Sunday, January 8, 2012

Every Little Bit Helps

Those of you who know me, know how much I love horses. One in particular who unfortunately, has disappeared no thanks to her neglectful owner. :-(

I can't help Lilly anymore, but we can help Lindy. Lindy is from Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary out about 15 minutes from my house. Lindy is a 25 year old Arabian mare that arrived at TREES back in November.

That's Lindy up there. She needs an eye surgery. See how the one is bulging? Lindy has glaucoma and the eye needs to be removed. Her tear ducts are also blocked, which makes them constantly spill over the lower lid and onto her face. That causes skin irritation and provides an environment fit for topical infections. Removing her eye will address that issue as well.

Please. The surgery costs $1170. They are ALMOST there at about $960. Not too much more to go. And every little bit helps. It doesn't have to be much. I can't help Lilly anymore, but I can help other horses who need us just as much. Can you help too?

Click here to be directed to Lindy's page. On the right hand side is where you can click to chip in (link currently says $600 has been raised, that has not been updated to reflect donations from today, according to TREES owner, they are over $950 now). Imagine the difference donating just $5.00 can make.

Friday, December 9, 2011

If I Learned Anything...

If I have learned anything this year it's that just when you think nothing worse could happen to you, something will. You will never be without tragedy in your life. What makes or break a person though is how you deal with it.

Do you let it consume you until you're an empty shell of a person?

Do you let it harden you until you feel nothing at all anymore?

Or do you choose to not let your circumstances define who you are?

I think I've been through the first two of those questions at one point or another. There were times during most of March and April where I would wake up just long enough to get Alanna ready for school (at that point, Lydia was still up in Maine) before I'd collapse back in bed or on the sofa and pass back out until it was time to get her off the bus again in the afternoon.

Despite all that sleep I was still exhausted. Emotionally drained. Empty. Completely empty. No one understood why and I couldn't figure out how to explain it to anyone so the question I was always getting was "Why are you so tired all the time? It's not like you've done anything today." I couldn't make them understand just how crushing the depression I was going through was.

What's worse, is that I couldn't pinpoint what was causing it. There was no one reason for it. And no in-your-face obvious one. But it had consumed me. I was on auto pilot. I did what needed to be done when it needed to be done, but nothing more. I let it suck me down into this deep dark hole that I never thought I'd climb out of.

Later on down the road, after losing Lilly, I just stopped caring. Why care about things when someone or something is just going to come and take it away again. Why put yourself out there to love anyone when in an instant they could be gone? She'd saved me more than we'd saved her, and she was gone. And it broke my heart.

Then in August, September, and November, we lost the 3 remaining Rottweilers that we had. We tried everything we could think of to keep them with us but one by one they just passed away. They were in so much pain and it hurt so bad  to lose them. Every time a scar had started to form another one died and ripped the wound right open again.

I got to a point where I tried to hold my heart in an iron grip so nothing could get to it and nothing could hurt it again.

But that is no way to live.

If you are successful that way of keeping the bad things out, you also miss out on all the good. This year has been the worst year I have ever lived in my 28 years of life. I cannot remember a worse one. It's been heartache after heartache with seemingly no break in between. But if I shut myself off, and shut down completely, then I miss out on the possibility that next year may not be so bad.

Could it be?


But what if it isn't? Am I going to let what's happened this year dictate the things that I do or what I want to accomplish? No. If anything, everything that's happened this year has only shown me, through all my brokenness and heartache, that I can survive. I did survive. Not without injury, but I'm here.

I can't stay that I look forward to what this next year has in store. But I can say that I am waiting for it. And I will meet it head on.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Been a Long Time

Well, it's been a while since I was here last. With my book blog there are always things to say, because I'm always reading books. But here, I hit a mental block. Couldn't think of anything creative or worth reading.

I'm back though. I may still have nothing worthwhile to say, but if I don't try, how will I find out. Right?

Homeschooling is going well. It amazes me the difference in Alanna's work NOW as opposed to what it was when she was actually in school. She's doing so well and she's learning so much. It makes me proud to watch her figure things out and I love learning things along the way too.

Lydia's in preschool. She's doing beautifully. She's so smart. And she picks up things that kids twice her age don't. I can never seem to keep up with her.

This year has been an extremely trying one full of sadness and loss. I think that also plays a part in my being mostly absent. Books are easier to talk about than life most of the time. My sister's ex husband passed away, the horse my mother and I had "rescued" disappeared after we made several attempts to purchase her from her owner, jobs were lost, and all 3 of my remaining dogs died within months of each other.

So, there's my explanation. I can't promise I'll be any more interesting now than I was before. And I know I wasn't all that interesting then. But I will try and post more.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Being a Bully

I was a lucky child in that I don't believe I was ever bullied by anyone at school. Or outside of school. I was friends with people who were, but because it wasn't me I was really disconnected from what was going on.

I remember when I was in elementary school I was friends with a boy around the corner. We were playing in my side yard when another boy(a bigger, older boy) showed up at my house. I was not friends with THIS particular boy and had absolutely no affinity for him. Whatsoever. I didn't like him in the slightest. But he came in to my yard. After my friend. He chased him down and knocked him on his face in the grass. I remember screaming for my mother who was inside the house. She threw open her bathroom window (because it faced the part of the yard we were in) and yelled down for the bigger boy to stop. Luckily, he did. And he left. I hate to admit it, but a few days later I'd all but forgotten about it. Or at least, I forgot about it until I saw him again. He never came near me though.

My brother, I think, was picked on at one point in highschool by a wannabe thug (no seriously, he was... tattoos and everything at like 15, bad attitude, rude, mean to everyone). I don't remember exactly what happened but my brother's friend ended up getting beat up by this wannabe because he defended my brother. We ended up giving him a ride home from school that day. It was funny though, that wannabe sat behind me in an assembly one day, I was a senior, and tried to talk to me. I guess he didn't realize he'd been messing with my brother.

Did you know that each day it's estimated that 160,000 students don't go to school because they're afraid of being bullied? And based on research I've done, in school bullying cases there is only intervention 15% of the time. So 85% of the time someone could be watching your child get picked on or beat up and do nothing. And of that 15% only 4% is ADULT intervention. The rest comes from peers.

Why are we failing our kids? Why are the people we trust to take care of them at school failing our kids? This isn't just something we can brush under the rug. Bullying is linked to depression, health problems, poor grades, and even suicidal thoughts in children.

And you can't just tell your kids to "stand up to them". Because really, if the person's a bully that's only going to make it worse. It's going to make the bully angrier. And your poor child is going to reap the consequences. Bullies aren't just cowards or insecure people who will back down when their bluff is finally called. They're arrogant, egotistical, and aggressive. For some, violence or name calling is all they know. Standing up to them won't stop them.

Some people say they didn't KNOW their chidl was being bullied. So guess what... I'm going to tell you what to look for.

1. They lose interest in extracurricular activities and even in school.
2. Performance in school drops below what you know they're capable of.
3. They complain of illness to try and get out of going to school.
4. They seem afraid to ride the bus or go to school.
5. Their appetite decreases.
6. The get moody or depressed.
7. They can't sleep.

There you go, from the website My Child Safety, signs you can look for that your little one - or even your big one - is being bullied.
Now.... the parents of those doing the bullying should be heald accountable too right? So pay attention to whether or not your kids are aggressive. Watch out for how they behave towards adults or those in positions of authority, like teachers. Is your child hot tempered or easily frustrated? Are they impulsive? Bullies are good at talking their way out of trouble and they have little to no sympathy for anyone else that's on the receiving end in a bullying situation. They have positive views toward violence.

When your child is being bullied, it is your DUTY to them, as their parent, to step in and DO something. If you don't, who will? According to statistics, definitely not their teachers. And probably not their friends. When your child IS a bully it is STILL your duty as their parent to step in and do something. To stop it.

No child deserves that kind of phsycological torture. "Kids will be kids" you say? Yes, that's true, but it does NOT give YOUR kid a right to scream at my kid for the duration of a bus ride. It does not give your kid a right to call my kid names. It does not give your kid the right to convince others to purposefully ignore my kid and leave them out of things. It does not give your kid the right to push, shove, tease, or do ANYTHING of that nature to MY kid.

Because you better believe if I hear about it I will do what needs to be done to stop it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


In honor and in memory of all of those who deserve to be remembered forever....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Warning Signs (Please Read)

Abuse manifests itself in many ways. Verbally, physically, emotionally...

And unfortunately it can affect men, women, and children.

Whether or not you personally are in an abusive relationship, you probably know someone who is and you don't even realize it. And they need you. They desperately need a friend. Whether they admit it or not.

Being that I am obviously a woman, I am going to speak from a woman's view point.

Signs you're in an abusive relationship:
  1. Your spouse or significant other is extremely possessive and jealous.Of anything. Friends, family, coworkers.
  2. He try to control you with threats that if you don't do what they say he'll leave you.
  3. He attempts to isolate you from friends and loved ones. He demands that you sever ties with them. Saying that you'd do it if you truly loved him.
  4. He's violent and loses his temper easily. Things that don't bother normal people seem to set off an unnecessary reaction in him. And he blames you for his anger.
  5. Tells you that you are inferior to him. (In the cases of someone being in a supposed Christian relationship he will tell you that the Bible supports this claim). And he will do everything in his power to convince you it's true.
  6. He abuses drugs and alcohol. Sometimes saying he wouldn't do those things if you were a better partner.
  7. He mistreats you and then tells you that it's your fault. That if you hadn't said or done something he wouldn't have had to scream at you or hurt you.
  8. He purposefully embarasses you in public. In front of family, friends, acquaintances. His or yours. When confronted he says that he was only playing. That you're too sensitive.
  9. You find that you're overly worried about how he will react to things. Like if the house is messy or the dishes aren't done. Or if you break something.
  10. If he grew up being abused or witnessing an abusive relationship he may treat you the way he was or the way he saw others being treated. Claiming that it's ok because that's how he was brought up.
  11. If he threatens to harm himself if you leave him. If he threatens to hurt YOU if you leave him.
It's easy to see a woman in an abusive relationship and say "If that were me I'd have left already." It's easy to say "Well, she's stayed with him, she's asking for it." That's not true. Not at all. Some women are brainwashed by their parters in to thinking they deserve to be treated the way they are. They deserve the abuse. That it's there fault and if only they could act differently their partner would stop treating them that way.

Some women are threatened with other things. Losing their children, whether or not the claim is possible, as a mother, one of the scariest thoughts in the world is that of losing either of my children. Some women are actually threatened with police involvement if they choose to leave. And a claim that they'll be charged with kidnapping or abuse themselves (and it is possible for a man to cause himself injury so as to have a woman arrested for domestic violence, even when he's the actual culprit).

Some women stay because they fear something even worse if they leave. If they go with threats of violence or even death to themselves, their children, and other family members. Some women, as I said before, fear that their parter will harm himself. And with the mindset they've been in for so long they are led to believe that it will be their own fault if something happens to their partner.

Intimidation and fear are not love. If a man tells you that you're not allowed to speak to your own family, he's an abuser. If a man tells you that your children are not allowed to speak to your family, he's an abuser. If a man tells you that he's going to hurt himself and it would be your fault if he did, he's an abuser. If he tells you that you're not allowed to have friends, or that you're not allowed to speak to them (if you're allowed to keep them) about anything that goes on in your household, he's an abuser. If he hits you he's an abuser. If he calls you names and tells you that it's your fault, he's an abuser (heck, even if he DOESNT tell you that it's your fault).

And for goodness sake, think about your children if you won't think about yourselves.

If your child tells you he's done something to them that they couldn't possibly have learned from anywhere else, listen to them. Even if you don't believe them 100% LISTEN TO THEM. If you leave them with your partner, even if it's just to go to the bathroom, and they tell you he's done something to them when you come back out, listen. If it happens EVERY TIME you go somewhere, listen. If your partner does nothing but sit and watch your children, waiting to catch them doing something wrong so they can yell at them, he's an abuser. If you find bruises on your child and she seems embarassed or doesn't want to tell you where she got them, PAY ATTENTION. If they tell you they're not allowed to tell or else they're afraid they'll get hurt worse, LISTEN. If your children start saying inappropriate things, but won't tell you where they heard them from, pay attention. If they start reacting violently to things that never bothered them before, pay attention. If they start to touch other people inappropriately, or if they start playing rough, or if they all of the sudden have a change in attitude.... PAY ATTENTION.

Your children are not out to get you. Little girls and little boys are not out to ruin your relationships. They are not lying to you to pit you against your partner. Your friends are not out to get you.

And likewise, friends and family, your loved one may want to leave... but doesn't know how. They may be so emotionally beat down that they don't think they'll ever be able to leave. They may not understand that they're being abused. They may truly believe they are the cause of all of the problems in the relationship.

They need your help. They need your love and support. They need someone to tell them they are loved. And they are important. And they are worth something better. Because speaking from experience... in relationships like that... after a while they feel worthless, useless, hopeless... all they want is someone to reach out a hand.

Wordless Wednesday