Chaos of the Month

Sorry the post is SOOOOOO late. We’ve been super busy with projects, which are awesome. I’m having a blast participating in them.

Firstly, we started a great project I saw on Good Morning America (yes, I watch morning news programs: I like to stay informed). I have to say, I’m so excited we worked on this project. It was a blast. I saw this challenge with my person when it was featured on Good Morning America (again, we try to stay informed, in a positive way), and knew that my herd could participate.

I know it might be strange, a toy wanting to do a kindness to someone else, but we have hearts, too, and positivity is our motto. Is there anything better than getting a new toy? It’s just a bit more of a challenge for us, as we can’t talk, or walk, or move any part of our bodies. That didn’t stop us, though.

We can write, and we can draw, and we certainly can color, and all of that helps us to complete these challenge. We downloaded the list and went through to find what we could definitely help with.

Here are some pictures of us preparing:

It has been a beautiful project, and we couldn’t be happier with it. There was so much joy and kindness shared, and the pictures we saw of other projects were fantastic!

The next week we started a new project: helping Palm to Paws Rescue Farm. To understand the farm, I have to finish the origin story.

Finally, after all the finals and tests and packing (which, international moving is a bit of a nightmare), we arrived back in New Mexico. Compared to the often-cloudy skies of Dublin, Albuquerque’s skies were clear. They were impossibly bright, like we were closer to the sun (turns out, technically, we were: Albuquerque is over a mile high above sea level—Edgewood is even higher up—while Dublin is at sea level).

My person and her family had just moved to a little farm in Edgewood, New Mexico, which is on the east side of the Sandia Mountains, about thirty minutes east of Albuquerque. Geographically, it’s almost the exact opposite of Albuquerque. Whereas Albuquerque is picturesque desert, with the mesa in the west, covered in tumbleweeds, rattlesnakes, and lots of sand, Edgewood lives on the backside of the Sandia Mountains and enjoys a more temperate climate. The closer to the mountain you get, the more trees you have, but Edgewood also gets more rain and snow than Albuquerque, giving it a more green feel. It made the change from Dublin a bit more bearable.

The “farm” is what is known as a “hobby farm”: while the occasional fruit and vegetable was grown, the majority of the farm consisted of animals. Not all of the animals on the farm were rescue, but a good portion of them were rescued. Palm to Paws specialized in severe case abuse and neglect, and had a number of amazing animals who had been through rough situations and were now living peacefully in a forever home. Truthfully, my experience with actual animals had consisted of pigeons. Now there were chickens, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, horses, goats, alpacas, parrots, geese, turkeys, and, actually, pigeons. They also did rehabilitation, training, and rehoming; if an animal was dropped off and could go to another home where they’d be loved, my person and her family worked hard to find good, loving homes for those animals.

And a few years after we’d settled there, the farm ended up moving. Originally, we were closer to the landmark of Sedillo Hill, which meant we lived in a beautiful, green valley that got an insane amount of snow (did I mention that snow is pretty rare in Dublin? Lots of rain, not a lot of snow). It was more forest than desert, and we lived at the top of a hill, so when the rain came through, or the fog, it would create these interesting illusions of a mist-snake slithering below us. We moved closer to town, out on the “plains”. New Mexico, I’ve learned, is incredibly diverse in its geography. We were still close enough to the mountain that we got snow and lots of rain, but now the land was more flat, and we had long grasses that sprung up every spring. The horses, goats, and alpacas love the grass.

But things happen. I’ve learned that, too, and even though I’m trying to be positive, because toys are all about positivity, there are hardships that happen. The first was that my person’s mom ended up with four different types of cancers, and while battling them, she struggled to keep her business afloat. My person started working in Albuquerque at a good-paying job, and while they struggled, they were happy and kept going forward. The animals were, and always will be, their first priority, and I could see that over and over.

Eventually, however, my person’s mom ended up closing her business, and the struggle started to get worse. And that’s where we’re at. We had a  fundraising to save the farm. We started a GoFundMe account to help with daily expenses as well as some additional expenses that have come up, and we also had a t-shirt fundraiser, if the GoFundMe doesn’t fit a particular taste.

We had a lot of support with sharing the post, and we had some donations. While we wouldn’t say that the fundraiser was successful by any means,  we’re all very grateful to the support we had with it.

April seemed to fly by. We spent Easter in Roswell, taking a little trip to get away. Roswell was crazy! There were aliens everywhere. We visited the International UFO Museum, which was a lot of fun. There was this spaceship in the middle, though, that smoked, and we discovered that the aliens moved. That was creepy!

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As quickly as April went by, it ended with a freak snow storm! It was fun to see all the new leaves covered in snow. And then, right as the snow was done, May Day happened. There’ll be pictures of that soon.

I promise that these posts will be regular again. We have some new projects that we’re working on, and some other shoots that we’re rescheduled.

Oh! And we have new friends! I feel horrible about not introducing them sooner! We have a new Lipizzaner foal named Selkie, an Andalusian foal named Boudica, and a Pegasus named Dodola. Right now, the girls are outweighing the boys in the herd, but we’re very excited to have them!

The Plot Bunnies Thicken…

 

I ended a little abruptly last week, and realized I’d left out some fairly critical details. Let’s face it: an adult buying a toy for decoration is strange, but not unheard of. It doesn’t make for much of a story, though. Why would an adult buy a toy? Why would she take said toy all the way back to her dorm, and leave it on a shelf, surrounded by freezing cold rocks, shells, and books? Okay, the rocks, shells, and books were pretty cool, but that’s a little beyond the point.

Remember how I said my person was the creative type? Well, I was destined to be part of that. See, the kiosk that I had originally lived in had these really pretty pictures of us toys in natural settings. There was a frog on a lily pad, a few horses in a grassy pasture, and a lion on a rock. Well, my person looked at the pictures and thought, “How fun is that! I could do that.” And in a rush, I was bought.

The idea was great, but the camera that she had couldn’t take the pictures. I’m small for my breed, and it had a hard time focusing on me (okay, I suppose this might be an inside joke. Lipizzaners average between 14 to 15 hands tall; I’m 3 inches tall, so I’m not even a full hand). My point is that the camera couldn’t do what my person wanted it to do, so the project was put on hold for a bit.

Not that it diminished my adventurous spirit. If nothing else, it made me want it more. EverSea (the beautiful sea-green unicorn) had been all over. While in Ireland, she was taken with my person to Italy, where she went to Naples to see Pompeii. She went on a cruise this last year to Honduras, Belize, and Mexico. Am I jealous? Yes, yes I am. Still, her tales were what I was interested in, and they’re what kept me going. EverSea told us about going to California to see Disneyland, and going to Chicago, and traveling around New Mexico.

Truthfully, I was a little nervous about moving. I mean, come on: born and raised in Ireland. Did I really want to go to a desert? I was used to seeing green as far as the eye could see (okay, that’s an exaggeration: I was in the heart of Dublin, where there was a green aura around the city, but mostly I could see shiny buildings and the Liffey…). Desert, though: desert is completely different. All I could picture were tan dunes as far as the eye could see, and that wasn’t really appealing to me. Heat and plastic tend not to go well together.

I side-tracked just a little bit. In Dublin, I had a fun time in the dorm. The dorm was pretty quiet, truthfully, and with all the books, it reminded me of a library (or what I imagined a library to be). My person liked traveling around Dublin Bay, so there were always new stones, fossils, shells, and other, natural souvenirs that she collected during her adventures. I dreamt of the places she’d go. The stones smelt of moist dirt and the salty sea, and the shells had the rhythm of the ocean pounded into their very fiber. All of these things, which might have seemed small, were gigantic to me, and being positioned in the midst of them, I was able to get a taste of Ireland that my window didn’t afford me.

I was also positioned under the map in her room. Whenever she traveled somewhere, she’d highlight it on her map, so that I could see everywhere she’d gone. I longed to go with her to these places, but without a camera that could capture me in the pictures, it wasn’t going to happen.

While she was gone, the toys in the room would exchange stories. I had initially met EverSea, Anubis, and Starlight, and eventually my person added a little white tiger named Saskia (Sas for short). We were scattered around the room, but when no one was listening to us, so we could talk freely.   EverSea regaled us with stories of travel and life on the farm, while Anubis would tell me what I was like while he was at the National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology. Anubis was from their Egyptian exhibit, and he could hear the talk of the patrons and the staff, and occasionally he could see into the museum itself. He also knew stories of Egypt, and would talk about the old myths and pharaohs. I could see why my person liked Egypt so much: it sounded very much like a land of adventure.

Starlight came from a little crystal store, and would talk to us about the dreams that patrons would tell the shop keepers (I just have to say: dreams are super weird! “I’m dreaming of a whale falling and suddenly it becomes a pot of petunias…” oh, wait, that might be a scene from Hitchhiker’s Guide).

Saskia’s stories I liked. They were about the animals at the Dublin zoo. I think they were more relate-able, in a surreal sort of way (I mean, let’s face it: I don’t have a lot of the same issues that a normal horse would have).  She was good at making the animals come to life. Elephants, tigers, bears, otters: I could imagine them all, with all their hi-jinks, playing and feeling and being. (Sadly, to date, I still haven’t been to a zoo, but I’ve now been to a few aquariums.).

My friends made everything better. Knowing I was with them, I gradually came to accept my fate. I would be a desert horse, whether I wanted to  or not. Fate sounds ominous. It wasn’t a choice. I went where my person wanted me to go.

At least while we were in Dublin I was able to spend quiet nights with her. My person tended to be fairly quiet. At night, she would either study or read, or more often she would go write. Sometimes she would spend hours writing, and I could always tell that she felt accomplished when she did this. She didn’t have a computer in her room, so she went across campus to write at a computer lab that she’d found, and when she got back, she’d seem exhausted but there was just an aura around her that was happy. This was important. When I’d first met her, I would have pegged her as homesick, but after she came back from winter break, it wasn’t homesick. She seemed lost, heart-broken. Her family was feuding in the worst of ways, and she wasn’t dealing with it well. Her stories, and us toys, made her feel better. We were helping her get through it.

You might think it’s silly, but a toy’s number one job is to help their person, no matter what. With little ones (children, not small toys), it’s not as difficult. Children are much more connected to the magic of toys, and we’re often confidants, counselors, and distractions from whatever life shoots at them. With adults, we can still be a distraction, and a comfort. The healing power of a hug goes a long way.

Again, trying to keep this lightweight, but stuff definitely happens in life, and I’ve learned there’s nothing to be done about it. My person was going through a rough patch, which meant that we were going through a rough patch. She still explored, but the early part of the year in Ireland is rainy and can be gloomy, so she didn’t go out as much. She read like reading was going out of style. She went through several books that were over 500 pages, and she would complete them in a matter of days. I worried about her. We all worried about her. But she trooped through, and we all knew what would happen when she was done with her studies: we were moving.

See, it all circles back to my fear of moving. My person was stressed and depressed and anxious, which wore off on us. We didn’t know if we wanted to move, but we certainly didn’t want our person like this. I hear people talk about moving like it’s a good thing: it’s a change of scenery, a change of pace, a change of faces. It’s always a change. Change isn’t always good, and we were nervous. EverSea assured us that it wouldn’t be a problem, but we weren’t sure. We liked our little dorm room, with the view of the Liffey. We liked the books and rocks and map, and even the Where’s Waldo poster that was hanging up in the hallway. We became jittery.

Little did we know, our fears were way exaggerated.