Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Blogging, Kindergarten and Mountain Lions

I have four blogs (here, here, here and here) that I love to read.  I was wondering what I like so much about them.  I realized that each of the bloggers writes about everyday life.  It's no wonder that I prefer those blogs because biographies are my favorite books to read.  Their blogs are like unfolding biographies, one chapter at a time - with no end.  The best sort of biography!  I feel sad when one of my bloggers quits blogging or takes a break.  I feel like I am missing a friend. 

Then I wondered how their kids will feel to have their lives written about to the world wide web.  This is the real reason I haven't been blogging the past couple of years.  Princess is older now and is a very private person.  I feel like I'm violating her privacy when I write about her.  After all, she and the King are my life.  They are what I do, who I serve and who I enjoy.  However, by not blogging, I am allowing the precious mundane days to pass without documentation.  Which is sad really, because I am so forgetful. 

So, I again stand here on the precipice of blogdom.  Do I document our daily life or just let it pass unheralded and unwritten.  Something to ponder.  For now, I think I will write. 

I was asked to be a volunteer kindergarten evaluator (spelling: -er or -or?) at my daughter's school.  Since I can't spell evaluater/evaluator, perhaps I should just resign now.  I went to the training this morning with some trepidation.  I did not want to be responsible for some precious future Nobel Prize winner to be labeled "unfit for kindergarten".  What if I made a mistake on the evaluation?  What if I blanked out and couldn't remember the alphabet?  (You know you sometimes sing it to yourself, too.)  What if I had a child that ran around the room like a banshee and couldn't do my evaluation?

Oh, the worry.  It's my spiritual gift.

But.  But.  Then I went to the evaluation training this morning.  Whew.  It's all standardized.  The whole evaluation.  They even spell out exactly what you are supposed to say and you must (MUST) phrase your questions exactly as they are presented on the evaluation.   No ad libbing.  They even give you the answers that the children should give and how to score every possible answer.  It's really well organized and straight forward.  So, even though I went in with great trepidation, I am excited to do the evaluations and I really look forward to it.  The wee ones are so cute and their answers will be so darling.

It has been so cold here which is very unseasonal weather.  Yes, I know it is December, but in Texas you can have 80 degree weather.  The lows are in the 30s all week with highs in the 40s.  Very chilly indeed.

The King has been adding things to Arielle's stall to help keep her toasty and well fed.  He does it to love on me, really. Sweet man. She has a wind break on the north side of her stall.  She has a wind break on the south side.  He installed a hay feeder and grain bin underneath.  The stall walls on either side are tall and make her have her own space.  Last night, after going over to the barn with me to check on her, I asked him, "Arielle really is the rich horsey, isn't she?"  There was a brown horse that used to graze on land that now houses the Galleria.

If you can imagine all the trees on the left side of this picture extending over the whole picture, that's what it used to look like.  This horse was grazing on some pretty pricey land.  Thus, we dubbed him the "rich horsey".  Now, Arielle is lavished with everything she could need and while the land under her feet is not quite as expensive, all her furnishings are very posh.  She still resides in the great outdoors, but her stall is very cozy, thanks to the King.  He lavishes the horsey because he loves me - alot.  I'm very grateful.

Speaking of Arielle, she's sporting quite a mohawk.  We are letting her bridlepath grow out and it's looking a bit ridiculous!  I'm guessing, but it will probably take a year for it to fully grow out.  Hopefully in a few weeks we can braid that portion and she won't look quite so silly.

See her look intently off to Princess' right?  She has a reason to be vigilant.  A mountain lion has been sighted near the property recently.  Actually, several times over the past couple of months.  I wish she could tell me what goes on at the barn in the middle of the night.  She stays at a barn near our house, but a couple of blocks away.  I can hear the coyotes at night near the barn, but those darn mountain lions are so quiet and sneaky.  I hate them.  The most recent sighting was just before Thanksgiving in the greenbelt just behind our house about 300-400 yards away from our back yard.  Insert heebie jeebies. Go away kitty, kitty.


Thursday, December 01, 2011


Sooo, I'm still alive.  My blog was wondering.  September was the last post?  Well, let's catch up.

I've been training Arielle and taking care of Channel Partners.  Princess is becoming more responsible in school and earning the best grades she has ever had!  So proud of her.  She is also taking horse riding lessons from a dressage instructor.  She has regained enough confidence to ride Arielle again.  She rode her this week and did a fabulous job!  King is getting ready to release version 4.0 of our software.  We are very excited about that!  He was able to go hunting with some friends and got a nice little buck.  They were hunting for "cull bucks" to take out the genetically inferior bucks from the ranch. 

Speaking of venison, I made chili the other day with some of our ground venison and it was especially yummy.  I never follow recipes very well and this was no exception.  I actually made the entire recipe, so I need to write it down in order to reproduce it.  It's our favorite chili so far.  I am not a recipe girl, so I put in a little of this and a little of that.  The below measurements are guidelines and approximations.

Crockpot BBQ Venison Chili

4 lbs venison (processors mixed with ground beef to give some fat)
1 32 oz Box Beef Broth
1/2 C dried minced onions
2 TBSP Sea Salt
3-5 TBSP Chili powder
2-4 TBSP Cumin
1 TBSP Garlic powder
1 can Rotel
1 can cream of corn
4 TBSP ketchup
1/2 C Rudy's BBQ sauce
3/4 C Stubb's Hickory Bourbon BBQ sauce
1 large can yellow hominy

Place venison in crockpot, pour broth over, sprinkle with onions, salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic, ketchup, BBQ sauces.  Cook on high for 4 hours before adding additional ingredients.  If venison is frozen when put in crockpot, cook for a couple of hours and then mash it up to help it cook evenly.  If venison is not frozen, stir/mash after an hour or so.  Add Rotel and hominy about an hour before you plan to eat.  Total cooking time from frozen: 8-9 hours.  Total cooking time from thawed: 6-7 hours.  Serve with cornbread or French bread, sharp cheddar cheese, 0% fat greek yogurt (can use sour cream instead).  Can be served over fritos, too.  :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

As I assumed, my C25K road is long and bumpy.  I have enjoyed a change in body shape after only 4 runs, but my connective tissues are not enjoying the change.  I last ran on Saturday and while my right knee ached some at first, I was not in pain through most of my workout.  Afterward, my knee and leg began to ache and have continued  to be painful for 3 days now.  I have refrained from running, but have continued my work at the barn.  Last night, I could definitely tell that the lower interior part of my knee was swollen and painful to touch.  To add a creep factor, when I bent my knee it made a gritty sound. After a couple of Advil, I woke to no swelling and my knee feels good.  I hope a couple of more days of Advil and rest will allow it to run again.

While Princess was at volleyball practice, I took Arielle for some desensitizing (is that even a word?) training.  In our role to help her be a confident gal, we have to expose her to lots of "scary" things.  On the booger buffet yesterday was the 7th and 8th grade football practice.  Blowing whistles, clapping, yelling, waving arms, numerous running "predators" ... it was exciting.  It was especially exciting when the play involved 6 boys running in our direction.  If someone had yelled "BOO" at that point, she could've orbited the moon.  I am teaching her two "calm down cues" which are 1) drop her head even or below her shoulders and 2) lick her lips.  Both of these help a horse relax.  When their head is high, like in the picture below, it is impossible to fully relax (although she is pretty chilled out here).

In the picture below, Arielle is relaxed.  A horse naturally relaxes when they lower their head.  It releases chemicals that relax their body.  The phrase in horse training is true, "Where their body goes, their mind will follow."

I am happy to say, Arielle listened to me and despite several spooks, she did really well.  Our deadline is Friday when she will be the horse on display at the first grade festival celebrating Indian Day.  The plan is for them to paint her with washable paint, clip feathers in her mane and pet her.  I hope to get pictures!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Couch to 5K, Drought and Cactus

I ran with King on Saturday morning.  Delightful.  What a great way to spend time together!  This was my second C25K run.  It was not as easy as the first run, which surprised me.  My muscles are just weird.  It must be the Periodic Paralysis, but I start getting sore about 2 hours after I strenuously use my muscles.  Within 24 hours of my muscle exertion, I am almost not sore anymore.  I ran on Saturday morning around 8:45.  By 11:00 a.m. I was really sore.  By Saturday night, I could hardly walk/use my muscles.  By Sunday morning, I was a little sore, but walking just fine.  Totally odd.

I rested on Sunday.  Today is Monday and I worked in the pasture at the barn.  The drought is just debilitating.  One thing that was alive - cactus!  So, I spent an hour or so digging up prickly pear.  It was a good way to use my upper body muscles and let my lower body muscles rest.

With the drought, we have many animals coming up in the barn area for water.  We do not currently have any barn cats, so the rat population has exploded.  With an abudance of rats and a lack of water, you have snakes in close proximity.  Hopefully, a local pet adoption agency will come through for us this weekend and bring some feral cats for the barn.  The kitties will really like all the rats that we have available.  With less rats, we hope to have less snakes.  And with less snakes, we will have a happier Queen.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

C25K shoes

So, I decided that I need some new running shoes.  I counted up and I've had my other sneakers for 3.5 years.  :)  They are fine for wearing around, but I know that my feet & legs need more support if I am going to be jogging.  I am very excited about this new running program - couch to 5K.  Honestly, I am not married to the idea of running a 5K.  I just want to help my muscles be as healthy as possible. 

Working at the barn is very good for my muscles, especially my core muscles.  Between hauling water buckets, mucking the stalls and sweeping, I am really working my obliques and back muscles.  I haven't been riding much, but when I do, I can tell that my abs get a workout as well as my legs.

Between riding, barn work and jogging/walking, I hope that the spring of 2012 finds me in much better shape.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Walking in the Neighborhood

This morning, Arielle and I went for a walk in the neighborhood.  Arielle needs to be exposed to many different sights and sounds.  She did very well until a dog spooked her.  Then the rest of her walk was a little antsy.  It's so helpful to see the world from a horse's perspective.  Everything is out to eat them or kill them.  It must be exhausting to always be on the alert for "horse killers".

The highlight of the walk was meeting an elderly lady who was watering her lawn.  She had never been near a horse in her life - only seen them in movies.  She was so afraid of Arielle, but to her credit, she came near and pet Arielle several times.  The lady was adorable with her wonder of the horse and her delight with everything Arielle did.  I can just hear her on the phone with her friend/loved one today, "I saw and pet a horse today!"

We also met a young mom with two little ones in her truck.  Arielle walked up and let them pet her - to the delight of the children. 

It is so fun to take Arielle out and walk her through the neighborhood.  We have about 4,000 people in our neighborhood, so we always have plenty of opportunities to meet people.  The best part for Arielle is to have many things to desensitize her and from her perspective - to live to tell about it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


September 14th begins my couch to 5K expedition.  I am thrilled to be able to even attempt this.  I don't talk about this much on my blog, but I have a neuromuscular disorder called Periodic Paralysis (PP).  My muscle cells have a genetic mutation in the ion channels which results in periods of time where I am weak or completely paralyzed from the neck down.  My pregnancy and resulting hormonal fluctuations triggered my Periodic Paralysis and I have learned how to manage it over the years.  In the early years, I came close to dying several times during paralysis episodes.  Now, thanks to a couple of general doctors, I have managed by health to the point where I can work, ride and train my horse and be active outside.

Before PP, I was very active.  I jogged and did inline skating.  It's been almost 13 years, but I am just getting back to where I can attempt to jog again. I used the Get Running app and feel very pleased with my run.  I know it will take me more than 9 weeks to reach the 5K mark because I am going into the time of year when I am paralyzed often (sometimes every morning).  I don't have a finish date in mind.  I will just keep plugging along as I can, knowing that each time I get out and jog is a victory in and of itself!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Chicklet

Since we have last spoken, good things have happened!

Princess and I got our early birthday presents in the form of The Chicklet!  The Chicklet is an 8 year old Tennessee Walking Horse mare.  She is a bright bay with a cute blaze down her face.  (Technically, the white on her face is called a "strip".)  Her barn name (the name we always call her) is "Arielle" (Ah-ree-ell) which is Hebrew for Lioness of God.  Sadly, she's not as brave as her name indicates, but we are working to help her be more confident.  She is very sweet, alert and a beautiful mover!  Her gaits are like floating.
All of our horse experience thus far has been with pre-trained English Hunter horses who know how to lunge, jump and do flatwork.  While we learned a lot in that discipline over 4 years, we did not learn half of what we now know.  In just 3.5 months, we have learned more than we learned at our English barn. 
Owning our own horse has been a lot of fun, pain and hard work.  We do all of our own basic vet work, cleaning the stall and barn area, do all of our own feed and hay purchasing, clean and maintain pasture/paddocks, training, riding, ground manners/flatwork, etc.  We do it all!  
Arielle broke my foot 2 days after we got her.  She stepped on my foot 3 times over three days and broke multiple toes.  Needless to say, we began working on ground manners immediately. She saw a snake and figuratively jumped into my arms for me to save her.  1,050 pounds is a little beyond my holding capacity.  She's like a golden retriever in that she is loving, wants to be with her humans and wants to please more than anything.

We have enjoyed her so much over the summer.  Now that school has started, Princess doesn't get to spend nearly as much time with her.  I am doing most of the care and training until Princess finishes volleyball season.

We have found a fun and popular training method to use with Arielle: The Parelli method by Pat & Linda Parelli.  As with any popular subject, there are fans and critics.  So far though, Arielle responds very well and it is a fun way for a child to train.  Training horses is very much like parenting!  You must be kind, gentle, firm, respectful, maintain dignity, discipline in a consistent manner and be friendly.  A teenager/child is handicapped by not having the years of maturity that come with parenting.  So, it can be hard to train a horse without losing your cool.  The games that Parelli has created are all about having fun with the horse while teaching the horse to respect the handler.

For a nervous horse like Arielle, having confidence is 3/4 of her battle.  She wants to please, but she loses her confidence so quickly.  By teaching her to be confident, we have a much safer and pleasant horse.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baptism, Horses, Rube Goldberg and All Manner of Miscellaneous

This year, Palm Sunday was a very exciting celebration of the day Jesus Christ was heralded as King of kings.  Our sweet girl was baptized to show her faith in Christ.  She has been a believer and professed Christ since kindergarten, but the publicity surrounding a baptism has put her off. 

Our church had a baptism service at a pool in town.  It was so fun and such a celebration.  Our girl invited her girlfriends to join in the celebration.  It was so good to have some of them be able to join us.

Where would a girl be without precious girlfriends??

We have also begun the process of buying our first horse.  We are super duper excited.  Princess has decided to change riding disciplines from English Hunter to pleasure riding and trail competitions.  Part of the reason that she is changing is because riding in an English saddle is very difficult with Periodic Paralysis.  She handles it well now, but I am not able to have a strong enough "seat" (thigh muscles) to ride English.   Eventually, she will have more difficulty, too, and even now there are times when she is too weak to ride and jump fences.  We are planning to buy a Tennessee Walker Horse, which is a gaited horse.  Princess will keep the horse at her school barn as a 4-H project.  Caring for a horse 24/7/365 is going to be so much work, but we are excited.

Leaving our English barn means, of course, that we had to leave Leo.

Let me tell you how hard that was!! Mercy. We still miss him.

Princess had to make a Rube Goldberg machine, due April 21.  She chose to make an Egg Opener.  Good thing the King is an engineer.  They had fun building it together.  The best part?  It worked!  A steel ball was dropped through clear plastic tubing (not pictured) where it fell on the trigger of a mouse trap (bottom right).  The mouse trap snap was attached to a long steel lever with a pin attached at the top.  When the mouse trap snapped, the lever was thrust forward and the pin on the end popped a small balloon.  The coke bottle full of water rested on top of the balloon.  When the balloon was popped, the water weight in the coke bottle pulled on a pulley which was attached to a small sharp blade under the egg.  The egg was resting on a holder (see picture of Princess holding egg holder).  The pulley activated the sharp blade which pulled forward under the egg holder, cutting off the bottom of the egg.  A small tray was underneath the egg holder, catching the egg shell and the opened egg.  Tah-dah!

The King bought me a photography class for Valentine's Day.  I had a great time and learned a lot!  I have been playing with our camera and trying to apply all that I learned.  I am also learning to use Photoshop.  This bee is pollenating our cottoneaster plant in our back yard.  Cute, isn't he?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Criminals and Nice People on the Internet

Sometimes I am shocked at how our information is so available to whomever seeks it.

This afternoon my daughter and I were talking about who has Facebook pages at her age. She knows our rules about social media and while she respects our decisions, she is understandably drawn to the grown up things of this world. I get it - it's part of growing up. So, I decided to show her how a stalker could find info about one of her friends on FB.

I typed the girl's name in the search box on FB and clicked on her page. (I am not friends with this girl on FB, so this is all public information that I dug up.) This child has no information on her FB page, except photos and a list of family (the family app that she uses displays all of her relatives). Using ONLY the photos and captions, I was able to find information to allow me to search the internet for subsequent info. From her pictures, I knew that she is definitely not 24 as her birthday states, so assume she is under 13. I suspect that she is between 11-12. I was able to identify the names of her parents (including her mother's maiden name), that she has a sibling, her sibling's name, the name and address of her school, her father's business name and address and subsequently, GET THIS - her home address. I used Bing and found the map to her school and home and her dad's business. I was able to find her two BFF's first and last names, her friends' FB pages (some of which were quite a treasure trove of information), the breed and name of her dog, her favorite foods at one of the restaurants that she likes, a ceramics place that she has frequented, the spa she goes to for pedicures (including the exact location of said spa), when she goes to this spa, confirmation from mom's comment on a picture of the girl's birth month, that she has gone shark fishing, etc.

I could go on and on. If I were a creeper, I could totally do damage with this information. I found all of this information in about 10-15 minutes. My daughter was in shock. She shuddered and said, "That is creepy ... and disturbing" And it is. And this information in the hands of a criminal could be so devastating.

So, then, to bring it home a little more, I typed my daughter's grandfather's name, city and state into Bing and found all kinds of information about her grandparents, a map to their house, and information including that I was related to them, my age, my city and past cities that I have lived, who I am married to, my husband's age... It's just alarming what is on the web. It truly is a web and so interconnected.

I feel strongly that my daughter is not ready to be "loose" in a world like this until she can conceptualize more of the ramifications of her actions.  As a child, she is innocent - as she should be - and doesn't realize that the innocent information she shares on a photo could be so lucrative to a criminal. 

Thus, I am keeping her in a bubble from as much social media as possible for a while longer.  It's what works for me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fibroadenoma and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

I can't believe it's been two months since I've blogged. How embarressing.

I have been enjoying the spring weather and spending as much time with our horse as possible.

I've also been doing some medical testing. I have had hip pain for about 5 years and this year I began a more intense search for answers. I discovered that I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I think I have the hypermobility type. I had some heart/aorta testing done to rule out the vascular form. My aorta is good. However, while doing a contrast CT scan, they found a mass in my right breast.

Lovely. Just what I wanted - another health issue.

However, after a mamogram and sonogram, they decided to do an aspiration and/or biopsy. The aspiration didn't work, so they did the biopsy. Not fun. Thankfully the lidocaine worked well, but the combination of the doctor's personality and the biopsy itself made me feel a little creeped out.

I have a tumor, but good news - it's benign! The tumor is called a fibroadenoma. I will go back in 6 months for another sonogram, but I'm done with the breast work for now.

That last sentence makes me think of the line from "Return To Me" when Angelo says to Grace, "Don't worry. I just told him that you'd had some work done on your chest." Love that movie.

Anyway, the whole breast mass issue kind of side-lined the Ehlers-Danlos diagnosis and treatment. I need to schedule my physical therapy and see if it helps any. Then I will go back to the rheumatologist and see what the next step is for me.

It appears that my hip pain is caused by my hip not holding together correctly. Thus, when I stand or walk, my hip partially dislocates with each step. That gets rather painful. Advil is my friend. My BFF.

So, besides CT scans, mamograms, biopsies and Advil, I've just been doing the family thing and loving on our horse. It's health issues one after another. Poor Leo injured his eye about 5 weeks ago. He had his own little hospital adventure and medication regime. He's back at the barn now and sporting his lovely new fly mask. Mercy, he's the cutest little dickens.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Equine Love

Today I had a sweet lunch with a friend. After two hours of girl talk and laughter, I was heading home when I realized ... the barn was almost on my way home. The fly in the ointment: It was 39 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Translate - the Queen should be inside (due to the cold triggering my Periodic Paralysis). However, the draw of Leo was strong, so I had to drive over and give him a smooch. Turns out, it was so cold that I was the only one at the barn. Thank God for sunshine. It made the cold not so ... cold.

As a horse lover, I can hardly describe the feeling of horse breath on my neck and face. It's so warm and cozy - especially on a very cold day. The massive strength of this creature combined with his gentle eyes and eyelashes are enough to melt my heart.

I know. I know. I'm silly.

But, I love him. And isn't he so cute?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Vinegar Cleaning Update

So, you may remember my vinegar post from last year. If not, let me just tell you that I tried cleaning with white, distilled vinegar and was amazed at the results. If you use it as a "mist" (from a spray bottle) with a cleaning cloth, it cleans without streaking. I cleaned windows, mirrors, stainless steel appliances, countertops, my sink, etc. I even used it to clean the toilets.

I was in love. It was one product for all purposes and ... it was super cheap.

However, while I loved using it and loved the immediate results, I did not love the long term results. (Let's not even mention the smell. Add a little oil and my house smelled like salad dressing!)

I noticed that my toilets would get that pink mildew ring in the bowl after only a few days. More specifically, it would only take about 3-4 days to have a mildew ring. This made it look like I hadn't cleaned my toilets in weeks. Kind of embarressing - especially when a guest would need to use the restroom. "Please excuse the potty, Friend. I usually clean it once a year and it's almost that special day!"

I am not totally in love with cleaning toilets. It's a big deal for me to clean one, let alone multiple toilets. And I won't even go "there" about cleaning up stray hairs that are on bathroom countertops. Somehow, a hair in my sink will trigger the gag reflex despite the fact that said hair was on my very own head within the past 24 hours. Sometimes as recently has the past 10 minutes.

Back to vinegar. I figured if my toilets were showing germs this quick, then other areas that were cleaned with vinegar were also germy, albeit not as noticeable. So, while I will still keep vinegar on hand in my kitchen for quick clean up jobs, I will not be using it as my main cleaner.

And I'm back to "real" toilet bowl cleaner. My potty almost looks clean enough to ... ewww. Nevermind.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Clarification and Some Thoughts

So, I've been thinking about my New Year's Resolutions. In my previous post about New Year's Resolutions, I said that the song that expressed the thoughts of my heart is the Coca-Cola song from the 70's. That's sort of true. The real message that my subconscious sings is, "Let's all just be happy."

I like serenity. I like music with no words. I like quiet. I like a soft tone of voice and a gentle spirit in my relationships. I like the absence of conflict.

That doesn't always happen in life. Can I get an "amen"?

There's chaos, disagreements, misunderstandings, harsh words, angry eyebrows and general grumpiness from time to time. I don't like that.

Thus, it would appear that I choose to prick myself like a voodoo doll with every possible way I can please everyone I come into contact with. Unconsciously, I try to please everyone, everyday, in every way.

Mercy. That gets burdensome.

So, while I unconsciously want "to buy the world a home and furnish it with love...", I'm waking up to the realization that I cannot possibly make everyone happy. I'm sure as I work on my NY resolution of "not caring what anyone thinks" that I will make some mistakes. I hope I can learn to buy the world a Coke, teach the world to sing in harmony and leave the "perfect" part to Jesus. Because, as cute as the 70's Coke commercial is ... it is simply not reality.

The only way we will sing in perfect harmony is when Christ comes back to make everything new. In the meantime, I get to be kind, patient, gentle, faithful, trusting, shrewd ... and not care what others think.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I have two resolutions for this year. One was created by myself and the other was created by my sweet husband.

My resolution is to send a card to every friend/loved one on their birthday this year. It sounds small, but there is some sort of disconnect between my intentions and a postal stamp. It's like I have some sort of irrational, deep-seated dread of a post office box. Nonetheless, I shall overcome.

I didn't ask for this resolution, but King seems to think it's necessary. Vital even. He says this is the year I will not care what anyone thinks. I can care what God, King and Princess thinks, but no one else. You have to know me to understand how hard this will be for me. The song that emanates from my heart...

Alas. While I'd like the whole world to live in harmony, the closest I can get to making the world live in harmony is to buy someone a coca cola. And if that makes you upset with me ... I'm supposed to not care.

And I'm trying to not care.

King gave me this resolution around October of 2010 and I began to tentatively try it. By December, I was beginning to feel some serious freedom! I could be sweet and kind and STILL not care what people thought of my decisions.

We'll see how this goes.


As a true testimony for how little I have blogged, I don't think I've talked about Leo on the blog much. Leo is an Appendix gelding that we lease. (An Appendix is a cross between a Thoroughbred and a Quarter horse.) Leo is our love. He is such a gentleman. He takes care of me while I am learning to ride and...

He is a great Hunter for Princess, taking her over 2 foot fences. He can't help that he's so adorable!

He has a club foot on his right front and struggles with thrush often when it rains. Since we have been gone over the holidays, the thrush has come back. We went out to the barn yesterday to treat his hooves. There are many ways to treat thrush, but we typically clean his hooves well and then soak them in a bleach and water solution. After the bleach soak, we let his hooves dry while we groom him. Then it's time for a thrush treatment. The brand we currently use is Durasole. It works very well! Typically, one to three treaments like this and his hoof is hard and healing.

He's not particularly thrilled with this routine in the winter because the water is so cold. He was great today though. I think he appreciates the attention.