Fox Hunting, Our Adoption Journey


After a stressful week of mocking up a profile book on Snapfish in my evenings after work, I received word that we would need to provide a PDF file of the book or else miss out on opportunities. So, I hunkered down and devoted the last two days, very nearly solely, to creating a book from scratch in Photoshop. It’s now at about 92% completion and the remainder will need to be worked on when Jeff and I can sit down together to tweak it.

So, with that out of the way, yesterday evening I decided to take a close look at the next wave of paperwork awaiting us. As I stand at the foot of this mountain, I realize that the mountains behind us were only foothills. At one point I was almost in tears at the shear enormity of it. At another point, I wanted to pull my hair out. And, at yet another point, I sent Jeff a text saying I was going to shave my head. I’d hop up, walk around (with the dogs shadowing my every move) and just pray out loud for help. Then, I cleared my mind.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Visualize myself hunting on Shaggy. Feel him swallowing the distance up, his muscles bunching and stretching beneath me. Feel the reins in my hands, my own muscles stretching with his.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

See the coop ahead. We race to it and soar over. We land in mud and it flies up, hitting my jacket, my face. I hear the hounds, the horn. I cluck to Shaggy for more speed.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

See the gulch ahead. Gathering reins. Plunging down. Leaping across. Scurrying up the bank. Hurry on.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

More speed. See the coop ahead. Sit up. Leg on strong. Look up. Fly over. Galloping ahead, straining for more speed.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

On and on we go, till my heart is light, my mind is eased and my breathing calm.

Recalibration complete.

Now, where’s that coop? I mean paperwork?


Fox Hunting

We’re all mentally challenged in some way. The question is, will you rise to the challenge?


As much as I like Practical Horseman, monthly magazines are such a pain. Easily devoured in a day, the reader is stuck waiting …. w a i t i n g …. w – a – i – t – i – n – g … for a long month till the next issue, at which point the waiting is only relieved for a day, two at most.

Like most people, I have a very busy life and never enough hours in the day to get done all that I’d like. It’s important to set priorities so that the MOST rewarding goals and tasks do get accomplished. All others become relegated to the backburner, for those rare moments of sudden bursts of energy in which more than the usual gets done… or, the more likely scenario, those rainy days when nothing else can be done anyhow. Sometimes, though, I come to the conclusion that a particular goal or task PROBABLY isnt’t going to happen (usually because it detracts from,  rather than adding to, my main goals … or it’s just not important enough … or not realistic) and, with a comforting sigh of relief, I just let it go.

Oh, but back to the magazines. You see, I can easily get sidetracked by this filled-to-the-brim life that is chock-full of goals, desires and dreams. If I had ten of me, I could live ten completely different lives and still never achieve all that I can conjure up. And sometimes it seems my mind thinks there ARE ten of me and it comes up with these miles-long lists of what I should do … in a day, a month, a year. And, many times, those lists are just too long to complete. Though there is such sweet satisfaction of scratching off EVERY item on a long to-do list, over the years I’ve discovered that if I complete three items on a given list, I’ve actually done a lot and can be quite happy with myself. So, I’ve learned to put the most important, do-able tasks at the top of the list and the least important, or least realistic, tasks at the bottom.

If the list gets too long, make several small lists, for different days, and put the original most important three items on one list for today. If an item stays at the bottom of the list for a few weeks, it may get posted on the Vision Board (a corkboard where I pin up pictures, articles, ideas, inspirational stuff, etc) where I can catch a glimpse of it on occasion (without feeling the pressure of “the list”) and it can marinate in my subconscious and one day either a.) Manifest itself to the world, cooked to perfection, or b.) Mold and rot away in the dark recesses of my mind till there is nothing left of it, not the faintest memory. (At which point, I wonder “what is that doing on the board?” and inevitably accuse Jeff or the cleaning ladies of meddling, then trash it to make room for the latest bottom-lister idea.) There’s a couple of fermented ideas currently on the Vision Board that I just may trash before they really start stinking the place up. Anyhow, moving on…

If I REALLY need a pick-me-up, I’ll edit my list to just three or four important items and trash everything else. If it’s important enough, I’ll remember it … eventually. And in the meantime, I get the satisfaction and contentment of a rare achievement – completing an entire list in a single day!

So, what’s on the short list for today?
     1. Get to the point (which may take all day!)
     2. Go to chiropractor after work (which may not happen if they are closed due to the icy weather)
     3. Schedule the horse trailer insurance payment
     4. Attack the mountainous pile of laundry awaiting me at home

Yeh, not a very exciting list, but after ten hours of work, shortened daylight hours, commute time, driving to a different city for my appointment, then an hour or so of treasured moments catching up with my incredible husband over another delicious meal prepared by “Chef Jeff”, there’s time for little else but sleep. Come to think of it, that laundry just might not get done today.

With my mind going a hundred different directions at any given moment, it can be quite easy to lose track of what needs doing NOW. Which is why it’s so important to have something in print, in my hand, to focus my attention on, which, FINALLY, leads me to the point of this post – in this helter-skelter, fast-paced world, a monthly magazine is not enough. Not enough to satiate my voracious appetite. And certainly not enough to maintain my focus through a long, sweltering Texas summer when so many dreams, desires, goals, and lists (all pertaining to indoor, air-conditioned activities) are pulling me every which way but loose. Which is why I’m so thankful to have obtained a subscription to Horse & Hound, a weekly British magazine devoted to Fox Hunting.

My hope (dare I say goal? Perhaps I should put it on a list … or the vision board??) is that this summer, rather than wilting from the intensely humid Texas heat, I will actually continue riding through the summer, even if only on Friday and Saturday mornings, to keep myself and my horse riding-fit, as well as conquer these odd fears that keep popping up, so that next season, come Boxing Day, when we’ve made our dream of a European Christmas Vacation come true, I can gallop down to an Irish ditch or stone wall with no fear, only confidence.

For now, I’m riding all I can in these cooler months and formulating a plan for summer … and a list.