Miss Egypt: Yesterday & Today

Though it has been one year, it seems like yesterday. The loss of our tabby girl has been an enormous one. Her missing presence is most noticeable, from watching her world at a window to her power nap to her taking over a chair. Noticeably missed the most is her sassy personality.

Miss Pinky probably misses Miss Egypt the most. They would start most days with a wrestling match, one Egypt would always dominate and win. It would culminate with a short chase. In other feline matters, one look from her was enough to settle it.

executive laundry assistant: making sure the towels will make it into the wash

the power nap

a perfect shady spot

Always happy, friendly, active, fun – that was her personality. Miss Egypt always wore her tabby smile. If she saw a ruler or the yardstick out, it was time to play (loved anything wood). The girls found out Egypt also developed a love for leather tack gear (pricier the better). Using a throw pillow to save a chair or your spot on the couch, Egypt would love you later for your kind thoughtfulness for the cushy napping spot. Any cubby-hole on the desk was also right for a nap. Her purr machine – easy to start, hard to turn off.

Miss Egypt has left a mighty void. The role of top cat remains unfilled, a title and position Egypt made her own.

We love and miss you very much.

xoxo

A Princess at Twenty Three

A special post by Andrea Kanakredes, RN, MSN.

At a certain time, the days begin to pass by quickly. Milestone after milestone are passed. Twenty. Twenty-one. Twenty-two.

Deborah: already a princess (age 2)

In becoming twenty-three, you have so much lying ahead of you with promises of unlimited possibilities. Our first princess, our most perfect princess. While smart, beautiful and accomplished easily comes to mind, words cannot describe the woman you have become. Dad and I are so proud of you.

Still a toddler, you had eyes for riding a pony. First, with your Blue scooter horse. Then, with your Cocoa bouncy horse. And, with Pinkie Carousel Horse.

horse love: Deborah and Pinkie Carousel Horse (age 2)

Your eyes brightened when you learned how to ride, first on ponies and later with mares and stallions. Your connection with horses is very special. You worried about Cara, your first pony, when you transitioned to the taller horses. Cara did okay, retiring to the pony good life. She’s still your first love.

the quiet moment: Deborah and Cara the pony (JN Ranch, Jun 03 2017)

Whatever craft you choose to make your life’s work, we know you’ll love it and you’ll work hard to perfect the skills. Like riding, you will carve out your niche and succeed.

You will always be our first, beautiful princess. A princess who continues to quietly slip her hand into ours, and one who embraces ever so tightly.

My perfect princess, your dad’s perfect princess.

Happy 23, baby girl!

xoxo
mom and dad

Riding: The Turnaround

This is when the riding schedule begins in earnest. A few days at home to recoup and prepare for four weeks away in SoCal. While it is demanding, the girls relish the challenge and the attention to detail.

For their light workout, Trish came down on Thursday to watch the girls from the sidelines. Though they rode very well in the first two shows of the season, they said it seemed like they were out-of-sync. The three said the flow could have been more smoother, a little more crisp.

their turn: Tara and Brie start a half-speed circle exercise with Deborah and Elizabeth waiting their turn
(JN Ranch, Jun 01 2017)

With Trish watching, the light workout session became more of a lesson. A half-speed exercise session in the morning. In the afternoon, an off-saddle classroom session. She determined the girls were riding more tightly than usual. The remedy – trust yourself, trust your horse.

While the girls were in class, the horses napped the warm afternoon away. A nice spray down followed when class let out.

the afternoon cool down: Tara spraying down Cameron (JN Ranch, Jun 01 2017)

“Ride now, ride forever”

Memorial Day

“They seem to go on forever.”

The grave markers in any national cemetery seem to be endless. Row after row of white stone. They reflect the high cost of freedom, the high cost of war, and of those who answered the call of duty. The vast number of markers is also a reminder of the promise that is America. They represent the best of a nation, the greatness of a nation, willing to give so much.

It was early 1965. One of the kids at the grade school I attended had lost their dad in a far off place. Not many were aware of the simmering war in Vietnam, a war ready to explode. Though in the same grade, I did not know him. The death of the boy’s dad spread like wildfire through the school. “What do you say,” was the common refrain. Somehow, word had gotten back the third-grader said, “I hate America. They sent my dad to some faraway place to die.” A strong sentiment. Another boy, in the fifth or sixth grade said the unthinkable, “Perhaps it was good his dad died.” Being part of a military family also, the older boy was reprimanded by his parents for his insensitivity. The older boy’s dad, in uniform, and mom in her Sunday best, apologized to the school for their son’s callousness. “It is not part of the values he has been taught at home.”

The sentiment of the younger boy was understandable. Those who remained home during that war, or any other, probably may not fully appreciate the feeling. Inevitably, it would be said, “an ungrateful youngster who doesn’t realize how good he has it.” The grief and sudden shock, especially for children, is unfathomable.

War is brutal at best, savage at worst. Its perception is far different from the reality.  Perception is more of an intellectual understanding. The reality is its surreal nature – violence and tenderness, side-by-side. The emotions can range from unbridled rawness to the humorous.

This Memorial Day, do not remember the fallen because of heroism, sacrifice or duty. Remember them as ordinary men and women, each with their own story and dreams. They are who made America. They are America.

May God bless them. May God bless America.

National Moment of Remembrance –

To remember and honor those who have fallen in service to the nation, the National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to observe one minute of silence at 3:00 pm local time.

About the photos

These photos were taken at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery near San Diego in June 2014 and June 2016.

 

The Season Begins

The weeks of practice have made them excited for the season to begin. They are ready. The riding has been fast, precise and crisp. It is disciplined. Trish has observed they are riding in mid-season form. “They are that good,” she has said.

saddle point-of-view: following Tara’s lead on Cameron, Deborah’s view onboard Comet (RRC, May 06 2017)
South Platte River on the left

The girls, along with Trish and Mark, are viewing this season as one of great challenge. Last season was a very good one, and resulted with an appearance at the Las Vegas National Horse Show. The expectations for them are likely greater this season if not higher.

My girls have said they are equal to the challenge for this season. There are no doubts, just riding. Everything else will follow.

pure love: Deborah and Captain Andrew (Jul 2016)

Beginning their 2017 season today, my daughters will once again start in Texas.

Photo credit – the saddle point-of-view is courtesy of Deborah.

“Ride now, ride forever”

 

Setting The Course

It is graduation day.

University of Colorado – Colorado Springs: Graduation Day, Class of 2002

Deborah, Elizabeth and Tara will be receiving their Bachelor of Science degrees, Deborah and Tara in Biology and Elizabeth in Chemistry. Instead of participating in the ceremony, it is a day of final preparations for the start of their riding season in a few days. It consists of the necessary certifications of health and vaccination by Dr. Burrell, our horse veterinarian.

Dr. Burrell conducting an oral exam while Dr. Diehl holds Brie’s tongue

It is a day of mixed emotions. There is a greater sense of excitement. It is also a recognition our daughters have taken another step forward in their personal journeys.

It is their day to be recognized and celebrated. While they have achieved much, so much lays ahead.

Ready

Warm, summery weather was the setting for the final, full weekend of practice. It was a much welcomed relief from the last 2-3 weekends of wintry, unsettled weather. Hot, sunny, dusty and sweaty – the way practice should be – at least to my girls.

taking a break: Deborah undoing her helmet (RRC, May 05 2017)

The riding – it is fast, crisp, precise and disciplined. Trish has said the girls are riding with a level of excitement that she has rarely seen. They are loving every second of it. They are riding with a purpose. The ribbons and success are of little importance.

Wistful as she may sound, Trish knows the horizon for her three best riders ever is wide open – inside and outside of riding. Stay, they will be among the best in 18-24 months riding a full schedule. Outside of riding, everything and anything will be possible. “They are that good,” she says beamingly.

Compliments aside, my girls would settle for one more practice session. And, one without snow.

was not forecasted: a snowy practice start for Elizabeth and SAM (RRC, Apr 29 2017)