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Trotting With Ty

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This is Ty and me at the end of our last lesson.  We trotted together for the first time which was a bit unnerving to me as he’s part draft horse and part thoroughbred and 16.3 hands which, believe me, is big!  But what a sweet fella!

I’m learning to ride English and right now, I’m learning to post while trotting while loosely holding onto the reins and hanging onto the saddle!  I’m working on rhythmically posting as Ty’s trotting in a circle on a lead held by my teacher.  Thank goodness she’s there to guide me and him as we work together.  I’m happy to say that our goal was accomplished a few times, but I think I still have a long way to go.  But I’m getting there which is good.

I haven’t given up riding Sam or Charlie.  It just seems that Ty has a smoother gait while trotting which helps when you’re learning to post.  I love how each horse is different and has his own quirks like people do.  It makes for interesting connections!  And as you can tell, my smile is always so big when I am at the farm after a lesson!  There’s something so healing about riding horses.  Their loving natures make my heart sing!  Do you feel the same way?

Do you ride English or Western?  I’ve trailed ridden Western years ago which I enjoyed.  I wonder if I try to ride Western again on a trail will it be hard because it’s so different?  Any horse people out there?  Please share your experiences!  Thank you!

Shine On!

xo

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Animal House Party

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2:30am on last night’s moonlit night.  Snow is still on the ground, but it’s a warmer evening.  I’m nestled in my oversized winter coat, mittens and hat pulled over my ears, seated on a lawn chair in the shadows by the house.  The house light is on, but my eyes have adjusted and I can clearly see the backyard’s open field and the trees that line the back and side yard.  I’m waiting, but my eyes are getting heavy.

3am  I must have fallen asleep.  I awake with a start because I hear a rustling sound from the treeline as my eyes adjust again to night vision.  Who on earth is that?

Out of the shadows emerges a party of epic proportions!  It’s a parade of animals, big and small, which seems to include families and friends that come traipsing through the trees onto my lawn.

Much to my surprise, a big group of black bears lumber into the yard.  There’s a pretty lady bear with a portable keyboard, two hippy looking boy bears with electric guitars and one baby bear who heads over to use my garbage cans as his own personal drum set.  Oh how exciting!  There will be music tonight!  I have a big smile on my face as I watch unseen from the shadows.

Soon enough, the biggest black bear gets everyone’s attention and the party begins.  A cacophony of wildlife cheering breaks the silence as the bear band begins to play.  Big Foot, as I hear he’s named, begins to croon Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night and immediately the yard is full of dancers.  I search the couples and immediately spy two snakes undulating and doing their form of the rumba.  Mark was right!  There are deer dancing with big bucks, fawns and does, swaying to the music.  There are some Canadian geese dancing as well.  In the air above, the hawks are circling in time to the music.  On the ground nearby, I see some mice scurrying by, completely unaware of my presence because they are late to the party.  Whew!  Two black cats saunter over to dance, their tails entwined romantically.  There are plenty of animals who aren’t dancing, but are just standing around chatting away.  I can hear them as clearly as if they were speaking English to me instead of their native sounds.  It’s so much fun sitting here watching the scene as it unfolds!  I wish someone besides the moon were here with me to witness this!

As the younger ones get more excited, they call out for faster dances and Big Foot and his family band oblige.  A ruckus breaks out in the far corner by the trees.  There’s a lot of honking and I squint to be able to see what’s happening, but I can’t tell from this angle.  Maybe it’s the geese playing pool?

All of a sudden, I feel a heavy weight on me and down plops a big stork onto my lap!

I’m sorry little lady, but I’m bushed after dancing with Miz Heron and you’ve got the only seat in the house.  His crutch clattered to the ground.

You’re not afraid of me Sir?

Nope.  Not me.  You think you’re over here hiding don’t you?  That none of us saw you in your little lawn chair in the shadows?  He began to laugh uproariously.

I..I…I just wanted to see what was going on out here while I’m sleeping.  After that snowfall  the other day, I saw so many paw prints that I just had to come out tonight to see who was partying in my backyard!

Oh that’s ok Missy.  We don’t mind a bit.  Glad to see some life in this house finally.  You know your house was empty for quite awhile.

Yes, I did know that.  So you’ve been partying here for a long time?

Well, we have a fiesta once a season, but we especially like the snow, so we decided to host the Snow Ball twice this month because tonight is so warm.

Oh, I see.  I guess I picked the right night.

You certainly did, girlie.  He cupped a wing around his beak and bellowed out into the night.  Hey you geese, play nicely!  I hear you honking over there.  No cheating!

From the far darkest corner of the yard came a response:  Yes Sir, Mr. Stork!  It was just a little scuffle, but we’re ok.  Big Goose was trying to set up his shot and Clover the bunny tried to hop over the 8 ball and messed up our game.  It’s ok now.  We’ve put it all back to rights.

Ok, then play on and don’t let me hear you all honking so loudly anymore.  You’ll wake the neighbors over there! 

Mr. Stork turned back to me, leaned over to grab his crutch and got up.  I immediately felt so much lighter.

Now Missy, it’ll be sunup soon, so the party is winding down.  Nice to have met you.  I hope you enjoyed our show.

The music had stopped while I was so engrossed in the conversation with Mr. Stork.  I hadn’t realized it, but all the animals were now nearby and staring at me.  As I looked from face to face, I felt so blessed.  Each one was smiling at me.

Thanks for letting me attend your Snow Ball fiesta! 

Mr. Stork spoke for the group:  We are happy to make you a part of our family.

You are welcome here any time.  Thanks for letting me crash your party!

Next time, we will put a note on the porch to let you know when the party is again.  Bring your dancing shoes and you and I will boogie down!

Laughing, I grinned and said, I would love it!  Thanks everyone!  Safe home! 

As I turned to walk back to the house, I was grinning from ear to ear.  Laughing to myself, I thought, Nobody but Mark will believe this tale, but I will tell it on the blog tomorrow!  Hmmmm…..How did Mark know about the party???

Shine On!

xo

 

Can You Name Who Left These Tracks?

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All different tracks in the snow!  And none of them human!

So I went outside after the snowfall and in the back of our property here, there were tons of footprints in the snow!  It was, as if once the snow stopped, all of the little animals came out to play and Waaaaa!!!  I missed the show!  You know how I love my little animal friends.  It looks like they had a party while I was asleep.

None of the tracks were human.  There were no shoe prints, only interesting tracks and all different kinds.  There were a few more photos that I took, but they were blurry so there are an additional two different tracks still unnamed.  Maybe you can help me figure out who made them?  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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1. Who made these tracks?

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2. Do you think it’s a deer?

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3. Bunny?

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4. A herd of deer perhaps?

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5. Any ideas?

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6. This was in a pattern too.

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7. Last but not least…who made these tracks?

For ease in identifying them, I numbered them 1-7.  If you have any ideas or know about paw prints, please let me know!  I thought it was a fun way to put your expertise to the test because I am certainly clueless with these!

Thanks for any and all help!

Shine On!

xo

Morning Has Broken

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A new year.  A new day.  A new beginning.  So much that is new, but what comes with a beginning, also encompasses an ending.  Sometimes, we have a hard time of letting go of the ending and thus, we can’t really and truly begin until we release what holds us back.  We mourn for the loss of what was or what could be, spending valuable time hoping and wishing for a change.  This does not serve us unfortunately, but we do need to grieve for a bit to honor what was and what could have been if situations were different.

Then we move on…

Embrace your new beginnings.  Allow the excitement and enthusiasm which accompanies the new to flourish in your heart, mind and soul.  Take the lessons from the past with you as you step onto a new year’s path of life.  Begin again with love, kindness and compassion in your heart.  Do not dwell on what was, but instead look at the past as a gift for it served you well and got you to this point.  Let go of your past.

Breathe in possibility.  A new chapter awaits you.  A fresh page on which to write your hopes and dreams for 2018.  Every day we have a fresh start just waiting for us to notice.  Every moment can be a new beginning, not just because a new day dawns or a new year begins.

What is it that you want for yourself?

You are powerful.  I believe in you.

Take my hand.  Together we can build a tapestry which shines like the sun at dawn!

Shine On!

xo

Morning Has Broken was one of my Dad’s favorite songs and I heard it this morning, perfectly timed.  So I thought I’d share with you!

 

Winsome Winter

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Icicles! Icicles! Icicles!

In addition to the massive snowfall, the gusty winds and the freezing cold, the house has developed icicles!  These are the biggest ones I’ve ever seen!  What a winsome winter we’re having here!  Thanks Mother Nature!

In the photos, you probably can’t see that there are some which are even taller than me (because they end behind the banister on the stairway), but I think they are beautiful.  When the sun was shining on them and they were glistening, they were magnificent.  Unfortunately the photos I took don’t do them justice.

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Snowfall and morning moon with a snow drift in the bottom forefront! Farm house across the road.

The temperatures with wind chills factored in are reaching – 5 to – 20 which is mighty cold for Jersey.  But we are cozy in the house, so that’s all that counts.  We had some snow drifts that were about 3 feet high in places, so they weren’t shoveled.  But the driveway is clear, thanks to a few snowblowers and some back breaking shoveling.  Thank God, all is well.

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A little Caturday surprise before the tree is removed.

How are you doing in your area?  Snow?  Cold?  Windy?  Sunny?  Warm?  I hope that whatever your weather, you are nestled all snug in your home like our kitty Tigger.  As always, I wish you a lovely Saturday, filled with blessings, goodness and with a heartlight that shines brilliantly!

Shine On!

xo

 

Communal Solstice

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In this photo, you can see one fire lantern has been released and is the floating orb. A red one and three others await liftoff! I’m not sure what I captured on the left (shooting star?) I wish my phone camera could have captured greater detail because it was fabulous to watch with the naked eye! ♥

I felt the darkness of the Solstice especially this year.  Perhaps due to the changes in my life or due to the healing that has been surrounding me and integrating inside of me.  I feel like it may be a communal  change of enlightenment.  Do you feel it too?

I was grateful to have been invited to a Solstice Ceremony.  What a magical experience!  The energy was fabulous as we all gathered together under the stars on the beach.  A ceremonial fire was built in a fire pit, under the stars while we were serenaded by the waves of the ocean gently lapping rhythmically to the shoreline.  Unbeknownst to us, there were others who were not in our group, but on the beach, closer to the shoreline, setting off those fire lanterns to the sky.   What an added bonus to watch as they gently lifted up and over the ocean!  It truly was beautiful.  Even the winds died down and the air was not frigid during the ceremony.

Letting go of what doesn’t serve me anymore and allowing the fire to help me to release was an amazing feeling.  Then, we each also prayed and sent out our intentions for the new year.  I had never experienced such a ceremony before and honestly I was hesitant to attend, but I am so grateful that I did!  It seems as if God and the Universe are bringing healing in all sorts of ways to me and I am ever so grateful!

As the longest night of the year, the Solstice reminded me to continue to shine our heartlights and to honor the darkness for that’s when we see the light best.  I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas Day with my children this year and even though I will attend Mass alone on Christmas Eve, (because they will be with their dad), I feel at peace for the first time in a long while.

I hope you have a lovely time of year, whatever you are planning.  May peace and love be with you always!

Shine On!

xo

 

Miraculous Moment

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Sweet Sam and me after our first trot together!

I had a miraculous moment with Sam recently.  I hadn’t been riding in awhile and when I got back in the saddle on Sam, I needed a few minutes to remember.  You know what I mean?  Literally, I had to get my frame of mind back on the horse.  Pardon the puns, but they were so easy! LOL

I began my lesson as per usual, walking and guiding Sam around the paddock.  Keeping my heels down, body upright and core tightened as I took my cues from my instructor Sasha.  After a nice warmup, I could feel the tension in my hands still, but because it was chilly, I figured it was just me, which it was – me – still not trusting myself enough nor Sam.  So Sasha gave me a surprise which I can only liken to opening a big unexpected present on Christmas morning – and you know how much I love Christmas morning!

Sasha took away all of my control.  Putting Sam on a lead and taking away my reins, we rode in circles.  Holding on to the saddle for dear life at first and getting my balance.  I admit, I was scared.  Then Sasha had me let go of one hand on the saddle.  Deep breath in, I released my right hand and put it out beside me.  I wobbled at first, still walking in circles and then Sasha commanded both hands.  Deep breath in, exhaled and let go.  We went through a series of exercises all the while I was riding without reins and feeling more and more comfortable in my saddle on Sam.  He was a perfect gentleman and it clicked!  Suddenly it was like – I got this!  I’m utterly, wonderfully comfortable sitting on this sweet horse and I felt as if we were one!  It was such a miraculous feeling of profound centeredness and tranquility and euphoria!  Giggling with child-like wonder, I proudly sat up straight, fully comfortable in the saddle in that special moment with a big happy grin on my face as we bonded!

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Triumphantly Sam and I are bonding!  Look Ma!  No hands!

Sasha then informed me that we were going to trot a bit.  My heart leapt at the exciting prospect, but a little anxiety crept in.  I knew in my heart that I had full trust in both Sasha and Sam, so I agreed (not like Sasha would have let me back out though which is what I really like about her!)

Hands back on the saddle and Sam began to trot in a circle and with sheer delight, I was euphoric!  In a big wave of gratitude, my soul was flying, bonded with Sam.  As one, we trotted for the first time together in a circle!  We slowed to walk again and I rested my hands on my thighs to show Sasha my newfound balance.  Then we trotted again and I was on Cloud 9!    A first for me in so many ways as a wave of healing engulfed me.  Perhaps you won’t understand, but it was like a clearing for me in many ways, both personal and relative to my life.  It was as if all the debris of past broken trust had been swept away and a newness full of hope and utterly centered healing trust was returned to me.  Trust in myself, trust in Sam and Sasha and finally, trust in God and in the Universe!

Words can’t describe the feelings I’ve had since that moment and perhaps I sound silly to you, but to me it was a miraculous moment that I wanted to remember, so I am blogging about it.

After my lesson, Sam and I bonded for awhile.  Nuzzling and talking with him afterwards was so lovely.  It was as if we understood each other.  I gave him treats as he snuggled into me.  Even after I returned him to his stall, I was hesitant to leave him and I think he was enjoying me too as instead of going to eat, he stayed at the doorway, letting me know in no uncertain terms that he wanted to continue our time together.  So, I hung around with him, talking and petting his velvet face with him affectionately snuggling into me and making me laugh with his antics!

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Sam had me giggling when I took the photo and accidentally cropped myself out! But see his sweet face? Pure love!

When I left the barn, I walked to my car happily as I usually do, but there was a knowing in me that I haven’t felt in a long time.  When I got to the gate of the farm to leave, my trusty horse friends were there to greet me.  But even they were warmer with their welcomes.  It was as if telepathically Sam had told them of our riding experience.  I ended up spending extra time petting them too, reluctant to leave these amazing creatures whose love was filling my soul with peace and trust.

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One of the ‘gatekeepers’ – I don’t know this guy’s name, but he is so affectionate! All he wanted was for me to keep petting his velvet nose and talk with him! He kept following me!

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Here’s sweet Ely who always greets me when I arrive at the gate to the farm. He couldn’t get enough petting yesterday either – and frankly neither could I!

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Mr. Chips is more timid, but he too was interested in getting some affection yesterday before I left!

I remind myself that healing comes when we are ready to embrace it and that Divine Timing has all the answers.  We just have to be open to the opportunities of letting go and letting God and the Universe to help us to heal.  Mother Nature’s creatures innately help us when we trust and have faith.

Thanks for reading my post today.  I know I was long-winded and maybe not even making sense to you, but to me, it was a profoundly important moment that I wanted to share.

Shine On!

xo