Thursday, December 27, 2007

LIfe at Home

We got part of the house rearranged yesterday. The front room makes a cozy living room, though we're going to have to tweek it a little when spring/summer gets here and the a/c has to be turned on. The couch comes up partway on the vent, but we have enough room to be able to pull the couch away from the wall and make a lip. Cat wasn't sure she was going to like the new set up, but did indeed find it cozy. Today will bring moving the office into the old living room...this is always the most arduous part of the journey. If we play our cards right we'll be sleeping in the office tonight. I suspect it's not a good sign that it's 10:15 and we haven't gotten started yet, but hey, we're on vacation.

I feel bad for having written about my mom...I have tweaked it several times and it still looks ugly on paper. I know that part of me hopes she'll read it and see how I feel...but then I also know that she'll read it and just be mad that I wrote it. I'm not sure what she wants from me. I really don't know. I have never felt like I made the right decisions by her but I never know what the right decision is. I'm not the only one who sees it. My friends from childhood roll their eyes when my mom comes up. They always felt like she gave me a really hard time. One friend said it was amazing I didn't turn into a wildchild. I think the worst part is that no one ever stuck up for me. In my family my dad always used to say "do whatever you need to do to make her happy". Basically: Don't rock the boat. Only I honestly never knew what I was doing right or wrong. (OK, my dad isn't a saint either, but our issues are different, and seem to be less emotionally stressful) I know that I blog about it b/c I keep hoping she'll read this and see how I feel and maybe, just maybe we can still find a way to get along after all this time. But I'm not holding my breath. She thinks it's all me that needs to make an effort. I know that effort needs to be made on both sides.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Frankie at the pound

Cat took Frankie to the pound for me today. They seemed to think they'd be able to place him without too much work. I'm going to mail his papers to them so that they can pass them along. I never knew it, but he's microchipped...just that the chip was never registered to anyone. I hated sending him away and I"m praying that he'll find the right home. I just can't continue to change my life to suit the dog. Everyone said that they couldn't believe I'd kept him this long. I thought I was being a good dog owner, but evidently I was a dork b/c he can't be trained by me.

The house is really quiet tonight with him gone. It was nice to not have to worry about locking up every morsel of food. I set something down on the table and didn't have to carry it from room to room.

I will miss his fun. He was a great trail dog...I wonder if I could still train Scooby to go on the trail and not chase the horses?

Christmas 2007

We had a very pleasant Christmas at our house! We stayed home and played with our new toys (I got a 4 gig Ipod, which was way, way cool) As usual I didn't get Peter anything near as cool as he got me. He's really hard to buy for, usually buys what he wants himself and doesn't tell me half of what he wants. I got him a new pan for the kitche, which he'd been wanting, but it wasn't exciting like an IPOD. I now know he really wanted one, but he wanted me to be so off focused of IPOD so that I wouldn't suspect, that he missed his opportunity for me to go shopping. Peter always takes so much better care of us than we can of him. I want to pay him back.

We had friends over in the evening to eat pasta and watch TV. One of the friends brought some limoncello, which is a lemon flavored liqueur. It was yummy and I found myself drifting to a mellow sort of place and time sort of stood still. I could tell I was tipsy, but all my friends said I looked and sounded perfectly normal. Good thing I don't enjoy that feeling and don't ever drink that much often. It just sort of snuck up on me. And to boot, I had a lovely headache when I woke up this am. The definite advantage to "partying" at home is that you don't have to drive. Peter drank a little but not much, so he was in better shape than I was.

Maggie went home with Shawn and Alexa and we've been spending the day rearranging and getting dish service installed into a new room. We are kind of moving a round robbin set of room stuff and cleaning as wel go. The front room has never been used that much and we are going to make it our living room/den for TV. Hence, the dish being added. It's a pretty big task and Peter isn't his usual energetic self...we've both been playing on the computer a lot. We're doing it partly to clean in anticipation of my father's visit on Sat. Though, honestly, I'm not sure they'll come over here. I don't think my dad's wife likes my house or my pets.

I did talk to my mom yesterday it was not a satisfying conversation. Maggie called her to wish her Merry Christmas. Peter dialed the phone for Maggie as I was in the kitchen getting stuff ready for my dinner and then after a few minutes Maggie brought me the phone and said "she only wants to talk to you if you want to talk to her". I thought it was a weird thing to say, but I said "of course, I want to talk to her". I could tell from her tone of voice that she was grouchy. In fact, she seemed so grouchy to me I didn't get a chance to say much to her before she told me that the set of CD's to learn russian was scratched and didn't play properly. I said that I would burn another copy she told me not to bother b/c she wasn't going back to Russia and it wouldn't do her any good to learn Russian. (Background: She had gone on a mission trip and liked it so much that Peter had bought the Russian cd's for her. I have had them for ages and thought she'd enjoy them as a present, so I sent them for Christmas) I was surprised at her irritation and asked her about wanting to go back to Russia. She said that wanting and getting to go were two different things so I should not bother. I was pretty surprised, b/c I thought that was in the game plan for the future. I just told her Merry Christmas and I loved her and she just hung up without saying anything else.

I know that I didn't get her a good present for Christmas. I told her before Christmas I was looking for one more gift and she told me not to worry about it. I did get her something else though...it just didn't arrive before Christmas. I'm not sure she believed me when I told her though. My sister in law told me that all she really wanted for Christmas was for us to come up. That didn't work out either. I just didn't want to travel anywhere. Shawn has Maggie part of this week and next. We are trying to start our own fun and our own traditions and I know that makes us selfish. I would love for her to come visit us here instead of us schlepping up there.

I can't please her. I know that already. Whatever I do, whenever I do it, I'm wrong. It's always been this way. I am the bad kid and Eric is the good kid. Eric's kids are perfect, my kid isn't. It's some weird competition that makes it difficult to be close to Eric and Cindy, which is something I desire. I try so hard to get along with her and I can never do the right thing. Quite honestly, I'm just done. I can't continue to get worked up over her reaction. I can't continue to anticipate what I think her behavior will be. I can no longer try to pattern my behavior after the reaction I hope to get, b/c I never get the reaction I'd hoped for. It makes me very sad. I would love to be able to call up my mom and talk to her about daily stuff. I wish I could talk to her like Maggie talks to me. I find myself sad, but resigned. I have to quit trying. Nothing seems to make it any better, so I have to quit stressing about it and just move forward. When I try to talk to her about this stuff, she gets mad and turns it back on me. It's always something I have done that is causing the stress.

After yet another attack on Willie, I have decided to send Frankie to the pound. I have alerted JRT rescue so they can find him a home. The problem has been that as long as I Have him in a home, they don't try really hard to find him a home. If I send him to the pound, they will find him a home. I feel terrible b/c he's so much fun and bright and energetic, but he's beating up my little dog and he and Scooby fight as well (though Thank God not recently) I have just grown so weary of taking care of him and protecting my other pets and food on the counters. I'm just done. I think if he had a one dog home he'd be much better off. I have tried to find him a home for over a year and it's just not working. When I meet people who may want him, I tell them about him and they don't want him. I always joke that I can't give him to anyone I like b/c then they won't be my friend. I can't go anywhere without taking him with, crating him or boarding him. He can't just be in the backyard ever. I hate to admit I failed, but I also hate the thought of going on like this for the next 10 years or so.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Playing Catch up again

Frankie and Willie had another go round this week. My friends say that the only reason frankie is still alive is b/c i love him. They are problaby right...I've never known a dog that is this big of a pain. I talked to the vet about putting him to sleep b/c of his aggression toward other dogs, but they urge me not to. I have tried, once again to find him a home, but I'm having no luck at all. No one wants him. If I tell people about him, they really don't want him...I can't imagine him being here for the next 10 years of my life, but then I can't imagine putting him to sleep either. I feel like if I just could get him enough exercise we'd be ok...so I guess more exercise it is.

I spent the day grocery shopping. My Christmas cooking is very expensive and detailed, but I won't be buying anymore groceries after this is over! I have food to be able to cook in the next week or two and that's good. I've been eating out way too much! After hitting a low of 198.8, I'm up to 204. I haven't done anything different that I can tell either, so I don't know what's different. I hate that! I lost it easily and gained it just as easily. sigh. I'm back to weighing each day b/c I find it helps me stay on track.

We have a nice couple of days planned...My food is mostly cooked in the crock, which will be nice. We're having a crock pot version of Cioppino for Christmas Eve and Shawn is coming over. I'm making Rachel Ray's Christmas pasta on Sunday. Both will go well in the crock so I won't be tied to the kitchen. Usually we go to the barn to play with our new horsey toys on Christmas day, which we will do again this year. Alexa is coming over for the Christmas dinner portion of the day...I have to get to the barn for a little while anyway...I'm not sure we have times set for eating yet.

The day after Christmas, we are going to rearrange our house as we often do this time of year. We're going to put the living room in the front room, like it was in the original days of this house. Our couch just fits in the room so that will be cozy. We were talking about how we need a flat screen TV to put in the room...but I don't think we'll be doing that this year. We're going to clean really well for my dad coming and move our office back into the big room so we have more space. We have a lot of "stuff" that will go into the room that we now use as a bedroom and it will be for music and massages and just a "quiet" place. I've already started to dump a lot of stuff like books and just other stuff. I get new stuff at Christmas and then I purge...or I purge before I get.

I finally got Peter something for Christmas that he'll like...took me awhile to find something. I did have one thing i forgot to buy b/c Cat was with me and i just got distracted. But, I did get him some things he'll like I think...More on that later.

We have my computer working for now, but it's not great yet. all of a sudden the wireless is working (don't know why) but it's still not burning cd's. If it keeps working, I'll try to get around in the next day or two and say hi. My sims are still going...they've been fun.

I had a lesson with Liberty yesterday. He's just doing ground work for now and he's going to be great. I have been paying Renee, at my barn to help me with him. She's a fantastic horse trainer. I hope to get with her again next week as well, but I have to wait and see what the weather is going to be like. I have been doing a ton of clinton anderson stuff and he's doing it really well. She's teaching him more John Lyons type stuff and he's learning that quickly as well. He's so smart!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Vacation

Maggie is on break now and I'm still working. My work ethic is in the toilet! I'm taking off next week, but I still have to get through this week. I'm seriously tired today from getting up early to take Cat's son to the airport. Her purse was stolen and she couldn't check him in and his flight left at 6:45...only we missed it b/c we waited in the wrong line 2 times (and then they told us we couldn't check in a minor in either of those lines) He got on the 7:25 flight by just a hair...we went to breakfast and now I'm home.

My computer is ill. I'm on Peter's. Some of the drivers started malfunctioning and now the wireless part doesn't work. Peter took it to work to fix it but I don't know if he'll have time or not.

The weather is beautiful and I want to be outside riding...

My dad is coming for the Cotton Bowl, which is fun, but makes more busyness too. I was looking forward to a real vacation break with lots of sitting around, but now I'll be cleaning and entertaining. I'm thinking of taking off two weeks instead of just one, or only seeing a few clients the week after Christmas. I really need a break. I feel like I'm so busy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I want an Alice of my Own

Well, my kitchen is now clean. I scrubbed it, baked in it and then scrubbed it again. I want an Alice...you know, Alice from the Brady Bunch. She cooked, she cleaned, she was always there to watch the kids...I want an Alice. Then Peter and I would never have to fight again about housework b/c Alice would be doing it. One room down and a few more to go before Christmas arrives.

Today I was able to stay home for the entire day. I have spent most of it on the computer, doing paperwork and paying bills and reading email. My new addiction to Sims 2 has affected my correspondence with my online friends! I made scones for Maggie's medieval party at school tomorrow. Shawn and Maggie will come by and pick them up any minute. They turned out pretty good and I managed to protect them from the dogs!

Christmas was supposed to be slow and relaxing this year for us. It was going to be just family here at home. Partly we planned it this way b/c it's an "odd" year (2007) so it's one of Shawn's years to have Maggie for the holiday. He planned to take her to the HIll Country to see his folks starting th 26th. Then we found out that Mizzou is in the Cotton Bowl and Dad and Shirley are coming down for that. Then I found out that Sara, Peter's sister is coming down the weekend before Christmas, possibly with his mother, which again changes things. If his mother comes down, I suspect she'll be at Nick's house, but we've already planned dinner here at home and invited Alexa to join us. So, I guess we'll invite her here for dinner, which means I have to clean my house a week sooner.

Nice thing about Dad and Shirley coming is that they won't be over here much since they don't like the pets...of course, I'd like to host them in my home. I found out that Shirley's kids are coming down to the game too, so I'm wondering if they're all staying at the same hotel and how much of our activities will center around them as well. I'm pretty jealous of time with my dad b/c I never get any with him alone. I wonder if the weather is nice I can convince them to come watch us ride just one time? My dad has never seen my ride my horse, nor Maggie hers. We're sharing his thing (football) It would be nice if he could be open minded and share mine...but I'm not holding my breath.

Then to make things even more complicated, Shawn forgot to put in for the days off and can't have her until the 2nd for his trip with her. This is fine with me since all of the other family is coming to town, but it's bad b/c one of the reasons we told Mom we couldn't come was b/c of Shawn and he's bugged out. I figure it's better to let her know now how it all went down b/c I hate for her to think I planned it this way. I just knew it wasn't a good year to travel and it looks like my instincts were right on. Too bad my mom can't come down here too since everyone else seems to be. It's also too bad that Eric doesn't have tickets to the game. It would be great fun to have his family here!

The change in plans sets my goal to redo Maggie's room back a week, but it give me an extra week to get the wall paper peeled off. I wanted to get her to take off the wallpaper so I could repaint her walls as a surprise while she's gone. Not really a Christmas present, but redone nonetheless. I want to take Peter to look at a bed she's interested in changing to. She wants a double bed instead of her singles now.

Playing catch up: Freeley was lame at six O and we had to pull. I had a vet look at him on Monday last and he said that he was “post navicular syndrome” which means he’s lame in one heal for no apparent reason and there are no changes on his xrays. This is good and bad news since it means that they aren’t finding anything wrong…but he’s still sore. WE put him on a round of bute and another steroid anti-inflammatory. After 5 days he’s much better. I had already pulled the shoes I had on him temporarily as he interfered so badly that it wasn’t to his benefit to stay shod. His soles are very thin, which I believe is part of the problem. Not sure what to do except to easy boot every time I ride, even in soft terrain. Of course, I did that the last hard ride I had before this lameness and he was lame anyway, so who knows? He’s getting rest right now and I will continue to trim him with him. OH, and the second vet says he’s not rotated at all, which is great news!

Maggie got sixth in horse and rider out of sixth on Joe Bear. We're happy though b/c she finished! She and Joe were so much more comfortable together...though Maggie will tell you that Brody was tons more fun to ride and more comfortable too. She says she really misses him, but I honestly am not sure he's great for her to ride anyway. He's young and while good natured, can be a little frustrating. He needs a more consistent rider and she's not that consistent right now. Heck,she's 10, so it doesn't worry me much. I found out that she and Brody placed 6th in the region as a team and he got 6th in horse. We're going to the convention, but Maggie doesn't know she placed, so it will be pretty exciting. Next year I"m planning for her to start competing Freeley and I will start competing Liberty. However, if he's not ready in March we'll fall back to Joe Bear for her and Freeley for me.

I'm going to change my account settings back to allow any poster to post comments again. However, if someone posts an anonymous comment, I won't publish it since I'm not crazy about publishing comments from people who won't admit who they are. I have plenty of room for dialog and don't even mind a discussion, but not without an identity.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

So tired!

I slept very little last night. Yesterday evening my idiot of a JRT ate a box of rock candy project mix (I'm guessing it was just sugar--at least I hope so) and then he spent the night puking. I did let him outside to puke for awhile, but that requires I stand there and watch him b/c he runs off if not supervised. I now have sticky paw prints all through my house. UGH!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Playing Catch up

Today was a weird day. I woke up late, missed some appointments and then went to the eye doctor where I found out that I have a weird eye problem that is interfering with my contacts. Something about the oil glands in my eyes over producing and causing irritation. I'm switching types of lenses, ordered new glasses and will be good for the year it takes me to save up for Lasik!

I saw one out of 5 clients today...not a good ratio for my day. I think I can get at least one of them rescheduled. The other two, I'm not sure about. My bad...some days are like that. I wish I were more upset about it, but I had so much to do and the eye doctor took so long.

It's the Christmas holiday-itis getting to me I think. I want to do some sewing and it's just not happening. All sewn items will get to people directly after the holidays and it will just have to be OK. I want to do better, but yet, I know my limitations.

Tomorrow I go to Springtown and makeup for the week I missed when I lost my car keys.

I've been so swamped, I thought I had posted about the Simms myself...I didn't realize Peter had done it for me.

In case anyone is wondering...

...where Alice is. Well, all I can say is that Maggie and I have finally succeeded into sucking her into the world of computer gaming. Yes, that is right, computer gaming. Most nights you will now find Alice camped on our nice new couch playing with her Sims(*). It is rather funny in that I am the one to go to sleep most evenings before her.

What is really fun is watching her 'yell' at her computer because her digital teenager will not do their homework. It is almost like a soap opera listening to her talk about what her Sim did this day. *grin*

I am sure Alice will probably return to her normal blogging frequency once she gets tired of the game, but for now she is having fun playing with her digital family.

-Peter

(*)For those of you who do not know Sims 2 is a game where you can create people, any age child through elder, and guide them through life from getting a job to getting married to getting old and everything in between

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Found Keys

I found my keys...They were in my car sandwiched between two books. I have no idea how they got out the door without me noticing where they were in the first place. I feel really dumb!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Still no keys

I have been looking for my keys for almost 3 hours now and they are still missing...I can't figure out where they would have gone. Cat even came and helped me look. I'm totally stranded here for the day. It's not too bad though since my house will be really clean by the time I'm done searching.

Feeling really stupid

I was headed out the door just over an hour ago to do my music therapy rounds when I realized my keys weren't in my purse. I figured they were in one of the few places I set my keys (I tend to be methodical about the keys b/c I really don't want to lose them! I have searched for over an hour and I finally had to cancel my rounds today in Springtown. Do you know how stupid I felt calling up the school and telling them I couldn't get there b/c my keys were missing? OK, well, I didn't quite say that. I said I couldn't get my car to start, which is actually, the truth, sort of. Cat is coming over in a few minutes to help me look for them some more, but I'm going to take the point of view peter often does in these situations: what a wonderful opportunity this will be for me to clean house while looking for my darn keys. I'm pretty discouraged that they are missing. This is very unusual for me. I "always" put them on the table, or in my purse, so the fact that they aren't either of those places is distressing. I have even looked in my garage, my bathroom and my kitchen, as well as the back of my truck.

Speaking of the truck: I have 2 other vehicles here that I could drive with the spare keys. I found the spare keys where I keep them, but I didn't realize the escort didn't have a spare. I unlocked Peter's car to see if they had fallen out of my purse after supper, and I called Cracker Barrel to see if they fell out during supper, but no such luck.

I'm in the process of accepting that I am just supposed to be home today. I'm just really, really frustrated that I'm not home by my own free will.

My dad came to town last night on his way to a football game in San Antonio. WE had a nice visit and ate supper together. THere was a lot of sodium in my meal though b/c my weight was way, way up today. Yuck...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I have a headache

My head is killing me. I have taken Aleve, I have eaten, drunk coffee and taken sudafed even though I hate the buzz, but my head is killing me. Tomorrow I will go to the chiro and get a 30 minute massage (not long enough, but since it's covered by my copay, it will have to do)


I'm including pictures that Maggie drew. One of them is an invention she created which would be really cool if it could happen...She's invented a new way to hold on Easy boots.

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Head is Killing Me

My head just is killing me today. I'm sitting here watching TV with maggie and then I plan to run to the barn. Maggie is still crouping, so she can't go today. I'm going to take the opportunity to get organized for the ride next week, ride Liberty, ground work with Freeley to see if he's going to be sound for me. Maggie has to stay home and heal before Sunday b/c she is doing the barn with Jena. She is actually looking forward to working b/c she wants the money. I'm happy to hear this since she is learning a good work ethic for how hard it is to work with horses.

Today I would love just to stay home all day, but since it's going to rain tomorrow I figure I'd better be responsible and go put a blanket on my horses so they won't be cold. I just wish my head would quit hurting. I'll stay home and watch TV and play games tomorrow.

I'm considering getting Lasik done on my eyes. One of my friends did it this week and woke up the next morning being able to see beautifully. She told me how much it was, and it was "only" $3000 for both eyes. I didn't think that was all that expensive. Of course, I can't do it now, I have to save up to be able to do it. I told someone yesterday about it and they made a big deal about how much it cost. I can't do it till I save up for it anyway, so it's not like I can do it tomorrow, but I've been so blind for so long, I'm dying to get it done. I can't hardly wear contacts anymore. I always said that if I couldn't wear contacts then I would get my eyes done. Since I have been wearing my glasses so much, my friend says that I could probably get the initial appointment and the surgery done the same week, when usually you have to wait for awhile to get it done. My girlfriend says her surgery took 10 minutes and she woke up able to see the next day. I think I have a new thing to save my pennies for...they have financing, but I can't very well finance my eye surgery if I'm not willing to let Peter finance a new(er) car...so I wait.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving day and weight loss

I weighed this am before going to my Thanksgiving dinner and I have hit a new low since just post pregnancy...I'm now 198.8. The lightest I was after childbirth was 6 weeks after Maggie was born and I weighed in at 194. I was 186 or so before I got pregnant, so felt pretty good about that. Then, just a few weeks later, I broke my shoulder when I got bucked off a horse and sat around in a chair for three months, not exercising and being fed by Shawn, my large ex-husband who is also a really good cook. When the dust settled I was around 208 and it just went up from there. IN 2003 I topped out at around 224 before I found distance riding and starting working more. I have bounced between 202 and 218 for several years until my body seemed to finally get the hang of this weight loss thing this fall. I contribute it to working and being too busy to eat, moving move and giving up diet sodas. Now, we'll just have to see what I weigh after Thanksgiving...there's the goal, to drop a bit more weight after this week.

Maggie is sick with a bad cold and cough, but we are heading to Thanksgiving at Nick and Stacy's house. She will have to stay away from the baby, but she will be OK. I have inhalers and we'll take the nebulizer if we need to. Poor thing has been sick so much this fall. Sometimes I think it's in direct relationship to my need to work. When I was home it seems like she was never sick and now that I need to work, she is always home. IT's probably not any different. I probably am just reacting to the small amount of time I get to be home these days.

ON a positive note about work though: I found out that I can become certified as a Therapeutic riding instructor and teach lessons through my agency. I'm so excited. I can make $60/hour as a TR instructor through the agency that already employees me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A quiet evening in my chair

I'm sitting in my chair. I love this chair. It's a big, striped double chair with an ottoman and it came from the salvation army a couple years ago. It's in bad shape, and some of the fabric is rotten. Plus, when I sit in my chair, I'm an island so we don't all sit together. Peter would like for us to sit together. Tonight is the last night I will really spend in my chair since on Saturday our new sectional sofa will be delivered. It's got a chaise lounger at one end and 2 ottomans so we will have lots of room to stretch out together on the sofa as a family. I'm really looking forward to it, but I am going to miss my cozy chair. I don't think there is room for it and the new sofa both in the living room.

I'm going camping with my girlfriends over the weekend. Originally a bunch of us were going to take our kids and slowing the kids dropped off till it was just Jena and Maggie left Cat and I decided that we would ditch the kids on Peter (actually, he volunteered happily) and we could just have an adult weekend. We don't get those often so it will be a blast. We are going tomorrow afternoon and will be back on Sunday. It's all been made possible by my friend Alexa, who is going to let Maggie hang out with her on Friday. I'm very grateful and will have to do something nice for her...we're going to breakfast first thing. maybe I'll buy her breakfast?

I'm very tired tonight. It's been a long week. I will get up in the morning and pack up the truck and hit the road early so we can get on the road and get set up and get busy with the process of hanging out.

I lost .2 pounds this week. I forgot to report last week. I was up .4 pounds last week and I lost .2 this week, so I have hovered between 199, my lowest and 200.4 the last couple weeks. I have stepped up exercise and I'm eating better. I can really tell now when I've had too much sodium b/c I feel bloated. On the flip side I'm wearing clothes I have owned and not ever been able to wear and I had to return a pair of pants I ordered that would have been the right size not too long ago. That's a good thing.

Maggie has taken up running with alexa...I'm going to have to start running to keep up with her.

Monday, November 12, 2007

on getting bucked off

It hurts more to get bucked off a big horse than it does a small horse. I had gone 3.5 years without being bucked off and it was lovely. Yesterday, that all changed when I over cued a green horse and fell off after 2 bucks. It was not pretty. The people watching said that besides the one expletive I uttered that I said "I'm going down" and then I hit the dirt. I was fine and I got back up and rode Merlin some more...but I didn't ask him to canter again. The worst part was that it happened while I was teaching and everyone at the barn was watching the lesson or just sort of hanging out. It was really embarrassing.

Maggie has been sick with the stomach bug, and I'm thinking it's happening to me now. I have a slight fever and my tummy is growling, but so far so good. I almost never throw up and hope to keep it that way.

The weather here is been amazing! Next weekend a bunch of us from my barn are going camping. I'm still trying to work out the details. Originally it started out being adults and kids b/c some of the folks had to take the kids or not go. Now some of it has changed and I find myself wishing that I could go without maggie and have an adult weekend. But, it will be fun.

I'm starting to plan next summer out already. Maggie is going to camp in Bar 50 ranch to camp in mid-july. I did that math and figured out that it was cheaper to stay the week there than it was to drive there and back on either end of the week. Plus, Maggie will be more likely to have fun knowing I'm close by. I know it's too early for most people, but I'm hoping that I can get friends to come spend the week with me. I can camp and ride and relax and swim and be there so Maggie isn't worried or alone since she's never done overnight camp before.

I'm afraid I'm getting her bug...Signing off now b/c I'm not feeling so hot.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A beautiful day, the holidays and blog settings

I'm sitting here at home, after a busy day of music therapy and a little bit of trail riding. Peter won't be home for another 20 minutes or so, and I hate to lay down and try to go to bed before he comes home from orchestra b/c I get woken up, so I'm trying to entertain myself while waiting for him.

Here are some pictures Maggie drew and I scanned.






I love that people read my blog. It is cool to think that other people out there think like me or enjoy reading what we're doing here. I find it so much easier to journal in the blog than just for myself. Sure, it's for myself, but since I have friends who I know read it to keep up it's nice to have this venue. I later take my blog posts and mail them as letters to friends who don't have computers...saves me writing more than one letter.

I love reading other blogs and I will occasionally comment, but not often. I know that there are people who read, but don't write in and that's fine. I don't care one way or the other. However, I really hate it when people write in the comments, but won't/don't leave their name. Sometimes I know who they are b/c they tell me. Sometimes I just can kind of figure it out. But, when someone doesn't leave a name and they make comments that are kind of mean or off color, then I think that feels creepy. To keep this from happening anymore, I have set it up that people have to be registered users of blogger to leave a comment. This means that they just have to set up an account. It doesn't mean that they have to have a blog, but then they can't leave anymore anonymous comments...at least I think that's what it means. That's what it's supposed to mean. Don't let it scare you off; sign up for a blogger account and we'll have no trouble at all. Or if I'm one of your facebook friends, the notes are imported there and you can comment there.

Today was a bit windy and just a tad cold, but I managed to squeeze in a trail ride on our new trails. They officially open on Saturday, but since they aren't really well beaten down yet, the Corp is letting us ride this this week to get them a little more tread in before the general public shows up on Saturday to start riding. I took Liberty out on his second trail ride and he's just doing great. He was wary of wildlife in the beginning but he settled right down for me. He is climbing hills and crossing water much better, but we're still having issues walking down hills. Every time we start to go down a hill and I ask him to walk, he snatches the reins from me and shakes his head and trots down the hill. As soon as I realized this was an every hill occurrence I tried to put him back on my page, but we didn't have much luck. He got better after I relaxed and didn't ask him to really walk slow down the hills, so I think that part of it is that he doesn't have the balance to really go down the hill properly. However, the head shaking is just plain naughty. On the flat I created a few opportunities for him to be naughty so I could circle him and make him give to me, but that's hard to do on a trail, downhill between two trees. Our worst and best moment today on the trail was when he totally took my reins and ran into the water. He loved it. I thought he was going to lay down in the cold lake, but I got him back out in time. Nice that the water isn't a problem for him.

I've been collecting advice on how to work on this problem and so far I have 2 pieces. One piece from my friend Susan Bodenmiller, is to work on backing on the flat and then to work him in small circles when he misbehaves. Backing will work on strengthening the muscles for the hill work and then I can correct him when he's naughty. Amy Martin also told me to change my reins back to my eventing reins with stoppers so that when/if he yanks on me I can stop him from getting away from me. It was scary when he had the reins around his ears heading straight for the water.

I can't complain about him at all though. He stops, he goes, he turns. He is such a good boy. Unfortunately, the saddle I've been using is about to become too narrow for him...sigh.

I had good news from Nicole today. She used Deli for her lessons tonight and she was sounder than she's looked in a long time. I guess getting those shoes off really was better for her. I'm glad that Liberty has never had shoes! It will be something if they are all sound and ready to ride this time next year. Yikes!

After riding I had massages to give and music therapy also. I missed one appointment b/c I got away from the barn late and then got stuck in traffic and my day just snowballed. I got held up at the office and found myself having to call my parent and apologize for my absence, but we did find a day to make it up. I learning that with all the running around, seeing everyone every week is next to impossible.

I guess that's all for now. Heading to bed.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Surrounded by Babies

Peter's brother recently had a baby and now he likes the idea of one too. He has not asked me to do this, he just gets a little nostaligic and thinks he would have enjoyed having a baby of his own. Of course, I think on it a little and it would be OK...but I can't get past the graduating the kid from college in my 60's when I'd like to be out having fun! Lots of people do it at our age, either by accident or on purpose, but I just don't think it's for me.

I do think that having a baby with Peter would be nice. I just can't imagine starting over now. I work with so many kids who have problems and Down's Syndrome especially, that it's hard to really consider it. I hate that I feel this way b/c I know he'd really like to have a baby to be a dad to. At the same time, I'm not sure that he would really enjoy the whole baby thing as much as he thinks he would. And, I'm working and liking working.

I have several friends who really want to have more kids and I think it would be great. Then I can play with their babies and then give them back!

Anyway, that's my random thought for the day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Life Lessons of a Ranch Horse by Mark Rashid

First I have to start with a brag. I weighed this evening when I got home and I was 199, so I am now under the 200 pound mark. Only 7 pounds to go to be where I was when I had my 6 week check up after giving birth to Maggie. Of course, this isn't my official weighing day...that's on Wednesday, but it was still good to see. I find that I am puzzled, yet thankful, for my continued weight loss. I never felt like I did anything abnormal that made me fat, and I don't' feel like I am doing anything extraordinary to get thin either. I'm just praising God that the weight is coming off!

I got to ride Liberty again today and he was just a bit of a turkey. Nothing major, but he was ornery not wanting me to pick up his head from the grass. I swear that little horse lives to eat! I taught a lesson while I was on him and made him do a couple of leg yields. It was really, really exciting to have him move sideways off my leg that way. It's so cool to work with a horse who is a blank slate. He tries so hard and he's such a dear. I know he's eventually going to be Maggie's, but in the mean time I"m having her ride Freeley. She needs to learn from him, and I want to ride this sweet little horse before I have to give him up.

What I wasn't happy about today was the way I taught part of my lesson. I wasn't very successful at explaining the leg yield to my adult student or the daughter. The daughter did it better mainly b/c she is looser, but I feel like I failed the dad. He is very concrete and is looking for black and white answers. Riding isn't black and white. IN the beginning you pull a rein and use a leg and it's sloppy, but the horse goes. As you go along things are more complex. The leg and the hands are static, they are on a continuum. They are elastic. After having given one instruction in the beginning to ride a certain way, I'm trying to get him out of that mold to move a different way. I'm going to consult a couple books and some other instructors to help me find the words to teach this maneuver better. They did walk/trot/canter and they looked good. They are in more control and they are handling whatever horse I put them on so much better, but to me it's superficial. I want to teach them more than the basics. I want to teach them about circling and reversing. I want to teach dressage even though they have western saddles on the horses. I know they are probably just coming to ride, but I have hit a wall and I want to go beyond the wall.

Enough rambling for the night. Mark Rashid's book Life Lessons of a Ranch horse is calling. The title has a link to his web page.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Forgot to add...

Several times during our ride I thought I would have a heart attack when Liberty did some baby, green thing and my heart caught in our throat. At one point there was a horse eating log on the side of the trail and it was a spot where the trees were tight and the trail had a little bit of a trench. He spun around a few times and I almost baled out I was so nervous. Joe Bear walked by the log, but Liberty was still scared of it. I retreated, telling Maggie I was done and I thought he was tired and we should just quit. Then I remembered some of the big hills we'd just climbed and remembered we'd have to go down them. So, we stood there for a minute and regrouped and then Liberty went calmly down the trail as though it was nothing. I told Maggie that I thought he'd had enough for the day and that he was wigging out. She kind of sniggered at me that he wasn't the one freaking out. I thought, thanks kid...if she only knew what I was going through for her.

I also realized that the best thing about the whole blowing up episode was that he was tired and he did want to quit, but we had to keep going and he worked through it and was calm at the end.

What a Week!!

This has been such a busy week. It was less busy than the previous couple of weeks. It culminated in a day off on Friday, but I'll have to pay the piper and work extra next week...the curse of taking days off. I have a couple of new clients to start seeing next week, which means it will be busier than this week, and I won't have the luxury of Fridays completely off anymore. I will do the Fridays for awhile, but I honestly don't want to work on Fridays. I scheduled the appointments at the end of the day and it's just a couple of hours, so not the end of the world. And I pointed out to Maggie that those 3 appointments will pay board for the horses with only one week of work. I've let the parents know that I am only good for 3 out of 4 Fridays per month due to Maggie's and my riding schedule. Of course, with the holidays I will have some time off.

I have an interview at another school district on Monday. It's a short day and I can fit it with my other work. if I get it, I will be working on Wednesdays but it will be similar to my day in Springtown. I will be going between schools, and then I will have to go back to Flint and see a client there plus do my massages there. God is giving me the energy to keep up with the work.

I am starting to get too busy, but I find that the more money I earn the more I want to earn b/c I'm seeing real progress on the money/bills. We are wanting some things we couldn't afford before. We are able to have a little spending money here and there. We can finally get a new sofa. I'm trying so hard to send the money to the steps in the debt snowball that Dave Ramsey outlines, but other people in my family often want other things than just to be out of debt. No matter how hard we try, our life style does expand a little. I honestly could be happy without a new sofa or a new car, but then I find myself thinking that it's not fair to put my lifestyle choices on everyone else. I did get a new horse, so I guess that getting a new sofa for the house isn't too much to ask. OTOH, I can actually pay for everything. That is really nice to be able to pay for everything because I get paid from someone every week. I haven't had to charge anything and then pay it back...well, I did this last week b/c a check that was supposed to get here 2 weeks ago wasn't written till last Friday and I don't have it yet. But the upside is that when I have a flat tire or the dogs need shots, it's not the end of the world. I can pay my regular payments to the credit cards and pay extra to savings, and set money aside for Peter's next car or other large household expenses. I figure if we don't end up spending it, then we'll put it on a bill, but I know Peter, or me, or both will need new vehicles. Peter really needs a "new" car but I don't want payments for it, so I figure if we save up and get him a better car and if we can keep putting that money in the bank every month, it will be good.

Of course, in all my get out of debting...I bought new clothes at Kohl's today. I needed some clothes though. I honestly needed them. I'm an even 200 pounds as of last week. I only got one shirt and a pair of pants for myself, but I bought Maggie some new jeans (hope they fit) and a new shirt. I bought Jena a new shirt too (she was here when I was shopping) I bought Peter a pair of jeans and a pair of khakis. So we will have a few new clothes. Soon I won't be a plus size anymore. That's a good thought!

Yesterday we took Liberty on his first trail ride. I took him to Six O with Joe Bear. He loaded up so easily. He's not completely self loading for me yet, but he is getting 1/2 way in all on his own. I think that the next time I hitch up, I can work him on loading without me leading him in. He leads so well and that's going to be a huge asset as we train.

He was really, really good. He was not as boring as I'd hoped for. I had hoped for a lovely, quiet stroll, but I think from a Paso Fino/Arab cross that might have been too much to ask on his first outing. Maggie was on Joe Bear and was really bummed that I wasn't ready to just fly. Darn good thing I didn't either as he was pretty looky at stuff. One time he spun all the way around and almost dumped me and got Maggie dumped off Joe when he spooked. He looked at everything. Funny thing was that he was more secure in front than he was following whenever the going got rough. But, he was equally as unconcerned with his spacing when he was behind.

He had never walked through water before, so I found myself mounting and dismounting alot...thank goodness he's little and I could get on and off very easily. He was so good whenever I led him through stuff though. So many horses will jump on top of you if you lead through a tricky spot, but he was so careful with his feet. He watched everything I did and followed me down and up hills, through water, etc. I was so proud of him. He sometimes got in a hurry, and the next time I take him out, with an another adult, or alone, I need to actually school some of these things, but I was happy just to go over and through new terrain. This poor little guy was so stressed from being in a new place, but I tended to ignore his inappropriate behavior and praise him when he relaxed. He is ready to eat in any location, which to me means he's not TOO stressed out. We took a P&R after doing some hills and climbing and he had a 14 heart and 10 respiration when I first got off, which I thought was pretty great for him to have no conditioning base on him.

Maggie is also preparing Joe Bear to take him to what will probably be his only CTR. He breathes too fast when it's warm to met criteria to compete. But she wants to finish one ride on him and he's in great shape so this is the best time. She has to keep him in his fast walk to manage him properly. She may have to trot into a few P&R's and she may lose some points, but she just wants this one ride. Hopefully it will be cold enough that he'll be ok. We took his P&R after 5-6 miles of quick walking and it was only 9 and 4. I was impressed. She may have a prayer!

I have toyed with the idea of taking Liberty to do his first CTR there, but I don't want to over stimulate him, so I may just stick with my original plan and take Freeley. It will honestly depend on our next hill work and if Freeley ends up sound before the next ride. After his recent shoeing experience he's been a little sore somewhere and I'm hoping he'll work out of it before the ride. The shoes are pulled and I'll boot him before six O, either foamed or not, but he keeps interfering which doesn't help him stay sound. It's subtle, so I don't worry anything about him being injured, but I don't want to get pulled for unsoundness or unable to start or whatever....

I don't anticipate competing much this next year, but we want to do this ride and maybe one other in the spring. I figure I have a month to decide who I'm going to take and a lot can happen in a month.

Anyway, it's taken me most of the day to put this together, so I'll go now. Maggie wants to play a game on my computer and we're watching Dirty Jobs.

Search for the next Equestrian Star

We've been watching the Search for the Next Equestrian Star at our house. I am watching the third episode and we've been enjoying it a lot at our house. It really makes me long for my dressage days when I was riding dressage. I was so sensitive at that point of my riding "career" that I couldn't hack the toughness of dressage instruction. I'm thinking that I would really like to have some real dressage lessons now. I know that I don't have the right horse, I weigh too much and that I don't have the right experience, but I watch those riders ride those horses and I think how much I would love to be that good and teach that well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Off and Running

I brought up this window intending to blog, but no such luck.

Tuesday is my paperwork/desk day and now it's time to run and do more massages.

I'm looking forward to having Thanksgiving week off, but now I wonder if I'll take it off completely or not. I also enjoy the money as much as I enjoy the free time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lovely Saturday

Today is Peter's birthday. We are sitting here relaxing just for the heck of it. We're catching up our TV watching, cleaning up the house a little in anticipation of a fun day tomorrow. Alexa is coming over and we're going to play games tomorrow night.

I woke up this am and realized I had begun to blog yesterday and forgotten to finish it. I got distracted by TV and work and paperwork and visits with family. Oops.

Today I would love to just stay home. I haven't had a day of just staying home and not going anywhere in ages. Last Monday started out promising, but I had to go to the barn. Plus, I had pink eye, so I wasn't home for shear relaxation, it was b/c I was sick. Same with having been ill a few weeks ago. I had a week of staying home, but it's somehow now the same. Sometimes I'd rather be home alone. Sometimes I'd like to relax with my family.

Maggie is cleaning the barn with her friends today, so I have to leave in a few minutes to take her there. Sigh. I need coffee.

Flip side is I'll get to ride today.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weight Loss Miracle

I have been meaning to mention my weight loss miracle.

I have weighed over 200 pounds since I broke my arm when Maggie was a baby. I have been up and down between 202 and 224 during that time, but I never got below 202. The other day I weighed and I was 200.4. The only thing I have changed to make this weight was to give up drinking all sodas. I never drank regular soda anyway and I always drank diet. I didn't even drink many of them. However, in September after talking to a friend about how bad they were for me (I already knew, I just liked them) I drew a line in the sand and gave them up. In the last 5 weeks I have had 2 regular sodas, but otherwise I"ve been drinking perrier and iced tea. I have lost 13 pounds since Sept 15. I have changed very little else...well, now I have b/c I'm seeing success and want it to continue.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Still Struggling

Today I am leaning toward taking Liberty back. I don't want to take him back, I just wonder if it isn't the smartest thing to do. Maggie needs lessons and that would be a better way to spend the money. Of course, if she doesn't have a horse to ride, that's not so smart either. I still have a week to make up my mind. I just have to keep thinking on it and praying. So far I'm not sure I have my answer...or if I have my answer, I don't really like my answer so I keep questioning whether I have my answer. Funny how that works sometimes.

I'm really struggling today with some things that I need to help Maggie with. Her attitude toward people telling her what to do is terrible if she doesn't like them. She outright dismisses people she doesn't respect. I need to teach her how to respect people she doesn't like and listen to them even when she doesn't want to. I took a long time to learn that and I hate to see her go through it...but it may be something that has to happen in it's own time. Life may have to bite her for her to get the message. Some people have told me things that she did or said over the weekend that I'm not happy to hear. I have talked her about them and she says that her actions were misinterpreted. I do actually believe her, but I'm disturbed that people think she was behaving inappropriately. I'm trying to teach her that what other people think does matter, at least in some things.

My heart is heavy today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where has the time gone?

I didn't mean to go so long without posting, I've just been so busy.

After being sick for a week I then had to make up all the work that was left undone while I was ill, so last week was extra busy. Then at the end of the week, Maggie and I had plans for one last CTR at Horsemasters, in East TX.

The best part of the ride this weekend was that Peter managed to pull off a big surprise! He drove down to the ride and met us at the first P&R. I was really shocked b/c when he didn't come on Saturday, I figured he was going to skip it. I didn't blame him really. It was 150 miles one way. There was no need to spend the gas money just to come hang out. But when I got to the first P&R I did a double take and there he was. I threw my arms around him and starting kissing him and hugging him madly. It was way, way cool.

The guy next to me in line, Mark Carter, missed the introductions. When Peter went down the line to talk to Maggie, I said something about my husband. He said "that's your husband" I laughed and asked him who else I would be kissing in the woods on my birthday. Mark said he didn't know for sure since he didn't know me that well and perhaps I was meeting my boyfriend (not exactly, but I can't remember the exact wording) He was kidding. So, when Peter came back through I introduced them and Peter joked about not telling my husband that he had come to see me. It was funny.

Too bad Freeley had to ruin the fun and good intentions by mashing Peter's hands. There goes Orchestra for a few weeks. Having him come was just the best birthday surprise!

It was great to have him in camp to help pack up and just hang out. I made the mistake of getting in the check out line way too early and blew precious time from my afternoon that I could have spent hanging out with Peter.

This ride was not one of our more shining moments. The weather was beautiful and Freeley was hyper all weekend. Maggie wasn't as overly sensitive as she was at Bigfoot Boogie, but she was not as relaxed as she had been at the benefit ride. I did not like the way the horsemanship judge talked to me or the girls. I had no quarrel with her message to any of us. She has an opinion of how things should get done and I now have more information about what she expects in the future, but all of it felt very patronizing and snotty to me.

We got fussed at for wearing our sandals in camp. I pointed out that we would never wear sandals to the barn, but that when you're camping you are in your "home" for the weekend. We came over to the horses b/c the judges were there. It wasn't like we were running around, frolicking with our horses with our sandals on. The girls were told they hadn't groomed their horses well enough. I saw them bathe the horses, so I wasn't sure what the problem was, but evidently they didn't do a good enough job. Some judges care more about baths than others. Jena called her horse an idiot for not doing something and was docked 2 points. There is some question as to whether the judge said to Jena, Maggie's friend, that her horse wasn't the idiot. I'm still looking for confirmation on that one. In any case the message was fine, but the delivery wasn't and I'm still not happy even after a few days. Riding safety is looking really good right now.

All of this brings me to the dilemma of Liberty. If we are going to back off NATRC for the next little bit, I don't need him. I like him and I'm having fun with him, but I don't need him. Maggie has never committed to riding Freeley yet and I"m not sure that he will behave for her in that setting anymore than he does for me. I just don't have a clue really. He might be perfect for her in that setting and he certainly has enough experience to be a good boy and take her down the trail. In any case, if they thought Brody was too green for Maggie, Liberty is no better, but he is smaller, which is a good thing. It will be 6 months at least before I'd trust him with Maggie on the trail and based on what everyone else tells me about kids/horses, maybe I should wait even longer. I see a different kid with a different set of skills than others see and I'm wondering if it's time to see her through their eyes...which isn't easy to do.

Originally before Deli was lame, we were going to do a few of the colder weather rides and then take the rest of the year off till the foal came and then start riding Deli again. WE don't know if Deli will ever be able to do NATRC again or not. Some people say that Ringbone can go away and she may be fine. Others say that to do NATRC is probably out of the question and chances are they will always be looking for her to have problems. We can do trail trials, but they don't happen that often. They also don't check for lameness.

Many of my friends think that even Deli is too much for Maggie. They don't see her when it's just us having fun. They have only see us stressed out, in a group. I don't know if she is or not b/c she certainly wasn't this summer when we were in Arkansas.

I just don't know the answer.

I did figure out the cost to keeping Liberty each month. For the first time in my life I find myself wondering if the new furniture I'd like to have wouldn't be a better idea.

I have one more week to decide. I have to get several rides in so I know. He's such a cutey and a good deal I know he'll make a great horse. But, I do already have some great horses.

So the question is, change sports (don't compete) or get the horse that will let us compete if Maggie will ride Freeley. The problem is that she will tell me that she will, but I won't know if she's sincere until after I buy the horse.

Alice's Birthday Surprise -- Peter's Perspective

This past weekend was Alice's birthday. On Saturday though I went to a friends annual Halloween party. I did not stay long at the party, leaving at 8pm because I had a plan...an evil birthday plan...

After I got back to the house on Saturday night, Alice called and told me how dissapointed I was that I did not surprise her for her birthday by driving over that afternoon. I told her that I had really wanted to go to Alexa's party since she only has it once a year. You can imagine the response I got from that, but I knew what I was saying. I also told her that I wanted to stay home so I could do my normal Sunday cleaning chores. She was dissapointed but she said she understood.

I woke up the next morning at 5am and took care of the dogs before loading up Frankie and heading out to the camp site (about a 2.5 hour drive). I got to the camp site just in time to get out to the first P&R location (a point on the trail where the horse's Pulse and Respiration are taken to make sure that the horse is fit enough to continue). Alice had not been through so all I had to do was sit and wait for her to get there.

While waiting, I saw a few of Alice's camp-neighbours and they told me how dissappointed Alice was that I had not driven over on Saturday. They all agreed that Alice would be very surprised. And she was. When she saw me her jaw dropped and she gave me a big hug and was quite happy that I had appeared. Oh, and Maggie also was surprised.

So what did I get for giving her the surprise? A mangled hand. It was dusk before the awards meeting even began so in order to facilitate a speedy departure, Jenna (a friend of Maggies who had come with us) and I went to load up the three horses. In order to load Freeley, you have to keep a hold of his lead rope after he loads into the trailer to keep him from backing out. So Jenna loaded Freeley into the trailer and I held the lead rope. Unfortunately, Freeley decided he wated out of the trailer and jerked back. Since I was holding on to the lead line, it resulted in my left hand slamming into the side of the trailer causing a number of cuts and scrapes on the back of the fingers and some rope burns on the fronts of the fingers. Also my fingers are somewhat swollen and bruised. No cello playing for me for a while until my fingers heal.

Regardless, it was worth it to surprise Alice like that. We had a good afternoon together packing up camp and all so I think it was worth suprising her like that.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Prayers for a friend

I just got word that the daughter of one of my horsey friends fell off her pony tonight and broke her arm. She's really upset feeling like it shouldn't have happened. I tried to tell her that all kids fall off and bones get broken. Maggie fell off at 5 or 6 and broke her collar one. We all survived and she was back on her pony before we knew it! God Speed to my friend!

Photos of Maggie and Brody



These are photos taken by Jim Edmonson at the Region 4 benefit ride in Decatur, TX on Oct 6-7. He says that he is only an amateur, but the photos are just fantastic. He captured Maggie and Brody just perfectly and caught them in moments when they were both smiling and getting along. Thanks so much for sharing these photos.

Fantastic Video

My husband just shared this link with me and I thought it was wonderful.

READ THIS FIRST THEN CLICK THE LINK AT THE BOTTOM AND WATCH!
This is a story about a guy, a guy like most of us, common, questioning his existence,
measuring himself to others, never believing in his abilities or his worth.

Then one day, his passion outgrew his fears as he stepped onto a stage, a stage that took
him to a place beyond his self imposed prison.

Watch the faces of the judges as this guy walks out on the stage. You can almost see what
they're thinking as they pre-judge this guy based on his looks and the fact that he's a cell
phone salesman.

Maybe this guy stopped believing in what people told him for so many years and ultimately started listening to his passion.

http://www.maniacworld.com/Phone-Salesman-Amazes-Crowd.html

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm sick for real--Wednesday update

After fighting it all week believing from moment to moment I was feeling better, I decided to go to the doctor. By the time I went in I was sure that I was just making it up and I didn't actually need to go. But, the doctor said I had a fever, my asthma was off the charts and I should be there, so I guess it's good I went. He gave me four prescriptions, a shot of steroids, a breathing treatment and the admonishment to come back in 10-12 days to make sure my ear infection (I haven't had an ear infection since I was a kid) was under control.

I also am to take tomorrow off. I have been avoiding taking off tomorrow b/c it's my Springtown music therapy day. I needed to buy grain and I needed to work tomorrow. This mean that I have to make up the day in a few weeks, which I hate doing! I keep thinking I can have a real schedule and see everyone on time and it's just not happening. GRRRR. I sent Springtown my doctors note. I'm blogging about it. Hopefully, they'll KNOW I'm not a faker. I even downloaded music and made some cd's today, anticipating not being able to sing tomorrow, but I guess I'll have that for next time.

And there are still rumors circulating that Deli is still lame. I'm home sick, so I can't prove it one way or another, and Cat says she looks fine. It's so stressing me out. I don't know if I am in denial, if there's nothing wrong with her, but Nicole is seeing things, or if she's always looked this way. I just don't know. She's fat with the baby, so her rear end looks weaker than usual. I suppose it could be changing her overall balance. I just know that a month ago Deli was Nicole's favorite school horse and now she's not and there is not reason for her not to be ridden. I used her 10 days ago and she looked great. She's still a little gimpy on her front right, but tons better after the shoes. I even called my vet in a state of paranoia, who reassured me of what we found that day. She said that since she's been laid off for the last month she's likely to not be as strong as she was when she was ridden every day. So, the only way to get her over the weakness is to ride her and make her strong again.

Tomorrow I will sleep in and do as little as possible. I have watched all the TV I want to watch. I want to read my book Blessed are the Broodmares, but I can't find it. I have stuck it some place and can't find it. How annoying!

Maggie is spending the night at Cat's (I think) but may be coming home. I can't call b/c both their phones have dead batteries, so I just have to wait for someone to tell me they are somewhere. Maggie was jumping Joe in her new saddle. She told Cat it felt weird and she isn't sure she likes it...oh well.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm still sick

Peter came home and told me that he feels bad too. I told him he wasn't allowed to be sick b/c it was my turn to be taken care of and if he gets sick then I end up taking care of both of us. I said this tongue in cheek, but there is some truth in it...It seems like every time I get sick, he follows suit. I'm sure it's that he gets my bugs, but it's so inconvenient when we are both sick. Just once I'd like to be the only sick one in the house and have someone take care of me! I'm really not trying to sound hateful, but I know, reading my own words it sounds really hateful. I just want the chance to be pampered and cared for occasionally...

I'm so tired of being sick. I feel terrible and I want it to go away! I'm not sure I'm going to be ready to go tomorrow. I need to go back to work, but I feel so crummy. It may be time for a doctor.

I have to get out tomorrow. I have to pay for the farrier and I need to see a few clients. I just don't hardly have the energy to move. So, I guess I'll make tomorrow a light day and just do what is necessary and no more. I have to go to Springtown on Thursday. I so need some new material. I'm bored with myself and my music strategies. It's time for something new.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm sick

I have that cold I've been avoiding. I have really been lucky and stayed healthy, but now I'm sick. I started getting sick on Thursday last week, but I didn't start to feel really bad until I was on my way home last night from the CTR. I canceled all my activities for today and for tomorrow. I'm going to stay in and just try to feel better. I even was lucky enough to have someone bring Maggie home and they are picking her up before school tomorrow. Tuesday will be a similar day and I hope to sleep and watch TV for most of it.

Maggie did great at the CTR. She came in 5th again (well I guess that's really last, but she doesn't care) She and Brody had a great time. She's going to ride him again in two weeks at the next CTR. She and Jena had so much fun riding, swimming and just playing with the other kids. It was a good w/e, even though I was sick.

I discovered that Freeley is really not suited to riding safety. It made him nuts to have follow and never catch the last rider in line. He wanted to catch up and while he was never uncontrollable, he wasn't really good either. He kept trying to get up the next riders hindend and was only happy once they were truly gone for good. On the other hand, I rode him alone for one of the first times ever and he was fantastic. It was so nice to have my buddy out there on the trail. I found that I enjoyed not talking, just riding and enjoying the day.

We brought home a little puppy for the day for my friend Karen. Her son picked her up this evening and Maggie is still missing her. She was cute, a little miniature pincher. She will be for my friend's son 's birthday. She was a lot of fun and my big guys were actually quite nice to her. I was very surprised they were so good. Frankie wanted to play, but I kept a close eye on him.

Hopefully I'll get to feeling better and be back to riding by Wednesday. I need to play with Liberty some more.

Nicole said she had Deli out today and that she looked lame and wouldn't track to the left in the round pen. I wasn't there, so I don't know what was going on, but sometimes she's just ornery that way, so it's hard for me to know. I'll hopefully get her out on Wednesday and see what she's doing and if there is really a problem or not. I don't know what I'm going to do with Maggie's broken heart if that mare doesn't get sound eventually. I can already see myself pulling away from her in preparation for the tragic reality. It's not fair to Deli b/c she might be OK eventually, but it breaks my heart so much to see my animals in pain I suspect I do it to save myself hurting when they have to leave me.

Well, off to bed with me. I'm pooped and still coughing.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Brief, free moment

I am in between activities for the moment and just want to sit. I have read my email, should start on supper, need to start packing the truck for the next great adventure. I keep hoping for a completely free weekend to just sit and enjoy the cooler weather...only it hasn't gotten cooler and I'm just too darn busy.

No word back yet from Crowley. I'm not going to contact them again. I have enough work to do and I will do it well and hopefully not be overly stressed. I'd love to have the paycheck and if they call me I will go, but I also like the idea of being able to clean my house and just be alone sometimes. Right now I'm not home except when everyone else is...which is why I'm just sitting here with my random thoughts for a few minutes.

I have papers to write, assessments to do shortly too, so this will be short...unless I keep procrastinating.

I worked with Liberty last night when I ran out to the barn. I went b/c Nicole had called to tell me that she couldn't get Deli's feet cleaned. Turns out it was just the pads that the farrier put in the shoes, not the hard clay she thought it was. I caught Liberty and longed him in the round pen. I worked on him giving his head to the sides and tried to teach him to disengage his haunches. Either I don't teach that so well (likely) or he doesn't like to do it. He almost reared up when I put pressure on him, but I popped him and asked for the disengagement again and after that he seemed to understand. He actually longes better than he disengages, which is interesting. Most younger horses learning to longe just move their butts over in my limited experience.

Maggie went out to play with him today. She sent me a photo and he was in the barn which likely means that he pooped everywhere. I like him, but I'm still not sure. Too tired tonight to be too excited!

OK, back to the trenches.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

So Tired today

I have slept almost all day today. I got up, took Maggie to school and then went to the grocery store. When I got back from the store, I did paperwork and lamented that I had to see clients all afternoon. I ended up rescheduling one of the clients. The other one never called me back...at least not till I had fallen asleep and couldn't be reached. I slept 3 hours today and feel like I could go back to sleep any second.

Tomorrow is a springtown day. I have a lot of paperwork to do this week too. I'm just so pooped. I don't know why except I think it could be all the ragweed. My asthma is wearing me out.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Working with Liberty

I had about a half hour to work with Liberty today. He still isn't getting into the herd, but they were coming by him closer and talking to him a bit today. They let him eat and drink without incident so that's not a problem.

It was hot and I was having trouble focusing, so I kept it short and sweet. I worked him in hand on the longe and over ground poles and cavelletti. I also worked on teaching him to move away from pressure on the ground sideways. He was great from the left, but was clearly clueless about handling him from the right. He tries very hard to please, but he didn't know what I wanted him to do at all. I need to work with the dressage whip as well so I can give him better cues on the ground.

He was jumpy today, looking for a herd of horses to be friends with and calling. Another boarder had her horses out and rode off and he called after them for a little while, but when the other horses didn't call back he went back to work. I tied him to the trailer and brushed him and tried some saddles on him. Maggie's english wasn't the right size on him, so off to ebay it goes. My western was a little big, but not bad. Her western seems ok too. He didn't seem small to me at Karen's, but he does at home since I've been riding Freeley.

I won't get to see him tomorrow, but I hope that I can get on him on Wednesday afternoon.

I'm still not sure about long term. He is a beautiful horse and I like him a lot. I can't say I love him yet, but I have always been a fan of waiting to see. I know that I am being logical. Deli looks better than I expected when I began this journey with this horse. I'm torn b/c I think he will be fantastic and I'd like to work with him, but I worry about what I'd do if this time next year I have 5 horses. I didn't have 5 horses when I had 15 acres that was just mine. What if something happens at Jackie's or she started making me pay what she charges now every month in board...I have it sweet, and I know it, but I can't imagine paying for all of them full price. Anyway, it's a lot to think about. I don't want to let Karen down...I know Peter would really rather I not do this venture. It's a lot of responsibility and I will have to look to God for guidance.

Rejection

This is a rant...if you don't wish to read my rant, skip this post now.

I experienced rejection today. I hate rejection. I have a client I've been seeing for both music and massage therapy since May. I didn't feel like I was a good music therapist for him and discussed it with his mom last week. We both agreed that he needed a different music therapist. He hits me when he doesn't like what we're doing. His mom says that I don't hold his attention. It's Ok, I don't mind as I'm tired of getting beat up on. However, we did agree that he likes my massages and I'd keep doing that. I got an email today from the agency with a note from his mom saying that she wanted a different massage therapist, one who was punctual and could keep the same schedule each week. I was so angry since I do go the same time each week and I have been on time or early most weeks...She is the one who is inflexible. A few times I've been to their house early before they get home from where they are. It seems to bother her that I don't like her son hitting me. All in all, I'm really relieved that I don't have to go anymore, but what upsets me is that she had to blame me for her preference. If she had told the agency that she doesn't like me and wants a new therapist, that wouldn't bother me near as much as her making her preference my fault. She's not able to just say "I don't like Alice and I want a new therapist" she has to tell the people I work for that I am inadequate.

Why do people do that? why can't people just be honest. She and I sat and talked for a good 20 minutes the other night. She had plenty of chance to say: I want a new therapist. I could have gone to the agency and said: she wants a new therapist. It seems like it's really all about power with these folks. They not only want to dump you, they want to look like they've been wronged in the process.

I've been over the conversation trying to figure out when the conversation from happy to sad happened. I thought we were bonding over a conversation in the dining room, and she was evidently deciding she didn't want me to be a therapist and concocting a story for my demise. The agency has told me that people change their minds about their therapists all the time, so that it's usually nothing personal. And, I have stated above that I don't actually like this family anyway...I just don't get why they had to lie about the reasons they don't want me as a therapist. Sigh.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Barn day Sunday

Today Maggie worked the barn with Jena and Jennifer...it went OK, though there was some disagreement between the girls over who was working harder. Jena and Maggie had no fights and I was so proud of them. However, it felt like I kept losing Jennifer. Finally at the end of the day I told her I wasn't very happy with her. I hate correcting someone else's kid, but I know if my kid had been slinking off, I'd have been pissed. I don't think I was hard on her, but maybe I was. It's hard to say with kids. I'm proud of myself though, I didn't lose my temper or anything. I'm also really proud of Maggie and Jena. They worked really hard all day and they were nice to each other all day.


On the subject of LIberty: I’m iffy on the horse, only b/c Deli has been lame, but I’m doing some corrective stuff with her. Maggie doesn’t want to give her up, but wants a horse to ride. He’s green, but I really like him. I just know that since I board (especially since I board) I don’t need 3 horses, a pony and a foal this time next year. Of course, I’d love to have them all, but I don’t know what I'll do. Maggie says that she doesn’t care about competing if she can’t compete on Deli…I can honestly say I don’t feel that way. I think it would be way better to donate Deli to a therapeutic riding center if I can’t get her ringbone under control (our latest dx) where she can do what she is good at (taking care of kids) and we can do what we enjoy. Ultimately, I don’t know how much of a choice Maggie will get. I mean, I hate to be mean to the kid, but she doesn’t really get the economics of keeping horses in the city and being able to accommodate them. I wish I could find someone who wanted to lease a nice broodmare. I hate that she’s had this trouble. I hate the thought of ditching her. I also hate the thought of keeping a lame pet for another 10-15 years. Sigh…

Crowley schools called me back and they want to keep talking to me about the work there. That would be outstanding if I can get that all worked out. It will be hard work, but it will mean that we could darn near get out of of debt in the next 9 months. That would be fantastic...and allow me to keep all the horses, maybe, if I wanted to. Maggie says she doesn't like me working that hard, but I think that it's good for all of us. Mostly, what it could do for us is give us the freedom to move somewhere we really like if our neighborhood is rezoned as entertainment district and we're bought out.

Everyone around me has been sick and so far I have managed to stay healthy. Tonight I have a croaky voice and my asthma is bothering me. I hope it is just allergies.

We had barn excitement today...a new boarder went down to the yet unopened trails and rode them. They gate people let her in. So far, we've been told they're not open. One person I know thinks that the person in charge is just telling everyone we can't ride them yet b/c she likes having them all to herself. I just know that we're supposedly so close to having them open, I don't want anything to mess it up. Evidently, the person riding and then person in charge got into an argument about it. I just want them to be open!

We used Deli for a lesson today and she looked tons better...hopefully she is on the mend.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Cat Just Busted my Yoga Ball

My poor yoga ball was the victim of a terrible feline crime. While escaping from the dog, she jumped on the ball, and tore a small hole in the ball. I heard the air rushing out from the other side of the room. maggie picked up the ball to examine it and the whole thing exploded in her hands. Bye, bye yoga ball.

Today was a fun day. Maggie and I picked up Liberty from our friend Karen's and brought him to New Ground Farms. We walked him around and gave him a bath and just played with him...or rather, Maggie played with him. She wouldn't let me have him to play with him. Something about how he's supposed to be her horse. Grumble, grumble.

He was so funny. He wanted to be friends with the other horses, but they ran away from him. I expected him to be the one being chased, but they were running from him. He didn't know what to make out of Zoe, the mini, or Arnold, the pot bellied pig. He's such a good, sensible boy though. I think we'll have a lot of fun training him.

I had a nice, but short ride on Freeley. He was full of himself today. He bucked a few times and ran like a mad man. I made him angry trying to work on his sidepassing. He definitely is feeling his oats right now. I'm glad he's feeling better, but he was more manageable when his front feet hurt. Deli looked better today too as Liberty chased her through the field trying to be friends.

Tonight we went out to dinner as a family and went to see Little shop of Horrors at Theater Arlington. I found out about it b/c I while I was at lunch the other day, I found out a friend of a friend's boyfriend played the voice of the plant, so I was intrigued. His name Major Attaway and he was fantastic. I was talking to him on the phone b/c Darby, his girlfriend, said he had recently become a massage therapist and wasn't sure where to work. I told him about DSSW and Darby told me about the musical at the theater. It was really fun to have something to do as a family, all of us.

Tomorrow, I'm taking Maggie to the barn early so that she, Jena and Jennifer can clean the barn. They will share $60 for the work. Maggie doesn't really want to do it, but she does want the money, and b/c of Liberty, I want her to contribute in either money or labor, so that she understands how hard I work to maintain these horses (well and how hard Peter has worked for all this time) I'm going to supervise since Rob is in town and Jackie has plans. I told her that unlike the times when I've done the barn, I expect her to do it and I'm only the help. I will dump buckets and I'll probably clean the outside stalls, but I'm not doing the heavy lifting...ok, well, I guess all I'm doing IS the heavy lifting. I have students tomorrow so I'll be teaching while they are cleaning.

Hopefully we'll get home in time to watch some Smallville and hang out tomorrow night. It's likely to be a long, allergen filled day.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Big Foot Boogie Photos














Maggie and Brody on the trail

Running

I was about to make a blog when my daughter's dachshund, Cecilia, peed on me and my chair...so instead of posting about running, I was running away from the dog. Ugh! I really dislike this dog and I would like to find her a new home. However, she's lived with us for four years and she is the one my daughter loves best and I can't bear to make maggie give her up. So, instead, I put up with having her pee on me. Yuck and double yuck.

Tonight Maggie and I started her running program. Our friend Alexa showed her stretches to do and told her to start by walking from one end of the block to the other and then running the length of the block and then walking back home. We did this. I jogged it slow, got very tired, but made it, but recovered quickly. Maggie ran it faster than me, but had a harder time catching her breath. We are both terribly out of shape. Maggie commented that she was the one who needed conditioning, not the horse.

This Sunday Maggie begins her new job. She's going to be doing the barn with Jennifer a couple times per month. Well, that's the long term plan. For now I know she's working this weekend and I probably have her talked into the weekend of the 14th, but beyond that, who knows. She wants some Sundays off just to sit around (don't we all) but I think it's going to be good for her. I hadn't realized how lazy she's become. She's not a huge TV watcher or a computer player, but she just doesn't move a lot. In the last six months she's gotten a lot bigger and her energy levels have just plummetted. I know that the only way to get past where she is is to get busy and be active, so I'm kind of forcing the issue. It's one of the reasons that I wanted her to go ahead and ride the next CTR. That is good exercise for her. I know that she won't much like the barn cleaning, but since we're getting Liberty, I figure she needs to be willing to work for it. I work very hard to afford the horses. I want her to understand that she needs to do the same too.

I had another vet come out to see Deli this week to get a second opinion and see what else could be causing her lameness. They said it was ringbone and that she has low heel, long toe syndrome. I didn't cause the ringbone, but my trimming techniques have caused the long toe. I'm a good trimmer when I have time, but lately I haven't had time. So, I'm going to pay a farrier to trim her for awhile until she quits being lame. Against my principles, but under veterinary recommendation, I had alluminum egg bar shoes put on her temporarily. According the xrays it will help her be comfortable quickly. Of course, tonight, she's just lame, so I don't know if it will help or not. Dr. Tersteeg, the vet, said to give her a week in her new shoes (it will be 10 days before we have time to mess with her anyway) and then see if she's still lame. If she's lame, leave her alone in the pasture. The poor horse is getting so fat...she's just as sweet as ever though.

I can't say that ringbone, other lameness is really a great prognosis for her, but I think it will be easier to find Deli the right home with this dx over EPM. She won't have chronic care issues, may be ridden some and could teach lessons and do local schooling. She might also be suitable for a therapeutic riding center. I will have to find her a job next fall if she's still lame. She gets a reprieve b/c of the foal and would have a reprieve for at least 6 months or so anyway. As sad as it is, I will have to find her a home if she continues to be lame. I can't board old and lame horses forever. I worry that I will also have to make this decision for Freeley some day. I dread that day!

Speaking of Freeley, for the moment he is doing great in his shoes. He acts like he feels better and he is moving better for now. I won't leave him in shoes long term, but I think I will be letting Tony trim Deli and Freeley for awhile. I will continue trimming Joe Bear and I plan to do Liberty myself also.

Off to bed...work tomorrow and picking up Liberty. Still need to post about maggie's ride, but I'll do a seperate post and put up some photos.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

quick note

Alot of stuff is going on. I just haven't had time to sit down and write anything.

Mainly I wanted to tell the story of Maggie's CTR and how she finished it all by herself after I got pulled. She had a safety rider following her, but she did it all on her own. Boy, was I proud!

I also wanted to write a quick note to say Deli doesn't have EPM. She is lame in both front feet and has ring bone on the right front. Not sure yet how that will affect us, but I do have the farrier coming to help me put it right tomorrow.

There is more to tell. This is just the quick version.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Annoyed with myself

I am home sick today. I was supposed to see music therapy clients and instead I have been visiting the porcelain God on a regular basis. I think maybe I'm done, but I feel weak and tired. I do NOT want to go out of town, and I'm really happy that I"m only going as far as Cat's friend, Susan's tonight. She will be here in a bit and we're going to load her truck and then go pick up my horses...well, Jackie's horses, for the Bigfoot Boogie. It will be Jena's and Maggie's first ride. They are very excited. I'm going to ride Skipper, Jackie's foxtrotter. Maggie is going to ride Brody, one of her Quarter Horses. I had toyed with taking Freeley, but he's still on antibiotic and therefore not legal to compete...besides, he still has the cut on his leg.

I'm really angry with myself today. I got talked into shoeing Freeley's front feet. He has some rotation and per the vet, he recommended shoeing him to get it healed. HE thinks it won't be long term, but that I should give it a chance to get better. I wasn't going to shoe b/c I don't like shoes. Today the farrier came and I guess he and Jackie got to talking and they called me and said they thought he needed shoes. Here I am home sick and I just didn't have the energy to argue. I let them shoe him. Now I'm just sick that I let them talk me into doing something I don't really agree with. But it's done. I'll see if he's anymore comfortable this way, but I just can't see that I've made the right choice and I'm irritated with myself.

I get tripped up b/c I know people who shoe and don't shoe and they all have valid points. I think that it might help him to wear shoes, but I don't want to be thought of us unenlightened. I get that shoeing long term is bad for the horses. I get that barefoot is best. But sometimes I'm not sure that barefoot is best. But I can't KNOW for sure. I only have the vet telling me what to do on one end and the barefoot advocates telling me what to do on the other end. I end up confused and stressed out in the middle.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Finally the link showed up

http://s8.photobucket.com/albums/a35/ayovich/Liberty%20and%20the%20Haile%20Family/

This is the link to the album with the photos Maggie took yesterday. I couldn't believe how nice some of the pictures were. Too bad the camera wasn't a better one.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Photo of Liberty




I'm hoping these photos show up...if Not I'll figure something out tomorrow. So, pardon the red x's.

I discovered that Maggie has an extraordinary sense of photography. She's got a great idea.

I had planned to write more about my riding and my day, but I"m pooped. I have to work tomorrow.

It seems I will be on four days a week plus after school every day starting in another week. Money is a good thing.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bad EPM Day; good day to ride


This is a photo of me and my friend Karen Haile working with Liberty, a half paso/half arab cross. I am looking at him to be a replacement for Maggie's beloved Deli, who has a bad case of EPM and will never be able to compete again (most likely) He is young and it will be at least a year before she can compete him (in the mean time she can ride Freeley or one of Jackie's horses) but I think he'll be nice. I have a "deal" on him so that he is affordable. This is the first time he'd been ridden in over a year and he was calm as could be. He's got a great personality and is really sweet. I have discussed a time table for picking him up, but I am still reconciling if it's a good idea or not. I suspect it is not, but I also can't imagine her going without a horse to ride for who knows how long.
Deli looked bad today. She was very wobbly on her hind end. I was not encouraged. She was sweet and kind as always and I hugged her tight. Joe is being mean to her. I suspect she's been so mean to him for so long he's getting back at her. I fed Freeley his antibiotics and had to fight Joe Bear off. I think that Zoe is taking his food. I wish that Jackie could find a home for her. That silly little mini keeps taking my pony's feed!