Excerpts of a Marriage

Lorraine: Make a note: Nissin Cup o'Noodles are the best cup o'noodles.

Dan: Noted. I had instant lunch as a snack yesterday and it was great. Good to know that there's something even better

Lorraine: Somewhere, out in the vast culinary world, a Michelin Star chef just died. That's what happens every time a young couple compares the merits of instant soup.

Dan: Oh god, I've probably killed thousands of them then. Between dollar menu items and frozen meals. I can't bear to think of it.

Lorraine: You're like the Pol Pot of award-winning chefs.



I Miss Tom

There's a couple dozen times and places in my life where I can transport myself with a deep inhalation of breath and a quiet room. There's perhaps a few places where, no matter the bustle, the grief, the chaos around me, even gasping for air, I could find myself in an instant.

The one I'm thinking of today is Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building during Tom Lantos's memorial. I remember listening to Ellie Wiesel speak, and his words fading in and out as the sun came bursting through the cupola window above my head. I remember the swell of souls in the room, and making one of the most sacred vows of my life, that I would not forget or neglect Tom's work. We must stand firm against atrocities, we must reward movements of equality, we must live and enjoy these precious brief lives that we have no right and every right to live.

The ways that I have feebly gone about upholding that vow are embarrassingly distant from what I thought they would be, and sometimes I feel as though I've done more than my share of enjoying my life and not enough standing firm.

As atrocities of all kinds, in all countries, whip around us in the heat of summer unrest, I miss Tom and his unbending and unapologetic demands for human rights. I wish he were here to tell us what to do. This morning, as I punched off NPR in the car and fought back the sting of hopeless tears about our human calamities and my uselessness in it, I suppose you could say that I had an experience of sorts. My claim to spirituality is a complicated one, to say the least, but call it what you will- enlightenment, inspiration, The Ghost of Hanukkah Past- but the calm and quiet thought that entered my head was a clear one.

Keep going. Keep learning. Keep growing. That time will come.

For a brief moment, I felt like my experiences in this life all added up and made sense and had their place...and quickly the lights went dim again and here I was with these peculiar jobs and a long commute.

So I'm going to try and do that. I'm going to keep living the exact life I have, but maybe with the deeply held hope that it will all add up someday. Even if it never does, I think it would be a better way to live.

And in the meantime, I hold the tender innocent citizens of this planet securely in my heart, and hope that a voice of reason, compromise and mercy will inspire the leaders of those who hold those innocent lives in their hands. Enough mothers have sobbed into their skirts already.


Excerpts of a Horse Marriage

Said while stalking Kaley Cuoco on Instragram...

"I'd like to think that if I boarded my horse at the same barn as her, it would be nerve-wracking at first and I'd be all weird and shy, and then I'd realize she's just a normal horse person who happens to be on The Big Bang Theory, and then we'd have long talks about...poultice."


"Yeah, poultice."

"Like, herbs?"

"Well, like, horse poultice. You put it on their legs to bring down inflammation."

"Why would you want to talk to her about poultice?"

"Well not specifically poultice, I just mean... Nevermind."


Riding and Writing Reconciliations

A totally superfluous and unrelated photo of Itxa

HorseNation informed me this morning that they'd like to pay me for the stories I write for them. I have little dreams, but getting paid to write about the thing I love most has always been one of them. 

When I was teeny tiny, I would make "newspapers" about the horse shows my model horses were having on the braided rug of my bedroom; envisioning myself covering the equestrian events at the Olympic Games someday. HorseNation is far from the Olympics, but it's sure a long way from the braided rug. 

As a little kid, you have so many dreams about what you're going to do. I think reading Great Expectations in high school was the first time I ever confronted the inevitable lesson of adulthood that all those dreams will probably be losses you will have to reconcile with your therapist someday. I have reconciled some of those losses, maybe never more than I did after working for Congress in Washington and then going to work as a glorified receptionist for some pretty difficult and jaded people. The glass ceiling was a heartbreaking discovery, and the politics of politics were too much for me. I knew I could fight for better, but it wasn't worth the fight to me.

But horses have always been worth the fight. Whether it's draining "mud" puddles up to my shins in February, taking a washed up racehorse from a field and turning her into a promising eventer, or begging a quirky upstart website to publish my stories on mustangs or crazy horse stuff on youtube, it has always, always been worth it. 

What "the fight" looks like currently.

That being said, I have to make some hard decisions. (That certainly comes with the territory of horses).  I can't do it all. I have to follow the trails that make sense. The Utah Trotter, despite how much I love it, and how much good it's brought to my life since I started it, has never really truly made sense. I haven't really found my voice or my audience there, and I don't know that it's ever going to contribute to the Utah horse industry the way that I envisioned it. So, I'm going to publish the last couple of stories that I've been working on, and then shutter the digital doors. It's done some great good- it shared Robyn's wonderful story as a mustang trainer (and turned us from strangers to wonderful friends),  it helped raise awareness and find homes for the starving horse herd in Spanish Fork, and maybe it's done some other good for groups here and there over the years as well.  But you can't always continue to throw good hours after bad. 

I'm a little under the weather, and today is a mixed day of emotions for me, but I'm content and confident and eager for tomorrow. There are many more stories to tell, and I'm humbled to be finding my place in it. most of all, I'm grateful that this dream didn't stop at the edge of that braided rug. 



January Jingle Bells

While I really did this because I wanted the novelty of hearing my horse trot and jingle, I think I may just start riding her in these bells all the time. 

It blocks out all those fake sounds she pretends are terrifying, AND people will know when the crazy mustang is coming up behind them! Million dollar idea. Right there.