Okay, Will had his heart attack (and recovered), his cow dies, and our water line to the house froze. Then somebody bought up the 80 acres between our big Pines Forty and the road. Okay. We’ll deal with all that. Then, on Thursday night, I was going out to shut the chickens in. The evening was mild, in the low thirties. When my feet hit the ramp leading down from our entryway, my feet shot out from under me and BANG! I went flat on my back on the icy ramp. (Hey, I didn’t think it was icy…) Only my right knee folded back to the side instead of going straight down like the other leg did. My did that hurt! I yelled for Will, and he came out and helped me up. All the while I was worrying because he wasn’t supposed to lift over eight pounds after his stent surgery. And, yes, I weigh more than that! I got in and made it through the night. But in the morning, it was swollen badly and still hurt like crazy. So, into the ER we headed. I got x-rays, a brace, and crutches and am scheduled for an MRI tomorrow afternoon to see if I tore something. Hopefully, it’s just a bad sprain and I’ll recover soon. This is so very inconvenient! I took pain meds for the first day and stopped them after that. I do not like them! Pray for a good outcome. I have a bazillion tomato seeds to plant this week.

I need to get those tomato seeds planted pretty soon so they end up looking like these, last year.
With my knee in a brace, I can only hope flowers like these will be in our future soon.

David and Elizabeth came over to work on the house, and she brought a lasagna she’d baked for us. How very thoughtful! I’m not up to cooking yet. And Will hates to cook or do domestic stuff. Now I won’t starve. Our friends, Mike and Dara, have been coming to help out too, which is also much appreciated. Good friends are true treasures! — Jackie


  1. Dearest Jackie~ I’ve been a very longtime reader of yours & have always gleaned much wisdom & encouragement from you. So please know that my comment/question here comes from my loving & caring heart. You & I are both aging, as much as we’d probably not like to admit it. My kids are adults now and my hubby & I are both 65 years old. We don’t eat nearly as much as we used to (and shouldn’t!!) and have a chest freezer that now contains frozen bags of blueberries, an occasion bag of homemade hamburger buns & some meat found on sale at the grocery store (we don’t eat much meat anymore either)…. but that used to contain at least a quarter steer at all times. We still live on our couple acres of woods but find no need to have the huge garden anymore so I nurture a few flowers & trees I enjoy but that’s it. I spend my days doing crafts, taking walks around the property & puttering doing this & that (enough for daily exercise), and reading books in the sunshine out in my lawnchair listening to the birds in blissful peace. I feel it is time now to slow down & take care of my body, after all the years of work. My question for you is: why aren’t you doing the same now? Having small meals, finding no need for all the food growing or storage, enjoying trips into town for a little grocery shopping every week & conversing with others in the store, and simply slowing down to put less wear & tear on your body & also Will’s. You can still live on the land and enjoy the clean fresh air, while at the same time realizing you don’t need to be doing all that you’re doing as when you were young. Have a small garden & a few chickens but give up the rest of the huge responsibilities and enjoy life while you & Will are still here on this earth. Working yourself to death isn’t going to do anybody any favors, including yourselves, you know what I mean? I know you enjoy this life you live but… there comes a time when it’s the wise & prudent thing to have mercy on our bodies & slow down. Much love to you! xoxo

  2. I just discovered your blog this morning! God bless you both! These streaks of difficulties are hard! I hope you got your tomatoes planted, I’d come plant them for you if I could! This is my first year gardening in Texas and mine are already ready to go in the ground. Don’t think I’ll ever go back to the north.

  3. I am so sorry to hear of all your problems. Life can be complicated @times. I wish I lived closer to you to offer support. But, since I do not, I will pray for you. This might be a bad time to ask, but how do I go about ordering your out of date publication? I am in no hurry for a answer. Take care. Love you. Bette

    • Hi Bette,

      Your prayers worked! I have no serious damage and am getting better every day, as is Will. If you’re talking about my book, Homesteading Simplified, I now have boxes of the book and you can easily order it through the catalog or our Seed Treasures website, http://www.seedtreasures.com. The book Growing and Canning Your Own Food is at the printers and should be available in July. I hope….

  4. Uh-oh…the old saying of ‘no news is good news’ is NOT applying here. We are all peeking at your blog at least once daily, hoping you are ok, but understand this could be serious. Your numerous injuries over the decades probably got a hefty jolt when you fell, and recovery will be a process. Seed Treasures may need to take a back seat, as we all feel YOU are the first priority, not seeds. Poor Will doing double the chores every day, can at least have your home cooking, out of a jar. Prayer warriors will keep it up, and I hope there are folks physically nearby to help too. Thoughts, prayers, and gentle hugs to you and Will.

    • Prayers have definitely helped! I’m MUCH better and there was no serious damage. Around here, the seeds always come first. But we realize we have to take care of ourselves in order to do that. Will’s much better, as well and we’re raring to go this spring!!

  5. I keep checking back for an update, looking for good news. Many people are praying for you Jackie and Will too. If wishes and prayers were granted, you’d have nothing but good for many, many more seasons of life. Hang in there. Blessings to you both and all who come alongside you now to help out.

    • Yes! Those prayers have certainly worked. We are both doing much, much better and nearly back in the saddle again. We have been so very blessed in ourlives!!

    • Hey, guy, prayers did their work!! No surgery and we’re both doing much, much better. Thank you so much!

  6. Jackie – please forgive me for a seemly dumb question, but I do watch several different websites, but I thought it was you that had knee replacement in the fall, I have watched and no one has mentioned it, but if it was you, hopefully it wasn’t effected by your fall! I thought the lady’s suggestions about the things you can do too make your ramp safer a wonderful investment in your and Will’s future safety. We are holding you both in our prayers for a speedy and complete healing. Beverly and Vicki Cothren.

    • No. In the fall, I just had my torn meniscus repaired. But I will be doing a full knee replacement in February (our relatively slow time) as my knees are pretty much shot; bone on bone now. Ugh!! My fall turned out to be just a nasty sprain. Thank God!!

  7. Oh Jackie I hate to hear you’ve fallen. I tell you we just don’t bend like we used to. I love where I’m at in life but all the health issues that can creep up now I’m definitely not a fan of. Praying you are up and running soon.

    • Won’t be running any time soon but I sure am feeling better knowing my knee was just a bad sprain and after cortisone shots, is feeling MUCH better. Thank you.

  8. Saying prayers for y’all. I did something like that helped by a dog. Tore a tendon. My husband was leaving to sign for the new house and I stayed home. Ice and pain, otc pain relievers. Still haven’t seen a doctor about it. My appointment is coming up. Have to get x-rays. But hubby brought back a cold that I caught and moved into my chest. He went back for another trip and I again was laid up in bed. Neighbors called to check on me. I’m going to miss them when we leave. I’m hoping this is the last of out problems for a while. I’m hoping the same for you. I know how frustrating this is for you. I’ve torn tendons before so am familiar with the thing. Of all the times to be laid up when we are trying to move! I hope you get well soon!

    • I sure hear you. When we moved from New Mexico, the moving van was packed and I got T boned in a car accident and broke my leg!! Of course, the doctor didn’t spot it on Xray and we went ahead and moved. Years later, I was asked about my broken leg by my current doctor after another Xray!! I’ll be praying for your recovery and an easy (relatively!) move.

    • Thanks Billy. Your prayers worked. There was just a nasty sprain so no surgery and my knee is recovering very quickly now. Whew!!

  9. So sorry for your recent bad luck streak! Hoping for good news for you and a full recovery for Will.

  10. Praying for you both! Hoping that they don’t find anything serious. You two have sure had some bad luck! Hang in there.

    • Your prayers did wonders! The MRI showed no serious damage. It was just a nasty sprain. Thank God!! We’re so grateful as both of our health issues could have been so much worse!

  11. I did the same thing on my ramp when I didn’t notice ice, with one leg twisted sideways under me. You can get excellent quality commercial anti-slip shoe cleaner mats from Consolidated Plastics, spendy but they last forever and you won’t slip. Mine are out on my ramp 24×7 year round from -20 to 107 degrees. You can also get anti-slip adhesive strips on a roll at Home Depot or Lowe’s. They last very well. And a handrail, for sure. These things may seem expensive, until you fall. I’ve never regretted the money I spent. Just buy quality, do it once.

    • Thanks for the information, Zelda. We’ll sure be doing those. Our problem is that we have deep, melting snow from both sides of the ramp, which sometimes creates ice when it’s still thawing! You can bet we’ll both be much more careful and install some of the anti-slip material you suggested.

  12. So sorry for your fall and the setback it has caused. I agree, somethings just happen and happen and so forth. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thankful for good friends and our children helping out. Please take care and take it easy for awhile. God will provide.

    • God does always provide. And He covers up for some of our stupid mistakes too. We’re so grateful!!

  13. Prayers for both your and Will’s full recovery and that this is the last of all your bad luck sreak! Hope the rest of the year is all good luck and trouble free 🙏

    • So far, so good. Both of us are doing well and are looking forward to planting, come spring. Thanks for your prayers. See? They worked!

  14. Hope nothing more than a sprain and perhaps time for handrails? At least it isn’t harvest time and Will got thru his stent surgery. But he might have to suck it up and open a jar of chili or stew to heat up. While he might not like to cook/be domestic, I bet he does enjoy eating.

    • It was just a nasty sprain. I’m so thankful it wasn’t any more serious. We’ve got one handrail, but I didn’t think the ramp was icy as it was in the thirties and the eaves were dripping. Uh huh. Not so smart. We were so grateful those things didn’t happen during planting!!!

  15. Wow! What a rough patch you folks are going through! Praying and will continue–for healing and for this to be the end of calamities for you. In the meantime, thanking God for sending you good friends and family and that every need will be taken care of (and that the tomatos will get planted!!). Blessings!

    • Everyone’s prayers worked so well! We are all healing up nicely and are sure thanking God our troubles were nothing worse. We are truly blessed with family and good friends!! Thank you.

  16. So sorry to hear of your fall, and very sympathetic to your situation. I fell in a similar fashion in January, twisting my left leg at a bad backwards angle, and my right leg went out to the side. Kind of a slow, twisted split. It took me two full months to recover. I was constantly pushing myself to get moving and get things done. A bit of a standstill on our homestead with me out of it, and the burden on my husband who has health issues of his own. But just want to say I’m sorry you’ve got to go through this, but tests and trials are part of life, as I’m sure you know, and meant to strengthen us and help us appreciate all things. Hope you get through this valley of trials soon!

    • Thanks Michelle! We’re on our way out of the valley as we are both doing much better now and looking forward to a beautiful spring. Thank you so much.

  17. Lord Jesus, Thank you for Jackie and Will and all they do to keep people fed. Thank you for their hard work and their labor of love to keep seeds and share them with others. Lord I stand with them by your name and by your blood and ask for your protection over them and their property in the days to come. I ask that you would move in a mighty way to heal Jackies knee. I pray that she will allow those who offer to help to do so. I pray that her pain would be diminished and most of all I ask for your peace to envelope them. You tell us that you are our peace. You are the Prince of Peace. Rule and reign over this situation. In Jesus precious name- Amen

  18. You have been so on my mind and in my Prayer what with the land grab along your road ! Now thoughts and prayers for you injury ! After 30+ years of reading your articles , etc…Mother Earth …I know you will somehow , someway , get your transplants done . Your a tough lady ! Thankfully you are blessed with wonderful friends and family for help . Thank You for taking the time to keep us all posted …Sharon

    • We are truly blessed in all ways and sure are thankful of it! Family and friends, from all over keep us uplifted and going full steam. Thank you so much!!

  19. Sorry to hear about more trouble. We pick a pint jar full of arnica blousoms and cover them with vodka. Store on the shelf and dampen a piece of paper towel with the liquid and apply to the affected area. It helps with burns too if applied soon. Will pray.

    • I’ve got arnica too and am using it on my knee. It’s helped a lot in past injuries. Thanks for your prayers!!!

  20. Wish we were neighbors! I would definitely help you.
    I’m so glad you have good friends and family nearby.
    Love and prayers for you and Will.

  21. Wow! I know that hurt like heck. You may have torn a meniscus ligament or at least stretched it too much and a slight tear occurred. I sure hope it is just a sprain. Those things heal slowly; but if that is the case, remember it DOES heal. So, hang in there and this too shall pass! I wish I were not so far away, or I would be over there cooking for you two. Saying prayers for you both

    • The good news is that it was just a nasty sprain. And with some cortisone shots in both knees and ice on the spots, the pain is way less today and I can even walk without crutches! Yea!!! Thank you for your prayers!

  22. God bless you, Jackie. Praying for a quick recovery for you. It’s always something. So glad that Will is basically well and can catch the slack for you. And thank God for family and good friends! You two are priceless to all of us!!

    • We both thank God every single day for our lives, health, good friends and family. And all of you folks on the blog. It uplifts us when we’re feeling kind of down.

  23. Oh my! It made me cringe when hearing about your fall. I too fell recently, on a memorable Valentine’s Day, shoveling snow. Feet forward, body slam on concrete with a good head bounce. Figured I needed to put ice on everything, so I just laid on the ice for awhile. Feeling all your organs slam is a strange feeling. I figured I broke a few ribs (again! Not the first time this has happened to me). It has been 6 weeks now, so moving and breathing is finally less painful. I sure hope your knee doesn’t have anything serious other than a really bad sprain. Try to take it easy as it seems healing sure takes longer as you age.

    • I have no complaints. It turned out to be just a nasty sprain and a cortisone shot in the knee sure took away the lingering pain real soon. Sorry to hear about your own fall. A head bounce on concrete is nothing to fool about. Luckily you didn’t end up with a brain bleed or something else serious!

  24. So sorry to hear of this
    Set Back. Thankful for
    Modern medicine. I know
    There are natural Pain remedies
    Arnica is one. I have tubes of
    The gel for my aches. Bought
    At Walgreen. About $10
    Prayers for you and Will.

    • I use both modern medicine (i.e. MRI) and doctors but also use natural pain meds like arnica, which I’m using on my knee. It sure worked on a badly sprained shoulder a few years back!

  25. Please keep us posted about the MRI today ! You both are in our prayers. Just wishing for good news.
    It’s hard to slow down when your mind tells you, you can still do everything as you always have….but the body just doesn’t listen. We are all learning, but accidents still happen.
    Just know you have a lot of good thoughts and prayers coming your way !

    • Good news from the MRI. No damage, other than a nasty sprain! Today, my knee is much less painful and I’m able to bend it for the first time! All those good wishes and prayers sure did their job!

  26. Jackie: I am setting up a permanent ‘prayer line’ to God with your name and Will’s on it. Meanwhile, best prayers and wishes! Cathie

  27. My goodness, what a run of bad luck! I’m sending prayers for you both. Sure hope the knee is just a sprain and nothing worse. Thankful that friends and family are close and available if needed. Sure hope you get your tomato seeds planted. Prayers for health and a better week!

    • I’m planting my second flat of tomatoes today! My knee is much, much better and I’m again up and about, almost like normal. Yea!!! Thanks for the prayers!!!

  28. When we’re young we tend to bounce. However, after 50 it seems we go splat and break something. I’m so thankful for doctors that can put us back together!! Pray for your quick recovery and that Will is also doing okay.

    • Will’s doing great and I’m quickly catching up to him. The bad sprain in the knee is much, much better today and I’ve put away the crutches, hopefully, for good! Thanks for your prayers; they sure worked!

  29. Oh Jackie!! I feel for you! Thank God that Will heard you.

    I too am laid up. Pinched a nerve in my back and make the right leg really weak. In PT right now. Then I break a piece of molar off! Ok We’ll get it fixed.

    Praying for you to mend! Cindy

    • I’m so sorry, Cindy!! I hope your back is soon much better and they fix your broken molar. Those things sure suck! I’m mending quickly and am adding you to my prayer list.

  30. Praying for you Jackie! Praying for you Will! Maybe a homeopathic Arnica would help you as you have pain–Joette Calabrese’s website will explain if you want to look at this inexpensive Wonder:)

    And, just like below, we do love you in Maine!!
    Blessings too many to count!!

    • I’ve used arnica for years now. It sure does help, especially bruises and sprains. Thanks for your prayers and blessings!!!

  31. What a blessing to have family and good friends nearby. I hope you both are back up and running soon. God bless.

    • We are blessed heavily! Will and I are both up and going, much better today. Thank you so much.

    • See? Prayers work. Both Will and I are much better and looking forward to spring planting, unhindered by health issues.

  32. Oh Jackie!!!!! I’m so sorry to hear about your fall. Will definitely keep you and Will in my prayers!!!🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

  33. So sorry to hear that. It takes but a second to become injured. It always seems to happen when there is so much to do. Everyday upright and taking nourishment is a blessing. I’m wishing you a speedy recovery.

    • That’s so true, Everett! I was just going out in the dark to shut the chickens in, as usual. I remember looking at the thermometer in the house…35 degrees and the eves were dripping as I went out. Then WHAM! We are truly grateful to be much better today; Will is recovering well from his stents and I, from my (what turned out to be) a nasty sprain but nothing more. Thank you so much!

    • Well, my knee did slow me down and I felt like crap, just lying there like a wuss. But, thank God, the MRI just showed a nasty sprain and nothing that required surgery. So with a cortisone shot in it, I’m MUCH better today and getting on with life.

  34. Jackie, you are one of those ladies with the strength and grace to straighten your tiara and march forward … even on crutches. Best wishes for easier days ahead

  35. Oh Jackie!!
    I’m so sorry to hear this. I will be praying for you all. Such dear people. Maybe God is trying to get your attention about slowing down just a tad. NONE of us can keep going full steam ahead our whole lives long. At some point…we really need to gear down and not push so hard. That’s hard for us go getters…I know. I had to hit a couple of brick walls physically before I learned…always the hard way for me. Not that I’m stubborn or anything mind you!! PLEASE don’t push anything Jackie. If you don’t get everything done this year then it’s ok. Trust God and his timing. Love to you all….

    • Nah, God is just trying to tell us to take more care! I should have taken the time to slip on my ice cleats but thought it was wet, not icy.
      We don’t push things; just keep plugging along. We trust God and ask his help in getting good seeds out so folks can feed their families good, wholesome food. And he sure does step up to the plate with us!!

  36. Boy it never rains but it pours! I’m sending positive energy and prayers your way and hope that things will begin to get back on track for you. Take good care of yourselves. Health is everything. I know it’s hard to do when spring comes on the homestead. So much to get done!

    • Yes, there is. But, slowly, it’s happening, despite our health glitches. Both of us are feeling much better today and are back at it again.

  37. I am 60 and my husband is 65. We have both taken falls and injured a knee in the last few years. My husband found a YouTube video platform “knee over toes guy”. Oh my goodness!! His exercises have us feeling better and stronger than we have in years. Good luck with your rehab.

  38. so sorry to hear! Wishing you a speedy recovery and nothing but boredom after that!
    Katherine Jordahl

    • We did get speedy recoveries! And boy, are we so grateful for them and the simple pleasures of just being up and doing again. Boredom SUCKS!!!

  39. NO!!! But even in the midst of these disasters, you and Will continue to teach us so much. It is not all sunshine and roses, but it can be dealt with…one step at a time. Blessings as you persevere and heal.

    • No, life isn’t all sunshie and roses. We all experience trials of some sort and have to just keep putting one foot ahead of the other, even when we have to use crutches to do it! Today we’re both feeling so much better. Thanks for your blessings and good love.

  40. Starting to sound like a country song, where every last thing is going wrong. Spose next the crops will all be failing and the well will go dry. Lol, just kidding jackie, sometimes you gotta laugh or you’ll be crying. Hope you heal up fast, I’m gonna start my tomatoes this week too. Got a flat each of onions and bell peppers up and growing in the windows.

    • Yep, Will and I both thought maybe some country song writer would pick up on our trials. But, hey, our loves didn’t leave us, we don’t drink and our good old dog didn’t die. The pickup trucks still get us around and the sun’s shining. Lol
      We are healing fast and looking forward to spring planting!!!

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