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The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Break

Casper: Casper was nervous and unconfident on Monday because he was used for the pony rides for a party on Saturday while I was gone to the clinic. I already knew what to do when he was in this situation. Undemanding time! I decided to think a little differently and instead of haltering him and taking him out to graze, instead I would just mirror him in the field. It took me half an hour before he would let me touch him. When he finally accepted my touch, all I did was give him a few strokes before moving my hand away and begin to mirror his breathing. It was quick and shallow. After several breaths of copying him, I began to take deeper breaths. I wanted to see if he mirror me and start to relax. Amazingly....he did! It took him a few minutes but eventually he lowered his head and blew out, then he started breathing deeper. Hmmm....
Once he relaxed, he began to herd Sharlie away from the gate and down the hill to the stream and onward. As he did this, I noticed something very interesting. People talk about how their horses will flee from the dominant horse with only a small sign. I assumed that it was the same for Sharlie and Casper. Well actually...Sharlie ignored Casper till he pinned back his ears, made a squealing noise and had to make a lunge at her hindquarters. This happened several times. Hmmm... Maybe this is why Sharlie is so resistant at the Porcupine, Driving and Yoyo game. What makes me wonder is WHY is she this way? Why does she ignore Casper till Phase 3 or 4?
Well anyway, I continued to walk beside Casper behind Sharlie until we reached the top of the hill. Sharlie continued down the hill toward the stream but Casper stopped. I was struck for a moment at how he stood on the top of the hill. He really did look like a stallion, standing tall and proud, surveying the area and making sure Sharlie was safe. My little baby boy ;)
The tree that Casper has been munching on
A branch of the tree. Anyone know what it is?
After Sharlie was past the stream and grazing on the new spring grass, Casper started making his way down the hill, stopping now and then to grab a bite of grass. He stopped at a young tree and pulled some of the bark off of it and ate it. Uh....? I’ve read about natural elements such has herbs, leaves & bark of certain trees providing a healing component. Just like lavender or peppermint calms. I will post photos to see if anyone knows what it is, so I can figure out what he is getting from the bark so I know if he is missing something from his diet or if he is in pain. After that, we continued our walk down to the stream. I was still mirroring every step he took, every breath he drew, everywhere he looked. When we reached the stream, Casper was much more confident and playful and decided to mess with me. From a stand still, he jumped across the stream to the other side- with ease. I gave him a bit of a sarcastic  look before walking over to the stepping stones to cross. He watched me with an extremely amused expression and his eyes were laughing. I couldn’t jump the stream. (It was almost a yard wide!) He still had a smile on his face by the time I came back to join him. He led me over to the back fence and told me he wanted to go to the other side, where the grass was tall and a luscious green. (The back fence is made up of corral panels and I had taken him back through that way before) I just shook my head sadly. He didn’t want to be haltered so we couldn’t go out and explore. Maybe one day we will be able to go out there and explore at Liberty. We hung out by the fence for a while, Casper kept asking me to go out. I did offer him the halter but then he shied away, which gave me my answer. He eventually walked off and I followed him. We hung out the rest of the time grazing.

Sharlie: In the morning after setting up some obstacles, I went to halter Sharlie and groom her out. Then I led her over to the obstacles to try and play....but neither of us was feeling it so we just went back to the field.
In the afternoon we tried doing some traveling circles and I noticed Sharlie kept pushing into my space with her should. But when I tried driving her away, my rope got all tangled. I got frustrated! I needed a rope like Parelli’s 22foot that wouldn’t get tangled up! We continued traveling circles at the walk & trot all over the stables, with me doing my best not to get tangled!
Casper: On Tuesday I played the first 3 games with Casper. However, I took a very different approach than most people- including me- would usually do.
I sat down in his the poopy part. :) I had no choice! The wind was blowing and that was the only place we were sheltered!! Anyways...the smell of manure doesn’t really bother me. In fact, I kind of enjoy it. (Yea, I’m just that weird! Hahaha!)
Anyway. I sat there on the ground and did alot of Friendly Game with  Casper first. I had to make sure he was completely confident before I moved on. He started making this expressions and blinking realllllllllyyyyy slowllllllyyyy. I thought it was just him relaxing so I continued for a few minutes more. Then I drove his hindquarter over a bit from the left side. Then the right. It was pretty easy, I only had to go to Phase 2 on both sides which is a great improvement seeing as he is usually more resistant on his right side. I then drove his front end over a bit, and then back the other way. He became a bit unconfident so I reverted back to Friendly game. When I saw him cock his leg again and relax I tried to back him up by his nose. WHOA! Boy did he resist that! It was a Left Brain type of resistance, like “Nope, you are not moving me any more cause you can’t!” I had to stand up so I wouldn’t let go of the pressure. After playing a bit more porcupine with Zone 1, Zone 4, his legs  and nose again, I noticed that slow blinking thing again. I snapped a few photos, curious, and sent them to Kara & Emily, hoping they could explain a bit more about it. As it turned out, my little Casper was BORED!!! Wow, never would have guessed. Hmm...Food for thought.
I left it at the first 3 games as I didn’t want to push my luck. Casper was outstanding!
Sharlie: I rode Sharlie with the bareback pad that evening because I wanted to try some of the things I saw at the clinic and I wanted to try some patterns. Wow...big mistake. I asked Sharlie to trot and she shot forward in a choppy trot, nearly unseating me. My predatory instincts kicked in and I tensed up then bent Sharlie into lateral flexion. I took a deep breath and made sure that lateral flexion was still soft, then continued on at a walk. I tried the figure 8 at a walk, and Sharlie seemed to get it, so I asked for a trot again. She jumped forward, nearly causing me to fall off again, and went straight for the opening to leave the arena. My predator instincts kicked in again, this time with anger. I pulled her to a stop again, doing lateral flexion. We repeated this several times, trying in vain to do the Figure 8 pattern. I grew more and more frustrated. And when I get frustrated, I just don’t seem to be able to think “I should stop and get off” instead I think “Must keep going till I get it right” I took sharlie out of the arena and out into the big field (Yea, totally, cause if Sharlie doesn’t trot slowly and calmly arena, of course she is gonna do it in a 50 acre open area! Yea right!) 
.......Not to go into detail, I pretty much put all my hopes on Kara coming over that week during Spring Break. I was hoping she could ride Sharlie and tell me if it was just me that was causing this or whether something was making Sharlie uncomfortable or tense. To my dissapointment, she was unable to make it. That was the first time I cried over Kara not coming over. Needless to say, it was a very emotional day!
Sharlie: So Sharlie and I had taken a break from each other on Wednesday (it had been raining) and so on Thursday I decided to do some cantering on the ground with Sharlie. It hadn’t rained that much so it wasn’t muddy or slippery thank goodness. 
We started out with cantering in the arena a bit but I got bored there and so we went out into the big field. I would ask Sharlie to canter and then I would go into neutral. Once she found an even pace, I would begin to walk forward, turning the circles into traveling circles. Between all the changes of direction I noticed something... When Sharlie was circling on her right side in toward me, she curved nicely on the circle. However on her left side she didn’t curve her body outward to fit the circle and instead she sort of made a disfigured box. She didn’t really ‘circle’ when doing a circle to the left. She went in a series of straight lines. Hmmm...

Casper: On Thursday I added in the other 4 games- Yoyo, Circling, Sideways and Squeeze.
Yoyo is in good condition: It could use a little work but not top priority.
Circling...uh wow...we will have to avoid that for a bit. He would panic and just turned completely away from me, showing me his hindquarters. I had to very slowly guide him back. We spent about 45 minutes gently and slowly playing with that till he was able to do a circle at a rushed walk. Its not as good as a relaxed walk but I was just happy to get a circle.
 Sideways Game: Opposing what I said before, I actually did do this a bit with him. I moved his Zone 1 over a bit. Then his Zone 4. Then Zone 1. Etc... We only did it a bit, but he was pretty calm which was impressive.
Squeeze: He was okay with Squeeze. I wouldn't say it was great, but it wasn't bad. There is a problem though of the "stop and wait" ` He just sorta...keeps going. I had to get pretty high in my Phases (Phase 3) to tell him there is a WALL behind me that you CANNOT go through- because it is brick! 
We also did a review of the first 3 games, which all 3 were still okay. We ended with grooming and a bit of grazing & UDT beforing wrapping it up.


Casper: Casper was nervous on Friday, probably from the activities of the day before. So what we did was simple. I took him for a small walk, letting him graze. While he grazed I did short spurts of Friendly Game. We ended up with me grooming him again before putting him back out in the field.

Sharlie: Sharlie and I did quite a bit more. Mom had just made me a 20ft rope out of the same rope as Parelli. EEEK! I was excited to try it! And well...the feel was AH-MAZING! Sharlie didn't ever hit the end of the rope violently like she did with the other, she backed up with Phase 1/2 instead of 3/4, I didn't get all tangled up and I didn't need to do a huge thing just to get her up off the grass! YAY! We did some cantering on her left side. I wondered whether that was maybe why she could be so unbalanced, or part of the cause. I tried to get her to bend on her left side, but sadly to no avail.

It rained and it poured and it thundered! horses.


Sharlie: I just groomed her out. That was ALOT of fur!! :)

Casper: Okay, it was a full day with Casper so bear with me! We started out with the 7 games again. I wanted to make sure they were all in good shape before I introduced Casper the the Figure 8 pattern. Friendly Game and Driving game were good and getting better. Porcupine game is still a little sticky but like I said, I'm not too worried about it. Yoyo was definitely getting better, but I did notice Casper trying to push into my space a time or two with 'driving' ears. Tsk tsk! He is getting more confident at the Squeeze too. Once I had reviewed the games and fixed any major problems that appeared, I took him over to be groomed because he was nervous. He calmed down and relaxed when I was grooming him. And I think I may have found an itchy spot for the first time! Yay!!!
    After that, we hung out grazing for 5 minutes, giving Casper a bit of a break. Then we walked over to the 2 cones I had set up for the Figure 8. I let him sniff each cone and rub his face up against it. Once he went back to grazing I asked for his attention. I gently sent him around the first cone then had him stop and rest with me. Once he returned to a relaxed state I sent him around the other cone slowly, then asked him to stop and relax again. We did this about 4 times (2 times around each cone) before he took over and did the entire pattern by himself! I was surprised, but asked him to do the pattern again a few more times till he released some of his tension. 
    After he did eventually release some of the tension while doing the Figure 8, we walked away to go graze a bit more. Then we went over to go say hi to some horses...which eventually turned into the Touch It pattern! There was one particully scary log which was conquered by me sitting on it! Bahaha! I asked him to lower his head to touch my lap. It took a few minutes of steady pressure but eventually he did. He ended up rubbing his face in my lap. Awwww! 

So! I need you guys to help me out with several options! 
1) I would really appreciate your input in the comment section about any things I should work on with either Sharlie or Casper (or both!) to make sure we run into no bumps for camp! Things I should check, etc...etc... I find that sometimes I don't think of the simplest of "preflight" tests before someone tells me about them (example: Squeeze Game before riding)
2) Take a look at the photos of the tree Casper has been munching on. I broke off a branch and took a photo so you could see the leaves. Tell me what you think it is! 
Rafik (1)
3) There is an Arabian colt called Rafik at the stables. I have been admiring him from a distance and both Kara and I have been longing to play with him. Sadly, the owners didn't know what they were doing and lost interest so now he is for sale. 
Rafik is a 2 year old registered Arabian colt. He is very extroverted but he seems to enjoy the moments where he can stop. He is almost a blank slate...almost. He has some training with being lead, but thats pretty much it. He has develloped a few bad habits from lack of handling and human interaction. 

If you are interested or know anyone who is interested, please let me know. It would comfort me so much to know he is going to a home where he can live a long and happy life!

Rafik (2) (Pardon Commanche's butt!)
4) OKAYYYYY So it has been determined that Casper definitely has some Hackney Pony in him. When I was googling to look at some images I found these: They look pretty darn close to Casper, thats for sure!!

Now here is the problem. What is so different about gaited horses? I need to know because I don't have a clue. What is interesting is that Casper's trot isn't like the photos I saw of Hackney ponies strutting their stuff, his is just REALLY short strided and bouncy (Can I not get a nice smooth horse for once?! -_-)

THATS IT! :D Was it well worth the wait?
I expect a bunch of comments below!!! DONT DISSAPOINT! :P


Friday, March 25, 2011

Kathy Baar Clinic Questions

  1. Grass has become a big problem now.  She dives for it at any random time. She even tried to grab a bite when she was cantering on a hill and she slid and almost fell, but she STILL kept trying to eat. She is even started to run me over now because she isn’t paying attention to me, and more attention to the grass.  I’ve tried waiting 3 seconds then asking her to go again, then shortening the time (Hill Therapy) . I’ve tried what Pat did, ‘spanking the little boy’ (Allure/7 games) and I’ve tried ‘the grass biting her’ (Camp) but none of it works. Then I become frustrated and mad and so I become a predator and then she becomes scared and Right Brain and basically bottom line it hurts our relationship!
Kathy's Answer: You need to be more interesting than the grass. Now that can be challenging but its possible. You need to split the play sessions with stuff she wants to do- eating grass, hanging out, not doing anything- and stuff you want to do. Start out the play session with a few minutes of grazing time together then do something you want to do. Give her numerous breaks. 
Also Hill Therapy is BORING for her. You need to switch it up. That is probably why she went extroverted like she did back a few weeks ago.
  1. I just bought the Theraflex Pad and 2 shims -One thin, one thick- and I believe I have them in the right position. At least her walk is much better. She has her head lower that she did before and I can be more fluid. I just started trotting with the saddle and Theraflex. And when I do, Sharlie’s head shoots straight up and she rushes forward. Is this just because its new or is it possible I have done something wrong with the shims?
Kathy's Answer:  Instead of directly on top of each other, have them only slightly overlapping so its more gradual. Also play with the shims a bit more. They may be ok at the walk but if they aren't comfortable at the trot or canter then something is wrong.
  1. Casper is an extreme RBI... it has taken us a year for me just to be able to toss the carrot stick over his back without him tensing up. (And that was just this week!) I am going to start playing the  other 6 games with him now so there are a few things concerning that.
  • How do I introduce the Sideways game to him without scaring him too much? I am not good with using light phases with Sideways as Sharlie still needs Phase 2/3/4.
Kathy's Answer: You have to break it down. Move Zone 1 over then stop and relax. Then move it again. Do it until he is relaxed and confident with it. Then do the same with Zone 4. Once he is confident with that, start combining it. Go verrryyyy slowly if he needs it.  
  • How do I make sure his Friendly Game is not negatively affected by the other 6 games? Would it hurt his Friendly if he got scared by...Porcupine? Yoyo? Squeeze?
Kathy's Answer: It will always be affected to some degree. Positively or negatively. You just have to keep going back to it to check on it. 
  1. Casper is extremely extremely extremely smart. He can get bored easily if he is in a confident frame of mind but when he is unconfident he needs consistency. How do I find a balance between that as he can change from unconfident to confident and back within seconds?
Kathy's Answer: Do the repetition he needs till he is confident then start switching it up. If he becomes unconfident, fall back to where he was confident and wait for him to become confident again before moving on.
  1. THRESHOLDS: I am not good at seeing when a horse has reached a threshold till it becomes extreme. What are some early indicators?
Kathy's Answer: Instead of leading the horse behind you, try leading them from Zone 3 (driving) so you can see the early indicators. Then stop and wait.

***** These are not word for word, they are my interpretation/what I remember of her saying. There were other questions and I will throw them in when I find my notes! :)

Love you Kathy Baar! :P

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Major Milestone for Casper & A Special Moment with Sharlie...

Hello Everyone! What beautiful weather! :)

Lets start with Casper today, for once.

1 year anniversary since I was able to catch Casper for the very first time.

Well we have finally (another) achieved a major milestone. The Friendly Game. Well I think I can say that we have come to the point where I can finally throw Porcupine & Driving Game into the mix.


Casper and I have been struggling with Friendly Game since Day 1. Being an extreme RBI it is natural for him to be untrusting at first, especially after what he has been through. When we first started playing in January, he was absolutely terrified of halters & strings/ropes. So think of his reaction when he saw the rope halter! It took me two months of introducing him to a wide variety of things before he could trust me enough to be able to sniff the rope halter, and know I wasn't going to attack him and halter him.
I introduced him to hay strings, hair bands, loose threads as thinner strings. Then I also took old pieces of hose, different types of leadropes, twine, and that rope used for tying plants to a frame so they grow straight...
2 months later, in mid March 2010, I walked into the field with Sharlie's rope halter in my hand and I sat down. It was the 2nd week since Casper had started walking up to me when he saw me instead of running away or staying where he was. I sat under a tree and just sang to myself.

(I had only met Kara for the first time a few weeks before, which is a shame because it was those first months with Casper where my self presence was growing at a rapid rate. I was almost like what Kara is today. I would sing to the horses, I would lie down and look into the sky, trusting the horses not to step on me. I would observe them, I would follow them. I would copy them. There were several times that the herd of 8 horses let me become Horse #9. They sometimes still think of me that way.)

Casper and me. HIS HEAD LOOKS HUGE! (But I promise its not)

Anyway. I was singing and humming to myself when Casper came over and sniffed me all over. He found the halter by my feet and spooked and trotted about 15 yards away. I ignored it. I asked him "What on earth are you spooking at? I don't see anything?" I pretended there was no halter there and after 20 minutes he came back over and sniffed me and the halter again. I stayed calm, still humming. Thats when something amazing happened. He picked up the rope halter with his lips and layed it in my lap, then cautiously tried to slip his nose into it. I slowly helped him into it and tied it before resuming my humming. He was tense so I did nothing. Then he relaxed and we walked to the gate. I clipped on the leadrope and we walked out into the world for the first time in 6 months (for him) together.

In the snow...

It took weeks for me to finally introduce him to the carrot stick. And it had to be on the ground without the string...just lying there. He gave it a quick sniff and then ran back to me, standing several yards away. I left it for a few days then introduced him to the savvy string. Same reaction.

It took several months before he would tolerate either, but always seperatly. Then these last few months, since about November, he may or may not tolerate them together. In fact, it was the only thing we had a problem with. I had walked him across tarps, bounced balls beside him, and even flapped a plastic bag. Only the carrot stick & string was left. It shows just how deeply scarred he is by whips and crops.

This week was our breakthrough. Maybe it was the weather, maybe I was more at peace with myself. Something was different. When I played with him he was much calmer and more in tune with me...or maybe I was more in tune with him....which ever which way that works.
I started tossing the leadrope over his back, trying my hardest to stay in neutral. (Thank you Emily!) When he stayed relaxed and calm (took me by surprise a little) I started stroking him with the carrot stick. (string wound up around it) When he was still calm and relaxed then, I decided to try just gently dropping the savvy string on his other side and then keep rubbing him with the carrot stick.
To summarize, I was able to gently throw the savvy string over his back with the carrot stick 6 times on his left and 4 times with his right. (in a row!)

I take this as a milestone passed, a goal met, a checkbox checked. The important thing is that I continue Friendly Game with him constantly. There will always be room for improvement because he is a RBI.

I am just glad because I was starting to worry we wouldn't be past the 7 games in time for Kara's. But I know that the other 6 games- excluding Sideways- is much more advanced than Friendly Game.

My baby is growing up! ;)

Now for Sharlie's turn!!

We have been doing Hill Therapy continuously and even though it hasn't exactly been getting better, its not getting worse. I'm considering moving doing it another hill to see if it will work better, like it did last time.
Sharlie and I have been moving more. We have been going for short jogs and playing a form of the cutting game. We also have been playing with her trotting in a circle around me while I walk beside her with my arm around her neck.
I experienced a very special moment with Sharlie this week when we were playing the cutting game and she became so in tune with me,  we began to dance. It went from me using the carrot stick to dancing back and forth with the slightest shift of weight. :)

I am still drafting up the questions I have for Kathy Baar, I will post them with the answers when I get back.
Love you guys!
Happy weekend!

****If you ever wonder about the beginning of my journey, its all on here! Click here to start! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Beautiful though nothing to do with post :)
Welcome back warm weather and welcome back Sharlie's eye! The medication seems to be working very well as Sharlie's eye is clear once again, the spot being reduced to the size of a tip of a pen. In fact her eye is so clear we can sort of see the pupil, which we haven't been able to since...well I don't even remember when! It was that long ago.
That GOODNESS it was warm this weekend. I wanted to do stuff with the horses and if it was miserable, I wouldn't be able to do any of it.
It however was still muddy which SUCKED but all in good time...We needed the rain so the grass at Kara's could grow. (GROW GRASS GROW!)

Anywho lets start with Saturday. Mom and I went down to do the chores in the morning which was right about enough to pay off Casper's lease. Yay! We went home to eat a quick lunch and then I went back out.

I took Sharlie out and groomed her for an hour! She was shedding faster than I could brush! Then we did some hill therapy and a bit of weave pattern. I didn't want to do too much with her as I was unsure what the  effects of the medicine would have on her. Turns out she was fine except she got tired a bit quicker that usual, probably from not being played with all week.
Then I took Casper out to spend some undemanding time grazing. I lay in the grass dozing while he grazed  next to me. I trusted him not to step on me, and even when he spooked, he made sure not to do so.
He is still very fluffy but not molting yet. Probably after next weekend when it rises above the 70s he will start shedding.

On Sunday we did alot more.
I took Casper out first and we went on an adventure. Literally. We took a walk and saw one of the fields was empty because the horses had gone on a trail ride. So we went in and explored around the whole field. Casper was very curious. He even sniffed each poop pile, sometimes moving it around with his nose so he could smell it better. I wonder why...
We also looked for a nice spot to lie down. He found a few but none of them good enough to roll. Next time maybe...
We easily spent an hour and a half exploring that field.  I then went to go get Sharlie. My timing was off though because only minutes later the men came galloping in from their trailride, on horses who were still on an adreniline rush. I was glad I had put Casper away in time as he did not like it when these men were around but Sharlie became anxious as some of them stayed mounted, spurring their horses back and forth along the length of the arena where we were standing, waiting for the other guys to move out of the way so we could do some hill therapy before our trail ride with Mom.

I didn't know I was frustrated at the snobby "cowboys" until one of them, who was on the phone, started spurring his frightened horse all around the stable as if there were no other horses around. How wrong he was. There was me & Sharlie, and Ann with Shabat who was spooking at the horses surrounding her running poor Ann over. There were children playing, dogs running. Irresponsible, obnoxious.

Sharlie was hyper because of the other horses being hyped up as well so Hill Therapy did not go well. I even put her back in the field, deciding not to ride her because I was so frustrated. Mom  convinced me however that I would not be riding for 2 weeks (next weekend is Kathy Baar clinic) and getting away from the chaotic barn would help us all relax. So while I saddled Sharlie up, she went to go catch Casper and then we went out into the fields. The down side of having green grass growing everywhere is that the horses DIVE for it every few seconds.
Even though it had annoyed me during Hill Therapy, all I could do is laugh when we were out riding. Needless to say I was in a better mood.
I trotted for the first time with the Theraflex pad. I can't do a sitting trot but my posting trot is better. Sharlie is still going very fast though. :/

Its only 2 months away before going to Kara's for camp! I CANT WAIT!!!!! :D EXCITING!!!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Don't worry

Don't worry there is an update coming soon. I'm just feeling lazyyyyyyyyy

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Its Slipping again...

Let me describe my Saturday to you.
I woke up after having my cats try and lure me back into sleep. I pulled onto a hoodie that Mom bought especially for the farm. I glanced in the mirror and I was struck with a deja-vue. I can have flashes or dreams of the future. The book the Tao of Equus helps explain it. I had a flash of myself in a similar hoodie (navy with a Tennessee Titans logo on it), taller, with a little longer hair. An instructor. A riding instructor.
We had to go down to the stables because the vet was coming to see Sharlie. The day before Sharlie's eye turned red. Mom thought it wasn't good.
I on the contrary had faith. I thought the blood vessels had finally reached the spot on her eye and were getting rid of it. What the vet said was a good thing. Her eye had been clear for weeks now. Surely it was something good.
So we went down to go get Sharlie so the vet could look at the eye. Susan realized that several horses coggins were due, including Casper's. First was Sharlie though.
Turned out its NOT good news.
The blood vessels had swelled (is that the right word?) and it could be an absess and it could be cured or it wasnt and the eye had to be removed. LOVELY!
Luckily I am getting pretty talented at hiding my emotions around the vets nowadays. I can just nod and smile. Make jokes. Nobody sees the emotions tearing me apart on the inside. But hey. Nobody really cares so oh well.

To add fuel to the fire, it turns out that no, Casper is not 6 or 7, but more like 20! That really hit me hard.
Must have been a nightmare.
Saturday passed...
Sunday passed (today)

And now its past 11 pm and I've been crying for about 45 minutes. It hit me. Sharlie could lose her eye. Her eye is BAD. Terrible. Horrific. And there is nothing I could do to help.
It hit me like a stack of bricks in the face. Casper is 20. Not 7. 20. 2 decades of a mystery life, 2 decades of probably misery. I can't make up for that. I can't get him to forgive me for all those people's sins. I can try and have him forgive me for the last few people...But not for 20 years worth of people.

Its all slipping away again. I wish I could see Kara again but I have to wait to see her for the Kathy Baar clinic. 2 weeks away.
Its slipping again. I don't want it to. I was happy. I was ever so happy. But its slipping, and I can't catch it.