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