

You might have camplylobacter (I think that's how you spell it). My husband had it and we think it bred in a very wet coop because of all the rain, then one day our old rooster attacked and actually cut his leg. It happens.

You can only eat an elephant one day at a time...

June 5, 2010 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Delena said...

I don't know your situation but maybe you should think of getting a hired hand to help you especially in times like this. Being sick and trying to do what you are doing is very overwhelming and not healthy. I have been reading your blog for awhile and always thought you are doing the work of 3 or 4 and it is going to wear you down. Take care of yourself first. I hope I am not being too forward , I just wish you well.

June 5, 2010 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I'm late to this, but I hope you're feeling better (physically AND emotionally). These sorts of times come and go, and you'll feel low, but it will pass. As for the chicken causing salmonella, highly unlikely.

June 6, 2010 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I'll back up the "this too shall pass" crowd and also throw some over-quoted Nietzsche at you:

"What does not kill me makes me stronger."

This is probably true in both the physical and spiritual sense in this case.

June 7, 2010 at 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rarely comment, but had to this time. My little daughter and I were recently flattened by some kind of flu. We don't have a farm to maintain, but even getting out of bed to feed the cat felt like a huge effort. We basically went into survival mode around here--if everyone was fed and tended to the best of my ability, I called it good. And now, two weeks later, I'm back in the garden dealing with weeds that have taken over, cooking meals, and working on getting the house back in some kind of order. Give yourself time to recover. Everything else will still be there waiting for you when you get better, so just concentrate on recovering right now. You'll be back at it before you know it, tending your farm with as much love as ever. There's nothing wrong with getting through in survival mode while you're recovering.


June 9, 2010 at 9:45 AM  

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