Sunday, May 30, 2010

cowboy up

Yesterday was DD's first horse show.  She rode a darling little pony called "Strawberry Shortcake."  For her first show she did well; she came home with 5 ribbons and a smile a mile wide. 

"Cowboy up" is a term used in horse circles.  I heard it often yesterday.  It can mean a number of things, used in a number of ways.  If a rider falls off their horse but gets back up and rides out of the ring you would hear "way to cowboy up."  It basically means carrying on inspite of poor circumstances or a disappointing turn out.  It means being tough and persevering. 

I am slightly annoyed at the use of the term.  Here's what I noticed yesterday.  There were several "cowBOYS" (men) at the show.  For the most part they looked after their own horses and cheered on their offspring when they were in the ring.  The folks doing the "cowboy upping" all day long were the moms   It was the moms who were at the stables at 7am and stayed all day at the show, then drove back to the stables to unload horses and tack at 7pm.  It was the mom's who sponged off horses and told the kids to sit in the shade when it was 29 degrees out.  It's moms who packed lunches and snacks and then gobbled a few bites hastily between events.  It was moms that stood ringside in the dust to get the best pictures.  It was moms that scooped up great loads of horse dung from around trailers, and hauled water to thirsty horses.  Kids helped, of course, but the truth is the horses and kids couldn't have done it without the mom "ranch hands."

I am not complaining.  Some of the best lessons in my life came from my horse days as a teenager.  My horse kept me out of trouble, taught me responsibility, about winning and losing, about the importance of getting back up when you've fallen, and about unconditional loyalty.  I hope DD takes in those same lessons.  So, I will continue to "cowMOM" up, even though I still have dust in my nose hairs and a wicked sunburn on my shoulders.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The message on my answering machine last Friday was this:  "K, I've got bullsht for you.  When you are talking to your dad tell him we won't need his bullsht we've got our own now." 
Now, that message made perfect sense to me, but I can see how it might throw others off.  In this case "bullsht" is exactly that, "manure from bulls."  It makes  perfect mulch for my garden. 

Over the last week or so I've had several conversations about bullsht with DH and with my dad.  Both were to see about picking some up for me.
Conversations tended to be short and go something like this:
"K, is that our dad on the phone?  Ask him for the number of the bullsht guy." 
"K, did DH get you any bullsht?  I'm going for a half-load so we could share some bullsht."

So.  I got my bullsht on Friday. 
On Friday night DH and I left for a weekend away at Niagara-on-the-Lake.  We spent the weekend at the beautiful Prince-of-Wales hotel.  We attended the Shaw Festival to see "An Ideal Husband," went on a wine tour and tasting, shopped down town Niagara-on-the-Lake, went for several long walks, and had wonderful dinners at excellent restaurants.  It was absolutely divine. 

Then I got home on Sunday afternoon and spread my bullsht. 
This is my life....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day musings

To begin -- my post is going to start out sounding like I am an ungrateful grouch.  That might be true, but in the end the post will be all gratitude.  I promise.

My kids and DH got me a Wii and the Wii Fit Plus kit for Mother's Day.  It's a thoughtful gift because I have mentioned that I think it would be cool to try.  Here comes the ungrateful part....  one has to wonder about the sentiment behind the gift when one hears "We knew it would be great.  It's perfect for dry-land training."  Dry-land training?? Huh?  That's the term one uses for exercise that occurs off the hockey rink.  I don't  play hockey. 
But that's okay, because I know DH was listening when I said I liked the idea of the Wii Fit.  I should not care about the impetus, merely be grateful for the gift. 
Then DD says "you know, we didn't buy it 'cause we think you're fat or out of shape..."  Again, huh?

So here's the thing about Mother's Day.  It's not about flowers, cards, or gifts.  It's about recognition.  What I really, really wish for (again, sounding ungrateful) is that one of the people who inhabits the Estate with me would say something like "Thanks.  You really do a lot for us."  That's it.

My DF (dear Friend) L sent me card for Mother's Day, just 'cause that's the kind of gal she is.  She made the card with the quote "Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away."  ~Barbara De Angelis.  I got weepy when I read it.  That's IT exactly.  Yesterday I just wanted someone to acknowledge the pieces of me that are pulled, stretched or dicarded.

(here comes the grateful part)
So this is for my mom:
I know I didn't thank you, or truly celebrate you as I should have all my growing up years.  But I get it now.  I get that every time you drove me to dance or soccer, or riding or Guides you gave up that most precious commodity "time."  You left a piece of yourself at every event, every recital, every camp without ever asking for anything in return.  I try so very hard to do the same for DS and DD, because your selfless acts helped mold me to the person I am today.  I am grateful, humbled and honoured to be YOUR DD.  Thanks, mom!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I went to a Body and Soul Spa night fundraiser for Cancer research on Friday night.  It was amazing -- I tried all kinds of "new" things -- belly dancing, reiki, body talk, brain gym and relaxation (I know, "relaxation" is not an entirely new concept -- but it is a struggle for me!).  The speaker at the beginning of the evening said that men and women process stress differently.  No kidding!  She also said that while men find watching TV a major stress reliever, and that it does not work for women.  Again I say, "no kidding!"  Her suggestions for women included cooking a nice meal for your family. (I know. "Whoa Martha," this is not stress relieving -- it is stress causing!) The stress reducer that made sense was holding a baby (possibly not your own.) I got to do that again today. My wee niece had her baptism, and her big sister had her First Communion. There really is something lovely about the sweet smell, soft skin and squishy arms and legs of a baby that just melts everything else away.