Thursday, September 30, 2010

Do You Know?

Unless you've been under a rock (or have real-life responsiblities and don't study the news every second), you've probably heard about the religious debates taking place all over the country, as well as the survey in which Americans were asked to identify aspects of various religions, and the somewhat surprising results.

I'll be careful to leave my own personal views regarding religion out of this post, as it's one of the few topics that will quickly wedge a large division between friends, but I did want to post the quiz for those like me, who wanted to test their own religious knowledge, and see how they compared with the rest of the world.

How did I do? Well, I missed one that I shouldn't have. It wasn't that I didn't know the answer, I just forgot how to count (time of day FAIL).

Considering my own background, I feel I did quite well. However, no matter what you believe, I strongly feel that it is important to understand all religions. How can you validate your point of view without knowing all of the information?

Of course, no matter what your religion (or lack thereof) you are always welcomed here. I don't discriminate; I edjumucate.



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not Doing, Am Doing, Gonna Do

Don't worry. I'm still here.

No, I don't mean I'm still at the doctor's office. I'm just still around, in Bloggerland, in general.

I was at the doctor's office last week, though, because I have the same crud everyone else is getting. I thought maybe I could get over it faster with help, but nope. I haven't.

Other than just not wanting to be sick, there was a very important reason I could NOT be sick. I didn't have time. My 5K is only 10 days away.

I was barely on schedule with my training as it was, and now, with gunk in my lungs, I find it difficult to get through the day, let alone run several miles a week. I'm weak. I'm tired. I sound like a man, baby and Nyquil is my new best friend.

So it is with great disappointment that I announce I am a failure. A flop. A quitter. A sloth.

I don't see how I can get enough stamina built up to run 3.1 miles in ten days. I was able to do a little over 2 miles a week and a half ago and I haven't been able to run since.

This doesn't mean I give up on running. No sir. I will start back up again, once I can breathe again. I just can't do the race. It's sad and no one is more disappointed than I am, but if that's the worst thing that will happen to me this fall I'll be truly blessed.

And you all know I've been through much worse, right?

Also, I had to push starting school again until next semester. Apparently our local community college believes that if you already have one degree, there's no reason for you to try for another. I had to prove extreme hardship to be able to pursue a second degree, and while I've had plenty of hardships, I don't believe any of them have to do with my BA in English. So...I'll try my old alma mater in January. I should have started there in the first place, but I was trying to be practical and go with my closest option.

OK, so onto the things that I have done, rather than what I'm not going to do.

I've been working with Fabian on the days that I feel up to it. He's a completely different horse now (in a good way). He's gained a lot of weight, is thriving, seems to be feeling a lot better (as demonstrated in the previous post) and he's really turned into a pocket pony.

This is a horse that, when he first got here, it took me an hour to catch. Now I walk out with the halter in hand and he tries to put his nose in it before I can even get my arm over his neck.

As I mentioned in a previous post, our first roundpen session was pretty hairy, but Fabian is a super-smart boy and he's already progressing very well. He's learned to listen rather than panic and he's gaining flexibility and is becoming more aware of my cues and what they mean. He's finding out that the roundpen is not a place of panic, but of learning. I'm so proud of him and everyday that I work him, I really look forward to our lesson.

Moose also got a few lessons: tying and hoof trimming. I've been so behind in teaching Moose these things. But as they say, better late than never!

And let me tell you something: this boy has some BIG feet! Thankfully, since it seems that he's going to be a very big boy! At five months old he's 13H. Fabian isn't quite 14H, so Moose will without a doubt pass him in the next few months.

It will be kind of funny, riding my 13.3H 2 year old this winter, and just starting to lunge line my 14H+ weanling!

With the change in seasons I'm also thinking about things that I'm going to do. I WANT to get the house done.

Ain't gonna happen, though. Realistically speaking, I hope to get the second floor gutting finished. You have no idea how long it takes to remove plaster and lathe unless you've done it before. It takes a very long time to remove, and then taking it downstairs by the bucketful (because it's so heavy) makes it take even longer.

If I can get that done, then the second floor will be ready for wiring, plumbing and insulation in the spring. My goal is to be able to have the second floor mostly completed (except for decorating) by next winter.

Then perhaps in two years I can have a kitchen again. Oh cooking, I miss you so. Oh, home-cooked meals, I dream of you at times. Please come back to me, pasta. Dear skillet dishes, I'll mend my foolish ways.

You never know how much you miss something until it's gone,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Play Day

It was an absolutely gorgeous day out today, so I let everyone out together in the largest pen, after everyone had a grooming/clipping/farrier session. They were all spiffed up and they wanted to go!

They all enjoyed stretching their legs. Paula...




They all had a blast...

And almost a wreck!

The boys stuck together most of the time.

The girls stayed to themselves as well.

But there were a few times where Fabian and Bambi would play. They're the same size, the same age, and they both have their sire's orneriness.

Fabian was definitely the instigator in these situations. He reminds me more and more of his sire everyday...

...especially when he moves like this.

Watching these kids have so much fun on such a beautiful day makes me so thankful, to be able to have them in my life.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Combining Laughs

Working where I do, I often get some pretty impressive emails from our guys out in the field. These emails usually involve combines in extenuating circumstances.

For some reason, combines can be pretty darned funny at times.

Take this guy, for example. The story is that he had 25 acres on the other side of the river, so rather than go the long way around, he decided he'd just drive through the river.

I mean, surely there is nothing that can go wrong with this plan, right?

Except he can't get the combine up the other bank. A tractor is called in....

This just can't end well. It's like watching a train wreck, only with farm machinery...and fast-moving water.

It looks like the tractor is getting out...

And then it's further down the river.

The combine is in the same place.

No more pics after that. My guess is the guy taking the pics decided it was better to stop, lest the insurance company find out what really happened to the combine.

I wonder what kind of policy coverage this combine owner had?

Now you'll appreciate the extra effort that goes into harvesting hot beans, versus mild.

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

Now, dear readers, you've surely heard of the sinkholes that are occuring all over the world. They've swallowed up city buildings and cars...

and a combine.

Can you imagine, just driving along, in your air-conditioned cab, listening to the tunes on the radio, perhaps checking your GPS or whatever other monitors the combine has on it (hey, I just do contracts, I have no actual idea how the things work), and then suddenly instead of a field full of corn, you're looking down straight into the earth?

Um, you spilled a little grain there....

And how did the farmer get out of the cab of the combine?

Very carefully....

Somehow, I think after this, he probably called it a day...

...and called his insurance company.

"Hello? Farm Bureau? I'd like to make a claim. Yeah. My combine. What happened to it? Um..."

"It's fallen and it can't get up."

Farmers can be funny, too.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saint Malo--The Chapel on the Rock

Just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the prettiest, most scenic churches I've ever seen: Saint Malo.

Built on a large rock of granite in 1935, the church is a beautiful setting for small Catholic weddings.

In 1993 Pope John Paul II visited and bestowed his personal blessing on the chapel.

The stained glass window inside depicts St Catherine and was installed in 1937.

Also on site is a retreat center that caters to both groups and individuals.

In 1999 the chapel was designated by Boulder County as a historic site.

No matter what your religious beliefs, it is easy to appreciate the beauty of this lovely chapel.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rocky Mountain National Park

Over Labor Day weekend I went to Colorado to visit family. One day my brother Nick and his wife Lauren took us all (Mom, my other brother Chris and I) up to Estes Park.

It was cold as heck (or so we thought--it was to get a lot colder later on in the day). We stopped once we reached the top off Devil's Gulch Road to enjoy the view.

Nick decided he would rain down the lightening onto the fair city and terrorize the village.

You know, his usual weekend ritual.

We drove into Rocky Mountain National Park and stopped in at the rock slide area that is always neat to visit.

I can't remember the exact history, but not all that long ago, the mountain here basically came tumbling down, creating a huge rock slide which took out everything in its path.

It killed all the old trees but now new ones are starting to sprout up everywhere, and there is a lovely stream that flows down the path.

This is an area where I love to take pictures. It's so scenic and clear of any modern obstructions. I asked Chris and Nick to sit up on the large rock so I could take a picture of them.

Ten years ago, my brothers reluctantly sat on (almost) the same rock for a picture.

Boy, how time flies when you're making your brothers do corny things they have no interest in doing.

Nick decided we should go up Trail Ridge Road (the highest continuous paved road in the US) to the pass. I sat on the wrong side of the car. Therefore, the entire trip up the mountain was spent digging myself into the back passenger seat in pure, unadulterated terror.

They don't believe in guard rails in Colorado. I think it's their way of weeding out the tourists from the natives.

I survived, despite hyperventilation, heart attack, stroke and an aneurysm, and once we reached the top (approximately 12,000 feet) I finally was able to extract my fingernails from the seat in front of me and enjoy the scenery.

It was bitterly cold (30 degrees not counting the windchill), but absolutely beautiful.

When we were in Estes Park I kept searching for the Elk. Those kids were hiding all the way up here.

Somehow I don't think they had to sit in the backseat of a Corolla while staring down the sides of very steep cliffs to get up to this area. They look entirely too calm and relaxed.

I'm serious. I'm on medication now.

Forever a flat-lander at heart,