Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Today is starting out with a great big groan. Or maybe a deep and terrible growl. Cody was up at 5:30 a.m., and though my memory is fuzzy, I'm fairly certain he shared the joy by making sure Jamie woke up too. What else can I even say about that? He deliberately woke his brother at the most ungodly hour, and in the process woke Mike and I too. Then, Jamie was crying because apparently Cody would not let him have a sip of water, so Jamie came in our room too, letting both cats in in the process. Tabu is fine, she just curled up right on my side, but Cricket was on a mission to annoy us. Not really. Cricket is neurotic, but not vindictive. She looked for paper or plastic to rattle, and she did just that until I stormed out of bed, grabbed her and threw her out the door. Tabu followed. I was mad! By 6:30 a.m., Micah was also awake and crying and I was ready to scream. I'm guessing Mike was too. I turned off the monitor and went back to bed, even though I knew sleep was now officially impossible.

Cody has school today, and as such, I was extra upset about Micah being awake. Walking Cody to the bus in the morning is no big deal if it's just me, but taking either of the other two is a pain. They walk slower than you can imagine, and Micah whines and cries the whole time to be carried. Well, he is probably close to 35 pounds, and it is a long driveway. (We're talking country driveway here, not city.) So I refuse to take him along, particularly in the mornings when extra bundling is necessary, therefore taking up even more time. Today, I had no choice. Well, I guess I did have a choice. I could either leave him in his bed for another 45 minutes after I finally got up at 7 a.m., or I was going to have to take him with me. Fine. I decided to take him, but very reluctantly. Mike hauled the stroller out of the shed for me to help with the speed and carrying issues. I left Jamie in the house to watch Cat in the Hat (the cartoon, NOT the movie) and off we went.

Well, it was an interesting walk. Radar is always an idiot on his leash on the way to the bus for some reason, even though he's an angel on the way back. That's normally not a big deal, but when pushing a stroller it is extremely awkward and annoying. In addition to that, it was black as night outside, and our driveway is actually a winding road-like trail through the trees, so it's even darker. Cody insisted on pushing the stroller at first until he nearly dumped Micah when it went sideways off the edge of the part where we built up the road after the flood. Then I had to take the dog AND the stroller, so I don't know how many times I ran over Radar and his leash, plus steering was proving difficult.

Anyway, we made it back all right, and Cody was right on time for the bus, but I am extremely irritable today. Every morning I have fantasies about putting duct tape over their mouths, which obviously I cannot do! How do you keep kids quiet when they insist on getting up that early? The only thing that works every time is TV, and I just don't want them to watch TV every morning, plus if I do that, they'll probably get up earlier and earlier because they are so excited to watch. So, I have to keep telling myself this will someday get better, but Cody is five years old, and he is still doing it, so that means I have at least another three years of this until Micah is that age, and if he's still doing it, it will be longer. I am NOT a morning person, nor have I ever been. If they wake me up when the hour hand points to the number seven, I can live with that. But not six, and certainly not five. I may enforce naps all around today, even though Jamie does not do well in the evening if he naps in the day. Today, I may not care. We'll see.

Oh, and incidentally, I was right about yesterday. All manner of ridiculous and maddening things happened, including potty training horror stories. Ick. I hope today will be better, though we are not off to a good start. I am trying a new recipe for supper, so hopefully at least that will go well, though with me, you never know. I better sign off for now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm still here...

I guess I have been absent for a while now. A few days after that last post, our other horse (Mike's), Maybelline colicked, adding yet another vet bill to the stack of stress. She is okay, thankfully, but I could hardly believe that happened so soon after Tabu's ordeal. Tabu is doing well, by the way.

We went to the big city last week on Thursday and stayed overnight. Mike had a work thing and I went along with the boys mainly so I could go and meet a horse there. I don't want to say too much about this situation at the moment, because it is all so uncertain, but I might be getting this horse and doing a bit of a trade for Sasha. If it happens, I will share all the details then. No point explaining it all if I don't even get her. That has been one of the biggest things on my mind in recent days.

I have also been doing some more writing in my book after a two week break, so that is good. I must say though, my boys have been back to their busy and exasperating ways.

Recently, I was hoping for a quiet afternoon as my stomach was not feeling well and I had a headache. When I put Micah to bed, I decided I'd rest for a while too. After all, Cody and Jamie are good at playing together by themselves. So I lay in my bed for a while. I never did sleep, but I had some quiet time and rest. When I came out into the kitchen I got very upset because there was orange juice all over the floor in front of the fridge. Great. They had helped themselves while I was out of sight. I was not happy, so I cleaned it up, muttering to myself about how irritating it is to have stuff like this happen all the time. In truth, it wasn't that big of a mess, but it was very sticky. When it was clean, I went into the living room where they were playing and then my jaw hit the floor. They had drawn all over the carpet in marker. Actually, they drew a highway complete with dotted centre line, along with a lot of other scribbling. I was so furious! I confiscated all of the markers and told them they may not colour anymore, seeing they can't be responsible enough to use them properly. Cody is 5 1/2 for crying out loud!

Yesterday was a bit of a doozy too, but I won't share the details. Let's just say there were a lot of pee and poop incidents that required cleaning of floors and unscheduled baths. Ugh. The highlight of my day yesterday involved Jamie. No sarcasm here, it really was a highlight. Jamie had acquired a paintball from one of his cousins the day before and he wanted to sleep with it that night. I of course refused to let him and I hid it in my room. Yesterday he asked if he could play with it, promising he would "try not to pop it". How reassuring. I said only if he played with it outside. So, he got dressed and I gave him the green paintball, which he gratefully took outside. Not five minutes later he opened the door and came back in. He said, "Radar ate my paintball!" I laughed, which offended him. He insisted it was not funny, and was on the verge of tears. What a dumb dog! Haha. So Radar solved my paintball dilemma, as Jamie was sure to burst it open on something.

This morning they have already dumped a whole bag of colourful and tiny candy coated chocolate balls on the floor. I got them at the bulk barn some time last year, thinking they'd be a fun way to decorate the boys' birthday cakes...etc. Well, no more. I spent some time sweeping hundreds of these balls in the kitchen toward our central vac "dustpan". It was a little bit like playing pinball. I'd sweep them towards it, and some would get sucked in, but others would bounce back and roll across the floor again. Their room is full of them too. How wonderful. So I begin my day in a state of irritation, which is not altogether unusual around here. Micah so far has not even let me change his diaper this morning, nor has he had breakfast. And neither have I, for that matter, though I have been awake for nearly three hours. I guess it's time for me to deal with those little details.

So that's the very brief update on things around here. I'm sure there will be more crazy incidents to report today. I just get that feeling. But I have other things to work on, so I will leave it at that for today. I'll try to post a little more frequently if I can. I especially hope to have horse-related news in the near future...hopefully the good kind of news this time. I'm off for now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A week of many tears...

I suppose it is about time I update this blog. It has been a difficult week. How many times do I start my posts that way? This has been a different kind of difficult. The boys have been okay this week, despite some very grouchy moments, a bit of attitude, and a two-year-old with a cold. The animal kingdom is where things have gone wrong. Let me explain.

On Tuesday, I went riding with Andrea again. It was my seventh ride this fall, which has equalled roughly one a week since I started. I am feeling so much more confident in the saddle again, and have even been enjoying myself quite a bit...something I thought might never happen again after Sasha bucked me off last August. (If you don't know that story, it is in a post from last August called "I fell off my horse", or something like that.) Anyway, Andrea decided I should try a different horse this time, seeing my previous six rides were all on Indy, and in order to prepare me to have the confidence to ride Sasha again, I needed to get used to more than just one horse. Okay. I was nervous, but I agreed to try out Phoenix, Andrea's mare. She is more like an elephant, by my estimation. She is a Quarter Horse, but she is huge. And I don't just mean tall. She is at least 16 hands, maybe even 16.1, though we have not measured her. She is also a tank. Really. My other sister, Christine, who is also very out of practice, rode her once and loved her. Since then, she refuses to ride Indy. You see, Phoenix is very smooth, and also not fast like Indy.

I found both of those assessments to be very true. She plodded along much like an elephant, and my legs felt like she was near the width of one. True to her reputation, she was extremely smooth at every gait, most notably her lope. But, all of this is irrelevant. The real story here is Sasha. You see, Andrea rode her this time, and things were going along just fine for the first fifteen minutes or so. Then we went into the bush. We were barely in there, in a little clearing, when Sasha did a huge spook, which made Phoenix spook. Right then and there I nearly came off, but Sasha did not stop. She started to buck, and I mean really, really buck. Then, Phoenix started to buck. Anyone who rides horses will know what I mean when I say I had one of those slow motion moments where I had time to think, "I'm going down. We're both going to get bucked off and get really hurt." Both horses continued to buck, Phoenix even hopping up a little bit on her hind legs. She was going to pivot and bolt right out of there. Andrea sailed off of Sasha and landed gracefully, or at least solidly, on her feet. I was relieved to see it, but I was still in trouble. Andrea started coaching me from the ground, shouting "TIGHT CIRCLES! TIGHT CIRCLES!" so I got my head back and pulled Phoenix around tightly until she stopped.

It was a very scary moment...or series of moments. Sasha did not stop bucking when Andrea came off. She went on and on for a good 30 seconds until she finally stopped. We were all shaking. We rode another 45 minutes to an hour after that, but Sasha was a wreck, spooking violently at everything, even small patches of grass. I don't know how to adequately explain how upsetting this was for me. It was not just because we had a close call. It was because my horse lost her head completely, and I knew that was it for me. I knew I could never keep her because I will never know when she is going to go off like that again and I am simply not okay with having her as my horse anymore. I need a horse that I can trust, at least for the most part, and she is not it. So, I have listed my girl for sale. The chances of selling her for any decent price at all are nearly zero. Even to sell her for peanuts or give her away will be hard because of what she has done. I am very upset and also stressed out about this. I did hope the breeder would take her back, but they will not because they don't want any extra mouths to feed this winter. This is a long story, and I have a lot more I could share about it, but I will probably be writing more about it in the near future, so I will leave it at that for now. Here are some pictures of my Sasha, that will no longer be mine.

If this wasn't bad enough, two days later one of our cats, Tabu (pronounced Taboo) started vomiting blood. I knew this was a very bad sign and called the vet. We kept her home for the night and isolated her in the laundry room so I could keep track of how much she was vomiting, as well as her litter situation and her drinking situation. I did not feed her. I didn't think it would be a good idea. I took her to the vet first thing yesterday morning and left her there for the day. We came back to get her, me and all three boys, at the end of the day. That was a highly unpleasant experience. All three boys were so bad. I don't even want to describe it. In the end, Tabu seemed okay, but the vet couldn't find anything wrong with her, which was puzzling to her. So, almost three hundred dollars later, we brought her home, still nervous that she was in trouble. This afternoon (this is gross) she pooped a huge ribbon onto our carpet. Yes, I mean literally a ribbon. Voila diagnosis. If only I had waited 48 hours. I could have diagnosed her for free. I am still worried about her because if there is more ribbon in there it could kill her. What a dumb cat! How did she swallow six to eight inches of a ribbon half an inch thick without puking?? 

Tabu is the tabby, Cricket is the black and white one. Both females we rescued from the pound when they were kittens. They are sweet and loving, and neurotic. They are part of the family and we are glad Tabu, or "Booger", as we usually call her, seems to be okay.

I have had many headaches and little sleep between worrying about Tabu and worrying about how to find a home for Sasha. I won't share the details now, but I do have a possible solution for the horse situation. If it works out, I will be updating in here, but it will be a while before I know. 

I am too tired to share anymore right now, though there is much more I could say. Maybe next week I'll have time for more than one post. Goodnight, everyone.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hello, again.

Whew! I have been very absent from this blog lately, probably because I have spent every spare moment working on my book. Today, I am uninspired. My pattern, when doing anything creative, is to start off liking it, and then at some point feel like I have ruined it, or it is complete crap, and then I ignore it for a long time. I was always that way with drawing, which I don't seen to do anymore. Now, it seems I'm following my pattern with writing. So I figured maybe it was time to take a break and I'll come back to it refreshed, if possible.

Today is a quiet day. Cody is at school so I just have the dynamic duo here. I got a call at lunch from Cody's teacher. When she identified herself, I was very nervous because I thought maybe Cody was sick and needed me to pick him up or something. Well, I have no vehicle today because Mike seems to have run over a nail or something and his tire is losing air, so he took the van today. So I am stuck here. Anyway, it turns out she was just calling me because Cody was running in gym class and his glasses somehow flew off. He was unable to stop quickly so he ran them over and bent them to smithereens. (Wow. I have used that word many times in my life but never have I actually typed or written it. I had to google it to see how it was spelled.) Anyway, the glasses should be okay. I have a spare pair that are identical in my drawer, hidden away, so he can put those on this afternoon when he gets home.

Micah is in his room, doing one of his "naps". I have the monitor on in my room, where I am sitting right now, and this is what I'm hearing. "Free...four...fife...eight...nine....BWAH OFFFF!" I guess NASA has their new headquarters in his bedroom.

Jamie is watching a bit of TV right now, a necessity for me so I could shower not long ago. Yay! (I'm going out tonight, so I had to prioritize that today!) When I got out of the shower, I witnessed this rare moment of inter-species harmony in our living room.

Jamie, doing his signature hair twist/thumb suck combo, while Cricket relaxed on his lap for the first time EVER. Well, other than when he was on my lap and she was draped across both of us. 

So our day is quiet and somewhat peaceful. Yesterday I baked buns for the first time in months. I did three pans of white buns and two pans of a dozen each cinnamon buns. I felt fairly accomplished after that. I told Mike that's what happens when I don't do any writing in the day. I asked him if he was sorry he married a writer. Of course he said no. But seriously, I find it's one or the other. I either get a lot of writing done, or I do my house-mom duties. Somehow, I guess I'll have to find a balance. Good thing our horses don't live here now, because that's the other thing I've been doing. Riding. Once a week recently, six times in total now since late August. It has been incredibly enjoyable, and recently I am not nervous to ride at all. But, I'm still riding Indy and not Sasha, so I'm not there yet. Sasha came along last week and Andrea rode her, and this week (Monday) she rode Maybelline, who has only been ridden ten times, ever. I'm loving this gorgeous fall weather we are having here, and I must say, I am finally getting my love of riding back. That makes me happy. Hoping to go at least one more time before the weather gets crappy, which could happen any time now. 

Not an exciting update today, but in the life of this desperate house-mom, no news is often good news. I'll leave you with this picture we took yesterday of all three boys actually looking at the camera and looking pretty happy at that. Hope everyone is having a good week.