How Did It Come To This So Fast?

“I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. he lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God.” (Psalms 40:1-3)

I face foreclosure soon if I cannot come up with the back mortgage money by the end of March. I’ve been working with the mortgage company to try to modify it. And I’m still knocking on every door that looks like it might remotely be able to help. Life is pretty scary-looking right now so, as with yesterday’s post, I will be eternally grateful if you could share/forward this blog post on to as many of your online friends as you can.

I thank you for reading…and for the loving support that I continue to receive from this community.

May God bless you & keep you!

https://www.gofundme.com/9fymzf-medical-leave&rcid=r01-155121056357-7c399618cb174c25&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

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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.

Yet…

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. https://www.gofundme.com/9fymzf-medical-leave?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=campaign_link_t&utm_campaign=welcome

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!
https://www.gofundme.com/9fymzf-medical-leave&rcid=r01-15506107597-500376eb83394fe0&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

Lenten Re-Cap

“The next evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene and Salome and Mary, the mother of James, went out and purchased embalming spices. Early the following morning, just at sunrise, they carried them out to the tomb. On the way they were discussing how they could ever roll aside the huge stone from the entrance. But when they arrived they looked up and saw that the stone–a very heavy one-was already moved away and the entrance was open! So they entered the tomb–and there on the right sat a young man clothed in white. The women were startled, but the angel said, Don’t be so surprised. Aren’t you looking for Jesus, the Nazarene, who was crucified? He isn’t here! He has come back to life! Look, that’s where his body was lying. Now go and give this message to his disciples including Peter.” (Mark 16:1-7)

I made a number of vows on Ash Wednesday (February 14th, Valentine’s Day–a serious celebration of love this year). One of them was that I would avoid social media. Amazingly, my blog posts have also been few and far between, though my blog was not targeted as “social media” when I made the vow. However, I can honestly say I did very well in keeping this vow. I peeked at one message from an aunt of mine as it was obvious it was an actual message rather than a joke or inspirational then politely reminded her that I had given up social media for Lent and she would have to contact me via phone or come visit until Easter. Otherwise, I stayed away from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. What blog posts I did create automatically posted to my FB account when I hit “Publish”; ditto for the Treehugger news stories I shared. Neither required me to visit my social media sites as I have them linked. However, it’s funny. I didn’t really miss them. And I didn’t really miss much on them. I value my social media accounts primarily for keeping in touch with friends and family members who live too far away to make frequent visits between us. I may opt to keep my social media usage to a minimum going forward; less time wasted getting into the political hypes–whatever they may be this week.

I gave up sweets, desserts, etc.

FAILED

Miserably.

Albeit, I did significantly cut back and, the few times I fell off the wagon, so to speak, I made a valiant effort to get back on and keep trying again. But my sweet tooth won out quite a few times. Scary to think how addictive sugar is! (My waistline can certainly testify…)

I would avoid music videos except for 2 hours in the afternoon on my days’ off. That one tanked, too. However, I will add that I stayed predominantly in contemporary Christian and used the time to recharge my spiritual batteries instead. For King and Country’s version of “The Little Drummer Boy” is, in my not-so-humble opinion, so upbeat and uplifting that I don’t care if it is a Christmas carol; it’s worth listening to–and viewing their concert video footage–any time of year. And, no, it doesn’t really justify the broken vow. I’ll simply have to do better next time.

Lastly, I vowed to write 3 pages per day of my adult fiction novel. On this one, I rocked (insert stoked ego here). I have filled two college-ruled spiral-bound notebooks (one subject, approx. 100 pages each) full of scenes for my novel + many pages of a few others. Granted, some of these scenes may never see the light of day outside of their respective notebooks, but I plowed ahead anyway. There were only three nights where I didn’t pick up the notebook to write until bedtime and, on one such occasion, fell asleep mid-stride and two others, crashed before a word was written. Otherwise, I managed to do at least three pages; some days, more. Like many other writers, I am my own worst critic but mission accomplished. And I have every intention of continuing with the momentum. I’m looking forward to the day when I can post here that the first complete draft is, well, completed.

May God bless you & keep you!

https://www.patreon.com/theherbalhare

Bass Ackwards

“I am confident in this, that the one who began a work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Despite working with computer and online technology for at least a couple of decades now, I still flub up every now and again. Part of it may be that whenever I go to a new site, new application, etc., I am more liable to just start following menu paths and clicking here and there as to read the actual instructions beforehand.

Such is the case with my new Patreon site. I was supposed to build suspense by posting little snippets of its launch on my social media sites, my blog, etc. Well, as I’ve given up social media for Lent, such a climatic approach would be nearly impossible anyway. So, I clicked the “Launch” button almost from the moment I first logged into the site. Needless to say, a quick visit, at this point, would be a little anticlimatic anyway; I haven’t downloaded much yet.

Bear with me; fiction, in the form of short stories, some poetry, some samples of business icons, etc. as well as paintings, drawings, knitted, hand-spun and hand-woven items will appear from time to time. Perhaps even some herbal products as time goes on. I’m still working it all out.

So, what is Patreon? “Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to get paid.” We’re challenged to memorize that; I haven’t yet. It’s in a spiral-bound notebook for the moment. (Chuckle)

This menu path should bring you to my Patreon page if you’d like to check it out: https://www.patreon.com/theherbalhare

May God bless you & keep you!

PS If, for some reason, this doesn’t bring you to the site (may have to copy and paste in search engine), please post a comment below and I will check into it. Again, I’m still learning. Thank you for reading my blog…and for your patronage! =)

PS To All My Facebook Friends

“While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn Son. She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:6-7)

I hit a bit of a quandary yesterday. After I hit “Publish” from my blog so that my latest post would go to my Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. accounts, I realized how many friends of mine would likely have birthdays between Ash Wednesday, earlier this week, and Easter Sunday. If I’m not on FB, I won’t get the notifications to wish them a “Happy Birthday!” So this post is short and sweet and to the point: Happy Birthday to Everyone who has a birthday between February 14, 2018 and April 1, 2018.

May God bless you & keep you!