(Skip to the end to help me help my sweet horse friends.)
Spending time at the stables has brought a lot of joy into my life. Every time I'm there I witness acts of generosity:
I've seen unpaid volunteers anonymously pay for therapy sessions for kids whose parents can't afford it.
Last winter I saw kids show up with their piggy banks to help us through an awful, expensive, program-wide horse quarantine that could have shut us down.
A brand new volunteer with no deep allegiance to our program walked in and started brainstorming: "what could we use in the volunteer lounge - kleenex, snacks?" as if it were a given that of course she would provide supplies to improve the days of people she barely even knew.
I suspect that many lessons are priced on an extremely sliding scale. Every insurance situation is different and sometimes it doesn't cover these kids' time with us at all. One rider's family can only afford one half-hour session per week, which isn't really enough, so week after week we "run late." The kid gets a full hour, the instructor and assistants donate their time, and nobody even acknowledges that anything unusual is happening.
And of course I'm constantly humbled by the willingness of longtime horse professionals to teach me anything I ask, which is a lot. I came in with zero horse experience but have been treated like I belonged from day one.
I talk about it too much; I get a bit evangelical. It's hard not to, with a place that both requires and generates so much compassion. We give therapy to children whose bodies are damaged or failing, or who have experienced great trauma. I get to see these fragile kids getting stronger week by week as they whoop and wave from the top of a horse. No matter how imperfect the body, the rider is the tallest person there.
These things are possible because we also give older, retired, or rescued horses a home and a job. They are sweet, affectionate creatures with lots of life left in them, they've just gotten a bit too old or slow to do what their first career demanded: police horse, competitive jumper. And sometimes they come to us hungry, sick, hairless, with burrs and filth. We fix them up and give them a comfy stall, more hay than they know what to do with, and head scratches every day of their lives. It is a perfect system.
Occasionally someone online asks what they can do to help. We are a nonprofit and horse upkeep is spectacularly expensive, so we rely on donors, large and small. I'm working on coordinating a proper Amazon wishlist with someone who knows more about saddles and gear, but in the meantime I've set up a list of smaller stuff that we always need, ranging from $4 to $30.
If anything I post here resonates with you, and you'd like to help, I can promise that the smallest donation is hugely appreciated, will help us keep running, and frankly will make the work a bit easier for my coworkers and me. I am damn serious about the $4 hoof picks and may just buy a dozen myself, because those things vanish. If you ever wanted an excuse to buy a currycomb, this is your moment! And if you pick the treats I promise to post SO MANY photos of horses eating them.
Thank you for reading. I promise to keep posts like this to a minimum, but I would be a fool if I didn't do my best to help keep this incredible program going. I don't think I've ever been a part of something that adds this much kindness to the world. I would love for this wishlist to be a way for you to be a part of it too.
Imagine my on my knees, fists in the air, head tilted upward: RAAARRRRGGGGGHHH!
Seriously, Microsoft, if you can't get one of your programs to talk to one of your other programs, do not tell me I have to use a shell command to get around it when the only shell commands provided in my guides do NOT accomplish the tasks of which you are denying me privilege.
As the person who primarily handles the SSL certificates for my clients, I find this EXTREMELY funny.
Also, for note: I have not fact-checked. Only shared from stream so far
After Cruz's campaign launch speech (which was widely mocked by the Liberty University students who were forced to attend), he put up a website for donations. And that website didn't default to HTTPS and also listed nigerian-prince.com as an alternate domain on the security certificate. lulz
And I'm seriously thinking about chucking my PS4 due to lack of security. My bank recently took my main debit card (the one I use for my PS4 account, because the number had been compromised. They can't tell me where, so far. But I plan on digging deeper. I've had that card for 12 or more years so it's pretty frustrating to lose that number (and yes, I'm attached to the number on that card). If I find it was due to Sony that it was compromised, I'm definitely done with their systems.
- The Purple GuysSystem Administrator, 2012 - present
I am also a wife and mother. I enjoy spending time with my family. I hold the title of Systems Administrator at The Purple Guys. I love Astronomy and Physics and hope to learn more of the field, even if just to be a groupie. I enjoy reading mysteries and sci-fi, as well as drawing manga, and doing creative writing/poetry/songs. I love music, and am slowly coming out of the closet for being a metal-head. I enjoy playing games such as World of Warcraft, I did beta for Rift, and even spent some time in Aion. I am currently aspiring to write a non-fiction book about something I am very passionate about in which I feel that awareness and change needs to happen. I will not go into more detail, but for anyone who is close to me, feel free to ask. Overall, I am a passionately creative, heavy-metal, nerd.