It occurred to me this past weekend that some of my best inspirations for this blog come during the idyllic hours I spend shoveling horse pookie. Coincidence? I think not.
Shoveling right along... Last Thursday I took myself off to whine country once again. I was to spend two days playing horse mom. The real mom had gone off to play with the rich and famous in Temecula for another horse show. She called me Thursday night, but really couldn't talk because she was at a fabulous dinner with fabulous friends. I don't know if she did that just to rub it in that I was eating deli take-out... alone whilst she and her cronies were at a smart dinner together, or not. sigh.
Squidgy Rides! Yep. So the fabulous horse show mom instructed me to ride her new horse the beloved Kilo. You have met Kilo in previous editions...OTTTB etc. etc. etc. OK then. Well of course I queried fabulous horse show mom (FHSM) if I should lunge the OTTTB to get the bucks and other vile behavior out of his system. To which FHSM replied, "Oh just get on him and ride." Well OK then. Cast your memory back to a couple episodes ago when I mentioned I wasn't in the shape I wanted to be. A scant five weeks have passed since then, and while I do go to the gym religiously (snort if you like) I've certainly not reached my ideal, and impossible goal yet. In any case it had been many, many years since I threw my leg over the back of a TB and I was sceptical of the whole idea.
Nevertheless, since I have Kaiser Insurance I bravely just got on him and rode! And loved every minute. Some of that was due to the fact that I was in my own saddle which is perfect in every way, but mostly because the beast had, what is known in the industry, a good work ethic. Yeah me. So anyway I rode for about 30 minutes partly because it was bloody hot, but mostly because Kilo had once again thrown his version of a Manolo Blahnik and the bang up job I'd done bandaging his foot only lasted so long. So that was all well and good and I was feeling all cheery and what not and foolishly expected FHSM to ring up and ask if I was alive and what ever - but she did not. Hmmm. Well anyway I re wrapped the foot and put Kilo to night night and called Shirley and said I wanted a horse just like Kilo only one that keeps his shoes on and we had a fine time slamming various farriers we've known and praising the one we loved and who are good and that was a fine time.
Round about nine o'clock FHSM texted me. What follows is a verbatim transcript of that conversation.
FHSM: How was Kilo?
FHSM: Really? (like she thought I was being sarcastic or in traction or something...) >:-(
Squidgy: I love him
FHSM: sends blank text, probably in shock or something. >:-(
Then FHSM called up (remember I said she called?) OK so I figured she just called to ascertain it really was yours truly texting away and not some trauma doc. having a go. But as I said she could only talk for a second since she had more fabulous things to do now that I seemed to be alive.
Just for grins I rode Kilo the following day as well. Then I waited for the farrier to come put on the Manolo Blahnik. And waited andwaitedanwaited...Well you'd a thought someone coulda told me he'd come while I was up at the house taking a shower wouldn't you? So I waited for an hour and a half and then discovered he'd come and gone and I had played 5000 games of Mah Jong sitting in my car for no reason other than I should have just checked. fizzle
I high tailed it outta there because, as promised, Squidgy had another gig for Saturday and Sunday! Will wonders never cease. So anyway as I said I took myself off for gig II and presented myself to my new employers who were thrilled to death to see me, gave me a drink and we settled in for an evening of debauchery with the demon spirits.
Well as is their custom, the new employers arose from their slumber at the very b*** crack of dawn, and made sufficient noise as to awake yours truly, who does not welcome the dawn the same as these half wits. But I'd promised, in my incoherence the previous night, to arise with the chickens and them and get a quick run through as to what needed to be done to and for the six horses remaining at home while six other horses went off to go schooling cross country jumps in Paso Robles. So I made some kind of attempt to appear if not awake, then not completely asleep either. And Shirley rattled on a mile a minute with what to with this and that and the the other thing. And I smiled and nodded and wondered WTF any of it meant and they loaded the horses into the trailer and loaded themselves in to the truck and off they went. And I sat down and considered the ramifications of a nap.
However, I am nothing if not a consummate professional and I decided to try to recall what "she" had said and managed to remember there was something about doing the stalls. All nine or five thousand of them, at this point it really didn't matter now did it? So I breezed through them, again with that fitness thing, then took stock of the stock (hahaha I am still funny)
Then I remembered that three of the horses were leaving to go to new homes. And that various shippers would be calling to let me know of their imminent arrival and I had no recollection of who was going with who and when and any of that nonsense. So I called Shirley and said, "who's going with who and when?" So that got sorted out and sometime later the first shipper arrived to take Pearl with him to WA and I was Johnny on the Spot with that and met him at the gate with the correct horse and he parked his 18 wheeler in front of me and released the air brake or whatever the hell that thing is that hisses and pops and generally gave me a heart attack and Pearl leaped in the air and we then stood and stared as transport guy got out of the cab and pulled up his slinky gym shorts and made his way to us. I smiled. He smiled, and we agreed that this was the horse he was taking and he began the ritual of bringing down the ramp from the trailer, the top of which was up higher than my 5'6", placed the flimsy sides on the ramp, which give the illusion of barriers but in fact just sat there waving in the breeze, then down came the carpet and we were ready for Pearl to get in the trailer. Except we weren't because transport guy had to pull his shorts up. again. This time I was treated to more of the pair-o-moons than anyone had any right to see. So then we were ready and the horse went in, the shorts came down, I stared in horror, the shorts did not come up, I turned away and scanned my memory for what Emily Post said to do in these cases, discovered Emily Post would never have put herself in that position in the first place and gave it all up as a bad job and just got the hell out of the trailer. But transport guy with white, hairy moons was not done with me yet. Oh no. He was a commercial shipper so now I had to answer his questions that he had to commit to paper as to the horses name?...uh Pearl. Where it was going? Washington somewhere I think. New owner? I knew that. THEN I had to man up and sign the receipt. Great. So I did. Then transport guy pulled up his pants again, I said ta ta and safe trip and all that baloney and went back to the house, put my now filthy clothes in the washer and went back to bed. Not a bad way to make a living is it?
Later that afternoon I arose and since I don't wake up that easily after sufficient sleep either, I stumbled around for awhile, then made my way back to the barn and did the afternoon chores which were easy breezy and feeling pretty please with myself, settled in to wait for shipper #2 to come pick up the next two horses. Happily, and thankfully, this one had on jeans and a belt so we didn't have any of "those" issues. And he was very proud of his new trailer so we spent some time applauding it's various features, then I loaded the horses, he closed the door and off they went. Only three horses left...
So the next day came and I had to get my own lazy self up at the b*** crack of dawn, which I did rather more alertly since I'd not imbibed of the demon rum the night before and I got all the morning chores done then made nice with the horses who were left. Considered riding, and let it go. Then I decided to groom one of the horses. Which I did and considering I used only elbow grease and Show Sheen did a pretty good job of that as well. And feeling rather smug, went back to the house for another cup of coffee. Then Shirley called and said they were on their way home and I could leave if I wanted. Since I already had the check I did just that.
And now this:
Oh for crying out loud. Are you serious here? Whine country mom just rang up to hire yours truly for another episode at her casa. Evidently I am such a great friend, that now she is entrusting the life and welfare of her only son to my care. I mean really? Many of you know me. I'm sorry about that, but in any case...would you trust me with your child? That's what I thought. So the conversation went something like this:
WCM: I have to go on a camping field trip with my daughter on Weds, Thurs and will be back Friday. Can you stay?
WCM: Oh and by the way, little Alphonse (pseudonym) will be there and you'll need to drive him to school. Thanks man.
Squidgy: Are you serious?
WCM: Thanks man.
Squidgy: OK, are you insane?
WCM: You'll be fine,
Squidgy: Do I have to cook and all that too?
Squidgy: Perhaps I'll just call Child Protective Services now shall I?
WCM: I told him he has to buy hot lunch so you don't have to make lunches.
Squidgy: I always made my kids buy hot lunch. They learned to make their own lunches pretty early on. I hate making lunches. Hate it.
Squidgy: You better have provisions, I'm not spending my wages feeding real meals.
WCM: Oh, and Holly will be there too!
Squidgy: What is wrong with you? Why would you do that?
WCM: You can leave on Friday...:-}
Squidgy: I hate you.
WCM: Love you man. Thanks
Heavy sigh. I leave Wednesday for new gig as nanny to the rich and famous. Expecting a call from the father as he is a faithful reader. My life sux.