I just realized: This blog is one year old now!
Looking back, I can't believe all the stuff that has happened in just one short year. It was a very difficult time, perhaps the hardest year of my life so far, but we hung in there, and I learned so much. So now it's time to look back on some of my accomplishments:
- I learned how to write a blog. And though my readership numbers are not huge, the blog has had visitors from at least 49 states and 65 countries, on every continent except Antartica!
- I sold 11 horses, more than 30 sheep, dozens of fleeces, plus a few sheep pelts, skulls, and horns.
- I learned how to sell on Ebay, and made several thousand dollars selling some of my valuables to help us buy hay for the animals.
- I learned how to negotiate trades (sheep for horses, horses for sheep, horses for services, sheep for services) and how to negotiate sales (deposits, payment plans, shipping arrangements, what extras are or are not included in the sale price). I even negotiated an excellent situation with free board and professional training for my stallion, in exchange for free breedings to him.
- I gained a lot more experience working with young horses of widely varying personality types.
- I helped and/or watched the delivery of dozens of lambs.
- I learned a lot of new things about veterinary care of livestock and pets (wounds, sicknesses, birthing challenges, broken legs, poisonous snake bites, maggots, parasite control).
- I got my first 3 paying jobs designing websites for people.
- I got a year older (could be worse), got through another year of marriage (still going strong), got a year closer to having our credit cards paid off (whoo-hoo!), and got another year closer to having our sheep flock reach its "certified Scrapie free" status (not a huge deal, but nice).
- I made a lot of tough decisions, faced worry, heartbreak, fear, indecision, disappointment, and anger... and still retained some semblance of sanity and humor (most days!).
So, what's ahead for the year to come?
- I want to keep learning and improving the farm, of course.
- I want to keep working on getting our finances back under control after the financial disaster that the horse situation has caused.
- All the stress of the past year or two led me to eat for emotional reasons, and I gained a lot of weight, which has made me feel unhealthy and tired. I want to get slim and fit again. I have a plan to lose 1 lb. per week for the next year. I started in late June, and have lost 7 lbs so far without "dieting" or exercising more---just by making more conscious food choices. I don't expect that all the coming weeks of weight loss will be as easy as these past few, but that's okay, I'm tired of being tired and heavy. I'm ready to be "the real me" again.