Trying times March 2020

Here in the United States, as with the rest of the world we find ourselves in a unprecedented situation. That said, I would like to welcome the world to “my world”.  As an agoraphobia sufferer I spend my life…”at home”. Every day, 24/7, week after week. month after month.

For almost everyone of you this concept is new (not leaving your home). I am hearing stories about the frustration many are feeling and it has only been less than a week. As of February 2020 it has been 12 YEARS for me.

So that said, you will get just a taste of what it is like to try and get much needed goods and services for your survival at home. You will have a better understanding the difficulty related to being stuck at home when family and friends are in distress for whatever reason. At the very least you will understand the isolation that occurs with this condition.

For me…life has not changed. I get up at the same time, eat my meals at the same time, go to bed at the same time. My laundry and dishes get done, as do my animals get fed and cared for. If it weren’t for them I would not leave the house to even venture outdoors. My anxiety jumps 10 fold as I dress to go out the door every time.

What we have in common now is that we are all home and restricted as to travel…just for different reasons. Stay strong. If I can do it for 12 years..you will be able to do it for 3 weeks if need be, or even 3 months. I lived without any income at all for over 2 years. I am grateful that the Federal government is willing to help those who have found themselves without an income. Having had to wait 2 years for a Social Security hearing to just find out if I was going to get approved while I fought off creditors and searched for free food to keep from starving to death in itself just melted my anxiety, panic and agoraphobia into my entire body and brain. I had always held out hope I would get better, but that experience in itself destroyed any hope that was left.

So…take a deep breath, know this will be over soon for all of you and you all will be out there in the world doing what you all do best in no time. Thank you too for reading this post, and giving a bit of thought to those of us who even when restrictions are lifted will still be stuck at home. Stay healthy…stay safe.  🙂

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Winter Farm Activities

It has been a few months since I wrote. As I am sure many can relate to….its been complicated. The kittens have flourished and are tearing the house apart every night trying to escape the dogs chasing them…(it’s a game they play).

This condition sucks.  Abraham Hicks says “you gotta make peace with where ya are….to get to where you want to be”…..did I tell ya this condition sucks? I would love to see them in person to ask a few questions, but since I can’t leave the house, and they do not do private consultations anymore I guess I will have to wait till I “croke”…but by then it won’t make any difference will it? Don’t get me wrong, I like Esther and Abraham Hicks just because 75% of what they say seems to resonate with me. I like Dr. Claire Weekes too, because she seems to get the condition. Dr. Wayne Dyer also speaks to it a bit too in his book, “Wishes Fulfilled” in that he has a chapter on sleep and what our thoughts are as we go to sleep. Other than Esther Hicks…they are all dead. Not a whole lot of encouragement on survival there though…..

It is winter on the farm here in the Northeast. Back about 3 months ago the sun set and went on vacation someplace else. It is probably just as well. My condition seems to have deteriorated significantly over the last year. I used to be able to leave the property for at least short outings which is no longer the case. I can’t even get to my therapist’s office anymore. Days suck and nights are a nightmare. Five panic attacks in one night. My poor body is just being flogged by it all.

About 2 weeks ago some goats came to the farm. They are nigerian dwarf goats, 4 of them, all girls. I have wanted goats all my life. Back about 20 years ago I went to check out a big goat farm near Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, they were looking to sell. They had about 400, and made their own cheese and related goat milk products right there in their own facility on the farm. It was like a dream come true for me…except they wanted more than I could even sell body parts for. Another disappointment to add to the long list I have going. With my condition deteriorating I decided that I would buy these goats so I could at least say I had some before I died. I also thought that they would bring me some joy…(that three lettered swear word in my world), and in their own way they have. It’s tough to sit in the snow and cold to watch them right now but I try to as much as I can. If my head is spinning too much I have to forgo it and get into the house before I pass out…I just do not want to die in a snowbank.

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Had to trim back the old apple tree to satisfy the utility company. Not sure it will survive so I took cuttings and have two dozen started in the kitchen.  Still have some trimming to do, but the weather turned to shit so it will have to wait.They have started to bud out so hopefully they will have good enough roots by mid summer to plant along with the sweet cherry bush cuttings I have started.

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With the goats taking up the old garden pasture a new garden location will have to be prepped this spring. It seems like I have relocated a garden on this property at least 4 times that I can remember (over 30 years). I should be seasoned at it by now, but it is still a lot of work starting over some place else. I do not know if I have it left in me.

Guess it is time for the morning nap as the words on this page are starting to become difficult to see, the dizziness blurs them altogether. Happy Valentines Day to everyone…eat a piece of chocolate for me  <3.

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Animal Magnet

Back on July 22nd I was presented with 2 newborn kittens abandoned by their mother. Over the years I have had hundreds of cats through here, as well as rabbits, chickens, racoons, possums, squirrels and various birds all in need of care taking. For some strange reason I seem to be the “go to” person for animal welfare in my area. I am not a vet, or am I licensed to care for wildlife. Yet…here…we…are.

Having babies in the house…human or animal  is basically the same. Every 2-3 hour feedings, piles of bottles or syringes, cans of formula, purified water in the tea kettle. And laundry…laundry out the ass. It is not an undertaking for the faint of heart that is for sure. After the first week…as all new moms can relate to…I was sleeping, and feeding kittens, sleeping and feeding kittens. No house work, no fully cooked meals, and getting a shower was a activity that took more energy than I had. Another note…this is not cheap either. These 2 have run up a supplies bill of about $250.00.

Sadly most abandoned wild animals do not survive. Wild animals abandon their young for various reasons, but the most common one is their instincts tell them that the baby will not survive due to some health issue. Another is that the new inexperienced mother does not have the skill set yet to care for them.

These two had a shaky first week, but one week turned into 2 and 3, then 4. we are at day 37. The gray kitten took right to solid food, the black one..not so much. yesterday was the first time I saw the black kitten even sniff at it to check it out. But that is good, at least interest is there.

Once we are both on solid food it will be time to look for homes. If they survive its the most heartbreaking part of the process. It’s like giving away one of your kids. I will be so picky about where they go…..I do not know if I will find anyone I trust to take them.

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And so the new day begins.

 

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Life just keeps going on

Its been about 6 months since I have added to the blog. It seems like nothing much ever changes. You would think after 10 years of this torture I could somehow make peace with it all but I can not seem to get there.

After almost a 3 year wait I got my day in social security court and was awarded disability. It took 3 months in bed after that experience to regain my bearings just to get out of bed in the morning. There are times when I do not think I could feel any worse, yet, my body and brain are always seeking more I guess, and instead of better days,. I get worse days. I am so exhausted. Every minute of every day is a friggin struggle.  Abraham Hicks says that as long as we are asking time will go on…but once we stop asking we will have finished our work here, or become so far out of alignment that there is no way to work our way back and will move on. I keep asking to feel better, but I also feel so far off the road that I feel afraid I will croak because I can not find my way back.

I have been listening to some audiobooks by Dr. Judith Orloff , Dr. Ted Zeff , as well as Abraham Hicks. Sometime their words help for the moment…but the moment passes. I need minutes of relief, not just moments. 

Being alone in the house has its own challenges. I still have animals that need tending, and there are days that their care is all I can get done. No garden this year. A rototiller can be a dangerous piece of equipment when your motivating like your trying to walk on a trampoline with someone else bouncing on it and your vision is going the opposite direction. Getting the animals fed and back into the house without drawing blood is the goal of the day.

I had hoped that with the support of social security disability the financial stresses would be eased up and I might fell at least a little better without that added stress. I was wrong. I don’t know if the experience of having to wait so long, then leave the house  to go to court that involved a 2 hour car ride, then sitting before a judge in court, then getting home finally just fried the last inch of decient nerve I had left or what, but it’s been 5 months since court, and I cannot seem to recover.

The other thing I think that is not helping is the false face I feel like I have to wear when dealing with other people. Family, the mail lady, delivery people. All see me as a functional human being, but they only see a few minutes of me, or less than a hour at a time. I am the one that gets into the house and collapses behind the door as soon as I can. Pretending to be someone your not to save face sucks and is exhausting. I don’t even try to explain to them what is going on…hell I do not understand what’s going on with me, how can I begin to try and explain it to people who have no reference point to work with.

Obviously my work here is not done or all this would have killed me long ago. I do not see however the contribution I am making to the world or anyone else in this state. What could I possibly have to offer anyone? I just can’t get off this merry -go-round.

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Let’s talk about Bees

I am a farmer. I try to grow a decent garden each year to support my food usage and supplement my animal feeding bill. I understand the important part bees play in that process. That said, I hate yellow jackets. When I was nine I was following my Dad plowing a field because I was picking out grubs as the dirt turned over to go fishing with. I walked directly into a wasp/hornet nest that was in the ground and overturned and cut in half by the 6 bottom plow. I was stung some 150 times and damn near died.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. The weather is turning colder here and outside critters are looking for someplace warm to winter over. I one day find myself killing yellow jackets in the windows of the house. At first it was just a few, that turned into over 30 in a day.

As a patrolled the outer parameter of my home I came to realize that a nest existed under the house obscured by the front porch. Not being able to get to it I decided to button up from the inside. I expansion foamed every pipe coming out of the floor, caulked every hole, crack or crevice I could find and in desperation walked around with masking tape covering even “possible” holes. Nothing seemed to be doing the job. Last Sunday I got stung walking out to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. Now….its game on.

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Image may contain: grass, tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

I am not one to screw around for very long. I made a few calls and yesterday the porch come off so I can get to the nest.

This porch has been on the front of my home for 25 years. It’s been reconditioned only once. My construction skills put on the table and well done as the porch moved without falling apart.

Today I have situated a shop vac with a water nozzle under the hole of exit and entry to suck up as many as I can before removing the skirting to remove the nest. I will post picks of that step in the next post.

This is my home. I am agoraphobic. It is my safe place. That includes safe from bees.

And so it is….

 

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Extreme downsizing

Well, today has been somewhat heart breaking. Due to the financial situation I find myself in I have canceled my daughters Gerber plan. I have been paying on it since she was born. I have never had a pot to piss in, and wanted to leave something for her, now I can’t even do that. Dropped the homeowners insurance to an amount that would allow me to maybe buy a small camper to live in incase anything happens. And when I say small camper, I am saying small camper. Something to just keep the rain off my back.

The only thing left to turn off is the lights and basic internet. I need electric to run the pump in the well so that will be the last to go. I have secured the furnace and am using a Kero heater for heat. The furnace runs on propane ($3.00 a gallon) and also uses a blower to circulate the heat (electric). The kero heater fuel is about $4.00 a gallon, but uses no electric. Usually in winter the furnace blower will jump my electric bill $60.00 a month alone.

Burning Kero has a few down sides. It stinks. the upside to that is if I have to go to the doc…he will not spent a lot of time jibber jabbering cause he will not be able to stand the smell of my clothes, and neither will other people I have to be around for whatever reason. The other is making sure I do not succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning. One non plastic covered window should cover the ventilation need for me there.

I do have garbage pick up, thats $30, but I am pretty much stuck with that for now by law. I have gone around to very outlet and unplugged everything just make sure I have no parasitic draws going on. All washed clothes will be done in cold water and hung on the line…even in winter. Freeze dried is still better than wet.

I am digging out the old candles and hurricane lamps which I will use for light at night and only using the desktop computer a few hours a day as needed to pay bills.  I have a laptop that I will be using instead for most other stuff like looking for work I can do from home. This years garden was a bust because I was so sick for so many months. I will be doing most of my eating from the local food pantry.

So…here goes….

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Early morning, late night, same thing

It’s 5:54am. Been up since 4am, well, really, I was up at 10, 11, 12:30, 2, 3:30 and finally gave up and got up at 4am. Typical night. Up why? Let me count the ways…..Arms sleep, nausea, sciatica in right leg screaming bloody murder, stabbing ice pick sensation in right ankle, full blown panic attack (that’s a real lover to wake up to every night), back ache, sinuses clogged up, coughing, gagging from the sinus drainage, left side of head and ear so painful it feels like the side of my head is one big fat flat cauliflower head, then sometimes it’s just the ice pic being rammed into my left ear. And awe, lets not leave out the hot flashes and cold sweats. Most times it is a combination of two or three of these that finally wake me up every night, not just once in a while. Exhaustion is my middle name.

When I finally drift off to sleep it is my body’s way of shutting down, too exhausted to go on. Unlike normal people who go to sleep to get a refreshing recharge for their next day. In reality, if I were to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time…..I would be declared dead. I have to get up to relieve the pinched nerves in my arms, or the sciatica. If I do not do this eventually those nerves will get pinched enough to not work at all any more. Picture that extension cord that is run through a door that after a while gets a cut in it from the door being closed on it all the time.

Just before my Grandmother died many years ago she expressed to me how tired she was, and she was ready to go. I was young, full of energy and life back then. I could not understand what she was saying. Lately her words echo in my head, in her voice. I understand Grama, I now understand. I just wish I could make it to 92 like you did. I do not think I have 36 more years in me. You didn’t have it easy either. As a matter of fact your life was harder than mine would ever be. You were 2 years older than I am now….when I was born and was running a dairy farm. So Grama, if your out there someplace I need a kick in the pants or something.  I am tired, but I am not ready to go. Every minute of every day and night I fight it.

I just do not know where I fit in, what I am supposed to be doing. I have a thirteen page resume. I have dipped my toes in more occupations than someone who councles others on such matters. Nothing ever took. I can not seem to play well with others either. I can size them up inless than a minute, and and know how things are going to work out in the end long before it comes. Unless of course I fall in love…then all bets are off because that intuition gets flushed right down the toilet. I should know better by now since they never work out either. So…we will not be doing that again. I just lost five years of my life putting my trust and faith in another human being to have it thrown in my face…..again.

Maybe I am a slow learner, maybe that is the problem. I trust people too much. I believe that the normal average person is not out to rob you blind, burn your inner house down, or be vindictive. So why is it that I can not seem to connect with the average person. I am a dick magnet.

Today is the 19th anniversary of my maternal grandfather’s passing by suicide. It seems like only yesterday. Why can’t good memories stick with you like the bad ones?

Winter is fast approaching. There is much to do around the place. Today will not be the day to do it, I will need to try and spend the day resting to make up for the night before.

Sweet dreams.

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