The first of the fall storms has hit and hail has trampled what's left of my plants in the Secret Garden. I have one lone cucumber I need to go pick and that's the last of my harvest for this year (which wasn't much - I lost a lot to slugs). I had a good crop of snap peas and golden cherry tomatoes and cucumbers - oh and strawberries but that was a lot earlier. The jalepeno peppers didn't work out, the pumpkins were killed by powdery mildew and the lettuce and cabbage and carrots and were all devoured by slugs (curse you gastropod mollusks!). I had grand aspirations when we moved to this house that I would keep a hand-written journal for my garden including writing down all the types of seeds I planted. I haven't been disciplined (or inspired) enough to do that and now I'm wishing I had because our cucumbers were so good! In fact our next door neighbor said the one I gave her was so good that she hid it in the back of the fridge for herself and one of her adult daughters was visiting and told her "Hey - that cucumber I found in the very back of the fridge was really good! I figured you forgot about it and it was so good I ate the whole thing." D'oh! The good, kind part of me has considered giving her this last cucumber but hmmmm ... I want it.
Speaking of doing nice things for other people, I am happy to say that after almost two years of searching I have finally found a new church that I actually like and am planning on joining! I know for folks who aren't particularly into sharing spirituality with a community this is not big news, but I am really into "community" on all sorts of levels. I have a wonderful community of other moms in our neighborhood, and a wonderful community of other horse owners and have been really wishing for a spiritual community I felt comfortable with. I've visited a lot of churches since we moved here and picked my friend's brains about their churches and was actually starting to think I'd never find one that fit for me. But I went for a second visit to a church I'd already been to once before but they just got a new pastor (I didn't like the previous pastor much) - and I loved it. So, I'm a very happy camper today. Even my daughter liked it and I think that it is a little hard for her right now to decide what she wants to do right now regarding church. Her dad is very anti-religion and on the leaning toward atheist side of agnostic so I can tell she's torn between going to church with her mom or staying home and being critical of it with her dad. I'm leaving it up to her but I at least want her to experience the church itself before she just turns her back on it based on what someone else said. Spirituality and God have been enormous comforts to me especially through very painful periods in my life but I have to remember that not everyone has the same life experiences as me and what helps me might not help them - even if accepting that concept feels a lot like pulling mental teeth.
Toadie's been having a stiff neck for the last couple weeks after two weeks off to heal from her leg injury, so she hasn't had much consistent work for over a month and she hasn't been really feeling like herself this whole time. Yesterday I had Dr. Penny out to check her again because her first chiropractic a week ago did wonders on her back but her neck was just too stiff to respond. Somehow this time her neck did respond and she was doing a ton better. So, needless to say she was a bit of a lunatic. My friend, Lisa was visiting and we took her into the arena so that she could run around and as usual I made her walk around a little with me because she needs to learn that as long as the halter is on, she must mind her manners. We stopped for a moment and I was just about to reach up to take off the halter when she jumped in the air, spun around, hopped backward, realized she was still on the lead rope and reared up, then tried to run in a circle, then reared up again when she realized I was still holding the lead rope. She stopped and looked at me and I swear a little word bubble popped up over her head that said, "Oh wait ... do I still have the halter on? My bad." Sigh. So I made her walk quietly for a moment, then took the halter off and before it was even completely off her nose she pulled her head out of it, reared up, twirled around and started galloping around the arena, pausing only to kick backwards as high as she could. Then she rolled, did her usually "Squeeeee" noise when she stood up, then took off running and bucking again. It was good to see that she was actually feeling good. It's like a tiny miracle that her neck was so much better today.
I've been giving it a lot of thought and I've decided that she needs a young, fearless owner who is going to really use her to her full potential - be that showing or hunter/jumper or eventing. But someone who isn't just going to train her to be a pet and maybe do some low level schooling shows for fun, but someone really motivated to give her a real job. So, I tentatively put her up for sale on Dreamhorse but I foresee that will be nothing but a headache because last time I did that last year when I thought I couldn't handle her anymore I didn't get anyone responding who was qualified to buy her. My friend, Taryn in Montana wants her though and that would be awesome. Taryn wants to use her on the college equestrian team. So, hopefully, that will work out and she can take her because Taryn is awesome and has handled and ridden Toad and I know that she knows what she's getting into and that she loves Toad as much as I do. So, even though I thought I'd keep Toad forever my heart tells me that this is the right thing to do and will be great for everyone. I kind of fulfilled what I really aspired to do - I bought Toad from a bad situation and did everything I could (mainly hiring a good trainer) to get her to a point where she is now a horse people want and a good horse - not a "project" horse. I don't mind if I end up keeping her if , but I think she'd be happier with a real job like Taryn can give her. And I'd do better with a more spook-free horse I could ride whenever I want and could take on the trails - that would be more my middle-aged speed!