GRATITUDE

Today, I found my GABBA! It’s a vitamin supplement my chiropractor gave me after my car accident last year, it’s a mood stabilizer. I was very happy to find it (we are still unpacking from moving) as I think it would be beneficial to me right now. I am not ashamed that I struggle with mental illness, lots of people do! It’s part of who I am.  I fight the good fight, I do what I can on my own to stay positive. I have dark times. I have times of pure joy! It’s life.

Ive taken different antidepressants throughout my life. I can’t say they don’t work, they do. And if you are prescribed medication, by all means take it. And if you feel you want to stop, have an honest conversation with your doctor about how to do it safely and what alternative you are wanting to do. Depression, mental illness, whatever you may suffer from needs treatment. And there are many different ways to treat the illness, depending on what you have.

I suffer from depression and an anxiety disorder.  The absolute best treatment for me PERSONALLY, is exercise. It’s an absolute adrenaline rush and releases all those feel good sensations. Exercise is absolutely something that uplifts my mood. Currently, I’m not getting enough, which causes me to start body shaming and feel like I shouldn’t be seen in public. Other treatments I use in conjunction with exercise is writing therapy (this) or I’ll text a friend, talk therapy (talk to my spouse) and I will take natural supplements, as in the Gabba.

Part of it is staying positive. So, that’s why I titled this post “Gratitude”, because it’s very important to feel gratitude everyday. Even if something like you are grateful for your cup of warm coffee, or the beautiful sunset. Today, I am grateful I found the Gabba. I am also grateful for my loving spouse and my beautiful son. I am grateful for the peaceful surroundings of our home. I am grateful for my life.

It is all too easy to get focused on disappointments. Unfortunately they do tend to come more often then blessings. But, again its about changing our perspective in life and taking time to notice all the miracles and blessings in our life. And I have far too many blessings to stay in the dark gloom of depression. But, I also have to be honest with myself and work through my feelings. The worst thing I could do is to just sweep it under the rug and pretend I’m ok, when I’m not. But, I’m getting there. I’m working through it. And I’m loving my life and praying for God to continue to bless us and guide us on our journey.

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Facebook Hiatus

I decided yesterday to take a break from Facebook for a bit of time, to work on my mental health. I’m not a Facebook junkie, I don’t neglect my home responsibilities or my child to be on Facebook. I typically am on it when I’m also doing something else or my child is happily playing by their self. But, I needed to take a break.

With the recent turn of events in our financial situation, it was hard for me to be on Facebook. I spend the majority of time on there looking at BST pages to try to find outdoor toys for my son, or looking at posts of livestock for sale. Knowing that I can’t purchase anything in the foreseen future kind of makes it hard, because of course you find great deals or things you want.

I have learned through the years as I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety, the best thing is to eliminate the things that stress you. So, although I love checking in on my loved ones and such on Facebook, it’s not a healthy environment for me right now. This probably seems crazy to some people, but it works best for me. I just have to take time to reset myself and refocus my foundation for happiness.

I am very blessed in my life. I have a spouse who is my best friend. We’ve been through lots of trials and tribulations, that would of broke most people up. But we remain the best of friends and still love one another very much. We have a son that we’re very dedicated to raising to be happy and know that he is loved. My son brings me tremendous joy and sense of purpose. And of course I have some amazing friends and family.  A home of our own (albeit a fixer upper) on a beautiful 20 acres, it is extremely peaceful. So I am thankful.

 

The Girl Who Would Be Called Dempsey

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This is a picture of a Miniature Donkey, that I was going to buy.  I only knew I was going to buy her for about a week, then everything changed. And somehow, this change has changed me. Logically, it doesn’t make sense that I feel as devastated as I do. There was a part of me that kind of thought it was a bit of a crazy purchase. But, then there is the other part of me that tries to have faith and stay optimistic. So, in good faith, I did believe we would be purchasing her.

The name Dempsey, it’s my Maternal Grandmothers middle name. She hated it! Thought it sounded too masculine. But, I think it suited my grandma; for as sweet as she was, she was also feisty too! My grandma lived to be 100.  My family is a complicated mess, but I do have many good memories around my grandma.

Anyway, this beautiful little donkey belongs to a precious friend of mine. Someone who I don’t think realizes how amazing she is. I drive her crazy and somedays I fear she’ll decide I’m too much of a mess and won’t be my friend anymore. I love her and her family, I love her kids like they are family. I refer to her as an Aunt to my son. And because her friendship is so precious, I informed her as soon as I knew that we wouldn’t be able to make the purchase. I thought for sure she’d be upset, but she handled it gracefully.

But, here I sit…. STUCK! And I can’t explain it. How on earth did I develop such an emotional attachment to a picture of a baby donkey?? Why is it having such a profound affect on me? I can’t explain it and I need to move past it. The only thing that comes to mind is what it represents. It represented hope, I guess. I guess the hope that one day my family will be able to have something like that. That we can buy our son a gift of that magnitude, without worry. I think that’s what it represented to me.

My family always seems to struggle financially. We want to be able to fix our home, raise a garden and some livestock and make our son proud. We want to leave a legacy for him. I think that’s why all this bothers me so much. It’s again just a reminder of our struggles. And again, I feel like a failure. I know going after your dreams is noble and a worthy cause. And I know raising our son in the country was and is the right decision. But I just wish God would provide some guidance. I just don’t know if I can continue this way.

So that’s it. I’m at a crossroads and I really don’t have the answers or solutions. So, I just have to pray. And just love my family and pray some more. I have to stay hopeful and faithful. And ride the wave until I can regain control

Fowl Pox

I’m definitely a novice at owning livestock. As a kid we briefly lived on a farm. But my parents didn’t involve us kids. So, now as a mom myself…it’s important to me to start having livestock. To start LEARNING myself (even if it’s the HARD way), so I can teach my son and INVOLVE him. This is hard!! But everyone was once a beginner. Books are good, but lord I wish I had time to read. It is something I NEED to adjust in my life and make time for. I have an amazing friend (I know I drive her CRAZY) who helps me a lot. And I know I will learn from others in the farming community, as well. But the best learning comes from experience. As a mom, I am learning everyday. I have really good days & days that I wish I could rewind and start over. At the end of it, I just always end my day with a prayer of gratitude, forgiveness and pray that my loved ones know how important they are to me.

We are currently battling what we believe to be Fowl Pox. We chose (partially due to our goals & partially due to finances) to do natural treatment of our flock. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, but it’s what we are doing. I realize that I could lose my entire flock. So far, we had one hen that had a sudden onset of gurgling and died within hours. Her eyes never swelled. We have the BR rooster who seems to be well (best I can tell). We have the hen with two swollen eyes, which now has one eye partially open and swelling is going down. However, she still makes gurgling sounds. Then we have my favorite chicken Gertrude (she’s kind of fat & awkward like me) and she presented yesterday with a swollen eye.

This is how I’ve treated them. First day, warm compress and neosporin on eyes. Second day, added saline wash, then warm compress and neosporin. Third day, changed to just saline wash and bought Vetricyn to spray in eyes. I put Ropa Poultry Oregano solution in my chickens water. During treatment, I have doubled the amount I add to their water. Starting day 3, I also started putting Apple Cider Vinegar in their water. I can’t say this treatment will cure them. But I do know it hasn’t killed them. And I do believe it’s helped them to stay strong enough to battle the illness. Also, the day the chicken got the 2nd swollen eye and I noticed she wasn’t drinking, I gave her an oral shot of Gatorade. I’m hoping my flock survives. I am pretty attached to all of them.

WHAT CHICKENS HAVE TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE: Sunshine and fresh air help just about anything that ails you. Having friends (or your flock) near you when you’re ailing can give you the strength to go on. NEVER GIVE UP! Even if you lose, the days you lived enriched someone’s life. That I can overcome and deal with things that scare me or make me uncomfortable. I wanted to give up my flock because I was scared and felt like a failure. But keeping them and trying to heal them, it’s rewarding. And it teaches my son valuable lessons as well. It teaches him empathy, nurturing, responsibility and unfortunately that sometimes things don’t go how we want them to go.

I have days where life is too much, too hard for me. But my son needs me, and the animals at our ranch need me. It all helps me to cope and feel like I do have a purpose. And I try everyday to become a better version of myself. I am extremely blessed to be on this journey. And honestly the biggest problem I have in life is the lack of money, it creates so much stress in our home. Well, you know…. I may not be financially well off, but God has made me rich in so many ways. And I’d rather be rich in love and my blessings than to be so poor, that all I had was money.

I just read the information on this page today, from the Chicken Chick and it’s very interesting.  Seems we so far are dealing with the “wet” version of this illness.  We are going to clean the coop tomorrow with dawn dish soap and then spray down with vinegar. We also are going to try Iodine in their water and see if that helps.  INFO HERE: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/07/fowl-pox-prevention-treatment.html?m=1

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Life so far…

I am not blessed to have a lot of memories of my childhood, having Epilepsy as a child prevents that. But, some of my best and also worst memories are of when my family lived on a farm. It was those good memories that I tried to hold on to, and knew I wanted someday to have the chance to live that type of life again. And when God finally blessed me with a child, my spouse and I agreed 100% that we definitely wanted to raise our son on a “farm”, to give him space to play and freedom to just be a kid.

Well, as seems to be typical of our life, things never go as planned. On my other blog I go a little more into it. But, here I want to just try to focus on our life at the ranch. In March, my spouse bought our ranch. It’s a very small fixer upper on 20 acres! We have both pasture and woods, with two small ponds (watering holes). The homeowner was the 2nd person to live here, the home was built in 1951 and he purchased it in 1963. He raised a family here and ran a nursery, selling flowers and such, while also raising cattle and pigs. The neighbor said the owner had been in failing health and the place had just deteriorated over the last 15 years, as the owner was too elderly and in poor health to fix things.  So, we have much work to do!

The house is a sturdy little home, but indeed needs some repairs.  We are trying to repair our credit and not incurs debt, as we don’t want to ever lose a home again! We want this to be the place our son grows up & makes fantastic memories here; and if he so chooses, to raise a family here when we are gone.  So, we will continue to move forward and do what we can, as we can afford to. And we just pray that God will provide answers and solutions.

To anyone who is considering moving out to live on land, there are things to consider.  For me, the three things I’ve struggled with the most are: patience, fear and loneliness. And all of these issues have hit me hard and honestly, taken me by surprise.

First, patience, this has always been something I’ve struggled with. But, I thought I wouldn’t experience it here. There are two sides of thought I have about living here. The one side, wants to have livestock, a garden, etc and just fully embrace the life! The other side of me wants to take a year or two and just get the house done (cleaned, painted, organized) and just enjoy the peace & quiet. And then, get all the livestock, etc. But, what has happened is that being older parents, I feel time is against us; so I find I’m not patient with how long it takes to accomplish things. And so I struggle back in forth about having animals now, or waiting. And I worry about our finances and the just don’t want us to fail.

Secondly, fear, this is a terrible thing to deal with.  Sometimes I feel like I am a prisoner to my fear. Some days, I think I must have been crazy to think living in the country was a good idea. But, most days, I know it’s the right thing to give our son the best childhood experience possible! Being a mom, you are forced to confront so many fears you never knew existed before.  And now, if I want our son to enjoy life out here, I have to also confront old fears of mine. It’s important to me to not imprint all my fears & anxiety onto my son. I want him to be as innocent and carefree as possible, I also want him to be knowledgeable and BRAVE! So, I can’t run away every time I see a wasp or bee. I can’t freak out over bugs and such. And I’ve embraced the black rat snake we have, but I am so afraid of what could be lurking in the piles of wood or in the weeds.  I find somedays that I just have to fight so hard to not just sit and cry, because I’m afraid.  And I’m mostly afraid that I’m not being as good of a mom as I could be, because of some of my fears. Hopefully soon, we will find the money to afford a weedeater and to get these weeds & brush under control enough that we could use weed spray.

Lastly, is loneliness! I didn’t think I would be lonely.  Being a SAHM is a blessing, I am so grateful for. But, I do at times feel very isolated. My spouse is amazing, but she’s also exhausted most of the time. Just getting to our home was such a LONG journey and has been so physically and mentally hard on both of us. On her days off, she’ll try to take us out at least one day, but it typically doesn’t go well. Our son is two and lately has decided naps are not his thing; so that can lead to a bit of an issue on outings. I am with our son 24/7, so it doesn’t bother me, but my spouse gets all anxious and upset when he starts to fuss in public.  This leads to me getting upset and just wanting to go home! So, why don’t I just drive somewhere? Well, we only have one car. And, I have also never been a very confident driver. But, mainly due to my horrific car accident last year, I’ve only driven three times since. It has left me with a debilitating anxiety to driving and sometimes I can’t even handle riding in a car, especially if there has been bad weather or it’s dark, or a lot of traffic.

All of these things I need to overcome and hopefully in time I will; at the very least I hope I can encourage our son to not be like me, in these aspects.  I know there will come the day that I can confidently walk around on our property with our son and son explore nature like I want to. I know there will come the day that I will look at myself in the mirror with pride.  I know someday, I will be happily working my garden and living in harmony with Gods creatures, knowing they all serve a purpose. I look forward to the day our 1st animal is born here in our ranch. I look forward to so many adventures and memories to be made here! I just pray that God will provide, that He will allow our son to grow up here, that He will bless us with health and longevity. There is so much to do and the time goes so fast! I just pray that our son knows how much we love him, and that he has the BEST life experiences possible.