Thursday, July 28, 2016

As this day unfolds

I awoke feeling refreshed, if just a bit annoyed at Charlotte.  She and Miss Ruby awoke me an hour early this morning from my slumber with so much racket.  I knew something was wrong, thought it was probably a hot air balloon.  But instead I look out the window to see a young couple, momma with baby in her arms standing beside their car in the ditch by our driveway.  Hmmm.....

Thankfully no one was hurt, the car stopped short of hitting the telephone pole by a few inches.  Close enough right?  So standing in my nightie, hair a disaster and not really awake yet, I call out and see if the young gal wants to wait inside.  She kind of surprised me by replying, sure.  After quieting the dogs down, (company always excites them), I offer some coffee, but all she really wants is a place to change the baby.  Megan and Amanda, btw...totally adorable little girl, whom Charlotte is completely infatuated by!!  :)  She kept waggling everything she had to waggle and peering back at me, all smiles like - look mom!  Can we keep her!?  I loved it, started my morning out with a smile.

Hubby and another guy who stopped to help, pulled their car out with our truck and they're off and on their way again.  Hope they drive more carefully this time.  And now the hot air balloon shows up!!  Giving Charlotte yet, another reason to ramp it up and start barking for all she's worth.  :)  Kind of an exciting morning around our place.

Today is my Friday and my final day of working this month.  As July winds down and flows into August,  we're trying to relax and really get into the enjoyment of summer.  It's so short and time goes so fast, that some days are just meant to be enjoyed at a slowed down pace and be savored.  Trying to do just that.

We are gonna be hot today!  Mid 90's today and tomorrow, followed by weather of perfection over the weekend.  We are off for another camp out.  I am totally excited!!  This will be something I've dreamed of happening for about 5 years now.  Me and Eagle out in the mountains, riding the trails.  *sigh*  It feels like a long time coming...almost surreal, there's been trials and tribulations, lots of work, lots of do-overs, tears and fears and accomplishments.  A bond that's been created, a relationship based on mutual trust that wasn't easy.  For either of us.  Easier for Eags than it was for me.  But that's horses for you.  They are so much more forgiving than we are; they have that "living in the moment thing" perfectly mastered.  Me?  Not so much.  Whenever that moment of clarity happened in my brain I'm not sure, but it's been quite recent for me.  How can I keep asking my horse to trust me if I don't choose to trust him?  And it really is about choice.  In my own mind, I had to come to that place of decision.  Was I going to stay stuck in that fearful place?  Too afraid to do what I watched others do on my horse?  He is of sound mind and body, not a mean bone there.  Stubborn, yes - there is that, but nobody's perfect.  :)

Courage comes to mind - my chosen word to keep near and dear this year...ha! no pun intended.  I have faced so many fears and truly feel like I'm emerging out the other side of some long, dark place where I've been for way too long.  Sounds a little melodramatic, even to me - but I am enjoying this time of triumph.  Of being an overcomer.  I like how it feels.  It feels nice this mindful way of going.  I'll likely have my nerves, those butterflies in my stomach at first, but I will keep Joe's words of advice in my mind - "movement is your friend", and Jessica's advice of, "breathe, relax and look where you're going".  Another friend told me in a text this morning to, "listen to your horse and let him tell you what he needs and you'll both be fine"  :)  I like that!

So here goes!  I'm really looking forward to this.  I've been telling Eagle all about our little trip coming up.  He's a real good listener.  I just know he's gonna have as much fun as I am.  If you would, please wish us well, say a little prayer for me, if you please?  I have faith and will step up and do what my heart desires even if I am a teensy bit afraid.  I can do this - no, we can do this!

After that, who cares!?  (name that movie)  :)

Blessings all around dear friends, readers and fellow horsemen/women.  This is what living is all about.  Will try to take pictures of our adventures and share them with you when we get back.

Lorie @ Cingspots


Friday, July 22, 2016

Just some thoughts

It's Friday again.  The weeks sure do fly by, don't they?  Looking back it always surprises me just how fast the time goes.  Sure do wish things would slow down for this gal...I really do.

It's a cloudy, cool morning and it feels good to me.  There were a few raindrops on my moon roof but so far, that's it.  Slight chance of a few showers they say...dampen the dust.

last year.  trees are much bigger now

Yesterday was B and my 32nd wedding anniversary.  Talk about wow!  Where indeed, has the time gone?  It sure doesn't feel like that long ago we walked down the aisle and said those vows, made those promises to each other.  Sometimes we've done good, and then some days, not so great.  That's life.  That's a relationship.  The reality of living every single day.  Watching it unfold and responding to everything.  We can never, ever be anywhere even remotely close to perfect.  So...get over it!

He's still got my back though, still my best friend.  The "other" in my life that shadows mine.  Me. And I do that for him.  For better, for worse, we're a team.  Sometimes he's my best fightin' buddy. What can I say?  I can get passionate about stuff!  *shrug*  The good and the bad.  For both of us. Mostly it's good though, this marriage thing.  Can't say that I don't miss some things, but I'm sure he can say that too.  Life is perfect for no one, but it's good.  And I'm thankful for him. Where there is love, it's always a good thing.

We spent the evening in the barn with the horses.  All 6 of them - it was pedicure day.  Not me - I just wrote the check.  :)  Who says that humans are smarter than horses?  Not sure I can agree.  Think about those times you're sweatin' your buttons off loading hay in the barn when it's pushing 90 or even 100, like this year?  Yeah.  And the horses are watching all the goings-on from the shady area of the pasture.  :)  You know what I'm talkin' about.  There's plenty more examples but I won't go into that now.  Just be thankful you don't have to pay for a gym membership to get your exercise.  It was a pretty good way to celebrate 32 years of marriage.  We enjoyed it.  The smell of horse, of dirt, a cool summer's breeze and good conversation.  Afterwards we ordered burgers and french fries from the local eatery and watched a little tv.  The dogs begged and of course, it paid off.  It usually does...they've got us trained pretty well too.

Have you been watching any of the Republican National Convention?  Good and bad, of course - but Trump's running mate?  I like that guy.  He (to me) seemed genuine.  A good family guy whose (apparently) done a very good job of being the Indiana State Governor.  Regarding stuff like their budget, and building an excess above that budget, creating and so far, maintaining the creation of new jobs and several other areas I'm failing to remember right now.  He seems almost like the "quintessential American guy" right down to having a son that's a Marine, a daughter whose a writer and a third daughter who, if I remember right, is a student.  Wife's a teacher, they're a Christian family.  Sound values.  Anyway, I just hope and pray he really is genuine and as good as he seems. He comes across as humble, and I always appreciate that.  Humility is greatly under-appreciated and under-valued if you ask me, in this day and age.  It certainly does not indicate weakness.  Quite the contrary.  Anyway, say what you will.  This dyed-in-the wool Democrat, moderately conservative,   moderately liberal used to be quite independent voter-citizen woman (there's a mouthful!) will be voting for Donald Trump this coming election.  I seriously cannot believe I just said that, but it's the case.  And I mean it. To me, it's the only sound decision to be made and I believe the right choice we have. I'm willing to accept the risk, take a chance on a person who previously has irritated me immeasurably, been arrogant, spouted his mouth off, said things that only a childish bully might do or say, but given all that - I believe underneath the exterior, he's of sound mind and judgement, and believes in (and loves) our country. His resume proves he's not perfect, but is obviously a brilliant business man who could very likely rebuild our country's soundness.  That's who we need, someone who knows how to get things done, negotiate with people, do the work it takes and not be afraid to speak on behalf on our country's citizens.  Maybe I'm naive, but I believe that's a risk worth taking. Not be afraid to believe in our hope, believe it can change for the better if we decide to make it so. Not just accept more of a sure thing... I do not believe that of Hilary Clinton.  I think she's shallow, self-serving and has no respect or compassion for people in general, unless and of course, they can benefit her personally in some way.  That is what my gut says.   I absolutely will not, under any circumstance never, ever vote for Hilary Clinton.  I do not trust that woman, I abhor her ethics, would have fired her, or imprisoned her a long time ago, had I had the power, but I don't.  My only power is my vote.

There.  I've said my piece.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Do what your gut tells you to do, trust in your heart above all else.  But please...please, for the love of all we hold dear, do your research with your brain and take into account the history of events that we've all seen taken place.  Dig deeper than Fox News or Facebook.

This weekend is open and we have no plans, except for those little ideas rattling around in my head.  :)  But of course I have desires!!!  I'm thinking to talk my hubby into maybe heading to the beach, or maybe finding a good hiking trail somewhere and spend a little time outside.  Pack a picnic lunch perhaps, or splurge and have dinner out...the possibilities are endless - within our budget, of course. That narrows our possibilities quite a lot actually, but fun can be had.  Adventures await!  Life doesn't have to be expensive my friends!  Go out there and find something to do!  Make memories with the people you love!  The animals you love too!!!

Or maybe a trail ride would be nice...

May we all be blessed and make the most of our greatest gift.

Our time.  See ya,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Looking ahead and a little behind

I've never really been keen on setting goals, working actively towards that goal and seeing it come to fruition.  I'm much more the "fly by the seat of my pants" sort.  Not sure why that is...

my hubby thinks I'm a dreamer.  That I spend a lot of time in my head, dreaming about the possibilities and imagining what things would be like.  I can't deny this.  Tis the truth.

That's not always the best way to handle life.  But, it is what it is.  With Eagle, (maybe for the first time) I prepaid for a clinic, made a commitment and actually followed through.  And you know what? That felt really good to this cloud-gazer, dreamer sorta gal.  Sure did!

It got me to thinking that maybe, if I set some tiny, little goals in the not so distant future - just maybe, I could make a habit of dangling the proverbial carrot in front of my nose and seeing more of my dreams become reality...ya think?  :)

So with that in mind, we have a camping trip coming up the last weekend of this month.  It is a beautiful campground that we've visited only once before.  It rained that weekend and exploring the trails was kept to a minimum, but there's lots of old abandoned logging roads that intersect with a couple of trail systems that just might be the ideal opportunity to take my boy out on our first, real trail ride excursions.  That's what I'm thinking!  Maybe it will work out, and maybe it won't, but I've got two weeks to ride my horse and see what happens.  Nothing in stone, but I will give it my best try. Besides the obvious, there's one other possible hitch that might spoil things.

Ladde.  Grrrrrr!!  We loaded him in the trailer a couple of nights ago, with the idea to take him along to the arena for my lesson with Jessica.  Yes, I've gotten a wee bit spoiled and enjoy having actual footing when I ride.  Anyway, the big old turd pitched a bloody fit and created such a ruckus that Eagle didn't even want to get in the trailer behind the big, white brat.  Can't say that I blamed him either.  We ended up leaving Ladde at home and took Eagle and Missy for the lesson.  The lesson turned out really good, by the way.  :)  Color me happy!  Eagle accepts new situations and environments with such ease, it's amazing.  He only had a couple of tiny spooks when horses outside took to running or bucking or such.  But they were uneventful and honest, a bit of a jump and then face the source of the startle, then back to calm.  Good boy.  That, I can handle.  We worked on ideas that Joe gave me and I'm happy to report that Jess is on board.  I was a bit worried about that.  Lots and lots of upward and downward transitions, which for now means walk slow, walk quicker, trot, back to walk, half halt, up to get the picture.  And, also projecting my energy up and out at a visualized "point of reference", and when almost there, quickly change my focus to another location, get Eags moving directly at new destination and so on.  It's really helping with the issue of forward, or rather lack of forward that I've been struggling with.  It also greatly helps the wandering that Eags likes to do.  I'm to get him moving with legs only, no directing, and once he's moving well, point him in the direction I want to go and leave him alone.  If he roots, I'm to hang onto the gullet of my saddle and create a wall for him to bump into, but never to pull on him.  Let him find the brace and let him find the release.  Joe said repeatedly to me, "get with your horse", "stop fighting him so much", "he has a mind, let him make some decisions sometimes".  When he roots or wanders, instead of pulling on the reins, or "directing" so much, just create that wall with my hands and drive him forward.  It's working!  He gave me so much good advice, I tried to write them down and I think I remember most of it, but probably not.  Anyway, we have plenty to work on.  Okay, so I just got really distracted!  :) The challenge of Ladde and Eagle riding together must be worked on.  Otherwise, it's Missy and Eags that will go camping, and my hubby won't like that.  At all.  He loves riding his big guy.  *sigh* Nothing is ever easy, is it?  So.  Next goal set.  We'll see how it goes.  And...we don't even know yet, if Ladde and Eagle are going to fit in our trailer.  :)  That's potential for a whole 'nother canna worms!

Our riding around the filbert/hazel nut orchard has been seriously curtailed by the farmer. Apparently, all the dirt, debris, husks, nuts and all get swept up together and shipped to the plant for processing. And wouldn't you know?  They don't want the possibility of their crop being rejected due to horse poop in with the mix!  Seriously?  We used to raise filberts and never in a million years would I have come up with this.  So, I agreed to always stay on the very outside perimeter of the field  (to not leave hoof prints) and always pick up any piles of poo that my horse may drop, in order to have the privilege of riding around their field.  Good grief, the nuts are in shells, but whatever.  I totally understand, and then again, I just don't get it.   I could have come up with many, many complaints brought on by their endless pesticide spraying, tractors and other trucks and equipment utilizing our private driveway for access to their fields, dust they create, fencing they've torn out over the years....but I remained graceful and polite, acquiescing to his terms of use, because we just don't have any other place to ride where we live.  *sigh*  How I miss the good old days when everything and everybody wasn't so darned anal about every single little thing!!!  Anyhoo...

Harley hurt himself again last week.  We saw where it happened.  He ran into the pump house and sliced his left eye open on the tin.  We obviously found him right after it had happened because it was bright, red blood and a perfectly clean slice just above and across the eyelid.  Crap.  He also must have scrambled and gone down because he had scarfed the hair off in several spots on his neck, down his chest and one upper leg.  Poor guy!  Dear God, how I hate it when he gets hurt.  I can't even blame Missy for it this time because she and Ladde spend the nights in the corral, and we found him before the morning feed.  Somebody or something obviously spooked him, and these things will happen from time to time, but I just wish they wouldn't.   At the time I didn't think it required sutures, but in hindsight it should have been stitched.  Too late now.  I've just been keeping it as clean as possible, gave him banamine for a few days to keep the swelling down and use dermagel on the wound to keep it moist and provide a protective barrier against the flies and the dirt.  He's going a little bit crazy now because it's obviously itching like mad, so last night I gave him some detomidine, got him good and sleepy and did a thorough cleaning and debriding of the wound.  It looks really good this morning, but again, in hindsight, I should have tried to bandage it to keep it moist and clean.  *sigh*  Oh well, maybe I'll have to try the bandaging tonight.  Trouble is, the location isn't exactly conducive to bandaging, and Harley isn't exactly agreeable to anything being done to his eyes.  All I can do is try.

back in the day...

Charlotte rolled in stink last night.  Oh my Word!!!!!!  As if things weren't busy enough.  First I catch her with a very dead mouse in her mouth - the chase ensued.  I ran and darted and tried yelling her into submission; but alas, I gave up and the mouse went down the hatch.  Eeeuuwwww!  As if that weren't gross enough, next up she finds something - God knows I probably don't even want to know what exactly it was, or just how very dead it was, but she decides it's a wonderful idea to roll in the thing.  Why do dogs do this?  The stench cannot even be described.  Suffice it to say that it was bad.  Bad enough that she did not even get to walk through the house.  We went around the back and with a garden hose, we rinsed and rinsed and rinsed - before either one of us were willing to apply shampoo and lather the stink off.  *sheesh*  That was not on my agenda for the evening!  But she's clean and sweet-smelling.  For now.  I even sprayed doggy deodorizer on her - now she smells like a baby's butt.  :)  That's what she gets.  Apparently I'm slightly vindictive...

Remember all those lovely flower pots and containers I planted while on stacation?  Yeah well, now I have watering that's required sometimes daily, or at least every other day depending on the heat.  Like I've said before, at times I'm pretty sure that I am my own worst enemy.  Just how busy do I think is busy enough???  Our little veggie garden is looking pretty good so far though, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and yes, more flowers.  It's the second year for my little strawberry patch and we got enough for several batches of berries for fresh eating.  We still have strawberry jam in the freezer from last year, so we just ate em.  My hubby picked a big old bunch of Marionberries the other day and we made syrup.  Oh my, it turned out delicious!!!  We had pancakes one morning last weekend and the flavor was out of this world, good!  Berries are my friend.  We also have tons of wild blackberries all over the property, especially along the long driveway, which we are pleased about and want to keep growing.  They make a wonderful dust abatement that's eco-friendly and they serve as an amazingly good natural fence-line.  Betcha momma cow and her little hellion, Bubba can't go through that fence!  Ha!

Image result for beautiful flower pots images

Summer is in full swing and I hope every one of us - including all of you - takes the time to savor the season and enjoy, go on an adventure, ride your horse, go camping, the beach - something! - life's just too darn short not to have a little fun!!!  Our 32nd wedding anniversary is coming up on the 21st of this month and I'd sure love to spend the weekend at the beach, go out for a romantic dinner, and have wild sex on the seashore.  Kidding!  Sand in all the wrong places is not fun!  :)

Hope you are all well and living life to the fullest.
Blessings, Lorie & the gang at C-ingspots.

Missy and me


Friday, July 8, 2016

Good for the body and the soul

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Vacations and horses.

And not necessarily in that order...

Well, in such a short period of time, my vacation and our long-awaited clinic with Joe Wolter, have come and gone.  *sigh*

How quickly time goes.

My little chunk of time away from work and responsibilities passed all too quickly.  But like the title of this post states, so much good comes from a little time to oneself.  And our clinic was all that, and a whole lot more.

Me and this horse here?  We did great!  In fact, we did awesome!!

I cannot put into words, nor express my complete satisfaction and pride in this wonderful horse!  He just accepts whatever I come up with to throw his way.  *sigh*  Have I mentioned lately just how much in love with this horse I am!?

Well I am.  Completely.

This is Joe Wolter...horseman.  "The real deal".  He worked with, and studied under Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance for many years, back in the day.  They worked and lived the life of ranching, side by side.  And like he says, "he just soaked up as much as was possible".  And it shows.  My hat's off to this kind man and gifted horseman.  If I get the chance in the future to ride with this man again - I will do it.  I learned more in a single day from him than I have in the past many years.  Ever since the days of riding the Ray Hunt or Tom Dorrance clinics.  How I've missed those wonderful learning opportunities!

Suffice it to say that the clinic was an amazing experience for me and my horse.  I am so encouraged and so thankful that we got to go.

I'll try to summarize without going into too much detail.

I've watched over the past 3 decades as the popularity of clinics has become "big business".  I must say that sometimes it seems as if clinics have become an iconic fad.  Thankfully there are some good horsemen out there, but there are just a few great ones.

I think that Joe Wolter is as true as they come.  He is all about the horse.  He helps people to understand, and he helps people show the horse, so he can understand just what it is that we are asking of them.  That is not easy.  People often expect horses to be subservient.  They want to take choice out of the equation and "make" the horse do their will.  This just makes life miserable for most horses and for some people.  When you get in a conflict with a 1000 plus pound animal who's full of self-preservation, that almost always spells trouble.

Joe learns and grows right along with the horse.  He's a lifelong student of the horse.  His vast experience, with the great horsemen, Tom and Bill Dorrance, and Ray Hunt was acquired while riding and ranching with these men.  He learned from living it.  What works, and what doesn't work.

During our lunch break my husband asked Joe if he'd been riding his whole life?  Joe replied, "not yet".  This is a great example of what he offers, an ever expanding education of the horse.  No egos, no boasting, just loving the learning process, and loving the horse.

There really is no way to convey the wealth of information that comes from Joe Wolter.  It's easier to say what it isn't, than what it is.  It isn't hype, it isn't common, it isn't egocentric.  It's a way of looking at how the horse feels about things, and knowing what we can do to help the horse to understand. This empathetic understanding builds something that is lasting.  This bond is forever, not just for the day.  That's something the human and the horse can build upon.  Mutual understanding and trust. Unity and partnership.  Equals.

I am humbled and grateful that this fine man, gifted teacher and exceptional horseman comes by for a visit every so often.  Thank you is an understatement of the gratitude I feel.  So having said that, if and when Joe comes back, I will jump at the chance to learn from, and ride alongside him again.  I haven't felt this way since I had the privilege of learning from Ray Hunt.

And so in closing, I am so excited to continue this journey with my Eags.  He never fails to amaze me with the amount of heart and try that he has.  I truly am blessed and look forward to putting all the good advice into practice when I ride my horse.  I loved every single minute of this clinic and not even for a single moment, was I nervous or had one bit of doubt that we couldn't do anything.  Just amazes me how calm we both were and how great we did!  I've been doing the happy dance ever since...

Below is my hubby on our dear Ladde.  Doing fantastic and sound as a dollar.  Just could not be any more thankful.  :)

The whole herd enjoying breakfast while my hubby enjoys his morning coffee.

Me and Charlotte last weekend in Sisters, Oregon.  We spent a couple days there with my brother and sister in-law.  Wonderful days filled with perfectly gorgeous weather, fantastic BBQ in Camp Sherman on the beautiful Metolius River, and great live music for their 4th of July celebration.  Good company, good times.  Memories to cherish.  Oh, and of course the dogs had a blast.  Swimming, stick fetching and long walks by the river - does life get any better than that?  :)

I did a little shopping.  Had a pedicure, a manicure, got my hair cut and colored for summer and rode my horse.  A lot!  It was a perfectly wonderful sta-cation and my only complaint is that it's over far too quickly!  Oh and of course I spent time in the pool soaking up the sun, some light reading and even did some flower gardening.  My last day off before returning to work I enjoyed a nap, hubby and I went out for Chinese and then watched the fireworks going off everywhere from our pasture.  The horses weren't too concerned, there was plenty of hay and we were right there which seemed to calm them.

Life is good.

And I am thankful.