|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...