Friday, March 26, 2010

More Sun Please

The ground is so saturated from all the rain that we’ve been having that water is just bubbling up in the horses’ stalls. Even the magical drainage ditch around the barn is still full of water, despite my frequent efforts to keep it flowing. We had a few days of sun, but more rain last night. Siete’s stall is worse than Silk’s, and she’s not a happy camper.

As soon as the sun comes out, the girls lie down in the pasture. I don’t think that Siete can get comfortable at night. Her usual secure routine has been disturbed. Now, the temperatures are dropping down into the 20’s tonight, so I’m wondering if I’ll have to contend with ice by tomorrow morning. Frankly, it’s getting to be a bit too much for all of us around here.

My computer is also in a funk. Without warning, the dear old laptop makes a small popping noise and the screen goes blank. It may need to have the logic board replaced. Don’t you wish that there were some people who could also be scheduled to have their logic boards replaced? It’s been a difficult week.

What I need right now is some nice and easy.

PS- I just noticed that Siete is lying in the same position in this photo as she was in the one posted in my profile to the right of it showing her when she was first born, with her mother behind her. What a difference 7 years makes - but she's still our baby!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fumbling in the Dark

I found myself aware of something at 5 am this morning that I normally don’t question. As a result of moving the clocks ahead, my mornings are now significantly darker when I go outside. What struck me today was that it was also totally impossible to see as I tried to get dressed in my bedroom. There had been a brief alteration of my routine over the last couple of weeks , and I didn’t realize its effect until things went back to normal.

For many years, so as not to wake up my husband, I’ve been used to getting dressed in the dark. I leave my clothes neatly stacked up in order next to my bed so I can quickly pull them on without looking at them. I always feel for the tags on the back of my pants and shirts so I don’t get them on backwards. It’s never occurred to me that putting on my clothes this way is inconvenient, difficult or annoying. Until today. This says a lot about me, I think.

My husband has just returned from a lengthy business trip. During the time he was away, I was able to wake up, turn on the light next to my bed and see what I was doing when I got dressed. I could be spontaneous. I didn’t have to plan ahead. I didn’t have to feel if everything was going on in the right direction. It was liberating. So, now that he’s home and things are back to “normal”, I found myself fumbling around in the dark again. I had forgotten to prepare for this situation, so I couldn’t find anything I needed. Eventually, I resorted to turning on the flashlight that I keep on my nightstand. Of course, this woke up the hibernating bear that was sleeping in my bed. Growling ensued.

It made me consider how often we do things by rote and never question the discomfort that it causes us. I haven’t written anything here on my blog since we had all the flooding over the weekend. We got five inches of rain in one day, and it rocked my world. The basement flooded. The garage where I store my hay flooded. Both stalls in the barn flooded. Trees came down in my neighbor’s yard and blocked our road. The only good news was that we didn’t lose our electricity. The bad news was it just kept raining and blowing. Naturally, my husband was out of town. He has an uncanny way of missing all these big weather events around here.

Five hundred and fifty pounds of wood pellets later, the barn still is oozing up water when the horses step in the front of their stalls. Luckily, they have very large stalls, with doors at both ends. We’ve changed the routine so they eat in the back instead of the front. It’s disoriented Siete but not Silk. Occasionally, with old age, we become more adaptable. Siete hates being in the barn right now, and as soon as I open the door to the corral and the pasture, she rushes to dry land. Every day, I go out to shovel and invent new ways for the water to drain. It’s a lot like fumbling around in the dark.

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to shift the balance. I realized that we can choose not to be frustrated and open ourselves to new possibilities. As I stumbled downstairs to make a pot of coffee, I came up with the brilliant idea that tomorrow, I would try getting dressed in the bathroom.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Almost Here

I can feel it. Spring is almost here. My orchids are blooming. Little green sprouts are poking out of the ground. The girls are feeling frisky, We’re going to get a whopping rainstorm tomorrow, so I’ve been prepping the corral, the drainage ditch and the barn for the last few days.

In an effort to flatten the craters that the horses’ hooves have carved into the corral in front of their stalls, I had one of my neighbor’s teenage son drive his quad over and roll back and forth across the corral to smooth it out. It worked well, and I didn’t really even think about how the horses would react to this shiny red vehicle with big tires churning and wheeling around in front of their stall doors while they watched from just inside the barn. The young driver’s dad showed up and loudly announced, “I’m impressed!” I assumed he was talking about his son’s efforts, but he was talking about my horses. He couldn’t believe how calm and nonchalant they were about the noise and commotion.

I realized that I just take it as a given that they will be good. When we lived in Virginia, there were always huge tractors and earthmovers rumbling around the farm while I rode them. It was no drama. I’ve seen my husband use his chainsaw to cut wood on the other side of the fence here while the horses just ignore him and eat grass. The weed-whacker is also not a big deal. The only thing that ever seems to bother Silk is if a man wears a baseball cap and sunglasses. I’ll never know what that association is, but I can bet it has something to do with the guy who abused her. There’s no doubt that it still takes her a while to warm up to most men because of those terrible experiences.

Anyway, after everyone left, I pulled out the carrots to let the girls know that I appreciated them. In case you can’t tell from this picture, they have perfected the art of begging.