Morning rides

Lately its been hot. Hot enough for the screen door to burn my hand when I went to open it. Ok, not really, but my fingers felt the sizzle. So when I get home from work and it’s still in the 90s I have zero motivation to let it cool off and then go ride, especially since I don’t usually have a baby sitter from the hours of 6 to 9 p.m.

My solution? Get up at 6 a.m., and ride when it’s still cool and Shaun’s still asleep. Works for me, even though I’m not much of a morning person. I somehow have much more motivation to get up and ride than I do in the evenings. Completely surprising to me.

Here’s a couple of views from my morning rides this week. Pardon the crappy Blackberry photos.

Stuck in memory lane

Before yesterday I have only been able to ride my horse twice in the last month. Sure there were times when I could have snuck out of the house while Shaun was sleeping or put him in his dads arms and said, “I’m going outside,” but I haven’t. I have a million excuses, but mostly it’s hot out and I’ve gotten rather lazy when the temperature creeps above 95. And I like hot weather.

So last night I decided it’s time to ride as I want to go to a barrel race in two weeks, so I better get after it. I almost wimped out when I got out of the pickup at the house and there was a stiff 30 mph wind and it was in the 90s. But once horseback I was glad I did.

We have three horses at our house, Kate, my mare and the little bay mare. They all three can be ridden but one is rough to ride and not much fun and the other is a lot younger than I like. Mine is just perfect and at this point in her life, fun to ride. It’s very easy to crawl on the most familiar horse on the place. And I’m perfectly happy with that.

The mares come in for their evening meal.

My husband has told me that I could take the little bay mare and see if I want to run barrels on her. Since he has said this I have been on her a grand total of one time. I rode her in the round pen, and she’s soft, responsive and buries her butt in the ground. I’ve seen her “work” in the pasture and pen. She is athletic and catty. Looks as though she would be fun to ride.

My sister keeps asking me when I’m going to start riding the little bay mare. My friend Mindy keeps emailing me leads on other horses. They seem to think I need another horse. I’m perfectly happy with my 20-year-old mare. We’ve gotten along just fine these last 14 years together. Even my horseshoer asked when I was going to ride something different.

I hate to admit it, but I really don’t want to ride any other horse than my mare. She’s turned into one of those “once in a lifetime” horses and no other horse will live up to her. I’ve been places and accomplished goals with her that I never thought possible. Sure, that might mean when she’s gone that I will either quit riding all together or start something else. It’s hard to imagine not riding, so I guess I better get used to riding another horse sooner rather than later.

On one of those afternoons I was sitting on my butt in the house watching Shaun play I thought about how my life has changed. From 2003 to 2009 in the months of May/June/July/August my life was consumed with Kansas Professional Rodeo Association rodeos. I was either worried about getting through on the phone line to get entered in the performance I wanted or what the ground was going to be like when I got to the rodeo. A lot of the time I would leave on a Friday afternoon and not come back home until the early morning hours of Sunday. I’d sometimes hit a jackpot during the week as well.

I have a wall in my home office with a lot of the photos of my mare and I running barrels. My husband calls it my shrine. I call it a lot of hard work, accomplishments and goals. I can never have too many photos of my horse running barrels and went looking for some. Found them on a local photographers website,

Here’s a couple I found.

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One of these days I will get another horse, whether it be Spence’s little bay mare, or something I buy myself. It will just be in my own time.

Sick kid

Other than normal coughs and colds my little boy hasn’t really been sick since he was hospitalized at 3 weeks of age. He was very sick and spent Memorial Day weekend in the hospital (4 days total) with an infection that they really never pinpointed. I choose not to remember that event in his life because to a new mom it was rather terrifying. I was more scared taking him home from the hospital that day than I was when he first went home after he was born. I was terrified of him getting sick again. We turned family and friends away from visiting because we didn’t want their germs. Eventually we got over that, and Shaun stayed healthy.

At three weeks old Shaun was hospitalized and very sick. This was taken the evening he got to come home.

This past weekend I was planning on leaving to head to Colorado for a work event. Saturday morning it was after 8 and Shaun was still sleeping. This was kind of unusual as he’s normally up before 7:30. I checked the monitor to make sure it was working and it was. By 8:30 he was still not up so I went in to check on him. He was still sleeping, so I let him be. At 8:45 he woke up screaming and crying. I picked him up and he was burning up. I called my husband and got voice mail. I called my mom and her phone just rang and rang. Tried my husband again, and same deal. In the meantime I took his temperature. 102.7 under his arm. Hummm… Called husband again and he was frantic at work and told me just to take him to the ER. Mom called finally and decided to come over.

I gave Shaun some Tylenol and put him in a tepid bath. He screamed and screamed. He looked at me like I was crazy for putting him in the lukewarm water. By the end of that bath we were both crying. Me because when he was hospitalized last time it started with a fever, and him because he didn’t know what why I was putting him in the tub.

By the time my Mom got there the Tylenol had kicked in and he was feeling better. Got him to eat something and he seemed good to go. Even snapped a pic of him having a ball terrorizing me.

Later in the day the fever came back, and it kept coming back until Tuesday morning. We did go to the doctor on Monday, and blood work and urine analysis showed some sort of infection. They were waiting on tests so I went home in the meantime. Had to wait on him to wake up to go get his antibiotics and he was not feeling it the entire trip to town and back.

Thankfully this morning he didn’t wake up with a fever and Grammy could stay with him so I could go back to work.

Much better now. Tuesday afternoon.

My “idiot move of the year”

I have been without my Dodge for two full weeks, and it appears as though it may be even longer. How long does it take to fix a bumper and a front end? I’m no mechanic or auto body tech, but that doesn’t seem very time-consuming to me. But I know parts can sometimes be hard to find.

So for the last couple of weeks I have been driving different vehicles, and I have discovered I can’t drive a gas pickup. After driving diesels for most of my driving years it’s tough getting behind the wheel of a truck that burns gasoline. Probably a matter of my spoiled preferences than one out of necessity. (There I said it. My husband would be shocked.) Diesel is a lot more expensive and the pickups themselves cost heck of a lot more, but they last longer, pull heavier loads and sound cooler. Least that’s my reasoning.

Normally, I drive my pickup to and from work, but my “idiot move of the year” caused a little change in plans. I have been driving my father-in-laws old Chevy pickup and our car since my pickup is in the shop, and it is making me appreciate my black Dodge even more. I can’t hear the dang Chevy idle and it makes me all paranoid. I wonder why? It has 206,000 miles on it and drives like it earned every one of those miles. The AC doesn’t work and the window creaks every time you roll it down. I worry that it will roll down and won’t go back up because of that hideous noise. But I don’t want to sweat to death either (however this fat girl could stand to sweat a few pounds off).

I’m VERY thankful to have a vehicle to drive while mine is getting fixed, but driving it makes me appreciate mine even more.

I haven’t said much about my “idiot move of the year” because I’m still not too impressed with my dumbass move. I didn’t even take one photo of the damage. So, for those that don’t know, here’s the story on my stupidity. On the day of Shaun’s birthday party I was hurrying around trying to get everything ready for the party. Not sure why I was so concerned about having everything perfect for a one year old’s party – one he likely won’t ever remember – but I wanted family and friends to have a good time.

I had left Shaun with my mom and sister to run to the store to get ice cream, table cloths that fit round tables and some more table decorations. While at the store I figured since I was so close to the dollar store why not get a couple of balloons to enhance the party mood. Heading back to the party location I was not paying attention and reached to fiddle with the AC in my pickup. When I looked up, WHAM! I smacked into the back of a SUV. Remarkably I remained calm (and didn’t get mad since that’s usually my go-to reaction in a bad situation). I called the cops and reported the incident, and thanked my lucky stars I didn’t have Shaun with me and that no one was hurt. My poor Dodge was crunched, but still able to be driven.

It has been in the shop since May 21, getting repaired and outfitted with a Ranch Hand grill guard. No, not so I can completely obliterate another vehicle when I have another “idiot move of the year” but to protect the front end of my pickup from my stupidity. And the occasional stupid deer that happens to run in my path.

But for now, I will settle for having something to drive, be it the red Chevy or our car. At least I can hear mine running while I’m sitting at the stoplight..