Pictures. Or some of what I did this summer.

image My friend Claudia and I, on Bill and Will. We had a lot of fun riding together this summer, with Bill and Will (and just saying ‘Bill and Will’. We are goofy like that.

IimageMy two boys, Will on the left, Bailey on the right. Love them both to pieces.

imageimage

This beautiful view is a short hike up the Gatineau Hills. It overlooks the farm, and you can see the Ottawa river in the distance. And the other photo is just another gratuitous picture of my handsome new Boyfriend.

How I Met My Boyfriend….

So…I have a huge confession to make. Apart from ignoring this blog for forever. Actually, probably a lot of confessions to make, but the biggest one is this: (and literally, it is a big one!)

photoI have a new boyfriend! His name is William, he is a very well bred German (Hanoverian, if you want to get technical), and much much younger than me. Only four, to be exact. It was a summer fling that turned into something a little more serious. I’ve known him since the winter, but it was hate at first site.

He was full of himself, all boy (stallion), with absolutely no manners to speak of, and had no reason to think I had anything important to add to the conversation. But over time, things changed. I felt a little sorry for him, as I held his hand (his head, actually) while the vet did the necessary lobotomy (castration) early spring. He learnt (quite quickly, actually) that being with people can lead to carrots, and treats, and pampering, and all kinds of interesting outings and things. He accepted a bridle and saddle quite easily, and backing him was an absolute dream! I officially came to an agreement to purchase when it became clear to me that if anyone else tried to buy him, I would most likely kidnap him first.

That is the shortened condensed version of How I Met My Boyfriend. I still have Bailey, the other boyfriend. And, yes, surprisingly, I am still married as well.

Moving on up…to that deluxe farm in the country…maybe?

so we finally finally finally made a move today. We are listing our house! Will it sell? Will we move? Will I get my little farm? Will this blog no longer be relevant? (yeah, I know, it’s pretty irrelevant already! I don’t really care.)

In case anyone wonders, the theme song for today is the Jefferson’s. Just so you know.

I’ll keep myself posted on these new developments.

That time of year again…

When I realize just how long of a winter it has been. When I realize that I have not written anything in months and months. When I have copious amounts of dog shit in my back yard. When all the snow has finally melted and the snowbells and crocuses are blooming.  Finally!!! I think it is safe to say it is spring.

Soooo….What’s new?

Well….for today:

This is new

This is new

This is my new canine companion, Miss StellaEllaBella, aka Stella. I got her in the fall, when it was looking like my job at VHF was going to be more permanent than I originally thought. She loves barn life, was meant to be a barn dog in every sense of the word. Her whole idea of happiness is being at the barn with me, and going on hunts with her ‘pack’ (which I am trying to discourage because she can take off for hours with the resident dogs, and Hendrix the blood hound who is her bestie and a bad influence!) but she always comes back ever so pleased with herself and ready to go hacking with Bailey and me. She would turn herself inside out to make me happy, but is probably not the smartest dog in the world.  I am quite sure her mantra is “Squirrel, squirrel, squirrel,gotta get that squirrel!” I am trying hard not to love her too much, but she makes it kinda difficult. Stella has all kinds of weirdness to her, but I have to admit she suits me perfectly.  Todd was not thrilled with getting another dog, but once I knew I would be at VHF for a while and would be able to bring the dog with me, then he said fine. (I think his exact words were something along the lines of “Fine, get a damn dog if you want, but it’s yours, and your responsibility. I am not walking your dog!) Secretly, he does like her a little bit though.

 

 

Voting is not optional…

After a long cold crazy busy day at work, (weekends are nuts) I come home and sometimes take a much needed nap, or settle for a decent cup of coffee and if I’m lucky, a nice hot bath, maybe reading a chapter or two of whatever I am currently on.  I was debating the nap vs. bath in my head when my phone rang. It was  someone calling to ask if I’d voted yet in our municipal election, and saying that ‘so-and-so’ would really appreciate my support.  Damn. I’d forgotten all about the stupid election. I’d not followed much of the debate, just what was reported in our little local paper. I was making excuses why it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t vote this time.  I wanted to get into my comfy pj pants, and relax a bit.  I needed to make supper for the girls and make sure homework was done. I had a lot of stuff to do on the ‘puter. I have a meeting to prepare for tomorrow.  I never have enough time in the day to get stuff done that I need to do, never mind the stuff I want to do!! I decided this time it wouldn’t really matter if I voted. I don’t really care which bastard gets elected. They are all the same. They’re all corrupt.

Huh. Every excuse I’d ever heard from friends when I was giving them shit for not voting was now coming out of my mouth. Except I was talking to myself. With an audience of two girls. Bitch slap myself! What kind of example was I setting for them? When you’re a little tired, it’s okay to shirk. When you’re really busy, it’s okay to shirk.  When you’re already in your comfy pants, it’s okay to shirk.  After all the times I’ve brought them with me, after all the stories I’ve told them about people who die for the right to vote, who stand in lines for hours and days, (and not like our precious first world minutes!!), after all the times I’ve told them just how fracking lucky we are to be able to vote, I was about to shirk. What the hell was I thinking!?!

So I put my coat and boots on over my comfy pants, and drove my super-shiny-devoid-of any-trace-of-makeup-face and still-wet-hair to the voting station, and voted. 

And, hey, person who called on behalf of so-and-so? Thanks. I voted for your candidate.

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans….

Is that how the saying goes? It is now almost the end of October, and it is dark outside by six thirty at night now.  It is dark when I wake up in the morning and by the time I leave the house too.  I still see the beautiful moon in the sky most mornings.  The days of summer are definitely over and there is a real chill in the air. It’s time to dig out the long johns and the winter gloves.  Last year I said it would be my last winter working outdoors, that my hands could not take the cold for another year.  I lied. My hands will have to suck it up and I will have to find some even warming gloves than my -40C skiidoo gloves.

Things have moved along at Venturing Hills Farm and I have somehow become the barn manager. How awesome is that? I have moved Bailey over and I think we can safely say that we love it there.  I’m still learning the ropes a bit, but hopeful this will be a good thing for us. I’m looking into taking my coaching level one, which would allow me to teach on a professional basis. The downside is that I would lose my amateur status as a rider. There are still some personal dynamics and conflicts going on right now, but I’m hopeful that wont last for too long. I like a peaceful workplace.  I am working with Lorraine LaFramboise, who is pretty awesome!  As the head trainer at the farm, her knowledge of all things horsai is pretty incredible.  She is quite something!

The farm itself is breathtaking! VHF is at the foot of the Gatineau Hills, and the scenery is amazing! Some mornings I drive up and am mesmerized by the fog lifting off  the trees of the mountain. It is beyond description. I wish I could paint. The changing tree colors and the mist, and the moon.

And the riding!! The most amazing hunter field right in front of the barn, the miles and miles of fields and trails to hack out, cross country courses ( only insane eventers tackle the big jumps!!)  and an indoor arena!! I will finally have an indoor to ride in this winter!!! I am so stoked about that! No more days or even weeks of no riding because of icy roads or mud filled rings.  I will be able to ride all winter long! OMD!!  Poor Bailey won’t know what hit him.

It is hard work, but I thrive on a challenge!

Zoom Zoom…

I own a Mazda 5. I bought it almost 2 years ago second hand from a Mazda dealer in Kanata, with very low mileage. I thought I was getting a pretty good deal, these are supposed to be great cars. I loved my car. I called him Yogi.  Almost all the room of a minivan, but much better fuel consumption. Cute, and kinda sporty.

I have never regretted anything that I have done more than I regret buying this car.

You know that saying about how people show us who they really are at the beginning of a relationship, but we so often don’t believe them?  We ignore the warning signs, and see only the good things?  Well, within a few months, I believe Yogi showed me the warning signs, and I chose to ignore them.

A persistent check engine light would come on, I would take him to my mechanics, who would fix something or other, or maybe not, turn off that annoying light, and send me on my merry way.  I was a bit annoyed that my ‘new’ car seemed to have a few little glitches that were starting to cost me a bit of money, but it didn’t seem too bad.  Until the day the engine blew up on the highway.  That should have been the end of our relationship.  I should have written it off right then and there. But no, not me!! In for a penny, in for a pound.  I’ve been in toxic relationships before, where I just couldn’t leave. I should have seen this coming! But we hadn’t even celebrated our first year together. I could fix him. I could change him. Or so I thought.  I still believed in our relationship.

Once that engine went, and I had it replaced to the tune of over five grand, well, I was committed. Since then, I’ve had numerous repair bills. Just recently, it spent over two weeks with my local mechanics (a whole other story about men who never call when they say they will) and returned home to me, unfixed.  I finally decided that I needed to break up with these locals, and return to my roots in Ottawa.

Nick and Albert. Dirienzio and Saikely. .My (absolute best honest love these guys and maybe I’ll move back to Ottawa to be closer to them and would have named my children after them had they been boys I cannot say enough nice things about them and if you are looking for a mechanic go see Nick and Albert because they are beyond the most awesome guys in the world!!) old mechanics in Ottawa to at least get a second opinion.

Yogi spent a few days soaking up the Yuppy culture in Westboro, where the men have at least enough manners to call you a few times and let you know what is going on, even when they have to tell you bad news.  “Take it to a dealer.”  Ever since my beloved/hated Vanya (Chevy Venture – a whole nother toxic relationship), I dread dealers and avoid them like the plague.

But the dealers have the better diagnostic tools for your particular car, if it’s something electrical, and this time, I figured I’ve already spent so much time and money on Yogi trying to get him to work properly that if it cost a bit extra at the dealers, then so be it. I need a car. And I need mechanics who will call me to let me know what the hell is going on.  And not keep my car for two weeks, with no progress reports. And then make me sound like some needy girlfriend when I call to find out what the fuck is going on. ( Something else I love about N &  A.   They are honest enough to try and do their best, but when they couldn’t diagnose the problem, they told me that I would be better off going to the dealer for a  diagnosis. No playing guessing games with my time and money!!!)

So, have you gotten an idea of just how great I think Nick and Albert are?? I hope so.

So, anyways, I finally finally got a diagnosis on this car o’mine.  The dealer rep (very nice woman named Helene at Carling Mazda) called me to tell me the bad news. Apparently Yogi’s brain (PCM…power control module ? I think) was fucked. It would take a couple days to get a new one, as they don’t carry them in stock.  As I was sitting down in shock (I knew how much those damn things cost!!!), the Magical One (aka Helene) said these SPECIAL SPECIAL WORDS:   covered under warranty.

I might or might not have told her how much I wanted to kiss her. I may have offered her my first born child. I do know I thanked her a lot more than she was used to being thanked, because I could hear it in her voice, how amused she was.  I was euphoric! This was covered under some magical warranty that I had no idea even existed, and would never have learned about had NickandAlbert not told me to go to a dealer!! My oldnewAylmernevermoremechanics mentioned a PCM might be the next step, but we were looking at another $2000.00, with no mention of magic warranty!! So now I am hopeful again, that Yogi and I can work it out, perhaps with the help of N&A, and when necessary, perhaps even the Magical Helene of Carling!

And, Mazda??  Please, please, keep up the warranties/magic.

That is the only way you will keep or win customers back. Because I was so ready to dump all Mazdas forever, and to badmouth them as far and wide as I possibly could.  Now, just maybe, I am willing to give this another try.

And Yogi??? Tonight? Driving to the barn together?There was a bubble of hope deep in my chest.  I hope you felt the magic too! I might have fallen a little bit back in love with you. I really want this to work between us.  If I keep you a little cleaner, vacuum you a bit more, take you to the car wash more often, will you try to work a little harder too?? Never again will I let anyone call you ‘my barn car’. You will always be my Zoomzoom.

 

(Please, please , please, don’t mention toxic relationships, interventions, or the fact that I need help.  I already know all of that!!!!!!!!!)

Time is on your side….yes it is…

Almost August already! Good Dog, time has a way of getting away from me. I had such good intentions to blog a lot more this summer, along with pictures and everything, but as the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions!” Not that this summer has been too hellish, except for the heat waves.  On those days I felt like I was living down under (Hades, not Australia!)  I just couldn’t get my ass in gear.

And so many not very exciting things have happened! I think I should do a top ten.

 

1. Kate and William ( is that his name?? ) had a puppy, or a kitten or something, and named it Bob or Fred, or whatever.  Anyway, it was apparently newsworthy, but I forgot to pay attention!

 

2. My DH (sometimes means Dear Husband, sometimes Damn Hasshole)  and I celebrated 13 years of wedded something-or-other a while ago. And proceeded to have a wonderful, rip-roaring fight the very next day over something incredibly stupid like Bruschetta. Don’t ask! It’s all good now though. Just goes to show you that after so many years together (not counting the years we lived together in sin), we can still be idiots.

 

3.  I have been working occasionally. At the incredible farm I may have mentioned previously (VHF- Venturing Hills Farm). I think I am ready to divulge the name of the person that I am thrilled beyond belief to work for. Her name ……drum roll please……….

Lorraine LaFramboise

Yes, indeedy. Just google her, if you don’t know. She is fracking awesome!

 

4. My kids are missing. AWOL. (Les Grandmeres have them, aka Grandmas.) I miss them.

 

5. I have a new steed. It is orange, 10 speed, and a Peugeot. Cost me $35.00. I fracking love it!!! And it’s about 30 years old.

 

6. I am fighting a guerilla war, with a fucking cat. I am armed (water guns), and so is the cat (un-neutered male who pisses and pisses and pisses all over my house, my yard, my stuff!!) I have never hated a cat before. This one, I hate.  He has literally broken into my house via the window screens, and pissed on things in my house!!! I can’t believe this cat! I am at the breaking point with him. I wouldn’t care so much if he didn’t spray all over the fucking place, but it fucking reeks! Should I catch him and dump him in the country or bring him to the SPCA??

 

7. I bought a sewing machine. Today. Haven’t used it yet, but pulled it out of the box, and admired its prettiness, and took pics with my phone to post on Facebook. Wish I could send pics from my phone to this blog! That would simplify my life a lot!!

 

8.  I have been doing weird cleaning things to my house. Like cleaning My “office” (corner beside the fireplace that my desk fits into), scrubbing the grout in the bathroom and the tv room, washing all the windows and screens, re-arranging our bedroom, and other random weird things. It’s not PMS, it’s not the moon, it’s just fucking weird!!!

 

9. I really really really want to get a dog. I miss having a dog. I think when I get back from picking up my awol girls, I am just going to go ahead and get one, and let the chips fall where they may. (DH does not really want one right now).

 

10. Life is good. Very very good. I am very grateful to have everything that I do. When things go shitty (such as my car—–a whole other post), I have a mantra.

First World Problems.

It works.

 

 

Conversations with Bailey…

The rain finally stopped today, and Bailey and I went for a little hack around the neighborhood. We had fun, we chatted, we jumped a ditch, we checked out what ‘Scott’ has been building (more to come on that later). We walked past the bozo ‘farm’ ‘watch’ ‘dogs’, and gave them the finger. We checked out trampolines, said ‘hey’ to a scary guy who was ”fixing” his mailbox (probably more like burying his wife or something, according to B), and looked at the farm road that we usually gallop down and decided it was too hot today.  All in all, it was a pretty great ride. Because my horse and I were chatting. The whole way. Seriously. How fucking awesome is it when you and your horse can chat. Have an entire conversation during a ride, even if you are talking about whether big blue pools are scarier that the white ones, and logs should not be left on the lawn, but piled up nicely for winter burning.  And little girls playing in their yards, when they see a horse on the road, should be told by their parents not to run, squeeing, at horses!! Rather, approach quietly and ask permission from the rider ( and with tons of carrots, adds Bailey), and usually a positive interaction will occur. Most horse people love to encourage kids to love horses. After all, we need them to keep the madness going!! These are the things that my horse and i chat about. The thing is, I think he listens and understands a lot more than i ever give him credit for. I love hacking  and chatting with my horse. I just hope he loves hacking and chatting with his human too!!

Tomatoes for sale

So I guess we are going to go ahead with a yard sale on Saturday. Why not?!?

Tomatoes, some hostas, bunch of musical instruments, maybe some tack, kids stuff, clothes, whatever else we can round up on short notice. Guess I’ll be busy trying to get this organized tomorrow.

And trying to organize Emma’s birthday sleepover party for Saturday night! What was I thinking!!!!

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