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I'm mildly better. I was going to say “things are mildly better”, but it's mostly just me that's better. Heh. Well, let's get the crappy whining out of the way first, then on to happier stuff.

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.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 10th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
I actually really like goat meat! Goat curry is great - especially if you have gamey goat, a curry would probably be super tasty. If you guys get going on raising meat goats, I would definitely be interested in buying some.

My guess is that your holding onto the baby weight because of all the stress you've been under... your body is getting ready for the famine! :P Taking walks is a really good idea and the weather is getting so nice now. Walking will help with the stress and the weight.
Sep. 10th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Everyone's highly recommending goat curry. I definitely want to try it, but maybe not for our first go since Josh doesn't really like curry. That is so cool to hear that you'd be interested, though! Our intact goats are Nubians, which are usually a dairy breed I think, but I'm pretty sure any non-breeders are castrated and sold for meat. Just not a meat specific breed. I'll tell Josh though! And keep you posted if we luck out with any kids this year. We won't be keeping any males if we get them, so we can castrate them early and hopefully have better meat.

I hadn't thought about the stress contributing, either. One more incentive to get things more peaceful around here! I'm still doing my reiki self-healings and trying to get in a more meditative space lately, but that's been hard when there's been so much fighting going on. I think it's improving though - slowly, but surely. I very much hope surely, anyway! lol
Sep. 10th, 2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
stress causes weight retention, particularly around the middle and around the vital organs.
Sep. 11th, 2012 12:07 am (UTC)
My problem area is definitely my middle, but I'm very sad to report that it's pretty much everywhere at this point.
Sep. 10th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Baby steps is right. Take care. AW
Sep. 10th, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
I'm trying real hard!
Sep. 10th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
I hope you feel better soon and that the writing goes well, too.
Sep. 10th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very much!
Sep. 10th, 2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
Dragons are very popular. Have you ever considering writing a children's book? I would love to have some fun, geeky literature to read to KFP. I bet there are a lot of other geek parents and caregivers who feel the same way.
Sep. 10th, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
I've actually been thinking about it, since my kids seem to like my crazy stories. But I'm not really extra knowledgeable about the children's market. I should look more closely!
Sep. 11th, 2012 01:07 am (UTC)
I don't know much about it, either, but I would love to see more children's books out there with some real character. I get so tired of picking books off the shelf and finding out it's another "outsider who learns to accept himself" story. Kids enjoy a few of those, but what KFP demands that we read again and again are books like the "Olivia" series, about a little pig who has a very specific personality, isn't always perfect, and has real adventures.
Sep. 11th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
I'll have to look into the Olivia series. I don't believe I'm familiar with those. I'm actually woefully unfamiliar with most kids' books. We tend to get in a phase where we read all of one author, so we've read all the Little House books, a huge chunk of Dr. Seuss, Berenstein Bears, quite a few Little Golden Books. Now that Eden's a really good reader though, she's taken over doing the bedtime story for a long time, and she reads a lot on her own. Ivy's slow to read, like Eden was, so we're still on very simple early reader stuff for her. I started reading adult books when I was pretty young, so I didn't even read most of the YA classics. I should spend some time discovering the really good kids' books. I feel like I'm not really qualified to write any. lol
Sep. 11th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
The bonus would be that a lot of those books are fun to read.

The Olivia books are on a very beginner level, so they might be fun for Ivy to look at. They have a wry sense of humor about them that I love.
Sep. 11th, 2012 01:09 am (UTC)
I just wanted to add that you're lucky to have a ready audience to run things past. Some of the best children's books started that way, the Winnie the Pooh series to name one.
Sep. 11th, 2012 12:03 am (UTC)
cooking the goat in a crock pot on low in some water with some braggs/soy sauce/worcester (whatever you have) for a couple of days, then either serving as is or draining the meat and adding BBQ sauce, will be awesome!
Sep. 11th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'll have to give that a try. Cook it for days? I can maybe get some going tonight. We need to finish cutting it all up and either freeze it or cook it asap. I have all three of those, but Josh might like the worcester best. He's not a huge braggs/soy sauce fan.
Sep. 11th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
i prefer worcester!
Sep. 11th, 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
oh, and cook it at least 24 hours, preferably 48. the longer it slow cooks at a low heat, the more tender it is.
Sep. 11th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
Will do! I'd like to start some tonight. We're later than we'd wished on cutting it up & freezing it. I worry about leaving it in the fridge much longer. Do you think it's necessary to brine it first doing it that way, or should I just chunk it in the crock and give it a go?
Sep. 11th, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
with deer, i just chuck it in.

as to your chickens, if you do not have nest building materials in the coop, they will go make their own nests outside. you need to keep an eye on them during the day to see if you can follow them to wherever they've built them. one of ours moves her nest any time she realizes i've found it!
Sep. 12th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
Cool! Well, I meant to throw a hunk in and get it started last night, but I got overwhelmed and distracted with other things. I'll have to go start it here in a bit, since I want it for dinner tomorrow evening! I have a shit load brining in the fridge before I pack it all up, so it'll at least have a partial brine.

I've been looking all over the yard since we started letting them out to range during the day! Either all dozen-or-however-many ladies we have are exceptionally good at hiding them or they're not laying yet. I did see a few coming running from the woods this morning, which I haven't checked by though the kids play over there. I'll check that out this afternoon. I was hoping (and it was my understanding) that they'd find a place to lay even without straw, but no luck so far.
Sep. 12th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
they make their nests and hide them real good. i have to hang out in the yard and watch them to see where they go. i would never find their nests otherwise. but it is possible they're not laying yet. we had one that was already laying so they had something to copy. we got ours a lot earlier than you, too. they lay roughly 4 to 6 months, heritage breeds tend to layer later rather than soon. the araucanas are pushing 6 and only one is laying, although the rooster has been trying to get with a couple of others lately so i'm expecting them to start laying soon.
Sep. 12th, 2012 10:10 pm (UTC)
We got ours right at the end of March, so they're all almost 6 months! I really expected eggs fairly quickly after letting them out to free range last month. I keep watching and trying to keep an eye on them. No luck yet. Me & Maya even walked outside all over the yard today, and we know where they like to dust bathe and bed down in the hot parts, but still no eggs. :/
Sep. 11th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
I'm sick too..some kind of wonky stomach bug. Blarg! Hope you are on the mend soon, too!!

I've never tried goat. I've heard it can be very tasty!!

I'm glad to hear that things around the house are getting a little better. Our house is a disaster zone..we're both to blame and plan on stepping it up soon. We've just both been too tired and unmotivated.
Sep. 11th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
I know that feeling! Hope it picks up for you guys too.

The goat ended up being pretty good! A lot like deer meat. I think the brine made a big difference. I imagine that castrated kids, which is usually what's used for meat, would be better, but we'll definitely be eating it all up!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )


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