Sounds like Life

CaptureSounds like life to me it ain’t no fantasy
It’s just a common case of everyday reality
Man I know it’s tough but you gotta suck it up
To hear you talk you’re caught up in some tragedy
It sounds like life to me

Sounds like life to me plain old destiny
Yeah the only thing for certain is uncertainty
You gotta hold on tight just enjoy the ride


Get used to all this unpredictability
Sounds like life

Darryl Worley

Wise woods for me as I get banged around the pin ball crazily careening through the machine bouncing off the flippers,  a marble gone crazy.  

My beautiful new from Kentucky, Foxhound suffered an accident Monday leaving her paralyzed. By Friday with none of drugs giving her relief, Lauren and I stood by her as we put her to sleep. So, what was the point of bringing that beautiful dog with such a dear soul to me for a month to tear our hearts out as she passed?  I don’t get it. 

In the meantime pregnant and due to deliver Fargo just keeps holding on to the baby one more day. I have chosen to sleep out on the concrete by her stall. This is bucket list stuff and I dearly want to be there when the baby comes.  So far just rain and back aches have come from my all night camping trips at the barn.   

 

Fargo is 331 days pregnant. Full time is approximately 340 +/-  

  Last night as the storms moved on and the moon showed up in the sky I took about 200 pictures. Not sleeping. Pretty bored. No baby. All the other horses laid down at least for a while but Fargo just kept munching hay. Good times. 

  To make the week more chaotic my horse Nova colicked badly with a serious impaction in her gut. We were lucky after a rough 36 hours or so to see Nova was going to make it.     Feather super “drunk” so could get some good x-rays. 

Then Feather went to the top of the prayer list as X-ray showed a serious mass in her facial bones. Some top Texas surgeons were betting on a real bad end to Feather’s life but continued diagnostics have us thinking we might be looking at a completely different, and treatable problem. Fingers crossed. 

 

Finally our boarder Kendrick caught this great shot of Feather, Nova and Betty Sue on the beach in my back pasture catching some rays. I love it!  
I will keep sleeping again with my mare on the off chance I catch her giving birth. I am off to Oklahoma Monday for a few days so no doubt that is when the baby will come. I guess that’s life.  

Sounds like life to me plain old destiny

Yeah the only thing for certain is uncertainty

You gotta hold on tight just enjoy the ride

Get used to all this unpredictability

Sounds like life

Feeling Better-Catching Up

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Kendyll is all smiles as she goes on the scary up and down, thrust you out of your seat ride at the Aquarium.

Finally, I am breathing more easily and with a sigh of relief.  It has been a long two months since breaking my ribs and all the complications that have gone along with it.  I am SO looking forward to this weekend where I can finally catch up on my yard, the gardening, the spring chores, mowing and de-cluttering all the winter stuff.  Who looks forward to that kind of weekend?  I DO!!

I also want to take this post and talk about all the great stuff that happened in the two months that I was pretty much Missing In Action.  First, Amber, Riley and Lexi came for a visit over the Valentine weekend.  I was lucky to see them so often when my momma was alive but since her death, our visits have gotten further apart.  They had not been to the farm since spring of last year.

Six year-old Riley was telling four year-old Lexi about the animals at Granny’s farm prior to the trip.  He looked up at his mom with great interest and asked “whose died since we were there last?”  I am meeting my goal to have my grandchildren understand that the promise of life is the promise of death but perhaps it has become a tad too routine.  And the answer for those that are wondering are just our two dogs killed by our neighbor’s dog.  Bad enough.

Of course, everyone got out to ride.  My big mare Nova proved once again what a great girl she is by giving Jordyn a fun ride and then letting Lexi and Riley pilot her around double.

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Pretty laid back, I would say.  The kids got to ride a lot and all had fun. 

We headed out to the Houston Aquarium which was another fun event.  Kendyll proved to be the daredevil as always, riding the scary ride more times than anyone except Amber who only went begrudging along since Kendyll had to do it “again!!!”.  Everyone else wanted to throw up.

On the way home we stopped at an area park.  The weather was beautiful especially for my Colorado kin.  We all enjoyed acting like kids along with the kids.

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Amber, Jordyn and Lauren playing at the park.

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I decided we were all going to climb into the kid tunnel.  Family bonding time-YAY!

Friends from Chicago decided I needed shirts for my girls and I from our 40th High School reunion.  I attended a school called “Fremd” , ya, I don’t know who that was. Anyway, in trying to get a shot of my daughters and I, Maui Jim and Kona jumped in.  I love Maui’s face!

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Me, Amber, Ally and Lauren with white poodle Maui and black poodle Kona

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Pretty intense!!

In other news, Lauren’s show horse Feather had a minor setback when she pulled the skin off the back of her hoof.  She will be out for awhile as that area is notoriously difficult to bandage and heal.  We thought this would be the season Lauren could finally get back on track with her riding and are disappointed to have Feather out.  Lauren lost so much time with her broken arm and now I guess it is Feather’s turn to rest. You know my favorite saying:  “Man plans, God laughs”.  So true.

Lauren has been lucky enough to ride a variety of horses (which will ultimately make her a better rider) at her trainer’s during this time.  She got to ride a beautiful thoroughbred/Oldenburg cross mare in the show last weekend. It was a great experience and one which will broaden her abilities as a rider.

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A beautiful mare- Lauren enjoyed the opportunity to ride her.

I am also including this updated picture of my mare who is due in June.  She has quite the baby belly already.  She will be as big as a house by June.  We are so excited about this upcoming Flagmount colt!

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I had my last birthday before I turn 60.  I am really getting old but feeling so much better, I feel young again. It is time to get my spring flowers in, start riding my mare again and spend quality time with my pups.

Wishing everyone a great weekend and thanks for always riding along.

 

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Pretty good life, eh?

Life on Steriods

  It has been almost two months since I fell and broke my ribs. Then I got pneumonia from not breathing deeply enough (you get reluctant to do that with broken ribs).  I was recovering when Amber and the kids came to town. 

Then I was down with a whole new bug and the pneumonia was back, now in both lungs. Since Christmas my chest has been like a beacon of pain radiating in my rib cage.  

The doc broke out the big guns this time putting me on breathing treatments, steriods and miscellaneous other drugs. The steriods scared me. 

Prior to moving south, first to Florida and then to Texas, I had pneumonia for the first time and aquired adult onset asthma. I had bad lung problems, in fact, it was at the doctor’s recommendation that we first moved southbound. 

I was treated with a lot of steroids. They made my family fearful as I always got wild eyed and more than a little bit agitated. They were NOT a good drug for me to be on and I have successfully avoided them for many, many years. 

I will never forget taking seven year-old Ally to a new hunter/jumper barn in Florida to ride. It was a pretty swank barn and I was impressed with the horses and trainer. As he walked us down the aisle way pointing out the different horses we were startled by a horse suddenly charging to the stall front with his teeth barred. He spun and kicked out at the stall door. 

The trainer apologized for the horse and told us he was on this medication called steriods and it made him act crazy. Calm as could be, little Ally replied, “oh, I know how that is. My mom does the same thing!” 

From the mouths of babes. Anyway, fortunately while I have had some minor side effects mostly life on steriods this time is just helping me get better. 

While I have been out of town for five days now,  the steroid girl is back in town. Watch out everyone! I may charge at any time.  Mostly I just want to get better. 

As always, Thanks for riding along!

Little triumphs

 Busy, busy times for me and the family right now. I am on several big projects at my real job and traveling a lot. I landed to a windy 18 degrees on Monday which is about 60 degrees colder than I like.

But I am ever so grateful at this stage of my career to be doing something I love. It is a little triumph to go forth each day excited about the projects I am doing and   people with whom I work.
Lauren is headed off to Wellington, Florida this week to spend some time with friend Catie at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). WEF is a 12 week international competition where your favorite Olympic hero might be shopping in the grocery store with you (Hello Ian Miller!) or show up at the local restaurant (McClain Ward,  table for two?).

What an amazing opportunity!  Another triumph for the kid from Wharton who just wants to ride.

And speaking of horse triumphs, my mare Nova should be back to sound after some vet magic from Dr. Criner.

Actually this will be more than a little triumph. I had continued to work my girl and things just weren’t right. A few X-rays told us she had been hurting and now she can be pain free. I am so excited to have this special girl back working just when I should be getting cleared to ride.

Additionally in little triumph category it has been several weeks since poodle  Maui Jim has eaten or destroyed anything important. Last night Lauren and I were on the phone (I was still out of town) when I heard a horrible crash and the sound of broken glass.

We have a free-standing staircase in our living room. For months now we have talked about getting my old headboard out to the garage but it hasn’t moved from its position on the wall opposite the stairs.

Last night as we visited on the phone, Maui came racing through the living room making a galloping turn around the stairs and catching the head board with his foot on the way by. What I heard was the sound of the queen sized headboard smashing into the back of the stairs with enough force to knock the shelf displaying all Lauren’s Zone Final pictures cascading to the ground.

I guess the triumph here is at least he didn’t eat another FitBit or my glasses. Lauren hauled him off to his kennel to think about what he had done.

Rising two year-old Betty Sue has hit 1000 pounds and grown out of her second halter. She got a brand new halter with her name on it!  Little triumphs!

Finally, as a rider in any discipline as you get better and more educated about your equestrian sport you tend to trade in equipment for more technical, better made models.  Lauren has definitely gone down this path starting with a synthetic Wintec saddle, moving to some low cost but name brand models on to higher priced models. Yesterday after selling her saddle of three years she received her dream saddle.


We tested it out tonight to see if it would allow Feather’s wide shoulders enough freedom when they jump. And it did-well, that’s actually in the category of a big triumph!

Thanks for riding along my friends. Stay safe and warm!

Farm Wife

This is Cindy working on her vegetable gathering prior to getting supper on the table.

This is Cindy working on her vegetable gathering prior to getting supper on the table.

I have always had a career. I have worked since I was 16, before that if you count the lawn mowing I did to pay board on my first horse.

I have never been nor ever wanted to be the traditional stay at home mom.  Unless perhaps as Lauren once told her teacher when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, I could be a stay at home mom with no kids and no husband. Sorry, just have always rather been outside doing stuff than inside being domestic.  I love my kids and grandkids but let’s go outside!

Adding to this particular little nuance of mine, is the fact that I have not had any children at home but Lauren for the last ten years and it has been almost 18 years since I have had a man around the house.

I picked up my new man friend at the airport on Friday the 20th and he stayed on until the next Saturday night. Wow! I know! I kept expecting to find him packed and gone. Or to catch sight of a taxi pulling out of the driveway, but he stayed. Huh… It wasn’t like he didn’t know this time what to expect.

But I have to say it was a different time for me. Chris, as we are calling him to protect his innocence as long as possible, was fully engaged with me on all the horse chores. From waking up to Maui, the poodle alarm clock, at 4:30 am to falling asleep before 8:00 pm, Chris lived the farm life.

This time he got to clean stalls! He got his first taste (bad analogy) of dumping manure all the way down at the bottom pasture. He installed new feeders and fixed gates. He got beautiful Houston weather and freezing, windy downpours of rain. He walked, he lifted, and walked some more. It was impressive. Like I said, I kept expecting him to leave. He told me he was waiting for me to finish his wash. I think he was kidding.
I have to say that I think Chris took to the farm well. Which is to say that he managed way better out of his normal environment than I did out of mine.

Lauren cooks dinner a couple of times a week (if I am lucky and she is home). I manage a few meals I fix for us or for myself-things she doesn’t like (like Salmon). But in no stretch of the imagination do either of us compile whole meals like my mom used make. You might remember those and even serve them, they come with a main course, a vegetable, a starch and perhaps a dessert. But we don’t. There is never enough time.
Sheets are changed Friday night. Laundry is done on Saturday and whatever cleaning gets done in the house is on an “as-needed” basis, like “the dogs ran in with their muddy feet in and you can no longer see the pattern of the tile” basis.

This last week, with Chris so readily agreeing to do anything and everything that was needed outside, I felt compelled to step up my inside services, you know, like cooking and cleaning.  I can honestly say that I cooked more meals and prepared more food in the last week than in the last several years.  I made my famous enchiladas-except Lauren got FIRE hot sauce and I had to tone that down a little.  I made hamburgers with actual vegetables to go with them.  I made my mom’s ham waffles. I managed a fairly good rendition of beef stroganoff.  I did my share at Thanksgiving, too.  Although, thankfully, Ally and Luke did the majority of the cooking even though it was at my house.  Jordyn helped me with pumpkin pies and our special cranberry salad.

Fortunately, I re-introduced Chris to the world of fast food so lunches were not an issue.  I did fry up a couple of quasi-omelets along with the waffles for breakfast.  I also felt I should keep the bathroom clean, the floors swept (before we lost sight of the tile), and counters disinfected (at least to the point one can manage that with giant Levi the cat wallowing around).

Levi lying on the Thanksgiving table.

Levi lying on the Thanksgiving table.

I managed to keep up both his laundry and mine although it has been a long-time since I saw a pair of men’s underwear.  Scandalous!

Seriously-how do people do this?  I can clean stalls, feed at dead of dawn, handle wild horses, snakes and lots of blood but throw me in the kitchen and laundry room for a week and I am undone!  I would have never made it as a farm wife!

I hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am grateful for all of you and for so many things!  Thanks for riding along!

Jordyn’s First Show

And line up with your numbers to the judge! Jordyn executed this perfectly.

And line up with your numbers to the judge! Jordyn executed this perfectly.

Jordyn has been in the show ring several times but always as a passenger, never as the driver.  This time is was all on Jordyn and she had practiced and practiced to get it right.  But like all things the first time around, the unknown sneaks up and creates ripples in your tummy and angst in your heart.

Jordyn has some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder like her mom, aunt, granny and grandpa.  We all like things to be ordered and to be right.  We are uncomfortable when things don’t go on schedule or when we think it is time. it is difficult to wait.  A horse show is not a good place for anxiety or OCD because really little is in your control.  Preparing, working and much saddle time certainly helps but in the end it is you alone in a new ring where all the things you practiced seem so different.

How did she do?  GREAT!  How did she think she did-well, I would say miserable failure would be one description.  We all worked on expectations with her ahead of the show.  Telling her if she got a ribbon, that would be great.  And she did.  She got three THIRD places but it was the fifth place in the last class that sent her over the edge.  I think if she had even won the last class it would have reduced her to tears as she had so much built up tension, just being done caused the tears to flow.

_________________________________

Ten year old Lauren inher line up at her first walk trot show. Helmet is a little big.

 So, let’s go back about twelve years.  Lauren had just gotten Mickey and had been preparing for her first show.  While she was new to riding English she had more actual riding experience under her belt (she could easily canter my big, fast quarter horse, Kid and Jordyn has not cantered on purpose yet) so she started off on her young five-year old rescue horse Mickey in the walk trot division.  In those days, we had yet to gain all the proper stuff like saddles that were made well, boots and jackets that fit and Lauren did not have that top-notch look to her attire that Jordyn did going in the ring this weekend.

We even had kids come up to us and ask if the horse Lauren was riding was in fact Mickey.  Apparently he had thrown a number of children and the kids could not believe she was taking a chance riding him.

The show itself was at Bridle Creek and it was a benefit for Holly Davitt (now Muehle) who had breast cancer.  Holly doesn’t remember much about that show.  I happened to see her at the show this weekend and stopped for a photo together.  She has successfully made 12 years Cancer free.  I was just older.  Still it was pretty cool to see my granddaughter follow so closely in the shoes of her Aunt Lauren.

Lauren's first show was a benefit for Holly. Here we are together at the show this weekend, 12 years later.

Lauren’s first show was a benefit for Holly. Here we are together at the show this weekend, 12 years later.

I am so proud of Jordyn and so proud of Mickey.  Mickey was at Zone Finals jumping over three feet a couple of weeks ago and this week he is trotting around like a champ for my granddaughter.

I wish the pictures showed more happiness on my baby’s face.  After all that is why you show.  And Jordyn could not find one equestrian to talk to that did not have a missed fence or perfect day. Things do not go exactly they way we plan in the ring.  We learn about failure and trying again.  Those are important lessons.

For me it was the culmination of many dreams.  That she would become a secure enough rider to go into the ring on her own and execute all the judge asked her to do.  Also big shout out to our Judge Lisa Richardson who did a great job placing the kids as was their due.

I am sad we did not get pictures of Jo and Mick with her beautiful first ribbons but here are some photos below that show how professional she looked and how well they did!!

Warm-up. Gotta have braids!

Warm-up. Gotta have braids!


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Lauren walking from the warm up ring as Jordyn handled Mickey all on her own.


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Love this silhouette of their profiles.


Part of Jo's support team, Luke, Ally, Grandparents Dodie and Rick and Kendyll

Part of Jo’s support team, Luke, Ally, Grandparents Dodie and Rick and Kendyll


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What a great shot of the two of them!

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Reins a little too long-starting to get in a little trouble in her last class.  But Mickey was not touching that pole!

 

Thank you for the great day Jordyn!  I know I will look back many times and tell people all about your first horse show!

Thanks for riding along!

Cindy has a man friend??? Let’s check him out!

Quiet, private and peaceful? somehow I don't think so.

Quiet, private and peaceful? Somehow I don’t think so.

I know.  This is a difficult statement to conceive of after some 18 years of being divorced and not having a man friend, which is even more ironic as my ex was always certain I was going to divorce him and run off with one of the doctors I worked with at the time.

But yes, I have re-ignited a relationship with a friend of mine from long ago.  You know Facebook is a marvelous thing.  You can check out how people have aged and what they are doing.  It seems to have worked for us.  Which is even more amazing given the crazy pictures I tend to post with me standing in water troughs or with tutus on my head.  Could be why it has taken 18 years to get a date.

Anyway, so we have been planning this little get-to-know-you again trip for a while now.  I wanted it to be low-key.  And even though, Lauren is off to the boyfriend’s most weekends, I confirmed that she would be gone.  I wanted some quiet, private time to introduce the six dogs and gazillion horses to a non-farm person before adding in extra people.  In fact, I had it all planned out perfectly.

Then Ally called this week to ask what time they were coming over on Saturday.  I searched my mind to remember what we were planning on Saturday.  “What are we doing?”, I asked.  “We are coming over to meet your new boyfriend”.  Not what I had in mind.  Then she reminded me that her husband had volunteered to fix our horse’s run-in shed on Sunday.  They would all be there all day and could I babysit Jordyn and Kendyll for a while? Why not?

One of my favorite boarders told me they might just be there Friday night when we get in from the airport, just in case we need help getting the horses out.  Oh, and she is going to whip up her famous Tortilla Soup so we can have dinner all ready when we get back to the farm.  Gee, perhaps her family can set the table and dress as waiters and serve us wine.  (Honestly, I love the soup and am very grateful, but wow!)

Meanwhile,  I learned that another one of my boarders and her boyfriend will be there Saturday to build jumps.  We need new jumps.  It is very nice of them to help out, but this weekend?  The mower guys called to re-schedule to Saturday as well. That will be so peaceful.  Looking out over the green pastures with the mowers and weed eaters running in the wind coupled with the electric saws and hammering. Idyllic.

Awesome. Lauren told me that she and Blake needed to come by because Blake was going to install the electric gate opener (which has been in a box in the garage for almost two years).  Really?  “When is that going to happen?”, I asked.   “Oh. on Sunday.  We have Dev coming to do lessons too!”  Lauren told me.

I think that should only be about six riders and their families hanging out on a fine Sunday morning as Luke builds my run-in shed and Blake installs the gate opener.  I feel pleased that everyone is so sweet and cares so much.  This is truly a monumental event.

I finally gave up and planned a nice picnic type lunch for Sunday noon.  Ally’s in-laws want to run by as well but they will wait until Thanksgiving.

Three year-old Kendyll was over this morning as I getting ready for work and doing the last-minute cleaning of the house.  She was happily standing in my shower stall surveying what I was doing.  “Maybe when my new grandpa comes we can put on our bathing suits and take a shower.  Then you can go get cupcakes and we can have a party!”.

You know, Kendyll, we might as well.  Let me know if anyone else wants to run by and check out the new boyfriend.  We will be at the farm.

Joy

At three years of age, Kendyll is a wild woman! But a beautiful one.

At three years of age, Kendyll is a wild woman! But a beautiful one.

 

There is something about this picture that reminds me of my long-departed sister, Betty Sue (no, not my horse).  Her hair was long and similar in color to Kendyll’s now.  Probably my family that is still around and remembers her as a child would not agree, but there is something here in Kendyll’s eyes, in her expression, that shows strength and determination and my sister had both.  It takes me back in time and yet, secures me tightly to my future, this granddaughter is special as all of mine are.

It has been a run of several weeks of gorgeous weather and clear, cloudless skies.  While this is doing little to preserve what is left of my pastures (which desperately need rain), it starts and ends each day with fresh beauty.  The clear, star-filled sky as I got out early to feed and the dropping sun as the day ends again, an orange ball in the sky.

With this wonderful weather we have been spending a lot of time riding.  Lauren because Zone Finals are upon us and the rest of us, because it is so lovely.  A couple of nights I rode horses back to back after a long day at work.  I galloped for the first time in several years, trusting my mount (Mickey) and myself (as I get stronger) to hang tough.

The arena, while dusty, seems to be drawing us all to ride.

The arena, while dusty, seems to be drawing us all to ride.

I have been busy taking photos.  Even today as I gave lessons I snap photos while my student trudges on. Did you know I am giving lessons now? It is actually going pretty well and I haven’t killed anyone yet.

Allyson is back on Snow after taking a few years off and it is like she never missed a day.  Isabel planned out a tough course for them and they did great. Isabel is getting a lot practice as she has been moving up on Prosecco.  They are jumping higher with tougher courses.  I think she wanted to pass along her experiences.  And in what is probably the crazy jumping picture of the year.  I caught Prosecco jumping like a frightened cat literally off the ground and over the jump.  This has to be an all-star photo!

OMG!!! Crazy jump photo of the year with Isabel and Prosecco!

OMG!!! Crazy jump photo of the year with Isabel and Prosecco!

Speaking of a little nuts, Mickey is headed to Zone Finals with Alex for his fourth time.  We have him on some new meds and he is doing so well. He is jumping well and moving like a young horse.

 

Mickey and Alex get their ride on.

Mickey and Alex get their ride on.

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We have been pushing Mickey to jump higher and wider to meet the demands of the big show.  He is responding well.  The jump above had a wide enough spread that after jumping it successfully, they found the jump was wide enough for Alex and Mickey to stand inside of it.  Now, we just need to get Lauren and Feather to jump Mickey in the middle of the jump and we will really have something!

Another milestone for me passed this week with the one year anniversary of the arrival of Fargo and baby Betty Sue.  Betty Sue was only six months old when she arrived from Colorado.  Fargo is in foal to Feather’s sire and she has grown a little too!

Trotting with Fargo.

Betty Sue, tiny next to Fargo, a year ago.

 

Pregnant mama Fargo, me and tall Betty Sue.

Pregnant mama Fargo, me and tall Betty Sue.

The dogs are always a big part of any day and we caught a couple candid’s of them.

Sammi Dee has settled in so well to life here. But a girl does need her rest.

Sammi Dee has settled in so well to life here. But a girl does need her rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5291Alex took this one!  I have a couple more dog photos to finish up.  Gotta go get horses out for another cloudless night.  As always thanks for riding along!  Come visit us!

It's all fun and games until someone has to wear the cone!

It’s all fun and games until someone has to wear the cone!

Allyson's five year old sister Gabby spending so calm time with Maui Jim.

Allyson’s five-year old sister Gabby spending so calm time with Maui Jim.

We had joy

We had fun

We had seasons in the sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summertime Gone

I feel like summertime has just began but based upon the photos that are rising up on Facebook and in my own messages, it is clearly the start of yet another new school year.  In Texas, there is no marked change of weather to indicate time to return to school has arrived.  I remember late August days in Chicago when the wind would pick up and the temperatures drop forcing us out of the community pool and out shopping for sweaters.

Shortly, in much of the US, there will be brilliant leaves falling from trees and the first frost descending on the land.  Last year, we did not have a frost.  Period.  No temperatures below 32 degrees.  Usually the true summertime weather hangs around until Halloween or so.

It used to be in Florida I would pride myself on turning off the air conditioning by November first and not turning it back on until May first. We were close to the ocean and got that ocean breeze but here I am lucky to turn off the air for Christmas Day. I am sure the warm weather year around is a blessing. But it is one I struggle with by the start of the new school year.  I mean really how many days of changing your clothes three times because they are soaking wet can you take (and for those of you who have not lived in the humid south, we are not talking about getting caught in a rain storm although that is always a possibility as well).

We were able to let all the girls out together for the first time-and everyone got along!!

We were able to let all the girls out together for the first time-and everyone got along!!


The mares grazing on the late summer grass and subsequently being rained upon.

The mares grazing on the late summer grass and subsequently being rained upon.

But as much as I complain, the cold is harder on me than heat, so I trudge along.  In spite of the weather, which included several strong thunderstorms this week, life at the barn continues.  This week saw Libby with her healing broken hand climb back aboard Cody for the first time.  She also had a brand new saddle.  One specially made to fit Cody and keep Libby in the saddle and off the ground.  After so much pain, it was delightful to see the joy on her face as she took an inaugural spin around the arena.

Dev was back for the first time in many weeks as well, healing from his broken orbital and subsequent surgery.  I haven’t sat back in the shade of the deep porch and watched lessons for some time.  The arena was perfect and horses spot on.

Jordyn made some progress on her riding as well.  It has always been one step forward and two steps back for my first granddaughter.  It has taken some urging, begging, threats and praise but Jordayn finally trotted off through a series of cavellettis and some Xes.  This is a precursor to trotting over jumps and a  transition she needs to make to move on.

Jo and Snow with Kona, Kena and Maui-barn dogs extornaire!

Jo and Snow with Kona, Kena and Maui-barn dogs extraordinaire!  Look at those dirty, giant paws.

Jordyn headed off to third grade this week and remarkably has the same teacher as last year.  While second grade at the new public school brought tremendous anxiety to Jordyn, this year’s first day went smoothly and easily.

Riley entered first grade this year and is a top student.  He looks pretty GQ in this picture from “Meet the Teachers” night.

Handsome Riley meeting his first grade teacher in Denver.

Handsome Riley meeting his first grade teacher in Denver.

Summertime heat may be here to stay for a while but fall will soon begin again.  As always thanks for riding along!

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Lauren and I send our heartfelt sympathies and prayers to the Figenshaw family as they attempt to grasp with the new realities of their lives.  In a horrible instant, while taking daughter Meg (whom we have known since Whipple Tree days) off to college, Meg and her father Paul, were hit head on.  Paul did not survive the accident.  Meg has a broken neck, collar-bone, ribs, arm and pelvis.  Having lost my sister in a head on wreck, I know the anguish of loss.

Lord make your face to shine upon and give them strength to carry on.

A moment can change everything.  We are so deeply sorry for your loss.

 

Colorado

imageI had a last-minute opportunity to head off to Colorado with my granddaughter Jordyn to spend the weekend celebrating the birthdays of my Denver grandchildren, Riley and Lexi.

I am a Denver native and a lover of the Rockies. While I have not lived in Denver for over 35 years I have always made several trips a year “home”.  Until these last years, when I moved my mom to Texas and now with her gone, I have not been here since my mother’s funeral last August.

It was with some apprehension I agreed to join the celebration of the birthdays of Riley (6) and Lexi (4).  I wanted to see my Colorado grandkids but was already reeling a bit from the first anniversary of my mother’s death and I knew a visit to my mountain home would emphasize not minimize my memories of my family.

Jordyn and I headed off yesterday afternoon.  Arriving at my daughter Amber’s home, while things had changed it all felt so familiar.  Much of my mother’s furniture makes it home now at Amber’s house.  I was greeted by the sight of our family dining room table with the oil painting from Brussels placed prominently upon the navy wall.  So many memories of holiday meals and family gatherings filled my mind.

  The sight of Nellie, the current Irish Wolfhound in residence at Amber’s, brought memories of our big dogs from before.  Jim always loved posing for pictures with the noble dogs. Nellie is a big girl with one of the best temperaments I have seen.

It was nice to sit down to a family dinner or pork roast and pasta.  It has been a long time since Lauren and I have bothered with a real meal.  I had forgotten how nice it was to enjoy great food and lively conversation.

Today preparations for the party started early (although not feed the horses at 4:30 early).  The giant bouncy house arrived, then the caterers and then the guests.  It was a beautiful day filled with fun, friends and family.

   

  

 I guess returning home means starting new memories.  Memories I will have to cherish in the future.  Colorado said “welcome home”.