Chilly Day Opportunity

The weather turned very cold and windy. Sara and I canceled horse fun, so I told my son we could go get some stuff in Temple. First, I took the chance to play with the new phone camera and take artsy dog photos.

Diva Goldie

After that, we went off to the Western-wear store and I got belts to wear for horse shows. I think I’m supposed to wear a belt. It was hard to find ones that weren’t all sparkly. I found a nice brown one with tooled flowers and a black one with a sort of snakeskin background. It will go great with my snakeskin boots and Drew’s coloring.

I got the kids some ranch-appropriate shoes, too, and ones that will be good for my son to wear working on renovation projects (yes, we still do that, I just don’t write too much about it).

Current project: Anita’s new floors and old cabinets that will be recycled.

The weather improved, and we had lots of fun trying to buy groceries on one of the worst days of the year. The day before the Super Bowl is not a good one, crowd wise. There are no Fritos to be had. This is a tragedy for the menfolk at the ranch, who worship the Texas classic, Frito Pie. I’m a Dorito fan myself. Those were all gone, too. Oh well.

I’ll just watch the Olympics

Well, with a couple of household items obtained and a space heater borrowed, I think the cabin residents are in good shape. Yep. There are also no space heaters to be had anymore, thanks to the last cold snap. This was not a good week for their heater to die!

Snow Carlton

Tomorrow should be more interesting. But I’ve enjoyed my restful day and a chance to spend quality time alone with my kid. I remember how much I loved to be alone with my dad and talk freely. I hope my son enjoys our times together, as much as we do like the rest of the family. It was a nice opportunity opened up by some cruddy weather.

Hug your loved ones.

The Hay Bar Is Open

Whew, I have trained a lot of people and been in a lot of meetings and written a lot of job aids. I feel like Super Traininggirl. I am so glad I have a job I like and feel good at.

After work, I got in my usual two hours of chores/exercise, but the good news is that I have a little help now for some of the harder things, like lifting bales of hay. The horses had finished yet another round bale of hay, and it occurred to me that I could enlist my resident offspring to help me get some square bales, and I wouldn’t have to ask anyone else for help.

Have I mentioned that my kid always poses for photos? He looks good in those work gloves.

We had a good time fetching hay, and I taught him all the hay manipulation tricks and how to handle baling wire. I also gave him a pair of gloves as a welcome to ranch-handing.

What’s up, burro butt?

The horses had all been hanging around the pens hoping for dinner, but when they figured out what we were doing, a parade of hungry equines arrived. We really enjoyed watching them chow down.

This buffet only has one option but we LOVE it.

Of course, T ran around trying to chase everyone away. We just had to laugh.

Get our of here, Fiona.

I’m sure glad to have my new community members.

And hey, we finally found a simple, inexpensive trailer to get for the horses, one that maybe I can hook up and tow myself, so I don’t have to rely on others to drive me around. It’s aluminum and not at all fancy, but it does everything I need: tows horses and their stuff, without the need for a giant pickup truck.

We tried to get a used one, but it was snapped up before we even got a chance to call. So we are looking for new ones.

I’m becoming a grownup. One with a family, a life, and fun. I guess it’s about time.

We Have New Neighbors

Yesterday, we hauled the stock trailer over to South Austin to pick up the large items that my son and his partner could not fit into their tiny car, so that they can be officially moved to the ranch community. Wow, we’re pushing double digits!

Happy young folk getting ready to organize all their stuff.

There was a bit of a challenge getting to Austin. Right where we have to make a sharp right turn, there were two immense storage tanks being moved down the road. These tanks had quite an entourage. There were lead cars, following cars, plus utility trucks to move power lines out of the way. AND, in a first for me and Lee, each tank had not only a big truck pulling it, but also a big truck pushing it! That had to be mighty hard to coordinate.

It was big

I wonder how long it actually took the tanks to get where they were going!

The moving out was a lot harder than the moving in, exacerbated as it was by dust and cat dander rendering half the people unable to breathe, and recovering from coronavirus doing in another helper. That left me and my son to do most of the climbing up and down stairs (I did 27 flights yesterday).

Staging

But, everyone pulled their weight and did the things they were best at. Lee did a LOT of the heavy stuff, and is paying for it today. We were mighty glad for the hot tub last night.

Working hard

All in all, it wasn’t too bad, and they now just have to go back and get a few items and clean up. We’re also giving them some of my old things that are in the church, but we must wait until it’s not raining to do that. Then they will have a dining table, nice couch, and a chair or two. Oh, and a dresser, since the one my son had been using since…uh…birth, finally split in two after many years of threatening to do so. Since that dresser was at least 65 years old, I’d say it had done its job well.

Happy new neighbors by the poopy stock trailer. It got everything in it, though! With room to spare. So glad we could use it!

This week is going to be challenging, since it’s the busiest one since I started this job, but I’ll try to find some time for fun, horses, and oh yes, knitting. My shawl is coming right along and is very soft.

Not so great photo, but you get the idea.

Fine. All Fine.

Gosh, folks, I’m too tired to write. It was a busy and fun day, though, and since I’m trying to write every day in January, I need to say something.

I love to try things.

I had a fun lesson with Drew today, after he violently rejected a blanket and pooped all over it. I learned lots of new skills to practice, and we both had a blast.

This is complicated but I can do it.

I now know what we can do “in hand” in the Working Horse Central competitions. We did a bunch of things that were fun to try to work on perfecting.

Showing me how to do the “gate.”

I am pleased to get to progress. I came back off cloud 9 when I got home and spent an hour cleaning poop out of the trailer so we can use it to move my son. Mmm. Fun. Then I re-set the playground and made it look good.

I’ll mess that up

I rode Apache again today and dealt with him pretty well. We were able to do quite a few of the playground activities, but he knocked over my little jumps. He was not into stepping over the PVC pipe I set out.

Look. I had a baby.

Next I walked over to see my kids setting up their household and saw a cow who’d just given birth. Aww.

There’s an exclamation point above Aragorn.

I then wandered over to Sara’s to watch her filming herself and Aragorn. Wow. He has really progressed, as has she. Cantering is happening. Balanced, good cantering. I was as happy for her today as she was for me yesterday! Quite a good couple of days, horse wise.

Another lovely cabin sunset.

The things that needed doing at the cabin got done today, so we’re ready for tomorrow. I’ve doubled my usual exercise but I feel good.

There, I blogged.

When It Rains, It’s Wet

Ya know, because of the pandemic and all, Lee and I don’t go anywhere very often. But, today we really had to go to Austin, since my car has a tire with a big ole bubble in it that needed to be fixed, and we hadn’t given my son and his partner anything for Christmas yet (we knew what they needed/wanted).

I wish.

Naturally, today is the day it finally rained some real rain, rather than in dribs and drabs and hundredths of inches. It’s the big storm that’s going to mess up New Year’s for the “important” parts of the US, i.e., the east coast. We always need rain, so yay for the weather.

Except we had to drive, and Lee doesn’t like driving in the rain, even in his new vehicle with the spooky features like adaptive cruise control. Nonetheless, I’m the one in the family who does what they say they will do when they say they will do it, so off we went.

Rain and drenched Christmas decorations.

Yep, it rained a lot. But, there were fun clouds to look at (especially if you were in the passenger seat, I grant that). We managed to find the Costco store in south Austin, and got somewhat wet going in there. Still, the trip was a success, because though the store looked crowded, people were distancing themselves like old pros, AND we found a darned large television for a good bit less than $300. In my mind those cost three or four times that much, so that was a deal (and the picture quality was great!). Plus, the rain let up while we loaded the car.

We easily found the apartment complex of the young folks (Lee had never been there, since he doesn’t go to Austin unless he HAS to), and handed over the television in the parking lot, avoiding any meetings in confined quarters. They appeared to be pretty thrilled.

They look sneaky to me.

Then, they gave me a VERY thoughtful gift that they’d looked hard for on Ebay. Sniff. That was so sweet. And, off Lee and I went again. No dilly dallying.

It will do.

The new car told us in no uncertain terms that we needed to get gas, so we planned to stop halfway home. The horses and chickens needed food, and I needed a calendar to mark horse feedings on (because SmartPack, the supplement supplier, didn’t send us a calendar for the first time in many years!).

Well, our luck with the rain ended there. A real downpour began, and there was no way to avoid a real soaking. My boots, pants, sweater, and most of all my hair…all soaked through. I looked like a young man of some sort who just swam across a lake, and no amount of SnapChat filtering would fix it. I did laugh a lot at myself, which confused Lee, poor guy.

To be honest, I’m blathering a bit, because I am sad. I’m happy I got to write about Carlton. And I’m so glad I got to see the kids today, because this week has just been chock full of bad news that really isn’t blog material. And no, it’s not all people from our business, though our staff and clients have gotten some raw deals from the hands of fate, that’s for sure.

The worst. Today I found out a young man I’d always liked passed away in a house fire, and that was just the last straw. My heart just aches for his parents and sister, who have always been incredibly kind to me.

Please tell people you care about that you’re there for them. I’m gonna even tell the son who won’t speak to me. Because I do still care.

Crissi McDonald

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