Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 In Review

I usually write a year in review post, and for the most part I always enjoy reminiscing while writing.  I have to admit this year is kind of different.  There were a lot of wonderful, fabulous things that happened in 2012. I am lucky to lead such an amazing life and without question and that certainly did not change. However, as most of you know 2012 came with a tremendous amount of loss for me.  We always experience loss, each and every year. Running a retirement farm it is a given that loss is part of your experience.  Sometimes the residents pass due to complications from old age, sometimes they are young and are euthanized because their reasons for retirement have caught up with them.

I miss Ivan and his practical joker personality.

I  miss Fuzzy, AKA "The Fuzz," because he was simply an unforgettable personality.

I miss Zeus and his overwhelming enthusiasm for life.

Since I've mentioned it about five million times in the last few months everyone knows I lost my father this year.  That has left a hole in my life that is almost incomprehensible to me.  I feel very lucky in the relationship I had with my him.  Aside from Jason I spent more time with my dad than anyone else. I saw him every day. He filled a unique role in my life of both parent and best friend.  He was my father, my confidant, my mentor and a very close friend - all wrapped up in one person.  We were also a lot alike, so we could say things to each other that we couldn't say to anyone else, and neither of us would take offense.  I struggled a lot after he passed, and it made me realize just how much he was a part of my daily life. I'm finally starting to get used to the idea that he is gone.

When you throw Jason's surgery and two month convalescence in the picture immediately, as in days, after my father's passing, it goes without saying that 2012 wasn't my best year ever. Jason could do nothing around the farm, could not lift Carter, literally could not do anything for two solid months.  This came at about the worst timing one could have possibly imagined. When you also add in the fact that we had just brought Carter home from Russia 8 weeks before all of this came to pass it is amazing to me that I even kept functioning. In my humble opinion that was too many life changing experiences that all happened at the same time and I wouldn't recommend it.

I also lost my horse Hoffy this year.  I have loved all of my horses, but I've had a truly special relationship with two horses in my life and he was one of them.  My father's coon hound Bush passed a few weeks after he did, he basically grieved himself to death. Bush's pictures have been on the blog many times throughout the years.   I also wrote about our stray rooster, The Don, many times on the blog through the years.  The Don also passed this year. It may seem odd to be sad about the loss of a stray rooster, but he had been with us for a long time, and as Faune's mom said so perfectly, he was an epic rooster.  Finally, as if this blog post could not get any more depressing, we ended 2012 with euthanizing our dog Bear on New Year's Eve.

As I re-read all of that it seems self explanatory as to why I can be a touch on the moody side these days!  Poor Jason has had to deal with some pretty awe inspiring mood swings from me. He has done an admirable job of dealing with them.

Of course 2012 also had an incredibly memorable event. Jason and I brought our son home from Russia.  That was a long, stressful and exhilarating journey that took over a year, mounds of paperwork, every kind of background check imaginable, and three trips to Russia.  Welcoming Carter into our family has been wonderful in ways that I never even imagined.  I am already on the lookout for the perfect leadline pony despite the fact that Jason keeps pointing out to me that Carter is only 1.  In my opinion you can never start looking too soon, right?

As always we had a lot of things going on at the farm.  We filled our hay barns, both with hay we cut ourselves and with hay we purchased. We cleared some land as we prepare to build another pasture.  As always we had gravel trucks coming and going from the farm throughout the year. We added on to two of the barns so we could have more stalls.  Every year I seem to manage an odd wildlife encounter, sometimes more than one.  Of course the horses kept us entertained with their ever fascinating herd dynamics.  Not to be outdone we also manage to keep the horses entertained as well. Jason stunned me with his taste in music (he still claims he only listens to the song because it makes him think of our fainting goat Miss Lyle).

If I had to sum up 2012 in one sentence I would say it was a year of life changing moments.  There were a lot of moments in time, both happy and sad, that will be replayed in my memory forever.  It was a good reminder that you can make all the plans in life that you want to, but they should be written in sand. It makes me think of the saying that you should write your goals in concrete and your plans in sand.  At this point I would not even dare to make any predictions as to what I will be writing about as I reflect a year from now on 2013.

Whatever this year brings I hope I continue to lead my charmed life with my wonderful friends, family and farm. I also sincerely hope to experience less loss and sadness.  Thank you to each and every one of you for sharing my journey with me this past year.  Your comments, notes and emails always mean a lot to me, and I look forward to sharing the events of this year with you.


Moe and Trigger

Oskar and Tiny


Winston and Faune

Merlin, Noble and Fabrizzio

Right after I took the picture above the flock of birds that had been scattered around the horses decided to take off all at once. They didn't even lift their heads. You and I both know if we had been riding them and that happened that it goes without saying we would have been dumped.

Silver and George having some playtime (with Faune watching below)

Bergie, Kennedy and Oskar; this picture reminds of the computer game Tetris. The horses look like they are falling down the screen in different patterns and I need to arrange them into a line. Yes, I realize I am rather odd.

Thomas and Leo were having an intense play session


Anonymous said...




RuckusButt said...

What is there to say? I, too, hope you continue to live a blessed life and experience less loss. Although daunting to deal with so much change, I'm tempted to think Carter came into your lives exactly when you needed him. It goes without saying that he needed you two.

EvenSong said...

I second what RuckusButt said: sometimes the necessity to keep on moving through our daily routine help us get through a major series of losses. When a student at school looses someone close, yes, they need a couple of days, and I do encourage young children to attend funerals, to provide closure, but then I encourage the family to get them back to school--to get them back into the security and safety of a known routine. Although taking over Jason's half of the farm-running business was a little extreme, especially on top of a new baby in the house, at lest it all kept you "moving" through life, rather than shutting down. Sometimes, as overwhelming as that seems, it can be a hidden blessing. Carter: not so hidden!
Here's hoping that 2013 will be a much happier year for all of you!

Lori Skoog said...

You certainly had your share of losses in sorry, especially being without your father. I'm very impressed with all the work you do at Paradigm are one very strong and capable woman and run an amazing ship. Before you know it, Carter will be helping you. I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.

jenj said...

I <3 the Tetris horses!

2012 was definitely a year of change. I hope 2013 will be more positive changes, and fewer losses for you and your loved ones.

Meriwon said...

Wow, what a year 2012 was for you!
I hope 2013 brings peace and happiness for you!

I love your blog, amazing things you do for the animals!


An American in Tokyo said...

Thank you for always sharing so much of your life with us through your blog. I am sorry that 2012 was such a difficult year for you, but I hope 2013 brings you more happy moments than sad!

And I just wanted to let you know that I agree with you on the Tetris remark! ;)