Catching Up

Standard

Layla

With Thermal just a few weeks away, I have been mostly shooting horses and barn candids.  Thermal – the HITS Desert Circuit Horse Show begins today in Thermal, California and continues through March 17.  Ally and the Oak Haven crew will be competing during the second half of the circuit and our horses, trainers and riders head south in just a few weeks.  That means, I head south in just a few weeks and will be enjoying the warm desert sunshine while dedicating my next posts to Thermal.  Not to fear flower children, the gardens bloom and the garden shows gear up in March. But, for now, let’s catch up.

My goal this year is to post more pictures, shorten the stories and continue with the intended theme of documenting Ally and my journey to 2020.

2012 ended with the ten year old saying goodbye to two dear furry friends and a stuffed pony named Smores.  But, as the saying goes, “every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”  Two new furry friends have joined our extended family and she continues to ride the real pony named Mickey (along with her beloved, best friend Charly).  As she approaches the end of her 10th year she is gracefully saying goodbye to a few of her childish ways and hello to her tweens.  Fear for me.

I am saying goodbye to an old friend, my Nikon D70.  Great camera that simply hit the pavement too many times (thanks to the 10 year old mentioned above).  My tried and true Nikon D5000 will travel with me to Thermal for the dirty, dusty work.  He will be joined by a new friend who is en-route to Woodside as I type.

I dedicate this post to Layla and Darwin Murray.  We miss you, we love you, may you rest in peace.  xo!!

darwin2p

Advertisements

Charming Life

Standard

Quote of the Day:  It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. 
William Shakespeare 

My daughter said to me a few weeks ago, “Mama, I’m so lucky”.  I couldn’t help but smile as she said this, because, at the time I agreed whole heartedly with her.   However, if you look at the definition, it will tell you that luck is a success (or failure) brought about by chance rather than through one’s own actions.  Lucky, yes she is; by chance or accident, I don’t think so.  I am a firm believer in karma.  The energy you put forth is the energy that will always come back and surround you.  Okay, perhaps I’m walking down my path of kooky, hippie ideology; however, it is such a privilege for me to watch and be a part of this small child’s life.  Her energy has such a positive and profound effect on me.  The child has a dream and passion that motivates and drives her.  She has a heart of gold that has not be affected by the negativity that life can sometimes throw your way.  She has a conscience in her soul and a kindness in her heart that I pray will stay with her as she continues on her journey.  Wherever you are and wherever you go you will take this energy, charm and light with you and it will be contagious.

It does not come as much of a surprise that the name of her new best friend and first horse is Charming.   Yes, my small child, you are lucky, however, it is the energy within you that brings such luck your way.  Stay true to yourself and to your dreams, and may you forever have a charming life!

Peace in Silence

Standard

Quote of the Day:  “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” ~ Max Ehrmann

When I was eight years old, my oldest sister would play her 45 LP records on our little portable record player.  I realize “45 LP” and “record player” mean nothing to anyone born after 1980; however, 45 LP’s were to my generation what iPods and iTunes are to this generation of teeny boppers.

There was one record I adored.  It was mostly a man reciting words to a poem; but, then angelic voices would sing the chorus.  I loved to sing the chorus over and over.  It went like this, “You are a child of the universe; no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.  And whether or not, it is clear to you; no doubt the universe is unfolding as a should.”

As an eight year old, I had no idea that this was not just a popular song recorded by Les Crane in the 70’s.  It was a poem written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann.  It is a poem that has come back to me a various stages of my life and always holds great meaning.  I have carried the same copy of this poem with me from Ohio, to Washington, D.C and, here, to California.  Last year, when my daughter was eight, she found the copy of the poem in my desk.  I read it to her.  She liked it very much, so, I shared how I would listen to this song over and over when I was her age.  She googled it and found the song on YouTube.  She loved it and asked if I would put it on her iPod.   I can sometimes hear her singing, “you are a child of the universe.”   Children follow by example, so, teach your children well.  Oh, that’s a song for another day :).  Here is the poem.

DESIDERATA

— by Max Ehrmann–

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

She is Going to be a Handful.

Standard

Quote of the Day:  “On the day that you were born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true.  So they sprinkled gold dust in your hair and golden starlight in your eyes so blue.”

Dear Small Child,

Nine years ago, today, all my dreams came true with one deep breath and one small push.  Okay, so it was many deep breaths, many big pushes and promise to divorce your father if I survived the ordeal.  However, the moment our eyes connected, and I knew it was for real, it was love at first sight, and all the rest was history.

You didn’t come to us easily and when you did decide to make your appearance, you found it fashionable to be early.  You were due to arrive on May 5, Cinco de Mayo, and I had a plan.  You would have brown hair and eyes (like me); and we would name you Maya, to commemorate the occasion.  Well, I should have known when the amnio technician said, in his thick, French accent “She is going to be a handful” that all my plans were going to hell in a tuille basket.  At week 37 (April 20) when things seemed amiss and I felt the urgency to vacuum the garage, I knew that my plans were further going astray.   All it took was look and a word from your Uncle Joe saying, “that baby is coming tonight” that I realized there was no way out of this predicament.  Daddy, too, was not prepared.  He was sharing some fabulous wine with your Uncle Joe.  We all suggested that maybe he stick with one glass on this particular eve.  Ah, the best laid plans.  Let’s just say, when 4:00 a.m. rolled around on April 21, your Daddy was feeling as nauseous as I on the winding way down the mountain.

As it was, at 7:36 on April, 21, 2002 you came into this world, with a smile on your face and a look in your eye.   My first thought was, hooray, the doctor didn’t drop you, my second thought was that you looked exactly like “the greys”.  The proof was on the table, I had been abducted and impregnated by aliens.  In all seriousness, you were much prettier than the greys; less grey, more pink, with big, beautiful, blue eyes and blond hair.

Of course, I say this all in jest, because that is how we Sinclairs roll.  The reality is I often wonder how it came to be that I was so lucky to get you. You are truly an amazing human being; you are kind, you are generous, you are loving, you are courageous, you care and are considerate, you love nature, you love animals, you are interested and interesting, you are joyful and honest.   Of course, any mother would say these things about their child.  These are not my words.  These are the words of the people who teach you, the people who ride with you, the people who love you. Happy Birthday, sweet Aya Bean, my forever handful!

Barbie

Standard

Quote of the Day:  “The woman wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.” ~Naomi Wolf

I’m tired.  I’ve been editing all day.  I can’t even figure out how to turn off the italics on this blog.  With that said, I’ve decided to keep it light.

Hold on to your hats all you politically correct mommy and daddys; I gave my daughter her first Barbie when she was 2.  Yes, according to many of you, I have set her on the path of complete destruction of self esteem and body image.   And, I wasted no time in doing so.

Call me selfish.  I loved Barbie when I was a kid.  I played with my Barbies until I was, embarrassingly, too old to be playing with Barbies.  I don’t think Barbie messed with my self image.  I had and continue to have great self esteem and body image; and, I looked more like Skipper on a good day.  The only thing Barbie did to my psyche was plant the seed of my dream of moving to California.

Barbie has many roles in our home.  Initially, she served as a chew toy for my teething 2 year old.  As the child grew, I couldn’t wait for the dialogs and role playing we would do with the Barbie stash we collected from my childhood home.  She, recently, received the gift of a Ken doll which thrilled me because the communicating and relating could now include boys; the species which she finds utterly disgusting.  However, my daughter wanted nothing to do with communicating and relating with her dolls.  The Barbies are, of course, all horse riders.  There is no dialog exchanged, no dating and picking outfits for the day at the beach.  There is only walk, trot and cantering.  The Barbie townhouse serves as the hotel in which they stay for the horse show.  There is no pink Barbie convertible, only the Breyer Trailer and Pickup which will take the Rider Barbies to the horse shows.  As for Ken, he is the designated Groom.  In his ascot and bellbottoms he mucks the stalls.  Always with a silly grin on his face.

With the addition of our newest baby, the pup, Barbie has come full circle.  She is once again a chew toy.  To the chagrin of the child, anything left on the floor is fair game.  CEO (of a Software Technology Company) Barbie is now missing her nose, arm, leg and some patches of hair.  Oh well, Babs, age gets the best of us all!

I took these shots as I am gearing up for a shoot I will be doing in a few weeks and needed to play with some settings on a new lens.  Chew toy Barbie was handy.

When I uploaded the photos, my mind immediately jumped back to when I was 8 years old.  Oh, the joy and endless hours of imaginative play I got out of these dolls.  It takes more than a plastic toy to destroy self esteem… don’t you think?!