Friday, September 30, 2005

I tought I had a buzz

Let me begin this post by saying that I have a humongous fear of bees and wasps. Sure, who really likes bees and wasps; however, I am one of those people who tend to get a little nutsy when I look down and a wasp has its landing gear down for a touch and go on my hand. It’s bad. I was once in a canoe in the middle of a fast-running river with a friend when I saw a wasp hovering right near me. I freaked and the canoe tipped. I still have not heard the end of that one. Ya, so we almost drown...at least I didn't get stung. Having met two people in the past year who were swarmed when they accidentally stepped on nests has not helped me in the least. It's a phobia. Really.

Unfortunately, here in Indiana, we are at the height of angry, irritated wasp season. They, like the rest of us, get really pissed off when the weather gets colder and they know there is a long winter ahead, the holiday baking and shopping need to be done, and heating bills will be through the roof. (Or through the hive.) Knock on wood, I have not been stung by a wasp since the summer of 1987. I was jogging along the Charles River in Boston, a blushing newlywed, gazing in awe at the lovely city and trying to keep my fit bridal figure when I suddenly had the worst pain on my ankle bone. The bastard stung me in mid-stride. Right then and there I quit jogging and started drinking earlier in the day instead of doing an evening workout. Who needs to be fit, I already GOT married. (Just kidding!)

On Tuesday, I went to the barn to ride. By the time I left the barn it was beginning to get rather dark outside. It was a beautiful night; I had the windows down in the car, and was happily singing along to the radio when suddenly there was a buzzing right by my visor. Now mind you, I was cruising along a 2-lane highway when this buzzing began. Not only a 2-laner but a 2-laner with everyone going 70 mph. Speed limit? What speed limit?? I glanced at the windshield when I heard the buzzing and saw something that looked waspy. A flashback of the canoe incident went through my head so I tried to get a grip and think logically. My luck was running out. I was going to die AND get stung at the same time. I still had about a mile and a half before I would reach a gas station where I could get off the road and find out if I was indeed being swarmed. I shut off the radio and opened the windows in hopes that the wasp would fly out while I maintained my NASCAR speed. During what seemed like the hour-long journey to the gas station, I glanced up a few times to see if the shadow was still above the visor. At one point, I could see it crawl UNDER the visor. I was quite close to complete panic when I reached the gas station. I zoomed into the parking lot and stopped under a light so I could see. As I screeched to a halt, I practically LEAPED out of the vehicle with my hands waving like I was shooing away an entire nest of wasps. I finally got really brave and flipped down the visor. There, in the light of the gas station, was a *&@%$&#(#*&$*&!!@@!!! MOTH.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


DSC01026
Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

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DSC01024
Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

Hang on there, Cowboy...!

On Saturday H & I headed off to Grand Rapids to see Professional Bull riding. H was kind of dwaddling and I actually had to keep urging him to hurry along so we could meet the bullriders at one of the Grand Rapids tack stores. How is one supposed to be a #1 Fan if one doesn’t meet the celebrities??? Ok, so it was just a meet and greet where they politely pose for pictures and you aren’t actually supposed to fall in love with them. Whateveah. And yes, I have posted a picture. I figure a good way to debut myself is to do it surrounded by hot cowboys. MY WORD, they were HOT! I don’t think I look too much like I could be one of their mothers…
Meeting the purdy fellas we had watched all winter while holed up in the Motel 6 was quite an adventure. Aside from my fantasizing about running away and having one of their children, the highlight of the meet and greet was when H said to the guy who is currently ranked 3rd in the world (and who, incidentally, went on to win the event), “You don’t look nearly as big as you do on TV. You are pretty small.” As this is the guy in the picture who is in the red shirt, you can see how much he warmed up to H as a result.


The weird thing about bull riding is how immune people become to the physical punishment that goes on in the sport. At one point, a rider clonked his head against the horn of the bull during his ride. The announcer said, “Looks like he just broke his nose is all…no major damage.” Everyone cheered as the poor guy gave a half-assed wave and walked off with blood gushing from his head. Ouch. As the sport is backed by an advertising machine on par with NASCAR, commentary on just about every ride is peppered with labels.

"Folks, these guys take a beating every night. It's a good thing they have Absorbine Junior to relieve those sore muscles."
or
"Folks, that there bull nearly got away from Cody except for the fact that our rodeo clown in his Wrangler Jeans, Mossy Oak vest, and Justin Boots got to him just in time to help that cowboy, wearing his Smokeless Tobacco vest, get outta there just in time. Seiko time, that is!

or, best of all...

"Folks, it looks as if our cowboy is pretty shook up. His hip may be shattered and it looks like his leg is hanging at a bit of an awkward angle but luckily the good folks at Anthem Health will make sure he gets on the proper road to recovery."

Ye Hah!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Looking forward to a bucking good weekend

It's Friday and time for the weekend! YEA! Rough week. I think the onset of Fall is beautiful yet stressful. We are supposed to be enjoying the lovely leaves and colors and harvest goodies while making soup, buying sweaters, and scheduling time for football games. I am so not a multitasker.

This weekend, H & I have tix to see Professional Bull Riding. Oh ya baby, we are so going cowboy! You see, during our stint at the Motel 6, H & I sort of became addicted to PBR on OLN. It is quite embarassing, actually, that we had the TV on SO MUCH during that YEAR OF COMPLETE HELL that we not only bought tix to the closest event, we actually joined the PBR FanClub so we could get good seats! It is going to be so blogworthy! Stay tuned.

This past week, in anticipation, we went to Tractor Supply Company, the headquarters for all things Wrangler. As if preparing for a promlike event, H tried on and purchased a *Wrangler* shirt, boots, and a sporty belt for the big rodeo occasion. Just in case the OLN TV pans the audience...we are all set. We will be the folks looking like we drove from Indiana, are wearing unfamiliar Wranglers, and hoising beers with the rest of the crowd. PBR wannabe's, if you will.

Iwill try to post pictures...maybe of US...ON A BULL!

In Wranglers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I had an affair over the weekend

Despite staying in a *motel*, my weekend in Kentucky was a success. My girlfriend was correct…the place was a motel not a hotel. I was just thankful that our extreme tiredness and post-event cocktails put me in a peaceful slumber each night. Otherwise, I would have been awake and stressing about the condition of the bathroom. Enough said.

My friend and I volunteered to work 8 hours at Equine Affair in Louisville in exchange for free admission and a free t-shirt. With the price of gas I am thinking we possibly lost money. Nonetheless, it was great fun and the perfect weekend away.

We drove the 5 hours to KY in driving rain on Thursday night. We arrived at our *motel*, had a few drinks, and called it a night. Friday morning we arrived at the volunteer booth refreshed and ready for our assignments. We had been assigned to work the information booth; however, we were instead put to work selling programs. The two of us must have looked very trustworthy as we were given several hundred dollars, 3 boxes of programs, and sent to a far arena without being asked for any ID or volunteer info. We could have gone to the beer tent, drank the money, and left the programs and no one would have known. Of course, we didn’t go to the beer tent. Instead we stood outside the Monty Roberts demonstration (where he does his horse-whisperer thing and, in the matter of 20 minutes, a wild bucking bronco is calmed, saddled, and ridden by Mr. Roberts. The bedazzled audience then goes home, whispers the very same words to their unruly horse, climbs on, and spends the next several weeks hospitalized with various broken bones.) Not only did we get to take turns peeking thru the gate to watch The Horse Whisperer, we hawked nearly all of our programs! A+ for program-selling!

After lunch we reported back to volunteer headquarters to find out our afternoon assignment. For the next 4 hours we were to work *Door Security*. We had strict instructions NOT TO LET ANYONE IN OR OUT OF OUR ASSIGNED DOORS. Roger, captain. I am all of 5’2”…an imposing figure to those who think they can slink in and out of the *Secured* doors. I waited for some sort of badge or even maybe a gun holster but we were sent to our posts sans guns, tasers, or even one of those big Maglites that would have at least made us LOOK important. My door post ended up being kind of a hidden exit (major security risk!) so it was fairly easy to deter folk from coming and going. Except for the one guy who was in a scooter-thing and with this big brown-eyed kid. They tried to break in and, although they put up a good argument, I flatly refused to let them enter despite the fact that the scooter-guy was going to have to run down his scooter battery by having to scoot around the entire building to the entrance. I don’t care if you are handicapped…I can’t get fired from my volunteer job or I won’t get a t-shirt or free admission!

The best part about the door-security thing was that my door was right next to Tommie Turvey’s booth. That is Tommie Turvey, Equine Extremist. I had not heard of Tommie Turvey; however, in talking with his family working the booth, I found out he is one of those guys who does all kinds of trick riding. Suddenly I was not only a budding horse whisperer, I was moving toward jumping my horse over a flaming wall! KEWL! It was so interesting to meet the family. I felt like my door security detail put me right in the front row of Hollywood stunt people in addition to the t-shirt/free admission!

My friend and I were pooped after our day of work; however, we still managed to make a few purchases and watch some of the clinics on Saturday. Before we left Louisville, we toured Churchill Downs for a final horse-related activity. Now I have decided to become a jockey...


The End. Written by WalkTrotCanter, Equine Extremist/Horse Whisperer Extrodinaire.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

...what was our room number again?

First and foremost, I am back to the internet world! YEA!!! Geez, talk about having a lamoid social life...I was so depressed about the non-InternetConnection, I really thought I was going mental. (BTW, many thanks to the two cable-guys who combined brains on this fine afternoon. I promise to bear your children if that is what it takes to repay your kindness...ok, maybe not...but I'll be happy to buy you a drink.)

Anyway.

I am going away for the weekend. A well deserved rest involving cocktails and horses…a small bite of mecca for me as these are a few of my favorite things. A friend and I are heading to Kentucky. We signed-up to be volunteers at Equine Affair, a big horse expo being held in Louisville. Both of us are very giving and helpful people; however, we are only doing the volunteer bit to get the free admission and free *Equine Affair* t-shirt. We are very giving but indeed very cheap. In order to get the bonus items we have to work for 8-10 hours at the expo. We signed up several months ago. Naturally, we had visions of oh, perhaps riding in a demo, assisting one of the famous celebrity guests, or cooling-off one of the famous horses thus being discovered for our hidden riding talents. Instead we have been assigned to work the information booth. This should be interesting. Informationally speaking, neither of us has a clue because we have never been to the show nor to the place where it is being held. If nothing else, it will provide good blog material in addition to the t-shirt and free admission. We have a cooler of beer and wine coolers for the post-information-booth discussions.

In planning for the big trip, I have noticed one small detail that, if I talk about it, will make me sound like the true snobby bitch that I am. I figure that in order to just get it out there, I will do it here…to the poor folks who don’t know me but get to create their own visuals of my somewhat pathetic yet amusing world. If I ever happen to meet you in person…say you have just popped into one of those fancy designer stores on Michigan Ave. in Chicago to check out a fabulous sale and you see a short-ish woman dressed in Eddie Bauer Outlet clothing who has no business being in this poshy store much less in the store arguing about the actual price of an item and getting absolutely nowhere, that is most likely me. When you see the security people start milling around, you can probably just let them know I am WalkTrotCanter and this is typical behavior according to what you have read. Thanks in advance. ANYWAY, the smallish detail is that the woman I am road-tripping with is super-duper nice and I honestly love her to death except for the fact that she keeps calling our hotel “the MOTEL.” Now let’s just step back a moment…in thinking “HOTEL”, I see queen beds, in-room coffee maker, one of those attached-to-the-wall hairdryers, complementary soap (possibly Aveda), and hangers with a laundry bag in case you want to send your laundry out for cleaning. “Motel”, on the other hand, = CheapOneNightStandIHadInCollegeWithSomeGuyIDon'tRemember. Ewwwwwwww. As I forge ahead to middle age, I would like to retain some teensy shred of dignity so please, for the sake of the bitch, could we refer to our place of rest as the HOTEL?

I so need help. LOL

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I finally came out of the closet

I am sadly still internet-less at home so I have only been able to pop on to read blogs while at work. Since I am supposed to be working at work and not blogging, this is not a good thing. We have Technician #5 coming to the house tomorrow who will probably test the line, tell me it’s not working, run yet another cable to the cable box, find that it still isn’t testing correctly, and tell me he has to schedule a different, more techy technician to come out. The techy technician will be scheduled and I will be told it will be 24 hours or less; whereby I will eagerly await the launching of the internet only to find out no one will show and I have to begin the cycle yet again. I am starting to think these people may just be the very same folks in charge of homeland security these days.

H is on a mission to get the closets put together this week. Put together as in brackets, closet poles, shelving, etc. It didn’t seem like a big deal when we were moving not to have any place to hang or stack clothes; however, once I moved my enormous shoe collection into the middle of our room in addition to the already-unruly pile of clothes, he realized it was time to take action. Naturally, it couldn’t be as simple as screwing in a bracket and pole. Oh no. It involved the never ending saga of decisions and commitment. Where did I want shelves…on this side or this side? Wire or white shelving? Shoe compartments? A designated area for belts? For the hanging clothes what heights for the poles? Really, if he just made it any type of configuration, I’d learn to work with it. Good grief. When will he ever learn I am not the pay-attention-to-fine-details-unless-it-involves-working-with-shotglasses kind of girl? So anyway, we have gone back and forth, hither and yon, and out of our minds with figuring out the very bestest way to store our clothes. You would, by observing the process from afar, think we had tremendous wardrobes of only the finest designers instead of our stacks of Old Navy t-shirts and Eddie Bauer outlet shorts.

Last evening, in the midst of H’s nightly closet-design lecture I suddenly had this epiphany. Sadly, as H’s wife I often focus on the every day “Geez, he can’t seem to wipe up the crumbs off the counter” or “Cripes, he missed the laundry basket again!” instead of seeing the guy who can create beautiful and amazing things as a skilled artist and craftsman. Duh. Here I was, listening to his helpful suggestions for convenient living, not realizing I can have whatever I want because he can make anything! For me! Just the way I want it! Suddenly I went wild…I started pulling crap out of my head that I had seen in magazines and model homes thru the years. Built in belt holders, slide-out jewelry boxes, a hidden area for valuables…H just stared as I recited a monologue of what my dream closet should include. It was like he had finally broken the code and was getting the feedback he wanted. “Will do,” he said, “now go back to your cocktail and let me get to work.”

Wow, this whole house-d├ęcor thing could have some plusses after all.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

...and the saga continues

Ok, I would just like to point out that only I could be moving into a brand-spanking new house with Brazilian Cherry floors, ceramic tile, and Eucalyptus Country Ledgestone accents while thousands in the southern US are having to live in shelters. Humbling indeed.

Greetings from HellWithoutAComputer! Yes we are moved. Officially! A few highlights:

We are getting our entire security deposit back from the innkeepers at the Motel 6 despite the fact, mind you, that in the midst of the cold winter when H & I had a fire one evening, a burning log rolled out of the fireplace and singed the carpeting. (It was reassuring to know that the cheapo carpeting in the place began to melt and give off toxic fumes rather than burst into flames so our lives were spared.) I had since been on a mission to find out how to conceal the melted area for some time due to my absolute refusal to let the Motel 6 management keep our deposit. I love a challenge. I finally read something that said to use a disposable razor to gently shave-off the singed carpet fibers. Ever the procrastinator, I spent the entire morning shaving the carpeting on the day we moved. I can’t even shave my legs without cutting myself so H was there to coach me as I performed the delicate surgery with my trusty Bic. Worked like a charm…who knew?

On the morning we were to close on our loan, I received a call from The Bank. I was at work and trying to get a million things done so I could dash to the closing on time. The conversation went something like this:
TheBank: WTC, I just wanted to confirm the closing time today.
WTC: Yeppers, we’re there! With bells on, baby!
TheBank: Super! Please be sure to have your photo ID’s.
WTC: Yeppers, all set! Bye Bye Motel 6 suckers!
TheBank: Yes, and please be sure to have your cashier’s check in the amount of $1,000,000,000 made out to the title company.
WTC: YOU-HAVE-GOT-TO-BE-KIDDING
TheBank: Why, no. Didn’t anyone tell you about the overage?
WTC: Why no. And how f-ing kind of you to let me know ON THE DAY OF THE CLOSING WHILE I AM WORKING AND CAN’T LEAVE MY OFFICE.
In my old age, I am getting much more assertive. It’s about damn time and I love it. I did have to get the check; however, by the time we arrived at the closing, I had received several calls from various bank officers to apologize for the lack of communication. The title-company-closer-lady nervously apologized and gave H & I a humongous basket of goodies and samples and coupons. Apparently, the gang at the title co. had a big *function* (i.e. party) so our paperwork was not done until the last minute. I don’t think that will happen again.

H & I rented a storage unit last year since the Motel 6 apartment was crammed with stuff and, quite frankly, there was no more room at the inn. It was a bit Christmas morning-like to open up the door of the storage unit to reunite with belongings we had not seen in over a year. I forgot I HAD half of that stuff! A visit to the storage unit was also a grim reminder of my emotional state a year ago. Any reader of past posts knows I was for the most part dragged kicking and screaming thru the welcoming doors of the Motel 6. That’s putting it mildly. It was more like admitting a crazy woman into a loony ward. Consequently, we are discovering my packing-up of household goods was a little hodge-podge to say the least. For instance, one big brown box in the storage unit was packed to the gills with brand new fluffy bath towels. The towels were more fluffy than usual when we opened the box due to the mounds of mice poop inside. My lovely towels had been converted to a condo development. What was I thinking to leave such an inviting home-to-be in an unheated, undisturbed storage unit? Talk about leaving a light on. Indiana can thank me for the recent drastic increase in mouse population.

Most important, is the continuing saga of getting the internet to work at the new house. As you know, I have been marked absent in BlogLand for several weeks. Today will see the appearance of the fourth cable-connector-guy to perform yet another attempt at making contact with all things cyber. For some reason, the rocket scientists at the cable company cannot get everything to *sync up*. Further, for some reason, the customer service folks at said cable company cannot understand why I am upset about the bill for installation and one month’s use of the un-sync-ed Net. I so hate to get assertive yet again…lol.

At any rate, it is a bummer to feel so out of touch and I can’t wait to plop on the sofa with a cool cocktail to catch up on all of my blog-reading. It amazes me to realize how quickly I have come to look forward to reading the day-to-day musings of people I have never met. Certainly, it shows how powerful writing can be. Why else (and I would link these if I had time!) would I worry about Mandy having a safe and happy trip to see her hubby, or miss Hot Babe’s recorded observations, or vicariously go bar hopping with Kiddo over the weekend, or cheer-on BlogHero Stacy as she converts the world to all things Boca.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I am Inter-Net Less!

Just a note to say we moved this past week and NO INTERNET YET so I popped into work for a sec to pay an online bill and let the BlogWorld know I am alive. I don't have time to sit and catch up on all of the BlogNews. It has been like detox...but I'll have loads of good reads once I am up and running again!

Have a safe holiday everyone!!!!!