How to tell that you're lucky

Thursday, May 26, 2016


I’ve been lucky these past few years, I tell you.  I’ve made a regular habit of picking up scars from all sorts of places as souvenirs of my adventures.  And there have been a hell of a lot of adventures (wish there were more but I’m working on that).  

There are a series of diagonal lines marking the outside of my wrist, scrapes that have scarred over from where Ryon’s horseshoes and rubble have scratched my skin when I pick his hooves.  It gets re-aggravated when it’s muddy out and his feet become caked in concrete-thick mud and rock, the fresh scratches creating an interesting layered effect of scarred skin.  I also have a pencil eraser-sized mark right underneath my butt from where Lombardi, our barn’s grey Westphalian, bit me - through my pants - when I walked him up to the mounting block.  I am not the only human he has ever bitten on the butt but have the distinction of being the only person he’s left with a butt scar.

I have a divot on my ankle from God-knows-what next to the remainders of a nasty mosquito / spider bite.  These are recent, I think.  Did I get them from shallow diving into the swimming pool?  The bike ride on the trails?  Running into the coffee table?  Who knows.  There’s also a shard-shaped scar on my left knee, from a bad burn or abrasion, I don’t know.  It’s been there for the past month and I’m uncertain as to how it got there, when it appeared, or how long it’s going to hang around.  Other mystery scars include the triangular one on my elbow from opening a door (maybe?) or the one that looks like a claw mark on my right forearm.  Shrug.

Of course I still have the scar on my right shin from the ski accident in Beaver Creek a few years back.  It’s a remnant of one of the best ski days I’ve ever had, even with the accident and shredding a new pair of ski pants.  To say I should have gotten stitches is an understatement.  This one isn’t going anywhere and won’t be fading over time.

I’m not at all embarrassed of the scars and the road map they leave on my body.  If anything, they remind me to go out and Do More Awesome Things.  That my clumsiness has translated into only superficial marks on my skin is amazing and a forever reminder that I am so lucky.

I'm loving lately...

Friday, May 20, 2016

...That the sun stays out later and that the sky is a soft pastel colour in the evenings when I go out to the barn for a hack.  There aren't any mosquitoes chasing after me yet and Ryon and I are able to enjoy a cool breeze while we work it out.  If you haven't seen on IG, I've spiked Ryon's hair (the humidity has really been poofing it out lately) and also started playing music on my phone while I'm on him.  He seems to prefer pop music vs. hip hop and picks up the pace and pricks his ears forward when the music really starts jamming.

Ryon's haircut

... Trophies are for Winners.  This website / shop was started by Amy, one of my dear friends from growing up (see also: kindred spirit), and is all about celebrating strength and accomplishments of women.  I love their stickers and t-shirts and my absolute favourite is probably the one with my name on it.  They've been adding to their collection slowly, and I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

Supreme Trophies tee

... Friday link packs.  Or really "any day" link packs that pull the best from the internets.  It doesn't get any better than curated internet content, right?  The ones by Swiss Miss (here), Joy the Baker (here), Of a Kind (here in their newsletter) are especially delightful.  Any that you enjoy that I should be checking out?

... Denim cut offs.  I've been wearing these exclusively on the weekends to wash the car, to hockey games, to dinner.  Short shorts, don't care - they're comfortable and will go with any top / shoes you have.  One Teaspoons are my favourite - I have the ones below as well as a white pair and plain denim pair.  Word to the wise: size up if you want them to sit low.

One Teaspoon Cupid Bandits

I've already (before summer)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

It's like the mission is leaning in to wave "hi"

It’s not even June...

And I’ve already dined on Russian caviar paired with tiny doll-sized crepes

And I’ve already tried to blend in with the Brits and stood outside a pub in the pouring rain with a pint

And I’ve already had a duck bite my butt on the Riverwalk

And I’ve already toured a UNESCO World Heritage - the five missions in San Antonio (side note: who knew there were five? I only ever went to the Alamo)

And I’ve already reread The Magicians trilogy and gleaned more out of it than the first time around.  Now what other books to reread...

And I’ve already learned how to crack and spit sunflower seeds and become utterly addicted.  The Ranch flavoured ones from Walgreens are especially tasty

And I’ve already planted May flowers, vegetables, and one lonely cactus (well, watched B plant them)

And I’ve already replaced one box fan for Ryon.  He destroyed one this spring and two last year.  If he keeps it up, he’s going to have one hell of a sweaty summer

And it’s only May.

I get it from my momma

Friday, May 6, 2016

As I’ve gotten older, as it is with most folks, it’s become clearer to me how much more similar I’ve gotten to my mom.  Things I’ve inherited from her include: my increasingly obvious passive aggressive tendencies, freckles that bloom in the sunshine, gracious hostess skills, ever-lightening hair, and emotional sensitivity.  

My mother has always been the soft-hearted one, the one who feels sympathy and empathy for everyone.  She’s the social butterfly who befriends strangers and makes people feel comfortable and at home.  My mother also gives her best and most favourite things to others.  She’s the consummate sharer and those things that she didn’t give me, she taught me, like the following:

- How to apply liquid eyeliner to your waterline without crying.  To this day, I still wince when I do it

- How health fads and diets are meant to be tried and experimented, in the truest N = 1 fashion

- How to keep an open and flexible mind about doing things that others love and share with you

- Warm and comfortable is more important than stylish and impressive

- Reading out loud is a wonderful way of incorporating the thing you love with the people you love

- Swimming is an important skill to learn, especially if you are going to be up a creek in a canoe without a paddle

- Forgive and forget quickly and easily.  You have other more urgent things to do and spend your time on

- Use butter - the good kind and the more expensive, the better

- If you f*ck up, apologize and apologize, quickly and sincerely

- Sometimes it’s important to forget about perfectionism and just get things done

Thank you mom for all the lessons learned.  Happy Mother’s Day!

In the moment

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In love - It’s no secret that my latest preferred vehicle for food delivery is the taco but very recently, I’ve fallen back in love with egg sandwiches.  I’ve been making them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (with fresh sourdough bread please) and slathering them with sriracha.  Add a handful of salad greens and you’ve got your veggies too.  Also, I’ve rediscovered my love for audiobooks and am currently listening to Career of Evil whilst I run.  Listening to books is easier than trying to read while running and less distracting (read: less chances of me falling off the treadmill).

On consumption - Never have I been more aware of the amount of things I buy and own than the past few months.  Even more than inventorying the amount of stuff I have, it’s about how buying things makes me feel.  I’ve loaded and unloaded virtual shopping carts dozens of times and have not yet been regretful of not making a purchase.  My last non-food purchase was a $5 ball cap that I got at Tractor Supply to commemorate my first visit to B’s favourite store.  If you can believe it, it’s the only souvenir that I purchased on our road trip through Texas Hill Country last week and I’ve already gotten my money’s worth.  Don’t worry though, I’m not going to go all KonMari on y’all.  

Out of the bubble - My allergies are the worst that they’ve been in a decade.  This may or may not be attributable to the fact that up until this spring, I’ve typically been surrounded by concrete and buildings rather than blooming wildflowers and freshly cut grass.  This year alone, I think I’ve spent more time outdoors than I have in the previous three in Dallas.  I went on a bicycle ride this past weekend for the first time in ages and couldn’t fully enjoy it, despite the balmy weather, because of the faceful of pollen I got during the eight mile ride.  I had to hide out inside the house while everyone else lounged poolside until I got my sneezing and itching under control.

On writing - I’ve been completely derelict in my writerly duties, except for the weekly haikuesday tweets.  During my week off, I scribbled incoherent and disjointed thoughts on paper but can barely read my own handwriting, looking back on it.  Maybe it’s because I’m physically pooped and the need to write doesn’t arise due to exhaustion.  Or perhaps it’s because so many of my old blogger friends have gotten busy living and don’t visit as often anymore.  In any case, I feel as though I’ve been neglectful and am trying to find the right balance between writing more and writing intentionally.  There may be some rambling that finds its way on to this space and possibly some nuggets of gold as well.  As with all things, time will tell.

A word on Ryon

Sunday, April 17, 2016

It HAS been ages since I’ve given you an update about my guy, hasn’t it?

I believe the last place I left off in The NeverEnding Saga That Is Ryon was during his joint procedure rehab in November 2015 (he’s faring quite well with that).  Other than that minor operation, Ryon had a relatively quiet and relaxing winter.  The weather in Texas didn’t get cold enough for the friskies to come out to play, and he got along really well with his horse friends.  During December and January, he started losing weight at a maddening pace, so we put him back on fat calorie supplements which he’s already burned through (zing).  Side note: Pretty sure all of that extra weight latched on to me instead because that’s how that happens.

Fast forward to this spring and it’s as though he was punched in the face with Spring Fever.  In February and March, Ryon morphed into the biggest bully, almost a flashback to when I first got him.  He kicked the newest horse in the chest and then tried to coerce the other horses in his paddock to gang up on Poor Tony as well, which earned him a week in solitary confinement.  When we finally turned him out again with other horses, we paired him up with Eddie, the alpha of our herd, who Ryon promptly decided to attack.  He immediately got his ass soundly walloped and has behaved like an almost-perfect angel ever since.

When I say almost-perfect, rest-assured that he wouldn’t be Ryon without some sort of attitude injected into my everyday life.  Ryon continues to throw a fit when I make him wait his turn to ride through our jumper courses, which in turn has ensured that he is dead last in every single activity we participate in.  His cheekiness also extends to making a break for it from the arena and toward the green green grass outside, whilst he had a beginner rider on him.  If I have ever for an instant felt confident in my abilities as a horsewoman, Ryon promptly puts me in my place.

Never were there any truer words: There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; One is a sense of humor, and the other is patience.

In the quiet

Thursday, March 24, 2016


It’s quiet and dark in the early hours of the morning.  You barely shift beside me, your breathing deep and easy.  One leg always flung outside the covers, you rarely dream (and when you do, is it of me?).  I set my alarm ten minutes before yours to spend that time awake before you, soothed by your steady breath and arm resting beneath my head.  Outside the sky slowly shifts from a dark wicked navy to muted pastels.  When you open your eyes, you blink slowly and peer out from the shadow of sleep as though you’re seeing the world for the very first time.  

The music is moving on to the next track, and there’s a slight pause in the rollicking laughter and conversation that flows so effortlessly.  Before we know it, we’ll start dancing again, barefoot and booty-shaking around the room.  But in this quiet moment where we both take a breath, time stands still.  We are here now incredibly enough, in what you called “a thimbleful of chance” amidst an ocean of possibility.  There’s barely a half second to capture the moment before the bass starts its thumping.

It’s a silent spring night, and the only sound is the turning of pages.  Your legs cross over mine and we both glance up occasionally.  You keep track of the time to make sure that I get to bed at a reasonable hour; I watch your eyes to gauge how much you’re actually enjoying the book recommendation I gave you.  My head rests on your shoulder and then whoosh! I’m gone, in a world of Chuck Palahniuk or Daniel Wilson’s choosing, their words pounding a beat into my head.

In between the jokes, laughter, engines roaring, phones buzzing, the cacophony of noise throughout the day, those snippets of quiet say the most and speak the loudest.  It is within the quiet of your presence that I grow closer to you.  

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