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, 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.