Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Things I've learned this year. Or should have

NO resolutions this year. I made a few last year and wound up hearing God laughing through most of them.
Instead here are a few 'truths' I've figgured out for myself. Call me Captain Obvious if you will, but here they are in black and white.

10.  Never try to find a BART Space at the main stations anytime between 8 and 10 AM. You won't find one.

9.   Always make sure you have enough return money for a trip back to the BART Station from where ever you are in SF. If you don't have it, borrow it. Sure as shootin' you're gonna need it.

8.  The day you decide to dress a little down is the day the Boss notices you.

7.   Never ever leave the house with out looking in the mirror, front and back. You may have a pair of static electrified underwear plastered to the back of your sweater.

6 .    If you are over 50 , never ever put on make-up with out your glasses. Trust me, You can thank me later for that little tip...    

5.   If you bid on an item on a whim- make sure it is a whim you are prepared to live with and pay for.

4.   Nothing in life is a sure thing.

3.    When you start thinking that the Universe has forgotten all about you- it hasn't. It's just biding time to give you what you need.

2.    Learning to live with a fully grown daughter in your home is the greatest gift I've ever received.

1.  Whoever said that Grandchildren are the fountain of youth was right! I sleep like a baby after he's gone, Cry like a baby when he goes away and Drink like a fish in the time in between!( so the metaphor is flawed- sue me!)

What wisdom's have you learned this year? I'd be so happy to find out!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Good or Bad
Happy or sad, 
you've all been there 
literally and figuratively. 
Merry Christmas all you Bloggers and Lurkers
What fun 2012 will be!

OMG! I must be crazy!

I must be crazy.
For the last week I have been working back in San Francisco at Heritage.
If you ask me why I would say because I want to be helpful and I know Sweet Janice needed me.
I do love to be helpful.
Plus I need the dough to send Desi to camp.

This week we are moving~ about 14 blocks to the north, at the base of the Trans America pyramid. It's at the edge of the Financial District and in the Antique District which is also called North Beach. It is also just to the left of China Town and below Broadway which is the infamous Barbary Coast of SF legend. Google it.
In other words- Chi chi! Their shit don't stink. They dress way up to go to work. There are no bums to step over getting to work. The trees are continually dressed in bright white twinkling lights~ not just Christmas. We have many very nice and tasty restaurants to choose from for lunch.Our space is equally lovely, with high ceilings in a Victorian looking building, hardwood floors and windows fore and aft...

BUT- you knew this was coming... BUT
This is my space ( when I  work, which is probably not going to be much)

It is a dungeon. It is also a good thing I am a munchkin, because my head does not touch the low rafters- which I won't be able to say for most of my co-workers including my darling John.

But the shipping dept is just a piffle- of course. The Art Dept gets the choice of building spaces, and the rest of us just have to make it work.

So yesterday was moving day.
Art Dept Girl was no where to be found. One of the CD's was MIA too- and I'm a little miffed about that.
First let me say that I am not a young woman. I have issues and my butt isn't as trim as it used to be. I am at the edge of exhaustion at this point after working ten days straight. Here is the story...

John and I have been slaving away to wrap and pack and get the biggest collection away to Dallas, and the secondary collections to Dallas and then the rest of the materials and values wrapped to send to Jackson Street ( the new digs). My Sweet Jan and Darling Laura went to Jackson to meet the movers, the rest of the crew stayed behind. Me to supervise, and John to help load when needed.
All of a sudden one of the movers hollers-" Elevator is stuck!"

Our building is a SF landmark. With it's big Coca Cola light up sign on the top and its beautiful open floor plan, it is a old treasure with an old temperamental elevator that I would not call a treasure on most days.If you don't center the load, the floor tips and the elevator stops.
So I go to the edge of the elevator shaft which has a wooden gate to keep someone from falling down the shaft and I see that the elevator IS stuck and has three items inside that have tilted to one side and are pressing against the up/down button. And there is no one in the elevator. The mover had tried to send it up sans operator.
So to him I say " Ok, you're going to have to be a monkey and climb over the gate from the second floor and reshift that load."
He looks a bit baffled, but I take him by the collar and haul him up to the second floor.
I pull a stool over to the open elevator with the solidly closed gate and point to the two foot gap between the bottom of the door and the top of the gate. The elevator is stuck between floors, probably about 10 feet down. He stand on the stool and he is so heavy he cannot get his leg over the gate.  So the next guy goes and stands on the stool, but he's so old and rickety that he just hangs his head over the wooden gate and says,
"Oh I don't think I can do that."
"Get a ladder" I say. We put the ladder up to the gate, I wait for one of the guys to begin the climb. and I wait. And wait. They stand around shuffling their feet and worrying about what they are going to do, and say things like, " I don't know" "that looks dangerous"  "I don't think I can get over it, man"
"Oh, fergawd sake! " I finally blurt. "We don't have time for this!" I climb the ladder, swing my leg over the bar and lower myself at least five feet down to the top of the five foot cabinet jamming the elevator. Then I have to turn around and haul myself down from the cabinet. Then I have to manhandle the load until it is centered and the elevator begins to hum, finally depositing me onto the dock platform.
See picture: I have a hard time describing it, so I drew a simple map. I am sure it will eventually help in those therapy sessions I am going to need.

Then I am recruited to go to Jackson Street. I need to tell them where the desk and all the tables are going to go. On the way over in the Car, Sweet Jan gives me a pep talk about how one CD is not listening and wants everything he had in the old space. When I get there I am shown the Dungeon. I bite my lip to keep from bursting into tears. I trip down the first step, catch myself on the rail and wonder how many times I am going to save myself from a hideous fall before I finally miss and tumble.

And the bottom floor is dark, and dank, and all of the lights don't work...but there is places for storage, and I start in restoring order. One by one, the other CD's come to me and ask me to speak to the other and to also speak to Sweet Jan about this and that- so finally they are all sorta satisfied. No one got exactly what they wanted, so I consider it a success.They got what the needed and a bit more. I got George the Antelope hanging on the wall, but he has to go upstairs near the kitchen closet. 
Luckily I was able to restore some organization, I stuffed a bunch of boxes in one niche, another hundred in another and managed to get the 'good' tables brought down and set up for a 'wrapping' and' lay out' table.
But of course they can't use me next week, but I can come in on the 2nd to organize the rest of the Shipping Dept, before being laid off again.
On my way home I had pretty much talked myself out of this job, but today I feel better, got some rest and chocolate. I'll do it a little bit longer.
But once more I say " I must be crazy!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Run for The Roses

Oh, just to have a little fun at Martha's Expense!

I have never fed my horses parsnips, or Barley. I bet her beautiful Friesan horses have the best of everything. I saw the inside of her stable on a tv show once and it was awesome. She has ultra comfy stalls and people to tend all of the animals (of course). When I come back in another life, maybe I want to be one of Martha's horses!

I am still wondering about that bull whip that Conan was foolin' with though- could he be right?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Words for thought on Horse slaughter

I am sure quite a few of my followers think that horse slaughter is just bad, bad, bad. I am going to tell you all, I am not one of them.
As a life long horse owner, and a realist, I was dismayed when the ban on horses slaughter plants in America came into effect. I could see the writing on the wall, and so could a lot more of my horse owner friends. What I feared has happened and the backlash of that is what we are all feeling right now. Weather you support the ban or not, you will be affected by it financially in your horse lives.


This blog was posted on FB, and at first I wasn't going to read it. I figured it was some one ranting on how bad the ban will be and why we should uphold it, and quiet frankly, I have enough people in my area that have a dreamified view of horse ownership that will give me that grief to my face.

But I did read it and this guy has hit the nail on the head on every point. It's the same thing I have been saying for the last five years, though I am sure I was not quiet as eloquent. His number figures will vary, of course, across the country. Right now hay in my area is nearly $20 a bale and co-opt mixed grains- the cheapest grain you can buy- is about $22 for a 50 lb bag. Shoes for a horse range from $100-$200, vet costs are going up because gas prices are going up. Board in this area is cheap at $400 a month. There is very little pasture boarding. If you need the services of a honest trainer the prices are from $550 -$1000 a month. In other words, it makes horse ownership a real commitment and it makes taking a rehab or a rescue into your fold nearly impossible.

 I have taken a horse to slaughter. When there was a plant within 50 miles of me, I did load up an evil horse and have him become chicken food. I didn't feel badly about it. I used the money to feed one that wasn't evil. Some horses are just so damaged that they cannot be rehabbed and need to die before they hurt someone.

But I have had many horses euthanized. And I have stood there when the cocktail was given or the bullet was fired. I have seen them fold and fall. It wasn't noble. It was wrenching.But I did it because it was the right thing to do, I had an emotional attachment to a horse that had given his best and I was able to give the final gift.
I realize that not everyone has the resources to pay for such a gift, and the fact they shouldn't own horses won't ever change that fact. There will always be backyard breeders, and horrible or ignorant or irresponsible owners. Rescue organizations will always be needed. They can still go to the sales and buy whichever horse they choose. The only thing changing there will be that the horses not bought at the sales will not be shipped overland in cramped cars with no food or water.  The un-chosen horses will be humanely destroyed. To me that will be a win.

 As horse owners we should all be advocates for the welfare of the horse as well as the industry.We advocate when it is fun ( teaching your neighbors to ride) and when it suits you ( going to the Rodeo and passing the PETA fools). We go to the Movies, ( WAR HORSE and SECRETARIAT) and buy the books (SeaBiscuit). Now we need to advocate in the face of ridicule, anger, ignorance and fear. The industry needs the plants back.
Please read this very well written blog.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Want to give the best gifts and save money? Read this blog today!

A friend of mine just posted on her blog that Black Thursday is taking away the thought and intent of Thanksgiving. I agree wholeheartedly.

 My girls say I'm turnin' into a scrooge. No celebrating Christmas until Dec 1!

Well, I'm not really turning into a scrooge, but I am avoiding shopping in the mall.
This year, like last year, I shop in my own little quaint downtown or I order online. But there is another better option opening, and it will do you and your heart and especially your pocketbook a whole lot of good! That is shopping at home with your friends and not on the computer or the shopping channel!

The trend is called Home Shows. It's been around for years- you know it best as Tupperware, or Avon or Mary Kay. But laugh not ye of little faith- the Home Show is the All American way to spend your dollars this year and I will tell you why. You can thank me later!
More and more young women are forced out of the work force due to having and caring for their families- having these home shows allows them to keep up the pace of their family, make some money, learn a lot of new skills and to bring you and your friends, lots of wonderful holiday ( and not holiday) items. Not just candles, and perfume, but makeup, skin care, Home accessories, House wears, shoes, purses, wallets, even Horse tack! And it is fun. All your friends around you trying stuff on , playing games, drinking wine or punch and eating cake~ sounds like heaven to me!
If you are still shopping for your family call one of the representative in your area right away. They would be glad to book a show for you immediately- plus you usually get some killer price off the items you wish to buy( sometimes you even earn free stuff!)
Another tip is ETSY. What a great site to buy from craftsmen, artists or vintage hounds like me. You get unique items that will tickle your Secret Santa's fancy and can put a few dimes back into the ol' piggybank.

Last tip- your blogging buddies are a bunch of interesting and talented people. I'll just bet that you can find someone to draw that picture, make that calender, braid the bracelet you want or write you a book or a tune. Last year I bought calenders from a few good bloggers- will again this year too! And that money goes directly to them- no middle man- and I like that- A LOT.

So keep the car in the drive, invite your girlbuds over along with the hostess of a new product. Everyone wins and your Christmas's will be stellar!

You can thank me now! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December already!

So many of you have such beautiful Christmas cards showing your families, horses and dogs. I tell ya's, I don't know how you guys do it!
I can hardly get my family in one room for any length of time!
I can hardly believe it is the first of December already. It seems like 2011 flew past. Good or Bad, it was at the very least a wild ride. And although I always dread December, this year I am just happy it is nearly over and I can start fresh in 2012.
Starting in 2012 I am sending the still unsold Desi to Trail Camp for 30 days. Although I used to ride the trails every day , now I do not, and with no real wish to do so. But it seems everyone who has come to see Desi wants a 'trail broke horse', and I cannot in good conscious say he's trail broke. Thus the Camp. It will be good for him. Even if I don't sell him, on my visits to see him I will ride the trails, which are private, thus more enjoyable.
In 2012 I plan to do more showing.
I plan to have a job I can count on daily or weekly or monthly.
I plan to finish my latest book.
I plan to do more travelling with Hubby.
I plan to do more with my friends.

So with all this planning, maybe I'd better start by planning a great big Christmas!
I may not get a fantastic picture of my horses, dogs and kids all together, but I'll get a big tree put up for my grandson, a big dinner planned for my Hubby, great gifts for my daughters and a Happy Holiday smile for everyone else.
So Merry Christmas Everyone! Let the Party begin today!