First Field Test of P900

For me, stepping down from DSLR use is a  strange switch. For years, I only wanted to always upgrade….

15 years ago when I had a Sony Cybershot I wanted better photos so I got a DSLR and actually learned how to use it.

I learned how to “make” images as opposed to take them. That expanded into an idea that I could sell my photos as art…or even better become a professional equine photographer.

To that end, I pursued learning and improving…which led to getting two DSLR bodies and at one point I had 7 lenses… All for different purposes. Not to mention various other pieces of equipment for making perfect photos.

Well… Suffice to say my dreams of being a professional did not pan out. I wasn’t hired… I tried and tried but I only ever appealed to the people wanting to “let me” practice and thus give them free (pro quality) photos. I had business cards- I set up at horse shows working 15 hour days on my feet in the sun back to back on weekends.. complete with a computer at my booth showing photos that could be purchased….. All to never sell one. Not one.

I submitted to Horse Illustrated, Western Horseman… Many other magazines that focuses on nature or birds as well. Even istock…. I had a website for my photography and a sale page hosted by a professional photo sales company.

I tried for the life of me I really did.

The irony is I have been accused of giving up on things too easily… And yet horses were something I pursued for 23 years, and photography for 15.

I guess I pursued the wrong things. So to that end – no longer interested in carrying around a variety pack of expensive camera equipment for my hobby, I made the leap- difficult as it was – and downgraded to a single “all in one” camera.

As I have said in previous posts already, I am still getting to know the P900. The main reason I purchased it was really to have that long “super zoom” lens. Also the ease of transporting a smaller camera with built on lens was appealing for travel.

I’ve also said performance-wise, the camera is lacking….in comparison to a DSLR, but again – it isn’t one, so I have to remember not to compare it.

I do need to learn to use it’s features better and grow more comfortable figuring out how to compensate for what it lacks.

So the other day, I took it with me to work and at lunch went for a walk in a local small park. I was hoping to find a target to practice on…. One that might stick around for a while- like a duck or even a Robin.

As my luck would have it- I spotted something worlds better! Just above my head in a dead tree was a Cooper’s Hawk. I have not seen one in years!

So of course, as I try to get the shot, it flew off. Fortunately…. The reason I bought the P900 — that super zoom lens— came in handy.

The hawk did not go far and while I didn’t have a ton of time to photograph something that only sticks around for a few moments, I was very pleased with the results.

Sure there are faults to the shot, but overall, the hawk is fairly sharp and I am generally pleased with the photos!

It wasn’t exactly the practice I had in mind, but I was very happy!! If this first field test was any indication of how things will go with this camera, I am looking forward to it!

To that end…I have several more outings in the next few weeks planned, so…. More to come.

 

 

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

More on the Nikon P900

I have a bird feeder station on my patio, and it gets a lot of activity.  Up until last summer, I never had a bird feeder before at all.  Now I have about 10 of them, including a hummingbird feeder, and we get hummingbirds!

Over the last 12 years, I’ve been photographing with a DSLR set up, multiple Nikon bodies and multiple lenses.  A few years ago, Nikon released the P900 camera – a camera referred to as a “bridge” camera and it’s big appeal is that it has a long range zoom.

It was actually referred to as a “spy camera” when it first came out, because it’s zoom and video capabilities are so incredible, that it can get close up images of people more than a mile away under the right conditions.  It’s also capable of getting close- ups of the moon.

It sounded like a bird photographer’s dream camera, and my interest was peaked.  Finally after 3 years, I decided to get one.

My decision to downgrade was based on several reasons- i just don’t “need” the DSLR and lens collection for pursuit of my hobby.  It’s far easier to travel with a all-in-one camera than it is multiple bodies and several fragile lenses, and we do a lot of travelling!

The P900 is a down grade from a DSLR for sure.  To be clear, the P900 is considered a “bridge” camera.  What that means is that it’s in between a regular “point and shoot” pocket camera- the kind of camera 90% of everyone who ever wants to take a picture uses, and a DSLR – a true “professional” camera.  The P900 is for people who want more performance and features than a point and shoot, and maybe know a little more advanced functions, but aren’t ready to, or wanting to, upgrade to a DSLR.

My main interest and use for photography is wildlife.  For birds- a DSLR is the champion. In fact, the DSLR is the champion for everything.  Every sport photo, every wedding photo, every professional photo you’ve ever see on a website or in a magazine was taken with a DSLR and the right lens for the job.

The P900 is not a performance beast like a DSLR, so it isn’t right or fair to compare them.

For 99% of all photography that most people are wanting to take, the P900 would more than meet their needs.

As a step down from a DSLR, it takes some getting used to.

On that topic- here are some photos from today.  I’ve started getting to know this camera more and more….

 

 

So really – these images are pretty good.  They are adequate enough for most everyone’s expectation of photo quality, I’m sure    And it meets my non-professional needs as well.

As far as actual shooting, it has scene modes which are there for people who want more out of the camera and moment, but aren’t ready to step up to manual, or semi-manual modes.  Scene modes, like sports, bird watching, macro, night, etc… are all there for the photographer to tell the camera what you want, and let the camera do the thinking.

But, for advanced photographers, who prefer to set their own controls in manual modes, the P900 might have some disappointing and frustrating drawbacks.

I find the biggest of those is speed.  The P900 is just. so. slow.  The digital viewfinder is slow, the shutter lag slows everything down, and the time it takes to write to the SD card is slow.  If you’re used to the machine-gun shooting of a DSLR, you’re going to find the P900 frustrating.

It has a few different shooting menu modes to help compensate for that, including 16-shot burst mode, pre-shooting cache – both of which have a sad drawback of forcing the camera into auto ISO, even if you are shooting in manual.

Some of the shots above, I had to lighten in post-processing, because I needed ISO 800 due to lighting and the camera forced me into auto ISO which was only 100.  Ugh.

The camera also has continuous modes, which I have yet to play around with.

I’ll get to those as I play around with it more.

Of course, Nikon left out the ability to shoot RAW from the P900- but hey, the goal is to take the best shot straight out of camera, anyway, right ?  So….

So far, I am satisfied with the camera.  The lighting off my patio is difficult sometimes, and overall, I’m getting the camera to work with me on this.  I can’t wait to have a full on field day with the camera (literally)… as soon as the weather warms up a bit I’ll head off to a National Wildlife Refuge not too far from home and really play.

I don’t think I’ll be snapping any great photos of birds in flight with this very slow camera, but it’s size and compactness, and ease for travel, and overall good picture quality really makes me pleased I decided to get this camera.

 

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting to know the Nikon P900

One of my other hobbies and interests as you likely know by following this blog is that I enjoy photography.

Of course since horses have been a lifelong passion of mine, ever since I was little girl and first read Black Beauty, it made sense that when I first started up with photography after I bought my first horse, I wanted to take photos of…. yes you guessed it… horses.

I can remember taking my Dad’s 35mm camera to the barn with me, and having literally no clue how to use it.  So at the time (circa 2000ish) I got a point and shoot Sony Cybershot (I still have it!!).

Around 2007 I got a Nikon D80 and discovered the world of difference with DSLR cameras and why they are the best thing on the planet for taking photos.  Thus, photography addiction was born.

I ended up purchasing a Nikon D7100 a few years ago because just 1 camera body isn’t enough when you have 7 different lenses.  When photographing horses professionally didn’t pan out (thanks a lot Horse Illustrated for turning down my many many many submissions), I switched to wildlife photography – birds and bugs.

For the last 8 years or so, I spent as much of my time as possible hiking and discovering the amazing world we live in, and it’s been great.  I’ve spotted over 100 species of birds, most of which I never heard of before I started getting into photography, and found many different beetles, spiders, and other insects that all made willing models.

Well… there is absolutely no question that even a low end DSLR is a fantastic camera.   However, regular “day to day” shooting with a DSLR and small army of lenses does have its disadvantages….

As my life has been changing and growing over the last 2 years, my equine pursuits have just about ended, and I also spend more time exploring the world on a larger scale – travelling.  And as a hobbyist who just wants “nice photos” for memories, travelling with a $1000 lens that weighs 3 pounds and a camera and extra short range lens just doesn’t make sense at all.  Anything can happen to large, fragile, expensive glass equipment when going on an airplane.

Back in 2015, Nikon released what they called a “Super Zoom” camera – the P900.  It appealed to me then, but I never really gave it a second thought because I had my wonderful almost-pro grade lenses for wildlife and horses and bugs.  But I revisited the notion of the P900 again in 2017 and again in 2018.

Finally, just last week, I purchased it.  I figured 5 years of debating over getting it was enough.

highres-Nikon-Coolpix-P900-6_1427305624.jpg

(Stock image.  I was being lazy, oh the irony…)

So, right now, I’m just getting to know the P900, so I’ll share my initial thoughts.  It’s winter here and I have not had much time after work before it gets dark to get out and use it too much but I did spend about a total of an hour so far bonding with this little piece of machinery marvel.

This is considered a “bridge” camera.  That means it’s better than a “pocket” point and shoot, but not as good as a DSLR.

As far as advantages for a hobbyist level person such as myself, it has plenty – it costs literally less than some of my lenses alone for starters – $600 from most reputable camera stores. The lens is all-in-one and can cover a range of selifes to the moon.   This camera is specifically known for it’s stunning close-ups of the moon.  Yes.  Close ups of the moon.  And no,  I have not gone outside yet in freezing temperatures to give that a try.  I don’t do much astrophotography anyway.  Some other advantages/fun features is that it has a very nice swivel out and around LCD screen which most DSLRs certainly do not have, and if you like shooting in the pre-programmed modes, it has a ton of them.  It shoots great video in HD if that’s your thing.  Personally I’ve never once used my D7100 for video.  Besides all that – the whole thing weighs about 3 pounds so it is easy to carry, compact, and travelling with it will not be a problem.

As far as disadvantages for an experienced hobbyist stepping down from a DSLR, it has plenty.  It isn’t really fair to compare a camera like this to a DSLR, so I will try to do it fairly.  The P900 cannot shoot RAW.  Bummer.  Also, that 2000mm (equivalent) zoom that is capable of taking close ups of the moon doesn’t work out so well taking photos of …. oh…. a bird… or just about anything else.

The performance of the camera at 2000mm really fails.  The digital viewfinder is a nice touch but the reality of using it in the field is that it is slow and laggy and the max zoom, the shutter is slow.  I found a hawk sitting in a tree about maybe 100 feet from me and tried taking some max zoom photos of it, and they did not come out at all how I hoped.

But to be fair – at that range, even with my 500mm lens mounted on my D7100, I would have had to crop the image to get a “close up” and would have ended up with the same blurry image with chromatic aberration.

So far with objects at a closer range (even birds) my images are nice.  Just like any shooting situation, you need good light to make for good images.  I rarely ever shoot with my ISO higher than 800, since the majority of my subjects are birds in well lit situations.  However, indoor trials of the P900 have been wonderful.  It takes some mighty fine photos!

I have been messing around with the various AF modes, and I think I’ve found one that seems to work better for birds than the others. I’ve also begun to discover that due to the slow/skipping/lagging behaviour of the viewfinder (at max zoom!) it is almost easier to jut use the LCD to take photos, which is something I’m definitely not used to doing.

Overall, I like the camera just fine and I’m mentally getting used to stepping down from a 12 year run of DSLR shooting.  I will be sure to make more blog posts (with actual photos) on the P900 as a I get out using it more and get to know it a little better.

I plan to take it out to a major wildlife refuge not too far from home when it gets warmer- which is where I do most of my shooting anymore.  And in November there is a trip planned to Key West that will be an all important moment in my life.  My fiancee and I will become Husband and Wife!!!  Yay!!!!  (And it’ll be good shooting for the P900)

 

Stay tuned!

 

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Greatness

March 2.

This is a day I’ll not soon forget.  Just like October 24 and November 30.

They are anniversary days.  I know normally of course most people remember anniversaries of birthdays, weddings, or such.  Of course I do too, but these date are also burned in my head.

I have trouble remembering a lot of things, which is probably why I journal, blog, photograph, video, and such… to help me remember.  But these are dates I know I will not likely forget.

October 24 (2000) I had to euthanize my precious first horse, Lady (Pass A Native).  She was going into heart failure.  She couldn’t use her left legs.  My first horse, my first equine death.  I did not handle it well.

LadyAgu00

Lady was a wonderful horse, energetic, and wild.  She was not the easiest horse ever, nor was she anyone’s version of a good pick for a first horse, but it all turned out well enough.  Lady was awesome.  We got along great and despite the fact that I didn’t know how to ride when I bought her (despite taking lessons for several summers before that), she taught me.  Hang on or die.  That was a good lesson.

Her story is right here.

Tateshade

November 30 (2009) was the last day on this Earth of my beautiful buckskin, Tate.  He was a bit older of a horse that I purchased because I was trying to rebound from another mare that damned near did kill me (not Lady).  I wanted something a little more seasoned and gentle and Tate fit the bill.  He had been living a hard life of a Western gaming/light rodeo horse – poles mostly, and barrels and cattle.  Speed & gymkhana.  Then I come along with my dressage tack and his owners probably thought I was nuts.

Tate was wonderful.  Sweet and kind and I kept him going for several years until highly advanced ringbone and navicular got the better of him and the decision was made.

 

And… so you can imagine now why I will never forget March 2 (2018).

Luke2014Janfsmall

It’s been one year today since one of the single hardest days of my  life.  Way back in 2007, I drove in January to somewhere in the middle of nowhere Illinois to bring home a scraggly hackney pony.  He was so undermuscled and scraggly it wasn’t even funny.  I tried him out in a cart held together with duct tape, and a harness held together with bailing twine.

He was perfect.  Luke Skywalker as he would come to forever be known, was my shining light in the horse world.  For over twenty years I pursued horses in every fashion, always thinking somehow I could be the best… (Grand Prix Jumper, Grand Prix Dressage… Combined Driving master… you name it).  I didn’t have the money, help, skill, ability, or confidence to do it, but I did have one thing that was special —

Amazing horses.

Luke was the top of the top.  He was, is, and always will, an unsurpassable embodiment of everything that makes a horse great – and that greatness can make a hopeful aspirerer life me feel great.

For 12 years, I watched Luke shine.  He won everything everywhere.  While he was an endless bundle of energy, it was always a very focused energy.  Luke took his job seriously and got it done every time with grace and style… and sometimes some bucking.  He had personality, and he was a showman through and through.  There was no question that he knew he was in a show ring and wanted to perform.

Then, in 2010, Luke got a “big brother” in his wonderful counterpart, Chewbacca.

96

Above and Below, day 1 of Luke and Chewbacca meeting.

lukeandchewie2small

Chewbacca was a chill dude.  A drastic difference from Luke, the high energy hackney showman.  Chewbacca was a relaxed and far less energetic guy who just enjoyed hanging out.  And he let me do literally anything and everything to him.  Yet another Western (barrels) horse turned-English (Then driving) for me, Chewbacca let me jump him, then finally hitch him up and pull a cart.

Chewbacca knew when he was in a showring, too – and hated it.  He fell apart instantly every time he was in a show ring.  He tensed up and stressed out.  Suffice to say, showing (in an arena) wasn’t going to be a strong point for him – well hey… it wasn’t a strong point for me either.

Where Chewbacca did shine – was doing literally everything else.  He wasn’t the athletic, speedy, flashy showman that Luke was – but he was true and honest and willing.  And when I put him to a cart, it turned out  – driving was kind of his thing.  He loved it, and he was bold and confident with Combined driving, and cross country was easily his best section.  He did OK in cones, too.  Dressage was his weakest, but Chewbacca never did like that impulsion thing.

Still, he would canter along a trail beautifully and collected and calmly, and suddenly, I had a pair of incredible horses They were a true team.  They were bonded at the hip; they learned from each other, and they both performed single and together in amazing ways.  Heck, I even drove them tandem, with Luke in the lead.

 

ChewieMarathon8Lukemarathon5

luke-sept-2016

harness19

 

I showed them, I hauled them all over the place – and for 8 years together, whatever one did, the other did.  I showed them both myself at shows together- leaving one to wait tied at the trailer while I showed the other.  They just knew, and they just did.  Trails.  Rivers. Shows. Hills.  Whatever.  Didn’t matter the surroundings – from fairs to busy streets to wide open fields – they were unbelievable at their jobs and amazing in every way.

LukeNov2013gluke-apri-2016

Their personalities were totally different, and I think the photo above left shows that really well, lol!  One thing I often let them do was run free on the farm (fully fenced, of course).  They loved “getting away” with running up to the front yard, which was totally out of sight from the barn and munching on the green grass.  When I called for them, they would come.  Didn’t matter how far away they were, or how much grass there was.  They would come- Luke at a full on run, and Chewbacca at a slow waddle.

 

ChewieApril2015LukeApril2015

For years and years, this was my view.  Green grasses and perfect horse butts working for me at a walk, trot, and canter, over whatever ground I asked of them.

It was all so sudden.  It was all so sad.  Chewbacca went lame in 2015 and needed to be pulled from all work.  His suspensories on the hind were giving out- desmitis.  Luke continued to machine on, along with Jesse.  And I kept showing them both.  Luke and Jesse were of equal, flashy performance, and I showed them both frequently at events, but they did not get along.  Like… at all.  They would actually attack at each other with teeth bared, so I always had to keep them separate.

Luke worked right up through December 2, 2017.  I moved them to a new barn on Decemeber 1,  and the next day the weather was good enough to take him out for a drive.  Then the weather changed, and so did everything else. (Totally unrelated to the move of course, although possibly a stress factor from the move did amplify Luke’s issues).

By Christmas, Luke had lost “some” weight.  That was odd for him, since he was always – for all the 12 years I had had him – one of those easy keepers on air.  Luke was 22 years old after all.  He was not a young man anymore.

After doing everything I could for him, over the next few weeks, Luke’s condition got worse and worse.  He lost over 100 pounds in weeks.  His abdomen distended.  He had no muscle left.  Chewbacca was moving slower and slower with each passing day, too.  Not specifically “in pain”, but most definitely “uncomfortable”.

My precious amazing incredible horses that had given and done everything for me, were failing before my eyes.

Thus, March 2 had to happen.

It was a road I’d walked down before.  I thought after losing Lady that I would never get another horse.  But… 18 years and more than a dozen horses later, the final road is one you just have to travel as a horse owner.

I had always said the days (aka two separate days) when I lost Luke and Chewbacca would be the two hardest days of my life.  Turned out, it ended up being one day.  There was no way I could separate them.  Chewbacca had always been Luke’s protector.

Chewbacca is still Luke’s protector.

IMG_0786

One year later, this beautiful bracelet is all I have of them.  That, and more than a decade of memories, photos, and videos, and ribbons.

Two amazing horses.  Tragically gone.  Always Loved.  Never forgotten.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

2019 Begins!

WELCOME

 

WELCOME TO 2019!!!!!

It is hard to believe that we’re here already.  So much has changed in 2018, it was like a speeding freight train, and I was just along for the ride.

I had a major post to make before 2018 was out, but I never quite found the time to do it, so I’ll start off the New Year with a recap of the … uh… old year?

Many years ago, a friend of mine told me about the delights and affordability of taking a cruise.  I always loved adventure, exploring, and visiting new places, so I very much wanted to take a cruise for myself.  As it was, the times in my past life did not lead me to ever taking such a trip.

However, when my new boyfriend brought up the idea (not knowing I wanted to take one) of going on a Bahamas Cruise, I  was on board (haha, pardon the pun….)

In November of 2018, we took a trip to the Bahamas, but in true fashion to my preference, we went everywhere else we could manage to go before the cruise!

We spent a few days having another jam-packed sight-seeing tour of Florida before we ever ended up in the Miami Port.

We visited Disney Springs, Orlando and shopped and did a virtual reality Star Wars experience, which was incredible.   We ate yummy food and saw some really amazing things, like the inside ceiling of the Planet Hollywood there.  Holy cow!!!  We also went to the Titanic Museum in Orlando.

 

IMG_1962

Then, we took a drive out to Cape Canaveral and stayed overnight.  We stayed in Cocoa Beach, and we knew ahead of time that there was a rocket launch scheduled to happen.  Conveniently enough, the launch was on the day we had already planned and purchased tickets to go actually see Kennedy Space Center.  It was really a bit of luck that there just happened to be a rocket launch.  We did plan to go the day before, but when the date of the launch was finally announced, we simply flip-flopped (hahaha, oh those puns…) our visit dates around.

Cocoa Beach was beautiful, and the water was lovely.  And then…. oh yes… the rocket launch.

11-15-18 Cocoa Beach 14

IMG_1427

Meet the Space X Falcon 9 rocket.  WOW!  What an incredible sight this was!  To experience this was truly a once in a lifetime thing for us!  We managed to get a last-minute front row spot just about 20 minutes before it went up.  The countdown was as exciting as counting down to the New Year (and we weren’t asleep for it, lol!)

The smoke was incredible, and the feel and sound of that rocket going up and crackling through the sky was simply mesmerizing.

11-15-18 Kennedy 13

After the rocket launch, there was just one thing left to do… get to Miami and get on a gigantic cruise ship.

IMG_2258

It was like a dream  The weather was perfect, the ocean was perfect, the ship was perfect.

The sea sickness was not, however.  While cruising isn’t probably going to be something we will repeat, we did have fun.

When we got to the Bahamas, we saw post-cardesque waters and stunning beauty of the palm trees and white sands.

IMG_2200

We visited the Atlantis Resort, and fell in love.  We definitely will put a full-on stay at Atlantis on our bucket list.

IMG_1534

But all that is just small in comparison to what else happened on the cruise…..

IMG_1585

Yes, you saw that right!  I’m officially engaged!

Needless to say, 2018 ended with a BANG!  And here we are at the start of 2019, and yes… we have wedding plans already well under way (and I have a gorgeous wedding gown)!

I know 2019 will bring many good things for us, and I hope it brings you the best as well.  May you and your horses be happy and good through this beautiful New Year.

Till Next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Memories old and new

I can’t believe that 2018 is almost over already!  And I also can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted last!

I’m still here and the horses are still doing well.  Dixie is her normal bratty little self, obese as ever. Jesse spent the summer doing wonderful work just being his amazing little self.  Jesse is a lot like Luke in a smaller package.  Dixie is in her own class.

Not a day goes back that I don’t think about Chewbacca and Luke and all that happened with them.  I hate losing animals.  Hate it.  To some degree, you never quite get over it when you’re attached enough to the animal.

LadyAug00

Lady, circa 2000

I put a cat down in 2002 that I still think about.  I had a cat die in 1992 that I still miss to this day.  I put down my first horse Lady in 2000 and still think about her all the time, even though I only owned her for 18 short months.  At 20, she went in heart failure.

I put down Tate, my 24 year old arthritic navicular buckskin Quarter Horse in 2009.  I had purchased him just 3 short years before.

tate12

Tate, 2006

I made a choice to buy an older horse for confidence reasons.  The horse I had before Tate was just 4, and we did not get along.  Tate was my bounce back confidence builder until he started having issues and then I bought Spyder – an 8  year old gray Hanoverian mare that nearly killed me.  We had a lot of issues, turned out the issue was me.

But that’s neither here nor there.  My point is, through the short 18 months I owned Lady or just the 3 little years I had Tate, I hope the horses knew I cared for them.  I hope I did my best with them.

It goes without say how much I miss Luke and Chewbacca.  I was lucky enough to get to spend 11 years with Luke and 7 with Chewbacca.  Horses like them don’t come along often, and they a cherished part of my life and memories.

 

Boys

So many wonderful memories, but times are changing and new horizons are coming every day.

Luke and Chewbacca are gone, and Dixie and Jesse are getting older.
It’s funny to look back at photos of Dixie and Jesse to see how they’ve aged.

 

dixieheadsept

Dixie, 2012, at 17 years old above.  Now, she’s 23!

Dixie Oct 2018

Jesse3

Jesse, 2012, at 15 years old.  Now, he’s 21 and grayer than Dixie!
Jesse Oct 2018

Dixie, ironically, is the horse I’ve owned the longest.  Since Lady died at 20, and Tate died at 24, Dixie is quickly pushing her way to being the oldest horse I’ve ever owned.  I’ve had her half her life now.

It’s so strange to see them graying with age and getting (literally) long in the tooth.  It’s the worst part of owning animals – I know Dixie and Jesse will both be gone.  Maybe in a year, maybe in a decade.  But they’ve been good for me and I will always try to give them my best.

Jesse still goes out driving and is perfectly happy trotting along.  I don’t work him very often anymore of course.  He does not need training.  He knows his job every bit as well as Luke did and I’m so lucky to have had them in my life.

Life is taking me all different directions now- directions I never thought I would get to go; and once Dixie and Jesse are gone, I’ll be taking a long-term hiatus from horses.  For now, they are enjoying the setting in winter that’s taking over the midwest, and I am looking forward to getting in some sunshine in The Bahamas!

The last two years have been the most amazing time of my life since my incredible future husband came into my life.  I’ve had ultimate highs with him – amazing experiences like going to New  York and now, we are heading off to the Bahamas on our first ever cruise ship!

Can’t wait to post more on that subject!!

SO many memories in the making, and I certainly cherish and treasure all of them.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mid Year Check In

Well, maybe I’m a bit late, but I will call this a mid-ish- year review…. what’s happened in the last 6 months?  Where are the next 6 months headed?  Goals met?  Accomplishments achieved?

Well it’s a bit overwhelming to even think of the last 6 months of 2018.  I am definitely certain about one thing – 2018 has produced the biggest, most dramatic amounts of changes in my life than most any other year – or years combined- that I can think of.

It’s been a non stop ride of one thing after another and I am definitely learning for the first time in my life (better late than never, right?) to just ride the ride, and not try to steer the damned thing.

After starting out the year sick as could be with the flu and my truck needing more repairs than any sane person would ever consider doing thus, getting a new car, it barreled right along to my boyfriend’s car being stolen, deciding to move, buying a new house, getting a new job, selling my horse trailer, and of course……  a major change in my life…. as I said final tragic goodbyes to both Luke and Chewbacca on March 2.

Isn’t that enough?!  That was all literally the first 3 months of the year.  I’m happy to report at least that since March things have slowed down a bit… my boyfriend got a new car as well, my new job has been going along well.

I do my best to control my severe anxiety issues, which do get triggered by non-sense too much more than I care to admit.  God bless my incredible boyfriend who can manage to deal with me and my anxiety.  I’ve had a few major meltdowns since the start of the year, but that’s a few less than last year and the year before.  So that’s all good, right?

This summer is flying by – it’s hard to believe it is July 8 already.  I’ve been driving little Jesse once a week, and looking forward to some upcoming fun activities with my boyfriend.  In just a few weeks I get another candle on my cake, and we are going to go ziplining!  Cool!

Nearly 14 months ago, we made reservations on a Bahamas cruise.  That cruise has been paid for a while, and we are closing in on the date!  We have a 10 day trip to Florida and the Bahamas cruise coming up in November, and I can’t wait.

And in very exciting potential upcoming events… we started ring shopping!

2 years ago I absolutely knew beyond a doubt that I was broken, unwantable, and unloveable.  I did not even think I would so much as find a good man to treat me decent enough to not insult me if we managed to get through a dinner date.  My my my how times have changed.

I met the perfect man – on a free online dating site, so they do work after all – and now he’s seriously thinking about committing himself to me, ring and all… hey, we already bought the house, right?

I do dream of wedding bells in my future now, and even of the pitter patter of little feet- and I am not talking about a kitten (or a foal..).  I’m also dreaming about ziplining, the Bahamas and whatever surprise day when the love of my life decides to pop out that ring and ask me.

Oh my my my!!

Very exciting stuff.

Overall – this has been one big – GIANT – year of changes, and there are still 5 1/2 more months left to it……

Can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment