Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The only breeches that fit me are the On Course "Shapely" breeches. The high waist suits me fine, since I'm long through the rise. BUT, they're 100% cotton which tends to disintegrate around the faux suede after a period of time. A shorter period than I prefer. *sigh*

Anyway...when I received some money for my birthday (39 AGAIN, and holding with white knuckles) I ordered three pair of full seat breeches from Dover Saddlery's web site. I'm a customer of record, so the online order confirmation and follow-up e-mail confirmation correctly indicated my billing and shipping address as my PO Box in the 'burbs. Since it appeared that FedEx required a street address for delivery, I added it to the order.

The order was delivered today in my mother's name to her PO Box in the 'burbs.


She has, in the distant past, ordered gifts from Dover. But why, when the order confirmations were correct, was the shipping address suddenly changed to her name and address? Fortunately, the order reached me. But what if the address had been changed to that of a stranger?

Anyway, I emailed Dover's Customer Service to inquire why the address change. I'm sure it's a quirk of the computer program.

As the king told Anna: "Is a puzzlement."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Stills: Something with Wings

Okay...so the swallows at the barn are far too fast to capture on camera, and I didn't think the bumblebees visiting the shrubs across the street would show up.

Anyway, this bird has been perching on my desk lamp for many years. I can't recall its origins, but it likely relates to my decades of employment at ODFW.

This is one of my first efforts with my new Canon camera. I'm still trying to figure out how to turn on the dang thing, so no fancy stuff yet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ack! Carless in the 'Burbs

The air conditioner in our car died. I say "our" car -- it's really my mother's 2000 Honda Civic, but I do all the driving.

Well, we finally made an appointment for routine servicing and to have the air conditioner checked out. And of course, the problem wasn't a simple recharge. Oh no, the condenser took a hit from a rock and it has to be replaced. For a pretty penny, naturally.

So the shop is keeping the car overnight (as the air conditioner is in pieces at the moment) and "the guys" will make the necessary repairs when the part arrives in the morning.

Which means -- we're without wheels until some time tomorrow afternoon. Amazing how vulnerable it makes one feel. Even with local bus service and taxis available.

We are such a car-dependent society. And individualists. We want transportation available immediately to go where we want, when we want. We chafe under the schedule for mass transit. Resent the other people for whom the bus/train/trolley stops to pick up or let off. We've developed whole towns around cars...curving streets and cul de sacs that require one to drive five miles just to go one mile...businesses located well outside of walking distance from housing, etc. *sigh*

So we're housebound until we get the call tomorrow to come bail out our little car so we can once again be independent suburbanites.

If only I could get the winning lottery ticket so I can buy myself a car!

Monday, June 22, 2009

In the Clover

The horses are spending up to six hours per day in their summer turnouts. Phantom's paddock is FULL of clover! No wonder he's being a brat.

Owner Susan says the Goober Boy is being difficult to catch when it comes time to return the boys to their winter turnouts. He runs around and ends up being the last one moved. She says it's difficult to get mad at him because he looks so pretty running around with his mane flowing and tail flagged. Our resident teenager, who was the one trying to catch him, merely responded, "Grrr!"

The geldings are all getting a little thick through the midsection and girths won't buckle in their usual holes. Plus, the boys are a little lazy in the arena. Sometimes it's the opposite -- a little good grass puts them in overdrive. But today it was all we could do to get them moving.

Ahhh, summer.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Stills: Tricolor

I dropped the ball on this one. No new photos this week; however, I already had the following in my collection.

Since championship show ribbons are called tricolors, I suppose they qualify. :-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday Fun

Phantom's "Fun"

I called it good after he trotted very prettily over some ground poles. I started with a longe session using side reins. Got our canter work in. And then trotted him over the cavaletti. Since we haven't done ground poles in ages, I was very pleased that he went through them forward and round. Good lad! He was rewarded with some free grazing and his usual apples & carrots.

Indy's Fun

CEC's "Dog Park" was active with Breeze, boxer Indi, and schnauzer Maury in attendance. Indy got to run his "sheep herding" circles and was "assaulted" by Indi who remains fascinated by Sheltie fluff. Maury seemed to think the Usual Gang was a bit over the top, but he got in some play time, too.

Finn's Fun

First time over cavaletti and his first crossbar. Our gangly warmblood didn't look twice and was cool, calm, and collected with the new challenges presented to him. Kim was a bit discombobulated riding in a close contact saddle instead of her usual Barcalounger dressage saddle...but she coped well. And she put up with instructions from Genevieve and me.

Zorro's Fun

Our resident jumper has been on the "injured reserved" list when it comes to frequent flyer opportunities. But Genevieve ventured over the crossbar set up for Finn. She took the fence off a circle so Zorro wouldn't have time to focus on it and turn it into a four-foot oxer on takeoff. Once each direction and he was a very good boy. No rushing the jump, no bolting afterward.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Turnouts = Attitude Adjustment

Okay, I admit, it's partly my own fault. (Partly?!) But, sheesh! Attitude after the first day in the summer turnout?

Owner Susan started placing the geldings in their lush summer paddocks this week. Being the excellent caregiver that she is, the ponies only get an hour or so to in the beginning before they are returned to their well-grazed winter turnouts. Time in the summer turnouts will be gradually lengthened until the horses can safely spend the full day on the new grass.

"What about the mares?" you ask. They have the huge front field where they can spread out more.

The grass in the summer paddocks really took off this spring -- it's tall and thick. Yum! I can usually expect Phantom to put on a bit of a tummy and get a little more frisky when the turnouts are switched.

Well, he had a bit of an attitude yesterday. I longed him outside, mounted him in the covered arena, and he immediately tried his hippity-hop-I-want-to-canter routine. I was in the saddle ten minutes when I decided "enough." He got fifteen minutes of longeing with the side reins before I remounted. He gave me the hippity hop once or twice before settling down to work. We ended with much more compliant lateral work.

The partly-my-fault aspect (well, okay, mostly my part) has been a lack of serious work in the past few weeks. It's the I'm-tired-of-arena-work syndrome. A couple of trail rides off the property and I'm not in the mood to work, either.

Obviously, now that Phantom will be feeling frisky with his green grass diet, I should conduct a more demanding longe session before mounting. But to give Phantom some credit, his "moments" are actually pretty tame. He just makes his feelings known -- he's never seriously attempted to be rid of me.

And regardless of how our day goes, I leave him a carrot and apple treat in his feed bucket.

After all, he is my Goober Boy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Stills: Water Towers or Grain Silos

Must be a regional thing. Water towers and grain silos in my environs? Not so much.

However, I did discover the following historical site in my own "back yard!"

A happy discovery that I owe to the Sunday Stills challenge!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Riding Plan - Which Horse Do You Have Today?

So before arriving at the barn I consider what I want to work on with Phantom. The weather is a little cooler and we haven't done much canter work of late, so that might be a good program for today.

Phantom is typically good while grooming. I longe him outside in our gravel arena where he lets off some steam (good!). So we proceed to the covered arena and I mount up. "Ah," I think. "We'll do some walking, maybe try some loosening up exercises before moving to our trot work."

On the other side of our partial wall (our Mt. Hood view when mounted and the sky is clear) come Scary Sounds! Phantom is tight, sure that the Horse Eaters are about to burst through the wall. So I halt him beside the wall. Silence. "See? Nothing there." I squeeze Phantom forward into a walk and More Scary Sounds! Phantom spooks and spins away. Obviously I lied and I'm not to be trusted.

It seems our neighbors Chrissy and Phantom (buckskin Phantom versus my gray Phantom) are grazing and being silly in their pasture near our arena wall. Since my Phantom can't see the source of the noise, he's not taking any chances.

Okaaaay. Change of Riding Plan for today. I just visited the ER on Saturday and wasn't eager to return. I was out of commission for 8 weeks when I broke my wrist and I'm not looking for a rerun. Soooo -- no cantering. Instead, I worked my loop and circle pattern at a walk and then a trot. Actually worked Phantom into a round and relaxed posting trot. Did some sitting trot work (always takes me awhile to get with the rhythm) including some lateral work. All of this was done between the center line and the wall adjacent to the aisle. We don't dare cross the center line in case we encounter The Return of the Scary Sounds!

One never knows "which horse" you will be riding on any given day. The soft and cooperative one? The tense and spooky one? The one who lost all nerve receptors on the surface of his skin and cannot feel your leg? Or the one who has a death grip on the bit? And to think...they all reside in that adorable horse whose photographs you have plastered all over your work cubicle and blog site.

I guess it's part of the adventure of being a horse owner!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Flower Power

Okay, so it seemed to take forever to buy a few flowers for the front porch. I got a couple of pre-planted hanging baskets for Mother's Day. They provide a nice bit of color and even get visits by bumble bees.

So when I stopped at Wilco for Phantom's annual Fly Busting Products shopping spree, I added some impatiens and a few other flowering plants to the cart. These were unloaded onto the front porch. Getting closer!

Today I finally planted the purplish impatiens in the little pots that go on the tiered stand that sits in the corner of the porch, and filled a few more planters that were looking pretty miserable after the winter. Swept the porch and walkway, dead-headed the roses, and trimmed back the ground cover that's loving our spring weather.

So what if it's almost the middle of June! 

Thank goodness we don't have a lawn! I don't mind killing, er, tending a few potted plants, but one of the reasons I lived in apartments for 25 years was to let someone else worry about the landscaping and building exterior. Even with a bark dust yard the work is never ending.

The Legacy of Pennleah

Started Chapter 6, Emily!

I'm still working from scenes that were already drafted, although they're turning out differently this time around. Anyway, the writing is still progressing well.

Sunday Stills

Must be a regional thing -- but there aren't all that many water towers and grain elevators in my vicinity.

When I Googled locations for water towers, I got hundreds of hits for The Water Tower shopping center on SW Macadam in Portland. That could be a dangerous trip!  ;-)

However, I did come across a reference for an historic water tower in the Charbonneau area that I had never heard of before. Wonder if I can locate it?

As for grain silos -- the closest I can think of are at the Port of Portland. Don't think I'll travel to eastern Oregon for that photo subject.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Whatta Weekend

My Saturday turned out to be busier than I anticipated.

I was invited to a high school graduation party for a young lady who should still be about twelve years old but who managed to grow up into a beautiful young lady when I wasn't looking.

Then I got a call from Karen who was going to be in Metro area with Emily, so we arranged to meet in the morning at Washington Square. Turns out they had a party to attend in the Tigard area that afternoon, too.

Karen, Emily, and I strolled the mall to window shop and eat a light lunch. Emily is my official First Reader and photography inspiration. Karen and I worked together eons ago and commiserate with each other about the tangents that life takes us on. 

Then to the graduation party. Sammi was "Kiyara's Girl." Yes -- she was owned by a horse. My mare had a second career as a school master and introduced many young ladies and a couple of Boomers to the horse world. Sammi was her favorite girl, so much so that I changed Kiyara's registration to make Sammi her co-owner. The pair participated in Pony Club and Sammi competed on her in schooling shows and events. One of my favorite photos shows the pair coming out of the start box at an event, both horse and rider intent on the course.

I had a great visit at the party with several people from earlier periods of my horse life. You've got to love people who tell you how young you look and how slim you are! (Apparently their eyes are getting as bad as mine!). Anyway...these folks are part of my extended horse family and it was great to touch bases.

After a great day with friends, I walk into the house to find my mother sporting a huge gauze bandage over her left eye. It seems she took the dog out for a stroll and took a bad step when the sidewalk merged into a driveway apron. Fortunately, our neighbors and a landscaping crew came to her rescue. They picked her up, provided a towel for the bleeding (she's on blood thinners), and walked her home. Indy immediately sat down when my mother landed on the sidewalk and was well-behaved throughout the ordeal, thank goodness. The neighbor urged my mother to see the doctor. Rather than call me and ruin my visit with friends, she waited for me to get home.

So off we went to our frequent night spot:  the Emergency Room. I wish it was the name of a local pub, but no -- it's the ER at Providence Hospital. This time our visit only lasted three hours. X-rays and a CT scan showed no breaks or internal bleeding. The doctor glued shut the small cut and the nurse gave her a tetanus shot. And we were sent home.

My mother looks like she went a round with Mohammed Ali. When the triage nurse asked my mother how she felt (light headed, nauseous, etc.) I told her "pissed." My mother was so MAD that she ended up in the ER.

The swelling is gradually going down. She has a glorious shiner and an eyebrow like the cavemen from the TV commercials. Since my mother never does things halfway, we'll also have to replace the scratched lense in her glasses. 


She is such a difficult parent to raise.  :-)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fun for All

Trail Ride

We put out the word and this is the group that went out today. 

(Phantom's nose) Harley, Finn, and  Zorro with their people.

Zoe, Phantom, and Harley with their people.

It took a couple of pictures to get all of us included. Keep in mind, these photos were taken with an iPhone from atop the two greenest horses in our troupe. Yes, we are in the middle of a wheat/oat field (us city girls aren't sure what the crop is!) but we followed the tracks left behind by the farm machinery.

We had to laugh. At one point we exited the planted field to step into a bare field. Zoe went first and tripped on a hidden rut in the dirt, Phantom followed right behind and nearly went down, Harley came next and he tripped too. Zorro managed to navigate the "obstacle" without trouble, and we sent Finn around it. Can you tell our horses spend too much time in the arena?!

We hope to remedy that situation with more trail rides off the property with whichever of the boarders can join up.

Puppy Play Time

Indy got to play with Breeze and boxer puppy Indi before and after our trail ride. Right now, my Indy is "Big Indy" and puppy Indi is "Little Indi." Given the size of Indi's paws, she will soon become "Big Indi" and my little Goober Boy will become "Fluffy Indy."

Indy has turned out to be the best uncle for the puppies. He runs and runs in his Sheltie circles so the puppies will chase him. And he lets the little ones jump all over him. Little Indi is fascinated with Big Indy's fluff and generally comes away with a mouthful of hair after chewing on his tail and "pantaloons."

Anyway, I had one happy puppy after his play date with his Barn Buddies.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Look Ma, No Cavities!

Amusingly enough, it was my mother who had an abscessed tooth when we went to the dentist on May 19 for our biannual checkups. I got off clean!

The dentist scheduled my mother for a root canal yesterday, although the x-rays indicated the tooth might actually be split. Sure enough, once he started working he confirmed that the root was split. The only remedy was to pull the tooth.

My mother emerged with half her face sliding off thanks to the Novocaine, and a wad of cotton where the tooth used to be.

Needless to say, we went straight home from the dentist's office and my mother laid down as soon as she got in the house. My mother is on blood thinners, so it took forever for the bleeding to stop. Not a fun day for her.

Monday is my usual day at the barn, but it was so hot and muggy (for us wimps in the Pac NW) that I didn't mind altering my schedule. I'm sure Phantom is enjoying his extended vacation.