August/September Recap- apparently blogging is on the back burner
It's been so long and I'm so sorry!
All excuses aside (though Clarence has turned into a huge jerk and will only on occasion wake up before I spend 10-15 minutes convincing him to work with me- thus using him does not happen as frequently as in the past), I should have at least posted an August recap before now.
In any case, here we are. Fall semester has started. My family has already left for our Maui trip (I am writing this up sitting on the bed listening to birds chatter outside while everyone else is down at the beach- I stayed up to work on a college assignment (which I did finish before typing all this up). Things are finally starting to cool down at home. But this is getting into the happenings and should not be in the intro, so.
1. We had Christian's team come back through and spend the night a week before they would all be home.
2. Christian came home.
3. Just out of high school (from the last recap) came up to visit for a few days and went to church with us. We were walking back to the car. Him: "There's a nice breeze right now." Me: "Where? If I run, I might catch it!" Him: "Well, I guess my legs are longer so maybe I'm able to walk faster." Me: "Whoa there Bub! I work with horses, I get to speed walk all day!" Lydia: "Did you just call him 'Bub?'" Me: "...yes." Everyone then continued to bring up the fact that I called him that for the rest of the time he was there.
4. I went up to the college to register for a fall class (because, heh, I kept putting it off and then changed my mind on what degree I wanted), but since I had been a dual credit student, I was told by my former DC advisor (I wanted to check with her and make sure I understood everything about the registration process and that I had all the papers I needed before standing in line) that I actually needed to apply to the college online, and that that would have to marinate in the system for a few days before they would contanct me and let me know that I was accepted to the college so I could then I could go stand in line for a slip of paper so I could wait in another line to meet with an advisor, who would then convince me to take the class that I had already decided to take, and THEN they would register me. On the plus side, unless I take a gap year, I should be able to register online for any other classes I take. BUT. When I went in again a few days later to get all that squared away and done with, they wouldn't let me register because they didn't have any math scores from me (I never took the SAT or the ACT, and when I took the TSI last summer, I didn't take the math portion). So then I had to schedule that, and the latest test time they had available in the afternoon was 1, so I had to ask off so I could get that done and then register. I think I finally finished getting all that done with less than a week to spare. And then, the day classes started, I opened up the class only to realize.... I bought the wrong book. Ugh! So I had to trek back up to the college the day classes were starting so of course, every single person and their cousin was there. All that eventually got sorted out. I like the layout of the assignments- there are only a handfull of main deadlines, with a few miscellaneous other smaller deadlines sprinkled throughout.
5. Someone was telling me about a book called Night, and, being curious, I looked it up and found out that it was part of a trilogy, Night, Dawn, and Day. Him: "Whoa! I had no idea! Maybe Dawn and Day are better, then." (He said that Night was extremely depressing, but very well written.) Me: "Maybe a bit brighter." Him "..." "😒" "really?"
6. My car needed a simple oil change. Dad wanted me to take it to a place that would also check for other issues (it had been whining whenever I put it in reverse, so he wanted them to look at that). I dropped it off a day in advance so that I wouldn't have to coordinate getting off work early enough to get it taken care of before they closed. They did find a few issues, the brakes and something was up with the transmission. So they got that all fixed up. I was driving home, following Dad. We get about halfway home and are stopped by a light. Light goes green. I pressed the gas pedal like normal. *crunch* *speedometer goes haywire* *no traction* *wheels barely start moving* I was able to quickly turn right and get off the road, then I threw it into park and called Dad to come back. At first he figured it was probable just my tires (we knew they needed to be replaced soon), but when I tried to put it back in gear and move further off the road he quickly decided that the tires were not the issue. He called the mechanic we had just been at, and they referred a tow company. Tow company said they would have a truck out to us in about 20 minutes. 20 minutes came and went. Tow company called and said that their truck broke down, and that another truck would be there in 20 minutes. 20 minutes. 30 minutes. 40 minutes. An hour. Dad called and asked where they were at. They replied that they would be there in 45 minutes to an hour. Frustration. And more waiting. Finally, after a combined 2 extra hours of waiting, the tow truck arrived and got the car loaded. Mom met us and we did a trade off, in which I went back in the direction we came from to drop Christian off for a speech and debate camp and met up with one of the people Dad works with to hand off something she needed. Mom and Dad went back home. Later that afternoon we got a call from the mechanic, explaining what had went wrong (a piece that connected the axel and the transmission had cracked, and I guess completely broken while I was stopped at that light, so I lost all the transmission fluid and a rod disengaged, making movement impossible without ruining the transmission). They also said that they sat the tow driver down and had a conversation about making sure customers are taken care of in a timely manner. So I got to drive back down there AGAIN with Grandfather to pick it up for the last time. Drove it home without a hitch. I do have to push the gas a little harder than I had been, but the brakes are way more responsive, and the car doesn't screem at me every time I back it up.
7. Dad, Christian, and I went to see Dunkirk. Very well done! But wow. Pretty much the entire time. 😥
8. Christian got a job!
9. The eclipse happened. We only had about 75%, so there really wasn't that much of a noticeable change in the sky, outside of the fact that we didn't have to squint as much. Then again, I was in the middle of working a horse in the climax, so maybe it was better.
10. Something attacked two of my ducks (Louie and one of the clones). The clone died, and it looked like whatever got him tried to pull him through the chicken wire, so that was not pretty at all. Louie got half of her beak ripped off, as well as a few feathers pulled out and a couple scratches. She held out for a week, but eventually died. Although she could get water down, she couldn't eat properly, not even just a smidgen of food mixed with a ton of water. The duck who survived of the three older ones I dubbed George.
11. I have names for most of the ducks now. Of course, there's George, and then there's one that looks very similar (I think it's a girl, but I'll probably know for sure when I get home) so it's Junior. There's one that turned out dark and colorful, so he's Monsieur Colorful. We've got Fred. One duck is kind of a dusty grey-brown, so I named her Almond. Another said his name was Arnold. One looks like Louie, so she's Louise. Another is slightly darker and I named her Anne, but she keeps insisting that her name is Sally, so Sally she is. And there is one more boy, who looks very similar to Arnold, but he has yet to disclose his name to me.
12. One of my hens went broody before any of the roosters even started learning how to crow, and also in the wrong season. I let her sit on the eggs for a while (mostly because she WOULD NOT GET OFF) and then I was finally able candle the eggs, only to discover that I was right and there were no chicks in any of them. So I disposed of them and then attempted to get her off the nest and out of the coop. Took a lot of shoving, and I eventually had to tip the nesting boxes until she decided that jumping out of her own accord would be better than falling. Of course, she kept going back to the nest for a couple days after the fact, but after I kept forcing her off, she got over it and is now back to normal.
1. Mia turned eight. It so happened that her birthday fell on Labor Day, so we had about fifty people from church over for a Labor Day party combined with a birthday party for both her and another little boy. The first people got here at eleven, and the last people left a bit after four.
2. Sport Horse Nationals happened, so Wendye took some of the horses down to North Carolina for a week and a half. I stayed, of course, and she had a friend of her's come and manage everything while she was away.
3. Both of my baby roosters started crowing. Yay, screechy crows! Hopefully they grow out of that phase quickly.
4. I turned nineteen.
5. We went to Maui again.
6. Me: *is slightly irritable because it is a Monday and I didn't get to go to work and Mom and Dad were out and the kids were being a little more rambunctious than usual that morning and breakfast was oatmeal, of all things* Christian: "Aw, do you miss the horses, what's his name, Zip?" Me: "...yes."
7. I got the news that CJ, one of the first horses I ever learned to ride on, died one morning while we were away. I'll miss him a bunch! He was the most patient horse I ever came across, and even though he was blind in one eye and already old and tired, he gladly taught me all that he was able.
8. We spent a lot of time with our beach family. There's Mike and Karen from California, and they brought their niece and nephew, who each got to bring a friend with them this year. There's David and Pat from Vancouver. There's Rick and Lee from Arizona. There's also a family from Australia, but they come every other year and didn't make it this time. And there's Rene and Phyllis, also from Arizona, but they haven't come in a few years. These are all the people who taught us how to play poker, swim around Black Rock, hone our Scrabble skills, play Hand and Foot, Bocce Ball, and paddle board. Sadly, we didn't plan well enough this year, so Rick and Lee and Mike and Karen and their group all left a week after we arrived. Next year.
9. Lydia convinced me to let her cut my hair. *About halfway through* Her: "Hey! This doesn't look that bad!" Me: "You should not sound surprised!"
10. Mom has had everyone up at 5:30 in the morning to go down to the beach for devotions. The sunrise is very pretty, even if we are on the west side of the island. The main goal is to be getting up this early so that we will hopefully adjust better when we get home. 5:30 here is 10:30 at home. The walk down to that particular beach is about half a mile, so we all walk a mile before breakfast.
11. Stuff happened at church, and there was a split. I won't go into a whole bunch of details, except that the church core values were changed and the ones that we changed to were not reachable, there were disagreements between the elders, and the administrative pastor was really feeling led to preach. This had been going on pretty much since the beginning of the year, but just recently more and more stuff was happening, and not all of it was very good. So we split. We are going with the administrative pastor, as well as most of the people who were coming before the new pastor was hired two years ago. The administrative pastor is going to keep the old core values, and it's possible that we will continue meeting in the same church building on Sunday nights until the other half finds a different building, then we will possibly move back to Saturday nights. It'll be new and exciting, and we are all very happy that it went over well and didn't get to the point of being terribly messy.
12. Hope Ann is releasing her book early in October, so be on the lookout for that! She sent out the ARCs a few weeks ago, and I was able to snag one.
If y'all want to see pictures from the past two months, please go to instagram, I have them all there.
1. Walking in to Church in a flannel shirt in the middle of summer. It was cold in there!
2. I got a day off of work and so slept in late enough that when I went down for breakfast, everything was quiet and I didn't see anyone else. So I got a drink and then Dad tells me good morning right behind me, so I almost jumped out of my skin.
3. Video chatting with a friend from Summit, and the webcam on Clarence keeps zooming in and out, mainly focusing on the staircase behind me (I was in the living room, which of course meant that all my siblings that were home were also gathered around the screen). Maybe Clarence was trying to focus on whoever was speaking, but since we were all talking he got confused.
4. *taking a saddle off a horse* *doesn't lift it quite enough* *saddle gets momentarily stuck because the horse is exceptionally tall and narrow (thoroughbred)* *involuntary grunt* *eventually gets it off*
5. Typing so exuberantly that my left hand got sore.
6. Slowly learning Spanish from one of the hands.
1. The day before leaving for Maui, 7:15 in the evening. Mom *from downstairs* "beach grandparents are on the webcam!" *mad dash to the computer from all corners of the house ensues*
2. Playing tag on the golf course after sunset one evening with people our friends from California brought. Lots of shrieking and tripping and asking "wait! who's it?"
3. Swing dancing to the free live music down in Whalers village after getting frozen yogurt.
Adventures at Work:
1. One stallion very clearly DID NOT want to work. He would go around just fine, but then I'd ask him to turn, he would stop and face the middle. It didn't matter what I would do; kick dirt at him (which worked on a different horse that balked), run at him, flick him with the whip, whack him with the whip (Wendye told me to), crack the whip loud enough to even surprise myself, nothing worked. The only thing he would move was his backend so that he would always face me. Even waiting him out over twenty minutes did nothing. Eventually I annoyed him enough to make him rear up. Multiple times. On separate occasions. But only when I put the reins on him- he'd be fine free lunging. And he's just fine when I'm not trying to get him to work, and even then when I would try and wait him out, he would come to the middle and try to rub on me- he's still learning manners, but he's not a jerk.
2. Working with a horse, and for most of the time in the round pen not needing to use the whip at all and barely even clucking at her- just giving her cues with my hands and thinking the instructions. She followed them perfectly, and almost made me cry at the end- I was so proud of her (this was the horse that would have trouble going into the wash rack). I wish I had gotten to work her one more time before she went to her new home.
3. Tacking up a horse, and he freaks out in the crossties due to invisible monsters. He almost got his halter off.
4. The time a horse wouldn't go into the wash rack forwards, so after discussing it with her for five minutes, she allowed me to back her into it.
5. Me, whenever I get stepped on (or bit) harder than usual: "Ugh! I better get a bruise out of that one. That hurt way too much to not leave something."
6. Yearling is getting his feet taken care of by the farrier. Yearling nips me. I can't do anything about it without putting the farrier in a potentially dangerous situation. *in my head* "Oh you just try that one more time, Bub." Turning him around to walk him back to his stall. Yearling chomps my elbow. "DID YOU REALLY JUST DO THAT?" I had a bruise for a week.
7. Leading a horse back up to the barn after him being out for a while. *horse spooks at a stick that is laying on the ground and that he has been walking past without an issue every other time* Me: "OH MY GOODNESS! A STICK! We almost died!"
8. *Asks Zip for a trot while riding him* *goes straight into the canter* *brings him back down to a walk and then asks again* *goes back into the canter* "Alrighty then, I guess you need a few more minutes in the round pen before I can ask for a trot." *asks him to canter in the round pen while I'm on the ground* *goes a few steps and then throws a couple bucks and kicks* "Well, I'm glad you were able to do that in here while I wasn't on you." (to be fair, he was cinched up pretty tight because the cinch on that saddle was too small for him, so I changed it out for a bigger on the next day and had no issues at all. Plus, he had been moved from living outside to a stall, and had only been let out once since he had been moved on Thursday, and it was Tuesday when I rode him- all that is to say, the poor guy hadn't been doing hardly anything for almost a week outside of walking around his stall in circles.)
9. Riding at the same time as someone else, which meant that Zip wanted to do exactly what the other horse was doing. So I asked him to come back down to a trot after cantering a few paces. Zip clearly said "But I don't want to!" and threw a couple crow hops.
10. Zip *spooks when someone walked into the arena from outside*
11. I have a yearling, Cierzo, that I get to work with (not the one that bit me, this one is much sweeter). He is the son of that stallion the licks like a dog instead of biting. I like him a lot, but he is already a little pushy and nibbly, so I'm working on manners with him. I make him wait at the open stall door after I've haltered him (only for a few seconds- he's still a baby I can't expect to hold his attention and make him stand still forever) until I give him the verbal cue "ok, come on," or "alright, let's go." Then whenever he tries to nip/bite/nibble, I poke him in the mouth with my finger. I'm working on teaching him to lick instead of bite by giving him my hand and if he does anything outside of resting his chin on it or licking, he gets a light bop on the mouth. So far, I've had good results. I guess when Wendye was lunging him, she would let him turn around pretty much whenever he wanted to, because when I lunged him he would turn around about every minute to thirty seconds, and he's supposed to stay going the same direction for three to five minutes. So by the end of that lunge, I got him to the point where instead of turning around completely, he would turn halfway and then I would take a step towards him and he would go "Wait, nevermind! See, I'm going the right direction!" And he's gotten better with each lunge. Outside of turning around, he works almost perfectly when he's lunged- good posture and using his back like he should. Next lesson; not freaking out over the transition from pavement to grass when I'm walking him out to a turnout pen.
12. There's another horse, Allas, that I work with. He's a scaredy cat, but we're working on that. He's funny about his upper neck and ears, and doesn't like it when I put the surcingle on him (the surcingle is essentially a band with reins attached to it that clip on to the bit to hold the horse's head in the correct position so that said horse is able to work properly). So guess what happens every time I work him. I spend time rubbing and patting his neck and ears until he stops trying to turn away, and I take the surcingle on and off until he stops moving around in the crossties. He also tends to balk in the walkway, so I've got him to the point where when he does balk, I take a step backwards and he makes the correct decision to start walking again. He also likes to cut in close in the round pen instead of making the full circle, so I'm slowly teaching him to stay on his side.
13. Did I tell y'all about Snow? Well. Snow is a gelding, but instead of that making him nice to be around, he is still somewhat of a punk. When you go to his stall to halter him, he maneuvers you so that you are up against a wall and his neck and when you halter him, you have to watch his mouth because he will try to nip. Nine times out of ten, he will goof off (jump around, try to drag you, nip, etc) on the way outside to be turned out. When you work him with the surcingle, he will probably buck and kick for the first two to five minutes in the round pen. And in the wash rack, he plants himself with his backend in the corner and sways back and forth. More often than not, he is an absolute snot. But for some reason I like him. I just started enforcing manners, and though I don't think he's very happy about it, I'm sure he will come around eventually.
14. So I turned out a new horse for about an hour and a half. It was hot out. She was pacing up and down the fenceline for a pretty good part of that time. She made herself sweaty, then rolled, then kept pacing, then rolled again right before I went to bring her up. So she was a huge muddy mess by the time I got her up to the barn. So I took her to the wash rack to rinse her off. She said no. I said yes. She tugged back. I tugged forward. I made her back up. I tried to back her into it, since it had worked the last time a horse didn't want to go in forwards. One of the hands pushed her from behind while I pulled from the front. She finally jumped it. He was able to get her mostly cleaned off. He tried to rinse her face. She said a big no. She got out of the wash rack as fast as she could. We tried to get her back in. She wouldn't budge even with pushing and pulling. Two other people came- another hand and a trainer. The trainer assessed the situation after a couple more minutes of pulling and pushing. He went and got a whip. Even being whacked didn't make her move. So eventually, the first hand pulled from the front and the other two guys linked arms and pushed her in from the back. The first hand finished washing her, and then made her walk, stop, wait, walk again, stop again, wait again. Until she was calm. Then she was able to come out of the wash rack.
15. Walking in to work one morning, seeing the turnout list, and dying a little inside. By the time I finished getting the first round out, I had time to move three horses to new living arrangements, and then I was back out bringing them in and taking the second round out. Then I figured out that I had mistaken one horse for a different horse and that the list had been added to, so I was able to bring in the second round and take a third round out, then I had lunch and brought them back in. I didn't get to work my first horse of the day until one in the afternoon. I walked 4.5 miles just turning horses out. Thirteen in all. On average, the turnout list is about 5-7 horses. And I can get the first round out in about thirty minutes and have time to work a horse before bringing them in and taking the second round out, where I'll have time to work one or two more horses before bringing them back in and eating lunch. I think I walked about 7.5 miles that day- and I also helped unload the trailer from the show, so that was four wheelbarrows probably about as heavy as I was. Don't get me wrong, I love the horses, even if they mean a lot of energy spent.
16. I got to reacquaint myself with a pitchfork and clean out the back of the trailer after the show.
17. A horse came in with a horrifically matted tail. It had been braided, but not very well, and had been left for far longer than it should have been. It took three of us an hour to get it looking normal again.
Moments of Hilarity:
1. Pastor asks the congregation if anyone has anything to say. Kid from a visiting family, obviously pitching a fit of some sort, pipes up "NO!" Pastor chuckles, "Well, I guess that answers that!"
2. *Gabe comes up and gives me a hug* "I love you!" Me: "I do too, I stink!" (I hadn't gotten cleaned up from work yet) Gabe: "Meh, I'm about to too." (We were all about to leave to work outside)
3. So Mom bought flavored marshmallows from a whole foods type store as a treat for while we were in the airport. She got Root beer and Lemon-poppyseed. So the lemon ones weren't too bad, however the unanimous consensus regarding the root beer was that they tasted like the smell of the inside of a hair salon.
It's been a pretty good two months for music.
I found out that The Scarlet Pimpernel was a broadway show. I really like it. It kind of has a Les Mis vibe to it.
We watched Hidalgo for the first time in about 13 years.
JT King and his family played at church the Friday Christian got back from Boot Camp, so we went.
A few favorites from past months.
And a few new songs that Spotify suggested.
I found out that Tarzan was a broadway show as well. And I liked it.
I went ahead and got Spotify Premium, because when I spend an hour in the car every day, and like music as much as I do, I may as well go ahead and get it with their student discount. It was getting so that they would play like four ads every three to four songs, and I was really getting tired of that.
Congrats if you made it through this almost 5k long post!
How is school going for y'all?
It's finally Fall, and NaNo is just around the corner, is anyone doing it this year?
Do y'all have any recommendations for laptops? If Clarence is going to keep acting up like this, I'll eventually need to replace him, and I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for a Mac.
What is your favorite Broadway soundtrack to listen to?