I'm sick, which really sucks. Had such a hard night. Bad, bad dreams, and then Maya had nearly an hour between 4-5 am where she was just fighting hardcore. Kicking, hitting, wanting to switch from one boob to the other nonstop. Then she was up early. At first I thought both of our crankiness was from lack of sleep, but once I finally got her to nap and was no longer chasing destructo-violent-baby all morning, I realized how sick I really am. Not horrible yet, but it's getting worse as the day goes on, so I know I'm in for a real sicko treat. Suck.
I've pretty much already given up any attempt to stay on top of my Coursera courses and earn a decent grade &/or any certificates. I simply don't have the time or money to stay on top of it. Yeah, they're free classes, but some of the books needed aren't available online or at our tiny local libraries, and I can't afford to buy any at the moment. Things are WAY tight right now. So I'm just participating as I'm able, but I've stopped stressing or pushing myself over it. And that kind of hurts, because I'm SO over this whole failing-at-everything thing. But oh well. It is what it is. Maybe I can still learn some stuff, even if I have to be late on the catch-up, and that's really all I ever wanted anyway.
Even with no good TV channels at the moment and no way to call out on the phone, I still can't find the time to do any damn thing properly. WTF is up with that? And I keep trying so hard!
I'll just keep trying.
So, back to focusing on my own writing. Hopefully with the intent to bring in some freaking money. MUST. We're so behind on everything right now. I used the last of my emergency money when Uncle Mike died in June, and we've just had emergency after emergency after that. So now we can't keep up with the bills, because we just can't dig ourselves out of this hole fast enough. Josh won't let me get a job until my elbow gets better, which isn't happening any time soon. Gotta write!
The Dragon Alliance won my NaNo poll. Didn't get many votes here, but got quite a lot in the nanowrimo community (if you just missed the post, please weigh in anyway! I really appreciate feedback with my writing attempts, especially since I'm trying to go professional). I had taken to backing up my work online after losing way too many projects due to constant computer issues. Unfortunately, I only had tDA saved up to the 40k backup. I crossed 51k during last year's nano, so that's a lot lost. BUT, I am so very happy to say that it's soooo much better than I remember it being! I mean, it is still very much a NaNo novel, so definitely not my best work and in need of some significant revision, but I am so happy with it. I thought it sucked a lot more. I don't even need to start from scratch, like I'd planned. I think I'll just start revising now and pick up where I left off for this year's NaNo – unless I revise fairly quickly and manage to finish it even before November. If I can get a whole first draft done, I might do Neon Giraffe instead for this year's. But tDA has some serious potential. If you like fantasy dragony stuff, that is. I need to add in some more roadblocks, because it's a bit too fluffy, but I'm not usually pleased with my stuff, let alone NaNo stuff, so that's encouraging.
In farmy news, we had to put down JJ, one of our billy goats. He'd been getting increasingly violent lately, and he attacked Eden the other day, hurt her knee, had her cornered alone outside until we went looking for her, and really just scared all of us way too much. That was it. Josh put him down. [Spoilered for talk of butchering] Josh and I skinned him, which took like 3 hours, but neither of us had done anything bigger than a chicken before. And I did a lot of it myself (we switched off holding & skinning), so I was considerably slower with my elbow issue, but I'm pretty proud of myself. We have him quartered up, as we're certainly not letting him go to waste. We cut up one leg and I have the meat brining, but we're going to have to cut & pack up the rest today and get any frozen that we don't plan to use soon. I wish we had a meat grinder! I've never had goat before, so this will be interesting, but if we killed it, we're going to eat it. He's technically not a meat breed, and you're supposed to castrate them if you want them for meat or else the testosterone supposedly turns the meat extra gamey. Hence my brining it. But this is part of what being self-sufficient is, and it's going to be a considerable help on our food budget since we won't have to buy so much meat for a long while. I'll be cooking up some chevon (that's apparently what you call goat meat) recipe tonight. Not sure what yet, but I have a few good recipe pages bookmarked. Josh is going to try tanning the hide. He's new to that as well. If he's successful, I've really been wanting a drum for my reiki & shamanic journey work, but I'm not sure he'll be successful on first go. Or that he'll part with it if he is.
We've been watching for Rosie to come into heat, and we're really hoping to get her pregnant this year. I can't keep up all these goats if I'm not getting some milk out of it. We think she went into heat the other day. Josh tried to help Patches get him some, but Patches is stupid. LOL Hope it worked though.
We have A LOT of roosters. More than I'd planned on. Too many of the chickens we lost were females. Now, Eden said this morning that she's 1000% sure she saw Eagle crow. Eagle was supposed to be one of my Ameraucana females. I'll have to rethink which roosters to keep if she's actually a rooster. While I'll be sad about the lost eggs (Ameraucana eggs are our favorite so far!), we'll be able to breed full-blooded Ameraucanas, which would be kind of cool. Eden's dead set on keeping Dave (the lone Welsummer rooster – those were all supposed to be female too), and Josh wants to keep all of his Phoenixes, and 3 out of 4 of those are male. Plus, most of our Buckeyes are male. Supposed to be straight-run, so roughly half and half, but we got a male-heavy load, it would seem, and the two we lost recently were both female. I really hope that Blue's last surviving chick is a female. That would be awesome.
None of them are laying yet though. Everyone else's spring chickens are laying. Maybe the problem is that we don't have hay or straw for them. Things have been so tight that we can't even spare the $5 for some freaking straw, no lie. I was hoping that they'd just find some good spots & lay outside once we started letting them free range during the day. Guess we need some proper boxes set up.
The house has been staying cleaner. Still a fight sometimes to get the girls to help, but Josh has really stepped up more. That's a plus. The yard is a mess though. We had a huge storm, and limbs and trash were blown all over. I need to get that cleaned up, but I need to finish on JJ first. The storm also blew off one of the doors to the chicken coop, so I hope they're able to stay safe until we can afford to fix that. So far so good. The coop is a lot closer than the barn is, and so far no predators have come that close to the house.
Maya is extremely talkative lately. She's saying a lot more words AND signing a lot more – and babbling all the time when it's not clear words. You can still understand the gist of everything she says though. Such a smart little girl! She'll be talking nonstop soon, I just know it.
Not any good news on the weight loss attempts. I'm almost wondering if my Mirena isn't making me hang on to some of this baby weight. I can't do my normal exercise routine with this elbow, not that I was doing it often anyway. I'm going to insist on time to start taking walks. The way I've been handling stress, I can tell that my BP issues aren't fixed, even though I've managed to bring it down some. I get pretty ill off the stress though, and I need to be healthier. Trying! Need to renew my attempts and really buckle down again.
So, that's pretty much it. Hopefully I'll have even more awesome stuff to report soon. Babysteps.