Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blitz Update

As many of you know, my sweet boy Blitz has multiple health problems and I am planning on having him put down...someday. Someday soon, actually. I'm prepared now, and almost want to do it just to get it over with, but my boy has rallied and even though he looks like a non-survivor of a concentration camp, he seems to be feeling pretty fancy.

I've heard about this supplement that can cure anything that ails anyone or anything.  I don't want to to say what it is, because just as many people believe that it causes the stuff that ails anyone or anything. I'm not in the mood for a debate and I sure don't want anyone telling me what a horrible person I am for taking risks with my horse's health. The way I look at it is this - my horse is dying. Slowing and painfully. This supplement may kill him and it may heal him. It's worth the risk.

Here's the other way I look at this - not your business.

On with my story...

Mike and I have decided to make a last ditch effort to save Blitz. We're overdosing him on said supplement that may kill him. Blitz does not like this, especially since we're giving him shots. Today was day three of said shots and he was having none of it. For such a little guy, he can put up quite a fight. Mike finally says to "try this" and the result is Blitz rearing straight up and looming over me.  He's impressively tall in that stance.  I jumped backwards - just a reflex, as I'm actually quite brave - and fell over the lawnmower.

"Huh," Mike says. "That didn't work."

I married a genius.

I figure if Blitz is looking better in a week, we have a winner. If he's not, at least we tried. I have a taste of having my heart back. If only I could have just one more time of riding him at full blast through the trails...well, I've got to be honest. It still wouldn't be enough. There's no other horse like him.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Whitewater Adventures

We're on our first family vacation as a blended family.  My normally unflappable husband got pretty "flapped" about 487 miles into the kids singing a variety of songs like "Dumb Ways to Die," "They're Taking the Hobbits to Risenguard," and the always popular, "Let It Go."  (That last one might have been me, actually."

We're staying in a "cozy" vacation cabin overlooking the Ocoee River that is, sadly, much larger and fancier than our everyday home. I had forgotten just how much I love the state of Tennessee.  If I ever had to leave the Heart of the South, this is where I would want to be.

One thing of note is the fact that everyone (namely, Scotlyn) is complaining of the bone-chilling cold of this area.  She has taken to wearing her Lord of the Rings cloak (yes, she owns one. I know.) wrapped around her to ward off pneumonia. It's 85 degrees, both inside and out. I will admit, it does feel a bit nippy after the high nineties temps we're used to. But, oh, so nice. *sigh*

So, on with my story.  Today we went whitewater rafting!  A first for everyone. We were so excited.  Our guide's name was Baby Huey...

Wait, I got ahead of myself. I requested a reservation over the internet and Dawn from Ocoee Outdoors called me back this morning to confirm a 1:00pm float time. "I know people from Franklinton," she says. Come to find out, she's related by marriage to one of my good friends.  We did the whole "it's a small is so-an-so doing...I heard about that, so sad." and finished making the reservation. And I made a new friend. Then texted my old friend and told her all about it.

Our guide's name was Baby Huey. He was over six feet tall and he was no baby. Mike liked him but I couldn't hear a word he said. No hearing aids, you know, and deaf as a post. They would have been beneficial, especially when Huey said to lean in and I didn't and almost fell out of the raft. Mike let go of the end of his paddle, grabbed the back of my life vest and pulled me in.

And...the unmanned end of his paddle hit me square in the mouth. I have a fat lip. I always knew John Michael had anger management issues, but goodness, to just haul off and whack me in the face with a boat oar?!  Couldn't he learn to communicate a little better when he's upset with me? So aggressive.

Here we are, having the time of our lives.
The river was cold, let me tell you, and those waves wash right over a body. My body.  They didn't go on the other side of the boat - I think Huey planned it that way. He and Mike did a lot of talking that I couldn't hear. Methinks it was a conspiracy.
I haven't seen the kids grin like that this in a while. They sure seemed to enjoy themselves, and the views were beautiful. The hills rose up steep on both sides of us, sometimes sheer rock cliffs, but mostly tree covered mountainsides. We had to guide around rocks in the river and through flumes that seemed to shoot us like from a cannon, then we'd go through a pool where we'd float so slowly it was like we were on glass, barely moving.
At one point, we stopped at Jump Rock and tied all the rafts to each other, forming a bridge, and anyone that wanted to jump off the rock, could.  Ainsley wanted to go and I went with her. Jumping from boat to boat was like what I imagine being in Wipeout was like, and I knew I was going to fall between the boats and die of embarrassment.  I shouldn't say this because it's way tmi, but the main reason I was going to jump off the rock was to get in the water because I'd had too much Dr. Pepper to drink before we'd left the bus, if  you know what I mean? Yeah, well, be grossed out if you want, but you'd do it, too, if you had to. 
Once it was my turn to jump, it looked a lot scarier than I'd thought and I had to way the cost - possible paralysis if I didn't jump far enough out and landed on the outcropping of rock vs the need for relief. I jumped. 

The water was ice freaking cold. And fast.  I didn't even bob to the surface until I was past where I was supposed to start swimming in. The current was strong, too. I was a-swimming and a-swimming when I looked up to see all the guides on all the rafts poised to dive in and save me, lest I keep on floating, all the way to New Orleans.  Don't all rivers lead to New Orleans? Anyway, I made it back to our raft and was planning on hanging out for a bit beside the boat, take care of some business, you know. But Huey grabbed my jacket and hauled me in.
I went through all of that and still had to tinkle. Son of a gun.
Ainsley gets in behind me and bounces up and down. "Can I go again? Mama, wanna come with me?"  I glare at her as I panted for breath, sweating and shivering at the same time.
That's when the Mike leans over and tells me that we're almost half way done. My bladder shrieked in protest.
Epilogue: Both me and my bladder survived the rest of the trip, and we enjoyed it immensely.  I haven't had that much fun in a very long time. I can't wait to go again, and we'll do the Upper Ocoee, which has Grade V rapids!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Diva Day

Hey, Diva here.  I have to write this post on my human's blog because she still won't let me have my own BlogSpot. Humans are so greedy.  My human knows I would take over the world if she let me have my own blog. She's just scared.

Today was hotter than stink outside, but do you know what Kerri did? She came trot/limping outside, waving a new Vacquero bridle at me, where I was peacefully grazing and swatting at flies, and cheerfully called, "Diva, Girl, look what Mama bought you!  A pretty new bridle!  Do you want to come try it on?"

Hell, no, woman.  I turned my back to her. Do I want to try it on? Seriously, it's 99 degrees in the shade and you want to know if I want to try on an instrument of torture? What kind of stupid are you?

"Come on, pretty lady, I'll give you a treat," she sing-songs to me. I don't know if she thinks she's cute, but let me tell you...she's not. NOT. No self-respecting middle aged woman should skip around talking to horses like they're babies.  Men in white jackets could show up at any moment and lock her crazy butt up. (If she'd let me have a cell phone, they'd be here already.)

So, okay, I have to admit, the treat finally got to me, but I gave her a merry chase first.  She's limping more now than she was when we started.  What's really fun is letting her get really close, like close enough to brush my whiskers, and I whirl and trot away.  Not far, now, it's more torturous if I'm so near, and yet so far. 

My human's voice wasn't quite so sing-songy by the time she caught me, I must say. She put a new saddle on me, then had the nerve to ask me how I liked it. I would have liked to show her how I liked it, but her new husband was smart enough to hold my lead rope tight enough so my teeth couldn't do my talking on her butt. I laid my ears back and curled my nose, which to any intelligent human would have been intimidating.  She kissed me and scratched my ear. No respect.

My human set me up in all new tack today - new saddle (Endurance), new bridle, new bit - and this was the good part.  It was an O ring straight bit. She thought I'd like it better and, boy, was she right.  It was like not wearing a thing and I got away with murder when she climbed on board (almost literally, but I failed, dammit). The best part was the curb chain didn't fit so...easy bit, no curb.  I was home free, baby.  I could do anything I wanted and there was nothing my passenger could do about it.

I thought about all the terrible things my human has ever done to me - the wormings, the rectal exams, braiding ribbons in my tails - pink ones! - and ho baby did I have some fun with her.  I hit that pasture at a sidewinding crow hop with the wind whistling past my mane.  All I could hear were the shrieks - sing-song cheer was long gone - "John Michael, get another bridle!  Hurry before I die."

I've never seen the male human move so fast. He caught me before I could unload the female human and tap dance on her forehead and he switched bridles. Today was just not my day.

Female human decided we were going to "school".  I know a lady never says her age, but I promise you that I'm long out of the arena.  I don't need no stinking higher education, seeings how I'm perfect as I am. She wanted me to back, then sidepass.  I did a sidewinder already. Why didn't that count?  And when she finally got off, the saddle didn't even slide down and break her other ankle. Dammit.

Put me up and feed me, that's all I ask for. But nooo. that would be asking too much. Next, male human decides I need my hooves trimmed.  All four of them, for crying out loud!

"When we get done with this, should we go ahead and worm her?" he asks, bent over my hind leg.  I did my very best, but I could not produce a bowel movement at that moment. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Finally done with my feet, female human takes the freezing cold water hose and sprays me with it. 

That's it. This day is officially the worst day of my life.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


I haven't said much about Blitz lately, and I guess it's because I haven't wanted to say this, but here goes.

Blitz isn't doing well. He's lost weight, a lot of weight. He looks as bad or maybe worse than I've ever seen him and it's happened fast. I thought it was most likely his dental problem combined with a hard winter, so I had the vet come out and float his teeth. When the vet said his teeth weren't really bad, that took the wind out of my sails. If he got that bad and there wasn't a reason...

Blitz has always been a hard keeper, and he usually gets pretty poor in the winters, but this...?  It's bad.  He's sunken in and caved in.  the muscles in his neck are deteriorating. His hindquarters are drawn up, ribs showing, for goodness sakes, his breast bone is poking out!  I don't think he weighs 700 pounds. Mike's horse, Daisy, is the same height and weighs about 1100 pounds. That's the difference between the two. Granted, she's a chubby chick, but still.

Blitz still puts his ears up and his eyes are bright...enough. But he's not my Blitz, the psycho as my kids call him.

I don't think he's in pain, but I'm no longer confident of that. I hate seeing him this way and I hate worrying that I'm going to wake up one morning and he's going to be dead in the pasture.

I'm giving serious consideration to putting my sweet boy down. Burying him under the maple tree out back. Giving him the rest he deserves.  I don't want him to suffer.

Oh, but I'm so not ready to let him go. I call his name every time I leave the house and he looks up, turning that beautiful white face in my direction, ears forward, as if to say, "Yes, Mama?  And where's my treat?" As soon as he realizes I'm not giving him a treat he casually dismisses me and turns back to his grazing.  Or he walks to the fence, just for a scratch and in the slim hope I'll cave and give him a treat anyway. My boy loves me. And just looking at him is my therapy. Without him, I couldn't have made it through these last years of a roller coaster marriage and divorce. He's better than all the therapy in the world.

And oh, how I love him. I can't stand to see him like this. We've been through this cycle almost every year for the past eight, and every year it gets worse. It's wearing him down.  Even in the summer he doesn't get his strength back.

Can I say good bye? Should I?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wedding Bells

My wedding is far from traditional.  I asked my dad if he was okay with NOT giving me away. I knew he would be, because he's the least egotistical man I've ever met, but I asked anyway.

"I don't want to give you away," he said, never taking his eyes off the tv screen. "I gave you away the last time and you came back."

My boys are giving me away.  Chad jumped at the chance, but at first Pierson wasn't sure if he wanted to be a part of the wedding.  After thinking about it, he decided to go for it.

"I really want to get rid of you, and this is my chance," he said.

My family is overflowing with love and happy feelings.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Things Kids Say

Pierson asked me the other day if Harrison could come over. I'd already spent the day at the Dukes of Hazzard Reunion and I was DONE. I told him no way was I going anywhere else that day.  No way, no how.
Ainsley involved her nosy little self in the conversation. "You didn't have to go to school all week like we did."
"Oh really?" I gave her The Look. "I went to school for all thirteen years, and then I homeschooled you ankle biters for another thirteen.  What now?"
She scoffed. "But you didn't go this week."

She has upgraded from her laid back Janie to my cyclone Blitz in the horse world.  After chasing him around the yard with the saddle yesterday, finally managing to tighten it while he whirled and twirled in moves that would make a professional ballet dancer jealous, she climbed on.  He pranced and did some grande jete's.  She looked a little nervous and said, "I hope I don't fall off and get hurt."  Then she brightened.  "But then I won't have to go to school tomorrow!"  And they were off.

Scotlyn just pretty much stays in the mode of "you've ruined my life don't talk to me".  It's kind of nice. Except she talks to me at will.  I'd like it to go both ways.

Chad came over the other day and went to the Dukes Reunion with us.  He spent the whole day complaining that it was a foretaste of hell.  I couldn't argue. Three hours of waiting in line to meet Daisy and five people to go, she takes her lunch. Son of a gun. And worst thing - just as we got out of her line and went to meet Cooter, he closed his line and shut down for the day. He was the one I wanted to meet!
"Next year," Scotlyn says. 
When hell freezes over, that's what I say.

Pierson is mellow. Give him an Xbox controller and he's happy.
Ask him how school was and get the same answer every day. Without looking up from the screen he says, "I hate it and you've ruined my life."
Mission accomplished.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I've been in a foul mood today.  It's not escaped my notice that since I left Peter, his family has suddenly taken an interest - for the first time ever - in my children...and in Peter.  This leads credence to their claim that I am, indeed, the cause for all the problems in their family.  After alternating between whining and complaining to Mike this afternoon, it dawned on me...

I don't have to deal with this anymore!!!

No more do I have to worry about what these people think of me. So they hate me.  So?  This matters why?  Ponder this for a moment....  It. Doesn't. Matter.  I don't have to give a rat's hind end about it any more.  I am FREE.

They hurt my feelings when they waited until I went outside to open Christmas presents that year.  It's in the past and I'm FREE.  They hurt my feelings when they invited everyone but me to a birthday party another year.  It's in the past and I'm FREE.  It always hurt my feelings when theymaliciously made fun of me and my husband joined in, never once thinking of my feelings. I'd moved across the country from my family and had only him and his family to lean on, only to have them treat me like a leper.  It's in the past and I'm - guess what? - FREE. 

If Peter needed to use me as an excuse for not calling, emailing, texting, or acknowledging his children for six years, okay.  He can claim it was my fault.  My theory is, if someone told me not to contact my children for six days, much less six years, I'd show them the door and tell them to not let it hit 'em on the butt on the way out. But, hey, that's me. I'm made of sterner stuff than needing to blame someone else for all my lack of character.

So, now you know. I have caused a whole family to fall apart and purposely kept Peter from having anything to do with his family. I'm gonna do the same thing to Mike, even though I love his family.  It's just what I do, you know, go around destroying perfectly happy, functional families.

It's a shame, though, cuz I sure do love Michael's family.  And they're even nutser than mine. That's saying something, too, cuz my family is some kind of crazy.