I’m back and Happy New Year!

Hello everybody! Happy New Year! Here I am writing the first blog in I don’t want to think about how long. Oh well. No excuses and no putting myself down. I’m blogging now and that’s what counts!

What is going on in my life? I am so glad you asked. The population of our house changed several times recently. The kids went back to their parents completely back in November, over the Thanksgiving break. Things are going well and everyone seems mostly happy about it. There are, of course, growing pains for anyone when their lives change that much, but everyone is understanding and I think it’s going well. For myself, I am doing almost shockingly well. I think that some of the stress induced by the whole situation (dealing with the state being up in our business and never knowing when anything would change, etc.) really knocked me down and I was so exhausted and stressed all the time that I am still just getting used to the release of pressure. All that to say that I love seeing the kids, and I am glad we had them and they changed me, but I am not in any way crushed about them leaving. People ask me all concerned-like how I am doing and I think they are a little surprised when I say awesome. What can I say? I get more sleep and I get to go to the bathroom by myself! Sometimes I worry that that makes me a monster, or maybe that I was never that attached to them at all, but mostly I think I’m just grateful to not have the state watching over my shoulder all the time.

About a month after the kids left, Carlos’s mom and his brother Desmond moved back in. We have the house set up a bit better than we did the last time we were in this situation and everyone has their own room, although Carlos’s mom’s is the dining room blocked off by sheets. We also got a piano at the same time, and all the kids go crazy for it when they come to visit. I never realized that getting a free piano would make me so popular among the under-10 set!

We have slowly been losing a few of our chickens. We originally (ok, not originally-originally, but since August) had 29 chickens. 1 bantam hen disappeared (I suspect raccoons) months ago, Ruby died after a short illness, Pinecone was found dead in the henhouse one morning. Recently we have had 3 more of the bantams go, the most recent last night. I do not know what is causing this, especially the 3 recent ones. They present as not doing well in general: one was sitting by herself and huddled down and cold, one was the same but kind of flipped over and totally out of balance, and the third had a bad leg that she did fine with, but then all the others started pecking her one day and I brought her inside for more specific care. All three of them lasted in the house for a couple of weeks, got better, got worse, never really seemed healthy, and then finally took a turn, did much worse, rallied a bit and then died. I am not sure if there is a disease, or if there’s something in the house that is affecting them, or maybe they’re missing something in their diet, or I’m just not taking good enough care, or what. I don’t know the ages except the first one that moved into the house (Anna, short for, for whatever reason, Annabiotics) was young, from the group we called the Peepers, who were a matter of a few days old when they came here, so about 4 months old when she died. It’s very strange and of course I am not a fan, but I’m hoping it can stop now. I have had enough of burying chickens, thankyouverymuch.

Speaking of chickens, I am selling eggs and the little brats are almost paying for their own food! I have collected $30 in egg money, and I should get another $8 tomorrow. I have to buy food tomorrow, and it will cost about $45 for a month’s worth. That’s pretty close to covering their own food, and I haven’t been really pushing sales for very long! Maybe next month they can cover the whole thing and their bedding as well!

I have, of course, set some goals for myself for the new year. I am constantly trying to improve myself all the time, and this year I set some goals and made a habit tracker in my Bullet Journal. I am working on things like drinking enough water, not eating sugar (which I thought I was already good at but turns out not so much!) and having a better attitude. When I do (or in some cases don’t do) my things, I get to color in a square. You would be amazed what a great push that can be! “Hmm. I kinda want to check Facebook one more time before bed, but if I do, I don’t get to color my box. I guess I’ll just read.” At this point it’s still working, so I guess I’ll keep it up for now!

I am also trying to work out, learn how to play the piano, keep up on housekeeping tasks, brush my teeth a second time every day, keep better track of credit fixing and animal care, and market the heck out of the eggs. The working out has not been every day, but I have done it several days and it’s great. I did a pilates workout day before yesterday that focused on abs, and then a yoga one yesterday that also focused on abs and guess what. My abs are sore! I have abs you guys! On the opposite days from the pilates workouts I am doing the jogging app again, Couch to 5K style, but I am doing it inside on a running machine thing (no, it’s not a treadmill or an elliptical. It is literally a running machine thing.) I have decided that if just breathing gives you an ice cream headache, it is too cold to start jogging outdoors. I am looking forward to taking it outside because I don’t really like the machine thing that much and I also want to take the dog with me as he could use some exercise as well.

Still looking for a house. Actually put in a bid on a HUD house before we saw it last week because my agent said that if we didn’t like it and won, we could still turn it down. And wouldn’t you know, that’s exactly what happened. The house was basically the same size as the one we have, the land not as big as we hoped, and the outbuilding were in disrepair. Oh, yeah, it was waaaay too far from work, too. So we decided we didn’t want to go through with it, and sure as shit, ours was the highest bid (maybe other people looked before they bid?!?) No biggie. I think it hopefully means that our bidding luck is not too bad and when we find one we really do want, we will still be able to win!

I think that’s about it for the moment. I hope you all had a great bunch of holidays and I’ll talk to you later!

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