Monday, November 7, 2011


I've got Sentimental Cider in the warmer tonight, so the house smells like mulled cider and it's making me feel the need to jump on the gratitude bandwagon. At least for this post. And mostly because I can feel gratitude again--I have wicked awful PMS to begin with and when you toss in the change of seasons to a colder, darker variety, it's compounded into something that makes me Hate All of the Things.

Basically, I have Daleks for hormones.

It also doesn't help that I'm going through riding withdrawl. It's hard to compare a weekend trail ride with my summer job of trail guiding, where I'm on a horse about 70 hours a week. But, this post is about good things, so here we go.

1) I have a part-time job again! I don't often like to have "real jobs" because I'm just not the type of person who can be happy sitting under fluorescent lighting all day. I've got ADD, sitting still is just Not A Good Thing. So, the magic fix is to get active jobs involving animals, such as the riding,l or, in this case, a doggy daycare/boarding resort. And as an even bigger bonus, it's one I would actually feel comfortable leaving Sawyer at if the need arose. I got spoiled by the last boarding resort I worked for and hadn't found one to measure up to those standards since I moved to Colorado.

"Why you put me in boarding? I'm part of your baggage!"

It's part-time, so I've still got the ability to networking and do shoots, edit, have a social life, all that jazz. And I can bring Sawyer. And they offer health insurance. WIN.

2) My photography. It helps take my mind of stuff and is pretty much on the same level as riding when it comes to Zen Therapy. Plus, photoshoots are fun! I had the opportunity to shoot a new friend I met through networking and her Mach5 of a chihuahua on Sunday.

One second she was standing still, posing and then right before we threw her toy for her, she decided the ducks looked like a better idea. At another point, she simply decided mere running was too slow and activated flight mode.

"Houston, we are go for launch."

And things that I'm not going to put up pictures for but am obscenely grateful to have in my life anyway, Ted and my friends. They help make a bad day better, they're there to cheer good news, give encouragement, offer constructive criticism and just plain make my life better for them being a part of it.

Ted gets extra bonus points for snogging. Lots...of bonus points.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Horsie horsie horsie!

But first, a quick YAHOO moment: I have my first team member with Scentsy! She's one of my former first level consultants from Passion Parties, so I already know and love her and she's going to be fantastic! Annie is an Army SAHM taking online vet tech courses while packing for their deployment to Texas, so this fits in perfectly with her busy schedule. Plus, hey, no flames in the products, so her little monkey, I mean daughter, is in no danger and it keeps diaper and doggie smell banished.

OK, so, a few months ago, right after my car accident ( see here) I went to one of the First Friday Art Walks on Santa Fe. It's this neat collection of galleries all in a row, so you can stroll up and down the streets, popping into places that catch your attention, grab some nibbles and a glass of something fermented (or just hot chocolate/cider). I went to go support another photographer I know who had a gallery show going and there was this other photographic artist there whose subject material was this herd of wild horses she'd gotten to know over a period of time. She was "friends" enough with the herd that even the stallion left her and her little clicky box alone after the first few times, which is pretty darn neat if you know anything about wild herds and stallions. Anyway, her pictures could give Robert Vavra a run for his money. Of course, I've been to sleep a few times since then and can't remember her name so you'll just have to trust me.

Somehow that ramble is supposed to lead into me posting my own horse pictures from the last few months. Insert your own segway.

Even I'm rolling my eyes at me. Punstastic, that is. I swear I'm sober.

That's probably the problem.

There's this amazing ranch not quite 10 miles from me that takes in all sorts of rescue horses. Some are rescued from auction, some from hoarders, abusers and some from well-intentioned people who just have no clue/business owning a horse and didn't realize that just because a little grass grows in their lot during the spring, it doesn't mean it's enough to sustain a 1200lb animal year round. Hay is now almost literally worth it's weight in gold, which is going to result in a lot more horses losing their homes. 

Horses. My Anti-Drug.

Zuma Rescue Ranch is one of the best set ups I've seen for any type of horse facility. And they have a program to help troubled kids/teens help troubled horses so everyone ends up bonding, growing, learning lessons that will stay with them through their life and eventually lead to a Hollywood "Feel Good" movie. I'm old enough to be this cynical, right? No? Moving's a really awesome place/program. And they take really good care of their horses. The grey on the left has cancer and the chestnut is a former racing Thoroughbred, but they're just as happy as can be.

"I'll be happy when you get out of my paddock."

This mare wanted absolutely nothing to do with me and my clicky box. Thank God for zoom lenses! She's a color called "grulla"--pronounced "grew-ya" if you want to be proper about it--I still say "Gru-la" in my head because I can. It's really not a color you see around a tremendous amount. It's part of the dun coloration family (believed to be a "primitive color"), which you can read more about here because otherwise I will start rambling about modifers and base colors and I have precious few enough readers as is. And I spent waaaaay too much time clicking through pages to find that one, which wasn't the one I was looking for, but that page seems to have disappeared into the mists of the Internet and that makes me sad...

 "You were saying?"

Ok, so it's rather unusual to see two in the same place without it being part of a breeding program. As you can see in this picture, grullas have that back stripe characteristic of the dun modifers. You may hear some cowboys refer to their horses as "line back dun" which is sort of redundant.

See what I did there?

Maybe it was the chicken and dumplings I fixed tonight, in which case you can blame The Pioneer Woman, since it was her recipe I used.

"O hai."

This was probably my favorite shot of the day and definitely the most popular one on Facebook. Zuma is a haven for the "less common colored" it would seem. The foremost horse is a bright bay, the middle horse is an adorable little filly who is a dun of the "smutty" variety. She's the cutest little thing! The grey at the back is a bit trickier. He's most likely not a dun, but his patterning is hard to pin down between roan or something else entirely. His name is Dan, which doesn't sound very neat until I tell you that he is the *spitting* image of his mom, named Steely.

Pending an actual nice day on Saturday and clear ground (there's another foot of snow outside right now...), I *may* be getting to go for a ride on Steely. And I will have more pictures with which to bombard you with, gentle reader.

Continuing on with the "Nifty Horse Colors Tour", we come to Reagan, who was recently adopted by my friend, who is donating untold amounts of farrier services to ZRR.

Lookit the spots on her legs!!

Reagan is a buckskin paint, meaning she has more going on with her color genes than you can shake a stick at.

 "Love me because I am beautiful."

"Can you shake a stick at me?"

Sorry Havanah, you've got nearly as much going on. Well, not sorry. Because she is just as beautiful. 

I never really grew out of that horse-crazy stage nearly every girl goes through and I haven't quite decided if that's a blessing or a curse. It's probably a little bit of both. If you think dogs are an expensive least this is a cost-effective way of getting to satisfy that craving and hey, bonus points for the philanthropy, yes?

And it will also give me a chance to break myself of this habit I seemed to have acquired of anchoring everything on the left...

 The end.