Monday, April 25, 2016

life as we know it

Life as I have known it will be coming to an end this week. The changes I have made are going to be permanent and Final. It is strange to know that life has taken such a big time. When I was younger I always thought I would be one of those people who married, had 2.5 kids and 2.5 dogs and maybe a horse and stays married forever. Instead I have married three times and failed miserably each time. Of course, I had help feeling it is not entirely my fault. However I do wish that things could have gone differently. I have made friends and now some of those friends will be lost to me because people feel the need to choose sides Whenever there is a divorce.

I am in an emotionally strange place this week. On one hand I want to reach out and play with new friends and old. On the other hand I just want to stay home, watch TV do crafts and crochet. I'm not sure which of these will ultimately went out. Probably the extrovert will beat down the introvert in the long run. I'm finding that there are things that I normally like to do that I just don't feel like doing right now.

However, there are things I need to be doing such as going to the gym, eating good food and riding my horses.  I need to practice making decisions for myself and not asking other opinions. I need to practice doing the things I want to do regardless of what other people think I should be doing. I need to do things that make me happy and healthy and even though that's selfish consider other second for a while.  This is hard for me. I am used to gauge and what should be done by what other people want. It is my nature to help them before I help myself.

Recently I befriended someone who let me down. I thought they were someone else then they projected themselves to be. When confronted with the reality of who they actually were instead of talking it out they ran. I'm glad it happened now since they were a new trend but at the same time it was difficult to accept that I needed to just walk away.  On the other hand someone I thought I had let me down prove to be a lot more steadfast and faithful than I would have imagined. I let them down as well by turning my back on them when they needed me and not talking to that. I think their relationship is repaired but it may be a while before I know for sure. ( and yes I know that they and them is the improper pronoun for the subject but I do not wish to name people as him or her in this setting)

I just came back from a trip to Missouri to see both my father and my mother. My dad's 82nd birthday is today. A couple weeks ago my stepmother suggested that I come to visit as a surprise to my dad. He was very surprised. I've been also stopped to see my mom and that was nice too. In both cases I did not have enough time but it was pleasant to catch up and sit with each parent and talk a little bit. It was especially nice to talk with my mother. We talk as friends and shared some details about our life and how we are feeling about something. It was nice to be able to share those feelings without criticism for other person on either side.

This has made me want to spend more time with my own daughter who is just now finishing high school. She finished all her classes last week and will soon be working full-time most likely for a few weeks she has a little more spare time on your hands. I have reached out to her in an effort to spend more time with her however she is busy. I am told this is pretty normal for kids her age but I still wish that she were free to spend more time with me. I know that all too soon she will be out on her own and away from home and I will experience an empty nest For Better or For Worse.

In the meantime, there is work there is friendship there are horses. There is natrc to occupy my time. I have lots of work to do I just have to get on with doing it and all the while make some time for myself so that I don't overdo it. Life as I have known it will actually continue pretty much as it has in the past. Except now I have to find to find a decent health insurance policy and pay more taxes.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dad's Surprise

A week or so ago, my step mother, Shirley, called to see if I would come to visit Dad to surprise him for his birthday, which is Monday.  I usually hate to travel if I'm not taking horses somewhere to ride, since I spend so many hours in the car each week. However, due to rain and some other things that had occurred I happened to find myself free for the weekend.  Dad is due to have a balloon treatment done to the veins in one of his legs in a week or so too. It seemed like a good time to visit. I don't think I have seen him since last summer when he visited me at Von Holten Ranch in July. I don't remember the last time I saw Shirley. 

I decided to leave after work Friday and drive to Joplin.  I stayed at a Microtel, which was clean, and, well, Micro. I had never been in one before and it was nice. The rooms are tiny, as was breakfast, but those continental breakfasts never have much for me anyway. I ate some raisin brain and then went to Cracker barrel for some decent coffee and then headed onto Columbia.

When I got to Dad's house, I was parking the truck and I saw him out back, hat on, manning the grill. I back into the driveway, where he couldn't see me, and hoped that if he had seen me, he would just think I was a truck turning around.  I came into the backyard and he was absorbed in cooking steak (yum!). I said,  "Old Man, what have you been up to?"  He didn't turn around or glance up, he just said, "I'm just here cooking some steak."  I continued to walk toward him. He kind of glanced at me, but was very absorbed in his task and didn't really "see" me.  Then he looked again and got the biggest grin on his face.  He gave me a huge hug...totally surprised.  At first I thought somehow he'd found out, but he just thought I was my step sister, Jill. He looked up when he realized I didn't sound like Jill. 

Best surprise ever!

Then my Uncle Dan (his brother) and Aunt Jenny came over. I hadn't seen them since his 65th birthday party.  He will be 82 on Monday.  It was great to see them. Uncle Dan never changes. I swear he looks the same to me as he did when I was a little girl and he was my "fun uncle"

Great trip. Totally worth the drive.  Tonight I will go visit mom and then hit the road early on Monday to get home and work.

Monday, April 18, 2016


I have seen the movie Inception many times. The thing that is fascinating to me about the movie is the layers of reality and fiction and how hard it is to tear down the different layers to the truth. I often feel that life is like this. Sometimes things are crystal clear and other times they are so muddled it's hard to know if I am in a dream or if I'm in reality.

Reality shifts so quickly. 1 minutes past seem so obvious only to be obliterated by a new piece of information that leads to a new truth. Then I begin to look at the situation with different eyes. I sometimes feel like Eve in the Garden of Eden after taking a bite of the fruit from the tree. Often I find that knowledge is a bad thing. I would much rather have the denial and piece of my lack of knowledge. Of course, knowledge is good because it helps us make the decision but sometime the decision you make with knowledge is not always the comfortable one.

I am amazed how something I was sure about a week ago has become murky and unclear. I also feel embarrassed for being so certain. How will I ever know if I can be certain again? How do I ever know if the decisions I'm making are the right one? This is all very confusing to me.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Finding Balance

It is amazing to me how easy it is to lose one's self and get out of balance.  Something begins that seems really awesome, whether it's a job or a friendship or just whatever. I tend to throw myself 110% into a new project only to find that it's often not as shiny as I thought it was in the beginning.  It takes something traumatic or self destructive to make me realize I have made a mistake sometimes, but I usually manage to figure it out before any real harm is done. 

I have been going full bore for so long, I don't even know what it is like to stop.  Every time I think I'm going to have a weekend to myself I end up giving that precious time away to do something for or with someone else.  I recognize that this needs to stop and that I need some time just to exist.  I had that for a few hours in the horse trailer when I was locked in several weeks ago, but I didn't carry it forward.  I need to rely on myself and my own instincts and move forward with my own goals, whatever they are...heck, does it matter that I don't know what my goals are right now? I'm thinking maybe I don't need any goals for now except to find peace and relaxation in my heart.

The past six months has taught me to steer my own ship a little more effectively. I have learned to stop asking advice and to tell people when I think they are wrong (though I do try to be kind) I have been learning not to care about other people's opinions quite so much and to figure out what it is that I want out of life.  Sometimes this is really hard because many people in my life have very strong opinions.  but I am learning and feeling stronger every day. I have learned that I have good instincts and thought not always popular, I really am in pretty good control of my life.

This week taught me how quickly life can turn on you.  I spent a lot of hours in a the hospital with a sick friend and I sacrificed some of my own work for it. He had thought he was healthy, just going through a time of stress, but instead he had had a heart attack.  I discovered that he didn't have a lot of people there for him, and I tried to take some of his stress off of him.  Unfortunately, it backfired on me, and I made a client angry in the process. Honestly it was someone I didn't enjoy seeing anyway.  and now I can start a little later, relax a little more, work a little smarter. I had no free time on either end of my day trying to work late and start early. I could not have continued to work that way in the long term. Now I only have to be anywhere early one day and I can work later the other days knowing I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn. I can fully begin to embrace my night owl self. 

I also learned how many things people don't know about each other.  No one ever knows what motivates you. No one can know what your stress or comfort is and most people don't want to share this part of themselves.  It's so much easier to hide  yourself than to risk judgement on both sides.  I have begun to wonder if we can ever really know someone.  I came to see that someone can have an absolutely good side but then they can have a bad thing that is a deal breaker for the entire relationship.  It's why we should all be careful what we say to each other and how we treat one another because we never know what another person's safe place or deal breaker status is.

Today's song (this week really) has been Landslide...not the Stevie Nicks version, but the Gweneth Paltro Glee Version. I can't get it out of my head. There is a message there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How to save a life

How to Save a Life is a song I have always liked. When I listen to it I hear it from both an artist perspective and from of therapy perspective. In the song someone is having trouble and someone else is trying to help them. It's hard to tell if the person having trouble really has a problem or if the person trying to help is putting their own map on top of the other person. I Envision this song as being someone having an alcohol or drug problem and their loved one is telling them to get their act together or get out. But I also realize it could be that the person singing the song is saying get your act together, the other person being talked about doesn't feel like they have a problem at all. And they may not. They may be living there life the way they think they should it's just that other people see them as having a problem. The song may not actually be that complicated this is just how I see it. I have always wondered what was the intended meaning behind the song.

So often I find this happens in life as well. We live our lives the way we think we should and people come and go from our lives and try to help us or we try to be a help to others. However, the way we see things often does not match the way people see a given situation. I may feel like I am on a good path and other people may think I'm on a bad path. If they try to save me and I reject that I need to be safe then they either walk away or stand beside me. That is our choice all along. We can walk away or stand beside. 

But how do you decide what is the right thing to do? When you want to help someone and they reject your help how do you know how to behave? Do you accept that your health is at once or do you continue to be steadfast and continue to offer help? 

I have never known how to just be. I have a problem with offering advice when it is not wanted. I do it in the Name of Love but often the person I am trying to care about does not accept my help or my love.

It works from the other side as well. People offer assistance when it doesn't seem like the right kind of assistance it is hard to accept. What is the right kind of assistance? I asked this question legitimately because I do not know the answer. Sometimes in offering assistance we make the person we are trying to help feel worse or more helpless. Sometimes I recognize that all we can do is love and stand aside and let the person know that we are there for them while they are working out their own reality.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What's cooking?

About the only way I cook anymore is in my slow cooker. I do occasionally pick up cool salmon things from HEB but the slow cooker pretty much always wins. (As a sidenote, one of the best parts about living in Bluffdale and driving to granbury every day is getting to shop at HEB. They have the best produce the best homemade tortillas the best everything. Fortunately for cost savings there is also an also across the street. ).

Last night I impulsively picked up a flat of chicken breasts. This means I have to do something with the chicken breasts. I spent time researching today to find some crockpot the freezer meals that I can make without going back to the store. While buying chicken breast for $1.98 a pound is definitely a find, coming up with things to do with the chicken before it goes bad can be a challenge. I have found several simple freezer crockpot meals that I can split the breast into, chop up some of the fresh vegetables I bought and throw them into the freezer.

Unfortunately, this presents me with another challenge. I have an entire 10 pound bag of ice in my freezer because I don't have an icemaker. Ultimately it's dumb to worry about the bag of ice. I'm going camping in two days though and I keep thinking if I can just hang on and make it fit for two more days then I can just put it in my cooler. Ice is begun to be ridiculously expensive. I mean, come on people, it's just frozen water. Why is it like gold in cost?

So I think I found one meal to make tomorrow. It is called coconut chicken. Well that's easy. I have about 12 cans of coconut milk in the cupboard I have all the things the recipe calls for. However, it wants me to make a sauce after the chicken is cooked. I'm thinking, not. I think I will just throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker and set it up to cook while I'm gone tomorrow. And then of course I can't really just make it the way the recipe says. I; instead I have to monkey with a little bit. I'm thinking of adding some peanut butter and some extra red pepper flakes to go with the apricot jam. And I don't actually have apricot jam, I have mango apricot jam, but what the heck?

The other things I think I will make is called pepper chicken. Let me see: this calls for, chicken with peppers. Check, have all that in the house. There are couple other recipes I can make if I go get lemon or lime juice. Of course there's always the famous mushroom chicken which calls for mushroom soup and chicken. In any case I should have the chicken accounted for pretty quickly.

I've been going to make something on Thursday using some venison cube steak. I kept thinking I would make chicken fried steak but that's not happening. Instead I'm going to put it in the crockpot with onions and mushrooms and brown gravy sauce. These things will give me food for the weekend, food for the freezer, and food to take for lunch.

One of my goals for April is to eat out only very rarely. Unfortunately, I have eaten out twice this week. It wasn't on purpose, though. Honest! Yesterday I got a salad because I realized that the food I had brought for supper was suspect in a period today it was just because I wanted lemon pepper wings from wing stop. Well, and the food I brought to eat had not thawed out yet so that was kind of a problem. I'm working on coming up with cold lunches.

Today my food went great because I started out with a huge bowl of oatmeal. Thank you Kate love. I had remembered fond times of eating oatmeal at your kitchen table and it has spurred me to get back in the habit.I am also down 2 pounds from last week. Go me! This is a turning point since I have put on a few pounds since Christmas. My Christmas weight gain does not concern me terribly because it coincided with going back to the gym. I think I have been putting back on muscle because all the pants are actually still getting looser even though I have not gone down another size yet.

This weekend brings us to pull Canyon Ranch. It is probably my favorite place to ride. Maggie is coming to volunteer and we are bringing another friend to come check out the sport and to volunteer also. We will leave early Friday morning and come back early Monday morning. Maggie was okay to skip school but she has to be at work at noon. So Monday will come very early. Liberty is ready, as always. I am not, as usual. It has been a busy month and I have not written near as much as I would have liked.

Over the last six weeks I have discovered that some of the goals I had at the beginning of the year aren't as important as I thought they were. It's not that I'm not still interested in pursuing them I just think maybe next year will be better than this year. I'm still getting settled in to my new house and I love my house so much that I find I don't really want to leave. Traveling used to be so much fun but now when I get to the weekend all I can think of is collapsing in a puddle and watching agents of shield.

Sent from my iPad

Monday, April 4, 2016

And now for something completely different

It has been almost a month since I posted in the blog. It is been a month of a lot of growth and a lot of time spent in thought. I have cut back on my workload a little bit which will make life somewhat simpler. I have started one relationship and ended another. I'm still in the process of growth. But aren't we always?

Most people know by now that you are and I are in the process of getting divorced. This is not been an easy decision nor has it been one I have taken lightly. It was a long time coming. My understanding is that he is not happy that this is happening and I am sad for that, but for me it was the only thing that I could do to continue being me. I would have preferred to be able to stay. I would've preferred to keep the house I've lived in for the last 14 years and to have continued to have health insurance covered by his job. And for my daughter to not know the pain of having to live elsewhere when she would really prefer to live in the home she is familiar with. I would've rather been able to keep things status quo and just kept on, but I can do this no longer. He and I are the only ones who know the reasons we have now separated and are in the process of divorcing. People want to know details and the people who need to know know. No one else but the two of us need to know. These details are private. However, I have noticed that many people like to butt in. They like to tell stories and they like to cause pain and strife. There are people that have told Peter things I am doing with my time but he does not need to know because it is either hurtful or just simply none of his business. I have made an effort to not ask too many questions about what he is doing because it is none of my business. I would like to stay friendly with him and I would like us to be able to attend different events that involve photography and horses and have it not be awkward forever.

Today, I had an uncomfortable conversation with him that told me we are not as good as I thought we were. I hate that because in my mind he is not the enemy. Things that have happened in the past are in the past and I only wish to move forward. I also know there's nothing I can do about this. In the future, I will date and he will date. One or both of us may find new mates for our future. However, that again is private and is not important for the general public to know about or to approve of.

However, I am happy to be on the path that I am on. I love my little house in the country. I love waking up to my horses in the yard. These are things I have always wanted and needed and their things that would not have made Peter happy.

I'm sure he feels differently towards me since I'm the one who moved out. I was tired of living in town I was tired of living without my horses. I was tired of lots of things as I am sure he was as well. We did not mesh well and it is unfortunate that things have ended this way. I wish him only the best and I hope that we both have happy and productive lives in the future. I wish us both nothing but the best.

Sent from my iPad