Sleep Paralysis

Today I woke up from a nap but no matter how or what I tried I couldn’t move. I could hear my children joyfully playing with their Christmas toys and the tv show my husband was watching in the living room. It was so frightening. It is every time. I tried moving my legs, I tried moving my arms, I let out what I was sure was a scream that could have been heard for miles but no one came to see what was wrong. I realized I hadn’t screamed, I couldn’t. I tried to move my toes and made a little headway. Then I tried my fingers. Yes! They were moving slightly. Now it was time to try for the arms again but no matter how hard I tried, nothing, and now my damn fingers won’t move again. I wish someone would come find me before I stop breathing. Every time I try to move an extremity it sounds like a freight train is rushing between my ears. What if I never wake? What if I don’t die but I’m stuck in this state forever? What if I do die? Why isn’t someone checking to see what’s wrong? Because I told the kids I was tired and needed a nap so for once they are listening and letting me rest. Everyone knew that I needed a nap so no one wants to disturb me. Damn… 

Finally, I surrender to whatever is wrong with me. There is no point in fighting, it isn’t getting me anywhere. It’s only making the situation more scary. Soon after giving in my eyes pop open, what a relief! My arms begin to move again, my legs, toes, arms, fingers. I test them all. They work flawlessly. 

It was another nightmare. These nightmares are called sleep paralysis. I don’t have the normal nightmares about something awful happening or the monster in the closet. No, in my nightmares I can’t move. I have done a lot of research regarding the condition and apparently it isn’t that uncommon. People suffer from this awful condition worldwide. No matter how many times I read,”don’t fight it”, or “this is normal”, I still fight, I still try to scream. 

I have had sleep paralysis on and off since I was in high school. The first time it happened I was at my grandma’s. I had fallen asleep on the couch watching tv. I awoke to her singing as she washed dishes, the tv show in the background but I couldn’t move. It was the single most terrifying event in my life up to that point. As I’ve gotten older I continue to have this occasionally. Sometimes I willgo years  without experiencing it and other times it will be semi-frequent. 

Sleep paralysis is a very scary thing. Although, the research I have done has shown me that it isn’t dangerous, there is no demon holding me down, I will wake, and it is common. I don’t remember all of this when I’m in the midst of an episode but it is comforting to wake up and know what has happened rather than think there is something seriously wrong. Has anyone else ever experienced sleep paralysis? If so, id like to hear your experience and what you have learned or know about the condition. 

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Change

In a previous post I was very hard on my mom, the choices she’d made, and how thankful I was that she was my mom and showed me what I didn’t want in my life, how I never wanted to make my children feel. Addiction is a nasty, despicable thing that ruins lives, kills, and separates sufferers from those they love. Often times they blame everyone and everything around them for whatever is wrong in their lives so to never take the blame themselves. They distance themselves from loved ones and make choices, that if they were in their right mind, they would be appalled by. Not many who have an addiction, even those who are strong, can ever beat it. I must say, that my mom, after many years of addiction, has changed. There is a long rocky road ahead and she may stumble but I can say that she is now someone that I can say I’m proud of and I look up to for beating the demons down, for finding better things in life. It may have taken her more than 20 years to see the error of her ways but she is ‘my mom’ again and not just an empty, mean person.  I haven’t had that since grade school. She has worked so hard, gotten her license back, has a good job and is trying to be the best mother and grandmother that she can. I know it’s hard and that you can’t get lost time back but looking into the future, I think she has a lot going for her and I know she will do her best to make us all proud of her. Unfortunately, this isn’t a post I thought I would ever write. Sadly, I thought one day I would be writing one about her untimely death due to an overdose or a drug deal gone bad. I am so thankful for the fact that I was wrong. I love my mother and I am glad she is strong enough to beat her addiction, to admit her wrong doing, and try to unite her family around her. She may not have lived an amazing life of great achievement but she has made the greatest achievement of her life and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud!

Absolute Disgust

To say I’m livid would be the understatement of the year. My seven year old child was sent to the office today with a cheese sandwich and a carton of milk for lunch. He does not receive free or reduced lunches. He had fallen negative in his lunch account and was singled out from the other students, embarrassed, and left hungry because of an error on my part. He had no control over his lunch account balance. I find it disgusting that school admins, teachers, and support staff find this acceptable. I find it even more disturbing that there are children who are given free or reduced lunches and the school goes to such lengths to ensure that those children are never made to feel differently. My taxes and school tuition goes to cover those children while my child sat in the office and ate a damn cheese sandwich. How is this justified? How do they choose which child it is okay to humiliate?
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that the free and reduced lunch program exists. All children should have meals while at school but I feel that it is unjust and extremely disgusting that a paying child be treated so unfairly and different than a child who receives free lunches just because he falls behind on lunch money. Where have we gone wrong as a society when we punish an innocent child over something beyond their control?

New Adventures

So, I’m super excited to share my latest business venture! I’ve decided to start a tack store. I’ll carry many horse products and am planning to start my own line of leg protection! I’ll also have a catalog and can order products for customers that I don’t currently have.  My awesome husband worked his hind end off building a special room in our barn for me. I have painting to do and hooks to hang. I am getting ready to place my first order! I’m excited to say that although we will be starting out small, our prices will more than beat the prices of tack stores in our area. Plus, we will have more of a selection even of we have to put in an order for what is needed. I am proud to be starting this business venture and to be bringing quality goods to our community! We will also have a traveling store so that people can pick up things at horse shows. I hope to attend events like Equifest and other equine events with our traveling store! Wish me luck!

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Someone is Missing

In 1995 I was in 6th grade and mourning the loss of my barrel horse Sassy. I never thought I would find a replacement that I could ever love like I had her. One crisp fall day my grandma, who raised me, told me she had called about a four year old gelding and we were going to look at him. I so excited about the prospect of getting a new horse but also didn’t have a lot of faith that he would make the cut. We made the hour drive to see him. After I rode him I knew he was the one. He was full of spit and vinegar. He was the most beautiful horse I had ever seen and I was instantly in love. Standing 17 hands tall he was packed with muscle. His coat was sorrel with two high white socks and a twister on his head for a blaze. Over the next several years Twister took me to the top in our horse show circuit. He was faster than blue blazes and put on a heck of a show! I rode him parades and rodeos. I always felt like kind of a hot shot when I was on his back. In parades he would canter in place and prance sideways. The ooo’s  and ahh’s from the crowd made me feel pretty special. No matter where we were he stole the show. Twister was absolutely amazing. After I retired him from barrel racing he was still ridden regularly and about 5 years ago my boys started riding him around home. When they were on him he knew his job was babysitter. He would trudge along and make sure that they were well taken care of. This horse show season we’ve had two shows and Twister is not standing in my pasture any longer. Two months ago we said goodbye to him. I have never felt so miserable or helpless as I did the day he came up ill. I’m 31 and have had sadness and heartbreak but I have never had heartbreak in my life that came close to losing Twister. He was my best friend from the day he came home with me. We grew up together and we were an awesome team that competitors hated to see pulling into the rodeo grounds. Then after his retirement he continued to give his sweet heart and love to me. It’s hard knowing he is no longer around to tell my secrets to or to stand out in the pasture and pet his soft coat and look at his sweet face. As much sorrow as his passing has brought me, I wouldn’t change it because I got to know the most amazing, sweet soul that God put on this earth. I got to call him my best friend for 20 years. I will always remember all the wonderful adventures we went on and all of great time I spent with him.

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I Want to be a Millionaire…I think.

I keep trying to come up with these ideas on how to get rich. I have started a t-shirt business recently, I am a part time photographer, a stay at home mom and wife, and a substitute teacher. I also run a farm, do chores, take care of six horses, six cows, 8 chickens, two roosters, two cats, five dogs, three frogs, a turtle and a garden. I am pretty sure I have enough on my plate but I want more! I want a castle and to pretend like I’m royalty. I want to ride my horse across the grounds and imagine what life must have been like hundreds of years ago. I want a southern plantation where I can sit on the porch looking through the huge columns through a tunnel of live oaks down my long driveway. I want a cattle ranch in texas where we work our cattle daily. I want to get on my horse and ride across a giant pature and look at the hundreds of cows munching on green grass. I want a beautiful home with an ocean view. I want to walk out my back door and step into hot white sand. I want to stroll to the blue water of the ocean and sink into it. I want to run my horse across the beach bare back. I want to travel the world. I have realized that if I really want all of this, I need to be a millionaire. I will need more than a substitute teacher’s pay if I want to pretend to be a princess, or even Texas royalty. When I think about all of these things that I want, I realize I already have what I need. I have the most wonderful husband and little boys a gal could ask for. They show me everyday that I am a princess and their love is priceless. If I ever find a way to become a millionaire I couldn’t imagine anyone other than my quirky boys by my side. I may think these things would be nice but if I had them and didn’t have my family I wouldn’t have anything. So, even though the dream of these things is nice my reality is better. I may  not be a millionaire but I think I’m pretty rich.

God Gained a Cowgirl

Yesterday the horse world was deeply saddened by the sudden loss of a sweet 12 year old barrel racer. Any accident that leads to a death is awful but many times there are ways to prevent serious injures. This accident was completely unpreventable. Her sweet horse was running his heart out and had a heart attack. She was pinned under him and suffered fatal injuries. As a mother of equestrians and as an equestrian myself this chills me to the bone. I don’t know what I would do if something like this happened to one of my children. We try to take every precaution we can to keep our children safe, happy and not wanting for anything. We take for granted the precious moments we spend with those we love. Those moments should never be taken for granted as we never know what moment will be the last. Hold your children and loved ones tight, make sure they know your love and never let them feel unwanted. Would you be happy with the last thing that you said to a loved one? I know I will be holding those I love tighter. We get so caught up in life that we forget to enjoy it.

Fly high sweet angel. I hope that you are entertaining God and the angels with your cowgirl spirit!