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.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

So, about that horse...

While riding today, I tried to make a little list of things to write about my horse. Before owning a horse of my own, I never realized how much time it takes to get to know a really KNOW him. I was and am very fortunate to board my horse at a private facility...the owner of the place built an indoor with a few stalls and her sister runs a small training business out of the barn. They are selective about who boards there...and there are only a few folks lucky enough to make the cut :) Anyway, everyone there is absolutely the best. No drama, no crap...everyone just loves her horse and wants to have fun and support friends. For me personally, I could not have ended up in a better situation.

I bought my horse 3 weeks before my husband was killed in an accident. The economy was tanking, H was not working much, we were low on money, and of course I had found the absolutely, no questions asked, most perfect boy. It was a bad scene here at the house...lots of CONVINCING and PROMISING and OMGHEISTHEBESTBOYEVERSOPLEEEEEZEEE! I should have been a lawyer. At any rate, I got a great deal on a very nice horse. I was thrilled and ready to prepare for the Olympics.

If you are a horse person or even an animal person, you certainly know how animals have such a keen sense of what is going on around them. Horses, especially, since they are animals of prey. Anything and everything that is different is suspect. So, imagine if you will, my poor boy arriving at a new barn with a super-excited girl all ready to bond and ride and have such a blast. YAY!! Life will be sooooo much fun!!! WOOP! ***Then, the Big Event happens.*** Life is thrown into a huge mess, super-excited girl is suddenly Girl Who Carries Around a Ton of Shit and Emotion. Whoa, what the hell happened?

Honestly, I would go to the barn all ready to spillmygutstoflickabondwithmybestfriend...all of that bullshit you read and see in the movies. My poor 3-weeks new horse was all, WTFHUHWAITTHEREISSOMETHINGNOTRIGHTHERE. It was nuts. I was nuts. It wasn't at all like the movies and he had no interest in bonding with a freak like me. It was really just awful and frustrating and so hard on my horse...who was just an innocent part of the whole scenario.

After one particularly awful day, I emailed my trainer. I told her how I was thinking this would not work and I probably needed to just put the horse in training or something because there was no way I could make it work. I was all, "I know I can get this solved if I do A., B., and C."

You know, sometimes you need someone to sort of kick you in the pants and tell you how it is. My friend and trainer did just that. Her words were something like, "he is only reacting to you. Let him get to know you as you work through this traumatic event that has just happened to you. It will come, just give it time. He will let you know when he doesn't feel confident around you. And you will let him know, in time, that you are the leader he needs and wants to follow."

So, when I want to make a list of things to share about my horse, I like to think about the progression that has gone on in the last year and a half. I like to note that I can walk out to the pasture and see him look up and know who I am...and sometimes even walk to me (if there isn't much grass to eat!), I like to think that when he spooks or looks around a bit from some outside noise he is learning to also look to me and know he is ok. It isn't perfect and I still carry a shitload of baggage to him at times. But he indeed lets me know. And thankfully, I am at a place where I can recognize it and learn if my reaction is one that keeps us moving forward.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Needs Leather Therapy. Or something like that.

After a brief (!!) hiatus I am back in the saddle. Again. To be honest, at the moment it doesn’t feel very broken-in or comfy or homey. In fact, I had to dust off the furniture in here and open a window for some fresh air. I am looking at some new paint colors as these seem very 2009, don’t you agree? It had been so long since my last post I had to dig through the files to remember my username and password. Yikes. The thing is, I sort of missed jotting down little blurbs...but it seemed that soooooo many little blurbs were happening with my *new* life (fml) it was too hard to actually get them organized into intelligent blurbs! All of my faithful readers would have been driven nutsy and that would have been more of a disaster than just not writing. Ya, I know, that makes sense. Anyway, I recently (this past week) purchased a new laptop. The reason for the new laptop was that my old one was dying a slow death. The justification for the new laptop was this: You have to start writing.

So let’s begin, shall we...

First, a few housekeeping items:
1) I do indeed still have my horse. I bought him, in a twist of fate, just 3 weeks before H died. He is wonderful and patient and silly and the best teacher I could have found for all things about how to keep going in this crazy life.
2) I live-in and plan to stay-in the house H built 6 years ago...which is really why I started this blog in the first place. ( Remember the Motel 6 anyone??) All of these years later, I am now a pro at lawn-mowing, weed-whacking, snow-blowing, edging, and hauling garbage addition to knashing teeth, cussing out various gas-powered yard tools, and annihilating nests of wasps. In other words, I fucking rock at home-ownership. Who knew?
3) Speaking of ownership, I sold the cottage H & I owned. So, I no longer own that...Hey, I am not Wonderwoman.
3) In addition to my horse, I also have 2 toy poodles.
4) I still enjoy my cocktails and a good laugh so some things haven’t changed much after all. :)