24 February 2017

Carus update

How about an update on Carus?

Sounds good to me.  

Carus is doing amazing! She's making Freshman year look like a piece of cake and I'm so proud of her.  Her grades are great and she's being silly with retaking tests in the high 80s and low 90s to get even higher scores. She wants the highest As possible.  I think the only area she is struggling in is French, but learning a second language can be hard. She is becoming an awesome young woman and I'm seriously so proud of her every day. 

With 4H, she's doing great too! This last weekend was Horse Bowl (like Jeopardy for horse and 4H questions) and she answered enough questions correctly to get 3rd place, she faced her anxiety about public speaking and did a presentation on Stretching for Your Horse and she got 4th place of all Intermediates in Presentation, and then literally volunteered last minute to do an Impromptu speech and got 5th place in that! (5th place ribbon needed to be ordered.)
(Impromptu is where you are given a topic and you have to prepare a speech in 2 minutes, and then give it. The speech must be between 2 and 5 minutes.  Her's was just under 2 minutes on "What class would you add to fair if you had a choice?" - she choose At Liberty Training (where you have a horse do showmanship and other tasks without a lead line).

With that 3rd place in Horse Bowl, she qualifies for Spring Horse Classic!  That is the State-wide Horse Bowl (and speech and presentation) competition. It's at the end of April and we're not sure if she is going to go yet.  She has to want to, and we have to be able to afford the 4-ish hour drive to Redmond, Oregon, and the hotel stay from Friday to Sunday. When we get a bit more information about it, we'll make the decision.  I hope we can make it happen if she wants to go. 

Her working with Dusty is really paying off and Dusty is starting to trust her, and Carus to trust Dusty.  Her appaloosa and smarts get in the way sometimes still, but so much progress has been made. Lessons are going well and Carus is excited for the rest of the shows they have picked out to do this year (one in March, one small one in May and one big one in May, then the main event, Fair, in June!) and I'm less worried about Carus getting hurt on this head-strong mare. 

She got on bareback for a little bit the other night - first time on Dusty bareback.  At first, Dusty tensed up like she was going to start throwing a fit about it, but once she figured out that Carus was just going to love on her and I was going to walk her around she calmed down.  

Last week, while Carus was riding with the other kids at the barn, we were treated to a SPECTACULAR sunset and of course we did the mom thing and made the kids pose for some photos.  And this isn't too bad for a phone photo.  I should start taking the camera with me all the time just for the times we get something this amazing.

Scout has been doing well. I've ridden him with Carus riding Dusty once recently, and hope to do it again. I need to build my confidence on him, and he needs to build his confidence in me, but I'm hoping someday we can go on a trail ride together.

23 February 2017

Photography challenge

Well, that didn't take long for me to get uninspired.

In week 3, I realized the list I was looking at online was the previous years' list and I had printed out this year's list.  But no biggie, week 2 and 3 were the only "wrong" ones and I didn't like this year's prompt anyways.

I took a series of photos for week 4 (Mirror) and will share that.... eventually.... maybe. *sigh*

Decided to skip week 5 because I just wasn't inspired by it (Ten Shots)

And then I bought a bag of Skittles for week 6 (Candy) and still plan on trying a few ideas out with those because surprisingly I still have that bag of Skittles 2 weeks later (hid it from the kids well HA!)

Because I do want to write/journal here more and I do want to be inspired by creating art with my camera; I'm going to attempt to remove some pressure of deadlines from me so no more weekly challenge.  My new goal is to share what I've done recently, what I've done that week, the photographs I've taken and the stories I have to share, and hopefully that will help get me out of this funk where I want to create art but don't particularly feel inspired to create art.

Let's see how that works....

06 February 2017


(You might have seen this on my Facebook. I wanted to share here too.)

Carus is learning about WWII in school and yesterday while trying to find something to watch we found a documentary on Amazon. It was an interview with a survivor.
She was 15 when her town in Poland was invaded. Her brother was 18. He was sent off to work, and they never heard from him again. They moved her and her parents to the basement of their home while a German family moved in, and she wasn't even allowed to go into her garden.
She was 18 when they split her from her parents and was sent off to Auschwitz and 21 when she was liberated. She was one of 150 women that survived a death march that started with over 2000 women in January 1945. Liberation for her was in May 1945. Her best friend died in her arms while she watched an Allied jeep approach.
On the train to Auschwitz, after living in an occupied city for 3 years, not knowing what came of her brother, not knowing when she'd see her parents again, she still thought the war would be over soon; within 6 months.
She was the only member of her family, the only one of her closest friends, the only one of her town to survive.
The only one. 
* * * * * * * * * * *
We went on to start a BBC documentary on Netflix with 6 episodes. Not surprisingly, episode 1 was about Auschwitz.
In it, they interviewed survivors AND Nazi soldiers. One Nazi soldier still held his prejudice. He had little to no remorse for what he did. He looked embarrassed to be speaking of it but not remorseful. He spoke of massacres of shooting women and children at the edge of a pit they were forced to dig, and when asked why he just said because it's what was done. When asked if he regret any of it, he said no. When asked why, he said because they were Jews.
He had grown up with the anti-Semitic propaganda that bread the Nazi regime and the concentration camps and WWII. It was so deeply instilled in him that 80 years later he still had no regrets about murdering hundreds (or thousands) of men, women, and children.
* * * * * * * * * * *
It's all been rattling around in my head today. It was hard to watch. It will be hard to continue to watch.
My daughter is 15. My son is 18.
* * * * * * * * * * *
I wish I had gotten some of Robert's grandmother's stories written down/recorded (she grew up in England and was coming of age during WWII). The few she shared with me were amazing.

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