Friday, March 7, 2014

Updates with a little more detail

A lot has been going on lately. I got married, Michael's best friend died and my volunteer work finally got rolling. Obviously some things have more of an impact on my life than others, but I feel that I shouldn't neglect writing about the other sides of my life.

First of all, I don't like to wear rings for long periods of time. I'm not a ring person. Unfortunately, when you get married, you are supposed to wear that ring forever. The fact that it scares away harassing males is the best thing about the ring, but it being on my finger is the worst. It gives me calluses when I shovel, it makes loud noises when I put my hand on things and when Michael is holding my hand and squeezes it, it hurts like hell.

My last name is still Planken. I planned to have it as Planken-Reeves. But when Michael said he wouldn't (hypothetically) be willing to take my name and understand if I didn't want to change mine, I decided to keep my own. Marriage is not something I put a lot of value in, and frankly, I find it a little archaic that women still change their name. It is annoying that everyone assumes I'm now Doni Reeves though. Do I correct them, or just let them think it and hope they don't feel deceived if they find out I'm still Planken?

For Michael marriage seems to make a big difference. His whole attitude slightly changed toward more serious and husbandly. Not a bad change, but a surprising one for sure. We'll see if it stays. I have my doubts.

I have volunteered 3 times this week (and 2 times in the other weeks) at the horse farm. My training is now complete and I can start reaping the benefits. The owner actually didn't need more volunteers at the barn I was trained, but she has 3 "barns" total and her breeding/quality horse facility needed one. She said Wednesday morning and Friday evening were open. I am hesitant to sacrifice a Friday evening, I told her Wednesday was not a problem but Friday I would have to discuss at home. She ended up switching a girl from the Riding Barn to the Breeding Barn (she wanted that anyway) and I'll take her shift on Tuesday from 3 to 7. Sounds perfect to me together with the Wed. morning one in the Breeding Barn. Furthermore, I now get 2 free riding lessons a week. There are 4 options throughout the week, she signed me up for all of them so I can see which ones suits me best.

4 lessons next week, I'm going to feel so violated.

The Breeding Barn has different tasks than the Riding Barn. For one, you work alone (that's a plus for me). Second, you feed them, bring the horses who were on the pastures at night in the stalls, and those who were in the stalls at night out to the pastures (but the horses do all have their own stall, they don't share). Then you clean out the stables of the horses who are now in the pastures and refill them. Put some hay in the stalls and then put all the mucked out manure in a sort cart that you drive with a mini/4 quad car and spread out over the terrain.

It doesn't sound much, but we were with 3 people and it took 2.5h! I can imagine I will take 4-5 hours the first time I will do it by myself. But on the bright side, when you are done you are done. The Riding Barn needs you to stay from x to x time, for children need supervision, so this is a big difference.

Concerning the demise of Michael's best friend; it has been in the news. However, the story doesn't quite add up and everyone is trying to figure out what really happened. I ask you to remain sceptical and draw your own conclusions. Please accept that his friend was a highly intelligent and rational person who always has been very empathetic towards others. Do not blindly believe what the media/government tells you and keep your eyes open. I doubt the full truth will ever be known about what really happened that day. But I know this story has too many holes to bring anyone closure.

And that doesn't make it any easier.

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