Wednesday, March 24, 2010

self worth

   I happened to look at my horoscope today, and instead of some crass, inane forcast about my day, there was this single profound statment.  This is what is important to me and it came from the Star Tribune Horoscope:

       "Your value is not dependent on how many people are "friending" you on a social networking site -- or in real  life.  You determine your value, and popularity has nothing to do with it."

     How much this statement means to me,  I have my own self worth, I am making life-time changes for myself.  Not because someone wants to cyberbully me, or attempt to intimidate me or even tell lies about me.    I hope people who read this are able to make the same applicable changes for their own lives.

    About my journey into these changes, they are on multiple levels and at different stages all of them.  I am trying to be more aware of my eating habits, and try to make clear and healthy choices for everything.  Of course, sometimes I am going to slip, but, I am right back on track slugging away at these unwanted pounds as determinedly as I can be.  I joined the 12 week wellness program put on by the hospital,  every week we weigh in so I have to be accountable, not only to me, but to the personal trainer and the dietitians who have personally designed a program suited just for me.  I want to be a success story for them as well as myself.

   I have been religious about working out 5 times a week.  I can really tell in my arm strength, and my core strength increasing has improved my balance significantly.  I don't fall nearly as often, which is good, but not nearly as entertaining to my horses as when I wasn't as stable in my core.  I fell a lot then.  And of course, after I fall there is always some significant profanity following said event.  I  admit, I don't always get to the club to workout, but if I don't get there, I make a plan to do something at home, either with my workout DVD's or I take a walk down the state trail in front of our house.   Last night was one of those nights, I knew I wasn't going to the club, so I took a mile and a half walk down the trail,  accompanied by 5 dogs, and 1 cat, ( I don't think Tommy knew what he was getting himself into, but once we got as far away as we were, he no choice but to follow us home!)  Poor Tommy will probably not want to walk with us ever again!  He was so funny!  I love putting on my iPod and just walking to the beat, some of my favorite songs to walk to are by Queen, so I have learned many of their songs by heart.  Another song I can really get a power walk going to is by The WeatherGirls, it is called; "Its Raining Men", love that song!!  It has such a peppy beat, and it is just fun to listen to the words to for me.  I enjoy my walks outside tremendously, and am grateful for the trail to walk on so my pets and I are semi protected from the dangers of road traffic.

     I have renewed friendships with some of my high school friends, the tried and true friends that even though I hadn't seen or spoken with them for many, many years, it felt as though we had just talked yesterday.  They will be my friends for an eternity, this I know.  These are the people who know me for who I really am, not  some fly by night friendship that only ends in hurt and betrayal.  These are the people I can share something in confidence and not have it proclaimed in a half truth to everyone who would listen.  That happened to me, I guess it wasn't a reflection so much on me as it was on the character of the person who did that to me. Needless to say, this friendhsip didn't survive... It involved some of those changes for life...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Well, well

   Well:   A hole with water in it, has always been my standard smart-ass comment, turns out, this IS true, but, some wells are better than others.   Our well, is among those that need replacing.  A friend of mine and I were discussing the amazing coincidence that our knowledge base increases with home ownership.  I would never have known what a "flowing well "was without being a home owner.   A flowing well is the same as an artisan well, ( which I always thought was a "good "thing) but, not all artisan wells are created alike.  Our well is a very shallow well, ( 27 ft with the top being 4 feet below ground level), I always knew it was shallow but, had no idea HOW shallow it really is. 
    It all started last Fri night, as I was doing chores, I heard a strange sound, like water running through a stream.  I shined the light on our well, and the water was gushing around the well like a fountain.  This didn't look good to me, so I headed inside and called a well company, of course, they wer not open, so I left a message, and then figured, I better shut off my well, but, first I called my friend who has recently had well problems, to see what she thought.  Her well knowledge has increased substantially the past couple of years also.  She felt if I were to shut off the well, I should also pop the circuit breakerto the water heater, so I didn't add insult to injury by also wearing out the elements on my hot water heater if the water were to drop in the  heater.  I hastened to do this since we all know how I feel about my hot water!!!  In case I haven't mentioned it before, I love, love, love hot running water!!!  so, now, the well is off, the hot water heater is off, but, there is enough water in the pressure tank to flush toilets and so forth.
   Called a well company, and explained what was going on.  He agreed with the measures presently being taken, and that I would be alright until Monday when I would not have to pay an emergency well call.  Monday, the well company was making arangements for repairing said well, and excavating company had come out and looked at the job, ( actually 2, because I called another friend of mine who works for an excavating company also and he came out and looked at the mess. 
Both excavating companies expressed concern for being able to dig out the well to repair the problem.  So, I call the well company again Monday night and talk to them about the reluctance of said excavators to do the work.  He decides to come out and take a look himself on Tues.  Low, and behold, between him and my excavator friend, they come to the conclusion that there isn't a hole in the well casing (that is what was orginally suspected), but, that the seal around the well pit itself has developed a leak.  Apparently, this is BAD.  About 8 grand bad...I have to have a new well, because groundwater can potentially seep into my well contaminating the water in it.  So, although there is plenty of water, and plenty of water pressure, there is no good water to drink.   As this isn't an emergency ( we can purchase bottled water),  I am going to save up a substantial amount ( hopefully, we all know about those "best laid plans"), and by fall, I can have a new well dug, and I won't owe the bank a fortune, along with wanting to make my annual "hay loan".  The banker I work with agrees, and was actually pleased that a well wasn't the 15 grand he pictured it would be...!

    Looking back on this week, I once again, have been educated in something I had not a clue about.  I guess this is a bonus of not living life with a sliver spoon in my mouth.  I am willing to learn new things, and every piece of knowledge I gain is a plus!  Life is good...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Club House

    Ever have just a word or a phrase bring back some powerful memories?  This happens to me often, ( maybe I live in the past )  well, this morning while during a Facebook written conversation, an old friend of mine mentioned these three small words.  Doing so brought an unexpected but, entirely welcomed set of memories.  I hope to share them here.

    When I was 9 our family had a terrible fire,the chimney on our house blew up June 4, 1974.  Our house dogs awoke my parents, who in turn made their way into our bedrooms and led us into the upstairs bathroom, which had a window that opened onto the roof of the kitchen.  We escaped the house via the window, but, then, it was a 12-14 foot drop to the ground.  My dad jumped off the roof and landed unharmed, and retrieved a ladder for the rest of us to clamber down.  They loaded all of us frightened smoke filled kids into the car, and were about to leave for some help ( we lived in the country and my grandparents home was a mile away).   We heard the dogs barking in the house and my parents tried to get into the house to rescue them, but, the smoke was too thick.  They turned away from the house and we raced to my grandparents ( it was around 4:00 am).   The fire dept was there within minutes, but, it was too late to save our pets, we lost Pepper ( a Vizla), Shotzie( a Dachshund), Mitzi ( a Miniature Poodle) , Trixie ( Doxie /Poodle X puppy), and Scooter ( our Siamese cat).   I was devastated.   I was inconsolable for a long time.  I still had my horse Sundance, and my sisters and brother were all still with me, but, my friends the animals were gone...
         It got better, I met some new friends from  the town next to ours, and they also had horses and lived nearby.  We lived with my granparents until my mom and dad could figure out what to do next.  Our horses lived at my grandparents farm because the place we lived at was rented and there was not barn for the horses nor was there enough land for the 6 horses we had. After our chores were done for the day, of course we would take off on horseback to meet our friends and we would spend the day together doing fun things, raiding neighborhood kitchens ( the neighbor ladies LOVED company, even if it was a bunch of hungry kids), taking our horses swimming in the creek, riding to the village for Pixie Sticks and a can of pop.  Gosh even now, these memories are so powerful, I can still see myself on Sunny, soaked to the bone, he and I,... laughing at someone who must have fallen off in the water.  The smell of a lazy summer afternoon, laying on the the back of my mellow horse, just soaking up the summer sun.  Triumphantly cantering down the road with a can of Orange Crush  in my hand and a handful of Pixie Sticks n my pocket, leading the way to our "secret Hideout", so we could laugh and giggle as we ate and drank our succulent treats.

   That was the first summer, subsequently, we started spending more time together during the school year also, even though we attended rival schools.  Now, this is a story for another time...

      During that summer though, we discovered my grandparents old brooderhouse.  Gosh, it looked just the right size for us to have a clubhouse!!!!!   So, after securing permission and help  we planned out the refurbishment of the "clubhouse".     It was painted the typical "Barnyard Red", and  my grandpa found windows that fit the casings and secured them into place.  He also made not only a door to fit the clubhouse, but, also, a screen door, so we could have the cool evening breezes enter into our new clubhouse. Gandma made pretty curtains ( white with tiny roses on them),  we put down a spare piece of linoleum, Mom and Dad gave us an old couch and a small table and chairs sat in front of the windows. 
There were extra benches for people to sit on.  Dad strung a wire from the garage to the "clubhouse" and there was light... our clubhouse was complete!  Everyone wanted to become a member of "The Club".  Our cousins wanted to sleep in the clubhouse when they came out from the city to visit .( of course, we shared...) 

   We spent many hours inside the clubhouse doing things young horse-crazy girls do.  Reading Horse and Rider, Horseman and  Horse Of Course magazines. We made made patches of a horse head ( in purple satin no less!) to sew on our jackets ( think Trixie Beldon, she was a strong influence...)  We had meetings monthly... We brought books to share ( horse stories of course)  I signed up to be a penpal on Horse Of Course, and spent many hours re reading and writing back to the many penpals who responded to my request for a penpal.  We planned our next horse back excursions, where we would go, and who we would visit.  We daydreamed about our lives ( the horses and the boys in them , yep, we were now pre-teens, and we discovered BOYS!)   The time spent in our clubhouse seemed endless, and it was a friend sometimes when the pressures of being a young person with low self esteem seemed overwhelming.

   We  spent a couple of years sharing dreams and time with our beloved clubhouse, sadly, our lives were turning in new directions; school dances, sports, new friends boys, boys, boys.... The clubhouse became forgotten.   By the time we reached eighth grade we were not spending much time at all within its welcoming walls.  The clubhouse was now just a fixture on my grandparents farm.   Over the years, it lost its cheery curtains, storms broke out the windows, my grandparents passed away, and we grew up.

   I had the opportunity last spring to visit my grandparents old farm, and with the intention of possibly purchasing the clubhouse for my son, restoring its former glory I went to see it with optimism in my heart.  Sadly, it is decomposed beyond salvage, the roof is fallen in, there are no windows left intact, the floor is rotted through.   Time has ravaged our beloved clubhouse more than any act of vandalism ever could. 

   This is my tribute to our clubhouse, ,although it will not see another generation of children grow up in its walls, it will live on in my memories and on this blog as well as in the memories of some of my closest childhood friends!,