Her and I

I used to cry before I got on her. Every single time. The fear would snake through me, freezing my feet to the ground. My heart would start hammering so persistently in my throat that I had to choke it down. It was a struggle between something that I wanted so so badly and yet was so afraid to do.

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She is a clever and canny girl. The type that stands stoically still while you brush and saddle her. And waits, ever so patiently, for you to place your foot in the stirrup. Ever so patiently for that last possible second, the very second your weight was solely reliant on that foot, and she would side step, or move forward, so you would be hopping along with her.

I never was that agile. I changed tactics, tried to pull her up to the deck and jump on. And wouldn`t you know it, she would do the same damn thing. I either landed on her ass or on my own. The whole thing was so bloody frustrating that I was in tears most of the time. Every stumble was a kick in my teeth, in my dream of becoming a horse rider.

“Confidence is key,” they said,”when you are dealing with a horse.”

Pretty hard to build confidence when you can`t even get on.

I received a lot of bad advice in those days. I just couldn`t see how smacking a horse, and making them submissive, would work. I never even tried it. I couldn`t. It`s a special relationship between horse and rider, one built on trust, not fear.

We hashed it out one weekend, her and I. It was a battle of the wills, a battle of patience and persistence. I kept asking her to stand still, kept bringing her back to the same spot whenever she moved. The first time it took two hours, repeating the same steps over and over and over before she would politely allow me to get on. I would ride in her a circle, dismount and repeat the process all over again. The next day I switched it up, took her to the edge of the deck, the fence, the bumper on the truck. and repeated the whole process over and over and over again.

We grew a lot closer that weekend. We grew a lot of trust in what we could expect from one another, a lot of faith that in what we could accomplish, together. I don`t recall her pulling that trick on me since then. But if you come over, and would like to go for a ride, don`t expect her to give you the same courtesy.

NaBloPoMo Day 2:When was the last time you did something brave? What happened?

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“A Token As You Walk Away And A Life Between Pages”

I just loved this post by Anna. It had me thinking…While there have between times I contemplated walking away, I know I just couldn’t do it. But if there were two tokens that I could take with me, from one life to the next, it would have to be the love that has been given to me, and the love that I have to give. It is something that I didn’t know I had until I lost it. And for years I muddled around thinking I never had it all, or would never be able to find it. It soothes me, calms me, and heals me. And without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
What would your tokens be?
*comments disabled here, please visit Anna :)*

Anna Cottage

If you were to walk away from your life, leave everything and everyone you know behind, never to return to the Life you know ever again.  What is the one or two items – not more than two – would you take with you.  This item does not have to sum up the life you are leaving behind, it can be something of love/joy/pleasure, a sad memory you want to keep.  A future you have in your mind to build.  It is not an easy decision to make, but all you will have is this token or two that means the most to you.

Have you ever felt you want to walk away from all you have known.  You can and will go wherever you want in this World, be a new person, become whatever you have always wished to become, dreamt about.

Deep within in you lies hidden that…

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Honda Car Update

The car is toast – engine failure. This isn’t a boo-hoo, woe is me type post. I am not one to cry over material things or money, so I don’t expect you to do it for me.Since I vented my frustrations in my last post, I thought it would be appropriate to follow up on it.

Why this happened exactly we do not know. After spending four days in the repair shop with no clear, visible definition, we decided to pull the plug. The outcome is still the same – we need a new vehicle. We do have a contingency fund, but I was really really really hoping to dip into it for a trip to Cuba this spring. Under the circumstances, it would be irresponsible of us to do so. (The little devil on my shoulder says “fuck responsibility, just go!”)

My MIL did some investigating (i.e. googling) and found that we are not the only ones that this has happened to. In fact, car complaints has the 2003 Honda Accord listed as the second worse vehicle to buy. Major grievances include weak oil retention rings leading to excessive oil consumption, weak tensioners that cause the timing chain to slip out of place and faulty/frozen crank shafts. (Could the oil  rings been so weak that I would burn a litre of oil in three days? ) The number one complaint was widespread transmission failure.

I have to question the validity of checking on these type of websites. Surely there are lemons in every batch of vehicles that are made. But if I had seen my car listed in the number two slot, I may have thought twice before my purchase. Just thought I would pass along the information, just in case one of you might have one of these lemons in your driveway too. In the mean time, I’ll be watching the seat sales to Cuba and indulging my little devil with a fantasy vacation.

Thanks for stoppin in.

Kelly

 

 

 

 

Affording Our Debt

Let the vehicle wreckage begin! Cold temps, faulty door handles, plastic pieces that just seem to fall off. Are all newer vehicles pieces of shit? And by new, I mean 2008 and 2003! The car wouldn’t start Friday after work. Silly me, I just thought it was the starter. Wouldn’t turn over, wouldn’t catch. Apparently there is no compression? I don’t know what that means but it sounds expensive. Did an explosion happen while I was driving to work that day?  This is a definite possibility. Usually, the music is cranked so loud that I can’t even hear my own voice let alone the engine.

Did I mention that hubby was laid off from work just before Christmas? This didn’t bother me when I heard the news. We knew it was going to happen at some point.We can afford our debt. I am actually very good with money. It would be nice to have him home more.

So I didn’t freak out then, but I am totally freaking out now! It would have been way better if the mechanic phoned this morning and said “Your vehicle is toast. You need a new one.” This period of not knowing is going to drive me nuts! Of all the financial revamping I did in my mind, buying a vehicle/ expensive repairs did not enter into the equation, at all.

 

Reviving Lost Traditions

It begun with the Christmas tree – a small, three foot artificial that my mother had bought me many moons ago. As I pulled down and plumped up its synthetic limbs, I couldn’t help but remember the day I entered my apartment and found it set up for me. I was being rather humbugey that year, refusing to succumb to the conventional need of decorating. She had snuck into my humble abode, adorned it with lights and miniature ornaments. I still remember the pleased expression on her face when I hugged her, thanked her, and told her it was beautiful. It was something I hadn’t realized I had needed that year.

Mom’s miniature Christmas Ornaments

“We used to go The Property and cut down a tree every year” my hubby says from behind us. His eyes have taken on a glassy, far way look, akin to a person who is trying to retrieve the last vestiges of a dream.

“We did too, that first year we were together. And you picked out the homeliest looking little tree. We brought it home and set it up in the corner…”

“…and those two cats…”

“…would use the rocking chair as a launching pad to hurl themselves into the tree…”

“…there were pine needles everywhere…”

“…and you swore that you would never have a mess like that again…”*

“When we were kids, we used to travel all across the country visiting family.”

“Us too. And mom would drag out the gold plated china on Christmas Eve…”

And so the memories flowed, the way they do every Christmas. Our voices soft and dampened with a slight touch of sadness as we remembered the celebrations of long ago.

*It was the last year we ever had a real Christmas tree. It was also the year his father passed away. Strange, that it took me this long to make the connection.


 

I spent the better part of last week prepping and preparing for a melancholy-free Christmas. As a stepmother, there were just certain areas of life that I did not intrude upon, and Christmas was one of them. It wasn’t that I didn’t try, or that my attempts were met with scorn – they would, at least, bravely stick out their tongues to sample the dishes and  admit that they weren’t too bad. It just wasn’t their thing. They couldn’t taste the warmth I was trying to recreate. Truth be told, neither could I. And that was probably more the reason why I didn’t continue on with them.

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The Property, 32 acres of bush, 8 acres cleared for a campsite

And we did make it out to The Property this year. We went, as a family, when my youngest step-daughter came home for Christmas.(I cannot tell how great it is to be past the teenage years.)

We hiked through the forest. We talked. We laughed. We reminisced about how things were and we all agreed that we should go out there more often. It was a pretty great Christmas for us this year. It was the first year, in a long time, that we were able to look back at the past without having it degrade the present. We were able to generate some of the warmth that this holiday season should be filled with and created some tender memories to help carry us through till next year.It was more than my little heart would have hoped for.

12 More Days!!!

I really wanted to write an eloquent post about the upcoming events in my life, but I am having trouble concentrating right now. Seems like 30% of my brain is singing “La La La,” 30% of my brain is dancing, and 30% is doing this…

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In twelve more days we will be in Cancun!!!!!!!!!!!

Friends of ours are getting married. It will be our first holiday in Mexico. We are leaving the kid at home. La La La.

I am really looking forward to having some quality one on one time with hubby. Looking forward to a little romance (i.e. more than a nudge on the shoulder and a wiggle of an eyebrow when the kid is sleeping). It’s Tuesday, so here is a tune to celebrate…

 

Happy Birthday Flem!!

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Dear Fellow Bloggers,

Today is Flem’s birthday! I think we can all remember what it felt like to be a new blogger, nervous and anxious for acknowledgement? How about we try to make Flem’s birthday extra special by liking/commenting/following and showing her what a lovely, supportive community she has entered?

SHARE THE LOVE!!

Dear Flem,

Welcome and Happy Birthday! Instead of buying you some crap, I just took a picture instead! Hope it makes you smile!

xoxox

See you shortly!

And So I Weep

I keep thinking

 tragic events

should not overtake my soul

with such shock, pain and disbelief

any history book would support my claim

it is part of our heritage

passed down through the generations

the desire to obliterate

eradicate

innocent souls

to dominate

to gain control

to strike fear into the living

for complacency

perhaps to perpetuate the violent cycle

for the “justified” retaliation that will ensue

And so I weep

for fallen soldiers

legions of armies

for the families

for the people

devastated by  horrific events

I feel their screams of pain

their tears tear at my heart

burdened with their grief,

I weep

lest we forget

our “civil”izations were built upon rivers of blood

bodies thrown into pits

discarded

like litter

Lest we forget our history

of the darkness that follows our footsteps forward

plant poppies in Remembrance

seeds of love

understanding

acceptance

cooperation

unity

FORGIVENESS!

 

Lest we forget

where we have been

and what we yearn to become

Until then,

peace will be a fallacy

In solemn remembrance

for everyone who has been lost,

or has lost,

anyone or anything

at the hands of another

my heart bleeds for all of you

And so I weep…

Understated Road Trips

Does this ever happen to you? You go through life forgetting to do things that you enjoy? You become so busy with your responsibilities and day-to-day tasks that you forget to do things that connect yourself to a part of your personality, your character? And when you re-experience them, you say to yourself “I have forgotten how much I enjoy doing this, I should do this more often!”

When I was younger, my parents took us all across the country to visit our relatives. I was the youngest, and smallest; my designated spot was on the floor of the backseat while my brother and sister stretched their legs over me. I had slept so much during those trips that when it came to be my turn behind the wheel, I didn’t know which direction to go. When I became old enough, I rented vehicles so I could relive those experiences. For me, I enjoyed the drive just as much as I enjoyed the destination.

What is it about a vehicle that is so liberating? Is it because it is just you, a steering wheel and miles of pavement rolling beneath your feet?  This is where I play the music is so loud that the rear view mirror trembles and my heart simulates the beat of the bass.  This is where I practice my chair dancing techniques and play invisible musical instruments.  This is where I reconnect to my childish self, the momentum of the music urging me to sing at my worst and act the silliest.

The understated road trip – something I have neglected to do in the last few years, but definitely something I should be doing more of.

It’s Tuesday, so here is a tune for you. I have to give the radio credit for overplaying popular songs – by the time I returned home, I had learned this down pat. Elle King – “Ex’s and Oh’s”