Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Sunday, December 13, 2015

From the Farmette #10 - When the troubles arise, you know I'm the cool coper (II)...

Xmas card outtake - aka cookie monster

 Two years ago I set off on a road trip with my horse...

I was so looking forward to the fun, comradery and challenge of a mini dressage clinic. Located in the middle of nowhere like we are, these opportunities are rare. I wanted to shake us loose from the rut we were in - trying to make progress on our own -  no trainer input or eyes on the ground. I had very high hopes.

A few days later we returned. Val with a barely-caught-in-time case of founder in both fronts, and me with a badly broken arm that would eventually need surgery to repair.

The fallout from these events was overwhelming.

The deadline of my five year mortgage deal on the farmette arrived this fall. I've been unsure how I could meet my obligation ever since breaking my arm / being out of work for months / acquiring a giant hospital bill. Anxiety and depression crept over me. I thought I was handling everything, but in hindsight...

Facing the thought of losing the farmette tipped me over into crippling anxiety by the summer. The feeling of scrambling to keep my head above water was the norm. Pair that waking most every night around 2 am only to fall back asleep just before the alarm rings. Some of you ladies out there know what I'm talking about...

Fast forward to the end of October.

Due to (finally) earning a substantial raise, taking on a handful of private clients and through sheer force of will, I negotiated a new mortgage. I now own my property outright, if you don't count the bank of course.

There is a little breathing room around getting the construction loan, though it means I'll be living in the Shimmy Shack through another hurricane season and a few more winters. That will just make eventually living within four solid walls, under an actual roof with actual heat, and having my possessions again, even sweeter.

I've also made taking care of myself a priority. Diet, exercise, sleep schedule etc. It makes a huge difference in my mental state and ability to cope with stress. I'm finding as you age there is less slack in the system regarding health. Disappointing, inconvenient, but a fact of life.

There are many bloggers out there much better at sharing personal stuff (non-pony variety) than I am. Every post I started since the spring has quickly been tossed into the whiny - self-centered - probably oversharing file. Commenting has kept me in the equine loop, and I've enjoyed living vicariously through your blogs. Non-horse-related life has been my priority, and there's been less free time than ever before. Thanks to those of you who have checked in on us. Hopefully visiting here will be more rewarding in the future.

On that note, today will begin my bloggish present to you all - twelve days of Christmas style. A series of year-end catch-up posts with a delightful holiday horsey media surprise thrown in at the end.


Despite the future of the farmette being up in the air most of the year, 2015 brought many upgrades. New garden beds and some clever recycling of landscaping materials into a fence. I sold produce and eggs to local stores and restaurants as well as individuals.

A six week stint of no rain followed by twenty four inches of rain over two weeks limited yield, but gave me valuable insights. Must. install. drip. irrigation.

I am also zeroing in on what crops work well here. Success in farmetting is hard won, and takes experience which must be earned. Sweat equity.

                                            And the promised delightful horsey media surprise -
                                                           on the first day of Christmas...


  1. I'm glad that you found a way to keep your head above water. I know about the crippling anxiety and worry- it makes hard things almost impossible.

    I love the first day of christmas gif. That is fabulous!

  2. Glad to have you back blogging! I had no idea those events turned into such a spiral! I understand the anxiety. I'm so glad you and Val still have each other!

  3. Wow! Your garden did really great this year. We had the same weather, drought and then gully washers, and my veggies mostly crapped out. The bright side is that this fall and winter have been so mild that I'm getting a massive fall crop!

    I hear you on having less slack in the system as you age. It's a real PITA.

    Congrats on saving the farm and I LOVE the GIF!

  4. I love the gif! Congrats on getting the mortgage sorted out.

  5. It's so good to hear from you after all this time. I don't share much personal stuff on the internet either, so I understand why you haven't been posting. Anxiety about so many things must have been hard to deal with but you're a strong woman with very innovative ideas and good problem solving. I'm glad to hear you came through it all in good shape.

    Love the first gift of Christmas. How's Val and the gang?

  6. Well done, figuring out a better financial plan for yourself and prioritizing your health are wonderful things! :) I have found that my struggles always make me stronger and smarter (but now I am strong and smart enough - I hope!).

  7. I'm so glad you were able to get everything worked out! You already knew that but I felt the need to say it again. :) We all go through those periods of almost crippling anxiety from the overwhelming stressors that sometimes like to do a pile-on in life. I do hate those periods of life. I try to remind myself that I always get through them, even though the process of getting through them and coming out the other side can feel crushing at times. Ya done good!!

    Also, that's a pretty impressive garden for your first year and far from optimal rain patterns.

  8. Glad to see you back after so much time - and ESPECIALLY glad to hear that you're ok. Here's hoping that 2016 brings you something unexpectedly wonderful. :)

    I am SO jealous of your beautiful garden! It looks delicious! Congrads on farming well enough to sell stuff to local places - that's a major accomplishment!

  9. So good to hear from you! I have appreciated your comments on my posts -- I like to know you are still out there and okay. But, its wonderful to catch up on your life and I'm glad things are sorting out. I hear you on the 2am business. So annoying...

  10. Glad to hear from you and that things are improving.

    Love the "hay streamer"!

  11. Glad you're back, and feeling a bit more manageable! Your garden (and chickens!) look great, and it sounds like you have a good plan moving forward. Any update is good, the stressful, the inconsequential, the fun little things...

  12. I'm so sorry you went through all that, anxiety and stress are the worst and I am glad that you are putting your health first.

    Big hugs to you and val!

  13. I am glad you have found some breathing room. I can really empathize with a lot of this post. I too am having a lot of health problems, and the the anxiety is a killer. I wish i could say I was dealing with it well, but no. I hope things continue to improve for you and I am glad to see you back.

  14. Congrats on the farmette resolution!

  15. Wow, you are inspiring for sure! The garden looks amazing (yes, drip irrigation all the way). So happy to find a like-minded horsewoman and wish you the best on your adventures!

  16. I am so glad you're back to blogging. I enjoy reading about your farmette and life with Val. Welcome back and I hope to see more posts in 2016. :0)


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