BC Day Adventure!

We had FANTASTIC weather this August, so we headed up Island to visit my in-laws, and my new nephew too!

It was so warm we swam in the ocean, every day. It was heavenly, just divine 🙂

I also went on a 27-km run that was pretty miserable, as it was 30 deg, full sun, a long, hot day AND I hit the trails to escape some of the heat and ended up tripping and falling pretty dramatically, but hey- I didn’t even get hurt!

I wrapped up the run covered in dirt/dust, lol and Ian had to go looking for me because it took me forever to get back, those trails…Not fast!

A long weekend in Port Townsend!

Wow been awhile. As I left, I had just started my new position (same job) and things got very busy for awhile, but it is a change for the better.

In the meantime, I am still counting down the days until my sabbatical, and we also enjoyed a long weekend in Washington in Port Townsend!

We stayed at the Palace Hotel in Pt. Townsend and had a loft bedroom with a kitchen!

It was a super awesome weekend. NOT cheap by any stretch of the imagination ($$$$$$$$$ for ferry, eating out, hotels, activities, booze, etc) but well worth it, given we haven’t really travelled much in oh, two years? THANKS pandemic…So, we were overdue I think.

It was pretty neat and very old-timey

Also we’ve had endless crap weather. Like, heat on in May kind of crap weather. And no signs of it improving either, so we’re feeling really stir-crazy with every single day being windy/freezing/raining/grey…No respite in sight. HOW?

Ok ran about the weather over.

First up in Port Townsend wasn’t even Port Townsend- it was in Sequim, about 20 mins away from Port Angeles at the Olympic Game Farm. We went there on a whim, when I saw an ad for it on the Coho haha. And it was a freaking blast! We bought bread (1 loaf) there and you pay $17/pp and drive-through a little animal safari. The critters were all over us hahaha. I did have a moderate buffalo freakout when one stuck his head in the car and basically mauled me with his giant 1ft long tongue-eeeek!!!

Ian got drooled all over by an elk. HAHA. It was so fun, Gidget didn’t know what to think, it was hilarious!

I highly recommend. And next up…Port Townsend marine science centre.

Being active over the holidays!

I traveled a fair bit over the Christmas holidays (narrowly avoiding what turned out to be an absolute disaster of travel later, as many airlines cancelled due to their staff getting Omicron… ) and it went well!

Outdoor skating! I was so bad at it

I wasn’t in a great headspace due to the issues mentioned earlier (colleague dying, being way understaffed at work, Oats lame with what turned out to be a months-long abscess journey- thankfully that was it though?!!) but I figured it’s better to be away from all of that nightmarish mess, isn’t it?

Actually yes!

I visited my family in Kelowna and it went completely fine. We had lots of activities and I enjoyed being in a winter wonderland for Christmas, we we don’t normally get snow here (and as I write, we have had the WORST weather in all the years I have lived here sooooo yeah we have a lot of snow here this winter?!).

Very Christmassy

We enjoyed skating outdoors in a beautiful little outdoor rink in downtown Kelowna, we went to Mission Hill winery for a truly fantastic little private tasting event, we went to see House of Gucci, we decorated gingerbread houses, I took my mom cross-country skiing to a hill near their place, and we went to a lovely and extremely pricey dinner at the Eldorado Hotel.

Mission Hill

It was a very nice experience and something I didn’t know I needed- to get away from my own life.

Next up- actual Christmas in Courtenay at my in-laws house. And they had a ton more snow? Why/how is this winter weather chasing me?!

And pre-Christmas blues

Actually, I had pre-Christmas blues instead of post-Christmas and WOW they were horrible. I wrote a cheery blog post two days before I had time off, I had talked with a counselor and I was feeling pretty darn great!

And then my last day of work, basically everything exploded and it was horrible.

I learned that two of our staff members were leaving, to add to the two who had already left in Dec. I went to the gym for lunch, and came back to work and was called in to my friend and former manager’s office urgently.

I was curious, wondering why she needed to see me so urgently?

Our friend and my former colleague had died that week. 😦

I was completely shocked, stunned and heartbroken. She is so young, only in her early thirties. I knew she had been sick, but I had no idea how bad her illness had been, and how long she had been in the hospital for. It was heartbreaking.

I numbly went back to my desk and felt terrible.

I stumbled through work that day, talking with our mutual friends and colleagues. I felt like I was sleepwalking, that this wasn’t happening to her. When I came home, I cried.

I also learned that Oats was lame again, literally three days before I was also supposed to be flying to visit family in Kelowna. WTF.

I collapsed, basically. I didn’t know what to do and it felt like my entire being, not just my brain, was collapsing inward on itself like a dying star.

My dear friend who is a total sweetheart came by and gave me some of her delicious toffee-bark and chocolates (she is the best!!) and she could tell that I was having a terrible time of it. I was.

So there I was, a few days before Christmas and my world imploded.

A little bit of Christmas spirit?

It’s not a secret that I find the holiday season very difficult and I am usually in the WORST mood before Xmas. Ugh, I just find it very depressing, phoney and fake and this is partly due to work usually blowing up in my face right before Xmas, and my family being a collection of nutbars…

r/a:t5_scdhm - Dashing through the NO!

But I take steps to combat this!

Chiefly by making things I like to do a priority and giving back to my friends, who have had hard years themselves. I also make sure to take time OFF at Xmas, so I don’t poison everyone around me with my horrible mood, lol. (Plus it’s just easier on my mental health if I am not slowly being ground down by work at the same time, so a win-win).

This year we have already been to one Xmas party and we had a BLAST!! Omg it was so fun- at my husband’s work. We made ornaments, enjoyed amazing food (an entire seacuterie!!) and danced and sang karaoke 🙂

And then last weekend we made and decorated cookies as gifts for my friends and trainers 🙂

So who’s been naughty or nice??

This weekend we got a tree! We also watched the Jon and Roy Christmas revue and it was really good, wow it was LONG lol we didn’t get home until after 11pm on Friday!

I also invited a friend/former colleague out to see Oats and have a pony ride and she came on Saturday and they were so good together, makes my heart proud to see people enjoying my pony too!

A nice day!

Soooo bad mood at Xmas or not, I am trying to make the best of things and I am on the home stretch- 2 DAAAYSSS!!! Let’s do it!

More chaos part 2?

Went a touch radio silent due to a lot of different factors all colliding at once, unfortunately:

Man, bring me back to this!

Major stress at work/burnout

Bad flareup of my chronic disease, ruinining an entire week of my life again

Oats went lame and I had a total meltdown over it

Gidget had a really bad flare up of her reverse sneezing and went into dog-shock for a few days. It was really hard to see 😦

So yeah…It was a very challenging period of weeks for me, Oats and the family.

Some bright sides: Oats lameness was temporary! He had a small abscess (in the same spot as his 2018 big abscess that summer) and now he is good to go. We even had a working equitation lesson on Sunday and he was a champ though I definitely felt quite rusty.

Work is ok for now and I am counting down the days until I am off on holidays!

My disease is back in remission until the next flare-up, and Gidget has a vet appointment today to figure out our next plan of attack. I don’t really expect that they will have any answers but…We made it over 3 weeks ago when we desperately needed it, so I still am hoping for some kind of solution or treatment for her symptoms.

I guess even through the blackest days, there is still hope?!

Also a bummer, but one I really knew was going to happen: My jump trainer who I have been with for over a decade (?!!) is not travelling to coach us anymore. I totally get it, no issue from me but it’s also a bit sad to see the end of an era.

I’ve reassessed mine and Oats relationships after his serious injury and jumping for competitions just doesn’t seem that worth it anymore? We’ve shown for so many years and it’s not always about ‘higher/faster/stronger’ for me– it’s about enjoying the journey and our relationship these days. I still love horse showing, but it’s not all what it’s cracked up to be, you know?

You think it’s like this but really it’s like this

I hate Mother’s Day. Hate it. I do not have a great relationship with my family for a variety of reasons, and also it just…Sucks. It is performative and angsty and I have little tolerance now for the demands ($$$$$) my mother likes to place on us for her birthday, M-Day, Xmas anyways…Just hate it.

So what do you do when you hate that day? Make it better, and make it your own 🙂

We had our own fun day and it did help relieve some of that existential pressure I felt seeing everyone with happier families and sincerity that I do not have. Ian came with me to the barn and helped me do a jump school! I haven’t done one on my own yet since he has recovered from his injury, so it felt pretty big to me, yay! Plus we have to miss our regularly scheduled Tuesday lesson because Oats has a dentist appointment, so I wanted to do a little something on our spare time, to keep sharp.

Oats was a star, a good boy and the bestest pony. Nothing fancy, just hopping over a few fences and calling it a day. Nothing better, I think!

We then took our dog out for a walk to the water, and then swung by Moon Under Water brewery for a beer on the patio. I was FREEZING. Ha. Not patio weather here, basically ever?

We then headed home and had lunch and then went to play some kick-around soccer at the park. We both failed miserably at ball juggling hahaha and it got frustrating so we gave it up and played goalie instead. My husband said he admires the fact that I am not afraid to hammer the ball home from 1 ft away…Not really intentional, I swear it!

It’s a nice way to make what is traditionally a miserable, pressure/stressful day for me even better. Plus it makes you feel happier going into the (extremely busy) work week!

More summer vacation adventures!

As I left off, I celebrated my birthday with family in Kelowna, and took my dad trail riding in the Westbank, and we picked a ton of sour cherries.

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The small red dots? Swimmer’s itch…picture it EVERYWHERE.

We also went to Peachland and went swimming- it is such a gorgeous spot, and excellent for visiting and swimming. There are bathrooms aplenty, free parking, a dive tower, a swing rope over the lake, and lifeguards.

The only thing I didn’t realize they also had? SWIMMERS ITCH! 😦

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Swimming- in the pool this time, phew! 

Dude we got it so bad. Hah. I was scratching like crazy out of the water and at lunch (outdoor patio at the big German place. It was good!). But damn we got it bad. We were soooooo itchy. And the next morning, we realized that everyone had tonnes of red welts all over. Hah. Lesson learned!

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Great margaritas on the patio in Penticton!

I stuck to swimming in the pool after that 🙂 And at Skaha Lake, where we went for a quick dip after visiting Penticton, such a lovely little town with quaint shops and a great and very reasonably priced Mexican restaurant, where again, we chose safety and sat outdoors at a patio with no patrons nearby.

Ian and I also spent a day going to two different wineries and checked out BNA Brewery. It was really cool (literally…it was about 35 degrees out) and they offered you still or sparkling water for FREE! Bonus points in my books!! Plus they had some giant model horses that I was sooo envious of!

Next up in our adventures…Going to Nelson!

 

Love at low speed

Back from a week of holidays and wishing it was more like…THREE weeks. MAN.

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Safety first! 

I went to the Interior (Kelowna) to visit my parents who moved there this winter. It was super hot, gorgeous weather, and I can’t complain! 🙂 I also celebrated a birthday, which was nice. We had black forest cake with sour cherries that we picked ourselves!! Can you believe it?

I flew, which is an experience on it’s own these days. All people in terminals and on the air plane must wear a mask, and there are no drink services. Instead, the air line gave out little baggies with a tiny water bottle, gloves, hand sanitizer, sanitation wipes, and a mask. I thought that was a pretty good touch, though I had my own water because I get super thirsty.

It was eerie, for sure though. I have not been close to people in months, and now we were crammed in shoulder-to-shoulder, all wearing masks. There was a temperature check at the gate, where they hold a little heat sensor to your forehead and then mark on your ticket.

Flying itself was fine, though I had approximately 4 screaming babies per airplane and no headphones, mine died the minute I got on the plane and I was trying to charge them up unsuccessfully the week before…:(

But anyways, it was about 34 deg in Kelowna! I took my dad trail riding to a place we used to go for years…Probably for about 20 years! It was called Mandy and Me, and it went under about 5 years or more ago. Now, a lovely young couple runs it as ‘Broken Rail Ranch’ and we enjoyed the same trails as before. Awesome eh?

The trails also run alongside a defunct sour cherry orchard, and the owner of the trail business said nobody picks it, so if we wanted, we could come and pick from it. And we did! The next day in the evening, we went to pick about… 50lbs of sour cherries.

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And there were even more than this! So many cherries. 

They were great! I did realize the next day when we were pitting them that there were a ton of maggots in them too, hahaha. Whoops! No chemical sprays here! Good thing a little maggot eating isn’t bad for you.

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Cherry picking with my family.

Our next adventures to be continued…

When your life feels like a loss

Happy 11th anniversary to my husband, and 10th anniversary to my horse Mr. Oats!

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11 years ago, we had summers! 

I truly wish we could just fast-forward this year. 2020 has just been one long chain of sucking. It started with a little trickle (for example, I was weirdly put out by the MEC races cancelling…and then boom! No more races at all, for the foreseeable future). How little I knew then, eh? How much I know now, sadly. 😦

I am very fortunate that Oats’ sudden lameness can be traced to an old existing abscess that lurked under the surface of his left hoof for months, apparently? All those really random, minor lamenesses he had a few months ago can be traced directly to it! Weird eh? But PHEW that is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.

So, he gets treated with his poultice, Bute and a boot until *something* happens this time! I am super relieved.

Otherwise, we don’t get summer here anymore, so it’s been absolutely freezing, rainy, windy, grey and just miserable. Yay…

I can’t muster up any real cheer or celebration, just mostly low lying, existing dread for what comes next. This is probably what situation depression feels like?