Drive Drive Drive Plus Stress

Bummer. This was not the greatest travel day. It was really long, for one thing. We usually break trips like this up into 3 days, but powered through two 8-hour days instead. Poor Lee got both tired and hangry.

But we have our feet up now. Ahh.

Second, there was a lot of work stuff that was hard to do in the car, but I did it! And there was family drama not worth going into. Let’s just say no good deed goes unpunished. And I appreciate people who are more patient than me. My mental health took a hit but I’m doing better already.

We didn’t get here until it was dark, but we do have a nice view.

I enjoyed the weather again today, though. There were many beautiful cloud formations to enjoy, along with beautiful forests. We went through many hardwood forests and pine forests grown for lumber.

I like seeing what grows in different areas. One of the loveliest areas we drove through was in Georgia, where they grow pecans and peaches. The bare trees are striking. I wish I’d gotten a picture of the peach trees, because their newer branches are pinkish, but I was too busy looking at them.

Pecan orchard

I crocheted on my new project a lot of the time when not working or dealing with stuff. But after sunset I just hoped we’d hit the edge of the continent soon.

I’m glad we found the island. This is a really nice place. I’ve missed it since Anita and I were here a few years ago. I’m looking forward to a weekend on Hilton Head!

Thursday in Pictures

Almost done! Black finishing border next.
Young pond slider checking to see if I’ve left yet.
Explorers
Sparrows inspecting my dressage markers.
I bothered a huge fire ant colony by moving an upside down feed tub.
What a beauty.
Pollination process
Flies are also pollinators.
Sunset
Start of the final edge
He makes everything good.

This week has exhausted me. I will be more wordy tomorrow, maybe.

Another Day, Another Year

Resolution time? No. I’ll keep doing my best to learn, grow, be kind, promote love and peace among my neighbors. I guess I resolve to keep going.

Let’s all bloom where we’re planted or re-pot ourselves. (Bad metaphor!)

I think the way 2022 differs from the last couple years is that the lows were lower and the highs higher. The family stuff has been particularly scary, between all the various sicknesses of many types and mental health challenges. But there’s been great growth and opportunities, too.

The year ended beautifully.

As for me, I experienced so much personal growth that I even impress myself! But I did hit rock bottom for a few weeks — like I said the lows were very low. Working with the horses has been so good for me. I’m so much better at trying new things, which I’ve been working on for years.

They keep me calm and seem pretty chill, themselves!

And my job has been great for me, too. I feel respected and empowered. And I enjoy what I do. Everyone deserves that kind of job at some point.

I’m as content as a turtle on a warm winter day.

And finally, I’ve gotten the hang of letting go of things outside of my control or letting the opinions of people outside my inner circle get to me. (Mostly) I’m still working on not letting people I care deeply about hurt my feelings, but we all need something to work on, right?

Butter is working on getting stuff out of this pot.

Let another year start. I’m not worried or excited. Years are arbitrary markers, anyway.

Weeks are arbitrarily marked by new manicures.

The arbitrary last day of 2022 was lovely, though. The weather was great for all activities and I got lots done. The only negative thing is that the stitch I’m joining the rug I’m trying to finish is so tight and twisty that my arm hurts. I’ll have to sacrifice for beauty, then rest a lot.

It looks good, though.

While horsing, I visited with Mandi the neighbor for a while. We need to visit more. Darn work messing with my visiting. Still, all day was pleasant. Here’s to a pleasant and peaceful future.

My gift to you for the new year is sunset and animal photos. Enjoy.

Off into the Sunset

Literally. Today was long. I kept working and learning all day. I was in the tack room learning until well after dark, but when I’m learning horse stuff, it’s invigorating. I just soak it in.

Riding at sunset

Tarrin took some photos of me riding Drew at my lesson, which was late in the day, thanks to a crowded schedule (all that rain messed things up for everyone). The sunset was pretty, though.

Happy trails to us.

The photos are useful, though, because they help me see where I’m doing well and where my techniques could use some work. Drew and I both are leaning too much sometimes! No wonder the saddle slipped at one point!

We’re working on it.

That’s the thing, though. Even if I keep bringing up my age (the autumnal years, riding into the sunset), I know I’m staying younger and more mentally astute by keeping on a learning path. We all need to have something that keeps us engaged and active, right? Studies have shown…and all that.

I’m glad Tarrin and all my horse-loving friends share their knowledge so we can all learn from each other. Off we go looking for the next sunrise.

I need a nap first.

I Never Get Tired Of…

Sunsets. Tonight’s even featured some rain in the distance. And a cute dog.

I got to enjoy this sunset because I had a nice dinner with my friends Mike and Martha. I got so used to not doing things with friends that it’s been hard to get back in the habit. The last two weeks have helped!

Fancy girl

The other thing I’ve done for the last couple of days is look at horse hooves. Nope, I’m not tired of that, either. I’m learning a lot by watching Sara learn farrier skills for her own horses. As the above picture hints, I found Soltara and all her mane a bit distracting.

It’s a good thing I didn’t have rubber bands!

Yesterday I learned a lot about Apache’s foot journey, and I’m glad it’s good now! Lots more some got scraped off even though he’d just been trimmed a couple of weeks ago! Interesting.

Happy foot.

And wow, Aragorn’s therapeutic shoes are complex. I’m in awe of both Tarrin and Sara for knowing how to do this work. Still, glad I can pay Trixie for my farrier work when possible! Who knew I’d learn so much about this stuff!

Work in progress.

I’m pretty good with bugs, though. I never get tired of taking pictures of them. Too bad disaster has befallen my naturalist friends. The iNaturalist site went down! Oh no. Thus. Here are two red and black insects.

I’ll be back tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be more interesting.

It’s All Good Until You Start Feeding Dog Treats

What a beautiful day it was. I think we needed a reminder that Mother Nature is still doling out the beauty to at least briefly distract us from the things humans do to each other.

Glory, glory, peace on earth.

As a reward for doing my least favorite thing about work (Agile stuff, not vital to this story), I tidied up the pool area and gave my back some more hot water love. I heart the hot tub.

Day swimming. Wow.

Later, after feeding the precious horses, we checked out the trailer lights. Ooh. There’s even an interior light for night loading and unloading!

That’s cool.

I’m pretty excited to use the trailer. I was glad they checked out the lights and other safety features. So shiny.

It was a good evening to rest on our laurels and tell each other we appreciate our efforts. I think Lee even set up the auto-fill system on the pool! We’re really enjoying it. What else do we enjoy? Sunsets, of course. Tonight’s was cherry red at times. Thanks, Mother Nature.

All was well until I opened the monthly Bark Box. I handed out really cute chew toys, then opened a box of dog treats. I handed them out to each dog, which got them all excited. I realized Alfred hadn’t gotten one, so I reached over to give him one and Harvey jumped up to steal it. Unfortunately, he also got my thumb. Ow. It was an accident.

Got me right on the edge of my nail.

May the sun warm all our brothers and sisters who are afraid, worried, or suffering.

A Cold Front and Other Improvements

It’s 30 degrees cooler today, and even though it made training a bit chilly, it was all good. Everything is a little better.

I wish I had her self-warning vest, says Drew.

Drew is doing so well. And he is so sweet. He has the best Alfalfa breath. I love watching how hard he tries to learn.

The dogs had a lot of cool weather energy.

Back at home, Harvey is improving. He walks better and is less swollen. An he stopped dripping. Whew. It’s a mess here.

I hid a lot of the day.

In the afternoon I took Apache out again, after a real disaster working with him yesterday. Today there was no bucking, snorting, or kicking. He did so well! And he was loving and friendly. Maybe yesterday when I was boss mare impressed him?

A good ending to my day.

It’s not all perfect. It never is. One of the chickens died last night, and I couldn’t figure out why. And while we just got a lot of wind, other parts of the country had dangerous tornados. But, that’s life. Never perfect.

I’m grateful for the good, like this deep winter sunset afterglow. Enjoy.

Sunset and Dining in the Rockies

I ended up spending the entire day yesterday with my patient friend, Cathy. I crammed a week’s worth of fun into that one day! I also crammed more than a week’s worth of exercise points in, but I feel absolutely fine in the leg department today, so my hiking boots must have done their job.

Fire on the mountain, but not a wildfire.

We left off in yesterday’s post after lunch. We went to check out the outlet mall, because Cathy hinted that it doesn’t suck. And that’s right, it doesn’t. The first place we went was not an outlet store, but a little jewel of a co-op gallery of art by local artisans. There was beautiful mosaic art and a lot of photographs, some by a photographer Cathy really likes.

Photo taken right near Cathy’s house. It was hard to photograph, because it’s shiny.

Imagine her happiness to find out that Stephen Johnson was working in the store that day! She found out he lives in her neighborhood, and they shared stories of seeing moose and other wildlife nearby. I enjoyed his stories very much and got some images of his photos. This is my favorite, partly because of the story of the pregnant cow moose, who he sees every year with her babies.

Look at her jump!

That was fun, as was finding a few items at the Columbia outlet that may help me ride Apache more in the winter. I got a head covering thing that would fit under my helmet, and a warm reflective shirt. We’ll see!

Then we adventured out to find some cool green hiking boots Cathy wanted to get from Facebook Marketplace. She loves Facebook marketplace. I have to say they are pretty darned cool boots.

Ignore Chalkdust, the extremely lovely husky/shepherd mix, and look at the shoes.

After heading back to my house to change and get my knitting, we went back to Cathy’s. I feel bad for how many times I caused her to drive back and forth from Dillon to Breckenridge! She baked some brownies and I knitted, then we went for a sunset walk, which she does most days. You know, I hadn’t walked enough yet. Cathy needed to, because as she admits, she is a jock.

Sunset from their house.

It got colder and colder as we walked, but it was fine. We got to see some clouds and sun and mountains, which made it worth it. And, oh yes, I got to look at all the houses in the neighborhood, which are rustic and have interesting garage doors and other exterior details. Of course, I peeked inside when I could, too. There were some fine light fixtures.

When we got back, there was a special treat! Cathy’s friend, Sarah, had invited us to have a girls’ night fajita dinner. I was happy, because I’d enjoyed talking to her earlier, plus I would get to meet two more women. So, off we went.

This is Violet, a husky. I took pictures of the dogs, not the people.

Everyone had fun getting to know each other and eating. Sara’s new neighbor across the street was really subtle in her humor, so I enjoyed her a lot. And the other guest is an artist and was making a beautiful butterfly installation for the place where she works in Breck.

I spent a great deal of time asking Sara where all her art and textiles came from. Her mother had a business selling Native American jewelry, so she had traded for some nice stuff, plus she had Peruvian tapestries, too. Drool.

It turns out Sarah teaches Pysanky eggs at the art center, so I got to see some of them. I would love to learn that technique to do with some of my eggs. Thank goodness Cathy took a picture, to prove there were people at dinner.

I’m asking endless questions about the eggs. They are so intricate.

In addition to meeting so many fascinating women today, I believe I had my biggest exercise day since back when I’d hike with my older son on holidays. I still can’t believe I feel so good…well, other than my digestion telling me I ate too much rich food. Today may be a recovery day, though I intend to get in the right amount of walking in (after football).

My exercise goal is 30 minutes, and I have a hard time getting it at home. Not here. Thanks, altitude!

Imagining the Future

I know I’m supposed to be living in the moment right now, but just for a few minutes let me digress and think about the future.

The sun will come up tomorrow!

Lee and I took a walk this evening and were looking around with the dogs and everything her. The sun was so beautiful in the sky as it was going down. The dogs were playing, the clouds were scuttling across so beautifully. Some of them were fast and some of them were slow. It was pretty cool.

Sunset dogs.

Then we decided to go sit in the hot tub and watch the sunset. Yes we could do that. We watched the sun making beautiful colors and imagined there being water in there and not dirt.

Mmm. Might be nice some day.

I did discover a problem. Do you know what? It’s really hard to get in and out of that hot tub. There are no stairs. And I am a short person. I think we’re going to have to work something out.

Trapped forever.

Ya know, with my workday being so long and so full of hard thinking, it’s great to just sit around and not do anything for a little while. I love my new job but wow, are the assignments I’m given in there complicated, and they have a lot of problems and issues. My job is to fix them! How about that? I may be tired, but it’s al good.

We also relaxed and hung out with friends.

Autumn sunsets are my favorite, and when I get back from my next trip, the leaves will be gone. So, I’ll save all these views for enjoyment when I’m elsewhere. These are in chronological order. Storms are coming!

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