Monday, February 13, 2012

What Happened?


Just last week I was in short sleeves,
 getting a sunburn on my face
and planning my spring garden.
No fair!
What happened?
Now it is in the low 30's with the chance of snow over the weekend.

Monday Mornings

Monday mornings are rarely fun...
and the fact that there were few coals in the wood stove this morning...
didn't make it very easy to get rolling either.
Cold and cranky...
what a way to start the day.

Fireside Reading

This is where I would like to be...
however, I don't think this is going to play out in my favor today.
Instead I think this is where my sick hubby will land if he makes it out of the bed today.

He better keep his germs to himself.
I guess he hasn't been taking his vitamins Mary and I have.

Seems Like Yesterday

Where does the time go?
It doesn't seem that long ago that I was going to dance classes and recitals.

Treasure these Moments

Working together on school projects and "helping" in the shop and the kitchen won't be around forever.
Hanging with the folks won't always be as exciting as it once was...

My Little Girl

well, she is...
Growing Up Fast

I am having trouble wrapping my head around this one!
My "Baby" girl 
is turning into a young lady before my eyes...
I'm not ready...
and I wonder sometimes if she is either?
The "tween" age...
in between a "little kid" and a "teen"
she's growing into a body of a young woman 
with the mind, emotions and self control of little girl.
It is like she has a foot on either side of the fence...
and the fence is barbed wire.
Not pleasant.

A date with "Daddy"!
Weekend before last was the annual
Girl Scout Father Daughter Dance.
And this year is probably going to be their last one!
A little bitter sweet, so this is
a night to be treasured.
They ended up ditching the dance early...
came home, changed and set out for a round of laser tag.

They both had a blast.
Set the bar high, Daddy...
you know this is how she will sift through the keepers
without even noticing the ones who don't  make the grade when she is older!
It will save her a lot of heart ache.

Horse Crazy
 I don't remember a time when she didn't
the horses!

A Trip to Jinny B's

This is where I think the love affair really took off...
she fell in love with a fella named
and handsome he is...
a big beautiful black Percheron.

Tall Dark  & "Handsome"

Another Trip to Jinny B's

Pucker Up

Mary getting some "Simon" kisses...
I think that's Simon?

Yee Ha!

 She use to beg night and day for a horse.
"Please... Mommy!"
"Honey, where would we keep it?"
"We can keep it in my room.  I will take care of it."
Oh my!
This guy will have to do for now.

and she is off...
Ride em Cowgirl!

Pony rides at First Flight Elementary.
Mary wouldn't stop talking about this horse...
 for the longest time.
Once again, she was


Her favorite Movie...
I don't know how many times we watched this one!

4th Birthday

This was one of the last Birthday cakes I ever made.
Mary is NOT a fan of cake.
it's an ice cream cake

Riding with the Cousins

Her aunt called us to tell us about this shin dig.
We boogied on up straight from Mary's soccer game, she didn't even care that she still had her shin guards on.

Splish, "Splash"

Who knew...
that she would run into this horse again 6 years later.
And you know what... she remembered him too.

Cousin and Best Friend!

Mary's 6th Birthday Party
Can ya see Mary with her butterfly cowgirl hat and denim jacket 
watching while her cousin Bayli takes a ride! 
Bayli and her mom moved to Spokane, Washington several years ago.
Mary's heart was broken and
we miss them, terribly.
However, the miles seem fewer now that Mary has Skype.

Everyone KNEW 

this child was horse crazy
Of all the horsey gifts Mary has gotten throughout the years...
this by far is my favorite.
Mary got sick a few years back on Christmas day and was hospitalized at CHKD.
My aunt showed up for a visit and came bearing gifts.
"Horsey Gifts"
However, this one was actually from my "Meema"
Mary's great grandmother.
My aunt told me that Meema had told her to specifically get Mary this one.
Aunt Eileen said she had to search high and low for this book.  
And it IS a good one.

I took lessons and did some showing in my youth.
Both my brother Michael and I both did.
I would ride my bike to the barn and muck stalls in exchange for lessons or riding time.
I will never forget ...
how proud I felt wearing my mothers old riding boots. 
That all changed when I moved to the suburbs of Roanoke, Va. in 7th grade.
I tagged along to the barn with some new friends who had horses but that only lasted a short while.
Soon, boys and other extra curricular activities filled my life.
I think it was the summer before 8th grade that I stopped wishing for a horse of my own.

Riding Lessons 

It wasn't too long after Mary's 10th Birthday 
that I finally gave in. 
I had put it off for as long as I could.  
I knew that once we traveled down this road there would be no turning back.  
So, every Sunday evening we rode out to Currituck 
for Horseback Riding Lessons for Mary.

11th Birthday

Now she is head over heals 
as well as having a new best-friend!
Phoenix found us...
so we celebrated Mary's birthday a few weeks early.

No Looking Back!

Mary wants to do it all...
she wants to Jump, Barrel Race but most of all she wants to do Dressage.
And do you want to know why
Because in her mind ...
it is a pure form of trust and communication between human and horse.
Some folks may think that it is boring, snobby
and about as interesting as watching paint dry.
But for Mary it isn't about anyone else,
it's about Mary and her horse.
A bond!

High Hopes


Home Run


 Foul Shots

Mary is an athletic girl with a competitive spirit.
She's been playing sports since she was probably about 3 years old.
First it was soccer.
And she has played soccer every year since,
except last year when she gave volleyball a try.
She is one heck of a goalie...
but sometimes there isn't enough action there and she wants to be on the front line.

Then there is softball.
Well this is her all time favorite sport of all.
She started playing baseball with her Dad about 2 or 3...
and was in absolute shock when she started playing t-ball at 4 or 5 years old because she had been hitting baseballs with her Dad pitching to her for so long it threw her off hitting them off a Tee.

I think that since her Dad has such a passion for baseball
it gives Mary an even stronger love for this sport.
She loves all the one on one time she gets with her Daddy.
And now that she is pitching the one on one is even more often.
Just about everyday.
She LOVES her Daddy time.

She got a late start in Basketball.
I will take the blame for this one, I just could never pull it together to get her signed up.
And honestly, I wasn't all that motivated to either.
After all the crazy running around in the fall with school, girl scouts, soccer, dance, PTA etc.
I was ready for a break.
I feel bad now for her... because it is in those younger years that you learn all the fundamentals.
So, even though she is an athletic kid with spirit
she will always be playing catch up in the fundamentals.

She LIKES to win and has a "serious" game face when she is playing.

However when it's all said and done.
It's all about the fun.

Horse Shows

As competitive and into sports as Mary is and as much as she likes to be center stage.
She doesn't see riding as a sport.
She knows that it is.
However, this is not what motivates her to ride.

Yes, she likes to win and she likes to bring home the ribbons
but it still isn't her "passion."

Horses are her LOVE
it is her sanctuary.
Her constant.
It is the thing she does just for her
and where she wants to be feel at peace.

I get this!

She has confessed to me recently that she didn't want to do the big shows.
She just wanted to do the smaller local shows
because she didn't want the "pressure"
of competing in the big shows.

Now, I have to say that I am both shocked and a little relieved.
But, most of all I am proud of my girl for knowing what she wants and having the courage to express it.
It isn't always easy to do at any age.
The desire to please can sometimes override what we want.
AKA ...

She wants to please her trainer and she wants to please me
but thankfully she
wants to be happy even more.
She is actually coming to understand that she can't do it all.
Even if she wants to.
She wants to play softball, go to skate night, have sleep overs, ride bikes, love and ride her horse and still be a kid.
I will love and support her in whatever she chooses.
I want her to always trust her inner voice.

Healing Nicely

This was taken a couple weeks ago.

Barn Buddy

This is what it is all about!

And it is all fun and games till someone hits the ground.
On this day they both did.
Mary is bound and determined to put me in my grave before my time.
At first I wasn't worried.
The horses spooked at a stand still so the girls kinda slowly went over.
Mary's fall seemed painless as I watched her begin falling to the ground
only she stopped mid fall.
What happened?
her foot got caught in the stirrup!
My heart flew into my throat.
Mary's equine angel
(it must be my Mom)
is watching over her, because once again Mary has evaded serious injury.
Phoenix just stood there while she hung mid air.
Until her stirrup leather broke and she fell to the ground.

A little banged up...
she still made it to her basketball game that evening and played her heart out.
She is one tuff kid!

And her last game...
was one of her best games ever.
She is back in the game.

New Leather and Irons

I had hoped for some peacock irons
(for safety reasons) 
but since I didn't get them before we "needed" them.
I had to get what was available.
I went to 3 different stores looking for 5" irons.
This kid's foot is growing to fast.

Now let's see if Mary can stay in the saddle at least till the end of basketball season.

My baby's 12th Birthday is right around the corner.
I don't think we can top last years
Birthday present...
and I don't think she will mind one bit.

I think the hardest thing about this age is
"KNOWING" who you are and where you "fit",
it's not about "fitting-in."
I think you are well on your way
It is more than OK to march to the beat of your own drum.
I love you!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

This one's for you Susan...

Ole Bessie

We've been having some issues with this ole gal.
It seems that I am not the only one not wanting to get rolling in the mornings.
A couple mornings she has not wanted to start at all.
A day off, and several slow starts.
We still have not found the cause... but we are finding out what it isn't!

Morning Routine

As I have alluded to in previous posts...
I have been having some serious motivational hurdles to overcome.

So, I have set up a little morning ritual in the hopes of building upon.
I have had many morning rituals in the past 
but it seems that lately 
I have allowed just about anything that pertains to my well being 
to come a little low on the priority list.

do something about this!

Setting Goals

I need to be successful, so I start simple.
Very simple!

There is so much that I 
"to do"...
that it can sometimes become so overwhelming that I don't even know where to start
so I don't.
So, week before last I gave myself a little direction.
And today, I am keeping it basic
and getting my solid foundation established then I can build on it.

Last week was a tuff week for me.
I had a doctors appointment that set me back a little, emotionally.

So, some...

Chicken Soup 

for the soul!
Daily Bread

A little burnt and crispy around the edges...
but oh so good!

Add a dash of some good old fashion prayer and meditation
and I'm moving in the right direction.

Back in the Saddle

Mary played her first basketball game last weekend and her second game Tuesday night.
It will take her a little while to get back up to speed but she is back in the game...
figuratively and literally.

Looking Good

Signs of Spring

In February?

The first day of February and we have signs of spring already popping up every where.


These guys are slow to go...
I put them in the ground last fall for a winter harvest.
I have to tell you, I didn't think I had anything left at all in my garden.
It's those
Dang Chickens!

The draw backs of Free Range Chickens in an urban~ish environment.

They seem to lay waste to just about everything I put in the vegetable garden these days.
It is very frustrating.
However, I say this every year and they seem to get away with veggie murder!
I really need to think about creating a little garden patch just for them.
I thought that the chickens had completly destroyed my winter garden 
(eating all the seeds that I put out) 
and wrote it off.

Then last week I went out to asses how much work I had in store for me to get the garden ready for spring planting when I came across the carrots and these

This makes me feel motivated.
I will give them some yummy compost tea and have some early carrots and maybe enough beets for ONE meal.
Preparing the Beds

Hopefully I can start turning and amending the beds 
this weekend if we don't get a washed out!
I will also be doing some new chicken proofing.
I love my girls...
but dang leave me some veggies PLEASE!

Tease, Tease, Tease...

With no more word about whether or not they will 
"pave paradise and put up a parking lot"
I continue life ...
"as if"
Even though I started digging up my perennials last fall 
I can't help it...
I have
Spring Fever

I pulled out my old planting diagrams and my NC extension seed planting dates.
Going through my seeds and making a wish list.
Woo Hoo... I love spring!
It is also time to get those potatoes for the hubby.
I think I am going to try something a little different this year for the taters though...


I did make a little progress this week
in the "creative" department.
 I started some straps for 2 more feed bag totes.

I will say this though...
for any of you out there that are "list makers" like me
you will know my joy...
I got to put several LINES through some long standing items on the "to do" list this week.
Woo Hoo!
They are the kinds of things that you can not see the progress outwardly ...
this is when that list comes in handy.
Major victory!
I will take the motivation where I can get it.

I did have some unexpected events this week.

Blue Lights

Hmmm... when you just "know" you aren't doing anything wrong
"I" tend to be a little cocky!
That doesn't really go over so well with the Kitty Hawk's finest.

Fortunately, for me...
I won him over with my delightful wit and charm!
By the end of this chance meeting...
(which by the way was over an hour long)
he told me ...
"I like you!  You have made my night!"

What can I say!
I just have that kind of effect on people...
what's not to like?

I tried to get him to pose for a blog shot...
but he said "NO WAY!"

Uggg... I hate being "wrong" & you know, 
the DMV is NEVER wrong!
I spent the better part of yesterday 
being chauffeured around trying to sort this mess out.
(I wasn't about to chance it)
I am going to just swallow this little jagged pill  
and do what they ask me to do.
But, at least I am back on the road
ready for any more chance encounters with the men in blue.
I am so ready for "smaller government"
"for the people, by the people"
what a joke!

Just in case ya'lls imaginations are running away with ya...
I wasn't running moonshine or tippin em back behind the wheel.
It was an insurance thing...
and when my husband was able to bring him something that proved that we had insurance he let me go.
He was going to make me park it and take the tags off my truck.

Sorry... I have strayed from my blog intention of being

Let me get back on track!

Today is a day of fluff and fun...
after school work of course.
Tonight is the Annual Girl Scout Father Daughter Dance.
Hair, nails, fancy dress and shoes...
This will be Mary's last Girl Scout dance 
and it should be memorable.

I will have the evening all to myself to go through my seed catalogs and finish up 
my wish list.

These are my 2 favorite seed suppliers!
You won't find any Monsanto GMO seeds here.

This past week, we have had some days in the mid-high 60's and full of sunshine.


It's still February!
And I will need to keep the home fires burning.

But it sure is nice to have some dreams to warm the chill away.