Animalistic Humans

Where Did Humans Start to F*** It Up?

So yesterday I was told I should be raped.

I actually expected the conversation to resort to that, and even called it on my personal Facebook saying I expected to be called a “whore” or told to “make a sandwich” after getting into an online heated discussion with what I call a “conservative redneck”.

You know what really surprised me the most about this argument I was in with this individual?  A woman jumped to his defense and started spitting out the same type of ignorant vile as the guy.  She wasn’t saying I should be raped, but she continued on every other type of insult that had already been thrown my way, subsequently supporting the very bullshit that this situation had turned into. My thoughts on these type of women will be in a whole other blog.

Now, I grew up around “conservative rednecks”, and a lot of times I love them to death.  I love the down-home country feel when I’m around that branch of family.  Some of them have a lot of good conviction that you’ll find in the typical “blue-blooded American” in regards to keeping jobs local, buying local American products, lowering taxes, the right to bear arms, and all the glorious republicy things that I support 100%.  I grew up a country girl and farmers daughter.  We go hunting, we butcher our own chickens and rabbits, we own a 1947 Model-A John Deere, and one of the loves in my life is my 1978 Ford Bronco.  I completely relate to that mind-set.  I get it.

But part of me also grew up different.

To be fair, perhaps I should just call these type of people “ghetto humans”, as I have an appreciation for some conservative redneck mindsets.  Certainly these type of people are not exclusive to the country, as we have some uneducated folk in the city as well.

I told my fiance (a Texan) about the rape remark on the way home from work yesterday, and he was pretty pissed. We had a very lengthy and enlightening discussion about how it feels like the ghetto humans resort to these types of insults (Bit***, Cun*, Whore) due to their lack of education or manners growing up that prevented them from developing the skills to respond in a non-dickish way.  We agreed that a lot of this is parental upbringing either through lack of discipline or just plain bigoted manners.

The discussion mentioned religion in as far as, if we raised our children in one faith, and they decided to grow up and choose another faith, would we be upset?  We’d be disappointed, yes, but we would be 100% supportive.  I believe that the some conservative parents would not be supportive and some would get down-right nasty.

We discussed the fact that bigoted parents raise bigoted children, and I argued that slightly because while my father is not bigoted, he -is- a farmer and he does have traditional mindsets.  My mother, on the other hand, is very closed-minded in a lot of aspects.  I feel being raised by two parents who, while I don’t consider to be entirely conservative, at least one of them had threatened to disown me at one point for my religious beliefs.  Despite being raised in -that- environment and around a fairly conservative family, I was still raised with what I would consider a very enlightened mindset.

Animalistic HumansSo I begged to question, how is it I was raised around “conservative rednecks” and I still grew up with a lot of liberal viewpoints?  Was there a moment in time in my childhood that clicked and changed my view?  I tried to think through each decade of my growing up and couldn’t think of any point in time where I felt hatred towards someone for being different, where I was disgusted or was trying to push away someone that was foreign to me.  There wasn’t a time where I didn’t accept people for who they were, even if that meant they weren’t like me.

So how did that happen?  If bigoted parents raise their children to be bigoted, how did I end up being liberal scum. I don’t know, but I feel like a unique gem in that I have the best of both worlds.  I support gay rights, and I want my guns and support local and American-made.  I’m a paradox.

As we continued to discuss our impressions and theories on why some people act the way that they do, I started to think back over the many movements over the centuries that have changed society.  I started naming off a list of things that, by modern standards, are completely effing stupid:

  • Women used to not have the right to vote
  • We used to own people as slaves
  • Women used to not be able to own lands or titles
  • Blacks used to have to use different facilities and were denied basic human rights
  • Gay’s are still denied the ability to marry in some states
  • We used to not be able to practice Christianity
  • We committed genocide in order to steal lands from natives
  • Humans slaughtered millions in order to create a supreme race

And the list could go on and on.

So while in this discussion with my sweetheart on the way home, it really got me wondering where the hell did this all start?  When did humans develop this mindset where we though it was right, appropriate, or even logical to deny basic human rights to other people.  When the hell did that become okay to do?  Who gives me the right to deny a basic human right to anyone else?  What gives anyone the right to rape someone, to kill someone for their religious beliefs, to deny someone the ability to marry someone else, to deny women the right to vote or own land. WHO?

Honestly I am curious to know where it all started.  I doubt we’ll ever really know, but I am so thankful that we have evolved beyond most of that.  This is a great time for us, despite the fact that we are still dealing with religious persecution and religious & civil wars.  We HAVE come far.

But where did it all start?  When was the human logical brain at the point that we thought for the first time that owning someone or raping someone was okay?  The Viking era?  10,000 years ago?  Did cavemen own each other?  When was this the “norm”.

Towards the end of our conversation, my fiance and I somewhat dismissed the answer to humans having an animalistic nature that is either similar to animals, or mimics animals.  Lions in a pride have many lionessses that they are territorial over.  They fight for hunting lands and superiority, and perhaps these were the original teachers on how to behave.  Does this sound a lot like gangs?

Humans are territorial by nature, and I really think we should let some of that go.  I don’t know how I ended up with the enlightened mindset where I truly feels every human has basic human rights that we have no right to take away from them, but I’m so very glad that I do.  I wish more people did, and I hope that my children grow up the same way.

Why I love this cold weather and think it’s beneficial to humanity

Freezing temperatures on the east coastI mentioned on Facebook recently how I had a certain appreciation for the cold weather that the mid-atlantic has been experiencing lately. We’ve had temperatures in the single digits for a lengthy period of time that we simply weren’t used to, sometimes in the negatives, and accumulative snow-fall fairly regularly.

That’s not to say this is unprecedented for the area because I remember significant snowfalls as a child, but for the last several years the winters have been particularly mild. I’m sure when Donald moved up here from Texas in 2012 that his first winter here he thought this would be a piece of cake to deal with the climate change from moving further north. But I think this year has shown him quite differently.

Interesting note: My dad follows the Hagerstown Almanac fairly regularly. A lot of farmers do, and my dad is no different. It said that this winter would be a particularly harsh winter, it has even predicted some of the “Nor’easters” for this season. I was a little skeptical because I’ve been so used to the mild winters of my adulthood, but that was shortly laid to rest.

Despite the freezing temperatures and over-exerting our wood supply to keep our home warm, I really love having all of this cold weather and snow.

Kill All The Things

Well maybe not all, but extensive cold snaps can kill fleas. There are some that find ways to survive, but around 37 degrees or lower can kill mature fleas and eggs. Especially if the weather holds out at 37 degrees (day and night) for around 10 days or so. I don’t want fleas on my dog, and I certainly don’t want them in my house. Think of this as nature’s population control (and we all love some population control).

Ticks on the other hand, don’t die from the cold, unfortunately. Which sucks (literally?), but it does make them dormant so I have less worry about my dog being outside during the cold snaps to do his business. So ticks are pretty much a problem year round, but at least less of a problem during the cold snaps. My personal favorite form of tick control is my guinea hens (though I am lacking in this department due to a wiley fox this past summer) because ticks and fleas are one of their main sources of food.

Possible Emerald Ash Borer decrease. There is some debate on this, but the hope is that these cold snaps will help kill some of the Emerald Ash Borer larvae. For those unfamiliar, Emerald Ash borers were found in Michigan about 2002 and were thought to have been brought over by a wood shipment from Asia. But the newest information states that the larvae have had too much time to get acclimated to colder temps, so the affect won’t be as devastating as originally hoped. Still, a small chance or even a slowing of their population spread is beneficial.

Survival Instincts

Everyone knows how pending storms force people to rush to the grocery store to get toilet paper, milk, and bread. While annoying, and often laughable, it often makes sense. Most storms are not going to require the need for these items right away, as most storms are cleared out within the next day or so. But the snowpocalypse of 2010, and even the ice storm last week, will show that some of us are either snowed in for days at a time, or without modern luxuries such as electricity for days at a time.

Personally I like that storms kick in our survival instincts. We need that reminder once in a while, because the 9 to 5 work schedules tend to turn us into drones surrounded by comfort and taking modern amenities and routine for granted. We need to be reminded that we are not the top of the food chain, mother nature is.

I am one of those people that likes to keep backups of backups. I have redundancy plans setup for a lot of my computer files so that it is constantly being backed up off-site (in 2 places for some things), which is also being backed up on-site fairly regularly. This type of mindset continues with even the most mundane crap, such as toilet paper or dishwasher tabs. I always have a “backup” on hand in the cabinets. If I run out of ketchup, I have a backup on hand to use. Once that happens, I put it on the grocery list for a new backup. So there’s generally always sets of two for certain items in my house. This prevents me from having to rush out to the store for most anything before a storm hits, and people would benefit a lot from following the same principle. Just keep simple backups of everything. Keep an extra pack of toilet paper in a plastic bin in your basement. Keep some extra condiments in your cabinet and some extra loaves of bread in your freezer. Did you know you can freeze milk? Just sayin’.

This recent cold snap has also brought to the forefront where I am lacking in warm clothes. Try shoveling snow in 0 degree temperature. It sucks when your face and hands are frozen. I have some warm clothes for such an occasions, such as wool socks and a fur hat. But I am severely lacking in decent gloves, insulated pants, and face coverage. So this puts into perspective what I need to prepare for future cold snaps that might eventually extend past my comfort zone.

All in all, the cold is necessary, and I love living in a climate that allows me to experience all four seasons. It allows me to enjoy all forms of nature, and also prepare for all her quirky seasons.

 

What To Level Up Next In My Life

My current successes:

I’ve lost 85% of my excess weight diet changes. I’m currently on an almost 100% primal diet and have a a small percentage of pounds to lose.  I plan to continue documenting this journey here and in my public journal so others can follow my the steps if they like.

In the past 8 years I’ve gone from a 525 credit score to an 800 and almost paid off all of my debt.  I expect all of my debt (some new medical bills had came up last year), I will be debt free aside from my mortgage and some money I was loaned from a friend.  My goal is to have that paid off this year as well.  A lot of these tips are documented on The Money Drain, but I will continue to add to this as well.

I have taken Donalds non-existent credit and pushed him to a credit score of 746, and it will only keep growing.

I’ve gone from a fairly craptastic one-sided 7 year relationship with a married man, and the subsequent deep depression from the break-up, to a genuine partnership with a wonderful man who supports me unconditionally in everything I want to do. And who is so completely devoted to the relationship itself, not the “idea” of being with me.

I gained my clergy status, but still must do a lot of work to maintain it.

I have maintained my sanity that normally would shake the core of most people, during 2 of the most difficult years of my life.  My soul has prospered because of it.

So I’ve essentially upgraded my finances, upgraded my health, upgraded my spirit, and upgraded my relationship.  Next?  I want to upgrade my contribution to the environment (less waste, more self-sustainability), upgrade my income stability, upgrade my time availability, and upgrade my passion so they my prosper.

Upcoming Goals:

Get back out of debt like I was in March of last year before the job loss.

To refund my emergency fund with a significant amount of money to last 6 months worth of bills.

Buy my father a new used truck.

Greatly reduce my todo list so I may enjoy more things and have less “todo”.

Reduce the waste and consumptions of our household and document all that I’ve done.

Create a more self-sustaining home garden.

Supplement my income so I am not relying on one job to pay the bills, perhaps use this extra fundage to buy the farm we want to do the things we want.

Continue to blog and document all of the self-improvement steps I take, in order to show others that “yes it can be done, but you have to do something about it”.

2012 and 2013 Year in Review, And Goals for 2014

So I had started a year in review for 2012 and completely got side-tracked and never finished it. I decided to finish it today while doing my review of 2013, so this will be a double-whammy.

Why do “Year in Review” posts? For me, simple.

  • You can post all the status updates, pictures, and notes you want on Facebook. You have no way to archive or control this information. You won’t be able to go back easily and find items you are searching for, memories you want to share with your children, etc. That’s why I prefer online blogging/journaling. I have the ability to search, categorize, archive, and back-up all this information. And back-ups are the most important for me.
  • It’s good to reflect on the good, bad, and the ugly. It helps to orient the goals I have for the future.
  • New people I have may have met in the year were not around for events previous to our friendship. It may contain information interesting for them to know.
  • It’s therapeutic. Journaling in general is therapeutic for me. It also allows people more insight into my life, because as most people can tell you, in-person I am not a very chatty person.
  • I have OCD, suck it.

2012 – The Year of Heartbreak

January:2012 is going to be an awesome year. I am most excited about my future with the sweetheart and I know great things are coming for us 🙂

This month was bittersweet in different ways. On one end, I had to attend the funeral of my last grandparent, who died on December 29th. On the other end, the ex came to visit during our annual work party at a really fancy restaurant that we got to dress up for. Not only did I get to introduce him to co-workers and spend time with him, but he got to witness work giving me their appreciation (via a new iPad2 and $500) for my 6+ years working there. They also gave me a 13% raise after promoting me to Project Manager in addition to my existing duties of Front-End Developer. Granted, they fired me later in the year, but we’ll get to that later 🙂

My sister also turned 18, meaning she was officially an adult, which means I felt officially old.

February:Me: Life kinda sucks without you. Him: You are never without me” – The Ex

Nothing too exciting for February. I started getting to know someone that has become an invaluable friend over the last year. Thanks Jason 🙂 There was some unfortunate drama relating to that father that shot his daughters laptop and expressing opinions on Facebook and someone telling me I should never have kids etc. But you know how Facebook arguments go 🙂 The ex got me a beautiful turquoise tree of life necklace, and I busted my butt and wallet to get him a gaming system that is no longer around but that he loved when he was younger.

March:I’m honored to know you because you are a good balance of what a decent human being is supposed to be

Sadly, I forget who said that to me.

March I was really motivated with my weight-loss, and made a LOT of good progress. A gentleman told me I looked like Eva Green, though I disagree. I started hanging out with my friend Tracy more, who took me to my first dance club where I had a great time and became addicted to dancing again. We also got our new broiler chickens in which we slaughtered later in the year, supplying our own meat for a time.

Bastian was injured for a time as well, so I took him to the vet to have him looked at. All is well there though. Some other wins was winning a $200 amazon.com giftcard, The ex’s birthday, a Alice in Wonderland Teaparty Birthday Party, Project Managing a site dedicated to Sci Fi Authors of the 1950’s, and Irish carbomb cupcakes.

April: Ah, romance. I’m a sucker for it.

A friend of mine commit suicide in April, tragically the same morning I attempted to e-mail him to see if he wanted to go out to dinner. I don’t think he ever saw the e-mail.

The ex came up for a visit for my birthday and got to meet most of my close friends and co-workers. We also had a drum circle, which I was wanting as my main birthday gift.

Camping with good friends down in Virginia is always a highlight of my Aprils each year. So April is usually pretty awesome when it can be.

May:No excuses not to jog. Ever.

In May, the Ex was going to try to get me to come down to join him for a concert to see his favorite band for memorial day weekend. I was really excited, but his friends decided it would be a guys adventure, so no girls allowed. Come to find out, one of the guys wives went anyway, and I was fairly upset by this. I wanted to be there to share that moment with him.

On the bright side though, he did send me probably the most romantic e-mail I’ve ever received from him. Which led to us planning the trip down in July. Things were finally going to move forward, I had intended to move down to Texas to be with him in upcoming January. We were finally going to be able to be together for good.

My sister attended her senior prom, and I was unable to see her in her dress, but she was quite lovely. Unfortunately I also learned she was planning to move to Tennessee with our mother, which I was not happy about, but she was an adult now so she has to make her own decisions.

I also started hanging out with a new friend that helped talk me through some of the issues I was having with the ex. And also stopped hanging out with another friend, but I am not sure why.

Also, people were general assholes, especially at the Grove.

June:How come when you take pictures documenting your weight-loss and muscle-gain people say you have too much time on your hands? How about I’m making time to take care of myself instead of being like people who use their time watching TV and eating fast food. Too much time? Do you even know me? Fuck off.

June was a fairly quiet month. Everything progressed as normal I owned my weight-loss, my finances, and my productivity with freelance work and life. We killed chickens, I helped a friend rewrite a resume and apply to dozens of jobs, and my sister graduated high school. There was some Grove drama regarding votes, but other than that there were no real major complaints.

July:So I’m going through what is probably the worst time of my life right now.

July I went down to visit the Ex. We hadn’t seen each other since my birthday in April, so we were really looking forward to spending time together again. We had a brief argument while I was down, but we talked it out and I got to visit with his brother as the first person in his life I was allowed to meet. But for the most part, the trip was wonderful, as they always were. However, once I got back his work began to pick up and for the first time in 7 years, it started out as days before I heard back from him, then weeks…

My health did amazing this month, however, and I got to my lowest weight ever. Granted, after the break-up my weight went completely stagnant with the depression, but I OWNED my weight this month.

August:Giving myself permission to move on should I need to, is like one of the hardest things ever.

August was the hardest month of the year by far. After my trip out to Texas to visit the ex in July, he completely dropped all contact with me. It wasn’t until the beginning of August that he said he “Just couldn’t deal with us right now”, but wouldn’t confirm whether that meant things were over or not. He was undecided. So started weeks upon weeks of torture wondering what was going on and why and no word from him either way. Just silence, and in my mind, abandonment.

Three very good friends really kept up with me, helped me through this, and prevented my mind from going into very dark places. I hate to admit, but I was somewhat suicidal this month. Losing a relationship of 7 years and not having any clue why really does damage to the soul. Especially when you had planned out your entire lives together, planned to get married, etc. To have all of that end so suddenly for no reason is quite heart-wrenching.

Needless to say, I consumed a lot of alcohol this month. But I also discovered the value of friendships that I didn’t know I had.

September:That girl has too many talents to be settling.

September was a horrible month in most ways. On the 7th, the ex said it was likely over. I probably stayed up till 3am talking to Donald about it and crying. The next morning, my job for the last 6.5 years let me go, and that evening my good friend Jason took me out to get me drunk. The moment I got home I applied for 27 jobs, and after I went out drinking I probably applied to 10 more.

I had quite a bit of anxiety this month, but it ended on a good note of Donald coming up for a visit for the first time for about a week while I was off work. We had a wonderful time, ate German food, went horse-back riding, went target-shooting out back, and spent a lot of time together.

I had applied to almost 100 jobs and received my first job offer within 2 weeks after being let go. I also climbed tot he top of Mt. Davis, the highest point in PA.

October: “I’m also about to do something wild and crazy in about 2 weeks and just don’t care what anyone says about it anymore. Stay tuned.

October had very high ups and very low downs. On one hand, the Ex officially broke things off at the beginning of the month after abandoning me for 2 months without hardly talking to me. But just prior to that I had started at a new job in York making more money than I ever had before. Also I flew down to Texas and Donald and I drove up together, taking a brief stop in Nashville to sleep and see the Parthenon, which was a bucket list item of mine.

Of course during our trek to the Northeast we were battling beating a snowstorm from the west, and Hurricane Sandy to the east. We happened to drive up between both of them before either hit, so we were lucky.

Earlier in the month was my usual clergy retreat shenanigans, which are always amazing.

 

November: Someone bringing me breakfast in bed? I’ll take it.

November was my first holiday with Donald, Thanksgiving. He also got a job pretty quickly after moving up here, so we were both gladfully employed.

I was also still in recovery from the massive break-up a month prior and tying up the loose ends of that. The ex had finally found out that Donald and I were dating and became super upset and angry at both of us. I got a lot of flack from him during this month, and it was not something easy to deal with at all between the swarm of texts and messages about how wrong it was for Donald and I to start dating.

December:The moment when a 5 year old says you’re the prettiest girl in town.” – Trace

This was my first holiday away from my father. We went to Texas to visit Donald’s family for Christmas, so it was also the first Christmas I got to spend quality time with his family. It was lovely and I am fortunate to have in-laws that are more like family than some of my own blood.

Apparently I brought a break snow to Texas with me though. I arrived at 70 degrees and ended up with 4 inches of snow on the ground the next day.

The trip was also a little bitter sweet because this was the first time I was allowed in Texarkana. While dating the ex, I was not allowed there because he was going through a divorce and didn’t want to introduce me to any of his friends or family until after.

I also photographed my first wedding officially, and was subsequently never paid 🙂

2013 – The Year of Struggle

January:Standing in the grocery store line he says to me, “you are so beautiful.” I love these moments.

January was a bad start to the year, because I believe I was in the emergency room three times. Once for a kidney infection, once for what I thought was a heart attack but may have been a panic attack, and once for a potential blood clot.

Then Donald was also in the emergency room with the flu, which was bad this year. I slept on the hospital floor in his room until they released him.

February: This year I’m going to learn to love myself more, and in return allow myself to be loved more.

February I was the photographer for my cousins wedding, who happens to be one of my best friends. And she was in love with the photos 🙂

ADF Dramaz.

Donald made me my favorite meal of all time, Chicken Tikka Masala, for Valentines Day. From SCRATCH.

It was a rather quiet month, honestly.

March:Bluegrass is truly the salt and soul of earths rhythm. You simply can’t deny that.

March had some ups and downs. I finally got myself completely out of debt, and then about a week later was let go of my job after 6 months due to position termination. Which made no sense because I got a great review in January, and a week prior my boss asked if I’d be willing to take over the Customer Service portion as well.

Anyway, this started the hardcore interview and application process. I believe the first night I applied for 20 jobs.

Life in March was actually pretty good before the laid offness.

April:The company I am interviewing with today has 1 like on their fb and lorem ipsum on their live site. Sounds like they need me too.

April consisted of tackling interview after interview as it was still the beginning of my unemployed phase. I was surprisingly productive for April, catching up on lost time with all my new free time. Though is unemployed time really free time? When unemployed, your new job should be finding the next job, at least that’s how I view it.

Went camping with some good friends, which is always a great time.

Had a birthday party, where someone whom I invited into my home to celebrate decided to steal my heart meds. Assholes. But yes, it was my birthday, which makes this month epic.

Lost another friend from highschool, which was very tragic.

May:Think I’m going to make the back deck my office today and soak up some sunshine.

Fishing for memorial day weekend, also a wedding for a cousin of mine.

While I started my new job at the end of the month, I spent the majority of the month freelancing while unemployed. I was also pretty much an interview madhouse. I partook in unemployment for the first time in my life, and fortunately it paid all the necessities.

Dads truck broke down, but we were able to get that fixed fairly cheap.

We also gifted Donald with his new Americauna peeps.

June:The more I try to figure a few things out in regards to relationships, the more I realize how lucky I am to have gone through years of hell to eventually end up with Donald.

June was a time for butchering chickens, also fostering a home for Donald’s pet chickens, eating healthy, quelling ADF drama, visiting the local view and seeing Timer Wolf pups, and getting used to the new job.
I also broke an 800 credit score 🙂

July:I need a youtube show.

I was asked to become a regular blogger for the local Farmers Market starting in 2014.

The majority of the month, Donald and I spent doing our 30 day detox. It was difficult but we hammered through it well.

I officiated a funeral for the first of two friends who died this year from cancer. RIP John.

Donald killed the fox that had been devouring much of our poultry.

I went camping with some of my best friends and tried my first grilled pineapple.

Had to put $1300 into my car to rebuilt the entire exhaust system after my manifold split. Donald also had a blow-out on one of his tires that we had to fix for some cash.

We got an epic bubbly sunburn while fishing on the lake in a canoe for the 4th of July.

August:You don’t lose weight to get healthy, you get healthy to lose weight

August I lost a family member I was rather fond of, to cancer. An ornery old sucker named Charles who will be greatly missed.

Also officiated another memorial for a friend who passed.

On the plus side, I also officiated my first wedding for two very good friends. I was very proud of it.

I really started tackling the heavy bag work-outs with Donald. He said I had the power punches, and it’s something I very much enjoy. We also took a trip to Mt. Davis so I could show Donald the highest point in PA. It was a great hike 🙂

We finished up our 30 day detox at the beginning of the month, and both of us lost a good chunk of weight.

ringSeptember:I swear, when someone tells me I can’t do something, it really pisses me off to the point where I’m determined to get it done.

I got ENGAGED!

I attended a WEDDING!

I got frustrated with Grove drama and CTP drama.

I wrote lots of resumes for people in need.

I took Donald camping for his birthday and our 1 year anniversary with our friends and showed him the glory of Maryland Steamed Crabs. I also took him to Texas to visit his family for his birthday, which was good fun.

And I pissed off a lot of people at different points in the month. Oh well 🙂

October: “Ran over my dog when I pulled into the driveway. We are at Animal Emergency and Referral Center of York. My heart feels entirely broken.

Donald and I were able to buy him a new used Honda Civic after we found out his truck pretty much melted its engine. We got almost what we put into the diagnostics by selling it to a mechanic. Then we budgeted about $5k to get him a new used car for driving to work. More debt, but a necessary one.

Attended a clergy retreat out in Ohio and got massive loads of work done on my CTP.

I also had to deal with some unsavory overseas developer that had done work for us at work and decided to delete all of it. Fortunately I was able to recover from it well, but it left a bad taste in my mouth about foreign developers.

On October 24th, my dog shot out from behind a bush after I got home late and plummeted under the front passenger wheel of my car. I fractured several parts of his paw, and degloved the top of it. There was so much blood, and I was a basket case the entire way to the emergency vet.

This started a series of ups and downs (mostly downs over the next month and a half that eventually led to his demise.

But after we opted for his amputation surgery due to his age and level of pain, he started to bounce back really well. Initially he was very difficult to medicate, but a few days later once the anesthesia wore off, he was eating like a champ. He was already jumping around on furniture and learning how to cope without his front leg. I was very proud of my little trooper. And I had never been more excited about dog poop in my life. Donald and I were so excited to bring him home, we went out to buy him lots of meats, gifts, and even a “Get well” card, lol.

November:Your life should be a reality show” – My boss

November was crap for finances. Not only did Bastian’s emergency amputation cost over $4k, but during our trip to Texas at Thanksgiving, we found out he also just tore an ACL in his back leg, resorting in another emergency surgery costing $3800. Top that with the pilot bearing going out in my car, adding $880 to the list, we were thrown for a loop in regards to our financial stability. But work was steady and busy, and I enjoyed it.

Both November and December were filled with a lot of caretaking for Bastian. Donald and I slept in the living room every night to keep an eye on him and carry him outside every few hours to use the bathroom. Some nights Bastian would be constantly loud and whiney unless I laid on the floor next to him so he could keep touching me as he slept. It was an exhausting, but loving experience. One that I would gladly do over in a heartbeat for him.

My friends spread the word about Bastian’s emergency surgery. Between them and complete strangers, $4600 was raised to go towards Bastian’s care. I am forever humbled by this experience and the outpour of support. I have decided that every month I will donate to an animal in need in his honor.

Also, my cat of 13 years died of old age in her sleep.

December:No more battling for other people for a while I think. Time to battle for myself.

December was a tricky month. I spent a good holiday with my dad and Donald, but Grove drama trumped a good portion of days in an unfortunate episode of wtfuckery. It helped open my eyes about certain people and made me realize that I need to choose my battles and stop jumping in to help people, let them do it themselves. But I also made sure I stood my ground on some issues, and I remained calm during all of it, despite some people just pissing me off. It is what it is though, people will manipulate, people will make mistakes, some will forgive, others will secretly hold grudges. Nothing I can do about any of it but control how I react to things.

I also had to deal with the worst day I’ve had to go through in probably my entire life, even worse than the break-up with the ex. I had to put down my beloved Bastian. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, in fact it was down right horrible. But at least he was in no more pain. He got to the point where he would try to bite us anytime we’d try to lift him up to take him outside, so I knew that his pain was to the point of no return.

I still place a lot of blame on myself for what happened to him. If the accident in October hadn’t of happened, then I likely would have had a few more years with him. So many people keep telling me not to put blame on myself, it was an accident, etc. And that’s well and good, but this is my way of dealing with this. Mine and no one elses. I blame myself, and I will try to honor his memory by fixing what I feel is wrong in this situation. Bastian is now buried in the back yard, and his memory will be etched in my heart for the rest of my lifetime.

To shed a light on all of it though, we did end up adopting another pittbull mix at the local SPCA that had been abandoned in Hanover. So we are giving another pup a new home, which has helped distract me from the heartache of losing Bastian.

Overall:

2013 was probably one of my roughest years to date. Dealing with the break-up from 2012 still, the job loss, losing Bastian, and a lot of things breaking down at once, my financial stability was in upheaval. But I’ve had sense enough over the years to be able to plan for things like this, and not go completely belly-up. It definitely sheds lights on the areas of my life that are not as stable as I thought, and allows me to improve my mindset for them in the future.

In the end, I learned more about my health, I sacrificed for Bastian, I was loved by Donald, and I still provided for my father. That’s all I can really ask for.

Goals for 2014 – The Year of Transformation

I get into the habit of taking on too much grunt work that I don’t usually have time to do things I -want- to do. I tell myself “I need to get this taken care of so I can eventually do something else”. For example, I’ve been wanting to invest more time in my music and start playing locally again. I’ve been wanting to do this for years, but I keep pushing it off until I had “more time”. Problem is, it never happens because I keep pushing it off. Life is far less fulfilling when it is full of work and not enough passion.

So 2014 is the year where I am making time for the things that better -me-. The things I want to do and feel passionate about. I will still do other work, but I will minimize it to only the necessary portions, such as freelancing to get back out of debt again. I will not be volunteering for other tasks, only doing what I feel compelled to do that fits in with my life harmony.

A list of things that I will focus on in 2014:

  • My Health will be #1. It’s all that any of us have when all is said and done. I will be doing the paleo lifestyle full-time, I will do a 60 day Whole30 detox starting in a few weeks until April, and I will do my best to exercise every single day. We also want to start training for the Spartan race in 2015, so I will also be doing some lifting and stamina work.
  • As an off-shoot of my health, I also want to start making my own products at home more. I already make my own laundry detergent, facial scrubs, and massage oils. I want to start experimenting with haircare, lotions, and make-up as well. Once we are out of debt, I will enroll in some holistic nutrition and herbal related courses to help my knowledge of health both inside and out.
  • I will get out of debt again in 2014. I was out of debt in 2013, and then lost my job for 2 months, then Donald’s car broke down, then Bastian had his emergencies. After all that I tacked up a hefty debt bill again, so I will freelance myself back out of this in 2014. I’ve already taken steps towards this, cancelled accounts we didn’t need like Netflix, refinanced my mortgage which will save me a couple hundred a month to put towards debt, and started freelancing more.
  • Finish up my first circle CTP and start on my second circle
  • Invest time in my music, maybe try to find some local musicians that are interested in playing together.
  • Convert most of our produce intake from our own garden as much as possible, which may require a make-shift green house. Put more time into preserving and creating a root cellar. Live as self-sufficiently as possible.
  • Spend time tying up loose ends from my todo list, and no longer add new items to it until it is empty.
  • Spend more time learning new skills, perhaps really devote to one new skill each quarter.
  • Start planning my wedding in more depth.
  • Go camping more with our friends
  • Donald wants to invest in a skillset to develop a career. Once he has a non-temp job closer to home, we will be investing in his education as well, possibly through a Pell Grant, but likely more technical related so I am not sure that grant will cover that.
  • Start learning a new language or two

We also have some savings goals we wish to accomplish, but most of them will be gradual, but we’d at least like to start putting a little money aside every paycheck for them.

Financial Goals

  • Buy dad a new used truck
  • Get new cellphones as ours are about to crap out
  • Start saving up for new tires for Donald’s car
  • Put money back into an emergency fund
  • The wedding/honeymoon
  • Create a festival budget with which festivals we want to go to this year.
  • Invest more into our retirement accounts
  • Start planning and putting money aside for a new piece of land in the area
  • Invest more in our own education through online training
  • Start saving up for random things like a pet cost fund for Cort.

Money Saved, May 2013

  • $28.14 by buying what was on sale at the grocery store and using coupons.
  • $70.03 by buying what was on sale at the grocery store and using coupons.
  • $62.46 by buying what was on sale at the grocery store and using coupons.

Total Saved for May 2012: $160.63