I don’t make resolutions, because I live my life in a way that can only be described as ‘resolute’

So there!

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I have fun ideas, maybe some goals or wishes? But overall I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, and live a nice life with my loved ones, critters, horse, athletic ability and friends.

As I write this, I’m back to the regular grind and staring down a loooong calendar of no more holidays until a very late Easter. Greeeat… Did lots of riding, had a Saturday jump lesson with old Oats where it was absolutely monsoon raining and he was Not. Having. It. that day. He was a cranky ass pants that’s for sure! Hahahah all the horses were kind of nuts.

I did a fair amount of running on the weekend too and made sure to get out on the trails near the stables, because I usually see bunnies there (obviously feral ones, not wild) and they did not disappoint! I saw a little black bunny, and sometimes I see some interesting coat patterned ones. I also saw two swans! It was a lovely day to run, unlike the horrible monsoon the day previous (where I also ran, and spend the entire run regretting every life choice that made me do that). Ugh!

New Years Eve saw us at a friend’s party downtown, and we had a lovely time. It was nice to reconnect with a friend who was back in town after a few years away. He’s starting a new and exciting chapter in his life, so my fingers are crossed that he’s successful and has a lot of fun! Selfishly I am glad he’s back because he’s a ton of fun and I wanted to have my running buddy back 🙂

I clearly can’t do late nights though. Yowza, the entire Jan. 1 was a total write-off for us. I was exhausted, dragging my ass around. We *just* made it to the barn, where I rode (wobbly and poorly) and then we made it home and I crawled back into bed. And then we went to bed at 9pm. Jesus.

I don’t feel fantastic today either, sore throat. Waves fist- why, late nights? Why? This feels like unusual punishment for one night of fun?!! Wha.

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Harvest season at Mile End Farm

Harvest moon hanging high
Watching us Gods ancient eye
Poets write you distant cold
While i observe your core
Behold i see a heart of gold

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Gidget is helpful!

Although the end of summer is BY FAR my least favourite part of summer, I do love the opportunity to reap the harvest at my in-laws farm. They have a really lovely farm and have all sorts of things in the garden (currently- squash, zucchini, tomatoes, blueberries, garlic and grapes) and fruit trees (shiro plums, damson plums (none this year though!) Italian prune plums, apple trees, a pear tree, and a quince tree).

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We went up this weekend when I got home from my deployment (early!!!) and harvested a whole bunch of things. I shared some with a friend and colleagues, and my husband processed a bunch over the weekend too. Yes!!

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A fruit salad I made- 100% fruit we picked ourselves! 

Christmas aftermath

Man, so many things. Good and bad. I enjoyed my time off, considering I was in a spectacularly grouchy/depressed mood, I was in a WAY better mind frame to celebrate.

We went to Ucluelet for a few days to decompress before the family madness began, and then celebrated Christmas Eve at my husband’s parents farm, which was nice. We then had Christmas breakfast and then Christmas dinner at MY parents, which was also good. My gifts were lovely, my husband got me everything I wanted and I really loved the cool and unique gifts my sister, parents and stable friends gave me. WOW so generous!

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Yes I am wearing a grumpy cat Xmas sweater! Featuring new boots for Oats, love them so much.

I also did some Boxing Day shopping and bought myself another pair of running shoes (I know I know, I have like 10 pairs now..eek) and some cool funky clothes (I also have too many of those, haha).

I ate too much, went to two parties in one night, drank too much (again) and ran a lot and also rode Oats five days in a row, gave him three days off, and now tonight will be day 4 in a row he gets ridden! That pony gets a lotta love, gotta say it, haha. He also enjoyed a home-made cookie from one of the girls are the barn and he gobbled it up in RECORD time.

No Xmas is complete without some holiday drama, and it led me to realize my new year’s resolution is to not whitewash what I want out of life. Not whitewash WHO I am anymore.

I will finish with this- as I go into the new year, I’m planning on setting the slate clean with a few people (my parents). I want to go into a fresh year unencumbered by people’s expectations of me.

I have a dog, horse, rabbit and husband because I love and cherish all of them, and they all add value and joy to my life. I would never presume anyone needed any of those items or animals to make their lives whole. This is my experience.

Please do not assume I need children to make my life whole. That is your experience. I do not need convincing, judgement, argument or debate to ‘make me change my mind’. I don’t think everyone needs a dog, horse or husband to fully experience life–why do people think that about kids? Just stop.

In 2017, I am going to be clear about what I want with the people I love and am closest to. If that means they are upset with me, so be it. I am going to focus on what is most important to me, and maintain my priorities and my sense of self the only way I know how- with resolve and resolution.

So, I guess that’s my NYE resolution right there. I also really want to start planning my next exciting big trip and can’t figure out where I want to go/do next. Africa maybe??

Beginning holiday traditions

I’m usually a hold out for Christmas stuff until after Dec 1. It just doesn’t feel right until then, but I do make one exception…Making and decorating Christmas cookies with my friend. We’ve done this two years in a row now, and maybe it’s the start of something?

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A yummy Christmas tradition!

I have a TON of sprinkles and I love using them. Love love love it! I even found a recipe for sugar cookies this year that worked to make them softer, and less ‘rock hard’ than last year (yeah they kind of sucked…). So, I was even happy to eat them this year too! Score!

We drank lots of cider, decorated cookies, and laughed a ton. What a great way to spend a Friday night.

Saturday I was up and at the barn, and Oats was good, I can’t remember specifics but he was amenable to whatever I was working on, anyways. I came home later and we went on a bit of a longer run, 14k or so, on the Galloping Goose. It went fairly well, can’t complain as my legs were tired but workable.

Saturday night my husband and I got a hot chocolate from Starbucks (salted caramel for me, yes I’m sure the 1,000++calories that I gained drinking it was so worth it!) and then we went to the Oak Bay Rec centre for a late-night splash around in the pool and hot tub. Overall, a very nice and relaxing weekend.

Sunday I wasn’t going to be riding Oats-he was going on an adventure! A girl at the barn asked if her friend, a very experienced event rider, could borrow Oats to ride on the trails with them. I do like him to get out and have some fun, so I said sure, as long as it was safety-first. Sadly, the friend cancelled so no adventure for Oats…And also meant that our plans had to shift a bit for Sunday, but no worries.

We enjoyed lunch at my husband’s parents farm in Cobble Hill and wow…It was freezing out there in the country. Brr. So cold. We went on a short walk, freezing the whole way, and visited and then hot-tubbed it up!

Then we stopped by the barn on the way home and I rode Oats–my long-suffering husband was quite gracious about this change in plans. I hopped Oats over a few jumps I lowered in the ring and he was really great about it. A short, but good ride. The ring was still very deep and mushy in places, and Oats stumbled a few times going near those spots. A bit disappointing.

Thanksgiving weekend recap: The fire inside.

Peaceful fall

Peaceful fall

So, when I last left, I was practically running out the door to get away from work and was desperate for a weekend, any weekend, so long as it long!!

No sooner was I relaxing into my weekend (hard-won) on a sleepy Saturday morning when I woke up suddenly and unpleasantly with a horrible wrenched neck. It was excruciating. I couldn’t look to the right, the back of my head/neck hurt, it hurt to chew anything – my jaw ached, and my shoulder/neck area felt frozen and throbbing, alternately.

Greeeattttt….

No rest for the wicked?

Secretly, I hoping to run to the barn on Saturday, where I would ride Oats and have my husband pick me up from the barn to go straight to my in-laws farm (maybe soon to not be their farm if the sale goes through, more changes,. eek!!). Instead, I could barely walk.

Walking even jostled my neck horribly. I was in a ton of pain, on muscle relaxants and alternating hot/cold therapy to just be somewhat mobile. No running for me. I decided to ride anyways (because I’m insane??) but my husband had to help me get Oats out of his pen, groom him- it took forever – because he was so muddy, and lead Oats to and from the arena.

Yeehaw a skinny!

Yeehaw a skinny!

Once I was on, things were ok, though I couldn’t look right at all and was very uncomfortable trying to go right on Oats. He was a good sport though, and seemed very careful with me–even though we were doing a bit of jumping!

Oats taking care of me.

Oats taking care of me.

We got some photos, and I hopped off gingerly, and Ian led Oats back to the barn and helped me untack, carry my saddle back to the barn, and unbridle Oats. That was pretty funny, he tried to pull the whole bridle off Oats’ head w/o undoing the noseband, but did manage to get the throatlatch off. Oats was like WTF? But he’s a good pony now and didn’t take advantage…

We called it a ride, and headed off to the in-laws farm. There, I upped the painkillers a bit and enjoyed some pear picking in the pouring rain (hah!!) and a lot of good quality hot tub and wine time. Sure didn’t hurt my neck situation at all, but mannnnnn did I feel it the next morning…

My neck was pretty much healed by Sunday morning but my wine hangover had a ferocious hold on me. I was like, I’m hungry!! I’d eat something…”I feel sick!!”….I’m hungry!!! I feel sick!!

All morning. Gag.

I didn’t have much time to feel sorry for myself though. We were up and out of the house to cheer on my friend who was running his second marathon!!! Gidget was miserable, whiny and annoyed at waiting around to watch. I was pretty happy though, we managed to cheer him on and get a great photo too! He did awesome.

Great work!!

Great work!!

Then, I felt inspired….

And not quite so sick anymore.

So, like the crazy person I am, I decided to run to the barn, ride, and then maybe run home. Note: this is not a short distance.

My own horse-half marathon? A new challenge? A way to work out the extreme pressure and anxiety I’d been experiencing throughout the week, and was too injured too often to resolve it through exercise?

No matter the reason–I was going to DO IT!

And so, I did. And you know what? It was fine. I jogged to the barn, waved hi to my friend Sarah who saw me at an intersection- and said I was crazy, haha. And I rode and STILL had too much ‘intensity’ in my ride on Oats. Luckily he is still a forgiving pony and he was a good boy for me, even when I come to the barn ‘running high’ and with extra energy I can’t resolve normally.

We worked through some poles- they were terrible, he does better at jumps- and then a brief lateral session once way each where he was quite reasonable, and he was sooooooo sweaty! I then sponged him off, ate a coconut-chocolate Clif bar, and changed back into my clammy workout clothes and prepared to run home.

The run home wasn’t quite as smooth as the way there- my stomach started hurting a LOT, I kind of blame eating the Clif bar so soon after riding and then running again- and my knee was bugging me a bit, and the noise on my calf injury got turned up too…

But I made it fine, it just took a long time.

So, Sunday was an investment in time. Me time. Time to work out whatever anxiety I had going on through my running and riding.

The next day I felt pretty good, tired, but good. Sometimes the fire that burns inside burns too hot and too bright, and threatens to consume us. My way of dealing with it is through exercise.