Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks...the American Way

As I drag my feet through the final 6 or so hours that separate me from my Black Friday shopping, I can't help but think about the holiday that is today, despite it not truly being a holiday for me. American Thanksgiving. After reading so many other blogs full of thankfulness, I thought "Gees, I wish I could do that, but I'm Canadian and my thanksgiving has passed. Why would I be listing all that I'm thankful for two months later?!"

...please, feel free to smack me upside the head.

Maybe, just *maybe* I'm still thankful for the things in my life, 2 months after Canadian Thanksgiving? Maybe on American Thanksgiving, I'm still thankful? Heck, going out on a limb here, but I suspect, that maybe, just *maybe* I'm thankful every single day, regardless of what state or country my feet happen to be in, regardless of the day of the week or the date circled on the calendar. My heart is always on that thankful day.

So today, I raid your stores, and I will raid your holiday...


- I am thankful to be me. Genuine, wacky, crazy, tumultuous me. Far too often I will do or say something and for a moment (sometimes long, sometimes short) think "Oh Gawd! What did I just do?! What are people thinking??". The wonderful thing about being you, genuine you, is that the people that love you in this life, love you not in spite of these moments of pure crazy, but because of them. And if you're not out there every day being your nutty self, then no one will have the opportunity to love the real you.

- I am thankful for my family. From teaching my dad to "iPod", to the 50,000 texts in 4.2 hours from my sister when her boyfriend is out of town, to the list of 18 different black friday items my other sister oh so desires, to my mom who slips me shopping money with a "shhh", I love my family. I occasionally (okay, usually) want to beat each and every one of them over the head with a wrapping paper tube, but that's family. If they didn't exist, I wouldn't be the wacky, crazy me.

- I am thankful for my home. Not my apartment, not my property, not my house-that-was. I'm talking about my home. That place I return to every night (okay, *almost* every night...don't tell my father), that is lined with pictures of all the things I love, my big feather duvet that I snuggle under at night as sleep lulls me and I find peace in a place that is mine. My solace. My retreat. My place to laugh, and have friends over, to build memories, to start oil fires, sneak my puppy into, retreat into when I'm down, decorate with happiness when I'm high. My home is my end-point, my parking garage, my resting point.

- I am thankful for my fur family, those two wonderful creatures that seemed to come out of nowhere, fit perfectly into my life and that have been there through the worst and the best of times. They are my rock, my shoulders to cry on, my fur to snuggle into, the backs upon which I rest my dreams.

- I am thankful for my friends. I have never before this year, realized the exact depth and breadth of their amazingness. These are people that have no genes to bind us, no requirement to stay, no force holding them close. Yet there they are. Pumping you up, cheering you on, smiling and laughing right beside you. This week has been one of those weeks when I swear, the value of my friendships were just slapping me in the face. From H2's baby shower, when I couldn't believe how important someone I've known for such a short time could be, to Tuesday night when I headed over to H's for dinner and little M demanded I hold her hand as we went downstairs, to watching an inspiring couple laugh about what real love is, to last night, sitting around the dining table with two friends I've known since the dawn of time and being crazy silly me and hearing them burst out laughing. These people make my day, and for that, I aim to make theirs. And sometimes, that just means being there, being present, and enjoying the experience.

- I am thankful for my job. It is painfully boring, mundane and repetitive right now, and I yearn for excitement. But when the pay checks arrive, when the bills disappear, when I wake up each day without the fear of how I will make it tomorrow, I remember that not everything will always be all excitement and mystery. Sometimes, mundane is okay. Mundane means you can focus your life on other things without worry, so today, I am thankful for having a mundane job that lets me dream about tomorrow.

- I am thankful for my land, a little strip of mud and rock and trees, that holds my dreams for the future. It is the accumulation of my blood, sweat and tears, hopes and dreams, and I am empowered every time I step upon it, to use it as the vessel for all the wonder that is yet to stride into my life. It shall be the place where my fur family romps, where my human family gathers, where my friends pop by unannounced when they need cheer or are giving cheer, and where someday, I will raise my own family to know that true happiness is not something you wake up and merely have. It's something you reach out every day to tenderly wrap your fingers around and draw closer. And then throw wide to all of those who come near.

- I am thankful for a fresh chance to fall in love. Breakups are breaking, but they are also a moment to grow, to make the changes and affirmations in your life that you need to be a better person for the person that is meant to be within your life. I don't believe that love is easy, ever. Instead we need to search, high and low, long and hard, for that person who is as stubborn and determined as we are to make it work, who see's you at your worst and says "Hey babe, I got you." That makes you see their imperfections and instead of thinking that you need to change them, you think that you need to embrace them, tighter and tighter. We are going to be our quirky, crazy selves, and then we're going to be our quirky crazy togethers.

- I am thankful for the man in my life, whether he's here just another day, or he's here forever. If you know me, you know I don't do goodbyes, I don't like parting ways, I don't know how to walk away. But this experience has taught me that I have a great inner strength and a right to be loved in the way that I need to be loved. Wonderful, crazy me isn't going to accept half-way, almost, close enough ever again. Instead, I will close my eyes and leap head first into the mess that is building a relationship with someone, and I must say, this someone is every bit of wonder and magic that I've been missing. Now it's just a matter of having a little faith.

- I am thankful for the kids in my life. Having been terrified of these rambunctious little creatures for years, I now find myself captivated by their tiny selves. The way they can laugh and laugh over anything and everything, the way a smile can make a baby giggle, the way they can look at things with a sense of wonder, speak to you like they're years wiser than they are, and how they always seem to know what you need, whether it's an invite to play "farm" with them or to stick you in a corner in a tutu. You never know what you really need until a toddler tells you.

- I am thankful for this blog and the ability to write. Without it, I can't imagine the mess I would be. Writing is my outlet, my blog is my medium, the pen is my way of releasing my inner me, in order to make sense of this world we live in, the feelings we feel, the thoughts we think. I am thankful for all 52 of you who publicly follow the Moonpie and me, for those who hide silently in the background, to whomever it was that created blogs in the first place. I need this. I need this like an addict needs alcohol, heroin or gambling. And for the fact that this is my worst addiction, for that I am thankful.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What the Spirit needs...

If I'm back to blogging, that means you're back to reading about the really, really boring things in life. Sad, but the truth is sometimes there just ain't nothing horse-happening.

Like yesterday. Out to the barn, peak in on my gimpy horse, who thankfully had less swelling in the cannon and it was more localized around his ankle, still a fairly stiff puffed mess. He was still resting it quite a bit, but a horse owner can't fret too much when they catch the "injured" horse backing and kicking at their pasture mate in order to stay supreme-leader-of-the-hay-net.

Yes, he's an a$$ that way. Puffy ankle or not. And yes, I contemplated beating him into proper hay-side mannerisms...but I knew it would just lead to more poulticing on my part ; )

Up the hayloft I climbed, fed those darn ponies their hay, and as the sun settled behind the trees, I gathered their feed buckets and made my way back to the warmth of the heated garage. What can a girl seriously do? Not much with a gimped horse and daylight faded before 5:30 pm. And a day job. There's always this confounded day job...

Now me, I do love winter. I know a lot of you look at our good coating of snow and think "Boy, that would be a fantastic winter holiday, 3 days of trekking my horse through the powdery white puff, sipping on the mint hot cocoa and building a snowman with a carrot nose and some *cute* little button eyes".

I get it. I do. We're magical and mystical and the perfect extraction of Miracle on 34th Street in our holiday glory. We are.

HOWEVER, when the temperatures start to plummet down to a naughty -40 C (which is -40 F ironically), well, quite suddenly your balmy temperatures and brown grass have us yearning for the deep south. We admit it, we do.

Irrespective of all of that, winter is a very distinct and separate season up here for me. You see, because when it's blustery cold, the ground is frozen solid and there's always white powder swirling about, you feel quite okay with laying aside the garden tools, the outdoor tasks, the need to actually "do" anything. Winter, when you live in a terribly cold and frigid place, is the PERFECT and natural excuse to hole up at home and vegetate.

This is my season for relaxing. Suddenly I have weekends where I honestly do nothing. I lay on my favourite plush chair, an old book or a wrinkled magazine in hand, and I do nothing but daydream and fantasize and on occasion...frequent occasion should it be either a rare sunny day or a miserable cloudy day...fall asleep in the middle of a Saturday afternoon under a big down duvet and wake up to make christmas cookies at 7 pm like I've actually reached old age.

This is my season for not doing.

And so, yes, you can see my pony is portly and yes, I'll be out Saturday afternoon riding him through the snow and having a blissful time. And we'll ride the winter away, but dear folks, everyone, absolutely everyone, needs to spend a week up here, on our coldest, snowiest, blusteriest days, and regain a true understanding for what it means to hole up and simply exist for a moment in life.

Sometimes, that's just what the spirit needs.

Welcome to Winter.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I do believe I've nearly perfected the "disappearing act"...seems I've gone from frequent blogger to missing-in-action, which is a little sad and a little ho-hum.

This is not to say that I haven't tried to make it out to most of H and I's Sunday morning trail rides, and that I don't still make it out Tuesdays and Thursdays to feed the ponies, give scratches and snuggle dear Mr. Moon.
Sexy Moon face...

These things still happen.

But, I've let go of anything resembling regular riding of late, and of course, I hang my head in shame that it has largely been due to both weather (yes, winter is upon us and I'm a wimp) and a certain attractive male...

I know. Horses before dudes. But when the choices are freezing your butt off trying to pull a stiff bridle over your pudgy horse's head or curling up on the sofa in a warm embrace...well...sorry Mr. Moon...

Needless to say, like the sad creature I am (so embarrassed to be such a girl!), with the Christmas season in full force meaning that the attractive male (hereon known as "G") is working long hours and frequent days, this gal decided it was time to get back in the riding game and enjoy her fur-boy!

An afternoon ride with H on Tuesday was the EXACT kick in the butt that I needed to be getting out on the cold evenings again for a ride. I'm a little sad to be without the big lighted indoor that spoiled me last winter, but am excited to go hacking down the snow filled ditches with my boy, something that is always going to be nearer our hearts than any indoor schooling.

(apparently having H photograph from atop her MONSTER of a horse makes mine look like a mini!)

Our Tuesday ride was bliss. The snow was powdery, covering everything nice and deep (crazy snowstorm on Saturday/Sunday, with at least a foot of snow on the ground), we trotted in the pouff and cantered down the side of the road, snow billowing up behind us. It was majestic. The weather even was nice enough to not be a frozen core by the time we arrived back home after our 4 miles. I was in love.

Let's add in, for story sake, H and I helped catch 2 run-away Icelandic ponies that some poor son had spent 3 hours trying to capture. Those ponies were LOVING the snow, romping and playing with each other as they ran from their handler...

Regardless, I was feeling it again. Pony love. Men may come and go, but my horse will always be around. Time to show a little appreciation...

So yesterday I got off work and made it out to the barn just before sunset. I was gonna do the 4 mile loop again, bareback in a bridle, even if the sun went down on me before I got home. I was focussed. Bundled up in all my gear...

Grabbed a hoof pick and my bridle from the barn and headed out to the pasture. Picked out one hoof, went to his back hoof and...

Thickly swollen ankle and cannon bone. Solid swollen to boot.

note the abscess mark on the hoof...

Run my hand down his leg and I can feel that it's swollen and quite firm. Oye. This is the same foot that I found a blown abscess on the day prior, but seemed otherwise fine. He went well on our trail ride the day before, and I only felt the slightest bit of wind puffiness in that leg, which was normal. *sigh* He *had* been walking and standing sore on the weekend, but all the horses were ouchy from walking on the frozen mud clumps.

different foot, but boy, look at those growth lines in his hoof wall! No under run heels here!

Back to the garage to grab his halter and a quick call to H to clear brining him into the garage. Lucky, lucky us.

At first Moon would toss his head and pull back when I tried to bring him through the man door, but I finally had enough and just pulled right back. Guess what? He moved his big ol'butt indoors. The bugger.

the puffy leg...though it's hard to tell...

Checked out the leg, which was covered in dried scabs and blood. All looked pretty old, 5 or 7 days by my guess. Didn't seem like the cause of his swelling, but between that and the blown abscess, my heart was saying that he likely has a bit of an infection. That or injury, but it just doesn't seem like an injury swelling to me.

Again, different foot, but interesting to see the changes in his growth looks like less flare...makes happy me.

He rested the leg a lot and there was a little heat, so I gave him a nice poultice and spent the next hour just grooming him. Which I could tell he was loving. And I gotta admit, doing it in a heated illuminated garage made it actually a whole heck of a lot of fun!

After we were done, I gave him way too many treats, loved on his shiny fuzzy body (boy does his coat ever look nice!), and then put him back out to pasture. I'm grateful that the cold weather will naturally help the heat in his leg, and since he's a lazy bugger on a good day, I think he'll just stay calm and not mess it up any worse.

hard to see "puffy" on his hinds anymore, as he still has a lot of scar tissue on the right hind from debriding it of skin this summer...left hind is the newly puffy leg... : P

Fingers crossed it heals like all of his other injuries, the little bugger.

So what did I do with the remainder of my evening??

Cleaned my tack space! : ) Why?? Because I finally decided what I'm going to spend the gift certificate to Richvale Saddlery I won this summer on!


After... (H, those bottom shelves are your mess ; ) ). 
And yes, there's my foam finger!

On what?! Well, initially it was on winter riding mittens, and then maybe a 1/4 sheet, but finally I realized what I NEED and what would be a great Christmas present for Mr. Moon...


Yup, 100% synthetic bridle and reins. In black. FINALLY I can ditch *almost* the last of my leather gear! (as someone with a leather allergy, this is blissful!). All that's leather now is my girth.

Moonpie, glaring at me from inside the garage...yes, there was a car parked in there too...

: )

So I cleaned my space, photographed my old leather bridle to put it on the classifieds to help cover the cost of the new bridle, and called it an evening. We'll be back to riding soon, I'm sure of it.