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

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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.