Grandkids

I have four grandchildren. The oldest, Jordyn, is nine. Next, my only grandson, Riley is seven. Then, is Lexi who is five. And last but certainly not least, is Kendyll who is four.  

Their parents, God bless them, give their children opportunities to excel in sports and in school. All four of the children are doing well in their sporting events this spring. I thought I would take just a moment to brag on all of them. 


Getting ready to Canter with trainer Nancy

Away they go!

Canter away

First, Jordyn, is really getting used to her new horse Poppy.  Poppy is to be the grandchildren’s horse but Jordyn is the one taking the first rides. By this weekend she was cantering over and over, picking up the correct lead and perfecting her style within just a week.  The little Poppy horse has entered all of our hearts.

Next out in Brighton, Colorado seven-year-old Riley has been tearing up the baseball field. He has had a hit at every single game he has played this year I know his grandpa Dave is very proud of him.

Baseball/softball was such a huge part of our life with Amber as she grew up playing with her dad coaching. Seems like her son has the same genetics.

As we all know it is hard especially in varying weather conditions, extremely cold days, warm days, windy days, to always get up and hit that ball. But that is exactly what Riley has been doing being one of the most consistent hitters is on his team.  I am very proud of him myself.
Lexington, pretty much the queen of her kindergarten class, ask anyone in the class- I’m serious, is also preparing for a dance recital right now. Lexi loves the costumes, the music and her simple ability to just dance her heart out. I wish I could be there for the recital. But I’ll look forward to seeing it Lexi on video when I can.

Riley and Lexi are also working on their upcoming Spartan race as they prepare to race across varied terrain and over and under many obstacles.

Lexi and Riley practicing the obstacle wall. It’s up and over folks.

Finally, four year-old Kendyll has been playing soccer this season. At first it didn’t go so well. It was really a lot of work running up and down that field and working the ball wasn’t too easy either. But Kendyll,  I think, is a natural athlete and bit by bit she got the idea of what was supposed to happen on the field.

It is also helped that I have been out of commission the last couple of weeks. Kendyll would come over while I sat in a chair to defend the garage entrance and Kendyll will try to kick the ball past me as I sat in the chair.  That should be pretty easy right? Actually Kendyll learned a lot from the exercise,  doing it over and over again till she got it right. 

 At her game this weekend she got her very first goal! I am very proud of her performance as well.  
It is amazing what happens when you give kids goals and opportunities to meet their goals. 

I love these babies so much and I’m so proud of them. 
As always, thanks for riding along.

A Chance

IMG_6449Day by day, I have been getting a little stronger and walking about a little further.  I have had some great visitors that have filled up the hours and some beautiful flowers that are filling the air with sweet scents.

Thursday Ally was over early to mow.  She thought she saw a small dog at the top of my neighbor’s driveway.  Lauren came back from her trainer’s around noon and spotted the same little one lying deathlike in the driveway.  Lauren went to investigate and found the neighbor’s other mini-pony had given birth but mommy and baby were separated and the baby was much worse for not having mommy by her side and milk to drink.

A little investigation found the first time momma with her placenta half-delivered locked away down in the pasture.  The baby had wondered up to the road herself.

Lauren would have investigated more but for the bull that chased her out of the pasture and through the wire fence.  It had been a brutal week for Lauren anyway having suffered a badly injured forearm that took her to the ER and a fall through a palm tree (you do not want that story) so getting chased by the bull was icing on the cake.

IMG_6450.JPGLauren and Ally teamed up with our neighbors to try to help out the tiny baby that was quite dehydrated at that point.  Couple with a syringe and water, the foal got some much needed fluids and started to gain back some ground toward living.

Lauren kept mumbling that she wanted to take the foal on the road with her to Tyron (North Carolina where she is headed to show this next week) and I was was fine with that but I was not agreeing to nurse it around the clock.  The owner of the property and mare were gone and not reachable to help us save the baby.

The girls called the sheriff’s department and four officers arrived pretty quickly.  They took the baby in their arms and went in search of the new momma still hoping she would accept the baby and the baby would have a chance.

IMG_6448.JPG

We all left out about that time leaving the matter in the capable hands of the officers.  Last night Nancy arrived for Jordyn’s lessons and I was telling Jennifer about the bad news of losing the little foal when our eyes were riveted towards the little sorrel pinto streak of a foal galloping next to her momma in the next pasture.

Never did I expect this baby to live and flourish.  I guess she just needed a chance.  Thank you ladies for work well done in his service!

Thanks for riding along!

Spring Baby

Our neighbors just had a mini horse baby. It is probably the size of my poodle. Seriously,  maybe he is just a little bit bigger than my poodle but not much and will not get a whole lot bigger than the poodle in the long run. He is about 10 days old now.  As I was home today getting my walkabout in, I got some photos of the little tiny baby. He could be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. But he’s feisty and mean and all of his stallion stuff is going on strong in his head already at 10 days of age.  

It looks like the end of his tail was dipped in chocolate.

Betty Sue looking on at the new little stallion next-door.

Thought I would just give some photos to you to enjoy as well.  
Thanks, as always for riding along.

And he’s out of here.

New Tuesday

Alex with almost yearling Sims


I had a quiet weekend as my body was trying to recover from the gallbladder storm of last week and prepare for the gallbladder removal of this week. Lauren was gone so Alex came to help me with stalls and cleaning. It was great to see her as always,  fun to show off Sims and she got a good ride in on Feather for us as well.

Last Tuesday morning I can honestly say it was one of the worst mornings of my life ever in terms of how I had felt.   This, a new Tuesday, while I feel like I was hit by a car, my neck hurts, my legs hurt, my belly hurts, and my back hurts I don’t have that overwhelming I am sick feeling that I had a week ago and for that I am immensely grateful.

Surgery yesterday brought out a very sick gallbladder that I have carted around for maybe 40 years. The doctor, an experienced one, noted this was one of the sickest gallbladder he’s ever seen. I was pleased.  Clearly, I had made the most of it.  I like to be high achieving in anything I do.
The next few days I’ll get stronger again get back to work soon as I can and be grateful I have the chance. As much as we complain about our medical medical system here we are very blessed. We have outstanding facilities, well trained doctors and the best opportunities for wellness.
I have had many health challenges over the years and I will have many more in the future.   I have some coming up soon. But I will never give up lightly.  I will never take them more seriously than they are.   Nor will I give them an opportunity to take over the life that I lead until they throw me to the mat. I’m grateful for another day.  I’m grateful for the chance at wellness. 
Thank you for so many well wishes.  

As always, thanks for riding along. 

What’s up, Cindy?

Loyal duo- George and Izzy

Last Monday was a busy day. All kinds of hectic at work,  rolling towards the first of another new month.  Another month off the calendar of time to accomplish things in 2017. I was even a bit worried and concerned about the lack of time I would have until we have had show results on the corporate table. But I was committed.  I was ready.  And I had a great team behind me. 

At home we were barreling down to T -2 weeks until Lauren went out of town. I’ve been keeping to my dressage ( dressage got auto corrected to Microsoft, lol) schedule not riding as much as I wanted but riding at least every week in the lesson. My back had improved- my life was improving.
Are you hearing but then? Well here it is, a but then on Monday night I started with this horrific type of stomach flu. Honestly do not know even now if it was a bug or food poisoning deal.  Round here you can never rule out food poisoning. And maybe eating Easter left overs a week later is not a good idea but it seemed like one of the time. 
I got through Monday and Tuesday pretty much in a coma.  I could honestly not make it further than my bed to the bathroom. No, you don’t want these details so feel free not to read the next couple sentences. Let’s just say that my mother who died two years ago needed this kind of help.   I never thought I would need this kind of help at age 60. And let it go.   I was probably as sick as I’ve ever been in my entire life and still have some of the same problems. 
By Wednesday my daughters for pushing me for the ER. When my family practice doctor saw how dehydrated I was,  where my stomach hurt she sent me right over. Why would listen to professionals over our children, I don’t know. Shout out to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land they did a great, expedient (mostly) job. Ally was shocked at how young the doctor was but giving a reference to Doogie Houser, MD, was a waste of my time so I didn’t bother. She was also shocked at how little money a resident would make while working in emergency room in Houston Texas (one of our conversations). 

Diagnosis – of course stomach/bowel problems that were quite obvious when I went in. I got some great medicine to take care of those issues. 
However, three interesting things came up on the CT scan but we’re only going to discuss one for now. (The other two findings might merit their own blog post so wait for what you can find out from a CT scan). The one for now,  I finally trashed my gallbladder- multiple stones were easily viewed and the gallbladder itself looked like a wicked, old troll (so the doc never said this.  It is how I imagine it, so what!!).  

They strongly encouraged me to have surgery ASAP before yellow became my new skin color.  I have had gallbladder problems for over 40 years and every time they have wanted to take out my gallbladder -starting when I was in college some other event would supersede the gallbladder surgery something much more crushing like they told me to take my gallbladder out just when I broke my pelvis. I wasn’t going to surgery then either. Another time was when I was six months pregnant with Lauren and I had an acute appendicitis they wanted to take the gallbladder out then too-again not a good time.  

I actually can’t even imagine a world where I wouldn’t have gallbladder pain. I’m actually kind of excited about this whole thing. Did you know the gallbladder pain can refer to your shoulder? Because I didn’t. It may clear up why I get this intense pain on the top of my shoulder even when I don’t remember having done anything to it, not that it takes much with my shoulders.
I saw the surgeon yesterday morning, I wish I had fasted because he wanted me in surgery then.  I had already had something to drink so it was postponed until this Monday.  I will appreciate any good thoughts, prayers, whatever you all do that might bring some good spirits my way. Not a big deal in the scope of what other people are dealing with but surgery at my age is still a little risky.

I’ll be back on my feet and back in the saddle before you know it. Not to mention having plenty of time to think and organize to push my corporate goals ahead in the meantime. 

—————

Jordyn on new Poppy.


Jordyn took her first lesson on Poppy with Nancy.  On an aside, anyone out there reading this get how Poppy might have a reference to my family and theirs? I did not name this horse she came with the name Poppy and yet it was a place that meant a lot of smiles and good,  happy times.  It was one of my mom and Jim’s favorite places to eat in Denver in the end.
Jordyn has not had much opportunity to ride Poppy yet so they’re still not totally fluid with one another. And Jordyn needs to get over some of her fear (legit fear) of horses running off on her. I don’t think Poppy will ever do that to her. Let’s just say the first lesson was a little rocky and we’re hoping for a better one next time.  

For now, Levi and I are going back to sleep.

As always, thanks for riding along!

Easter on

Kendyll and Jordyn Easter egg hunting

Ally and her girls

One thing we know for certain is that I will never be a caterer. There is no risk that I will start that as a career. While my food is OK from taste standpoint my presentation is horrible.
My deviled eggs, in particular, were not uniformly peeled nor were they uniformly filled. OMG! Nor do I have one of those fancy swirly things that makes your eggs look fresh from the kitchen at the Four Seasons.   But all in all it was a grand time with Ally, Luke,  their kids,  one of my friends,  Lauren, Blake and I.

 
Well I was messing up eggs and eating less than perfect pies, my daughter Amber in Denver, was making these beautiful little bird nest with Robin’s eggs in them. Like the candy Robin eggs not the real ones. That would be messy. Clearly,  somebody has skills I do not.

Jordyn was so excited to go out after dinner and show us all how she could canter Snowboy. But my neighbors chose just that moment to start a giant shooting competition, as in with shotguns, obliterating any chance of the horses or dogs having a sane moment from there on. A little disappointing but I guess it’s life in the country.

Today Lauren had the day off at home and called breathlessly to tell me that she had just killed a snake in the backyard. So I complain about the neighbors shooting their guns and then my daughter takes nine shots to kill one snake.  Her dogs maybe traumatized for life (and the snake definitely is!).  I told her she could’ve just taken the shovel to the snake’s head  but she did not think that was the way to go.
She also thought it was a good idea for me to have to clean up the body and get rid of the snake when I got home. What is that about?
Then she sent me a text to let me know she was about to get on Betty Sue. We do this as a safety measure to make sure one of us is always aware of the other is riding we are alone. In fact, just today I saw an IT presentation about these new bands that are not unlike the thing that old lady wears (could be me!) and acts out the part of “I have fallen but can’t get up!” but much smaller and more efficient.   I couldn’t help but think how wonderful they would be if you were riding a horse or hiking by yourself. But in the meantime I gave Lauren 45 minutes to ride Betty Sue before I would call Life Flight.  Fortunately that went well. Betty Sue did her first set of trot poles.

​This is a precursor to jumping so it’s important that she take them in stride, like literally. And she did it!  She walked and trotted through the poles- handling it like it  was just another day as you can see from the video below.
So that’s all from my front. I hope you all had a terrific Easter and spring has Sprung Whereever you are today.  

Selfish reflections on myself – Lenten writing # 42

Camille and I getting ready to leave for my mothers funeral Denver Colorado 2014

Camille Evans Richards was my best friend since I was about age eight when they first moved in to Plum Grove Estates. We lost touch with each other for many of the years but reconnected several years ago and have kept up since.   

One thing I could always count on with Camille was that she would tell me the truth. Like it or not, and I came up with some pretty crazy schemes back then like let’s jump on the sled triple, one laying on top of another and go down the steepest hill at night without lights!!  Yikes that was brilliant. Like the Times I suggested we walk miles in the woods with no clear idea where we were. We were lucky we were never killed. Couple of years ago when my mother died Camille spontaneously decided to show up at my mother’s funeral in Colorado. My daughters thought I was nuts to have just invited someone that I hadn’t  seen for 30 or 40 years to stay at the house with us but I knew it would be OK and it was. She was the first one to see Betty Sue, riding along with me bringing some sunshine to Colorado in the horribly dark days of my mother’s death. 

And this morning I got a message from Camille. I thought I would share with you. Here it is.
Hi!

So I have read all of your Lenten posts. Lots of soul searching going on. Your cruise seems like it became an opportunity for your girls to love you and be “helpful” by pointing out your flaws and life errors. Our adult children like to do that… I think they feel that talking about our errors of the past, will get fixed in conversation. No. Stop beating yourself up. Do you know what I admire about you? You have raised three girls into lovely women, almost singlehandedly! You have followed your dreams. You have horses and animals and a home. You are extremely successful at your job. You are not afraid to share some of your innermost fears do feelings and analyze yourself in a public forum. I couldn’t do that.
Ok, so you had to stop having boarders. I know a big disappointment, but you can only do so much, especially when you are alone. Good decision, but a tough one, I’m sure.
Your health issues have me concerned… medication, blood pressure… your thumbs, your back. Please take care of yourself and stop doing too much. I plan on our friendship continuing to last a very long time!

So today as the days of Lent come to a close I pray for the sanity to listen to Camille and all those that wish me well. I am, I know, my own worst enemy.

Thank you for riding along. You all mean the world to me.  God bless. 

Kid, my poodle and I circa 2013