Check it yourself 

When I was a kid learning about horses it was always drilled into me that no matter if someone had tacked up my horse it was always my responsibility to make sure that everything was safe and in working order before I got on. It’s a lesson that has carried me through the rest of my life as well – no matter what anyone else says, or how they try to help me, at the end of the day I’m responsible for making sure things are done properly and safely for my own life.

I was tacking up Dristhi today with my western saddle. I had it all done, him bridled up, and I was just reaching for my hard hat when he spooked at a barrel that has been in the corral for weeks (but suddenly was scary) and lost his mind. As he was freaking out the strap on the saddle broke, cinch came apart, and the saddle went flying across the corral. This of course didn’t spook him at all, that is only reserved for barrels that don’t move.

All I could think was holy crap -what if that had happened when I was ON him?. I have checked that saddle on a regular basis, but I wouldn’t have checked it today. Thank goodness my guardian angel was on duty and ditched the saddle before I got on.

I switched to my English saddle – which I think he actually likes better – and off we went for what was one of the best rides we’ve had. He’s such a good guy.

It’s an odd little happiness moment, but I’m so happy that my accident happened in the safety of the corral and before I was on. It served as a good reminder to pay attention to everything I’m doing. And I was super grateful later on when my cousin did a temporary fix on my saddle and told me what I need to do to get a new strap put on.

Hard to believe that a few weeks ago this guy was being such an ass I couldn’t even work with him. Look at that cute little face. 



Alone time 

I’ve taken the kids to the wind up party for their VBS and I’m hiding out in the parking lot in the shade of a tree. I came here with the intention of going and mingling with the other parents, but when I arrived I realized how tired I am. Instead I decided to steal an hour of quiet time to myself. 

I feel like the last few months have been busy putting out fires. I’ve tried to make time to stop and regroup and embrace the quiet time I need to do that, but it hasn’t always been possible. As a result I’m feeling tired and overwhelmed. The good thing is I know I just need to slow for a bit and hit my recharge button. I also really need to spend some time figuring out where I want to spend my energy. There is so much happiness that has come into my life over the past year – and also a lot of pain and hurt that has left it. I need to rebalance myself and acknowledge all the change. I spent so many years in a fearful survival mode and none of that is relevant anymore. It’s like I need the constant reminder that we are safe, we are loved, we can let go. I don’t have that huge burden to carry all alone anymore. I can lay it down. 

My happiness moment is sitting under the tree in my hometown – knowing we are safe and loved and that it is time to move ahead in joy. 


Clean it up

The boy bravely entered into his pit with a garbage bag and cleaned and organized his bedroom. He has a tiny little space that he loves, but it does get messy very easily. He spent hours sorting and moving things this evening. Now his room is a happier, safer feeling place and he has this great sense of accomplishment. And that was a happiness moment for me. 

It’s something we continue to do with our lives in general these days  – assess what we need and where it fits and get rid of the rest. Life gets too complicated with too many things and too many distractions. 

As a bonus happiness moment I was reminded today how important it is to really talk about big things with my close people. I don’t want to spend any more of my life with yucky feelings between me and the people I love. 


Being home. 

It has been a long ten year journey that brought us finally back home. I am grateful every day we are back here (sometimes fall down kiss the ground grateful), but we did get to see areas I had  only read about, or never even knew existed, in our travels. 

The last four years were spent in Roanoke, VA. While it never truly became home (we knew we were leaving after about two years and when I know I’m leaving I find it hard to put down roots), it was still a significant part of our lives. When we moved there, Jenna was only 6 and in kindergarten – still a little kid – Jacob was in grade 5. They grew up there in many ways. 

One of my favorite things about Roanoke was also one of the things that made it difficult to live there. People had deep roots. Most of the people we met had lived there their whole lives, their family was close by, they had childhood friends. All things that are wonderful, but things that make it difficult to be an introverted newcomer. Even more than that though, watching these settled people who belonged and had family made me so much more homesick. Because, at home we also have deep roots and lots of family and friendships that have lasted for generations. 

I felt sick this morning when I read about the lives that were taken there this morning. WDBJ7 was “my” news channel and I send love and prayers to everyone involved in the tragedy. There are many things that will be said about gun control among other things, and while I have my own opinions about that – I’m going to just offer up a moment of love and peace for that beautiful area we called home

My happiness moment today made me think of the deep roots so many have in Roanoke and that I have here. We had tea with my godmother, her daughter, and an old family friend. Back in the day in Cochrane, our families had the ice cream store, the lawyer’s office and the doctor’s  office – and they were all side by side on the Main Street. 

There were lovely old memories shared about past times. Friendships rekindled and strengthened. It is so good to be home. 


New to the area. 

We have moved many times in the last 10 years and every time it’s been a struggle to meet new friends and develop some sort of feeling of belonging. For sure some places were easier than others, but in every case it was about two years before we felt like we were beginning to have some kind of sense of having a life there. Interestingly, in Quebec it happened faster and in Virginia it was  much slower. 

This move home is different from the other moves in that, well, it is home. But still we have been gone 10 years. I am lucky because I have family here and all my childhood friends. For the kids, it’s a little tougher. They’re still the new kids even though they see people they know all the time and have a strong sense of belonging. 

Today Jenna went to a birthday party and I was at the door talking to the mom. She leads Jenna’s VBS group so I’d chatted with her before but never really had a conversation. She welcomed Jenna in and after talking to me for a couple of minutes said she’d love to go out for coffee with me sometime because she knows what it’s like to be new in town and how difficult it is to meet people. I explained to her that this was our move home to where we belonged and that we had family and friends around, but that I would love to get together with her and get to know her better. She’s a horse person so you know it’s a friendship made in heaven.  

I was thinking after though, what an act of kindness. Having moved to an area where we were not welcomed at all and where no effort was made to get to know us (the onus in this area was on us to constantly be the ones reaching out), how lovely to have someone reach out because they know the feeling of being new

That was my happiness moment for the day. An act of kindness by hopefully a soon to be friend. 

This happiness moment was followed up by taking Jacob out for gelato and running into my cousin sitting kicking a fine with her kids. Impromptu visit. Awesome. And yes, we also went to Mackay’s for ice cream yesterday. It’s summer and 30C out. It was heart happy. 

Jacob told me on the way home how he feels so grounded and safe here. We all need to be safe and secure.