Monday, September 29, 2008

Sigh of Relief...

We can all breathe a sigh of relief, because birthdays are officially done for a while! All together now, "Ahhhhhhhhh......"
We have been having a beautiful fall around here so far (I think that Mother Nature is trying to make up for our crappy summer!), and it has been the perfect riding weather-too bad I can't just go out and ride whenever I want!! Amber and I were able to get out for about three hours on Saturday, and we had a nice, relaxing time....well some of us did! As you can see from the pictures, poor Waska was having an "Arab" day, and he was sure that every little sound, or noise, was out to get!! He started spooking from the minute we left Amber's driveway, until the minute we returned, and it was really unusual behavior for poor Woo, because he is usually so level headed. Amber wondered if something was bothering him, or if he didn't feel good, and believe me, she had plenty of time to wonder! Part of Waska's concern was that it was a warm Saturday, and there were lots of motorbikes and quads sharing some of the main trails with us (if you look closely at the picture below, you will notice fresh tire treads). Waska does ok with ATV's in general, but ever since he came to within about one foot of being crushed by one (That was a horrible ride!!! What do you do on a narrow trail with a steep incline up one side, and a steep decline down the other, and two motorbikes barreling around the corner at you, totally unaware that you are there until it is almost to late?), he gets a little nervous when he can hear one, but he cannot see it...totally understandable.
Old Bo Bo didn't have any worries that day. I think that he was happy to see me, and to go out for a ride. In fact, I can almost guarantee it, because when Bo is stressed or unhappy about something, he chews on his tongue...sometimes he will do it for most of a ride, because he hates bits, and that is why we are considering using a bitless bridle. No tongue chewing on Saturday!Aren't Bo's big, old, moose ears just too cute??? I call them "moose" ears, because typey and Arab-like they are!!!On our way home, we ran into two little fawns (not sure where momma was?), who were blocking our way...not that we minded of course!
They were really friendly, and didn't seem to mind us at all. They did, however, move off of the trail and down towards the road, so we hurried along on our way (maybe that is what happened to their momma?). How terrible would it have been if they jumped the guardrail and into oncoming traffic right in front of us???Waska survived the ride (better yet, so did!!!), and Brad (Amber's hubby), may have found the source of Waska's nervousness, while cleaning up some brush at the back of their property, directly behind and beside, the pastures: fresh bear poop!! Having to listen to a bear rustling around at the back of my pasture might make me a little on edge anytime I heard something in the bushes as well...teeheehee!!
Hope that you are all having a great Monday. I am off to write a paper ....ick!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

At Least It's Not A Birthday....

Tomorrow will be mine and Kevin's 12th anniversary (at least it is not a birthday!!), and let me be the first to tell you that I cannot believe that we have been married that long!!! We dated two years before we got married, so in actuality, we have been together for 14 years...crazy, I know.(As you can see from the picture above, we rode from the church to the reception in a firetruck. One of the perks of dating and marrying a volunteer firefighter...heeheehee!!) that you get to see a close up picture of Kevin, don't you think that the kidlets look a lot like their daddy? Of course, he doesn't get all of the credit...I did contribute 50% of my chromosomes as!!!

Anyway...Happy Anniversary Honey...I love you!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

September's Last Birthday...

The last birthday that we have in our family for a while is my sister-in-law, Mary's, birthday.
Happy birthday Mary! Remember, you are only 30 once, so enjoy!!! (Mary holding Eric just hours after he was born) Mary is the best! She helps us out with the kids ALL of the time, and I honestly do not know what I would do without her help.
Let me just tell you that we are all tired of birthday cake...and cookies...and brownies...and...I am going to be sick!
I also wanted to thank all of you for your input on cameras. It was very helpful, and I went out and bought one today. I am embarrassed to say that I bought another Kodak EasyShare (you all know how I felt about my last one!), and I love it!!! Now I am really thinking that my other one was defective from the time that I bought it, and that I just didn't know any better. I went in to the store, fully planning on buying the Canon, but the sales lady talked me into the Kodak. She said that for what I was looking for right now ( price, durability, great pictures, small size...), nothing could really beat a Kodak, although the Canon was a close second. So...for about $120, I bought one. I feel like a kid with a new toy...teeheehee!!!

Once again...Happy birthday Auntie Mary!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Camera Woes....

(This is not my dream camera, it is just a picture of a camera from the internet.) all know how I lament about my camera all the time right? How I dislike it; it's the bain of my existence; my life would be so much better if I had my dream camera...yada yada yada.
Well, two nights ago, Eric accidentally knocked it off of the computer desk, and it appears that it is broken, so why am I so disappointed?
The answer to that is : because I don not have the money to fork out for my dream camera right now, but I must have a camera!
I am trying to decide if I should just charge it (my dream camera), on my credit card and pay for it later, or if I should just buy a little cheapie camera to get me by until it is tax return time.
The problem is that I don not know how "cheap" a cheapie little camera is, and it might be about 1/2 -or close to 1/2, of what I want to spend on my 'forever' camera.

I have survived the past two years with an awful camera, and I am pretty sure that even an inexpensive camera will take better quality pics than my last one.
What do you guys think?? Can you recommend an inexpensive camera (I am thinking one that is under $150)? There has to be something out there that I can use to get me by, and who knows...maybe I will love my new little camera!
(It seems like there are a lot of us in blogging land who are seeking the advice of others right now. I wonder what is up??)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Birthdays, Birthdays, and More Birthdays!!!

Sorry folks! September is birthday month around here, but I promise that there is only one more birthday, and one anniversary left!So...the reason I posted a picture of Eric and Amber together, is obviously because Eric's birthday was/is next. Nine years ago, on Amber's birthday, I took castor oil in the hopes of inducing labor, because Eric was almost one week overdue and getting bigger. He had other ideas however, and he was not born until September 24th, after a 32 hour labor. He was supposed to be born at a birthing center, with my midwife, but after my labor failed to progress past a seven, she took me to the hospital where I was prepped for a C-section. Thankfully the Pitocin worked (no C-section needed!), and Eric arrived, all 9#9oz and 22" of him, screaming and shaking his tiny little fists. When Eric was little, my mom used to call him "Charlie Brown Head," because he had a large and perfectly round head. It is still large and round, but thankfully he has grown into!!!
He also used to have the longest, whitest curls you have ever seen...until he was a little over two, and Kevin took him to get his first haircut.Now look at him! He is a football, basketball, and baseball playing, horseback riding, hunting, quad/ATV loving, nine year old, but mostly, he is my little boy. Happy Birthday Bud Bud!!! Mommy loves you and I am so glad that God gave you to me!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

And the Birthday Girl Now Is....

...And the birthday girl now is, Amber!!!! Tomorrow, September 22nd, will be Amber's 24th birthday. Happy Birthday, Amber!!!! The down side to Amber's birthday is that mine is quickly approaching, and I am ten years older than Amber...ick!!!
Since I always post pictures of Amber as she looks now, I thought that I would put some vintage shots up, so above are Amber and Bo Bo about seven years ago, and below is Amber, Eric and Sienna about six years ago. There is a reason that I put a picture of Eric on here. Can you guess why??

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Last Post...

I don't know why, but the post that I just wrote, posted below my last post...weird!!!
So...head on down to read what it is all about. It is under the title of "Running."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


If a person started reading my blog right now, and looked back three weeks into my archives, they would probably think that something has happened to me. Well...I guess it has in the form of!!! As I mentioned before, the past few weeks have been a huge change for us all, but thank goodness for adaptability!
All of our brains are getting back into focus mode, and we are all getting used to not being able to do what we want, when we want...well some of us are (just joking!)! I had promised the kids that we would go riding on Wednesday after school, so I rushed home from my school, loaded up a bag with "outside" clothes, boots, and helmets, made the kids some sandwiches (they are so hungry after school that they "could eat a horse," and we don't want that to happen now, do we???), picked them up, and off to Amber's house we went. Brad was home early from hunting and had even fed the horses a snack for us, so we were able to just get them out and have fun...finally!

Duke, one of Amber's dogs, was so happy to see us, and he followed poor Bo and Eric all over the place. Eric and Bo were rather annoyed, but it was kind of cute.
Did you know that Bo Bo is gaited? Neither did I until I saw this picture!!! This is what happens when your horse has solid colored legs; you cannot always differentiate between them, and they appear to be moving like a gaited horse...or a!!!
I thought that this one showed how good Bo Bo looks right now. Even though his poor old belly just kind of hangs there, the rest of him toned up quite a bit over the summer.
Bo seemed pretty happy to see the kidlets, and he actually behaved exceptionally well for them today. They were both trotting/jogging fools, and they asked me to set up some barrels (actually buckets), so they could barrel race around them. Barrel race??? I thought we were going to be Dressage riders?!
In this picture, Katie was heading towards one of the buckets...I mean barrels, and she had kicked Bo pretty hard in the side. He shot off at an almost canter, and she laughed, grabbed the saddle horn, and kicked him some more. I know he doesn't look like he was motating at a fast pace, but he me!Next up, we have Eric and Sienna. See Cdn? Eric is choking up on the lead rope...teeheehee!!!
Eric likes to run next to Sienna while she is cantering, and please note that she has a halter and lead rope on...he is not running next to her while she is loose.
"Come on Sienna!"There we go! Who knew that a cantering pony could entertain an eight year old???Oh...and don't think that Sienna wasn't well rewarded for her run. I asked Katie to run in and get carrots for the horses, and she came out with a bag of chips too, and we all know how Sienna loves chips!!! "You better give me some of those chips, Katie, or I won't let you brush me next time!"
All in all, we had a good evening, except for the fact that I should be doing homework right now......Until next time.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Are any of you bloggers out there runners? Well I used to be, and I am trying to get back into it. I have been slowly building my endurance up over the past few weeks, and I can now run a 11 minute mile for 17 minutes straight. I know, I know...I'm not the fastest girl on the block, but now that I am older, I am just happy that I can still run at all (you know, because of things like bad hips, or bad knees, or bad ankles, or get the idea!). Back in "the day," I used to be able to run six minute miles, but I have to remind myself that I was 50 pounds lighter and 16 years!!! Maybe I will get there again-and maybe I won't!-but I do hope to increase my speed as my endurance goes up.

The strange thing about me and running, or me and exercise period, is that I have faithfully done it for the past two years, with only a 10 pound weight loss, and absolutely no cardio improvement. I have been checked for every kind of metabolic, hormonal, and adrenal disorder, and I did learn that some minor things were out of whack, but nothing that should contribute solely to my inability to lose weight. And as far as my cardio not improving, I was beginning to think that maybe I had something wrong with my heart, although I have no other symptoms whatsoever. The naturopathic doctor that I see every now and then, suggested that my allergies could be contributing to my weight problem, and to my lack of cardio, and as you can imagine, I totally pooh-poohed that whole notion. I have always had allergies-just the seasonal kind-but they had gotten so bad, that I had been taking Zyrtec, every single day of the year, for three years.This summer, I finally decided that I should have them checked out, because when I would try to stop taking the Zyrtec, I would break out in hives-scary! So, I went to the naturopath, she tested me, told me what I was allergic to, and then began to treat me for them, using some weird kind of naturopathic voodoo...not really!! Several times during my treatment, she would have me stop the Zyrtec, and then continue it if my hives came back. Well, I am amazed to say that I have been Zyrtec-and hive!-free for one month now, and all of the sudden, my cardio is improving, and I am losing weight. Talk about strange!!!! I have no idea how her treatments work , but I can definitely vouch for them, because I feel like a whole new person now. She told me that she thought that the reason that my cardio never improved was because of the fact that my allergies were so bad. The Zyrtec was able to keep the hives (your bodies reaction to allergens leaving your skin) under control, but it was unable to keep my airways from becoming inflamed, causing a similar reaction to that of a person with allergy induced asthma...scary!!! Of course none of this was tested by science, or an "MD," but she was obviously right with her assumptions, and I am so happy that I did this! :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Calvin Klein Photo Shoot...Not Really!!

Tonight, after slaving away on homework all day (gotcha Saddle Mtn.!!), Katie and I (Eric is camping over in Eastern WA all weekend with his friend) went over to Amber's house, with the intention of going for a quick little ride. It was about 6:30, and Amber was supposed to be at work, and Brad was supposed to be out bow hunting (or he was back early and had fed the horses...what I was hoping had happened!), so imagine my surprise to find that Amber was at home, in bed, with a fever, aches, cough, and stomach pain, and that Brad was crashed out, sound asleep, on the couch. "Uhhhhh...we'll just let ourselves out the door. Please don't breathe on us!"
So...we were not able to ride, because Amber had come home from work early and went to bed, and Brad had also fallen asleep, which meant that it was 6:30, and Katie and I had a few hungry horses on our hands. Oh well...we just fed everyone, brushed them, picked up manure, and left. I am still planning on riding tomorrow, even if Amber is still sick. I will just go out by myself for awhile.

I started snapping pictures of Katie, while she was grooming Bo, and I noticed that she sort of had that weak, scrawny, waif-like, know, like a Calvin Klein super model??? LOL!!!
What the heck kind of pose is this??!! Definitely a Haute Couture shot!!! Wow...who knew I could take such great photos?? Move over Annie Leibovitz... here I come ( I am totally just joking!)! In this photo she appears to weak to even hold herself up! Good thing Duke is there to nip her heals if she falls over.
...and what is this??? Move over waif-like girls! Here comes Katie! She may look little and scrawny, but that is because "might" can come in small packages! She'll get down there and pick hooves with the best of them! Good girl Katie! And look what was peeking out over the hill on our way home. I love the fall moon, and it hasn't even reached it's full potential yet...wait until October/November. It's just gorgeous!
Hope that you are all having a great weekend! Be back soon.....

Jibby's Birthday

Today is my sister, Jen's, 22nd birthday, and of course, I have to post a picture of her and Shadest. Happy Birthday Jibb's ( her nickname is Jibby, or Jibbs)!

(sorry this photo is so cattywompus!)

Although Jen and I are no longer as close as we once were, I hope that she remembers that I do love her, and that it is OK if I don't always agree with everything that she says or does. Remember Jibbs, I am 12 years older than you, and have been through seven years of therapy, so I tend to think a lot differently than you do. Hopefully one day you will understand that. Until then, I still care about you, and I hope that you have an awesome birthday...even if I am not invited :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to School

What happens when you take a 33 year old mother, who has had the summer to do what ever she wants, and stick her in a classroom for 5-6 hours a day, five days a week?? Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh...that's!! Seriously though, it has been quite the week. I am used to running around all day long, doing what I like, and now I have to sit still, in a classroom, and listen to my professors, who for the most part, are great. However, my math prof is one of those crazy people who thinks that math should be fun (I am joking...he is not really crazy!), and he has not clearly stated what he expects us to do. Have I mentioned that I have ADD??? Well I do.
Thankfully I am an adult, and I know how to overcome it, but I do not do well with teachers who do not clearly state what it is that they expect from me. I just kind of float around, totally confused, while other people are shaking their heads like they understand what he is saying. What???? We have our first quiz in his class tomorrow, and I am still not sure what will be on it. So....guess what I am doing tomorrow after class? Meeting with Mr. Math Professor, so he can explain to me just what the heck I am supposed to be doing. OK...I am done venting now :) Oh, and guess what??? The weather has been gorgeous around here. I'm talking upper 70"s and low to mid 80's. Do you know what it was doing two weeks ago? It was raining!!! Amber was off today, and I swear that I sat, staring out the window, daydreaming about riding. Thankfully she is off on Sunday too, and we are planning on going for a ride. I can hold onto that thought while I am stuck indoors tomorrow (right about now, those of you who work are ready to give me a kick in the pants...sorry!)
Below is a picture of the Social Work and Psychology building at PLU aka "Mel's Prison!"
The bad thing about school, when compared to a job, is that with most jobs, when you leave work, you are done, and you are free to do whatever you want in the evenings and on the weekends, but when you are in school, once you leave, you have anywhere from 6-14 hours of homework to do in the evenings, and on the weekend. Trust me...I would rather be working than in school any day! Actually, I would rather stay home and ride, but wouldn't we all???
My kids are whining about being stuck in school all day too, so maybe we are just a family of whiners...teeheehee!!!'s late, and I still have a couple of chapters to read, so I will sign off, and hopefully next week will be much better. I mean next week will be much better!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happ's Trail Challenge

Just to let everyone know, I did not ride in the trail challenge after I discovered that each class was $50 (I would have done two of them), and that Amber's truck cost $175 to fill, and that it uses a whole tank of gas to get down there and back (the joys of a V10!). Basically, what I thought was going to be about a $75/day, would have been around a $200/day, and having just forked out over $2500 in tuition costs, books, back to school clothes, and sports fees for the kids, I just didn't have the money to blow on what would have been a very fun day :(
So...even though it was really depressing not having my horse there, I did have a great time watching Amber, Martha, and Kristina compete, and I got to walk around and meet a lot of really nice people and their horses.
On Saturday morning, I woke up at 4:30, and headed over to Amber's house. We proceeded to go to her and Martha's riding buddy (and now mine!), Kristina's, house, and then over to Martha's house, to load up tack and horses (our horse trailer is a three horse, slant, stock-type trailer, with a tack room, but in order to fit three, big horses in it comfortably, we have to remove the tack room, and haul a horse up front). This meant that every ones tack got loaded in the bed of the pick-up, and I am sure that we made quite the sight, driving down I-5.
When we left our area, the sky was clear and full of stars, but as we neared the trail challenge, a thick, misty, rain appeared, and stayed until about noon.We unloaded the horses, registered for classes, and then went on a walk-thru, with one of the designers of the course. Remember how I said it was nice when we left our houses? Well we only had light jackets, and did not have the proper shoes for tromping through a three-mile long course, in the wet grass and mud. My feet never dried off, and by the time I got home that night, they were shriveled up little prunes!
The course was huge and well thought out. The designers strategically placed a llama out in the middle of a big, open stretch of field, that just so happened to be near the beginning of the challenge. Horses either totally ignored him and walked right by, like Curly, or as was the case with Waska and China, spazzed out, and got points taken off for the rider having to dismount and lead their horse by the big, hairy, rabid, blood dripping off of his fangs,!!! Both Amber and Kristina said that Waska and China never fully recovered from the llama incident, so they did not do as well as they did last time, which was make it to the championships. However, Martha and Curly were another story! They placed first in both divisions (the classes were broke down into a training/beginning level, and an intermediate/advanced level, which were further divided by age group. I think it was 16 and under, 17-26, and 26 and over), and then they kicked booty (won!) in the championship round as well. I don't think that Martha and Curly can ride in the training/beginning level anymore! (Amber and Waska waiting their turn to load up on the trailer) Curly following Martha around like a puppy, while waiting to load up in the trailer!Here are the lovely duo, who make up Kristina and China, after completing the course. The last obstacle/event, called for you to dismount, lead your horse into a trailer, tie them up, close the door/divider, and then back them out. Poor Kristina. China decided to go into heat (I think it was being surrounded by all of the gorgeous horseflesh that was there!), and she just wanted to find Curly, or keep up with the geldings who were ahead of her. Even though she is smiling, Kristina was rather frustrated at being at the mercy of her hormonal, lovestruck mare!
I don't know about you, but it looks like Waska has his brain back in this shot! If you look closely at this picture, you will notice that Martha is riding bare back. That's right folks! The championship class required that you ride the whole course bareback, and I am proud to say that only Martha, and one other rider, had the guts to do it (there is some table-top jumping involved!)!
You have to look closely at this obstacle, but you can see just how steep it was, and again, Martha was bareback! You go girl!!
All in all it was a nice day, and as you can see from the pictures, the sun finally decided to come out, and then it got down right HOT. I even got a sun burnt forehead and nose! As I previously mentioned, I was really bummed out not to have Bo there, but like I said, I did get to meet some really cool people, including a gal who has won the Extreme Mustang Makeover, and will be competing in some woman-of-the horse competition down in California. How cool is that?
Oh well...maybe next year... It is definitely something that I will have to budget into our already expensive life :)
Another highlight of my day, was that I got to hang out with the professional photographer that was there taking pictures of the event. I lamented to her about my camera, and she looked it over, and said that it was a kidding!!!! I don't feel so bad now. The link to her photographs is here. Amber and Waska are under "Rider #45 & 47," Martha and Curly are under "Rider # 48," and Kristina and China are under "Rider # 43 &44." Oh and my favorite horse that was there, an absolutely gorgeous, bay, QH gelding, with a lot of get up and go, is featured under "Rider # 30." He is a roping horse, and boy can he ever move!

One last parting shot of Curly(above). We had a lot of bonding time together, but I am not supposed to let our little secret!! I am told that Curly has always been a rather shy and reserved horse, but he was literally climbing in my pockets that day! Isn't he too cute, and can you see the flies on his poor face? He had just been sprayed, but they flies were literally swarming the horses down there...not sure why....Until next time!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008


You know how a lot of us have either blogged about, or commented on, the power of positive thinking? Well today my friends, I should have taken my own advice! Me, Amber, Martha, and a very nice girl (she is only 24, so I can call her a girl, and besides,"nice lady" sounds so formal!), planned on fitting a trail ride into our busy schedules, and I distinctly remember making the comment to Amber, that Bo would most likely be a monster today because we would be riding with a new horse. For whatever reason, Bo has always been better either by himself, or with horses that he is familiar with, and he doesn't really act that naughty, he just charges ahead, wants to be in the front, and prances/jigs/piaffes most of the ride. It honestly doesn't bother me, because I like to have a horse with spunk, but sometimes, like when we are on a steep trail with a sharp drop-off to one side, it would be nice if he could just keep his mind out of wherever it flits off to, and relax. The funny thing about Bo too, is that he is not the lead gelding in the pasture, but he definitely wants to be on the trail. Most of the horses I have ridden, tend to act similar when riding, in regards to their position in the herd, as they do back at home. Not Bo Bo!! continue on with my story....when I got to Amber's house, Bo did his usual whinny, and came to the gate so I could halter him. I then went to get Waska (Amber wasn't home at the time, so I tacked the boys up), and threw the lead rope up on Bo's back, assuming that he would follow us. Oh no. Bo proceeded to calmly walk to the back of the pasture (the area known as the back forty), and stood there. In the trees. Staring at me like "Hate to break it to you Mel, but I really don't want to go for a ride. Hmmm....I kind of felt sorry for the poor, old guy.... Of course, I am already thinking to myself that Bo is not in the mood for a ride (which is really unusual), and that I am probably in for either a poky ride (why I would think that, I'll never know, because old Bo Bo can keep up with the best of them!), or a naughty ride.Well... (no surprise here, because I was thinking rather negatively!)Bo was a jigging, piaffing, totally beautiful, animated, and collected gelding for most of the ride. He pretty much behaved in a manner that gives people the impression that Arabs are dingnuts! Again, I didn't necessarily mind, because I secretly pretended that we were doing Grand Prix Dressage...teeheehee!Another little piece of trivia about Bo Bo, is that for whatever reason, and I initially thought "poor eyesight," until Amber told me that he has always been this way, he speeds up and gets somewhat panicky when we are riding in deep, dark, and small trails. He must just be claustrophobic??? (The picture below was not taken on one of those trails, it was obviously taken on a nice, open one!)You see the little strap of leather that connects the two sides of Bo's breast collar? Well it was my anchor for a lot of the ride, because we were in deep, dark, woods, on little trails, that went uphill, and did I mention that Bo likes to trot or collectedly canter up hills...especially when he is angry at the world, and having a panic attack???? I would like to interject here and say that even though I make Bo sound like a psychotic, scrambling, fool, he really isn't, and I have never felt like I have lost control of him, nor did Amber when she used to ride him. If I did, trust me, I would not ride him!
The funny thing about this ride, and I am sure that it was all of that negative energy that I had been sending out, was that Bo never tired. He acted like he was spring chicken! For three hours we played Dressage...I mean rode...along lots of small, cramped, bridle paths, and Bo made sure that I earned my ride!!!!
Oh, and just so you know, Bo did not get his way the whole time. Sometimes he had to be in the back, and as you can tell, he was not happy about it!
Tomorrow we are off to the Trial Challenge down in Ethel, so I should have some fun pics from that later on. Have a happy Friday!