Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Monday, February 2, 2015

Horse Expo 2015

Friday, Saturday and Sunday.   We (Cindy and I) rented a room near the Los Angeles Fairplex at a very low rate (thank you sister Lula, who is a reservations agent with Marriott!)  Not having to deal with going home to San Diego is what made this trip possible.  It is about one hundred miles from our home to the fairplex...which is actually in Pomona, but is called the L.A. County Fair.

The Horse Expo is a coming together of vendors who sell horsie product, farm stuff, cowgirl and cowboy things.  A very nice selection - at mostly lower prices than in the store.  We saw tractors, horse trailers, clothing, hats, horse and dog health items, feeds, All in all - a great selection of things to buy.  I bought a new hat - with a 4 inch brim!, and Cindy bought a pretty red dress and a small purse - which really isn't a purse - it is leather and it clips to the belt and it is about five inches square.  Very cute stuff.  Oh!  And we got lots of samples.  Shampoo, fly wipe,   I also bought a product to make my dog stop scratching herself.  It seems to have worked!

There is food and drink available inside the park - or you can leave the event and dine elsewhere.  We did both.  Inside the expo we ate fish tacos and drank lemonade...and Cindy tried some shots of an apple liqueur.

Many exhibitors were there, clinicians too.  I chose to watch the cowboys Chris Cox and Craig Cameron as they taught us about the importance of the outside rein, some of the details of advanced riders.  We enjoyed a cutting demonstration.  It looks like fun to single out one cow from a herd and keep him away from the herd for 45 seconds.  The horses were eye to  eye with the cows.  Wonderfully trained animals.  There was also the Super Horse Challenge - 10 cowboys/girls and their horses competed in an obstacle course challenge.  Three different times  - with one  being the last one where the winner is announced.  Our favorite was Peter, but Don won.  I have to say that I've never seen a person sit in a saddle as good as Don does.  No air ever.  No bouncing - he was perfect. Some of the obstacles were jumps, walk through water, put horses feet on a barrel and turn, walk backwards, walk backwards and push a big ball into the goal, walk through a bunch of "trash", walk through a "carwash" and shoot a gun.

Another event I enjoyed was done by The Wild Horse and Donkey Federation.  America has many many wild horses and donkeys.  They have no predator and the population is out of balance.  So - each year many of these wild mustangs and donkeys are rounded up and placed in different institutions to be gentled and trained.  It is one of the wonderful prison programs available.  At one year old the animals are put up for adoption.  There were two yearlings that were very precious looking - they had curly hair!  And, apparently they are hypoallergenic!  I did not bring one home.  But we wished we could have.  What fun to play with a baby horse - to train him and her to be grown ups.  Mustangs seem to have builds that I like.  They are sturdy looking horses.  Compact and strong and hardy.  Strong and fast and they have endurance.  The mustang is the American horse.

Saturday evening we ate dinner at a betting facility.  It was very big and very noisy.  We did not realize there was a pay per view fight that night - so we had to hurry and skedaddle or be charged $10 extra for taking up space there.  Interesting group of drunk people there.

Saturday was a lovely time to share with our friend Julie.  She met many people there that she I think she had a good time too.  Julie has two horses.  One is named Ronan and he is a Gypsy Vanner - a beautiful boy.  The other is a very tall horse - Hudson is 18 hands!

On the drive home on Sunday we stopped at a bar in San Juan Capistrano, where the Super Bowl was on.  It was the 4th quarter and the score was Patriots - 14 and Seahawks - 24.  By the time we'd eaten - I thought that the Seahawks would win.  I was surprised this morning.  Must have been an exciting last quarter.

I learned a  lot at the horse expo.  It keeps getting smaller.  That is sad - because it means the economy is worse and people can't afford horses anymore.

Monday, January 26, 2015

rainy day

Water from the sky
bouncing on the ground
Drips echo and
form puddles
many different paths
through the clay it delves
changing landscape
changing footing
horses wak and sink
creating little lakes
pee and poop is swimming
pools of horse apples spiced with urine
yellow puppy racing
through the muddy depths
brown puppy wants inside
wait till your dad can clean you
you dirty little mess
so happy and so wet
a chocolate lab at last
i hear her splash and run
and jump and slip and slide and roll
my husband soaked with water
mud and slime and grass
what has he been doing
in the yard this long
in the rain
in the mud
in the wonder of the weather
till they get inside
brown puppy shakes
yellow puppy emerges
from the once clean towel
like mama's tongue clean
little puppy smiles
water from the sky
still bounces on the ground

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mojitos from my Friend

I am enjoying my first mojito.  It is blueberry flavored and kick ass strong.  The mint is from our yard.  The sugar rimmed glass is yummy.  The blueberry plus vodka (?) is very yummy 80 proof.  I feel myself relaxing.  

First my shoulders feel tense and then they slowly give way to a lower silhouette...and the rest of the body follows suit.  Wow.  This is lovely.

I had a wonderful conversation with my daughter today - via e-mail - and I made plane reservations to visit her in Seattle over Valentine Weekend.  I am happy.  Boyd and I will babysit while Laura and Ian enjoy a Valentine date night.  I hope they make reservations for something fun and wonderful.

I am losing my language skills as I hit the halfway mark on the glass.  Lisa said to bang on the ceiling when I want another drink.  I think the broom is next to the washing machine.  It will make a good banger.

Boyd and Andrew bought the parts to complete the automatic gate today.  It was a very reasonable Craig's List find.  Having an automatic gate will be great!  Everyone will appreciate it - rather than having to get in and out of the car to open and close the large gate.

When I return from Seattle I will get in contact with the Carlsbad Antique Mall and see if I can rent a booth.  I want to sell all my old "stuff".  The stuff that I have accumulated over 35 or more years.  I've enjoyed some of it - and some of it has always been in the garage or shed.  I'd like to get down to basics soon.  Minimal stuff.  I can make some money and enjoy the atmosphere of antiques - and if I want to, I can peruse estate sales and keep the booth going for a while.  I think my step mother and father have things they want to be rid of also.  And I bet their stuff is older than mine!  

We will go whale hunting and chasing tomorrow.  Perhaps I will have good photos to post.  It is fun to chase them.  We cannot keep up with the extremely fast critters - but it seems they have a feeding routine that we can anticipate.  They are so beautiful and it is much fun.  Memo to self - wear sunscreen!

Lucy is getting better at minding.  I played with her today and she came every time I called...even though it took some time - she Did come.  Good girl Lucy.

Okay, time to bang on the ceiling.  Have a lovely evening.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Poop Makes the World Go Round

We have quite a bit of poop in our yard.  And most of it is re-usable.  Yay!

Later I will be collecting different varieties and re-homing it in the various sections of my garden, where it will cook in bacteria until it is planting time.  Then the nutrients from the poop will help all the veggies grow and produce wonderful foods.

Is everyone fascinated by feces?  After we use the toilet, do we look at the little logs swirl down the waterways; evaluating our health based on its color and texture and aroma?  Well, color me weird, but I do.  I think I always have.

 Animals examine their own poo.  I've watched the horses, llama, dogs and cats do it.  It is a sort of communication sometimes.  I've seen them eat it too.  The dogs and coyotes and chickens love to eat the horse poop.  Actually, I think the chickens are eating the bugs in and around it.  Dogs used to get more greens in their diets, but with commercial dog foods, they sometimes feel they need more, so they chow down on it.  I've seen the llama eat his own stuff.  Yeah.  

chicken poo

horse poo aka "road apples"

Birds use their poop to help build their nests...and we can use horse poop, clay and straw...shape it into a brick and build our own human nests.

There are many very well built building made with this adobe.

You can use cow poop to help start a fire.
break it into smaller pieces and light your kindling
are you serious?

i will eat your wooden house, furniture, boat...
termite poop

Worms leave poop that we call "castings".  People grow worms just to get the castings and sell it as fertilizer.  Great stuff!  And, of course, we've all heard about bat guano - and its wondrous properties via Jim Carrey and Ace Ventura.

We recycle a lot here at the ranch.  I feed my food scraps to chickens. They eat them and it turns into chicken poop.  I pick it up and put in the garden area where I let it "cook" until it doesn't look like poop anymore.  It looks like dirt.  I use the horse and llama poop in the garden also.  I plant tomatoes and bell peppers and strawberries and other things that we eat...and the animals eat the leftovers - and the whole thing starts over again.  It is a pretty cool deal!

Some people use the gas from cows (and probably other animals as well) to make energy to run motors.  I don't think I'd want my car to smell like cow farts though.

Anyway - poop is a great thing!  It makes the world go round.

Thanks for listening/reading

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.  I thought it was a made up disease - but it is real.  I've had it for the last 2 weeks and it is highly contagious - so I've quarantined myself.  It is a painful child's virus that causes spots and later blisters that itch and burn on your hands, feet and inside your mouth.  Usually you get it if you are under 5 years old.  My father says that this proves that I am young at heart.  When an adult gets it - it is harsher - kinda like chicken pox is.  A child can have it and keep right on playing.

Staying home - on the couch or in bed for a week is monstrous!  The itching!  The burning!  Death by one thousand cuts - and pour vinegar on the cuts! Then another week moving out to the yard for little bits of time..   Can I complain louder?

The thing I am having a problem with now is whether or not I am still contagious.  The different Internet sites say I am contagious until Jan 30th.  My doctor says I am no longer contagious.  Most of the "spots" have callused over and peeled.  There is still some itching, but the fever is and pain is gone.  My husband and son have not gotten it - and they were both exposed when I was.  The virus travels in human fluids - spit, really.  I got it because I shared cereal with my grandson - who showed no signs of the virus, but had been exposed.  He was a carrier.  

I will not share spit with the people at the grocery store.  But, will they handle the shopping cart without cleaning it?  Wipe their eyes or mouth - unsuspecting that a treacherous virus lurk between the plastic and the metal of the handle?  But - then I think - well, everyone who has the flu has a virus - and most of them go out in public and spread it around willy nilly.  They don't care if they spread their disease.  Why should I care?  But, I do.  Care, I mean - I care.

I imagine if people out in public saw me wearing plastic gloves and a face mask - they may become alarmed.  "What does she have"? they will whisper.  "The plague?  Ebola"?  Talk about drawing attention to yourself.  

So, I will stay mostly at home for yet another week.  When the peeling skin becomes less noticeable, and there are no more red spots.  It is lonely staying home.  And the rejection one feels when people know you are ill - and they do not want to catch it, is quite depressing.  It feels like a total lack of love.  Of course it is not.  I do not want them to suffer what I have.  

Of course, if an enemy of mine where to ramble over to my door - I might be tempted to spit.  If I have any enemies, that is.  I don't think I do.