Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Pictures

I got new Emi photos. I haven't seen her in 3 weeks! That has been the longest stretch of time since she has been born. I'm planning to visit her on Wednesday and I'm really looking forward to it. Anyway, Cindy got some new photos of her. Here they are. 
Uh oh...she's a stinker!
I love her sweet eyes in this one

Friday, August 30, 2013

One Year

A year ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I got the call at work and went back inside crying. The outpouring of love and support I received that day was overwhelming. I cried most of the night before going to bed exhausted. The next morning Tarra and I spent at the beach with two of the best boys around. There's nothing like equine therapy.

At times the year was very challenging, and seemed to be dragging, and yet here I am a year later and it seems like a distant bad memory. It was tough going through countless tests, 3 surgeries, 8 rounds of chemo and losing my hair. Amid all of the struggle and pain, I found out that I have so many friends and people rooting for me. Friends and even some people I don't know, sent me words of encouragement, flowers, hats, chemo bags, blankets, scarves, and the list goes on and on. I feel blessed to have a great team of doctors, and nurses caring for me, and such a huge support crew. I'd like to thank everyone who encouraged me in some way. You made a difference in my life. Some days were very hard, but I made it through and I can honestly say I appreciate each day more now, than I ever have before.
Final chemo treatment
The questions becomes, where do I go from here? One thing I can't do is worry about the cancer coming back. It may or may not. I choose to think that it won't, but in the end it's outside of my control. I've made a lot of lifestyle changes, although I would have told you I was pretty healthy before. I no longer drink from plastic water bottles. I definitely eat a lot more vegetables than I ever used to. Many of them are great cancer fighting foods! I consume less sugar, less pop, and far less processed foods as a whole. I'm also using a lot less chemicals by using different shampoo, conditioner, lotions etc.

I don't know why this happened to me but bad things happen to good people all of the time. I still believe that God is God, and that he cares for me.

Luke 12:4 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear; Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beautiful Ireland


My family and I have been in Ireland for a week now. It is such a gorgeous place! In a lot of ways it reminds me of Oregon in the winter, green and beautiful. There is a lot of open space. Rolling green fields with stone or hedge fences. It’s stunning. There haven’t been as many horses as I expected to see but there are a lot of cows and sheep.



The roads are narrow and you drive on the left side. That has been hard to get used to! There are also a lot of roundabouts. We have a couple near where we live but these are 2 lane roundabouts located every couple of kilometers in some places. They are crazy! People also park anywhere they want; on the sidewalk, in the street, wherever. 

We arrived in Ireland at 8am on Wednesday morning. They are 8 hours ahead of what our time would be at home, so for us it was really midnight. We were so exhausted! We had some driving to do but ended up being able to check in to our hotel at 3pm rather than 4pm. As soon as we got to our rooms we all crashed. After a 3 hour nap we braved the crazy roads to find some food then it was back to bed for all of us. The next morning we woke up feeling pretty good and we were off. We headed up to Northern Ireland to visit the Titanic Museum in Belfast.

We stayed one night in Northern Ireland before going to the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway. The rope bridge was said to have been put in place by fishermen so that they could get out to better fishing. It was very neat and we all enjoyed it.


 We stayed one night near Sligo and explored the city that morning. That evening we were able to get in to the house where we will be staying for a week. It’s nice to have a home base and not have to be packing all of our things every night. I also got to meet my first Irish horse, a beautiful grey Irish Draft named Colleen. When asking about the horse, I told the farmer that I ride. He asked how often I ride, and if I’m good. He offered to let me ride Colleen, and I asked if she was broke to ride….she’s not. Haha. At that point we had also taken a walk so that I could get some photos of two donkeys that lived up the road. On our way back we saw a beautiful horse way up on the hillside. We began calling and she came down! A beautiful 2 year old Clydesdale, who the farmer traded Colleen’s mom for.






 Sunday we went to church in Galway and explored that city. In talking to the minister, we learned that unless you are a citizen of Ireland you cannot come in to the country and work, unless you can fill 1 of 4-5 jobs. The things he listed were a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, and I’m not sure what else. Otherwise, to become a citizen you have to live here for 5 years, but you cannot work. Crazy!

Yesterday we visited the Cliffs of Moher and had a dinner at Dungaire Castle. It was really fun! It’s amazing to think that castle has been there for 500 years. There is so much history around here and it really makes you realize how relatively young the US is.

Tomorrow we will get the opportunity to visit the old McPartlin home where my grandpa grew up. I’m looking forward to knowing more of that history!

I have a lot of beautiful pictures but a slow internet connection so I will try to upload more later. 



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2 Months

Emi is two months old today! I can't believe it. She is growing so fast. Tomorrow she is supposed to be part of a photo shoot for a website! I can't wait to see the photos from that. She is now halfway to weaning and will be coming home before I know it. Once we return from Ireland my next plan is to get going on "baby proofing" the paddock she will share with Roz. I wouldn't consider it unsafe now but I've definitely have a few changes I want to make, along with just getting it ready for winter. 

I rode Roz on Saturday and we jumped for the first time in about 18 months. I wasn't sure how he would be, and told Tarra if he stopped at the fences, I'd take that as a no.  Wouldn't you know the wild child launched over that giant 1ft fence every time! He was a total nut. Umm...apparently he missed it. Now I've got to get him listening again. I'd ask him to wait and he would take off a couple strides out, regardless of my input.  I foresee lots of cross rail trotting in his future.  It was fun to be jumping with him a little bit.  I definitely don't see us going back to jumping fences of any size but I think the variety would be good for him. I'm so blessed to have that good boy.

An old photo of us jumping- (5 years ago?)


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Woman and Her Truck

I saw this commercial the other night and thought it was really cute. It's only a minute so it's a pretty quick one. I can definitely relate. I particularly like the part about a ribbon that goes on her wall, not in her hair. I'm so thankful to have a truck and trailer!




Monday, August 12, 2013

Swamped

There are just been so much to do the last couple of weeks, and no time for writing. My family is getting ready to leave on a trip to Ireland, so there may not be a lot more blogging that gets done in August, we'll see. 

I got my first post chemo hair cut on Saturday! It was fun to get it shaped up some, and now I will just have to get it through some awkward stages before it finally grows out. We've got a long way to go but slowly and surely it's getting there. For anyone who is wondering, both the color and texture are different than they used to be. I used to have very thick, coarse, dark hair. Now it's lighter in color and it's much more fine. It also has a lot more curl to it than it used to. It will be interesting to see if it gets closer to my normal hair as it grows out or if chemo really will completely change it. Weird!
This was one month post chemo- April 8th
August 10th (5 months post chemo)
I went to visit Miss Emi on Saturday after my hair cut. She was good as usual and she's growing like a weed. I won't get to see her again until early September. I can only imagine how big she will be by then. She has outgrown the cute purple halter she wore as a baby. I have a tote of "Emi" things and I double checked the halters that I have. I have a navy blue weanling halter that is very adjustable. I'm going to take that with me next time I go visit. I think it should be a perfect fit!

She was friendly, but you can also tell that she's getting wiser in her old age. I petted her for quite a while before grabbing her halter. As soon as she saw it in my hand she became "hard to catch." We played ring around mommy for a bit before I dropped the lead rope, put the halter behind my back, and started scratching at her bum. Once I got up by her head I was able to get the halter on. We did a short leading lesson, and she was pretty good. A couple of times she didn't want to walk and as soon as I put the rope around her butt she would trot off. She definitely knows she doesn't like the butt rope. Silly girl!
Is that a kissable nose or what!? 
The pretty girl is growing up
Trotting over to see me
Blackberry picking with her mom
They are so pretty

Monday, August 5, 2013

Stronger

I had an excellent ride on Roz tonight. He's starting to feel a lot stronger and better able to carry himself. The first month back was hard at times. He's always been heavy and resistant in the bridle, and when he's out of shape it's that much worse. His canter was so downhill but as soon as I would sit back and half halt he'd break. I know he just didn't have the strength to really do what I wanted. I think he's steadily improved but tonight I felt much more like I'm regaining my old horse. Yah!

I got a new photo of Emi tonight. She's looking so good! I'm totally bummed I wasn't able to go see her this weekend. It's the first weekend that I have missed. I'm already looking forward to visiting her this coming weekend.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hard to Catch

Today was a beach day! I got Roz started on his grain while I gathered up a few things for our trip. He finished eating and was standing by the gate to the pasture. Normally by the time his grain is done I've opened it up so he can head straight out to the field to eat his hay. He wasn't very thrilled that I messed with his routine and he started throwing a fit, running around his paddock. We had about 20 minutes before I planned to leave so I decided that I'd go ahead and let him out. I figured worst case he could run off a little steam. First he went out and rolled, before running around a bit. I went back in to the barn to finish up and grab his halter. As soon as I came back out with his halter he decided he did not want to be caught and put on a pretty good show. He stopped by me several times and acted like he was ready to be caught, but would spin away when I'd make a move to halter him. Naughty, naughty, pony.

But...he redeemed himself on the beach. We went with a friend who hadn't ever gone before. Her horse was really not a fan of the beach and ended up melting down. Roz was totally unfazed. The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed riding around for a while. Then I traded with Kellie and held her horse while she rode Roz. She hadn't ever ridden him before but they did great. I was so proud of how good he was despite having very anxious company. He's with Kellie in the first two photos. 





Such a handsome boy!

Then I was checking Ebay when I got home and I found a Micklem Multi-bridle for sale, as a buy it now item. It was priced at $120 but I made an offer of $100 and they accepted. I'm so excited to get it!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Winner

I received an email today that Emi was a winner in Equine Legal Solutions photo contest. She got 3rd place in the Most Personality category. Thank you to everyone who voted for her. We are going to receive a personalized key chain with her name on it. 2 years ago April entered Pants and he won a key chain for 3rd place too!

Roz and I are heading to the beach tomorrow with my friend Kellie, and her horse Honey. Honey and Kellie haven't ever been riding on the beach before. I'm sure it will be a fun day and I'm excited to introduce them to riding on the beach.

If anyone knows of someone selling a micklem bridle, send them my way. I'm on the hunt for a good deal on one, although if it takes me too long I may end up buying one new. Since I can't adjust Roz's current bridle any more I think it's time to upgrade. I'm unsure of what size to get him. His head is pretty fine but he's right on the edge of the size chart for being in a cob size. I'm so tired of all of my bridles being on the highest holes, so I definitely don't want it to be too big.