Monday, September 27, 2010

"School Pictures" for Penelope

As many of you know, I have an annual tradition of taking my children's pictures out in the woods near our home. Always in the fall, because fall is my favorite season..and also because I simply cannot resist the simple but profound beauty in the brilliant colors of autumn. I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame, and wish I could somehow stop time and stay in this season for a year or more. The air is clean and crisp, the sky is a blue that defies description, and the woods is afire with the yellows and reds and oranges of summer's last breath. The air smells of cranberries, dying devil's club, mushrooms, and the winds of change. Its intoxicating! Really! Our lake lays calm and submissive to what comes next, cold in its depths but with recent memories of splashing children and long evening canoe rides.

Its my happy place, being out in the woods and taking pictures of my children. I stop and think of what they looked like this time last year, in their pictures, and marvel at the changes. I love their goofy grins, serious faces, or perfect poses. As I snap away, I wonder what shots will end up being my favorites, huge on my wall or on a canvas...I never know which ones will capture my heart and attention, and best CAPTURE, snare, hold down, just for a moment, who they are at that very second in time, at that age of their life.

I took Penelope's pictures already, and have yet to do Chena's. Following are some of my favorites of Penelope. She is 11, nearly 12. She is spunky, opinionated, fun, goofy, joyful, sometimes passive-aggressive with her sister, and serious when she wants to be. She loves animals, especially dogs and horses. She has a passion for her Rat/Fox Terrier, Pluto, and her bunny, Mossy Meadow. Penelope is super smart, with an amazing memory..and she loves absorbing new facts and applying them. This of course makes her a joy to teach! She has two pen-pals, and takes them quite seriously, writing them letters, sending them treats, and decorating their letters and envelopes with a dedication to her art. She has a knack for catching the "joke" in everything, and is so clever at puns and plays on words. A "wordy girl" like her mama, I think. Penelope is generous, forgiving, and has a sweet soft side..tender and kind. Did I tell you she is an amazing cook? This past year she has excelled in the kitchen, and now she can make whole meals when I'm not even home to supervise.

Penelope is changing so fast, before our eyes. She just outgrew my shoes..and is getting taller by the day I think. I asked her to wear her hair in french braids for these pictures..and I think it was just because I know this might be the last time she wants them. Just look at my "baby" in these pics. Oy.

Oh yes, could you please tell me a few of your favorites, to help me decide what to send to the grandparents, etc? (and if you are ONE of the grandparents, please tell me what you like!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Its Not Fair

Okay Moms, you know how to respond to that. After all, don't our children whine "its not fair" every once in awhile? And we have the standard "mom" response, don't we? All together now..shout it out in unison... LIFE'S NOT ALWAYS FAIR! See, I knew you had that one in your mommy bag, ready to pull out at a moment's notice.

And, I know it too. But I'm still struggling with losing my Mukluk, and its not fair. Its not fair that he was only three, and I thought I had so much time with him and now I don't. Its not fair that he's gone, and I'll never see him again. Its not fair that I feel like I got punched in the stomach when I think about it.Its not fair that all the tricks and games, and fun things I taught him will never matter again. Its not fair that I'm left with a broken heart and an empty feeling. Its not fair that I can't look out the window in the morning and see him standing at the gate waiting for me to come and see him. Its not fair that there will never be another Mukluk, and it really is as unfixable as it gets.

But life isn't fair. And there are far greater disasters in the world than this. And real tragedies. I have friends suffering far more agonizing losses in their lives right now, than a pet horse. And I need to get a grip and shove it all back into perspective and move on.

But in the interest of keeping it real, I'm just simply not "dealing" and the only shoving I'm doing is to stuff my emotions and try not to show my children how sad I feel. How much I miss him. Because I don't want to make their grief worse, and in fact I do what I can to distract them and keep them busy and happy. I can do that. But...

I'm just kind of shut down. I feel knocked flat, defeated, deflated and probably a host of other d words. When you choose to love fully, you choose to take a pretty big tumble when they suddenly go missing from your world. Mukluk was "just a horse". I must say that a hundred times a day, but its not sinking in.

I kept finding myself driving out to the mini farm where I bought him. Where he was born. Where I first fell for him. And its been good for me out there, because I can get some mini hugs, and just hang out in a place where they understand what the expression "a fool for minis" means.

And it was there, the other day, that the owner of the farm suggested I "borrow" a mini for awhile. Just pick one. Take one home. Do some training, playing, and just take off the "vacancy" sign on the mini corral. And I thought about it, went home and thought about it some more, and then decided to accept her kindness. So I took my trailer, and went and picked out a "loaner" mini to bring home.

Her name is Tiny White Lightning. She is a yearling pinto filly. A real sweetie. She has settled in and is doing great here, and we all are enjoying having a mini to hug, and brush, and play with. The first time I sat down next to her and hugged her, I wanted her to "fix" me, and make all of this sorrow go away, but she can't do that. And its NOT FAIR to expect it. She can, however, make me smile..make me laugh, and give us all a good dose of cute-ness to carry us through the day.

I know the next question..and the answer is that someday I will have another mini. And no, I don't know if it will be her. Because I definitely have some things to work through first. In the meantime, she's pretty darn easy to have around. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Loss Too Big for Words

I am quite simply, heartbroken over the loss of my miniature horse, Mukluk. There are no words.

So I just wanted to share some images, unspoken stories, and memories that he gave us in his short life.

That is all.

(please scroll down and pause my music player, as there is music on the slideshow)

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