Monday, January 30, 2012

Chaos at My Feet

The day following my previous post, there were more cats missing.  Three of our little cats and one that was about a year old.  I plunged into a deeper slump.  With four of them gone at one time, I figured it had to be a coyote pack that thought my property had a cat buffet. 

I was down to two barn cats.  I kept thinking of Barb's comment (below previous post).  I was moving on towards acceptance - telling myself that I did give them better care than a lot of folks out here give their outdoor cats.  I picked them up (well, most of them anyway) every day, fed them twice a day, fresh water daily, basic vet care, several straw bale shelters to choose from and a few hidey holes in case they needed a quick escape.

A couple mornings later, I was almost dreading the daybreak.  I was afraid I might see just one cat or worse yet, no cats.  When I finally forced myself to look out, wow!!  The four were back!  I took their food outside and had the usual tangle of six cats at my feet. 

I'm okay with it.  In fact, now I enjoy it.  All that purring and meowing is music to my soul.  I'll continue to miss Frank, but I'm so thankful that I still have the others today.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Loss of a Companion and Healing

Of all the things I had thought about, planned, etc, about when we moved out to the country, the one thing that never crossed my mind was how much death there is out here.  People don't blog about it, nothing obvious other than butchering critters (eeek), nor did I ever read anything that told me to be prepared.

When we first moved out here, one of the new neighbors suggested that I never name any of the outdoor critters.  She called her spinster barn cats #1 and #2.  They lived to be a ripe old age of 9, which is very old for most barn cats, she said.  Apparently two to three years is the average age they make it to, depending on the area that you live.

Of course, I didn't heed her advice.  How could I when I had those first adorable chicks?  And of course, the first casualty was Marigold, my favorite little hen.  Stupid bird would hop into my lap any time I would sit outside and I fell in love with her.  I think a hawk got her, but I don't know for sure.  I cried off and on for several days, reminding myself that it was just a chicken.  Okay, some of us have really soft hearts.  I also cried when the last one from that first bunch of chicks died.  Ozzie was about three years old, and she just slowed down more and more each day, in spite of what I did.  There is only one in this batch of hens that has a name, Moonbeam.  And only because she will not go into the coop while there is a speck of light.  I did not allow myself to interact too much with these birds when they were little so I wouldn't get too attached to them.

We also have lost a few young barn kitties through the past couple years.  Each one was hard for me, but we recently lost Frank, my favorite.  We don't know what happened.  He and Momma cat were constantly together, then she was by herself.  She was very vocal, maybe trying to tell me what happened, but I couldn't understand other than to know something had happened by her tone.

My heart is broken again, but I know I'll heal as time goes on.  I still look for him in the usual places, hoping by some miracle he'll be there.  That too, will pass as time goes on.  He was such a pain in the butt, especially every time I was trying to garden, but I miss him. 

And I'm thankful that he was part of my life.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Starting the New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

New Year's Eve quietly passed by with pizza and conversation.  We drove to our friend's house, yakked for a few hours then headed home.  I didn't have to see any ball drop to know that it was the start of a new year, ya know?

I'm not one for resolutions, but there are a couple that I'd like to pass on to you: 

Make this the year that you rid yourself of friends that aren't really friends and relationships that just suck the life out of you.  We've all had them.  You might hate to hurt someone's feelings, or hate the initial confrontation.  Do it anyway.  You'll be much happier later.

I had two 'friendships' that I had to end.  One was with a gal that had the 'it's all about me' syndrome.  You know the type.  The conversation always had to revolve around what she was doing, what she got, what she wanted.  Agh.  After a number of years, I decided that it really wasn't worth it.  Yes, years. 

The other 'friend' took advantage of me for an awfully long time, too. I'm a slow learner some times.  But I knew long before I gradually ended the relationship that I felt just lousy after being around her.  What really corked it was listening to her talk to people on the phone, being all syrupy sweet, then hearing a blast of nastiness about them after she hung up the phone.  Made me wonder what she said about me when I wasn't around.

So, tell yourself that you deserve to have a better friends and they deserve to be around people that truly appreciate them, so it's not all bad.

And the other thing:  Find your passion and go for it!  Make this the year that you rid yourself of the job that you absolutely hate.  Do something different that gives you enough money to get by on and follow your bliss.  Consider changing your lifestyle or location to make that happen. Easy to talk about but much harder to do.  If you can't chuck your job, then do some things that you truly love when you're not working.  Say 'no' to things that take up your free time and say 'yes' to doing things you want to do.  Need to learn a new skill for a different job?  Then start researching now on how to do that.  Need to go to college to learn that skill?  Start looking now for 'free' money to help pay for tuition, books, materials.  Make an appointment with an advisor and see how and where to start.  Then take that first step.  Don't stop there, take the second step.

Sometimes it's finding the resolve to keep taking steps that's hard.  I had one friend years ago that wanted a bathroom painted in that dark purple that you'd see on a pansy.  Fear of failure (?), fear of critisim, fear of XYZ, whatever, kept her from ever having it.  She got as far as buying two gallons of paint.  Once a year, she'd take the paint back to the store to have the gallons shaken up again, then back on the shelf in her house.  The last time I talked to her, she still wasn't brave enough to open a can and roll some on the walls.  Several people offered to help, but she just hadn't found the courage to be different yet.

I always wanted to learn how to make soap. I finally decided that this time I was going to do it.  Now I'm not sure what I'm going to do with 20 bars of plain soap.  Especially since I want to try some different recipes.

Bill hasn't filed for divorce because of it.  My friends that don't do the homemade 'anything' think I'm nuts, but they still like me.  Or they tolerate me well.  These are good relationships, huh.