Sunday, March 13, 2011


I shall not beat up on myself for not posting.
I shall not beat up on myself for not posting.
I shall not beat up on myself for not posting.
I really do love my new laptop, tho! :)

Actually, I was a bit down-for-the-count with dental problems so there is my excuse. It was quite awful, actually. Why is it that a person can zip merrily along for 40-some years with merely a cavity here and there...and then it all goes to shit and teeth are crumbling, there are root canals, crowns, and gum surgeries to be had all at once! It cost a fortune and I can still only chew on one side of my mouth. I sort of feel like I should blend all of my food in case something else decides to crack. Oh ya and PS: I am starving.

I do have some excitement to announce, stunningly. I realize I am quite often the downer, but this past winter has been such a fucking pile of shit, honestly. Oh yes, folks always say how THE FIRST YEAR IS THE if there was a magical pixie dust that sprinkled about on that first anniversary of OMGMYHUSBANDDIEDINANACCIDENT and suddenly, I felt all normal and right and wondered what the hell that little blip was...hmmmm?

It isn't so. Just trust me on that.

I found the the first year really hard, yes. This second year, well, it was just fucking hell. Year Two: The year I found my groove as single homeowner, drank like a fish, watched a shitload of Netflix movies, and wondered if this is all I am going to do for the rest of my life. Hi, my name is walktrotcanter. I live like a drunken hermit, can clear a driveway like a 6-foot man, mow whimsical patterns in my lawn, and am a preferred Netflix customer. Nice to meet you.

But there is good news! Really!

I was invited to go for a weekend with my trainer (and friend!) to take a dressage clinic next month. My trainer takes lessons from this clinician every time he is in the area and my fellow riders and I often make the trek southward watch her lessons. But ME? Riding? With HIM?? Holy cats, to me this is sort of like making the cheer-leading team! (Or, there is some hope that I won't embarrass anyone (trainer) in public. On my horse!) The best part is that it is the same weekend as the anniversary of OMGMYHUSBANDDIEDINANACCIDENT. Is that good timing or what...why not just go away and ride a horse. Perfect!

So, there is lots of prep to do:

What to wear?? (This is a big one and will involve much parading around my room in various equestrian ensembles)
Do I need new boots?
Pray that my horse sheds out that awful coat... :)
Do I need new saddle pads?

Maybe this is a bit of light at the end of this black tunnel of doom that has been this past year.

And maybe, just maybe, it will kick off Year 3 with a smile.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I know I promised to write...but wow, lots of dental problems this past week. I can't talk, nor can I type! I did try to ride my horse last night but had to quit when my jaw started to throb. This all sucks big happens to our teeth in old age? I am posting this so I post...will be back this weekend when things hopefully stop swelling and throbbing. (Ya, know that sounds really exciting...sadly, it is just all things boringly dental.)

Other than dental issues, it has been an ok week. It is so nice to be busy and very nice that Spring is (sort of, except for the expected snowstorm tonight, GAH!!!!) just around the corner.

Stay to gargle once again :(

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I used to rule the world

During the madness of Christmas shopping, I happened to see this couple in one of the stores. They were about my age, dressed in work clothes, and obviously trying to knock out some gift shopping after work. The guy was sort of wandering about, looking at things and going along with the very list-oriented wife. She was so me, at least me as I was in my former life...guided only by the task at-hand, no fussing about, Let's get this done because we have other things to do! She kept telling the husband to hurry up, NO we are NOT looking at those, we need to find a gift for the 6-yr old, and on and on... It was like watching a playback of myself and honestly, I wanted to just take her aside and tell her to slow the fuck down and relax.

Twenty-four years ago, I was a student-for-a-semester in The West of Ireland. That semester is when I met H. My H, you know, the H who hauled us to the Motel 6, the H who engineered ProjectHouseFromHell, the H who was the workaholic and lover of Friday night cocktails and volunteering and collector of all things bargain.

He had grown up in the small village where I was staying. He had never been out of the country. The largest city he had ever seen was Dublin. He was a carpenter, a guy who could put you at ease with his bright blue eyes, his dry humor, and his gentle confidence. We met and were engaged within 6 weeks during that Semester-in-The-West-of-Ireland. We were married three months later. Our parents were freaking out, our friends were telling us we were crazy.

It was hardly all rosy and lovey-dovey and happiness all the time. We were pretty normal. We were broke much of the time and we had our battles and we could not have children, which broke H's heart. There was a constant pull from his family for him to "come home"...this as we were trying to build our own life as a couple here in the States. In all, though, H was a great guy. He was patient and sweet and he tried so very hard to make everyone he met feel happy and comfortable. As a husband he was fun and difficult and smart and bossy and sweet and challenging...and all things a best friend is supposed to be.

It is so very true that you really don't know what you have until it is gone. And then you beat the crap out of yourself when you think of all of the things you should have noticed or should have been more thankful for. I could be awfully hard on H, much like the woman I saw in the store that day. Maybe it is just part of being a wife, that familiarity that once we get this checked off of the list we will move on to the next thing we have planned. It was where I was then...that was only honest. Don't we all bitch and piss and moan about footprints on our clean floor or how come I never get flowers or what do you mean you spent money on THAT? It is when the plan is all blown to bits that you stop and wonder how come you were so anal-retentive about it all. It is so easy to look at another couple and judge and be all about what they are doing wrong.

If there is anything good to gain from my last couple of years it is a new awareness, or a different perspective on what I used to have and how I used to be. Without being too hard on myself or feeling guilty or going crazy with regret. That is really, really hard. A girl is just a girl, after all. I think we all just try to be ourselves when we are going along. (Seriously, there is no sign that tells us, YOU ARE SO GONNA BE FUCKED!, now is there?) And so this girl is just hanging-in and hoping I did the very best I could have done.

Missing you, H!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Brief Study of Fear, WTC Edition

I have this awful problem, at times, of being a huge chicken. Often, it arrives when I am riding a horse. Riding is something I love to do and WANT to do, but there are times I suddenly have fear that sort of comes out of nowhere. Maybe it is just is really difficult to learn to ride and learn horsemanship as an adult. The adult mind, you see, has a fantastic sense of everything that can go wrong in a particular scenario. And it can make you nuts.

We have this new cat at the barn. (I am not going to go into what happened to Previous is a bit awful even for a non-cat-person such as myself and let’s just say it involved a coyote.) So New Cat is just learning the lay of the land. The indoor arena where we ride has boards that go up the walls about half way and there are big mirrors the rest of the way up. (So folks like me can see how cool we look on a horse and smile about how we can’t believe we actually HAVE OUR OWN to ride! WOOP!) The board area has a hollow space behind it to account for the studs or whatever they are called that hold up the whole building. In short, there is a space in the wall...and as New Cat was exploring and meow-ing at herself in the mirrors, she popped down into the space last night as I was getting on my horse. Only I didn’t see where she went down and my friend who was riding with me would not tell me where she was.

As you can only imagine, my little overworked and over-tired brain went all into overdrive as we circled and figure-eighted around the arena. I just knew that cat was going to come flying out from the wall the instant I circled past A or C. Or M. Logically, there is probably no way the cat could even get enough oomph to spring itself up and out of the wall with the velocity I visualized, even if it wanted to. However, I just knew it would pop up with a loud screech and spook the bejesus out of both me and my horse. We would all die and there would be no one to take care of my dogs. (Oh, and I probably forgot to wipe the kitchen counter so please ignore what a slob I was when you hold the after-funeral vigil and customary clean-out of the closets and drawers of my house.) Now, while my horse is more on the alert side, he is really quite a steady fellow. While he does spook at times, he is not naughty about it. More than anything, it should encourage me to keep him focused on the job at hand. It is hard to focus on the job at hand, however, when one is expecting a cat to fly out of the wall at any second. See what I mean about my awful fear problem?

I don’t really know where I am going with there is no end to this particular cat story. New Cat did not, as I nervously anticipated, spring out of the wall with enough wow to spook us. The cat did not even re-appear the entire time I was at the barn. My thought is that perhaps just writing this down will become a lesson which reminds me to slowthehelldown and stop the worrying and pre-planning and anticipation as far as what will or will not happen with my horse. To sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, wipe my counters before I leave the house, and quit being such a freak.