A Horsewoman's Guide to Everyday Balance.
Everyone is happy to see 2020 behind us but will we really be able to leave all of the residue behind. I think we all need to live in the present and remember what it means to live...really live. No fear, no guilt, no regret. Living with good intentions followed by good actions.
It is January and in New England that means the coldest month of the year and just about the middle of the Flu Season. I was raised by a mother who employed many home remedies out of tradition and necessity. I was the youngest of four children and seven years after my closest sibling so by the time I came along I think health insurance was probably part of the equation. I can still remember our family doctor making house calls with a leather doctors bag like the one I keep on a bookcase in my foyer filled with vintage and antique medical items. I have compiled a list of my top suggestions in combating the flu season or any other time of the year when you are fighting a virus or feeling like you are coming down with an illness. I am not a medical practitioner but I do pride myself in practicing Homeopathic, Naturopathic, Herbal, and Ayurvedic medicines as solutions to my families wellness issues.
Super rough night...On Tuesday Reese made a recipe for a dessert and misread the ingredients...1.5 Cups of cocoa instead of 1.5 tsp...She has been baking since she was 8 so this was not the norm...We baked it anyway...not palatable! On Wed morn Bob said he would throw it to the chickens but I trumped him and said no, I do not think it would be good for them and anyway...Hatteras, our yellow lab female, steals food from the chickens on the regular...I threw it into the trash can( a metal city can with a pedal step to open the top. When we got home from work I did horse chores and Bob did veggies for the chicken dinner that was cooking slowly in the crock pot and finishing off in the oven. I asked him to change the garbage bag because I put the cocoa cake into the can and was nervous that the dogs would get into it. When we leave the house we put the pooches on short leads in a designated "go to bed" spot in the kitchen.We had dinner...watched some tv...I fell asleep finishing up an episode that I missed on Discovery while everyone went to bed...At 1:00 ish I awoke to the dogs not in their "go to bed" spots but free in the kitchen with the garbage can knocked over and most of the cocoa cake eaten ...I panicked!!!! I blamed Bob for not changing the bag!!! I was so angry and frightened...Cocoa is very high in the type of "caffeine" like compound that kills dogs if enough is ingested. I didn't know who ate what and how much...I got out the Hydrogen Peroxide and dosed both dogs twice...I looked up on the internet the dosage...this would induce vomiting...I walked them around the kitchen...nothing!!! I then let them out and watched them to see if either vomited...not the case...I brought them in and discerned from their belly size that Hatteras was the naughty cake stealer...I dosed her again, walked her again, and then I cried and went into the living room to get some pillows and wool blankets...I decided to lie next to her on the kitchen floor and to wait just in-case she threw up...or worse, started to convulse in tremors...She laid so close to me ...it was a one dog night! I cried and prayed that Jesus would save them from the affects of the cocoa and to help Hatteras to vomit...I know it sounds putrid but I was one step from the emergency room trip the Veterinarian's office...I think within 30 seconds of the end of my prayers(I am a former Catholic and current Christian so praying takes awhile)she got up and vomited what looked like could have filled a small kiddy pool...I am sorry this is so graphic but I had to share...So, to summarize...
1. Be certain to keep all chocolate away from your dogs and if they are garbage guts like mine...flush the evidence or bring it out to the "dump can" (preferably lockable)yourself.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide 3% will more than likely work to induce emesis. Please refer to this link for more information: Pet MD
3.It is everyone's job to insure the safety of your children and your pets.
4.Unfortunate things happen to intelligent people with all good intentions...do not play the blame game...instead go into action and solve the problem.
5. Lastly, Do not underestimate the power of prayer...Thank you, Lord Jesus! I know you pulled us through this one!
This morning everyone is doing well...Enjoy your day, be your best, and be kind and forgiving.
Consistency is something that I work on almost everyday. I am a very active person in both body and mind. I almost never go without doing something or thinking about something...for the people that share my space it can sometimes be overwhelming but often I do hear inspiring. I must admit that consistency does not happen for me as easily as it does for. well let's say, my husband, Bobby, for example. I haven't figured out if it is a guy thing, a Bobby thing, or a combination of the two...He is very focused and very consistent. I guess that is why we are married and have been together for over 30 years...we balance one another...and that is a constant.
I really look forward to the Winter Solstice because to me it is symbolic of what Christmas means ...the birth of light. We begin to gain approximately two minutes of daylight each day after the Winter Solstice until the Vernal Equinox(March 20, 2016) and approximately 3 minutes per day with March being the most daylight gain. I know that doesn't seem like much but to me it is a promise of things to come(Summer) and that is all I need to get me through the dreary days of Winter.
I am a last minute shopper and wrapper. When the kids were younger and making certain that presents did not appear until they were fast asleep so that "Santa" could place them under the tree meant wrapping with the hub on Christmas Eve after out family festivities were over.
It is the third Sunday of December, the day after another Christmas Party on the farm, in the year of 2015, it is December 20th, my father's 90th birthday. He passed away in 1998 but a day hasn't passed that I haven't seen or felt him with me. I am the youngest and the only girl of four children. My brothers are 7, 9, and 12 years older than me but we were and still are a tight family. My memories of my father are filled with humorous and jocular, hardworking and fastidious, but mostly kind and loving images in the context of life with our mother throughout the years conducting the simple activities of keeping a household and raising a family.
Today is the day that I have my annual Christmas Party, the third Saturday of December, every year...So, I should have everything clean, decorated, cooked, baked, and pressed....This is not the case. My husband and I are self employed which means that I am usually "taking care of business" down to the last minute. This year I found myself running a business errand and picking up some last minute items about an hour away.
In raising four children there have been so many sayings I have coined over the years, some original and others used throughout the generations. One of my favorites that I have handed out over and over again as advice to utilize during conflict or discourse is to " take the high road". I think I started to use this as advice once our children got to the 7th grade, I found that the drama really started to ramp up around that time and for me it was the best advice to give. I am certain that as they got into High School this phrase got a chuckle every now and again but I am certain the true meaning will be used during their parenting years at some point.
As I stated earlier, I am a horsewoman. I have a farm in NH where I teach lessons and solve horse behavior issues based on Natural Horsemanship. The basic rule is when we work with horses we need to "listen and speak" their language which is based on how they act in the natural herd setting. Horses are prey animals and rely on their instincts to survive which are based on "fight or flight" tendencies. The skills we learn to hone when working with horses are: boundary setting, patience, persistence, empathy, determination, diligence, communication, and capability. Horses are great at clearly asking for what they need but also at revealing like a mirror of what we need. The most amazing things happen to a person when they allow the dance between a horse and themselves to unfold...it is not always easy, pretty, smooth, or without circumstance, but it usually ends up in an epiphany of some sort.
Well, It is day two here for my new blogging adventure. One of the things I struggle with is time management. I am what I call a "big now" person. I immerse myself in what I am doing completely and usually think I have more time than I do to complete something or to get somewhere. It is a challenge for me to switch gears and to account for "travel time" when I have an appointment to make. So, you guessed it, Time Management will be something that I speak on often, I am also a very big believer in nutrition as science and that the body intuitively knows how to heal itself. I have always been an athlete and even at the age of 52 I find time on a daily basis to work out and for me that usually means a run or an hiit workout. I know that sweating on the regular makes me feel alive, centered(balance), and more focused. My goal from here on out is to make certain I am finished by 9:00 am so I better keep this short! I cook and bake from scratch and always buy the best ingredients in their whole or closest to nature form...that means no reduced fat or 2% anything...real butter, olive oil, whole milk, grass fed meat, wild caught fish...You get the picture. oh yeah, and for all of the people saying: "I can't afford to shop that way". I say that you can not afford NOT to...Your health and your families' health depends on it. Remember, to achieve balance you must be present, have realistic expectations of yourself and others, and keep it simple!!! Breathing is very important and during the Holidays I know that people get anxious and feel overwhelmed...here is a great way to calm yourself down and avoid those out of control feelings or arguments with the important people in your life...It is called "square breathing" ...instead of counting to 10 or taking a couple of deep breaths...Do square breathing...start by closing your eyes and envisioning a square box...it is the holidays so get creative...Now, inhale for 4 seconds...that is one side of the box...HOLD for 4 seconds...that is another side...Exhale for 4 seconds...yep, a side...and Hold for 4 seconds...Done...or repeat until you feel relaxed. This is actually a great technique for those times of panic and stress...it physically slows your heart and is also a behavioral coping skill because you think about how to square breathe rather than the thing that is getting the best of you...Cheers, Laurie.
Today is the first day of my blog. This has been on my mind for a long time but I truly believe that everything in life has Divine timing. My name is Laurie Henderson and I do think of myself as a Horsewoman. I think I always have been even though I did not start keeping horses or even riding horses until I was around 35 years old. I have always loved them. I can remember as a child growing up in a small town in the Berkshires(smack dab in the downtown), I used to dream about riding and would visit some horses that were kept nearby just to watch them and every now and again I would sneak them a sugar cube treat(I know better now). I am the youngest and only girl out of four children. My parents were blue-collar working class people whom would give you the shirt off of their backs. I had and still do have a large extended family. As a child our door was a revolving one and everyone was welcome. We had a very lively and I like to call it "passionate" upbringing. In our family you spoke your mind, minded your manners, and never minded the rules which were basic ones of respect and hard work. I guess that is how a herd of horses runs...There is an Alpha, direct communication, and constant movement to secure their place in the food chain(work to stay alive). I have been with my husband for over thirty years, we have four children, are self employed, and take pride in living our lives to the fullest. That is what this blog will be about...raising kids, keeping a house, staying fit, holiday traditions, daily struggles, but mostly, plain and simple solutions.