Archive for goals

I’m Ba-ack! As Best I Can, Anyway.

I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long. I wish I could blame my absence on writer’s block, an early and fortuitous move, or being busy doing something I love, but I can’t.

Unfortunately, I have fibromyalgia. Pushing myself over the winter to work on the blog while trying to work on the house while transitioning jobs while doing the holidays while getting sick from the germs of being around new germ factories kids was too much. I crashed, pretty hard. I ended up being mostly bedridden, sick (still coughing), having to drop to 16 hours a week at work (and still sometimes calling out), and feeling so bad that I actually applied for disability (both disability and SSI were denied; I’m not appealing right now since I feel better).

But the bedrest and forced slow-down helped me immensely. I was able to start to recuperate. We went from eating whatever fast thing I could throw together to eating less-processed fast things I could throw together. *Quick meal tip: you can boil potatoes ahead of time with the skin on and then just scrape or rub the skin off when you’re ready to use it with either your fingers or a spoon edge. Even the big baking potatoes!

I’ve been able to go back to working five days a week, with 1 or 2 of those days being longer than 4 hours. I hope this holds up because the class I’m working in over the summer has two field trips each week starting next week until school starts.

Unfortunately, I also have ADHD, so when I started feeling better I was still too disorganized and scattered to work in “time” for posting. I finally just pushed over the edge this morning to get my foot back in the door.

I’m going to be posting more frequently, but no promises yet as to how frequently (due to being scattered, disorganized, etc). I plan to post on lifestyle “stuff,” which for me will mean posts on the following:

  • homesteading
  • decluttering
  • home management (possibly slanted for someone with chronic conditions that affect memory, as both ADHD and fibromyalgia do)
  • life management – I expect lots of trial and error here
  • vegan recipes – starting with simple smoothies (I make one for breakfast these days)
  • our animals
  • Kaida and her art
  • homeschooling
  • home repair/renovation or random building projects that I do. I’m not trained to build, but I like doing it so, why not? Don’t follow my building advice! Maybe just use my stuff as idea generators.

I’m probably forgetting a lot of what I want to talk about; my brain just stopped. I guess that my clue to wrap it up!

See you next time!

SQUIRREL! Just kidding! I remembered that I want to also post (and maybe even write about) interesting articles I find about ADHD, fibromyalgia, general health/nutrition, or maybe anything else… 😉

Thoughts For A Bucket List

As part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and for Thoughtful Thursday (Yes, I’m trying to assign a subject to each day. We’ll see how it works.), I’ve been thinking this morning about what I would want to put on my bucket list.

For those who might not have heard of this, it’s a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.”

I already have a few places I want to travel, but not really anything else. So, what would I like to do? I’ve been pondering that all morning.

Here it is–my work-in-progress bucket list:

  • Retire early (yeah, baby!)
  • Take professional singing lessons
  • Learn to play the violin
  • Learn to paint
  • Learn to make jewelry
  • Be thinner and stronger than I was when I was 30
  • Get back into horseback riding
  • Own a Gypsy Vanner horse trained to ride and drive (shooting for the stars here, but a girl can dream!)
  • Have a real solarium on our next house
  • Have a real, larger library room
  • Have an observatory (another shoot for the stars!)
  • Have our next house be so “green” that it’s very low input and cheap to run/maintain
  • Design and grow a permaculture food forest and sustainable gardens that can sustain us indefinitely
  • Have actual greenhouses, not hoop houses or those junky plastic panel greenhouses where the panels are supposed to slide down a channel in the frame

Hmmm, I can’t think of any more. I feel so boring now. 🙂

Do you have a bucket list? What kind of exciting things are on it? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. The Back to Basics Living Bundle is still available, but only until January 22, 2017. Check it out and pick yours up today!

The Bad Part About Pets + A Limited Time Free Workshop

I love all of our pets (not equally, sorry you-who-shall-remain-nameless-for-now). Unfortunately, they have the same img_2894big downside as our human family members–illness and death.

We had to have our barn cat, Socks, put down just before Thanksgiving due to a large and growing tumor on his right cheek. He no longer hunted because of the pain in his face, but we fed and watered him on the porch. We used a dog crate with a blanket over it on our covered front porch to make a shelter for him and put a litter box and some piled up blankets for him to sleep on. He never really caught on to the litter box, but did frequently use his blankets to sleep on.

We found out it was a tumor in July. We originally took Socks to the vet because we thought the wound was an infected injury from fighting other feral cats. The doctor said it was a tumor and we had it biopsied just to make sure. I was hoping they could tell us if it was a fast-growing type or not, but they couldn’t.

We made him as comfortable as we could during the summer while the weather was nice, but knew that we couldn’t let him struggle through another winter of below 0* F temperatures with a bleeding tumor. That would have been very cruel to him.

I remember how he showed up a week after the derecho in 2012, hiding under the bushes and meowing. He wouldn’t let us approach him at first, running off if we came within about 15 feet of him. He gradually let us come closer and closer, going through a phase of nipping at our ankles when we walked away, and eventually letting us pet him. I was even able to pick him up a few times, though I did always wear gloves.img_2892 We thought he was fairly young, but the vet estimated his age at 10+ years. (You may be able to see his left ear is clipped. That indicates that he was a feral cat that was neutered, given a rabies injection, and released back into the wild.)

Socks was our first pet to have his own theme song! We would stop to unlock the gate at the end of the driveway and Socks would trot down the driveway to meet us, meowing to be petted for being a good kitty. His theme song matched his trotting perfectly! Then he would escort us back up the driveway and await his dinner on the porch, which he would get after the dogs went out and came back in. I still expect to see him come around the corner to come down the driveway sometimes.

Speaking of dinner, Socks would share bits of his when he was still hunting. We always cooed at him that he was a “good kitty, good kitty” when he would leave us a rodent organ or bird head and would give him a little more kibble. He seemed to think it a fine reward.

We’ll miss you, Socks. You were our first kitty and you were a good kitty.

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Day 2 Daily Challenge Wrap-up

Day 2 of the restarted challenges.

I think I will try to put aside some time pretty soon to work on yearly goals, break them down into monthly goals, and try to break them into weekly goals. I’m not sure about trying to break them down into daily goals. I’ve never done this type of planning before. Anyone out there tried it?

 90-day Attracting Abundance Challenge

I did not get to either Attracting Abundance with EFT or Money Beyond Belief.

90-day EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Challenge

I did not get to either “The Vibration of Exceptional Health” or Drop the Drama. I listened to the next section of the Eliminate Procrastination program. It was just an introduction to tapping, it’s history, use at your own risk, etc.

90-day Daily Exercise Challenge

I thought about switching my weight lifting from today to tomorrow since I knew that I would be moving so much wood today, but I decided that it would set a bad precedent for not making myself stay on track. I did, however, maintain the weights I was already using instead of going any heavier. Speaking of heavier, Santa Claus brought me 8 lb and 10 lb neoprene weights. Loving it!

90-day Blog Challenge

I posted! Yeah! Seriously, much of the day was spent outside lugging wood and my body is killing me.

90-day Play With Sweet Baby Challenge

We played Minecraft. We are working on buildings that we started a few days ago. Sweet Baby is building a resort. I’m working on a multistory castle.

90-day Home(stead) Improvement Challenge

I got just about all of the frames up today. Let me tell you, repeatedly bending down to screw frames together, carrying boards, and then lifting the frames off the ground and moving them into position on your own is hard. I got Sweet Baby to help me hold frames in place while I secured them and I had to have her help me move the front frame. It has two additional boards since it will have a door put on. This is how far I got today.


This is the back wall. The vertical posts are 6′, making the entire frame 6’3″. The piece at the end has plywood all the way up to the top. The other 2 8′ long sections and the 7.5′ section still need to have the top portion cut to fit.

The front:




The short section on the right is the original chicken run attached to the coop so they could get out into the air before I let them out each day. I added the plywood along the bottom because stupid chicken wire rusts out and other animals got in–pigs and goats in the back going after the chicken’s feed, and Moli (our Jack Russell terrier) going through the front trying to get to old duck eggs. Also, I heard barking up on the hill behind us, a corn field, just at sundown and thought that maybe a coyote(s) was moving through. Better safe than sorry! All the baby goats and their mamas are locked up safe in the barn.

The coop is built around a small greenhouse to allow more light into the chicken coop all year.

90-day Get A Routine Challenge

I went to bed last night about 10:30 and woke up at about 5:50 AM because Lily knocked something over and it made a big “BANG.” I tried to go back to sleep since my alarm was set for 7:15, but was unable to go back to sleep. I used part of that time to do my daily meditation. I took about 25 minutes to get out into the house. I have that planned at only 15 minutes on the schedule so I need to work on getting faster. Not trying to read the news as soon as I wake up will help with that!

Day 1 Daily Challenge Wrap-up

I decided to start over on my daily challenges because of traveling and the holidays taking out over a week’s time and not really having the opportunity to write much. Besides, what’s a New Year’s without some resolutions?

I will put all of the challenge updates on a single post instead of seven different ones. I think it will be a little easier to stay on top of this way.

 90-day Attracting Abundance Challenge

Today, I did tapping for feeling guilty for wanting more using the Attracting Abundance with EFT program. I was kind of surprised how strong this is, but it makes sense. Who wasn’t told that they were good boys and girls for sharing even when they didn’t want to? After all, the pie’s only so big and someone gets less if I get more, right? So I got this to go from a SUDS level of 9 down to a 3.

I tapped on not being worthy of having more money (more anything?) with Money Beyond Belief. Yikes! I went from a SUDS of 9 down to a 5. There must be more to this one trapped in me somewhere. Luckily, we’re tapping on not being good enough tomorrow!

90-day EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Challenge

I tapped on why and when my symptoms started using “The Vibration of Exceptional Health.” I had a doctor who pointed out that my symptoms really began after I got married. I knew I had issues with a certain type of anxiety before getting married, but it got worse. It did not help that 9/11 happened the year after I got married. That time period was kind of personal for me–relatives of family friends were on the plane that crashed in PA, a close relative worked at the major regional post office transfer station that feeds DC and had to go on Cipro, and I worked about 1 block west and 2 blocks north of where the first sniper shooting happened in Rockville/Bethesda, MD. My first panic attack was 2 days after the small plane ran into a building in Florida in December 2001, but I was already having symptoms of fibromyalgia before then. I think the one of the unconscious needs that my FMS symptoms were trying to fill was an effort to get my new husband to actually behave as though he gave a rat’s behind about me. I’m not sure how to word that. There’s no conscious decision to have the symptoms, but if you have to look for what was going on at the time they occurred, what would be the upside of having them, what would be the downside of letting them go, etc., that was the only thing I could come up with.

I tapped on being afraid of facing who I am without the drama in Drop the Drama. This could be a biggy. Who are you if you don’t have the daily drama? Are you still important? Do you still matter to the people around you? Will you just fade into the woodwork behind you if you stop engaging in drama with those around you? I started at a SUDS of 9 and think I went down to about a 5. I may do this one again.

I got Carol Look’s Eliminate Procrastination program and listened to the first two sections, which talk about the various reasons for procrastination and how they fit into four broad categories.

90-day Daily Exercise Challenge

I’m changing up the schedule. I decided that I want to do all of the weight lifting exercises together on one day, but do them twice a week. So here’s the revised schedule:


  • meditation, at least 5 minutes, working up to 15 minutes
  • rebounder, at least 5 minutes, working up to 15 minutes

Monday: walking on the treadmill for now. I will switch to High Intensity Interval Training as my conditioning improves (and after I get a bike stand to be able to do it on the bike in the house; this is the one I’ve asked Santa for for Christmas as it was pretty inexpensive).

Tuesday: weights lifting. I currently have neoprene weights in 2 lbs, 3 lbs, and 5 lbs. I use canned vegetables for 1 lb weights. I’ve asked Santa for some heavier weights. We’ll see if he delivers.

Wednesday: walking on the treadmill. This will stay just walking. The plan is to maintain it at 20 minutes per day and increase the maximum speed. Right now my maximum speed is 3.0 mph, but I noticed that it was easier yesterday. Progress!

Thursday: a repeat of Monday–currently walking on the treadmill, switching to HIIT as I can.

Friday: back to weights

Saturday: walking on the treadmill

Sunday: walking on the treadmill

So for today I meditated for about 5 minutes, repeating “perfect health” on the inhale. I also did the rebounder for 6 minutes and walked on the treadmill for 20.

90-day Blog Challenge

I finished updating all of the links for Carol Look; she moved her website. I also got a book at the library on WordPress. I’m hoping to actually start reading it any day now!

90-day Play With Sweet Baby Challenge

We played some Minecraft. Sweet Baby entered the seed “911” because it has a decent expanse of grassland. On Christmas, PS3 players were blessed with an update that included horses, which only spawn on grasslands. For anyone looking for a more well-rounded playing experience, most of the rest of the world is ice.

Yesterday (I’ll include it here since I didn’t do a post), we played with Sweet Baby’s new Calico Critters additions that she got for Christmas. She got the supermarket, elementary school, school bus, and doctor’s office. She already had the townhouse, cozy cottage, large tree house, and small tree house.

90-day Home(stead) Improvement Challenge

I killed it! First, I put together a slapdash stall for Chelsea and Scotch (Butterscotch).

Slapdash Stall 1Chelsea and Scotch in Slapdash Stall 2

Scotch was born on 12/19. This was what I had built by 12/23 (I had to put Chelsea and Scotch in the run-in stall and Emma in the barn stall).



Emma had her babies on 12/25–Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen. Separate posts for the babies coming soon!

This is where I’m at now with the stalls on the barn/shed remodel.

2 Large Stalls

My next big remodel is the chicken coop. I’ve already started, but this is where I’m at this afternoon. Originally, we only had five chickens and I was building small and cheap. It was 4′ in the front and 3.5′ in the back. It’s going to be 6’3″ in the back and 6’9″ in the front now. I will run some 2″ x 8″ or 2″ x 6″ in all doorways so that I can have deeper bedding. I’ll have to put steps in front so that the ducks can get in and out. Those are the incredibly loud and annoying guineas in the picture.



90-day Get A Routine Challenge

Still working on getting to bed earlier and waking up earlier, but I did go through our homeschool schedule and our hoped-for daily schedule and found that they didn’t match. I’ve redone them both and got them lined up. Now I just need to get some contact paper so that I can print them and hang them up. I use a grid for the homeschool so that we can use a dry erase marker and mark off each subject on whatever days it’s on, since not all subjects are on all days.

Woo-hoo! I feel like I’m rocking!