Thursday, December 16, 2010

Great Handy(wo)man Reference Site

Friday, December 3, 2010

Current Gypsy Vardo Project

Ok, not a vardo but vardo inspired! Last night I looked at the two outlandishly heavy gig carts that I've been trying to sell (albeit with as little effort as success) and suddenly proclaimed out loud to Mark, "I'm gonna paint them up like vardos and keep one as a planter!"

In the quest for historically inspired decoration I came across these videos.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The time, the way

I'm fighting fear. The timing of this new season could not be worse in my mind. Riding students, winter soft, are back in the saddle, excited to launch forward to the next level. Horses in training are fit and happy and ready to show. Mark and my young horses are ready to start under saddle and the older ones ready to show and promote.

My goal was to have 5 of our horses ready and sold into great new homes in the next 6 weeks, bringing relief to both fields and finances. This had been the plan throughout the long winter. This is the plan officially launched last week on dentistry day, when the equine tooth fairy pulls wolf teeth and prepares young mouths to receive the intrusion and instruction of a bit.

There is a path, I know it. But to see 6 weeks with no clear educational (equine) or financial progress with the farm terrifies me. Look harder, look deeper. I'm already pursuing obvious paths: pictures of saddles no longer needed poised and ready to load online. Openness to make some concessions and compromises from my initial vision. Flowing with every eddy and cross-current to see what may be revealed.

Solomon exhorts us: "Trust in the Lord with your whole heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths."

Okeedoke, God. My feet are willing, albeit wobbly. Just please, show me which way to go.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The first steps

Last night we went to our first Tai Chi class together. My heart soared even as my body loosened pain's grip. Breathe. Flow. Yes, the perfect prescription for the season. Mark and I are currently the only students in the class, so there is time and space for him to ask about possible parallels in his horsemanship--yes--and for Barbara and I to compare notes in teaching different disciplines that are so similar.

I've Tai'ed my Chi formally through several stages of life, but the order of the movements seldom sticks beyond a few weeks. We go through standing, walking, and then the first steps.

I think about several of my students who I'd like to invite to join our class, students who enjoy a Centered Riding approach to their lessons. Looking forward to fresh fodder to liven their lessons.

Today was a rough day. Frustrating and by far the most painful yet. By evening I felt like a total abject failure- I let my people down, I let my horses down, I let my loved ones down, I let myself down.

Tonight, safely and gratefully in bed, I pull out "The Songs of Horses" for a long overdue re-read and anticipated escape. Instead of granting me flight, Belasik turns the mirror on me with Joseph Campbell's words:"The ultimate aim of the quest must be neither release nor ecstacy for oneself but the wisdom and power to serve others."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Sacred Season

"To everything turn, turn turn/ There is a season..." croon The Byrds, covering the Pete Seeger tune which he, in turn, lifted straight out of Ecclesiastes. We just stepped out of a beautifully, brutishly burly winter and into...

...Spring. A season embracing the promise and chaos of birth, rebirth and growth. A season demanding disposal of the ubiquitous accompanying afterbirths, and the detritus of all that is old, unfruitful or outgrown.

My spring launched with its annual rebirths of life's routine- renewals of insurances and certifications, horse vaccines and dentistry, tack repair and taxes. Snowmelt left safe footing and a full roster of awesome riding students, each bringing their own challenges to stretch me into being just who they need me to be to help them become who they dream of being. A full roster too of wonderful horses, belonging to clients or to Mark and I, and all the fun, challenge and possibility that comes with developing each individual's full potential and finding their perfect new owner. And of course a full farm roster of maintenance, desired improvements, and dream-birthed foundations for longer term visions.

In the beat of a heart that season morphed. I was tuning up a horse for an upcoming show when the world turned upside down. I found myself screaming in pain on the concrete earth while puffy clouds raced and tumbled wholly unconcerned overhead. Coltie and his geldings gathered at the fence a few feet away and watched over me until Mark saw me, and the ambulance came to collect me. Lying there waiting, I committed to this unexpected season and swore that when I looked back on it, I would say sincerely: "this was one of the best things that ever happened to me!"

I'm so grateful for the outcome. A few fractured vertebrae- no big breaks or internal damage. 4-6 weeks of healing should see me back in the saddle. A visit with the NueroDude this afternoon should confirm it. And so this season, planned for productivity, process and profit, takes the reins and guides me far afield.

I'm in a new place in my body. I'm used to constant pain, but not at this level. The meds that promise some degree of relief further mutate and alienate my body. A balloon poodle where my tongue once was. Cotton candy for a brain. A three-ring circus swathed in skin, lacking only the dancing pink elephants. I'm frustrated when when my body limits me so. I'm really embarrassed when it suddenly and violently turns against me, leaving me unable to do anything but scream "help me! help me!" when I don't even know what would help except to get me down safely and just get through this episode. The frustration, fear and embarrassment must help propel the journey.

Plenty of projects simmer on the backburner, once destined for time brought by rainy day cancellations. A half finished book delights in the prospect of completion. I've already signed us up for the Tai Chi class that Mark has been wanting to take, but I previously refused commit time to. I'm looking forward to spending unexpected spring time with good friends near and far. Meanwhile daily life itself is a new adventure-putting a sock on by myself has become an exercise in ingenuity, if at times impossibility.

As I drift inevitably between furious, philosophical, frustrated and fascinated, my heart is open and actively seeking the surprises, delights and insights I know this serendipitous season hides. Join me and Maurice Sendak as we shout out, "let the wild rumpus start!"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Love Wind

To the tune of "I love Trash" by Oscar the Grouch

Oh I love wind!
Anything gentle or galey or gusty
Anything breezy or blowy or blustery
Yes I love wind!

I have here a saddlepad once clean and new
It hung in the aisle then to pasture it blew
It was stomped in the mud by a horse, maybe two
and all cuz of lovely wind.


I climbed on a filly for her first trail ride
A cannibalistic leaf then did fly by
zero to 60 before I realized she'd shied
And all cuz of lovely wind.


And Oscar himself to remind us the tune: