Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Happy New Year Boy

Goodness what do you know, I missed my first "I Wonder Wednesday" post. Isn't that just the way it goes? I woke up under the weather and spent a very miserable day on the couch. I couldn't even face my laptop which really tells me I'm not feeling well. I am finally somewhat back to normal. But I'll be ringing in the new year with a movie tonight. I hope that whatever you are doing this evening, that you all have a very safe and happy time! I hope that 2009 is full of many adventures and memories for you all!

I thought to celebrate the new year with you, I'd share about my time with My Boy yesterday.

Okay- so I did it! I made it to the ski resort to see my horse. Well, it's not really a ski resort! It just looks like a ski resort or a mountain pass with all of the snow plowed 3 feet high alongside the roads. Luckily, the roads were bare and dry so I didn't have to use the snowmobile option.

Heeeelllllooooo there, handsome Boy!

Did ya miss me?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

As I said, the roads were bare and dry. The yard, pastures, and fields were not. Walking around in several inches of wet slushy snow was not easy.
In fact, I was just hoping I didn't fall on my pony girl bum and have My Boy step on me. I was even worried he might be feeling spunky and snort and trot off, leaving me skiing on my boot heels at the end of the lead rope behind him!

Now, My Boy, well, he seemed to have no trouble getting around. Then again, he's been living ankle deep in it for weeks. He had a good set of compact snow trails blazed. From his tree, to the trough, to the shed, to the gate, to his tree.

I brought My Boy out and watched him happily devour his bucket of goodies.

Oh yes, my Pony Girl is back!

Then I took off his blanket. Fat and fuzzy as ever! Notice I had to take off my scarf and hang it on the fence? It was practically a heat wave!

Then we set off to walk around the snowy yard. Wouldn't you know, my spotted stinker quickly searched out the only patches of visible green edible grass on the whole property?

It was a soggy mouthful, let me tell you.

My Boy was quite cheerful to be out of his field. Although sometimes I wonder about the emotionality of horses....I do believe he was happy to see me. Perhaps this is proof. I quite often got this picture. A velvety white snip coming right at the camera, like this:

And this.

I know, he probably just smelled the extra cookies in my pocket. It's okay. I can live with that.

Oh, did I tell you that My Boy has new fancy snow shoes? I got them on clearance, bad economy and all.

Just kidding. That is what happens when he walked in the slushy snow. Luckily, it was so warm outside it didn't refreeze into an ice ball. You can see how translucent it is. His pasture snow is so compact from him walking that it is less slushy.

Ahoy, matey! Dry land!

It was kind of funny, but when I led him from the snow to the gravel, he snorted a bit and sniffed it as if it was unchartered territory!

I couldn't really do much with my horse in terms of exercise, other than walk him around and spend time with him. But it was so very nice just to do that! I hope the weather holds for the weekend, I am going back to see him and have our Christmas with Paint Girl and my parents, too. A weekend with my family, my horse, and presents. What more could a girl ask for?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow Ponies

I really enjoyed taking pictures of the horses at my mom's stable over Christmas. There is nothing to help a little point-and-shoot camera along then a crisp blue-sky day and lots of white.

My first subject was on time for his shoot. A fuzzy Palomino pony bear. I think he is a he not a she. I am not sure. But he was really cute. Quite obviously, a retired Calvin Klein model.

So, how do you want me to pose?

Wait- this is my better side!

How about a closeup?

Oh, you want my content hay-in-my-belly-sleepy-horse-in-the-frosty-sunshine look?

Why didn't you say so!

Next up was this little Arabian mare. She came right up to the fence, on legs that could tell many stories.

My mom said she wanted to adopt this cutie. My dad's reaction was "HUH?" Not adopt, literally, she clarified. Just to brush and love and dote on her.

My mom told me that this gal is in her mid to late twenties and her owners live far away. They brought her to the stable and our milder climate because where they live is very cold. Alaska, I think.

How ironic is it that we've had one of the coldest, snowiest winters in decades? With records being broken for amount of snowfall?

Doesn't she have the sweetest face? Like that of an aged golden Labrador, deep dark eyes and a bit gray around the edges.

I love her flea bitten coat. The flea bites are the red of an Irish Setter. What color do you think she was originally? Do you think she was always gray, or was chestnut and grayed out with age?

I don't know who these pair of bays are. The one on the left really is a pony. I was just happy to see them drinking a lot of water on this cold day.

And I have major forelock envy of this one. I mean, that is the forelock one dreams about!

At least, I know my mom's gelding Dusty dreams about it! Like My Boy, he has the fuzzball forelock.

You makin' fun of my forelock?

Of course, the day after I left my parents', my mom's gelding Dusty got to go out- his first day out of stall confinement since his injury a month ago! Well, he's been out for hand walking and longing, but only in the round pen or arena. My mom sent me this picture of him looking a bit wild-eyed about his new digs. It was his first moment in his new solitary paddock. I guess he was pretty happy, and preceded to eat snow and roll in glee.

Unless the last blizzard of 2008 hits in the next hour (which is not entirely out of the question these days) then I am off to see my own snow pony later today!

I think I'm going to go roll in glee!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Blog Hacker

I'm back! My blogger vacation wasn't really a vacation, let me tell ya. No fun in the sun for me. I spent the whole time on my laptop, playing with my blog template and sidebars and colors and fonts. It was work, baby!

But, in the words of my friend Misti Kallas over at Misti Kallas Designs (she makes lovely jewelry-check her out! I think she's in the middle of a blog-makeover, too) "I can now add blog hacker to my resume." I sure hope that doesn't put me on any watch lists. Blogger, ya hear me? I'm innocent!

Misti was fabulous, I couldn't have done it without her! She laid out the steps for me one at a time. I even got a little, um, overconfident and tried some new things, some that worked and some that didn't and some that worked but I didn't like. I am still in the experimental stage. Don't be surprised if you see a few minor tweaks in the next week. I was so proud of the that I put on my big girl boots and did it all by myself. I am not ready to hand over the credit card to have a professional design my blog, quite yet. The blog is going to have pay for that itself, and it's not at that stage, either. Besides, I love the creativity of design. In fact, I think I could make quite a hobby out of it- if I had a better grasp on what I was doing! My mom always said I should have gone into computers......remember, I was a self-publishing mini-mogul at 16! It's in my blood, I tell ya.
My new header tag line is Just a Cowgirl Blazing Trails. I thought that was very fitting for where I am in my journey back into the world of horses. But I can stretch that even further, and apply it to life. I think we all can. We are all blazing trails, in our careers, our relationships, our hobbies, our's an adventure. For some, the trail appears to be lit with fairy dust. For others, it appears to be rutted with potholes and steep climbs. I hope that whatever your trail has in store for you, you embrace the journey. Thanks for riding along on mine!

Okay, enough of the sappy stuff for now. Let me fill you in a little on how I plan, and dream, and hope that things are going to roll around here. Because I work full-time (I'm gone about 10 hours a day) and practically have to travel halfway across the country to see my horse (when there isn't two feet of snow on the ground) in order to post efficiently, I needed to make sure that I am well-organized. I am a writer at heart and have become a photographer at...eye. Goodness, that was bad. Most of the time I think out in advance what I am going to write about. Perhaps I am inspired by a story that evolves from my pictures or time spent with my horse or my family; or, something I have seen about horses in the media. Other times, I just have random, deep thoughts. Scary, I know.

So here is the general layout of how things will look each week. Because this is my creative outlet, I reserve the right to alter this course should something come up that I must post about, even if it doesn't fit on a particular day. I do not do that automatic posting. I am way too anal about how my text and photos look in each post to let blogger publish anything for me. That means if I miss a particular day because I am without Internet access, I will just miss it. Or, perhaps combine or double post the next day. I'll work it out when I cross that bridge. I teach preschoolers. Flexibility and inventiveness is my mantra.

Okay, here is the plan:

My Boy Monday~ Since I typically spend the weekend with my horse, I come back loaded with our adventures and pictures of them. It makes good sense to chronicle what we did on Monday.

Tuesday~ anything my little heart desires!

I Wonder Wednesday~ I tend to be over analytical. It's the psychologist in me. I often wonder about things, and wonder what you wonder about them. This will be my chance to bring up issues in the horse world and comment about them, or inquire of all of you for more information about a topic or help with an issue.

Thursday~ anything my little heart desires!

Fashion Friday~ Sounds a little like the latest reality show on The Learning Channel. Nope, just Pony Girl at heart again. I love cowgirl fashion, I love western and vintage home decor, I love horsey tack and stuff. In these recent times, I know that we are all being a little more conservative and are cutting back. But admit it, we horse people just can't seem to get enough of horsey stuff! So on Fridays, I hope to post horse or cowgirl things I have, have found and covet, or feature the talents and wares of fellow bloggers.

Saturday~ anything my little heart desires!

Simply Sunday~This will just be a picture day. Kind of like a Wordless Wednesday but on a different day (duh.) Just a simple picture that speaks for itself.

So, that is the layout, in a nutshell. Best laid plans, we'll see how long I stick to it. If I find that a schedule is too limiting to my imaginative spontaneity, I may give it all up and go back to Pony Girl blogging chaos within a week.

That is it for new look for a new year! Since it is technically My Boy Monday I will end with a picture of him, doing his favorite thing in the whole wide world, with the hope I get to see him tomorrow!! Yippee!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Little Blogger Holiday

Christmas was bright with white snow, and merry and cheery. There was good food and good company. My pappy got out the guitars and his friend got out the banjo and we sang a few Christmas carols.

Yesterday was the last day with my family before my driver returns me to my home front, where I can assess the damage of a week's worth of snow and ice. Hopefully, all is well and life can return to some sort of normalcy. Although the melting slushy snow will pose it's own set of challenges for the next few days.

Crazy girl talking here, but I will kind of, sort of, miss the snow. For the most part, I didn't have to be anywhere, and I was on holiday break from work. It was peaceful to see the world blanketed in white. I loved bundling up for crisp walks with my family and the dogs. I have worn my snow boots and stocking cap for 13 days straight. Nearly unheard of around here.

On another note, I am also taking my blogger vacation. This will be the last post until sometime next week, depending on my success with template loading and design. Who knows, I may be back sooner than later and with very little changes, should I run into any troubles! Goodness yes, this is a terrifying venture for me. Please note that I will set the blog to private while I'm messing with it. Don't panic, I'll set it back to public viewing when all is said and done. Wouldn't want you to stop by for a visit while the place is a mess!

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and I'm curious to hear all about the new horsey goodies you got! Until next week, happy slushy....dry....snowy....deserty.....muddy.... trails!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Appy Holidays

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

May your heart be light

From now on

Our troubles will be out of sight

Through the years

We all will be together

If the fates allow

Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.

And have yourself

A merry little Christmas now.

From my family to yours, I wish you all a blessed, cheery, and cozy holiday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

These are Boyfriend Snagging Cookies

That is what my mom said after eating one of these cookies. She said good job Pony Girl, these ought to snag you a boyfriend.

I am not a cook, but I do enjoy baking, and try to bake a new treat every holiday. Last Christmas it was an eggnog cookie. When I saw the recipe for Peppermint Frosted Chocolate Yummies in the December issue of Country Home magazine, I knew they'd be a hit with my dad. He loves that flavor of ice cream with the broken candy cane pieces in it. These cookies were the most complicated I'd ever made, with several steps.

There was the chocolate cookie batter. The homemade pink peppermint frosting. The candy cane topping. The melted chocolate chip sauce drizzle. My chocolate sauce drizzle was not as pretty as the sample cookie pictured in the magazine. Mine was thicker and sloppier, which won rave reviews from the family.

The cookies turned out quite delicious, though. They are very pretty and festive for the holidays. I believe I nearly ruined my dad's night when I mentioned the cookies would be good with vanilla ice cream. Oops. We didn't have any.

My mom fixed a plate of cookies to take out to the stable manager. She had already made a few batches of Christmas cookies last week. She added mine to the plate then wrapped them up. I love the little horsey sugar cookie in the middle.

What are your favorite holiday treats to make? Do you make the same treats every year, or experiment and try something different?
Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Long Distance Relationship

So. I'm thinking that instead of that english saddle, I should invest in one of these:

It might be the fastest way to get around these days, and perhaps the only way I'm going to be able to pursue any activity with my horse!

I have never been on a sleigh ride before. I would love to someday. Is it all it's cracked up to be?

My horse and I are having a long distance relationship. It's like we're just pen pals. Paint Girl sends new pictures of him from time to time, and I email and ask her how he is doing.

Notice the lead rope hanging from his halter? Paint Girl was very proud of herself, and rightfully so. I had asked her if she could check My Boy's hooves for snow and ice. She tried to catch him a few days ago while he was eating hay, but he walked away from her and refused to be caught.

I advised her to try it while he was eating grain, and that did the trick. It was probably good for him to be caught for a brief hoof picking, then released.

They have been inundated with snow at their The Painted Creek farm. Soon, to be affectionately rechristened as The Icicle Creek. Or perhaps, The Snow Creek.

I think the end is almost in sight. We have a trend of warmer weather heading our way at the end of the week. Then begins the big unthaw. And as lovely as the snow has been, it's time for life to get back to some sense of normalcy.

Hopefully, after the holidays, I will be able to make it out to see my horse.

Baring any incoming earthquakes, tornadoes, or tsunamis.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snapshots of a Snowy Saturday

We beat the storm and visited my mom's gelding Dusty. His leg is healing quite nicely, thanks to all who have asked! It was a rather bone chilling 24 degrees at the stable. I think my mom was the warmest one, as she was walking her horse!

I was impressed that my mom wrapped and bandaged her boy's leg all by herself.

It is dry bandaged now, and he has been hand walked twice a day for over two weeks. However, later today the barn manager might let him loose in the round pen. Dusty has never been the run and buck his farts out kind of horse, so we are hoping he mostly trots off then drops down for a good roll.

After Dusty was tucked back into his stall, I wandered out to the gelding pasture, Dusty's former haunt, to take some pictures. The geldings were finishing their breakfast as blowing snow stuck to their blankets.

This cute little bay reminds me of the horse my aunt J took lessons on last spring. I'm not sure it is him.

Oh goodness! Look at the snow all frozen to his ear hairs. Brrrr!

Here is the Arabian gelding my aunt J is now leasing. His name is Albert, you met him a few posts ago. What do you think of the cold, Albert?

Yep, I completely agree. You are such a handsome boy, though. Desert blood and all, hang in there!

Can you stretch your nose and neck out a bit please, give me some of that Arabian pizzaz? There you go!

This is my favorite shot. Interpretation of a.....seahorse? Look at that tiny muzzle!

I jumped back into truck, fingers numb and cheeks stinging. I now completely understand how people get hypothermia. It is not easy photographing with gloves, so one temporarily came off. I could stayed out there taking pictures of horses in the snow all day. I love photographing horses in the snow and since snow is so rare around here, it was hard to resist!

Speaking of snow, my dad and I took a walk in the park and saw this coyote on the run across the snow drifts.

Nope, that's not a coyote. Just my parents' dog Rosie, or Rosebud, or Posie, or Po-Po. Don't you just love nicknames? I could be a professional nicknamer! We took her out for a chilly morning romp.

She typically chases bunnies in an empty soccer field. But yesterday in the park, she found a new passion. Squirrels!
I think I found one, guys!

Rosie's red bandana is so festive and holiday-ish!

As you can see, I am thoroughly enjoying my time with the family, constantly putting myself in hypothermia's way. There is no place I'd rather be.

Except with my own frosted spotted boy! I miss you Appy pill! Sniff, sniff.
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