Friday, October 24, 2008

Blowin' in the wind

So it's another week that has blown by.

Just wanted to post a little something for my garden. I love my grasses this time of year!

We are off to visit Nick's family for the weekend, and I will return next week.

Have a safe and happy weekend all!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Trails.....

Anybody miss me?

Wow, it was a busy week last week. And it had a theme:

Horses, horses, and more horses.

I've been fortunate enough to have been going on some amazing trail rides with some really great ladies in the last couple of weeks. Getting to see fall in Minnesota on horseback has been AMAZING.
I thought I'd share with you some of the snapshots I've been able to grab.

They pale in comparison to the real thing, but it will give you a little taste of what I've been seeing.

Here's our group. I'm the second from the left, you can barely see me peeking around back there.
This was a gorgeous stop at the top of one of the trails in the middle of a pine forest. Look at all way the needles that have fallen blanket this part of the trail.

When you look up doing this part of the trail, this is what you will see. Amazing how pine needles can be so beautiful.

We are just past the peak of the season for fall color here. Truly magnificent array of yellows, oranges, and red.

This is a sight that just makes you take a deep breath and drink it in. It is quite a hike up to this point. If you are not fond of heights this is not the trail ride for you. Part of what makes Minnesota great this time of year is the harvesting of the fields because they add a whole extra dimension of color and texture.

If you look way over on the left side of this picture, see those little spots. Those are our trailers. Yeah, we are way the heck up there.

Time to take one last look because you know what? What goes up must come down. And when it has rained 2 days before this the trail gets rather muddy. Which means you get to dismount and walk, slide, sludge, your way down the trail with a 1200 pound animal walking, sliding, sludging her way down the GIANT hill.

I have more to share in the coming days. Happy Monday all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My boys have a new past time.

Writing their own comic books....and (without my knowledge)selling them to the neighbors....quite successfully might I add.

Little con artists got me to make a bunch of copies of it to sell to their "friends", and their "friends parents".

See, the 2 neighbor boys helped with some of the story line, so they were supposed to get copies. Little did I know, they decided to be little entrepreneurs and sell some of the copies door to door.

I'm not sure whether to be proud or totally embarrassed.

The main characters are a group of super hero's called "The Boxers Boys".

Gotta love superheros that save the world in their boxer shorts.

Anyway for your viewing pleasure, may I present:

"HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?" (Ehhhhhhhh......Nooooooo.)

Yikes...the wedgenator. Makes my butt hurt just thinking about it.

Totally confused yet?
Good.....I never said any of it made any sense.

And Lord help us all,
this is the title of the next installment:

I'm currently taking orders for advanced autographed copies.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good morning!


Got any apples?"


What's up with the silver thing in your hand?" "Holy crap, what's up with the flashing light?"

"No....I'm serious...

where are the goods lady?" "What? I have something hanging out of my mouth? I know, I know. I'm cool, you know, like the cowboys that hang a piece of grass out of their mouth? Yeah I'm going for that."
"Now back to the apples....where are they?"

"I'm getting so bored here,

I have narcalepsy you know? No seriously....sometimes I fall asleep standing up."

"Oh, it's a camera?

"Here, this is my good side. Everyone says so."

"Forget it...I give up...

I have a high metabolism, I need to eat every 30 seconds. I'll just eat some grass, since you're just standing there doing nothing with that stupid thing in your hands."


I have something hanging out of my mouth again????"

Welcome to mornings at my house. This is what I find in my backyard every morning.

Please ignore the half finished perennial bed with all the dying flowers. It's a work in progress. Just concentrate on the horse.

Actually, this is what I spend a lot of my day looking at:

Just a bunch of horse's....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A little piece of me

When I was a little girl I had only one true love.


Forget Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake, New Kids on the Block (okay so I was a teenager then, not a little girl...not the point), or anything else.

I was all about horses. Drawing horses, horse figurines, horse books, and riding horses. If it had to do with horses, I wanted to be a part of it.
I was going to grow up and marry a cowboy, and live in the country, riding every single day of my life, raising babies on horseback.

Well, then life happened, and I grew up and married a hunter/football star/baseball star/basketball star and we live in city limits. But the silver lining is that where I live, I'm little bit country ("I'm a little bit rock and roll"-sorry... you can't say that without following up with that), and I'm a little bit city. Our lot backs up to someone else's horse pasture. And I have the best of both worlds.

Tomorrow morning I'll show you what I get to look at out of the back of my house every day. Not today's point however.
The point is that since my boys were born I've done very little riding. And the children that were going to ride before they walked, have only ridden a handful of times.

This summer however we got the chance to go to a really amazing place. My dear friend Ardelle, who is a labor and delivery nurse with me, has started a non-for profit organization at her farm. At Turning Point Stables, her goal is double sided. She began rescuing horses that have been abused and neglected, and allowed some to come live out their last days on a beautiful farm being well cared for. Her hope to is bring children in need of "something" together with horses that need "something".
Whether it's an autistic child, or a troubled teenager, or city kid that has never been to a farm, Ardelle believes that through horsemanship, a lot of life lessons can be learned.

Well, I got the chance to take the boys (and myself) to her beautiful farm and teach them a thing or two about something I know.

Alec was a little nervous at first. I mean that horse looks HUGE when you are that size. (By the way, at the end of the day this was the horse I rode. So gorgeous!)

Ardelle is patient and kind and makes sure that they do all the work.

No free rides. If you want to ride, you need to learn to lead your horse back to the barn. Alec chose a horse named Daisy.
I encourage you to read this quick link about Daisy and her "turning point" at Ardelle's. A true testament of what can happen when a horse is given proper mental and physical nourishment.

Joe on the other hand was pretty fearless.

Sucked up every word of information Ardelle offered him. I got the chance to just step back and watch him learn from her. He was like a sponge that day. He chose a horse named Navarre.
If you were a child/half adult of the 80's you may remember a movie named Ladyhawke-which you would not have forgotten if you saw it.
So remember...Rutger Hauer's character's name was Navarre...

anyway..thus this horse's name. (I think I need to rent that movie again...)

And then came the moment we had all waited for:

Joe independently riding.

And then this one:

Alec on horseback.

And this may not be the best photographic photo,

but just look at that smile.

And here is the whole little point of this tale. This may have been the proudest day I've had as their mother. See I'm a pretty good boy mom. I throw a mean football and baseball. I'm not afraid to hold a frog, or touch a snake. And occasionally, if I've gulped the appropriate amount of pop I can crank out an impressive burp. But I've taught them very little about the things that they currently love. Nick has give them an endless amount of time and energy teaching them about the things he loves. It's because of him that Alec is a baseball-aholic, and that they know about gun safety, and that every night they want to play football in the front yard. See I can support all that, but I didn't teach them that.

But this day....this day I got to shine. To teach them some horsemanship. To teach them subtle things about a horse's character, and how to watch their ears and you'll know whether they are happy are sad, or really ticked off. And when they rode those horses, I was so freakin' proud. I felt like for the first time in their lives I had given them a piece of me, and having them love it, meant more to me than I can express.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Evolution of Ozzie

In addition to two boys, we happen to have 2 dogs. Both male. Both brought home by me, without hubby's knowledge or approval.

Doggie #1 (we'll meet him another day), was brought home before we were married. A bold move, that made my then fiance wonder about my ability to make snap inappropriate decisions.

Doggie #2 was brough home last April. I was kind of feeling like maybe I wanted to have another baby. I was feeling the need to nuture, to love, to mold. And somehow my need to nuture crossed pathes with a garage sale. So today I'm going to share with you how Ozzie became a part of our family.

So innocently enough on an April morning, I drive my kids to school, little turds farted around and missed the bus, so I had to drive them.
"Bye, love ya, see you after school." And on my way,down the street, back to my life of laundry and dusting. Cruising along just fine, past a garage sale, and there they are.
There in that little pen in the front yard. Small tiny black furballs, bouncing around, rolling on top of each other with a sign on the pen that says "Puppies for Sale".
Now mind you, I have no intention of getting another dog. Hubby was not happy 9 years ago when I brought the first one home, I learned my lesson. I'm just going to stop and take a look. I mean they are so stinkin' cute, I just gotta look at them.

Whip the car into park and quickly walk up, scoop one out of the cage and let it lick my face with the fabulous little puppy breath smell. I oogle and google over the thing. Find out they are Shih tzu's, all boys left, all the girls are gone. So I stay for like half an hour loving each and every one of them. "Okay, I must go home." "Bye, guys, your really cute, hope you find good homes".

So I head back home. A couple hours later, while manning my own garage sale, I say to my sister. "There was a sale this morning that had puppies, they were SOOOOOOOOOO cute (sounding like I'm about 7 when I say "so cute".)
"Well, lets go see them"
"Mom, we'll be back, we're going to go see the puppies."

Now when you come back a second time, the people selling the puppies start to work you over a little harder.
"Oh your back"
"I just brought my sister to see them"
"I see" (chuckle, chuckle)
Then lots of questions about where we live, what type of family we have, you know, working us over as possible buyers. Same thing again, half an hour of looking, and then your outta there.

Now here's where it starts to get ugly. You go pick up your kids at school and tell them there is a garage sale with puppies,
"What....can we go see them....PPPLLLLEEEAAASSSEEE." Then you try to act like no we aren't going to go see them, but inside your thinking "yes".

Okay, now when you show up for the third time with your kids, they pretty much hand you the puppy, his papers, and they ask for $350 (yikes!-for a dog?)

But see, this is the evil part. When you take the kids home and they beg their Dad for the dog, it doesn't look as pathetic as if you beg for the dog. Saying things like "well, get me the puppy and I'll stop whining over a baby" or "if I don't get to nurture something I might decide to buy a horse, or a pot belly pig, or adopt a child from Romania" don't seem totally appropriate.

Now insert the horrific look of "your not serious are you? It's taken me 9 years to like the other dog, don't push your luck lady. For the love of God, tell me you are not going to do this!".

Now insert me going from endearing and kind of cute, to me thinking "I don't really care, I think this will keep me sane".
"I'm getting me a puppy, I mean.....I'm getting the kids a puppy."

And so we all four went and look at the puppies, and the kids and I picked out which one would become my new psuedo child, the thing that I would nurture and try to make it seem like it filled the human void. And Nick stood there is disbelief, hoping it was all just some bad dream, hating EVERY second of the whole process, and basically looking at me like "don't even think for a second that I am going to do anything to take care of that thing".

Love, a lot of love.

And so, in all reality, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Having a new little something, that thought the world of me, needed me, went ( and still does) everywhere I go, gave me back a little tiny sense of being needed. That animal loves me, and the kids, and Nick (shhh, don't tell him, it still wants to act like he doesn't like him, but I've caught him teaching the little furball how to hug).

He's brought a lot of mindless joy (and frustration in the form of housebreaking) and I always say to everyone that he's my third child.
With that being said, I don't carry him around in a purse, dress him up in clothes, or take him for pictures with Santa. I haven't totally lost my mind.

And that my friends, is the the Evolution of Ozzie. A little black and brown Shih Tzu that helped keep my sanity. He might have only a face a mother could love, and he's not the smartest dog ever, but he's served a very important purpose in this house.

And don't tell anyone, but I think maybe, just maybe, Nick actually likes the little guy. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The smell of boy

Okay all of you with only girls, I have a little treat for you. Think of it as a scavenger hunt. A little project in what you are missing out on.

First, you will need to get a bag of Frito's. Set on your counter.

Next, go get out a pound of freshly ground hamburger. Now set it next to the Frito's.

Now, out to your garden and grab a handful of dirt. Set next to the other items.

Lastly, grab your husbands nasty smelling gym shoes and set them next to the other items.

Now scoot all of them items next to each other and cup your hand and waft those smells toward your nose.

You know, kind of like wine snobs swirl wine, and then sniff the bouquet. "Smokey, with a hint of cedar, and cherry."

Okay back to the wafting: "Corn chippy, with a hint of raw hamburger, intense fresh dirt smell, ending with the smell of old shoes."

That, my friends, is the smell of boy.

I'm serious. You don't know the pheromones that they give off until you live with them. It doesn't smell good, but the longer you live with them, the more you get used to it.

And somehow, I would imagine, that when they are grown men, I will actually miss that smell. But for now, I'll just continue to look at them and say, "You smell, go take a shower."

And they will continue to grin with the little smile that makes me think they are very proud of the smell that give off.

Okay, now go make dinner with that hamburger, it's been sitting on you counter for 10 minutes now.