Friday, September 25, 2015

My world in pictures

Well, it's been a while - again.  Seems like I'm not doing so well in the blogging department of my life lately.  In fact I don't feel like I've been accomplishing much of anything, in any department of my life for a while.  My energy levels have been in the dumps, but I'm getting plenty of rest.  Much more than usual even.  So many things on my "to do" list and no progress to report.  Ah well, what's a person to do?  Hopefully, with the cooler season of Autumn's arrival, I'll perk up.  One can only hope...

Anyway, I've finally, sort of, kinda, figured out how to transfer pictures from my phone to my computer and then to my blog.  So without further adieu, my blog posting today contains some candid shots of our life over the past several weeks.  Today, I'm a woman of few words.  But lots of pictures! 

 This is Charlotte, the evening we brought her home.  Sorry for the blurry shots, but they were taken on my phone.  She's grown so much since then!

To say she's well pleased with her life would be an understatement.  :)  She's a very, very happy (and energetic) puppy.  She's fitting right in with our family, and Ruby has totally and whole-heartedly accepted her, as "her charge".  Just what we were hoping...Ruby has blossomed and has a new awakening on life.  This makes me very, very happy!  It's so good to see Ruby play again.

An artsy fartsy shot from a street corner in Sisters, Oregon.  We went camping with Steve and Chris in Camp Sherman.  Unbeknownst to us, it was the weekend of the infamous quilt show.  Lucky us!!

I would really  have loved to have had this quilt for my very own, but alas it wasn't in my budget, so next best thing - I took it home as a picture. 

Brother Steve, Bailey and Ruby hanging out in our camp.

This is a picture of Paloma.  One of the two Great Pyrenees pups that belong to our neighbors.  This is the last time I saw her, it's been about 2 months since this pic was taken.  Makes me so very sad to think of her locked up and unable to come visiting anymore.  If only we could have adopted her too...she's just lovely. 

Me and the hubs celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary...

Me and Eags...

Just to be clear...this is NOT Eagle!  This is one of Rachel's TIP horses that surely knows how to buck.  :)  Guess we don't have to ask why she's not riding this one yet.  :) 

This is Eagle.  Such a natural, relaxed head-set.  I love this horse! 

My "Mr. Spectacular", Harley horse.  He still gets more than his fair share of scrapes and bumps, but for being a blind horse, he does amazingly well.

 Where we went peach picking...

My beautiful girl and our dream car...

LOVE these skies!!

After a work out...what do you think of my outfit???  Pretty cool fashion statement huh?  :)
A benefit of growing older is that I really don't give a rip anymore!

Summer in a jar...

A day ride at Perrydale Trails.

The "really old married couple".  Shad and Kadie. 

Before the storm...

The "old married couple", Ladde and Missy.

Looking a little (or a lot!) bedraggled and ready to head home from our rainy camp-out in the Coast Range Mountains.  Awesome place to go - we'll be back!

 Sunset over the Coast Range heading home from the clinic just the other night...

Not much water going over the falls now, but it's been an unusually long and hot, dry summer. 

First hike with Charlotte.  She did fantastic!  We were tired, but Charlotte was doing just fine.  This was just a mile down to 2 different waterfalls and a mile back UP out of the gorge!  I only fell once...pretty awesome for me!!

Until we meet again...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Life in the fast lane

Don't blink or you'll miss something.  We've been too busy this spring and summer.  I really can't even remember what all we've done, but we're always doing, doing, doing.  Frankly, I'm tired of it.  But when I'm not in "work mode", I don't know what to do with myself.  I blame that on my mother.  Idle hands and all that rot...

And yet when I look around, all I see is everything that still needs our attention.  Swimming pool needs to come down this weekend.  We're expecting another blast of summer heat that's supposed to last through the weekend and then the weather turns cooler again.  This past week we've been blessed with some much needed rainfall.  The weather has been blissfully cool and comfortable.  Sweatshirt weather.  I've really enjoyed it.  But we need a hot day or two to take the pool down and let the liner dry completely before folding it up and boxing it until next year.  How sad is that?

We got a puppy.  :)  She's a joyful little mutt and I'm already in love with her.  Her name is Charlotte and this coming Sunday we will have had her 3 weeks already.  We made a quick trip to Costco and on the way back passed a "puppies 4 sale" sign.  I drove around the block and there were 4 puppies left out of a litter of 10.  Momma was a yellow lab, but not a purebred.  Daddy is a pittbull.  And the puppies were all of the same general build, but all completely different colors and markings.  I have lots of pictures of Charlotte, but none loaded on my computer yet to share here.  Soon.  You'll have to take my word for it - she's adorable!  Ruby has warmed up and they've become friends.  At first, if looks could kill - I'd have been a goner.  Ruby was not pleased at all.  But as I suspected, she's accepted her and they sleep together and play and all is well.

We went camping last weekend in the Coast Range Mountains to a beautiful campground that we'd never stayed at before.  Wow!  The Cadillac of horse camps to be sure!  We definitely want to return there and do more exploring.  There are lots of trails, old logging roads to explore, water faucets at every site, beautiful log corrals, tables, showers and lots of privacy.  There's even a covered group area with picnic tables and a huge fire pit with bench seats all around.  It really is a beautiful place.  But, we only got one ride in this time.  As luck would have it, and being in the coast range, it rained pretty much all Sunday.  Saturday was beautiful, but camping in the rain with horses, a dog and a puppy was a bit much.  We really did enjoy getting away from home though, even if it was only a couple of days.  We did have an interesting time getting there Friday night though.  When I'd made the reservations, the gal failed to mention that the road was out, under construction on our end.  *sigh*  So, we had to backtrack and take the long route to the camp, and we arrived at around 1:30 in the morning via steep and winding little roads in the dark.  We always seem to have adventures...

We went to our state fair last week too.  Had a good time, watched some horse events, bought some goodies and believe it or not, I ate no fair food!!  What's with that?  No special reason, I just wasn't hungry and nothing in particular sounded good.  The next day, I had the strongest craving for a caramel apple.  Wouldn't you know it!?

Anyhoo, that's about it for now.  I can't believe it's been over 3 weeks since my last post.  Had to check in, let you know I'm still around and let you know of our goings-on.  Like I said, we've been busy, but I can't even think of what's been keeping us so busy lately.  Oh well!  It's almost time to head home and call it a day here at the clinic.  I'm looking forward to a garden fresh dinner tonight.  Corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes and cantaloupe.  Hmmhmmhmm!!!  German chocolate cake for desert too...hubby's birthday was last week and we never did get around to having cake.  Great excuse, right??  :)

Officially summer is almost over, save this next few days of being in the mid to upper 90's, I'd say it's just about licked!  After that, another cool down and even a little more rain is in the forecast.  I'm so NOT ready for constant rain yet, but a little sure does feel good!  First day of autumn is 2 weeks from today and I'm looking forward to brisk mornings, cool nights, jeans, boots and sweaters.  Oh baby!  I love fall!!!  And maybe this year we'll get that Indian Summer I've been hoping for...for years now.  *fingers crossed*

Good horseback riding weather!!

Hope you're all enjoying the last days of summer and are looking forward to the changing of the seasons...go pick those tomatoes and eat all that garden fresh produce before it's all gone!  :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

After the meltdown

I'm feeling a lot better today than I did yesterday.  Still emotionally raw and a general feeling of needing some time away from job responsibilities, but I slept well last night and woke up feeling refreshed.  I'd certainly rather feel body tired over emotional exhaustion any time.  I actually like working to the point of physical tiredness.  Always have.  Maybe because it feels so good at having accomplished a task and the sense of well-being when you're finished for the day.

Our weather has taken another turn for the triple digits.  We're having another heat wave of 2-3 days and then it's supposed to cool down some.  Some places got some measurable rain last weekend.  At our place, it was just a dampening, but even that felt so good and cleansed the air.  I'm really looking forward to a real gullywasher, but don't expect that for a while.  Oh well, not much I can do about it.  But rain would be welcomed by so many in our corner of this country.  We have so many wild fires burning out of control in several states, including ours.  I feel so bad for those firefighters risking their lives in such hot, dry conditions.  The temperatures, fierce winds and overly dry terrain sure make fighting those fires an uphill battle.  So many lost homes, but thankfully I haven't heard of any loss of lives.  Our pastures have been dead and brown for months already, and we're feeding hay at an alarming rate.  Oh well, we just do what we need to do.  If we have to buy more to get through to next year, I think our hay supplier has plenty in storage.  I hope!

Tonight after work we're driving to SE Portland to pick up a 24 ft. trailer for my niece.  She sold her home and will be living in this trailer until she finds a home to relocate to.  I wouldn't have picked today of all days to make this trip, but apparently the seller had a 12 hour notice to get it off the street and he doesn't have room in his driveway.  That's why she got a good deal on the trailer.  Anyway, she has no experience hauling a trailer, and our camper is loaded on our truck, so I just felt better about offering to drive and help her out.

We're hoping to get back into our bedroom remodeling project soon.  I can't tell you how tired I am of sleeping in the living room, and having all our bedroom stuff scattered everywhere.  My mind just craves peace, order and blessed space right now.  I. cannot. wait.  So many things I want to do, and so little time and energy left over after all the necessities are taken care of.  And in the meantime, Eagle waits...not that he cares.  He is so happy just being home and refilling that vacancy of herd "alpha".  At least somebody's happy!

Oh, and we were rejected as adopters of a dog through Golden Bond Rescue.  Seriously???  What a huge mistake on their part.  They just blew a perfect opportunity to re-home one of their dogs with us.  We are phenomenal dog owners!  I tell you what.  If I were a dog?  I would absolutely want to come and live with us.  Our dogs are treated like one of the family, because that's exactly what they are.  They didn't even call me to talk about it.  We got the "Dear John" letter yesterday.  They said after long and careful consideration they had come to the conclusion that we were rejected because of "inadequate fencing".  Interesting.  We have the exact same fencing we had the last time we were approved to adopt.  Oh well...I know the right dog will come to us.  I just have to be patient and keep looking.  Ruby girl is waiting for her new friend...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Some days and Mondays

...really get me down.  I feel worse today than I've felt in a long time.  

I feel exhausted.  Yes, I'm sleeping as well as I normally do.  This is mental fatigue, pure and simple.  Disappointment, dissatisfaction, so many descriptive words come to mine.  A blogger friend that I've been reading and following her life for 7-8 years, lost her husband this weekend.  I don't know any details other than it was described as an accident involving him and his cousin.  They were both killed.  This guy, TW's husband, was her soulmate.  They had children and had been married for a good, long while.  He was pretty much her life and it's just such a damned shame!  I cannot even imagine the pain she's feeling.  I just can't.  To love someone that much and to lose them so suddenly...I just don't know how a person handles that.  And then moves on with life.  How in the hell would you do that!?  I don't know, but I'd describe their marriage as 1 in a million.  Truly happy and complete only when they're together.  Just knocked the wind right out of my sails.  Sorta like being slapped in the face and putting my troubles into perspective.

We had another busy weekend.  Nothing new there...went to a 50th birthday BBQ for my niece.  Oh boy,  family events are always so trying and so emotional for me.  I kind of hate them.  We've all changed so much, or maybe I'm the one who's changed and I just don't feel like I even know them, or can relate to them anymore.  Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me, but I just want to climb the walls, run out screaming in frustration when I'm around them.  Not always, but too much of the time.  By the time we've been there for a while, I feel like I've had the life sucked right out of me, and I just need to lay down and die.  Sounds dramatic right?  Well, I'm not exaggerating.  Seriously.  I cannot wait to get out of there!  I love them, but I don't like them anymore.  I can't even remember when my sister, my nieces, anybody...has even asked, "how's everything with you?".  They just rattle on in their overly loud voices, repeating themselves about all the trauma and drama in their lives, how everyone is trying to "screw" them and how everything's just not fair!!  Blah blah blah blah...God help me, I just want to scream that all their poor choices are the only reason that their lives are so screwed up!!!  But, I don't.  I just sit there trying to politely listen, and care.  But then I have to go get a breath of fresh air, and whisper a little prayer for patience and compassion, and hope it's not too early to go home.  I sound just awful don't I?  I know.

Anyway, I rode Eagle on Saturday.  Maybe because I was feeling anxious about riding him through the orchard for the first time, maybe not; but I was feeling fearful and timid right from the get-go.  I tried to overcome, breathe deep, and run through all our warm-up exercises, but it was just ok.  Eagle felt my trepidation and responded accordingly.  Then I mounted up to head out, with my husband on Missy (the perfect, quiet little mare), Eagle moved away before I asked him to, the branch of the tree brushed his rump and he spooked a little bit.  I had my inside rein shorter because I'd just mounted up, which was a good thing because we had to circle and circle just to get him to relax.  This certainly didn't help my anxiety.  So we headed out, and immediately Eags was VERY strong and pumped and happy to be going somewhere outside of the ring.  I tried a few one-rein stops to kind of re-boot him and get his attention on me.  He just kept circling and circling and circling, without stopping.  My level of discomfort grew and grew, so we straightened out and just tried walking on.  Again, with the being very, very strong and not responsive to my legs or reins.  I felt myself start to panic, and I had to have my husband stand his horse to block our path so I could comfortably dismount.  All I could do was cry.  I was so disgusted with myself.  It really wasn't Eagle's fault.  He was happy and up and forward to be going somewhere.  Had it been Rachel, or anybody else with some confidence, I'm certain he would have worked through it and relaxed.  But with me feeling the way I was feeling, it just wasn't going to happen.  So I walked him back home, got back on for a short time in the round pen, and put him away.  Sunday I didn't get the chance to ride, did laundry, house cleaning and too many other obligations to ride.  So here we are today, and this day has just sucked.  Totally.

My boss was late to both of his morning appointments and once again I had to listen to the clients' complaints, threats of leaving us and general displeasure.  I'm so tired of covering for his lack of respect for peoples' time.  And of course the phones were ringing off the hook, emergencies and every single person thinks they are the most import person ever to have lived!!!  Like I said, I am tired.  Today, I kind of hate people and just wish I was leaving for a very much-needed vacation somewhere quiet.  Oh, so quiet.  Something's just gotta give...or I feel like I'm gonna blow.

I've tried to keep my issues in perspective, have spent some time in prayer and reading.  I always give thanks for so many blessings in my life, but I feel so broken, so messed up and oh, so tired. Today really does kind of suck.  I'm hoping that this evening I can spend some quiet and peaceful time with my horses and just enjoy being with them.  No pressure, no worries.  Just be and soak up some of their goodness, and relax.

If you're the praying kind, there is a lovely lady, her children, and a whole big family mourning a huge loss today, there are forest fires raging all around the PNW, people's homes have been lost and fire fighters are risking their lives to contain the fires.  Please take a moment and offer up a prayer for these people.  The power of prayer is simply amazing.

Blessings to all, and hoping for a brighter tomorrow.  Or at least a more peaceful one...


Friday, August 7, 2015

As the world turns

Wow, am I ever glad it's Friday again.  *sigh*  I'm tired.  My brain doesn't want to function and a really, long nap sounds heavenly.  Our grandson has spent the last 2 weeks with us. I am sooo not used to teenagers being around 24/7...dear God, how do people do it?  Guess you just adapt.  Like everything else.  However, I will say that our grandson, Dave is a unique individual.  His mom is bi-polar, manic-depressive and Dave shows those tendencies already.  He's been behaviorally challenged for years and years.  He takes all sorts of meds and without them is beyond difficult.  He's diagnosed ADHT, or whatever that is...hyperactive, short attention-span, whatever.  The only two areas that I can relate to Dave is with the horses, and animals in general; and taking pictures.  He really shows promise in the area of photography.  But when he's with the horses, they calm him and bring him peace.  Anyone out there relate to this?  :)  What is it about horses?  There definitely is something special about horses that grounds us, levels our emotions and gives us a feeling of relaxation, joy, and just being alright with what is.  I can't explain it, but I know it's true, certainly couldn't have survived my childhood without them.  Well, that's probably a bit dramatic, but it wouldn't have been so manageable for sure.  Horses have always been my rock.  Still faith and my horses.  Life without these wouldn't be worth living, for me.  

My Annie

Harley wearing his "horses in black", cool shades
My girl with her "precious"...the only toy she'd play with.  Ever.
Since I got my new phone, I've been realizing it's much quicker and handier to use that for pictures.  My problem is, I don't know how to get the pics uploaded here.  I've sent them to my email, downloaded them onto Picassa, but simply cannot move them here, and I even have trouble finding them once I know they are there. irritating!  Is there some way to transfer pics directly from the phone to blogger?  

Anyway, moving on.  I'm canning peaches tonight.  We love freshly canned peaces and some frozen ones for cooking in the winter.  It's like a little bit of summer sunshine in a jar.  But honestly, canning is the last thing in the world that I want to be doing this evening.  I'd really like to get outa dodge and just go relax and rejuvenate.  Do something fun.  If we get that job done quickly, maybe we can do just that.  

I'd really like to take Eagle somewhere and go for a little ride.  I'm anxious and a little worried at the same time about this.  I don't want to get all nervous and worried, and make him feel insecure. That would not be good.  But, I've just gotta get our first trail ride under our belts.  The little rides I took at Rachel's don't really count; they were pretty short...but, once out and on our way, I did start relaxing fairly quickly.  I'm hopeful that's what will happen again. Our riding club has a scheduled camp-out this weekend, but we're just not ready for that. The way I'm feeling right now, truly?  I'd love to head to the beach.  Sleep in, breathe deeply of the fresh, ocean air and walk with my dog.  Take a nap with the cool breeze blowing in the a little and have a nap.  I don't want to be social.  I don't want to work.  I just want to veg...

We're expected to get a little rain this Sunday.  That would be so refreshing, and we could really use it.  You sure don't hear me saying that very often!  :)  Surprise even myself sometimes.  We haven't had any measurable rainfall since the very beginning of June, in fact the day we took Eagle to Rachel's.  That impressive storm, where it dumped and then moved on.  This sure has been an unusual year, actually starting back to last October when it was so unusually warm and it dumped so much rain, so early, that everything started molding and it felt tropical.  That was followed by a much warmer and drier winter - the year of no winter, followed by an early spring, and our summer starting very much earlier (and hotter) than usual.  The times are sure a-changin' - no doubt!  I'm not complaining, and I certainly don't worry about the weather.  Just taking note, that's all.  It is, what it is.  
My rides on Eags have been going overall, pretty well.  We have our ups and our downs, but I'm getting more comfortable and more competent in my requests of him.  His unusually low headset is still a bit disconcerting to me, feels at times like I have no horse in front of me.  But, when I don't fixate on it, continue to ask for more forward with a nice momentum, with lots of transitions, stops and really does get better. Someone on a FB horsemanship site that I follow, likened it to that game many of us played as children.  Red light, Green light.  Keep your horse mentally and physically at the ready, which promotes balance and readiness from both of us.  It would work even better if I had a good groundsman calling out the orders.  We include, walk and trot, with lots of stops, upward and downward transitions, some backing and lots of variance in distances between changes.  It's proving to be a great exercise.  Keeps Eagle guessing, and doesn't allow his attention to go wandering on our rides.  I have to admit.  It's challenging for me too, because I've just been a lollygagging trail rider for many years now...we both need work.  :)  But we're having fun and trail riding is what I truly love, so he doesn't have to be trained to the nines!  All I truly hope for is a calm, soft and responsive and confident trail horse.  That would be perfect.  I just love Eagle.  Oh, and so does David.  He is absolutely and infinitely ga-ga over Eags...go figure.  I can't explain it, but every single person who meets my boy, loves my boy.  He should have been named Don Juan, or Valentino, or some other legendary lover who ensnared people with his wiles and charms!  
Color me blessed...for he is mine, and I am his!!!  **happy dance**  :)

Oh, an update on my on-going issue of weight loss.  I'm down another 8-10 lbs. since last winter.  However, it's only about 4 lbs lighter than I was last summer.  I tend to gain in the winter and lose in the summer.  10 more pounds to go and I'll be back to my pre-clinic days of 16 years ago, come August 16(which isn't yet my goal, but still)  Slow going though!  I enjoy my food, just like my dog.  *sigh*  Oh well, whatever!  

I'll try once again to upload my pics that I've got on my phone, and if I do manage it - we'll celebrate, but if not - memories of my beautiful (and oh, so missed) Annie will suffice for now.  Have a wonderful weekend my friends!!

It's been hot!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Me and that horse...

Old pic from a couple years ago.  I have a new phone and can't seem to figure out how to get my pics off it.  Eagle still looks pretty much the same though.  :)

Sometimes I think that Eagle is the coolest horse ever.  And when I say that, I mean who he is.  His mind, his personality, the way he chortles through his nose when he gets nervous. He's a beautiful spirit who's very sensitive and intuitive, I get by with nothing. Nothing escapes his notice.  He has the kind of knicker that makes anybody stop and smile.   He has big, dark brown, doe eyes.  He absolutely knows how to use them.  He's a snuggler, likes to be real close.  And he's got this way of "sauntering" everywhere he goes; he exudes a quiet authority over our herd without even trying.  But my favorite thing about Eagle.  Well; besides his strikingly handsome, good looks?  :)  It's his kindness.  This is the kindest, most loving horse I've ever known. He's just a good horse.  And totally, without a doubt the most heart, or try, "the will to please" of any horse.  Ever.  

Kadie will always be the best little mountain pony in the world.  But nobody's perfect.    

Then there's times I think, he could be the coolest horse ever.  Besides all that great stuff I just said.  And I truly mean every, single word of it!  But Eagle can be lazy.  There's times I think I'm working way too hard up there.  I've never really had a horse who makes me work so hard for such little things.  Conformation wise, he's got this fairly short, very thick and powerful neck.  And when he wants to go one direction, and I want to go the other, well let's just say my legs and arms are a workout.  And it shouldn't be like that.  I know he's still a green horse.  And I absolutely couldn't be more pleased with what he's learned and how great he's doing.  When Rachel rides him anyway!  Frustrating, but I need to be patient.  We'll get there, we'll continue to improve, but ack!!!  With me?  I need to take more lessons.  In my imagination this horse and I go everywhere, over and under and through, grand adventures and all that.  That's what I want.  I've ridden him 4 nights in a row, skipped last night and plan to ride again tonight.  We've had short and sweet riding sessions after a very short walk,trot, canter freestyle in the round pen.  I mount up, go through my warm-up, which consists of relaxed walk, trying to stay on the rail and lots (some) willing forward energy.  Neck flexes, balanced stop, back and one-rein stops.  Then we do trot work and then try to add something like poles, haunch or forehand turns (beginning). Easy right?  And usually we run through this within 30-45 minutes.  That's plenty for both of us right now.  Well, there are times we really work on just this.  Then there's rides we've had where Eagle walks right out, just does what I ask when I want and it feels so good.  I have to blame our connection.  Some days it's good and other days, not so much.  It's all about me and my state of confidence.  When I'm more relaxed and ask with more authority, quiet but soft, Eagle responds nicely.  But if I don't mean it.  And mean it from the very beginning of our lesson, Eagle takes that and that's that.   Nope, not today   ... uh-huh.  *sigh*  God, he can be stubborn!  Or lazy.  Both?  Rachel says it's not his fault.  I get what I ask for.  

Yeah, I know it's the journey.  And I do enjoy the journey, the process, the relationship, the work.  All of it.  But I've waited sooooo long to ride this horse, and all I really want to do is hop on him bareback and race through the filbert orchard and go swimming with my horse in the pond.  On a beautiful summer day, like today!  

Just to feel that freedom.  The joy of feeling my warm and strong, sure and fast, horse running beneath my legs.  Hair flying in the wind, tears streaming across my face.  *sigh*  

That's how I want to ride him.  

I read this quote by George Morris on another blog today.  It seemed appropriate, so I thought I'd share and hopefully remember...

"The relationship between horse and rider is closer than any two beings, even if you're married.  When a horse gets tentative, you don't get tentative.  That's the kiss of death. You get positive."

Sounds about right.

Learning patience and persistence,
blessings all.