Saturday, August 13, 2011

jiffy dress

When I was learning to sew (in 1972) we called this a Jiffy Dress. I was really surprised to see them again at the fabric store and pretty happy too. Now that LP is learning to sew (she just dives in and teaches herself stuff, it's awesome) this is a great way to practice. Basically it's a tube top with a dress - length piece of fabric hanging off. One seam and you're done.

You can attach your own strings if you cut off the selvages and sew above each shoulder. Be sure to cross your straps in the back so they don't slide off. One could use cord or ribbon here too.

Good for over the bathing suit, washing the dog, or just enjoying the last precious days of summer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

9 miles on highland road

I start by driving down and planting my water along the halfway point of my run. At the turnaround I plant water with electrolytes. If you think it looks like I need new shoes, you are right. These are getting incredibly stinky and disgusting. I'm psyching myself up to hit the pavement.


There's a lot of uphill on Highland Road, and it starts right away. Luckily there is a nice mix of shade and sun for most of the way. Oak trees grow along both sides on this ridge but the sunny stretches are HOT. I've got to practice running with my camera so I'll be ready for Disneyland.

The views are stunning and this helps to get my mind off the uphills. To the left, past the fog, is Santa Cruz and the ocean. Today the breeze doesn't make it all the way up these mountains. I'm dreaming of the beach as I approach the halfway point.

Another mile or so and I pass what I call The Big Slide. This whole mountain came down a few years back and the road was closed for some time. The mountain still crumbles and slides during the hard rains and it will forever more I think. Highland Road can be downright dangerous with gigantic boulders flying down on you when you least expect it!

The turnaround at 4.5 miles is marked by this giant pipe and a cool, clear pool that I'd love to jump into. However I must drink my 'lytes and go back the way I came. Seems like even more uphill going back but I push on.

Training can be a bitch.

Friday, August 05, 2011

billy himin

While we were gone camping, a couple of sad things happened. Horsey Girl graciously offered to watch the farm during our absence. She came home to some disturbing situations. First off the orange cats decided to behave like teenagers having a kegger while their parents were out of town. They killed a couple of birds IN the house, leaving blood and feathers everywhere.

Secondly, our old wether goat, Billy, passed away.

You might remember Billy Himin as Holly Homin's brother. Billy had been losing weight for awhile; the vet checked him out but could find no explanation. He got a runny nose but seemed happy and was eating fine. But alas, the trouble must have been deeper. We will never know.

Billy was a sweet, funny guy, not as mean as his sister. He loved playing games like "tip the wheelbarrow full of manure" and "chew and slobber on whatever tools we are trying to use". He relished getting all up in your space and then burping audibly, followed by a distinctly green and grassy odor. And if you ever left the gate open a crack, you could bet your last dollar he'd make a run for it, but never going too far past the flower pots on the deck.

He fulfilled his destiny here on the ranch, first as a companion to our old horse Fanny, then as king of the brush eaters. We will miss his steady presence. Farewell sweet brother Bill.

What is remembered, lives.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

bringing home the bling

We just got back from the California Gymkhana Association State Show in Hollister. Nice Dad, Little P. and I all camped with our horses for eight days and rode all thirteen events. It was extremely exciting. Over 250 riders came from all over the state to compete. The array of horses was dazzling!

To sum: I rode hard, tried my best and came in second, missing High Point by one point. The end.

As usual we have a dearth of pictures since if any pictures get taken it is me taking them. Here's a good one of the back of me. (Insert eye roll here) Actually if any of you were here last August you might notice how good looking my horse's backside is looking these days. He's come a long way from the pale, skinny, undermuscled guy I got a year ago.

His personality is slowly being revealed... a baby without his friends. Humble to a fault, looks hurt when I correct him about personal space (forgets easily). Seems like he really enjoys the games, can turn like a tornado, but needs a little warmup before we take off or he can blow (like the time I fell off). Potential, potential... we are growing together and it feels great.

Princess Number 2 rode like a champ, but busted up into the higher spot on the matrix and really should be competing there. Little Blackie was her usual sweet self, cantering prettily and keeping both ears on her rider at all times. She even slows down when P. lost a stirrup and never takes advantage. She is worth every penny we paid for her and noone would guess she is 20. We were so proud when this team won a buckle on the last day.

Nice Dad and Sparky rode wonderfully too and also placed second in their age group. We came home with buckles and sparkly new headstalls and lots of inspiration to ride at all the shows we can this year!

Please pause to admire my handsome boy. Oh the majesty! Thank you.
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