Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why my stomach flu was a really good thing

A few days ago, I had the worst stomach flu of my life. I will spare you the details, but I can tell you it was not pretty. Feverish and fighting the urge to throw up, I managed to drag myself to the goat barn three times that day so I could check on Miss Dandelion, my very, very pregnant goat whose due date came and went. I take pride in never having missed a birth in over a decade of raising many goats, and gosh-darn it, the flu wouldn't keep me from missing that one.

Alas - nothing. Dandelion's bulging sides are getting bigger, and she is getting more and more uncomfortable. I might have to pitch the tent in the barn tonight so I can assist her when the time comes.

You would look grump, too, if you were that pregnant.
I'm watching the goats for signs of labor. Don't you know, Corina? A watched pot never boils, and a watched goat never gives birth.
The upside of this flu was that it slowed me down. Typically an uber-productive type A German workaholic, I get a lot done in a day. However, ever since the flu, I've sat on the couch or outside on a picnic chair, reading.

The day after the flu felled me was so beautiful and sunny, I parked myself under the dogwood tree and watched my industrious family. The small ones built a platform in the dogwood tree, where they perched, sang, snacked, swung and hung from.

My industrious husband (I didn't marry a slacker, that's for sure) worked around the yard, repairing a pole shed that had been damaged by a big hemlock in a windstorm, weeding garlic that's poking its green shoots out of the soil, and helping set up a fence for the ducks. This was the first time we let them out of their electric fence to free range, but we still need to keep them from visiting with the neighbors' ducks by installing a smaller fence.

One of the most amusing things that day was watching puppy Raka with the ducks. She's new to ducks, and she would looooooove to chase them, but she is, of course, not allowed to. 

And then there's the Raka-and-the-chicks-show, which made me laugh so hard, my poor abs (already sore from throwing up) hurt. The pup presses her nose agains the chicken wire, and the chicks come up to her and try to pick at her teeth. I'm not making this up. It's a comedy show, that one.

Besides the fact that I haven't eaten any real food (just broth) in almost three days, life is good. Flowers are appearing almost overnight. Let me leave you with images around our yard.

What made you laugh this week? Leave a comment in the section below so we can share the joy!


  1. Ah, girl, I feel for you. The good thing about being a corporate slave is that when you get sick you get to do nothing. The bad thing is you're a corporate slave! The bad thing about being a homestead wife with livestock is you can't quit 100%. The good thing is you're a homestead wife! I had the same illness a few weeks ago. We had just gotten back to our old place from taking a load to our new place. When I went out to feed the animals that night I noticed that the mini-mule was colicking. Preface this by saying I had spent the previous two days conked out in bed and I was feeling terrible when I noticed the donkey. My husband was sick, too, even worse than I. So guess who gets to walk the donkey for an hour and a half to keep him up and not throwing himself on the ground to roll? Me. It took the vet 1-1/2 hrs to get there and I had to walk hard pulling the donkey and I was thinking maybe me and the donkey might expire together. We didn't and the vet finally showed. It was all in vain, though, because the donkey died the next morning. So this is why I like reading real people like you and not the sanitized stuff. You're upbeat but you don't white wash everything. Homestead life is tough, tough work sometimes. It doesn't quit when you're sick so it's not for wimps who want everything perfect. Homestead life is not perfect but it has many gifts which make it all worth it. Neh?

    1. Very well said, very well spoken! (And I'm really sorry about your donkey). That must have been an emotionally and physically terrible experience.
      On a happier note: your soap is ready! How many bars do you want?

  2. Yes, I'm still traumatized about the way he passed in terrible pain in spite of the vet's efforts. We did everything possible. I'm reminded that while nature is kind she is also very cruel at times. SOAP! I forget how much they are. Are there different weights and composition? I wanted the goat milk. I don't really care what they look like but I do prefer the bars that say "goat milk" but if you don't have those any style will be wonderful. I will take around $20 dollars worth not including shipping so let me know what the total is. Should I send it to the PO box?

  3. That stomach flu is horrible! I am 62 and my husband is 67. We live on 20 acres and are the adoptive parents of a 6 yr old and the foster parents of an 8 mo old and a 3 yr old. They all had it and 3 days later it hit my husband and me. We could hardly move to get chores done and take care of kids. At one point, I fed the baby and when he fell asleep I started up the stairs to put him in bed. I was so weak that I couldn't make it and my husband was behind me pushing and supporting me. After the fact, I laughed until I cried! How many old people does it take to get one little baby upstairs?

    1. Pat, Oh. My. Goodness! I cannot even imagine doing what you did. When I was sick my husband had to stay home to take care of our kids. I couldn't have done it. So to do what you did must have taken an act of... I don't know... sainthood? Wow!