The way I see it, there are two kinds of nightmares…the kind that are so intense you wake up screaming and terrified to the point you can’t sleep again, and then the kind that are just bad enough to give you a restless night, put you in a bad mood the next day, but not really intense enough to wake you.  Our week has been akin to the latter.  I had trouble posting this week, as I hate posting negative things, but I might as well summarize…..

It all started 2 Sundays ago, when a neighbor called to report a doe in labor and having trouble.  At some point during her labor, the kid’s foot had punctured her uterus.  I theorized this when, exploring for another kid in there, I felt my hand go through a hole and I could feel her intestine.  Her contractions had stopped with the kid still in the canal.  I barely managed to pull and save the kid, but the doe quickly went downhill over the next 24 hours.  The owner asked my hubby to shoot her, and we cut her open afterward to confirm our suspicions.  Sure enough, not only was the uterus torn wide open, but mucus, tons of amniotic-type fluid, and afterbirth material was all floating around in her abdominal cavity.  The kid seems to be doing OK, though it has definitely had a rough start.  Although it wasn’t my doe, and while I am thankful the kid survived (so far), it wasn’t exactly a welcome start to kidding season this year for us.

Two days later, we had the final buyer-inspection of our property–the leech field.  The test resulted in finding what they thought was a clogged line, possibly frozen (our ground freezes about 5 feet down around here).  The next morning, the job that was supposed to be a fairly quick and simple, $400 repair turned into the discovery a failing leech field (still drained, but apparently very impressive that it was supporting our family of 7).  Without replacement, it would cost us our home contract, as the buyers couldn’t get a loan (and we certainly wouldn’t want to sell them a lemon anyway).  It suddenly turned into a permit-requiring, almost $4000 repair.  Due to what was involved in the whole day’s diagnostics, we were forced into MAJOR water restrictions here at the house.  It has been tempting to go live in a hotel, but we do kind of have the issue of about 30 animals that need milking or otherwise caring for.  In the mean time, I have been letting the kiddos hang out at the neighbors a lot, so they can flush their toilets instead of ours.

The next day, we received the Inspection Objection letter from the buyers–the letter that makes all their requests for repairs and such to the house in order to proceed with the contract.   Nothing major, other than the septic (which we already knew), but it gave us a headache anyway.  The next morning (Friday), the county inspector came out to give the pre-inspection so we could get the permit.  During his questioning of our home followed by his inspection, it turns out that when the previous owners finished our basement, they didn’t bring everything up to code.  We had to not only replace the leach field, but also to upgrade the septic tank itself.  He gave us permission to add a 250-gallon tank to the already existing one.  Once the contractor did the research though (and we trust him), they didn’t make the type of tank we needed in 250 gals.  Thus, we suddenly found ourselves paying for a 1,000-gallon tank upgrade.  The job that started out as under $500 was quickly approaching $10,000, AND it HAD to be done by mid-April.

AND our trailer is due in any day now, and we have to pay for that.  So, we went through our finances.  I do have to say, God has blessed us financially over the years.  Considering we are a single-income family, with a military working man (meaning he makes about half of what his civilian co-workers do for the same job), we have lived quite frugally for a number of years.  We have tithed as the Bible commands, and given above and beyond that whenever possible.  I firmly believe God blesses such efforts, and it is times like this when a nest-egg is very comforting.  It may not be the way we want to spend our hard-earned and often sacrificially-saved money, but at least we have it and don’t have to go into massive debts at times like this.  For that, I am very thankful.

I won’t go into much detail, but over the course of the next couple days, we began working with the realtor on the contract objection issues.  One of the major issues was the fact that in the original contract, the house was being sold as-is so we didn’t have to sink a bunch of time and money into it.  In addition, the buyers wanted to close early, and we were going to lease it back for a month until we moved.  We were OK with that, and the terms we agreed to.  We just had no idea that the septic issue would come up.  There was a possibility, we could no longer pay their requested rental amount.  We also realized for the first time that we had nothing official assuring us of a rent contract after closing, so technically speaking, they could dump us out on the street (not that we thought they would–just a worst-case scenario since we don’t know them).  We began talking to the buyers’ agent, asking if we could meet with them personally to discuss and come to an agreement we could all live with.  We tried to push the date of closing back.  Finally, the agent requested we send him a proposed rental contract.  The whole thing was very frustrating, and just another big headache.  Again, though, that part at least seems to be working itself out at this point.

In the mean time, my pasture is torn up, we have had to take out a couple trees to allow the big septic equipment to get in, S had to tear down a portion of the pasture fence to give them access, then he has to replace it when they are finished…..blah, blah, blah, but essentially all that time and energy we were kind of hoping to not have to put into this house, such that we could spend our final month together focusing on time together as a family, and preparing for this big move.

Just as I was accepting circumstances as they were, yesterday arrived.  I fed the goats in the morning, and everything was fine.  I went out for an early-afternoon check of everybody, and Joy was clearly in labor.  She wasn’t due for another week.  She had every sign of labor, but her ligaments were still in tact.  My gut told me this was not a good thing.  Long story, short, I believe she was head-butted by Latte (herd-queen), which caused part of the placenta to tear away from the uterus (it was wrapped around the kid), popped the amniotic sac (kid had no lubrication and was only a bit damp when born), and caused her to miscarry.  Not only that, but it was the most gorgeous doeling I have ever had–already dead.  I had felt it moving in Joy’s belly just the evening before, so I know it was alive and well then.  So, my kidding season has started off with a bang too.  Now, I am trying to salvage what I can, and at least help Joy get her milk in.  She was supposed to be my milker for a couple months so I can start drying up Latte, who is due to deliver in 6 weeks.  She only gave me about 1/2 cup this morning, though, so I have no idea what to expect at this point.  At least she is eating, but I don’t think she delivered the entire placenta, so now I have to give her a 10-day regimen of vitamin C to help prevent infection.

Starting this afternoon, we are on minimal-to-no water usage restrictions for the septic work.  My kids are being sent to the neighbors for 24 hours of it, and S and I will get to live very primitively for a couple days until we get through it.  Once again, though, I continually remind myself how blessed we are to have friends and neighbors that have been willing to come forward and really help us out.  Because of the kidding/pasture situation, a neighbor is letting us put the donkeys in their large field.  Friends are caring for our children as their own, and truly we are blessed even in this time of difficulties. I admit, though, I am praying for no more surprises.  After all, in 2 days, I an scheduled to fly back to Red Gate for my trip.

Of course, through all this, we are still trying to maintain our homeschool schedule with minimal breaks (though I have taken the luxury of a couple days off for the kids).

Sometimes, life just stinks, and you wish you could wake up from the endless, restless, migraine-causing type of nightmare.

“2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”   —James 1:2-8 NKJV