On Dealing with Grief…

Thank you.
For the comments, the emails, the messages, the calls, the love…

This grief has been like no other I’ve known.
I’ve lost other animals I’ve loved, lost both my parents, and other friends and family…as hard as those have been, this has devastated me.

Cookie was the entire reason we bought this Farm.
Her picture on the Rescue website was what pushed me to search for reals for land.
Hell, I showed her to Hubby and said “That’s my horse. We either need land, or we’re going to board her…but she’s mine.”

She was our mascot.

Ima Midnight Tuxedo belonged at Midnight Calico Farm.
It was meant to be.

There is a bond between horse and person that we humans are sometimes lucky enough to have develop.
I like to think Cookie and I had that.
I jokingly called her a “MamaSuck” and my Mama’s Girl.
Once I was able to gain her trust (and that was an ordeal and a half, for sure…one I wouldn’t trade for anything ❤ ) it was clear that we had something special between us.

One of the things I’ve been doing to deal with this grief is sharing pictures of from our life together on my personal FB page.
Then, I realized I should do that here too.
I know some of y’all followers loved her too.
So the next few posts are going to be a sharing of our life together…
She was by no means an easy horse to live with, but by the Goddess, she sure was easy to love. ❤

This is Nikki. I loved her from the very second I saw her…I knew this was going to be my girl.

This is from the very first day the Girls came home…she was still Nicki (or Nikki…either spelling worked) then.

When she became my Cookie…
Here’s what I posted on FB about this picture:

She came to me with the name “Nicki”.
The only response I ever got to that name was she’d turn her bum to me and walk away.
And then, one day, she was so exasperated with me…it was like she was saying “Listen lady, if you’re going to keep annoying me, at least get my name right!”
I laughingly said “You’re going to be one tough cookie to crack!”
She nickered and nodded.
I went back through the sentence, saying each word, and every time I said “Cookie” I got a reaction…a nicker, or a nod, or this face…
I said “It’s Cookie, isn’t it? You’re name is Cookie” and she farted. LOL!! I took that as a yes. 😉
So I took this picture of her, and 10 days after she came home, reintroduced my special Girl by her right and proper name…
Cookie

Our very first Christmas photo shoot.
Poor Girl.
She had no idea what I wanted, had been home just over a month, still so unsure of the humans who kept showing up and bothering her…though, to be fair, those same humans kept bringing the food, so they couldn’t be all bad, right?
And then this…
It was sheer luck that I caught this.
Hubby had reached over, and dropped it on her as she brought her head up to move away…this was my first lesson in “have the camera ready at all times”. 🙂

If she had only known what was to come in her life here, with all the different things I put on her.
LOL!
I think she would have stayed, even if she’d known.
She really was happy here…when she let herself be.

Later, I had this photo tattooed on my forearm…

Just freshly needled…

Starting the ugly phase of healing..I’m so, so happy with it. Squee! I can’t wait ’til it’s healed!

She’s not just with me in my Heart (always and forever in my Heart) but under my skin too.

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Tomorrow…

Tomorrow makes 4 years since the Original 3 came Home.

Tomorrow we should be celebrating Gotcha Day for Sable, Ruby and Cookie.

Tomorrow we will celebrate Gotcha Day with Sable and Ruby.

Today…

Today I am mourning my heart horse.
Today I am mourning the best damn horse that ever walked the face of this planet.
Today I am mourning my Cookie.

In the wee hours of Monday morning, my sweetheart, my best equine friend, my heart, my soul, my spirit…crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Reunited with her Felix…

He looks so smug.
“My Girlfriend’s tail. MINE!”

I never dreamed I’d be taking my own advice about hoof clippings for jewelry…at least not for another 15 more years, at least.

Little did I know this was to be our last photo shoot together…

Hubby captured this gem while I was trying to convince her that the yellow ribbon was safe to be in her tail…

Coal has been our little magickal cat through this whole ordeal.
I don’t know what the two of them were discussing here, but when they were done Cookie came to me and let me put the ribbon on her…
And Sunday, while we were trying to get her through the colic, Coal kept kissing her face, snuggling in beside her, and sitting on her back.
At first I was frustrated and kept pushing Coal away, until we humans (finally) realized that Cookie relaxed when Coal was near.
That little feline was comforting the equine. ❤

Sable saying goodbye…

Our little herd is fractured.
We gave everyone a chance to come to Cookie’s body, sniff her, and say their goodbyes.
Horses grieve.
Trust me, they do…they are…

There, on the shores of Lake Midnight, we lit her funeral pyre and sent her to Valhalla, like the Warrior Queen she was.
Sleipnir had better be on his best behaviour…my BabyGirl will kick his 8 legged ass into next week and beyond should he so much as look at her wrong.
Like the Warrior Queen she is.

4 Years

4 years ago our story began…it was the day we first met.
I loved her the second I lay eyes on her photo.
I knew that she and I were meant to be together.
4 years ago…
I told her “I’ll be back for you. I’m bringing you Home.”

Taken the day I met her…

2 months after, she arrived.
She’s Home.
A Midnight Calico Farm lifer.

Sleepy Girl ❤

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The same day, Hubby met his Girl…

Oh, Ruby!

Such a character, his Fat Girl.
Patient, willing, always up for a scratching. 😉
A level-headed, calm Girl…
Perfect to lead our little herd.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s not Gotcha Day.
Nope.
It’s “Damn We Were Lucky to Meet Y’all” Day.
Definitely worth celebrating.
🙂

Elastic

She ain’t as young as she once was.
Maybe not quite so limber either.
But sometimes, even an old Gal can’t resist the pull of scrubbing an itchy spine across the Earth…

Happy pony scratching…

The yogi will tell you
That you will feel and look
As young as your spine
Is elastic.
~ Richard Hittleman

In other news, I am counting the sleeps to 2 weeks from now, when I have the absolute pleasure of auditing an Anna Blake clinic.
To say I am excited and looking forward to this clinic is such an understatement.
Just in reading her blog, I have learned so much from this woman, on how to interact with The Girls…with Cookie.
My only regret is that none of the Girls travel.
I would love, love, love to take Cookie to the clinic for hands on learning.
But, I know my Girl’s limits, and that’s just something she can’t do.
Not yet.

Knowing this, I made contact with the organizer and asked about auditing, because even watching and listening, so much can learned!
Which is why I love those Elaine Potter clinics at West Wind.
Elaine is another one of those amazing, inspirational horsewomen that I have learned tons from…even if she doesn’t know it, seeing as how I’m just a part of the peanut gallery during her lessons. 😉

Anyways, I have been over the moon happy since learning that a. auditing the Anna Blake clinic was not only welcome, but encouraged, and b. the cost was beyond reasonable.
14 sleeps.
Only 14 more sleeps…
So excited to learn everything I can, for the betterment of my Girls.

I am FarmHer

My day starts at 4am.
On a good and lucky day, it’ll end around 8:30pm.
Normally though, it’s closer to midnight, sometimes as late as 2am.
Even on a 2am night, the day starts again at 4am.
There is nothing fashionable about my life.

I have been covered in shit and mud.
I have worn blood more times than I can count.
I’ve been slobbered on, bitten, kicked, stepped on and chased by a crabby sow or two. I’ve also been nuzzled, snuggled and had the sweet breath of a mare blown in my face in greeting.
I’ve had my hands freeze, gloveless, in -35*C weather to prove to a Certain Girl I wasn’t going to hurt her.
I’ve cleaned and treated wounds.
In good weather and bad.
I’ve ended the suffering of those who couldn’t be treated…and yes, I’ve cried over every one of them.

I’ve held a weak kitten in my shirt, close to my skin, and heart, in hopes of revival.
I’ve sat under the cold starry sky soothing piggies scared of the bangers a neighbour put out to keep geese off his field. The same piggies who will fill my freezer for winter.
I’ve had full conversations with a cheeky duck who loves to talk.

I have eaten $0.25/package ramen to make sure any extra money goes into animal feed.
I’ve gone without coffee more than once, when a sick, injured, or just plain sucky animal has needed me.
Some days, whiskey just ain’t strong enough.

And yet…

I chose this life.
It’s hard and messy and sometimes really ugly.
It’s also amazingly beautiful.


I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Those nickers, squeals, chirps and quacks that call for The Food Lady.
Those mares who tuck noses under my arms to be close.
That cheeky duck and his pal, who follow me, peck me and call me.
The chickens, meaties and hennies alike, who crowd around, knowing that I’ll bring them treats over and above the regular noms.
Pigs who scream for left over coffee, garden weeds and waste, and love those scratches on the forehead so much they fall over happy.
Cats who practice the ancient art of “lap sitting” and even that dog, who loves to roll in the stinkiest things and rub up against me…

My heart, my soul, my spirit…
They belong here.
On the Farm.
I am FarmHer.

Reflection

It’s a quiet, grey day here on the Farm.
Skunk season has begun.
This morning I woke to find the current Pepe LePew, that felt residence in the garage after binge eating eggs was a good idea, in the trap.
So, there’s that issue to deal with.

Since Pepe is right at the garage door (maybe I’ll get more eggs today??) I had to feed the horses on the other side of the driveway.
Heh.
Poor silly nags, as I’m moving the wheel barrow, they’re calling “Mom! Mom! Mooooommmm!! We’re over *here*!!”
Nope.
Sorry, not sorry, I ain’t tossing hay whilst standing next to a Fart Squirrel.
And, needless to say, Daphne was tied to the tree stump in the backyard, lest she think that Fart Squirrel is the best playmate ever.
She’s not really the smartest dog on the planet, but she’s got a lotta play in her. 😉

After explaining myself several times, and her herdmates figuring things out, I finally led The Cookie around to the food. She thought I should just open the gates and let her go over…and in theory, this could have worked.
Except, the idea of leaving the pasture makes her defecate explosively.
She’s getting better at it, but it really was just easier to lead her around.
Must say, I’m pretty darn proud of her…no halter, and after the first 3 steps with my hand under her chin to guide her, she simply followed me, as if on the lead. So, good pony. 😉
And, her foot is so much better. Yesterday, after the rains stopped, she got a liniment massage (such as my limited skills can do) to help ease the aching of trying not to walk on the ouchy hoof.

Then, yesterday, I woke to what was playing out in Vegas.
I normally don’t discuss current events here…it’s not that I don’t have opinions. Anyone who knows me even reasonably well, knows I have them. This blog has never been about anything but Farm life, so rarely do I touch on current events.
But this is huge and mind-boggling and soul crushing…and frankly, tragedies like this bring out the worst in people.

I will never understand people whose immediate thoughts after a tragedy like this turn political.
From the hoplophobes to the paranoids…I don’t get it.
I don’t get their bloviating to anyone and everyone their opinions, as if those opinions are the most important thing to be seen and heard.
And the memes…the ridiculous, stupid effing memes.
*shakes head*
Not when families are wondering if their loved one is one of the casualties or one of the dead.
Tragedies should not be fodder for one’s agenda.
And yet…social media yesterday, and today, are full of it.
In the wake of horrible situations, political agendas are inappropriate.
Compassion and aid are what people need right now.
Not some ghoul using innocent bloodshed to fuel their oh-so-very-important argument.

And, I gotta tell ya, when I see some Canadians crowing about how our gun laws here are soooo much better, it makes me ashamed to be Canadian.
I love my country. No doubt about it.
Even with all Her faults, there is no where I would rather live.
Her people??
Some of those fuckers could learn a lesson in what “tact” means.

There will be a time and a place for all of this…the agendas, the political pushes, the fear, the anger, the accusations and placing blame.

Now is not that time.

Not when some families are still waiting, wondering, hoping, praying or grieving.
Those lives lost are not just numbers, they are not tools to use for your agendas…they were real, living beings. Out for an evening of fun and music.
People who had families and friends who love them.
People who had hopes and dreams that will never be fulfilled.

Don’t sully their importance, who they were and what was lost, with bullshit.
Okay??

Today I’ll be spending time with my loved ones…the hoofed ones. 😉
Equine therapy is the order for today.
PonyFace and I are still discussing this blanket thing…and I’m sure another liniment rub will improve her mood.

Be good to each other, people.
We’re a Continent in pain right now.
Try to remember that.
Donate blood, if you can.
Consider a monetary donation to a fund that’s going to help the victims and their families.
And, if you can’t manage to not be a C.U.Next.Tuesday, then seriously, just keep your gob shut, ‘kay?