Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Riding We Go...

Wow, where did the month of June go? I feel like just yesterday it was getting warm out and I was anxious for the last day of school to come. Now, we are almost to July, a month that will bring a few small nights out for B and I, and a visit from my mom.

I realize that I never posted pictures of my horses and goats. I will do that sometime in the next week. This past month, we had two of our three-year olds broke. They finished about a week and a half ago, and now it is up to B and I to keep them going with their training. This has not been an easy process for either of us...especially me.

Three years ago, I adopted three, week-old foals from a rescue. I always wanted horses, but more to ride then to raise as babies (I was concerned with the amount of care they would need and the likelihood of death is so high). However, my friend convinced me to adopt these three. I waited and waited for them to be old enough to ride. At the time, they were up at the farm, and they stayed there even after B and I bought our farm, as there wasn't time to get them at first. As we were waiting to bring them down, we took in 4 more horses. Two young babies, one retired police horse, and one as a foster to be a friend to the police horse until we could bring my horses down. I was excited because we finally had horses that were old enough to ride.

I don't pretend to be an expert rider. In fact, I MAY be considered a novice, but probably more of a beginner. I have ridden several times, but never taken lessons. I sure read a lot about horses and riding when I was little because I was so obsessed with horses and wanted them so badly. But for the most part, I rode on vacations, and sometimes at friends houses. I often got the ridiculous horse that was stubborn, would take off for the barn, or even take me over a jump for no reason.

Regardless, I still loved horses and always wanted to have some so that I could ride them around and take them trail riding. Eventually, I got up on Teddy, the horse we were fostering. I was told when we took him in that while he would be antsy at first, all you had to do was be a little firm with him. So, the first time I rode him (with our friends who are horse people as well helping me out), he acted up and I tried my hardest to keep him in check. He tried to get me off a few times but didn't succeed. And he didn't settle down even after I was firm with him. But I stayed on. A few days later, I decided to try to ride him again. I went down to the barn while B was shucking corn, saddled him up and rode him down to the house. On the way down the driveway, I could tell that something wasn't quite right. He was acting antsy and being stubborn. Not bucking any, but acting weird. I finally got to the house and wanted B to hold him while I got off (Teddy was a huge horse, over 18 hands). B somehow didn't understand what I wanted and I eventually decided to turn back and get to the barn so I could get off. On my way back I noticed HUGE horse flies all around and figured this was probably what was bothering Teddy. He was still acting antsy and hadn't settled down at all in the few minutes I had been on him. We barely got to the driveway on the way back to the barn when he took off and started bucking. I tried hard to stay on. I knew I was next to a fence and was scared to death I was going to fall on it. Unfortunately, the saddle broke and down I went. I fell hard. I landed right on my back, hit my arm on the fence, and twisted my ankle...it somehow got stuck in the stirrup. I was in bad shape. I still hurt some today...my ankle never fully healed, and I have pain in my back...although I've had that pain for a long time and can't say it is from the fall completely.

I didn't ride for some time after. In part because I was recovering from the fall, and soon after, the rescue we were fostering Teddy for came and picked him up. Then it was winter, and we also only had one horse that we were able to ride.

Anyway, spring came and the babies turned 3, and it was decided it was time to break the two of them that were in the best shape. They did really well during the whole process. The trainer told us they learned very quickly and took to everything very easily. There were some things they were scared of, but after getting them through those obstacles, they always went. And now that they are done their training, it is up to me and B to keep them learning. We need to ride them several times a week so that they continue to be comfortable having a rider on their backs. I realize that this is probably not the most recommended way to go. Two beginner riders on two beginning horses. They would probably learn better with someone who fully knows what they are doing. But, it is hard to find someone around here that would take them for as long as would be needed.. And I'm unfortunately, extremely attached to these beauties that I've had since they were days old. Which makes it very difficult for me to get rid of them and move on to horses that are older and more broke. So right now, B and I are trying to to stay on top of them and ride them as much as we can.

Unfortunately for me, the fall I took last year has left me kind of scared and unsure of my riding. It isn't that I don't know how to ride, but I am incredibly scared of falling off again. The pain is too fresh in my mind. And I have no doubt that I will end up falling off again at some point. Getting over these fears is not the easiest on a horse that is green broke. I'm currently riding our mare, Sugar, who is a bit more high-strung it seems, then the gelding we broke, Trucker. She is very quick to move and really has a mind of her own. She wants to go her own pace and when I want her to slow down, she doesn't always want to listen. I know she is still learning. I know that things are going to scare her, and she is going to do things I don't like. My problem is staying calm during those times. And I've been having a really hard time doing that. I'm scared and I don't know how to get past it really. (And, I've gotten back on the horse, so I know that's not it!).

Teddy, the horse that bucked me off. A big, beautiful boy.

Sugar and Trucker (I don't have any more recent pictures), the two we broke. Sugar is the one I'm riding. At least she is a bit smaller then the last one!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Forgiveness

Before my dad got sick, I was pretty close to most of my extended family. We spent every Christmas at my aunt and uncle's house, and I visited my cousins and their kids frequently. When my dad got sick, my uncle (his brother) visited often. He insisted on being the co-executor of my dad's estate (along with a bank) and on going over everything that my dad wanted to happen with his properties, etc., after he passed away. Knowing that my uncle was there was an incredible source of relief for me, and I appreciated his support. It was something that I looked for and needed during my dad's illness and especially when he passed away. I felt that even though I was losing my dad, that I would have my uncle. I was wrong.

After my dad passed away, I was shocked and unbelievably hurt when it seemed my uncle just pushed aside everything my dad told him he wanted to have done. He seemed to just forget what my dad told him he wanted to have happen...and even told my mom and others that he had no idea what I was talking about when I said that he knew what my dad wanted. I had sat with him as he wrote down exactly what my dad wanted. I was devastated that he was lying and I had no idea why. Not only that, but he called me "childish" for not wanting to go through my dad's paperwork a few weeks after he passed away, and pushed me to go through my dad's things before I was ready. When I didn't go through these things, I was termed "difficult" amongst other things.

The farm was probably the biggest disagreement we had. He knew my dad's wishes and went against them. He never thought I'd be able to run it and rather then support me, he made things harder for me and told everyone I'd never succeed. At a time in my life when I really needed support, he let me down, and I was incredibly hurt. I stopped talking to him and stopped going to family functions where he would be present. It was too painful and I didn't know what to say to him. It hurt even more when my mom told me he had no idea why I was so upset.

Through it all though, all I wanted was an apology. I wanted him to admit the truth and that he had not listened to my dad's wishes. I wanted him to tell me he was sorry for treating me so badly when I was grieving. But he never did.

It has been almost 5 years since we have really talked. B has tried to talk to me about it numerous times and encouraged me to be the bigger and stronger person...to be the one who breaks the ice and forgives him. If my uncle were to pass away, I know I would be sad if we were still fighting. But I've had a very hard time trying to figure out how to be the bigger person. I'm not one to take a chance of forgiving and putting myself out there so that I can be hurt again...as that sort of thing has happened in the past.

The more I have thought about it though, the more I realize that carrying around this anger and sadness is bad for me. It festers and is something that is always below the surface in my day to day activities. I believe it contributes to some of the general unhappiness I feel with life at times. And I know that forgiving him would take a huge load off my chest. I know I want to forgive him, I just don't know how. I don't know how to put aside my pride and stubbornness, and break the ice. I don't know how to forget something that hurt me so badly. I don't know how to forgive something that was so awful. Some way it has to be done though, and I'm hopeful I can be the bigger person and take the first step. I just don't know how?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Moving Forward

The last few weeks have been difficult for me. I haven't really known how to handle them or really, how to feel. In nine days, the sale of the farm will be final. It is time for me to move forward. I need to move on from living in the past and the things I once wanted, but didn't succeed at keeping. I just have to figure out how.

I need to remember all the wonderful things that I have in my life. I have an amazing husband who treats me so well and does whatever he can for me. I have a beautiful house, my animals and for the most part, my health. My life isn't awful. Or that difficult. I think I just have an incredibly hard time remembering that because I get so overwhelmed by the things that are not so positive or have gone wrong. For almost five years, I have lived with the grief of losing my dad. With everything that happened after that, I continued to feel sad and lost. I lived more in the sad things then in the happy things. Almost as if I was afraid to let myself feel that happiness again...because I was so scared that it would be taken away like it was before.

I have a lot of fear. Fear that my depression will return. Fear that I'll never find the one thing in life that I'm meant to do. Fear that I will never stop grieving so terribly for my dad. I never used to have this fear. And I don't know how to make it go away.

My initial goal is to get myself out from underneath all the crap I feel I have in my life. I have brought so many material things with me that sometimes I feel like they smother me! I have always been very sentimental and find it really hard to get rid of anything that might be worth something or has some sentimental value. That has made getting our house organized very difficult. And one of the things that bothers me a lot right now on a day to day basis is the clutter and disorganization of our house. I want to have things put in their place. So, I have to set my mind to start getting rid of stuff. A half hour a day working at this should yield tremendous results I hope.

My other goal is to start to appreciate everything that I have. To focus on all the happy things and the things that make me happy. It probably won't be easy for me at first, but I am going to try hard. Here are two things that make me very happy:

Our boy Kaos enjoying the new "pool" we got him and Cynder to help them cool off on hot days.

Our very quickly growing puppy Khloe. She is such a treat.

I hope you'll bear with me as I try to figure all this out!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Goodbye...

I've started to write this post a million times, but have never felt that I could explain fully what I am feeling... If you are pretty new to my blog and aren't sure what I am talking about in regards to the farm, you probably want to read this post.

I am home from what was most likely my last trip to the farm. It was beyond difficult. Devastating actually. It was so hard for me to see all the equipment my dad worked so hard to get sell for significantly less then it was worth. The whole experience was so emotional for me. To see the barn empty. To leave the house for the last time. The familiar smells I'll no longer smell...so many memories from there. A dream that can no longer be fulfilled...I sobbed a lot of the way home. I've never known life without the farm...without Christmas trees or that house. Without the view from the back porch, or looking out and seeing all those trees. I was sad knowing that my dad walked along that ground and worked so hard on so many of those trees. That we worked alongside each other there. It was the last place we had in the family like that. Every thing else was sold immediately after he passed. Now, it too is gone. In a way, I feel like I've lost my dad again. The auction was just plain frustrating. I can't change anything though, so I'm trying hard not to dwell on it. I wish that more of our stuff would have gone to people that we knew...I actually felt bad when they did not get the things that they were bidding on...in part because I know my dad would have wanted them to have them, and because I wanted them to have them too. I wish the auctioneer had not been a pain in the arse.
I am still sad. I think I am in denial. I also think I am grieving the loss of something so important. I don't think it helps that I continue to grieve for my dad almost 5 years later. I am hopeful though that I will be able to move on in the coming months now that everything is over. It will not be easy. But this portion of my life is over, as difficult as it may be for me. It is time to start fresh and begin again. I hope also that this will help me figure out what I should be doing with my life.

I'll leave you with a picture I took of one of the Amish kids at the auction. He made me smile.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm Baaack!!

Ok, it has been a LONG time since I've had a real post. My life was just overwhelmingly busy. I subbed every day without a break for the last two months. We had plans every single weekend pretty much. When I'd come home after subbing, I'd do chores, and pretty much collapse, without desire to post much...so I didn't. While most of the stuff we've been up to has been pretty boring, there were two big things that happened.

The first is that my sister got married. B and I drove out to Philadelphia to attend her wedding. It was a very different wedding. They had no attendants. The ceremony was kinda weird. And the music was VERY loud. But, my sister looked beautiful, and she was happy, and in the end that is what matters most. Here are some pictures:

My sister, before the ceremony. Looking absolutely beautiful.

B and I during the reception. We were a little bored as loud music isn't our thing. I tried to get a good picture, and this is what he did. Ha.

Me and my sister.

My favorite picture. I took this as they were trying to get one for the photographer. If I had gotten all their heads it would have been perfect. :)

This past weekend was the second big thing, and that was my staff reunion. Before my foray in to subbing, and before I got married, I worked in a job where I had a large staff. The staff I had the last two years became much like my family, and last year before I left, we had a huge gathering at B and my house, which we had just bought at the time. We decided after that to make it a yearly event, which is wonderful because many of us have spread out, so we don't see each other much. B and I spent much of last week preparing the house for everyone arriving, and finally the day arrived. We had a wonderful time barbecuing, playing volleyball, and catching up. Here are some pictures of our reunion:
The staff who could make it (we were missing 3), and Khloe in front of the pond :)

Me with my best friends K and N. N was not technically a part of our staff...but we invited him anyway because the whole staff knows him and it was a good chance for all of us to catch up.

The fire in our newly built firepit. We made smores. :) (Don't mind the feet in the photo)

There was a full moon. This is the beautiful view we had.

This weekend brings what will most likely be my last trip to the farm. I'm not sure how I'm feeling at the moment, although I do know that I am upset that I'll be making it alone, without B, who couldn't get the time off. It will be the close to a very long chapter of my family's history. And it won't be easy. I'll most likely not post until after I get back on Saturday.

Sorry if this post is somewhat scattered! My life has been! But after this weekend my life should be back to normal and so should my posts! :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday Savings!

It's a new month, and less busy for me, so hopefully that means I'll be able to keep track of things better on here then I have been the last two months!

This week, I only shopped at Kroger because I didn't think the deals at CVS were that great. I didn't shop at all last week, so I had some wiggle room in my budget.

I bought the following (55 items):

for $52.94. I saved $75.36!!! I was excited to find out that Kroger was having triple coupons this week, which was unexpected and quite a treat. I was able to get the 4 Dial soaps, the 4 Reach toothbrushes, and the 3 Buddies soaps for free. I also got several other items for very little, including the pickles, the Kraft Mac & Cheese cups, the Hot Pockets, Ritz and the Wheat Thins. I stayed very close to my $50 budget, and was technically under, since I had so much leftover from not shopping last week. I sure hope Kroger does triple coupons more often!!

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Crazy Cat

It has been a LONG while since I have posted. I've been extremely busy and overwhelmed. The school year ends tomorrow though, and after that, I promise to update you on what's been going on!! Until then, I thought I'd share a funny video of my mom's cat, who absolutely hates anyone but my mom. This is the way she acts towards everyone who isn't my mom...

video
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