Subourbon Mom


Dreams or Nightmares? It’s About the Approach
September 7, 2022, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Country Living, Exercise, Middle Age, Posts, Sports | Tags: , , , ,

Since I posted the blog What’s Your Dream?, which Life clearly read and had a good laugh, things have gone slightly sideways. Now I’m having to eat my own cooking.

In that other blog I profoundly (I thought) said:

Whatever your dreams once were, don’t let them go entirely – find out what parts of those dreams you can still do, or how they might work in new ways for you.  Life is short and unpredictable. 

Of course Life is unpredictable. That can make it really fun…and then sometimes it can be a pain in the ass…literally.

For a quick recap: I had just revised my dream of owning and riding horses in horse shows to one of riding purely for mental and physical health. Just when I was finally feeling like I was getting stronger as a rider and able to work on details instead of just building muscle, I did what you’re never supposed to do – I got cocky and relaxed.

I forgot that you can ride for your mental health in a field, with a montage in your head of riding like the Elves in Lord of the Rings through buttercups and swaying grasses; but, you cannot EVER forget that you have a 900-lb animal under you who also has opinions. Long story short, as I was walking my horse, she spooked at something, and off I went. (Spooking means jumping sideways because there’s a troll or something equally scary nearby.)

Had I been paying attention and sitting the way you’re supposed to, I would have been just fine.  Instead, I slid off like the frog in that Family Guy episode – you know, where he’s trying to scrape it up and throw it out the window?

I hit my lower back and then the back of my head (yes, I had a helmet on). One concussion and a spectacular bruise later, I am revising my dreams – again.

The truth?  I was scared to get back on – not scared of the horse, but of the pain and inconvenience of falling and doing more damage. It took a month for me to ride again. The first day I went out to get the horse I had fallen from so I could get on her again, my energy must have been negative, to say the least.  I’ve heard horses can hear your heartbeat from 14 feet away. Well, she must have heard mine because she took one look at me, nodded to her sister in the field and walked away. 

“Absolutely not,” she said very clearly.

The ride went fine, and with the jitters pretty much gone the next time I went to get her, she walked right up.  Horses can be great teachers, if you’re willing to listen.

Apparently, Life thought I needed to be reminded that riding for mental health includes retaining focus and positive energy.

It’s not just what you take from the experience but what you bring to it. 

30 years ago, I would have gotten right back on, the Hell with what the doctors said. Now I’m seeing my chiropractor (thanks Dr. Carlsen!), sitting at my desk with ice packs, stretching and doing yoga poses to get comfortable. (When did I become this person???) I’m still going to be riding for my mental and physical health for as long as I possibly can. In fact, I asked each doctor I saw when I could ride again, and I swear each of them said a version of “What’s wrong with you horse people?” (So much – but that’s another blog.)

Revising your dreams doesn’t mean diminishing them. Sometimes it just means changing the direction from which you approach.



Y’all, I’ve Become a Christmas Meme
November 16, 2021, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Country Living, Misc. Humor, shopping | Tags: , ,

After watching a Hallmark holiday movie complete with fake snow and a friendly, small town with one bitter man who needs saving, I stealthily crept up into the attic yesterday when Hubby wasn’t home. I was only up there to count how many of those cracker things we have that you put on the table (you know, they look like a wrapped toilet paper tube, and you pull the thingy in the middle and it pops?).  While I was up there I couldn’t help touching all the Christmas boxes, peeking into a few like a chocolate addict who just wants to smell what’s in the bag, but who’s not ready to commit to eating the entire bag until Yellowstone comes on.

It made me happy…and it made me start looking forward to Thanksgiving being over, which is insane because that’s also an awesome holiday for pure gluttony and wallowing in family drama.   

Then I went down an online rabbit hole looking for Bourbon advent calendars (they exist but OMG they’re expensive).  I almost bought more garland, but I realized I have no plan for decorating, and dammit, this year our house is not going to look like I get all my stuff from Goodwill.

Y’all, I’ve become a Christmas meme.   

But I’m not the only one thinking about decorating early. One of my friends decorates her modern-style home with a different theme each year. This year, she was really thinking ahead and decided she would use a lot of amaryllis flowers, and through a delivery fluke ended up with 80 bulbs. For those of you wo aren’t familiar with the amaryllis, they start as a large bulb about 2-5 inches wide. The stalks grow to about 3 feet tall, and they produce one or two beautiful, huge, Easter lily-looking flowers.

SHE HAS 80 OF THEM.

So, she artfully planted them around the house in every container that would work, including a sieve that rests on the sink.  In a few weeks they will be stunning – definitely a statement piece.

Right now, though, they look like containers full of green Shrek penises.  And the best part is that when we do video calls, they are sitting in a pot right next to her. A garden of penises that, once you see it, you can’t unsee it.  I laugh every time I see them because I’m 12 and super immature. 

I don’t have the balls…or bulbs…to make a statement like that.

I did have a Santa face toilet seat cover for a couple of years (thanks Deborah T!) that was a statement piece of sorts, albeit a disturbing one.

Bottom line – I try to remember it’s about who you spend the holidays with, not how the house looks. But if how your house looks brings you happiness, then by all means, do your thing. God bless those of you who can pull it off. I know I will never have an immaculate house with all-white furniture and decorations that will appear on Instagram. I love the tacky, miscellaneous ornaments and decorations we’ve collected over generations, including Hubby’s Romulan bird-of-prey that lights up.  

In light of all this pressure, I think I’ll stick with my theme of “I buy shit I like, fantasize about what it would look like in my fictional home that has no clutter or pets and all white furniture, then take it home and realize I live in a normal house and I’m not a theme person.”



Call Me Lagertha
March 19, 2021, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Country Living, Exercise, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , ,

After the possum-in-the-driveway incident, I realized I may need some skill with a gun to put animals out of their misery. Well, I’ve changed my mind. Sure, there are some valid reasons for getting a gun, especially when living in the country: coyotes, cops don’t hang around the end of my road for my convenience, and the creatures going bump in the night can be a little more menacing than the neighborhood tom cat calling for his ladies.

But there are a lot of reasons for me, personally, to not get one:

  1. I can’t see 10 feet in front of me without contacts or glasses (which are nowhere to be found when you actually need them), so night protection is out. All I’d be able to do is point my gun in the general direction of the problem.
  2. The kind of gun I would have to be able to shoot in order to actually wound anyone would be too heavy for me to use. (But OMG I love the image of myself charging out of the back door with a shotgun at my hip yelling “Come and get it, Mother F@#$%r!!)
  3. I don’t like loud noises, and using a silencer just screams “I’m going to end up in a Netflix movie.”
  4. Even with practice, I still can’t hit the side of a barn because it’s impossible for me to keep my eyes open and shoot. So, I pull to the side. Every time. Honestly, I don’t trust anyone who can keep there eyes open while shooting – they can probably do it while sneezing, too, and that’s just messed up. If you can do that, your body clearly isn’t functioning properly and you should start surfing WebMD to find out what the Hell’s wrong with you.
  5. Snakes (a.k.a. “danger noodles”) have tiny heads and move fast; therefore I will most likely still be bitten if I try to shoot them.
  6. Trying to shoot a dying possum in the driveway as an act of mercy would probably result in bullets ricocheting back into me, rendering me unconscious, next to the possum. I don’t want to die lying next to a possum. But if that happens, that shit better be in my obituary because that is FUNNY.

All of that said, I am now in the infancy of becoming the Lagertha of my neighborhood. For those of you who don’t enjoy bloody, Viking sagas on tv, Lagertha is a bad-ass, axe and sword wielding Viking Shield Maiden on the show Vikings. Oh, and did I mention she’s gorgeous? So yeah, I decided to channel my inner Lagertha these days.

Last month, when I turned 50, I asked Hubby for a different kind of gift, one I learned about from my friend Patrice. I asked for a set of throwing axes and a target, which he made, although not without some concern that his life expectancy might drop dramatically if I was having a bad day. On my birthday, when the world had iced over in one the many signs of the coming apocalypse, we threw axes at the target in the sleet for 2 hours.

Friends, I gotta tell you….it is life changing.

It is like being Lagertha (but in a semi-rural setting with the dogs barking madly behind the storm door because they’re too untrained to stay out of the way). There is something viscerally satisfying when you hear the THUNK of the axe sinking into the wooden target. When I picked up a powerful handgun once and fired off several rounds in a row, I could see how that firepower would have its appeal. But throwing an axe seems more connected, more intimate, more ancient. More violent. More…satisfying.

Yes, I know Millennials have been throwing axes at bars for a while now, and as usual, us old folks have probably already ruined it. But for a middle-aged woman, being able to forcefully throw something and connect with the target somehow makes you feel powerful, and more importantly, less invisible.

Will an axe beat a gun in a fight? Nope, probably not, but I’ll bet there aren’t many criminals who’ll expect to see a 2021, female version of The Shining coming at them.

Will throwing an axe make a difference in how others see me? Probably not, but more importantly, it changes how I see myself. So, if you come into our driveway and hear the steady THUNK, THUNK THUNK of an axe hitting wood, know that I probably had a bad day. You may want to loudly approach, holding a glass of bourbon at arm’s length. If you see me doing this with my hair braided and wearing some kind of animal skin, you probably should call the cops.



Playing Opossum (Beware: sensitive content)
January 28, 2021, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Country Living, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , ,
Peaceful, country living….what I thought it would be all the time.

Some of you may remember my old blog post about trying to humanely euthanize a chipmunk.  Well, apparently that’s a life lesson that I’m not getting right because it keeps happening. First it was a baby rabbit, then the chipmunk, and now an opossum.

But first let me tell you, my city-dwelling and suburban friends, there are a few things you have to get used to when you move out to the country:

  1. The number of guns casually (or purposefully) left by front and back doors
  2. The volume of sound that woodland insects and frogs produce from March to November; whoever called it “night music” clearly never tried to sleep with their windows open
  3. The number of leaves that drop in the fall – sometimes it can be mesmerizing, like falling, brown snow; then you remember you have to shove them all back into the woods where they belong, like the arborial warrior you are.
  4. Snuffling and coughing from those pesky Virginia allergies because you simply must enjoy hours of amazing bonfires (and because some HOA said we couldn’t have them for 15 years so, dammit, we’re burning every weekend)
  5. The number of critters that don’t care that you would prefer that they stay away from your precious piece of land: bugs, “nope-ropes,” (snakes), mice, trash pandas and coyotes, just to name a few.

Which brings me back to numbers one and five in the list, and the opossum.

One day this fall, I was watching the dogs bark at something in the woodpile.  I figured it was a nope-rope because Lily the Terrified has been bitten at least four times. Honestly, I was just happy she was outside. For weeks she and her sister Holly, Opener of Packages, had been staying inside because Lily was scared of falling acorns. 

Back to the woodpile.  

An hour later, I was pulling the car out of the garage when I noticed something lying in our gravel driveway.  It was an adult opossum. The poor thing had been eviscerated but was still breathing. This was beyond just “playing possum” – the end was obviously near.  

After I got done cussing the dogs out, who were standing by waiting for praise after their conquest, I ran through my options:

  1. Go back inside and make dinner without using butter or anything else from my list (not an option – I would never be able to leave an animal suffering out there like that);
  2. Run over the poor beastie with the car (not a chance – it was facing the wrong way, and that would have been even more cruel);
  3. Put it in the freezer like I did with the chipmunk and let it pass away quietly, but who knows how long that would take and I didn’t want Hubby making fake opossum calls to me saying it’s “C-c-cold” again; or,
  4. Whack it with the shovel and throw the body in the woods.  

I opted for the shovel.

I’ll spare you the details, but it took more than one whack for the job to be over.  I’m the world’s worst executioner.  For the record, I said a prayer, apologized and told the opossum I was just trying to make things end faster.  

Later, I called a friend who lives a few miles down the road and told her the story.  She asked, “Did you shoot it?”

Um, no…. because I don’t own a gun.  Even if I did, with my luck I’m pretty sure the bullet would ricochet off the gravel and into me.

Talk about roadkill.

So there you have it folks – before you make the brave move out into the wilderness, life will be different. But for so many reasons, and not just for critter problems, buy a shovel. There are days when you’re going to have to dig your way out of whatever adventure came that day.

*Note: I purposefully didn’t post any cute pictures of opossums because it would make the story so much worse.   




%d bloggers like this: