Friday, May 30, 2008

B,BA,BOM Day Seventeen

Today I am grateful for the ability to learn new things.

As I prepare for my and Luke's big weekend, I realize that my transportation needs require me to learn to drive a truck and fifth wheel. My trailer has a bit of a problem and I don't like to drive it faster than 40mph. I asked one of my barn mates if I could borrow her trailer.

Not a problem, until her horse put a hole in the tail gate. Ok, now what. Well, she has a three horse Sundowner with living quarters. (I was going to take photos, and of course, neglected to). Her set-up for towing is not much longer than mine (4"), but I have a bumper pull, not a gooseneck. There are differences in towing and BACKING.

But, I made it the 35 miles to M's without incident. Even made it into her driveway without trouble.

Yea, I like learning how to do new things.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wine, Cheese and Equines

I am going to a friend's house Saturday morning and returning late Sunday afternoon. She is hosting a clinic for Confidence Building Skills for you and your horse. Since she lives in a beautifully set home atop a hill overlooking a lake and has outside swing porches and gardens, I like to call it Wine and Cheese bonding with Luke.

I participated last year and had a blast. Really learned MUCHO stuff that has really helped in this past year. Luke even seems to appreciate my new found assertiveness. This year, I am hoping to refine some of those skills and learn lots of new ones. I will keep you posted. I will try and remember to take photos and even possibly have someone video me for all my readers to enjoy. It will, at the least, be entertaining.
Here is a photo of Luke, taken last year after spending 6 or so hours packing me around. (Sorry about the quality, it is a scan of a scan of a film based photo.) It is truly a peaceful, yet stimulating place to think.

Thanks, M. Looking forward to a beautiful time.


B, BA, BOM Day Sixteen

Today is my half-birthday. I am half-way finished with being a 49er.

Here's to a great second half of the 49th year and to many more.

I am grateful for the bumps along the way that have forged me ahead and allowed me to expand my visions.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Meet Dr. Jones

This is Indiana Jones, Jr. alias Indie or Dr. Jones. Yes, he is named after the Harrison Ford character who was named after Lucas' dog.

He has been with us since November after having spent the first eight years with my brother-in-law and his family. Indie loves chasing rabbits and pheasants and assisting with making sure the horses are eating out of their appropriate pens.
He misses his former "boys" but is settling in very nicely into life on the Green Acres Estate.


B, BA, BOM Day Fifteen

Today's grateful thought is sort of a backhanded gratefulness issue. I am very grateful for being able to easily fall asleep.

I have a couple of acquaintances, who are continually, constantly, complaining about not being able to sleep for more than four hours at a stretch, or for being up all night the night before. They are exhausted during the day, but up all night doing "stuff". (One bakes, one reads, one sews. Their lists are never ending and neither is their complaining about it).

For me, going to sleep is nearly always a "piece of cake". I go to bed, hit the pillow and never look back. Not even my snoring will arouse me. I learned along time ago to leave my day-world at the door. Works 360 or so nights a year. But there are those other five nights. And last night was one of them.

For the five nights, give or take a few, per year that I have difficulty falling asleep and I can't pin it on a specific problem, I have one rule. Try complete relaxation (I start with my toes. I tell my toes they are asleep and progress up the body) and if I am not asleep by the time I reach my head, I get up and go do something productive. Maybe only one or two times a year do I get past my shoulders, usually I am out by the time I hit my knees.

Not last night.

So, as I sit, in my office, staring blankly into the piles of work, the one with phone calls, the one with reports to write, the one with additional research to be conducted, I am truly grateful for the "normal" ability to fall asleep.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

B, BA, BOM: Day Fourteen

While it is the proverbial double edge sword, today I am grateful for the autonomy I have at work.

I have a list of assignments, investigate work and regular routine tasks, all of which have deadlines. And while I am "stuck" in an office, what I do and how I organize my day are pretty much left up to me. For the most part, it works in my favor, even if I struggle with the procrastination gene.

Today, especially, I am grateful for the freedom to manage my own work.

Monday, May 26, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Fourteen

Today is Memorial Day.

Although I am grateful all year long to the men and women who choose to serve in our military, today and Veteran's Day, are good days for remembering to thank all those who serve or have served.

So, although the words are not quite adequate, Thank you to all of you who make it possible for me to muse and ramble.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Thirteen

Today, I am grateful for the weather.

Rain has fallen. Kicked the pollen right out of the air and I can breathe again for a day or two. Made it much cooler too and is supposed to stay cooler for the next ten days or so.

There are many a day when I curse the weather, but today, I am embracing it and not just because it is helpful to me, but because, in actuality, there is nothing I can do to change it, save moving, and so therefore; I must change my response to Mother Nature.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Twelve

Sometimes it is the tiniest of moments that make me very grateful. Today, I had such a moment.

For years, I have been struggling with my fear of falling. I don't have a fear of heights, like my other siblings, I am afraid of falling. I can stand on the edge of any roof, ladder, ridge and peer down without skipping a beat or increasing the rate at which the "old ticker" is chugging. Yet, when it is time to come down off said perch, forget about it. I can't get down. I freeze. Not quite panic attacks, but close. Leave me up there and I will dance all day, ask me to get down and I am toast.

Luke, who is 18 hands (that is, his whithers are about 6 feet off the ground), and I have been working on my getting off of him without my freaking out. He knows I am nuts. As I try and dismount, sometimes I just lay (I hope that is the correct version of being prone) on my stomach and hang there and hope the ground will rise to meet my feet which rarely happens, by the way. Sometimes, I just jump. But with the recent back issues, jumping off and landing hard, really aren't good.

I have been working with Luke so he will stand by the mounting block so that the "ground" will be at my feet. The first couple of times, he wasn't too sure about what I wanted to do and yesterday, he stood very quietly TWICE, while I dismounted onto the mounting block.

A tiny moment, but getting down from on high, never felt so good.


Friday, May 23, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Eleven

I am grateful for being more organized than I have ever been in my life.

I have always been able to keep others around me together and where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be, but I am always late or forget something of my own.

I have been working on organizing my own self first and guess what it works.

Now, if I could just remember where I left the checkbook. ;)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Ten

Today, as the north wind continues to remind me why I didn't like living in Florida during Hurricane season, I am grateful for learning some good habits from an anal friend.

For example, I have a friend who will not leave the check out stand until they have placed all their change neatly in their wallet. Used to drive me nuts, the waiting and thinking I was holding up the line. "I will always know where it is, even if I am not thinking straight" was the reply I received when I would protest the delay.

They do the same thing with their car keys, house keys, everything must be done in a certain order. Me, I just toss and then, YES, spend time looking for the items.

About a year ago, I started with my gas debit card. I conduct my business and while the car is being fueled, I immediately return the card to its spot in my wallet. Several times in this past year, I would go looking for it and low and behold, it was in my wallet in its own special place.

So, why am I grateful for this "anal" habit. Because this morning, with my eyes barely open and near complete comatosidness (due to these silly north winds), I was without effort able to locate the gas debit card. Miracle.

Maybe I should try this method with my keys. NAH.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Nine

Today, I am grateful for modern medical technology.

I awoke at around 3am to a sneezing fit. Twelve in a row. Get up, blew my nose and stammered back to bed. The alarm went off at 4:55am. Reuben started his morning at 5:15am. I was still trying to pry my butt out of the queen bed. I tried opening my eyes. "Glued" shut. My lovely spouse comes in and announces, "I know why you are having so much trouble, north winds are a gusting." (For the plethora of southern California readers, that is our equivalent of the Santa Ana's.) They blow all the pollens, pollution and dust from the north land toward the sea, unlike the delta breezes of a few days past. And play havoc with not only my nose, but my eyes.

They look like I have been drinking for weeks. So, why am I grateful for modern medical technology. Well, since I got the eyes laser-zapped at Pacific Laser Eye Center I now can get up, go and apply a couple of warm compresses and still see. No tough decision "Pain of contacts, or ugly glasses". Just a few minutes of warm water and off I go. No more deciding, do I wear my contacts and sunglasses or the glasses that change. I just wear sunglasses. I can now just go.

What a wonderful feeling.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Eight

Today, I am very grateful for living in the middle of nowhere, Green Acres Style.

When I was growing up, Elverta, CA seemed to be in the boonies big time. Going to the county park, Gibson Ranch was an all day adventure. There were no houses and a lone gas station past a certain point. It was the stretch of road all the driving instructors took their first time students to get the feel of the car going faster than 25mph. Hilly, country roads that suddenly (well, there are signs, but as a new driver, who read 'em) turn right and then immediately left. As you traveled down that road, you eventually came upon the gas station, market and feed store. And then you drove for miles until you came upon the Interstate.

When we moved to Elverta CA in the early 1990's, it still seemed to be out in the middle of nowhere even though houses now lined the old country road. I live on a road that is about a mile and three-quarters long and has a total of eight houses. My closest neighbor is a quarter of a mile either way. I love it. It is quiet. There are quail, doves, red-tail hawks, crawdads, the occasional wayward salmon, robins, owls, gophers, mice, and trains, in addition to our horses, cats, dogs, and rooster. And the occassional airplane.

I am grateful for being able to sleep with the windows open and not have to worry about a "human" invader; to run outside in my undies to get something I forgot in the car; to play the stereo system at concert volume levels and only have the dogs care; or just to sit and listen to the "nothing".


Monday, May 19, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Seven

I am grateful for time and timing.

There are those that say, "Things happen for a reason", or "Things happen when they do, because the time was right." And, the grandfather of all time sayings, "Time is precious."

Maybe it's because I am officially a 49er, but lately, I have been reflecting on the timing of some of the events in my life. One of those events was the death of my mother.

As the housing market has plummeted throughout California, I reflect on the timing of my mother's death and the settling of her estate. A friend, who is a real estate broker, enjoys telling anyone who will listen, that he knows someone who sold their house the day the market peaked.

In 2005, houses in her neighborhood were selling in the low to mid-$300,000 range. I thought people buying 50-year old houses at those prices were nuts. (There were lots of houses that were newer and less money; just not in established neighborhoods). Mom's house needed LOTS of work, and we still had a bidding war and sold it for $245,000. Today, the houses in the neighborhood are selling for $175,000 tops and most are in the $125,000 to $150,000 range.

But, more importantly, the timing of her death also allowed me to sever a few familial relationships that were too toxic for my own well-being. Family are people you are related to by the chance of timing, but you truly do not have to like, love or associate with them. However, I am not certain I could have slashed those ties without baggage, had I tried earlier.

Today, due to timing, there is no baggage.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Commerical I want to see

Have you seen the NASCAR commercials with Dale Jarrett, (he drove last year for the UPS sponsored car) ? They did an entire series of him saying, "When do I get to race the truck?" talking about the big UPS Brown trucks.

Well, now that Big Brown has completed two of the three segments of the Triple Crown, I want a commercial with a UPS driver, or other celebrity, saying, "I want to race the horse."

Could go in many directions, like a foot race, a horse vs. car race, one of them riding Big Brown or perhaps Big Brown racing the Big Truck.

Just remember, you read it here first!!!!!


B, BA, BOM Day Six

Today, I am very grateful for Delta Breezes.

I know Sacramento is hot in the summer. Always has been, but it seems like the first 100 degree day ALWAYS arrives too soon, no matter which day it actually comes.

After three days of 98+ degree days, (two over 100), wonderful mother nature kicked up her natural air cooler and today will only be 92. I may actually get some of the tack room finished.

Yea, Love them evening summer breezes.

Thanks, Mother Nature.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Five

Simple things.

Puppy breath.
Kitty purr.
Red-tail hawk hunting.
Chimes clinking in the breeze.
Fruit Trees blossoms.
Lady Bugs.
Bees buzzing.
Birds singing.
Equines nuzzling.
Seasons changing.
Stars in their constellation formations.


Friday, May 16, 2008

B, BA, BOM Day Four

Not a long entry. Very focused on a project.

I am grateful for comfort food. Food that takes you back to a simpler time or whatever time it may be for you.

You eat and just say "AWWW" with a sigh and deep breath.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

B, BA, BOM: Day Three

The choices my parents made (or didn't).

My parents were children of THE DEPRESSION. My father, the youngest of five, was raised by his widowed mother in a small northern Michigan town. As with many small towns in the early 20th century, you were born in, raised in, and died in your current socio-economic position. What your father did, you did. My father did not want to be a miner in the coal or iron mines, like his uncles. He dreamed of greater opportunities and expansion in the greater world. And, along came WWII. He graduated two years early from high school, lied about his age to enter the Army Air Corps. After the war, he lived with one of his older sisters, but didn’t really like being a lumberjack; so back to the Air Force he went. It provided him with travel, adventure, and an ever changing landscape. He eventually ended up in Albuquerque NM

My mother was born in Santa Barbara, CA. My grandmother was a cook for a variety of Hollywood stars and my grandfather was a truck driver. They divorced when my mother was about 12 and her brother was 11. My grandmother and mother operated a boarding house for a while. She never told me why she moved, but in her senior year of high school, she went to live with an aunt of my grandmother in Texas. She traveled all over the western United States, working as a stenographer and secretary. Somewhere along the way, she, too, moved to Albuquerque.

They met; they married and remained together for thirty years, despite their seemingly divergent personalities. From what I understand, at least twice my mother considered leaving my father. She did not. There were also a couple of times, he thought of leaving her. He did not.

There were many things neither of them did, because they stayed with each other. No regrets, just choices. They agreed that their children could do anything they set their minds to and in the best way they could, encourage that exploration.

Had my mother chosen to leave my father, I would not have my fantastic “little” brother. I wouldn’t have moved all around the United States, ending up near Sacramento, where I met my husband. There are lots of things I did get, most of them good.

Yea, I am grateful for the choices they made (or didn’t make).


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day Two: Friends Who are Family

Friends who are Family

I have a few friends who have, over the years, become Family. At times, they are better than Family.

Brutally honest when I am out of line, (hardly ever); lovingly accepting when I am needy (frequently); and no matter what, always supportive either physically or mentally, when I need them (perpetually): These are my Friends who are Family.

To quote Frannie in Meet the Robinsons, “Lewis, I am always right. Even when I am wrong, I am right.”

And my Friends who are Family are always right. To the very end.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Borrowed, Borrowed Again, Borrowed Once More Experiment

The Borrowed, Borrowed Again, Borrowed Once More Experiment is a concept that SIL began doing a week or so ago. For thirty days, I will write, draw, video, or photograph one thing that I am grateful for. (not including hitting the publish button too soon.)

Today's entry: Family who are friends.

My husband is the eldest of six children. They range in age from 35 to 55. Yes, same two parents. Mom and Dad were married for 49 years. And for the most part, the siblings (and their offspring) get along, care for each other and are not interested in what they may or may not have gotten screwed out of by their birth order. They certainly have STRONG and at times EXTREME differences of opinions, but they do not let those interfere with their dedication to the family.

Not exactly Leave it to Beaver, but close.

Yea, Family who are friends.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Luke's new torture device

Practicing posting photos now that the tech gremlins have been buzzed away.

It is called a surcingle and is normally used with a bridle, not the halter. I was mearly checking to see if it fit the "big" boy. And it does. Thanks, Doni. We are going to love using it.

12 of 12 May

Here is May 2008's 12 of 12. We now have the technical difficulties worked out. For those of you new to 12 of 12, it is the coolest project out there, started by Chad Darnell. Check out his blog site for details. You take 12 photos of anything in your day on the 12th of each month.
Let the month of May begin:

Good morning. Taken at sunrise, about 5:35 am Elverta CA.

"Damn, is it the 12th again. OK, Mom, take my photo quickly before I run off."
Boy, who still won't come in the house, but is doing better on the scaredy-cat issues.
Elverta CA 5:40am

My office. 7:20am, before the day has a chance to unorganize it. Mondays are always manic. Vacaville CA.

Elverta Market, Elverta CA 6pm. The best place in northern California to buy meat.

My attempt to take a photo of my new camera. Guess I should have at least smiled.
Elverta Road, Elverta CA 6:05pm

The citrus grove. Just planted this summer's squash, rosemary and mint.

Elverta CA 7:00pm

Luke and BJ, Yes, the building in the background is my next door neighbor.

Elverta CA 7:00 pm.

Grapes. Now the question is, will we get to eat any of them before the birds discover them? Hasn't happened yet, unless you like kind of tart grapes. Elverta CA 7:15pm

Rose. Elverta CA 7:20 pm

Ruben. Yea, he is still around. Likes to pester Luke. Elverta CA 7:30 pm.

And we will end as we began with the sun. Elverta CA 7:55pm