Friday, October 31, 2008

Are You Happy Now?

This is actually a blog I wrote in 2006 from another blog site. I'm just lazy. Have a happy Halloween!
Are You Happy,Now?
How can it be Halloween already? These past couple of months have really been flying. My past blogs where often more stories that usually centered around my ex and my new found single life. I often wonder if I lost my blog mojo by being a little less bitter. I am trying to think back to remember any sad Halloween incidents that would make good reading but alas,I have none.
I was painfully shy as a kid so I do remember not wanting to trick or treat in neighborhoods where I didn't know who was answering the door. This kept my loot on the smaller scale compared to my more daring, older siblings. I also was the kind of kid who couldn't understand why I had to walk in the dark and cold night begging for candy when we had a huge bowl right here in our very own house.
I have fond memories of all the prep at school which included pumpkin carving and making decorations. My one sort of sad memory was a boy that I knew through all twelve years of school and who was one of my best buds. He also happened to be a Jehovah's Witness. He would sit aside from the class during holiday festivities,not being allowed to partake by his religion. I know many schools now observe a harvest holiday as opposed to the traditional Halloween I knew as a child which had included dressing up in costume and eating way too much candy.
This boy and I walked to school together every day and I always saved candy for him after the holiday.The next several days he, his sister and I would eat candy corn,chocolate bars and other assorted Halloween junk on our way to school. It's a wonder any of us have teeth left from that generation!
In those twelve years of walking to school together, we never discussed his family's religious beliefs or how he felt sitting out of Halloween and Christmas activities at school. Now as an adult, I realize how cool children are when they don't know how to be prejudiced or judgemental.
So, I hope everyone has a fun holiday in whatever way you observe it. I for one, am handing out goodies to the kids in the neighborhood and plan to eat way too much myself.
The song of the day is one I was whining that I didn't know how to post this time last year.Please indulge me by clicking on the link to hear the song.
It is a Halloween song that also happens to be one of the funniest break up songs I have heard. You have to love a song that includes the line, "I was amazed to think that you could take the candy with you too." I LMAO every time I hear it. I warn you it is a catchy tune that will stick in your head all day!

Song of the Day: Click here to watch "Are-You-Happy-Now-78"

Lyrics: Are You Happy Now?
You took the toaster when you went
You never paid your half the rent
You took the spices from the rack
But you don't have to put them back
Cause in your haste on Halloween
You left your camera on the bed
Where we played roles in black and white
You left a roll of black and white
I set the timer and thought of you
And put the lens up to my head
I took a photograph for you
What comes out gray is really red
Are you happy now?
I smashed your pumpkin on the floor
The candle flickered at my feet
As goblins flew across the room
The children peered into the room
A cowboy shivered on the porch
As Cinderella checked her watch
A hobo waited in the street
An angel whispered, trick-or-treat
But what was I supposed to do
But to sit there in the dark?
I was amazed to think that you
Could take the candy with you too
Are you happy now?
I've sat all night and now it's dawn
And I cannot believe my eyes
There's garbage strewn across the lawn
Where we once stared up at the sky
And streams of paper fill the tree
That hovered over you and me
Shaving cream covers the car
That we picked up in Baltimore
Though I know it's hard to tell
I hope that what's-his-name treats you well
I still maintain that he's a bum
But it's your money - have some fun
And are you happy now?
You always asked why I had not Written you a verse or two
Since that's the one thing I regret
I dedicate this one for you
Are you happy now?
~ Richard Shindell

Peace All

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sign o' the Times

Life is coasting along. My only recent complaint has been the feeling that life is somehow stalled and going nowhere. The past year I have often found myself staring off in to space, wishing God would send me a sign that life is moving in some kind of positive direction. It's not that I am feeling bad per se. Just stuck in a bottomless sea, in an endless paddle and not getting anywhere. The endless feeling of numbness has taken over me again. I hate that feeling more than feeling pain or sorrow. It is just so empty.
We have had heavy rains and high winds on Saturday. The good thing is it dropped the ragweed and other dust down. For the first time in weeks I made it through the day without wanting to rip my eyeballs out from the itching. The bad part was the rain washed out part of the flooring in the aisle at the barn. I walked in to check Sydney and Romeo after work on Saturday. The water was rushing down the aisle, in between the two stalls. Syd had her head over the stall door, snorting in protest. The topper? Two huge frogs were hopping around in their new found stream. I spent most of Sunday morning trying to dry out the mess. My uncle laid down more stone dust where the water left tiny fissures. I sopped up the water with wood pellets and took what seemed like a ton of wet bedding out of the stalls.
In spite of the protest my back and shoulders were already showing, I rode Veritas on Sunday for a couple hours. We spend an hour in the ring and then an hour out around the fields. I finally got the nerve to canter him in the ring. His stride is absolutely huge! I am used to years of riding gaited horses who have a more upright shoulder. This produces a rocking horse canter that is a slower, more up and down motion. Veritas has the typical long, downward and forward gait of the sloping shoulder found in warmbloods. I have no problem with a canter like his on the trail where it is open and I don't feel like I have to rein him in. When you ride a huge stride like his in the ring it feels much faster than what it really is and the corners of the ring feel too tight. Part of it is lack of collection. I am still working his back and hindquarters to help him gain strength. It takes a long time to really ask for collection. I think this is where most young horses and their trainers start to end up with discipline problems. Training too hard and too fast before they are physically able to move to a next level. European trainers seem to understand how long the dressage process takes. Almost every American dressage barn I have dealt with has the typical hard, artificial gaits demanded too soon. It is why I am in business. These horses are usually sore as hell and grumpy to boot. I massage a lot in eventer barns.
So, long story short. We cantered and we both survived. But I had answered my own question. Are we ready to do this? The answer is: no. He is still too weak in his overall collection for cantering in the confines of the ring. I am patient and willing to wait.

Patience. Something that I have often lacked in every other aspect of my life. The good thing about Veritas is all I have is time. I have no goals other than to enjoy riding him. For the first time I found this has extended elsewhere in my life. I felt that the whole situation with Prick had put my life on hold. I worked seven days a week, I took care of horses and was running around everywhere. The one thing that seemed certain was that I have had no clue as to what the hell I was doing. I felt like there was no way to make plans or have goals. Even my vacations were centered around court dates and hearings. Every conversation with friends the inevitable question of, "what's going on with the Ex?" would put me right back in the uncertainty of what was my life.
Sunday night I met my two best girlfriends in West Chester. It is a college town and the business establishments reflect that. It is also where all of my recent court proceedings have been.
We chose a pub that was one block from the courthouse. There is limited parking so we walked up the two blocks to the pub. The Phillies were playing that night so the bar area was fairly busy for a Sunday night. We got a booth and spent the next few hours eating and making each other laugh. We even sat at the bar for a bit and had a drink. I had forgotten how nice just sitting in a quiet pub with friends could be.
When we left the pub still chattering away, it occurred to me that we made it through a whole night without the Prick question. Because quite simply, there is nothing else to discuss. I felt a warmth inside that has been missing for what seems like an eternity. As we giggled and talked while we made the walk back to the parking lot, we passed the courthouse.
West Chester is really a beautiful town. They filmed parts of the movie Marley and Me right where we were strolling along.I am actually there quite frequently since the Domestic Violence Center is located in the borough. I have friends who live in the historical row homes located on the tree lined,brick paved, side streets that surround the university. Even though I am in this town so frequently, I think it was the first time I really noticed how pretty it was or how lucky I am to live so close to it.
When we got to the front of the courthouse my one friend stopped to adjust her shoe. While we waited, I looked up through the trees that lined along the bricked pavement and gazed up at the courthouse in the spotlights. It was the first time I had noticed it. Funny, every meeting with the District Attorney or hearing I attended, I had walked right past it, in broad daylight. I suppose in my numbed state, I never took notice. A statue of the Roman goddess, Veritas.
I'm not certain if this was the sign I was praying for or what it exactly means. I am just grateful that my fog is finally lifting enough to question it and to finally start seeing things again.
As we continued to walk, I was certain I felt an internal humming of my motor finally starting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Let's Just Go Out and Ride,Talk About the Things We Try

I am actually sleepy in a good way. I have finally kicked the crappy lung thing. I just spent the day sneezing from ragweed and crystal clear weather. When it is dry,clear and breezy outside, the ragweed seems to affect me the worst. I just took some Benedryl and I am feeling a good sleep coming.
I know I need to knock off the last blog. I never want to be one of those deleters, but I do regret spewing so much anger. I'll leave it as a reminder that I am human and get pissed. Good friends,pets and equine loving got me back on track.
Veritas has been getting stronger and more supple every day. I can really feel him rounding up and his back is much softer. What I love about him is his light mouth. I never have to keep a death grip on him and can trail ride him on the buckle. Love that!
Best of all, is he now recognizes my car. He is usually by the gate waiting for me by the time I get a halter to lead him to the barn. At the risk of sounding like a dorky Sally Fields~ he likes me. He really likes me. I suspect that it is actually his love of animal crackers that I keep in my pockets and the fact that I know his favorite scritchy spots. It is incredibly therapeutic to ride a horse that always seems happy. I love that he is lazy. We both enjoy my habit of getting out of the saddle and just hanging out. I sit while Tas grazes and we watch hawks soar over the cornfields, listen to the wind rustle the drying stalks, and the falling leaves.

Fuzzy Ear!

Being lazy and watching the world go by

How can I possibly stay mad at the world when it is so damned beautiful?

Here is another song Ryan makes me ride to. Today, it fit Veritas and I perfectly. That Ryan, he is pretty damned smart in his song choices.

Click here to watch "Beautiful-12-29"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just because I like the word. Piss-Ant.

Well, not what I was expecting. After a delay yesterday because a file was misplaced, Prick was finally sentenced today. Six months consecutive of the four months he is serving now.
Not only did no one from the DA's office call me this morning, we found out from a friend who works at the courthouse. She called my best friend to have her break the news to me. I was in the middle of a haircut when she called. I have no memory of finishing the cut.
Later I called my friend back. She was trying to force me to see the positive.
"His sentencing includes him being on Parole and he will have to report to a Domestic Violence PO Caseworker.It also specifies that it include a 16 week program for Domestic Violence and attending AA meetings every day for 90 days.So, it's all good. AA, everyday." I could hear that perky tone that makes me insane. We all know that tone. It's when someone knows something sucks but doesn't want you to know it.
I hate to admit this. I freaked on her. Who are we kidding,here? This asshole has been in AA for at least 22 years. He went to a fucking meeting the afternoon he beat the crap out of me. I am so disgusted with him hiding behind AA. If I said it once, I will say it again... Alcoholics don't beat up women. Assholes do. Is there an Assholes Anonymous??? How about the court mandates that? I was his fifth arrest for Domestic Violence. Every arrest mandated DV counseling. Excuse me, IT ISN'T WORKING!
OK, so the court is mandating he check in with a DV Probation Officer. What man goes in for a meeting with his PO and says, "hey, I slugged my partner today, she pissed me off. Then I stalked all of my ex girlfriends here in PA and in Nebraska. Why? Meh. I had time on my hands at my piss-ant, minimum wage job that I have hours of unsupervised telephone and computer access.They deserve it."
Hmmmm,I don't think that is quite what he would say.
After five separate arrests and three Protection From Abuse Orders and three parole violations, can someone please tell me why I should be happy with six months?
I have known my best friend since age 15. It was the first time I think I really wigged on her and I feel awful. I called her later and apologised for shooting the messenger but I am still hurt that she just doesn't get it.She doesn't understand that I'm not pissed off for me. I'm pissed off for every woman who has been beaten down by first her partner and then the judicial system. Once again, I am left with the knowledge that most women already know at the Domestic Violence Center. People will tell you that going to court is the right thing to do. What we all know is that it doesn't make much of a difference. They walk off free in a matter of months and we feel our freedom of Inner Peace is taken away again. It is not until that man finally kills someone and then everyone will shake their fists demanding to know why his past record didn't keep him in jail.
Rant over. Life goes on.

Monday, October 13, 2008

You´re Like a Rocket Through Me

I am finally starting to feel physically better after my bout of what felt like walking pneumonia. I have forced myself to sleep in this past couple weeks. I think my usual lack of sleep is what gets me in trouble both physically and mentally. Even though I have still been waking at my ridiculously early time, I get up and feed the cats and come back to bed to sleep another couple hours instead of racing to each barn to ride or clean stalls.

I did ride Veritas for two hours yesterday. Since I had the whole day off I had plenty of time to be relaxed about it.One hour in the ring and an hour just ambling along the fields. The weather has turned warm again. 75 degrees and not a single cloud to be found in the sky. We had a brief cold snap that turned the leaves but it was brief enough that a lot of wildflowers are still holding on.

With the help of the trainer I have been working Veritas with, we finally found a solution to my breathing (or lack of) problems while riding. It seems I don't breathe deep enough, making my upper body stiff and causing the fatigue. While I was cooling off 'Tas, Ryan went in to my car and started flipping through my tapes to see what music I listen to. Unbeknown to me he bought a tiny MP3 player (my first!) and loaded some music to help me keep focused on rhythm and momentum. 'Tas tends to be incredibly lazy, which is good for me mentally. I never worry he will run off with me but it is a lot of work to keep him moving forward. When I am thinking too much I forget to breathe so, viola`, music is the answer. Ryan pointed out that I have strange taste in music and laughed at my primitive cassette tapes and tape/Cd hookup in my car, but he found a good mix of what he feels has good rhythm for us both. It's funny because he makes me sing to keep breathing. I'll be damned, it works. No more racing heart or passing out while riding. Veritas immediately rounded out and moves forward much better.

So the song we have used to keep 'Tas moving forward is Mew's "Special".Thanks to my online friend Spyrick at CNet, it was on one of my Cd's that Ryan found in my car.

I am trying to keep as busy as possible doing fun things this week. Prick's final sentencing is this wednesday morning. I have been numb. I'm not sure what to feel at this point. I just want closure and to be able to move on. I have just started getting back out again and just pray he won't be released while I am still just starting to spread my wings again.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Till the whippoorwill of freedom zapped me right between the eyes

I did an amazing thing this morning. I actually slept in late.
Unfortunately, I am one of those people who wakes up ridiculously early, whether they have to or not. It is one of the reasons I have so many sunrise photos while I am on vacation. Normally I am wide awake at 5:30 AM. This morning I slept in until 8:30.
Since my encounter with the treadmill, I have been battling a case of bronchitis that just won't go away. I am certain I picked up germs while I sat in the waiting room where I went for blood work. People were hacking and wheezing all over the place. Note to self: in order to stay healthy, never visit a doctors office.
I am so mad because the weather has been perfect for riding. I have been so tired that I come home every night from work and fall asleep almost immediately.
I did have off work on Saturday. The town where my salon is located does a community day every year on the first Saturday of October. They close off the whole boulevard where we are located. My boss finally gave up trying to make us work around the chaos of the day.
It was the perfect opportunity for one of my oldest (in the longest sense) barn friends and I to head up to Zerns Farmers Market in Gilbertsville. Since I always work on Friday and Saturdays I rarely get up there to enjoy what a true rural Pennsylvania Farmers Market is all about. The main reason I make the trek is for the baked goods. Apple fritters, sticky buns, elephant ears, along with pot pies, pasties, chow chow...oh yum! I bought apple butter, fudge and other assorted jarred fruits. Hot apple cider. Yumyumyum. Lots of fruit and veggies. I am currently addicted to brussel sprouts, so I stocked up.
While making the rounds along the inside part of the market,My friend and I were making each other laugh at our personal commentary of the strangeness of the rural folk. I know we stand out up there. For one thing we both have all of our teeth. The other is that I am freakishly tall compared to most rural women. The fact that I was wearing boots made this even more apparent. At one point, while I was in a leather booth (now, that sounded rather kinky) I had a rather short, rotund man exclaim, "wow, yeeer taaall." My friend kept repeating that whenever someone would give us a strange look. So, when I encountered a tiny Vietnamese man who was standing outside of his booth, I was prepared to think the worst when the man pointed to my chest and said something I could not understand. I turned to my friend and said, "Jesus, did he just make a comment about my breasts?"
My friend was livid. "What did you just say?" she just oozed venom.
"She sick. In her chest. Need tea and pack for chest." I looked behind him and saw he had a tea and healing herbs booth. Apparently I am freakishly tall and scream "I'm sick!" I actually thought I looked OK, but I guess he either took a chance of faking it for a sale or he just had that gift of knowing sick girls when he saw 'em.
He took me by the arm and led me in. I ended up dropping 50 dollars in teas and herbs, including a chest poultice of eucalyptus and something else that smells like dead skunk. I have to say it has helped me finally start coughing up whatever Philly plague I seemed to have breathed in and it helped me sleep a full ten hours,cough free. I am determined to stay off antibiotics. The last time I was on them was 7 years ago when I broke my foot and got a bone infection. I threw up the entire ten days I was on them. I prefer to smell like skunk than to vomit.
As the man's wife rang up my purchases she said in plainer English, "you will find freedom soon."
"Things are turning for you. It is why you are so sick this year. It clears everything out, spiritually and physically. My husband. He knows these things.You will find freedom,soon. You gave it away and now it comes back."
Now, my friend who was with me is not a believer in anything remotely spiritual. Her comment to me as we left was about the freak magnet we swear was implanted in me at birth. For once, I was silently glad I had it. The funny thing is, we were at an Amish/Mennonite market. Yet, I meet up with the lone Vietnamese couple in a sea of holy protestant-ness who hit home as to what I am longing for but don't know how to achieve.
We continued our day with the flea market outside and I bought some Halloween decorations and some pumpkins. I bought one more cup of hot cider and we headed home with my car filled with goodies,reeking of Amish baked goods and fresh fruit.
So, I am sitting here drinking a tea mixture that is slowly opening up my airways and hopefully my heart.
Freedom. I'd leave to find the answer on the road.