Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation. 
— William H. Sheldon

I found a great place to board my horses! Huge sigh of relief. It’s farther out than I had planned but worth the drive.

I think the most important thing about a boarding facility is the person running it and I really like this lady. She’s easy to talk to, helpful, compassionate and she has three dogs, one of which is named Willow, same as my old dog was named. I mentioned my willow tree tattoo in honor of my dear girl, she showed me her tattoo of a beloved horse. It was meant to be.

Oh, and she takes photos of owners horses when they are doing something amusing and sends it to the owners so they can see what their horse is up to. She showed me some of them. Now that’s someone who hasn’t burned out on taking care of horses and dealing with boarders. So different from many places I’ve boarded at in the past.

I wanted so bad to take photos of the stable but thought I better wait until my horses are there and I have a better excuse than “Your place is awesome!”

She and her husband have the sweetest house. It looks like a cabin out in the woods and it’s as cute inside as it is outside. Not very big, but exactly the kind of place I’d like to live in, with lots of rustic wood and a loft overlooking the living room, a warm cozy place.

There’s an outdoor and indoor riding arena, a few trails through the woods, and a spot to park my trailer. She takes in a maximum of 12 horses so it’s low key. Boarders are a mix of dressage, cow horses, and everyone trail rides. They even take some group trips so I might finally have some trail riding buddies.

My horses will stay outside most of the time, but are brought into a stall to eat their grain and brought in if the weather gets wet and cold. I can bring my own grain so I don’t have to worry about switching them to something new.

So now I just need to find a place to board myself. How hard can it be? Gulp…

I let the horses out in the pasture all this week. Might as well give them some fun time before they are moved to a dirt paddock. It is so luscious and green. Even Java wants to graze.

I’ll miss these moments.
But there will be new moments, different, but good. 
I can just hear Murphy thinking, “What ya eatin’? Can I have some?” (Actually, Murphy is not that polite.)
And there will continue to be Java antics.
And pretty portraits.
And hey! Someone brought boxes to church for me today! And there was graduation cake!
It doesn’t get better than that!

Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves.  ~Italian Proverb


I have until the end of July to find boarding and a home!


And pack!


And figure out what I should keep and what should go, which is really tough when you don’t know where you are going to live or even what type of housing. Do I need a riding lawn mower? Is the entertainment center too big?


I’ve started to search for boarding. I want to board at a place that feeds square bales; has shelters in pastures to escape from bugs; has an indoor riding arena; that will allow me to park my trailer on site; that is a small, quiet (no pony clubs) facility; and I’ll do pasture board but would like them to be able to bring in horses in bad weather; and I want them to be conscientious enough to notice a problem and care enough to fix it!

I had a thoroughbred almost starve to death because they wouldn’t let him stay in his stall to eat his hay and the herd kept chasing him off from the hay out in the paddock. Just a slight tweek in their normal routine and they wouldn’t do it. I don’t want a repeat of that sort of thing.

Newsflash! Oh, good news. Spoke to a woman and I am visiting her boarding facility tomorrow. Both she and her facility sound great!

Fingers crossed!

And I’ve started to look for housing. And moving boxes and a moving company and I might need a storage unit.

This is getting ugly…

The housing market is a mess, even for buyers. Housing is expected to depreciate for another year. It kind of sounds similar to when you buy a car and it loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Then housing is supposed to stay flat for 5 to 10 years. This is what realtors, the ones you’d think would want to sell you on the idea of buying, are telling me! It’s very depressing.

So by the time I retire, the house I buy MAY start to appreciate. Do you bother to put money into and fix up a house given that situation? I guess the only way you can look at it is you buy a house because you love it, and work on it because you enjoy doing that, and if you plan to get any kind of return on it, you stay there for the long haul. My plan for having the house be an investment for retirement is not in the cards.

But renting feels like money going completely out the window and if I plan to buy when I have more time to think, it means I pay for and go through the effort of moving twice! That could cost me $3000-$6000 in moving costs!


I’ve made tables consisting of housing choices with pros and cons, I’ve looked at both rental property and real-estate online, and I’ve mulled this over and over in my head and there is no choice that is clearly better than the other. Actually, the way things look, buying is the wrong choice right now. But it’s probably what I will fight valiantly to do because I hate moving more than anything and the thought of doing it twice in the next year is too much for my brain to deal with.

I’m looking around me right now and it’s hitting me hard, how much I love how I’ve got things fixed up and how much I love the land I’m on. I’m okay when I stay busy with friends, but I’m not so good  alone, staring at what will soon be gone.

I hope my guru friend, Sue, doesn’t mind me sharing this, but it’s too good to keep to myself. She sent me an e-mail after I got the news of the house selling and I actually printed what she said out and carry it around with me to re-read at times like this. I’ll give you a synopsis of what she advised on my housing quest:

“it doesn’t have to be the perfectly perfect most awesome place ever– it’s a place to rest up while you get some perspective. make it yours by how you live in and out of it.  just make this your summer and spend it doing things you like, that express how you want your life to look starting now.  the magic perfect living situation will still be out there waiting when you’re really ready for it.  take the pressure off.  it’s more about how you spend your time than your physical location right?”

“home is a state of mind.  it’s anywhere you feel comfortable and safe, and can relax. ignore the cracks in the walls– or better yet, make little mexican dolls peep out of them.  as you now know– you can live in a great house and not be happy.  it works the other way too.”

I’m telling you, I have really smart friends.

But still, I’m feeling a little like belting out this old Beatle’s song, even though I realize that actually, I am more self assured and independent now than I’ve ever been. As one friend commented today, “Maery, you have your spunk back.”

But still, I need some help and I’m glad I’ve got my peeps. They’ve played a big part in putting the spunk back in gear, and I do appreciate them bein’ ’round.

I’m a big list maker, mainly because I have such a crummy memory and way too many things to remember. Some things on my lists are very small, like “wash sheets”. Other things are very large, like “write a book”, which I guess I should break down into more manageable bites. And some things have deadlines, like “pick up grain”. And other things don’t, like “pack up belongings”, although, with that one, you just never know, the deadline could suddenly be imminent.

But anything without a set deadline is often hard for me to start or complete. And it seems like for everything I cross off, 10 more things need to be added to my list. Anyway, I knew I had a lot of things to get done this weekend. And there was a house showing Saturday afternoon so there were some timelines, so I tried to lay my schedule out in a list.

Friday Evening

  • Bring horses inside and feed since snow (yes, that’s right, snow) was predicted.
  • Clean upstairs and basement to prepare for house showing Saturday afternoon. Already did main floor Thursday night (thank goodness!). Even washed wood floors (pat on back). But I only made it though upstairs Friday night before I had to…
  • Pick up dog and cat food at Chuck and Don’s.
  • Go to Cabella’s to look for sleeping bag and a camping chair.
  • Stop at National Camera Exchange. My camera did start working again but in my online search for what was wrong with it, I discovered there was a known issue with my camera’s CCD Imager Chip that matched my camera’s symptoms. If you have a Canon, you might want to check the list of cameras and see if yours is one that might get this problem eventually.
  • Go to REI if I don’t find what I’m looking for at Cabellas. I ended up getting a sleeping bag at REI and using my $39 REI award points. This photo would have been a lot funnier if I’d been able to take it with me in it! When I tried the bag out for size, Java seemed to think I was a pod person.
  • Eat dinner at Boston’s. This wasn’t exactly a task on the list, but hey, a girl has to eat and by 9 PM, I was a bit hungry.


  • Get up early to clean stalls because at…
  • 8:30 AM, need to leave to meet Lynn for breakfast at G’s Cafe. Lynn gave me this candle holder and “Rose” candle in honor of my new name. It smells wonderful! What a sweet thing to do!

The place that I go to for my massages for my shoulder and back pain is across the street from G’s Cafe. I’d love to take the sign on top of their office space as a daily reminder.

Lynn has a similar photo and information about some of the other shops in Anoka you might want to check out.

  • Drop bike off at Ramsey Bike to get brakes fixed on way back home from breakfast. This didn’t happen because I was running too far behind in the morning to take the time to load up my bike. After all, I had to get the basement cleaning done that I didn’t manage to cram in on Friday night. I ended up loading the bike in the truck and bringing it in after…
  • Go home and run through house and make sure sinks are still clean and no further dog hair has collected.
  • 1:00 take Java for a walk at Rum River park for an hour or so during showing. Java and I went to the park after dropping off my bike.
The park is so intensely green right now. Lots of ferns.

There were a group of kayakers and a canoe on the river.

Java found that very interesting.

Then we had to stop for a scratch break.

And a portrait shot.

  • After the house showing is done, return home and take Luke for a ride in the ring in preparation for trail ride on Sunday. We also rode the perimiter of the property and weaved through the trees as additional preparation for riding in the park. Most of Luke’s winter coat has been shed and he’s looking more like a real horse.
  • Hook up truck to trailer. I kept ending up with the hitch on the right or left side of where it needed to be. After numerouse backup – jump out of truck and look – get back in truck and adjust -jump out of truck and look – attempts, I decided to take a break and try again later. I finally got it hitched with some directional hand motion help. So much easier that way.


  • Trail ride in the afternoon. Yeh! I made it out to my first trail ride of the season! And it went really well! And my son called and wished me Happy Mother’s Day while I was riding and we had a nice chat. Yeh!
  • Return home, clean out trailer (there is always one pile of manure) and give Java her playtime. A swim in the pool got her a little spun up.
And nothing tops it off like a good roll! Ummm, yes, that is a dog.
  • Bake cookies. Check. 
  • Collapse. Yup. Definitely did that. And woke up this morning with the worst knee pain I’ve ever had in my life. I’m not sure what I did. Maybe the two hour trail ride? Jumping in and out of the truck 50 times? Old age? 
But, hey! I had a grrrreat weekend!
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