Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How tall is Nora?

I just measured my little beanstalk. She is 18 months old. How tall do you think she is?

The farmgirls that guess correctly are going to get a little surprise! Go ahead and leave me a message here as a comment with you guess, or if you would like- you can leave me reply on the MJF Forum here.

I am going to make a surprise for each person who guesses correctly! I am not going to reveal the secret- but I promise it'll be great and hand made to boot!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Feeling Better Today

After blogging yesterday I continued to have a crummy day. I got lots of Farmgirl Support over at MaryJane's Farm Chat Forum. Thank you ladies. You make my day each and every time you chat with me. It means a lot. I talked with Doug too, and ended up crying. Sheesh. I hate it when that happens. I guess I just have been bottling up a lot inside me and it has decided to all come out at once.

Doug was so sweet. He said he had even been losing sleep trying to figure out a way for this to work for me. We both agree (I really do agree) that now is just not the time for Tala to be mine. That is unless someone wants to offer free pasture within 2 hours of Billings?

I know it will feel amazing once we get these silly debts off our back and our credit scores recover. I know it will feel amazing to graduate from college with a degree that will not only help finance my dream but will help me to be successful at my dream.

I am feeling better about everything today. I will be sad to say goodbye to Tala, but I know in my heart I will be able to buy another sweet filly from my ranch friends when the time is right. All their horses are sweet and have lovely tempers. Doug even offered to arrange it so I can go out when it is time to impregnate the mare and all that so I can feel tied to the new foal just like Tala. I told him that was sweet but it wouldn't be the exact same. If Tala does get sold, and I can't buy her (please let it be a filly!) sibling then I might take him up on the offer. Yikes! I hope we can get our financial quagmire fixed in the next couple of months so I don't have to wait TOO much longer!

Again, I really appreciate all the love and support you all have given me. I felt hugged yesterday and woke up feeling grateful to have such loving friends.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Living in Billings

Living in Billings has been great so far. Our little rental house is in a iffy part of town, but so far the all the neighbors have been great. We have a sweet elderly lady next door that I am going to "adopt" and start looking after. Doug doesn't really understand why I would give her my name and phone number and tell her to call if she needs anything. I would feel horrible if something happened and all she would have needed was to call me. Also, when we are older and if our kid(s?) move away, what is going to happen to us if neighbors won't help each other? Live in a home? I don't think so!

Anyway- there are lots of great parks here in town. Some are pretty close. Really it seems like you can't go 5 blocks without running into a park of some sort. It's great. Billings Parks and Rec do a great job. There is even a herd of antelope living at one of the parks! There is a water feater at quite a few parks. Splash parks with built in water guns, water hoops to jump through, dump buckets that fill at random intervals. Then there are 3 pools and several wading pools.

Doug's job is going great. It is nice to have my husband back. I didn't realize how depressed he had gotten working at Winco for so long. Now he is joking around and smiling. Amazing! Smiling!

Now we just need to get our finances straightened out, some savings built up and we will be good. :D

I don't often ask for prayers, but if you could pray to whatever you believe in that our finances will come together, that we will be wise in our choices, and that we can continue to love, learn and grow as a family- I would appreciate it. I feel like we are still in the middle of struggling and I feel the necessity to get some private loans paid off a quickly as possible.


Money doesn't matter, right? I am desperately trying to remind myself of that everyday. Every Hour of everyday. Every Minute. I feel like my heart is breaking just a little bit.

Doug and I have this investment from his horrible tenure at Winco Foods. He is now working for Wells Fargo and has a new IRA that we can start investing into any time we want. So that we can get rid of some debts, we have decided to wait a year to invest, and then once we are on more solid ground, we are going to invest heavily in our future.

Here's the situation: Doug and I made lots of mistakes when we first struck out on our own. We didn't always pull together financially, so when one of us had extra money- it wasn't always spent wisely. Then there was the school bills, medical bills, and jobs that just didn't pay enough or job lay-offs. Basically each year that we lived in Moscow cost us more money than we made in one way or another. We are sitting on some debt. We both just got our portfolio of credit from a credit protection program. Yeah. Bad News. It's really bad when they show the gradient of credit scores and up at the top is "highest" and down at the bottom is says "Lowest" guess where our dots were. I think we were lower than Lowest. Okay maybe not THAT bad- but we both are still in the "HIGH RISK" category. Luckily a few months of getting a few certain bills paid off will help our scores and soon we will be only in the "Moderate Risk" category. *sigh*

So why am I so disappointed? Doug is right. There is this certain filly- I know you all remember my Sweet Talla. If not- here she is! The darling girl herself:

Well, my lovely friends who own her have been so willing to work with me on helping me to buy her- payments etc. I am going to be going back up there to see my friend's newborn baby. My car has a tow package- it would be so wonderful if I could rent a horse trailer and bring her home with me. I wanted to find some free or cheap pasture and keep her there while making a couple hundred dollars worth of payments each month to my friends.

Doug said absolutely not. He's right. We shouldn't rack up more debt than we already have. And what would I do if she got hurt? Be in debt even more to the vet. I just love this little filly. I was her dam's friend the summer I worked at the ranch. I was there and helped the day we collected her sire's semen to inseminate her dam. I was there for a little of her dam's pregnancy. I just missed the birth because I had just given birth myself! This little girl has amazing bloodlines and it would be the first step towards realizing my dream of having a horse ranch. Her grandsire is worth over a million dollars. Like I said- she has amazing bloodlines.

But I can't do it without Doug's okay. It just wouldn't be right. And he has said "NO" very firmly about this. He wants me to have my horse when it's the right time.

So I sit here in mild despair. I know it's silly, buy I love that horse and I can see in her a true start to a lifetime dream.

So I am trying not to be emotional around Doug. I don't want to put this family in worse financial hardship and I don't want to strain our relationship because I "forced" him to go along with what I want. In a way I feel like a spoiled brat who didn't get what she wanted. But at the same time I was so close to starting my dream that I have had since I was about six. I don't know. I know there will "be others" that I can buy but they just aren't the same as one that you help breed yourself. And none will ever be the very first progeny out of her sire ever again. She is it. She is special in so many ways. Sure- there is a foal that will be born this spring that is the exact same bloodlines. It might be a colt. Or it might not survive. I have seen two full blooded sister-mares that while they had similar features, one was almost stallion like- big and bold- and the other was almost delicate of feature. Who knows. Perhaps Talla- my graceful sweet Tala- is the delicate one, and all the other foals out of this pairing will be the bigger boned? This isn't likely- but what if nothing ever comes of the pairing that even compares with Tala? Both her sire and dam are beautiful. Her sire is absolutely stunning.

I made an Outpost.

If you haven't gotten MaryJane's Outpost book yet, scurry over to and buy yourself a copy for $19.80 or go to MaryJane's Website and order one for $30. Why the price difference? The one you get from MaryJane is autographed! How cool is that?
So after reading this gorgeous book, I felt like living inside all summer was just about going to kill me. I went out garage sale-ing yesterday with the intent not to buy something to make an outpost, but rather to find bookshelves and a dresser for Nora. Garage Sale after Garage Sale was disappointing. Everything was astronomically expensive and while I saw a few cool items- there was no way I was going to blow my whole $20 budget on one item. Nope. Not gonna do it.

I am sure there were some really great ones out there, but I was limited by only going to the ones that I could find. I still am only comfortable with about half of Billings. And the side street are a mystery to me. I had forgotten my computer so I couldn't mapquest them and I didn't have a city map.

So I see one that I know where it is, and it advertises that it is a day care going out of business- Lots of kid Items! YES! Sweet! Hold on Nora! Here we go!

So the first thing I notice when we get there is not the kid's toys, or the power tools, but a free standing hammock for sale for...$8!!!! The ONLY thing that is wrong with it is that it has some rips in the top fabric. I am a farmgirl! I can fix that!! So my next thought is...How am I going to get it home? Sure enough, it folds up and even come apart into 4 pieces!

So once Nora and I get home after buying her a temporary dresser and a few toys, I set up my new hammock. But it was missing something... So I stung a cross line to my clothes line, stringing up a spare sheet and this is what resulted!

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Isn't it great?! I even ran an extension cord out so I could talk with my friends on the MaryJane's Farm Chat Forum

My Beautiful Nora Girl

Nora's Musings