Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

The Neighbor’s Revenge

The continuing saga of saving the farm continues.  The new family came out yesterday evening so the wife could walk the property next door before they make a decision.  Of course, I am desensitized to the amount of work it needs, but I am sure she was overwhelmed.  Luckily as she mentioned, she has four sons!  And a very strong capable husband who loves them so clearly.  

I was just working in the yard, watering plants, the usual when they got here.  She had her youngest baby wrapped up in a soft blue sheet affair, I would call a papoose holder…  ?  I don’t know, never had kids…  I heard the older boys running about, I heard laughing, silliness, and when they did surface again about a half hour later, they had good looks on their faces, and the dad looked a little hopeful, a little intense.  I know he really wants it.  

So the next step he said, was he wanted to go next door and meet the neighbor lady who has the dog-bite lien on the property.  His hope was to try and negotiate her down some.  It wasn’t gonna happen.  I knew that.  I also knew that she was most likely to say any number of ludicrous and defamatory remarks about me and my roommate, basically fabrications and gossip.  And she did.  But he didn’t tell me that when he called back this morning.  He just said that his wife was no longer interested, because of that neighbor woman.  Evidently she was extremely rude, which I expected, and being an honest man, of course he started off the conversation with her saying that he was interested in buying the land.  And since that was her intent from day one, I am sure she was livid.  Oddly, I don’t even think she cared about getting that $1600 anymore.  She must have been dancing on the ceiling over there at the thought of me going into default and losing the property completely.  Her one big chance to do what she wanted to do all along.  

Of course Joel is a good person and he would not say everything she said.  Not even worth repeating.  I hoped that by me telling him my story and by not being like her, by being more quiet and respectful, he could easily judge for himself who to give credibility to.  But she succeeded in upsetting his wife and his exact words on the phone earlier was “She’s just not interested anymore.  She’s afraid of that woman being next door, possibly causing us trouble at every turn.”  So it was up to me to convince him that she couldn’t.  If he gets a County Certified Septic system put in place over there, and he says that is his intention, and he re-fences everything carefully, so that when he gets a dog, which is his hope, his dog won’t disturb or frighten the poor thing, then she’s got NOTHING!  I made him an offer to compensate for this situation.  We had originally agreed that we would share labor and cost of building a privacy fence between us.  He mentioned that several times.  The other mean neighbors, the lady in question here, they never offered to help in those expenses, and I shouldered the whole fence I built there, and that her family enjoys as well.  No sharing there.  

But I offered to take in all the expense to privacy fence between me and him, so that he could concentrate first on privacy-fencing the eastern-most side, namely her and her very strange middle-school teacher husband.  That might have been the deciding factor. Good move on my part.  He also got concerned when we discussed the horse situation again.  He was thinking lawsuit I could tell, as he said what if I was with “his” horse and something happened, as it often does with horses, and I got upset and sued him.  So since I am legally cogent, I immediately offered to sign a Waiver of all Liability in that regard and any other regard really, because honestly, I don’t sue neighbors.  It’s just wrong.  Neighbors should be able to speak civilly to each other.  My take anyway.  

And in private I also explained to Joel that I have no heirs.  I have no one to give this property to, in case I make an unexpected departure sometime.  I told him that what i wanted to do after all this real estate wrangling was over, was to make out my will leaving this bigger side of the farm over here, to him.  Now my roommate would be hugely upset if he heard this, but it’s my decision.  And that is my decision.  This man is basically saving me from untold misery and regret, blaming myself for failures.  Plus when I heard his children laughing and being happy next door, it made my heart sing.  It sounded like angels to me.  Maybe they are….

But mean old crabby-appleton and her husband did their best to skew the deal.  You’d think they’d be happy to be getting their money back finally, and that her husband would have put a muzzle on her in order to get his money, but evidently, he wasn’t even present or speaking during the conversation through her screen door.  She didn’t even invite them in.  Very rude, unnecessarily.  How did a girl like me, who loves to visit and talk, I’m from East Texas for crying out loud, ever end up next door to a woman from near Woodstock that is so closed off, scheming, bitter and just plain nasty to be around ever end up as my next door neighbor.  I told Joel that wherever they go, there will always be crazy neighbors.  He said, yes, he had brought that up to his wife as well.

So by the end of the phone conversation we had, he had said twice, that yes, okay, we would go ahead and move forward on the deal.  He is going to help me go pay off these taxes this week, a week earlier than the deadline of the county for foreclosure.  YEE!!!

Doing the happy dance.  Doing the dance of joy…  Now I will have a HUGE buffer between me and her, and all the four-wheeler noise, and 4 boys tearing the place apart, dogs barking, even shooting at targets, all that will sound like a heavenly chorus to me…  haha Perhaps it is very snide of me, but come on, I get to have some fun here, right?  That old battle-ax deserves whatever comes her way, that’s how I see it.  She once said they planned to only live there for ten years and then sell out and move.  So I told Joel that, and told him we only have to just hold out, cause it’s already been eight years I think.  We will all still be here long after they are gone.  Another YEE!  

So I am going to put together a really professional outfit, and do my hair, and get my makeup all ready, and I suspect he will be calling soon, like tonight or tomorrow to tell me when he’s coming to get me, so we can drive over to Bastrop to the title company and sign papers to get this started as soon as possible.  All I have to do in the meantime is to call down to the County Clerk and see if she can tell me if the survey metes and bounds for these two sections are filed along with the deeds so we don’t have to do another survey. If that happens, it will totally wipe out any leftover monies because I will have to help pay for it, as it would involve both lots.  And it wouldn’t be cheap.  Surveys cost a lot of money, to me anyway.  At least $2,000 if it hasn’t gone up in the past six or seven years.

But really now, Joel has given me his word, twice.  And I’ve had to make some concessions, and I can tell he is all business when it comes to the money.  He feels his offer is fair.  Honestly, if he had just said let me clear up all the taxes and the lien and if anything is left, I will let you know, I would have said “fine.”  But if we can get through all this and save the farm from foreclosure and finally get free from the dragon-lady, it will be so worth it to me.  Maybe I won’t need to be depressed anymore, or stressed out to the max. Maybe the Angels will see fit to let me relax for a while, and enjoy doing some of the things I’m just crazy about.  And if that happens, then everything I ever hoped for and dreamed of, will have come true.  I could not be happier or more lucky.  And I am down on my knees morning and night to thank the powers that be, for their very tender mercy towards me in this situation.  I thank God for it all. And if my mom or dad, or any other of my relatives that have passed had anything to do with all this, then I will be very very happy to thank them one day…  haha

So poo-poo on the Neighbor’s Revenge.  Whatever she said, didn’t work.  She’s over there spitting venom again, so now we have to be extra careful to keep our gate locked, keep the dogs inside at all times, in fact my daily walk with Biscuit might even have to change and we might have to start walking the sandy backroad instead of the nice easy to travel on main road.  Funniest thing to me, is that I would have never wanted 4 boys and a big cowboy Dad whooping it up in that tiny area next door, it’s almost an acre and a half, but I think what sealed the deal with the beautiful old sandy carriage road behind us here, so it didn’t matter that Roy sold it anyway.  

I wish I could just go over there and sit down with her and apologize again to her for her pain and suffering, present her with the check myself.  But that’s not going to happen, and I still fear she will launch some new attack to mess me up in this deal.  But instead of thinking the worst, I’m just going to be happy, and when I get back from the title company and the papers have been signed and money has changed hands, I am going to be SOOOO happy and relieved, and when the new kids on the block start coming around and clearing land, cutting trees, moving in rv’s, and buying new chickens and working to build a 6 foot privacy fence on her side, I will just be sitting over here with my music going, happy as a lark.  Now I can start to write the book I’ve wanting to write for years.  

Everything looks like a win-win for everyone, but maybe the poor sad lady over there and her very odd husband.  But isn’t that how it works?  When you’re a mean person, you attract negative situations.  And when you are a sweetheart like me, hehe, well, I’m feeling very into children and four-wheelers and cowboys these days…  Just remember, you might not always get what you want, but if you try real hard…  la la la,  “you get what you need.”   :)


To be honest, I thought many times in these past two years, “I’m so screwed.”  In fact, that has been a sort of ongoing theme throughout my young life until now.  I may have accomplished a great many things that lots of other people wouldn’t even try.  But just doing things right, being responsible and trying to plan isn’t always going to bring you home.  And that word “home” and the whole idea behind it, is extremely important to me.  I knew something was wrong growing up, terribly wrong.  But we all four tried to ignore the problems.  We pretended that it would just go away tomorrow.  But it didn’t.  And my level of stress for a kid 17 years old was incredible.  I had absolutely no support, encouragement or interaction of any kind, especially physical, with either of my parents. All this plus a lot more I don’t feel like writing about here, caused me to become a very confused and very clueless young woman.  I developed a coping skill of escape, which became a reoccurring theme throughout my life.  

I paid off this land myself, no help was ever offered from anyone else.  Oh sure, when I was going to UT, my mom would send me $50 a month.  It was sweet.  It was all she had to send.  I really missed it when she passed away.  I really missed everything about her.  So to counter-act that very disturbing childhood I endured, my goal was to make a lovely home, a peaceful retreat where friends and family are always welcome.  I have almost succeeded but it took more than luck, and struggling, and paying through the nose.  There had to be some assistance coming from unseen places.  

Now that I am almost 60, next year, my little homestead is paid for in full.  But when my friend Roy offered to “help” me when my mother died, I stupidly signed over all the property to him, and left town, to go back home and help my mom.  But she died the second day after the surgery they did to remove one of her kidneys that had a tumor inside that was killing her slowly.  Roy divided my farm into three pieces while I was lost in grief, and sold the back road.  Then he reluctantly signed over the smaller side of the original lot back to me.  He had some conscience I guess.  Then he died.  He was mowing the yard of one of his homes in Seguin, when he went to his truck for a smoke, and suffered a massive heart attack right there behind the wheel, where the neighbors saw him and called the police.  

So long story short, he was separated from his wife, and he lived in his mother’s home there in Seguin.  I could tell his wife we were just friends till the cows came home, but she was 300 pounds of very mad, very unhealthy toxic woman with issues, so when it came time to buy a lawyer to get her straight and get my land back, it was expensive and most unpleasant.  I was the first person mentioned in Roy’s will and it was clear he meant for me to have my land back.  So I paid several thousand dollars for an unethical man to babysit the probate process until his secretary drafted me a simple Special Warranty Deed, which means I’m okay as long as no one objects, I guess.  But Mrs. Roy was not forthcoming with any title to the house trailer Roy left here for me.  And while the lawyers made their car payments, no one paid the taxes due those years on my land.  

So try as hard as I could to find help, to build a farm, to request assistance from my roommate, nothing ever came of it.  It was my party, and my journey, and my problems to deal with.  Just last week a deputy showed up with a court summons and now the county here wants almost $4,000.00 or they are going to take my land and my home. With no state title on this house, I can’t claim homestead exemption. Being disabled must not matter much, I don’t know yet. The people in charge of such taxing don’t like to vary from the book, or entertain special circumstances. So I had to either give up and be just another homeless woman roaming the streets in Austin, or I would have to figure out something better.  I have animals to think about.

I ran a couple of ads and on the third or fourth day, a man left a short message saying he would be interested to look at the lot I had for sale next door.  We had a couple of conversations, we met, and I felt the first wave of relief in several years. Of course what I thought the property was worth, or what I had in it, or the lowest amount I felt I would accept, was far from the mark of reality.  After we sat and figured in all the expenses involved in such a transaction, his expenses had multiplied as well as mine. So I decided to accept a very low offer, and once all the taxes and lien from the neighbor is paid, I may have a little more than a thousand dollars left over. Then I can start over from square one with all the appropriate papers signed and notarized, and try to get a title for this house in my name and try to get my just homestead exemption, which I had before momma died and I gave the land to Roy.  

But today I got scared in a different way.  I felt weak in my breathing.  I actually blacked out and ended up in the back room heading toward the bath where I was gagging and wretching, but nothing but dry heaves since I haven’t eaten in a couple of days from sheer nerves, I guess.  No one else cooks around here ever, just me. So when I’m sick or feeling too weak, I don’t cook, so I don’t eat.  It’s pretty straight forward.  No one has ever looked out for me.  I’m used to it.  It’s actually okay now.  But it has made me a bit of a hard case, I can be abrasive at times, speak too harshly too often I suspect.  Injustice or cruelty upsets me no end and my voice will not be silenced in those cases.  I see how the world we live in has been manipulated and not in our favor.  I get angry that no one seems to notice or care.  I feel tremendous sorrow for the children left to deal with this terrible tragedy.  Dead oceans, extinct wildlife, native animals herded by helicopters until they are dead or sold for meat. This is the apocalypse to me.  I live it every day.  I see it every day.  I harbor no illusions about a happy future for America.  It doesn’t look good for the home team at all.  No, not one bit.

So today, I passed out, no one was here.  My roommate would not answer his cell phone, that’s nothing new.  I have no neighbor friends. They are all perverts, gun freaks, animals abusers/killers, money-hungry cold-hearted closed-off zombies, if you ask me. There may be some good people in Texas, but pound for pound, they don’t hold much sway…

It occurred to me how ironic it would be if I was to die right there on the floor today, before I have my will set up, before I pay the taxes, or rather the new owner pays the taxes and I get a little pocket change in the deal.  I’m not bitter, but more in shock.  I’m thankful that the new family coming in is so wonderful.  I love children and they are being very kind to me.  I am very blessed to have this miracle to save my life.  I am not complaining.  But when I picked myself up off the floor and went blindly grasping into the bathroom looking for a bucket, it just hit me how futile things can really be.  If I died today, the county would get my land I guess, my roommate would go live with some other woman most likely, and everything I have ever done would be for nothing, much.  I never had children, so there are no kids for me to bequest any property to.

The stress of it all just hit me today I think.  The realization that yes, I will break even, and I don’t need all that extra land, and the roommate never did screen in the $750 barn shed I had built so we could keep chickens, so why not let someone else have it all that would use it and enjoy it.  Maybe even love it like I do.

The mean old lady next door will get her $1600 for when Jim left the gate open and the dog he brought home found her at the mailbox and bit her leg.  How much do anti-biotics and a couple of stitches, pain meds of course, how much does that cost these days anyway. Must have been the ambulance I called for her that cost so much.  Who knows.  I offered to drive her myself, but she was spitting venom and I don’t engage with people like that.  I know she was hurt, but truly I did not bite her.  I was sorry and telling her that.  But this was her grande opportunity to get tons of sympathy and attention and she has dragged it out, sued me, and called the animal pick up truck numerous times, plus the health department, and on and on, anything she could do to cause me grief and harm.

But a very nice man, a cowboy for sure, says he wants my land over there by her, he went to meet her yesterday and explain to her that he was going to pay her lien off, and see if she would negotiate with him.  I haven’t heard on that one yet.

But when I look around, I will still have plenty of land, and the new friend Joel, he wants to get a horse for his amazing little daughter Talia, and he asked if he could help me build a nice pasture here behind my house, on my side and keep her horse there, as his side is much smaller.  If God himself had come down from the heavens and offered the same thing, I could not have been more shocked.  I don’t have a daughter.  And I’ve wanted to have another horse since 2005.  Of course she can put her horse back there.  My goodness.  It’s like some beautiful group of Angels got together and tried to figure out how to save my life, and now we are all trying very hard to make it work out.  

But the stress of these past two years finally got to me today.  I felt what it might be like to die, really.  Weak, alone, scared, unable to function.  It was just nerves, stress, and being 59 and not eating properly.  And I have a failed root canal that broke off months ago and needed to be removed right then.  I looked at my throat with a bright light last night and I’ve been taking anti-biotics last night and today as I saw definite whiteness, like infection in the back of my throat.  It doesn’t feel like the typical sore throat.  I think it might have something to do with this bad tooth in my head.  So if I do get a little bit left over after the government here gets their arbitrary tax money and the neighbor woman gets her windfall from poor Henri who was killed the next day, maybe I will go and see about getting this bad old tooth removed. Maybe then I will start to feel better.  

I don’t have a vehicle anymore because I am afraid to drive anymore, and I can’t afford to own a vehicle anymore either.  My spine is curved up like a bent and twisted tree, and I am just tired of asking for relief for pain and never getting it. Doctors don’t want to give people narcotics anymore.  They just don’t.  So I deal with the pain of that as well.  I have to work because my roommate is in worse health than me.  Without me, this place will fall apart quickly.  

So when I should feel relief, I dread having to ride over to Bastrop to the title company and sign papers and go to the Courthouse and request copies of surveys and such, for my new friend Joel.  I wish he could just handle all that stuff, and I could just curl up in a ball and cry for about a week.  I wish I could take a little bit of the money I may get, and book a trip for one to somewhere amazing and just do something very very nice for myself.  But I probably won’t do that.  I’d rather save a donkey or two, build a barn shed out back for them, maybe get a couple of cheap goats that would be killed by people here for meat, maybe find a dog on death row to save, try that again, and hope the next roommate doesn’t steal him from me…  

When I got faint and passed out, then tried to call for help and got no answer, it became increasingly clear just how lame my “relationship” really is.  When I was hearing bells and my eyes were seeing only black, I wasn’t thinking about dying, or what would happen, it didn’t really hurt, well, my chest was very tight and I could hardly breathe, most likely a panic attack, retroactive.  I don’t write all this for sympathy.  I write this so people will see that sometimes you can do everything in your power and still unexpected unpleasant things can happen.  Life is here one minute, and maybe not in the next instant.  I appreciate that fact immensely.

Retreat, my mind keeps saying to me.  Escape, my heart keeps saying.  Run, my fear keeps screaming.  I feel insane.  I feel old.  I feel, I feel, I sometimes wish I didn’t feel so much…  Every day by mid-afternoon the pain in my back is so intense that now even laying down won’t stop it.  With all the wonderful things I’d like to do in these final days of my life, I am relegated to responsibilities and unpleasant paperwork and such.  My roommate says, “grow up, that’s just life.”  ok, but who worked all her young life for the place we both live, and who pays all the taxes and who doesn’t???  Who is the man and who am I?  I’m just CissyBlue who wants to play her keyboard, cook in her new fantasy chef’s kitchen, sew in her little front window, play with my animals and listen to music.  Make jewelry and paint things. I’m a pisces piano player.  What can I say…

With the world in such shape, I will never be a politician, I will be an ex-pat some day most likely, if I live long enough.  These days it doesn’t seem very likely.  I’m tired, lonely, frustrated sometimes, because I can’t get done all the things I need to get done.  It just hurts too much and I don’t like the pain one bit.  I’ll avoid it at most any cost.  So today is a wash basically, I’ve just played on my laptop, reading and writing, and trying not to worry.  The worry never stops.  Even after a likely miracle is going to occur and I can save what is left of my farm, I’m still weak, sad and despondent.  I’m too old for pms, so that’s not it.  haha

Everytime I go on the facebook, I see animals that are about to lose their lives because every shelter in America is over-full right this minute.  Every feed coming across tells me the grave numbers, the faces and the eyes haunt me, and no one else ever seems to care or help.  At least no one nearby that I know.  No one out here likes me.  I’m poor, and crazy and I have dogs.  haha  

But I love children, and my new friend Joel has five.  They are beautiful and amazing, mannerly and intelligent.  His wife seems very nice, kind and friendly.  So maybe money just ain’t all that.  Maybe I finally found the right people to share my land with, so when I’m gone, things can continue on in proper fashion. All my life will not have been wasted.  But right now, at this minute, I’m as low as low can get.  I am sorry for all the suffering in the world, and I am helpless to change it.  Screw the ripples theory.  We need a freakin tsunami of insight and reason, a veritable FLOOD OF REFORM.  But somehow I see a lot of turmoil, strife, and suffering before that will ever happen in this place I call home.  We are all too divided, too quick to call sides. Pretty soon there aren’t going to be any sides to choose period.  

If I sound very depressed, I am.  This is not the world I dreamed of when my grandfather took my little hand and walked me around the little town and introduced me as his “baby folks.”  I thought he would be there for me forever.  But he got old before I knew what was even happening, and then he died.  And my own father was very mentally ill, physically ill, and very lonely and misguided in many ways.  My mother was a closet alcoholic evidently, extremely introverted and she never taught me anything but how to sew.  And now that is all I want to do.  I want everyone to just leave me alone in my room, and let me be.  Let me read, and write and sew and play my piano.  I don’t want to play money games with the county. I’m tired.  Really tired.  I wonder where my husband is right now, I mean my “ex.”  How can people like that even keep on living at all, when they don’t have the slightest idea how to live and be responsible.  Actually I know exactly where he is.  He is still coming to this town where I live, to my very neighborhood, buying the drugs that he uses, and even parking in my circle up under the trees to smoke them.  Then he drives away really slowly up the hill and gone again till next time.  It’s so very sad to see.  

Can I survive all this sadness?  Can I survive the roller-coaster of life, the ups and downs?  After my “episode” today, will I live long enough to see better days really?  If I get to keep this land and this house, whatever money that is left, which will pitifully little, I have decided to save, except for getting that tooth pulled.  Somehow I will put it away, so that I can always be okay no matter what ever happens in the future.  I will have a couple of hundred dollars to go get a room and re-group.  I will have a lot to think on.  

If you have read this far, just know this.  Everyone has sadness and struggles.  Everyone.  If you have even one last ounce of energy to be kind or to save an animal’s life, or to even ride a horse again, by golly, go for it.  Don’t waste any time on worries.  It’s far too late for that.  Just travel, eat well, have fun, love who you can, and try to remember every single beautiful thing about God’s earth before it’s too late.  Before we are gone, or the Earth is taken from us all.  If you are a parent you should do everything in your power to provide for your children, in every way you can think of.  Because when it’s all said and done, nothing else matters.  Nothing.

It’s impossible to know how your life will turn out. As you go down the road, you can make plans, and choose certain paths… you hope for the best, and you work hard. And when difficult, even terrible things happen, it’s really not at all about the problem, or the obstacle, no matter how dire or hopeless it might seem. It’s all about how you react to it. It’s all about what you do about it. How you do it. How realistic you can be. How flexible and open to new ideas you can be. How willing you are to give and give and then still give some more. That’s what matters.

I haven’t seen two dimes to rub together in longer than I care to think on. I’ve given up all the modern American obsessions years ago, to live a simple, very basic life. I’ve always loved the Earth and gardening, growing things and flowers, I just never had the time to do a good job at it, because I had to work, and work every day very long hours, driving the long commutes back and forth, like so many, to pay for my place, for my dream. I had a great grandfather, but nobody provided for me. When I turned 18 and graduated, it was pretty much Adios Amiga! Good luck and all that…

I didn’t have the brains and the determination to be a true professional, mostly I didn’t have the discipline. A woman I met recently was hell-bent on defining everything in terms of her version of Astrology… or should I say “Ass-trology.” I know that’s very mean… sorry… (like on SNL: “sorry”) haha I believe in the stars and I know they direct and chart our very existence. But I don’t bring up astrology first thing when I meet someone… good grief, it’s 2014, and we’ve progressed somewhat since 1970 I think…

Anyway, for some reason, my fingers have always had an innate connection directly to my brain and whatever I have ever wanted to do, whether for fun or profit, I could do with my hands, or well, my fingers to be specific… I play the piano and I type really fast, without thinking about either one… Typing paid my rent, playing the piano has filled my soul and made this life very special indeed… feels like a gift from God actually…

But my homelife as a kid was never stable or easy, there was always tension in the home, many times abuse of varying degrees, and lots of dysfunction coming from the parents, which translated directly into lots of dysfunction in my brother, bless his heart, who has never recovered from it all… So my one dream as a girl growing up, was to one day have a home, like a small piece of land, with a house on it, that I could own, and love, where there would never be a harsh word, or fear or unhappiness, where animals and people alike could come and share good times and serenity. Live in peace.

Well this year I turned 59. And I think I have all the ducks in a row, after a very huge WAKE-UP call just this past week or so… it was 50/50 lose it all or hope for a miracle… Well, the miracle came, it’s not a windfall by any means, but I earned it, and now I’m sharing it back… one friend I love very much said once when he helped me out in a desperate time, just to pay it forward, that was all he asked. He had faith in me, that one day my life would turn around again, and things would sort themselves out properly. And they did.

This amazing summer of 2014 could be the end of struggling, and the beginning of only good things from now on. So good in fact, that I can start to think about writing on my other blog “In the Life and Mind of an Artist” and maybe even get started on my projects I’ve had to put aside for so long… To the young man who recently said to me, “Sew? Really? You haven’t sewed in years, why would you even want to start that now…” Like it was completely ridiculous to him. Well, son, I hate to tell you, but tell a woman she can’t do something, and she will do it come hell or high water… you’ll learn… Another supposedly “good” friend of mine, although usually being supportive on the surface, was always the one to remind me about “money” when it came to another dream of mine, which is to ride again, to have a horse again. Now I’d like to tell her to her face that it doesn’t take winning the lottery or even getting a huge settlement for an accident that should never have happened… What it takes is planning, financial strategies, a good heart, and a lot of help from upstairs… :)

Life is good at the Little Ranch, Summer 2014 Arnie at one year...

Life is good at the Little Ranch, Summer 2014
Arnie at one year…

This summer, after a couple of weeks of 24/7 stress for days, I see light at the end of the tunnel, finally, and I can blog now, and take pics with my great digital camera I love so much now… (took me a while to adjust, cause I’m older–haha) I can play my keyboard, maybe even get something I can use professionally now, and with any luck at all, all the things I’ve dreamed of doing can happen now. I won’t just have my safe home, but I’ll be helping a lot of other people in the bargain… just wait and see… this is my second chance, and I won’t be wasting it!

This one’s for Buddha


What is love?

Originally posted on in the life and mind of an artist...:

I saw his pic on a Wednesday night, maybe one of fifty or more animals posted in distress all across the nation.  And in every section of every state there resides a network, tight and supportive, of people who save animals.  They can do anything, and they will do anything when it comes to the rescue of an animal.  

I saw the expression in the eyes of this dog with his head tilted slightly, chin out in question, then I saw that this was his last night and tomorrow he would be killed.  There’s no nicer way to say it.  It is what it is.  

Jumping through hoops, but at the end finding reward, the ultimate goal was to free this dog they called “Court” from his jail.  

The next day, my friends, about 5:30 pm, gate was open, a big King cab long-bed truck with very…

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Life is ever changing…

Originally posted on in the life and mind of an artist...:

It seemed like a good idea at the time, to find some help with the household chores.  I have several shelter rescue dogs that live here now, plus I had a roommate that was interested in farming, I thought.  Organic growing to be exact.  

Long story short, he met the woman that came to the house, they got together, she has a daughter his age in college, and she offered for him to come and live with her.  He moved out quickly and in so doing, also took this fostered animal that needs medical treatments and a neuter operation.  The dog came to me this past weekend with a bad case of heartworm parasites.  

Cody renamed the dog Buddha, which seemed to fit him perfectly as he is a huge Staffordshire Terrier, the original American version. He seemed to like Buddha right away, and of course the dog…

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This shelter will only deal with a rescue coming out of the Bexar County, Texas, San Antonio area for immediate pick-up as Saturday is the last day of his only extension at this point in time. I am willing to foster/adopt but cannot arrange the pick-up out of the shelter. Will stand by… please share and advise… thank you America! Let’s save this one tonight! Court thanks you cause he wants to run and play this summer in the sun and splash in his brand new baby pool! Please help! Bexar County Dog Rescue, anyone that can go get him out… I will be responsible from this end, as possible foster/adopter. Thank you!

Originally posted on in the life and mind of an artist...:

There is a little pit-mix brown dog named Court, he seems young, and he was on death row in San Antonio Shelter today.  We jumped through all kinds of hoops only to find another even harder one each time.  We are still jumping through them as we speak.  The shelter granted this poor little guy until Saturday.  What we need is a Bexar County, Texas Dog Rescue Group willing to go get this guy ASAP.  I will foster him no problem even train him, and we can decide if this would be a good place for him here to stay, as we are in process of building an organic farm south of Elgin, Texas this summer and internships are possible.  

This little dog Court seemed to be invisible.  I know the feeling.  At the last moment that I saw it today, amid a jillion others things I needed to…

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H E L L O and G O O D M O R N I N G!

Here are the latest updates from the new start-up organic farm down in Tejas!

Our main security/herding dog Biscuit has developed a nasty raspy cough, and he’s trying to spit out phlem. I suspect this is a case of Kennel Cough, or to be more exact, stress combined with poor diet, surrounded by so many other souls of equal or greater auras of fear… He also has diahrrea, most likely from jumping back into nutrient rich meal schedule and regular exercise. And stress.

Yesterday I was wiped out! haha So tired, and so was Biscuit. We did not even try to do the big walk, as we were quite late in even attempting it. So instead, before he was coughing, I just threw his heavy KONG ball only three times down the driveway. It was plenty for a rest day after so much drama. haha We hates the drama.

In trying to mix him a potion, something to coat his throat at least, I mixed up about 4 TBSP’s of organic agave syrup, into his clean stainless steel water bowl, with about 2 cups of clean and cold spring water. If we weren’t out of green tea, I would have brewed some for both of us of course! But surprisingly since I have never seen Buscuit refuse any food or drink, he turned up his nose to the cold water with agave. Hmmmm…

So I went to the pantry, and some kind love has sent us some gourmet chicken in water, so I took that and removing just a bit of the water for kitty Arnie, poured the entire can into Biscuit’s throat remedy. You can imagine that this time we had no trouble whatsoever. He looked at me after he finished with the sweetest eyes… Like he loves me…

I was also quite tired yesterday because the night before I had to totally brainstorm to come up with some reasonable solutions to different less-than-perfect situations here at the farm. I find that if you concentrate too much on what is not working for you, you tend to lose sight of what is. So without too much pre-judgment of the critical sort, I jumped in with all four feet and came up with WOOF! Yep, that’s it. Wayside Oaks Organic Farm. A sanctuary for unwanted or older farm animals. We do accept the occasional pup from time to time. haha But at this Cruelty-Free Oasis of Heaven, CATS RULE! haha We show the highest respect at all times for the smaller ones of us.

Since yesterday’s adventure seeing the baby goat with Biscuit, I am really excited, as if I don’t have enough to take care of at the moment… hahaha (Building an organic farm, farmhouse and Barn from nothing is not as easy as you might think.) An Aqua-Ponics Farm no less! Right this very second, these two pups, Biscuit and Summer, who are now both internationally known American Dog Representatives of the best sort… :) are both spooning at the very foot of my little bed, so I will not notice them. So cute. They get away with a lot. So while they are quiet, I am about to research once again the feasibility of getting three does, female goats of one kind or another, I am not particular. We also like sheep very much! Whatever nice little flock we accumulate, it will be up to me, unless God sends me a shepherd angel manifest… to learn how to control Biscuit and Summer with the flock. I have seen videos of the men of Basque, the men of Scotland, the men of New Zealand with their herds and their dogs. But I cannot make a whistle loud enough to get their attention. So I am trying to imagine how I can signal them as they herd and protect our baby goats. Wow. I know. I just wanted to paint and to sew. To cook and to grow. I am now also Shepherd! We are so blessed.

Here is another amazing revelation. I knew it from watching Cesar Millan but it is truly one of the hardest lessons to comprehend correctly. I am projecting a great percentage of the behavior of my dog Biscuit, right into him whenever any particular situation might arise. His reaction is simply that, his re-action. I never thought of myself as nervous or anxious when visitors come unexpectedly, but I am. So he cannot differentiate like I do, all he knows is to show fear. He is getting that from me.

Today in the quiet of the morning, a UPS truck, BIG brown truck comes roaring down into our quiet circle. Biscuit barks once and stands at attention, as we were in the yard at the time. I stand straight also but facing him, and say, “Biscuit, NO! Biscuit, sit? with the end of the voice inflection going up in tone at the end, and it gets his attention, and he sits. He is learning, and so am I. He didn’t go running out to the front gate like a mad dog bent on blood. He just sat down and then looked back at the truck with his tongue hanging out, just watching. I have never seen him this chill before ever! haha The truck just cranked up and took off, the neighbor’s yellow lab sounding the alarm. Biscuit here at my feet, woke up, looked up, I said No, and he stopped. Just listened, with a relaxed look in his eyes, like, okay, she’s still on duty. Cool!

The main Farm Designer Cody has taken employment at a very famous and expensive subdivision/Ranch situation in west Austin, I think. I haven’t researched it yet. He’s making more at 23 years of age than I ever made per hour in my whole career in the legal field. The world is changing my friends, much for the better and not a moment too soon! Yes!

I’ve got the word out now that I am open to the idea of having women farmers/artisans/gardeners inquire about positions as work exchange for shelter and food. I prefer to think of it as family. But that remains to be seen. I do background checks.

This time it is all business. I want this venture to succeed as a model that can be used over and over anywhere in the world under any circumstance starting from scratch with what you have. But not an old timey farm like one might think. Not even like the Beekkman Boys farm. Nope, no way. This farm is called WOOF. We are Cruelty-Free, Free-Ranging for all species, to live together in sanctuary, unwanted farm animals primarily elders, or disabled, to live out their days in peace and contentment, free from worry of any sort. On Saturdays when I get the right staff in place, we will schedule particular groups of kiddos to come out to the farm and help us feed that morning, and also to tend the gardens. We can have a big picnic lunch at noon and the afternoon is free-time, do as you like. We will have lots of fun activities and parents can relax, have a massage, or take a pony and go for a ride down the old sandy carriage road behind the farm. I also plan to build an Earthship home, well, actually just help Cody build his. And small off-the-grid type cabins, spaced out for privacy, only one or two, so that we can rent them or use them for people to use that come here to heal. I love the idea that I am novice Curandera, and I must say, the beginning of such a venture is amazing, overwhelming at times, but so very much fun, it’s hard to put into words. Helping others is what I was always meant to facilitate, and this is my chance. And we’ll save the farm in the deal.

All farms need an old beat-up truck. Since Jim has been away, we have no farm truck. That is not good. Things must be moved and transported. I also want a small boat. But that will have to wait, unless some water sprite appears and shares her boat…

So I must go now, as we have a quiet sleeping house. It is about half-hour before noon. I can hear all the chimes and little bells ringing softly in the trees outside my front window. Today I build the studio. I’m about to wake people up and start moving things about as I have to get my desk in here. Setting it up in front of the big windows, for jewelry-making, sewing, and other wonderful things. I sell on ebay sometimes, but I want to be good enough to use Etsy.

I guess before I start going at this room, I’ll go back outside and work the front garden again. I can hear a bird of prey screaming high over the trees. WOW, he just got a LOT closer!

Gotta go, we got white kitties running amouk out there… PEACE!

False alarm, all is well. They (the two brother kittens, Arnie and Max) will have to learn about big birds, as we are going to be having some come to live here at the farm some day soon.

Today at Chez Cissy’s, we are cooking White Northern Beans. My first time actually. If I remember correctly, my grandmother would have cooked them with a ham bone. Since this farm is a Sanctuary, a Cruelty Free Place for the safety and happiness of all beings, I must devise another way to give them flavor. We already have some beautiful Genovese Basil that I could steal a few leaves from, a beautiful whole onion Cody brought in, which I intend to use in its entirety! And I ran across more garlic, just a bit left, yesterday hidden in the pantry, so that will help as well. It’s not Vegan, but I have some Hoison Sauce, so I will most likely use that, just a little, as well. I’m thinking black pepper. Some Spanish Olive Oil. Small shot of turmeric. Then we are going to explore making some “cornbread” and I use that term EXTREMELY loosely, because in fact, I will be replacing cornmeal in the recipe I choose with Amaranth Flour and Spelt Flour. My first on this too. I have no idea how this will go. Will be using eggs in this recipe, but Almond milk, not dairy. And just so you know, this is way more information than most chefs will share… So don’t pick on me if it doesn’t come out just perfect! haha

At least when Cody get’s in tonight late, he will have something good left waiting on the stove for him. I know he’s working hard. Probably harder than he ever has in his life. But he’ll have good equipment and experienced people around him. I gave him an old beat-up straw cowboy hat. He’s gonna need it.

Off to the front garden again. Trying to make a kitchen garden here, with herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, and such… We have lots of onions growing. The shade cloth purchased last month was meant to cover this kitchen garden as it is located right up next to the bright white house and the sandy soil gets far too hot for proper flowering of the plants. Yesterday I placed this shade cloth over my front studio windows because we have no AC unit at this time and this room heats up like a sauna in the summer! Happy Gardening People!

Mid-day siesta time...in Tejas

Mid-day siesta time…in Tejas

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