It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year.
I had a gut feeling that this move would be a hard one, and it has been. I keep thinking of that “peace that passeth all understanding”, peace in the midst of not-peaceful things. This move has been sure-ness in the midst of things making us unsure. Many steps along the way have been longer and more difficult than we expected.
Our house sold fairly quickly. We decided to be flexible on the price as our realtor was recommending some pretty major upgrades in order to get it to sell and we felt better about a bird in the hand than the two in the bush. It was nice to finally stop hemorrhaging money on that end. We made multiple offers on multiple properties here, but kept being unable to settle on a price. We also kept finding houses that either I liked, or my husband liked but that we couldn’t agree on. We were almost ready to commit to the extensive timeline of building our own, when a house that we had looked at before dropped in price and we decided to take a second look. We figured out what the necessary updates would cost and made the owners an offer. After a bit of back and forth we settled on a price. Our closing date was about 2 1/2 weeks before the rental period on our house was up, so we decided to spend that time getting as many of the updates done as we could before we had to move and live in drywall dust. The kids enjoyed running around the yard, climbing the trees and digging in the good-sized pasture. The olders and I framed a wall, fished wire, installed outlets and removed a sliding door. While we were removing the door, we discovered rotten wood underneath and around the bottom (doesn’t one always). I scraped out everything that was soggy and removed the deck board immediately in front of the door as it was too far gone to save. I then framed the opening to prepare it for a window. A friend came over to help us with the installation–he held the window in place from the inside while I screwed it into the frame. As I had not yet replaced the deck board and the top of the window was out of my reach, I had to be really careful about how I placed the feet of my stepstool in order to keep all four on a solid surface. Apparently, I bumped it with my leg that last time. I climbed up, lifted my drill to begin working and then fell sideways and backwards, landing on the deck steps on the right side of my tailbone. My head also hit the deck quite hard and I quickly felt rather nauseated, but whether I was dealing with nausea as a concussion symptom or as a result of pain, I couldn’t yet tell. But I also felt a deep sense of calm and that the Lord was aware of me–this was my first clue that this was going to be a big deal. After a couple of minutes, I felt like I could hobble into the house. I went into the bathroom to assess my injuries. No broken skin, really painful tailbone, really tender head and I was having a hard time not passing out. It took me several tries to get out of the bathroom and onto my bedroom floor. For the next couple of hours I took a lot of herbs and homeopathics to reduce bruising and to keep me conscious. Eventually the pain and shockiness wore off enough to tell that I was really uncomfortable on the floor and I got one of the boys to set up a mattress and find me some blankets and after I checked my pupil response (fine) I fell asleep.
I’ll stop with the boring and painful details. My tailbone was broken. Initial hopes that I’d be up after a couple of days did not materialize. My mom came into town shortly afterwards, but the work was just too much for her and the kids so we ended up calling in an army of women from our church to finish packing up and cleaning the rental. It was pretty awful just having to lie there while everyone was working so hard, but that was really all I could do. It was a bit of a relief when they finally moved me and my bed over to the other house so that at least I didn’t have to watch. Everyone was so willing and kind and we made the deadline.
Since then it has been a process of gradually adjusting our plans to the reality of our situation. We hired out some of the work to make the house liveable, we chucked out plans to get a big garden in and animals and the garage converted this summer. We had boarded our goats with our neighbor goat lady back in CA in hopes of bringing them out, but with no barn or near prospects of building one, it became apparent that we would need to sell our goats. Unfortunately, Ella and Penny are ADGA registered dairy goats and I could not find the paperwork to transfer ownership. We finally found these last week, SO now that we have no goats, we are finally ADGA members so that I can register Margot, Flower, Blossom and Margot’s new, beautiful, pure white doeling (born on Memorial Day if I remember right) so that we can sell them all to pay the feed bills for the last several months! It’s rather a depressing business, honestly…and wildly complex. The procedure follows:
In order to register and transfer dairy goats, one has to be a member with a membership name and have a member number. This is $35 and good for 15 months if one purchases in September, but only good for 4 months if one purchases in August. Go figure. One also needs to request a tattoo to permanently mark one’s goats with a unique series of four letters and numbers to designate the herd of birth. Think branding, except it’s in the ear with ink rather than on the rump with a hot iron. It’s actually not even visible unless you take the goat into a fairly dark room and shine a flashlight through their ear, and this is about as much fun as it sounds like it would be. Both of these can be applied for online. One also needs a PIN, which is assigned at random by ADGA and a signature authorization form so that they have records of the signatures that can be accepted for goat transfers. Both of these must be sent by snail mail, but have no fee associated. Next, in order to give your goats registerable names, you must have a herd name. This must be unique and costs $15 to register. Unfortunately, they do not publish “taken” herd names online, but, I hear, some day they may send them to me in the mail for my perusal. As this did not fit my timeline, I poked around and found an online forum where someone had the same question. Turns out, you can’t look up registered herd names, but you can look up registered goat names, AND as the herd name is the first part of each goat’s name, you can kind of figure out what’s available. Nothing came up when I typed in “consecration acres”, so I went ahead and applied for that. Here’s the website if anyone should need it: http://adgagenetics.org/ . I am just hoping I will not need it again, as I am still waiting for approval. All right, now once I have a herd name, then I can finally fill out registration forms for our goats. These require Sire and Dam names, Dam’s breed date, the goat’s birth date, physical description and name. The name consists of herd name + whatever else, limited to 30 characters. There is also a fairly nominal goat registration fee. Once I receive their registration papers I can then pay another nominal fee to transfer ownership and then I am finally goat-less. Sigh. I am considering it just the next class in Goat School. (And excuse my mid-stream switch from “one” to “I”–I am not going to go back and make it uniform.)
So that’s it for homesteading–lots of heel-cooling going on. Elijah planted a few things and we have eaten them. I am glad to see things growing out there, even if it’s small for now. I read a blog recently where someone had mulched her garden with hay and nothing would grow. Apparently, the field the hay came from had been treated with a persistent broadleaf herbicide that killed all of her garden plants off. As our pasture/future garden and orchard had been used for horses before I wondered if we’d find any major issues, but so far so good.
That’s it for now. Perhaps next time I’ll write about what I’ve been doing to while away the hours of broken tailbone-dom.