Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I walk dogs with another woman from the neighborhood.  Of course while we walk we talk.  She claims talking to me is the best therapy money can't buy.  As we walk she (mostly) complains about everything in her life.

I come home from these walks and I am SO HAPPY!  I am outrageously happy that I am NOT married to her husband, I DO NOT have to put up with her kids, and my dog DOES NOT poop all over my house!  It fills me with such joy to be reminded that my husband, while not perfect, is pretty darn close. My funny, talented, highly intelligent, WELL BEHAVED kids only require minimum effort on my behalf to maintain.  Other than that annoying habit they have of getting hungry EVERY DAY.  My dog's only real demand is the he be walked once a day and fed and watered occasionally.  

I have created an immensely delightful life for myself!

I am just afraid that all this joy is going to attract the attention of the negative forces in the universe, and suddenly horrible things will start happening.  I can't help it, it's the result of years of religious training.

Thing 1 got into the very prestigious kids program at a local art gallery.  It required that she submit two essays, a sample of her work, a letter of recommendation, and she and I had to fill out some forms.  All of that had to be reviewed by a panel of judges, and the 18 winners were selected.  Many of them are repeats who have been in the program before - you have to apply every year.  That means there were only a few open slots this year.  Thing 1 is the youngest kid in the program this year - the only 7th grader.  There is one 8th grader, a 9th grader, and then most of the kids are juniors and seniors in high school.  We went to the first meeting and I came away somewhat daunted by what she needed to do - she came away buoyant and excited to get started.  We are very happy she got in!  

Thing 2 is back in the saddle after complete healing of her broken arm and the death of her horse. and she has a new horse.  By the way we don't actually OWN these horses.  We lease them.  We are set to buy the new one, eventually.  His name is Bones, and he's a 16 year old thoroughbred who has a lot of experience in eventing and jumping.  He is currently owned by another client of the riding instructor, someone wealthy enough to have him stands out in the pasture behind their house all the time and they're not riding him.  She's talking them into selling him.  We get first dibs.  Thing 2 is absolutely in love with him.  We will be required to buy him someday, but I'm pushing that off for a while and leasing him.  I got the complete lowdown on  him from another couple at the barn who considered buying him, but decided not to based on his age (they wanted a younger horse), and the fact that he won't "tie" to a pole.  He has to be held by a person or tied up in a cross tie, with the poles next to him, not right in front of him. The report by EVERYONE who rides him is he is 
1) FUN to ride
2) Flashy.  Flashy was explained to me as he holds himself very pretty, steps out pretty, has a sort of dramatic way of moving.  In a barn full of horses, many of which are retired trail or cow horses, a horse that walks and moves gracefully like that sort of gets everyones attention.  Everyone who sees her on him comments to me that "They look awfully good together!"

I don't have pictures of Thing 1's art class, but I have pictures of the horse.  

This blue jump rattled him once, but he just hesitated and went on over it, and was the highest jump she was doing that day, so I had to get it from a couple of different angles.  It looks like the same instant but it's not.
There was another high school girl watching Thing 2 take her lesson, waiting for the jumping course so she could practice.  She's at the barn a lot, a really nice girl who has been riding for a while.  She was complimenting Thing 2 and saying he was doing so good for her, and he's not an easy horse to ride.  I said really?  She sure makes it look easy!  The older girls said she had seen the teacher and the other woman who is currently half leasing Bones ride him over the jumps and that he didn't perform as well as he did when Thing 2 was riding him.  She said she thinks he is responding to Thing 2's confident gentleness, and that Thing 2 is an amazing rider.  Why thank you!!!!

School is almost out and I am looking forward to spending more time with my amazing little family!!!!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day.

Hubby usually goes overboard and makes it as wonderful a day as he can… but he's in Australia.  Events conspired against us.

The plan was for me and the girls to go to church at 9:00 until 10:00, then head north to my sister's for mother's day with my mom.  My sister cooked dinner.  I made a cake for dessert.  
I had presents for my sister, who doesn't have kids of her own, and presents for my mom. I had the cake which turned out pretty good.  I had a third of it instead of having any dinner, so I know.  I had chocolate and caramel dipped pretzels, and several dozen chocolate dipped strawberries that Thing 1 had made the day before as part of a fundraiser for girl's camp.  

Thing 2 woke up sick.  It was hard to tell if it was just whiny sick, or really sick. I let the girls stay home from church, but I went.  I was feeling a little sad watching everyone else's kids get up and sing for the mothers.  When I got home we talked and Thing 2 was still feeling kind of crappy but I convinced her that sleeping in the car is as easy as sleeping on the couch.  I let it percolate for a while because there was no rush getting out of the house, by the time we got to my folk's house, they'd be at church.  It started to seem to me like she was getting worse.  But by then I had convinced the girls we should go, and Thing 2 started crying that she had ruined Mother's Day, and we should just go no matter how sick she felt.  But then her temperature popped up to 102, and she finally fell asleep.  It was obvious she was too sick to go, and I was glad we hadn't taken her earlier.  

Mother's day was kind of a bust.   Australia is an inconvenient time difference, Hubby's getting up when the girls are at school, we're going to bed at the middle of his day, and he's asleep when we're getting up.  We won't have many chances to talk for the next two weeks.

I think I'll do a do-over with my mom this weekend, and drive up to see her and my dad on Sunday.

Meanwhile, at the barn, Thing 2's riding instructor has come up with a horse for her to ride.  His name is Bones, and he seems about perfect for her.  He's taller than any other horse she's ridden at 16 hands, is a thoroughbred, and he's already done a lot of dressage and jumping.  He's kind of middle aged, at 16 years old, and is reasonably priced. I'd love to buy him but the upkeep for horses is what puts you in the poor house.  Somewhere along the road someone taught him to smile.

Thing 2 loves him already.  We're going to try and lease him until our ship comes in, unless someone else buys him first.

The Clump of Three

So the hot water heater busted..

Then Thing 2 broke her arm.

I ran into a friend the beginning of the next week and she said, "That's two!"  I hadn't even thought of that.  I conjured up some third disaster, which I can't even remember now because it was so small, and assured myself that would be it.

But it wasn't.

I made an appointment for Thing 2 to go to the Fracture Clinic at Primary Children's Hospital.  I didn't know at the time they're only open on Wednesdays.  They got us in at 2:00.  An hour before I went to go pick her up for her appointment, Thing 2's horseback riding instructor texted me that Doc, the horse she's been riding for the past year, died.

We had gotten wind he was sick, there is another girl who rides him and her mother had texted me on Sunday to say Sorry about Thing 2's arm, and that Doc was feeling poorly and was in a stall in the barn, not out in the corral like usual.

I had decided not to say anything to Thing 2 until that evening, when I picked her up at school she said another friend of hers who goes to the same barn had been out there the night before and reported Doc wasn't doing well.  She teared up and asked me if we could go visit him after her arm appointment.
I couldn't lie to her and say "Oh yes, honey, we can go out there right after your appointment!  I'm sure he'll be happy to see you!"
So I told her.  It was already too late, he'd died that morning.
Of course she was devastated, and my delivery was terrible... the school parking lot is not the place to deliver that kind of news.  We would barely make the appointment anyway, and she started sobbing and saying she couldn't go to the doctor now... I agreed but I was kind of stuck.  She cried all the way down the canyon but pulled herself together for the doctor.  I don't know why they figured she was kind of weepy and tender, one woman asked if it hurt a lot and she agreed.

The doctor at Primary's, but the way, was baffled by the weird splint the ski resort had put on her, his first act was to take it off.  He confessed that he didn't understand why they'd bother splinting her arm, but even more curious was why they'd splint her arm two inches below the break.   Maybe if they had ran the splint up over her shoulder or something?  But below the break?  No sense whatsoever.   He also told her 4-6 weeks of being careful, but from that day, not from the day of the break, so he basically moved her dates back a week.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  Our next appointment would have been 4 weeks later but that fell right in the middle of our spring break and I already knew we'd be leaving town.  They never move appointments up, always back, so her follow up appointment will be the week after we get back.  

I took Thing 2 out to the barn last week, she had ridden a new horse just before Doc died and she wanted to just go to the barn.  While I was there I ran into the groom girl, who said he had gotten out when someone was feeding them, and come to the arena and found her and just stood in front of her.  She said she almost didn't recognize him, he looked so awful.  They called the vet and did an ultrasound on him and found a tumor on his kidney.  He died three days later.  He was 20.  Too young, and very sad.

Thing 2 took two for the team on the series of unfortunate events for the family.