Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Strength from within

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."
                                                                                                        ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The little rabbit stood alone, watching her family and friends hop and skip about her in the forest, playing her favorite rabbit game.  Try as she might, each time she attempted to join in, she tripped about awkwardly.  When this happened, the other rabbits laughed uproariously at her and called her "Grace".  Soon even she forgot her real name.  But in the moments when Grace was alone, she danced around the trees with ease.  She was as smooth and graceful as any ballerina.  An old owl sat high above her one night, watching her intently.  The moonlight streamed through the treetops like a soft spotlight and he sat and watched as little Grace moved in and out of the moonbeams.  Finally he said, "Grace, you are more graceful than any creature I've ever seen."  Grace was startled that someone had been watching her, but listened carefully to the wise owl's words as he continued.  "You have carried this beauty within you all the time, but locked it inside when you tried too hard."

If we remember to relax and trust in ourselves, we too, will discover that we are able.

For me, it's so easy to forget my inner strengths and abilities.  It's when I need to take a deep breath, relax and draw on that which lies below the surface; forget that anyone is watching and step out in faith.  Like that old John Wayne saying goes, "Courage is being afraid and mounting up anyway".  Can you relate?

I'm working very hard on stepping up and drawing upon the courage to do what I'm afraid to do.  I know I have the ability, the knowledge and the strength...I just need that little nudge to step up in faith and do it anyway.

This past Memorial Day weekend was much more pleasant weather-wise than our weathermen have been predicting.  We had originally made plans to go horse camping with our riding club. We always enjoy the beautiful Mt. Adams Wilderness area, the wonderful riding trails, the time spent with good friends, and sitting around the camp fire.  But, since we sold our horse trailer, we are once again, tent campers; and we didn't relish the idea of camping in the rain, with horses, dogs and mud.  A couple of nights last week Mt. Adams horse camp got snow.  Uh-huh, I don't think so...

So, we opted to stay home and let the chips fall where they may.  Footloose and fancy-free, and all that.  We worked on some projects around home, planted a few flowers in the beds, did some laundry, changed linens and general housecleaning duties.  We also took a day trip to the beach.  It was beautiful.  We took two long, leisurely walks, collected some sea treasures and had lunch overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  We ate saltwater taffy and took pictures.  My hubby had the horse chores all finished so when we got back home, we just brought the horses in for the night and watched a little tv until bedtime.  It was a wonderful day.  On Memorial Day, we were just plain lazy.  We watched old war movies on television, ate popcorn, built a fire in the wood stove and lounged around in sweats.  I fixed spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner.  I don't even remember brushing my hair...it was heavenly!

Today, I'm back at work and my hubby is home with the horseshoer.  Sugar gets her special wedged shoes on the front, but otherwise it's just trims for everybody else.  On June 9th, we have an appointment with a gal who will be coming out to fit Ladde and Eagle for Easy Boot Back Country shoes.  They run $80 per shoe, and we're hoping that after our initial investment, we'll save by not having to pay over $100 every 8 weeks for shoeing refits.  We're just going to use them on the fronts and leave the backs barefoot.  These shoes will hopefully last 2-3 years depending on how often and how many miles we put on them.  I can't wait to try them out.  I am so ready for a trail ride!!

We've taken Eagle to a couple of clinics lately.  He has made me so proud!!  He's a nervous hauler, he internalizes his stress and sweats something fierce, but after some initial jitters, he relaxes and calms right down and focuses on me, and pretty much does every single thing asked of him.  What heart this horse has!!  He has more try and absolutely wants to please more than any horse I've ever known!!  He just amazes me with what he's overcome and how very brave he is despite having had such a rough past.  He does have a pretty wide lazy streak.  The boy likes to saunter, relax and snuggle.  We're going to make a perfect pair!  :)  He's got an amazing trot too.  If I were interested in showing in Western classes, this boy would be a natural.  But, I'm thinking he'll enjoy some beautiful, relaxing and scenic trail rides just as much as I do.  I have no desire to be in the show ring.  Ever again.  I hate politics, and I hate how they want and expect a Western horse to move.  It's ugly, it's unnatural and it makes the horse look lame.  I like my horses to have beautiful, forward and fluid movement, on a loose rein.  I can't wait to get him out on some trails and see how he reacts.  We're making progress Eags and I.  Not as quickly as I'd hoped, and probably not as fast as many people think we should, but we're not here to impress or satisfy anyone, but ourselves.  We're developing a beautiful, trusting relationship; and that's what matters to me.  And it's very, very important to Eagle.  Whenever my hubby would hold Eagle for me when I went for a poddy break, or to get a drink of water or something, he'd watch for me to come back.  And if he heard my voice, he'd whip his head in the direction of my voice and watch me approach...*sigh*  That just makes my heart go pitter-patter.  :)  I LOVE this horse!!!  I don't ever, ever, ever want to do anything to jeopardize the trust we're building.

Anyway, hope you all had a wonderful and long Memorial Day weekend.  Don't you wish all weekends lasted 3 days?  Seems so much more balanced and right.

Blessings everyone,
Lorie @ Cingspots

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Today's gift

Each morning when I awaken, I begin my day by feeling rushed.  I'd like to change that.  I have a quick word or two with my Maker, always trying to remain thankful for having been awakened and having a bright new day filled with prospects of something new.  I'm trying really, really hard to live my life more fully by being more aware and in the present.  I've never been much of a big planner, rather spending my days dreaming or conjuring up possibilities of things I'd like to do, places I'd like to visit and tasks I want to accomplish.  The problem is, I'm always at work and everything that I'd like to be doing is usually at home.  That presents a rather oppressive outlook on the likelihood of accomplishing much.  You see, most days when I arrive at home after a long day at work, I'm either brain dead or physically tired, sometimes both.  I don't have a lot of energy or time left for my interests.  In many cases, I do a few quick tasks, throw something together for dinner, head out to take care of the horses and have an hour or so of quiet time before heading off to bed for another round the next day.  Day in and day out, this is how it goes.  I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and making very little progress.  I really get tired of hearing of so many people's lack of time when they don't work an outside job and have so many more available hours in the day to accomplish what I have to try and complete in a couple of evening hours and then on the weekend.  Grrrr...
chaps my hide.  Walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

One thing that I do (or try to do) most mornings is have a bit of devotional time.  This is accomplished in a variety of ways, but usually involves reading from Scripture or one of my various devotional books that are Scripture-based.  I find this is the very best way to mindfully be aware that each new day is truly a gift.  I can choose to accept my life with gratitude and make the best of what is, or I can wish for things to be different.  Just by realizing that this is my choice is very helpful for me to feel less resentful of my many hours spent away from where I'd rather be.  I'm very thankful that I have a job, and for the most part I enjoy my job.  I am blessed that I'm able to participate in supporting our home and the lifestyle that we've chosen.  I'm also very aware that my husband's role of maintaining our home has become more of his responsibility, than it is mine.  It just works out that way, he's working 2-3 days a week now instead of 5, and he's got the time to devote to what I'd like to be doing.  He's very near completing the painting in our laundry room, mudroom/entry way and all the new trim and doorways in our kitchen and the nook off the kitchen.  Tonight when I get home, I'll hopefully be able to get the windows washed, the freshly laundered curtains ironed and re-hung, a quick dinner prepared and (hopefully) have a bit of daylight left to spend some time working with Eagle.  Our weather has been absolutely perfect for horseback riding, or really for just about anything outside.  I'm determined to get the house put back together and get outside and enjoy.

The trouble I find is that almost always, everything takes me longer than I visualize it taking.  Here's that spinning wheels feeling again that I just hate.  My solution is to offer up a quick prayer, a request for peace of mind, and of acceptance, that tomorrow is another day.  If I'm unable to finish everything that I'd hoped for, I'll always have tomorrow to work on that never-ending "to do" list that I've always got in front of me.  *sigh*  I'm trying to just be happy and satisfied that I'm able to finish some things, even if not everything, and be thankful for what we are able to do.   And as always, I'm so very thankful that my hard-working husband is busy on my "to do" list as well.  If it weren't for my never ending lists, he'd probably be content to go riding himself, or maybe go fishing on a sunny day, or enjoy a nap on the deck.  I have to remember that he's not doing exactly what he'd really like to be doing either.  He does all the things he does, because he loves me.  He does them because he wants me to be happy.  :)  I guess there's truth to that old saying, "if mama's happy, then everybody's happy".  Seems like the woman's attitude in a home really does set the precedence for others as well.  If you think of it that way, then we as women really have a lot of responsibility for the happiness of others in our homes.  Anyway...

He truly is my gift.  And a lot of the time, I repay his efforts and hard work and kindness...by being irritable and crabby with him.  I see tiny imperfections in what he's done.  I forget to say thank you.  I complain that he washed my black sweater with the towels, again.  Sometimes I wonder why he puts up with me.

If I were able to be a fly on the wall, what would I think?  What would I say to myself?  Maybe I don't want to know.  If I know me, I'd jump down and slap that gal silly!  Tell her to take a look around at all she has to be happy about.  Explain to her that nothing ever stays the same.  Remind her that our loved ones aren't here to do our bidding, and that they won't be around forever.  I think I'd tell her to overlook the small things that in the end, really don't matter.  I'd tell her to enjoy more, worry less, laugh at circumstances more often, be thankful for everything, and everyone.  I'd tell her to tell them that they are so very important, and that she loves them more than she knows how to express.

But flies don't talk much.  And if I were that fly, I'd probably have better things to do, sooo I persevere and do the best that I can.  And I remind myself as often as I can, to give thanks for my life, and always be mindful that I have so much to be grateful for.  I truly am blessed.

Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith...      Henry Ward Beecher

I choose faith.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The life of Riley

Just who exactly is this Riley fellow anyway?  Hmmm?  If somebody knows, I'd really appreciate an introduction, and a little time for a heartfelt conversation with him/her...whomever, because I surely would enjoy an opportunity at that kind of life.

Boy howdy wouldn't I!?  :)

Good grief...Eagle must have taken some lessons from Riley.  This horse shore nuff knows how to relax and take life easy!!  Ya think?

Either that, or rigor mortis has set in and I just don't know it yet.  No!!

Eagle...what, who said that?  Did I miss something?  I was having the most amazing dream...yawn.

Come to think of it, Ladde looks pretty darned relaxed too, doesn't he?  He's even got his little woman to watch over him whilst he sleeps.  Sleeping beauties, sheesh!

It certainly does make me smile to see my horses so obviously relaxed and enjoying life.  But also just a tad jealous too.  I'm just sayin'!

If I believed in reincarnation and all that, I'd be asking God if I could come back as one of my horses, or even better - one of my dogs!  Now that's the life!!  :)

My wish for today is that all animals have that kind of life.  The life of Riley!

Apparently, some dumbass cowboys are once again, trying to make arrangements for a donkey roping somewhere down south, Texas or Oklahoma I think.  We stopped them last year, and I'm sure hoping we can put an end to their barbaric shenanigans once and for all.  If you're interested in coming to the assistance of so many kind, intelligent, innocent donkeys who deserve better than to be roped and jerked off their feet by some jerk on a horse, please visit "The Dancing Donkey" blog.  The author of that blog has kindly listed contact information and several links so we can put an end to this "sport".  Some things in life are just "no brainers".  This certainly is one of those things.  Please do whatever you can to help.  They cannot ask for themselves.

Blessings all,
Lorie @ Cingspots

Friday, May 3, 2013

So ready for the weekend...

My brain has pretty much been sucked out of my head this week.  I'm bone tired and in need of a little downtime.  Detailing with Wells Fargo and the house refi details and paperwork has left me feeling so drained.  I think I've satisfied the powers that be though.  Finally.  The first banker was pretty much a brainless buzzard who didn't do his job.  After many phone messages, emails and stressed-out days, I finally made the phone call to his supervisor and had him removed from our case.  No more Carlos.  See ya!  This guy was the very definition of inept.  He didn't return phone calls, he claimed to have not gotten ANY of my many, many messages, claimed he didn't receive my emails either.  He lost all 12 pages of my first faxed documents 2 weeks ago.  And because he didn't respond to my follow-up phone call to confirm that he'd received everything he needed from us, I made the mistake of assuming all was ok.  My mistake.  After 10 days had passed with no contact whatsoever, he sent me an email message requesting the same documents I'd sent him 10 days before.  Excuse me?  Really?

Well, let's just suffice it to say that I'm so thankful he's been pulled as our representative.  He actually said that we should just pull our paperwork and try again in a couple of months...my reply was "hell no".  So, the new gal tells me she has everything in hand and we're just waiting on my final house payment to clear so we have a final pay-off amount.  That was mailed on April 30th, so they should be getting it any day now.  I am so ready for this to be done.  Streamline my eye.  Big corporations are the definition of inefficiency...kind of reminds me of big government.  I'm just thankful that we're going to prevail and hopefully be finished up very soon.

The painting in our house is coming along nicely.  We're likely to wind up most everything probably this next week.  The final step is sorting through all our excess stuff and loading it in boxes for a trip to Goodwill.  I'm tired of having so much "stuff".  Downsize is going to be my new favorite term.  If I don't love it, or it doesn't get used on a regular basis...it's gone.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  It's outa there!  I've been wanting to clear out my cabinets and cleaning supplies and closets downstairs for a really long time.  It's called deep spring cleaning.  :)

So, the only activity we have on tap for this weekend is to attend a BBQ at my sister's house.  She and her husband are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this Saturday.  Wow!  It's hard for me to imagine that my sis has been married for 50 years.  I remember when my sisters and I threw a surprise 50th wedding anniversary for my mom and dad.  That really doesn't seem like all that long ago.  Shocking just how very, very fast time goes by.  If you want to do it, or it's on your bucket list; better do it post haste.  Time's slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future...

So many things I want to do, experience and see...cleaning out and getting rid of excess "stuff" seems like the perfect way to start.  Simplifying our lifestyle and eliminating so much clutter will have a freeing impact on my mind, I think.  Clearing the path for the future and making it easier to see ahead to what's really important in life.  And nothing that's important to me requires dusting.  Nope.

Hope everyone has an honest to goodness kick-ass weekend.  The weather in our neck of the woods is going to be simply spectacular.  Sunshine and temps in the low 80's.  Can I get an Amen to that!?  I am so ready.  Spring in NW Oregon is absolutely breathtaking.  Bright green growth everywhere the eye can see, flowers springing forth with colorful abandon, birds singing and excitement in the air.  Get out there and enjoy it my friends!  Or just kick back, and bask in the goodness.  Whatever floats your boat!

Blessings all,
Lorie @ Cingsspots