Sorry folks, I’m running out of stuff that’s not navel gazing and depressing. I’ve got to stop dwelling on the end of democracy and the worship of guns over people. When did the second amendment become so much more important than the first? What a world. Ok. Last incriminating expression of opinion and back to cute animals.
So, I’m concentrating on love outside of the hate-filled realm of humans. Yesterday afternoon, Sara came over to do her farrier thing and trim Apache and Drew. While she was working on Apache, Droodles did everything he could to get attention. His head kept coming through the hole in the pens and poking us. Luckily, Mabel was in the pen with him, so she distracted him some. They just did calm friendship things together. Lots of rubbing and nuzzling. It was sweet.
Everyone got lots of fly spray, since Haggard the bill was also hanging out, and like most cattle, he was covered in flies. Droodles immediately rolled his spray off. At least he rolled in a dry spot.
When Drew tired of Mabel, he bonded with his other friend, the bull. They played for quite a while. The horses have enjoyed him while he’s been over here.
Apache was just sighing and getting his feet done through all this. Both horses look much better now. I’m glad it dried up enough to get this done. It rained overnight of course.
After the trimmings I was hot as heck. It’s so humid. So I jumped into the pool. Suddenly, I heard an unfamiliar squawk. I looked over at the pond behind the house, and sure enough, there was a large bird at the very top.
I thought to myself, ah, that must be one of the green herons who are building a nest in there. I’ve been seeing them flying around together, and just recently saw them bringing large sticks over to what I figure must be a nest deep in the trees. I’m pretty excited about it. So, I took pictures.
So, I dripped my way into the house and grabbed the binoculars. HA! That’s a male yellow crowned night heron in breeding plumage! Dang! How beautiful. I wish I had a real camera and good lens, because this guy was gorgeous. As I watched him, there was movement slightly lower on the tree. I saw a bill and realized his mate was also there.
That means there were two pairs of herons together. I confirmed it when the Merlin app identified them both during a squawking episode. I never saw the green ones, though.
The best part of my poolside bird watching was when the pair took off. They flew right over me, and with my binoculars I could see the beautiful female really well. Ah, love.
First, let’s answer today’s prompt from our friends at Day One. Now, there are a few places I’m not very interested in going, at least as they are now. I’m interested in the land and the everyday folks everywhere, though, and would be happy seeing how they live and interact.
But, there’s politics and religion. And, as a female human, there are places I feel way less safe than I do in the place where I live now (which ain’t all that great for us womenfolk). So yeah, as much as I feel that everyone’s culture is worthwhile and not something I’d want to quash, I am not interested in going to places like Saudi Arabia, where even the mega-rich women who have all the “things” they want have no autonomy. That would not be good for me at all.
I always wondered if I’d be fine in whatever culture I was born into, thinking that’s the way things should be. But I know that visiting a place where I have no rights, even as a foreigner, is not for me.
All right, so the other place I’m just not going to go to today is my stressfully stressed-out week. While I did get some of the issues solved, no one showed up to replace my router, so I still have to deal with that, but I’ve just followed Kathleen’s advice and put it in my f*** it bucket. I made a conscious effort to find some good stuff, and with the help of friends, by gosh, I did it!]
I soaked in the kindness of my coworkers in meetings today (eating up all my phone’s bandwidth), and just basked in the friendly conversations at lunch. Thank goodness for friends!
Then, this afternoon I got a message from Sara showing me what she saw right on the road in front of our ranch!
That’s a first for me here at the Hermit’s Rest, and a truly encouraging sight. Knowing we have turkeys here rounds out some of the missing pieces of native animals that I was hoping could be here. I’m guessing it got disturbed on the other side of the road in the woods by the creek, because hay was being harvested. Sara really lucked out!
The only birds I enjoyed up close and personal today were my chickens. I’m so happy that Not Dead Betty is laying again and has filled out all her feathers. She’s back to normal!
The rest of my mature group of ladies is doing just fine, thanks, regardless of whether the giant rat snake is there or not. I got six eggs today, so I have no complaints! Plus, I do adore giving them their delicious greens and watching them dive in. What pleasure they bring.
It’s such a pretty time of year. There’s always something to watch. I’m back to being balanced now. That’s a relief. All that anxiety and annoying symptoms is no fun.
I don’t know what to do or say or think about the divided society I live in. I’ve been trying to hold it together and feeling isolated and more and more defeated. I had such bad nightmares last night that I knocked a glass of water over. What a mess. Things are a mess.
I know I’m not alone. I am grateful for a supportive network of friends. I’m grateful for people with different perspectives who are willing to talk to me. But there’s so little I can do to help make a safer society (where we don’t worry about all the things we’re concerned about from all sides). The Texas Legislature has no interest in my thoughts. I’m not a huge lobby.
I think all the people I know feel powerless, like someone else is making decisions. We just blame different factions. Everyone is frustrated. The world feels like a scary pile of poop. I can’t change that. Even venting among friends only goes so far.
So, I clean things. Poopy things. Thankfully, a vacuum cleaner for the RV arrived. I took out my frustrations on mouse turds. (And dirt; there were only a few turds.)
That helped. But I needed to clean more. So I shoveled all the horse poop out of the trailer. I hope that doesn’t make me sick. It did involve hay, after all.
I wasn’t done cleaning. The tack room doesn’t have much of a mouse problem right now, but there are “fly specks” on my stuff. Or were. I cleaned all that, too. Then I got out my good old buddy the label maker!
I have some new horse supplements and will need feeding help soon, so new labels had to be made. I felt so organized and productive. And I’m control. At least I can control my dang horse stuff, and I even feel safe in my little room.
I actually do feel a little better just by making my little part of the world cleaner and happier. And I guess that’s the lesson I needed to remind myself of. I can do what I can do. I can clean things (no wonder I like grooming the horses).
And now I can think about ways to help others. I’ve send some funds to recent tornado victims. I can contribute to organizations I agree with, and I CAN contact elected officials and remind them they’re human and are supposed to serve humans, not institutions. I guess.
I spend way too much of the time that I’m reading the news, perusing social media, and watching folks around me saying, “Hmm.”
I’m a person, far as I can tell. But I feel so different from humans I observe. It’s not new; I’ve felt out of place among humanity most of my life. What feels different to me these days is that I’m having more and more trouble empathizing with people and being able to see where they get their viewpoints. (I realize I’m not alone here!)
For example, I watched the annual State of the Union Address last night, as did many Americans. Some parts of the speech affected my business, some affected the rights of my friends and family, some seemed spot on, while others seemed exaggerated or slanted. I observe political events from my personal perspective, naturally, and I’m aware that my background, upbringing, education, and privilege affect my perceptions. I don’t expect others to feel the same as me.
Still, I found myself inexplicably surprised to read how people I know reacted to the speech. The range was from being thrilled and buoyed up to being angry and derisive. Now, I’ve gone on and on about how I believe we are living in two different countries within one geographic space. But sometimes the extent of the divide shocks me.
I really would like to briefly crawl inside the minds of some of the people I know, so I could see how they came to be a member of the country I don’t live in. I’m convinced they have different truths and facts than I do, and I would love to jump in and learn them, without having to watch certain television networks.
When I’ve tried to talk to people, I get one of two reactions: some declare that they just “know” things in their gut and feel them, facts or no facts; others are able to point to evidence for their beliefs, which tends to be things that people in my country don’t learn about. The latter group help me a lot, but I’m still baffled and hate to be that way.
Here’s where I draw a little comfort. There have been times throughout the history of human cultures where people with very different mindsets have coexisted for long periods of time. They are able to work together, trade with each other, and keep each other safe, all while practicing very different spiritual and political beliefs. I know this has been true. I want this here.
I also have seen how easily these times of peace and coexistence can blow up. Look at the former Yugoslavia, India and Pakistan, Hitler’s reign, Israel, the US in the 1860s… this is what I fear. We are equally divided in this country. I just hope the reasonable majority on both sides keeps us at peace.
On a happier note, I enjoyed yesterday. There was the perfect balance of hard work, exercise, and relaxation. There’s a lot to be said about watching container ships (which are shaped like giant floating bricks), crab boats, kites, and dogs out the window as I ponder project lifecycles. Plus, the birds did not disappoint me, either. Those cedar waxwings are having a great feast on the little fruits of the palmettos.
Plus, Lee made it back to the ranch safely and I found out I’ll have some fun visitors for the next few days. I won’t be meditating solemnly and thinking deep thoughts in the condo alone! I’ll get to do things and meet new people. All I’ll say is that my guests are regular blog readers, who I hope are ready to drive over here and not reading my nonsense.
I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much lately, but there hasn’t been much going on except rain, mud, and cold. But what do you expect this time of year? I understand why ancient folks in the northern hemisphere lit lots of fires and tried to make things look cheery at the winter solstice. It can be bleak, and it has been for many of my friends and family. So, bright, warm hugs to all!
We have been focusing on just getting by every day, feeding animals who need to be fed and dealing with things that have broken. It’s fine, just not terribly bloggable.
The biggest excitement around here is those winter bird visitors. Two of my absolute favorites have been here for a couple of days, a pair of hooded merganser ducks. These are among the most unusual ducks, at least in appearance. They have excellent head feather arrangements that make them unmistakeable, even from a distance. That’s good, since they will not let me get close enough to take a good photo.
They are having a nice time hanging around with the egrets and catching the chilly little fish in the back pond.
As I was watching the ducks and shivering, I heard a distinctive cry, followed by much zooming and swooping. It was a common yellowlegs trying to decide whether to land in the pond or not. The decision was not to land, so all I got were some photographic blurs, which I confirmed since I know what they sound like and know they like it here in the winter. Enjoy my pond bird buddies:
As I write, I’m listening to the Ukrainian President speak. You know, that’s a brave and reasonable guy. And he reminds me things could be much worse, and we need to be sure our fellow citizens are all safe and secure. We need to be able to celebrate the seasons in our personal traditions and feel safe. After all, we live under the same sky. Peace. It can happen.
When I was young, I read comic books as much as I could. I loved the Superman family (especially Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes). Sometimes the writers seemed to run out of ideas and published some really dumb concepts. Bizarro Superman, from Bizarro World was one of those concepts, but always good for a laugh.
Things in Bizarro World were recognizable but just not quite right. It confused both the Bizarros and the “real” world. (I feel as if BW might not go over as well today, though apparently the tradition still lives.)
In conversation with…well…with everyone I’ve communicated with about our lives, I’ve heard tale after tale of how life has just gotten strange recently. More than one person has said, “I feel like I live in a different world,” or words to that effect.
I’m right there with them. Things have happened in the past few years that have made my world unfamiliar. Recent elections. What the heck? People mass shooting each other so often it’s become commonplace. I don’t get it. People shooting up infrastructure that supports innocent families and businesses because…why?
That’s just the big picture. People are getting weird sicknesses. Families are falling apart no matter how hard they try. My generation is trying to figure out how to support elders who spent all their money but expect…stuff. I’m pessimistic about the future.
Honestly, I’m so glad I have dogs and horses and they are still acting like dogs and horses. I need something consistent and not weirdly out of left field.
I just feel like the world is so odd and unpredictable that I don’t want to make much effort. So I got my 2022 snow globe that says “love is love.” And some tree candles. No real tree, just a few decorations. Many say “peace,” which seems bizarrely impossible these days.
How about you? Are you in a ball of pessimism like me? What’s bizarre in your life? What helps you keep it together? Sunsets? Full moons. Here are some, anyway.
Let me say that I’m disappointed in myself that an election some years ago got me so messed up that I can’t stand election coverage now. My spouse loves it. So I sat with him for hours last night, watching his favorite news channel. I honestly think that could traumatize anyone, no matter what your ideas about our polarized country are. It’s just nerve-wracking.
I awoke this morning feeling completely drained. I sure would have preferred to wake up, read a neutral summary of the results, have a sad moment, and move on. Instead, though, the first thing I read was this:
That put me into a better frame of mind. I began to see signs of hope and inspiration all around me. Our ranch reminded me that even though we just went through a bad drought, things are trying to come back. The plants just keep trying. Look at this new green grass! There was nothing there a few weeks ago, just dirt.
I need to shed what is confining me and move on, like my snake friends. I can’t change things, just get a new hopeful attitude.
One true inspiration for me is the asters I’ve been enjoying all autumn. They are blooming away and providing food for so many butterflies, moths, and tiny wasps. That’s even though they’ve been repeatedly mowed. They just started over and over and bloomed even harder.
And I spent a long time today watching the great egret patiently and persistently stalking the little fishies in the pond behind the house. Reaching your goals takes time and patience. And you may miss. A lot. It’s okay.
Jim’s right. Hope is necessary and part of the path that our highest and best selves strive to stay on. I’m still committed to my personal goals and morals. Nothing can stop that. I hope the same for all of you.
I’m always telling you all how much being out in nature helps me deal with my chronic anxiety and Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria (RSD). Today I’m really taking advantage of it and pulling out all the stops with nature, cuteness, and sunshine helping me deal with how people treat me and (the worst) the fact that it’s the second Tuesday in November in the USA. Election Day. I sure hope that voting tradition continues!
I’ve been voting since this time of year in 1976, when someone I truly admire to this day got elected, Jimmy Carter. I believe there’s only been one other time I actually admired a Presidential candidate. The rest I had deep reservations about or was just okay with. This year, we just deal with governors. I did vote for a few governors I liked, especially when I lived in Illinois. But I just hope that I continue to have the right to my personal freedoms and can feel safe in the future. And this is why I need warm fuzzies and cute animals to cheer me up.
You’re supposed to say what you’re thankful for nowadays. It spans all of November, not just the US Thanksgiving holiday like it used to. I guess it’s to help us remember what is still there for us. I’m thankful for the friendly animals in my life, like Christmas the bull over at Tarrin’s house.
My merry band of horses, who are enjoying the front pasture, the new pond’s hill, and the mud.
A lot of the time, though, I just need to breathe and look at the sky. While I missed the lunar eclipse last night (Lee was sure it was tonight), I did enjoy the sight of a beautiful sun dog in the afternoon sky. I love those cloud rainbows!
I also loved the rain we received over the past few days. It was supposed to rain again today, but maybe it won’t. At least new grass is growing and it’s no longer crunchy outside.
I’m breathing more steadily now and resolve to continue to treat people the way I’d like to be treated and assume people are doing the best they can. This reminder I saw on Facebook really rings true and has helped me for the past week or so.
Peace to all. Let’s try not to live in fear, especially of our neighbors.
Note: I realize I am a privileged person who has nice things, food, shelter, and a good education. My family that speaks to me does their best to support me. And I am NOT blaming other people for my perception. That’s on me! As I repeatedly state in my personal blog here, I’m grateful for that. No need to point that out to me when I share that I’m struggling.
I feel like shit. I was feeling okay for a long time, and now I realize it is because, like so many people these days, I had used medication to numb my feelings and help me cope with reality. Reality, today, especially if you’re a woman in Texas, Yee-Haw USA, sucks.
Reality is hard on a personal level as well. One thing that medication did for me was enable me to sort of sit back dispassionately and watch how life goes on at the soap opera known as the Hermits Rest Ranch and not let it get to me. Things happen, people do things, I get stuck in the middle of situations I don’t understand. With medication, I just say, “Oh, that’s just so and so being who they are…no need to internalize the consequences.” So, I am able to deal with the kinds of treatment I normally would be devastated by pretty well. I’m able to forgive and just drop things, knowing that we’re all messed up and doing our best.
The best or worst thing about the medications (depending on how you look at it) is that I am able to resist the urge to stand up for myself or call out behavior, knowing that every time I’ve done so for the past few years, I’ve been gaslighted or been treated to that classic technique of being blamed for causing my own problems. Me standing up for myself tends to go horribly, horribly wrong. And it achieves nothing other than upsetting others. So, I’d rather not stir the pot, since I know I’m no better than anyone else, with my sarcasm and things I say when stuff leaks out that aren’t kind.
Now is my life horrible? No. There’s great stuff in my life and right here at the Hermits’ Rest. I was generalizing about difficult experiences that aren’t constant but that, if I’m being honest with myself, are hard on me. Of course, knowing what a hard person I am to be around, I know I’m very taxing on everyone who has to be around me! My only point is that the medication made it easier for me, and that I’m having trouble now that I am feeling things harder. I don’t want to subject the people around me to un-squelched Suna!
Would I like to be my authentic self in my own home? Yes. I could probably relax more. Is it a good idea? No. This is not a safe place to share feelings about the state of the world or my inner dysfunction. I crave peace and love. So, sometimes I have to sacrifice to get one or the other. Don’t we all? Perhaps.
I’d love to share some of the challenges I face here in my personal blog, because I think it’s good to present a balanced picture of life, which is imperfect and not always easy. But there is a long list of things I’ve been requested to not mention. That makes my sharing of my life sound often like I’m living in a paradise of privilege with no problems. But that’s not true. There are health issues with everyone in this family but me (and obviously I have a mental health issue). We have a business that is struggling, I think. Not really sure. I sometimes feel unsafe in my own home, since I’ve given up a lot of my firmly held beliefs so that others can do what makes them feel comfortable. And those vague generalities are as far as I can go. Holding things in can make them leak out in weird ways when you’re unmedicated, though.
For example, there are dreams. Oh my gosh, I have been having horrible dreams about people from my past berating me for all the mistakes I have ever made. That’s quite the parade, let me tell you. My estranged son, his father, numerous people I dated, my father (always my father, who is the reason I am so afraid of being yelled at), friends from high school (including the one I did not have a baby with when I was 17), ex bosses. Whew. I wake up and read bland news items about nature to get the dreams out of my head. They keep coming. I would like to re-squelch them.
It’s overwhelming. I am not coping well.
If you’re my friend in real life, reach out to me sometimes. I suck at reaching out. I hate to intrude. But I realize that vaguely saying I’m not feeling well isn’t too useful either. These are hard times. Many of us are struggling. I’m not alone in having a genuine meltdown and personal crisis. But I want to admit it and say that I’ll listen to YOU if you want to talk.
And I love every single imperfect person in my life. That’s why I’m still here rather than checking out, which is mighty tempting right now. Well, that and the horses. I can’t leave the horses, too. And dogs.
Things I Want to Say (some borrowed from my spouse)
Anyone who has managed to read through my mental health drivel now gets to read genuine opinions by uncensored me. If I piss you off, unsubscribe, block me, or stop speaking to me. You won’t be the first. But people like me keeping quiet, I think, has helped the world get to where it is.
It is every-so ironic that the woman-hating judge Clarence Thomas claims to be an “originalist” and that every word in the God-given US Constitution must be taken literally is not even a PERSON in the original constitution. He is a black guy! FFS!
It is every-so ironic that all the gun worshippers who also claim to worship the God-given US Constitution don’t realize that if we really went by it in its original and perfect state, as delivered by God from Mount Vernon (or wherever it came from) don’t seem to realize that if they are too poor to own the property on which their homes have been set, they would not get to vote. Only land-owners who are also genuine 100% man-humans got to vote in the version handed down by the Blessed Forefathers.
By the way, I read in a book (I know, I’m one of those doomed intellectuals who use those as sources of facts) that the MEN who wrote the US Constitution were, in fact, people, not deities. They drank, swore, cheated on their chattel…err…wives, owned slaves, and made numerous errors, like humans do. Not gods. Not perfect. Not able to predict the future.
And didn’t the God in the Bible used by most Christians say to not have any other gods before HIM? Wait a minute. Guns? Constitutions? Trump? Aren’t those not Jehovah?
DO NOT TELL ME TO VOTE. I VOTE IN EVERY PODUNK ELECTION IN THIS PLACE. I EVEN HELPED ONE PERSON WIN, ONCE. EVERY OTHER REASONABLE CANDIDATE, I DID NOT HELP.
Besides, the people or entities who are creating the society we live in today have nothing whatsoever to do with this illusion that we are voting for who represents us or that those people represent anything other than money and power.
Like today. I was awakened in the night by a familiar odor. Someone had been skunked. That someone was Penney.
And more stink arrived in the form of Goldie. I tried to sleep but Penney kept pushing, which she does when she is scared. I ended up with my legs off the bed, which gave me sore knees when I woke up.
After only a little coffee I was told to remove the skunk from the side yard, where most of it lay. Other parts were scattered around, as if a large animal had gotten to Goldie is a large animal.
As I went to get a shovel, I noted a large hole under the pool equipment base. Oh goodness. The skunk was trying to build a burrow in the yard where the dogs live. Skunks aren’t bright, cute as they are. It was doomed.
Anyway, the skunk is now turtle food in the pond, and I got over my nausea from looking at its innards. The hole is gone, too, since this morning, Lee and the nephew created a new walkway from the back of our under-construction garage apartment, the garage side door, and our main path. It also made the pool equipment area look better.
After the skunk thing, I cleaned my giant closet and the kitchen, which had turned into a housefly buffet. I’ve now kept up with the dirty dishes stacked near the dishwasher for 6 hours and emptied the dishwasher twice. Lee has washed the stinky sheets. Yay.
I was tired of ranching and chores so I helped Sara film Aragorn on this dressage work, now that he is all shod. He did great. While I was there, I found a new (to me) plant, a swan flower. It is beautiful, and nothing like any other flower around here!
I wrote an article for the Master Naturalist blog with more details. I was surprised to see this one is the northernmost sighting of this plant, which is only found in Texas. How about that! This has been the highlight of the day and was a nice break.
When I got home, we got a hay delivery of square bales for the horses this winter. I did my best to help, but I really suck at lifting hay bales. The young man who brought it, though, was damned good at throwing it, and the nephew was good at stacking it. I counted.
Half the hay went to our house and half to Sara’s. Sara was much more helpful than me. But I wish I had a video of the tossing. They were amazing at it. Nice hay kids! Whew.
I was hot and the day wasn’t half over. This ranching can be hard and keeping your cool can be hard. I tried to cool off by the pool, but no. Neighbors dropped by to ask if we’d seen the obscene stuff painted on the bridge over Walker’s Creek next to our property. They had all sorts of theories that some teens who’ve been riding up and down the road in a “gator” (motorized golf cart utility vehicle).
I had no idea there was stuff down the road, but I remembered seeing red stuff when we came back yesterday afternoon. That day teens did indeed go up and down the road endlessly. And I’d seen them earlier messing with cane on the bridge. I thought it was just kids having fun on summer break.
Nope. There was obscenity, anti trans stuff, cruel stuff about people with mental illness, and the coup de gras (whatever) the flourish of Let’s Go Brandon. Hardly necessary.
And you know what, in today’s society, you hesitate to report vandalism in the community, because you worry some asshole will come shoot you. Nice. Rural living can be beautiful. It can be scary. Here’s a flower.
And yes, I called the sheriff. I just hope my beloved county commissioner will paint over the offensive stuff. I’m not wanting anything it peace and quiet.