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Monday, 13 June 2016

A turning point

I am sorry for the delay in updating the blog, but understandably lots has been going on physically and emotionally over the last month. Things have been so tough recently that a couple of times I just wanted to sell all the house contents as currently I would not be able to sell the house due to Bulgarian law and ownership issues and leave, so understandably at times like this I was not in a frame of mind to write a blog, In order to try and avoid missing anything in future I think I will need to start creating the next post as soon as I have finished this one, but there just does not seem to be able to find the time or that I am in the wrong frame of mind to do the blog justice. Anyway here goes.

It is now over three months since my darling Sara died and not a day goes by where I get emotionally pulled apart trying to make decisions in how to adapt and change my lifestyle here in order to stay and in turn that then upsets me more as I feel I am letting part of her go, but change I must. At times I find it hard to pull myself away from feeling despondent and thinking what is the point of carrying on without her, but where would I go and what would I do. Last week I feel I hit the breaking point potentially due to total exhaustion as my way of coping with the loss of Sara until then was work, work and work. That along with sleepless nights and no enthusiasm to eat other than salads and sandwiches basically has taken its toll on me. The final straw that 'broke the camels back was I decided the wash the wedding bouquet that I had made Sara that hangs on the wall in the bedroom above our wedding photo and I basically cried my eyes out and felt I could not cope any longer. Thankfully for modern technology and Skype family members are in regular contact to make sure I am okay and my eldest sister calls me daily to make sure that I am alright and as she puts "she is always there holding my hand". She listens and deals with my emotional breakdowns which must be hard for her knowing I am so far away, but never tells me what to do, just listens. I know this is a journey that I must make on my own through the emotional minefield that currently surrounds me but to know that family and friends are around helps with this tortuous journey. I write this as some have said reading what I am going through helps them and so I try to put in words how I am coping. After my chat with 'Big Sis' and having time to think as I stood by Sara's grave which I still visit on a daily basis, for solace and also a bit of time out from my hectic life at the moment and to try and put things into perspective, finally something clicked I realised that I must change and by not doing things that Sara so enjoyed doing or growing things that Sara did is not me forgetting about her for that will never happen. It is invariably the only route on my new journey without her that I can take in order to survive. The part of my life with Sara by my side physically is now in the past, but she burns bright in my mind with my memories of her and what we achieved together and I am so proud of her and myself in what we achieved together. I now know that no matter what I do Sara will never be back physically with me and certain aspects of our life together I now have to let go and that I must achieve new goals and have new paths to follow on my own, but knowing what Sara gave me has given me the strength to go on. So not as a total detachment from my beloved Sara I took my wedding ring off and placed it on the handle of the freshly washed wedding bouquet that I made for Sara so many years ago and placed it back on the wall beside our wedding photo. Now not with a heavy heart, but a new fresh outlook of what I have around me I continue my journey and adventures knowing 'I did Sara good'. Of course everyone has their own process of grieving and grieving is a process in order to go forward. I myself came to the realisation that depression and despondency of my loss will not bring her back and suffering from depression before and knowing that it is a slippery slope that the further you go down the harder it is to get back out I know the only person who can change my outlook of my new life is me. I now have come to terms that Sara would not want me to lose what we built together and I feel I have come through the other side and am grateful for what I had and still have and now know it is okay for me to change for it is not letting go of the memory of Sara, but life itself ever changing and that adaptation it necessary in order to survive.

So enough of the heavy stuff, so what has been happening at Novo Nachalo Ranch...

The herd of goats have settled in well and finally have started going out with the goatherd. The first time I went to ensure that they, more so little Naya and other than her staying close to me she was fine. The other after initial bouts of dominance settled down although surprisingly Duchess tended to keep with the sheep to avoid excessive conflict. Where the goats and sheep are grazed there is an animal watering site so even when the temperatures are high Galia the women who looks after the flock takes them all down regularly for water. They all go out now without me, the first time was a little problematic with Naya calling for me, but when she came home she was happily walking with Millie, Tilly and Duchess in among the other goats that are returned back to a house further up the road. Millie is definitely showing signs that she is pregnant enlarged belly and eating like there is no tomorrow and a friend who also has goats thinks she will have twins when she gives birth at the end of July. Although Tilly aborted last month looking at her and discussing with a goat breeder it may be possible that Tilly could be still carrying as she has started to 'bag up'. He has indicated that she may have kids as she may have only partially aborted (also as one of my readers mentioned) or that she becomes a maiden milker (thinks she is pregnant and so produces milk, so in about a month we will know for sure.


 Tilly pregnant - moje be (maybe)

Sadly due to drastic changes in the weather from glorious sunshine to torrential downpours and thunder the increase in heat has meant that Duchess's milk yield has decreased and I am lucky if I am getting a litre a day from her which is unusual for an Anglo Nubian. Anyway each day I bottle it and then freeze it to enable me to make cheese which I hope to start selling at the monthly carboot. I have just finished making a batch of garlic and chive cheese from a Queso Blanca recipe and from ten litres I have managed to make close to two kilos of cheese which is good and its really tasty as well and I sold out of it in two hours at the first carboot I sold it at. Maybe I need to get another goat!!!!
Naya avoiding mixing with the herd staying close for comfort in the big wide world 

All down to the watering hole for a drink.

Sadly the duck hatching  has still not been fully mastered and out of 20 eggs only three hatched at the beginning of June. Speaking to an old work colleague who worked in the incubation centre at the zoo I have a now reduced the temperature slightly  and will increase the humidity further in the last few days of incubation, so will see what happens at the end of the month. 

Annoyingly the Light Sussex chicks still are a little problematic in sexing them and even though some are now a couple of months old still have not started crowing, but all in all they are fine and all roost together in one shed from the main flock, the only disadvantage is that they are eating me out of house and home. Reading up I understand that it is possible to assess sexes of some poultry by their wing pattern/length in the first couple of days so if I decide to breed more then maybe will have to check that method out. I say if I breed more simply because the length of time it takes to rear them they are not cost effective. I may look next year at selling fertile eggs for hatching as an option, but will have to wait and see.

The garden has definitely suffered recently with the major downpours and thunderstorms, just as the tomatoes are beginning to ripen and the flower border beginning to fill up. Yesterday evening saw once again the gazebo I erected to provide me shade and a place to sit and relax has been totally destroyed and ripped apart. Initially a little upsetting as I also built it as a memorial for Sara who hated the full glare of the sun in summer, it feels at times God is testing me to the limit, but I have now moved the large parasol over there so it still can be used as an area for relaxing albeit with the ae occasional annoyance of a fly pestering me.

One of the frequent thunderstorm we have had recently (last night's deluge). I don't think I need to water tonight . 

Before the storms images of produce. 

 First cropping of cucumbers 

 Tomatoes

 Tomatoes
 Potatoes
 Potaotes
 Cabbages

Some crops have been managed to be harvested and frozen before the plants were damaged. I have managed to pick/shell and freeze around 5 kilos of peas and about two of broad beans The first row of garlic has been pulled dried and how after plaiting hangs ready for use later Sara did not show me how to plait garlic so 'Google' came to the rescue and yes I cheated a little by tying them whilst plaiting, but not bad for a first attempt.


First attempt at stringing/plaiting of garlic

Flower border filling up nicely

After the latest storm images
Scabious and Nicotiana hanging their heads down

 Is this now a weeping fig?

 Slightly slanting sunflower patch

Trailing sweetcorn?

 Potatoes

 Shallots & Onions

 More Nicotiana

I think the pool needs filling!!!! NOT

With the torrential downpours not only has the garden been hit badly but also now due to the sheer amount of water coming from the heavens not only the barn roof started leaking a little again, but also the poor goat shed became flooded one day, so remedial work needed to be carried out which seems to have worked following yesterdays downpour.

Poor Bella has not been herself since Bonnie died and had become very depressed, not eating and staying indoors when I was outside. The only time she interacted with me was when I went to bed when she would lie on the bed with me. So against my previous decision of not getting another dog I did. So speaking in Bulgarian to a guy I met up with him where he took me to his daughter who had bred the puppies and after much broken English/Bulgarian I came home with Bella's new friend, a little Dachshund. It took some time to think of a name, but in the middle of the night it came to me, Grace, Grace because she is not only Bella's but also my 'saving grace' and so each of us help each other and to look forward to our new life together.

"Now listen to me"

Butter wouldn't melt - yeah whatever

Primatologist maybe


One tired out Bella having a break Grace

 
Well not entirely 

Don't push your luck Charlie will tell you where to go, and he did the next day.

And so the fun begins both for me and for Bella

So as I draw this latest blog to a close, once again sorry for the delay and to all of you as they say in Bulgaria
                                              
                              приатен ден (priyaten den) 
                                     Have a Good Day


25 comments:

  1. Really proud of you Dave. You've found a way of moving ahead with that wonderful dream you started together. Of course you will never forget Sara and she will always be close to your heart but everything you do now will be built on that firm foundation you both made. xxxx

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  2. Sorry Dave - forgot to sign out.. Much love. Jules xxx

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  3. Good on you Dave,keep up the good work :)

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  4. You are doing so well Dave. It has been a traumatic time for you, depression and grieving are hard to fight off but as you say you have to go through it yourself. Good that your big sis is your sounding board, well done to her. As you know I lost my Brother, Sister-in-law Sara and Auntie in first months of this year, not an easy start. Hope the weather bucks up and I am sure things will thrive again. Chin up Bro-in-Law. Lots of love and hugs. Just a little bit of advice, try and eat a little and often as you need to keep your strength up. Cindy XXXX

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    1. Many thanks Cindy and as you say we all have our own ways of dealing with grief. Eating is very much cupboard hoovering of snacks as by the end of the day I don't want to cook, but today it is raining again so maybe pie and chips as a special treat tonight. Take care Dave x

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  5. I think you are stronger than you sometimes realize. You have suffered a great loss - the love of your life, and you accomplished so much together. It is o.k. to grieve and when you're ready, you pick up the pieces and move on and I think that is where you are at now. Life is a test for everyone - sometimes it can get pretty tough, but you have family who care and stay in touch and friends close by. You are amazing and you will never forget Sara. She's part of the reason you are where you are and doing what you are doing. That will never go away. My prayers are always with you and I always look forward to your posts, just to hear how you are doing. Take care. Ranee (MN) USA p.s. love the new puppy - Grace is appropriate. Yours and Bellas saving grace. ;)

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    1. Many thanks for your kind words Ranee and as you say life is a test and with having only one go at it it is important to live it to its fullest. I must admit I at times amaze myself in how I find some inner strength in me to continue on, but continue on I will. Regards Dave

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  6. Depression is insidious and to be expected when you're not sleeping, doing the work of two people and not eating. Making changes is inevitable and necessary. I love to read your blog and wish you well. Take better care of yourself.

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  7. Thank you for taking the time to post, I have been reading your blog from practically the beginning and always look for an update. I don't know you or Sara but feel like I have had a little insight into your lives. I am so happy that you had each other and achieved so many of your dreams, it won't ever be the same but that doesn't mean that life will not ever be enjoyable or worthwhile again. It was clear from Sara's writing how much she valued and loved you and how you made her happy. Emma

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    1. Many thanks Emma - indeed she and I loved each other and there are not enough words to explain how much. The most important thing we both found love and sadly there are many who search a lifetime never to find it. I was one of the lucky ones. Take care Dave

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  8. Glad things are moving forward, look forward to meeting Grace and I think Bracken is judging by his reaction when he saw the video of her and Charlie. The garden will probably flourish over the next few weeks with the beautiful weather we have been promised. The goats are looking great and good luck for the breeding program. All the best, H, G and Bracks x

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  9. Glad things are moving forward, look forward to meeting Grace and I think Bracken is judging by his reaction when he saw the video of her and Charlie. The garden will probably flourish over the next few weeks with the beautiful weather we have been promised. The goats are looking great and good luck for the breeding program. All the best, H, G and Bracks x

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    1. Many thanks Helen & Graham - re weather do you not mean the up and coming drought!!!!lol

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  10. Dave love, I worry that you really haven't had time to grieve. You have thrown yourself into so much work and perhaps you really need to step back a bit and slow down. Be gentle with yourself pet. x

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  11. You can't do the work of two and must make changes to make life easier on yourself. Sara would be so proud of you and you must go on in a more gentle manner to keep yourself healthy. As someone else said try to eat little and often. Grace is beautiful and I am sure will be an asset to your animal family. I am glad you have your sister to listen to you. Take care and try to go easy on yourself. However long it takes to post again we will wait for you to have time.

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  12. Many thanks for your comments Carol and like you said and now that the penny has dropped I know I cannot do the work of two and does it matter if a few weeds appear in the garden. As long as I can get to the produce that is the main thing and I need to stop this OCD of weeding. Hopefully you will not have to wait a month for the next blog as expecting temps up into the upper 30's next week so not alot going on in those temps.

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  13. So good to hear from you again on the blog Dave. Glad you are now starting to slow down and plan again for the future. Grace is adorable and im sure she will bring you and Bella lots of pleasure. I know Sara would approve. Puppies have a great way of attracting attention and gaining you new people to chat to when you go walking! We are in the process of searching for a new relocation, my husband is looking at inland Spain, but I keep telling him about your blog and how I would like to explore Bulgaria. Who knows I may get there one day. Take care of yourself and thanks for your blog, best wishes, Michele from Somerset

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  14. Many thanks Michele, regarding slowing down necessary at the moment as temps hitting upper 30's so along with the amount of rain recently it is very humid and muggy which makes the lightest amount of labour draining. Good luck with your search for a new location. Once again thanks for your interest and support. Dave

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  15. Hi Dave, just popping in to say my family and I are thinking of you and hoping you're doing okay and eating well and getting some rest. Very best wishes.

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  16. Hi Dave, no post for a while, hope all is good with you. Im sure that you are very busy with your harvest. Best wishes, Michele from Somerset.

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  17. Hi Dave, no post for a while, hope all is good with you. Im sure that you are very busy with your harvest. Best wishes, Michele from Somerset.

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