Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Baby, take a chill pill

Oh yes, if you please!  I'm dancing around that old familiar tree once again, but I just can't believe how fast the time goes.  Too darned fast for me!  Spring is all but a memory, already...and summer will begin in a couple of days.  Summer with its' relentless heat, long days and warm nights.  So much to love about this season.  And so much not to love.  Well, I guess just the heat and the excessive busy-ness.  I feel like we've been on a merry-go-round of projects lately.  And I'm tired. 

I dream of a long, lazy weekend at the beach, cool ocean breezes blowing wispy, white linen curtains while I recline in comfort gazing out at the peaceful, blue ocean...can't you just see it?  *sigh*

Back to reality Lorie.  Yes, we've been busy.  We've got our years' supply of hay stored in the barn and almost all the firewood we'll be needing for the cold winter ahead.  Our little garden is growing and producing its' little heart out.  Soon we'll begin the tearing down and re-building of, the horse shelter.  The other horse shelter needs to have all the old dirt and rusting, long-ago buried wire removed and new gravel and sand brought in.  That might take us awhile, but brother Steve is willing to lend a hand. 

We have been on one group camping trip with our riding club at Mt. Adams horse camp.  The weather was perfectly beautiful, the trip up and back was uneventful and we really enjoyed visiting with everyone and just relaxing.  First camp-out in a couple of years for us, and it felt so good.  Our plan is to complete the big tasks of the summer right out of the box, and hopefully leave us a good bit of summer and early fall to just enjoy the weekends.  Camping, hiking with the dogs, day trips, horseback riding and bbq's with friends.  Oh, and of course several trips to the beach!  What kind of a summer doesn't include trips to the beach? 

We've had another baby born in the family.  A little boy, which makes a great-great grandson for my sister.  Wow!  And if I think of that another way, my niece Shelley is now a great grandmother.  Oh my word!!  How can that be?!  That kind of makes my head hurt.  And...our almost 43 year old son Justin is expecting another baby to be born anytime.  In fact, today is Autumn's due date.  So we'll have another baby too.  Life just keeps going, which is exactly how it's supposed to work.  Time marches on and life is continuously changing and evolving.  In my grandmother's words to me as a child - "nothing in life is constant; except change".  Oh how right she was.  And how much I miss that dear, sweet woman who inspired so much wisdom in me as a girl and as a young woman.  If only she could see how the family has changed.  Maybe it's a blessing that she can't see all those changes, for they all certainly aren't for the better.  Life is never dull.

Charlotte's birthday was yesterday.  My sweet dog is now 4 years old and is quite the lady, a true momma's girl.  Just like Annie was my girl.  Charlotte is my girl.  I remember after Annie died I knew in my heart that there was no way I could ever replace her.  So, I didn't even try.  But when the time came to look for another puppy, of course I looked at Labs and Golden Retrievers.  But there were no puppies available anywhere that were affordable to us and I became disheartened.  Maybe I was trying to find another "Annie".  But one day while on our way home from a Costco trip, I whizzed by a "puppies 4 sale" sign.  I drove around the corner and went up to the house to have a look.  I was hopeful, but it was reserved hope.  The young man who lived there told me they were Yellow Labs.  Oh, be still my heart!  I asked him how much the puppies were and he said they were asking $200.00...that was within our budget.  I could hardly contain my excitement at my good fortune!  I followed him through the house and into the back yard where the puppies were contained in a corner of the yard.  There, before my eyes were 8 wriggling, jumping, chewing, playing puppies of every color and combination of colors and markings imaginable.  But, not a Yellow Lab among them.  He introduced me to Princess, momma to the brood of puppies.  And yes, I did notice that among one or two other breeds, there was some yellow lab in her.  Princess looked tired, but in her dark brown eyes, there was kindness and intelligence.  She was a dear, sweet girl and she loved her puppies.  I squatted down and asked her permission to have a look at her beautiful babies, and took the time to stroke her fur and tell her what a wonderful and beautiful girl she was.  She gave me a little lick on my cheek.  Permission granted. 

I then turned my attention to the puppies clamoring at the fence for my attention.  Truly, each puppy was an individual.  From black, to black and white, to all shades of brown, brown and black, brown and white...and a particularly unusual black brindle with the loveliest face.  I was so drawn to that one, and scooped her up and into my arms.  She was quieter than some and gave me the most direct of gazes, and a little kiss like Princess had done.  Ahh, I was hooked, and we left shortly thereafter with that puppy cradled in my arms.  Well, dangling from my arms is a much more appropriate description, because she was all legs, with these humorously huge paws and the most serious little face.  I held her all the way home and she slept with us and she never made a peep.  Nor did she ever whine or cry like she missed her litter mates.  She never had an accident in the house and was the easiest puppy to potty train that I can remember.  Ruby was easy as well, but I remember the occasional accident.  Not so with Charlotte.  I just routinely asked her to step outside to "potty on the grass" and she did.  She has become as deeply devoted to me as my dear, sweet Annie was.  I believe that God chose her just for me.  And as long as she was armed with plenty of toys to destroy, she never chewed anything that didn't belong to her.  Until much later...and that is a story that will remain a secret until a later date and time. 

Suffice it to say that the car I drove at the time was never, ever the same...

Happy Birthday Charlotte!!! 

So, the yellow labs turned out to be mutts.  Princess was a unique mystery of breeds, including some yellow lab and daddy was a pitbull.  Charlotte wasn't anything like what I was looking for, but she turned out to be exactly what I didn't even know I was looking for and just what my heart needed.  :)

Funny how that happens in life, isn't it?

I hope you're all ready for summer, cause ready or not, here it comes!  Enjoy!

Oh, and I almost forgot about Eagle!  We celebrated his 19th birthday on June 3...I've already had him for 8 years.  Again.  Wow!

Friday, May 3, 2019

The merry, merry month of May!

We are enjoying a phenomenal spring!  Coolish nights and warm days, a little shower here and there, with bunches of sunshine and flowers.  Green fields abound! May is one of my favorite months of the year.  Specifically, I love May, June and October...I enjoy summer as well, but cannot tolerate the heat anymore.  *sigh*  I am soooo looking forward to about the next 6 months of pleasant weather and long days.  Oh yes!

Haven't been on my horse since that one time over a month ago now.  The dogs and I have been on a few walks in the park and around our fields at home.  The hubby finally got our hayfield lawn mowed this week.  Seriously, over a foot tall and oh, so lush in many spots.  We have blisters to prove we did much raking.  There just hasn't been any time lately.  After my hub's shop closed for good, and the auction was held to sell off all the equipment; he was hired by a couple of other business owners to deliver and install some of that machinery.  So, he's been working more than usual lately.  Don't you just love it when God provides?  :)  It still feels like a precarious position to be in, but we're choosing not to worry and instead live in faith.  Like my grandma used to say, "worryin' gives ya somethin' to do, but it gets ya nowhere".  Truth.  And I don't want to worry.  I want to trust that we will be alright, just as we always have.  One day at a time...

I did get that furniture rearranging project all finished.  We are loving the new digs!  It feels so much more spacious and open.  Now if I only had a cushy new sectional to put into that new space we've got.  Ahh, but for now the old leather couches will have to do.  No worries that the dogs will do any harm, so there's that. 

I've done a little flower planting in my front yard bed and it's looking so nice.  I have plans for a corner of the yard that we've got nothing but grass growing.  Grass is such a waste of space in my opinion.  A little goes a long way.  I prefer specific areas of interest much more.  Little cozy spots to visit or a nook in the garden to place a couple of chairs and while away a nice afternoon.  And flowers!  I'd really like so many more flowers and shrubs for not only beauty, but scent.  But those darned chickens!  We are going to come to blows if they don't keep out of my flowers!  :)

Our main challenge this year of gardening and home improvement will be the budget.  We're going to have to really rein in the spending, search high and low for bargains (craigslist or garage sales perhaps) and prioritize those projects.  Our two shelters for the horses each have a serious problem.  One is completely falling apart.  Kind of an issue, right?  We need to tear it apart and hopefully, utilizing some of the lumber, rebuild it. 

And the other one has rusted, broken wires poking up through the dirt floor from many years ago having been used as a dog kennel.  They installed small square wire to prevent the dogs from digging out, and that wire has now rusted and is breaking.  I can't trust that a horse won't suffer a puncture wound from that.  So...we need to dig the floor out completely and add something like pea gravel or gravel covered with sand.  We've had the entrance walled off for over a year now. 

You see what I mean?  There's always so many more projects than either expendable income or energy to go around.  I get tired just thinking about it all.  But...all we can do, is what we can do.  And take it all, one day at a time.  Otherwise, I'll make myself crazy.  Since it's up to just the hubs and me, we may not accomplish half of what I've got on my mental list.  We'll just have to see.

I attended our church's women's retreat the first week of April.  I enjoyed it so much!  It was just what the doctor ordered after a seemingly long winter of cold and day to day drudgery.  The beach is my happy place for sure.  Just smelling the ocean air, and feeling that refreshing breeze, and watching the mighty surf and hearing that rush of the waves is simply like heaven to me!  I breathe easier and can just feel my entire body letting down.  We rented a big, beautiful house and ate incredibly delicious food, enjoyed a wonderful speaker and enjoyed the best of fellowship.  I love my church lady friends!  It feels so good to be a part of what feels like extended family.  It was just about perfect, I tell ya!  I'm ready for another.  :)

On a completely different note; yesterday I slam-dunked myself into the concrete in front of the clinic.  To be totally honest, Charlotte (said with a sneer) caused me to body slam the concrete!  It was lunchtime, I was helping the UPS guy carry in some boxes.  They were lightweight, but I couldn't see, and in my normal, hurried fashion, turned around and headed purposefully towards the open door...BAM!!  Charlotte crossed my path, I totally didn't see her and down I went.  Oh my gosh, I hit so hard! It literally jarred my teeth and maybe my eyeballs just a little.  The right knee suffered the most impact and I have a largish red, skinned spot through my jeans, a couple of scuffs and small bruises on my hands, but otherwise I'm as good as gold today.  I put a little of my trusty Vitamin E oil on the skinned spot, and wallah!  Right as rain!  I'm apparently, a pretty tough old bird.  :)  So thankful because oh my, it could have been so much worse.  And wouldn't I be cranky if I'd really lamed myself up at the beginning of the busy season!  Banish the thought!

So, there's that silver lining again.  Always look on the bright side and every once in a while - remind yourself to slow down...

My dear, sweet momma used to tell me that all.  the.  time.   *sigh*
I miss her so very much.  Mother's Day is next weekend.  Call your mom!  Send her a card or some flowers, or just go spend some time with her.  She won't be here forever, and when she's gone, oh dear, you will miss her so much.  Tell her that you love her and are SO thankful for her!

I love you momma.  Happy Mother's Day!


Love this song!  Click on the link and it will lead you to the video...this is the only way I know how to share.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring and a birthday

Yeah, can you believe it?  Winter is finished.  And what a gentle and short-lived winter it was.  We had enough variety and not overly wet or cold that I wasn't bothered at all by the usually dreariest season of all.  The one that in years past has put me into a state of mild to moderate depression at times.  Nope, didn't happen to me this year.  I tried to focus my thoughts on appreciating the good about winter instead of wishing it were something or somehow different than it was.  I even appreciated the quieter, slower pace of life spent indoors pursuing a more leisurely way of life.  Whether that was what made it more tolerable, even enjoyable to me this year over the past will likely remain a mystery to me, but alas, perspective seems to be at the heart of so many things in life.

It's Ladde's birthday today.  *sigh*  How can it be that, that long-awaited, gangly colt could possibly be 23 years old today?  A big, strong, handsome horse he became and an answer to our prayers. He is a source of so many blessings over these past years.  I just can't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that it's been so long since that early morning I found him atop that pile of rocks with Kadie standing guard over him.  My beautiful girl became a momma and I had a project that would prove to be one of the most fulfilling of my life so far.  He has taught me so much!  And I will for all my days, be thankful for him in our lives.  Happy birthday big, beautiful boy!!

I really wanted to do better about posting on my blog, but that hasn't been happening.  Two and a half months have passed since I last wrote my thoughts down here.  I find writing to be therapeutic and above all, a journal of sorts, for me to look back upon as years go by.  It's a place to share what's going on in our lives, what we've been doing, or thinking about, projects we either want to pursue or have accomplished.  It's a valuable tool for remembering when my memory fails me. 

Writing is a source of sharing with the world how I feel, what my hopes and dreams are, a way of reaching out in hope that someone reading my words, might in some, small way, understand and feel a sense of camaraderie with another in a very different or faraway place.  A simple pleasure or an important life experience made better by the sharing and mutual connection with others. I do believe that we're all more connected than we realize. 

 Sometimes this world can feel like a very lonely place.  Everyone seems to be so busy, caught up in their own lives and there's never enough time for making real connections with people.  I have deeply appreciated the people I've come to know through this blog, having felt a sincere kinship with others whom I would likely never have crossed paths with.  Kindred spirits and heartfelt friendships that have softened the blows of hardship and made richer the blessings.  I'm grateful for you all, for your comments and for your own thoughts that I've read on your blogs over the years.  I spend a lot of time by myself, inside my own head and it does me a lot of good to share and hopefully be understood.  I think that's important to all people, don't you?  To be understood? 

I think I'm starting to sound a bit melancholy, and maybe I am a bit.  My husband received news that the part time job he's had since retiring will be ending soon.  If we're fortunate, the paychecks will continue through the end of April.  After that, I'm at a loss for how we'll continue to live and support our animals as we have been.  I'm trying to be proactive, instead of reactive and be brutally honest about our finances and how we proceed from here.  I can't lie, it's going to be almost impossible without some serious cuts.  We've weathered many a storm over the years and have been blessed in times of trouble, so I try to remain faithful in this as well, remembering how we've been led in the past.  Our lifestyle seems like a simple one, but in the months to come, I have a feeling I just might get a very good education in how much more simple it can, and will become.  :)  If you're of the praying type, we would really appreciate it if we could be remembered in your prayers. 

On the upside, I'm a fairly optimistic sort with a stubborn streak a mile wide.  I believe in the power of faith and in hard work.  When I look back over the years and the trials we've come through, I'm a little amazed at what we've been able to accomplish.  I know we didn't do this alone, and believe God will be at our sides, come what way.  Our little home and our family of critters mean the world to us, and we'll do our very best (and most creative) to keep going and persevere.  Sometimes, just the telling of the tale and sharing of the situation lightens the heart and helps build confidence, don't you agree? 

If you've been following along over the years, you'll remember that I haven't ridden much at all the last couple of years.  The reasons vary, but for the first time in almost a year, I rode my horse the other day.  I got a wild hair, the sun was shining and it was a glorious day.  I went out and spent a couple of hours with Eagle.  He really seemed to enjoy the attention and was all warm and buttery soft after the grooming session, so I saddled him up and spent a little time working him freelance in the round pen.  He did really well, a little rusty, but a fine job overall.  I sat down for a little break in the sun and allowed Eagle his "time to soak" and ponder his feelings about what had just happened.  He watched me with those soft, doe-like eyes of his; and before long, he moseyed on over to where I was sitting and very delicately rubbed his muzzle in my hair, on my shoulder and down my arm...as you can imagine, I was overcome with emotion that this gorgeous, magnificent beast would so willingly choose to be with me.  *sigh*  There just isn't anything like the affections of a horse to fill the heart and soul with such satisfaction and pure joy.  I am so blessed to share my life with him! 

Without any hesitation, I mounted up and rode for only about 15-20 minutes, but it was enough to reinforce my desire to ride again, and again, and continue to strive for confidence and relaxation atop this wonderful horse.  I don't know if I will ever feel truly comfortable on him all the time.  He is such a powerful animal and can intimidate me so very easily.  I cannot explain it, or understand why, but that's the truth of it.  I am however, eternally thankful to share my life with him, and learn from him, and build upon that relationship that grows deeper with each passing day.  I wouldn't trade that for all the money in the world! 

Happy Spring dear friends!  May your days be filled with warm sunshine and gentle breezes enough to carry your troubles away...

until we meet again,
Lorie @ Cingspots


Friday, January 18, 2019

Hazy days and lazy nights

Winter is rolling right along, and very polite so far this year.  I like that.  So many times in my life winter has got the best of me.  I felt irritable, cooped up and just hated the rain and long nights - not to mention the mud.  But this year has been easy, even feels restorative.  Now there's a surprise. 

I'm loving the variety of the briskly cold and dry (we've had many days of weather perfection), along with the occasional fog-engulfed or torrential downpours of the rain.  It keeps us thoroughly entertained and just enough reasons to spend time indoors, getting cozy and domestic, just enjoying a slower pace.  Maybe I've finally reached an age where I appreciate a valid reason to slow down and not have to be going at high speed all.   the.   time.  Can anyone relate?  If not always physically on the go, you spend time in your head feeling guilty that you're not being productive?  I think I got that from my mom.  She was a gung-ho kinda gal.  I do like a feeling of accomplishment though.  You know, a job well done and all that? 

I've got plans to switch my furniture all around and just have everything feel different inside for a change.  When I do that, hopefully it will give me even more incentive to clean out and donate.  I'm still working on that.  Haven't done badly, but there always seems to be more.  In the nooks and crannies, in the closets, we (mostly me) still have way more clothing than we  I need to hold onto.  It's a process.  Living with less seems freeing though, like taking a deep, cleansing breath of fresh air.  More space - less clutter is my goal.   If I don't use it routinely or wear it often, out it goes. Or part with the pieces I've worn to death and are ratty beyond repair...I've got a few of those too. 

 I'd really like to hire somebody to re-do the bathroom.  I suppose we could do it, but it's not something I dream about either.  Priorities are important too.  We don't have much free time, so it's vital to make the most of it.  Realize what's more important in life and forge on!  :)

The horses are all doing well.  Gettin' lazy and fat.  Fuzzy too, and oh, did I forget muddy?  Well, that too.  But healthy and happy ponies they are.  We're so blessed that our horses are aging pretty well.

 Ladde has his cushings, and I can see changes from that, but his weight is pretty good, feet are in great shape and there's never anything amiss with his appetite.  He and Missy's marriage is as most are - good days and bad days, but he's the boy, so there's that.  Just sayin'  He'll be 23 this year and he's not a kid anymore, but considering everything, he's doing great.
Shad is old and he's definitely starting to look like a bony, old man, but he's still playful sometimes and has a twinkle in his eye.  He's always been a bottomless pit and could eat everything without gaining an ounce.  You know, the metabolism we all wish we had?  Yeah. 

Missy's plump and sassy, but still lives with her navicular everyday.  It sometimes pains me to watch her gimp around after a pasture-burning race with Eagle, but she manages just fine.  And usually brings things upon herself.  She's one tough little cookie.  A sweeter mare to be around you'd be hard-pressed to find.  I really love her.  I've always loved mares though.  They're opinionated, brave, loving, intelligent and disagreeable all at the same time.  You gotta love that!  :) 

Harley is blind.  He does absolutely great if not rattled in a tight space by some particular little female whom shall remain nameless...you can't help but admire his fortitude though.  I've never met a human who could roll so well, with such a devastating blow.  No self-pity, not one drop! 

And Eagle is fine.  Very pleased with his station in life.  It's written all over his entire demeanor.  Thank God he's so kind and fair.  Fairness is HUGE with him.  Maybe it's a Mustang thing.  I love them all.  They make our lives so much richer and give us a reason to get out in the fresh air and get some exercise where otherwise we'd be lazy and getting even fatter. 

It's looking like we're going to need more hay.  Ugh!  I decided to cut back because we had some 1-2 year old stuff that we never got to, but a couple tons are likely going to be needed by the end of February I'd guess.  Not bad, but a pain.  First time in many years I've under-purchased on the hay supply.  Firewood's doing great though.  With the fairly mild temperatures, keeping the house warm is pretty easy. 

Nothing of any real importance to share, but I've been so lax with writing in my blog that's it's troubling to me.  I really enjoy being able to look back over events and remember everything that I might otherwise forget.  My journaling is important and I want to do better with that. 

Well that's about it for now!  We are eternally grateful for what we have.  We're blessed with more than we need and truly want for nothing we don't have.  Who could ask for anything more?  We're both healthy and doing fine, animals are good, our home is warm and dry, and thanks to a recent trip to Costco, the pantry and freezer's in good shape.  We're ready for that long, cold season of no holidays and keeping our noses warm and to the indoor grindstone until another season rolls around.  Winter is a blessing too.  Especially now being older and truly learning to appreciate a kinder, gentler approach to life.  I've got several books I'm anxious to read, recipes to give a "go" and that rearranging project I mentioned earlier awaiting my attention.  And oh my goodness, Outlander!  Have you been watching???  I just love that show!  It took a little bit of a downturn for a while, and I was thinking all it was going to be was one tragedy after another, but this new season is proving to be wonderful, and oh so interesting!  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend watching from the beginning or reading the books.  Both are incredible and worthy of a winter afternoon or a few...

Winter on everyone!  May you be warm and blessed.

Until next time,