Subourbon Mom


What’s Your Dream?
June 20, 2022, 10:04 am
Filed under: Middle Age, Posts, Sports | Tags: , , , ,

Here’s something I learned this year – you can keep your childhood dreams, but they’ll look a little different when you’re middle-aged. But really, what doesn’t look different as you get older? I literally am those people on the Progressive commercials that are turning into their parents: “We all see it…we all see it…BLUE!!!”  Don’t know what I mean? Watch this…

So, back to childhood dreams…

This summer I checked off two huge bucket list items. To most people they might seem frivolous or meaningless, but to me they mean so much more. For the first time in 35 years, I jumped a horse over little cross rails (for non-horse people, that means poles set at a foot off the ground). By jump, I mean the giant horse I was riding barely saw them and hopped over while I just tried to stay out of the way. I also rode in a small horse show trotting over poles just lying on the ground. Yes, I was the oldest in the class by maybe 30 years, competing against a few  people, most of whom were children and at least two who were your people training horses who barely knew what a pole was.  Did I forget my girth (saddle belt) and have to borrow one?  Yes. Was I freaking out?  Yes.

But I did it, and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself.  

See what I mean?  This doesn’t seem like much, in but in my heart those two things were huge. Let’s back up so you can see why – and why you should still pursue your dreams, no matter what shape they take as you age.

After a terrible year of deaths in our family this year, human and animal, the barn where I ride was and remains my refuge. Soon after the sweet horse I leased died in January from a sudden, terrible infection, I walked back into the barn to get away from the world. It was awful, seeing his empty stall and halter, but the barn has always been and always will be my refuge.

One of the horse moms (aka boarders) saw me and said, “I didn’t think you’d be back.”

Not come back? For a second, I was really offended. I had to regroup and remember that this nice woman didn’t know me as a child, creating notebooks full of fictional racehorses with breeding charts, colors, personalities and race results. She couldn’t know that for years I doodled horse heads all over my school notebooks; that I drew pictures of the horseback wedding I was going to have (shockingly that didn’t happen); or, that until I was 15, when I fell off, busted my shoulder and simultaneously found boys, the only thing in the world I wanted was a horse.

To my mother’s credit, a single teacher who made $30k a year, she somehow found a way for me to take lessons once a week and occasionally do a local horse show.  But a real horse of my own?  Out of the question. As an adult, I was able to satisfy my horse itch by being a horse show mom for years, until Daughter #2 was clearly able to do it on her own but let me “help” because she knew I needed to be involved.

Then came the end of 2021 and early 2022: three family deaths, one horse death and one horse near-death.  It was terrible, but there was a silver lining. Losing so many people and animals in such a short time made me realize time really is finite, and that if I want to achieve some dreams I have to put my phone down, get off the couch and figure out what that means.

A horse of my own may still not be in the equation, but now I take lessons. Do I want to be in big horse shows? Not really – I don’t need that kind of stress. My dream has changed into finding that balance between learning to ride better and riding for mental health. The two are not always the same. Some days its okay to just walk around in a field, to look at the bobbing head beneath you and find that simple joy. Other days, its feeling like flying as the horse you’re riding graciously allows you to flop around while it steps over poles. 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.  Ask yourself, am I going to be mad next year, or in five years, that I didn’t start something today? If the answer is yes, then put your phone down, get off the couch and see what can happen. You might be surprised with what your old dreams look like now, and what it feels like to realize them.  

Special thanks to my family, friends and especially Kimberly Anderson at Manakin Sabot Equestrian Center for their patience and encouragement. Thanks to Daughter#1 for telling me the truth and making me get up and do it, to Hubby for funding and taking pictures, and to Daughter #2 for listening to my blow-by-blow descriptions of each lesson. 🙂



On Turning 50 – It’s Halftime
February 11, 2021, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Posts | Tags: , ,

This week I turn 50 and like a lot of people do, I’m looking back going Girl, you played a sloppy first half.  Sure, there were a few touchdowns (marrying Hubby, having Daughters 1 & 2, making lifetime friendships), a lot of first downs (meaningful jobs, having my first story published) and even some ejections/rejections.  But that’s the game, isn’t it?

Just as Patrick Mahomes can’t dwell on the ridiculous number of penalties called during the Superbowl, and The Weekend can’t erase from everyone’s minds the jockstrap halftime show, you can’t dwell on the penalties you accumulate during your lifetime. 

I’m pretty sure most of mine were Personal Fouls, like ugly breakups, hurt feelings, and walking away from things I shouldn’t have. There was also some Encroachment, usually on the girls’ side of the line, but sometimes being up in somebody’s business is just a sign that you care. No regrets there. I don’t think anyone would accuse me of Holding (omg please don’t hug me….), unless it’s to say I sometimes hold a grudge.

But whatever the penalties, like any good team you have to learn from them.  So, here’s to hoping our second halves are filled with new plays, fewer penalties, more scores and downs, and lots and lots of cheering fans.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my halftime show won’t have a jockstrap or wardrobe malfunction, unless it’s because I’ve outgrown another pair of jeans. It will involve high-end bourbon, a fireplace, and hopefully the Fam and friends in whatever way we can be together. That’s the best beginning of a second half I could have.

Well, I gotta run to the fridge…the whistle just blew and it’s time to go back in and play!



Quaran-Tuck It – Part 1
July 15, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Exercise, Misc. Humor, Posts | Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve all seen the memes about gaining weight while under quarantine, and how we should all be trying to better ourselves during this time.  So, after 4 months of working from home, I have come to the conclusion that the Quarantine-15 is a real thing, and that I’m pretty much as lazy as I thought I was. I was secretly assuming it was me just being too hard on myself.

I don’t have any excuses.

I have extra time because I’m not commuting, and I can drop in a load of laundry when I need to get away from my computer and stretch my legs.  I live out in the country, so not going to the gym should have been replaced by lots of activity outside, like running (which is solitary and free) or the 50 million online exercise apps available. I even am lucky enough to have a pool, which I’ve been in only to just stand in the shallow end, like a hippopotamus.

Instead of bettering myself, I have coped by consuming copious amounts of wine, opening the fridge and staring at its contents for minutes at a time before eating yet another vat of pimiento cheese, watching too much tv after dinner and reading smut novels with heaving breasts and raised lettering on the covers (some are so bad even a book addict like me has to put them down).

smut

I have not learned a new language, edited my novels, blogged nearly enough, or even tried more than one or two new recipes.

So here’s what I’ve decided to do.  I’m going to create a short Quaran- Tuck It List (like a bucket list) of things to do during the pandemic that might get me moving forward again.  Feel free to make your own, or if you need some accountability, share your list in the comments!

  1. Lock the refrigerator on a timer.
  2. Attempt to not drink any alcohol for one week.  (Don’t judge – there’s only so much I can inflict on the Fam all at once.)
  3. Sell stuff on my local FaceBook market page – yep, Hubby is probably going to have a heart attack when he reads this. Dude, RELAX….I’m not touching your t-shirt drawers.
  4. Let the cats live. I CANNOT clean up anymore animal body fluids. If one of them shits on my outdoor cushions one more time, I’m going to lose it.
  5. Actually do the stretches every doctor I’ve seen has said I should be doing.  The problem with thinking of yourself as 30 in your head is that your body likes to laugh and go, “let me remind you…”
  6. Edit and finish the fantasy novel I started 20 years ago. Not 50 Shades of Gray fantasy…magic and swords and stuff. If I had to write the 50 Shades of Gray novel it would have ended after her interview with him and all the red flags she could only miss if she’d been locked in a box for the first 20 years of her life.
  7. Write an alternative novel to 50 Shades.
  8.  Create an author website page.
  9. Publish a bunch of these blogs in a book so future generations can just hand it over to their therapists and say, “See? It’s genetic…”
  10. Start a workout program to do in my pool (see next week’s blog).

What’s your Quaran-Tuck It list?

Qlist



HGTV – Where’s All Their Stuff?

In recent years there has been a lot of backlash against the fashion industry for promoting unattainable ideas of what beauty is – and to some degree, it has responded – models are heavier, they are more athletic, and they have some visible flaws. In fact, studies have shown that just looking at a skinny model in a magazine can make you feel bad about yourself.   I’d bet money that seeing a house or well-designed room that you can never hope to attain because of either lack of money or lack of design ability also makes you feel bad about yourself.

Or maybe that’s just me.

I think HGTV needs to take a page from the fashion industry’s book and inject some real “reality” in their shows. I don’t know how many divorces that channel has caused, but I’ll bet it’s quite a few.  So many of the homes they renovate or purchase are out of reach of the average homeowner, or the costs of the renovations are misleading.  Now, I’ll admit I’m just as much an HGTV junkie as anybody else, but I constantly have to remind myself during the shows that what I am seeing is not an accurate depiction of what it takes to renovate, well, anything in your home.

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I fell in love with Chip and Johanna Gaines (Fixer Upper) like everybody else. I love her style and their TV marriage, and I even subscribe to their magazine – excuse me…their “Journal”. imagesBut there is NO WAY on God’s green earth you can do the renovations they do for the amount they say it cost. Unless…. you have decades of experience flipping houses (which by the way, is done on the cheap for maximum profit), own your own real estate company and your own construction/design company, which Chip and Joanna do. So, during every episode, in my head I add at least $5k – $10k at the end of each reno cost to be realistic.

UnknownOnce I ran through all the episodes of the Fixer Upper, I watched Love it Or List It. Hubby and I even talked about trying to get on the show so they could fix our upstairs. However, the producers never show these people moving all their crap and their kids and pets into an apartment and two pods while the renovation is going on, or the fact that they are on this show in the first place because one wants to stay and one wants to move.  I think there are already marital issues piling up that need to be discussed, and probably not on reality TV. And, nothing says fix those problems like since buying or renovating a house – one of the top 10 stressors in life.  You can’t tell me there aren’t some serious plate-throwing arguments during the process.

I really have only one question about those shows: what happens when the stagers take the pretty fruit bowls and candles away, and people have to move their old, crappy, dog-chewed, not-the-same-size furniture and towels into the newly-renovated home?

What I really want to see, HGTV, is a show about decorating with what you already have.  Show me how to display the glass bowls, framed menus stacked in the attic, blue coral my cousin gave us for a wedding present, decorative metal bird cage, and our three autographed footballs in a way that doesn’t make my house look like an upper-crusty Goodwill store.  Show me where to put my couch so that I can see the TV, the snow outside and still work on my computer with having to throw a blanket over my head to cut out the glare. And show me how to hide the damned cat litter so I won’t smell it, but I won’t forget it for so long that the cats get revenge and pee on the carpet.

And for God’s sake, will someone please explain what Joanna’s obsession is with shiplap?

But for now, until they can produce a show that accommodates my middle class budget, I’ll keep watching, getting ideas for Hubby to do, and then seeing which one of us breaks first – me deciding I can live without it, or him going ahead and building it so I’ll shut up. And while I watch, I’ll remind myself to look around, see that I live in a home with my loved ones, that is warm enough, cool enough, full of memories and souvenirs and things that make my life very easy in all the ways that really matter – and I’ll be thankful.

 



Chardonnay – The Perfect Workout Substitute
October 17, 2019, 10:13 am
Filed under: Exercise, Food/Drink, Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

butter

What my friends give me when I get uppity and ask for a buttery chardonnay…

Chardonnay is the perfect substitute for an intense workout.

Yeah, you heard me.  I said it.

Now let me work my way around to it and you’ll see how my flawless logic enabled me to skip many a workout, guilt-free.

When you workout, your body converts sugar into energy.  During intense exercise, there may not be enough oxygen to complete the process, so your body makes lactic acid in response.  But this can build up in your body more rapidly than you can burn it off.  Symptoms of lactic acid build-up are cramps, nausea, weakness and exhaustion.

Chardonnay’s delicious buttery taste comes from lactic acid produced after the first fermentation.  Too much Chardonnay can leave your crampy, weak, nauseous and even exhausted the next day.

So…if you don’t like to exercise, stick with a buttery Chardonnay. You’ll be fooling your body into thinking you had a workout!

You’re welcome.  That is all.




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