Well, it is July already! Who can believe it?! We are a solid 6 months into the year and what a year it’s been.
Any and every expectation or goal I’ve had for this year has been completely achieved and/or blown away in the best ways possible. There is no possible way I could have ever imagined or envisioned myself living the life I’m currently living! A year ago, it didn’t seem possible. 2 years ago, it definitely didn’t seem possible, and every year before that, I didn’t even bother dreaming up a life like this, because there was no point.
All I can say, is whatever struggles you’re going through – don’t give up hope, don’t stop praying, and don’t stop thanking God for what you do have now.
So, every mid-year, I like to reflect back on the list of goals I set for myself for the year and see how I’ve done. Let’s see…. 6 months ago my list was something like this:
*Be happy (I think this is reasonable, right?)
– I’d say it’s pretty safe to say this has been achieved!
*Live every day to the fullest (OK, I did this in 2016, so I am well practiced, right?)
– Definitely doing this, and will continue to do so!
*Lose 30 more pounds (hey, I lost almost 70 in 2016…)
– Eh…. OK, we’ll we can’t hit every goal, can we?
*Stay Healthy (this is a given, right? 5 years cancer free down and done. I’m ready for 5 more…)
– Done! And keeping done!
*Enjoy every minute I possibly can with the most amazing new man that has blesses my life
– Yes!!! Still doing and always will!
*Photograph Eagles (that’s the bird, not the football team…and it involves a long trip to find them)
– Done, several times.
*Photograph at the Everglades ( yep… this. This is happening in 2017).
– Well, this one got put off to 2018, but that’s fine. The trip is booked- we are going to the BAHAMAS!!!! And since the port is in Miami, which isn’t far from the E-glades, we’re going to make it a combined trip and do it all then. So, it didn’t happen in 2017, but it will be worth the wait.
*Complete my newest costume (already started in Sept 2016 – ETA to finish, end of Jan 2017)
– DONE! That was the angel of death, which I debuted at C2E2. And it will appear again at Dragon*Con in a few more weeks.
*Put together 1-2 more costumes for 2017 for myself
– eh… this is on the back burner. That’s OK. I’ve got more than enough costumes right now.
*Build 1-2 costumes for my boyfriend
– already beginning! Can’t wait to see this exciting costume for my BF completed!!
*Suit up at C2E2 2017
– Heck yea!!! Done and did!!!
*Suit up Wizard World Chicago 2017
– Still to come, this is in August.
*Attend Dragon*Con 2017 (already on the docket! Ticket bought, hotel room paid!)
– Still to come, this is in September. But it’s all booked/paid, so can’t wait!
*Attend New York Comic Con 2017 (hmmm… maybe!??!)
– This is happening, too! Hotels booked, tickets bought. My BF and I are taking a massive 1800 mile adventure through 5 states as we head to Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey before we make our way back home to the Midwest.
*Go to Seattle with my most wonderful man!
– well, unfortunately, 2 major trips in 2017 puts this one on the back burner as well. Still – I’d say with basically 90% of my goals for this year already done… it’s been an amazing year, and it’s only half over!
There are big– HUGE — things yet to come and I can’t wait for each and every one.
In the mean time, there was one thing I did NOT have on my goal list, that I still ended up doing as well, which just made for an even more awesome year (or weekend as it was).
I took my incredible BF and my lovely Luke to a horse show. It was my BF’s first horse show, of course, and while I think he was fairly bored, he definitely was wonderful, kind, charming, and stepped right into the role of being horse-show-boyfriend… He took photos and held ribbons, and I am happy to say that Luke pulled in THE ribbons!
My showing days are getting very close to being behind me. It’s possible that 2017 may be the last year I show at all. If not, 2018 more than likely will be. One major life’s goal I had for the last 20 years or more, was to be a “real” horse shower. I wanted to compete, (of course I wanted to win) and the nature of that showing changed with my ever-changing interests.
First, I wanted to breed racehorses (yep, really. Just breed them, though, not train them).
Then I wanted to be a competitor in Grand Prix level jumping. That *one time* I jumped a 4′ fence I guess really went to my head.
Then, I wanted to be a Grand Prix Dressage rider when I figured out I couldn’t jump worth a damn.
Turned out I didn’t have the elitest level of income necessary to be a half-decent Dressage competitor, either, so my goals eventually changed to wanting to run a boarding/training barn.
I guess I dreamed of being a horse -flipper. I wanted to teach lessons and train and resell. For a while, I was actually teaching lessons, and I tried the whole training and reselling… but ended up selling for half what I paid because I couldn’t train.
So, that pretty much covers the first 15 years or so of riding.
Then, about a decade ago, I bought Luke, and my driving dreams quickly developed from there.
Turned out, I LOVED driving. Loved it! And I decided I wanted to get a hackney pair (2), and then, heck, why not get a team of hackneys (4). Plus a carriage that costs about $10,000, and a trailer with truck to pull them all in so I could work my up from open shows right into the world level FEI driving. Hey, a girl can dream, right? Remember that whole issue I had about not having an elitest level income? Somehow, I seem to forget that.
That’s OK, because I was going to buy cheap hackneys and train them up through the levels.
Well, at least that part did kind of happen.
Luke was definitely cheap. I paid $600 for him. He was thin and unmuscled and started a strangles outbreak in the barn. And he has basically won every. single. thing I’ve ever put him into. Now, of course, for years and years, it wasn’t me showing him. But I trained him, and Luke became a horse that someone else could show and win with without having to put in any effort.
Eventually, about 4 years ago, I got to show him for the first time, and I chose to do a CDE with him. It was a blast, and finally the days came when Luke was mine to show.
Ironically, now though, as I said, our showing days are starting to wind down, and I’m OK with that. Luke has 2 events on the calendar- one show and one fun event. And he’s already done with one. Jesse has 1 event on the 2017 calendar, and that’s in September.
Luke and Jesse are getting up there in years. In fact, I realized not too long ago that they’re practically the same age. Luke is 20, and Jesse is around 19. Dixie is 22 and Chewbacca is 18, so everyone is senior and/or retired. My interests are changing – while I love my current horses and always will, my dreams no longer include this high level showing I dreamed up. My dreams for the future include big life changes with my boyfriend and just keeping my little zoo crew happy and healthy for as long as I can.
Still, at 20 years old, with 10 years of history with me driving and showing, and probably around 40 horse shows in total, Luke still has it. He goes into the ring a true showman and commands attention. He rounds up, prances and struts, and is 110% spot on with every command. He has never been a “cheater” (listening to the loud speaker instead of his driver), he just waits for whatever cue I give him and he does it immediately. He finally stands in the line-up (that only took 9 years…), and he still strides around and wins again everyone.
This weekend’s show was no different. First class in, first blue ribbon. Second class in, he won overall reserve champion. I’ve never won a neck-sash ribbon ever, and I’ve been showing horses since 1999 and this is only my 2nd or 3rd reserve champion ribbon ever. Next class was a stakes class, no ribbon, but Luke came in 1st and won the top prize, $20 cash. By the time the next class got around, Luke was getting tired. He stepped on a rock and got a little sore and ended up 4th. The day was done and I couldn’t be happier, though.
He sure did look good sporting his neck ribbon! I forgot to take a photo of him wearing it at the show before I unhitched him. Oh well. It was a great day!
On the creative note, I did mention I’ve been working on a costume for my BF, so pictures of that will come eventually. It’s in the very preliminary stages right now, the head piece for it is constructed and I’m adding detail, but I have the whole rest of the body to do. I’m hoping to have it done by October for New York Comic Con. We’ll see.
In the mean time, I’ll share the latest painting I made, a black crowned night heron.
And last but not least, I was also commissioned by someone to make a display piece for their Ninja Turtles. My BF posted photos of the display I made for his, and someone liked what he saw and asked for on. This is the completed brick wall. It’s made out of insulation foam! So much fun to make, and I enjoyed painting this very much!!
Enjoy your 4th of July!!