Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So, Now What?

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
Will Rogers

I watched what was happening yesterday in Washington and tried to accept the unknown. What else can you do?

Meanwhile, I wrestled with Siete’s hoof abscesses. John, the farrier, came first thing in the morning. I guess the medicine boot with the Animalintex did a good job because the abscess on that foot had drained. Siete was able to stand on it so he could check her right back hoof. He found another abscess there and cleared it out. We put a clean boot with more Animalintex on that foot.

I have two boots, but I can’t use them both at the same time because it’s too hard for her to walk. Siete is a bit testy about anything that has to do with her hooves right now. She’s okay schlepping around with one medicine boot, so I’m filling the hole in the other hoof with medication and switching them back and forth. Today, I need to call the vet and discuss what’s happening. Yesterday was too busy, and as long as I continue to treat the abscesses, I know they will go away. Siete already feels better, and all the fussing with her feet is making her very punky.

We did go through this when we lived in Virginia. The vet there believed that there was something in the soil that these “foreign” horses of mine (having come from dry, sandy California) were reacting to. It was also really wet, and until I put Siete in training in a big old dry barn, we continually had these problems. So, I am aware that we got six inches of rain this weekend. It’s not horribly muddy, but the ground is wet and sticky. I can clean my horses’ hooves and in five minutes, you’d never know that I just picked them out. I think that I need to toughen up their soles. My farrier suggested Venice turpentine and trying the old sugar and iodine in the hoof boot once the Animalintex had done the initial drawing and cleaning. I’ve also got some Keratex, which is a very good hoof hardener.

So, I’m going to stay focused on Siete’s feet and not the economy today.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not Again!

When I walk out the back door in the morning to feed the horses, I look to see if two beautiful heads are sticking out of the Dutch doors of the barn. This morning, they weren’t there. I went to the tack room to get the food, hoping that the horses would be looking out for me when I came back out.

Silk was there, but no Siete. Siete is always the first one to greet me. I approached her stall with deep dread. I wished I had my cell phone with me. I prayed. I asked Silk what’s going on with her baby. When I saw Siete, she was lying down but not colicking, thank God. She had a really hard time standing up because her back left leg was very lame. Here we go again, a hoof abscess.

While I was really bummed out, I was also relieved that I knew what was wrong and what I needed to do. I called the farrier. He’s coming first thing Monday morning to open it up and drain it. I pulled out the hoof boot, loaded it up with an Animalintex poultice, and gave Siete a little banamine.
It was 6:30 on a Sunday morning, so there was no one around to help me hold her. I couldn’t get the little horse to walk out of her stall. I decided to just do the best I could and cleaned the hoof. She put it down and got dirt on it again, but I just pulled the medicine boot on and tightened it up. I wished I had two extra hands. Siete was one unhappy little horse. I decided that I’d give her some hay and crawl back to the house for a cup of coffee. A half hour later, I came out to find her in Silk’s stall, getting comfort from her mommy.

Two hours later, she was walking around putting weight on the foot that was in the boot. This afternoon, I was able to move her into the pasture so I could clean the barn and lay down some new shavings. I know it could be much worse, but here we go again.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Put Up Your Hooves, Mama

There was a big showdown in the pasture this morning. Since I was in the barn, I don’t know how it started. We had a break in the rain, so I put the horses out early. They were hiding inside their stalls yesterday due to the deluge. and I knew that they would be full of beans if they got stuck indoors again today.

Silk and Siete rarely fight. I heard thundering hooves and felt the ground vibrate under my feet while I mucked. Thinking it was just some much needed exercise, I ignored it. Then, Siete began whinnying loudly. I had to come out and see what was going on. It was a turf war. They were kicking and rearing and biting and racing along the fence line as fast as they could go on the muddy ground. Siete was on the attack, but since Silk is Alpha Mama, she wasn’t going to put up with anything.

Even though I’ve owned horses for over 10 years, I still feel my heart pound when I think they are going to crash through the fence or hurt themselves. Some people will say let them work it out themselves and walk away. I immediately thought that I wished there was someone else here in case I needed help. No such luck. It was me and my herd. This was my lesson. No one else was going to step in and take charge or even stand back and give me moral support. Siete was squealing and when she saw me, she charged the fence and started to rear.

I didn’t want her to catch her legs in the flexible rails and take out a section of fence and the posts. I started to take deep breaths. I imagined my legs were like tree trunks and sent energy down in to the ground like roots. Firmly but quietly, I said, “No! Quit.” Siete hung in mid air, hooves about a foot off the ground. I raised my arms to my shoulders, not looking her in the eye, and slowly lowered them towards the ground. She backed down. I said, “Back,” motioning with my arm the way I’ve been teaching her to back up. She took a step back. “Good girl.” Siete’s nostrils were flared and she was still breathing fire, but she stood still. Well, what do you know!

Silk went over to the pile of hay that was probably the source of the disagreement and began to munch on it. Sometimes, Siete doesn’t want to share. I walked over to the fence, and my little horse came to me, still breathing heavily from all that exertion. I just put my hands on her neck and continued to take deep breaths. Then, I did some TTouch circles and scratched her at the base of her mane. I asked her if she wanted some water since we were standing in front of the bucket. She put her head down and drank.

It’s understandable that they would get on each other’s nerves once in a while. Yesterday, they shuttled back and forth between the two stalls, sharing each other’s space without being able to stretch their legs in the corral since it was pouring rain. They didn’t misbehave at all. I guess that when they finally got out in the wide open space, Siete had a little temper tantrum. Luckily, no one got hurt. I’m still so pleased that Siete listened to me. Now, the rain has started again, and they’re happily standing together in Silk’s stall sharing some lunch. After all that racing around, I can bet it will be naptime soon.

“Without doing anything, things can sometimes go more smoothly just because of our peaceful presence. In a small boat when a storm comes, if one person remains solid and calm, others will not panic and the boat is more likely to stay afloat.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh in "Love in Action"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Under the Covers

I just want to bury my head under the covers today. I can’t bear to watch the news or read about what’s going on in Washington DC. We got about two inches of rain in our own backyard last night and this morning, with another three inches predicted to come. I worked outside all day yesterday, preparing the barn and the corral for this deluge. So far, the stalls are dry and cozy. The corral and pasture and drainage ditches are flooding. We’re only halfway through the storm.

I’ve been outside twice already to shovel mud so the water can keep draining. Now that I’ve changed into dry clothes for the second time in four hours, I am taking a moment to reflect. There seems to be some financial parallels here. We keep digging ourselves out, but the economic weather is continuing to drown us. I’m crawling under a blankie on the couch to hide until I get my optimism back. See you when the sun comes out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Relaxed? I Don't Think So

Okay, so yesterday, I finished the barn chores, grabbed a book and a chair and sat down in the pasture with my horses. They came over to investigate immediately. I paid attention to each of them and then motioned for them to move out of my space and let me be. Siete wandered off to eat grass, but Silk stuck her belly right in front of my nose because she wanted me to scratch her.

I finally had to take a small stick and motion with it to keep her out about five feet away from me. Silk stood, hanging her head, watching me sadly. Needless to say, it made me feel like I wanted to get up and do something with her -- groom her or play with her. I stayed in my chair and opened my book. It was impossible for me to read while Silk was staring at me with that hangdog expression. I looked around and noticed all the things that I still needed to do in the barn and the pasture-- like scrubbing the fence and clearing the drainage ditches to the corral. Then, I began to worry about Siete. She was standing with her back leg cocked while she grazed. It wa s the same foot that had the abscess. I wondered if it was not healed yet. I reminded myself that horses stand like this all the time when they are relaxed. Why couldn’t I relax?

Silk decided that she wanted to drink water out of the big bucket in the corral, so she was trying to stretch her neck in between the fence rails to reach it. She couldn’t, and I ended up getting up, filling a small bucket with water and holding it for her to drink. She drained the bucket twice. Smart horse, she knows that I always want her to drink water so it was a surefire way to get my attention.

As soon as I sat down in my chair again, my mother came out, waving the cordless phone in her hand. I gave up, dragged the chair out of the pasture and didn’t stop moving until I fell into bed last night. So much for quiet contemplation!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Farewell to Summer

Today is the Autumn Equinox, usually one of my favorite times of the year. I’ve been wondering why I am so reluctant to let go of Summer this time around. I think it might be because I feel really ready for a change and yet, I’m afraid that my expectations will be dashed. This has been a difficult summer without enough good times to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve had. My interactions with my horses have been focused on healing them of physical ailments. I’m just feeling jumpy and unsettled.

Several years ago, a friend of mine studied with Sandra Ingerman, a shaman who lives in New Mexico. She introduced me to Sandra’s books and to her website, on which there is a monthly newsletter. Sandra is a wise woman with a big heart and great hope for the direction that this world is heading. So, on the Equinox, I turned to her to see what she had to say:

“Let’s use the support of the seasonal change of letting go of what is no longer needed and release those blocking energies back to the earth and universe to be composted so that new beautiful life might be born from what you let go of. “

Tomorrow, I’m going to give myself the gift of an hour of sitting in the pasture with my horses. I’ve been saying I want to do this almost every day and I never have the time. I think I’ll be twitching, wanting to groom them or pick up after them. I won’t give in to my nervous energy. I will let it all go back into the earth and worry about the compost pile later.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Open Mind

I saw a quote from Albert Einstein this morning that was thought provoking on so many levels: "The significant problems we face can not be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

It made me consider how often these days I wind up face-to-face with resistance. Whether it’s coming from my horses, my teen-aged daughter, my aging mother or political candidates, there seems to be a lot of resistance flying around.

My immediate reaction used to be to get mad or annoyed. Often, I’ve tried to take control. But over the years, I’ve learned that it only builds more resistance and resentment between people and horse or people and people. Once I stop trying to force things to go my way and look at the situation from the other side, I find myself in this vast new territory. I allow myself to be open to all possibilities. It can be frightening to be so vulnerable, but it also gives me unexpected strength. And if the other person or horse meets me in this new terrain, we will make a connection to which we can return again and again.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Frisky Weather

The minute I started to put the horses out in the pasture today, I could feel the difference. It’s frisky weather. The temperature dropped into the ‘40’s last night and will again tonight. Both Silk and Siete are just full of it. Siete was prancing as I led her to the gate. She pushed her nose against it before I could open it. It was a challenge since she knows that I don’t allow that kind of pushy behavior. We had to stop and wait and back up a few feet and wait again until she settled down enough to go forward calmly. As soon as I brought her inside and stepped back out, closing the gate, she took off.

I admit it made me really happy to see her bucking and running like a healthy horse. Meanwhile, Silk was pawing impatiently in her stall, digging a hole to China. She didn’t test me, but also had no interest in eating any grass when I offered her the opportunity. Once inside the gate, she took off after her daughter, and they ran themselves around like I haven’t seen them play all summer. I went inside to get my camera, but by the time I got back, they were all tired out.

Tonight, when I gave them dinner, they were all fired up again. The chill was in the air. Siete tried to knock the flake of hay out of my hands, so she had to wait until I fed Silk first. Once Siete stepped away from the door of her stall and waited nicely, she got her delicious second cut hay. It’s so soft and green that it looks good enough to make a salad out of. I love the smell of it. I wish that my energy was as high as theirs. I think Siete could sense that I was feeling vulnerable, and it stimulated her to try to get away with something, just like a kid testing the limits. These are the moments when I know to stand my ground and remember that every little thing makes a difference. Around here, we never let a horse rudely push her nose against the gate while we’re trying to open it --who knows where that could lead.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Help Needed in Texas

I learned last night that there are at least 100 horses still on Galveston Island in Texas needing food and water in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. They have moved an additional 23 horses to a staging area in Santa Fe, Texas. It’s no surprise that one of the people who is coordinating this effort is Jerry Finch, founder of the equine rescue organization, Habitat for Horses.

The bad news is that Habitat for Horses, which is in Hitchcock, not far from Galveston, also suffered serious damage. The 50 animals that are living there are okay, but the roof on the barn is gone and the sheds and storage area was destroyed. They are going to need lots of help restoring everything. Jerry started the organization in 1992 when he quit his job in sales in Houston and bought the 27-acre ranch. He founded the non-profit in 1997 and has been helping not only horses but troubled kids as well for over a decade.

There was a quote from Jerry in an article written about Habitat for Horses that I really liked: “I provide them with grain, hay, water – the essentials. At the same time, they’re feeding me with what I need to survive. They’re feeding my spiritual being, my spiritual growth. Had I not taken them in, I would now be as starved as they were at one time.”

If you can lend a hand, go to www. habitatforhorses.org. Spend some time looking at what they do. It’s an organization with their hearts and priorities in the right place.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hoof Picking on the Loose

Over the last month, Siete has developed a phobia about having her feet picked. It started after all the drama with her hoof abscesses and the new vet. Of course, it comes at a time when it is more important than ever that I am able to easily lift her hooves and keep them clean. For a while, I was imposing on my poor busy husband to hold the little horse while I struggled with her. I found myself getting more and more frustrated so I decided that I had to find a better way to deal with this new problem.

I wanted Siete to know that it was no big deal for me to mess around with her feet. She’s always been so good about it, but I totally understand why she’s acting this way. Her feet have hurt, her legs have ached, and people keep asking her to balance on the sore hoof or stand in buckets of water or wear clunky medicine boots full of squishy goo. She’s just tired of it and pissed off. Even though she feels better, I think she might be worried that we’re going to do something to make her feet hurt again. So, I decided to take it slow and go back to ground zero.

First, I started by fussing over the other horse. I spent a good, relaxed time picking out Silk’s feet and giving Siete’s mama lots of praise and attention. I ignored Siete who was also in the pasture, eating a little pile of hay and watching every move I made. Then, I pulled out my old “wand” that I used when I did Ttouch (Linda Tellington Jones) with Silk. I used it with Siete, rubbing it all over her, sliding it down her legs and tapping the knob end on her hooves. She was fine with that.

The next day, I decided to continue grooming the horses “at liberty” while they were out in the pasture. I picked Silk’s hooves out while she stood for me without a lead rope. When it was Siete’s turn, I used the clicker and some bits of carrot to help. Happily, Siete was ready and willing to stand still for me and let me lift up her front right foot. I picked it out, clicked and gave her the carrot. When I bent over to do the back hoof, I felt a gentle nudge on my butt. It was Silk, asking for a piece of carrot too.

Hmm, I thought, what I don’t need is my other horse mugging me while I try to convince Siete that having her hoof picked is a piece of cake. I weighed my options: take Siete out of the pasture and put her in the cross-ties, take Silk back to the barn, or make Silk stay a safe and comfortable distance away. I stepped towards Silk with my arm outstretched in front of her and said, “Back up.” She did. I wasn’t feeling like she was quite far enough away. I did it again and she backed up three more steps. Then, I clicked and gave her a treat. I also told her, “Ho.” She stood perfectly still.

I turned my attention back to Siete and picked out the other three hooves without any argument from the little horse. Silk didn’t move an inch while she attentively watched us. Afterwards, there were a couple more clicks, lots of praise and a few bits of carrot. The next day, I tried it again. When I started to pick up Siete’s front leg, Silk came and positioned herself the appropriate distance away and stood at attention. What good girls! I’ve got to say that it did wonders for my confidence that I’m the leader of this herd.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Big 13

Today is my daughter’s 13th birthday. I don’t think I’ve ever told you, but I wouldn’t have Silk or Siete if it weren’t for my child. When she was just a baby, she was horse crazy. We lived in California and there was a gardening store and plant nursery walking distance from our house. They had three old ponies in a corral with a little barn. Every day, my daughter would beg me to take her to see the ponies so she could feed them carrots.

After a couple of months of fattening up these spoiled ponies, I decided that I would look for a barn where I could ride Western and my little cowgirl could see real horses. I found a place with a sign saying “Cowgirl Heaven” over the door, and we spent most of our time and money there. It awakened an important part of me that had been lost for many years. That’s when I bought Silk, but she was too spirited for a child to ride. I would borrow the horse in the neighboring corral, a good old boy named Buster, to let my 3-year old daughter ride around bareback as I led him on “Ranch Patrol”. It reminded me of myself when I was her age.

My child began riding on her own when she was four. First, there was Jinny Jigs, a 20- year old Quarter Horse that I called “the Mother Theresa of all horses”. Then, there was Dusty, a 28-year old Paint stallion who was a big Teddy bear. When Dusty died, my daughter cried harder than I’d ever seen her cry. She said to me, “Mommy, I think my heart is breaking.” She still misses him and talks about him. A month later, Siete was born, and my daughter had a horse of her own.

When Siete was first being trained, the guy who was starting her told me, “She’s a great horse for a little girl.” I had a feeling that he was being derisive, but I laughed and agreed with him because that’s what Siete is-- my little girl’s horse. In recent times, the electric bass guitar and other interests have taken priority over horseback riding. It’s funny though that when I ride Silk, my daughter suddenly appears out of nowhere at the corral gate asking for a turn.

Last week, one of my daughter’s teachers asked the class to write about the most important events in their lives. My daughter wrote about Siete being born. So, even though there are other distractions, I know that her heart still belongs to the horses. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart, from Mom and Silk and Siete!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sending Positive Vibes

Time to send some more good vibrations out into the blogosphere for some of our friends. Today, I’m hoping that Lynda Polk and her horses, Starman and Marker, along with all the other horses in Texas, stay safe during Hurricane Ike’s visit. I’m also looking forward to a message from Strawberry Lane that she has taken possession of Shadow. And Mikey and Juli Thorson are rescuing a blind Appaloosa today in Idaho, so here’s wishing them a safe easy time of it. They are true horse heroes.

We’ve just come home from a funeral. One of our friends and neighbors, Grandpa Joe, who was 81 years old, unexpectedly left this earth. His spirit is still with us, and all week, we’ve been trying to help his family as they go through this sad time. He was a sweet gentleman who lived a long and admirable life. Everyone will miss him.

I’m still thinking about how last week, Billie and I were imagining these gigantic swirls of good energy. I’ve continued to watch the radar images of these hurricanes with their red and yellow and green spirals. So, as a counterpoint, I see similar circles with beautiful shades of purple, turquoise, pink and lavender or maybe a “web of light” with millions of starry points glowing as we all hang in there together and create a worldwide positive force of friendship and support.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dancing With Coyotes

I was on my way to the grocery store this afternoon around 4 o’clock. As I walked down the path from the house to my car, I heard this incredible screeching from a big gathering of crows at the back of our property. I turned to see what was going on and realized that the horses were freaking out, running and bucking and rearing in the corral.

I grabbed some hay and headed towards the barn. As I reached the gate to the corral, I saw a coyote attacking some animal in the “way back”. I couldn’t tell if it was a cat or a ground hog, but it was fighting like crazy for its life. Dropping the hay, I ran towards the coyote screaming and waving my arms. It dropped the animal and both creatures ran in opposite directions. My heart was pounding.

I gave each horse a flake of hay and stood with them until I was breathing normally. Then, still quite shaken, I went to the store. A while later, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a writer living in New York City. I described what had happened, and he said that sometimes life externalizes what is going on inside of us. He said that this might have been the proverbial “wolf at my door” - or in this case, “coyote at my door”. We had a good laugh about it. He also pointed out that what was important to note was that I had run towards it screaming and chasing it so that I was successful at driving it away.

When I told my husband what had happened, he asked me to please take a shovel with me next time I drove off a coyote in case it decided to fight back.

ANOTHER THOUGHT: Billie mentioned Ted Andrews ("Animal Speak"), so I looked at what he says is the meaning of a coyote coming into your life. It means you should ask yourself if you are complicating what is really simple. It also indicates that you might not be seeing some wisdom in the events in your life. Hmm.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Change in the Air

It really feels like Autumn arrived last night. The temperature dropped, and this morning, I could tell that Silk was feeling the difference. Her energy level ramped up and she didn’t even want to eat grass on the way to the pasture gate. As soon as I let the horses loose, she took off in big running circles, stretching out on her own for the first time in so long. Siete wasn’t so sure, but her mama rolled up behind her and nudged her out for some play time.

Leaves are turning red and yellow, apples are ripe, and the sun is setting by suppertime. We’ve been gobbling up this year’s crop of Honey Crisps and some of us in this house are talking about what we’re going to be for Halloween this year.

After over 16 years of living in California, I am always delighted to be back on the East Coast in September. Putting on my flannel shirts and sweats to go feed the horses in the morning, I recalled that the “new year” always seems to begin after Labor Day for me. I can feel the high energy crackling, and I guess that Silk can too.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

All Is Well That Ends

All is well that ends.

That's one of my favorite phrases, and especially descriptive of how I feel today. Hanna took all day coming up here. When I locked the horses in their stalls and gave them extra hay around 6:30 last night, it startied to really rain hard. Silk had been agitated all day, racing around the pasture and standing on alert at the corral gate. When I put her in the barn, she was so tense, her neck rigid. She could feel it coming. In two hours, we got four inches of rain. By the time Hanna left town, we had almost six inches.

Around eight o’clock, they issued a tornado warning. The storm was causing wind to swirl back in the opposite direction of how it usually travels here, so instead of moving east and south, it was reversing north and west. This caused tornado conditions for about two hours.

We watched it closely thanks to some really excellent local TV coverage (what a surprise!) and the amazingly accurate radar tracking on weather.com. The giant swirl swept just to the right of us, crossing above our neighborhood and moving north. We were so lucky! There was no way that we could get Pepper down to the basement. My mom was already asleep, and we didn’t want to wake her and scare her. I debated whether to make a dash to the barn and open the front of the stalls so the horses could run out into the corral if there was indeed a tornado and it took out the barn. As I saw the big red blob on the radar screen slide alongside us and upwards, I decided that opening the doors would only flood the stalls. Besides, the rain was coming down so hard that I couldn’t even see six feet in front of me. And the basement started flooding, so that needed our attention. I was so glad my husband wasn't traveling on a business trip as he usually seems to be when these weather dramas occur here.

When the rain stopped after midnight, the wind really kicked up. At 3 am, I woke up because it was eerily quiet and completely pitch black. I couldn't even see my hand when I lifted it in front of my face. No power. Fortunately, I had a flashlight next to the bed. We just got our electricity back late this morning. Around 6:15, I was so relieved to see two beautiful red heads sticking out above the Dutch doors of the barn when I went out to feed the horses. I knew that meant it was dry in there. The corral was even clear, thanks to our ditch clearing efforts.

The sun is shining, and the humidity is low. With each step I took this morning, walking down the driveway to pick up the New York Times, I said “Thank” “You” “Thank” “You” “Thank” “You”.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Update & Old Hickory

So far, so good. Arlene’s daughter emailed me that Grey Horse Matters made it through the surgery and was doing well. Billie at Camera Obscura posted a charming photo of Rafer Johnson in his new cast. We’re so pleased that he’s in good spirits and that Hanna didn’t do damage to them in North Carolina.

Now, it’s our turn. We got several inches of rain last night, but the brunt of it is going to hit us this evening. My big concern is the wind. We’ve got these huge old Beech trees next to our house that shade our slate patio. They are so beautiful, like giant green umbrellas. And there are two enormous Hickory trees near the barn and the pasture. I know that lots of people cut down trees that grow too large near their houses, but we can’t bear to do it. They are like trusted sentinels on our land. Each tree here seems to have its own personality and story to tell.

I’m reminding myself that between Old Hickory and the barn, the former owner of this property buried her beloved white horse. So, let the Spirit of the White Horse protect us as Hanna drops by for a visit tonight.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sending Luck & Love

I’m sending lots of luck and love out into the blogosphere today. Here’s wishing Arlene at Grey Horse Matters a successful knee surgery, and Rafer Johnson, Billie's adorable mini donkey, an easy time getting his cast on his broken leg. I have my fingers crossed that Marvel at Strawberry Lane is able to rescue Shadow, the starving horse. To everyone in the path of Tropical Storm Hanna, I hope that you ride on through safely.

Yesterday was spent battening down our hatches around here as Hanna approaches. We cleared the ditch around the barn, and I bought bags of wood pellets in case Silk’s stall floods. They predict that we’ll get 4 to 6 inches of rain, which depending on how fast it comes down, could be okay since the ground is very dry right now.

Siete is much better. Pepper is holding on, and we’re hoping that she made it through that rough patch. Many thanks for all your kind thoughts and prayers for my sweet animals. They’re working! Let’s hope that all this good energy keeps going and helps everyone get through whatever they are trying to get through this weekend.

I have an Indonesian friend who tells me that life is like a coin --“on the other side of pain, there’s hope”.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Okay for Now

As I filled the horses’ water buckets at 6:30 this morning, I was wondering how it would feel to be comfortably settled into a routine that had no stress. I have some neighbors who get up every morning, go to the same job they’ve had for many years, get their weekly paychecks, mow their lawns, watch their kids’ soccer games and sleep soundly each night. Some folks might call that boring, but in this troubled world I find it so appealing.

So, drinking my coffee and standing in Silk’s stall, I stopped to appreciate this one day where everything was okay right here, right now. Siete is feeling better. Silk isn’t itching. My dog, Pepper, finally ate some food and slept comfortably last night. My daughter is happy in her new school. Even though my mom is seeing imaginary people out by the barn, I can deal with that. We’re not recovering from or waiting for a hurricane, although that may change by the weekend.

Every day, all of us face unexpected challenges. I know it’s more than likely an illusion that my neighbors live so calm and happy in their routines. But as you know, I also treasure the days that I can find real peace in my chaotic life.