Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So I Fixed My Hair and Shined My Boots...

I think the end result was good although I have to say that I am a little bit upset that my hair, no matter what product I use or how high a temperature I set the flat iron on, just won't become that movie-star straight hair that I so desire.

I bought a new coat for the occasion, a new coat that set me behind financially but that really did its job well. It not only kept me warm, but it flattered my figure that much more because it is not a big, bulky, plaid flannel piece of attire. Odd that I would acquire such a jacket, I know, but here we are.

The date itself... (Oh, yes... this post is about the date. Did I forget to mention that?)

Well, I woke up in the morning and my family asked me how the date went and I threw my arms in the air and said "I have no idea!" and then I promptly sat down and comsumed far too many calories worth of breakfast foods.

I just find this whole thing quite confusing. You'd think that having a solid ten years of dating experience on me, by now I would know something about dating. Like, I should know how to deal with the who-pays-when awkwardness, or what topics of conversation are appropriate or how to dress or whether or not it went well once it is over.

The fact of the matter is that I haven't a clue. There were moments of conversation that flowed and moments of silent awwardness. There were moments when I was having a really, really fun time and other moments when I was like, What now?

We may go on another date, and I suppose that we may not. I fear this boy is a bit of a rules boy, as last time we went out he waited three days to call and I think that this time he is either not calling or waiting three days. (This is one thing I feel strongly about. The boy has to be the one to call. I've no idea why, but that is just how I feel)

And so, I suppose I have to say that I looked nice, if nothing else, and I had a nice jacket and a generally good time.

And other than that I still have no idea what this is or where it may go, if anywhere.

So sorry to dissapoint.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

You Can Sleep Soundly Tonight...

He called.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled life.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Should Have Worn Eye Makeup...

I find eye makeup to be very tricky. I have to say that of any finer qualities I have, my eyes are fairly spectacular. They are rather striking and a very intense blue. I've often had people ask me if my eyes are real and one time I actually had a complete stranger come up to me and ask me if he could take a picture of my eyes.

This makes eye makeup tricky as sometimes a little liner and some shadow can make my eyes pop that much more, and sometimes they look hugely out of proportion to the rest of my face and I just end up looking crazed.

*Preamble can be considered done at this point in the entry.*

I had a date the other night and while I was first wary of the date, once on it I had a wonderful time.

I often times put a lot of thought into what I wear on a date and who the person is before I dress for the date. A friend and I were out and she thought that the date warranted a new top. Upon review of who I was going out with, I decided a plain T-shirt, jeans with a belt and cowboy boots would be my best option. My friend was mortified and asked me what I was doing with my makeup and I thought that a light layer of mascara and some minimal blush (Along with the perfunctory eight pounds of cover up to hide my insidious acne, but that's another post) would be fine. My friend rolled her eyes and the flaring of her nostrils spoke volumes to me, but I stuck with my decisions.

And then my date showed up in his boots with his belt buckle on and he towered over me -- that's just how tall he is, dear God YES, I went on a date with someone taller than me, how proud would my mother be? -- and his ball cap was cocked back on his head and I figured that the minimal makeup was exactly the right choice.

The conversation flowed and we got some coffee and went for a drive in his spectacular car and talked about his pickup truck and hunting and fishing and his first moose. We talked about farming and driving stick and Dixie, my miraculous deer hound. We discussed horses and school and his time at an agricultural school and my time at school in the city. We talked about beer and the troubles I'm facing with my currently malfunctioning shotgun and pros and cons of a shotgun versus a rifle. We talked and talked until we found it was two o'clock in the morning.

We parted ways and I told him when I was free to meet next, and when he went on his way I said "Call me...." and went inside.

And there hasn't since been a call.

And I've become that crazed person who's checking her phone every thirty five seconds, analyzing every single minute from the evening and thinking I've done something horribly wrong. Did I have food in my teeth? Was there an enormous zit on my forehead I wasn't aware of? Were the boots too much? Should I have just stuck with Docs and not bothered with the cowboy boots?

Alternatively, I'm thinking who the Hell talks with someone like old friends until two o'clock in the morning and then doesn't call? Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

I'm being a psycho, I know. I'm fully aware of my craziness.

I'm just going to blame it on the decisions surrounding the eye makeup and move on.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Mail People:

I am currently enrolled in distance education so that I can up my degree and hopefully one day get a Master's. Mail is a big part of distance courses. Like, they send you your stuff in the mail. And when you're expecting stuff in the mail, you check the mail and expect your parcels to NOT GET LOST IN THE MAIL.

And then, when your parcels do get LOST IN THE MAIL, you feel anger and rage and you want to go around having a mammoth temper tantrum because your shit has been LOST IN THE MAIL.

And when you try to contact someone about your stuff that is LOST IN THE MAIL, it would be nice to be able to talk to someone about the specific things that have been LOST IN THE MAIL. Except that this doesn't often happen in CowTown, and we are very small, and there is no specific department devoted to important educational materials that have been LOST IN THE MAIL.

Please, please Dear Mail People, find the things that have been LOST IN THE MAIL so that I can finish my course and not have to beg for an extension.

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A Lot More Than Eighteen Hours Later...

Apparently not sleeping the night before a big event and then running around like a maniac the day after the big event makes you too sleepy to post on your blog.

Who knew?

The day started with my horse being an asshat over the trailer, and ended in much the same fashion. We gave up playing tough guy with Zydeco over the trailer in the morning, and instead I spent thirty minutes tickling his nose with a carrot before he would get on the trailer. Thankfully we had planned in advance for this type of contingency. I lept with glee away from the trailer, called my coach to let her know we made it on the trailer, and made my way to Tim Horton's with my trusty sidekick, Mal. There I ordered a decaf coffee and a BLT because I feel strongly that any big day should start out with lots and lots of bacon.

Zydeco backed daintily out of the trailer and I had no concerns over handling him this year as A) my confidence in handling him has grown and B) he was not acting at all like a crazed maniac.

We went to the warmup ring and I did my best not to have a panic attack over the fact that I would be competing in an equitation class. Equitation class is essentially a test in riding while looking as though you are putting no effort into it. I guess you can't really know about riding unless you've done a lot of it, but it takes quite a bit to perform any task on 1200 pounds of forward impulsion without flailing your arms and legs about.

I also had to canter in a ring with other horses, which I was very scared about. Zydo loves to follow other horses, and does not like to leave a pack once he has found one. In equitation you are riding about the ring taking care not to collide head on with other riders, trying your best to do your own thing. At one point I was not able to turn him away from another rider and he was going with his nose practically on that horses's butt. This is poor manners and I had to work very hard to not let him go with the other horse when she turned away from us. We kept it together, though, and managed to canter our circles and long sides quite well.

We also had to do a run of sitting trot, which I find very hard to do on Zydo. I have actually not practiced this at all as I have pretty much given up. Zydo's trot is quite large and bouncy and to not rise with each step is tricky. However, they called to see a sitting trot and I did my best.

Apparently, my best was the best in the ring and we walked out with a first place ribbon. I thanked the girl very much for handing me my ribbon and prepared to give my acceptance speech while everyone left the ring. Apparently first level dressage shows are quite unlike the Emmys in that respect. But I teared up and scratched my beautiful boy and thanked him and told him he was wonderful and I left with a glowing smile on my face.

It was then back to the warmup ring to try and get Zydeco together for our first test. We were doing training level test one and three this year. These tests included the element of canter and Zydeco has done his best for me. When I first got him I could not canter him for the life of me. He would bear down on the reins, tear them out of my hands, and take off at (what felt like) full speed every time. This year we have done magnificent canter work. I've found my seat (IN the saddle! Who would have thought!) and I've been so, so proud of both myself and my horse.

The first circle of the test was very wonky and it was not circular at all. We then changed diagonals and Zydeco started sneezing which removed the reins from my grips before our first canter. We managed to sort of pull it together, but he was not in contact with the bit which was the entire point of the excercise. My reader (The girl who was telling me which moves to perform at which points in the ring) then called out for us to canter, and Zydeco listened to her instead of me. I managed to pull him back to trot, but this upset him and when I asked him to canter at the proper point in time, he bucked on me.

I stayed on but was mortified as the buck happened directly in front of the judges and there is no way they missed it. I was shaken up at this point because Zydeco doesn't buck. Our next canter circle was not circular and he tried to get away from me, but I perservered. When the reader called out to turn right at A and trot down centre line, I have never been so relieved in my life.

We did not place in our second ride. And I have to say that after our marvelous success last year that I had no idea I was capable of getting, this was a bit of a hit.

My goals for the show changed drastically with that buck. Initially I was aiming to get a ribbon in each class, in any place. Suddenly I was aiming to stay with the horse and not land on my face in the show ring. I managed to keep a smile on my face and I laughed and waved at the judges. My posse left the side of the ring without waiting for me and I laughed and said "You can still clap when my horse bucks. It's not the end of the world". I did receieve some sympathetic smiles and I kept myself together even though I wanted to cry.

I got off at that point to have a pop and to regroup. My father walked Zydeco while I sat and debriefed with my mother and my coach. My father returned with the horse and informed us that he had peed for about five consecutive minutes behind a trailer. That explained most of the problem: Zydeco gets quite antsy when he has to pee and he will not do so while under saddle. To me, this explained the entire bucking episode, the reason he was disobedient in the ring, the reason our test had fallen apart.

I then got to watch a couple of my competitors go. And the competition was steep. These girls had their horses together, their movements were purposeful, and their figures we accurate.

I had to choose now: Do I want to fuss with the horse and start a battle over the placement of his nose in front of all these people, risking a blow up? Or do I want to go in and focus more on the accuracy and flow of his movements and hope to get points on that alone? Each disobedience would be worth a minus two. If we could do the test in a nice, flowing rhythm with no disobedience (bucking), we might still place.

Another thought was crossing my mind: Do I want to leave the only show we would be at that year feeling like I felt after the second ride? Do I want to leave feeling embarrased that my horse had bucked and having not ridden a single accurate move?

No. I wanted to leave having had a good ride on my horse, having put forth attractive riding mixed with impulsion and precision.

So that's what I did.

We moved through our second test with nary a disobedience. We performed our transitions at the letters, our circles were quite circular, we were going forward at a nice pace.

And Zydeco's nose was not perpendicular to the ground.

This choice cost us our third ride of the day. We did not place in either of the training level tests.

My coach talked at length with me after each test. She told me I was being ribbon-greedy and that I was being presumptuous that we might get a ribbon this year. Last year my goal was to go to a show and get on the horse. Even riding the test was a bonus after I worked up the nerve to hop on.

This year I thought that I had perhaps come far enough to get ribbons again, and the fact of the matter is that the other riders had their horses together and on the bit.

I was scolded for the choice I made in the second test. If I wanted to have a nice, simple ride on my horse, I could have done that at home. We were there, at a show, for me to work on the skills I've worked at all summer and instead I tried to focus on something else, hoping it would be good enough. I suppose that I have to chalk this up to a learning experience. Now, I can slap myself on the head and say "duh!". But at the time I felt very confident in my decision and I can't very well spend time regretting it now. I don't even regret it, really. I was very scared of another buck, very scared that I might fall off in front of all those people. So I did what made the most sense at the time.

We also talked about how far I have come: There is no way I could have cantered in a show last year. No possible way. I was not secure enough in my seat, I couldn't control the horse at that high speed. Hell, last year I couldn't walk my horse after he got off the trailer and I almost burst into tears when my mother suggested I get on him.

And I have come far. I am so proud of me for working at this all summer, I am so proud of Zydeco for sticking with me and of the trust we've built in each other. I love my horse and I could say it a thousand times over. I LOVE MY HORSE. He has put up with so much in my learning, he has been through so much this year with his injury and his White Line disease. Four months ago we didn't know if he would be with us to go to this show at all. My ability to handle him, to work with him and not be scared astounds me to this day. Two years ago I had trouble going into a stall with him lest he jump and scare me. Look at us now!

But I'm not going to lie: I'm a little bit sad that we didn't even place.

We put on quite a spectacle while loading him into the trailer to get home. Fifty minutes of standing in the blazing sun with a carrot held up to his nose and eventually we tossed the carrot across the field. I may have uttered several obscenities and at one point a nice crowd gathered to watch the festivities as I begged my horse to step onto the trailer.

And then, for some reason, he decided that the trailer would, in fact, be an ok place to exist and we all made our weary way home.

I've had a day to reflect now and I have to say that I feel confident in the decisions I made at the show. I'm ok with the fact that I chose to have a pleasant ride and not fight for his nose in the show ring. I'm ecstatic that the judges thought my riding was the best in the first class; I was terrified to go in to that and I came out on top.

So that was our show season. Highs, lows, ups, down, and even a buck!

We may not have a plethora of ribbons to put on display but later on that night I rubbed my beautiful boy down with lotion and applied treatment to his feet and his still-injured ankle, and I wished him sweet dreams before I kissed his velvet-y soft nose and headed to bed for the night.

And despite the fact that I was very, very sad on the long drive home, I can say now that I am happy with our performance and that I love my boy more than ever.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Away We Go!

The horse has been towelled, brushed, sprayed, and lotioned until he could take it no more.

The truck is parked in the driveway.

My hair is French Braided and ready to be tucked into a helmet.


Updates of our prowess to come in approximately eighteen hours.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

A Show-ing We Will Go...

After yet another insidious week with Zydeco, it has been decided that we will, in fact, make it to our show this Sunday.

This past week the White Line Disease in his right front hoof progressed further than it ever has and caused his hoof wall to collapse. When this happened, the shoe on his foot turned and embedded itself in the frog of his hoof. (That would be the soft spot of his dainty foot.)

This caused him to be incredibly lame on Monday. It was remedied the following day by our miraculous farrier. He cut off the rotting part of his foot, raised the frog of his foot away from the ground with some thick rubber padding, and put a new shoe on him. He also cut little incisions in the hoof so that we could better apply the treatment to the white line itself. So far, things seem good.

We gave him some painkillers and my father rode him on Wednesday, professing him sound and on Thursday I had a wonderful ride on him. I rode again today and he seemed fine, so we are going to the show.

I feel strongly that all things in life should have their own theme song. My theme song changes often, depending on my mood, the weather, and what happens to be on the radio as I profess something to be my theme song.

Zydeco, too, has a theme song. It is the same tune as the Spiderman theme song and the lyrics go like this:

Goes anywhere
A Horse can go

And then on the end you tack on:

Except on a trailer.

And if I'm feeling particularly happy with him at that particular moment, I may tack on these words instead:

Except on a meat truck

What I'm saying here is that Zydeco does not appear to enjoy trailering and so I have conerns about getting him into the trailer we have borroed for this show. We hope that last year our trailering difficulties were a result of him simply not liking my coach's trailer, as there are two varieties of trailer: A step-up and a ramp.

So, here I am, practiced and ready to go for the glory, riding a level higher than the level I rode at last year, having overcome yet another spectacular injury and of course, all the rest of the types of injuries that plague my horse.

All I want is a day in the spotlight with my magnificent boy.

And it will be mine on Sunday!

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And Then All The Farmers Laughed

I've created a bit of a stir in CowTown over the summer. I know, I live in a small town and that when people do things, other people talk. I just didn't think that this one little thing I've been doing would create this sort of... talk.

I've been walking.

I've been walking the gravel roads of CowTown all summer long in an attempt to rein in the size of my ever expanding bottom. My bottom remains the same size and my riding boots still do not comfortably fit, but the talk of the crazy girl who just keeps walking remains.

At first the farmers(no cute and single ones, don't worry, I checked) would stop in their pickup trucks and chat with me. I've been chatted with by people in 4 X 4 trucks, by people on four wheelers, by people in tractors, even. One farmer (Cute, but not single) stopped and asked me if I was ok. Like, you look to be going at quite the pace, are you alright? Are you freakin' out about something?

Nope, nope, not going anywhere. Just trying to get some excercise.

*Blink* This led to a thirty minute conversation on Communism and the direction that Obama wants to take the U.S in. (I tried to follow. I really did. But I haven't watched the news or studied a political platform since... Well, now, I don't know. At least he was interesting, but he did cut into my walking time.)

Another farmer (Distantly related to me) stopped at the beginning of the summer and asked if I needed a ride.

No, just trying to get some excercise.


Another farmer (old enough to be my father, distantly related to me) stopped and asked where I was going.

Just up the road and back.

And then he said, What, you're excercising?

And I thought, YES! Someone who would finally understand my plight!

And then he laughed at me and said "Well why in hell don't you get yourself over to my place and put these twenty five hundred bales of hay in my mow. You'd kill two birds with one stone!"

He drove away when I asked how much he'd pay.


Yet another farmer in yet another truck stopped and offered me some candy he had sitting on his front seat.

Thanks for the support, neighbors.

We were at a dinner for all the local farmers, (Not surprisingly, none of them single and cute) at a table full of farmers and the talk of my walking came up. Along with guffaws of laughter. GUFFAWS. These people were GUFFAWING at me.

They then pointed out that perhaps my time in the city had worn off on me.


At any rate, I'm thinking of investing in a home gym of sorts, only my gym would have to be stored in the barn because of our lack of space in the house.

And then I could excercise to my heart's content and not have to face GUFFAWS of laughter at the next farmer's dinner.

I am a woman full of hope, if nothing else.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

And Then My Throat Hurt...

And I realized that The Sickness was upon me once more, and that I would curl up into a ball and not want to move for days on end, except that sometimes you have to move... like when you need to get up and go to work, or try and catch your big, stupid horse who doesn't want to come in and night and who instead runs in circles around you, preventing you from getting the halter over his head. Asshat horse.

I have a low grade fever and my throat is throbbing....

I also have a day off tomorrow to try and work for my horse show that is coming up in FOUR DAYS that we may not make it to due to issues with Zydeco that I can not begin to think about.

If we do make it, praise be, and if we don't make it, please be prepared for a litany of posts rife with teardrops and accompanied by lyrics to bad country music.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What's That in My Inbox?

A letter from WHO?

Joomy, avert your eyes.

And also, when you don't avert your eyes, please don't yell at me. And also please don't email me in a lot of capital letters.

Years ago, I broke it off with someone who caused me much heartbreak and many tears. If you're not familiar with the story of Dubai Guy, please read about it there. Dating this person was a huge eye-opener to me. He was also the first person I dated after my husband and I broke up; he came to visit me the first night I lived in my scary downtown apartment; he took me for my first ride in a Mercedes Benz; he remains the only person I know who things that Louis Vuitton footwear is something to be worn on a daily basis.

While I went through the process of blocking and deleting him from all of my accounts, it seems that he did not go through the same process with my information. And because I'm a sucker for making myself feel like I've been punched in the gut, I never did the smart thing and deleted any of his emails -- which appear regularly, about every three or four months -- before I opened them.

Most of his letters to me are short, succinct, and without probing for information on my life.

Every email I get is fairly straightforward: He asks how my horse is, how Dixie is, how life on the farm is. He always wishes me well and congratulates me on anything that is in need of congratulations. And of course, I never really give him anything in return other than the odd pic of my magnificent Thoroughbred or my happy beagle.

And then this week it came, the email that said he'd be in town and that he would like to see me.

And initially, due to turmoil in my romantic life that has again led me to believe that I am destined to be alone for the rest of my days, those old thoughts sort of crept back into my mind. You know, those ridiculous thoughts you have when things aren't going your way and due to the upset you're feeling at the time, those thoughts make perfect logical sense when you first have them.

Days later and my turmoil regarding the rest of my life remains; however, I've landed firmly back on the ground and I'm back in that place I was when we broke it off for good two years ago. Praise be, because I don't think I could go through another Dubai Guy breakup when he returns to his life and leaves me to live mine.

Even though I did make peace with our breakup, I've dreaded seeing those words in my inbox for some time. I was always so scared that all those old feelings would creep up and of course, they did. I realize why now, and I'm safe to say that there is nothing left, romantically speaking. Am I interested in grabbing a bite, hearing about his latest travels, reminiscing about the days when I worked in the corner store and he would come in and buy gum as an excuse to talk to me? Of course. Who doesn't like to hear a good story and laugh over the past?

But I am confident, and you should be too, that it will go no further than that.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

I Just Don't Know What I Want...

And I also just don't know how much of my blog titles I should put in capitals. This is something that weighs on my mind every time I write. Sigh.

There is so much that I want to do with my time and my life and I just can't make up my mind. I want to live elsewhere, and then I want to stay at home. I want to embark on a higher level degree than the one I have, and then I never want to look at another text book again. I want to find a new job, but I tend to think I should stay where I am. I want to ride competitively and then I want to just wander aimlessly in my yard.

My financial woes are starting to really keep me down. Zydeco's vet bills this year have been far higher than they have ever been, thanks to a miracle cure for his arthritis I decided to try. I couldn't afford the third treatment and so my mother so graciously offered to pay it as a gift to me and my horse. I'm behind on paying back my riding ring debt as well as a shoe-ing that Zydeco had, and I hate being behind in owing people money.

I haven't paid nearly as much of my JEEP off as I'd like to have paid. I've made much more than the minimum payments on it and for that I'm very proud; however, because I also decided to try and save paying interest on my student loans I'm paying a large chunk of each paycheck to either the vehicle or the student loan. As a result of this, the actual amount of money I have each month is very low.

I have the goal of having three courses completed by December 31st; however, I have no idea where the money will come from for this. I can put it on a line of credit or a credit card but the idea of going further into debt makes my heart stop. Momentarily, at least.

So this is where my life is at. I'm wondering all the time if each choice I make related to finances, school, work and my horse is the right choice and how whatever choice I make is giong to affect future choices.

And then I start to feel overwhelmed and I'll go outside and stand beside my horse or take a drive in my JEEP with the music playing far too loud, and I think that perhaps maybe everything will find a way to work out in the end.

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