A Bumpy Road Ahead

Hi Everyone!  It’s been a long time since I posted and I apologize.  My life seems to have taken many twists and turns in the past several weeks.  That combined with the recovery of my latest back surgery and a few new health problems kept me from updating my blog.  So here I am, sitting in front of the computer, trying to figure it all out.

This newest back surgery seems to have been a success but most definitely has been a harder to recover from.  I’m not a “lay around and do nothing” kind of gal.  For the past two months, I have been forced to pretty much do just that.  I do a load of laundry, run the vacuum cleaner, and heaven knows I have knitted more dishcloths than the entire world could use.  I still have a lot of pain which they tell me could take up to 6 months to subside.  Also, I’m not 24 years old anymore.  My mind says I am but my body revolts and reminds my brain that I am just a few months away from 40.

My husband and kids have been wonderful with taking care of everything.  I know they could all use a break but with me down and out, they keep plugging away.  Kidding season is literally just moments away as there are about 25 very pregnant ladies looking like they will be delivering at any time.  I am hoping my back will allow me to help with the babies as you all know this is my favorite part of farming.  5 minutes snuggling a new born baby goat seems to cure my soul from all that ails it.

The doctors have tried to be as gentle as possible when they sat me down and broke the bad news.  I won’t be able to do all I did before.  Seems my back is in worse shape than they thought.  Yes, I could push it but also risk ending up in a wheelchair before my time.  How can you be a farmer if you can’t lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk?  Tough facts to face when you consider this farm has been my life long dream come true.  Now that it is here, I am left with the struggle of letting it all go.

Vince and I sat down and tried to find any and all solutions.  Not unless God knocks on my door and gives me a new back or I hit the lottery and can afford to pay employees to run the farm, it’s time to make some tough decisions.  I have to sell the girls.  To me, it’s like selling off my children and it brings me to tears every time I think about it including now.

All of the Lamanchas will be for sale.  Prices range of $250 to $150 for milkers or bred does.  Most of the Alpines will be leaving except for 2 that we are very attached to including a new buckling I purchased from Bearly Alpines.  About 90% of the Saanens will be sold except for a few favorite show does and our newest buckling, Zac, who is a doll.  Saanens will be sold from $500 to $250.

As you all know my heart belongs to the Nubian breed.  I think very few of them will be sold.  Some will just be retired and get to hang around enjoying lazy days in the sun.  A few I will breed for show and milk.  Our goal is to keep about 50 goats total.  This will be an easy number of does to manage.  We plan to let them kid in the spring and then dry them off about September/October.  I’ll freeze milk for winter use to keep my soap business going.  Drying them off though will give the family a little time off from milking chores throughout the colder months.

This has been a hard decision but one I had to make.  I feel as there is no other solution.  It has taken a toll on me.  I have had many sleepless nights and trouble eating.  I have let the stress get the better of me.  I have developed ulcers and lost almost 50 pounds since my surgery in October.

I have offered it up to God now.  I will get through this, it won’t be easy, but I will get through.

In a lighter note…I had a wonderful Christmas with my family and even had Joey home on leave from the Marine Corps to enjoy it all with.  Joey most recently got his associates degree and is currently working towards his bachelors.  He should be just 3 credits shy of his masters by the time he leaves the Marine Corps.  He is a wonderful lady in his life, Annie, who the entire family loves.

I remember when Joey was younger and going through the pains of growing up.  There were many sleepless nights I spent on my knees praying for his future.  I have never been prouder of him and his accomplishments at such a young age.  He is a Marine assigned to Presidential Support Duty at the tender age of 19.  When I was 19, I was pregnant and facing the thought of being a single parent with little to no money.  I worked three jobs to make ends meet and thought my future wasn’t going to be so bright.  Little did I know, Joey would be one of my greatest accomplishments in life.  I try to remind myself of that when I worry about Mike and Katie’s future as well.

I may never be rich, drive fancy cars, or go to Europe on vacation but I have raised 3 great kids.  Hard working & respectful.  It has been worth all those times I didn’t feel like going to a wrestling tournament at 5:30am on Saturday morning.  Working midnight shifts at 911 while Vince worked days so that someone was always home with them.  We never missed a wrestling match, football game, soccer practices, dance programs, or 4H activities.  (Sometimes maybe a bit too much involved…I’ve been know to be a little “out of control” in voicing, ok more like screaming, cheers during a wrestling match and football game.  An embarrassment many times to my more “calm” husband who quickly walked away like he didn’t even know who that crazy lady screaming “KILL HIM BABY, KILL HIM!”  I’ll admit, I even embarrassed myself even though I didn’t realize what I was saying at the time.)

So although I am faced with a bumpy road ahead, I’ll get through it with the help of family and God.  Both, whom have never let me down before.

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope 2010 brings you plenty of love, good health, and enough money to keep the lights on.

About asciotti

Please keep in mind that I never grew up on a farm, lived in the city or its suburbs all my life. Many farmers out there will find this blog a hoot as I stumble through the every day life of running a farm (most of the time...all by myself).
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14 Responses to A Bumpy Road Ahead

  1. Michelle says:

    I wondered how you were going to manage everything with a bad back, but didn’t expect this. I am so sorry, but like you said, you will get through this with God and family. It’s just so hard to give up on dreams! I’m happy that you will be able to keep SOME goats — and keep making soap! It’s wonderful stuff….

  2. Ozark momma says:

    You said it yourself, but I agree, you have a wonderful family.

    Some day you will hear, ” Well done, my trusted servant…”.
    You do what you gotta do, even when it is this hard.
    Bless you.

  3. Barb says:

    I was saddened to hear that things are not working out as you planned but sometimes God has other plans that we do not expect or understand. The hardest part is knowing when to let go. I pray that God will give you peace and direction as you enter a new phase of your life. Please continue to blog so that we may travel this journey with you.

  4. Mary Ann/qpb says:

    I’ve missed your blog and am sorry to hear you are struggling. You will be with your readers in thoughts and prayers.

  5. Recently, I was at a Rural Leadership meeting where a guy discussed how they created solutions for aging/disabled farmers… If you want, I can get his info for you… I know what you mean about your goats being like family….

    Missy Martz
    Rocking-M Farm

  6. Elizabeth M says:

    Glad that you are able to keep some of your goats. Glad that you are doing better. I have a question for you. We are looking for locally raised meat, animals that are treated humanely , are organic & not butchered in a large slaughterhouse. Any ideas? We can’t raise any where we live. We are just southwest of Philadelphia. Thanks for any help.

    • asciotti says:

      You might try contacting Pa Preferred. They should be able guide you. Also, check you local farmer’s markets and call your local Extension office. We slaughter several hogs each year and sell them by the 1/2 or whole. We butcher in the fall. Good luck!

  7. luvbeingafarmgirl says:

    So sorry to hear of the bad news. I have followed your blog with great interest as I am also living my dream of finally having my own farm. So glad that you are able to keep some of your beloved ladies. Hope that you are able to continue sharing your farming life with everyone through your blog. I am learning all I can in preparation of acquiring a few does for our home dairy. People like yourself who are willing to share their experiences are so helpful to those of us who are newbies! Thank you! Take care and God Bless.

  8. Mom says:

    I’m very proud of you. Love you always, Mom

  9. Elizabeth M says:

    Thanks for your suggestions. I will call around and see what I can find out. Take care and good luck with placing your girls. When do you take orders for the hogs and 1/2 hog equals roughly about how much processed meat?

    • asciotti says:

      A whole hog “usually” nets about 200lbs of meat depending upon how you want your meat processed. Our hogs are fed corn mash, goats’ milk and goats’ milk whey, and a few choice table scraps (stuff like potatoe peals or the water from boiling pasta). I don’t feed them junk or rotten foods.

  10. Ann Lawson says:

    Oh honey, how my heart aches for you! I know how attached you are to your girls and how selling them will be like giving your own children up for adoption. I know you don’t want to hear this, but God has other plans for you, and although we don’t always understand his ways, his ways are the only road to follow. You have a heart of gold and a brain to match, and it will lead you where you need to be. You have seen bumpier roads than this, and I know you will come out of this smelling like a rose (like you always do). I am so proud of you and the kids and all the accomplishments that the Lord has bestowed upon you and them. Remember, it takes an individual to come up with an idea, but a team to carry it through. You will always have your team right there beside you.
    Love you to pieces,
    Sissy

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