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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My love...

You love me perfectly, you make me feel loved every day.  You are my soulmate, my lover, and my friend.  I have never loved anyone as much as I love you, my dear Sylvain.  You build me up; you make me strong.  I LOVE YOU!
I can't wait until October 11, my love, when I will proudly become YOUR WIFE!  I am forever yours, Sylvain!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Welding...

It's so nice to be excited about what I'm doing for once in my life.  My eyes pop open every morning, and I'm excited to go to school.  We are learning new and interesting things... things that I could never have imagined that I'd be doing (AND enjoying) only a couple of short years ago.  For example, we started our soudage a l'arc (arc welding) course this week, and to my pleasant surprise, I really enjoyed it and it turns out that I also have the potential to become very good at welding.
The Man laughed condescendingly when I originally told him I'd be learning welding... he just couldn't imagine me doing it.  He actually tried to put me off of it... although he'd say he was just trying to prepare me for something he assumed I would hate.  He was also so sure that I'd be very bad at it.  So I snapped a picture of some of the practice work I did MY FIRST TIME WELDING EVER.

The Man's jaw dropped when he saw my work.  Apparently his first welding practice didn't look anywhere near as good as this.  Once again he had to eat his words!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Greatest of Gifts

One of my homework assignments for my course is to prepare an oral presentation about why I chose this career path... I will be presenting this in front of my class on Wednesday.  When I finished writing it, I had the Man read through it before translating it for feedback as to whether it's any good.  Unfortunately he couldn't speak after reading it because it moved him to tears (which is a very rare occurrence).  And so I decided to share it here as well.

The Greatest of Gifts
"Since I have almost no past experience with horses, I have decided to speak to you more about why I decided to take this course.  In order to be able to better understand why I’m here, you first need to understand a little bit about the proverbial road that brought me to this path.  So let me paint a picture for your mind.

Now I would like you all to imagine a woman who’s eyes are full of sadness and pain.  Lost in a haze of medications that the doctors said she would have to take for the rest of her life; her brain had become her number one enemy and her body was quickly following suit.  A mere shadow of the woman she once was… a mere shadow of the woman who stands before you today.  I was merely existing, and rapidly losing the will to live until a simple day out with good friends helped to completely start turning things around.



This is Leya, and this first day spent with her involved a little bit of riding, but also just spending time with Leya, brushing her, being near her.  It was a wonderful experience, but it is the long-term after-effects, of my time spent with her, that is truly amazing.  In the weeks and months that followed, my thought processes started to clear.  I was finally able to get off the medications that had clouded my mind for far to many years.  My energy levels increased slowly, I struggled less and less with depression, and I finally started to lose weight (slowly and steadily), and I rediscovered my joie-de-vivre.  You may wonder what mental illness has to do with horses… well, in my case it has EVERYTHING to do with my choice to be here.  I truly believe that Leya helped to save my life.


I had always dreamed of working with horses, but never thought that it could become a reality.  About a week after my visit with Leya, we found the ad in the local paper for this course with the centre des moissons, and I just knew that I had to find out more.  I attended the information session in the Fall of 2011, and although I needed extra time before registering, I knew it was something I was meant to do. 

Now the doors are wide open, and there are so many possibilities available to me once I complete this course.  I have an idea of where I want to go, but it’s too early for anything concrete… I must leave my options open.  One thing I am 100% certain of, though, is that I hope to have the opportunity in the future to work with horses in a way that can help other people suffering from mental illness, mood disorders, learning disorders, etc.  I am a living example of the therapeutic effect that horses have on humans, and I want to be able to share that gift with others. 

Horses have given me a greater gift than I could ever have hoped for.  They have given me back my fire, my passion for life.  So it is only natural that I now move forward and invest my passion in giving back to them; to enrich their lives as they have enriched mine!"

Friday, September 07, 2012

Epic craziness...

School has been in full swing for a little under 2 weeks now for me, and my head is just swimming with information.  I am pleased to report that the French has not been as overwhelming as I had originally feared it would be... instead, I'm finding that already my French has started to improve by leaps and bounds.  Now I know it's true that the best way to learn/improve a language skill is the proverbial "sink or swim" method!!!

Yesterday we started the portion of the course that will teach us maintenance and driving a tractor.  Today, we took a closer look at some of the basics like how to check the radiator fluid, oil, and transmission fluid.  Yes, we had to climb up on the wheel of the tractor (not an easy feat for someone with short legs like me, I might add ) and get a little dirty... heh heh... it felt pretty good.  A couple of the other students got to drive the tractor today, but since there were 10 of us and only 1 tractor, not everyone got a turn today.  Hopefully 2 other tractors will be ready on Tuesday so that the rest of us can get a turn.  But ACK... the tractor is a manual transmission...it's a little intimidating for me, but I really think this is going to be fun!!!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Day of School for me...

School started officially for me today with a trip to Expo Champs in St-Liboire.  It's basically an agricultural Expo where different people in the domain provide information and services.  It was quite overwhelming as there was so much to see, but also very interesting.  I now have brochures for educational purposes coming out of my ears so to speak... LOL  I even got a free standard size loaf of whole-grain bread from a specialized manufacturer.  There was so many different types of agricultural/farming equipment on display...  this one huge machine for processing cereal grains was particularly impressive.
This is the view from up top of the back of the machine...



This picture was taken in the driver's seat... yes, I think I'll do pretty well driving a tractor :D

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Backfire... WitchHazel 1; The Man 0

The Man hasn't been very supportive of me in regards to the course I will be taking.  He keeps saying that he just can't visualize me doing maintenance on tractors, shovelling horse shit or anything like that.  Today he decided to be a smart-ass and tried to prove his point by asking me if I wanted to "learn" to change the oil on the car... little did he know is that I learned how to change the oil on a car before I ever even met him, and his plan totally backfired on him.  The look on his face was priceless when I competently changed the oil on the car with confidence all by myself.  The only help I needed from him was to loosen the bolt in order to drain the oil because we didn't have a longer ratchet handle and I couldn't get enough torque (he even had trouble loosening the damned bolt).

Needless to say that now he was forced to admit that perhaps he was mistaken in his original opinion.

And so it begins...

This past Thursday I attended the orientation session at the CFP des Moissons which is the school through which I will be taking my Animal Production course.  I met the teachers, and learned a lot more about the type of things I will be learning throughout my training.  All I can say is WOW... it is a little daunting as there is so much to learn, but basically by the end of this course it looks like I will not only be able to more than competently care for horses, but I will also be a little bit of a "jack of all trades".  I will learn to drive a forklift, drive a tractor, and maybe even a truck.. I will know how to grow good quality food for the horses... right down to being able to accurately calculate how much fertilizer I'll need to prepare the field for planting.  I will learn basic plumbing, welding, "oxycoupage", maintenance and repair of farm equipment, and so much more...

My classes start on Tuesday, and although I'm nervous as to how I'll handle the new schedule and all the work (especially because my courses are ALL in FRENCH) , I am very, very, very excited

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Progress...

The past year has been a year of major progress for me in terms of physical and mental health.  I have been free of medications for a year now, and I'm happy to say that I'm doing very well.  Since this time last year, I have lost 55 lbs, and I hadn't even realized just how much of a physical transformation had taken place until I saw a picture of myself that was taken over the July 1st holiday weekend this year and then compared it with pictures taken over the same weekend in 2011.  And now I share them as a reminder to myself of how far I have come, and to encourage others that transformation is indeed possible.



ahhhhh... sometimes change is very, very good!!!!!