Monday, December 28, 2009

Thoughts on the year gone past...

I've spent the past few weeks reflecting on the past year and re-reading many of my old blog posts. I must admit, I have not spent as much time on this blog in the past few months as I would have liked. It seems when I started to work a lot, my motivation to post went downhill. Then in the summer, when I became pregnant and quite exhausted, I still did not have the motivation. The interesting thing is, that I often find myself writing posts in my head while doing things, but I can never remember them when I actually sit down at the computer (so instead I just read everyone else's posts, but then don't comment...but at least I'm keeping up with you all). I find it a bit sad I have not posted because I really wanted to document my pregnancy and be able to look back on it in years to come.

As I've looked over many of the things I felt were important to blog about, I realize that this year has been full of more challenges and some extreme ups and downs for me. I still struggle daily with many of the things that have happened to me over the last 5 years, and yet, I am still able to find joy and happiness in many parts of my life.

This year, we sold the Christmas tree farm, which was one of my favorite places in the world, and what I felt was one of the last remaining pieces of my dad I really had. B and I spent many hours on the road traveling to and from the farm to bring back what we could use on our farm and in June, I made my last trip there. I still think about it often, especially this time of year, and I will admit, that even though I have not sold Christmas trees the past 2 years, I still miss it. I miss the smell, and the people and the trees. I really enjoyed that part of my life when I did it.

B and I finally went on our honeymoon to Hawaii, right before our one year anniversary. We had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves (although our flights were AWFUL!). We have been married for a year and 3 months now, and I love him more now then I did the day we got married. And of course, our big news for the year is the fact that we are having a baby. Our lives are about to change in a huge way, and I am both nervous and excited for what is to come.

This year on the farm has been a learning experience for us both. We have so many ideas and plans...but we have so much to learn. We added a few new members of the family, with a German Shepherd (Khloe) and a Great Pyrenees (Odie...who we took from his sister recently because she couldn't keep him from wandering off her property). We also lost a few...our kitties Maggie, Mouse and Tears. My dog Jasmine also had to have her leg amputated, which was probably more traumatic for me then for her. We began raising chickens, and love the fresh eggs, but also have found that we have WAY more then we need. Our refrigerator is overflowing with eggs right now, and not enough people to give them to! We also tried to get more in to the meat goat business...and this has been where we have probably learned the most. We are definitely not where we had hoped we would be at this point, and are currently trying to figure out our next step.

I'm not one to really make resolution's as the new year begins. I try to focus more on ways that I can better myself and what would be nice to focus on in the coming year. The biggest things for me are trying to get myself out from underneath all the clutter and items I have accumulated since my dad passed away (I talked about this earlier in the year...and started...but then I got pregnant, and um...it didn't go quite as planned), and trying to be a better wife, and of course a good mother once our baby gets here. On a whole, I would like to be more motivated to accomplish the things around our house that need to be done and can make life easier on B. I'm not the best at this, and it is a constant challenge that I must work on.

I have also set a goal for myself to return to this blog. I have missed writing and that was the reason I started this blog in the first place. Writing has always been a good outlet for me, however, sometimes I just let other things get in the way...

I'll finish by posting some of the more meaningful (to me) posts from this past year:
- 6 months of marriage
- Religion
- Forgiveness
- My Relationship with my Mom

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry SITSmas!

MERRY SITSMAS to You and Yours!!!





B and I have had a very busy year, full of exciting news (we're having a baby!), fun trips (Hawaii), and the addition of more animals to our farm (goats, more dogs and chickens). We feel very blessed to have what we have, and hope that the holiday season and new year bring you much joy and happiness!

Love, Wolf, B, and all our babies (Chief, Jem, Jasmine, Jackson, Juju, Odie, Kaos, Cynder, Khloe, Onyx, Lucky, Maya, Smoke, Speck, Dakota, Mama Cat, Wild Cat, Tom Cat, Mean Cat, Sugar, Trucker, Spice, Bolt, Striker, Stinky, Jack, Billy, Goat #26, Goat #27, Goat #28, and Goat #29).

Go join the party and see everyone else over at SITS for SITSmas!

And visit some of my favorite SITStas:

Ann over at Pottamus! Where?
HelloSweetWorld
Yaya over at YaYa Stuff

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Puberty, Take 2

"Ms. Wolf, what happened to your face? Around your mouth there?" ~ First grader
"One second Peige, let me finish talking to Larissa." ~Me (I always hope when I don't want to talk about something that putting them off for a minute will make them forget about it...luckily in this case it worked).

I can remember back when I was 12 and I began to "change into a woman." The embarrassment I felt at the changes my body was going through, and the wonderful pimples that began to appear on my face. It was sure a relief when I got out of that stage, and the horrible break outs (although not all the pimples...yay, stress) stopped.

Little did I know, that pregnancy would make my face break out like I was going through puberty again! I of course, understand why this is happening, but must admit at 27, it is sometimes hard to accept. Especially when a first grader feels it necessary to bring it to my attention (even though she didn't know any better). Here's to hoping that my pregnancy glow comes soon, and it isn't caused by a number of shiny pimples! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blah.

This has been me lately.
I must admit that I've been feeling pretty good for being pregnant. With the exception of being overwhelmingly tired. I work, I come home and collapse on the couch. I have no desire to do anything when I get home, and it has been a bit trying on me. And probably on B, because I'm honestly not getting much done around the house. I have been subbing about 4 times a week, and teaching a class at the university 2 times a week. The class at the university ends on Monday, and I am extremely happy that I will have a bit of my time back. I keep saying I'm going to cut back on subbing as well, but it is hard when I want to make some money before taking time off when the baby is born. I do need to start thinking less about money (hard to do!) though, and more about how important it is to spend time with my hubby. Because he doesn't get weekends off, he has 2 days off during the week. I used to not work at least one of those days so we got to spend time together, and I haven't even been doing that. In a few months, we won't have the time we have to ourselves now, and I know we should take advantage of it. I really need to work on changing my mindset...especially because I really miss my hubby. It is ok to say no to a day of subbing, and money is honestly not the most important thing in the world...

One thing I have really noticed since being pregnant is that I've thought about my dad A LOT. About how proud he would have been to have a granddaughter (yes, we found out we are having a girl!), and how he would have spoiled her rotten. My dad was amazing with kids. He would have wanted to have his grandchildren visit often, would have taken them on trips, and taught them all the useful information he passed on to my sister and I. I can't help but think of the huge gap that will be left in my daughter's life because she will never know her amazing grandfather. Especially because I still miss him so much. I will of course tell her what an amazing man her grandfather was, and pass on my memories, but it won't be the same. And sometimes that is hard to swallow.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Dream

The other night, I had a dream. In this dream, our baby had been born, and it was a little girl. I was somehow still pregnant, even though I'd just given birth. We were new parents, and everyone was coming to visit to see the newest member of our family. Of course, everyone loved her and couldn't stop talking about how adorable she was.

One night, B and I went to sleep (it was sometime very soon after our daughter was born), and when we woke up in the morning, we both commented on how surprised we were that our daughter had slept through the night. When we went in to check on her, we found that she was missing. We began to look all over and couldn't find her anywhere. It was terrifying.

Eventually, we got in the car to go look somewhere else and when I looked in the back seat, she was in her car seat-not moving.We had apparently left her there the entire afternoon/night and it had been very hot.

I freaked out and for some reason B did not. He kept telling me that it was ok, because I was pregnant and we would have another baby soon. For some reason, I thought he was trying to tell me that we could cover it up and no one would know. Which I thought was ridiculous. And I was upset because what kind of parents could we be to not notice that we left our child in the car for that long?

It was at this point that I was awoken by the alarm. I was pretty freaked out.

This is the first dream I have had like this (I have had a lot of weird dreams since I became pregnant, many featuring my dad...) and it did disturb me a bit. It left me wondering if it was a reflection of the worries I have about how good of a parent I will be. I will admit, I am scared. Scared of not knowing what to do once our baby gets here. Not knowing how to calm it when crying, not knowing how I will react to not getting sleep, not knowing how life is going to change. Not knowing how I will deal with our child when he or she reaches the teen years (yes, I am even thinking that far ahead). How do I know I won't mess our baby up? Or leave it in the car?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Post in Which All is Revealed...

I am very happy I can finally let you all in on my secret...

B and I are expecting our first little one this Spring! March 14th to be exact. Which is 2 days after my birthday.

I am officially 16 weeks 2 days today.

This is the reason that I was soooo exhausted all summer and not really in the mood to do much, including blogging. Besides suffering from all day morning sickness as well...

I found out in mid-July. We had been trying for a few months, and I randomly decided to take a pregnancy test the day before B's birthday, thinking that it would be a fun birthday gift. :) I was actually rather shocked to have a positive test...so I took two more to be positive. Ha. Even then, I don't know if I really believed it. Not until I heard the heart beat for the first time, and saw our baby during the ultrasound.

I have for the most part been feeling ok since I moved out of my first trimester. Although I am still tired, I'm finally getting my appetite back and eating without feeling sick for the most part. I'm just starting to show as well. It has been quite an experience.

We are both excited and nervous, and I must admit I am a little scared as well. In a little over five months, a lot in our life is going to change. But I really can't wait to meet our little one.

Here is the picture from our 3 month ultrasound. B says that baby is already practicing for boxing/mixed martial arts, as it has it's guard up. :)

I'll be back with more updates now that I'm ready to be back to blogging!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Quick Update

Since I orginally posted, things have not gotten much better. We took Jasmine to the vets today (Monday) to have her leg looked at and were told that while they would try surgery, it was not hopeful. Once they opened her up, it was determined that the best thing for her was to amputate her leg...as she would be in pretty bad pain for the rest of her life if she still had her leg. I'm in shock and struggled with the decision all day. I hope it was the right one. I never expected this outcome, and while I have read amazing things about tripod dogs, it doesn't make it easier at the moment. I'm not sure when I'll be back to posting. Right now, I feel I need to hold all my animals closer and spend some more time with them. Jasmine will especially need quite a bit of attention when she returns home tomorrow.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Sad Return

B and I are back from what was a wonderful and relaxing vacation. More to come on the vacation in a future post.

Unfortunately, the rest and happiness of the vacation did not last upon our return home. We returned to a horse with a hurt foot, Jasmine with a very hurt leg and urinary tract infection, fleas everywhere, our cat Maggie missing, and our cat Tears no longer with us. It was a lot to handle in the middle of the night when we returned home.

The next day did not get better, as we finally found Maggie and she was on the verge of passing away... She passed about 20 minutes after we found her, in my arms. We have no idea what happened. It was a bizarre situation, with no clear culprit...all I know is that it rather devastated me to see her in the state she was in, and to see her take her last breath.

Maggie was a very loving cat. I talked about her back in December when I was trying to help her get better. She never did get totally better, and because of this we had to make the decision to put her outside. It was not my first choice...I'm not a fan of outdoor cats because of what can happen to them, but B and I didn't know what else to do with a cat that had the runs on the floor multiple times a day. The vet didn't know what was wrong, and nothing we tried made her better. She seemed to do fine outside, although she would often try to run back in the house. She really just wanted to be with her people and that was the most important thing to her. She did not deserve what happened to her. I miss having her run at me every time I walk out the door.

Tears was also a very loving cat. She was found before we got home and buried before we could say goodbye. What happened to her is also a mystery. She ended up outside because she had a constant sneezy nose that resulted in snot everywhere. After months of trying to get her better, we couldn't take anymore and thought she could keep Maggie company. She seemed to adapt to the outdoors much easier and didn't seem to mind it as much. Her biggest problem was that she liked to sleep under cars. She loved our dog Jem, and loved us well.

It has been very difficult for me to come to terms with what happened while we were gone. These kitties were our babies, raised from very young and we put a lot of time and effort in to them. They were so loving and probably some of the friendliest cats I've ever had. I worried the most about our animals being ok while we were gone, and I so hoped we would return to all of them as we left them. It is difficult to know that our not being here as usual could have contributed to what happened. It is difficult to know that we planned our vacation with the understanding that our friend would be staying at our farm while we were gone and taking care of the animals...only to have said "friend" leave us hanging high and dry when the time came so we had to scramble to find someone who could at least drop in to check on them a few times a day. It makes me think that taking a vacation when you have a farm is almost impossible.

I am hurting for my animals.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Away we go!

B and I are off to Hawaii tomorrow, bright and early! We'll be back on the 28th late. And then probably spending time getting the farm back in order and with the animals, so it will be a few days before I post. I'm really looking forward to getting away for a bit and relaxing. My biggest concern is that the animals are ok while we are gone, but I'm going to try hard not to worry about it too much...

Enjoy the rest of August everyone!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Bit Exhausted...

Hello my bloggy friends. I have been MIA. Badly MIA. Summer is proving to be more challenging then I thought. I'm finding it hard to believe that school starts up again soon. Today, I've been trying to start planning for my class that I teach in the fall. Where did summer go? It seems like just yesterday that I was sooo excited for more free time, warm weather and all the fun things that summer brings. Remember the days when it seemed that time went so slowly? I miss those days...

I have been rather tired lately, which has played a part in my not updating much. When tired, I'm not too creative, and not really in the mood to do anything...not even type. I'm hoping this will get better soon. But, who knows?

To update you on all the things I talked about B and I doing...

-Mamma Mia was really quite good. The lead singer was not as good as I would have hoped, but the other cast members made up for it. B really enjoyed it...it was the first time he's seen a play like that. I have a feeling we'll be going to some more in the future.

-I mentioned the fact that we started up with meat goats. A few of you said that you didn't know much about goat meat, or weren't sure you could really raise goats for meat... I know. I've talked on here before about how difficult it is for me to kill any sort of animal. In the past though, my family did raise cattle, and I was ok with it because I distanced myself and never really got attached. We sold the animals that needed to be sold and I had no idea where they went from there. Sure, I had an idea, but it wasn't us doing the killing. It is how I will look at the goats too. We did a bit of research in to goat meat before deciding to take this step. It is actually on the rise in the U.S. as a form of meat, and there is a good market in our area. And believe it or not, goat meat is pretty much the healthiest form of meat out there. I can't say I've tried it...not sure when I will, but I've heard good things about it. So, we are getting started. We've currently got 6 does and 2 billies. We will see what happens with them, and go from there. And believe it or not, we've already had our share of problems. It is amazing how quickly you can learn about goat diseases, etc!

-Chickens! I realize I haven't said much about them in some time. They are pretty much grown up. Our first batch of little ones have started laying. The rest should be laying by September. The chickens continuously make me laugh. When they get hungry, they pretty much attack me and wait for me to feed them. We have 36 right now, but have a few too many roosters, so that number will be going down. I'm still loving the farm fresh eggs and can't really imagine going back to store bought eggs now...

-The horses are doing well. Sugar and Trucker have been behaving and riding quite nicely...for B. I haven't gotten back up yet. We also let our farrier take our thoroughbred for a while for his son. He loves riding Laddie, and we figured it would be good for both the horse and the boy. This way Laddie is getting the exercise he doesn't get while with us at the moment. :) I do miss having the big boy around, but he'll be back by winter I am sure.

-My poor kitty Onyx somehow ended up with a hematoma in his ear. It was the weirdest thing. One day I noticed that he had a bump on his ear, and it just kept getting bigger. His ear started to flop down and we decided it was time to go to the vet. He got surgery today (only way to fix it!), and is currently walking around the house like he is drunk. I have a feeling his ear is going to be permanently damaged because we didn't get it fixed early enough. I guess it adds character, but I do feel bad. We just didn't know any better as to what it was. I'm hoping to post a picture soon.

-All the other animals are doing well. Khloe has gotten humongous and is learning to fetch. Although it has been so hot here lately that playing outside is NOT fun. Humidity is not our friend.

-B and I leave for vacation in a week. We are going to Hawaii. I can't believe it. It is kind of like a late honeymoon for us.

I hope everyone is well. I've still been visiting your blogs, just not commenting as much as I should. I promise to start up again as soon as I get my energy back!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Visitor

This past week my mom was here visiting...which is the main reason that I've been Missing in Action. She stayed for a whole week. Yup. 7 days. It was rather stressful, to be honest.

I love my mom, however, our relationship has never been the best. We are like oil and water...don't mix very well. I can be around her for a few days and then...well, she starts to rub me the wrong way and I get on edge. I have been praying for quite some time for more patience when it comes to my mom, but it has not come easy to me.

It isn't my mom's fault. For many years of my childhood she suffered with being manic depressive. She went undiagnosed for several years. During those years she did some pretty awful things to my sister and I. But, we came out on the other side. I'm not saying that we weren't damaged in the process. We certainly were. There were times when I all I wanted from my mom was a hug, and she pushed me away. Eventually, I stopped wanting hugs from her. Eventually, I stopped trusting her.

After she was diagnosed, and put on medication, my mom got significantly better, although she slept a lot. But a lot of the damage was already done. Although my sister was able to trust her again, I never really shared things with my mom again. I guess I always wondered if she would revert back to her old ways. When my dad got sick, she got sick again. She wasn't able to handle what was happening and after he passed away, she had a mental breakdown. After a few weeks in the hospital, they changed her medicine (she was on something that while controlling her manic tendencies, had in fact depressed her...which is why she was sleeping so much), and I must admit, when she came out, I barely recognized her. She acted so different. It was like the mom I had lost 10 years before when she first started showing her illness. I almost didn't know how to act around her. She was relaxed and happy. She stopped all the nervous ticks she had done for years. She even started volunteering at the church so she could get out of the house. It was amazing, and I was shocked.

Unfortunately, this new mom didn't last. I'm not sure why. I don't know if they changed her medications again, or if the combination of everything was too much, or what it was. But, less then a year after she became the new and improved mom, she started to get worse again. Granted, she never got to the point she was before, but, the nervous ticks returned, and on top of that, she has become a bit of a hypochondriac. I don't think a week goes by when she doesn't call to tell us that something else has happened to her and she has a need for another medication. At times, I can't believe that her doctors continue to treat her. I do feel bad for her, as I think she honestly doesn't know what to do with herself anymore...that she needs attention, and that having things wrong with her is her way to get attention. Unfortunately, all the medication she is on does not do her good. She is honestly quite scatter-brained. An example of this would be her taking my SUV while here (without my knowledge) and backing it in to the bell in our yard. The bell that is about 10 feet out of the driveway. She took it, regardless of the fact that she couldn't see to drive it, and kept driving after running over several bricks and rocks in our flower beds. And was going to keep driving it after hitting the bell, had I not come out to stop her (because yes, I heard her hit the bell). She didn't see anything wrong with it. And that's just one example! Argh. :)

The hardest thing for me when it comes to my mom is that I can't talk to her. I'd love to be able to tell her things that are happening in my life. To seek advice, to share with her. But I can't. Time and again, I have tried, and she has told people things I have asked her not to tell. She has twisted things I have said and started problems that didn't need to be started. There is also a part of me that feels like her hugs and other acts of love aren't genuine. They probably are...but after years of getting pushed away, I can't bring myself to really feel them, or want to reciprocate. And this is coming from someone who loves to cuddle and show affection.

So, with her here visiting, it was hard. I realize that I have only her and my sister left of my immediate family. I long to have a close and loving relationship. I continually try to give her another chance, but with each chance, it becomes harder and harder. I'll keep trying.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Update.

Time is flying by and summer commitments keep me busy. I have a desire to write more, but with so much going on, I sometimes find it hard to find the time. Will I ever find it again? In the past few weeks, B and I have decided to try our hand at becoming meat goat farmers. We have acquired an additional 8 goats in the last few weeks and are busy learning the trade. On top of that, we had our nephew over for a few days, had to hook up electric fence to the horse pasture and I fell off the horse the other day.

Yes, I fell off the horse. After writing my last post, 2 days later, off I went. I guess you could say I had a feeling it was coming. I was actually working her with the person who trained her to try and get her to go past a part of our property that she would give me trouble at every time I rode her. I think in her mind, it was the point where she felt a little too far from "home" and wanted to turn around and go back to her herd. I was trying quite hard to keep her going in the direction I wanted to go, but it didn't quite work. In the process of her turning to go back and attempting to make a break for it, I fell. I didn't get bucked off this time, happily, but slid right out of the saddle. I went chest first into one of our fruit trees...so I bruised a few ribs and my knees. Problem with my little mare is that she is extremely quick. Her movements are so sharp that if you aren't paying attention or ready for it, it is very easy to fall. As I did. This last fall has left me a little scared I must admit. I tried to get back up in the saddle on Saturday, on our very broke horse, but had a bit of a panic attack. Maybe it was the fact I could still feel the pain in my ribs, or maybe it was the fact that he is soooo much taller. I don't know. But I know I just didn't feel comfortable riding. So, I'm taking a bit of a brake. B is going to be doing most of the riding until I feel more confident I guess. I'll get there, but it might take a bit.

We didn't see fireworks on the 4th (I can't remember the last time I saw fireworks...3 years ago?), which was a bit disappointing, but responsibilities called. Instead, B and I spent some quality time together, which is always nice.

Also nice? We are finally starting to get some veggies from our garden. I LOVE eating fresh veggies. Right night we are mostly getting onions and cucumbers, but the tomatoes should be ready soon. The problem we always have is the fact we have WAY too many cucumbers. Any ideas for good recipes? I've actually looked up a cucumber bread, and am going to try pickles again this year (last year, I failed miserably). But, I wonder if anyone has a standby recipe? Let me know, so I can make some good use of these cucumbers besides eating them cut up with ranch dressing!

Tomorrow, B and I are taking some time together to go and see:
I'm really excited and I hope it's good. We both love musical type things and plays. We thought the movie was pretty good (we love the music - the singing may not have been the best, but it was so funny!), so hopefully this will be just as good.

I'll let you know how it is when I post again! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Riding We Go...

Wow, where did the month of June go? I feel like just yesterday it was getting warm out and I was anxious for the last day of school to come. Now, we are almost to July, a month that will bring a few small nights out for B and I, and a visit from my mom.

I realize that I never posted pictures of my horses and goats. I will do that sometime in the next week. This past month, we had two of our three-year olds broke. They finished about a week and a half ago, and now it is up to B and I to keep them going with their training. This has not been an easy process for either of us...especially me.

Three years ago, I adopted three, week-old foals from a rescue. I always wanted horses, but more to ride then to raise as babies (I was concerned with the amount of care they would need and the likelihood of death is so high). However, my friend convinced me to adopt these three. I waited and waited for them to be old enough to ride. At the time, they were up at the farm, and they stayed there even after B and I bought our farm, as there wasn't time to get them at first. As we were waiting to bring them down, we took in 4 more horses. Two young babies, one retired police horse, and one as a foster to be a friend to the police horse until we could bring my horses down. I was excited because we finally had horses that were old enough to ride.

I don't pretend to be an expert rider. In fact, I MAY be considered a novice, but probably more of a beginner. I have ridden several times, but never taken lessons. I sure read a lot about horses and riding when I was little because I was so obsessed with horses and wanted them so badly. But for the most part, I rode on vacations, and sometimes at friends houses. I often got the ridiculous horse that was stubborn, would take off for the barn, or even take me over a jump for no reason.

Regardless, I still loved horses and always wanted to have some so that I could ride them around and take them trail riding. Eventually, I got up on Teddy, the horse we were fostering. I was told when we took him in that while he would be antsy at first, all you had to do was be a little firm with him. So, the first time I rode him (with our friends who are horse people as well helping me out), he acted up and I tried my hardest to keep him in check. He tried to get me off a few times but didn't succeed. And he didn't settle down even after I was firm with him. But I stayed on. A few days later, I decided to try to ride him again. I went down to the barn while B was shucking corn, saddled him up and rode him down to the house. On the way down the driveway, I could tell that something wasn't quite right. He was acting antsy and being stubborn. Not bucking any, but acting weird. I finally got to the house and wanted B to hold him while I got off (Teddy was a huge horse, over 18 hands). B somehow didn't understand what I wanted and I eventually decided to turn back and get to the barn so I could get off. On my way back I noticed HUGE horse flies all around and figured this was probably what was bothering Teddy. He was still acting antsy and hadn't settled down at all in the few minutes I had been on him. We barely got to the driveway on the way back to the barn when he took off and started bucking. I tried hard to stay on. I knew I was next to a fence and was scared to death I was going to fall on it. Unfortunately, the saddle broke and down I went. I fell hard. I landed right on my back, hit my arm on the fence, and twisted my ankle...it somehow got stuck in the stirrup. I was in bad shape. I still hurt some today...my ankle never fully healed, and I have pain in my back...although I've had that pain for a long time and can't say it is from the fall completely.

I didn't ride for some time after. In part because I was recovering from the fall, and soon after, the rescue we were fostering Teddy for came and picked him up. Then it was winter, and we also only had one horse that we were able to ride.

Anyway, spring came and the babies turned 3, and it was decided it was time to break the two of them that were in the best shape. They did really well during the whole process. The trainer told us they learned very quickly and took to everything very easily. There were some things they were scared of, but after getting them through those obstacles, they always went. And now that they are done their training, it is up to me and B to keep them learning. We need to ride them several times a week so that they continue to be comfortable having a rider on their backs. I realize that this is probably not the most recommended way to go. Two beginner riders on two beginning horses. They would probably learn better with someone who fully knows what they are doing. But, it is hard to find someone around here that would take them for as long as would be needed.. And I'm unfortunately, extremely attached to these beauties that I've had since they were days old. Which makes it very difficult for me to get rid of them and move on to horses that are older and more broke. So right now, B and I are trying to to stay on top of them and ride them as much as we can.

Unfortunately for me, the fall I took last year has left me kind of scared and unsure of my riding. It isn't that I don't know how to ride, but I am incredibly scared of falling off again. The pain is too fresh in my mind. And I have no doubt that I will end up falling off again at some point. Getting over these fears is not the easiest on a horse that is green broke. I'm currently riding our mare, Sugar, who is a bit more high-strung it seems, then the gelding we broke, Trucker. She is very quick to move and really has a mind of her own. She wants to go her own pace and when I want her to slow down, she doesn't always want to listen. I know she is still learning. I know that things are going to scare her, and she is going to do things I don't like. My problem is staying calm during those times. And I've been having a really hard time doing that. I'm scared and I don't know how to get past it really. (And, I've gotten back on the horse, so I know that's not it!).

Teddy, the horse that bucked me off. A big, beautiful boy.

Sugar and Trucker (I don't have any more recent pictures), the two we broke. Sugar is the one I'm riding. At least she is a bit smaller then the last one!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Forgiveness

Before my dad got sick, I was pretty close to most of my extended family. We spent every Christmas at my aunt and uncle's house, and I visited my cousins and their kids frequently. When my dad got sick, my uncle (his brother) visited often. He insisted on being the co-executor of my dad's estate (along with a bank) and on going over everything that my dad wanted to happen with his properties, etc., after he passed away. Knowing that my uncle was there was an incredible source of relief for me, and I appreciated his support. It was something that I looked for and needed during my dad's illness and especially when he passed away. I felt that even though I was losing my dad, that I would have my uncle. I was wrong.

After my dad passed away, I was shocked and unbelievably hurt when it seemed my uncle just pushed aside everything my dad told him he wanted to have done. He seemed to just forget what my dad told him he wanted to have happen...and even told my mom and others that he had no idea what I was talking about when I said that he knew what my dad wanted. I had sat with him as he wrote down exactly what my dad wanted. I was devastated that he was lying and I had no idea why. Not only that, but he called me "childish" for not wanting to go through my dad's paperwork a few weeks after he passed away, and pushed me to go through my dad's things before I was ready. When I didn't go through these things, I was termed "difficult" amongst other things.

The farm was probably the biggest disagreement we had. He knew my dad's wishes and went against them. He never thought I'd be able to run it and rather then support me, he made things harder for me and told everyone I'd never succeed. At a time in my life when I really needed support, he let me down, and I was incredibly hurt. I stopped talking to him and stopped going to family functions where he would be present. It was too painful and I didn't know what to say to him. It hurt even more when my mom told me he had no idea why I was so upset.

Through it all though, all I wanted was an apology. I wanted him to admit the truth and that he had not listened to my dad's wishes. I wanted him to tell me he was sorry for treating me so badly when I was grieving. But he never did.

It has been almost 5 years since we have really talked. B has tried to talk to me about it numerous times and encouraged me to be the bigger and stronger person...to be the one who breaks the ice and forgives him. If my uncle were to pass away, I know I would be sad if we were still fighting. But I've had a very hard time trying to figure out how to be the bigger person. I'm not one to take a chance of forgiving and putting myself out there so that I can be hurt again...as that sort of thing has happened in the past.

The more I have thought about it though, the more I realize that carrying around this anger and sadness is bad for me. It festers and is something that is always below the surface in my day to day activities. I believe it contributes to some of the general unhappiness I feel with life at times. And I know that forgiving him would take a huge load off my chest. I know I want to forgive him, I just don't know how. I don't know how to put aside my pride and stubbornness, and break the ice. I don't know how to forget something that hurt me so badly. I don't know how to forgive something that was so awful. Some way it has to be done though, and I'm hopeful I can be the bigger person and take the first step. I just don't know how?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Moving Forward

The last few weeks have been difficult for me. I haven't really known how to handle them or really, how to feel. In nine days, the sale of the farm will be final. It is time for me to move forward. I need to move on from living in the past and the things I once wanted, but didn't succeed at keeping. I just have to figure out how.

I need to remember all the wonderful things that I have in my life. I have an amazing husband who treats me so well and does whatever he can for me. I have a beautiful house, my animals and for the most part, my health. My life isn't awful. Or that difficult. I think I just have an incredibly hard time remembering that because I get so overwhelmed by the things that are not so positive or have gone wrong. For almost five years, I have lived with the grief of losing my dad. With everything that happened after that, I continued to feel sad and lost. I lived more in the sad things then in the happy things. Almost as if I was afraid to let myself feel that happiness again...because I was so scared that it would be taken away like it was before.

I have a lot of fear. Fear that my depression will return. Fear that I'll never find the one thing in life that I'm meant to do. Fear that I will never stop grieving so terribly for my dad. I never used to have this fear. And I don't know how to make it go away.

My initial goal is to get myself out from underneath all the crap I feel I have in my life. I have brought so many material things with me that sometimes I feel like they smother me! I have always been very sentimental and find it really hard to get rid of anything that might be worth something or has some sentimental value. That has made getting our house organized very difficult. And one of the things that bothers me a lot right now on a day to day basis is the clutter and disorganization of our house. I want to have things put in their place. So, I have to set my mind to start getting rid of stuff. A half hour a day working at this should yield tremendous results I hope.

My other goal is to start to appreciate everything that I have. To focus on all the happy things and the things that make me happy. It probably won't be easy for me at first, but I am going to try hard. Here are two things that make me very happy:

Our boy Kaos enjoying the new "pool" we got him and Cynder to help them cool off on hot days.

Our very quickly growing puppy Khloe. She is such a treat.

I hope you'll bear with me as I try to figure all this out!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Goodbye...

I've started to write this post a million times, but have never felt that I could explain fully what I am feeling... If you are pretty new to my blog and aren't sure what I am talking about in regards to the farm, you probably want to read this post.

I am home from what was most likely my last trip to the farm. It was beyond difficult. Devastating actually. It was so hard for me to see all the equipment my dad worked so hard to get sell for significantly less then it was worth. The whole experience was so emotional for me. To see the barn empty. To leave the house for the last time. The familiar smells I'll no longer smell...so many memories from there. A dream that can no longer be fulfilled...I sobbed a lot of the way home. I've never known life without the farm...without Christmas trees or that house. Without the view from the back porch, or looking out and seeing all those trees. I was sad knowing that my dad walked along that ground and worked so hard on so many of those trees. That we worked alongside each other there. It was the last place we had in the family like that. Every thing else was sold immediately after he passed. Now, it too is gone. In a way, I feel like I've lost my dad again. The auction was just plain frustrating. I can't change anything though, so I'm trying hard not to dwell on it. I wish that more of our stuff would have gone to people that we knew...I actually felt bad when they did not get the things that they were bidding on...in part because I know my dad would have wanted them to have them, and because I wanted them to have them too. I wish the auctioneer had not been a pain in the arse.
I am still sad. I think I am in denial. I also think I am grieving the loss of something so important. I don't think it helps that I continue to grieve for my dad almost 5 years later. I am hopeful though that I will be able to move on in the coming months now that everything is over. It will not be easy. But this portion of my life is over, as difficult as it may be for me. It is time to start fresh and begin again. I hope also that this will help me figure out what I should be doing with my life.

I'll leave you with a picture I took of one of the Amish kids at the auction. He made me smile.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm Baaack!!

Ok, it has been a LONG time since I've had a real post. My life was just overwhelmingly busy. I subbed every day without a break for the last two months. We had plans every single weekend pretty much. When I'd come home after subbing, I'd do chores, and pretty much collapse, without desire to post much...so I didn't. While most of the stuff we've been up to has been pretty boring, there were two big things that happened.

The first is that my sister got married. B and I drove out to Philadelphia to attend her wedding. It was a very different wedding. They had no attendants. The ceremony was kinda weird. And the music was VERY loud. But, my sister looked beautiful, and she was happy, and in the end that is what matters most. Here are some pictures:

My sister, before the ceremony. Looking absolutely beautiful.

B and I during the reception. We were a little bored as loud music isn't our thing. I tried to get a good picture, and this is what he did. Ha.

Me and my sister.

My favorite picture. I took this as they were trying to get one for the photographer. If I had gotten all their heads it would have been perfect. :)

This past weekend was the second big thing, and that was my staff reunion. Before my foray in to subbing, and before I got married, I worked in a job where I had a large staff. The staff I had the last two years became much like my family, and last year before I left, we had a huge gathering at B and my house, which we had just bought at the time. We decided after that to make it a yearly event, which is wonderful because many of us have spread out, so we don't see each other much. B and I spent much of last week preparing the house for everyone arriving, and finally the day arrived. We had a wonderful time barbecuing, playing volleyball, and catching up. Here are some pictures of our reunion:
The staff who could make it (we were missing 3), and Khloe in front of the pond :)

Me with my best friends K and N. N was not technically a part of our staff...but we invited him anyway because the whole staff knows him and it was a good chance for all of us to catch up.

The fire in our newly built firepit. We made smores. :) (Don't mind the feet in the photo)

There was a full moon. This is the beautiful view we had.

This weekend brings what will most likely be my last trip to the farm. I'm not sure how I'm feeling at the moment, although I do know that I am upset that I'll be making it alone, without B, who couldn't get the time off. It will be the close to a very long chapter of my family's history. And it won't be easy. I'll most likely not post until after I get back on Saturday.

Sorry if this post is somewhat scattered! My life has been! But after this weekend my life should be back to normal and so should my posts! :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday Savings!

It's a new month, and less busy for me, so hopefully that means I'll be able to keep track of things better on here then I have been the last two months!

This week, I only shopped at Kroger because I didn't think the deals at CVS were that great. I didn't shop at all last week, so I had some wiggle room in my budget.

I bought the following (55 items):

for $52.94. I saved $75.36!!! I was excited to find out that Kroger was having triple coupons this week, which was unexpected and quite a treat. I was able to get the 4 Dial soaps, the 4 Reach toothbrushes, and the 3 Buddies soaps for free. I also got several other items for very little, including the pickles, the Kraft Mac & Cheese cups, the Hot Pockets, Ritz and the Wheat Thins. I stayed very close to my $50 budget, and was technically under, since I had so much leftover from not shopping last week. I sure hope Kroger does triple coupons more often!!

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Crazy Cat

It has been a LONG while since I have posted. I've been extremely busy and overwhelmed. The school year ends tomorrow though, and after that, I promise to update you on what's been going on!! Until then, I thought I'd share a funny video of my mom's cat, who absolutely hates anyone but my mom. This is the way she acts towards everyone who isn't my mom...

video

Friday, May 22, 2009

Saturday Savings!

Wow, I have been a HUGE slacker when it comes to my Saturday Savings posts...been so busy during the week that I haven't been able to shop until Saturday or Sunday...so I haven't been posting. But, this week I actually got out earlier in the week, and had a good shopping trip at Kroger's.

I bought:for $43.70. I saved $81.85!!! I bought 40 items and was quite excited that I was able to save so much, considering the sales weren't amazing this week. My favorite deals of the week are the Country Time lemonade, which is currently a $1.00 at Kroger and with the $1.50/2 you can print from my sidebar, can be bought for $.25, the Kraft dressing, which is currently $1.58, and with the $1.50/1 coupon from last weeks paper can be bought for $.08, and the soda mix and match, as I got my 5 12-packs for $7 thanks to coupons I had earlier.

Although I didn't post my deals from the previous weeks, don't forget that there are tons of good Kraft coupons out right now. If you go to my sidebar and scroll through the coupons, you'll see several Kraft coupons...such as $1.00 off BBQ, dressing and some crackers. Right now, BBQ sauce is $1.00 at Kroger...that would make it free! There are many good deals like that that can be found using the Kraft coupons...so take advantage of them!

Happy Shopping!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pictures

Since I'm still a bit overwhelmed, I thought I'd do a picture post. Enjoy these "sights around the farm"!Our handsome boy Striker, who is just about a year old now. He still has a lot of growing to do and is the biggest lovebug!

Three of our first batch of chicks. They have grown so much. Very friendly and good chicks.

Our rooster, Elvis, cock-a-doodling. He does it throughout the day, not just in the morning!

The new pup, Khloe, already growing fast and a great joy. She has a wonderful disposition.

Our handsome boy Bolt, who like his brother is just about a year. Can't wait for that winter coat to get all the way out!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Coming up for Air...

Once again, things have been unbearably busy around here. I've barely had time to sleep or think or just relax.

Last week included a full week of subbing, and a FLOOD. Yes, a flood. The rain has been almost non-stop the last week a half. Therefore, the ground couldn't take anymore, and our backyard looked like this:
The creek that runs all along our property and is normally so low you can walk across it.

The water was rising so quickly that the place where I originally stood that was dry, was wet only a few minutes later!

And a video of the rushing water:

video

We actually got flooded in as the drive that leads to our driveway was flooded. The school had a 2-hour delay. Happily, none of it reached our house, but this was our first flood here.

Then, on Saturday morning I flew out to Pennsylvania for a friend's wedding, where we had fun and stayed up too late. I got up very early on Sunday morning to fly back home. B met me at the airport, where we went on a short trip to pick up a new member of our family. Here she is:

Her name is Khloe, and she is a German Shepherd. We debated for a long time about whether this was a good choice for us considering the amount of pups we already have. But, we have plans for this one, that we hope will happen. She is a very well-behaved pup who never wants to leave our sides. I'm excited to have her, and the other dogs already love her. :)

This week continues to be busy. I've subbed every day so far, and thought I'd have tomorrow off until I just got called. I sub Friday too. I have only a few weeks left to be able to sub though, so I'm trying to get in as much as I can before the break. Luckily this weekend I have a break though. I'm looking forward to getting some much needed sleep...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Weedy

Since March, I've been working to free our flower beds of weeds. It has been, and is, quite a task because of the amount of beds we have in our yard. Not to mention the fact that I am not well versed in plants and weeds. I know dandelions and clovers are weeds, others I am still learning.

Last year, one of the worst weeds we had was a dandelion type weed that was prickly and incredibly difficult to pull up. They were our nemesis. This year, we thought we saw them growing in March, and thought it would be good to get started on them before they got too big and prickly. I spent several hours pulling up these weeds. And there were A LOT of them!

I'll admit that over the last few weeks I've slacked a bit on the weeding. Been too tired when I've gotten home from subbing and done all the other chores I have to do. In that time, the flower beds have been overcome with the weeds (I don't know if I could have kept up even if I'd been working on them daily!). I noticed the other day that some of the weeds I'd been pulling up earlier in the spring had buds on them. Thinking this was weird, I pointed it out to B, who said they were probably still weeds, and they probably weren't flower buds.

Yesterday, M, our friend who is staying with us, pointed out one of the flowers that had been blooming recently. It is a beautiful, colorful flower and looks like this:

He proceeded to point out that all the "weeds" we had been meaning to pull out, and had already pulled out looked exactly the same as this beautiful flower...

Oops.

It seems we were yanking out our Poppy plants. Unfortunately, they look a lot like dandelions and we were horribly mistaken when we thought they were weeds. This mistake only caused us to yank out a hundred or so of these flowers from our flower beds!

Seems we really need to study up on our flowers and weeds before we tear out more beautiful flowers and leave our beds full of weeds...

Monday, May 4, 2009

What Not To Wear.

I think it is time to go through my wardrobe. Why, you might ask?

Today, while subbing for a 4th grade class, one of the girls came in wearing this shirt:

A shirt I own. There seems to be something incredibly wrong with the fact that I, a 27 year-old, have the same shirt as a 9 year-old that I am teaching. Very wrong.

I'll admit that last week when I put this shirt on when heading to a doctor's appointment, I thought to myself that I was probably getting a little too old to wear shirts like this. I was kinda embarrassed while in the doctor's office, and thought seriously about getting rid of all shirts like this when I returned home. Unfortunately, I have a lot of them...they always made me laugh when I saw them in the store, and I'd buy them. But now, I think I've grown up. And if I haven't, I'd better (not always easy when it is so easy to be mistaken for being 10 years younger then I actually am...). Granted, finding clothes that fit isn't easy for me (juniors is the only department that fits...petite sometimes, but petite's are soooo expensive!), and granted, I hate getting rid of clothes until they are WORN OUT (they typically go from everyday clothes, to farm clothes, to trash), but I'd rather not be wearing the same clothes as the student's I teach.

Time to go through my drawers and add to the yard sale pile. I wonder if I'll have any shirts left? ;)

Friday, May 1, 2009

May?

Looking for some great cereal coupons? There are a lot of $1.00 off/one Kellogg's cereal in my sidebar. $1 off/1 cereal coupons don't come out often, so I would get them while you can! Combine them with a sale and you could get cereal for a little over a $1!! Just click and print! --->
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I can't believe it is May already. I feel like a broken record, continually saying that time is flying by - but it truly is! I just don't know where it has gone. This month has been so busy that I can't keep track of much. I guess I can't complain too much though. I did want to be subbing more and I finally got my wish. It is nice to be doing something with myself, regardless of how exhausting and trying it can be at times... :) But I feel more useful and as if I have a bit more of a purpose, so that has been nice for me (you'd think with all I have to do around the farm, I would feel I have a purpose, but yeah...)

Today would have been my dad's 63rd birthday. I know a lot of my posts revolve around my dad. I hope it doesn't get too tiring to read about. It amazes me that I can still miss him as much as I do. Such simple things can cause a pain in my heart. All I can say is that I truly miss his advice. I wish I knew what he thought about where I am in life. I'd love to have his knowledge around the farm here. He would be such a help to us. I miss his laughter and hugs. I miss him terribly. He was such a great person, and father.

This month will once again bring a lot of traveling and commitments. I'm really just ready for a month where we can relax, but that doesn't seem as if it will happen anytime soon. Next weekend I'm going on a very quick trip to Pennsylvania for a friend's wedding...flying out Saturday morning and coming back Sunday morning. Our nephew is having a graduation party the next Saturday, and my sister gets married on the 30th. Somewhere in there we hope to have a yard sale too. Ahh. I don't even want to think about what June is bringing!

On top of everything we continue to work around the farm. I'm waiting anxiously for the weather to get a bit better so we can plant the veggie garden. Really need to get them planted!!

And of course, here is a chick picture:


What are these? More new chicks? Ah. Yeah. Haha. We are officially addicted to chicks. Haha. But this is it. I couldn't resist when I went in to a feed store the other day. In part because it seems that about 6 at the minimum of the second batch of chicks are Roos. We will probably keep one, but the others we will need to get rid of. Most likely they will be for meals. In addition, they were supposed to be mostly Barred Rocks, but the guy who sold them to us was entirely wrong. They are Black Sex Links, and some other things we don't know yet... So when I went to the feed store and saw they had Barred Rocks, I had to get a couple. I also picked up a Rhode Island Red, a Buff Orpington, and 2 Easter Eggers. The Easter Eggers are the ones that look like little balls of fluff with chipmunk markings. They are extremely cute. And now we have a big variety of chickens. All different colors, sizes and types. :)

The adventures continue!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Quoted

Student: "Chris said that you have a head that is too big for your body."
Me: "Ohhh. Interesting."
Student: "Or maybe it was that your head was small and your body was large."
Me: "Was Chris one of the students who had to write his name on the board when I was there the other day?"
Student: "Yeah, he got in trouble when you were subbing for our class."
Me: "That's what I thought."

Apparently, I'm the mean sub because I hold kids accountable when they shout and curse in class. :) Since I've been subbing at the same school for the last few weeks I've gotten to know many of the students, and have been the sub for many different classes. Apparently, many of the kids think I'm mean because they got in trouble. Ha. I wonder if they think their regular teachers are mean when they get in trouble with them? :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wow.

What have I been doing this month? Not posting it seems. Life has been...busy.

For a while there, I was having a hard time posting. Not knowing what to say. Wanting to say something, but worrying that the fact I was feeling kind of down would reflect way too much in my posts...and didn't want my posts to be all negative.

We took a trip to the farm, and that was difficult on me...caused a lot of stress. That trip taught me that people can really suck. Not that I didn't know that already. But, I hate that so many people are out to rip people off...and you never know who to trust. The main reason for our trip was to find an auctioneer for the equipment/tools still at the farm, but what I found were people who were full of BS and quite ridiculous. I didn't like either of the auctioneers we met with, but unfortunately, we had to go with one. How you pick in a situation like that is beyond me. We believe that everything will be over with the farm come June 30th. As sad as I am, I can't really wait. I need this stress to be over with.

I've been subbing A LOT more this month. I finally got a call to sub at the school two minutes from our house, and ever since then I've been going there a few times a week. They like that I'm so close and easy. :) I'm working there at least 9 more days the next two weeks. (And wouldn't you know that I get asked to sub one place and suddenly I start getting called by the sub line more too? Now I'm worried that since I've had to turn down the sub line too often that they won't call me again. Sigh. I wish I knew how it worked better...). It's been nice to be working often, but at the same time, a bit tiring. It isn't easy being a sub, that's for sure. :) The kids sure are interesting some times... It has also been rough because B has moved to afternoon shift, which means when I work, we only see each other about a half hour in the morning and maybe a half hour at night when he gets home. It has been really hard for me to adjust to not having him here, or really seeing him. No more dinners together, or watching our favorite shows. Sometimes I don't know what to do with myself at night, and my schedule is all out of whack. I guess I'll get used to it eventually.

We've also been busy trying to get stuff done around the house since the weather has been nice. I've been mowing A LOT. We had to buy a new mower. Ugh. Ours broke down several times and finally just crashed. It seemed we were going to be putting more money in to it then we should...so it made more sense to buy a new one, even though I really, really didn't want to put out that kind of money again. Seems like once you get one bill paid off, another one just pops up. Grr. We've been doing maintenance on the tractors and crossed one big project off our to-do list, which was to build a bigger kennel for the pups. Here it is:


Not sure you can actually see how big it is, but it is a 30x40 and I know they absolutely LOVE it. They run all over the place. :) The only thing that's rough is that they dig ALL the time. It is no longer full of the green grass you see in this photo. They've dug about 10 holes in there in the week and a half its been done. But, if it makes them happy, that's all that matters. :)

We've been busy with the chickens and chicks as well. I must admit I will be glad when all of them are outside. We've moved the second set of chicks out, and now have the last set still in the house. They should be ready to go out in about a week. However, only the oldest chicks are running around outside. This is my favorite picture from the last week.

I just love it.

I also want to give a shout out to my wonderful bloggy friend HelloSweetWorld, who surprised me when she sent me some wonderful farm stationary and stamps. They arrived in the midst of a bad week, and totally made my day. I absolutely love them. :)

Hopefully, I'll be better at blogging in the coming days. I hope everyone is doing well! I promise I'm coming round to your blogs to catch up too!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Savings!

Finally back with a Saturday Savings post! Been super busy and haven't been getting my grocery shopping done until Saturday afternoons, which means no time for posts!

This week, I shopped at Kroger (although I might still make a quick trip to CVS later today). I was very happy with my take this week! Lots of free stuff! I got the following:

for $38.53. I saved $68.04!!! I purchased 41 items and got many of them free...the toilet paper (yay! Free toilet paper again...wish I had known, I would have bought more papers!), the Quaker quakes, the deodorant, and the spices. Also, there is a Mail in Rebate for the All-Bran, so, essentially, I got those for free as well.

Last week I spent $6.00 at CVS and saved $30, and $50.64 at Kroger, while saving $25.12. The week before, I spent $3.70 at CVS and saved $43.90 and $38.07 at Kroger and saved $59.11.

I would have liked to do a month in review, but I seem to have lost some of my receipts...or at least I used them for MIRs and that means I can't be entirely accurate. I do know that I stayed below my $200, although it was a bit of a struggle this month. I also had somewhere around $20 in MIRs for the month.

Hopefully next month I'll be a little more on top of everything! Happy shopping!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thinking...

I don't talk about religion often on this blog. I guess because for me, it is still a relatively difficult subject.

Religion and God specifically, were a part of my life growing up. They certainly were not a "main part though. We went to church on Sundays and I attended a Catholic school (despite not being Catholic, it was a good school). Family issues and my eventual focus on skating meant that for about 6 years my sister and I rarely went to church, with the exception of holidays. At some point during those 6 years, I went from loving attending church and Sunday school, to dreading having to go.

About the age of 12 or so, my dad felt we needed to start going to church again. However, he wanted to find a new church. This meant that we visited several before he settled on one he liked - but this process was very difficult for my sister and I. As two very shy young girls, we didn't have an easy time fitting in or feeling comfortable in these new environments where we knew no one.

When my dad finally settled on a church, he sent me to Sunday school. My sister didn't go for some reason I don't remember. But I remember how uncomfortable I felt in that Sunday school. It was awful for me. Everyone there already knew each other and they weren't very welcoming. I was made fun of more then once. I hated going. I tried hard to get out of it as often as I could. I hoped my dad wouldn't wake up in time to go. When I was old enough to start attending services, I continued to struggle. Our pastor's sermons were an hour or longer most days. I didn't understand what he was saying half the time and had a hard time paying attention. I had questions that went unanswered and was often too afraid to ask. I struggled.

I struggled up until I went to college. When I got there, I stopped going to church. My boyfriend and I attended a few times, but never found one we liked. I often had the desire to go, but just never could make myself. Laziness and fear I think.

I often told myself when I first went to grad school that I would find a church. And yet I didn't. And that June, I was faced with my father's illness.

Watching my dad struggle as he did through his melanoma diagnosis and treatment significantly impacted me. During the time he was sick, his faith only increased. I certainly prayed more, but I was angry about what was happening to my dad - a good man who believed and tried to live his life the best he could. How could so many people who were unmoral and bad people still be out there living their lives while my dad was faced with the knowledge he was dying and significant suffering?

My dad knew where he was going when he passed, but that didn't make it any easier on me. My pain at having lost him and seeing him suffer - my pain as I grieved and through the events that continued to happen over the next few years. I was angry with God and angry at life. I began questioning more and more. And I could never find the answers to my questions. I became very cynical. And that seems to be where I am stuck.

Going to church since my father passed always makes me feel an overwhelming sense of sadness and brings tears to my eyes. I don't like to go. So, I don't.

I can't say I'm necessarily comfortable with where I am right now, but I also don't know how to change where I am at. B tries hard. He is very knowledgeable about religion and tries to talk to me every day about things. To help me understand. To help me find my way back. Sometimes I am in the mood to listen, others I question what he says (I can't help myself), and others, I don't want to hear it.

I guess I'm not even sure why I chose to write about this today, but it is a struggle I thought I should share.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chick Stories...

I hinted last week in a quick post that we lost some of our chicks. In all, we lost 5, so we were left with 5. It was very difficult for me to lose them. Not because of the attachment (that I was trying so hard to avoid) but because some of them suffered. And because I was so excited to start this new project and it seemed that in a matter of seconds it all changed after so much time and effort.

B and I decided to look for a few more chicks after this because we did want to have at least 15 laying hens by the end of everything. So, yesterday we finally found a guy that was selling some (we were told that TSC only took orders and they had to be 25 or more, so we didn't bother going there) and went to pick them up. Of course, we get there and we are talking to the guy and B asks, "So, how do you tell when they are a male or female?" "When they get older," the guy replies. Uh. So, it turns out, we weren't getting 10 guaranteed females...just 10 chicks and you get what you get. I'm crossing my fingers at least 5 are females. We don't have much use for lots of males...although we did get a rooster when we went to this place, who we have named Elvis, and when I get a picture of him, you will see why.

I come home today and B surprises me by telling me that he went to TSC and guess what? They had chicks for sale even though we were told they didn't sell them individually. He got 10 more. And he knows they are females. We would have just gone there in the first place had we known that they had them for sale and never worried about the 10 unknowns! :) So, now we are up 20 chicks to replace 5 that we lost. How did that happen? We must be becoming chicken farmers...I am still excited about raising chickens, and have come to quite enjoy it. I'm crossing my fingers that we have learned enough to keep these little ones alive and well.

Here are pics of the new chicks. The black ones, gray ones, brown one in the middle and brown one on the right are unknowns. The light chicks and the one on the left are from TSC.

These ones are my favorite. We have two little grey ones that look like this. They are feather footed, and actually what our rooster is. I think they are just adorable.

Apparently, the new little ones think it is appropriate to lie entirely in the food for whatever reason... And the funniest part of the whole experience...we were trying to figure out the whole sexing the chick thing, not realizing that you had to do it when they were a day old. So...here is B, trying to squeeze the poo out to see if he can tell if it is a male or female. Haha.

Want to take a few guesses at how many will end up female and how many male?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

5 Things, and something you should watch...

5 items in which I update you on my life (sorta, some stories reserved for later posts).

1) It has been raining here the last two days, and is supposed to rain again tomorrow...blah. Of course, it is supposed to be lovely on Thursday and Friday, when I am scheduled to work. Reasons I dislike rain, even though it is needed:

-> the pasture becomes a muddy mess
-> the yard becomes a muddy mess, and I get stuck when I try to mow and get mud all over the mower, even if it is 4 days after it has last rained.
-> 3 of our dogs go in and out of the house, therefore, they track a ridiculous amount of mud into the house, even when we wipe their paws off. Which is really nice on the white carpet the former owners thought was great in a farm house (I can't wait to one day change it).
-> we live in an area that floods. Luckily, our house is not in the flood plain, but the town around our house is, and the creek is getting high...not sure it is going to be able to make it with yet another full day of rain...

2) This reason for disliking the rain deserves its own number. Rain makes the stairs to the chicken coop extremely slippery. So slippery, I slipped on them twice today. The first time, I'm not sure how I didn't end up on my butt...but I did catch myself and only hit my arm. The second time, I don't know how I didn't end up on my face. I thought for sure I was going to go down and hit my face on the steps. It is going to happen one of these days if we don't fix how slippery the steps are. I just know it...

3) I walked outside yesterday to take care of the animals before leaving for work and found myself looking at a deer head. I was quite surprised. I shouldn't have been, since we have pieces of deer around our property often since we pick up road kill for the wolfdogs, but I was not expecting this deer head outside my door in the morning. I have no idea how it made it from the wolfdog kennel to the front yard. I don't really want to know. All I know is that people that don't know we pick up roadkill for the pups would probably be really freaked out if they visited our house (and might be even if they did know...).

4) I was extremely distressed while subbing yesterday because of what I observed while subbing for a preschool. There were about 13 kids in too tiny of a space, and 4 of these boys went around punching/hitting/kicking/terrorizing the other kids the entire time. When I asked the aide what to do in order to correct these kids, I was told I could just talk to them...and let them know that we didn't allow hitting. WHAT?!? Obviously this works well. I was told it was a regular occurance and didn't just happen because I was a sub. What ever happened to good old-fashioned punishment? I'm not saying I'm for punishing a kid, but time-outs...some sort of consequence! Talking to them. Right. I am honestly scared at what I see in schools nowadays...every time I sub, it becomes more clear to me that the upcoming generation is not raised in the way I was raised...and are just not what I would hope a child would be...

5) The other day, as I was doing things near the wolfdog kennel, I started to hear squawking. I couldn't figure out what was going on, until I looked closely at Kaos, and saw that he had gotten a hold of one of the chicken's tails! I started kicking at the kennel and yelling to get him to let go (which was quicker then running around the other side to actually get in the kennel), and finally he did. Now, Kaos has been quite obsessed with the chickens since they arrived. No doubt, he would love to make them a snack if he could. The chickens are absolutely oblivious to the fact that he is constantly watching them as they walk around, and under the wolfdog kennel (yes, they go under it...it is built on a wood platform, and they love all the bugs they can find under it). They have been torturing Kaos as they have been walking under him, and he constantly tries to pounce on them as he can see them through the cracks between pieces of wood. I guess, this particular day, the chicken's tail poked up just enough between the pieces that he was able to get it. When released, the chicken walked out from under the kennel, shook herself and continued on her way...despite the fact her tail feathers were a little plussed! And wouldn't you know, they were right back under the kennel just a few hours later...

I'll be back tomorrow hopefully with an update on things around here. I needed a little break as I explained in an earlier post. I did have a rough few days last week, but I'm feeling better.

I wanted to put a video in here, but it seems that the emedding from YouTube has been disabled for this particular video. So, click here to watch it. It is an amazing performance...brought tears to my eyes...and Simon's face. I love it.
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