What’s the Point?

June 29, 2012 at 9:13 am | Posted in Horses | 2 Comments
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Recently, I was lucky enough to have a hot stone massage. The therapist came into the room and kindly asked me if I had any “trouble areas” that I would like her to work on. Enter “deer in the headlights” look from me. Any “trouble areas”? Lady, I have horses! My entire body is a trouble area! I’ve had my bell rung more times than most football players! In fact, I fell off my 26-year-old gelding just a few weeks ago :0. One minute we were standing there regarding a new trail, the next minute I was launched to the left, twisted in mid-air, and dumped on my back as he threw one of those down-low-and-to-the-right mega-spooks. Usually I can stay with him when he does that – just not that time.

Recently, I was reading about a new syndrome they’ve discovered that occurs from having your brain slap against your skull a few too many times. It usually starts in your 50’s with symptoms like mild loss of balance and vertigo, then progresses to complete and total dementia. When I saw this article, I copied it and handed it to my husband. The conversation went something like this:

“Here. You might want to read this in case I start to exhibit any of these symptoms in the next 10 years.”

“What?”

“Well, I’ve fallen off the horses a lot over the years. Plus I’ve been knocked out a few other times playing as a kid. Isn’t it awful when you get knocked out?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you ‘don’t know’”?

“I’ve never been knocked out.”

What???!!!” (What kind of a namby-pamby wimp did I marry??) “You’ve never been knocked out?? Didn’t you play football?? Ride your bike?? Swing on a rope swing?”

“Yeah. But I’ve never been knocked out!”

“Ok, Nancy-pants, well, if I start to get inexplicably dizzy in my early 50’s, take me to the doctor before I forget your name, all right?”

“Um, ok, I guess.”

At this point, I’m thinking he’s probably just going to point and laugh if I start stumbling around on the stone walkway. Heck, he probably threw that article away and is just waiting for the day I come downstairs in the morning, stare at the microwave, and ask when we put a TV in the kitchen. I probably deserve it anyway.

So here I am in the massage therapist’s room, thinking about my ailments. I told her to work on my shoulder or something, but as I was lying on the table I began to make a mental list of all the injuries and insults to my body over the years. It went something like this:

Head:  Whacked, thumped and given a concussion numerous times, due to horse falls, mountain biking flips and a childhood rope swing mishap (perhaps we shouldn’t have hung that rope swing over a 15-foot drop in the woods?).

Neck: Whiplash #1 occurred in a car accident in my 20’s. I actually wore one of those neck braces for over a month – you know, the one the guy wore on the Brady Bunch when he was trying to say Carol crunched his car in the parking lot? Just like that. My poor neck has also suffered a number of bonks along with my head in my many horse falls.

Collarbone: This lovely area of my anatomy was partially separated on one side when my horse Locky decided to separate himself from me during a mount-up. I never got my weight centered or my right foot in the stirrup, and Locky took off like a shot. Don’t remember the fall, and my collarbone has apparently forgotten how to re-locate to my sternum.

Lower Back: Any horse person knows that pretty much every time you hit your head falling off, your back takes a blow as well. Add ‘em up. My most recent favorite fall was last winter, when I rode Locky around the frozen driveway in my heavy gear and high-backed trail saddle. When I began to dismount, I caught my thick winter boot on the back of the saddle. Apparently the force of my launching myself off made me flip my entire body over in the air and land, POW, on my back on the rock-hard ground. Great job, hotshot. You’ve only dismounted, what, 800,492 times in your life??

Right Hip: This is an old one from my 20’s as well. I had just bought hot little Diablo and of course, being 23, was feeling invincible. I decided it would be a good idea to canter home along the side of the road (mistake #1) and to practice riding with no stirrups as well. Duh. Of course a giant, horse-eating bird flew out of a bush right in front of us, resulting in a huge spook to the left. And, having no stirrups and nothing to brace against, my body went hard-right. I can still remember clinging to his side as he galloped down the road thinking, “There is no way I can get myself back into the saddle or my feet under me. Guess I’ve got to let go now.” WHAM! went right hip onto hard pavement. CHICA-BOOM, CHICA-BOOM, CHICA-BOOM went horse’s feet as he galloped home. Some nice people in a minivan peeled me off the road and drove me to the barn. Mom drove me to the hospital, all the while complaining that she “thought these days were over now that I was grown up”. Sorry, Mom, in my 40’s and still getting driven to the hospital because of the horses. Sometimes in an ambulance. Ouch.

Pelvis: Here is an injury actually not caused my horses or sports. The delivery of my first son, Brady, resulted in a separated pelvis, which meant I was unable to walk or support my weight without a walker or crutches for about 3 months. 38-year-old woman with a walker – beautiful sight! Thank God I found my amazing D.O. after 6 months to get the pain in check. And thank God for C-sections for baby #2!

Tailbone: This interesting piece of anatomy also suffered in the “bolting fall” off of Locky. I must have landed flat on my head/shoulders/back as all three suffered. Still don’t remember, but my bruised tailbone remembered for about 6 weeks after that one!

Feet: Been stepped on numerous times by those big lugs who don’t know where their giant feet are landing at any given time. Or maybe they do….

So, what should I have told that poor massage therapist? She would have passed out if I’d started spewing this litany of complaints! So I picked the thing that was plaguing me most at the moment and sounded legit: my right shoulder and a little bit of sciatica. The massage was nice, the therapist was excellent, and I’m going riding today. Let’s hope I stay in the saddle. That is, after all, the point.

xo

Age vs. Beauty

June 16, 2012 at 6:45 am | Posted in Beauty, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Someone please explain this to me:

Men get better looking as they get older.

Women start looking like old hags. (I include myself in this description.)

Case in point: When men get salt & pepper hair, it is somehow both fitting and sexy. A few crinkles around the eyes are disarming and still attractive (think George Clooney on both of these accounts). When older men get deep tans (from golfing, boating, bird-watching, etc.), it makes them look even better. Even a slight paunch on an older man is easy to ignore and doesn’t really affect his overall look.

Now let’s take a look at the situation for women:

The second a woman gets even one gray hair, it ages her by about 10 years. Salt and pepper makes a 40-year-old look 60. And I don’t even want to go into the “all gray” look.

Our “crinkles” are called “crow’s feet” (where did THAT attractive saying come from?) and a crow might as well have pooped on our face for all the damage those do. “She looks pretty young until she smiles and you see all those wrinkles around her eyes!” No wonder those pre-Botox society ladies held their faces so stock still and never smiled! They didn’t want to make or show any more crow’s feet!!

And natural (not spray) deep tans on older women just look, well, gross. Their skin looks leathery (why is it that men’s skin seems to look smoother and more glowy when they get tan??), the already-present age spots and extra freckles show up even more, and they simply look like they’re trying too hard.

Don’t even get me started on what 2 extra pounds do to us women over 40. No “paunch” is acceptable, nor are the spreading hips or saggy upper arms. You have to remain a stick (I recently read that a young starlet is on a 1200 calorie-per-day diet. 1200 CALORIES PER DAY!!! I can eat 1200 calories in one sitting and not even feel full!!). We all know staying that thin is nearly impossible, especially as you get a little older. Except for that g-d Sarah Jessica Parker, who is at least starting to look a bit haggard in all her skinny-ness.

What type of nasty trick is Mother Nature playing on us? Or perhaps I should call he/she FATHER Nature!

So now we are supposed to hold onto our men when they keep getting better looking, and we’re stuck slathering ourselves with creams and potions, hair tints and spray tans. And of course there are so many young cuties walking around, flaunting their cellulite-free legs, fake boobs and flat tummies.

So, in the spirit of sisterhood, here are a few of my tips on how age beautifully and gracefully, all while keeping your ever-better-looking man interested and engaged:

  • Never let your hair go gray. Ever. Not even one tiny little strand! Sorry, girls, but this is the cold hard truth. Love it or leave it.
  • Dress the part. By now we know what looks good on our body types. We also know what looks good on teenagers and that ne’er the two shall meet. You got it, flaunt it, but do it tastefully and age-appropriately. (Last night I saw a woman out dancing who had to be at best in her mid-60’s. Despite the frighteningly-obvious pulled-tight plastic surgery and the lithe body, she looked ridiculous in her midriff-baring sparkly top, 14 bracelets on each arm, spiky-hair rocker ‘do, right arm tattoo and I-don’t-know-how-many earrings and ear clips in each ear. Face it, honey, you are an older woman, and you DON’T look good in the latest Jeffrey Sebelia designs!)
  • Never let ‘em see you sweat. Confidence, ladies. If there’s one thing I learned in my 30s and (still early) 40s it’s that I’ve got it going on in so many more ways than one. I know who I am, what I stand for, and what I want in life. This is very sexy. Trust me.
  • Be as sweet as nine-layer pie (Mmmm, I want me some of that. Oh, but the hips). You know your man better than anyone, and you can always out-sweet those nasty, spoiled, immature little floozies.
  • And whatever you do, don’t try to be something you’re not. Your man, friends, family and everyone else in your life loves you for you. So be the fabulous, amazing, gray-hair-hiding woman that you are. I love you that way, and so do they.

xo

A Use for Algebra

June 9, 2012 at 6:55 am | Posted in Beauty, Horses, Kids | 2 Comments
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I can’t believe it. I’ve finally found a use for all that Algebra I had to take in high school. This stuff doesn’t come easy, so be gentle with me. Following are my very own set of hypotheses:

If car = clean, then children will make an extra effort to spill juice, scatter muffin crumbs, and smear dirty feet on the backs and bases of seats. Good choice on the light-colored interior, Mom.

If morning = busy with many out-of-the-ordinary tasks and commitments, then children will be cranky, over-tired, naughty, rotten, highly emotional, quarrelsome and unhelpful. As will Mom.

If visit = in-laws, then children will be cranky, over-tired, naughty, rotten, highly emotional, quarrelsome and unhelpful. They will also completely regress, losing their ability to eat a meal, use the toilet and sleep past 4:00 a.m. I’m including teenagers in this theory.

If corner of furniture = pointed, then child will certainly find a way to bang his head on it, especially if he is having his picture taken the next day or visiting relatives who never see him and already question your parenting skills.

If vacation week = rainy, then house, hotel room, camper, etc. will have 453 toys strewn across the floor of each room, the television will break, the Internet will go down and all that paint you saved for a rainy day will be completely dried up. Oh, and BounceZone will be closed due to a power outage.

If toy = expensive, then child will ignore it. Cheap toys from China will be played with consistently for the 45 minutes it takes them to break, then said child will be inconsolable.

If horse = expensive, it will be sick with something akin to the swine flu when you bring it home, go inexplicably  lame by the time it’s five, and cost 300x what you spent to buy it to train it to do the basics. Cheap horses are never sick or lame and they live to be 40. Unexplainable.

If day = windy, horse will find that previously unnoticed red maple leaf to be a weapon of mass destruction, see a ghost in the corner of the arena, and will have learned to jump 30 feet straight up into the air at the slightest touch of your left heel. Probably best to stay off his back this day, because that is likely where you will end up.

If door = closed, then cat will stare at it, scratch it and whine at it until it is opened. Then cat will turn its nose up and ignore it as you stand in 20 degree temperatures in your underwear.

And of course, the coup de gras:

If hair day = good, then you will have absolutely, positively no place to go and no one to see.

xo

Things I Love

June 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Posted in Horses, Kids, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Things I love about my husband:

He leaves me a glass of wine when he takes the boys outside to play while I make dinner.

He looks sexy even in a t-shirt & jeans.

He cleans my car – of snow, dirt, kids’ debris – whatever.

He listens to and knows a lot about classical music.

He listens to and knows a lot about classic jazz.

He listens to and knows a lot about Pearl Jam.

He knows a lot about a lot of things (ok, this can be annoying sometimes).

He smells good.

He treats me like a princess.

Things I love about my boys:

They help me look at things in ways I haven’t before.

They encourage me to slow down and study the grass, bugs, flowers, car tires, sky, dirt, leaves and so much more.

They are creative and funny.

They find a construction site in a plate of food.

They find a plate of food in the sandbox.

They teach me something new nearly every day.

They are both just a little bit crazy.

 

 

Things I love about my horses:

The way they look.

The way they smell.

The way they sound.

The way they feel.

 

 

Things I love in general:

The softness of my cats.

The smell of the outdoors.

A fast car.

A slow meal.

That first cup of tea in the morning.

That last kiss on the cheeks of my two sleeping boys.

Oh, and gossip. Sweet, sweet gossip.

xo

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