I've got time for a bit of an update, hi everyone! One piglet born a couple days ago has an injured leg, so I'm bottle feeding her in case something else is wrong. So today it's a tbsp of formula every hour, more or less. Kiddo's doing well, as I mentioned in the "True North" thread. She's got a job at a local thrift shop, a sheltered workplace. DEX and I had a falling out - not a horrible one, but related to financial stuff. He's always been either trusting or lackadaisical about keeping up with financial details - he neglected to double check that the change in payments to me after Kiddo was placed went through as he entered, he dropped it down to what basically covers my portion of the utilities and mortgage with Blacksmith and RN's property, so to simplify I told my housemates "Here's the account info, after auto insurance clears the rest is for you guys." And so for three months DEX didn't notice he was paying me too much, I wasn't looking, Blacksmith figured it was just the way it was... DEX has done things like this with autopay before, and I'd always double-checked when we were together for things like that. So I'm angry that he repeated a pattern that made me and my housemates look bad, he's angry because he feels ripped off (and stupid) but... is what it is. We still communicate and occasionally send each other jokes, but a wall is up now - probably better that way in the long run. I'm still not great. Recent panic attacks, as I mentioned in that thread. Poor sleep - first the horrid heatwave that hit our part of the US, then four geese - three young heritage breed and one our proven broody Embden goose basically dropped dead on the worst day - 106 and no breeze - even with water to swim in. Two or three pullets too. Then we had one owl attack and stray cats going after our layers (drought and heat wave probably hit the rodents that's their normal diet) then electrical circuit problems we can't track down for sure, then today in the midst of a loud, stinky (could be dangerous but we shut that breaker down completely) electrical failure in one part of the house, RN found one of the piglets with a possible splayed leg and snuffly nose I may have to bottle feed for a while - just as I was about to run out with a smelly load of household rubbish for the local dump, an hour before they close. Sorry, that sounds minor, and it really is - I got to the dump on time - ("Mars! No! Smelly dead baby birds stay outside! Git!"), piglet isn't obviously ill like a similar situation six months ago in our only cold snap, and using nicotine patches as I've been for focus and mood control has helped. Also trying to keep an active list going of tasks so I can stop worrying about all the things I forget to do - that helps too. But it's obvious all the years of Kiddo have tangled a lot of wires in my brain, and untangling has been difficult. The situation isn't instantly better when your child is no longer there to be an immediate weight on your spirit. It takes time, but I'm working on it. Mom is 96 and needs me to visit, which isn't easy given my current life choices. My older brother who used to be the Difficult Child has stepped up to help her once I was no longer in a position to go and stay with her whenever needed, and he's doing a fine job. But his impatience and temper - even though he knows it's there - is still a problem, especially since he doesn't understand the life choices I make. I was going to drive out last week (which was especially badly timed) but thankfully (!) the universe provided flash flooding, torrential rains, mud- and rock-slides that closed many of the roads out. So everyone understands why I couldn't make it, and my next attempt to go is in about a month. (Funny, all my best and closest friends were the DCs in their families. I'm the Difficult Child now, eh? ) Wah. I know, my life really could be worse. But y'all were there when it was intolerable, and I thank you all for that. I've passed this along to friends on occasion who need this kind of support.