Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Walkabout

Gus watching "Winter Storm Stella"
I know you’ve come here looking to see what happened on the hill this week....wondering how things went.

And, I’ve got nothin’.

This past week?
the last blast of Winter (I hope)

Hmm, put it succinctly...I would probably say the week sucked. However, I truly hate that term. It’s rude, crude and less than articulate. So, I guess I’ll try again.


Sorry, I still got nothin’.

I know this is a bad photo
but, it is highly representative of what life feels like right now

When the week starts with a trip through the darkness of the early morning to a place you hoped you would never see, to discuss a problem you never expected to face, and you hear words you never wanted to hear, you might figure it could only get better.

But, you would be wrong.

The award-winning surgeon in the world-class facility discussed things we had never really anticipated. That vague, somewhat undefined complaint had a more sinister connotation. And, while the doctor’s knowledge and expertise were evident, I could see the bewilderment growing in the Boss’ eyes with every new medical term. I struggled to keep up as I made notes for later reference. Because, I find some weird comfort in the researching and understanding the heretofore unknown terms.

And, since I know someone will ask...we're dealing with a suspected hepatocellular carcinoma. We won't know for certain until pathology comes back sometime after surgery.

We left the appointment feeling more than a little overwhelmed. No matter how much we tried to wish it away…we were indeed face to face with “the big scary”. The specialist and his team were going to consult on the films and would probably schedule a biopsy for the following week. They would call in a couple of days.

pretty sure we won't be picking apples this summer

But, when the phone call came, it wasn’t to schedule a biopsy. No, there was an opening in the surgery schedule...they wanted to do a pre-admission consult.

The next day.

...and just like that we were off to the races.

Can I just say that I have learned more about the human hepatic system in one week than I thought possible? We’ve had a crash course in function, disease and treatment. And, our learning experience isn’t over...not by a long shot.

Back to the story. The pre-admission consult took a couple of hours. The team patiently, graciously walked us through the problem, they talked us through the surgery, told us about risks and recovery and set up a whole battery of blood work and scans.

Office hours were ending before all the paperwork could be completed, so we headed home to do chores after the prescribed scans. We went back the next morning for the pre-admission bloodwork and more paperwork. All in all, we ended up making THREE trips to the hospital in one short week.
This in itself is no small feat for the “country mice” who definitely feel out of their element in the “big city”. (yes, I know that Charlottesville is NOT at all big…but we are truly hicks from the sticks) The trip to the hospital takes about an hour. Then it can take ages to find a parking spot (and getting back out of the parking garage always sends the Boss’ blood pressure soaring). The trip back over the mountain can be frustrating as there are lots of big trucks that can’t seem to keep up speed.  I do not exaggerate when I say a time of recovery is required upon return to our little home here on the hill.

this sight lets us know we're almost home

So quite honestly, there just hasn’t been time for farm work this week, what with all those trips over the mountain. And, I am quite thankful that winter storm Stella (that was supposed to be the BIG snow of the season) was next to nothing. Otherwise, the travelling could have been even more trying.

Gus and the frozen Ford

With all the running, we didn’t get the tiny transplants in the hoophouse. But, I guess that was actually good thing since it was brutally cold and windy (with wind gusts to 45 mph, it felt like it was more than 20 below zero).  Considering that the Boss is going to be laid up for a while, I guess I should be glad that the majority of the early brassica crop succumbed to some sort of soil-borne disease. (I did find time to re-seed...we will have a crop, it will just be late) And, even though it was rather sad that “Lazarus” succumbed, despite a valiant effort all least I don’t have any bottle babies to worry about right now. (it seems he contracted tetanus in the very early days of his life---I’ll tell you that story another time) I know “all things work together for good”...I have been heard to mutter that “it is what it is”...and more than one person has told me “if HE leads you to it, HE will lead you through it”...and while all those sound just the least bit hokey, those little sayings are what’s keeping us going right now, reminding us to hold onto our faith.

this has nothing to do with the story
I just thought it was pretty

The surgery is next week.

Next week. Like just a couple of days from now. 

Everything just miraculously “fell into place” which rarely happens. It’s great that he doesn’t have to wait and worry. It’s great that they will get it out and get him on the road to recovery. week?

It seems like we stepped into some sort of time warp when we walked through those doors and life has shifted into fast forward. We will spend the next few days making preparations to keep things running as smoothly as possible while the Boss is out of commission. Which, quite honestly, comes at a very bad time. (although, honestly, I can’t imagine there would be a good time for this experience)

March gardens in waiting mode

We thank you all for your prayers, concerns and offers to help. Your kindness is a balm to our worried minds and a comfort to our troubled hearts. Because, honestly, right now I can think of little else. 

But, don’t worry…we will let you know if we need help. (promise)

I hope you have a Happy Sunday! 

sunrise over Mbrk

Thanks for stopping by. Please come visit” again real soon.

I’ll try to post updates...

Facebook is easiest from my phone, so check there first. Homestead Hill Farm


  1. My thoughts are with your husband and yourself these days. I hope that the speed with which they are treating this means he will be out of the woods and recovering quickly as well. -Jenn

  2. You and the Boss remain in my thoughts for the best outcome of this surgery. It is a relief that you do not have to wait to get his care underway.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl!
      Yes, it is good that we don't have much time to sit and think (worry)about any of this.

  3. Hey Barb.
    Maureen Champion told me about your situation and we're keeping you and the Boss in prayer.

  4. Oh my Barb - He is always keeping us on our toes! I too went through a lot in the last year - 2 major back surgeries and one majorly broken leg (of course, the RIGHT one). I try not to ask Him what His plan is (or was) - I just keep plugging away each as it sure beats the alternative. I am able to care for my critters - and so sorry for the loss of Lazarus! Poor guy! I just put my 2 bottle babies out in the garage with a bucket nurser - it is not going well - yet. Let us pray for all - the Boss and my little persnickety bottle babies! GOD BLESS!!!!!!