Monday, February 28, 2011

Making hay while the sun shines.

Snow was predicted by ALL of the  weather forecasters in this area for the last week.

And although the temperature went from 70 degrees a week ago to 32 degrees last night, you actually have to have a little bit of precipitation in the air for it actually to 'snow'. Go figure- the cold front pushed the rain front a little bit south of my area, the East Bay Area that is, and we did not get snow at sea level as they so gleefully predicted.

All I can say - ' There is a God!'

And we have been blessed by cool days- still with muddy bits- and cold nights.

So I have been riding the piss out of my horse. Or at least I've attempted to. He is such a punk anyway and he feels really good, so our riding time has somehow reverted to 'I'm-gonna-have-to-school-you-first' time.
What with the bucking and running off and head shaking, I'm surprised we are both still here! I've wanted to shoot him between the eyes, then turn the gun on myself! ( Don't wo-ory I won't do either!)

Here is the pattern I have set up.

There is 18 feet between the far right poles and to the first middle pole, then 18 feet beteen the last middle pole and the first pole on the left. Six feet- a stride- in between the middle poles.

Our objective- to fine tune stride and cadence. In the exercise I found ( in the Journal a few months ago) says not to worry- we won't get it right the first time out.
I says to myself, "Jeez, it's just some poles on the ground, and a few feet in hard could it be?
Famous last words, to be sure.
It is simple. And it is hard.
And the article was correct. We didn't get it right. Not the first time, or the time after that or the time after that...
......well, you get the picture.

We DID finally get actual 'lope over' with only one hind foot CLONKING' and I figured that was as good a place to stop as any. The other 100 times we had loped over it we had DE-STROYED the set up...
Or jumped it...
Or avoided it...
Or bucked through it....
So the loping part came as a nice change.
After that we did some things he is good at doing.

Walk overs.

The Bridge.....

The gate too.
I still have another day before the rain starts again, so I'll be out there doing those same lope overs tomorrow.

Some people just never learn.....

Friday, February 25, 2011

Please say it ain't so!

I read in yesterdays San Francisco Chronicle ( so it MUST be true) that bloggers were giving up blogging in favor of Face book. The control group (whoever that was) said that the FB is easier to connect to with their friends, they can download more pictures directly from their phones and get comments in real time.

I say Ha.

I suppose that those ex-bloggers are just too busy and hip to stick with the blog form of communication. They want to upload or download pictures directly from their phones to FB... oooo- better watch that one...
Pic's of drunken tom-foolery? No chance to think about it or sober up- oh no! Just post them pictures baby! The rest of us are waiting here at our keyboards just a waitin'. and BTW so is your boss, and your mother and maybe your great aunt... FB ain't just for kiddies anymore!

Perhaps a written form of communitcation that has more than 143 characters will be just too much for their puny little electronic gadget filled brain to comprehend.Perhaps they never learned to type on a full sized key board. They may never have picked up a No. 2 pencil except in math class( and who knows even then!)

As they say- WhatEVER! I blog as much for my own satisfaction as for yours. I hope you do the same. If you aren't passionate about what you write, then why bother? FYI I am passionate about growing out my horses tail, the size of my dog, the lunacy of others and the current weather situation.
I am concerned about teen aged pregnency, oil prices and unrest in the Middle east- but not enough to write about them. Let other passionate people do that. There are a butt load of them out there trying.

I find your everyday trials and tribulations endlessly facinating. I love to look at other peoples travel and kid photographs, and I always have. You need advice- well I have plenty, and no one around here wants to take it- I will give it freely to you! I want to see the weather in Alaska and then in Arizona. I want to know who visits your blog and why. I like to lurk on occasion-so sue me!
All and all I am not ready to give up on the blog. I am however about to give up on FB.It reminds me of being back in high school and going to a great big frat school party. There are all the 'cool kids' spouting their own personal wisdoms. There are the brainyiacs quoteing obscure verse to remind everyone that they are cerebreal. There are the jocks and the rah rahs, the geeks showing up occasionally and changing their pictures to something real weird. They can poke you, or kiss you and you can't get away.  But do  you really need to see this guys 'junk' and this girls pantie shots? Do I really care enough to be here in the middle of all this babble?
It's like this- I really didn't enjoy High School all that much either. It cut into my riding or working time, just like FB.
So my little prediction is that we will eventually graduate from FB and into the newest big thing ( what ever fresh hell that will be). I'll stay on- I'm too nosey not to want to lurk occasionally. And I do keep in touch with my finally found relatives in Texas and Florida: (LOVE you guys!)
And to you stick with it, die hard bloggers- Thank you! Keep blogging. It aint over until the fat lady sings and I haven't even begun warming up!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Horses that Look like Celebrities...

If you haven't seen this check it out! I like the Gypsy Vanner and Cameron Dias!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rain Rain Go away!

The last few days it has been pouring rain.

My garden is now submerged. 

My retaining wall has reached maximum 'cap-a city' and is no longer retaining anything.


Mud abounds.

I'm inside with a hot toddy and a good book.

Well, at least inside I'll be happy and dry.

Friday, February 18, 2011

He who laughs last..

Haha! We were all here enjoying the sunshine and the warm weather, just dreaming about blooming trees and flower gardens...sigh

When  BAM!

We get a winter storm! And it is a cold one! Snow down to 2000 feet~ means it is covering our little mountain top and the mountain tops in Santa Cruz and Marin. The Sierra's are packed!

Of course California water regulators and such will still cry about our drought conditions, and that we don't have enough water ya da ya da. That is another stry completly.

I'm just glad I resisted temptation and did not plant any new flowers in my garden. They would have frozen!
The worst part of the rain is that we were just starting to dry out and I was riding every other day getting Desi in shape for  our show in a few weeks.

Now I'll have to wait and start  over again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dora the Explorer and Me

We( The Martinez Horsemen's Association)  had our Crab Feed on Saturday. It was a lot of work, but it was a sucessful event! I'll put up pictures later.
On Sat morning my wonderful crew met at the hall to put it all together. I had John and his guys cooking 'gravey' ( the italian word for red sauce) and garlic bread, melting butter, and setting up the crab tins.
I had Karen and another crew putting up the tables and decorations, Bill and Keith putting out signs and getting ice and Me- I was doing the last minute running around and getting the other stuff we had forgotten.

Now remember that I am getting older and I do forget stuff.

But not this time!

Seems like my two and a half year old grandson and I have the same affliction- age. He's very young and has the attention span of a knat- I am old and have the memory of a knat.
I found myself starting up my car and chanting- cheese,lemons,bread,ice cream. Cheese butter, bread ice cream.  Just like Dora the Explorer does in her cartoon show!
Since Jr and I watch a little tv in the afternoon I get to know what he likes. Dora is one of his favorites. She has a MAP, and it shows where she has to go to acheive and solve the days 'problem'. She makes a little chant out of the sequence!
I did it too! and you know what? It worked! I didn't forget a thing!
Thanks Dora!
Now if you could teach me how to add!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do I really need to do this to save some pennies???

So I am going through my garage- aka Tack storage section-( as opposed to the Ammunition storage sections or the Christmas storage section or the I GOTTA gid rid of all this shit' section) and I am pulling out some tack that is still good that I am not currently using. My Horsemen's Club will be having a Tack Sale and Swap in another month and I wanted to see what I still have to swap that I haven't already sold just to keep the horses.  I found some good stuff!
I found an off side billet when yesterday I was thinking that I really needed a new one. Voila! There she was!

I found a small hay bale bag, a cinch and woolen cover, a nylon halter and rope, a 5 inch stud chain ( you can never have too many of those around!) Several already cleaned and properly stored blankets  ( Yippee! I have to start changing Desi's Winter clothing to spring clothing soon! Again Voila! There she is!

I found a complete tack box- hard brush, soft brush, jelli scrubber, thrush meds, rubberbands and hair brushes, fly spray and hoof picks. It had been Glaciers and when I put her down I cleaned all the brushes and put it in the unused section.

I found all of my show blankets, cleaned and bagged.

And I found a Cashel Fly mask.
It's not really fly season around here...yet. But I noticed that there was a whole lot of Bay hair around the velcro tapes and around the ear holes and crown piece.
Says I, " Oh I'll just wash it and the hair will pretty much go away."
Then my other self- the one that gets yelled at for doing what the first self says buts in with, " Eh, NO Dummy! You'll clog up the Washer with horse hair. BAD IDEE!"
Says I-" Hmm, ok.. I will take the jelli scrubber and rub all this hair away." So I began to do that on the sideway of my suburban home, where the soccer moms drive by and see me scrubbing something black and fuzzy on the sidewalk. " Hmm", I think, "this looks weird, I'll bet." And all to save this damn fly mask- even if it is a Cashel.
Then the Penny Saving self- the one that has just recently incarnated into my life  says" But Why buy a new one- when the old one will work."
" I am not so broke I cannot go buy a new fly mask! " I huff. But after once more nixing the idea of washing the damn thing, I take the soft brush and really begin making the hair fly. I finally get it clear of hair, and I admit I do feel a little bit better about saving it so I can use it another season, when I notice the eye piece is completly ripped out! GAHHH! Into the garbage it goes.

I've spent all that time for nuttin! This time. But I've had horses since I was two. I've been skrimping and saving, living on a horse lovers shoestring budget-of course I would want to save it. Anyone who knows me would  have thought it weird for me NOT to try to save it.
 Other stuff I do to save a dime or two:

                   I mend my horse blankets.
                   I mend my own tack when possible with leather strings, and hole punches.
                    I refold saddle blankets so the fluffy side is always up,
                    I borrow headstalls for shows, barter my exquiste stall cleaning skills for lower rent, photos for  money for hay, riding lessons for hair cuts. 
I buy in bulk, and sell the extra.
I buy when the price is low and store stuff, if I can. 
 I do a lot of my own vetting, but when I can't, I pool my resources with my friends, by calling the vet to come to our area all one day. He will hit three or four barns for shots and teeth, and take a little off of each barn call because we are all so close together.

Sometimes we all choose to go to the same shows. We haul each others horses, share each others food and lodgings, split the cost of the tack room stalls and gas. And I save a dime by selling objects of tack that I will not be using again.
So even though I felt a fool for cleaning a mask that ultimatly turned out to be just garbage- it is something I am used to doing. I will continue acting a fool for my horse.And putting those pennys into a 'horsey' bank!
BTW- that is the same way I refrain from spending at those fabulous auctions!  A penny for a horse statue- or a penny for the real thing? Guess which I choose almost every time?  You are correct :)
How do y'all save your pennies for your horses?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You all have such good taste!

Today we auctioned off the items I highlighted yesterday and let me tell ya- you all have good taste!
The Oak bookcase was actually in the Eastlake style and the final bid was...

................................................................well, I'll tell you in a minute...

First- the sweet little horse statue. That went for $40.00. It was a little higher than I thought it was going to go for, but it was nicely made, so the money is right on that.

Next the pine bed. Other single pine beds today went for $10 and $20 bucks- but the bed I highlighted yesterday was unique and in a style you probably won't see in Ikea- so that bed went for  $130.

I missed the selling of the Crap Table- I was busy actually working when it sold (drat!)

An old wooden monkey sold for $600! It was really old and may have been part of a carosel a one time- Everyone wanted it. I didn't get a picture of it before it was wisked away!

So that leaves the Eastlake Book case.

It was one of the highest selling items in the whole auction at...

Drum Roll Please....



But the guy that bought it told me he was determined not to leave without it. He held out and he won! He also bought a huge double bed head and foot board in the same style for about $400.

So it was another sucessful auction and now we must all wait for one more month before we can treasure hunt there again.
But I am sure it will be worth the wait!

This months' found treasures.

Auction Day!
Actually I've been working this month in more than one auction. The House had it's Gallery Sale on Sunday, an Ethno-type auction with many pieces of African, New Guniea,Alaskan and Native American art on Monday and the Annex auction yesterday. I was pretty busy but I managed to get a few pictures of todays( Wednesday) auction items.

Isn't this guy cute! He's made of metal and mounted on a piece of Onyx stone.

This single bed is made of pine and looks like it was made around the turn of the last century for a child. It is clear unpainted wood, with ball feet. Add slats and a mattress and wouldnt it be cute in a kid or a guest room? ( ignore the tables in the middle of it- room is at a premium around here!)

Yep, you are seeing this right! A Craps Table! If I could buy this and put it in my living room, I'd be the biggest 'hit' of the neighborhood! How funny would that be? That is a mink coat lying across the side of it, but it didn't fit me- too small!

I really like this closed book case. It is early 1900's Walnut and has inset burl pieces in the decoration. The glass is original and it has one drawer at the bottom. It's in great shape! I could really use this in my house but it is such a nice piece it will probably go for a lot of money!

This piece isn't very old, and some of it is veneered, but it is solid and useful. A Great table for a flat screen or for behind a couch. It will probably go for about $50.
There are some nice waterford glasses going up today, but I wasn't able to get photos of those.
So I'm off to my last day of work.
 Which one of these did you like best?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Something to think about

" Winning isn't everything. Striving to win is"
 Vince  Lombardi

Friday, February 4, 2011

A different way to have a trainer help you

I am always asking myself the question- How can I have a better ride?

Sometimes the answer is simple- " Ride more." "Drink less." "Be more aware!"

Sometimes the answer is hard, " Quit thinking you know everything!" "Be more consistant." "Try harder!"

But whether the answer is simple or hard, the result will always be a better horse and a better ride.

I read the books.
I go to the clinics.
I listen to the trainers.

Sometimes something will click or stick. Then it 'feels like buttah!' I love that!
In my search I found this little website. Even if you don't pay and join, you can still glean a few gems from it. I am thinking about actually paying and joining- that's how much I think it might be a good thing.
I haven't done it yet- mostly because I am saving all my pennies for the show. ( a proverbial catch 22 if ever there was one).
But I am passing the link on to you all- you can make up your own minds. Whether you ride for fun or for speed or for skill you can probably find something of value in this site.

Giver 'er a go and let me know what you think.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Something to look foreward to-finally!

Even though I still don't have a full time job...

And even though my truck needs a new Tranny.....

And even though my horse is as fuzzy as a wooley mammoth.....

And even though I have sold almost all of my 'good' tack......

I am going to go to the Gold N Grand Show in Elk Grove at the end of March!

I just said F--- It! I'm going!
(Actually Lil Mama convinced me to choose that show)

Last year I rode and practiced
and rode and practiced
and gave up stuff and gave up stuff and gave up more stuff....

And I might have to give up even MORE stuff...

I am going to stick Desi in the trailer
Spiff up my saddle
Borrow a nice headstall,
count up all of my nickles and dimes and pennies

And just go