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musings (the quest for happiness)

Good day friends!

Boy, the thoughts I left you with last night were discombobulated and skewed. I did not elaborate or make the sense of those thoughts that I wished to. In all I have been processing the last few days with my two friends strange behavior, I have really had a lot of time to do some reflecting on myself. I wonder what cycles I perpetuate over and over in my life. I evaluated the gifts I am thankful for, and how pleased I am to be looking into a situation, as though through a window, that I was at one point inside of. Try to explain true peace to someone who has never known it, and there are no shortage of people who have never experienced true peace. I feel so blessed to have been given an opportunity to know peace. It breaks my heart to see loved ones struggling with something so simple, and yet, I remember a time, when peace seemed like the most foreign concept in the world to me. Through a series of behavior changes, profound theories offered, and careful examination of my heart, it was not hard to find peace at all. It was really quite simple once I understood healthy behavior. Too bad so few understand healthy behavior. So many people running around trying to find peace and happiness, while it is right under their noses. Even after having been in those shoes, I have no idea what to say to a friend who is grappling with her demons? I have no idea what advice to offer to someone who has never had a healthy day in her life, and who has no idea what it feels like to have healthy behaviors. If you have never been content, it is a strange feeling to get used to. If you are used to feeling uncomfortable all the time, being comfortable can be an unwelcome and strange sensation, and most people fight it. Accepting comfort, grace, peace, and happiness is a difficult thing. It has something to do with gratitude, and faith. Contentment is a rare thing to come by, and I struggle with the inability to give other people the simple wisdom that happiness encompasses.

I offer these tools as a quick course to happiness. Walk. Whenever your brain is unfocused, in fight or flight mode. Walk. Walk hard for twenty minutes, at least. Get your heart rate up and it will trigger your logical brain to kick in and turn off your survival brain. It is not healthy to live in survival mode all the time. Too many bad chemicals and hormones put into your body. Those emotions are meant to be used for short periods of time in survival situations, not to be lives with day in and day out. Walk. Walk hard! Feel your heels hit the pavement. Breathe with every step. Pace yourself. Walk. Hard. It will start to feel as though situations only last while they are happening, and not set the mood for the whole entire day. And on that note, realize that one bad thing does not mean that your day is wrecked, or gonna be “one of those days”. It just means that this particular five minutes sucks, but it will pass and you can get on with your day. Even a series of five minute events, a stubbed toe, out of milk, empty gas tank, forgot your purse, are only a series of minor inconveniences, not the definition of your day. You control your happiness, but when a person is in a funk, or depressed, that is pretty hard to believe, or learn how to do. You still have the option to redirect. Slow down, get back in your car and go back for your purse, give your boss a call. Sorry I am going to be late, it has been a rough morning, and we will see you soon. You are only human. Take a second to take a deep breath on your way back for your purse, and count whatever blessings you may have. After all, it is possible that having to go back was God’s way of protecting you from a car accident just ahead in your path, or a burner that you forgot to turn off at home. Is it a nice, sunny day, and you now have fifteen more minutes to enjoy the sunshine before you clock in? Its your choice, what you make of it. Can you see the bright side, what positives might come from this minor inconvenience?

I have already shared the concept of “shoulding all over someone” with you at length. This includes self. If you spend a lot of time dwelling on what you should have done, or should be doing, you are not getting anywhere, so get up and move forward. Are you really willing to give up even three minutes of joy to be irritated that some guy didn’t use his blinker or that some girl was on her phone and cut you off? Maybe he is on his way to his wife in labor, or she may be getting directions to the place where her daughters car went off the road. We just cannot know other peoples circumstances most of the time, but we all have circumstances some times, so best to just give people the benefit of the doubt and have a little compassion. Plus, not only are you happier, but it makes for a nicer world when we don’t assume the worst about others. Unless, of course, you are perfect, have never made a mistake, and do not wish that others would give you the same benefit of the doubt when you are being all human and stuff.

Gratitude is huge in the quest for happiness. Are you grateful for your blessings, or are you busy being irritated about that thing the snobby girl at the office said; “she is so spoiled, she has no clue what the real world is like”. Right. By the way, not only is this lack of gratitude, I hear a little shoulding going on there too. Implied shoulding, but shoulding nonetheless. I hear people saying, why does she get this, and he get that, and I just struggle all day and get no where. I have said it too…not any more though. Next time you feel like you are less than joyful, sit back and think about your blessings. Get out a pen and paper and start writing them down. I don’t know anyone who cant get to at least ten, and by the time you have listed ten things you are thankful for, you are feeling pretty joyous! It takes all of three or four minutes, and it is a quick reminder or how blessed you really are. Gratitude is the best tool I know for genuine joy, and gratitude is something we can make a decision to tangibly reach out and grasp. And, when we give thanks, we give it to our creator. Which leads us to faith. You must have faith to have genuine happiness. Without faith, what do we have to hold to for hope? What do we have to be thankful for. Faith is a cornerstone of happiness. A basic foundational need. Faith teaches us to trust, and to see the beauty in things. It gives us a reason to keep improving upon ourselves and it gets us through the most difficult of times.

I have spent the last few days reflecting on those lessons, in my quest for happiness. I found happiness, peace, calm, and faith, all in one big swift move. I have restless days, but I turn to my good Father and know that it is only a chapter of patience or solitude or reflection that I am in, that it shall pass, and that I am not lost. I know that He has a plan for me, and that I am right where I am supposed to be. There is a tremendous amount of solace in that. I find peace in the gifts I have been given. They are quiet gifts. Not a big house, a fancy car, a big college education, but I was given such gifts as compassion, insight, the ability to communicate effectively, and the knowledge that through even the hardest times, I am not alone. I have a knack for understanding and taking positives out of the Bible that many lack. I have a gift of intuition and a deep sense of nurture. I have the gift of humanitarianism in me, and that is such a huge compliment from my dear Father. What He has given me is heavy. A responsibility to the underprivileged. What a huge compliment and so much obligation. I am humbled by the tasks He has appointed me. I feel blessed by the compliment that I get to help care for the less fortunate, and awed that He thinks so highly of me that He would deem me competent for such a huge task. Part of the key to happiness, is learning to see your misfortunes as tool sharpening devices.

I had a less than ideal childhood, as many would agree. It is what I did with that childhood that is a gift from God. I see so many people using their childhood to perpetuate cycles of abuse, misfortune, and sadness. I choose to take my misfortune, and turn it into a positive. A learning opportunity, and I dig as deep as I can till I find the bright side of it. For the longest time, my mom thought I was crazy when I told her, “if I wouldn’t have been molested, I probably wouldn’t be a write today, plus, it gives me compassion and understanding, and the tools I need to help understand the victimized women I will be working with” rather than wonder why God is not protecting me from satans ways, I wonder how God will use satans meddling to do good in my life. I do not blame the negatives in my life on God. I blame them on the meddlings of the evil one, but I know that God will get me through and make me a better person for it, and that is why He allows it to happen. All along, He knew the pain and heartache that I would endure, and all along the way, He carried me when it got to much, knowing, that one day, I would help people find the peace He offers. That I would be the one to offer tangible, physical comfort, to those in storm, in His name. Wow! the enormity of that overwhelms me. He gives me so much more credit than I give myself. I am thankful, for the blessings, trials, tribulations, and saving grace, in my life! Every situation offers an opportunity for growth, it is what you choose to do with it that will determine your happiness. Can you find the silver lining in the gray of the clouds? Can you find calm and peace in the storm. It is all so much simpler than words would make it sound, and yet, so incredibly difficult to put words on. On that note, remember, we are all just working with the tools we were given. Our foundations are full of shame and unmet needs somewhere along the line. We are all human, all subject to heartache, mistakes, and basic human error. If you give everyone that benefit of the doubt, you will come a long way in that quest for happiness. Until next time…God bless!


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BRoken seems to be the theme in my life this week. My body is broken, my dishwasher is broken, my washing machine appears to be broken, although that I believe is vaporlock. Still don’t know, but I saw what the dishwasher was doing this morning, and that is FOR SURE not vaporlock. I don’t believe in coincidence, but how strange the dishwasher would break at the exact same time the washing machine backs up….And of course, I have this bum shoulder, which is preventing me from pulling out any of the appliances for a closer look. I went to acupuncture yesterday, and it helped some, but I still hurt. There is one factor missing, my husband! He has a little trick he does when I am all jammed up like this, and once I get the muscles to relax, he straightens me right out. It works so good. He may get the opportunity to come home this weekend for a few hours, and if he does, oh thank goodness. If not, I will be calling a chiropractor on Monday. The acupuncturist confirmed my belief that the massage therapist made it worse, she was surprised he was even willing to work on me with my shoulder so acute! Her words, not mine. She also sent me to a PT to get some strengthening exercises. I just don’t know how I can do strengthening exercises before I get adjusted, as it is difficult to move my head, due to the vertebra slamming into each other every time I move. I wonder what the PT can do to get me out of pain quickly, as she seemed to think he would get rid of the pain faster than a Chiro would, and I will admit, the idea of being adjusted today, even by a gentle Chiropractor, makes me want to cry. I believe no matter how gentle, it would be excruciating! So, I will go to the PT today, and keep drinking my “Chiro Klenz” tea. If you have not heard of it, look it up. I was given this tea by a Chiropractor years ago, and I swear by it. If I drink it three or four nights in a row, and trust me when I say it is VERY IMPORTANT that you follow the directions closely, I can lay down in my bed, take a deep breath, and hear my back realign itself. The tea is designed to removes toxins and gas pockets from your body, so be very careful the first few times, cause it will cleanse your system, and you don’t want to take the chance of being far from a bathroom (a private bathroom, preferably). I always feel lighter when I drink it. I use it particular for gut health, because it makes me go when nothing else will, and it is not painful, like some other products can be, but again, I caution you…do not overdo it. I made that mistake once and Holy Heavens it was painful, in a detox kind of way (use your imagination here folks)! It seems to help my muscles to feel light and clean, My spine adjusts, and lots of gas pockets released (the popping sound you hear when you crack your knuckles, or any other joint, is a gas releasing, which builds up between your joints and when you pop them, you are releasing that gas.) My guts feel much cleaner, and I just feel all around better. I am popping like crazy today, every time I move, and it is only a matter of time, until that shoulder gives and my spine realigns! I can feel the stuff around it starting to move! Small blessings! Thank You God! I will take any relief I can get.

I have three recurring health problems, and I believe that I can get each of them healthy through diet. It sounds funny, and of course there are other factors at stake. I have a tooth I need to have pulled. Clearly diet wont fix that. I believe that I will have the opportunity to get them fixed in the near future. The tooth greatly aggravates my TMJ. I never had TMJ pain until that tooth became infected. If I never have to go through that pain again, I am good! If you have TMJ, acupuncture works wonders for immediate relief, however, if you have an abscessed tooth, you have to get antibiotics first.  THat tooth also leads to bad bacteria in my already sick gut. I have poor gut health, and have had a host of doctors telling me it was this or that since I was seven. I finally got so desperate, that I din my own research. I spent days on line, googling every detail I could, till one day I hit the jackpot. It’s all about my blood type, and acids and enzymes present in my body. Or should I say, not present. It turns out gut health is the key to all health (or so I believe at this point). I came across the Blood Type Diet, which went into detail all of the symptoms I had been having, seemingly unrelated, but sure enough. I have become observant in the folks around me, and wow! Gut health, or lack thereof, is a prevalent factor in our society! When your guts are not healthy, you do not process your vitamins and minerals properly, and the rest of you breaks down, starting with your immune system. Once I figured out which supplements I needed, I was able to gain some control over my gut health, but I still need the help of a professional to help me get it all fine tuned. Now if I can find one who will listen to what I have found, rather than blowing me off, because I don’t have a PhD or understand the human body better than they do, although, this time, I think I do. Also, getting that tooth fixed will be huge in getting my gut health under control. Meanwhile, 37 years of not digesting my food properly, has led to a weakened immune system and deteriorated muscles. People always tell me they wish they were as skinny as me. If only they knew how many days I spend in pain, severe pain, and that I would take obesity over skinny, if it meant I could feel acute pain less often. Don’t get me wrong, I am not aiming for obese, but enough meat on my bones to protect me from injury would not break my heart. My third recurring health problem is my back. It hurts, a lot. I believe that as I adjust to the new diet, and my body starts absorbing the healthy stuff I put in it, that those muscles will get stronger, and I will feel all around better. I have been listening to a hunch I have about our food source. I feel a need to get back to God’s way. If we are all to be healthy, then we really need to get back to living the way God intended for us to live, and I feel desperate at time, for someone to discuss this with. In the course of a week, I read about test tube hamburgers, inorganic arsenic in rice, and an animal byproduct wax sprayed on veggies, and I am scared of the food source. Part of the mission of Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch, is going to be to live as close to God’s way as possible. I plan to raise as much of our food as possible. We eat a lot of game meat also. I came across a book at the thrift store the other day called “Makers Diet” and I really think it makes sense. Between the blood type info, and The Biblical diet, I really feel like I can get a grip on my gut health, and subsequently, the rest of my health. I feel really pleased that I found the Biblical Diet, now if I could find a book on Biblical homesteading I would be a happy camper! Who are we kidding, I am a happy camper, just a little tired of pain is all. Today, I can focus long enough to sit and write an entire blog post, so that must be a good sign.

I can’t wait till I feel good enough to be a functional mom again. Despite the pain, I am in fairly good spirits, but that was not the case yesterday. I was down right grumpy! I tried to explain to my son that it was not his fault, and that my back really hurt, but still, he should not have to live with that. At this point, my garden starts are started, but I have not got a lot of energy to tend them, I have a ton of projects I want to do, that I cannot get started on because I simply cannot focus on anything but this dang shoulder. I have paperwork and business work to do, and I just keep avoiding it. My back has started to align a little this morning, pain is receding, and I actually got a few things done, but I cannot wait to be a fully functional woman again!

Well, Physical therapy was not full of good news, I have a bulging disk in my neck. At least now I feel a bit less like a wuss who has been walking around crying all week about a sore muscle. On the other hand, bummer….no wonder it hurts so bad! I have officially been restricted to bedrest, ice, and a few small walks to go with my PT exercises each day. On that note, I am going to crawl into bed and rest this poor shoulder, because the tyoing certainly doesn’t help. Have a blessed day everyone. Until next time….

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The kings daughter…

I fought a war against co-dependency, and I won. I fought a battle against poverty, and I won. I went to combat against mental health instability, and I won. I spent years of my life in boot camp, training in all the right moves to conquer the evil that gets deep under out skin, and I spend my life as a drill instructor, teaching, training, drilling people to understand their worth. I beg, I plead, I empathize and I spend my days praying that others will see how beautiful they are, how much more they deserve. I want people to see themselves the way God see’s them. I want them to understand His love the way that they love their own children. I want them to all see how He looks down upon us, His children, the way we look down on our own children. I want them to know that unconditional love. I want every woman to know that she is the kings daughter! That SHE is a princess, and deserves to be treated like one. I spend my days trying to convince overwhelmed and under appreciated moms and sisters that THEY are princesses…daughters to the king…who else do they need to impress? Meanwhile…it has become very clear to me that I never learned how to treat myself like a princess, like the daughter that I am, washed in his blood and deserving of the throne, through His grace and forgiveness. I want others to understand that this is His gift to us. How is it that I can devote my life to helping other women break free from their chains, while I am still tied to this condemnation of self. When do I learn that I too, deserve those very things that I am pleading with others to receive for themselves? Maybe I already know, but I sure do struggle with implementing a plan. Today, I made a new category, because yesterday I made a new rule. I will be spending time pampering ME. What a strange concept…spend money to get my hair done, I can hardly imagine that being ok for me. Other folks do it all the time, but I, myself, do not splurge like that. Eight dollars to go swimming in some healing mineral waters…are you kidding me, that seems like highway robbery. Even if it is one of my favorite pastimes, we can’t afford for me to blow 8 dollars on a frivolous day of soaking and swimming! What a waste of money…  this is a typical conversation in my head, when I want to do something for me. Why is it that I think that I am not worth the 8 dollars to spend an afternoon in some healing water, or even fifty, for a haircut?  Why have I abandoned my stretching mat and candlelit meditations? Why do I quietly wish someone else would notice I am a good, hardworking, albeit tired, person, and deserving of a break? Why should they recognize that if I don’t? I feel as though I recognize the tired part all of the time, sleeping doesn’t make it better. I have been told three times, by three different people, that I deserve a break, a healing break. Not the kind of rest you get when your sick, but a healing and rejuvenating vacation, was what one lady said. I have never done that, and cannot imagine what it must feel like? I have spent 30 years taking care of other people, putting everyone before myself. I have learned how to weed out the ones worth putting before me, and the ones who are not, and so I claim to have broken the co-dependent cycle. I realize, this week, that I only let go of part of that co-dependency baggage, and the rest I am carrying like a weight I refuse to let go of.  I am spiritually healthier than I have ever been, mentally, as well. I feel balanced and in control of my “life”. I quote life because for me being in control of my life means that I have faith that God is in control, and as long as I trust Him and keep moving forward, life will be grand.

The health problems I have encountered have put this into grand perspective for me this past week, and I realized that I need to treat myself like that princess I am talking about. I need to pamper myself as though my life depends on it. I am pretty convinced this week that it does. I realized that stress takes a toll on me unlike the average person, due to my highly sensitive nature. I process stress like a poison. It shuts me down. Every muscle in my body aches, every day. I have digestive issues, oral health issues, and now female health issues. I don’t have the option of setting my pain aside anymore, as I literally feel like I am rotting from the inside out! My body seems to be attacking me! I have always told women who run themselves too hard, that if they don’t rest, God will force it on them. I don’t really believe that He brings the darkness of sickness to his children, but I believe He can get you through it. It’s just my way of saying, if you don’t rest, you will be forced to. Well, here I am staring my own stubborn desire to put it aside and keep going, in the face. Makes me feel pretty hypocritical. How on earth can I stare these women in the faces and tell them to take care of themselves when I am not doing the same for me? I try to demand it, but I never actually do it.

So here I am today, I have spent the last three days in deep contemplation, about why I don’t know these things, and how to learn them. I am really thankful for the internet as a research tool. It gives me endless hours of looking for ways to put my plan into effect. I have spent years learning about home remedies and spa products, to try to figure out my health problems. They all feel great, but I never considered the health problems could be related to lack of decompression time, which is pretty ridiculous given who I am and the amount of time I spend researching things like sensitive personalities and complaining about how fast life is today. I can tell you I process stress through my stomach, but have been searching and searching for answers to my digestive issues for over thirty years. Hmmm…left the logic at home on this one, huh? Oh, I have physical symptoms as well. It’s a blood type thing, not making the digestive enzymes I need to process food. I got it figured out, but don’t feel a lot better. Gee, could stress be the problem? I made rules about stress this weekend though, and I am putting my stubborn foot down and sticking to my guns on this one! I will learn to take care of myself. I will learn to meet my own needs first (or at least second or third). First and foremost, I will be requiring some pampering! There is just no question about that. As soon as I started looking for ways to spoil myself, I was motivated. I started thinking first about a haircut, a cute one, not just a trim, which, by the way, I do myself in my own bathroom. I am going to get a hairstyle, and I am excited about that! It made me want to go through all of my old make-up, get rid of the old, yucky, and take an inventory. I decided I would dress up one day a week. I love my comfy clothes, but often wish I had a reason to put on more fancy clothes and go out. Who needs a reason? I am going to wear my heels and pretty make-up sometimes, if only for my husband and son. If only for myself. Today, I am going to splurge, spend the 8 bucks, and do some serious warm spring water soaking, and oh my, I am nearly in happy tears at the thought. I won’t lie, I cried when I told my husband I was doing it. He is such a good man. He was very supportive, at least of the ideas. We shall see when it comes time for me to put them in action. So far, so good!

I have made it my mission to get healthy, To get me healthy and meet my needs, and as I learn how to do that, I am going to share it here with you. Some of it may seem simple, and silly, but I am just an infant in this world. Realizing I do deserve a professional haircut was a huge step for me, or that I could spend eight dollars to go swimming. So, I am off for a soak in some hot springs, and let me tell you…I have no guilt whatsoever about it! Have a nice day all, and remember, God gave you blessings so you would utilize them…enjoy something nice for yourself today! It doesn’t have to be expensive, just relaxing! It doesn’t have to take a long time, 15 minutes in a hot Epsom salt bath is wonderful! Do you have a candle? Light it! Count your blessings, thank God for them, and then enjoy them!


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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.


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Fighting to beat the odds…

Today I feel as though I am fighting against the world. I woke up in a wonderful, well-rested, and happy place. I am moving along nicely on my deep cleaning of the house, taking at a pace I am comfortable with. It was not to messy to begin with, so I don’t have a lot of pressure about it. I feel like everywhere I turn is a minor malfunction in my day or cynical advice or bad news, and yet…I maintain, however lonely it feels to be the only one smiling. Soon I will pick up my son, and he will be smiling, and I won’t be lonely in my happiness. Even he is being a pain in my behind today. He forgot his homework this morning, and I have to take it to him at school. Oh well… gives me an excuse to check out his latest LegoClub project. For those of you who do not know what lego club is…check it out! It is really a very cool engineering program for kids on a middle and high school level. They use robotic legos to problem solve and design, and then go to a competition once a year at our local college. I don’t know if it is always held at a college, but it is a national program. Here is the address     it is a pretty sweet program for any child that has an engineering mind. They learn how to do things like build and operate the robots that go looking for people in major catastrophes. The problem solve and trouble shoot, and each year there is a theme, such as transportation, and I think this year it was skin. They learn about the theme in their activities. For example, my son’s theme was transportation last year, and they spent the year problem solving ways to fix the road near their school that desperately needs to be redone. They talked about alternate transportation such as biking, walking, and the bus. He learns a LOT!

I am a sucker for the Michael’s two dollar grab bags. I love popping in there and picking up a couple every once in a while. They are always so brimming full of random craft goodies….yes, a sucker I am! Today I bought five….and you guessed it, choc full of craft goodies! A lot of the stuff is seasonal, like Valentines right after Valentines, and Christmas right after Christmas, you get the point, but usually there is a pretty decent assortment. Non-holiday seasons seem to be the best for just good old craft supplies.

I feel like everywhere I go today I have to patiently smile through tiny challenges. I had a good time with my client this morning, but, I almost got stuck there. My husband accidentally took my good set of keys with him on the road. The car FOB I have for the spare set has a short in it, and when I try to arm or disarm my alarm, I have to push the dang button for anywhere from five to five hundred times to get it to work. My car is too smart for its own good, and not very new. The two factors cause problems. It automatically arms the alarm thirty seconds after you get out and close the driver side door, whether I lock it or not. The car will not start if the alarm has not been disarmed with the remote, and if you disarm the alarm under the hood the car won’t start. Without that remote I am not even a little bit certain I will be able to get in and start my car.  Yesterday and today are the only days I should have to go anywhere, and he mailed the keys yesterday, so they should be here tomorrow. What a pain in the behind! “Patience, my child”…I can hear it ringing in my ears like a cathedral bell!

My friend asked me a question about my upcoming plans for a change. I barely got halfway through my first thought, before she interrupted to tell me details about how it’s not going to work. It was slightly frustrating, because she has no idea what I was going to say, but I just smiled through it. “I have a lot of faith” is not a comment she would have truly grasped the meaning of. So far, I have found that when God wants me to have something, no matter how hard anyone else tells me it is going to be to get, it works out easy as pie, so if I am right, and this is what he wants for us, then what is there to worry about? He will lead the way…I know it is true “blind” faith, however, I have seen the hand of God work in ways that I could not begin to explain, without you all thinking I am nuts! I had the privilege of hearing someone say, “you can’t see the wind but you know it exists”, one time…that sums it up nicely for me.

I picked up the first of my cool season veggies today, and I look forward to trying out my greenhouse for the first springtime run. It did awesome last fall. I was done with the garden bug long before the greenhouse was done producing. This year I can plan for it and I am pretty stinkin excited! Last week I did the inventory of seeds left over, and I don’t need to buy much this year, but I always do anyway. I am thinking of asking the landlord if we can put some bee boxes out back…I am not sure if he would let us or not. He is kind of an old fashioned guy, not at all sold on all “that organic crap”. Last year I tried growing stuff in tires. It worked great. He spent a long time one day telling me how I was doing it all wrong, they wouldn’t grow that way, and on and on and on about all my newfangled ideas. I was irritated, but he just a grumpy, ancient man…what am I supposed to say, so I smiled, and was happily, the first gardener I know personally to harvest watermelons out of my Montana garden! Ha take that you grumpy old man. The answer, smother him with veggies…that ought to teach him to tell me I am going to fail! The best part was a couple weeks later when my husband was working with his son, and they got to talking about gardening, and he told hubby that his dad had been telling him about someone growing veggies in tires at our place, and how great it was going! As rewarding as that was…why was he so negative to me? Anyway, this week I am going to plant my cool season starts, and I am incredibly excited about that. I have a plan for my brassica’s. I have not had the means to use floating row covers, but today I had an epiphany about one of my raised beds that htis would work good in! WoooHoooo bring on the brassica’s. Last year the cabbage worms got almost all of them! At the end of the season last year, I scored a bucketload of free planters on freecycle. A local landscaper didn’t know what to do with them all. I am looking forward to my container garden more than ever this year!

Well, on that note, I am going to clean out the greenhouse. You all have a great evening!

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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!

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Ahhhh, finally, some relief. The last two weeks have been pure torture. I cannot even begin to express the pain that I have had in my face. For several years now, I have had a tooth or two that need root canals. I have no dental insurance and have not been able to get them done, so I just fight off the abscesses when they come. Three weeks ago a virus came through our house. Everyone got it and healed, except for me. I got a bunch of the sinus crap, which led to an abscessed tooth. I also have TMJD, which is aggravated by such things as cavities, pressure, stress, and well, anything that causes swelling in the face. I usually use my Neti pot, MMS, and a variety of other home remedies, to clear it up. This time was different, however. I have undergone the most excruciating pain for the last two weeks. None of the things that always work would touch it. I finally got some antibiotics two days ago, and my face feels a whole lot better, but it still hurts. And, it looks like someone punched me in the jaw. I have a huge bruise that protrudes from the side of my face right on my jawline. Looks like someone clocked me with a baseball bat, but I would call this pain level two compared to what I have been going through. That says a lot. I was still in a great deal of agony last night, so I went looking for more home remedies…I found one that worked pretty good, and I am the most comfortable I have been in two weeks. Keep in mind I have even stooped to prescription pain killers and muscle relaxers combined, and they did NOT touch the pain! I don’t take those things unless I have to…I don’t like the way they make me feel. I went to acupuncture, which has NEVER, EVER failed to take away the pain….except this time. Ugh! So, if you are wondering, the remedy that worked was to put a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of salt in a dish. Damp some cotton balles with warm water, and pack three to five of them dipped in the mix around your infected tooth and gum. Leave it for thirty five to fourty five minutes, but not longer. When I took out the first ones, nothing on the cotton, but the “marble” in my jaw bone moved up into my gums. I did it a second time, and when I removed the cotton, they were disgusting! My jaw has felt a lot better since. It is still hugely swollen and looks like a blood blister under my tooth, but I tried the salt and soda a third time to see if I could get more out, and it was just too harsh and raw. That salt really tears your mouth up if you use too much, but I will do this again at some point today. You have to be very careful not to swallow, and I just kept a big towel in my lap to spit into while I was watching tv trying to ignore the throb. It is very hard to ignore the throb, but you can feel it working and the throb quickly subsides as the ick drains into the soda and salt paste. Afterwards, I rinsed with warm water and then peroxide…Wow, new woman today. Pain level two or three with NO painkillers or muscle relaxers. Still hurts to do anything with my mouth at all, including swallow or kiss or eat. I am on the mend for sure though!

I can only hope I will feel better by Friday, when I will be taking off for my second out of the area spay neuter task force event. I usually just do the ones here, but my coordinator finally invited me along…Yay! There are only a few dogs, so I don’t know what I will do when I am not on recovery? I guess I will learn something else. Maybe I will be fortunate enough to work with a vet!I look forward to that a lot. I really enjoy my time with the spay/neuter task force quite a bit.

So, I have been drinking hot cocoa like crazy the last three days. I make my own hot cocoa, and my family prefers it over store bought, but we have a weakness for those silly little marshmallows. I finally figured out that I could buy a bag of marshmallows, and dehydrate them in my food dehydrator, and get a similar effect, to  add to my homemade mix! My boys will be delightfully surprised!

I have been doing a lot of sleeping since my face got sick, and I want to stay motivated today…but I am already considering crawling back into bed to nurse my poor face. I finally understand why I have not been able to focus at all the last two weeks, and it is kind of a relief to start to feel my brain coming back to me. The sun most certainly increases my pain! I am now weighing heading to the living room to veg out in front of the tv, something I rarely do, or crawling into bed. I have spent so much time in bed the last two weeks, tv might win!

All right, well, I am going to go nurse my wounds one way or the other. Have a lovely day all!

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What my timeline told me

Oh my, what a revealing little timeline it was! It was very late, and I only did a short sketch of my life, but for the last two days, I have been hit one at a time by a barrage of thoughts I would like to add to that timeline. Significant events changed my life all over the place, but when I got done, I found myself inclined to write, Holy smokes Girlfriend! You have come a long way! I saw in one quick glance, the period of change that went from sad and discontent to happy and stable. That in itself was pretty enlightening. I started going to church, confronted my molester and my family for the hurts they have caused, dreamed the idea of the Rescue Ranch, got my sons disorders diagnosed and became a stay home mom, found peace in my heart, and found a good man worth marrying, in a two year period. Nothing has looked the same since…

I am currently studying the book of James in my Bible Study with Beth Moore, and I can honestly tell you that I think the book of James is at least partially the answer to that question we all seek, the key to happiness. The Bible teaches these things so much differently than my therapist did, but they are easily translatable over one another. They even give different reasons for the desired behaviors, but no matter how you measure it, it adds up to the same amount of insight. My therapist taught me behaviors for my sake, my Bible teaches me behaviors for my sake as well, so that I may please the Lord. Regardless of how you look at it, it comes back to the same behavior modifications. I have had many therapists, but only one was a Christian, and that never came up in our few brief meetings. It’s so hard to watch people do the things that both my Bible and therapist have taught me are unhealthy. I realize that I fail the Bible every single day, but in this one book, I get it better than most of the women, and men, that I talk to. Probably because it was when I learned how to stop letting other people’s behavior dictate my happiness. The only behavior that really matters to me is my own (and my child’s to an extent, but that is a different topic).

I desperately want to help other women, and people in general, understand their value. I also want to help them see how mislead about their own worth they have been. I want to show them that God does not bring evil, Satan does, and God is the one who can carry you through it. I want to be able to help people find that general feeling of peace and well being, that only God can bring in His time. I wish I could help share this with people, but I feel like a lot of people cry and whine and beg the secret to happiness, and when you share what you have found, they don’t want to hear it. Meanwhile, I truly believe if you can come to comprehend the book of James, and that if we learn to consciously curb our tongues, accept EVERYBODY for who they are, and realize that God made them perfectly His, give whenever possible, and just try to genuinely show kindness and love to all we meet, we sure don’t have much to complain about, and we are so much more aware of the small blessings we are so heavily blessed with. When was the last time you made a list of everything you are thankful for? I mean everything…Your dog, cat, child, house, food, husband, sister, mom, dad, clothing on your back, money in the bank, and bank account for that matter. Do you own a car? How about a cell phone? Do you have friends, a job, a computer, the internet, an education…even a high school diploma is a huge blessing. Almost everyone I know, has every one of those things, and yet, people walk around all day seeking more. Seriously? Does your unmet needs list really include needs, or are they really your wants and desires that you have manifested into need? In order to find  happiness, you need only recognize the blessings you already have abundant in your life. And praise God! Once you have found that you are blessed beyond your wildest imagination, you realize that you are content, more patient, more empathetic, and just generally at peace. Thank you Lord, for such abundance in my life. The problem with that, is that most of you reading this do not realize that I come from an estranged and difficult background. I have lost more loved ones than I can count. I was verbally and sexually abused repeatedly as a child, and even some into adulthood, although I manifested it in different ways. I have been down dark, ugly hard paths. I have had my issues with substance abuse and with codependency, as well as serious mental health breakdown, and repair. I have despaired to the depths of the darkest pits, and I have felt joy so far reaching I cannot put it into words. I can find the light in some very dark places, but I have finally found peace, contentment,  faith, and true joy. James, as I dig in, just warms my heart with reminders, that I have found peace, through these very tactics and techniques described in this book that so many people spend their whole lives desperately searching for. Peace is an amazing feeling. Contentment is just beyond description. I wish you all deep peace and contentment, as you wander through this day. Till next time…

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Rested and recovered

Ahhh…much better. I spent most of yesterday and even part of today laying around or sleeping. I feel pretty rested, but also overwhelmed. I feel somewhat restless, but don’t seem to have any focus. Most of today is a blur, but I did stay productive for a good portion of it. I am feeling pretty desperate for some kind of direction, and I don’t know where to focus. My spay/neuter coordinator called me today to tell me she wants to do a fundraiser to try to get a new van for the spay/neuter task force. I told her we just had to pick something and do it. I also started a cookbook project with my little friends dad, both to raise money for her medical costs, and to raise cancer awareness. We are going to make a cancer fighting recipes cookbook in honor of my friend. I never imagined I would be so involved with cancer awareness, but it seems as though that is going to become a big part of my life for the rest of my life. It seems completely feasible that Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch could easily add a couple of annual cancer awareness fundraisers. Two a year would be pretty awesome. Heck, one a year would be great. Especially if the ranch I envision purchasing is in the plan. I don’t know if it is or not, but I just keep thinking it would be perfect. I wonder if I can sell my crafts successfully. I guess I need to get time to finish making them first. I have a feeling that things are going to get less productive before they get more productive. I think the benefit was refreshing, but I also feel more confused than ever. I have so many things I want to focus on. I want to tell people what a Highly sensitive person is. I want to educate people about food and health. I want to educate people about PTSD and Shame. I want to tell people about God’s wonder and awesomeness! I want to daydream about my future, and I want to work toward it too.. I feel a bit stuck in that regard. I don’t know how to move forward form where I stand. I had a hugely successful evening on Saturday, but now what. I am doing a bunch of great stuff for my little friend, and I know that a side effect of that is that it gives me skills and connections that will be highly beneficial for me at the rescue ranch, but none of it helps me to move forward in securing a piece of land, and getting a ranch established, so that leaves me wondering what I am missing. I have a myriad of things I want to do, I need to do, and I have to do…and yet, I can’t figure out what is most important to focus on, plus, I feel like my world that was slightly upside down, is about to be pure chaos. I am a highly senstive person. I need down time. I already feel the stress of lack of space where I can get the peace and quiet “recoup” time that I so crave and require to function effectively. I feel energy pouring out the bottom of my feet in a way that only happens when I am really abundant in energy. Decompression is crucial, and if I don’t figure that out soon I will become pretty ineffective. At this moment I feel like I am walking around in a cloud of energy, and I am happy to say that it is energy soaked up at a very positive and love filled event, and so I am really kinda being carried by that energy. When that fades I am going to crash hard! I would like to be able to take preventative measures and prevent that from happening, but when I woke up today, I had nothing to do Wednesday through Saturday, away from the home. By noon I was booked for Wed, Thurs, and Friday. Umm… That is going to hurt by next week, and I don’t foresee routine or the big change I am hoping for coming fast or without some big struggle… I am sure the abundance will play out in a positive way, but I am at a point where I am a little concerned about my mental health if I don’t get away from it all for a minute…or thirty. If you are curious about the highly sensitive personality, you can follow this link to learn more. It also goes hand in hand with blood type diet, and that is another issue I would like to discuss here. I feel a need to prioritize all of my goals, dreams, and ambitions, so I can figure out how to move forward. My husband has come across an opportunity that could be outstanding, and answer a big question I had about what he would do on the rescue ranch. I can see how this opportunity could fit very well if it pans out for him. It could also mean a long wait. I just don’t know what I am supposed to do. I also feel a slight frustration with the foster care/respite care situation, because I don;t know how to do it in this house. I won’t be able to pass the inspection I need to get the licensing in this house, I don’t have the necessary extra bedroom, much less the right stuff, like fire extinguisher, and the means to lock up all meds. I don’t know exactly what to do about this, and I don’t know how to get the stuff done in our current situation. I feel that it is nearly impossible for me to get that certification in this house, and finding a way to move forward is key in that goal. It seems that the more I crave and strive for routine, the more monkey wrenches get thrown in my plan. It seems like when I had routine, I thought I was bored, and since life got a little more busy, I can’t get a minute of routine to save myself. I am desperate for so many things, and I have no idea which one to tackle first. I also want to spend some time on my organizing and cleaning projects, and some pamper time for me with all my lovely homemade bath and body products. How do I prioritize them all? Even when I make a schedule, I find a bunch of distractions take away form that. Maybe that is what this phase is about, learning how to move forward and minimize distractions. I am gonna chew on that for a while. Well, it’s late. I should get some rest. Big Tuesday tomorrow, and I have not even started my Bible Study homework yet. Home my little one sleeps tomorrow.  Well, beddy by time. Sweet dreams and God bless you all!

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Thanksgiving reflections

Thanksgiving is coming and I could not be more excited! I love Thanksgiving. I think it is my favorite holiday. Non of the commercialism, and all of the thankfulness and good cheer. I love being around friends and family for a feast and some football. I don’t really care about the football part, but my husband looks so happy watching the game and lazing with his ma and pa while the food is a cookin’. I enjoy the opportunity to just spend lazy time with loved ones. No real rush to get anywhere. I love that Thanksgiving is a relaxed day, and I don’t have to get all dressed up for the day. I can be casual and comfortable and just enjoy my blessings. I am officially thankful for Thanksgiving! While the holidays can be a stressful time financially, I have found that if you can master the art of gift giving frugally, you can enjoy every minute of them. There are many, many homemade gift ideas on the internet, and used book stores also have loads of craft ideas. Many of the popular magazines on the stands also have homemade gift ideas this time of year. Homemade stationary is almost free, and it is a very elegant gift. There are directions online for making homemade envelopes to go with it. There are many easy recipes for homemade jellies and jams, and also for homemade flavored coffees, which could easily be tossed in a cute basket with a couple of plastic spoons which have been dipped in chocolate and have a bow around them, and a couple of dollar store coffee mugs. Thrift stores are a great resource for homemade gifts. I buy glass jars there, and upcycle them at home to make some beautiful vase/candleholders. You can also find swatches of fabric at the thrift store for lots of sewn items. They are also a GREAT place to buy gift baskets for very inexpensive. Some of those baskets go for thirty or forty bucks in the store, and at a half price thrift store sale, you can find them for thirty or forty cents. The closer Thanksgiving gets, the sooner I have to start thinking about what I will be doing for folks for the holidays. I have some pretty good ideas, and most of the supplies already. My mother in law made a specific request, and that will take me a full day or two, but otherwise, I think I have it pretty under control. We are on a pretty frugal budget, and we only do gifts to those who are closest to us, and our tithing gifts. We really enjoy dropping an anonymous food box or sending a Samaritans purse gift. I only have about ten people on my list to gift for, and so, it is really not to overwhelming. Lotions, bath salts, and lip balms are all pretty easy and much appreciated gifts, which can be presented in a very elegant way if you plan wisely for a gift basket, etc. The dollar stores are a great place to find little wash rags or scrubbies to fill in, or if you are on less strict of a budget, you can find a locally made item at a local farmers market. If you have a paper shredder, you can easily make gift basket filler by shredding and crinkling used colored papers, and it is good recycling too. The end of November is going to be hectic, but December should be pretty relaxed right up till Christmas. Winter is in full swing (even though I don’t think it is technically winter yet), and I am ready for the holidays, thankful for my many blessings, and looking forward to what the new year may bring!