Friday, December 30, 2011

And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

The festivities of Christmas are over.  The spouse and I have returned from our sojourn to the deep and dirty south.  We have shed our faux accents, although the phrase "Ah'm a gonna give ya'll a fist full of shut up if'n you don' cut it out!" will stay with me for a very, very long time.  Another Christmas memory to cherish.

I obtained a very healthy Xanax prescription before we left for North Carolina.  It just seemed prudent in light of the many circumstances we were apt to encounter whilst visiting.  Happily I did not need them and even more happily, I took them anyway...well I had paid for them after all.  So I spent the first couple daze in a haze and enjoyed myself.  We had a yummy luncheon with the spouses offspring  at a  (what else) BBQ place on our way to Asheville one day.  Picture this:  Pulled pork plate with sides of cole slaw (just slaw if you're from there) and hush puppies and two kinds of BBQ sauce.  Bliss.  I have some roots as a daughter of the south, but we just won't go in to that right now.  At any rate I luuuuuuve hush puppies and BBQ and Slaw so the visit was starting out to be just fine.  We then visited a truly depressing and worn out used book store in the hinky part of Asheville.  I really like old bookstores, but for what ever reason this one just made me want to hang myself.  Before you sit up too alertly, be it known that I did not hang myself, rather I played Dominoes on my phone, the corner...alone in a Xanax enhanced euphoria.  Not soon enough we left and went to an arty gallery in a better (read expensive) part of town.  So I got better.

Another day we drove back up to Asheville to go shopping with mother of spouse, or M.I.L. (mother-in-law)  I wonder if Mike Tindall refers to P.A. as MIL.  Kinda like that idea.  I digress.  So we had another yummy lunch, this time at a place our current "Leader of the Free World" has been known to frequent.  He was not there on the occasion of our visit, but we were made aware that there is a plaque some where in the restaurant that proclaims this to be true.  So there.  Anyway, after another scrumptious meal we headed off to the gallery we had visited before, indeed had visited the time before this on another visit.  But whatever.  We shopped and had a grand old time before we headed off to the Biltmore Estate for a tour of the manse built by some Vanderbilt.  It was really big.  And really cool.  I could easily have lived there because there were so many bathrooms.  And there are quarters for the domestics downstairs near the bowling alley.  Not sure if that was on purpose or not.  It goes on my list of neat things I've seen, but for pure opulence and over-doing it, Hearst Castle wins by a fair margin.  The castles and what not in Europe etc. still win hands down for building homes that are just enormous for what ever reason.

We had a couple dinners with the good friends of my MIL during our stay.  I feel fairly confident announcing that we have had quite enough of the "churching up talk" to last a good long time.  But we also had great meals and we are grateful that they were Episcopalians so we could drink heavily.

The long dreaded Christmas eve at the starter wife's house came to pass without a hitch that I remember.  I do know that Steve was given a mostly unbroken horse of some suspect lineage by his former spouse.  The beast stands over 17 hands (5'8" at the wither, we've been through this so I shan't go further) is pretty dark haired and has the amusing propensity to run you over.  The ex-spouse recommended "Natural Horsemanship" to cure him of this habit.  I wait breathlessly for this to arrive to our home and hearth.  Oh right, his name (currently) is Biggie Small.  Lucky Stevie.  We think we should send it to Derek (you awake there sport?) for some "joining up".  Spread the joy as it were.  Happy Holidays!

So we got through Christmas day by visiting Spartanburg, South Carolina.  It is indeed spartan and the tallest building there says "Denny's" right on the very top.  We assume it means that that is the world famous world headquarters of the national (international?) chain of the same name.  We didn't go to Spartanburg to see that, though it would have been worthy of the visit in any case.  No, we went to Spartanburg to go to the movies.  War Horse if you must.  I think it falls on the "yeah, go see it" list, but at times it was pretty much "Black Beauty goes to War" if you know what I mean.  The horse was spectacular to look at, though he had a nasty stop in him. (if you don't ride, go ask someone what this means, I'm busy right now.)

And now we are home.  Sick with some vileness we procured on our travels.  Why even as I patiently type this missive to y'all, the spouse is moaning pitifully from his bed demanding I rush out, in to the cold no less, to gather up more sick room supplies.  Specifically 1.) Aloe Puffs 2.) Air Borne 3.) the fixins' for meatloaf and also for macaroni and cheese.  what.ever.Steve.

I saw two of my delightful children yesterday at Fairy Tale Town.  I also saw my Auntie, my cousins wife, my cousins daughter and two of her offspring and my own grandchildren.  And we had a grand old time watching the urchins scamper about the nursery rhymed theme park that I remember scampering about on when, a long, long, long time ago I too was a child.  In any case there were four generations of my family there and they varied in ages from one year to ninety years old.  I think that is pretty remarkable.  So cheers to us all.  pip pip

Since we are sick, we have no plans for New Year's Eve.  Since we are lazy we  also have no New Year's resolutions to proclaim.  And with that, I sign off for the last time in 2011!  Raise a glass and what not and a prosperous, happy New Year 2012 to all y'all.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Better Watch Out

Today was a banner day in so many ways.  Number one being the fact that I did not leave the house.  Number two, my mother-in-law friended me on FaceBook and finally, I finished a project in time for Christmas giving.  Enormous pat on the head!  What did you do?

After months of angst, I have finally discovered what became of my down comforter.  It's been missing and now that we are in the winter weather I need it on my bed to keep me comfy, warm and toasty.  Naturally I was quick to assume that the daughter of Steve mistakenly took it off to school and I was grumpy about that.  Then I started pricing similar comforters and was horrified to discover that I would have to give up about 10 tanks of gas to pay for it.  We've been huddling and shivering under the summer weight down blanket and a quilt which I assure you after many years of down puffiness when it is cold, down flatness is a poor substitute.  So anyway, I've been crying and whining and muttering and sending not so subtle hints about this catastrophe for some time now.  Last night I asked the spouse to send a text to his child to inquire if she had the comforter and if so would she bring it home so we could get it when we visit at Christmas and he said ok.  He said it in that way that you just know really means, "if you will just shut up I will agree to anything you have to moan and bitch about."  This being the case, I reminded him this morning to text the child and he said, "You know I think I might have that at the office from when I took it to sleep with when I had to spend countless evenings sleeping on the floor of my office during the fair."  He went on to say, "Would you like me to drop it off at the dry cleaners?"  This can only mean that I should probably, in the case of public health and what not, contact the guys in the hazard suits to come dispose of it.  I'd forgotten that little inconvenience for him, it in no way affected me.  So a conundrum.  Do I whine and cry because I still don't have a comforter?  Do I praise the addle-pated spouse for belatedly remembering that he was the culprit in the missing comforter case?  And more importantly, do I have to apologize to the child for defaming her character, or do I just keep quiet and assume that no doubt I missed some other egregious act and the defaming was warranted?  You just don't find the answers to stuff like this on Jerry Springer.  Or even Ellen.

I have many gifts to still buy.  Basically I have a mother-in-law, two son-in-laws, two daughters and a granddaughter done.  Which means one son-in-law, one daughter, one husband and four grandsons are giftless.  The daughters always say, "Oh Mama, you don't have to get us anything." and "The kids have all they need."   But they don't mean it.  I know they don't.  I'm not very good at remembering anniversaries and have a bit of a time with birthday presents, but Christmas?  Not too easy to forget is it?  And the "other" parents IE: my ex and his current will get them all something appropriate and tasteful and exactly what they want.  I have a lot of competing creativeness to do between now and then. 

And what do I want?  Oh, you mean besides world peace and good will towards y'all?  I was thinking of the 2012 Equine Coach.  Bonus:  We can live in it.  Bonus:  I'd have to get a horse to put in it.  Bonus:  We could move whenever we wanted without having to pack.  We move a lot.  I've never lived in a house longer than something like five years in my life and in the past ten years we've moved five times.  So if you think about it we'd be saving like a whole forest of trees if we lived in the equine coach just in not having to get moving boxes.  Always doing my part for the environment.  You're welcome.

So this time next week we'll have placed the doggies in puppy purgatory at the kennel, and should be winging our way to North Carolina for the holidays.  I've already regaled you with the anticipated expectations, great or not.  It's the holiday travel that has me in knots.  We leave on the 19th, which may be early and we might, just might miss the havoc that is holiday bad travel juju.  But we come home on the 26th.  Now tell me, is this a good day to travel or a really stupid idea in its entirety?   There is always the possibility of getting bumped due to the airline over selling the seats and the ever present opportunity to get free flights to where ever you want.  Conversely there is the danger of sitting next to Uncle Joe in the middle seat.  He will be grossly overweight and suffering from way too much brandy in his eggnog and a little too much stuffing in his gullet.  These types always like to tell you about every aspect of their lives with little regard to mortifying halitosis.  Since at that point Christmas will be over and therefore there will be no point in being good and watching out, I fear that my limit will be breached in a remarkably short time span.  The FFA frowns on cranky passengers.  I must desperately  hope for the free flight and the bumping it entails.  And speaking of bumping ticketed passengers.  WTF airline?  And what's with the $$charge for bags?  And in what level of sanity do you expect people to b.u.y. that swill you foist on them disguised as a meal?  I feel a full on "episode" coming my way.  Wanna go with?

But before we enjoy our trip, we must first get through this week.  It looks something like this:
Monday - nothing except the above noted highlights
Tuesday - go badger Honey and admire her horses then later, go have a boozy dinner with Chris
Wednesday - ride in the morning, thanks Andrea, and then have a boozy dinner with Linnea and Debbie and hopefully Megan and Lindsey. 
Thursday:  Thank God Steve finally turns fifty!  Act all lovey dovey.
Friday:  Have boozy celebratory dinner with family in extended birthday celebration of Steve's fiftieth
Saturday:  Go to boozy holiday party
Sunday:  Celebrate no booze

That about sums it up.  I was going to go to a boozy cookie party on Friday, but the hostess was invited to a better party which will involve dancing and dressing up and such like and so we all got the boot.  The hostess did ask if I would still send cookies.  I cannot print my response.

I hope you all have the holiday you deserve.  Or at least, deserve a holiday.



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hip Hop Dressage

If you're going to do dressage then fancy it up wit some hip hop music. I recommend hip hop dressage on You Tube.  You're welcome.

You're, your.  Can you tell the difference?  It's the apostrophe (that's the little teardrop between the "u" and "r" in the first example.)  The apostrophe means that the following letters are a contraction of a whole word.  As in You.....Are.  Like you're asleep in grammar class.  As opposed to "Let's go to your house." Unnerstand?  Practice makes perfect.  And you're isn't the only example.  I've used many apostrophes in this paragraph.  For extra credit can you find them all and tell me what the whole words were?  You're welcome.  Oh and please don't knock me off my high horse, you're and your and their, they're and there are pretty much the extent of my know it all stuff.

Yep it's that kind of week.  Post Thanksgiving doldrums.  Really too early to shop for those on your list as you have at least 24 20 days from today to get that hot mess done.  And too close to the "day" to spend money on your self.  Ergo, flat line inspiration.  Not that that has ever stopped me.  No sirree Bob.  Read on MacDuff.

Thanksgiving was fun.  The spouse and I got up early, around 10 in the morning, and drove to Cool for the festivities and enjoyed the grandchildren and their parents.  We had a lot of good food and amusing conversation.  We had the annual name your favorite movie segment, Megan said mine was Dirty Dancing and she may be right, but Princess Bride is right up there.  Conversely, Steve and Josh's were Full Metal Jacket, Apocolypse Now and Repo Man...See a pattern?  Sorry Malcolm, that awful movie we saw in Fresno a hundred years ago didn't even hit the radar screen.  So there.  We laughed about Thanksgivings past and agreed that you should hold the cardamon pods out of the pumpkin pie.  Then we left.  The other children had other plans and so did not get to weigh in on cardomon pods or favorite movies.  Better luck next time offspring.  We, however did not get to enjoy scalloped pineapple or the green bean casserole.  Trade offs.

Steve had had all the partying he was was going to enjoy after the feast so he did not attend the festivities Saturday night in Carmel Valley.  I, however, am always ready to partay and so off I went.  And enjoyed the party with the requisite glasses of wine and then waaay too many Cosmopolitans.  Sunday was a complete and total fog for me.  We went to breakfast, then came home and watched three movies and that was that.  Hangovers suck.  (No Country for Old Men,  Killer and Secretariat if you must know, and Secretariat is definitely one of my favorites!  Tommy Lee Jones can do no wrong, and Ashton Kutcher is a sucky actor.)

Speaking of Steve, he went to see Breaking Dawn with the middle daughter, Chang, and I a couple weeks ago.  I fully expected that he would be the oldest man there.  But I was wrong.  And it's even funnier that Derek went too, but not with us.  Steve and Derek did have very similar reviews of the movie.  If you would like to discuss them with them I can give you their emails by private treaty.  If that seems like a little too much work for too little're probably right.  I think the eye rolling is sufficient for our purposes.  Bella's dress totally rocked BTW, much better than Kathy Cambridges IMHO.

Today I practiced the fine art of Japanese T-shirt folding as per You Tube.  Like I said, slow news week.  And I can attest that it does work once you remember which is right and which is left and where points A, B and C are.  Devious.  I also changed the sheets on the bed, though that will make the dogs fussy as they have arrayed their nasty little hairs just so on the sheets and they were pretty well seasoned for their purposes and now I have washed that aforementioned sheets in blistering hot water, bleach and Tide in order to exorcise their remnants and now the babies will have to start all over.  If I were a rich man I'd have those sheets changed every day.  And ironed.  And they would be made out of linen.  And the dogs would be washed every day and would probably be better behaved.  Although I've heard that the Queeen of England is one of the richest women in the world and her Corgi's are nasty little ankle biters and not too keen on going outside to do their duty if you get my meaning.  (Sorry Alden, Chris and Sue..but you can't make this stuff up.)

We are venturing to the east coast for Christmas.  I could stop there, because that would be the right thing to do, but I won't because what I am about to be subjected to is just too weird not to share.  We will put the babies in kennel hell while we cavort in North Carolina for a week.  Steve's mummy is thinking about selling her house in Tryon, NC, so no tension there.  We'll no doubt spend Christmas day with my spouses starter spouse, so no tension there.  What could possibly go wrong?  My family is deeply weird there's no doubt about it, most everyone's family is some kind of weird, but just for a minute imagine  spending Christmas with your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouses first love, a doting mother and a teenager.  I keep telling myself that I'll be beautifully behaved at all times.  You know that's a lie.  And that there will be no tension.  You know that's a lie.  And the time will just fly by.  You know that's a lie.  Merry Christmas, Irish Coffee for everyone, and pass the bottle.  80 Proof Bottle of Tear Stopper.  I love George Strait.

When we return from the east, we'll do some sort of get together with the good   my family.  They have their own peculiarities, but I caused most of them so it's ok.  Hopefully no one will decide to embrace some weird dietary aberrance as they are wont to do.  We've been through the gluten free, vegan/vegetarian, and anti-carb/anti-meat diets.  None of them stuck.  and do you know why?  Because food that is bad for you tastes good and just exactly how long did you plan to live anyway?   I had a button once that said, "Live long enough to be a problem to your children."  Well I checked that box a long time ago.  I'm working on the g'children now.  It seems to be working.  I was pretty far down on the I Love so and so list the other day when I queried the girl g'child.  Her christmas present will reflect that.

You'll be relieved to know that the Squidgy house sitting gigs will be starting up early next year.  The regal ones from Petaluma will take their weary, wind ravaged, fog bound, dank weather selves off to Hawaii for two weeks.  I will be in residence at the casa praying for decent weather while they bask in the sun and waves and enjoy umbrella cocktail type drinks with the puu puu platters.  How nice for them.  I'll be changing out rain soaked horse blankets and picking out muddy hooves.  God help me and give me strength.  And a sense of humor.  I prefer temperate weather.  Not that anyone cares.  Fine.  

An update on the trip to Loving via automobile.  The son in law, who is in mortal peril of falling off the mother in law approval scale, not that he cares, none of them do, is wingeing a little bit.  I had all these wonderful entertainment ideas for our road trip, most of which involved me being incoherent, but he owns his own business and has some weird sense of duty.  A most unpleasant quality if you ask me.  Fun should always trump business.  The secret of my enviable success revealed.  However, if the trip happens, it will be in late February now.  Not in time to spend Valentine's Day in Loving.  I'll still buy chocolates for everyone and then eat them all.  Just always doing my part to save everyone else.  What. A. Saint...

And with that, the saddest part of your day..Adieu mon ami



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Smile on your brother

Ahh the Youngbloods and God save ITunes DJ.  So that's what I'm doing, sitting around, doing nothing, listening to ancient music.  Oh, and waiting to go to Fresno...again.  With the three dawgs, the little truck and three hours of driving monotony.  Spare me.  On a high note, there's like a 50/50 chance of rain...or not, so an opportunity to pack everything you own.  neat.  I really shouldn't flaunt my extraordinary life, you must be so green with envy.  sigh

I went to Carmel Valley on Saturday to a TROTT benefit.  TROTT is an acronym (big word) for Training Racehorses off the Track. So I mingled with  fellow horse enthusiasts for an afternoon of music, laughs, wine and noshing.  TROTT, a worthy non-profit if you are looking for a place to put your extra money.  (  Chekkit out. 

I have agreed to go on a road trip with my youngest daughter, her delightful husband, he of the yurt for mama fame, and their three offspring, my adorable grand children, they of the money grubbing and tadpole massacring fame.  We are going to end up barking mad  I mean we're going to end up in Loving, New Mexico at some point.  Along the way I expect to  visit Disneyland and the Grand Canyon.  I've seen the former and I'm suspicious of the latter for obvious reasons.  So the grand urchins will be six, four and a half and two and a half.   Which means, in proper parenting, that only the oldest one will be able to fully enjoy the amusement park due to height restrictions and just plain meanness at the Happiest Place on Earth.  The youngest one will no doubt challenge gravity at the big hole, as he is fearless.  And the middle one will be desperately looking for a nail salon.  I'm also willing to bet that the parental units will think it's a must do to hike up or down the canyon  (or both) much to my angst.  They're like that.  I blame her father.   I must see what I can do for sedatives before we go.  As an added benefit the son-in-law has promised me that I can have a room to myself at the motels we stay in along the way as long as I include the children in my aloneness.  This is promising to be an epic worthy adventure.  If I am able to, I will chronicle this journey in excrutiating detail when it comes to fruition.  I'll bet no one will know if I have Vodka in my cranberry juice in my Cleen Canteen.  Things may be looking up.

The middle daughter, Chang, made the sabbatical to Loving, New Mexico (I hope you have Google Earthed Loving, New Mexico) last weekend.  She amused herself by re-organizing all the eldest daughters stuff.  Which is ok, but when she tried to organize the brother-in-laws spices and other stuff the sh** hit the fan I hear.  I am giggling.  Because I'm vengeful.  Everyone knows that you n.e.v.e.r. tell your victims you are re-sorting their stuff, it takes the fun out of that phone call in the early morning hours with the expletive deletives with the specific query as to the location of their stuff.  hehe.  I threw away most of Alison's clothes during my sojurn to New Mexico.  Admittedly, they'd only just made it to the garbage bag in the hall stage.  But they were off the hangers and out of the closet.  I'll tell you what I told her..."some things are just not meant to last more than a season.  So just accept that and get rid of all the stuff "you had to have" because they are impulse items, and are a result of lazy shopping."  When you save your impulse items it becomes junk, then someone like me, has to come along and give you the hairy eyeball and repeatedly ask you what you were thinking when you bought this or that.   And you will feel inadequate and I, or someone like me, will be fierce and ruthless with your uh collections.  Buy Couture.  (def:  created or produced by a fashion designer: couture clothes)

The dawgs have sufficiently annoyed me with their scolding of the the neighbors that I have started looking for a new pad for us to live in.  I am so desperate that I v.briefly entertained the idea of  a one bedroom guest cottage on some acreage.  Close, but no cigar.  Here are the current requirements.  Pet "friendly", whatever that means.  (I kind of hope it means that no one will shoot the babies, not that that is a deal breaker)  No white carpet, or indeed carpet of any kind.  Acreage, horse facilities big plus. TWO bathrooms for obvious reasons.  Lots of closet space.  Gas range (I pretend to be Top Chef on occasion.)  The dwelling itself must be in good repair and barring that at least cute.  I'd also like it to be free, ideally, but of reasonable monthly compensation if necessary.

My little friend Kristi will be in Fresno this weekend.  She'll be riding a million horses so she won't be a ton of fun, but hopefully she will have a little extra time and we can drink heavily catch up and laugh until we cry.  She's that kind of friend.  She'll also bring Erin who, in addition to being fun, also has a v. cute dog.  Kristi has a dawg too.  He is a son of Emma, the demon  dawg of cat shredding fame.  Anyway the son of Emma has a name and it is Stanley.  He is a good dawg, but has dubious genes and a really sketchy pedigree.  Many, many people have sons or daughters of Stanley beause he appears to be a good dawg, but Kristi never tells them that Emma is Stanleys mother.  That's just a little irresponsible if you ask me.  Disclosures don't you know.  In Emma's defense, she was treed by a whole gang of coyotes intent on making her an amuse bouche once, that may have damaged her some and made her a teensy weensy bit psychotic.  C'mon folks we forgive serial killers all the time for an event that altered their sense of right and wrong.  Give lil Emma a break.
Really, how cute is that?

Next week we give thanks for overeating.  And college football.  yeah.  And Arlo Guthrie.  Email me if you want the reference explained...Anyway, the spouse and I will go up to Cool to overeat with the youngest and her brood.  Should I be nervous this is her first turkey and she thought a 20 pounder would be appropriate for four adults and three children?  Turkey.  Bestserved between two slices of wheatberry bread with Best Foods mayo, salt and pepper, alfalfa sprouts, cranberry and teensy bit of lettuce.  Try it.  You'll be a believer.  Oh, and turkey soup.  Oh yeah and hot open faced turkey sandwiches on thick white bread with left over mashed potatoes and gravy.  And pumpkin pie in the morning with your 'joe.  You can keep the football.

So I read this notice from Nordstrom the other day...guess where I'd be shopping this holiday if I was planning to shop.  Amen.

I must pack now for our visitation to Fresno.  Bon Chance to all y'all.


ps:  lemme know if you are reading this by replying to the email...just say so and send money. :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

groombot.blogspot has a facebook page. friend it.

I may seriously have to consider therapy - mental therapy.  I helped horse show mom move out of the whine country estate last Friday, Sunday and Monday.  I am damaged, probably beyond repair.  No snarky comments please, it's unbecoming.  Anyway, the real tragedy of the thing, besides that unfortunate incident of the Jeroboam of whine in the garage and the impact of same on the concrete floor, RIP, was the fact that Monday was Halloween and horse show mom and I had to fight off the hoards of beggers.  Now granted the little ones were pretty cute and it was kinda fun to see the parents dress up as well as they chaperoned their little hoarders around the hood.  However, there were the teenagers (one group of which I addressed as the Sonoma High School Senior Class...), slackers who didn't even bother to dress up and sadly, a homeless freak, thank God Muffie got that one. 

I may have mentioned that Steve and I wisely turn off all outside lights and all lights inside that are visible outside and huddle in the murky darkness with the tee vee and refuse to answer the door.  We put shock collars on the demon dogs so they don't warn the miscreants of hiding humans within.  It's a lot of work avoiding Halloween.  On the upside, Steve bought mini candy bars on the off chance that someone would manage to break through security and demand a treat.  Happily all was secure in Vacaville and we have a nice supply of fat food to nosh on through the cold, cold winter. :-)

So I was talking about the horse show mom and the moving out of the whine country estate.  Sadness, mostly because now I am out of a valuable money making scheme, but also because the horse show mom will need to have a new name applied to her new status as a townie dweller.  Heaviosity.  Will there be no limits on the creativity that is expected?   Sadly, for you, no.  Any way do you remember that adage of round holes and square pegs?  Well use that sort of logic for moving a ton of stuff from a 5000 square foot house to a 1700 square foot house and just for fun add in an eight stall barn full of horse stuff (read heavy, awkward stuff) and you have an idea of what the move was like.  There were even professional movers who fried out and fizzled not to mention horse show moms mom.  Yes Penny, we should have had cocktails all day.  It would not have made the move even slightly easier, but it would have made it more entertaining.  We tried to get Horse Show Moms dad to come help, but he didn't answer the phone.  Not sure what that meant at all.

I have a pretty good eye for product placement in one's home.  But to be honest when I left, rather hurriedly, on Tuesday a.m., you could not even negotiate a clear pathway through the dining/living room and there were boxes and bags and all kinds of catchalls everywhere.  Gross.  Horse Show mom called this very morning and asked how I was holding up and I mentioned that I went home on Tuesday and slept all day.  Yesterday I went to the gym, but other than that didn't even leave the house.  She said she hadn't had a good sleep yet and she couldn't find anything, like her clothes and that she was still wearing the same dirty jeans from a couple days ago.  I said that was nasty and went back to bed.  Age does have its privileges.

So yesterday I decided that the dogs needed to have their nails trimmed.  This is cause for much angst in our canines world, not because I'm a bad clipper, but I may have a little bit of a short fuse when the malcontents resist the mani/pedi's.  Ungrateful  little snipes.  Anyway, as I was still recovering from my help in moving gig, I was a little more short tempered than usual.  I managed to trap snare bag hold the first one lovingly and began the ritual snip snip of the nails being careful to only get the white part, sadly, this one has a lot of black nails.  It's kind of hard to tell where the nail quick begins so you kind of blindly try to just cut the same length of nail on those as the white one...more sadly, this doesn't always work out so well.    By time I was done with the first dog, our bed looked like a war zone with blood all over the sheets, thankfully only on Steves side and the dog is still resentful and runs for it every time I come near, and hauls buns to the haven under the deck when I call her.  Tragically, the blind dog was next, and he just bled and growled and pulled back and generally just was pitiful through the whole exercise and then left huge bloody toe prints all over the formerly white rug.  I didn't even see where I'd cut him too short, so I guess he just bleeds randomly because he can.  I didn't even bother with the third one, mainly because I was afraid to and she's the cutest and most deadly.  Don't tell me I can't learn a thing or two.  Perhaps I will just give up on dog grooming and take them to the pet store where they will be pathetic and Carlos will pee on the floor, the table, on the groomer and anywhere else he chooses and I won't have to clean it up.  Sounds good to me.

Last Thursday I gave up my valuable nap to assist the middle daughter in assessing all the junk in her basement for she was holding a garage sale that weekend.  Now the house she and her beloved live in belonged to the beloveds grandmother many years ago.  And as is the case when one gets to live in granny's house, you also get to live with granny's stuff.  All the important stuff like antique furniture is long gone, but those 3000 canning jars, the chest freezer, and all the kitchen gadgets are still there.  I have to tell you that I was positively itching to start ditching (catchy eh?) all that old stuff.  But oh no, we would have had to get papal dispensation to off load any of that stuff  those valuable heirlooms from the beloved, who was sadly unavailable due to rice harvest.  One does not bother the beloved during harvest, planting, fertilizing, watering and all the other stuff farmers do to their crops.  So we could have had a bonanza of stuff to sell, but were severely limited to my old stuff which I assure you I have no great love for. 

On the day I didn't go to the former whine country estate, I did go to the garage sale.  It was not rewarding to see all my stuff go on the block for a fraction of it's true value.  It was, how ever, rewarding to go to lunch, post sale, and have many, many, many Cosmopolitans with a gigundo burger to assuage the misery.  Let me just say right here and now that I do not like garage sales.  Steve and I had one once and it is a lot of work for not a lot of gain.  Marking, sorting, moving, haggling, and disposing of all the junk you've accumulated just is not my cup of tea.  The middle daughter has the mutant gene that makes her like this sort of activity.  I just turn a blind eye. 

We also visited the youngest child up in the backwoods of No. CA to watch the little ones play soccer.  These are the same little ones of the money grubbing and tadpole killing.  So the two oldest ones play soccer and the baby runs amok.  Well actually the oldest one plays soccer and the middle one twirls her hair and looks around whilst on the field and runs off at the first opportunity to go have a snack...and a rest.  They don't keep score officially at these little tyke games.  But I can assure you that the parents do, and they know who made what goal and who should be benched for life and you get the drift.  Because there are no winners OR losers the kids just run willy nilly and the parents swell or deflate depending on the skill of their offspring.  My grandson is the best player of all of the other kids combined.  He is the Pele of kid soccer in the backwoods.  Full Stop.  My granddaughter on the other hand would be much happier with a hand mirror and a tutu.  Just sayin'.  I'll get some grief for that bit o honesty.

The newest grandchild in New Mexico appears to be thriving.  The "other" grandparents went for a brief visit last weekend and have proclaimed that I know what I'm talking about when I talk about cute babies.  The new mummy and daddy have not had a good nights sleep yet.  When your children have children, and that is a very scary thought to be sure, then you get your revenge for all the sleeplessness you endured when they were self entitled infants.  And that is pretty much all I'm going to say about it.  Except, new daddy's?  Probably the very worst thing you can say to a new mother in the morning is "did he/she sleep all night?"  I'm pretty sure there is no man slaughter penalty in that case.  I believe it is the same statute which applies to what ever answer you give to "does this (fill in the blanks) make me look fat?"  Just don't go there.  Ever.

Alas dear reader, once again I have hit the proverbial writers wall.  Just be grateful you aren't me.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Loving, week deaux

Howdy.  My daughter and husband have successfully survived week one of parenthood.  They are strangely competent considering at least my half of the gene pool.  Tim's family could probably handle anything, well, except California maybe.  I have promised them some tie dyed goodies, a bong and some Birkenstock's from the homeland once I return, but the blank stares to my direction pretty much said it all.  heavy sigh.

Baby Sam is without a doubt an exceptional baby (that too from my gene pool), he is very cool and collected.  He sleeps 4-5 hours at a stretch so the mother unit is pleased and is still radiant.  Without being the slightest bit prejudiced,  he is gorgeous and well behaved.  He has amazing feet. I may have a little bit of an obsession with them.  However, you may keep your opinions to yourself, unless you agree with me in which case we can get along.
Happy Feet!

My time here in Loving is rapidly coming to an end.  I don't know where the time has gone, but the daughter does not like for me to have any free time while she naps.  Something about idle hands and the devils playground.  So I have cooked and cleaned, hung pictures and rearranged the furniture, made pillows and offered both sanctioned and unsolicited advice.  My revenge observations of daughter- mother hood change vastly depending on the task at hand.  As a Dairy Bar/Dairy Queen, daughter is a champ.  But I'll tell you this, she's been peed on more than anyone I know.  She and the father are attempting to bathe the little prince right now and there was quite a kerfuffle which meant that the prince-ling had aimed and hit the mother target with a well place whiz.  I don't change diapers, so I'm dry..  We've had "that" chat.  What they will do without me is any one's guess, but just now I'm not even entertaining the idea at all.  I will miss them all way too much.

Lucky for me my beloved and I will be busy busy once I return as we will venture to Fresno for yet another horse trials.  As you know this means a three hour trek in the cab of the little pick up with three ill behaved dogs and their people.  Then, because the weather is unpredictable of late, we will either roast to death in the sun, or I will huddle pathetically in the truck in the case of torrential downpours. With the dogs for three days while the course is designed, built and jumped.  Oh, wet dogs.  I forgot.  Awesome.  It will come as a surprise to many of you that I can be unpleasant when cold and wet.

All too soon it will be time for Thanksgiving with the annual squabble as to who has to host the festivities.  I always vote for someone else's house.  And I like to take a lions share of the left overs home so we can have sandwiches, which is, as you know, the very best part of a turkey.   I am getting ahead of myself as we haven't even celebrated Halloween yet.  This is when  Steve and I huddle in the house, in the dark with no lights visible to the outside so we don't have to give away our candy.  So we have that to look forward to.

At any rate I still have two full days to share with the newest offspring.  And a lot of Loving, and Carlsbad have not been explored yet.  I suspect tomorrow and Tuesday will be rather full.  There are also projects my darling daughter has not yet presented to me to complete before I fly away.  I will be very tired when I get home and really in no mood to cook and clean, Steve. But until then there will be much baby holding and such like.

I was party to a calf roundup yesterday.  Well in actuality I watched as Tim ordered some youngster cows to get in a trailer so we could take them to his folks house for some reason.  I very astutely understood the safest place to be was on the other side of the fence, but Tim and the two herding dogs did a bang up job ordering the herd around and after some adolescent pouting and tantrums, they obediently loaded up for the short drive to their new digs.

I asked Tim  if they had a new fangled way to brand calves, but was assured the physical burn maiming is still the way of it.  It is not calf branding season, so I have been spared.  It is all to clear to me what would happen if I had a red hot branding iron in my tender horn paws.  I don't even like tattoo's.  It's a really grim thought.for all involved.

Alison's beloved is from this area.  Like many generations from here.  As in the whole population of Loving and Carlsbad, NM are ALL related in some fashion or other.  We had dinner (lunch) at his parents house today.  There were four generations of Ballard/Magby's at the table.  for fun they made chile rellenos for yours truly.  You know with the nice big green chiles?  Uh no.  I took one bite (without realizing they were eagerly looking at me no less) and squawked "Holy Mackeral!" then "Sapphire that's hot!"  And was there with tears streaming down my face whilst they had a whoop and holler at my expense.  I shall exact revenge at the earliest possible moment.  Perhaps I shall send them some tofu. Hah!

I must run chickens, I'm sure there's something I haven't done that needs to be done right now, even if it hasn't ever been done before.  I shall get back to being Step-n-Fetchit.

Cheers y'all

Monday, October 10, 2011

Loving, New Mexico

Loving, New Mexico is in southeastern New Mexico.  I know this because my son-in-law told me you could tell where a cowboy is from by the way his (or her) hat is shaped.  His is shaped in the way that those from southeastern New Mexico shape theirs.  So there you go.

So Loving.   Folks from all over the US, and probably beyond, send their valentines to the Loving post office so they can then be postmarked from "Loving".  Isn't that sweet?  Remember that come mid-February or so if you want brownie points.

I am in Loving to be a supportive and nurturing mother to my eldest daughter who has had a new baby.  Yesterday as a matter of fact.  Master Sam arrived at 10:02 in the morning which is quite civilized if you discount the getting up at 4:00 a.m. to scurry about bleary eyed to go to the hospital.  But I did that very thing, cheerfully, or at least not unpleasantly, and did my due diligence at the hospital all day.   My new grandson is particularly attractive and is a credit to his parents to whom he bears some likeness even today.  I had the honor of alerting the family in California of the progress of labor, the whining during my exile during the delivery, and the pronouncements of the subsequent weights and measures.  Naturally they were ever so pleased to get all the gritty details from my pithy comments to them via texts complete with pictures.  I am clever.

It would seem that the new mother expects that I shall avail myself of the domestic duties usually reserved for the "help".  In this case, it would seem, I am the help.  Somehow you'd think I'd get a new outfit out of this deal.  But we are casual here in Loving, so no new duds for moi.  I had an inkling of these sad tidings a couple days ago when the then pregnant and tetchy mother to be demanded to know what I wanted to from the store (mercado) so I could cook meals.  She also explained to me what her beloved gets in his lunch that is lovingly (that word again) packed each morning at some unholy hour before he scampers off to work.  This is in sharp contrast to how I pictured my time here.  It went something like this, I would sit around and have my pick of bon bons and offer worthy bits of wisdom concerning the needs and care of a new baby.  I would receive and "vet" visitors before allowing them access to my new grandson and I would take lots of naps.  We do not communicate effectively in this family.

I got to ride the range and chase some cows around the other day.  Not only that, but I got to ride a palomino horse which is a blond horse.  And he was little, being how he was something like 14 hands and a bit.  My last horse was about 16.2 hands.  A hand measure is four inches and a horse is measured from the ground to the topmost point of the wither.  If none of that means anything to you it's probably ok.  Take my word for it that blondie was short.  Happily he was fairly good natured and tolerant of my floundering whilst pretending to take control of a steer.  I had a very good time for myself , he not so much. You will be relieved that I did not completely embarrass myself, managed to stay on and even kinda bossed a small calf around.  Proof of this:

A bit about cows.  After the new heir was born the new mummy and daddy stayed together at the hospital over night.  This meant I was alone on the range with all the critters.  What this really meant was that I got to feed all of them in the morning.  I knew they were hungry because they were making an extreme racket.  Those of you who know me know that I am not a morning person and I like for things to be v.e.r.y. q.u.i.e.t..  Anyway none of that was happening so I figgered (cowboy talk)  I should mosie on out to the corrals to do something about it.  What I got to do about it was lift bales of hay.  I am old.  The bed on the pick up was high because it was beyond me to park so it was lower in the back, but details be damned, I still had to heft the hay bales in to the truck bed so I could cart it down to feed the horses who were in a near riot stage, because they are spoiled.  The calves too were ill tempered and were doing that moo/screech thing and the donkeys were making their unfortunate hee haw noise.  Quite a cacophony.  I fed the horses first, well duh, then I went down and fed the sick cow and her calf (she was sick, looks better now, she'll be alright unless she doesn't...this is the wild and woolly west folks, stuff happens...stiff upper lip and what not.) Then the donkeys  were fed and they were grateful and adorable, kind of hard to resist.  Lastly I fed the weaned calves.  I am pretty sure I will never own cows.  They stare at you when you arrive with food, they stare at you when you toss the food to them, and they stare at you till you leave them be.  Kinda rude, and they run away from you if you make any movements.  Further you can throw many piles of food for them, but they will only all eat from one pile at a time and they are rude to one another.   All pushy and head butty and all.  Plus they poop indiscriminately, and we won't even go in to that methane problem.  So cows.  Not feeling it.

I will be in New Mexico absorbing the culture for a total of two weeks.  I already have an accent and have heard myself say "might could" and "fillin' station" and "innerstate" more than once.  I am a cowgirl, howdy,howdy, howdy.             


Cheers ya'll

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Catch Up Time

'Sup y'all?  I'm back after a refreshing trip to Carmel and Carmel Valley.  It's nice to have homes where you want to go isn't it? 

So the shower.  Instead of being a good friend and co-host, I went on a trail ride with my hosts in CV on Tuesday morning which went on forever.  And a mighty good time it was as well.  But this meant that I missed that vital shopping experience with my co-host, Nora, who left me a voice mail message asking if everyone was alright.  I was a little bit late (two hours) and she was worried.  So anyway, I did the cleaning up of Mr. Davey after our ride, cleaned his tack and cleaned myself and scurried off to the end of the world in Carmel to the scene of the shower. 

The house sits on a bluff on the ocean.  The ocean moves and crashes on rocks and what not and it is a breathtaking view so it pretty much doesn't matter what the house looks like.  It could be a yurt and it would still be an awe inspiring place to hang out.  However, the house is gorgeous too and once we got all the food and decor out on the deck it looked ready for our guests.  Guests.  They all showed up in a group, so one minute you're sitting around having a pre-party libation and the next there are 20 people milling around and there are introductions and what not and suddenly the party is in full swing.  The guest of honor looked every inch a bride to be, glowing, beautiful and obviously in love.  Whatever.  So we did the eat and drink thing.  I tried to talk to everyone, not sure that happened, but I did reconnect with M.O.B ( mother of the bride) with whom I have had a couple memorable incidents with.  She just kills me.  We have the same humor, which is somewhat tragic, but other than that I re-love her every time we meet.  Plus she gave Nora and me boxes of truffles which is always a good idea.  Nora shared hers with the party, I hid mine in my bag to take home.

So the bride got lots of good stuff.  Some gift givers are inspired and it's always fun to see what they will come up with.  Actually it makes the rest of us look like plebeians, but there you have it.  Sometimes I pretend that I have really good taste AND imagination; it usually doesn't work out so well.  I should remember to stick with the gift registry.  Eventually everyone left, Nora and I cleaned up till we were bored with that, I went back to Carmel Valley and went to bed.

The next morning I was, naturally, the last one up so I made some coffee and eventually looked outside to see if anyone was around, cause they certainly weren't in the house making me breakfast.  There was lots going on with the riding of the horses and jumping them over huge jumps and all like that.  They were all leaving for a horse show the next day so a pre-show tune up was in order for the riders and horses alike.  I mosied on outside to enjoy the show. I adjusted the height of the fences up or down as needed and generally just sat around in the sunshine drinking my coffee and enjoying the atmosphere.

Later that day the girls and I went to lunch, cause that is a good thing to do, then went to look at horses.  And then we went shopping.  All in all a very girlie day.  Because I am nothing if not an exemplary wife, I scuttled on home after that whirlwind day and met my beloved on the couch in our casa and caught up on our amazing lives.  Since that didn't take very long we watched the teevee and then went to bed.

The next day I got up, repacked and headed on down to Carmel Valley again.  What you say?  You just were just there!  Yes, I say I was, good on you for catching that.  You see, and this is confusing even for me, I had planned the following schedule for myself.

Monday:  Go to Carmel Valley to prepare for Athena's bridal shower/posh cocktail party
Tuesday:  Attend Athena's bridal shower/posh cocktail party
Wednesday:  Go Home
Thursday morning:  Go to Petaluma to house sit off and on for the Petaluma royalty and feed and clean up after their horses
Thursday night:  Go to Carmel Valley to feed and what ever for the horses there
Friday:  Prepare for and attend Athena's wedding, and look pretty sharp in in my $17 dress and sparkly shoes.
Friday night:  Return to Petaluma to resume house and critter sitting.

As is usual in my life, I had gone to all the trouble to arrange this schedule and was thinking that I was a master at eking out the most of  every hour of every day.  Then the Empress called and said she had done something to her shoulder and my valuable expertise was not going to be needed after all. So much for my valuable time management skills.  So yes, dear reader, Thursday I drove back to Carmel Valley  and fussed over the two horses left at home, cleaned myself up and went to dinner with friends.  And indeed why not?  Because I had to get up at 7:00 a.m. to feed, change blankets and turnout the horses that's why not.  But I did all that then immediately went back to bed for three hours with the boxer dog.  nice.

Well after that nice nap I had to scurry along and rearrange the horses turn out situations, then I had to do something about my look which involved taking a shower, mowing my legs and slathering on cosmetics and deodorant.  Then I put on the $17 dress and the sparkly shoes and took myself off to Carmel to pick up Nora so we would have dates for the wedding and hustled back to Carmel Valley to save seats for those folks who weren't there yet.  The wedding itself was dreamy.  Athena's wedding dress was sensational all tulle and fabric flowers and strapless and amazing.  You are a girly girl, girl.

We then repaired to the reception area where it became quickly evident that mixing champagne and lemonade made a scrumptious libation and should be consumed with no regard to sobriety.  So we did that and ate some yummy hors d'oeurves and had a little sit down dinner.  Again yummy.  In spite of the champagne cocktails we behaved in a circumspect manner except for that dance which is, unfortunately, memorialized digitally.  It portrays me as looking um awkward.  Which you know I'm not, but perhaps those cocktails are to blame, yes, that's it.  I feel better now.

So I stayed in Carmel Valley till Sunday morning because frankly I was sick to death of driving up and down the highway, it's boring and the A/C in my car is dicey at best.  As I mentioned before, I am an exemplary wife and proved it again on Sunday when I stopped by the place of employment of my beloved who was neck deep in a hippie festival (read Woodstock) being held at the fairgrounds in the middle of Vallejo a.k.a. the hood.   Not wanting to miss out on this spectacle I drove around the fairgrounds with Steve and stared slack jawed at the hippies.  I don't believe I've seen that many stoners in one place since college...maybe high school and the danger of a contact high was imminent.   So it was like a three day "festival" and as such it was de rigour to have vendors selling lots of hippy stuff.  I purchased some duds for my soon to be born grandson and a matching something for the new father to be, considered hemp clothing and a henna tattoo but thought better of it, or rather Steve did and so having had all the fun I was going to have that day I soon left for the homestead.

I got to be home all of Monday then Tuesday I once again repacked my bags and headed over to Petaluma.  You see while the empress was too damaged to ride and provide me with income over last weekend, she is not too damaged to run off for another of those sexy holidays with her beloved for their anniversary celebration.  How nice for them.  I, on the other hand am taking care of the nine horses who are here and will soon go outside again and chase them around on a lunge line.  I will go home tomorrow after meeting the vet for his assessment of some who have done something to themselves.  Horses are like that.  And I am  like that too.

I have reached the end of my creativeness for today.  When next we meet up I shall be in New Mexico.  For two weeks.  Waiting for a baby.  And waiting, waiting, waiting.  Its mother was ten days late, its aunt was three weeks late and its other aunt was a week late till I ordered it to be born via induction.  So I have no illusions that this new baby will arrive on schedule on the 3rd of October and as such I have planned my arrival for the 5th.  Let's just see how that works out for us shall we?

Until then,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

But Enough About Me, What About You? What Do You Think About Me?

Things that have happened this week (or month).  I went to the gym, (applause), I went to Costco (boo) I went to Lowes (yawn) and I visited the Horse Show Mom (HSM) at her palatial estate in the whine country.  Actually I visited with her twice.  Why you ask?  Well I havent' the foggiest idea, but as usual when I don't have to slave for her I am amused by her.  Take, for instance, Sunday night.  Phone call transcript...verbatim

HSM:  What are you doing?
Me:  Wondering why I answered the phone.
HSM:  What ever, would you inconvenience yourself tremendously by driving an hour over to Sonoma to pick up my son and stay the night because I'm running late and he's at my parents and he needs to go home?
Me:  Are you kidding?
HSM:  Thanks Man.
Me:  Wait a cotton picking minute, I should consult with my beloved because he becomes bereft when I'm not there to watch TeeVee with him (translate:  he wants me to cook for him and fetch the Its Its from the freezer)
HSM:  He'll be fine.
Me:  (showing tremendous strength of will...) I'll call you back.
HSM:  Really?
Me:  Chill, I'll call you back (maybe)

2nd call:  Me to beloved
Me:  Hello, what are you doing?
Beloved:  Wondering why I answered the phone.
Me:  What ever.
Beloved:   What do you want?
Me:  Oh just to say I love you and is there anything I can do to make your life better?
Beloved:  Don't get me started.  What do you want?
Me:  Muffie called and asked me to drive to her parents to pick up the boy child and spend the night.
Beloved:  Do what you have to do.  (translation:  Do what you have to do and I plan to hold this over your head forever and I will plan something unpleasant for your little friend)
Me:  Thanks man.

3rd call: Me to HSM
HSM:  Are you on your way?
Me:  Hi Muffie, how are you?  How's the show going?  blah blah blah
HSM:  They aren't going on the schedule that best suits me.
Me:  Amazing.  Steve said he is going to plan something unpleasant for you , but it's ok if I come over.  I have to...
HSM:  When are you leaving?
Me:  ...take a shower first, thanks for asking.
HSM:  Thanks man.

So I traveled over to whine country to the fabulous estate of the fabulous horse show moms 'rents and was met by the brother of HSM who was carrying his fairly new offspring and we hugged and said how long it had been and all that and we hugged some more and he said, did you just drive over from the Whine Country Estate and I said no, I drove over from Vacaville, and he said what? and I said, it's so much easier and less time consuming to do what you're asked to do, and he said, yeah, I know.  Then Penny, the HSM's mummy, met me at the front door, also with the hugs and what not and she said, have you eaten, and I said no, but Muffie said I could stop and get the boy child some fries at the pub,  evidently I'll be fine with nothing.  And the Penny said, I'll set another place at the table and I said can I have some whine?  And she said of course...Doug!   So it went and we had a fabulous meal with lot's of really good food, whine, conversation and just a teensy weensy bit of Muffie bashing. 

So that was Sunday and it was a pretty good time.  HSM did arrive home later that evening and as I was cribbed up on the couch with the dogs and the tee vee it took me a little while to meet her outside when she pulled in with the horse trailer and four horses and she had had to take two of them down to the barn by herself before I made an appearance.  That's just ok.

Monday morning we took HSM's offspring to their chi chi private school in their little uniforms.  It's always such an exercise in anti-child battering to spend time in the car with the little darlings, but all too soon we were at the school and they scampered off with their little classmates and I waved bye bye and thought it probably wasn't too early to start drinking.  Starbucks sufficed and we drove around for awhile, then met up with HSM's brother at his hideaway in the middle of somewhere and I examined the pottery he makes and he said he was so grateful that I would be friends with his sister that he gave me a pot he'd made and I love it and it is on the dining room table as we speak.  Quite a bit of info. in that little sentence wasn't there?

Things to do:
    1. Get around to buying airline tickets to New Mexico
    2. Practice being a good mother/mother-in-law/grandmother/guest/visitor
    3. Call Nora re: shower because you haven't done that and it's coming up in one week.
    4. Remind spouse that you'll be gone most of next week and part of the week after that and then for two weeks after that
    5. Buy Mac and Cheese for spouse
    6. Weed out wardrobe and fill in missing basics such as Manolo Blahniks and the Louboutins and that smart little wear "everywhere dress", it's an investment.
    7. Get a life.
    8. Guilt trip children
Why are the dogs, the subject of the last post, bringing rocks in the house?  They also bring in figs and apples from the trees, but do little to clean up the rest of the fallen fruit from the back yard. The fallen are fermenting nicely thank you.  Anyway, I am somewhat suspicious of any darkish brown lumpy things on the carpet, which, conveniently, is white.  I usually creep up on suspect detritus with a load of trepidation, and I'm alway relieved when it is a rock, but of course it isn't always.  It's a good thing they're cute.  I own not one but two carpet cleaners because the carpet is white as are two of the dogs, but their left behinds usually aren't.  Why can't you claim your dogs as dependents?  They are certainly needy enough.  And people get mad if you mistreat them, just like human children.  I'll write a strong letter to my congressperson, whoever that is.  And if you have dogs who are civilized and don't do bad things in the house, kindly keep that to yourself and know that I really couldn't be happier for you.  sigh

Next week is non-stop adventure for yours truly.  I get to be the co-host of a bridal shower AND I get to horse sit AND I get to go to a wedding!  Yeah me.  That all of this means traveling (in order) to Carmel, to Vacaville, to Petaluma, to Carmel Valley and back to Petaluma is of no consequence.  I love parties and I love weddings and I love horses...My life=complete!
Cheers ya'll

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Man's Best Friend

So I was upside down earlier with the handheld Shark portable vacuum sucking up discarded kibble and other doggie detritus and it came to me in a thunderous revelation that all this stuff I do for the dogs changes not the fact that if I were to die on the floor right now, the pooches would have my bones picked sparkly clean in nanoseconds.  Remember that.  Same with your human children, in a different way usually, but still effectively they will pick your carcass clean.  What a world we live in.  No wonder so many of you have kept your baby hotels at zero occupancy for so long.  Good on ya.

My life has flat lined.  Well, yeah really.  I've been reduced to watching "On Demand" television.  Why only just today I treated myself to a hereto for unknown Discovery channel...Investigations.  So then I sat slack jawed through two episodes of "Behind Mansion Doors"  which is essentially old murder cases that have taken place in Indiana or Ohio where a rich guy is found murdered by someone.  In the two episodes I was riveted to, both men were gunned down by  hired morons I mean killers.  The hired guns were both  financed by tadadada a brother.  That these episodes were taken from the late 80's and are reenacted by bit players who bore no resemblance to the real players is of no importance.  Though it is confusing when they show actual file photos of victim, perp and investigators and then show the reenactment using the shills.  Never really sure who anyone was.  But it gave my Gardens of Time Game to reload so I have a full six lives to waste away in the other activity of my life...Face Book.  Give me strength.

Oh something interesting happened on Friday.  I had some bone sawn off my first metatarsal of my left pedal something or other.  What this means in real life is I have five gnarly looking stitches on top of my foot which shall remain till next week sometime and I got to go on a narcotic sabbatical for two days.  That I'd also signed up for a house/horse sitting gig seemed irrelevant in my Norco stupor, but nevertheless I'd received valuable cash money for my services and so I did what any forward thinking wife would do...I got Steve to do it.  He pretended to be put out and all cranky, but he did get up way ahead of schedule in the mornings all weekend to hustle down the road to feed the beasts and did it again in the middle of prime nap times in the evenings to repeat the feeding thing.  Don't kid yourself, I was there with him moaning in pain, sitting in the passenger seat of the little truck while he tossed hay to all concerned, but he did it.  Good boy.

I had a conversation today with a friend who has accumulated dachshunds.  I have three Jack Russell Terriers so I can sympathise with her.  You should limit your collections people.  Be satisfied with one.  And make it special.  There are only a few things you should have multiples of; trust funds, vacation homes and millions of dollars.  No where in that list does it mention Jack Russells.  Polite people wouldn't even have one.  

My youngest daughter has a fine dog named Sugar and she is of somewhat dubious parentage, probably Lab, Pit Bull and maybe German Shorthair.  But they only have one dog because Sugar is enough.  Sugar gets (has to come to be punished) to come stay with the babies on occasion and by the end of her visit she is practically begging to be set free.  The babies on the other hand have their own takes on the visitor.  Carlos - He scrabbles around in a blind funk, growls menacingly at the wall and generally just does stupid stuff.  I caught Sugar trapping him in the kitchen and threatening him if he dared to move.  It was effective.  Bumble - I'm pretty sure Bumble just pretends Sugar is not there and spends a lot of time under the bed or under the deck planning world domination that does not include Sugar.  She also is a sneak and will gobble up all the left over food when no one is looking and  proudly waddles around with an extra ten pounds on her sturdy 12 inch tall body.  She looks a little like a tick.  Emma - of all the dogs who could come to visit, Sugar is the best and Emma is a complete best friend slut when it comes to Sugar.  She begins the visit with a thorough dental exam, ear washing and butt assessment.  Then she will try to play ball with Sugar, but Sugar's DNA allows for only one possessor of the ball and it is not a Jack Russell.  You figure the outcome of that.  By the way, Sugar weighs in at a hefty 70+ lbs and Emma at a delicate 12 lbs.  I will say that what she misses in bulk, Emma more than makes up for in tenacity and bravery stupidity.  Normally I would never call Emma stupid, but sometimes those awful Terrier genes just take over like roid rage and there you have it. 

Many of you have bucket lists.  I have a wish list.  My wish list.
  •  I wish the Tom and Lorenzo guys would blog about the Khardashians.  I could write it for them, but I'm kind of busy with this rag.  If you don't know who Tom and Lorenzo are, then your reading syllabus is sadly out date.  Correct when possible
  • I wish the Sees lady would deliver.
  • I'd like a really nice horse and the money for it too. (muy importante that money for it part)
  • I'd very much like to not have to go to the hairdresser, or alternatively, would know when to go before it's too late.
  • I'd like it if my car never died, cause I like it.
  • I'd like to have a "my last home place" and it doesn't involve any one's nasty old basement or retirement tenement.  It must have property, a pool and a barn with an arena.  And help.  In a good neighborhood of estates.  Properly taken care of estates.
  • Good health, sharp wit and excellent adventures.
Enough for now!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

World travelers and all like that

So we went to Washington state this past weekend.  For us it's like going on a world tour because, you know, we just don't get out that much.  With good reason I'm sure, but I digress.  We got to ride on an airplane up and back.  For some unknown reason we managed to get to the airports on time, found the correct airline, and with very little drama got on the correct flights and made our destinations without any kerfuffles.  The travel gods were kind. 

Last year we were invited to Washington for a different event and the travel gods must have been pissed off about something.  Let me tell you what happened shall I?  First of all, I don't know if you know this about me, but I am completely incompetent in the morning.  Give me a task of very simple details and I probably will not get all of it right.  So we had to be at the airport at something gross like 5:00a.m.  That's just unnecessary to my mind.  Now mind you, Steve is every bit as incompetent as I in the a.m., but since he takes no responsibility in travel details he maintains he's off the hook.  What this means in real life is that he can get mad and I have to defend myself.  Again I digress.  So the line at the Horizon check in was miles and miles and we didn't have much time anyway and there was a special line for special people who got to waltz in and deposit their bags and what not and stroll away with full knowledge that their plane will wait all day for them if need be.  We, however, are not um "elite" in any way, shape or form.   So we waited in line for six or seven hours till we finally presented ourselves and all our stuff and like that and a snotty little minimum wage man informed us that there was no reservation for us.  And, there were no seats on the plane and would we just get outta da way cause there were important, gasp, people behind us who were ticketed and what not.  So I thought it would be a really good idea to just sit there and argue with him.  And Steve just walked away, because it became apparent to him that we not only had stood in the wrong line of the wrong airline counter, but our real airline counter was clear across the terminal and it no longer said anything at all about Portland, but now said Bangladesh or something.  So I got my last word in and huffed it over to the right airline, Frontier, only to be told that it had boarded, our seats were no longer available and was there anything else they could do for us.   Well, after my head stopped spinning around and around and around, Steve dragged me away before the armed with guns guys could come have a go at me and we went upstairs and pouted and snarked at each other and waited for a couple seats to become available so we could travel.  Sadly, as I said before, the travel gods were not pleased with us for whatever mystical reason and so no seats became available and we had to call our hosts in WA to let them know we weren't coming and to have a nice weekend.  Oh, I may have forgotten, this was one of those design a show jump ring for an event weekends, so now we had to go home, Steve still had to design some courses in a bad mood, but now we got to Fax them to WA and hope it all made sense.  Who knows if they did.   And this children, is why I only fly on two airlines.  Because ICRS.    I'd love to know what string of words you all made out of that.

I have a new gig right here in my own neighborhood.  Literally less than five minutes away.  It may or may not prove to be interesting.  There are five grown up horses and a six month old foal.  One horse is a TB and was/is an event horse, but doesn't do anything but be the boss of everyone in his pasture.  The other four are Trakehners.  They don't do anything either, except one had a baby and she came to these people already prenada so there you go.  The foal is an evil, evil little so and so.  His mother has no self esteem and  this spawn of Satan bites her, kicks her, jumps on her and any number of other annoying things and she does nothing.  If you personified her she'd be "that" mother in Carl's Jr. who dotes on her exasperating demon child who screams bloody murder because he didn't get the right toy in his Happy Meal and somebody better do something about this RIGHT NOW!  And she just sits there, in her mu mu, and smiles benignly and utters "little tyke, knows what he wants"  and like that.  And the other diners are drawing a lottery to see who gets to kill them both, weapons of choice.  See what I mean?  Anyway I'm meant to go down the street twice a day to throw hay at them (three flakes each, twice a day) and give Momma-San some grain, that the dark lord foal will steal from her, because he's like that.  And this should be quite jolly.  We'll see won't we?  Because I don't know this lady from Adam and she's found my name from an ad on an equestrian site that I don't even remember submitting, I have produced a contract/release of liability treatise and a veterinary release form and a pet information sheet for each of the critters.  I found them online from a free legal website, so what could possibly go wrong?  Again, I'll let y'all know.  Because I'm greedy, I just hope the check clears, though I did request cash.  Why not be difficult too?

The spouse has declared some weird new austerity plan for me.  This, of course, only affects me, not him, and I am somewhat chuffed by it.  For instance.  My eldest daughter,Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, sister to Chang from a previous episode, is having her baby in BFE New Mexico the first part of October.  I had planned to board an airplane at a reasonable hour and wing my way to the east for the blessed event.  Stephen has decreed that I am a rock and that I should drive and that he'll go with me...if he can...which is a lot like saying "hey, you're a rock, you'll be fine driving across three states by yourself.  Man up."  The last time I drove across New Mexico by myself the spare tire on the truck I was driving fell off, rolled under the three horse trailer I was pulling causing it to buck up in the air about 70 feet only to land on the tire again which then proceeded to bend the angle iron under the trailer and exit via the rear passenger wheel on the trailer making it explode and then went rolling merrily down the highway.  So I limped to a tire place somewhere and got a tire for the trailer, found my way to Tucumcari,  NM where some helpful guy checked out the trailer during a refueling mission and noticed all the damage underneath and recommended I not drive it till the angle iron was replaced because more bad stuff would happen to the trailer if I didn't fix it,  and yes, he did know someone who had a machine shop and it shouldn't take more'n a couple, three or four days to git er dun.  Sum bitch.  I sat in Tucumcari for three or four days and fretted and was nauseous the entire time.  And that is my driving through New Mexico alone story.  Now ask me again how excited I am to travel there alone....BTW Tucumcari, NM is not on Conde Nast's list of anything cute.  FYI.

The next fun thing that will happen is the joyous occasion of our wedding anniversary.  Now here's what some of my friends have done for their anniversaries this year, trip to Germany, trip to Carmel, actual rememberance of the date, new car, new house.  The spouse reads this, indeed, the spouse whines piteously if I don't write regularly.  Let us see if the spouse steps up to the plate and even notices the stony silences on the day because he CRS either.  I remember one year coming down the stairs at a house we shared with his mother (fodder for an episode unto itself) one day and she was all "Happy Anniversary!  Joy Joy Joy! etc.!"  and we just stared at her, figured she'd finally flipped her lid for good and walked on.  As stated previously ICRS, but it is not ok for the spouse.

And so dear reader I've reached the limit of my creative expertise for the time being.  Maybe something cool will happen by time I'm badgered in to writing again that will make this drivel worth reading.  Until then,

Monday, August 8, 2011

If a man has an opinion and a woman is not around to hear it, is he still wrong?

It was a long week.  Stevie took himself off to the hinter land to rub grimy elbow with the unwashed at the Solano County Fair and  left me to my own devices...which is never good, n.e.v.e.r.  Not that I had anything at all interesting to do.  Dear reader, I know you count on me to provide riveting vignettes of my life in the fast lane, but even a diva must take some time off.   So I spent a week doing very mundane things.

Take Monday for instance.  I met the youngest daughter for lunch with the little grand urchins.  Her treat. So we went to this Thai place that really should have had a big old sign out front that stated clearly that children were not welcome.  This became somewhat important when within five minutes, I mean we didn't even have water yet, Mr. Silas pushed the four foot tall wooden goddess of something off her plinth and sent her crashing to the floor.  Upon impact her various bits when rolling hither and thither about the place and I was like "dang Si, really?"  and the mother unit was all "@!#$%^&*()@#%$^&*Silas#$%#$%^#$% little#%^&$%^&$%^)"  Fairly impressive string of invective from the usually serene one.  I was all for bailing out at this point, but the restaurateurs figured that now we'd broken the focal point of their decorating scheme well then by God we were going to sit and pay money for food.  So we did that.  Hurriedly.

Later that day, I found myself at the gym staring in horror at the pool where a group of ancients, I mean peers, were flopping about in anticipation of the "new class"  water in motion.  So essentially what you are meant to do is perform an aquatic ballet in the water listening to dreadful music from the 80's.  I dutifully floundered with my fellow enthusiasts for the requisite hour all the while thinking what the hell am I doing?  With some relief the hour ended and that was Monday.  Gracious sakes alive.

Tuesday, the ennui continued, except I went back to the gym and spent 40 minutes climbing hills randomly on the treadmill whilst listening to some extraordinarily  boring novel on my Ipod.  The Ipod is a wonderful device whereby you can effectively tune out the entire world via your content and a pair of ear phones.  It goes everywhere with me.  I even have a dock in my car where it lives when not being banged about at the gym.

What happened Wednesday.  Oh right.  The offspring of the spouse was in her last few days of residence at Chez evil step mammie so the middle daughter, remember her...Chang?  decided we should have a farewell dinner for her.  So we did that.  They ate gross stuff like beet salad with goat cheese and goat cheese and prosciutto pizza, goat cheese this and goat cheese that and it is all revolting to me and I had a salad.  At least no one broke anything.  And when I got home I rounded that off with a pint of Hagen Daz, strawberry if you must know.

Thursday I had an appointment at the gym with my personal trainer.  Now this isn't nearly as groovy as having a personal trainer who exercises for you, not this one, you have to make a date and she stands around and counts while you lift weights for a million repetitions using various torture devices designed to make you feel inadequate as if sweating like a, oh gross I can't go on, like you need to feel any more inadequate whilst wearing the spandex of the day in front of a ripped 20 something year old who won a basketball scholarship to the Air Force Academy and has zero body fat.  Say what you will about being curvy, it's all body fat.  So because I hadn't been humiliated enough she decided I'd lost weight from my little accident and thought it would be demeaning to take all my measurements and check out the body fat percentages.  Good news, I've lost 20 something pounds.  Bad new, it's all muscle weight.  So basically I look the same but fat being lighter than muscle is the main ingredient. @#$%&* and )(*&^% and @#$%@#$%#$%.  So trainer girl smiled maliciously and told me I needed to perform a daily routine and designed a new schedule that is somewhat trying and the expectation is that I will grow muscle, lose fat, gain weight.  Not sure where the benefit is in all that.  How much muscle does it take to get a pint of ice cream out of the freezer anyway?

Not much happened Friday either.  Oh, wait, I went to see the last Harry Potter movie.  By myself.  Neat.  So I walked into the theater and it was completely empty, like I was the only person there.  And I thought to myself, "I should call Shirley!"  So I did.  You know how you really hate the person talking on the cell phone in restaurants and say movie theaters?  Yeah, that was me happily and obliviously nattering on about picture hanging and discussing bad horses and lunging and this and that all the while the theater was filling up.  I'd like to know what happened to me be alone in the theater.  Well whatever.  So I told Shirley I'd call her back in the manana and hung up just in time for the endless previews of movies yet to be released.  Like I'm going to remember to go see any of them.  Except there is a new Sherlock Holmes coming out in November I think.  The spouse and I will no doubt find our way to a theater nearby for a viewing.  Anyway, back to Harry Potter.  You should know that I've read all the books and because that's not enough, I've also listened to them on CD.  The guy who  reads them is fantastic and I could listen to his voice forever.   Back to the subject, I pretty much know every line and circumstance of every book.  I'd say this movie covered the basics, but left out about 75% of the back material.  Of course when the book is on CD it takes something like 21 hours to get through, perhaps a wee bit long for a sit down in a movie theater surrounded by strangers.  Good job that they broke it up eh?  I note with fascination that "they" are going to subject us to two parts of the final "Twilight" movie.  Good grief, really?

Ah Saturday, I took myself off to whine country to ride the magnificent Kilo at horse show moms estate and also to give her daughter offspring a little lesson on the flat, which means I taught her a riding lesson not jumping.  So all that was fine.  Then I scampered off to Petaluma in hopes of catching Shirley in a jump lesson with her trainer, but alas, was too late for that entertainment, but I did get a chance to catch up with Andrea and that is always fun.  We inspected her horse trailer as it had been subject to a hailstorm of biblical proportions last spring and the dents in the roof make it look like a million egg poachers,  Fairly impressive.  Evidently the truck was victim to the same type of damage.  This is what doing a good turn for someone will get you... 

Which brings us to yesterday.  I didn't do anything but lounge around, surf the Internet and finally and thankfully finished Steve Tyler's book.  I have nothing good to say about that treatise except it is understandable why so many rockers die at age 27. 

So the spouse comes home today/tonight sometime so I must go vacuum or something.  I must also prepare myself for house sitting in Petaluma beginning Thursday.  I have been ordered to hang pictures at the casa.  That should be fun.  With the way things rattle around in my head, imagine what I can do with nails and a blank wall.  Awesome