Apr 21, 2013

Weekend Update




The snow has melted.  We are having a nice rain shower at the moment.  Over the last week, we got just shy of 2” of moisture which has been a God-send.  We over-seeded some of the pasture so hoping it will take.  If not, we will have to come up with a Plan B as there are so many dead spots from the drought. 




There is a small grazing area just north of my mother-in-law’s house, just down the hill from us.  We fenced it in a few years ago and would use it occasionally when we had the cows.  The horses weren’t on it last year so it came back pretty good this spring.  After church today, we went down and did the necessary repairs to the fence and then put the horses out on it for the afternoon.  John ponied Baby and Butter from Fancy.  They must have known they were going someplace good as they behaved themselves.  I ponied Blue from Windy. 




Pip has become quite the hunter.  Earlier today, I saw her in the pasture digging at a gopher hole.  Then later, she and Bo were sprinting after a rabbit.  Well, Pip was sprinting – let’s just say Bo was “in pursuit.”  Later Pip came bouncing up to me with the rabbit in her mouth.  Then this afternoon she brought me a gopher.   She sure is a busy girl. 


Last night we had dinner at a friend’s home.  We got there around 6:00, I had a cocktail, John had a couple beers and we had a nice dinner.  Afterwards, we all shared a pot of coffee; us girls may or may not have laced it with Bailey’s.  It was a late night for us (10:00!) when we left and John mentioned he had forgotten he had a headlight out.  Oh, great!  We only have a fleet of vehicles to choose from – why did we take this car?


When we got to the 3-way stop outside of town, John stopped and then proceeded to go.  I was looking at my iPhone and not really paying attention when he mentioned a sheriff was at the other stop sign and John failed to turn on his blinker.  I told to him for goodness sake, “do not speed!”  After about a mile, the sheriff turned on his lights to pull him over.


He came to the window and asked John if he knew why he was pulling him over.  John was digging through his billfold and glove box for insurance card and went mute at that point.  So I jumped in and cheerfully said, “Blinker, running a stop sign, speeding or all of the above?”  The sheriff laughed and said something like that….  He asked if John had been drinking and John stuttered around saying he had two around 6:00.  The sheriff asked him to get out of the car. 




I wasn’t worried; I knew he didn’t have any Bailey’s and we didn’t drink with dinner.  But still – that high school “oh-my-gosh-the-cop-has-stopped-us” feeling came out.  And if its not bad enough we have 2 teenaged boys on our insurance, a ticket for anything would not be cool!  He got back in the car with a warning for the blinker and a fix-it ticket for the headlight.  He said he did have him do a breath test and it didn’t register anything.  Boy, I’m so glad we are all grown up!


Then… THEN…  one mile from our house, we met a State Trooper!  Boom!  He flips around and turns on his lights.  John pulls over AGAIN!  When the Trooper approached the car, John asked if he was pulling him over for the headlight and showed him the fix-it ticket.  He motioned that our house was just up the hill and the trooper let us proceed.  I tell you, I have passed more cops speeding and have not been pulled over.  Take note folks:  have a headlight out and suddenly you are quite a target! 


trailer 022


I spent the afternoon packing hay and dinking around in my trailer.  Next weekend I am driving out to meet friends for our annual spring get-together – weather be damned!




My trailer has a very small weekender package.  It’s perfect for me; gets a little tight when John and I are both camping, but it works.  However, to save space, I very seldom set up the table.   But when I get up in the morning and have coffee, I miss not having a place for my laptop or coffee cup.  I usually end up pulling the trash can over for my cup on and have my laptop on my lap. 





On a recent trip to Menard’s, I found what I thought would work for a new table about half the size.  John prepared a piece of wood and I affixed some stainless steel adhesive subway tiles for the table top.  We found a fixture to fit the existing table leg and just swapped it out.  I kept the bigger one in case we would want to play cards or eat inside, but I think this smaller one works much better. 




Careful not to leave the horses out on new grass very long, we went back to fetch them later this afternoon.  We’d left the tack down by the gate; tossed it back on and made the trek back home.  The sky was beginning to cloud over.  There were a couple big thunder boomers and then it started to rain. 



Apr 19, 2013

This and That

I drove to work yesterday morning in the snow. It didn't stick around long but temps hovered in the thirties most of the day. The wind picked up later in the afternoon making it one wretched weather day!

I've been thinking about bike riding lately. While we live on a gravel road and the nearest highway has no shoulder, I work in a nice suburban neighborhood with paved alleyways and an actual bike trail. A friend gave me a bike she was no longer using and as soon as the Arctic blast moves out of here, I plan to park it at work and perhaps ride over my lunch hour occasionally. I took it down our road the other day - just to see if riding a bike was "just like riding a bike". (It was.) I have to admit I was a little freaked as I picked up speed coming down the hill. Visions of road rash and head injuries crossed my mind. I need to pick up a bike helmet before I venture out in town.

I don't watch much television beyond American Pickers, do-it-yourself shows and an occasional real life ER. I stumbled across these shows when looking for white noise to fall asleep by. This past winter, I'd catch bits and pieces of Duck Dynasty and before long, was searching for episodes I may have missed. It has quickly become a favorite. I really don't know why? I am not a fan of facial hair and I don't hunt. But to find a show that isn't full of sex and violence is a rarity. And the fact that it makes me laugh out loud, a bonus.

My poodle pup, Pip, is such a pill. No doubt that she rules the roost around here. Poor Bo has to wait until she has sampled both food buckets before he gets his turn. She is very much my dog; wants to be with me - loves to go for rides in the car - but she is not a cuddly pup. I do miss that. Madeline and Ritz would sit on my lap on a kitchen chair, if I asked them. They would cuddle next to me on the couch or bed. While I love this little Pip-dog, I miss that affection.

I am looking forward to continuing to use my new SLR camera. I have kind of shelved that for awhile. It's just been too darn cold to be outside taking pictures. I caught the sunset above with my iPhone while riding the bike.

I fed the horses in the barn to get them out of the nasty, cold wind. One of the leg straps on Fancy's blanket was unsnapped and she was standing on it. I grabbed the elastic strap and without thinking, lifted her back leg. It snapped up, covered with mud and manure, and got me right in the face. Lovely.


Apr 18, 2013


Several months ago, we made plans for our first camping trip of the season near Pomona Lake, Kansas. While April can be chilly in the evenings, we are most often having more nice days than not and winter is usually long behind us by now.

Well not this year. Camping trip canceled. I put blankets on the horses again to ready them for another inch or so of slushy snow that showed up overnight. Careful not to complain because we need moisture of any kind right now, but it sure would be nice if the temperatures were a little closer to normal. It's been a long time since we have had a spring this cold!

I am chilled to the bone.


Apr 15, 2013



Awhile back, my Durango starting spitting gas out when I would fill it up.  Even if I would run it slow to the end, it would still spill out.  Before I take something in for repairs, I always do a little internet pricing and found that some 2005 Durangos were recalled for this very same problem.  I called Dodge the next day and learned that although some of the Durangos were recalled, not mine.  I did appeal to their service department but to no avail.  The repair out of my pocket was quite costly and the cheap fix was just shutting the pump off before it was full. 


Recently I got a letter from Dodge that my Durango had a recall for this problem.   Well, dah!


Photo Dec 24, 8 31 00 AM


When I shopped for my Ram, I was price shopping, not color shopping.  I knew what I wanted (Dodge).  I knew what I didn’t want (diesel).  I needed 4WD, a crew cab and a long box.  And air conditioning, of course.  As much as I love gadgets, I don’t need them when I drive.  When I found what I was looking for, it just happened to be what they called “rustic brown”.  I called it UPS brown.  Definitely not the color I would have chosen, but having everything else I needed, I could live with it. 



(picture found online)

When I picked up the Durango today after the necessary recall repairs, I noticed a beautiful Ram truck in the colors I would have preferred.  Cream with gold trim.  Just beautiful!  It was brand-spanking new with the sticker still on the window.  I pulled over and checked out the price.  $63,295!  OMG! 


Let me tell you, there is not a thing wrong with UPS brown!



Apr 12, 2013

Duking It Out

My favorite Facebook post recently, referring to our weather, said (and I'm paraphrasing) that Spring and Winter were duking it out and Winter was kicking butt! We dropped about 50 degrees in one night and had about every weather event except a tornado! I slipped blankets back on the mares to combat their shivering. They've been getting fed in the barn in the evenings. The corral is once again a muddy mess.

On the flip side, we need moisture in any way we can get it! We did some over seeding in the pasture where it was damaged by last season's drought. It was risky since its been so dry and we don't have any way to irrigate it but if we didn't do it, weeds would find there way to those places. So hopefully this moisture will help stimulate the new seed.

Crazier yet, we are planning on camping next weekend. Hello! Sure didn't think we would be planning it around snow!

This is the first time I have posted from the iPad. If it looks funny, I'll fix it later.

Apr 9, 2013

The 100th Day


I am seeing “less” of my friends these days. And that’s a good thing! You see, since January 2, 2013, we joined hands, sang Kumbaya and swore ourselves off the Schwan’s ice cream in hopes of a newer, thinner self come riding season. If for no other reason, to give our horses a lighter load. It’s all about the horse, you know.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Taking It Off… Again, this is not the first time I seriously dieted. In 2008, I lost almost 40 pounds. Over the next few years, a few of those pounds snuck back on. I had let my guard down. I stopped watching what I ate and stopped going to Curves or engaging in any sort of work out plan and a funny thing happened: By 2012, I had gained 30 of those hard fought-off pounds back.
get off your ass

I would fool myself by saying I was going to lose it and “this time I’m serious” but I didn’t walk the talk. I know from losing weight before, that diet and exercise are the key. There is no magic pill, just taking the stairs won’t cut it. When I mentioned I am pretty much sedentary this time of year, my friend, Diane, pointed out that I am not sedentary – that “you chase after your dogs!” I told Diane that the only thing more sedentary than me was my dog, Bo!
10 in 10
(Catch the theme here?  Seems to be all about the asses!)

So my friend, Joni, drew the line in the sand. She said that we need to stop making excuses for ourselves and each other, like we seemed to do when we tried the 10lbs in 10 weeks diet,  and to start being accountable for our successes and failures. If we are going to say we need to lose weight, we need to get out and do it!

Like quitting smoking or conquering any addiction, you must in your heart of hearts be ready to do it. An army of Jillian Michaels cannot motivate a person if you are not ready to make the change. We mentioned our plan to lose weight on our Horsetales list serv and initially, about 20 of us joined forces to support and encourage each other to get on a plan and stick to it. A couple gals on our team dropped out after a couple of weeks and we gained a few more in the weeks that followed. Today there are 18 women in our group. We use a private Facebook page for our activity as well as a Yahoo list serv.
Since the Distance Derby had such a positive effect on getting people out to ride, we thought perhaps we should have a Leader Board on our Facebook page to show our losses. And to encourage exercise – because it is key in a weight loss program – we should also keep track of the time we worked out. To up the ante a bit, we said exercise must be a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes for it to count.

Many of us started using the app, My Fitness Pal. With just some basic information about yourself and your goals, it provides you with optimum calorie intake to meet them. If you go over, you simply need to exercise to credit the calories back. I set the program to lose 2 pounds a week and although I was up and down though out the first few months, entering the 3rd month, I was spot on for the 2 pound per week average. If you are honest with what you eat and what you record, it works.

(and more ass motiviation)

To keep interest in the program and for further encouragement, we have added other challenges along the way. We found pedometer and GPS apps through Runtastic that will record steps or miles and credit the exercise calories back to My Fitness Pal. This month, we started a 30-day squat challenge we saw on Facebook and a few of us are participating in that exercise.  I found a bike that a friend wasn’t using and hope to start riding over lunch hour soon. It’s been a long time since I have rode a bicycle.

We discuss our workouts and follow each other’s progress on our Facebook page and My Fitness Pal messaging. We share YouTube videos, exercises, and just keep each other up to date on our challenges and successes. And seeing is believing! Since most of us don’t see each other on a regular basis, when we do, we can really see the results of our efforts. The team concept has been critical to this program and they’ve given me permission to share some of their successes, too.  
Sarah has been a runner for the last few years. This spring, she is tackling a ½ marathon. Corie just finished her first 5k this past Sunday. Sharron, who had already lost 50 pounds prior to this challenge, hits the Curves circuit three to four times a week. Lori and I also attend Curves and all three of us walk when we can. Using Runtastic, I’ve “virtually” walked with Jess and Shari.  Sharron, Jenny, Brenda and I have all attended Weight Watchers meetings. 

Kathy did water exercises this winter and now, with her retired husband, has started walking the trails around the city. Shari completed Jillian’s Ripped in 30 and she looks it! Joni has left the treadmill and jogs down her country roads. Diane has recorded over 90 hours of exercise; many of that spent on the elliptical. Jules admitted her elliptical had become a clothes hanger and has since hung up those clothes and got back on.  Brenda, who lost over 40 pounds prior to this challenge, continues to work with a trainer to help meet her goals.

Others in the group are not as forthcoming with their program but continue to report in each week. For me, what makes this diet bearable is sharing it with these friends; the good and the bad.  And since all these women are horsewomen, it just adds another dimension to our friendship.

I had hoped to hit goal weight by May 1 but I don’t think it will happen. As long as I keep doing what I’m doing, it will come shortly after that. Already in smaller jeans, I hope to have lost 25 pounds by the end of this month. Although I’ll never get the bikini days back, Corie and I are going to get our belly buttons pierced very soon just because.
saddle ass look fat
We are almost to the 100th day of our diet.  With spring in the air, it’s time for some serious riding.  We are pretty sure our horses will thank us for our efforts.  When I hit my goal, I’ll put up some after pics.  Perhaps some of the other gals will share theirs as well.   

Apr 2, 2013

Has Spring Sprung?


Tomorrow night at this time, I’ll most likely be driving home and unloading following the season opener of the Platte River Riders.  Since it just snowed again this past Sunday evening, it just doesn’t feel like its that time of year yet.  We haven’t had enough nice days to unthaw.  Though winter left the calendar, it hasn’t loosened its grasp.




Good Friday was one of the few pleasant days we had.  It’s hard to know how to dress when one day temps dip below freezing and the next we find ourselves in the 60’s.  Adding hot flashes to the mix, my body tends to ignite every hour or so.  I started with a sweatshirt and vest over a long sleeved tee shirt and ended the ride with the vest over a sports bra.  There may or may not have been a few moments that the vest was too warm as well.  But no one was looking or if they were, I didn’t know it. 




Pip made her trail debut that same day.  We rode just over 13 miles and she still had energy to burn.  She was good about sticking with us and coming when called.  If she did anything wrong, it was following too close behind Sarah on Fancy.  While she didn’t kick out, Fancy made it clear she was disturbed by having Pip so close to her heels, so we will have to work on teaching Pip to keep her distance. 


This coming weekend is the Tack Sale at Chance Ridge.  It is the second year I am hosting the event.  We have over 20 booths of new and used tack.  In addition to the tack sale, there are free horse demos happening in the arena right outside the door of the sale.  It should be a fun day to shop and socialize. 


I will mention once again that this blog has been stale.  Lots of reasons – mainly a tad bit of writers block combined with lack of time.  I am not one who can sit down and force the words and really, how many more posts can I have complaining of the weather. 


Tomorrow’s Wednesday and the Platte River Riders are riding.  And with that will come inspiration or so I hope. 


Healer Human Video by Mead Covenant Church Youth Group


Today is my son, McCain’s 19th birthday.  Time goes so fast.  While he grew up in the Catholic Church, he found his true faith when he started attending a youth program with the Mead Covenant Church and has over the years become an active member of that church.  On Easter morning, he performed with the youth group what was called the “Healer Human Video”, depicting some of the well-known Bible stories.  It was quite remarkable and touching. 




While we strive to lay a good foundation for our kids, you never know which direction they will go.  I am very proud of where his life has taken him.  Happy Birthday, McCain.  I love you.