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Writer's Block: Dream on

Do you usually remember your dreams at night? Do you analyze and/or record your dreams in your journal? Are there any recurring themes?

I often remember my dreams, or at least parts of them when I wake up. I do think a lot on them too. Mostly because they're strange. I own a dream book and used to look things up in it. However I was 10 at the time and finding that nearly every dream I had supposedly meant something sexual wasn't all that cool so I stopped looking up the meanings. I do record some of the dreams in my journal. I like going back and reading the crazies or just getting it out of my head and on to paper so it'll leave me alone. Are there recurring themes? Yea actually. You wouldn't believe how often I have to buck up and be a superhero of one sort or another in my dreams. It seems I'm never in much control of what i have to do in my dreams. Even there I'm just doing the best I can with what I have. Though I am much bolder and more willing to stick up for what I believe in. 

I'm Not a Faithful Friend


I'm keeping a diary now too. It was what Elizabeth bought me for my birthday. Its really a nice one too. I get to put everything in it I can't put on here. All the screwed up feelings and messed up family drama. If you wanna know what's been going on lately do please ask. But I'm not going to tell otherwise. I'm trying to live this year without looking back. I really don't want to go over the last month. Nothing HUGE happened so it doesn't really matter anyway. Well other than my Great Great Aunt passing away and me turning 21. The diary gives me something else though. A quick way to generate entries for this thing. OK so here's last night's entry... 

Sadly mon chere, you're not on the list of things I'm overly faithful too. Don't take it personally. I've been having issues on this front lately. I've burnt out. I can't force myself to keep in contact with Kathy despite her daily txt messages. I just open and close them without even reading them. But if you were to see them you'd understand why I'm just teetering on the point of not giving a shit at all. I'm also thinking good and hard about quitting my job. I adore Ethan. I love him to death. But I'm not his mother and I can't be expected to behave as his mother. I've had my hours cut back to only 2 days a week. This is a massive pay cut as well. I went from 200 bucks a week down to 80. Feed for one week is 83. See how this could be a problem? On top of this my hours have changed more in the few weeks since I've been cut to two days more than the year and a half before. Like I have to be at work 7 AM to 3PM tomorrow (July 15th). All his parents do is fight and argue. I get a head ache almost every night before I work just from fretting about what I'm going to walk in on. Its pathetic. They take him out every night, he's in daycare 3 days a weeks, and his cousin has him a lot too. So I"m no longer allowed to take him out. The pool, zoo, park, just running errands? Not allowed. They want him home more. I'd imagine this would be their problem not mine. I'm here 16 hours a week. If they want him home they should stay home with him at night rather than going out to well lit public locations so they can't kill each other. 
I hereby give you permission to shoot me if I ever end up in a relationship like theirs.
UGH I'm so sick of being used. Yes I'm an employee. I'm hired help. So I should take my orders and do them as quickly and to the best of my ability. I shouldn't question, judge, or argue. I should simply act. But at what point does it become less of a paid job and more of a slave chore? I'm fed up! Its bad enough I'm Cinderella at home. That's part of the Good Little Obedient Soldier Syndrome. At home GLOSS isn't a big deal. There is work to be done and I do it. I don't get thanked. I get scolded and lectured plenty on how I didn't do something up to standard but whatever. But I shouldn't get that treatment at work too. 
I have to get a second job after Oktoberfest anyway. I"m considering making it full time. I love Ethan but I decided this year was supposed to be about getting me better. It was supposed to be about working on me. I've taken classes, I'm about to get my book published. I've done really well in some fields but this is one area I've failed. I deserve better. I hate to leave Ethan. I hate to walk away from him. But I'm not his mother. Its not my job to shield him from the fighting. 

I had a long adult chat with Andy. I loved it! I didn't think we'd ever have this talk. It was well over due. I txt him to ask him a question about Ben that I"ll go into more detail about in a moment. But we ended up talking about "us" and why it wouldn't work. It was like that BIG postbreakup conversation you're supposed to have for closure. Funny thing? I feel closer to him now. I feel I can trust him more. Its nice. I really do value his friendship and want to keep him a part of my life. I hate the idea of one day not having him around as awkward as having him around can be some times. 
OK so he Ben thing? My question was if he honestly thought I have a thing for Ben. His answer was yes. I don't know if I do or not. Mom and Katie are on me about it now. Barb (Ben's mom) has already asked me to marry Ben and give her grandkids. I love Ben, no doubt or hesitation there. But is it worth the risk? I don't know. I like logic. I like being able to see things black and white. I usually know exactly how I feel about a guy. But with Ben I'm confused.  I find myself arguing with ... myself. I would be such a huge hypocrite if I were to date Ben. I've always hated people dating their best friend's sibling. Its ridiculous. But Patience is actually OK with the idea. She says we'd be cute together. I have this list of reasons why it wouldn't work but the thing of it is not a single reason on that list is something I wouldn't hold his hand through. His health issues? I'm going to be there in what ever capacity he needs me. His mental health? You better believe I'm there for him. He worries about everything but its actually a bit endearing and there's never been something he's worried about that I've not been able to calm his nerves, even if only for a few minutes, about.  So then I start thinking about some of the things he's done. Like making me laugh with stupid kindergarten jokes. Watching several episodes of Naruto because he loved the show. Drawing over and over and over again because he was determined to teach me to draw. Calling me up cause he was thinking about me the night my horse died and staying on the phone with me for two hours while I cried... and even managing to make me feel better.  He's one of my nearest and dearest friends and life without him just wouldn't be the same. But I really don't see anything changing between us any time soon. We're both quiet people with personal space bubbles that can't be invaded. So for something to change something BIG will have to happen. I don't think Ben's going to steal a kiss while we're out on one of our little walks down the holler while I visit in August. Its not like him. I'd likely punch him for it too. lol

Things have otherwise been about normal. Mom saw the doc yesterday and the surgery she needs they say she's too fat for. UGH! She's smaller than she's been in YEARS. She goes for an MRI this week to get her lower back checked out. Fair starts Monday and Schutezenfest is this weekend. So the next week is going to be insane. I hate that I won't be showing. This is the first time since 1998 that I've not shown anything. I want my life back! I want to go back to that place where I felt normal. UGH... I need to get moving. 


Rain Rain Go Away

 One might think the number of rainy days lately would give me more time to bitch about my life on livejournal. One would be wrong too. Instead it leaves me trudging through the rain and mud to tend animals, pick up trash because the now dog sized opossum keeps knocking over the cans and helping the cats drag it all out, and get real use out of my many hats... I love hats. lol  I'm so sick of rain! I'm so sick of the depressing tired air to pumps my house full of... and being trapped in the house with my fam as often as I am makes it VERY clear our house isn't nearly as big as it was when we moved in. 
While we're on depression related notes I'll do the quick health update oki? OKI!  
Mom's blood pressure is still through the roof. She's considering going to the hospital for it. Mom hates going to the hospital for such but she's one misunderstanding away from a stroke.
 Lois (dad's mom) took Joe (Dad's dad) to the doctor for a check up prepping him to get his pacemaker "at the end of the month" and mentioned that she was having some chest pains and her chest felt heavy. They checked her out and she had heart surgery Tuesday, which was the very next day. She's home now, a bit sore but no worse for the wear. Joe's still getting his pacemaker in the next week or two. No one has given me an exact date yet.  
Grandma called us last Friday to ask if a heart rate of 70 something was normal for a person just sitting down. Mom promptly told her no and that they needed to call the doctor or go to a hospital. Later that night Grandma called back her friend had been admitted to the hospital. A call the next day informed us that the woman's heart stopped three times that night and they'd had to restart it. YAY FOR HEART DISEASE!!!
 Robby went to the doctor earlier this week as well for a sinus infection, I've got one too. Mom had talked to his doctor already about his depression and Robby is now on medications for it. However a fight he and Mom had Wednesday has kept him from coming home. He even brought his car over gave Dad the keys and left.... From what I understand the fight was about Robby not paying his car payments or insurance and having promised Mom he'd give her his whole paycheck minus what he needed for gas and lunches. He's not given her a dime to pay back what he owes her. So she told him he could make the payment this month because she can't afford it, a lie we can afford it things will just be a bit tight. Robby instead chose to park the car, he doesn't have the money. He's also pissed that she didn't pay for him to start a CNA class. He didn't tell her where to write the check out to, what class it was, or even what school he was going to take the class at. He hadn't even gone to see what all he needed to start the class and has blamed it on Mom.
There is also some Chip drama mixed in with all of this. Despite having dumped Robby twice now they're still "best friends", Robby is still paying everything for her .I'm not sure what's going on there. I'm not sure I even want to know. I'm just keeping my nose out of it as much as I can. I don't want involved with any of it.

On a happier note my baby sister turns 18 tomorrow and next week celebrates her 1 year ani with her boyfriend Mike.  They'd have almost 2 years under their belt but they broke up for a little while when Katie's seizure meds were being changed and she decided to make a lot of changes in her life. Very few stuck. I'm still not sure what we're doing for her bday though. Mom and I have been joking about taking her garage saling in the morning, followed by a trip to the zoo to see Barney, he's doing a concert Saturday and Sunday for free, and ending the day with Shrek and Bob Evans. All of these activities she hates with a passion... Other than Shrek. How can anyone hate Shrek? 

I went and saw Barney last year, he was at the zoo in  September and we took Ethan down. I was a MAJOR Barney fan when I was little and never saw him in person. So even at 20 I was a bit excited to see him. It was pretty cool actually. We went on 9/11 and one thing that kept ring in my mind was that for the last several years, since the attacks, no one really dared to gather in such large numbers without some degree of fear. There was even a Muslim family sitting a few rows in front of me and everyone treated them just like everyone else. It was one of those brief moments when you realize humans do have a few good traits. I really enjoyed the trip. Animals, Barney, a day with my mom, Ethan in a good mood, sunshine...it was a good day. I even got a ridiculous number of photos of Barney.

So next week I have Elizabeth's birthday, Katie and Mike's Ani, Grandma comes home from Florida, and a continuation of the recent dramas. I'm 21 June 7th but that's still a little bit off yet. 
OH! I ALMOST FORGOT!!!! June 19th is the official kickoff to the fair season for my county! I'm soooooooooooo excited. June 19th is livestock interviews for the 4-H kids. Our actual fair isn't until July but interviews are how you know summer is in full gear. I can't wait! County fairs every week leads into Oktoberfests every weekend! There is nothing like a hot summer day, country, polka, and classic rock, good friends, and the celebration of another year's hard work. I love it! I even plan to put some photos in the county fairs art show. Oooo Maybe I can finish one of my doll houses to enter too! I need to go look up when I have to have all that ready to enter for the State fair.
Can you tell I was raised in fairs and oktoberfests? I live for this season. Winter and Spring are horrible seasons. I can't wait for them to be over so things get warm and dry again. It's hard to grill, camp, clean out barns, put up fences, go to West Virginia or any other of my favorite passtimes when the weather is cold and wet and just icky. 

Mom and I are currently plotting to got to WV to see our friends. We'll likely go in June. One because its sort of a b-day present. Two because Mom actually got in the car yesterday morning and headed that direction before she realized we had a 4-H meeting that night and no one to pick me up from work. She needs to get away. I need to get away and a weekend in WV with our best friends sounds perfectly amazing. I'm considering talking Mom into visiting once a month from June until the weather gets cold. Its a 5-6 hour drive, we take off when I get off work Friday night and arrive between 11 and midnight. Then we leave for home after lunch Sunday. Though usually far later than we plan because we honestly just don't want to leave. 

On the photography class and diet front things are about the same. Eating less junk, I don't stop moving until I go to bed usually close to 1AM. Photography is pretty easy. Learning to use all the features on my camera. Did I mention I bought myself a new camera? I love it! I didn't pay as much as Lois paid for the one she got me for Christmas and its better. Of course I got it on sale. I still use the camera Lois got me. I carry them both around. I need to get a bigger camera bag. Hmm wonder if I can talk Mom into going to Walmart today? 
Ethan just woke up so I need to run. I'll try to be back soon.

Catchin' Up

 Its been a little while since I posted an entry. With good reason though...well two good reasons and a really bad one. 1: I try not to say things online I'll later regret and with everything going on I wasn't sure how well I'd mind my self. 2 Things have been absolutely nuts and I've not had a whole lot of time to catch ya'll up. 3: I'm just that lazy.

OK so what's been going on? I'll give you a person by person of the minidramas that I've had to abide by. 

Robby and Chip/Lindsey. Almost two weeks ago she dumped him. I don't know how it came about I just know she told him he was a "possessive controlling asshole". This is true. But they were both crazy when it came to one another. They had to know where the other was at ALL times. She pulled his strings just as much as he pulled hers. As for the ass thing Robby's always been an ass. She knew that when she started going out with him. In any case he was suicidal over the break up. Couple days later they got back together and then she dumped him again Wednesday. WTH? Right? I don't know. Robby and I don't talk and I"m not sure what breakup protocol is. Under the circumstances of the first breakup I was willing to still be her friend. After the second breakup and with the way she's now treating Robby I'm not sure I can be friends with her. Robby's an ass. I absolutely hate him some days but he's my little brother. I raised the kid. You don't get to treat him like shit and then expect me to be your friend. 

Mom... Ha! OK so Mom's now on the verge of an honest to goodness nervous breakdown. The doc just switched all her meds around trying to get her blood-pressure under control. She's just so stressed out between all this post-wreck stuff, Robby, and I  have no idea what's going on with Dad but something is def going on there. Oh and Grandma is in FL for the month with her best friend. Two women in their 70's who are starting to lose their minds on a road trip? Yeah its something to be a little worried about. So if you see a silver new model Impala driving around lost in the Tampa area with two older women in it, one smoking like a chimney that's Grandma and Wanda. They should be closely followed by a German couple in their 50's, and an older English couple. Have fun.

Ben...I"m not even sure I can talk about Ben. I highly doubt he'll ever see this but. I love  Ben. I hate putting anything out in the open that I know he doesn't want others to know. Let's just leave it as he's having a lot of trouble right now. Stuff I can help him with but not from 6 hours away. If I just lived up the road a few days spent wandering the woods of his property and talking and joking like we do on my rare visits would have him set straight. But as it is he's having some coping problems.

So where does all of this leave me? Well for the last 3 weeks I've had a head ache every night, sometimes it even carries on following me through the day. I'm stressed out. I'm tired. I have no local friends and my online friends are wrapped up in end of the school year stuff, work, or their own dramas so I rarely get to unload on them. I don't know what to do most the time. It seems like all I do is work. I have Ethan all day, then go home to laundry, dishes, and 2 hours of animals to tend. I'd kill to know how the dishes get dirty when no one is ever home to eat. I currently suspect gnomes. Katie does nothing but bitch at me. She says I do nothing. I got so fed up with everything Wednesday that I wrote up a list of things I'm responsible and offered to pay 200 bucks rent along with doing the things on my list. Mom refused it. She says I should just ignore everyone else. Its funny. When I was being picked on at school I was told to ignore everyone. They'll lose interest and go away. It never really works though.

I'm halfway through my first photography class. I really should cut this short while Ethan's sleeping so I can work on my lessons. But I'd much rather be writing. Its been so long since I sat down and just wrote. I miss it desperately. 
Oh and with Chip gone the diet thing has been put on hold. I'm still minding what I eat, walking as much as possible. But I don't have time for the "workout" stuff right now. I need to get the basement back in order and everything else in my life settled back into some form of normalcy. 
OK I really ought to go now. I promise not to take so long on the next entry.

Guilt or Worry

 OK so this entry won't have my inches listed at the bottom because I've yet to pull out my sewing box to get the tape. But on the diet front this was a bad weekend. I helped Mom grill out at TSC as a fundraiser for the 4-H club. Its hard to resist free food when its you or the trash. But Chip and I still did something exercise-y everyday. 

One of those activities brings me to the title of this entry. She and I have been cleaning out the basement so she and Robby can move in. Half of the basement is my bedroom there is no wall or divider down here of any sort. The theory is we'll be putting up a wall and sectioning this off to make a sort of apartment for them. It sort of pisses me off that for three years I've been waiting for a wall and not gotten one. It pisses me off that No one asked me about them moving in until the offer and decision had already been made. I get it. I'm single. So I don't NEED the wall to hide me having sex. They need a place to stay that they can afford plus going to college. I get it. But still it pisses me off.
I suppose Lindsey/Chip hit the nail on the head with two things she's said this week. First she told me that Robby confessed that Mom always took care of everything and if Mom didn't do it he didn't have to worry because Sarah ALWAYS took care of everything for everyone. The second was when she was asking me to do something and got interrupted several times by the family telling me to do things. She said "You're kinda the family slave huh?" I laughed that off told her "No I'm Cinderella, just without a Prince Charming."   On any given day I don't do at least a dozen things I had wanted because I'm doing for everyone else. At this point there is no telling them no. I'm not even told anymore I'm just expected to act. If I see something they haven't completed I'm just supposed to step up and do it. Then keep my mouth shut and eyes averted as they scold me for not doing the other things, my chores. 

So here I sit  with this gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach. I know this feeling.This is the feeling I got when I lied about eating the Girl Scout cookies I was supposed to sell. This is the feeling I got when Mom brought pizza to me on recess. This is the feeling that keeps me honest on the straight and narrow road to a nice quiet funeral with people who mourn more for the scapegoat than the person.I hate this feeling.  Mom says its just nerves. A lot is changing and I'm just nervous. Maybe that's true. I hate change. I hate  it with a passion.  But still I can't help but feel there is something more to it. The change isn't all bad. I'll FINALLY be getting a bedroom wall, having them constantly in my space will encourage me to spend more time at the farm. So the barn will get shoveled out, cages will be cleaned as they're supposed to be, rabbits will be bred again, photos will be taken.  I'll do more of the stuff over there I've always wanted to do. But I'll be doing these things as a way to avoid them. 

I'm looking now for a large shed I can afford to build and live in next to the house. I can't afford to move out. Even if I could I don't drive so I'd just be stuck in my apartment somewhere constantly. I want my space back and I've not even lost my space until the 31st. I can't decide if this feeling is guilt over hating that they're moving in or worry that we'll be sharing close space or maybe its a bit of both. I just know I hate the feeling and I hate them moving in. Don't get me wrong, I like Chip/Lindsey well enough and Robby is my little brother no matter how horrible he his to me I'll do anything to keep him well. But I'm not at all thrilled about giving up my space. They're going to cost me a LOT. They'll have full control of the basement tv. So I'll have to buy my shows on itunes or something just in order to watch them. I know most of them are posted on their channel's webpage but I don' t know if Bones and House will be posted on FOX's site... Though those may get some protection since they're Mom's shows. I'm going to have to keep all my stuff out of MY shower so that it doesn't get "misplaced". I'm going to have to give up one of the two bedroom suits in my bedroom. My bedroom suit is simply a bed an a chest of drawers. So I'll have to throw  out/donate clothes just in order to fit back into my one chest while they get the second bed, dresser, wardrobe, and mirrors.

What REALLY irks me is that no one asks me what I think of any of this, or if I'm even willing to part with any of my stuff until the offer has already been made and is in the final stages of consideration, when its gone too far for my reluctance or refusal to matter. No one has ever asked me if I wanted to do the right and responsible thing. Its just assumed that I want to with all my being. Why? Because when Dad was working constantly and Mom was sick I stepped up to the plate and raised my siblings and took care of my parents. I cooked dinner, did laundry, correctly did Robby and Katie's chores, helped them with their homework, and all so that I could be up until 2 AM doing my own homework. I've always sacrificed myself for them so they just assume its what I want to do. I hate it. They don't ask they just take. Soon as I get a wall and door my door will be locked! When I'm in it it will be locked. When I'm gone it will be locked. I may just move the ferrets and doves out of my room so that I don't have to worry about what will happen to them if there's a fire. 

I don't know but dwelling on all of this is making me want to eat so I"m going to go do something while Ethan naps. 

Weight: 228

Friends and Weight Loss

I'm not going to be shy about this on here cause if you were to see me in person its rather obvious. I'm fat.  I'm about 5 foot 3. I weigh 220 give or take depending on what's going on this month. My shirts range from L to XXL and my pants are usually 16's. Now I was blessed with my great Aunt Helen's figure.  She was a big girl too but still had attractive curves. At least this is what I'm told. She passed away when my mom was very young and I find very little about myself that could be construed as attractive.
When I was 18 I lost 50 lbs during a bout of depression that followed a role reversal, my grandpa's death, and reaching size 22 in jeans.  I was then looking at being well over 300 lbs before my 19th birthday. I take a bit of pride in having lost so much weight and kept it off for two years. But now its time to move on down to a smaller size. The last two years I've made a few attempts to further my weight loss but they always fall apart after a couple weeks. I can just about squeeze into a 14 and reward myself  then the whole thing falls apart. 

This week my brother's girlfriend Lindsey/Chip and I have gotten to know each other and have been hanging out. I won't share her size or weight but I will tell you that she's bigger than doctors would deem healthy, but not to my level of obese just yet. She's been trying for some time to lose weight but lacks self control. So we've decided to team up.
She's going to be in my life a while, since she and my brother are talking marriage. So we figure we've got to either be friends or enemies and none of us want our possible future children to have relationships, or lack there of, like we did with our family. I like Lindsey. We have a lot in common. Being friends with her seems almost effortless. She does say or do things that remind me so much of my brother I have to suppress the urge to reach out and smack her Gibbs style  the way I would do him.

Why am I bringing all of this up? Well partially because its been... 7th grade was the last time I had a non-computer friend. So I'm excited but also because this is all going to be a HUGE part of my life for a while. Lindsey and I have challenged each other to lose weight. Who ever loses the most in 2 months buys the other dinner. Simple and sweet. We're not going to be all cut throat about it though. We're sharing websites, tricks, and making plans to buy healthier foods and cook together as I write this. 

From what I've read so far a female my height should weigh 111-148 lbs. That means I have 72 lbs to lose to get into that zone. My personal goal? I want to be under 200 lbs. I haven't been under 200 lbs since I was 14. That's sort of a HUGE deal for me. If I could wear 12's I'd be thrilled. So by Christmas I'd like to be there. Sounds fair no? You shouldn't lose more than 3 lbs every 2 weeks. This means in a "healthy" manner neither Lindsey or myself should lose more than 24 lbs in the two month length of our challenge. It should take me 6 months at the steady pace of 3 lbs a week to reach 148. I'm not going to aim for that as my goal. I like small obtainable goals. 

I need to run because Ethan is grumpy today. So from here on out my "personal" entries are going to end with my weight and measurements....Soon as I get the exact numbers.

Later dudes 

If you can't say nothin' nice

So I've kept myself off of here  the last few days with good reason. Last Friday one of my goats died. Two years go this time I had 18 goats, now I have 2.  Some of these deaths are understandable. All my goats were old, goats live about the same as a dog 10-15 years. For the most part mine were all in that range. Felina we discovered, after her death that she had ovarian cancer.  So she can be written off as understandable and "normal". Aden was pushing 15 and had Caprian Arthritis which was crippling her, her death too was completely understandable. Rosie grieved herself to death as her family died off, though in the end I think she, like the others was being poisoned. 

I've had goats since I was 10 or 11. In all those years we NEVER had two goats go down at the same time, other than when the deer lice infected the whole herd but we only lost one young kid before we realized what was going on and treated the lice. There were always occasional deaths. When you have 20 of any animal of varying ages and background life expectancy is going to be different for each. Its just a fact of life on a  rescue farm.  In the last two years most of my goats have gone down in 2s or 3s, completely fine one day. Happy, eating, drinking, prancing about, eager to greet me at the gate. Then the next day when I go over to tend them they're down and can't stand up. They're coughing, You can HEAR the fluid building up in their lungs. Painfully slowly they drown this way. All with in 24 to 48 hours. Now one to go down like this I could assume that it got a hold of something it shouldn't have. But as they don't ALL go down at the same time, during the same time of year, I can assume its not a plant. The conditions of the pen aren't the same when they go down. 

Other than the illness itself there are other things each of theses deaths have in common. Star, the first, died the day I had my wisdom teeth removed, a day I would NOT be at the farm. The next two went down the week I was helping with set up for our Oktoberfest. Again and again the death's take place while my family isn't home and my trips to the farm will be VERY quick. The sort of trips where short cuts are taken and the time I usually spend sitting with them is completely used up on other things. Now, this would simply mean that if they're being poisoned, as it seems very likely to most who know goats, by someone who knows the family well enough to know when they're busy. So making  short list of people who know the family so well, I won't share the list, we began testing it. Slowly working people off the list. The remaining person on the list is ALWAYS at the farm the whole day before they fall sick, when they fall sick, and suddenly spend several days away after the death.  He makes himself look rather guilty. His first topic of conversation every time we meet is that I'm too old to tend the farm now and should just get rid of the animals. He's even come up with people who would like to eat goat and rabbit.  

There is no solid proof though that he is the one guilty of these deaths. There is merely my gut and my grade school detective work. So I've kept myself away from Livejournal the last few days because this person is a member of my family and I live in constant fear that he'll be shown something I've said about him out of anger. He controls too many things that are dear to me to risk pushing him further.

So the last few days, other than Precious dying, have been pretty good. Friday Mom, Katie, Dalton, Ethan and I went up to Young's Jersey Dairy and met up with some of my cousins. It was pretty cool and we plan to meet up with them again in for a trip to the Cinci Zoo. This is family from Mom's mom's side. Due to the number of alcoholics and several family feuds no one has spoken to them in nearly 40 years. So its been interesting getting to know them this last year. At least the ones who are decent and had nothing to do with lying about where and when my great grandfather was being buried. 

Easter was fairly decent. No fights or freak outs like usual. We've had Dalton a lot lately since he's on Spring Break. Its been interesting. He's kind of become a brat being away from us. Mom's really pushing the tough love thing right now. Robby, Chip, and Mike have been around a fair bit too. Last night I was late to meet up with someone online because I was sitting out on the porch with Mom, Katie, Robby, Mike, and Chip just BSing. Chip is wanting to hang out. I'm not completely sure about this. But what could it really hurt to have lunch with her and catch a movie? Or since she's wanting to lose weight, and we both need to, just going to the bike trail or the historic part of town and walking. I'm confused, I've not had a friend since I was 12 what do I do with them? I'm  pretty sure I'm too old for slumber parties where we watch Titanic and laugh uncontrollably when one of us announces that Rose was a bitch for not taking turns with Jack on the floating door thing.
Oh well.  Ethan is pushing buttons on they keyboard so I better go entertain him.  

Writer's Block: Luddites unite!

Are you worried about where technology will lead us? Do you think it's possible that civilization may someday turn away from technology altogether for the betterment of humankind?

I think we've all seen those Sci-Fi films where your toaster attacks and kills you because its become self aware...You know the toaster is kind of a whore...Don't ask where that came from.  Yet still we are pushing deeper into the technological age.  When I think about this I think of technology as a double edged sword. On one side it helps us more than we will ever care to admit. How lost would many of us be without our GPS? What about medically? Can you imagine the world without pacemakers? But on the other side how many hours do you spend outside on an average day? Lets compare that to the number of hours your parents spend outside a day. We all know how HUGE that difference is so I know you're stuttering a million different excuses right now right? 

To answer the question I don't think we'll ever completely be able to walk away from all this tech. In many ways this is a good thing, but in many others it will lead us down a horrible road.

Growing up my mom locked my siblings and I outside in the summer. The TV was unplugged until Dad got home from work, when we'd all gather 'round watch The Simpsons the the evening news.  If an 8 year old came up to you today and told you their mom locks them outside in the summer you'd be calling Child Protective Services. That kid should be inside in the air conditioning playing computer games right? Is that how you spent your summers? I know its not how your parents and grandparents spent theirs.

I'm 21 this summer. I grew up on a farm.  I ate dirt, washed my hands in the creek, rode my bike without a helmet. I slayed Darth Vader one summer when my brother and I used sticks as lightsabers. We both came out with welts an bruises but we had fun. The next day we said those marks were caused by the armies of monsters in the woods that wanted to eat us! We didn't see a shrink the next week either. What was your favorite game as a child? Now what is your kid's favorite game? Are you a little disturbed to find that while as an 10 year old you were in love with baseball while your 10 year old is in love with WoW? If you're not you should be. 

When I look at tech as a tool for medical and scientific needs I love it! When its used as a tool its amazing! But when used as a toy I think its harming us. Slowly poisoning us all.  Its great that we can talk to people across the world! One of my best friends lives in Australia and I live in Ohio! In December I had a voice chat with a boy from South Carolina and  one from Colorado all without leaving my bedroom. We talked about books, writing, and pets. It was actually really cool. Being able to talk to people all over the world is a wonderful thing. You can share experiences and no one has to be alone any more. Did anyone else see the Private Lives episode of House MD? What was it the patient said? UGH I can't think of it but basically it was that no matter how strange and rare your interest is with the internet you can find 3 other people who enjoy the same thing! I love that.
But I think its something we need to be aware of and careful with. technology is like...pain killers.  Addicting and dangerous if you're not careful. But at the same time its amazing and helpful. 

So even if technology goes wonky, become self aware, and we have to kill it or become slave to it I can't see us ever fully getting rid of it. We are already its slave. We need it and it needs us. Right now this is a good relationship, but how long until it becomes a parasitic one? When it does happen who is the parasite: Mankind or Technology?

Rabbit Facts

This is your warning. The rest of this entry will be a girl bitching about morons and showing off everything she's learned raising rabbits for 13 years!

I also want to wish Papaw a happy birthday! You may not be around for us to see, hear, and hug any more but you'll always be in our hearts! I love you and miss you. I promise to bring lots of bait when we meet again we'll be long over due for a fishing trip.

OK guys. Easter is Sunday and thanks to bit of German mythology about the goddess of spring we associate this holiday with rabbits. I have no problem with this. My heritage is German-Cherokee, I love mythology, I'm Catholic.  So Easter is a pretty neat holiday for me...when family is removed from it. But it seems I'm always very irked by the time Easter Sunday rolls around. Why? Because the week or two leading up to the Easter Bunny's visit news articles are pasted up, flyers are handed out in your local feed and pet stores. Rabbits are EVERYWHERE! 

Now don't get me wrong. I love rabbits. I've shown them since I was 9 years old. I got my first rabbit shortly after turning 8. I've had as many as 200 rabbits in my barn at a time in the last 13 years. I've bottle fed them. I've raised them for show, fur, meat, and pets. For many years I was a member of the American Rabbit Breeder's Association (ARBA). I would be a judge for ARBA already had my membership not lapsed when Papaw got sick around time to renew it. So this entry is going to done kind of in bullet points. I'll name something people are commonly told or believe about rabbits and tell you if it is true or false and if its false I'll explain, as nicely as I can, why you're a flaming moron for believing it. OK? OK! Let's Git-R-Done!

1: Rabbits eat lots of veggies and leafy greens

FALSE! The American Cottontail, you know those brown wild rabbits that are running around in your back yard does eat lots of greens and may even raid your garden. But the American Cottontail and the domestic rabbit are two different species. The cotton tail is able to eat these mostly because clean water isn't always available. There is a VERY high water content in things like cabbage. Domestic rabbits have one of the most sensitive digestive systems in the animal kingdom. But we all know too much water can lead to the runs.
Please only feed your rabbit RABBIT FOOD. Treats such as apples, carrots, hay, stale bread, banana, and some grass are fine but remember these are treats. Just like you can't live on candy bars rabbits can't live on treats. Do not feed your rabbit treats if it is UNDER 6 months of age as their digestive system won't be fully prepared to handle the treats and you can give them diarrhea. This can quickly become deadly. So listen carefully to what I'm about to tell you. IF your rabbit has diarrhea provide LOTS of clean fresh water you don't want to add dehydration to your list of problems. Remove all treats and food. Now you want to provide LOTS of roughage like hay. Also give them oats. Quaker cooking oats like you use for oatmeal will be perfect. Replace their food with the oats. This should help.

2: You pick a rabbit up by its ears.

FALSE! I swear if I ever see you doing this I'll pick you  up by your ears!  You WILL break the rabbit's ears, cause it to freak out and likely break its back. The proper way to pick a rabbit up is by its scruff, yes it often helps if you get the ears in the same handful of flesh. Once you have the ears and scruff in your hand scoop up its rear end with your other. If the rabbit's butt is supported and it doesn't have to fear being dropped it won't freak out as easily. This will prevent you from being scratched. But please remember rabbits are prey animals. They scare easy. Its just in their nature. You try having every meat eating creature with 2LBS on you chasing you around to turn you into dinner for a few centuries and tell me how comfortable you'll be when one of those creatures decides to make you a house pet. 

I'm going to share with you a trick now. Rabbits aren't overly intelligent creatures. Don't get me wrong they can be really smart to their owner. But that's like me saying my cat is smart when she attacks the mirror on a regular basis because she doesn't like the other cat. in the mirror. Keep an understanding of what animal intelligence is. NOW with this in mind here is the trick. If you cover a rabbit's eyes it will think it is completely hidden and safe. So if your rabbit is spazzing out cover its eyes. It will help. To this effect when carrying your rabbit don't carry it like a baby, specially if you're around your dog, loud noises, or aren't familiar with the animal yet. Instead I want you to tuck it under your arm and carry the rabbit like a football. Why? Because with its head tucked under you're arm its eyes are covered, you also will have it pressed against you securely and your hand will be supporting its rump. Hidden and fully supported your rabbit will feel safe. 

3: Finding a vet to treat rabbits is simple.

FALSE! For years we have done medical research ON rabbits but never FOR rabbits. So we do NOT have any ideas on how to treat rabbits. Do you understand? Rabbit breeders can often give you advice on how to treat your rabbit if it is ill. If you have questions about a rabbit's health feel free to contact me! I beg you to contact me. If I don't have an answer I WILL find you one. This is a promise I make on a regular basis when selling a rabbit or teaching younger/new breeders. It is one I have always come through on. For a very simple reason. I love knowing. I get high on knowing. If there is something I don't know and am questioned about I will not rest until I do know.  

Now beyond basic health there are a few other things you'll be told to go to a vet for with your rabbit. The big one that pisses me off is that people, EVEN ANIMAL PLANET, will tell you that your rabbit needs spayed/neutered. I have had people come to me telling me that they were told if they don't spay their rabbit it will get cancer unless they breed it. This isn't true. Yes in humans woman who don't have children have a higher risk of getting breast cancer. But this hasn't been proven in rabbits. More importantly the risk isn't significant enough to risk the rabbits life if it were proven.  We haven't done medical research FOR rabbits which means we don't have a safe method of putting them under to do surgery. When a vet preforms surgery on a rabbit they gas the rabbit, too much will kill the rabbit, not enough will let it wake up during surgery. We don't know the proper amount because no one has officially researched it.

4: Unbred rabbits get aggressive.

TRUE/FALSE... Confused? Here's the deal, just like people rabbits occasionally need something to take the edge off. Breeding them is the best way to do this, true. Its natural. Having your rabbit fixed is an extremely risky business. If you don't want to breed your rabbit and love it too much to risk killing it with surgery you still have options. If you have a purebred buck you may be able to contact your local 4-H extension office or FFA group they can likely point you in the direction of a local breeder who may be interested in breeding your buck.  I don't promise anything here. Your rabbit may be unattractive to a breeder not meeting the Standards of Perfection given to us by ARBA, so breeders won't want your rabbis genes in their pool. Don't lose hope. A frozen water bottle makes for happy bucks too, just don't let the little ones see this unless you're prepared with an explanation as to why Mr. Hoppy is humping the water bottle. A stuffed animal will do the trick too. Now for females you're a little out of luck. BUT rabbits tend to only breed in the spring and fall. WHY? Summer is too hot and rabbits are trapped in a fur coat. No one wants to be carrying 6 babies and wearing a fur coat in July. If they do they  need to seek medical attention! Winter is too cold. The adult rabbits won't mind but baby bunnies are born without fur, sight, or hearing. They are about the size of your thumb. They can freeze easily so Mother Nature has a plan! Rabbits aren't very receptive in the winter and in the summer when you have 3 days 80 degrees F or higher your buck can temporarily go sterile.

5: Rabbits need friends.

FALSE Rabbits are not social/herd animals. The mother only stays with the young until they are weaned between 4-8 weeks, though to be safe most breeders won't sell until the baby is at least 6 weeks of age. Rabbits are territorial. They WILL eat each other alive! If you are not prepared to tell your four year old why Bugs is now red and Mr. Hoppy has pink stuff hanging out of his belly, is missing an ear/tail, or otherwise maimed please do not leave rabbits alone together unsupervised. As a general rule its okay to leave two rabbits in a cage together. You'll see extra fur in the cage if they start fighting. It usually takes a few fights before maiming starts. I have seen a litter of rabbits at 10 weeks old turn on each other and eat the intestines out of another rabbit. After you throw up from this sight have fun cleaning it up and explaining it to the kids.
Females left in with males can cause some fun problems too. Depending on the breed of rabbit you have rabbits can start breeding anywhere between 4 months and 9 months of age. The smaller the rabbit's adult size the sooner it can breed. Netherland dwarves the smallest recognized breed can start reproducing at 4 months old, sometimes earlier as like everything else puberty hits them at different ages, while your Flemish Giant who can weigh more than 15 LBS as an adult may not be able to reproduce until she is 9, 10, or even 12 months old! If the male is still with the female when she gives birth she will eat the young to prevent him from harming them. If a female rabbit senses danger to her young her instinct is to eat them so don't handle the babies any more than you have to and if you do handle them rub her nose with a drop or two of vanilla extract. By the time this scent rubs off her babies will smell like her again. If you have questions about breeding from how to to how do you know contact me. I don't bite and I love to talk shop. 
Some males are a little over excited at the chance to breed and don't exactly hop on the right end. This has been known to end with the doe biting off the male's penis. Its a painful lesson, one that will end up with him being put down. So if you're trying to breed your rabbit, the doe goes to the buck's cage, you put her in rear first and stay a moment. I know it seems a little pervy. But honestly I'd rather stay close by to correct him than have the doe take a bite out of him. 

Now I'll tell you some cool fun stuff. 

Rabbits enjoy running around and hopping. If you have a pet rabbit I'll bet it would get a kick out of running around your house. Rabbits can be house trained, they tend to only go to one place to use the bathroom so keep an eye out for that place and you can box train your rabbit just like your cat!
Rabbits teeth grow constantly through out their life. This is why they like to chew. Give your rabbit a stick or wooden block to chew on. Make sure the wood is  untreated though. There are products readily avalible with a bitter taste to spray on things you don't your ferret or puppy to chew you can use this for your rabbit too. So make sure your computer and phone cords are safe.
Rabbits are not rodents. The difference is a double cutting edge on the rabbits upper front teeth! Cool huh? Rabbits are actually Lagamorpha, this is a Greek word meaning hair shaped. 
Rabbits are nocturnal. This means they eat and play at night, while sleeping during the day. So they may  not be a great room mate. 
A rabbit shouldn't be given any more to eat than what they can in in 15 minutes! A good rule of thumb is if you're rabbit is under 6lbs to give them 1/2 a cup of food if they're over a whole cup. 
If you're rabbit is over weight a good trick is to put a board up in the cage with food on one side and water on the other so the rabbit has to hop over the board to get to food or water forcing it to exercise. Also the rabbit will enjoy playing with toys. The wooden blocks with a bell you hang in your bird cage are a good toy or golf balls. The ball they will chase around, cat toy balls with the bell is good too if the bell doesn't drive you bonkers. While the wooden blocks hanging will get your rabbit to stand on its hind legs go reach it.
Rabbits molt! This means when the weather warms up they shed their winter coat. Unlike cats and dogs rabbits do not vomit. So if they get a hair ball you're going to have a dead rabbit rather than a nasty pile of vomit to clean. How do you know if you'r rabbit is eating too much fur?Its poop will be held together like a string of beads. How do you help you rabbit pass fur balls? Simple! Stale bread helps some. Dehydrated banana chips work too. But the most recommended is papaya! You can get tablets from your pharmacy. One tablet a day will work wonders and the rabbit thinks its a treat. So treat your rabbit during molt or when you breed her. As a doe will pull her own fur out from around her teets to make a nest for her babies and expose the teet to make nursing easier. 

Rabbits make great pets! If you want to learn to show contact your local 4-H or FFA program for information if you're a child and if you're an adult I suggest going to the ARBA website! It has loads of information on shows near you. Its a great way to spend a weekend and is family friendly! I hope you enjoy your rabbit and if you have any questions contact me! Every year two weeks after easter thousands of rabbits are taken to the pound, released into the wild, or killed because someone bought them for their child as an Easter present and wasn't properly educated. Always do you're homework before purchasing a something that is going to be a part of you're daily life for a long while. A well cared for bunny can live up to 15 years though most only live about 5. So this is something that is going to be in your life for a while. Make sure you know what you're getting in to. If you do it can be a very worth while experience for you and your children. 
I hope I've been helpful. I know writing this has certainly helped me vent some of my frustrations. 

Books and Reading

 So the perfect picture when it comes to someones reading history is that they develop a deep love of reading while their parents read them a bed time story every night. The story is supposed to calm and relax them by teaching them that some where out there is a hero just waiting to be called to duty. Evil will always be conquered by good. True love solves all problems. Pixie dust and happy thoughts make you fly unless you're from Krypton then you're just naturally "special". 
I can recall few nights that my parents read to me. In fact the only time I REALLY remember it my siblings and I were all sleeping in a large makeshift bed of blankets and pillows on the living room floor because the heater was broken and that was as close as we could get to the fire place. 100 year old farm house have their issues you know? Dad sat in a kitchen chair, we had all the usual living room furniture blocked off, and was reading us The Hobbit. I assume he had read it to us on many nights before this one because this was the part where Bilbo is deep in the goblin's mountain and is challenging Gollum with riddles. I drifted off soon after Bilbo escaped the mountain and made it back to the dwarves. 
But I've always loved reading. My parents love reading. My grandparents love reading. As long as I can remember thick volumes have been scattered everywhere. The right book can make a house seem homey. They're old friends. They wrap you up in their arms and hold close letting you relax and let go. Drift off into a whole new world. There are many pictures of myself reading to my siblings when they were newborns. The book is usually upside down but the pride and joy on my face as I babble on some tale that causes me to giggle or my eyes to get wide with mock horror is far to evident. I was a bit of a ham when I was little. 
I was reading before I started Kindergarten. My favorite books of the time being Bob Books.( www.bobbooks.com)  They were cute little stories maybe ten pages long and only the size of an index card. I could easily read four or five of them in a sitting, and for a girl with an eye patch and thick 80's style glasses this was one hell of a feat. I don't remember my first chapter book. Once I got in school there was always assigned reading that killed most of the pleasure of reading. Then came second grade book reports. Reading was fun again. I had to read a lot so I could pick the perfect book to report on. Something the rest of the class would never have read. I love the Amelia Badelia books. But I met a new level of love when I stumbled across Meet Samantha, an American Girl book. Historical fiction amazed me. Dad had always enjoyed PBS and at the time we only had 4 stations on any sort of consistent level, PBS FOX WB and a religion channel.  When we really wanted to fight the TV we could get ABC and CBS but that was rare. PBS had the clearest picture so I had grown up watching a LOT of documentaries. I loved it. When I discovered historical fiction I discovered a way to sink into the past the way I thought you could only do when the people on PBS did their reenactments. I tore through the first few Samantha books then moved on to Felicity. By then I was in third grade and old enough to handle Dear America. The Dear America series was diaries written by girls between 9-18 in various points of American history. In the back of each book was a summary of the years that the diary had taken place during. Later these books would count as a MASSIVE portion of my history classes. From Dear America I moved on to fantasy in 5th grade when Mrs. Dillow read The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe to us. The two years that followed I didn't read much. I started public school and was caught up in a funk. I managed to read the required reading and the full Narnia series, but that was about it. 
When I was 14 I started my first year of homeschooling. This was when books became living breathing creatures to me. I quickly read every age appropriate book we owned. I was always ready to go to the book store or library to get another. Most of these were historical fiction and fantasy. It was during this time I met Harry Potter, who for a fictional orphan boy impacted my life more than he should ever have been allowed. I went from reading 6 books a year to reading 23 my first year of being homeschooled. By the time I graduated highschool I was reading any where from 25 to 100 books a year. 
How? That's what sparked this entry. I stayed up ALL night. These were the years that I became nocturnal. I would have my school work, animals, and chores done as early as possible then from 9 or 10 PM until 4 or 5 AM I would read. Even when I was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open, I had ordered myself to read at least one chapter a night. After a few pages I was wide awake. My mind was off! I was someone else somewhere else doing something that just wasn't possible for an overweight, homeschooled, farm girl, from Nowhere Ohio. 
All of this had been known facts to me. Its my life so of course I knew all of it. But it wasn't until I crawled in bed at 11 last night, not having slept more than 45 minutes at a time the night before, and completely exhausted that I realized what kept me up all those nights with my flashlight and books. Last night I picked up Shadow Souls and checked the length of the next chapter I had to read. It was only 10 pages so I read it.  Then I was awake until 2 AM promising myself just one more chapter then I'd go to bed. 
Why is it that as children a book puts us to sleep but when we get older they gain the ability to keep us awake? I can't stay awake in cars either. But often on long car trips when I wanted to stay awake and see the scenery I'd bring along a book and get so caught up in the book that I missed the whole trip, but I managed to stay awake. 
This was a rather pointless entry to anyone who may read it but I needed to get it out of my head. My mind is boggled. I'd promise now never to do this again but its not a promise I can keep. I haven't any friends offline so I have to find a way to release these rants. Its why I'm using Livejournal. I need to drain off the excess thought, and I need to keep writing. So this only seemed natural. 
I'm off for now though, two nights without sleep (even after I closed the book I was awake nearly every hour on the hour), has left me VERY tired so I'm going to try and catch a few Z's before Ethan wakes up.