Saturday, January 31, 2009

Words of Wisdom

A few of my favourite quotes, from a bit of an unexpected source...the glamour girl herself, Marilyn Monroe. Words I live by!

"I am selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle; but if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."

"I don't mind living in a man's world, as long as I can be a woman in it."

"I don't want to make money. I just want to be

"I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!"

Splish Splash!

Yesterday was a cold, blustery, day that just seemed to drag on. You know, the type where you feel like you're cooped up inside while the walls are closing in aroud you...I was going stir crazy, trapped in here with a defiant toddler (who was insistant on refolding my laundry, and practicing a gymnastics routine on the back of my sofa) and a tiny dictator who was not happy unless being cuddled. Sometimes I wish I could demand someone cuddle me for a while. After we had eaten dinner, everyone started to wind down for the night and I decided it was my turn escape for a little while. My absolute favourite way to relax is in a nice, hot bubble bath; while buying new fixtures for our bathroom I was sure to get an enormous soaker tub, my one little luxury. I had drawn myself a bath and couldn't wait to immerse myself in its' steamy, bubbly goodness. I put in my favourite bath salts - collected from the Dead Sea, to soak away my tired muscles. I dimmed the lights and lit a delicious sugar-cookie scented aromatherapy candle. I closed the bathroom door, slipped into the tub, closed my eyes and proceeded to relax. When I opened them again, I had to giggle. I was having a little slice of "Me Time", but I still couldn't escape...while I was filling the tub, my little girl decided that she would help me out. Thinking that the bath was for her (and QUITE disappointed that it wasn't!), she had dumped in her entire basket of bath toys - I was too tired to bother removing them before I got in, and now I was surrounded. My candlelight was flickering on 8 rubber ducks, 3 frogs, a dolphin, a lobster, a starfish, numerous fish and a little blue thing that I couldn't quite identify. Just a reminder that no matter what I'm doing, I'm always a Mommy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Couldn't Have Said it Better

Today, I'm taking a bit of a lazy woman's approach...I'm going to let someone else do the writing for me! Those of you who know me, know that my first and true love will always be...horses. I know that most little girls go through a phase where they'd give anything for a pony of their own, but...I never grew out of it! There is just something intoxicating about them...they are my therapy, my "happy place". On any given day, I would be in heaven if I could just sit quietly in the barn amidst the sounds and smells - I get the "warm fuzzies" just thinking about it! What can I say, the sweet smell of hay-breath and the creak of leather makes me giddy! I have found my equine soulmate in my dear mare, Dreamer; all of my secrets have been whispered in her fuzzy ears, and her neck has been soaked in my tears more times than I can count. She is my furry counterpart, from top to bottom (which you can see, in the picture to the right of this page). While I would be more "normal" if I sought comfort in my husband, sister, or otherwise human friend, nothing makes me feel better than a big hug from my "girl". Yes, horses give hugs. While I don't expect my non-horsey readers to quite grasp what I'm talking about, I hope that this next piece helps you understand, even just a little. I would love nothing more than to credit the author, unfortunately he or she is unknown. They have done a beautiful job embodying my obsession - I couldn't have said it better myself! Enjoy!

Your Horse is Your Gift

To have a horse in your life is a gift. In the matter of a few short years, a horse can teach a young girlcourage, if she chooses to grab mane and hang on for dear life. Even the smallest of ponies ismightier than the tallest of girls. To conquer thefear of falling off, having one's toes crushed, or being publicly humiliated at a horse show is an admirable feat for any child. For that, we can be grateful.

Horses teach us responsibility. Unlike a bicycle or a computer, a horse needs regular care and most of it requires that you get dirty and smelly and up off the couch. Choosing to leave your cozy kitchen to break the crust of ice off the water buckets is to choose responsibility. When our horses dip their noses and drink heartily; we know we've made the right choice.Learning to care for a horse is both an art and a science. Some are easy keepers, requiring little more than regular turn-out, a flake of hay, and a trough of clean water. Others will test you - you'll struggle to keep them from being too fat or too thin. You'll have their feet shod regularly only to find shoes gone missing. Some are so accident-prone you'll swear they're intentionally finding new ways to injure themselves.

If you weren't raised with horses, you can't know that they have unique personalities. You'd expect this from dogs, but horses? Indeed, there are clever horses, grumpy horses, and even horses with a sense of humor. Those prone to humor will test you by finding new ways to escape from the barn when you least expect it.

Horses can be timid or brave, lazy or athletic,obstinate or willing. You will hit it off with some horses and others will elude you altogether. There are as many "types" of horses as there are people - which makes the whole partnership thing all the more interesting.If you've never ridden a horse, you probably assume it's a simple thing you can learn in a weekend.You can, in fact, learn the basics on a Sunday, but to truly ride well takes a lifetime. Working with a living being is far more complex than turning a key in the ignition and putting the car or tractor in "drive."In addition to listening to your instructor, your horse will have a few things to say to you as well. On a good day, he'll be happy to go along with the program and tolerate your mistakes; on a bad day, you'll swear he's trying to kill you. Perhaps he's naughty or perhaps he's fed up with how slowly you're learning his language. Regardless, the horse will have an opinion. He may choose to challenge you (which can ultimately make you a better rider) or he may carefully carry you over fences - if it suits him. It all depends on the partnership - and partnership is what it's all about.

If you face your fears, swallow your pride, and are willing to work at it, you'll learn lessons in courage, commitment,and compassion in addition to basic survival skills. You'll discover just how hard you're willing to work toward a goal,how little you know, and how much you have to learn. And, while some people think the horse "does all the work", you'll be challenged physically as well as mentally. Your horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that sitting on his back is the closest you'll get to heaven.You can choose to intimidate your horse, but do you really want to? The results may come more quickly, but will your work ever be as graceful as that gained through trust? The best partners choose to listen, as well as to tell. When it works, we experience a sweet sense of accomplishment brought about by smarts, hard work, and mutual understanding between horse and rider. These are the days when you know with absolute certainty that your horse is enjoying his work.

If we make it to adulthood with horses still in our lives, most of us have to squeeze riding into our over saturated schedules; balancing our need for things equine with those of our households and employers. There is never enough time to ride, or to ride as well as we'd like. Hours in the barn are stolen pleasures. If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life's true priorities are clear: a warm place to sleep, someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals. Some of us need these reminders.

When you step back, it's not just about horses - it's about love, life, and learning. On any given day, a friend is celebrating the birth of a foal, a blue ribbon, or recovery from an illness. That same day, there is also loss: a broken limb, a case of colic, a decision to sustain a life or end it gently. As horse people, we share the accelerated life cycle of horses: the hurried rush of life, love, loss, and death that caring for these animals brings us. When our partners pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow.We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our lives have been blessed. Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Absolute union. We honor our horses for their brave hearts, courage, and willingness to give.

To those outside our circle, it must seem strange. To see us in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our hearts? We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors and often carry us into and out of fields of battle.Listen to stories of that once-in-a-lifetime horse; of journeys made and challenges met. The best of horses rise to the challenges we set before them, asking little in return.

Those who know them understand how fully a horse can hold a human heart. Together, we share the pain of sudden loss and the lingering taste of long-term illness. We shoulder the burden of deciding when or whether to end the life of a true companion.In the end, we're not certain if God entrusts us to our horses--or our horses to us. Does it matter? We're grateful God loaned us the horse in the first place.

~Author Unknown~

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Simple Pleasures

It's about 8:30am, and all is quiet. Austin has already had his early morning feeding, and is now sound asleep, belly full and blissfully content in his swing. Abigayle has just spent some time with her Nana and Papa, and came home EXHAUSTED from all the fun they had - she too is sound asleep, and hasn't made a peep. I wish I had such a great excuse for being tired - making snow angels and tobogganing all day must be such hard work!
In the past peaceful hour that I've had to myself, I've had time to think about how my priorities have shifted over the past two years; how the most simple pleasures have become luxuries reserved only for quiet, stolen moments like this. Reading a magazine without someone peering over my shoulder, and the pages being crinkled and torn before I have a chance to read them. Spending some time on the computer without someone in my lap tapping on the keyboard and clicking my mouse - bringing up screens and menus that would surely baffle Bill Gates himself. Enjoying a cup of coffee, while it's hot (the first time!), and not having to worry about it being spilled and little fingers being burned when they dip inside the mug. I may even go willy-nilly and paint my nails, not having to worry about smudging the polish when I change a diaper before they've had the chance to dry. Just sitting, alone with my thoughts, listening to the quiet. I *should* have been catching up on some laundry, loading the dishwaser, picking up toys or scrubbing the bathroom.'s not very often that I get to enjoy the morning. I've watched the sun rise, and I know the day will soon begin for the rest of my brood. I hear a tiny voice from upstairs, calling "Moooommmy..." - Time is up!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Grass is Always Greener...

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence..." - isn't that what they always say? I just thought I'd give you a view of my side of the fence; where the grass is always may not be mowed, and is usually spattered with dandilions, but life is always good!

So just who am I, and why is my life so fabulous, you may ask? Well, I suppose I owe you an explanation. I am the wife of a 3rd generation Dairy farmer, and we live in the beautiful countryside of Ontario, Canada. We have a gorgeous young family - a 2yr old daughter, and a 2 month old son. I am blessed to spend every day here at home, watching my children grow and seeing what misadventures we can get into! With potty training, learning new words, and testing boundaries (and consequences...), life is never boring! Now don't be mistaken, although I am a wife and mother, don't confuse me with the typical image of "the farmer's wife". Do I bake cookies and pies? The best of course (if you're lucky, I may share a recipe or two), but you can bet I'll be sporting my "Princess" apron and hot pink oven mitts. Do I help out in the barn? Occasionally, but only if I can be in my pretty pink rubber boots and purple work gloves, sized just right for my tiny hands - it would be a shame if I chipped my sparkly nail polish. Of course I usually cause my husband to shake his head in confusion (and possibly frustration), and this description may be reminding you of a certain "Lisa Douglas", but I assure you - I'm not that wealthy!

I'm hoping that I'll be able to give you just a taste of what life is like out here...a country mile from the middle of nowhere. So come along and join me, the coffe is always on - can you smell those gooey chocolate chip cookies in the oven? Watch your step for cow pies, be careful not to step on that Barbie doll, and I hope you don't mind if the dog curls up in your lap! Even though the grass is currently buried under a foot of snow, I promise that it is a lovely shade of emerald on my side of the fence - why would I need to look any further? Well...maybe just a peek...