Monday, January 31, 2011

Best Lesson Ever

Today I did practically everything right. The horse was so good that I want to rush out and buy her something special to show my appreciation. We even cantered a little and I actually kept good posture. I told my husband that I should probably quit after today. I don't think it can get any better than this.

Thought Provoking Quotes From Thomas Jefferson

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Please read this article, borrowed from Pam

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Almost February

Not much happening here. Friday's lesson went well and I guess I really made the horse work as she was pretty sweaty at the end. I got to use the industrial sized hair dryer on her before putting on blankets. Even though I cinch the saddle as tight as I can, it slips back which probably means it doesn't fit her well. Some of the women bring their own saddles even though they don't own horses so that might be a solution. This is not a purchase to be made lightly so I won't be saddle shopping anytime soon. Especially since I had a dream the other night that we'd completely run out of money and couldn't pay our bills. Gah!

I am currently reading, "Bitter is the New Black" which I thought I'd enjoy due to its snarky cover. I guess I'm the wrong demographic as I find her constant label dropping, how much things cost and self-centeredness off-putting. But then I think, "What is my blogging except to share boring stuff about me?" So I guess I won't be hurling any stones at glass houses. This book uses footnotes inappropriately which drives me nuts. Aren't footnotes supposed to reference an information source? Hers are used as personal asides. I read another book about a year ago where the author did the same thing and I couldn't get it to the used book store fast enough.

Hopefully I'll get some stuff listed on eBay this week. I actually got the house somewhat in order so I can goof around without having unfinished projects hanging over my head.

Another riding lesson later today. Hope the horses appreciate the organic carrots I've got this week. I'm going to grow some for them this summer. I have a waist high raised garden bed that could be put to good use. I burned out really quickly on growing my own vegetables when I found a green worm on the broccoli and aphids all over my lettuce. I only grew veggies at my husband's behest. If he wants home grown he can grow them. I'm sticking with flowers.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cure for Insomnia

Babysit a toddler for five hours. I couldn't even stay awake watching television last night and slept the whole night through.

Thank you all for your kind words regarding my previous entry. Logic just doesn't always trump emotion in my world.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I consider myself a "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" kind of person. I don't really excel at anything but can muddle through most undertakings I have an interest in. However, I think the dictum, "Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Well" has seeped into my subconscious to such an extent that when I make an inadvertent mistake I beat myself up over it.

It was unseasonably warm yesterday with a breeze. When I got to the stable I remarked to my instructor that it felt like spring. She agreed and remarked that the horses were acting like they had spring fever. (Okay, she really said they were acting like idiots) She told me to let her know when I was ready to collect my horse from an outside pen and she would come with me. This is unusual - I'm allowed to bring her inside unassisted in addition to moving other horses around. Anyway, we go outside and my mare ambles right over to the gate to be haltered up and led. Some of the other horses are prancing around in their pens and my instructor had a whip to shake at them to keep them from reaching out to my mare (presumably biting) The path is fairly narrow and I unfortunately let my mare get ahead of me. All of a sudden she took off running and the lead rope was ripped out of my hands. I don't know if one of the other horses got too close or if she saw the whip and decided to get the heck out of Dodge, but off she went. Fortunately the path ends where one of the pens is closely adjacent to the barn so she didn't get very far. My instructor very matter of factly caught her and handed her back to me.

I was rattled. You see, most of the time when I exit the lower barn (different door than where the pens are) I let her walk out to the end of the rope ahead of me so I can close the barn door. What if she had spooked one of those times? She conceivably could have really gotten away. I'd been told she was an escape artist but she has always seemed so docile that I guess I got complacent. I finally get the message that horses can be unpredictable and will do stuff for no reason.

When I went into the arena for my lesson I told my instructor that I was not feeling very confident. She had me ride in a large circle, concentrating on using my upper body and legs to control the horse, not the reins. We eventually started doing it at the trot where, amazingly, I felt more secure in what I was doing. The lesson ended on a very positive note.

So all's well, wouldn't you think? I went to bed about 12:30, read for an hour as usual and turned off the light when I started to doze. Boom, I'm instantly wide awake. I lay there for about a half hour before turning the light back on. I finally fell asleep with my book in my hand and woke up about 5:30 to turn off the light. Did go back to sleep but got up at 7:30. So what's that, about five hours of sleep? I'm an eight or nine hour kind of gal. What's bothering me? Guilt for what might have happened. No one blamed me and my instructor and I had a really good talk about what I could have done to prevent the runaway from happening.

I will get over it, I always do, but damn. I wonder if an anti-anxiety pill would help?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Musings on Marriage

It’s not so much my coworkers as it is their ability to talk that annoys me. Swiped from Shoebox

A partial entry from Jon
I've never known a genuinely happily married couple (this has nothing to do with Janet and the soldier). Most of the couples I know are either divorced or completely miserable. Or have been "happily" married four or five times.

Oh, sure, a few of tham fake being happy. If you examine the fake ones closely, you'll discover that they have begun to look like each other and act like each other and are strangely unable to function without each other. It's scary.

This is reality as he sees it. I, however, believe there are exceptions. My husband and I have been married for 35 years. Making it work at times has been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Has it been worth it? Well, that depends on how I feel on any particular day. I think there are pros and cons to both marriage and being single. I copied the observation about talking co-workers as that is how I feel some days. I am shouting, "Shut up, shut up, shut up" inside my head. I don't care or am not in the mood to hear the current rant. Then there are days when I feel like when we first met - so much in love that my heart overflows. So yeah, maybe some days I'm faking being happy but not always. I'm positive it works both ways as I'm not as perfect as I'd like you to believe.

Jon's probably right in that learning to live in harmony with another person does create the illusion of being joined at the hip. You learn to compromise and pick your battles and if you didn't agree on the majority of life's issues, why in the heck are you together in the first place? I suppose some enjoy and even seek out conflict but that is not my ideal relationship. As you get older you do become more dependent on your partner and your household roles become more fixed. I dust and vacuum - he plows the snow and fixes the cars. We both cook and wash dishes. What works for us may not for other couples. I also want to add that we both have separate interests that we pursue without the other. My husband is bored to tears at the idea of riding a horse around and around a ring. I refuse to ride on the back of his Harley, although that is how we initially met. I know he would love for me to ride along but I can't get past the the crappy road conditions and insane drivers in Alaska. I probably would ride if we were still in California.

I'm sure we've all known or heard of widows or widowers who become practically immobile when their partner dies. Is it the loss of the individual or the complete lifestyle adjustment that causes this? I don't know but it's sad either way. I believe if you have a positive outlook you can soldier through almost anything.

This is getting way too long. Had a so-so riding lesson yesterday. The mare kept trying to yank the reins out of my hands. The kid who mucks the stalls had observed earlier how strong she is. One of these days she's going to yank me over her head and boy, will I be sorry.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Birds Are Back

Lots and lots of chickadees and a nuthatch or two have reappeared at my bird feeders. We also had two Stellar jays begging for peanuts today.
The black dots in the trees are Bohemian Waxwings. This is only a few of the giant flock that flew through the neighborhood. I wish I'd had the camera out in time to take a picture of them in flight. It's eerily like the movie The Birds.

It snowed a couple of inches last night and we're getting sporadic flakes today. Just enough to set the budgies off into "The Sky is Falling" chittering.

Had another great riding lesson on Monday. I actually trotted without stirrups and kept a fairly decent seat. I only messed up once by raising the reins too high and of course the mare "told" on me immediately by heading for the center of the ring. But, I was able to fix everything without being told to by my instructor. I finally seem to know what I should be doing, now just to actually do it. Will be interesting to see if tomorrow goes as well.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This Is Hard

I've received my first blogging award from JJ at The Joy of Horses. Since I'm pretty much computer inept I'm not sure if I can even follow rule #1 (the linking portion) Thank you, JJ. I feel all Sally Fieldish (you like me! etc.)

The rules are as follows:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

So, seven things, hmm.

1. I'm not stylish in any fashion-related sense, hence my love for hanging out at the barn. Grubby clothes and no make-up is my element.

2. I'm a breast cancer survivor who for the most part is in denial that it ever happened. Two years out of my life was spent dealing with it and now I just want to move forward.

3. I love to read which is why I spend so much time on my computer reading blogs. I find your life stories fascinating. I read anything in print but I guess fantasies, mysteries and horse-related books are what I mainly read right now.

4. I would love to own acreage. Not necessarily to be a farmer or rancher, but to have peace and quiet.

5. I am both a dog and cat person. My husband doesn't like cats, plus we have birds, so I make do with the barn cats. One of them follows me everywhere, probably because I give him treats.

6. The barn where I ride only offers English disciplines. I harbor a secret desire for the bling of Western. Silver saddles make me swoon.

7. I hope to be able to enjoy the company of horses for many years to come.

I'm not sure if I can come up with 15 "recently discovered" bloggers as I've been reading some of you for quite a while, but here we go (again with the linking - ack!) I also want to apologize in advance if any of you are award free blogs. Sorry if I've offended.

In no particular order I award:

1. The 7MSN Ranch
2. Morning Bray Farm
3. Rising Rainbow Arabians
4. Nuzzling Muzzles
5. Painted Promise Ranch
6. Girl Plus Horse
7. 50 Plus Horses
8. Dressage Mom
9. Green n Green = Black n Blue
10. Grey Horse Matters
11. Hidden Haven Homestead
12. Forty Pound Sack
13. Home On The Range
14. Lone Star Concerto
15. Pamibe

Edited to add - Okay, so it's taken me a couple of days to figure out how to do links. I haven't even had time to read your blogs. I have to go run errands so will try to notify everyone later.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

One More Thing

I mentioned how elated I was at standing in the stirrups holding my arms extended to the side. Yesterday I overheard some of the young women laughing about when they were going over jumps without stirrups or reins. I couldn't quite discern if they were being condescending to some of the other riders who were listening or just sharing a memory. If this were junior high I would be green with jealousy and aspiring to join their ranks. Now I just smile to myself and take pride in what I'm able to achieve.

Ten Below Zero

I think that pretty much covers the weather discussion here. The spout to my travel mug froze shut sitting in my truck during yesterday's riding lesson. It was in there for less than four hours. I used the industrial sized hair dryer on my mare after the lesson to ensure she was nice and dry before going back in her stall. One of the outside ponies was going to wear three blankets. Everyone got hot mash before I left. It was kind of cool to walk outside with only the moon for illumination. The snow twinkled and I was surprised at how well I could see. One of the ponies couldn't seem to wrap his head around the fact that his mash was in his dish and kept following me around trying to stick his head in my bucket. Fortunately he finally found his share.

My bird feeders are being boycotted. I ran out of black sunflower seeds for awhile. Apparently the other seeds aren't worthy of consideration. I replenished the sunflower seeds a couple of weeks ago and have yet to see a chickadee or nuthatch reappear.

I'm going to a birthday party with a girlfriend tonight. I volunteered to drive because our car has heated front seats. Whoo hoo! At least my butt will stay warm.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sad But True

US Congressman Hank Johnson asking if Guam will tip over if too many people occupy the island.

Click on title to see youtube of this exchange.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nothing to See Here

Had an absolutely great riding lesson on Monday. An observer might actually think I knew what I was doing. Tucking my right elbow into my side really seemed to help my seat. At one point I was trotting standing in the stirrups, which I've done before. A new "trick" was with the horse walking and me standing in the stirrups holding my arms straight out to the sides. That one took me a couple of attempts before I could do it. It's all about balance. I also did some sitting trots without losing control. Of course I had my feet in the stirrups which helps. Riding without stirrups is when it all goes to hell in a hand basket for me. I sure do admire people who ride bareback. Maybe someday...
Ran a bunch of boring errands yesterday. Petco had plush Christmas toys on sale for 75% off so I picked up a giant candy cane. The dogs sniffed that out while I was unloading the car. I managed to retrieve it and stash it for next year.
Today should be super exciting as I hopefully will clean house. Even my husband admits we could use a maid. Wish he'd had that opinion when I was working and could actually afford one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quote for the Day

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
- Will Rogers

Made a "new to me" bean soup recipe in my crockpot this morning. You gotta love an author who tells you to start out with the crockpot on high "to melt the bean blob" of canned refried beans. She claims this soup is fat-free but did not specify purchasing fat-free or vegan refried beans. I checked the label on my can and, sure enough, lard is one of the ingredients. If I'm not mistaken, lard = fat. It's not a big deal to me but might be to others.

Not much going on today. I ride later so maybe something interesting will happen at the barn. I see that fame-whore Sarah Palin is somehow being referenced to the tragic shootings in Arizona. Please stop giving that woman attention and let her crawl back under a rock in Wasilla.

Cold making me cranky? Nah...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

All Better

My mare was sound again so got to take my lesson on her last night. She's such a goober. Had a great lesson. I have to work on keeping my right shoulder and hip back and find locking my right elbow into my side seems to help. I couldn't believe that I forgot how to post in two weeks time but fortunately it came back to me on my third attempt at trotting. I'm only going to be taking lessons twice a week instead of three times. Better on the budget but I'm sure going to miss that extra lesson. Wish I could figure out a way to earn money without leaving the house. I've got some stuff to sell on eBay but that won't come to much.
What a boring entry. I'll see if I can stir up some trouble to have something interesting to write about next time. Want to hear about the cold I can feel developing? Bah.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First Ride of 2011

Had my first riding lesson after two and a half weeks this morning. My mare had her left rear foot cocked in what I initially thought was a resting position. When she wouldn't stand on it so I could pick out her right rear I went and got the instructor to come look at her. She led her around, felt the leg and said she'd be back in a few minutes. Much to my consternation she came back leading one of the geldings. So here I am, rusty from not riding, my first time on the back of a horse since I was thrown and I'm expected to hop on a "strange" horse. This guy is not quite as forgiving of stupidity as my mare so my lesson was conducted on the end of a lunge line, much like the little kids. That's okay. I'd rather be safe than sorry and I can't believe how much I forget in such a short time.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Great Weekend

An older, white haired man walked into a jewelry store this past Friday evening with a beautiful much younger gal at his side. He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend. The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring.

The old man said, 'No, I'd like to see something more special.'

At that statement, the jeweler went to his special stock and brought another ring over. 'Here's a stunning ring at only $40,000,' the jeweler said. The lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement. The old man seeing this said, 'We'll take it.'

The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the old man stated, 'By check. I know you need to make sure my check is good, so I'll write it now and you can call the bank Monday to verify the funds and I'll pick the ring up Monday afternoon.'

On Monday morning, the jeweler angrily phoned the old man and said 'There's no money in that account.'

'I know,' said the old man, 'But let me tell you about MY GREAT WEEKEND!'

See.......Not All Seniors Are Senile

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Political Correctness History Lesson

And they believed that the only way for communism to advance was to help (or force, if necessary) Western Civilization to destroy itself. How to do that? Undermine its foundations by chipping away at the rights of those annoying individuals.

One way to do that? Change their speech and thought patterns by spreading the idea that vocalizing your beliefs is disrespectful to others and must be avoided to make up for past inequities and injustices.

And call it something that sounds positive: "Political Correctness."

Click on title to link to entire story.

I found this article extremely interesting. It was written in 2002, so many of you may have already seen it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Really Bad Idea

Our local government issued a six hour moratorium on the fireworks ban for New Year's Eve. Consequently, Anchorage sounded like a war zone from 7:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. My husband saw a dog running in a panic down a busy street. Poor thing probably escaped. My two didn't like it and the older dog refused to go outside for his evening constitutional. Staying awake until midnight? Not a problem. Actually didn't get to sleep until about 1:30. I will say the miscreants did seem to honor the time limit and the racket stopped.

So how was your New Year's Eve?