Sunday, August 19

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday/Sunday Farm Fix #23

Welcome to the Friday Farm Fix, where I share a random sampling of what's been happening around the farm during the past week (mostly on Fridays). Just joining us? You'll find all the Friday Farm Fix posts here and here.

(23-1) I'm saving seeds from this heat resistant mystery volunteer tomato plant -

This past week we had some blissfully cool nights and not nearly as hot days. It feels like we've finally turned a corner. And after nearly two weeks without any rain (and hardly any before that), a big storm blew through Thursday night and gave us two whole inches. We haven't had that much rain at one time in at least a year.

We also finally got the biopsy results back, and everything looks fine (yay!). It's not cancer, and there is nothing else left to test for. Unfortunately the doctors still have no idea what is causing all this debilitating female pain. Thank goodness for homeopathy and Chinese medicine and beautiful healing meditations.

I haven't forgotten the lemon rosemary zucchini bread recipe I promised you last week (it is so good toasted), and I have a few more new summer recipes I'm hoping to share soon too. I may still be spending a lot of time lying down, but we also still have to eat! I guess I'd better get snapping; fall will be here before we know it.

Thank you so much for all your kind words and prayers and support. I'm slowly catching up with e-mail.

Things are moving in the right direction.

14 more farm photos below. Hover over each image for a description. . .

(23-2) Two kinds of tomatoes and two varieties of basil from the kitchen garden -

(23-3) Beagle Bert loves hanging out with the chickens -

(23-4) Heading into the barn for another sheep working Sunday -

(23-6) A friendly sheep makes a handy little table on sheep working Sunday -

(23-7) Teddy, my 8 year old pet wether wonders when we're going to start actually working -

(23-8) Bert and Bear watching Daisy take off after an unseen potential threat -

(23-9) Sarah Kate's favorite place to hang out - and stay away from all the chickens - is under a corner of The Shack -

(23-10) The young chickens love hopping around on these few bales of last year's hay we saved -

(23-11) The cooler weather has made the rams rambunctious -

(23-12) Da Big Guy and his son The Kid are pretty evenly matched, and usually friends  -

(23-13) These guys are bored and ready for breeding season to begin -

(23-14) We haven't given up on a fall hay crop - grow, grow, grow -

(23-15) Got any snacks -

Want a bigger farm fix?
(click here  and here to see all these posts on two long pages)
Friday Farm Fix #1
Friday Farm Fix #18
Friday Farm Fix #19
Friday Farm Fix #20
Friday Farm Fix #21
Friday Farm Fix #22

©, where The Kid's official name is actually Hey Kid because he was born in 2011 which was the 'H' name year. The 2011 ewe lambs we kept for breeding stock are named Hildy, Helga, and Honey.


  1. OMG - this is a wonderful posting! I can hear the lilt and relief in your writing voice. Rain, health and garden bounty. Looking forward to making the zucchini bread. I think my zuc plant is on its way out thanks to squash bugs so a tasty bread will be a good thing. You will certainly get a lot of advice on the pain you are experiencing, but check out fish oil supplements with a high ratio of EPA to DHA (7:1 is good for all kinds of things!)

  2. Judy Beechler8/19/2012 12:16 PM

    Not to appear nosy - but have your doctors discussed endrometrosis (sp). I had it in my 30's, followed by a hysterectomy. My daughter, also in her 30's developed this - same outcome. Her doctor told her women who have not had children are at higher risk for this - debilitating pain, horrible "monthly's," fatigue, etc. What we were told as well is that the only way this can be determined for sure is: 1. laparosopy, 2. hysterectomy. Your doctors may have discussed this with you. Good luck. Have loved your site for years.

  3. Great photos, so refreshing and wonderful! I hope you feel better soon--it's always important to look holistically at our bodies and lives when something's wrong. We aren't machines, where one piece breaks and the other pieces aren't affected to their core. Sometimes, one thing will upset our system, and the whole system goes out of whack. Best of luck to you in finding the best treatment for you!

  4. So glad to hear things are looking better all-'round for you and your critters!

  5. Your good news, healthwise and rainwise, was excellent! Hope you find a cure for what is ailing you. I'll keep praying for a hay cutting in the fall. Sharon from Maine

  6. Thanking God for 1. Rain (in any amount). 2. Small signs in coolness of the Fall to come. 3. Relief somewhat of medical problems. A year of much needed Prayers and small, but great Blessings.
    Thank you! Am awaiting the toasting of Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread.

  7. YAY for rain and DOUBLE YAY for good biopsy results!! :)
    Love your handy sheep table and those rambunctious rams!

  8. Viv in Kelowna Canada8/19/2012 5:29 PM

    Luved the post - great pictures and I'm glad the news is positive. With zuchini coming out my ears - I am waiting for chocolate zuchini cookies to come out of the oven and thought I'd take a little FB break.

  9. I've been hoping and praying for a good report.So relieved for you-and all of your followers. The 2 inches of rain is a blessing-washes the poor plants and animals, and gives the roots a fresh drink .
    Love your site, recipes are wonderful.

    Lee from South Carolina


  10. Susan, You must be very relieved about the biopsy report. I usually don't nose into your personal business but, as with Judy up there in the comments, my older sister also had endometreosis and it took the docs a very long time to diagnose it. I'm sure all your docs have been very thorough, but just in case ...
    Such good news about your rain; I wish you more, more, more!

  11. Hope you are feeling better soon. I have had some health scares so I know how you must feel. Glad your biopsy was good! Feel better...

  12. Great to hear about your Good News!!!
    wishing you a speedy recovery. Love your website, I visit it daily. I also live in a farm in the (Middle of no-where),,,,so I totally relate to your posts. Love the country life...and hate the stress and traffic that goes with living in the city.
    Hope rain continues....
    Take Care,

  13. The first anon is right--I can just feel the relief and lightness in this post. Rain and cooler temps will do that for you, for sure. And congrats on the "no cancer" diagnosis! They always tell you it's unlikely, but that doesn't ease the anxiety of waiting for the "All Clear!" test results. Poor Joe must be so relieved as well.

    I have no caring, experienced advice to offer. So I'll just continue my prayers for your good health and for more rain for Missouri and all America's heartland.


  14. Mr Bert looks very serious these days,and the last pic of him looking up at you like he is saying "Hi,Mom,I Love You" is very sweet.I know when I am not feeling well or upset my furbabies come to me with a gentle hug or lick and just sit with me as to say "We are here for you",animals sense our feelings big time, hope you feel better very soon.

  15. Such good news! Hooray on both fronts. Susan, I pray you are feeling terrific again, soon. And 2 inches of rain. Wahoo, practically a monsoon ;)! Congratulations on your great mystery tomato. Isn't seed saving the best? Sort of with the coolness of recycling, but you can eat it too :)!!!

  16. Good news! I suffered from formaldehyde poisoning and was successfully treated with acupuncture. Wishing you all the best....and getting ready to make your green tomato red ones in site in MT!

  17. So happy to hear about your negative results, and all of the much-needed rain!! May things only keep getting better for ya!!

  18. Hi Susan
    Good news on the no-cancer diagnosis! And on the rain, at long last. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a fall hay crop for you, as well.

    I do want to put one idea forth, respectfully. 'No diagnosis' is not good, especially with reproductive issues in women. So many possible causes, almost all treatable, and so many can get worse if left untreated. The body uses pain to tell us something's not right.

    Would you ever consider traveling, perhaps out of state, to a larger teaching medical facility with known excellence in gynecological medicine? I know you are far into the country in Missouri, and I mean no disrespect to the doctors you've seen. I'm not advocating any type of treatment, aggressive or otheriwise, but simply acquiring more definitive knowledge about what ails you so you can make your own informed choices.

    I'm also not advocating any city or state --just one known for good diagnostic medicine and a facility that has perhaps seen more, treated more, and has a wider range of experience than the good folks you've seen thus far.

    For what it's worth, I live about 30 miles north of New York City, where some of the best medical institutions are-- although they exist in many cities and states all over the country-- and have many times hosted out of state friends, in laws of friends, and even a few people I'd never met before, driving them to appointments at Sloan Kettering or Mt. Sinai, Columbia Presbyterian, etc., and helping them sort out the medical avenues. Should you decide that you, too, want a definitive and accurate diagnosis and wish to pursue it outside of the doctors you've seen thus far, I'd be happy to offer you the same (free!) option. (You have my email address/name.) The mother in law of my former assistant had suffered 'female pain' for years and years, with no confident diagnosis anywhere. They ruled out cancer, endometriosis and a thousand other maladies. A doctor at Sloan Kettering did an outpatient local anethesia exploratory with a camera and discovered that one of her ovaries and fallopian tubes had folded back on itself, cutting off its own blood supply and the ovary had become necrotic as a result, and badly infected. It had never shown up on any of the scans. A simple extraction through a 1/2" wide incision the same day, followed by a serious course of antibiotics saved the day. She had been almost bedridden and had become severely depressed from dealing with this pain for years. This was 10 years ago and she was fine 2 days after the procedure.

    Just remember, somewhere someone knows what is troubling you-- it's just up to you to find them. I'd be happy to help. (Sorry this is so long!)

    All the best,

    Tracy B.

    1. SusanNaperville8/21/2012 10:54 AM

      Tracy is right Susan. Have you had a vaginal ultrasound yet? Cancer is one thing - a broken part is another. Homeopathy is good for the body and soul and I'm betting you don't want to be bother and you might mask the pain but not escape it. It's sucks - women live with stuff sometimes so as not to interrupt the flow of things and we shouldn't. I also did not have children and my next visit I'm going to ask for a endometrial ablation. I know you're finding peace of mind but you should not live with pain. I apologize for being blunt. Love you. Susan

    2. Hey Susan,
      Blunt is fine. :) I probably should have been more clear about how homeopathy works. It can actually 'fix' the underlying problem (and pain), but you go about it by looking at the symptoms rather than the diagnosis - which is good if you don't have a diagnosis.

      It's not the same as the way Western medicine treats symptoms - like how the dr. told me to simply take high doses of ibuprofen around the clock to help the pain. That won't actually cure the underlying problem (and of course in this case, ibuprofen can add nasty side effects), but when done right, homepathy will heal you. Combined with the powerful Chinese herbs I'm taking, I'm very hopeful!

      What I do find disturbing is the number of women I'm hearing from/about who have experienced painful female issues. That number just seems way too high. Like you said, women are just living with this stuff. One young woman I know was having extreme pain and problems and the first dr. she saw basically told her to suck it up and live with it. But I think our insides should be working better than this!

  19. Tracy, I can concur that some of the doctors in rural areas are not always the best, but they aren't that much better when I traveled to Kansas City to see if I could get a diagnosis. One guy "thought" I might have endometriosis, resulting from menstrual illness I've had since I was 14. (I'm 32) I say "illness" but really it sort of feels like being poisoned when I get so sick I can't even sit up. Most doctors just tell me to take extra painkilllers. Maybe if I was an adult male in my 60s with erectile dysfunction, the healthcare industry would be more interested in helping me. Instead my husband and I can't have children and I typically miss two or three days of work every three or four months. Once I did try taking birth control pills to control my horomones, then another female doctor told her assistant she no longer wanted to treat me because taking birth control pills was against HER religion. Going to major medical facilities just means spending more money for me, not getting real treatment.

    So like Susan, I find solace in nontraditional methods. And gardening. And relaxing at home. I'd be interested to know what works for you, Susan.

  20. Ditto on the GREAT news. Always enjoy your posts even if we don't suffer the same weather here in the mountains of Alberta. The posts here are reflective of the loyal following that you have created with this blog. Tracy is most generous and what a great opportunity to have some of the brightest minds in the field helping you overcome your personal problem. I wish you continued success in all your endeavors and keep those delicious recipes coming.

  21. Susan, love your site and visit daily. Just a thought -- my cousin had terrible stomach pains last fall. After several months, her drs found that she had "ingrown" scar tissue from a hysterectomy almost 20 years ago. They cut the scar tissue away and she is now fine. Hope you can find out something soon. Wishing you a lovely and peaceful day today.

  22. The photograph of Bert looking up at you with love is so beautiful. I first visited a couple of years ago for your pesto recipe, and stayed for all the other things about your blog. Thank you for offering us a slice of rural life in Missouri, where I was born and which I love.


  23. Hi Everybody,
    Wow, what a wonderful comment thread! Thank you all so much for your caring, heartfelt, and personal replies.

    I love that whenever I'm a little hesitant to write about a subject (like my girly parts, lol) and I do, it ends up starting a great conversation.

    I really appreciate all the helpful ideas and suggestions here, for myself and everyone reading this. After all, you're the ones who figured out that my sore tooth was caused from clenching my jaw - after the dentist ruled out what I thought was my first ever cavity but offered up no other answer as to what was causing so much pain.

    Anyway, for those of you interested in alternative healing therapies (for whatever may be ailing you), here is what the homeopath I'm working with (and have known for several years) told me:

    "There are so many factors that affect our cycles and luckily homeopathy can address all the levels so we can go through it without pain. Unfortunately the medical field only addresses the physical and often times makes us feel helpless. The great thing about homoeopathy is that it can relieve pain and symptom even when all the physical tests do not provide the answers!

    It doesn't really matter [that you don't have a diagnosis] because homeopathy goes by the symptoms rather than the diagnosis, although the diagnosis can help when there is one."

    She also does a type of energy work called polarity therapy (although she does it in a different way than most people do), and because she is intuitive, she is able to work with clients both in person and over the phone (we work over the phone).

    "Energy work works best when my client recognizes that something is amiss and no longer wants to live that way. Should you be dealing with an issue that has others stumped and you're feeling frustrated, I may be able to assist you."

    If anyone is interested in learning more or contacting her, feel free to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

    And thanks again for all your comments. You're the best.


    Just PHEW.

    Also, yay rain.

  25. We breathe a collective sigh of relief! Your good news is good news for us too.
    I like what Mare said about Bert's photo---I felt that when I saw his face looking up at you. That pose is a favorite of mine for dog photos (though he always looks good).I particularly like when he is standing square looking directly at a lamb or chicken in his adorable way as he was in Snackbert.
    Looking forward to Autumn on your farm.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!