My photo

Used to run a stable and live on a farm, now I am back into banking for awhile. Still have horses and love animals.  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Year's challenge

We have some serious snow out here, I don't mind but it's always more challenging when you have horses. The great hay shortage is here. You have to go long distances to get hay at a reasonable rate and the hauling and of course putting it up in the barn in the snow.

I can say that now that we board a couple of our horses we were very blessed to have Big Red to keep things moving. I never had a manure pile with a snow ready tractor and a manure spreader. Having it all in the barn so you could clean stalls and not have to be out in the worst of weather was great.

The mud too was easy to deal with because of the tractor. I realize now that we would have not made it very far without buying the tractor. I miss the old tractor and the fun I had running it. I can say it is better now that we deal with just two horses instead of 10 with the hay shortage and without the heavy duty equipment that made life a little easier.

It will be a challenge for the next four or more months feeding the horses but at least we know how to manage what we have to do.

I miss having them home and being able to walk out the back door and do the chores. I am looking forward to spring here as we still have places to explore and being outside where it is beautiful and quiet. The people here are really nice and our neighbors are outstanding. I think it all turned out for the best. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A TAIL of Christmas!

We do have a couple of good Christmas traditions that I started when Kylie was little. The first one is going to the barn on Christmas Eve night and spending some time in a dimly lit barn with the animals and praying a little bit. The second is loosely wrapping 4 dog toys that have squeakers in them and put them under the tree.

Christmas Eve I wrapped a couple of presents in my bedroom and the dogs naturally had to come in and supervise. It always gets a little tricky with retrievers when you take dog toys out of a shopping bag and instead of handing them over, you proceed to wrap and tape them. There was a sad procession down the hall to the Christmas tree where they are placed till the humans open their presents.

We went to the barn and when we got back the toys were where I had placed them. The night passed with the dog toys undisturbed and finally the morning. Stupid humans slept in a little darn... then uncle Gregg arrives and there's excitement and that must mean (to a certain retriever) that Christmas is on. So Daniel suddenly appears at my bedside with a dog toy that is still wrapped. Sorry Daniel, give it back, and under the tree it must go.

Finally, Kylie is ready to open her Christmas presents and one, two, three dog toys are immediately pouring over Daniels mouth as he briskly runs into the other room with them while the other dogs stand around me a little stunned.  

The next phase of Christmas morning is turning the radio on and listening to Christmas music while working in the kitchen. Like every year since we've had Nana (Cockatoo), the Christmas music is accompanied by Nana's singing.  She likes singing only occasionally throughout the year but Nana loves Christmas music. She knows most of the old songs with her favorite being I'm dreaming of a White Christmas, then Jingle Bells. She sort of sings along but you can only catch a word here and there that is clear, still she knows the melodies and puts her little heart into it even if a bit off key and nasally.

All the horses got treats, Nana got steak, the other birds and bunnies got treats and the dogs... well Daniel got everyone's dog toys until he fell asleep on them and the other dogs quietly sneaked away with them.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What does God think of Christmas 2012

Everyone knows the story, the babe born in a humble stable, in a manger. The Three Wise Men, the Sheppard's, and the star that everyone followed to find the new born king. I've thought about the story, the well told story that sounds so simple and quaint. Was it really simple? Just picturesque and another Disney type story that we all love, created for our entertaining pleasure that comes on every year for over 2000 thousand years just like some of our favorite Christmas movies.

I thought about the story this morning from a different perspective trying to imagine what it would have been like to be the people in the story and what it was like in their time.

A woman who has a questionable pregnancy in a time where women were stoned for less, a man who must believe in this woman and maybe even have to stave off other's judgments and with racing thoughts at times humble himself to take a leap of faith and accept the circumstances.

At the very time when the baby should be welcomed into a home with parents, grandparents, family and community they are forced to set off for a long trek. A donkey, the mode of transportation for a long trip. I don't know the climate or weather of the region so I can only speculate what the difficulties entailed and of course there is the need for food and water to consider.

Arriving at the town of Bethlehem and ready to give birth to Mary's first child, she must patiently wait for a place to rest to prepare for the birth. Her mother wasn't there for her, was there any woman to help with the birth? Labor, a woman's pain, months of a slow progression and finally the culmination of joy and pain all at once.

A child was born, and endured birth as any other child, a woman travails like every woman in suffering and perhaps struggling with the unknowing and uncertainty of the first child birth as a young woman.

The Wise Men, traveling a great distance following a star. They encountered a number of obstacles, they had to use cunning to keep the child safe even before they arrived at the place where he was born. I would find it hard to imagine the feelings of the parents when these strangers arrived, the wonder and fear of such guests. We think of presents for Christmas, what one of us would do if we were presented with gifts for our life and then also death. Burial herbs, how much celebration would there be if we unwrapped that Christmas morning instead of the many items we indulge ourselves in each Christmas.

Now the sheperds, my favorite. Nomads, moving their flocks, I can assure you although they may not have been held in high ranking in their society they didn't care. Living out under the stars, protecting their sheep and sharing in the wonder of their natural world. God the creator and the stewards of His creation.

Observing the star, the angel who visited them not the wealthy or people who could have made Mary and Joseph's more comfortable, the in the know people, the people they could have gotten hooked up with. They offered their joy, there reverence, their good wishes and blessings to a young family and a newborn child.

Now the picture looks a little more lifelike, God gave the world a beautiful gift, He gave us hope. There was no magical wave of an imaginary wand, the Gift was given but the labor, the effort of those who received it and the later suffering of the babe as a man were all very human I think.

Survival, mankind I believe in those days focused on survival, the effort of surviving. Where have we gone? How did we move so quickly from the unity of working towards survival to the detachment of self from all that is meaningful.

Why did an innocent baby have to be hidden away for fear of being killed, why could we not receive such a wonderful Gift as we have received so many other precious lives?

What does Christmas mean to us today at this time in our evolution as humans? Does it mean anything except time off from work, an excuse to buy things and not feel guilty? Is it really food and family when we are all exhausted and stressed out.

This morning I stopped for a moment while enjoying the quiet of the early morning and asked myself what God thinks of the celebration of Christmas, any Christmas. How can I answer that question without feeling ashamed. Christmas does not mean the celebration of the birth of Christ, it does not mean the thankfulness for Him or the sharing of His love with others. To be honest there is another god worshiped at Christmas, the god of the world and the things made by our own hands and the money to buy them. The god of "happy holidays."

The Lord, He is a wonderful Father, for He knows we need Him all year round, His gift, Jesus is here for us for all times, Christmas I think has become our holiday not Christs, but everyday if we can just remember to embrace His love in our daily lives, to share it with others. Self will parish, we will all spiritually parish without the daily struggle to survive, the struggle to gather His fruit, to be stewards of His blessings, to sow and reap His harvest in our lives and the lives of others. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Balance and simplicity

Always challenging in our culture but the keys to happiness

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kylie's Happy Day

This weekend was busy but fun for several reasons even thought the rain is ridiculousness at this point. Friday Kylie went to see a counselor to help with the grieving she's experienced over the farm, her dad walking away from her again for months, and Mare Girls death. It is always good to talk to an impartial person and since she is 15 things are just more emotional to begin with.

I went to see Pat who is our feed dealer and visited while we picked some grain for Cody and Aubrey and we headed back towards home. I stopped at the tack shop and picked up the gently used Rocking R endurance saddle they just got in for Kylie to try out and we headed to the barn. It's about the nicest saddle I've ever seen and it fit Aubrey and Kylie perfectly. It is also a flex saddle and can be fitted to different horses. After the ride we went with Thea to Big Dee's because they had a warehouse sale just to look around. I did break down and buy a new riding helmet after 10 years of using the same one. It was on sale and it fit much better and is very comfortable, chances are I will wear one now that at least it's tolerable.

Saturday was some cleaning, working around the house and barn and grocery shopping. We stripped the stalls and fluffed them up etc. Kylie and I talked about the saddle and if we were going to keep it. Kylie rides western in my saddle or she rides in her English saddle, we have been looking for a good everyday saddle for awhile so we could trail ride together. Friday by the way, is when she trotted and cantered Aubrey for the first time in a very long time. With her dad pushing her and all the drama at the old farm she and Aubrey just couldn't seem to get back into the swing of things. She's got it now though, Thea is a good teacher and I am there giving her a little gentle push when she needs it.

That brings us to today, Sunday's are the day when I try and ride. We got a late start this morning because I needed some sleep. We got dressed and went to the barn and brushed our horses, lunged them a little and saddled them both up and rode quietly together. I bought the saddle for her before we went to the barn, her one and only Christmas gift this year. It belongs to her now, her and Aubrey and I rode together. Kylie hasn't been this happy in a long time. It's not just the saddle it's the sharing of our time that makes it important. Cody was very happy to be brushed and loved on, he took the riding gracefully. I put the English bridle on him and we worked on just walking around and getting back to the old days when we used to be a team.

Aubrey behaved very well and was happy with the attention and the love he is now getting. Okay so there were a few treats in it too.

Kylie and I had a long talk this morning about things that have been making her sad. She misses Mare Girl too, it was tough for both of us, like loosing a family member. It will be along time before we stop thinking about it I suppose.

Below is the closest I can find to the picture of the saddle Kylie got, it doesn't do it justice really.

Monday, December 3, 2012


This morning I woke up in pain all over, felt like I'd aged 30 years, just felt half dead. I got mad and decided I wasn't ready to be an old old lady just yet. I got Kylie up and informed her today was the day she was going to ride Aubrey again.

Kylie had done wonders with Aubrey, they were amazing together and Kylie had built up a great deal of confidence. Then enters the dad, Kylie's dad the horse show judge, and everything got torn down. In other words, you aren't doing it right, you aren't doing it my way, bully the horse and you'll get results faster. No positive sincere feedback, a young girl looking to her dad for approval and acceptance, the answer you aren't good enough. Every time for the longest time now Aubrey was a reminder of the negative experience and that she was never good enough, dad has disappeared again now for three months and here I am watching her suffer and trying to make her feel better again.

So, I got up and got her to the barn, we brushed our horses and lunged them. Kylie started with Aubrey from square one and the little brat thought he was going to bluff her as young horses will try with being naughty to avoid doing a little work.

Thea and I stood by and assisted when necessary and the end result was Kylie rode Aubrey and she did well and he understood that he has a job to do. I rode Cody and stunk because I don't have the balance or seat because I'm out of shape.

It was a great day to get back to the basics, to face things and make the best of them. Kylie will have her horse back and eventually her confidence. I will hopefully feel better because of physical activity to combat the stress and hard work.

Cody is just happy, to be brushed, his hooves picked, kissed and praised. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Endings, new beginnings, death, and new life... It's all about change. I am no stranger to change, I think I've managed to shove several lifetimes into one. I am guessing some people are born, grow up in relatively the same home with the same people, move out but not to far away from the familiar and basically stay in about the same environment for their whole lives.

Everyone experiences loss, discovery, and the in between but to what extent for the average person I cannot say. I can't help but feel there are many mundane things about people who have generally lived a less eventful life. Shopping, TV, sports, alcohol, and I don't know just things that seem to kill time till the inevitable happens.

I am not criticizing or belittling anyone it's just hard to relate to all the sameness, the self entertainment and lack of action or purpose, I am just a square peg trying to fit in a round hole when it comes to understanding how things are in general for many people I come in contact with, okay most of the rest of the world as I know it.

Kylie and I have been in the process of grieving for the farm, not the old house but the life with horses where we were so much a part of the land and the animals. Now, we have a wonderful home which I am grateful for, a great job, at least enough money to survive. I have basically the American dream, there is some drama as I still owe money on debts I have to repay, the owner's of the old farm are trying to draw and quarter me with a lawsuit in which they feel they are entitled to an enormous amount of money etc. Still, as the average person would see it as I'm doing okay.

There isn't a struggle, nothing to push against, or to fight for life or survival. There is nothing I am passionate about for the first time in my life. I can't just go to work and come home to watch TV or just kill time, it will slowly kill me. From my childhood I've always had a restlessness in my soul, a desire but for what I didn't really know. I think I am like the horses I've taken care of, it's the open gate, the open door I strive for, to burst out of it and run wild and free without thinking of convention or correctness.

I'm not happy completely, I'm still a little lost. I feel sorry for the owner's of the old farm, they are angry and bitter, I wish they could find happiness and go on with their lives. There are friends that weren't there for me when we were going through the worst that want to reconnect but I don't want to drag the old hurts into a new life.

I miss Emmy sitting in the barn waiting for me in the morning or watching me from the rafters. I miss Mare Girl, Rauls, Preacher, Polo and William. It wasn't the place that captured my heart, it was the sound of hoof beats, of the quiet eating of hay and snorts at night in a dark barn. The joy of watching Mare run with her tail in the air, Rauls looking like a beautiful white phantom as he galloped out of the barn, Polo's soft nuzzling and joy at being with other horses that loved him. I miss Preachers stoic charm and his respectful presence. William, sweet William and his cranky disposition.

I miss the soft muzzles and gentle eyes of creatures that accepted me as I am. Kylie grew into almost a young woman and worked side by side with me. Many lives I have lived, always struggling or at the mercy of circumstances, perhaps age has taken some of the starch and grit out of me I don't know but a complaisant life will never do.

Winter is a time when things pass away, the seed is dormant and waits and rests. In the spring nature struggles and forces it's way up through the cold dark days till finally again the sun shines warm rays and life returns. This is a time of winter for me, a time of solitude, reflection, and stagnation. Change is a merciful thing sometimes because it will not always be winter in my life, it will change regardless of what I do, then I'll be pushing at an unseen gate again, trying to break free from imagined chains until I'm able to burst through and feel the deep breath of life again, ready to struggle, to find a purpose to have passion.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What is this boobery ??

 My horses have never been blanketed before, they took it very well. Cody sporting his new blanket in fashionable red. Aubrey is wearing Mare Girls old blanket, it fits him and it will keep him warm. I still miss her.

The little ones have ample fur but we enjoyed dressing them up anyway.

The main reason for introducing blankets is because Cody is older now and needs one, of course we couldn't do for one and not all. Spoiled horses.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving is upon us

Working is all I do, I leave when it is dark and come home when it's dark. Time is flying though, soon it will be spring but first Thanksgiving and Christmas then the long cold months.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year and so I am looking forward to time at home here in our new place with the fancy kitchen. We will be thankful and enjoy a nice dinner.

The animals will join in and it will be a good day.

I took a ticket off the tree at work from the Salvation Army to buy toys for a child that may not have anything for Christmas. It brings me happiness to give and I'm glad that work has provided the opportunity.

I miss helping animals and meeting new ones but for now it is best I help my own. Dusti is old dog and he is showing his age more and more. It is time to take care of my senior.

They are all happy of course that they are all together in this new place.

I'm tired though and I miss them but as time passes it will get easier and we will have fun times again. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kylie's evening, Cooper toots

Kylie had a friend over for the first time at the new house, they stayed up all night and had a pretty good time. Kylie has to live grown up sometimes too much and needs to be a child once and awhile, she of course is growing into a young woman fast but there is still time for child times.

I noticed while trying to sit and watch TV that Cooper our little Sheltie toots a lot. He is always next to me napping when I am on the couch and if I am paying attention I hear a little phhzzz. Of course he always looks so innocent... not.

We spent time yesterday putting stone in the horses stalls, today when we picked the stalls they were much better and easier to clean. Winter is coming and it is time to get things accomplished while the weather is decent.

Now that the truck has been fixed it is time to start stock piling fire wood. We have storage here and it will be important to burn wood to keep the cost of heating down.

The little horses were out all day today, they were tired when they came in. They had a round bale to eat and some nice sunshine. They are in need of a good brushing, they are woolie and wild looking. Cody and Aubrey are muddy and since I am off tomorrow, Kylie and I will spend some fun time with them and get them cleaned up.

It's nice to be home a little and have time to settle in and enjoy the house. I really enjoy the community and Kylie and I like going to eat at the local diner. The sunshine and beauty is something precious to me not so much because it has rained quiet a bit but because I am in an office all day long all week. I love underwriting and I love the company I work for but my heart belongs to nature and being part of it. I hope next year there will be time to spend doing things outside, being with the horses, and long quiet evenings. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hurricanes, Elections and Hay Shortages

My router got ruined with the power outage with our little hurricane storm out here in the boonies. I couldn't do much on the internet for two weeks without WiFi. The storm was bad but it could have been worse, it was of course for many others.

Kylie and I followed the election pretty close and I took her with me when I voted. This election was so important, I really believe Romney was the wrong person at this time and wouldn't have been prepared to face the issues that are presently facing our country. I really have respect for President Obama, he didn't start his term with the best of circumstances, he's been insulted and treated so disrespectfully because of his race, name and heritage, more so than any other president. Any president of the United States deserves the respect of Americans, we must all stand behind our President for the world to see, if we don't than we bring shame upon ourselves.

The most recent trauma in my world is the hay shortage. I have had to think fast in recent days on what to do to survive it. I have learned a few things recently, that I was a very honest barn manager, I also know why people thought the worst or that they might be cheated because they most likely were at one barn or another.

I bought better feed than I could afford given the board I was charging, I always made sure I brought hay in and even though sometimes the sawdust got a little low I pulled it together to keep things going. I didn't have the money to stock pile things and I had to go week to week but the supplies were there when they needed to be. Not one horse ever got slighted food, hay or my attention to their well being regardless of how their owners may have treated me. I loved them all. I went without food and so did Kylie, if I had to go short on something it was always taken from my animals. It may not have seemed to some people like I was doing a good job but they had no idea what I had to go through to get it done.

There are so many people in the horse business that are just not nice people, that aren't trustworthy and take advantage without really caring much about the animals themselves. The hay gouging is just so wrong, what will people who have horses that they honestly love do when it is tough enough to keep them when hay prices are reasonable. How many horses will starve, be abandoned, taken to auction because of the hay prices. I hate this, I hate it when people are just all about the money. Anyone who has read my blog much knows I hate materialism and selfishness.

I am back to managing resources closely with my horses making sure I use good judgement and provide for them with round bales and beet pulp and a mixture of a good food source. I have my heels dug in to face the worst. If I have to put the labor in to do it I'm ready.

It would be nice though to just sit back and enjoy them but for now being able to keep them and meet their needs will have to do.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cozy fire

Cold and damp, home is where the heart is

This weekend was all rain and today blistery and cold. Yesterday was fun day running around and just getting out of the house in general for me and Kylie. I took Kylie to the music store in town and we had her guitar checked out. Kylie is good with music so she is going to start guitar lessons.

Today was a lazy morning but we went to the barn to spend time with our horses and to start with some lessons with Kylie. It's was such a bad spring and summer that Kylie hasn't done much with Aubrey and has lost her confidence but now is the perfect opportunity to enjoy building the bond again with both of our horses.

We took them over to the arena and exercised them and turned them loose and they ran with their tales up and had a good roll in the dirt. At first because of the new environment they were a little skittish but with a chance to run off pent up energy they settled down. They both were brushed and spoiled a little.

Cody is 18 now but in really good shape, there is time for the two of us to have some fun together trail riding and recapturing some of the years we lost with working and being a single mom. He got a bite of my candy bar and enjoyed it, his reward for beings such a good and patient horse.

Finally, maybe a girl and horse, Kylie and Aubrey who will soon be trail riding too. We can now be the lovers of our own horses and enjoy the simplicity of the relationship.

After being out in the cold and the rain we came home to start a fire, to relax in a warm and secure home. It's been a long time since I felt safe and settled. The horses will be hayed tonight before bed because I know someone that loves animals as I do will see to it. I will drive early in the morning before most people are up to work to do what I must. My horses will be cared for and let out when it's best for them and be well cared for, when I return in the evening I can visit with them and so it goes until the weekend when there is more time.

I miss being outside all of the time and the farm but I am satisfied that I can work and earn the money to bring comfort to all that is in my care. Kylie, horses, dogs, and birds. Here there are no threats, no fear of being homeless, major things failing having to find a way to fix them.

The weeks fly by and it seems like a boring life right now compared to the last two years but it's nice to not have to live under such stress although I still feel it and it will take awhile to let go of it.

I do miss the land and the animals that I was blessed to care for and especially the ones that need a little helping hand. Not a day goes by that I don't still think of Mare Girl. When we went to Quarter Horse Congress I thought if she was still with us I would have brought her back something. I guess though I have enough little fur and feather lives to care for now, one person can only stretch so far. What memories I have though and the stories I can tell.

Now, some TV and a late supper, a warm fire and cuddly dogs. How blessed I am to be given so much. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

no time

No time for blogging this week, I had a bad sinus infection to so I basically passed out at night so I could make it to work in the morning. I went to the doctor yesterday and got some super antibiotics and I'm feeling great today.

Rain, rain and more rain. Sunshine today though and I am making the most of it. Work is gong great but I am working 50 hours a week so there's not much time during the week days.

Sunday's are the day to enjoy the house and I am slowly coming around to liking it more. Our neighbors are really nice and so is everyone in the community so far. Kylie is liking the farm folks and she feels like she fits in better.

Bunnies cages got done today and stalls will be done also. The hay shortage really stinks, it is going to be a tough winter to find hay that doesn't cost a fortune.

I ran the dogs this morning because we have an electric in ground fence now and they won't go and play and run unless I go with them. They have a huge area to run but still aren't sure about it.

The little ponies are out on the grass and I am planning in the spring to fence in the rest of the land with permanent fence and a run in shed. It is better to plan to bring them home in case boarding becomes a problem. I don't want to move them all over the place and finding a barn where I know they will be turned out is hard to find. It is also more expensive to board them, there is so much grass here it just seems logical to eventually bring them home. They can be out all of the time through the nice weather months with a run in.

So, I will save the money I need to accomplish these things in the springtime. I am not looking forward to the winter and the short days. The summer was completely a blur with all the chaos of everything going on and so I will be glad to get through winter and start over again. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Kylie's happy

Thursday I had a really busy day at work and a lot of last minute files to do a final review on for closing. I started at 7 in the morning and finished after 6 at night. I got home and we had to go do stalls and some other things, Kylie had finished all of her school work for the week. All of this because Friday we were going to quarter horse congress, the first time taking Kylie myself to anything in years.

Kylie woke me up at 5 in the morning on Friday with breakfast in the microwave and a fresh cup of coffee. She hadn't slept all night because she was so excited. I didn't get up till 6 though I was just too tired. I got up and took my time as I didn't want the day to be rushed or regimented. We left closer to 8 and she just talked herself to death on the way there. Traffic was light, it was a straight drive and off 71 straight into the event, close parking and just small crowds for most of the morning.

Kylie practically skipped to the gate to get in! I handed her cash, money I haven't been able to giver her ever. She ran the barn at the other house for four straight weeks during the summer while I was in PA for training. She did a good job and everything was done right. I couldn't give her any money, barely could buy groceries and she hasn't had new clothes in a long time, Good Will was where she got her clothes which is okay but a teenager needs to have a little fun money you know.

Kylie walked around all of the vendors carefully, weighing all her options and being very frugal. She bought Bit a tiny little blanket for winter, had a name sign made for Aubrey's stall, and bought a new hat for herself for winter. She was so happy with the name plate for Aubrey, she looked at it all the way home.

I took her in to watch the reining and she wanted to see the cutting. We walked around that place for hours, we had fair food and walked again, I bought Cody a red turnout blanket, his first ever, and a new halter with soft sides so it wouldn't rub.

We walked till our legs were numb from our knees to our feet. Kylie was exhausted till she begged me to go home. Her head bobbed on the way home from trying to stay awake. When we got home, she thanked me thinking somehow something would happen and we wouldn't get to go. She was stunned at having the money to shop and realized that it was a whole lot of fun. Most of all, I got to take her, we did it together instead of her friends families taking her or her dad because I couldn't either because of lack of money or time.

I bought her dinner on the way home, we watched TV together when we got home for a little while and she looked at the things she got for her horses. She was happy in a way I haven't seen in a long time. All day she kept asking me if I was okay, and she said Mom, what would happen to me if something happened to you.

The big day is over but it was great, now onto working hard and paying bills. But, Kylie is happy at least for now (she is a teenager, it won't last long) :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Golden Retriever Attacks, Maims, Wild Boy


Cody and Aubrey at the new place

Feeling human again

I decided not to work this Saturday and stay home and get things organized. Since June things have been really crazy. The new job, losing the farm, four weeks in Philadelphia  the big move, test cases, and moving the horses twice.

It was nice this weekend to stay home, get some rest, and do home things. I still have to put my clothes away properly but I got things moved around and it's slowly coming together. I groomed Dusti today and am better able not to keep our animals cleaned up and happy.

Yesterday was beautiful but today was cold and miserable. We had a fire in the fireplace today and last night. The fireplace here has an insert and a blower so the heat is utilized very well.

Nana had a visitor and she has her own fan club now with the neighbors. They hear her carrying on in the sunroom and worry if she's okay but at the same time just enjoy her because they think she is funny. The neighbor brought his little granddaughter over to see Nana and pet the ponies. She was such a little girl she was afraid of Bit, he was wanting to meet her but she just didn't know what to think. Of course Nana did a dance for her and was pleased to have the attention.

Someone at the barn gave us a mini blanket that fits Pony, of course now Bit will have to have one. I am going to use Mare's old blanket on Cody this year as he is getting older. Aubrey is getting very tall and handsome. He has a Paso next to him named Sebastian and they like each other, Aubrey seems to like everyone though.

I am hoping that tomorrow the weather is nicer and the sun shines, I am not ready for the cold, I'm just not prepared for it to come this soon.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Home today

I am home today instead of at work. We moved but we are not settled in as things are still packed. I am sitting here enjoying the new place and relaxing before starting on organizing stuff. Litchfield is such a nice place to live and the house is so inviting and bright.

It's been a long year with my life completely turned upside down and taking a different direction. Some stuff was really awful and some pretty good. I feel like God has really worked miracles and I still have a purpose to fulfill in my life.

I was driving home last night and I was thinking of somethings in my life to me that I have a hard time forgiving myself for and that it was so deep for me that that kind of forgiveness doesn't really exist in the human realm. It is an old issue of life and death and the choices I had to make a long time ago. Some circumstances were out of my control and because I am human I did the best I could.

My thoughts were that there are some things that are of such a personal nature that it matters not what the world thinks but my own conscience only and what I can accept as reasonable behavior and consequences. I realized too that to really know and have a relationship with Jesus on a higher level that it His forgiveness for things that are beyond the mundane sins and shortcomings, that only Him I could confess to and share the burden of conscience. The greatness of sin shared with greatness of forgiveness that really solidifies to the highest level His death for my sins, for my failure to overcome the affect of life or death, I as a human might be responsible for.

I am humbled by my shortcomings so that I might be a better person, so that I might need God not because I am a great human being but because I am not. I love God, He is loving, merciful, and powerful but those are not the deepest reasons, I love Him because He loves more than I can love, forgives more than I can forgive, because He is everything I wish to be but cannot be. He has made  a way for me and regardless I am His child, His masterpiece, He chooses to see me as I would never dare see myself because Jesus opened the doors of heaven for me in which I am not worthy to even look upon.

It is humbling to hope to serve such a God even with what small things I have to offer, to say I am a servant of the most high God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the follower of Jesus. To be among His people, to be accepted.

It is safe to say that human limitations on the capacity to love, for compassion, to forgive is limited at best, perhaps that is why we hurt each other, why we cannot have a mind of God. We must rest in the knowledge that God is there and He is all those things gives hope to all living things, light, and peace so long as we are willing to receive what is so generously given to us. 

I think fear is such an enemy of God, some would be more compassionate, would do more to be the likeness of Jesus if only they weren't afraid. To step out and let go of what is known, comfortable, and complacent is terrifying. To cling to the material, the routine is so safe but it does not compare to the safety of God. You must first let go of what you perceive as yours to reach out and grasp something greater. Even scriptures which people are so fond of are only words unless you act upon them, God gave them as His word to use and put into use not to spill out on someone and walk away.

Really, our God is more demanding than we realize I think. Who are we to judge others? Is it to make sure we are right in the sight of God by comparison. We did not create the Words of God, we are messengers not interpreters of the Word. If the Word has Life then we must first and only live the Word, God will move in us. This is the only way God is revealed to others no matter how many scriptures you memorize.

Today is beautiful and even though things are still not as I wish them to be here I am so happy to see the day and the beauty around me. I have not know peace for many months but I am finding it and I'm glad with all the hard work and long hours that I can think about God, feel Him, talk to Him. I am closer to Him now than ever, in a sense it has all been worth it these past few months.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Farm chores, fatigue, and fathers

I was totally wiped out on Friday but got up on Saturday and went to work. When I got home I mowed the grass in the front which is a lot and stopped by the barn to see the horses and sit out on the gazebo by the pond. When I got home I wasn't motivated to much but did go to bed early.

Today I slept till 11 which kind of made me mad because I didn't want to waste so much of the day but I was exhausted. I went to the bird fair in Medina and got some big wooden toys for Nana, something she hasn't had for awhile, I also got her a doll with soft ropes hanging like a skirt that she could snuggle with at night. We put her out in the sunroom on a perch and she was just so happy that Uncle Gregg and I decided to finally move her big bird cage in there. The cage is about 300 lbs. and we had to take it apart to get it through the doors and into the sun room. It was worth it, she is so content and she chewed her new wood and watch the sunset.

I went and filled 30 trash bags full of sawdust from the old barn for Thea's new place. Some of it is from I brought with me from the old barn and some was hers. She moved her house into the new place this weekend and needed all the help she could get, like us when it came to moving there weren't a lot of people to come to the rescue but those that did worked hard. So Thea has a nice barn and a little arena and 15 acres and she now lives in the house there too. It is perfect for her horses and trail and endurance lessons. We get to share in the beauty as our horses are there and it's a beautiful place for horses.

I count Thea as a good friend because I was at work Saturday and in the middle of her having to move her own things she picked up Kylie and went and got two round bales, one for her farm and dropped the other one off here at the house for the two little horses. She didn't have to do that, it saved me a lot of worry. I appreciated it so much because it is something I would have done for my boarders but I don't really think they appreciated the time and trouble I went through to make it better for their horses. I would never treat someone who cares about my animals as much as I do like that, I wouldn't want to take advantage of someone either. It means a great deal to me to know my horses are happy and are outside living the life they should while I am away working so much, in fact, it is the only way I would have peace of mind about it.

I am not one to trust someone with my horses but I trust Thea, she goes and gets the best hay she can get for all the horses, she feeds beet pulp even thought it is more trouble, she makes sure all the horses are out as much as possible. It's not easy for her as it wasn't for me, you sacrifice a lot to spend the money to make sure the horses are taken care of right, barn owners have more heart than money. People just don't understand, nor appreciate the cost of caring.

I still am not over Mare Girl yet, I miss her and I miss Emmie who left shortly after we moved. There are many farms around here and I hope Emmie found one. She was my good little friend, I love her and miss her.

Things I didn't accomplish today are laundry, putting away things, and vacuuming. I did get part of the backyard mowed this evening. I guess I will get it all done eventually. Tomorrow I'll have to catch up on stall cleaning after work. At least I like coming to work and the hours fly by until it's time to go home. I have a couple of good friends at work too and we joke around and have fun while we are working so hard on loans.

The dogs are super happy, I can actually feed them the way they should be fed. The birds all got a new toy and they are happy, I got some much needed sleep and tomorrow it starts all over again.

Kylie is not so happy, she misses her dad. They really don't understand each other very well and to some degree Dave has replaced Kylie with a sort of adopted daughter. The other girl goes with Dave to shows and likes to show and he buys her things he would never buy for Kylie. It hurts Kylie very deeply and there isn't anything I can do to make it better.

I told Kylie today it is time maybe she should go and spend sometime with her dad for her sake. I am not sure if the relationship will ever be what she would like simply because Dave is the way he is and seems to have a warped idea of what a parent relationship is especially when he expects Kylie to be there for him instead of the other way around.

Sad really, Kylie is self driven in school, she is great with the barn and horses. She's pretty and mature and a very good person and she has common sense. Kylie can do or be anything she wants and she has a strong character. Dave will never see all that she is or appreciate it really for his values and priorities are different. Daughters should always be a daddy's little girl but that has never been for Kylie. I am sad for her but I know God is a good father and He will always be there for her.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Release from bondage

As Joseph was imprisoned and then found favor with Pharaoh and the Hebrews fled slavery in Egypt things have come full circle. Today I was blessed with a significant raise in my salary. I took a lower salary because I had been out of mortgages for awhile and out of underwriting, my employer gave me a chance to prove myself. I've been a single parent for 15 years now and I can't remember the last time I got paid that I didn't worry about how I was going to make it until the next paycheck, that is until now.

The bondage of debt and financial stress is as real as any shackles or chains, it is a huge burden to carry every day of your life. I am not rich but I will be okay now. Bills will be paid and I will have the money to buy Kylie somethings sorely needed like new boots. Better still, I will have money leftover, I will be able to do somethings that I haven't been able to for most of my life.

Last night I was very sad because I missed the barn at night when I would feed the horses their night time hay. I loved the peacefulness of the barn in dim light and the sound of horses eating. I grieved and I felt ashamed for not being grateful for all the many blessings I have now.

I reminded myself I was able to survive and not loose the animals and that is what is important. The Lord new I need to have a place and things situated where I would be free of some of the labor I have had in the past, although I'd rather be outside working and a farm will always be my true love. While I am working now I can't do both, there will come a day when a small barn will be built or a small farm will be purchased for myself and my animals. Until then things are best now and it is important to be thankful for every moment of life and not waste it.

My employer is going to give me another opportunity in the months to come to test for underwriting other loan types and once I achieve that goal my income will increase again. God is good and merciful. It has been a long time in the desert but now it is time for abundance and grace.

I still miss Mare Girl terribly and I will for awhile I suppose but with sorrow there is also joy as I had today. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

More moving

Yesterday was a move from one barn at the end of our road to down the street by not even a half a mile.  Cody and Aubrey stepped up on the trailer as if they knew they were going home. Where they are at now has lots of green pastures, trees, and peace and quiet. It's an awesome place and I am truly happy with the situation. They will be outside most of the time like at our old place and because it's self care things are pretty much simple. I hate that Mare couldn't go but it would also been stressful moving again. It's still hard to walk into the barn where she passed as I have to walk by her stall where it all happened.

I worked yesterday and got overtime which will help us with left over bills. I slept late today not on purpose but because I was so tired and I am fighting something off.

I bought pizza last night for everyone in the barn, all the volunteers had worked all day and were so hungry and money was tight with the move for the manager that I wanted to do something to help out. Since I just went through the hell of moving and money issues I know how hard it is. I don't want to see any one suffer the way we did and not try to help even in a small way.

Today I got a heater for the birds as the sun room is not heated and it is getting pretty cold at night. I didn't get much done around our house but we have time for that, right now I need to focus on work and getting caught up and thing paid off. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The aftermath

Last night was long and hard, Mare started hemorrhaging from the back end and blood was gushing from her nose and mouth, after she was put down her belly was swollen so it was very traumatic for everyone. I am glad it did not happen at night when she would have been alone. We were there to sooth her and make a very fast decision and I signed the vets authorization. I left a message with the owner's daughter to call me immediately last night and I haven't heard from her yet. Mare was taken this morning and Cody has stopped yelling for her. It was a hard drive in to work today and I wept but I know it was the right thing for Mare but I will miss her for a long time. We took some strands of her tail which is the custom to braid. I know Mare was a beauty and very spirited in her youth, what a handful she must be now.

Our horses are moving to a 15 acres farm this weekend with green pastures and a nice small barn much like our old one with concrete block walls. I am sorry that Mare won't taste those pastures but she'll have better ones now. The barn we are at now is moving and the manager and regulars are so nice. It is a trail and endurance group and it is like home to us. Again, God is so good. The barn manager stood by and was strong for me last night as was Kylie, I have been so emotionally strung out for so long it was good to have the support.

Today my last test case passed, I will get my authority letter tomorrow. I have a file sitting on my desk that has some tough credit issues caused by loss of income and illness, the customer owns a farm and has worked two jobs to keep it and has helped rescue animals, much like what we did at times. The loan cannot be approved without an exception and now that I have my authority I can recommend it for approval with an exception. The customer is buying something with a lower payment and will be able to pay off bills with selling their current home, they will get a break I hope. My job is very demanding mentally, but it is a challenge and complicated at times but when I can do something good for a family it is an extra bonus for me. I can't always approve a loan for someone because it would be wrong to set them up to fail if they aren't ready but sometimes I can build a case to make a difference if it is the right thing to do.

A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders today with passing all 7 cases, some of my coworkers who were hired at the same time didn't. I am very fortunate. Now I have finished the training, the testing, and have achieved my goal. I have my number from FHA that authorizes to approve loans on their behalf. I can now go about getting the financial situation remedied from the many months of falling behind.

It was a bitter sweet day today, this evening we stripped Mare's stall and cleaned the up the blood etc. I wanted to bring flowers for her stall but was too exhausted to stop anywhere. God bless her sweet heart, I loved her so. 

A shock, an overwhelming loss

Tonight is filled with sorrow and loss. Mare Girl is gone. It was sudden but caused by a serious health issue that had to have been brewing for awhile, an internal tumor or cancer. She was fine and then she wasn't and tonight everything broke loose, I had to make an immediate decision. Kylie and I were there with her when the doctor put her down. She tried to get up until the end but she couldn't. I am numb but deeply stunned at the same time. 

I loved Mare as if she were my own. It gave me great joy to let her live a good and happy life with companions and to be loved by everyone. Mare Girl was a good and gentle soul, I am a better person for having had her in my life. Mare Girl was a big strong girl but she looked so small and innocent on the ground. My heart is broken. I can say no more. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A long wait over

I hadn't had the money to have the blacksmith come and do my horses hooves in several months, finally, they were done and I am so happy. Everyone stood well except Aubrey but I am not sure if he has ever had his feet done. His hooves have been good for a long time and they wore down perfectly but they grew more and wore less the past couple of months and he really needed it. We will have to work on him picking up his feet more so that he will get used to it.

Mare will have her feet done next time as it is good for her to be a little long because she foundered years ago. The more foot the better in most cases of founder. She cut a rusty in her stall while Cody was in cross ties getting his feet done. They could see each other but she was not satisfied with just seeing. Cody was distracted with the trim and was just docile about the whole thing. He has always been good with things except for when he was very young and very green. We learned together years ago.

We switched everyone over to a new feed that cost a little more but is better. I am worried about hay prices for this year, it's going to be tough for everyone. Of course it would have to be this year but at least I don't have to buy for so many horses.

I will not know about my test cases until probably the end of this week. It's stressful and I will be glad to finish it.

The nights are getting cooler and leaves are starting to show color. This will be a long winter I'm afraid. A long drive to work to but I did it for many years not so long ago. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekends fly by

We are still working on the unpacking here, yesterday was not as productive as I would have liked it to be as I slept a lot after working so hard mentally last week. FHA found my number that allows me to sign off on their loans for them, I had gotten the number years ago after being sponsored by Society/Key and hadn't used it in awhile. They still had it on file and I had it reinstated and that makes me very valuable as most underwriters do not have their direct endorsement authority from FHA and most financing these days are FHA loans.

Today I cut the grass, put some of the stuff away in the kitchen, cleaned the sunroom and moved the birds around a bit. We went and bought feed from Pat and brushed our horses. Cody enjoyed the attention so much. Mare got her whiskers shaved, she didn't like it because it turns out she is ticklish. Tomorrow everyone is getting their little hooves trimmed which is long overdue.

I had a terrible sinus headache all day today which I suppose has to do with the cooler weather. This week I am hoping to finish my last test case and then obtain my authority. It will be very exciting and a great relief to be done with the test cases. None of them have been easy, in fact out of all the new hires my have been the hardest because I am at the highest level for FHA and I will have to deal with loans that other underwriters can't approved. Anyway, it's been very draining and I will be happy just to get down to business and get loans done without the review process that takes days.

I talked to Pat about putting a man door in the little barn the two little horses are in before winter and also putting water inside the building. The water line is already there it just needs the hydrant put in.

This year was very tough and I still have issues I have to deal with, the summer wasn't really very good with the heat and being in Philadelphia so many weeks and of course moving. I am hoping for a decent fall and winter, we need to re cooperate and try to have some pleasure from the new house.

Maybe this year we will actually be able to celebrate Christmas, last year we didn't do anything. We had a nice visit this evening with our new neighbors, they have a pond and ducks, they are big into gardening and growing vegetables etc.  We have a garden spot that the previous owners had and next year we'll grow some food. There is a big strawberry patch here too. It should be interesting, I hope to put some berry bushes in too as that is my favorite.

Well, tomorrow is Monday and I have to start getting more sleep because of the drive and the brain work. I hope to spice up the blog with better stories, there is still plenty of things to laugh about around here and fun to have except time is not the commodity it used to be.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Work and dog grooming

I have passed a total of 5 test cases and have two more to go and then they will cut me loose. I am working on the 6th test care and should finish it tomorrow. I came home last night to a very stinky dog, Daniel smelled like he rolled in something. I trimmed his fur really quick with my clippers and took into the shower and washed him. Turns out he had a mat on his chest and had gotten a sore under it. The collar had caused the mat and rubbed his skin. I clipped the mat and cut the hair around the sore spot and he is all better now.

The horses are getting their hooves trimmed on Monday before they move to the barn down the street. They are all overdue for a trim. They have gotten their shots, their hooves will be done and next it will be time to get the dogs caught up on their vet checks.

Cody needs his teeth done and Aubrey now has wolf teeth. It is nice to get the things done for my animals that have been put off for so long. I love them all and it has been tough for them as well as for us and eventually with working full time things will be good.

The truck is leaking transmission fluid and the front end suspension is an issue so again it will take some time to get things caught up.

Kylie is really focused on her school work now and doing well. She is growing up so fast, she s working at the barn one day a week which gives her a chance to do something on her own.

I will be glad when the weekend comes, I am tired and it is nice to have some home time. I miss working outside and being home but I am less stressed now and that is good. We are surrounded by farms and open space, it is very good to be here. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A very good day

This morning I got up and fed the birds, the two little horses, the dogs and got Kylie up. We went to the flea market which was awesome. We picked up some wooden cabinet doors with glass, there were about four panels and we are using them in the bay window as sort of like shutters for privacy at night.

We came home and got our brushes and went to the barn and brushed out Mare, Cody, and Aubrey. Mare was so dirty but so happy to be curried and brushed. Cody was very happy when I got his best itchy spot and Aubrey and Kylie enjoyed bonding over a nice groom.

We went to check out the barn where we will be moving to at the end of the month. There is a small arena, and lots and I mean lots of pasture, the stalls are nice and will be warm in winter. We are staying with the same barn owner, she is just moving to a place that is in better condition, has a house on the property and 15 acres for trail and grazing. I will be very happy there as will the horses, there's a pond and trees and just a beautiful view. It is 1/2 a mile from our house. It really is the best of both worlds.

We bought lunch out and came home to do some work around here. I had to fix some breaks in the dog fence but this time it is fixed for good. My brother set the computer for Kylie and I also used a staple gun to secure the wires to the in ground fence along the frame work on the inside of the little barn.

We cleaned out the little barn and hung all of our tack up and got organized in there. We have a place for tools etc. The garage still has plenty to put away. We did find two stools that will work in the kitchen at Good Will yesterday to.

Kylie and I went and got groceries for the week tonight and now its relaxation time because tomorrow morning and work will come soon enough. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Joy ride

I was attempting to clean my car out today and since the dogs were outside with me all I had to do is open the door.

Solving a mystery

I was sitting in the garage this morning and my mind was very clear as I slept in and it seems like I get mentally recharged to the point a lot of thoughts and information will flood my mind. I looked out the glass door on the back of the garage and I saw a field and the railroad tracks and beyond that an endless field of golden soybeans framed by tree lines that seemed to give the appearance that the gold stretched forever. The picture before me had contrast and beauty.

When I was a child Ic lived with an elderly adopted grandfather whom I loved and still love more than I have ever loved anyone. We lived by the river and the railroad tracks in a cramped trailer park. I didn't have my own room and wasn't permitted to play outside much or have friends over simply because it was me and my grandfather alone while my adopted mother worked.

There were times wen I would just start running as a child and wouldn't come back. I had no where to run to and I just wanted to run, I thought it was running away from the confinement and responsibility I had as a small child to look after my grandfather, we looked after each other of course. For years I have felt guilty for running away and causing my grandfather undue stress. The neighbors would catch me and bring me back of course.

This morning while looking at those fields I had the same feeling I had as a kid, the desire to run but to some place, to the land and the open fields. It wasn't so much running away as a child, I think I was running towards something. I didn't know it at the time but it was to find what I have had for many years at different places, the land, the openness, beauty, and peace.

The railroad tracks near the house most likely jogged my memory, the sound of the trains at night. My grandfather would have loved this place, he was a farmer but when he grew old my mom took him to where she could afford and we lived in poverty but honestly and cleanly. He was a master at growing food and he loved the hills more than flat lands but here there is plenty of land for a garden and to walk and convene with nature.

Like me he would have preferred a more humble home and simpler and it will take some getting used to as far as this beautiful home but the land and the community of people who share the same love of land would have made him welcome and happy.

I don't feel as guilty now, my grandfather was very knowing, perhaps he knew what I didn't. I do know he loved me as I was and saved my life, if not for him  and God I would not have the life I have now or be looking at such beauty, or perhaps be able to appreciate it above all else. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday, it's here finally

I passed three test cases and have one assigned for review. I have four more to pass to get my authority. It isn't easy, some of the experienced underwriters I came in with haven't made it. There is a plan for them but it will take much longer to get their authority approved.

I rode a horse last night which helped relieve some of my anxiety. As near as I can tell, I am suffering from fall out from the last 6 months of crisis. The owner's of the old house are still trying to nail me to the wall, apparently, 60k in two years isn't enough to satisfy them. My attorney will deal with it as best as he can and we'll see what happens.

Cooper got into the tomato plant this morning and feasted on tomatoes, he also got himself locked in the bedroom and ate a box. Cooper may be little but he is mighty and a stinker to boot. The pony & bit got out on grass yesterday for a short time. The grass is super green so they have to go slow.

The drive this week to work was tough as it seemed there was backup everywhere. It's great to get rain and I hope it helps the hay situation but now I have to find a window of weather to mow grass. I still have some unpacking to do and odds and ends.

It is good the weekend is here because I'm really tired, I also need some down time. Reviewing loans and submitting them to someone to review for errors etc. is very stressful.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I woke up very early this morning to get in to work early. I woke up thinking about the animals, especially the horses. Cody has been home with me for about 11 years and he isn't anymore. I know he's safe and doing okay but I miss him. He has really bonded to Mare Girl and screams when she is out of sight. Cody didn't do that at the other barn and then I thought he was with Little Bit for all of those years and suddenly they've been separated.

I bawled my eyes out this morning, it was the post trauma of all of this. When you are going through something so devastating and overwhelming you just think about getting through it. Afterwards, even though things are better it hits you I think, sort of like a death.

I'm still scared that something bad will happen or we'll have to struggle again. I have to work on my faith because I shouldn't be worried about that now. God has given us a miracle and I should just trust. It's hard. I've been the sole person caring for Kylie and all of these animals for so long that I don't know how to just accept that they are okay.

I will have to work with Cody and spend more time with him. I should anyway but I think he is scared because unlike other horses who are boarded out he is not used to seeing herd mates come and go. Horses we boarded he wasn't bonded to and they were around for long periods of time but his herd got split for the first time and he doesn't understand. I am not the first person he sees in the morning either. Maybe I took for granted that my presence even if not working him was a fixture and now things have changed.

I know there will be more fallout emotionally to recover from the past year which was devastating and hard to endure it is a process. But, thank God for everyday and every moment and that I still see the faces around me and at the barn that I love. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

The joy of silverware

Today we got to some important stuff when unpacking like silverware and dishes. Kylie's stuff was moved downstairs to her work room and really there isn't that much left to put away. I need to get the rest of the dishes out, washed, and put away. I will have to organize clothes and repack some antique books.

Nana's cage did not get moved this weekend because it is a huge affair breaking it down in pieces. I will do that next weekend. We did get a temporary fence in for the little horses. We fed at the other barn to day and helped with turnout.

I rinsed off Mare's blanket and will try to get it washed before winter, I will probably get a light blanket for Cody this year since he is getting older. The little one's are showing signs of a winter coat coming in already and some of the leaves have started falling even with the heat. I was hoping today would be cool but it was not.

We stopped by Goodwill to drop some clothes off and Kylie found an awesome English riding helmet for half off which was about $12. It's a very nice one and she was happy with it. It's in great shape and looks very nice, perfect fit to.

Emmie has left and hasn't come back, I am trying not to worry because she will go up to people and make friends but she was my barn manager and I love her and miss her. Tiger Lilly is happy here and stays with the little horses outside.

I could sleep for a week still, I'm tired but I'm happy. I'm hoping the week goes well and I get through my test cases and they cut me loose to Underwrite on my own. They say it takes about 30 days so we'll see.

Catching up on sleep, cleaning in earnest

Saturday I slept for a long time, I was a month behind on anything even close to sleep. I also went to bed early Saturday night at a decent time. I got a few things done but took a little time to relax too.

Today I started unpacking things and cleaning them up before putting them away. I hosed things down, put other things in the washing machine, and whatever I could in the dishwasher. This place has city water which I haven't had in about 13 years. My hair is smoother because well water is tough on hair. The laundry is crisper and brighter and the dishwasher seems to have brought back to life pots and pans that have looked dull for awhile.

The other house always seemed damp and musty because the basement was always moist. It was a constant battle in such a small space and in a house so run down to actually feel like you were improving it in anyway.

This house is dry and fresh and there is plenty of closet and storage space. We really didn't have that much as far as furniture and household things but we were in such a small space it was always crowded.

Here I am, someone who vehemently apposes materialism and I am living in a home I would have thought too nice for me. I would not have gone looking for anything but a modest home and a place for my animals. I have worked hard over the years to take land at my first house and make it beautiful, I cleared most of it by hand.

The last house I tried really hard and even though it didn't look very nice I did a great amount of work on it and the land. The land here is cleared and landscaped and it's very pretty, it has all been done for me. I don't have to paint or think about what I am going to have to fix.

I have a garage now and when I come home for the first time ever can pull my car in and not have to clean snow off of it in winter time, I won't be trudging through mud to get to it. I have two large closets to arrange my clothes in and a laundry room that isn't in a dark damp basement. The dishwasher is something that is just wonderful because while I am trying to get things done it is working for me.

I have a very nice job and a very nice position within an international bank, a house that is not a farm house but a very nice home designed for comfort and convenience. Now, here is the best part, I live in a farm community where everyone wears boots or some kind of hey I live in the country kind of look. People are nice and not stuck up, I cleaned stalls tonight and spent time in a barn full of horses. The dogs can hang out with me in the garage or anywhere in the house and a good part of the land around the house. Nana has a fantastic view. Kylie has a room that is a good size one and a nice closet, girls her age at the barn and feels like she fits in already in the community

I would have been happy with half this much really, but God has seen fit to put me here. Maybe a little more than a month ago I wanted to die because I thought I'd loose my animals and maybe not even be able to provide a home for Kylie. It seems God is a better planner than I am, He has seen to it that while I must work hard at the job I now have, I have things laid out for me that are easier.

It is still hard not to be in a situation where there is a terrific struggle to survive because I mistrust things that come easy. The past two years were very hard and there were some that demanded or wanted more from me and Kylie than was realistic, some people took advantage and others who came in and out of our lives were truly unique and special. The animals of course, each and everyone, were a blessing and taught me a great deal.

Perhaps it is our time and season for peace and prosperity after such a long time in despair. Of course, I thank God for His mercy and want to please Him, it isn't right to be blessed so much without doing things for others and to share what I have if I can. I am taking a step back, even resting for a time but I look forward to what I can do still to make a difference.

It's time to start taking pictures again for the blog. There is still plenty of crazy around me with all the fur babies.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Able to celebrate this weekend

I got great news today, my first test case which I submitted and it had a very high, and I emphasize high, difficulty rate passed. The loan was as difficult as a loan can be and to be honest it is one of the hardest ones I've seen in all my years of mortgages. I could have asked for another loan instead because it is not the kind of loan that should be a first test case but I figured if I passed the review I'd be able to pass them all. I did pass and I was very relieved, of course I had doubts but now I feel much more confident, it was worth it.

Finally Friday, a three day weekend to get things sorted out a little and some real sleep. I thought the week would never end but it has and on a good note.

We hung out at the barn tonight and talked, did our little chores here at home and now for a little TV and relaxation. Did I say relaxation, haven't used that word much in a long time.

Tomorrow morning I will rest but then it will be fun to mow and organize and fence. We might even visit the flea market down the road.

I just really am amazed at how life can be so terrible one day and then really good the next. I thank God for the job and the pass on the test case. Good nite all!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beautiful evening,,,

I was tired enough to take an nap in my car today at lunch but got through the day. I took a nap when I got home too. When I got up Kylie and I let Pony and Bit out and hand grazed them. The land is beautiful and they were beautiful. We went to see Cody, Mare and Aubrey and Mare was bossing Cody and he was acting all meek and everything, love sure complicates things.

I am going to bed in a half hour, I just have to get some sleep. I can't go any longer without rest. The sunset over the trees and the moon was visible at the same time in the sky. The air is fresh and it is incredibly quiet here. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sawdust and Hay

This morning was rough driving because I was very sleepy, I would have been early except there was a big back up this morning on the highway. I drank a lot of coffee and made it through the day but when I got home I fell asleep on the couch for an hour.

I got up and Dave brought the rest of the sawdust and hay to the barn so we unloaded it. I took Kylie down to the round about in town where there is a Subway, there isn't much but everything is small town and laid back. It was very relaxing.

I am doing laundry now and will be going to sleep soon, this has been a long week. I will be sleeping in some this weekend.

The animals are adjusting and Kylie is getting back into the school groove. I'm happy, I still have to deal with the issue of if I have to go back to court on the old place and getting caught up on bills but we have a new life now and everything will eventually work it's self out.

I have to admit I am so used to struggling that I have a hard time excepting things are better. I still get scared when I am tired and try and worry. I guess it will take time to recover from the trauma of the past few months. Of course, a weekend here and some time to just relax may cure that. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Good stories ahead

I over slept a little today but got up and got going. I had trouble focusing today on work but made it through. The drive in and back home is not bad at all thank goodness. When I got home I adjusted all of the dog collars and they pretty much got the idea of where the boundaries are and letting them out in the morning will be much easier now.

We took the truck load of sawdust to the new barn, cleaned stalls, and visited with all the regulars. They let our horses out and Cody got really possessive of Mare Girl and struck out at me. I guess he is in love and maybe she might be going into season which would explain a lot. She hasn't pooped in her bucket so that means she is not upset about anything.

The little ones haven't been out yet because I have to build their little fence which I will do soon. I couldn't find any close but found shoes. We bought some groceries and I bought a pair of jeans. Tomorrow evening I will be able to start unpacking stuff and hopefully will stumble on clothes and socks, I hope.

The house is really nice and hanging around with trail riding people is even better. I'm not really into shows and clicks but I do enjoy folks that are into the horses themselves. Kylie had a chance to socialize with kids her own age and mess around in the stalls etc.

The time flew by this evening with all the loose ends. Mare is getting extra feed and a good fat supplement and with her teeth being done she should be gaining weight for winter. The barn uses beat pulp in the winter like I do which is great, they all have a round bale too.

I bought detergent and now can start washing things, shampoo is also nice to have and since we don't know where everything is yet I just bought some.

I'm tired but happy and I look forward to having happy stories from now on. I know things will be a little tight for awhile but eventually we will be comfortable. I have some pictures of different things I will post this weekend. That will be a start.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

FIN-The End

Friday I submitted my test case and was mentally set for the weekend. Saturday started with Dave pulling up with a big horse trailer, Cody went first and was very nervous probably because I am his mommy and was all concerned. Next came Aubrey who loaded pretty easily, then the moment that I thought would be the most stressful, loading Mare Girl. Mare watched the other two horses go and called to them. Kylie put a lead on her and Mare walked her down the driveway, Dave took the lead and she walked right on, she had to back into the stall to be secured, she did it and bumped against the back wall and it startled her but she was fine. Pony and Bit loaded last, Pony went right into his spot and Bit was tied in the middle. They all had hay and got to the new barn without incident.

Dave took the horses to the new barn, unloaded them and they were very calm. The two little ones were put into their stall at the new house. We spent Friday evening moving mats and panels and had it ready for them. I followed Dave to the barn and then dropped my brother off to get the Uhaul truck and went back to the house to start the packing up.

Brian came to help move and he and I moved all of the furniture out of the house while Trace and her friend moved the washer & dryer etc. and the mower on their trailer. My brother went back to the new house to let the cable guy in and after the truck was full we took it to the new house. We had several people pop in and out to wish us well since they saw the moving truck.

Dave came and helped us unload the truck and we went back to the old house again. We loaded up cars, Brian and Dave went home and I loaded up the four dogs in my Coralla. They had all whimpered when we took the furniture and pulled out of the driveway and they were very happy to get into the car.

They all lined up on the back seat. I looked in my mirror and saw a sea of heads bobbing. They were so happy and out of all the dogs Copper had been the most distraught, he seemed to think he was going to get dumped again.

I let them all out in the garage and then the house and they went all over sniffing except Cooper. He jumped into my arms and licked my face, he was not dumped and he did happy circles the rest of the evening.

It was late and we were too tired to get the birds so we decided to call it a day and get some rest. Sunday started out slow because we were so exhausted. We had all gotten about four hours of sleep the night before. But, we got on the road and bought the rest of the collars for the dogs, ate something and headed back to the old house. By the way it was awesome to sleep in the new house. We stopped into check the horses and Cody didn't seem to notice, Mare who had ignored him until now decided that he was security for her and the two of them stood close together, grooming and comforting each other. Aubrey stood close to them in their own little pasture and they were happy. Mare had even let Little Bit stand close to her in the trailer, of course Little Bit is as tall as a dog wouldn't just stand there but persisted in moving closer and closer and she just stepped back. The three horses are all side by side and can see each other through the boards.

Dave came with a Bobcat and loaded all of the hay and the sawdust in the barn and took it until he can drop it off at the barn the horses are at now. Greg, Kylie and I began to clean and clear the house, barn and block building. We worked and loaded the truck, we took all the bird cages out and loaded them in the truck. Around 9 pm we headed out with a loaded truck and all of the birds and bunnies.

After unpacking the truck half way and getting the birds cages in and the birds and bunnies put away we headed back to the old house for the last time. We loaded what was left, burned some of the trash and took trash out to the road. We also made a pile of things someone else can use.

We loaded the cats and by the time we were done it was 2 am. We pulled out of the driveway for the last time. Kylie was very emotional because she was so tired. I didn't look back. The darkness that shadowed over us the last six months was finally lifted. A new life without strife.

I went to bed at 4 am and got up at 6, fed the little horses, the bird and let the dogs out. I went to work and drank four cups of coffee, came home and spliced wire and finished the dog fence. I took Kylie to get something to eat and we stopped and saw the horses, they are very happy. We came back to the new house and unloaded the truck and dropped it off. We are all slap happy from exhaustion but I am so happy and at peace. The garage is a disaster with all of our stuff but that will all be righted soon.

The birds were troopers and took the move well. All of the animals just didn't want to be left behind. I am so tired but so happy to have gotten this house and to put behind me all of the good and bad things of the past two  years.

No more counting days, we have made it through and all the work was worth it. Today Micah discovered the ducks next door and found a possum in the fir tree.

Here's to the blog post ahead, a new chapter and a better life. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Peace about things

Today I continued to work diligently on a very complicated file, I will finish it up tomorrow and submit it for review because it is a test case. After work I packed the car up to take stuff to the new house and stopped in to talk to the barn owner where we are moving our horses Saturday. They will have their own little pasture and I can bring round bales there and everything is a co-op which means we will still be doing barn stuff.

Kylie met about 4 girls her age all doing chores and she was thrilled. Mare is doing great with my two horses and we will be working on getting more weight on her for winter.

I am now settled in my mind about this move completely. We have a much nicer home, less work to do, a place for our horses within walking distance where they will be safe and still will be able to enjoy some of the chores we have always done. Plus the barn is a trail riding barn which means maybe someday I will be able to trail ride again.

Overtime is available even for me now so once the move happens I can start working some extra hours which will insure that we will be able to be living more comfortably going forward.

Mare will be settled and gray kitty will be at home with us too so that raps up all the loose ends.

God is so good to have planned everything out so well. What was meant to harm us has turned out to be such great blessings. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Exhaustion and Panic attacks

Last night I couldn't fall asleep because my anxiety was so high, I couldn't stop thinking in detail of all the things I have to accomplish before the weekend. Today I came home with the same level of high anxiety. I traveled for two weeks and worked on selling things, all the packing, and everything associated with moving and haven't stopped, I know that is why I feel so burned out. 

I am going to try and sleep tonight and for the rest of the week I will be working very hard and very late to get everything done. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 30 a good routine

This morning was the first in a very long time that as I was getting ready for work I was relaxed, happy. I thought about leaving for work at the new place, walking out of the house into the attached garage, a brick walkway, a nice driveway. I thought to myself none of these things mattered to me, I would not have looked for them. But, here they are and my shoes will be much cleaner for work. Something so silly to think about but I can't help it. I know myself well enough to know that I will miss the grit of living the way I have for a few years now.

Our old house had few luxuries but it was ours and a good place to raise Kylie and have the animals. I learned about land and pasture there and here I learned about caring for animals, for their bodies and their souls.

Today my coworkers/friends greeted me as soon as I got in the door, they were very excited to see me and stopped by all day to help me and see how I was doing. We all talk and share experiences, both life and work stories. Because the amount of analysis and detail we must all use in reviewing loans and decisioning them we must sometimes put our heads together and use each others knowledge and experience.

I was hired as a senior underwriter and that means that I will see many loans that are too complicated or have more risk than the average loan file. I will be able to approve loans that others cannot. It is a great job in the sense that when possible I can make a difference in someones life. Getting a home loan when things haven't been perfect or families are just coming out of bad times can give them hope. Of course I must measure risk and be certain the borrowers are in a position to repay without putting them in a worse situation. A good underwriter looks for clues and the whys not just the numbers.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 29, not enough time in the day

This morning Jim did not make it out for the fence and the folks that were supposed to get the hay and sawdust lost their horse last night to colic so they will come later in the week. My brother jumped in and did laundry and helped to clean out the basement. Josh and Kylie took things I want to sell out to the road, I steam cleaned some chairs and we took a truck load over to the new house.

I stopped at Home Depot and rented a machine and laid down the in ground fence wire for the dogs. All that is left is to connect the wires and buy three more collars and the dogs are good to go. I got home around 6:00 and rested for a little while and then took Cooper down and gave him a bath and brushed and dried him. I cut all lot of his feathers off and cleaned him up. The dogs are a month ahead of schedule on shedding, they are loosing their coats dramatically so nature is in a hurry. I will groom each dog before Saturday so that they go to the new house in good shape.

Mare is doing well with her new herd and the gray feral cat in the barn allowed Kylie to pick her up and pet her tonight. I am relieved because I know now we will be able to take her with us without the trauma of trapping her.

Daniel is having anxiety attacks because of all the moving activity and I am trying to calm him but he probably won't settle down until after the move.

I'm tired but there is so much more to do. It doesn't look like we will have more than a couple of people to help move Saturday so I will have to work on that.

My brother got stopped by the neighbor and it turns out the owner of this place called the neighbor to ask what was going on here and to tell him he took us to court and probably a lot more negative things. The neighbors all know how much work and money I have put into this place so I am taking it with a grain of salt.

I am over this place and battling and I am not going down the petty road and slinging things back and forth. I think the owner thinks I am going to steal stuff or destroy things or whatever which is sad because I wouldn't do that.

I am very happy now though going to the new place and experiencing peace and knowing with a good job and a new home that we will be okay. My bills are getting paid off on schedule and although it will still take a few months to get things behind us as far as finances it will happen without having to go to bed at night with a crushing weight on my shoulders.

I do hope this place sells so that someone can put life into it and positive things and the negative things that have taken place here in the past will be forever forgotten. I also hope the owners find peace and are able to get their money and go on with their lives. I am not responsible for their success or happiness, only they can choose to move on and get past the feuding and blame now.

I have met so many people that I work with and while traveling that have lost their homes and survived devastation and had to rebuild their lives. I am not alone but am very blessed as many people have said, it all turned out for the best. 

Day 28 putting everything into motion

This move will be like domino's, all lined up and when it starts in motion everything will have to fall into place. Today hay will begin to move, horse mats and gates will move, hopefully dog fencing will be installed. This week car and truck loads and packing. Saturday morning all the horses will be hauled out and delivered, the moving truck will be picked up and people who will help will be here to load the furniture etc.

I will work all week until 5:00 and then come home and make a trip to the new place. In the meantime, horse fencing will be started by a friend who does fences for a living. The water tubs will have to be moved as well as the buckets and feeders, the picks and tack.

Things will go to the curb and trash will be put out and the burn pile stacked with things that are burnable. Dogs will be moved sometime Saturday, bunnies Friday evening, and parrots Saturday all so.

I hope and pray that Sunday will be in our new home with our animals all around and then we can begin to settle in.

It all sounds chaotic but I can remember a month ago when my world was crashing and I had no place to take any of the animals or even ourselves. I am so grateful for God's blessings and I know he is driving all of this and every domino will fall as it should till the course is run.

I am thinking Big Red has been gone over with a fine tooth comb, neighbors or the new owner have checked her out, and she has been tested and played with. Her clutch and small leaks will be worked on soon and she will be pulling logs and making me proud.

Mare went out with Aubrey and Cody yesterday and was a little perplexed at being out with the other herd but settled in as they are horses and she needs a herd. All went well and they will begin to bond as now they will be their own herd, the little ones will be their little herd on the new place, causing trouble and grief as they always do when they try and run around being stinkers. They will have a virgin pasture and a round bale all their own. I think they will be content.

The blacksmith has been called to do their hooves and the two big ones I hope to vaccinate when Mare has her teeth done tomorrow. I will catch up on dog vet checks during the fall as they have all had shots but I am not sure who and when.

The cats will be caught Thursday and Friday and transported to crates at the new place so they can start getting used to a new place. Emmie will be disjointed for awhile because she will not have a big barn to manage but a nice heated garage for winter. She is getting older and the winters are hard on her so I think she'll like the trade off.

Nana will have a beautiful sunroom filled with windows and is secure, she will not be happy that there is sliding glass doors to shut when we are in the house and her voice and protests won't be as effective.  But, her view is wonderful and the windows open for fresh air and she will be very happy. Actually, so will we, we can shut the glass sliding doors and have a sound barrier once and awhile.

Kylie's school starts next Monday so the cable folks will be at the new house Saturday afternoon, a person will have to be there to let them in. Just more domino's. She will need the internet to do her classes so it is really important that goes as planned.

The dogs will have to be bathed and trimmed this week as well, they will from now on have to be perfect little groomed gentlemen to keep the new house clean as their is carpet and lots of it and vacuuming will be more necessary. Cooper is still full of burrs so he will be the first tonight to get cleaned up.

Onward and upward is my motto for this week.