Monday, August 22, 2011


" A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."
- Arabian Proverb

What is normal friendship development? How often do you hear from your friends? How often should you expect them to want to get together? I know that every relationship is different. I know that people's schedules and ability to give to a relationship change over time. We all get busy with work and other activities and when we do have a chance to be home- we want to veg, not catch up with friends we haven't seen in a while. I am not a giving, present friend 100% of the time.

It's been so long since I've really made new friends. I've made very casual friends. They're the people who I hang out with on occasion and rarely seek out. We run into each other or someone has a wild hare and schedules a get together. We don't talk every day. We don't make it a point to get together and have dinner every month or two. We might purposely see each other a couple of times a year.

I think the problem is that I'm missing my best friend. The one who was always here. The one who wanted to hear me bitch about the stupid stuff every day. The one who would dance around the living room with me when I heard a song I liked. The one who would put spending time with me above everything else in his life. Yeah, that guy.

Amy's my other best friend. She also listens to the stupid stuff I complain about on a daily basis. She has never danced around the living room with me- although she did once wear my bra stuffed with socks. WE make spending time together a priority- when she's in town- which isn't often. I love hearing from her. I love listening to her complain about the stupid stuff that's bothering her in her day. I love hearing her speak about the things that excite her.

I don't have a best friend in my town, let alone in my house, anymore. Amy is awesome, she really is. But she's not the same as having a best friend in my house who partners me in life. Am I possibly at the point where it's time to put my toes back in the pool and open myself to the idea that there's another man out there who can be that friend, lover, and partner that I want?

The shallow relationships that I've maintained here locally (of the male type- my girls ALWAYS have my back!)- they're annoying the hell out of me. They've been annoying me for a couple of months now. I don't want to be an afterthought. I want to be important in someone's life. I miss having a partner. I miss having a lover. I miss having someone to take care of, and think about, and do things for and with. Of course I miss Dave... but this is something more and different. I think that I may be ready to make room in my life for someone new to be that partner, lover, and friend. Maybe. Or maybe I get so irritable and annoyed because I'm not ready? Eh, what the hell... next month is going to be about exploring and trying to do something positive with my social life. I'm open to ideas and suggestions (and set ups- hint, hint).

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Remember Me

Interesting Revelations that could only happen during a county fair...

That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I learned something important during the fair this year. I like being single. Shocking, yes?

I feel like I need to add a disclaimer here: I would never have chosen to live my life without Dave- if anyone had given me a choice. In no way am I saying that I'm happy he's gone or that my life is better without him. Neither of those statements are true.

What I am saying is: I like being single. I like my life. I like not answering to anyone else. I like being the one who decides how to allocate resources. I like knowing that it doesn't matter if I make it home for dinner or not. If the kids are with me we can do whatever sounds good at that moment in time. If we want to stay late at the fair, there's no one missing us at home. If I want to wake up at the last minute and make the kids eat a granola bar in the car for breakfast- no one's going to criticize.

During the course of this year we've bought a lot of sheep. Well, we bought 8 sheep. That's a lot for us. I picked them all up with the horse trailer. Then I drove them to weigh-in... and sheep meetings... and the fair. If you've never pulled a trailer, or if you've always pulled a trailer, that might not seem like anything special. I haven't really driven with a trailer in about 18 years. I've kind of forgotten how to back up a trailer without jack knifing. It's also kind of interesting to hitch a trailer, not difficult, just interesting.

As I was backing into the driveway with the trailer on the night of fair check-in, I realized that I was incredibly happy and peaceful, both at the same time. We'd completed our 4-H year. The kids were doing well. Every place we'd needed to be- we made it. Stuff was ready to go for the show the next day. The kids were ready for the show the next day. I BACKED the trailer off the road, down over the drainage ditch, and into the driveway by the shop. Then I unhitched the trailer, sent the dog to the house, said goodnight to the llama (who I'd tracked down, tried to purchase, and transported the week before), got in the suburban to pull around to the front of the house... and realized... I was HAPPY! And a large part of the reason I was happy... was because I'd done hard things... and I'd done them by myself.

The boys were with me. I can't say that they didn't help- they did. People in our 4-H club helped, of course they did. But really- I did this. I got my family through the 4-H year. I managed the meetings. I figured out how to feed the kids dinner on the go for the nights we needed to be on the other side of the valley by 6:30. I bought the suburban so that we would have a vehicle that will haul a trailer. I arranged for Chris to buy sheep. I took him to buy sheep. I paid for some of the sheep. I arranged to have feed delivered. I encouraged Chris to go out every day, multiple times a day, and take care of his lambs. I drove us to all of the meetings, and workshops, and practices that the kids needed to learn and grow. I re-educated myself on how to BACK UP that darned trailer! For all of the details that had to be worked out, big stuff, small stuff, seemingly inconsequential stuff... it got done.

I can do hard things. I can even do them with grace (sometimes). I can make things that used to be hard seem easy because my skills have improved. It feels good.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Canyon County Fair 2011

I'm a horrible mom and took hardly any pictures of the fair this year. I'm sure that I have more pictures on my camera- but not really very many of them. This picture is of Chris slick shearing his own lamb a couple of days before we checked into the fair. He did a great job. His leader, Claudia, and I helped smooth things out a little, but he did most of the work himself.

The little boys both showed pygmy goats this year. They had a great time walking them around the goat barn and keeping their water bucket full. There's just something about little boys and water. Both of them did all right in the show ring- considering they were milling around for about 45 minutes while we waited for the judge to come back from her break. Then they lined all the little kids up on the pavement in the sun and had them stand there for a few minutes before letting them enter the show ring. By that time- none of the kids were practicing their best showmanship skills. A good time WAS had by all... and Sam did NOT lie down and play with the grass in the arena this year! Overall, that's an improvement!

Chris showed two market lambs and two ewe lambs. He slick sheared one and a half of his own sheep. TJ, the teen leader for our project, Claudia, and I sheared the others. This was the first time either Chris or I had tried using the slick shearing clippers. They're nice. I think we should budget to purchase our own set next year.

The lambs did fairly well. Chris got blue ribbons on everything. He is the world's slowest pen cleaner. I just have to say, it was painful to watch- so, I'd usually go hang out in the tack stall behind the barn :-) This was the laziest I've ever been at a fair. I did make sure everyone got where they were supposed to be on time, but the kids did their own work. That's the way it's supposed to be, that's the way it was. Nice. That's all I can say :-) NICE. Even the handing off of sheep and putting on of halters as Chris exited the arena and had to go right back in with a different sheep- a kid helped with that (thanks, Katelyn!).

We have some of the nicest families in our 4-H club. It was a joy watching and listening to them as they worked throughout the week. Some of the teens got a little bit grumpy as the days progressed and the lack of sleep was compounded. They were still awesome. I didn't hear a single parent complain about the judging or berate their kiddo for anything that happened in the show arena. We're blessed to be part of such a supportive, positive group of people.

This is the first year Jake's been old enough to show. He was VERY proud to have the opportunity to take Willow the pygmy goat. Willow was born in 2003. Showing him has become a family tradition. Each boy has gotten to take him to the fair the first year they show. The really funny part of that is that Willow is a pain in the butt to show. He also weighs about twice as much as the little boys do. Willow's big goal for the past four fairs has been to visit the expo building- on the other side of the fairgrounds. Whenever he sees it, he takes off running... and Jake can just run along with him or let go... he CAN'T stop him! It's pretty funny. All the people in the area panic and run to catch the wild goat. Little do they know that like any good dog, he'll eventually come back. It does make it challenging to actually show him when the showman only weighs 40 pounds though.

Sam took a yearling doeling of Mom's to show this year. She'd been to a show or two, but hadn't really been handled all that much. When we started working with her (and I use the term work very loosely, pygmy goats didn't really register on my list of important prep work for fair) she would barely walk on a leash. By the time she came home she was a friendly, little thing. She also walked well on her leash and learned to follow the boys and Willow even without a leash. I like her a lot (shh... don't tell anyone. I have a reputation to maintain). She did run across the arena, dragging Sam, but all in all, they did pretty well together.

It was an awesome fair. Even though I didn't take many pictures it is still a fair that I'm sure will live on in our memories. We came. We had fun. It was a success!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


For some reason today I feel like I can't breathe... and on top of that I have more than my fair share of bitchiness. I'm trying to keep it to myself, but it's spilled over onto other people more than once today. I hate feeling like this. It's that strange, emotion moving under the skin feeling. My filter's not totally gone- but it's shredding a little. I'm not sure what to do to bring everything back into alignment and find my peace again. I'm hoping that it's just exhaustion and that once I get some more good rest my normal good mood will return. In the meantime- I just need to work on only letting the nice words come out of my mouth :-) which is much easier said than done.

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room