The summer of ’77

Waking up this morning, needing to get up and feed the dogs,  knowing the horses would need attention,  knowing my old body would be grinding in protest, I wanted to turn away and go back to sleep. And suddenly I wondered, what it must’ve been like 40 years ago, the summer before my college graduation when I might’ve awakened in Fort Collins, Colorado to a whole day ahead of me with no appointments at all. And no real obligations.

Don’t get me wrong, I was busy then I worked a couple of different jobs.   I went to school full-time. I had a cat.  And I don’t remember an overwhelming sense of freedom of waking up and having a whole day stretch ahead of me with nothing to fill up but time.  I probably made up things to fill the time as we did when we were young and didn’t know the value of time or its place.

Fort Collins, Colorado, in the summer,  was as close to ideal as one could ever imagine. Perfect weather.  Blue skies, dear friends and mountains beckoning.
I wish I could capture that feeling of not having to get up and do something in the morning and have my body willingly and not complainingly wanting to do it with me. Oh the many things I would do over again if I could.

I certainly would take this day that I had off away from work and away from school and I would’ve driven down to Denver and I would’ve visited with my parents and seen my sister, Betty.  I didn’t know then how little time I would have with any of them especially my sister.
I might’ve taken a long bike ride along the mountain ridge as I often did in those days enjoying the freedom, the isolation and the ability to go where I wanted to go by myself. I might’ve just spent the day cleaning my little apartment. I don’t know how I would’ve spent the day but I would give anything to have the day over again to spend, to have time to hope and I think about my dreams.

Many, many of my dreams have certainly come true. I have had a blessed life but there’s something about the innocence of those days in the green Fort Collins that I would give anything to have one more glimpse of.

As always, thanks for riding along.

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I have some amazing horses for sale top of the crop, if anyone is looking please be in touch.

Study or Not?

As final exams and tests explode in house’s everywhere here is a testament to study.

Sunil Bali’s post provided some fodder around the study drills and their impact on our creativity levels.  I thought you might enjoy his enthusiastic take on the beginner’s mind.

 If you went to school in England, the chances are that you’re familiar with the fact that King Harold of England was shot in the eye by an arrow in 1066.

I can safely say that in the 40 years since I learned of Harold’s hapless demise, this fact has been of no use whatsoever.

The saving grace when I was taking my school exams was that whilst I was required to regurgitate countless facts, at least I wasn’t living in today’s age of infobesity, infoxication and information overload ….. drowning in a sea of self-promotion and sound bites.

As we’re growing up, school, society and then often the workplace, educate us out of our creativity.

Paul Linley, the multi-millionaire founder of children’s food company Ella’s kitchen, says that “grown-ups need to grow down” because when we’re born, we’re all creative geniuses and master negotiators, able to capture anyone’s attention.

Unburdened by the would, could and should of adulthood, children look at the world as a playground full of wonder, opportunity and joy.

In the foreword to Linley’s book, Little Wins, Sir Richard Branson says that recapturing the wild eyed enthusiasm, warmth and determination of your toddlerhood – or as Zen calls the Beginner’s Mind – is the path to a successful and fulfilled life.

 Sunil Bali’s great posts can be found at  http://www.sunilbali.com/

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.

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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!

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. 

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.