Happy History…

It’s “Throw-Back-Thursday” in the cyber-world.  Old pictures posted on all social media.  I enjoy looking at those pictures…its good to see history that I have lived.

My mother lives in the past-aloud.  She loves to tell old stories (albeit with her how embellishments) and relive each moment, over and over and over and over and over again.  We all get annoyed.  

I love to think of the past.  I like to have my quiet moments when I remember my grandparents and friends who used to be with us.  I like to remember my successes and failed attempts at things so I can reflect and learn from them.  I love the funny things.  I often snicker out loud thinking about my grandfather doing the bugaloo around the kitchen after stubbing his toe.

I have a gift-I believe.  Many might have the same one.  But I choose to believe that this ability is a gift for me.  My gift is that I rarely only see the good things of the past.  I am not one to hold on to bad things.  When I look back at discarded boyfriends, I don’t remember the fights or sadness I felt when they were gone.  I remember the fun times we had together.

When I look back at horses, I remember the great rides in shows and not the times I was unloaded.  I remember the moments of bonding with them and achieving that feeling of connection.  I remember all the hard work (which I enjoyed) and having the wondrous moment when the great feel, great ride and undeniable connection all came together at the same moment.  It was euphoric!  When the judge finally noticed and pinned us with the blue, it was heart-rendering.

Why remember the bad?  It is useless to us.  It only builds walls and prevents us from seeing the good in front of us.  Why feel the bad feelings over and over again?  It just wastes our heart’s time by preventing us from feeling the good things like the sunshine, gut-busting laughter, peace.  Some say, it protects us or prevents us from repeating the same mistakes or causing hurt to ourselves.

I say, I want to live a happy life.  Bad things happen which make us anything but happy.  If we cloud our minds with sadness, what do we have to pull ourselves through.  It’s as if our minds are a library.  We can fill it with happy books or sad ones.  But when we need a resource to pull us through tough times, pulling a happy memory off the shelf seems so much more efficient.

I am thankful for my gift.  I have moments of sadness and fear.  I am grateful I can comfort myself in those times with some joy that I am certain I was a part.  In knowing that, I can recreate it again, in future time.

More later…

Oops…Another Year has Slipped By!

Hello Everyone!

It was recently brought to my attention that I have not been blogging.  The worst part is that-daily-I think of things that I should be blogging about!  Just random thoughts and ideas that would  be nice to share or gain other people’s input.  So, I wasted a year’s thoughts, but I am sure they will pop up again soon and I will share them then!  Promise?!?!

A year sure changes things!  Funny that the sledding pictures are up as we just had that party a month or so ago and an article was written in the Milwaukee Journal about our hill and family time.  I didn’t get to go this year due to work, but it is always a good time.

I am now the Transition Coordinator for River Falls High School.  Project SEARCH was a wonderful opportunity, but I realized that I needed to be in the school system to make many ends meet.  I like River Falls and I am learning so many new things.  The school is very large and the socio-economic standards are very different from where I taught previously.  It is a huge learning curve, but I like it so far.  My bosses are very understanding and achieving excellence is essential in our district…hence being ranked #9 school in the state!

I still have my house for sale in Kewaunee.  I am nearing a year of it being on the market.  With the nuclear plant closing, there isn’t much hope it will sell and the value is dropping rapidly.  It’s unfortunate, but I have other options for it.  It all requires some research and I have to make some time for it.  I live in an efficiency apartment (which happens to be quite large) in River Falls.  It is nice and cozy and a great spot for just me.  I had a waitressing job this fall and really enjoyed it.  Another new skill that I learned.  I should have learned this sooner!  I was able to tend bar also and enjoyed that too.  I think I am a better waitress than bar tender, but I am willing to do both!  The extra cash is helpful with the mortgage and rent thing!

Kramer has left me to travel over the rainbow bridge.  I miss him dearly.  He was staying with my parents temporarily until I was in a place where I could have my dogs.  He was always so sad when I left.  I hope he and Chet are running wild together; they were always such good friends.

Beullah is still with my parents and has adopted them.  I think she will never leave there!  Her and my dad have a strong bond and I am thankful for that.  She is always super-excited to see me when I come in the house.  I appreciate her loyalty.  She always makes me smile and I am looking forward to having her with me again.  But it brings peace of mind knowing she is a good girl who will guard the homestead if called upon.  Her four-legged companions are worthless when it comes to public safety!

Hattie and Willie are surviving the winter.  They make things easy for my dad-for the most part!  I am so thankful my dad has a love for horses so they can stay there and be happy and safe.  One less thing for me to worry about.  Willie is 24 years old this year!  He wintered well so far this year even with the extreme cold and snow.  He runs along like a 2-year old kicking up his heels and nipping at Hattie.  Hattie strokes his ego by letting him think he is in charge.

Hattie is 9 or 10 this year!  I will have to look at her papers to be sure-bad horse mom!  But, she is super.  Last summer, we were able to reach new highs with our training.  We had tons of help from Gloria…couldn’t do it without her!  I had a few rides that were amazing and was able to focus on myself rather than just defying death!

Hattie remains the sweet horse she always has been with a few quirks.  I miss doing chores every day like last winter, but I know they are well-cared for by my dad.

Life changes so fast.  I was looking back at my life 3 years ago.  It was a difficult time in my life.  Things have changed drastically and mostly for the good.  I am thankful for that.  I still have a long ways to go to get life where I want it to be, but I am learning to accept that things don’t always happen on my timeline.  That can be a tough pill to swallow.

Okay, that’s the long-short version of the catch-up from the last year.  I will do my best to elaborate on some things and add more.  Time for some new pictures, I see.

Stay warm everyone!

Enough for now…

Boots, Hats and Mittens are Cool!!

It has been so cold lately!  It makes me remember how much fun horses are in this type of weather…not much!!

I have been taking care of my horses myself during my stay at my parents.  It is something that I feel is my responsibility and do out of respect for their time.  Granted, my horses are pretty low-maintenance.

I remember despising winter as a kid.  I hated that it was always SO COLD.  Now, as an adult, I dress for it.  Turns out, it’s not so bad!  The horses never complain, so I figure they don’t want to hear me muttering around.

The horses spent 3 days in the barn due to below zero temps.  I hate blanketing them and they get to run around in the aisle-way while I clean and feed.  Willie is okay with the situation.  Hattie-NOT SO MUCH!  She was going nuts with energy!  Showing all weekend and being stalled might be a challenge.

Overall, I have proven that I enjoy having my horses here and doing the work.  This is the worst time of year and it proves not to be too bad.  I wish I had an indoor to ride in, but beggars cannot be choosers!  I guess they are thankful I don’t! 

I just keep in mind how all of this hard work motivates me in the spring to get out and ride.  There is no sense in doing this without reaping some benefits in good weather!

Enough for now….:)  

Happy New Year!!!

Just a quick note to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  Things are good here on the farm…albeit, very cold!  I managed to do well with my dieting over the holidays!  I am down 2 pant sizes!!!  But, I did take some time off of my yoga.  Back on track soon!!!  I enjoy it and it is easy to get back on the “wagon”.  

The ponies are thriving well and tolerating the cold weather.  The pups are hibernating in any blanket they can find.  They HATE this weather.  They cannot be outside for long or they tip over in the snow!  🙂

My next goal is to get my house finished and on the market.  It is time to sell and move on and out of here!  I have been looking at new prospects…but I have high standards!  It might be tough to stay in my budget!  But, I am a long ways from buying.

That is it for now!  I hope the new year finds everyone well and happy!!!

You Just Never Know…

Okay, I don’t usually like to talk about my job much due to confidentiality concerns.  However, there has been some things going on that are related to what I do.

With that being said, I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with my current teaching position.  I am enjoying my current job and am thankful for the positive change.

PTSD…have you heard of it?  It mostly is associated with soldiers coming back from war.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-yes, it is real.  Very, very real.  I have to deal with this on a very minimal level.  I was not in war.  I hate talking about this, because I would hate that people would think I was trying to attention-seek or over-dramatize this disorder.

My past job has involved me being attacked by a student multiple times a day.  She was about the same height as me and wanted to hurt me.  I had the responsibility of managing this behavior as well as the other adults in my classroom and 5 other students.  This behavior was terrifying, painful and incredibly stressful.  I was not alone in this situation and my heart goes out to those who had to experience this with me.  Leaving this position was what I needed to do and I am thankful I did.  I hate to be a quitter, but I realize, now, how much I was losing while working in this situation.  I was out of options and ideas.  It was time for me to do something else.

My point in bringing this up is not to complain or gain sympathy.  I want to let people know more about PTSD.  I am obsessed with behavior, including my own.  I have a lot of fear in my life now. I had become completely afraid of my horses.  I had no trust in them and felt like disaster was going to happen no matter what.  Even Willie made me nervous!

I became afraid of large crowds, loud noises, people who move quick, people who were upset, etc.  The smallest thing sets my adrenaline off.  I cannot explain how my brain had become programmed in a way that actually put myself in more danger rather than protect myself.  Due to the aggression coming out in a teaching atmosphere, I was not able to defend myself.  I could not fight back.  I could not fight for someone else’s safety.  I just had to take it.  I have scars from being bitten, scratched, hair pulled out of my head by the handful, slapped, punched, head-butted, etc.  All of this happened and I could not defend myself.

Thankfully, for those who encounter me in a “moment” where I am reacting to my PTSD, I don’t fight back.  I don’t punch people in the face.  I don’t lose physical control.  Most people don’t even know I am having a “moment” because I look completely calm.  

However, my body is experiencing an complete chemical meltdown.  I experience an adrenaline rush.  Being someone who does not enjoy roller coasters and other risk-taking events, this is really hard on me.  It is hard to feel like you cannot control yourself.

As time has gone by and I am no longer in this situation, my life is changing.  I still have my “moments”.  Things still trigger my PTSD.  I am starting to overcome some of the obstacles.  I am learning to be in crowds more and more.  I am able to rationalize things more.  I still get scared easily by loud noises and sudden movements.  The other day, I came out into the kitchen and my mother was there.  During the early morning, I am usually up on my own.  She scared the living daylights out of me.  I screamed and the whole house was up.  Oops!  But, it was something unexpected and I felt it for most of the day.  It sounds illogical, but that is what my brain has been programmed to do.

As I extend my time away from that situation, I realize how intense I was in order to cope with my job.  I realize how I never noticed little things in life, nature, work, relationships, etc.  I was so stressed I did not make time to be healthy, enjoy people and relax.  I couldn’t relax.  The longer I am away, the more I realize I how dysfunctional I had become.

I recently talked to another teacher who told me her plight.  She had been attacked my a student and suffered from PTSD.  She suffered so severely, she got into a car accident from over-reacting to a random situation.  She has gotten professional help and is doing much better.

As each day goes by, I am getting better.  I can feel it.  One of my co-workers had told me that I wouldn’t believe how stressed out I was until I was away from it.  I notice it more and more each day.  I am thankful for relaxation and peace.  I do not regret going through this situation; however, I never want to go through it again!

They Are Getting Longer…

Hello!  I am back relatively soon!  I just wanted to give an update on my “short arms”!  Okay, I am not one to commit to diet and exercise unless it has the word “minimal” or “no restrictions” in the rules.

But, lately, things have been going better for me!  I have been working out doing things that I enjoy and I am back to counting calories.  Counting calories works for me-when I do it.  I have a friend who is an extreme dieter and exerciser.  However, this person tends to be all the way on or all the way off of the plan.  I don’t see that working and it hasn’t for me in the past either.  I have started dabbling in yoga and pilates-which I have done in the past.  The great things is, lately, they have been happening at the same time!!!  That hasn’t happened-ever!!!

Now, I have changed the way I am looking at doing this.  It isn’t about being a size 0; it is about being healthy and feeling great!  I can honestly say that I feel fantastic!  With this in mind, I do not have to deprive myself of foods and the more I get into a routine, the more I am driven to sticking to it.  Lets hope I can stick to it!!  I can feel the changes every day.  I can stretch a little further, a little longer.  I feel stronger and taller too.  I sleep better, I feel like I think clearer and I feel less stress and more relaxation in my life.

The true test was taking part in a 4 hour drive for deer hunting.  It took us, on foot, through the woods and a huge swamp that was thick with slippery moss and fallen trees.  I felt that I could do this without any worries; not “I wouldn’t be able to do it.”  I did it and came out feeling fine!  I wasn’t even stiff the next day!  This motivates me to keep going along with seeing how my body has literally changed its shape.  Well, I notice it in small ways, but those small changes make me want to keep going.

I do have a good friend to thank too.  She and I text every night when we are finished with our yoga.  This helps keep me on track and honest.  I also use an app on my iPhone to track my eating.  It is so easy and it was free!  So, enough of me bragging.  I hope I can keep going, that always seems to be my trouble.  I will keep you posted!!!

Enough for now…