I'm braindead for an interesting title, so this will have to suffice.
Hello, yes. I am alive and well, thank you for noticing.
Hello, yes. I am alive and well, thank you for noticing.
Oh boy. Three months' worth to recap, and all busy!
I was just going to keep it at May/June, but decided that it would just be way easier as I remember things to also add July.
1. This actually bridged the end up April and the beginning of May, but I didn't put it in the April Recap because I didn't get it fixed until May. But anyways. My hours at Rosegate were significantly reduced due to finances and the fact that their stable hand could do the work they needed me to do, so there was really no need for me except on Saturdays. I am a college student. I have expenses, but not a whole lot of money to make sure those expenses are taken care of. Moving from three days a week to just one was not going to work for me. They did give me a week notice, so I was able to work through various connections and see if anyone needed workers.
Lo, and behold! One of Dad's (*realizes I have my earbuds in, but no music playing*) former clients was a horse person, and knew of a lady trainer who was looking for another groom (which is basically the person who does the behind the scenes work in the horse's training- most of the ground work and riding after the trainer figures out the course of action, plus you guessed it, the grooming), plus, she wasn't crazy far away (I say that, but it takes at the very least 35 minutes for me to get there on a good day and driving fast).
So I was able to email her and set up a time for an interview (which actually turned out to be her telling me how things would be run and asking if I still wanted to work for her). So I got the job and started the next week. Boy I tell you though. That week was tough! It was very humbling- I felt like a bumbling idiot on Monday and only slightly less so on Tuesday, Wednesday was better, and I felt almost at home by Friday. It is full time, so it's a good thing I was not planning on taking any classes over the summer. She has roughly 40 horses, all Arabians or part-arabs. What I learned from Rosegate has been very helpful!
2. A week after I got my new job, I left for Summit (monster of a post to come). It was AMAZING! I met so many new people and learned a ton. I also figured out that I actually like spending time with a bunch of people, and that it does not drain me as much as it used to (the evidence being that when I got home I did not want to shut myself up in my room for a month to recharge, I actually wanted to spend time with my family- and not just because I missed them, but because for two weeks I was surrounded by about 200 people so not being around so many people felt lonely). It was so awesome to hang out with so many people around my age, because I've never really had that experience before. The only problem: I made friends with people from Alaska, Minnesota, Idaho, Florida, and Nebraska, and like, no one from Texas. And the one person from Texas I did make friends with lives about four hours away. So I can't just go hang out with anyone I met! It's funny though. When Lydia went, she made friends with cowboys/girls. And I get there and make friends with the speech and debaters. I'm thinking we maybe should have switched. XD
Anyways, I would go on about Summit, but that would make this post about three times as long as it is already going to be.
|My small group|
3. A week after I got back from Summit, Christian left for Florida for Boot Camp at Teen Missions International. His team will be going to Arizona. He'll be gone for 8 weeks, total. Yeah, it's been quiet without him around. There is a rally every evening for all the teens and it is livestreamed for everyone at home to be able to watch. We've been able to find Christian a couple times- he always looks happy and excited to be there, so that's good!
4. Oh yeah! Heh. I graduated. I got out of wearing the cap and gown, but not out of wearing a dress. Since I was the only one graduating this year, it didn't really make sense to have a graduation at church (it was offered), so I elected to have a home graduation.
5. We had a friend come and visit for a week.
6. My flock fluctuated quite a lot over the past three months.
First, we incubated a batch of about fifteen eggs (counting a duck egg). Six of the chicken eggs hatched, and the duck egg hatched about a week after the last chick broke out. Three of the chicks ended up not making it, leaving three left plus the duckling. They are about half-grown now. They all hatched before I left for Summit.
Then, I set aside eight chicken and eight duck eggs to be started right before I left for Summit. All eight chicks hatched, but three have since died. Seven of the ducklings hatched, and are all thriving.
Then, two of my hens went broody. Each about a week apart. The first nest hatched four eggs, so I moved the rest of the eggs she stopped sitting on to the second nest, where one then hatched and the second hen decided that one would be enough for her, and so stopped sitting as well. So five chicks. Two of them drowned in a water bucket, and the mommas have now been tag teaming the care for the remaining three.
|I know, there are four chicks in this picture, one of the brown babies drowned.|
So you know how you have all your ducks in a row, and then suddenly it becomes a game of bowling?
We had a really, REALLY hot day, and all the grownup birds were shut in their movable pen with plenty of water when I left, but the ducks are really stupid and knocked over both of the water buckets at who knows what time. So I found five of my hens dead, and the rooster and remaining hen terribly thirsty (of course, the momma hens were still in the coop, so they had enough water).
And then one day, Mrs. went off and disappeared on me so I have no idea if she decided to go off and make a nest, she found out there was a pond next door, or if something carried her off.
And then Count Cooku (my rooster) flew the coop, presumed dead.
So I now have a grand total of three adult ducks, one half-grown duck, seven ducklings, three full-grown hens, two half-grown hens, one half-grown chick I'm pretty sure is a rooster, five in between little and half-grown chicks, and three little chicks, all for a grand total of twenty-five birds. And no, I have not named them all.
7. For the Fourth of July, we had Christian's team over for the afternoon/evening. They had left for Arizona on the Monday, and since their route would take them near our area, we offered to have them stop at our house to rest up, swim, take care of laundry, eat, enjoy the air conditioning, etc. One of our neighbors had a volleyball net and let us borrow it for the day, so between that and the pool, everyone had a blast. And of course, you can't have the Fourth of July without grilling up some hamburgers and hotdogs. After they left and it got dark, we got to watch all the fireworks dotting the horizon.
8. Mom and the three youngers roadtripped (hush, it is so a word) up to Illinois for a week, leaving Lydia, Dad, and me the only ones home. *cue Lydia and I coming up with movies to watch while they are away* Lydia to Dad: "We want to go see Wonder Woman at the dollar theater, do you want to come with us?" *Dad makes a weird, funny face* "I am not even remotely interested in seeing that." (As of right now, it doesn't look like the dollar theater has it yet) Me: "Oh! We could watch The Little Mermaid!" Lydia: "Yeah, and Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules!" (All movies that we weren't allowed to watch when we were their age, and still have not watched because they aren't allowed to watch them yet- but could watch because we are now adults and are responsible to make adult-y decisions.) We did end up going to see Wonder Woman and came back both enjoying it. We did watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules as well. Lydia thought they were both depressing, but I liked them, though the unanimous consensus was that Hunchback is not a kid's movie despite being animated, there is virtually nothing lighthearted outside of the talking gargoyles.
9. Back in June I helped with a one-day horse camp (not related to work, I had to ask off) with about 35 kids from about 6-12 years old. There were five stations (trail ride (going out on trails for 20 minutes, older kids)/pony ride (just leading the horses around a pasture with kids riding, younger kids), parts of the saddle, horse safety, roping, and grooming) I got grooming. The group was separated into groups of seven. I found out that it doesn't matter how many times I say it to each group, SOMEONE is bound to walk too close to the south end of the horse. Outside of the "YEEE! Too close, too close!" *silently begs the horse I have never worked with before not to kick the child in my care* it was really fun! And I was not by myself with all seven kids, two of the camp counselors (this was a kids summer camp we were doing this for) held the two horses (even though they were already tied to a trailer, the lady in charge, Christina, wanted to make sure everything was as safe as possible). Christina had t-shirts for the people working for her (those who had worked for her before already had shirts) but she only had two left by the time she addressed the fact that another girl and I did not already have matching shirts. One was the right size for both of us, while the other was probably big enough to fit both of us in it together. I let her have the smaller one and walked around wearing a tent for the rest of the day (which was actually kind of nice because there was a lot of ventilation under there). If I find myself working a day like that again, I will definitely alter the shirt beforehand (she let me keep it).
10. Lydia and I were invited to spend the weekend with family friends we hadn't seen in five years, so we got to have our first sister only road trip down to the Austin area (about a three hour drive, so not a huge long drive). It was super fun! We had met this family at the church we attended before the church we go to now. They had been one of the only other homeschool families, and two of their boys were on the same Upward Basketball team as Lydia and I (goodness, we were all so short and little). They have a total of six kids, five boys (two in college or graduated, one graduated high school and going into college, one still in high school and one adopted, about Mia's age) and one girl, early high school.
Anyways, the reason we went down. A church group of early twenty-somethings (plus one parent-age couple to keep track of everyone and make sure nobody did anything stupid) was going out on Lake Travis and two of the boys had been invited to go (just graduated and still in high school). Just graduated had invited Lydia to go with him, so Still in high school and I went as the third wheels (separate, but with the same idea of our older siblings not to be going alone). We all had a blast! It was out on a party barge type thingy- it was about forty feet long and two stories, rectangular. A jumping platform off the top, and a slide off the back.
The lake was pretty, but very murky (I couldn't see much past my feet). Everyone jumped off the top, some needed encouragement (NO, we did NOT push anyone), others just went for it. It was tall enough that I couldn't just stand at the edge and decide to jump off; I had to go back a few feet and get a running start, otherwise I would have chickened out. It was pretty high up there (12-15 feet, depending on how high you jumped up and off, and if the wind blew up any waves). I was half-expecting the water to taste salty- clearly I have not spent enough time around lakes. Of course, lots of people were doing flips and stuff (belly flopping was mentioned, but nobody went for it). Cannon balls were also done. I had the second biggest splash; beat only by Still in high school. Lydia was very quickly made famous for her scream. First jump *Lydia screams* second jump *Lydia resolves not to scream* *is at the edge just about to jump* Still in high school: *is nowhere near close enough* "Lydia, I'll catch you!" Lydia: "NO!" *screams and flails until she hits the water* She did eventually make it without screaming.
And of course, what do a bunch of college age people do around a slide? Try to climb up it, what else? (nobody made it all the way up, but there were a lot of funny falls) Someone tried hanging a noodle down from the top, which led to someone yelling "I'll never let go, Jack!"
Still in high school likes puns and mind games. I like puns and mind games. We bantered back and forth a lot. He made people groan. I made them laugh (probably only because they were a change from the puns he was telling though).
11. Dad, Gabe, and Mom all had birthdays, all in that order.
12. Adventures in the country. Was greeted by a bobcat one morning, lounging nice as you please about ten feet away from the coop, waiting for the buffet to open. He took off as soon as he figured out he had been spotted. Needless to say, I did not let the chickens out without supervision that day.
13. I did not do camp NaNo this time around. I figured that I would be way too busy with work, and that even if I did have time I would be too tired after having been outside in the heat all day. But if y'all are truly disappointed that I did not write very much, this recap is almost 5k, so I'm going to say that that counts, even if I did not actually 'sign up' for camp.
14. Someone recommended a new book series to me, and wow. Allegorical fantasy for the win! The Knights of Arrethtrae, by Chuck Black.
15. Heat index of 100+ pretty much every day in July. It's awful.
Adventures while at work:
Adventures while at work:
1. The time I was forgetful and left a pair of wraps on a horse far longer than I should have.
2. The time(s) I got stepped on.
3. The time the dentist had me stick my hand all the way into a horse's mouth (it's way bigger than I thought).
4. The time a stallion figured out that he could get away with licking me- just not biting me.
5. The time when an old stallion gets it in his head that he should act like he's five and nearly runs me over multiple times while I try to take care of him (turning him out for a few hours to run around, walking him into the main barn to rinse him off after he rolled in the red mud while turned out, trying to halter him while in his stall). He needs to be worked so he can get rid of that extra energy, but his owner doesn't pay for that, and the horse is supposed to be retired (he's 26). So I have asked to not be the one to handle him.
6. The time the Quarter Horse crow hopped because I was giving him way too many instructions at the same time and was not fully focused on what I was doing.
7. The time(s) the round pen got so dusty that after lunging one horse it was like looking through fog.
8. The time I almost broke a horse's leg and got myself killed.
wait. wait. wait. wait. WAIT.
YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT YOU ALMOST MESSED UP THAT HORRIBLY?!
I am not being sarcastic, or sassy, or exaggerating, or trying to grab your attention (hey, if I wanted to do that, I would have put it up at the beginning instead of all the way down here, where the brain starts to just skim along the words and only half-process them).
My point is, I am being completely serious.
I was just finished with a ride on the one Quarter Horse the trainer owns. Everything had gone smoothly (except the trotting- that was very bumpy), and finishing taking care of the horse was one of the last things on my list of things to do for the day. Tack off. A couple well-deserved pats on the neck. Then I led him into the wash stall (also known as the wash rack). The hose to wash the horses is connected to the ceiling in one corner, so the actual hose loops down for easy access with minimal tangle-age. At the end of the hose there is a sprayer and the handle to that sprayer is hooked onto a ring close to the open side of the wash rack, all of this on the right side of the stall.
So normally, I lead whichever horse I'm taking care of into the wash rack from the left, as far away as possible from the hose, and when I secure them to the back of the wash rack, they swing around so that their back end is in the left corner, and their front end is facing the hose. This horse, however, is one of the few who belong to the trainer that live outside (they are not stabled in the barn), so he does not regularly go into the wash rack for baths.
So when I led him in from the left he swung around so that his back end was in the right corner. So I was maneuvering him back around so that he was in the proper position, not noticing until it was too late that he had stepped into a loop in the hose.
Now, what do you do when you suddenly feel something you can't see tighten around your ankle? You jerk around and kick and try to get it off. Yeah. As soon as his back end was where it was supposed to be in the first place, the loop tightened around his ankle.
I was up by his head, but still somewhat cornered in the right corner. He was kicking and jumping around, trying to get the hose off. The trainer (poor lady, I nearly scared the life out of her) was yelling unintelligibly. I was trying to get him to stop moving so I could get the hose off. The hose was going everywhere (also hitting me a couple times), and eventually the sprayer broke and came off the metal ring, releasing the tension around his ankle so he was able to calm down again.
It was only afterwards that the trainer told me that she had seen horses break their legs because of getting tangled up in hoses (she then told me how to avoid another incident like that in the future), and that she was afraid I was going to get killed in there (she said she would have dropped the lead rope, which I had been holding on to because I had not secured him to the back yet and because I was trying to regain some control over the situation, and run out of there) and that if it had been any of her other horses (Arabs= high strung, very spooky, QH= not high strung, hardly spooky at all) I probably would have died.
I was pretty upset afterwards. Scared of what could have happened (not over dying, but over causing such a terrible accident). Scared that I horribly upset the trainer with my lack of attention (she said that I only frightened her and that's why she was freaking out). Scared that everyone at the barn would never trust me again.
Well. Now that I've told all of that.
Here are some light-hearted things.
9. The time I named one of the barn cats "Toothless," because she looks *exactly* like the cat version of the famous dragon of the same name, green eyes and everything (of course, I only call her that because I have not asked what everyone else calls her).
10. The time I led a horse, who was giving everyone else trouble, right into the wash rack without any hitch.
11. The time one of the owners said I did the best braids she had ever seen in her horse's mane. *warm fuzzies inside*
12. The time one of the stallions had a mane longer than mine. Took me forty-five minutes to rebraid it too.
13. The time I had to detangle a four-foot long dreadlock that was supposedly a braid at one point in time, that was also a horse's tail. If I hadn't been so stubborn (and if the horse had actually belonged to me) I would have given up halfway through and cut it all off.
14. The time I was washing a grey horse (back at Pete's) with a shampoo to emphasize whiteness and make him look cleaner, and ended up not making the horse look that much whiter, but bleaching out my palms instead. They are still slightly bleached out as of right now (July).
15. The time I spent around ten minutes making a mare run circles around me on a foot of lead rope because she would NOT stand still and let me shut the gate to the round pen so I could take her off the lead and lunge her. Eventually someone closed the gate for me and I was able to turn her loose. But even after the rough equivalent of three lunges, she was still not tired enough to hold still! (each lunge is between ten and twenty minutes- I think I probably spent around 30-40 minutes in the round pen with her, in the afternoon, in Texas July, in 100+ degree heat. I was surprised she didn’t keel over. And that she still had enough energy to do the exact same thing the next day.)
1. My Aunt, who lives in DC with her husband and two sons, made it to my graduation!
2. I have only gotten to ride three times at my new job, but Arabians are way easier to ride than Quarter Horses. A QH is round like a barrel, but Arabs are much skinnier, which means you end up a lot less sore after riding them. Plus, Arabs are so fast and smooth, whereas Quarter Horses, though fast, can also be very bouncy.
3. Finally getting to meet Abi and her sister with Lydia.
5. The first day of July was cool enough to open windows for a couple hours in the morning.
6. Doing an Ephesians study with a friend from Church.
1. Qualifying as one of those "Strange People of Walmart" by going in for a couple things after work. Guys. I come home covered in enough dust to plant a garden, not to mention enough sweat to water it, and enough horsehair so that it looks like I have very thin fur some days. And of course. The smell. When you're outside, and everyone also smells like they've been working outside around horses and dust, it's not too bad, it's when you leave that the smell hits full force. Mom equates it to the smell of Boot Camp, and everyone knows that if your mother tells you that you stink, she really means it.
|Like really. That's how bad the dust can get.|
It will somehow get under my jeans and inside my boots.
2. Driving through town to meet up with Lydia. Muscle memory tries to make me turn at a light and go to my old job. Brain: "No, it's Sunday. You slept in, and don't have work today anyway." It was Tuesday.
3. Running errands for Dad. One of the things he needs is a part for the lawn mower, which I can get at the same place I get chicken feed. Guy at the hardware counter can't quite figure out what Dad needs. Guy spends in between five and ten minutes figuring it out. Guy checks the back to see if they have it. They don't. Guy asks if I would like to order it. I decide not, since I figure I can probably just ask them about it again the next time I need to get chicken food. I leave. I text Dad and tell him they don't have it. Dad asks if I can ask them to order it. I tell him I've already left. He gives me the look that says I need to go back, all in a text. I go back. "So hey, remember those parts you looked up for me? I'm so, so sorry, but can you go ahead and order them? Thanks so much, I'm so sorry!" I leave afterwards, positive that I am beet-red and that I heard the guy chuckling under his breath.
Moments of Hilarity:
1. Googling the dangerous uses for sparklers (someone asked the difference of the level of danger between them and a regular match) and apparently you can make a bomb out of about 300 of them.
2. Gabe singing Call Me Maybe in the shower.
3. Gabe: "Low sodium?! How can there be low sodium in a soda?"
4. Playing Two Truths and a Lie. I came up with a really good string, started saying them, only to realize- wait, these are all true.
5. A friend of the daughter was coming to hang out for a bit. *she knocks on the front door really loudly* Lydia: "I guess she's here." Still in high school: "No, that's a hurricane." Me: "Well it's a her, and she came." *their dad guffaws*
6. Dad, Lydia, and I are all messes when Mom leaves. Out of all the nights she was gone, only one of them we had dinner before 8pm, and it was because it was small group night, so we kind of had to have everything ready for that before 8. Dad hardly ate, and Lydia forgot to eat lunch pretty much every day. I only ate lunch because I have to pack something for work, otherwise I will eventually fall over. Because see, when you are used to cooking for eight people, when there are suddenly only three people, who often forget to eat, even just figuring out what everyone wants for dinner is pushed to the backburner.
7. Lydia and I went to go see Wonder Woman, and we were telling Dad about it. Dad: "Was the invisible jet in it?" Me: "I don't know, we didn't see it." It took them both a minute.
Anastasia came out on Broadway, and the music is absolutely gorgeous! Why isn't it on Spotify?! (The Finale though. Was not expecting that at all.)
Yeah, the past three months have been pretty good for music.
I'm sure you are bored to tears by now, but you made it!
I've been out of the loop, how are y'all doing?