Monday, December 31, 2018

A pep talk to myself

 I've lived here for 14 winters. I know how to deal with inclement weather.

There's plenty of food, firewood, hay, wine.
I've got this.

I keep repeating these thoughts to myself so I won't fret about the next storm,
which is on schedule for later today.

 Then my mind wanders 10 years forward, when I'm 74
and shoveling paths on a 7-degree morning. Will I be able to handle it then?
I have no idea, and getting anxious about it serves no useful purpose.

 So I circle back to the beginning and remind myself, "I've got this."

Alex: Yes, you do.

Alex: Now put some more wood in the stove so I can warm up my butt.


  1. Wishing you a Happy and HOPEFUL New Year, Linda.
    You will know when it's time to throw in the towel at the 7MSN Ranch … so, for now, YOU'VE GOT THIS!!!
    Hugs from S. CO … Marcia

    1. This winter has been hard and I’m 59 and live in Albuquerque and have to take care of my house and 2 dogs and have had health problems. I know pretty much where you are coming from. I also board 1 horse in Bosque Farms at a great stable but still feel guilty when I just can’t go ride her because the cold makes my pain worse. I have a wonderful stable owner that I rely on to ride and feed her. If it gets too hard hire someone to do the hard stuff. It’s a bitch to get old but it’s better than the alternative. Hang in there spring will be here before you know it.

  2. Age is just a number. There are people that maybe younger or the same age as you that can't do what you do at 64. The same maybe true when you turn 74. If not, buy a snowblower, if you like where you live, or move. As a fellow anxiety sufferer, I completely understand but am trying to turn over a new leaf for the new year. ;-)

  3. Indeed, you do have this. Take it slow, carry your phone, and keep taking all the beautiful photos! We have had weather warnings all morning, heavy rain, wind and lightening approaching middle TN. Hoping the window leak we have been trying to fix is actually fixed!!! Lisa G in TN.

  4. Happy New Year, Linda. I suspect since you stay active, you'll be up to it at 74. Have you thought of taking in a roommate from a good friend where you'd have support on those times when a cold or flu raises its head?

  5. The 7MSN is your heart. I feel like you will be able to live out your days there, and I say this because I have a tiny little lady friend that is 96 years old, on a ranch that she has lived on her entire life, still riding on the 4-wheeler herding cattle. Her place is also MILES from nowhere. She has a mobile home on the place for when she might need a hand, just in case. I think that is why you have 'the back 40', and I think when the time comes that you need help, you will find the right person to live on your place.

  6. You seem to be getting some nasty winter weather. Odd that here in southwestern Canada we are having a mild winter, no major storms as yet, but I'm sure February will take care of that.
    Your place is so beautiful, I'm sure it would be hard to leave it, and you have put so much work and your heart into it I can see how you don't want to leave. So I agree- for now, you got this, you will know when the time comes for change. I am turning 67 and often wonder how much longer I can go on raising horses and working with colts; the answer for me is being able to have a young partner who will be able to carry the load when I am no longer able- but I intend that to be years away!
    Happy New Year to you and all the 7MSN crew.

  7. You have this for now....Fret later after you have a plan to do something else...
    I heard that NM had bad weather and thought of you and now I see why I thought of
    you....Feed the outdoor family and then head back in to warm your butt with the indoor
    family....How is JCC doing? I miss his furry self...Hope he is warm in hid
    Happy last day of 2018...And a fantastic 2019.
    Love from NC where we are possibly going to get snow least it is
    forecast for some...UGH!!

  8. OMG!!!!
    Yes, you've got this!

  9. You've totally got this.

    It helps me to remember to BE HERE NOW on a daily (if not hourly) basis. Time to abandon useless worrying (about things that haven't happened) and enjoy the moment. Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year to everyone at 7MSN!

  10. Happy New Year from a place where snow comes in October, pitches many fits in between, and does not leave until April. Tractor snow, we call it, since a shovel would never cut cheese here. ;-)

  11. Oh my gosh, Alex is adorable. Winter is hard! Ice is harder (or so says my hip - I just took a spill on the driveway). But it's beautiful. I talked to my friend in Albuquerque the other day and he was so excited they got a foot and a half of snow and I immediately thought of you and how much work that would mean for you. It's good to hear from you. Hang in there! Spring will be even more beautiful with all this moisture.

  12. You are the strongest person I know, mentally and physically. You got this!

  13. Northern AB gal12/31/18, 3:20 PM

    I'm having a hard time reconciling those photos with the fact that you live in NM! We just got dumped on again, but that is to be expected up here. Stay warm and safe. Happy New Year to you and yours!!

  14. My husband is 78 and I am 68. We moved from the East Mountains 4 years ago because of similar concerns. I miss my rural life but on a day like today, very happy I am closer to help in case we need it.

  15. I wish you a very Happy New Year, Linda.

  16. Hang in there Linda, I’m having a bit of a hard time also this winter. Spring will be here before you know it and it will be beautiful out there.

  17. Happy New Year Carson!
    Been keeping an eye on the weather and they keep showing snow out in Arizona and New Mexico with warnings for Albuquerque and the higher elevations. I do think about you , but you don't have to shovel for the postman .. just for yourself and the herd. Hopefully the flock has sense to stay under cover! At least the snakes should be out of sight and out of mind . Right ??

    M in NC
    (we broke the rainfall weather this year .. thank you El Nino. Not!)

  18. Been offline a couple of days. Just saw that Tucson got a big snow also. Hope you've made it comfortably through the second storm and all the critters are well and warm. Happy New Year!

  19. Happy New Year, Linda! Hope you all are staying warm and dry. When you are ready to move on from this adventure in your life to the next adventure, you will know. I loved the picture of Alan and George. Do you put blankets on them during the really cold weather? I can't get over how long Alex's legs look. How are the chickens doing? Let's not forget Johnny Cash Cat!
    We have received snow 2 days in a row in Tucson! I can't remember the last time that happened. We did not receive nearly the same amount as you, though.
    Take care.
    Linda D.

  20. I totally understand the anxiety that pops up when you've been strong and capable all your life and that starts to fade with age. Each of us has our own version. Sometimes it's related to physical degeneration, sometimes to mental abilities slowing down, and sometimes to finances that are not stretching as we planned. When you like to be in control of your life these things can be frustrating. I'm 72. Twelve years ago a doctor told me I'd just have to sell my family home on 80 acres, give up the animals, and maybe move to a condo somewhere. What I did was make my chores easier to handle, put in steps that could be maneuvered with a walker, and hired help for heavy or big jobs. It has worked for me. Some things I've let go by attrition; when the horses died of old age, I didn't replace them. The chickens have been easy to handle and when I got into showing them, it kept me busy and took me to a lot of places. I didn't plan that, it just happened. I still feel more comfortable planning things carefully even though I've learned that seldom works and often what happens randomly turns out better anyway. Anxiety is something you take with you. It may seem to be related to a place, or to current life circumstances, but mostly it's inside you. It may seem wiser to downsize, to live closer to services for older people, or to live where your resources will stretch further. Some of the people who made those decisions are the ones who lost their houses, or their lives, in the Paradise fire. It was not a bad decision, for many years the little town was a great retirement community. So, make your lists and your plans if that's the sort of person you are. But in the meantime just be the happiest you can be, wherever you decide that's going to be. And know that there are no right or wrong answers.

  21. Holy Cow, that's a lot of snow (from Laurie in middle Georgia @60 degree temp daily all last week and this). I'm 62 and still chopping wood for my fireplace. I don't know how long I can do that. either.

    I've got alternatives but so do you. The ash from your fireplace spread on top of the snow on your footpaths can help mightily for solid footing. I'm more afraid of falling off a ladder when I change a light bulb.

  22. Wow she is getting so big! At least you will have water this summer.

  23. Your pictures are amazing!

  24. Oh boy ... I know those thoughts very well. Our motto around here is "Can I do this when I'm eighty?'. There is a movement afoot up here in Canada where seniors are putting their resources together and creating their own accommodations out of farms. Add a room here, another there ... and then throw your lot in with Danni and another pal or two. A small seniors' complex with a view!

  25. I am 69 years old and in the same place as you Linda but older. I live in Montana, winters suck, been thinking of moving to someplace without cold winters and snow but the thought of moving 4 horses, goats, sheep, dogs cats just overwhelms me and I figure I can do one more winter, one more winter, one more winter, etc. So my mantra for the last couple of years is how can I fix this place up to make it easier on me. Last year I got an air conditioner installed as we are getting so much smoke from yearly forest fires now with no reprieve and I can't do smoke or smog. I was getting quite sick during the summers. I also purchase a big plow for my big truck so I can get out of the driveway easier. I have a 4 wheeler with a small plow to plow out the horses goats and sheep. I put up snow fences for snow drifts which we get really bad here with the high winds and that has equated to less plowing. I have a old guy (ha, ha he is younger that me!) who will come out if I am in a bind and can't do something. He also repairs all the fencing in the spring for me. Yes this cost money but it is cheaper than moving. Hopefully my animals will not outlive me. Another thought, add an apartment to your house to house a person to be your handy person or what ever you need. Good luck. I feel for you.

  26. It's funny, I am living in a mid Atlantic city where it was almost 60 today and after 2.5 years I find myself totally missing Maine, where I lived for 30 years in my last stretch, almost 40 overall. I really miss the cold and snow, the climate here is also really hot and humid in summer, which I cannot abide. It cracks me up when people here dress up for the tundra when the temp is like...40. So I perhaps romantically miss all the work of it, which I felt kept me young in a way. My heroines in Maine where the older gals who knew everything about nature, lived on very little and just got on with it. I think I will probably move back, but like you I wonder about the future. I like the city in many ways, but really miss that connection to the earth and the no BS lifestyle. A lot of good ideas here--ones that I think are helpful to all of us.