Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Week of Firsts

Badge of Honor!

I don't know why...
but this seems to be a badge of honor for Mary.
Ever since she noticed Miss Kim's badge of honor, from riding Meloso.
Mary has always been proud of the ones she earned ...
but never one from Phoenix.

Oh Yeah!

This week was the first time that Mary has ever ridden Phoenix, bareback.
you would have thought she won the Lottery!
She was in heaven.

We have had him over a year now 
and this has been something that she has wanted to do for a very long time and thought that he wouldn't let her!

He didn't mind one little bit.
I think if she is happy...
he is happy!

Now it is part of her cool down.
What a great way to help her with her balance... 
I had to chuckle when she told me that her thighs were sore.
Go girl...
there will be no stopping you now.

Scrub a Dub

He is feeling so much more comfortable at the wash stalls now.
Kelly showed Mary a gentle way to wash 
his neck and face without him 
having a meltdown.
He has never really enjoyed standing still for his baths.
Making it a wet unpleasant time for both Phoenix and Mary.

But, this week Mary has been washing up by his ears, cheeks and crest by herself 
without Phoenix all over the place.
 And you know what...
I think he may even be enjoying it a little.

A Lesson for Bayli

While my niece Bayli was visiting us.
I had to do a little detective work.
She wasn't real hip to hanging at the barn with Mary or riding Phoenix.
So after a little digging I discovered that she felt a little intimidated by Phoenix's size.
I also found out that she had only been on a horse a couple times and didn't feel comfortable being around horses.
I also think that she thought that Mary's riding accident was because Phoenix was mean.

Well we fixed that wagon as soon as we had all the pieces.

We got her signed up for a lesson on a bomb proof horse.
What a sweet ole gal Rosie is!

What a Smile

Before her lesson she kept saying...
"I only want to walk"
I tried to tell her not to limit herself saying what she wouldn't do...
she should leave herself open to endless possibilities.

And ya know what?
She spent the majority of that lesson 

I was so cool to watch her light up on that horse.
However, I don't know if her parents will ever forgive me.

She says she wants to start taking lessons now.

Right of Passage

I am sure every woman can remember the first time they shaved their legs.
I know I do.
I was with my cousin Tolli,
visiting her in Virginia Beach.
It was a tale of the 

Country Mouse and the City Mouse

by one of my ALL TIME favorite illustrators
Richard Scarry

I remember calling my mom and pleading to let me PLEASE shave my legs.
To my absolute delight, she said yes.
So, my more mature, worldly cousin gave me a lesson in the art of shaving.

It seemed only fitting 
to allow Mary to shave for the first time while her cousin was here.
I figured it would be a much more memorable experience than 
doing it with her Mom ...
who rarely, if ever shaves.

(Hey... it is something she wants to do.  I don't like it but I felt it would be wrong to deny her.   Just like the pink princess phase she went through.   She is free to decide how she manicures her body.  It is part of becoming a teenager.  I am just glad that she still respects me enough to ask my permission first.)

They had an afternoon of giggling in the bathroom, followed by primping and
then an evening of Go Kart Racing, Surf n Spoon and Nags Head Woods.

It think it was  a great way for the girls to spend their last night together before we had to take Bayli back to meet her Dad.

Who needs an Ipod

When ya have knitting?

Yeah, right Mom!

Ok... well then you decide, 
an ipod for Christmas 
or new BLING for Phoenix?

You can get back to me on that one.

I am so glad that these two got to spend some quality time together this year.
It has been too long!
I sure am going to miss this little lady.
She will be leaving to go back to her Mom's in a week...
all the way across the continent,
to Spokane, Washington.
I know that she will be happy to see all her friends and her Mom again, but we sure are going to miss her over here on the east coast.

Through the Tunnel

So up the coast and inland we went to meet my brother 
Did you know that there is a web site just for finding meeting places that are

A Subway in Toano, Virginia was the halfway mark for us.
And in honor of Bayli...
Mary and I had our new favorite 
Veggie Melt Sub...

When Your Down, Saddle Up

In order to help wash the Bayli Blues away...
Mary did the only thing that makes her
feel better.
She saddled up and went for a ride.

Another New Friend

Mary is really adjusting to the new move.
There is so much to love.
And both Mary and Phoenix are so much more relaxed.
She has been trotting and even cantering some out in the fields with the girls.

Would someone please pinch me... 
then please explain to me why it took me so long to pay less and get more?

I suppose this is just another opportunity 
to reaffirm that we need every experience 
on this journey we call life
to arrive exactly where we are
at this very moment.


She has been slow and steady getting back to where she feels comfortable in the saddle again.
She is back in the riding arena again. 
She loves her flatwork ...
most kids wanna push it as fast and hard as they can,
but not Mary.
I suppose that is why she is drawn to dressage. 

But for the heck of it...

why not try a few


Not too bad for shaking the cob webs out.

But, what happened here?
To much Olympics?

A Vaulting Dismount

Oh Mary!
You really know how to make your Mom's heart pump.
The first time he took you over this jump, I think 
it got your heart pumping.
Nothing like going over the crossrails, huh?

But this time...
Shaba do!
Girl... I am too old for that kind of excitement.

But I have to give you a 10 for sticking that landing.
Way to land on your feet!

Softball Clinic

Mary finished another week of sports clinic at 

They are starting up a new sports program at their school that is inclusive to all children wanting to play sports.  
Pooling kids from two counties regardless if they attend public, private or home schools.
Even though it has been exhausting, it is really exciting to be part of this.

One more clinic to go...

More Patches

No more machine washing.  
It will be hand-washing only from now on.

Another Baby Step

Well, I still have not given that juicer a work out yet
but I did reach out to an old friend last week.

"I put my hand in yours, and together we can do what we never could do alone!"

I have made a few healthy improvements.
Nothing necessarily blog worthy.
I am simply moving in a forward direction.
"Progress not Perfection"


How can you see this and not just feel all warm and fuzzy?

This is why
I am really kind of sad right now.
Mary just called and told me 
"It's Done!"
All the kittens are now officially gone.

Mary and her dad just took the rest of the kittens that we couldn't find homes for to the SPCA.
I feel like the worst person on the planet.
Logically, I KNOW...
it was the right thing to do.
But, I am just sad that I was not able to find them all good homes.
And angry ... with myself 
for not getting the Momma cats spayed before having these kittens.

I am having pangs of regret and sadness.
The thought of them just being locked in cages and not being able to play makes me so sad.
Double Ugggh...
Mary just got home and is now bawling...
while Momma cat Tigger calls for her kittens.
pray for me!
I pray that I will not be overcome with regret and resentment 
that I continue on a path of forward movement 
and that I may once again have some control over my life.

And while I am out gathering the prayers ...
I also ask that we keep our 
Barn manager, and her family in your thoughts and prayers.
She was kicked in the back by one of the stalled horses, Thursday and then had surgery yesterday.
The last update was that she is doing well and has movement in her toes and they are hopeful for a full recovery.
It will however be a lengthy recovery.

I am grateful for every chance I have to be present in the moment.
It is easy to get caught up in what may 
or may not ever be,
that we forget to look down and see where are feet are at that very moment.
Only for that moment to slip through your hands and be gone.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Always 1 in the Crowd

I love this picture!
I know I feel like this more often than not.
(compliments of Celeste's garden)

On the Move

Last week was another week of BIG CHANGE for our family!
We moved our horse Phoenix
to a 

New Home

If you recall...
in my last post, I spoke of my distaste for change.

And I am the queen of procrastination.
Even good change has a way of upsetting the apple cart.

Well, I could not have imagined exactly how much this move would effect my life.
I had not planned to move so soon
but when I worked up the courage to ...
simply make a decision...
an opportunity presented itself...

and I grabbed the bull by the horns...
should I say
the horse by the lead line.

Settling In

The folks at Wrangler have been awesome!
They are helping all of us with our 
transition into our new surroundings and new routine.

It takes time to adjust to so much change...
but I think both Mary and Phoenix are beginning to feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
I know Phoenix is loving the new feeding schedule he is one happy horse!

It has also been a chance to make some new friends 
and reconnect with old ones.

Turn the Page

Since Mary's riding accident she has unfortunately 
lost a lot of her confidence.
She no longer felt safe...
or felt as if she could trust her own instincts 
or her trainer's.
This is not a good place to be...
not with a 1,200 lb animal.
She was just learning to canter on Phoenix when she had her accident.
(she had cantered before, just not with Phoenix)
So after her recovery...
she kept things 
and safe.

She tried to canter again...
but never anything more than a few strides.
She would tense up and Phoenix would follow in stride.

after only 5 days in their new home,
she is facing her fears
and is beginning to trust her own ability and instincts again.

She still has some ruff edges to smooth out before she is back to where she was before her accident.
But with all the positive support she is getting, 
I don't think it will be long. 
Woo Hoo!
 back to a ROUTINE.

Soon we will have set days and times for lessons again!
Moving forward is so much nicer 
than ...
2 steps forward and 3 steps back!

Who knows...
maybe now there will be more time to set aside for me and Green Gourd Creations.


"Who is that playing with my hair?"

We had this fella gone for about 15 minutes 
only to have her sent home with a stern look from someone's Dad.

did someone forget to ask their parents first?

Knitting Addiction

Knitting Addiction is one of our local yarn shops.
If your eyes are old and weary like mine and you can't make out the marquee it reads...


I had to snap a shot of this one... it tickled my funny bone.
And don't worry folks...
your eyes aren't too weary.
I snapped this one while sitting at a stop light.

Happy Birthday Morganne

A wish for...



I should have known that I would be pulling out that Kitchen Aid again 
before using my juicer.
At least this cake 
didn't stay in my house very long.
I made this tie dyed cake for one of Mary's friends.
I was a little disappointed 
with how it turned out at first. 
Then after some trial and error I was able to come up with something.

But, I think it was a hit with Morganne.
And that is all that really matters.

I will get some of those JUICES flowing soon!

Old Home

This is one of the homes I lived in as a child.
Kindergarten through 4th grade.
It was painted a mustard gold with a red door back then.
I remember many late nights of watching 
Godzilla movies 
while my parents remodeled this old house.

I drove up to Virginia and back over the weekend.

Since Phoenix is still in a transition period and hasn't completely settled into his new home we thought it might not be such great timing to leave him for a full week like we had originally planned before moving him to Wrangler Farms.
But it was the only week we had without a clinic this month to get away to see her.
Unfortunately my niece will be going back to Spokane, Washington 
at the end of the month 
and we wanted to still get some quality time in with her.
Fortunately for us, my brother was willing to let her come visit with us here for a week.

So Mary and I hit the road.
Yee Haw!
On our way to pick Bayli up we took a quick trip down memory lane.
I drove through my old stomping grounds.
My brother thinks that I am silly...
taking the
road less traveled.  
He takes the bigger "faster" Interstate 95 to get to his house
while I like taking the route through 
Gordonsville and 
up my favorite road
Rt. 231

It is more nostalgic and honestly...
I think it is even faster.

The last time we visited him we took his way...
and it took longer.

St. Mark's

This was my little Catholic church.
I went to Sunday School and took my first communion here.
This was my family's spiritual 
Even after many of us grew up and moved away.
This is where the Farley clan came back for our holy sacraments.
And even if they were not held in the actual church...
Father Martin would preform them 
usually at my Meema's home.

After Mary was born this is where she was baptized.

Mary Elizabeth

Since then it has been sold by 
"The Church"
and turned into a library.
I am so happy that they kept the original church and then added onto it.

Route 231

Rag Mountain

My Kind of Neighborhood

I saw a house on Zillow
 that was near my
brother's house so I decided to do a drive by and check it out.

I didn't find it 
but I did find this one.

50 King David Ln.

Wow... this is one beautiful home!
And it is only a few miles down the road from Michael's and the

 Belle Mead Farm

This place is awesome.
I would so send Mary here for a few classes.
My niece Bayli
 goes here in the summer for camp and she loves it!


Also down the road from my brother...
 lives a beekeeper.
A few years ago, Michael and Celeste gave us some honey & beeswax ornaments he made.
Loved them!

My Future Home

I joke all the time and tell my brother that this is the house I want to move into.
It is literally right down the road from his house.

One of these visits I am going to walk up to the front door and ask them what it would take to let us have this house.

This or Floyd...
I don't know how I could choose.

I think I would have to leave this one up to the universe.

Happy Reunion

Finally after all our detours...
we pull into Michael's drive

and Bayli was crouched down hiding by the gate waiting for us.
I barely had the truck stopped before Mary was out
hugging her cousin.

And They'r Off

 to the house to jump in the pool and catch up.

Talley/Wagner Garden

I am "green" with garden envy!

Summer's Bounty

They sent me home with all kinds of goodies.
Mmmm mmm good!

Washing Taters

Celeste to the Rescue

I don't know if anyone even remembered me mentioning that Mary had a Science project due on the 3rd of August.
Well, the 3rd has come and gone and NO final project as well as turning in her completed Nature Journal and Workbook .

I was pretty angry about this one.

I told her that she will have to take a ZERO for her project 
and be graded on whatever she turns in.

I know...
I'm a hard ass.
But, I really want her to learn to work independently with a deadline.
Maybe I expect too much from a 12 year old
but I don't think so.
after talking this subject out with my brother... 
he helped me come up with a satisfactory solution.
She MUST complete the work
for every day the work is past due 
she will be deducted points.
I can live with this!
(Since I told Mary that she couldn't work on it anymore... I will start counting days after we take Bayli back.)

When Celeste asked what Mary's project was...
she was more than happy to jump 
in and help.
It was right up her alley.


Meet my brother's new baby!

For those of you who know my brother, you will see the humor in this.
But, let me tell ya folks...
he REALLY loves this little lady.
She is a little spit fire!
She won't even back down to a full grown bear in 
HER yard.

Here Comes the Rain

Run Celeste run...

Head for High Ground

Even the cows are headed for higher ground.

Welcome Rain

Not everyone is sad to see the rain come.


Sometimes there is nothing better than a cool summer rain, a metal roof and good company!

Chicken Coop

Check it out...
Remember that chicken coop Bill went to help out with?

Michael is having a blast with his new welding skills.
Who says a chicken coop gate has to be plain?

So, when ya going to finish it and get those chickens, brother?

1 Down 9 to Go

it isn't monumental...
but we have found a home for one more kitten
and possibly another.

One More

(Yes, as I was editing... one more found a home)

2 down and only 8 more to go now.

Slow and Steady wins the race!
I am chipping away little by little at some of the stressors in my life.
There's nothing like taking a few baby steps...
making just enough room 
for God to work miracles.

Sometimes I just need to Shut Up 
and get out of the way!

There are some pretty cool things brewing!
Woo Hoo!