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Posts Tagged ‘life’

I may as well give up promising not to go AWOL for months on end, because it always ends up happening anyway. Stuff likes to happen in big chunks, it seems. And then I’m exhausted for weeks afterwards.

Anyway, where were we? After my last post the Christmas season really kicked in full force and it was busy, busy, busy right up to the end. Once again, I was very thankful for my wonderful co-workers who did not, at any point, freak out or cause me to get stressed out. We just all pitched in and got stuff done.

I had the week between Christmas and New Year’s off (well, from the 23rd to the 30th), which was perfect since Sandrine was moving into her new house over Christmas weekend. So we spent Thursday evening loading all her stuff into the truck, drove up to Calais on Friday, then on Saturday we took the Channel shuttle train and drove up to Sandrine’s house.

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Inside the shuttle

The rest of the day was spent unloading and unpacking (and many, many trips up and down some VERY steep stairs). By dinnertime the house was starting to look like a house, although there were still quite a few boxes left. We tackled those the next morning after Sandrine opened her presents (the rest of us saved ours for New Year’s Eve).

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All in all, it was a decidedly un-traditional Christmas, but those tend to be the ones we remember the most, I think.

I was fully ready to crash for a few days after we got back, but the very next day we got a call from Aunt Susie saying that Grandpa had passed away. He hadn’t been doing well for a while, so it really wasn’t unexpected, but the timing could hardly have been worse. We were all pretty much running on fumes at that point, and somehow we had to pull ourselves together to make it through the family New Year’s dinner at my uncle’s and a last-minute trip to the States. Said trip went well, overall, even if we did have a bit of a blizzard on the day of the funeral (we all agreed Grandpa would have found that hilarious). It was good to spend a little time with family, even under less than cheerful circumstances. Plus I got to spend an afternoon with BJ, which was a bit of a miracle and very much needed.

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Me and my bestest friend

Since we’ve been back, I’ve finally gotten to unwind and process a bit. Things are pretty quiet at the moment, so I should be able to get caught up on things.

Until next time, have a little Lucy cuteness:

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“Umm, how do I get down?”

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Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up. 😉

The past few months have been busy with work, weddings, and assorted “stuff.” Add a hefty dose of procrastination, and, well, here we are. I’m not quite even sure where to start at this point.

Work-wise, things are still going well. This summer was pretty busy, as I expected, but nothing overwhelming. I have to say, it’s nice to have a boss and co-workers who don’t freak out over everything. Looking back, we made and processed a ton of nougat (lots of huge orders for the rest stop, plus quite a few tourists coming through), but we always managed to get everything done without anyone having a meltdown. I was still pretty pooped at the end of the day, but nothing compared to when I was at The Big Nougat Factory That Shall Not Be Named. Things have slowed down a bit since September, but Christmas season is approaching fast, and we’ve already started on the nougat logs (they’re fun to eat, but a pain to make). At least I’ll get a break after Christmas.

As far as the critters go, I unfortunately have some sad news: we had to put Twilight to sleep back in July. Her arthritis had gotten really bad and the pain just wasn’t manageable anymore. Needless to say, it’s been a little rough on everyone. 😦 Lucy had a pretty bad bout of anxiety for a couple of weeks afterwards. It didn’t help that just a few days after Twilight passed we all went away for the weekend to attend a wedding. Lucy stuck to me like glue for days after we got back. She’s doing better now, but she is definitely a lot cuddlier than she used to be, even with the others. Before, I was pretty much the only one she’d snuggle with, and even then only occasionally. Now she wants cuddles at least once a day, and she’ll even ask other people for petting.

Blue is still as energetic as ever, though she’s certainly settled down quite a bit lately. She still has the occasional spazzy moment, but overall she’s much more focused. We mostly worked on jumping over the summer, and both Fred and Lucie have been very pleased with her progress. For the last month or so we’ve been focusing on dressage, which is what she’s had the most trouble with, and miracle of all miracles, she’s been improving significantly there as well. I might finally be able to do eventing with her this year! In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the little victories. 🙂

In other news, there were two weddings this summer: Thomas and Melodie got married in July, and Olivier and Sissi in August. Both weddings were accompanied by lots of rain, which was mildly inconvenient, but supposedly it’s good luck. In any case, everything went well, everybody was happy, and I got lots of good pictures, so yay. 🙂 That said, I hope the next wedding I go to doesn’t last until the wee hours of the morning. I was kind of a zombie after those two.

Sandrine was here for 3 months before heading over to Wales, where she plans to settle permanently. *sniff* My little sister is all grown up and leaving the nest. Okay, she was already pretty much gone with those 5 years in the States, but this is the Big Move. Naturally, this has been a mixture of exciting and mildly terrifying. But mostly exciting (I hope).

Oh, and guess what? I HAVE A NEW CAR!!! 😀 I finally saved up enough to buy a very nice (slightly) used car at the start of the summer, and here she is. Folks, meet Lizzie!

20160708_110356bThis car is a real blessing, let me tell you. For one thing, IT HAS AIR CONDITIONING. You never appreciate stuff like that until you have to go 7 years without. Driving in the summer suddenly got a lot nicer. Particularly when we went to the beach one day and got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way back.

Anyway, that’s pretty much what’s been happening lately. Pictures to follow at a somewhat more civilized hour. Right now, sleep beckons. Good night/morning/whatever…

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Don’t panic

Or, as a good friend of mine likes to say, “Everything’s going to be just fine.”

Or, as my very best friend likes to say, “There will be NO DYING today!”

So, in case you hadn’t figured it out from the long silence and the introduction, life has been, well, more than slightly insane, I guess you could say. Since my last post, my grandmother was hospitalized after a fall, returned home, then was moved to a nursing home due to her deteriorating health (I ended up doing most of the packing), and in the 3 weeks following that, I’ve played yet another round of Musical Furniture, been to a Women’s Champions League semifinal game, done battle with writer’s block and insomnia, and now I’m helping to prepare for this weekend’s seminar (or trying to). Did you follow all that? Good.

I really don’t have a whole lot to say about my grandmother moving to a nursing home, except it’s quite frankly a relief. Don’t get me wrong, I love her very much, but she really wasn’t doing that well the past few months and taking care of her was getting to be exhausting. Not to mention she wasn’t exactly a model patient. It was really in everyone’s best interests that she be placed in professional hands, so to speak. From what I’ve heard, she’s doing a lot better now.

It’s made life a lot easier for the rest of us now. We can actually all go somewhere for more than an hour at a time, for one thing. We took full advantage of that on the 9th when we found out that the OL women’s team was playing Arsenal at Lyon in the Women’s Champions League semifinals. I’d been wanting to watch a game there for years, plus it was a great opportunity to show some support for French women’s soccer, which is only just now starting to catch on. (Some of you may not know that I played recreational league soccer for 3 years before seriously getting back into horseback riding, and it’s still one of my favorite sports, both to play and to watch.) I was very pleasantly surprised at the crowd that showed up: the official tally was 20,123 people. Of course, the ridiculously cheap tickets might have had something to do with it. Not that anyone was complaining. Judging from the comments I heard around me, this was the first time many of them had ever seen a women’s game, and they were impressed by how good they were. After one particularly spectacular save, one guy even commented, “Wow, I don’t think even the guys could pull that off!”
The Lyon ladies earned themselves quite a few new fans that afternoon. The fact that they won 2-0 was really just the icing on the cake. 🙂

I’ve been attempting to unwind and, well, find myself again these past couple of weeks, and I’m not entirely sure I’ve succeeded yet. With the exception of the youth conference in February and a couple of really good riding sessions here and there, the past few months have been pretty rough, to say the least. I was not exagerrating when I said caring for my grandmother was exhausting, both physically and mentally. Add to that the fact that things at church weren’t going well, and you had a recipe for disaster. I was giving more and more of myself and getting very little in return. Not that the rest of the family didn’t sympathize – far from it – but they were just as worn out as I was. We’re all still incredibly tired.
Thankfully God did not let me break down and lose it, though I came close a few times. It’s a miracle I wasn’t a total wreck by the time it was all over. That being said, I’m still really not myself. In a way, I haven’t exactly been myself for years. I’m getting there, though, I hope. Some days I still feel like I’m just stumbling along, but as a good friend of mine said recently, the important thing is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting God to lead me in the right direction.

In other news, I was finally able to start working again on a story I started about two years ago. Over the course of one year, I’d written and posted nine chapters and started the tenth. Then I got hit with what was probably my worst case of writer’s block ever. Once in a while (read: once every 3 or 4 months), I’d manage to add a couple of sentences, but I never seemed to really get anywhere. Finally, last week I sat myself down and made myself finish that chapter before going to bed (much like I’m doing for this blog entry, actually). I ended up going to bed at 3:30 am, but I did finally finish it. The chapter, that is; the story itself still has a ways to go. I’m not sure yet just how many more chapters are left or exactly where it’s going to end up, but I have a few ideas floating around in my head. After this weekend, I plan to start expanding on those ideas. In the meantime, if you’re interested in reading what I’ve written so far, here’s the link: Healing Haven

I mentioned earlier that we’ve got a seminar coming up this weekend. Getting ready for this one has been something of a challenge, but we’ve just about got all the details sorted out – I hope. I honestly don’t know what to expect this time around, but I’m sure it’ll be good. (I say that every time, don’t I?)

Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, we have two new ponies at the barn! They arrived last Friday. They’re both very young (3 years old and very recently saddle broke), but I think they’re going to fit in just fine. One of them is already showing signs of being a great kids’ pony; totally unflappable and he loves being petted and cuddled. The kids will be fighting over him in no time, I just know it. 😛

And that’s a wrap. For today, anyway. Should be pictures next time.

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(Almost) Midnight Musings

I do my best – or rather, most honest, uncensored thinking and writing late at night, it seems… Many an introspective (and rambling) journal entry has been made by me at the most ungodly hour. It was only a matter of time until this happened with my blog as well.

OK then, where do I start? The past several weeks have been mostly uneventful, but the past two have had me alternately thinking hard and trying very hard not to think too much.

What prompted this, you ask? A conference up in Paris (actually, a town just outside of Paris) the weekend before last, featuring several friends of ours. My mom had also been invited as a guest speaker, and my sister and a few others had been requested to lead worship. I must say it was a little odd to not be involved in any way, but frankly I needed it. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say that I got more out of that weekend than I have from my church in the past year. It’s sad, but true. Just being able to fully get into worship without any loud distractions was wonderful, and being fed something of substance for a change… well, words fail me. Like I said, I needed it.

And, as I said before, it led to me doing a good bit of thinking since then. I’ve had a feeling for a while that God is about to do something major in my life (next weekend’s youth conference will most likely be involved). Exactly what I have not the foggiest idea at this point, but I don’t really care. All I know is that things are going to change, and I’m more than OK with that. Much as I crave stability, I know things can’t always stay the same and that it’s actually a good thing. Without change, there can be no growth, no new discoveries or adventures, and I know God has loads of that in store for me. And I want it. Badly. I am beyond sick of being stuck where I am. Not that things are horrible by any means, but knowing that there’s more and better stuff out there has made me very unsatisfied. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that since all that stuff is rightfully mine. So there. 😛 (I think that sounded better in my head, but hopefully you understand what I mean.)

Sandrine asked me yesterday what I really wanted. The standard – and horribly clichéd – answer would be a closer relationship with God, and that’s certainly true. But I also believe that He wants us to live a full life here on Earth, so what does that look like for me? I’m not entirely sure, but I do know that I want:

  • a job that I am truly passionate about
  • a chance to fully explore and use my artistic and musical abilities
  • a home of my own that I can open to others as a safe place

There’s more, but I am literally falling asleep in front of my computer, so I’m going to call it a night. More when I’m more awake and hopefully focused.

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