Thursday, March 31, 2011

Besties


Marm and Princess- Besties Forever*


*excluding meal times





Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Photo from the SET of TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN!!


BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Sorry. That's all I got. What! I was driving! And going fast! And trying to aim my iphone in that general direction of the equipment trucks without driving off the road... subsequently I got more road than set. But you see those white trucks in the photo? Those are trucks from the set of Breaking Dawn... it wasnt like, in action at the time or anything but it had been previously. They have equipment set up all over the town that I am currently visiting and I actually know a few people who have met cast members (wolf pack and Taylor Lautner). There is my five degrees of separation! Yah, I'm cool.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My New Bobs

Did I buy a new Bob's saddle today?


Why yes, yes I did.


*huge grin*


Didn't I just sell a Bob's back in January claiming that sale was going to fund a Europe trip?


*Nods head and shrugs shoulders*


Why yes, yes I did.


Didnt I cry and lament and say a dozen different ways that I would always regret selling that saddle and would buy it back in a heartbeat?


I may have said something along those lines. *waves hand dismissively"*


But I met a saddle today and all of that changed.


*deep, soulful, perfectly content sigh*


So many things in my life are going right these days that it just about scares me. I started working for my Mom and then just a few weeks later I start giving lessons... then yesterday I signed up for a cell phone contract of my very own (Previously I've been covered in HS's bill)... I even got a new iphone 4 yesterday (I'm calling it my "big girl" phone) and in a weeks time I will by flying off with my Mom and Sis to someplace with significantly more sun in the forecast. I have a horse that I adore, I am boarding in a barn that couldnt be any better, have a few new wonderful friends and spring is just around the corner. Life was pretty dang sweet... but today, it got even sweeter.


One thing you should know about me is that I looooove saddles. And I looooove me a Bob's saddle. Like, a lot. I pet them. I drool over them. I call them "sweet thing" and "darling". I will camp my behind in those big ol' Cadillac saddles, sling my arm over the horn, slouch down low and just hang out there for a while... even in the store. (true story) I got a call from a good friend today telling me that I needed to come out and check out a saddle she had in stock. So I did. And the moment I locked eyes on this little beauty I new he had to be mine.


So I texted my man (with my new iphone btw) and said, "Umm... honey... I need $____."


Two seconds later I got this reply.... "Ok."


I started at that little itty bitty word that meant so much and thought... what if he is being sarcastic? So I texted back and said, "Should I just put it on the card?" (meaning the Visa)


And he replied, "Yes."


Now I was sorely tempted to just head right on back in that store, hand over that magic'n'golden piece of plastic and say, "charge it!" but I hesitated (I know what you are thinking! you're thinking, i wouldnt have asked twice I'd be in there buying that dang saddle!"... But I just couldnt do it. I wondered, what if he thinks I am kidding?


Just to be sure, I called. I didnt even say hi... just "are you serious?"


His answer. "Yes."


Mind: "No really, are you sure you are serious because I am going in there right now and I am going to buy it."


His reply was a simple... "Do it quick and get home, I want to go for supper." A smart woman knows when she should just shut up and do as she is told. So I did.


Then I got him supper. So with no further ado.... This is my new baby....


It's a brand spankin' new Bob's Custom cutting saddle. Thanks to my good friend Barbie I was able to get this saddle for a price that even a cheap-o like me couldnt be happier with. Thanks Barbie! You are the best!


Oh, thanks also to my amazing, sweet, generous, fabulous, most-handsome-est, sexy, dashing, gentlemanly man of all men. I love you sweet heart.



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Square Footage

HS and I have spent the last few days up in Kelowna, BC looking at houses. If I look waaaay back in my archive I might find a similar post wherein I talked about a big move in the future...a move that never happened. This time we went back to K-town to look at homes for investment purposes not for personal relocation but even so we both walked away from this trip resolute that Kelowna, for all it's good qualities, is not the place for us. Another affirmation we had was on the issue of square footage. The square footage of the three homes we toured were all large- 4,800, 6,200 and 6,100. Huge by most peoples standards. HS and I share a love architecture and have spent many hours discussing the floor plan of the dream home we hope one day to build... but one thing we've never been able to agree on is just how many square feet is too many for a childless couple. I've always maintained that anything over 4,000 and we'll loose each other in the space. Obviously we could and do live in far less but when building a home we have to consider potential resale value so have always agreed that it must have three bedrooms + master (though we wouldnt use them all as bedrooms) and we both love a very roomy great room concept as well as a master suite. In these big homes though we always get hung up on the same thing, most of them have a formal living room and dining room, plus family room, breakfast nook/kitchen table and a rec room (usually in the basement) which makes for two dining tables plus nearly three sitting rooms... way, way too much space for two people. We would never ever use a formal dining room or living room though we both a gree that a rec room, while lost on us, is a necessity for resale. So there we are, two people plus lord knows how many cats and dogs who currently very comfortably live in 1,200 square feet that have convinced each other that we'd need to build to damn near four times that in order to get what we want plus what the market requires (3,500sq.f plus is standard for new single family detached homes constructed in the community where we live.)

What I want is a large great room with kitchen with seating at the island, living room, and a informal dining area (more formal than a kitchen table but far less formal than a traditional dining room set); A roomy master suite with walk in closets, a fair sized ensuite with soaker tub and steam/shower; three bedrooms that we can use as an office (him), studio (me) and guest bedroom; and a rec room (we'd use as a dog/cat room) and a furnace/equipment/storage room and two car garage.... oh and a big mud room/laundry with attached full bath (so I can wash when I come in from the horse, of course. So really, I dont want too much:0

A girl can dream.

I dont even want to think about what that would cost to build.... a spec home runs well over $100 a square foot here and for any kind of quality you can spend well over $200. Let's see... 4500 sq.f. x $225 .... oh would you look at that! Over a million dollars!

Let's see what a million buys you in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia (for those of you who are not familiar with BC, something like 90% of the entire population of BC lives within the Greater Vancouver or Fraser Valley area (within 100 miles of the US border). Vancouver prices are insane especially if you get in to the nicer areas. Here is a nice family home in a nice area of Vancouver (West) 2900 sqf. built in 1927 How about this charming *sarcasm* home in the "working class" area of Vancouver 3500sqf. built in 1971 on a average size lot. both over a million. A 1600 sqf apartment downtown? A million six.

How about something more up our alley (acrage) in the Valley?

A 6,100sqf home on 11 acres with barns... 2.7 m

This is an old TB farm with many outbuildings but the home is dated... 2.4m

Again, dated home but nicer (older) horse facility .. 2.39

Now you might be thinking "I would just buy bare land!" but these days the money is in the dirt so you dont save much.

Check out this beautiful 36 acre piece... 2.2

Or no view but better location, 40 acres for 2.6

Up in Kelowna an older hobby farm would run you something like...

this 2500sqf. home on 12 acres for 1.2m up in the hills.... but if you're talking lake acreage the prices get a liiiitle higher...

a small older home on 6 acres on the lake... 4.6 million

Personally, if I am spending over four mill. I am going to buy me my own freakin' island!

4 acre private island near Victoria, BC.

And if I'm looking in the ten million range I'd definitely give this bad boy a hard look...

private island also off the coast of Vancouver Island.

The home prices in BC are some of the highest in the world. BUT... Vancouver was also voted the most livable city in the world and BC ranks as one of the best places in the world to live. I consider myself very luck to be born in such an amazing part of the world... but it dont come cheap!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Golden Nuggets of Truth

I was trying to find the name of this reality TV show I've caught a few episodes of in the past month when I stumbled on a blog written by a professional barrel racer Sierra Stoney (now that is the name of a rodeo girl if I've ever heard one!) Anyways, at the bottom of her post she left this quote, “Do not wait; the time will never be “just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along”. I just had to share that as it really spoke to me, especially considering my last post.

There were a few other golden nuggets on other posts... like these:


“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”

This one is a little Charlie Sheen-esque but still works...

“A winner is someone who recognizes her God-given talents, works her tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish her goals”

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow”

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

Check out Sierra Stoney's blog here.


BTw, the show I was looking for was Rodeo: Life on the Circuit on History Television... more on that next time:)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Donkey Crossing

Have I ever shared this picture with you all? No? Well, I snapped this while driving along the coast near Kona on the big Island of Hawaii and thought it was just the cutest thing ever. It is one of those holiday pictures that seemed really interesting at the time but later, back at home, you find yourself staring at a few dozen photos trying to discern what it was you found interesting about that gecko, pool, flower, and/or random street sign. Then, seven months later, you stumble upon that pic while desperately searching for something, anything, even remotely interesting to blog about that doesnt require you to think because you've just spent an hour writing a post on a (much more relevant topic) like how you loaded your horse in a trailer for the first time today, which should have been a non-event but for some reason brought a whole boat load of repressed traumatic memories to the surface and left you completely unhinged, which of course transmitted to the horse which only served to make the situation worse, which consequently made the nerves worse and so perpetuated that vicious circle that ended with your horse pulling back... which makes you wonder whether you just anticipated the problem or were actually the cause of it... the later being most likely... contemplating the situation leaves you befuddled and unable to write coherently and so instead you resort to flipping through random old photo files until you see a picture of a sign with a donkey on it and decide that the world would be better served by knowing that there are places like Kona, HI where donkeys crossing the road present a significant enough road hazard to warrant a sign than in having to listen to the doomsday dribble and endless ramblings of a chicken shit like me.

Yup, it is definitely a good thing that I didnt write about all of that and instead went with posting this lame ass picture... get it... lame ass...ass... donkey... *nods* yaaah.... no?

Alrighty then.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saddles Suck

I've been a bad bad blogger... bad! I have been saddle shopping with a friend these past few weeks and I've not blogged about it at all... and there has been TONS to write about! I've been to a dozen track stores, sat in about a hundred and one different saddles of every size, shape and style and spent hours discussing fit, cost, quality, corrective pads, and so much more... and yet, I've written absolutely nothing on any subject for one rather sad sounding reason...


After much time and research I've come to this conclusion-

Saddles suck.

All of them.

I guess that is the theme this week (last post was "Taxes Blow")


From the treeless, aussie and endurance, to the standard english or western, to the new-fandango prototypes.... they are all and each inherently flawed in that they assume it is possible that any rigid structure cinched down on a horses back and made to carry 100-200 + pounds could possibly facilitate good movement, physical soundness or comfort.... and that any structure that isnt rigid could possibly distribute that poundage over more than just a few vertebrae.


We'll leave that argument for another time. I've tried my best to brush up on the very basics of saddle fitting and in doing so I found a tool that could be very handy indeed. It is a system created by Steele Saddle Trees (the trees are wood, the name is Steele:) called Fit to Be Seen. Steele makes saddle trees for many saddle makers from small custom outfitters to the big names like Big Horn, Simco, Crates, Reinsman, and Parelli, so there really aught to be a saddle (with a Steele tree) in most any price range. Most saddle fitter's I've listened to have insisted that there is no better way to fit a horse...or really there is no way to fit a horse BUT than to put that naked tree on his back and actually SEE where and how it is sitting. Even someone fairly new to saddle fitting would be able to fit their horse fairly well if they could actually see that tree... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out something is wrong when there are big visible gaps or points sticking in to the horse. Many tack stores now carry a line of saddle trees for saddle fitting but carrying an inventory of trees is expensive, employing a saddle fitter to travel to barns is not always an option and having the horse come to the store can be inconvenient or just not feasible at all. So, what Steele has done is created a composite of the underside of the saddle tree that can be used just as you'd use a complete tree to saddle fit to the horse. The idea is that tack stores can carry a full line of these composites for their costumers to take out and try on their horses or a horseman can order a composite to try directly from Steele. Once you've found a Steele tree that fits your horse you can order a saddle or find a saddle with the correlating model number. It just makes sense!


Here is a link to read more about the Fit To Be Seen System

(FYI I have no affiliation with Steele:)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Taxes Blow

I have my fingers crossed that I might actually get through writing half of what I want to say... and would consider it a small miracle if I actually got something posted. I've been busy. Isn't it ironic that the more we do the more we have to write about but the less time we have to actually do the writing? I've been riding, saddle shopping, spending time with my man, and working *gasp* yes, I said working! This month I started working with my Mom as her executive assistant... which really is just a fancy way of saying that I am trying to organize her life and business. Actually, as her company name ends in "& Associates", I like to joke that I've become the ass. It is great to be able to help my Mom out and it is really good for me to be able to focus on something outside of the same ol' same ol'... like setting up websites, filing, accounting and taxes... *deep sigh* oh the taxes!...



You know... Taxes, they blow. Did you know that? I didnt think so. You're welcome.



I talked to a tax man on the phone today. I am quite certain he was a zombie. No I'm not shitting you! You should have heard this guy! I swear this dude made that teacher from Ferris Bueller sound like he was on speed.



I'm just sayin' that tax guy mighta been a zombie... or on a hefty dose of qualudes anyways.. do they even make qualudes anymore?

*shrugs*

I bought my first bottle of wine last week. I know, right? I'm 28, who'd have guessed. You see, I'm thinking that I might reconsider my no drinking polocy. I actually think it might be a good idea to get drunk once a year... just for good measure....

So I bought a bottle. I'll let you know how it goes.

No really. I bought a bottle of blueberry wine because I happen to be at a winery (long story) and was offered a tasting of blueberry wine (wine made from 80% blueberries... hence why they call it blueberry wine *blank stare*) and I actually quite liked it. I was already half cut from the wee bit of wine tasting I had already done so we'll see if I still like it when it comes time to open that sucker.

Till next time...

Cheers!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saddle Shopping

I've been a bad bad blogger... bad! I have been saddle shopping with a friend these past few weeks and I've not blogged about it at all... and there has been TONS to write about! I've been to a dozen track stores, sat in about a hundred and one different saddles of every size, shape and style and spent hours discussing fit, cost, quality, corrective pads, and so much more... and yet, I've written absolutely nothing on any subject for one rather sad sounding reason...


After much time and research I've come to this conclusion-

Saddles suck.

All of them.

I guess that is the theme this week (last post was "Taxes Blow")


From the treeless, aussie and endurance, to the standard english or western, to the new-fandango prototypes.... they are all and each inherently flawed in that they assume it is possible that any rigid structure cinched down on a horses back and made to carry 100-200 + pounds could possibly facilitate good movement, physical soundness or comfort.... and that any structure that isnt rigid could possibly distribute that poundage over more than just a few vertebrae.


We'll leave that argument for another time. I've tried my best to brush up on the very basics of saddle fitting and in doing so I found a tool that could be very handy indeed. It is a system created by Steele Saddle Trees (the trees are wood, the name is Steele:) called Fit to Be Seen. Steele makes saddle trees for many saddle makers from small custom outfitters to the big names like Big Horn, Simco, Crates, Reinsman, and Parelli, so there really aught to be a saddle (with a Steele tree) in most any price range. Most saddle fitter's I've listened to have insisted that there is no better way to fit a horse...or really there is no way to fit a horse BUT than to put that naked tree on his back and actually SEE where and how it is sitting. Even someone fairly new to saddle fitting would be able to fit their horse fairly well if they could actually see that tree... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out something is wrong when there are big visible gaps or points sticking in to the horse. Many tack stores now carry a line of saddle trees for saddle fitting but carrying an inventory of trees is expensive, employing a saddle fitter to travel to barns is not always an option and having the horse come to the store can be inconvenient or just not feasible at all. So, what Steele has done is created a composite of the underside of the saddle tree that can be used just as you'd use a complete tree to saddle fit to the horse. The idea is that tack stores can carry a full line of these composites for their costumers to take out and try on their horses or a horseman can order a composite to try directly from Steele. Once you've found a Steele tree that fits your horse you can order a saddle or find a saddle with the correlating model number. It just makes sense!


Here is a link to read more about the Fit To Be Seen System

(FYI I have no affiliation with Steele:)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Twilight Fixation

If you had asked me ten minutes ago if I still considered myself a Twihard (Twilight junkie) I wouldnt have even hesitated to answer, "No! Not even a little bit." I really and truly thought that I was completely over my Twilight fixation and even almost, almost over in to the Twilight Is Evil Camp... but not quite that far. That was until ten minutes ago. Ten minutes ago I would have said, "Breaking Dawn... *scoff* whatever." But then in just a split second everything changed. That old familiar shot of love-sick adrenaline shot through my veins... my heart skipped a beat, the blood rushed to my cheeks, my breath caught in my throat and I might have even just swooned a little... okay I didnt swoon. But it was a near thing. What did I see....



This *deep sigh*

























.....























A still photo from the set of Breaking Dawn (my guess is that it is from the honeymoon scene) to be released November 18, 2011.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Princess Ballet Moves- Part II






(this is not the same photo as in the last group and not the same buck... she was really tearing it up that day)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

LooOOOOoooNG trot! And ballerinas

I love the long trot. And I mean loooong trot, not to be confused with the mad trot. The long trot and the mad trot are kinda like the Black Swan twins- one is good and one is evil... one is all about free forward motion, extension, impulsion and glide (baby glide) whereas the other is about a jarring, tense and angry pounding of bent up angst filled frustration....


I wanted to be a ballerina. I loved the movie Black Swan even though I had to cover my eyes through certain parts.

Once upon a time people told me I looked like Natalie Portman.
Now she weighs about as much as my left thigh.

Just a little statement of fact. I like long trotting. I loved Black Swan. I never had a hope in hell of becoming a ballerina.

*taps fingers on desk*

Yup, that's all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let's GO!

Yesterday afternoon a friend and I took our horses out on a trail to let them burn off some steam. Lately, more than ever, I've been convinced that some horses (actually most horses) should have the "fresh" taken off before being asked to set their mind to a task. A few months ago I had a friend ask me to help her out with a horse that was trotting off on her all the time when she just wanted to walk. On one hand I know that a horse should always be able to maintain a walk when asked but on the other hand I knew that horse hadn't been ridden consistently in a long time and that she was really excited to be out . My advice was to not ask her to walk... to instead send her out at a trot (make her wait for you to ask) and keep her at a trot until she wants to come to a walk... only dont let her walk just then.... instead, ask her to trot for just a few minutes longer, then walk her for a few minutes, push her up to a trot for a few minutes then bring her back to a walk. My friend then said, "But I dont always want to have to trot her, she doesn't have a comfortable trot." Fair comment. I suggested that she instead lunge her before riding. Then we got in to a discussion about the what we should or should not expect from our horses.... Should we able to just get on and go for a walk? Should we be forced to lounge first? I want to say that a horse should do what we tell them, period. But...

I like a horse with energy. I would much rather contain energy than have to create it. I also appreciate a willingness to move out, a horse that constantly asks me, "What can I do now?" My favorite part about riding Princess is that she loves to go out...so much so that she actually balks at going home! I dont want to take away that childlike enthusiasm, that wonderful spirit she has and so I always try to make a ride fun for her.... because.... as cheesy as it may sound, if she is having fun, I will be too. It is not fun for a horse with a lot of energy to be made to walk when their whole body is yearning to trot....because sometimes I think it takes all of that wonderful spirit in them, that spirit that is making their feet happy and their heart light, and replaces it with a sour, bitter resentment.

I once met a trainer who told me that when a horse steps in to an arena with extra fresh (excited energy) it is like a little school boy who runs home just bursting with joy to tell his mom about how he won first place... he rushes to her, pulls at her skirt, jumps up and down and is so excited he can barely spit it out... "Mom! Mom! Mom! I... in school... I gotta...." Picture that boy's energy as it would be expressed in a horse... Now what if that mother were to turn to that boy and say, "Gerry be quiet! Go clean your room!" That little boy will be so deflated, he might have a temper tantrum, he might just drag his feet and go to his room or he might say, "but... but.. but... I gotta tell you something". Either way all of that natural joy has been taken away and by the time he's gone and done what he has told the excitement he has been replaced with disappointment. But if that mother were to have turned to that boy when he first rushed in the door and shared in that excitement for just a few minutes that boy would have gone off to do his chores still filled with that same positive energy. When I get on Princess she is that little boy (girl), she seems to say with a light heart, "What are we doing! Are we going! Can we go!" I always want to make sure that I answer with the same enthusiasm, "Let's go!"