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.