Thursday, July 23, 2015

the hunt


Any little bug or critter that enters into the house is putting it's life at risk, as Willow loves the hunt. Here she's keeping a watchful eye on a spider - an easy snack!

Monday, July 20, 2015

fully alive

I'm back from my intensive equine therapy experience in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. In summary, it was the most amazing experience of my life.

here I am with my trusty horse, Harley
Everything we needed to live for the week got packed in on the mules. Tents, woodstove, food, supplies, everything...


The first day consisted of a four hour ride to the base camp, sometimes on very scary steep and narrow trails. Remember, this was the first time in my life of ever riding a horse! 


We had 31 horses and mules total for the trip. Each night they were set free, they would run out of camp and disappear into the mountains to graze and explore. They loved getting their off time!



The wrangler would get up crazy-early and ride out into the mountains, searching for the horses. Once he finds them, he wrangles them back to camp.


The food! OMG! THE FOOD!! Here I was thinking we would be eating hotdogs and hamburgers, but not even close! We had gourmet food cooked on the woodstove by Karen, our backcountry cook. She's been a backcountry cook for 43 years! And boy did she work magic on this little stove, baking biscuits, cakes, breads... The food was ridiculously incredible.

Ron (wrangler) and Karen (cook)
fresh baked biscuits!!! Are you kidding me??
coffee, biscuits and gravy, hash browns and eggs!
We did a bit of riding each day to a new mountain top meadow where we did our therapy. The views were ridiculously amazing! Everything about this trip was ridiculously amazing!!

photo courtesy of L
My horse, Harley, taught me many truths about myself and about life.


 As you can see from the pictures, we had perfect weather! Hot, sunny skies and no rain!

our therapy space for the day! Crazy-beautiful!

photo courtesy of E
Everything about this experience felt like an amazing gift from God. I've never felt more loved by God and more connected to myself and others. The abundant love from the other participants, staff, horses, and God was ever-present, giving me the perfect opportunity to challenge some of my longstanding deeply held fears. I left many of those fears in these mountains and feel so much freer.


As I've said, this trip was the most amazing experience of my life. The therapy that took place was exactly what I needed. I came back feeling completely refreshed and grounded. I'm lighter, yet more solid and way more accepting of myself. I feel amazing both internally and externally.

Harley
I had all sorts of fears before leaving for this trip (e.g. falling off my horse, running out of water, getting mauled by a bear, etc.) and thankfully none of them came true. All in all the trip was perfect. I would not change a thing, even the time Harley bucked me off his back and scared me to death!! Yikes!

Me and my boy
Every day of this experience required me to dig deep and find significant courage, always tenderly wrapped in love. I'm immensely grateful that God called me out to this amazing wilderness so he could immerse me in his love and cast out my fears. I now feel more fully alive than I've ever felt in my life! Life begins now, and I'm ready!

Monday, June 29, 2015

a small herd of gentle, well loved horses

Note: This post was written on Saturday to post on Monday morning, and when it goes live, I'll be riding a horse somewhere in the mountains of the Bob Marshall Wilderness (Montana, USA).


I'm on a week-long adventure that involves horses, breathtaking scenic beauty, intensive therapy, and most likely grizzly bears. Wowza! I have no experience riding horses or being around horses, am freaked out by bears, and have significant anxiety about entering unfamiliar situations, but I felt a strong calling from God to go on this adventure and confront the fears that hold me back from fully living into life.

Not ever having done something like this before, I have no experience to draw on for setting expectations or preparing for what to bring. This has caused considerable anxiety as my fears tend to run wild when I lack information and experience, both of which provide me a sense of control. Apparently, I'm a bigger control freak than I ever realized! Yikes.


Nahum wants to come with me!


When I first read the description of this program, the phrase "a small herd of gentle well loved horses" tugged at my heart. I'm not sure why, but it was very compelling, enough so that I took the plunge and am now riding a horse in amazing beauty.

When I get back, I'll fill you in on the status of my fears. I'm hoping I can leave the bulk of them in the wilderness. Meanwhile, join me in a toast - to courage!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bert

I received this photo and update from Bert's mom.
photo courtesy of Bert's mom
"Bert loves the spot right in front of the air conditioner. This little pink dog bed is now completely his own."
I could not be more thrilled for Bert! He landed the most perfect home where he's adored and cherished. It sounds like he's even sharing the bed at night with his mom and two doggie friends! Way to go Bert!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

weeds

Looks like there's something in the weeds...


It's Pierre!


Somedays, I feel like napping in the weeds too.

Friday, June 19, 2015

friday fort-day

Pierre and Oliver were looking for another fort to appear, but sadly I had to work.


Meanwhile, the inside kitties get forts everyday on the couch. They are simple to make, just tuck one end of the blanket behind the top cushion and the other end on the bottom side - instant kitty fort!

singe fort model
Demand for the forts can be high, so I always try to have at least two available.
dual fort model
Rose demonstrates proper fort occupation
Build your kitty a fort today! Happy Friday!!