I keep feeling like things will slow down next week or next month; and then next week or next month arrives and everything is just as crazy and busy as it was before.
Or it feels more crazy and busy than it really is and I'm just losing my marbles. I don't know anymore.
The horse that Carus started the 4H year with, Caly, didn't work out. They weren't connecting and it just became a battle of wills between a young horse and a frustrated kid. We were sad as Caly is a sweet horse that Carus did enjoy riding, but it's not fair for her or Carus to keep trying where it wasn't working.
Also, I had incredible amounts of anxiety over quitting too early. I do not like to "give up" even if it's in my best interest and I'm more realistically just moving on.
We asked around a little and quickly got a few geldings to try (Carus insists that she can connect to geldings better cause mares be crazy).
Introducing (sort of): New lease horse, Chester. (This is totally old news if you're on Facebook.)
So far Chester is working out great. If you ask Carus how it's going you will get no words, but instead some excited squealing while she clutches her hands to her face and/or bounces up and down.
She hearts Chester.
She's still finding school tough to navigate this year; mostly the 2 AP classes and 2 honors classes have her feeling a bit stretched thin, on top of the emotional lows of losing Scout.
My washer motor broke a few weeks ago. The direct drive motor is not supposed to break EVER but yeah mine did. Thankfully I have a handy husband who was able to get the parts ordered despite the customer service reps saying "yeah, no the motor can't break it's not the motor" and then got them installed. I was only without a washer for a week. Surprisingly...not surprisingly? I was anxious about not being able to do laundry for a week. Cause I'm a weirdo. Or I have issues. Both?
The master bath is still not done. We had to save up to purchase the vanity and then we decided the shower stall was beyond cleaning up so we had to search for new glass walls and doors that would fit our the insert which took forever. Since the new floor was already in we were not replacing the whole thing. Then, the granite counter top we like is now out of stock. We found a new supplier so now just saving up a bit more so we can order because it's more expensive than the first one was. (And yes, all of the we's in that above paragraph refer to Robert. He's doing all the leg work and hard work. I'm in charge of painting.)
Adam is now coming up on the end of his second semester of college and seems like he's floating along. He is still doing a general transfer degree with plans to transfer to a 4 year college at the end of 2 years of community college and still isn't sure what the end goal is. Occasionally I panic for him and start worrying that he hasn't figured it out yet.
He had a seizure back in December and we wondered if maybe he had been having them for awhile and we didn't see them. The sudden muscle weakness, especially in his back legs happened a few times this past year and we just thought it was related to the known degenerative disc disease he had in his spine. He was weak for about an hour and then he was running around barking with the big dogs and being his normal self. He's getting older, seizures in old dogs do not mean good things, and he was fine so I left it as that.
Monday night/Tuesday early morning, he had a couple seizures. They woke me and I held him through two and I think I woke too late to hold him through a third. Seizures are hard to watch and with them coming in a cluster, I knew it was time. I woke the kids and let them say their goodbyes. Carus was mad that we didn't warn her about Timmy so I wanted to be sure to warn her as much as I could about Yoda. Yoda then got to go bye-byes to take Carus to school - one of his favorite things.
The vet was awesome. I called for an appointment and they said whenever I could make it in. They reassured me that seizures that start in old dogs mean bad things like blood clots or tumors and prognosis is poor; I was making the right decision. While I was waiting for them to return with the medication, he had another smaller seizure. They had me to tell them stories about puggy while I held him. He was breathing like he was in pain and it slowly stopped.
When we got him, we showed up to a house in NE Portland to pick him up and there were like 40 pugs in that house. I felt guilty for supporting that type of breeder, but I wanted my puggy at that point. We grabbed our puppy and ran.
He was the teeniest thing! And was so terrified for like 3 days. Carus was crawling around on the floor and he started playing chase with her and that was the first time he hadn't been scared.
He loved the beach, especially the run to someone game. He always ran the fastest to me.
He was happiest when he knew where I was. He would follow me anywhere, and wait by doors and windows for me to return. He slept at my feet for years, and then his back problems made it painful for him to get up and down off the bed. He would hurt himself badly jumping down so he wasn't allowed up anymore. He'd still ask. He had a bed beside me and one at my feet under my desk for when I worked.
He was so determined to follow me everywhere, that he followed me mowing the lawn the spring we moved into our house and the grass was super long and so freshly cut that he was green half way up his body.
He used to do hand stands when hiking his leg to pee...
He peed on a computer tower Robert had opened up for repairs. That's when we decided he was old enough to be fixed. (We delayed as pugs have trouble with surgery so I waited until he was about a year and a half old.)
He stole a stuffed caterpillar toy from Carus and loved it so much and hard that Robert spent like 6 months looking for a replacement on eBay - which he found. Yoda loved that one too, but not as hard so it still exists.
He went by Yoda Pug, Poda Yug, Puggy, Puggers, Yoda Bug, Yoda Soda Bug, pug-pugs, puggy.
I miss my puggy so much. I knew I would, but still...
We lost Scout this summer. He had been dealing with a runny nose for several months and was losing weight. Antibiotics, expectorants, upping feed, etc - things were tried and not really helping much. Imaging was done and a mass was seen in his sinuses. He could have a surgery and they might not even be able to get the mass, he would have trouble with the surgery, if he survived, and because of his history of cancer, the mass was probably cancerous... the decision was made.
We took Carus out and she rode him and loved on him and the next day her and I returned. We bathed him and put flowers in his hair and had one last photo shoot with his girl. Robert helped take him to his appointment the next morning.
We ended up canceling the lease with Dusty too so we sort of lost both.
About a month or so later, we started looking at lease options and one kind of fell into our laps with someone moving into the barn we'd been at for a couple years. They were joining our 4H group and looking for a partial lease on their horse. Their kid is junior level and they saw Carus as a senior level kid as an opportunity to put some valuable miles on and finish their horse for their kid.
We're about 3 months into that lease and it's going.... not perfectly but not a disaster. I don't know. Carus is just not connecting with this horse. She thinks she's holding back a little to keep from getting hurt and is trying not to hold back but just can't help it. I'm not connecting with her either. I don't really like her - she's not a bad horse or anything. It's just not.... something. Something is off or different and I don't know how to fix it.
I was scrolling through pics today looking for some landscapes for Carus for her art class and got far enough back that it's just a bunch of her with Scout and Dusty and I'm just struggling. I miss both of those horses, especially Scout, and the connection Carus had with them.
So yeah, now I'm crying because I miss those damn horses, I feel like I cannot make the right decision for Carus to allow her to participate in and do good in 4H and showing, and I am just a flipping mess...
Not only has my baby officially become an adult and he does adult things (like driving and working and paying taxes and going to the bank and buying stamps and paying bills), he has graduated high school!
Adam graduated with Honors (that little medal he's wearing) and I was so excited and happy and proud.
I had hopes that lots of family would be able to come celebrate with us, but unfortunately it wasn't in the cards. Gramma Jerye was able to make it though and I'm glad she was. She's been at a couple of his big events - being born, turning 16, graduating high school.
And it was a good visit with her - I hope she had a nice vacation.
In 3 years, Carus is due to graduate... time flies...
Carus has started doing English classes at shows, and those are first in shows, which means really early. Most shows start between 7:00 and 8:30 in the morning. You have to factor in getting up and ready, getting to the barn and feeding breakfast, loading and hauling to the show grounds, getting set up there, tacking up and warming up, and it all makes for VERY early mornings.
We made it with plenty of time, but found that Dusty lost a shoe somewhere between Friday evening when the farrier came out to our barn to replace a loose nail and the fairgrounds. We ended up finding it in the trailer, which means she lost it on the way to the show. The farrier was able to make it out and did an urgent shoe replacement and the rest of the day was....less eventful than that morning.
Carus did 3 classes with just one shoe (Dusty was moving fine and didn't seem to notice that she was possibly lop-sided) and missed one class (by just 1 minute - seriously, if we had been able to re-bridle her just a smidgen faster, they would have made it).
This is post showmanship green horse - 4th place! They did very well and placed in most of her classes (the loping/cantering ones need a bit more work) - earning two 2nd places, a 3rd, a 4th, two 5th places, and a 6th place.
Robert being a horse show dad and holding Dusty when Carus ran to the restroom. ❤❤
He's not a horse person and doesn't have any interest in being a horse person, but he holds horses, occasionally helps with chores or picking up food or supplements, cheers Carus on and helps support her during shows, and is going to be hauling to shows and events. Not because he's becoming a horse person, but because he loves us. ❤❤
Dusty was definitely done near the end of the classes and let Carus know with some refusing to move forward and spinning and little hops and threats to buck. Carus rode it all out and worked her threw it and her last class ended with the judge asking her to just stand while they finished the class (probably as a precaution to keep the judge and ring steward safe as well as the other competitors and Carus) and on our way back to the trailer at the end of the day, the ring steward approached us to tell Carus that the judge was very impressed with her sticking with Dusty and trying to work her threw it and not giving up. I really appreciated it. It had been a very long day and Dusty did great for her third show ever and a lot classes, several really close together.
Video of her green horse showmanship pattern - she placed 4th in this class.