Sunday, May 31, 2009

Heidi's Book Excerpt- And the Winner!

Whew, what a weekend! I just got home. Beautiful weather meant non-stop horsey work. All day Saturday I worked for my horse, but not with him, not one bit! Today was our day together, our quality time, if you will. But there was even a little bit of a wrench in that plan, which I will share later this week.

Today was also the drawing for my contest. Here is how it all went down.

I had Paint Girl help me out, which is why the winner was announced so late today, as I was up at her farm until this evening.

Somebody was a little leery of the drawing "container!"

Paint Girl's OH holds the cowboy hat while she folds the papers with everyone's names. Oh and of course, I did go over and help! As you can see, we had a very interested assistant!

The names are ready. And no, My Boy, these are not cookies!!

Reaching in for the draw. My Boy looks very excited here! I was too!

I love the look on Paint Girl's face!

We have a winner!

Yee haw, SquirrelGurl! Please send me an email so I can get your information! And thanks to everyone for stopping by to post a comment, I know Heidi really appreciated hearing from you all!

Now, I also wanted to give you a little taste from Cowgirl Dreams. The historical fashion piece on cowgirl attire was written by Heidi, but not an excerpt from the book Cowgirl Dreams.


Excerpt from Cowgirl Dreams:

On a warm late-September Saturday morning, Nettie stood sweating in the stuffy little teacherage at the Hay Lake schoolhouse. The voile bodice of her pink blouse kept coming untucked from her satin skirt. At this rate, she would look like she’d bathed and slept in this stupid dress. After having had a taste of wearing denim pants and men’s shirts, donning any kind of dress—especially a silky, shimmery one like this—was so uncomfortable, so binding.

She wove the buttonhook around another tiny pearl button on the back of her sister’s wedding dress and tried to pull it through the satin loop. “Pull in your stomach again. I can’t get this hooked.”

“Hurry up.” Lola muttered through gritted teeth. “If I hold it any longer I won’t make it to the altar alive.”

Nettie squared her shoulders. Well, if her sister hadn’t insisted on this stupid wedding gown with a million little buttons up the back, she wouldn’t be having this problem. She jerked at the offending button with the hook. Not for her, when, if, she ever got married.

Their older sister Margie bustled in, smelling of lilac water. “Oh Lola, you look so beautiful. Here Nettie, let me help. I’ve had more practice with these things.”

Nettie let out her own pent-up breath. Yeah, let the experts handle this “ladylike” chore. Fancy wedding dresses. What a waste of money, especially since her folks didn’t have any to spare. Good thing Lola’s fella was pretty well set. He’d bought the dress. Floyd Marshall seemed to worship the ground her sister walked on, would do anything to make her happy.

That was all well and good, but did that mean he was spineless, that he’d let Lola walk all over him? Nettie hoped not. She wouldn’t want a husband like that. If she ever did decide to marry.

Margie finished with the buttons and arranged the veil. Lola’s cheeks were flushed, her eyes glowed. But Nettie just couldn’t summon up a lot of excitement for all this falderal.

Especially since she’d rather be at a rodeo somewhere, anywhere but here.

Okay, that is just a little taste!

I hope you had a great weekend, everyone!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Last Chance

Okay everybody...time is up!! I will post the winner later tonight, I mean, it's 12:18 a.m., so it seems weird to say "tonight" when it still feels like Saturday! I know, I know.....it's kind of a long wait. I'm spending the whole day with my horse and Paint Girl is going to help me by doing the honors of drawing a winner.....so I won't be able to post it until I return home. Thanks for participating.....and good luck!

Howdy everyone, thanks to those of you who stopped by to read Heidi's post on historical cowgirl fashion and for entering the giveaway! If you have not had a chance to say "hi" and enter, please go here and do so now! The deadline is tonight at midnight. Don't forget you'll win an autographed copy of Heidi's book, and some extras for me! I haven't even picked the extras out yet....because I hope to personalize it a bit depending on who the lucky winner is.

I hope you are all having a great start to your weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Cowgirl Dreams" Guest Blogger and Giveaway!

Howdy cowgirls (and cowboys, should there be any of you reading out there!) Thanks for stopping by to read a little history about cowgirl attire! And a big thank you to Heidi Thomas for putting this together, I know that I learned something new! I am just fascinated with the time period she speaks of and writes about..... Heidi, thanks for letting me be a part of your tour and for being an inspiration for all of us cowgirls out there!

Don't forget that I am having a drawing for an autographed copy of the book, as well as extra goodies from me!! All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is leave a comment and tell us what your #1 most favorite, can't-do-without cowgirl piece of clothing is! The deadline is this Saturday, May 30th, at midnight. Make sure that if your comment doesn't link back to your blog, or if you don't have a blog, leave an email address or way to contact you, or at least check back Sunday to see if you're a winner then email me with your contact information. Okay, let's get started!


“Lassoer in Lingerie”

By: Heidi Thomas

In the 1880s and ‘90s, Annie Oakley toured with Buffalo Bill as an expert marksman. She could shoot the head off a running quail when she was twelve years old, and once knocked the ashes off a cigarette Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was holding in his mouth, and became the most famous woman performer to ever appear in a Wild West show.

She did all of this while wearing dresses.

Cowgirls accomplished great feats while wearing skirts. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been to keep all the extra material out of the way while practicing expert marksmanship, bronc riding, and steer roping.

At the turn of the 20th Century, enterprising equestrian women, such as rodeo star Fanny Sperry Steel, wore divided skirts that enabled them to ride astride but preserved the “look of a skirt.” This ingenious garment was actually a culotte with a movable front panel that buttoned either to the left, for a skirt effect or to the right for a pants effect.

In 1904, Lucille Mulhall (pictured above), known as the first woman to be called “Cowgirl,” lassoed and tied three steers in three minutes and 36 seconds—several seconds better than the best cowboys. While she was performing, she wore what the other woman rodeo riders of her era wore: a long, split riding skirt, blouse, silk scarf and large felt cowboy hat. It apparently didn’t cramp her style. A New York newspaper reporter described her as a “lassoer in lingerie.”

Nowadays, a cowgirl can wear pretty much anything she wants, but in the 1800s a woman wearing her brother’s pants or even a split skirt might have been arrested for indecent exposure. British-born Montana photographer Evelyn Cameron rode into Miles City one day, wearing a split riding skirt she had made. Incensed townswomen gathered with the sheriff and threatened her with jail unless she left town immediately.

Prairie Rose Henderson in bloomers

In the early 1900s, Prairie Rose Henderson was a popular performer who created a bit of a stir by being one of the first to wear bloomers to ride. Despite the “racy” look (showing quite a bit of leg), it was still feminine and had to have been more comfortable and probably safer than voluminous skirts while riding broncs. She wowed the crowds with her handmade fancy costumes, which were often decorated with beads, feathers, and sequins.

Rodeo rider Vera McGinnis was the first woman to wear pants in the rodeo arena. What a scandal! Oh, the gossip! But she swore she would never trade being a rodeo cowgirl for any other profession. She started rodeo riding in 1912 with her corset on, but after the first relay tossed it for good.

My grandmother was a cowgirl through and through. She loved nothing more than riding the range with my grandpa, and I always thought she was more at home on the back of a horse than behind a mop.

She was probably more comfortable in Levis and Stetson, but I also have pictures of her posing in a flapper style dress as well as in boots, jeans, and a tall cowboy hat!

The social etiquette of the times still frowned on women wearing men’s clothing in public, as my character, Nettie, discovers after borrowing her brother’s denim pants and sneaking out to ride in her first rodeo.

Life in rodeo was not all glamour. It was hard, dirty work. Like my grandmother, many women riders were small, weighing maybe 110 pounds or less. But they had to lift their own 20-pound saddles, (especially the relay riders who changed saddles during a relay race), and care for their own horses. These petite women pitted themselves against a half-ton of raging muscle and bone when they rode or wrestled. What courage!

Rodeo Queens

But these women were feminine, too. A New York newspaper wrote of Lucille Mulhall: “only ninety pounds, can break a bronc, lasso and brand a steer, and shoot a coyote at 500 yards. She can also play Chopin, quote Browning, and make mayonnaise.” That describes most of those women from my grandmother’s era.

Cowgirl Dreams is available at http://www.heidimthomas.com (for autographed copies) or from http://www.trebleheartboks.com/SDHeidiThomas.html

Thank you for following my first virtual book tour. It’s been a fun journey. Please leave a comment, and if you read my book, please let me know what you think of it!

Okay folks, PG here again....that's all she wrote- for now!! It's a wonderful book, and the first in a series, so more great adventures are on their way! Thanks for stopping by and I hope your cowgirl dreams come true!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Goat Story, x 2

One of the reasons I think I am so excited to host Heidi on her book tour is that she is living my dream of becoming a published author! It must be so exciting to actually hold your first book, fresh off the press, complete with that new-book smell.

Since I was a young child, I have always been a writer, at the encouragement of my late grandmother, my Nana Vi. Over the years, I wrote my own newsletter, for the high school newspaper, in college classes, and just for myself. Since I was 16, I have started, but never finished, many novels. The last one I started around 5 years ago actually has more of a movie script feel to it, so I haven't toyed with it much lately.

Here is one of my childhood stories from my scrapbook, written when I was 7.

Here is my current day version.

A one-way conversation of Edgar the goat, to My Boy, the horse:

Man, I tell ya. I'm really, really getting hungry for dinner.

Hey! Spotted Pill! Stop standing there looking so earnest and cute! Tell that little blonde girl to put me away and bring us some grub!

Ah, I get it now. You might have something here, Mr. Spots. Lookin' cute, lookin' cute......it is my goat mantra. Lookin' cute, lookin' cute.....darn, I'm hungry! This isn't working!

Yo! Little woman! Your Spotted Stinker is standing by his grain bucket! Major clue, blondo! Hey- where are you going with that black box? This is just NOT good at all! She's walking to the other side of the pasture! How's she gonna untie me from over there?

Now she's using that black box at the other horses and goats! They're like, half asleep. What's so exciting about that? They'd better not get their dinner before us!

That's it, I'm done. I give up. I'm not working for free anymore. Hasta la vista, Polka Dots! By the way, anyone seen my horn? I'm missin' a horn.

Ah, you again! You horn stealer! I thought we were a team? Like Chips! Shaggy and Scooby! Simon and Garfunkle!

Evidence:

I tell ya, it's a conspiracy around here at the Painted Creek Farm! Goat for sale! Goat for sale! I'm good at lookin' cute......


Yup, there is never a shortage of fun on the farm. Thanks to My Boy and Edgar for being such good sports for this post!

P.S. Yes, they did get their grub that night!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Guest Blogger

On Saturday I mentioned that I will be having a guest blogger on Thursday. A few months ago, I was emailed by Heidi Thomas asking if I wanted to host a post on her book's blog tour. Of course! The book sounded right up my alley. Besides, Heidi is a fellow northwest resident, so I was pretty honored and excited to help spread the word of her book.

So here is the plan. On Thursday, I will be posting a historical perspective on cowgirl attire, written by Heidi. Hold your horses ladies! It might be a little....um, racy. Wink, wink. How's that for a teaser?

Also on Thursday, I will be having a giveaway! At the end of the Thursday post, I will be asking a question. If you want to be entered in the drawing, answer the question in the comments section. Saturday at midnight will be the deadline for entering. On Sunday, I will draw a winner and they will receive an autographed copy of Heidi's book. And because I have a decent sized box to mail the book in and plenty of room to spare, I will add in some extra gifts! The results will be posted Sunday, along with an excerpt of the book. Which is a really good read, by the way. The book's main character, Nettie, is based on Heidi's grandmother. That is all I'm going to say for now!

I'll leave you with this picture. My Boy is either trying to eat the black box that takes up so much of my attention....or maybe he wants to try his hoof at photography??

Back away from the camera bag, my spotted pill!

I hope you are all having a special Memorial day weekend, whether you are BBQing or reflecting on lost loved ones.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Howdy From the Funhouse

It's been a busy, busy week. I am usually a night owl but I am so physically wiped out right now....I'm heading to bed. As anyone in education knows, this is a hectic time of year. Spring concerts, graduation, report cards, field day.......as many people are, I am in desperate need of the 3-day weekend. I am not going camping, to Vegas, or to any mixer parties. I am just hanging out, layin' low. I am hoping to get caught up on some things, and spend time with my horse. My goal is to go back to some groundwork with the lariat, which I enthusiastically tackled this winter but have not revisited since.

I have some fun things planned next week.....including a guest blogger post and a giveaway! More on that Monday.

Well, if you're around blog-land this weekend, stop by, say howdy, and let me know what you are up to!



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cowboy Mixin'

I have to tell you a funny story. On Saturday, a friend invited me to a mixer/birthday party. I think I'm getting too old for mixer parties. A bunch of people, mostly single, who don't know each other, celebrating someone's birthday that they don't know. But, I cowgirled up, dragged another friend along, and kept a positive attitude knowing these things can sometimes be interesting and fun.

After we arrived and got a drink, the friend who invited me informs me she'd gotten a text from a guy that she had invited to the mixer since he was single, and he was stopping by. She also warned me this was the guy she went on one date with a month previously and didn't click with, but thought I might be interested in, and she wanted to set us up. She suggested this to me this via email, but I was a bad friend and forgot to reply. Luckily, she had never mentioned me or her idea to him, so he didn't know who I was.

The guy shows up and he is pretty short, maybe 5'5". Not a huge deal for me, as I'm 5'3". He is outgoing, a California Boy, has a job with a great company. Throughout the night, my other friend and I chatted him up a bit off and on. Neither of us clicked or were interested, but he was fun to talk to.

At some point California Boy told us he plays soccer a lot. And I told him that I use to play too, maybe seven years ago. He asked why I didn't play anymore and I told him I didn't really know, but that I have a horse now and that takes up my time and money. He said oh- my dad was a jockey! That was intriguing. We talked a little about the Preakness. His dad doesn't ride anymore, but still works at Santa Anita.

Anyway, to make a long story short (I can't tell short stories- not in my genetic makeup) he then tells us that the irony of his dad being a jockey is that he is very, very, allergic to horses. Like swells up something awful if he gets near them or someone that has been. He said when he was little, his dad would get in the car and if he hadn't washed up from riding, it would really affect him. Wow.

As we left the party and said goodbye to my friend, she asked what I thought of California Boy. I laughed and said he was a nice guy, but allergic to horses. She got a chuckle out of that one, trying to set up her only cowgirl friend with a guy allergic to horses! Of course, that hadn't come up in their one-date conversation.

A guy who has no interest in horses is one thing, but a guy that physically can't be around them is another. At least with the first option, I have a chance of converting them, as so many of you out there have done.

Besides, I have a feeling that Tracey from The Mustang Diaries might someday set me up with a Mustang horse whisperer. I just know it.......



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sunday

Seriously, some of those horse trailers are nicer than my apartment!

We went on a trail ride on Sunday. It felt good to be out and my horse was a good boy. Except I discovered he likes tuna fish.

Don't worry, I didn't feed him any. After all, he's a vegetarian. But he tried to eat my sandwich.

Not sure why he'd eat tuna fish but turned down applesauce mixed with grain and apple-flavored paste wormer. Really, I think the later would be more appealing than tuna, to a horse?

I prefer the sunny, open trails over the shady, damp, wooded trails- they are too buggy for my horse, although pretty with all of light filtering down on the ferns.

I told Paint Girl that after she sees the movie Twilight, she won't be able to ride in these woods again without thinking of Edward and Bella and vampires. She said, oh great.

I took a little video of the last leg of the ride as we head for home. I love the clippity-clop of My Boy's shoes on the pavement. I hope you don't get dizzy from the bobbing of My Boy's head! By the way, my horse was so good, he didn't need to follow the mares on the little trail alongside the road.

video

A horse ran up to the fence on our right, so I quickly turned off the video so I could be sure My Boy didn't startle. Then I snapped a picture for you since he was such a pretty Paint. I think they call this a medicine hat marking? It's unique.

We had a little issue at the end of the ride.

Paint Girl wrote about our trouble in this post. The old saying "what can go wrong will go wrong" applies here. A few things I learned from this experience. First, always bring extra food and beverages. I ate the sandwich on the trail, so all I had was a smashed protein bar at the bottom of my saddle bag- from last September. It had wintered in the horse trailer. But when you are hot and hungry, you eat what is available.

Second, bring water for the horses. We were only an additional hour and a half later than our original departure point, but that could have easily become 3 hours or more. Even though we were only a ten minute drive from home and were not on a major road trip, if you can't haul your horses home, you are up a creek without a paddle (bad cliche since we didn't have any water.....)

Lastly, always do a thorough check of all equipment before venturing out. We checked our tack, and the horse trailer tires....but we didn't think to check the truck tires (or valve stems, more specifically) as they have been fine and the truck has been driven recently. Sometimes I guess you just don't know something needs fixed until it is broken!

Overall, we were proud of how good our horses were considering it'd been months since we'd hit the trails!



Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saturday

Well. I went and did it. I adopted a wild Mustang. Here she is.

Just kidding! Anyway, this is just Paint Girl's mare, Fritzy. Know something kind of funny? Fifteen minutes before I took these pictures, she had been, groomed, longed, and totally clean. The minute she was back in her pasture, she dirtied herself up.

We planned to do our first trail ride of the season on Sunday, so on Saturday, Paint Girl and I decided to longe the "kinks" out of the horses. Fritzy was the only one that really needed it, since she hadn't been worked much all winter.

The neighbors were riding their horses in their pasture, which is separated by a line of trees behind the arena. Our horses spotted them and went on high alert. Paint Girl was longing Fritzy, who flagged her tail and got all prancy.

My Boy got all studly and raised his neck and head high.

My Boy and I hung out and nibbled on arena weeds while we waited for Fritzy to be done. Er, at least he nibbled on arena weeds, I ate a protein bar.

Wait, I'm not next, am I?

Then my spotted stinker got worked, too. His newly shod tender hooves are back to normal. I still think his toes are a bit short.

Bad news, that blasted sarcoid has scabbed up again! Which means it was oozing from the Xxterra we put on it last weekend. I'm starting to get frustrated. I applied Xxterra again on top of the scab this weekend. I'm going to call and consult with the vet this week.

Oh, and these dandelions from my photography blog? I think they're gone now. There has been some large, red spotted animal on the loose, devouring weeds.

Who, me?

To be continued.....



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