Thursday, August 29, 2013

Caught Up (I think)

I was not able to keep up reading all the blogs I subscribe to for over two weeks. I have spent my spare time the past four days scrolling down and reading what I've missed. I think I'm current on everyone's posts.

I've had visitors which is why I wasn't being my usual slothful self. My brother came for 10 days and before that I had a friend drive in from Anchorage. She hadn't seen our house yet so I felt compelled to clean it top to bottom. I just wish it would stay clean longer than a couple of days. Yesterday I had dog hair bunnies up to my ankles - I've since vacuumed.

I've only managed to ride once a week most of August. The horse has shows to attend and one Tuesday there was a clinic being held at the barn that was using the only dry arena. All the others were too wet to be useable. I did get a session with a new-to-me clinician that was pretty fabulous. For some reason everything clicked and I was actually riding the horse as opposed to just sitting on it. Another way of putting it is that I was able to "make" the horse do what I wanted instead of "asking" it. It's taken me three years to build up enough confidence to do this. My regular trainer asked if I'd been abducted by aliens as I was so improved on Tuesday.

The final hunter/jumper show of the year is this weekend. I doubt that I'll attend as it is held at the fairgrounds. This will also be the last weekend of the state fair and I just don't feel like having to pay both parking and fair admission to get onto the grounds. On the plus side perhaps I can start getting in two lessons a week again.

It doesn't look like I'll be able to visit family in California this year. I've got enough mileage for a ticket but no fun money. Just for my own edification we've fenced the back yard, installed a new water pump and filter system, will have the rain gutters installed properly, fix leaks on the shop roof and pave graveled portions of the driveway. We also may have a roof built over the back porch.

Next year I'd like to have the gazebo screened in. It's always something. My brother said he may put my parents' home on the market next year which would give all of us some extra income. Other than that I may have to get a job.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Product Review

When we moved into this house all the walls were freshly painted and any nail holes had been filled in. I thought it would be a good idea to use Command wall hangers that don't leave any marks. I followed the instructions, cleaning the wall with alcohol, allowing the hanger sufficient time to adhere properly, etc. So far I've replaced the glass in two pictures that have crashed to the floor, have a chipped decorative plate and a wall clock that is miraculously still running after falling to the floor. Needless to say I have made sure all my other wall hangings are mounted with nails.

Forgot to mention in my last post that I rode with Sue Kolstad again. Here is a woman who has excelled at horsemanship, is a judge and I'm sure has all kinds of other credentials. She is totally approachable and fun to work with. She's coming back in October and I will gladly sign up for another clinic.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Time Really Does Fly

I was going to write an entry about the last horse show right after attending it and obviously didn't. I discovered Wasilla has a different weather system than Anchorage. It was beautiful at home and I debated whether I should take a jacket or not. Decided on a windbreaker and headed out. Ran into torrential rain on the highway, hard enough that I needed to use the constant on windshield wipers instead of intermittent. Still raining, although not quite as hard, when I reached the horse show grounds. Soon I was soaked to the skin even though I had an umbrella as it's hard to handle horses with one in your hand. Later in the day the sun came out and I even got sunburned. Wasilla had stayed sunny all day. Anyway, the horse show was fun despite the weather and my trainer and her student left with a handful of blue and red ribbons. I just got a cold. I don't care what science says about germs; I believe it was due to getting drenched.

I'm so, so happy to report that we finally have decent water pressure. The company thought we wanted a 1,000 gallon holding tank so it was on order. We decided 500 gallons would be sufficient and they had those in stock. Decent water pressure is one of those things you take for granted until you don't have it. What a difference.

Haven't been able to ride this past week as the horse was "off" on Tuesday. There is another dressage show this weekend so trainer wasn't available Friday. I think I'll be able to ride this coming Tuesday but there's a hunter jumper show next week so the horse will probably be entered there. Oh well, saves me a few bucks. I've managed to avoid going to the dressage show but may drive into Anchorage tomorrow.

Moose have completely decimated my broccoli and cauliflower and last night ate most of my decorative cabbages. It also has stomped on several of my perennials. I guess I should be grateful it hasn't eaten them but gosh darn it.

I ended up buying a couple more perennials and some annuals which I planted yesterday. Have spent most of the week weeding and actually got landscape cloth and mulch surrounding one of the lilacs I planted a while back. Looks so much nicer than being surrounded by weeds. I located a peony that the previous owner had planted. It is practically hidden by shrubs so I'm going to relocate it this fall. I know peonies hate being moved but it's never going to bloom where it's at. I'm wondering how I'm supposed to keep straw on the plants that need mulching for over-wintering with the high winds we get.

I have picked two big bowls full of strawberries and now the raspberries are ripening. I can't believe I'm sick of strawberries but I've reached my limit.