Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The People In Our Lives Who Bring Us True Joy

We're experiencing a mild cold spell in the northwest that is making things in the pasture and turnouts a bit icy.  Yesterday, I walked Tumbleweed up and down the barn aisle to give him his little bit of exercise.  He'd love to be let go to run, but that would be ill-advised.  I think all the horses are getting a bit stiff and stir-crazy right now.

But the days are getting longer, and that is a welcome change.  Yesterday, it was super-charged sunny here until about 5:00 pm. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised.

I've continued organizing closets and drawers, doing one or two each day to keep from being overwhelmed.  I've found so many precious items--memories--that had been buried and somewhat lost.  

One of the treasures I uncovered was a set of DVD's of my children's lives.  They were in an odd format, so I've had to reformat them using a special program, then put them through Windows Live Movie Maker and save them as .mov files.  It has been so fun to watch my kids when they were little.  They crack me up.  I was good at just letting the camera run and capturing the day-to-day stuff, rather than just the big stuff like sports games and music recitals.  It's the day-to-day stuff that I find the most fun to watch now.  I plan to make them each a DVD with these clips when I'm finished.

I guess what I'm most happy about, watching the old movies, is that I was a loving mom.  You can hear it in my voice, and the way I interact with each of them--and it brings back so many memories of my deep love and appreciation of them.  Going through a divorce, you can start to doubt those things, but I shouldn't have.  There are not too many people in this world that follow behind you and take your hand during the dark moments, reminding you that you're a good person.  My grown children do that for me, my husband--and I am so thankful for that.

Last night, my husband and I played a little game.  I've been writing a lot of poetry off of random "word prompts," and I thought it would be fun to see what he'd write with the same prompts--words like "London" and "pink".  But it quickly morphed into us taking turns giving each other our own, random prompts, then listening to what memories those words evoked.  We had so much fun, and I learned so many wonderful, minute details of his life--and him mine.  We did it for two hours, and would have gone longer, but my daughter stopped by after work for some of my homemade lasagna, and we visited with her.  

It did strike me, however, that we watch so much television--other people's lives--when we have these wonderful human beings, we chose to spend our lives with, sitting right next to us--the people who have our back in life--that care if we live or die--that care if we're struggling or doubting ourselves--and they have all these stories to tell us.  It's worth taking the time to listen. 

In fact, this all kind of fits into the concept of decluttering and deciding what brings you "joy" in life and what you want to take forward with you.  Time is a precious and limited commodity. I have managed it well these last few years with my horses, but this year I plan to manage it better with my loved ones. 

I also plan to not squander it on people who don't have my best interest at heart.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Busy, Busy, Busy: Tidying Up & Remodeling

Now I know what retired people mean when they say they're busier than ever when they stay home.  You finally have the time to do all those projects you put off, and you have time to watch shows like "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo."

I'll start with horse progress since there has been so little, it won't take long.

This is it in a nutshell:  I'm only working with Tumbleweed.

I'm taking advantage of all the standing water to work on ENJOYING water.  It's more than wanting him to just go through it--I want him to relax and play in it.  He is starting to do that nowadays.  There's relaxation, pawing, and drinking.  As spring progresses, I'll trailer him down to the river with his Foxy Mama.  It's unfortunate, I  have to trailer to water, but oh well.

Going on the little bridge is no big deal, but he also went on the TIRE bridge!  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of that.

We continue to work on picking up the feet, tying every day during supplements, and leading.  The basics.

Little stinker and mama somehow opened their gate the other day and got into the supplement bins and hay.  Luckily, they are both complete feeds, but nonetheless, it was scary.  There was only one pile of manure in the breezeway, so I figure they weren't in there long before I found them.


What I've really been busy with is remodeling the Living Room and organizing my entire house with the KonMari method.  First the Living Room.  It actually pains me to look at the before pictures, but here it is:

We had a wall of books and junk and precious artifacts buried in junk.  We had an ugly tile fireplace.  We had lots of wall junk that was trying to make up for a Living Room with no personality.  We had old carpet.  We had chaos.

Somehow, I woke up one day and came up with an entire plan for redoing it.  I knew exactly what I wanted, googled examples of what I wanted, showed my husband my ideas, mocked them up into Photoshop photos, and then we took off and did it in a span of eleven days.

And, this is the final product.  We came in under budget at $3,800 for everything.

The floors are luxury vinyl, 30 mil planks by Floore' (Shaw), the stone for the fireplace is Litestone, from Lowes, the shelves and mantle are repurposed barn salvage wood, the barnwood backing in the inserts is from Home Depot.

The collectibles on our shelves were always on the shelves, but you could never see them because of the clutter.


Tidying Up with Marie Kondo--warning--if you don't want to get organized, don't watch it.  My husband and I watched two episodes, went to bed, woke up and had coffee, and jumped up to tackle STEP ONE:

Clothing: Go around your house, get every article of clothing you own, and lay it on your bed. (My husband took his to another room.)

Go through it piece by piece, does it bring me joy? Do I want it in my life going forward?  If no, say thank you, and place it in the box to be donated.

I can't tell you what a mess our closets were before we started, but I'm sure you can guess by what is on the bed.

Well, it worked wonders because here is the after:

I have hardly any clothes left, but I realized I always wear the same thing anyway, jeans and a black shirt--in the summer, sleeveless shirts.  When it comes down to it, we really don't need much, do we?

Since clothes, we've done Master Bath--another miracle transformation--and Kitchen.

The art of folding clothes--aprons--anything you need--standing up--is a genius idea!

Saves room, and you can see what you have.

Also, there's this idea that EVERYTHING should have it's "place."  And that's what we've done.  Now, when we finish using something, we know exactly where it goes.

We're not done organizing yet, my husband still has his garage and I have some closets, but our lives are so much more joyful surrounded by the things that give us that spark and not a bunch of clutter that was complicating our lives.

And I made money!!  When I was organizing my cards (standing up) I found a bunch of gift certificates people had given us, over $100 worth!  I also found missing parts to things and missing earrings!  Cleaning has been like a literal gold mine.

A friend jokingly asked if I was pregnant, and I guess I am "nesting."  Our office is now our home, so we have more reason to make it vibrant. I have my horses, my husband, and my home.  The three H's with the D's (dogs) and C's (cats) thrown in for good measure!  Yes, it's a lovely nest.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

What's Real and What Really Delights Me

...any of those others 
that smother with their rich expectations 
and leave a woman lonely for herself. 
Yes, for herself, if she can remember,
 then come back to what's real 
and what really delights her.

I had a poem published in 2004 titled, Unraveling Woman.  It's a long poem, in sections, but that is a portion of section 2.  My husband and I have been reorganizing our entire house for a remodel project we're currently in the middle of, and also moving a lot of our office furniture here, which called for a major spring cleaning.  We came across the journal it was published in, and I reread that now fifteen year old poem and realized...dear lord

how right I was back then!

As I was playing with the horses today, I finally came up with my goals for 2019.  I was struggling with them before--I've done the 100 days, then the 150 days, and last year, the 183 days of training.  But the word, "training", just wasn't doing it for me anymore.  It's not where I'm at in my journey with horses.  Personally, that's not what I think it's about.  It's much, much more about learning one another--horse and human--our boundaries, our shared joy, fears, adventures--it's a partnership.  

And, it's a delight.

So, in 2019, my goal is to seek those moments of delightment with my horses.

One definition of delightment--in the urban dictionary--is "pure pleasure."  And, that ladies and gentleman, is what I'm after.

Here is what delighted me today:

Tumbleweed walked over the bridge for me, at liberty, and I was able to hurriedly grab my phone and capture the moment!  

I must tell you, he invited ME to the bridge, rather than vice versa.  He made it clear he wanted to do an obstacle with me, we walked over together, I walked over it, he thought for a moment, then up and over.

Yes, I was delighted.  It was a moment of pure pleasure.

Then, there was this, as he danced around me.

and, these moments, where he chose to explore other obstacles...

and lick everything. (Foxy's like, is that food?!?  You're acting like it's food!)

Tumbleweed also went through these huge puddles with me, something he would not do a few months ago.  One of them, the widest, was boggy and soggy, but he did it.

He is officially a "yearling" now, and all grown out of his baby halter Shirley made for me.  I ordered two new ones from Knotty Girlz.

I also had play time with Cowboy and Leah.

A bareback ride with Cowboy, and puddle and obstacle work with Leah.  Both delighted me to no end.  The trust, willingness, and desire to spend time together.

This is what it's all about.