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Little Pieces Of Me

Living The Dream

Home Again
We are home after a visit with my family in Texas for the week.  I'm exhausted!!!!  I've tried to convince myself all day that I have the energy to go for a ride, but thus far I'm not doing a very good job.

I'm also trying to get my mind (and body) to switch gears.  It is no longer time to be with my parents, hang out with my sisters and play with my nephews.  It is time to sort through work emails, prepare for a Jamboree and settle back into the life I know and love here.  So far I'm not doing a very good job of this either.

My father is at a stage in life and disease that his perception of reality and the perception of reality of other people do not always match.  He fades in and out of places and times, lives memories  real or imagined as if they are happening in the moment and makes associations or stories that may or may not have happened.  He knew me while we were there and I'm feeling so grateful for the moments of lucidness and understanding.  He knew I was the daughter with horses and that association was strong for him.  He told me where all the horses lived around the area, was able to describe in detail what they looked like, how their pastures were laid out and if they had barns or jumping arenas.  AND he was right.  As we drove around town I was able to identify each farm and the equine inhabitants he described.  He also of course had to tell me how much prettier all these horses were than Tucker (always one to tease and give a hard time).

About a month ago my Mother had to move him into a long term care facility, she is no longer able to meet his daily needs on her own.  I found it no coincidence that the walls of section he now lives in are decorated with pictures and painting of horses.

Spring is Knocking...Let's Answer The Door
photo 1

We survived the nail incident and came out fortunate on the other side.

We had a lovely ride yesterday in the warm sunshine.  Frogs were singing, buds were forming and I could feel Spring on her way.

The trails were so fun!  We had about 2 inches of rain on Thursday and Friday and so there were many little running streams, tiny waterfalls and glistening puddles of sunshine all throughout the trails.  The water was still running off and it made for such a cool although soggy environment to ride in.

When Tucker and I are out in the world I have people tell me how lucky I am to have such a good horse.  We have definitely had our challenges but he's never been a problem horse and he has never been dangerous.  He has always had a good mind and a gentle nature....he is a good horse.  I am fortunate that I have a job, a husband and lifestyle that supports having the horses...I am lucky.  However, when people say this to me, his good mind and my supportive husband are not what they referring to.  It is usually in response to the fact that he loads well, crosses water, doesn't run off with me, stands still to mount or some other good behavior that he happens to be displaying.  I supposed I should be flattered by the comment, but really it kind of bugs me.  I've had him since he was a baby, I taught him to do this stuff, it is not just luck.  He was a really nice canvas, but I actually do get credit for some of the painting.

(no subject)

It's a sinking feeling to lift your horse's foot up for a routine hoof picking before the ride only to see a nail stuck there.  This was a first for us.  Hopefully a last.  We were fortunate  in the fact that it was not driven deeply, maybe about half an inch and the rest of the nail was bent around the outside of his hoof.  It was also near the outer edge (more good fortune) and although close to the heel there was no blood or discharge when I pulled it out.  I know it had been in there less than 24 hours.  A good soaking, some iodine/povidone and a little bute and he was happy to go back out to pasture and give the mares hell.  Now to just keep our fingers crossed the remaining hole does not develop infection.

New Adventures

So I am now officially a member of ACTHA.  I have also registered and paid for our first ride.

I am excited and terrified. 

2014 "White Out"
It snowed!  Not just snow but like 9 inches.  INCREDIBLY unusual for us.  It shut the city down and gave me lots of play time with the horses in a silly white covering we rarely see.  It's beautiful AND melting as we speak.

Of course I had to capture the event on film.

Winter Goes On

I got out for a much needed ride yesterday with some of my girlfriends.  It had been about a month since I'd been off property and it felt good to be in some different surroundings enjoying my pony.  Freckles got to go too as as one of the ladies we rode with has a lame horse so she borrowed mine, it all worked out well.

We had some charging dogs add a bit of excitement to the ride.  Apparently the horses did not realize there was a fence and there was no way the dogs could actually get us as they took us fleeing down the trail.  Everyone rode it out really well and it was a pretty fair spook from the horse's point of view as NONE of us realized the dogs were coming.  We also ran into some hunters...even though it is not actually hunting season.  They seemed annoyed that we there.  How dare horse and riders be on the bridle paths designated specifically for horses interrupting their hunt during the off season.  It's always unsettling to me to come across men with guns out in the woods.


So today marks the end of a week-long nutritional cleanse. For one week I’ve eaten a completely vegan diet and cold pressed vegetable juices. I had no coffee, no alcohol, no refined sugar, no gluten, no processed food, no dairy, no meat (this one was not unusual for me). I will not bore you with the details of exactly what we ate every day but it was filled with nutrition and one day consisted of entirely juice…no chewing.

I feel AMAZING. I commend the folks at Nourish and Viva Raw for doing such an awesome job of putting this together, especially considering this was the first time they’ve offered anything of this kind. Their support and availability for questions has been outstanding.

The biggest thing I learned about myself as it pertains to my eating habits are the better prepared I am and the better I have planned ahead….the better I eat! The cleanse made it easy not to stray from the path because my next meal was already prepared, there waiting for me. Knowing ahead of time exactly what was on the menu made it very easy not let the poor diet choices sneak in.

The next thing I learned, well I actually didn’t learn this, the fact was merely reinforced, is that I have a high metabolism. I burn a lot of calories. The first half of the cleanse I refused to eat anything that was not on the prescribed diet. I forbid myself from adding a few extra veggies, nuts or a piece of fruit. For some reason this mentally felt like cheating, even though it had been made clear to us we should supplement if needed. I was starving and would sit with my tummy grumbling as I stared at my empty bowl. My friend, who was also doing the cleanse, couldn’t finish her portion…wtf? As I watched my scale numbers go down I knew I had to give myself permission to eat. I had to start taking in more calories. As I added in some almond butter here, a kiwi there, a sliced cucumber now and then, things started to get better and I noticed a HUGE increase in my energy. I’m still 6 pounds lighter than I’d like to be but I feel hopeful that will come back as I increase my quantities of food over the next week.

The third pretty refreshing thing for me was how little I craved sweets. I am a sweet-a-holic and love love love cookies, cake, candy and especially ICE CREAM but for some reason this week I was not tempted. Passing up the plate of brownies on the break room table was no big deal. Thinking of running to the quick mart across from the office to grab a candy bar never even crossed my mind. And on the same note I am AMAZED how sweet things taste that didn’t used to. After just one week of no refined sugar, suddenly carrot juice is like having dessert and a little bit of baked oats with banana is a decedent treat, instead of “just breakfast”.

A lot people at the end of a cleanse claim these phenomenal physical changes. Skin conditions clear up, chronic congestion or post nasal drip (which I have) go away, allergy symptoms are gone and biometric numbers are all in normal range (mine already were). I had none of these but I did notice an increase in my “normal” energy level when I started eating enough and I psychologically LOVED myself for doing this.

There are two things I really miss. The first is my chicken’s eggs. I like our eggs, I feel good about the food provided out of our own back yard. I don’t worry about the eggs being “bad” for you. Mine are delicious, fresh, orange in color, produced by happy chickens that are fed a mostly organic diet with no antibiotics. I fully anticipate I will have some in my belly by the end of the weekend.

And finally……COFFEE. I’m way beyond the want/need for the caffeine it provides. In spite of this, EVERY SINGLE DAY of the cleanse I have missed my cup-of-joe. I love the ritual of coffee, I love the taste (and I drink it black), I love the aroma and I love the habit. Post cleanse what do I do with this information? Is it my one vice that I allow on a daily basis? Do I still enjoy a cup from time to time but treat it as an exception? Do I stay off it, knowing I can? Honestly I’m not really sure yet.

All that being said I set out on this cleanse to hit the reset button. I like to live by an 80/20 rule or at worst a 70/30. Meaning 80% of my food is plant based, full of nutrition, not loaded with sugar and not processed. Towards the end of last year I got away from that. The holidays had me eating out more than I was preparing my own food and just in general making poor choices about my nourishment. Not to mention the amount of sweets and alcohol consumed during November and December. Today I feel good that I will be right back in-line with how I enjoy to eat and what I know is good for my body.

Day One
Usually at the end of a year and beginning of the next I spend all this time reflecting on what was "good" and "bad" about the year...as if anything is actually that linear. I write a long post about what happened in the previous year and then I write about goals/resolutions for the new one.

This year, I've decided that pictures and movies are way more fun than detailed written accounts. I've also decided that every day, heck every moment, is an opportunity for growth, so why get all focused on just today. And instead of picking apart the million things I want to change about myself I am going to focus on what I already like.

And for the record I had an AMAZING first day. I spent the morning on the trails on the back of my horse, my hubby accompanied us with the dog. His first hike since the injury. How awesome it was to be in the woods this morning with some of my favorite beings :)

Happy New Year Everyone!


Book Review
Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I felt let down by this final book of the trilogy after the first two. So much war and fighting through the early stages of the book which in my opinion is not what these books were about. The conflict could have been established so much quicker. I did enjoy the way the author brought the series to a close and I LOVED the third perspective brought into this book.

View all my reviews

Trail Dogs

We rode out at a new place yesterday. A private ranch that has just recently opened their trails to the public. Since it is a fairly new endeavor for them and they do not have all of the trails blazed yet, one of the owners offered to ride out with us to help get our bearings.

Her dogs came with us sprinting through the woods and playing off the side of the trails and hunting up small mammals as we went. It quickly became abundantly clear that Tucker needs a trail dog. He loved having the stimulation of having a couple of extra playmates running around as we went. He always had his eye out for them. He frequently asked if we could wander off the trail into the woods after them and if they were in close proximity if he could put his nose on them.

Unfortunately none of our three dogs are well suited for the job.  One is a Hound that has hunter in his breeding and is more concerned with the critters in the woods than where the human is.  If allowed off leash one fast moving squirrel and he would be into the next county before I could give the recall command which would be ignored anyway.  Then we have the geriatric Beagle who can barely get out of the bed to go outside to potty.    Finally the Shih-Tzu cannot imagine why we would be wandering in the woods when there is a perfectly good house with a roof on it.

Too bad for Tucker because he was more interested in his canine trail mates than he was in the equine ones. Too much fun!