At Mid-Season

It has been a very busy season for my girls. The hours of practice and hard work have resulted in a quiet, solid riding season. While they have collected their share of ribbons and some oversized cardboard checks, the goal remains with riding consistently. Each and every ride is about honing their horsemanship skills and increasing their knowledge of their horses. As Mark and Trish, their riding coaches say, “success and winning will take care of itself.”

Cameron

 

The horses have handled the traveling very well. In their eyes, their eagerness in the start area, the horses have enjoyed every second of competition.

Until the season ends, much more work and fun remains.

A Caturday Birthday

Celebrating a birthday today are my Musketeers – Midnight, Maxie and Tuxie. It’s their tenth.

Midnight

 

Maxie

 

Tuxie

 

Gathering them for a group shot is a near impossibility. Having them behave for a “family” portrait, highly unlikely. And, it is not unusual for one, two, or all three, to suddenly become camera shy.

They’ve been great kitties since their kitten days. Lots of fun, full of play.

 

Happy Birthday Musketeers!

Caturday Memories

Today, we remember our handsome, sweet boy, Dino. He lived a full life, 18 years and 11 months, of lots of fun and play.

taking his morning nap under the covers

 

having his 1:30 am breakfast with his sister and littermate, Pebbles

 

the late night portrait

 

It may be seven years since his passing, but there are days when you expect to see Dino waiting for his breakfast. Yes, we miss Dino very much. We are glad to have had him as a good friend and family member.

 

Photos from the Two Cats Two archive, using Kodak Gold 35 mm film (ASA 200).

Reaching Twenty One

“When I was twenty-one, it was a very good year
It was a very good year for city girls
Who lived up the stairs
With all that perfumed hair
And it came undone
When I was twenty-one”

 

A maker of smiles, she’s always ready with one herself. Tara has become a poised, confident woman. Very intelligent, very pretty. She takes her success as an equestrian in stride. Her horses are her life at the present. They make her contented and happy. We’re happy she has found her place for the moment. Tara’s ability to have found her center, much of the credit goes to her mom, Laurie.

Her song of the moment is the Sinatra classic, “It Was A Very Good Year”. Tara loves the emotion and tenderness he brought in his rendition of this song. In her quiet moments, alone with her horses, it is this song that flows around her. The video of Frank Sinatra recording this song can be found here.

 

Happy 21, Miss Tara!

xoxo
mom and dad

Becoming Twenty One

 

A special post by Andrea Kanakredes, RN, MSN.

 

Twenty-one.

It does not seem long ago when you entered our lives. Dad and I were so excited, we counted each day to your birth. Though you were due to come in late June, you arrived two weeks early. Dad and I could not believe we created a so perfect baby, our first princess. A perfect princess.

I may be a nurse, but I was nervous about doing things. Your dad was equally nervous, though he tried not to show it. Somehow, we made it through the first night, the first week, the first year.

The days to your twenty-one have gone by so quickly. There are times when dad and I wish we could slow time, to have you be our little girl, a day longer. We love when you quietly slip your hand into ours. And, when you need a reassuring embrace, you hold on ever so tightly.

You have become a smart, beautiful woman. A successful equestrian. Most of all, you will always be my perfect princess, your dad’s perfect princess.

 

Happy 21, baby girl!

xoxo
mom and dad

A Day of Remembrance

 

A special contributing post by Andrea Kanakredes, RN, MSN and Lauren Westin, MD.

 

“No one speaks of sacrifice. Coming home is all that matters.”

In 2004, there was a short news item in which a 12-year old girl decorated the long forgotten Civil War section of the local cemetery in her town, in her home state of Tennessee. The year before, she noticed the many small American flags in the other sections of the cemetery. The Civil War section had become overgrown with tall grass and was heavily shadowed by towering trees. She asked the cemetery caretaker who were buried there, noting she hadn’t seen anyone visiting that particular section. The caretaker had replied those buried there were mostly Union soldiers and a few Confederate soldiers from the Civil War. It was his guess there were no more family to come visit. Their friends, long gone as well. She asked if she could leave some flags and a few flowers for those buried there. The caretaker said sure. He would see the grass would be cut and the trees trimmed.

On the Sunday before Memorial Day, the 12-year old planted nearly 100 small American flags. For the Confederate soldiers, she also left a small Confederate flag with the American flag. She also left a single flower at each grave site. When asked why she did it, the girl replied it was sad that they were forgotten. No one is left to visit them, let alone remembered. They were someone’s son, brother, husband or uncle. They gave all so that we could become a better nation.

On the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson take time to honor the soldiers, from the post, who have fallen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the memorial, located at the Main Gate, a ceremony honors them. They also add the names of those who may have fallen in the past year. Sadly, seven names were added to the memorial this year.

The ceremony itself is a very moving experience. Your heart skips a beat, your breath taken away, when you hear the name of a soldier called, signifying their addition to the memorial.

 

Walking among the memorial stones, there is a sense of sadness. It is heightened when you see the mementoes left by the family and friends. The groundskeepers for the memorial carefully archive each memento, each letter, each photo left behind before they are stored away. Yet, there is a sense of thankfulness for the young men and women who gave so much. Their greatest desire was to come home, to be with their friends and family.

The greatest fear of any soldier is to be forgotten if they were to die on the battlefield. They hope there would be someone who will remember, who will stand vigil for them. But, in time, they know they will be another name on a forgotten memorial.

To our friends who died in Afghanistan four years ago and five years ago, we miss you greatly. We know your families miss you even more.

May God bless them. May God bless the United States.

xoxo

 

These photos were taken in June 2011. The memorial was commemorated in June 2004. Without fanfare, former President and Mrs. Bush have visited the memorial, taking time to study many of the names and offering silent prayers.