Broken Chrysalis

I woke up this morning…different. Consciousness rose to the surface somewhere around 4am-ish. I don’t know because I didn’t reach for my phone, for once. Oh, all the familiar aches and pains were still there. So many days of being bent over the bench, using my hands as tiny vices, pushing down prongs, sawing, torching, searching for that thing I just had in my hand, eyes always in the microscope, everything pushing toward the center and never having my chest and arms opened up. I can feel it every morning when I wake up on my stomach with my arms out under my pillow. My hands and arms involuntarily push into the bed and my back burns all the way down the middle, my spine clearly out of alignment, muscles tight, hands clenched, throbbing and aching. But, today, even with the aches and pains, was…different. My head wasn’t so heavy. I didn’t feel dread for the day or the future or the heaviness of life’s burdens. I felt, maybe not energized physically, but certainly a new kind of energy, positive energy and the absence of negativity. I was actually able to pull my body out of bed at 5:45. No, it was better than that. I couldn’t KEEP my body in bed, when, for the past…at least three years I have had to willfully and grudgingly drag myself out of sleep wishing I never had to wake up again.

cocoon

It occurs to me that I’ve been in a very dark, confined space, not free to move at all, or to see or to feel. Nothing about my surroundings or situation has changed drastically…yet. But this morning, I felt like the cocoon is beginning to give. No wings are out, they are still bound, my legs still can only barely wiggle, but my antennae are out, feeling around, tasting the air, proboscis unwinding, ready to partake of life’s nectar, and my eyes are almost uncovered. I can almost see my way out of confinement. Every day I will wiggle a bit more, search a bit more, seek a bit more, till my bonds break free. I want to fly.

I won’t think about darkness anymore. I will push those thoughts from me and concentrate on the light. I will keep dark people at arms length and seek out the people who’s light is contagious. I will let their flame ignite my own. Then, when I’m a full fiery blaze, and those who’s lights have gone dim are drawn to mine, I will use my light to ignite theirs. I will learn a new way of thinking, a new way of speaking, a new way of existing. I will free myself. I will move my body, wake with the sun, and consume only that which will heal and nurture. I will grow strong. Someday very soon, I will love myself again.

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Planning an Off-Grid Life

You haven’t, but, if you want to, you can read a few blogs down about how my heart’s desire is to eventually go off grid. WAY easier said than done. Way easier to dream than to actually jump. The absolute first step is to get out of debt. That is a whole other plan. This here is a list I hope some of you who are planning on going off the grid will find helpful, and I hope that those of you who are already there will leave comments about what I’m planning wrong, with advice about things I’m forgetting, and encouragement where I’m thinking right. I promised myself I’d keep working on this even if the possibility of it becoming a reality is very low. So here are my plans so far:

Homesteading Tips n Tricks

A List of Tips, Tricks, Advice, Ideas and Resources

 

EQUIPMENT:

ATV – $500-$800

ATV Trailer – $150

ATV plow attachment – $400

Underground water catchment tanks ??? Maybe $600??

2 inch stainless steel pipes – 4 ft long, up to 40 ft of them with threads. $60 each?

Well pump – $150

2 shotguns, 2 rifles, 2 handguns – $1000

Bullets – tons of ‘em – $1500

Wood stove for cooking and main room heat $3000

Possibly 3 more small wood stove heaters $600 each

Go pro $300

Google glass $1200

Video editing software – $60

5 longbows of varying draw and accessories – $200/each

Heavy-duty wood chipper – $500

Chainsaw – $100

Good ax, wedge and sledge hammer – $100

Gas generator $150

MIG wirefeed welder, gloves and mask – $100

Brushcutter – $200

Come-along – $50

2 ton pullys – $30/each

Steel Cable – $50

Router – $200

Table saw – $200

Drill driver – $100

Mill saw – $3000

Miter saw – $200

Composting toilet – $1000

Tankless water heater – $200

Solar panel system – $3000

Wind turbine – $300 ???

Hydro power system – ???

Hole saw drill attachments – $60

Build our own beehives – plans on internet

Beekeeping equipment like hoods, smokers, brushes and scrapers – $100

Portable Manual Washers. Two of them with modified cranks so they can be placed on either side of a stationary bike like pedals. $55 each.

 

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Upstairs loft with railing all the way around. I picture our wet laundry hanging all over that! Lol! Three sleeping chambers for kids and one master loft for adults.

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Main floor of my dream treehouse. The problem with that is that I have no idea what trees will be where on my future property. I just hope that it might be able to have a layout somewhat like this.

 

 

 

REGULAR MONETARY COSTS THAT CAN’T BE AVOIDED:

Insurance – auto, property, medical, life

Savings – should have $5000 to start and put $50-$200 away/month

Groceries – for the first two or three years actually MOST of our food and the animals food.

Once we start producing we’ll need:

flour, sugar, rice, pasta, peroxide, rubbing alcohol, alcohol for consumption and tinctures/extracts and cooking, spices that can’t be grown, natural ingredients for personal care products, feminine products, supplemental animal feed and small things to supplement our diet.

Gas

Propane

Hay

WIFI

Phones

Cloth or clothing

Vehicle and equipment maintenance

 

IDEAS ABOUT HOW THE HOMESTEAD WOULD BE RUN:

Two to four acres of land, with a spring or stream and water rights. Hopefully on higher ground. $150,000 WITH TREES!!!! Preferably in mountains.

Try to purchase and close in late winter- early spring

1st order of business is water and shelter. Maybe have a trailer or two or a yurt or two that are fit to winter over in and can be lived in for two to three years.

dig well, or install water filtration system or both, figure out transport, pumps, pipes etc

2nd food storage for first two years and plan for getting and storing perishables. Safe from animals and elements.

3rd storage of critical equipment

 4th plan out the land – where will permanent dwelling be? What will it be and how will it be designed for the most self sustaining and efficient use of resources? What are our biggest advantages/disadvantages? How much can we do to be as comfortable as possible before next winter hits? Where will garden be? Chickens? Goats? What needs to be done to protect all those from elements and predators?

Clear spaces for each aspect.

Build temporary shelter if that’s needed.

Build permanent animal enclosures.

Clear land for garden

Start composting right away.

Clear a road (defensible space) all the way around property. Plant hedges and berry bushes around perimeter inside the road. Regular barbed wire fencing around perimeter and once a week/month (as we determine it’s needed), drive around whole property with trailer full of fencing supplies to inspect and repair fencing and irrigation system supplies to repair irrigation to shrubbery.

Clear defensible space around dwelling, garden and animals, leaving as many trees as we can and still feel safe from fire and have enough sun for the garden while keeping the forest feel.

Yurt or travel trailers for first three years while working on real house.

About ¾- 1 acre for garden and animals, let the rest be wild but taken care of.

Plan for power. Solar, wind, and hydro are preferable, to be supplemented with propane and gas as little as possible. City power, maybe for the first two or three years.

Composting toilets only.

Goats and chickens only for the first three years. Maybe ducks and quail. Consider rabbits, a dwarf cow, and maybe a pig or two later on.

Spring is for planting and building, summer is for maintaining/cultivating, building, and selling arts, crafts and homestead products off property, fall is for harvesting and winter prep, winter is for maintaining animals and household, resting, planning, schooling and creating arts n crafts.

Early mornings are for animals, late mornings and early afternoons are for building and maintaining, late afternoons and early evenings are for cleaning and food prep, evenings are for family time. Not sure how to fit school in there yet, or if the kids would go to public schools. I want them involved on the homestead, but not at the expense of their education.

Beginning of each year is a family planning session where we try to map out our yearly goals in a realistic timeline. At the start of each season we go over the goals that must be reached in the next three months to help us stay on track. Break those down into weekly goals, and break those into daily goals.

Trip to urban area every other weekend for shopping and for kid’s sanity. Visit family once every season. Those can be combined if needed.

School would be reading, comprehension, history, science and writing (which could all be combined), computers, archery/shooting, physical fitness, Homesteading/sustainable living practices/home economics.

Kids get two hours of screen time/day if chores/schooling is done.

We each will have minimal necessities:

One fork, spoon, cup, bowl, plate each and everyone washes their own. And we take turns on the pots, pans and serving dishes.

Two pairs of jeans, shorts, sweatshirts, long sleeves, short sleeves each. Two to three bras, five pairs of undies and socks. One heavy jacket and one light jacket each. One set of nice clothes and we will maybe buy nice outfits to go to events, but donate them after. This will cut down drastically on laundry.

I want to rely on fossil fuels as little as possible, but I have reservations about wood heat as well. I want our permanent dwelling to be a treehouse, so a wood burning cook stove would be ideal, but I don’t want to use too much wood either. It is too much work, and it pollutes as well. A rocket Mass Heater seems ideal, but I fear it may be too heavy for a treehouse and too difficult to construct up in a tree.

 

RECOURSES:

Asking Too Much

I had a boyfriend once, my first real long term relationship, my first…everything. Even toward the end there were times when I’d be talking to him and he’d be so mesmerized by how my mouth moved when I spoke that he’d forget to listen to what I was saying. He found me beautiful. I came across some letters a few months ago, letters that he’d written to me during a time of separation. The words… it was so obvious that the man loved me, that he cared for me, wanted me, admired me, was attracted to me and wanted to be near me. That ended badly as so many relationships do. We are all so damned human, but I’m dying for that again, longing so deeply for someone who loves who I AM at the very roots of ME.

I want someone to love the way I smile, who thinks my quirks are cute and funny, but won’t be cruel in their amusement, who can motivate me positively by simply wanting to take me, just for my company, out into nature on hikes and bike rides, jogs, climbs, trips and vacations. I want to be with a man who is happy with himself, confident but moral, who’s passionate about what he does and wants to lift me up and show me everything, but knows when it’s time for me to meditate on my own to recharge my introverted mind.

I want a man who views the art and jewelry I design with awe and respect, who creates a space and time for me to create it because he knows that I need him to and that it fills my soul with joy and without that, everything is dark and bleak and hopeless for me. He must speak highly of my art to everyone he meets! I want his eyes to light up every time he mentions my name! I want his admiration and respect for what I do to be plain on his face and in his actions.

I want a man who is passionate about leading me spiritually, who isn’t afraid or embarrassed to pray with me and for me no matter who is near to hear, a man who knows God intimately, who isn’t afraid to declare the fact that Jesus was not a white man, nor would He be Republican… or Democrat for that matter. Passionate conversations about Christ and the Gospel! Oh how wonderful it would be if he would pursue Christ and then come running after me!

I want him to hold my hand and open doors for me like my Dad always did. I want him to touch me lovingly but respectfully all the time. His touch should be reassuring and comforting and loving, never forceful or demanding.

He must be successful, but of course he would be because he’s so passionate about what he does, and he must be the most generous person I know, but responsible with his income as well. Every trip and vacation should be the perfect blend of helping others and relaxing. He must be a respected man, or his respect for me would mean nothing. I want a man who not only makes me want to earn his respect, but who helps me achieve it every day.

I want a man who views me as both a strong woman and also a delicate flower in need of loving care and affection. I want my man to WANT to take care of me, not because I need it, but because he feels I deserve it. He must not be bitter or stressed out about the responsibility.

I want a man who will lead me on an adventuresome, wonderful, fun, happy and content life.

Sigh…I’m asking too much. I don’t deserve it. Still, I wonder if he exists, if he’s real and out there somewhere waiting for me.

Legal Addictions

But cha know!

Knowin’ ya gonna get another go

is just goin’ roun’ an’ roun’

knowin’ ya gonna get another go

is goin’ roun’ an’ roun’ in circles

why we gotta do the things we do

we’re not movin’ foreward

why we gotta do the things we do

you know they keep us out of heaven

and I say

the Lord forgive but we must not forget

we gotta pay for what we’re doin’

Rollin’ up pon that little corner store

sayin’ Lord just one more smoke

then I’m gonna quit oh Lord you know I will

when this pack is gone

sittin’ on the front porch rocker swing

puffin’ up that nasty smoke

three babies sittin’ by an’ by

watchin’ their momma kill herself before their eyes

I’m trustin’ in the Fathers’ forgiveness

to excuse this thing I’m doin’

the Lord is gonna give me one more chance

yes I know He will

But cha know!

knowin’ ya gonna get another go

is just goin’ roun’ and roun’

knowin’ ya gonna get another go

is goin’ roun’ an’ roun’ in circles

why we gotta do the things we do

we’re not movin’ foreward

why we gotta do the things we do

you know they keep us out of heaven

the Lord forgive but we must not forget

we gotta pay for what we’re doin’

the wife and kids have gone away today

out to visit grandma

and he says

oh Lord I know it’s sin but I am just a man

what she don’t know won’t hurt her

sit on down and flip the little switch

on the home computer

look at all the honeys Lord they look so nice

they’re everything she isn’t

I’m trustin’ in the Fathers’ forgiveness

to excuse this thing I’m doin’

the Lord is gonna give me one more chance

yes I know He will

but cha know

knowin’ ya gonna get another go

is just goin’ roun’ an’ roun’

knowin’ ya gonna’ get another go

is goin’ roun’ an’ roun’ in circles

why we gotta do the things we do

ya know they keep us out of heaven

the Lord forgive but we must not forget

we gotta pay for what we’re doin’

bar-b-que at the river today

oh Lord there’s gonna be beer there

I’ll only have a few cuz you know how I am

I wanna be a good mother

I’m feelin’ good and the kids are all playin’

I’ll just have another

twelve beers later I can’t stand up no more

oh and my baby’s cryin’

I’m trustin’ in the Father’s forgiveness

to excuse this thing I’m doin’

the Lord is gonna give me one more chance

oh yes I know He will….

Stuck Again Damn It!

I’m just so angry and I’m not sure what to do with it. I’m bitter. Pissed off. Stuck. I’m so tired of being common folk. I know, I know, boo freaking hoo right? It’s just that my art page was blowing up! I booked a few group art shows, one tanked but I sold a couple things at this last one. I produced so much in that one week I wasn’t working! I set up this site, got business cards made, I’m in talks for another mural (which I have no idea if I’ll have time to do now), I already sold this little craft thing I’ve been painting on that isn’t even finished, I booked a painting party and a craft fair and learned how to hand paint cakes, First ever First ever2and then…

I got a job.

You know, like a real one. At a jewelry store. Cuz everybody knows art isn’t a “real” job and won’t pay the bills right? But the thing is, it might have. I was hustling, getting things done, booking a job and opening doors and making connections. And now, like I said, I’m angry, bitter, pissed off and stuck. Not that the people at the jewelry store suck or anything, they are really cool! I like them and I’m GOOD at making  jewelry. Antique ring Antique ring2It’s just that I’m laser trained and they only use torches.  I feel like my legs have been cut off. Then there’s the fact that I’m only making a little over half of what I used to make, driving farther, and spending 12 hours/week more on the job and commute instead of with my family or god forbid making ART! Not for more paid hours mind you, but cuz I have to clock out for an hour lunch and two 15s. I’M PISSED!

Love

I try real hard not to take this out on my husband but it’s real hard not to. He wouldn’t even give me a chance to try. Zero encouragement, zero faith, zero sympathy, just “get a job, get a job, get a job.”  And now I’m STILL a servant for someone else’s dreams. Was I supposed to defy him and just do what I wanted anyway? It would have taken time and a LOT of faith and hustle, but it was barely starting to show hope and now… Am I supposed to just be fucking miserable on the inside but smile at him through it? I hate him right now. I hate my life, my body, my tiny income. I literally am just walking around hating everything. I’m SO disappointed, and when I get this way everything else comes up, like how he was pissed every time I conceived and pissed when I bought our first house and how I feel so god damned unattractive around him, both my body and my heart,  and how we have nothing in common and how he looks at and flirts with other women when I’m right there in the room and how he doesn’t “get” art and how I’ve had to be the breadwinner for the past six years while he finishes school, and no it’s not a masters or a bachelors.  It’s an AA because we have three kids and he has to work some so we can survive, which we might not anyway with me making this little and being away so much more.

You know, maybe I’m more pissed at my past self for the life decisions that I made. I honestly at this point, wish I could go slap my 20 something year old self silly and talk some sense into that idiot! Chase your freaking dreams instead of men Dummy, and when you do chose a man, CHOOSE HIM WISELY! I just let the current take me where it would and look where it got me. Struggle. This relationship has been sad from the get go. I’m not thinking I’m perfect but damn I’m tired of feeling like this. Yea. Boo freaking hoo. I know, I know, victim mentality, and I can change things if I really want to, blah blah blah. If you’ve read this far you’re crazy, but thanks for letting me vent. Check out the art on my page, it will be the last I can make for a while.

Bubble Bath Reflections

Forgive me please, writing is not my first art, I am a visual artist. Please take a few moments to browse through my work and comment whenever you like?

Taking a bath, listening to Yoruma Radio on Pandora. Staring at my completely bare bathroom walls with candle light dancing off them. Smelling the incredible scent of both candles and essential oils. I’m dreaming of what could be there on those bare walls staring back at me. I want a play of mirrors and fine art there for the candles to dance with. I’m in a particularly bitter and depressed mood for various reasons. The bath and candles help. The music is so incredibly soothing. It occurs to me that I could make music like that if I applied myself for years. But I don’t really want to. I’d rather apply paint or clay. Instrumental music is one art I would just want to appreciate and admire. That thought leads me to be disturbed. I DO appreciate music. It helps me relax, to think. This particular type helps me feel luxurious, rich and relaxed. But I’m none of those things. I’m not classy, I am starting a new job tomorrow that pays half of what I’m used to. I’m only hoping I can keep these walls that I have so many hopes for. Here I am soaking in clean water with beautiful light dancing around me listening to music that just a short time ago was reserved for only the most noble. Am I grateful? Oh YES! I am in clean hot water with bubbles and scents and can crawl into a nice bed within these many walls! But also, as I mentioned, I’m disturbed. You see, I’m an artist too. I know what it takes to acquire such skill, and how that skill is such a part of you that it’s impossible to separate the individual from the art. Here I am knowing that if I had to pay for the privilege, it’s not that I wouldn’t, but I COULDN’T. As an artist, and a good one I think, I can’t even afford to MAKE my OWN art without a full time job, much less support other artists. And with a full time job I must sacrifice family to make art.

I CAN’T pay for it, this beautiful music, and neither can many others, save the uber rich, or upper middle class at the least. Now instead of relaxing, I feel guilty. I want to give these AMAZING artists who bring me such joy and help and comfort, their due, just like my loyal fans who always profess to LOVE my work, but never buy any. I get SO bitter that I can’t get PAID to do the thing that brings me, and seems to bring others, so much joy. That means I CANNOT do it and feed my children too. And who does pay artists now days anyway? Advertising agencies I guess. But that leads to a whole other bag if worms….

I just can’t wait for the Kingdom to come! A day when I and everyone else can do what they are called to do and still have enough for themselves and their young!

And then I think how selfish I must be! I MUST be grateful for the job that will keep food in their mouths even if if won’t provide a vacation or art materials. Oh Lord help my selfishness? Help my worldly desires? Please bless the artists of the world whom you have called to make beautiful things for your sake and not for the pleasures of this world? Please help us be strong enough to deny ourselves while continuing to use the gifts you have given us for YOUR glory?

So blissful, and so melancholy at the same time,

Jeanette
A.K.A. JETTE

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Landed Three Jobs!

Well, I landed all three of the jobs I interviewed for! Any of them would be fun jobs. So fun I’m not sure which ones to take! All are part time and all start at roughly half of my previous hourly wage. Truly I wish I could just take one and work as an artist the rest of the time, but Hubby doesn’t think that’s a good idea. See, art is never a sure thing. I have faith, but I need to honor him. So I will pray on it and see where the Lord leads me. If He wants me to use the talent He blessed me with He will bring me enough clients and commissions to appease my husband. I’m putting everything out there and doing everything I can to promote myself as an artist. I’m putting one foot in front of the other and trusting God to build the ground under my feet. If the answer is “no” or “not yet” to an art career, then I have to suck it up and do what needs to be done to get the Hubs through school and the kids fed. Sigh…such is life and we make the best of it that we can!

Anyway, if you happen to stumble on this post, please feel free to browse my site to see my art share if you feel led and leave any comments you wish! I would love to create something uniquely beautiful for you! If you would like to book me for a mural, portrait, paint party or face painting, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you!

In Him,

Jeanette

A.K.A. Jeanette

I fall at His feet