Thursday, December 12, 2013

Assumption makes an .......

We all know the saying. "Assumptions make an ass of you and me." The world is full of assumptions. We all do it. We put a label on someone and  then we make assumptions based on the label. I've had some interesting ones. Mormon means cult member, Fibromyalgia means hypochondriac,  stay at home mom means lazy or stupid. Clean eating means hippy.

Usually I brush it off and move on. I try to ignore it. I try not to do it but find myself falling into the trap too. I think it is human nature to try to figure out the people around us. We want to imagine other lives are better, or worse. That others face similar issues and thrive.

I think that is what assumption truly is. A way to imagine ourselves less alone, less insignificant.  But the truth is we all leave a beautiful mark if we choose to. It may not always equal Mother Teresa levels but our impact can be felt by those around us. Once we remember that the assumptions are no longer needed and we can try just accepting.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Epiphany Dreams.

My favorite dreams are the ones that reveal something, that help us grow and learn. I dream a lot. it is actually a bad thing health wise as I don't slide into that deeper healing sleep easily but for my imagination it is a boon. I get many book ideas from my dreams. I get to be the tough badass supermom in my dreams that my body won't allow in reality. And every so often something pops through my dreams that defines the epiphany.

I usually have many dreams a night. If its a great story idea I try to note it down. This mornings final dream was lovely and one worth sharing.

It was Christmas and so beautiful out. I was in the mountains at some type of resort type place. It seemed like hundreds of people where there. So many families. There were trees and snow and a lake that was weirdly not frozen. In my dream we were doing different family things as a larger group and as just my little family. Games, and snow fights, boat rides and sledding. It was beautiful. But I began to notice a problem. Many of the families, and I recognized a lot of friends, of tv families, of celebrities, were not happy. The kids were fighting, the parents were oblivious. As some tried to decorate for the holiday others were miserable. Then one night we were gathered together for some type of pageant or display and I had decided enough was enough. I stood in front of all those people, many who were bickering and I told them to knock it off. I told them that they had forgotten their purpose. That the purpose of life was to parent a child. That it didn't matter how that dynamic looked. It didn't matter how a family was constructed but every adult had a responsibility to be the best they could be with a thought for the next generation in mind. That our job was to teach them a legacy of strength, compassion, honesty, generosity, and survival. We need to teach them skills that matter by showing them what matters.

Then I woke to my 4 year old Monkey yelling from down stairs for some cereal and I had to chuckle. It was funny to go from such peace to such yelling BUT I realized the thoughts were true. Every adult is a parent. It may be in the role of a teacher or a counselor. An aunt or uncle or just a family friend but we all interact with children and the children in our lives look to us to teach them. Yes the main teaching needs to be from their actual parent however we all need to be striving for more for them. They truly are our future. I know the kind of future I want to see and for them to have. Do you?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Not hard to stay sober.... is it?

I was checking out at the grocery store the other day when the man behind me said something I couldn't help but overhear. It took everything I had to restrain myself actually. I was with my girls and he was with his wife and child so just felt the kiddos didn't need to hear the boiling thoughts in my head.

He was looking at the tabloid headlines and saw one I had noticed that said "Lindsey Lohan fighting to stay sober" His comment was, "I just don't get it. It can't be that hard to stay sober. Just stop drinking the alcohol or doing the drugs. Done. Sober."

Seriously? I wish it were that easy. I've been the child of an addict, the addict, and am the wife of a recovering alcoholic. I have seen every side of that issue. I know how it feels to wake up and crave, to eat a certain meal and crave, to stress and crave, to hurt and crave. I walked my path due to my pain. I hurt and no one believed me so I turned to using to cope. I lied to people. I manipulated. I did a lot I am not proud of and all before I was 17.

I wish it were easy. I wish you just made the choice and then poof....done. But people don't become addicts because it is glamorous and fun. They do it because they need the escape for some reason. They don't want to face something. The using is what is easy. It's the fight to stay sober that takes desire, a day to day effort and choice. It takes a lot of support from loved ones and community. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Being Thankful..... Mostly.

It is November, the season of thanks. SO I have tried every day to post what I am thankful for in my life. And boy do I have so much. I truly am so very blessed. I have a husband who has always without fail been my knight. He fights for me. He keeps me safe. He knew there was more going on with my health than we thought and pushed for answers even when I had allowed past issues to make me wonder if i wasn't just crazy and lazy and broken. I see so many with this disease who are alone because the people around them abandon them and refuse to believe them. I know a few who still have loved ones close but are abused because they are faking it, or lazy, or liars, or manipulators.

I have my kids and that is incredible. Their births were miracles. They grow more beautiful every day in personality, character, and grace. They are supportive of my bad days and great fun on the good.

I have extended family who always backs me up, parents not by blood who choose to love me and be supportive of me. I have some great docs trying to get me healthy, I have a home that is a bit big for me but perfect for hosting visitors. (We have over 30 at Thanksgiving) I have food to cook. I have a vehicle that I adore that lets me go visiting if I want to. I have my imagination that has led to my writing that hopefully leads to some published books. I have a great page with awesome fans that I hope to get back to some fundraising work on.

Life is good. Honestly almost perfect. Except.... The other day my brother made a post on his fb page for the whole world to see. He posted how excited he was to come visit for a whole week at Thanksgiving. First real visit in over 2 years. I think last time he was here Lexi was turning 2. She is now almost 5. So actually almost 3 years. He then said he just wished he could be with our father and I at the same time and asked my thoughts. On his open facebook.

Talk about put on the spot. I tried to be very polite and somewhat vague as I have multiple coworkers on my page. Yet he pressed and pressed. To the point of telling me he hoped it wasn't his or dad's death that brought me around and that I wasn't being fair to him or my kids or my dad.

Now I know my Dad is upset by the fact I asked for space. Complete space. And I realized I want that space because I do not trust him. When I call is it nice accepting dad or ranting dad who belittles and demeans and expects me to ignore that? I don't trust him to handle my children the way I ask.

And my brother knows this. And I wish, just one time, he said "I don't necessarily agree with your choice but I am behind whatever you need to do 100%. I want you to feel good and feel happy in your life. I understand that stress makes you ill and know that sometimes for that moment you have to make choices that might seem harsh. I love you."

Instead I feel pressured and pushed and stressed and like I am the bad guy when it shouldn't be about good or bad and just about me needing time. I have never had a blood relative (other than my kids) say to me "I back you 100%, I accept you. I am proud of you and I think you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are." I may be an adult but there is still a part of me that craves that. I get it from my in laws, from my adoptive family. I get it from friends who have become family. Yet the 2 people in the world I need it from seem unable to give that unconditional love and acceptance.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

People never cease to amaze me.

Every day I read news, both sides of the spectrum and everything in between. I find it nice to view all sides. So I see plenty of the negative going on. Stabbing, shooting, war, cover ups, candle blah blah blah. So when something of the sort hits closer to home I honestly have hit a point where I just shake my head.

As a Damsel I did a lot of events. Small vendor fairs, school fundraisers, gun shows. I loved them because I got to meet people and push at my social anxiety. One of the local vendor groups I joined is ran by a lovely woman so when she teamed up with another woman to be an event organizer I jumped on it. I signed up for at least 1 event every month May-December. Some months had 3 events. May was canceled. June I was asked to give one up to another to make up for a double booking. I did my second June event and then the 3rd was canceled. I paid over $300 total for everything. Once the heat hit my FMS went nuts. I seriously was almost bed bound if not house bound. I never went out, especially after 11 AM and without help. I knew I had to pull out. When I went to do so I discovered problems had been occurring. No one was getting refunded. The partner I talked to said I wasn't allowed a refund so I said that any Damsel could have the events for free as I had paid for them. I was fine taking the loss. Not their fault my health tanked.

Then I found out that not only had other Damsels been charged, they had been charged more. I also found others had quit them as no refunds were given for events they canceled and none of the promised promotions were being one. Many had tried to ask for the same thing I had only to have it ignored. At that point my friend had moved on to pursue a home bakery business and focus back on her family so the increasing fraud was being done in her name but without her knowledge.

So we started to organize. Sent demand of refund certified letters. Now we are up to 77 people and the scam is spreading from Nevada to California. No one has gotten a refund. We have hundreds if not thousands of dollars owed now. And I just have to shake my head and roll my eyes and feel grateful I am back to just being me, focusing on my writing and family.

Life is good even if people suck.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Writing inspiration

I've long been of a mind that fiction writers are the quiet crazy people of society. We take the constant bombardment of images and voices in our head and find a way to make it work for us rather than landing us in a psyche hold. We kill people, we explore the worlds beauty, depravity, and possibilities and make it entertainment.  (Hopefully)

I find inspiration in everything.  I once went to a writing seminar and an attendee asked the panel how it was possible that the romance genre still thrived. I fell in love with the answer. One writer said that if you give a sentence to a group of romance writers and tell them to write a book you will get completely different books every time even if the pattern is for a couple to fall in love. She gave an example of finding a naked woman on the side of the road. I went home and proceeded to outline and even begin a pretty fab concept on that sentence.

Writers often only need a word or an image to create an entire new world. We can hear a joke and see a book idea flow from it. Yesterday a friend posted a meme about finding your horror movie death. One of her friends commented that their answer was eaten by squirrel. I proceeded to name Zillasquirrel and even saw this squirrel enter my book to harass my heroine.

We see beauty in odd places. We see stories to be told, loves won, battles waged in every outing. I have really been enjoying letting my brain wander back to the stories.

Back to being insane on the down low.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I know I'm in my own way but I feel stuck.

I've been looking for inspiration in many places these days. Trying to get back to writing. Sometimes just combing through the #writingprompt tag on twitter works to move me. Today the one that jumped was "Write about what is getting in your way."

Honestly I am in my own way. In my writing career, in my life in gerneral. I just have no idea what to do about it. Blaming my dad and the regular self esteem slaps or my fibro is easy and even truth in a way but honestly it comes down to fear. Fear of failing at writing, at being a wife and mom. Fear of the unknown. Fear of pushing my body into another setback. Fear of letting those I love down even more. Fear of my dreams being permanently taken.

It sucks to realize I am held by fear.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Good men: Are they really hard to find?

I recently joined twitter after one of the writers blogs I love said it was a very helpful avenue for creating connections and can be a huge help to a writing career. Since then I have been following things I love and people that inspire me. That leads to more awesome discoveries of writers, designers, fibro advocates, rights advocates, bloggers, ect. One website I stumbled into is called The Good Men Project. It is basically about what defines a good man in today's world.  How have male roles changed? Sex, love, communication?

People just getting to know me usually have a couple questions I find telling of our times and very interesging. Men and women both ask if my marriage truly is as good as I say or it seems. Women ask how I caught him or do I know others like him. This used to frustrate me. We married young. I was 18 to his 21. So the disbelief at first felt like a lack of confidence and faith in us. As more years passed though and I saw other couples married when we were fail and more and more divorce I realized it was a genuine shock at how happy we seemed.

I've come to realize a lot of the problem is that divorce has become too easy and many men and especially women forgot that a true relationship takes effort. It takes patience, forgiveness,  compassion, and yes a lot of love and great sex. The day of our wedding was hectic like it is for everyone but we snuck a quiet moment and made some vows to each other aside from the usual. We promised honesty with each other. We promised to not even allow the "D" word into our family dictionary.  We vowed to fight for each other. We promised to never go to bed angry, to kiss each other hello and goodbye every day, to say "I love you" often. Those first few years were hard. We had nights we fought all night. Days where that kiss was almost angry and the words felt heavy. Moments where I am sure we both wondered "Can I really keep doing this?". We faced down addictions and the loss of multiple pregnancies.  We moved states. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  Honestly it took a good 5 years to really figure marriage and each other out.

Once we did though it has been pretty incredible. We don't really fight. We are a united team. Nothing is more important than the other and our kids. A huge part of our sucess is absolutely based on the kind of man my husband is. He puts us first always.  He places providing for us as a priority.  He also love just being with us. Watching tv, painting our daughter's nails, doing crafty things. He is a guys guy. He hunts, loves to camp and fish and shoot. However he knows that to make our family successful requires more than a paycheck. He talks to me and listens. We truly are best friends. He makes sure I and our daughters know how treasured we are. He shares his feelings with me. We also make sex a priority.  Some weeks are hard when he is tired from work and I'm hurting but we make an effort to keep that physical connection. 

To often women see sex as a tool and men see it as release. Relationships get ignored for career. We've learned though that because we have an incredible relationship it nourishes the rest. Real good men aren't hard to find they just are hard to keep. They instinctively know that the relationship is key and when a woman doesn't enrich it but instead wants pampering and care with no reciprocity men give up and stop being the men they want to be. If you don't love and feed your garden it withers. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Those who've put up with us for years know my passion for this day. I am open about all of me, my fibromyalgia,  my childhood,  my rights activism. I am also very open about the babies I've lost. I think there is no greater despair for a woman. It's the loss of a child but with the added knife twist of many not wanting to talk of it, to support the parents.

As soon as you get a positive test you envision the child's future.  Even if you aren't ready for motherhood or never wanted it for those moments and days following a positive test your brain swirls with the what if.

For the mother who miscarries that potential is suddenly gone, sometimes in a very traumatic way. The vision disappears.  And you are left alone. If you are lucky you dreamed with your spouse and he at least feels that emptiness with you.  Often it's just you. Alone in your body. Alone with your shattered dreams and expectations. 

My first pregnancy I was 17. I was terrified. I was doing my junior and senior years together. I was working 30+ hours each week. I fully expected the guy to walk away. To my shock he was stronger than I. He was there for me every moment, he proposed. So when we lost the pregnancy at 12 weeks he was as devastated if not more so. He gave me space but we did marry anyway about a year later. Then our Bug was born 10 months after that.

When she was 4 we were ready again. It took years. Then I got that test and I had never been so excited. A week later we lost it. I felt this loss so much more. We had been trying so long, I had about lost hope. Then I got a taste. My doc refused to test for anything until I had 3 consecutive losses.  So we got a new doc. She discovered hormone issues and when I got pregnant again immediately put me on added hormones to help. I carried our Monkey to term.

I was diagnosed with my fms when Monkey was about 9 months. It answered a lot. Infertility is common in fibromyalgia.  Hormone issues, womb issues.

So now we are going to try again with IVF. The extra help and monitoring we hope will help us. Not a day goes by where I forget about my lost angels though. I feel that loss all the time. I think it is a loss that never goes away.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Forgiving

Something my life allows is a lot of time in my own head. Being a wife and mom is the best thing but add my illness and I'm not running this kid here and that one there, doing PTA, driving carpool, baking and crafting. Most days I hurt and so I sit and cuddle my kids and husband. However they are kids and need to play and do and be and he needs to sleep. So I get lost in my own brain. I read or write. I watch movies or play games. I think. A lot.

My musing has led to much reflecting on the path I've taken.  I've learned a lot about forgiveness.  I learned to forgive the mother who birthed me and spent those early years abusing me. I honestly believe she didn't know any better. She had no idea how to be a mother, how to comfort, to protect, to cherish. I learned to forgive my Dad and to let go. I think he truly did the best he could. In his world "lose weight, stop being stupid, stop crying, grow up, you can do better, ect..." was the way you taught a child to become a contributing member of society.  It honestly wasn't his fault I am a sensitive, empathetic person. That I ached for praise. I realized recently that I do fogive him. I just don't trust him, not with me or my children. That's a hard reality.  I also had to accept you can forgive without trust.

I have so many people I love. Family I treasure.  And I've come to see that the wounds and forgiveness of my past are what help me be a great mom, a loving wife. I still have moments where I struggle, where all I hear are the voices of my childhood. Then I look at my hands and see my wedding ring and my mother's ring and am reminded that I have grown into so much more and that my ability to forgive and be positive rather than wallow in negative thoughts is what will help shape my girls into strong women.

They are so like me. So sensitive,  so empathetic,  so easy to bruise. I see my eldest struggle in ways I did and know part of that was because we were so young when she was born. We learned hard with her. But she has one thing I didn't.  Parents who love her and each other and who tell her so every day, who teach her her beauty and worth. Who teach her forgiveness.  It is one of the best gifts after all.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

vasovagal syncope

   Trust me it's a good thing.
    Spike was finally diagnosed yesterday. He is allowed to play football, run mile club, participate in PE and rough house with his brothers and friends. That made him a happy boy.
   The doctor wrote him a note saying he needed to carry his Gatorade and a bag of chips with him at all times. This made him a VERY happy boy! He even wrote him a doctor ordered hall pass so he can go to the bathroom any time he needs. I think we like this doctor.
Spike will still faint at times, but it's not dangerous. He needs to up his fluid intake (64+ oz, mostly Gatorade) and eat as much salty junk food as he wants. If he isn't getting enough salt, he can also take a capsule filled with salt. Those are the only changes he will have to make.
   Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Marine Family In Need.

Through my work on my page with Damsel I was adopting a family every month to raise funds for. The family always had a member who was critically ill or in need so I was always on the look out for people to help.

I have several friends who are military or are military spouses so I hear their stories often. Recently one really touched me. They were the total epitome of warrior strong to me as well as having a marriage I could relate to.

So I would like to introduce you to the Shocken family.


 Before disaster struck they were a normal USMC family. Dustin was deployed to Afghanistan. Amalia was a very active personal trainer raising their beautiful daughter in Twenty-Nine Palms.




Then the unthinkable happened. Amalia suffered a rare form of massive stroke. 2 out of 3 major brain vessels were completely blocked and the third was close. She required major surgery to remove blockages, take a piece of her skull to help cope with the massive swelling and save her life. She was in a come and they did not expect her to make it. I knew of this from that first moment pretty much as Amalia and I share a very dear friend and this friend stepped up to help since Dustin was gone. She took their daughter, she went to the hospital to talk to doctors, she did everything that she could do.



With the prognosis being so grim Dustin was sent home. In true Amalia and Dustin fashion she proved the docs wrong. She began to recover. She woke up. She tried to move. She spoke. She still has massive swelling and is almost totally paralyzed on her left side yet she is fighting to walk. She still is missing a chunk of her skull. She still needs help to do everything. She requires major rehab therapy.

So Dustin put her in an intensive rehab program for as long as he could. And then Tricare ran out. They would pay no more. So despite needing more care she was brought home and Dustin became her full time home nurse. He does everything. He changes her bags, he helps her do therapy. He should be doing the job and trusting his country to have his back and help him when needed but instead he is converting their home to a treatment center for her.

They need help. Help to get Amalia well. So the friends and family of Twenty-Nine are doing multiple fundraising things for them. There are shirts and a 5k. There is a straight donation page. So please guys. Share this for me. Donate for me. Help me help them.

  •  Visit www.facebook.com/milesforamalia or buy a shirt at www.booster.com/milesforamalia Donations to the Schocken Family and/or Miles for Amalia 5K can be made via PayPal to milesforamalia@gmail.com or sent to Jacklyn Miller, 7 Acacia Court, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277, checks payable to Jacklyn Miller. All funds sent outside of PayPal will be deposited into the PayPal account that has been set-up for the family/event.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Back to it.

Recently I've been most involved in managing my Damsel business and everything associated with it as well as online fibromyalgia support groups. First I stepped back from Damsel after Facebook blocked things and the politics of it caused more stress than it was worth.

Now I've also stepped back from my support groups. A number of years ago I stepped out of my shell and made friends with a couple of girls. We were all different but seemed bonded. Then petty issues and catty junk came up and it was constant drama. I despise drama and have learned that it actually makes me ill. I love women who are simple, no nonsense, no pretense, no fake crap. Real. So I concentrated on the handful of incredible women in my life, like Gracie and Mags. Until my diagnosis.  Then I wanted to talk to others like me, who understood fibromyalgia.  So I opened up again. I went from group to group until I found one that seemed to fit beautifully.  Real women facing a similar journey who were blunt, who seemed to not judge, who accepted.

Then it started to change. I noticed little things. New chat groups being made to exclude some. Posts seeming to dig at others. Then intried to mediate an issue. I was accused of bullying and called horrible things. It made me realize I miss my hermit life and all of you guys. :) Like minded hermits. So thanks for being awesome.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Spike update

The EKG was finally read after two weeks. It's still nothing definite, but they think he has RVH, which means the right side of his heart is enlarged. They also think think that he has long QT syndrome. Definition here:

   Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a heart rhythm disorder that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. These rapid heartbeats may trigger a sudden fainting spell or seizure. In some cases, your heart may beat erratically for so long that it can cause sudden death. 
You can be born with a genetic mutation that puts you at risk of long QT syndrome. In addition, certain medications and medical conditions may cause long QT syndrome.
Long QT syndrome is treatable. You may need to limit your physical activity, avoid medications known to cause prolonged Q-T intervals or take medications to prevent a chaotic heart rhythm. Some people with long QT syndrome need surgery or an implantable device.

We have an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist on the 11th. Would appreciate any prayers, good vibes or whatever you believe in.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lost my mojo.

These past few months I feel like the wind got sucked from my sails. Damsel has become impossible for me. I don't have the health for weekly parties and events and Facebook blacklisted me so my reach dropped substantially and no one was ordering. I adore the company with a passion but the biggest online networks include non-lethal self defense in their anti-weapon agenda and that just has made Damsel beyond hard.

The junior league I was working with became worse than high-school with the teenaged drama, name calling,  and backstabbing. So I walked away from my board position as the rule we try to live by is keep things as stress free as possible since the stress makes my fms worse.

I also haven't improved like we hoped. We think the climate is part of the issue. We spent a week in Wyoming and for those few days I was almost pain free. So we are hoping to find work out of the desert.

I am homeschooling Bug this year. Some of her group developed some awful risky behavior and I don't want her immersed in that. I honestly think that here in Vegas the kids are exposed to so much vice they experiment even younger than other places.

I've decided to focus on my writing again and on my passion for preparation and all the other great things I used to write about. I want to get back to reading my favorite blogs and connecting with the friends I've been neglecting as I tried to do Damsel.

So hopefully this is me climbing out of a dark place and getting back to the things I love. Sure missed you all.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

scared

   Spike blacked out twice yesterday morning. We spent three hours in the ER with low blood pressure and low blood sugars. He had his first ever blood draw and took it like a champ. He had an EKG that came back abnormal.
   Today I took him into his doctor who ordered more labs and referred us to a pediatric cardiologist. The lab tech wasn't paying attention to what she was doing and let the needle slip out of his arm. Then she tried to put it back in the same vein and blew the vein. She dug around in his arm for a while before giving up. He was in a lot of pain and terrified. He didn't move a muscle while she dug around in his arm with that needle. But now he has to go back tomorrow and I don't know how well he will take that.
   I am the kind of person who does very well in a crises and breaks down afterward. Right now I am pretty freaked out.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Slacker

Sorry I have been MIA for a while. I have been up to my neck in incubators, chicks, chickens, kids, dogs, bees, rabbits, ect, ect, ect.

First topic, birds. I went out of town for a week and came home to find out that my house sitter had put my broody hen back in the coop with the rest of the chickens by accident. Luckily her eggs had only been left unattended for 24 hours or so and I fired up the incubator. Out of the seven eggs under the hen, three were clear (unfertile) and four were only a few days away from hatching. I actually saw one of the chicks jump in the egg when candled. Out of the four eggs, one died from being left in the nest too long without the hen and three began to hatch. I had issues with my incubator and two of the chicks shrink wrapped ( the membrane gets too dry and shrinks around the chick suffocating them). The lone remaining chick pipped at the wrong end and had to be helped...a lot. I ended up picking away all of the upper half of the egg so all she had to do was stretch and tear the membrane. She was too weak. I pulled the membrane off her head and picked away more of the shell. At this point all she had to do was pull her head out from under her wing and stretch. She was still too weak. I have a video of my three boys and a neighbor kid whistling at her to encourage her while I petted her wing and head to stimulate her into moving. She finally flopped out of the shell and into my hand but was still too weak to kick out of the lower half of the shell. I put her back in the incubator to gain her strength. After and hour she still only had one leg out of the shell and struggling to figure out how to kick free. After checking that she had absorbed the yolk, I realized she was still attached to the membrane by several strings of goo. I crushed the remaining shell to avoid her kicking against it and disemboweling herself and cut through the strings of goo close to her unbilical cord. I put her back in the incubator to dry off and get strong. By morning she was screaming for breakfast and running around the incubator looking for friends. She actually started to bond with the sponge I put in for humidity. I feather sexed her and she is indeed a hen!! I found her some friends that were being given away and they are all snuggling happily together in my laundry room.
   I also acquired a pair of blue laced red wyandottes! I have looked for this breed for over a year now. The chicks I hatched out last year were blue laced red wyandottes (BLRW for short) but they both were roosters. I am so excited for these birds!

Will blog about the other topics later.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mission impossible

Because I have gained some sort of reputation as a person who can deal with any kind of animal problem no matter what it is, I ended up with this little guy in my kitchen today. He weighes 22 grams and is slightly bigger than my thumb. He's blind, he's bald and he JUMPS! If he survives long enough to open his eyes we will name him. Until then we are just calling him Mission Impossible. Wish me luck with this little guy. Even though I am trying very hard to distance myself, he is tugging at the heart strings.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Holy giant egg batman!

My little auracauna hen layed this egg this morning. Next to it is the last egg she layed. The big one is easily the size of a turkey egg. I can't imagine giving birth every day....chickens have it rough.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crash has done it again.

Ironically, his shirt reads "Blood Clots, Sweat Dries, Bones Heal."



He has to wear the boot for two weeks, he can only take it off to shower. He is already tired of it and tries to find ways to get me to let him take it off. He is showering a lot more often these days. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Great egg experiment update

I think the great egg experient may be a flop. The temp here have been unsteady to say the least and have made for some serious temp spikes and dips that I think might have killed my eggs. The neighbor kid swore he heard one of the eggs cheep today though and I have thought I have heard something the last few days too, so hopefully I will get SOMETHING. My broody hen got off her eggs long enough for me to candle a few a couple of days ago so I have high hopes she will be able to hatch hers. They looked right on track and I even got to see a little foot wiggling around in one egg.
I will post pics of what I do get and if anyone is interested, I will crack and post pics of the development of the eggs that didn't make it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Chicks!!!

Ok so just one so far. The broody hatched out one little feather footed chick this morning. As long as she doesn't step on it, I will have at lest a semi sucessful hatch. I am still hopefull for her other five eggs as well. Pics will follow once the hatch is done.

Her name was Lola.....

she was a rabbit.....Wait, that doesn't sound quite right?



This is the newest bunny addition. Finally a female. Lola and Max are going to be the beginning of our survival rabbit herd (still not sure what to call it, what exactly IS a group of rabbits called!?) These particular bunnies are strictly pets, they all three use a litter box and have been strictly indoor rabbits, but their offspring will eventually become dinner. We plan on having several rabbits at various locations and will be learning (and teaching the boys) how to butcher, clean and cook rabbits. I would feel a lot better about eating a rabbit that I raised than one in the wild. They are prone to parasites that give me the heeby jeebies.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reeses Pieces

We have added to our rabbit herd (flock?). Meet Reeses Pieces. He is a mini lop and was given to Butch by his best friends when they moved and weren't allowed to have a rabbit in the new rental. Reeses will eventually have a few girlfriends and they will be the beginning of our 4 H show bunnies.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pic of the day

A really cool pics of some queen cells on a frame from a winter killed hive.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The great egg experiment

I candled my eggs today and saw some very varied results. I had my incubator set too low for the first two days so I added more eggs to bring me to a total of 39 and started my hatch over at day one. I may have jumped the gun on that one as some of my eggs look like they are on day five and some look like they are at day three. There was even one where I could clearly see the chicks eye starting to develop. Some of the eggs that I added had sat out on the table overnight which normally would have been perfectly fine, but it was pretty cold that night and don't think those eggs will hatch. They looked pretty clear. I will leave them for a while and see what happens. As of right now I have thirteen eggs that are clearly viable and thriving. I tried to take pics, but they didn't turn out so I borrowed a few I found online so I could show you what I saw.


Day 3

Day 5

Pic of the day

Mutant bees!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Meet Max

Max is our new bunny. He is a year old and really needs some girlfriends. He bites. He chews. He is frustrated. Honestly though, he is a good pet for the boys. He only bites now when he is tired of being held. He loves to be petted and we are working on teaching him some tricks. We plan on getting him some girlfriends and raising some bunnies. We just need a good hutch for them first. Right now Max spends his days outside eating clover in the back yard in a small dog excercise pen and his nights in a crate in the house. He has never been an outdoor bunny and is really enjoying the freedom to run and kick and dig and act like a wild bunny. He has a strict hands off policy when he is in that mood. Just try and catch him. He thinks he's feral. Until it starts to storm or it gets dark. Then he reverts back into a pampered housepet. Goofy animal.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Adventures in beekeeping.

 I attempted to join my lonely queen bee and her few attendants with my strong healthy queenless hive using the newspaper method. The bees totally ignored the queen and her supply of helper bees dwindled even more. 
Yesterday things were pretty critical for her so I popped her into a queen cage with four of her friends and placed her in the queenless hive. I then went through the other frames to see which ones to keep in the hive and which ones to take out. Then I noticed it. Uh oh. I small very fresh looking empty queen cell. Oh boy. That means I just threw my good expensive queen in a hive with thousands of bees that are going to try and kill her. 
She was still in her cage and therefore ok so I went through some more frames and saw three frames full of day or two old eggs. Holy cow! What an impressive layer! Then I noticed that a few cells had more than one egg. Not good. That could mean a laying worker. Bad news. A laying worker is a huge problem as she only lays drones and she will totally take over a hive and ultimatly kill it becuase as bees die, they are not being replaced. They are very hard to get rid of because they look JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER BEE in that congested hive. There could also be several laying queens.
I retrieved my queen and rearranged my hive to work as a two queen hive with excluders to keep the queens apart (if there really are two queens). I am hoping I have two queens because with the set up I have with them now, the workers will care for both queens and two layers in a hive will build up numbers very quickly! Here's hoping! 




Just call me the bee tamer!

Oh yes! I just picked up that bee! got to learn to do this if I am going to raise queens.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mr chicken

Mr chicken lost several toes to frostbite this winter. He was too big and fat to jump up into the coop with the other chickens and too big of a sissy to let is catch him every night to put him in. So now until  his little toe stumps heal he has to be away from his girls. He really hates that. But if I turn him out into the run with the girls, they eat what is left of his toes. So for now, he's in solitary. The younger roosters are liking the arrangement though, they get the girls all to themselves. Something tells me I won't have a problem with the eggs being fertile this year. It's almost time to hatch out some chicks!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April/May hatch

Yes I am crazy. I am going to incubate some eggs. I have a bizarre assortment of birds and I would love to see what kind of chicks I get out of them. My roosters are blue laced red wyandottes. My hens are cochins, silver laced wyandottes, black australorpes, rhode island reds, barred rocks, buff orpingtons, naked necks (google those for real), and auracaunas. I have made my best guess on which hen layed which egg so it will be interesting to see if I am right.

I am also helping one of my friends, TinCanAssassin with a homeschool lesson on chicken development. Just for kicks and giggles, I am going to post everything here for you guys as well. Here is a hatch calender for reference.

If I start these tomorrow, they will hatch on my sons birthday. I think he would like that.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bee pic

Hubby checking for a queen. This is a good strong hive.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pics

I am going to post pics of whateer is going on around here in the in between days when I don't have anything to blog about. I got some pretty cool ones during our last hive inspections.

Just me with our strongest and weakest hives.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bees and bunnies and seeds, Oh My!

It must bee spring. We traveled to California to pick up seven packages of bees last week. It was a nice trip but feel really bad for the bees. They went from an 80 degree climate where everything was blooming to high 20s and snow. Most of them fared really well, but we ran into some problems yesterday while checking hives.

This package was so cold they went into a dormant state. I thought they were all dead until I broke out the trusty hair dryer and warmed them up. There was an even bigger ball of bees sitting on the bottom of the hive (the last place you want your bees balled up) I am hoping the queen was somewhere in that pile of bees safe and warm. Today is supposed to be warmer so we will see if they get out and fly.

Another problem we had not expected was the difficulty of finding the queen on the foundationless frames. Out of all seven hives, we only found one queen and she immediatly flew out of the hive. I watched her zoom in and back out a couple of times before I lost sight of her so I hope she want back in and settled her court back into making comb.

There is a very big difference between productivity in some hives and others. Some were doing nothing at all, some had already started building comb. I know which hives I will pull my drones from!

I am going to attempt queen rearing this year using the nicot system. It's just too hard to climatize bees from other locations to our weird crazy weather here. I am going to use my nuc queen (now named Charlotte) as my mother queen and drones from my most productive hives as my breeder drones. I have a few ideas on how to select which drones I want an ensure that is who she mates with but I will go into that later.

My Utah hive is queenless. Don't know how that happened as her hive is incredibly strong. There was only one emergency queen cell in the hive (which broke open as we seperated two frames, grrrr.) So I know she didn't swarm. It is still so cold right now I would have a hard time believing they could swarm yet anyway. Our last remaining Nevada hive has been very weak. When we opened it yesterday, there were only about 200 bees and the queen was very weak. We decided to kill two birds with one stone and combine the Utah and Nevada hives. What in the world am I going to call THAT mixture!?!? Maybe I should name her Gracie. A Utah queen in a Nevada home. Hrmmm. That has possibilities, lol.

We got the first of our rabbits a few weeks ago, his name is Max. He has lived his whole live as an ignored house bunny. He was well fed and petted once in a while but he has obviously never been outside. We put him out during the day in a large excercise pen.. He jumps and twists and has decided that he is a wild jackrabbit. Until nightfall when he crawls into his crate and shivers. Being domestic reallly isn't all that bad I guess.

I have been getting so excited to start my garden this year. I just have to find a way to kick all of the chickens out of the back yard first. They seem to think my raised beds are their own personal dust baths.

That's the basic quick catch up on what's been going on in the world of Gracie. I am really going to try hard to get better as this whole blogging thing.

Monday, March 18, 2013

What a month!

Holy crazy month. I have been just swamped. I had events 4 out of the last 6 weekends with Damsel. It was pretty amazing. I was able to complete the director training program and promoted up two ranks during the program. I gained so much. So much confidence, so much joy and contentment. My goal when I began this Damsel path has always been to build an incredible team, to help my family, and to give back. In January with the help of my friends we raised $500 for the Gaston family. In February we raised over $400 for the Pratt family. This month we are working hard to help a sweet little 2 year old boy with liver cancer.

I also sort of fell into an activism role. I offered to help sponsor a giveaway for a new fb page called 1 Million Moms Against Gun Control. I also offered to help in any way I could. So when the awesome creator decided to take her dream bigger I was happy to help. So I am now the Nevada lead for what is becoming a nationwide nonprofit with an aim at providing education, awareness, and support on rights issues. We are actually even discussing expanding to the full constitution and not just focusing on gun rights. Being involved from the start in this is pretty cool.

I have had to take a brake this week from everything as I was feeling run down but I am loving it. Loving the ability to nurture my passions. Enjoying the meeting of new people. It truly has been an incredible joy.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

New digs for the girls

We are going to be adding seven new hives to the apiary this year. I hope they like blue!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pictures of our winter killed hive



Queen cell from different angles. This hive swarmed last summer before we bought it from a neighbor.

There were several frames of beautiful capped honey in this hive. They starve to death while attempting to chew through the caps.


Bee butts. This is a pretty good indication that they starved.

I am pretty sure this was caused by an infestation of varroa mites that we din't catch until it was too late in the year to do anything about it. I lost two hives to varroa this year and have one more struggling. They were eating a few days ago when I checked on them, but they don't seem to have the numbers that the Utah hive does. I hope it makes it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Put up or shut up? Guess I better put up huh!

I do a lot of educating and informing on this current fight for our rights but I wanted to go a step farther. I wanted to put my money where my mouth is and try to truly make a difference. I hope I make a difference here, but honestly most of you already believe what we believe. You feel what I feel. :) So what could I do to help?

Then I saw the facebook page 1 Million Moms Against Gun Control cross my screen. Huzzah! Of course I liked the page. They are working on their non-profit status and on spreading awareness. They want to be the voice to combat the mom group screaming to take our rights. They decided to go even farther and make state specific pages to focus on the needs of each state. And I found my opening. I am now one of the Nevada coordinators! Woot! Since I know most of you aren't in NV here is the link to the list of every page. Like your state, share the list! Shout it to the roof tops. Right now the moms saying that guns are out to kill us all are 60,000 strong and growing. We need to fight back. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Unplugging the boys.

I was so sick and tired of trying to get the boys to do ANYTHING besides play video games. We have had these rules for a long time, but I had kind of let them slide. It was getting to the point where they would just come home from school, throw their coats and back packs on the floor and pick up a controller. They would eat in front of it, fight over it and throw huge tantrums when it was time to turn it off for the night. Enough is enough. Mom is feeling well enough to lay down the law again. Two of the children have already "earned" extra chores due to rule number three. THAT rule is by far my favorite. I can just see a sparkling clean house within a weeks time!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Good dog

Since I ratted her out a couple of days ago, I thought I would post this one too. Izzy is more than my pet. She's my first line of defense against my hypoglycemia. She knows when my blood sugars are low long before I do. She even alerted to Spike last week. I tested his blood and he was 89. I have trained her to alert any time my blood sugar drops below 90. She's spot on at this point. This little dog is worth her weight in gold. Or at least her weight in elk meat :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Another one bites the dust.

It was warm enough yesterday to go out and check the hives for the first time in about two months. Our nuc is doing great, and that is the one we were worried about. They still aren't out of the woods, but they are eating the sugar we put in the hive for them. They don't seem too interested in the pollen patties, but as long as they are eating something they should be ok. The Utah hive is still strong and more aggressive than the others. I bet we will have to split that hive this year to keep them from swarming. They were eating the sugar in their hive too, but were also trying to get into the other hives to see what they could rob. Going to have to watch that situation. Nevada hive #1 is strong and doing well. More gentle than the Utah hive, but I don't think I would want to work them without gloves and veil. Nevada hive #2 is dead :( The bees were laying dead on top of the sugar so I know they didn't starve. I think the mites got them. These were the bees we bought last fall and by the time we noticed the mites, it was too late in the season to do much about it. So now we have two big hives and a nuc that are still doing well. Let's hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Loving this tax season. *Snark*

Husband is very blessed to be in a needed industry. He is also in demand within the industry because his skill as an operator is a rare one, especially of the type of machine he works with. Due to the nature of his work it is often that the company is working in conjunction with a local government and that the work is union. So the pay is great, we get decent medical, and we have fairly good job protection.

This job has bumped us a tax bracket which has meant we pay more in taxes. That is just the nature of the beast. The fun this year has been discovering that over 20% of his income went to taxes. AND we OWE. Despite my chronic illness needing Dr. visits every month and despite my Damsel business we still owe more. They took more than some people make in a year. WTH? I am so shocked by this. I saw that number and about fell over.

Hopefully now that I have my business I can find lots of fun deductions but I am just flabbergasted at our government.

My health

I have had a hard time writing this post. I have started to write it a dozen times since October, but always just felt the need to delete it. And it's not like it was a dramatic big deal or anything. I just felt the need to keep it to myself. After being diagnosed with fibro, adrenal fatigue, hypoglycemia and a few other things, I really struggled with coping with it. I had more bad days than good and my blood pressure was always so low I felt like I would pass out. Then I found a cool clinic that treats illness in a different way. They poked my finger with a needle and put it under a microscope. Those are my red blood cells. they aren't supposed to look like that. They are all hollow and dead. Why, you ask? If you look close, you can see some little green dots in some of them. Those are parasites. They have eaten and killed nearly every red blood cell in my body. They were not able to find a single healthy one in the entire sample. The little pests were eating me alive. This could have been fatal if not caught. I was taken into the next room where I got a mega dose of vitamins through an IV. Now I go as often as I can and am feeling so much better. I have not had a single low blood sugar since mid November. I have also not had a low blood pressure reading until my friend got sick. My fibro is practically non existent and I have more energy than I have since I was in my early teens. I have two more treatments to go and then they will poke my finger again to see how much I have progressed. I am very optimistic about this though, I can't imagine I have not made a lot of progress with as good as I feel. I am sure I will need a few more treatments, but I can't believe how much better I feel after only three months.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hubby has been busy

We are expanding the apiary! Going for an even 10 hives this year. The nuc is over wintering well and the hives that were struggling in the fall are still alive so I am optimistic. We also got snow this year so hopefully this means we will actually have plants that bloom for them. Last year was so dry and hot that we had NO honey stores and have been feeding the bees all winter. We are also trying out some new equipment this year so I will let everyone know how that works out for us. We are also switching up the breed of bees we are raising. Until July of last year we only had Italian bees. They had some issues with the climate. They also got very tempermental. Then we ordered our Carniolan/Caucasian queen and put her into a nuc with some nurse bees and brood we took from our strongest hive. Those bees can be worked without gloves and they have not stung any of us. They are thriving this winter even though they were robbed late in the fall and went into winter with low numbers and hardly any honey stores. I am really liking these bees. They are almost solid black so it's easy to spot them in the yard. Lots of changes to come, hopefully one of them will actually involve a honey harvest this fall!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crash and his antics

Yup, those are hickies. Crash's first. Too bad they were made by one of those stupid little domes that pop into the air when you turn them inside out. Pretty impressive aren't they?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birthday

My friend who is going through cancer has the same birthday as I do. It happens to be today :D We are spending it together, because we wouldn't have it any other way. LOVE YOU SIS!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Visitor

He still has chicken feed stuck to his nose. He and his herd ate over 30 lbs of it that day. And he is not afraid of me. Or snowballs.

Pretty great gun info!

In all this fighting about rights I like to keep my eyes open for those who really illistrate the facts in an educated, easy to read way. I loved a recent blog on Eight Seconds Of Fame on the subject because he truly did his research, he took the time to show exactly what the "scary" guns were and why they aren't scary and he made sure to educate in a very matter of fact way.

Today I saw this one and I have to say I love it. Very no nonsense and very informative and very much full of great sources. DOJ and CDC to name a few. This was well researched and puts things up in black and white. I just wish more would read it.

I have gotten some flack over being so passionate over this. My own brother and I are very much at odds on this issue. To the point where he has actually posted some pretty disrespectful things in relation to my work that have honestly hurt me deeply. You guys know there are many moments where members of my family have chose to not be supportive. Now that I have found a way to truly help people by placing safety in their hands I feel like I have found a part of myself. I feel like this is my calling, to see people safer and protected, in whatever way I can make that happen, and so it truly hurts to have this part of me bashed by those who should love me most. BUT like I always do I count on what I do have. I have my guy who is so supportive even as he laughs at me. I have my friends and I have added some pretty amazing women to that list. I just wish that my family could see how much joy and passion I have for this and truly felt like they could get behind what I am doing.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Two roosters too many

This is one of the chicks I hatched last year. I only got two out of that bunch and they both ended up being roosters. Too bad, I was really hoping for some hens. Isn't he pretty though? I am keeping him and trading his brother for an Americauna hen to replace the one the skunks killed last summer. They both get along with Mr chicken so until they start fighting, I am keeping them together for now.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Prayer requests.

My soul sister gave me a huge scare on New Years eve. She went into the hospital to have a CT scan on his sinuses and ended up being life flighted to a major hospital with stage three lymphoma on her heart. The tumor is so big that it had partially collapsed her lung and was basically rearranging all of the organs in her chest. She was placed into a medically induced coma after she coded twice that first night in the hospital. Had she not gone in that day, she would have died in her sleep. She has now completed two rounds of chemo and is doing well. She does need prayers though. She has a long road ahead of her. She has a 90% chance of beating this and she is a fighter so I know she will beat this. She will be in treatment for 18 months to 2 years. She is getting massive doses of chemo and will be having radiation as well. She has two young daughters, one of which is a type 1 diabetic. She is fairly independent, and does well figuring out her carbs and how to program her pump. But her mother has (rightfully) micromanaged her health since she was diagnosed at age four. That is not going to be possible anymore. I know I am rambling, but these thoughts run through my mind at such a quick pace, I have a hard time keeping up on my keyboard. I worry about how she will manage to juggle her health, the health of her family and her day to day responsibilities. I will be there for her as much as I possibly can, but there are a lot of things I cannot help with. All I can really do is psychically help where I can, and give her support when she needs it. I can cheer her up when she is down and knit hats to keep her head warm now that she has lost her hair. We are sisters and I would do anything for her.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

and then there were four

We lost a hive early this winter due to exessive robbing. We lost our Georgia hive that had always been so strong, the one that we had just requeened, the one that had spent the summer kicking our Utah hives tails. I don't know why they were suddenly weak enough that they would allow themselves to be robbed so badly. Our nuc took a pretty serious hit as well, but they are still hanging in there. We bought some pollen patties to feed all of them through the winter so hopefully we don't lose anymore. I am thinking of naming my hives with native animals. I can paint a siliouette of each animal on the hive. That is one way to help my husband remember. Right now we just call them the Utah hive, the two nevada hives, and the california hive. It gets confusing. Hubby wants to paint a different color on the landing board of each hive, but I am not so convinced. Thoughts?

Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm ALIVE!

No, really. It's been a crazy, long, and exhausting month. I will tell you all about it, but in small doses. I am hoping to write several posts in the next couple of nights and set them to post one a day for the rest of eternity. Well, a week is probably a bit more realistic. So anyway, look for posts about health concerns, Crash's latest adventures and pictures of bees and bee hives. Until tomorrow.........

SHOT Roundup

Can I just say AWESOME!!!

I am so glad I made it to SHOT this year. It truly was incredible to be there, to see such awesome things, to meet such amazing people and to nurture some great connections.

I will start with the beginnng. Since I knew this would be a lot of physical activity for me I decided to cram everything I could into 2 days. If I tried for more than that I knew I would flare like crazy.

So Wednesday the 16th was my day 1. I checked in and got my creds and then looked up the Peppermill. You would think I would know where it is being a local but, alas, the strip is not my thing. Turned out it was down the strip a bit. Rather than move my car I walked it. A lot of activity for me but it felt nice to actually have the energy for it since I have quit the evil med. So off to the Peppermill I went for the 1st Annual Dark Angel Medical Ladies Bruncheon. I got to finally meet the female half of this vet owned duo. She plays words with friends with me constantly so it was nice to finally have a face to the name. I love what they do. If you are looking for a high quality trauma kit these guys can set you up. There were several women from different companies. Notably Women's Tactical Association was there and HammerFour. Then of course I had to drag along my friend Sandi, creator of Offhand Gear. I am her only Nevada dealer so far but that is just a momentary thing, her designs are awesome!!

Then I spent the day running around. I met up with Jason at Mission First Tactical. Awesome guy and a huge support of my Damsel venture. He has donated gear to giveaways and vice-versa and been a great contact!! I recommend them if you are looking for great rifle/carbine gear they are the place to go!

I also just casually bumped into ArmedCandy. I felt like a fan girl. Honestly there are a handful of bloggers that were a huge help in keeping me in shooting. After the shooting in Washington I was scared and knew I wanted to be able to protect us but the .40 hubby bought me was just not a good gun for me. ArmedCandy was one of the blogs that I read that helped inspire me to not give up, so meeting her in person was pretty amazing.

Day 2 for me was Thursday the 17th! What a fun day. I had some great meetings. I spent a wonderful bit talking to the owner and creator of Gun Tote'n Mamas. She is just amazing. I also love their concealed carry purses. They get cuter all the time and are not the bulky leather boring of the other places.

The highlight was the blogger lunch though. Misfires and Light Strikes put it together and I met some awesome people. He put up a great post of who attended, much more comprehensive than my weak memory! I am so glad I went and so impressed. Honestly I think I have felt like a lot of us, frustrated by the current politial climate and a bit at wits end. Sitting and talking with some of my favorite minds in the blogging world (Like Jay who was another reason I stuck with shooting) really helped me to remember that I am not alone in my frustration or opinions and that together we are a mighty force. Alan Korwin said something that stuck with me. He said that our best argument is that we are pro-RIGHTS. If we remove the word the anti's want to fight over and bring it back to the core issue at hand we win before the fight even begins because we are on the side of RIGHTS. I loved that thought and have been repeating it everywhere I can.

All in all it was an incredible two days. I saw awesome friends, build up some relationships, formed new ones, and really just reaffirmed that both Damsel and my passion for our rights are exactly the things I want to be doing with my life. I am good at this and I am loving it. :) I feel like I have found my people and my place.

**On a side note I have a giveaway up on my FB to help a family in need. They have a sweet 4 year old daughter who was diagnosed with a rare incurable brain disorder and she requires some major care. So I am raising funds for them. I have a couple great gift baskets formed. To enter to win them is a donation of $10 per basket. Check it out if you feel the urge, or pass it around! The more places it shows up the better! :)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Herbal Tinctures

So on my quest to better health I am really embracing holistic healing. Right now my primary source are oils from DoTerra. Gracie introduced me and I am so grateful. I have a regimen of oils I rub on at night to help me sleep, to help my pain.

As I add more oils to our stores and learn more I also want to learn more about other herbal ways to heal and help keep my family safe. I was reading this article on herbal tinctures and was wondering how many of you use these types of remedies? Do you use the alcohol way? Any thoughts?

SHOT show fun!

Next week is SHOT. A gun lovers paradise. I was to late to get media crews for the blog. However I am hoping to pull last minute crews for Damsel. I want to at least walk the exhibition floor. *Squee*

Two things I am doing that I am thrilled about are a ladies of the industry lunch on Wednesday hosted by my good friend Lynn, co-creator of DARK Angel medical, and the blogger meet on Thursday hosted by Kevin from Misfires and Lightningstrikes. So breaking excited. Like fan girl excited. I am going to have to try to hold in the oogling. Most people love movie stars. I have fan girl crushes on chick gun people, loggers, and writers. Yeah I am a geek.

On a fun side note I am part of a couple fun giveaways on Facebook. One with Sassy Does. The other is with a number of pages . It is to encourage contacting your reps about gun control issues. Some awesome gear is up for grabs. So go visit my fb page to check it out.

I also am adopting a family each month to raise money for them. Each family has a critically ill/in need child/children. Check out this months family on my page too. ;)

damselprokimberlywalsh

Friday, January 4, 2013

Coming out of the closet!

No not that closet. Gutter brains.

Coming out of the blogger pen name closet.

Introducing me! The real me. No holds barred no pen name me!
Hi! I'm Kim! Yes you know me as Lila and for book writing I plan to be Lila because there happens to be a super famous brit singer with my name. Makes websites and google searches and all that stuff never actually lead to me. Handy but annoying when you want to have a career in public things.

So why the reveal? Well that business I started. I wanted to share it with you guys. A few of our favorite blogging friends posted about it for me but I wanted to share it too. Plus having a pen name when you have a Facebook page with almost 3000 fans seemed a little redundant. Especially since I have been pretty vocal there about some recent political issues.

So my dream was to get my RSO cert and my NRA certs and start training women to protect themselves. Seeing women gain the confidence that shooting has given me has become a passion. But that stupid FMS thing likes to mess with me. Then I discovered this pretty cool company. Damsel In Defense. DEFENSE. I loved the name. It is basically an Avon type company but for self defense gear. I was hooked. I now had a way to help women get safe but that I could do. So I joined up and I built my page. I have made some incredible friends as well. Some of my biggest supporters are

http://www.darkangelmedical.com/ I love them!! They make awesome medical gear and the chick half of this team has become a dear friend.

http://www.monkeerancharms.com/  Yet again a fave. The chick part is also becoming another wonderful friend.

http://www.shop.modernmusket.com/ This awesome fire fighter is truly one of the strongest voices for 2A rights and has been a wonderful connection.

Anyway back to Damsel!! Visit my page and my website and tell me what you think. We have pepper spray, stun guns, and some really fun things. I personally love the auto tool. It is a flash light, red flashing beacon, siren, glass break, and seat belt cutter. It is water resistant and has a magnetic head to attach it to the side of the car if needed to gain attention or warn people of your location.

So tell me what you think huh?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Getting discouraged.

I started a new fun business venture. One that lets me fulfil a dream while being within my ability due to my health. I have thrown myself into it. Honestly not earning much yet because I want to make sure I start off exactly as I am. That has meant making sure that my customer base knows I am in it for more than money. I am truly in it for them. My director nominated me for a pretty great training program and I was thrilled to get in. It is all about becoming a director myself and building my business. However my lovely constant companion means I do things very different than most. I do my whole life different. Chores get spread through the week. Cleaning my floor is an all day multi step process. My differences may get me booted from the program and I have to say that kind of hurts. To know that yet again this junky disease might mess something up sucks. I truly wish it would leave me something.