Monday, March 3, 2014

Still Pursuing the American Dream

Part of the Amerian Dream: puppies in the snow
A small hiatus from your normal routine is sometimes mandated by things beyond your control. Such was the case for my blogging when yet another family tragedy struck my immediate family. I've been talking with a few close friends and surprisingly many have had similar experiences.

This event was worse than our house fire four short months ago and has rattled me to my core. It has forced me to rethink everything and focus solely on my immediate family. I'm not entirely sure that I want to post the details as it is easier on me to focus on the future than relive what happened one month ago.

Needless to say our family survived yet again and by the Grace of God. I cannot take credit for this one. Rather than wallow in what could have been done, I choose to focus on family and continuing to pursue our American Dream.

American Dream: remaking Grandma's homemade noodle soup
If you've been reading this blog for a few years, you know how we headed down the path to our dream of self sufficiency by growing our own food in our backyard, raising chickens, storing rain water in barrels...and the like.  You might have read about our attempt this past summer to start a new life on a farm in Oklahoma with dreams of owning cattle and farming land with the perfect little red belly tractor (1949 Ford 8N).

Our dream continued when we relocated to northern Arizona but was put on hiatus after a total loss house fire. Now in a rental and regrouping once again, we're focusing on our dream. To us, the dream is living on a few (hopefully lots of) acres of land that we can all our own. We want to raise our children with a multitude of animals and enjoy the outdoor life that country living has to offer.

Part of living self sufficiently is making some income from home. That's why I chose to participate in an "influencer program" and incorporate a given topic into my own post here. Hence, I must state "I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for MassMutual. I receive a promotional item to thank me for participating."  

Fresh eggs are in my American Dream
Some of you have determined your American Dream through your own life experiences. As a self proclaimed Lifetime Student, I learn a lot through research. Researching topics, like American Dream, can provide some insight into what other folks might be dreaming about. In one research study (MassMutual 2013 State of the American Family) there are three statistics that resonated with me:
  1. Putting family first is top priority
  2. Educating children about money
  3. Making sure that our children aren't burdened by caring for us in our golden years
Number three strikes a little closer to home now that we have moved Wifey's mom in with us. She suffers from multiple strokes and has Huntington's Chorea disease. She is almost total care and has given me a perspective on life that I hadn't quite contemplated yet: who will care for me when I'm elderly?

Sure, I have six daughters and used to joke that I had that many so my chances were increased that SOMEONE would take care of me when I got old...but I didn't mean it.  I don't mention that joke anymore but that topic is for another day. This post is about staying focused on your dreams regardless of what comes your way. If you need help figuring out how to finance your American Dream, visit the MassMutual Family Finances Study or head to your local library.

As for our recent trials, I'll work on putting it into words soon. There's still a lot of grappling going on and therapists being multiple family members. I want to share what warning signs I learned so that other families might be able to avoid what we went through but also want  to respect the privacy of my immediate family members.



  1. Glad to see you're back OJD. I've been thinking about you and yours over the last few weeks. You and yours have been on one wild roller coaster ride over the last year. Hopefully things will calm down for the rest of 2014.

  2. Hang in there OJ. Glad to see you're back :-)

  3. Sorry for your troubles and wish your family well. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there

  4. I've missed seeing your posts and wondered about the silence....sometimes life just takes over and time is not available. So sorry to hear about your troubles. We'll be praying for you and your family. - Pamela

  5. Glad you're back OJD. One day at a time.


  6. Prayers for you and your family.

  7. Glad you're back. Hopefully things settle and peace returns to your family very soon.

  8. I wish y'all all the best, and pray that things head up from here.

    I took a look at the MassMutual site, but I'm too tired to really read anything on it right now. Maybe when I'm rested (that was little print!). I hope your association with them does well for you!


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