Monday, December 28, 2009

The Ride is the Reward

I am looking for a horse to lease. *sigh* Here we go again! Over and over again I've gone through the pros and cons in my head... weighing the benifits of ownerships against the problems with free leasing, the cost of lessons vs. the issues of sharing a horse in a semi-lease agreement... and have come to back time and again to the same conclusion...

At this stage of my life the responsibility of horse ownership- both the time, money, stress and attention is too great of a commitment to take on given that I need to focus on advancing my education, career and other interests.

Which leaves me with leasons or leasing...


Lessons do not afford me enough time on a horse for the cost.

Free leasing isnt much less of a commitment than ownerships.

Semi-Leasing (shared riding) often leads to schedule/overuse issues.

Which leaves me with my own idea of leasing. It's simple. Straight forward. And hopelessly unobtainable.

To find some person who keeps their horse in above average condition, at an excellent facility with an indoor and close to trails, who never has times to ride, is opinionated about training methods/handling, and reasonable to deal and who just happens to own a nice, broke, sound, no-nonsense horse that they'd like to have ridden by a complete stranger (where, when and how she prefers and on her schedule.) Oh, and within a half hour drive of my house...

I want to ...

Drive to barn, groom, tack, ride, put away and drive home. End of story. I'll pay a flat monthly rate- consistent, predictable, and non-obligatory for the privilege and leave the for the owner to worry about the rest. Like a gym membership.


*hangs head in defeat*

To make matters worse...

I feel so selfish for admitting that as I've never owned a horse for the sole objective of riding- ever. In fact, I've looked down on people who seem to care nothing of their horses but of the use and enjoyment that can be derived from them... those who don't even know how to saddle their own horse, let alone care, feed or train one.

And yet still, I want to use a horse!


The choices all suck!

To own a horse is to be consumed- with the constant worry over their health and safety, of farrier appointments, worming, vetting,and the inevitable and unexpected financial costs... For me it is to stress over the where/who/what/when dynamics of boarding, of where to buy hay, or find a decent farrier. It is spending $180 on iron shoes instead of those Jessica Simpson silver pumps, buying Big D blankets instead of a fabulous purple Guess pea coat, and covering the cost of a vet bill that would have paid for a trip to New York city. It is sacrificing and reaping the reward... it is living a way of life I miss every. single. day but one that comes at a price I'm no longer willing to pay- not until I can afford both the school, the pea coat, the pumps and the hay, blankets and board.

To lease is to have to bite your tongue, to refrain from training, to mind your own business- just shut up and ride. To lease is to always remember that the horse you are riding is not your own and to respect the owners wishes. To doing things their way and having to always stress over just what their way is. Leasing is not being able to discipline, to not ride as long or as often as you see fit...

Leasing is like driving your mother-in-laws car... you have to remember just how the seat was petitioned, to park at the back of the lot, to wash it before you drive it back, to not drink or eat for fear of dropping a crumb and to expect that, no matter how consciencious you were, if there is even the smallest scratch to paint that she didnt notice before you left, you will be held to blame! And there will be hell to pay!

That is leasing a horse.

I just want to ride.

I dont want to lease. Or to buy. But I want horses in my life.

And to make things worse, I feel guilty for it. Maybe because for me having horses has always been about the my emotional attachment to an individual, my deep rooted commitment to providing for their mental and physical well being and to the process of developing a better animal. Riding has always been, for me, a byproduct of horse ownership- a reward for having succeeded in meeting my horses needs.

I do not ride my horse if he has not been fed. If he is sore. If he is wet or cold. If he is in need of shoeing. I do not ride my horse if his condition or the condition of his environment is poor. I do not ride if his stall needs cleaned, if hay needs hauled out or a fence needs fixing. I do not ride if I do not have time to put him away dry, cool,and clean. The responsibility of providing for my horse has always has come before the ride. The ride has always been the reward.

More on this next post....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Crack

As a horse(less) crazy little girl there was only one thing I REALLY wished for every Christmas... My dreams of Christmas morning looked something like this...
(I found this picture on google images and just had to share!)
I hope you all are ready for Christmas and able to enjoy this evening with friends and family! I've had a very busy week (who hasn't?) but have finally made my way up to my sister's house to celebrate the holidays and am finally able to sit back and enjoy (well... stand up and cook I guess I should say, but you know what I mean...)

Last night my sister gave me some Christmas Crack. Ever heard of it? This sinfully delicious substance is aptly named- it is highly, highly addictive! And unfortunately easy to make (I say unfortunately because this is a recipe you'll wish would take hours and hours so that it wouldn't be quite so tempting to whip up!) Here is the recipe.

Christmas Crack

one cup butter
one cup brown sugar
one cup chocolate chips
one cup butterscotch chips
soda crackers

-Preheat oven to 400 F

-Lay out evenly soda crackers on a baking sheet.
-Melt one cup of butter and one cup of brown sugar on the stove, make sure it is completely melted and hot.
-Pour over soda crackers.
-Put in oven for approx. 2 minutes till bubbling a bit.
-Turn off oven.
-Mix together one cup of chocolate chips and one cup of butterscotch chips.
-Evenly sprinkle the cracker/butter/sugar with the mixture of chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.
-Put back in oven for a minute till the chips get soft.
-Pull out and with a spatula evenly spread out chocolate.
-Put in freezer overnight.
-Crack into pieces.

Serve cold!

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

RIP Brittany Murphy

Just a quick note to say how sad I am to hear of Brittany Murphy's passing today. I loved her in Girl Interrupted, Clueless, and especially in Riding in Cars with Boys. I dont watch King of the Hill but I know a lot of folks loved her as Luanne, with her unique voice and expression. Poor thing, she was just cute as a button. Hope she is "rollin' with the homies" in a better place.

Here is one of my favorite Brittnay Muphy scenes... from Riding in Cars with Boys where her and Drew Berrymore are discussing how to tell her parents that she is pregnant...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Driving Stick

I am sorry my posts have been hit and miss this past week or so... I've been a little busy... a lot busy in fact... you see, I kinda lost my mind a little... No, not Christmas shopping... though shopping was involved. And before anyone jumps to conclusions, no, I did not buy a horse... well... actually I kind of did, I bought 120 horses....

I bought a Honda!

Civic that is!

I have spent most of all my computer time lost in the infinite universe of craigslist and used car sites and then traveling around looking at cars. I wanted something that was super good on gas, very clean (inside and out), had good resale value and build quality and that was high on the practicality scale (though maybe not so hot on the sex appeal scale.... but not ugly either.) I need a car that could get me from point a to point be as safely, reliably and cheaply as possible.... In the end a 2003, four door, five speed, Honda civic fit the bill nicely. I got it home late last night and spent this afternoon driving around town trying to remember how to drive a stick shift again, (stop start on hills, keep first gear smooth in parking lots and over speed bumps etc....) It's coming back to me now but wasnt without a few hickups.

Anyways, my question of the day is...

Do you know how to drive a five speed? If so, when did you learn?

My Poppie had my sister driving his 5spd truck down logging roads by the time we could reach the pedals! Okay... to tell you the truth we might have ventured out on to the streets before we were legal too... it's a bit of a family tradition:)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tom Hanks

On this snowy Sunday afternoon DB and I found ourselves snuggled up in front of the TV watching 'You've Got Mail' for the four-hundred-and-eighty-forth time...well, maybe not that much but it's a near thing... and you know what? I'll probably watch again in the next year and find it just as charming.

Here is one of my favorite scenes from 'You've Got Mail' where Meg Ryan asks "What is it with men and The Godfather?" DB is a total Godfather fan so I could relate to the banter that fallows...

I've never really thought of myself as a huge Tom Hanks fan as he is the kind of asexual, uncontroversial, and unassuming stars who, while universally known and loved, is far from creating tabloid fodder or fan club groupies... Instead, he consistently and brilliantly chooses moves that you can count on to be at the very least interesting, and at best, an Oscar winning classic.

DB and I were thinking back at his most notable roles and marveling at just how rich, diverse and iconic of characters he has played over the years.... in fact, I literally grew up watching Tom Hanks movies! When I was a little girl I remember swimming around my Granny's pool pretending to be a mermaid like Daryl Hannah in Splash.
Or sitting in front of the TV, with my big sister and I in matching pyjamas, singing "Down Down Baby" (From "Big", remember that one? Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop, shimmy shimmy rocks... here is Tom Hanks doing it in an interview...

and watching 'Turner and Hooch', 'The Money Pit', or 'Joe vs. The Volcano'....

Later in life I came to appreciate movies like Philadelphia, Cast Away (WILSON!!!!!) and the Green Mile.... and of course, the great 'Forest Gump'....

It is amazing how he can bring a bit of himself to each role but still create characters that are so vastly different... I mean, you couldn't get two people any less alike than the crude drunk Jimmy Dugan (A League of Their Own) and the reserved lawyer Andrew Beckett (Philadelphia) and yet, they are both so very Tom Hanks!

And dont forget he produced some great movies too! Like Momma Mia, Where the Wild Things Are and My Big Fat Greek Wedding!

Here is IMDB's list of Tom Hanks movies.

Which is your favorite?

Angels & Demons (2009) .... Robert Langdon
The Great Buck Howard (2008) .... Mr. Gable
Charlie Wilson's War (2007) .... Charlie Wilson
The Da Vinci Code (2006) .... Dr. Robert Langdon
Cars (2006) (voice) .... Woody Car
Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D (2005) (voice) .... Narrator
The Polar Express (2004) .... Hero Boy / Father / Conductor / Hobo / Scrooge / Santa Claus
... aka The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience (USA: IMAX version)
Elvis Has Left the Building (2004) .... Mailbox Elvis
The Terminal (2004) .... Viktor Navorski
The Ladykillers (2004) .... Professor G.H. Dorr
"Freedom: A History of Us" .... Abraham Lincoln / ... (7 episodes, 2003)
- A Fatal Contradiction (2003) TV episode .... Abraham Lincoln
- A War to End Slavery (2003) TV episode .... Abraham Lincoln
- Independence (2003) TV episode .... Paul Revere
- Liberty for All (2003) TV episode .... Daniel Boone
- Wake Up America (2003) TV episode .... Reporter
(2 more)
Catch Me If You Can (2002) .... Carl Hanratty
Road to Perdition (2002) .... Michael Sullivan
"Band of Brothers" (2001) TV mini-series .... British officer (unknown episodes)
Cast Away (2000) .... Chuck Noland

The Green Mile (1999) .... Paul Edgecomb
... aka Stephen King's The Green Mile (USA: complete title)
Toy Story 2 (1999) (voice) .... Woody
... aka Toy Story 2 in 3-D (USA: promotional title)
Toy Story 2 (1999) (VG) (voice) .... Woody
You've Got Mail (1998) .... Joe Fox
Saving Private Ryan (1998) .... Capt. John H. Miller
"From the Earth to the Moon" .... Jean-Luc Despont (1 episode, 1998)
- Le voyage dans la lune (1998) TV episode .... Jean-Luc Despont
That Thing You Do! (1996) .... Mr. White
Toy Story Activity Center (1996) (VG) (voice) .... Woody
Toy Story (1995) (voice) .... Woody
... aka Toy Story in 3-D (USA: promotional title)
Apollo 13 (1995) .... Jim Lovell
... aka Apollo 13: The IMAX Experience (USA: IMAX version)
Forrest Gump (1994) .... Forrest Gump
Vault of Horror I (1994) (TV)
Philadelphia (1993) .... Andrew Beckett
"Fallen Angels" .... Trouble Boy #1 (1 episode, 1993)
- I'll Be Waiting (1993) TV episode .... Trouble Boy #1
Sleepless in Seattle (1993) .... Sam Baldwin
A League of Their Own (1992) .... Jimmy Dugan
"Tales from the Crypt" .... Baxter (1 episode, 1992)
... aka HBO's Tales from the Crypt
- None But the Lonely Heart (1992) TV episode .... Baxter
Radio Flyer (1992) (uncredited) .... Older Mike
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) .... Sherman McCoy
Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) .... Joe Banks

Turner & Hooch (1989) .... Det. Scott Turner
The 'burbs (1989) .... Ray Peterson
Punchline (1988) .... Steven Gold
Big (1988) .... Josh Baskin
Dragnet (1987) .... Pep Streebeck
Every Time We Say Goodbye (1986) .... David Bradley
Nothing in Common (1986) .... David Basner
The Money Pit (1986) .... Walter Fielding, Jr.
Volunteers (1985) .... Lawrence Whatley Bourne III
The Man with One Red Shoe (1985) .... Richard Harlan Drew
Bachelor Party (1984) .... Rick Gassko
Splash (1984) .... Allen Bauer

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winning Mares and the Unwanted

Well, here they are.... the winning mares of the bunch...

That bottle of peroxide paid off for #28! She scored a number of votes for her flashy flaxen mane....

Number 2 got a lot of action despite a crooked blaze and hairy ears- proving that there is beauty in her imperfections....

#21 stood out if for no other reason than appearing indifferent to the madness around her....Why does she remind me of Eeyore?

#4 for hit the mark with her fancy silver number and cute perky ears....

Now I have to include #21 even though she didnt get enough votes to qualify for the top four simply because a face like this cant be ignored.... and I'm the boss... of this blog, anyways...

But what of those that didn't receive a single vote?... those poor, sad, helpless mares who cried "Pick me! Pick me!" but failed to find a single taker... For each lonely soul who pleaded with their big, soft doey eyes.... as if trying to say, "I am a good girl... I'll be sweet and love you too... just give me a chance... I'll give you my heart forever...."
Let us take a moment to look on the forgotten faces of the unclaimed mares...

Look at that eye... pleading for a soft word of comfort....

A gentle stroke on a downy muzzle....

A soothing rub to calm her frayed nerves....

Just look in to those deep, dark, soulful eyes....

And tell me she is not begging for love... for someone to whisper "Shhhh... easy there mare... goood girl."
But she will never hear those words...
Because she was among the forgotten ones.
She will remain unclaimed, unloved, unwanted....
And that, my friends, is why I do not go to auctions....
Bleeding- freakin'- heart:)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Which Mare Is Yours?

I am sorry I havent yet been able to finish my last post in the Girl Friend Talk series... I know you all must be on the edge of your seat, just dyin' to read what's comin' next...


And so I hope you wont mind that I decided to play a little game instead....

You see Ree over at the posted this picture a few days ago of these mustang mares being brought in for weaning. I am in love with this photo! I have it as my screen saver right now and cant help but stop nearly every time I see it in order to pick out a new favorite mare... which is never easy because I could make a case for each and every single one of them.

Which got me to thinkin'.... wouldnt it be fun to see which mare all of you'd pick... which one jumps off the screen to say "Pick me! Pick me!"
And so I tried to number as many horses as I could (the ones that had a face) to make it easier.

My favorite (at the moment) is #5... There is something quiet in her posture, like she is aware of everything, but not stressed... interested but cautious and while she's willing to go with the flow for now, she's also not sold on the whole idea either. I'd bet that mare would have something to say about the situation... oh yes sir, she most certainly would.

Which hip number are you taking home?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bonnie Raitt and Kittens

Okay, so this has nothing to do with Girl Friend Talk... but I simply must post this video. I am sure many of you have seen it but I just love, love, love it. Simple things amuse simple minds right?

And what is with the Bonnie Raitt song? Just 'cause I love it too.... and I kind of look like her in this video... okay not really... but my hair does.... only darker.... now if only I had a gee-tar and that voice I'd not be so embarrassed about the hair thing. Oh! And those lyrics... "If dreams were thunder and lightening were desire, this old house would have burnt down a long time ago..." Ahhh...yah! Like, how cool is that? Excuse me... I'm having a moment here.... Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is on TV... I'll blame it on that. Any move that can be that freakin' good when Johnny Depp looks that freakin' ugly get's my vote.

I'll go now.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Girl Friend Talk- Breaking Up Is Hard To Do!

When I first thought of discussing the dynamics of female friendships I wondered what kind of response would follow as it is, for some, a touchy subject. I'm grateful to those who took the time to comment with your own stories and also sad to hear that so many of you have had your trust broken by a dear friend.... though, I must say, I am not surprised. Almost all the women I know have suffered the loss of their "best friend" due to a breakdown of trust, character, or some other transgression (just to use Tiger's term) at some point in their life.

Men and women, as best as I can see, operate much differently. Men seem better able to deal with an argument- they get mad, tell each other where to go and then five minutes later they're drinking beer and all is forgiven and forgotten. The same argument a man can get passed in a few minutes can take weeks (if ever) for two women hash out. Even the best of friendships have been destroyed by petty she-said-she-said gossip, misunderstandings or a single hurtful word. Why is that?

I am going to go ahead and make some generalizations here- such as that I believe women can be very catty, over emotional, over sensitive to insult (real or perceived) and tend to hold a grudge. And that the strongest of friendships can fall apart over that which, in any other friendship of lesser consequence, would have been excused without a thought. Or is it that we are blind to the faults of our closest friend and therefor devastated when that illusion of absolute trust is shattered by but the smallest breach of faith. Is trust the issue? How many of us are guilty of claiming to be entirely trustworthy but still pass on tidbits of information to another friend (who is, of course, also entirely trustworthy if told in the strictest of confidence)? Or bitch about one friend to another?

Much like in a divorce, it is rare to find two individuals who can agree on where the fault lies in the break up of a friendship. Most often both feel that they are the wronged party. Women like to play the victim which leaves little room for taking responsibility and therefor finding resolution or forgiveness. Also, as with divorcees, many end up disenfranchised with the very idea of every putting that much trust in in friendship again. No matter the cause, the breakdown of a good friendship can be utterly devastating.

Fragile, precarious, and subject to irreparable harm- the trust we place in our closest girl friend may seem to some a great leap of faith. I can understand how many feel the risk of putting themselves in such a position again- unguarded and entirely vulnerable- is to great a risk for the reward.... Once bitten, twice shy...Whereas others have chosen to take the chance in hopes of gaining a true friend.

Which brings me to the next post in this series... the subject of casual friendships vs. BFFs.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Girl Friend Talk- Part 1

The topic of girl friends (friends who are girls) is as broad ranging of a subject as any known to man- the dymanic between a woman and her closest friend is often as, or more, complicated than your average marriage. I wouldnt dare try to speak generally about a topic as close to my heart or as deeply routed in our female psychee as this and so I'll be breaking this up into a series of posts I'll call "Girl Friend Talk".

I was inspired to write this series of posts because I have a very, very dear friend Barb, who I usually talk to every day, sometimes more.... She is the kind of friend who knows me better than I know myself, the kind that offers unquestionable support and a swift kick in the ass when needed....the one I know I can trust with every secret, insecurity and heartache. She is my go-to-gal and confidant- the Thelma to my Louise.

The past few weeks we havent been able to chat as much as usual as we've both been unusually busy. That little missing piece of my day is an unwelcome hole, an absense that makes me realize just how much joy our daily chatter brought to my life. I am sure that things will go back to normal soon but I couldn't help but worry this evening, as another day passed without our usual chat, that there may come a time where we will naturally drift apart- A change of schedule, a big move or perhaps a new friend to takes over that role of prominence in her life. Sometimes one friend drifts away before the other is willing to let go and jealousy, hurt feelings and bitterness can result. I've had that happen a time or two. I think I've always been more insecure in my friendships than I have have been with men and relationships. I've lost a few girl friends over the years, which is never easy for anyone but particularly difficult when, by nature, one is as fiercely loyal as I am. I trust in the strength of Barb and I's friendship, that I will always be blessed enough to count her as one of my closest friends and ally. I write this by way of example, to show that even a friendship as time, tested and true as ours is not immune to the oversensitive, insecure, dynamic and diverse layers that make up a friendship between two women.

And I know she'll kill me for posting this...but I will anyways! I can just hear her voice callin' me up to say, "Are you crazy! I call you all the damn time but you're never home!" and then I'll say, "I called you twice yesterday!" and then she'll counter with "Whatever! I called you three times the day before!" and it will go on from there...


Lets start by gaining a consensus-

Do you have a girl friend whom you consider your "best friend"?

Do you have one girl friend who you see or talk too most often? If so, how often do you speak to her or see her?

I've always disliked the term "best friend" because it is so exclusive... it is the kind of word that as an insecure girl I learned to dread as the cliquey, catty, groups in school perpetually dumping one and other (or me) for their next "best friend"...

...and I think anyone I love has an inherent value that is both without measure or class.

Next post in this series will be about friendships that have gone awry- titled, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do".

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Movies That Never End? and an Indian Feast!

Do you have a movie that you've watched a dozen times over but for some reason or another you rarely get to the end? You know the ones... like Dances With Wolves. I love when that movie comes on TV! I'll turn it on with every intention of sitting through the whole thing but by the time John and Stands With a Fist hook up I'm gone. Sometimes I even forget how the thing ends though I can damn near recite the first forty minutes line for line....

Same goes for the Cher classic, Mermaids, Farris Beulers Day Off, and Good Will Hunting.... Or Oh! Another is Unforgiven. How does that one end?....

On a totally unrelated note I spent all day Sunday making an East Indian Feast!!

I made from scratch...

Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower cooked in Indian spices, garlic and onion.)

Raita (dipping sauce made of yogurt, buttermilk, cumin, cucumber, carrot, lemon, and cilantro.)

Roti (unleavened whole wheat bread.)

Chicken Skewers (chicken marinated in buttermilk and Indian spices, then skewered and grilled.)

Basmati Rice (made with cumin, peas, cilantro.)

Vegetable sauce (coconut milk, red curry paste, onion, red pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste and spices.)

Chaat (Raita (see above) with chickpeas, potato, chutney, cumin, cilantro and topped with a crunch fried dough like what samosas are made with.)

All the food turned out, thank goodness, as there were eight of us for supper. I finished with a homemade coconut flan dessert and Indian sweets that I bought from the store. As good as everything was, I can easily say that the company was better!

Hope you all head a great weekend!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Chelsi's Favorites- Under $1000

The horses listed below are a mere smattering of the thousands of good, registered, broke, sound and sane horses on the market today for under a $1000. This group isnt the best and isnt the worst, they are simply horses that jumped off the page for some reason or another...some are one's that I'd love to see broke or aged horses that are in awesome shape or prospects that pique my interest. Anyways, here is just a few....

(note: I'm not overly fussy about angles when looking at pictures of a horse. I find a photo can make a bad horse look good or a good horse look bad.)

This gelding might not be flashy but he certainly looks like he could become a pretty handy horse. $1000

I'm hoping that this is a bad picture of this 13 year old palomino mare. Her daddy (Sonny 00 Buck) is a well known stud in Washington/Oregon and tends to produce some nice horses.

I'm usually not too keen on paint markings but I like the pattern on this mare. She is reg., broke, and $700.

I really like the color of this 4 year old mare...her lack of white and rich chestnut coat gives her a unique look. She is started and quiet so makes my list at $1000.

This mare might not be registered but she is not bad looking, young (8) and broke, at $600 she's worth a look.

I dont care how old this mare is (22) she is pretty as a picture and dead broke. $1000

This six year old bay mare isnt broke but she's just too cute to sit...someone needs to put her to work. At $500 I think this mare is worth a look.

This mare may be 20 years old but any horse that looks that good at that age gets my vote. At $750 she's priced well for a very well broke gaming horse- even given her age.

This two year old gelding is unstarted but I like him anyways... nice sharp looking horse that has a mix of pleasure and old school cow breeding.

5 year old bay roan AQHA mare. This one get's my vote, in part, because the sellers actually advertised her as bay roan, not blue! $800, broke and she looks like she could do a hard days work.

Happy Birthday Mom!!

(Mom and me, circa 1983)

Let me tell you a little something about my Mom...

My Mom is the kind of person who when you meet, you feel instantly drawn too. Her face is warm, open and inspires trust in complete strangers...which is probably why she finds herself so often deep in conversation with the most unlikely of people- from baristas to the guy behind her in line, to cashiers and the UPS guy, my Mom can flush out their life stories as quickly and easily as most could discover their first names.

Her personality dazzles from the inside out and her smile radiates with the golden light of her soul. My Mom is the life of the party. She dances like nobody's watching, she shakes her booty and sings along (even if she doesnt know the words) and can teach most bartenders a few new tricks, (behind the bar, no less.) Dont let her sweet smile fool you, she can play a mean game of pool and is no slouch at the cards either. She is the first to offer a helping hand, a kind word or to defend her friends or family and the last to leave anyone in need. She is quite simply as vivacious and lovely as a woman can be.

(Mom, circa 1966)

One of the greatest joys of my life has been that I've gotten to spend so much time with my Mom. Shopping, decorating, picking colors, baking or just watching TV, she is the best of company. Her laugh is infectious and her teasing- relentless! She is compassionate, insightful, smart, and witty! A salt-of-the-earth, loving, supportive and delightful woman I am so very proud to call my Mom.

How many adjectives did I just use? Not nearly enough! She deserves them all and many more.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! (Mom and me, Oct. 09)

I love you.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Moon, Horses, Pippy and Sex Toys

So far today I've gotten half way through four, four posts before giving up and trying on another topic for size. Nothing feels right... I started with a review on New Moon (that I saw yesterday with my Mom and Sister) and how I once met the guy who play's the huge Vulturi guard, Felix (pictured above)...but then decided that I'd look a little pathetic doing another Twilight post...
....and so started writing about the issue of unwanted horses and how yesterday I was reading about how there has been in increase in the number of horses being abandoned (NY Times)....
(Which has nothing to do with the above picture... I just included that because I thought it was cool... they call that an Alaskan Clydesdale.)
Anyways, I found whole issue was just totally depressing and so I thought...

I know! I'll write about Pippi Longstocking!

Remember her? Red pigtails, striped socks and a leopard spotted Appy? But a few sentences into my post I realized that was about all I actually remembered about Ol' Pippi and her horse...who was named "Horse" by the way.

So then I decided that to continue with the thread of my last post, I'd ask all of you if you ever had a friend or acquaintance throw a toy party (and no, not kids toys...*ehem*) and how reflective that may or may not be of women's lib and this generation's disregard of the cultural standard of ladylike behavior.... The problem with that post is that it is about...well... need I explain what made writing that post awkward?

And so that leaves me with a post about all the things that I didnt post about.

So to sum up...

I liked New Moon. Go Team Jacob!

The economy is causing horses to be abandoned.... which totally sucks for them.

Pippi Longstocking had a horse named Horse. She rocked.

And women are having sex toy parties. *blank stare*

You're welcome.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Twihards Have Officially Gone WAY Too Far!!

So this evening I stumbled upon a funny link of the "30 Most Disturbing Twilight Products". Now, some of these products I really didnt find disturbing at all...not that I would personally buy any of them but I didnt really see the harm in a bumper stickers, T-shirts and cookbooks.... even Vovlo taking advantage of Edward's car of choice...or Burger King's Team Edward or Team Jacob water bottles. All clean fun if you ask me... but...

A few were a little creepy... or a lot creepy... like the underwear (with Edward's face on the inside), dolls, sheets, shower curtains and a silhouette you can stencil on the wall of your bedroom that is somehow distinctly Edward along with the words "Be safe" . Not to mention golden contacts and a felt replica of Bella's womb. Yes, I said womb. Creepy!

But what I found particularly...actually, beyond disturbing, was a certain object... ahh... yah... I'm not going to say what it is.... other than that it sparkles and apparently contains a little ice in order to "retain a cold temperature" and achieve the most "authentic experience". Can I just say WTF!!!!! Wow! Twihards have officially taken it WAY too far.

Fat Toe Syndrome and A Study of Apes

I have Fat Toe Syndrome. Any of my regular readers might be aware that I like to invent syndromes. It's called, "Syndrome of making up Syndrome's Syndrome." Do you have it?


So... I have fat toes. My second toe... or is it my third? Do you go left to right when counting or right to left? (the ring finger toe equivalent) is abnormally fleshy and whenever I go for long walks my witches toe (the toe next to your big's called a witches toe if it is longer than your big toe.) steps on my third toe and creates a blister. I am convinced that my weight issue has finally gotten so bad it is effecting my toes. Hence the Fat Toe Syndrome. Does anyone else ever have this?


Okay, okay. I'm weird and totally rambling and so I'll try to pretend I didnt just make a total ass of myself by recommending a highly educational PBS program...

A few months ago I caught an amazing show on NOVA (PBS) about apes. It was absolutely fascinating and I've been hoping to see it again some day... which is why I was so excited when I found that it is available online!

Until I discovered that it is only available online to US viewers! WTF! We're Canada people! Not Russia! Not very neighborly, if you ask me.

I'll share anyways!

Click here to go to the page on NOVA's website.

The program is broken into chapters.

I found the chapter on "Impulse Control" most interesting because of the study featured in which children and apes are tested on their impulse control- they had to choose between getting one gummy bear immediately (in a bowl in front of them) or waiting a few minutes to receive a handful of gummy bears. It is really neat to see how some children were totally unable to control their impulse and decided to take the single gummy. What was even more fascinating was how the length of time the child managed to resist the temptation of that single gummy directly correlated to their SAT scores later in life (the longer they waited the higher their scores.)

Anyone one to take a guess how I would have fared in that experiment?

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?

Yes or no?

For those outside the US, here is a link to the program on youtube:

Part 1/6
Part 2/6
Part 3/6
Part 4/6
Part 5/6
Part 6/6

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pony Girl Needs to Back Off My Man!! (Robert Pattinson)

Just who does she think she is? Posting pictures of herself with MY MAN!!! Does Pony Girl not know he is all mine? Well... "all" and "mine" being a relative term for me and the other fourteen million girls who want to marry him at this moment. Not that I'd marry him... *ehem*

Pony Girl, I like you. Really, I do. I actually could say ditto to everything you wrote in your (hilarious) post on our love affair with Twilight.... but need to step away from my man, sista!

Anyways, I just thought I'd say....

Hours. We are hours away from New Moon.





*bites lip*

*squeal escapes*

*clamps hand over mouth*


*totally flips out- squealing, bouncing, giggling and wild jazz hands*

*remembers that she is 27 years old*

*hangs head in shame*

Thank you, that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Progression of a Portrait and Where did the Fall Go?

Is it time to lighten things up a little? To take a deep, slow, relaxing breath and stop to enjoy the....

Christmas Music?

I was in Macy's today with my Mom singing along to "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas" when really I was dreaming of when I'd get my next Starbucks eggnog latte. It snowed here for the first time a few days ago. Was it not just summer? Where did the Fall go? I'm not ready for this year to end.

Anyways, to lighten things up a little I thought it might be neat to see the progression of the portrait I did last month. Every time I start a new piece I tell myself that I'm going to take pictures every fifteen minutes so if I lined the pictures you we could watch a time lapse of the portrait being drawn... only I never do.

Anyways, here it is the few I did snap. Sorry for the funky color...the light is hard to get right in the evening.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Neglect and Abuse Cases- What can be done?

I think that, given Fugly's blog is umpteen times bigger than my own, it is safe to assume that anyone concerned with the issue of the "starving reining horses" in Washington have either already seen Fugly's blog or will in the near future.

Fugly's decision to publish the name and ranch of those who are accused of starving some reining horses in Snohomish County Washington was one I previously chose not make in light of the fact that I was unable to ensure that any information I posted was factual and/or that it served the purpose of helping the horses concerned.

Bloggers are not held to the same ethical standard as journalists, but with the evolution of the Internet in our culture, more and more of the public has come to rely upon blogs as a source of news and information and as such, I feel we bloggers must take responsibility for ensuring that anything we write, when presented as fact, is such and that the rights of the individual are being respected. Laws against libel and slander exist, in part, to avoid the mob mentality and potential for vigilantism that can be created when the public's emotion is called to rise by those who offer neither facts, an un-bias opinion or a solution.

While it may seem I am putting the rights of those who may be violating the responsibilities inherent in owning and caring for animals, over the concern for those who are being subject to their abuses, I'd like to point out that attacking the accused does little to help the situation, and in fact may be counterproductive.

My reason behind first blogging about this issue was to hear from people that knew of the situation first hand and to find out what was being said and done to help those horses. I also wanted to express my shock that such neglect could happen to animals so valuable.

After writing that post I e-mailed a number of people in an attempt to find out- First, what was true; Second, what had already been done; and Third, what more I could do to help.

In the past, when faced with a case of neglect, abuse, and/or horses that are in need of the public's help I have found it most helpful to first ask:

Who has power to feed, remove, view and control these horses?

The answer almost always is the owner and the government.

Those who have the greatest position of influence- friends, family and peers- are most likely to be able to persuade the owner to accept help. In this case I am sure Judy Caton was overwhelmed by the e-mails, phone calls and visitors from all of these concerned fellow breeders and trainers in her community. Anyone in a position of influence, that was willing to do so, has no doubt already tried to remedy the situation.

If social pressure from an owner's peer group is unable to persuade him or her, it seems unlikely the public would fair much better.

And so that leaves us with government intervention and Fugly's suggestion that Animal Control be called. Obviously, if anyone is witness to any kind of abuse or neglect it is our responsibility to report it to the local Animal Control office. However, I worry that rallying a group of third parites together to call on mass will do little but overwhelm the office staff, who are probably overrun with the unfortunate byproduct of this economy (unwanted, neglected and abandoned animals.)

My experience has been, in such cases where it seems the local authorities are doing little or nothing to resolve the problem, it is because they are subject to certain legal procedures and protocols in order to seize property (and horses are considered property). Restrictions like whether there is enough feed on the property to for the number in the herd, mitigating circumstances that could have lead to the horses declining health, the owners explanation, the person(s) responsible for their care vs. owner(s) etc.. are all factors that could leave the humane society will little choice to but wait for the situation to decline. No amount of public outcry can change the ability for local animal control to act in a case where there is no legal merit. As these laws are made at the legislative level, I think we are better served to put the presure of such social activism against those who have the power to exact change.

Another source of potential change within the industry could be within the governing bodies of equine sports like the NRHA, NCHA or NSBA not to mention breed associations like the AQHA or APHA. Should these organizations take stand on the breeding and husbandry practises of their members? Should limits be placed on breeders? Should licences or registration privileges be revolved for abuse or neglect cases?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Starving Reining Horses in Washington???!!!!

This morning I received a startling e-mail, one that alleges a well known Washington breeder of reining horses is responsible for neglecting the horses in their care to the degree that some are "starving to death".

I received this e-mail fourth hand (meaning it had been forwarded four times by the time I received it) and as such I'm not going to give the full details, as of yet.

I do not personally know the ranch in question but did know of it and of the person who is making the allegations. The e-mail was written by a well known local trainer and was intended to draw the attention of a nine well respected breeders and trainers within the reining industry...I do not believe it was his intent for this information to "go viral" on the Internet but I feel it is only a matter of time before it does. Some of THE top names in the NRHA world as well as the most notable ranches in the North West were included in that list and so I can only conclude that the trainer's intent was to apply enough social pressure on this breeder that she would clean up her act.

The pictures attached to this e-mail clearly show horses that are in desperate need of attention and seriously underweight. It is alleged that these horses belong to a very well known breeder heavily involved in the North West reining industry as well as at a national level, standing quality stallions, an impressive group of broodmares and is a well being a recognized sponsor of events in the NW.

I am a bit at a loss over what or how much should be said or done without having any first hand knowledge of the situation. Obviously, I want to help those horses in any way possible including posting information about what is going on here in hopes of providing some small support in remedying the problem. Her horses are valuable show animals that are known within the community and the facilities are higher end...these are not some horses hidden away in a backyard and so I am stunned that this problem as not come to light sooner or been allowed to go that far. As we all know the ASPCA/SPCA is not always able to act in situations where they might like to and so while I am sure they have been informed, I'm not sure that much will come it. I want to find out what is true and what is not before providing names or details...

But what then? What if it is true? What is being done with these horses who so desperately need our help?

It seems unbelievable that neglect like this is possible with a ranch so prominent and well known within the community. I am going to see what I can find out and will post an update asap.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just Eight More Days Till...

Yah, you know what I'm talking about! Just eight more days!

Are you getting excited yet?

I am!!

(for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about... to bad!) Bwahahaha!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Women Against Psychic Bladders Unite!

I think my bladder is psychic! Or at the very least totally masochistic. If I am twenty minutes from home and I have to go pee, I can hold it with no problem....right up until the driveway. As I approach the house the urge gets the front door I'm starting to get worried... and as I walk in the house take my jacket off and start down the hall I'm starting to panic... things turn urgent... and then... then I get to washroom!... but not in the washroom! Oh no! I'm poised just outside the door...standing there... doing the pee pee dance! I stare longingly at the toilet. Finally I make the final dash but wait! There is one last step. The pants! The pants must come down! Another pee pee dance ensues. And then... well then, relief alas. Why? Why couldnt that sneaky little voice trick my bladder into thinking that we were still miles away from a washroom? Why must it always let the secret fly just a few feet short of home? I wanna know, dammit! Why?! Btw, this is nothing new. I remember when I used to walk home from school it was the same story, every day. I'd get to within five houses of home and BAM! It'd hit. I gotta go! Now! What is really embarrassing is that I lived in a cul-de-sac and so it's not like I was able to just stop in front of my neighbors house and do a little pee pee dance for a minute. Oh no! I'd have to come up with some inconspicuous task to use as an excuse to stop... you know, check my back back, tie my shoe (or untie and re-tie I should say) or stop and admire my neighbor's garden. The sweet lady next door must of thought I was obsessed with her pansies! But eventually I'd make it through the front door and then it was game on! My bladder and I'd have a throw-down, show-down. The nearest bathroom? Upstairs... seven small steps... seven agonizing steps to freedom.

Why not just go before leaving school you ask? Because I didnt have to go then. Oh no! And these days my bladder doesn't give up that pertinent little bit of news before I leave the grocery store or restaurant either. No! No! It is sadistic freak of nature that knows just which bathroom is mine! So it lays in wait, holding tight until it senses the moment to strike! Just a few feet short of the blessed, blasted toilet, it springs to life! But I shall play slave to no man... or organ! (that doesnt sound right, does it?)... I am a strong, confident, woman in firm control of her bladder! And so I fight! I fight! And I'll win, dammit!

I'm going to start a club, "Women Against Psychic Bladders Unite!" WAPBU for short.

Are you in!?!
Oh! And I discovered something else! All of these pin up girls we thought were trying to be sexy?! Well they're not! Oh no, they're doing the pee pee dance!!! Check it out!