My Dog Smells Good

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“My dog smells good”. This statement is at the top of my list of positive affirmations, blessings, things I like, list for today. In fact, it is the only thing on the list at the moment. …But wait, let me add a few more.

My pony’s little whinny is so cute.

My house is warm.

I woke up without a headache.

I am in excellent health and physical condition.

I love my dining room curtains.

Positive affirmations are not new to me, but recently, I’ve taken them much more seriously. Normally I go to sleep thinking about problems and wake up thinking about the same problems, or even more problems.  Recently, however, I have been waking up in the mornings and writing lists of things I like, things that are going well, or what the solutions to problems might look like. For instance, instead of complaining to myself about the mud everywhere right now, I am concentrating on the solutions to the mud problem, and seeing the new mud-free version of things in my mind.

I was driving in the rain yesterday, in a run-down area of town, and I realized that in the past, I had tried to do everything from a place of lack. I identified as a victim of various things, spousal/partner abuse, poverty, low self-esteem, lack of friends, etc. I was listening to an audio book while driving, and when I heard that we are all born worthy, and have nothing to prove to anyone, my life kind of flashed before my eyes. I drove past piles of trash in yards, broken windows, and dilapilated houses. I saw people walking down the street, with pain on their faces. I could see that same sense of lack, that same sense of unworthiness that I had so often felt, an unworthiness that husbands/partners/bosses, were only too eager to agree to, and point out to me, and I wanted to stop the car, get out and shake them, and tell them how worthy they were, and that this sense of worthlessness that they were feeling was not what they were born for. I wanted to tell them how like attracts like, and the more negative things they kept their focus on, the more negative things would show up. I wanted to tell them to focus their energies on all that was good in their lives, and what they wanted their lives to look like, instead of what their lives actually looked like. I wanted to tell them that you cannot expand and attract more positive things into your life, when all of your energies are focused on your lack. It is hard to learn to think differently.

So very hard.

We are not trained from birth to focus our energies that way.

And so we often trudge through life feeling worse each day, as we grow older and our dreams remain unfulfilled.

Some days, when money is tight and there are other problems, its really hard to focus on our blessings and maintain a positive outlook.

On those days, the lists I have been making have totally changed what could have been a bad day, into a good day.

Yesterday I was getting ready for a Chrismtas party. Usually I make sure the dogs are outside when I get in the shower, but I was in a hurry and forgot to put them out. Tonya, my pit bull LOVES a bath, and  when she heard the water turn on she immediately ran into the bathroom and jumped in the tub. Her feet were muddy, and she needed a bath, but I didn’t really want a dog in the shower with me. She, however, had no intention of getting out, and the thought of a wet dog dripping mud all over the house wasn’t a good one, so I let her stay in the shower and I washed her too, even though it was a much less pleasant shower with a dog trying to catch all the water flowing out of the spout and the shower head. But, we both managed to get clean. Which is why she smells good today. Which is one of the things I’m loving about the day already. A nice clean dog.

Since the dog is clean, I’m washing my sheets and blankets too. And feeling really good about the day already.

I hope you are enjoying your day also, and if you are not, I recommend making lists of all of your blessings and all of the things you would like manifest into your life. Writing them down will give you more and more ideas on how to make them realities. I could go on, but the horses are calling me to get their breakfast. NOW!

So I better get to it!

Anita

 

Conundrum

Liminal

Today WordPress’s one-word prompt of the day is “Liminal”.  Merriam Webster defines Liminal as: 1) of or relating to a sensory threshold 2) barely perceptible 3) of, relating to, or being in an intermediate state, phase, or condition: in-between, transitional, as in the liminal state between life and death.

Whoa, doesn’t that just describe me and this farm most days to a T? I don’t think I’ve ever had a day when I could say, “okay, this is it, I’m where I need to be, now it’s time to get down to the business of living.” Instead, most days are spent trying to figure out how to get over the next hurdle; what to do about a partner who wants to end a relationship and I have no where to go, finally ending the relationship and then finding myself the sole owner of an old, run-down house I have no money or knowledge to know how to fix, watching the hay supply get smaller and smaller with no funds to buy more, watching my grandson get sicker and sicker, and then finally being diagnosed with Leukemia and all the horror that treatment entails.

As I watch  myself in the mirror every day getting older and older, realizing I can’t stop the train of aging, I teeter in the Liminal state of one day looking in the mirror, or perhaps passing that certain birthday, where I will actually be old enough to be “old”. And dreading that day, while looking forward to it at the same time. Old people don’t have to worry about all this liminal stuff. They can wake up anytime they want, take some meds, go back to sleep, watch TV, play with their great grandkids, go for a walk, fall down, pee in the bed, spit food all over their nurses, and finally hold their breath long enough that they die.

The End.

I don’t know if anyone ever gets to the place where they can say “I’ve arrived”. Except maybe when they get to Walmart, that’s kind of hard to miss, and you certainly know you are there. And maybe this great lostness, and unknowingness we all feel at some time or another, is yet but another really good reason to just to super nice to each other all the time, and help each other through our liminal phases. After all, in the end, we all travel the same road into eternity…or maybe some of us head south while the rest of us tarry on towards the much cooler north, but maybe that’s really the only state of non-liminalness that exists…the state of finally being with our Lord. Thinking about it that way kind of takes the pressure off down here, don’t you think?

I wish you all a less liminal, beautiful Sunday.

 

 

 

 

Liminal

Let The Snow Fall Where It May

Last night the heater in my bedroom kept shutting off, which got me a little worried until I woke up enough to realize that the reason it kept turning off was that it was maintaining a temperature of 75, which is what it was set on, and so did not need to run all night. Usually when I look at the heater lately, it reads 57 degrees, and runs constantly, never able to actually get the room up to 75 degrees.  What a blessing to finally be warm again, and from the looks of the weather report, it seems that the warming trend will last a week or maybe more.

I know winter is coming. In many parts of the country, a real winter is actually already here. For me, thinking about winter coming is kind of scary..kind of like the dreaded anticipation of a root canal. Living on a farm, there are lots of things to hate, I mean LOVE about winter.

There is the exhilerating, heart-attack inducing exercise of shoveling snow, the claustraphobic bliss of wearing coveralls and stocking caps to bed, the gratefullnes of no friendly, visiting neighbors, since I do not shower for days at a time because the bathroom is just too cold, the puzzle of frozen water pipes and figuring out just where to aim the heat gun while down in the 18-inch high, spider-infested crawl space under the house, having the excuse of frozen water pipes to use the bathroom outside and accidentally mooning the neighbors, the soft and fluffy unplowed roads meaning no bothersome trips to the grocery store for days at a time, living off of dry beans boiled in melted snow that take two days to cook on the woodstove, by which time I am probably eating dog food, melting snow on the wood stove and carrying it outside to water all the livestock because of frozen water pipes and and hoses.

I could go on for days about the fun of winter, living in an old, un-remodeled farm house, but I have just made myself entirely too happy to continue.  I am simply ovejoyed at the thought of all the fun and chaotic adventures of winter. A season that is sure to show its cold and frozen face just about any day now. And I do plan to enjoy every minute of it. Every. Single. Minute. What memories I’ll be making! What contrast I’ll be enjoying (as Esther Hicks might say).

I honestly can’t wait for it, because I know that once it’s here, it’s that much closer to being out of here. Like any other bad day, not one of them can last forever, and if we didn’t have the storms, the hardships, the snowy days buried stocking-cap deep in frozen white hell falling from the sky, we wouldn’t know a good day if it hit us broadside and knocked us into next week. And therefore, I say, bring it on, Old Man Winter, you old fart. I’m just going to curl up with a thick pair of insulated coveralls, a nice warm hat, some mittens, a pot of something hot, a pit bull on my feet, and let the snow fall where it may.

Winter: It’s coming to a location near you. Soon.

 

Chaotic

A Day of Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving morning has dawned grey and cold, with the anticipation of rain in the air. We desperately need the rain. Fires are burning in nearby counties because everything is so dry and the winds have been unrelenting.

The winds haved calmed today and I am thankful for that, and for all my many blessings; a roof over my head, a warm home, food to eat, a hot cup of coffee, the ability to sustain myself with my own businesses, peace, hope, love.

Some of us are not quite so lucky. A friend and nearby neighbor lost their home to a house fire in the wee dawn hours of yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving. I can’t even imagine the horror of that. The humans and dogs got out okay, but life for them will never be the same. Today, after chores, I am going to see what I can do to help with clean up or animals or whatever is needed. A fitting way to spend today…and a huge reminder of just how lucky I am to have shoes and clothes to wear that fit, to have a kitchen table, a coffee pot, a working refrigerator, a hot shower, my books, my computer, and my peace of mind.

On this Thanksgiving day I wish you all peace and love, and if you are alone today, I challenge you to be of service to another…walk someones dog, visit an animal shelter to love on the homeless dogs and cats, cook someone a pie, visit a nursing home, call an old friend, write a letter to someone in heaven, or maybe just sit down at your kitchen table with a cup of hot chocolate and make a list of all the ways you’ve been blessed in life…I’ll bet your list is a long one, just like mine.

May peace be with you, today and always.

via Daily Prompt: Anticipation

Anticipation

Small Blessings

As I sit here in my dining room, surrounded on all sides by stacks of homemade soap that need wrapping, in a an old farmhouse that is much too cold for morning comfort, favoring a thumb and an eye that both got the bad end of my lye pot, I can hear a young buckling goat, the one that will never stay in the fence, dancing on the metal roof of the well-house. I check outside and see that Finland, an aged whether (castrated male goat) looks to be doing okay, and I feel blessed that God holds me and my small farm in his hands and answers prayers…often before they are even asked.

Last night as I was feeding the animals, running a little behind as usual, I put Caritas’s (my thoroughbred) grain in his pan and walked off. I made a mental note to myself that I needed to fix the fence very soon so that the male goats that live with the horses could not get into Caritas’s feeding paddock and bother him for his grain. Just when I turned my back to start getting hay, I heard Finland (aka Finny) scream and I turned around to see Caritas lifting all 200 pounds of Finny into the air by his neck and then slamming him to the ground. I yelled at Caritas, who let go of Finny and went back to his grain as if nothing unusual had just happened.

I helped Finny to his feet and he was shaking. His right eye had blood coming out of it and both front legs seemed to not be working right. I couldn’t get him to move, so I began thinking about who I could call to come and shoot him. He seemed to be in so much pain. But as I stayed with him and helped him calm down, and checked him all over for injuries, I was finally able to get him moved out of Carita’s paddock and back to the pasture. I put a goat coat on him since he was shivering so bad and realized he must be in shock, and it might just be adrenaline that was enabling him to walk. At this point he still wouldn’t move, and was lifting one front leg off the ground and then the other. I was convinced they were broken, but I couldn’t feel any breaks.

I kissed him and hugged him and said a prayer for him and then left for Antonya’s very last obedience class that we were going to be late for. We made it to the class just one minute late and Tonya aced her test, thankfully.

When I got home, I went out to the pasture in the dark, expecting the worst, but was shocked to see Finny come up to the fence from his shed when I called for him. His eye had stopped bleeding and was still in its socket. I really don’t know why his eye was bloody. Caritas picked him up by his neck, not his eye, so I guess it was the pressure from being slammed on the ground that caused the bleeding.This morning, I went out to check on Finny and he and his friends were out in the overgrowth area munching blackberry briers. He seemed happy to see me and let me adjust his jacket and take a few pictures.

What a close call for Finny. A few days earlier I had a close call myself. I was  not wearing safety goggles and managed to splash lye from the lye pot into my eye. I had gotten sodium hydroxide in my eye at work one time and they took me to the hospital and tortured me, after which I was fine. I figured I could stay at home be the master of my own torture session, so that is what I did. I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed some more. Between the water and the lye, I was convinced that if I fell asleep that night my eye would dissolve right out of it’s socket. I woke up the next morning with my eyelid glued shut, but the eye was still where it was supposed to be and in good working condition.

With the Christmas season bearing down upon up us, tight on the heels of a presidential election most people would just as soon forget, it’s easy to lose sight of how truly blessed we really are, and instead focus on things in our life that are not going right. It’s easy to get depressed this time of year by a lack of money to buy gifts, pay high electric bills, and cook elaborate family meals. Some of us are lonely… family and friends live so far apart and everyone is always busy. It’s hard to be happy when it’s 20 degrees outside and not much warmer inside. It’s easy to let hours and days of depressed thoughts turn into weeks and then months, and then years. But today, I am going to focus on everything GOOD in my life. Just taking 5 minutes aside, I made a list of blessings in my life that fills up an entire page. Even some of the negative things have turned out to be blessings in disguise. I am beginning to think that everything is a blessing in some way or another. Me and Finny both value our eyesight and our lives, quite a bit more this morning.

I challenge each of you to have bigger eyes to see the good things in your lives, and smaller eyes to see the bad. Let’s make this Christmas season the best ever. I plan to post happy Christmas happenings, here on the farm and elsewhere,

and would love to hear your happy Christmas stories too. Would you like to guest post on this blog? I can’t offer money, just a moment of fame on this very new blog. Please contact me if you have a post you’d like me to share.

Until another day, my friends.

Peace be with you.