Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sweet summer time

In the summer time when the weather is high
You can chase right up and touch the sky
   When the weather's fine
You got women, you got women on your mind
    Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find

When the weather's fine
We go fishing or go swimming in the sea
  We're always happy
Long's we're living in this sound philosophy

Da da da da da, yeah we're happy
Da da da dee da doo dee da dee da dee da da      :)

Aaahh, I love it!!  Summer and that old song.  Kinda sums up my philosophy about how life should be spent this time of year.  If only...

The reality is that things have been really, really busy.  Not much time for swimming in the sea or fishing or singing with the bees.  No sirree!  There's been some fun, but as is all too familiar, there's been a lot of work and a lot of projects.  No rest for the wicked, I guess.

Wow, where should I begin?  We had a week off over the 4th of July and traveled to Central Oregon for our riding club's annual Cowboy Camp Meeting in the Ochocos east of Prineville.  Gorgeous area, riding perfection, wonderful speakers, good friends and outstanding weather.  I couldn't have asked for anything more...except a horse to ride.  Well, I did get to go for one ride, which is certainly better than no rides.  We took Ladde only, because I'm still not riding Eagle.  Ladde was a ROCKSTAR!!!!!  Seriously, total perfection.  His first time out in a little over 2 years and the horse was spot-on.  He is quite possibly the best horse in the entire world, well, aside from his mother anyway.  :)  He carried our grandson through a menagerie of little playday events and wallowed in all the attention.  They teamed up the biggest horse there (Ladde) and the smallest horse there (a tiny pony).  So cute!!  Ladde was ever so careful to tread softly and slowly so the little pony could keep up.  I'm always amazed at my feelings of pride over this horse...seriously, I'm enamored and totally in love.  My husband rode him on several rides and he said Ladde couldn't have been any better.  His confidence level was over the top, and he was having fun.  When I rode him, he was a perfect gentleman as well.  He even stood perfectly still when after dismounting at the site of a very large boggy area, I perched myself on a hillside for re-mounting.  He was relaxed and bold, and therefore, so was I.  Sheer heaven!!

In the photo above... Ladde and one of the neighbor's horses getting acquainted.  She was a nursing, miniature filly.  At one point, she got inside his enclosure and I caught Ladde grooming the little one.  It scared me at first because I thought Lad might stomp the little foal, but nope...he nuzzled her.  So cute!  I tried to get my camera, but thought I better help her get outside and not borrow possible trouble.

 My husband leading Ladde and our grandson, David at the Playday coupled with the pony partner.  The riders were holding paper mache' ribbons and the point was not to break your ribbon.

 David had a week-long blast!  At times, I seriously considered murder and burying his body in the wilderness, but all in all it was good times.  Children can be so exhausting!!  But, he'll remember this trip for a long time to come.

Me and the Laddmonster heading out on the trail.  See what I mean about beautiful riding country?  My kind of steeps and land on both sides of me!!  And all those gorgeous Ponderosa Pines sure don't hurt!!

I always laugh when I see myself in the saddle; well sometimes I cry too.  :)  I always look so much bigger than I feel and my legs always look so straight, but when I'm riding, they feel like there's plenty of bend in the leg.  Funny...

So, when we returned home from our horse camping trip; it was to full-fledged summer.  It was mild when we left and hot when we got home.  The yard looked like a jungle, the garden plants had grown exponentially, all the outside plants were in desperate need of a good watering, and there were flies.  Lots and lots of flies.  Oh joy.

So, it took a full week to get the horse trailer unpacked and thoroughly cleaned.  I had a LOT of laundry to get caught up on, and thankfully had that Monday off before having to return to work.  I had originally planned on attending the last day of the Buck Brannaman clinic because it was so close to home, but there was just too much that needed to get done and I didn't want to be on the go the last day of my vacation.  And, did I mention that it was hot?  Heat and I are no longer friends...I simply wilt like a flower in the noonday sun.

For a full week before camping, we had Jack, our eldest grandson for a week.  The day Jack went home, David arrived.  He was with us for almost 2 weeks.  Between the grandkids, packing for our trip and making preparations for the caretakers while were gone, wilderness camping for a full week, and playing catch up once we got home - I was too pooped to pop.  I seriously had to return to work just to rest up from vacation.  Now, I'm ready for a real vacation...

No such luck.  Tuesday morning our hay guy called to say he'd be bringing the hay out.  Oh boy.  So, I had to get on the phone and make very hasty arrangements for some strong-backed teenaged boys to load our hay into the barns.  All 18+ tons of it.  This is the first year that I loaded not a single bale.  Damn, but it felt good!!  I was one happy camper writing out that check and seeing our barns filled to the brim with our winters' hay supply.  As much as I fret about getting our hay, I simply cannot imagine how people in drought areas of the country feel knowing that hay is in extremely short supply, and outrageously expensive besides.  This is the first year ever that I'll be making monthly payments to our hay guy because we're about $1200.00 short of paying it off.  I wish that weren't the case, but oh well, better to get it now when it's less expensive and be done with it, than wait and hope we can find it mid-winter.  If we've calculated correctly, we should have enough to get us through to next spring, possibly until next year's crop...hopefully.

In the midst of all this, we're still hoping to sell our big gooseneck horse trailer soon so we can pay off a couple of bills and do a no-cost refinance of our house.  We'd make the same payments, but drop our interest rate by about 2% and lose 6 years overall off our mortgage life.  That's a big bang for the money that's tied up in that trailer.  We're lucky if we use it 5-6 times a year, so it's really a no-brainer.  My hubby's employment situation has gone from bad to worse, so he may be looking at longer term unemployment and/or early retirement.  We cannot afford to stay in our home and pay all our other expenses without him being employed get the picture.  Scary times if I dwell on it for too long, which I choose not to do, so I keep praying about our situation, asking for guidance and help.  Keeping the faith is sometimes challenging, but it's how I roll.  *sigh*  In the midst of everything, we are grateful.  Right now, we have a home, we have our horses and dogs, we have a simple, little life in the country, and we're both pretty healthy.  Life is pretty good, and we are blessed.  I have no control over what may or may not happen tomorrow.

Since hubby has so much idle time on his hands...probably not a good choice of words, but he's working on a lot of home-improvement projects that require more brawn than money.  We got a bunch of used bricks for a $100 and we've got plans for a nice little patio off our deck, pastures have been mowed, de-weeded and fences are in good repair, hay is in the barn, our kitchen is about to undergo a countertop remodel and hubby and his brother will install Bianco Antico granite in our little country kitchen.  Next project, is new flooring in kitchen, mudroom and laundry IF that dad-burned trailer ever sells.  There's more, but honestly I'm just too brain dead to remember everything right now.  I do know that my hubby works pretty much all day, everyday on projects, and things are beginning to look a little spiffier in our corner of the world.

My neighbor gave me two buckets of marionberries and two buckets of raspberries last night.  I made a batch of marionberry freezer jam.  I think I'll just freeze the rest.  I have strawberry, raspberry, peach and now marionberry jam and that's plenty for a few years.  Makes nice little Christmas gifts for giving too.

I've been working with Eagle pretty regularly, 2-3 times a week on average, and he's doing exceptionally well.  I'm hoping to start riding him fairly soon, I just want it to be a pleasant experience for both of us, so I'm just biding my time.  There's no end to things we can work on, and he's a better horse because of it and our relationship solidifies each day.  He's possibly the most loving horse I've ever know.  He's so cool.  He's also getting fat...hefty, hefty cinch sack!!  Totally fits!!  :)  Oh well, nobody's mentioned how much weight I've been dropping either, so...

Blessings everyone,  maybe I'll post a little more often and try to do a little reading of your blogs too.  I know, I've been remiss...

Happy Summer!!!!

My hard working husband of 28 years...we celebrated with an overnight trip to the beach, seafood dinner and chocolate.  Hmmmm...Happy Anniversary honey!!!!!