Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Blizzard Grayson and the Flu

It is a rare thing for Sean or I to be sick. Injured, yes. With the amount of work in the form of building and tearing apart to repair done around here, injuries happen. For the past ten days, Sean and I have been dealing with the flu.

That doesn't stop things needing to happen on the homestead. Animals don't care that you have a fever or chills when it is feed time. It hasn't helped that we have been experiencing a cold front unlike any either of us can remember in recent years- certainly not since we began homesteading in 2009. We are very well acquainted with cold. But, to have an average daytime temperature of about 7* F during the day and an average of -7* F over night without the additional considerations of the very real wind chill and that is a horse of a different color. Especially for late December into early January. The problem for the animals is that we went from 30*-40* weather to frigid temperatures without the benefit of acclimation. The coldest day was -20* F; the coldest night dropped to -25* F without the wind factored in. They had begun to get their fluffy down and undercoats, but it was a shock to us all. One that persisted for just over two weeks. Add to that the recent visit of blizzard Grayson and the 18" of snow he dropped and we have, indeed, been a miserable bunch. Sean has needed to shovel out paths to cars, shelters, home and barn and as importantly, KEEP them clear. The wind whipping across the field, gusting up to 50 mph, has differing ideas. So far, the humans have won in that there are still paths and the animals have been cared for and the humans are still alive, though still coughing their heads and lungs out.

Sean was down for about five days, followed by a recovery and relapse for a couple more days. He is better now. Sean thinks I might have walking pneumonia. I may well have, but money is dear during the winter months and I am loathe to spend it on a trip to the doctor. At this point, if it is viral (which I strongly suspect), I am already drinking fluids, resting, and controlling the symptoms as best as I can. If it is bacterial, we are already feeling much better and are over the worst of it. There doesn't seem much point to antibiotics at this stage. The elderberry syrup I put up helps quiet my cough. And warm tea brewed from mullein and spearmint leaves, wild-harvested this fall helps open my airways. And, a dose of Nyquil at night doesn't hurt either. My biggest complaint is frustration over being utterly exhausted after doing the smallest task. Just venturing out yesterday to take some pictures and visit with the goats left me in need of a nap. So it is a balancing act. As part of the walking dead, I have things that must be done, however I don't want to overdo it and relapse again.

I am thankful that I work from home most of the time. Though feeling miserable, I have been able to plan upcoming classes in soap making and lotion and lip balm creating at four different venues. I have been able to post an online give-away and guide our daughters in assisting with packaging incoming orders for product. School assignments have been printed off and are ready to be completed. And, I won't lie, lots of PBS's Masterpiece Theater has been viewed, wrapped in a warm blanket on the couch snuggled with Sean and a bowl of warm soup to drink. Tomorrow night, we are venturing out to teach the first class in this series. I hope my voice holds out. If not, Sean will be there to help. :)

This week started with a welcome break in the weather. We warmed up into the low 30's and are forecast to get into the 40's- just in time for rain Friday night into Saturday morning. And, then the temps are supposed to return into the negatives. We are preparing for the potential of an ice-storm event with power outages. All I can say as I sit here planning for this year's garden is, there are only 69 days until it is officially Spring. We can do it.

Thanks for visiting with us today.
Sean & Sonja

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