Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It is all about the expectations...

Over the weekend I finally spent time with my horses and barn friends. It was really good to get outside and ride after not seeing my boys for quite some time. Herman was a star and Reef just wanted more treats! But I also got to ride one of my friends horses. She was having problems getting her horse to walk over a ground rail (read pole laying on the ground). Her horse wanted to jump it like it was a 3 foot oxer with water (ever see a gazelle jump?)

So I was rode her horse though it, figured out the problem, and passed on the knowledge. She had to really exagerate the half halt on the outside rein to get her horse to listen to her. She was happy the horse was happy it was a great thing.

So then she asked why the half halt was important. And I did a lousy job of explaining dressage ('cause it is more fun to watch paint dry then to train dressage.) and the role of the half halt. Basically it goes like this... your body and your legs are telling the horse go forward and your hands are telling the horse to slow down and become more round. Yeah very contradictory.

So knowing that I had done a lousy job of explaining this to a person who was really trying to get it, I found John Paul. John Paul is a dressage trainer. And an amazing one at that. He has trained all over the world had has first class way of teaching. So I asked him to explain the half halt.

Kathy and I got a lot out of the conversation. We walked away with something much more important then the half halt. It pertains to expectations and keeping an open mind. It is more a life lesson then a riding lesson.

Jean Paul feels that by approaching life without expectations and by being open to anything that you are generally a much more happy person. Since you have no expectations of a situation you are generally pleased with the outcome because you were open to it. He used riding as his example.

When you ask a horse to go forward you expect that he will go forward. Sometimes the horse does and we are happy because the expectation has been met. When the horse does not go forward we get frustrated and generally close ourselves to other possibilities. We kick the horse harder which can or can not yeild results.

so in searching for my new years resolution - I think I have found it - to rid myself of silly expectations - becasue what is going to happen will happen; and to be open to new ideas - because that is really the only way the we learn anything right - by being open to experimentation.

OK _ So I am going to give it a try....

it is raining in the kitchen part 2

We figured out what was wrong with the bathtub and it is no longer raining in the kitchen. By far this was the most inexpensive water problem I have had. Who would have thought that the putty that holds the drain in place would have gone bad!

Whew! that was an easy one!

Friday, January 13, 2006

It is raining in the kitchen...

For those of you who do not know me - I have this thing with water. Or maybe better put - water has a thing for me. It LOVES me and while I like it I do not LOVE it. Mostly because water causes me nothing but problems.

When I had my townhouse in Reisterstown I came home from settlement and there was 2 inches of water on my laundry room floor in my basement. I had done my final walk through 2 hours before. You may ask how I got that much water in my laundry room floor in 2 hours - it was the humidifier that had sprung a leak. Lovely. My nice new house had sprung a leak and I did not buy one of those Home Warranty because I thought they were bunk. $350.00 later new humidifier no more water.

Then a few weeks later I was using the utility sink in the same laundry room and the bottom of the sink, the part where the drain pipe hooks into the sink, breaks. Water all over the laundry room floor. And not just dirty water - I was cleaning paint brushes. Dark green paint brushes. So I had a plumber come out and he told me that the whole setup in the room was a "home owner special". Meaning that the previous owner had done all the plumbing in the room himself. I smiled and said - ok what is this going to cost me? $500.00. Fabulous!

So I went a few years water free and then we had one heck of a rain storm. Shingles were blowing off houses, trees were coming out of the ground, basements were getting flooded. It was BAD. My basement did not flood, the laundry room did not spring a leak, but I lost some flashing on my roof. You guessed it - the roof sprung a leak. Well not really a leak, more of a small river ran into my house. You would have thought that it would have found a way to show itself in the bedroom directly under where the small river had entered my house, but no, it showed itself in my living room, from the top of my bay window an pooled until the dry wall fell onto the carpet. Along with that came the water that has pooled. $9000 plus a new roof. Thank god for insurance.

I came home one day - I had had a great day - I do not remember why, but I remember being in a really great mood. I was sitting on the couch checking my voicemail and I started hearing this drip, drip, drip. I spotted on the carpet where the drip was landing and I looked at my ceiling that was bowing. No sooner did I get the furniture out of the way and get on a ladder to punch a hole in the dry wall to let the water out did the dry wall fall on me. Like I said water LOVES me. The bathroom upstairs had sprung a leak in the supply line. I never used this bathroom so who knows how long it had been leaking. I had to basically replace the floor in the bathroom, replace the vanity in the bathroom, replace the subfloor in the bathroom, replace the ceiling in the living room, replace the carpet in the living room, and clean up the laundry room. So the water damage bill come to about $12000. Again - thank god for insurance; which coincidentally dropped me after this claim.

Somewhere in here I had a sump pump burn up during a rainstorm that I swear lasted 3 weeks and flooded my sump pump room a little bit, a water heater in the laundry room spring a leak and had to be replaced on emergency, I had the supply lines to my washer not be screwed tight enough and have leaks, and my last but not last townhouse water story was when the basement flooded because we had a very wet spring and it rained everyday for a month. Oh and did I mention that the builder forgot or missed drilling weep holes in the cinderblock so that the water could go into the drain tiles...I may have missed that part.

I had been away and I came home with my then boyfriend (now husband) and his mother as we had gone to the airport to pick her up. We walked in the door and there was this stench. It was like nothing I had ever smelled before. It smelled like mold combined with dirty gym socks, and vinegar. It was horrible. I was embarrassed because this was the first time that Jeff's mom had ever been to my house and I had been away for two weeks on business. So I am walking around my house smelling and sniffing the air like a dog. I go to the basement to find that my front room and the sump pump room are wet - like really wet - maybe a half inch of water. So I know the drill - rip up the carpet and get the fans going. Realizing that I was not covered for FLOOD damage only WATER damage I could not call the insurance company. So I called some basement waterproofing people and they came in with drills dug up part of my basement laid new drain tiles, put in a new sump pump, ran some liner against the wall, and presto no more water in the basement. $2700.

But none of that, other then to relay history, is about what happened when it rained in my kitchen...

It was Sunday and I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. There was laundry to do, and housework to do and I really did not feel like doing it. The weather was yuckie. It was one of those weekend days where you just want to stay in bed, but you don't because some sick screwy sense of duty to housework calls. So I got up and did my chores and made breakfast. I did not feel so cha cha so I went to take a bath. We have a spa bath that I love. I am a bubble bath person - I can identify with the Calgon commercials. A bubble bath cures everything. So I drew my bath and put my bubbles in and started the spa going. I had just gotten to the point where the muscles were relaxing and my outlook on the day was getting better. I really could have drifted right off to sleep... But Jeff throws open the bathroom door. "IT IS RAINING IN THE KITCHEN!!!! YOU ARE LEAKING!!" grabs every towel in the closet, turns off the spa jets, and runs back downstairs.

So I get myself together and go downstairs to survey the damage. Jeff is freaking out like some alien has landed. Towels everywhere mopping up water. I yawned - this was a walk in the park for me. Yup water is coming in to the kitchen, yup it is pooling in the dry wall, yup we are going to have to cut it open to let the water drain out, yup we got to call a plumber. Is it covered under the Home Warranty we bought with the house - yup.

Yeah - water LOVES me.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

They Moved Your Cheese

For those of you who are looking for jobs, will be looking for jobs, or for those of you who want to be more politically astute.

Breakdown of the corporate structure...


Leaps tall building in a single bound

Is more powerful than a locomotive

Is faster than a speeding bullet

Walks on water

Discusses policy with God


Leaps short buildings in a single bound

Is more powerful than a switch engine

Is just as fast as a speeding bullet

Walks on water if the sea is calm

Talks with God


Leaps short buildings with a running start and favorable winds.

Is almost as powerful as a switch engine

Is faster than a speeding BB.

Walks on water in an indoor swimming pool

Talks with God if special request is approved


Barely clears a Quonset hut

Loses tug-of-war with a locomotive

Can fire a speeding bullet

Swims well

Is occasionally addressed by God


Makes high marks on the wall when trying to leap buildings

Is run over by locomotive

Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury

Dog paddles

Talks to animals


Runs into buildings

recognizes locomotive two out of three times

Is not issued ammunition

Can't stay afloat with a life preserver

Talks to walls


Falls over doorsteps when trying to enter building

Says "look at the choo-choo"

Wets him/herself with a water pistol

Plays in mud puddles

Mumbles to him/herself


Lifts buildings and walks under them

Kicks locomotives off the tracks

Catches speeding bullets in his/her teeth

Freezes water with a single glance

Is God

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Worst Christmas present contest...

The holidays that have come and gone and along with the holidays there is usually a present or two that you have opened and thought to yourself - "what happened to the gift certificate from that cool new store that I asked for"; Or "Wow - that does not look anything like the Ipod Nano!"

So here is the contest - what are the worst presents you have ever received? They can be things like the list below.
1. You do not give a biker guy pastel colored cashmere Polo shirts
2. Hats with flash lights mounted inside of them - they hurt your head and rip your hair out.
3. You do not give a biker guy a Santa Chef doll. Bikers do not play with dolls - even if they are chefs.
4. Crew neck shirts that feel like sand paper

A winner will be picked Wednesday of next week...

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