Disconnection from Social Media

I have made a decision to try disconnecting from social media.  I have noticed with using both Twitter (although very little since I started with FB) and with using FB, that most of the other ways that I used to stay connected have fallen by the wayside.  My productivity has fallen as I am spending more and more time on FB.  My husband and I watch TV together and we both read FB at the same time.  We go out and I have said to him more than once, can you get your nose out of FB!  He has looked at me in exasperation when we need to go somewhere or do something and I say “oh just finishing this FB thing”.  It must stop.  How can someone be so connected via social media and still so DISCONNECTED in real life?

I think it can be very fun to get the up to minute status updates of your friends and family, but I have also noticed that less and less actual communication occurs as more and more status stuff happens.  With many of these new locator apps, folks don’t even need to do a status update. They can just click a button and it updates to the entire world their exact location via GPS and satellite.  Talk about being on an electronic tether.  Do you ever think about how EVERYONE knows what you are doing all the time?  It has been said that you can control what you put on social media.  Although this is true to a certain extent, the real addiction is that to truly experience social media as it is designed to be you are involved all the time.  You become an open book, with your “knickers” so to speak hanging out there!!!

I realized that I don’t like this.  I want my private stuff private, and my personal things for friends and family for them, and my public things for others on my blog.  I wish to control my media.  FB has repeatedly changed their privacy settings so that I need to continually check to make sure that my private stuff is still private.  I have had to turn on the notifications that I have specifically set for various people and businesses back on repeatedly because FB turned them off yet again.  The amount of times that I have had to specifically turn back the notifications for my OWN HUSBAND because FB shut them off escapes me because of the sheer number of times I have had to do this.

It has been said to not punish those that do wish to stay connected with me because of FB bad behavior.  If I can not control FB, which no one can even control their own profile and you are delusion if you think you can, than my only way to “rebel” against the liberties FB takes with my information and photos is to DELETE FB and NOT engage.  THAT IS THE REAL CHOICE.  FB has said that it is free and will always be free.  They are giving special priority to those updates that folks PAY to have boosted.  My views on my Fan page plummeted when FB started that procedure.  My friends will update their status with a comment and photo and I will see the comment but can’t see the photo even when I go to their profile page and LOOK for it.

All of this is frustrating.  It creates tension.  It creates negative energy.  It creates time wasting as you search for ways to get that information back that you had before and FB took away.  Have you ever tried to search for something that you posted on your own timeline a year or so back and couldn’t remember the exact date?  Good luck trying to find it.  It is so much easier to look for it in my blog or my calendar.

I don’t have time to spin, weave and dye fibers because I am on FB.  I don’t even watch any of my TV shows or a DVD with hubby because I am on FB.  I don’t hang out and walk the dogs like I want to (OK in all fairness that is a lot to do with being eaten alive by skeeters more than FB right now).  I don’t make cheese, soap, lotion or even cook the way that I want to because I keep getting sucked into FB. I am going to return to real life, ranch life, holistic therapies, fiber arts and just breathing.

Have you noticed how FB and FaceBook have now become both a verb and noun.  REALLY?

I haven’t deleted either my FB or my Twitter account, but I will not be posting or tweeting. I will not check them and I will be sharing my adventures here, or by phone/text, letters the old fashioned way with paper and pen, or……shock horror….FACE TO FACE!!!

*I reserve the right to change my mind if I find that I can’t live without FB and am freaking out.  This is why I am not deleting the account right this minute.  But FB be aware, the writing is on the wall!!*

Green Card Interview

It is almost 6 am and we are about to leave to go to Denver for Charlie’s green card interview.  wish us luck 🙂

UPDATE:  We are now back on the ranch from the green card interview.  They granted his green card and stamped his passport with a temporary one that he can use when he goes offshore next week and use until his new one comes in the mail.  So Chaz is now offically a registered alien.  I asked him how he felt and other than anticlimatic after all the build up he hasn’t been able to put his feelings into words yet. 🙂

On another note, Rowan is doing better.  He was bitten by a rattle snake about 3 days ago on his left front leg.  The entire leg swelled up and he was crying and in horrible pain.  We put lavender, purification and peppermint (essential oils from www.youngliving.com)  on the entire leg and down his spine and that has helped his pain level, the swelling go down and well..him not die from the bite!  His brother Larick, had his face swell up the size of a basketball with his eyes closed shut a couple of months ago due to a suspected rattle snake bite as well.  Same essential oils and it took about 48 hours for the swelling to do down on him as well.  We have not seen the actual snakes and hope the dogs killed them for all the hassle the snakes gave them, but if we are walking in the pen I think we might start carrying the .22 Rutger.  I never saw the actual puncture wounds on Larick’s face, but I have seen 3 of the 4 punctures on Rowan’s leg.  The fangs were about 1.5 inches apart..so a young snake but a good size still!  As far as I am concerned, all rattle snakes are bad except dead ones!

New Rooster

I had the good news this week from the vet, that both the lumps that we aspirated from #209 were sterile. so NO bad heebeegeebeeies in her that we know of. Marci is coming to get her and her black ewe lamb on Monday and I was a bit stunned at how much weight that lamb has put on in the last few days of me not picking her up. 209 is a great mom. When I pick up her baby, she stands there and baaaaas at me in a very insistent voice, runs around in circles, and stamps her feet over and over at me. She is not thrilled when we pick the baby up.

239 stands there and usually doesn’t even know that I have picked up her baby, and even when the baby cries she won’t take her head out of the feed bin.  The little white ewe lamb from #239 is not growing like a weed, but rather slowly. Her mom, 239, doesn’t seem to be all that great of a mom. She will look for her on occasion and she does feed her but mostly she doesn’t really pay all that much attention to her. Good thing that we are keeping her and don’t intend on breeding her a lot. I would like to breed her to a full white merino ram this next fall, and hope that we get a white ewe lamb from her so that we can retire her from breeding entirely and let her grow fleece the last few years or her life. She has a glorious fleece and produces so much lovely merino that I would be happy with her just growing the fleece and not taking care of babies. But we need to get ONE good ewe lamb from her that is mostly merino, so next year we need to do this hopefully only one more time so that I do not lose her wonderful fleece genetics. The little lamb that she has now is 75% rambulette and I don’t want that breed.

Polish Rooster

We sold the last 2 rambuleletts on Sunday, along with Ace of Spades the llama and gave away a couple of pregnant mouser cats. We did not buy any new livestock, but I did get a lovely new rooster that was bought purely for his crow and his pretty face.  He is a buff lace Polish Rooster.  Since we gave our last rooster to a friend as he was getting attacked by his hens and later by the llama, I wanted a rooster again.  it is just not a ranch without at least ONE rooster.

We made numerous contacts for future sales as there are folks that want some of our Nubian kids and some of our other cross dairy kids. So for this moment, we have finally lowered our head count down from 42 to 35 with 3 more hopefully going on Monday. Just in time for the dorper explosion and the goat explosion. Boy are they getting big, soon they will pop!  I will keep you updated on pics when they lamb or kid.

Still feeling under the weather and very tired, so haven’t been doing much at all recently other than a lot of baking and experimenting in the kitchen. This has been wonderful on the taste buds but not so wonderful on the scales. hmmmm…. I am getting the hang of this artisan bread making though and it is really fun. I don’t know if we will need to buy bread again. Certainly is not on the grocery list for this week.

I haven’t left the cabin much this week. Over the weekend though, along with the swap, I did finish skirting and boxing up the last of the fiber to go to the mill today. I have two more fleeces to skirt, but those will not be going to the mill. One is a lovely lamb white Lincoln Long wool, and the other is the white lamb fleece from my Teeswater/Costwold cross ewe. I will be putting these up on www.albaranch.etsy.com for sale. If any of you are interested in either of these two fleeces, than let me know before I put it up on the site and I can cut you a deal for purchasing the fleece.

I have been working on redoing our business cards, one for charlie and one for me. I think I have a good idea of what I want, now I need to find someone that can do them here in the USA instead of having my printer do them in the UK. Than we will have an official Ranch card that has all of Charlie’s things on his card and all of my things on mine including my holistic things and fibre both. I don’t know if I can find someone that can do our logos and colours the way that they are, if not, well I will have to pay to have them shipped here from the UK.

I am off to help Charlie with the chores this morning as we have a long list of things to do today.

I am considering rejoining the land of living…..

I can not believe how long it has been since I have blogged. I also can hardly remember what has happened in the last year.

Over the last 2.5 years that I have been back in the USA in Colorado working on trying to do our homestead, there has been an unbelievable amount of snags that have hit. 4 court cases with our supposed builder. 3 directly with him that we won and one that was against us because of him which we lost. We have finally recovered that money which pays us back for the one law suit that we lost that was against our land because of him, and paid us back for the car we never got from him and the other two cases effectively paid for our legal fees to do all this. So we are essentially still in the hole the $30,000 that he stole originally and all the damage to our land.

I wanted to sell the land and move to a different part of Colorado, a different county entirely. OR I wanted to sell and move back to Scotland. I had begun to hate our land, hate Colorado, and hate the HOA and everything around me. Well I don’t want to be like that and have made a decision to stay here, make peace with the land and hopefully the HOA and myself as well.

To that end, we had our HOA meeting yesterday and there are 2 of the 3 board members are new. I had an opportunity to speak with the 2 new ones, as well as listen to them in the meeting and was pleasantly surprised that they seem like reasonable REAL people. I thought everyone that was on the board of a HOA had to be a bit crackers!! 😉 So to that end, we shared our protest site to them and if they like it, we plan on taking the protest info off and maybe being the web master and mistress of the HOA site. at least that was what I was proposing and volunteering hubby and self for. Since that time, I did actually tell hubby about it and he has agreed. Good thing I know my husband’s mind and can make it up for him before he knows about it 😆 I do hope that they like it and that we can host the site and render the protest site obsolete as I do believe that the only way to make an HOA work is for folks to be involved and work together. The new board seems to want to work with the people in the HOA rather than control them, patronize them, and talk down to them. This sincerely warms my heart. I feel that part of my road to recovering from the lost of our original dream is to heal this riff and create a new dream and to that end, I think this website could be a great part of the package. I am actually excited about the prospect of being able to contribute to the HOA in this manner when previously all I thought of them was good target practice with my new gun ❗

We have also decided to completely throw out or old house designs, and dream up new ones that work with the site the way that it is as that was another thing that the builder did. He destroyed our house site, did it his way where he wanted it and even with that only half ass did it so there was a large amount of remedial work to be done. We have had a new excavator in that has been a life saver to our property and has fixed it as best as it can ever be done. So we have come up with a new house design that I just love, as it incorporates solar passive heat design, high thermal mass and can be done by one or two inexperienced folks like hubby and myself. so that is on the board to finish those new drawings which are half done and turn them in for approval with the HOA and than get busy in the spring. The next few years with this building might mean only a blog or two again. haha kidding, going to try to be here more. I have decided to cut back from my one career which is my massage to only one day a week effective the first of September. I am going to give it until the end of the year at the one day a week before deciding if I want to come back more or not. at the moment I am too tired to really be able to decide and after a few weeks of deliberation, have decided that the reason that I can’t decide is that I am NOT supposed to decide right and can’t because I am still too tired. In reality, the only thing that has changed in the last two weeks is that I have had a different mind set. I have however still been at the office at least three days per week. so my partner and I have decided that other than ONE day literally a week, where we trade massages for each other and I do other clients that I will not go to work. I will stop my synergy treatments for the next month and restart in October. I am stuck on a plateau with the treatments anyways, and need a break so that my body can reset and that will stop me going to work two more days a week.

What will I do with this time? I think I may go to the mountains. I have so much work that needs to be done on the ranch before winter with securing pens, finishing the water lines for winter and insulating things, and securing more panels and gates and sorting out all the fleece and getting it ready to send off to the mill and using the bad fleece for insulation and order my new loom and start weaving again….that I can more than fill ONE month. 😯 I am going to go on an herb walk in Guffey at the beginning of September. I have always wanted to get into herbs and such much more and this might be a good introduction for me to get my feet wet and see what I think of it. Also I get to meet a local herbalist that will be conducting the tour. I have started to get into herding with the border collies, another of the things on my list for years and have met numerous people with that. There is supposed to be a herding seminar locally done by Carol Lucero in September that I am looking forward to as well so that I may also learn more and meet more local herding folks. I have just picked up a bunch of sheep with a different type of wool so that will be great to work with and I managed to get my sheep lady to sell me her old merino gals that I buy their fleece from her each year. Now I will just care for them their least 3-4 years here, and raise a few of their daughters for my future fleece growing. I got my first batch of kid mohair yarn back from the mill last month and it is to die for. so I am going to add another one or two angoras as I had always planned on keeping about 3-4 of them. I had 3, but one was recently killed so that only leaves me one old gal and her wether grandson. I have added in some wonderfully new Nubian does for milk and have been playing with making some soft cheeses. That has been a total great time, and now I want to start to progress into more hard cheeses, and maybe some butter and yogurts. I still want to make goat milk soap but still a bit scared of the lye. Have to work through that.

I have recently found out also that the Natural Animal Centre in the UK has started to do their Bach Flower Remedy animal courses in the USA. They held them last year in Boston. I am waiting to hear from them the dates and times and location, to see if I might be able to do the three courses this next year. I also saw that they have been busy writing some more books specifically for animals, dogs and cats, as all their books originally were aimed at horses and ponies. I had ordered the books and am awaiting their arrival. I plan on still finishing my intuitive crystal healing diploma, and doing the animal BFR courses. I want to continue with my therapies but be more herbal, and more animal focuses so that it can be done from the ranch and not require going to town with an office ect. I know that many BFR do phone consults for both animals and people. I am hoping to do some advertising and go that way a bit. It will not grow fast as there will be resistance to this locally, but the adverts are to reach the folks that would be interested that may be a few hours from me, more like Denver and Boulder. There is nothing to say that I can not be a travelling BFR animal person 1 or 2 times per month, with the rest of the time doing things via phone or they come to me.

I stopped in last week to my belly dancing group and confirmed they were still there and the times. I want to go back to that and can probalby start in September as this next week I am in the office all day that day as my partner is on vacation. so belly dancing, sheep and goat herding, herbal work, Bach Flower Remedies for animals, sorting and processing fleece, starting to weave again, crocheting again, felting again, making hard and soft cheeses, and maybe even getting around to making some goat milk soap…along with winterizing the ranch, finishing pens, reinforcing fences, finishing the water lines, insulating, and general ranch work…I think that I can stay busy without being in an office. 😯 In Fact, I am very much looking forward to this all. And to think that I have done all this research and starting of things just in the last two weeks. 😆