Me & my horses.

- the trails of my life

Heather's Blog

Archiving my Intro

Posted by Heather on December 29, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (1)

I posted this May 8th 2011, before I left Japan: 


Who am I? What a BIG question! Let's just stick to what I'm up to at the moment.


Right now I'm preparing for some huge life changes. - - -


I've been married to the man of my dreams since 2003, but we've been in a relationship since way back in 1998. We've been cruising around the world doing the military thing for the last 6 years and things are changing. We've decided not to reenlist and to take advantage of a program that will get us back home faster.


For the moment (and last 2+) years, we live in Japan. He works as a military police officer and I've been primarily a homemaker. It's been fun but I miss my horses and my family!


Once we're done here, we'll be moving back to Wixom, Michigan. There is a 12 acre parcel of property with our name on it that shares a property line with Proud Lake State Park. Proud Lake was one of my most favorite places to ride back in Michigan. I am very excited.


In addition to the land we're planning on building a house. Not just ANY old house but an eco house. Learning about all the green technologies that are available is really fulfilling and I'm going to enjoy all the benefits once we get it finished.


My next plan is our own facility. I want a barn that has room for my own horses as well as a couple of private boarders. I've got big ideas for an arena, private tack lockers and some beautiful turn out paddocks. It's time to follow my dreams.

Time to update.

Posted by Heather on December 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

This year has been, rough? 

I went through a long period of depression. Exercise and counseling has helped me a lot. I've lost 20 pounds (maybe minus a few, thanks Christmas! lol) and I've been really learning to be myself again. I have a lot of things to work through but, I'm doing it. 

The saddest thing, to me, is how dissapointed I am in the fact that Aaron and I were promised things that never happened. He's having trouble at work, still. I got banished from my MIL's barn after being ruthlessly attacked verbally by her and her boyfriend. Two of her horses died this month and both for reasons I would call neglect. That brings her number up to ... six horses now that I KNOW she played a part in their deaths. I tried to help, but there is only so much you can do. 

I guess it's a blessing in disguise,  I no longer have to go break my back for nothing. I also don't have to see the wasted beautiful facility any more or the horses in their conditions. Keeping toxic things out of my life is a process and that is just one part of it. I mean after THIS, who wouldn't? 

All the things I do and have done for you it's the attitude that is not becoming and the self righteous you owe me attitude that disturbs me! 

Your unhappiness is because of you and no one else. You need to appreciate things and wake up to reality that you're not the one and only. -- Appreciate things and work together without the 'better than thou attitude'.

I put a lot of money in her through the years. (7+\-) shots, feeding etc. You should just give her to me! But no you act like a spoiled girl wanting everyone to take care of you.

We are no closer to moving out of the model house. I am still grateful and blessed to have this roof over my head, it's a lovely house but not what we wanted for our future. The house in GA hasn't sold and A. We don't really want to move back there B. while it's for sale we can't finance any other home. It's okay for now though, we have this one. 

Aaron is going to get a POC Firefighter job for our city. I know he's excited about that, maybe it will open some more doors for him? I'm still trying to figure out what to do with myself. I want to contribute financially as well as all the other ways I contribute. I mean, my horse is boarded out and I hate that Aaron is paying for it out of 'his' money. I want to take care of my own hobby costs? 

Looking back at what I wrote a year ago, it's pretty upsetting that nothing has changed. In fact, lots of things have gotten worse. I'm ready for a change and I feel one coming. I can only take so much. 

Breyer Ornament Wish List

Posted by Heather on December 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Last year at Christmas, I put up a mini tree and it was 'my tree' where I displayed my collectible horse themed ornaments. The pride of my collection had been the Breyer Beautiful Breeds series that had begun in 2003, the year that Aaron and I got married. 

I only had three, but I loved them and wanted to continue to add to the collection, hopefully completing it and then adding the new one each year. 

Disaster struck. The tree toppled because the base was not heavy enough and it crashed to the floor. Most of my ornaments broke and all the porcelain ones shattered. I was so mad at myself and sad that one of the few things that I wanted for just myself got ruined. 

I also discovered when researching replacing them that the collection had been quite valuable. If I had all of them it would be worth around 500$ and growing from there. The first one in the series alone, will cost at least 100$ to replace. 

I'll use this journal entry to keep track of my efforts. Aaron was sad for me, because this year I voiced my hurts and he got me the 2013 ornament (2) to help me get started again. One is to display, and one is to save. I mean, it was 15$ so getting a double didn't seem too silly. Especially if in a few years I can sell it to recoup some of the money I will be spending on the older ornaments. 

I was just able to locate a small online store that had the 2008, and 2012 ornaments for TEN dollars!! That is so exciting. If it goes well, I will buy duplicates and put those aside to sell also. I love the thrill of hunting for the best bargain and finding a treasure where no one else has looked!! 

Here is the list as of 2013 and the prices I have found them for - 


2003 - Chestnut Arabian $99.00 -$114.00

2004- Friesian  $42.00-$46.00 PURCHASED 2014 for $22.50

2005 - Saddlbred $42.00-$84.00 PURCHASED 2014 for $20


2006 Quarter Horse $30.00 - $65.00

2007 Appaloosa $42.00 - $54.00


2008 Clydesdale $22.00 - $40.00 PURCHASED 2013 for $10

2009 Andalusian $27.00 - $35.00

Looks like I found a place that has it for $18.00 - Above the welsh pony 700509

HERE also


2010 Welsh Pony $34.99 - $38.99 PURCHASED 2014 for $17

Looks like I found a place that has it for $18.00!!! Towards the bottom - 700510

2011 Mustang (none for sale 2013, past sold for $35.00) 

I found a place that seems to have it for 17.99 !!! PURCHASED 2014 for $18.99


2012 Peruvian Paso PURCHASED 2013 for $10


2013 Warmblood PURCHASED 2013 for $15.00 


Well Crap.

Posted by Heather on January 24, 2013 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

So, Navy Federal will not give us another loan even with a cosigner. :( We own a house in GA already and I guess that's just too much debt. Even though our mortgage has never been late, ever. We also have renters in it that cover the payment. It's next to a Navy base, it will ALWAYS have renters. 

Such a shame that we can't just move it up here. Problems would be totally solved. 

This sucks. 

Been a while

Posted by Heather on January 11, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

This post is just going to be a mish mosh. 

We've been in the states for about a year and it's been crazy with ups and downs. *sigh* 

First things first I am going to make a list of what I want. Just me, just Heather. 


  • A home that is peaceful, settled and out of the crossfire
    • this will include rooms that feel open, and can handle our furniture
    • a kitchen that is functional and makes it easy to do my cooking and storage
    • not condusive to clutter
    • space for my hobby room
    • it should feel like a refuge
    • I want to use our furniture, finally. So nice size rooms
    • something I can make into MINE. I want to grow roots.
  • A yard that can be an oasis
    • this will include safe fencing and room for the dogs
    • space for a garage/shed
    • garden space
    • possibility to have a small coop
    • room for children to play
    • must feel private
  • Access to my horse(s)
    • a barn that is functional
    • clean space 
    • trainer
    • the ability to ride 'out' (arena, ring, trails)
    • attend shows
    • joy instead of anguish
  • To discover more of myself
    • classes? 
    • time spent pursuing hobbies like maybe writing and painting more. Sculpting.
    • turn some of my abilities into money
    • seriously pursue fitness and health
  • Find PEACE
    • settle down and relax. A home I love will be a big part of this.
    • let go of more things, hang onto what's important
    • dream more, be more positive 
    • Stop giving in to anxiety

So, I think I have a starting point. This whole time I haven't been able to settle for real. It's been momentary at best an then turns back into an up and down. I need concrete plans. I can't stand not knowing what we're doing. I had too many years of that and too many times since we've been home where that happened. It crushes me to get my hopes up, to plan to be excited and then have it all dashed. I have turned into a more pessimistic person and have lost a lot of joy. I can't keep that up. 

I need to be able to settle in somewhere, find my peace and begin the rest of my life. I'm tired of anxiety. I'm sure there's more that belongs on that list, but it's a beginning and something for me to work on and look at. I'm ready to move on, and limbo isn't suiting me. 


Finally Fitness

Posted by Heather on March 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)


Last week Aaron and I went "gym shopping" and we settled on Powerhouse. We checked out Lifetime Fitness and it was just way too posh and snobby for us. I mean the amenities are super nice and the classes are awesome but for 1/3 less we can go to Powerhouse and get all that without the bling. At the end of the day it's a building you pay to go sweat in. I could care less about the cafe and juice bar or the fact that the staff is wearing dress pants & ties. 

Tomorrow we'll be going in for our fitness assessment. I'm not looking forward to it more than I am. I mean, do I really need someone with fat calipers to pinch me and tell me I'm overweight? I know I am. I also know why. It's part of the membership though so I'm going to try and be as positive about it as I can. 

My goals are important to me, they have to be. It took me three years to gain weight and get to this point so I know it's not going to go away overnight. I have to commit to eating better, doing more and making good choices. I've got to remind myself every day of what I'm working toward and why. I have to start thinking like my fit self rather than my fat self. I can't think about how I'm going to lose my bust, but how I'll be gaining a whole body I love rather than just my chest. I'm NOT happy with myself and it's taking a toll on almost everything. 

So from now on, we'll be going to the gym after work. My ultimate goal will be 5 days a week, 3 classes and 2 lifting days. I think I can do well with that schedule and weekends off? I don't know, I'll figure it out as I go. I plan to use MyFitnessPal again to track my nutrition. I have to give up the whiskey and cokes and the slacker cooking. I have to make good choices when we go out to eat and we need to eat in more. I need to embrace the SUCK. It's going to be really crappy a lot of the time when I'm missing the goodies. The thing is, having all the goodies and not enough crappy has gotten me to this size and this condition. It's not worth it anymore! 

It feels AMAZING to have a real schedule. A really real (for real!) life schedule. I can make use of my time, I can find healthy organic foods and I can actually go to the gym. I'm thrilled. I just have to remember that it's a journey and I have to keep going. If I can make it to the summit of Mt. Fuji, I can do this

Things I need to blog about:

Posted by Heather on March 4, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)


  1. Um, I'm back in AMERICA! 
  2. Each of the horses.
  3. The Tanglewood (temp house) 
  4. The Wixom Property.
  5. My fitness goals.
  6. My job and social life.
  7. More? 

I'm sure there's more, but I'm a tad blogged out for now. I'll be back. 


Things I can do now

Posted by Heather on December 7, 2011 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

get a fish

collect things

have traditions

plant a garden and/or houseplants

enter cooking contests

take classes

have a job

Make friends

Have an established circadian rhythm!

Looking forward to (Pt 1)

Posted by Heather on November 19, 2011 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (2)

I thought it would be nice, for posterity, to make an entry about some of the things I'm really looking forward to. Most of them are domestic and without living in Japan I would have never been as grateful for things as I am now. So, there's that pretty cool life lesson. Living without something makes you nearly painfully aware of how important it was to you. My sense of gratitude has been honed by this experience for sure.

No particular order-

I cannot wait to have an American sized refrigerator. 

I don't know if you can tell by the photo above or not, but that fridge is about half the size of an American style one and the freezer is about the size of my microwave. I have learned to shop often (fun! NOT.) and to buy products that will fit. There are things that I simply cannot buy ever, or have to plan carefully for.

Like a whole chicken. If I buy one I have to be certain that there is room in my fridge (rare) or use it that day. There is no way I am taking up a third of my precious freezer space to store it. Certain items come in packaging that will just never fit (like a gallon of milk) and I can't buy a frozen pizza unless I want it that night. 

Because of that fridge/freezer I've learned to make a lot of foods myself. I've pretty much perfected my pizza dough now. I have also perfected the art of what we lovingly call 'Jenga house' or 'fridge tetris'. I have never crammed and shoved and piled things together so much in my life. It drives me batty. I love to have things stored in an organized way and sometimes the only way to make things fit is to turn a jar of pickles on its side and pray it doesn't leak. 

The freezer situation also makes it so that I cannot store many home made things. I end up sharing half of my recipe most of the time. I absolutely long for the day that I can store vegetable scraps or chicken bones so that I can make my own stock and then freeze that! I would love to be able to buy sale items and keep those in the freezer. I daydream about making big batches of soups etc. and having them for later. Simple things like that. 

I have also learned about what I really need and use. It's nice to know that the contents are rotated frequently and there aren't any mysterious frostbitten things languishing in the back. I am more aware of food waste and I'm grateful for that too. I don't go crazy buying things because they're on sale and I rely a lot more on fresh things since I just can't sacrifice freezer space for frozen vegetables or whatever. 

Next, I daydream about an American dishwasher! 

Do you see mine? It's right there. No, that's not another microwave. It's my dishwasher, really! Yes, I am happy to have that thing but only happy like a person eating a pudding cup with a fork. 

It helps but it's still a pain in the butt to do 3 loads of dishes a day and only 75% of my dishes fit in there. I cook a lot at home and there are always, ALWAYS dishes sitting in my sink waiting to be washed. I hate that! 

Oh ho... just wash your dishes by hand you say? Notice there is no spot for a drying rack. Also, I hate hand washing unless I have to. I grew up without a dishwasher and my goodness did I feel like I died and went to heaven when I moved into my first apartment with one. That was only 6 years ago! 

I am really, really looking forward to being able to wash my cutting boards, large pots and bakeware in a dishwasher again. I've come to appreciate my new talent though. The talent of fitting as much as I can in that little box. I am the master at 'dish tetris'. I can fit an amazing amount of stuff in there. It's to the point where I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all the space in a big one? I'll have to learn how to 'un-cram-ify' my technique. Ha! 

Next is that pathetic range. I hate it so much that I imagine running it over with a steam roller pretty much every day. Thanks to it, it takes me 8 batches to bake one recipe of cookies. It only fits a small cookie sheet and it sucks to wait for six cookies at a time. Also, it heats so unevenly that I can pretty much guarantee burning in some area of whatever I'm baking. I also cannot cook anything very large, so I haven't made a turkey in years.  It is 20X20 centimeters. Forget putting a large pot on the top and using any of the other burners! Pasta AND sauce, simultaneously? Certainly, you jest.

That is if the thing wants to turn on at all. I have to light the burners manually with a lighter probably a quarter of the time and the oven will often just run gas and not light. Then when it does finally light itself sometimes you get the 'KAPOWBOOM' when it kind of explodes. Or it will say it is on and be doing absolutely nothing. Because of this monster I haven't baked a pie in three years. I hope when they take it out of here it goes to some sort of torture camp for evil appliances.

I think when I get back to the states and settled into our temp home. I am going to be on a baking/cooking/rolling around on the floor of the kitchen in ecstasy spree the likes of which Michigan has never seen. So, if you live within traveling distance I'll probably have a pie for you to pick up. 

Also, here is a picture of Aaron with a tiny lawn mower. You're welcome!

One Step Closer

Posted by Heather on November 18, 2011 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Albeit a tiny step. Thursday Aaron and I went to his medical appointment to get the Doctor to approve his 'fit for active duty' status. We were there for 30 minutes and the 'exam' took 5 of those. I love how they made us wait days for an appointment to get a stupid signature. Now the list of 'stuff that needs signed' is finished and Aaron turned it in today and the paperwork is going up to the Captain. Let us hope that the squirrels a feeling expeditious!

                                               "Operation Escape Japan is a GO Captain!"            


*did I just google 'squirrel in uniform'? Yes. Yes I did. 

Now for some mundane tidbits:

  1. I've been battling an online crafts person for the last 10 weeks. I commissioned and paid for a custom rope halter and lead set. It has never arrived and they are dicking me around about it. I've asked for a refund and haven't gotten that either. UGH. 
  2.  I have become hopelessly addicted to a website called Pinterest. 
  3. I still can't decide on the first place I want to go out to eat when we get back to America. Who knew that would even be a thing I would worry about?
  4. Finally busted out the heating blanket and also almost burned down the house when a plug and socket burst into flames on Thursday. 
  5. Last but not least, I got a copy of a book I've been waiting to come out forever. Yay books!