Sunday, March 28, 2010

Riding with Teresa

I had the great pleasure to ride with my friend Teresa at her house today. It was the first time I'd ridden Liberty since last week's clinic and I had him in his bit, which I'm not sure he likes too much. It was going to be a slow paced ride, so it was a good chance for me to practice a lot of what I learned in the Dr. Deb clinic, but I wasn't counting on how the wind and a couple of beginner riders would throw off my birdie and Liberty's too. We did do some nice flexing and I got to practice winding him down when he skittered off at a too fast trot. I was not at all happy with my stopping skills over logs. I have gotten used to having a pretty good handle on him on the trail and riding him in a bit, out in the open, felt like I had nothing on his head at all...and I didn't like the feeling. I think I will continue to school in the bit, both on the trail in slow, controllable situations, but I will be using my s hack on the trail in competition. I'm also thinking of looking into getting a Jim Warner hackamore, which comes highly recommended and supposedly has more "bit like" qualities...though I'm sure it's really just another curb based hackamore. I did ride in the sidepull for a little while too. It was more the feel I'm used to, but I discovered if I accidentally put both reins on together, he would toss his head...something he had not done in a long time.

I do understand that I have to retrain him to work for me in one of these bridles, and that it's evidently not going to be very easy. I just don't really like that to ride classically and to do the right thing I'm having to give up on the one "bit"--the s hack--that I felt worked the best of all my tools I have used to far. It would be so much easier to just continue and not try to change. However, having seen the results of last weekend, I don't want that to be my answer.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I have accomplished so much...

Since I blogged this am, I have cleaned, cooked, cleaned some more and done Shawn's taxes. I also showered, worked out (not in that order) and am working on my billing for work for the week. Then I sew and sew...I don't know why I'm procrastinating the sewing b/c I really do enjoy it. I have ordered us a pizza and I will head over to the field and feed and probably ride for a little while before dark. I want to practice my Dr. Deb techniques alone with no distractions.

Maggie problem won't be riding with me tomorrow. She has a terrible cold and seems to feel really crummy. She is leaving for FL on Tuesday for her yearly trip with her dad so I want to get her well as soon as possible. Poor kid. She survived Peter being sick the first time, but when he brought it home this next time she couldn't escape.

Lazy Saturday Morning

I have sworn off my 2 hours a day TV watching for the day...mostly b/c it's Saturday and Maggie has a cold. So we are on the couch watching all the stuff we've recorded on the DVR. I may run to the Y for yoga class, but Maggie is probably stuck on the couch...Poor Jena is doomed to a boring day I think. Of course, I'm observing that she doesn't really mind.

It's a beautiful day...later I will be going to feed and maybe catch a short ride. I have given Liberty the week off b/c of the rain and the clinic last weekend. Tomorrow we're going to a friend's to ride, but today I have to sew...which is why I'm sitting on the couch watching TV and blogging.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Turning off TV part 2

I did downgrade our cable package today. I took us from 200 channels to the family package with only 55 channels. So, now we will have less things to record or flip through...That will automatically reduce our television watching. Plus this way I will be spending only half on cable.

We've done school work today and Maggie has been watching the last Hannah Montana during our lunch. We're going to leave in a few and go pick up Jena to spend the night. I'm going to take them to the barn for feed...ride maybe. I have a client at 6pm and will take them to the Y to swim at 5pm. Then I will see my client and pick up the girls...trying to keep them busy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Turning off the Tv

Maggie had her 12 year old check up today. It was not terrible news but there were a few areas of concern. Number one was getting more exercise and watching less TV. This also applies to recreational computer playing. Maggie and I tend to only watch up to 3 hours of tv a day but we probably need to cut that back. I am not sure what to do in the evening that is more active. After working all day and working earlier in the day is watching tv or movies any worse than reading a book (from a physical fitness point of view) should we instead be dragging Peter to the Y with us again, riding the horses (even though it means we won't be home with him in the evening?) i need suggestions of what other families do in their spare time. We are thinking of getting rid of our dish in favor of just using netflix to save money as well.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fiera today

I got up early to eat breakfast with a friend and let Fiera out of jail. I was closeby so I figured I'd give her a couple hours to check out the fence and get back to me on her escapism. I went back to the pasture and she was there with her friends and she didn't get out. I'm hoping that she saw how I fixed the fence and has decided that will do. I will have to check it a couple times daily and keep an eye on her progress, but today, so far so good.

Dr. Deb Bennett part 3--shoulder in and canter

On Saturday the morning started out really nice, but then it started raining really hard and we could hardly hear Dr. Deb even with the microphone on. Then the wind started blowing and the horses were sure one particular corner was going to kill them. No one came off, but there were a few close calls. After the storm died down, Dr. Deb went back into the scary corner and we began to work on the shoulder in. Because our leg yielding at gotten so good and easy, it was time for the next step. She had us take the corner and leg yield deep into the corner and then keep our bend through the long side. We were only to take a few steps before going on straight. Liberty took to this very well on his left side, not so well on the right side, but got better all the time. Pretty soon, when we took them out of the bend we would take them across the arena, change the bend and the practice shoulder in on the opposite side. He has always been stiff about switching from his left to his right side, but that got progressively better all weekend. His trot circles also began to slow down and he began to lift his back over the cavelletti instead of just plowing over them.

Sunday morning we worked on cantering. We were given very few instructions, other than just sit on the outside of the horse. I was told not to trot too many times before I set him up to canter b/c he would have trouble containing his excitement and I found that to be true. I circled at a walk in the corner, sat to the outside (weight in my outside butt cheek) and made a canter motion with my body. We usually maintained the canter around the corner of the arena, but most of the horses didn't want to pass their buddies and go back in the corner by themselves. So we gave them a hard time going past the other horses, but as soon as they were past, we backed off, so they learned that the corner was a place of peace and rest. It's the same technique you use on a barn sour horse...let them go back to the barn, but make them work hard once they are there. Take them out to a field somewhere and let them have rest. Liberty cantered well and not too fast. Since we are still getting used to the bit, he is having a bit of trouble regulating his speed. It's all or nothing at the moment, but as he was realizing I wasn't going to grab his mouth or face he learned to be less reactive.

Sunday we also learned how to do a turn on the haunches...something I have never really been able to pull off well. She taught a really simple technique to stop the outside of the horse and move the inside of the horse...easy to do when explained with a horse standing there, but not so easy to write about here. She did warn us not to do more than 1/2 a turn and to use the year to build up to a whole turn since most horses can't do a whole turn easily and they tend to break loose behind when they aren't strong enough thereby setting yourself up for misery when trying to unteach the movement behind later.

We also watched more videos...We watched a great video about training icelandic horses and paso fino horses which showed the continuum of gait from pacey to trotty. The clinic was just wonderful. There were so many chances to hear stories and to listen to her ideas and opinions. Next year, I'm hoping we'll be back in the same place. We have been charged with bringing friends so that we can keep the cost down. We need more auditors and more riders.

Some things to know about Dr. Deb:
1) She is opinionated and believes that her opinion is the correct not argue with Dr. Deb.
2) You can be having a perfectly innocent conversation with her or a fellow attendee and find out that she doesn't like something you like. Then she will tell you her opinion about it...This happened to me a couple times (I know that no one can imagine that I would be capable of putting my foot in it lol) I was talking about NATRC and how much I loved the rides. I made that comment that I don't really care that much about placing, I just enjoy the people and the rides and winning or placing is just icing. She said that I was lying to her and to myself (I don't' really think I was, but that's how it went) She said if I didn't really care about winning, I would ride DO so that I was outside the competition. Well, of course, I don't want to do that, so maybe I do care about winning more than I think. What made that conversation worse was what followed. She said that if anyone enters any competition, they need to go perfectly prepared to win or they shouldn't enter the contest. So, I have been cheating my mount a bit through the year, b/c I don't do everything I need to do to be a winner. We still can't open a gate...I just learned turn on the haunch. I'm conditioned and he's ready for that part of the ride, but I haven't put in the time for my obstacles. Another time I was talking about my Equine touch classes I have had and found out that she has had some very negative dealings with the people who originated the technique I have learned. I was told that they are crooks and terrible people and that I should run to the next county. If I want to learn real equine touch, I need to take a class in equinology...which I just might do. I had no idea that my organization was full of thieves and robbers and I would never have opened my mouth if I had known there was anything going on.
3) She does NOT like Pat Parelli...and she has good reason, but 'nuff said there.

Otherwise, being in her presence is like having your brain stretched and it's a ton of fun to be there.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How do we solve a problem like Fiera? (dr. deb part 2)

Ok, everyone sing it the tune from the Sound of Music...Got that song in your head? good...

Well, today I let Fiera out to observe her so I could figure out where she was going through the fence. She showed me, I caught her, put her on some nice grass and fixed the fence. Part of it wasn't hot...fixed that; part of it had a gap...fixed that; part of it was only 1 strand...fixed that. It took a couple hours, but it was a nice day and I was proud of my handy work. I turned Fiera out, she went back to her corner and ran through the newly hot, newly second strand added fence...sigh. So, I went out and caught her and put her in the round pen again. Poor thing. I hate lock her up . I fixed the fence again, better, stronger, faster (hotter) I will have to to wait till tomorrow to try it out again.

The horses grazed my trailer yard while I fixed fence. I caught them to put them away one at a time and worked on teaching the first steps of Spanish Walk, which Dr. Deb showed us this weekend. We were to tap, tickle, or otherwise irritate the horses into picking one front foot and then giving praise and/or treats. Fiera was first and was very slow to pick up her feet for treats. After awhile though, one little tap would get her to pick up her foot. I put her away and caught Liberty, who really just wanted to eat treats. I repeated the same tasks and he very quickly learned to pick up just one foot when I tapped on his foot. I put him away. Dixie was begging me to pay attention to her by this time. She loves treats and would do just about anything to get one. Plus, she had been watching me show the other two horse these instructions. One light tap and she picked up her foot high and got a treat. We repeated it many times and then I put her away...she still wanted to do more. Dr. Deb said to teach it about 3 minutes at a time, multiple times per day if you can. Start with one foot and get a consistent pick up and reward system going. Then you can start on the other foot. I'm honestly not sure when you are supposed to start wanting them to lift and hold either foot, but for now, I'm just happy that they are picking them up.

On the second day of the clinic we started doing trot work. Liberty trots way, way too fast and I have trouble finding my internal metronome to slow him down. I learned that all my trail work in the s hack bridle has been very bad for his neck. He has what Dr. Deb calls a broken neck, which means he bends at the third vertebrae instead of at the poll where he is supposed to bend. She says it's not terrible and we can fix it, but I have to never, ever, ever ride in the S hack again. Honestly, I don't know if I'm ready to hang it up completely, but I'm committed to using the snaffle for all training from now on. I may get really comfortable with the snaffle out in the open really fast, but time will tell. I now realize how much I have been pulling on his head. Whenever we picked up a trot in the area I could find no middle ground. we either trotted way too fast, or we stopped trotting altogether. I could spin him down with small circles into a smaller trot, but the minute I let him out of his bend to trot in a straight line he becomes very fast and chargey. I had none of these problems with my S hack, so I admit that I'm sad to have to give it up. However, by the end of the day, with me singing whatever songs I could in my head to keep my rhythm slower, we were trotting slower. It wasn't great, but it was better. So, now I have leg yield, turn on the fore and trot circles (and never forget head twirling) in my repertoire.

Miss Fiera's Brains

Jim Edmondson was talking about his 2 year old filly Fortuna and I realized I needed to relate a Fiera Story. She is way, way, way too smart for her own good. While I was gone to the Dr. Deb Bennett clinic this past weekend, Fiera decided that the neighbors were a lot nicer than we were were. I had taken Liberty and she was home alone with Dixie, who I guess just isn't exciting enough for her. So, she went through the fence and hung out next door where the people were. Peter brought her back and put her in the round pen till I got home yesterday. I let her out at noon and at 4pm I got a call that she was back visiting her new friends. When I went to get her back yesterday, she was obstinate about leaving the other field. She really likes it over there. I ended up circling her down the field while walking back toward the round pen. The fence needs to be repaired and tomorrow I hope to run down to Mansfield and pick up some panels so I can fix the most crucial sections. I'm just glad she's not going out the front. I'm going to have to do some emergency repair work. The bad part is that the electric fence is on and so hot it made Maggie cry. She just doesn't care. She appears to just go right under it and then bunny hops the lower back "solid" fence. This is definitely an instance of smart being dumb.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dr. Deb Bennett 2010--part one

This was the second clinic I have been able to attend with Dr. Deb Bennett, who resides in CA. She is the founder of and has written many books and published lots of articles for Equus magazine.

This year the clinic was a full three days of work. We started each day with riding and finished with riding, with lecture in between over lunch. My brain feels so completely full of information, I'm not even sure where to start blogging about, I will dive in, but not promise continuity or clarity. I will let the material speak for itself. All of the people who came this year were at the clinic last year. We didn't have as many people and we had a much larger arena so it was more like having mini private lessons intermingled with group work.

The farm where the clinic was held was in Mineola, TX. It was a former Quarter Horse farm that had been given up in bankruptcy and then taken over by another family. There are 100 acres and trails and a covered arena, a very nice barn in front, a smaller barn in back, a house no one lives in (the guest house) and an apartment on the back of the small barn that is big enough I could live there! We stayed in the house. I would love to live in that house. It's just a simple farmhouse with a master bedroom at one end, open living room, kitchen, dining area and 2 bedrooms at the other end with a bath between. The floors were old wood. It was so comfy...and uncluttered--which, of course, is nothing like my own house.

When Betsy and I arrived on Thursday we immediately saddled up and went for a ride out back. I was trying to get Liberty used to his snaffle bit, which I had borrowed from Betsy. I have several snaffles, but I'm not fond of any of them, so Betsy has loaned me her spare Baucher snaffle. Liberty seems to like it, fighting with it way less than other bits I have used. However, I have grown stupidly used to pulling back square on both hands to get a stop with the S hack. (I have now been told not only to never use my S hack again, but to never pull back with both hands at the same time EVER, EVER and especially not ever again--I know better, but I lost my way) So out in the woods we had a nice, quiet ride. Betsy had brought her other mare, Jahara with her as well since April has had an injury and she didn't know if she was ready to work for three days in a clinic. So Jahara and Liberty set out very nicely and quietly. Riding with Jahara is so much easier than riding with April. April is very competitive and needs to be first. Jahara is more like Liberty and doesn't care where she falls in the pack. We rode for about 1:30 hours, weaving through the trails, trotting a little and just generally letting them stretch their legs. Some of the other clinic folks had come and they sort of seemed to be laughing at us when we told them we were going to be going riding...after all, we had three days of riding ahead of us.

The first day was similar to last year. We started just with walk and with letting the horses get used to being together as a group. She told us that this is the herd they would accept for the weekend. We were 7 riders. It was my friend Betsy and her morgan, April, Cheryl (the clinic coordinator) and her TWH, Rob and his racking horse, Jim with his Paso Fino, Mauri on her QH, her friend Jan on another QH, and me on Liberty. After the horses got settled in the walk we began weaving small serpentines along the long wall. She had us all outfitted in either sidepulls or snaffle bits (which was completely new for us b/c Liberty hasn't been in a bit since I switched him to his S hack last year) We were to use our legs to change the bend from left to right to left as we wove around the arena. Eventually we grew our serpentines into circles and then we began to learn leg yielding. The leg yielding became turns on the forehand with a nifty little exercise. She would put the group to work on an exercise and then call us into the middle one at a time to work on that exercise or something more specific to our horse in the centered. Typically whoever went first didn't have much of an audience as we would be practicing our figures, but as the 1:1 time continued, folks would generally start to watch...this was always my downfall. Liberty was doing beautiful leg yields when no one watched me, but the minute I had to ask him in front of the class he tried to trot off. Of course, I'm sure that I had NOTHING to do with that and it was all his attempting to get attention (yeah, right) but the worst part is that I had the snaffle and all I could do was wind him down into smaller and smaller circles whenever he charged off. However, in spite of me, but the end of the first day, Liberty was doing some very nice turns on the forehand and leg yielding exercises.

What we learned on what day is really kind of a blur. Each day we had lecture time during lunch and the middle of the afternoon. The first day we watched a series of movies that talked about the process of training. The first movie on her clip was the Loan ranger and showed how he had no process in teaching his horse anything. Then we moved onto a clip by a gentleman name Ostomeier (think I spelled that right) who was a Hungarian showman in the 40's through the 80's and taught lots of horses lots of classical was all the process of how to train Piaffe and Passage in a certain way, but it was also all about the successful process. Then we segued into many different horse movie clips which were all very cute. The Rustlers Rhapsody had some good trick riding and then there was a Bob Hope/Roy Rogers movie called Son of a Paleface with Trigger Jr. I have put them in my netflix queue.

Oh, so much more to tell, but I'm pooped and have a long day tomorrow, so I'm going to sign off.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Busy Sewing Sunday

We were up early for church in spite of the time change and are now home after doing chores and having brunch. I have a bunch of embroidery to do for a NATRC riding coming up, so I'm sitting at my computer with the machine next to me so I can stop it if the slightest thing goes wrong. I did about half the shirts on Friday, but today am doing the other half. Liz Scott, the ride Manager, likes to do shirts for her helpers and volunteers. We took her logo for the ride and turned it into a single color silhouette and that's what I'm using for the shirts. I tried to use the actual clipart and turn it into the design, but my software just never made it look right. These are turning out nice and though it's not as colorful as the original, it still conveys as similar logo to the patches she is giving out. After I finish up the shirts I have a sewing project for prizes to start on. I just find that I'm better off doing one task at a time. If I start sewing, then I don't watch my embroidery and then mistakes happen.

Tomorrow starts spring break, which will end up being a little more break-like for Maggie than I had originally intended. Tomorrow I'm going to take her and her horse to Sprite's for riding camp. We're also going to take Joe Bear for the week so that he can get some extra attention from all the little kiddos. If he works out, he may stay through summer, since this time of year is bigger and has more students. It's good for everyone. I'll even kick in food money if I need to so that he has everything he needs. She can keep food in front of him more often than I can and he'll get to be with Deli. Flying G had a tragedy this past week, when an arsonist burned up all their nice round bales. They are still needing some donations, but they did find someone to sell them some hay at cost since they are carrying on a Christian ministry. They are selling t-shirts too, which Maggie and I have purchased to help with the fund raising. Joe will fit right in and he will have constant attention for the next week. He just eats up being messed with and Maggie goes for lessons and we can get him back anytime. I was feeling nostalgic for Deli yesterday and thought about trying to borrow her back, but she's such a good lesson horse, Sprite said no way. Loaning Joe will be good since now I have room to help train a foster horse for a friend.

Peter bought me the Sims 3 stuff pack so I will be installing that shortly and playing with my sims while I watch my machine. Thank you Peter!

I really wanted today to be lazy, but there is just too much to do. Notes to write...Maggie is out mowing the lawn...I want to watch the movie Up in the Air Starring George Clooney later, after the shirts are done. It's too hard to hear the TV while I'm embroidering. And Maggie has some more long division to do so that she can be free to enjoy her riding camp tomorrow.

This week, on Wednesday, Maggie is going to Alexa's to hang out. I'm going to a riding clinic on Thursday through Sunday and Peter is taking Parrish Lay Ministry (PLM) classes starting Saturday at Calvary Lutheran Church. He has been an assistant minister at King Of Glory since last summer and this is the next step in his spiritual journey. My understanding is that the classes are 1 time per month for 3 months in spring and summer and this will go on for 2 years. He is excited to be entering this ministry. Our church, King of Glory, is a wonderful little church that needs to grow. Our pastor is a wonderful lady who always has interesting sermons. We have found it to be a loving church home.

Speaking of King of Glory, I played the piano in church today. I haven't played the piano in public in 15 or 20 years. I used to be a really good pianist, but lack of use has really cut my skills down. I played a piano/organ duet with the organist and it went really well. We played the postlude so that no one would listen too closely. I played For the Beauty of the Earth. On April 25, I'm going to play another one Crown him with Many Crowns...It's harder and it will take me that long to learn it, I fear. I was pleased and surprised that I able to play the song today with only a couple day's practice. I am getting my own key to the church so I can go up there and use the piano any time I want. I only own a keyboard at home now.

Yesterday Maggie and I helped with the LBJ Grasslands clean up project and clipped branches and picked up trash. Dixie proved to be quite good at standing still for clipping and trash pick up. Maggie was able to pick up trash using a long, pointed stick and speaking cans and bottles and putting them in her trash bag. I clipped branches so that anyone trotting around corners wouldn't be hit in the face with branches. There are two rides in The Grasslands in the next month and the trail needed work. We had really poor tools, and got a late start but had fun anyway. We were starving on the way home and ate dinner at a new place called Don Jose's, which I didn't mind, but probably wasn't very good...I was just really hungry.

I rode Liberty in a bit I had borrowed from Betsy and except for a small run on one side of his face, he took to it really well. I also found him able to eat in it and his mouth was softer and foamier than any bit I have used to date. It was a nice ride. Frankie got a nice run too.

Maggie has dachshund fever. She really wants her own puppy and with her dad's help, it's likely to happen...but not too soon. She has to save up her own money to buy/adopt her puppy. To that end, I have a house and yard slave hehehe. She is outside mowing the grass right now. She gets $15/mowing to mow it. If I can her to trim, I'll pay her $20. she's also more set on doing her chores at the moment as her room, doing her laundry, cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash...gotta love a kid who is too young to hold a real job. Maggie's other business venture is going to be her own horse cookies. I told her I'd get her started, but she had to pay me back, just like a "real" business. It's called Sweet Boy and Gorgeous horse cookies. She's going to design her own logo and Liberty and Dixie are the poster children. She will probably branch out into dog cookies too and selling them at NATRC rides.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Getting ride of clutter

I'm in a state of wanting to get rid of things. I just listed our large sofa on craig's list to get it out of here. It's just too big for the room. It was a terrible purchase, but hey, at least we paid cash for it, and it wasn't too expensive.

We're going to go to Ikea and get something smaller that we can also use as a guest bed. Peter and I take turns sleeping on the sofa b/c of my snoring so I figure this is a good way to work it out. at least it will be a "real" bed. I think we're going to get a nice futon. He wants to get a sofa bed, but I'm thinking a futon will be more affordable. If I have to, we'll get rid of the couch, put the money in savings and just sit in our comfy chairs for awhile and I can open a cot at night. I really don't mind. I just want less stuff.

I'm on an ebay kick as well! I've been going through my old horse stuff trying to get everything I won't use sold. I use it to pay my credit card bills sooner.

I'm getting ready to do a bunch of sewing and embroidery as well. I ended up not seeing my morning client b/c I'm still coughing and thought I'm sure I'm healthy, the child is immune suppressed so Mom says "stay home"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How Is This Possible?

Having a slow start to my morning which is odd b/c I got up really early. I think I missed my early morning opportunity to get busy and active. Somehow I managed to gain 2.6 pounds over the weekend...I rode 50 miles over 2 days and I really ate very little b/c I wasn't actually hungry with all the exercise. Granted, it could be water weight, but COME ONE! maggie gained 3 pounds too and was about in tears.

I still can't work out b/c I'm still coughing...I guess I can lift some weights this week, but no heavy breathing to my asthma calms down.

Gotta do a week of Medifast hard core and knock it off. I have to go and weigh in at week's end, but really dread it. It's been hard to go weigh in much lately b/c my schedule has changed and they aren't open on Fridays. I think the most money I have ever wasted was on the Medifast Center. I think the diet is awesome, but I wish I had just bought the stuff online. I didn't find the support helpful. If anything, I found it nagging and annoying. That was an expensive mistake...stupid tax indeed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Scooby guarding the house

Scooby will be home to violate anyone who comes near our house for the next two days. I'm sure he will do a good job. He will be very happy to take out strangers...and he will be happy that Frankie will be camping and out of his hair.

i took Scooby to the vet thinking he might be suffering from an ailment. $150 later, I found out that he's just old and grouchy, which leads me to wonder what the step will be for him. If he continues to growl at Frankie, and fight with him, he may not be long for this world. Added to the aggression he has started marking the house every time we turn our backs, which make him marked for certain death if he keeps it up...either that or keeping him always outside so he can get the bad guys...and the meter reader.

This weekend Maggie and I have our first CTR of 2010...well, I guess technically it's the 2nd, but the first one of 2010 was actually in December of 2009, so it gets a bit confusing. Peter is the photographer for the ride and Maggie and I are competing. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous so it should be a fun weekend for all of us.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A lovely, relaxing way to waste a day

Today was a very slow day for me. I have a cold. Not a really bad cold, but an annoying cold that tickles my throat and makes me cough and sneeze. It has taken away my voice and forced me to reschedule one appointment today. Another got canceled b/c the girl I see has immunity issues and my cold would be bad news for her! The other boy was sick too so couldn't see me. So, this am, I got up, got a massage, went to the chiropractor (all at once) and fed the horses in the rain. Then I came home and did schoolwork with Maggie.

We worked well into the afternoon, watching it rain, having a fire in the fireplace. Then I started to play with my Sims. I haven't spent a lot of time playing Sims 3 b/c I just have so darn much to do. Of course, there were a million other things I should have been doing and wasn't. But, I can do them tomorrow. Maggie sat with me on the couch and watch my Sim mother (Kitty Larue) kick out baby after baby. I have 8 people in my house now, which is the maximum. We even watched Grandma Yumi get married to her chinese boyfriend, but his family couldn't come from China b/c there were too many other people in the house. It wouldn't let me move Yumi to China, which would have been good b/c she and Kitty are enemies and fight all the time. Yumi is her mother in law. I have one teenager, Sam, who keeps staying out after curfew. His dad is always asleep, so Kitty, his step mother, has to deal with him...makes her very unpopular. I also have one girl named Fluffy, who is a pretty good kid. Then she has twin sisters named Daisy and Shyla (these are all cat names...except for Sam, he was already named) Daisy and Shyla didn't get the attention they needed as toddlers and they have grown up badly. This could prove interesting over time. If they grow up well, I get to pick their traits, if they grow up badly the game picks one or both traits. I didn't teach Daisy and Shyla to walk before the aged, so they turned out badly. Then Kitty had two baby boys named Berlioz and Slipper (again, both names of cats I have owned) Since they are the only small children in the house, they have half a chance of being decent kids.

I also spent time adding onto the house and building a basement under the house so they could have more room for parties. This pretty much took all day...a lovely way to waste a rainy day.

Tomorrow am I can sleep late as I have no appointments in the morning except for going to feed Joe Bear. It's supposed to be a nice day, but I'm sure the ground will be soupy after the rain today.

No sims for me tomorrow though. Can't allow myself to lose another day like that.