Thursday, April 16, 2009

For The Love of a Horse

Many horse owners start out owning a horse innocently enough. We end up owning a horse because we fall in love. Whether it is a certain horse you see when you are visiting a friends farm, watching your child taking a lesson, or a horse that has been abandoned by a previous owner that looks at you with beseeching eyes, having not previously owned a horse, you jump into horse ownership with good intentions and both feet.
This is how my family came to own not just one but three horses. My daughter started taking riding lessons when she was not yet 5 years old. I, for one, really thought that she would take her lesson package of ten lessons and be done with horses, develop a new interest and we would not longer have to deal with 1200 pound animals. This was my plan, but not my daughter's. Now, at 13 year of age, my daughter not only continues with her lessons, but her love and understanding of horses has grown.
The first horse that was given to my daughter was an older rescued horse. Because we knew little about horse ownership, we did not know the questions to ask prior to committing ourselves to caring for this horse. We saw a horse in need and a way to obtain the best gift we thought we could give to our daughter for her ninth birthday. This was especially true as my daughter had been riding this mare for sometime prior to our decision to give the mare to her as a gift, and a relationship between child and horse had already been forged. Cinnamon, as my daughter later renamed this mare, tested my young daughter's fortitude. My daughter was bucked off of this mare more times that I care to now remember. However, my daughter loved this cranky mare unconditionally and, each she hit the arena dirt, she would square her shoulders, brush the dirt from the seat of her pants, wipe grim from her face, and with a determined look on her childish face, my daughter would mount her mare again. This type of determined riding went on for about six months. I believe Cinnamon finally figured out that no matter how many times she buck my daughter off, my daughter was not giving up on her, would not beat her, but would just mount up again for another go around the arena. Eventually, a strong bond built between Cinnamon and my daughter and they spent almost three years together learning how to ride and how to be ridden.
One cold morning two days after Christmas in 2007, I woke up in the very early hours of the morning. I was hearing something but I did not know what. There was a rhythmic thumping coming from the barn. My heart sank, I knew with dread in my heart that Cinnamon was in trouble, I just did not know how bad it would turn out to be. Still dressed in my pajamas, I woke the entire household and, putting on my heavy coat against the frost of the early morning hour, I rushed out to the barn. Cinnamon was down! My daughter was with me, her brother, father, and our family friend. I had my daughter put a halter on Cinnamon and my daughter, with cold hands and a scared look on her face, started walking this mare she loved so very much up and down the driveway. It was so dark outside that all I could see of my daughter and her horse was the plume of their breaths caught, occasionally, in the beam of the flash light I had pushed hurriedly into my daughter's hand.
I ran back to the house and to get my cell phone as I knew we needed the vet and we needed them now! I can remember how sick I felt inside and how sad. My daughter was so devoted to this mare, had lavished love on her during the three years despite her imperfect conformation and cantankerous Cinnamon had been. I can remember seeing my daughter grooming Cinnamon and telling her secrets, feeding her treats, and kissing Cinnamon's soft muzzle. Over the three years, Cinnamon never really grew to like me though she tolerated me and nickered when at me to be feed. Cinnamon only showed her softer side to my daughter, letting my daughter lay up on her back during warm summer days, content just to wander quietly in the arena with my daughter's chubby, small arms reaching around her neck, tugging gently, giving love and receiving it in turn.
That awful morning when it was so dark now stars could be seen in the night sky, when it was so cold my daughter's cheeks were red within minutes, was the last morning my daughter had with her first horse. It is a tender memory, bittersweet and filled with both happy smiles and painful tears. Cinnamon was humanely euthanized after we found that she had a severe colic. There was nothing more we could do for Cinnamon. We said out goodbyes and cried for many, many days.
We still have Cinnamon, as strange as this might seem to non-horse owners. Cinnamon's ashes now reside in a closet in our home, 45 pounds of her along with her shoes. I cannot seem to talk my daughter into finding a suitable gravesite on our acerage in which to bury Cinnamon. There is a comfort for my daughter, I believe, in knowing that her first horse is still nearby, not just in memory but in a somewhat tangable form. It is for the love of this horse that many lessons were learned, both for Cinnamon and my daughter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WE NEED WORK: Construction, please!

We are calling on all of our family and friends to help us find links to companies working in Afghanistan. We need to get something fairly big, work wise, going or we will not be able to continue paying our bills so, maybe God is leading us and our company to Afghanistan to provide the building talents they need over there that we have an abundance of?

What I am asking for are connections to be made: if you know someone who knows someone.... You know how it goes, that can direct our efforts, we would appreciate the help to make the connections. I have a company portfolio about ready to go out and you all know we are a good reliable company. Please pass this on, OK?


Monday, March 2, 2009

Erin & Theo: A video

Here is a video of Erin & Theo at the show last weekend in Lynden. It was COLD and windy, but Erin held it together and did well.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

OT: FGS School Fund Raiser.

For all of my friends, family, and business contacts, be they local or out of the area:

The school Erin is attending is having a fund raiser:

I really appreciate your willingness to help out here! I am a new FGS
parent and I think the educational opportunities this school can offer
Whatcom County girls are wonderful! Fairhaven Girls' School is an
opportunity not available in Whatcom County prior to this year!

This event is a critical part of our fundraising program for the
school and supports the school's scholarship commitment to an
economically diverse student community (30% of FGS students receive
financial aid to support attendance). Overall, FGS is not just another
private school; it truly is a school community.

Here is our goal: We need to sell 100 tickets by next Thursday! Or raise the same amount in donations!!! This will cover the cost of the event and still create a small fundraiser
for FGS!

Fairhaven Girls School is offering discounted ball tickets if
purchased by 12 noon on February 26. The prices are as follows:

$40 for a Family ticket (families of 5 or less)

$15 per Adult 18 - 64
$10 per child (age 6 - 17)
And a SENIOR SPECIAL of $12 per Senior 65 and over
Children under 5 years old are FREE with a paid adult admission.

Tickets are available online:

DONATIONS in lieu of purchasing tickets: In the event people would
like to make a monetary donation in lieu of attending the ball, for
every $10 donated they will be issued a raffle ticket for one of the
door prizes. FGS has been gifted many great items from local
businesses. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online at:

Note: Tickets are still available for purchase at the door on the day of the event at a increased cost.

Please Note: Donations can be made anytime and you can send a check to me directly (or I can pick one up if you are local) if this is how you would like to make a donation. Simply make the check out to Fairhaven Girls School, include the dollar amount being donated, and BONUS, it is tax deductible.

Please contact me via e-mail ( or phone (360)815-5054 to let me know how much you would like to donate. I want to post it to the "Success" area on the FGS parent group site and give you credit for your donations.

Thanks one and all, I really, really am grateful.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Dog, Cat, Rat........

OK, so my Mom sent this to me and I loved it. It was just too good not to put in my blog.

Follow this link to you tube and it will be worth the watch!

This will put a smile on your face and brighten your day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Equine Art

Here is yet one more picture that has just been completed. I seem to be in a creative phase!

By the way, the Ferndale Record Journal is coming to take Jon's photo and interview him tonight. Jon just loves to be interviewed. :O)

Wish us luck in getting our next job.....we need it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Both Pieces of Art of DONE!

So I posted a while back the art I was working on. I have continued working on both pictures and have completed them. I am including pictures of the drawings.

The one of the horse head is mixed media: graphite pencil, photo pencils, colored pencils, pastel pencils and even a bit of paint! Sorry about the flash, I will retake when there is more light.

The second (whole horse) is done in graphite, colored pencils, and pastel pencils and pastel chalk.

I hope you like them. They are both different, I know,. Let me know what you think!