Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sad Day

I had this post all arranged about a wonderful weekend beach trip with a very dear friend of mine, pretty pictures and all...but I just don't feel like doing it today.

For a while now, I've been taking Harley to an indoor arena and riding him with a friend of mine and her horse. It's been going great and I've been enjoying this one-on-one time with my wonderful horse. We've been doing some bonding and building confidence in one another and getting physical exercise, and it's all been so very enjoyable.

I didn't get to go riding last Sunday morning because there was an unusual event take place during the morning feeding. My hubby and I were up pretty early, had a quick cup of coffee, then headed out to the barn to let the horses out into the corral where they could enjoy their breakfast in the sunshine. Nothing unusual...pretty much our morning routine, except on this particular morning, I was the one pushing the "roach coach" around dispensing the hay piles while my hubby released the horses from their stalls one by one. As is customary with our little herd, Shad (the thoroughbred) got out first and he came running and bucking out to the hay where he has a little taste and then, unable to contain his pure, unadulterated joy at his freedom, has to go gallywhomping off again being the silly goose that he is...normal stuff...however, when it was Harley's turn to come running out he came charging with a full head of steam straight at me. gulp...no time to react, except for a quick thought to dash behind the roach coach for cover...sounded like my best chance for protection at the time, except that when Harley got close enough for me to look straight in his eye, I knew he wasn't going to run over the top of me; he was instead going to go straight over the top of the roach coach full of hay...what the heck!? So, I quickly moved in the opposite direction and surely as if it had been his intent, Harley ran right over the top of the cart...as if it hadn't been there...as if he hadn't even seen it. Very strange...

So, I ran into the barn and grabbed his halter and lead to bring him back inside where I could survey the damage. He appeared to be okay but for a few minor scuffs and one small cut near his coronet band on a front foot. Good grief!! I say a quick prayer of thankfulness that he wasn't hurt and turn him back out for his breakfast. As I headed back out to finish depositing piles of hay and collect the roach coach, I realized I had left the gate open into a small paddock-sized grassy area which of course, Shad had spotted. Before I could get through the gate, Ladde and then Harley were all in the grassy area. I followed suit with the intention of flushing them back out into the corral where they belonged before heading back inside for another cup of coffee.

Now, the horses know before I say a thing that these are sweet, stolen bites of fresh, green grass and that they are going to be run out...so, without much prompting from me, one by one they run out. Harley was the last to leave, and he rounded the open gate with ease and proceded to run full-tilt out into the corral. Now, one thing I had failed to mention earlier; was that I had left the now nearly empty roach coach sitting right smack dab in the middle of the corral...well, Harley ran right into it again!! This time he flipped over and got his hind leg briefly entangled in the handle. Oh my word!!! I was in complete and total shock at what I had just witnessed and was so upset that he was hurt, I could barely think straight. What is going on!!?? First thing that crossed my mind, of course, was that he can't see!!

So, to make a long story somewhat shorter...last night my boss came out and did a full eye exam on Harley and he is indeed, losing his vision. Apparently, he has been losing his vision for a while now. How long, we will never know, but looking back over the last year or more...let's just say that a lot of questions in my mind have now been answered. So many occurances now seem so much more clear. I had occasionally wondered why my perfect little trail pony seemed to be so much spookier than he used to be; he used to be so much more sure-footed than he is nowadays...the list could go on and on and on, but you get the picture. I can remember quite a few times where the thought had crossed my mind...is he having trouble seeing? And then, as quickly as that nasty little thought entered my mind, I would dismiss it; certain that I was being paranoid, or it was just my overactive imagination...only now I know it wasn't. I can only say that I am so heartsick at the thought of my beloved Harley going blind. Oh how I wish it wasn't so!! He's only 12 years old, and he has so much life and energy, and he's just so healthy and vibrant!! It's such a hard diagnosis to accept, except somewhere deep inside...I already knew it.
I hate it!! One of the things I hate the most is feeling helpless, and right now I feel utterly and completely helpless. My boss took close-up pictures of Harley's eye and plans on sending them to some ophthalmologists that he knows, but told me not to get my hopes up. I know there are many advances in medicine in regards to the eye, but the prognosis is usually guarded at best. It probably doesn't help that he's an Appaloosa. Seems to be a pitfall of this beautiful breed of horse. I can only say that I feel so very, very sad about this. Not for me, but that my beautiful and cock-sure little horse may very well become blind and won't be able to see all the beauty that there is to see. I would appreciate your prayers for Harley.

I'm not nearly as confident of a rider as I used to be, and I'm trying to get over my feelings of fear and inadequacy, but this opens up a whole new host of challenges that we will need to overcome. I've never been a quitter, and I won't now, or ever, give up on Harley. A blind trail horse can be quite a challange, but if God's plan for Harley is to be blind, then we'll just have to get through it together and the best way we know how. Again, I humbly ask for all your prayers if you don't mind. We can use all the help we can get. I'm not the sort of person who can easily, or any other way for that matter, disgard an animal. They are family. Right or wrong, for better or for worse...we're in this for the longhaul.

Blessings all,
cingspots :(

Monday, March 8, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Really...it's March 17, 2010

Silly blogger doesn't let you change dates. It is St. Patrick's Day which of course, means it's almost spring...yippee!! This coming Saturday, is the first day (technically) of spring and Ladde's birthday. Wow, I can hardly believe another spring/summer season is just around the corner. Time sure does fly!!

I don't want to think about anything serious today, so I'm doing a blog medley. A post of some good times spent last summer. Just cause I want to think about happy days and not anything else today.

Pies!!! Ooh yummy!! This tiny little restaurant on the way to the beach that serves the best breakfasts. And, they also serve pie. All kinds of pies. This is a picture of the morning's baking...hmmmm.

The beautiful, blue Pacific near Newport. Nye Beach specifically. A great place to spend some time.

My beautiful friend...Miss Betty. I love you my wonderful little friend. (she's gonna kill me for posting her picture here!) We had a good time on our little weenend outing to the beach.

An artsy fartsy shot through the weeds. :)

Depoe Bay...what a glorious summer day!!!!

Another one taken at Depoe Bay / the ocean side, of some cool looking caves...

A crazy artist painting with his back to the ocean...not a very good idea at all. Hasn't he heard of "sneaker waves"? Whoosh!! and he'd be gone in a nano-second!!

Taken from "the wall" in Depoe Bay.

Not the greatest picture, but...this is a grey whale!! We had no idea we'd be whale watching that afternoon. They are just gorgeous!! I love whales. Once, years ago, my friend, Diana and I did a 20 mile "walk for the whales" walkathon for Green Peace. I thought I was going to die, but I made it. Talk about sore feet though!!

Some boaters who spotted the whales too.

Don't you just love exploring tide pools? This one looked especially interesting, but I didn't climb down the rocks to check it out. Just picture taking this trip.

An old rusty ship anchor. Would look totally cool in the yard of a little beach cottage, don't you think?

The actual "bay" of Depoe Bay. Remember the movie with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel, Overboard? This is where they filmed part of that movie, only the snobby Goldie referred to it as "Elk Snout". Love that movie!!

This shot shows the actual channel that the ships have to pass through coming into Depoe Bay from the ocean. Very, very narrow. Another movie tidbit...remember Jack Nicholson in "One Flew over the cuckoo's nest"? This is where that boat outing scene was shot where they stole the boat and went deep sea fishing. Didn't know you were going to get educated today, did you?

Here's a cute little guy mooching fish from one of the local fishing shops.

Depoe Bay again...different shot. Gorgeous day at the beach!

I love this bench! Just a little resting spot for shopping-weary husbands, I guess...

I love how the sun shines off the water in this shot. Not sure what kind of ship this was, but it's no fishing boat...

Someone's artistic carving...kinda cool huh?

More tidepools!! These ones were right on the beach, and we did get to do a little exploring.

Guess that's it for the beach shots. Betty and I had a wonderful weekend at Nye Beach. We stayed at the "Sylvia Beach Hotel", which years ago was the number one destination for honeymooners staying on the Oregon Coast. It's a very old hotel. All the rooms are "author-themed". We stayed in the Ernest Hemingway room...feather bed, tropical decor and more masculine than feminine. They have rooms of many authors and have journals written in by their guests over the years. Very interesting reading material. They also have a full library in the top floor, with a help-yourself kitchen, fireplace and in the basement each morning they serve a full course breakfast - chef's choice. Delicious food! I hope to do it again one of these days. Now, lest I forget...when I returned home, I had a care package from Chelsi. Very cool stuff!! This is the card that she designed herself and a handmade dishrag. I love it Chelsi!!

This is a picture of the loot that Chelsi sent to me. The wine was very good, the chocolate I dug into immediately, and the syrup was divine!! We would definitely enjoy getting some more of that!! Thanks ever so much Chelsi!! If you haven't already, you've got to check her out...Adventures of a Horse-Crazed Mind. She's a very talented writer, horse-crazy gal, like most of us and she's a multi-faceted gal who hales from British Columbia, Canada. Not to mention, what a talented artist she is. Go check out her blog, you won't be sorry!
Well, that's enough picture posting for one day. Wishing everyone out there in Blogland a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!! May ya be havin' a green one fer me!!!
Blessings from cingspots.
Just wanted to say a quick, but genuinely heartfelt "thank you", to all of you who left such kind and loving comments on my last blog posting about my sweet, Harley horse. His body soreness and cuts are healing up nicely after his run-in with the hay wagon. As far as the blindness issue...we're just taking it one day at a time. Thanks again for all the cherished prayers and well-wishes that were sent our way!! You guys are the best!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Have you ever thought about what makes you really happy? I mean; really happy?...deep down inside, the kind of quiet happiness that brings on that sensation of inner peace and contentment? The kind that makes you smile and sigh. The kind of peace that settles in your bones, and you just know in your heart that everything - no matter what happens - things are gonna be okay. Well, I have. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, what a wonderful feeling! And, being the weepy sort that I am, it just makes me cry. Tears of joy! My favorite emotion...

A few weeks ago now, my Saturday morning began in a bad way. I had slept in and had just wandered into the kitchen all sleepy-eyed and looking for a cup of coffee. My hubby, the eternally early riser, was chomping at the bit. And out of his mouth, all in a cranky rush, came the complaint that our pastures were in bad shape, the fences were a mess and we needed to rush right down to the local rental place and get a tractor so he could work today on our ever-growing manure pile. Huh? Doesn't he realize my brain isn't functioning clearly yet? And that it's not just Saturday morning, but it's Sabbath? The only day set aside out of the seven for rest? So...my hastily spoken, but not thoroughly thought through comment was something like...we don't have the money for renting a tractor. Apparently, the wrong thing to say. So, without going into the gory details, an argument ensued and hubby leaves the house in a huff and I'm left scratching my head and wondering what the heck just happened? Ever been in that predicament? Well, I'm there more often that I care to remember. I have this nasty little habit of opening my mouth and saying whatever comes to mind without ever pausing for a thought and then carefully choosing my words. One of my many flaws.

Anyway...suffice it to say that our day was spent in totally different ways. My hubby retreated to the barn to work off his anger and frustrations, and I opted to stay inside and relax. Sometimes space is a very good thing. I found myself sitting in my rocking chair in front of the woodstove, basking in not only the heat from the fire, but the warmth from the sunshine streaming in through the sliding glass door of our little kitchen nook. My favorite spot. While enjoying a hot cup of coffee and mulling over random thoughts, I decided to pray. I don't know how other people pray, but I just talk to God; usually not out loud, but in my mind I talk to a very dear friend, my Father...surely someone who loves me and knows me better than I know myself and most importantly, someone who understands me. Essentially, I was pouring out my heart, a fervent prayer for help, for compassion, for understanding and forgiveness. Feeling much more at peace, I realized just how much I have to be thankful for, and how I need to stop worrying so much about all the people I love so much. No matter what happens, God is in charge...I'm not. I have to learn to be at peace with myself and whatever surroundings I may be in at any given moment in time. Things will work out however they are supposed to, right or wrong, and without any intervention from me. I can pray for the people that I love and leave the rest. However, if I learn to control my tongue, I just might be able to change what I need to pray about...at least some of the time. Anybody feel like saying "Amen" right about now?

Having relieved myself of much angst and frustration, I resumed to sittin' and rockin' and contemplating the world...in short, I was "spacing out" and enjoying some much needed mental and physical rest. I decided to read for a little while and wanted to check out a few verses in the book of Revelations in my bible. I'd been listening to a sermon a few days before and wanted to have another look at something this pastor had been talking about. Believe it or not, I couldn't find the book of Revelation. I know, seriously, most of us know that this is the very last and final book of the Bible. Should be a piece of cake, right? One would think. Anyway, maybe it was mental fatigue, maybe it was old age and I was having a brain fart or something...I was totally flabberghasted and was seriously starting to wonder at my mental faculties...but all of a sudden, I had a thought pop into my head. Hebrews 4 and 5. Huh? Where the heck is Hebrews anyway? Divine intervention? Don't be silly, I chided myself...be careful what you pray for...for surely He does listen...for when I finally found the book of Hebrews and read chapters 4 and 5, I was in awe. At the perfect moment in time, I had the perfect message from God. An answer to my prayer? Without a doubt. I was so thankful, and so very truly humbled and so very reassured and comforted. I felt blessed. I felt loved. I felt understood and completely and fully at peace. At that perfect moment in time, I knew within my soul that God was then, and will always be, with me. Everything is as it should be and I felt the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders.

Prayers are heard, and many times our prayers are answered, but usually not when we think they ought to be, or how we think they should be. But on this perfect and beautiful sunshiney Sabbath morning there in my rocking chair...my fervent prayer was heard and answered almost immediately. I was so blessed and I wish I could keep that moment tucked away in my heart always, and be able to pull it out and admire it and remember it as freshly as if it just happened...for surely it was a gift to me from my Father in heaven and I want to cherish it always...lest I might forget. All this seems so very precious and highly personal, but I hope that maybe by reading my words you might be reassured and blessed as well. God is real and He does hear our prayers and our cries for help and He does surely love us.

Since that morning I've reread those chapters in Hebrews several times, and they remain beautiful, but for whatever reason on that day they were the perfect words for my heart. I don't understand why certain passages at certain times have such deep and profound meaning, and at other times they're seemingly less special...but there's so many things that I don't understand, and that's alright. I don't need to understand everything.

So in closing, I just want to say that I'm very thankful for the simple pleasures in life. A beautiful Sabbath morning, glorious sunshine, my rocking chair and our wonderful woodstove, my wonderful and highly entertaining menagerie of animals, my sometimes irritating husband who I love dearly and a good cup of coffee...with french vanilla creamer, of course.

:) Blessings everyone...

oh, and chocolate.