Jamie Sommers did it so much better but she didn’t have chickens

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions.  I wasn’t taking my supplements at the proper levels, forgetting to factor in my recent injuries, and I ended up quite down.  I thought that I would sell my chickens and chop down what is left of my garden and be done with it. 

A day of the proper doses and I was back in fighting trim. 

I do admit to pushing myself to do things and then regretting it later.  I helped a bit with the handrails on the new back steps:

tomato duck 013

In retrospect, probably not the greatest decision.  But it felt so good to be doing something normal.

The tomato plant has finally hit the Ripen button, and we’ve started picking.  Yes, the plants got so big they collapsed on themselves, in spite of the metal cages, and we’ve tied them up like they are circus tents. 

tomato duck 002

But there is sad news in the midst of new steps and new tomatoes.  Mrs. Duck is ill.  I’m not sure what is is.  She is having trouble raising her head and maintaining balance.  We’ve force-fed her Neem, water, some pellets, and put her into quarantine.  We’ll see if she pulls through.  Frankly, she’s too evil to die easily, so there is that in her favor. 

tomato duck 012

“Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he’s got… lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. ” Oh, wait, that’s not about ducks…or is it?

So, The Bionic Homesteader lives to fight another day.  With Ibuprofen in one hand and nothing in the other cuz it would hurt, she presses on.  I hope you will too.


Well, Hello There!

Good Enough Farm is back online.

Mostly to keep me focused and sane.

You see, friends, on May 29, 2014, on our way home from the Kingdom Hall, we were hit by a drunk driver.  All I remember was hearing Ronny say “This is going to hurt” and he was right.  I was in the back seat for some strange reason, a fact I will forever be grateful for since if it had been my son and not I who was injured I would be in jail for murder right now.

The air bags deployed and the front seat occupants were totally physically unharmed.  I, however, was in the back seat and unbuckled.  While this is legal in Virginia, let me assure you it is not without consequence.  We were traveling 50 mph and the drunk driver was accelerating out of a driveway into the wrong lane.  So I hit the back of the front seat at 50 mph and then was tossed back and to the side, a free object in a slow motion disaster.

I only remember being in pain and voices in the dark calling and me asking the EMT to not give me too much morphine as it frightened me.  I had diagnosed myself with a dislocated shoulder and told everyone.  I have since learned you should tell everyone that in fact you are dying and all your bones are broken.  They will not be gentle enough otherwise.  X-Rays showed that my shoulder was dislocated.  And broken at the ball.  They call this a fracture/dislocation of the proximal humerus.  There is nothing humorous about it, so I don’t know why they call it that.

I had to wear a diabolical device called an ‘immobilizer’ for one week, the sole purpose of which was to make sure my arm did not actually fall off while they waited for the swelling to subside enough for surgery.  Because now, I, the Princess who senses the pea or smells the offensive odor through a thousand mattresses and doors, I was now going to have a plate and screws in my body.  While I would love to praise the surgeon and such, I found the whole thing painful beyond measure and it is only Percocet which saw me through.

I started physical therapy two weeks ago and while I have seen progress–I can button buttons and raise my arm away from my side a bit–there are several times a day that I despair, quite literally, that I will ever be truly functional again.

During all this difficulty, which would have been enough for any one family, I think, my brother in law was staying with us while he pretended to be trying to get back on his feet.  After he exhausted our patience and pocketbooks he went back to where he was from, no better off than when he had come to us in the first place.  He called us to tell us he had broken his arm and didn’t have a place to stay and wouldn’t call his son or his daughter;  We gave him the number for a homeless shelter and heard nothing back for a week.  When he finally called again he told us he was in and out of the Wilmington, Delaware VA Hospital and they were helping him.  I hope they have better success than we did.  I think he wanted to come back and stay with us but I have a rule:  only three disabled people per household.  He has children but he must have exhausted their sympathies as well.  I think this is how people end up homeless.  They make no efforts to help themselves and don’t appreciate the efforts other people make in their behalf.  I would feel bad about it but he has carefully crafted exactly this bed his whole life and now, like it or not, it is the only one he has to lie in.

There.  I think I’ve vented enough for today.  I’ve had to stop for a half of a percocet and a hot water bottle during the course of typing–did you notice?  I apologize for all misspelling and grammar errors:  Blame it on the drugs and the limited arm usage, please.

How Come My Brain Needs A Recipe?

It’s really not fair.  Most people don’t need to juggle chems to make their brains work right.  They just do.  I’ve had to struggle all my life, pushing will-power past reality, trying just under ten different anti-depressants in thirteen years, trying to find the right ‘cocktail’ that would make it all better.

Now that I’m done with Paxil–yes, done with it–I’m still mixing amino acids to try to keep it all nice and even-keeled:

  • Tyrosine upon arising, mid-morning, lunchtime, three PM
  • GABA, the same schedule
  • DLPA, the same schedule
  • 5-HTP at 5 PM and 10 PM

I thought I was through with tyrosine, but I pushed myself too hard yesterday walking–it was only two and a half miles but it was downhill one way and uphill the other, at least a thirty degree grade.  Yikes!  So today I was a whupped puppy and couldn’t figure out I needed tyrosine until about 2 PM.

I’ve consistently screwed up on my 5-HTP and taken it too late, guess who slept really badly for the third night in a row?

It’s just not fair.

I was really bummed out about some stuff in my life-not in my head, but really happening-and was grateful to talk it over with a spiritual sister who I call my Mom.  It’s funny because she’s black and I’m not, but she is really my Mom right now.  She made me feel better just by being there and letting me talk and telling me I was not alone. She’s gone through the same stuff and she’s still serving God and I need to just keep doing what I should be doing, no point in worrying about things I can’t control.  I know these things myself but it makes a difference to have someone else tell you.

Anyway, this is all somehow related to blogging.

Years ago I followed a blogroll link to a ‘homesteading’ blog that wasn’t really at all.  This woman had the dream of doing it but she was blogging about the mess of her life and how she couldn’t wait until she and her husband sold their house-in which she lived on one floor and he lived on the other-so that she could build a house on the land she wanted and homestead by herself.  Now, she has chronic health problems and a bad marriage and she blogged brutally honestly about it all.  I was horrified and thought, “Wow, I never want to be that way.”

Oops, too late for that, I guess.

Then there’s the retro paleo girl who absolutely wigged out just recently and is trying to travel herself back by leaving her husband and kids and soaking in hot tubs and visiting people who live in yurts and what not.  She thinks this is the best way to find herself again.  By losing everything she’s created over the past ten(?) years:  family, children…  “See, that’s what happens when you dress in costumes,” I said, “you don’t know who you are anyway and all life is just acting a role because there isn’t really any You inside anyway.”

Now how would I know that?  Hunh….


Good Enough Farm lives in my head.  It’s a costume.  It’s a role I act.  Chickens, a garden, rabbits sometimes, goats sometimes;  They’re no better than a blue beret with a white pom-pom and a circa 1930’s sailor suit.  It’s just props.  It’s something that makes me feel like I fit somewhere.

It’s a way of hiding from Life instead of living it.

It’s why I always said, half-kidding and half-not, that I wanted to be a goat lady living on top of a mountain by myself:  If you can’t get along with anybody, if everybody drives you crazy, well, the best place to be is by yourself, and a house surrounded by goats tends to keep the neighbors away.

I’m tired of hiding and not playing well with others.  Is that why I like to hide and read books?  Just thought of that.

But it’s time for me to grow up and stop playing with sailor dolls and lincoln logs and plastic pigs.  I really need to pack Good Enough Farm in tissue paper and stop hiding.  I need to deal with my life and stop blogging about dealing with my life.

I always said that I would say ‘goodbye’ if I stopped blogging instead of leaving people hanging, wondering what happened.  So this is my goodbye.

Thanks to those who stuck by me, who cared about me even though they only knew the me I wanted to show.

Good Enough Farm is signing out.


I Have The Right To An Opinion, Or Do I?

Many times, as Americans, we talk about freedom of speech.  We say we have the right to freedom of speech.  We are right and wrong when we say this.  Our rights to political and religious free speech are supposed to be guaranteed.  If those rights are trespassed against then we can pursue legal redress.  In daily life, however, we may imagine that we have the right to speak our mind, but that is increasingly less and less the case.

I remember years ago hearing my mother and sister talking about how things were not “PC”.  I could not understand what Personal Computers had to do with what they were discussing.  I had been fortunate enough not to have been infected/affected by this rather oppressive concept of things being “politically correct.”  I am politically neutral, I said to myself, so what does this have to do with me?

Many years have passed and this concept of “PC” has grown and grown.  I am a bit startled from time to time at the intolerance people display.  As I heard someone say today, ‘people have the right to be stupid’.  I think that is no longer the case.  Oh, intellectually, you may have the right to be a bigot or a racist or this or that, but that only lasts until you say out loud that you feel that way and then, buster, buckle your seat belt because it’s about to get bumpy.

There is a quotation that I looked up today, similar to one often attributed to Voltaire, but with a bit more of a bite.

“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would still be evil.”
John Stuart Mill, 1859 from the Introduction to “On Liberty.”

I fear that people are no longer allowed to have differences of opinion.  There is some anonymous Board Of The Proper Opinion and if you cross it May God (whoops, can’t say that, might offend the Atheists or the Pagans!) Help You.  The problem is that opinions, rather like fashions, come and go.  What was Right four years ago can suddenly be Wrong today.  Things widely regarded as religious teachings held sacred for thousands of years are now cast as ‘opinions’, possibly ‘wrong opinions’ that can’t be tolerated.  If I’m willing to ‘tolerate’ you, why can’t you ‘tolerate’ me?

It is this which concerns me.  If the only true freedom of opinion rests within our skull then there is no more freedom.  If there is no more freedom, then what?  Look to history for what happens when freedom of dissent is no longer allowed.  This country was founded by people who fled Intolerance, who Dissented with the Powers of their time.  If there is no place left any longer for tolerance, for dissent, for honest disagreement, it is a sad day indeed.

To conclude, don’t think I am defending racism or bigotry or hatred.  I’m not.  I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.


It’s Liebster Season And I Don’t Have A Hat To Match

It must be Liebster Award Season.  I was nominated by two bloggers, http://amforte66.wordpress.com/ and  http://liisthinks.wordpress.com/  It’s a bit of a hectic time for me and I was reluctant to accept the challenge, but I’m taking some time for myself and going with it.  Now, the way the Liebster Award works, according to my nominators, is this:

The nominated user must provide a link back to the person who nominated them.
Provide 11 facts about yourself
Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you
Choose 11 more people and ask them 11 questions!

Eleven facts about myself:

1.  Even though I am 53, I am always doing childish things like walking curb stops like they are balance beams, seeing how far I can spit my gum in the parking lot, and taking my shoes off and jumping into the river…
2. I am growing my hair out because I always dreamed that I would be a grey-headed, long-haired grandmother with a fat braid of hair hanging down my back. I’m on a tough schedule since my grandson is 14 months old and my hair is just below my shoulders and not nearly grey enough.
3. I like to think I’m humble and modest but really I am ridiculously proud. Because I take pride in my humility and modesty. So it ruins the whole thing. Drat.
4. I lived in only two houses up until I went away to college. Then I lived in 3 dorms in two years, four apartments in four years, and since I married I’ve lived in seven different houses in thirty years.
5. I am only now reading The Wind in The Willows. Proving myself right yet again: The book is always better than the movie.
6. I worked in my father’s newspaper office during one summer and I was allowed to rewrite an AP story about squirrels carrying bubonic plague on a military base and then my dad put it in the paper. The newspaper? The Army Times.
7. I have trouble with authority. I always feel like “who are you to tell me what to do?!”. I’m okay with God telling me what to do though, cuz, like, he’s God.
8. I’ve lived in three different states: Maryland, Florida, and Virginia.
9. Before I discovered I suffered from depression I thought I was just terribly hard to impress.
10. One of the most helpful books I ever read was “Sink Reflections” by the Flylady. Good for my head and my house.
11. I’ve never made my children eat spinach or liver because I hate them (spinach and liver) that much.

Now, 11 Questions from amforte66: (Small panic, are these from amforte or liisthinks?! )
How are you, really?
Well, doctor, today I’m not too bad. I added some DLPA to my amino acid cocktail and I haven’t left my husband nor stabbed anyone, so, yeah, we’re okay today!
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I would say I am an extroverted introvert.
Mathlete or Athlete?
Neither, thank you very much. I think I am a bibliophile. Unless that’s an illegal or immoral thing and I’ve gotten confused, in that case, just forget I ever said anything.
What is your favorite television show and what do you like about it?
My favorite television show is The Bletchley Circle, although the last episode was a bit upsetting and I may renounce all dramas, including Call The Midwife.
What have you learned today?
I am not sure I like Pomegranate dressing
What is a habit you have that you like?
I am very self-critical, so it is hard to like anything about myself sometimes. That would be a habit you don’t like about yourself, Laura. Pick one you like. Ummm, I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that I can’t think of anything.
What’s the biggest personal change you’ve ever made?
I used to be a horrible potty-mouthed obscenity spewing cook in a Mexican Restaurant. I taught myself not to curse by drawing out the first letter of the epithet of the moment and then finishing it with a non-offensive word. Example: Ffffff-fudge, or Shhhhhhh-sugar. This training was so transformative that even if I have a shock of some sort or suffer bodily injury I do not curse. Mostly.
What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
I have to pick one? I’ll lump it all together as one thing: Drink three beers in college on three different occasions. I cannot drink. Each time I did stupid, regretful, humiliating things. I do not drink to this day. Lesson learned at 18.
What are some of your favorite websites?
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I am brutally honest about myself to others. I do this because I hate secrets. I have seen people destroy themselves and others trying to keep a secret under the misguided belief that the secret must be kept. I will not keep your secret; Don’t ask me to.
What do you like about blogging?
It’s a way for me to express myself. Cheaper than a shrink.

My 11 Questions to Bloggers (These have to be from liisthinks. They feel like her.)
1. If you could be an animal then what would you be and why?
When I was a pre-teen, I wanted to be a horse. Because they seemed so free and powerful.
2. If the whole world was about to End in one week, what would you do with the last 7 days of existence?
I live every day as if the world were about to end tomorrow. If you are waiting for the Grand Crisis to make changes in your life or tell that person that you are sorry or that you forgive them, realize that any day could be the end of the world for you. Life is not guaranteed each day.
3. If you could choose another Planet in the Solar system to go live on, which would it be and why?
I don’t have the house catalog for any other planet yet and Zillow’s Mars page is under construction. I am not averse to living on another planet, however, and it would not have to be like earth, exactly, but I would prefer it to be solid rather than liquid or gaseous. Not too close to a star, easy access to water, ample supply of a breathable atmosphere. No fiercesome beasts.
4. What would you change about your daily routine?
I was walking every day until my BIL came to stay with us during his cancer recovery. I need to do that again.
5. The best place ever you have traveled? If not traveled yet, then what would this best place be?
I have been up and down the East Coast of the US. Every place is different. I think that if you haven’t traveled in your own country, whatever it is, don’t be in such a rush to travel abroad. You might be astonished at the variety of culture, climate, architecture, etc in your own backyard.
6. Would you rather live in a city or country-side and why?
Oh, Oh, I blogged this!!!! http://goodenoughfarm.blogspot.com/2010/10/tracing-path.html
7. If you could become the president of your country tomorrow, what would you change?
That’s easy. I would change being the president of my country. I am in no way qualified.
8. Ever “judge a book by its cover” and have you been wrong?
No. I judge people by their ‘vibes’. I am never wrong. Sometime people will say, “oh, you would like so and so” and then I meet them and their vibes are all wrong and I will wonder, ‘why did they think I would like this person?’ I will try to overcome my vibe and get to know the person better, but in the end, my vibe detector is always right.
9. If you could travel back in time what decade would you like to live in and why? (be a hippy in 60s? a king/queen in medieval times? rockstar in 80s? a cave man in “donkeys years ago”?)
I used to think I should have been born in the years before the first World War because life was simpler then. I think now that I try to have a simpler life in the time I live in, embracing the technology I’m comfortable with and rediscovering how to do things without some of that technology.
10. Give praise to the person you idolize!
I try not to idolize. People are just people with faults and good qualities. I admire some people but I hope I keep them in the proper perspective.
11. Having fun?
It wasn’t as bad as I thought!

Choose 11 more people and ask them 11 questions

And this is the part I always have trouble with.  It’s like a chain letter. I always break the chain letter and die horrible deaths and am cursed forever and lose my left eyeball.  *sigh*  I don’t even know eleven bloggers….  And what’s with the number 11 anyway?

Let me come up with eleven questions first.  Let’s see….

1.  Name the best book you read as a child and the best book you read as an adult.

2.  Why did you start blogging and are you still blogging for the same reasons?

3.  Do you break the rule to never discuss politics or religion?

4.  What is your most favored pet you have had and why?

5.  Is Monsanto really the Devil?

6.  Paper or Plastic?

7.  If I asked you to write a rant, what would it be?

8.  Does it bother you that they took planet status away from Pluto?

9.  Why do movie makers rewrite the ending of the book when making movies?

10.  If you could be a superhero, what would you want your power to be?

11.  Looking back, at what age do you think you really became an adult and why?

Last, but not least, as many bloggers as can think of (excepting my nominators):










Sometime in early 2013, my husband traded a car for a motorcycle.  It seemed like a good deal at the time.  Even Steven.

Until he wanted new pipes.  And a new windshield.  And a cool helmet.  And two leather motorcycle jackets.  Oh, and the motorcycle has to have somewhere to live now, because God Forbid it should get a raindrop on it.

Enter:  The Shed.

shed debt 001

shed debt 002

It’s a rent-to-own deal, so the monthly payments are low, but I checked the paperwork and the total payoff is ridiculous, so we’ll pay it off early somehow.

I can feel a migraine coming on.