My chickens are rebelling against us.

We put several nesting boxes into the chicken coup, like normal. And most of the chickens lay their eggs in the coup or in a few ‘hidden’ nests in the horse barn. That’s fine. Once we found their hiding places, we collect every day.

There’s at least one chicken who has started laying eggs in random places. Like the gravel driveway. Or in the horse paddock. Or in a different spot in the yard every time. So, we have begun finding eggs that could have been laid any time. But, wouldn’t laying an egg on gravel be uncomfortable?

The chickens say that they are free spirits and need to lay wherever they wish. I guess it’s a valid point. ūüôā

Advertisements

So, you guys may or may not know that it’s national suicide prevention week.

I know.  Awesome start to a blog, huh?

But stay with me.¬† I just want to talk for a minute or two about this.¬† It’ll be warm and fuzzy.¬† And afterward we can have coffee and cookies and watch Adventure Time. (Which is an AMAZING SHOW FOR ALL AGES.)

Now, before I start, let me tell you that I’ve started seeing the counselor at school.¬† It has taken a lot for me to go because I don’t trust normal therapists.¬† This is the counselor at a community college, which doesn’t earn the greatest money.¬† She is there because she wants to help people.¬† People like me.

I have suffered from depression for most of my life.¬† Over the years I have learned not to talk about it because people of the stigma surrounding the entire thing.¬† Even the word ‘depression’ invokes a fight or flight response.¬† Some people simply don’t know how to handle it, or they automatically think you are seeking attention, or even make it up.¬† I promise you, I’m not.

Personally, I think depression is different for everyone.¬† In my mind (which is far from scientific), there’s a scale with different levels of severity.¬† That makes it hard to see in people.¬† Now, depression isn’t simply feeling sad.¬† It’s not having a dark day.¬† “I didn’t get enough sleep.¬† I am down today.” Isn’t depression.¬† That’s a shitty day.¬† Depression makes every day shitty.¬† It’s an all encompassing inescapable darkness that lives inside of you every day.

Everyone will tell you to tell someone you trust, and seek help.¬† I tried many times.¬† It is difficult for me to trust therapists, so I would confide in a close friend.¬† They would soon stop talking to me, avoid hanging out with me, and generally treat me differently.¬† They couldn’t handle it.¬† This happened to me multiple times, and after a while I stopped bothering to tell anyone.

I have spent months and months walking the edge of suicide.¬† It’s a struggle with myself because I know it’s irrational.¬† I know that there is a solution to my problems.¬† I know there should be hope. But no matter how many times you tell yourself that you deserve to live, the darkness feel like it’s too much.

I began to do things to protect myself.¬† When I have dark times, I don’t use big knives.¬† I stay away from heights.¬† I avoid sad songs.¬† I don’t use large cooking knives.¬† My family never owned a gun, so I wouldn’t even know how to buy one (walmart?).¬† I use an woman’s electric shaver instead of buying razors.¬† I claim they are too expensive, but in reality I don’t want to have access to them if that darkness gets too big.¬† I take away as many things as I can until I feel more secure.¬† It’s a false blanket, but it helps.¬† Sometimes.

Over the past several years, I learned to deal with this alone.  I learned that nobody will be there to help me. Nobody will listen, or care.  Nobody will save me.

This is a truncated version of the whole picture.¬† It has taken me a long time to say this.¬† Many people are like me.¬† They’re out there, suffering alone because nobody will listen to them.

If someone comes to you, please listen.¬† Don’t walk away.¬† Don’t find excuses to avoid them.¬† Be their friend.¬† Give them hugs.¬† Give them love and support.¬† Check on them every day.¬† If you think they are suicidal, don’t leave them alone.¬† That person trusts you.¬† It takes a lot of strength to ask for help.¬† Please, for their sake, be there for them.¬† It could save their life.

A few of our chicken friends wanted to say hello! They just had their afternoon snack of bread! They love bread!! (And bugs, chicken food, and clover)

20130903-193059.jpg

20130903-193123.jpg

I watch the ‘Sunday Morning Talking Heads’. ¬†That’s what my family calls them, anyway. I usually get angry at them, but it is a slow, simmering anger that doesn’t really have an impact on my day. ¬†Today was completely different.

While watching Meet The Press, the first show we watch, and significantly tamer than Face The Nation (which was cancelled today due to tennis. ¬†Probably a good thing.), they were talking about President Obama announcing that he will ask Congress for permission on air strikes against the Syrian government. ¬†They have a Sunday morning question on facebook you can comment on. ¬†Today’s question was this: “Do you think the president needs Congressional approval for Syria strikes?”

Oh boy.

Now, in my defense, my original intention was to simply add my viewpoint to the discussion. ¬†Honestly. ¬†What I didn’t intend was that I would get sucked into following a real-time facebook thread for the next hour and a half.

It was magical.  (Sarcasm.  My Mother found the loud, caffeinated screaming at my smart phone funny.)

I am a liberal who supports the military.  Shocking, I know.  My answer to the question was basically that asking congress is a good political move, but I support Air Strikes even if the answer is no.

I didn’t think that was such a revolutionary viewpoint.

What ensued after that was me growing enraged at the surprising number of Americans who keeps saying variations on this: “Fix our country first.” “Peace, love, and *insert warm and fuzzy emotion here*.”

And then there were even more variations on this: “The people should vote! ¬†Obama’s not a Dictator! ¬†The decision should be made by popular vote, not the President!”

Oh. My. God.

I put multiple comments on the thread, trying to make people understand basic facts about how the United States government works, but unsurprisingly it made no impact. ¬†Simple things that we learn in PIG class (Participation in Government) in high school are foreign concepts. ¬†So, here it is for all my friends overseas (because you should know your own government process, and I don’t expect everyone to be completely obsessed with mine. It pisses me off enough, I can’t imagine what you guys think), and anybody who was absent during, oh, all of high school.

(Hint: That was a sarcastic dig at the completely idiotic public school system.)

The United States Federal Government is comprised of three basic parts: The Supreme Court, Congress, and The President. ¬†They are intended to work together for the prosperity of the country. ¬†There is a system of ‘checks and balances’ that ensures one branch doesn’t gain too much power over the others.

The citizens of The United States elect representatives to Congress, which has two subdivisions: The House of Representatives and The Senate. ¬†These people are supposed to represent “the people”. ¬†Congress is the only entity that can make laws and decide how to spend the government’s money. ¬†This form of government is called ‘Democratic Republic’.

It might come as a shock to people that the United States is not a true Democracy. ¬†Democracy in it’s purest form is where people vote, and the majority rules. ¬†That’s not what happens in The United States. ¬†Even the elections for the President are not a true Democracy. ¬†There are two parts for a Presidential election: Popular and Electoral. ¬†Each State has a certain amount of ‘Electors’. ¬†This is an old process held over from the 1700’s when the majority of people couldn’t read and write. ¬†Electors were supposed to go to Washington, learn about the presidential candidates, and take the information back to their citizens. ¬†Then, the citizens would vote. Then, the Electors bring their votes to Washington DC. ¬†States with high populations have more electors than other states. ¬†The number of electors are based on the federal census. ¬†This is how presidents who lose the popular vote get elected. ¬†Get the big states, and you win.

My point is that The United States doesn’t run by majority rule. ¬†If you have heard different, you are just wrong. ¬†Similarly, if you are under the belief that the citizens of the United States are constitutionally entitled to a vote on declaring war or air strikes in Syria, you are also wrong. ¬†I am not being mean or sarcastic. ¬†You are wrong.

We don’t get a say in what happens. ¬†Under current law, the President needs to ask Congress to declare war. ¬†He isn’t doing that. ¬†He’s asking permission to order air strikes in Syria as punishment for using chemical weapons on it’s own people. ¬†This is a courtesy; President Obama doesn’t need to ask them permission. ¬†He is being nice, and it is a good political move. ¬†Not that I assume Congress will do anything. ¬†They are ineffective tubs of idiotic bullshit.

My Mother said I got no responses because my posts were too smart. ¬†The facebook thread followers didn’t understand my line of reasoning.

What made me more angry was that people keep saying that “We need to stay out of it”, “Fix our own country”, and so on. ¬†Here’s what I think about that.

The U.S. is the richest nation in the world. Even our poor people live like kings compared to some places. ¬†That being said, I think it is terrible that you are willing to stand by and watch as thousands upon thousands of people are murdered. ¬†how can you just sit back and see people – see children, for heaven’s sake – systematically killed? ¬†How can you look at over one million children in refugee camps and tell them that you don’t care if they live or die?

For that matter, how can you look your own children in the eye and and tell them that millions of people don’t matter? ¬†How can you wake up in the morning and know that you care more about email than the lives of millions of families? How do you live with yourself?

I don’t know, but I have to live with myself. ¬†I have to be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I lived by my conscience. ¬†I have to be able to look any child, boy, girl, black, white, latino, asian, christian, muslin, jewish, buddist, hindu, and everything in between and tell them that I will fight for their rights.

Saying that it isn’t ‘our’ problem aligns you with mass murderer. ¬†Is that the kind of person you want to be?

These people made me ashamed to be a United States citizen. ¬†I support the air strikes, sending aid to the rebels, and helping more innocent people die. ¬†Even if the rest of the world won’t get involved, I think we have a responsibility to the human race.

Syria’s problem is our problem. It’s France’s problem. ¬†It’s Britain’s problem. ¬†It’s North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia’s problem. It’s a HUMAN problem. ¬†It’s a GLOBAL problem.

We are part of the global community, and we should act like it.

Sweetie Pie Chicken passed away overnight. Mom went to the chicken house this morning and found her. The other chickens didn’t peck her or any such things. We were happy for that. Mom buried her this morning.

A few chickens were following me around today, wanting attention and food. I held two, petted them a bit, and gave them food and bread. Maybe they miss her.

Yesterday was my first day of classes. It was as good as can be expected. A few hiccups, of course. I will tell you about it tomorrow. Not all bad of course!

Now, we are on the way to drop me off. Day 2. Have a lovely day everyone, and keep cool out there!

Things have been pretty tense around here. Explosive, really. It has been difficult to concentrate on things. I don’t want to go into details (I will save that for the book), but needless to say people are causing my Grandparents stress and emotional pain. It breaks my heart.

Yesterday things really blew up. I wanted to get away for a few minutes, so I walked out to the barns. (One thing about living in the middle of nowhere is that it’s hard to run away.) Of course, chickens come running. They do that a lot, thinking I have bread every time I go outside. When I don’t, they give me the weirdest look.

I sat down in the chair near the barn, angry and frustrated. It hurt to see my family in emotional pain. It’s worse when I can’t do anything about it.

The chickens stayed around me, all 11 of them, pecking and clucking the whole time. It was like, in their own way, they were keeping me company. It make me happy just to sit out there with them.

Of course I talked to them too. Some of them let me hold and pet them. They are wonderful little girls!

Doesn’t everyone have chicken friends?

I saw this today while reading my newsfeed.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/karla-begley-autistic-letter-teen_n_3780378.html

An Ontario mother got an anonymous letter that said (among other things) that her autistic son was disgusting, retarded, a nuisance, and she should euthanize him.

Let me repeat that. ¬†A ‘mother’ told another mother that she should euthanize her son.

The picture was tweeted, and has been retweeted thousands of times since Monday.  This has made Canadian news, and I hope it makes the news here in the U.S. and across the world.

I have a message for this ‘mother’. ¬†Are you ready for this?

Dear Ms./Mrs. One Pissed Off Mother,

You do not deserve to be a Parent. ¬†You shouldn’t be caring for anything – even a houseplant. ¬†‘Mother’ is not an appropriate term for you. ¬†‘Inhuman monster’ is better suited for people like you.

A Parent is is an important position of respect.  A parent teaches their children how to thrive.  A parent does more than make sure the child has food, water, and shelter; they teach their children how to become a part of their community.  They teach their children how to exist in society. That means being tolerant of other people.

Have you ever heard the word ‘tolerant’? ¬†It means that you understand that every person deserves respect. ¬†Every person deserved to be treated with fair, decent respect. ¬†That isn’t dependent on gender, color, creed, sexuality, and physical or mental states. ¬†That means that everyone deserves to lead a healthy, happy life.

You are not teaching your children these things. ¬†You are teaching your children how to hate. ¬†That isn’t what a mother does. ¬†That’s what a monster does. ¬†And you know what? That is exactly how the planet now sees you. ¬†As the monster you are.

No child deserves to be treated in the manner which you proposed.  You say he is loud.  He makes noise.  Well, if you were a Mother you would know that EVERY CHILD MAKES NOISE.  Maybe we should euthanize your children because they make noise too.

Oh, is that the only reason? Or is it that you are afraid of what you don’t understand?

Why didn’t you just ask? ¬†Are you so afraid that you can’t ask anyone about autism? ¬†A doctor? ¬†A Psychologist? ¬†Or – GASP!- The child’s mother?

If you are raising your children to behave like described in this letter, then I pity them. ¬†I feel so sorry that they are forced to have a ‘mother’ like you. ¬†There’s one other thing that I am sure you’ve noticed by now.

You are now globally known.  You, your significant other, and your children must live your entire lives knowing that you are a terrible person.  I really hope that you can grow and change as an individual.  I hope that you can learn to accept everyone, no matter hoe different they are from you.  I hope that your children can grow up to be good people.  I hope that you can learn to be a better person.

Remember this: nobody deserves to be treated as described in the letter.  Nobody deserves to be hidden from society. Nobody deserves to be killed for being different.

Everyone has worth.  Everyone is beautiful.

This is the first time I’ve written a response to ‘The Daily Prompt’ on wordpress.¬† If you are a fellow wordpress blogger, I’m sure you’ve seen it.¬† If you haven’t that’s okay!¬† Here’s the link: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/daily-prompt-time/

It’s about procrastination.¬† Now, I know what you’re thinking – but it isn’t that kind of a post.¬† Today, I am talking about warm-and-fuzzy stuff.¬† Specifically, the personal life vs. the professional life.

I am not a party girl.¬† I never have been.¬† Two weeks out of high school I went off to one of the toughest schools for artists in the country.¬† The school is intensive, with classes all year, even the summer.¬† Strict attendance policy (meaning if you don’t go, you fail the class), and a dry campus makes for a bunch of artists working to the point of insanity.¬† You can’t party in that kind of atmostphere. After college, I gave everything to my job.¬† I walked miles, took buses, even had a two hour commute to get back home at 11pm at night.¬† Whatever I am doing, I give it my everything.¬† Not many people work themselves to sickness like I did.¬†

That is where my procrastination comes in.¬† I set aside everything for my ‘work’ – whatever is dominating my life at the time.¬† That can be a good thing, or a bad thing.¬† I am not sure which one applies to me.

I not only put off having a personal life with friends, or even *gasp* a significant other, but I put off being with my extended family as well.  This is part of a bigger issue I have with internalizing my emotions to get through the day.  I procrastinate dealing with my own emotional health, but also trying to fix my relationship with my extended family. Why do I do that?

Because my father died seven years ago.  I was a freshmen in college, in my first quarter of school. It was a few days before I could get home to see him on life support in the hospital.  My school was six hours drive away, and I had school. School was more important. 

I went home for, like, two days.¬† My Mother and Grandparents were there.¬† I don’t really remember much after that. Do you want to know who else was there?

Nobody.¬† No friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so on.¬† Not a single person who was notified came to see me.¬† Hell, they didn’t even call me.¬† They didn’t call me for seven years.¬†

Whenever I saw them as a child and teenager, they usually made me feel bad about myself.  I was too fat, or too loud, or I said the wrong thing.  My aunts and uncles never made me feel like I was worthy of being around them.  Years after my father died, I wondered why, as an adult, did I feel like I needed to be around them?  Like I owed them something? 

About three years ago I wanted to be a healthier person.  I have been working on changing my life: healthy eating, exercise, doctor checkups, and so on.  I am even starting seeing a councelor when I start school in a week and a half.  At the beginning of this, I felt that I needed to find my true family.  The people who really cared about me.  Everyone else was cut out of my life.

I don’t know if procrastinating about my family issues is a good thing.¬† Probably not.¬† It is difficult now that I moved back home because some of my family want to ‘get us together’.¬† I keep putting it off, canceling it, and saying no.¬† I want to be happy, and maybe that doesn’t include them.

Now, I am pretty happy with my little family.  My Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa care about me.  They want me to be happy and succeed.  It means a lot that they support me in going back to school.  Sometimes, they seem more excited than I am.  My Grandfather even told me in a quiet, excited way,

“You’ll need to get a back pack!”

“We have a few old bags lying around.” I replied with a smile.

“You’ll need to get a back pack!” He repeated.¬†

He is excited.  We all are. 

I have said this before to people who are having problems.¬† If you are around people who bring you down – family, friends, etc. – then they aren’t really friends.¬†

That’s my procrastination, I guess.¬† Thank you for reading. ‚̧

20130817-141022.jpg

Today we are painting the downstairs bathroom! After, oh, ten years or so it needs a good change! ūüôā

Our home improvements sometimes take a while because of budgets and limited manpower. We already put in the new vanity and sink, and now is a pretty green for the walls! We are going a more natural route, with plans for a natural stone tiled shower… At some point! I wanted to break away from the typical blue bathroom for a soothing, unique feeling.

I guess it is apparent by now that it was my job to choose the color scheme.

We have been talking about the shower for a while, planning and such. We had to decide what color would tie into the natural theme of the bathroom without throwing the same color everywhere.

We have just started painting, so here is a picture or two! More to come when it is finished!

20130817-142106.jpg

20130817-142119.jpg

Every Sunday morning my family watches ‘talking heads’ – Meet the Press, This Week, Face the Nation,etc. ¬†I haven’t talked about this before because I wanted to be seen as more than a liberal in a conservative community, but there’s something I want to discuss. ¬†It’s that is a definite problem, but nobody seems to have any answers. ¬†“Sexual Assault” in the military. ¬†Or, as I put it, Rape.

This morning, They (and I use the term ‘they’ because the end result of their endless ranting and raving is the same useless nothingness) were talking for a time about Sexual Assault in the military. ¬†They said that in 2012, there was more than 3,000 reported sexual assaults, but the military estimates that the real number is 22,000, including unreported assaults.

That is sickening. ¬†What are they doing about it? ¬†‘Making new rules.’ That’s what they said. ¬†That their making new rules to combat this problem. ¬†Okay, maybe the problem is complicated? ¬†I mean, there’s the old joke ‘military intelligence’, right?

Then you (I hope) use your brain and remember that it isn’t that complicated. ¬†You don’t rape people. ¬†Kind of simple.

This whole Rape problem (and I see it as a mental disorder, by the way) isn’t simply women. ¬†Male rape is the most unreported crime in the country. ¬†When you are raped, the loss of power is crippling, and all you want is to feel in control again. ¬†You don’t want to admit to yourself that you were powerless, let alone the rest of the world.

It also doesn’t help that the military beats you down anyway. ¬†Which is where the ‘new rules’ come in. ¬†I love new rules, change is amazing! ¬†What is taking so long? ¬†This has been the issue of the moment for months (longer than that, but who’s counting?) and how much has happened? ¬†What is changing? ¬†What are They doing to help our brothers, sisters, mother, fathers, husbands, wives, uncles, aunts, and loved ones? ¬†Who protects the people who protects us? ¬†What are they doing?

They are making new rules. ¬†They will get the Commanders to ‘sign off’ on the rape claims. ¬†(I didn’t know that it was so hard to do.) ¬†They promise the will not stop working toward fixing this problem.

Wow. ¬†That’s a really big comfort. ¬†I am so glad you are working so hard on this problem.

It makes me wonder what kind of people the put in control of the military that rape is so accepted in the organization. ¬†It’s not that difficult to not rape someone, beat someone, attack someone. ¬†You don’t do it. ¬†Simple.

I try to figure out why an apparently staggering amount of soldiers think it is okay to do these things.  Bad upbringing?  War makes you insane?  Inability to control urges?  The problem with those explanations is that it takes accountability and responsibility away from the rapists, abusers, and people who commit these terrible acts.

You are trained as a unit. ¬†A team. ¬†You should treat your fellow team members with respect. ¬†That doesn’t include sexual assault.

I understand that war is hell, but if you treat your team members and your enemy with uncontrollable hatred, you shouldn’t be there. That’s called Psychotic.

If you the only way you can feel powerful is to sexually assault someone, then you are either lying to yourself or need therapy.  Or both.

If you need to get your rocks off, use your hand.  Like the rest of the world.

If you are is the military, then you are respected.  You should treat your fellow military personnel with even more respect than you receive.  You have a responsibility do respect them.  Not raping them is just common sense.

I am sorry if you don’t like what I have written, or if you don’t agree with me. ¬†Along with working so hard of new rules (like NOT RAPING PEOPLE. THAT’S A RULE.) maybe we should work on teaching our military that sexual assault is fundamentally wrong. ¬†It isn’t a secret that war tears people apart. ¬†I know the after effects of war first hand. ¬†For many, the war is never over. ¬†Coming back to productive lives can be nearly impossible. ¬†With all that terrible baggage, why should our own soldiers add to it?

If you have a child, teach them how to be a good person.  Teach them to value life, value other people, and that everyone deserves respect.  Take responsibility for your actions.  Accept the consequences.  These are values that used to be common sense, but seem to be disintegrating.  We need to be bett