Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Big Decision

Recently, I received some money from my mom for my birthday and as my christmas present. It gives me exactly $100.00. Usually I don't think twice about either spending my money to buy someone else's christmas present or I put it on a bill or buy groceries. It sits there... looking at me.

God knows, I have the bills.... I have places for the money to go! But I keep hanging on to it.

This year I really wanted to get the Parelli humanality/ horsenality match report. It tells me what my personality is and how to make it work best with my horses nature to achieve results. It costs $99.00. Some of my friends have gotten one done and they have been talking about it revealing things they were unaware of. I have been intrigued. Anyway, the match report was what I wanted for christmas and now the decision that I always make has become a painful decision.

So for now the money sits there.... I suppose eventually, I will do the right thing. It will go on a bill. But I am tired of paying for nothingness. Insurance for example Car, home, health and life and it's gone! Nothing tangible... nothing I can pick up... nothing that gives me pleasure. It's just gone. It's ethereal and I am needing so many REAL things here. And while the report , perhaps isn't so big or so real as lumber or concrete, it would be mine and it would give me pleasure.

I am being selfish. I know what is the right thing to do. I just don't know if I can do the right thing this time. I guess, for now, that money and I will just keep starring at each other. We'll see what happens.


Monday, November 28, 2011


Now that Thanksgiving is over and my fence is almost strung, my mind keeps escaping off to other places. Oddly enough, today I keep thinking about dirt. I have bad dirt. My most recent hay man told me that because it has just laid fallow for so long, around twenty years, nothing has happened to enrich the soil. It has not been grazed, so it has not been enriched by manure. Because it was in CRP program, it was seeded to the governments recommendations. That was a specific seed mixture and most of it has died out, except the brome. Brome grass apparently is a heavy feeder. So the nutrients have been consumed and the soil never enriched. You can dig down and not even find an earth worm over the majority of the property. After three years of mowing we are just now finding worms in our yard area.

I need manure! I need it now! I need an effective way to to haul it and spread it. Then I need to find a good way to haul my burn barrel ash out to the pasture. Then I need to find a way to come up with the money for seed.... something other then brome. My choice is orchard grass and clover. I have been told by a number of farmers what todays conventional thinking is about forages. Well, conventional thinking has about killed my dirt so I'm just going to do what's best for my place. Besides... I'd rather live with my own mistakes, then someone else's

That is what my brain is up to now. On one side I am knee deep in manure, dirt and grass seed and on the other, I am thinking that it would be nice to get some christmas decorations up. Maybe go ahead and get up the tree. I have some christmas presents I need to be making. A little wrapping. I'd like to do some baking.....

But, boy oh boy, I'd like to get my hands on some manure!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What to Do?!!

I am totally and completely at odds with myself today. I don't know what to do first.... or second for that matter. I am confused. I am poised for something and I don't know what it is. The pacing has commenced and the restlessness is developing.

I hate it when this happens!! So much to do and for some reason, out of no where, too much emotion to push through to get anything done. Too much emotion... too much thinking... too much WORK!!

It makes me a little crazy and I can't help but feel that all would be well if I just had a medicinal donut... a long john exactly, filled with medicinal bavarian creme. That's the ticket! Then all of my other emotions would fade away and I would just be consumed with guilt... which would streamline things completely! That would be good. Life in manageable doses. Manageable doses... I have no idea what the hell that is.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shifting Gears

It's raining today. Outside my door looks gray and bleak. This morning I need to shift gears and do something other then outside work... something other then fencing. This has been a problem for me. I become so obsessed over a task that I have to get done that everything else fades away completely. That is, until it is panic time over some other thing that needs done NOW!!

Well, my posts are all in and it is time to string wire. I'm so close that this rain is painful to see. I need to shift gears. I need to make sure this day remains useful. Today, I will drive over to Winterset and pay my husband's share of his mother's funeral ... with money borrowed from my mother. It is frustrating. We had hoped to get the mileage reimbursement from the insurance company but that didn't happen. Now I hope that it isn't another hard winter. There is no lee way.

As soon as I get home, I will work on indoor projects that must get done or I will go ahead and work in the rain. Today will be productive... it has to be. We are running out of time. I can make it.... I know I can. Just so long as I develop the ability to quickly shift from one thing to another, all will be accomplished. My worst enemy is frustration. Can't get frustrated today... in the cold and the rain... with my dismal task.

I just have to learn to shift gears.


Monday, November 21, 2011


My filthy, messy house is driving me crazy! That's on one hand... on the other hand if I quit being obsessed by my out door work then I will totally be unprepared for winter. I am a soul in torment!

The girls have often asked how they can help with getting the house in shape. They don't usually like the answer, as the answer is, "help me put in fence and build a shed". I fear the shed is a necessity especially. I organized a lot of the construction "stuff" in the closet so things are better, but I still have a box of tools next to my desk. A stack of lumber on my stairs. Another box of building "stuff" in the hall, a 200 amp service box in the kitchen, more wood in the bedroom.... the list goes on.

Katie, my middle child, tells me that a cluttered house causes lack of focus and depression. I'm screwed. How does a person get the focus necessary to clean a cluttered house when a cluttered house causes a lack of focus? It's like being trapped in that Escher print with the stairways! I don't know which way I'm going!!

Then there is the refrigerator! If God were to doom our souls based on the condition of the interior of our refrigerators.... I'd be on the fast track to hell. It's scary (and somewhat smelly) in there! Altogether frightening.

There is nothing for it. I am simply going to have to take a day and....... finish my fencing, or I will NEVER be able to get started on anything else.


P.S. On the getting things done ...with luck, I will have some pictures of the fencing project to put up this next saturday when at my daughters , the one with the fast internet. Fingers crossed that I get to it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

So Much Done!!!

I suppose it reflects the old adage that every cloud has a silver lining, but due to my neighbor's marital problems, I am getting a lot done around here. I had hand dug the holes needed for the small horse lot and half for the second lot. Neighbor Dan brought over his tractor and dug the last five or so holes. Then he dug the last eleven holes for the round pen. Then he dug an additional four holes to jump start a third lot for next summer.

When we first moved to the country I was told about a guy that would cut hedge posts on shares. It didn't quite work out like that and most of the "posts" he cut for me were actually the tree trunks that he couldn't get his chain saw through. They had been left laying on my western neighbors land. Now the grass has died back Neighbor Dan again brought his tractor over and we got the posts drug out. We sorted them by size and straightness and decided what was usable. Then we drug some to where they would be put in the ground. While Neighbor Dan was at work I got the huge posts straightened and tamped in. Exhausting! Then I started all of the tee posts and yesterday Dan came over with his tractor and pushed the posts in to proper depth. What is left is building some temporary gates and stringing wire and the horses can be moved. Hooray!!!

While Dan was here he also covered the new trench where we had to rerun our electrical wire. Then he brought over his chain saw and cut some more posts for me. Then he got a phone call from his soon to be ex-wife and he kicked into a feverish pace. He was cutting like crazy. Getting a bit dangerous. A very thorny piece of hedge fell too close and caught his face. He said it was a scratch... the way it was bleeding, I considered it something more. I got a towel and some peroxide. Mopped up the blood that had run down his face and had been dripping off his chin. Then was dumping the peroxide in. When I was happy that the dirt had bubbled out, Dan was forced to sit down and hold the towel on his face until the bleeding totally stopped. He was left a little damaged. I was left with a small stack of fence posts.

Dan comes over here to hide when his wife is in their house. I always have things that require some heavy lifting, which makes him feel good about himself and I always have ideas. We talk about ways to make money. Mushrooms, wine grapes and birdhouses. We talk about pastures, manure and grass seeds. We talk about tractor payments.

We shall see how all of this goes. Mac and I are trying to be there for our neighbor and who knows how much will end up getting done around here!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Savvy Equals Safety

I used to have an instructor that if she wanted you to remember something important, she would put it into a little saying, rhyme or an acronym. In a musical context, I think everyone has heard the scale referred to as Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. My current instructor, my horse mentor, Pat Parelli does this as well. Though Pat has so many that I sometimes fail in remembering them all, but the first one I learned is the one in the front of my mind today... Savvy equals safety.

There is just so much bad that can happen. So many possibilities for creating our own demise. This last year there have been a number of horse person wrecks that I have heard about. Broken ribs, broken collar bone, gashed head but amidst this mayhem what stands out to me is that these Parelli students didn't die. They could have. When these people describe their accidents they can explain with absolute clarity, right to the point of impact, what the horse was doing, what the horse was seeing and thinking and things they were trying to do to control the situation, or to offset the damage. The program was ingrained enough that they didn't die.

Ingraining.....My old instructor called this Boy-Book-Boy... get the boy into the book so the book is in the boy. Pat has it a little differently. He says we start out unconsciously incompetent... we don't know that we don't know. We progress to consciously incompetent, where we have it figured out just how dumb we are, but we are learning. The goal is to be unconsciously competent, where the knowledge is so a part of our being that it is automatic. It's a good goal.

So today, I want to take a break from talking about fencing, disease, the onset of winter and all of my other rants to give a shout out to Pat. We may get bashed, bruised, bloody and sometimes, a bit broken, but thank you for keeping us alive, for getting inside of our heads and making our lives better. Some of the people you have saved are very dear to me.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


When I started my fencing project, I was thinking about a basic lot. A big rectangle that would be sufficient to get the horses close to the house for winter. But then I visited some other facilities, got some good ideas. I saw some good layouts. Then, being brilliant, I decided to plan the whole shooting match and just work on a section at a time. Don't just work, but work towards a goal.

This was a good idea but the problem is that I keep seeping out into the next step. When I get done with this fencing project, I will be done with a smaller horse lot, a larger horse lot and a seventy foot round pen. This is wonderful!, but I'm still not done, not even with a small part. And, I'm tired and I find myself seeping again. I have holes for posts in what will be a third lot and I have staked some points for more holes to build a little primitive hay barn. Just six holes for now. Six posts. Then I can tarp it for the winter so I can get my 120 small bales home. I need my hay. Do I dare seep into this project? Are there even any alternatives?

I saw a nifty little hay storage shelter. It was made of long 2x8s as the base. Pieces of rebar staked them into an on edge position. Then three sixteen foot cattle panels were arched between the 2x8s so it became shaped like a high tunnel green house. The ends of the panels were screwed into the 2x8s. and small pieces of plywood cut to shape like a rib held the top of the arch secure in the panel. The whole thing was covered by tarp and tarp was cut to fit the ends. One end was left with a slit for access. Compared to a pole building, this is cheap and easy and portable. I have the 2x8s. I have some scrap plywood around. The cattle panels would be about $21.00 per panel and the tarp would end up costing around fifty or sixty dollars. I could probably do the whole thing for around $130.00. But I don't have $130.00. If I can proceed with the other hay barn, I use what I have available here and I just need to find a way to buy the tarps. Do I dare seep again? Should I?

It turned cold last night. Another occurrence that reminds me that my days are numbered. What to do? Too tired. Just too tired to think.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Keep Moving!!!!

I am at a difficult time now. The weather has been gorgeous. I am so weary of fencing and there are starting to be other enticements..... like planning for christmas. I make a lot of stuff for christmas. Home made toys, recipe books, quilts and on occasion, ugly afghans. But I can't allow myself to think about it, especially when I am so close! The fence so close to finished and all I need to derail the whole project is to start thinking about something else. I have even hidden my to-do list. Nothing but fence!

Don't think...Keep moving!!

Though I did make my annual christmas organizer this morning. I usually save an old christmas card. One that is a convenient size for my purse. Then I staple pages into it. The pages are labeled. One will be all of the people that I will send cards to. Another will be the people I know that I will have a small gift for. Then there are a number of pages for christmas ideas. This will incorporate thoughts about decorations, things I want to try ... recipes. One page will be my grocery shopping list. The definitive list of what I need to cook my christmas menu. Then I save a page for each of my kids and their spouses and the grand kids. The bottom half of the page is filled with suggestions. Things that I have heard them say they would like or use and I wrote it down so as to not forget. Then I have something solid to work from when I make the decision of what to buy or make for a family member. The top of the page is broken into three sections. The first and largest bit is dedicated to the presents I actually buy with a column for what I spend. This way I can see the number of items that I've bought and keep a running total of how much I have spent. Under this is a place to list the stocking stuffers that I have gotten for this person. We are very big on stocking stuffers in our family. We buy as much weird crap as we possibly can and we all have fairly large stockings. The last section of the page is for the table present. This is the last present we open on the day. It has to fit on the person's plate. I try to make this a thoughtful gift... I don't always succeed, but it is the last opportunity to leave a warm, fuzzy feeling for the recipient. It is a process that I become totally absorbed in... gifts that evoke a feeling.

So I can't think about it! Don't think .... Keep moving!!

The other day there was an incredibly hard wind from the south and I was thinking about how badly I wanted to be working on my solar heat collector/window covers for the big windows in the living room and bed room. I was calculating the amount of wood. Site preparation. Hardware to keep it in place. Amount of plastic. How much money would this save us this winter. Then I had to stand back and tell myself...

Snap out of it!! Don't think.... Keep moving!

I so need to make some money. Money haunts me. I've even put myself on a diet.... not so much a traditional diet but one that is about the most conscientious way to use food, in order to save money. During the day, I eat if there are leftovers or if there is something that is really, really cheap. Sometimes a can of beets (don't ask me why, but I love beets) Ramen noodles or if I am feeling very extravagant... pancakes. Cheap and cheerful, but mostly cheap. Then I remind myself..

Building the fence will save money in hay and feed! Don't think.... Keep moving!

But I am so close and winter is coming and soon. One way or another, I will lay this burden down. It will either be done or it will be time to cry "Uncle!" But I don't want to think about that now. I just have to keep moving.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Today, I Feel Blessed

It has been a busy weekend for me, and it has left me feeling blessed. Our neighbor has been a godsend. He knows that Mac has been sick. Knows the burden it puts on me and he has tried very hard to step in and help me with things that take an extra set of hands, or a tractor, to do. Because of my neighbor the fence is so much closer to being done.

We started off by pulling out already cut posts. They were cut a couple of years ago, but being so large, I had been unable to move them. Then it became more difficult as brush started to grow around them. Some of them basically tree trunks off my Osage Orange (hedge) trees. I would not be surprised if some of those posts weighed in at three or four hundred pounds. They are huge. Some are in excess of fifteen or sixteen inches across. Some that we couldn't use are even larger. Then, on day two, my neighbor brought over his hole auger on his tractor and we started making holes. This goes so fast!!! For a person who has dug a lot of holes it is like some time lapse miracle! You don't know if you should feel thrilled or weep for all of the holes that you already dug by hand.

The last step was getting the monstrously huge timbers tipped into the holes. Even with a tractor this was very tiring... and dangerous. We had a couple of logs get away from us and it is surprising just how nimble a couple of fifty year olds can be when such an occasion arises. I may not be a graceful doe, but I can still execute an effective duck and dive.

Today I will be working on my own. I will be straightening posts up and tamping dirt around them. I will be pulling wire and with a great deal of luck, tomorrow morning I will be moving the horses to a new pasture. I think at that moment, I will breathe clearly again. The constant lump in my chest will subside and the reflux will ebb.

I am so blessed that such a huge task is so close to completion. I am blessed with a neighbor that despite his own personal trials, feels like he should help shoulder Mac's and mine as well. Most people only do what is good within the realm of what is convenient for them. With that in mind, I count myself doubly blessed.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Another Fortune Cookie

I was cleaning out my purse the other day... looking for a fresh prescription that I needed to drop off for Mac. And in amongst the canceled checks, alfalfa pellet receipts and general debris, I found a fortune cookie fortune. Don't know how I could have lost this one, as it was a particularly good one. It said...."You will have good luck and overcome many hardships"

The first thing that jumped out at me was OVERCOME. It was like some huge reassurance that I would survive all this. It felt very nice.

Then it occurred to me that having good luck didn't necessarily insure that I wouldn't have hardships. Then of course, I had to wonder if my good luck would include the lotto and paying off my bills, because that would be very nice indeed.

My fortunes are like my lotto tickets. Hanging on the front of the fridge under a magnet. A diminutive billboard for hope. There hangs the belief that not only can I change my own fortune but also change the tide in the world for good. Who knows, maybe some day I will have enough money to help replant the rain forest. Maybe I can make micro business loans to women the world over. Maybe I can help house the homeless. Maybe, maybe, maybe.....

First, I must overcome many hardships. Then we will see what happens.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Anger and Other Emotions

I've been sitting here at my desk and watching the sun sneak into the sky. But this is where I usually sit. Watching it's progress and marking the time until I pull on my warm clothes and head out to chore the horses. With the rain and the melting snow the horses are standing in mud and I am again feeling the push to get my new horse lots finished. Everyday I see reminders of the need for it. Everyday I get angry at my slowness... lack of equipment to move the posts... lack of a decent hand pruning saw even. I get angry that I need help and angry that I can't afford to hire any.

Then I see a glimpse of a shed or barn in the background of a movie, or a photo and I think," I can do that!, That'll work for the hay... or a run in... or a mini barn...." And in that moment, I have that feeling of elation. A problem solved. My life made better...easier. I just have to figure out how to build it.

Getting something done has it's feelings too. Though it has surprised me that it doesn't make me terribly happy. Instead it is like the relaxation of a bow string. It is a profound release. A prayer and a sigh..."Thank God that's done, It's over" T hen with that burden lifted, I can think clearer. I move on.

Always, there is the feeling that we aren't safe yet, and never is that feeling stronger then when we are heading into winter. I swing between being motivated by the feeling and being frozen in terror. All the while trying to hold down the reflux and trying to look normal. Telling myself to "Keep moving..Keep moving!" Every day of the year is about winter. Everyday I think that what I do on this day will help us survive the winter. Even in the first flushes of spring, the thought is there.. what will I do different so I can survive next winter?

But what this new lifestyle has given me is something priceless. I have been tested. I have been tested by nature and it has uncovered strengths and ingenuity, deeper purpose, greater passion for life. Because of all of that, today I will go into town and I will buy a new saw. The test goes on.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sylvia's Farm

I have recommended this book before... Sylvia's Farm. It has turned into my annual winter read. It comforts me. From the pages, she tells me that I'm not alone. Keep working. For every hardship there is a reward. It might only be the first flush of spring's green, but it lifts the heart.

Last night while reading, Sylvia posed the question, is it winter we fear or the not being prepared for it? I laid in bed thinking about this. I thought about having shelter for my animals... those here now and those to come. Safe fencing, of course. Continuing to plant my windbreaks and fence rows. Enough hay. Enough money for Christmas. Enough money to pay for heating. Coming out of winter with enough money to pay the spring taxes. I wonder if those things were taken care of if I could settle in for a good winter's hibernation. I wonder if my mind could rest. Would I crochet? Would I start drawing again? Would I bake?

This morning I look out on our first snow fall of the season. It is melting. I still have a little time. There are still posts to put in. I still need a run in shelter for the horses. The next weeks will be the test and then it will be time to cry "Uncle" and live with all that I have done... and all that I haven't.

Each winter I think of Little Finn, the mini, who died of the cold. Then I hope that no one will die or suffer as the result of my inadequacies. Do I do enough? Do I work hard enough? I have dropped in snow drifts when pulling buckets of water on a sled to the horses. I've gotten chilled through in freezing rains, sucked down by heavy mud. All small matters compared to Finn's death. I will never work hard enough. I can never make it right. And I can't let it happen again.

So I look out at what I have done, and I take a little time and look at Sylvia's farm... look through another's eyes. This winter has to be better then previous ones. We all have to be made safe and then we will tuck in for our winter's rest.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Pit Bull Bite

I have heard that when a pit bull bites that their jaws can lock. Then the dog cannot release even if it wants too. Well, I think I'm starting to relate to that. Actually, my teeth are hurting. Some things I just can't let go of and with the weather turning, my bite increases. I have my grip on the hope of finishing my fence.

The fencing continues to slowly fall into place. I have posts in for about three quarters of the round pen. I have about fifteen tee posts to set. Then I need to make some decisions about gates.... still. Then string some wire and I have a horse lot and a round pen. If I can still get together seven more wood posts and around forty more tee posts and one more gate, then I have a second, larger horse lot. So close!! and I already have the tee posts.

I know I have become fixated. I know I rarely talk about anything other then fencing, but on a farm, fencing is more. It is safety for my animals... it is security. It tells hunters to stay the hell out. It means I won't go out this winter, wading through two foot drifts just to see Pip standing a quarter of a mile away behind the neighbor's house. It means my mind can be at ease and I can be free to think about something else. Oh God! I really, really want to think about something else. I promised my grandchildren to finish the upstairs so they have their own space when they come to stay. I want to think about that for awhile. I want to think about decorative painting. After two and a half years... I want curtains!!!

But for now, pretty isn't a priority.... safety is. My creatures must be safe for winter. Time is running out for the season, so my pit bull bite has intensified. My teeth are just going to have to hurt for a few more weeks.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Tangents, Tangents, Tangents

I am always off on tangents. Running in whatever direction, trying to get whatever done so that life continues. Some days, I look at all of the directions I'm going and I just get confused. Recently with the electricity kerfuffle, I have just felt that I have been repeatedly throwing myself against the wall. The wall sure as hell wasn't moving and I was getting badly bruised. I was getting so angry that after I worked on the electricity as long as I could bear, I still had to go do something to work off the rest of my rage.

Well, now we have our electricity back. It isn't quite permanent yet, but close. We have temporary splices in place, need to get those converted to permanent and then buried and we are good again. I've also done some cleaning around the house, which still looks like a building site and got rid of three more bags of garbage. I know that sounds like nothing, but we are on a dirt road with no garbage pick up so we have to pack out our trash... not that it is difficult but it certainly is a pain.

I have done more brush clearing. You know those little "garages", the ones that are made of some sort of plastic, which isn't as good as a tarp and metal tubing? Well, I had purchased one of those and quickly found that it would not stand up to the winds that we get. So while cleaning brush, the garage got removed from a couple of small trees and more then enough wild rose bushes. Maybe it wasn't the biggest job in the world but it was one that I was dreading and it was finished because I had enough anger to tackle it.... hooray it's done!

I have done some mowing around one of the new horse lots so we can get in with some electric fencing. Not the final plan but closer to what I want. I have located all of the old fence post holes so they can be filled so a horse foot, or small child, won't disappear down it. Now to get the dirt hauled in and scooped into the holes. A few more posts and we will be running the wire.

I have a plan for a small barn!! I just have to talk my neighbor into it, as he will have to dig the holes for some absolutely huge timbers. First, the eight timbers. Then we just have to figure out the best way to do the roof.... for now. After all I do need to get my hay home!

My tomato starts are looking great! On one not good day, after unsuccessfully digging the trench, I came in to inspect the tomatoes. As it happened, there were only about seven wee cuttings that hadn't rooted, so they went in the garbage. Then I remembered that I had overheard a woman in a garden center one day. She was questioning another woman she was with about why she would buy rooting hormone. She said it was the same thing as vitamin B and the vitamins were much cheaper. I thought I would give the cheap method a whirl, especially as I have some vitamin B6 anyway. The tomato roots have gone crazy! They seem to be very happy. Soon I will need some soil and a grow light. I am afraid to price them though. I am so tired of being broke!

The best use of my recent anger has been my round pen. I have a little bit over half of my posts set. I am almost out of posts now. I will need more before I can finish. But it feels so good that I have gotten so close. A good day of post cutting with my neighbor and I should be good to get two lots finished up.... my fingers are tightly crossed.

Soon I hope some of these tangents that I am chasing down will no longer exist. Tasks accomplished and with it, I hope, clarity of thought. We will see, but in the meantime... daylights burnin'.


Friday, November 4, 2011

The Queen and the Land are One

According to the King Arthur movie "Excaliber" the secret of the Holy Grail was that the King and the land are one... well, that's not applicable here. So, there is me, the Queen, and the little farm and what we can do together. We only progress as I maintain the picture of what I want, as I hold tightly to my sanity, sinking in my claws so it doesn't escape.

Last night I had a moment of clarity. I was reading my new edition of Hobby Farm magazine and there was an article about a man who started his farm in the Seattle area. This man had some sort of job , which I don't remember, then he became a restauranteur, then he became a farmer. He said he became a farmer because he couldn't do the same thing day after day. Once the job no longer had a challenge, it no longer had an interest. He said the farm was challenging. So challenging that there were times when he almost quit and walked away.

I saw myself in that. I am a compulsive learner. I can't help but investigate processes. Despite the difficulties that we have faced, despite freezing my ass off lately, I can't be anywhere else. I can't quit and walk away. I can't. With this epiphany, my fire has been rekindled. This morning I feel some excitement about needing to dig fifteen post holes to enclose a half of my round pen. I've decided on my small barn and where I should build it. I went through some of my resource materials and once again got excited about chickens. Still thinking about some broiler crosses to get in the freezer right away and some Buff Orpingtons and Partridge Rocks for the beauty of them and the eggs. Check it out here....


The final piece that boosted my clarity was a visit with my banker. We have a twenty year mortgage and have paid out four years so far. If we can make additional principle payments each month then we can have it paid for right as Mac retires. I don't often believe in coincidence, so this must be on purpose... this must be right.

As long as I am here and I have even a fragile hold on my mind, then all will be well...... the Queen and the Land are one.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

What to do?

I'm trying to figure out my day. Things to do. Things that can't wait any longer. I have put off paying bills since the first and today is the third. No more procrastination. Bills!!! Bills make me crazy! I hate bills. I hate bill day.

In order to survive bill day I have come up with a survival method. While working on the bills I do my utmost to think about something else. I know, I know.. it sounds so simple, but it is incredibly difficult. Last night in preparation for today I did some research. I got on the computer and tried to find some historical architecture that resembled the architecture of Rohan. Thinking I could recreate a tiny little portion of Rohan captures my mind. It cheers me up.

I also have the inspiration of my barn dream and with that picture in my mind, I was reading whatever I could find of timber framing a small barn. I can do the timbers. As my timbers are still standing in the form of trees, I will need help getting them cut but, at least, I have them. So, there I go... a tiny little portion of my mind, and my hand calculator, will do the wretched bills. The rest of my mind will escape and calculate building sizes, roof spans, hay storage, turn around room for a horse and a pony. A safe place for small children to jump in the straw. Happy thoughts.

Life is good.... just as soon as you get past all the money shit. We just have to keep our minds on the life is good part.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Last Night

Last night I had a dream. Not my usual kind with extreme plots, location jumping and in general, weird and busy crap going on. Last night I dreamt I had a barn. It was so nice! It wasn't huge but big enough. There was a small loft. Hay was stacked in a corner on the ground floor. Earthy warmth coming off the animals.

It seemed to be built of huge rounded timbers and the infill between the timbers was plastered over, like a wattle and daub, or straw bale or slip straw would be. It was heavy and safe and it felt so damn good being in there, and that is what I remember most about the dream, that it felt so good.

If only it were true. That is where I would spend my day today. Sequestered in that peaceful warmth where I didn't have to think about anything else. No worries about electricity. No money worries. No thinking about buying LP for winter. Just hay and warmth and peacefulness.

I think this is going to be my happy thought for the day, as I sit here and listen to the thunder and watch the rain fill in my trench. All one hundred and twenty feet of trench. (sigh)


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So Frustrating!

Today I begin day four of trench digging. It should be the last day, which is good, because I am sick of it! Every hour I spend working to get the electricity back to normal is an hour that I am not spending on fencing or winter prep. I am hitting that horrible spot where the frustration is getting intolerable. A lot of reflux. A lot of rage.

There are five tasks that must be accomplished before the first snow fall... other then the electricity. The fencing on at least one horse lot must be completed. The roof peak needs to be done over. A shed built. Hay storage completed, with hay installed. Lastly, the dryer vent needs to be moved as it is currently on the west side and the wind rips through there very badly.

I can get so much more done if I'm not frustrated or overwhelmed. And that reminds me of Star Trek. Towards the end of Next Generation when Data gets his emotions chip. On occasion, he was reminded to turn it off while on away missions so that his emotions wouldn't hinder his effectiveness. Unfortunately, I don't have an emotions chip. I have to try to accomplish everything while being frustrated, overwhelmed, angry or afraid. It sucks.

Somehow, things have to get better soon.