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The Value of Something

This post is brought to you upon inspiration from my new old ugly horse trailer. Yes, I’m serious.

My husband came home with my new trailer about a week ago. He has always known I’d like to have a three Horse with a small tack area, and a nose cone I could put an air mattress in and sleep. And here it is! I have to laugh because he kept telling me how old and ugly it was before he brought it home. He said he wanted to prepare me for what I was actually getting and not some built up image in my mind.

Which brings me to my point. The value of something is individual to ones perception. For example my husband thought I may be a little disappointed with my new trailer. When in fact, I am so completely happy. It is exactly what I hoped for. Sure it needs a door latch instead of the bungee cord that is in place now, and the back doors need put back on, and two boards need replaced. BUT I HAVE A HORSE TRAILER I ALWAYS WANTED!!!!!

I had a friend once tell me that I’m “always just so dang thankful!” And I’m happy that I have this outlook, because as Cliche as it may seem, I am thankful….for everything in my life. So don’t let someone make you feel bad for seeing the value of something in your own life that may not shine to others.

A mutt dog isn’t worth less than a pedigree pooch.

A state university education isn’t any more valuable than a hard knocks university education.

A suit and tie doesn’t mean more power than jeans and boots.

And an old paint peeled three Horse with a bungee cord door latch isn’t any worse than a brand new aluminum.

You yourself can only determine the value of something …..

8

That Time I Lied To My Husband…

I’ve never lied to my husband…..until today.

I was scheduled to work and got called off for my shift. But I left as any other day that I would pick up a swing shift. I kissed my girls goodbye, I pleaded with my husband not to feed the girls hotdogs and chips again. (Almost the only thing he ever prepares.) I got in my car, and I drove…..

I ended up thirty miles from home at my favorite movie theatre. I bought a ticket to “Miracle From Heaven”….I bought myself a huge popcorn and a huge cherry coke and spent the next two hours crying like a baby in a dark theatre with three other strangers while my husband beleived me to be at work…..

The movie ended and then I came out to my car and read a book until the next movie I want to see shows…… And I don’t feel a damn bit guilty.

Of course I’ll end up telling my husband. Like I said before I am a terrible liar, so I don’t even attempt it. But why today did I just get in my car and leave?

Because sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that I have choices, that I have free will and still have the ability to sit in a movie theatre alone bawling my eyes out in the presence of three strangers…  It’s nice to rebel a little.

Granted this is very powder puff rebelling, BUT STILL! Aside from being mom 24/7….a farm foreman/planner…..activities scheduler for my children….Baker….nurse…..wife…business owner…. I’m still a person that can get in the car and just be a bit spontaneous. Albeit pretty safely spontaneous BUT STILL!

So I guess I did tell a lie. Not so much to my husband because I know I’ll out myself. I Lied to myself. For all those days I told myself i just couldnt get into the car and drive a bit. For all those days I didn’t take myself to a movie and bawl like a baby in the midst of three strangers as I drank a huge soda and ingested a gallon of greasy popcorn.

I’ve always been in the truth telling business. But I guess even truth tellers lie, if but only to themselves. 

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These Telling Eyes

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Anyone who knows me will say I often wear a cap of some sort. I often hide my eyes under my Irish cap in the winter. I can escape under this cap. If you can’t see my eyes, no one knows what I’m thinking, no one knows how I feel, no one knows where my attention is. Quite frankly I like it that way. Some might call me a coward, or a control freak, but that’s really not the truth. The truth is my eyes tell it all. A single look can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about me, what I’m feeling, thinking, or analyzing. For someone like me whose eyes betray them, a little anonymity is a blessing.

I find myself looking into the eyes around me and here is what I found………

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Bo

These are the kindest eyes I know. They are always trying to catch mine, and they often do. You see these eyes are alot like mine. They give every emotion away and seem only to pour out endless patience, support, and unconditional love.

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Tucker

From these eyes shine undying loyalty and a friendly, but firm message to everyone. I will protect what is mine fiercely, please don’t misjudge my warmth and kindness for weakness. These are the eyes of a champion, a loyal, aging knight that loves his kingdom.

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Bullet

These eyes soak up all the details around them. Slow, quick, somewhere in between they don’t miss anything. They have a certain pleading quality. Love me. They have a bit of ornriness in  them, with a touch of fierce and a dash of wild.

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Eli

And these eyes like to hide. I find a kindred spirit in these hiding eyes. They are eyes that are  currently needing to recharge, because when they are awake they shine at full brightness. Full force, with the grace and glory of an Egyptian Royal.

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Blitz

These eyes are still filling with character. They show a wariness for life. Do I belong here? Will I stay in this beautiful world forevor? Or is this just another stepping stone like my last place? But those eyes also have wild abandon in them, and a free spirit so fierce it may never slow down if it gets out.

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Katelyn

These eyes are wise and maybe a bit road weary. Intelligence and a humble, willing spirit reside there. These eyes have spoken to dozens of children, raising them up into confident people. Often being forgotten for faster, wilder, grown up dreams. But these eyes have found a place to rest among a forevor place. The weariness is fading into golden bliss and comfort. Oh the stories these eyes could tell!

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Jo

These eyes are deep. So much lies within, that every time you look into them you will see something different. At first glance they are stubborn, strong, and fierce. But once you know these eyes you will see softness, willingness, and a motherly instinct so heavy you might just get lost in its folds if you look to long.

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Flash

These eyes have fresh perspective. They exude a lady like grace and have so much potential they leak a spirit filled with willing abandon to life. These eyes are so mature for as little as they have seen. Old eyes in young form.

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Romeo

And lastly I come upon these eyes. They are strong, steady, and confident. With a hint of stubborn and a deep well of love of herd, that encompasses his little human herd. These eyes are teaching eyes, with a bouncy nature that goes on for years.

Eyes will often tell more than words. Once you learn to interpret them, you will often hear entire conversations being held there. These eyes of ours often are more honest than our words.

What are the eyes around you saying? Or are they hiding their secrets under an Irish cap?

14

Depressed? Water the Grass

Today I got the itchy crazy I’m going nuts, nothing feels right, yucky feeling, impatient, I’m going to scream, frustrated, depresseditis. Is that a proper sentence with proper words? No, and frankly I don’t even care. That’s just exactly how I felt today. I was in one of those funks you just get stuck in.

I was feeling bored with my routine, trapped by my life, and all out cranky.

Don’t get me wrong I love my family, but I’d just had it today .

I tried several things to make me feel better.
I sat on the couch.
I drank extra cups of coffee.
I turned music on and danced with the girls.
I cooked and baked and grilled.
I cleaned
I read.
I prayed.
I screamed.
I colored a picture.

But none of it made me feel any better.

Until.

I watered the grass.

I actually just started out to water my few flowers I haven’t managed to kill or haven’t baked in the sun.

And then I started spraying off the side walk where the chickens had dropped a million Poop bombs.

And then I started watering the lawn that is burnt by the sun. It was strangely relaxing. The water glinted on the halfway green grass and made it shine. My plants perked up a bit from the cool water, and so did my mood.

It gave me a cool down I desperately needed.

It gave me time to think.

What I realized is, when I’m feeling depressed, I just need to keep trying to get my happiness back. I have to keep going. I have to keep doing everything I can think of to move forward and shake the nasty feelings.

All the usual things that make me happy just didn’t work for me today…….but I kept trying….and my peace of mind finally came from something as simple as watering my lawn.

From the HK Bar to the world if you’re mood isn’t good, just keep trying. Keep moving forward, keep searching……

Sometimes the answer to greener grass is as simple as watering your own lawn.

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Our girl Jo

I was raised riding sale barn horses, off the track race horses, and  back yard breeding accidents. Aside from my very first horse, an 18 year old + thoroughbred named Cracker Jack, I hadn’t ridden a well trained horse…..until a year ago when I bought my mare Jo. It sounds strange to people I’m sure to hear me say I haven’t ridden well broke horses in my 20 + years of riding. But its completely true.

I remember like it was yesterday the day my best friend, Amber, and her grandma (my adopted grandma) Sherry and myself met Jo. I had been scouting sale ads for weeks looking for my next partner. Amber found her, I believe it was on craigslist. She sent me a text with a picture of a big grey aqha mare. Seeing her in person made me believe in love at first sight. She was beautiful! She had great confirmation, an intelligent eye, and her movements were like silk. Her previous owner whom I’ll call A rode her beautifully. I could tell they had a strong bond, and fluid communication.

A worked her from walk to trot to canter, loped circles, performed a sliding stop, and spun circles left and right. I could tell A loved this horse, she was very quiet and even. She handed me Jo’s reigns when I asked if I could ride her. A of course handed the reigns over, but I could tell it was hard for her to do. In that moment I saw longing and hurt in her eyes as she looked on with Jos reigns in my hands. She loved this horse to her core, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask her why she was selling her.

I climbed into a beautiful trail saddle and set off on a walk with the big grey mare. I knew the moment my rear hit the saddle that Jo was coming home to the HK Bar. I slowly worked up to cantering circles. Jo was a beautiful mover, and what was this? She worked off of leg pressure? She side passed? She spun? Flying lead changes? I have to admit, I was sloppy in the saddle, and Jo got a bit annoyed with me. For the first time in my life I felt the feel of a well trained horse.

How could I have ridden 20. + years and not ridden a horse as well broke as this?! I’ll tell you why, its because I was raised by a single mother whom struggled to support my horse habit. I rode whatever we could afford. And another reason was because my (adopted) Grandma Sherry was a horse visionary with a penchant and soft place in her heart for off the track thoroughbreds. I was raised riding horses that sometimes only knew how to bite the bit and run like hell.

After a short ride I offered A a few hundred dollars less than what she was asking. As I look back now I feel guilty and ashamed for even trying to get A to lower her price on Jo. I knew she was worth well more than what she was asking. I said I’d love to have Jo, and went to my truck to count out crisp hundred dollar bills.

Amber, Grandma, and I left the stable with smiles on our faces. All we could talk about over our lunch of Mexican food and margaritas was what a horse Jo was. We celebrated that day.

Amber mentioned A was going through a divorce. I don’t know if A told Amber this outright or not. Amber has a canny sense of people and her surroundings. She is very intuitive. I admire that about her. But as she made this statement I found myself doubling over with a stabbing pain in my gut. I now understood the sadness and longing look in A’s eyes when she saw me with our Jo.

Yes, even now I say “our Jo” . Even though A knows Jo as “Jalo”. She will forever be our girl because I know how much A still loves this horse. I have kept in contact with her through texts over the past year. I send pictures and updates of our girl to A.

I want A to know how much our girl is loved. I want her to know our girl is cared for, protected, and cherished.

Every horse that I have had the privilege of riding has touched my life in some way, and has taught me something. I will always remember Jo as the first well broke horse I have ever ridden. I will always remember her as my dream horse come true.

I thank A for sharing our girl with me. For allowing me to part of Jos life. I know a part of A’s heart left with Jo when I took our girl home.  I want A to know how much she has touched my life through our girl.

From the HK Bar to the world, may you one day be blessed to ride a well broke horse…..even if it takes 20 years…..

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Jo and I on the day of her homecoming to the HK Bar

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Bunny taught me its All About Perception

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Bunny

My one year old daughter,Bunny, is terrified of the vacuum…..I have no idea why. The very sight of it causes high pitched shrieks and tears to emit from her little body.

Yesterday after a particularly messy lunch I got the vacuum out to clean up. Bunny had been playing on the kitchen floor quietly with a string of beads and wearing an orange, glittery lion tutu. Her happy smiles turned into a frenzy of screams and terror when she realized her nemesis was out.

I went ahead with my vacuuming, knowing it had to be done, fit or no fit from Bunny. She screamed and cried as she watched me vacuum. Then suddenly over the noise of the vacuum I heard happy screaches and exuberant laughing, she was also looking at me  upside down through her legs.

Bunny’s perception of the vacuum changed when she looked at it from a new angle. Things that were scary to her before, suddenly weren’t.

In that moment Bunny taught me no matter what I fear, if I change my perception, it might just not be so scary. It might just be hysterical.

Life is all about perception…..if you dont like yours, change your angle.

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Why Being Someone’s Mom Made me a Better Nurse

Coming out of nursing school I didn’t want to change the world. I didn’t have tearful visions of myself standing at a patients bedside clasping their hand lovingly as they took their last ragged breath. Sometimes I wish I could say It was, but being honest, its not. I wanted a well paying job that interested and challenged me.

Looking back at my early days as a nurse I was efficient, organized, and dedicated in my job but I lacked the things that made a great nurse. I stood by stoically as husband’s lost wives to slow, painful cancers; I stood by watching wives come to feed every meal to a husband that didn’t even recognize her due to Parkinson, Alzheimer’s, or dementia; I stood by and watched sons and daughters learning to accept their parent after a severe stroke, a parent that was once independent and took care of then, now reduced to a drooling shell that has become incontinent and can’t feed themselves; I stood by as people died alone because their life decisions had hurt and driven people in their lives away.

You’ll notice I said “I stood by” several times. Because that’s exactly what I did. Sure, I delivered medicine accurately and on time, I changed linens and clothes, I reviewed lab work, called doctors, took vital signs, assessed symptoms and bodies, and made appointments. Looking back, I’m ashamed I just stood by bearing witness to the pain around me with a stoic demeanor. Im ashamed of the nurse I was.

November 2009 I became a mom. I discovered a love so deep for another human, no other love could compare. I remember praying to god to put love and empathy in the hearts of my nurses, so that they would care for my baby as I would. I have tears sliding down my face as I write this. These were the moments I became aware of the nurse I wanted to be.

It made me realize a great nurse does their job with feeling. It made me realize the love I had witnessed, and the love I should have given in my role of nurse. The love that had been revealed to me as I watched the husband losing his greatest love to an ugly, painful, cancer ; the wife that fed a husband that didn’t know her because it was the greatest act of love she could give; I saw the love of the sons and daughters that fought for a full recovery of their parent after the tragedy of a stroke.

I’m proud of the nurse I am now. I still strive to be efficient, organized, and dedicated. But sometimes its more important to feel, to love, to be a better nurse.

I have a deep respect for the nurses that do their job with love. I hope to be this nurse every time I don my scrubs and stethoscope. I want to be the nurse that I wanted for my baby girl.