…back in the saddle…

ceciliaandherhorse

What an amazing smile… right?

This is Cecilia. A friend of hers passed along her inspirational story and I am humbled to share it with you.

On July 4th 2010, when Cecilia was 17 years old she and her brother Joe were in a terrible and devastating car accident while heading home from their family farm. At some point during the drive the car lost control and in spite of Joe’s attempt to take control of the wheel the car spun out, and crashed in to a tree.

Cecilia, still conscious after the accident found her self cemented between the crushed steel of the car. Her legs were completely stuck and she looked over to the driver’s seat to see her brother Joe left completely unconscious, and his jaw entirely detached from his face.

Frightened and in shock, a sense of hope finally arrived with a team of firemen and paramedics. Their parents also made it to the scene, but were urged to go immediately to the hospital while the firemen worked on Cecilia and her brother Joe.

Cecilia remembers talking to her mother at the scene…

“She was going like hold on, it’s going to be alright, ” remembers Cecilia. “We’ll meet you in St. Louis and I was like Mom, don’t leave me. Don’t leave me here. And she had to go.”

It took two long and arduous hours to pry free Cecilia’s mangled legs from the strong steel of the vehicle. Once they were free from the car, both brother and sister were air lifted to the hospital. That night Cecilia was told that her brother Joe was most likely not going to make it, and if she did make it that her legs would probably have to be amputated.

Joe went into a coma, while Cecilia endured four surgeries in which she had 4 titanium rods and over 30 metal screws placed into her legs and right ankle. She then slowly began her journey on the road to recovery, with a great deal of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Her tremendous courage pushed her to persevere through all that she faced. Cecilia always had a great love for singing and for riding horses. She sang through out her treatment and dreamed of one day being able to get back on her horse and go riding…

Her brother eventually came out of his coma 2 months after the accident, and is by some miracle on the long road to recovery, with minor memory difficulties.

After a year-long journey, with her will to overcome immense obstacles and the support she received from family and friends she is not only walking, but she is also saddling and riding her horse!

She wears our bracelet etched with the old cowgirl saying, ‘Always saddle your own horse’, as a constant reminder of what she has accomplished since her accident.

alwayssadlle-brace11

ceciliasstory11

 

Thank you to Cecllia, her family and friends for sharing this incredible story with us… We make our jewelry to inspire others…but a lot of times it goes the other way around…others inspire us with their strength, fortitude and reverie.

Ride on Cecillia…

Peace, Love & Horses,

~heather

 

…update on sam…

sunkissed acres sam

 

For those who have been following along and whose heart strings were tugged on by Sam just like mine were here is an update on our bold soul…Sam. (To read the story of Sam…you can read our previous post here.)

Lori, the owner of Sunkissed Acres Equine Rescue had been planning on turning out Sam with the herd. She felt he had gained a bit of strength in the last week and wanted him to begin to bond with the other horses.

Sam had other ideas.

From Lori…”He came out of his paddock and just hung over my shoulders. He refused to leave my side and when I went into the barn, he stood at the gate and whinnied like crazy. So, I brought him in for another meal thinking he is scared of starving out there. Then I turned him out agan. Long story short, Sam is back up in his paddock, stall. Unlike every other horse, its too much for Sam yet. He needs the safety of food delivery. A lot of horses that I have gotten in starved behave in much the same way except they generally join the herd for at least a bit and then come back in for more food.”

Poor little soul. Or just a smart old man…he knows where the groceries are and has no intention of getting too far from food, water or safety again.

She tried again the next day. Oh, Sam went along with the ruse…but he would not let her out of his sight.

I took Sam out again today. Oh, he went willingly…from one paddock to the next lol.

So, this time I went walking out with him to the pasture. He followed very, very closely behind me. I walked out to the other horses, to the grass and stood there with him while he looked cautiously around.

One of the old guys came over and extended his nose in a hello. Sam sniffed him and then pulled back frightened. The old guy just turned and walked off. Sam took a few cautios steps towards the herd and at that time I tried to sneak away.

Hahahaha, not a chance. Sam caught up to me quickly and came back in. I took him to the round bale and he happily played and explored there. Then followed me back to the barn. Sam is not ready, his eyes tell the story. He is afraid and needs to be where he feels safe yet. And thats ok by me. We will take a walk each day until he feels safe enough with the herd, until then, I am his herd.”

And what a good herd you are Lori.  We can see why Sam loves you so.

Island Cowgirl Jewelry is sponsoring Sam on his road to recovery…we are all rooting for you Sam. If you would like to help Sam or Sunkissed Acres Equine Rescue you may make a charitable donation on their website.  Even if it is $1, $2 or $100…it all is put to good use. Nothing is too small or goes unnoticed.

…and then there was Sam…

As you all know if you have been hanging around that we support a lot of horse rescues & sanctuaries.  I would like to share a story that came my way and tore my heart into a million pieces this weekend.

Sunkissed Animal Rescue is run out of Georgia. The owners give relentlessly and selflessly to the horses that come their way…and are truly unsung heros in my book. Their horses are not “seen as the old and disabled they might have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be…”

Here is a chronicle of what took place via their Facebook page on Sunday…and how we all came to know Sam.

Saturday Morning
“Bizarre day yesterday. At 8:15 I got a call to help a horse who was down. In fact, she was dead. Then I was told of a dead horse on old 27 who in fact was still alive. Meet Sam. We got Sam up and on a trailer and to SKA, fed him everyfour hours during the night but this morning he is down. The vet is coming out very shortly and hopefully we can help this old man. Nothing about 500 pounds and ten years of youth wouldnt make easier but alas, this poor guy has seen his better days. He needs your good vibes. ”

sunkissed acres horse rescue

samcollage2

“None of this would have been possible without the help of Jen and Lisa who made countless trips back and forth to the farm. This guys owner was not willing to relenquish him and so they drove back and forth for meds, feed and finally the trailer when Sams owner accepted that he was unable to do anything for this guy.”

Sunday Morningsamcollage3 And this is Sam this morning. Down but alert. He has had bowel movements and was excited about his alfalfa hay, drinking well but unable to get up. There are certainly some underlying issues going on here and so we are now awaiting the vet. Nothing like a huge emergency Sunday vet bill for a horse I was not even able to take ownership of but…………………..the owner did not give me any contact information whatsoever and so, I am sincerely hoping he doesnt contact me at all. Like honestly, how will he get this guy home when he is lying down here.”

“The vet was here, I love that lady. Sam has been given some vitamins and is resting well. He is not in the least bit stressed, he is eating and drinking well, has good guteral sounds and color. So, we have decided to leave him down to simply rest. He is tired from fighting to stay alive for a while now. He is at ease and can now rest safely and he knows it. If he decides he wants to live, there is enough of him left to do just that. If he decides he does not want to, then we will accept that and help him in the kindest way possible. At this moment, rest is his best hope. Lets see if he can pull the miracle that Miracle did.”

Sunday Afternoon

sam2

SCREAMING FROM THE ROOFTOP, HE IS UP. SAM IS UP. Way beyond my or your call or knowledge is the will to survive. Be it for today or for the remainder, Sam said his life is worth fighting for. He is up, peed varociously, drank a good couple gallons of warm water, nibbled a bit and then introduced himself to the kids next door. Four legged ones. Its one step closer to seeing another day and if Sam says life is worth living, then no human being has the right to take that away from him. Welcome home Sam”

“OK I am crying stupid cry baby. Sam is up. There is nothing so heartbreaking as fighting like the devil for ones life only to lose it. Sam said not today.”

Monday Morning
“Close to the best news of all, Sams owner showed up this morning and decided he really couldnt look after Sam so he signed him over to Sunkissed Acres. Sam is safe.

“He was down again this morning and had clearly struggled but he whinnied his old whinny when he saw the groceries and warm water coming. Smart boy, he humped himself into the large run in area and used the wall to get himself up. Old horses are so smart. Another great day coming. Thankyou to everyone who made a donation to help this guy out. We paid his first vet bill thanks to the generous followers.”

And there you have it.
Sam.

And if you do not have tears streaming down your face right now you better check for a heart like the Tin man in the Wizard of Oz because if you ain’t crying by now you may not have one…

Island Cowgirl has offered to become Sams sponser on his road to recovery…so that he will never, ever be starved and left for dead again.

So buy more jewelry. Or give a donation to SunKissed Acres. There are lots more like Sam.

~XOXO

heather

…what is sacred, what is the spirit made of…

 

“There are only four questions of value in life…
What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made of? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: Only Love.”    ~Don Juan De Marco

 

ryanandheather

 

 Happy Valentines Day….And it is on this day I remembered why I married this man. And why I am so crazy in love with him.

This is the man that sets his alarm at 3 A.M. in the morning in California so that he can text me to have a good trip home when I am boarding a 6 A.M. flight in NY.  He plans secret trips for me that involves horses. He builds lots of stuff for me. He photo bombs most famous monuments.

valday-collage2

 

valday-collage

He loves me like there is no tomorrow and kisses me like the world is ending.

He lets me love horses. He puts up with my dog…and helps me with all the crazy projects that go along with living with an artist. He is secretly very romantical.

Sometimes I cannot go to sleep at night I love him so much. Every morning I wake up and think what can I do to make him happy…And and just when I think I cannot possibly love him more…I do.

He is everything I ever wanted and more than I deserve. Being loved by him gives me strength and loving him gives me courage. And I am honored to walk with him though life and be called his wife.

XOXO

~heather

IMG_3855

…meet Jate…

Jate horse rescue

 

…”Horses are non-judgemental, honest mirrors. They know when we are angry or anxious, they know when we are excited or happy.”…

This is Jate.

He was a race horse who was owned by a college student in Upsate NY.  Jate broke his pastern in a race. His owner locked him in a stall for a month and never treated him. He dropped him off at the H.O.R.S.E Rescue & Sanctuary and walked away.

Jate is one of the most spirited and funniest horses I have ever had occasion to meet.

He knows he is handsome. He works you for treats. He is full of beans. Jate…a beautiful racehorse now has a club foot. All because some rich kid couldn’t be bothered to treat him.

I fell instantly, desperately in love with Jate.

Perhaps he was a mirror. A little broken, dealt a bit of a raw lot in life…but still bucking, rolling & jumping as if he were perfectly fine.

Still proud. Standing tall. Pure fortitude. Scarred. And all the better for it.

H.O.R.S.E. Rescue

 

…Jate…pure love…

He had gotten a bath that morning from the rescue volunteers…after which he promptly stopped, dropped and rolled in 4 inches of mud making him as dirty as can be….and full of crusty mud.

(Rebel. Which just made me love him more.)

If you would like to donate the the H.O.R.S.E. Rescue & Sanctuary you may give through our website. Every penny you donate goes directly to the rescue…and you can even sponsor a horse directly. Maybe even Jate.

Or you can purchase a beanie from our website…100% of the proceeds go to the horse rescue.

Peace, Love & Horses

~heather

…buy a beanie, save a horse…

horserescue-collage2Many of you remember that we are raising money for the H.O.R.S.E. Sanctuary & Rescue in my hometown of Rochester, NY.

Jackie from Dreaming of Three  jumped in to help and was so kind as to design & make these beanies for us to raise money for the cause. (Big XOXO to her)

The beanies arrived yesterday at the studio and we decided to do a photoshoot…see how cute they are?

They are $15 each and the proceeds all go to help Mike & his wonderful rescue.

Mike has spent over 20 years rescuing neglected & abused horses at great personal sacrifice. His charity organization has saved over 400 horses.

Mike is terminally ill with lung cancer. His last wish is that his 11 remaining horses be placed safely. He made a promise to these horses that they would always be safe…we are working hard to make sure Mike keeps that promise.

Buy a beanie…save a horse!

There are four great colors available…Black, Graphite, Olive & Khaki… dreamof-three2-web

…because in war there are no unwounded soldiers…

Vetrans Day Flag

Dear Veterans,

We are so very lucky to have had you. You are braver than most of us. And we thank you for that…perhaps not often enough.  We celebrate you as heroes and we do take you for granted. Hopefully this is the one day we do not.

My brother was in the Air Force. He wanted nothing more than to be a pilot. But his eyesight was not 20/20 so that was not meant to be. He did not let this get in his way. So he applied for the ROTC program in his freshman year in college. He was turned down.

In October of that year they offered him a spot…someone had dropped out. He accepted gladly…still trying to make his way to his dream. My brother went on to become wing commander of his ROTC group. He then went on to become the youngest Lt. Colonel ever in the Airforce.  And one of the youngest Colonel’s in the Airforce. His family has made great sacrifice to this country…often moving every year or so to some other base. Not easy with three kids. Often doing without their father for long periods of time. Not easy for anyone. And all from someone who was not their first pick.

Great things often come from unexpected places.

Peace and love rings

I am very proud of my brother and to all of the men & women who do things everyday that the rest of us, if we are being totally honest, would not.

And on this day…remember “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers”…Jose Narosky

~XOXO

 

…bravery, peace & lost treasure…

What we’re wearing around the studio today….Bravery & Peace Bracelet

I love this bracelet and have worn it almost everyday for 5 years…There is a story behind this and why I keep it close.

When I was 20 I left New York City and went to live on the Caribbean island of St. Martin…which was great. I lived on a Catamaran, sold my jewelry on the beach, lost all of my shoes from the dock box and made a lot of friends. After about I year it was really time to go home. I just had one problem. One way flights were a lot of money. More money than I really had.

So I did the next best thing…I caught a ride. Some friends of mine sailed up to Florida each year to dive for buried treasure. It was always during Hurricane season as this is when the sand is churned up and the long buried treasure is most likely to be found.

Now the 1500 mile sail back up to Florida is a story within itself. I won’t get into too much detail here except to say…it involved a long sail spanning over several weeks, a lot of dolphins, one large pissed off mommy whale and an even larger storm which involved all of us tying ourselves to the mast and saying our prayers.

Once we got to Florida…barefoot and sea torn but in one piece which was a miracle in itself…I decided to stay on for the treasure hunt. My most unique asset to the team involved being able to hold my breath under water for long periods of time. (Thanks to my brothers when I was growing up).

We were diving on a wreck where 12 Spanish Galleons had gone down in 1812. The Galleons were bringing families to the New World along with all of their earthly belongings. Most of it was gold bars, gold coins and lots of gold. You get the idea.

We did find gold that summer. And a lot of silver bullion. It wasn’t a glamourous story of finding. One night there was a huge storm. I woke up to a beautiful sunrise and jumped overboard to cool off. And there in 12 feet of the clearest water you ever did see…30 feet from shore and high rise condos was a pile of gold. Just sitting there so pretty.

In that day gold coins were imprinted on one side with the Kings stamp…and on the other was the coat of arms of the person that owned it. And they would clip off little pieces of the coins to pay for things. So they are not all round. In fact none of them are really round.

Set into the cross of the Bravery & Peace inspirational bracelet is actually an impression of one of these coins…The same coin which has always brought me luck.

I only hope it does the same for you…

XOXO
~h

…anniversary love…

Island Cowgirl Equestrian Jewelry

We began our humble store by the sea 4 years ago this month….mostly on a wing and a prayer. And boy has it grown, morphed and bloomed into something that we are extremely proud of.

And because we love you so much…check your email boxes today for a promotional coupon good for 2 days only to help us celebrate!

If you are not on our preferred customer list and would like to be, please register HERE!

We will be posting some before and after pictures of the store coming up this week….a big walk down memory lane…Gotta go dig them up!

XOXO

~h 

…surrounded by love…

Valentine’s day is one of our favorite days around the store…And as you can see I love to make hearts. Hearts with words, hearts without words, big hearts, little hearts…pretty much hearts of any shape…As a child my homework was always doodled with hearts. (It often got me in trouble…I don’t think my science teachers truly appreciated my artistic side…)

Our windows this year are an explosion of red & rose petals…my girls did such an awesome job with them…And we hope to pass along the love…

Love is noisy. Love is messy. Love is inconvenient. Love is hard. And love is rare.

But really…when everything else falls away.
Love really is where its at.

At least for me it is.

XOXO

~heather

…we don’t remember days, we remember moments”…

...“we don’t remember days, we remember moments

So true. Go ask anyone…anyone at all where they  on 9/11/2011. Everyone can tell you. 300 million people.

It was a life defining moment for an entire nation.

I grew up in New York. My brother worked at the Pentagon & my other brother lives in D.C. Good friends that lived blocks away, covered in dust walked uptown toward Queens.  Lots of connections to lots of scary things at that moment in time.

Hard to believe that it is 10 years later. Seems like a moment ago.

And it is true. Memories fade as the years go by. But they won’t age a day.

Here’s to big hope. For peace.

XOXO

~heather & nigel