Thursday, December 25, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
dagnabit, I deserve some down time. I wonder how many days it will take before thoughts of my job will filter completely out.
So in celebration of my first day of vacation I woke up, ate some yogurt and promptly puked.
Then I took a nap. Woke up and ate some crackers and felt like I could make it out into the world. I hurried to the post office to mail a card and photobook to my grandma in Arizona. Of course there was a line out the door if you wanted to see an actual postal employee for assistance...lucky for me, I didn't! I went straight to the automatic postage machine to weigh my big envelope, pay for a stamp and chuck it in the bin. Ha ha, if only it had gone so smoothly. Nope, instead I went straight to the machine and stood behind a woman with a big "Arbonne" box full of packages that she was methodically getting postage for. I assume she also drove the car in the front row that had the big "Arbonne" sticker in the window. Sooo, ten minutes later she was done and the woman directly in front of me had a whole paper grocery bag full of large manilla envelopes. I sighed dramatically and waved around my lone envelope hoping the spirit of the season would inspire her to say, "Oh, you only have one envelope, please go ahead of me." But to no avail, I waited another ten minutes behind this
After the postal situation, I went to the mother of all clusters...Wal-Mart. I only went to get a gift card for my brother and his wife because they grocery shop there and times are tough. So it was a noble cause. In fact I did a little grocery shopping while I was there..you know, kill two birds with one stone. Surprisingly, I zipped in and out and even had a friendly check out lady.
I made it back to my car just in time to drink the juice box I brought with me in case my blood sugar plunged since I horked up my breakfast.
At home I wrapped some presents and listened to holiday music...before I took another nap.
That's what vacation is for, plenty of naps.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Reflect. There, I said it.
* Just a side note: I finished watching the Mellencamp special. He sang an acoustic version of "I need a Lover" and changed the offensive lyrics...it was really enjoyable! *
This time of year, the holidays are a good time to reflect though. To consider what's important in our lives, what are our priorities? Especially in these hard times. With the new year just around the bend what will we do to make it a better year? See?...Time to reflect.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
It's not one change, it's going to be a series of happenings. It makes me nervous and excited all at once. But I can't tell you yet because I don't have anyway of knowing who reads this blog and if the information got into the wrong hands before the appropriate time, well, that wouldn't be good.
So for now let's talk about the Turkey Day. On Thanksgiving Day my Boo and I went to his parents house for dinner. His lovely mom always cooks for an army even though only four people are eating. She got a new wedding band because her's had to be cut off her finger...she
outgrew it. I can't rememer how long they've been married but it's something like 40 years, she's due for a new band. She was so excited to show it off. The dinner was amazing as usual.
On Friday I did not go out shopping with the deal hunters. This is the first year I haven't gone since I don't know when. I just wasn't feeling it. There wasn't anything I needed.
Saturday Boo and I went and purchased a treadmill which is being delivered and set up on Friday. We're trying to be healthier. Or prevent bad health I guess. I figure a treadmill is less expensive than a heart attack in ten years. Right?
Meanwhile, I put my turkey in the oven for roasting. I tried something new this year, I brined it the night before. So I drained off the brine, rinsed the bird then stuck it in the oven. Several hours later my family showed up for dinner. We always have a good time and this year was no different. Boo and I have a Wii game system and everyone really enjoyed it. I hate video games, always have. But the Wii is different. It's great for all ages (they even have them in nursing homes!) and you have to be physically active to play it. For hours my family boxed, bowled and golfed in my living room. We sat down to a fantastic dinner, I cooked peas, corn and rolls in addition to the bird (which was so juicy and moist thanks to brining!) Mom made stuffing and mashed potatoes; my sister-in-law made green bean casserole, mac and cheese and cranerry cheesecake bars. I also contributed a homemade apple pie. Delish!
So glad we ordered the treadmill.
I'll keep you up to date on the big happenings, when the bell tolls, you'll be the first to know!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday morning I went out to the barn to visit my mare. Of course she and the other mares were in the farthest possible corner of the five acre field. I looped the lead rope over my neck with my scarf, dug around in my pockets for gloves and began the trek. I was actually grateful for the bit of exercise. It was cold but sunny and sunny trumps cold anytime in my book. If it had been cloudy and cold, I would've been curled up on my couch. Instead, Mother Nature was on my side. I reached the small herd of mares and called Dixie's name. She looked up and waited for me to get to her. I scruffed her heavy winter coat and spoke softly as I clipped the lead rope to her halter. Some of the other mares were getting nosy so I started leading her back toward the barn. We stopped halfway and she stood still while I gave her a good look-over. Her surgery site under her tail has healed completely and there were no signs of new growths, whew. Keep you fingers crossed. Slyly, I put my hand in my pocket and rustled the plastic wrappers of the peppermints that I brought for her. Ears pricked forward she began pushing her nose around my waist trying to find the goods. I had to take my gloves off to unwrap the candy. Her warm breath cut the cold as she lipped the treat into her mouth. She loves it when I stroke her just above her eyes, she gets all soft and doe-eyed when I do it. She's my beautiful mare and I feel like a kid everytime I throw my arms around her neck and bury my face in her coat. Satisfied that she was in good condition I unclipped the lead rope and told her to go on. She turned and cantered back to the mares. I started walking back to the barn and turned to look at her only to find that she was standing with her head up looking at me too.
Gordon is the old man that owns the barn and cares for the horses. He is a self described "Kiwi" because his native land is New Zealand. As I was coming back to the barn he was coming out of the house. We stood and talked awhile in the barn aisle. As a young man he was an exercise rider for racehorses in New Zealand, he tells stories of training them on the beaches there. Then he moved to the US and he and his daughter raised Arabians and competed in fox hunts. His daughter is in her forties now and is "out of horses" because of a riding accident she had. So Gordon runs the barn on his own. His wife mostly stays in the house while he putters away keeping the barn tidy. Twelve horses make their home there and he sees to it that they are in good condition and properly cared for. I would sleep in my mares stall, that's how clean it is. I don't know that I've ever actually seen poop in it. He cleans the water buckets every other day and the barn aisle is meticulously swept. They don't make 'em like Gordon anymore.
Friday, November 14, 2008
First, I could write. Probably try writing some fiction. I've already started writing my memoirs of my life thusfar. I can tell you that this blog really hasn't given you any insight into my past or the depth, perversion and weirdness of it all. My story might make for some interesting reading. A couple of you can vouch for that I know.
Or, I could develop my photography hobby into something. Maybe stock photos, maybe pet photography.
I'd really like to convert my passion for horses into a vocation but aside from lots of overhead costs of owning a boarding facility, I'm not sure what else might be an option. Please don't suggest selling insurance to horse people, no interest here.
Or maybe there's something out there I just haven't thought of yet.
How about y'all? Have you ever thought about what you'd really like to do for a living? If you feel like sharing your dream or passions, let loose! I'd love to hear what else other folks are thinking. I think we're in a very importent time right now in history and people are rethinking their priorities. What are your thoughts?
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Boo took off this morning to his parents house in southern Indiana. They need help picking out a new computer and setting it up and since Boo is a computer dude, he's the guy for the job. He's also the guy who is going to move some furniture around for his mom while he's there. That means I'm solo today. All day long on a cold cloudy Sunday. I need to go buy some new underwear and deoderant but I don't really want to leave the house. I should also go see my horse but she's at a barn 30 minutes away and I'm a cold weather weenie. She'd rather be in the field with the other mares anyway, right? I'd probably just cramp her style.
My faithful dogs are with me right now. Mya is curled up on the couch right next to me and Farley is stretched out on the rug snoozing. They are sleeping soundly but mark my words, if I sneaked off the couch and tried to go down the hall to the bathroom, they'd be on alert and escorting me all the way there. Then, since Boo isn't home, I'd leave the door to the bathroom open and they'd sit there and stare at me. There's nothing like having an audience. Mya might even come in and put her paws up on my knees wanting a pet on the head. After the flush, we'd all shuffle back into the living room and resume our places. Thank goodness for my dogs, I don't know how I walk around the house without them.
Maybe I'll take a little snooze too...then decide what to do with the day.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
W.O.W, Tuesday night after dinner at a beachside restaurant in Huntington beach I did indeed dip my toes in the Pacific for you! It was a lovely evening of great food, great wine (I had one glass, some folks had much more!) and then some of us headed out to the beach even though it was ten pm. I rolled up my pant legs, flip flops in hand, ran down the beach to the surf...and it wasn't as cold as I thought it would be. Cold, but not intolerable. The sky was deep and clear and a few stars winked out of the darkness. On the horizon I could see lights coming from the yahts that were anchored way out in the deeper water. I wrote my name in the sand with my big toe and watched the tide roll in and sweep it away. The sand was chilly but soft and white as I burrowed my toes in. I am always humbled by the power of the ocean and the surge of its waves. I just stayed still for a few moments and took in the moment. I felt very blessed.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Here is what you'll need to bake Apple Crumb Pie (It's the "crumb" that makes it extra special)
4 large tart apples (I used Granny Smith's)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
another 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
And a recipe for Pie Crust (I'll give you my recipe at the end)
So first, you need to pare your apples, cut into eighths and arrange in a 9inch pastry-lined pie pan.
Then mix 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples. Now, here's where the magic starts to happen...
Sift 1/2 cup sugar (the other one) with the flour, cut the butter in until it's all crumbly.
Now sprinkle the crumblies all over the apples. This is the reason for the season, the big cheese, the bees knees...the crumblies are the key to this creation. For you underacheivers out there, this could be a stopping point and you could pop it in the oven at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
But I really really really love pie crust. Seriously, I love it. So I add lattice to the top of my pie. Lattice, not lettuce. Please.
By the way, my dog really really likes apples...or anything else that falls off the kitchen counter.
Oh, I forgot, I put lattice on one and a full top crust on the other, with fancy schmancy autumn leaf cut outs. That was a big deal for me...I felt like I should win a ribbon for knowing how to do that. I just used a christmas cookie cutter, it's actually a holly leaf cutter, but they sell the autumn shaped ones at places like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. So, be careful not to burn your top crusts, watch and when they are golden brown, pull those puppies out of the oven...and put on the vintage apron that you bought at a garage sale for your finished photo...
The recipe for the crust is easy...
For a double crust 9 inch pie: 1 and 1/2 cups sifted flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup shortening (I like butter flavor crisco) and 4-5 tablespoons cold water.
Sift flour and salt, cut in shortening until size of peas. Mix in water with fork until consistency to roll out. There, easy squeezy.
So go forth to your local apple orchards and bake something from scratch.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Anyway, I have an annoying addiction right now. I compulsively shop for homes on the "Mibor.com" website. I want to live in the country so badly that I drive myself crazy surfing around looking at online listings. It's like a hamster on a wheel, determined to actually get somewhere new, but finds itself running in place getting nowhere. I seem to be standing on the edge of discontent all the time and I feel like I've felt like this as long as I can remember, even as a kid. I always daydream of the future and the "what ifs" without really living in and enjoying the present. I have a hunch that mindset contributes greatly to my discontent. My mind is always looking down the road trying to see around the bend. Meanwhile I'm probably missing the important moments in a blur like trying to look at flowers on the side of the road when you're driving too fast. It's impossible to focus on the flowers and the road in front of you. Focus. I should try that too. Finding someplace to put my focus besides a future that will be just as fuzzy to me when I get there as the present feels right now. I was talking with Boo this evening about my discontent and how I need to figure out how to make myself happy. This is where some people go wrong, they look outside of themselves for happiness. They think their spouse or kids should make them happy. They think material possessions will make them happy. I am aware that happiness is someplace inside of myself, I just need to bring it out. My Boo is very sweet, he says," let me know if there's anyway I can help." I tell ya, that simple sentence is enough, just knowing I have his support is enough...he doesn't need to do anything.
So, I am on a journey within myself to find the happiness that I've been searching for.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Then today, I was sitting in a doctors office forever while I waited for a signature so I read an article in Womens Day about trusting your intuition. The article said that instead of making decisions based on outside circumstances, the judgement of others, and even societal norms, you should trust you instincts. Go with your gut. Trust your own innate ability to know the truth about somebody, something or a situation. I am putting this mostly into my own words, but you get the jist. They had a few examples of women who have changed their lives based on the choices they made based on a feeling. One woman became a best selling novelist, one woman didn't trust a doctors assessment and insisted on a mammogram, etc. It's the August issue..try to find it.
We all have this ability. Everyone of us has a little voice in our head that says, "this is wrong, don't do it," or "go for it, this is perfect for you." Or instead of a voice, it's just a feeling. I try to follow the "doubt means don't" philosophy. If you have any doubts, you probably shouldn't do it.
If you have to force something to happen, maybe it's not really supposed to happen.
Maybe there's a constant gnawing in the back of your mind that you're in the wrong situation and you really should be spending your life doing something that means something to you. I think some people are content to work their whole lives in a proverbial cubicle for the man. Some people require more to satisfy their soul. I require more.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
way up on a a very steep hill. They figured this would be a more ideal location. This is how the dock began...My brother is attaching the floatation dealies. Once the floaters are attached, they have to flip the whole thing over to begin putting the decking in place. They are so manly.Here's my Boo and stepdad securing the bracing.The decking process begins.The guys are hammering the final board in place. Yay!The three manly men are trying to push that big ol thing into the water....
Turns out they needed to implement a little girl power.Look at that! It's in the water! It floats!My Boo and brother put a boat motor on it so they could "drive" it over to it's new home in from of our cabin. I think they look like Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer floating down the Mississippi. Right?Here she is at her new home. She will connect to the steps with a ten foot gangplank. This dock will serve many years at our cabin. She will rise and fall with the lake level, weather many season changes, feel the pitter pat of tiny feet, serve as a launch pad for our dogs as we throw sticks for them to fetch, patiently watch future children learn to swim and lie in silent counsel for moments of much needed retreat. Built with love for the enjoyment of the whole family.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Here's the old dock at the lake. You can see that it's in pretty bad repair. And what in tarnation is that ugly green thing? Well, that my friends is my grandpas answer to a "boathouse." It has always looked incredibly out of place, an eyesore if you will. My grandpa didn't give a hoot about appearances. Practicality and functionality was his concern. Oh, and frugal...he was frugal. The man was an optometrist, I suppose he probably did pretty well financially, but you would never know it. He never felt that he needed to keep up with the Jones' or any other family that lived beyond their means. So, this is our old dock. It's gone now...we tore it out. I thought I'd share some photos of the demolition....
The guys are cleaning out the dock box, where motors and batteries are stored. Apparently it is also a shelter house for single mouse mothers (say that ten times fast). We found a mother mouse and three babies. She was evicted.
Here she is on the steps looking down at one of the babies. They eventually scampered off into the woods.That's my Boo wrestling a post in the water. My stepdad and brother look like they're taking a break, don't they?
Farewell old dock. Good ridance green thing. The new dock will be constructed this weekend, stay tuned for pics.
Monday, September 8, 2008
My grandpa built this cabin 50 years ago. It sits on a small lake with some other cabins. It is the only remaining place from my childhood that I can still go to. It's not fancy but so many memories live there and so many more are waiting to be made.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Here she is hanging with her girls. All the boys are over in the other field. They flirt with her. And she teases them. They find her fly mask very mysterious and intriguing. Probably because
the other girls aren't wearing one. That's my girl, she's a horse of a different color, literally and figuratively. Yay Dixie! Welcome home!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Hope your Labor Day holiday is everything you're hoping for, talk to you when I return.
Monday, August 25, 2008
of fried Twinkies, Snickers and new this year, Fried Pepsi. Don't even ask, I didn't try it and I didn't see any of it either, so I can't begin to describe what this concoction might be.
This little boy looks like he's never seen a cow before. Yes, even here among the corn fields and soybeans there are real people who've never experienced livestock. Which I find incredibly hard to believe.
This little girl, wearing her Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader outfit, upstaged the clown band and danced like nobody was watching.
But everybody was. The band had to start interacting with her to regain some of the spotlight.
Then there was this in the midway.....
Isn't that freakin' hilarious?! Nuns on the midway! Trying their hands at some games of chance to win giant bears and goldfish. I hope that Carnie treated them right, Lord help him if he didn't.
I tried to be discreet with my camera, but they must have known how out of place they looked.
I suppose the midway would probably be a good spot for some good olde fashioned ministry. Lot's of seedy business going on there. Maybe they were there to pray with people before they got on one of those death traps, uh, er, I mean carnival rides. Tilt-a-whirl anyone?