Category Archives: Musing of Life

The Story of Dancer

The night before my beloved horse Dancer was scheduled to be euthanized, I came home to a deep freeze that had been mysteriously unplugged.  Normally this would have sent me into a panic or at least given me a reason to go on a twitter rant for a few ranging “how the hell did this happen!” tweets.  Instead, I was thankful to have something I could follow a logical path and methodically fix.  Piece by piece, I picked the warm and soggy food out and placed it into garbage bags.  Scoop by scoop, I took out the liquefied lemon and cherry juice that had leaked out of the bags and dumped it down the drain.  Wipe by wipe I cleaned out the remnants of food littering the bottom and sanitized the inside.  But when I was done, there was no feeling of accomplishment. Instead the sadness crept back in.  Logic had helped me to clean the freezer but there was no logic that would help me heal my heart.


I got Dancer when I was 25 years old, newly married and newly owner of 5 acres on the side of a hill. While I knew when I married Steve that kids were in his “marriage contract”, he knew that a horse was in mine.  We were property rich but trying to scrimp and save to build our house so cash poor.  When my friend mentioned that her friend had a horse for sale I mentioned it to my parents.  My mom, a horse lover herself, told me she would buy it for me.  How lucky could I be?  When I rode him, I was hooked.  Dancer was a Peruvian Paso and they are one of the smoothest rides out there.  It’s like sitting on a flying carpet.

Of course, being the ignorant 1st time horse owner I was, I didn’t think to ask questions when the horse I rode was dripping with sweat even though it was in the middle of winter.  When I got him home, I quickly found out that this horse didn’t want to be caught for his life, hated to have his foot picked up, and was hugely barn/herd sour.  BUT, his sweetness couldn’t be denied.  He loved to be loved on and loved to be with people.  Up until the day he passed, when the family wasn’t home, I would go down and just sit with him in the pasture.  He would hang his head by me with his eyes half closed and we would just breath.

Over the next few years he and I would create a huge bond.  We never did end up doing a ton of riding but when we did it was wonderful (after we worked through the barn/herd bound issue).  Then he went a little lame…  After some off and on healing/not healing, he was diagnosed with DSLD (Digital Suspensory Ligament Disease), a hereditary disease common in Peruvians (and other breeds).  I was devastated.  No more riding and a possible short time frame before it would get too bad for him to go on.  I stopped riding, used the recommended supplements, changed his diet, and generally allowed him to be a happy pasture potato. That was 10 years ago.

At the ripe age of 22, he started to once again seem stiff and not move as much as before.  Even with joint supplements, slowly over the next few years, his quality of life decreased as the DSLD got worse.  Finally, a few weeks ago he dislocated his pastern bone and despite my best efforts to help him, I knew he would never get better.  This is where the logic of medical options did not help me and only my heart knew what to do.  This is the responsibility we take on as animal caretakers as hard as it is on our hearts.

Dancer was my companion for 14 years.  He was my friend and my confidant in a way only he could be.  I can only hope that I gave him the life he deserved and the pain free ending he needed.

My view on so many lovely evenings



Filed under Horses, Musing of Life

A lifetime ago

A while ago I spent a few hours on Friday with a good friend and her kids.  After a quick lunch we took the kids to one of those bounce house businesses to run off some energy.   If your kid is older then about 2, those are great places to go.  Rose and her two friends went up and down and through and over and under and…. for a good hour and a half.  My friend and I, we talked.  And talked and talked.  When it was time to go I felt like we had barely touched on the number of things we could have gabbed on about.

This friend and I met 16 years ago (although I prefer to pretend I’m not old enough to have known post-elementary school friends that long) through our respective husbands who knew each other through college and then work.  I don’t remember why we first started to to couples things together but soon that moved on to the two of us ladies getting together at least once a week. It was one of those instant connections where it seems like you have known this person for a lifetime from the moment you meet. In fact, we had only been hanging out for a few months when a complete stranger asked if we had known each other for all of our lives. It’s like that.

As I drove home past the area she used to live (she moved 1.5 hours away to her families ranch *sniff*), all the memories of things we used to do and all the time we used to spend together flooded back. The crafting, the horse stuff, the helping on the ranch, more crafting, the cooking… It seemed like another lifetime. It made me realize that as you get older, your life gets cut up into partitions. Childhood (elementary school), preteenhood (junior high), teenagehood (high school), college, post college, kids…. In my mind at least, they seem like separate lives that I have lived. It makes me understand more the whole “chapters in your life” thing. While I (the main character) am still in the story, the supporting characters and minor story lines are always changing which changes the feel of my life. Lots good, some bad but always ever changing an ways I don’t realize until I look back.

We used to have a crazy Christmas baking day every year.  Sigh….

1st Christmas Baking-1

Now we are onto the “Kids” portion of our lives.  Where we text weekly, talk once a month, and see each other a few times a year.  It sucks but with the kids in school, me working full time, her running a working cattle ranch (and a soccer league, and running her kids around, and helping out with 50 million other things because she is awesome like that.  Seriously, I don’t know how the ladies has time to breath) we barely see each other.  I love my life right now but it doesn’t mean I can’t miss my other “lifetimes” sometimes.  Right?

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Filed under Friendship, Musing of Life

LIVING life vs just living

I watched a screening of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty last night.  I haven’t seen a Ben Stiller movie that I’ve thought much of over the last few years.  Some silly stuff that has been entertaining but nothing to make note of (I had to IMDB him to remember what he was in lately).  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is like nothing I have seen from him before.  It was like a love poem to life.

The story is about a man who goes through life doing only what he needs to do.  He feels so much responsibility to provide for his mother and sister that he didn’t do anything for his own enjoyment.  Instead he escapes into elaborate fantasies where he does amazing things.  All the things that he wishes he could do (and then some, after all this was made by Hollywood) if he could just get up the courage.

I feel like this sometimes with my life.  Ok, I’m not saying my life has no meaning or anything quite so depressing but I have often wondered if I am doing everything I could be doing to make not just those I love happy but to make myself happy as well.

Am living up to my full potential or just sloshing through life enough to get by?

Could I do more to LIVE my life and not just live?

Most importantly, how the hell do I make my quite, shy, introverted, self do it?

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Filed under Musing of Life, working mom

Musings On A Weekend at the Beach

We took Evelyn with us for the first time on the annual family trip to Lawson’s Landing at Dillon Beach this weekend.  Last year she was only 3 months old and I didn’t want to put the family through living in close quarters with a crabby baby.  This year, she was walking and past the “put everything in her mouth” phase.  This meant we could put her on the sand and not worry about her colicing from all the sand ingestion (horse joke).

She still needed a little help “running down the dunes”.


I’m amazed (although I shouldn’t be), what a difference a trip to the beach is when you have two little ones along.  Instead of chapters of a fluffy book being read while lounging in a beach chair in front of the waves, there was digging in the sand to build sand castles (for Evelyn to stomp on) and watching Rose running up and down and up and down the dunes.


Instead of leasurly walks along the beach, hand in hand with my husband, it was “see how many kids Daddy can hold at one time”.


Instead of cuddles in front of the campfire it was puzzles with my daughter (I was only allowed to watch, not participate)


and reading books with Nana.


I didn’t come back from the weekend feeling refreshed (I was a little worn out from ‘co-sleeping’ with Evelyn) but wouldn’t have traded it for the world.  The wonderful feeling of putting smiles on the faces of her..


and her, made it all worth while.IMG_4232

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Filed under Evelyn, Motherhood, Musing of Life, parenthood, Rose, Travel

Taking a Me (and Evelyn) Day

I work 9 hour days so that I can take every other Friday off without loosing some of my income.  This means getting to work at 7am every morning and working through till 5.  Most of those Fridays off are filled with play dates, errands, chores, and general running around.  This Friday however, I had been in a little stressed so I decided it was time to take a little me time.  Well, a little me and Evelyn time.  Rose was off galvanting with my parents at Dillon’s Beach (I missed her but I saw the pictures.  She was having so much fun I don’t thing she missed me much at all.  Ha!) so Evelyn and I took a day just for ourselves.  It did involve a little Target shopping but really, that’s no hardship.

The two of us slept in, shared a pancake breakfast, perused Target, picked up my new sunglasses (technically an errand but hey, cool new shades), shared some lunch (found that Evelyn likes Indian food), took a shared 2 hour nap, hung out with Daddy for a bit, shared some dinner, assembled a fan for Evelyn’s room, then did nothing else the rest of the evening but just be with each other.  It was fabulous for my mind, fabulous for my heart, and fabulous for my soul.

 Photo bombing an Evelyn selfie.

 Evelyn assisting with putting her fan together.

Evelyn snuggles

 Evelyn telling me she loves me.  The feeling is mutual.


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Filed under Evelyn, Musing of Life, parenthood, working mom

Lady bug hunting

Sometimes it seems like we are hearing about heartache and tragedy every day.  The news is filled with it, the newscasters seeming to revile in every graphic detail.  It’s days like this that I want to close myself and my family into a little bubble of love to shelter us from the storms of hate around the world.  It’s days like this where I want to revel in the sweet smell of my baby and the innocence of my 3 year old.  It’s days like this when I want to pretend, for just a little while, that the hunt for lady bugs is the most important thing we could be doing.  Then again, maybe it is.
Lady Bug Hunting

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April 15, 2013 · 9:17 pm

I will do this

I will do this.

I will work through this crazy, busy, difficult, stressful time in my work life.

I will take these projects and work them to the best of my ability and get them done as efficiently as possible.

I WILL do this.

I will roll with the punches and take all criticism as constructive even if it wasn’t meant that way.

I will take that criticism and use it to better myself in the future.

I will DO this.

I will keep my brain engaged in high gear for the next few days until the work load is lessened and I can breath again.

I will understand that I will feel guilty for modifying my work/life balance for a few weeks in order to get this done and will be ok with that.

I will do THIS.

I will appreciate every second of the day that I get to spend a few precious moments with my children.  Even when they drive me up the wall.

I will come into work 2 hours early so that I can spend an hour swimming with my daughters and know that it is worth it.

I will set an example to my daughters that hard work will get you far in life.

I will do this.

I will hold them in my heart.

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Filed under Musing of Life, parenthood, working mom

Selling Memories

See that mark on top of the bed post nob that Rose is holding?  Rose made that with her new baby teeth when she was a few months old.  We used to let her play with the nob (it was from the top of the head board) while we would have early morning cuddles in our bed.  She was fascinated with that thing and it would let us get just a little bit more quiet time before we had to get up.  I know that as Evelyn gets older we will slowly be giving away/selling most of the baby things and I hope that it will get easier.  When I sold the bed yesterday (we upgraded to a King sized bed to better fit our new family of four with morning cuddles) I got a little choked up handing that over.  My BABY made those marks!  My BABY who is now a very opinionated, high spirited, loving, smart, and fabulous 3.5 year old.  How did that happen?!  Sniff sniff…

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Filed under Musing of Life, parenthood, Rose

Being your own advocate (even when you don’t want to)

My fairly non confrontational nature has always made it hard to stand up for myself.  Not that I’m a pushover, but it takes a lot of emotional effort to go out of my way to make my feelings known (especially to a stranger).  Luckily for me I’m married to someone who has no problem making those phone calls or sending those emails (thanks hon!).  This stems from years of shyness in my childhood that was only partially overcome through tons of effort once I realized that I wouldn’t get anywhere in life living in a self imposed bubble.
Sometimes however, like in the past few weeks, I put on my big girl panties, take a deep breath and stick my neck out to make sure I get what I need.
At the beginning of the year, I learned through the fabulous online working mommy community that insurance now covers the rental of, if not the purchase of, a breast pump.  My electric pump that I use 3 times a day at work was already second hand when I was nursing Rose 3 years ago and has been starting to sound a little sickly.  I took it apart the last time it stopped working and found a manufacturing date of 1997!  Thus started the saga of me forcing myself to be an adult and my own advocate.
1st phone call: To the insurance company to ask how I would go about getting a pump.  I got no details other then I needed to go through one of their supplier for it to be covered.  Cool beans.
2nd phone call:  To the supplier who turned out to be a middle man for an actual supplier (and you wonder why our insurance is so expensive).  They said all I needed was a prescription from my doc and they would do the rest.
3rd phone call: To the doc to get a prescription.   Found out I needed a physical anyway (oh joy) so made the appointment and got the prescription.
4th phone call: To the middle man (previously known as the supplier) who told me to fax over the info.
5th phone call: (Big girl panties #1) To the middle man as it had been a week and I hadn’t heard anything.  They said they sent the info onto the supplier and that I should call them (heaven forbid the middle man do it).
6th phone call: (Big girl panties #2) To the supplier who was totally unprofessional. First she didn’t know what I was talking about then suddenly ‘remembered me’ and said she didn’t have any rentals available for another month or so (so why didn’t she call me to tell me this!).  *Side rant: I totally support people working out of their homes (I could hear her kids screaming in the background) but please try to be professional about it.  Answer your phone with the name of your company.  Speak to me like a valued customer, not someone who interrupted you day.  Make your answering machine state the name of your company not just leave the automated message on there.  Sheesh! Rant over.*
7th phone call:  (Big girl panties #3) To complain to the middle man who said that the lack of rentals was a problem with all their supplies (why didn’t they tell me that before) and if I changed suppliers it would put me at the bottom of the list.
8th phone call: To the insurance company who said I could do a purchase instead of a rental (total pat on the back moment to myself for realizing I should ask that question).
9th phone call: To the supplier who said they could drop ship me a pump if I changed the order to a rental.
10th phone call: To the middle man who changed the order to a purchase (I finally got a fabulous woman who spent 30 minutes just to make sure everything was right).
11th phone call: (Big girl panties #4) To the supplier because it had been over a week and I hadn’t heard anything.  On a really weird coincidence, the middle man called me as I was leaving a message to the supplier asking if I had received the pump.  I think they lit a fire under them as the supplier called within 2 hours and said they would ship me the pump.
Phew!  That was, count them, 11 phone calls (not counting the 2 that I received) that I had to make in order to get this pump shipped to me.  Every single one of them took a lot of emotional effort make.  Every single one of them was needed for me to get this pump before I was done pumping and/or my pump gave up the ghost. Every single one of them was worth it.
*On a side note: I know by typing “big girl panties” 6 times I am going to see traffic to my site from strange men looking for pictures of large women in their underwear.
A thing of beauty

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Filed under Musing of Life, parenthood, Tips, working mom

My “Before I’m 50 Years Old” Bucket List

I started writing this bucket list over a year ago.  In fact, it started off as a 40 year bucket list but looking at it today, I realized there was no way in heck I was going to get much of this done in 5 years.  It’s funny how much closer to 40 I feel at 35 then when I was 34.  I was going to make this just a general “bucket list” but I know that if I don’t put a deadline on things, it just won’t get done.  So 50 years old it is.

There are some real dreams in here (see #3 under Own) but hey, if you don’t do a little wishing, your wishes can never come true.

After reviewing what I had down on there, I saw that I could cross one off.  Wohoo!  Steve and I took a Viennese Waltz class this spring.  I don’t know how much I remember of it but crossed off it is!


1.  Viennese Waltz (April 2012)
2.  Spencerian Calligraphy (Took a Calligraphy class Sept 2013)
3.  Cake decorating (improve skill)
4.  Photoshop (improve skill)
5.  Sewing
6.  Pasta making (May 2013)
7.  To make macaroons
8.  Yoga
9.  To shoot a bow and arrow
10.  Relearn photography


1.  Alaska
2.  New York (December 2015)
3.  Ireland (August 2013)
4.  Hearst Castle  (August 2015)
5.  Mackinac Island to stay at the hotel from Somewhere in Time
6.  See the fall foliage in the east
7. Train ride to/around the Grand Canyon


1.  Complete genealogy on both sides of the family
2.  Build a railing on the front porch (90% done!)
3.  Build a fence around the front yard
4.  Have a handle on the property just once
5.  Get updated on my scrapbooking (I’m still not done with 2003)
6.  Go horse camping
7.  Find a way to cook wonderful things without having to clean the dishes after but always have a clean kitchen (I’m dreaming with this one)
8.  One thing that scares the poop out of me (went to a few SWE things with people I didn’t know)
9. Volunteer for a good cause (I’m a Girl Scout leader, 2014)
10.  Get a pen pal


1.  A horse I can ride
2.  A mini cooper
3.  A Victorian mansion (might have to wait until I’m 60 and the girls are done with college for this one)


Filed under Musing of Life