To make a long story shorter, Will ended up in the ER to get a CT scan, as his doctor suspected a blockage in a bile duct, in his liver. His numbers were way up, and she was concerned enough to call us from home, in the evening of her day off. Of course, we tore off to the ER in Virginia (Minnesota), where they discovered that he did have a blockage. So, the doctor made arrangements for him to have an endoscopy to remove the blockage, in Duluth yesterday. Off we went. Who knew you could scope all the way through the gallbladder, into the liver? Not us, for sure. Well, the procedure was done, taking only a little more than half an hour. The doctor even took pictures (color!) of the procedure, showing the cause of the blockage, gall stones. Guess who gets to have their gallbladder removed! We got home, feeling pretty darned tired, and thankful that it wasn’t anything worse. Throughout everything, Will didn’t feel sick. His urine was just very dark, which is not a good sign.

While Will is getting back to outdoor work, I shelled more beans this morning, waiting for it to warm up a bit.

Now we have very cold weather approaching, down into the 20’s, and our root crops are still in the ground. (No, none of our friends is available to help — all out of the state or sick.) Today is very cloudy, threatening rain, but I’m headed out to see what I can do until Will can come help me. Somehow, it’ll get done.

A lot of our root crops are still in the ground.

— Jackie


  1. That’s terrible about Will! I wish I could send you help to get stuff done. I’d help but am currently dealing with some new health problems. Namely some sort of kidney disease and cardiac problem, along with my usual health issues. It’s the pits! But I am planning on a garden next barring anything else. It snowed today here in Idaho. It was so lovely! Just passing snow flurries. The two dogs were weirded out by the snow. One trying to run between snowflakes and the other trying to bite the cold invader. I love living here with the mountains covered in snow. This will probably melt off but it will snow again soon. You take care of yourself and Will. You are indeed an American treasure!

    • Been looking to buy land in your state for years. I listen to Kody Hanner podcast (The Homestead Education) from Idaho. She lives at the border into Canada, not far from Bonners Ferry. We have friends in Clark Fork. Saw there was at least a day in the twenties during the last weekend of October. It’s a beautiful state. Also listen to podcast, Prepper 2.0, with Glen Tate and Shelby Gallagher in far west Montana. Yes, gorgeous country! I hale from far north California.

  2. thank The Lord you got Will in!
    you know the saying-
    ‘ if i didn’t have bad luck…i wouldn’t have no luck at all”
    well not true for you! Will is healing,
    you have many friends(just not available to help with the root crops. wish i closer(pacific northwest) the freeze – fingers cross wont damage the root crop till you find help to harvest.
    you are an amazing ,resilient couple!!!!
    take heart many are praying for you.

  3. I am always amazed at how strong and resilient county people are. But then country people do spend so much time outside doing hard physical labor that develops that strength. You are the heart and soul of America. Bad timing to have to leave the front lines of harvest. Kind of a forced break Prayers for a speedy recovery.

  4. I wish I was your neighbor! I would be there in a flash to lend a hand
    I am sooo glad the doctors were able to help Will. Is he scheduled for surgery soon?

    I will be praying for a complete and speedy recovery. And for some good help on the farm.

    • Thanks Toni! We managed to get nearly all of our root crops pulled and indoors safely. But, today, we’re pretty pooped. He isn’t scheduled for surgery yet, but will get that done pretty soon.

  5. Wishing the best for you both in trying times and good ones…
    Boy, I’d like to be your neighbor! Get top heliport and possibly glean those leftovers. A double blessing!

    • Thank you for your prayers. We managed to get nearly everything in and will pull the last stuff today if it doesn’t rain all day.

    • Thank you. Everyone has these stretches of bad luck and we know ours will end soon. After all, Will’s trouble could have been much worse than a plugged bile duct!

  6. Bad luck certainly is a plague. Its hard to think a small thing like a gallbladder can put the brakes on someone, even someone like bulletproof-superman Will. (Does he keep his phone booth in the barn?, lol) I really hate to hear this because I know its a critical time of year for you guys. Even though it will be a “small” surgery, there will still be restrictions and I certainly hope he follows them to avoid issues later. I would help pull your root crops, but i am far away from you. I know many others would too. We are with you in thought and prayer. Sending prayers for strength and for a quick and uncomplicated recovery from surgery.

    • Aww, Will’s not shy. He just changes right out in broad daylight. Ha ha! Prayers are better than physical help anyway. But thanks for your thoughts. You bet he’ll follow doctors’ orders or I’ll hide his super suit!!

  7. Bad luck and good luck. I’m happy for Will it’s a problem with a remedy. I’ve had 2 friends who had blockage by pancreatic cancer. Band aid surgery and he’ll be good to go. As the Irish say “if they didn’t have bad luck they’d have no luck at all”. If I were closer I’d help you with the root crops. Raining here and getting cool.

    • Yep, we’re VERY grateful that it was just a blocked bile duct. His dad died of pancreatic cancer and grandmother from liver cancer. So, as you can imagine, that was on our minds during all the testing. It’s raining here too. Yuck! All our crops are in but a few carrots, potatoes and beets. We were busy yesterday, pulling, pulling, pulling.

  8. May the Lord give Will a successful surgery and quick healing, and provide you the help you need to get the harvest in.

    • We did get a bit of help. David and Delilah came over and helped pull some carrots. She was amazed at all the big carrots and wanted to keep even the tiny, bitty ones. Then our friend, Angie, and her family came toward evening and pulled beets, carrots, rutabagas and cabbage for themselves at our invitation. Then the guys helped Will pick up the potatoes that he’d dug. That was a huge help as we were getting pretty pooped!

  9. Hi, I had my gallbladder removed on a Monday and was out and about on Friday. Of course I was a lot younger and I don’t know how I would react now. Some people have trouble with gas pains after the surgery. Much luck,love.and prayers for Will.

    • I had my gallbladder out a few years ago and I recovered quite quickly. It’s a lot easier surgery than years ago. I had no aftereffects at all. And Will’s even younger than I am so I’m sure he’ll do well.

  10. Hoping the laparascopic procedure (small incisions) is the plan as the recovery goes quicker. As an “old” OR nurse, (I am the same age as you, I think), I remember the days when that wasn’t even a possibility and the recovery was long. Good luck and prayers to you for this additional stress in your lives.
    Katherine Jordahl

    • Yes, a laparoscopic procedure is the plan. That’s how I had mine done; easy peasey. I remember when I was a child, Mom had hers done the old way. A nasty, big incision then she got a staph infection on top of it. It was awful!! Luckily, she recovered and lived to 94.

  11. If any of us on this blog were close by, we’d be there to help. Any chance Bill and crew could make it down this weekend push comes to shove? David has his hands full.
    Two relatives had gall bladder issues and were miserable until it was removed. Dad never had any issues but “numbers” told the story. Be thankful we’re not in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and Will won’t have to wait a year plus to have it removed. Sounds like a small incision surgery versus a 10 inch incision.
    Root crops are hardy and I think you’ll be able to get them harvested. Your circle will return home/get better.
    As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. A lot of truth to that in my book.

    • No, Bill couldn’t come. They’re really busy trying to clean out his deceased in-laws’ basement so they can have a furnace installed on November first. But David and Delilah came and helped pull carrots for a while. We got nearly all the crops in but a few cabbages, carrots and potatoes that we’re going to work on today if it ever stops raining.

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