Sunday, November 4, 2018
Hey look! It's decently close to being on time!
Everyone came home from Maui much darker than me, showing very sunkissed faces.
Lydia had her birthday. They had a potluck with all the beach family out on the pool deck. She was completely oblivious to their plans.
Christian is continuing to push through with his ALERT training. They've had a three hour hike, a six hour hike, a twelve hour hike, and a twenty-four (*chokes*) hour hike. Most of them in the rain. Then they had a survival week where they were all tested on their survival skills and spent a week out in the woods taking care of themselves. He was pretty down and out emotionally for a while, but he eventually came around and perked up. He's grown so much. They are really able to find and push all of his buttons to help get him past certain things, and through his letters we can see a whole new level of maturity in him. We are so proud, and are looking forward to having him come home soon.
We have a new temporary resident in our pasture for the next couple of weeks. Little Boy "Casper" is an orphaned bull calf. Our neighbors had to go out of town for a while, so he is being spoiled rotten by the Linn crew. Ava is doing a fantastic job keeping up with the feedings and making sure he's doing okay.
I had to give away the rest of my birds because of that awful critter that kept finding ways to get at them. We were down to four when I finally just called Mom and said I was done with it all. I couldn't keep them alive with the current system and I didn't have the time to figure out a new system. Of course, Fred of the nine lives made it out without so much as a feather out of place. But they are now all safe and happy with a much bigger flock, a couple of goats, and two guard dogs to keep them company.
Lydia: "You might want to do something with your hair, you look like you just rolled out of bed."
Me, not caring: "I did just roll out of bed."
"Open Sesame!" -Mom, trying to open a bag of spinach.
Called one of my professors to ask where she was.
Her: "Around that white truck to your right."
Me: *whirls around toward the only white truck I was aware of that so happened to be to my left*
Her: "Your other right."
Me: *sheepishly turns back around and sees the truck she is talking about*
Went to the Quarter Horse Congress up in Ohio for a judging competition. We were gone from Sunday to Thursday, so all of us missed a full week's worth of classes. (post to come soon).
Went to Arabian Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma for another judging competition. We left on Wednesday and got back on Saturday, so we missed a few classes, but it was not even a week after Congress, so homework was still pushed off. (also post soon).
Mildly freaked out when I saw a question on a quiz that I was absolutely positive I hadn't been instructed on. Called the professor over to ask her about it. Didn't even see the big o'l EXTRA CREDIT over it, meaning it wasn't mandatory that I answer it, probably because it was from a lecture that took place while I was gone and there wasn't any homework pertaining to it.
Was very relieved when I got caught up on everything I missed while I was gone.
Mom: "Y'all realize that I can be reading a book out loud to you and have no clue what happened in it."
The Owlcrate book box came. Really liked everything inside, and I can't wait to read the books!
I left J/S and went to work for an owner who does reining instead.
J/S was good to me for awhile, but as we got further into the semester, it was made pretty clear to me that it wasn't going to work out for much longer. The other girls were doing the work I had been doing, so there really wasn't much for me to do there, and I could tell that the assistant trainer had her mind on other things and not on giving me tasks. So I talked with my boss and asked her what the expectations were there, and told her that I didn't feel like I was doing enough to earn what they were paying me, but that also there wasn't enough work to go around between three people that I had been doing by myself all summer. So she agreed and said that it was probably time to give it a rest.
Luckily enough, I had just had someone else contact me a day or two before asking if I had been able to find work. So I was able to ask them if they still were looking for someone.
Turns out to be a very nice situation. The owners had gotten into horses through the other trainer that was out of the same barn as J/S, so there was some connection there. They mostly do reining, but they also have a few babies that they are working on as well.
Small, but small is what I need right now.
Very nice people.
They want to teach me things. They've already let me ride some and have said that once I'm comfortable enough on their horses I will be able to start working them from the saddle instead of just on the ground.
Very good communicators. They are very much in favor of education and are happy that I am in college. Flexible too.
I didn't make a playlist this month because I forgot and didn't really listen to anything really new. It was mostly country though.
Of course there was music at the horse shows as well. The Arab people are better about coordinating the playlist to each class though. At Quarter Horse, you could hear quiet strains of generic country music, while at Arabian, you could have horses enter to the blaring of Footloose and exit to Pirates of the Caribbean.
Anyway, this recap is kind of short because most of the interesting stuff is going into two other posts.
How was your October?
Anyone crazy enough to do NaNoWriMo this month?
Did y'all survive midterms?
Monday, October 29, 2018
excuse me while I be all sentimental about an inanimate object
Clarence is my laptop.
He is red.
He is not very shiny.
But he is mine.
I got him two and a half years ago, and he is getting up there in years, as he is a 2012 model.
He is persnickety.
He didn't originally have a name, but I had to call him something because of his personality.
Last week he was convinced that Google Chrome was a product of black magic.
Sometimes it takes him ten minutes and two complete power downs before he decides to wake up.
Sometimes he'll hop right up as soon as I open his screen.
Sometimes he decides to randomly update everything instead of show me the login screen.
He doesn't like being unplugged from the power outlet.
I don't even try checking my email with his help.
He doesn't like the printer. I have to run everything through dropbox and print it from my phone.
Sometimes I impatiently bonk his screen when he acts up.
Sometimes I just say his name in a very exasperated tone.
But without him:
My blog wouldn't have lasted more than a year.
I wouldn't know how to work a PC.
I would still be juggling a shared laptop with my other siblings.
I wouldn't have learned much patience when dealing with uncooperative technology.
I wouldn't have tried my hand at NaNoWriMo.
I wouldn't have met the blogger friends I have now.
I wouldn't have a record of the past two and a half years of my life outside of photos.
So Clarence, you may not be the most efficient laptop out there, nor the most well behaved (I've threatened to replace him many a time), but you've gotten me this far, and I hope you continue to last for many years.
Sunday, October 21, 2018
I thought about combining September with October, but decided against it because I knew that would only make a monster-sized post that I did not really want to mess with.
Ta-da. Explanation complete.
stuff that happened:
The first week of classes went well. I missed one of them on Tuesday because I didn't realize it met two days a week, but other than that there weren't any other hiccups. There are several familiar faces from last semester, plus a great deal of new people I hadn't met yet. Even though I'm taking five classes, I only have two different professors.
Christian left for a nine week program kind of like boot camp but with scripture teachings as well. Earlier this year a family from our church sent their son to the same program and had glowing reports so Mom and Dad decided that it would probably be good for Christian as well. We got a letter from him and he said the first night was the hardest thing he's had to do in his life. We are all proud of him because he wasn't being negative in his letter, he was just giving the facts and trying to find the positives.
Mia had her birthday and turned 9.
I turned 20. I feel no different. I still went up to the college for classes (but with donuts to share, courtesy of Mom, who got up and had them back at the house before 6:30 that morning).
We got the yearlings in for our equine behavior and training class. They were a week late and then we couldn't really do much with them because they needed to settle down and there had been a lot of rain so the whole area was a sloppy, muddy mess. And we spent most of our time moving cows back away from the yearlings because the stock/rodeo teams kept leaving them with access up close to them even though they clearly had been moved away by us, for two days in a row. By the third day with the cows not in the right place, we finally just left them because the yearlings were finally not freaking out around them and we were tired of moving them.
Everyone left for Maui. Lydia wasn't going for the entire time, so she left a week later than everyone else. I am holding down the fort, though mostly I'm only home to sleep and feed the chickens.
We had our first Judging contest down in Fort Worth at the Paint World. There was some kerfuffle about how many sets of reasons the contestants would be giving (2 sets for the lower level division or four sets for the upper level), we thought that they would be accommodating both levels, but it turned out that they were only doing the upper level. So we all had the option to go and compete and give 4 sets, or we could go and just practice, and then give our coach (Ms. Becky) 2 sets afterwards. It was a bunch of fun!
Our neighbor decided to start a couple of burn piles down in the woods, so when we saw smoke out in the trees and he wasn't answering his phone, we all kind of freaked out. Mom called the fire department and Lydia and I ended up running pell-mell (honestly I don't know how neither of us turned an ankle or tripped) down the rutted access road and through a decent stretch of over the knee tall brush (where we desperately hoped no snakes were residing). We found him down there and he reassured us that everything was fine. Mom was rather annoyed that he hadn't bothered to say anything to anyone else so no one would worry and Lydia and I were both a little annoyed as well because we had both just had long days and were tired and ready for showers and then we got this huge adrenaline rush and just ran (and that hill is not a gentle slope, nor is it a short distance, plus we had to jump a pretty decent sized mud puddle because we were going too fast to stop at the bottom of the hill), then had to go back up the hill and back through the tall brush, and then back up again to get to our property to tell Mom to call off the fire department and then settle ourselves and catch our breaths. Yeah, the last time our neighbor did something like that his barn exploded. And there was a scare a month or two ago when someone else accidentally started a grass fire and almost got himself killed, and even though we've had a fair amount of rain I believe we are still technically under a burn-ban.
We had church people and other friends out on Sunday for a Labor Day celebration. It was nice.
The weather has settled down significantly. As I write this, I don't think we've hit the 90s yet *knocks on wood* and we've had a good amount of rain so everything's greened up again. Some days we haven't even hit 80. It's been fantastic!
I ordered my first ever book box from Owlcrate. It's the October box, so I've a bit to wait, but I was super excited about it because the theme is "Lost in a Bookstore," and what's not to like about that?! I've been thinking about ordering book boxes from various different companies for quite a while now, but finally decided to get over it and just try one to see if they were worth all the hype. So I'll wait patiently now.
The time when almost half of the church showed up in stripes.
The other time when half of the church hung out a little bit afterwards and talked about lava lamps because some of the lights looked like the inside of a fish tank and it was super relaxing and then lava lamps were brought up as having a similar effect.
Nana had her small group ladies out to the house while everyone else was gone for a retreat, and since there was probably about 6-8 of them they stayed at our house. I was shocked at the amount of time I spent turning off lights and fans in empty rooms. And shutting the laundry room door. And the kitchen was in a constant state of only being half-way cleaned up. And- wait a minute.
AM I TURNING INTO MOM?!
The chicken coop has more patches on it than a quilt, and yet something still manages to get in and kill my birds a few at a time. Like. Seriously? So I've moved the six remaining ones (two drakes, one duck, one rooster, two hens) to the tack room during the night, and then during the day they are in the barn in their movable pen. I've tried setting up one of Grandfather's traps to catch the culprit, but it hasn't caught anything yet. But I can't move the birds back into the coop until whatever it is is caught and killed or relocated. This has not been a good year to have chickens.
Horsemanship II is going well. I've had four different horses in the five times we've had class. The first one was one I did not want because I remembered him from last semester as being really slow, then again the lady that had him wasn't very firm with him, but I actually ended up liking him a bunch. He was very easy going, yes slow, but if you kicked him up to the jog or lope, he really wasn't all that bad. The second horse was actually pretty nice. She used to be a reiner, so she was pretty good about keeping pace with the other horses. Her only thing was she would start backing up almost immediately after you asked her to stop. Like, you would cue her to stop and she'd do it on a dime, then start backing up if you didn't immediately drop your hands and/or touch your heels to her sides. She'd back up all the way to Oklahoma if we let her. She and I got along alright, so she's the one I get to finish out the semester on. The third horse though. He was the slowest. SLOWEST. His name was Happy. You had to get spitting mad at him to get him to go. His walk was so hesitant. If you could kick him hard enough to get him to jog, he did have a decent trot, but to get him to lope was a whole different story. The fourth horse was the one I had for Horsemanship I last semester. We got along pretty well then, so I was excited to get to ride her again. She was a lot faster than I remembered. I asked her to lope down the side of the arena, and instead she busted out into a gallop. It was fun, but entirely the wrong time and place for that to happen, and scared me a little. She settled down after a little while, and we ended up having a pretty decent ride.
I had to bring in the three two year-old geldings, who are all out in the turnout together and who are lead out all together by one person. See, usually when I bring them in, I take the bigger one (Moose) in first, and then bring in the two smaller ones (Finn and Truman) at the same time because I'm comfortable leading two, but not three at a time. Well. The smallest one (Finn) is especially clingy. So when I went to open the gate and bring Moose out, Finn decides that he doesn't want to be left behind. So he pushes his way out between me and Moose, such that he gets hung up on the lead rope. And of course this is when I'm pressed for time and need to wrap things up quickly so I can head out for my last class of the day. Luckily, Moose is staying very calm and quiet (he doesn't look all that handsome yet, but whatever they did to him he has fantastic manners), and Finn isn't trying to run away, just to be up next to his buddy. I was able to grab another halter and catch him, but I wasn't very happy with Finn at the end of it all. And I was slightly annoyed with the fact that he had been trained to follow close behind whenever someone is bringing a horse in because he has almost always been lead in and out of the turnout with one of his buddies.
One of the owners said I was welcome to ride one of his horses whenever I'd like.
The new work schedule seems to be working out alright. It is a little trippy not going anywhere on Friday and then needing to treat Saturday like a week day and get up at the regular time though.
Two new girls were hired. One came all the way from Sweden.
I HAD NO IDEA THERE WAS A Count of Monte Cristo MUSICAL.
*ahem* outburst over.
September is a hodge-podge mix of instrumentals and musicals.
I don't know what kind of taste in music I have tbh.