Monday, August 30, 2010

Love

"Let us love not with words or lips only but in deed and truth." -1 John 3:18

Love, and do what you will. If you are silent, be silent out of love. If you speak, speak out of love. If you censure, censure out of love. If you forbear, forbear out of love. Put love in your heart. Nothing but good can spring from that source. -St. Augustine

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Connection

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a grooming class at the barn. It was mostly a refresher course. At the end of it, though, I felt more confident about cleaning/picking a horse's hooves. If you could care less about the cleanliness of horses' hooves, cool. I'm still going to write about it.

Before I found Horse Haven, I never really developed the confidence to pick up a horse's leg, hold his hoof, and clean it. Depending on who you pull out of the stall, they're big animals compared to humans. About five years ago (before Horse Haven, when I used to take riding lessons), I groomed a horse who didn't like to stand still. He was a big boy, and his constant moving about while I was trying to clean his hooves made me very nervous and apprehensive...especially when it came time to do his back hooves.

The back legs are the scariest part for me. In order to keep yourself from getting kicked in the face, you pull the leg up and out, and sandwich it between your legs and hold the hoof. If the horse decides to pull forward to kick, he essentially can't because you have control of the leg.

There are other techniques and things you can do to avoid getting kicked, and now I know a few more of them. I think my lesson in building confidence was immensely helped by the horse that I groomed. If you recall from a few posts ago, I introduced Perry.


He's a sweet little boy. Many thought that he wouldn't survive when he came to Horse Haven. When he did succeed, he still had other issues to work through. Trust was and still is a big one with him.

I won't lie to you when I say that one of the reasons I picked Perry to groom was his size. He's not the smallest equine at the barn, but he by far is not the biggest! I also chose him because we get along well. I know where he likes to be scratched (which is practically his entire being!), and he comes running and is all silly when I come to the gate. He's my little buddy.

And so we groomed. First the curry comb and then the stiff bristled brush. Then his face with the soft brush. We broke out the Cowboy magic for his tangled mane and tail. Then it was time for the hooves. With guidance from a wonderful lady and friend named Donna, I cleaned Perry's hooves. When it came time for fly spray, which he had never been exposed to, the barn manager handled that. The two of them did this funny circle dance. Perry did not like it at all, but Sonja did a great job of teaching him to trust and to be okay with it.

Let me tell you, he looked pretty handsome afterward.

Throughout this whole process, I learned a great deal about caring for a horse. I also learned more about that deep connection one can have with an animal. This connection of trust and of love can be very spiritual if you open your eyes. I did, and I am ever so grateful.

Through Perry and other horses, God has taught me a lot about the simplistic nature of love. Animals can't say I love you in a language we humans can understand, but they do have ways of telling you. Animals offer us a way to learn how to say I love you and I trust you, without words. It is even more beautiful because in Perry's situation, as well as the others at Horse Haven, trust is a big deal to them. You have to earn it, build it, maintain it, and safeguard it.

Perry let me groom him and love on him. He trusts me. In fact, he trusted me enough that he fell asleep several times! But I think that was only because it felt so good. I think it is akin to when my friends play with my hair, it feels good. Though my hair usually only stays in ponytails and braids, not curls or anything fancy-like. Anyway...

I think that if we all could love like animals do, we would be better able to love one another. We would also be one step closer to realizing the love that God has for us, but even that is much much more than we will ever understand.

Trust and love like that feels good.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Year Two

Last Saturday I moved into my dorm. This Saturday, I sit here freezing in my icebox of a room (which I love, of course) after a nice day at the barn. Classes started this past Wednesday. I've already been rained on practically each day since I've been here. I was caught outside one afternoon without a rain jacket. That was awesome and not awesome all at the same time.

Of the many many things that I am thankful for about the start of this new school year, I think right now this is number one:
Get it? I live on the SECOND FLOOR. I'm so happy. I hate elevators. I love being able to take the stairs. Now I know that when I lived on the 5th floor last year that I could just as easily used the stairs...but after walking from one side of campus, the elevator was a lot faster and a little less wind-inducing.

I'm thankful for God giving humankind the ideas, the creativity, the tools, and the resources that we then used to create wonderful things. Sending us to the moon, crazy accurate machines used in major surgeries, highways that connect people, and STAIRS.

As I suspected, my class load will be very difficult, but most of them are very interesting. I look forward to the knowledge that lays ahead, but I'm also terrified of the difficulty. I did drop my Medieval Studies class (which I will take in a different semester) so that I could take a Communications and Information class. I'm taking CCI 150 because it is a prerequisite for another communications class, which is also a prerequisite for basically everything else in the college of communications.

I like to keep all of my options open. In the event that geology doesn't work out, I've also considered being a communication studies major. We'll see. I've also entertained the idea of double majoring. Ha!

So here's to a new school year. Buena suerte!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Different Things

I like a lot of things that would be considered mainstream. Things that I would assume that others of my age would call normal, typical, standard issue. Across the spectrum, I have clothes, music, movies, and the like in common with my friends and most people my age.

This is just a generalization, but I believe that in comparison to a good portion of people my age, I enjoy many things that are way different.

For instance, I love war films. I don't harbor a taste for suffering or violence, but there is something about films like Black Hawk Down, Behind Enemy Lines, We Were Soldiers, Flyboys, and Tears of the Sun that fascinate me. Maybe it is glimpsing a reality that I may never see for myself. Maybe it is understanding the mentality of men who fight.

Another area where I tend to differ more is music. I generally like a little bit of everything, but I really really love classical, orchestra/symphonies, and film scores. It's almost ridiculous how much I do, but then again, I don't care! In my iTunes library, I have more songs composed by Hans Zimmer than any other artist. A few bands are just shy of the title of "Most Songs by Us" in my library, but Hans takes the prize. In my "Soundtracks" playlist, I have 338 songs, but that also includes my classical pieces (Tchaikovsky has the most). Currently, I have 19 film scores, but that number is growing!

I recently bought the Black Hawk Down score, and oh my goodness it is wonderful and awesome and excellent and moving. If you have your speakers on mute, please turn them on to listen to two of the songs from the score, which are in the music player above. If you get to this post after I change the music for a different post, here are 2 Youtube videos of the same songs: "Barra Barra" by Rachid Taha and "Gortoz A Ran" by Denez Prigent and Lisa Gerrard.





I wouldn't say that some of my favorite films and music artists are 100% unique, but my DVD library and iTunes library don't often have much in common with others that I have met.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blegh!

Because I was not paying attention to what I was clicking on, I messed up my blog layout. I was just goofing around, trying different things and hit the wrong button!

I didn't mean to save, just preview!!!

So I will get back to fixing my blog to just the way I like it. I hope you can endure for the next X amount of days because tomorrow morning I move into my dorm room. I hope to find time this weekend to fix my blog because frankly, I do not like it! It is not aesthetically pleasing to me.

If you can't tell already, I don't like change.

See you in a few days, most likely in a better, greener, sort-of-back-to-normal blog.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

As the title would suggest, I have been making a lot of decisions lately. A good portion of them were serious ones, while the rest were trivial and yet still highly important to maintaining my sanity.

Here are the funny ones:

-Deliberately choosing Chinese food for dinner, knowing that I would be going to a friend's acoustic/jazz show an hour later.

It was an interesting decision. Next time, I probably will stick with peanut butter and jelly. Throughout the evening at the show, whenever I burped it savored of garlic chicken and wontons. No es bueno!

-Reacting a little too crazy when I thought a spider had landed on my shirt.

Turns out it was just some flying insect, but it was dark outside as I walked through the door into the unlit room. I panicked and started beating my chest to get it off. My sister was behind me, wondering what my problem was. I seized the moment...made my hand look like it was holding something, turned around, and shouted "THERE IS A SPIDER ON ME!!!" and then I threw the nonexistent spider onto my sister, who freaked out. April backed up out of the doorway into my unsuspecting mother who was carrying a plate of almost eaten something and a glass, which she almost spilled. I couldn't stop cackling if my life depended on it.

-Not wearing shoes outside.

I hardly ever wear shoes outside because I like going barefoot unless I'm doing some kind of potentially foot and toe threatening yardwork. Last night as I was getting ready to go back inside, I heard my cat Tinker meowing. It was a different kind of meow. I thought she was hurt. It turns out that she had brought something home, and she was using her, "Look what I have! Look what I have!" meow...she does this whenever she brings me a toy, sock, or hair tie. I thought whatever critter that was in her mouth was dead, and at first I thought it was a mouse. Then she dropped it, and it scurried away as I shrieked and bolted away from the fence. It was a damn snake! It was just a little 4-5 inch garter snake, but jeez-louise I was terrified. I'm not afraid of snakes, I promise. It's just that I wasn't expecting her "gift" to still be alive! Now I might decide to wear shoes more often if I know the cat is out hunting.

My funny decisions were just that, funny. Though humor is essential for me to live, the aforementioned stories were not as serious as others. I won't go into too much detail because I am choosing not to, but suffice to say that these decisions were not made lightly.

I've never had to pray so much before. I was at a loss as to how to proceed because I felt like I was being pulled in one-thousand different directions.

For one decision, it all boiled down to, how do I keep myself happy and in one piece while trying to do the same for others? I learned that it doesn't always work that way. I prayed and prayed, asking God to guide me because I was completely directionless. When I finally had to make my decision, it felt good afterward. And those are the best decisions, because I knew right away that that was what God wanted. I felt at peace.

For the second decision, it was about trying to be myself and who God wants me to be in the face of what someone else wanted me to be. This decision didn't take me nearly as long as the first because time didn't allow me much wiggle room. It also happened to occur right when I was busy with the horses and stall cleaning at the barn, so I didn't have much time to actually pause and decide. So I prayed while I worked. Again, God took care of me. I felt better after the decision, knowing it was the right one.

Of course, after both I still felt numerous pangs of "what-if...", but I knew not to listen to those too much because my decision was made. I've just always been a "what-ifer."

I also realized that God really is taking care of me. I know that seems silly because I believed that before, but I never really had too many stand-out instances of proof. I try walk by faith and not by sight, but sometimes God helps me out by showing/telling me exactly what it is or needs to be. I am thankful for this gift, for the realization of this gift, and for being one of His beloved daughters.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Because I Need A Break

I've had a pretty stressful week. I won't elaborate because I don't have the time. I have my chemistry lab final later today and my lecture final on Monday, and I just finished all of my end-of-semester stuff for anthropology on Wednesday.

I haven't been getting much sleep. And I am tired. Not just sleepy tired, but tired. You know?

So, I think I deserve a quick break. This of course will be a visit to Youtube, to watch one of my all time favorite (if not the number 1) videos I have ever come across on the internet.

As you all know, I love Lady Gaga. Naturally of course, I am going to love any parody of her music and videos.

This "Telephone" remake is brought to you by a couple of guys from Afghanistan. Enjoy. I do every time I need a good laugh.





If it doesn't work here, then go straight to the source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haHXgFU7qNI