Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wet Stuff Falling From The Sky

I'm starting my second week in California and it's raining again. Most of this past week has been sunny and beautiful. I can't begrudge the rain too much as I've been here during the horrendous fires they've had in the past. What a nightmare.

My brother and I drove up to Julian yesterday. It's such a cute little town. The shops are geared towards tourists like me and have many eye-catching and tempting items. It is sad, however, to see that so many Americana themed items are made in China. I often wonder what their workers must think of the items they create. I'm sure they don't have the expendable income to throw away on such trinkets.

Thursday night we saw a play called "The Glory Man" at a theatre on Coronado Island. It was about an idealist who started an interracial commune in Georgia before such an idea would be accepted by many blacks or whites. Neverending struggles but the couple who founded Habitat For Humanity became members so it ultimately succeeded, albeit in a different direction than the original agricultural community.

Today we are going to a Christmas store because you can never have too many Christmas decorations. I believe I have enough cardinal ornaments to do a small cardinal tree this year. Just need to figure out where I could set it up.

Will drive up to San Juan Capistrano Wednesday to meet my BFF for lunch. Also need to visit Fashion Valley mall and Viejas outlet center. No trip of mine would be complete without them. I did go to two tack stores here but they are very much geared to Western riding and had very little in the way of English togs. Did find one pair of riding tights. Oddly enough they don't stock fleece lined ones so I will return to Alaska for those.

Had my eyebrows tattooed Tuesday. They originally were pretty frightening and I thought made me look like an angry clown - they were that stark. The scabbing is starting to flake off and they appear more natural. I think I'm going to be very happy with them.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What a week!

The babysitting went well Thursday. She is old enough now that she realized what Mom meant when she said good-bye so had a minor breakdown. Fortunately she is easily distracted and was back to her usual happy self quickly. We had a good time. Most of the "games" involve handing an object back and forth and of course peekaboo is always a big hit with the toddler set. Now that she's walking she is no longer interested in being held. She was pretty sleepy when Mom and Dad got home and snuggled with her Daddy. Pretty darn cute.

Listed our '84 Ramcharger and '90 Probe on Craigslist about 10:00 Friday night and sold them both yesterday. We bought an '06 Dodge Dakota and an '08 Ford Fusion so hopefully will be good for another twenty years. Unfortunately these newer vehicles aren't compatible with do it yourself mechanics so my husband won't be able to maintain them the way he did our previous vehicles. Now you need to hook up the engines to a computer so you're at the mercy of others. Fortunately, we have an honest mechanic.

Managed to get the last of the leaves raked up yesterday in between taking phone calls and checking e-mails for people interested in the vehicles. We had spiffed up the Probe on Friday and cleaned up the Ramcharger yesterday morning. Managed to get in a shower and have a follow-up with the eye doctor on the contact lenses too. We did order a pizza since neither of us had had time to eat before dinner. Amazing how hunger takes a back seat when you're busy.

So on the horseback riding front my instructor made me get on the horse by myself twice this past week. Normally she would hold the far side of the saddle so it didn't slip as I got on and hold the reins so the horse didn't walk off. Now I'm responsible for keeping the horse from moving and we are having quite the time. She doesn't respond to "Stay!" the way my dogs do. All in all, I'm riding better and my husband said he could see a lot of improvement from when he last watched me ride about two and a half months ago. He got to meet "my" mare for the first time and was impressed with how large she is (Belgian draft cross). Most of the riders graduate to other horses but I fear my girth may keep me on her forever. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Seems like everyone starts out on her and she is a barn favorite.

Have lots to do before I head to California on Friday. Hopefully this week will be a little less hectic although when I look at all I need to do it doesn't look like it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Notes to me

I'm riding three times a week in an effort to maintain skills, strength, etc. that may be lost when I'm out of state for two weeks later this month and then when instructor will be gone for two weeks in December. This will probably continue until end of year. If possible, I'd like to continue with three a week if I can find a way to work off the third lesson. Yesterday we worked on modified dressage pattern. I need to memorize where all the letters in the ring are so I'm not constantly searching for M, B, etc. So far I'm confident that X is in the middle of the ring. I also had four or five attempts at cantering. Have a ways to go before the horse understands what I want. My husband, who had a horse as a kid, is disdainful when I tell him I need to learn the right cues. He maintains I should just kick the horse until it canters. He's not a fan of English riding in case you can't tell. I am feeling so much more confident and sometimes actually feel like I'm "getting it" and doing everything right.

Have gone back to wearing contacts just for riding because my glasses fogged up so much. Have daily disposables which are easy to maintain - wear once and toss. No maintenance. Tried them out for the first time yesterday and they worked great. My vision had changed quite a bit since my last exam two years ago (for the better) so I'm getting a new pair of glasses. Doctor said he could tell I was compensating by the way I unconsciously held my head to incorporate the bifocal with the distance vision.

We're looking at used cars. Have narrowed it down to an '06 Dodge Dakota to replace the '84 Ramcharger. The Dakota will be checked out by our mechanic before the deal is sealed. We may also replace the '91 Probe with a newer Ford Fusion. Hopefully we can get both vehicles for about $25k, which is less than what one new vehicle costs nowadays.

All the flowerpots have been emptied and stashed for the winter. We've been raking leaves every weekend. Hopefully this coming weekend will be the last.

I get to babysit a one year old on Thursday. I haven't seen her in quite a while so hopefully she remembers me and we have as much fun as we have in the past. She's walking now so I'll have to stay on my toes to keep her in my sight.