Monday, July 30, 2007

A small rant on people who want to take away my fun

I couldn't believe that I had people give me a hard time about Maggie's riding on the video. She did a funny mount on her horse where she switches feet in the air. It was borne out of necessity when she had a tricky piece of terrain and couldn't get her leg in the right place to get on the horse. So, she improvised. I thought it was so cute that I decided to go ahead and film her doing it on purpose b/c I thought it was funny. I had notes on one email list telling me how it was really dangerous and unfunny and they couldn't believe I'd let her do that. I thought that it wasn't that big of a deal. She isn't barrel racing without a helmet or anything, she's getting on her horse. Unfortunately, he horse did something it rarely does...walk off. But all she did was walk off. She didn't take off galloping. She just got bored with the filming and walked off. This horse is normally a rock solid standing horse, so in a way it just added to the funniness...and in the next frame she stood perfectly still. I dunno, maybe people just don't have a good sense of humor?

Today I had a tow truck come get my car and I rode my horse. Then I took Maggie and her friend Jennifer swimming and we played hard. I swam for an hour and half and then they swam another 45 minutes. Tomorrow I will have to see clients and Maggie will be with her dad. I hope to do some sewing and watching of TV I prefer not to share with Maggie (the end of Battlestar Galactica for example from the spring no less)

Wednesday and Thursday I'm going to help with the barn again. Today was Tracey's first day to do it completely alone and it was 3:15 and she was still less than half done with the stalls. I really like Tracy and I worry that she'll quit if it's too hard to get done in the right time frame. There is some speculation that Jackie should hire two people, but I don't know if she can afford to or not. I do think Tracy will have to get faster, but since I've never done the barn all alone, I don't know how possible it is. I like that we have someone working who speaks English! I don't care if they also speak spanish, but it's nice to have someone doing the work we can actually talk to. I can't help tomorrow, but I'll go on Wednesday and Thursday. I do know that I can clean more stalls in less time, but I have a routine and she may not yet. How long should it take? I don't have a clue.

Friday we are going trail riding and that will be fun. I haven't been out since we got home from Arkansas.

Heading to bed. More in the future.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Arkansas vacation in video

The two things directly below this post are videos of us in Arkansas. We had such a great time. I had a lot of fun putting together this video. I find that I really enjoy movie editing a lot.

Another day at the barn. Today I learned how to run the bush hog and I did some mowing. I also got tragically sunburned. I went to lunch/dinner with my friends, drank my first blood mary ever (yum) and had a great day. The kicker at the end was that the starter on my car seems to have gone out, so it will be a tow truck tomorrow. Darn it. Maggie and I had planned to hang out and sit around, but I guess I will have to go back. It's probably just as well. I took a shower at the barn and I lost my underwear somewhere between the car and the shower. I would so much rather find my undies than have someone else find them :-) I need to trim Freeley and Joe's feet too, so I might as well go back and get that done. No rest for the wicked.

Peter stayed home today (the slacker ) and did laundry and read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I had really wanted him to come help me at the barn, but darn, he just couldn't muster the enthusiasm for it. Tom was the token guy at the barn and he was very helpful to everyone (as usual).

Second half of Arkansas video

First half of Arkansas video

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Finally, time for a longer note

This week has been crazy. It's been just like having a real job this week with getting up early, buzzing here and there and just generally staying busy. I've seen clients and go to the barn every day this week to help Tracy, the new girl, do her job. It's been a very active week. I go back tomorrow, but Jackie has said that she wants her to do it alone next week, so while I may stop in on her next week, I won't be running out there to do everything for her.

I've told Jackie that I'd be happy to do 2-4 days a month to deduct from my board like we used to do. It will be nice not to owe any money on the barn if she wants me to do it. I am not teaching as much as I'd like right now and I need to fill in the gaps. It doesn't do me much good to have more music therapy money if my other money drops off. I seem to be stuck at about $500/month for income. Of course, once school starts I may have more clients, massages may be picking up and I may have more students. sigh...

I'm sitting here at my desk writing notes for music and massage therapy. I had a client cancel on me again this week and it's so frustrating. IF I don't see them, I don't get paid. This client is an adult and she doesn't talk to me directly, but calls her mom to have her cancel the appointment. I guess when they get back from vacation I'll have to let them know that she is going to have to be consistent or the agency will take the service away from her. She has been having pain in her jaw and has finally gotten to a doctor. They are also trying to get her a massage consult, so she'd be another one I can see for 2 hours and I could go during the day which would be great for my schedule. I just have to get her on track. I have a horrid time making myself write my notes. I should write each one when I come home each day, but somehow it's easier to just get up on Saturday am and write them all and mail them.

We're off to see the new Harry Potter movie in a few minutes. Maggie has been in her room finishing the book off on CD. I wish that I could get her to actually read everything that she absorbs so well listening to. Some day there will be something she wants to read and it won't be available on CD...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Frankie IS a good dog!

Today I had to do the barn. Cat came too and brought her dog. I took Frankie as well. Usually I have to leave a lead rope or leash on him b/c if I don't he trails after the pigs or chases cats, etc at the barn. Today he only looked at one of the pigs one time and then he ran with me. I was able to take his lead rope off after only a couple hours and he was good all day. He trotted along side the tractor and he was such a good boy. I can't believe he's finally turning into a good dog. He even tried to play with Cat's dog Taz, but Taz seemed clueless what he wanted. Frankie almost never plays with other dogs. I was so happy. He's finally almost 5 years old. Maybe he's finally getting it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Not my favorite week

This week has been so busy. I have been doing chores at my barn all week b/c the stable hand was let go a couple weeks ago and jackie is out of town. She's hired one new person, but tomorrow is her day off and Cat and I are doing the barn tomorrow. Next week, Tracy will be on her own, doing the chores and I hope she'll be ok. She's not as quick at it yet as she will hopefully be in the future. She is thorough and it's so nice to have someone in the barn who speaks English. She wanted to hire two people to do the work, but she can't hardly afford to do it. There is too much work for one person, but not enough $$ for two. She's looking to find a person to live in the apartment instead of wages for the weekends and evenings. I hope she can find someone.

Anyway, it's not my favorite week b/c I like to have free time and it's been hectic and busy all week. Every day has had something in it to do. Next week will be better b/c I will have a day to myself when maggie goes with her dad (if he picks her up on time, which often doesn't happen) and I won't have work to do every single day.

Of course, I got a paycheck today and I really liked that. So, work is good. I'm trying to pay for the horses out of "my" money so we can pay off bills. I'm having a month of spending more than I earned and I hate that! sigh.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A quick note before I start my day

This is a video of Maggie mounting Deli. She's not doing it right on purpose b/c she was feeling silly. Deli was great on this trip. I think perhaps she likes Maggie better than me :-)
I couldn't get it to embed so I"m just going to post the link.

Off to do barn chores today. Jackie is going on vacation and the stable hand was fired last week so a bunch of us are pitching in. She's hurt her knee so she needs to lay low and leaving town is the only way that will happen!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Frankie could be a good dog!

Frankie could be a good dog, but only if he got to go on the trail for 10+ miles a day. He went to Arkansas with us and seemed to be having a great time. He's normally such a bad dog, but he was just great all w/e. He was loose with us in the camp ground and never ran off on at all. He went with us on the trail every time we went out and he was always right with us. He's such a great dog, but normally he's into everything. He was so tired at the end of each day that he didn't even try to break into the cooler or the food box. This photo was taken on the bank by the spring we were playing in. He had been swimming and running and chasing wildlife all day and he was pooped.
Bar 50's trails were pretty well marked and they had a map. I found it pretty easy to find my way around once I had my bearings, but i confess the first day without a map I was nervous about finding my way back. I shouldn't have worried b/c there were some east/west roads that ran through the place and as long as I kept oriented to them, I could find my way back. Plus, Freeley has built in GPS...
Speaking of GPS, I couldn't get mine to work there. It kept telling me there was a weak signal. I did get an average MPH, which was very slow, due to hills and rocky terrain, but it kept going in and out. I've never been anywhere that my GPS didn't work so well. There were lots of rocks, but Deli did the whole thing barefoot without missing a beat. The first day I rode Freeley without his boots and he did protest after awhile. He didn't want to walk through the streams b/c of the rocks and he was very careful and slow. The next two days I put easy boot epics on him and he was much happier. I have never used epics on him, but he did great. Granted, according to my weak GPS signal, I probably didn't do more than 12-15 miles any of the days, but I had no rubs and he seemed very happy to have them. I did wonder if back boots would be good and I'm thinking of ordering some for him, but he was really ok. The terrain was a bit like a combination of Robber's Route and Big foot Boogie.
My good friend, Sylvia came with her 14 year old daughter. Unfortunately, Sydney, the daughter, isn't as interested in riding as she used to be. She's more into boys and less into horses. So, she did ride with us a one day but then slept the next 2 days. Sylvia said that her ride on Thursday was the best ride she and her mare had ever had. Her mare used to be crazed to ride. She had to be in front and she was always pulling on Sylvia. Now she rides her in a rope halter. It seems that a new feed called Kool and Kalm is the answer. I'm thinking of trying it in the future.
This week, Jackie, who owns our barn, is going on vacation. I'm helping out to help with the day to day running of things b/c she just hired some new folks who don't know the routines yet. It will be a busy week.
I'm starting to work on my music and massage therapy schedule for the fall. One more is being a little tricky to schedule with and I'm experiencing some frustration with it. I have two hours with the same client and I want to do them in the same trip so that I can see more clients. His mom wants me to come late (after supper) 2 different days which means that I won't be at home with my family two nights and I won't be seeing other clients and earning more money b/c I'll be going to her house 2 nights. It could be that the client can't hack 2 hours in a row (music and then massage therapy) but I wanted to give it a chance, or do one afternoon earlier than the other so I'm not gone 2 separate nights. I'm not sure how to work on this scheduling issue.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Out on vacation

Someone left me a comment that they had missed my blog. I'm glad folks like to read what I write. I love to read what others like as well.

My daughter and I had a lovely holiday in Bismarck, AR at the Bar 50 ranch this week. The trails were absolutely outstanding. We rode 3 days through ups and downs and turns, through water and over rocks. It was just wonderful. Maggie surprised me by tacking up her own horse each day and getting everything ready to go. She was a great little partner to have along. We got along famously all week. More tomorrow (or perhaps Monday) when I get the photos and video downloaded out of my camera.

We had other friends go with us and they seemed to have a pretty good time as well. My friend, Sylvia, said it was her best day of riding ever.

I would love to see us have a competitive trail ride in this location. It would be a slow one though b/c of the terrain.

Neither of us wanted to leave, but we're glad that we're home. I would love to have all day tomorrow just to take it easy in my chair, but I have a lesson first thing tomorrow morning.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Is it Saturday already?

I'm off in a few minutes to eat breakfast with a friend and to take my trailer back to the barn. It's been sitting out front all week after I had to get the latch fixed on Tuesday. I have the car to drive thank goodness, but after being ill on Thursday and working yesterday I just haven't gotten south again to take the trailer back. I have an assessment to do today also, which means a fatter paycheck in a few weeks. I"m really enjoying being a music therapist again, even though I confess, I feel kind of lost.

I think someone should write a book of activities. And, if they haven't already, maybe I'll be the one to do it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Not much happening here

I spent yesterday with a cramped up tummy. I laid around some, sewed some, read some. I woke up with a headache and a busy day ahead of me. I have 3 music therapy visits today and I still need to take my horse trailer back to the barn. It's been sitting here since Tuesday. I had planned to take it back when I do my music therapy today, but since I have to go to an apartment complex I'm afraid it won't fit while I'm there.

Maggie will be back today. She has called me constantly while she's been gone. She's driven me up a wall! She is having fun, but she is homesick and she gets bored. She has not learned how to entertain herself away from home. She doesn't enjoy reading so she is constantly needing to be entertained. Here at home, it's not a problem, but away from home she seems to have trouble knowing what to do. Her grandparents and dad were working on a project and she was not able to help and she decided to call me every five minutes instead. I finally told her she had to quit calling b/c I was working. I set myself up for peace today by telling her I had therapy appointments. Since it's true, I didn't feel bad telling her.

One of the sewing projects I did was to make curtains for her room. I only have one panel done, but it looks pretty good. I'll take a photo when I get done. When she goes to her other grandparents with her dad over her birthday in August/september, Cat and I are going to redecorate her room. I'm going to start with the bottom while she's still here. I'm just going to tell her it's going to be a slow project in stages. I have to pull wall paper off her walls and that will take some time, so I'm not going to act like I"m in any hurry. Cat is going to paint murals on her walls and we're going to make doors for her closet and put blown up posters of the horses on them, or paint horses that represent our horses. It should be pretty cool.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ugh, is it really Monday?

I have awakened feeling like I have a cold. I don't know if I really have a cold, or if I just have a bad attack of allergies. My ears hurt, my nose hurts and I'm dizzy. I feel icky. Now my face is breaking out in a rash. Ugh! It's going to be a long day. Maggie has a friend over and we had planned to go to the barn later, but I just don't think I can swing it.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

What to Blog?

I have been pondering what is ok to blog or not blog. This is my blog, my journal to express my thoughts, feelings, tell my stories, have my memories. Sometimes I write about stuff that irritates me. Sometimes I write about things that make me happy. I typically don't write really personal things here b/c I don't want the whole world to know what I do in my really private time, or some of my darker private thoughts. When I started it, I had intended it to be a place to write more sarcastic/cynical thoughts. I had intended to be funny...I'm funny inside my head, but by the time I get here to write I'm not as funny. Mostly my blog has become a log of daily events and activities. I typically write just horsey notes on facebook or on myspace, but they are shorter. This is kind of the whole banana. I write it all here. It has come to attention that some of the people reading don't like what they have read. I'm not really sure what to do about that. It's my blog. It's where I get to write how I feel. I don't write things to hurt feelings, but I do write what's on my mind. This is my place to vent. Comments are welcome and as long as they aren't rude I'll publish them or comment back, even if I disagree.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Poor Maggie

My daughter is so distraught about growing up. I went to tuck her into bed and found her crying her eyes out. She is so worried about all the changes to come. Poor little thing.

Shopping, children and fun evening at home

Got up early this am to meet my friend Jackie and Cat for breakfast. We ended up spending the whole day shopping and hanging out and it was so much fun. Maggie and I bought cool shoes and neat purses. She bought clothes at a new store called Steve and Barry's. It was great fun. I'm not much of a shopper, but today was a lot of fun.

The new series of Doctor Who begins on Sci-Fi tonight. We've already seen it on DVD from the web, but it's going to be great fun to see it again.

I'm so bummed...ok, this is dumb and superficial...I want to see David Tennant's Blackpool. It's not listed on, but I saw it on the list on Netflix, so I figured I"d sign back up for netflix so I could watch it and darn it! It's not been released yet. It's just in the save and release date not known...what a total bummer. Oh well, I'll cancel it again after summer is over and Maggie goes back to school. In the meantime we can watch extra movies or something...Maybe it will come out before the end of the summer. It was just on BBC america, but I missed it last fall. It figures...

Tonight my daughter came to see me in the kitchen. She was so sad and earnest and she told me that she didn't want to be 10 years old b/c it made her feel like she was too grown up. She says she doesn't want to get breasts and be grown up. I gave her a huge hug and told her that she would always be my little girl even when she had boobs and was a big kid. I told her that I was so happy that she talked to me about how she felt...She has been so sensitive about being away from home lately. I have been wondering if she's worried that some big, significant change will happen to her body and I won't be there. She's all tangled up with being this ultrapolite kid and a young lady and a little girl all at once. Poor thing. I wouldn't go back to that age for anything. I'm just so glad she feels like she can talk to me about stuff. I never felt like i could say much about stuff to my parents.

We didn't have any significant rainfall today. Whoohoo. I missed the weather so I don't know what the rainfall actually was, but if all holds up we might be able to ride somewhere by sunday. The vacation plans were completely rained out all the way around. Maggie is staying here with us until Monday night, when her dad will take her to visit grandparents for a week. I had thought i'd enjoy watching videos and being on my own for the week, b ut the bottom line is I'll end up working. Hopefully i can get my lessons back on track and get all my clients seen next week. I have a few things to do each day, so it will be hard to go ride. My week is all broken up. I am getting my hair cut (trimmed) on Wednesday and that may be the highlight of my week. I have one client a day on Wed-Friday and there will be two one of those days. busy, money...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Back to Work and Star Wars

Today I saw a new client for music therapy. It was great. When I got to his house he wouldn't look at me or interact with me. He just wanted to watch TV or play with his cars. I kind of followed him from room to room with my guitar singing and playing instruments quietly. It didn't take him too long to discover my drums and he seemed to be very pleased. We spent most of the hour playing drums and rhythm instruments. It was a great first session.

Then I saw my other client who I have seen before. We are working on reading song lyrics and he helped me work on the song sheets. We also played the drums and he did a great job of playing in rhythm today. It was very exciting b/c the last 2 weeks he's just been a passenger, but today he took charge a little.

Peter, Maggie and I went to see the Star Wars exhibit with our friend Alexa this afternoon. It was pretty cool to see all the costumes and various tools and models used in the production of the movies. I personally couldn't stand the first three movies...I prefer the original three, the ones from the 70's-80's, but the costumes were still very neat. There were lots of neat hands on tools and computer simulations. One thing I noticed was that my daughter was incredibly polite in a room full of people who just weren't. She waited her turn to play the different games only to be elbowed out by bigger boys (why is it always the boys?) whose parents didn't even make them behave. She couldn't work out the simulations herself for the kids telling her how to do it and then pushing her out of the way as soon as she remotely appeared to be done. One kid came up while she was still playing with something and started pushing the opposite buttons. Then his mom came up and pushed in between us...we werent' even done yet. I wanted to say "Excuse me, we were done" but I didn't, we just got up and left. Why are people so rude?

Then we went to dinner at Joe T. Garcia's, which is a restaurant everyone here really goes on about. I liked it ok, but it was expensive and the margaritas were small and not all that good. They were somewhat bitter. I really liked my fajitas though. I ordered sopapillas for dessert and they were way expensive! All in all, I'm glad I went, I won't fight going back, but I don't care if I get to go again. And, to make matters worse, I now have heart burn.

I guess that's enough for tonight. I always have more to say when I'm not sitting here writing, but now I"m just tired so it's time for sleep.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Holiday--discover card is evil

Maggie, my daughter, and I were supposed to be camping and riding this fourth, but it's's been raining for the past 17 days. Everything is flooded...we're at home eating pizza.

Don't get me wrong, I'm getting a lot done...listed items on ebay, made up some new music therapy activity kits. whoohoo, what a way to spend the holiday.

Oh yeah, I also learned that Discover Card is scum of the earth today. Not long ago they wanted to raise my interest rate b/c they felt I was a credit risk (never mind I was busy paying off the card) I decided to take the current terms of the card (12.74% interest) and cancel my card so that they wouldn't raise my rate. Evidently, this was a mistake b/c they canceled my free interest on balance transfers agreement. They said that canceling the card invalidated my agreement with them b/c I was no longer charging 2 items per month to keep the free interest on the balance transfer (which, obviously is true since I no longer have the card) This was after I had been assured my zero interest would now I get to pay double the interest each month while I pay off this card. What a bunch of bozos! Obviously, I should have taken the higher interest, continue to charge 2 miniscule things each month and lived on. I'm not sure why they didn't tell me on the phone the way it would be. Either they didn't know, or they knew they could stick it to me for higher interest if I left. And to add insult to injury, they keep sending me "come back" I would ever.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

And yet more rain

Last week, it really did look like we'd have a clearing off by tomorrow, but no such luck. Poor Maggie went to her dad's for the night. She and Alexa (his buddy who lives across the street) and Shawn went to the Ft. Worth Cats game...well, it was rained out. The good news is that they will have rain check tickets for sometime in the future. Maggie spent the night at Alexa's since her dad has to get up early for work tomorrow. She called awhile ago saying that she was going to go to the museum with Alexa tomorrow am...good for Maggers. She has been so hyper-sensitive about being gone at night that I was happy to have her go there and not be calling me every five minutes stressing out about being away from home.

The plan B camping trip is in high danger of being cancelled now too, with the places I was going to go for lessons and the other camp ground being rained on. I think now we'll go to the Bar 50 ranch in Arkansas in a couple weeks. I've looked at it's location and it's closer than angelina and since it's rocky the ground won't be too wet. I wanted to go to Cass county, where we had the trail ride but right now the equestrian camp ground is under water, so that's not good! At bar 50 you can camp or stay in the lodge...Maggie and I are happy camping, but if Peter will agree to go, I'll go for fewer days and get a room in the lodge just to get him to come with us.

Thursday is the big day for Delicato. She will be checked for pregnancy and by golly I hope she took. as many times as the stallion bred her she should have taken. If she didn't I will have her checked out as to why, but it will probably end my attempts to breed her...Maybe I'll talk to my friend Karen about Liberty, a paso/arab cross she says she would "give" me for about no money...I'm just not willing to jump through a lot of hoops to make this happen for us. And of course, I don't really need Liberty or any other new horse now...I had hoped to raise a baby. I suppose there is always next year, but I'm not sure if I will try again. The timing is tricky enough for this year. By next year it will be too late. My plan is to let Maggie do the fall rides and the six O ride, then perhaps the first March ride and maybe an april ride depending on the mare and how fit she is. Then she'll have her foal and maybe I'll get one last ride out of her for next year.

Of course, this may be too much to ask of a bred depends on who you ask. Some tell me to do it; it will be good for her. Others say I'm just nuts to consider it. we have not ruled out letting her compete on Joe Bear next fall either. She can handle him, but if he has one of his insane moods, she will be so embarrassed. Again, that's why we wanted to do it now. She can find a horse at the barn to borrow if she needs to. Jackie is very generous. She will always have something to ride.

Speculation is pointless till I see if she's bred.

I got 2 new clients today. I see them for the first time on Thursday. Business is picking up. My goal is to pay for all animal related expenses out of my business account. Then I will start also buying clothes, getting our hair cuts and just general spending money...the bills are getting paid off. I have a goal to be at $1500 gross per month by school starting. This will take about 8 clients per week...10 will make it an even $2000/month. Of course, I have to take out for taxes, tithe and keep money back for business expenses, so it's not as much money as it sounds, but it's a nice start. It's a bit tricky to get used to paying these things from the smaller pool of money. I need to be careful that I get my materials each week before I start paying for other things. Fortunately, once I purchase a few things and get more lamination done, I'll be in good shape...I threw away a bunch of materials about a year ago thinking I wouldn't be doing this anymore...I just could kick myself.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Vacation Destroyed by Rain

Well it's official...we're not going camping and riding b/c of rain. Fortunately, the powers that be at the state level, did give my friend, Bambi, back her money on the camp ground. For awhile it looked like they might stick her for the entire $600 for the week of camping while the trails were closed, but the park rangers intervened on her behalf and she's getting a refund. The natural area is in bad shape from all the rain.

We had planned to go Killeen to ride at Parrie haynes, but they are having the same kind of rain, so who knows what we'll do. at the moment we're looking at camping in Angelina National forest in a couple weeks and maybe it will have dried out by then. I hoped to take some centered riding lessons too, but they may get rained out too...what a drag.