Thursday, December 31, 2009

Feels like something's gonna happen this year

The new year is just around the corner. Just another day you say? Maybe. But traditionally, New Year's Eve is the time to make resolutions... and lists.

I'm great on making lists. Everyday, I make lists of things that need to be done, places to go, shopping lists...

This is a list of the highlights and low times from 2009 for me. I thought 2007 was a terrible year because I lost my husband. But 2009 has seemed to continuously bring me down again and again. However, there were some highpoints as well. My list spans a little over a year but that seems to be most appropriate:

In the last year (15 months), I've:

lost a job of 6 years

earned 17 credits at CNM community college
earned an Associate's degree in PreManagement
Certificate for individual tax preparer
Ceritificate for payroll clerk

worked part time since July at the gym

began working full time this month at the health services having worked there p/t since October

for most of the year, my son and daughter have both been unemployed, although both worked several short term jobs.

volunteered at the zoo as a Rio Grande River hiking guide for school age children
volunteered in TaxHelp 2008
volunteered at my church as Treasurer

replaced several major appliances:
new water heater
new dishwasher
new microwave
new used refrigerator
repaired washer
repaired dryer
repairs on Stihl chainsaw (I list this because parts were almost $300, so it's a major appliance)

new desktop computer and monitor

and have yet to replace-
answering machine
can opener ;)

bought a 2004 Hyundai Accent
paid for major repairs on my son's Ranger
and repairs on his 2000 Saturn

lost Gunnar to nasal cancer
lost Daisy to cancer
lost a good friend
spent time at the emergency room with family

celebrated (?) a landmark birthday. At 51, I am officially over the hill.

went on a balloon ride during the balloon fiesta.

permanently injured the joint of my index finger, from my Arabian mare, Nadia, pulling away from my other Arabian mare, Annie.

planted and harvested a wonderful garden with my neighbor and my older son

began letterboxing (found 100 and placed 10) in one year
won $125 at Sandia Casino on quarter slots

saw my son play in his band, Spring Loaded Hot Dog (he won Battle of the Bands at a local high school, then lost in the B of the B at his own school.)
saw Gin Blossoms in free concert downtown

and the best part of the year involved horses:
road trip to Scottsdale Arabian Horse show with my mom
audited Dennis Reis clinic
Mother's Day Nebraska trail ride with my mom and daughter (and thanks, Tammy!!)

Yalla! (thanks for being there, Lisa)

I'm sure there's more...just can't think of anything right now. What a crazy year it was!

For 2010,

I would like to:
go backpacking. I never got to go last year although I did take several short day hikes.

go trail riding with Scout and Nadia, big time, "trailer there" kind of trail riding.

teach Yalla! tricks (kneel, say yes, whatever?)

I want to learn to play violin. I got one for Christmas from my mom. Crazy, huh? but I've always wanted to play one.

Publish my guide to canoeing the Labyrinth Canyon of the Green River.

maybe get a tattoo??


I'm open to whatever 2010 brings me. I want to find a friend to share it with. I want to celebrate life because I realize life IS too short.

How about you?

I wasn't sure whether to name this post blackest (past) or golden (future) years so I decided take the optimistic point of view.

Feels like something's gonna happen this year- song: Telling Lies, artist: David Bowie, album: Earthling

Monday, December 28, 2009

I look into your eyes and I know you won't kill me

It took a LOT of courage but Lisa of Laughing Orca Ranch accomplished a major feat this Christmas, almost exactly one year after her fateful fall from Baby Doll. I was happy to witness the transition from fear to JOY as she sat astride her Paint mare for the first time since that fateful day.

I look into your eyes and I know you won't kill me - song: Black Tie, White Noise, artist: David Bowie, album: Black Tie, White Noise

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sunday (Odds and Ends 12/27/09)

These photos are from my favorite Ghost Town in Nevada, Rhyolite...
Not just odd, creepy!!

Sunday - song: Sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friday foto

Merry Christmas!

A little off topic of the merry making, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence! is a movie David Bowie starred in with Tom Conti and Ryuichi Sakamoto. My favorite part of the movie starts around 7:38. The guards are taking Jack Celliers away to be executed. He does a mime of... you'll just have to watch. The movie is based on the novel: The seed and the Sower by Laurens van der Post.

here's a mash up of MCML by Ryushi Sakamoto and a Japanese singer, Utada.

and here's the instrumental with Ryushi Sakamoto live.

Merry Christmas - Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, a Nagisa Oshima movie starring David Bowie, Tom Conti and Ryuchi Sakamoto.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

they look so good together

These pictures were taken on Saturday before I began the weaning process so I guess they are the last of the mare and foal photos. It was great watching them run together.

Here's Yalla with all four feet off the ground. And then I got Annie also with all four feet in the air.
I managed to catch Yalla on one hoof
and then Annie too. However, I think Annie gets the prize for the best balanced. Just look at her leaning into that curve! Yalla wins for high headedness!

I can only hope she inherits her mother's dynamic trot!

In case you were wondering, Scout and Nadia did run, but they mostly preferred to stand and watch.

They look so good together - song: Here comes the night, artist: David Bowie covering Them, album: Pinups

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weaning Yalla - continued

The next day- Sunday

Yalla looks fine! She is completely unconcerned about her missing mama. Of course, she has never had a very strong need to stay with her mama. She seems happy to hang with her other pals out in the arena, especially Nadia.

Usually Yalla stays by Scout, but this morning, Scout was at the corner next to Baby Doll in her field and by Annie's pen.

Annie, on the other hand, poor Annie, is suffering from major milk overflow. Notice the swelling going down her belly? She certainly produced plenty of milk!
She is walking around slowly, like it hurts, and standing towards the back, in her stall, away from the fence line. I am withholding grain from Annie for a few days but I am giving her double hay so she can munch all day.

I left the three horses: Scout, Nadia, and Yalla, outside over Saturday and Sunday nights. Although it was cold, it was clear and they all have thick winter coats, so I figured they'd do fine.
Annie is stabled in the back stall with her fence adjoining the arena if she wants to socialize with them.
Day two- Monday
According to the weather forecast, a storm is moving in. I decided to bring all the horses into the barn tonight, just in case the front moves in overnight, instead of tomorrow. This was going to be challenging. Usually, I just put hay in their stall mangers and open the gates. The horses all know their stalls and head straight for them. Only problem is, what to do with Yalla? She has only been in through the barn doors a couple of times. I have been debating what stall arrangements to make. At first, I was going to leave Yalla alone in her back stall and put Annie and Scout together in the front stall and Nadia alone in the smaller, middle stall. Then I decided to leave Annie where she is, since she's been in for a few days already. So then, I needed to decide who should double up. I thought about Yalla and Scout but I don't want them to get so close they're inseparable. Nadia is a sweetie, but she's older and I don't think she'll get too attached to Yalla because she enjoys being a loner. I want Yalla to have company but not a buddy. Also, it takes Yalla and Nadia about the same amount of time to eat their grain so they won't be stealing from each other the way Scout might since I grain him least of everybody.
I went to the barn tonight, in the dark. Isn't today the shortest day of the year? My barn lights have been out of order for many months now. In the spring, a squirrel chewed through the wiring and my son is in process of digging and replacing the underground electric line. I don't know if or when he'll ever finish, but that's another story. I haltered and led Scout into the dark barn and into the small middle stall. Then I went back and haltered both Yalla and Nadia and led them both together. Yalla had issues with one area near the doorway where the drainpipe comes down from the roof and there is a pile of rocks. Nadia and I patiently waited and finally walked back towards her. After a few minutes, she smelled the pipe and rocks and reluctantly followed Nadia across the strange terrain. I led Nadia into the dark barn with Yalla following closely behind and we headed for the front stall door.
As Nadia stepped into her stall, which she's done hundreds of times, she slipped up. And so did I! We didn't fall, but what surprised us both was a huge, several inches deep, water puddle! We sloshed across it and poor Yalla, terrified, came into the stall too, wondering where in the world she was, what was she getting into, and where was her mama?? She always nursed whenever anything stressed her and she was feeling very stressed in the dark with that huge puddle of water right by the hay bin. I took off Nadia's halter and she went off to eat in the other stall. I petted Yalla a few minutes and then released her. Yalla was nervous, running back and forth from the manger near the puddle to Nadia's manger, eating a little at a time. She kept reaching under Nadia's belly to nurse and realized that she couldn't. Then she went over to Scout and nosed at him. He pinned his ears at her and went back to eat, realizing that nothing really bad was happening on their side in spite of the commotion.

I gave both Nadia and Yalla a half can of grain each in their feeders. Yalla wasn't sure where to go and she didn't want to walk in the puddle, but she's smart, so she stood in Nadia's stall and ate from the wrong side. Then I gave Annie and Scout a few mouthfuls of grain so they wouldn't feel left out.
It was time to assess the problem puddle. I decided that when my son, my other son, filled the horses' water this afternoon as I had asked, the leaking hose (yes, it leaks from a cracked crimp in the hose!) spilled over into the low spots of the stall. (I never said my horses don't paw the ground!!) Normally I let the drip fill the water tank but he didn't think to place the hose over the tank. And he was good enough to fill ALL the water barrels so how can I complain? I only knew that, by morning, it was going to be a frozen mess. I decided to grab the wheelbarrow and put some dirt in the hole to soak up the water. I dug shovelfuls of dirt into the barrow and started pushing it back into the barn. I guess the wheelbarrow has a flat wheel because it wasn't rolling. I struggled and struggled and finally, got it to the stall doorway. I dumped the dirt load, spooking Yalla yet again, and packed down the sloppy mud. At least it soaked up the standing water! I made sure Yalla was settled and eating along with the others and then I headed back to the house and some leftover posole. Yummy!

What a night!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bibbity bobberty hat

Today was a fun day!

The afternoon was gorgeous and warm so I decided to go play with my horses. I brought out a santa hat for some photos. At first, Annie, Scout, and Yalla were afraid of it. But, brave Nadia casually strolled up to me and I placed the hat right on her head. However, as you can see, she was really expecting more carrots, not to model a silly red hat! After Nadia's show of confidence, Scout and Yalla were curious and cautiously investigated.

Soon I had Yalla wearing it. She got so relaxed about wearing it I think she almost fell asleep!

I decided to ride, first Nadia, then Scout. Rather than a lengthy groom and saddle-up process, I opted for just a bridle and bareback. I am so please that my horses are behaved when I ride them bareback. I even loped both of them. I was so proud of them. Nadia was good, as always, and Scout kept his head down and was very relaxed and calm, even when we loped.

While I was riding Scout, Yalla played nearby, sometimes running with us or around us. When we stopped, she came over to chew on my boot.

After our ride, I put the hat on Scout
and Yalla made sure to hold his reins for me.

I also rode Annie. She is so much calmer than she was just a few years ago. I trust her completely now. she doesn't play her spook games nearly as much, and she will settle down to a walk after we trot or lope, whereas she used to just prancey dance, endlessly. Today, we only walked and trotted.

Here's a picture of me on Annie. Her poor tail is so short! I did try chili powder, cayenne pepper, and even shampoo on it, but I think Yalla likes all flavors. While I was riding Annie, a crow settled on the round pen fence.
Doesn't Annie's mane look nice though? It all falls on one side now and is really long, for my horses, anyway.
Earlier, Annie wanted nothing to do with the Santa hat. However, if I use any sort of head restraint on her, she is well behaved. Just having a bridle on, as you can see, she didn't mind wearing the hat. She gets that way with her blanket too. She'll leave and come back to me and leave and come back to me, until finally she'll just give up and accept me putting on her blanket unless I have a halter and lead rope on her. I don't need to tie her, I just throw the line over the stall wall. Then we do it all over again the next time.
And again, Yalla held the reins.
I need to figure out a trick for that little girl. She loves chewing and mouthing all things.
Then, I tried to take a picture of Yalla and I, hugging. She is the most loveable horse!

Not too bad for a self portrait. Only, I guess the lens got dusty or something. I sure wish I could fix the spots on Yalla's face.

Oh yeah, I put Annie in early to eat an extra flake of hay by herself. Yalla got frantic but when I put a flake of hay out in the field with the three of them, Yalla, Scout, and Nadia, she settled right down to eat. Did I tell you that she loves to eat? Earlier, she was biting off pieces of carrot along with the others. I broke the hay up into handfuls and scattered it around. Seeing how quickly she settled down, I made a decision.

I decided to wean Yalla, starting tonight. She was six months on the 14th. I expect it to be a windless night so I left the three of them outside. That way, she can nose right up to the fence with her mama, if Annie wants to. Yalla doesn't nurse so much anymore, anyway. Mostly for comfort, I think. It will get cold but they all have nice thick coats. They were even beginning to sweat this afternoon after they ran around, from their thick fur. Annie is the one I worry about most, she doesn't have much of a coat and she's a bit underweight. By weaning off Yalla, I hope to get Annie's weight up soon, with beet pulp mash daily for a while. While they were together, Yalla would eat everything her mother ate so it was hard to supplement Annie.

Bibbity bobberty hat - song: Queen Bitch, artist: David Bowie, album: Hunky Dory

Sunday (12/20/09 Christmas)

I wasn't going to decorate this year. I have had a tremendously rough year and haven't been very much in the mood. But, the spirit of Christmas won me over anyway and I did some very light decorating. You can see my little Christmas tree, bottom center. Haha!! It's a live Norfolk pine. It has lights, balls, and bows even! I usually get a beautiful live wreath but as my sons are no longer in Boy Scouts, I had to come up with one of my own so I threw this one together.
I think this light decoration was left up from last year. Ooops, oh well!
This is my tree of life flower planter by my front door. I change the flowers for all the holidays and seasons.
I have a few other decorations too. Pointsietta and pine garlands and bead chains are hanging over many of my doorways. I have a few Christmas cards on display too. I decided not to bother climbing up into the attic to bring down the many, many boxes of Christmas decorations so it is rather sparsely decorated. I was just too busy the last few weeks and since it's less than 1 week to Christmas now, I figured "why bother?" I do miss my nativities though. I had a glass one and a wooden manger scene with lots of porcelain shepherds, wise men, and angels along with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. I also have a several musical Santas and angels and a merry go round. I could go on and on with what I don't have decorated this year. Lol. I don't think that is what this post is supposed to be about.

I haven't put up house lights for years. However, the rest of my neighborhood is decorated very nicely with outdoor lights. But, you'll have to take my word for it. I went out tonight and it was too late. The neighbors had already turned off their outdoor light displays, except for these

And here's my little tree from the outside. ;)

I know, I know, terrible night photos. Maybe I'll replace them tomorrow night with some better photos.

Sunday - song: Sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Peace on Earth

I recently stumbled across a Greatest Christmas Carol Ever contest on another blog. Guess what? The competition is down to two:
Bing Crosby's White Christmas or
Bing and Bowie's Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy

Guess who gets my vote? Go here to place your vote.

Peace on Earth - song: Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy, artist: Bing Crosby and David Bowie

Friday, December 18, 2009

Far too busy

Whew, it's Friday, finally!

I'm tired.

I have had an extremely busy last few weeks. This week and last week were finals at school. I had group presentations in my management class and my interpersonal skills class, a big tax 'problem' that required several study group sessions, and a two hour final in my online religion class that I spent hours studying for.

I am happy to announce that I got straight A's in all four classes!

I started working full time at my new job this past Monday. I started in October and they let me work part-time while I attended school this semester. It's funny, because I planned my classes so that I could find a full time job, working days. I had four classes: one morning class 2x a week, an online class, and two long, once-a-week, evening classes. Because I was only working part-time, I kept on working at the gym, two afternoons a week. When I told them that I had gotten a full time day job, fortunately, I was able to switch from working afternoons to working evenings.

This past Monday, I took my final in religion.

On Tuesday, I worked both jobs.

Wednesday, I made cookies and candies: chocolate covered pretzels, peanut brittle, gingerbread snowmen and ginger babies, and chocolate covered peanut butter balls.

Thursday, I worked both jobs.

And tonight, I made biscochitos. I had to go to three grocery stores to find anise seeds. Is everyone making biscochitos this year?

It's not Christmas without lots of goodies! I still want to make another batch of fudge and some brownies, maybe some macaroons...

Do you like to bake for Christmas? What do you like to make?

Far too busy - song: Looking for a Friend, artist: David Bowie, album: Bowie at the Beeb

Friday Foto

Friday - song: Friday on my Mind, artist: David Bowie, album: Pinups