Thursday, November 24, 2011

Which is Worse...

Which is worse...

Not realizing that the toilet seat was left up...

Or not realizing that the toilet lid was left down...

Equally shocking? Especially on a particularily cold evening such as this...I think so.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Words to the Wise: My Mother

This post is a message to my Mom. Why speak to her through my blog? Because I was pretty sure she'd kill me if I took an ad out in the local paper. Can you even do that these days? I don't know. What I do know is that my Mom needs to hear what I have to say and I want to make sure she hears it loud and clear. So, Mom, listen up!

Mom, you are a truly exceptional business woman. You are to be admired for demonstrating those qualities that define a consummate professional.

More than anything, and most importantly you are:

1a : free from fraud or deception : legitimate, truthful b : genuine, real c : humble, plain
2a : reputable, respectable b chiefly British : good, worthy
3: creditable, praiseworthy
4a : marked by integrity b : marked by free, forthright, and sincere expression : frank c : innocent, simple

You're integrity is beyond reproach. I have never known you to cheat a client, not for a dollar, not for a minute.

You give everything you have and take less than you are due.

You have never not paid that which was owed.

You genuinely care about your clients. You don't stop at just making sure your clients are happy and satisfied, you try to out due their highest expectations.

You offer your clients more than just professional services, you offer support and compassion. You are quick to lend a sympathetic ear, a helping hand, and the warmth of your heart.

You aim for perfection and when you fall short, as humans do, you make it up by a mile. Mom, you go above and beyond.

You are reliable. Your clients can count on you to show up and deliver on what you promised. You loose sleep at night over a mistake, own up to your errors and do whatever is needed to make it right.

Mom you are not only skilled at your profession but truly talented. You create beauty. You do a great job.

You have a tremendous amount of try. You work hard. You work long hours. You don't quit.

The quality of your work is always evident in the finished product. You do beautiful work

You give credit where credit is due and show respect for your contractors, and coworkers.

What more can you ask for in a professional? Your work, services and products are exemplary. You are honest in your services and in billing. You fix your mistakes. You are a pleasure to work with. You are reliable and trustworthy.

I love you. I am proud of you. I admire you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Sound of My Youth

I have been so busy this past week I havent had time to blog or even ride! Rain or shine, tomorrow I am getting on my pony, Mae! Yes! The name has stuck! I still have to think about it every time I say it and occasionally I slip up and call her P____ but I always correct I guess you could say it has stuck... Umm... well... besides.... Okay, okay, I might have had a little trouble with the last part of the name... Mae Mobely was a mouthful! I didnt really change it, change it... I more just let it come naturally... Oh for Pete's sake! I cant lie... I changed it! I had to give up on Mae Mobely. Mobely just wont roll off my tounge! So I tried Mae-Boley (bow-lee) and I loved that but what came out, every time, was Mae Belle. Mae Belle. Mae Belle. And the damn thing stuck. So be it.

What does all of this have to do with "Songs of my Youth"? Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. But yesterday I spent the day working at a job site where I shared a space with a middle aged carpenter with a serious love of old rock. I would kill to get my hands on his songlist! Oh man! It was just classic after classic. We listened to a Tom Petty, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, Bob Seger and more Bob Seger. It was awesome!

When Queen's "Under Pressure" came on I commented to my Mom that never in our ten year relationship has the generational gap (18 years) between DB and I been apparent than when he first played me that classic ol' Queen (and David Bowie) song and all I could hear was Ice Ice Baby.

However yesterday, when those first trademark riffs of Under Pressure began, and I found myself humming "Um boom ba bay, Um boom ba bay, Ba ba boom ba be be... Pressure! Pushing down on me, pushing down on you..." ... I knew that some part of my youth had died, I had officially lost touch with that young girl I once was, the one who, on hearing a beat like that, would cock her head to the side, purse her lips, point her finger gun in the sky and let loose some gangsta' swaggar Vanilla Ice style "Yo VIP! Let's kick it!"

Queen and David Bowie

Vanilla Ice- Ice Ice Baby

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Meet My Horse, ____?!

(note: My Rome Part 2 post was buried benieth all of the Instagram pictures I posted. So here is a link to that if you were looking for it:)

This is Mae Mobley. Why does she look familiar? Because her name used to be Princess. Did you just roll your eyes? I saw you roll your eyes! I know what you're thinking... and you'd be right, I am crazy. And this name thing is ridiculous! But I can explain.... you see...

I did a whole post about how my favorite movie of all time (Out of Africa) inspired me to accept that her name was Princess, remember? I wrote some psycho babble about how, like Karen, I had learned that there is power in accepting that some are beyond our control. I accepted her name... but thought I could call her Cessa, or Pea or some variant of Princess. But plain ol' Princess stuck hard and fast. I couldnt call her anything but.

For a while it didn't seem to matter as we mainly stuck around home. But then we started hauling out in to that big bad world and I realized that I'd be forced to introduce my mare, like, to other people *gasp* Last week L. and I hauled out to an indoor arena. Inevitably I had to introduce my mare to the other riders. On Saturday, my mare and I did a clinic. Naturally the clinic began with everyone introducing themselves and their horses to the instructor. I was forced to say, "My name is Chelsi and this is my mare Princess." That made for an interesting first impression. The week before we had a new boarder come to our barn and I was forced to let him in on my dirty little secret too. Finally I decided that I have enough social anxiety as it is... I'd had enough. When L., (the lady who boards my pony, who is also a friend) set out for a ride Monday morning I told her that Saturday's clinic had been the last straw... The name Princess had to go.

She just roller her eyes and said, "Sure. Sure."

I didn't blame her. She'd heard this enough times before. Everyone had.

"No, I'm serious." I said, "Saturday was the last time I am going to introduce my horse as Princess. I refuse to do it one more *#&$ing time."

L. thought about it for a minute and then laid down the rules. I need rules. I like rules. Rules make me feel all safe and secure. Not really. Usually rules do nothing but inspire my rebellious tendencies... but this time I knew they were needed.

The rules were:

1. This was my last kick at the can. This time when I picked a name, that was it. Final answer. There would be no going back. L. would continue calling her that name whether I like it or not.

2. I had to decide on this name by the end of the ride. She said that I've known the horse for a year and I've tried on every name under the sun. If I couldn't come up a name in one hour I wasnt going to, ever.

I looked at the long stretch of trail before me. I thought about it for a minute. Then I accepted her terms. I barely spoke a word for the rest of the ride. I had a lot of thinkin' to do.

The first thing I decided was that the name had to start with a Ma sound as I most commonly call her Mare (I call most mares "Mare".) If I picked a "Ma" sounding word I would already be ahead of the game. Macy, Marcy, Marci, Matilda, Madaline, Madison, Maggie, Makie, Mamme... I went through the letters of the alphabet and stuck them all behind Ma. I kept coming back to May. I liked May. May is the middle name of my dear friend Barb. I couldnt go wrong. The only problem was that I dont like one syllable names. I have to have a name that I can coo. A name that sings. So then I stuck letters on the end of May... Maylee, Maycee, Mayla, Mayra, Mayfa, Mayda. May-bee. May-bee... I just immediately loved Maybee. The sound felt right for my horse. But Maybe is no kind of name.

By this time I was running out of trail. I had just a few minutes left. I tried everything I could and nothing was sticking besides May-be. I was starting to panic. I though I could always just go back to Lilly (one of the previous winners). Lilly's a good solid name. May. May-bee...

I had run out of time. We'd hit the end of the trail. L. looked at me. I gave her a sheepish grin and looked away. We started down the road to home. I thought, "Oh! She's going to give me more time! Thank God!" But no. A minute later L. asks,"Well?"

"Okay!" I said.

"Yeeesssss?!?" She says with a big smile.

"I have half of a name." I paused. Twisted my lips. Thought hard. May-be.... May-be. May-boley (bow-lee). Maybolee! "One sec!" I said to L. and pulled out my iphone. I looked up "The Help", clicked open wikipedia and read the plot summery. There it was! Mae Mobley Leeflot! Aibileen's last white baby.

Now, I LOOOOOOVED the book "The Help". I also liked the movie. But the book was really something special. A beautifully written story set in the early 1960s in Jackson Mississipi, The Help is narrated by three different women- Aibileen and Mini, two black woman who spent their adult lives working as maids raising white people's babies and Skeeter, a young white woman who asks Aibileen and Mini to let her write their stories. In that book there is a little girl named Mae Mobley who is cared for by Aibileen. Mae Mobley is not a pretty child and unfortunately her Momma, a pretty society woman, knows it. That mother just couldnt seem to love her child. Aibileen, Mae Mobely's caregiver is the only person in the world who knows what is going to happen if that baby doesnt learn that she has something to offer the world. So every morning Aibileen sits Mae Mobely on her lap and together they say, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." I love those words.

"Mae Mobley" I said aloud.

"What?!?" Laurie looks at me like I'm smokin' something.

"Mae Mobley" The name didnt quite sound right. I thought of it as May-bow-lee not May Mobley but I just LOVED idea of naming her after that cute little girl. It just FIT. It fit because I had struggled to love this mare. I hate to admit it, but I really struggled to get over the way she looked. I didnt find her pretty. Worse, I thought she was a little ugly. I also didnt appreciate all she had to offer. This Saturday we did a clinic with a lady who is a reining and cowhorse trainer (as well as natural horsemanship.) I am going to write more about this clinic later but for now will just say that I found out that Mae has a HELL OF A LOT more atheltism than I thought and she can even use that big old butt too (I didnt think she knew it was back there!) The mare I thought would neeeever make a reiner, might become a competitive amateur reiner with a really nice stop and snappy rollbacks to boot! I underestimated her. I underestimated her because I didnt value her, right from the start. Mae Mobley is a weird name. But it fits. So that afternoon I told L. that Princess' new name was, "Mae. Mae Mobley." And if someone thinks it is a stupid name then so be it. At least it would be a stupid name that I gave her... a name that I cant hear without thinking, "You is kind. You is Smart. You is important." Mae needs to hear those words. And some days, so do I.