What’s Wrong with Normal?

Today was a normal day. Nothing stressful other than software glitches, and repeatedly sending out the wrong minutes for a meeting, today was low key and calm. I love calm. I got all my to-do items done. I’m cooking dinner. Ahh.

This hairy monster got groomed, too.

I got to spend quality time with all the horses in the calmest possible way as they got their feet trimmed. So much time spent petting soft noses. Ahh. I love farrier day.

Contraption

I’m not sure what I think about it, but Drew’s new fancy bit arrived today. I believe we don’t use the chain part. It’s just like the one he already uses at Tarrin’s. Who knows if I’ll master it or not, since Apache is bitless and likes it.

My friends!

I got to enjoy the cranes flying by. These must be stragglers. Never a bad day if you see them! And I’m hearing all the winter birds in the woods. That’s the best part of winter!

And finally, my day was made by the arrival of a nail polish strip box. It was all gold and black, with art deco accents. I gave no idea why I’ve always loved nail polish, unless it’s just that it reminds me of my mom. My one ultra-feminine affectation, I guess. (Shut up, people who know me, don’t tell the readers about all my shoes and turquoise jewelry; guess I’m more femme than I think.)

Nail stuff

Happy Tuesday. There’s nothing wrong about normal at all!

Life and Goodness Return

Hey, I got through one of my extra-long days and I’m not totally wiped out! I have my life back! Yep, I even woke up for my 7 am meeting at 6:45, having forgotten to save my alarm clock setting, and made it in time. Woo!

I wish I could say I spent all day watching Apache run around in circles with Camina at my side. But I enjoyed a few minutes!

I got all my work done, then had two hours of horse lessons, then a Zoom meeting. Whew. That’s a long day, but it was full of goodness. Even the weather is pleasant.

Moon over Mabel after my last meeting.

I’m so relieved to feel well enough to get all this done and enjoy myself. Apache was so much fun in our lesson, too. We are making progress and having a good time. He tries to do whatever I ask, which is fine with me. Poor guy is hot, though. He has his thick winter coat on, which makes trotting faster and slower and faster and slower a sweaty activity.

Here Tarrin is checking his muscles. You should have seen him jump! What a guy.

I’m so glad our hard work is paying off and we’re getting skills! On the other hand, Drew and I are very obviously at the beginning of our journey. We both have so much to learn, but I’m willing! There’s a lot of patience involved, but it’s ok.

Both of us look resigned.

Tarrin kept telling me it’s all normal and not to be upset. I really felt fine the whole lesson; I was just thinking about all the things I had to do. You know, learning overload! And Drew did reward me by walking like a true gentleman back to the trailer. This was down the path that scared Apache so much, and in the dark!

I did not mean to write another boring horse blog, I just wanted to say how great it is to be able to do things and enjoy them again! Maybe by tomorrow I’ll stop needing to blow my nose!

Resting? Not According to My App

Honest, I was going to rest all day today. But I felt good and at peace, so I kept coming up with things to do (other than knit, because I’m trying to finish this baby blanket.

This does not look like it’s making a square.

I’m just having faith that the blanket will work out.

For some reason I have been energized by all my vaccinations, so I decided to clean all the windows in the doors. They have, um, “some” dog nose prints on them. I say have, because I didn’t get it perfect, but now I can see what’s outside. We will see if I’m up to downstairs window washing when the pool is done.

That door is clean.

I knitted and watched football a while, then BOOM I got an urge to sweep the back porch. It’s gotten pretty messy with all the pool construction. I swept and swept a LOT of dirt and the inevitable bugs.

I swept here with their help.

Then I rearranged our sad old furniture to look as nice as it can. I didn’t clean anything, knowing that if the pool dudes come back (and I assume they will since they left stuff here), more sand, particles, and such will be deposited.

The construction viewing station.

I’ll clean everything up once it’s all done. And I think perhaps we will get some slightly less ancient and more comfortable furniture.

The benches will go sit outside by the ponds. This is where my iron dining table and chairs will go, if I can find them. I’ll paint them red.

Yep. That’s boring. But it sure gives one exercise and steps. Then I went out and rode my sweaty horse for a while. When he got twitchy, I got even more steps in. I guess I’m getting ready to go hiking with my friend in Colorado (I assure you I am hydrating and will get used to the altitude first).

I didn’t even TRY to exercise today!

Good thing I cooked a good dinner. Leftover steak with onions and mushrooms. Well, that’s all the news of today that’s safe to blog. Still. It’s so weird to feel okay.

Little Progress toward “Normal”

Just a little. I’ve felt a lot better the past few days, and I think a lot of it is because life has become just a wee bit more normal, at least it feels that way. Being able to take the trip out of town and see different scenery was really refreshing for my soul, and with just a little care, we hardly interacted with anyone, and those we did interact with were either so far away we had to yell, or we were all masked. I felt like we were starting to get the hang of this pandemic safety thing.

This was my Facebook post last night. It fits the theme for today…

After work yesterday, I headed up to Austin, because part of my new “normality” is going there at least twice a month, seeing Anita, and working in the office. That also gives me Vlassic time, which we both appreciate (except when he insists on going out to do his doggie business at 3 am).

When I arrived, the extended neighbors (including folks who live nearby) were having a happy hour, a thing they used to do regularly by the pool. I appreciated them doing it on a day when I could attend. And, of course we weren’t around the pool, since the HOA has banned us from going there, because they fear lawsuits (with reason, given some neighbors’ proclivities).

We cleared out the center parking area and made plenty of space for everyone to gather. We sat in family units (except I deserted Anita due to sun in my face), neatly arranged six or more feet apart. Everyone had their own drinks of choice and had fun.

Happy neighbors on a beautiful evening.

The main downfall of this is, of course, that the hard-of-hearing folks didn’t get to participate as much. I saw a couple of people who just sat quietly, and I’m pretty sure it’s because they couldn’t hear, or read lips through masks.

Nonetheless, we heard some funny stories, got caught up on each other’s ups and downs, and didn’t die from heat or mosquitoes. October sure is nice in Texas. And doing at least a LITTLE socializing, while taking sensible precautions, was a lot of fun.

Telling stories.

I have to share one little story that made me chuckle. One neighbor loudly declared that he was NOT going to wear a mask, because his doctor told him that it wouldn’t keep him from getting sick, and only helps a little in preventing you from getting others sick. Another neighbor said his doctor encouraged mask wearing, so he was going to keep on doing what he was doing. The first guy just bellowed, “You need to get another doctor!”

Yes, changing doctors is all you need to be safe…or at least have the illusion. I just smiled and declared I’d keep using common sense.

Poor deserted Anita.

The main thing is that my life feels a little more normal, even though many thing are still different. I think we’re adapting to the way things are, and that’s what counts. At least my nightmares aren’t about COVID anymore (no, it’s still kanban cards and more kanban cards).

Acceptance of the New Normal

I’m betting the UU Lent creators didn’t realize the meanings some of their words would take on as the Lenten period went on. Acceptance is probably on everyone’s minds right now. As the Tiny Buddha points out, you really don’t have much of a choice but to accept.

You are so right. Tiny Buddha.

It very well could be that a lot of the anxiety and sleepless nights we’re dealing with today is from wanting to make things different, to go back to our old lives, to not feel trapped. But, that ain’t happening. This is what we have!

Perky little Suna, typing away.

Some days it’s easier than others. I realized with a jolt, just yesterday, that all this isolation, mask wearing, hand washing, and dread of learning the latest news felt totally normal, like it’s always been this way. It’s only been a MONTH!

I get upset with myself for feeling bad, knowing I’m lucky to have jobs that keep me earning money, at least for now, and am “essential,” so I can drive to work and back (for excitement, I take the OTHER route!). I’m not alone, either, which is a blessing, even for a hermit. I should be ashamed of myself?

At least I have a giant monitor. And blog readers, according to my stats.

NO! Every single one of us has had their lives changed really suddenly. Sure, some of us are dealing with different types of challenges than others, some are in more danger than others, and some have lost loved ones. But NO ONE’S grief, anxiety, sadness, or worry is better or worse than anyone else’s. I will do my best not to judge myself or others.

Accepting the new normal. The ranch is always here.

Support and kindness are what we need. If you need to vent, I’ll listen. And if I have to whine about how little I slept last night, my horrible dreams about my lost son, or my worries about others, I appreciate you for listening to me!

Keeping each other healthy means keeping our distance. It’s important. But our mental health still relies on our community. Thank you all.

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