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September, 2013:

A Princess

2010

 

 

2013

Last year, my Princess chose to wear contacts for her school photos. I was not-so-secretly-happy when she chose to wear her glasses this year. She looks SOOOO cute in her glasses, and it’s just who she is :-)

Yes – This is Really Happening

2010

 

2013

 

I think I’ll go cry now.

42

Raise your hand if you’ve ever spent the entire two weeks prior to your birthday telling people you were going to be a year older than you actually are.

Nobody?

Just me?

All righty then!

Yes . . . for the two weeks prior to my birthday, anyone who mentioned my birthday was informed that I was going to be 42.

Every time I got on the eliptical machine at the gym I entered my age as 42.

I even had an argument with Dude in the car one day! I mentioned that “Coach told me he’s 42. Weird that he and I are the same age when his kiddos are quite a bit younger than you guys.”

Dude said “You’re not 42. You’re 40!”

I told him he was indeed wrong and didn’t know what he was talking about and that I was going to be 42 in a few days.

Yes. That seriously happened.

Thankfully, I only turned 41 last Saturday . . . while having a wonderful time camping with family and friends!

Seattle

How many of you knew that 17 years ago when Hubby and I set out on our adventure to Colorado, it wasn’t one of our original options for an adventure destination? Nope. Not even on the radar. Vermont and Seattle were on the top of the list. Then things happened and we ended up in beautiful Colorado through a stroke of awesome luck and timing.

We love it here! Everything about here is right for us.

But “here” sure seems like Seattle lately.

10 years of severe drought and you start wondering if you’ll ever be able to have a campfire again, or be able to unpack your emergency bins that you can grab and go at a moment’s notice each summer during fire season (yes, that’s an official season here in Colorado!).

Then Mother Nature throws another punch your way and brings on the rain . . . rain that they say is “1,000 year rain.” We’re not talking 100 year flood here . . . we’re talking 1,000 year flood! The NWS said it was “rain of biblical proportions.” We’ve had more rain in the past 5 days than we typically get in an entire year! It’s been crazy. So much flooding and damage. Roads collapsing. Cars being swept away in flash flooding. People stranded in towns that have literally been turned into islands. People losing their lives. You might think that all this rain will help since we haven’t had any for so long. Nope! With the fires that past couple of years, there is nothing to stop the massive amounts of rain from rushing down the mountainside, down the highway, and into the “dry” creekbeds and streams and totally wreck everything in its path. Roads have washed away, huge sinkholes have appeared, rock slides are everywhere. There really is waterfront property in Colorado right now!

A nice shower, on the other hand, would be very welcome, but it seems like it’s all or nothing.

We have close friends who lost their homes in the fires last year and this year. We have close friends who have extensive damage to their homes from these floods. We have close friends who are stranded in their houses, without electricity or water, due to the flooding.

We’ve watched as the communities around us are devastated. We’ve helped friends and neighbors clean up after the fires . . . fire mitigation for those with homes, sifting for those who lost their homes, volunteering time for non-profits helping those in need.

Our family has been lucky. All we’ve had to deal with personally is being evacuated for a few days this last summer during the fire . . . and we were out of the state enjoying ourselves at a baseball tournament anyway. You feel almost guilty for going about your business as usual when so many don’t have the option, and many more can’t go about any business because they’ve lost everything.

Please send happy thoughts, prayers, or whatever tickles your fancy to our friends and neighbors in Colorado. We could all really use it.

It’s a Date!

Hubby and I are going on a date Saturday night. That’s not big news . . . just matched the title of the post :-)

The “bigger” news is that my Dude is going “out with the guys” for the first time tonight. He and 3 buddies are going to a movie (an icky scary one!) on their own. They’ve gone to movies before, but on Saturday afternoon or something.

This time, they originally wanted to go to the 10:30 p.m. showing of the horror movie, but I put the cabosh on that for my Dude.

No way my 13 yerar old is going to a 10:30 p.m. showing of opening night of a horror film on Friday the 13th with all the crazies! 10:30 isn’t the issue, but 10:30 on Friday after school has started and on Friday the 13th and to a horror film is just asking for trouble – plenty of time between school getting out and that movie starting for kiddos to make bad choices and then show up at the movie.

So they’re going to the earlier showing. His buddies were being nice and saying they’d go to the later movie so Dude could go since he has baseball practice until 7:30. I told Dude that I’d pull him out of baseball at 6:30 so he could go with the guys :-)

So I’ll drop him at the theater at 7:00 to meet his buddies and pick them up when it’s over.

He says there aren’t any girls meeting them, but he can’t control it if they happen to show up 😉

I told him he’s going to regret seeing this movie today and that he won’t sleep for days.

He disagrees.

We shall see.

I think I should spray paint Tonks black and put her on his bed for when he comes home 😉

I keep everything!

Maybe not EVERYTHING, but I do keep a lot of stuff. Some stuff people roll their eyes at (yes I need Princess and Dude’s first Packers jerseys and everyone of their season ticket waiting list cards!). Other things are valid.

One of those valid things is receipts.

I keep every receipt.

I have an envelope in my desk for each year, and each envelope has receipts from that year in it (what a concept, huh?!). I could tell you what I bought for groceries on March 4, 2013! Anyone want to know?

Nobody?

OK.

Anyhoo . . . if I keep every receipt, why is it that the ONE receipt I need for a warranty claim is nowhere to be found?

Seriously annoyed about that.

I bought Dude a new baseball bat in July. It wasn’t ridiculously expensive, but it wasn’t cheap, either!

All he’s used it for is the one game he played in before he hurt his leg and the practices since August 1st. He hasn’t done anything weird with it. He hasn’t used it in weather below 60 degrees F. He uses his old bat when he hits on the hitting practice thingy in our driveway.

Yesterday at his hitting lesson, his coach was holding Dude’s bat and spinning the barrel around in his hands.

Then he paused.

Spun some more.

Inspected.

Had Dude feel the barrel of the bat.

Dents.

Everywhere!

Some small.

Some HUGE!

In one spot, the bat has two dents across from each other, rendering it almost flat-like.

The good thing, is the bat is under warranty for 400 days from the purchase date, which we are well within . . . but only with the ORIGINAL receipt . . . which I can’t find. I even checked my email receipts because I’ve chosen to try to save the planet one paper receipt at a time and request electronic receipts whenever possible. This one is nowhere to  be found.

So I called Dick’s customer service and they were super helpful! They emailed me a new receipt based on my name and rewards card number.

It doesn’t look exactly like the other email receipts, but it is from them and has all the information on it.

Then I went online to fill out the warranty claim. I find it very interesting that in the drop-down menu where you choose the “issue” DENTS comes up automatically. Hmmmmmmm…

I guess we’ll see if Easton accepts this receipt – if not, I’ll be pretty peaved . . . and out some moolah!

 

Jumping in Pictures

And of course, text . . . because it’s ME! did you think I could have a post without any words? :-)

A couple Saturdays ago, Princess had another horse show. Talk about a learning experience!

My little Princess had started to act like just that on her horse . . . a Princess. A 60 pound Princess who forget her 900 pound horse is ACTUALLY in charge unless she rides him like he’s not in charge.

We’ve been riding a lot this summer with lessons and leases, which has been awesome! She’s gotten so much practice and is doing much better with everything horse-related.

But all this riding also made her a bit complacent . . . and quite frankly, entitled.

She knows EVERYTHING about horses and tack and riding and jumping . . . just ask her :-)

The week before the show, we finally punched holes in her leathers to make her stirrups the right length without having to wrap them around the stirrups. When went to her lesson, Miss Amara said we needed to lower them . . . we agreed, and I did. Princess threw a FIT! We lowered them even more, but not as much as they should have been – call it a compromise. They were still too short, but Princess insisted that was how they were comfortable and she liked them that way.

Whatever – not a fight I was willing to fight.

So we practiced for the week, all the while Princess refusing to believe that she was leaning too far forward during the jumps and not sitting back far enough (or at all!) to stop her horse. Let’s just say I was getting more than frustrated. Amara had the same experience at the lesson before the show. She got through a little bit, but not enough.

Anyhoo – the day of the show came and Princess and Prince looked awesome as always :-)

Here they are on a practice jump before the show started . . . lookin’ good!

 

In addition to the two cross-rails divisions, Princess entered the flat Walk/Trot class.

 

 

They were beautiful and awesome and did everything perfect. Great posture, correct diagonals, great horse control. Her best ride in a show by far.

And they didn’t even place in the top 6 out of 8. We were all (especially her trainer!) a bit miffed, but it’s one judge judging . . . that’s the nature of horse shows. The only thing it could’ve been, really, was her short stirrups messing up the line from her heels to he shoulders. Princess wouldn’t even listen, though. She insisted they were the right length and wouldn’t change them. I did sneak in a small change in length when she wasn’t on Prince . . . baby steps.

Anyhoo . . . she had her first jumping class and it was INTERESTING! Prince did great on the first couple jumps, then cantered between the two line jumps, which we all expected. The only thing was, Princess panicked a little bit and didn’t sit back to slow him down . . . she just kept leaning over his neck and he went faster and faster and jumped higher and higher. He went around a corner so fast once that his number flew off his bridle! They made it around, doing all the jumps without anyone falling off. Whew! Princess was quite nervous about it . . . she couldn’t stop talking.

Then we had a little chat with her about needing to sit back when he starts to canter so he slows down. Of course, she would have none of Amara’s advice, insisting it wasn’t her fault.

I snuck in another lowering of the stirrups – more baby steps.

Then it was time for her second adventure through the course. This time she started out with more horse control and was doing great, until she didn’t sit back between jumps and Prince just took off at a very fast canter. He was making the jumps and even though we knew she wasn’t in total control, it looked much more in control than the first jump.

Then just as Prince started over the last jump, he changed his mind and refused. Princess lost a stirrup and almost flew off, but she grabbed Prince’s mane and hung on for dear life before pulling herself back on and finishing the course.

The good thing . . . she didn’t fall off. Falling off hurts and also is a disqualification.

The bad thing . . . she didn’t fall off. Falling off hurts and is a great natural teacher.

She rode him back out of the arena and did all she could to not cry . . . she only shed 2 tears after she was off of Prince.

Hubby got a great photo of her out of control jumps . . .

 

I showed it to Princess and she said “Whoa! That is SO not right! No WONDER he went so fast and I almost fell off!”

Um, ya THINK?! She’s way over his neck, her feet are straight back, her heels are not down at all, and she’s way high above her horse (damn short stirrups!).

At least she recognized the flaws when she SAW what we were talking about.

Miss Amara and I had a long talk about it . . . I’ve always said Princess needs to jump BETTER, not higher. Amara agreed that everything had gotten so busy over the summer and a bit overwhelming and that all the girls needed to go back to basics so they’re ready for anything. I also told Amara that Princess’ participation in the shows MUST be dependant on her working toward a riding goal each month and meeting those goals. It’s not a right to show, you must earn it.

Princess and I had a loooooonnnggg talk about her attitude and horses and who’s in charge and who is the professional and who is the student and who is going to listen to who and say Yes Ma’am and do what they’re told without adding commentary. That, along with the threat of not participating in the next show and not getting to lease, were enough.

A few lessons without stirrups, without reins, and bareback will do wonders for a girl’s riding flaws as well as teach her that you CAN stop a cantering horse without reins by just relaxing your shoulders and sitting back in your saddle.

The past lessons have been awesome! Amara also agreed that Prince jumps so much better when he canters, and if Princess wants to continue to ride him, that she needs to be able to control him and understand how to ride SAFELY like that.

So what have they been working on besides basics? Cantering over jumps, under control, in the pasture. They’re both doing beautifully :-)

Click here to see a video of her cantering over a jump

Here’s to hoping the next couple of weeks are very productive in the arena and we can end the show season on a good note!