Indigo Pony in the Snow


We have not got any snow so far this year. Originally, I am from Michigan/Ohio, so I kind of miss the snow this time of year. I don’t miss it enough to move back mind you, but an occasional flurry would be nice. That does not happen often in Georgia though.

Last year it happened once and lasted about two days. I had a blast.

The night before the snow, there was freezing rain coming so I went to the barn to put my horse, Daisy, in her stall. She has a wonderful indigo winter coat, which I like to call her purple pony coat, but it is not really all that waterproof. So, for her comfort, I set her up all nice and cozy in her stall.

The next morning, I had to go check on her of course. Thank God I am from the North originally and know how to drive on ice and in snow. The roads were a mess since the rain coated the roads in a layer of ice and then there some nice snow on top of that. It took me over 20 minutes to go about 8 miles and I saw four cars in the ditch along the way. I am not going to lie, it was some pretty tough conditions, particularly for those who are not used to it. But I made it:)

The long slow drive was worth it though. When I got to the barn, it was like a winter wonderland. There was snow everywhere. The horses, who were tired of being cooped up in their stalls, were happy to see the snow. They added some color to the wonderland with their winter pony coats.

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As I was standing there watching the pasture, I realized there were some deer moving, and there were a lot of them. It seemed like 30-40 deer were running through the wooded part of the pasture. I had never seen that many at one time, so it was pretty cool. I even got a video of them running. I am just not sure how to add that to this post.

Either way, I thought, this week, I am paying tribute to the beauty of winter and my horse who wears a purple (indigo) pony coat.

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For

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The Gifted Princess


Alexis walked through the town, with her guards trailing her. Though they were far away enough to give her some privacy, it would be hard not to notice her. Not many people had guards. Actually, no one but royalty. But the guards were not the only factor that drew attention to her. No, the guards were the last reason for people to stop and stare as she passed.

Alexis had a very uncommon beauty for the area. Her deep red hair sparkled like garnets and her blue eyes gleamed like the ocean. The town peasants could not help but noticed that she walked with such elegance. It was as if she were an angel floating through town, gliding and fluttering among them. The most endearing quality though was her kindness. Every move she made reflected her kind, loving heart. Her smile could warm an old man’s soul. Her gentle touch would make a child fill with glee. Her voice lifted the spirits of all within reach. She was their hope, their future. One day Alexis would be queen, or at least they hoped.

It was rumored that the princess had a gift. Though no one really spoke of it, for those with powers, witches, had been hunted and killed. Alexis could not be a witch though. No, she was an angel. So her gift of healing could not be the same. It was not the same. She was just talented at healing. Smart with herbs. A talented young princess who would one day save this dying country. She was something to be treasured, not hunted.

She moved through the market with ease, people watching her every move. She came often to buy herbs and trinkets. Surely the palace had its own gardens and craftsmen, but this let Alexis meet the people outside the castle, build connections with her supporters, and, give her a chance to practice her powers of healing. With the slightest of touch, she could see a person’s ailments and cure them, or at least make them have more comfort. However, she had to practice in the most subtle ways. A brush of her hand on their forehead. A hug. A tender grasp of the hands. It gave her such joy to hone her gift while making her people a little healthier and filling them with hope. But, her gift was still raw and needed more time, more practice, and if known, could get her killed.

Surely, healing people could not be considered witchcraft. She hoped not, but still had to be careful. She didn’t think she was a witch, but what did they call good people with powers? She wasn’t sure and was afraid some would say there was no difference. She believed there was though. There was a clear difference between good and evil, help and hurt. And she was only here to offer the good, help the ill.

Looking around the market, she tried to see who might need her the most. It took a lot of energy from her to heal. There was an elderly lady sitting behind a table of vegetables. She ached from years of work. Alexis knew she could offer her some comfort, but she could not reverse time. But she headed that way nonetheless, until she saw the boy. She had to go to him, to see closer.

“I wonder if he is ill, for there is something about the transparency of his skin and the slow pace of his walk towards us that gives me a feeling of his weariness, and suddenly, I see to my horror that in this light, for a moment, he looks to me like a being made of glass, so thin and translucent that he looks as if he might break if he were to topple on the stone floor,” thought Alexis. [Sentence from The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory]

As she approached the boy, he bowed, but ever so slowly she feared he may crumple to the ground.

“Greetings princess. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance,” said the boy in a frail whisper. As he raised his head and caught her eyes, Alexis stopped quick. She was about to embrace the poor boy, but something told her no. There was danger in his weariness. Something not right with his frailty and translucency. She did not know what it was, but knew enough to trust her gut so she merely nodded back and blessed him with words as her guard picked up her cue and handed the boy a coin.

“With all the goodness in your soul, may you be blessed with health and happiness my child,” she stated with sweetness and moved along quickly.

The boy grimaced. She must have sensed him. Her powers must be growing. Now, he would have to come up with a new disguise and plan. For if he was to steal her gift, she must be the one to offer her touch. She had to touch him freely with a pure heart and intention of giving to drain her of power. It was the only way for it to be taken. He would come back again, and this time he would succeed…

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For the Daily Post ~ Connect the Dots

It Was My Fault He Punched Me


We cheered and ranted on at the baseball game. It was a blast. We laughed and kissed. It was a perfect day. Then, it became the worst day, and I wished I had stay home.

We left the game and went to this bar, a bar where he was a bouncer. I tried to pretend I was comfortable there, but I wasn’t. Not at all. I looked at every pretty girl and wondered, was it her he stayed out with? Was it her he flirted with? I tried to wash away my insecurities with a drink and some careless dancing. I flung myself around the dance floor, just feeling the music and…probably looking a bit foolish. I didn’t care though. I just wanted to be happy. I wanted to believe my guy was not flirting right there in front of me. So I danced. I laughed. I had the best time I could appear to have. Then I looked over and saw it.

He was kneeling before a seated girl. He was holding her hands and laughing. The way he looked into her eyes cut my heart. I had seen that look before, but that is another story. No. This was not happening again. I started to panic. “Stop. Don’t freak out. This is not then. It is not happening again. You are just being dramatic,” I told myself as I stood on the dance floor.

Finally, I willed my feet to move into the direction of the couple. My man and this pretty girl. As I approached, I thought to look cool and casual, so I kind of danced my way over to the table and approached with a big playful greeting. Their reply was not as welcoming, but merely a look of irritation. In my head I screamed and panicked, but outwardly, I managed to exchange some pleasantries. The unwelcome feeling was overwhelming though, so I made a quick exit back to the dance floor.

I couldn’t breath. I needed to leave. So, I forced a smile on my face and continued to dance for minute. And then, I literally danced and smiled out of the club. I found our car and threw myself onto the ground in the grass by the tree where the car parked. He had the key, so I couldn’t leave. I laid there, with my feet on the car and cried. It was exactly as I feared. He was cheating…again. This couldn’t get worse. Yet, it did and it did quickly.

Somewhere in the tears, I fell asleep. I guess my body just shut down between the alcohol, the hour and the stress. I woke up with him towering over me, glaring at me with such hatred. “What the fuck, Michelle! You embarrassed me.”

“Huh? How did I embarrass you? You were the one flirting! I was only dancing.”

“You made a scene and stormed out!”

“No! No, I didn’t. I danced out of the club. How the hell is that a storm? I danced out. Danced!”

“I brought you to where I work and you acted like a bitch and made scene. Get in the fucking car!”

“I am not going anywhere with you! And who is making the fucking scene now?” I screamed.

Angry words continued for a few minutes and I eventually got in the car because I always did what he said. I always gave in.

He sped off like someone who should not be driving. He made the scene he was embarrassed of. I said something to that extent. He called me names. I screamed in frustration. He called me more names. Then, I said something horrible. I don’t know what it was, but it must have been so horrible it required him to punch me in the face. Not a slap or a hit, but a full-fist punch. A punch so hard I bled. Instantly, I tasted the blood in my mouth. I felt a bit of something in my mouth—bits of my broken teeth.

He slammed the brakes on the car. I flew into the window, crying. He immediately started to apologize. He never wanted to be like his father. He was sorry. Oh my God, he was sorry. My life started to move in slow motion and I saw what I had become and I couldn’t stop it. Words started to flow from my bloody mouth. Words that were not true but yet, I felt compelled to say.

“No, it is my fault. I shouldn’t have said that. You would not have hit me if I didn’t say that. It’s OK. It is my fault.” What the fuck was I saying? Did I really just say that it was my fault that he punched me in the face because I said some words? Yep. I did. And I said them over and over again. I consoled HIM and wiped away HIS tears as I bled.

He got out of the car and told me to go home. He needed to be alone. I sat there for some amount of time. I didn’t want to leave him on the road. THAT would be wrong, wouldn’t it? Eventually though, I did leave. I drove home and did what any other girl who had just been punched in the face would do. I called my sister. She was out with her husband though on a rare late night. So I left a late night/early morning message that had to be somewhat both hysterical and scary to hear.

In between sobbing and gasping, I managed to say, “I just called…to say, hi…and I love you. Don’t worry….I …am…OK….Sorry….to call…so late.” And then tried to make it all better with a twisted laughing goodbye at the end.

I made that call while I was curled up on the floor of my laundry room, next to the cat litter. Yeah, that was the level of my mental status at the time. I was as good as the cat litter.

At one point, I woke up in bed. I don’t remember getting there. Nor do I recall the man that had a wet towel on my forehead. I knew him to be a friend of my man, but can’t place his name or face. He was kind though. He spoke to me gently and said he was sorry. The man who I cannot even remember said HE was sorry. HE held my hand and let me cry. HE spoke to my sister on the phone and told her I was OK. HE would ensure nothing else happened. And then, I drifted back to sleep.

That awful night was the beginning of the end. The end of a relationship that had started out so wonderful. Though there was not an escalation of more physical abuse, there was emotional and verbal. And nearly every time, I had an excuse for it. I let it happen. I contributed. I didn’t stop it. I couldn’t stop it. Or maybe, I didn’t want to stop it as it was becoming all I knew.

Years later and out of that relationship, I still cannot really understand my thoughts back then. And yet, every time I look in the mirror I am reminded of that night. All I have to do is look at the broken teeth in my mouth, and I am there. I am saying I am sorry. I am responsible for someone’s fist being thrown into my face. I can hear myself take the blame over and over, and I can only come up with one reason.

It was the only way to stop it. Clearly, fighting back had only enraged him so much that he hit me. Like an animal lying down to submit in a fight, I threw myself at his mercy. I pleaded for a truce. I promised to be good. I said I was sorry. I took the blame.

It is the only explanation that makes sense to me now. And I wonder, how many other women out there have had their best day turned into their worst…and think it is there fault?

Not an Easy Path


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As I get older, I realize life is not supposed to be easy. Our paths are meant to be rocky. We are meant to have struggles, troubles and issues. Without those lows, our highs would not mean as much to us. The good days would just be another day, nothing special to remember.

Not that I celebrate some of the things I have endured in my life. Certainly, I think I would have been just fine had I missed some of those gut-wrenching times, but those hard times have shown me my strength. They have given me the confidence in myself that I can make it and the faith that the pain will end. They have also shown my friends and family that I can be relied on and trusted.

When I was growing up, my mom was always telling my sisters and I that we had to be “survivors.” She said it often enough that it is now a joke between us. We used to dance around my mom singing, “We are survivors!” She would always laugh and say we were being silly. (Well, that was a true statement and one that could have been stated often.)

All the best stories of people seem to involve them overcoming challenges in life. So clearly, the easy life is not nearly as interesting. Yet, most of us desire it. I would love to have the chance to live the life of ease, a smooth path. It would be the only true way to honestly compare the two options. However, I don’t believe that is way things are supposed to be.

I personally learn from my mistakes, challenges and pain. I have learned what not to do, who not to trust or where not to go. Granted, it may have taken me years or several attempts to finally comprehend some of these lessons, but nonetheless, I learned. Those rocks on my path have given me strength, character and stories. They have made me who I am. So, I can either embrace my journey or be negative and bitter about my past. I have no time for bitter. Life is too short. And frankly, my mom was always fond of rocks. And when I take a closer look at them…they do seem to have a beauty to them.

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