Thursday, May 31, 2012

It´s been over 80 degreese since I woke up this morning, most of the day it´s been around 95 degreese. I´m not used to this kind of weather. Spent a great deal of the day playing with our German Shepard Stella. Stella loves water, we´ve been in the pond and in the creek. Thank God we have a lot of water. Just doing simple things around the house makes you sweat like I don´t know what..I changed clothes like five times today! Nowadays I don´t have five changes of clothes that fit me so I have been wearing Philips clothes, very fashionable. Can´t wait to get back into my regular clothes. One day closer every day J

The grass was a little long on some places so I called in some help :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Traverse Creek Loop Trail

One of the best ways I know to deal with challenges like a bad mood, bad day, no sleep, boredom…well almost everything is EXERCISE. Working my body always make me feel good.

I didn´t sleep much last night, just not very comfortable anymore. It´s not comfortable to stay in bed either. I decided to do something fun instead. I´m not supposed to ride, but no one can say anything about having fun with my horse, right! ;) I walked (didn´t even cheat a little bit by riding!) Trigger to the trails and took a short trail that I remember I always thought was very easy, when riding.
It was slightly a little bit harder to walk next to your horse with a big belly. I certainly didn´t remember the rocky parts to be so steep..

The day became very hot and sunny before we came home, almost 80 degreese.

It was definitely enjoyable though J The nature is very beautiful and lush right now. I think Trigger had a good time too. I know I had! I feel great and ready for a nap J

Monday, May 28, 2012

Endurance Riding in Gold Country

I´m reading a book about the “Gold Country” where we live and endurance riding. The name of the book is “Return to the river” (American River), the author is Diane “Running Deer” Ripley. She was a competitor in the “Great American Horse Race” the longest horse race in history, across America. (There was a team of Icelandic horses in that same race J)

The author also completed The Tevis Cup several times. Her journey to find herself and all her adventures on the way is very interesting. Most of the places she´s writing about is within riding distance from our ranch that makes it even more interesting to read about.

Philips horse Aya Wrangle´s grandfather Bezatal is part of the story. From page 36 about The Tevis Ride 1965 and 1967:  “The horse, Bezatal, the greatest endurance stallion that has ever lived. They set the record on the original course of eleven hours and thirty-eight minutes in 1965 and won again in 1967 when I first saw them, in eleven hours and forty-two minutes. I was in love, all childhood fantasies were captured in that first vision of Ed and Bezatal.”

If you´re into endurance riding or just love horses this is a book for You!

Aya Wrangle, Bezatals grandson and Diamond last night outside a resturant.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Woke up this morning with an intense feeling of gratitude.

I grew up with a psychopath, an alcoholic stepfather who liked to show his superior physical power every time he got drunk (and sometimes in between.) My life was based on fear. I never talked to anyone about it then. My little sister tried, but no one would listen. On the outside our stepfather was an incredible man taking care of his dead wife’s daughters. My mother died in cancer when I was 12 and my sister was 9. My stepfather was also a minister in the local church. Everybody thought the world of him. He loved to preach about family life and harmony. ..Even after I run away from home this still had a great impact upon my life. I had nightmares about my stepfather spying on me and chasing me, which wasn´t only nightmares he did so until I moved away far enough to make it too complicated for him. It affected my choice in men and I only had destructive relationships.

After a few years my nightmares developed into a strong need of revenge against the man that caused all this misery in my life. I doubt that I ever would have taken any actions even if I had the chance but I dreamed about it all the time. During daytime I had different successful careers.

Life goes on and I haven´t dreamed about my stepfather for a long time. I don´t feel any need for revenge nowadays. Last night I did dream about him though. It was a different dream, I was strong. In my dream I did tell the world about all the ways of this preacher man. I told his hometown, friends, newspaper- everyone. When I woke up I knew that I never have to do that. I already had my revenge. I´m happy! I´m truly happy, my life is based on love and trust. I´m deeply in love with my husband to be. I live in a beautiful place, surrounded by nature and horses. I always as long as I remember loved horses. You can´t fool a horse. A horse takes you for who you are. Their eyes are mirrors of your soul and force you to be present in the moment. They´ve helped me to overcome my fears. I had many horses as teachers.

One of my teachers - My rescue Horse Trigger
It feels great to bring a child into a world filled with love and freedom. I know that our daughter is going to grow up being loved by two parents that would to anything for her. I am grateful.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sweden wins Eurovision Song Contest 2012

For the first time in my life I didn´t watch Eurovision with my family and friends (Eurovision is like Suber Bowl in least) AND Sweden wins! The fact that Sweden wins is not that unusual though ;) Next year the competition will be in Stockholm and I will definetely be watching.

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Trails!

Philip and his brother David have been working hard with the tractor for a couple of days making roads all around the property. Now you can actually ride a horse from the house down the driveway, around the biggest pond, down to the creek and up the hill back to the house - all around the ranch J They cleared space around the pond and next to the creek for fishing and water activities. As the days get hotter I bet we´re going to spend a great deal of time there. Feels very good to finally have access to the whole ranch. They did an awesome job! Thanks!!

This morning I took Trigger, three goats and three dogs with me exploring the improvements.
 First we walked down the driveway and it was a lot smoother than before.


We walked around the biggest pond.

Passed a meadow on our way down to Traveerse Creek.

Resting at the creek.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trigger V/S Mountain Lion

I feel so ashamed of myself. Trigger called me in the middle of the night, the dogs were barking and I didn´t go out. I wasn´t even asleep when it all started. I was sitting in the living room reading and being mad for not being able to sleep. I figured that whatever was going on all three adult dogs were out and that they would take care of it. I heard all the dogs barking and chasing something and Trigger was galloping around. Stella the new one was in the mudroom and not able to do any disaster or get hurt. I should of trusted my instinct and see why my horse called me. He´s a quiet, calm horse and does not get himself into other trouble than sometimes being mean to new horses in the herd. Except now he didn´t have any horses to be mean to, he was by himself in the yard. The only time he called me in the middle of the night before was when a Mountain Lion came to the pasture. I think that was happened this time to. I´m going to take action against this! I should´ve known better and listened to him.  Whoever did this to Trigger is not going to be able to do it again.

I promised Trigger to always listen to him in the future and hope that he can forgive me. He put his head in my lap and I think he will put up with me. Sometimes I don´t know why he does. I just love him.

Marks on exactly the same spot of his back that Diamond had footprints of a Mountain Lion last week..

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ranch Life, Gratitude and The Tevis

The most disgusting smell woke me up at 2am this morning. It was impossible to go back to sleep no matter how hard I tried. I thought there might be bears nearby. They really have a bad smell.  After reading in bed for three hours the smell continues to be as strong as in the beginning. I went out to feed the animals earlier than usual. It was clearly a skunk that made a visit. The smell in the yard was so strong, I felt sorry for the horses that have to be outside all the time! My dog Neikka most likely chased the skunk who decided to spray her. All the dogs rolled around on the worst places. I gave them baths today but they still stink. I guess they will continue to be smelly for some days.

After all .. some inconvenience is a small price to pay for living in the wilderness. I´m learning more about wildlife every day and I am grateful for that.

 Stella chased the goats today and pulled one of them to the ground, luckily the goat got away with just a minor shock. She´s been chasing Trigger too but I figure he´s not nearly as fun to chase as the goats. He´s not that impressed by a puppy. Even if it´s a huge puppy like Stella. Philip started her training yesterday and she is improving. Everything here is new to her, she´s never seen farm animals before or had this much space to play on. I´m sure she will settle in fine in a few weeks.

I was reading about gratitude today and how many of our world’s biggest achiever have a great sense of gratitude in common. According to history Einstein thanked people over a hundred times a day for work they had done. Newton gave thanks to all who lived before him and said that they were the cause of his discoveries “I´m standing on the shoulder of giants.” Gratitude is power! Feeling a little frustrated by my physical limitations for the moment this was excellent reading for me J I´m a very independent woman that likes to get things done. Now there are thousands of things that I want to do but I simply can´t right now. I have to focus on being grateful for all the wonderful things I have and use my time as wisely as I can, not letting myself be to frustrated. Some day’s it´s easier said than done!

One of the things I am really looking forward to doing later this summer is getting a horse suitable for Tevis and join Philip and Wrangle on their adventures. I had a great deal of time to figure out exactly what qualities I want in that horse. I already have a nice trail horse or two that I can ride so this horse has to have that little extra. This is what I want:

·       I would love it to be an Icelandic Horse.

·       He/She have to have a big heart.

·       Perfect conformation, good hooves, strong legs and preferably around or over 14hh.

·       Potential to complete the Tevis in top ten.

·       Between 5-12 years of age.

·       Willingness to go everywhere!

·       Love the trails as much as I do.

·       Enjoy the trails with and without other horses (I don´t want our training to depend on other people).

·       Preferably with some trail/endurance experience.

·       Good ground manners.

·       Lots of go but still with breaks.

Philip gave me a book yesterday about a girl who rode across the continent 1976 and her experiences. It´s very exciting reading! In the book it´s a picture of an Icelandic Horse that also did that ride J

Monday, May 21, 2012

The right one!


For a while Philip have been helping the Human Society by fostering dogs with aggressive behavior and trained them so they can be adopted. There are always dogs around here! In the same time both of us have been dreaming about finding a German Shepherd to keep, the right one J

We finally think we met her. Her name is Stella and she´s one year old. Imported from Germany when she was a baby.  We both liked her a lot from the first time we saw her. She got some aggressive issues that´s why her owner couldn´t keep her. We haven´t seen any of that yet, she just came to us yesterday but we´re prepared to work with that.

She´s a really sweet girl. She had some training. She knows about 20 different commands, though they all are in German. I don´t speak German! She tries her best to understand when I try and as long as I really mean what I say she seems to understand. I´m very happy no one hears me!

We´re having her in the house for a couple of days so she bonds with us, after that she´s going to be an outdoor dog. Last night she slept on the floor next to our bed, every couple of hours she reach up to the bed and licked my feet. I´m extremely tickles under my feet and every time she did I jumped up. When she realized everything was fine she just went back to sleep and left me awake. At exactly 6.30 (I assume that´s when her former owner got up) she jumped up and landed on top of me and starts giving me kisses all over my face. Normally I would have been up almost two hours but since I didn´t get much sleep last night I was still in bed. I hurried up and thought that she might need to go potty or something but she just wanted to play. I´m not worried about losing the extra pounds I gained during pregnancy with her and the horses around!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Uninvited visitor

Trigger woke me up before daylight this beautiful Sunday morning telling me something is wrong. He was running around like crazy on the pasture (I have them on a pasture close to the house during night just in case..). Trigger doesn´t easily get over excited. He kept calm even when we met a bear a few weeks ago. Today he didn´t stop running and neighing. I hurried outside. All the horses were sweating and had a wild look on their faces. They all came right up to me. I couldn´t see anything strange. I gave them some hay and hanged out with them until daylight broke. When there was enough light I started checking them thoroughly. When I came to my white horse Diamond he had marks of a BIG cat on his back. Not deeply in his skin, mostly on the dirt that he always covers himself with. He wasn´t injured but we definitely had a Mountain Lion for a visit early this morning. I´m so thankful nothing terrible happened. I haven´t yet seen a Mountain Lion with my eyes, only the tracks of them. I know there´s many in the area.

We are getting a new guard dog today! A German Shepard named Stella. I´m looking forward to her arrival at noon J

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Swedish Dala Horses in the window of our Baby room

The little perfectionist in me been working hard today. I suddenly remember why I never wanted to have a big house. Since I got my first apartment at age 19 I always have been drawn to small, cozy places that are easy to make into a home. I prefer to not have too many things, every year I go through my stuff and sell/give away the things I haven´t used the past year. The combination of only having a few things (that I carefully choose with all my heart) and a small home makes it easy to keep the home at the level I prefer it. I want it to be clean! Like all the time. I don´t feel that I have to clean the house every day or so, just take precautions so it never gets dirty (like no shoes indoors and having everyone in the family cleaning up after themselves as soon as they finished a project.)

Hummingbird feeder at the front porch

That´s always been pretty easy for me. Now I find myself living in a HUGE house that I haven´t really been able to transform into the home I want it to be yet. After having a little less energy than normally for a few weeks (pregnancy and allergies) I found the house in need for a makeover. It´s not a disaster but not the way I want it to be either. I feel so much more in tune with life if my surroundings have peace. So that´s what I´ve been working on today. Haven´t been outside more than to feed the horses and I´m not even half way done with my project yet. Think I´ll finish the rest tomorrow …. J

This morning I did finish the first of the nine books I bought the other day “The Pioneer woman- black heels to tractor wheels”, by Ree Drummond. It was hilarious made me both laugh and cry! She´s a good author, I like her language and I can relate to many of the subjects.

Friday, May 18, 2012

We had a long and fun day yesterday. We bought some stuff for the Baby and I went to a bookstore. I bought nine books that I´ve want to read for a while. I don´t buy new books very often but this time I did. The books we´re about topics close to my heart like: horsemanship, the latest research about small children, Nordic mythology, writing and personal development. I need some input for my brain to work with while my body needs rest.

Philip bought a GoPro camera to attach on his riding helmet. In that way we can document our training towards the Tevis on another level. It´s going to be so much fun!

I was exhausted when we came back to the ranch, took care of the animals and went straight to bed at 10 pm, at 2.30 am I was wide awake and my body didn´t want to stay in bed any longer. I did stay in bed for another two hours, I figure that it will be hard to stay focused the whole day if I start getting up at 2.30! At 4.30 I just had to get up, so I did J it´s still very quiet and I kind of enjoy this early mornings. I´ve been getting up early for so many years, first as a baker and then for commuting to work that my body automatically wants to start the day early. Most of the time it´s really nice to be able to start the day early, it has some disadvantages though, sometimes when we have guests late or are out to have some fun I start having problem keeping my eyes open around midnight…


Today I have another doctor appointment, feels like I´ve been hanging out at the hospital a lot lately but it nice to confirm that everything is well with our Baby.

Happy Friday!

Love Maria

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mixed feelings

Philip and Wrangle are starting to understand each other well on the trails. They are in the progress of making a training schedule with conditioning on the trails and some shorter endurance rides in the near future. It´s so hard for me to not be able to ride! I am very happy for them but not riding drives me crazy. Some people might long for a glass of wine or a beer when they´re pregnant. I know that one of the first things I want to do after the baby is born is to RIDE. Really ride, not walk! I´m just dying to start training my Tevis Horse. That I don´t have yet.. and not the least start getting back in shape myself. I love training and it´s hard for me to slow down. I´m trying my best though, since my doctor told me that all the training can be part of why I have too many white blood cells right now (and my seasonal allergy which is really bad right now. I still believe it´s more the allergies fault than the training..)

Anyway I feel OK considering I´m 30 weeks pregnant. I am looking forward to seeing our Baby Girl soon J I can´t wait to once again experience the unique feeling of a little one in my arms. This time even more than the first time since I don´t feel any anxiety of not knowing how to handle motherhood and what to expect, like I did the first time. I´m in a good relationship, living a life that I love and I´m able to work from home (even though I am not planning to work much the first year.) I´m planning to enjoy this experience to the maximum.

In Sweden parents have the right to stay at home (payed!) with their newborns the first year. Not exactly like here. I´m thankful that I don´t have a boss expecting me to be back at work after just a few weeks (unpaid) time with my baby. Like many other mothers to be in this country.

Today I´ve been enjoying my day on the pasture with the horses. At least I have a lot of time refining my skills of reading horses, watching them interact with each other. It´s always interesting to see how the positions in the herd change when a new horse enters their family.

Last night we went to check on some horses we have on another ranch. They were in need of some hoof care but otherwise they were in great condition. The drive home was beautiful. Every time I go somewhere here in California I´m amazed by the beauty of this part of the country.

Pictures from the drive home last night.

Rice fields

Tomorrow my goal is to find a good bookstore. I really need some new inspiring books. The ones I have here I´ve read more than once, all of them! Finding good books is something I really enjoy, like a work of art. I feel so rich being in a good bookstore, all the collected wisdom and experiences from authors throughout the world. Strolling around the isles of books, picking up an interesting book here and there, the smell of paper, the excitement of an unread book that wants you to buy it and take it home – that´s something I´m planning to enjoy a lot these last two months! Reading all kinds of books in English is a way for me to improve the language as well. Since I was five and started to read for myself I´ve always been reading a lot. Right now I think I read between 500- 1000 pages a week, not counting the articles I read on internet.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Aya Wrangle

Making focaccia and the smell makes me happy! I love baking my own bread. I finally start getting along with using dry yeast instead of live yeast that I´m used to. In Sweden every supermarket, grocery store etc. have live yeast. I found it very difficult to find it here. Been looking everywhere in Northern California. I´m sure I can find it in the big cities like San Francisco and LA but since live yeast is so sensitive to temperature changes and needs to be cold (but not frozen) in an unbroken chain from the store until you use it, I found it pointless to look so far away. Using dry is definitely not the same thing but I kind of starting to get a hold of it now J

Philip is out on the trails with his new horse Aya Wrangle. It´s the first time they ride alone without company. He´s been riding him with Diamond earlier and yesterday Trigger and I kept them company for a shorter walk. Wrangle seems to settle in well. He´s recently gelded and yesterday our neighbor had his brood mare in his pasture next to ours which was a little bit exciting for him. He handled it well though. There´s a completely new world here and he is very curious about everything; like trees, water, flowers, farm animals and all things you don´t see in a desert. He´s not scared, just curious. We´ve been trying to expose him to all the things we imagine he´s going to see on the trails with other experienced horses. To make things easier for him. He is very willing and didn´t have any objections to head towards the trails by himself today. I believe most horses see the trails as a big fun park. At least I know ours do! I´m looking forward to hear everything about their adventure today as soon as they come back J

Philip and Wrangle in training for The Tevis Cup of 2014

Trigger and I have been playing a lot on the ground lately, when I haven´t been riding much. He loves to play! We´ve been walking up and down stairs (outside), climbing up on things, I´ve been longing him out in the nature across a creek and back, we also been taking walks two times a day exploring the neighborhood and the wilderness around us. I don´t think he minds not being ridden every day. As long as he gets lots of attention.

Trigger is completetly happy just chillin with me, doing some trick training and going for walks.
 As long as he is the center of attention :)

Diamond on the other hand clearly misses being ridden every day. Philip has been riding him some days. Diamond is a really good horse with lots of go. He´s in great condition right now. I decided to let one of my friends who love Diamond and needs a ranch horse borrow him until I can match his energy again. Accepting my limitations is not one of my strong sides however I feel very good about this arrangement, a win/win situation. Diamond is most happy when he´s working.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother´s Day!

This morning I heard a song on the radio that I haven´t heard in a while, “Something more” with Sugarland. I remember hearing that same song about a year ago.

               Monday, hard to wake up
Fill my coffee cup, I'm out the door
Yeah, the freeway's standing still today
It's gonna make me late, and thats for sure
I'm running out of gas and out of time
Never gonna make it there by nine

There's gotta be something more
Gotta be more than this
I need a little less hard time
I need a little more bliss
I'm gonna take my chances
Taking any chance I might
Find what I'm looking for
There's gotta be something more

Five years and there's no doubt
That I'm burnt out, I've had enough
So now boss man, here's my two weeks
I'll make it short and sweet, so listen up
I could work my life away, but why?
I got things to do before die

Repeat Chorus

Some believe in destiny, and some believe in fate
I believe that happiness is something we create
You best belive that I'm not gonna wait
'Cause there's gotta be something more

I get home 7:30 the house is dirty, but it can wait
Yeah, 'cause right now I need some downtime
To drink some red wine and celebrate
Hey, Armageddon could be knocking at my door
But I ain't gonna answer thats for sure.
There's gotta be something more!

There's gotta be something!

I did relate to every word trying to keep up with a very busy lifestyle; Getting up around five every morning to be able to spend some time with my horse before my son wakes up, leaving my son at school in the morning, fighting the traffic on the freeway, working looong days (with a work I loved), fighting the traffic once again, picking up from school, grocery shopping, making dinner, play time with my son, taking care of my horse, training, going to bed around 11pm exhausted. I loved every minute but I understood that I couldn´t go on like that forever. I hardly had time for my friends and I definitely missed having that special person in my life.

Some believe in destiny, and some believe in fate
I believe that happiness is something we create
You best belive that I'm not gonna wait
'Cause there's gotta be something more

I truly believe that! I believe that all our experiences in life helps create the person we are and that no one except me can make the choices that create my happiness. How could anyone else know about my dreams? What makes me happy? Of course there are some general rules. I believe that a selfish lifestyle never can bring true happiness to a person’s life. All living things are connected and what I choose to do affect other people’s life as well as my own. I want everyone to experience good things in life, but I don´t believe that me being some kind of martyr (the way I was brought up to believe that life was supposed to be like..) would help anyone.

My stepfather was an alcoholic. It was awful. I have a hard time dealing with drunk people but I decided from a very early age that I´m not going to be a loser like him. I have a choice. I don´t have to drink or do other things I don´t want to just because my surroundings does. (I can make my own decisions. I do like a glass of wine to a nice dinner sometimes. When I´m not pregnant of course. )

I made some choices that I know see perhaps weren´t the best. I don´t regret them though. They made me who I am and they all brought me to this happy place that are my life today: spending my life with a man I admire and love, living on a ranch (always been my dream), working with horses, being a mother, travel, spending a lot of time outdoors on incredible places, making my own time schedule every day, no stress but meaningful things to do. I believe in writing my goals on a piece of paper and then make mental images to reach them. (How will I feel when I´m there? What does it taste like?  Right now I see myself and Philip after the finish line of The Tevis Cup in 2014! Tired but SO happy and proud of our horses :)

This is something I´ve been doing since I was a teenager. Manifesting my future.I am so thankful for the gift of life, love and happiness that are within reach for all of us.

I just came inside from being out with my horses this morning. The mornings have always been the best part of the day for me. I love breathing the new life that a new day brings, listening to the songs of nature, meditating, feeding the animals, and grooming the horses, taking the dogs for a walk, catching goats on the run…and all those things that make life beautiful.

Time to make some breakfast. No one but me is up yet, I believe there will be breakfast in bed. Sunday is family time, we´re spending this Sunday at home at the ranch. We´ve talked about taking the horses down to the creek and chill out there for the day. Some of us are probably going for a ride…not me though..

Being a Mother is one of the greatest gifts in life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all amazing Mothers out there!

Love Maria