Growing up, down and all around

We don’t really grow up. We grow up, down and all around. I’ve always visualized life in my head as a straight arrow pointing up and that life is just one smooth, straight line straight to the top. But as I “grow up” I’ve come to realize more and more that life is a very squiggly looking arrow that goes up, goes down, twists and turns, gets knotted up and fucked up, smooths out and changes ALL the time. It’s the way life is and it’s all good. Without the bad we would not know what good looks like or feels like. This year has been tricky. A lot of “bad” things have happened and a lot of truly AMAZING things have happened. The line of life has been very squiggly lately. The good news is that all of the people in my life are healthy and happy and that Matt and I are truly happy and in love with our life together. The bad news is that several animals have been hurt and in pain lately, which has caused me so much pain because I’m so connected to them and it hurts to see them in pain. Animals are so innocent and helpless, which makes me feel helpless sometimes. Sometimes there’s just nothing that you can do about it and it is what it is, but it’s so hard to surrender the emotional stress and guilt that you can’t help but feel.

I’ve been so torn up about some of the things happening in my life with animals lately, that I haven’t been able to write. I like to write when I’m feeling at peace and reflective, not when I’m a mess. It’s also so much easier to write about the good than it is about the bad. The previous post to this one, I wrote a few weeks ago, but just posted today because things have been so rough. This morning was really hard and yesterday was really great. Our friend Jason and a famous horseman named Dwight brought us Matt’s new horse that he has decided to name Moo. Moo is awesome, healthy and extremely well-trained. He’s super cute and such a sweetie. Dwight gave Matt a lesson on him yesterday and we all went for a fun long ride through Red Rock park. It’s all bittersweet though because Moo is Lady’s replacement. We’ve had Lady for six weeks and I’ve grown so attached to her, but the vet and several other horse professionals told us that we will never be able to ride her because of her stifle injury. We seriously considered keeping her despite her limitations, but it’s been so sad to see her in pain. Every time we would take Gracie out for a ride, Lady would go crazy in her stall and run around a lot on her bad knee. The next day the poor thing would barely be able to put weight on her back leg and her whole rear end would look painful to stand on. When Dwight came with Moo we asked him what we should do with Lady because several people have advised that we should put her down, which made me sick at the thought of it. Could you imagine having a bum knee and having to be put to death for it? Sure, I’m anthropomorphizing the situation, but I can’t help it. By the grace of God, Dwight said that he could take her and drop her off up north at a ranch where she could be turned out as a broodmare. This is the absolute best case scenario that could have played out, but I’m still so sad. She just left a few hours ago and it was so hard to say goodbye. It’s hard for me not to cry as I type this. I know it’s silly and that I’ve only known her for six weeks, but I really loved her personality and she was so much fun to ride. It’s such a shame that it all turned out this way, but I guess it’s all for the best. Lady won’t run around here and mess up her knee more and she’ll have a great life being turned out in a big pasture with a bunch of other mares. I’ll get over it, I guess. Gracie and Moo are neighing for Lady and Dwight’s horse Matt Dillon still. It breaks my heart.

Some other really tough things have happened in the midst of so much good. What I’ve realized more than anything is that 1) shit happens (I have to pick up a lot of it twice a day now, and I’ve come to really look forward to my “grounding” sessions) and 2) it’s all about how you react to “bad” things. You can get extremely emotional and upset, stressed and angry or you can choose to be calm, strong, brave and get through the bad gracefully. The truth is, it can always be worse, and you might as well train yourself to react in a calm, peaceful, strong way now because life will just continue to throw you more difficult, sad, unfair or downright terrible hardships. At least this is what I’m telling myself and trying to do. I’m also trying to focus whole-heartedly on the positives. So in the spirit of that, here is a list of all of the amazing positives going on right now…

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1) We’ve had the most amazing bbqs here at the Little Brown Ranch with our new neighbors and our friends and family. We seriously have such a great neighborhood!

2) It’s been so wonderful reconnecting with our LA family members and spending more time with them.

3) It’s been awesome spending more time with my Pappa and sharing lots of laughs and IPA beer with him.

4) We’ve done lots and lots of work on the Little Brown Ranch. It feels so good to have gotten so much done in such a short time. In the previous post I wished for some new dining room chair covers and now they are happily being sat on. I also wished for a tack room and we have revamped the old dilapidated little red shack into a super cute tack room complete with concrete pavers to make a floor and lots of hooks to hang up tack. We are also putting in the arena now. We built a huge retaining wall to add more square footage and we ordered 100 tons of sand. Unfortunately the huge tractor broke and now it’s standing there looking large and pathetic in our half graded arena. Can’t wait for it to get done so that I can start working more with Gracie.

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5) Speaking of Gracie, I’m in love with my crazy little girl. She keeps me on my toes and challenges me everyday which I love. Like a typical warmblood, when she gets anxious or nervous her brain can turn to scrambled eggs, so we’re working on learning how to be calm and to trust me. Gracie does so well on the technical parts of the trail though. When she has a job she turns into a powerhouse and steadily takes me up anything I point her at. She’s so sure footed and good on the trail. Now that Matt has his boy Moo, we’ll be able to ride all over the Santa Monica Mountains. Yippee!

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6) I’m so grateful for our awesome little veggie garden that we put in. It’s already grown at least 8 inches in two weeks and buds are popping up everywhere. We put in everything from tomatoes to onions, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli to herbs and spicy hot peppers. It’s really late in the season, but I think the heat wave that we’ve been having here will help it all along.

7) I’m also thankful that Bear, our cat, is still alive! he’s one smart little guy. I think he realizes that death lurks just outside of our doors so he’s been hanging out safely inside. Bad news: the automatic kitty shit box died on us the other day, but we’re still so smitten with it that we’ve decided to return it and give it another shot. Stay tuned for another consumer report.

8) It’s been so much fun cooking in our new kitchen and on the grill. I absolutely love trying out new healthy recipes and coming up with my own “unique” veggie bowls. They don’t always taste good, but when they do, they’re delish! I also love the barstools that we got for our kitchen counter because Matt pulls up a seat and we talk about our days while I chop. Have I mentioned how in love I am with veggies?! They’re insanely cool- the textures, the colors, the crunchiness, the freshness, the uniqueness, the flavors- a salad is like a party in your mouth. Except that I’ve realized that I’m not such a fan of lettuce. Lettuce can be really gnarly when it gets slimy. In fact it is one of my most unfavorite things. Lettuce gone bad. Hopefully the lettuce we’re growing will be yummy because it’ll be right out of the garden, which by the way is a box full of horse crap.

9)  I’m so grateful for our moms. Matt’s mom Chris came and stayed with us for two weeks and my mom came down three weekends in a row. We are so lucky to have such awesome moms. My mom has been so wonderful dealing with a lot of difficult things that have been happening with our business and has been handling all of the stress like a pro. I love her so much and for always taking such good care of me and the biz. We owe everything to our moms for all that they do for us our whole lives. I might be growing up, but I’ll still always be my mom’s little girl. I’m also so grateful that I have two moms now and that my mother-in-law is so awesome. Chris is always so much fun to be around and we laughed so hard while she was here. The pee-in-your-pants kind of laughs. From dancing in our living room to sharing stories on the porch to painting walls and doing errands, it was all so much fun.

10) Speaking of doing fun things, Chris is teaching me how to sew on the sewing machine that she got me as a housewarming present! I’ve always wanted to learn how and I’ve always wanted to be able to make dog collars. We made a pillow with polka dots on one side and chevron stripes on the other, complete with a fancy zipper. I also made Daisy a pretty zig zag collar and we tried to make her a bow tie, but it ended up looking like a prairie girl bow. So not cute for Daisy to be sporting around her friends. She would totally be made fun of. Next up, I’m going to make Taj a collar and tie for when he goes to work with Matt. Maybe a pair of cufflinks too. After that? I’m totally going to try to make my own wedding dress. No big deal, right?

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