Thursday, November 27, 2014


In my Tuesday post, I mentioned an offer I pulled on a house a couple weeks ago. I didn’t have time to elaborate but it seems like a good time now. Aries is lying by my feet and the fire is burning in the wood stove. It’s too early to go to bed; too late to start a project. The snow is just beginning to fall outside my window but it’s cozy in here.

Photo by Nicole Tavenner
Over seven years ago, my dear friend – a veterinarian in Albany, NY offered me one of his German Shepherd puppies. These dogs go to law enforcement agencies including the New York State Troopers, the Colonie Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol and Onondaga County Sheriffs. I said, “Thank you, no.” I had recently lost my dog in an automobile accident and was not ready. We talked several times and he was doing his best to convince me I’d be doing him a great favor by fostering this exceptional dog. One of the female pups had scored extremely high in an aptitude test and he wanted to keep her for breeding stock. She would eventually take her mother’s place in the line. While she was growing, it would be a shame for her to be kept in a kennel at the clinic. I could train her, keep her until she was two and after she had two litters, she would be spayed and returned to me. All her pups would be police dogs and be of service to the community.

I had worked with her grandparents many years before. These dogs were smart, hardworking and never stopped trying to please. It would be an honor to receive one as a gift. Why was I having such a hard time saying yes?

I walked along Six Mile Creek, the way I always did when I needed inspiration. There was something magical about this place. It felt like any second I could stumble upon a fairy kingdom or a nature spirit. Maybe it was the way the sun splattered through the Sycamore trees and danced on the water’s surface. Maybe it was the series of waterfalls that plunged from the limestone cliffs covered in moss to deep pools below. Whatever it was, I loved it. I sat on a rock that was warm from the sun. I dangled my toes and played with the minnows.

I don’t have visions. I don’t hear voices. A knowing seemed to force its way into my consciousness and asked me a question as clear as day. “Why can you not accept anything perfect?” I couldn’t have heard that. I wouldn’t even think of that. What? There it remained, still and strong. The dog. I had always picked up dogs from the shelter or a rescue group. Dogs that needed fixing. Holy cow! Was this the reason I could not accept this dog? Did I feel unworthy? Did I feel that someone else could give her a better home? I sat with this and reflected how this theme was reflected in many areas of my life.

I drove the three hours to visit the puppy. David had her packed and ready to ride before I could protest. Her name came to me before I even saw her. I knew she would be perfect and that everything was going to be ideal. Aries and I have been inseparable all these years. She is my reminder not to settle.

A couple weeks ago, I called my real estate agent to make arrangements to see a house that had just been listed. It was in a wonderful neighborhood, only two or three miles away from where I am now. Aries would have a small lake to play in and I would have a large lawn where I could putter. The view from the balcony looked across the lake and into the mountains. Perfect. It also had a great east exposure for me, the morning person. All of this information I gathered by doing a drive-by. Now, to get inside. The house would be shown for the first time in two days. I was the fifth person in line to make an appointment. By the time I saw the house, I was one of seven to have a showing. I have come so close to buying a house and had it slip out of my hands, that I made an offer by noon on the first day.

Instead of being excited, my stomach began to knot. It didn’t feel quite right. I began making a list of all the problems that would need fixing in this house. For one, it wreaked of dogs that had been housed in the lower level. The garage was permeated with cat urine. The master bath had been renovated to make it handicapped accessible. In doing this, the door had been removed and a hideous mismatched tile shower installed. The bedroom clothes closet was opened from inside this bathroom. The whole master bedroom and bath had to be remodeled to be useable. I started adding up the costs of renovating and looking on line at the closing prices of houses in the neighborhood. There was no way I could get my money out of this house if I made the investment. The next morning, I spoke to my agent. We discussed my concerns. Out of seven showings, I was the only person that made an offer of any kind. In my desire to get out of the cabin, I had offered way more than I should.

Why was I thinking I had to buy a fixer upper? Why could I not imagine buying something perfect for me? I thought of Aries. Was I doing it again? I pulled my offer. I will look and I will find a house that is perfect for me. Yes, I may have to put work into it – just like training Aries – but then it will be mine. I will enjoy it and make it fun. My house will be perfect for me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cat to Eagle

Restlessness stirs deep within me. I listen but it has no sound. The tension builds as I know that in an instant I will leap. Just as a cat waits patiently, knowing that the moment will come, I am ready. I cannot see the direction or the goal but I am aware of its imminent arrival. My future is calling me. Love, do not hold me back.

As a doe in the hedge line, I have spent years avoiding any sound approaching, sure that each step bears a weapon that will pierce my heart. I nibble the fruits and twigs safe inside my thicket. On occasion, I venture out in the moonlight to the meadow with my friends. Kicking up our hooves until someone hears a snap. Then it is tails a flying and back to safety. I leave the doe behind, secure in the undergrowth of the forest. I am no longer running and hiding. I stand upright and hold my ground.

Now, I am the momma bear. My innocence is not always perceived. My intentions are simple. I protect and nurture my young by guiding them to rivers and berry patches. We travel from mountains to stream banks, always rolling and tumbling along in harmony. My strength is evident when I climb a tree for a better vantage point or defend my home from predators. I am peace loving and easy going. I will do what needs to be done when pushed into a corner. I walk empowered and confident.

When I am an eagle, my vision is expanded. The pettiness of the crows that taunt me are easily left behind. New worlds invite me as the gentle winds carry me every higher. From here, I cannot see the struggle of men. He is ever seeking to dominate his fellow man or build a grander monument. I say to him, “look up, look up, lift your eyes to the heavens.” Feel the magnificence of our world. A river of abundance flows from the Creator. Hold this in your mind and open yourself to receiving. You have created your walls that hold you. Fly with me. Release yourself. Let the currents of life guide you. You will not fall. Spinning, diving, coasting, silently landing atop the snag. Exhilaration permeates my existence.

Love, join me in my flight. Do not tether me and hold me to you. Let us dance on the wind as our cries echo through the canyon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Where does the time go? Early mornings - it’s the gym, then the 8-5 job that can really extend in any direction and evenings are with Lakota, trying to take advantage of the last bit of riding before the winter darkness descends. By the time the dinner is made and swallowed, it’s time for bed and starts it all over again.

I am thrilled to be working with my editor and web person in the development of the book proposal for Bedtime Stories for Grownups. We've almost got it. My next step is to record myself reading one of my stories aloud and put it on my website. I can’t wait for you all to be able to download it and give me feedback. I envision people buying my “book” in hard copy and/or an audio version to listen to at night. I’d love to read you my stories as you drift off to sleep. I want you to feel all the wonder and beauty wrapped in these stories and gifted to you.

Have you ever been in that transition stage where your current career is functioning but not making your heart sing? You know it is not time to move forward yet and you feel squeezed but nowhere to go. I’m there. My job is rewarding in that I get to help people solve problems every day. I answer their questions about lawns, trees, fruit, wildlife, vegetables, and livestock. If I can’t, I find someone who can. This job is different every day and never boring. I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of people in my community and am grateful.

I hear another calling but the way is not clear. I am learning patience. In the interim, I look for a house of my own. The timing must not be right because I have put nine offers on houses in the last three years and they have not gone through. I need to tell you, each one has had a unique story. Three of the houses I put an offer on the owner said my offer was too low and did not counter. All three eventually were listed for less than my original offer. I could not build a house because a construction loan requires three times the down payment. Two houses had a stunning view and offers came in for more than the asking price. Only one house did I pull my offer after 24 hours. I realized I was desperate to get out of the cabin before winter and I bid too high on a house that was not worth it. I couldn’t sleep after making the offer. I didn’t feel excited; I felt sick. It required so much work and when I stayed up developing an estimate, I knew I’d never get my money back. It would also take so much time and energy; it would completely derail my writing efforts. I had to look at why I was so anxious to get out of the cabin. One reason was obvious. Last year, we suffered through three different weeks of minus 23-25 degree nights. My bedroom was about 40 degrees and had a layer of frost on the carpet. Each evening, I sat in front of the wood stove in tears with a blanket over my shoulders trying to stay warm. I couldn’t go to a friend’s because the pipes would freeze and the pets were here. I vowed never to be another winter in this draughty cabin.

My second reason, was my feeling that by now I “should” have my own home. My husband and I parted 15 years ago and I have never had my own home since then. I question my ability to provide this for myself. I had to dig deeper. My father never believed females could make it on their own. I don’t think my mother did either. Women have to be cared for and provided for. How ingrained was this belief? How many generations bought into this assumption? I was trying to prove I could do it. All this battling windmills had made me tired. It used up every spare moment I could squeeze into my day. My attempt at making something happen, like swimming up river, was discouraging at best. Between my job, my responsibilities to my horse and this frantic search for a dwelling, I burned myself out. I wonder why I haven’t even thought of dating. Joking.

The ground is covered with snow. The fire is burning brightly. My landlord insulated the windows and built a new wall under my bedroom. The cabin is warm and snug. I didn’t go to the gym this morning. Today my choice was to write or workout. I love writing in the morning but it is the only time I can make it to the gym. A friend of mine said that, “You think you will be Patty the Hut if you don’t work out.” Yes, that is a whole other issue for another day. Every time I feel an overwhelming urge to push or run away, I dig. I unearth another belief or promise that needs tossing. I still grapple with when to put your heart and soul into a dream to manifest it and when to let things go and let God. The whole “Divine timing” is a conundrum to me. Ok, I could ramble all day but it’s time to hit the shower and get to my job. Talk soon!