Mutton bustin’

We went to the Cochrane Fair today just in time to watch the mutton bustin’

It is by far my favorite rodeo event. I love barrels and poles and several of the other ones, but watching those kids hang on for dear life is the funniest thing to watch

It was still pretty smoky (by that I mean ridiculously so) but we all have a bit of cabin fever and went out anyway. No regrets. We needed the injection of fun.


Facing fears by asking for help

Those of you who know me know that I have a tendency to be a little stubborn. I come by it honestly as there is a long and strong stubborn streak that runs in my family. It’s like a superpower and when it’s used for good it is unbeatable and creates some amazing results, but when it’s used for evil it can be pretty destructive (almost always destructive for myself as opposed to other people).

I’ve been having issues with my horse as many of you know. But in truth I’ve been having issues with myself not my horse. It’s been a year since I fell off and although I’ve been on him a few times, I’ve not really enjoyed it and basically been scared shitless. It has come to the point where I need to face my fear or get rid of my horse.

I don’t like giving up on things. That’s part of my stubborn streak. However, in the last few years I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not just better but essential that I walk away from certain things.

I have a friend who has stepped up and is helping me with my Drishti issue. He likes my horse and he’s known me my whole life, and he’s kindly jumped in and given me a hand starting to get my confidence back. He came out today and rode my horse so I could see that Drishti isn’t some crazed beast, but rather a horse with energy who has had a year off. 98.654% of the issues I’m having are because I spent too much time in my head getting freaked out.

But horses are my passion and I’ve waited years to have one back in my life. I got to the point where I had to ask myself what I wanted more – to not be afraid or to ride.

I want to ride.

So today after my friend rode my horse, I rode my horse. Not elegantly or well. In fact it took me about 10 minutes to force myself to get on, and then he had to lunge me – so I felt like I was safely on a leash – before he let us go free in the ring. But we did it. And I made myself ride until I no longer felt like I was going to crap my pants or throw up (I’m so elegant).

Everything I know about being brave I’ve learned on the back of a horse. The back of a horse then can’t be the one place I fear to be. It just can’t. Asking for help was the only way I could begin to face this fear. The problem with being stubborn is often I don’t ask for help when I need it. I’m slowly learning that we need each other to get through this life, and if we don’t ask for help people usually don’t know that we need it.

And so the journey begins. Being brave enough to ride will make me brave enough to continue to face whatever life throws at me. It’s my passion, but it’s also my greatest learning tool. That is a huge step on my happiness journey.

Here he is going cowboy style while I watch

The next stage is allowing him to help me.

And finally trying on my own while he watches.

None of this could have happened if I’d stubbornly plowed ahead myself and not asked for and allowed for help.


Mountains returned

The smoke was almost gone this morning and for the first time in want feels like ages we could see the mountains today.

We did a mountain escape after supper and walked around Canmore. It’s always been a place that resets our souls and brings us peace.

As a bonus today I got the best picture of the boy enjoying his stroll around town.

Quality time with the kids. It’s stuff money can’t buy. I love this life.


Birthday Pie

When we moved to Virginia I began a tradition of having a birthday pie for the boy instead of cake. Peaches were in season there by his birthday time and since that’s my favorite – that’s what he got.

We missed the birthday pie this year. Actually the boy has had a few crappy birthdays which I’m trying to make up for.

Today though, we were at the market and someone was selling homemade Saskatoon berry pies. He has a serious Saskatoon berry addiction so I got him his belated birthday pie

It came two months late, but it was worth the wait. It was kind of fun to have an impromptu celebration.


Remember the lady who fed us?

I walked in on a conversation with the kids about a neighbor. They were trying to remember the man’s name – and my boy said you should remember them, it was his wife who kept us alive last year.

After I broke my shoulder this kind and thoughtful neighbor, who I didn’t know well, came once as week and dropped off a huge meal for us to eat. She did this every single week for two months until I was more mobile.

It’s important to look for the kindness and the good in the world. What this woman did was the epitome of this. Because of her we had at least one amazing meal (but always leftovers) every week.

I believe most people are good. We need to remember to celebrate the good.