11/4/13 Monday

I took my time leaving True West since I couldn’t enter the KY cabin until 4:00 and it was such a short haul. I’m just on the other (KY) side of the Big South Fork area now.  I went thru Jamestown and stopped at Tractor Supply (my new favorite store) for 10 bags of easier-to-pick-fine shavings (which I needed for this place). After using the sawdust that the camps use, I decided I like this method better.  The shavings are used to keep the stall clean of waste, not to make a soft fluffy bedding.  I ended up buying much more stuff as usual:  salt blocks (eliminating another one of my supplement mixture), ground feeder buckets (since I’m now feeding a feed), gloves (I lost mine), socks (to keep up with my underwear count so I don’t have to do laundry so often), sealant (to try and fix the leak in the trailer roof) and a snaffle bit/hanger/reins for Wildflower.  She is going back to basics.  I decided she is scared on the trail and creating much of my problems with her.  Also since her back is so short and I can’t keep the saddle far enough forward, it ends up on her hips which bounces me around too much.  I had thought it was that she wasn’t bringing her back up and collecting which may be part of it too.  So I’m going back to my english saddle which stays in place much better and is easier for me to stay in 2 point without banging my pubic bone on the horn or pommel (I tried Dreamy’s dressage saddle on her and this happened).

I tried to use the hot tub last night but can’t figure out how to get it hotter than 82 degrees which was not warm enough for me to stay outside (it is pretty darn nippy at night here).  But this cabin is so cool.  Totally private and comfy.  I slept great.  Their movie dvd collection included my all time favorite movie The Man from Snowy River! Thank you Heather for showing me this movie!  I only got part way thru it before I got too sleepy.

A place like this is actually not much more money than it is to stay at a horsecamp.  It came out to $89/night, which was a special deal (5 nights in the cabin & 2 nights in the trailer). I want to do a cost per night review of the different type of places so far (Nat’l Forest camp: Eastman Lake in CA & Pine Valley in UT; Horse motel B&B: Tin Acres in KS; Horse Camps (4J in MO, Lonesome D in AR, True West in TN); private cabin (Bear Den in KY).  I probably won’t meet many people here but I’m not one to miss people much any way.  My alone time clears my head of a bunch of noise.  Not great when I am depressed but I’m not right now.  I hope to get some painting done here.  I have AR and TN’s paintings planned and am ready to start them.

Last night I had a welcome wagon visitor. A young black lab who is totally obsessed with playing fetch dropped a stick just inside the trailer door as I was settling in.  She/he does not have a collar on and stuck to me like glue for hours, repeatedly dropping a stick at my feet until I’d toss it. Would not sit, lay down or anything else.  Incredible energy level.  She finally went away after I came inside for a while.  I assume/hope that she has a home nearby.

I do have cell service so I called my dad, he’s doing well and I told him I will be there by early December, maybe earlier.  I am disappointed that my phone tells me I am not subscribed to a data plan now.  I have to call Straight Talk and work that out.  This means sitting on hold for an hour probably…

11/5/13 (I am 59-1/2 today…eventful to anyone with an IRA)

…no it means I had to go to a gas station to use a different phone and call them back only to be told that I also need wi-fi at the same time…this is probably not worth the trouble.  Things like another phone and wi-fi are not readily available in remote rural areas. I can make calls with my phone and catch up on internet stuff like emails, Facebook and my blog when I go to McDonalds (they have wi-fi). Its the old me that is hung up on not having internet all the time.  I really don’t need it that often any more.

I spoke with Tommy on the phone last night.  Its so good to hear his voice, texting does not do this.

I think my divorce court hearing is today but its probably has been “continued” or what ever they call it.  This too is out of my hands. Its really hard to accept that.  I have to trust my lawyer and a judge who I don’t know at all to decide how it all will be wrapped up.

Part of my old-me-anxiety was the inability to prevent bad things from happening to me and the people and animals I loved, and often to any living creature on the planet.  These bad things break my heart and scare me way too much, they always have, but I am learning to let go of my anxiety and fear about it all. I am powerless in most of these scenarios, only God can control the outcomes. I can just live my life to the best of my limited abilities and continue to ask Him to take the wheel.

I ponied the girls yesterday.  I used the snaffle on WF which did help keeping her a bit more collected. The trail was deeply rutted and filled with smelly sucky mud at times and WF has developed a new aversion to this. I had to tie her to a tree, go back and get Dreamy (who I had to let go of to get out of the log jam we had), walk her thru the muck, tie her to another tree then go back and ride WF thru it and untie D.  I am jealous (and frustrated) by the magnetic allure they have with each other.  But I am learning to use it to get thru jams.

We then rode up to the Nat’l Forest’s horse camp.  There wasn’t a soul there.  The sites each have standing tie-up stalls for several horses.  They are basically narrow metal cross ties.  I have heard from other campers that they have used these for several days at a time.  It seems cruel to me.  I X off my list any camps that have them.

The trails seem pretty but I was too busy ponying and juggling my new snaffle reins and the pony rope to enjoy them.  I have no idea what the footing was since it was covered with leaves.  This concerned WF as well much of the time.

I got in the hot tub before bed, and boiled my aching body.  Ahhhhhh

Oh, and they found my prescription clear glasses that I like to drive with at True West (in the round pen) and are sending them to a house nearby that agreed to let me use their address.  One less annoying errand chore thing I won’t have to do now. I have sunglass prescription glasses but they don’t help too much in the dark!

At McDonald’s I read an email from Dr Bamford.  She is my vet back in CA that has been kindly advising me thru my trip.  She has gotten some Adequan in and will send it to my next stop.  Dreamy has been without it for quite a while now since it became unavailable last summer and I know it helps her arthritis.  This is great.

I stocked up on groceries in Whitley City.  The check out girl asked me if I found everything I was looking for and I said I couldn’t find the beer.  She said this was a dry county.  No alcohol at all any where. I didn’t know this still existed.

“You have to treat the mountains like a spirited horse, never take them for granted.”  “Its the same with people, Jim”

I just finished watching The Man from Snowy River.  I will never tire of this movie.

I rode Dreamy today for a couple of hours.  I will never tire of riding her, she is so amazing.  We went to the river, its a pretty big river and it was gorgeous.  The little black lab that hangs around here followed us, she is a great trail dog!  But as soon as I got back here she is with her stick…she is obsessed with playing fetch.  Eventually she tired and her owner whistled for her to go home.  Along the ride I stopped to chat with two older guys from northern KY.  One was riding in blue jean overalls and english paddock boots. I thought that was cute.  They were looking for the scenic overlook which happened to be on the hand drawn map I have.  They said they had been there before and its beautiful so on my way back I checked it out.  It was worth the detour!  On the approach to our “neighborhood” Dreamy, eager to see her buddy/tormentor, loped through the woods on a barely visible winding trail.  I felt like the man from snowy river chasing the wild horse herd!  What a blast.  She has no trouble weaving in and out at a lope!

11/6/13 Wednesday

I took a hot bath last night and laid down on the sofa before it was dark and fell asleep. Its now 5am and I have been out on the porch drinking coffee and smoking.  The stars are abundant.  I was thinking about stuff. I started my trip planning last summer and named it SHLEP. It stood for Soul-searching, Home-searching, Liberating, Equestrian, Party.  I was thinking about how Party was out of place and never felt honest.  I didn’t feel like partying any more. I was too sad about how my life had turned out. I used Party to make it sound more fun to myself and to others. I was thinking about how I had not had the Party part yet and then decided that its not Party at all.  The P is for Praise. The one thing that stands out so far is that God is with me and is helping me heal myself.  I listen to a lot of Christian Rock music when I am driving between states and sometimes when I ride, especially on Dreamy. (Wildflower requires too much of my attention!)  In CA I always rode with my iPod Shuffle.  My play list after I moved out of the house (Fall 2012) consisted of mostly female vocalists singing songs about survival, angry at a man, showing them how they will move on, get over them, show them that they are sorry they left or hurt them.  I’d ride in Cherry Canyon feeling the music, dropping the reins and feeding off my horses energy which would enter my legs and course thru my body.  For Christmas my daughter gave me a CD of “God Songs” and asked me to go to church.  It was La Canada Presbyterian Church and they played these songs there too.  I would hide in a dark corner and cry most of the time.  By the time I left CA (9/18/13) I was sitting in the front row.  I was still crying a lot but it felt good then.  I knew God was going to help me.  The band was amazing and the young ministers, especially Megan and Eric, always seemed to be talking to me personally. Now I only listen to God Songs.  My new favorite is Always Reign.  The lyrics are so perfect.  I don’t know them all correctly but here are some of my version:

“You are hope, you are hope when the world is caving in, you are love, you are love when the world is suffering, you are life, you are life when my world is going to end, you are here, you are here when there is no one around…and oh! I’m running to your arms, I’m running to your arms, the beauty of your love will always be enough. Nothing compares to your embrace, Light of the world forever reign!”

I’m sure I’ve got them all wrong, sorry to the brilliant person who wrote this song.  I listen to the live version where you can hear hundreds of people singing along.  thank you Hillsong Live for recording this song, it has truly lifted my heart.

When I lived in NYC in the 80’s I had a lot of Jewish friends.  We used the word shlep to mean dragging yourself from one boring place to another, dragging dumb crap around with you, doing another dull meaningless chore or errand that had to be done.  To others it wasn’t fitting to the supposedly exciting journey I was planning.  But in early 2013 that was how I truly felt my life was so it fit me fine. In the 80’s I was an ultra successful sales person living in Manhattan. I was in my 30’s, so young and full of life and confidence. I went to all the clubs at night, I entertained huge clients at the best restaurants and theaters. I was making a ton of money and spending it too.  I had a 2,000 square foot loft, a BMW, Armani clothes and Ferragamo shoes.  I vacationed in Europe, skied out west, went to B&B’s on the weekends.  I had my pick of men. I chose Bill…we were married for 23 years, that is such a long time. I have 3 beautiful children. And I’m broken inside. I don’t know how I endured, but I did and I will heal, with the grace of God.  I Praise Him.


Kim, the owner of this The Bear Den cabin arrives tomorrow from Ohio. She’s bringing people and horses.  She sells Rocky Mountain horses.  I will move into the trailer when they get here.

It poured last night.  Today’s high will be in the 50’s, low 30’s tonight.  Too cold to be in the trailer.  I need propane too.  I don’t like being out of touch with my lawyer, not that he was ever very hand holding, but there is a court date this month.  I wish I knew what was going on.

I have spent the bulk of this morning mulling thru my photo album  on my computer for the last year or so.  So much has happened and changed.  I’ve lost 3 dogs…  My house, my constant contact with my kids, my dumb little apartment. I don’t know what the future holds for me nor how to shape it. Its a scary feeling.

I can’t afford to stay at horse camps.  My support was reduced when Rachel turned 18. What system came up with this age, right when college tuition kicks in?  I have 3 kids in college right now. I am almost 60 years old. I have eliminated my rent, horse boarding, utility bills, eating out, buying clothes, getting my hair cut, internet and tv satellite. And I still can not make ends meet.  How can this be fair?  If you saw how he lives you would question it too. He probably thinks I should ”just get a job”… I don’t want to go into that story now.

I will have to stay at forest service and state parks.  I will have to get comfortable in a primitive site, I have a generator.  I don’t know how long a tank of propane lasts for it.  The monitor on the black tank is obviously broken.

on way to Bear Creek overlook, I love these red things

on way to Bear Creek overlook, I love these red things


WF waiting for me to check out the broken bow arch

WF waiting for me to check out the broken bow arch

my tag along buddy loves playing fetch

my tag along buddy loves playing fetch

Black lab followed (or led) us on our trail ride to the river

Black lab followed (or led) us on our trail ride to the river

Bear Den cabin, I'm really living comfy this week

Bear Den cabin, I’m really living comfy this week


Bear Creek in Big South Fork, KY

Bear Creek in Big South Fork, KY

au natural paddocks (and comfy stalls in barn at night)

au natural paddocks (and comfy stalls in barn at night)

5 thoughts on “Kentucky

  1. Kathy, I am embracing the “new you” and I love her! I also loved the old Kathy but the new one is right where you need to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. I looks just beautiful there Kathy, and I’m so glad that you’re getting to enjoy it all with your horses. I showed some of your latest posts and photos to Mom last night and asked her if she wanted to leave a message, but she couldn’t think of what to say. It would have been difficult to say much anyway because all we had was my iphone. Her computer has totally crashed, now showing what Doug used to call “the blue screen of death.” She keeps asking me to advise her/help her fix it, but I know nothing about PC’s and the darn thing is over 10 years old.

    I’m pretty worried about her lately. Her mental abilities are slipping faster than before and she has received a letter from the state of PA saying that her drivers license may be suspended if she doesn’t have some doctors fill out some forms about her medical/mental/cognitive level of functioning. She sent them in today. One of the doctor’s used the word “dementia” on their form and Mom went berserk. She is still prone to bouts of “mini-paranoia” and she can get pretty nasty. Enough that it makes me want to just back out and say “you’re on your own with this.”

    Tracy’s cat Scamper (the big black one – 14 years old at least) has been diagnosed with cancer in her spleen. Tracy and I are struggling with getting pain medicine in her, and deciding when to do the inevitable euthanasia.

    My new job went totally sour when I got out of 5 weeks training and started actually taking phone calls. I got the worst case of generalized anxiety that I’ve ever experienced and quit on the 6th day. Words can not describe how disappointed I am with myself. I’m taking Klonopin almost every day and have crawled back to my good old therapist who I haven’t been able to afford to see for many months. I’m feeling pretty desperate, but the Klonopin does help me keep my wits enough to appear “okay.”

    Dad is always good to talk to, but I try not to let on to him how bad I’m doing because there’s nothing he can say to really help solve the problem. Even money can’t fix the problem I’m having these days.

    Hope I haven’t bummed you out too much by sharing all this so openly. Thanks for all your posts though. It really is nice to hear what you are doing, the good and the bad. I love you Kathy. Take care!!!


    • I’m so sorry you are dealing with all this alone. Dad has been such a great support to me mostly by being an awesome listener. No one can fix me but God but Dad has held me up so I can keep putting one foot in front of the other.
      I love you.


  3. Kathy. I enjoy reading about your journey. I’m inspired with your growing trust on our kind Lord.
    Please enjoy the journey with no money worries. You could live here as long as you like. Rent free. My husband and I always felt this house was for who ever needed it. They’d come to us. So
    Trust and know you are loved and supported.
    God bless and keep you safe


  4. I don’t know you, but my spirit connects with your words and pictures… I am sure that God has a plan for you and the path you are on. Your message offers hope, and life, as you find the personal plan He has planned for your life. And horses, well, they are just God’s gift to us to carry us thru. Keep writing! I want to hear and see all about your paths.


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