YouTube Junkie

“We toss the coin, but it is the Lord who controls its decision.” (Proverbs 16:33)

Who would have thought that life could change so much in the blink of an eye. I know that sounds like a cliche; it is. I’m not sure what I would have–could have–done differently. I fell while going out to shovel the driveway in anticipation of work the next day. Sure, I could see the ice coating the driveway but, in order to shovel myself out, I had to navigate over it.

Now I’m laid up.

Yesterday I was wallowing in self-pity. The mortgage is behind. I’ve been knocking on every housing assistance door in Connecticut. Mom & I have visited a couple of local food pantries to get by until I’m back to work. I put up a Go Fund Me campaign to see if I can generate help with the bills/mortgage that way. And I am grateful to the friends who have been generous in their support; it is appreciated far more than you can ever imagine. I’m still looking at a hefty mortgage payment in three days that I don’t have adequate funds to pay.

But I’m taking it on faith. Either He will provide the means in time. Or He won’t…because maybe He’s forcing me into a decision I haven’t quite been able to make. I’ve spent the better part of 9 years’ oscillating between selling out and relocating (which might just mean closer to my work in Massachusetts) or finding another part-time income to help supplement…provided I can get back to work next month. My medical leave has been extended another month until the third week of March. Of course, part of that oscillation has been the very honest two years of unemployment, followed by 6 years of underemployment. It’s only been a little over a year that I finally found a full-time position. So, in short, the financial means to relocate hasn’t been here…anymore than the means of providing the most basic cost of living. I was still playing “catch-up” when my accident happened.

Okay…so some of that wallowing factor is still happening here…

And yet, it’s not crippling me completely. I’ve spent the better part of the afternoon knocking on those doors I mentioned earlier, filling out applications, etc. to see if there’s something to help preserve this would-be homestead…either here, or in a new location. We have to allow for processing time though. So…

…in the meantime…

When I’m not writing, working on my novel, I’ve become a bit of a YouTube junkie. Having my left arm in a brace means my activity levels are pretty low. Where my days’ off, especially in winter when farm activities are pretty minimal anyway (outside of feeding), used to be spent watching gardening shows on YouTube (Jon Kohler’s Growing Your Greens: BBC2 Gardener’s World with Monty Don; Charles Dowding’s No-Dig Gardening), now I’m expanding. Roots and Refuge Homestead. Off Grid with Doug and Stacy. The Urban Farmer with Curtis Stone. Living Big in a Tiny House. Tiny House Living. I’ve watched videos on raising angora rabbits, angora goats, silkworms, and training border collies to herd the sheep I don’t have land enough to raise.


In addition, Mom & I have had a lot of laughs watching Late Night with Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. And ooh-ing and aah-ing over agility competitions where, most of the time, the border collies rock! I’ve watched interviews with old “idols”: Kevin Von Erich (pro-wrestler); Rik Emmett (frontman, Triumph); Jane Seymour. The latter happened to be a walk-through with her researching what became of two of her aunts during The Holocaust; it was actually quite interesting. And she gave a bit of advice in one interview about how her mother always taught her that when you’re down and have nothing to give, you give more. I’m paraphrasing but, in essence, her mother was big on giving back, of giving help to someone else in need. By doing so, you open the door to resolving your own problems. That one’s been taken to heart quite a bit. I’m looking for ways that I can do just that.

Lastly, I’m feeling like a kid watching MTV again. Music videos. This weekend it was some 80’s, early-90’s music that I haven’t heard in a long time: Powerstation; Platinum Blonde; Andy Taylor; Triumph; April Wine; Concrete Blonde, etc.

Of course, the nostalgia conjured up by this music does sort of feed the wallowing factor a bit. I remember my dreams back then and how I gave up on them. I have no desire to give up on the current ones. Ironically, in remembering, it also feeds my determination to hold on to the current dreams; I’m not getting any younger.

Maybe in a month’s time that first draft…well…let’s not jinx it by giving voice to it.

May God bless you & keep you!

PS I would be so grateful if you would share my Go Fund Me link with your friends, family, acquaintances and readers.


One Day At A Time

“He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! Trust in the Lord God always, for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength.” (Isaiah 26:3,4)

I’m holding onto these words of encouragement. As I navigate through this forced convalesce, and watch the bills pile up, and receive letters from the new mortgage company threatening foreclosure, and the bank account getting smaller, the above passage from Scripture reminds me that He really is in control…and my faith tells me He has a plan.

Even if I can’t see it.

I’ve been on the fence about whether to sell and find land/farm in another location, somewhere a little more manageable from a financial standpoint, but also more acreage, less house. The logical, human side of my brain says, if I do default, what are my chances of being able to purchase again? I need to keep up on everything to build my credit score up. Yes, I can see that dream farm somewhere in upper-state New York, or Maine. But my “day” job is in Massachusetts. Logic is saying it’s all beyond my reach. That I need to really push back, commit to staying. And trust that He’ll get me over this rapidly-growing bump in the road.

My faith says to trust in Him…regardless of the outcome. Though it all looks impossible, nothing is impossible with God. He is not bound by human rules of equity and credit scores. And, if the opposite is His will for me, then He’ll provide whatever I need to make the next mortgage payment, car payment, etc.

He’s teaching me patience…I say this while I rail and chafe against both my limited mobility–and my limited cash flow.

More importantly, He’s teaching me to truly put my trust in Him. I have too much of a grasping nature, holding on too tightly to what I have. In short, He’s teaching me to let go.

Can I do it? This one’s a tough one. I don’t like not being in control (as if!)…or at least feeling as if I’m in control.

So, I take a deep breath…

And wait…

And fret…as only I know how to do.

And keep reminding myself that, even if I can’t see the outcome at all, He’s got this. And His ways are always perfect.

May God bless you & keep you!

My Apologies for the Delay…

Good morning (or whatever time of day it is in your part of the world…)

In the middle of some major “renovations” here on this blog. As soon as they are completed, I will certainly include more information about them. For the time being, I thank everyone for their patience. New content will be added soon.

In the meantime, keep working towards that faith-filled, sustainable and compassionate future. We CAN be the change we wish to see in the world.

May God bless you & keep you!

Voices from Beyond

In the immortal words of Ron Weasley in J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”: “Hearing voices no one else can hear isn’t a good sign, even in the wizarding world.” So, of course, I am mindful that this posting might just have a well-meaning friend sending the men in white coats to my door. But now that Mom admits to hearing them, too, I feel much better about it.

Yesterday’s blog opened up about the homestead’s history as the once familiar sight of the Windham County Hanging Tree. And, it would seem, that some of those who met their end here are still not quite ready to move beyond…

I am an avid bookworm. And, I confess, reading a good book, a good story, even takes precedence over writing. I write because I love to read. I write because other authors have created works that have influenced me, delighted me, provided solace and hope in troubled times, an escape, and so much more. I write because I want to create new stories for others to enjoy. But reading is what started the whole thing. A good book will keep me enthralled from cover to cover. A good book will have me up until 2 in the morning because I can’t put it down even to sleep. With a good book, you’ll be lucky to get me to come up for air until I’ve finished it.

It was during one of those reading marathons that I first noticed it. The clock was moving up on 2 a.m. and even Interstate 6 was quiet, save for the occasional 18-wheeler blowing through, and these were far and few between. The animals were all tucked in for the night. Mom wasn’t living with me then so there was no cable (i.e. no TV). No radio was on either. PC was in sleep mode upstairs. I sat at the kitchen table, blurry-eyed, but unwilling just yet to put down the book I was reading. Despite having my total absorption, my attention divided. What was that? Was the toilet still running from my last visit there? I drew a deep breath and listened more closely. Then I got up and went into the bathroom. Nope. Nothing running. No hiss from the commode, no faint trickle of water from a faucet not being shut off all the way. I went back to my book.

Yes, it is almost 2 a.m. but I want to get to the end of this chapter. There’s only, like, 100 pages left. It’s really getting good.

Okay. So it’s not so much a hissing noise drawing my attention away from the story again. It’s also not the refrigerator running. I got up again, walked into the living room, looking for felines. Nope. They must be all upstairs. I decide to check anyway. Yup. All 6 are asleep on my bed. It looks tempting but, with so many of them tucked in, I’d have a tough time crawling in with them. I go back to my book.

I am well into my book again when I get distracted once again. This time, I simply sit and listen. When I can finally zone in on what I’m hearing, I start to think maybe I should’ve put the book down an hour ago. I must be more tired than I thought. That can’t be someone whispering. Several someones, actually. I can almost make out separate words. Almost…

I decide to pack it in and squeeze in with all the cats. I’m out like a light. In the morning, I tell myself I must’ve really been tired and maybe I shouldn’t have pushed myself so hard with the book; I can finish it as soon as feeding time is over with. It is the weekend, after all. With the constant rush of traffic passing the house during the daylight hours, and even into early evening, the house is, well, not exactly quiet but the voices are silent. I forget about them until the next page-turner has me up until the wee hours of morning. Then it demands my attention again. This time, I know it’s neither a cat purring, a refrigerator or toilet running. I pause to listen. Yes, that is definitely someone talking, whispering. Again, I can almost make out distinct words. But not quite. This goes on even after a big rig downshifts through this brief residential strip. As I listen, it appears to grow louder. Maybe I should go back to visit Dr. Mueller. But I can definitely understand that expression of feeling one’s hair stand on end. This time, I’m not quite ready to pack it in. They did no harm to me before. I keep reading. The whispering grows louder, still. Then dies away. I get back into my story. It starts up again. I remember the hanging tree. What on earth could criminals from almost 200 years’ ago still have to say at this time of the day/night? Are they trying to communicate with me? Why? Yup. I’m losing it. But the voices don’t go away. In the stillness of any night, they begin to mutter.

So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting witches and mediums? Don’t listen to their whisperings and mutterings. Can the living find out the future from the dead? Why not ask your God?” Isaiah 8:19.

However, I’m not trying to divine the future. I’ve got the past poking its nose into the present…and disturbing a good book, I might add.

“Dear Lord, if these are lost souls, please help them to see your light,” I pray. Then, “Look for the light. Whoever you are, look for the light.”

The whispering falls away. Until next time…

When Mom arrived on my doorstep two years ago, I warned her about all the strange happenings here at #209. Her “thank you” was definitely sarcastic and followed by a little nervous chuckle. I conceded that her daughter might also be losing it a bit, but that every time the house was quiet, I could hear the whisperings. I also assured her that no one had ever hurt me here but it was unnerving just the same. (Admitting to one’s mother of these things doesn’t really count where the men in white coats are concerned…at least I hope not…)

Mom and I have been frequenting the new, second-hand bookstore in Danielson, Pourings & Passages. Lately, we’ve been stockpiling books for the long winter ahead. Mom’s almost as much of a bookworm as I am and she has been plowing through every Danielle Steel book she can find on Pourings & Passages’ shelves. She recently had her own late-night book-a-thon.

The next morning, when she came downstairs for coffee, she looked at me and said, “You were right about the voices. I heard them last night, just like you said. A little unnerving; I almost woke you up.”

All I could do was chuckle. I know exactly what she means.

Works Cited

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Scholastic, New York: 1999.

The Living Bible. Tyndale House Publishers, Illinois: 1971.