Friday, August 28, 2009

more horseplay

A few weeks ago we met up at the Santa Cruz Horseman Association Horse Show and Gymkhana.  We all got new outfits, spruced up the horses with lots of Show Shine, and trailered out to meet the eighty degree heat.

Looks like Sparky is having a good laugh here, doesn't it?  And don't you love ND's new hat?

Little P. did well in showmanship and lead line equitation, but when she wasn't participating in her classes she much preferred playing in the club house.  Seems she just doesn't have the horse bug like the rest of us.

But she sure looks cute in the part!

Horsey Girl, on the other hand, (true to her name) rode like a champ the entire day, and pretty much cleaned up in the gymkhana... she won three out of four classes on our fast black horse.  I think the members were actually a little shocked!  Where did this dynamic duo come from?

Here I am, bringin' it home.... God it felt like I was going a million miles an hour but that 15 year old still beat me.

I guess I'm just not as fearless as I used to be.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

goodbye summer

We celebrated summer's end with a trip to Hidden Beach.  It's a locals place that welcomes dogs and always feels right.  I had my second (and last) ocean swim for purification, and to help heal the horrific case of poison oak that covered my face.  I also took a moment to clean my feet (always terrifyingly black in the summertime) and contemplate my toenails.  I realized, after taking off the polish and seeing the whitish, peeling nailbeds, that I hadn't had bare toenails in probably years.  So I've decided to go non-toxic for awhile and it feels great.

My swim did me a world of good, not to mention healed my poison oak in 2 days.  I emerged feeling refreshed and recharged (but not, unfortunately, quite ready to let the summer go...)

What an amazing summer for Little P.!  She can now swim like a fish, ride a bike on her own, and within the last week she has lost BOTH front teeth.  (Pictures soon of her First Grade Smile.)

Now we enter the hottest part of our year.  The first week of school (starting Monday!) is inevitably hot, sticky and uncomfortable.  I wish for my spirit to fly like this kite... staying above it all, cool and collected, bending to the whims of the wind as I take on 23 little Kindergarteners and try to stay sane for the next nine months.

Holding the peace of the ocean in my heart, the strength of the mountains in my being, and the joy of summer memories for the rest of the year....

... until summer returns.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


On Friday, I turned forty-five. Yesterday I had a wonderful party to celebrate. First thing in the morning, I got my hair cut. Goodbye, Hippy Mama. I am now sporting adult hair. Interestingly, Nice Dad said it reminded him of pictures he had once seen of me in high school. Anyway, it's an improvement. That, along with a $7 dollar Gap dress and some new/old cowgirl boots, completed the party ensemble.

My biggest girls were in attendance, enjoying the food that I had spent two whole days preparing: deviled eggs, roasted red potatoes, salsa fresca, crudites with dill dip, kalamata tapenade, flax crackers, fresh raw local chevre, and piles and piles of plum jam bars for my birthday "cake".

Good old friends were there, and the music went on and on! Drums came out, along with many candles dispersed among the herbs and flowers.

Many willing children provided delicious entertainment. Sweeter than cake.

And here we have my favorite present. I call her Honey Bunny... she will come along with me to school next week...

But we won't talk about that now, OK? I'm still savoring my dear memories from turning 45.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Little P. had a spectacular swim lesson experience this summer, advancing from "Starfish" to "Seahorse" to "Dolphin in just a matter of weeks.  She has a terrific diving form and a speedy front crawl.  We are so proud of her!

After swim lessons we often advance to the local pool for practice.

Redwood Estates Pool is a very unique spot.  Set in the beautiful redwoods, it's a "locals only" place to cool down, relax, and catch up with friends.  We've been going here for about fifteen years now.

Of course the Snack Shack is one of the popular features.  They sell frozen candy bars and microwave popcorn, and Otter Pops are just a quarter each.  Nothing says "summer" like three or four hours at the pool, alternating baking in the sun with a few laps (dodging the Marco Polo players) and reading endless library fodder.

And now she only needs the noodle in the deep end.
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