I thought I had been going through a sort of death and rebirth over the past few years. Going back through this blog its apparent the struggle of birth with all its discomfort, and like a baby, I just don’t want to look back upon it anymore. I have some ideas for the future. Ive thought a lot about just writing snippets on gratitude, or short notes on moving forward, something positive or rewarding. Just doesn’t feel right in this venue. Too many memories on this blog of how I got here.
I’m mulling over the idea of a new blog to commemorate not just having been reborn, but more importantly that I’m living my new life and about to take off and soar.
I have a new dog, a standard chocolate poodle named Persia. She is a delightful upbeat addition to my life. I’m already learning so much from her. She’s the best company ever!
I’m very close to owning my canoe, only a few more payments, and Persia and I will be out on the water this summer. Finally! Somewhere back in this blog I discuss what being out on water would mean to me. Well I’m almost there(!), and I have the greatest companion ever in Persia to share it with.
A beautiful Spanish mustang mare is coming to live with me in a few months, Her name is MP Cinnamon Spice.
She is a bay daughter of Ghost Warrior, and out of Sequoya’s Creek Shawnee. I wont be owning Cinnamon, at least not up front. I will be leasing her for two years with a goal of training her and getting a foal from her. With the decision to lease Cinnamon, my life feels alive and full again.
Some crucial realizations have come to me the past few months. For one, I am unable to walk away from my horse passion. Its just what makes me tick. My desires have not changed. Ive tried to open my heart, mind and soul to other possibilities, but they wain and pale to the machine that drives my love of horses. Among those realizations I’ve been having are, I want a place with pasture, an age old dream, and that I love genetics. I love at least the dream of breeding horses. I’m going to breed I think. Maybe not on any real kind of scale, but I have ideas and direction again. Also my eyes have been opened to coverups, lies and unspoken suspicions. I wont be fooled so easily again. Mistakes made were made at a price I refuse to pay again. I will learn from them and turn them into positive guidelines for a successful future.
Its scary to try this again. But I’m up for it!
So I’ll leave The Pony Expression for now as it is. Wow, that conjured up some emotion.
See ya around. Hopefully you come along on my next journey and share in the exhilaration of it with me. You’ll have to come along if you want to know what the rest of the story is….
Okay it’s not going to be about me today. Instead I find myself observing village behavior. Not only do I live in a “village”, but some people I have been in contact with have enlightened me on some other forms of villages and how the people in them behave with each other.
One thing I noticed about this old community that I live in is the division between groups and no real plan for the future. We live in a bubble here in Silverton. The MIGHTY San Juan Mountains guard against the intrusion of the outside world and many want to keep it that way understandably, but it limits progress and growth that would allow this town to flourish. The community is quick to respond to one another when in need, but also very quick to burn a neighbor over petty stuff. Living so closely within the community also makes for no immunity from personality clashes or disagreements on almost every level. To be honest for someone like myself who is pretty much a loner and quiet liver, the political climate on is troubling.
Thus I find some of these planned community villages interesting and wonder how they manage to live in close harmony without alienating themselves from one another. Is it their particular personalities? Or do they adhere to doctrines that curb certain behaviors throughout and within the community?
“Ecovillages are human-scale, full-featured settlements in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development, and which can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.”
—Robert and Diane Gilman, Ecovillages and Sustainable Commuities,1991
The two links below give some insight to how getting along with your neighbor can be managed.
built by Rod Rylander in a beautiful thriving community Earth Haven, and it’s for sale for $40,000.00! Is that tempting or what? If it were closer to where I want to live I would consider buying it. Rod says this about the construction vision of this wonderful little home.
My mission was to develop a sustainable, agricultural homestead on a south-facing mountainside in order to demonstrate that tobacco farmers, textile workers, and other unemployed families could live a rewarding life. The objectives included construction of a home requiring a small amount of capital and development of an agricultural system that could sustain a family living a simple lifestyle.
The Hobbit House emerged from the earth, as clay and sand were turned into pressed adobe bricks and trunks and limbs of local trees formed the timber frame and the basis of the cordwood wall. Almost all the materials from which the house is made came from the Earthaven site.
A statement from Earth Haven…
Earthaven is a living seed in which we store the best of our cultural heritage, and an incubator in which we will embrace our responsibility as humans during the impending chaos.
We will pass our mythology, technology, and community skills on to our extraordinary descendants, who will plant a poly-culture of survival strategies and help cultivate a sustainable renaissance. Through cultural exchange between tribes, they will create a world more abundant, beautiful, and peaceful than ours. The success of our efforts today shall be measured in these terms.
—An inspirational statement written by a small group of members during our 2008 strategic planning process
Interesting. These villages are not for everyone, but what I am finding interesting about them is the cohesive intent on the individuals as a community. Regardless of their personal approach or the opinion that birthed their particular desired community, they all work together. I’m guessing what they don’t share with us is that they too are only human and squabbles most likely do break out between community members or groups.
Someone wrote to me the other day and had this thought behind a desire to live in a sustainable eco-community.
“Not so much into the communal idea, but more like a neighborhood that has substantial relationships, and cares together about the land and the people etc. I like my privacy. Especially need that neighborhood vibration or feeling to be centered around preserving freedom, not regulating each other to death, and sitting in endless meetings, or all the other undesirable things that some mean by community. Just people who watch over each other and care about how it is for everybody, kind of a tribal thing. Like if someone is old and breaks an ankle their neighbor fills the woodshed for them and drops off a deer for food, knowing that the same would be done for him.
I really like this approach and feel it could be established in older communities like here in Silverton. It really does exist here to a great degree… if we could just get past the power plays. No place is perfect and every place has something for someone. I’m thinking of studying a bit more on eco-friendly communities, I may find a niche in one of them that suits me perfectly. Who knows. In the mean time I wanted to generate some consciousness on what it is to be a village and how we may improve our communal life together as a village.
And another thought…
I searched for eco-friendly sustainable horse/equestrian communities only founding one and it was for selling land handled much like a real estate project. So hmmm… Who wants to create new eco-friendly sustainable horse utopia?
I photo shopped this picture and scrunched up the area to make everything fit, but what if it were spread out? A community garden, or several private gardens and an area for working with the horses… and all the other facets of a viable self driven village? Let your imagine run away with you… have fun. Think community, think sustainable, think eco- friendly and think peaceful existence…
Well we are definitely well into winter around here. I have to say the snow is still a powerful healing presence in my life. I battle with it to get places or to stay dry or warm. But visually and in some ways sensually it is very opening for that part of me that resides within myself. I am still grappling with my idea of snow and what it conjures up in my mind. I still find myself saying that I don’t like snow, and I really do not like driving on mountain passes in blizzards. But part of me really does like it – its healing and mystical presence in my life makes me feel cozy and complete inside. Kinda how you feel when sitting on a river bank, or a mountain top, in a meadow or some other peaceful place of beauty. Serene…
I feel serene here in Silverton in our wintry wonderland. I just have a difficult time seeing this as home. One of this blogs readers commented on the last post Introspection – Walking The Red Road and brought me back to myself with her insight. See why I write my thoughts down here for all to read? You never know when some sweet spirit will come along to present a new world to journey through and investigate. Thank you My Shiloh Ranch for being that beautiful being in my life. Your comment made me think past my emotions and desires to re-relate to my true self, I then set out to find other insights that would boost the power within me to be my true self in the face of my recent experiences. Another healing process I guess.
I came along this blog - Allow Happiness and was pleased at how much beauty there is out there. Allow Happiness shared a post listing their favorite blogs on happiness and I found them to be fabulous. So wanted to share them here with all of you. The one in the the list that really spoke to my current situation is the Happiness Blog. Great stuff to think about. So I am off of my recent introspection of how I got here and am back on what I am finding to be wonderful about being here. I am also looking at the possibility that my ultimate happiness resides in a very different place than what I have perceived or desired in the past. When we think of what makes us happy, we have so many things to weigh that happiness against and those things come from our past as ideals or memories or experiences you want or do not want in your life at present. Longings that you have nurtured, whether they are truly correct for your ultimate happiness or not. I’m going to do a little experiment on myself this winter. I am going to look to things that are new to me and unfamiliar and seek what within these odd to me things solicits joy from within me. The first thing that comes to mind is bringing another greyhound in to my life.
(My Greyhound, Future – 2004-2008 – in her favorite spot – How I miss her!)
Another is bringing Pro back home and getting back into the saddle making project.
(The Hope 1840′s saddle that I plan to build for Pro someday)
For just those two things to happen I am looking at another move and where is that to be? I’m being pulled South. Toward Bayfield or Pagosa Springs or even Taos, New Mexico. Taos would put me closer to the Spirits I crave to be close to. It’s also a long way away from Heather, like 7 hours hours away from her. There is a town an hour and fifteen minutes North of here called Ridgeway that might just be the ticket also. The oddity to me here is that I have never considered Colorado a place I would permanently call home. It feels foreign to me to do so and I find myself searching elsewhere for that familiar homey feel. But maybe I am home. Maybe having horses in snow is a mystical magical beauty that my inner joy will abound with. Maybe going camping near the Spirits will be my Church. I don’t know yet. But I’m going to recreate my optimism for the adventure and see where I end up.
These are some of the things that bring instant sense of joy to me.
This Thankful Thursday I am grasping onto unfulfilled needs to carefully explore each one of them. Thankful that I am finally in a place where I can open myself up to them and allow them to become all they are meant to be, or not.
Man what an exploration I have embarked upon. I find myself thrust upon a journey of rough waters in open seas with no end. Those who follow this blog no that I have fought tooth an nail to get to the place of joy I now reside in. In doing so I have purposely let go of or stashed away certain needs, wants desires and dreams. Knowing full well that some of those things were just tucked away in hopes an opportunity would arise to allow them to flourish. The key is to let them lie dormant while I live my life freely unencumbered and full of adventure and joy. Grasping onto simple pleasures as though they were monumental bliss. A friend has inadvertently sent me on a journey to find those things that I truly need and those that I have convinced myself that I need, or my wants. So self exploration has commenced. Not that I had any intention of opening such doors as they allow demons to escape and play havoc with my place of contentment. But I can beat them down now so bring it on.
I made a list of my needs. Needs being things like security, food, shelter, the basic things that we need to survive as a being. Other needs such as being a close part of my daughters life, personal time for regrouping, healing or just exploring comfort. Feeling loved. As I understand it needs fall into several categories those for physical survival and those for emotional, and spiritual survival. Then our wants are things we can live without but they too can also be things that we need. The feeling of being loved for example. We may want to be loved and can certainly live without love, but emotionally and even spiritually we may still need it for our emotional well being.
I found that I have somehow managed to land upon a place where most of my needs are met. Thus I am content and feel joy most of the time. I certainly see beauty in most things and that lifts me onto a plateau where I enjoy my life in a way most dream of. My list is quite simple I think. Each item on it could be expanded upon and the complexities revealed. But no need, it says enough as it is. My needs include:
Pure open communication
Freedom with my animals
Freedom with my daughter
Freedom with my friends
Freedom with my work
Personal time (regroup/comfort)
To give for others benefit
Compassion and kindness
I need these things in my life whether I am the cause or the effect.
In making my wants list I found that many of the things that I desire are things I actually need. Companionship or a life partner would be nice. Has not come to fruition thus far in my life, but I can only hope and keep myself open to the possibilities. For some folks the need of a life partner is never met, I may be one of them. It would not stop me from living or being happy but it will leave a void in my emotional and spiritual being. So yes it becomes a want that is in truth a need. I wont list all of those needy little critters here as there are those things that are intimate to me. So on my needs and wants document in Microsoft Word they are listed under unfulfilled needs and desires. But the actual wants list… has six items on it and I’ll share them with you, they include:
(Ive always “wanted” an activity partner… someone who enjoys doing the same things and enjoys doing them with me. Krissy is really the closest thing I have had to that and yet it has not been all that easy for us because there has always been good distance or mileage between us. My old neighbor was that for awhile. We use to talk horses, go look at them, and trek around checking horse related stuff. But it came to an end.)
(Well at times I was smart enough to keep my other expenses to a minimum so that I could enjoy nice clothes and such. Then I do something stupid like buy too many horses. Bad girl!)
(The car I have now is safe enough, probably a safer car than most for driving in our snow and ice, but to take it on a trip would be suicide – for the car – and of course I “want” to travel.)
Safe home for my animals and I
(This is a hard one as I am not in a financial position to provide a home for animals. I live in a room (happily), but it’s all I can afford. That and possibly a pasture situation for Pro and that’s it. So yes in a way I will provide a safe home for us, but not on the same land.)
I have not had health insurance in over 15 years. Cannot afford it. I “want” to change that and have coverage in the near future.
Travel & exploration
(I am a free enough spirit to “want” to see things that are new to me and different from what I’m use to. To step outside my safety net and dance with a little danger from time to time.)
Do I need these things for my contentment and to have joy in my life? Nope. I was dumb founded on how small my wants list turned out to be. And on that list some of the things if I never have them will not affect my happiness in any way. The home for my animals could be an issue for me though. Or I just don’t have too many animals that I struggle to house them. That’s a choice of simplification which in itself creates happiness.
So I am facing my unfulfilled needs… Holding my breath and trying to make sense of them. Some of them I am not ready to make peace with or give up on. Some of them are as important to me as loving my daughter is. I’ll never give up on loving her.
So here I go on a new journey… A good journey of self exploration and a good project for this long white winter and the possibilities of fulfillment of some of those illusive needs.
Aren’t those the happiest faces you have ever seen? Yeah uh huh… There’s no faces hidden in the leaves of these mint plants.
I’m thinking that mint plants are very happy plants. Plants with great attitude about life. These guys struggle, they do not have the best light source and it’s winter when they should be sleeping. But look at those little faces. Each leaf cluster just looks like its looking right up at you with pure expectation.
This is one of the mom’s to the babies below. You can see the babies roots in the vase behind mom in this picture. I had no idea that mint could be started from cuttings. These guys love to succeed! I have several pots of mint from cuttings from this mother plant and her sister. All started from cuttings in little vases. Mom and her sister provide me with fresh garnish for my drinks and entrees and maintain the greatest attitude ever. Just a very nice sustainable surprise from a cheerful little plant.
Well after appreciating all the White Medicine around me, thought I show how I balance my life out in terms of color and texture to stimulate the senses.
hmmm… thinking he’s pretty fat and sassy! He is getting a 10 gallon planted aquarium soon. No more bowls for Connor!
In the future I am thinking seriously about getting one of these…
…in fact I have already promised that in the next year I will order a baby male to raise up from Little Tweet. The photos are from Little Tweet of their birds. I like the blue, yellow (dilute), and white (blue dilute) versions shown above. But I’m ordering the blue for its vibrancy against my Serengeti tan walls. These are Pacific Parrotlets – the smallest true parrot in the world. They have big bird character in a little bird (about 4 inches long) body. They are quiet enough for Apartment living too.
Color and living-ness from plant life to fish, dragon, and birds – living color. I understand why folks paint their homes rich vibrant colors inside and out. Mine is desert Serengeti (earth tone tans and greens and Zebra print, bathroom is ocean blue and beach linens) but with a living tropical feel. Just love it!
Oh this is a goodie today. Not sure if it will be a long one or a short one. But I am excited about todays Thankful Thursday.
First off let me introduce to you, Zebrafinch, our latest guest blogger who will be featured here often on Thankful Thursday. Be sure to read below this post to have the process of becoming Grateful eloquently penned. I am looking forward to each and every one of Zebrafinch’s posts. Not only does it help Zebrafinch find her own sense of gratitude, it also touches me and helps me deepen my own sense of gratefulness.
Thank you Zebrafinch for sharing your thoughts on THE PONY EXPRESSION and for being part of the healing process.
Next Chris a friend from England, commented on one of my posts today. He was saying how I had shared with all of you that I really had an issue with snow and was struggling moving to Colorado much less Silverton, Colorado. He was dead right – I struggled for several years with the idea. However, I have found the snow to be healing. Someone else came to my home one day and said you surround yourself with nurturing things, everything you do seems to be aimed at nurturing yourself. That is exactly what I have set out to do ever since 1997 and having spent that year reading the book I mention on an early Thankful Thursday, Sarah Breathnaucht’s “Simple Abundance”. I suggest you check it out again, and come to think of it I will join you. Refreshing that process can only be…
It has shocked me just how nurturing the cold, icy, wet, sticky, colorless stuff they call snow can be. Having been an advocate of color and having the eye of an artist, color has always effected me in curious ways. Thus, I have avoided the color white most of my life. It was cold, barren, lifeless to me. Instead I surrounded myself with deep earth tones and rich spiritual colors. Now finding myself surrounded by white I am feeling regenerated, cleansed and reborn into a new way of life. Its exhilarating. White, icy, cold= exhilarating… yes I get it! Hello!! I have found a new appreciation for SNOW. Will I remain in it for the rest of my life? Probably not, or… maybe I will. That will depend on the next chapters of my life. But for now I am embracing it with a sense of adventure and appreciation for the healing effects it has had on my soul.
I was talking with one of my clients yesterday when he suggested that my move to Silverton maybe was a product of intervention guiding me to a place where I would naturally regain my fitness. Well Creator if that is so. THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU!! I will never be able to show my gratitude strongly or purely enough. I believe it to be true, and I WILL be mindful of the gift. AHO …I was given a vision years ago of what I might be called to do. Help others find their own brand of nurturing to empower themselves. I saw myself in a high desert boulder ridden remote location. People coming to sit with me. Just a sharing experience. Heck I don’t know if it was my imagination running away with me or truly a calling. I don’t really care. I know that some times people do come for help. Other times I feel the urge to offer an open ended something to someone. Some jump to fill the void and others walk away. I am thankful that whatever I have to share is useful to some, and still feel that someday I’ll be sitting on a porch of some simple abode in the high desert. In the meantime I am still walking down a path of preparation in mind, spirit and body. For this path I am thankful.
Today I am thankful for:
1) the sweet hiss of steam coming from the boiler in my room.
2) the claw foot tub where I take my nightly soaks in a mixture of lavender, frankincense, tea tree, and lemon oils to candlelight dancing upon the walls around me.
3) my chest freezer full of good foods for the winter
4) all the green plants…
and Connor the betta fish who surround me with livingness.
5) the wonderful people who have surrounded me with friendship since moving to Silverton. They include but are not limited to. Pam, Maryanne, Patty, Karen, Cindy, Matt, Alan, Tim, the Gillan boys, and of course my daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Malcolm and their entire family. For all of you mentioned and not, I am so very thankful. Love you!
6) the glorious sun reflecting itself off the snow-bright mountains into my room from outside my window. The glow as it travels through the leaves of my plants is heavenly.
Happy Thankful Thursday everyone. Don’t forget to keep reading below for more thankfulness from guest blogger, ZEBRAFINCH.
There are so many topics that I would love to explore on this blog. So I made a list.
Unique Restaurantettes – little hole in the walls that incorporate their local farmers markets and cook their foods from scratch. Such as The Deli. I drop in at The Deli often for lunch when I’m over on that side of town. Their food is absolutely to die for! It’s always ample in portion. For example, I bought a salad yesterday it came in a bowl as large as a dinner plate. I ate almost half and was stuffed to the gills. The owner/chef came over to the table, always friendly, sat himself down to visit telling me the yellow pear tomatoes in my salad he and his son picked fresh that morning. I brought the rest of the salad home which had ample portions of turkey in it and made a turkey salad sandwich on sprouted flaxseed bread for dinner. There is enough left over for two more sandwiches. The Deli has been getting quite a bit of attention lately with business growing at a constant pace as folks learn about its existence. Check them out at the Arizona Republic for a grand slam review.
I’m considering beginning a category for Cowboy and Cowgirl Life. Write about real people past and present. Mostly though I want to explore things like cowboy code and cowboy character. I’m going to add a picture of my Great Uncle Fred to my banner. He was an ultimate cowboy who made a living wherever he laid his hat. He worked as a fire watchman up on the Mogollon Rim on mule back for years. My aunt told stories of waiting for him to return knowing his mule would get him home if he could mount up. If the mule came back alone she would set out to retireve my uncle. He use to walk down wild horses in the desert, riding them back to the ranch fully broke and ready to be used for ranch stock. He was my favorite person in the whole wide world, and was my original mentor in training horses. To this day I still use some of what he taught me about wild horses. My first experience in Arizona was at age twelve when my parents brought me to visit my great aunt and uncle. Uncle Fred took me out calling in coyotes using a rabbit in distress whistle. It was a major day in my life. When I returned to Arizona some 27 years later I wanted to go back to the old Preston Ranch where my Uncle had worked, but of course it was already under a subdivision.
Outdoorsmen and Women . Recently I have ran across some Outdoorsmen who write and are quite good at it. I’m thinking of guest writers who would like to spread the love so to speak and have more folks have access to their work. It will be on a submission basis and I’ll have to read the piece and post it for them. I want to be sure anything I post is appropriate for all my readers. My love of outdoorsmen and women comes from being raised by them. My father and mother were bigger than life types who are hard to find these days. They are out there, I have ran across a few, and I am drawn to them like bees to honey as it reminds me that really solid, quality, tough and capable people are still sharing this world with us. People I would feel safe with in any situation, like when my dad saved a river boat full of people from capsizing by jumping into a raging river grabbing a nearby limb and pulling the boat to safety with his brute strength. I was in the boat and wasn’t a bit afraid for my dads safety or mine. It wasn’t just his fearless act that saved us, it was his knowledge of the boat and in particular the water and how to read it and how to maneuver the boat correctly. As the women wearing their fear tears and the men with their red faces crawled from the boat to the bank, my dad stood in chest high raging water holding onto a limb with one hand and the boat with another with a big smile on his face. He was liviing life to its fullest right at that very moment. Or when he helped his best friend stay alive when they both were stranded in the Alaskan wilderness, eventually making it to a remote lodge. Or when he faced down a cow moose charging him. All he had with him was his shot gun, he was rabbit hunting with a cane having had a double total hip surgery. When he shot the cow square between the eyes the shotgun spread was less than 2 inches in size. She bowled him over but landed dead about 10 paces behind him. These are the kind of people I want to feature here.
I’m thinking adding these categories will open this blog up to a broader audience and keep it fresh and interesting. Well it will be interesting for me at least, and since it’s my blog… well hey anyone for catfish tarragon soup?
As promised THE PONY EXPRESSION is changing its content and its look. I’ll continue to write about horses wherever they come into my life and of course Sunday we’ll all explore another Sunday Historathon.
The look of the blog is morphing and I have ideas about where I want to go with it, but for now the current look is beginning to speak more clearly about who I am and how I see life.