Monday, December 3, 2012

Post Turkey

Annual Thanksgiving awards:  Alden wins for most pictures of a cooked bird.  Sue wins for the most turkey roasting drama.  I lose for having inedible Brussels sprouts.  End of Thanksgiving.

Gorgeous DIY branch tree!
On to Christmas.  For the first time in history, I  decorated the house before December.  As you will recall, last year we traveled to North Carolina for Christmas, and a jolly good thing we did at that.   But we did no decorating, save a winsome, lonely wreath on the front door.  This year is another story.  The tree is up and decorated within an inch of its life, the mantle is draped, festooned and lit with gobs of stuff and the buffet in the dining room is replete with sparkling, freshly polished silver.  Not to be happy for her mother on this unprecedented feat, daughter Alison, in her snarkiest New Mexican, inquired if I'd also set the table for Christmas Eve.  Alison's birthday is on the 2nd of December, how do you think that worked out for her? That's what I thought too!  I sent her pictures of the house and asked how she was doing.  

 Daughter Lindsey and I went to see the last Twilight movie.  We had to, we'd seen the last two or three or however many there were.  And we are not apologetic.  We also got our nails done.  So one treat offset the other so to speak.  I was amused by the sign proffered at a bar stating that a 20% increase to your bill would be assessed by showing your "Breaking Dawn Part II" ticket stub.  What ever hater.

Daughter Megan and her beloved took themselves off to Portland  Thanksgiving week for an adults only  trip by themselves.  The good grandparents had the  grand-offspring.  Steve and I managed to catch the plague the week of Thanksgiving and so were spared babysitting duties um not available to help out.  Oh right, thanks to Malcolm for the plague, way to share sugar.

At this point I had ready a rant and a rave about the whining post election.  I got over it and I feel sorry for those of you who can't.  I rest.

In an effort not to be a horrible person, I visited my ancient Auntie the other day.  She kept reminding me that she was 90 years old.  I said not for long, as her birthday is in January.  She was confused about that.  She got cross with me several times and then told me I could come by any time but there was no guarantee she would be home as her schedule varied from day to day.  I agreed to do whatever she wanted, she was carrying a stout cane.  I love her.

So there used to be this computer game called Bureaucracy.  It was in DOS format.  I believe that DOS stood for dumb operating system.  I played this game on an Apple PCJr.  Suffice it to say that this was in a galaxy far far away.  Before windows.  Anyway, Bureaucracy, the deal was you had to type in commands to perform simple every day tasks like finding the phone, getting the mail, talking to repair people etc.  Each time something went haywire, like you didn't move the correct object to find something to find something else your blood pressure would rise.  Eventually you would have a stroke and die.  The game gave up the ghost for me after I discovered you had to stroke the llama's tongue to open the mailbox, but I digress.  Anyway, I tried to reach the repair/service department at a Sears store today.  OMG and FML, epic fail and all that, I never did talk to a service person at the store, but I did talk to some call center in Bangladesh or where ever and nearly popped a vessel talking to the phone maze.  The upshot of this is my beautiful Cobalt Blue Kitchenaid stand mixer, that I bought for myself when I had a pity party for myself back in 1986, seized up last night in the middle of making gingerbread.  And all I really want to do do is find someone to fix the thing.  A quick call to all the appliance repairs idiots in Vacaville got me no where as, to a man,  they only do major appliances and my major melt downs had no affect whatsoever on any of them.  I feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it.  Perhaps a nice cocktail will calm me down.  Who cares if it's 10 in the morning.  I'll bet it's 5 in Bangladesh.  This would be a bad time to offer platitudes... or advice.  Real bad.

On that happy note, I shall sign off for now.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Hacked Off

So last week started off on a high note with the discovery that my email had been hacked.  Great.  All my plans to extort money have been circumvented by some bad guys wearing clown suits.  JK  they weren't wearing clown suits that I'm aware of.   On the upside, I heard from so many of you I've not heard from in centuries forever.  Just to be clear, I'm not in London, though I wouldn't mind, and I would love for you to send money.  I know from previous attempts to prod you all in to sharing your wealth with me that this is a faint and pathetic request.

Sadly, the hacking incident was the high point of my week.  I should get out more often, but it all seems rather futile.  For instance, Sunday I never even got dressed and utilized my time by trying out a new Macaroni-n-Cheese recipe and watching "My Fair Lady" for the umpteenth thousandth time.  Once again the Ascot scene  was the high point.  What a frenzied moment that was...

We survived another Ram Tap a couple weekends ago.  Barely.  It was the first trip to Fresno for the little adopted squirrel dog.  She was impressed.  She also picked a fight with Emma over who got to be next to the people in the bed. A lot of scrapping later, Steve suffered damage to his digits whilst separating the piranhas snapping, snarling  babies who each had a death grip on each others mandible and maxillae.  Hate the babies.  Steve is still suffering from his injuries, but not nearly as much as yours truly who is required to minister medication and cluck sympathetically over the state of his suppurating sores.  I am not a nurse.  Full stop.

The dawgs have not scrapped in a couple days now, nay Emma and the squirrel have been caught engaging in what some might call playful banter, batting at each other and jumping about.  I steadfastly force myself to believe the warring is over, but judging from the look on Emma's face, she's just biding her time for an opportunity to send Lili packing to the giant tamale stand in the sky.  (Lili is a chi hua hua afterall)  I believe a Lab is in my future.  I mean I hope a Lab is in my future.

We took ourselves off to the northlands to watch the grandbabies play soccer.  I would have to say that perhaps little Mila has decided that it is a far better use of her time to stare at pictures of herself on the "other" (read "good") granny's iPhone.  So Megan screached at her daughter "get out and play and take no prisoners" and like that, and I'm all "so, you're that  mother" and all her cronies were like, "yeah, Meg, so you're that mother."  And Megan was all "shutup mom" and Mila ran for cover on the lap of the good grandmother.  The "good" grandfather was not in attendance as he was busy playing kick the soccer ball with Jack who was all "old guys ...give it up man" and Ken was all sweaty and red faced (he is older than me afterall)  Sitting in his newly acquired extra large folding chair that was purchased only that very morning on a very special trip to WalMart, was my beloved who was engrossed in a riveting game of Free Cell  on his iPhone.  And where was the father of the grandurchins?  why sitting in his little chair wondering why all of his inlaws had come up to disturb his weekend and would they be staying afterwards or would they (please, please, pretty please) be going straight home?  Ah, family togetherness.  I just can't wait for the holidays.  Oh wait, yes, yes I can.

Speaking of the holidays.  My ex-brother in law invited all my children to come to his house for Thanksgiving.  This invitation did not include yours truly and my spouse.  As is my wont, I was very sulky and pouty for a few minutes.  And I might mention that the aforementioned children rejoindered with a rousing chorus of " where were you when we were children on Thanksgiving?  Oh, right, you were at Ram Tap at a horse show."  Little beasts.   Because I feel like  cooking, I  would like to have just have a little dinner party at home.  I have invited the royalty of Petaluma,  they have not agreed to come yet.  We'll see what happens.  I suspect we will have turkey loaf and instant mash in the solitude and of our little casa, just the two of us.   Happily what this really means is a great deal leftover $$ for me since I won't be celebrating Christmas giftage with the ingrates.  Ho Ho Ho time for receiving.

This is Precious at Ram Tap circa 1990's

Today we leave for the last and final Ram Tap Horse Trials.  I have been going to Fresno several times a year for the past thirty some odd years for this event.  My spouse, who had a privelaged and sumptuouis upbringing, evented here as a tyke and can remember when you got brownie points on cross country for going really fast.  Still, the event was well established before Stevie was even born.  So it ends on Sunday.  Another eventing institution, good, bad or indifferent, gone gone gone.

On that up note,
Galaxy XC at Ram Tap circa 2006


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Didja miss me?

I have had a very busy summer.  Not much of it was good, sadly.  Last we spoke I'd been to the fair with the grand off spring.  Three days later I was in North Carolina.  My mother-in-law (Mary) had surgery and as Steve was in the middle of his annual fair deal at Solano Co. I was elected to be the family in situ.    The long and short of it was a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer on July 29 and a very short time till Mary Frances Libby Hales passed away on September 16.  God Speed Mary.

It was a difficult time for everyone, but the days spent with Mary were extraordinary.  I wouldn't trade that time with her for anything.  Steve was able to come out during the recuperation and we three spent a lot of time laughing and remembering.  We left North Carolina on August 14 and returned in a hurry on September 7.  And well you know what eventually happened.

A word about Hospice.  I hope none of you ever have a loved one who needs Hospice.  But Hospice Facilities are a refuge and while the usual out come is the passing of a life, the atmosphere is not dreary or depressing.  Somehow the feeling is one of acceptance of death and not resignation to it.  You learn, or I did anyway, that death is a part of life and the journey does not have to be one of sadness and angst.  Steve, his sister, Sandra and I spent many hours with Mary during that last week.  I don't remember many tears but do remember a lot of reminisces and laughter.  The hospice nurses told us that even though Mary was not participating in the conversations and stories, she could hear what we were saying and we talked to her constantly.  At times we could tell something made an impact, or at least we like to think so.  The nurses and aids were without fail kind and willing to share their experiences.  They were not afraid to let us know what certain things meant when breathing patterns changed, or the skin felt cold, or there were weird sounds.  It's all a part of it.  My own parents both died quite suddenly and I wish I could have had the few weeks with them that I had with my mother-in-law. 

A word about post death.  Funeral homes are creepy.  The voices used there are hushed and intended to be comforting.  I just wanted to ask them to speak normally.  And get rid of the unfortunate wall paper border in the "room".  Basically funeral homes serve an unpleasant duty.  And they are paid handsomely.  The funeral directors have had very little time with the deceased and while I'm sure they are trying to be respectful, the usual feeling is not one of true compassion.  If they have had any interaction with the departed, it was to exalt the virtues of this service ($cha-ching) and that ($cha-ching) in order to "make it easier on the survivors"..  ($$$ching ching ching)  Hooey.  They go under the heading, "gross jobs I'd never do in a heart beat".  I was most uncomfortable with the breakdown of charges rendered for the appliances used during the storage of the body, the cremation, how much a death certificate costs and especially the fees for running an obituary.  I understand the funeral home is not responsible for the costs charged the family to run an obituary in a newspaper, but they are the messengers and you know what happens to them...The San Francisco Chronicle wanted over $1000.00 to run Mary's obituary.  The Monterrey Herald charged $100 for the same article.  It is fairly gross how institutions and people (clergy included BTW) take advantage of the family of the deceased.  Emotions are high and judgement is poor as a rule.  So if you saw the death notice of Mary Hales in the SF Chronicle and thought it was short, that is why.  While all the funeral home stuff was deeply weird, perhaps the most onerous part of the whole post death scenarios had to be the church stuff.  Mary planned the whole service, which in itself is morbid.  She also made several handsome bequests to her beloved Holy Cross Church over the course of time.  When it came to the interment of her cremains, it became clear that no interment would be happening until the hostages ponied up I mean the  priest and deacon were paid their tithe.  I believe the tithes totalled over $800.00.  Hallelujah! 

In the middle of the North Carolina trips I went to England for 18 days.  I love England.  Love the food, the weather, the small streets, the little villages and the people.  I had the opportunity to go to Burghley  for the Horse Trials and as ever, it was a fantastic event.  The best riders in the world competed and it was a privilege to watch them go.  I had some friends competing too,  especially one of my favorite people in the world,  Kate Hicks.  She was there with her mother, husband, adorable son and a few friends.  In spite of the challenges of competing, Kate was a star and gracious to all.  She did not have the best competition score wise, but at the end of the day she finished the most difficult horse trials in the world and never let her nerves get the best of her.  She remembered her dressage test, jumped cleanly around the cross country course and finished the show jumping in good order. She braided her own horse and pitched in with all the day to day stuff of caring for a horse and accepted that some days the competition was not her to win.  She didn't blame anyone for her scores and was pleased with her performances.  She was a happy and positive force in our barn aisle.  I love you Katie.

So that was my summer. How was yours?  Oh, I almost forgot, we have a new dawg.  We adopted Mary's chihuahua, Lili and brought her home with us.  I know quite a few of you know my precious baby Emma the killer of all that moves.  We were very concerned that Emma would see Lili for what she really is, a barking squirrel.  But from the start and from the safety of her Southwest approved dawg carrier, Lili put Emma in her place immediately.  When they were allowed to meet face to face, little Lili growled and snapped at Emma and just confounded her.  They are romping in the back yard as I write this.  Lili loves me and I am Emma's personal person, so every now and again there are some territory issues, but I believe all is and will continue to be peaceful, well as peaceful as can be with two Jack Russells and a Southern Belle.

Cheers and thanks for letting me share,


Monday, July 23, 2012

Oh, hello there. How you been? (como frijole)

So I've been pretty busy.  For me.  For instance I did make the trip up to Washington state a couple months ago.  It rained.
Then I went to Woodland.  It was hot.
Then I went to Carmel Valley.  With Kristi. 
Then I went to Carmel Valley again.  Alone and over stayed as usual
Then I came home for two days.
Then I went to Sonoma for ten days.  It was hot.  And tiring.
Then I went to Woodland for one day.  It was still hot.
Now I'm home.  Whoopee.

Also in that riveting agenda, my old daughter, Alison, came home with the good grandchild.  We went to the State Fair.  We also went with the young daughter and her offspring and the middle daughter who just looked glamorous.  Who looks glamorous at the fair?  It's a little demoralizing.  She didn't stay long.  Not that we don't love her, but we didn't glam up for the day.  However, we did look a little more put together than 99.9% of our fellow (and I gag a little) fair goers.  Gads, am I turning in to a snob?  gasp.

The young daughters three off spring are old enough to run away from you at the fair.  It would appear that this is not a good thing.  So each child had to pick a grown up to be its person.  Jack either picked or got me.  That's OK because we spent a lot of time picking up crawdads from the trough containing same.  So they have this exhibit which all about the water and the things that live in it.  One of those things is the mighty crawdad/crayfish or what ever.  For the uninitiated they look a lot like swimming scorpions with no stinger.  They do, however, have nasty claws and pincers with which they will pinch their enemies and maim their fellows.  This last was evidenced by the unsettling number of crawdads sporting one or none pincers and the remains of those pincers scattered on the bottom of the tank.  Vicious little brutes.  We were talking about catching them weren't we?  Mr. Jack was the crocodile hunter of the day and he modestly told me he'd picked up all of the prehistoric creatures and released them.  relief  As if to prove it to himself, he proceeded to pick up all of them again.  Did I mention there were at least a hundred in the tank?  May be not.  He forced my hand open allowed me to hold the baby ones.  Super neat.

Then we petted the sturgeon.  For a long time.  I wonder if there's a way to skin them and use the skin for say a summer weight jacket?  It's really velvety.  We practiced our steer roping skills, well perhaps skills isn't the best descriptor, but let it be known we were there for a long time.  Alison came along during this event and proclaimed that everything was wrong from the type of rope to the direction the steers head was placed.  I had to churry her along before she changed everything.  She always was a bossy little thing.   I was also in charge of the super sized baby stroller.  It was roughly the size of a giant SUV and about as handy.  Needless to say I was not a good driver and manged to run over a lot of toes and bashed in to quite a few things and people.  I'll never see those folks again so I guess I'm OK with it.  And that, dear reader, is why I have so few friends.  Or any.  Will you be my friend?  I thought so.

I was discussing the fair.  But I guess I hit the highlights.  Sorry.  Nothing really interesting happened.  Megan brought us lunch so we did not devour fair food which was a little disappointing as we were all jonesing for corn dogs.  But we looked self important eating our edamame and healthy organic salads.  Then I polished that off with a fried Snickers and thereby captured all the food groups.   I also bought  a fried Twinkie, but just didn't have the heart for it.  Sadness.  Suffice it to say there was ample (and I do mean ample) people watching to enjoy, though Megan and Alison screeching at me to stop staring really ruined my rhythm.  What's a girl to do?  They need some elder care sensitivity training.  Elder Abuse Abounds!

I spent a week, plus some, in Carmel Valley.  The lord and lady of the manor scooted off to Bromont and I was in charge of the horses.  Six horses.  One had the nastiest sarcoma on its ear.  It looked like a mushroom only it bled and needed to be treated, gross.  When Bea came home we wrapped a bunch of rubber bands around it and lo and behold! it fell off after a while.  I wasn't there for the delivery, but I hear it was a successful separation.  Now, I am...a surgeon. Praise Be.

I also spent an idyllic (not) ten days in Sonoma house and horse sitting for our favorite...Horse Show Mom.  This job almost didn't happen due to an extreme misunderstanding of what I charge per day, which is non-negotiable.  I like to think I don't need the money, but that is a fallacy, just ax Steve.  But I can't/won't work for peanuts either.  At any rate we came to terms and I took myself off to whine country.  Normally I clean a few stalls, maybe ride, maybe not, feed, change blankets, lunge, watch tee vee, medicate (see previous paragraph) and the like.  For our little tight wad I mean HSM my day went something like this:

7:00a  Arise, feed two dawgs, two fish, one rat, one cat and a bearded dragon.

7:01a  Leave for barn (leave earlier if possible)

7:25a  Arrive at barn having burned up 13.5 miles

7:26a  Determine who is getting turned out and try to remember who can be next to who, who can't be in the first turnout or the last, fill water troughs up, roll hose back up, forget to turn water off.  Race back to turn water off.  Collapse in office with the flies.

7:30a  Contemplate life and listlessly sweep office out

8:00a  Decide to ride. 

8:30a Decide who to ride

9:00a  Groom and tack up horse

9:15a  Have urgent need to pee

9:20a  Get on horse and hack around and do something like dressage or just plain flopping around depending on who you are

10:20a Get off, untack, hose horse off, move horses in paddocks around, refill waters, turn other horses out  (see 7:26a) put the ridden horse away, select next victim.

11:20p  Tack up, ride, untack, hose off and put away victim #2

12:20p  Decide lunging is a good option for next horse.

12:45p  Groom horse, select lunging equipment, fiddle with lunging bridle, fiddle some more, wander around looking for fly spray, sho sheen, hoof oil etc

1:45p  Take horse to lunging arena and chase it around both directions until bored.

1:46p JK 2:10p  Take horse back to barn.  Horse is recalcitrant and has developed deep seated fear of the barn, the mats, the wash rack, water, hoses, but sadly, not me

3:30p  Finally get horse hosed off in wash rack, braid mane over, drink about 4 gallons of water put horse away.

4:30p  Have to pee

4:35p  Select easy horse to ride, tack up, get on , hack around, go in to arena, horse freaks out at the music coming from the many speakers placed all around on arena fence and has hissy fit.  Contemplate carne asada caballo.  Hold temper.  Get one good trip around arena each direction and get back to the barn, untack, grudgingly hose horse off and even more grudgingly put it away.

6:00p  Prepare evening meals for the horses, meticulously adhering to each horses specific diet and studiously memorize the amount to feed of each ingredient, figure out supplements, water everything down and, with a flourish, present each custom meal to each horse.  Bon Apetit'

7:00p Leave barn. 

7:10p  Remember phone is still at barn.  Retrace steps, waste gas and time.

7:30p  Leave barn again and travel another 13.5 mile back to HSM's house.  Eat a sandwich.  Feed dawgs again, check the food and water for the cat, make sure rat, fish and dragon have not expired.

8:00p  Take shower and go to bed with wet hair.  Gross

8:15p  Remember that I forgot to water all the semi growing stuff in back yard.  Get up, crossly, and splash water around, step in dawg doo, become enraged, wash feet, turn off water, mutter invectives to dawgs and lock them in prison in the garage for the night.

9:30p Go back to bed.  Still chuffed and out of sorts.  Have weird dreams.

Repeat for next nine days.  And develop a rash.  One that won't go away.  Gross

It makes me tired all over again just thinking about it.  I must select a cocktail now and relax with the teevee remote and catch up on Dance Moms for a bit.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Farmer girl

I have discovered my inner farmer.  I planted a bunch of doomed flowers and plants yesterday.  It's anyone's guess how long they will survive.  But for the moment all is beauty and life.  And I have dirt under my fingernails.  And the dog is busy at this very moment either digging up my flowery children or eating the hose.  That too is anyone's guess.  It doesn't really matter, for tomorrow I take my little self off to Petaluma to be in charge at the highnesses digs.  And everything will perish in my absence which is somewhat better than having them die in my presence because now I can blame Steve.  sucka

Nothing has prepared me for the carnage I am expecting to find there.  Her highness called the other day to share the days grossness with yours truly.  (really?)  It seems the black birds at the rancho have nothing better to do other than commit suicide in the water troughs.  She told me she's fished as many as 7 or 8 birds a day out, most of them dead, but some dying.  In any case she tenderly (lol) puts their little wet bodies in the bushes where miraculously they are revived and fly off to join their bretheren.  Just kidding.  What's really  happening is the crows are swooping down and whisking the desperate, dead and dying off to become part of the days ala carte menu.  Her highness found this to be  terrible and currently she hates the crows.  I have no particular fondness for birds, but I'm thinking at least someone is tidying up besides you or me.  Then because I wasn't grossed out enough she regaled me with the tale of the vultures (CA condors) dropping their carrion in an empty paddock where they then invited all their kin over for a big ole nosh.  The crows were invited too, but had to wait for everyone else to finish before they were allowed to clean up, if you will.  I think I've been to that party.

So I am really looking forward to this visit.  On Saturday the royalty will buzz back up to Petaluma from their horse show to attend a high school graduation party.  They have included me too.  Since when are adolts invited to high school grad parties?  Why my own grad party  was cloaked in such secrecy that there were more than thirty layers of subterfuge to go through to even find it.  Naturally it was such a great time I remember nothing of it.  I do remember walking home in the morning from somewhere.  Never mind.  So the mother of the grad is French so the food should be good and I know them so anything I do under the influence will be expected and nothing I do should be any more embarrassing than usual.  Little upsides.

The old daughter and her little family visited last week.  I finally got my grubby paws on the youngest Grand Off Spring and I don't mind telling you he is THE cutest baby in the world.  And very happy and laughs a lot.  I take all the credit for his good looks and temperament.  The parents don't agree, but I just ignore them.  And you should too.  The real reason the little family came to California was to attend a wedding that I was not invited to.  This meant that I could babysit the three old grandchildren...again.  But first we got to spend all day at the Sacramento Train Museum.  I'm sure baby Sam from New Mexico will savor those memories forever.  He is, after all, seven months old.  Then we all, and by all I mean the three daughters of moi, the four grandchildren and one son-in-law had lunch.  Naturally one of the four grands had a pseudo melt down and had to be rewarded for that by having a present bestowed upon him in the form of a bow and arrow set.  You're welcome Megan.  I bought little presents for his siblings as well.  While Mila liked her jewelry box, though she wanted to repaint it, Silas had a tantrum about the darling train I gave him and wanted Jacks weapon instead.  Jack and I high fived it because we know that sharing is for losers.  We bought Steve a snow globe.  If you are ever in a position to scratch your head puzzling over what gift would be appropriate to give my spouse, you can never go wrong with a snow globe.  He can put them on the window sill of the state run extended care home that I will put him in when the time comes.    I am so funny.  And I am cracking up just now.

I have been invited to drive up to Washington State with my little friend Kristi week after next.  Yes, Kristi I'll go, but I am wondering about my sanity.  Why does it always sound like such a great idea to go on a road trip, then spend a long weekend freezing or broiling and walking and scurrying about?  Because that part is fun.  Then you have to drive home.  That part always sucks.  Always.  Kristi is one of the best traveling companions because you can whine and cry and badger and carry on and she thinks you're kidding.  And she can whine and cry and badger and carry on and I think she's kidding too.  What this means is we are two old bags let loose on the world without a cognizant thought between the two of us.  Why we have ever made to where we were going together is anyone's guess, but we always have fun.

For instance, there was the time we thought it would be a good idea to go to the Fair Hill Three Day Event in Maryland one year.  We left from Sacramento planning to end up in the city of Brotherly Love via Houston.  So far so good.  Once our flight stopped in Houston  it seemed prudent to go have a couple of cocktails.  Then, because we were buzzed and neither of us knew the real time our flight was to leave, we thought it would be good idea to have another cocktail and some food.   Long story short?  At some point we figured out our plane was leaving at that moment and we were in a bar/restaurant miles away.  So we hauled buns dragging all our stuff through the airport, where all the guys with the fast little go carts ignored us, and we arrived at our gate just as they closed the doors.  And you know no matter how much you cry and beg and harangue and argue there is no way in hell they are opening those damn doors for you.  Frustrated and by this time somewhat sober we had to finangle a flight to Philly that night.

The travel Gods took pity and we managed to wheedle our way on to a flight to Baltimore where we rented a snazzy little Mustang and drove up to the Philadelphia International Airport.  We weren't planning to go to Philly at all but you see our luggage was sober and straight at the airport in Houston -  so it did get on the original flight.  Now we had to drive to yet another airport to reclaim our luggage.  And we hadn't actually had any meaningful sleep.  At that time of night, no I mean morning it doesn't really matter how long of a trip from point A to point B it is, it is way tooooooooooooo long.  But we arrived in Philly, managed to discover the whereabouts of the airport and then discovered that no one was in charge of lost luggage.  And no one would be for  many hours from the time we presented ourselves.  Pretty much there is nothing more desperate than a large airport in the predawn hours when you have too much adrenaline going, too little sleep and no prospect of a solution to your woes.  So finally, much, much later, we collected our belongings and took ourselves off to Fair Hill.  I think we were ok that first day, who knows?  But the following day when it was pissing rain and everything that resembled dirt became an unpleasant mire I lost the car keys to the cute little Mustang.  And then we discovered that if you live in Maryland the only neighborhood you know is the block you live on and maybe the way to work.  But under no circumstances would you ever know how to get to Elkton, MD much less Fair Hill.  I know this because I dispatched no fewer than six tow trucks to come to my aid and not one of them found the place.  And I felt that I should stay with the car on the off chance that one of those mouth breathers should actually find me and rescue the car etc.  What this meant is I missed all of the cross country sitting in the rain and Kristi knew better than to hang out with me while I was sulking and pouting.  Anticlimax you say?  The keys got found and we made good our escape in time to catch our flight home.  Amen.  Oh and we crashed the competitors party which was a dud.  And we were excused from the Patrons tent for not have the right credentials.  Great trip.

While we were chatting just now, the dawg ate the hose.  I just thought you should know.  Oh, and the hose was running because I forgot to turn it off while I was over-soaking one of the newly planted plants.  Don't quit your day job sweet cheeks.

I think I've entertained you enough for one day.  Feel free to re-read this tomorrow.  Nothing will have changed except you will be another day older and uh deeper in debt.


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Friday, May 11, 2012

Where do I begin?

Since we last chatted both the Rolex 3-day Event and the Kentucky Derby have come and gone.  April and May are big horse months in my world albeit from a safe distance.  No surprise that the British rider Wm. Fox-Pitt took home the trophy from Rolex for the second time.  Those Brits seriously know how to get the job done.  Which is not to take anything from Alison Springer, but I'll bet she's kicking herself for the long option on xc or that bloody rail in show jumping.  Kudos to the live coverage on the USET network.  Athena and I enjoyed rehashing the daily results with a little concoction I call Mothers Milk;  vodka, cranberry juice and ruby red grapefruit juice.  Don't stop at just one. :-)

My friend Kristi came home  from her three month jaunt to the east coast to event with the big whigs. .  She rode and finished at Rolex too.  Currently she is my personal hero, well one anyway, she prefers to be the only one so there you go.   Something like 27 riders did not finish out of 58 starters.  We had a celebratory lunch to um celebrate.  We had whine with lunch. Now we plan to hang out. 

Famous people I know who got to go to the Derby
The Kentucky Derby.  I can't even believe the finish.  What the h***?  Thank heavens I was able to turn the calendar from April and a big ole picture of Union Rags to last years Derby winner Animal Kingdom who, while not my pick, definitely has a cool name.  But "I'll Have Another"  and it was for a cookie?  Gimme a break.  My faves were (in order) Union Rags, Gemologist or Bodemeier and Hansen.  Big fat heavy sigh.  Only Bodemeier did what he was supposed to do in my opinion.  Wish I'd have the nerve to bet on a 40-1 longshot.  I'd be riiiiiiiiiiiiiich.  Daughter Lindsey came over to watch and enjoy a bright pink cocktail with her mamma.  She picked her choices by saddle cloth color.  As it turns out her method was as good as any.  To add insult to injury, the cocktail of the vibrant hue wasn't even that good.  So I was pretty pleased that I personally squeezed the lemons and oranges for juice and used up some valuable vodka. >:-(    Vodka Flinch?  Never mind.

I  successfully survived a week long house sitting in idyllic Carmel Valley.  There were five horses to pester.  And I managed to  stay healthy.  And I managed to attend two dinners, one party, and entertained at the casa.  All in all a most satisfying week.  Oh right I also cleaned stalls, scrubbed out automatic waterers, raked, groomed, rode, fed and all the while I played at hostess to two of Bea's cousins.  The daughter cousin ran in the Big Sur marathon on the Sunday.   Her feet hurt afterwards.  But she finished and that is major (majah).  Were that I was so inspired...alas not. But I am in awe of her.  If you're reading this Bea, pass on my accolades.

I also picked up a minor case of poison oak.  Think it came from one of the dogs.  I hate poison oak.  I have no anti itch will power and so have made a right mess of my arm.  Plus there is a rather suspicious patch of something on my face.  FYI  Technu does wonders...Just that I'm a wimp.

So we were subjected to an inspection by the property manager this morning.  I spent Saturday  in the jockey position behind the lawn mower.  And I spent all of Sunday cleaning.   I stopped short of shampooing the carpet but I did engage not one but two vacuum cleaners and even made a swipe at the windows before coming to my senses.  So that took all day and when the inspector came to inspect what did she look at?  Under the sinks.  Where did I not clean?  Under the sinks.   Something tells me I should not bet on anything this month.

I will, however, recommend Leon Russell and Elton John on the Union album to you.  You're welcome.  I went to see Joe Cocker in concert back in my desperate youth only because of Mad Dogs and Englishmen and the expectation that Leon Russell would be with him. Instead we just watched a sweaty JC spazz out on stage.  No Leon.  sigh  On a similar note I also saw Alice Cooper in concert.  Maybe I should stay away from concerts too?

So I spent a couple days with Horse Show Mom.  Yup, and drank Margarita's.  And spent the night, a wise decision BAC* wise, but not a popular choice with the spouse as I had pledged not to spend the night in pastoral Sonoma.  But best laid plans and all that.  I'll bet he wasn't in the least bit surprised I didn't come home.  So I spent the night in the office/spare/ cat room at the manse of HSM**.  I say cat room because not to be content with two Jack Russells the family has now adopted a cat of dubious character.  I think it might me Emo if it were a person, with a serious cutting problem. It is all black with orange eyes, which is a sure sign of instability.  And it plays with you while you try to sleep, oh and drinks your water out of your glass in the middle of the night - loudly.  Well loud enough to wake me up and I can sleep through B-52's flying overhead all the time.  Awesome.  HSM needs a new house with a separate guest quarters/cottage so I might slumber in solitude.  Perhaps you'd like to drop her a text and explain why that would be a good idea?  Thanks so much.

It's a pacifier.

Eldest daughter and family will be dropping in a for a brief visit next week.  I am allotted roughly 10 or 15 minutes with them as they will be busy.  I will be stalwart and mature about not having  an adequate amount of time to warp spend a great deal of quality time with the youngest grandchild.  But you would be surprised how much you can get done in a short time frame if you put your mind to it. 

So while I was in Carmel Valley the spouse called and wanted to know if I'd paid the registration on his truck as he just got around to noticing that he did not have a current registration.  So I said I have no idea at all if I paid it or not why don't you call DMV and find out?  And he said I should call DMV and find out.  So rather than get in to a big old fuss about it I call DMV and with an extraordinary amount of pressing of this and that on the phone pad finally learned that I would need the info from the old registration card such as VIN#, license # and other stuff that I did not have handy but the spouse would have handy if he went out to the truck to look.   The phone maze stuff at DMV then told me it would be some kind of huge wait to talk to the one person in the universe who could help, but if I left my name and phone number someone/something would call back within 15 minutes.  That sounded like a great idea so I left Steve's name and mobile number.  Then I  sent Steve a text with that info, told him DMV would call him within 15 minutes so he should go get last years registration card to have it handy and to answer the phone because all of this was a pain in the ass for me as he well knows.  I know you know how this ends but let's just read on, shall we?  About five days later I get a call from Steve wanting to know what this babbling text message about registration and DMV calling and whatnot was all about.  And I said, oh, too bad you don't actually read your texts from me because you're too busy getting scratched by your cat and watching YouTube videos at work to pay any attention to any info. I have for you in the form of text messages blah blah blah.  Well I'll just tell you right now that this went over like a fart in church because we were stalemated at this point.  I cooled down after a very long while and when I came home I went online to the DMV website and discovered the registration had not been paid and we now owed like $70 more on it, so I paid it online, with insufficient funds no doubt, and here we sit.  So here's what I have to offer.  I'm old, I hate details, I can barely survive getting myself around without help (something for the children to look forward to) so why in the name of all that is holy, would anyone in their right mind expect me to remember paying a registration?  Because you know that $70 late fee?  That fee could have been a pretty cute pair of shoes, but now I have to go to Target to get shoes and it's upsetting.

To that end I have just sent an email to my children with a list of stuff I must have.  I think that they should be madly scrambling around on the internet to make my wishes come true because the awful fact is I can be pouty.  If you can't get on the Lands End, Garnet Hill, Dooney &Bourke or Brooks Brothers websites it is because they are making todays dreams come true.  Sunday is Mothers Day.  You only have one so spoil her if you can.  Or me because I have beautiful manners thanks to my mother and I will say thank you.

*BAC:  blood alcohol count
**HSM:  Horse Show Mom

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bucket List

We had to put our dog, Carlos, down this past weekend.  Granted he was old and sick, but the void he left is taking some real adjusting.  We got Carlos from a breeder in Sebastopol in January, 1999.  As are all Jack Russells, he was an adorable puppy, and like all Jack Russells had an understanding of how his world should be organized.  He was named for Carlos the Jackal.  My fondest memory of him as a puppy is being tucked in the crook of Steve's arm, under loads of jacket and sweaters, driving a massive tractor around in the freezing cold.  He was meant to be my dog,  but from the start he chose Steve and there was never a closer bond of boy and dog.  He was a fearsome ground squirrel killer and managed to dispatch as many as ten a day on a good day.  He like to shared his um meals with Steve when he could.  He also deposited a squirrel in daughter Alison's car which then was parked for two weeks in the sun.  It was a rather pungent surprise for her when she came home.  Little tyke.  He was very territorial and all who were not approved were the enemy.  Most folks were not approved.  Katie, I hope you are paying attention.  He was partial to the back turned then assault.  But a few were treated to full on aggression.  If you showed fear he was on the offensive in a trice.  If you saw straight through him, all but a few did, he was the sweetest little serial killer you've ever known.  He had a mentor in Barnaby the fox hound.  Barnaby was also fearless and a great protector of hearth and home and any other place he happened to be.  He was also the great varmint hunter, in particular the hunter of the wily coyote!  He would hunt with little Carlos and when he came upon a pack of the coyote trespassers he would come at a full gallop to them and literally bowl the pack over.  Then Carlos would bark and snap till the interlopers were sent on their way.  You could see him literally dusting his paws off when the enemy was sent packing.  In the past three years he's been pretty ill and eventually lost his eyesight completely due to complications of diabetes.  But he stoically managed until suddenly the other night it all became too much for him and he let us know the time had come.  Rest in Peace Carlos.  10/25/1998 - 4/14/2012.  You were a fine little dog.

It has been a pretty rough few days in my life with Carlos and Amy Tryon both passing suddenly.  I have been left with a pretty big empty spot in my heart/soul whatever that threatens to become tears in unsuspected moments.  But naturally it seems prudent to make a bucket list cause stuff happens and you/I should have filled as many moments as you/I have left with stuff to do.

  • Go to the Kentucky Derby.  And if possible the Preakness and Belmont as well.
  • Visit Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island.
  • Go to Badminton and Burghley and Gatcombe again.
  • Go to Rolex again
  • Visit the south of France
  • Touch a snake, (for Gods sake why?)
  • Have another horse to compete
  • Go to Bermuda, Aruba and Puerto Rico.  And if possible to do that from a good sized sail boat with a load of friends.
  • Insist that my funeral arrangements be a nice long boat trip out on the ocean and a burial at sea.  That is a real and honest wish.  You may have KD Lang along to sing "Hallelujah".  I'm sure she's not busy.  I would also like it very much if everyone who goes out for the final voyage misbehaves and shows unimaginable immaturity.  Thanks in advance
  • Wear a size 6 again.
  • Most of all I want to keep all my family near.  And all my friends, both of you, in my life.  And btw I have some openings for new friends as well.  
That should be a good start.  Carpe Diem


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A virtual mish mash

So this is the creepiest tattoo I've ever, I mean EVER seen.  Not that I make it a habit to study tattoos, but, well, anyway I couldn't keep it to myself.  Good thing I have y'all to share with.

Specifically this issue is for #3 son-in-law who whined that-
1.) the blog is too not possible slacker
2.) There aren't any pictures.  Um this is a picture
And thanks for the asparagus Farmer Boy, it was derishes with Parmesan and oil roasted in the oven.  yum
Sorry there aren't any pictures of that, food pix bug me as I have stated on Face Book.  Not that anyone paid any attention.

Hi There!  How was your Easter? The bald guy at the grocery store had his head painted like an Easter egg.  It seems he's had it done for the past eight years running.  What happened at your market?

We have a week more of rain to look forward to starting tomorrow, joy.  We're heading off to  Fresno (again) on Thursday night and so far the forecast is for rain on Friday and sunny rain on Saturday.  I say sunny rain because that's what it looks like on the weather app on my phone.  Who is the person who designs the whatever they're called pictures for apps anyway?  I have a hard time believing, "Hey!  That's a GREAT picture!  Let's use it for sunny rain.  You go nerd!"

I read other peoples blogs over the weekend.  You know who you are, that interview with Ollie Townends brain monkey slayed me.  You may find it on Eventing Nation. 

That picture creeps me out.  Strangely, the eyebrows look those of one of my cousins and he's not even a serial killer that we know of.
look up

Happy Birthday Sue!  I left you a message on FB.  So, Sue, your horse is a rock star!  yeah you!  and Linda?  what can I say?  I am honored your horse friended me on FB!  You non horsie types?  yes, we really talk like this.  sorry.  If it makes you feel any better my #$%^&* dawgs have Face Book  or rather dog book pages.  Yeah, well?  Here's a picture of the dawgs.  They look guilty because they are guilty.  This picture is titled "Dawgs and a dead flower"  Pretty snazzy eh?   It could also be entitled "You've stolen my soul"  except their souls are black and mostly rotted, really not worth stealing.  :-)

I figured out Pinterest yesterday.  And because it's annoying I've started following other peoples Pinterest pages.  Basically what Pinterest is is a virtual pin board (bored)  where you "pin" stuff you find whilst screwing around on the Internet or whilst stalking other peoples Pinterest boards.  Once you have happened upon an image of something you like or are intrigued by,  then you can "pin" or "repin" the images on your own board (bored).  If you're as clever as I, you can have many boards.  Mine are labeled Horse Stuff, House Stuff, Family Stuff, Weird Stuff, Clothes Stuff, Hair Stuff and it's mostly all either lovely or strange...or both.  Mostly both.  Lots of really cool people are following me.  Are you?  What does that mean?

Chicken and Dumplings for dinner.  Really?  Delicious.  Comforting.  Homie. lol  Dying to say that all day.

"Words With Friends" has taken over my life.  I have about eight or nine games going  right now.  I'm not clever.  I just throw letters at the board with the fervent hope that they will make a word that is acceptable and also hope to hit bonus squares.  It is the secret to my success.  I get beat all the time.  BTW Satan and bitched were not accepted.  WTF but neither was wrad which would have scored a lot of points but there you go.

So, in an effort to be frugal and other stupid stuff, I went to a stylist for a haircut based solely on the recommendation of some woman who was in front of me in line at the market.  Her hair looked awesome.  So I said, "Um excuse me, your hair looks terrific.  Do you mind telling me who cuts it?"  and she smiled a little condescendingly and said, "I geet eet cut by Errrrrasmosssss."  and I said, "what?"  and she rolled her eyes and said "Errrrrasmosss,  I ave been having eet cut by heem forrrr pipteen yearrrrs.  I don' eben tell heeem what to do any more."  and another smile.  Somewhat intimidated by now, I may too have rolled my eyes and said, "is he/she/it local?"  and she said "hee iz the best stylist in the world"  or something like that.  So I wound up the conversation by axing if she had his number and she did and she gave it to me and I called and made an appointment.  Let me just cut (ha ha gittit?) to the chase.  I went, we discussed Mexico, the fact that the lady in the store was from Puerto Rico, and that he'd never even sat on a horse.  What ever.  So the whole time he wasss cutting away and I was, as usual,  scrupulously not paying attention to the snipping of hairs and finally I was cut, blown dry and out the door and my hair looked if not great, then certainly good enough.  That is till I tried my own personal magic wherein I washed and styled it myself and discovered to my horror that what I really had was a combination mullet and Moe from the 3-stooges style.  I am not happy.  Now what this really means is that I have to call Tiffany, who has "done" my hair for over five years and whom I should never, ever, ever forsake.  And I shall have to grovel until she agrees to fix this mess and take poetic license of her own bend to repair the damage.  She will spend a good deal of time not telling me what an unfaithful b**** I am but making that point unnervingly plain.  Let this be a lesson to all y'all.  Don't piss your hair stylist off.  Don't tread in unfamiliar waters.  Be true.  I'm the one in the hat till she agrees to see me and she may make me wait a while just to make her point crystal clear.  I'm sad.

Another chapter down the tubes.  Do as I say not as I do.  That will always be the best course.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Waiting for Nothing

I'm in a funk.  My cute little car decided to do a bunk and in order to reestablish itself to its usual good natured reliability, it required new tires plus an additional $3000.00 worth of work.  If I house sit for the rest of my life I might be able to repay the loan established to get those repairs done.  On the upside, the car handles so much better now that the shuddering and shaking is gone.  Sort of like going through a 12 step program or methadone therapy or something.  sigh

I swear its true.  The youngest daughter requested my valuable child rearing skills again last Saturday so she and her beloved could go fraternize with friends and drink too much and whatnot.  This time no one melted down until well in to the third hour of my vigilance.  And then only for a little while, though I must say being told to "Leave me alone" from a four year old kinda sucks.  Sadly, the mother did not think it a good idea to prepare a nourishing and healthy meal before she hightailed is outta there. No, she left that little detail to yours truly.  I must be still a little on the defensive from when I used to feed my own brood when they were young and having them tell me that everything was disgusting and so and so won't eat anything green and another so and so won't eat brown stuff the other so and so would only eat processed food.  I used to have frequent nervous break downs and go to my room for a self imposed "time outs".  Anyway, so I was faced with the daunting task of feeding the grand offspring.  The mother suggested hot dawgs.  All I can say is at least they weren't some tofu inspired soy substitute uselessness.  If you are of the leaning to enjoy such stuff, well bully, but hot dawgs are meant to be suspect in their content and that's that.  So anyway I also decided the little darlings should have something green so I nuked broccoli (little trees btw), stuffed sticks through the dawgs for Mila and Silas, squished ketchup on their plates and did not stuff sticks into Jacks, but prepared for him a multi-grain sprouted something or other bun with only mustard, bon apetit" or what ever.  And they ate!  Even the green stuff.  good deal.

I also got to supervise the darlings yesterday!  Do I look like a nanny?  Or even a good person?  Someone should contact the authorities.  In any case I treated the darlings to frozen yogurt with three toppings and then took them off to a park so they could run off the sugar ingested from gummie bears, marshmallows and mini M&M's.  Swell.  So they ran around and gamboled and I studiously ignored any grievous misbehaviour and tried not to think of all the germs that had to be breeding rampantly on the swings and stuff and just closed my eyes to the backed up water fountain that ALL the children were using.  Parks are gross.  The mother arrived, the girl child had a freak out and I left.

I had the opportunity to go to WalMart after my park stint.  You should be particular which WalMart you frequent.  No really.  You should.  Barring that perhaps just not going to WalMart is OK too.  None the less, off to WalMart I went with the sole purpose of buying syringes for the @#%^& dawg who requires twice daily insulin injections.  And some fascinating people watching.   Have you received copies of the WalMart shoppers email?  Tasteful shots of some folks who have no access to a mirror.  It makes its way around annually.  But back to my personal experience, yesterdays winner was the plus sized woman in a HUGE leopard print Sari or something all in black and yellow and gold with a matching (not) head scarf in an understated fluorescent pink shade.  Eyes watering, I made my way to the nearest exit.  You can't leave WalMart in a hurry because then the store police assume you have "borrowed" stuff.  The exit walk has to be fairly precise.  I was safe because I only had one item and I had a receipt for it.  Thank God.  You know I've seen three shoplifting take downs at my neighborhood market in the last year.  I've lived in some pretty shady areas in my life and Vacaville is certainly not the worst of the worst, but three take downs at a relatively upscale market?  Either they have no sense of humor with theft or Safeway just builds  thievery into its working budget.  What say you?  Maybe I just need a life.

None of my valuable work opportunities panned out last weekend.  I had (count them) three gigs to choose from and not even one came to fruition.  See paragraph one.

I've resumed my gym attendance.  In fact I was supposed to go to a yogalates class this morning, but I forgot.  They have new recumbent bikes.  So usually I sit on one of them and pedal furiously for a time and listen to a book and play Mah Jong or Words w/Frenemies.  That way time goes faster and I can ignore the weird little ancient man in the black Adidas who always shuffles in after me and always sits on a bike next to me and pretends to read the paper.  creepy.  The other day I decided to incorporate some weights and other machine torture to my routine and the creepy guy followed me in there as well. ew.  Someone take pity on my and treat me to a nice full body liposuction so I can be safe.  Really.

OK, so I've read the Hunger Games and the sequels.  Go ahead and read them.  But basically the message is Government is bad and corrupt.  Revolution happens.  There are losers, they are punished.  And there are winners.  They might be bad.  Brand new shiny Government is  formed.  Government is bad and corrupt.  Good is bad.  Bad is good.  Rinse, repeat.  You're welcome.

What else am I reading?  Rick Riordan and the Tres Navarre series.  Irreverent private investigator in San Antonio.  Yup Pulitzer material, and entertaining.  Evidently he also writes some fantasy, sci fi stuff, but I don't hang with that genre usually,  so I have no review to share.   I just finished the Dismas Hardy series, by John Lescroat (lawyer in San Francisco, irreverent and a winner.)  If you really want weird, and who doesn't? I recommend the Donovan Creed series and please, start with the first one and read in order or you'll miss a big, important part.  They are written by John Locke.  He also writes a series with Emmett Love.  Also entertaining.  If you like weird and just outlandish.  Katie, you would be a fan because everyone is just a hot mess and I know you like that.  Think Gramma Mazur as the normal one.  You get my drift.

Tomorrow is current #1 son-in-laws birthday.  He's #1 cause he'll be forty.  Lordy lordy.  I should mail him a card with a pithy, witty message.  Perhaps I'll just send him the other #1 son-in-laws card from January that I never sent.  The sentiment is the same for all of them.  Except #3 son-in-law.  The #3 son-in-law is OK with me having my drivers license taken away down the road and being required to ride the seniors community bus to get around.  It will be a very long time till he digs his way out of that nonsense.  Planning my revenge as we speak.

I have to confess that the trip that was planned for a great family outing to Disneyland, the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad/Loving, New Mexico fizzled and died.  I'm not really that chuffed about it, but the newest grandson has not had the benefit of my "special" attention.  And his hair is a mess.

But really, ain't he just the cutest lil thang? 

I'll leave you with that.  Au Revoir mon amis.



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

While I was on hold this happened...

My mantra for the day is be strong and think positively.  As I was pushing the yard waste bin through the over-growness that is our back yard this afternoon, the aforementioned bin tipped and sent me flying in to the swamp that is the decorative frog spawning pond mentioned some time ago whilst the grandchildren were visiting and shaking us down for money.  I was strong enough to save the iPhone from a drowning and I'm positive I won't be doing any more gardening during the last few pathetic years I have left.  So there you have it.  Happy days.  I might mention that the pond is full of nasty little frog stuff and a great deal of lawn debris courtesy of an abhorrence to gardening on my part and complete and total indifference on the part of the spouse.  I am also positive that I will have a word with the spouse. 

What else  has happened?  The youngest daughter asked me to baby sit her three offspring.   Being a wise mother she did not tell the little darlings who was coming up to visit and in no way warned them that she and her beloved were scampering off for a night of debauchery on St. Paddy's day.  Once the parents made good their escape, little Mila, who only the other day thought I was the very best g'mother in the world (and she would have been correct) while I was squiring her around the zoo, now determined I was the epitome of all that is evil and wrapped herself up in the canopy over her little bed and refused to acknowledge my existence, nay screamed bloody murder at the sight of my visage.  I wisely took refuge in the living room, winced at the sound of the door slamming behind me and the boys and I entertained ourselves with a couple movies, Rio and How to Train Your Dragon if you must know.  I made one more attempt at winning her over that resulted in her squiggling out of my loving embrace and propelling her little unpleasant self back to the sanctity of her dungeon  room, slamming the door once again.  I can take a hint.  I am not a good sitter, but the children amuse me nonetheless.  The girl child finally exhausted herself and fell to sleep.  Of course the two boys were still up and watching the TV when the parental units made their return.  But we all sat around and watched some more TV and finally we all went to bed.  The next morning was a little rough because the boy children had not had their usual allotment of hours in the sack  there were many highs and lows of moods.  The girl child had had way more than usual number of hours of sleep and was gratingly in good humor, though a little hungry.  I made my escape a little after noon when the prospect of ice skating with the little family seemed a disconcerting certainty

I may have neglected to mention that it snowed in Cool too on Saturday.  The children and their mother made a snow man.  Because it snows once in a blue moon in Cool, the children have all the requisite snow garments.  Snow garments have not changed much since I was a child with the possible exception that we no longer have to grow the plant and weave the material to make snow garments.  What I mean is, it took a lifetime to put all the stuff on, find the gloves, put the boots on the correct feet and what not.  Then the little darlings went scampering out to the white coldness and fussed around for awhile only to come back in just nanoseconds later so all the stuff could come off, get hung to dry,a few minutes would pass and the whole process began over again just minutes later.  This just made me tired. 

I am not too old to remember the "getting dressed to go out and play in the snow procedure" happening to my brother and I when we lived in Nebraska (yes Nebraska, I'll tell you all about it later)  and mummy would dress us all up in our wintry outfits and we'd go out for about 3.5 minutes and want to come back in.  My mother was wise to us though and I believe we had to stay out for a certain length of time, probably 20-30 minutes though in Nebraska it probably felt like days and it was dang cold.  Except for the time when I drove my brothers sled in to the concrete ditch and the bottom of the hill and crashed mightily and fractured some ribs and had a concussion.  My aim for the plywood bridge was off slightly.  I was allowed back in the house right away.  And this was before any nosy gomment agency butted in  with child protective services!  The parents became somewhat concerned when all I wanted to do was sleep.  So off to the emergency room it was.  As you can tell, there has been no lasting damage.  lol

I was engaged to watch a horse settle in who had just been imported from Ireland a week ago.  And I spent a good long weekend doing that very thing.  I watched it roll, scamper, buck and frolic.  When I wasn't watching, it jumped out of its paddock and made good its escape.  Awesome.  Happily it wasn't that interested in being free for very long and was soon captured.  I don't know why it didn't continue to jump out, but I am relieved to state that the owners came home way before that could happen again on my watch.  It is a simply charming horse with buckets of personality and I took loads of videos of it that didn't actually get recorded, but I sent them on to the new owners anyway.  No Oscars coming my way for shots of the dirt and the inside of my pocket.  The owners are far too well bred (lol) to comment on my failure to get movies to them.  But they have the same phone and probably know what a challenge all this modern technology is to us.  I'll have another opportunity to watch it beginning next week.  Perhaps I'll obtain a naughty horse cam to help with the watching duties.  jk

I've been told that these attempts at literature have a tendency to be too lengthy.  So to y'all I'll say adieu for now.  Maybe something interesting will happen or I'll remember some snippet that might amuse you, I am not optimistic.



ps:  so slowly I turned...not really.  But the phone slowly made a death spiral and I was forced to replace it.  Note to self.  Buy the bloody insurance.  Dammitall.  I then made my way to daughter Lindseys and assuaged my grief in a nice bottle of Pinot.  Lemonade dears lemonade...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

tv post

The spouse watches reality TV shows that originate almost exclusively from Georgia.  This is very disturbing.  Take Auction Kings, please.  It centers around a family of auctioneers in, where else? Georgia.  That would be enough for most people, but I digress.  In the last episode he watched, a shrunken head was on the block.  I mean really.   Really?  Really.  Not good.

Last night he/we watched Toddlers and Tiaras.  Now this is show about mothers who wasted their youth and must now live vicariously through their offspring.  They subject the spawns of their loins to baby beauty pageants.  So very wrong on every level.  So these mothers (and fathers and grandmothers) spend thousands of dollars on little hooker dresses and doll their kids up in false eyelashes, pounds of makeup, spray tans and false finger nails.  If the child has the gall to say lose a tooth, or not have a perfect array of ivory, then false teeth are inserted, they call the false teeth a flipper.  I call it revolting.  The hair styling is probably the most disturbing.  If you would take a look at your pictorial of Marie Antoinette before the beheading, you will get a pretty good idea what the hair looks like.  Simply a.m.a.z.i.n.g.  Not enough to just to have toddlers parade around in their little hooker dresses, some pageants have...bathing suit competitions carefully disguised as "costume of choice".  Ok,  I just got a little sick in my mouth.  But by far the most disturbing of all is what these "mothers" will feed their offspring to get, hmmm oh right their energy up.  One child proudly announced she'd just downed five Pixie Sticks in about two minutes.  A Pixie Stick is essentially fruit flavored sugar in a straw.  Another parent was a little sneakier when she forced her two year old to drink cokes for the buzz.  Where's a cop?  Now I realize that I am being judgemental and narrow focused, but really?  Baby Beauty Pageants?  Excuse me while I go shower.

More?  Of course.  There are the reality cooking shows, not from Georgia necessarily but I know one took place in Texas, close enough.  Anyway, bad manners, foul tempers, lots of tattoos (de rigour iffn you cook evidently) horrible hair and above all terrible shoes.  There are shows where you have to make something edible using all the ingredients in a mystery basket.  Why only just the other night there was the leftover basket.  Pot roast was one of the leftovers.  Dangerously close to being dry and over cooked on a good day, this chunk o meat had long passed its die by date and was a drab brownish gray and begged to be fed to the dog you don't like.  One of the wannabes made Tempura out of slabs of this.  Great idea to fry already overcooked meat. Not.   The judges were not pleased, but it was a good enough, or not as terrible as someone else's, offering to move on to the next level.  Tragic.

Dance Moms is on tap for the recording queue too.  Fat, big mouth dance instructor who badgers tiny ballerinas and puts them in suggestive and inappropriate costumes all the while haranguing the mothers who pay valuable money for the privilege.  Riveting.

One of the spouses most favorites is Dual Survival.  So you take one ex Army ranger type and pair him with a "live off the land pseudo hippy type freak", and drop them both in some inhospitable locale, give them a toothpick or something as their only tool and expect them to survive together in the wilderness.  Hint:  they always get out of it, but sometimes they have to eat worms or something.

Not enough for you?  How about Sons of guns?  Swamp Loggers?  Ice Road Truckers?  Women Behind Bars?  Right now I want all of you to feel sorry for me and buy me that IPad I so dearly must have.  Only one of you responded to my last entreaty and Malcolm?  that your wife would not like it is scarcely an excuse.  Step up man.

I'm going to go make some chocolate chip cookies now and drown my sorrows in butter and sugar.  Tonight we have the Top Chef reunion and I must be ready

One more thing

Dateline One Week Ago:

I was driving to Sonoma yesterday to be the trabajando du jour for HSM when I spotted a telephone pole just lying on the side of the road at a "it just fell there angle".   And I just thought to myself that nothing good could have come from the circumstance of a telephone pole just laying there because it probably had to have fallen off something and since it was still there, either whoever was driving the something didn't notice the pole had come loose and dropped to the ground on a busy road, or didn't care.  In any case eventually someone had to come along behind this situation and therein lies the problem.  So there it was  when I drove in in the morning and still there when I drove by on my way home.   There's a story in there somewhere.  Just like the car with the gigantic, pumpkin sized hole in the windshield.  It had all the requisite spidering that comes with splintered auto glassn and was parked or stopped suddenly on the side of the road on the way to the Two Rock Event Center in  Petaluma.  One time I drove by and there were many cops examining the car, like WTF, and I had to put  my phone down until I passed., but the car stayed there, as a matter of fact it was still there when I made my escape from Petaluma on Monday last.

I lived through the house sitting of two weeks unscathed.  I was neither bitten nor kicked.  Nothing died or ran away which is considered something of a victory to me.  That's not technically true.  A mouse met its end in a trap which completely grossed me out.  I had a day or two of angst debating whether or not to ignore it and its deadness or man up and remove it from the trap and dispose of it.  In the end, I picked it up trap and all with the manure fork and threw it in the dumpster avec trap.  Another day whilst dutifully examining drinking water levels in the containers, I noticed the shadowy outline of something dead on the bottom of one.  That grossed me out too.  I had to dump the water barrel and fork the dead thing  up and toss it in the field.  I couldn't make it to the dumpster because I was gagging.  Oh, it was a rat.  I amaze myself.  And you should be amazed as well.

Dateline A Week Later:

I have survived a weekend of grooming at an event.  It has been a very long time since anyone trusted me with their horses while they are there to see me do my uh magic.  I even braided!  And remembered why, back in the day, I considered it a very good investment to have someone braid for you.  Nonetheless, the mane stayed tied up in knots in spite of the slippery thread used to bind the hairs together.  Good equipment is vital to a professional outcome.   The horses did look pretty good as they went off to do their various jobs of the moment.  There was that rather unnecessary episode of one of the horses taking exception to yours truly and punishing me by tearing the lunge line out of my delicate paws and ripping around with the line flying behind her... twice.  My beloveds comment was less than sympathetic.  He marveled that I wasn't fined or scolded by the judiciary committee of the horse show and subsequently had some sort of sanction foisted on me.  I believe we call this wishful thinking.

I saw my little friends Sue and Linda.  They may be the two people who read this blog and as such have a rather high ranking in my appreciation book.  At any rate we do seem to have a lot in common such as impatience, intolerance and a jaded view of life in general.  I admire that in a person.  Sue is flogging jewelled spur straps, vintage stock pins and new this year, lapel pins in a little cottage industry venture.  Because I am a really fantastic friend and find stuff out, I discovered one of my other friends was in need of a stock pin and brokered a deal to exchange goods for valuable money and therefore have ingratiated myself in to the lofty aura of the babes from So. Cal.  Even to me that made no sense.  But you may take my word for it that she has really groovy stuff and had I a magnificent steed to ride I would be giving her all my money so I could have all her shiny stuff.  I like shiny as you well know.

My little friend Horse Show Mom was my companion at the show.  We got to share a room in the hotel together along with three children, one of whom is the offspring of HSM.  I will tell you right now that I do not find it adorable that she whined piteously about the delicate and infrequent snores I make in my sleep, while she babbles on incessantly in her sleep.  How cute was it that both Mom and daughter won their respective divisions?  The daughter had a mention of her win in the Jr. Training division in a popular Eventing website marveling at her age and all that.  The mother was not mentioned which is somewhat ironic, but you might of had to have been there.  FYI  Novice Horse is not Advanced.  Inside joke, but some of you might get it.

Not that you'll be surprised, but I did make a rather spectacular gaffe in the middle of a lot of people I didn't know.  So I saw this enormous horse trailer with human living quarters as well as horse quarters and lots of awnings and solar panels and pop out rooms and what not parked near where I knew one of my friends was parked.  Thinking she must have just purchased this rolling brothel looking contraptions, I came around the corner and queried, querulously, who owned the rolling house of ill repute.  Well,  it became almost instantly apparent that it did not belong to my friend at all.  No, it belonged to someone I did  not know, nay, never had laid eyes on in my life.  And she immediately demanded to know if I had just called her a prostitute.  I recovered rather more quickly that you'd imagine and replied that if she owned the rolling brothel then that would make her a madam.  She was mollified by that assessment, agreed the trailer could be used for that profession on the side and offered me a drink, which I took, out of politeness only of course, and we got along just fine from there.  Always remember to make lemonade out of your lemons.  And leave after your one polite drink...

I enjoyed a day at the zoo with the grandchillens yesterday.  We also had a picnic and played on the slide and spiderweb, (don't ask - I never saw the point of it, but the little tykes evidently knew what to do so all needs were served.)  We pulled a wagon with our stuff in it, but not with the children in it as was my intention, but they walk now so there you go.  Little Silas wore bright orange Crocs which I know used to belonged to his brother.  That was a long time ago.  They were not cute then, nor are they cute now, but it would seem they have the shelf life of a Twinkie and they do not look any different today than they did years ago.  While a good investment dollar wise, really, they are super awful to look at and the stupid little charms you can spend valuable money on just make them look like really ugly decorated pixie shoes.  Well that was emotional wasn't it?  Back to our adventure at the zoo.  My favorite creature of the day had to be the baby orangutan who was scampering about with a sheet over its body.  It looked like a little ghost and here it was not even close to Halloween.  Seemingly it was important that it be covered as we returned for another viewing after a bit and it had a large piece of heavy paper over its head.  I have a picture, but the IPhone won't share.

I have quite a few house sitting gigs set up which means that I won't have any horse show news for y'all.  What it does mean is I will be earning valuable money which makes the spouse happy and cranky at the same time.  He's very complicated and complex.  And not very tidy.  He has a new cat at work, well not new or probably even young, but new to him.  He likes having his own pet and the cat amuses him.  It (the cat) prefers to sleep on the desk between my beloved and his computer keyboard and tolerates the typing on the keyboard bit of computing but takes some exception to the use of the mouse.  I think the reason for that is obvious, but the spouse doesn't get it.  Do you?  My beloved is somewhat useless in the administration of medication for the creature and it has worms.  I bought a de-wormer for it because worms are disgusting and provided the spouse with the cat piller device, but because he's a man he can't seem to work out how to use it.  We had the same problem with the Starbucks Via coffee this morning.  It's instant dear.  Pour hot water over it.  Voila!  Running out of coffee for the machine is a really bad thing.  And having to demonstrate the making of instant coffee is embarrassing.  Pilling the cat really only has two options of places to insert the cat piller.  The mouth is the right one.  FML  The cat is Siamese and talks a lot.  Naturally the only civilized name for a Siamese cat is Meow C Dung but sadly it has another name, it is pathetic and I won't bother you with it.  Suffice it to say some of the guys at the Fairgrounds named it and it is not descriptive or good.

I take myself off to the land of the privileged tomorrow to put a beady eye on a new horse who arrived from the Land of the Shamrocks the other day.  Seemingly the proud new owners have pressing obligations elsewhere and need someone to blame watch over the new addition that it doesn't take the opportunity to jump out of its enclosures.  It's a jumping horse folks, what do you think it will do if it finds it needs to go somewhere else?  At any rate I seem to have fooled them in to thinking I am knowledgeable or at least alive and can handle the many opportunities for inopportune events.  Naturally I will keep you apprised of the happenings.  Hopefully the most exciting thing to happen will be dinner with friends.  Or drinks.

Remember to "spring forward" on Sunday.  I can't figure if you get more or less sleep, my mind doesn't work.  (that way)  But I assure you it will still be light when you finish your chores at night and that is a good thing.