I come home from these walks and I am SO HAPPY! I am outrageously happy that I am NOT married to her husband, I DO NOT have to put up with her kids, and my dog DOES NOT poop all over my house! It fills me with such joy to be reminded that my husband, while not perfect, is pretty darn close. My funny, talented, highly intelligent, WELL BEHAVED kids only require minimum effort on my behalf to maintain. Other than that annoying habit they have of getting hungry EVERY DAY. My dog's only real demand is the he be walked once a day and fed and watered occasionally.
I have created an immensely delightful life for myself!
I am just afraid that all this joy is going to attract the attention of the negative forces in the universe, and suddenly horrible things will start happening. I can't help it, it's the result of years of religious training.
Thing 1 got into the very prestigious kids program at a local art gallery. It required that she submit two essays, a sample of her work, a letter of recommendation, and she and I had to fill out some forms. All of that had to be reviewed by a panel of judges, and the 18 winners were selected. Many of them are repeats who have been in the program before - you have to apply every year. That means there were only a few open slots this year. Thing 1 is the youngest kid in the program this year - the only 7th grader. There is one 8th grader, a 9th grader, and then most of the kids are juniors and seniors in high school. We went to the first meeting and I came away somewhat daunted by what she needed to do - she came away buoyant and excited to get started. We are very happy she got in!
Thing 2 is back in the saddle after complete healing of her broken arm and the death of her horse. and she has a new horse. By the way we don't actually OWN these horses. We lease them. We are set to buy the new one, eventually. His name is Bones, and he's a 16 year old thoroughbred who has a lot of experience in eventing and jumping. He is currently owned by another client of the riding instructor, someone wealthy enough to have him stands out in the pasture behind their house all the time and they're not riding him. She's talking them into selling him. We get first dibs. Thing 2 is absolutely in love with him. We will be required to buy him someday, but I'm pushing that off for a while and leasing him. I got the complete lowdown on him from another couple at the barn who considered buying him, but decided not to based on his age (they wanted a younger horse), and the fact that he won't "tie" to a pole. He has to be held by a person or tied up in a cross tie, with the poles next to him, not right in front of him. The report by EVERYONE who rides him is he is
1) FUN to ride
2) Flashy. Flashy was explained to me as he holds himself very pretty, steps out pretty, has a sort of dramatic way of moving. In a barn full of horses, many of which are retired trail or cow horses, a horse that walks and moves gracefully like that sort of gets everyones attention. Everyone who sees her on him comments to me that "They look awfully good together!"
I don't have pictures of Thing 1's art class, but I have pictures of the horse.
This blue jump rattled him once, but he just hesitated and went on over it, and was the highest jump she was doing that day, so I had to get it from a couple of different angles. It looks like the same instant but it's not.
There was another high school girl watching Thing 2 take her lesson, waiting for the jumping course so she could practice. She's at the barn a lot, a really nice girl who has been riding for a while. She was complimenting Thing 2 and saying he was doing so good for her, and he's not an easy horse to ride. I said really? She sure makes it look easy! The older girls said she had seen the teacher and the other woman who is currently half leasing Bones ride him over the jumps and that he didn't perform as well as he did when Thing 2 was riding him. She said she thinks he is responding to Thing 2's confident gentleness, and that Thing 2 is an amazing rider. Why thank you!!!!
School is almost out and I am looking forward to spending more time with my amazing little family!!!!