Friday, August 13, 2010


JJ's been sick for over a week now.  I'd wish anything for me to be able to take the sick and yuck from him.  Yes, I'm exhausted, tired, grouchy, sleep-deprived and stir-crazy, but when he's lying there in bed with a high fever, I feel so helpless in being able to take his discomfort away.  I also am angry because I don't know what's going on with him and why he seems to get sick SO often and stay sick for SO long.  I went to the health food store to get him some liquid vitamins because there are no other forms that I can get him to consistently eat, so this I just squirt right into his juice and he's none the wiser.  But even that didn't give him the perk I thought it would.  I really don't know where to go or what to do, so... ?

On another note, I've been really upping my runs, I reached my first 7.7 miler in years.  I think the longest I've ever run in my whole life was one 8-mile and that was years ago, so I was pretty happy.  I only stopped because the movie I was watching while on the treadmill quit playing right so I lost motivation to stay on the 'mill and keep going til 8.  haha. 

This week has been busy with lessons, too.  I've been riding my horses in training more consistently this week than before, and have been taking my vitamins faithfully.  All in all, I'm tired but I feel good.  Really good. 

James has been stepping up and pitching in and staying more on top of things, which I really appreciate.  He's been tackling the little things and helping us get more streamlined with all our daily functions.  Thanks so much, hon. 

Our chickens are finally starting to lay eggs, so all these months of crazy-chicken-caring-for is now being paid in full!  I looove fresh eggs!

I pulled weeds today in one of the paddocks and freaking pulled a muscle or something in my wrist from doing so much.  Figures.  After all, "moderate" is my middle name. 


Monday, August 9, 2010

what's in motion tends to stay in motion...

The "snowball effect" is the name of the game these days and it's not indicative of things going wrong.  James and I have finally taken those first few steps in our very simple game plan of 1: eliminating of those things that we don't want, don't need, or just tie us down and prevent us from doing better things with our time, and then 2: adding things back into our lives that encourage us, inspire us, and motivate us to reach for new and better things. 

I had a 23-year old girl call this weekend asking about lessons.  She was an advanced rider who had a good bit of experience behind her and already had shown on some local circuits in her former hometown.  Now, having moved, she wanted to find a place where she could continue.  Instantly I wanted to kick myself in the butt because this is EXACTLY the type of rider(s) I want to have more of, and yet I had done nothing to prepare myself, my horses and my facility to accommodate this.  What horse would she ride and what would she do?  Most of my horses were tuned for my beginnerish students and here I have this dumb little mini horse that does nothing except take up space, and time and money.  It was right then that I resolved that I was taking whatever steps it took to get myself and my "things" up to par for what I really wanted, what really would motivate me and would really encourage me, and what I would really have fun at doing. 

I put Cooper online and within 4 hours I had a small flood of e-mails of people that were trying to sell themselves to ME as good homes for him.  I could NOT believe it.  This morning the first people came, cash in hand with the truck and trailer.  And while they were here, we mentioned about Jet needing to find a home and they ended up taking him too.  I of course felt saddened for the girls, because Jet was their first horse and all and yes, I remember the pain of parting ways with my first pony "Jay", but WOW did I feel great about having two empty stalls!  I put hay in one and shavings in the other so that nope! no more room for any more horses right now. 

Magdalene and I went out for a Starbucks coffee, because just in case you haven't heard, Starbucks coffee makes everything better.  We then stopped by the local tack shop to check out their selection of tall boots for a future purchase, made a deposit at the bank, wiped a Walmart clean of the Metamucil aisle and then went home to sweep the stalls clean in preparation for new sawdust which was on its way.  (the Metamucil is a psyllium supplement given to horses to clear sand out of their system, fyi, not because I have a massive constipation problem)

Hours later the sawdust was in, and chores were done, and I was tired and hungry.  Rhonda brought me a plate of spaghetti to take home with JJ, who was already fed.  I took him home, set the spaghetti down by the sink and ate it while standing there, played a little bit and read some of his truck books and then put him down with the Vicks vaporizer in the room to help his congestion.  The last two nights he's been sick and I've gotten such crappy sleep with him waking up coughing/gagging all the time, which helped to add to my extreme exhaustion tonight. 

Well, vomit episode #3 just happened, and the part above about the extreme exhaustion, yup, that's still true, so I'm going to see what little sleep I can get tonight.  :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

where the rubber meets the road

James did make a concerted effort to bring things back to the table with me yesterday, only about 26 hours into the "fight".  This is an improvement, actually.  And without reading my blog at all, because he didn't know it even existed yet, he on his own got under the computer desk and cleaned it up entirely, organized and beautiful.  I keep looking down there because it looks so great, really, because there's nothing to look at!  No cords, wires, plugs, adapters, cables... nothing. 

Although James brought our discussion back to the table, it wasn't fully resolved... which is fine.  I just want to know that he will keep pursuing it as things become clearer to him.  He pulls away and goes off to his cave to think, and then he will come back.  I told him that I just need him to communicate with me that he will, when all is is said and done, come back and continue to pursue to full resolution.  And he's a good guy so I know he will.  For he fully well knows that if he doesn't, I will hunt him down, kill him, and eat him for dinner.  :)

I rode Sammy yesterday and I realized how much I like being on the back of a horse, almost as much as I like saltwater, sun and sand.  I love the places my thoughts go; my ponderings and musings about life, relationships, personal growth.  Things just make a lot more sense.  There is such a connection between physical activity and the brain.  I have made it to the pool every day with JJ this week, and I have worked out myself every day this week.  JJ is a completely different boy when he has a steady stream for physical outlet, using large muscle movement in a rhythmic way.  That is why I like swimming, cycling, running and riding so much too.  It makes me determined, motivated, creative, tolerant of the daily crap that otherwise can get the better of me.  This is the type of week where I pat myself on the back and say, "I'm so motivated, I clean the shower while I'm in it!"  I have ideas and inventions come into my head, I have seemingly limitless energy and creativity. 

I met mom at her work to drop off JJ for her to take home for the afternoon while I taught other lessons.  I watched one of my students completely fall apart the harder I pushed her, she simply could not cope with everything and her response was to fall apart.  She even laughed and called herself stupid.   This is the same girl I started charging her a dime every time she said "I'm sorry".  She must say "I'm sorry" over a thousand times a day, no joke.  Even when I pretended exasperation and exclaimed, "STOP saying 'I'm sorry!'  My goodness!"  she immediately tucked her neck and said, "I'm sorry!"  Now I just say, "Thirty cents.  Forty cents.  Fifty cents."  Half the time she emits this sigh and says, "I didn't realize I just said that."  I told her, "Your obsessive apologies mean one of two things; you have no opinion, or two, you have no confidence.  And I definitely know you have an opinion, and I also know you are pretty confident, so really, you have nothing to apologize for!"

I told my students that to have someone push them in a wise way is not a sign that they are doing something wrong or that they are being punished.  It is a sign of belief, an expression of confidence, a vote of trust that they can excel, that they can DO it, that they can achieve.  I tell my kids this all the time.  I push you because I believe in you.  I take the risk because I know you can do it.  I stand behind you because I am confident you will excel. 

When lessons were done I drove to the Plant City Y to hopefully try to go swimming.  I have tried to swim every night this week and three nights the pool was closed for the storms, and one night I got 4 laps in before the pool closed for a storm.  So I have run on the treadmill instead, which is all fine and all but I really have had my heart set on swimming at some point.  Tonight was no different, I drove as fast as I could to the Y and when I got there, the minute I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a mass exodus from the pool area and I knew they were closing due to the weather.  So I started on the treadmill instead and the longer I went, the more terrible I felt.  Then I started thinking, what did I eat today?  I couldn't come up with much besides tangerine juice, a handful of peanuts and a coffee from Starbucks.  Haha.  I realized I kept thinking all day, okay, I need to eat... and then something would come up and I'd forget about it.  So as I kept running on the treadmill I started feeling worse and worse, and then at three miles I was having a blood sugar drop really quickly so I got off, changed and went to my mom's to pick up JJ.  I think I just took whatever she had in her fridge, put it between two slices of bread and ate that.  But the rest of the night I felt exhausted because it's hard to recover from that huge of a crash.  Mom mentioned that JJ felt warm and that's usually the first sign when he starts to get sick, although he was acting fine. 

JJ fell asleep on the way home so I immediately put him to bed, washed the dishes and then got ready to go to bed myself.  However, when I was washing the dishes he woke up again and started playing with a ball in the living room.  I grabbed a bag of pretzel sticks and took him back to bed and lay there with him while he ate his sticks, but then he threw up and it got onto everything, including the mattress.  I started the loads of wash and then had to clean up and blow dry the mattress.  Then we wrestled and tickled in bed for another hour until he fell asleep.  He definitely had a steady fever at that point and slept horribly through the night, resulting in me not getting much sleep at all. 

Today I had kids in the barn all day.  We didn't get a whole lot done, it was just one of those days. I did tell James as part of a discussion, that I really needed him to show more aggression about his pursuit of problems that come up between us.  Today we were having a minor argument and at the very second I go to shove some chips into my mouth, he jumps across the room and bear hugs me, smashing the chips into my face, all over my shirt and the floor.  Not exactly what I had in mind but I like the progress. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

As per my design

I didn't realize until today how much I really have missed journaling.  All day long I've been thinking of things I need to write and record; I haven't thought that way in years.  Writing for me was such an outlet, such a way of decompressing at the end of the day and thinking things over, letting them roll around and around in my head until my brain and heart digested it. 

I had a few lessons this morning, two young girls who are "advanced beginners".  They ride the same horses each lesson, we do almost the same lesson each week because they come on a twice-monthly basis and that kind of infrequency is difficult to progress quickly.  But they have made slow and steady progress and they are gaining momentum as their confidence grows.  Today one girl rode at the canter without hands, and the other girl rode at the canter at the longest she's done yet. 

These are the types of lessons that I usually try to avoid, because I really like to be able to push a student hard and work thier butts off, but these girls need a lot of praise and encouragement for the littlest things.  I sounded almost drunk out there this morning as I yelled, "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD JOOOOOOB!!! THAT WAS AMAAAAAAAAAZZING!!!  WOO-HOO!!!  WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT!  I LOVE IT!  MORE OF THAT!!  THAT'S IT, YOU GOT IT!  LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!" 

Et cetera. 

So many things in my life need soooooo much encouragement.  JJ, for instance, has a bucket labeled "affirmation" but the hole at the bottom is just as large as the opening.  It takes a hydrant to pump affirmation into that child's life at a constant, aggressive rate.  Just typing this last sentence alone, I counted 8 times he said "Mama?" to me because he wanted me to notice that he was using the carrot peeler and wanted me to say, "Hey, you're doing a good job, man!"  Which is an improvement from what I sometimes feel like saying, which would be something like, "SHUT UP!  I'm trying to type and have some quiet time here!"

 I went outside to find James to ask him something when I was making lunch, and I eventually located him in his shed, or the "man cave" as he calls it.  I didn't think he was in there at first because the door was shut, usually he props it open to get air flow in there while he's working.  However, when I opened the door I realized why he'd had it shut, because he had installed a a/c window unit.  I took one look and said, no way, that is not happening.   Thus began a huge argument over it.  He said, "I'm only going to run it for a little bit, every once and a while."  I said, "Our electric bill is already too high, we can't afford anything more, let alone the face that you never do just a little, every once and a while... you are no way near that moderate."

The fight went south and ended at a stalemate with an ultimatum from me of turn it off and take it down, and from his end by just shutting down and clamming up.  We still have not revisited it and doubt it will be any time soon, because that is not a strong department for him.  I am still so mad I have half a mind to take a bat out there and smash the unit to a pulp so it won't work at all, thus ending our problem.  But the other half a mind says that I want him to be responsible and make the decision on his own. 

So JJ and I went to the Y this afternoon, I took him to the one on Bloomingdale because they have a fun little kids' pool with water slides and other cool stuff.  There was an old man creeper there who purposefully and intentionally stayed around where JJ and I were playing and doing stuff, even when we left to go to the other pool he went over there and then came back when we did.  I think I have a pretty hot body and all, but seriously, the old man thing is just a tad creepy. 

JJ went down a few of the little water slides at first and then he went down with me on the bigger one.  Then he went a few times on his own, made me go few more times with him again and then the last bit he went down on his own again.  He started screaming the whole way down because there was a little girl who screamed in front of him, so he thought that was cool.  His first time down when he screamed, he emerged at the bottom and shouted, "IT WORKS!"  haha.  Yes, JJ, I never doubted your volume control, ever. 

I did chores while JJ napped, and then I set up the computer monitor on the treadmill so I could run while JJ was still asleep.  If there is one area of my house that I avoid like the black plague, it is under the computer desk.  The sheer volume of wires, plugs, cords, cables is enough, but then you throw them into a blender and viola!  That's what it looks like under my computer desk.  But that's what I had to fight with to plug in new cords and unplug others, move a half a dozen wires and cables and drag everything over to the workout room, but it was either that and watch a movie while running, or stare at a blank wall.  But 4.5 miles later JJ woke up and I was happy I got that much accomplished, anyways. 

So yes, back to the bucket labeled "affirmation" thing, I don't think I'm that much different than JJ.  I think I need lots of affirmation too and I get jack-squat.  I give to everybody and everything, go out of my way to do more and more, and I get nothin'.  Notta.  Zip.  Not from my husband, not from people who should.  What does fill my heart is at night when JJ and I go to bed and he reaches over and says with a big smile, "Mama." and hugs me and kissed me multiple times.  And suddenly I find my bucket labeled "affirmation" full to the top!  :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's about time...

I used to be a die-hard journaler.  And when I say die-hard, that pretty much sums up a lot about me and my life, but yes, I started a mega-journal when I was 14 and kept it up daily until, well, the kid came along nearly 10 years later.  And then it went ka-put like a lot of other things in my life around that time, such as sex, my size 0 clothes, acrylic nails and quiet time.

So that being said, I think this is a great way to bring my journaling back to life.  I really think it will be a lot of fun.