Sunday, December 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, Sis

Today is my sister Katie's 39th birthday. I have not spoken to my sister in nearly 9 years. NINE YEARS! It is a long and drawn-out drama, but the jist of it is that my sister did some things 9+ years ago that led to my saying "Enough is enough!". My theory is that there are folks in your life who you want as friends...simply because of the wonderfulness of how those people are. There are others you prefer to have little contact with because they are just not your type or they do hurtful things to others that you just can't understand. This applies to folks who are unrelated as well as those who are related...hence my relationship (or lack thereof) with my little sister.

And it hurts sometimes.

My sister Katie was glamorous, daring, fun, spontaneous, and had the best ESPRIT clothes of any teenager I knew growing up. She was smart as a whip and had a wonderful sense of humor. I still smile when I picture her getting ready for a date. She would be wrapped in a fluffy towel, reeking of Estee Lauder White Linen, and strutting her stuff to Boy George. (Ya gotta love the 80's!) I always admired her quick wit, her long blonde hair, and her big boobs.

Katie is 39 has 4 kids now. And a lovely 2-story house, and an SUV. I suppose she still has the wonderful clothes and the fabulous sense of humor and the great boobs. And, although I have been hurt by many of the things she has done to me and my family, in a small way I want to wish her a Happy Birthday from her big sister who still loves her an awful lot.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Climb aboard!

Behold...My new barstool!

How cool is this for a horse-a-riden gal?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Only a few more miles...

Well, I definately messed up my month of blogging every day. A girl has to ride her horse, doesn't she??!?!

Anyway, the other day I was driving and found I was feeling *really* lucky:

Kind of gave me the creeps but at least I was going the speed limit.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

George and I...and Me & George

So, about yesterday...geez, it was fun, tho. I will apologize again for my nopost; however, it was well worth the IAmSoTiredICantMove.

I remember as a kid I used to go to the 4-H fair. Every year I would watch the other girls, (the GIRLS WHO HAD HORSES) *hang out* with their very own horses. It was like a private club I so wanted to be a part of! They would casually sit atop said horses and chat with each other...kind of like lounging on the couch and gossiping...only they were on THEIR HORSES and HANGING OUT. Man, it was so cool and I SO wanted to be one of them.

Yesterday I went to the barn to see George. BarnFriendEmily was there and, well, she is 13 and she not only has a horse, but she is in 4-H. Let's just say that BarnFriendEmily is one of those girls I so wanted to be way-back-when.

I saddled up George and BarnFriendEmily saddled up *Vegas* and guess what...??? We HUNG OUT. ON OUR HORSES! Just like I wanted to do about a zillion years ago. Ok, so who cares that I am now nearly 42...I HUNG OUT!!! We rode a bit, sat on horses and talked, rode a bit more, sat on horses and talked, and then did it all again. I have to say, it was everything I imagined it to be. I was beyond thrilled, I tell you.

I finally had to unwrap my legs from around my new horse. I went home, took a hot shower, and crawled into bed. Honestly, I felt like a kid who has over-experienced was crazy! And I was so happy. And I loved it.

Yea, so I didn't do my daily post. Ok, so ya, whatever. I hung out. I sat on MY horse and hung out. Yea, so I am 42...Just feeling like 14. Finally!

I missed

...yesterday's post!

Fortunately, the reason is that I was out enjoying one of the best days I have had in a long time and by the time I was able to drag myself inside all I was able to do was put on my footie pj's and hop into bed. So, let's count this lamoid bumble of words as Saturday's post and I'll write a beaut for today.

Fair enough??


Friday, November 17, 2006

It's Friday!

Geez, this work week was a bear! I am ready for a week-end!!! I have big plans to get the house whipped into shape for our Thanksgiving company. You know, wash the curtins, freshen up the bed linens, make sure the bar is stocked...all of the important hostess things one must do when hosting.

The reality is that I will probably go riding for the majority of the weekend. And make sure the bar is stocked.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Love and Loss on the River

H & I were up at Nantucket a few weeks ago to get things put away for the long winter. As I mentioned previously, the place is a virtual plethora of personalities…honestly, I could write a book. Our neighbor *Denny* is a retired forklift operator who lives on the river year-round. Since H & I purchased our *little piece of heaven* six and a half years ago, Denny has had two live-in girlfriends. Girlfriend #1, we found out later, was actually Wife #2 who had, after the divorce and several years away, came back for unknown reasons to live with Denny. *Wanda* was not too friendly and, according to Denny, was into macramé and tanning. We did not see much of Wanda and during our first winter we found out she had, at the end of the summer, gathered up her macramé knots and vacated. For a while, Denny was a bit of a lost soul. Whenever we saw him, he would mention how he was *looking for companionship*…it was kind of sad, especially when he would ask if I knew of anyone who might be interested in him. I had a difficult time telling him that no, I couldn’t think of any good looking women just now who were looking to move into a remote, riverside cottage with a retired forklift operator who smoked generic cigarettes, wore sleeveless t-shirts, canvas slip-ons, and whose conversation topics centered around how many walleye he trolled-for or how he suspected a meth-lab was operating on the far side of the river.

Fortunately, Denny met *Lois*, the widow of his ex-best riend who happened to somehow be attracted to one or all of Denny’s many attributes. Lois was one of those rather tough women who seemed to have very high bleached hair, tight jeans, and baby doll t-shirts. She wore rings on all of her fingers. Denny was over the moon in love. After a year or so of romantic riverside love, it was evident that Lois had some family issues that included, but were not limited to, a son who was stealing money from her and a needy sister who lived several hundred miles away. Since Denny’s idea of *companionship* is a good woman who cooks for him and listens to his stories and gives him physical whatever, the romance fizzled like rain on the campfire and Lois and her 4 x 4 truck moved on. In a twist of broken-hearted luck, just as Denny’s crushed ego was beginning to mend, he suffered a minor stroke while changing out a pipe under the kitchen sink. He was admitted to the hospital for several days which must have somehow stirred up the dual-exhaust in Lois’s own heart. She was back! Mind you, H & I learned of these comings and goings at odd intervals when we would head up to Nantucket for quiet, relaxing weekends. It was driving us mad to have such drama unfolding by the week in the cottage right next door…like TV only better!

It turned out, to Denny’s extreme disappointment that Lois was not back in his life for the long haul. As soon as the color returned to Denny’s cheeks and he was back to his walleye-trolling stories, Lois once again revved up the good-bye and peeled out of his life.

When H & I were putting the boat in and raking leaves a few weeks ago, Denny tapped his generic cigarette pack against his hand and again lamented about his need for companionship. (H suggested he take in a foreign exchange student!) Now that Lois is out of his life, it seems he is in for a long winter indeed. So much so, that he proclaimed as he lit up a smoke, “If I don’t find some companionship soon, I’m gonna leave this here river!”


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Show me your horsepower!

I don't have much time right now but I must say that my *lesson* this afternoon was fantastic. I can ride again!! The TrainerFromChicago was so much help...George was wonderful! Well, that is, after he pissed and moaned about having to work.

I am happy.

I have my horse and he works!

A+++, Georgie!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Now this is a horse of a different color!

It seems George has morphed into a horse of a different color. The sweet, gentle, obedient, trustworthy Quarter Horse I looked at, fell in love with, and purchased is gone. Now I have a stubborn, pushy, testy horse that makes me feel like I have not only never ridden a horse, I have never even been around one. Frustration. I realize this is a part of the whole *horse ownership* thing but I have to admit, I had visions of George and I doing beautiful patterns around the arena, a partnership of my dreams! Instead, we seem to plod for a while and then he grabs the bit and runs. It is definately taking a toll.

To fill you in, dear readers, (all one of you!!) I had taken lessons from a trainer forEVER...he was fabulous, knew me like a book, and unfortunately, moved to a new barn about 45 minutes away. Not only is his new barn far away, it also is VERY fancy schmancy and charges more than my mortgage for a month's board. Hence why I am kind of *on my own* at my little local barn with George. I miss Good Trainer!! This is difficult!!!

Tomorrow is the dawn of (hopefully) a new day! I am having a lesson with a trainer from Chicago (yes, that makes me sound very barnsnoblike!) TrainerFromChicago is coming... I know this woman from a few years ago and she is very good. $60 an hour good! So, we'll just see what George and I can learn!

If nothing else, this and the whole *BLOG LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER BLOGGED BEFORE* is a good test of creativity and patience.

Monday, November 13, 2006

And the moral of the story is, always be prepared...

On one particularly hot day this past summer, I went grocery shopping directly after my weekly riding lesson. I had thought I was being very practical as far as not showing any underarm stains by wearing a light pink polo shirt to my lesson…since most likely I would be all sweaty after my ride, I could still go to the grocery store and look like a semi-human person. Ya, good plan. As I let my horse out into the pasture after my lesson, he stepped in a puddle and splashed muck all over the front of my pink shirt. No underarm stains, just big pooey splotches, folks…nothing to worry about!

Despite my muddy clothing, I made my way to the grocery store, ever determined to get my groceries. As I was getting out of my car, I heard a woman scream. I looked up to see a car speed away, presumably with purse snatcher and purse inside! The poor woman was a mess. She had put her purse down in the trunk of her car while she unloaded her groceries. A guy walked by, grabbed her purse, and jumped into his getaway car. The aftermath was all detectives, video footage, and me getting interviewed in my pink polo with mud splotches all over the front. Figures, you are just never ready for a crisis! I wanted to say, “Look people, at least I don’t have PIT STAINS…and this is MUD, not HORSE SH**, I swear”. The woman whose purse had been stolen was very thankful for my cooperation and time in staying for all of the police business. At the end, she even gave me a big hug and didn’t even let on that I looked a bit *disheveled*.

I had pretty much forgotten the whole event until last week when I received a thank-you card in the mail. It seems the purse-snatching thugs were arrested and the woman was thrilled to have her purse in-hand once again. Inside the note was a gift card...perhaps she is really thanking me for my time and assistance. Why do I feel somewhat as if she is suggesting I buy some detergent or possibly a new pink polo…

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A secret I have been keeping...

A few weeks ago, H & I had to go to the funeral of my older brother's mother in law. My sister in law's family has lived in this town for eons so there were, honestly, a zillion people at this funeral. As we sat waiting for the service to begin, I noticed a man standing in the doorway. He caught my eye and proceeded to walk over to me, H, and my parents. He said hello to me and I said hello...and then introduced him to H and my folks, saying the usual, "You know John...his kids went to school with us, etc. etc." My father knew of the guy so he made some comment, as did my mom...the usual sort of polite chat. The man excused himself after this pleasantry and walked away. A few moments later, he came back to me to tell me that I had mistaken him for someone else...he was actually someone I used to work with and not the person I had introduced him as. I never did say anything to my folks or to H...they think he is John. Uggh.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Problem = Tears = Sanity!

I braved the freezing-cold weather today to go to the barn and spend time with George. I think we are in the *testing* phase, wherein he tries every trick in his Quarter Horse pocket to see what he can get away with. When I brush him, he likes to try to nip me when I move to his right side. And riding, well riding has been a bit of a disaster. When we walk he is all, "OK, we're cool, baby...this is fun and I am soooo relaxed and listening to you...". When we move to trot the tune changes dramatically. "WHATHEFU**??!?!?!?! I AM GOING TO HOLLOW OUT MY BACK, RAISE MY HEAD TO THE ROOF, SHAKE MY HEAD, AND GRAB THAT BIT AND RUN!!!!!!!!" After 15 or so minutes of this today, I was frustrated to tears. It was like I had never had a riding lesson in my entire life. I tearfully approached George and said,
"Look, I have spent thousands of dollars and a hell of a lot of my time trying to learn to ride and if you think you are going to screw me up you have another thing coming Mr. Quarter Horse From Hell. (By this time I was sobbing) Poor George didn't know what hit him. I hooked up a lunge line and lunged the crap out of him...he was not allowed to stop trotting or cantering for a good 15 minutes. Poor guy. He was in a sweat when I finally climbed back on his back. He was not an angel but I think I got his attention and we walked and trotted without too much fuss for another 5 minutes.

Much as I hate the frustration I felt today, I think George is going to be a wonderful teacher for me. Ok, so I hate the tears...but I solved the problem enough for us to have a good end to our ride. And tomorrow we'll give it another try!

Happy trails!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Stuff

It seems Winter is started at about 60 I sit by a cozy fire, the wind and rain lashing outside! You have to love the Midwest! Not much planned for the weekend, thankfully. H & I will *close Nantucket* (the cottage) on Sunday. Otherwise, I will be cleaning house, grocery shopping, and visiting my *George* at the barn. I rode today but G was definately testing his new rider and it was not pretty. I am looking for someone who will travel here to give me lessons...hopefully I will find something soon.

Sorry for the lamoid post...just trying to get my quota in for NaBloPoMo. Rather pathetic, I must say.

Happy weekend!!! Does that help?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just another Distinguished Alum

My younger brother, now 27 years old, is one of those people who have a life where everything goes just right. He is the youngest of 5 kids and, honestly, it makes all of us absolutely sick. Everything just falls into place no matter what the situation. While in school, he was not a good student by any means. We were all worried about what was going to happen to him with his miserable high school grades and general lack of motivation. After much anguish (mostly from my parents), he was able to get into a state college by the hair of his chinny chin chin. While in college, he met some key folks and was able to secure an internship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by the time his senior year rolled around. Several years later, much to the envy of the rest of us toiling officefolk in the family, he landed a job as a media person for one of the more well-known NASCAR drivers. In essence, he has a really neat life and he really enjoys it and it all continues to roll along very nicely. Yes, we are all happy-for and proud of him, don’t get me wrong. It is probably normal sibling rivalry that makes us roll our eyes as he mentions how he hung out with Ben Affleck all afternoon. Or how he walked the red carpet with Paul Newman and Owen Wilson at the premier of that race-car cartoon movie CARS that came out a few months ago.

Naturally, it was not a huge shock to me when my mother informed me recently that my brother has been selected to receive a distinguished graduate award from his college. This award is giving to chosen alumni who have, I guess, found REALLY good jobs in their chosen fields and are a positive inspiration to aspiring students. As my mother mentioned, you sort of think of these awards going to, say, someone who is saving starving children or perhaps solved the problem of world peace…not to someone who hangs out with famous folks and watches car racing every weekend. My mom asked if I would scan a copy of the alumni paper that ran the article on the awards so she could email it to some relatives. Although I am not the one in the family who has the glamorous career, my mother was indeed impressed with the job I did re-touching my brother’s photo for the article.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Child is an Honor Student...

Yesterday afternoon I headed out to the barn to visit George. Yes, I wanted to ride; however, my real reason for going was to give him a pep talk. You see, yesterday was to be George’s first day on the playground, so to speak. His first day in the pasture with his new horsey friends. If you don’t know much about horses, I must l tell you, they have a rather pronounced pecking order within their herds. Defining that pecking order is not pretty…often it involves squealing, biting, kicking, and general foul play much like say, the popular cliques of my high school but with a lot bigger kids. When a new horse is introduced to a group, the group immediately gangs up and says, “Hey, just who does HE THINK HE IS??!!” When New Horse says, “Hmmm…, I think I want to eat THIS hay!”, they pin their ears, bite him, lash out with several swift kicks, and say, “Oh yeah?...we don’t THINK SO!!!” It is a bit of raw nature that is interesting to watch say, on The Discovery Channel, but not necessarily with your very own first horse you have wished for, fought for, and waited a lifetime to have. I felt a little like how a mother must feel the first time her son plays in a real football game...the other kids are going kill him and I want to throw my arms around him and shield him so he doesn’t get hurt! Needless to say, I had to let poor George fend for himself…I could only stand by and watch. And maybe plan on tending to his wounds after all was said and done.

George and I had a mother-son conversation about defense, sharing, and playing nice with the other kids before the Barn Manager put him out in the pasture to face the music. Much as I pictured poor George getting his shiny Quarter Horse ass kicked by the 5 other horses in the pasture, I am happy to report that he seemed to have wisely listened to my lecture by generally munching hay with the rest of the boys without as much as a squeal. I seriously think he might even be elected Homecoming King.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My heros have always been cowboys

I'm off to ride.
Ride my horse for the first time.
Go George Go!
Well, not THAT fast.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

George comes home

*George* arrived Saturday afternoon. (He's the guy without the hat) He stepped off the trailer and was all "What the hell's going on here? and "Where the hell is the bar?" I gave him some hay and settled him into his new digs. It's a nice bachelor pad complete with a feed bucket and clean shavings. Today we took a tour of the indoor arena...he was thrilled with the footing and overhead lights. I brushed him and talked with him about how excited I am that we are going to be great friends. He is really excited about the carrot part of the deal.

Tomorrow after work I am planning to lunge him and...take our first ride! He kind of crunched on his hay by the time I talked about that but I am sure he will be just fine with the whole riding thing.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Horse, Of Course!

There was a friend of mine when I was a teenager who got a horse for Christmas. As in, her parents knew she wanted a horse with all of her heart and soul so they got her a beautiful palimino gelding. That same Christmas I believe I received a cross-stitch set and a red blouse. My parents were not wealthy and I always tried to be thankful for what I had; however, a horse was always my wishaponastarblowoutthebirthdaycandleswhatdoyouwantforchristmas dream.

He arrives at 2 o'clock today.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Um, I think I'll go with the pumpkin pie instead

Lately something at work has become a bit of an issue with me. It shouldn’t be a big deal; however, it is really cutting into my love of fall’s bountiful goodies such as apple cider, apple doughnuts, apple fritters, and gooey caramel apples. A few weeks ago, the *person in charge of office/sanitary supplies* bought a new air freshener. You know, the cans of spray used in the jon for those who choose to *go* at work. (Before anyone starts pointing fingers, let me just state for the record that I am not one who can *go* anywhere except in the sanctuary of my own home. Unless under severe intestinal distress, I choose to keep my business quiet. I once went 3 weeks on an overseas trip without as much as a pea-sized poo, that’s the extent of my neurosis!)

So, anyway, this new air freshener is the scent of apple pie. Apple Pie. Need I say that every time I smell the poo/apple pie thing in the hallway of the office, my love for all treats apple wans a tiny bit more?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

All things big and small

Well, the countdown has moved to mere hours. I will have my very own horse on Saturday!

I have been running hither and yon to get things together for the big guy’s homecoming. Like any new mother, I have washed saddle pads, bleached brushes, purchased stall shavings, bought several 50 lb. bags of grain, and phoned the horseshoer. H came home with a surprise the other evening…a bin to hold the grain. This *bin* resembles a piece of very large furniture. I am a little nervous I will seem like the *barn snob* when I move in with this big honking feed box.
I can only hope my fellow barn folks will welcome the addition and the comfy if not extra-roomy seating it will provide. Maybe we will all end up flopped-around like a bunch of teens at a slumber party…giggling, gossiping, and sneaking drinks of booze…all while perched on my grain box.

At any rate, tho a tad nervous, I am feeling like a kid at Christmas. I have wanted my own horse for as long as I can remember… Dreams. Can. Come. True.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Things that make you say "Hmmmmm..."

The other night H phoned me from his place of volunteerment. He volunteers twice a week at a shelter for abused women. His job there is to work with children of the victims while their mothers are attending group therapy. The children benefit by having a positive male figure in their lives, even if just for several hours.

Anyway, H was breathless when I answered the phone, as if he had just run a 100 meter dash.

H: “WTC, can you please look up the number for the emergency vet clinic?”

WTC: “I thought you were working with kids.”

H: “I need you to phone the vet to see if lice will spread to dogs”

WTC: “Lice?” “Like, HEAD lice?”

H: “Yeah” “We need to know if it will spread to dogs”

WTC: “I know it can spread to husbands”

H: “I KNOW” (getting irritated) “But we are really concerned about the therapy dog getting it”

WTC: “I see.”

I have been itchy ever since.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dusting off the Roundpen

I’m back.

I found I just needed to take a few months off because, quite honestly, I could not think of one clever thing to write. In the event I happened to think of something clever, my creative juices would go all catawampus on me and I got to the point where I could not spit out any shred of cleverness. See? Major conundrum. I felt I needed to abstain long enough to cleanse myself. There. Now that I sound like I did a stint in the local convent, I will pronounce myself back to the blogging world.

I had a great summer! In a nutshell, I went to California where I rode horses on the beach, in the mountains, and amongst the giant redwoods. I also sprained the crap out of my ankle and had to spend several days in a deck chair with a lot of beer. H & I also went to Cancun for a week. Friends of ours called in a panic saying they needed to fill a timeshare they had purchased...some lamoid folks cancelled on them. H & I put on our rescue capes and scraped together enough cash to fly down and get tan. It was rough but we managed. On the home front, we planted a few things that might grow big enough to someday look like landscaping. By the time we get to the retirement home, it should be time to split some hostas and black-eyed susans. We managed to get to Nantucket a few many stories there. Let's just say King of the Hill, shall we? (More on that later in future posts)

The biggest news of all is that I bought a horse. Not just any horse, but a horse named 'Wild as Can Be'. He is beautiful, exciting, sweet, well-built, and bound to be the love of my life. He will arrive at the end of October. With the *new project*, I believe it will be a good time to start up the ole blog again. This could be a rather scenic ride...:)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Our house is the one with the Red Roof...

Like many folks, H & I like to travel cheap. That is, when we go away for a weekend, we don’t like to spend a lot of money on food and hotels…we prefer to save our money for the event we plan to attend. And for cocktails, of course. Often we will pack a cooler, make our own lunches, and stay in a lower-end place. Let’s face it; it saves a few bucks for other, more interesting and tasty portions of the excursion. On our recent trip to Lexington, we did our usual cheapie-road-trip thing…cooler, lunches, and reservations at the Red Roof Inn. When we were checked-in to our room, H asked me if I liked the lamp that was on the little desk. I gave him a strange look and said it was ok…then he asked if I liked the pictures in the bathroom.

I answered that I couldn’t see any pictures in the 20 watts of lighting that was intended to illuminate the bathroom and how come he was asking me these absurd questions instead of fixing me a cold cocktail.

“All of this can be ours!” exclaimed H, waiving a catalog.

It seems, according to the brochure H held in his hands, one can now purchase many of the items found in the Red Roof Inn rooms. For our very own homes! I have seen this marketing ploy popping up recently; however, mostly in higher-end hotels. I can kind of understand the temptation to purchase the fluffy robe, or signature coffee mugs from the 5-star hotel where you vacationed, honestly, but the idea of decorating one’s house to look like a room at the Red Roof Inn seems to be pushing the envelope just a bit. The brochure said we could buy not only the desk lamp but the shower rod, bedspread, and bathroom artwork. The *look* wasn’t inexpensive, either. The *bathroom artwork* was so exclusive it required us to “Inquire about price”. (Hello? Yes, I am calling to ask about the price of the fine art that was in the bathroom of Room 312 of the Lexington facility? My husband and I just built a new house and we are quite certain that particular piece would be perfect above the fireplace…)
With a bit of willpower, we did manage to stick to our strict budget and pass on the decorative items. We figure we’ll save our money to purchase the pulsating shower head at the Super 8 during our next stay.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Kentucky Recap...

Twas no surprise that this past weekend once again confirmed the fact that some of my very favorite things in life are horses and picnics with copious bottles of chilled wine. H & I really enjoyed our weekend in Lexington! The Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event draws quite the crowd. As we did a bit of shopping in the trade fair, I had to snap this pic with my phone just for Kiddo…(the girl's backpack says Winona State!)

On Friday, we walked the Kentucky Horse Park but we were not too exhausted to pass up dinner at the Horseshoe Saloon. It was one of those bars located near a hotel off the expressway where the locals seem to congregate to check out visitors to their fair city. H was fascinated with the drunken girl in tight white pants with no underwear lines. She was in her early 20’s and quickly became the love of his life. He gazed at her longingly as she proceeded to consume an entire pitcher of beer in less than an hour. I was torn between watching H watch her and scoping out the hottie in the “It ain’t gonna lick itself” t-shirt. I really needed a camera at that point but I had stupidly left it at the hotel. I decided I need to move to Kentucky for more interesting blogging material.

Saturday we watched lots and lots of horses as they galloped and jumped around the park. They are so beautiful and so amazing.

We also ate and drank too much…especially H who gets really grossed out by the porta-pots…
He cracks me up

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sunshine, Seeding, and Shopping!

Well, I survived the business trip to Orlando! There is nothing that improves a girl's tan lines more than going to a lovely resort hotel in Orlando and having to stand in a windowless conference room in khaki's and a long-sleeved shirt. It is, as I call it, *corporate torture*. Thank heavens the folks in the booth next to ours were kind enough to share their bottles of white wine! Lifesavers, I tell you, Lifesavers!

Some brief updates as to what is happening in the Land of WalkTrotCanter...

It seems that spring has sprung here in the *land of perpetual home maintenance*. Much to the utter delight of our rather obsessive-compulsive neighbors, H & I have begun to do some lawncare. Sort of. Since last summer's grass seed dried up in the drought, we have reseeded the lawn. We had to go to the local hardware store to buy a *broadcast spreader*, one of those things you walk behind that sprays seed and fertilizer evenly. Lucky thing I was with H for the big purchase as the salesman tried to sell H on the benefits of the $60 spreader with "inflated wheels" as opposed the the cheapie $20 one with "plastic wheels that won't absorb the shock". Ok, how much "shock" needs to be absorbed when one is walking behind a broadcast spreader? I told the guy we weren't planning to do any four-wheeling, we were merely intending to spread our grass seed evenly. So, anyway, our *broadcast spreader* purchase and lawn reseeding seemed to have set off a chain reaction here in suburbia. I had to snap a picture of one of the neighbors last weekend as he ran behind HIS broadcast spreader in a desperate attempt to catch up with our budding golfcourse-like lawn. (For the record, we have nicknamed this guy Paul Bunyon)

In other news, H & I are off to Kentucky this afternoon to attend the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event. This is one of the coolest horse shows around. Even H likes it!!! It is held at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The folks who ride in this can qualify for the Olympics and the World Equestrian no, I am not riding! This weekend will, however, involve my favorite things: horses, picnics on the cross-country course, shopping, and spending time with H when he is finally NOT WORKING!!! YEA! The camera is packed so I will post some action shots of H & I having wine, H & I stuffing ourselves with picnic food, and probably H & I standing in line at the porta-pottie. A full report when we return...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Where is my SPF??

I have not fallen off the face of the earth! I have just been terribly busy...and terribly uncreative. This week I am in Florida. I wish I could say I was soaking up the sun with a cool umbrella cocktail in-hand; however, I am on a business trip wherein I have to dress nicely, behave, and refrain from ordering those oh-so-colorful martinis!!

I will have stories upon my return...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

You think YOU'RE wierd...

Kiddo tagged me to list 6 wierd things about myself...hmmmmmmm, only 6? Let me see if I can narrow it down from the zillion things that make me the neurotic woman I am today:

1) I am absolutely repulsed by spit. Something about it makes me utterly nauseated, especially when I see it on the sidewalk. Once when I was a kid someone spit in my hair and I threw up.

2) I have a somewhat odd fascination with copier repairmen. I guess I just wonder how you get into that line of work. And they are usually such characters. We had a repair guy who came to my old office who looked exactly like a 1970’s Barry Manilow. He even had the Spandex pants with the wide waistband.
The current copier repair guy who comes to our office gets extremely excited and lights up like a child on Christmas morning when he talks about how the roller brushes disintegrated thus affecting toner distribution. I think I want to marry him.

3) The sound of a dog licking (its paw or any other area for that matter) makes my skin crawl. That “schlurp, schlurp” noise can wake me out of a dead sleep.

4) Ditto with the *dog throwing up* sound. H is amazed with my hearing ability at times.

5) I often listen to Delilah After Dark on the radio. On purpose. I have no further comment on this.

6) I almost always get constipated when I am away from home. It has been cause for some serious embarassment such as the time I went home for a weekend with my boyfriend in college. I *finally thought I could go* and my boyfriend's mother forgot to knock and walked right into the bathroom. Things were stopped-up for a very long time after that incident. This condition continued to cause problems for me when I got married (not to the boyfriend) to H and spent 3 weeks in Ireland. I thought I was going to die a slow, bloated death and H wondered just what the hell he was getting into. His entire village in the West of Ireland was offering me cures for my *problem*. It is always nice to be offered a drink in someone's home, but not when it is offered with a, "Well now, this glass o'hot whiskey ought ta get the pipes a'movin. Do they have this problem a lot in America?"

Wow, you probably feel like you know me a bit better now, don't you...

Tag you're it: Herb, Mandy, Stacy, Belinda, HotBabe, and Christine...
The rules are, once you've been tagged you have to write a blog with 6 weird things/habits about yourself. In the end you need to list 6 other people to tag and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment saying "You've been tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog...

Monday, March 13, 2006

On Golden Pond...

On Saturday, H & I headed up to our cottage to make sure it is still standing after a long winter’s nap. It is! Yea! We bought *Nantucket* about 5 years ago when H discovered it in a For Sale by Owner booklet. I think he decided we didn’t have enough projects in the midst of remodeling our old house and designing and building a brand new house…so he found the perfect *project house* to help fill in any gaps where we might decide to, say, relax or go on vacation. We like to think of the cottage as *Nantucket* in the sense that we resemble the Kennedy family who can whisk off to a lovely weekend home as a getaway from our mundane everyday life. I must admit that our Nantucket is much more rustic than anything remotely Kennedy; however, the cottage is a fun place because it’s on the water and hey, there is always enough booze to make you ignore the décor and just be thankful there is at least indoor plumbing. Rather than *Nantucket*, I often refer to our place as *Jusfuckit*.

Since the past 2 summers have been filled with fun-adventures that involved selling a house and H singlehandedly building our new home, we have not had much time to spend at the cottage. Our last attempt at a weekend away, in the midst of HouseBuildingHell last year, ended in a horrible explosion of tempers when the plumbing in the bathroom decided to act up just as H stepped into the shower. As I recall, we ended up packing the car and heading home right in the heat of battle. It was ugly and I believe it to be a major contribution to last summer's complete and utter hell. Now that we are in the dawn of a new summer, H is once again raring to go on anything and everything involving work, tearing out, building, home improvement projects, and driving his wife completely mental. So off we went on Saturday to *make a list* (H’s pre-storm warning that tells me we are in for some fun!) of what we need to buy for this spring’s project.

One of my favorite things about the cottage is the neighborhood. Think King of the Hill. This is a colony of retirees who simply live to fish in the summer and survive on pure gossip in the winter. Let’s meet the neighbors, shall we…

*Denny* is a retired forklift operator who, after divorcing *Wanda*, told me he was in need of some companionship. He eventually hooked up with *Lois*, the widow of his best friend. When speaking of Lois’s husband, he will talk about his best friend but in the same breath say how “that bastard never treated Lois well a day in his life.” Denny wears canvas slip-ons, smokes generic cigarettes, and is usually a good source of what’s what.

*Jack* is Denny’s neighbor and sworn enemy. We are not sure what started this feud but we quickly learned that there is no love lost between the two. Jack is also retired, annually trains the swan families to eat from his hand, has a mysterious woman who arrives for a week or so mid-summer, and has pretty much greeted us with a friendly “Hi Neighbor!” when we have crossed paths.

*Tina* is a single mother to little *Glorianna*. Tina moved up from Chicago under mysterious circumstances. She introduced herself to us while her dog had the shits all over our yard. Glorianna or "Glory", is her overweight, somewhat obnoxious daughter who, at 7, is home-schooled. When they first arrived, Denny was looking for companionship and had high hopes with Tina…once referring to little Glory as “cute as a button”. This all stopped with the arrival of *Uncle Phil*.

*Uncle Phil* is Tina’s friend/brother/uncle?? We can’t figure it out. Uncle Phil arrives from Chicago every weekend in a blue Lincoln Towncar. He mentioned to H that he works in real estate. He purchased a pontoon boat and Chocolate Lab puppy for Tina and Glory. He also can't swim so he wears a life jacket most of the time when he is outside. The life jacket came in handy when Jack nudged Uncle Phil in his boat and Uncle Phil almost fell in the water. As a result, Uncle Phil hates Jack even tho the nudge was supposed to be a joke amongst neighbors. Since we heard Glory refer to Uncle Phil as “Dad” a couple of years ago, we now also refer to Uncle Phil as Tina’s Bootie Call.

*Richard* lives 3 doors down from us and is the neighborhood drunk. He seems to switch teams as far as alliances as he speaks to both Jack and Denny but not necessarily at the same time. He drives his boat very fast, usually with a beer in hand. Richard attempted friendship with H once by bringing him a tupperware container of rice casserole when I was not up at the cottage with him. H was afraid eating the rice casserole would put him smack in the middle of the Denny/Richard/Jack relationship so he played it safe and brought the tupperware container and rice home to throw it away.

*Bob Yager* lives across from Richard and, according to Denny, is thought by the majority to be “Queer as a three dollar bill”. Bob has a lovely landscaped yard with copious flowers, a bright pontoon boat with colorful flags, and young male visitors nearly every weekend.

By the looks of things on Saturday, the cottage is still standing and the gossip is still being served-up fresh! Denny informed us of his mild stroke while changing the kitchen faucet in November, Jack was feeding some baby swans, Bob Yager had a load of fresh potting soil delivered, Richard was holed up watching NASCAR, and Uncle Phil's Towncar was parked at Tina's. Can't wait for summer!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Precious Minutes

My mother just phoned to let me know that she and Ray have a new cellphone number. Mom has become high-tech enough to use her cell for all of her long distance calling. She noticed she was running out of minutes and was wondering if she was allowed to change calling plans so she got on to her dial-up internet and tried to check it out for herself. In this age of Blackberrys and Bluetooths and Razr’s and wireless internet and laptops, somehow the p’s always seem to put things into perspective.
Some snippits from our conversation…

I finally had to call the customer service number the other day and talked with the nicest girl! They sent us this new phone that we get for FREE! To buy it would cost $79.99!

I called again today after we got the phone to see how to activate it. The girl told me to just turn the phone on and I said, “How??”

…Then the new phone rang and I got all nervous so I asked her, “What is THAT? How do I answer??” I tell you, this girl was so helpful!”

I’m standing right here looking at this new phone! It answers when you open it and hangs right up when you close it…it’s a Noika flip or something!

We even have rollover minutes now! This is so good for your father!

This afternoon your father and I are going to figure out how to get the welcome message the girl sent us…we are just going to take our time and do it right!

The girl told me she needs a new phone, too. I told her she might want to get this one, it is really slick!

Your father has it all set up here…he is even charging the battery!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Darn barncats...!

So this new woman is boarding at the barn and she is annoying the hell out of me. I know this is very difficult to imagine since I am so rarely bothered by things; however, I am to the point where I am timing my visits so I don’t have to run into her. I am not the only one feeling this way, which I guess is a good thing. It means I am in with the *in* crowd even tho I don’t own a 35K horse! Yea me!

Anyway, *Lisa* is one of those people who tries extremely hard and with all her might to keep up with the Jones’s. (Me, I simply tap my heels three times and hope to hell I can pay the mortgage AND still lease my horse.) Now mind you, the *Jones’s* where I ride are more like *Rockefellers* so it is no easy task to keep up with any of them. Except for me…the AntiRockefeller.

On Saturday I was particularly irritable. I had gone to the doctor for a bruise I had on my leg. I thought it might be from riding but I was not sure. The doctor’s “OH MY GOSH!” kind of scared me and, unfortunately, she asked that I take a few days off from riding because it looked as if I had some soft tissue damage that was having a hard time healing, etc. etc. So, I was kind of bummed out and thinking my Olympic riding career was on the fritz. I went to the barn to brush the muck off my little guy and just have some quiet time when I encountered *Lisa*. After some idle chatter, Lisa mentioned to me how she isn’t planning to move her tack box to the barn just yet…this as she eyed my Rubbermaid storage bin with the “You’re ugly and that’s too bad” sticker on the lid.
I wonder if she thinks my tack box a/k/a Rubbermaid storage bin has cooties that will make her tack box look cheap? She also proceeded to inform me how she purchased her new horse from Washington State from a breeder. Ya whateveah. As if the horse is worth more because it is from another state? By this time, I was trying to ease myself away from her before my self esteem took a complete tumble into the familiar depths of non-horseownership. That, and I can tend to get a tad bitchy when pushed to my limits. This is when she dropped a zinger and said how unfortunate it is that I have to ride a horse that has “lameness issues”.

Lameness issues? I don’t think so.

Oh yes, his hips are way off and he tends to favor one side.

Yeah, well, he’s mine and he’s a peach and I am lucky to have him right now. It sure beats getting too far into debt buying something I can’t afford much less ride.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hindsight really IS 20:20!

I went to the eye doctor the other day which is not exactly a spalike winter-blah boost but I needed new contact lenses. My order from 1800 Contacts was held up until I could get an optomolic blessing from my doctor. I have gone to the same eye doctor, bar the couple of years I lived in Boston, since 4th grade. Is that not scary? As I sat in the examining room I tried to remember the various styles of glasses I have worn. Let's just say it was not a pretty time-travel journey. My first pair of specs, at the start of 5th grade, had red plastic frames with a slight swirly-shape to the sides. Oh, so pretty! I remember my friend Ellen had a similar pair in light purple but her mom splurged and let her get a heart embellishment on the bottom of the left lens. I hated her.

Being from a family of 5 kids, 3 who wore glasses, I had to wear the red plastics until I *was allowed* to get contact lenses in 8th grade. An excellent choice for both fashion AND durability, that first pair of glasses took me thru several jr. high volleyball and basketball seasons. The fact that I was no athlete subjected them to a number of bumps and elbows… A teammate even sat on them in the locker room once and they bent right back to perfect shape. My mother finally thought I was responsible enough to *care for the costly contact lenses* once I was nearly a teenager. She just never heard about the mascara wand I accidentally jammed into my eye the first week I wore them. The *coal black* waterproof Maybelline made a permanent mark on the right contact that stayed there right thru high school and college. (This was before disposable contacts for you youngsters out there!) My eye doctor finally asked me when I was planning to replace it and I had to lie and say I just kept forgetting to tell my mom.

Just after college, H & I were married and living in Boston and I suddenly became intrigued with the whole serious I’m-an-academic look. Heaven knows, I wasn’t very serious or academic in college so it was about time I got smart. I decided to chuck the contacts and don some large, round wire style frames. As one coworker told me, “They make you look very wise”. I was thrilled. Convinced that I was fooling the world into viewing me as one of those women often seen in Glamour Magazine…who are supposed to be working in an office but they have that “I’m Looking for Mr. Goodbar” sultry smile,…
I stuck with that theme for a few years. I was working in Banking, wearing spectator pumps and suits, and, like the Glamour lady, was working my way up to that glass ceiling! That phase of eyewear, along with my banking career, ended with a pair of thick black frames that made me look as if I had some serious issues to discuss.

H waded patiently thru those years and I think was secretly relieved when I announced a few years ago that I had once again found some new frames. The *new frames*, I later realized; put me right on the cutting edge of fashion. I shattered that studius look with a grayish greenish frame with imbedded sparkles in the sides. Yes, just follow me girls…I had Bling before it was all the rage.

Now in my 40’s and no longer feeling the need to look intelligent, I am back to contacts with the bling frames thrown in now and then. I figure this will keep me going until I find the perfect glasses-chain to wear around my neck…

Monday, February 27, 2006

That's HoochieWalkTrotCanter from now on...

One of the habits, I guess you would say, of living in a small town is that from the time you are a wee child you are genetically programmed to pick up the local newspaper in order to read several items religiously: The arrests and the obituaries. You just never know when the little kid you used to babysit will get arrested for dealing cocaine (this actually happened to me!) or your former classmate oh, say, is attacked and eaten by a grizzly bear (also actually happened to me...see The Grizzly Man movie...but that's another post entirely). Anyway, a religious reader of local interest items, (ahem!) I glanced at the obituaries this morning and found such a precious little gem of an obit:

Evelyn Louise Storey
EVELYN LOUISE STOREY "Hoochie Mama" Merrillville, Indiana Age 87 passed away in her granddaughter's arms with her grandson and their spouses at her bedside, February 20, 2006 at Colonial Nursing and Rehab.

Hoochie Mama??? I LOVE it! The obituary went on to say,

On June 30, 1935 she married Alvin "Did" Homer Storey, a marriage that lasted 60 years and produced three children.

I told "Did" (aka H) he may want to take note...THIS is how I want to be remembered:

She enjoyed plastic cross-stitch, games (cards, dice, cribbage), word-search or crosswords, fishing, traveling and was known to be "The Master Teller of Dirty Jokes." She delighted in performing in the annual talent show put on by the senior residents of her Ahepa Phase # 3 Apartment complex, where she resided for 8 years.

"Did" was not impressed that I inquired about tickets for the annual talent show at the Ahepa Phase #3 Apartment complex, nor did he appreciate my asking to be called Hoochie Mama from this point on. "Did" did, however, enjoy the dirty joke I told as we ate our oatmeal.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A sign this day just might be a challenge...

I was tired last night. Really tired. FallAsleepOnTheCouch Tired. Luckily, it's the weekend and better yet a weekend without a time schedule. Ahhh, the best laid plans...

This morning at 5:45 the poodles were alive and kicking and raring to go outside. I tried to ignore them but really, how does one ignore the *big chase* that involves Missy tearing across my body in a blur of white fur followed by Mr. P bearing his teeth and growling like he is going to rip her apart. No more sleep for this cowgirl. Miraculously, H was sound asleep. No, he is just better at faking sleep than I. Anyway, I trudged out of bed, down the stairs, and out the door to let them out.

Another big chase around the yard and Missy stops to take a poo while Mr. P PEES on her.



Friday, February 24, 2006

Walktrotcanter: Defined

walktrotcanter --

A person who has the ability to be invisible

'How" will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Tundra outside my kitchen window...

Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

Why I am not going outside today:

The combination of cold early morning temperatures and northwest winds
of 15 to 20 mph... will produce dangerous wind chills ranging from
20 below to 30 below this morning. Wind chills will rise above
dangerous thresholds by late this morning as winds diminish and
daytime warming occurs.

Daytime warming = 9 degrees!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Coming This Summer: Walktrotcantering on Brokeback Mountain!

Yeah, so Hot Babe gets to go to a sunny island. Whateveah...

My friend asked if I would like to go to California this summer. She has a sister out there who she visits every year. From what I understand, the sister has a nice piece of property nestled in a valley very close to the mountains. The sister also has several horses so we will be riding and riding and maybe riding some more on this trip. My friend said she wants me to go because, selfishly, she wants a horseback riding buddy. I told her no problem...she can use me all she wants for that.

I have known this friend for several years and have often heard about her sister. Apparently, Sister has not had very good luck with men. She was in a very abusive relationship when she lived here in the Midwest so she went to California to get away from all of that. Once in CA she met and married a guy and had 2 kids. They were divorced about 2 years ago because the guy was fooling around behind her back. She bought her place and moved away from him. When my friend asked me to go with her in July, she was a bit nervous. She asked me out to lunch and hemmed and hawed a bit before I finally said what's the deal. It turns out that the sister, in light of all of her man problems, has turned to women. She now lives with a woman and, as my friend nervously pointed out *incaseIwanttoturndownthewholetripbutsheknowsIhavefriendslikethis*..., they share a room.

Between becoming my own version of a cowgirl out west and experiencing first hand some sort of a lesbian/bisexual Brokeback Mountain thing, this summer is sure to generate some interesting if not thought-provoking blog material. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

...and then I took on the roofing company

One evening during the year of HouseBuildingHell, H assigned me meet him at *the plumbing place* so we could pick out the sinks, toilets, and faucets for the new house. Because I was so (not) *into* the entire process of the planning, decorating and emerging beauty of the new house, I none-so-eagerly showed up after work to browse the various colors, shapes, sizes, and finishes of all things plumbing. Anyone who followed the neverending saga of building The House heard about how I detested the whole process …thus I was usually not a very pleasant person during these little shopping trips.

Nancy, the plumbing hostess, led us to the display of kitchen sinks once we had *tested out* both the standard and comfort height toilets. (She actually had us sit on the toilets so we could *feel* the difference. H was really enjoying himself during this. He even practiced holding a newspaper so he was truly sure which height was best.) PlumbingNancy was happily chatting about the benefits of her own black kitchen sink as she presented the selection of sinks. It never showed dirt, was terribly modern with her decor, etc. etc. The kicker with sinks, I found out, is that they come standard with a certain number of holes for the faucet, sprayer, etc. As luck would have it, the *Cashmere* colored sink came only with 3 holes (see, otherwise you have to have that *unsightly plate-thing to cover the extra hole) when the *Fairfax* faucet we liked required only 2, one for the actual faucet and one for the drinking water spout-thingie. PlumbingNancy suggested we get a soap/lotion dispenser to fill the extra hole. She was thrilled with the dispenser she had with her black sink and she raved on about how she doesn’t know what she would do without it. Obviously, PlumbingNancy does not live with H. Her husband probably works in an office and does not come home covered in pipe dope, drywall glue, and other various substances H encounters at work. Nancy's husband most likely comes home and announces he just needs to freshen up and he'll be back to help Nancy with the second and third courses of their meal. H for some reason jumped on the bandwagon and hailed the benefits of the in-sink soap dispenser. He lauded the utter convenience of the thing, how well they are made, bleah bleah bleah. Nancy was beaming with delight. S-O-L-D.

Fast forward to the present:

The soap dispenser and I have had an ongoing battle of goo since day one of installation. The damn thing is possessed and driving me to drink. (As IF I even need a ride!!) H is tired of my ranting and finally tells me to write to the company and stop complaining to him. I write a scathing letter to Kohler that ends with a question as to why I can purchase a soap dispenser from Bath and Body Works that will dispense thickasheck- beaded-with-moisturizer-anti-bacterial soap without fuss for just a few dollars while my $$$$$$$ *Kohler Fairfax* does not and has never worked.

I received a new dispenser for all of my troubles. Yea. On top of that, I received a note from *Customer Service* stating “We have determined human error as the cause of the soap dispenser failure”.

Human error?

MY Human Error?? Honey, I have worked in Customer Service for nearly 20 years. I could give seminars on The Golden Rule of dealing with customers so I'll give you a little hint: You never blame THEM.

I wrote back stating that my only human error with their product was purchasing it in the first place.

Anyway, it's all Plumbing Nancy's fault... but at least I didn’t get a black sink.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Just in case you notice me in blue eyeshadow and liquid liner

I stopped out at the mall the other day. It was Clinique Bonus Time and, well, even when I have all the makeup I need I can still find something to purchase in order to get that free gift which still, after nearly 20 years, includes bright yellow Dramatically Different Moisturizer. Who can’t resist that cheery colorful makeup bag with the fun trial sizes? Once while purchasing my obligatory amount of Clinique in order to get my free gift, a woman was walking past the counter with her husband. She saw that it was Bonus Time and suddenly turned to her husband and said “I…I…need some…something!” She didn’t even know what she would buy but she was obviously upset with herself for shopping with her husband during Bonus Time…husbands just don’t quite understand the obsession.

When I first began wearing Clinique makeup, I was just starting college. I remember feeling like I was entering a special sisterhood as I walked up to the brightly lit counter. Suddenly I felt very, very mature. No longer would I peruse the Maybelline and Bonnie Bell aisle at Walgreens. I would instead plunk down an obscene amount of money for bright silver eyeshadow cases and faux green marble blusher containers. And I, like many others, would eagerly await Clinique Bonus Time when it was all worth it because you got free stuff. Being a virgin to this new way of makeup shopping, I was assisted by the woman in the sterile white lab coat who was behind the counter. I remember she had short, blond hair and wore red glasses very similar to Sally Jesse Raphael. Several of us eventually referred to her simply as “Red Glasses Lady”.

Where did you get that great frosted eyeshadow?

Well, Red Glasses Lady recommended it…it’s a new shade.


I can’t remember which color blush I used last summer…I’m going to have to check with Red Glasses Lady.

Always friendly but never pushy, Red Glasses Lady helpfully guided my friends and I thru Honey Blush, frosted eyeshadow duos, Moisture Surge Lotion, and self tanner.

I have since, in the course of makeup-wearing, shopped other Clinique counters in various cities across the country and even the world. The other day when I stopped in at my original store for my purchase and Bonus, I was assisted by none other than Red Glasses Lady herself. Only now she is sans the red glasses due to lasik surgery a few years ago. As I was waiting for her to ring up my purchase, another customer and I began talking about Red Glasses Lady and her friendly years of service to us. RGL returned to the counter and heard the last of our conversation wherein I said, “I feel like I have grown up with her!” To that, RGL smiled and informed us she is going to be retiring next month. The other customer and I both agreed that Clinique Bonus Time surely will not be the same without her. Certainly, our makeup shopping will not be nearly as comfortable without her expertise. Who would we trust now for new shades of colorful shadow and makeup tips? In a way, it was kind of sad. I didn’t realize how attached I was to something so everyday and familiar that I didn’t really think about it. I even feel kind of bad now about straying from her store to others during the last several years. I felt like a bit of a Clinique-counter slut. Anyway…

Thanks Red Glasses Lady…I’ll miss you!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My latest senior moment

For some reason, I have a great sensitivity to seeing old men by themselves. I have no idea where it comes from, since the majority of my life is spent making sarcastic fun of people in general. It happens nearly every time I encounter an older man who isn’t doing something retiree-esque such as golfing or having coffee with his friends. If I am, say, shopping and I see an older man stocking shelves or worse yet being a greeter in a store, I have the tendency to get a bit teary. To me, they just deserve better. He probably misses his wife and her wonderful beef stew and maybe his kids grew up and live far, far away and don’t call or write and that’s why this poor guy is working his part time hours to pass the time until Wheel of Fortune comes on at 6. My sister calls it my *sickness*. She will burst into gales of laughter in telling the story of my emotional encounters with the older man that used to work in the local K-Mart. Every time I went into the store there he would be stocking the Martha Stewart towels or slowly trying to figure out the cash register in the midst of a bunch of over made-up GenX teens. Once, to my horror, my sister phoned me to say she saw him sitting all by himself, ringing a bell and dressed as Santa Claus in the front of the store. I avoided the place for the entire holiday season. I must have died a lonely old man in a previous life.

Last Friday I was doing my usual grocery shopping. I was moving along, minding my own business in the chip and dip aisle when suddenly I had one of my *senior moments*. Coming towards me in one of those motorized cart-things was an older gentleman. He had on a little pageboy cap and very thick glasses. He motored right for me for a brief moment and suddenly took a sharp left turn right into the potato chips. As he buried the entire front of his cart in the Ruffles I could hear the air-tight bags popping and the chips breaking. Instinctively I wanted to turn around and just go away. Heroically, I might add, I grabbed the *handlebars* of his cart and planted myself so he could bury himself no further into chip and dip hell. Mumbling something about how to stop, he slowly moved his finger from the *gas pedal* and brought the thing to a stop, nearly running over my foot in the process.

As much as I wanted to shake that old man and scream at him for making me all teary and emotional because here he is all alone on his little cart crashing into things with no one to help him because his wife died and his kids never call and how did he even get to the store did he actually drive himself????, I instead smiled all brightly and said, “Whoops, better take it easy there!”

I really do need some help. Really.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hello? Is it you???

Tonight at the gym I was on the eliptical trainer...located just behind the treadmills. As I huffed and puffed, I happened to look at this woman who was working just as hard as I on her treadmill. She looked vaguely familiar. You know, how you KNOW somone...but you just can figure out WHO she is. The entire time I was eliptically training, I stared at Treadmill Woman. Who the hell IS SHE?, I thought?? As finished my eliptical workout, Treadmill Woman happened to be finished with her workout and headed out the door to her car. She glanced my way once with no sign of recognition.

All of the sudden, it came to me! This person, Treadmill Woman, looked exactly like BlogPerson Lynne! I don't even know Lynne, I am but a lurker on her site...but I have seen so many pics from HotBabe, Stacy, and Christine, that I recognized her right there on the treadmill in my very own club!

Lynne, next time you are pep-stepping away on your treadmill in NW Indiana and the person behind you on the eliptical trainer is staring at you, rest assured it is just me, WTC.

Practice makes perfect...if you have the time.

I just got a call from my mother. Now that they are both retired, she and my dad enjoy attending these educational seminars offered by our community. The seminars are directed to seniors and cover all sorts of topics from medical issues to political issues, to music, to pets. They actually sound quite interesting even to a non-senior like me. They are, apparently, so interesting that the venue where they are held is getting too small for the senior crowd. According to Mom, some of the attendees have complained about parking, not being able to hear the speaker, and even not enough seats for everyone. My heart goes out to the poor soul who has to field those phone calls.


Mom told me she and Dad just received the newest seminar schedule.

"Your father and I just got the new Social Senior Schedule. They finally decided to move it to a larger building. It was so crowded your father couldn’t hear."

"That’s great Mom, they seem to get quite a crowd."

"Well, your father is pretty sure he knows the parking around the new place."

"It will be handy to know where to go, especially in bad weather."

"The programs don’t start until next week but your father and I are going to drive to the new place tomorrow."

"How come?"

"Well, your father and I need to practice going to the new place."

I so need to retire...

Friday, January 13, 2006

I couldn't stop lisenen to her

I have a most unfortunate duty, I think, in that I have to be “The Voice” of the phone system at my workplace. You know how when you call a business and “The Voice” gives you a number of options that hopefully get you to whom you wish to speak? That Voice. Once my mom called and when I answered my phone she said, “That was YOU!...That voice…It was YOU!” as if she had suddenly recognized me on the street and realized I was the leading lady in an academy award winning film. It was very exciting for her.

When I record the greeting, I try to be very careful about my pronunciation and diction because I am so very anal retentive. During the *recording sessions*, I need several attempts before I am satisfied enough to “go public” with the finished product. Hey, it isn't easy rattling off departments and extensions...and timing when to take a breath so I don't sound as if I am gasping for air. Oh, the stress! It is so not my favorite job! Consequently, when I call various businesses, I try to listen closely to their Voice just in case I might pick up any tips for my own performance. It can be very educational I have discovered.

The other day I had to phone one of our customers. The Voice was so very endearing because I will bet the woman spent a lot of time getting it as perfect as she possibly could.

Thank ya fer callin . Please lissen carefully to the followin options…

Fer Purchasin, press one
Fer Perduction, press two
Fer Shippin, press three...

The Voice was actually quite pleasant in a sing-songy country Tammy Wynette kind of way. In listening to the entire list of options there was not a "g" to be heard. It had me so intrigued, I forgot why I had called in the first place!

I am not sure why I wanted to post about this...It is just one of those cute things I find amusing in my odd little world.

Thank ya fer readin it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

When they scratch at the door what does it mean?

I bought some reins on ebay a couple of weeks ago. Now that I have a horse to ride I feel it necessary to further grow my tack collection beyond merely a used saddle. One never knows when one will need to look coordinated and classy on one’s horse. Who knows, I could be invited to a show, parade, or Olympic Games at any moment and I want to be prepared.

When I received the reins in the mail, they included a color pamphlet describing the seller’s spiritual counseling business. The woman is a channel, animal communicator, horse trainer, author, nutritional consultant, energy-meridian therapist, a 4th degree black belt, and founder of Zen Horsemanship. I am thinking I purchased my reins from God herself. Boy, do I ever feel inadequate after reading that resume. The pamphlet included a number to call for past life readings, channeled readings, spirit communications, animal totems, energy balancing, ghost evictions, and animal communications. At this time, I don’t have much need for past life readings or ghost evictions; however, I am kind of intrigued by animal communications.

“Animal Communications are about healing. This takes place in the subtle body of the animal, spreading to their human companions. Increased awareness to the animals’ needs and their purpose is a benefit gained.”

I read all of this and took a good look at my dog Missy as she gnawed on her Nylabone.

“Sucker…I’ll lie here and look like I am all into this and just as soon as that chick leaves to ride her precious horse I am so on the couch.”

I looked over at the other dog as he lounged on his dog bed…

“Ya, AS IF I am supposed to be comfy on this piece of crap. I call the chaise!”

Feeling very increased in my awareness, I bought 2 new dogbeds today.

Monday, January 09, 2006

My main squeeze

Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

He walks, he trots, he canters!!!Finally...A pic of the newest man in my life! Meet Mr. Magoo! His eyes look a bit funky from the flash but he seemed to enjoy our little photo shoot.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I just want to clear the air about Friday

On Friday afternoons, I usually do my grocery shopping immediately after my riding lesson. The store is conveniently located near the barn so popping in, picking up my items for the week before heading on home seems to work out just fine. One disadvantage of my speedy method of grocery shopping is that I am usually still dressed in my riding clothes while shopping. I don't smell or isn't like I stomp in horse shit and wander around the fresh veggies, but I do tend to look a bit dusty just from being in the barn.

This past Friday, I was doing my usual *shopping in ridingwear*. I was nearly finished and heading down the dairy aisle when, just ahead of me, I heard "Ohhhhhhhh Daddy!!!" I looked up and there was a man about my age with three little kids. Another kid said, "Awwww Dad...let's get outta here!" I couldn't figure out what had happened until I moved forward and tried to breathe..."Dad" had let off one of those putrid beer or chili farts that was lingering right next to the margarine. As luck would have it, a woman happened to be heading down the aisle right towards me, just as I entered the toxic zone. Me in my dusty riding clothes.

"Dad" and the kids sped off and guess who got the"I can't be-LIEVE you stunk up the refrigerator section you filthy barn rat!" look of sheer disgust?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A very belated holiday review...

Well, the inflatable Santa, life-sized snowglobe, chaser lights, pine-scented pillows, and NOEL fingertip towels have all been stored neatly in their cheery red and green plastic bins…the holiday season is officially over. YEA!!! (Actually, I never had any of the above…I just like the blogworld to think I get into the holidays like every other red-blooded American and buy the latest and greatest in tacky seasonal items.) I have been the non-blogger for too too long! Not that I have had nothing to write about, it is pure end-of-the-year laziness. That and I have been riding my horse every day for several hours a day. I think I was beginning to get a bit bowlegged so thankfully I am back to work. I am trying not to sit on my deskchair as if it is a saddle…that might get some odd looks from my coworkers.

I have been reading about some of your holidays…you all have these warm, inviting photos to share, silly stories of presents and toys and wonderful trips. Honestly, it is impossible for me to even attempt to top any of that so I will simply review the past couple of weeks in bland list form. You may have the idea I am not very fond of the holidays and you are correct. I don’t detest the merry time of year, I simply get tired of the idea that everything is supposed to be happy, cheery, and tied with festive red ribbons. I do the happy, cheery, red ribbon thing for about a week and then I am broke, crabby, and ready for all of it to end. I do try my best to vew the entire season with humor; however, most of the time I seem to revert back to my usual sarcasm...imagine that. Anyway, back to the list:

H & I celebrated Christmas Eve by munching on Chinese food and watching It’s a Wonderful Life. I fell asleep before my favorite line, “To my big brother George, the richest man in town!” H was happy I was asleep because despite having seen the movie a zillion times, I cry every single time.

On Christmas day, we had my parents and NASCAR brother over for drinks. NASCAR brother brought a jar of North Carolina moonshine he had received as a gift. After tasting it, we all agreed it could probably best be put to use running an automobile. Yikes. On an interesting note, my folks gave H & I a humongous package of homemade sausage as a gift. The thing must weigh about 10 lbs. Knowing I am not a fan of sausage whatsoever, my mother said, “I know you two don’t really eat this, but it will be great to serve when you have people over.” With that amount of sausage, I am thinking we could invite a third world country for a get-together and still send people home with doggie bags.

For the second year in a row, I received no horse-related items as gifts. I give up. Thankfully, I have my own little horse now (YAHOO!) and I am ebaying myself together as far as necessary equipment. As much as I would have LIKED new breeches, a saddle pad, brushes, tall riding boots, a crop, a quilted vest, a titanium helmet, chaps, reins, a snaffle bit, boot socks, and/or a saddle cover, I was a good girl and smiled with thanks for the chocolate fondue set and Dilbert calendar.

H tends to get a bit bummed out on Christmas morning because he would love to have a houseful of kids to wake us with their present-opening anticipation. He has this idea that every other family shares a Norman Rockwell-esque warm fire, well-behaved youngsters, a golden retriever, and a Mrs. Cleaver wife during the holidays. I can’t understand why an icy cocktail, two neurotic poodles, and a wife in riding clothes won’t cut it for him. Anyway, he was feeling his usual we-need-some-kids mood until my brother and his family arrived. By the time our nephew was lounging all over the new sofa eating greasy chicken wings and our niece was projectile vomiting on the new area rug, his tune was rapidly changing to “when can we have our cozy quiet house back”. It was really kind of funny to watch. Poor H and his romantic ideals.

Last of all, it seems our cookies-for-the-neighbors sales tactic worked. We received friendly little cookie-reciprocations from several of the power-washing folks around us. One was even a late Christmas Eve delivery complete with a hearty, “Welcome to the neighborhood!!”. Perhaps they only wanted to get a closer look at Those who don’t decorate the wellhead and Those who don’t extract the unsightly soil from the driveway but the cookies were pretty darn tasty.

By the way, a belated Happy New Year to everyone!