Saturday, May 29, 2010

Celebrating the future and the past

I am working on the BG's unicorn cupcakes, This is my trial run.
The horn is a birthday candle :)

Friday, Shawn and I went to the Iris Garden in Salem and bought 2 dozen iris' to put on our grandparents grave for Memorial Day. This is the third year we've bought the iris', before we just bought Costco flowers. The iris' are 6 bucks a dozen, so it's a bargain!
The Iris farm is spectacular, the gardens alone are worth visiting even if you aren't buying anything.

Shawn gazing out at the gorgeous landscape. The painter guy in the background was interesting. I need to tell my Hostas that they need to get on the ball, their Hostas were enormous and beautiful.

Doesn't this look restful and idyllic?

I liked these small iris, like little mini me's.

This is my Grandparents grave in Albany.
The flowers are just gorgeous! My Grandpa died when I was only 7, however my Grandma Rachel was the greatest grandma ever. She even lived in a pink house.. I just cried and cried , I miss her so much even 12 years later.

This is Shawn's Grandparents. They are in Eugene. I never met Shawn's grandpa he died New Years Eve 1999, while Shawn was visiting me in Texas.
Shawn's Grandma died in 2005. She was a cool lady, she was a great substitute for me.

So after all that we went to this restaurant. Shawn for quite a few years off and on was the owners Sous Chef. He started out washing dishes and worked his way up.

Our Salad.. yummm. The 1000 island was awesome! You could tell it was homemade.
We got the crab/shrimp stuffed shrooms as a gift from the chef. Shawn warned me that I would have to eat one and do it with a smile.He was saying this whilst chuckling because he knows that mushrooms are number 1 on my WILL NOT EAT list. I tried peeps I really did, but Oh EM GEE, I got half of one gagged down and couldn't eat the rest without barfing.

I thought this was funny.

the new location is much nicer and hip'r than the one in old Springfield. The old one was very run down and was in an old Mexican restaurant style building. The new one is very modern and clean.
Nothing prettier than nice clean sparkly glassware.

WE ordered a pizza and this kid came out and fixed it. He was the new version of Shawn 20 years later. Dishes, pizzas, etc... HE was doing the same thing Shawn did 20 years ago. How cool is that?
I am a big BI*** if they seat me somewhere I don't want to sit. Like next to the bathroom, the kitchen, etc... They were going to sit us out in like a hall way/common area? Ummm No....
So we opted to sit at the Pizza Bar instead. It was funny as soon as she started walking out there, SHAWN JUST KNEW I wasn't going to sit out there. HAHAHAHA

Here is the chef AKA Mookie. My favorite dish there is the Chicken Linguine.. So rich and fattening. Comfort food 101!

So that was our day. We celebrated the past and our present. We hadn't had a fun day alone together in a long time. We love to go to Eugene and see friends, eat out and reminisce about the good ol days.

Thanks for coming along !

There will be another HUGE post Monday night!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why I chose to do endurance riding

I am sure many are asking themselves, I know for sure my Dad is..

Why would you want to take that pretty talented mare and ride endurance?

Why not show her? Why not just trail ride? She's a Paint, not an Arabian! blah blah blah

The sport of endurance is completely different than anything I have ever done. It's a test of your mental and physical capacities. Yeah, I know sounds all Man From Snowy River...

I got the bug to do it when I owned my mare Blu. Circumstances change and even though I no longer owned an Arabian my desire to ride in the sport hadn't changed.

Showing is such a subjective event. The judges mood, how much you've spent on saddle, clothes, horse, trainer ALL COUNT. Those who say it doesn't is kidding themselves.

I wanted a closer relationship and longer saddle time with my horse than going in endless WTC.

For me showing wasn't something I could see my self enjoying for the long term.

Now, I win the lottery, you will see me in the show ring with the biggest baddest English Pleasure 1/2 Arab horse EVAH..... Whoop Whoop!

I wanted my pony recreation dollars spent towards something that was tangible. I can count the miles, see the vistas, make new friends, camp out with my sweetie, learn valuable skills, get prizes that are better than ribbons and connect with my horse on a level that can't be described.

I wanted to feel the true victory of finishing a race, crossing that finish line and know that is ME that got us there.

I choose endurance because I choose to feel like a winner even if I come in last place.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Take it from me Peeps !

Here are a couple of items you will appreciate and love me for later.
It's only because I loves my Peeps.

I have this type of water holder, why? Well, it goes up and under the pommel of my saddle and literally sits right in front of me. No turning, no leaning, just reach down and grab your bottle. I have logged alot of miles with this and haven't lost one bottle yet. The water stays nice and cold too. They hold the BIG 32 oz, Nalgene Bottles with ease. Trust me however, use the smaller bottles, easier to get in and out.
Also, one less carabineer holding your crap on the D rings.

DO NOT and I REPEAT DO NOT buy the store brand of Coppertone sunscreen. Pay the extra 4 bucks and get the real deal. The store brand runs and is not sweat proof or waterproof.
It sucked, it ran in my eyes all day. OUCH and made me terribly crabby at the same time.
I have to use it on Stars nose and she took one drink and it was all washed off. Sorry people after me at the water tanks :(.

They are my new obsession. Don't ask and I won't tell you. :)
Run to your nearest department store and buy these undies. They are a bamboo blend/seamless/moisture wicking ones and have NO SEAM on the front crotch area, and then the rest is small flat seams. I SWEAR ON THE BIBLE, I had no raw girlie parts, they did NOT RIDE UP for 25 plus miles, and I it hardly felt like I had any on. Jockey will be your new bff I swear. Not one raw spot or chafe I promise you.
A safer choice of bottle.
To me, turning up a regular water bottle to get a drink is just not safe on the trail. Your head is cocked back and your eyes are now distracted.
Thus, I use CamelBak Bottles. You bite the soft part and suck. So your eyes can stay forward, and you will be less likely to get a fat lip or cut if your horse takes a misstep and you ram it into your face. Plus it has a hanger built in. One downside is that if you put it full of ice you have to really make sure the inside straw part is on tight. Mine came off twice when I filled it with ice and trying to fix it mile 19 sucked.

As more reviews come in I will post them :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

more ride pictures ala Star

OH EM GEE MAMMA! A bath at O dark thirty?? and my Bathrobe on?
This can only mean one thing.

We are going somewhere's. Momma put me on "Operation Starvation". I decided that going into the moving box was no longer something I wanted to do. So Momma and Daddy didn't feeds me my breakfast. They put it in the moving box.
So this time and this time only I decided the moving box breakfast meal on wheels wasn't so bad. So I got right in like a lady.
This is where we stopped and parked the moving box. Instead of being tied like a dog, I actually got a corral like a good horse. Daddy and step brat even moved me closer to the trees for shade n stuff.
Daddy is going to buy me my own corral, so I can have some street cred with my mare frens.
See those pink buckets? Momma got wise and tied them so I couldn't play in the water. However she didn't do this until I had knocked them over twice. Not so swift that Momma, but what a fun time I had watching her schlep water for me.
This is Stepbrat, he was my main water boy. He helped Daddy set up the tent n coffee maker thingy. Mamma sez, the coffee maker thingy is more important than the tent.
I agree, she was much nicer this time.

Camp at night, I could keep an eye on everyone this way. Daddy had it lit up like a baseball field.
That was good because when I kept calling to Momma she could see me and tell me to shut the **** up. I was just checking to see if she was all right, sheesh.. Crabby Pants....

and I have to sleeps outside?? Whatever...

This is me looking out into the sunset, or the handsome gelding across the way, or someone rattled a grain can. I'm not sure really.

This was a hard ride and man I had to work very hard. Momma sez I got a week off and now I have to go back to work. I sure hope it's not in the moving box anytime soon. Operation Starvation sucked.
Hoof Out~ Star

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The complete run down of my ride.

All endurance ride photos are Courtesy of Merri Melde @ Equestrian Vagabond.

See Star in the left of picture? She was in race mode ! This was at the starting line !
I still had 25 miles of this to go!
until Coyotes cross your path and then it's SCREW THIS I'M GOING BACK TO CAMP.
Yeah, that was awesome. Try convincing a 16 h, 1200 pound mare that she isnt going to be dinner.


My person I was supposed to " babysit" was very green , very nervous, and got herself VERY BUCKED OFF about 6 miles in. Knocked out cold and I had to wait 45 plus minutes for help to arrive.
It was up to me to finish the next 19 miles alone. Solo, a la carte, mono y mono....
The emergency delay made me 30 minutes late past my ride time.
This resulted in a " no time" aka No Completion.
I had done a grueling 19 miles alone, and it was all for ZERO points.
Here I am crossing the finish line. I know I am last, I know I am over time and was mentally just fried. The last vertical climb was so steep I had to get off and send her up the hill alone.
That's when my ride angel arrived and got me to SUCK IT THE **** UP and finish!
I ran in, untacked, rinsed her off, pulsed her down , vetted in, and collapsed in my tent. Yep, collapsed.
side note: 12 miles with the bit, and final 13 without. I took out the bit and bit hanger and just snapped the reins to the halter. Shawn said:

" she shouldnt go bitless at the start she is acting naughty" Well, that was a smart move on our part to wait until the 2nd loop.
My Mentor's Mom felt bad that I got a zero completion and made me a "turtle" necklace.
Turtle meaning, I came in dead last ! I thought that was so nice. I will value that gesture. :)
See that dirty horse? I had just given her a liniment bath and she immediately rolled.
Of course right? I was recognized for my conduct and given a prize for taking care of the fallen rider at the awards meeting.
Well, they had made an executive decision later that morning, and due to some other rider sticking up for me, they granted me a completion. I was almost brought to tears. I finally spewed some tears in the bathroom at the DQ on the way home. Isn't that weird? of all places....
So, I am grateful to the riders who helped my along the way this time. My ride angel and the one who had my back. I think I am going to have to buy more gifts !

So, last night was the blogger dinner. We had quite a few no shows, not sure why, but everyone gets busy. This is Pauline a former boarder at my old barn, and lucky for me she is also my neighbor. I drug her out with me :) Isn't she cute?

Here is Karen aka GTTY'UP Life at the Rough String
and Char from Canterbalance.
We are all going to be at Pendleton Round Up , so we are making plans now to go to the Cowboy Breakfast. Let'R Buck!

The gal in the blue jacket is Daphne. For the life of me I can't remember her blog.
She is known as Squirrel Girl :) Also, so super cute.
We had a great time !
So that sums up my week ! See that red t-shirt I am wearing.
Yeah, that's my newest "completion" award :)

Clean House Episode

The episode that I blogged about here, airs on the Style Network tonight.

Last night was the premier, but we forgot to watch it.

It is a Messiest Home in the Country episode and the family's name is the Pettigrew's.

I am wearing a black sweatshirt and Logen is wearing a green and beige jacket.

Let me know if you see us!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Portland Blogger Meet up

Blogger Peeps,

Tonight is the Blogger Meet up at Old Spaghetti Factory at Clackamas Town Center , Drinkies at 6 and Dinner at 7. It's by the Monarch Hotel across from the mall.

We have some confirmations, but would love to meet more faces !

This is important to GTTY'up as she lives in BFE and never gets to really meet any of us until she is in town for her job!

If you don't want to eat or drink at least stop by and say hello!


Looking forward to that pasta and bread!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Got another T-Shirt !

I don't have pictures today, I left my camera in my saddle bag. I didn't take many pictures this time, that a story for another day.

Here is the basic rundown:

1. We officially completed, but I wasn't given it until after the Awards Meeting this morning.
2. I had a miserable first 6 miles, fantastic next 7 miles, ( 45 minute break) a crazy awesome 8 miles, and the most physically challenging and emotional break down last 4 miles to the finish.
3. Learned SO MUCH about me, my horse and what to do and what NOT to do.
4. My inhaler was my best friend the last 4 miles.
5. Grateful to Shawn and Catlin who were my water boys, crew and cheering section.
6. Found another ride angel and she brought me back from a quitter to a finisher with a hug, smile and " get on your horse we can finish this"
7. Grateful for a husband and quasi- coach who is learning the sport in order to help me achieve my goals.

I will post pictures and the full story soon.

JP- out

Thank you everyone for your support and well wishes, I had all of you as shoulder angels with me!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pay it forward

This Saturday I will be riding in my 2nd endurance ride. This time only 25 miles and not 32!
That last 10 mile loop was like FOREVER.

At my first ride( as in first endurance ride EVER) I had a bit of a sitch -e -a-shun. I was supposed to ride with two gals that my mentor hooked me up with.
Well, that did not work out.. AT ALL....

Star was acting like a ninny, I was having a MAJOR panic attack and , the whole drama of the starting line pissy mare/bucky crow hoppy fit and my bundle of nerves, it was clear we wernt going anywhere fast, anytime soon.

So I started to cry that I was now solo to get through 32 miles of HOLY SH** what did I sign up for! ( half freaking out, half totally pissed) , then the clouds parted and two angels came from nowhere ,that let me ride with them. I brought up the caboose for 32 miles, came in 47th out of 47!

But we made it! After about 5 miles, Stars brain kicked in and she was a total rockstar. She was only a doofus for about 45 minutes, then the rest of the 6 hours, AMAZING.

So with that said, this weekend is another big ride. I was only supposed to volunteer and take Star for some quickie trail rides. She was only coming for the experience not to compete. As it turns out there is another gal who is a first timer like I was and wants someone to ride with. I have the patience of Job and I truly don't care if we come in dead last. I will be making sure we finish, and have a freaking blast doing it.
My two angels from heaven are coming to the ride, so I bought them a Thank you gift, for taking excellent care of Star and I on our first ride.

and the Cherry on top?

My Sweetie is coming along and going to go fishing with his kid whilst Star and I are busy finishing our 2nd ride.

Maybe this time I wont forget the lunch meat and peanut butter and not half starve to death.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Some good, Some bad and some super cute!

Yesterday was quite the fabulous day!

It didn't start off that way however. I accidentally ran over and drug my friends Barbs saddle,) the brown and white horse in front of me). She hadn't loaded it into the trailer tack room and left it on the tongue of the trailer, I just didn't see it there and I pulled away to get closer to the barn to load the horses and well, lets say.. It's bad.. very bad. The tree isn't broken but her saddle is CRAZY expensive and I am helping to pay for the repairs.

On a better note, our ride was fantastic and we met a fellow blogger and her hubby. The grey horse and bay in front of Barb. They are TRUE Fox Hunters, they are a kick to ride with! Barb and I like to GO FAST!!

We got invited to join them and the Woodbrook Hunt Club for a Hunters Pace next month.

We were on a road we wern't supposed to be on, and the view was amazing of the river.
I love these shots of her and her happy ears. We went bitless and had ZERO drama. She trotted out front and alone for most of the 8 or so miles. I didn't have to do the usual warm up routine, we tacked up, got on and started out. She just gets better and better every time I take her out.

I love this side pull-bitless bridle Shawn bought, it is heavy enough to get the message across and built well to last a long time. Shawn paid alot of money for it, but you get what you pay for.

So, I got home about 3:30 and , had to be at the BG's house by 5:30. Mom and Dad needed a date night. So I brought over all my cake decorating supplies and some cookie dough and she got her first piping lesson ! First we did sugar on the sugar cookies , on the ones I over cooked.
PINK sugar of course!

This child is crazy smart. I showed her once how to do it, and then I showed her ONCE how to roll down the top of the bag to get more frosting. She had it down and was piping away!
( NOTE TO SELF) Next time, I am going to bring pre made cookies or cupcakes. The baking process took too long, and a 4 year old doesn't want to wait to get to the fun frosting part.

She also told me that 2 Diet Dr Peppers was unhealthy and I needed to make better choices.

So, in the span of about two hours, we fed the horse, made and frosted cookies, swung on the swing, and watched a cartoon movie.

To tell you how smart she is, she knows about DVR, and what remote to use.

4 years old people!!!

I couldn't tell you how to do it or what remote to use.

Here are a couple of vids for your viewing enjoyment.

Cutest BG EVAH....

Bestest Rockstar pony in da world......
Proof she trotted out confidently alone on the trail.
No Hell no and Spins here! She was 100% Get-R Done

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

He made it home!

After about 24 hours of delays, my sweetie finally made it home this morning about 6:30 am.

I was running late because I didn't get the text message of the exact arrival time. So I was about 30 minutes late to the greeting. Bummer.. HE was excited to see me none the less! I was was SUPER excited to see him!

Going through the massive amounts of crew bags. You would be amazed how much stuff they take on deployments.

Oh, and here is more stuff, he had two packs and 1 bag and 1 Pelican hard case.
Packs like a woman. Just the pack on his back was his blankets and pillows !

He came home , took a shower and passed out.
Poor Guy had a very very long trip home. Almost a full 48 hours of travel, and not first class! Military planes are not meant to be comfy.

I am so glad to have my sweetie home finally. I sure missed him.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Why do I do this to myself

My Dad reads this so I have to keep it on the DL :)
Shawn will be home Tuesday sometime during the day anywhere between 3 am and ??????????
I have once again enabled my child, this often turns out to be ALOT of work for me and him doing nothing.
I only have 6 weeks left, and the Mommy Help Service will be closed for good.
I am working on a trail riding, gym, hill training schedule for me and Star. As much as I love leisurely trail rides, I really need to make the time to get out and really get her working on long distances and hills.
Resetting goals once again, and trying to find my motivation!
BBFF and Grace came with us today on their first off property trail ride! They did great!
Sarah and her 23 year old Arabian Corey also came along for their first time out too!

Barb and Thai( Dun Paint) and Jenne and Tonka( Bay Pinto). Barb and I are going riding next Saturday with the Oregon Equestrian Trails folks.

So this may be my last post until the middle of next week, I am busy catching up on projects and getting the house in order before my Sweetie gets home :)