Wednesday, August 16, 2006

how I spent my summer vacation...

AHHH - nothing like a little vacation to recharge the batteries. 5 days of not having to answer emails, talk on the phone, take care of little things, no conference to worry about, just solitude. Deep breath with me people - I have not had any substantial time off since last October and I am about fried.

Not like a little fried, but fried like the piece of bacon that was left in the pan to long and is a hard, black, burnt piece of charcoal. To the point where coherant sentences were becoming a stretch. Ever been there? Then you know what I am talking about.

I did not go anywhere cool and drink Margaritas by the pool, but I did have fun!!!

Thursday was the first pre-season game for the Ravens. (22 days to kickoff - YAHOO! God I hate baseball!!) Before Jeff and I even got to the game, I had a blonde moment. I forgot how to walk. OUCH!! There is nothing more embarrassing then having perfect strangers offer to pick you up off the ground. (No I was not drinking which made it even worse.)

Down "The Walk" and up to our seats. Here is all I have to say about the Ravens this year, we FINALLY have a quarterback!!!!! A FREAKIN MEN!! McNair was stellar and the offensive line looked REALLY GOOD. Well until Bellyacher - oops sorry Boller came in. It was everything the folks around us could do to not BOO him. In comparison to McNair - he sucks. And that is being nice.

I got to ride the beasties and all was well with the world! AWWW - now it is off to the trenches..

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

On a day when I really needed it - it made me laugh....

Darn Dog

Friday, August 04, 2006

you all have thought it....

You Are 40% Redneck

The wheels still turning, but the hamster's dead.

You're just fakin' bein' a redneck.

How gross are you???

You Are 28% Gross

You're a tad gross, but generally you're a clean, hygienic person.

No one can be perfectly clean all the time, and it's better to be human than a neat freak.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Momma - There's a hole in my foot!

Thanks to the rain and the humidity I have yet another round of thrush to deal with. This time it is REALLY BAD! Thrush is a anaerobic bacertial infection that horses can get in their feet when the conditions are right for it - and so far they have been. Epsom Salt soaks, Keratex flushes, and Iodine plunging have beenhow I have been spending my afternoons lately. And let me tell you - giving a hot soak to four feet in this heat is taking it's toll on man and beast!

So here is the problem I am dealing.

Nice hole huh? Yeah I thought so. So did my farrier, who proceeded to tell me that I better get on top of this and quick! Well, DAHHH!

And so it starts with a 15-20 minute Epsom Salt soak - with each foot. Then you dry the foot and make sure it is clean.

When they are dry - which is never really quickly - it is time for the Keretex. This helps to harden the foot and sole. When that dries it releases antimicrobal agents.

Then the worst part comes... The 7% iodine... NO MOM NOT THE IODINE!!!!

Yes my dear beloved friend the Iodine. NO I AM NOT GOING TO PICK UP MY FOOT! I AM NOT GOING TO IT! Yes you are Reef. NO! NO! NO! OUCH THAT HURT! OK HERE IS MY FOOT...
And so it goes with each foot.

See the Iodine dries things out and kills the bacteria. This is the good part. The bad part is that it stings... A LOT...without any infection. So by the time I am done wrestling Reef's feet off the ground, plunging Iodine in his feet and avoiding getting kicked or struck at Reef is a shaking mess and I am drunched from sweat.

We kiss and make up in the end and everyday the Iodine part is getting easier and easier to deal with. Although my hands look like I had a bad self tanning accident, it is healing.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Today is a bad day to die

Ever have something so happen where you are so close to death and somehow, some way you find a way to save yourself from it. And then you wish you had it on film...

After Herman's magnificent display at the horse trials it was decided that his weakest phase was show jumping. So my trusty stead Herman (whose back it well above my head) and I were schooling some jumps the other day. The gals at the barn all chipped in and painted jumps for the better part of a week. OK I did all that I could on the weekends but at any hoodle.... We have a panel jump (Read unforgiving / unbreakable) with the likeness of Dori and Nemo on it.

I decided that of all the jumps we had this was by far the 'scariest'. As I approach the jump Herman decides he wants to canter, no problem forward is good. He jammed on the breaks and reeled left at the very last second. It is always to the left darn it!

I would say the 90% of my body is now going over the right hand side of my horse. Literally there was an arm and 3/4s of a leg on the left side of the horse. I looked down and my head is over the jump. If I had fallen, my neck was going to hit the jump and probably snap. Best case was that I was going to land on my back and bend it the wrong way. Or Herman was going to real back and jump the fence - in which case I would be under him when he landed. Either way - bad outcome and a short flight in a helicopter.

Some how I got both reins in my right hand and kept pulling left so that the jump scenario was not going to happen. All of my weight was in my right leg and I was pushing that stirrup with all that I had against the centrifugal force. With my free left hand I grabbed his neck and pulled. With in three seconds I was back in the saddle circling to come to the jump again. I got a standing ovation from the peanut gallery and over the fence we went.

Funny thing is I wasn't scared. I went right back to the jump and kept at it until it was second nature. It was just a good save...

The Great Poker Challenge

Having never played poker before, I had no idea what I was thinking when I decided that I would sit down and play poker with a bunch of people who knew the game inside and out. It was almost like watching Rounders and I was the sucker. I mean I would even have to ask what cards made up what hand. I was to busy trying to figure out what I was holding I did not even get to observe anyone's ticks.

I had a great time though. And everyone was very patient with me! (Thank you guys!)

B, Joel and Sarah of course knew what the cards on the table were and would be betting and re raising on the river card to get the pot a little bigger. Then the flop would come and either someone at the table would be losing their rolls or everyone would fold. You knew that if everyone was checking that no one had any cards. That much I did pick up.

See B - I am learning!! Sort of....

Breaker this is Betty in black, come back

When zipping along 270 there is almost always radar. East bound radar traps are set right before Clarksburg Road, then again coming up to Father Hurley Blvd. They also run it in random places along 270 through what I guess could be called Beltway Bandit row.

I was late for a meeting and was sprouting wings. It dawned on my that if I had a CB I could try to find out where Kojak with a Kodak might be sitting. I kind of had that Smokey and Bandit thing going on.

Needless to say - No Bears were lurking and arrived at the meeting with about 15 minutes to spare. :-)

Where's Bob? (the Unhitch story)

In case you have not noticed - I have horses. I have been around horses since I was 5. Actually before then, because when I was 2 and a half my mother would get calls from the neighbors saying that I was in the middle of their horse field surrounded by horses. They would always politely ask my mother to come and get me. That was when my mother put bells on my shoes so she could hear where I was.

I have been around the horses and horsepeople for some time. I have worked for good people and bad people. Boarded at good places and at rat holes. I am perfectly happy where I am now. I love the barn I am in, the folks I ride with (ok so when I ride), and the care my animals get is absolutely incredible.

So when one of the gals who takes care of my horses said she did not want to see the guy she was dating anymore and had chickened out several times telling the guy to pound sand, I offered my assistance. (See blog entries The witch is dead and what the witch did)

She gladly accepted the offer.

I have to tell you a bit about Bob - he is not battery operated, rocks may have more intelligence, and molasses may run faster, and the guy moves hay for a living. But he can lift heavy things so, he at least has that going for him.

There are a few characters in the story, Liza, Eleanor, Eleanor's boyfriend Ray, my husband Jeff, and Bob.

There was a party at the barn the night of Herman's show and that was where Bob was to be kicked to the curb. Jeff and I arrived late because I had to get a nap when I got home from the show. (no sleep makes me quite bitchy) Apparently there was great anticipation for the nights event. I am not sure but I believe that they were selling tickets on eBay for the event.

Going in the only thing I knew about Bob was that M wanted to part ways and that Bob had a weak hand shake (Thanks for the tip Liza!)

So I meet Bob and got the weakest hand shake in the world and questioned his manliness. We shook hands with the other hand and I fully expected my hand to get squashed like bug. Nope - and he tried to squash it but it was weaker then the first. His homework was to work on a better handshake before he could return to the Porch Bar.

Later on in the evening I asked Bob what his intentions were for our M. You would have thought I was holding a shotgun to his head telling him he was going to marry M. The bottom line with that discussion was that he would be around until M told him to "go f*&% himself." I thought it was a little to easy to tell him that she wanted to part ways right then. Besides he was going on a roll about how New Jersey sucked.

He was sitting next to Ray. Ray lives in New Jersey. Ray and Bob had never met. We informed Bob that he was insulting the person sitting next to him. Somehow it did not register that he was being a dumb ass. He proceeded to launch into a story about how last week his friends had deemed him the "safest drunk driver". HMMM safe drunk driver. Yeah - it did not work for me either. So when life opens a door you walk through...

We all pounced on him like a tiger on a kill. "There is no such thing as a 'safe' drunk driver." "what happens when you kill a mother and her three kids." What happens when you kill one of your friends." "It is official - I am warning M off from you. How dare you jeopardize other peoples lives? Or potentially jeopardize our friends life." And on and on it went for about 20 minutes. Then the guys tries to tell us that this was years ago, and I being me informed him that he said it was last week. He stomps off.

Jeff was telling the story about Authur Ave in New York where you eat dinner at one place, you eat dessert at another place, and if you wanted coffee you went to the next store. Somehow we go onto the subject of Hoffa. How the FBI ripped up that barn and found nothing. Bob chimes in after returning in the middle of the story, that Jimmy Hoffa was a descent and honest man who was looking out for the little guy.

Chaos ensued and Bob was informed that Hoffa used the little guy to line his pockets. That he was not a descent man and I think he was even likened to Enron executives stealing retirement funds from their employees. Or something of that nature. Needless to say Bob, who was still kind of upset about getting lambasted about drunk driving, was now full on angry and stomped off again.

When he returned, Liza and Eleanor were discussing snowbirding in Florida for the winter and riding down there. A comment about enough dirt for black mail was made and I could not resist. "Remember Jose. You remember Jose from the Salsa bar in Miami." (basically insinuating that a drunken stooper along with salsa dancing had been attained in said Salsa bar.) Bob pipes in, "What's a salsa bar?" Jeff, right on time, "You know it is a bar where they server chips and salsa." Well, the Porch bar busted out in laughter. Deciding that Jeff was friend and not foe bob asked Jeff what kind of music he listened to. Without skipping a beat, " I listen to both kinds country and western." Again the Porch Bar busts into laughter and Bob was clueless. (It is from the Blues Brothers.) Bob then asks Jeff if he likes Garth Brooks. "Na I like Tim McGraw." Why is that funny you may ask... Because Jeff is a Metallica, GnR, speed metal, Billy Joel loving kind of guy.

Bob left the party one girlfreind light, somewhat more enlightened then when he came, drunk, and apparently never to be heard from again. I now have a new nickname - Unhitch... go figure

So the question remains - where's Bob?

The Hermanator Dominated - OK so I am proud of him

Herman had his first outing on July 1 and he was all business. I was a proud momma and was busting at the seems.

His first ride was not until 10:30 so I figured I had some time when I got to the barn at 6:30 am to get Herman's whites white and his browns sparkling. Right when I got to his stall and realized that his white were brown and that his brown was mud, that I was told we were pulling out in an hour.

I have never scrubbed so fast and furious in my life. His body I got pretty good, but after the 4th time washing his tail I was forced to accept that his white tail would have to just be a few shades of yellow. Baby Powder to the rescue I thought.

We get loaded up and begin the journey to the horse trials. I followed Susan darn near the speed of light to the show. Susan had some problems entering the field where we were parking. She almost took the fender off of her new horse trailer. She was a bit upset and understandably so. The funny thing was her horse did not move. He could have cared less.

We got in without any further excitement. I got Herman under his fans, which everyone was pretty impressed with. Having a draft cross, you try to have them conserve as much energy as possible, so if fans help keep them cool when it is hot out - then so be it. I got lots of questions about my portable power supply. Who knew no one had found these things in the Y2K stupidity or for running sump pumps when the power went out!

The long and the short - Herman was sitting 5th after Dressage. Show jumping was kind of scary and Herman had 12 faults for refusals. The crowd oowed and ahhed and I have to admit I watched from between my fingers. In the end he got around and aired everything. Not a rail was dropped or touched but the faults dropped him to 13 place.

Herman was a machine cross country with no faults. He ended 9th out of 25. Sheri did a great job of getting around safely and when all was said and done - there were no scratches, bumps, or bruises. At the end of the day - THE BAR WAS OPEN!

Keeping Clorox in Business

So everyone is on the same page here, Jeff and I had to put in a new well. It was a very expensive cash proposition, but ya need water right. The county has to come and certify that the well is delivering potable water that is free from debris, has the proper Ph, and is bacteria free. So the first time we bleached the well we put 8 packets of pool shock and nine gallons of bleach down the well head to kill the bacteria. Jeff and I almost died from chlorine gas poisoning. But we didn't so can't cry over milk that wasn't spilt. Then the damn well was hit by a bolt of lightning from the sky and the pump controller has to be replaced.

We finally go someone from the county out to test the water. It passed the turbidity test, it passed the Ph test. Guess what it did not pass - yup you guessed it! Our little microscopic Bacteria friends we still having a field day in our water. Doing the back stroke and belly flops.

There is something gut wrenching when you get a letter from the county stating "your water has been found to be not fit for human consumption." But it is ok for my dogs to drink???? Maybe that is why Tosha has dog breath that can kill!!!

So nine more gallons of Clorox down the well and through the house and we let it sit for 72 hours while we went to New York. And then the declorination began again, without the chlorine gas this time. Amazing how we can learn from mistakes.

The chlorine is out of the well and hopefully, the county will give a clean bill of health this time - otherwise we may need to get one of these.

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