Saturday, September 8, 2012

The nose knows!

Took a break and took Toe on a walk around our buildings (Saturdays I can park in the shade with my windows down so Toe gets to come with me to work and hang out in his car kennel) ... there are these wide gutters along some curbs and he is always so interested in them...

Today after investigating the gutters, there was a wild animal poop on the sidewalk that he investigated a long time... then he sniffed all along the building - up against it... to this employee area with picnic tables where some wild thing had raided the trash... my guess would be racoons.

It was just cool to watch his nose work, watch him investigate... track...back track... and then come upon this scene of trash and I could just imagine fat racoons emerging from the gutter... slinking along the buildings in the shadows and raiding the garbage.

Dogs is so cool.

Just had to share... for some reason it just tickled me today... tho' he is always sniffing... today I felt I could follow along with the story he was "reading".  grin.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gas-O-line yeah

My sister visited yesterday and not being aware, left our front gate open through which Toe made his escape to finally find and take care of that damn rabbit that has been in our driveway driving him over the wall insane.

I went running after Toe... he was at the neighbor's house.  The neighbor to the East of us... the family that is ... hmmm.  How do you say?  Harmless, nice enough and yet so incredibly annoying and not really very smaht.   No.   Not smaht at all.

IE:  Took a couple years for them to build a "yard" for the dogs... in those years dogs either got hit by cars or were picked up by the humane society and it was easier for them to leave the dog at the humane society vs. paying the fine.  

Shooting guns for the fun of it, but shot toward Mrs. Kravitz's house and there is buckshot in her exterior house walls.

Keeping horses in a pasture that has t-posts, sagging, mish-mosh of "fencing" made of wire, baling twine, barb wire - so low in spots I could easily step over it so the horses got out and ran around the neighborhood regularly til he took them to the sale barn.

Now his daughter, son-in-law and their children have moved in... I come home to naked boys (5-7 or 8?) running around outside in the summer.  Nice. 

Couple of winters ago, one of the said boys from above was small - 2ish?  And the wee boy was outside with only a diaper on and it was mid-30s... maybe low 40s.  Not freezing but not weather you want a naked 2yr old in.  Anyway, he made his way down the pasture and to Mrs. Kravitz's house (a long trek for a 2yr old)... they found him, scooped him up and took him back to dumb ass (oh, did I say dumb ass?  Sorry about that.  I meant neighbor...)  The response?  "Oh, he does that all the time!"

Now that you have a somewhat pix of these neighbors... that is where Toe had gone.  I walk over, see Toe.  He is in the back part of their house where the dilapidated garage is, driveway with large dirt parking area.  The 2 little boys are sitting on the ground, playing in the dirt... there are a couple metal mixing bowls, rusted pans and an aluminum paint tray for roller brushes...

Toe sees me and comes over... they are yelling at him and shooing him away.  I pick him up and say "Whoops, we had an escapee - sorry about that!" 

Their response?

"Oh, we just didn't want him to get near those bowls and stuff.  The boys thought it'd be fun to fill them with white gasoline."

Alrighty then.

You have fun playing with your gasoline and your kids under the age of 10.

Good grief.  What is it that Ron White says?   You can't fix stupid.   He is 100% dead on with that statement. 

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nature is scary

Before bed, I was going out to let the dogs out, I open the door.  And on the threshold of the doorway was this GIGANTIC spider... I have NEVER seen a spider this big.  I thought it was a tarantula... it was so hairy and giant... (I did hold a tarantula at the butterfly pavillion so I have seen one up close and personal)  I mean - HUGE.  And it RUNS INTO OUR KITCHEN.
Well - a black bear cub was spotted in the neighborhood this week... Furry Husband has been all on high alert for a bear.  Which I am not cuz bears don't hunt horses right?  Anyway - Furry Husband is all nervous about the bear and keeps talking about the bear...
So this mo'fo tarantula runs into our kitchen and I'm going "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!" 
That thing was as big as a baby kitten and just as hairy. 

If I had seen it outside I would have been "oh cool!"'s another thing when this giant spider unexpectedly runs into your kitchen ready to stage a coup.
Furry Husband comes running thinking there is a bear just outside our front door....
and I am pointing at the spider...
and I'm screaming - "SHOO IT OUT!  DON'T KILL IT!"
Well he tried to shoo it out, but it feinted right and faked Furry Husband out and he accidentally stepped on it and I was covering my face -"OMG, GROSS, OMG, OMG -  I CAN'T LOOK!"   and Furry Husband is like - well honey... here is a leg... and over here is a leg... I am just covering my eyes and waiting for the horror to end...
Once the carnage is cleaned up... he goes outside to make sure the horses are safe from the bear....
I guess he was walking in the dark, he told me he was watching where he stepped cuz I always tell him that he never looks where he is walking (which he doesn't and good thing he listened to me for one time in his life last night...) and right as he was stepping, there was this thing...

He tried to step over it... he didn't have his glasses on tho' and it ended up being one of the larger fist size toads we have around our place this year.

Right as Furry Husband tried to step over it, it jumped up, hit his leg and slid down and he was all "UG!  OOK!  GAH!"  trying to avoid stepping on the frog and losing his balance, pinwheeling his arms and being grossed out that it just slid down his leg....
He tells me all this.... and I say in a hushed whisper with huge, dilated pupils:   "Honey.  Nature is scary."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Corn nubbin' toof

Dentist today... I have a tooth with a small spot they've been keeping and eye on. It has crossed over to cavity land... my third cavity in 41 years. And yes, I am nervous about getting it taken care of. Call me a weenie. I don't care. I have not needed much dental work in my life - cleanings every 6 mos and that is about it for 41 years people.

I have a tooth that has a sharp pain every now...
and again when I eat something crunchy (like a veggie chip - think corn chip)...

The Dentist told me he could put a crown on it if it gets worse.

I didn't know what a crown was. He showed me on a tooth model... they grind your tooth down to a corn nubbin and then glue a prosthetic tooth on top?!

No. Huh-uh. Nope. That is all I need.

You put that in your mouth and then the next fabulous vacation you go on, you eat some food that is the best thing you've ever tasted, the crown comes loose, gets lost in your food or you swallow it and then you have this worthless corn nubbin tooth that is good for nothing and probably so painful you can't sleep, your face swells up so all your vacation pix with your wonderful husband look like you suffered through a car accident and the next thing you know your once in a lifetime trip to Italy is ruined.

No thanks. No crown for me until it is 100% totally necessary because my gum around that tooth will rot and fester and I will get gangrene and die.... then and only then will I submit to his corn nubbin tooth and prosthetic tooth crown thingy.

He sat back and looked at me, eyebrows up..."Really? You find a crown frightening?"

Me - YES!

"Mmmm - that is really interesting."

He doesn't live in my head. If he did, he would find it frightening as well.
(and to all of you who have had lots of dentistry done... you are very, very strong people.  That is all.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bud Lite with Clamato and dog urine

OK - and ummmmm.

I found this in my "draft" file in my blog list.

I have NO IDEA what this post was gonna be about. 

Sure sounds interesting doesn't it?  

Maybe my life IS full of drama and I just don't realize it..... cuz I've been drinking too much Bud Lite, Clamato and dog urine?


Oh and while I'm posting....

I'm on Facebook now. 

It's always sorta scared me... I am socially inept as it is, I didn't need a new social media I could offend someone with.  What if someone from a past job or past experience wanted to friend me and I didn't want them to see my current life and I hurt their feelings and I feel all weird and fretting on the inside cuz this person from my past that maybe I don't have fond memories of but they seem to have fond memories of ME and how creepy is that.... is now a friend on facebook?   (Uh.  Righty-o Shanster.  Cuz you life is SOOOOO exciting and SOOOOO intimate and SOOOOOO secretive.)

I finally and reluctantly joined facebook cuz the fitness blogs that I liked shut down and only posted there.

I am new to the whole eat right and exercise crowd... I like reading about it, learning more about it and I like the motivating phrases/pictures/stories.  My facebook page is mostly that sort of thing.  If it won't bore you... you are more than welcome to come find me.  I don't know how to tell you to find me.  I am hopelessly facebook illiterate....

Shannon Schierling.

VERY facebook illiterate.  I tried to message someone on a BIG, POPULAR facebook page with thousands upon thousands of followers or friends or whatever the hell everyone in facebook is....and it posted out there for everyone to see and it freaked me out and I scrambled and "oh shit, oh shit, oh shit'd" my way out of it frantically ... envisioning internet weirdos (uh.  like yourself Shanster?) descending upon me.  (doing WHAT exactly Shanster?  I don't KNOW but I'm sure something very very terrible and life altering in a very bad, disfiguring sort of way ... as if they could even get past our mean dog, Keenan.  Riiiiigghhhht.  THEY are the ones who would be disfigured in a permanent, life altering, very bloody way.)

Anyway.  Decided I was being overly dramatic. (ya think?)  So if you want to friend me where I seem to check in for brief periods of time here and there, to post motivational pix of fitness crap feel free.  Tho it's not very interesting or exciting.  grin.

It's like on Seinfeld... my facebook world and my blog world are colliding.  Tho I am both and one in the same.  Heh.  Did that even make sense?  I sort of don't think so.

I think ultimately the message here is:

Turns out that a profound lack of drama or excitement  ='s a very happy life.  


I really AM still alive!

For real and for true... I am ALIVE!  grin. 

First of all, Rosso did find a new home with the woman who took him for a 30 day trial.  She LOVES him and he is at the barn I ride clinics at so I can see him sometimes.  Not that he cares a fig for me anymore. 

I stopped by there on my way somewhere and she had Rosso out, in cross ties.  He looked so happy and relaxed while she doted on him.  She takes him trail riding.  Good for her and good for Rosso.  They are a perfect match and I feel incredibly good about it all.  Amazing how finding the right place clicks for everyone involved.  Old owner, new owner, horse... everyone wins.   Big happy sigh.

Secondly, the little old QH horse, Mack, is living with us.  He is adorable.  15.3hh, chestnut with a blaze and white sock.  Tho' when we went to pick him up, his owner looked at his papers and he is 27 not 23.  whoops. 

I don't care.  He is welcome.  Sera and he have become fast friends... and he is boss over her.  Which is funny since Sera is bossy when I ride her... you would think she'd put up more of a fight but she is happy as the low one on the totem pole.  Mack is fair and so old that when he winds up to kick out it takes him so long to actually follow through she is easily 3 miles away.  It's pretty funny to see the wind up maneuvers.  And he starts with a high pitched, long drawn out squeal... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 

He sounds like a pig. 

Maybe we should call him Wilbur.

I travelled 6 weeks of the summer this year.  Ow.  Being away from home that much almost physically hurts me because I love my home so much.  Everything dear to me is there.  Furry Husband, our goggies, the cats, goats and my beloved Sera Sue...

I am hoping the travelling will lead to something good in the near future... possible promotion?  Fingers crossed.  Ultimately it will lead to that regardless... tho' I'd rather it happen sooner vs. a in a couple years. 

I am still running agility with Toe. 

I am still our worst enemy.  Oy my handling. 

I hear it gets better. 

We'll see. 

I'm going to a low key show in Laramie, WY tomorrow as a matter of fact.  We won't qualify for anything since we don't have our weaves down yet.  I'm going more to get over MY nerves, see how Toe does in new places... a training op.  Sort of like taking a young horse to a schooling show.... only Toe is 25lbs and fits in my lap which is most definitely un-horse-like.

Sera is awesome.. I had some chiropractic done on her by a wonderful DVM in the spring.  Sera was great about it all except she was very much OH NO YOU DON'T about her neck.  There was no adjusting or forcing any adjustments, tho' we xray'd her neck.  She has some bone chips there.  The vet was looking at the x-rays and told me, "Don't panic ok?  You've been riding her and she is fine.  You will keep riding her and she will be fine."  

I am too ignorant to know better.  I did not panic.  I guess more knowledgeable horse people freak the hell out when there are bone chips in the neck.  

Anyway, I had her injected around the site - there are arthritic changes going on there - and was told to not let anyone adjust her neck chiropractically because it could move bone chips which are very near the spine and cause permanent, neurological damage...tho' acupuncture is fine if I want to go that route in assisting the injections and having them possibly last longer.

Since being injected Sera is much more even in my hands and rein, willingly forward, willingly stretching down more, much more compliant about the difficult work... floppy ears... oh, she still has her moments.  She is a red-head TB mare after all.  I mean c'mon.  Tho' it's been interesting to see the changes in how much more willingly she goes without some low level pain going on in her neck.  

And I guess that is about it.  We'll see if I can't commit to posting a little more now that I'm back home and summer is almost over?   I hope you all are doing WELL and you are all HAPPY!

Big MWAH!  (that is me kissing you)

Monday, April 30, 2012

New things...

Man oh man do I have a lot of new things going on!

First of all, Rosso is on a 30 day trial with a woman here who had an OTTB from age 3 until she lost him to colic at age 12.  I met her and she would be an excellent home for Rosso.

So far, so good. 

Rosso has been well mannered and she even took him out the other night in 35mph winds "just to see what he'd do". 


Much braver soul than I.  She said he gives her reason to smile every time she rides him.  Which is AWESOME and that gives ME a reason to smile.

Told Furry Husband, I would ride Sera in 35mph winds without a thought... so it really is that Rosso and I's personalities just don't jive. 

If you could all keep your fingers and toes crossed that he keeps making this woman smile... I would love for her to have a horse heal up that empty spot we all have in our hearts when we lose a loved animal.  And I would love for Rosso to have his own human to work for and enjoy and be enjoyed.

Once I knew this woman would be taking Rosso for a 30 day trial, I called this well respected, been here forever, has a good following horse vet.  I called and told him I was looking for an old, doesn't have to be 100% sound, has to be SAFE for kids or husbands kind of horse.  A horse that would not be used regularly - would be more of a pet - with occasional kids riding him and occasional trail rides etc. 

I would love to have a horse I could put my niece up on or that my friends who now have children could put their kids up on... that I could go on a trail ride with someone else or even just have someone over and put them up on said horse, without worrying about them coming off and we could just dink around riding together.

This vet didn't know of any horses like that, he gave me the name of a dude string that sells in the fall that he has had excellent luck with and bought a horse like that for his wee son.  Said he'd keep his eyes open.

Well, as luck would have it, the vet called me back that same day asking if he could give my number to a woman who has, and I quote, "just a very, very cool old horse".    If this vet says the horse is a very, very cool horse?  The horse is.

This woman was looking for a retirement situation for this horse to make room for another riding prospect.  He's a 15.3hh, 20-something QH, retired sheriff posse horse, extensively trail ridden, enough arthritis in his front fetlocks that he can't hold up to regular use, however, light riding would be good for him and would loosen up his arthritis.  He doesn't have a buck or a kick in him and they aren't interested in selling him but I could have him for $1/mo. lease.  If it doesn't work out for me, he goes right back to them and vice versa. 

I brought Mack home 1 day after Rosso was picked up.  Poor little old dude was pretty freaked out.  Change is hard when you are old and set in your ways.  He is settling in nicely and I'm tickled to have a wise old-ster around.  I didn't realize how much I missed having one of those old gems around our place since Brandon died. 

Keep your fingers crossed for the horse gods to be smiling down upon all our horse situations!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Washington DC

Had to spend some time at our Nation's capitol.   Shew.  BIG city.  Makes Denver look like a small cow town.  Which I suppose it is....moo.

Had a funny story from a morning I was there -

Stopped at a place to get some eggs one morning – it was cheaper than The Corner Bakery or Au Bon Pain… there were two women inside, one waiting for food ... the other sitting at the counter eating a breakfast sammich.

The one waiting for food was mad about a co-worker and talking very loudly… was calling her a “muther fu*&#ing rat tooth muther fu*&er”

Alrighty then.  Turns out I didn’t need much coffee that morning, eye opening enough at 7am.  Grin.

I bought a sea salt caramel at a place called Chop’t - it's a salad place at lunch.  Good thing I only bought one.  Those things are like crack and I turned into a sea salt caramel crack whore.   I wanted 20 or 30 of those rat tooth muther f*&ing candies…. didn’t have time, had to get back to class cuz my lunch break was over.

Furry Husband was struggling with first milker goat teats while I was away.  They are very tiny, teensy, small in his big man hands and the goats were objecting … lots of kicked over buckets.  Poor Furry Husband.  Good thing goats don’t speak… they are learned lots of good cuss words last week… maybe as much as me!

Friday, March 23, 2012

How far is too far?

I am a true animal dork.  Dork, dork dork.  I know this and embrace it....

I have my little English Cocker Spaniel, Toe that I'm working with in agility.  He gets it - however, he has to suffer through his owner's herky jerky clumsy movements when she tries to run the course in practice.  

I enrolled in an online dog trick class offered by Silvia Trkman who is an amazing dog trainer and agility competitor - tho I did not know this when I registered.  Others who know more let me in on that tidbit.  Many of the tricks will assist in body awareness and agility for the dogs and people.

Online dog tricks?  Yeah.

Weird, I know.

She gives us written homework every 2 weeks.  We practice and leave comments or questions and she answers us.  People that paid more money can post video, she watches and offer them specific suggestions.  We all have access to watch the videos which is very helpful as many dogs seem to offer similar things and most people struggle with similar things...

It's actually pretty effective.  Good thing since this woman lives in a small village in Slovenia! 

Technology.  It's an amazing thing.

And now we fast forward to my question above. 

I had an incident with Toe about a month ago.  I let him out of the car and instead of running to the front gate to wait and be let in the yard, he ran the other way.  Down the dirt road.  I called and he didn't even hesitate.  He just kept running.  Away from me.  

He's always just jumped out of the car and run to our gate to come in the yard and into the house.  We also had an agility practice around that time where he just really didn't want to come to me... he was sniffing the ground, became hugely interested in that thing over there, and I was just not the thing he wanted to see or listen to or respond to.  It really bummed me out.  As when a dog is reliably coming and then they don't.. somehow I think the handler is doing something to cause it... whether I'm aware of what I'm doing or not. 

Now I don't trust he will come when called.

I thought about it and I upped the ante.

I call ONE time.  I have a habit of chitter chatter... I need to cut it out.  Think about the co-worker in your office that talks all day long.  You eventually tune them out.  Same things with our dogs.

And when he comes to me, he gets an extra special, never before used treat.  I don't use this treat for anything else... not for tricks or agility.  It has to be so awesome that he will really WANT to come to me come hell or high water.   So far I've used left over turkey or chicken that we've had for dinner, all seasoned up nice and juicy and flavorful...  I tried sardines once... figured dogs would love something fishy and stinky.  But that didn't work well in my pockets.  It was pretty wet and crumbly and then I stink like sardines.

He still goes nuts when he is on the trail of a rabbit.  



We have that kitten with the digestive issues we had to feed raw food to... many raw food cat sites talk about using raw ground rabbit.  I know where it can be sourced....

I got online to see what else this company might have.  I was thinking along the lines of rabbit pelts or skins... maybe if I pulled something like that out of my pocket, Toe would actually GET some rabbit fix vs. the ones that always run away, eluding him.

They had dehydrated rabbit feet... dehydrated rabbit ears... dehydrated ground rabbit....I bought some of each, along with a fleece tug toy that had a rabbit skin woven into the braid.

I told Furry Husband what I was doing.  He sort of "um-hmms" me and nods but he is so used to the training talk and the classes and the different training concepts that he begins to tune me out ... much like that co-worker from above I described.

I got my special package full of bunny parts last night.


Furry Husband was pretty much horrified.  If I thought it was gross, he thought it was 10 times gross-er than I did.

I had house rabbits for a time - tame, litterbox trained bunnies.  It was as if I cut my pet bunny's feet off and put them in a bag.  There was dried blood on them, tissue, sinew and the little furry paws... front and back.  Guess the "idea" of them is one thing and the "live" version another.

I kept saying, "But honey, I told you what I ordered..."  and he kept saying, wide eyed and backing slowly away from me... "yeah, but I thought it was like a TOY or something!" 

I haven't opened the ear package yet.  I used to rub my pet rabbit's ears in mock grooming and she loved it... so it may take me a minute to open that package.  I'm feeling a little Silence of the Lambs and fava beans and ... and.... and....

Anyway - I am trying to become all things bunny for Toe so I am such high value he really really wants to come to me to see what awesome fun or food I might have for him vs. whatever else the world may offer. 

I fed one hind foot to each dog last night to see what reaction I'd get.

All their little eyes got as big as dinner plates... pupils dilated in awe and amazement....they each took a foot and then the crunch, crunch, crunch was almost more than I could stand... really gross.  Yup.  Think that is gonna be one heck of a high value treat ... IF I can get over my "ewwwwwie".

It's like I've become the Jeffery Dahmer of rabbits with their feet, ears and dried entrails in my freezer.

That isn't going too far for your dog.... is it?

(shhhh - don't ask Furry Husband that question - I think I already know the answer!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wow, wow and WOW!

I bought Furry Husband and I some tickets to the Ft. Collins Lincoln Center to see Tao - a Japanese drum troupe.


Amazing, amazing, amazing.

The coordination, precision, athletic-ness, strength, art, grace was incredible.

There were drums - sometimes as big as a VW beetle - and someone would stand in front of this ginormus drum and wail on it.  The intricacy of the rhythms, the skill at creating soft drumming and then so loud you felt your rib cage rattle.... oh, it was just so fantastic.

I had goose bumps during most of the show.

There were 4 or 5 women in the troupe.  Most of the numbers had them in backless outfits and damn if they did not have the most muscular, incredible backs of all time.   There were several numbers where the men wore no shirts and they had zero body fat.  They all held low squats and lunges for long amounts of time - sometimes carrying large drums, other times leaping light as a feather out of the pose with so much explosive energy.

The complete mastery they had of their bodies was just beautiful and awe inspiring.  If you ever get a chance, go see these people.  They are amazing!

If you watch the 2008 Australia Tour video clip, it shows an entire number so you can get a sense of what they do.

Tho' watching a video clip vs. being there live and in person with the energy and sound moving you is like night and day.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On no posts....

Hmmm - this winter has been sort of slow and boring for blog posts.  It's been cold and I go to work, come home, cook dinner... we eat... we play with dogs, feed horses, milk goats....go to bed, rinse and repeat.

I've been a bit of a weenie about riding in the cold we've had recently... go figure.  We can get up at 4:30 AM, bundle up and take the dogs for a 2 mile walk under the stars and yet, when I get home and it's cold and dark I have no desire to climb up on my little red mule. 

Debbie clinics have been cancelled due to snow and people unable to dig out trailers and I guess it assists in the "no motivation" piece of riding.  I'm looking forward to longer days and sunlight for me arse to hit the leather again!

Dog agility has also been postponed several times due to snow.  Hopefully this weekend I'll get a ride in with Rex AND an agility class with The Toe!  What a concept.

I've been continuing on with my clean eating habits... no grains, lots of veggies (who knew brussel sprouts were so friggin delicious roasted in olive oil and salt til they are all carmelized and scrumptious nuggets of yum?) and yummy animal protiens - fish, chicken, beef, pork... little sugar (1-2 squares of 85% dark chocolate a night along with a glass or 2 of red wine, some fruit here and there) and I've been working on my bodyweight exercises.  I feel stronger and healthier than ever...

As I continue with my bodyweight exercises things will only get stronger and better... it's fun and interesting to feel my body change as well as my moods/energy/mind getting stronger and happier.  Never thought I'd feel this good again thanks to Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.   ( for all the free info you could want, free e-fitness book, free e-cookbook etc. etc. etc.)

Check out these awesome blogs:

Team Gorilla - I look at this site every day to keep my motivation strong.  Strong women working hard and getting stronger!  Amen sistah!

This woman is also very inspiring, check her out

And this is a great site for fitness/nutrition geared for women tho' any man would get great info here as well: 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chicken Tomatillo Stew

I don't post many recipies here, however, we made this for the first time last night and it was FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!

We are supposed to get a storm blowing in today and this soup is perfect for a cold, wintery day stuck inside.... so warm and a lovely level of heat without being hot or spicy... warms you up all the way around!

2-3 poblano peppers
1-2 jalepenos
2-3 red or green peppers (optional)
1 cubanelle pepper  (dunno what this is and they didn't have this sort of pepper in our grocery store - we used an anaheim pepper and we threw in a serrano pepper too)
1-2 small yellow onions
2-3 garlic cloves
chop all
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbl cumin

1 24oz jar of tomatillos
2lbs chix

4C chix broth

we put it all in a crock pot on low for 8 hrs... shredded the chix with 2 forks in the pot when we got home....

scoop into a bowl, add a little sour cream....AMAZING! 

Recipe says you can add or subtract as many veggies as you like.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

yo-yo-yo word....

No.  Not that sort o' word...not to yo' mutha...

WORD for the year.

Yesterday was my lunchtime yoga class.  I absolutely LOVE my instructor, most of the things she discusses before class really resonate with me for some reason.  They click and make sense in my little life.  Yoga is my brain candy... I like the peace it brings the hamster running on the wheel called "my brain".
Yesterday she talked about having a word for the year... said she asks people to think of a word specifically on Nov. 1 - something to do with alignment (some of the yoga concepts are over my head - can only take so much in) and it becomes this seed planted in the ground to grow in the coming year, right?  A visual about your word. 
I was not in that particular class... I didn't know about the word thing...and of course it is fine that you didn't have a word in November and she asked us to think about what a good word for the year might be.
My word flashed into my head like a giant neon sign.
Right around November 1 is when I wanted to become stronger and started investigating the body weight stuff... I have been thinking STRENGTH since November.  Took some pix o' myself November 2nd to track progress and body composition changes.  Co-inky-dink?  I think not. 
This may be too fru-fru for you vs science based  - maybe a little too Mulder and not enough Scully - and yet, I think things happen for a reason and there are no coincidences.   
When she was talking about all this and how right now is the "quickening" when your word is really wanting to burst forth and you have all this energy surrounding your word and what it means to you.  
I've had this renewed energy and increased motivation for my workouts....?   Furry Husband was saying the other day I seem a little "obsessed".  Heh.  Me?  I have had a lot of excitement about it - reading and researching it all. 
Very interesting.
My word, that I didn't have to think about and have been focusing on since November,  is STRENGTH.  And of course this can cover many other aspects of my life - not just physical strength but the strength to do what I think needs to be done vs. what others think (I think I easily cave to go with status quo), emotional strength (to conquer fears I have) etc.
Just thought it was cool. 
She said to think of your word often - when you are lagging or tired think of your word and it will help you move toward that word.  Of course it goes right along with setting goals, it's not like it's magic or some sort of yogini juju ...  sure is a neat way to think of it tho!  An idea, planted... growing and becoming something of substance in your world/mind/body.
Now, think of a word YOU want to focus on this year.   Let's move toward that idea, word, goal, concept in 2012...
AND speaking of strength... here is a YouTube link for some amazing "wow" factor.  This is my body weight role model, Al Kavadlo.  Check this man out... talk about some serious STRENGTH.   Dang. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Flying changes that is.

I really try to be a good student, do my homework and progress.  I took it seriously at the last clinic when Debbie told me I needed to work on my flying changes every time I rode Sera. 

I started at home with the simple changes - canter, walk, canter.  Making sure Sera was really round and through and not inverting or getting stiff in her neck, back or jaw when I asked... I did them all over... long side, diagonally across the arena, figure 8s, half circles etc.  I did them with various canter strides in between too.  Sometimes 5 strides, sometimes 10 strides.  I made them as unpredictable as possible so she'd really be listening to my seat and legs.

And every once and a while, I asked for a flying change.  If she got stuck and it didn't happen, no big deal, I continued on with my simple changes.  I'd ask for a flying change again somewhere in the middle of all the simple changes.

I got a flying change on each side.  They were kicking out and not beautiful but I got them and I was excited.  I called Rex and left her a babbling, incoherent voice mail I was so excited.

I had a ride with Rex that weekend and told her (coherently) how I did them at home... she asked me to recreate it.  I did and I got the flying changes again. 

However, I had a big light bulb moment. 

This work is new to me and I've never ridden Third Level before... all this work and all these new maneuvers are as new to me as they are to Sera.  No one trains her - I take lessons but she's never been schooled by a professional on her back. I've never ridden a school master horse to teach me how it is supposed to go.  We are really the blind leading the blind as we move up in Dressage. 

It was discovered while riding with Rex and our discussions in my lesson that I was thinking about simple changes when asking for flying change.  I was focused on half halts and slowing Sera down for the change like I do when I am collecting her to ask for a walk from canter.

Rex told me to stay forward - don't slow, keep her over her back, deep AND keep her forward through the change.   Sera still kicked out but it was one kick vs 3 or 4, the change occurred faster, smoother and it was more on my aids.  The canter stayed the same rhythm before, during and after the change. 

Ohhhhhhhh!   *ding*  And there is your light bulb!

Probably elementary to those who have schooled them and ridden them before... to me, it was so exciting!  Like Helen Keller asking Anne Sullivan for the word "water".   I LOVE learning the new movements and how to ride them effectively.   

I had a clinic yesterday with Debbie and I hoped she would see improvement too -  that I wasn't "imagining" our flying changes had improved.  I do have a pretty active imagination....

I explained to her my light bulb moment with Rex and she also had a moment of raised eyebrows as well..."oh, I didn't realize you thought to ask for them that way but it makes sense that you did".... she asked me for a flying change.... and another... and another... I must've done 6 or 7.  I've never ridden that many all in a row....I didn't think I could.  I didn't do my simple changes to warm Sera up either.   

Guess what?  I did them!  Got changes every time!  Debbie pushes me to ride harder and to ride better and that is a good thing!

She did see improvement...less kicking, quicker reaction... she says riding at Third Level this summer is very attainable.  I really may get my USDF Bronze medal this year. 

I asked if she would get on Sera so I could watch her do some changes.  Debbie was happy to do so, she's never been on Sera before - we were 3/4 done with our ride time, Sera was warmed up, working and going well. 

Yeeeowch!  When a trainer gets on the horse that only you ride?  Your horse shows all your faults and weaknesses in your riding.  Horses don't lie.  Debbie didn't do any changes but she certainly zero'd in on my weaknesses! 

It was good for me to really see Sera worked correctly.  While I truly thought I was making the corrections and adjustments in my riding the way Debbie was asking me to - I clearly was not .  I'm too "nice"....not that I need to be mean or iron fisted - I need to be much more firm.

I'm not doing myself or Sera justice if I let things be "good enough".  I need to expect more from myself and from my little red-headed mule.  I understood - she can do the work - I can do the work - it was a really great visual to have Debbie ride so I could clearly picture what is needed. 

Sera has to be more committed to the outside rein - I'm to practice letting go of the inside rein for longer periods of time - seeing how long we can go with Sera truly in that outside rein.

Sera has to be able to move forward in collection.  No more eeking the reins out little by little. 

Sera has to be hot off my leg.  No more blowing my leg off... she must respond exactly when I ask.

I got back on after Debbie tuned Sera up with the above concepts and yes... the difference was big.  It will only help us in progressing onward and upward.  It was a great ride and another really great light bulb moment.  I've got a lot of homework til the next clinic Feb. 8th.

I love these moments ... and I absolutely love my mare for having so much try in her and working so incredibly hard.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Denver National Western Stock Show

It's that time of year.  Stock show!  Furry Husband and I went last Thursday - we like going during the week when it's a lot less crowded.  It was sort of a boring stock show day, no big events going on, but still FUN!   
We got there around lunch - Furry Husband got his corn dog - THE, one and only, annual corndog!  I got some ribs... we went to the coliseum because we thought they had a ranch horse class going on, only it hadn't started yet, it was collegiate judging. 
There were groups of all different animals... 4 angus bulls set up over there,  a group of 4 herefords in a pen at the end of the arena,  4 sheep held in head stanchions at the other end of the arena, another set of 4 sheep moving in a small round pen, 4 pigs in another round pen over yonder.  There must've been a couple hundred college age people/teams with clipboards.  The sheep in head stanchions were being felt and fondled while other groups were standing around or in front of the other animals evaluating, taking notes, judging.   
The entire coliseum was empty - absolutely NO ONE in the stands.  Just the few hundred college kids evaluating animals in the arena below.
We sat down to watch while we ate.
The announcer gets on the loudspeaker and dismisses the Junior Teams from the floor.  Suddenly the area we are sitting in is flooded with college kids.  The announcer comes on and says, "The people in section 219... please move... to the people in section 219.... please remove yourselves." 
We are the ONLY people there... Furry Husband gets up and promptly leaves.
Uh... honey?   A little help?
I'm stuck in my seat, I have my purse, napkins, plate o' ribs, plastic forks to gather up and my hands are all covered in rib juice - not making for a seamless escape....all the college kids are filing into the seats around me.  I'm trying to lick and wipe my hands off as fast as I can to grab my stuff and get out.
Lucky for me,  Furry Husband came back, took my plate and we moved... sheesh!  They didn't have the area marked off or anything... and there was NO ONE in that coliseum, I swear! 

We walked around and looked at vendor booths... fun to see everything.  Got a pair of leather gloves at the Carhart place for $16... Dave got a pair of warm chore gloves there too for $8... I bought a book at a vendor that has all horse books...I'd read about it, wanted it, forgot I wanted it and there it was on the display table... so got it. 
The Eighty Dollar Champion  by  Elizabeth Letts - about a time in 1958 when a poor Dutch immigrant buys a big grey plow horse from the kill van for $80... he needed a new lesson horse for the place he teaches riding lessons... they become the TOP Jumper competitors of the day - he earns the nickname "The Flying Dutchman" and the horse was named Snowman....true story. 
I read the first couple chapters and I'm totally sucked in - it's gonna be a good book!  Love those sort o' underdog/rags to riches stories!!
We left after walking around a couple hours... stopped at Odells brewery on our way home in Ft. Collins... sat and talked and had a beer in PUBLIC with real people all around.  We seem to rarely meet for beers or go out to dinner   not on purpose, guess we just get busy with other things so when we do meet in public, it feels so out of the ordinary. 

We always talk about how weird that is - how rare our forays into public, popular, crowded places are...tho' I suppose once everything you love is at home, there is not much reason to go out looking for entertainment! 
Well.... that's my story anyway and I'm stickin' to it!  (Besides, it sounds much better than being a 41 yr old boring cat lady recluse...grin)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crazy Cat Lady?

Furry Husband called me yesterday to ask if I had anything to add to the grocery list because he was going to stop at the store on the way home.

I told him I loved him SOOO much, that I had something to add to the list but I would stop at the store to pick it up myself.  That is the depth of my love for him - I would not make him buy tampons.

He laughed and asked if I would pick up some cat food too?

I went to the store to buy feminine product and a ga-zillion tins o' cat food.  I don't know why I found that to be such a funny scene at the grocery store check-out line....

tampons and cat food in my little basket.

I shoulda added a couple pints of ice cream and a cat brush.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ninja Runner

Furry Husband and I go on walks most mornings... it's such a nice way to begin the day, we get our thoughts in order, the dogs love it and we all spend some quality time together.

I wear a reflective vest thingy and we both have headlamps for visibility with cars because no one is awake on a dark, dirt, road at 5am or expects to come across people walking dogs at such a funny hour and we don't want to get smooshed by anyone half-alseep.

We generally take up the whole road with 4 dogs on 26' flexi-leashes and 2 hoomans trailing behind.  If a car comes - we easily hear it in the silence of the morning and at this time of year, headlights are seen long before the car is near.  We call the dogs, they come running, and we all walk on the shoulder with dogs near us and flexi leashes locked with a short feed.  In summer, when it's light in the mornings, we see other people walking dogs or jogging and we'll do the same thing. 

No big deal.

The other morning we were heading down the road when all of a sudden there was a jogger... RIGHT THERE.   No warning, no shout out that he was coming or he was there.  He was so quiet none of the dogs alerted us until the poor guy was on top of us... he was all in black, no reflective gear or headlamp and it was a starry, moonless morning where you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.  You might say, darker than the inside of a black cow, sort of dark.

Keenan began going ape shit because at the very least it surprised and startled US, and with her issues... well, it put her on high alert and "I will friggin KILL you, you mutha *%#(@$", mode.  I'm just glad Furry Husband didn't let her go and she was close to him when she went ballistic.

Sammy, another one of our dogs, was down in the ditch on the side of the road sniffing some interesting smells and I'm sure the Nina Runner didn't see him, cuz he's black, and it was so dark out. 

I'm sure he had no idea there was a flexi line cutting across the road.

He tripped on the flexi and landed in the ditch.... got up and just kept jogging away.   I think I shouted after him pathetically, "We didn't know you were there!  We didn't see you!" or something to that effect .... not that any self-respecting Ninja would reply back as they disappeared into the deep night.   grin.

If we knew he was there, we would have corralled the dogs up, pulled off to the side of the road and let him pass.   Next time I hope he gives a shout out...  ya know, if we haven't ruined his New Years Resolution momentum already.

Running into a pack o' dogs, one that wanted to take your head off and being clotheslined at the shin to fall into a ditch in the dark and cold at 5am would curtail just about any one's momentum for a nice run before work in the wee hours of the morning!

Poor Ninja Runner!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Such is my life....

A co-worker of mine and I were talking about farmers/ranchers and alcoholic drinks... I used to wait tables at this funny, little restaurant frequented by farmer/rancher types.  When I asked someone at a table how they were, they responded with phrases like, "Finer than frog's hair parted 4 ways!".


Yes, I suppose that is pretty fine indeed.

I remember the Boot Scoot Boogey was the song played over and over and over on the jukebox over on the bar side if that gives anyone a time reference.

Anyway, this co-worker and I were talking about how many farmer/ranchers would order a Budweiser or Coors and add tomato juice to it.   Or they would order a beer and add a pretty fair shaking of salt to their beer.

Condiments I had not witnessed being added to beer in the college bar scene and a practice I don't see much of, if at all, when Furry Husband and I go out to eat, which isn't often.  We do most of our drinking at home, a glass of wine with dinner.  Our alcohol choices these days are bottled, microbrew beers and wine.

My co-worker mentioned that she bought a Budweiser brand beer that had Clamato already added to it... and she didn't care for it but she'd bring it in for me to try.  I never minded tomato juice or salt in my beer from my days back at this restaurant, I remember it being pretty tasty - and of course it's FREE.  I'm no dummy.  I'll take free food or al-key-hol any day.   I figure it'd be a kick in the pants to pour a glass of tomato juice beer and think back on those days of yore.  Of course I told her I'd give it a try.

She kept forgetting to bring it to non-work functions.  

Thursday before the New Year holiday she brought it to work wrapped up in a bag.  We aren't supposed to have ANY alcoholic beverages on our work campus.  I left it on my desk near my coat.... and I FORGOT it at work.


That night right before falling asleep, that lovely twilight when all things are calm and peaceful and floaty?

My eyes snapped wide open. 


I forgot that stupid beer on my desk! 

Yeah, it's wrapped up but what if a security guard or some other person gets all nosey and takes a look to see what it is??   I tossed and turned - fretting - and had a story made up if I should get busted.  It must've been a prank, I have no idea what it is or where it came from....

I went to work the next day and of course no one had even given it a second glance.  I put it IN my purse and at the end of the day, stopped a few places to run errands.  I took the beer out of my purse and set it in the passenger seat... I made it all the way home and as I was taking groceries out, the beer dropped in my driveway.

I heard a little "pfft".


I walked in the house, groceries and my Clamato beer in tow.

Sammy and Bequia, our old dogs, rushed to greet me.  Sammy wears a diaper because as he's aged, he's become incontinent.  We give him pheynolpolypropelene or whatever those pills are that help a dog keep his bladder tone but some days it just doesn't work.  His diaper was SOAKED through with a large pee spot on the floor where he'd been laying....

I took the diaper off and tossed it in the sink while rushing him outdoors... a little dribble of pee trailing on the kitchen floor marking his egress.

I let the young dogs out of their kennels....

I returned to the kitchen to investigate the warm Clamato Budweiser beer that had been in my purse and on the passenger seat of my car all day.  

Hmmm.  The top isn't open... did I imagine hearing that little "pfft" noise?

Maybe the hole is so small, I can't see it.  I squeezed the beer can... nothing.  No dribble o' beer.   I was looking the can all over, squeezed it again and a spray of beer shot out....there was a tiny, hairline, cut on the body of the can.  It must've landed on a rock or something just right....

I popped it open and poured the very warm beer down the drain.  All that fretting, my co-worker forgetting over and over about this beer.  So much effort... all down the drain.

It smelled like beer and tomato juice and dog pee.  It was a really gross combo of smells. 

I rinsed out the can for recycle.... hand washed Sammy's diaper....cleaned up the trail of pee on the floor... put everything back in order.....

Later that night, Furry Husband got home.  His eyebrows went up in a question... he picked up the empty tall boy of Budweiser Clamato beer.

"Uh.  Honey?  Do we need to have a talk?"