Tuesday, March 22, 2011

really? It's meant to snow and storm all weekend. Mountains?

As you may have gleaned from the title, something happened that involved all of the above and so much more.  Let me enlighten you.

Snow bound/horseshow bound mom rang up the other day and said she wanted to take the urchins to the snow for the weekend and would I come over and stay for the weekend?  Just Friday and Saturday and come home on Sunday.  And she would have the stall cleaner guy come in on Saturday to do the stalls in the morning, but sorry I would be on my own on Saturday night and Sunday.  Well, ok, since Steve has decided he must never have a day off from work I figured I might as well go to a beautiful part of the state and get my horse fix.  Off I went.  In the pouring down rain. 

Now for those of you in Outer Mongolia, when it rains and is cold it usually means that it is snowing and freezing in the Sierra Mountains.  All that is a natural nature sort of deal, but with it comes the purely outrageous phenomenen of jerkism on wheels.  Jerkism drivers are around everywhere, but their appearances in times of vile driving conditions are horrible.  They prove themselves by driving way too fast or slow and generally make your life miserable by doing stupid stuff in their BMW's or Cadillacs.  For whatever reason these are the autos of choice to be a real jerk in the show.  Like you've spent way too much money on your car to be bothered with the Golden Rule and what not.  If you have one of the above cars and do not consider yourself a jerkism driver, ask yourself these questions.  1.  Do you drive fast enough for everyone?  2.  Do you keep your ski rack on your car in the summer?  3.  Do you pass erratically on blind turns then brake suddenly?  4.  Do you plant your 35 mph self in the fast lane at all times?  A yes to any of the above qualifies you to be a jerkism driver.  Get a grip.

Anyway, as I was saying it was raining as I made way to wine (whine) country and I found myself thinking that driving up to the mountain to a snug get away in the snow sounded insane.  Cast your memory to the tale of the Donner Party...  Happily, snow bunny mom is insane at times and after assuring me it would all be fine, piled herself and the offspring into the car and zoomed off.    Uh yup.  So she made it as far as the beaucolic town of Colfax, which is roughly two hours over and up the road.  In the middle of gold country.  And, yup you guessed it, some jerkism driver had managed to create a real fuster cluck and the roads were closed and everyone was being turned around, even snow bunny mom with 4WD.  Yup.   Turned back and too far to go home and outnumbered by the cops to go forward.  Meanwhile I was at the casa thinking neener neener, and I told you so, neener neener.  And because I have these moments I naturally assumed that snow bunny mom would cede to defeat and bring her self home and try again another day since it was forcasted to storm and snow and blow and be generally unpleasant all weekend.  Well what on earth was I smoking?  Snow bunny mom returned to the roadways in the a.m. and proceeded up the highway to the snug get away in the snow.  Really?   And immediately got herself snowed in with no way home till Monday at the earliest.   Good job she had such valuable and reliable and flexible help at home wasn't it?  You betcha.

While it was snowing and blowing in the mountains, it was raining and blowing in the flat lands.  And while the chill factor was negligible to the Sierras, wet and cold is still objectionable.   And after that huge build up, that is the worst that happened to me all weekend.    Except for the part when I took myself off to Santa Rosa to visit REI, and then off to Petaluma to visit Shirley.  And all that was good fun and I didn't get lost or anything except for trying to out guess my phone navigation system and earned an impressive 95% fail rate of being in the correct lane for turning one way or the other.   Fizzle.  At any rate, I did manage to find my way to both sites I planned to visit.  Then I programmed the phone navigation system to take me back from whence I came.  Demons live in the nav. system of my inappropriately named "Ally".  As I was saying it was storming and there were even jerkism drivers here as well, and I blindly followed the little voice in my phone through roads I never knew existed through areas that should have been closed to traffic and in a hair raising hour later I found my way back to casa drenched and in a bit of a foul temper.  Just a bit.

I took my withered self down to the barn to clean up the messes the horses had made in their rooms and trudged through the much and mire to dump their messes in the pile outside which meant getting wet and thoroughly disgruntled.  Then I fed their greedy, self involved selves their evening nosh, put their jammies on and bid them goodnight.  huffily. 

On the up side Steve had made his appearance at Casa snow bunny, and we went off to the local pub for burgers and vodka.  The local pub is everything you could hope for in a local watering hole.  Lot's of locals, generous drinkies and good food.  They even had the little hooks on the underside of the bar top from which you can hang your coat or purse and settle in for a long evening of imbibery and a viewing of local color.  It was a perfect ending to a bleak and dreary day.

Sunday morning came a little too early for my liking.  And a barn full of messy horse stalls and messy, hungry, restless horses awaited my attention.   Some days you think you will never get everything done.  You work and work and still there are more things to do.  This was one of those days.  To make it worse the wall clock in the barn is impossible to reset to accomodate the time change we experienced a week ago (Hallelujah Brothers) so I just couldn't sort it out in my mind and I kept thinking I was getting a lot done since I'd left the house at 7: 30 by the clock on the microwave,  which had been reset, and then arrived at the barn and milled around doing stuff for what seemed like hours and hours untill I glanced at the clock and saw that only one hour had passed since I left the house.  And so I fooled myself into thinking that I was really setting a blistering pace until at last I was done and realized the barn clock time was an hour behind the real time and in fact I was slower than molasses.  In my defense I did get all the horses turned out in rotation so they could soak up some rain intermixed with inextricable moments of blinding sun.  And even rain in the sun and it was mystical and surreal.  And what ever.  I limped back up to the house after the morning exertions and collapsed on the couch with the Jack Russells and yes, the Great Dane and everyone muscled each other around to gain the prime nesting spot on the sofa and settled in for a much needed spot of nap.  Well the Great Dane didn't get the couch because she is the size of the couch, but she paced endlessly back and forth swabbing my face with her tongue on each pass to assure that I didn't actually reach nirvana and so it went for a good long time.

I  arose after my face had been thoroughly drenched, and in the audience of the caged rat took a shower and prepared myself to go on another outing since there were now periods of bright sun interspersed with some rain, but nothing like the day before.  My mission was to find a wheel for the rat.  The rat is named Jerry.  It is gray and has a white spot on its tummy and is pretty cute for a rat.  I don't mind rats and mice if they aren't trying to scare the ever living life out of you by doing the rodent leap at your person from a dark corner.  So anyway the rat didn't have wheel and I just can't get my head around the fact that caged rats should have a cardio wheel so there you are.  And I found myself back in Petaluma looking for a pet store that was open on Sunday and had a rat department.  And I was successful and I ignored the voice in my phone and made my way back to the rancho without any drama.  If I could have managed a happy dance, then this would have indeed been the time to perform it.

I'll spare you the drudgery of evening chores, but they were performed in a satisfactory time and manner.  And I was able to go off to the local market for an opportunity to select a nourishing repast from the deli, went back up to the house and settled in for an evening with David Tutera on "My Fair Wedding".  And since the snow bunny was snowed in I turned the heat way up to 62 degrees and  curled up under a load of blankets and dogs and zoned the evening away.

Monday morning Gil arrived to clean the stalls and I fed the horses and escaped to the house after that and drank coffee and surfed the internet till I felt I could face the day.  I went back to the barn and lunged some horses and ponies and turned others out, and talked to snow bunny on the phone and ascertained that she was going to come home at last and she did and we had a good ole time recounting our various adventures and generally had a good time especially since the farrier came (a different one from the one before if you are a faithful reader) and we played who do you know for awhile and examined some horse feet and hemmed and hawed for a time.  Later a child came over to take a lesson on the pony I had lunged and bathed earlier in the day.  And finally all the chores were done, and the mother and I went back to the house and had a "Hot Apple Pie" concoction which contains hot apple cider and Tuaca.   A few of  those will do some  real damage should you be so inclined to drink too many.  I resisted temptation to drink myself senseless and drove home to Steve and a little din din at the local Taqueria and that was that.

Snow Bunny mom turns back into Horse Show Mom next Wednesday, and I shall make my way back to casa costa lotta for another few days of horse stuff, but Gil will be there to do the stalls, because I haven't really improved my stall cleaning times, that will be a good thing.  And we'll just carry on from there.  And if anything interesting happens I will regale you with tales of the stay.

Squidgy may have another house/horse sitting gig in the works.  This too may provide fodder for blogging, so stay tuned for more adventures.


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