Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our piggies have been the freezers of myself, Lesley, Penny and Selena. They killed out at 7 months at 69, 70 and 73kg with 2cm max backfat which pleased me a lot as it was exactly what I was aiming at and I feed by eye and never weigh. One is still at the butchers being made into bacon...well why cure it myself when one of my amazing wool pack clients is Anna at Bringing Home the Bacon it is being cured traditionally and slowly and then being oak smoked in Annas smoker. She has made our sausages too and as a person who makes sausages myself I can report she is an amazing sausage maker and well deserves every award she has won!
We fed the pigs the usual amount but saved this time on costs by getting lots and lots of past sell by date fruit and veg from the local greengrocers....pigs just love strawberries! barley meal! We collected the slops from the local pub exery few days and boy didn't they just love it. The result was 3 very chilled pigs who would do anything to get their snouts into it when mixed with barley!
The pigs were Mangaliza x Tamworth a cross I was so delighted to get hold of as the meat is dense, tasty and very suitable for bacon in both breeds....with the addition of beer plus also copious quantities of windfall apples and about 3/4 of an acre to root, wallow and bounce around in this pork is special...cannot wait for the bacon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Well the results were not quite as good as I had hoped and a lymph node had some micro bits in it and they needed to do a bit more digging to get a good margin around the very small lump taken out...1.9cm which in view of where it was it was not surprising I could feel nowt!....also its agressive...marverlous....but hey its also oestrogen fed so can be switched off with drug therapy ....hooray! so I have been back to the hotel (whoops I meant hospital)for further treatment (all lymph nodes in armpit out!) and an even better looking boob (he decided to adjust it a bit more...plastic surgeons eh?)...I will be a Marilyn Monroe look alike soon!
I also have a CAT scan booked for Friday....always wanted a 3d image of myself! Next results day next Thursday...the day before my birthday so it had better be something bloody good in the way of news!....I will be having chemotherapy starting in a few weeks and already have a business idea....more in a minute!

Now breast cancer is treatable and most women live for years...and years...and years after treatment but you know so many folks are telling me to 'take it easy' and 'rest and look after yourself' or 'well you are of course going to sell the sheep'
Well politely sod off please...
Flippin heck guys....I will of course look after myself....I do already! I eat healthily, grow my own and have done for 30 years, I don't smoke, don't drink too much and get loads of exercise. I'm a fit healthy woman with a small problem which will be resolved not a person fleeing from the man with the scythe!!!
Rumours of my iminant demise have reached me on the grapevine....well anyone who hears anything like that please tell the person to contact me personally for the real daughter is the same....she is beautiful, very healthy, has lovely hair now, is getting married in May and she and her new husband will be off to run a 200 acre farm on behalf of his dad....

Now as for business.....I am going to create a range of wool dreadlock wigs so that those of us who have to have a few months without hair can have a bit of this space ;-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

6 days after being in hospital I was getting a little bored and so Pete and I went off to judge the Melplash Agricultural Society Annual Hedgelaying competition held in conjunction with their ploughing match. We had been invited to this prestigeous task a few months ago and 30 hedgelayers were entered in a range of classes....Open, Novice, Local, Pairs and Young Farmers (thats a class for youngsters and the youngest competitor was 14)
There were several notable hedgelayers competing including the 2008 national champion!
The weather was beautiful and the location stunning, being in West Dorset near Beaminster with views across the Marshwood vale (The vale of the little daries in Thomas Hardy books) to Bridport and sparkling blue sea in the distance!
We walked miles looking and re looking, observing the cut, the style, the use of tools, the skill etc to reach our decisions and also went up for a break to watch the ploughing competition and partake of some super Dorset apple cake and a cup of tea with milk from that mornings milking! The pictures show the Open class hedge just as the competitors were starting, the ploughing competition, including the judges deliberating and two competitors deep in conversation about problems with their plough and the finished hedge in the local competition with the view behind it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A summer to remember.....for all the wrong (?)reasons!
Work has been manic, the sun has shone, the veg has been amazing, the sheep have lambed, the pigs grown on to slaughter and volunteers....most magnificent ones this year have come and gone....and despite a wet August the summer has been fantastic....we had a wonderful holiday in Brittany without any rain! So it should have been a wonderful summer.....however things have been happening that will ensure life will never be quite the same again and could actually be the most positive things that have ever a funny sort of way!
You may recall earlier in the year that I mentioned that my daughter aged 26 at the time had been diagnosed with breast a result of that making me a little less upbeat and also the incredible amount of work we have had in...this blog has suffered somewhat....
So, why was I a little less up beat?....and for an enthusiastic person like me a little preoccupied?
Well since my gran had died of breast cancer, and my mother, who i had little contact with since the age of 13 had died of what was thought by her husband to be cancer, and my daughter had it I went for an appointment at the genetic dept of our local big hospital. They were able to find out that my mother had indeed died of breast cancer making 3 generations with me as the meat in the sandwich.....
We were labelled as a high risk family and 3 weeks later I was sent for an early mamogramme.....just to rule out anything as nothing could be felt....and I had always checked...
well a week later I had been referred for 'further investigation'....great!
A week and several proceedures later plus a biopsy of 'something suspicious' I went for the results....
They had discovered a 1.8mm grade 2 invasive ductal cancer in the centre of the left breast in a place where no one could have felt it!!! I swore quite loudly!
Surgery was booked for the 6th September....

Well I am happy to report I survived the surgery....they got the lump, they dug out a lymph node or 2....with the aid of blue dye, radioactive stuff and a geiger counter!!!, the anasthetic made me very groggy but nothing hurt and I have a remodelled boob (yes I know gents...too much info!)that is better than it started out (they will redo the other one to match if I want).
Results will be given to me on Thursday when I find out the rest of the info after pathology on the nodes and tumor and fingers and toes crossed it will be just radiotherapy or that and possibly chemotherapy....

So why have I shared this on a smallholding/woolly blog?
Well to tell you to tell your friends, relatives and colleagues both women (yes more and more men are getting breast cancer) to go and get checked, to not 'forget' about the mammogramme they have been called for, to look for changes, however small in boobs....and not to assume that only older women get it...they don't look here and also remember Kylie Minogue!
Lets rise to the challenge people and save a life!
Me and my daughter will be ok....but those who are frightened to go and get something suspicious checked need to know to do it NOW!!!