Friday, July 31, 2009

Persona non grata...

Defined by as: a person who is not welcome...

Basically, no one wants me... and I am so very frustrated by this. I have tried everything I can think of to find a job. I have applied to everything and anything. I have gone to the employment agencies... I even drove around town today and just stopped everywhere I saw a "help wanted" sign. And no one wants me. I just want to cry.

To make matters worse, a project that I thought had possible money making potential has turned out to be a dud. I had high hopes for it... but right now, no one is seeing the value in it and it has been turned down by all but 2 people I have talked to about it (around 40 businesses)... and one of those was my dad, so he doesn't count. He would try to support me in any way that he could because that is just the kind of person he is.

I feel that I am withering under the crushing weight of it all. And normally I would text or call Farmer for a little moral uplift... but I don't feel I can do that right now either. He's got a lot going on and he really doesn't need that kind of hassle.

I did call the bff and she really didn't have any other ideas on it either. I did tell Hoofer (who just stopped by a minute ago) to ask around and see if anyone is hiring. He said he'd let me know. Maybe the dairy might need a helping hand.

But the simple truth is this... I am out of ideas and feeling very lost at the moment. I don't feel it's fair to saddle Farmer with all the financial responsibility at this point in our relationship. You know, it might be different if we were a few years into it... but right now I feel like I need to be making a contribution. Maybe it's just me, but I want to feel like a part of something... that I matter. Is that really such a bad thing? And the job really doesn't matter... I will do whatever. I have before and would again. Hell, in my younger years I worked as a yard dog at a lumber company. I even ran the drive-thru at the local BK many years ago.

All I know is that I am literally down to my last $25. I am 36 years old and I have a college education. It just isn't supposed to be like this.

I'm waiting for the universe to show me the way... I just hope it's sooner rather than later.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Back on track...

So, it's been a rough few days...

I completely (and unintentionally) beat up on Farmer on Monday. I was completely in the grips of crazy... worse than I've been in over a year. I think it stems from stress and the change in birth control. Basically my symptoms get so bad it completely interferes with my life. The cramps, getting sick and not being able to eat, the moodiness... it's a complete drag. And something I've been dealing with for a good 20 years.

But that is no excuse for what I did to poor Farmer on Monday. I wasn't voicing concerns... I was going for the jugular. If the topic I was on wasn't eliciting a reaction, I moved onto the next one until I had him backed up against the wall. And I can't tell him sorry enough. Although I gave it my best effort last night after he returned home from his trip.

And I guess the good news is he did come home and he didn't immediately tell me to pack up and get the hell out. Those are very good things. But I wonder if I deserve it? Either way, he has decided to stick it out in the hopes that we can work it out. I know his concerns have gone way up the scale. I wish there was something I could do about that... but all I can do is try to figure out better coping mechanisms so as not to have a repeat. He is a good person that is trying to do his best. I'm hoping to be able to say the same thing about myself as time goes on. But as always... it is a work in progress.

I think we have a lot of good things going for us. We are opposites in many ways... he's quiet - I most definitely am not. He's very in the present (neither really dwelling on past or future) - sometimes I forget there is a present (and he reminds me of the here and now). He is very slow to come to a decision - as soon as I decide on a course, I am in it up to my eyeballs (for better or for worse). The nice thing though is that we also have a lot in common. We enjoy the same things, for the most part have the same views on subjects and have the same outlook for the future.

I know he is worried that he won't be able to meet my needs. What he needs to understand is that there is a difference between needs and neediness. He meets my needs. He is very affectionate and he most definitely is there when I need him (like when Flash did a number on his leg). True, he's not as verbal as I could want but he shows me in other ways... when I pull my head out of my ass and choose to see those things. He comes from a family that never says it... my family can't say it enough. I'm positive we will meet somewhere in the middle on this. And I'm not in a rush. However, I will tell him how I feel... that's just how I am and how I express things.

I know he's still a little wary. But he is giving me the benefit of the doubt and moving on and I love him for this. There are a lot of people that could (and would) hold on to something like that and use it against me. I am blessed that he is not one of them. He truly is a good thing in my life and I hope like hell I don't screw it up.

Now, don't get me wrong. He is not perfect... but he most definitely is not responsible for this last "episode", even though I know he feels like he is a little bit. I'm trying to hammer that through his head... but like most men, he is very thick-skulled (oh, and stubborn too).

So, I'm pretty sure we're back from that awful detour. I'm hoping never to go there again...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


OK, technically this day kinda started last night.

So, I was having a rough day yesterday. Cramps like you wouldn't believe, incredibly moody and emotional (see previous post) and just generally not feeling too hot. Nice.

Around 1pm I thought about getting up and going outside to check on Flash. I had put him in a new pasture and was thinking that I needed to see how he was doing. Instead I laid in bed and proceeded to curse my uterus and left ovary for causing me so many aches and pains. Oh and I hit the meds hard. Nice.

So later on in the day I did eventually wander outside to watch Farmer loading up the truck. He is gone for the next 2 days running around all over tarnation looking at equipment near the Canadian border and then dropping off a four-wheeler to a friend down in Portland to a friend and then heading home (I miss him, BTW). So, while he was roping down stuff on the truck I was looking at Flash in the pen. Normally, when I'm hanging by the fence he will wander over and say hi. But this time he just stood there and looked at me. He didn't seem to be in distress, so I wasn't super concerned.

I took the trash down to the end of the drive and on the way back decided to go to the other side of the pen and see what he was doing over there. As I looked over the fence I saw a cut down the inside of his back leg and LOTS of blood. I took off for the house to grab some shoes (I was in flip-flops) and told Farmer what was happening. We both took off like a shot to the pasture. I got Flash haltered and out onto the lawn so we could hose off the leg and take a look. At about this time, Hoofer pulled into the drive and he proceeded to take a look as well. We all decided that it was looking kind of deep and probably needed to be checked out by the vet. I hooked up the trailer and pulled around to the front so we could get Flash loaded.

I told Farmer that he didn't need to come along since it was most likely going to be a late night and he was planning on leaving at around 4am. But being the incredibly great boyfriend that he was he just looked at me, told me he was coming and asked me if I would like him to drive. If I wasn't in love with him before... I sure was at that moment. I couldn't have asked for anything more, it was exactly what I needed... moral support.

We got to the vet's and he decides to lay him down in an outer pen. The problem was, Flash was having none of it. That vet gave that horse enough drugs to put down half our herd, but Flash just wasn't all the way under and kept thrashing when the vet tried to put in sutures. So, we had to give up for the night on that front and just wrap it. Just as the vet got the bandage done up, Flash tried to get up but he was so drugged out that he kept flailing and falling and crashing into the fence. It was very hard to watch. It took damn near everything I had to keep it together. What I wanted to do was cry... what I did instead was just try to talk soothing to him and try to keep him calm. Eventually he made it to his feet (about a 1/2 hour before any normal horse would have been) and started to come out of it. We decided to leave him in the pen for the night and the vet would take a look at it again in the morning. Nice.

So, we get home and go to bed. Farmer was able to get to sleep. I catnapped all night. I just wasn't able to really get to sleep. Before I knew it, Farmer's alarm was going off and it was time for him to head out. So, he got going down the road. I got up for a little bit and then decided to go back to bed and try to get a couple of hours of sleep. I did manage to nap on and off until around 7:30am. At that time I got up, went into the other bedroom to round up some clothes and proceeded to get on with my day. I didn't worry about letting the dogs out because they had been out with Farmer at 4am. I brushed my hair and teeth and then went back into the other bedroom to get some socks. At this point I noticed that one of my dogs had had diarrhea... in my suitcase and all over my clothes. Nice.

And this is how my morning started...

I decided to leave it for the meantime and get myself to the vet's office and see what was happening there. When the vet pulled the bandage off, the skin had pulled back to such a point that sutures were not a very good option anymore. So, instead of 2 weeks of healing now I'm looking at daily bandage changes and 6 to 8 weeks before he's all healed up. Nice.

And then I got the vet bill... at that point I really did want to cry. $600 when it was all said and done. YIPE!! Let me just say that my finances are not in a position to pay for this bill right now. Farmer put it on his card but now I've got to figure out how to pay him back. Oh damn, the guilt for letting him pick that up... although I'm not sure what other choice I had. But still... I am a BAD girlfriend. And he is a GOOD boyfriend.

So, got Flash home and settled in the round pen that will be his home for the next month and a half and then came inside to deal with the poop fest that is my suitcase. When I went to the bathroom I noticed that my period had started and that I had another mess to clean up. Nice.

So, got myself cleaned up and then went to deal with the suitcase... which is still in the process of being dealt with. I do have the first load of poop clothes going. Once I get the next load in I will take the suitcase outside and burn it... just kidding... but there will definitely be a super soaking like you wouldn't believe.

Oh yeah... did I mention it's like 100˚ here? Nice...

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's me, not you...

How do you explain to someone the unexplainable? How do you make someone understand that they are fine and it's got nothing to do with them?

I am in love with Farmer. He has taken up residence in my heart and probably won't be leaving anytime soon... regardless of how things shake out between us. And I am hoping things will go the way I want them to. However, I have concerns. Not red flags, not yet... just concerns.

I can't seem to get out of the rut that I am in. I see myself subjecting Farmer to the very things that drove the Biologist nuts. And, yes, he was a complete asshat in many respects... but the very sad and sobering truth is that I need to shoulder quite a bit of the blame as well. A very bitter pill to swallow as I would like to just dump all this baggage at the Biologist's feet and move on. However, when I read the tags on the baggage, lo and behold, they all belong to me. Very unfortunate indeed.

Perhaps it is time to open up those bags and examine what they contain. Maybe then I'll be able to move on in a more healthy manner. I'm tired of dragging poor Farmer through my drama. He deserves so much better. And if I was any kind of loving person, I would just cut him loose and get these things dealt with on my own. The sad truth though is that I am a selfish person who needs to have a bit of moral support. Not fair to him in the least. And yet I say I love him... and then subject him to all of this bullshit. Some girlfriend I am. I am a sad excuse for a human being...

So, in bag #1 we have neediness. I am a needy person. I don't want to be. I want to be the independent, doesn't give a shit about anything person that I pretend to be. I want to be this incredible bad-ass that doesn't need or want anything or anyone. The reality? I am a complete wimp... in all senses of the word. I need to hear about how much someone wants to be with me. I need to know that I'm not the only one that feels that way. I want someone to want to take care of me.... you know, someone who rushes over and is concerned for my safety when something happens. I'm so insecure, I'm not sure what to do with myself. I am sometimes paralyzed by it. When someone has no opinion on something, I pick a fight so I can at least know there is some feeling behind it... good or bad. I'm so desperate for attention, that I will take it in any form that I can get it. And that is the hideous and unvarnished truth. And I hate this aspect of myself... but how to change it? This, still after all of these years, alludes me.

My concern? That no one can live up to my completely skewed and unrealistic expectations. Farmer is trying, and I hate myself for this. He thinks it's his fault. How do I tell him that this has nothing to do with him? He comes in with a simple yes or no question and the next thing you know is that I've made it into a huge fucking deal... for nothing. It doesn't change anything. Even after all the drama and discussion it is still down to a yes or no. Why must I be the kind of person that can't just leave well enough alone?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Open mouth, insert feet...

I don't know how to shake this overwhelming feeling of yuckiness. I'm not even sure what the source is. Is it just the fact that I don't feel very well and therefore everything else seems to be yucky as well? Not sure.

The weekend started out well enough. We got the trailer packed up, loaded up the horses (after a minor detour on Farmer's part to fix a pivot that had gone awry) and were headed up to the mountains to help out friends with cattle again. The trip up was very pleasant... good conversation was going until I opened up my big mouth and asked a controversial question I really shouldn't have. If I could have, I would have kicked my own ass. From that point forward, everything seemed to go downhill in a rapid decline. Farmer got quiet... I got upset at myself. We talked it out a bit and were in the process of saddling up when he got a phone call that his pivot had shut back down. We unsaddled, kicked the horses into a pen, dropped the trailer and hauled ass down the mountain to find out what was going on.

It was a quiet trip down the hill. Farmer was preoccupied with what was happening with the pivot... and I wasn't sure what to do but sit there and try not to be a bother. And so we come to the crux of the problem.

I'm not exactly sure what to do when he is in this frame of mind. I understand being like an arrow drawn and aimed at a target. That singular desire to find the problem and fix it. And I was OK with him not really saying anything to me about it. What I was struggling with is how to be supportive without being a pest. I wanted to help... but couldn't. I wanted to be able to offer some sort of support, but didn't know how.

Sometimes I'm just not sure how to be. Do I just shut up and not say anything? When I asked him about it later he said that at this point he really didn't have a preference one way or the other. Not exactly what I was hoping to hear. You don't want to feel like you and what you're trying to offer doesn't mean anything. He chalks this up to just not being used to having any type of support around. He's so damn used to dealing with things alone.

My hope is that this will eventually not be the case. I want to be able to make a small difference in those instances... not just be another thing that can be taken or left behind. Perhaps I'm making this about me too much? I know when I'm stressed out and just having a frustrating day I'm glad that he's around. I'd like to be able to offer the same in return.

Perhaps I have a way too romantic view of things. I am the type of person that is OK with being in love. Others don't see it the way I do, I suppose. Love is messy, inconvenient (at times) and is the most wonderful feeling in the world. True love, in my opinion, builds and feeds off of itself. As you develop more feelings for someone the love grows that much deeper. And I'm not talking a fast, hot burning type of love (although that will show up now and again)... I'm talking the slow-burn that lasts a lifetime. You know... the type of love that you see in the movies.

Laugh if you want. I've seen it in real life. I know it can happen... I think the big trick for me will be getting out of my own way and just letting things develop as they will. Not pushing for this thing or that, like I'm trying to do now.

Sometimes easier said than done, though...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pushme Pullyou...

So, I shook off the crazy yesterday afternoon and decided to join Farmer on a trip into the tri-cities. I was feeling much better and ready to get out of bed and out of the house... finally.

So, we ran a few errands and had dinner. We flirted and joked on the drive there and back. Once we were back in town he dropped me off at the feedlot to pick up my car. On the drive home, a good friend of mine from Idaho, Nickers, gave me a call. I hadn't really had the chance to talk to her since I moved back from Idaho, so we had a lot to catch up on. And I chatted with her all the way back to the house.

I was still talking to her once I came in the house. By this time, Farmer had his shirt off and had sat behind me with his legs wrapped around me. Needless to say, I was having a hard time concentrating on what Nickers was saying. It was time to get off the phone. While I was trying to wrap up the conversation, Farmer hopped up and from the bedroom door gave me the best come-hither look I think I've ever seen from a man (he even crooked a finger at me).

As I came into the bedroom, Farmer gave me another great look and then proceeded to... turn on the TV? Wait a second... this is not where I thought this was going.

And that slow burn I had going immediately turned into ice. I could kill ex-hub for that response. When I talked to Farmer about it later, he explained that his thought was that we had all night... what was the rush? And I get that. Not everything needs to happen on my schedule. But at the time, I was not a happy camper.

Now that I've given it some thought, I've decided that this is an ego survival instinct. After so much rejection from ex-hub over the years, my ego has decided that if you don't want it when it wants you... then fine, it will go over there and pout in the corner for the next 5 hours. I have got to get it over this. Question is... how?

Although there is one thing that my ego took serious offense to that I am going to back up... sex while the TV is on is never OK. Just my opinion, but that's when ruts start to form. If you can't even kill the boob-tube while having an intimate moment with someone, something is seriously wrong. At the time, I couldn't find the damn remote or I would have turned the darn thing off.

Farmer had no idea that this was a crime against humanity. Most men might actually back him up. I know his buddy Hoofer probably would. But men, if you want to keep your women happy and feeling satisfied... turn off the TV. Trust me, she'll thank you for it.

* bonus points for anyone who can tell me where the title comes from...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 2 of the "crazy watch"...

So, yesterday was totally a crazy day. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Poor Farmer. And the worst part is that we might be doing the same thing next week too. If there are any men present, I suggest you skip the next paragraph, because I'm about to start talking about "female" issues.

So, last month was my second month off of birth control... and I ended up having 2 periods. At the start of the second one, I decided to go back on BC because Farmer and I are now starting up serious and we don't want an "oops" coming along. So, I am having all the wonderful side-effects of a period, without the period. I swear my uterus feels like it's trying to claw its way out of my body. Which is fine... as long as it promises NEVER to come back.

OK men, you can come back now and uncover your ears. The worst is over...

Anyway, so poor Farmer is probably going to have to do this again next week. So, already I'm apologizing to him for anything I might say or do in the grips of "crazy". Today has been much better than yesterday. So far there haven't been any water works of any kind. I haven't felt the need to rip anyone's ears off or anything. That makes me feel good. Of course this could be due to the fact that I went to bed at 1pm yesterday and haven't crawled out since. Not a bad way to deal with the issue. Just sleep it off...

We're heading back up to the mountains tomorrow to round up another herd of cattle this weekend. Farmer has offered up Moonshine to ride. Not sure if I'll take him up on it or not. I know Flash can do the work as far as the terrain and being split up from the group. This is an experienced endurance horse that has raced in groups and alone for many years. I know he won't blow up on me that way. His issue? He really HATES cows. But, he'll do it for me. That's just the kind of horse he is.

Not sure what I'll decide as far as that goes yet. I'll keep you updated...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 1?

Do you ever have one of those days when you wonder what the world would be like without you in it? Now, I'm not talking about needing to be on suicide watch, or anything. I'm talking about in "it's a wonderful life" kind of way.

Sometimes I wonder what I mean to the people around me. Am I a good thing? Or am I a toxic influence that just needs to be done away with? Oh, sure... I come packaged all nicely and look like I would be a good thing to have around. But then again, so does chocolate. Maybe I am "a little goes a long way" kind of person... who knows?

All I do know is that when I'm having a day like today I just want to get in the car and drive as far as a tank of gas will take me. Is that wrong? I just want to run away. Go somewhere no one in that part of the world knows me.

OK, OK. I suppose I need to explain where all of this is coming from. Although I'm not quite sure how... but I will give it my best shot.

Let me start by saying this... perhaps I should have stayed in my marriage. Ex-hub seemed fine with the situation and at least this way I wouldn't be tempted to inflict myself upon other unsuspecting people... namely Farmer. Although my mom has been a victim as well. And probably bff. And... oh, hell. There are probably too many to name... but I'm making a list and checking it twice.

Anyway, I went out to the feedlot to drop off some stuff that Farmer needed from the house. I pulled up and parked where I normally do. I got out of the car and handed Farmer what he needed. I had brought the dogs with me as well so I popped the back hatch, which sent the cows in the pen next to the lot running. I let the dogs out. I walked into the shop. At this point, Farmer pointed out to me that I had made the cows run. OK... I noticed it as well. But, so what? What the hell was I supposed to do differently? And I pointed that out (kinda pissed). And then we kind of got into it a bit. He said he was just going to keep his mouth shut from now on, which pissed me off even more. I don't want every damn person in my life to think that they have to sensor what they say to me because of how I might react. My mom already complains about this... and now Farmer.

At this point, I'm so frustrated the tears start. Which, of course, makes him back-peddle and try to take the blame for it. Which, in turn, frustrates me even more. And makes me just want to run.

Farmer has said that he's concerned about chasing me off. He thinks I won't be able to deal with how he is and how he communicates. I admit, sometimes it's not easy trying to figure out where he's at... but that's not why I want to run. Farmer is an amazing man. I'm terrified of ruining that. Perhaps he needs someone who is the EXACT opposite of me. Someone who doesn't push and pull and poke and question everything. I don't know...

All I know right now is that I feel terrible. It was a valid comment. I took it as criticism. And then took it a step farther.

I need to stop this behavior, but I'm not sure how. The other problem is that I'm pretty sure that I am in the throws of my 3 days of crazy (due to birth control). I get so fucking emotional at these times that I don't know if I'm coming or going. The fact that I'm crying at the drop of a hat is a pretty good indication... but I don't know it for what it is until it's over.

So, for now I'm going to go cry and call it a day...

Monday, July 20, 2009

I may have lost my cool...

This weekend, Farmer and I headed for the mountains to help a friend of his round up some cattle. These are the kinds of things that I've dreamed of doing with a significant other, so I was very excited to be invited along... even though I really haven't done anything like this. My experience with cows has been limited to sorting and team penning in an arena. This was gathering cattle off of hundreds of acres through rough territory, rousting them out from deep brush and off of steep hillsides. It was completely outside my realm of knowledge, but I was excited to get out there and see how I stacked up.

I debated quite a bit about what horse to take. Flash is my favorite. I've had him since he was a baby and I have used him in many different activities. However, he is not a very good cow horse... in fact, he's terrified of them. So, he was out.

Elmo is a horse that I've had for around 4 years. He was a problem child... had a nasty habit of rearing and bucking whenever you got on his back. I worked him through that, and along the way also got him over his herd-bound issue. I rode him quite a bit alone, so he could get used to the idea. After a few months, he got pretty good at it. That first year I used him in posse... I did competitive drill and gaming on him. That really had him going well. Then, he got sick. I ended up having to lay him off all last year. This year I haven't really had the opportunity to ride him that much... after all, he was training to be a packhorse for the long ride. So that was his focus. However, I had used him for sorting and penning and he seemed to like it, so he was a maybe.

My third horse, Aspen, is pretty green still. I've had her working cows, but she is pretty hesitant and hasn't had a lot of experience in tough terrain. Also, she gets bonkers when left behind. I hadn't had the opportunity to really work with her on that, so she was out.

And that left Elmo. Not my first choice... but all I had. So we packed up the horses and headed for the mountains.

The first day we were up and saddled at 5am. I hopped on Elmo and headed off. His reaction to the hour? He tried to buck me off. Not a great start thus far but I managed to ride it out and he seemed fine after that. So we headed out to look for cattle.

At first, he was fine. We were riding in a group and he was doing OK. Then we spotted cattle and everyone headed out in different directions to roust them out of the brush and push them up the hill. As soon as the other horses were out of sight, he totally lost it. He was screaming for the other horses and prancing all over the place. As we topped the hill, we caught site of the other horses and he seemed to settle down.

Then Farmer and I were asked to go gather out of another pasture. We headed along the fence-line and saw a couple of cows in the corner. We gathered those up and started them along the path back to the gate. Farmer told me to take those 3 and follow the path to the water trough and he would meet me there. As we headed down the steep path, I found a few more cows that were rooted in the brush down the hillside. At this point, once Farmer and Moonshine were out of sight, Elmo seemed to be doing fine. We were in some seriously steep terrain moving through some very stiff brush and trees and he was getting those cows out of there and up the hillside. At one point they had started heading back the other direction so we had to side-hill around them and get ahead of them to turn them around.

At this point, Elmo and I had made it a fair way down the trail with still no sign of a water trough or of Farmer. I bunched the 12 or so head I had gathered along the fence and then rode back the way we had come to see if I could find Farmer. After a few minutes, I spotted Farmer coming up the hill pushing a few more head. We met up and started pushing them down the path again.

A little while on, Farmer decided that we needed to get them off the fence-line and wanted to push them down the hill. The only problem was that this is where all the brush was that I had just roosted all of my cows out of. As soon as they left the trail it turned into a big mess. We had cows everywhere.

Worst of all, Farmer and Moonshine were all over the damn hillside with no communication as to what we were trying to accomplish. I tried to keep up the best I could. It would have been helpful had Farmer let me know what exactly he was trying to do. I mean, I knew the general direction he was trying to go, but I (for the life of me) could not figure out how he was trying to accomplish this.

To make matters worse, with Farmer and Moonshine running this way and that, Elmo completely came unglued. Up until that point, he was doing pretty well.

So, in order to keep him occupied I headed down and around trying to get ahead of the cows that were, by this time, headed in the wrong direction again. On the steep hillside, Elmo tossed his head and reared up on me. I jerked him back down again, got around the cows and to somewhere relatively flat and had it out with Elmo. I let him, in no uncertain terms, that THAT was NOT OK. At this point, I spotted Farmer and he asked me if I was OK. I said that I was fine and that I was just having a discussion with Elmo. His response? Gathering the cows was more important...

Excuse me? Did I hear that right? Cows are more important than my safety? Are you fucking kidding me? I was where I could head off any cows headed in the wrong direction. I wasn't holding anyone or anything up... what was the big deal? I know there was a job to do. My point... it was getting done. I was in a good spot to turn cattle if need be. Isn't that getting the job done? Needless to say, I was pissed. And he realized it pretty quick.

And he apologized. But there was some serious discussion on our way back up the hill. I don't know if he was just that single-minded about what we were trying to do, or what... but it was a very tense ride back to the trailer. I don't mind someone who wants to do a job well... but there are definitely limits. And I think we got that part ironed out. We finished the day at the cattle pens and headed to the next destination for the next round-up the following day.

So, day 2 and we're headed out at around 6am to gather the next herd. Elmo did OK the day before, not great, so I was hoping for a much better day. We split up the first time and Farmer and I head down the low trail to see if there are any cattle. About 1/2 way up, Farmer decided to head up to the ridge to make sure none are there. I keep Elmo on the low trail and keep going. As Farmer heads out of sight, Elmo completely explodes.

So, I decide to give him something to do. On the steep hillside to my left are about 5 head. I start to take Elmo up this hillside to push the cows up to Farmer. About 1/2 way up to the cows, Elmo rears again and almost goes over the top on me. As soon as his front feet his the ground, I was out of the saddle... and lunging him on the hillside not caring if he broke his damn leg or not. If he was going to act like that, he was going to work for it. So, I worked him back down the hill and to the opposite side where I there was some open space. Every time Elmo so much as opened his mouth, his feet were moving. I have never seen him that worked up before. He was being a complete and utter idiot. At about this time, the other pair we were riding with showed up. I thought about just walking Elmo out so I wouldn't completely foul everything up with Elmo acting like such an ass. They were pretty patient and suggested that I just ride along with them, which I did.

At about this time, Farmer came down off the ridge and I let him know what I was thinking about doing (which was just walking him out). Farmer was totally and completely against this. His point, that they needed me to get the job done... but at that point I was just feeling like we were a wrench in the gear. But Farmer talked me into riding him out and making him do the job at hand. It was a miserable push back to the barn. Elmo was prancing, snorting and screaming the whole way back (even though the other horses were right there). I just tried to ignore it... and probably failed miserably.

Once back at the barn, some of the crew offered me another horse to ride so I wouldn't have to deal with him. I was grateful for the offer, but seriously embarrassed at the same time. I couldn't believe how bad he was behaving. I felt like a complete failure... and now I have no idea where to go with him. I have no idea how you train for something like that. Was it just too much stimulus? I know I probably hadn't been on him enough... so that was definitely my fault.

I don't know... tough to say. But after that, I was ready to sell him. Today, I'm trying to figure out what to do with him. Farmer has offered me one of his "cow" horses to try out. She hasn't been ridden in a while either... but it shouldn't be too much trouble to leg PeeWee up. I guess we'll see how that goes. If we get along, then I'll start riding her regularly as well.

My plan for now... since Farmer is getting up so early due to the heat, I'm going to use those early starts and get some riding in on all my horses every morning. And I guess that's all I can do for now...

Friday, July 17, 2009

SweetPea Says...

OK, readers... I'm going to give another type of blog a shot. Basically it's a "Dear Abby" type of deal where you email me your questions, I post the questions and then dispense the no-nonsense, straight-from-the-hip answers.

The new blog is called SweetPea Says. Send your questions to:

Thanks readers. And may my good advice be with you...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Frustration, thy name is Life...

It's always bad when you're fighting with family... especially when that person is the one that gave birth to you. Just by nature of having had you, they get the upper hand right out of the gate (or at least it feels that way).

OK... let me back up and start from the beginning, or at least from last Friday. As you may remember, that's the day that I was headed back to EO and Farmer. Spent the day waiting for my new cell phone (which was on a slow boat from China) and my mom was trying to get the house cleaned up after the assault that was the grandkids. I was kinda helping out (dusting and vacuuming), but she felt that I really hadn't helped out much while I was living there for the past few months. I understand how she feels... I do. I don't see the things that she does... dog hair in the corner of the floor doesn't faze me... hell, there is dog hair EVERYWHERE all the time. Who can keep track of these things?

I have a little white dog that is very hairy. Always. She can't help it. But I just don't really notice. Granted my house keeping skills are minimally better than my sister's... but not by much. When I had my own house I probably dusted and vacuumed once every 2 weeks or so. Worked for me and the ex-hub. This, however, would have sent my mom to the loony bin. So, whatever clean gene she possesses, it obviously wasn't passed on to me or my sis. And a very small part of me is sad about that. I don't want these things to come between us. I appreciate everything she has done. I know I'm extremely blessed to have someone like her for a mother. Hell, even my friends have adopted her as their own...

Anyway... I digress. So, I left on Friday without having performed bathroom duty. I guess I was supposed to scrub toilets or some such thing... I really am not sure. So, when I talked to my mom a few days later, she made mention of the fact that she didn't want me back yet because I hadn't helped out the whole time I was there... a small misstatement. I did help, just not as much as she wanted.

So, then yesterday happened. I got up and had started working on this project that I'm trying to get off the ground. After a few very frustrating phone calls, I had decided to put that project on hold for a bit and started doing laundry instead. While I was in the middle of folding, my mother called. When she asked me what I was doing, I stated "laundry". Her response? "I had hoped you were working like a dog and getting your project going".

OK... I snapped. I told her if she couldn't be nice I was hanging up... and then I did. And now I am in deep shit. You know, if she had just asked how things were going I could have explained how frustrated I was with it that day... but she just jumps on it instead. And I (according to her) overreact. Drives me nuts!!

This, of course, is not helped by the fact that I am a COMPLETE mental case right now. For whatever reason, when I am on birth control I go through a 3 day period where I am completely nuts. Today is one of those days. Things that normally wouldn't bother me are completely unhinging me. I've cried, like, 6 times today already. I don't want to be like this (and I certainly feel bad about subjecting Farmer to such behavior) but I just can't control it. My emotions are completely running on their own right now, with no input from me what-so-ever.

*Gag* Just makes a person want to crawl in a hole and die.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The "L" word...

No... not love. Lust. This is the "L" word no one wants to talk about. That slyly hidden emotion that hides in the guise of love... or at least hides in the pants of it anyway. You know, it's like the crazy uncle no one wants to acknowledge. But you can't help and invite him to parties due to the entertainment factor that is likely to ensue when said uncle has had "one to many". That, my friends, is not love... it's lust in disguise.

So, heed me now when I say you need to know the difference. And being the kind of person that I am (generous to a fault, I'm sure) I'm going to impart this knowledge to you. And I'll do it in a way that all of my dedicated readers can follow. So here we go...

If you exhibit extreme jealousy whenever your SO (significant other) leaves the house
it's LUST
If you trust your SO and don't worry about it (without having blinders on, of course)
it's LOVE

If you have nothing else to talk about EXCEPT sex
it's LUST
If you do many things together and have lots to talk about INCLUDING sex
it's LOVE
(and if you do many things together but NEVER talk about sex
it's OVER or you're just FRIENDS)

If you want the best for yourself and don't worry about your SO
it's LUST
If you want nothing but the best and are supportive of your SO
it's LOVE

If you take care of yourself
it's LUST
If you take care of SO and yourself
it's LOVE

Are you getting the gist yet? Also, one other thing that I should note... if your SO is selfish to begin with, this is NEVER going to change. Oh, you might get some good behavior for a week or two... possibly even a month (depending on how much you threatened). But selfish people are selfish for a reason. They don't want to think about anyone other than themselves... and because you are NOT them, you will never be first in their eyes. Trust me on this one, folks!! I've had the opportunity to see this one up close and personal, and it never gets any better.

OK, that is my public service announcement for the day. Any questions?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

There and back again...

So, last Sunday I headed home from Hermiston (as most of you know), against my heart and, perhaps, my better judgment. But, (supposedly) the family business needed me... and my parents have been very good to put me up rent-free for all of these months. So, back to Portland I went.

And then.... nothing. While I was gone, I had been replaced. Now don't get me wrong... I didn't like the job and am perfectly OK with being done with it (although, Dad, if you ever read this rest assured that I was very grateful for the money I made while doing it... and hopefully I didn't reflect too badly on your business). However, I wish I had known that I was being replaced. I wouldn't have left in the first place.

But, in retrospect, perhaps it wasn't such a bad thing. Farmer, perhaps, needed a bit of a break to let everything sink in. On Sunday he was seeming a bit overwhelmed. On Monday, he was still seeming to be mulling things over. By Tuesday I think he was completely onboard... and missing me as much as I was missing him.

And then we were talking about me moving down to Hermi permanently. Not sure who suggested it first. But all of a sudden it seemed like a good thing to do. And somehow.... right. I know, I know. Quick doesn't even cover it. And, really, I'm not sure how great of an idea it really is. I mean, if this is really going somewhere (and it seems to be) I don't want to move to fast and scare the bejesus out of him...

Oh wait... too late for that. I think if he had a high spookability factor, he'd be loooong gone by now. I tend to scare the crap out of people without even trying. It's a gift.

But, he's still here... and still thinking that this is a good idea. Score. Now if it works out for the best, it was the best idea I ever had. If things go to hell in a handbasket, then it was way too fast and I should have known better. But isn't that how all of our decisions come out in the end? Worked? I'm BRILLIANT. Didn't Work? I'm a complete DUMB-ASS.

And, by the way, this doesn't just hold true for love-lives. Think about business for a minute. You can look back at how a lot of really established businesses started out and there is some SERIOUS ass-hattery going on there. Sure, it worked... but it probably shouldn't have. And I think this is just human-nature.

So, I'm now "semi-permenently" moved in with Farmer. I have clothes here... I need to go round up most of my stuff from my house in Idaho. I think I'll give it a couple of months before I do that... just to make sure I'm not completely out of my mind.

So... Brilliant or Ass-hat? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Communication breakdown. It's not just a burger...*

I had an interesting thing happen today. My mom and I were coming in from walking the dogs and she made a pretty innocent comment about me helping out with the housework. For some reason, my hackles went up and I went into full emotional overload... without even trying. There were even tears involved (on my part).

I have no idea why her making comments and critiques affects me like this. I don't want her to be concerned over bringing things up to me. I want the lines of communication to flow both ways.

I don't want to be one of those people. You know the kind... the ones that everyone walks on eggshells around because they are one small comment away from going postal. I want to be *gasp* normal.

Yeah, OK. Everyone can stop chortling now. I know I will never be normal... but I still aspire to it. But more than that, I don't want people hemming and hawing over how they will bring things up to me. That sucks. I'm already the odd-duck in my family... I don't need the chasm to be any bigger or deeper, if you get my drift.

I think the problem can be chalked up to 2 things... 1. I really care about what my mother has to say about things. I see how well she's done, and I aspire to do the same... someday. So far, I'm not exactly on the right track, but I could be getting closer. Yes, I'm divorced and living at home (much to her dismay), but I am dating a really good guy who has the potential to be "the one". So that's something. 2. I am forever feeling like I am held to a different standard because I am the oldest child. Somehow, even now, that still feels true. After all, I'm the oldest... so I should have known better. I was forever being held responsible for things that had nothing to do with me. But I'm sure this is true with all oldest children. Just like the youngest is the "baby".

The good thing is we got it talked out... for the most part. I'm still not sure if she'll feel OK about bringing things up. But I'll do my best not to overreact... no promises though. This is going to be a very tough grove to break out of.

*For those of you wondering... the communication breakdown burger can be found at any McMennimin's pub here in Oregon. I highly recommend!!

Satisfaction vs. Suffocation...

I'm trying to learn from mistakes in the past because I want this relationship to be successful. This is a good thing, right? But what if what in the past was a mistake is just what the next person is looking for? I think this is something that I might have run up against yesterday. But you be the judge...

Farmer and I were chatting on the phone just about random things. I was talking about things I'd like to do next year and one of the things that came up was endurance racing. E racing is great because it's a nice way to spend time with your horse in a solitary fashion while having a goal that you are trying to fulfill. So I explained what I was thinking about and then the conversation went in a different direction.

Later in the conversation we hit upon possible concerns. Farmer hemmed and hawed over it, but finally gave me an example of what might become an issue. He was worried about becoming resentful of endurance racing because it's not something he's terribly interested in and when he gets free time he wanted to be doing other things with me and the horses.

And here is where trying to accommodate the past nearly bit me in the butt. In the past I have been accused of suffocating people because I like to spend so much time with them. So, I try to have my own things going. And it's not like I don't enjoy doing these things, I do. But I am the type of person who loves to spend time with the person I'm with. And this becomes a problem. My SO at the time will assume that I am completely dependent on them for happiness and entertainment... and that's not the case. I am perfectly capable of doing my own thing. I have no problem being alone. I'm not with someone because I have to be. I want to be with them. And I'm not sure how this has been lost in translation in the past, but it has.

So I now am trying very carefully not to suffocate Farmer and to come across like I've got my own things going (which I could have... and would be fine with). Come to find out, he's worried that we won't have enough time together. This is a complete 180 from what I've been dealing with in the past. And it is bizarre to be with someone who thinks like I do on this subject... Actually this is a first for me. I'm still a bit gun-shy that I will impose too much on his time. But he really seems to be genuine when he says that I won't be suffocating him... that this is something that's he looking forward to.

Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am. My ideal is being able to do the majority of activities with the one I love. I would much rather spend time with them than do things alone. And I'm not talking about cutting everyone else out of my life... that's not what I'm getting at. I'm talking about doing the things you love with the people you love. That, to me, is satisfaction in a relationship.

And it looks like I've found someone who feels the same way I do on the subject... finally.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Home, sweet home...

The house is dark and quiet here in Portland right now. Everyone else has gone to bed. It seems like a good time to reflect on what's been happening in my life...

The commuting side of the relationship has begun after a 10 day stay in EO (eastern Oregon) with Farmer. I must say, I miss being there... but there are things to attend to here if I have any hope of getting there full-time any time soon.

People are still taking issue with the age difference. I know he's hearing it from a few of his friends that are cautioning him to "take it slow". Personally, I've never understood what that is supposed to mean. If you feel a certain way about someone (or something), what is the point of waiting to express how you feel? I mean, you either feel that way or you don't, right? Am I missing something? Because to me, what "take it slow" entails is playing games. Saying one thing even though you feel another. And I have never been very good at that.

On the other hand, what I am good at is ignoring warning signs. The Biologist is a perfect example of this. There were red flags all over the place and I just chose to look the other way... mostly because the sex was great and I really didn't want to have to face the ramifications of the divorce just yet.

Now, karma came back to bite me in the ass on that one... when I split with the Biologist, somehow all that emotional baggage that I had managed to avoid when actually going through my divorce hit me like a ton of bricks. But, I survived. And if I can survive that break-up, I can survive anything. Seriously.

Now that I'm in another relationship, I'm taking some time while apart to assess just what is going on and how I'm feeling about it. First, let me just say that I think this has the legs to go all the way. He has damn-near everything I'm looking for... and he's sparked a passion I haven't felt in a long time. I'm not just mildly interested in his life and what he's doing, I care. That, to me, is a big deal. Some would say that I'm rushing things... but, I'm just saying what's on my mind. I guess those who don't like it can kiss my ass because I'm not about to start censoring myself now.

There is one thing that has me a bit worried, however. He's very reserved about what he feels about where this is going and how he feels about me specifically. I'm not sure if it's because he really doesn't know the answer to those questions, or if he is just afraid to say it.

Either way, it's a bit of a red flag. The ex-hub was always very neutral on this subject as well... and it drove me nuts. I really want someone who is as passionate about me as I am about them. I'm alright with someone taking time to get to this point... but there at least has to be the potential. And they don't need to express it in the same ways I do (because that is probably impossible)... but they do need to express it in some way. This neutral "do what you want" attitude is not something I really want to have to deal with again. I really don't understand why this is such a hard one to find in the opposite sex. Why is it a crime if I want my man to really stand up and say "that's my girl"? I want Farmer to be proud to have me as his... and vice-versa.

But, you know, in the grand scheme of things Farmer has been very good to tell me what's on his mind. Lines of communication have been open and that's all you can ask for. We'll get it worked out, I'm sure... even if he's not super sure. I think he's one of those people that has had people tell him one thing and do another. I'm not sure he quite knows what to do with someone that says I'm going to do this... and then does it. For him, it may just be a question of time. He needs to see that I mean what I say.

And he will... for I do mean what I say.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cat's out of the bag now...

OK, before we begin I'd like to welcome my mother to the blog. Apparently she was running low on internet reading and had heard me talking about my blog. She doesn't necessarily care for some of the language I use, but that's the risk you take in jumping down the rabbit hole that is my brain (and this blog). So, mom, I apologize... but it's going to happen again (so brace yourself).

And now back to our regular programming...

So, mom found out about the relationship before I had a chance to sit her down and break it to her gently. What's the big deal, you ask? Oh yeah, did I mention that Farmer is 10 years younger than I am? Oh wait... did I mention it was Farmer? Whoops, my bad on both accounts.

I think for the first time ever my mom was speechless... I mean REALLY speechless. OK, she might have a small point. After all, I am the oldest of 6 kids and Farmer is the same age as kid number 5, my sis. Kinda makes it a might bit weird. But what it comes down to is this... I don't care. He doesn't care. End of story... right? Well, his parents aren't exactly in the know yet, so I guess we shall see what they have to say about an "older" woman putting the moves on their only son. Ought to be interesting. They have known me for a while, so that might make things better... or that much worse. I have no sense of how that will go down. Hopefully I won't end up as persona non-grata at family functions.

So, age is one problem we're dealing with. Another is location. He always said he was geographically challenged... I guess he wasn't kidding. We are currently about 3 hours apart. Not too big a deal until you add in that the only vehicle I have running is my Ford F250 with the 460. It costs me roughly $120 round trip in that beast. So, that right there cuts down on how many times a month I can make the drive. Yeah, the pooper snooper is in full swing, but it's not like I'm rolling in money. I'm trying to find something in his area, but it's pretty rural... not sure what the odds are at this point. But, I'm not giving up. I guess for now I'm stuck with the commute.

So all of these early complications has put my brain in overdrive... his brain, on the other hand, I think is about to explode. I can't tell he's thinking about quite a few things in relation to us, but when I ask him to give me the update on the thought process, he's got nothing to say. Apparently we operate very differently... he is one of those people who sees a problem, does the figuring in his head and then spouts out an answer. But this is a hard process for me to understand. I don't just want to hear the answer, I really want to know how he got there. It's like Mathematics... I need to see the work that went into figuring out the answer in order to really understand. But, I don't think that aspect of him is ever going to change, so my curiosity as to how he arrived there will never be satisfied. Can I live with it? Hell, yes. Am I thrilled about it? Hell, no. But, it is what it is...

Which brings me to the next issue... how to get someone who is only used to depending upon himself to share in this lifestyle of his. I want to be able to help out. I see how hard he works and I see places where I could really step in and help... but I don't know how. These are things that I don't know a whole lot about yet and I can't just osmosis the knowledge out of thin air... but I'll be damned if I'm just going to sit around and do nothing. I won't... I can't... it's just not my style (mom, stop laughing... I'm talking irrigation, feeding and such... not dishes). So, how to reconcile this little issue? Hell, with ex-hub I would have tap-danced on the table if he had ever offered to help out around the barn or with the pasture or horses. But now I have the exact opposite problem. The one good thing though is that we can talk about it. Not sure how exactly that will all shake out, but we'll get it figured out eventually. We're both just so used to doing it all ourselves.

I guess as far as problems go, this isn't too bad. Now, if I could just find a fuel-efficient car...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Now what?

For those of you that read this blog on a regular basis, you've probably figured out that I am, by nature, an over-thinker. I can't help myself. Thoughts get rolling around which lead to other thoughts, which in turn sprout more thoughts. It's a never-ending cycle that is sometimes hard to break. This blog has been the place where I'm putting those thoughts down so I can then let them go. So far, so good...

However, life has a way of taking you by surprise. I've kinda gotten myself wrapped up in a (somewhat?) committed relationship without even trying. It just happened... swear to god. I did not have designs on this... although I will say it had crossed my mind a few times. So, what's the problem, you ask? Well, this is someone I've been good friends with for a long time. This is a bonus and a potential problem. The bonus: we've known each other for about 9 years... all the get-to-know-you bullshit is out of the way. The problem? I don't want to screw this up... which I am very good at by just being me. This person is VERY important to me and I don't want it to end up badly. He's been there for me more times than I can count, always ready to jump in and help out in any way that he can. When things were going south with the Biologist, he didn't judge me, he just asked how he could help. That is a golden friend.... and I'd like to be able to keep that aspect of our friendship and be able to elevate it to the next level. You know, a friend and a lover... and possible soul-mate.

OK... so what's the problem, again? Me being me can be tough to take. When I decide to pursue something I jump ALL the way in. Some will dabble in the wading pool for a while and see where things go, never pushing things... just letting them unfold. I really suck at this. Always have. There have been a few over the years that have risen to the challenge... ex-hub actually did this pretty well (too bad he couldn't keep the intimate connection in the later years).

When faced with the daunting challenge that is me, he looked me straight in the face and told me he was going to marry me... after a month. I laughed in his face at the time, but he did what he said he was going to do. The Biologist, on the other hand, couldn't handle it. I was forever pushing him to tell me where things were going or how he felt about things... after 10 months he was a quivering puddle of mush. He just couldn't take me being me anymore.

Truly, I don't mean to be like this. It's just that when I'm with someone I'm forever thinking about us as a unit FOREVER (scary word, I know). I just don't know how to not be like that. If I'm with someone I want to think that this is it. That they are the one... always. So when I'm talking about things it can get daunting for the other person who's just like "hey, we just started this thing".

So, here's the issue I run into. I promised myself when I got out of my marriage that I just wanted to be able to be me... no sugar-coating. I had done enough of that while married. At that time I was OK with the idea of being single forever, if necessary. I was tired of trying to curb what is, essentially, me. I'm a strong personality that has no problem saying what's on her mind (but you knew that, if you've been reading this).

But now I have this thing that I really want to work and I find myself over-thinking and wondering what I should say and what I should just leave in my head. If I was smart, I would probably leave it all in my head. But no one ever accused me of being smart... so far, if it's been on my mind, it's been said. And he seems to be dealing well enough. But I wonder when I will push too far and that will be the end of that? He's not as vocal as I am, so sometimes I wonder what goes on in that head of his... but that totally is a Mars/Venus thing anyway. But we haven't really said how we're feeling about one another... so I wait and wonder. I don't want to be the one to bring it up, because I know how I feel and I don't want to cloud what he's thinking or feeling with what goes on in my head.

But, don't get me wrong or misunderstand. I'm not this weird bundle of nerves constantly wondering when things might implode... It seems we have that rare combination of chemistry and compatibility. Something that I'm really enjoying. I really can't remember the last time that I was this happy with someone else. Maybe never this content or happy up till now. I could see this going the distance. But you tell this to someone you've just gotten together with and they are likely to think you belong in the nut-house.

But again, it is just the way I am. I'm passionate and don't want to have to curb that side of me anymore... so I guess we'll see what happens.