"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Friday, November 14, 2014

14 Hours of Night

Embiggen to see what I'm talking about.
From www.timeanddate.com
In the aftermath of everything that happened at Fort Valley, I honestly have not felt like riding, nor writing, nor drawing nor any of the things that normally makes me happy. I H.A.T.E. this time change and would move to Arizona simply because they do NOT have this over there. I hate the shorter days and the night that comes at 4:30 pm. Maybe it's dumb, but I get tremendous anxiety driving on the back country roads from the barn at night because you never know when deer might run into the middle of the road in front of you (a real hazard at this time of the year in this area). Plus Marylanders are NOT good drivers when you add darkness to rush hour. It also doesn't help that the current barn is not well-lit at night at all, so you can never see any farther in front of you than your cell phone flashlight or your headlamp. Those of you that have arenas, indoor or outdoor, with lights in the wintertime: count your lucky stars.

One last wheelbarrow of poop picked from the fields before the light disappears.
On my days off, I wake up feeling like I'm in a constant rush against the eventual early setting of the sun. A rush that seems futile, and I feel like giving up halfway through the day because in my mind I will never have time to do all the things I need/want to do before darkness comes. The early arrival of winter is not helping. While I like winter, the bitter cold we are experiencing in this area is unusually early.

A few things have happened with the horses that I should probably write about, but I honestly don't want to. I don't want to write about what has happened or how I feel about it or how I intend to solve the problems. I just...don't.

I apologize for the downer post, but it's my blog and that's how I feel at the moment about everything. I am upping my vitamin D in case this is a bout of seasonal affective disorder. In the meantime, the blog might have some filler posts of blog hops, questionnaires, and photos.

On a brighter note, have some photos from the past few weeks that I haven't had the chance to put in the blog.

The mares see something...
hopefully not dead people.
Lily is the one without a grazing muzzle.
Astarte keeping me company while farm sitting at the barn last weekend.
This would be one of the reasons why I can't take him out in public... ;)
Gorgeous color!
This tree is now naked.
Charles and I rode, and took pics of one another taking pics of one another. :)

Me on Lily, same day.

Awkward photo of me putting the rope halter on Gracie. I just like this photo.

I have never been loved by a cat quite the way this one loves me.

"I loff you!"

Gah the cuteness! I love you too Aengus

There is a painting called Flaming June by Sir Frederick Leighton.
This is Flaming October.
All of these trees are also naked now.

Zombie waiting to be picked up by his former foster mom so he could get neutered at the shelter.
The evening after his neuter. Foster mom brought him back to work for me. He was still sleepy from the drugs and all he wanted was foooooooood and looooooove.
Zombie is happy to be back home.


  1. We are such opposites about this time change, I absolutely thrive the less light there is. Big hugs, at least like everything else this is cyclical.

    1. I think you are wired more like Charles, who has been nocturnal all of his life. :) I'm so diurnal...I worked overnights for 3 years and it was a very trying time in my life. My body rebelled at the idea of sleeping during the day, even when I kept a daytime sleep schedule on my days off for consistency. I think I get reminded of that time...but I honestly think it also has to do with my upbringing, where we had plenty of artificial light at night and we were taught to avoid dark places. One of the ways we prevented crime on the island was by illuminating everything well. If you could see a threat, you could avoid it. I find it odd that in the US everything is so very dark at night.

  2. I'm not surprised. My guess is your hardest, most difficult time is between Samhain and Solstice. It is the dark part of the year as the sun wanes into the dark. Fear not, brave soul, the Sun will rise and the days will start getting longer very shortly. So too, will the weight of this time rise from your spirit. In the meantime, bake brownies or make your favorite winter meals and fill your house with sweet smells. Brownies make everything better.

    I too am taken back by the ferocity with which winter has descended. It is hard to find the motivation to ride, although I am forcing myself to go to the barn. We are going to try a ride in the snow tomorrow with Ashke and Coyote.

    Sending love and light and the thought of brownies your way.

    1. Chili. I make a huge pot of it and it will last for days. It's my favorite wintertime food. I make a mean chili (low fat, savory and not too spicy) and have started varying the recipe to prevent boredom. :) And this is the first winter that ice cream seems appealing...that's a first. And I made fudge the other night. I love brownies too...I just tend to eat them all. Haha ;) I do need to start going to the gym again but they don't have Spinning classes at times that I find convenient. Grrrr... I may have to buckle up and just go and do some circuit training at whatever time I can go. But that's another area where I've been lacking motivation.

      Thank you Karen. I want to print this out and tape it on the corner of my computer monitor! You are right: the time between Samhain and Solstice is the hardest for me. We didn't have Daylight Savings on the island so it never got dark this early. And also, everything is so WELL LIT over there at night. Even out in the middle of nowhere in the country, you still have street lights and vapor lights on driveways...and then people think PR is a third-world country? I continue to be shocked by how dark North Americans keep their streets and property. Not just in MD; this was true everywhere we lived and visited in FL and also in VA. I've never gotten used to it. And when you're raised being told to avoid extreme dark places at night because you can't see potential dangers...well, it just makes it hard to do anything at night here. The darkness becomes its own entity.

      I really understand now why the Solstice was a cause for great celebration. I didn't understand why someone would celebrate the longest night of the year, but I get it now: it's because it indicates the arrival of shorter nights to come!

    2. And rebirth of the Sun in the arms of his Mother . . .

      This too will pass, as it does every year. In the meantime, lots of comfort food will help. And snuggles. And slowing down. I find this is the only time of year when I can sleep more than six and a half hours a night.

  3. I always got the winter-time blues in California, where the sun also set at 4:30 during the winter because we were so far north. I went to work in the dark then drove home in the dark *sigh*. Take heart, this too shall pass!

  4. I hate the time change too and wish we'd just stay on daylight savings time. If I can get out the door to the barn before it gets dark, I'm usually OK, but if I wait until evening, chances are I'll skip my ride. And it only gets worse until the days start getting longer again. On the other hand, I think we're not meant to keep the same motivated pace we have during the spring and summer. Winter is for rest:) And you do so much for most of the year - maybe taking a break is a good thing!:) That said, I hope you shake the winter doldrums soon and I look forward to reading about whatever is going on with the horses as soon as you feel like writing it:) I'm just thankful that I don't live in ND anymore - below zero temps in November plus snow is too much!

    1. I'm REEALLY looking forward to our ride at the end of the month! I hope the weather cooperates so it can happen!

      I guess this is where having lived in places without seasons takes its toll: I'm used to being able to be even more motivated in winter because it's not as blazing hot as the rest of the year, both in FL and PR. This is our third winter here and the first one where I find myself thinking, "It's too cold to do x thing." Or, "It's going to get dark in an hour. That's not enough time." You're right: there is a burnout factor going on right now after the intense spring, summer and fall we had. So the mares have been getting groundwork and grooming and trims and clips...one day I'll talk about how Gracie's bib clip went....OMG...

      And I could not live in ND...I can't even.

      Thank you for the encouragement Gail! :)

  5. I am in the same mood as you... I haven't ridden since 10/19 and don't have any desire to ride, write, or anything right now... I hate this time of the year...

    1. Oh JWall I'm sorry you're in the same spot as me. :( I'd been wondering about you and Liam since you hadn't posted in a while. I'm glad you're otherwise okay. Countdown to Solstice: 37 days!

  6. Ickk me too. I purposely decided to give Riv this month off (maybe next too) because I KNEW I wasn't going to keep up with anything. It's hard enough doing school from dark to dark and feeding him and sometimes lungeing him when he goes nuts. TN ALMOST did away with daylight savings this year. They didn't by ONE STUPID VOTE. Ugh. Anyway. Winter solstice is day before my birthday, so yay, two things to celebrate!

    Also have you tried the bright light therapy stuff? It works wonders for me...also chili. And cider. Yum yum nom nom good.

    1. That's SO frustrating!! So close! I would have added TN to the list of "Places We Might Move To Next" just because of that. I haven't tried the bright light therapy stuff yet because in the past I've been able to work through this without too much issue. I think this time several things just snowballed at once along with the time change. I will definitely keep it in mind!

      Yes to chili and cider! :D

  7. I agree, the lack of daylight always makes me feel sluggish. I feel like I don't see my horse in the daylight for months. I cherish the sunshine that I do see - hang in there, hoping winter flies by!

    1. Thank you Aging Pony! It's always good to know we're not alone.

  8. Hate the time change / time of year. Suggestion - one hour a day outside when it's sunny - NO sunglasses. It will help.

    I also hate driving after dark here - the deer are in rut and are paying even less attention than usual to traffic. You have to concentrate so hard to be safe - and then there are the other drivers...

    Hope you find a way to lift your spirits until we hit the solstice. (((hugs)))

    1. Thank you Calm, Forward, Straight! *hugs back* I try to do the time outside but it's hard to get full light absorption when it's 30 degrees out and you have to wear 4 layers. :( I don't wear sunglasses, so hopefully this will still help despite the winter coats!

  9. I hate the early sunset, too. I work during the day, so I am only home in the dark. With the early onset of rotten weather, this year, it is even worse. Sunset hits it's lowest point on December 4th, and that really isn't that far off. We have 10 days, and then at least sunset gets better, though we still lose in the morning. We can get through this...