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There’s just something about a horse

I love horses! I really do. There is just no question that they are at least a part of what lead me to conceive Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch. I don’t talk about horses much, and the other day, a friend started asking me about them. I started talking to her and realized that I REALLY LOVE HORSES. Talking about them makes my heart beat faster, my breath changes. I realized, in explaining to her how they make me feel, that it is like poetry. I have never been much of a poet, but I don’t know how to describe the experience of a relationship with a horse that does not sound like poetry. I realized that I don’t talk about them much, because I don’t have access to them. It makes me stir crazy, makes my heart ache with longing. I cannot focus on anything but wanting to go find one to hang out with. I had forgotten that passion, temporarily. Stuffed it deep down inside where it could not tug at my heartstrings, and focused on passions I could manage where I am today. The last couple weeks, it rose to the surface in a most undeniable way. I can hear hoof-beats on my heart, all of the time, and it overwhelms me with joy. I can smell the aroma of a horse. If you are a city gal, this may not make sense to you, but there is something about the smell of a horse that is like no other smell. I tried to tell my friend what it feels like when your breath matches up with a horses breath, when your heartbeats are as one. When you are in a sync with a horse, there is just nothing on this planet that can compare to that feeling. When a horse looks in your eyes, you can see that he is looking into your soul…to the very depths of your being, and making a split second decision about you. Once he trusts you, your ability to share secrets is a bond like no other. Its replenishing, revitalizing. It is good for the soul! If you have never had the opportunity to ride a horse, I recommend you try it some time. I am eagerly anticipating the day I can visit my horses out back every morning! I long for the day that my entertainment involves taking my horses to the trail-head and saddling up. It is so nice, feeling like that goal is just right around the next corner.

The other thing on my mind today is extended nursing It has been all over the news, all over facebook, and everywhere you go. For the folks who don’t wanna see it, they sure do like to talk about it. I guess I just don’t care how long a mother and child nurse. Some mothers think three years is perfect, others think six months. Or maybe, you can’t nurse at all for some health reason. Who has a right to an opinion about this, aside from a mother, her husband, and the child? As far as I can tell, it is not harmful to breastfeed past the first year, and it is common in other countries. It is becoming widely known that American/Western healthcare is failing, and that Americans are the least healthy ever. I have read so many articles lately about the declining health of the US population, and I wonder why we are so scared to adopt new ways? Only a pervert would think that it is a sexual bond, between mother and child, and that a four year old is being perverted when nursing. That is asinine. It’s absolutely absurd! At that age, children are still afraid of the opposite genders “cooties”. There is nothing sexual about it. Just as a man can get excited  for no reason in particular, a child can nurse without it being a sexual act. Nurture maybe, but that is what moms are made for, first and foremost. The reality of the situation is that we are the only society I know of that doesn’t accept extended nursing. We are also a very unhealthy society unwilling to adopt other means of medicine and healthcare. The research shows that breast milk is good for babies and nursing is good for mothers, even extended nursing. So why all the controversy? Who’s business is it? Why do people think it is their business? I am pretty dumbfounded that this is as big in the news right now as the political campaign going on in the background. My feelings on the TIME magazine cover, I think they were trying to stir controversy and did. I guess if that is what they were looking for, then good job TIME. I also feel as though it is magazine covers like these that lead to a lot of sadness and bickering in our country. Are you mom enough? Really, like moms don’t have enough pressure on them. They need it to be all the hype in the media too? Every mother questions her abilities at one time or another. Do we really need a major magazine egging on our negative self talk? I am a little disappointed in the cover, for the controversy it stirred over a situation that should be a private, family decision. For making mothers feel like they have to live up to some societal standard. Who imposes these standards? I vote we let people be themselves. These nursing mama’s aren’t hurting anybody, and they are probably doing our medicare system some good in the long run, as they are likely to raise healthier children and even adults. A cure for breast cancer?  Maybe not, but the best deterrent science has found yet. I just do not understand what the big deal is. As long as we walk around expecting parenting decisions to be political choices, picking on each other and comparing ourselves to each other, and how we add up, we will never be a peaceable society that works together. We need to gather up, support each other, work together. Teamwork folks! That is what we need. A society that supports and listens to each other, opens their mind to new ways of doing things. A society that works in conjunction with instead of against each other. We need to stop expecting moms to live to a certain level of expectation that probably exceeds out own abilities, and accept them for the human beings they are, with strengths, weaknesses, and opinions, just like the rest of you. When it comes to parenting, their opinion about whats best for their child really doesn’t affect you, does it? We are all human, and we are all struggling here, so why not work together? It is killing me that this is the news. How petty have we become as a nation that we are publicly discussing whether it is ok to extended nurse on all of the nightly news channels? It feels more like gossip than news.

And, I will climb down off my soapbox now. It is too pretty a day to be ranting. It is a gorgeous day to do some light gardening and open all the windows and doors. Its time for me to get my butt in gear and get out to the greenhouse. I hope it wasnt cold last night, I think I forgot to shut the door. Oops…

Wishing you all a blessed day…

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And so the cycle continues…

The cycle continues. I am nearly done with my business plan, and feeling pretty good about progress made on my path to the Rescue Ranch. I gave myself a five year plan, almost four and a half years ago. I believe I am right on schedule. I have reached a place where I have started looking at ranches for sale now. I am hung up on wondering if we should buy a house, on some acres, or are we supposed to be looking for something more commercial, like a bed and breakfast or a dude ranch for sale? It seems to me that anyplace that has more than one living space on the property falls upward of 2 million dollars around here, and well, it just appears that it would be cheaper to buy a house and some acreage for two or three hundred thousand, and add the amenities as we go. I am really unsure of what to be looking for here. I am also very aware that my last message from God was to sit, wait, breathe, relax, and get my back healthy and it would come to me. I continue to do those things, waiting ever so “patiently”. Patience may be the relative term here. I am excited. Oh so excited! I daydream all day long, of chickens and bees and Alpacas. I can’t get my huge garden and tiny orchard out of my head. The idea of a big kitchen in which to process all the wonderful goodies that I am producing is so enthralling I can barely stand it. I ache to feel my feet on the soil that will one day be known as Rocky Mountain Rescue Ranch. The one thing that has remained true, in both visions, is that the main home is blue, and there is a white picket fence, which, by the way, I have never wanted…or if I did I was unaware of it. I think if I see that home I will know where I am supposed to be. I just gotta find the home from my visions. I cannot remember the first one very clearly. I remember being in the garden, in a long, flow-y, white summer dress. I remember being surprised by the white picket fence, and who one earth wears a white dress to garden? I cannot remember if the house was the same as the one in the second, much more clearly defined, vision. I do not know if they were the same color or size, but I am dying to find that home and yard, and when I do, I will know it. I remember they were both blue. Anyway, when I do find what I am looking for, blue or not, I am sure it will be glaringly apparent.

I have found myself on a strange and lonely path. It is not a bad lonely. It is a period of contemplation. I have found that I am having a hard time relating to some friends of the past, and making new friends in the most unusual places. When I step back and look at those new friendships, and where I am going, it is pretty obvious why some of these folks have come into my life, and when I look at old friendships, it reminds me of where I have come from. I love both groups so much. I have found myself struggling for words lately, as I have seen some of the friends I have known so long, beat their heads against the same walls over, and over, and over again. I wonder when they will stop torturing themselves. Why do they choose to only focus on the negative details? One friend cries and cried and cries for weeks over a hopeless situation. It affects everything about her days. I remember a time when I was in those same shoes. No matter how the situation was really presenting, I freaked out about the stuff I couldn’t change. It was torture. I would have done anything for happiness, but no matter what anyone said, I could not really hear them.  I needed something outside of me to change, for life to give me a break. Every little thing that went wrong defined my day and my life. I DO NOT MISS THOSE DAYS! I now struggle with being able to help my friend see that it is not something outside if her that has to change. It is her heart, her perspective, her vision of the situation, that has to change. It is not external. With a joy and contentment inside me, that I know comes from some simple choices I made, about perspective, I know that no matter how simple the concepts, wrapping your brain around them is foreign. How do we break the cycle from unhealthy self talk and thinking, to healthy self talk and thinking?I find it difficult to find the words this friend needs to hear, because I know that until her time, they will fall on deaf ears.

I find myself daydreaming of that joyful place. It occurs to me that I have had two visions with the same house in them. In the first one, my rescue ranch had not even been conceived by me yet, and in the second one it was a different perspective, but I believe it was the same house. I continue a cycle of daydreaming about chickens, bees, and alpacas, and I continue to daydream about canning and drying and putting up food. I got an upgraded dehydrator for mothers day and I couldn’t be happier about it. I LOVE dehydrating food far more than I ever imagined I could. I have some apples ready to go in this one. Next time I upgrade, I am going for the super heavy duty one! It is a gorgeous day, and I think I am going to try to get some gentle gardening done, and maybe clean my car real nice. My shoulder has been hurting so I will have to play it by ear and see what I can do without hurting myself. I had a doc recommend I get a back brace last week, and it has been fabulous for helping me stay in posture, even when distracted. I have some dwarf citrus trees I would really like to transplant, and it would be a fabulous day for it. I may have let one of them get to dry when I was really hurt to badly to take care of them. I am hoping it surprises me and comes back to a nice soft green place. I have found that often patience is all a plant needs to get a second chance.

Hubby is back at work, and my son is home with a bum tooth. Dentist can’t fix it till Monday, next week, so he will be going back to school tomorrow for sure. I have discovered a routine for cleaning when my husband is not here that works fabulously, I get tons done, and a wide variety of tasks get completed. I wish I could get a grip on my craft supplies. I have so many sewing and craft supplies that they are bulging out of every room I own..well, not really, but almost. I have many crafts that are ready to be put up for sale, but due to the lack of organization in my office, I just can’t seem to get myself to do it.

I started this post thinking about the cycles of abuse that people put themselves through, but got interrupted midway through. By the time I returned, my thoughts were back on chickens, and gardens, and a nice peaceful ranch. I am going to go work toward that for a while. Have a blessed day all…

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musings (the quest for happiness)

Good day friends!

Boy, the thoughts I left you with last night were discombobulated and skewed. I did not elaborate or make the sense of those thoughts that I wished to. In all I have been processing the last few days with my two friends strange behavior, I have really had a lot of time to do some reflecting on myself. I wonder what cycles I perpetuate over and over in my life. I evaluated the gifts I am thankful for, and how pleased I am to be looking into a situation, as though through a window, that I was at one point inside of. Try to explain true peace to someone who has never known it, and there are no shortage of people who have never experienced true peace. I feel so blessed to have been given an opportunity to know peace. It breaks my heart to see loved ones struggling with something so simple, and yet, I remember a time, when peace seemed like the most foreign concept in the world to me. Through a series of behavior changes, profound theories offered, and careful examination of my heart, it was not hard to find peace at all. It was really quite simple once I understood healthy behavior. Too bad so few understand healthy behavior. So many people running around trying to find peace and happiness, while it is right under their noses. Even after having been in those shoes, I have no idea what to say to a friend who is grappling with her demons? I have no idea what advice to offer to someone who has never had a healthy day in her life, and who has no idea what it feels like to have healthy behaviors. If you have never been content, it is a strange feeling to get used to. If you are used to feeling uncomfortable all the time, being comfortable can be an unwelcome and strange sensation, and most people fight it. Accepting comfort, grace, peace, and happiness is a difficult thing. It has something to do with gratitude, and faith. Contentment is a rare thing to come by, and I struggle with the inability to give other people the simple wisdom that happiness encompasses.

I offer these tools as a quick course to happiness. Walk. Whenever your brain is unfocused, in fight or flight mode. Walk. Walk hard for twenty minutes, at least. Get your heart rate up and it will trigger your logical brain to kick in and turn off your survival brain. It is not healthy to live in survival mode all the time. Too many bad chemicals and hormones put into your body. Those emotions are meant to be used for short periods of time in survival situations, not to be lives with day in and day out. Walk. Walk hard! Feel your heels hit the pavement. Breathe with every step. Pace yourself. Walk. Hard. It will start to feel as though situations only last while they are happening, and not set the mood for the whole entire day. And on that note, realize that one bad thing does not mean that your day is wrecked, or gonna be “one of those days”. It just means that this particular five minutes sucks, but it will pass and you can get on with your day. Even a series of five minute events, a stubbed toe, out of milk, empty gas tank, forgot your purse, are only a series of minor inconveniences, not the definition of your day. You control your happiness, but when a person is in a funk, or depressed, that is pretty hard to believe, or learn how to do. You still have the option to redirect. Slow down, get back in your car and go back for your purse, give your boss a call. Sorry I am going to be late, it has been a rough morning, and we will see you soon. You are only human. Take a second to take a deep breath on your way back for your purse, and count whatever blessings you may have. After all, it is possible that having to go back was God’s way of protecting you from a car accident just ahead in your path, or a burner that you forgot to turn off at home. Is it a nice, sunny day, and you now have fifteen more minutes to enjoy the sunshine before you clock in? Its your choice, what you make of it. Can you see the bright side, what positives might come from this minor inconvenience?

I have already shared the concept of “shoulding all over someone” with you at length. This includes self. If you spend a lot of time dwelling on what you should have done, or should be doing, you are not getting anywhere, so get up and move forward. Are you really willing to give up even three minutes of joy to be irritated that some guy didn’t use his blinker or that some girl was on her phone and cut you off? Maybe he is on his way to his wife in labor, or she may be getting directions to the place where her daughters car went off the road. We just cannot know other peoples circumstances most of the time, but we all have circumstances some times, so best to just give people the benefit of the doubt and have a little compassion. Plus, not only are you happier, but it makes for a nicer world when we don’t assume the worst about others. Unless, of course, you are perfect, have never made a mistake, and do not wish that others would give you the same benefit of the doubt when you are being all human and stuff.

Gratitude is huge in the quest for happiness. Are you grateful for your blessings, or are you busy being irritated about that thing the snobby girl at the office said; “she is so spoiled, she has no clue what the real world is like”. Right. By the way, not only is this lack of gratitude, I hear a little shoulding going on there too. Implied shoulding, but shoulding nonetheless. I hear people saying, why does she get this, and he get that, and I just struggle all day and get no where. I have said it too…not any more though. Next time you feel like you are less than joyful, sit back and think about your blessings. Get out a pen and paper and start writing them down. I don’t know anyone who cant get to at least ten, and by the time you have listed ten things you are thankful for, you are feeling pretty joyous! It takes all of three or four minutes, and it is a quick reminder or how blessed you really are. Gratitude is the best tool I know for genuine joy, and gratitude is something we can make a decision to tangibly reach out and grasp. And, when we give thanks, we give it to our creator. Which leads us to faith. You must have faith to have genuine happiness. Without faith, what do we have to hold to for hope? What do we have to be thankful for. Faith is a cornerstone of happiness. A basic foundational need. Faith teaches us to trust, and to see the beauty in things. It gives us a reason to keep improving upon ourselves and it gets us through the most difficult of times.

I have spent the last few days reflecting on those lessons, in my quest for happiness. I found happiness, peace, calm, and faith, all in one big swift move. I have restless days, but I turn to my good Father and know that it is only a chapter of patience or solitude or reflection that I am in, that it shall pass, and that I am not lost. I know that He has a plan for me, and that I am right where I am supposed to be. There is a tremendous amount of solace in that. I find peace in the gifts I have been given. They are quiet gifts. Not a big house, a fancy car, a big college education, but I was given such gifts as compassion, insight, the ability to communicate effectively, and the knowledge that through even the hardest times, I am not alone. I have a knack for understanding and taking positives out of the Bible that many lack. I have a gift of intuition and a deep sense of nurture. I have the gift of humanitarianism in me, and that is such a huge compliment from my dear Father. What He has given me is heavy. A responsibility to the underprivileged. What a huge compliment and so much obligation. I am humbled by the tasks He has appointed me. I feel blessed by the compliment that I get to help care for the less fortunate, and awed that He thinks so highly of me that He would deem me competent for such a huge task. Part of the key to happiness, is learning to see your misfortunes as tool sharpening devices.

I had a less than ideal childhood, as many would agree. It is what I did with that childhood that is a gift from God. I see so many people using their childhood to perpetuate cycles of abuse, misfortune, and sadness. I choose to take my misfortune, and turn it into a positive. A learning opportunity, and I dig as deep as I can till I find the bright side of it. For the longest time, my mom thought I was crazy when I told her, “if I wouldn’t have been molested, I probably wouldn’t be a write today, plus, it gives me compassion and understanding, and the tools I need to help understand the victimized women I will be working with” rather than wonder why God is not protecting me from satans ways, I wonder how God will use satans meddling to do good in my life. I do not blame the negatives in my life on God. I blame them on the meddlings of the evil one, but I know that God will get me through and make me a better person for it, and that is why He allows it to happen. All along, He knew the pain and heartache that I would endure, and all along the way, He carried me when it got to much, knowing, that one day, I would help people find the peace He offers. That I would be the one to offer tangible, physical comfort, to those in storm, in His name. Wow! the enormity of that overwhelms me. He gives me so much more credit than I give myself. I am thankful, for the blessings, trials, tribulations, and saving grace, in my life! Every situation offers an opportunity for growth, it is what you choose to do with it that will determine your happiness. Can you find the silver lining in the gray of the clouds? Can you find calm and peace in the storm. It is all so much simpler than words would make it sound, and yet, so incredibly difficult to put words on. On that note, remember, we are all just working with the tools we were given. Our foundations are full of shame and unmet needs somewhere along the line. We are all human, all subject to heartache, mistakes, and basic human error. If you give everyone that benefit of the doubt, you will come a long way in that quest for happiness. Until next time…God bless!


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Today I feel a little reclusive. I don’t really want to talk to anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I am in a great mood, and have had a wonderful day, accomplinshing a bead organizing project I have been looking forward to doing for months now, and FINALLY, I spent a day wrapping it up. Nice feeling for sure. The problem I am having with reclusiveness stems from watching two people I am close to put themselves through the same cycles of abuse over and over again, and I just want to shake them and say…”can’t you see how stupid you are being?” I have had way to many years of therapy though, to do that. I know better, and I know that to do so I would be “shoulding all over them”. What do you say when someone is clearly using weak excuses to justify a behavior that, well, they obviously need to justify. I feel that if they need to justify the behavior, then somewhere in them they know its wrong. I am left with asking some introspective questions, and hoping they will be pondered upon…but I don’t think it did any good. the other situation is just plain hideous. A person I know who wants to try to fix a failing marriage through immoral behavior, only this person I am more blunt with, and I was able to at least really express to her how messed up the thought she expressed to me was. I think she will still act on the idea, but she will just not tell me. Fine with me, I really have no interest in “shoulding on” anyone. I don’t want to hear her crying when it doesn’t work out, and acting all confused about why it didn’t work. That is one of the most troubled people I know, asking me for advice, then ignoring me or blowing me off, or giving me weak excuses, when I offer advice. Why ask if you don’t wanna hear the truth anyway? If you are not going to act on any advice, is it that you just wanna whine? I guess the part of me that deals with people is feeling intolerant, but, accepting of others. I love the “should all over” rule. A great therapist once taught me that I would be a lot happier if I quit “shoulding all over” myself and others. In other words, instead of thinking people should behave like I would, I give them the benefit of the doubt. It works like a champ, and my level of compassion has really grown tremendously with that skill too. After all, no one will ever behave the same ways I would all of the time, and as long as I spend my time being upset at someone else’s behavior, I am stealing precious time for happiness and gratitude from myself. If I see a guy with no blinker, I don’t get irritated that he didn’t use his blinker, I assume his daughter was just in a car accident and he is just trying to get to the hospital as fast as he can. When I think I “should”
have done something different, I remember that the event has passed, I didn’t do it that way, and that is the plain fact. Nothing I can do about it now, so move forward. One of the most useful tools I ever found, in my quest for simple joy and happiness, was the understanding of what it does to ME when I “should all over myself and others”. Well, it makes me more compassionate, and easier to get along with. I am better at validating people and well, generally happier, however, on days like today, I find it is best to just keep to myself. Rather than argue with people about decisions they are making for themselves, I spent my day sorting and organizing all of my beads. It was a nice day. I have had a ton of Grey’s Anatomy episodes piling up in the DVR, and I finally sat down and watched them, all. I swear I organized beads and had a TV marathon all day today, and I loved it. Most days, I turn the computer on around five am. Today, I didn’t go near the thing till after ten pm, and I loved it. I would go stir crazy if I spent every day isolated like I did today, but it sure was nice for a day.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the weekend. My client comes tomorrow, and then a rummage sale for my friend with cancer. My sister is also graduating on the same day as the fundraiser, but far away in another state, and is only allowed to take two family members to her graduation anyway. Sunday is, well, Sunday, and I believe that hubby will be taking off to work far away on the road for a while again. Its hard when he is far away, but almost harder when he is close by, because he has to commute two hours every day, and that makes for disruptive schedules, early mornings and late dinners…too late. Especially when we have no idea when he will be arriving, until two hours before the fact. Some nights its seven, and other nights its ten thirty. Ugh! It will be weird if he leaves this weekend though, he has been around for about a month…getting used to it. It is nice to have him around…

I have slowly been getting back into the swing of things. I am looking forward to a productive day tomorrow, and even through my tv and bead marathon, I got quiet a few chores done today as well. I look forward to doing dishes without pain, and PT not being the highlight of my day, but meanwhile, I am quite thankful for the ability to function at the level I am. Well, I could chat all night, but my battery is blinking at me…time to plug in. Have a blessed evening friends…until next time.

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On the rebound

Oh my friends, it has been quite some time, hasn’t it? Despite the fact that I have had limited ability to function the last couple months, I am in surprisingly good spirits. Don’t get me wrong, I had my moments of grief and restlessness in all this, but ultimately, I came out with a message that made sense in the long run. I am feeling much less pain now. It rarely gets above a three, and I have started doing things like cooking, and cleaning, slowly and deliberately, again. It seems that everything I do is slow and deliberate these days. I am ok with slow and deliberate, as it is so much better than nothing! I really did get pretty stir crazy there at the end of the bedrest part. I have been given permission to do some limited chores, as long as they are short, light work, and I take longer breaks than I spent doing them. I am allowed to do some Tai-Chi, as long as my neck doesn’t have to roll around, and that is a start. I am slowly on the mend, and wow, physical therapy is getting hard. I have spent so many years training my body incorrectly and using my muscles to guard my nerves, that I literally have to manually turn my hand for three of the stretches, cause my brain just wont do it. I hope I can work hard enough this week to surprise her with the ability to do it next week. She does traction, and any one of these days, my disk is gonna pop right back in…and I am looking forward to that day!

I have spent a lot of time the last several days, researching some of the financials for the business plan. I have never been able to wrap my brain around this before. I can see all the details so clearly, but never, ever been  able to grasp how I might find the numbers for it. For some reason that is not clear to me, after spending a couple months in bed, I am finally able to grasp it. I feel that I have officially book studied chickens to death, and that the only thing left is to have the hands on experience now. I have never had chickens of my own, but have spent quite a bit of time around them at friends houses. I am comfortable with chickens, and ready to try them out. I was shocked, however, when working on my business plan, and talking to my husband about how many chickens he pictures us having. It was about three times as many as I pictures, and since he is gone on the road most days, I think I will go for a happy medium, at least to start with.

I have moved on to the financials of bees. I am now working on the vocabulary associated with beekeeping. I am learning the nuts and bolts of supers and nucs and hives, and it is incredibly interesting. Lots to learn, and I was excited to discover an internship that is held locally, at the college, in my research today.

I am full of ambition and motivation, despite the fact that my body says slow down, so I have to work hard to take it easy. I find that to be the most challenging task of all. It’s spring garden season, and I can’t get my early garden stuff started. I had to tell myself that maybe God knows something I don’t and maybe I will be too busy packing or moving this fall? One can hope…

I have figured out that I get the house much cleaner, much more efficiently, if I spend a great deal of time doing small, five minute projects. It seems like everywhere I turn, people I know are having babies, buying houses, starting new things. I am ready for a new start too, and can’t wait to see what the good Lord has in store for me. I am happy to be on the rebound, and I got the message to slow down, breathe and be thankful for life, and let my body heal! Patience is a tough one for me, but I may even have that one harnessed in this week.

It is good to be able to check in here, and get a few words out. Hope you all find yourself in good health, with many blessings! Until next time…