Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Both cats got up with me and started to go outside but had second thoughts. I almost had second thoughts and went back to bed.
I have had two cats for years. I can't even remember when I got these two but it has to be 5 or 6 or years ago.
"Wally" aka "Go Away" is my best ( feline) buddy.
One morning, years ago, I walked into Wal-Mart at 7am to buy a winter coat for my grand-daughter. As I walked into the garden center I heard a faint "meow." A few minutes later Pappy cashed me out and again I heard a faint "meow" but this slightly more frantic.
I asked Pappy where the crying was coming from, and he told me that kittens had been born in the corner of the garden center minutes before I arrived, and proceeded to show me where the cats were.
There was not a cat in sight. The mother cat had moved everyone. But one. And he was a new born jet black kitten, still covered in afterbirth, right in the middle of the concrete aisle. I swooped him up, stuck him in my coat pocket and ran back into the store to buy some cat milk re-placer and an eye dropper.
As I walked back out of the garden center with newly purchased winter coats and kitten in my pocket those who had previously worked with me kept shaking their heads saying,"He's going to die... you are carrying around a dead kitten."
When I got to work my boss shook his head and said, "That kitten can't live..he's too young, he's going to die." I shoved him back into my pocket determined that he was going to live.
I was working three jobs at that time, and that kitten went everywhere with me, curled up in my coat pocket. I kept him in my pocket when I went shopping, and it got so bad that store employees would ask me to empty my pockets to make sure they didn't have a cat in the store.
It made no difference whether I was horseback, or ground schooling.. that kitten was safe in my coat pocket.
He grew and grew healthy. He graduated from my pocket to a cat bed in the truck, he opened his eyes and started to move around, then he became a pest crawling around the truck and sitting on the dashboard as we drove down the road.
Pappy's wife had watched him grow, as many in Ruidoso had. And one day she asked me if I wanted a "pal" for him. Another kitten. So I went to Pappy's Cafe in Ruidoso Downs and Marlene gave me a gorgeous Siamese colored kitten who turned out to be a Maine Coon. My boss immediately named him "Bandit."
But Wally remained special to me, even though he now stayed at home with Bandit.
Even today I can't walk down the road without Wally following behind me like a loyal dog. If I go into my bosses Wally follows me. Before my boss sold the arena and corrals my black cat would follow me while I led the horses to the arena, fed the horses with me and played around me as I cleaned corrals.
He just stays as close to me as he possibly can, and when I start to shiver he comes over and tries to warm me. He is so funny.
This past week my boss shook his head and said, "I can't believe that he lived and I can't believe he's so big." Shortly after I got him I heard, rightly or wrongly, that the mother cat and her kittens had been found, trapped and euthanized.
Not being able to find them was a sincere regret. But I sure have never regretted raising one little black kitten from birth...
Almost two weeks ago someone from the Humane Society approached my truck as I was leaving TR's store and asked me if I would take a hound who badly needed a home. It saddens me to have to say no. It's hard for me to say no. I don't understand human beings who can turn away a helpless animal when they give such joy & dedication.
It's painful to see animals abandoned, but in this economy it seems that those who can't speak for themselves are the first to feel the impact. Two days ago a friend of my family found 2 very young puppies abandoned outside of the Allsups store. My son-in-law named them *Frazier & *Foreman and they are unwanted no more.
I have no idea where the video was taken but it is hilarious.
There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats. ~Albert Schweitzer
Monday, November 29, 2010
Yesterday and all through Sunday night I was so ill I don't even know what the weather was like, but I woke up this morning to...
....SNOW. Not a lot of snow but enough to have me grinding my teeth.
Yesterday afternoon I was carrying a 15 lb bag of sugar to the coffee maker, not noticing that the bag had a tear. When the entire bag ripped the bed and the cat litter box was full of.. sugar.
Both cats went to view their cat litter box fairly perplexed at why I would dump 8 lbs of sugar into it, and the dogs were equally perplexed at why the bed was covered in sugar.
Living in a shed has it's "moments." Besides the excruciating cold it's difficult having no place to hang clothes, or keep paperwork in order. To know where anything is. I can put something down and within a second I have no earthly idea where I put it. It's amazing how much you can miss somethings, like a fridge, range, somewhere to cook food. Wardrobes, chest of drawers, room to walk without having to climb over boxes and packed items.
A life worth living in livable conditions.
I'm not too sure how my boss has tolerated this because it's hard on me and I know that it's got to be hard on him. What was his "tool shed" became my "home" then became a storage unit when the backhoe woman demanded that I move my property - again. This time out of the 2 stall barn my boss had built prior to selling the land. He's worried that it's become a fire hazard and I wouldn't be able to get out if a fire started. He's right. I wouldn't.
The feed room is now full of appliances and building supplies, the tack room has my couch and chair and other stuff. The stalls have boxes & suitcases piled up.
The basement of the house looks like a Chinese laundry. After I was told to get my belongings out of the 2 stall barn the rains started and everything I own that was in the tool shed became submerged in water. Trying to salvage what I could I started emptying ruined boxes and it all went into the basement of the house.
It is organized chaos.
Having spend several years under water heavy mold set into the shed structure, but despite attempts by the insurance company to appraise the damage I can't find a way to move all the contents so that the damage to the walls can be appraised let alone repaired.
During the time period the 12th district was issuing subpoenas on a regular basis the Lincoln County Sheriff's department would serve me the subpoenas here at the shed, and you could see on their faces bewilderment. It's hard to explain how a thief can have his home protected and he can live like a civilized human being while the victims don't have such privilege.
So this morning I woke up to sugar inside and snow outside. More than once I have felt like a gypsy and I know that I frequently look like a gypsy, but the hardships just seem magnified during festive seasons like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
My truck had to go to the mechanics today so he can put a band aid on it and as Mike and I returned back to Alto I prayed to God that no more snow falls. But there must have been more people prayer FOR snow than praying that it would go away because by mid-day the temperature dropped into the 20's and ... snow fell..
Barometer n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having. - Ambrose Bierce, The Devils Dictionary
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I was so cold yesterday I never took my ski jacket off from sun-up to well after sunset and I crawled into bed. I started to rake pine needles, painted the chest of drawers some, helped my youngest daughter look at a few used saddles, and did all at the speed of a sloth on librium because I just couldn't get warm or stay warm. By early evening the wind had started up in earnest as another cold front came in. It felt like this metal shed was going to self destruct around me.
My youngest daughter, like myself, is plagued with violent migraines and she was barely able to utter a word without saying, "I can't get rid of this migraine." I asked her if she had any pain killers, but she refuses to take them because she can't swallow them nor keep them down.
Their state felt the destruction of the recession very early on, both lost their jobs almost 2 years ago and can't find full time work. I worry so about them.
It gets me so frustrated when people ask, "can't your kids help you financially" when I see both daughters struggling so, unable to meet their expenses, and having children in the home.
The middle class is slowly disappearing here in America. We are going to end up with the poor, and the rich and nothing in-between.
The world truly is in an upheaval. Social unrest and financial mayhem present in each nation:
We have America involved in two wars and if North Korea doesn't pull in it's horns and stop bombing Yeonpyeong Island and trying to intimidate the South Korean there will be a third. Riots prevail in Italy, Ireland, England, Greece and many more countries are in jeopardy. There is a stand of with Pakistan, Arabs wanting to air strike Iran, friction between the Chinese & Japanese over disputed waters and Wikileaks showing the dark side of international politics that will surely cause tension between allies. No-one is going to ignore the demeaning and disrespectful remarks towards almost every leader and every government. The EU debt is spiraling out of control. The Romania government cut the take home pay for teachers over 50%.. in a country where the pay was already painfully low. China & Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade.. others will follow.
I used to think that the conservatives in America had the answers to the problems but having gone through the judicial system and seen more of the American government than I care to have seen, and watched the coldness around me, I know that they don't have the answer to anything. Sadly they can't see that reality.
One poster on the Ruidoso News Topix responded to the letter to the editor written by Jack Hemby about this ridiculous tax increase to provide funds for a billionaire that absolutely - without a shadow of doubt - sums up the America as I now see it.
"Games of Rich Folks
52 minutes ago
Who cares what you do or how you spend your pennies. I am rich and don't give a ****."
I know that we are facing perilous times and I know that these things must come to pass, but it disturbs me to see hearts hardened. To see those who claim Christ show no love of Christ. To see stealing, lying, embezzlement become acceptable careers both in the political arena and in society as a whole, including the church. To see the poor and vulnerable beaten down or ignored. And to excuse this behavior with irrational motivations provoked by self interest and unadulterated greed. I know that this must come to pass... I know that God must sift the chaff from the wheat, selecting only what He Himself planted, and what has rooted. But I don't like to see an entire nation proclaim to be a nation founded upon Jeudo-Christian belief's while embarking on a path that cannot be pleasing to God, and I don't have to like it. The consequences are going to be severe.
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other... But he who stands firm to the end will be saved. - Matthew 24:10-16
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Several grand-children need new saddles but one in particular got in front of the line. How I would love to be able to get her a 14 inch Donaho saddle but the prices are simply outrageous. I had to laugh when I heard the description of the saddle sought.. It has to be waterproof so she can take Alli swimming in the lake.
Ski Apache opened up this week, though we have so little snow only two lifts are operable, and there is much better skiing available north of us.
Jack Hemby wrote a letter to the editor last week and I must admit that this man has earned my respect for his honor ability and determination. A long time racehorse trainer/owner what he doesn't know about the racing industry is, perhaps, not worth knowing.
From the onset I said that I was going to stay out of this and not voice an opinion, being homeless even as a victim of crime doesn't put you in a position where one can weather storms, but it's impossible to remain quiet when you see such brave souls stand up for what is right socially, politically and spiritually.
Yet I have some questions and no answers: Did the church group who recently had money embezzled REALLY renovate the jockey changing room, free of charge, for RD Hubbard & Allred in 2009? Do people truly understand that you cannot expect an entire county, 400 square miles in area, to be solely dependent upon gambling for the revenue to retain an adequate infrastructure? What happened to God in this equation? Does anyone claiming Christ truly believe that getting entangled with a philanderer and an abortionist is choosing the right path?
Yes, I know, because I am homeless it will be said that I am not in a position to speak up but speak up I certainly will do because failing to speak up will be dereliction of duty as a Child of God, and will leave others stood alone.
Last year I sat talking with a pastor about abortion and he told me that though he may not agree with it he certainly did not consider it murder because God didn't see human beings - made in His image - as human beings "until they were born."
I smiled at him but I was simply spitting nails in my heart.
We are truly in the latter days.
GRT Boycott Will Continue
To the editor:
Posted: 11/23/2010 08:46:52 PM MST
I want to remind the 49 percent of the Lincoln County taxpayers who voted against the GRT for R. D. Hubbard that the tax will start Jan. 1.
This is a tax that should have never come up for a vote. I never thought in my lifetime that I would see taxpayers forced to pay a tax to support a rich man's casino.
The Republican Party of Lincoln County cries about no more taxes and no more bailouts, but went against the grain and voted to give a rich casino owner a bailout paid for by the taxpayers of Lincoln County.
Both of our political parties lie through their teeth to working Americans.
I think a lot of the businesses in Ruidoso sold the people of Lincoln County down the river. I think it will come back to haunt a lot of them.
The talk through the horse-men's grapevine is that racetrack management said they were going to do some work in the Turf Club, but they were not going to do anything on the backside of the racetrack, because trainers do not pay anything for their stalls.
The next thing Hubbard will want is for the horsemen to pay $3 to $5 a day for each stall so he can rake in a few thousand dollars more a day.
Since the GRT bill passed, I have only walked through the door of one business that supported the tax charade.
I will continue boycotting business that has no regard for their customers and I hope you do the same.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Yesterday I was simply overtaken with sleeping sickness. Everyone was working but myself. As the thermometer dropped early in the day I curled up in bed and watched a movie trying to keep warm. And there started an inability to keep my eyes open or even think clearly.
It's a frustrating feeling when it's too cold to be up and around. The shivering exhausts and the human body or mind doesn't seem to be designed to work under a certain temperature. By midnight it was 6 degree's outside and well under 0 degrees in this metal shed.
Rio and Copper started pawing me periodically. Their need to go outside prevented me from sleeping the entire day, their need to play woke me up a little and pulled me out of a cloudy sleepyhead state. But I was far from mentally or physically functional.
By 2.30 am I woke up and forced myself to stay up, determined to pull myself out of this fog.
My 9 yr old grand-daughter decided that she didn't want Christmas presents this year, she wanted to spend Christmas with me instead. It's very hard to explain to a 9 yr old that you neither have a vehicle that you can travel in, nor the finances to stop working and walk away from a building project. I simply have too much on my plate. The same plate I was holding 3 years ago.
In 2008 she came to Ruidoso for the summer. Plans that had been made while believing that Robert Huckins would have our home finished by July. Airline tickets that had been purchased in advance. It was an awful year and we did everything possible to make sure she had fun, but it certainly was a rough time.
Before she went home I was engulfed in the process of trying to find where Robert & Sylvi Huckins have hidden the money, white collar crime investigators were getting ready to arrest Robert Huckins for the third time, 2 year old Sean died of leukemia, I was living in a metal garden shed instead of a home so my mother couldn't come back to see the home she had purchased by selling her home in England. Chaos reigned.
I promised her to try and turn everything around so I can be in a home before this coming summer - then she can come and stay with me, but I know better than make clad iron guarantees.
There have been so many people hurt in this situation. My grand-children, my mother, myself.. Dorothy, so many people. All victims of a judicial system that had no desire to stop one couple from destroying the lives of others.
I understand how Dorothy's McKeevers daughters must have felt watching their mother go through this hell, because I see the same in mine. Financially unable to help, frantically trying to find help, frustration that this has been allowed and no help in sight.
Everyone has the answer to the problem but the answers keep changing depending on what excuses can justifying ignoring a situation. John said that he bumped into a local builder a few weeks ago. The builder made the comment that "someone must help that poor woman, but I was told that she doesn't have the money for building material." John responded, "Well, she has an old single wide and building material and not ONE person other than Jesse and I are offering to help."
So perhaps the answer has changed in the past year. Maybe it no longer has anything to do with the availability of building material. Lord help me, it could be anything by now. I have heard it all.
For right now my grand-daughter will have to make do with a new saddle... though there has been a great deal of discussion about whether she wanted a new western saddle or an English saddle and she chose the former... what a traitor.It's easier to wear the buckle than ride the bull - Billy L.Young
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Mike Snow has been a friend for years, and he's such a dedicated, and humble, servant of the Lord. Farmer, pastor, author he is a wonderful kind and caring human being. Mike married another friend of mine, Carmen. Carmen is a Christian music teacher who was born, raised and who still lives & teaches in Romania while she is getting her PhD in music.
Carmen's daughter, Annie, is the artist responsible for the book cover.
Mike's latest book, "Oh Holy Night" a reflection of the Christmas truce, is available through Amazon, or through his web site. www.mikesnow.org
I highly recommend it. When Mike was last in Ruidoso I had a home and he had written a wonderful book about "Christian marriages" that I proof read for him and that book was simply life changing. The UK based website “Christmas Truce” reviews “Oh Holy Night” and calls is “… a fantastic read…“. You can read the full review over at the Christmas Truce.
Ted Pressley, founder and president of Cowboys For Christ, wrote to me this past week wanting an update on my situation. On my home, barn.. any forthcoming help. Sadly I never responded fearing that I'd sound like the Grinch stealing others joy.
Ted is a wonderful brother in Christ and he somehow manages to bring joy and a joke or two into any situation.
Ted will be preaching at the NCHA Futurity in Fort Worth,Sunday,November 28th at 10:30 in the John Justin Arena at 10:30 http://www.facebook.com/l/41b1erWYbCNj6umMGY2wBLYxN5A;am.Come as you are and bring your family and friends! If you are in the area I recommend that you go to the service.
As I walked through Wal-Mart yesterday Pastor Marty Lane came rushing around the corner of an aisle and gave me a tap on my shoulder. Whenever new residents in Lincoln County ask what church I recommend I always tell them. "Christ Church In The Downs." Al & Marty Lane. I can't ever put into words the respect I feel for Al & Marty Lane. They are awesome on fire for the Lord Christians, and they have certainly had their own cross to bear in recent years.
They both put up with my pro-life campaign during the Terri Shiavo tragedy and many other situations before and after.
Daryl & Debbie Dunn. They left Ruidoso and moved their house painting business to Truth & Consequences maybe two years ago pretty upset that the Christian community here was so lukewarm, or Christians in name only. I have only bumped into them once since that relocation. Daryl and Debbie are an absolute trip.
I met them when Daryl lost control of their car on thick ice and plummeted off an embankment into my garden, nose first. I don't think I have ever met any couple who so sincerely desires to serve the Lord, to evangelize, to reach the unsaved. They are genuine, honest, honorable. Yet life has not been gentle with them. Their road as been a terribly hard one. When I die if I can count 5 people who are powerful servants of God Daryl and Debbie will be in that number.
I know that there are others that I have not mentioned.. people who are not pew warmers but dedicated enough to walk right into the fire, to stand for the word of God in a politically correct world that see's the Word as politically incorrect. These are the "warriors" in every spiritual sense.
I am so thankful for these rock solid Christians who have been in my life as sincere friends for years. They will never know how much I appreciate them.
I'm especially thankful for my own family. My daughters and son-in-laws who are all going through financial struggles and turmoils of their own. I'm so proud of them all. I just wish I could be in my kitchen cooking Thanksgiving dinner so that one of my son-in-laws, who now resides in Missouri, could walk through the door and say, "we arrived JUST in time."
I miss those roast beef, mashed potatoes, freshly baked chocolate cake "just in time" moments and will treasure them forever.
God gave us memories that we might have roses in December. ~J.M. Barrie
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
John phoned me last night but it's become so clearly evident that he's not going to do as he say's that I kept far away from discussing anything to do with the barn, or trailer house least my hopes are raised again, only to plummet and send me into a deep depression. There is a time to stop accepting more disappointment that reduces me to tears and let it go. For me this past week-end was that time.
On Monday I found a local man, a welder, whose rates would have been do-able had it not been for the RIP announcement that landed on my truck yesterday. This has been a horrendously nasty game and I am so cold, ill and so exhausted.
In 2008, when the fact that I had hired an habitual criminal came to light I approached both the local police and the District Attorney's office under Scott Keys.
What I was told made my blood simply turn to ice. But the bottom line was, if I was to have any hope of getting the money back I was going to become an investigator myself - because I certainly wasn't going to get any help from the judicial system.
And for 9 months that is exactly what I did. I investigated, and I pulled up information neither the District Attorneys office nor, much later, the White Collar Crime investigators for the state of New Mexico could have had access to. I contacted states where Huckins had purchased businesses, and I contacted lawyers in Belgium, who contacted court Prefects. And all the time I was begging Huckins to finish the building of the house and barn he had started. Having to drive 17 miles one way every single day to my land, to monitor the progress. I thought it was the hardest time anyone could be forced into.....
But it was plain sailing alongside trying to get this property livable, even with a trailer set up and material to renovate it..
The weather forecast was 100% correct at a time I dearly wish they had been 100% wrong. A cold front came, and brought high winds and dropping temperatures. This has been a miserable night and the prospect that it will get better today doesn't look too good. It's always 10 degree's lower in this shed than it is outside, so I feel the difference - and quickly so. I suspect that the temperature is going to drop again tomorrow.
I was told by one of the mechanics not to drive my truck, or if I had no option, drive it only short distances. Seeing as it's my work horse and I have no option I am going to be praying to God and swimming for the shore today.
Yesterday while talking to a group of people I made a comment and I watched one persons eyes reflect a strong reaction. Like a light bulb going on. They FINALLY grasped the reality.
I am "homeless."
I'm not "camping out," not having an "outdoor experience," not electing to "rough it".. I am homeless. If I wasn't homeless I wouldn't be frantically trying to get a home put together.
I'm not trying to get a summer home together, or a winter ski home together, or a second home. This isn't a lovely little project I decided would be fun. I'm homeless.
Huckins promised that our new home would be finished before July of 2008, and when that didn't materialize I desperately worried about not being inside a home by the winter of 2008. And here I am in the winter of 2010.. in exactly the same position. I have found that people just don't seem to grasp this reality. Or they don't want to.
This afternoon I held an injured TB yearling for Jan at the Lazy J Running TB's & QH's while she doctored the filly, and I didn't want to leave that barn. This is my life, my work, my employment. I eat, drink and sleep family and horses. I have no other vices but my passion for that I love. And my life has gone to hell in a hand basket because I am, plain and simple, homeless.
On the bright side the Novembers restitution payment from Huckins, $450, arrived this afternoon at my daughters mail box. To which I say HALLELUJAH! Now how long will it take him to pay off the $79,460.04 building fund he STILL owes us?
Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration. ~Charles Dickens
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
A mechanic in Capitan, Andy's, offered to put my Ford350 on the computer to find out what is wrong with it. I am so thankful for that wonderful gesture because all wanted to charge me to tell me what the truck needed.
Mike and I drove it to Capitan today to get a diagnosis. I prayed that it was going to be something minor that I can handle. But it wasn't going to be so. I felt very comfortable with these two mechanics.. they were honest to a fault and it didn't take long to see why they came highly recommended by everyone I had spoken to in the local horse and ranch industry.
It will take a minimum of $800 to keep it running, and $1,800 to do the job correctly, which means replacing all the lifters. But with 144,000 miles on the motor there is no telling what will go wrong - NEXT.
Mike had asked what it would cost to have transmission work done on his Dodge, thinking I could register and insure it and it could be a truck for me to just "get by with".. but they thought that repair cost was going to be in the $2,500 range. Mike bite his lip. I wanted to bite both of my lips off.
I'm pretty disheartened about the whole mess, primarily because I have been putting every single dime I earn into the trailer house and I left myself in a precarious position of having to jump out of a plane without a parachute.
While stood talking to the mechanics I looked at Mike and said, "Oh God, I have no vehicle." He smiled and said, "Well, you have a vehicle but you need to start looking for a truck to replace it QUICK."
Quick.. with WHAT money? I'm still trying to figure out how to get the funds to buy two temporary poles so I can have the rare and exceptional luxury of having light, heat and water in my trailer home on my property.
We will take the Ford350 back Monday morning and see if we can throw a band-aid on it. As I drove back from Capitan I remembered the flowery speech the criminal defense attorney for Robert Huckins gave during the sentencing in the spring of 2010.
"But he drives an old vehicle" the attorney cried defending his client.
Well, I drive an old vehicle but I sure as heck don't have stolen money stashed away that could cushion the fall when you need a newer vehicle, and is destroying the lives of the people whose money it is.
November 23rd and there isn't a dime in sight from Robert Huckins. Maybe I should send HIM the mechanic bill, seeing as he's got our money.
It was incredibly cold this morning and due to get a whole lot colder by Thanksgiving, when snow is in the forecast. But by 10 am the weather was simply glorious, so sunny, clear skies and so inviting. The drive to and from Capitan with the windows down felt good.
The chest of drawers has been half way painted "Hunter Green" but I'm unsure that the weather will get warm enough today to finish it. I doubt that I'm going to have the ability to stay away from that project. There is nothing worse than a woman and a paintbrush when it comes to "impatience."
It's strange how you desperately keep trying to put your life back together again even if it's only painting.
Sinning wouldn't be so popular if it's wages were paid immediately.
Monday, November 22, 2010
John never arrived and I couldn't get hold of him despite my phoning almost none stop. Right after noon yesterday I started with a lousy migraine that just got worse as the day went by. I fell asleep before 5.30 pm, but woke up in the middle of the night deathly ill. So ill each time one of the dogs moved I screamed at them to lay still, not rock the boat anymore than it was rocking already. The whole world was spinning around me, my vision already gone, sick to my stomach and I was so cold I couldn't stop shivering as the wind blew right through this metal shed.
The truck had broken down multiple times going to Ruidoso and coming back yesterday, and the fear that it was going to break down and leave me stranded was a real possibility. I just felt like my last nerve was unraveling and trying to do "the right thing" seemed impossible.
Had I been able to put a roof on the barn and start to renovate the building a bit at a time to make it into a house 2+ years ago, I would have done so. If I could have sold this bloody land and recouped some of the money I would have done so. Had I been able to renovate this old trailer, or any old building before winter I would have done so. I have tried EVERYTHING without any success - and it's worn me down to nothing.
My finances can only go in one direction. I either sink all of my money into building a home, or I sink all of my money into maintaining & repairing my vehicle, and having a standard of life worth living. I can't financially do both. A building project is simply NOT in my present budget. And you can't have stability without a home or without a vehicle - so I'm stuck betwixt the devil and the deep blue sea.
Thus far I have managed to neglect everything so that I can put every dime into a home and the end result is half a vehicle and half a house, neither doing me any good and both causing so much worry it's making me ill. I can't handle losing my truck when I'm homeless. It would be the straw that broke the camels back.
Everything I think IS logical in theory, in what is nothing short of a deplorable situation, is turning into one fiasco after another in practice. John told me that it would cost $600 to put the roof up over the 2,000 sq foot barn if he was allowed to put up a pipe roof, so I purchased $600 worth of pipe. I already have the material on the ground waiting to be used. If I get the barn roof up I can put all my belongings into a dry barn instead of having it scattered all over, and being ruined.
Getting that barn roof up is turning into a bloody nightmare.
I was told that it would take a matter of days to renovate the trailer. 5 months later it only has 2 windows replaced.
My oldest daughter and I discussed the recession and how people are hurting in this county. She mentioned one person whose father had died last week and she didn't have the money to travel to him before he passed away, and horrified I asked "Why didn't someone say something?" I don't have anything but the money to put the roof on the trailer, but I would have gladly paid the airfare in such a situation.
Then she told me about a man who had lost his hand in an accident last week, and had no insurance. His wife can't drive and he is the sole provider. I sat exasperated asking how we could get together and help his family through this holiday season.
I felt so helpless being in such a ludicrous position myself.
I thought I could settle in knowing that I was going to face a rough winter and use that time to try to write fiction - alien territory for me - but it's real hard to think when you are cold, worried and ill. Yet I keep struggling trying to put everything together again, trying to get the barn roof on, the trailer renovated, trying to "fix" a broken life that doesn't seem impossible to fix . But it's impossible for me.
Mike intended to head to the property tomorrow and do something - anything - just to keep the work progressing along but Mike has no building experience. Instead I have asked if he would help me find a good diesel mechanic and see what is wrong with the truck and how much it's going to cost to repair.
And here we are on the 22nd of November and the Novembers payment from Robert Huckins still has not arrived...
Life should never be this much fun. So much for American justice. I will repeat what I have said from day one. If Robert Huckins is not going to repay the $82,200 in it's entirety, in one lump sum so that I can have a home and my life can return to normal, instead of this inhumanity being allowed to continue...PUT THIS MAN IN JAIL WHERE HE BELONGS!
Whoever said nothing is impossible, never tried slamming a revolving door.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Severe storm warnings, including from 1ft to 4ft snow was forecast yesterday, but I hope that remains in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.
Yesterday I finished painting the tack boxes well before the wind started up. I still have the bottoms to paint but the exterior and interior are finished. At the dumpster I found an awesome little old oak chest of drawers that will be great for the breezeway in the barn. Seeing it's already painted with enamel paint it won't take long to re-paint it to match it up with the two tack boxes and I will have 3 drawers in which to keep leg bandages, leg wraps, over-reach boots and clippers etc.
I thought it was a treasure of a find.
My oldest daughter and I sat talking about the e-mail sent through the Methodist Church early this morning. She told me not to let it keep upsetting me so, but it does. Then we discussed the lies people tell and if not so damaging how ludicrous it all would be.
We managed to laugh about the idiocy, and question why it's always easier for people to lie than ask, straight out, what the facts are. What an awful world we live in.
Two of my children are involved in emergency services, one is a school teacher. These are the very people society depends upon to save lives and guide the next generation. When a home sets on fire, or when a wildfire threatens the community, when someone has a heart attack or is involved in a nasty accident it's highly likely that the victims will meet one if not two of my children.
I'm extremely proud of them. They have all the qualities we need in human beings to make them humane, caring, compassionate, honest and honorable. They are an asset to their community. Yet when I read that e-mail to my oldest daughter her mouth dropped open with disbelief. Perhaps I should be able to see the humor in it.. today I said that it's certainly easier to lie than help. If you lie enough you can justify not helping.
But here I am 9 months later and the words said in that e-mail, totally fabricated deception, still cut deep into my heart, still hurt me just as much as the day I read them, and still keep me awake at night fretting.When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, always.~Mohandas K. Gandhi
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Two years ago I received a phone call from one of the members of the Huckins family who had seen my phone number in a newspaper article. It was a phone call that left an indelible mark, and one that was repeated to the District Attorney's office. The intention was to persuade me, and the DA's office, that all of the Huckins family had been victims of Robert & Sylvi Huckins, and one comment was made that put a bur under my saddle. That Robert Huckins had "stolen far more from family members than he had from clients."
It simply stunned me. The word "homeless" didn't have one ounce of meaning to that Huckins family member, or maybe they didn't truly understand the realistic ramifications. The severity of the damage wasn't even relevant because their financial losses was going to supersede any hurt and devastation others had to deal with. Even if it was total destruction. The fact that the phone call came right after Robert Huckins had been arrested for the THIRD time, and that not one family member had tried to stop him prior to this, wasn't something I missed. It's easier to claim to be a victim than be viewed as a potential accomplice. But I'll never know the truth, and without truth everything is up for speculation.
Months before I sat talking with Ted Conley and his words ring true today. He said, "People will say that it's sad but they don't care.. don't expect caring." I laughed at him because I couldn't imagine such being a reality, but I'm not laughing anymore. But if you are not one of the dozens of victims it's easy to laugh about a criminal who spent a decade thieving and was never stopped.
I have not heard from John, and can't get a response to my phone messages, so I have no idea if he is coming to Ruidoso today, or tomorrow. The weather was fabulous yesterday afternoon, reaching the 60's and so sunny, but we have a cold front coming in bringing high winds. This is simply nerve wrecking. High winds would potentially stop any work that we could get done in the very short time John is here, and the situation went way past desperation 2-3 years ago. I spoke to Jesse who is tied up working for the next 2 weeks. Someone having work at this time of year, in this economy, is such a blessing you can't help but be pleased for him.
As of the 19th of November the payment from Robert Huckins has not arrived. But that doesn't shock me any. It may come today, or next week.. it may not come at all. I found 8 windows for the trailer but the total cost was $420, more money than I could afford at this time. Slightly less than the monthly payment due. It almost makes you want to sit down and cry.
This is so wrong on every moral platform. Beyond abuse and human rights violations. I don't care who you are there is simply no way any civilized nation can justify this nonsense. I am too ill to NOT be frustrated today, yet I desperately seek the faith to not get emotional about everything.In life, unlike chess, the game continues after "check mate." - Isaac Asimov
Friday, November 19, 2010
Yesterday evening I spoke to John, who says that he is coming to Ruidoso with the welder this week-end. Seeing as he cannot work on the trailer until we get a roof on it, and we need to use the material we already have on hand, we are going to start putting in the pipe framework for the barn roof. Today I need to buy enough concrete to set the pipe, but with the scheduled monthly payments from Robert Huckins being so low it's really putting me on an unworkable budget. I am biting my lips with worry and frustration.
I have not heard a word from Jesse so I'm not too sure what is happening with the trailer roof..perhaps Mike will help him when he surfaces, which will probably be after Thanksgiving.
Most days I go shopping for my boss, it may only be a few items, or a considerable amount. I keep a close eye on what needs are needing to be met, especially when it comes to people fighting life jeopardizing illnesses. A few weeks ago I noticed a flier about one little boy near Carlsbad who needs an operation to save his life, and I phoned the number given to ask if the fund raisers could put out donation cans to make giving easier.
No-one cannot do without prayers, but God has asked us to give, and I have found it somewhat easy to get a regular schedule of giving in place. I don't care who you are, or what your circumstances are, you simply cannot turn away from a child. I can't.
But when one starts to look at the number of children who need the support of a community to have a memorable Christmas it becomes a bit overwhelming. It's especially stressful because I need to focus on putting a roof over my head, getting into a home.
I walked into the school with an electric Christmas train for my daughter and watched the kids eyes light up and go as round as saucers, and wondered how many would have a Christmas this year. Just looking at their faces.. and it was a done deal.
I phoned both daughters to find out what the grandchildren wanted. 5 grand-children seem like 50 at Christmas, but we really get together and plan carefully to make sure that all needs are met - and they always have been. Then I drove to the Lazy J Running TB's & QH's and discussed the trail rides with Jan wondering if it was going to be possible to get a fund raising trail ride going quickly. Mike will be collecting money for Toys For Tots and TR's have made it possible to donate on a regular basis to Toys For Tots. Pete & Cheryl collect toys for children in need at the Alto Cafe. There are so many depending on people to just... well, give financial support.
I know that even with the stress of trying to finance my trailer my eyes are going to go towards the children who may have needs.. my eyes follow my heart, and it's impossible for me to be anyone but myself. Maybe I'll have to delay buying 50% of the material Jesse needs but.. oh, well.. what is one more delay after the delays I have already experienced.
I spent hours looking for two items for my boss. A special pan for poaching eggs and a nut cracker. I must have gone to every single store in Lincoln County looking for two items without success. How can you NOT find a poaching pan in Lincoln County?
My last stop was the health food store, who advised me to go to "Hearts Delight" in mid-town. I was thrilled to find both items, super quality items, in a store that really is the hearts delight. It was fabulous in there.
Locals rarely go shopping in mid-town. I can't even remember the last time I went shopping in mid-town for myself. I don't think I ever have. But I could have spent hours inside "Hearts Delight." What a smashing store. For people, like myself, who love to cook and bake, whose kitchens are a special place of warmth, this store is heaven on earth.
Oh, to have a home and have a nice kitchen.
I suddenly became overwhelmed with homesickness for my own home, my own kitchen. The smell of roasts and baking. Years past. It all seems long ago and far away.. far out of my reach. I almost started crying when I got back in my truck, fearing that I would never see "normal" again. I really had to fight the tears all the way back to Alto.
Prayerfully we can get something constructive done this week-end, when the weather is supposed to be a whole lot warmer than we have experienced this past week. That thought gives me some hope on a bitter cold morning.
The judge is condemned when the criminal is absolved. -Publilius Syrus
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Rio & Copper are diligently trying to do their job of trying to keep me warm, which is a blessing because the Bassel-Haggens & arthritis hurts too much for me to have a lot of heavy blankets over me. The most amazing thing is watching the dogs come as close to me as possible, and actually watch over me. Dogs know. They have such a strong desire to protect.
The application for the building permit was returned to me, because I forgot to put postage on the envelope. The fact that I would have thrown an envelope into the mailbox without postage isn't such a surprise ... the gray matter is frozen. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
I have not even been anywhere close to my property this week. I listened to the wind Tuesday night and I wondered how the trailer and metal roof could handle such powerful gusts. Fearing that the wind had blown into the trailer and caused further damage, or scattered the heavy roofing metal, I just couldn't bring myself to go for a look-see and face potential damage.
Right now I'm unsure that I could handle a heavy clean up job, physically or emotionally.
Other than that absolutely nothing is happening... and it's happening at the speed of a sloth on Librium.
This is such a strange situation to get caught up in. I try with a great deal of effort to remain upbeat and optimistic but I don't always manage it, and I can become downright angry and frustrated.
This is America, who would have ever guessed that such blatant injustices would be acceptable let alone tolerated without any embarrassment or shame. I still have not seen a dime of the $450+ due on or before the 10th of November but that doesn't mean that it wasn't paid and hasn't been delayed.
The wheels of American justice don't just turn slowly.. they are way off track.
But I just keep trying to get through this winter with the hope and prayer that something turns around, yet I can't deny that this is wearing on me.Where crime is taught from early years, it becomes a part of nature.- Ovid
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Trying to keep warm is almost like a full time job. If you remain cold through the night you simply can't warm up in the day, and I know that I am blessed with an incredibly mild winter and today was simply glorious. I am getting too old for this extreme outdoors business. This is a young persons game. The weatherman said that this is the last week of this cold spell and by week-end, if not before, we will return to the unseasonably warm winter I was so enjoying.. to which I say Hallelujah!
The tack boxes look fabulous despite the craziness of painting them in inclement weather. Perhaps today it will become warm enough to put on the second coat without the Rust-Oleum going on like glue.
I spent all of yesterday evening trying to find electric poles. What are called "temporary" poles so I can get electricity to the land. You would think they would be easy to find but I have had no joy finding any that I can afford on my limited budget.
I've always been curious as to how all these builders, starting with Robert Huckins, intended to build without electricity. It's always perplexed me a great deal. But all my attempts to find affordable temporary poles have just been an exercise in frustration.
I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that didn't work. - Thomas Edison.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
John phoned around 9am to tell me that he wasn't going to be coming to Ruidoso today. He was going to check the tires on the welding trailer and be out next week to start putting the roof on the barn. I think he said that he was going to church in Texas but I must have been hearing things.. prayerfully not.
There was no reason for me to become depressed, but throughout the day I grew more and more sad. Maybe a combination of fighting a bad migraine, pain from the MHE and fighting the desire to DO something constructive.
Trying to put a second coat of paint on the tack boxes became unfruitful. It was like trying to paint with Elmers glue.
Even though the temperature seems to be the same as yesterday the wind chill is a whole different matter altogether. This was one very cold day. By 10 am I had tried everything possible to warm my freezing feet, and ended up putting them in hot water just to "thaw them out" - and kept repeating the process all day. This is the very first time I have been "that" cold yet the temperature outside should not have dropped below 45 degrees all day.
Plugging the truck in last night was a fiasco and a half. I finally found a way to reach the plug on my truck and plugged it into the electric extension. But when I plugged it into the power source in the shed it blew the circuit. The main box is in the garage attached to my bosses house.
I went and re-set the main, plugged it in again. And it blew the circuit. Back and forth I went through the house while my boss sat watching television with a perplexed look on his face. By the 5th time I simply unplugged the extension cord and pulled it towards the house, plugging it into the washing machine plug.
Problem solved. No more blown circuits.
On the bright side I found enough "finished" wooden floor to do the small kitchen nook and the kitchen in the trailer. I had somewhat worried about what to put on the floor. When you work with animals the area that gets the most traffic takes a lot of punishment, yet I needed something "classy" but long and hard wearing.
So I was just tickled pink to have found the perfect flooring for those area's, at a reasonable price..
Isn't there a country and western song about someone who put's together a truck one piece at a time? We seem to be doing one step better by trying to put a HOME together.... one piece at a time!
I LOVE to cook and I love to bake. For years I baked 3-4 cakes a week. Sometimes more. My kitchen has always been the place where the entire family gathered. In years gone by my youngest daughter and her husband could smell dinner being made from 7 miles down the road. It was a standing joke that we should set enough places because the very second we were ready to sit down to eat they would walk through the door.
I miss those days, I miss having my family in my home. It's been a real sad day.
“In the childhood memories there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom.” - Barbara Costikyan
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I will have to admit that I love snow. It's the most comforting feeling in the world to sit in your home drinking a hot drink, watching the snow fall. But when you don't have a home, and can't turn up the heat... well ... snow isn't exactly a welcome visitor. So when the weather man said, "slight chance of snow" my heart fell into my stomach.
The temperature dropped so fast yesterday afternoon that it was in the lower 20's before 6 pm and my feet were so cold I couldn't get them warm. The pneumonia that came some weeks ago started up in earnest and by mid afternoon I was having a hard time breathing. I struggled under my truck for an hour trying to plug my diesel truck into a power source, but couldn't reach the plug. I ended up putting blankets over the bonnet and in front of the radiator. Today I will try to find a way to get that plug within reach. It was 15 degree's when I woke up.
15 degree's should be against the law.
I just cannot believe the stress and hard work it's taken throughout 2010 to get into a home before this type of weather materialized. And how futile it has been. This is so surreal, simply surreal.
Time just goes so fast. I never realized how quickly it goes until I hired Robert Huckins to build a 2,000 sq foot horse barn and 1,700 sq foot home in December of 2007. This experience has brought home to me that you blink and a month has gone past.. every hold up, every delay becomes critical to the outcome, to survival.
I finally reached John but I have no idea if he is coming to Ruidoso or not. He's needing another $600 worth of material for the barn roof. I wish I knew how to replace the broken windows and get the two roof's on the buildings myself because I would probably try to get it done if I knew how. But I don't have a clue how to do it, nor do I know how to do the electrical or plumbing.
I get so frustrated.
Robert Huckins was scheduled to pay yet another $450 payment on or before the 10th of November, but there is no telling if he did or when I will receive it. He will then owe me $79,000 or thereabout. What a joke.
I told Judge Ritter that I was not going to die trying to retrieve my money, and a home, from Robert Huckins as Dorothy McKeever did. But I'm starting to question my own statement. Perhaps I severely over estimated my determination, my own efforts.
The next $450 payment is going towards the 70 2x6's Jesse needed for the roof of the trailer, but I still have not come up a flatbed trailer large enough to transport the used commercial metal from Don Spencer and bring it from Carrizozo.
I spent so much money on the building material John said he needed that I'm terrified of buying anything else until I know that there is someone available to use the material.
I wish I could push Christmas further away from me..
By noon the weather turned simply glorious, 52 degrees with a full sun and I eagerly started working outside so pleased to have the sunshine on my body. I decided to paint 2 tack boxes dark green, with enamel paint. By the time I had the first coat on both tack boxes the sun was started to fade and it dawned on me that 52 degrees may feel terribly warm to me, but it's still pitiful painting weather. Thank God they are only tack boxes.
Two years ago we had a local homeless man who always walked the roads with a dog or two. He was a veteran, and clearly had some problems.
One day he was stood opposite Farleys when I stopped at the fast food restaurant. I asked the employee serving me to add anything he wanted to our bill, then sat outside with him while he ate a catfish dinner. He offered me a tattered New Testament bible in return and I smiled and pulled my KJV off the dashboard of my truck.
"Oh, YOU are one of US" he laughed. I'm confident that he meant "Christian" never knowing that I was homeless too!
I know what homelessness is. I know what hopelessness feels like. I know what it's like to be so cold that you feel that your body will never warm again. I know what it's like to look at homes radiating warmth and security around me and pass people who, quite frankly, don't give a damned. I know what depression, hurt, alienation, ignorance, sadness feels like. I know what it's like to miss my mum, want my grand-children to visit me, need the stability of a home.
But I don't know what it's like to be hungry.
There are times when I try to combine all of my feelings, and add the horror of hunger on top. But I can't, because I have more food at my fingertips than I could ever need. Yet I try. I try because I care. I care because I have seen, with my own eyes and felt with my own heart how people speak to you and about you when you put "homeless" within your title. Dehumanizing you. I try because circumstances have made me look towards a growing populous of "invisible" human beings and I rather suspect that it's going to grow much larger before this recession is all over.
Do YOU know what it's like to not have a home? Do YOU know what it's like to not eat in days because there is no food? If you don't know how are you going to connect with those who don't have?
In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter, Long ago. - Christina Rossetti. English poet (1830 - 1894)
Friday, November 12, 2010
If it's too cold to sleep at night I feel as though I should start writing country and western songs. I could probably re-write many Merle Haggard favorites just for the Huckin family..
I'm walking the floor because of you,
can't sleep a wink it is true..
I'm freezing while you are in a home,
but I'm not freezing all alone,
Rio and I are walking the floor over you..
( Yes, I know that it's an Ernest Tubb song, but I'm the right age to remember the Merle Haggard version. )
Shining in the sunlight
Headed somewhere in flight
It's taking my money away
And leaving me homeless
Slowly fading out of sight
I used to laugh a lot
I never cried
But things are all different now
Since you made my home go bye
Seems I've lost the way to find
All the good times I found before
Yeah, I used to laugh a lot
Things aren't funny anymore
I am so glad that God blessed me with a sense of humor. I certainly need it.
By mid-day the sky was so crystal blue, so sunny that you couldn't help but be drawn to the outside. Yet once outside the cold seeped through your skin right to the bones. I phoned John to see if he intended to do any work on the trailer this week-end, but couldn't get a response.
I'd welcome a long distance drive right now just to be able to stay warm inside a moving vehicle, but the oil dripping out of my truck is worrying me no end so driving has became a fearful proposition even for short trips.
I only have so much to spend and it seems between the house and cost of living I am extended beyond the capability of large mechanical repairs. Beyond 4 new tires to be honest.
Just maybe the lottery tickets I purchased for my boss this morning will hit the jackpot, there again, maybe I have as much chance of getting the building fund back from the Huckins as I do of winning the lottery..
Back to writing and re-writing country and western songs I guess...
“True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt.”- Garth Brooks
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Waking up at 3am freezing cold is starting to wear on me. I'm unsure what happened to that "dry, warm" winter forecast. We went from unseasonably warm to unseasonably cold overnight.
I'm a little scared to phone John to see if he is coming to Ruidoso to help work on the trailer this week-end. The emotional roller coaster is difficult and when I can't get help it sends me into a spiral of depression.
One of the people who refused to loan me a small tractor to put the soil back onto the concrete footings of the barn telephoned me yesterday to ask if I would look after their horse ranch so they could go on vacations. I don't know why such makes me smile.. but it does. I'm confident that they couldn't see the irony, and just as confident that they meant no harm.. but, well sometimes the ironies of life do make one smile.
The alfalfa has attracted the deer, and the fawns are simply delighted with the soft mineral deer blocks. My fear that Rio and Copper would go into hunt mode didn't happen. Of course Rio had to test the water but soon found an angry doe not to her liking.
To all of the military members, past, present and future, who protect their countries with selfless patriotism. I thank you, your family and loved ones.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The frigid cold woke me up at 3 am this morning and nothing I could do allowed me to go back to sleep. This has to be the coldest morning this winter, well into the early teens, and my body was aching with uncontrollable shivering. Both dogs were eager to go outside and just as eager to come back and crawl under blankets trying to seek warmth.
14% of the children in New Mexico are homeless. That figure should make us hang our head in shame. 1% should be considered atrocious. When Katrina hit and the southern part of the United States was inundated with the families made homeless by the flooding I offered my 3 bedroom home in Alto to any family with children, because their need was far more important than my need. Those children needed beds, not cots, and they needed family, not sports centers. I felt that if I gave one family a home until they got on their feet it was a logical course of action.
Then something really strange happened. Some of the residents in Lincoln County didn't want people from the Katrina hit region to move here, and a meeting was held because the mere thought that these poor people would land in Ruidoso was causing knickers to get into a twist.
Shortly after I went to Arizona to sell 100 APHA horses, and the short block in my truck cracked en route. So I left the truck at a garage to be repaired, came home and returned to Flagstaff to get my truck via greyhound bus.
At the bus station in Alamogordo I met a gentleman from New Orleans, the father of several children one whom was blind, who had lost his home in the flooding. His conversation was most interesting. And simply infuriated me.
Despite begging for help, despite putting ad's in the Thrifty Nickle seeking the donations of beds for the children, no-one beyond the blind school staff had come forth to help them. We sat and talked for over an hour, his story touching me beyond words. I offered to give him my home, but he needed to be close to the school for the blind his son attended.
Years later I attended a bail hearing for Robert Huckins. Patricia Huckins arrived with a minister from the Ruidoso Episcopal Church. Clearly a new "Father" to the region because while waiting for the hearing to start he was discussing his new "home." I asked him if he had a spare bedroom because it seemed that the Huckins family - the very people he was there in the court room to support - had our building fund safely hidden and unless someone made them reveal where they had hide our $82,000 I was facing a serious dilemma.
Was he going to offer help? Was he going to say anything that showed Christ within? No, he stammered and turned red, but wasn't going to discuss the horrendous consequences of this criminal act with a victim of crime. He was there to support the thieves.
If you think that children miss this apathy, this lack of interest and caring you are sadly mistaken. They see it very clearly. Even those who have no sight.
It makes my blood boil to see so many second and third homes and foreclosed properties sat vacant when I listen to news reports that children are homeless. It angers me no end to see convicted felons who have been raised to have NO moral compass steal life savings yet have their homes protected by the very law makers who can't protect the victims. But I have a right to feel that way because I wake up shivering from cold so I can understand the sheer helplessness a child must feel when the whole world has abandoned them, when they have commit no crime and done no wrong, yet those who claim Christ turn away from their plight. No civilized society should allow 14% of their children to be homeless. Lord have mercy upon our cold heartless souls.
“Then the King will say to those on the right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.' Then these righteous ones will reply, `Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?' And the King will tell them, `I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'” (Matthew 25:34-40).
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Sometimes the weather sounds far worse than it really is, and last night the wind seemed to be pulling this building apart even though the temperature actually got a whole lot warmer. Almost 50 degree's by 7am instead of the usual 25 degrees is a considerable difference.
We seem to be at the western edge of a wind storm heading east, and the gusts are only being recorded as 25-50 mph, so perhaps California is slowly blowing through New Mexico.
I am praying that the barn and house roof won't blow away for the winds are far more ferocious near Nogal than they are here in Alto. If my hopes and dreams are on a wing and a prayer they may have found their way to the eastern seaboard by now.
My boss wanted me to bring in alfalfa for the deer, but I was unsure that I could handle 2 hunting dogs and the normal 200-400 mule deer we have on his property during the winter. And I'm not too sure if the number of deer who winter here will not cause more drama from the backhoe woman who thrives on manufactured drama and condemnation towards anyone in her path. Doing the normal isn't possible when someone is ready to pounce and create havoc.
Still, voicing objections for the sake of peace and quiet, I hauled in hay and deer blocks, cleaned the water trough and waited to see what would happen next.
I miss Oscar. He loved the winter months when the deer would come in to feed. In my minds eye I see him everywhere. His loss has been an awful loss to handle that has haunted me.
With Christmas so close I have to try and find a way to focus on getting through this holiday season.
If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. ~Latin Proverb
Monday, November 8, 2010
By Sunday morning I was deathly ill. A throbbing migraine and sharp pains tightening my chest. I hurt about as severe as I have ever hurt. All night all kinds of things ran through my mind. I had tried several times to reach John without success, so I had no idea if we were going to be working on the trailer or not. My mother became the focus of my worry. That, and the endless list of losses and so little ground attained during a period that is almost incomprehensible.
Trying to get my mind off a "home" and seeing my mother again I put in a movie as a distraction. I couldn't have selected a worst one if I had tried. Without looking at the title I put in "Evening." A movie about a dying woman and her reflections upon life.
Now going into the 4th year of not seeing my mother, of not having a home, of not being able to have my grandchildren stay with me, and hopelessly struggling to get a home of any type just became an overbearing burden and I crumbled into a sobbing mess.
I try to go about the daily task of living one more day. I keep trying to have one iota of optimism. But inside I died a long time ago. I don't want to be here. This is simply going through the motion - but I don't want to be here.
I go over my life time and time again and I went on every wrong path any human being could go on. I had every opportunity in the world handed to me, and I wanted adventure. I wanted to go over the next hill and around the next bend. I had NO idea that I would turn 57 homeless, and unable to obtain a home, losing my health and losing all hope.
Heather and I both worked for the Flemings/Ansells when I managed North Aston Manor Stud handling field hunters, polo ponies, steeplechasers and Grand National prospects in Heythrop country near Oxford. When Heather and her husband left their home in Scotland and went to live in Canada for 2 years in September 2010 I asked her if she had any contact with Roddie Fleming or Mary Fleming. So, I went on a quest to contact Mary, Jeremy or Roddy.
Working for this extended family was like working in heaven. I remained with them until my oldest daughter was born. Some of the wealthiest people in the world, certainly some of the most renown, they are the kindest and most caring people - and the most humble - I have ever been blessed to know. It simply broke my heart when North Aston Manor was sold to the Aga Khan. I didn't want to leave. I made every excuse in the world to not leave. I cleaned harness and buggies that were heading to a museum. I cleaned dozens of saddles. I did everything I possibly could to stay one more day, hoping that the sale wouldn't go through and I could stay the rest of my life.
Heather went back to Scotland and went to work for Roddy & Mary's mother at the famous "Glen Eagles." It was a turning point in my life and America seemed as good a place as any to head to. Taffy, Jeremy, and Mary said that I would be "back home" within 6 months. That was 35 years ago. I returned to Cold Harbor Farm in 1982, as their guest, with two small children.
If I could do it all over again that is the point I would return to. I have no idea if the entire world has changed, or why it's changed. Perhaps the people in Britain no longer care about each other. But I seem to have made an awful mistake and one I cannot undo.
Trying to make a home on this land is tantamount to trying to cut an acre of hay with a pair of scissors. John never did turn up, and with so much pipe sat on the ground I am starting to wonder if we will ever get to use it to roof the barn.
The mere fact that I can't even get electricity or water on that property in going on 4 years is so bewildering and depressing I am having a hard time coping with everything.
Has the world changed so much that such a struggle is either mocked, ridiculed, lied about or ignored. I look back and see the kindest, compassionate, honorable and caring human beings. This is so alien to anything I was raised to believe or raised to be. When Heather told me that she and her family were moving to Canada I had an immediate reaction that I reined in before I spoke...
In my heart I so wanted to say, "If you have a fraction of what we had don't go, stay home in Scotland. Don't do anything so severe you can't undo it. You will never know the blessings you have. What I wouldn't give to go back to that turning point in my life at North Aston Manor."
After all that is said and done; after all of the hours of work; after all of the planning is a past memory; after all of the friends that you had, have, or ever will have are gone; after you are alone-and you come face to face with who you are in the quietness of your soul, and what little you have accomplished in your life- and discouragement overcomes to you when everything that you hoped or ever hope for comes to an end .. and you wonder was it worth it all?
The temporary is just that.. temporary- but yet how many times has Satan blinded the human race, the church, you and I to believe that this is it- while we proclaim that this is not true, on Sundays, or when we gather together with other believers, but does it show in our actions, in our daily living, at home, at work, at school?.
Lord Forgive me... for my shortsightedness.. May You help me to see beyond this world, to catch a glimpse of eternity- to see the richness of Your glory, and yet the horror of eternity without You. - Hoosier