A must read no matter how big or small you are

Search This Blog

Monday, December 19, 2011

Navarre and his PPSM, EPSM which ever your vet uses...

Considering all the riding we have been doing for this little ride, I am still worried about Navarre and how he is going to handle all the long walks each day with his loaded pack.   see the ride blog if you want a visual! click here!

I am the one all a muck! My mind that is... I'm worried about the hay stretcher, as I have had to cut it back during our training rides as Navarre was starting to look a little more stiff.  Sure enough sense I have cut him back ... only one week... he is now acting like a kid again running, bucking, and having fun like any kid should.

This long ride, and the PPSM is going to be a balancing act.

I have 12 days of feed ready for the ride, and while I have no more room in my dinning room to keep any more than that... I am also needing the ability to adjust the feed as I am going on down the road each day.

Hay stretcher... I am having to replace their hay with a stretcher in order to keep their gut moving along all night as they are tied on a high line.  The issue is only with Navarre as it contains a little molasses in order to assist with the binding of the soy hulls, peanut hulls, alfalfa, and timothy.  I've done all I can to keep the alfalfa down to a minimum, and the sugar is down on the list but it apparently affected him enough that I noticed!  

Wish me luck, the oil I am carrying for Navarre is most of my weight!   Well at this point it is HIS weight as he as had his full gear on.

My fears on this little ride. 
Keeping Navarre healthy! 
and not being hit by some idiot staring at us and running right into us! 


Life is short ... I just don't want to loose Navarre because of someone else being stupid!




Sunday, December 18, 2011

It is all coming together.

Today was a very productive day.
I took THREE loads of gear to the barn for the ride.
front and back full each time.
I brought most of it home with me this afternoon as I am starting to get a little worried about how safe my gear is considering I am SOoooo close to leaving.

Between trips to the barn I took a ride out of Asheville trying to figure out the highway issues here for the horses. Met up with three state troopers and I think one more day on the road and I'll have it DONE.

I got the horses fully loaded with everything I am taking with us. Got photos and took them for a short little spin up the mountain just to make Navarre work hard with all that bulk!   It is after all more bulk than it is weight.  His feed is the heaviest of all things, the hay is just bulk... as are my sleeping bags that weight next to nothing.

I've lots of things for myself but in my space also packed emergency things for the horses.. My things are light enough I can throw them onto Navarre with out him even noticing! again... it more the bulk that gets attention... after all I have my extra layers on MY back in my little backpack I enjoy so much.

The thing doesn't flop up and down, shift weight in an emergency... or cause me any moving issues. It's just right.

Safety gear in... it is so bright it doesn't photo well except in shadow or at angle.  It is VERY visible on Sweet Pea ... and helps on Navarre. 

can't wait to get on the road for this trip instead of just work outs...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hay...

Little by little I get ready for my trip. But last weekend it was all about getting the hay to my barn, out of the neighbors barn so I could last another few weeks before I hit the road.

I have tried to get the kids off the hay and mostly on the hay stretcher.  This is not working for Navarre, as his PPSM started to rear its ugly head and he was getting tighter and tighter.  So I had to cut back on his hay stretcher and add a little more rice bran to keep him on the same amount of "feed" and put out two more flakes of hay.

This will increase the amount of hay I need each day at least in the start of this little trip, BUT I'll get it worked out so he is not in pain.  If not!   Well.... I'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it.  As the exercise always helps his PPSM so much, and he will be walking all day, on a movable high line all night so hopefully it will all balance out in the end.  We can only try.

So I pray for Navarre to be healthy!
and I pray he will have fun and not be sick!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A little more excitement each day.

I can only hope the word is getting around.  If it is not it is not from lack of my trying to share and get support!

I am encouraged a little as Navarre's pack came yesterday, and in working with it this morning it appears to have SO MUCH ROOM I could pack as much on him as I once did in a cross country trip in a little Geo Tracker! ( Those were funny days! and another story )  So now the issue is not how much I can pack on him, but how much I can lift over my head to get ON him!   I started packing loose individual servings of feed, this quickly proved to be a disaster! I am not packing an entire days of feed, and my food as well in my reusable grocery bags.

I am sure for those whom are going to bring things too me, I am going to re-use feed bags as daily sizing then transfer into the grocery bags (due to their incredible handles) to put them inside of the side bags (panniers) on Navarre.

I am even hoping to get a flake of two of hay in each pannier to tighten it up and give to the horses on a cold cold night if no one else is going to be around.

Other wise... I am hoping to have a campfire or a visitor each night that might be able at some point to bring me flakes of hay when they come.  BUT I can't count on it! Although I can wish.


My first night out camping in the freezing wet weather was a delight as Brenda, Chris, Lily, and Grace all came over, and Helen gave us a visit as well.  Chris made a fire, they roasted marshmallows and made smores.  It was just all so sweet, so pleasant, so perfect!   I can only hope for such visits along the way to take up some of the dark time before going to bed.

After which I will lay in my sleeping bag and write of the days events, the people I have met, and prep for a post of the daily events.  May not be posted here, as it would better fit on the ride blog or on the facebook update page  but it will be posted some where!

Much love to the world...
Have a good day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

First night on trip.

I just confirmed with a friend ... that I can stay with her our first night out on the road!

She is a short distance from the BRP... Blue Ridge Parkway ... so IF ... they allow me on the BRP this stop would allow me to double up the next day and get my short stretch of the BRP done in one day.  This should help as the commity makes their decession of if they will even allow me on the road.

This is the deal!
Horses make a deep impression in the dirt, and thus, make a horrible impact on the land.  The Blue Ridge Parkway is a Federally protected area (which I love... so) I went to get permission to use a short 15 mile stretch.  In doing so ... making my case ... I informed them I not only will NOT be allowing my horses on the grass, I will have friends that are willing to pick up the poop left by my horses; thus leaving less of an "imprint" than cars as they drip oil driving down the road every day.

My only personal issue with the BRP is... if it is closed to cars I can't use it!   If they allow me to, they said I would be allowed at any time.. BUT if it is closed for ice and snow my husband will not have the ability to walk the 15 miles to scoop poop! SO I'd have to go all the way around... stretching my little trip by 4  (yep FOUR ) days!

I can only hope they allow me usage.
I can only hope it is open!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December

December; from the decem, Latin for "ten"   

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh the DREADED morning drive.

I am worried about my drive this morning, as the wind is banging my storm doors as if they were open.  The hallowing around my windows is of a horror movie and the drive to the barn last night was a winter wonder land.

If the snow at the barn last night was an inch thick... and I was there at dusk... there is no telling how bad it is up there now!

I am sure the road is ice as it was wet and getting no less as I drove home in the dark AFTER having a sit on my neighbors porch lit with Christmas lights that glistened and shown the beauty of the snow and frozen fog on every tree limb around the mountain.

Last night was BEAUTIFUL! but I am dreading the possible issues this morning.
OFF to check out the roads...
Much love to the world!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WOW... what a task

It is funny!   I think all the plans for this ride from Asheville to Nashville with my two "children" HORSES is more  of a mental exhaustion than I EVER expected it to be.

Calling HP
Calling forest rangers
Making sure I am getting EVERYTHING for the horses as well as myself.  (REI has got to love me by now)

I am about to start driving my route to make my final decisions.
I may even knock on a few doors as ask for help ahead of time just to see how things may work.  Although you have to admit, people are going to be more likely to turn me away while I am in a car ... as apposed to when I am holding the led of two horses.  You gotta laugh!

But once again I am hoping humanity will show a bright light and allow me a safe, short (meaning without issues) eventful trip.

I know my camping skills will be tested,
my patience with my horses, as I can only expect at some point they will get loose?  You gotta have a plan.
I wonder more about my own body holding out, being able to do all I am going to ask of it! But ... if not I'll cut back my daily trek and "recalculate" as all the GPSs say!

Much love to the world...
Hope you get to read my riding blog .... click here! ...
if not I hope you are enjoying your own time with your animals etc...
Amber

Saturday, November 19, 2011

life...

"Life is not the years you live, but the LIFE in your years"...  Abraham Lincoln

One one of the many quotes I love!

But my adventures as of late while NOT horse related always revolved around travel and animals.

I have to say with going to Ecuador if I ever wanted to jump on a band wagon it would be one to save the Amazon.    The area not of my favorite in the world but the potential and the resources are at a minimum.  the rain forest there needs a rest, needs to be protected and the people need life resources.  As with any where else the area is in need of money and they give away things others will take advantage of.  I can only pray a local gets the education, experience, and goes back to share it with his or her family, neighbors, and community.    I am an outsider and can not do this for them.  It needs to be one of them! BUT in reality they have little chance of doing so IF any.

I do not trust most organizations that say they will help, as they do not educate, they just insist on change, that their way is better, when in fact it may NOT be.  It needs to be someone that can speak their language, live their life style, and SHARE ideas and education.    I only wish I was such a person!   I can not speak Spanish much less their language (of which I can't spell)

after a little rain... 
SAVE the Amazon is all I can do! One more thing on my next life list!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yes I have been away.

I dare say... I do not put when I am going away... But that I have been away and try to have a post of two scheduled for while gone.

Thus I shall catch you up on my little adventure tomorrow!   Not an adventure of horses, or animals other than we humans expanding our world and accepting things better than we know from those whom are more humble.

My view of Ecuador tomorrow!

Yep, Highlands and down to the Napo river, that runs as part the Amazon basin.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Swing...Snooze... SSSsssnnnnooooozzzeee

got a hammock for the trip today!   There will be times I just want to hang out without sitting on my ? toockus so a packing/ traveling hammock it is.

You have got to check this out... eno hammock company  I sat in it watching the horses, then lay'd down and before I realized it I was asleep.

Yep anyone wants to get me ANY for Christmas ... the rain cover is what I want!   I am so going to enjoy this thing!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Funny thing about horses.

Jerry comes to the barn today and wonders why we have Navarre locked in the barn stall.  

I never lock him up! 

I had just fed both horses, and Sweet Pea will NOT defend her food in front of the kids! Lily, Grace and Brenda were at the barn as well.  They have all see it, Sweet Pea will not defend her food till we all turn our backs, and are walking out of the barn yard.  Then you hear a thud, and a grunt! she has kicked or bitten him.  

When the kids are there she will only kindly nip at his face to get him out of her bowl.  So we all got tired of him pushing her around and started locking him in the stall.  Of course he quickly figured out how to open the 200lb door, so we had to adapt its lock system with each try.  I think we have it about down pat, but he uses his brain I'm sure he'll figure out something! 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

a Quote

"I am grateful for what I am and what I have.
I live in perpetual thanksgiving."
        -  Henry David Thoreau -

       There is little riding going on at this time, as we (the vet and myself) are worried about Navarre not having poured pads in his front feet.  I would rather allow him this time off than to cause him to have shin splints or pain in the future.

I have backed off my expected miles for my trip starting with only 10 miles for the first three days then working up to 15 etc... I will be doing 25 miles a day by the end of the trip!  

Check out my plans at...
MY Ride Blog Only...

Much love to the world!

Amber

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life goes on.

Life is a huge palette of paints.
You see your tiny little area, but rarely see the big picture.
We all look at the same things, but we each see them very differently.  Therefore we react differently!

this is a snippit of a painting I once did...  I figure this is my tiny little part of the world.   I see it this way, but someone else may see it another. as example ...
When in fact...
The large picture eludes us all ...
Life is the big picture, but so many never see it.
This is so typical of life, people around us, and our futures....
What will you do today to see the big picture instead of only your tiny part of the world?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

something about me.

I have found I do my writing early in the morning before the sun comes up, or late at night when I should be asleep.

My mind runs amok ( as a child story teller would say) with imaginative things for my week, life, and my present day.  Today is always my first thing to mind.  Making it good, making it right (regardless of society) and making my day fit who I AM not who someone wants me to be.

Today is paperwork day...
but I have to do 6 horses, then mine.
I need the feed store to have all my supplies! ha ha ha
I need go to the banks before they close.
I need to relax at some point today

Then I will work on my route some more for the ride.   This is a harder task than I ever imagined... BUT! it is what it is and needs to get done.

I also at some point need to find my panniers and get some on their way to me... so I can take off for the weekend and get get in some good camping to work out some kinks.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Help from Jerry!

My life as of late has been .... more than FULL it has been scheduled to the minute.
I have two pay checks still in my pocket with no time to deposit.
I have several animals this weekend.
I have all rooms checking in today.
I am lucky to re-heat a cup of coffee from not having enough time to finish several times a day (same cup)

I am taking this weekend to.
Schedule out post for this and the RIDE BLOG
I am hoping to get another container , feed, supplements, and bags to take care of that winter emergency food bin.

But I was SO busy yesterday .. I had to get JERRY, yep! my husband to help out at the barn.  He let in the water guy! YEP... after draining the water container... TWICE this year I bit the bullet and got them some water so I would no longer have this weight on me.
He DID! He never said a cross word, although he did call me and say he couldn't get them back in.

Discussion of what he had in his hand, how he was approaching them, and SLOWING down his breathing/heart beat were talked over.

NO eye contact,
a steady pace, that is not stalking in nature
HIDE a rope!
and love on them once you are next to them.

HE QUICKLY got them in!

THANK YOU Jerry! Thank you VERY much my love.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

fast pace...

I had a wonderful weekend with Tabatha!!~     I love it when she is here, hate it when she leaves, and can only plan another time for us to get together.

I have done very little on my trip plans.
I can not ride Navarre as much as I need as pads were not poured in his feet this time.  my fault! I wasn't there for the farrier, so I can't expect him to read my mind. I am afraid the hard cold road will cause him to founder... rotating the coffin, and allowing the hoof to separate! it is common among wagon horses so I have to prevent instead of have him lame... and costing me more money in the long run.

Awaiting results of epm test on Navarre! (lucky me... one more issue with this horse)

Having water delivered for the water container hopefully Thursday.

Decks are up but no railings yet. I am contemplating something crazy! three decks, three different railings? we shall see.

Rocks are up against the mud wall for winter... DONE!

I have straw to put around water container as soon as it gets filled.

Need to work on routes...

Have several horse clients this week. WED ,and the WEEKEND...

Need to winter emergency food for my horses as soon as I can, we have after all already gotten our first sweet snow.  Tabatha was here! Not even November, and it was spitting sleet, then turned into snow Saturday.

I need more hay for the barn as soon as I can. already on winter quantities...

ALL of this has to get done in the next week!

WISH me LUCK! or ... expect me to be gone for a while as I desperately need a vacation!

signing off as desperate!
Amber

November

November: from the novem, Latin for "nine" 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Life goes on.

There are times I wish time could stand still.

When I am in complete darkness on the mountain barely able to see my footing on my walk to the barn, then a bright light falls at an angle down to what will be the horizon, as the sun comes up.  A falling star.  I wish I could share such times with everyone, but few are up at my time of the morning, few understand the distance from light the mountain is, and the incredible night views me have around here.

When I am driving down the road and someone is kind.  Yep! In a car but the other person is acting like we were taught as children, to be kind to others and treat them the way you want to be treated.  It is a rare action in today's world but there are times I witness such nice actions and wish everyone could experience it.

When I am on my horses and the world is at slow motion, the traffic is not a big deal to the horses, and the three of us are in the moment enjoying our walk taking in what ever is around us.

I can only hope today is going to be one of those days you wish time could stand still.

Otherwise, I'm on my second cup of coffee and getting to work early as the entire B&B needs to be turned over today, and be ready for a full house again tomorrow.  Life doesn't stop! But I have those times I can remember when I need it to.

Much love to the world,
Amber

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Listening or stubborn?

Last night I was returning a saddle I borrowed from a friend; in doing so he felt I was building up this trip so I couldn't back out.  (And was genuinely worried about my safety. )

He continually said I wasn't listening because I didn't change my mind about going on the trip.  What he didn't realize is... I was listening, I was taking in every word he said, I was also thinking that is probably what my Paw Paw ( Maternal grandfather, and generally the ONLY man who could tell me what to do.)  would have been saying to me.   BUT as with everything else in my life that I didn't think Paw Paw would agree with, or he clearly told me he didn't agree with, AFTER I had done it he would tell me how proud he was of me. 

I know my friend is worried about my safety. 

I am doing all I can to protect myself, BUT I also have to have faith in humanity that people are mostly good, and will want to help me with basics.  I can't go through life worried about every corner I turn. I never do when I am in another country,( although I listen to my gut ) why would I do it in my own country where I know for the most part people are good, loving, and giving people.  Aren't we human? Aren't 

This trip has been on my mind sense I was very young.  I have always wanted to ride a horse on a LONG road trip.  It started as a kid when the wagon train would come through Joelton on their ride of the trail of tears.  When I was very young this occurred once a year, and I was always interested.   Then it became a trip from Family to family, whom are no longer with us... and I no longer live in Joelton...   SO it is still family to family, but now my house to my parents houses and old family home. 

I was listening to my friend, but at some point I also have to listen to my own heart, wishes, desires, and NEEDS.  I need to do this!  I need to know I tried, I need to know I can.  Why is it because I am not so fearful I am not willing to cancel this trip I am not all of a sudden listening to GOD?   Why is it because it comes from inside of me it is not from our higher power?   When did another persons judgement become MORE than mine instead of equal to mine.  And being equal... I am the one that has to live with my choice.  

I could be hurt, I could loose a horse, ANYTHING can happen.  But it can all happen just the same as I am training each day for that ride.  Life is going to happen! Question is Are Your Going to Live it? or are you going to allow others to tell you HOW to live it? 


P.S. Horses got all their shots again today, paper work is good till May, and they look great! We are SET! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Planning... day one and two figured on paper...

Now I have day one and two figured on paper.
Getting out of a place with mostly interstates, no straight roads... is not the easiest thing I have ever done.

I have maps,
Sign up pages... actually I've copied and pasted it below!  please use this page or this link...
Sign Up to Help Page!

All to be posted SOON. They are scheduled to post on the 25th and 26th of this month.  keep an eye out

What is so nice is I can easily have them posted here as well.
Life is getting busier and busier each day.

Here is todays post on the OTHER site... for those of you who are not used to going there yet!

This page is VERY important...

I can only hope that we...( Meaning Me, Navarre, and Sweet Pea) can find what we need, meet good people along the way and make new friends.

I am hoping that at some point, someone will have the gumption to join me on my ride, trailer their horse to where ever I am on the trip or just join me for the day.  This was typical in early American life, but today people are too fast paced to enjoy a slow ride with only wind, hoof clacks, and snorts from an animal aware of its surroundings.

I open this page to ANYONE who wants to join me.  I will attach it to other pages along the way.  The other pages will be short distances I hope to achieve on a daily basis.  I do plan to post the days ride and the next two or three days rides as well.

So HERE I am inviting the world to join me anywhere along the way.  I do not expect you to bring a tent, sleep out in the freezing cold with me.  (But a thermos might be nice ...  just a joke I don't expect anything except kindness for my horses along the way.)


make a note here under comments... 
OR email me 
gypsyvanners@acelink.net 
piratesmate@acelink.net


I will gladly respond to ANY, ALL , and both. 
Amber. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

ride yesterday.

the map for the ride yesterday was posted on the new site.

link to the site is... NEW TRIP SITE ONLY

link to the page with the ride map.... is... MAP...  While the map is yet another link IN that page... I extended the little ride into a 10 mile trip instead of only 5 miles as shown.  We went up the mountain, met a few neighbors, were snapped by passengers in cars out looking at leaves.  

It was so funny, they were hanging out of their cars as if they had never seen a horse.  Passengers leaning over the driver to get a better shot.  It was funny to see.

it is after all leaf season here!

While my incredible husband loves me, he trust me to do what ever I want and expects to like it!   I can only say thank goodness we have similar taste.

Here are our new decks... THREE in all
Above are the 12x12 and the step down ... 8x8

Below is the higher 8x8 that you step down to the 12x12.




Just an enjoyable shot of the country side around here.  I spent the day with the horses, Jerry spent the day on the bike.

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Blog for Ride only....

I tried and tried to put this blog as too many things.  It is not going to work!

As I sent someone the link to this blog I wanted to shoot myself in the foot.  Why am I trying to kill myself putting too many things into one silly blog?   Because that is really how life is, life is messy, full of crap you have to weed through to find what you want.  Then when you get there half of us are too tired to care what it is.

SO...
If you want to start from the beginning... I have created... this blog for the trip. Amber Navarre and Sweet Pea simply click the link above and it will take you there.  If you only want to copy and past, hopefully putting it in your favorites.  start here...  http://ambernavarresweetpea.blogspot.com/

The night was cold, and I should have been sleeping in my tent but instead I choose to sleep in my wonderful bed and snuggle with my husband all night.  Oh how I am going to miss these warm nights! I am doing my best to get used to the weather, but joints and body aches are quickly catching up.  I can now understand why far too many only lived a young life in earlier days.

It is hard to imagine someone in my family doing what I am going to be doing but without the good equipment I am going to be using.  Mostly animal skins to keep them warm ? oh how the tiny wheels in my mind start to spin.    I think I could have handled a life in Europe in the 1700's but not so much a pioneer woman as Wayne likes to call me.

The thoughts of this trip are daunting, but exciting.

Life... get off your "arce" and go live it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

no title...

Yesterday got no better!
a 35 minute drive one way for shots and the place is closed? no notice, no warning on line.  Just one more thing to waste my time on.

I had guest to check in at 6 or 6:30 I was going to get there by 4:30 but they got there at 3 and as I was rushing to work, the car broke down.

AAA would not help me till the third call.  All three things very unusual.

Even Jerry asked... on a scale of 1- 10 how bad was today.  Only a 7 because while it was a crappy day it wasn't a horrible day.

All is well and today is going to be great!

Much love to the world and here's to one bad day. Today is going to be great!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Human or Animal?

It is one of those days...
A day when the animals know more than we humans.
Yesterday and today were very bad, a conflict of business practice with a company I had worked with, enjoyed the owners, and considered them friends ... considering we had discussed, wives, x's, children, bikes etc...

Today the conflict ended with? a sour note for both parties.  A note I am not clear on, did not see coming, and ? have only one one idea of my wrong actions.

I take this anger and confusion to the barn, as this is where I normally breathe in nature, my horses, and beauty of fall sounds, colors, and energy.

I loved on my Mare, some simple strokes along her body lines, a gentle kiss on the jaw bone. I was calming down when she ran off, turned around ... ran back to me, did a 180 and kicked the snot out of me from two yards away.

She could have kicked me well across the barn yard, she could have kicked a leg, a rib, for all that my head...  but she aimed at my rump and landed her kick with perfection.  A nice large fleshy area of my body, so she would not kill me.

The point is... I am NOT a politically correct person!  I WAS raised to be a proper little girl, and only learned my solid back bone from a prize winning manipulator that showed me how badly I needed to stand up for myself, as he pushed me to my limits.  Of course the pain and the agony took me 10 years to develop the thick skin I have now.  I play life more like an animal than I do a human.  ? What you ask.  Yep.

You do something to me, you confuse me, by sending me mixed signals and I'm going to ... stand up for myself and give you back what your sending me.

The difference comes in, when I lash out, and let someone know where I stand, where my line is.  I'm done! I go on with my life, I go on with the relationship providing we both stay on our side of the line!

I'll go back to the barn, I'll go through the same routine as I always have and neither Sweet Pea or I will ever point a finger at the other with this mornings issues.  Humans on the other hand sit in their agony, throw in their own emotional "crap" and make it all into a much larger situation that it is.

Animals play life fairly so each can survive as long as possible. Humans do not; they are out to kill who ever gets in their way no matter what it does to the rest of the world.

I'm not sure what happened to the world, society, and work ethics; but I like knowing where I stand with someone (or something) instead of reading between the lines, where most can NOT read it correctly.

Monday, October 17, 2011

the butterflies...

I'm getting more anxious about my little trip.  ( excited about Ecuador ,but anxious about Nashville? )

I'm getting more and more together in terms of roads, but I'm getting more and more worried about begging for water and people allowing me to camp in their yards.

I am sure I will feel better after I am on the road, Get a few people to say SURE no problem. etc....


I have no disillusionment this is going to be easy, I am sure at some point I will want to quit along the way.  But I've got to get it done and not feel like I have failed at a simple task put on that to do list as a teenager.  how can I encourage kids to do ANYTHING if I as an adult don't do the same?

this week is perfect for me to do some good practice with the tent etc... high in the low 50's and lows in the low 30's this week... I'll be sleeping outside.

Now as gross as it sounds... a toilet is my next real issue. ? oh what to do !

Any GOOD ideas from any real campers out there!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ER visit, due to horse. NOT ME!

Not me, but even worse.....

My wonderful neighbor that loves Sweet Pea, but rides Navarre because he is the safer horse! got a taste of being a real horse woman today.

? We were out having fun, riding and seeing the mountain sides.


The day was PERFECT!


We put the horses in the trailer and went down the road. Crossed a side- less wooden bridge... * a big deal for both young rider and young horses.


Lily is SO good at this! She gives it no thought any more and Navarre just follows her signals...

We went up a gravel drive and followed the flags from a race earlier in the day back and around to the barn.


We were just about to meet up with David ... more people is always a good thing.


Horses love to stay together, I just wanted to make sure to allow Navarre and which ever horse David brought to smell each other and get it in their head who was going to be over whom so we could have an uneventful ride...

Sweet Lily ended up ? well OFF the horse on the ground in a moments notice... as it always happens. All I saw was Navarre's head all the way down, and her HIT the ground BOUNCING her poor little head HARD. I rushed off my horse over to her, ask her not to move, I was calling Mommy.

I called her mother, had her stay still till Brenda got there so WE could evaluate what we wanted to do.
NOW just note I would have called  911 BEFORE Brenda had I had ANY idea I need too.

Having said that! the "Judy" came out in me... Called Brenda, I really need you to come get Lily, she has had an accident, she is ok, but has ... landed and I am not moving her till you get here.

In the mean time I'm asking the poor thing a million questions,

Calling Brenda AGAIN... Have you left the house, bring ICE... swollen lip, bleeding,

Called David up the road, ask him to come help me. ? I am after all with someone else's child.
Brenda shows up, having been only down the road at the grocery store... frozen peas in hand... napkin... Such a wonderfully prepared mother.
Lily is ? fine gets up and walks to the car. ? I'm still worried but it does not appear anything is broken.  I was worried about her shoulder etc...

FROM WHAT I HEAR..
They got home , and at some point Brenda could not find her teeth!
I'm in panic over the phone when I hear this... She's 11 it's adult teeth... I can't breathe waiting for the next thing out of Brenda's mouth.
Brenda takes her to the ER...  Picture on FACEBOOK
Teeth are loose but will be ok. They were embedded in the lip!
LIP? THREE stitches, along with collecting SEVERAL horse stories from all the nurses and doctors in the ER, and pain medication for next few days.

From what we can figure... Navarre raised his head into hers and probably bucked
Last time Sweet Pea did that to me I had two black eyes and a knot on my head.  But I've never seen teeth disappear like hers did!

NOW all to Lily's GOOD nature, she says she was never in any dire pain.
I am told she told the doctors she will get back on the horse.
?
OGM

Thank GOD I never had kids! I worry enough with every one else's!
Oh just look how good she looks on him!
They were so cute together!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

all about today.

cool weather has allowed me to get some good workout with Navarre. Lunging mostly but good all the same.  Besides he needs to work up his back muscles for all the weight he will be carrying on the road.

TWO birds in the house... sitting...
and I need to go check on the neighbors cat.
Then back to the barn once again.

Much love to the world
Amber

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Training

Today's work out was a lunge secession for Navarre, while Sweet Pea was allowed to rest and eat lush grass in the pasture.

What is in a work out?
For me... it is lifting heavy objects over my head, squats, lunge the horses (works my arms more) not to mention just the basics of brushing an outside horse daily.

For the horses... if they are not ridden they are lunged ... A Basic training tool in the horse world, I do both flat ground and hill side depending on the time I have and how Navarre is responding for the day ( meaning how his muscles are working due to the PPSM)

Other wise the horses and I go out for at least a good 8 to 10 mile walk about on the local roads, always ending with the good one mile up hill 8% grade back to the barn.

In the process.

This site has mostly been for my family and I staying in touch, it has evolved through the years and will now serve as daily grind of training two horses for the long walking trip to Nashville TN from Asheville.

I am going to do normal post but I have JUST this morning added a list of specific words, etc... that I will now add to certain post for the search engine for the blog.  It may not work as well as I had hoped but I am at the mercy of the computer and I am ... well stupid when it comes to computers.

I  hope to narrow down the search engine a little better this week.  I can only hope this helps those whom have asked about the blog out of interest of following me on my trip to Nashville.

Much love to you all for being so encouraging...
and THANK you for reading this... it often seems as no one does...

Amber

Saturday, October 8, 2011

time for blogging

With working several jobs, riding at least one horse a day I find very little time to put my words on paper, or even electronic entry. 

I am however taking off today from riding the horses as I am in the mountains with the guys...
You know that crazy group of K12 riders that has supported my life style for years now....  I have not shown up at one of these gathering sense Navarre was born, all my free time has been devoted to him, with all that is necessary to make my life easier in the years to come.

I do enjoy such a diverse group of people, I enjoy that with such a open group; as they do not see me as SOOOO out of the box that my life is unusual ill spent or wasted.  These are men that take a risk whether it be speed, financial advancements, or career choices.  It is nice to be inspired by such men.

Neighors are taking care of the horses this morning, and I will meet them tomorrow morning for a pleasure ride up the mountain by 8am. 

Decks are well on their way, as I will soo have a gathering place for friends and family at the barn, clear or clean of horses and their deposits.   All are welcome, just let me know if you are coming ha ha ha...

My time here today has been to read and catch up on ME TIME, something I have not had in a while.  Yes I have been home ... yes that is nice , but it also is tiring as I have several stops to make when home.  This is wonderful, as the trees are brightly colored over here and it is a visual taste of what is headed my way in only days I am sure. 

Clean air, sun shine, a good book to finish, and a chatt from time to time.  ( one guy low sided it... and needs new panels... not even his bike.   I'll call a few dealers later! so he has an idea of what he is in for$$$$ ) simple things... I don't mind doing for someone that needs a piece of mind, so he can enjoy the rest of his stay! ...

Loving my day hope you are.

Amber

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October

October: from octo, Latin for "eight" 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Navarre and grass

I've said it a million times...
I've got a horse I can't allow to have grass.

I know my battles, and keeping Navarre locked in a stall has turned out to be almost impossible.  I'm going to have to devise yet another style lock system.  He has thus figured out two types and it is hard to keep him in.

so after unloading hay I had to let him out, and I had to drive from the mud lot through the gate to the pasture.  I left it wide open, as I wanted to see him run!   He didn't he assumed it was closed and went to the hay tub.

As soon as I hit the gate area he came running up behind me and SQUEEZED in between my  trailer and the fence post.  He was not about to miss 3 seconds of grass time.  Sure enough he went straight to my little patch of clover took a huge mouth full.  It was hanging from both sides of his mouth as I waved them out of the pasture back into the mud lot.

It was a sight to see, he was cute as a yearling, I wish I could let him eat as much as he wanted... but I cant afford the vet bills, seeing him in such pain, and I think he is starting to feel the difference himself.  Otherwise he would be still testing that fence every chance he got.

While I'm at work!

Lots of people on the Estate today!

three digging holes for deck footings, one burning brush from chemical kill.

One of them left the barn door open, after I hidden his fees/payments in the barn.  Lesson Learned! don't do that again! horses went through their hay, feed bin open? etc... life!

Yesterday we unloaded over 60 bails of hay into the barn, it was the first day in two weeks the ground was dry enough to drive to the barn.

Pasture looks perfect, too bad only one horse only a few minutes a day can get on it.

I'll have to take more photos once the decks get started!


Sorry there have been no pictures lately... I am at the barn before sun up, and about dusk. my attention is care and working of horses, fences, feed, water and hay.  Not photos.

4 am till 7 or past... is a little harder in the dark hours of fall and only getting shorter and darker each day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Navarre and his PPSM


While I didn't believe a horse with PPSM would degrade as quickly as I had been told, it is with every letter, every breath, every day VERY true. 

We had worked up to over 40 miles on weekends 20 miles every other day 16 on a normal day.  Having given Navarre and Sweet Pea a week off due to fungus... Navarre can barely do a 8 mile round trip.  

It is amazing to me how this PPSM issue has greatly effected his physical abilities.  Once in shape, a horse is solid; or so I had always been told, experienced, and lived by.  No longer true with this horrible disease. 

While I did not push him so hard that he tied up upon our return (thank goodness), I did pull my neck out of wack, right arm, and I am as achey as can be because I was holding back Sweet pea the entire time so we could walk home at Navarre's pace.  She on the other hand was ready to run home in an easy sprint having such a short ride.  Thus she walked home looking like a dressage horse jumping from hoof to hoof , with wonderful air time,  as Navarre could hardly breath, and was dragging his feet. 

My reason for bringing it up is  Oct is leaf time around here, when most bikers are cruising for color, and the area makes its money from all the leaf watchers... So I have always known Oct will be a hard time for my training Navarre, BUT this is going to be VERY hard considering just one day off can set him back so far.  

Wish me luck! as this sickly horse is the cornerstone of my trip! Sweet Pea is afraid of her own shadow and much too dangerous to do the trip with only her, and I refuse to use any other horse! much less leave Navarres medical attention to someone else for such a long time. 

Oh I need a new plan! 
Oh I need an assistant! 
Oh how I desperately need someone to ride him, but far too many people are too afraid to ride alone. 

Darn! 
Amber 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saddles, Legs, and physical hurdles

For those of you who know me, I've had leg issues most ... ( over 30 years) of my life.

I have one leg that is just not quite right.  It functions more like I'm in my 80's than in my 40's.  It will not hold my body weight when in a bend, and gives me enough issue when straight.  really too many to get into, besides... what does it matter?  it's a bum leg! We all have something that is an issue.

I can only imagine because of there being little muscle mass in that leg the hard western saddle I am using on my mare is pinching a nerve in that silly leg.  I have started to use a sheep skin, doubled over for extra padding under my bum and under / down that leg.  It makes my rides a little more bearable but not perfect as of yet.

I am at this point asking for hints, advise, and serious words on how I might deal with this physical issue a little better.  We all know I'm not the only one with a bum leg riding a horse.  So many ride that have no control over legs etc...   I just need some ideas.

NO I can't get another saddle!   not to mention $$$$$  but...
THIS is the saddle in question!   no padding at all!
This one fits my little girl and her comfort, considering she is going to carry me over 300 miles is just as important as mine.... if not more!

Monday, September 26, 2011

packing

Just so you know I have posted this before click here for pictures. , but it is often as exciting for me to pack for a trip than it is to wonder about a planed trip so far in advance

While yet months away, I am enjoying all my research on customs, attire, exotic foods I want to try... and how to order them, not to forget research on weather!

I have people in line for care of the animals, I have back ups on the horses, but need a back up for the birds.

It is incredible that I am working on two trips.
The Amazon ,and riding the horses to Nashville. Each as exciting as the other when I gathering information.

4 pair of pants,
3 long sleeve tops,
3 short sleeve tops
4 pair of socks
4 pair of under garments
my hiking boots
a hat
lots of sunscreen
tiny bottle of facial scrub
small bottle of facial lotion
tiny deodorant
toothbrush
tooth paste
insect repellent! 99% deet
reading glasses
ONE book to leave there
one nice hair comb (looks and brushing)

I will wear my black dress on the plane, good shoes, a scarf, and a nice blouse.
sun glasses

I have made a few changes from my previous post, as now I am using compression bags, and then putting the compression's into zip locks. even less room than before and I am putting it all in a carry on.  I am leaving nothing to chance as they now charge so much for luggage I can do without the added expense as I don't spend that much on goodies the entire time I am gone.

Darn Air Companies!

compression bags are round so space between them is packed with all my other little goodies listed in the previous post.  All I have to do is make sure it will fit BELOW the seat in front of me so I have everything I need ( including food) all in less than 3 oz packages, and nothing in soft forms, must be bars, or solid packing no jars of jelly etc....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sundays ride route.

it was a short ride on the road, then a ride around the mountain with little lilly... Then the same ride back home.  It was almost too much for Navarre after a week off.

Bummer!

plans?

I plan to ride back roads ponying Navarre... over to Sugar Hollow, then have a rider meet up with me so we can have a nice mid day ride, summons her ride... and I'll take the horses back home.  It's only a plan but it the game for the day.

Water, Liters, Cups ...

Yep I should have expected as much but I didn't ...

So many questions about liters and US measurements.

Just barely over 4 cups is equal to one liter... I'm likely not to need more than 2 cups of water for each meal so it will heat a little faster if protected, covered etc...

I will have plenty of fuel cells for what I need.  Besides I can always have some dropped off ahead of me if I need more!.... provided more people say they wouldn't mind helping me out with things!

Water!
Water is still going to be my largest issue, keeping it from freezing at night, having enough for the horses, and the simple task of having to ask people for it.  Water is just too heavy for me or the horses to be carrying too much of it.

I need 20 liters for each horse each time we stop and at least one liter for me twice a day.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

perfect start to a Saturday!

go up late...
got to the barn just after 8am.
Lilly and Brenda already there tending to the horses.

Got them brushed, picked, re-treated, they had already given them hay, I mixed their feed, brought all the horse stuff home to wash/ bleach; and headed to the feed store.

Yep! these trips never end, Vit E, for Navarre. more oil, more rice bran.
Stopped by the  Mast General Store/ Asheville  Who would have imagined the stove I have been looking for was here in town all the time...
I just scanned this, it is the box AND the contents of the box.  My scanner is a standard scan so this is smaller than a piece of normal size computer paper!   A must have, a life saver, and a weight off my shoulders! 

I have to tell you about this stove I am taking on my trip!  I mean really it has been a major concern for me!  I did not want to put something explosive on my horses back or mine for that matter.  I had read about this stove in a motorcycle magazine, and had been searching for it sense.  I had googled, binged, and msned.... stoves for months and no luck finding it!   I had emailed several of the magazine editors asking for assistance and again no help!

Esbit, Pocket Stove  it is a stove small enough to fit in a jean pocket, with solid fuel cubes.  While it is not a stove you would cook for a family on it is after all a very simple water boiling system which is all I need for my trip.    I will be making my coffee/ instant each morning and possibly on an afternoon stop for lunch as I will ask for water and soak my dinner from lunch on so it will cook faster at my dinner/ late stop after settling horses, setting up my tent etc.. for the night.

While other stove appear to be smaller, they are more fragile, AND require a gas source that is larger then the  bowl I will be using for my holding/cooking canister.

The solid fuel cells are packed not to get wet and will light with lighter ( i will not be carrying) match ( I will be carrying water proof matches and a flint piece) I will however need another piece of metal the same size for a solid surface just in case I have no perfect area for my stove.    The other nice factor is the fuel cells burn for 15 minutes on high AND will boil one liter of water in 8 minutes... so very little is required/ necessary and this will be safer on my horses!

Please note if anyone has questions call me, email me!   I LOVE this stove! Now I am starting to feel better about my survival!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lots going on while horses rest

While I get a few days off from riding, and somehow work as well; everything fell together nicely as the rain trickles down at a perfect pace it is still just warm enough to work and get things in order before fall and winter really set in.

There was a huge tree on the west side of my barn, the more I looked at it the more it had to go.  It was a soft although somehow considered hard wood Poplar ... that with the first ice storm would have ended up on my barn.  So as its base is about 5 feet across it split off into 4 other trees and all of them were a problem!

There are several still up hill from the barn, I hope to save my money again and have them trimmed / unbalanced to fall AWAY from my barn if and when they do.  I also got a quote on the trees ABOVE my neighbors house... my property wraps around their house within 20 feet and I worry about it all winter as well.


I got the huge one around my barn taken down by a good tree climber/ surgeon ... good guy! Great prices! good at what he does! and does what he says hes going to! Call me if you need one! I recommend this guy! really!

I then had some quotes on the decks I've been planning for years... Besides I've got to at least get the footings done so I can plant those beautiful Japanese Maples I've been nursing all spring and summer!


Today I have to take down a fence, dig a hole for the fish pond, dig more holes for some grass I hope to get from a friend this month or next... , reset some t post around the barn ( thanks to a silly horse)   and work some plumbing from the fish pond so I can eventually get over flow down to the garden!  yep! I'm all about using everything I've got.   Down to the fish poop!

horse tails and pest eating plants are ready to be put around the pond... hopefully two ponds but i'm dreaming now! One will do me today.

After all I only have a few hours to get these things done before I have to get back to work myself!

Oh well I'm sure you day will be more productive!
Love Amber.

back after a few hours.  Fence down, another made more stable, fish pond in the ground, horses fed, rocks collected for dry creek for over flow from pond (for the moment! till I get my plumbing in for the garden only...4 acres away!) at any rate I'm home again covered in layer after layer of red clay, one jacket looks horrible, pants a new color and two shirts are ? well beyond donation status.

Gotta get the clay from under the nails and get to another job!   But I enjoyed playing in the rain, and making mud pies around the new pond!

more later.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ok now! you have to read this one!

If you are a horse person at all.
If you have ever been out west and seen a grizzly bear.
If you ever thought your horse was a hero!
This is a blog post to read.

I am so much of each it gave me a headache and I had to re-post it!

Horse / Boy / Bear?

this connection above will take you to a blog I follow... but... hardly ever get this emotional over. it is a MUST read.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

His hands...

He asked me back into his shop as he always does, it's like the kitchen table at Nanny and Paw Paws!

Come look he says...
In a room full of dust, shavings, bowls all over the floor,(watch where you step)  two fridges full of bowls started months ago, not dry enough to finish yet. Wine bottle stoppers, bracelets, and other trinkets ( hollow forms) all over the place.

I had never seen my dad actually work on something, piddle yes... finish in front of me no!  I picked up a piece of wood, almost like a one inch dowel piece.

Here let me show you!... as he took it from my hand!

With grace he switches something around on this machine. Adding yet another piece of metal on the other end in no time.  He pulls a tool like I would choose a paint brush, it wasn't quite as sharp as he wanted ... as he spins around turning on yet another machine and starts to sharpen them.  He turns on the wood machine and it spins, faster and faster... I could not believe the graceful, smooth moves, back and forth till it appeared what ever form was in his mind. shavings, that got smaller and smaller as he worked.  Paper, mesh, and other forms of sanders brushed over the piece of wood after all the carving.  All creating even a smaller speck of dust in the air.  Then a liquid... and the speed got faster again... OHHHHH a burn! a thumb nail no longer there, he wears them off  all the time he said.

It was amazing to me to see him work!
He detached the thing, tapped the stopper on, and slid it into a plastic bag for me to give to a friend I would see later.  It was still warm as I slid it into my back pocket!

It is incredible the work he can do.  I have long admired the out comes of his labor, but had never seen it, had often wondered but didn't want to invite myself into his private world when working.  I was overwhelmed with the exhibit of talent and grace... it alone was artful enough for film.  Thank you daddy I enjoyed watching you work this past weekend.

He makes bowls that are for art... others that are for food, wine stoppers, door stoppers, and now bracelets that are beautiful!

I am so proud of him, his work, and the fact he is growing into his retirement; instead of it settling into him!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm ok one on one...

I have found after getting out of the corporate world, after fighting the slow pace of being at home, living in a place with very few friends.  I have lost my social skills.

Used to be I could do a public speech with no issues, tell me what you need to know about, I'll learn it and do it!
Today... I'm lucky to see people over breakfast, then when I check them in, so what little speech I give is on the history of   1847 Blake House Inn B&B  .  Where to go eat around Asheville, Where to hike, where to take your dogs, and where to go for fun.  

I find I have lost my ability to cover a room of 100 people or more so easily as I once did.  So even a group as my family can be over whelming at times.

I have no idea what Danny, Monica, Lain, Zach or any of their families are up to.   I was more concerned of the health of the elder generations still with us.   I've always been in that middle roll, that doesn't seem to change much.  While I do travel like the younger crowd we don't travel in the same manner, my backpacking is of no interest to most of the family.  While Florida has no appeal to me any longer either.

Distance, Time, Ages, and me not having children has only span the family that much further apart.  Funny how no matter what... Nanny and Paw Paw pulled us all together, kept us firm like a house foundation.  With them gone? I float with water while some are firm footings that never move, and other only dry stack corners.

Families...
Life...
Me?????

Monday, September 19, 2011

Well I went home for the night.

Going "home" is ... hard.
Anytime I go; I try to hit more than one bird with what ever stone I throw.

Going home for catfish was no different.
I got my truck worked on.
I got some hay from Paradox Farms.
I got to see one friend only because he helped me with my hay!
I barely got to spend two minutes talking to my dad.  but did finally get to see him make a few things! (i'll have to post again later! )

Because I have chosen a slower life style; dinner was overwhelming to me. So many people, so many things to catch up on. Zach, Lain, Danny and all their kids!  my how they have grown!   Aunt Gale, Aunt Sheri, Uncle Steve, Mother and Bill.  Amanda, Luke, Betsy, Peter, Olivia Emma, and Henry... so many so little time

It was all so much I had to stop by mothers on the way out to get a breather and see how she was.

I also never eat that much... much less with that much grease, so dinner made me sick at my stomach.
Emma came over to sleep with me, we giggled till I fell asleep, then up before 4am... I almost left but it all caught up with me and I didn't leave till after 7 their time.   Dropped off Emma... she had to show me how she can break into the house! ha ha ha..

It is amazing how being gone only a few short hours you see so much more with fresh eyes when you return.

Horses have ? fungus... rain rot? barn fungus etc... so many names same darn thing!   So bad I can't ride them! horrible stuff but I caught it in time.

Yes I knew Sweet pea had it before I left, but Navarre's hair is so long already... I didn't feel it in the early stages on him, it was horrible when I got back!   He as usual is the one I'm worried about.  She will be fine, we all hate that MTG stuff! especially this time of year considering it smells like... bacon, smoked meat, or a barbecue!   I'm worried about the bears that are always around the barn!   Do not want them getting any ideas!   I'll start using my home made concoction when I run out!  I just wanted a head start considering this is time out of the saddle and time not getting them or me ready for the ride.

I am almost certain it is from borrowing someone else's saddle and pad.
So out for med Sunday... got two bottles which should last me a week for both horses..
Got new saddle pads as well.

I'm taking my old one to the car wash spraying it off then coming home putting bleach solution on it, and hoping to rotate it on my riding this winter.   But now that crap is in my barn, in my barn yard and I'll be fighting it from now on.  ? Horses? kids?

Now the weather is perfect and I can't ride! tiz life... isn't this the way it always happens.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I miss these days.

I know I'm in my 40's and while I live only 5 hours away in a car, I rarely get home these days due to work and animal needs.

Tonight everyone is getting together at the "fish house" as we call it in Springfield TN.  I can see all the cousins and their kids, the Aunts, Uncle,Sisters, Nieces and nephew,  my mother and step father.  Laughing, spatting, and taking it all in, telling stories, catching up on days past, present and future.

I wish I could be a fly on the wall.
I wish I could have some of that cat fish,  and think of the days when it was everyone with Nanny and Paw Paw around the table.

I can only wish them fun
I can only WISH I was there~
These are the times I wish I was at home closer to the family, but... I am after all who I am.  I am where I am and life changes daily.

My love goes out to the family.
Have fun.
Think of me ... a little at least!


Love Amber!
PS... lets see who is reading this!
 I'll see you later!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beauty in a ride.

I only wish riding safely didn't require both hands, but with two horses and one being a little less controllable/safe! I am required to have both hands on the reins at all times.

If not I would be taking incredible photos of things I am lucky enough to see on a ride.
I was mentioning to my daddy how, I not only do I have to see what ever is around me, but I have to hear it before I can see it.  Most cars are not so bad, but an easy coasting newer car with their higher hum is much harder to hear and can sneak up on me.  Not only am I watching the road, but like a cyclist I am watching where their feet go next... all the glass, wire, and scrap metal in the ditches... I am having to watch for dogs, groundhogs, and rabbits each of these scare the horses, anything really!

But it is the things in nature I wish I could share, I wish I could get off, down and take pictures of so many things sharing what is really out there!

I found a Paw Paw Tree grove on one ride.  A tree native to the area, long gotten rid of by most, but is a wondrous fruit that taste like banana cream.  Why did so many settlers get rid of them? (like any fruit they attract insects and other animals). I am one of the few that went out of my way to plant four types last spring.  We shall see if they survive as they are hard to transplant,but once they take hold will create a wonderful grove that is almost tropical in style.  I was so excited to see some roadside.  What a joy I would never have noticed in a car.

Incredible, beautiful flowers in the ditches! there are so many times I wish I could stop to see if they smell.

I enjoy on each ride, all the water we pass, cross, and often stop to drink.

The sounds differ crossing each bridge, some are more solid, some are more metal, some are creaky flex too much and I worry what the horses think. I never noticed if a bridge had side rails when I was in a car, I get excited if they do when on a horse.

Riding a horse can bring out the best in others...
One woman was headed straight, saw me... and immediately turned my way, passed me, parked and waiting for me to catch up!   Where are you going? What are you doing?  not in a way to be invasive but in a way that she WANTED to help me! She wanted to be a part of what ever I was doing.  Had I been on my trip I would have welcomed any assistance.

One guy on a Harley, passed me and did the same thing! Can I get you something to drink, need to to get you a burger!  ( NO WORRIES MOM... I'M NOT TAKING FOOD OR DRINK FROM STRANGERS) I always wanted to ride my horses on the road a long distance... he wanted to break a cross country record with several horses...  Me I just want to ride!!!!!!

The point is life is beautiful,my rides are more beautiful than I imagined them to be! Houses are more appealing at my slow horse speed, you see cute things you would never notice in a car.  Not to mention you sit higher on a horse and see a lot more for a longer time.

I am in love with the sound of my horses feet as they hit the pavement.  It is incredible when they are unison, especially when SP is an extender and all leg, PN... WR Prince Navarre is short stocky little legs with no extension who almost has to trot to keep up with Sweet Pea's walk.

I ride out into the rising sun... I ride back into the setting sun... I am always in the light of the day, and the sun in my face is a welcome tingle to my nose, at this point I even welcome the crows feet that are making their new home deeper and deeper etching each day of riding more permanently into my face.

Every Day is a new day! But the beauty of my rides makes me want to ride that much more, emotionally this ride gets easier, it opens doors, it turns corners, and shows me new worlds.

Physically? I'm out of shape, and can only hope I can figure out some of my little issues. I have a doctors appointment Thursday to get more help.  Remember we all age differently! I'm doing my best!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


While we all live at a fast pace! Where I live...as I have said before ... if you go the speed limit you are more likely to be hit than to hit someone, unless it is ME on my horses! the avid cycliest that train here year around, OR one of the locals who really does get around on a bike, a scooter, or by foot! 

But I have noticed having done so many of these road rides I am now driving slower, getting lights flashing in my rearview mirror, and people honking their horns.  

I am not doing this horse ride to proove anything! 
I am not doing this horse ride to break a record ( I get asked this on the road when people stop me! Where are you going? WHY? is there a time record you are trying to break? ) I love their reactions when I say 

I'm doing this for me, I've always wanted to do it and life is too short NOT to do what you love.

So once again this is a day of reflection, collection of more route info... and a day to just tell every five year old out there to never loose their imagination.  

Adults are more worried about things... NOT BILLS, after all.... beyond basic food, water, electricity and BASIC shelter the rest is created by YOU.  (YOU estimating what you will have instead of what you DO have)... but having what the "Jones's" have!  
Who CARES! Have what you need, and do the things you LOVE! if you happen to get more than you need, great! share it! or use it for good. 

It is not about the labels on your purse, clothes, or shoes! 
It is about the things life can not take away from you. 

For me?  While I may SUCK at this ride, I may freeze my "arce" off, I will know that if I fail it was my own fault, if I do it and succeed (my own definition, not yours, not some strangers written dictionary! MY TERMS!) then guess what ... that means I die with even a larger smile on my face! after all what else are you going to take with you?   I have found after having lost all four grandparents, their thoughts, their dreams, their travels and experiences are all still there in their last days, when often times nothing else is! 

My terms... 
I will not harm the health of my horses.  their life on the road... as long as I am with them YES... 
I will not harm my health.  We all have our own issues! 
We tend to be too relaxed in our lives, this is a way I can wake myself up and challenge myself mentally and physically. 

At this point I have to say! If you all haven't noticed all ready!   I am able to do this because I have a husband who only wants me to have personal balance, personal achievements, and will support me in anything that races through my mind that I set my teeth into!   My love, my heart, my body all go out to Jerry D Finley, my cheerleader! 

When was the last time you did something that pushed you to your limits? 

Really !   I want to hear about it! 
Even it if it was reading a specific novel that challenged you! A challenge is a challenge! what's yours?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The day after! 9/11... 9/12 Ten years ago!

Wednesday, September 12, 2001, 12:00PM

Considering I live alone, considering I have no Television and no radio, I was wondering about how today would unfold...

I decided because it was the first cool night of the season and the air was pleasant to the skin, I would walk to work. As I was walking to work, I noticed funny little things.  The first was the silence of the air, living so close to the momentarily famous Barksdale Airforce Base, I could hear the birds in a silence I was unaware existed.  I noticed the freshly cut blades of grass.   I noticed some dogs running loose only because I heard the rustle of leaves.   I realized as I turned the corner and came face to face with a magnolia tree they have red seeds in the cones.  I noticed how the squirles have stripped some of the new pine cones in preparation for winter. I noticed how the squirles were playing up and around and back down the trees.  I noticed the side walk.

Some how the sidewalk appeared in my mind to be different. The way the trees have uprooted the foundation of the sidewalk and moved it considerably.  Somehow it is the same as the day before but different than yesterday.  Somehow it made me feel as through the earth moved yesterday.   The trees are reaching for a firmer ground.  The earth is shifting to prepare itself for what ever is ahead.  The walk is harder, I was fumbling over earth and broken sidewalk that had never bothered me before.  I was noticing all the new cracks, noticing nothing new and wondering about everything.

Our lives are different, our lives are the same.  It all depends on how you look at it.

Don't get me wrong,  I am enjoying this day, I am just more aware of my surroundings.  You have to admit, it's a good thing to have a wake up call every once in a while.

I am fortunate, a friend who works for F.E.M.A. responded to an email I sent asking how to get my doctor involved in the volunteer process. said.. ""AT this time, the outpouring of sentiment has been such that, according to the Red Cross, we have more volunteers that we need at every level... There is a critical blood shortage through... And Yahoo is accepting donations online..." So once again Americans have pulled together and are making a considerable different in the outcome of what ever is to lye ahead.

My car is coming along nicely and will hopefully be ready by the end of the week.  After I get it, I will enjoy the old gas mileage I used to get, not this fill up every 200 miles, that gets really old quick.


As you read this above...
I choose not to have all those outside sources in my life! I was at the height of my freedom as a single woman and enjoyed my own company, and that of my two HUGE dogs... Rex ( black great dane) and Deepak ( my sweet Rhodesian Ridgeback)   I have to admit! Living in Shreveport was an experience, a culture shock, and a time in my life I shall never forget!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 ten years ago.

It is hard to believe, I was living in Sheveport LA on the day of.  I remember the imediate rush of testosterone in the office I was in... The men... patiences, doctors, workers, I'm signing up! One Dr I worked closely with even had me contact a person at FEMA.   Life went on, as well we could, then the rumor of the president being there just over the river on the base ...

As I read over this email I copied and pasted below! I didn't even remember any of the other stuff from that day! THAT is how the day un rolled!

It was that next day, when I walked to work my senses were heightened and I had to write an email to my family about it!

Back then I wrote blanket emails of my life, much as I do with my blogging now adays, I'll try to find a hard copy and re-post tomorrow if I can find it!   If anyone in the family has it! feel free to send it again!

FOUND my 9-11 post! Thanks to my mother!

Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 1:20:48 PM
Subject: serious day.

Well,
    I started out the day thinking I would tell you how yesterday went.  I
was one of the worst days I had experienced in Shreveport as of yet, but now
I know things in the world can get worse.

    When everyone gets this we will all have more information, but have you
ever considered how arrogant we Americans are?    To think, we thought,
nothing would happen, someone has issued and executed a very well thought
out plan.  You know other countries are laughing, that we allowed someone to
force us into shutting down every airport in the country, and many of our
subway system. All the other countries are able to isolate the insodents...
they shut down an area and life goes on.  Grant you, most other countries
are not our size.

Our communication abilities will probably be the next to go.  after all ATT
has shut down all services in and out of New York as it is.

    To have an American made land mark destroyed, no telling how many lives
lost.  To have the pentagon, the white house and an airport in another state
all harmed to some extent.  There is no telling what else could happen
today.

It is amazing how this has affected everyone.  The patients are glued to the
television out in the waiting area, then their entire demeanor changes...
They are all angry or sad, basically depending on their sex.  The women are
observed as walking down the hall with their head lower than normal.  The
men are tight fisted and eager to voice their thoughts.  We should... is the
most common phrase today.  Someone will pay... is a close second place.

I have been fortunate to know my family is safe.  I am fortunate to know I
am not in a large city today.

    Wow!!!!! and I thought yesterday was bad.  This is the biggest thing to
happen to Americans in years. Sadly enough it will more than likely only
wake us up as a country for a year or so.  Look at OK city!

    Can you imagine! the panic, the extent of energy beyond that of the
Oklahoma bombing, this is not a matter we Americans of my generation are
accustomed to being exposed to.

Exposure... the president just landed here with 3 fighters around.  It was
said to be a wild tale, but was supposently just confirmed.... Now that's a
little too amazing to me if I am in a small coonass city with a confirmed
major air force fighting base and they have just brought the president here.
Now how exciting can that be.  If it is true... I am amazed they took him
over, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, that makes it a little far fetched
for me but that is what is being said.  (I am sure other states are saying
the same thing he's here he's here, we all scream, We are the special ones
they all say. )  This we will only know as time tells.  Oh yea just incase
it is history the time is 11:50am  central time.
Ok so this is the rest of the story.  this is the head quarters for the
airforce.  This is a nuclear war site.  Wow!  I had no idea.  If I can
visit base before I leave, I will have to do that.  Wow that's sorta
interesting. ..

back to much lighter situations...
My day yesterday.

My company is not sure what to do with me, they do not want to lose me as an
employee so they figure they will ship me from office to office for the time
being.  So I suppose this will be another adventure in itself but... Another
chapter in my book.  I don't want to pay rent if I am not going to be home
except on the weekends.  Why would I dare spend more money than I have too.
Besides I would need one major baby sitter down here.

My day only got better!

My neighbors I have yet to describe in full detail have in some form
effected me.  Lilly and RC live on the other side of Noma.  (the house
filled
with art. ) So they do not live on my street and I can barely see their
house
but.... man....

The house that effected my day yesterday...and the days before.  The house
is two story, a family
of five lives down stairs and a family of four up stairs.  They share
utilities... water, gas and electricity.  Don't ask me why the landlord
left it that way.  The two apartments are truly separate.

So anyway the upstairs family...
Kim, the mother.
BreAnna the four year old.
the baby, I can never remember her name, (I  am just not a baby person)
and the husband, whom I could care less who or what he is.

Kim has no gas because the bills have not been paid, a collective problem.
BreAnna just had a birthday.

So Kim comes over with the baby,and BreAnna in tow, along with cup cake
pans, all the ingredience, towels, shampoo, and conditioner. Not to mention
the new shiner on her left eye.

Yea so she asked me if she could use my oven.  They have no gas.  She asked
me if she could take a bath and bathe the children.  So, all of this sounds
fine, then she asked for leftovers, because the children had not eaten.
Understand, all the ovens and stoves are gas as well.

Ok so how am I suppose to refuse any of this... I can't let a child go
hungery.

So first things first, lets get the cupcakes going.  To my amazement, Kim
knew what all to purchase but had no idea how to make cup cakes.  So I
ended up making the cupcakes and icing only two thirds of them.  They were
cute.... The first batch was strawberry, the second, chocolate.  We put
white iceing on the pink and chocolate on the others.  They were in cute
little barbie paperliners.  But after doing this...She had to bathe the
kids, where I started preparing food.  Then I (of all people) had to watch
the kids while she took a shower.

So I have gotten out food I had saved for just such an occassion, you know
one where you have no idea where your next paycheck is going to come from.
I got out 3 days worth of food, thinking I would eat myself.  Well I put
together what I could for BreAnna and then a plate for Kim.  While I am
cleaning the mess just about to make my plate I realize Kim is done and
wanting more.  Well I suppose.... Please help yourself, she acted as though
she had not eaten in days.  I am not used to this from her.  She ate 2 and
1/2 servings, BreAnna only ate half a serving.  She has lost weight but I
assumed she was trying to.  Not that she apsolutely has to but...it's not a
bad thing.

So here I am in a day of history where just yesterday I was feeling like I
had a third world country living in the house across the street and then
today we get bombed like one.

Asking everyone at work how this day has affected them at this very moment
in time, I have gotten several responces... One simply put as fear.  One
that of a concerned mother for her children and the welfare of her
grandchildren.  Another a little more pratical... she knows it is not
effecting her personally, but it will effect her environment.  She is glad
to be traveling in and out of the country in a short while, (going to
Germany) because the bombing has made that safer in general for a while.
Until Americans in general get lazy and think once again it's not going to
happen here.

Have a good day and I am glad to know my family is safe.
amber.