On Resting and Riding Horses.

I am writing to let you know that I will not be posting in my weekly health series this week. And that I will be riding horses and continuing to recover from my brother-in-law’s wild wedding, instead. I will also henceforth, be resting my tailbone from the nineteen hours of travel it took to get to the wedding and the nineteen hours I will endure to get back home.

“Resting” as in riding horses. Yeah! Don’t know how much actual rest my tailbone will get from this activity, but at least I won’t be riding in a car through the boring lands of Kansas while I’m crunched into a semi-permanent L-shape.

Basically I’m writing to say that today I’ll be riding a horse, instead of writing a blog.

Forgive me! I ask that you wait patiently for another week to learn about a healthy diet while I re-learn how to do two of my favorite things: Rest and ride. They are both kind of important at the moment.

I’ve had this urgent desire to get back on a horse for awhile now, but especially since I’m pregnant. Go figure! And now that I am over six months along, now the opportunity presents itself. Who cares that my growing belly throws me a little off balance already? And who cares that my muscles are already sore from the very small pony I wrangled last night?? I am not going to miss it!

It’s been way too long. So long, in fact, that when I ride a tiny pony for only two minutes, I can’t walk the next day. Which is what happened yesterday. Which is why I can’t walk today.

But you know what they say…”When you get bucked off, you gotta get right back on!”

Wait, Ruthie. You didn’t get bucked off!

Getting bucked off of a horse and just feeling like you did, are two different things.

Either way, I’m getting back on today. Because I need to ride a real horse. Because it’s important. And I’m not gonna let a growing belly or an already sore pelvis take this one from me!

In the meantime, here’s some pictures of our trip. Till next week!

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I was so busy “helping” a certain two people get married, that I failed to get any pictures of the actual event. I did, however, manage to capture these pretty little daisies in colorful vases…

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And the “miniature bride,” catching rain drops on her tongue.

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The princess holding a baby bunny…

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And riding the horse I’m going to ride.

Can you feel the happiness here? Do you sense the love? I think it’s kind of mutual.:)

Darlin, the “Titty.”

I don’t like cats.

After Ari drowned the first one under a downspout, I thought “oh that’s too bad. But hey, it’s just a cat. We can get another one for our little beanstalk. No big deal.” I did feel sorry for the poor kitty to be drowned before its time. But, I just wasn’t that attached to it. In fact, I was a wee bit relieved that I wouldn’t have to worry about my toddler innocently abusing the little critter anymore. At least it was in a better place now.

And honestly I thought we probably wouldn’t get another one for a long time.

Then a few days later, we were walking along a shopping center when we found Darlin, “the titty.” She was nestled ever so sweetly in a basket with about four more of her kind. A young girl practically handed her to us. Ari reached for her and looked at me with the most longing eyes. And next thing you know…she was in the back seat of our car. I say “she,” but to this day, I still don’t know if she was a boy or girl. Strange, I know. But at the time, I had too many other things to worry about, besides examining a cat’s underparts. It was just “the titty,” until Ari inadvertently named her “Darlin.” At that point, it was definitely a female. Whether it wanted to be, or not.

And so the saga began.

We brought Darlin home from the shopping center sidewalk, and Ari wasted no time initiating her into the family. I’d love to call it the bonding process, but in all reality, it was more like the hazing. By the end of that first week, the kitty had been dumped on her back, hung upside down, squeezed by her neck and smothered under blankets, while I gasped and rushed to the rescue, at least a hundred times.

I tried desperately to teach my little beanstalk how to handle a kitty. But before I got that accomplished, Darlin got tough and learned to hold her own.

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After several weeks, she seemed to accept the fact that a clueless two-year-old was her mother, and she would just take it. There were only a few times that she would jump out of Ari’s arms and run under the bed or into a very tight space, where little girls couldn’t get to her. If things got really bad, she would bite or scratch. But only if things got REALLY bad.

One day I found her, neatly tucked inside a small lunch box. I would never have found her, had it not been for the muffled “meows” I heard, coming from that direction of Ari’s room. I don’t know about you, but a neatly clasped lunch box is not the first place I would look for a kitten. Not even two and a half years of intuition and suspicion would have led me to that discovery.

Another morning, Ari brought her inside, and then came over to our bed, and unassumingly climbed up, with kitty in hand. I was still trying to sleep, as she snuggled and pressed the kitty, against my pillow. I almost puked, until I looked over and saw Ari, with the most sincere motherly look on her face, tucking Darlin under the covers and telling her that she needed “ti-et time.” And, of course, I had to smile instead.

Without even trying, Darlin became a part of the family. We took her on trips with us, and fed her oatmeal, and cleaned up her poop, and sort of trained her to go outside. We even wiped her bottom a time or two. Yeah. I didn’t know we offered that service until I walked in on it. I found the kitty lying spread-eagle on her back, with Ari wiping her bottom, and a huge pile of “used” wipes beside her. At least, I didn’t need to worry about a poopy hind-end on my bed that day. That thing was glistening clean.

Then, a few weeks ago, we took Darlin along up to my in-laws, and in the evening, we put her outside, to sleep with Namu’s other cats. We thought she would like that, being with her fellow kinfolk. Well, apparently she liked it a little too much and they all had a “rumspringa” party. Things got a little out of hand, and next thing you know, she ran off with neighbor Tom. Or something like that.

The next morning, Ari went to the door to let her in, but Darlin wasn’t there, and I saw the saddest little face I’ve ever seen. We looked everywhere for her, and called her name numerous times that day, but she never came. We assured Ari that her “titty” was probably chasing birds somewhere and was having lots of fun.

We haven’t seen her since.

As much I don’t want to admit it, I feel a slight tinge of sadness.

And I think I might miss Darlin, the titty…just a little.

Catching Chickens in Silk Dresses.

So last night I went with a few girls to hang at my friend Connie’s. Before I left, I assured John, who was going to be car-less, and stuck in the house with a two year old, that I would be home before late.

Now if you’ve ever been to Connie’s house, you know it can get interesting. I mean. Four kids under six. A Farm. At least fifteen random animals. One big floppy-eared dog. Can it get any better? That in itself would be worthy of a blog post. Connie’s house. It has so much love and happiness and character. It’s beautifully overgrown with dreams and children. Add some bustling conversation, and it gets even happier. Pour a glass of wine and even the most desperate of housewives will find some kind of kinship, some solace,  some humor, within its walls. Add a few chickens and you might get an episode fit for reality t.v.

Last night was no exeption. We were all sitting around the table, talking about boobs and postpartum and all manner of parenting woes, when Connie interrupted with something like “Um. I gotta go round up the chickens.” While some may have looked at her like she was being funny, I knew enough to know if anyone was going to pause in the middle of some seriously good girl talk, to go round up a bunch of chickens, it would be Connie.

Meanwhile, Steph was telling the horrors of a severely postpartum mother, and was right at the part of the story where this mother shot her infant baby, when the door swung open and there stands Con in her breezy silk dress, holding a chicken. The chicken glanced anxiously at each of us, as we transported momentarily from the depths of postpartum empathy to the thrills of farm life. Just like that.

Without hesitation, my inner Amish/Hippie kicked in, and I joined right in the circus. Connie handed me one, while she grabbed another two off the hood of a dented truck. They squawked and mine promptly peed down the side of my skirt. A few of the girls squealed. One of them took a picture. It was definitely a kodak, uh, reality tv moment. Here’s me, in a long flowy skirt and Connie in her short silk dress and crocs, bouncing around, grabbing chickens. Somehow it was not even remotely odd to me at the time.  That’s the beauty of this place. It makes me feel like this kind of scene happens everday.

It seemed perfectly normal that I would be going there for a nice little girls night out, and next thing you know, I’m wrangling one of her chickens.  That’s just the way she rolls. And that’s why I love her.

We eventually got all the chickens rounded-up and in true fashion, slid right back into our previous conversation of body parts and parental woes. (Apparently, they go together!) Funny how easily and gracefully we do that.

Needless to say, I came home way past midnight and I couldn’t figure out if I was more tired from laughing or chasing chickens.

Thanks for the picture, Karissa!