Journaling

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Used to run a stable and live on a farm, now I am back into banking for awhile. Still have horses and love animals.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Back to normal sort of

It's been quiet, that is good. I have had time to think about things and here my own thoughts. I need to take better care of myself and I am trying to focus on feeling better, losing weight and taking another stab at quitting smoking.

It's rained almost every day so my momentum on outside work has slowed down. Everything here is green and beautiful but grown up. It in a way is like starting all over again. Another place to cut back and clean up and bring to life. Things are disorganized and it will take time to get it all in order.

Many of the things I used to cherish are gone or still packed away. I haven't had the same heart about things in a long time. The past few years have just been so unsettled I just can't seem to feel very secure but it is getting better.

I have gotten a couple of calls this week on boarding horses, people still refer or someone finds information on the internet, always about boarding a senior horse. I think about how difficult it was and how time consuming it became and know that with working full time it would be to hard. Still, if I had a boarding barn that generated enough income I probably would do it again but I'd be more careful about boarders. You have to set boundaries and stick to them.

I felt more alive being outside and working in a barn and with animals then anything I have ever done but I will never put someone else's responsibility before my own family again. People don't care and they will take advantage if they can, not all but most. So, in doing the right thing and caring you have to be prepared for the treatment you will get and weight whether or not it's worth it.

I still have dreams but I am also cautious because as Scarlet O'Hara once said "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!". Nor will my animals or my daughter.

On a funny note, I have three dogs, one is a golden retriever named Daniel, next is Micah a Collie/Sheppard mix, and then there is Cooper a Sheltie. Cooper steals food, if the other dogs are eating their kibble he will eat as fast as he can and then try and snipe the other dogs food out of their bowls. I got tired of guarding and watching Cooper so I take his food to the bathroom and shut the door. The other dogs eat in peace and don't inhale their food when Cooper is in another room.

Once everyone is done and walked a way from their bowls I let Cooper out. Micah and Cooper are not super fond of each other, it isn't a complete dislike but they are both herding dogs and a little more high strung. I usually walk up to the bathroom door to let Cooper out but since the door isn't closed shut completely I will ask one of the other dogs to nudge it open sometimes. Daniel will do it immediately when asked and happily since I gave him a command and he loves to please. Micah, on the other hand looked at me the first time I asked him to do it and walked away. Now Micah knows what the command means, he's opened doors before but he chose to walk away instead.

The second time I asked Micah to open the door for Cooper he touched the door with his nose, looked up at me and then walked away again. He touched the door enough to move it ever so slightly but not enough to let Cooper out, Daniel ended up finishing the job. I had to laugh at Micah, it was all so deliberate. I wonder if Cooper would open the door for Micah? 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Back to my regular life

Yesterday it was all about spring rain. The place has greened up and because there are woods and a creek by the house there is plenty of wildlife activity. I watched the tenacity of tiny birds chasing other much larger birds away from their nests. The barn eaves are full of nests of these tiny birds. The little ones were little black moving specs compared to the enormous birds they were chasing. There was a smaller raptor and even a buzzard that endured the wrath of these little homemakers. One large bird in particular got chased half way across the big corn field behind us before the smaller bird was satisfied. Imagine the bravery, the sheer nerve of pursuing and performing an in flight  flogging of something many times your size. Go little birds!

I have yet to see the wild turkeys. Last year when we moved here there were several adult females with what looked like 20 or so tiny baby turkeys wandering all over our road and in the woods and in our driveway until they grew to maturity and then disappeared in early fall. On my road you must break for Amish buggies and baby turkeys!

All the animals in my little collection are doing well. Danial is now a senior dog, he is still full of life but the signs of aging are present. He doesn't see or hear so well, he has lots of bumps, a could of tumors and a whiter face. Micah is still young but a much more mature acting dog. Cooper is just Cooper but he doesn't fear people anymore, he is so much happier than when we first got him but he still gets into everything gross so we have our moments.

Nana the Cockatoo and I have bonded a great deal the past 6 month. We have an evening ritual that she will no allow me to skip. She must be swaddled and held for a time on my lap every evening around six o'clock. Loki is more trusting and has come a long way, it has only taken him 5 or 6 years!

The horses are all much happier because they can get out every day and they have each other and a pasture all their own. Cody is more energetic since I switched him to a feed with a little more carbs, he has also filled out and rounded out better. Little bit is getting older and wants to come in when Cody does, Pony is doing good and still lets Aubrey have it when he is tired of being chased. Aubrey is huge, he is beautiful and a little high strung. I love them all and it pleases me to see them happy and safe and together.

We have one cat left from our first house years ago, Tiger Lilly. She has to put up with the cats that were left here by the elderly lady that lived here before. She had to go into a living arrangement where she couldn't take her six cats. They live in the garage and she comes every evening to feed them and clean up after them. Tiger Lilly must be about 14 years old but she is doing okay. The other cats have a lot of personality between them and although there are too many they are safe and won't ever be homeless.

The house is not that old but is in need of major updating cosmetically. I haven't had a moment to really organize or get things under control outside since we moved here. It is because of working full time and a lot of extra hours. Eventually things will get righted, until then oh well I will live to enjoy the beauty outside and all of my little charges.  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Faith

I have been agonizing over something since my dad passed away, literally from the day he passed away. Why? because from the first day my family has been obsessed with their inheritance. I loved my dad, we had a very strained relationship all of my life except for the last two years. But.... those two years made up for a lifetime of distance between us. If anyone would have said that dad and I would have had the kind of relationship we managed to have at the end say as recently as three years ago I would have said it would never be possible.

The change came down to two things, dad thought he had kidney cancer and was becoming aware of his frailty at 80 years old and that before we could have a real relationship we needed to clear the air and I expected him to take responsibility for abandoning me as a child. I confronted dad about God and his relationship with God and what God expects us to do as parents and also that he was running out of time. I carefully wrote a letter to my dad, I spelled it all out. That letter changed things and from that point on we started building a relationship. It wasn't me that brought about the change in dad, it was God.

My dad took what I said to heart, he pondered and he didn't doubt my sincerity. I pray and thank God for my dad taking the last two years of his life and doing good things and reconnecting with God. So many people pass away and never have a chance to make things right or better and many have the chance but don't take it. Dad's ability to change with God's help speaks volumes to who he really was.

I have already received a precious gift, more precious than dad's money, I had a dad. I waited for 50  years but I got one. I have the memories, approval, love and understanding of an earthly dad. No one can take this precious gift from me and with six other brother's and sisters I am the only one who bonded with dad this closely. Dad tried harder than they know to deepen his relationship with some of them but I don't think they understood that time was running out and that he had no ulterior motives.

But now we come to the inheritance of tangible things, money. Dad had a huge portfolio of stocks, all of which my siblings have insisted on liquidating immediately. I am the only one who wanted to inherit stocks. It has been agonizing for me because of the pressure from other family members, the disrespect the fights. I myself couldn't understand why it was so important to me to keep the stocks, that is until today. I didn't have the fear of the stock market or the worry of what if I loose a lot of money. The reason why I didn't fear is because I have learned to rely on God. The past 6 years for me financially has been horrible. We lost the farm I loved, God provided a new home, I got laid off for over a year, we ended up moving again into a house my dad bought etc.  

I have walked in faith, by human standards I should have been living out of my car a couple of times and I should have lost all these animals years ago. We have gone hungry, utilities turned off and yes evictions but here I am and we are all safe. When you live like it could all be over in a matter of a day and that hangs over you for awhile you either crumble or you learn to rely on God. He has never let me down, I can remember Him providing for me hour by hour and it was like a series of small miracles one right after the other.

So, today I realized that I wasn't driven by fear, that whatever my inheritance was I had already put it in God's hands. I don't have to sit and obsess over money, I am not driven by fear or greed. If I lost it all in the stock market it was only a backup anyway because God has carried me this far without it and His love and provision is enough.

Everything as far as I know has been sold though, because of fear and greed. That pretty much covers my family except they all had to raise themselves to a degree, they have learned to rely on themselves, control is security to them. There is no discussion of faith, I have never heard one of them even consider faith and letting go. The scariest thing to them I think is not having control and being vulnerable. This puts a huge distance between us.

Like many families when a parent dies there is things you learn about your family that is not so nice. I've seen somethings that have been very hurtful and at the same time sad. I am left with stepping out of the situation entirely for my own sake. I don't want to experience anymore hurt, I want to be able to grieve for my dad in peace. I also don't want to be in a place in my life where fear and greed are my mainstays.

It took me a while to understand myself but I get it now, I learned to live by Faith more and to worry less about the stock market and the things that no one has control over. It sounds foolish to people who don't get it but once again I am so blessed. Besides having an earthly dad I also have had a Heavenly Father, He has been with me all of my life.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Family Scapegoats

I didn't know there was such a thing until my dad passed away and I found myself in the middle of 7 siblings and an estate. Turns out that it is a common occurrence in families especially after a parent passes and their is money involved.

I have been insulted, bullied, and harassed because I wanted to my portion of inheritance in stocks instead of liquidating dad's entire stock portfolio into cash. We have a great estate attorney and he to is in disbelief that the entire portfolio will be liquidated.

It seems that money is more important than common sense, relationships and fairness. Again, this is very common. The scapegoat position however is the most difficult, you are alone and the target of other family members. My difficulty with this is that I really bonded with my dad the past year, I knew him and became closer to him than any of my siblings.

I really miss my dad, I haven't been able to grieve for him until I decided a few days ago to cut ties with the rest of the family for awhile and maybe even permanently. They have worked hard to repeat things about my dad that should have never been said or passed around the family. The biggest thing is they don't get that I loved dad very much and I am truly hurting.

It is sad to say that two of my siblings really give the impression that they have waited a very long time for dad to die and to get their inheritance. It may not be true but in conversations and actions it certainly leaves me with that impression.

I was very blessed, I did get an inheritance that no one else did, I got a dad finally. After years of a very strained relationship with lots of hurt and disappointment he turned it around and I was open to it. My siblings even think he had ulterior motives thinking he would need someone to take care of him. Dad didn't want to be taken care of, he knew the day may come but he truly had a bucket list and he wanted to know me.

My dad did really know me in the end, he made the effort and was sincere. I saw inside of him, someone that had a lot of hurt too and we bonded. My dad and I laughed together, debated and he allowed me to help him with things he really needed.

I really believe God brought it about, I would never believed 5 years ago that I would have bonded with my dad so closely. In orchestrating the healing of the relationship God gave me the opportunity for healing some very deep wounds and he gave dad a chance to do somethings that made him feel good. We were both so very blessed. I am so sad that it couldn't have lasted a little longer, I would have given all of dad's money to have just a little more time.

I guess I am not upset about cutting ties with my siblings right now, I am relieved. Since the day dad died it has been nothing except about money, I decided that before everything was turned negatively and to let the hurt continue I just have walked away. I can now grieve and at the same time treasure my times with dad.

I literally got physically ill with every phone call, it isn't worth it to me. I stepped back into my little farm life, I am there for Kylie. I walk outside and enjoy the beauty of the morning, the contentment of the horses in the pasture, the peace at night when the dogs are sleeping and I thank God for it all. All I have to offer my siblings now is prayers, silent prayers to a merciful God who I love and is with me always.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

So much has changed

I can't believe how long it's been since my last blog post until I decided to sign on today. I've been kept very busy with work and having all the horses home means extra work. To date I still feel that we haven't completely settled in, part of this is because I have been working full time and haven't had time to really work on getting things settled, the other reason is that up until recently I was much more involved with my dad and my siblings.

My dad passed away suddenly on February 1st, the months leading up to his death were spent becoming much closer than we had ever been. Dad was sick and he also had several accidents in the last two months of his life. In some ways dad also started relying more on me for help which made me feel good.

I am very fortunate and so was dad to see a turn around before he passed, both in our relationship and in his heart. Many people don't take the opportunity to change and then it's too late. Dad did his best to improve his relationships with his children and live a more open life.

Losing dad hit me very hard as I waited all of my life to really know him and it was for a brief time that I did and then he was gone. After his passing it has been very difficult interacting with my siblings, they weren't at a place with dad yet that I was. I believe there is some resentment towards me maybe fueled by guilt because they didn't really understand how fragile dad was and that their time was short.

There are other issues now, dad was wealthy, and as always when a family member passes away it sometimes brings out surprisingly negative personality traits in other family members. Anyone who has gone through this knows it can be very damaging to relationships, sometimes destroying them entirely.

I am stepping back now after over a month of involvement in the funeral and afterwards assisting in getting a sibling appointed over the estate. I need time to grieve and sort out my feelings without the constant buzz of greed and ego around me. I believe that my dad is at peace now and not worried about things he cared for on this earth. I also believe he wanted me to have a happy less stressful life. I am embracing the latter, I am taking time after several years of devastation to take care of myself a little better.

The animals are all well and here to comfort me. My daughter is growing up and is acting responsibly and maturely. I am realizing I still have dreams and that may someday include a sanctuary or stable devoted to the care of elderly horses and other animals. I am not sure if it is possible but I have dreams and in the meantime I am letting myself be in the present, living each day with the wonder and joy of every moment.

Below is a good picture of my dad. I miss him and our talks. I still feel his presence some.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Rebuilding life, dreams, Kindred Acres

Kindeed Acres is not so much a location but a combination of dreams and nurturing living things. I am now just starting to feel hope again after the last few years of struggling.  Financially it is still a struggle and will be so for a while because I have to dig us out slowly, being without much of an income for so long is difficult to recover from. No matter though because my life force has returned, I am on the land again and I am surrounded by my beloved creatures.

There is land to shape up into beautiful pasture, a barn to clean and organize so that is comfortable and functions optimally.  There are nights when the sky is so clear it is like standing in a theater of stars you could reach out and touch. Best of all, the living things here, wild turkeys with their little flock of babies,  deer, all manner of wildlife and my dogs, horses,  cats that came with the place and my two parrots.

There is a creek at the bottom of the driveway where animal come for water and thick wild berry bushes that when trimmed back will yield something good next year, the birds of course will help eat them.

I am excited to write again and maybe log another journey with pictures and stories about living. I am going to hang up my Kindred Acres Farm sign again to remind me of hopes and dreams and something to nurture within myself.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A moment to be thankful

July we moved to the new place, we had to move in two weeks because of the landlord's schedule at the old house and we had to make it fit with the lady moving out of this house. It wasn't easy, I asked friends to help, they said they would but didn't show up because of the holiday weekend. Kylie and I and my brother Greg moved everything. 

I had to rent a truck twice, I rented a small trailer for the mower. We had to try and clean the old house and do what we could in the short time that we had. Kylie's 18th birthday fell right in the middle, I can't say it was much of a celebration. Moving got right down ugly with my landlord hitting me with everything he could even though we didn't have enough time to do everything. Plus, being laid off from a salaried job for a year and half didn't make it easy either. I had a sales job but didn't make enough to survive on, I had exactly three checks under me before we moved. 

By the time we were done I have to say that I didn't care about anything. What was supposed to be really happy just made me feel numb. To add to it anyone I have told about what my dad did for me seems to encourage nothing but resentment. I guess people can't be happy for others, never mind that I was abandoned by both my parents before I was a year old and nothing has come easy for me. 

The blessing is though is the animals are all together, they have a good place. Kylie is warming up to the place and she worked in the barn all weekend, it is safe here and we can eventually have more than just paycheck to paycheck to live on. The last five years have just burned me down to the ground with carrying the weight of trying to keep everyone together and survive, not to mention being destroyed financially twice in that time period. 

A few days ago I felt that this time my spirit was broken and I just felt numb but after some much needed sleep and rest and being surrounded by such beauty I am slowly recovering. The land and the trees here are beautiful and there is a constant peace and seclusion I need to heal my soul. 

I am slowly cutting down the overgrown pastures and the horses are emerging as they graze. I can see them from the back steps. I put a sliding bench seat between two beautiful maples that is just right outside the pasture to sit in the evening and just soak up the beauty of land and horses and the horizon. 

It will take an abundance of work to get things organized after the move and it will certainly take some serious labor to clear the pastures and grounds of weeds and overgrowth but I will chisel away at it and by fall it will be well groomed. 

The horses were out most of the day since the temperature came down and there was a nice breeze. I inherited several cats from the previous owner, two of them are maine coon and they are beautiful. All of the cats are outdoor cats and are all in good health except one elderly one. 

The old owner is an elderly lady and she comes every evening to feed them and check on them. I don't have the heart to not let her come or to give a way her cats. It is an extra responsibility but the world is so full of hard people, so unkind and selfish I am sick about it. I just know I don't want to be like people I've experienced, even if it is a small thing like letting an elderly lady spend time with her cats and caring for the cats themselves who were all drop offs, I want to do it because I have been blessed and also mistreated and I see things differently because of both. 

Work is going well and I will be earning overtime which is much needed. It will be a long time before I am able to catch up and pay everything off. I never thought that not only would my salvation come from God which isn't that hard to believe but also my father. I can only say that life is full of miracles, I can never say that things just happen by chance, no there is a kind and loving God. I can never doubt the existence of God. 

I have been through a war, or many wars really. I feel battered and beaten down but I pray every day for God to restore my strength and passion for life. When I pray I feel the answer is there is a time, like the bible says a time for many things, the cycles of life. This is a time for peace and healing and though I am low I will once again be lifted up. 

All of the animals have adjusted to the new environment, Nana our parrot was a little unsettled but now I can spend time with her and she seems to be reassured. The dogs are happy because they are with us no matter where that is, Tiger Lilly my cat that I brought with me seems to appreciate some cat company. Everyone is okay and the cats who I now have are pretty used to us.

Kylie is doing so well with her internship, she is practicing driving which I wish I were calmer about but it really is hard for me, I am too anxious and just want to faint in the truck. She has to get her license though and that is the only way, I have to just stick with it and let her learn. 

It is times like this when I wish she had a father around, someone who could help her learn to drive that wasn't as anxious as me. I've been there for her though for 18 years alone for the most part and I'll just have to go the distance. It is a shame that her dad can't see her now and know about all of her successes but I am not sure that he would see them as successes. He is a strange one and destructive without knowing. I know things are best as they are but I will be glad when the driving lessons are over. 

Everyone is sleeping, it's peaceful and safe. I am thankful, maybe not joyful but I am thankful. I just want to feel like we are safe and all the scary things are over for awhile. It is sort of like holding your breath until the threat is over and then being unable to breath.