Monday, May 18, 2015

Parking My A$$

A couple of years ago, I found myself getting snappy with the world despite having not a whole heck of a lot to complain about--I was newly married to a great guy, living in a great little house in the trees that we could afford, and the writing was going well. Yet, I was cranky. So, as I try to do when the snark takes hold (rather than, you know, spewing snark), I stepped back and asked myself, "What gives?" 

And Self said, "I miss having something that's mine." 

Which I supposed was true--in a few short years, I had sold my horses and taken up mountain biking, kayaking and fishing with Arizona, intertwining myself with him and our marriage at so many levels. In a good way, but still. Yeah, I was definitely missing a me-thing.

That surprised me, as I had been blaming the moods on our continued challenges in getting and staying pregnant. But that was part of it, wasn't it? Because that, too, was at least partly something I was doing for someone else, though a not-yet-born someone. 

So what could I do that was mine

Somewhere on my nebulous bucket list was the line item "volunteer," as my prior life had been rather selfish, all in all. But where? My first choice would be a cat rescue, but I know myself well enough to predict that: a) it would break my heart to see kitties in distress; b) I would want to bring them all home; and c) I actually would bring enough of them home that it would become a problem at some point. So horses seemed the far safer choice--I knew enough to be useful, yet had BTDT enough that I wouldn't get hooked on a pretty face and a sad story. Besides, Arizona's and my little house in the trees doesn't have enough room for a pony.

A bit of Google-Fu yielded the name of an equine rescue some ten miles away, and an email netted me the info that they were running a three-day training session for new volunteers the following month. And I found my Me Thing.

This is Beech Brook Farm, as shown to you by a website I built and maintain for the rescue. I get my quiet time doing chores there. I fill my creative well by helping rehab the horses and donkeys we rescue from auction and neglect, and helping to find them wonderful new homes so we have room and resources to do it all again. And I have made fabulous new friends.

Like me, many of the volunteers have a reason for being there, some hole we're filling by giving back. Others just want to give and keep giving, or to have access to horsey smells and nuzzles without all the bills that come with ownership. Or … or … It's a community. People. Animals. Healing. The farm is an important part of many of our lives, and it has saved more than a hundred horses and donkeys since opening its doors in '07.  But …

And (sigh) there's a but. 

You see, the farm is losing its farm. Er … okay, that was an awkward sentence if ever there was one. Let me try again ... The property BBFER has been leasing is up for sale, and the rescue will soon be without a home. We're fundraising like crazy to support the lease or purchase of a new property, and the costs of moving twenty or so critters and all the sheds, fencing and equipment that goes with them. So I'm doing something I rarely (never?) do on this blog. I'm asking you to please donate, if at all possible. Every little bit will help give us volunteers our animal therapy and help save more baby mini horses

baby mini donkeys

and hard-knock campaigners like Rhett, who is a personal favorite of mine, Gone With the Wind (gag) name notwithstanding: 

Here is the crowd funding link. If nothing else, go visit it because I helped write the copy! Then, if you can, throw a few bucks toward BBFER. It's an accredited nonprofit, and every dollar goes directly to helping the horses (I'm on the board of directors now; I can attest to this!). 

Okay, getting off my soapbox now, and wishing you all a wonderful week, full of the soft whiskers of your choice, and plenty of time for you own personal Me Stuff. And if you'd like to share your Me Things in the comments, I'd love to hear them!


  1. Totally get that no "me-time" = snappy, as it's a little scarce around here right now (soon, very soon I'll get it back). Not sure what the new me-time is going to be, but it needs to take me away from the house.

    As for your work and the rest of the volunteers at BBFER, thank you. I think it's wonderful that you all give of yourself and help save these precious babies.

    1. Thank you, my friend! And YES to me time = out of house! I've been bringing Wallaby to the barn, but foresee a time soon when Arizona is going to get some Dad Time while I bugger off ;) Wishing you good writing, as I know you're in DeadlinesVille!

  2. Time with horses is so healing. When they've been out of our lives for awhile and we've endured some of life's curve balls, horses help make us whole again.

    Beech Brook Farm does good work. It rehabs equines for re-homing. I donated.

    1. Thank you, Rhonda, for the donation and the share! And truer words have never been spoken on the healing front. Yeah. What she said :)

  3. Central Virginia Horse Rescue had to make a move recently and found a wonderful new place. I hope the same happens for Beech Brook Farm. Volunteering is good for the soul. I'm the human half/dog chauffeur of a pet-assisted therapy team. My horses are sending a donation through PayPal. :)

  4. Donated, Jess. Hope you all find a wonderful new home!