Saturday, October 27, 2012

Freakishly disturbing dream

I had the most freakishly disturbing dream right before waking up this morning.  I was at a house that was familiar in the dream but not in waking life.  Something happened and my friend, Greg (from a long, long time ago) got killed by something - it never became part of the plot what it was.  But his face was mangled to the point of unrecognizable and someone told me not to look because of that because they wanted me to remember him as he was before he died.  So, I was supposed to stay in another part of the house (which now looked like my old elementary school) and my mom said she was taking care of the body so just to stay where I was so I wouldn't see it.  Then they told me they would have to store the body at our house for three days until someone picked it up but they weren't going to tell me where because they didn't want me to go look at it.  I asked if they could just tell me so I wouldn't accidentally stumble across it, that would be great.  Then it switched to they were leaving his body in a box out by the road so as long as I just didn't go out by the road I'd be fine.  Then I was looking out the window of the house I grew up in down a long driveway at a white casket sitting next to the road (sidenote: when my close friend Todd died he was buried in a white casket). 

Apparently, it took that long for the horror of a dead body being in the house to wane just enough for me to be hit by the grief that my friend, Greg had just died.  And suddenly it was my responsibility to track down his mom and tell her and tell his fiance - who I also did not know how to reach.  Just then I looked up (my house was back to being my elementary school) and my old friend, Todd (the one who died in 1995) was walking out of a door and down the hall.  It took me a moment to recognize him, then I started running after him yelling "Todd! Todd!"  He turned around for a brief moment and reached out to hug me just as I was saying, "You're not dead afterall!" and then he vanished.

Writing it down it really doesn't look like a freaky dream at all - but what was so disturbing were the feelings of revulsion about having to live in a house with a dead body hidden somewhere and then the overwhelming feelings of grief.  I haven't thought about Todd's death in a long time but apparently it still has some effect on my subconscious.

In other happier news, my horse seems to be feeling much more back to normal physically.  She's was a complete lunatic on the lunge line for the first fifteen minutes.  Every little noise that she heard (which wasn't anything different from normal slams and bangs around the barn) seemed to be an excuse to her to try to break free of the lunge line and go tearing and bucking around.  She finally calmed down and paid attention at the end of our work though.  And she was very good about getting her neck washed off where she had caked on mud.  She is none too happy about having the hose directed right on her neck that close to her face, but after she almost ran me over dancing around the wash rack the first time - and I had to give her a wack on the chest and firmly tell her to knock it off, she pulled it together and stood quietly.  Then she sighed and hung her head and completely relaxed when I washed her tail and back end.  I lunged her in the surcingle today to give her a little more sense of "working" even though we still aren't doing any of her actual bending or jaw softening exercises until her neck is completely healed up.  She should be back to a semi-normal horse again after a couple weeks of real work.

Friday, October 26, 2012

All I can offer is farmer chords ...

I'm listening to Death Cab for Cutie (my adopted teen, Ilana calls it part of my "teen music" collection) and I'm wondering what "farmer chords" are?  I know what "bar chords" are.  May have to consult the handy-dandy Google.   I don't know how I survived before the internet when it comes to looking up information.  Atlhough, I did love the library as a kid.  And my parents had a few different sets of Encyclopedias which were helpful.  In fact, the other day my daughter was playing on Minecraft on her iPad with her friend and I overheard her say, "Oh and look here, I added a library just for my mom so she has her own room in my house.  It has floor to ceiling shelves and they are all filled with books.  My mom will love it!"  Aaaaaaah!  So proud of her!  She also made a fairy version of me and called it "J - The Math Fairy".  =swoon=

I've started a few blog posts over the last few days and haven't finished any of them.  I've had a very bad sore throat and fatigue all week so I haven't had much motivation.  The girl I babysit has been sick this week too so I've been taking it easy the last few days trying to recover.  I always conveniently forget that the start of the school year also means back-to-back colds for awhile. Yuck.  One of the posts was about how I had a really nice memory of how whenever I was sick a a kid my dad would always bring a little present home for me after he got off work.  Something small like a little toy or a book to read or a puzzle book.  That got me really thinking a lot about memory because I had zero recollection of that until I was in the grocery story on Tuesday and it occurred to me I should get a little plant for the girl I babysit because she was sick.  Suddenly I had that memory and I immediately felt all warm and cozy.  It was very similar to the experience of having a flashback of trauma back in the day when I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, only it was a happy memory.   And of course, because I had had no recollection of it for the past thirty years I called my mom to ask her if it was real and she sighed (like it still bugged her that he would "spoil me" like that) and said yes.  Or maybe she sighed because she thought it was silly that I would ask her if it's true because it is so obviously something my dad would do.

That also got me thinking about how I was diagnosed a few years back as "not having Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome anymore" Not even from the most recent serious trauma of a serious car accident twenty years ago that put me in the trauma ward for a week with life-threatening injuries.  I have to be careful who I tell that to though because lots of people like to tell me that it is impossible to recover from PTSD and it will come back.  What a lovely thought.  Gee, thanks for making me feel like shit.  Well, I'm here to tell you that none of us will ever get to the point where we're perfectly well adjusted and we all have - and always will have - issues, but that you can recover from PTSD. So there!

Actually, I probably have a bit of mild PTSD from my last employer.  Well, not seriously, but it definitely shook my confidence a little bit.  But I seem to be coming out of it with the help of my family and friends reminding not to take on her problems as a reflection of who I am.  It also helped that while I was lying around the house watching lots of tv on Wednesday I was catching up on one of my current favorite shows, Once Upon a Time and I was amused to realize that the Evil Queen Regina looks and acts just like my old boss in the modern day versions of the story.  I think that was the kicker to help me realize that her ideas that I am an incompetent failure were just that - only her ideas.

I haven't had enough time at the barn because of this latest virus and I haven't felt up to working in the gardens like I've wanted to do before it gets too cold and any work I do is a moot point. Hopefully, I can make up on my horse time and gardening time this weekend because that's the stuff that makes me feel really fulfilled.  Well, that and my daughter.  And I'm really enjoying having her friend over every day after school while her mom works.  It fills my need for wanting more kids to be able to be a part of my daughter's friend's lives too.  I'm hoping to be that mom who kids feel comfortable coming to with their feelings, thoughts, dreams like they are with their parents.  And where their kids want to go if their parents need babysitters.  It seems to be working even though I am also the mom who reminds the boys to wear their helmets when they skateboard in the neighborhood and stuff like that.  What amazes me is that they actually do go and get their helmets after I tell them!  I always frame it as "But if you damage your head you won't be you anymore and then I'll be sad - and imagine how sad your own mom will be!"  and that seems to work.  Ok, once one of the boys said it wasn't cool to wear helmets and I said that was stupid and it wasn't cool it was just plain stupid not wear a helmet and he said you're not supposed to tell people they're stupid and I said I didn't call him stupid, I said he was acting stupid and if the shoe fits then that's that.  I'm good friends with his mom so I knew it was ok.  I wouldn't try that in our old neighborhood in Seattle though because chances are some irate dad would end up knocking on my door demanding to know why I told his precious snowflake he was acting stupid.  Anyway, the kid went back and put on his helmet.  Yay!

Another thing I've been thinking about is how I continue to amazed at how parenting is like a universal sameness with all people.  The little girl I've been babysitting was born here but her parents grew up in India in what appears when I talk to them to be a very different culture.  And they've only lived here for just over ten years. But at the same time we are so alike and their daughter acts very much like my daughter.  Our lives may have different clothes and different food (although not lately -especially since I asked the mom to bring me some blouses when she went to India over the summer and she introduced a good Indian grocery to me) but are otherwise the same.  I find it the same with my friends from Nigeria.  I'm sure I'd have culture shock going to their home town but at the same time we are so similar - the jokes we tell, the way our kids act, the way we raise them, how we view the world.  It just occurred to me the other day that I don't think - while listening to a lot of the commentary on politics during the election year especially - that a lot of people recognize just how much a like people are all over the world.  I hear a lot of "Well, you know African-American people (ie: black people - not specifically people who recently moved here from Africa) do this or that or believe this or that ..."  and "Muslims are x-y-z" and "Those people"  as though "Those" is the big adjective to mean "a group that is TOTALLY different from us".   I guess it's really sinking in not just how much the same everyone is regardlessly of the culture they live in, but also how much at least our culture considers people from other countries at THE OTHER.

 Romney supporters want a better country for their children and so do Obama supporters.  Pentacostals and Unitarians want a spiritual community and a better world for their families.  I just don't see why the common reaction is to hate the other when it's so obvious that there is no "other" beyond say criminals and psychopaths.  And even the majority of criminals are lost people with serious issues that need to be addressed but in the end are really not that different from any of us.  But this time of year and especially presidential election years we are all beseiged by media telling us how the other side or any slight difference is bad, evil, different "we don't want them here" and it's really sad.  Another proud moment I had with my daughter the other day was in a writing assignment she was supposed to write a fact about our family and her fact was "We are loving, kind and everyone is welcome."  That was awesome!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I did not get the part-time job I really wanted, there is nothing on craigslist or anywhere I'm looking that has the hours I'm looking for or pays more than half of what I was making when I worked downtown for the non-profit.  And yesterday I found out that my beloved Subaru that we bought two weeks before my daughter was born is in need of a new transmission (we're talking thousands of dollars).  I don't want to spend half the worth on this car to get it fixed but then I also don't want to add a car payment to our already barely making ends meet without a real job for me.  I am making a little bit of cash babysitting my friend's daughter after school but that is less hours now than we had originally planned and the poor thing is sick this week so I'm not babysitting her for a few days.  I was trying not to be in a funk yesterday but today it seems to be winning.  I feel like just sitting down and crying.

I'm definitely not upset about quitting my worry-fest-stress-fest part time recently.  But I am wondering if it was the best move to quit the job I really liked last February.  Except when I remember that I didn't like commuting to downtown Seattle at all and our office is right next to the viaduct which they are tearing down right now so traffic and parking is pure Hell.  Plus Pioneer Square is getting worse and worse with the aggressive/criminal element of transients.  My uber-liberal friends jump to "It's the economy! It's the Republicans fault! Too many homeless now!"  But these are not "homeless" folks.  Well, yes, they are homeless but they are the ones who don't want to quit whatever screwed up thing they're doing to get help at a shelter or through assistance but want to harass folks for money so they can buy drugs or alcohol.  And sadly, after having some sit-down conversations with a few of them over the course of working there for years, I also learned a lot of them have warrants for lots of fun crimes like rape, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon and they're hiding out.  Fun times.  These are not the guys who see selling Real Change or the people who don't see trying to get by in shelters and hanging at the millionaire club or Home Depot trying to pick up some day labor.  These are the guys who follow you around downtown yelling at you to give them spare change and are sleeping next to your car and spitting at you when you try to get over them to get in your car.  No, I don't miss Pioneer Square at all.   Ironically, I blame the uber-liberals who just don't get it for that problem.  They don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or invalidate any special snowflakes civil rights to harass people - because here in Seattle you must be doing something wrong if you have a good job and pay your taxes and take showers - and if you're actually a good person with a nice home, a good job, and food on your table then you at least need to feel horribly guilty while you're helping society and not hold anyone accountable because you yourself are evil for not suffering.  =sigh=

The elections are coming up.  I'll be glad when the presidential election is over because my poor husband always gets terribly stressed out and is convinced that if the Republican candidate wins then life as we know it is all going to hell in a little red handbasket with no seatbelts.  Granted, I think our current Republican candidate is a dumbass and his vice president candidate is all for a Faux-Christian Taliban, I don't think they'll have the power to destroy our country as long as we have some sane people in Congress (which thankfully we still do).  Despite the Republican majority we even have sane Republicans in Congress (next to some crazy ones on both parties).  So, I'm not terribly worried about it.  Maybe I should be, but I'm not.  I figure our country is so incredibly corrupt that it really doesn't matter who our president is.  He still won't be able to stop the enormous problem of outsourcing that has destroyed our economy and he still won't be able to get Congress to admit that we really shouldn't be voting for whether or not gay people can get married because it is a basic civil right that two consenting adults should be allowed to marry no matter who they are and we should not be voting on that!  The only argument against gay marriage is "it's wrong according to the Bible" (Hello! Separation of church and state AND Jesus never said he was against it) and "it grosses me out"  (Well, Glen Beck having sex grosses me out but I'm not trying to make it illegal for him to get married).

I also feel like I'm coming down with something.  Sore throat, no energy, headache.  Blah.  I need to run some stuff out to the stable then I'm going to go to bed and have a good cry and watch some tv or something equally unproductive.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Many new storms

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!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No idea what just happened here ...

Fall is definitely here and I'm thrilled that it is raining again and back to that normal wet environment that I'm used to.  I don't know what it is about water but I find it very comforting. I like humid climates and bodies of water next to wear I live and amphibians all around and green, green, green.  Maybe it's because I grew up here and that is what feels like home.  Also sun hurts my eyes which I realize now that researchers have found a name for it is because I have some sensory processing disorder with my eyes and bright lights hurt them (as do videos games and strobe lights - the latter of which makes my head feel like it's going to implode).  It's good to know my aversion to sun is sensory issues not vampire issues.

I've been catching up on housework now that I don't have my all-consuming-worry-fest of a part-time job.  I even got the Secret Garden ready for winter - this year I'm planting cabbage and carrots in fall so that they will sprout, go dormant, then have a head start in Spring.  At least that is the theory that I read somewhere in an organic gardening book. We'll see how well it works.  I also supposedly found a deterrent to a huge problem I'm having with my pumpkins - powdery mildew.  My next task is the Community Garden where I need to pull out all of the vegetation from pumpkins to peppers because my pumpkins spread powdery mildew to all the plants around them.  I need to dispose of all the leaves, stalks, etc (and NOT compost them because the spores will spread with the compost) then spray the tiny remaining stalks with a mixture of organic horticulture oil/baking soda/water.  Then when the leaves start to sprout in Spring I need to periodically spray them again.  That is a preventative.  I have not found a cure once it takes hold.  But at least I know I have an arsenal when starting again next year.  And I will know to start my pumpkins in early Spring so they'll be ready for Halloween.  I started them way too late - in early August - this year.

In a touch of total irony my good friend who was watching my daughter when I worked in the afternoons (the woman I worked for didn't want me to bring my daughter when I took care of her son even though they adored each other) just got a full-time temp. job for the next couple months.  Which means if I still had my job I would have no childcare for my daughter and would be SOL.  Even more ironic is she asked if I could watch her daughter every day after school.  So,  even though I don't formally have another job yet I have the same amount of money coming in that I did when I had a job after paying for childcare.  This is a much better situation.  And I am continuing to figure out what I want to do for earning money.  It might mean going back to the world of bookkeeping/accounting in an office part-time but I guess that's ok because it's what I'm good at.  Although working in a barn with horses and other animals sounds much more appealing.  But it doesn't pay as well and if I want my hobby to be spending time in barns with horses and other animals I need to make enough to afford it.

Yesterday I had one of those horse experiences that I was pondering as I was falling asleep because I did not know why it happened or if/what I'd done to cause it to happen.  Trainer J. (the Western trainer because now we have a new Trainer J. at the barn who is a man and a dressage trainer - maybe he'll be Trainer JD) ... anyway Trainer J. had three of her big paints out in the top pasture and I had to get to Star's mini's so I could put them in because it was starting to rain and I needed to go through the top pasture to get them out.  It seemed quicker to just move them myself than drag Trainer J. away from her barn work so I went up there and picked up one of the halters and lead ropes, looked at the three of them and wondered how I was going to get them all into the next door paddock in the quickest way (I was really hungry and wanted to be done so I could go get lunch).

I walked in and they all crowded around me, so I pushed all three away and said, "Personal space, guys!" in a firm voice.  I tried herding the one that seemed the most dominant by pointing her toward the gate to the other paddock and swinging the rope behind her.  I pointed to the gate to the other paddock and clucked and gave her a tap on the butt with the lead rope. That didn't work so I clucked and walked toward the gate pointing to it but she threw her head and trotted the other direction.  So, I grumbled and walked over and put her halter on thinking I'd lead her in, then go back and get the other two one at a time and lead them in.  But as soon as I put the halter and turned to walk to the gate and clucked and pointed at the gate again the other two trotted past us and in single file trotted right into the back paddock and went to the back and stood quietly until I had led the other mare in, taken her halter off and closed the gate.  I actually said out loud, "I have no idea what just happened here!"

So, I was pondering last night why they did that.  My husband (who knows next to nothing about horses) said "Well, you had the dominant mare and was leading her there - maybe the other two were following her lead."  That is probably what happened.  I guess.  I wish I understood these things a little better but I'm just glad it worked out so quickly because I was about to keel over I was so hungry!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm having a day ...

I had a day a couple weeks ago where it felt like everything was falling apart and today I'm having a day where it feels like things are falling into place - a brand new place, but a better place.  Every time I have a horrible day I need to remember days like this where I look back and say "Wow, I'm sure glad that other stuff fell apart or this wouldn't be happening. I'm so relieved!"

I woke up this morning for the first time in a week and realized I hadn't coughed at all during the night and that my sinuses finally aren't hurting as badly as they have since Sunday before last.  Then when I took my daughter to the bus stop my friend/neighbor waved me over to say she needs to talk to me.  She had been my childcare two days a week during my last job and she told me today she was offered a full-time job that starts this Monday! So, had I still had my last job I would be screwed for on-going childcare so it validated even more how it was meant to be that wasn't the job for me.  Then to make things even better she asked if by any chance I wanted to switch and do after-school childcare for her daughter five days a week now? Of course! Not only do I not need childcare, but I still have my mornings free to get all my horse stuff done and errands done (something my daughter is not thrilled to do after school).  Her job is only temporary - anywhere from one to three months.  But hey! It's a few months to not have to look for a job and relax about money worries.  Yay!

I also applied for a Sunday nursery position at a local church that I visited and liked, but they had an interim pastor I didn't like at all so I thought I'd check back when they hired a new one.  I just got an email this morning saying they were reviewing applications right now for the nursery position and oh, by the way, they hired a new pastor and he starts on Sunday.  So, I went to their webpage and looked him up and he and his family look awesome! So, even if the nursery position doesn't work out I have a local church I can visit that I might actually like.  I'm so incredibly picky about churches that I was getting resigned to not having one to belong to even though I really like having that spiritual community.  But it's extremely important to me that my spiritual community is not filled with people who believe things that are so opposite of what I believe and that happens a lot - most of the time in fact - with Christianity.  My main issue is that I do not believe that believing in Jesus and following dogmatic, man-made rules is your ticket to Heaven and that is a main theme in most Christianity.  I believe that developing your own personal relationship with God and the way you treat others and the rest of the world is the ticket to Heaven - in fact it is the ticket to whether you experience Heaven or Hell on Earth too.   And I don't think Jesus magically rose from the dead which really pisses off most Christians.  And I don't think he died to redeem us from our sins.  I think he died because of political crap and B.S. and only we can redeem ourselves from our sins by changing our attitudes and behavior toward ourselves and others.  That also doesn't go over well with a lot of Christians.  Oh well.  I will find my place.  I totally respect my friends who have different Christians beliefs  - many of my good friends are non-denominational/"born again" Christians - than me because they are about the sweetest, best people I know, but I wouldn't fit in with their pastors.  One of the quotes that struck me most in the bio of the new pastor at this church I like was "pretty sure that God is very fond of him - and fond of everyone else too". 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stil this but still not that.

I still have a cold and I still don't have a new job.  Of course it has only been a week for both of those things and both are well known to usually last longer than that.

I was just reading an article on one of our local news sites and they were talking about the danger to dogs and cats of D-Limonine which is apparently a common ingredient in pet shampoo.  Sadly, they spelled it wrong throughout the whole article.  Not sure how helpful that is as a PSA.  And makes me wonder why other people can screw up so badly and still have jobs but my recent ex-employer won't give me even a neutral reference despite how hard I worked to make a clusterf*ck situation as smooth as possible.   Ok, that was my obligatory moment of bitterness and I am now moving forward back into my positive thinking.

Anyway, can't find any information that is helpful when googling D-limonine.  Even just has a cut & paste off of the manufacture's label.  Not helpful. 

Yesterday I was putzing around the barn during my daughter's riding lesson because I did not have a horse to ride.  I put Toad out in the top paddock for a bit and cleaned the "wet stuff" out of her and Tasha's stalls (my daughter is now in the habit of cleaning the poop out of their stalls after her lesson to earn a couple extra dollars).  I stopped in the aisle that actually has a gate you can see through into the arena to talk to one of the boarders who'd been on vacation, and out of the corner of my eye I could see my daughter in there trotting around on Tasha and I could hear Trainer K. yelling instructions to her (you have to yell to be heard by the person up on the horse) when all the sudden it looked like Tasha broke into a canter right in front of the gate we were looking in.  I almost said, "Did Tasha just start to canter?" when I heard Trainer K. say, "Keep her going! You have to steer since you're on your own!" and next thing I knew my daughter was cantering around the circle all by herself about four times!

I of course squealed to the other boarder, "She's cantering all by herself with no lunge line! Do you see it? Do you see it?!"  and we both rushed up to the gate just as my daughter asked Tasha to walk and Trainer K. yelled to us, "Did you see that? Did you see her canter all by herself?!"  My daughter rode over to the gate so I could reach up and give her a high five and she was glowing so brightly with how fun it was and how proud of herself she was.  Yay! I wish I had such a great trainer when I was eight years old!  Imagine how well my daughter could be riding by the time she's a tween if she wants to stick with it.  Of course, I should be happy that now I have such a great trainer.   A lot of people don't ever get to learn so much about any sport in their life, especially not one they are so passionate about.  And better late than never.  And I am happy that I did take good hunter/jumper lessons back when I was a tween.  I know I took some dressage but it wasn't like this and it turns out the barn I was at back in the day was a hunter/jumper barn so dressage wasn't their specialty.  And I think that my past experience of jumping did help my strength, balance and confidence even if I don't remember any of the stuff I learned.  I remember doing it, and I remember how it felt to jump and I remember bits and pieces but I don't remember the body mechanics or any of that stuff.

Right now posting correctly for dressage is kicking my ass.  I was wondering if I posted totally wrong back in the day but Trainer K. made a comment once that I post like they do in Hunter/Jumper so I was just never taught the proper dressage posting.  Or if I was it was early on before I started jumping.  The nice thing is that all this work I'm doing to post correctly may actually finally improve my awful posture.  I've been slumped over with terrible posture my whole life and now all this work to post correctly is bringing my shoulder blades down, putting my center of gravity lower in my core, lifting my sternum, even getting me walk flat on my feet instead of putting my weight on the outside of my feet which is a long standing habit.  Of course pilates is helping too.  I remember stuff like that when I feel tired and like "I'm too old for this - what am I doing? I'm too old to fall of horses and put myself in danger!" But the truth is, I'm not ready to give up all the benefits of being involved with horses myself.  It gets me up and moving in the morning, it is great exercise, it keeps me outside every day of the year no matter if it's 90 degrees or 20 degrees and it makes me very happy which is good for me and everyone around me.  So, I guess right now I'm not too old.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Up on a hill ...

Every now and then I run across a song that has sounds in it that no matter how badly I feel about something will improve my mood.  There are certain combinations of bright colors that do the same.  This is one of those songs.  I downloaded it on iTunes last night to use as background for my daughter's very first stop motion animation film that she made all on her own.  A couple of our friends do stop motion animation for a living so I had to send it to them even though it is I'm sure horrifically bad by their standards. But then they are not 8 years old.  One of them already emailed back with much praise and some helpful suggestions which my daughter is excited about implementing. 

My friend, Star was out driving her mini-horses yesterday around the property.  The jangles on their harnesses (or whatever they are called when they are suited up for driving) sounded like Christmas.  I tried to get my daughter to go out with me to see them but she was tired from having a sleep-over the night before and it's probably for the best because I stayed out there a lot longer than I meant to chatting with people and hanging out.  M. gave Toadie a very nice massage because her neck is all knotted up now after two weeks off from all work and then suddenly going back to it. 

It was busy and a little chaotic as usual on Saturday but when I got there the arena was full with lessons and the groom rooms were full with students getting ready for their lessons so I decided Toad needed to go for a walk. She hadn't been for a walk for almost a week (I tend to forget to take her out walking around the property and the street on days she's busy working).  At first I didn't feel like it - between people on the south side of the property cutting down trees and chopping up the wood with chainsaws, and the neighbor on the north side of the property mowing his lawn and his little yippee dogs chasing him barking non-stop (that was actually irritating me more than anything).  In between the Western trainers horses were all out in the front pasture ya-hooing and bucking and galloping around each other.  But we needed to go for a walk so I put on my gloves just in case (I've gotten a nasty rope burn before when a pony pulled a lead rope through my hands) and headed out.

I was really proud of Toad! First we walked over to where they were using the chain saws and she was tense but holding it together.  We hung out for a bit and watched them, then when we turned to leave the first time she freaked as soon as the noise was behind her and tried to bolt and spin.  So, we turned around and tried it again - this time her whole body was shaking like she had to use Herculean powers not to bolt and spin but she didn't! Yay!  We walked toward the north side of the property and had to stop quite a few times so I could push her back behind me when she started to nervously dance ahead of me.  But she did well.  Then her whole body tensed up over the galloping/rearing horses in the field right next to us, but when I told her to focus on me she did! Yay! It was a struggle but she tried very hard to keep it together and focus on me even though she really badly wanted to freak out over the other horses.  Once we got to the street she started to get tense and dance a little but she was still trying.  It got too much in front of the house with annoying barking dogs and the lawn mower and she jumped and twirled around in front of me, but she stopped quickly at my correction, got pushed back to her place behind me (well technically next to me but a little back from me since there's no way I would walk directly in front of a horse) and tried very hard to hold it together on the way back to the barn.  Passing the ya-hooing horses on the way back she just dropped her head and sighed and walked along with me! I was extremely proud of her!

Then when we were in the grooming room and she was in the cross-ties I heard M. announce, "Cart coming!" and I walked to the front of the groom room so as to not get trampled in the panic, but when Start drove by in the cart right in front of us Toad didn't even blink an eye!  Some of the horses in their stalls freaked and ran to the back of their stalls, but I imagine if they'd had their mom standing in the front of the stall like I was standing in the front of the groom room they would've been fine.  Still, it was a big improvement that Toad was able to feel safe with me enough to not even blink an eye at something new clanking by.  Yay!

Friday, October 5, 2012

No Subject

Transitions in life are always really uncomfortable for me and I seem to go through all the same phases every time:  put it off for too long/get slapped in the face that things have to change/stay in denial that I need to change something a little longer/shit hits the fan and I HAVE to make the change/make the change despite my inner-self thinking the world will fall apart if I do/run around and ask for validation that it's ok that I made a change/FREAK OUT/finally realize it was all for the best and be so exhausted that I just want to go to bed and do nothing for a few days while reveling in the brightness and freedom of my future.

I'm in the latter part right now.  So, I'm trying to get motivated to "do stuff" even though I feel like just going back to bed and sleeping for the rest of the day.  Here is my song of the day.  My daughter and I both like this song so we always play it really loud when it comes on.

I've been sending out resumes here and there and trying to get an idea what I want to do.  At the risk of mojo'ing it I sent in a resume to a place that needs both an admin. person and a nursery (as in plants) worker who "must like dogs, kids and chickens".  Last night I was talking to my saddle fitter and telling her why we needed to postpone my appointment and she asked me what I was looking for.  I said, "What I'm really good at is accounting but I would rather work with horses," and she suggested I look into equine nutritionist.  I had never actually heard of that but she claims there is a real need.  That would fulfill my passion for science/biology, I would be working with horses and it would be an excuse to go back to school.  Well, depending on what kind of education you need.  I certainly can't afford financially or time-wise to go to veterinary school.  In fact, I'm too squeamish and don't want to do that.  My first castration clinic and I'd be passed out on the floor.  But it really did sound like a good thing to follow up on.  I don't want to be a vet or a vet technician.  I definitely don't want to be a farrier - that is probably the job I'd least like to have. Right up there with mortician.  And if doing massages on humans was hard on my body then I imagine doing massages on horses would do me in.  I will be looking into that today.

Meanwhile, it is time to winterize my garden because surprisingly the first frost has hit already! I said surprisingly not because it's not late enough in the season but because it has still only rained maybe once in the last three months and it is still about 70 degrees during the day.  Very desert like weather.