I finished the fairy garden out at my parents' house. I doubled the size this year and incorporated live plants. The hostas to the left were planted last year, but were not originally part of the fairy garden. The stacked pot piece in the back corner was planned out last year but we never got around to it. This year my mom picked out three little succulents from the greenhouse and I put them in the top two tiers and the front little pot, and then I filled in space in the biggest pot with smaller plants (moss roses and something else with small purple flowers). This way at the end of summer, she just has to pull the three small pots out and bring them inside to keep the succulents alive, and then next year when it's warm enough she can bring them back out and put them right back where they were.
This year we kept part of the stream theme, but this time it starts as a pool surrounded by moss under an overhanging flat rock. The kids picked out a couple new mermaid fairies to add to the one from last year. My mom picked up some more stuff for the fairy garden, so the metal solar house on the right and the pool, and the wishing well and some of the fairies are new. I love that days after I put this together it rained, the that little pool filled with water, just perfectly so that the mermaid is perched on the edge of the water. I'm hoping it will look even better as the plants get their roots in and grow a bit bigger. I love how it looks with the live plants in there; a lot more natural. I did my best to make this one of those gardens where the longer you look at it the more you see, different aspects being visible from different angles so you really have to view it from multiple angles to take it all in.
So how did we manage to get one harlequin patterned kit in this litter? I'm baffled. My best guess is that Rascal (the Rex/Harlequin in the cage beside Yang) somehow managed to get to her through the cage? Considering I was only away from the cages for a minute, it's hard to imagine we could possibly have the first ever "through-the-cage-bars" breeding that people talk about. I've never seen it, we've never had it happen, but I guess there's a first for everything. This is the first time we've ever gotten anything other than black, white, and pointed.
This past week, Egg came home. She is Mister Cellophane's offspring. A broken black doe born on Easter (April 21). She has the neatest ear markings. Most of her siblings were also broken black, and one was solid black. Momma was a broken black. I know the black is masking the pretty chocolate martin I know is hidden in the DNA. I'm hoping we can get some pretty colors pairing her to Celery (a broken blue?) when she's old enough.
This past week we moved five animals into new homes. Cloud (now Benntlei) and Butter Beer, our sphynx cross kittens, both went off to their new homes. Three of the colony rabbit babies went off to new homes after finishing their 21 day Corid treatment.
We just have one bunny left from the colony. The kids have named her Cheddar. She's a broken red doe. She seems a little lonesome in the big cage all by herself, but at least she has a great view of the lake.
Today is our hatch day for our first ever meat birds. I'm not entirely sure what to expect. We will be building the new mobile pasture coop tomorrow to hold them when they arrive (likely Thursday morning).
I ordered some Peruvian potatoes online this past week. They arrived yesterday. I'm hoping we can get another potato tower set up and ready tomorrow too so I can get them in the ground right away. I also ordered some parsnip seeds. I'm wondering if a deeper potato tower with maybe three boards worth of soil could be used as a parsnip or carrot planter, rather than trying to till soil to create an area to plant. Experiment time!
As I mentioned before, my health issues are back with a vengeance, I apologize in advance for not keeping up regularly. I'm suddenly having major pain reactions to almost all of the foods I could previously eat. As of right now I can eat plain white rice, and I can eat a plain bagel from Costco with soy-free vegan butter and raw unfiltered honey. Anything else makes me have so much pain I'm non-functional for 6+ hours at a time.
I've done more research and believe I may have figured out the cause. I suspect adhesions; a complication caused by scar tissue growing out of control after an injury or surgery. I had my laparoscopic tubal surgery four years ago. The pain and food issues started three years ago. The source of the pain is very close to one of the incision scars, but further inside. I suspect scar tissue has started choking my intestines and/or bowels, which would explain why I'm in immense pain two hours after I eat just about anything. The scar tissue would be pulling nerves and restricting movement of my natural digestion. It makes sense when I compare it to my symptoms.
My problem is that I am afraid to go back to the doctor again. I went in three years ago when this all started and had pretty much every test run. I had blood work, a CT, an MRI, X-ray, ultrasound, physical therapy, consulted with my OB/GYN and a chiropractor. Nobody could give me answers. I actually had one doctor tell me to my face "there are people out there in more pain than you." When I refused the opioid pain meds he offered, he actually got mad at me and told me something along the lines of "we can't help you if you aren't willing to even take pain control" - and yet I'm sure he'd have labeled me a pill seeker had I taken them. He told me to "suck it up" and actually wrote "get more exercise" on my discharge papers, despite me telling him that exercise made the pain flare up - I had actually blacked out from pain the last time I had tried to be outside with the kids. As I left the nurse at the front sneered at me and said "Guess you didn't get what you were after, huh?" I remember that visit because I went home and I cried and I told my husband I couldn't live like this anymore. That doctor and his lack of bedside manner literally made me lose hope and want to curl up and die.
Fortunately drastic diet changes and strict adherence to a regiment of Bean-O, Lactaid, and over the counter pain meds (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, menstrual pills, etc) as well as a lot of trial and error on what I can and cannot safely eat, kept it in check for a while. Earlier this year it started to come back. I tried cutting out soy, but some products containing soy didn't cause issues, and some did. I came to realize I could eat Costco cheese pizza with two Lactaid pills, though any other product containing even a bit of milk would send me into a twelve hour pain cycle that would shrug off pain meds and leave me in such pain I'd be vomiting up the pain medicine. It started to dawn on me that I may not be dealing with food intolerance issues after all. I started taking probiotics, which helped a little at first, but now don't seem to be making any difference at all.
I went back to my primary doctor in February or March and explained all of this to her. She didn't take me seriously at all. She came up with the dumbest explanations. She told me "as we get older our bodies change and we can't eat like we used to" - yeah, I get that - but I don't see anyone else living off of rice and bagels because if they so much as taste something else they'll be on the floor in agony for hours... I want another doctor, but how many doctors will I have to see before someone listens to me and gets to the bottom of this? They don't seem to understand - I don't want pain meds. I want a permanent solution. I want to know what is causing my problem and I want it corrected. Not just slap a Bandaid over it and call it good. No, I don't want Vicadin or whatever else. I know the levels of ibuprofen and acetaminophen I'm on will damage my liver... that's why I want answers.
So here I am, hungry all the time, not losing any weight despite the fact that I'm literally on a rice and bagel diet, on constant pain meds and still not really functional... and I'm afraid to make an appointment because it's just one more co-pay, one more bill I'll have to pay, one more financial burden - and the odds are stacked against me. I don't have any faith in my "care team" anymore. I feel like nobody listens, nobody cares, they just want to give me some BS to get me out of their office.
My body is hurting, there's something wrong, and until I can get answers, I'm afraid I'm going to end up making things worse while I wait for someone to realize that I have a legitimate issue. How long can I survive on rice and bagels before I start to suffer the effects of malnutrition? How many doctor visits, scans, blood work, and additional bills will it take before someone actually listens to me? I'm afraid I'm going to get a lot sicker and worse off before I get the help I need, and I'm afraid if it goes on too long I could have serious, possibly permanent issues. I mean, adhesions can cause complete bowel blockages. You can literally die from this, and nobody will take me seriously.
So for now, I am doing my best to see the positives. I'm taking my sore and hungry self and being as active as I can. I'm still going to visit my parents. I'm still hanging out with the kids. I'm still managing to trudge through barn chores (though I need several hours after to recoup and wait for doubled up pain meds to take effect again). I'm finding positives to hold on to every day. New babies on the homestead, critters finding new homes, birds visiting the feeder, getting small things accomplished.
Recently #5 got a little watch from a Subway kids meal. He's been obsessively checking and announcing the time since. The problem is that he doesn't fully understand the clock, so he will read it literally. "Hey! It's one one colon three five!" - Yes, it's 11:35 dear. Adorable.