Saturday, September 12, 2020

Where to Go with 170 pounds of dogs? Where the miracles begin.

It took a miracle to find a place for our big dogs......

Dogs are a major consideration when moving.  How well we know this.  When deciding where we were going to move to, the animals were a big issue.  Most houses and apartments do not accept dogs period and if they do it is under 30 pounds.   We wanted less work but not an apartment or duplex. We wanted space between the neighbors.  We considered re-homing both dogs but Indy is 8 years old and my husbands dog. Bear is a Great Pyrenees mix, 110 pounds, and flunked ducks and chickens 101. They bark a lot, especially Bear. He is a protective breed, who feels his main job is to protect you from bad guys.  Their domain includes your house and the whole neighborhood as well. He is two years old and has finally gotten over the destroy stage. I don't know how many hoses we replaced. Many dogs his size end up in dog pounds with owners overwhelmed with their seek and destroy puppy skills.  In buying him as a puppy to protect our ducks and chickens, we got him too old. He was 3 months when we brought him home.  Eventually we gave up on training him out of playing too rough with little animals.  We could have re-homed him but we had grown to love him.  Taking him and finding a place for all of us is full of miracles.  This blog today is about miracles. 

The 2000 mile trip to Nevada proved to us that you can take a monster dog on his first long distance trip and still have a car left.  Bear is part Newfoundland and he drools badly. When we shakes his head, the drool flies everywhere within two or three feet. So when taking him in the car it involves protecting the car somewhat.  During our trip, he had his first experience in Motel 6 and turned out to be pretty good. Even when our RAV 4 died in route and we had to stuff both dogs in the backseat of the Camray, he was good. 

When the Nevada destination turned out to be the wrong move, we were faced with the task of finding a home for all of us with a fenced back yard that would accept the two dogs.  We would have never picked Colorado to begin with since it has gotten so expensive. When we ended up at my daughters house, we had no idea of where we would end up.  I was more focused on our animals than other details. Deep down I wanted a one story house without a lot of steps, enough room for our office and my library of books, lots of sunny windows, a yard for the dogs, and a place we could call home. The traffic in the Denver area was awful, so we needed a place more quiet with less traffic. Neither one of us wanted the big city, but did not want to live as isolated as we were in TN.  We knew what we needed but could we find it and at a price we could afford?

Everyone other than our children, said you will never find a place that will accept Bear at 110 pounds. Give the dogs up was the prevailing opinion.  My oldest daughter was the one who helped us to keep our faith up.  She told us during this dark time, that God would bring us the home we needed.  Three weeks of looking at various areas within a three hour range looked grim.  At this point, I gave it to God.  If were going to find a house for all of us, it would have to be a miracle. There are times when that is all you can do.  There is no place that God cannot find you and bring a miracle when it seems impossible.

At the same time we were at my daughter's house, they had more company.  Her name was Aunt Elsie. She was older than we are and had lost everything in a wild fire in CA several years ago. Her faith was unshakeable. She was a burst of optimism and inspiring.  She had grown up in Yuma, Co which was 2 1/2 hours away.  It was a great rural little town so maybe we should check it out.  

Their old yard in Tennessee above.

I took this as a sign and began researching the small rural town of Yuma, Co.  It had a hospital, doctors, clinics, a Subway, several small restaurants, a Dollar General, moderate sized grocery store and tree lined streets.  The high plains of Colorado are as different from TN as you could get.  Miles and miles of grassland, cattle and crops are what the plains is all about.  We drove down there to take a look.  The first drive was a bit of a shock from the beautiful mountains of Littleton, Co.  Once you get over the shock, the miles of grasslands is relaxing. There is a beauty to it and peace.  Could we live happily without mountains and trees?  After a few days of consideration, we decided we could. Rentals there in that small town were a rarity and especially on our budget with two dogs. At this point, we needed a miracle.  The first step was to call a real estate agent in the town to see what was available.  The agent answered and the first words were we have nothing available, rentals are rare here but she did know of one but had no details other than it was a big two story house.  I thanked her and almost didn't call.  I expected it to be way out of our budget.  In the end, I did call.  It was a huge two story house with a fenced in yard in town. I was shocked when she told me the price, $750 which is a miracle in Colorado where the going home rental is over $2000.  Then came the courage to bring up the dogs. She loved dogs and was not hesitant about Bear.  It turned out that a dog like Bear had wandered on to their property some time back. It took several days to find his owner and they had grown to love the huge dog.  The dogs were no problem. She then asked if we had cats. I said yes and she said cats were an issue. Her last renters had caused damage from their cats.  My heart sank. I told her we had references that are animals were not a problem.  After a few minutes of discussion, she would reconsider but had to think about it.  We needed another miracle. Two days later she called and stated we would be considered despite the cats. This I felt was a sign. So we headed down to see the house and meet with her.  More miracles would come with this meeting.  Please come back to read the rest of our story.  

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What Now God? Our Journey From Tennessee to Colorado

 For the love of dogs.

 Indy and Bear our 110 pound Pyrenees. We love them dearly.

Greetings from 2020 from our new home in Yuma, Colorado. Yes, there is a Yuma, Co. Time does fly by and we need to appreciate every day of it.  This update is how you can overcome some real hardships and illness to emerge stronger and turn things around to the positive. What I learned first hand was about the real power of God to turn things around for good. In restarting this blog so much has changed that I am announcing: 

 Our New Vision and Plan for this Blog

Our whole life has changed, so with that there is a new vision for this blog, I will be teaching about brain health, Lyme disease, herbs of course, growing herbs in the high plains of Colorado, growing Neem and Moringa trees , and immune health. With the negative things going on in this world right now, it is easy to forget there are still blessings.  It is easy to focus on all the negative when there is still beauty to be found in each day and in your life despite the pain.

I now am certified as a life coach, NLP coach, and working on more certifications. I have already started a few Moringa seedlings, Neem, Ashwagandas, and Gotu Kola which I will be sharing with you. Since this is a new state and we are urban now. We have a yard, smaller area by far, but workable. Growing in a urban setting having neighbors nearby will be topics as well. I already have a plan for Spring.  I am excited about our new life. With that said, I want to tell you about why and how our life changed...and it was a real trial of spirit.

Since it has been a long time since I posted, I feel you should know why. As many of you know, we lived in Indian Mound, TN from 2015 through May of this year.  Tennessee had many wonderful qualities such as the people, the abundance of green trees, animal life and water.  There was two problems where we were living, one was the work on the property we were renting and the never ending problem of ticks. We had a back yard nursery, ducks, chickens, plants everywhere, and steep, very difficult property that was hard to maintain. When we moved there, we were well so the upkeep seemed doable. Then we brought his dad out from San Diego to live with us in Tennessee. He was suffering from late state leukemia, Alzheimer's, and diet problems. He could not take care of himself at that point. The nursery was already started. 

As the back yard nursery grew, we realized we had taken on more than we could handle for our age, without help. The care of his dad became much more time consuming. There was a realization of overwhelm, but we are not quitters.  In 2018 his father died. We kept plugging along taking one day at a time. 

So we kept this up until 2019 and the beginning of Spring and tick season.  As I look back, I realized that I was not doing well long before that but had chalked it up to taking care of his dad, his father's death, and taking on the nursery too. As I begin to have problems with my classes, with my balance, with my mental function and just daily living...I went to see a doctor.  At that point, I was also having severe pain, off and on fevers that had gone on for weeks. I had not gotten anywhere with my herbs and had never experienced being sick like this. I was stumped so at that point wanted some lab see what I was fighting. Marty was ill as well at this point. We needed answers. It was May when I finally got into a doctor and was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease which is caused by tick bites. At the same my husband ended up in the hospital with kidney stones and Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick fever. The two of us were brought down to being almost non-functional. Taking care of the animals, the property, and the nursery became unworkable. It was hard to face. 

At this point, we made a decision we needed to get a place with less work and where we didn't have to worry about scraping off ticks every day.  We did improve with treatment but both of us were not well by any means.  I felt it was imperative to move to a different area with less yard work and upkeep. It was pretty rough giving up our back yard nursery, the ducks, chickens, the beds of herbs so lovingly planted. I had elderberry trees, dwarf Mulberry, Comfrey beds but we just couldn't do the work. It is most difficult to face that at times, to see that you took on more than you were capable of doing. Our health was more important than any of those things and that was the hard reality.

Lyme and most of the tick diseases affect you physically and mentally with everything from headaches to symptoms similar to dementia. I lost my balance and was unable to write or function normally. My husband had fatigue that kept him in bed most of the day. The doctors standard tick treatment helped but we were still very sick. If their treatment, does not do the job, doctors throw up their hands and say sorry we can't do any more.  I will say the standard of treatment antibiotics did restore most of my balance issues, reduced the pain and fevers. I was still left with memory issues, nasty eye pain, and other symptoms. After researching, I began an herbal treatment for Lyme and tick diseases. I put Marty on them as well. In future blogs, I will discuss these herbs and treatment. It is a long haul when the Lyme disease has set into joints and throughout the whole body.

Our main goal for the past year and a few months was getting well, helping my husband to get well, taking classes later on brain function and health and deciding on a new future away from TN. I spent hours researching Lyme and how to treat it with herbs and alternative medicine.  We also made the hard decision to leave Tennessee but where to go?  An older friend of ours who was losing her sight, suggested we come to Nevada to join forces living with her in her house.  We had hours of discussion over weeks. We had certain agreements to how this would work to benefit all of us. My uneasy thoughts were dismissed as moving jitters. We often have those thoughts when undertaking big life changes. Right? It would turn out fine in the end. I will say here that if you have reservations on a decision, listen to your gut.  We didn't.  So after 6 months of packing while we were both still sick, we made our way to Nevada with a 26 footer, one 110 pound Great Pyrenees and a 65 pound Aussie, two cats, and two cars. One car  was needed just for the dogs. 

The trip to Nevada was a nightmare with roadwork, stressed out dogs and many stops. One of our two vehicles with 300,000 miles died 6 hours from Nevada.  With the dogs, crammed inside our remaining Camray then, we arrived in Nevada.  On the way we had two blow outs on the auto trailer and one on the U-Hall. From the beginning, it was a nightmare.

We realized the first day, our friend was radically different than when we had known her before.  It had been 5 years since we had seen her. In that time her mother had died whom she took care of for years. She had lost a great deal of her vision. The greatest difference was her anger at life.  It was clear over the first week,  she definitely was losing her mind and memory in a dangerous way.  She would erupt in angry outbursts at nothing, going back on everything we had talked about.  Her violent mood springs came and went, never knowing what was coming next. She would demand things done a certain way, then change her mind the next day. She would put something away in a different place, then say she had not done it. Nothing was ever in the same place for more than a day. On the other hand, she had no trouble dealing with the dogs. She never lost her temper with the animals. Very strange. Then we were hit up for money to improve her house. She wanted a wood stove and to further fix up her house with new windows and flooring. Then anger and rages when we said no, after just arriving there. She would pace the floor at night, just wandering around the house. Her demeanor would change as well. If we left, we would find our things in our room gone through. At times, she would act perfectly normal then change in an instant.  After two and a half weeks of this behavior, she then stated everything would be her way, or we could leave. This was her house and we would do things her way.  It was obvious she was not only very mentally sick, but to some degree knew exactly what she was doing.  We had been misled and taken advantage of. It was like living with split personalities and very un-nerving. We had been taken in the worst way, by someone we thought we knew and trusted.  We had trusted her enough to move 2000 miles leaving so much behind.  I think with Covid -19, many of you found yourself in circumstances you would have never seen nor believed possible this year. This will be a year, many of us will remember and be thankful we survived it. Our story was not affected by Covid- 19 so that is a blessing. It was still devastating to both of us.

I am sharing this with you so that perhaps you will not make the mistake we did. You never really know someone until you live with them or know them on a very personal level where you can see their behavior. I am not sure we ever knew her in the real sense.  Some of her behavior was sociopathic and intended. Some behavior seemed to be characteristic of dementia and mental disorder. Some of it showed a clear violent enjoyment. It was twice at the kitchen table, she told us about how she enjoyed tasering the inmates when she worked as a prison guard. What job can you get paid for like that and get to beat up inmates she laughed.  It was there I learned about how she was sexually abused by her father and several relatives over months.  I learned at 5 years old, she took a knife to her father when he was drunk and hurting her mom. She still hated him with a deep hatred that was evident. There were two different mild at times and one angry, violent, and mean more often. Not knowing this, we had walked into a situation that was dangerous. She owned guns and knew how to use them, having worked as a prison guard for those years. Her behavior was alarming and I was scared of her. Marty was completely undone.

 So now what God?  

We  didn't have a clue but it was not to stay there.  So what do you do with animals, plants,  with everything you own in storage and having used your available assets on the move? When it happened, we were in a real mess. This is the test of whether you are going to stay in a mess or fight to turn it around. Sometimes your own abilities are not enough, you need the help from family and God. You need to get over feeling sorry for yourself , dust yourself off, and find a way forward.

We have four combined children in three different states, none of them in Nevada.  We didn't want to live in California with my son with his crowded home or with my youngest daughter in Florida because of the weather.  None of our children had room for a long term basis. Our big dog is not good around little children, which was a serious consideration. We had 200 pounds of dogs which are not accepted in most apartments or houses. We had cats and plants.  

Our dogs are important and we needed to find a place for all of us. I now know how easy it is to become homeless, when circumstances turn sour and nasty.  It could have happened to us if not for family. Our oldest daughter in Littleton, Co invited us to their house while we figured out our next move. 

Our stuff was now in storage in Nevada and we were headed down to Colorado in a rented truck with all the animals and a few clothes. The plants all had to be left for we had no room now and had no idea when we were going to be in a permanent home again. Leaving all my plants really ripped at the very heart of me.  My daughter had a backyard for the dogs and a place to keep the cats while there. It was the best plan for the near future. 

So we arrived in a rented transport with dogs, cats, and very little of our things. Undone and devastated we unloaded the truck. I have to say that on the day we arrived, we were numb, exhausted, and emotional. My daughter, her husband and our grand kids who are grown took over during the first week.  We had come to the end of our energy.  God even at this stage was bringing us into a new path, even though we could not see it. He knew what we needed most was rest at this point, and he knew what was best.  I have always been a planner with Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. I believe in backup plans. This was one of the few times, I had none.  My husband was not doing well either, still not recovered from his illness a year ago. So we just stopped thinking for a few days...half a month to be real. If there was ever a time for God to lead the way, it was now.

The time in Littleton, was wonderful. We had time to rest, to get emotionally healed, to visit with the family and our two grandchildren there.  There was still the looming huge problem, that this was only temporary and we needed a home of our own.   The Denver area is excessively expensive and way beyond our budget so we began to research areas within 3 hours of their house. It would take a miracle to find a place that we could afford but that would take the dogs.  Miracles do happen and you have to have faith.  

Our new Yuma home
Our Yuma Home







There are many small towns out in areas surrounding Denver including the plains areas.  A neighbor told us about the rural community of Yuma, Co in the plains area. She had grown up there.  So I began researching it

Our tree lined neighborhood








.It would seem on research, that it was a good size with a hospital and clinics but small enough to be rural.  It was very different from Tennessee with being in the high plains with flat grasslands and miles of cattle and crops such as corn and hay.  Small towns have very few rentals usually so we needed to rely on God to find a place for all of us. That is where the miracles begin.  

Please come back this week, to learn of all the miracles that came in to play here.  I am still amazed at how it turned out.  I hope in telling our story, you may see that through all the hell at times in life, that things can turn around and you are better for it in the end. 

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Herbally Yours, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin