Every year for the past three years, we've had Cousins Camp in the summer. Our two grandsons and my sister's granddaughter would come up for the whole week. We would ride horses, make crafts, cook some meals outside, wander through the woods and go on field trips. It was always an exhausting week for me and YOF but the kids loved it and we looked forward to doing it for them every year.
This year, we only have my sister's granddaughter. My grandsons live in Arizona now and their mother won't let us see them this summer ...maybe never again for all we know. We miss them and are sad that we can't see them, but it's a situation we can't control so we will just do what we can and hope the boys come look us up one day.
My niece and YOF and I went to the Dollar Store in town this morning and picked up some little things for a Care Package to send the boys. Silly stuff, simple stuff that will amuse them and hopefully help them to remember us.
After the Dollar Store, we went and watched a Despooking Clinic at the Fairgrounds in town. The local Riding & Driving Club sponsored it. They had different obstacles set up around the arena and people either led or rode their horses around the obstacles to get them desensitized to them. Some of the obstacles were very simple like a black tarp spread out on the ground that the horse had to walk over. The way a horse's eyes are set in his head, he can't see his own feet. He has a blind spot about three feet in front of his nose so he watches before he gets to something and decides what it is and whether it's safe to walk on. That's why when a horse is unsure of an obstacle, like a bridge, he will arch his neck and back up a step or two ...bring it back into vision so he can figure out if it is safe. Other obstacles were things they had to step over, like a piece of black plastic culvert, about 15 inches in diameter. I horse can jump an object two or three feet high with no problem and should be able to step over a 15 inch object. But horses are skeptics and paranoid claustrophics so, in their minds, even a plastic culvert might be a horse-eater.
We watched the clinic and visited with friends for about an hour and then headed over to our favorite little antique store in town. It's run by two sisters, Nellie and Bobbye, who are as sweet as they can be. Our niece is 13 but she loves antiques and found herself a book and ...of all things ...an antique pillbox hat, complete with the black face netting. On the way home, she was sitting in the backseat wearing her hat and reading her book. Got to love a kid that's that easy to please!
She and I worked in the garden a little when we got home. With me working overtime the last three weeks, the weeds and grass have gotten out of hand. We did some weeding and then picked some green beans for supper tonight. So far my vacation is going great.