Breaking in the Vacation Rental

I’ve spent my first night at your vacation rental, the Red House on Fannin, and I’m happy to report the beds work.

My friend Sheryl from Austin came up to see me and Anita, and it was really nice to be able to have her stay overnight rather than having to drive home in the dark just hours after she arrived!

Fun times at the Red House

Instead, we were able to drive around and look at Christmas lights, eat a fine Mexican meal at El Charro, then retire back to the Red House to catch up on each other’s lives. It was great for three of us hermit ladies to hang out.

Sheryl tested out the master bedroom and I tried out the bottom bunk. I quickly realized I need a reading light next to the bed, so I’ll get one with a USB outlet in it as well. The top bunk blocks light from the ceiling fixture. That’s an easy fix! We also figured out a few more little things like that, which I’ll implement this week as soon as I have a car I can drive.

What? Yep, my car started acting very oddly when we were driving to the Red House from the ranch, where I’d made Sheryl endure watching me ride Apache (it was back to work time for the horses!). It just didn’t want to shift gears. That was sorta scary, so I was glad we went down the back road. This morning we went over to look at the Venue where the guys were working, and I got some ideas for what to try before driving it to Austin. The best suggestion was to use the manual shift paddles, which I use so seldom I forget are there. That got me home with much less lurching.

The coffee maker worked, too!
Learning to use new phone camera features. And showing how I feel about life right now. Ya just don’t know what’s happening next.

I tried to get the car fixed locally, but they don’t do transmissions, especially of fancy city cars (implied, not stated). I did get the oil changed, which I know was also needed, because I’ve dawdled over getting it serviced for a while due to hating to go to downtown Austin. Of course, there are challenges with staying local. I was not at all amused to find that whoever changed the oil also changed the radio station to The Word, or some Bible station. Aha, KALD, which is a part of Houston Christian Broadcasting. I guess they were trying to kindly show me another public radio station to replace my Heathen NPR that was on. Except, it was OFF when I arrived at the repair place. Well, bless their hearts, I’m sure they meant well.

Meanwhile, Sheryl and I enjoyed a Mexican breakfast, because Los Comales makes the best breakfast I ever ate. After that, I tried to take her to the new coffee shop, but of course, it’s not REALLY open. Never fear, the coffee trailer run by my actual friends (Cloud 9 Coffee, it’s in a cute trailer) WAS open, so we got some fun lattes and forgot to get Anita her chai. Oops. Bad friend.

But, we did get to tour Anita’s house before Sheryl followed me home in case the car exploded. It didn’t, but the check engine light came on. I think we need to go get the other car, which is waiting for us at the dealership in College Station, due to us going out of town over the weekend and not engaging in obligations.

At least I got home and managed to get some work done. Soon as I’m totally done, Drew gets to trot around in circles some more. He has a new cinch that matches his saddle to try out, which will hopefully fit him perfectly.

I guess my life is just right. Some fun, some challenges, and interesting enough to keep my mind off the fact that we live in Bizarro World now.

Pretty Gray Things with Horsepower

Admittedly, the gray things with horsepower are quite different. But they’re both pretty.

One Horse with Power

Today was Drew’s turn to shine. He was scheduled to get filmed doing the dressage part of this quarter’s Working Horse Central virtual show. We walked over to Sara’s lovely arena that she made all by herself. I had to bring a bag with my show boots, show shirt, number and a drink, along with Drew’s show lead and little crop. The only problem was the heat. i was already dripping from grooming Drew and cleaning the former concrete out of his feet. Thankfully, it was dewy this morning, so each foot was packed with mud, not concrete!

He came out quite pretty, but was sweaty as heck by the time we arrived. So was Aragorn.

I wrote up every detail of our dressage pattern in my horse journal, so I’ll just summarize here. He did a GREAT job this time, not perfect, but with much improvement. I also did better with my posture and not going so fast.

I didn’t go too fast trotting, and Drew even got through the right circle at a reasonable pace and only one attempt to bite my hat. No doubt my circles weren’t even, but we did better! Yay us!

After our two minutes of glory, it was time for Sara’s horses. It’s been a lot of fun watching Sully get better and better. I’m so proud of how hard Sara has worked with her.

Of course, Aragorn did great. Well, it wasn’t like it was a walk in the park getting ready for it! His feet are doing so much better, and he didn’t cough once during the pattern. It is so fun to watch the two of them (Saragorn) work together. They have also come a long way in their partnership.

Sara has also come a long way in her show outfits. These guys are so coordinated now, with navy and tan, along with her Wild Type Ranch logo. They’re sharp! I, on the other hand, could not find my belt anywhere. So, I am wearing a yellow bungee cord that accentuates my “full figure” oh so well. Where was my belt? Right next to the boots I DID find.

I enjoyed watching the horses interact with each other when it wasn’t their turn, or when we were getting ready. There’s a lot of gray horsepower among these three! Horse heaven!

Before you get the idea that all this horse stuff is positive progress and great behavior, I must share that when we set out to leave, Drew was having nothing of walking quietly beside me. He was, I guess, jumpy, or jittery. So, I had to stop and get him to trot in circles for a while, to try to focus him. He was having none of THAT, either, and began trotting weirdly, coming in way too close to me, and not going the direction he was asked to go in. I channeled my inner #TarrinMadeMeDoIt and kept stopping and starting him over and over. There were kicks and bucks followed by severe words coming from me. I did great, never lost my temper, and got him a little calmer.

Still, walking down the narrow alley of trees didn’t go great. He was rushing and crowding me. So. Much. Discipline. My arm was killing me by the time we got to the barn. He was not feeling inner peace. BUT. After a bit of a rest in the shade, we headed home. Who was this horse? We had a perfectly pleasant calm, slow, walk where I barely had to hold on to the lead rope. I do wonder what was going on in that boy’s head!

355 Horsepower Grayness

So, Lee’s Tahoe has been giving him some trouble. It is now living at the dealership getting its troubles dealt with. He decided to replace it and get a mobile office. That’s more easily said than done, but I will summarize by saying that something of a reasonable size and the power to tow the horse trainer will be ordered as soon as the dealer gets an “allotment” and customized in some number of months. That way he can drive me to horse lessons and then stay and work. This is all great, but doesn’t replace the Tahoe right now. Lee didn’t have to ask twice when he wanted me to go look at cars. I love car shopping.

What not to get. Fifteen passenger van. Overkill.

So, he looked for a comfortable vehicle that would tow the trailer if needed and be nice for our travels. That was getting frustrating until someone returned a rental vehicle to the dealership that was not too big, not too small…just right.

It’s a vehicle!

Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever sat in such a comfortable seat in a car, and the back seat has enough leg room for very large people. And there’s a huge trunk for carrying bags of horse feed. Oh wait, it’s for Lee. It doesn’t have adaptive cruise control, but otherwise is crammed with safety features. I hope it works out. I, of course, like the ambient lighting that changes colors and the pretty covers on the speakers.

I am glad I don’t have to drive back and forth to College Station every day now that the Lee’s Gleemobile is here (it’s a GLE 350). I’ll also feel a lot safer in a vehicle that doesn’t randomly die as you’re driving along. And, I got to enjoy lots of time in my car, which I am not giving up yet, plus got crocheting done.

That’s my story. Fancy used car deal complete. And before you think I’m being snooty by getting a Mercedes, it was less than the Tahoe or other American cars that fit our needs.

And hey, I didn’t get this one, though I tried to convince Anita that’s what Lee picked. Red seats. Convertible. Giant engine. MMM. Do well on ranch roads? Nope.

Being Alive = Excellent

Came close to being not alive or close, today. I had an excellent drive to Austin and enjoyed getting lots of work done. Then, Anita and I decided to go to Costco for her staples (especially toilet paper!), because it’s practically empty at 4 pm on a Tuesday.

Anita, Not Injured

I asked Anita to drive. I’d driven on wet roads and was tired. That was an excellent idea.

We were driving down scenic Far West Blvd., at normal speed, because the school zone was over. As we went through the intersection with Chimney Corners, where our eye doctor is, there was suddenly a black Suburban accelerating towards us, attempting to turn left into the space Anita’s Mazda was occupying.

You can see the driver had sped off, but got caught at the light.

There were other cars all around. I guess the dude was trying to thread a small gap and didn’t see us. Anita slammed on the brakes and veered left to avoid the giant vehicle.

Somehow, she managed to end up still on the road, without hitting the curb or any utility poles. And the vehicle behind us managed to not hit us from behind. Wow. Such skill.

Grr. I can’t read the license plate.

The asshole just sped off, leaving a bunch of stunned other drivers. As we carefully made our way to the stoplight, the guy who had been behind us checked in us, asking if we were okay. Physically, yes! He had a matching Dallas Cowboys hat and mask, which cheered me up a bit.

Yet another Blogmas miracle, I guess.

I’m glad there was hardly anyone in the store and that we got a lot of toilet paper and paper towels. We came home and aren’t going anywhere else.

Partially eaten bread. Very fresh.

We got delicious banana nut bread from Ruth next door, too. I’m so grateful for friends and good drivers.

I’ve Never Liked SUVs

Yep. Not fond of them. First of all, most are definitely NOT sporty. They are more like harder to drive and less convenient mini-vans, to me. I have always had trouble getting in and out of them.

Most of all, I can’t park the behemoth ones. That’s why I’m so glad Lee just bought one size down from the true behemoth, a Tahoe. I even encouraged him. What the heck?

Basically, I like the grill.

Well, his knees are aging, and it’s hard to watch him getting in and out of cars I like. Plus, we need to drive clients around, and this new behemoth lite is really spacious inside. I can get into the back and seat quite comfortably (being short helps).

Black. So practical in Texas.

Lee figures it’s his last new car (I would never say that, knowing my love of cars). I doubt I’ll drive it much, but it will tow a horse trailer, so that’s a motivation. His truck brought a trade-in better than most, and there are two others at the house. I think we will be okay.

So, while I said I’d never own one, I lied. Actually, Lee had a Range Rover for a while, but that was more of a luxury barge than an SUV.

He’s smiling.

I do feel excessive, acquisitive, and not real eco-friendly right now. Next I’ll get an electric truck or something.

Whew! Even Taking a Break Is Work

Fair warning: the reason I wrote nothing in any of my blogs yesterday is that even when I was resting I was doing stuff! Since I’m not at the computer yet, I’ll just summarize and write more later.

Vehicles

Friday was spent driving all over the county with Lee and Mandi looking for a good used car for her, and seeing if we could find a replacement for our huge diesel truck that we could actually use around Cameron.

Traverse
I actually liked this white, because we could put a sign on it. A nice used vehicle.

We found that I like a Chevy Traverse and Lee likes Suburbans, which are still too giant for me. Unfortunately Lee couldn’t get the trade-in he wanted on the truck, so we walked away. But al least I realized that a smaller SUV was okay for me and at least some Chevy vehicles aren’t plasticky.

The drive was worth it, though, because the countryside on the back road to Rockdale was gorgeous.

Continue reading “Whew! Even Taking a Break Is Work”

Moving Slow

Everyone has those times when even the simplest task becomes a burden. For me, it’s been getting my car inspected to renew my license plates.

First, the dealership forgot to do it when I got its yearly checkup.

Then, when I finally remembered to do it in Cameron, the place that was open didn’t do it, and the place that would do it was closed.

Yesterday I left work early to take care of it in Austin. Turns out Siri thinks a lot more places do inspections than actually do. I went to four places, patiently waiting to be spoken to, only to find out many car repair places don’t have an inspector.

By the time I got to the Lamb’s near my house, I could not wait 1.5 hours.

Today I went back. 1.5 hours again. Fine. I’ll buy myself a nice mug and a snack at the new Starbucks. I’ll live.

Have a smooth day

I do hope your mundane tasks go more smoothly than mine!

PS:

Ha! I was wrong! I clicked “send” on this blog and immediately got the call that the car was done, in only 45 minutes. That was just enough time for a pleasant cup of coffee and blogging. Yay for the Lamb’s on Far West!

BottomsUpOrange

All Things Crochet!

Crissi McDonald

Heartline Horse Training

sara annon

seeking the middle path

Tonya's Tall Tales

My life with horses, bunnies, chickens, ducks, and cows.

rfljenksy - Practicing Simplicity

Legendary Whining and Dining World Tour.

The Backyard Horse Blog

All about keeping horses at home

Hazel's Animal Adventures

My life on the ranch.

Katie Zapfel

Children's book author. Mom blogger.

365 Knit Socks

I knit a lot of socks

recoveringpornaddictcom.wordpress.com/

Coach, author and educator

The daily addict

The daily life of an addict in recovery

Just Vee

A regular gal who likes to stop and smell the flowers.

Happy Heidi's Happenings

My life in the country.

BrownesPups

A family of dog lovers, owners & breeders since 2015

The Adventures of a Mountain Coward

panic-stricken mountain adventuring!

Something Over Tea

Scribbles from my notebook

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

Heccateisis's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

The Upstate Gardener

The Upstate Gardening blog with Gardening Information, Recipies, Home Improvement Ideas, and Crafts Projects to make your life more beautiful and healthy.

Nature And Photography

Bring Nature Into Life

AT PATHO

no streetlights, just star light

Words and Stitches

woolgathering at its best

The Grief Reality

Normalising the conversation about Grief.

iRoseStudios.com

Art Studio Dumfriesshire

The Creative Pixie

eat up some crafty goodness with this creative mama

Writings of a Furious Woman

My thoughts, sentiments, and scribbles on womanhood

Paws Bark

Dogs Leave Paw Print in your Heart

Yeshua's Child Art

Art that Expresses the Heart

Chicken Coop Plans

Build Your Chicken a Home

Writing about...Writing

Some coffee, a keyboard and my soul! My first true friends!

Leaf And Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.

Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Cathartic Tendencies

motivational posts, rants, and stories!

TotallyTexasGifts.com

Featuring Fine Arts & Crafts created and sold by Texans

Seasons As My Teacher

Truth Written In The Wind

claudiajustsaying

Aging & Attitude

The Tragedy Kween

A boisterous introvert illustrating her way through life.