Posted on

The vision

IMG_1088Good Morning my friends! Today I wanna talk about my “vision board”. I put it in quotes because for some reason that I haven’t quite identified yet, the term “vision board” is not quite comfortable for me, but I have not found the word that is, nor the reason for my discomfort with the prior. Whatever the case, it has made a profound impact on my daily approach and I want to share that with you.

I have this giant list of passions. I feel that life is too short to possibly fit all the things I want to experience in, and I have much to accomplish in this lifetime. Some of those things are optional, if I get to them, but most feel critical, before I die I must achieve as many as possible. I find that I have so many passions, that I often get caught up in one and neglect the rest, or I lose myself in daydreams about what the future will look like once I accomplish them. Its self defeating and I had to find a way to overcome it. I have been struggling with balancing my time as I work from home, try to manage the home, and start a non profit. I have Bible studies to do and beads to string and quilts to sew. I have a garden to plant and a home to maintain. I have a homestead to work on, and a start up non profit that serves several niches of people and animals that have slipped through the cracks. I have a book to write about healing and joy. I have a family and lovely handful of pets to remember not to neglect while I chase my dreams. There is no shortage of passion in my life.

The problem of having the dreams and goals of ten people, is that it can become quite difficult to prioritize, balance, and stay on track to accomplishing them all. For some time, I made giant lists. Every night. Hundreds of to-do’s. My goal was never to cross them all off in one day. I would do what I could, then redo the list each night before bed and start again the following day. The problem was that this list was never done. Ever. There was a grand lack of satisfaction with this list. Being ill for a few months has made it nearly impossible to imagine tackling a list that size, and I just ran out of will power for these lists. So, I started a new kind of list. Instead of writing what I wanted to get done, I started keeping a list of things I had achieved that day. This was brilliant. My family gets my evenings. All of them. I put away the computer, make dinner, forego any unresolved chores for the day, and just spend a few hours with them. It is a priority that fell naturally into place and when hubby sits down after work and says “how was your day?” I have a direct answer for him. I don’t forget to tell him things that I wanted to share, my list makes this time of evening so much more satisfying and pleasant. It gives me freedom to see all I have done this day and to set aside anxieties about productivity and just enjoy my family.

Still, I struggled with staying on task. I found myself looking for a quick fix,  feeling impatient about the longings of my life, and looking for an answer in daydreams. Simply longing to be doing it now, instead of what I was doing, would send me into an unproductive cycle of daydreaming instead of doing. And so comes the “vision board”. January rolled around. I was aware of this cycle of daydreaming that was holding me back. I was aware of the lack of balance in my scheduling each day, and I was desperately seeking a solution to both. Looking inside and outside of the box, under every flap, I just kept coming up empty.

I don’t make New Years Resolutions. I think that is just self defeating. If I want to make a change that badly, it should not depend on the day of the year I did something and I should not make a goal just to say I did something for New Years. I have never been a conformist. Maybe resolving not to make New Years Resolutions is just my subconscious way of fighting needless conformity. I really don’t know. But, I needed a change. Somewhere along the line I learned about these vision boards. I had always been skeptical. I mean, how could simply putting your dreams on a board really affect the outcome? Well, I  decided to give it a try. I was so sick and it was New Years week. With the holidays over and everyone returning to work, it was a good time to give this a shot. I took my time. I had a lot to organize. Just tossing it all up there on a board wasn’t gonna help any. I made a list (because we all know I need lists at this point). I drew a sketch of how I wanted to lay out that list on the board, so things could overlap and priorities could be made with the size of each section in mind. It ended up looking like a big sun, so I went with it.

And then I started my board. I got out all the scrapping materials I might want to use. I found a perfect sized piece of cardboard and I covered it with pretty paper. I put my sections on with “rays” of sun. I had eight sections in total. In the middle of it all, the center of the sun, I glued a big picture of a beautiful dream home. The rest of my goals went into the sections surrounding the center. They consisted of the following categories: God. Writing. Sewing. Crafting/Creating. Gardening. Livestock. Food preservation. And Business development,  for both my husband and I. For the next several days, I tediously cut, pasted and organized these dreams into a picture of a truly satisfying sense of my passions. Many times it just felt like I was doing more of the precious time wasting, daydreaming and longing. Making a collage of my dreams rather than chasing them. Thankfully, I was sick enough to allow it, since I couldn’t really do anything else, and the “vision board” came to fruition.

I set that board in a prominent place in my living room where I have no choice but to look at it daily. I can not believe the change! I don’t really know how to explain it, but my life looks completely different, in just three short months, and I won’t let you forget that I have been sick for the duration of it. Sicker than I have ever been, for longer than I have ever been, and still my productivity is at the strongest it has ever been. The change blows my mind. I still manage to keep the simplified pace of life that I have worked so hard to create for myself, and in many ways, this board helped to further that goal of slowing it down. My house is cleaner than it has ever been. My garden and yard are getting the care that I always want to give them, but struggle to consistently maintain. I have balanced my responsibilities between all of the dreams and goals that I have prioritized right now. I am making more progress on all of them, consistently, than I ever have before. Like everybody, I have household chores ‘nemesis’, and those are even all caught up. I find extra time for purging and decluttering, and I still have as much, if not more, down time, than ever before. My stress level is lower, and I can’t remember the last time I wasted time daydreaming on stuff I could be doing. My family has noticed, my friends have noticed. I have to be honest, that board changed my life. I was so skeptical, but I gave it a shot. I am so thankful that I did. I can’t imagine having made it this far, this fast, without it. Especially with all this mucous clogging up my brains. It keeps me on task. It reminds me. I have things to do. I have heights to reach. I can’t stop now. It helps me find the ambition to just get up and spend ten minutes on one thing, when I just really don’t want to do the tedious right now. Then ten minutes more, and ten more. Before I know it, my list of “have done’s” for the day is always satisfying by the time hubby gets home. Dinners are earlier and family time is more appreciated. I spend alot less time nagging at my family for help, and simply state the one or two things that I need them to do. The difference is astounding. I will continue to make a new board each year as my dreams are achieved and evolve. I will recommend it to my friends, and if you are even a little intrigued, I seriously recommend you try it. What do you have to lose? I lost alot. I lost a big chunk of unproductivity. I lost a huge pile of clutter. I lost the mess that used to embarrass me each time someone came in. I lost the big pile of clean, unfolded clothes that were always so hard for me to get to. I lost the neurotic, unorganized feeling. I lost a whole lot. The things that replaced the stuff I lost are exactly what I was looking for.

Are you ready to start your vision board? How can I help you? No matter what you do, have fun with it. Do a good job. You need it to motivate and inspire you so you aren’t compelled to waste time looking for motivation and inspiration elsewhere. I would love to see what you come up with!

Posted on

Peace and satisfaction (or daydreams of my ranch)

Hey Friends!

It has been so long! So much has happened, and so many details, that are just really not worth it. I am finally feeling the drive to write again. Lately it has been tough. Been angry about my little friends cancer, frustrated with my current home situation, and looking to get this rescue ranch off the ground. I have had a myriad of epiphanies, and we are so close to moving forward. Things are great with my family, but we are dying to move into a ranch where we can expand the business. Our current home is a money pit, it sucks so much from us in upkeep, we cant seem to save a penny to move forward. Its coming though. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The finances may finally be there for us. I had a big week of epiphanies that I am not trying to start a business. The business has been operating for quite some time now, I am just looking to expand it to a larger venue. That was a pretty big day for me.

I am fighting illness. Have had the flu twice since Christmas, and now what appears to be pneumonia. I am treating it with homeopathics and I feel quite a bit better. I am on a one track mindset to get this ranch up and running, I can see, smell, hear, feel, and taste every aspect of it. I have daydreams of in-laws at Christmas and kids in the yard. I can smell the woodstove and see the beautiful rows of jars stacked up all neatly in my pantry. Images of orchard trees dance in my head. I see rows and rows of beautiful raised beds full of tomatoes and peppers and every other veggie I can think of. I hear the cluck cluck of the chics as I take them their scraps, and I hear the hooves of horses hurrying to the barn for their grain.

I smell the dew on the early morning ground, and the coffee and breakfast in the kitchen. I see people milling around, a safe place, a social and joyous place. I look forward to feeding the masses on a big ole ranch table.

I can hear the music of the farm, wafting in the background, as I meander through my daily routines, and greet my various wards of the day. I can hear the whir of the dehydrator, and the chirp of the birds, meshing to make one beautiful song.

I look forward to the simplicity of growing my veggies, all of them, not to mention it is the end of January, and I have gardening on the brain any way.

I am making a cough syrup. No science to it really, just honey, onion, garlic, cayenne, and ginger, simmered till the onions are soft and strained. it sounds surprisingly delightful. Some say honey loses some of its health value when cooked slowly, others say it enhances it. i am not really sure either way, but I don’t know how else to infuse it quickly, so I may just try making the non cooked version over the next couple weeks, and compare. The non cooked version is impractical for immediate relief of illness. I have illness now.

As far as RMRR goes, I have made tons of headway, and going down in the next week or two to register the business officially. I have a functional business plan, a beautiful logo,and I am working with a realtor looking for a contract for deed place that we can start off in. The realtor thought that with my mission we could find someone willing to do contract for deed, which would not only guarantee a few years of rent go to the principle on my home, but also that we wold not have to move the business in three or four years when we are ready to buy. That would be ideal, here’s hoping we can work it out. It would also be in the best interest of a seller with an empty house that is not moving, as they would be generating some income off the property in the meantime.

My thoughts move swiftly these days, and now I am onto envisioning a huge sunflower patch for the birds. I never had an interest in growing flowers, till it dawned on me that they are functional, more than just pretty. So many flowers, so many uses. This dream of mine is so close to reality, it gets hard to breath sometimes. SO very soon, I will be able to say “I did it” all buy myself, as a single mom with a special needs child, I made my dreams come true. Its breathtaking to think about.

I remember fondly, how great it felt to be working hard on the ranch. It is my goal to feel as good as I did then, with the added benefit   of knowing why my child is so unique to boot. I worked hard, had great muscle structure, ate well, slept well, went to bed exhausted, with the satisfaction of putting in a good, honest, hard days work. I was hungry at mealtime, and tired at bedtime. My body felt good from working hard day in and day out, doing things that I loved to be doing. I love the way ranch life stays the same on a basic level, but changes so fluidly from day to day. One day fences, the next a paint job. It’s never dull or boring. Always something new. Such a simple sense of satisfaction in knowing you spent the day tending Gods Earth and feeding His animals. Such a great sense of achievement when you tuck the animals in for the night, make sure the gates are all closed up tight and the tomatoes got enough water. The quiet that surrounds you as you prepare to bed down for the night, the sound of the coyotes in the distance the you know your animals are protected from. It is so rewarding and peaceful. Such a great sense of simple satisfaction overwhelms, as one drifts off into deep, restful slumber, knowing full well that in a few short hours, it all starts again.

I long for winter days in front of the sewing machine, the smell of a roast slowly baking in the oven. Its all so close I can feel it, and I am at peace for the moment. It has been a long journey, getting this piece of peace, but it is a wonderful and satisfying feeling. I truly look forward to sharing the adventures to come with you. In the meantime, have a blessed evening. Rest well.

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Ahhh, my friends, Fall is here. Well, this feels more like Winter, quite frankly. It has been snowing almost all week, and been quite beautiful at that. I have enjoyed every single flake that I have seen fall. There is so much going on, and I have been absent this last few days, but I found a moment to take a deep breath, and so, here I am. I had my eye on a place, and was feeling quite apprehensive about it, despite the fact that it was perfect for our needs. I had asked for them to work with me on a move in date, for Dec. 1, but she really wanted to rent it by Nov. 1. I knew we would not be ready by then, so I told her that if it was available on Dec. 1 we would take it, and if not, we would find something else. Today, I very apprehensively checked the rentals section, afraid that I would be devastated if it had been rented. Much to my surprise, when I looked and it was not there, I felt a huge sense of relief. Not only do I not have to worry about coming up with nearly 4000 dollars for December 1, but the Holidays are a terrible time to move, and ideally, January 1, would be a great move in date. I don’t believe in New years resolutions, but I do believe in new beginnings, and how fitting would it be to start the rescue ranch the first of the new year? Shocked and overwhelmed at the sense of relief that I have, waiting till January First, and oh, how pleased my husband will be to find that we dont have to move during the holidays. I have until January first to tie up some loose ends, and that is also a huge relief, plus, I just cannot packing this place up in a month, I just cannot fathom doing that, on top of everything else I am doing. We have a spay/neuter event on Nov. 10, that I am an on the planning committee for, and I have a potluck for my little friend with cancer tomorrow. I also have all this RMRR stuff I am trying to do, and a cancer awareness cookbook, and a few other fundraising type things. Good heavens. I feel like never in my life have I been attracted to technology, but never in my life, have I wanted a piece of equipment so badly. I feel a need to buy a tablet. Silly, I know. I have three different committees that I am on, a lot of meetings that I go to, and clients that I need to be able to bill on the go, and I am feeling like a tablet would go a long way in helping me organize it all, and keep it portable. I also have my Bible study to move forward on and well…its all a lot of details, really. Needless to say, I have been busy. Very, very busy. I definitely feel that it would be a business expense, but I am saving every penny, so I can get us into a ranch. I have made do with paper and pen this far in my life, never even really wanted anything but paper and pen, but dang, my binder has a lot of stinkin sections…its not very portable anymore, and well…you see where I am going with this. Anyway, I just might do it. Have to talk it over with the hubby, but I think it makes actual sense.

I have a lot on my mind with three non profits on my plate, and one just waiting in the wings for me to make time for them. I have business licenses and other connections to make. I have a whole lot of details going on. I am trying to do many, many things with my time, and my brain cannot see a list. It sees three lists, swirling around atop and below each other. A tornado of lists, if I may. I have tried to list them all, but the papers just stack up and I cant remember what I have written and what I still need. How do I get all of these details organized?

Once I get the three non-profits organized, I reach a place where I start thinking past them, to what comes after the event is established, and again find myself with a barage of details. Primarily with RMRR. I feel that as soon as I find a place, I need to start planning the respite and foster programs. I need to have everything in place for those to start right away, I need to plan the gardens and farmers market programs, quickly, cause planting is in march, at least for seed sets. I need to plan the RMRR store, and resource programs quickly also. Chickens won’t be far off, once spring rolls around it will be time to get them going. It feels like the next six months is going to be a blur, and yet, I have been waiting so long for this  that I am just as thrilled and patient as can be. Mostly, I am probably just too overwhelmed to be impatient. I can only assume God is using this opportunity to teach me how to juggle the many non-profit programs of my own that I intend to build. I finally found the courage today to make a phone call that I have been dreading. Nothing scary about it at all, I just couldn’t make myself call. Feels good to have faced that beast, and it turned out to be the kitten I thought it would be. Phew, check one more big one off the list.

I have this series of ideas I want to blog about. I learned a lot in therapy, and I think that a lot of people would be alot happier, if only they could grasp a few of these concepts. I also have some ideas about God and the Bible that I would like to share, some unique perspectives, I suppose. I feel as though I should do a “therapy” series. Maybe a “God” series. I certainly feel as though I should blog about some of the more important lessons I learned. A post specifically about being a “special needs mommy”. I always talk about my special needs child,a nd my special needs clients, but never do I talk about the ways in which I relate with these children, and I would like to explore the dynamic that happens when you learn just how easy it can be to “mentor” a special needs child when you understand treating people as individuals and letting go of expectations. I want to post about blame, and shame, and how we all like to think its “mom’s fault”. I would like to blog about shame, expectations, and codependency. I want to talk about the tools we have, and the “lizard brain”, or amygdala. I want to share a concept that was shared with me, and one that I heard someone repeat the concept to, in a very simple way, and how we all have different perceptions. I want to write a letter to all of the folks that I know who are fighting and fighting against simple, honest, real answers. To those who refuse to see whats in front of them, to the “can’t, won’t, but” folks out there. I want to make a plea for Jesus Christ, to those who have been shown, in such a misrepresentative way, what bits and pieces of the Bible say. I want to do so without condemning any organized religion. I want to talk about what it means to love Jesus,and quite frankly, a tiny bit of the anger of the denomination I was primarily raised in, well, that comes through, and I don’t wish to offend anyone. I want to talk to you about health, food, exercise, and a natural way of life, the way God intended.  So much I want to talk with you all about. Where does one start? What do you all want to read about? What are you curious about? Well, friends. Today, you can see, my mind is in a flurry. There is much that wants out, and the avenues for release are scarce at the moment. Until next time my friends…may your thoughts be organized and your days be blessed!

Posted on

Movin’ right along

So, I made myself this ridiculous list, you know, best case scenario, everything I would like to have done before I leave. What I would like to come home to. So far, I have shocked myself and completed the ridiculous list two nights in a row now. Wonderful! I feel a bit like bragging today. My mom is always telling me that I have the best dogs she has ever met. I kinda laugh, and think to myself, “she must not know any REALLY good dogs, like a working dog”. I have met some really good dogs in my time. Regardless, the point here is that I am so proud of my mutts this afternoon. I bathed them often when they were younger, but it has been quite some time since I have subjected them to any bathing aside from the quick, cold well-water bath when they roll in a stinky fresh cow-pie. Today, they had to have baths to travel this week. Mom’s house is not located on a ranch, and she would not be thrilled with stinky dogs, and my car is clean, I don’t want stinky dogs either (they really aren’t very stinky dogs, or they woulda had a bath). My point…let me get back to it. I asked them who wanted to go first, and Buttercup stepped right up. She followed me to the bathroom, and when I clicked my fingers above the tub and said good girl, come on, she climbed right in. She proceeded to tolerate the bath with her tail between her legs. She stayed, I didn’t even have to close the bathroom door, not once, through all three dogs. Oh so proud. I then dried her off and asked who was next. Moon sat so pretty in front of me, ears down, nose up, like he was just saying “I can be a good dog mom, let me show you”. So, same thing, One click and a command and in he went. terrified. His legs shook while I massaged and bathed him. I am extra careful not to traumatize them with wild face washing. He also, stayed the entire time. They finished up, and the little dog, the one I thought for sure would make me chase him down, wrestle him in, close the door, and hold him there, starts barking at me, like “don’t forget me”. One more time, same command, same action. So proud of these three. So flattered that despite the fear they each obviously exhibited, each one trusted me on the first command, each one stayed put covered in suds and water when I asked them to. Such good doggies! I am proud of them, as you can clearly see. And, a little surprised. I thought for sure one of them would give me resistance, instead, each of them took their turn, and then jumped back in on the next guys turn. Good Mutts!

They are so cute when they get out of the bath, all fresh and frisky, they wanna run around rubbing on anything they can find, and they are excited, maybe cause they just got a full body massage and one on one praise from alpha for the last twenty minutes? All I know is that they are like children on a playground after the bath, and that they are so dang proud of themselves! Brings me joy!

I am moving right along on my lists.  Bathing the dogs was a big one! Glad its done. House is nearly clean, laundry nearly done, dishes, well, you know dishes. Last night I harvested a half a ton of raspberries. Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but dang, there were an overwhelming number of them. Had a very interesting conversation with a friend who is a new believer and being convicted to the core. I love watching that happen! Also had to control an urge to bite when a good and trusted friend attacked Christians publicly on facebook. On my fingers, I angrily started ticking off answers to her rant. 1 Blah blah blah. 2. Blah blah blah…you get the point. I got to seven before I calmed down. I never answered on facebook, but I did tell her I would like to talk to her about it in person. I decided that I had to journal about it, and get the angry, defensive, me in check, and handle it much more diplomatically than just checking off points at her, and accusing her of being as judgmental as the people she is accusing. It threw me for a loop, because she is one of my closest friends. Ugh! The beauty of my close friendships is that the best ones include honesty and candidness, so it will be fine I am sure.

As the responsibilities I need to tackle before we leave wind down, and departure time nears, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I am excited. I have some gypsy in my soul, and my feet haven’t wandered so far in a long time. I have been quite settled for many years now, and a nice long trip out on the open road is long overdue. I am thrilled to be going to see my mom, don”t get me wrong, but at this moment in time, the thing I can’t get over is how excited I am to hear the road under my wheels, to smell the changes in the air as we move from one climate to the next, on through it, and into another one. I am in anticipation over what my now nearly grown son will think of some of the landmarks that he was too young to comprehend the last time we were through there. Oh, how I am looking forward to the experience of the road nearly as much as I am looking forward to sitting on mom’s couch, enjoying her company, and watching the mutts frolic in the backyard with her little mini aussie.

Lots to do, I better head off here, and get my behind movin. Many blessings, friends!

Posted on

Spay/Neuter satisfaction

WooHoo! With two vets today, we managed to spay and neuter a hundred and one animals. We worked hard, it was hot, and everyone was fighting the crabbiness that sets in when heat swelters around you for so many days on end, but we kept a generally positive attitude, through all of the challenges that come with organizing an event like this. Lets face it, you cannot fix that many animals in one day without a few challenges, and today was particularly challenging, but oh man, it is oh so rewarding to go home and think of all the animals that we helped today. Their people are so gracious, most of the time. I could go on and on about my feelings about the different types of pet owners, but maybe not today. What I will say today though, is that I am particularly thankful for pet owners who are patient and compassionate. I am thankful for the ones who are happy to help in any way they can, but I am especially thankful for the ones who are happy to sit there as long as their pet needs to sit. Some people are pulling and tugging their doped up dogs across the floor trying to force their legs to work despite the Ketamine. Some people insist that there is just no way their dog can ride in the front of the car on the way home, some insist all kinds of weird stuff. but most are happy to learn, have questions, want to know what their dogs are going through, and are patient and kind. Those are my very favorite people! Most are thankful. Most are grateful. Most go away with a smile and a gracious thank you. Some do not, but it makes the rest so much easier to appreciate. I love when it feels good to thank them for coming. I love knowing how much difference we made today. I have my hang ups, but this is neither the time nor the place. I do look forward to being in charge of my own stuff in the future more often. The cancer benefit I did for my girl, well, after some time pondering on it, I became blatantly aware of of how generous this community is, and how much I am capable of, and I look forward to being able to pull off events that are as organized at that one was.   One thing I am very pleased about is my wonderful set of volunteers. I have managed to establish a very dependable set of volunteers, who know what they are supposed to be doing and where they belong.  It took years to do, but I am proud of them. I realized that it was a product of being able to weed out the names that are on every volunteer list and call them first for every event. I invited one of them to join the committee tonight. I need help, and that is all there is to it.  Any way you look at it, todays event was fabulous, and I walked away with a great sense of satisfaction, and a strong desire to come home and work on my own non profit programs. Tomorrow.

Today, I am beat. I am tired. I have nothing very sensible to say. I am hot and sticky and I am replaying the event over and over in my head. I have a bunch of details I am hung up on and I really should be writing in my journal so I can put them behind me. Some of the negatives of the event are weighing heavy on me and I need to find a productive way to process them and decide what to do with them. Do I file them away, and continue, or do I remember them, move on in my life, and give this project to someone else? I am pretty sure I am not ready to move on yet. I really love this job. Even on a volunteer basis, I cannot imagine not getting to be in there, recovering all those dogs. It is all worth it for the ten hours I spend recovering and caring for incapacitated dogs. I would pay someone to let me do that…so, I can’t imagine walking away from this opportunity, so I need to figure out how to deal.

I am very thrilled that this event has passed. Some basic clean up stuff tomorrow, return coffee pots, the van, meds, etc. I am ready to wrap it up and call it done, and move forward with this very short, hot summer. I look forward to going to see my mom, but now that the event has passed, its a mere week and a half away, and wow! That is quick. I have a lot to do before I go. Especially if I want to come back and find a ranch asap. All of a sudden my brain is flooded with a whole new series of thoughts. I cannot wait to see my mom. I am looking forward to the fact that we have nothing planned. I love the idea of sitting next to her pond and putting my feet up while the dogs romp and play, and of course, my son will love it in grammas big ole backyard, with trees he can climb and a pond he can play in. Oh it will be so relaxing. No running around, no tourism, just chillin at moms! yay! I love that my mother and I have reached that wonderful place. It takes some mom/daughter teams a lifetime. Some never master it, but my mom…hands down my best friend! It was not so long ago that that was not true. I remember very clearly when my therapist looked at me and said “Oh, it’s always mom’s fault”. She was very condescending. I doubt she meant to be, but wether she was going through something of her own, or just calling it like it is, it stung. She was partially right, and partially wrong. Some stuff simply was moms fault. The big difference between then and now, is that I have learned that mom worked with the tools she had, just like every other person on the planet, and well, what else can I say? Can’t really not forgive a person for anything when you realize that. She did the best she could. She did all she knew how, and even through her failures, she still only wanted what was best for us, even if she didn’t know how to get it or even what it was. I realize now that she never loved anyone like she loved her children, just like every mother. I realize she had a shame platform, much like my own, and as I healed mine, I saw hers unfold in front of me and every “mistake” I ever thought she made, made some sort of sense. I realized that I took stuff personal that she was not even aware she was doing, and now, I realize its not personal, and ask her if it is a behavior she is aware of. It is lovely! We are honest and candid with each other, on a deep and trusting level, for the first time ever, and in the last five years. It makes me feel joyous inside! I look forward to going home, to say the least, but really only want to see my mom. I suppose I have friends who will be angry, or have hurt feelings, if I don’t call them. I will try my best to be a good friend, but I am really going to see mom. She is sick, and feels like crap. Aside from the fact that my brother lives in Wisconsin, neither my brother or sister is really a “nurturer” type. There are things that would help her, that she just doesn’t have the energy to do for herself, and I can run some errands for her, pick up some health food supplements, you know simple stuff. Help with laundry, dinner, and some vacuuming. Whatever I can help with will make me happy, even if it seems like menial tasks, because I know how exhausting the menial can be when you are broken.

Ok, I think my brain is drained. I need to go wash off this sticky. My boys almost asleep, mutts are fed and pottied, and I think it is safe to hop in the shower and forget about it for a minute. Many blessings, my friends.

Posted on

The time has come…

The time has come for so many things…

I struggle to write this week. I am a positive person. I don’t dwell on the negatives, and I see the best in the darkest of situations. That is why I struggle to write. The times we live in have brought me to a harsh realization that the end of life as we know it is here. I don’t jump on Y2K or 2012 bandwagons. I have never had a doomsayer attitude, but I feel a sense of heaviness as we move into this period. It is a bittersweet feeling, as I also feel a sense of relief that Jesus will do a great job with the Earth, however, I had a scare today that shook me a little. I have been in this place where I am desperately aware of how bad our food source has become, I am aware of the distinct changes in the weather patterns and the amount of disease around me is at an all time high. I have never known so many people with so many mysterious illnesses. I am blatantly aware of the police state we are currently living in (although most Americans have no idea that we are in this place), and I am growing more conscious daily of the “revelations” around me. I want to discuss all of this, yet how do I, for fear of being labeled a doomsayer.

The time has come for Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch. It is here and we are so close to being ready to get started on that adventure. The savings account is almost to a place that allows us to step outside of our small, restrictive, but owned home, and into a rental that is going to cost us a WHOLE LOT more than our current home does. An overwhelming, intimidating, amount. I pray for the perfect rental, that has what we need to do the work that God has in mind for us. I pray that I can stay focused on His will and not get to caught up in my own excitement. Oh, how I pray, that He sees horses in my life! I am so excited about the prospect of having a huge garden and some chickens next spring! I am watching my little container garden grow thinking of what I can do with a real chuck of garden. Oh the daydreams I have for a garden when we buy a ranch. Meanwhile, I will be happy to care for someone elses ground as it exists for a while.

The time has come for me to get my self esteem up off the floor and start selling some of my homemade goods. People like them and my self esteem is the only thing holding me back.

The time has come for me to do the work that was intended of me. I see my self from a very different perspective now. I see some of my special qualities coming out, when it is happening. I see the skills He has given me, and the gifts and blessings, on a daily basis. I realize that He takes my dear little friends cancer, and uses it for good in so many lives, and in my life, He used it to show me how much I am capable of…it was quite shocking, still is, and I can see clearly several lessons in it. He used it to show me some of the more important things. Things that I know, but took for granted, like finding time to visit a friend. Realizing that money doesn’t mean ANYTHING in the grand scheme of things, and learning that God blesses the poor. Grasping that concept in a new way. I felt led to start a Womens Bible study, and while nothing profound has happened, I feel like there are several women who are pretty active in the group, which indicates to me that there was a need. I think the gift that surprises me the most is the profound ability to work with kids. Traumatized ones especially. I love kids, always have, but went through a brief period where I was convinced I didnt really care for them. I find it ironic that I now feel compelled to step into almost any situation to soothe a hurting child, parents present or not. I have no problem walking right up, and looking some kid in the face and saying,  “Wow, you seem really frustrated, is there anything I can do to help, or can you see what you are doing to your mom? Try to use your good kid manners for ten more minutes while she gets through the store K?”  Kids just need to be talked to a certain way. We don’t give them enough credit for their ability to make decisions and choices, and we give them way to much credit as far as being resilient. They really do harbor a lot of hurts that we don’t acknowledge from childhood, we just don’t see the results till adulthood, at which time it can be very hard to fix. I find myself consoling upset children in the strangest of places, and when it works, parents look at me like who are you?

It is an odd feeling, but if I made one moment of that child’s life make sense, if only for that moment, I am happy. I never, ever envisioned myself to grow up to be a person whose entire life would be to work with traumatized people and animals and help them heal themselves. Crazy wild blessing. So flattering and humbling all at once. What a gift! I have also learned that parents are only working with the tools that they have, and when I see a parent misbehaving, I have learned to remember that little mantra, and realize they are probably doing a better job than their own parents did with them. We all work with the tools we have. I find that working with traumatized children is very much like working with traumatized animals. We need to move slow, be un-intimidating, but firm and strong. We need to ask their permission and wait for it to be granted to move forward. This can really take a long time sometimes, and other times it comes so fast. The biggest thing the two have in common is that when you “train dogs” to be successful, you don’t really train the dog, you train the handler what kind of body language to use, what kind of control to exhibit and when to let the dog have control. The same holds true for parenting training. You aren’t fixing the kid, you are giving the parents the tools the kids need to thrive, to learn to process and express emotion rather than act out for lack of better way s to express their “pain”. Both animals and children will act out when they do not have a calm alpha. Children need control. Just like adults, they need to know they have some control over their world. They need consequences that fit the “crime”, not punishment. They need to be validated, and told that their feelings are valid and matter, with no ‘but’ attached. Children need to know that they are respected to learn what respect is. They need to make mistakes to learn how to make good choices, that is the reason they are given parents for 18 years of guidance, after all. Screaming at your child and sending him to his room wont fix it, but having a good, sit down one on one discussion about how a particular behavior makes you feel, and finding consequences that fit naturally will stick with them for a lifetime.

How on earth did I get on that tangent? I was thinking about a girl whom I helped the other day. I was at a therapists office. She is the person whom I am licensed under, and I was in her waiting room, when a little girl came in a kicking and screaming and saying NO NO I DON’T WANNA TELL. Her dad kept saying, you wont be in trouble…she just kept screaming louder and louder. After a few minutes, I cautiously stepped out and said something to the effect of I know I am crossing a line here but can I try something. Her dad looked at me like “be my guest”. I opened the conversation with the little girl by asking her if I could ask her a question. She said yes but kept crying. I asked her if she was feeling scared to tell the therapist something. She told me she was and I asked her why. I listened to her answer, she had quit crying before I asked my second question. I got her answers, and reassured her that I could totally understand why she would care so much about what therapist would think. We used names of course, but for privacy, that seems inappropriate here. I also told her, hey, you know what? I have known therapist for almost thirteen years, since my boy was smaller than her, and he was actually bigger than me now and he still loved to come here, and I know a secret about her. She doesn’t get mad at kids. not ever. she helps them understand why they are feeling the way they feel, but she doesn’t even know how to get mad at a kid. By this time the girl was up, playing, smiling, climbing and ready to be there. I told her if she had an more concerns she could come find me, and I went and sat in peace and thought about what had just happened. Her dad seemed so incredibly grateful. I am certain that I made a difference in their day. I have no choice but to thank God for a gift that one day not so long ago I would have sworn I would never have. I recall sitting in Church thinking, Oh please don’t call me to the daycare. I really don’t have much tolerance for kids. Oh how wrong I was. Oh how funny God is!

Hmmm, I started todays post, with an overflowing heart. I have been longing to write for so long, but fear that the end times concerns within me would reflect as negative thinking has held me back. I open up this blog every day planning to write, and cannot  make myself do it. Today, it all comes gushing out. had no intention of talking about kids, at any point in the day did I plan to write about children, or gifts, and yet, here I sit, spilling it all over the keyboard.

A close family member has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, another very close friend, like a nephew, got Kawasaki disease last week. Two girlfriends have gut health issues far worse than mine, and one close friend is allergic to everything, including her own sweat. Not literally, but when she gets hot, her whole body gets covered in purple hives…big, itchy ones. The food source is tainted, and we are all getting sick because of it. I cannot wait until my garden veggies come to fruition. I hate buying veggies in the tore any more, and I rarely crave meat. I am not a vegetarian by any means, i just don’t require a lot of meat for my own tastes. I prefer veggies, and boiled eggs and cheese for protein. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good steak, but they are so heavy and hard for my body to process, that my cravings for them are few and far between. I have found that my body readily accepts soups, any time of day. I assume that is because they are so broken down that I don’t have to work hard to digest it.

I found a great source for beads on the internet and have been on a crafting kick. I am so incredibly thankful to be released from that rest, and creativity is flowing through my veins like the woman I once knew. Now if this darned heat would just break! Gardening is also at the top of my priority list, as well as making sure we have a good “nest egg” ready before we jump into this ranching business.

I could not be more thrilled at the notion of having a foster child. Of giving stability, safety, and comfort, to a child who does not know those things. Oh how I long for that day we get our first foster child. I will cry myself to sleep with tears of gratitude that first night. I have a spay/neuter event that I have not focused enough on, and I am going to be hustling this week to get my volunteers and food put together…

Well, my friends, I suppose I have stolen enough of your time today. Have a blessed day…

Posted on

Released

So, after what feels like the longest period of rest in my life, I believe that I have finally been released from it. I woke up the other morning, with a sudden realization of what was causing this pain to persist, and got it all fixed up. I am so thankful for the release, but now that I think about it, I wonder how busy God plans to make me, the next several months. That is a long time to rest. Regardless, I am done resting, but still moving caution and awareness. I feel like I have been given the go- ahead to move forward with my rescue ranch plans, and I have a general feeling of  “Wheee….here we go..!” Hubby and I are on the search for the perfect little start-up ranch, we decided to rent for a few years before we buy, for a whole host of reasons.

I am back up in my kitchen again, and it feels so good to be baking, cooking, and preserving again. I have limited food to preserve, since there is no garden this year, but I still love to go to costco and get big packages of fruit and turn them into fruit leather. Yum! Grape takes an incredibly long time to dry! It feels good, really good, to see some of me coming out again. I have a desire to craft and I have a major quilt bug going on too. I am very excited at the prospect of moving forward with rescue ranch plans into a tangible place! I would be so thrilled to have a foster kid by Christmas!

My girlfriend with the baby girl who is fighting kidney cancer is home, and that is so incredibly exciting! I have not seen them for nine months. Her daughter was given some low number, like 30% odds, of beating this disease, and today she is cancer free. We keep her in our prayers, as there is a high likelihood of reoccurence, but what a delight to see her smiling face. Her biggest struggle right now is learning to eat solids again, and it is a real challenge. Her stomach does not know what to do with them, so it hurts to eat. The very first thing she did when she got to my house was ask for food! You as a reader, cannot possibly know how much I love to feed people, or how instantly flattered I was when she asked me to make her Banana bread! I went on a banana bread frenzy yesterday, and I am happy to say that I have one very large loaf in my freezer for her, and she has one very large loaf to work through. I also made a couple large loaves for my family.  My girl didn’t want nuts in hers, but she really needs the protein, says mom. So, hers are special, with the finest ground nuts you can imagine . In all, I made four batches of banana bread yesterday, and had I used a regular sized pan, I would have had 8 loaves. Wow….that is a lot of banana bread for one little girl. Oops, I realized later how happy I was to be doing anything for her at all. She asked if she could eat in my living room. I told her that for the rest of her life she could do whatever she wanted in my house, because she is my hero. I meant it. She is a good girl…well, except she can’t tell her mom no. That rules till applies to every child in my home. As un-progressive as it is as a parenting technique, and I am pretty well trained in brand new parenting techniques, well, I still find it to be true. You respect your mother and do what she asks. If you disagree, you may discuss it, but you may not say no or be disrespectful. Obviously, if a mother was asking her child to do something ridiculous or dangerous in my home, I would put a stop to it, but kids these days have no respect for adults. It blows my mind when I see the way some of my clients treat their parents.

I am hung up on the times around us. I have recently become blatantly aware of how many people think we live in a democracy. I think I learned that we live in a Republic when I was in the 7th grade. I am amazed how many people are unaware that this grand Ole United States of America is in a state of martial law, and we have been since 2001. I wonder how many people realize the ramifications of socialized healthcare. I used to support it, but a little research, and the state of our medical structure in the US scares the daylights out of me. I am aware of these “drones” that can be as small as mosquitoes or as large as a helicopter that are watching us, and now they are talking about arming them with rubber missiles and tear gas. I am as partriotic as a girl can get. My father fought in the Vietnam war and my grandaddy in wars before him. I cry when I hear the Star Spangled Banner, and I ache for our troops and their families. I am also, for the first time in my adult life, facing an election that I don’t want to join. Everything about the American in me says I have to vote. I HAVE TO! I mean, its what we do. However, how? who? really, I HAVE to? I just am so tired of listening to everyone complain about the President. First of all, we live in a system of checks and balances, and he can’t do anything without a whole slew of other people voting right along side him. Second of all, it doesnt matter who the president is, you never hear people saying, “Well, look what a good job our president is doing” Essentially, running for president seems like a job application to be the countries scapegoat while the congress and house of representatives quietly destroy our government. Now, I do not claim to be educated about government or politics, but I am just speaking, ranting rather, from my heart. Everyone complaining about Obama kills me. Not because I feel one way or the other about Obama, but because not only did most of the complainers vote for him, but everybody thinks they want change until they get it. Can you remember the last time you saw a huge change among masses of people without a great deal of resistance. People want change, until it means they have to change what they are used to, then forget it, who is this fool trying to change the way we do things. Bunch of hypocrisy if you ask me. Not that you did. I kinda took it upon myself to share, huh?

Someone said to me the other day. We need a woman president, but NOT Hillary Clinton. I stopped and said, wait. If not Hillary, than who? Martha? Oprah? I mean, plain and simple, it takes a person of a certain personality type to run for president, and anyone who does, woman or man, is going to have that same cut-throat, get to the top type of personality. The person I was talking to hadn’t considered that, but neither do the rest of the world who think a woman would do better. I am not saying she wouldn’t, I am saying that it takes a certain level of power hunger to want to be president.

So I am in a strange place, because I am in a place where I am facing things I have always refused to face…meaning end times stuff. I am not gullible, and I don’t jump on end of the world bandwagons, however, I am starting to feel like that person. I am seeing Revelations come true before my eyes. I half expect the Rapture to happen any moment. I wonder if God will take us before, or leave us here to guide the ones who are lost? I wonder if people are aware of those flying little drones, and of the mark of the beast. Do you all know that family in Florida that is microchipped? It is here! I hate it that it is here, because I don’t want to jump on that bandwagon, but I cannot deny it any more! Cameras on every corner, govt failing…and we are so closely heading toward a one world rule… I keep thinking its NATO. I wonder how much longer the US govt will make it. It can’t be long, at the rate things are going now. How do I talk to anyone about this without them secretly thinking I am one of them tin-foil hat junkies or that I think zombies are coming. I am not, and I don’t. What I do think though, is that God is getting  ready to give the Earth to Jesus, and it is going to get very messy getting there.

I feel a sense of pressure to get the rescue ranch up and running in time, and really, to make the preparations we need to make to be ready for whatever may happen. Whatever it is, it is here, and it is starting, and it is going to be really ugly. I also feel a sense of peace, knowing that God will make sure we have all we really need to do His will before that time comes, or as we need it.

I used to think I was a heat person. It could be a hundred degrees and I didn’t care, but I hated cold. Well, let me tell you how much that has changed. I CAN”T STAND the heat. YUCK!  I used to love it. Now, the cool comes and I get excited. Snow falls and I get frisky and wanna bundle up and take my dogs out for a good romp in it. I mentioned this to a healthcare professional once, and she told me that I would change me preferences every 7-10 years until I was sixty or so. That was an interesting tidbit, but I gotta say, today, I am not a fan of this incredible heatwave that is slowly passing through. It makes me nauseous, gives me a headache, and robs me of what little appetite I have. Bring on Fall!

Despite my rantings, I am in a fabulous mood. It is nice to be up cooking and baking and feeling like myself again. I have been through a crazy whirlpool of health issues the last six months, but I am finally up and moving again, and I couldn’t be more pleased. It is amazing the little things you take for granted till you can’t do them. It is so incredibly nice to be functional again. Thank You Lord!

I know it has been a while, but I think I am up and moving again, and the next few months should be quite the adventure as we find a little ranch or farm to get started on. I can’t wait to share it with you all. Until next time, have a blessed day!

 

Posted on

What a strange place I am in today. So far the pamper me time is going great, but today I have no desire to do anything at all. My house is clean, my plants are watered and the baby sprouts are coming up, getting ready to head out to the greenhouse.  Spring is in the air, the chives and crocuses have arrived. I should feel vibrant, beaming even, but instead I have a low buzz of “I don’t want to do anything”. What on earth do I do with this feeling? I am happy, generally content. I have a new client, who baffles me but I feel at peace, as though she was brought to me for reasons only I can understand. I feel as though my life is in order for the most part, but I have no ambition. Surprisingly, I look around me and see order everywhere, and wonder if I am bored? The sky is gray and dreary, but the weather is warm, perfect for being outdoors, doing spring garden clean up, but not me, I am in here, writing this silly blog, trying to figure out where my drive went. The past week or two have been above and beyond relaxing and peaceful, and I have slept more than I ever do. What a strange funk. Happy and content, with about as motivation as a person with severe depression (I mean no judgement there, as I have suffered from severe depression in the past, I am speaking from experience). I have a great book I am looking forward to reading, but can’t seem to make myself pick it up for more than a minute or two. I have little desire to journal or do crafts and I just don’t know what is up with me. I am very bored with sitting and staring at this point. I am content and bored. I heard one time “only boring people get bored”, and I am a little stuck on that. I think I need a change. I don’t think a haircut is going to do it, although I still haven’t gotten that haircut, I think it is because that is not what I really want. I want a real change (and a haircut, so I will do it eventually).

I realized that I reached a place where I need a big change to move forward, and that change is in the process of happening, but I think I just sat down to wait, which is very unlike me. I cannot remember the last time I felt bored, of all things. I want to move really badly. I feel that I have reached most of the goals that are possible for me  to reach from this home, and I want to move somewhere with some space. While we own our home, we rent the land that it is on, and unfortunately, the world has become a place where limits are a must, due to the sue happy nature of folks. Our son is not aloud to climb trees, ugh! Really, we aren’t aloud to do anything, add raised beds, gardens, walkways, dog fences…nothing, and so, it is time for a little more space. I need a change that includes a yard I can fence if I so desire, so that on wonderful days like today, my dogs can be in the yard with me without having to worry about them running into the highway after a deer. Now, I feel guilty going out and enjoying it without them, and so I am sitting here with them, not being productive. we do out treks to the woods, but even when we get home, they just look at me out the window like “c’mon, let us out”. I tried tie-outs, which I am a firm believer against, but if I am out there with them…so I justified. They just get tangled into a little ball and stand there staring at me in a pack of dog statues. Not to mention, they have officially broken two of the three tie-outs quickly. I am ready to move forward in my life, but don’t know how to do that from this home. At least I finally figured out what the problem is, should make it much easier to tackle, and I am thankful that my house is clean while I do.

Aha…well identifying the problem has brought some ambition and motivation, so that must be a good thing. I have a client who weighs heavy on me, but I don’t know what to do. I have peace about it. God will lead me. My son has acted up a bit since dad’s career change, so we are addressing that, and I myself have had health scares this month which have caused me to reevaluate everything about my life and how it functions. I love God, and have a desire to talk to Him every day, but feel completely alienated from my church…

Well, on that short and sweet note, I am going to go do something with this newfound information…anything! I am going stir crazy!

Posted on

Adjusting…or loss and growth

Well, I never imagined I would have so much time on my hands without my husband here. I have been such a lazy bum the last few days. I feel no pressure to get anything done (this is NOT a good thing), and I feel like I am walking around in a daze. I have spent some time reflecting on my loneliness the last day or two. I am happy, content, not feeling like I need to ‘hang’ with anyone. I am enjoying loneliness very much. I didn’t even know that you could enjoy loneliness, but I am. I have had a ton of health problems the last few years, and someone recently said to me that I needed a rest. Not the kind of rest you need when you are sick, but the rejuvenating rest you get on vacation. I spent some time thinking on that, and realized that I don’t think I have ever had that. It occurred to me that you all may hear a lot from me, with my husband gone, and it looks like I am finding truth in that thought. I spent a minute today thinking about my desire to chat it up, with a gal who understands me. They are all gone…kind of. In order to deliver today’s thoughts, I have to give a LOT of background on myself, so please bear with me as I explore things I have left alone for years. First, let me explain in very simple terms, I am not one to cry at good-byes. Don’t get me wrong, I cry. I cry when I need to. I am a highly sensitive person. I have been meaning to make a tab on my blog for Highly Sensitive Personalities for a long time now. It is a real condition, it does exist, and there are a lot of people who possess highly sensitive personalities. Beautiful things hit me in the chest like a ton of bricks, as do terrible things. Look at the humanitarians in your life. It is very likely that at least some of them are HSP’s. If you are reading my blog, and interested in what I have to say, you may be an HSP. I think it is a privilege and a gift from God. But, back to my point about crying at good-byes. I am not sure if it has to do with the overwhelming amount of death in my childhood, or with faith, or just simply that I did a lot of the leaving, but whatever it is, it works for me. It started when I was seven, the death rate in my life. I am so thankful that God gave me the tools that He did, and I imagine he did that because only He could know I would need them. Remember that I consider myself blessed to be able to take positives away from a situation. I believe that is the tool that got me through my childhood. Looking back, it was the only chance I had at survival. I realize now, that He prepared me for everything I needed to get here, and spend the rest of my life glorifying Him. What else could a woman ask for? So, a brief history of my childhood. I had a hard time, but I was convinced that so many people had it so much worse. That was my mantra, my go to phrase, and my get me through it. It could be worse…

I had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, a family that loved me, and food in my mouth. I thought my needs were met. Little did I know, you also need validation, trust, a safe place, parents who will stand up for you, respect, and the chance to be a child. As an adult, I have become thoroughly educated on the finer needs in life, and I spend my days passionately trying to validate other people, help them see their shame platforms, and help them realize that they were created perfectly by God, and to believe otherwise is a great insult to Him. To let other people tell them otherwise is an injustice to the self. That is where my joy comes from. The Bible tells me that the only one I have to please is God. There is a level of safety in that, that I just cannot put into words. But, I digress. I never imagined I would have a passion for PTSD in children, but looking back, it is clear God prepared me to help a lot of people with that one. I have even been asked to write a book about it by my sons therapist! Talk about flattering, if you can use that word to describe God’s work through a person. He trusts me with the little ones. That nearly brings me to tears! When I look at my life, I realize that He trusts me with the damaged, the weak, the injured, the sick, and the just plain needy. I am so blessed! He directed my life to a place where I would be in a position to do the work that really matters. He gave me the responsibility of understanding compassion, validation, trust, faith…all of the skills necessary to save the lost. I didn’t even realize it was happening till it was here. I always said He had great plans for me, because there was no other reason for me to go through all of these trials, tribulations, learning situations and so much misery if not. But I did not realize I had arrived until I was standing in the middle of it! What a beautiful realization! The PTSD in my life starts young, as an infant. My parents both had their own shame platforms, and drugs and excessive alcohol were most certainly the influencing factor in my early years. I lost my father to drunk driving when I was seven. I think that is the day I knew God, but it was not until much later that I admitted it to myself. God protected me from even that event. I was at my grandmothers house when it happened. She was the ONLY Christian in my life. My grandmother was Catholic, and despite my misgivings about some Catholic “laws”, she was a true and devout Christian. I cannot thank her enough for that now! My would be step-father moved in when my dad had been gone two weeks. I was yanked away from my biological family to another state far away, with no explanation. By the third grade I had attended six schools. From that point on, I had experience after experience with death. My very first grade school boyfriend was shot in a gang war (and we didn’t even have ghettos or gangsters where we lived. It was a quaint little midwest town, even rated #1 while I lived there). Another friend has a brain aneurism from a drug overdose, gramma and grampa, great aunt and uncle. I watched them pass one at a time. Soon I learned that death was inevitable, a fact of life. By the time my very best friend in the whole world died of cancer, I was praying for God to take her. She was an angel, too good for this word anyway, and she did not deserve the suffering! I was so incredibly relieved when she passed, and this is when I knew I had fully accepted death! I have quite the gang of angels, let me tell you! I still cry cause I miss her…It took me years. I didn’t cry because she had passed, but I would love her to meet my son, and my dad too. I cry occasionally for my own selfish reasons…but I am glad they are in a better place. Oh boy, it is going to take a long time to get through this, I keep getting distracted.

When I was twenty six, I went to my first wedding. I realized that I had been to more funerals than I could count on all of my toes and fingers, but this was my first wedding. I felt a bit gypped that day! I remember my pity party quite clearly. I am an expert in saying good-bye. We moved to that far away state, and I was pretty much prohibited from talking about my daddy I had lost, or any of his family members. I had nine aunties and uncles, most of them I was very close to, all gone in one swift move. Trust me, as an adult, I had a  lot of anger and resentment to work through, especially for my mother and step father. I grew up with an abusive step father and an alcoholic mother. The only thing my step dad didn’t do was hit me. Verbally, and sexually, he abused me repeatedly. I was a grade A student, never skipped a day of school in my life, till I was seventeen, when I realized I had been going about it all wrong. All I wanted was to hear my mom and dad say they were proud of me. I did everything I could to please them. I never heard those words. I heard about how I was going to be a drug addict, barefoot and pregnant, waste of life. I heard about how bad I was all the time. He even made fists and told me it was my fault he started smoking again. Thankfully, I was smart…I didn’t lose that. I told him that he was an adult and I didn’t make him do anything! I dared him to punch me. It would have been a way to get him in prison without shaming my family with the sexual abuse. If I could take sexual abuse and verbal abuse every day for eleven years, then I could certainly take a punch! I told my mom when I was seventeen, like most mothers, she chose not to protect me. We have since mended most of those broken fence posts, although there may be one or two remaining. I am not sure. I guess I have mended those, she just started therapy, so she has some mending to do and I imagine with that will come a conversation or two that is healing for me. I had a very strict schedule, and was very limited in activities outside the home. I understand now it was a control issue on his part, and a money issue on my mom’s part, but at the time, I just thought they didn’t like me. This is when I started journaling. I am thankful for the tool of words! We got through the drama of all of that, all the while, I went through life with the nickname SMILEY. I always had a smile on my face, never cried. The more I hurt, the bigger I smiled. When I was nineteen, I ran away to another state far away with a good friend. That is where I started over. That is when my life began! I wonder if she has any idea the role she had in saving my life. I guess I had better tell her! I realized I had not cried…ever. I could not remember my last tear shed. I started crying, and I could not hold it back. I have never stopped. I searched and searched for answers to my heartache for years. I was a social butterfly, which is the whole entire point of this post. I had a ton of friends, everywhere I went. I fit into every social category, and was rarely not included in an activity. I spent years chasing fun, afraid to miss out on something, but I was depressed, and bi-polar as all get out. I later learned that the birth control I went on when I was nineteen had a HUGE role in the bi-polar tendencies, meanwhile, it really aggravated the situation! If you have bi-polar, and are on a hormonal birth control, get off, right away! The tri-cyclic hormones mimic the bi-polar cycle. You will find a huge change in your ability to control emotions. I also had the dumb luck to see a therapist, in my ten years of therapy with various individuals, who in a very short time, taught me three tools to happiness, and they work. I will go into more detail another time, but they including “shoulding all over myself and other people”, learning that five bad minutes only wrecks five minutes of my day, not the whole day, and walking to stimulate the amygdala when I am upset…to get the living hormones going and the fight or flight ones to stop. It is not healthy to live in a constant state of fight or flight, you have to physically get yourself out of that place, and hard walking does it. It was my sons therapist who really changed my life for the long haul. She taught me how I should be treated, what co-dependency is, what I have to tolerate from people, and what I don’t have to tolerate. I must have been a good student, because not only did she ask me to write a book, I am now being represented under her license to work with traumatized kids that she refers to me. That is huge growth. I went from thinking I was not good enough to deserve the basic right of respect, even though all i did was try to be good enough. I broke myself trying to be good enough. I spent years in rebellion, when I realized my parents didn’t want me to be good enough. When I realized I was going abou tit all wrong, what I cam e to was that my parents told me every day I was a loser. They didn’t want to be proud of me, they wanted a drug addict, trailer trash, drop out…so fine, that is what I would give them. I abandoned my education in my senior year, started skipping school, doing drugs, and having sex. If there was a way to rebel I would find it. I had, after all, finally figured out how to make my parents proud of me! Or so I thought. Thus began a downward spiral in my life. One that led to rock bottom, and ultimately, to Jesus. I dug that hole for years, and years, and years. I just kept going deeper, never finding the treasure at the bottom of that hole. I became a single parent. I never really understood it until a good Christian put it in perspective for me.

I tried my hand at college, but not understanding that my child had special needs, I thought I was a terrible parent. I could not keep a job or get to class. I was a straight a student when I made it, but it was just too much for me. I wondered how other mommies did it. I just couldn’t understand how I could be this smart and still fail time and time again, until the therapist put my son in perspective for me. We got some testing and diagnosing done. I had always known there was a creator, but I refused to call it God, because of the social stigma related with that name, and the only influence I had was at a prominent catholic church. I refused to believe God would not love me because I wore jeans or patent leather shoes. I denied Him for years. I also refused to go to a church for help because I felt that it would be sacrilegious to take help from a church while denying God. One day I got so low, I had no choice. I attended the church I planned to call two Sunday’s in a row, decided I could appreciate this new take on God, and called them for help. They opened their arms to me, and really helped me out. I sat down after that first meeting, with tears streaming down my face, at the end of my bed. I put my arms up in the air, and said “that’s it God, I cannot do this by myself anymore. I am giving it to you”. Wow! I cannot even express the way my heart opened up that day. I can’t explain the change that took place in me. My life has blossomed since that day, and I owe it all to one man, who opened my heart to the idea that God could save me. When I dropped out of school, I got a job on a ranch. I met the most amazing Christian I have ever known that day. He didn’t judge me, he talked to me. He heard my story and told me his perspective without judgement. When I told him that I wondered what on earth made me think I wanted to be a single mom, he said, well look what the men in your life have done to you. I know why you chose that path. I guess you don’t know yet, that at 22 I decided I wanted a baby, and the way the world was going, it was easier to be a single mom anyway, and I didn’t want a dad in my child’s life. I even told three people I felt that way, and every single one of them supported me. Even I could see I was trying to find someone to tell me not to do it, but they all supported me wholeheartedly. What in the world…? so, I got rid of my very awesome and respectful boyfriend, and got me a loser! Unfortunately, he stuck around, and that led to my child having to be exposed to such things as meth and violence in his fathers home. I have to just tell myself that God has a plan for him, just like I did when I was going through my own childhood hell. The fact that this eighty year old devout Christian could love and respect me, and even understand and tell me why I did what I did, made me realize there might be something to this Christianity thing. When he talked about the Bible, he talked about love, trust, forgiveness…not the horrible things people try to use to condemn the Bible. I have since learned how to understand some of those horrible things, and they are often taken greatly out of context, in my humble opinion. I am thankful for eyes that read the Bible an translate it to interpret love. I suppose I ought to get to the point one of these days.

When I first found my son’s therapist, she taught me a lot of the very same things I learned as a dog handler with stressed out dogs. It is pretty amazing how child rearing and healthy household dynamics are much like healthy dog packs. I think dogs have the heart of Jesus. They love unconditionally, punish swiftly and get on with it. They forgive quickly, and they forgive everything. They don’t turn their backs on you. Dogs…Jesus, just think about it. So, much in common that I think God gave us dogs as an every day reminder of TRUE, UNCONDITIONAL love.I use my dogs, when I work with problem dogs, to train said dog, while I train the handler (that is the trick to good dog handling and good child rearing, train the handler). This week, that same therapist made a comment about how good my Aspergers son is a t socializing other Aspergers children, and she is sending us another client for him to socialize. Like I said, just like dog handling. I use my mutts in my training. I never imagined my son would be such an important part of parent training!

When I decided to grab the codependency bull by the horns and reign him into submission, I had to drastically change my habits…finally getting to the point. This was the hardest part of my recovery. I had to quit going to the bar (I went to the bar to be sober and drive people home at the end of the night, how bad could that be for me?) Right, I didn’t drink, so it wasn’t that. I was afraid to miss something. I sobbed and sobbed about how these people were my friends if I came to the bar, but they wouldn’t come to me in my house when I was home with my child. I went when he was with his dad. As a matter of fact, most of them have had nothing or little to do with me since I stopped going to the bar, and I guess I have learned to balance and accept that, and have even come to a place where I want nothing to do with people who only want to hang out at the bar. It is the best feeling. When I told the therapist through tears that I was a social butterfly and I didn’t know how to live without out all of these people in my life, she put my reclusive nature into perspective for me in a big way.  She told me it was coping mechanism. I went back to the bar one day for a special thing that one of my friends was doing, and I can say, that even though I did not have one drink, I felt truly hung over the next day, and I understood what the bar was doing to me. Especially as a sensitive person, I was absorbing all of that terrible energy. I avoid the bar at all costs now. I don’t want to feel that way again. I had been using social time to survive all these years. I had become dependent on other people needing me. Oh dear! This is not healthy. I realized that in high school, I was up and out of the house and at school with a smile on my face every day. I realized school was much better than home, and I loved it, and all of the nice people there. No one insulted me, touched me, abused me, violated me. School was my safe place. To think I almost threw it all away in my senior year. I am so glad I made it through that very tough time

Today, my friends get upset with me because I won’t come to them. I won’t go to the bar and to their parties. They do not understand what I have learned. They think there is something wrong with me, or I am depressed or something. I am the happiest I have ever been. I blow it off, because it is not them I aim to please. The ones who get it, come to me or hang out with me in their houses or at the park, or in the woods. I am no longer stressed over friendships lost because I don’t go to the bar. So, people come, and people go. I am happy with my solitude. Today I find myself lonely. In a good way, mostly. I used to have a lot of friends, but I have since scaled down my social connections. I have a few good friends, whom I can count on when I need them and not just when they need me. I don’t struggle with good-byes. I know if they are worth being sad over, I will see them again. My bestest friend in the whole world is fighting cancer with her daughter. They are far away an another state with a good children’s hospital. She gets me to the core. She never judges, and is just plain awesome anytime. I miss her so much. In the last six months, all three of my other close girlfriends have moved out of state. I did not struggle with a single one of them leaving, but as a whole, I feel like the people who most understand me are all very far away, and I am very lonely to just talk life through. I have had a ton of goings on in my life, and now even my husband is far away. I enjoy loneliness, but I fear that I will talk the ears off of almost any adult at this time (or reader of my blog, lol). I am word girl. I talk, I write, I sing. Words are what I do. I love comfortable silence, and I am enjoying my loneliness, but I really do need some good woman time with my dearest friend. I guess I feel like I have stuff too, but everyone else has more important stuff, and I sit quietly, waiting for my turn to have worries to share, and wondering if I will even be able to remember them all by the time I can share them with someone. I am feeling a little trapped in my brain with health concerns for myself, and who do I share them with? I am feeling excited about how close I am to Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch, and who do I share that with? I am excited about my Bible Study on James…I want to talk to someone on a peer level about it. But who? I want to have someone’s ideas about things I am processing through, but who do I bounce them off of?  I have behaved for the last three days, as if this is that vacation that my friend spoke of. I have spent three days doing very little but thinking and wishing that I had someone to bounce it all off of. Someone in particular, who gets it, and me. Who I don’t have to give a background to, or who won’t interrupt before the thought is through, to tell me how it will fail. I just want to spend a few minutes with someone I can let my guard down with. I want to tell someone I am worried about things. Instead, I smile and say “good”, when people ask how I am. It is true. I am good, and none of them are people I want to share the worries with. They are just the day to day worries of a woman, but as far as I can tell, we all need someone to share those worries with. I want to tell someone about my new progress on the rescue ranch without having to give them the whole danged background story first. I usually never get to the point anyway, cause I get distracted on the details. A lot of people have advice on it, and some have even taken my explanation as an invitation to start this ranch with me. Not that I  have ever given anyone that impression intentionally. I don’t believe in going into business with friends, and if God wants them there, He will put them there when the time is right. One person had the nerve to tell me she was going to start it and hand it over to me when I was ready and this is how it was going to run. She and I don’t really speak much any more. Holy cow, dear readers. I have been sitting here a while. I think I made it to my point inadvertently, and I have responsibilities, so I will have to be back later with more. If I try to proofread now, I will be here all day adding and rewording stuff, so bear with me if you get to editing errors before I do. At very least, you got to see what my brain does when I go too long without adult conversation. Have a nice night all, and I will elaborate more later… until then, God bless.

 

Posted on

Change

Ahhh change, and a little more sweet relief! My husband finds himself traveling for a period of time, and the guest on the couch has to go. It was already determined that he would leave before hubby did. It just didn’t feel ok to me, to have my husbands best friend sleep on the couch while he was away. It was a good thing anyway. He overstepped about a hundred boundaires while sleeping on our couch for the last month, but the last straw came this weekend when I got a homepage from my internet service provider reporting too much abuse coming from my IP address! Excuse me? How is that possible. Come to find out, that after being asked three times not to look at porn on our son’s computer, by both my husband, and me, he not only looked at some really nasty stuff…titles like sleazydates, but we got a virus. A BAD virus! Are you kidding me? We have been deep scanning my sons computer for two days. It takes twelve hours per round, and the virus attacked the antivirus software and opened up the camera. Oh you can bet I was livid. I was calm angry. At that place that comes after raging, shaking angry. Calm, quiet, ready to punch him in the face angry. I don’t hit. Never have, don’t plan to start now. Seeing white angry! You can bet when my husband looked at me speechless, overwhelmed, and not sure where to begin, I had plenty to say. When my friend started to talk, I told him he didn’t get to talk. We had talked to him about this three times. It was disrespectful to our home, and everyone in it. He not only had the nerve to access that stuff while my respite client was here, and five feet away on the couch, he also knew of the virus, shut down the computer, and went to bed without telling anyone. Oh livid! When I was done, I apologized to my husband and son for what they had heard, and how mean I had been, and my son actually told me he had never heard me be that mean before. I can promise you one thing, and one thing for sure…Messing with pornography and my son all in one motion will get you to my deepest rage. That is a promise. I am a kind, caring, nurturing, and compassionate person. I have even spent a moment or two dwelling that my friend is out there, alone. Not a friend in the world. Lost his wife, his house, his job, in one day, and only sees his child occasionally now. Our other good friends turned their backs on him. He is a good friend, he made a very rude and disrespectful mistake, but I do get where he is coming from, and it most certainly the sin that I hate here, not so much the sinner. Him, I am angry at. The fact that he is lost and wandering in a dark world is not surprising, as it seems the norm when I evaluate the behavior of myself and others coming out of a long term relationship. I am not saying everyone handles loss with porn, I am saying that every divorce or separation I have seen has come with some sort of rebellion and irrationality. That does not excuse his inappropriate behavior in my home, and he knows to stay away for a while.  I was mean, I was vicious mean. Part of me feels guilty, but most of me feels like “how dare he?” I sent him away with the knowledge that he would be replacing my sons computer very quickly if I did not get it fixed, and that I would be sure that happened. I explained to him exactly how angry I was when I could not get to my little friends cancer awareness page, and that he had lied to me over and over and over again. I can forgive almost anything, immediately, if you can be accountable and own it. Lying to me will get you anger, mistrust, and a cold shoulder. People often tell me how big my smile is. Sometimes I am forced to remind them that while my smile is my favorite facial outfit, the rest of my emotions are just as big! Few understand that until they push me too far or see someone else push me too far. I am not a spiteful or vengeful person, I am just patient. I take a lot of crap, but there is a line, and when you cross it, that’s too much crap. I get cold and rational….and smart. That crushing wit I talked about…it leads my conversations with or without my permission. My husband thinks its funny. I think I need to control it well, but I am pleased that I was able to get my point across yesterday, and quite frankly, on a human level, it just felt good to tell him how badly he treated us and to get the hell out of my house…now. I hate it when I enjoy making a grown man cry. Thank God it doesn’t happen often.

The world is in a smoother, more relaxed place now. Bad friend off the couch and outta my hair, hubby off on a far away job, computers both clear and free of viruses and other malware, and the house is in a state of peace and quiet. I have the parental setting set so high in my sons computer, there wasn’t one piece of infected file attached to his account. I had no idea parental controls worked so well. The settings that high also prevent him from operating the camera, and yet the camera was activated, so I think I am just going to put a piece of electrical tape over his camera. My father in law laughed at me, but I saw a tv special the other day on pedophiles, and how easy it is for them to turn on your child’s computer cam remotely, in seconds, without anyone knowing. That scares the daylights out of me. My child is a teenage Aspergers nerd (I say that with the most pride and affection you can imagine). It is just that he would rather play an engineering game than talk to people or look at girls online, but that doesn’t stop people from watching him, and I am NOT ok with that.

I am pretty lazy and unorganized today, but with the start of a new week, I am looking forward to what the days should bring. I anticipate getting some lists made, getting my house clean, getting some crafts done, and getting paperwork responsibilities managed. I think I will get a chance to pamper myself one or two times while he is gone, and I look forward to a quiet, relaxing, clean, home. I think it will take me a week to get to that place. I anticipate the following week to be productive as I work on focusing toward the future and some of the responsibilities that come with getting to a rescue ranch. I can turn the heat up a degree or two, without anyone caring, and I don’t have to worry about my hubby being sad when I don’t go to bed as early as he does. My son’s sleep disorders physically limit this behavior in our lives, and so far we have not been able to find a solution to the fact that he hates to go to sleep without me, but I have to stay up with the boy, and he needs more sleep than I do, so he can’t make it through the week if he sleeps on my schedule. It will be nice to not feel bad about that.

The grocery store near our house is remodeling, and there are so many great deals to be had. I look forward to grocery shopping this week. It seems like everything is on clearance, which is not true, but a ton of stuff is. I LOVE CLEARANCE! It could be a hoarder tendency I think…I am not a hoarder, but I could be with the right amount of space and money…kidding. I grew up without a lot of money, and then was the single mother of a special needs child for ten years. I have a tendency to want to buy things cheap, and when they are cheap, to stock up. I think it is more a survival instinct than a hoarder tendency, since I like it all to be neatly organized and in its place with labels and dates.

I just remember the relief, when I was supporting two on less than four hundred dollars a month, when there was a spare shampoo under the sink for days when I had three dollars to my name. Speaking of that time in my life…if you are having trouble handling your finances, may I suggest Financial Peace University. Dave Ramsey. The man is a genius. I was able to support two people on under four hundred dollars a month, without accruing any new debt, for almost a year. My church paid for the class and materials for me, and I went. It was amazing. Nothing like I imagined it would be. He didn’t tell me I had to quit doing anything, he didn’t set strict rules I couldn’t will myself to observe. He taught me to make common sense changes in my life, in a Biblical way. I will go again and again to the classes (they are free once you have taken it once), and I would recommend, and will purchase the class for people in my future. I have already bought it for one person…my friend whose world was upside down. he didn’t make it through, but maybe when he gets back on his feet he will try again. I will offer these classes to the community when I start my rescue ranch. I feel strongly that the simple skills outlined in those classes can turn anyone’s life around.

Dinner is made and the dishes are done. Son is relaxing for a few minutes before he has to get in the shower and get ready for school tomorrow. Mutts are pottied and quietly snoozing. I have not bothered to turn on the tv today, but maybe I will do that in a little bit for some quiet background noise. I even got some food processed today that was not going to make it any longer in my fridge if I didn’t do something about it. I have roasted a turkey and a chicken in the last three days. That is a lot of white meat in my freezer. I got the clever idea to grind some up for chicken salad before I froze it, so all I have to do is thaw and add condiments when son wants chicken salad for a snack. Here is hoping it works. I tried to press as much of the air out of it as I could. I look forward to a lovely, quiet evening of list making and regrouping myself for my week that starts tomorrow. I love regrouping on Sunday night. A fresh start first thing in the morning is awesome. Especially on Monday morning.On that note, I believe I will go start my nighttime routine. You kids have a lovely day! God bless!