Friday, March 31, 2006

Inked

This just scares me... an incorporated town in Florida where there will be a fusion of religion and government...



Don't pass out around these guys. Doubt this is what he had in mind when he was talking about getting a tattoo.

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
~
Mark Twain

I spent a few hours talking to my best friend about life. It is surprising how much insight into my psyche she has even when she is almost 400 miles away.

She is going to be coming up to visit in a week, and I think we are going to go get "inked" together. Just because we can.

A brave Army wife, she has pretty much raised her two youngsters on her own so far. Her husband is in Iraq on his second tour. Hopefully, he will be home in September. She told me today that he was hoping to become a drill sergeant; pray this comes true.

Of course she continued on about how I should just move down to Tennessee, transferring guard units. I have to admit I am very tempted, but it is on the opposite side of the state from where I want to move in Tennessee (near the Smokey Mtns). Clarksville isn't quite what I had in mind... but it is, however, closer to Nashville (right Shayna?).

My best friend called me a chicken shit, mainly because I was a little scared to jump in with both feet and commit to changing my life. Of course she is right; if I want something to change, I have to change too. Meaning, I need to move if I want to move.

If I am not doing something to change what I am unhappy about, then I quickly lose the right to complain about it. Therefore, guess I might be packing some boxes, putting the dogs and cat in the truck, and loading my lone horse in the trailer.

Because she is so right. I am young and unattached. This is the time for me to be living my life for myself.

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Tomorrow night is the night of that big karaoke contest. Should be entertaining....

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Intervention At The Pump

While at one of the gas stations in my hometown today, I got another funny reminder of small town life. This one particular station I was at has an intercom that is used to tell you when your pump is turned on. Guess this makes the employees look at each vehicle before they turn the gas on, to make sure they can identify the vehicle if it drives off.

At least, that is what I hope it is for, as surely some of these people around here aren't THAT stupid.

Pump one, your pumps ready, blared the gas station attendant, as I leaned against my truck, watching $2.69 per gallon fuel rack up on the pump's meter. Ouch. Just have to have this beast of mine.

Pump five is ready... Cody!? You better make sure you put your seat belt on. Drive the speed limit boy, those cops already don't like you.

All this time, I am trying to nonchalantly glance over at the little beat up Ford Ranger that the kid is driving, because this lady is cracking my ass up tormenting him. He is trying to act like he is not the one being lectured, but it isn't working. One customer is already chuckling.

Young man, who is that with you? Joshua, is that you?! You better put that seat belt on now, boy. Don't make me call your Grandmother! booms the speaker. By now this poor kid looks like he wants to go hide, and the other one is slinking down in the seat, tugging the bill of his Illini cap. The one pumping gas slams the lever on the pump, fumbles while putting the nozzle back, and hurries into the store to pay.

As he walks back out of the store, the speakers warn, You two stinkers better behave. There are eyes all over this town, I'll find out if you have been causin' trouble. You hear me!?

By now, I am laughing pretty hard, as the look on their faces was priceless. They both put their seat belts on like good little boys, and off they zoomed in that ratty Ford Ranger. The one named Joshua checked me out when they went past, and I couldn't help but shake my finger at him.

After I got into the store, I found out that the gas station attendant was the Aunt of the kid named Cody, who it turns out just turned 16. This was his first day as a licensed driver, and she couldn't resist the temptation of harrasing him. Poor kid. He should have went to another station!

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Chick update: Maude is down to nine chicks. I don't know what happened, but I am going to start putting them in for the night so that they are safe from hawks and other bad critters.

Signs




Somehow I find this ironic.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Surprise!

I was just talking about chickens over at Miz B's after her episode with quail eggs. I, to this day, have never bought eggs at a store. I prefer my eggs to come from happy, free roaming chickens. Growing up, I was always running outside to find eggs for my mom when she needed one more than she had in the fridge for a recipe.

By now, most of you know I grew up on a farm. We had "the layers" - Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, and Rhode Island Reds. All of these breeds have brown eggs, as most of the people that would come buy eggs always wanted brown eggs. Two of these girls were "double yolk" layers, and had HUGE eggs. All of those hen's daughters were "double yolk" layers, too.

Mom also always had Araucanas and bantams, which lay eggs in a rainbow of colors. It was like Easter every day. The eggs might be any shade of pink, purple, green, blue, you name it. Some were even turquoise. We sold a lot of those eggs, mainly around Easter, because they are so much more fun to color.

We also had the bantam "models" - Seabrites, Andalusians, and Cochins, along with several others breeds that looked cool. My favorites have always been the bantam cochins. They have feathers on their feet, and are very cool little birds, considering they are just chickens.

I now live on the other side of the farm from the house I grew up in, in my grandparent's old farm house. Here at my house, I have five bantam chickens. The four hens are Princess, Betsy, Blackie, and Maude. Their handsome rooster is Slick Rick. Yes, I know the names are something else. But they are full of personality, and the names suite them.

I had not been able to find Maude the last few days... but today there she was this morning, setting on the ground next to the shed that is not too far from my house. I thought to myself, That looks weird. So I walked up to her to pick her up to see if she was hurt, and to my surprise, Maude had ten little bitty chicks she was keeping warm!


Aren't they cute! They are so many different colors. One is going to be buff like Maude. There is one black chick, one white chick, two chocolate chicks, one that is going to be reddish, and the other four are going to be partridge colored. Partridge is multi-colored, with their red feathers being penciled in black.

There is still snow on the ground from the blizzard that went through the week after the tornadoes. But these chicks make it seem more like Spring now.

******************************************************************************

I have been doing better. Finally ate something last night. I worked from home today, but I didn't get much stuff done except for my deadlines. But I don't care. I forgot about everything for a little bit while I messed around with the chicks. I want to call my nieces over to play while they are on Spring break, but how do I tell a just turned 6 year old and 8 year old what happened? Especially when the 6 year old is just like her Aunt. She reads people and horses just like I read people and horses. She has my gift.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Blahs

Cried while reading the post over at Shayna's about her Grandmother. I think it hit me hard because of everything I have been through the last few weeks...

Stayed home today from work. Just don't feel well. I am not sure if it from all the commotion this weekend, or if I caught a bug.

Doug's word of the day (Jockey) motivated my post today.

Horses are in my blood. I am beyond obsessed. It consumes me. I am full of knowledge of all aspects of the horse industry, but horse racing is one of my biggest loves. I never understood why, until I found out my sperm donor(aka biological father) is a race horse horse trainer (still haven't met him). But besides that, I had a racing legend that I idolized.

A Hall of Fame jockey lives minutes away from where I grew up. I spent a lot of my childhood at their farm while my mom and his wife rehabbed wild animals. The wildlife was cool, but I would spend every second I could looking at all of the pictures on the wall and picking John's brain about horses. My all-time favorite pick was of John up on one of Joan Crawford's horse after a win at Hollywood Park.

Rotz in polkadot silks. He still looks this handsome.

Called "Gentleman John," John Rotz is known for being very gentle and kind when dealing with horses and people. He rode in over 20,000 races during his career as a jockey, winning over 2,900 races. Rotz never won the Kentucky Derby; however, he did beat THE legend - Triple Crown winner Secretariat. This is a big deal, because Secretariat won 16 of his 21 starts.

Go, baby, go! (Ta Wee and Rotz coming down the stretch to the wire).

The talented Ta Wee with Rotz in the irons.

In the Winner's Circle

Ta Wee was a wonderfully bred mare, with Man O'War on her paternal side and War Admiral on her maternal side. Ta Wee was a half sister to Rotz's favorite mount, Dr. Fager. Back in 1968, Dr. Fager could have beaten any horse by a mile. The only other horse racing freaks would say this about would be Man O'War. Dr. Fager was the only horse in history to be named Horse of the Year, champion sprinter, champion grass horse and champion older male, all in the same year.

Aboard Greek Money, Rotz won the Preakness in 1962. He considers this his career highlight, as this race was a battle to the wire for the lead against Manuel Ycaza aboard Ridan, one of the horses to beat that year.

Rotz was the nation's leading stakes rider in 1969 and 1970. He won the Belmont in 1970 with High Echelon, a Florida bred horse that was a grandson of one of my favorite TB legends, Native Dancer. I have watched this race in black and white on tape, and it was on a sloppy track. Rotz won that race with skill, stalking from the back of the pack, taking the lead after conserving his horse.

In 1973, Rotz was awarded the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Ten years later in 1983, Rotz was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Rotz and his cutting horse Buzzy give a demonstration for some school kids.

John Rotz still rides horses, but now he chases cows instead of other horses. Cutting horses are his new passion. His success with horses continues on, as he has several champion cutters. But I would expect nothing less out of Gentleman John.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Numb


Perfectly describes me since Friday night around 8PM. I am numb. Perhaps I should be heartbroken, sad, enraged, distraught... an endless list of words could describe watching two horses that I loved with all of my heart suffer. But there are no words.

Gotta get out of here. Everything I see reminds me of Friday night. It keeps replaying in my mind in slow motion. Eating repulses me. All I want to do is drink, as this makes the images go away. Sleeping scares me, as I relive every moment in sporadic, unorganized patterns until I wake myself up, run to the barn, and cry until there are no tears because it was not a nightmare - it is the evil truth.

This place doesn't sing anything but tragedy. Can't figure out why I can't catch a break. No matter what I do, it seems like life is punishing me. What am I doing so wrong, that they needed to suffer?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Is It Really Friday?!?

After I glanced down at the heat gun I was grasping, I decided enough was enough. Sternly looking the Bossman in the face, I said, "Don't make me use this." And I was serious.

Why do some people think that others want to join them in their misery? Having a bad day is one thing, but it drives me crazy when people yell and throw things for no apparent reason. Being yelled at for nothing makes my blood boil. Never again will I be a verbal punching bag. After dealing with my dad growing up, I made a promise to myself to not let people drag me into their hell. Go rot by yourself.

What made matters worse was the fact that his daughter is pregnant. Kass is my best friend's little sister, so I am very protective of her. She was on five months of bed rest during her last pregnancy; and this pregnancy is looking the same way. So the last thing she needs is her dad ranting and throwing shit around the shop.

Therefore, I sucked it up and told him if he didn't knock it off, I was going to leave for the day. And today we were SWAMPED at the shop. I didn't even leave for a lunch break.

"If you want to be a big baby and throw a tantrum, go outside and kick your truck tires and cuss. Because Kass and I are sick of your shit. How dare you stress her out! She's prego, and here you are being an ass." Kass smiled, and Bossman's face was shocked.

I think I got my point across, because he stopped. Of course he didn't apologize; but he sure as hell was nicer to deal with for the rest of the day.

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Shayna's post, Sar and the Shoe Store Interview, is a must read. Shayna is witty as usual. There is a point in the interview where Shayna asks Sar about Patrick Swayze. (something about bouncing quarters off his ass...)



Well, I have met Swayze. Out of the celebrities that I have met while showing horses, he is my favorite. (Shatner is my least). And I have watched Swayze show his horses in halter and performance. He also has presented the flag at shows. He is an excellent horseman. Swayze is a very sweet and spiritual man who loves his horses. (Do I have to mention how handsome he is?) He likes Straight Eqyptians, while I prefer Polish bloodlines. His lovely stallion in the pictures is Tammen. They lost him back in April of 1999.


Swayze's horse trainer was best friends with the father of one of the ladies I trained horses for. Her father has since passed on, but his trainer remains like family to her. So I met him several times.

There is a poster of the picture of Tammen and Swayze with his back to the camera in my office. Below the picture it says "Where in the wide world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity? Here where grace is laced with muscle and strength by gentleness confined." ~ Ronald Duncan.

And it is signed by Swayze, to me, "A fellow lover and protector of the equine soul."

The weirdest thing about celebrities in the horse world, is that they are no longer the celebrities. The horses are.

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Perhaps I should write a book about my life.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

New Addition

She is smiling she is so happy she has a home!


Somehow I have acquired another Aussie. Goes by the handle Gracie. She is very beautiful, and is just over a year old. She is so sweet, and looks wicked cool with her different colored eyes. Now I will have two dogs with tail envy.

Sadly, I sold the two broodmares I had left today (one was my old QH barrel mare I bought back). And I cried all the way to the bank, literally.

So I am down to three horses; two horses I will never sell, and one that I don't want to sell, but should. A fancy mover, he still has a lot of show years left, and would still make a nice national level horse for a youth. Three national titles are in his resume. This guy deserves more than hanging out in a pasture.

That would leave me with my retired show horse Bubba, from when I was younger, and another gelding, Pride, that I acquired around the time my fiance and I split. These two boys are a part of the family, and will live their lives out being spoiled by me. Bubba is a "lawn ornament" so he hangs around and keeps the pasture mowed. Every once in a while I like to lay on his back while he grazes like I did when I was younger. Since being retired, he has stayed here at the farm while I moved around training. He has several national titles in his resume also - some of those we won together.

Bubba will always stay with my parents; I think my dad would cry if I moved him. And my dad NEVER cries, even at funerals.

Pride, on the other hand, is a riding and driving machine. Riding him is my high - he has so much power and je-ne-sais-quoi. I have such a connection with him. He is the one that will lay down and sleep with me in his stall. His show wins are astounding, and he L.O.V.E.S. to show-off. He has a fire inside of him that makes me forget anything else. He is such a cocky and prideful horse. But so kind.

Now I am on the lookout for a new barrel horse. Most certainly a Quarter Horse. Gonna unbury my Billy Cook and cinch me up a can chaser. Time to go back to my grass roots of rodeos. Although I love them, I don't have any interest in showing show horses anymore. The bad apples ruined it for me.

I am ready to go back to where whoever is the fastest wins. And I like going fast! Turn 'n burn!

Who knew mud could look this sexy!

Me likes them cowboys anyway. I can be myself, and they think it is cool.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cornfed

"Heaven forbid that I am just like anyone else."



An odd calmness has fallen over me. I am feeling a lot better today. I haven't heard anything in regards to my friend's case; however she does seem to be doing pretty good considering.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I am doing, who I am, and where I am headed. Today feels like I am at a cross roads. I can be surrounded by people, but I feel alone.

I do however, know for sure I want to move. But I want to be in a smaller town. Definitely country, and south. I'm thinking Tennessee still, or Texas. But I am leaning Tennessee.

************************************************************************************* Small Towns

1) You can name everyone you graduated with (and some of their siblings).

2) You know what 4-H and FFA means. And possibly belonged. (I belonged to both).

3) You went to parties at a pasture, barn, water way, gravel pit, or in the middle of a dirt road. On Monday you could always tell who was at the party because of the scratches on their legs from running through the woods/fields when the party was busted. (See #6.)

This is one of the things a truck bed is for.


4) You used to "drag" Main, or "cruise" around the square (affectionately known as the Squarcle, because it isn't a square really).

5) Your parents would hear about any trouble you got into, because everyone knows you. (Trick is, don't get caught!)

6) You scheduled parties around the schedules of different police officers, because you knew which ones would bust you and which ones wouldn't. (I was lucky because my friend's dads were the sheriff, 2 deputys, 2 city kittys, and a state trooper - so we were ok as long as we didn't kill anyone lol).


Getting dirty is so much fun.


7) You could never buy cigarettes because all the store clerks knew how old you were (and if you were old enough, they'd tell your parents anyhow.)

8) When you did find somebody old enough and brave enough to buy cigarettes, you still had to go out into the country and drive on back roads to smoke them. (Or hang out behind the barn or out in the waterway).

9) You knew which section of the ditch you would find the beer your buyer dropped off. (Better if it was in the snow).

10) It was cool to date somebody from the neighboring town. (Diversity)

11) The whole school went to the same party after games, homecoming, prom, and graduation.

12) You didn't give directions by street names but rather by references. Turn by Strickland's house, go 2 blocks to the Holme's house, and it's four houses left of the track field.

13) You wave at everyone that waves, because if you didn't, someone would think you didn't know who they were or accuse you off being stuck up.

14) You couldn't help but date a friend's ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.

15) Your car/truck stayed filthy because of the dirt/gravel roads.

16) The town next to you was considered "trashy" or "snooty," but was actually just like your town.

17) You referred to anyone with a house newer then 1975 as the "rich people."

18) The people in the "big city" dressed funny, and then you picked up the trend 2 years later.

19) Anyone you wanted could be found on the square if you couldn't get ahold of them on the phone.

20) You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town or one of your friends driving a grain truck to school occasionally.

21) The coach suggested you haul hay for the summer to get muscled up. (I never got a choice, my family baled hay).

22) Directions were given using THE stop light as a reference. (Now my hometown has several stoplights...)

23) When you decided to walk somewhere for exercise, 5 people would pull over and ask if you needed a ride.

24) No one got nervous at the sounds of someone shooting, especially if it was deer season.

Guess where this is?


25) Your teachers remembered when they taught your parents/siblings/relatives. They also called you by your older siblings' names.

26) You could charge at any local store or write checks without any ID.

27) The closest mall was 20 miles away (or more).

28) You could go back home to pay for gas if you forgot your money, and they knew you would come back to pay. (It's not like they didn't know where everyone lived).

29) It was normal to see an old man riding through town on a riding lawn mower. (And usually drinking a beer).

30) You've pee'd in a field or in the timber.

31) Most people went by a nickname. (Mine - Red or Mitchel E).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's Spring?

Go over and vote for Courting Destiny. Click here now!

Shayna's little one is sick and was admitted into the hospital... please keep them in your prayers.

Shell has provided a perfect poem for my current status.

************************************************************************************* Spring has announced itself with a windy blizzard, just a little over a week after this area was hit by tornadoes. Geesh. Who did we piss off?

At least the snow prettied things up a little.




My horses are starting to shed already, so I went into action. I bundled them up in stable blankets and put them in stalls last night because the wind was howling like a pissed off banshee. I turned them out a few hours ago. They all ran around in a big blur, playing in the snow. I got lost in the moment watching them, it was beautiful.

Thank God all of the horses that were visiting due to the tornadoes went back to their trainers...

Schools are closed, but I knew they would be last night. It helps to have family on the school board. Mom always knows the scoop.

About yesterday's post - My young friend fell asleep on the way from the hospital; so her mom took her home instead of here. Probably was better. She is going to come over and hang out later after she wakes up. This barely 16 year old has proven herself such a brave young soul. I am thrilled that she wants to talk to me, but on the other side of the coin, it is taking everything I have got in me to deal with things. At least now I know why I moved back home. Being here for her was it - it very well may be the most important thing in my life so far.


Makes me wish for the days when trying to see how much gum you could stick in your mouth was important.



After "talking" to a few concerned ones (thanks to all of you), I still couldn't sleep late last night. So I did what I always do - I went out to the barn. My place of solace. Put on my black carhart over-alls which makes me look and feel like a burnt marshmallow, and ventured out in the nasty weather in order to be comforted by my horses. And of course my dog tagged along. He is so loyal.


Tuning my brain out, I took each horse's blanket off and gave them a good brushing, then put their blankies back on. I love my horses - they all tolerated my early morning invasion of their sleep with deep, kind eyes, soft nuzzles, and deep whickers. I then fed them all each a flake of hay, and sat in my one gelding's stall watching him eat. The sounds of horses eating hay is music to my ears. Quite intoxicating. I must have fallen asleep in his stall at some point, and when I woke up, he was laying down next to me. What a sweet heart.


************************************************************************************* It's brainless to assume that making changes to your window's view will give a new perspective ... I think I am realizing this.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Just Breathe

Anna Nalick

There's a light at each end of this tunnel,
You shout 'cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
And these mistakes you've made, you'll just make them again
If you only try turning around.

2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to

But you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
and breathe, just breathe
woah breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe.

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~Update 6:45PM~ Just when life is getting peachy, it feels like hell again.

Hatred. Absolute hatred is pumping through my veins. Spent late last night and into the ugly, overcast morning holding someone, trying to put band-aids on bullet wounds. Crying out of pain, anger, frustration, fear. Felt guilty as tattered pages of my past tried to overshadow my friend's tragic new chapter in her life. Too many have chapters much like ours. Deep, harrowing passages, kept all too often guarded like a locked diary of a damaged soul. Daylight never sees the darkness; hiding, ashamed. Violated.

Barely 16 years old, she reaches out to me. Someone she knows won't judge her, blame her... Her innocence is lost, stolen by some rat bastard that better hope he can out run me when I finally track his ass down. Be forewarned and nervous.

Reporting it was not an option in her eyes. Rape all too often turns the victim into the accused; something that can feel worse than being raped. She won't tell her parents... which I sadly understand. This pain is all too real to me. Beyond familiar. She knew I would support her and protect her secret. A secret that should have never been hers to keep.

The bruises on her tiny, freckled arms make me want to vomit. I haven't been able to eat all day; although I think that it is influenced by my past as well as hers. This gorgeous girl weighs all of 90 pounds. This will haunt her as it haunts me. Her pain is worse than mine; at least I wasn't a virgin. What she had was stolen. Unreturnable.

Why?!?
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~11:45PM~

She decided to tell her mom and report the rape. Just FYI. Being able to feel like she was not alone made her decide to report it, in hopes that he wouldn't do it again. I am still gonna find his ass...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Two Pots of Coffee And A Handful of Advil Later...

Please make a trip over to SGT Grey Eagle's to read the touching post When Eagles Soar Together . Her husband (affectionately know as Balding Eagle), posted this after watching his wife board a plane back to Iraq after being on leave. It is a must read...

Another must read on my list today is Shayna's post Forgetful America... . She amazes me yet again, and gives me a reminder that I need to keep my chin up. *Thank You*

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It is a sad day when I am still feeling a little crappy from partying every night from Wednesday to Saturday. I haven't been hungover in about three years, but today it is kicking my ass a bit. This area loves a reason to party, and St. Patrick's Day is a local favorite.

Either I am stupid or I am a glutton for punishment, because I am going to be headed out again. Tonight I am out for more at the Irish. Karaoke, corned beef and cabbage, green beer, and more beads for me to add to my collections. What else could a Cowgirl want? This past week I have acquired thirty beads - my favorites being the ones that glow in the dark. Now that is something to be proud of. *rolls eyes and smiles.*

Last night was amazing. My rocker chick was in high gear, fueled by good tunes, free green beer, and a huge crowd. Wearing green and being female rewarded me with as much free green beer I could handle. So let's just say I was a wee bit intoxicated. But I loved every minute of it.

I "rawked" out til 2AM when the bands hung it up for the night, then this Irish for a week Cowgirl and a certain hunky man hit the jacuzzi for some much needed relaxation. Perfect ending to a perfect drunk.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Picture This Cowgirl Style

Been tagged by the lovely Shayna. Here are the rules (like I follow rules! I put my own twist on this).

1. Choose a search engine (e.g. Google), click “Images”.
2. Pick 5 random blogfriends.
3. Think of a word or phrase that you feel describes each friend.
4. Do an image search of that word or phrase.
5. Pick an image that makes you say,
“Aha! That’s it!”

Shayna, saw this and thought it was perfect! *displaying "rock out" horns with both hands* You rock!

Shell, I thought you could use a trip to the Pixie Dust Day Spa to unwind! (I'm going to!)


Pia, I won you a guest writer position on Boston Legal... ok not really. But it's the thought that counts.


Sar, I pulled some strings, and got you a date with 24's Jack Bauer! What shoes to wear...


And last but definitely not least, Miz B. Here it is, your much awaited chance to chat one on one with Mark Mulford. I know how much you looooooveee him!


I got myself this while I was shopping. Perhaps it is a little much.


Happy St. Patrick's Day! I get to sing tonight, yeehaw! From 9-1, yowser. I am already having some hot tea with lemon and honey, along with the appletinis from Sar's, so I am raring to go! I am so excited, and a little nervous. I am sad that my friend Liz is sick, but I am happy I get a chance to sing with them! Liz told me to wear comfy shoes. They play music that the majority of people will dance to, like: Mustang Sally, Brown Eyed Girl, Love Shack, Play That Funky Music, and Hotel California. I should be getting ready........eeeeeekkkkk!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Oblivion

Being farm raised is one of the biggest things I love about my personality. It is at the core of who I am. I absolutely loved growing up on a farm. Provided endless opportunities for learning about life and death, and everything in between. Horses, cattle, hogs, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, guineas, rabbits, you name it, we pretty much raised it at some point or another. The only thing we ever ate were the eggs from the chickens. Everything else was show and breeding stock. Well, the guineas were just plain annoying. This is Heidi, my favorite goat. Whomever took this picture of me forgot about the goat. My smile is HUGE!


Dawgy Doug inspired me to write today. Or actually, one of my favorite quotes did.

"Ignorance is not bliss - it is oblivion" - Philip Wylie


Everyone has heard the saying "Ignorance is bliss," but the full quote from Shakespeare is "When ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." To quickly summise, sometimes knowledge is not a good thing if it ends extreme happiness. Perhaps there is a kernel of truth in that. I seriously doubt everyone needs to know everything that happens, as few could deal with the aftermath of its effects. However, this can be a double-edged sword.

Ignorance is lethal when actually used as knowledge. The ability to get the straight truth should be the conviction of everyone. Often only bits and pieces are used for knowledge when it is contradictory to what the entire puzzle of truth is. Honest mistakes are one thing, but to blatantly use false or misconstrued information is horrific, as is basing truth on opinions instead of facts.

Confucius wisely stated that "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." I couldn't agree more. Nothing pisses me off more than someone who thinks that they are right when their facts are not the truth. Ignorance is not bliss in this case; it is stupidity. Stupidity breeds mis-representation and spreads stupidity like a disease.

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I nearly choked on my coffee when my mom said this after talking to her sister on the phone, "God, I hate dead people." It was like she said "I hate pickles," nonchalantly. We couldn't help but bust up laughing, as I am sure her brother is laughing at us all dealing with each other. Her brother passed away from his battle with emphysema about two weeks ago, and the family is driving her nuts over the estate. She hates being the oldest sibling, and I am sure my uncle is laughing his ass off with the angels at everyone's stupidity.

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Party at Sar's tomorrow. I'm bringing Twizzlers! (I am sure they make green ones)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Stress Reliever

There is something beyond relaxing about hacking away at downed trees with a Husqvarna chainsaw. The noise makes it impossible to concentrate on anything else. (Makes me want to do that noise Tim Allen made on "Home Improvement" - more power!)

This flag survived the twisters, even if most of this house didn't.


Found amongst the rubble, this flag is flying in the doorway
of what used to be a home.


Today has just been one of those days. Talked to my friend who is a journalist for a Springfield newspaper, and she is exhausted from covering the story. I know her from showing horses together since we were little lead-line girls. She has spent a lot of the last few days in a bird taking pictures of damage. Ever since I hung up the phone, I have been pondering what Sar said in my comments section.

The fact that you can sigh over the normalcy of whether to go to kick boxing class or not just put MY nerves at ease.

I think it's amazing you found it interesting vs. scary - that's incredible.

Perhaps I am just used to the life in Tornado Alley. It is part of life here, like earthquakes in California and hurricanes in Florida. Tornadoes are uncontrollable, and I respect them for that.

I am the anti-drama queen during a crisis. Panicking is never an option - the military background of my family teaches this at a young age. My dad gave us little room for emotion while growing up. I swear I will never tell my children "I'll give you something to cry about." I love my dad, and he has changed greatly for the better. But there are times I remember that I wish I could forget. His father raised him the same way, but I know better than to repeat the pattern.

I lived to see another day, so I just keep living like I normally do, while stepping over tree branches and thanking God(dess) every time I step outside that my horses are ok.

Moving is sounding so good to me right now. It would be a nice change of pace, and perhaps I can find myself. I am starting to suffocate being back in my hometown. It is most difficult to deal with one's past, if it is continually staring back at you. Oy!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Must See


I watched "Walk The Line" last night, and I loved it. Reese Witherspoon was awesome. Not that Joaquin Phoenix wasn't. Something June says to Johnny I have been saying for years. "Got a hitch in your giddy up?" I picked it up from my great grandfather. I usually say it in reference to someone that is having problems with their horse.

Been thinking about making a change in scenery. I really want to move somewhere different. My parents owns land in Tennessee, which I love, so maybe I will go there. I would have to build a house though, because it is just a bunch of land North of the eastern end of the national park. It is such a beautiful place; we always camped there growing up. A four wheel drive vehicle is necessary to make it to the top of the road.

My mom's dad and stepmom live in the country near Gallatin, TN.

My dad's parents lived near Sevierville before they died a few years ago, so we have spent a lot of time down there. Originally, my dad wanted to move to the land when he retired, but I doubt he will now.
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How to make a cowgirl
Ingredients:

3 parts competetiveness

1 part arrogance

5 parts leadership
Method:
Layer ingredientes in a shot glass. Serve with a slice of emotion and a pinch of salt. Yum!


Username:


Personality cocktail
From Go-Quiz.com
My competitiveness made me do this lol

See the following new drinks - Shell, SGT Hook, and Shayna.

After The Storm

Starting to pick some stuff up from the storm, after videoing the damage and getting the go ahead from our insurance guy.

The wind speeds during the storms that went through here Sunday night were in excess of 120 mph. More than 100 tornadoes touched down in five states that night, according to the National Weather Service. Here, there were over 20 tornadoes in a 400 mile path.


Bet they are glad they weren't in this mini-van
That is one big ass tree to be uprooted



I am not a big fan of eating at McDonald's anyway


Lightning strikes four times!
Wow!


Not even prayers saved this church
Nothing constructive is coming to mind, so I think I will keep things short. I have re-discovered green chili thanks to some welcome house guests. The two of them will be staying on the farm until probably this weekend. They are still making fun of me because I keep coffee and other things in the freezer.
Travis is coming home Thursday night. Don't know how he managed that, but I am not going to complain. I already put a request in for a massage.
I am SO tired. A walking zombie; I look like hell. My Illini ballcap has been my favorite accessory. Can't even stress over anything in my life because I am too tired. I think I am going to go tan, because that always makes me feel better. My cardio-kick boxing class is on for tonight, but I am considering not going. But I drink and eat too much not to go, so I'll guilt myself into going anyway. *sigh*
Oh, I did read that "Crash" is being used by city councils in my area as a different form of diversity training. I think that it should be mandatory in schools too. But I digress...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Night Of The Twisters

One of the culprits

It's tornado season, kiddies! Starting off with a bang, the sky was exciting in Tornado Alley last night. I feel safer in the Midwest dealing with floods and tornadoes versus earthquakes, mudslides, and hurricanes. Must be because I used to sit outside and watch them go by on the front porch with my dad.

Springfield looks like a bomb exploded; there isn't a square inch that hasn't been touched in some way. The entire roof of a Super Wal-Mart blew off. The damage has been estimated at over $10 million this far. A seven county area has been declared a disaster...

The first storm hit my place hard at 8:15PM, and the next one hit at 1:45AM. I haven't heard so much noise in a long time. The wind was fierce and out for blood. It was nearly 80 degrees outside last night, and now it is going to be below freezing soon...

Fun times for this cowgirl. My families farm is ok, just one building is destroyed, and some windows got blown out. Plus lots of other stuff I am not going to bore anyone with. We have power and everyone is alive and in one piece.

I haven't slept yet.

I think this speaks volumes on how bad last night was

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I just heard that prison inmates have been helping to clean up the debris from the tornadoes...don't know how I feel about that.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

So You Don't Think Cheerleading Is A Sport...



The debate over this has ended (well sort of). My state had it's first state finals, recognizing cheerleading as a competitive sport. It's about freakin' time. Ok, brace yourself - I was a cheerleader. In shock? Good, then I am breaking the stereotype. (And you know I just HATE stereotypes).

Anyway, cheering is hard, especially if your squad does more than yell "Go, Fight, Win!" at games and pep rallies. For my high school, you had to be able to do a round-off flip-flop and handsprings to even try out. Tumbling and stunts are difficult, and performing them as a group is no small feat.

Don't think cheering is dangerous? Just ask Kristi Yamaoka, a SIU cheerleader who broke her neck during a routine a few weeks ago.

Adventures In Babysitting

Somehow I got a wild hair up my ass and invited my dad to go out with all of us to the AC/DC tribute band last night. This takes a lot of patience and guts on my part, as my dad can be quite a handful after he drinks a few. He seems to forget that he is 49 (not 21), and he tends to speak without considering what he is actually saying first. My mom was really nervous about him getting into a fight, because he tends to stay out of what he calls "preppy" bars... In his younger days, he had to replace three doors and a window.

Must not be too preppy there, as I was about knocked over when I opened the door to the restroom.

To my surprise, he behaved (for him anyway) and everyone thought he rocked. I gave everyone strict rules - no buying my dad shots! He was drinking so fast, I was getting him two beers at a time. The bar was so packed that they had four bartenders AND the owner serving drinks. That's a big deal in these parts!

I joked with the owner that I might need to borrow the dolley he uses to bring beer up from the cooler to get my dad out to the truck, as he was quickly getting tanked and reminiscing about the last AC/DC concert that he went to that was so smoky, everyone had no choice in getting a little high. (Those must have been the days!)

My dad was in heaven. He was drumming along and rockin' out at one of our group's tall tables. About every 20 minutes or so, he would say "Thank you so much Sis for letting me have fun!" No prob, Dad! He was in heaven being surrounded by my girls, lol.

I was out dancing with the girls, when Travis grabbed me off the dance floor to let me know that my dad had fallen out of his chair. I panicked, as my dad's heart isn't all that good. Travis helped me find him in the restroom. But it turns out he was ok, just totally wasted. He couldn't walk straight to save his life. I was pleading for him to let me take him home, but he was adamant about staying til the band's last set was over. And then he was being a bear because I refused to feed him anymore beers... (all this time, Travis is right there).

Seriously, I was joking about having to use the dolley, but he was pretty damn close to needing it!

It was so funny being his crutch out of the bar and to the truck. Quite the father/daughter experience. My mom found it entertaining when I turned over her drunk husband to her and left to go have coffee with the good doctor.

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During all of the commotion, I think I realized who has my heart right now.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

My Soap Opera

Since I tried to be constructive in my post TGIF yesterday, I feel alright about posting about my life again.

Oy! I think that I am staring in my own soap - As The Sawdust Turns - inspired by As The World Turns. I just have to like more than one guy at once! Ok, Shayna and Pia, maybe my life is interesting at some level. First, Dr. Travis returns to my life and takes my breath away. Well, now Kris has befriended me. Nothings really happened, but I am finding myself interested. Last night I really connected with him. And damn he can sing AND dance.

You know what they say about a guy that can dance well... (this thought reminds me to tell you that you should read Shayna's post Let's Talk About Sex...Toys, because soon her state of Tennessee might be outlawing use of such pleasures.) Oh boy, did I just say that!? I plead the fifth.

Back to the guy debate - What's a girl supposed to do? They couldn't be more opposite from each other in "type." *le sigh* Why must I always be good!

Travis is on his way down here to visit for this weekend. I am excited, but a little worried. I plan on going out to listen to the AC/DC tribute band and dance my ass off. I have heard them before, and it is always a wild time. EVERYONE packs the house. Travis isn't much for dancing and rockin' out - he usually just sits there and drinks. Which leaves the opportunity to have problems because Kris will be out there in the mix having fun.



Perhaps I will cling to all of my girls and just not worry about it. A lot of kids are home on Spring break, so it could get excitin' tonight. Plus Morgan and my friends Terren and Dallas from school are going to be there. We will be right in front of the speakers the whole time because Dallas is deaf. I can sign pretty good - my twin bro was deaf when he was little due to allergies, and my sister-in-law is deaf. We never have to worry about not being able to hear anything when we go out, because the four of us pretty much sign and read lips the entire time.

As far as what to wear tonight, I think I have the perfect outfit. I am wearing my favorite AC/DC t-shirt, a cute skirt, and my black "hooker" boots (know what I am talking about?).
You Shook Me All Night Long (Live) by AC/DC

This is my favorite AC/DC song.
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Wanna be a Music Highway Idol? Lovely Shanya is holding an open mike over at her website if you are interested in showcasing your talent. Looks like I better get busy cuttin' something...

Friday, March 10, 2006

TGIF


Drunker Than Me by Trent Tomlinson
I have one particular friend that I think of when I hear this song. Her poor boyfriend, this is his current theme song. Sometimes I think he forgets that he created the monster in the first place. "Drunker Than Me" by Trent Tomlinson cracks me up, and proves that I must be a hick. Country is his rock - he is from Kennett, MO., which is also the hometown of Sheryl Crow.

Ever since Shayna's post , I have been thinking about how diversely intertwined this nation is. Right after 9/11 was the very first time that I can remember in my almost 25 years that this country's inhabitants were so supportive and understanding of everyone. 9/11 was a HUGE wake-up call; it made us all vulnerable together.

The last few days I have been hearing rumblings of stereotypes; whether one is listening or speaking, these stereotypes hurt what is actually at the core of the issue. People jump to conclusions, and become defensive instead of really hearing what is being said. Whether people realize it or not, we are all in this together. The harder that we all struggle with being defined in some category, the further away we are going to be from actually being in a country that is "United."

Traveling all over the country showing horses really taught me a lot more about people than anything. Being a part of the rodeo world AND the show horse world was an adventure because they are polar opposites from each other - if you know anything about horses, then I am sure you know what I am talking about (if not, I can explain as needed).

I am young, and I am sure there are many out there that far surpass me in experiences and knowledge. The one thing that I learned is that pre-conceived notions are just that.

I make sense to myself, but feel free to jump in. Sometimes it is easier to just assume than to put effort into really knowing. Certainly I fall into this trap, but it is something that I make a conscious effort NOT to do because I have been stereotyped my whole life. I am positive everyone has.

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It was a gorgeous day today. So when I got home, I went for a cruise on our farm's Grizzly. I got absolutely covered in mud, but it was worth it. My dad was happy because he was able to take his motorcyle for a spin, so it was a good day after a bad day at work at the homestead.

I am jealous

Tim McGraw - Live Like You Were Dying

I tend to live by the meaning within this song. It made me cry the first time I heard it. Not that it is a sad song per se - it just reminds me of my favorite uncle that I watched pass away at hospice. He said for me to always live my life like it could be my last day on Earth.

I am beyond jealous that Shayna commented here that she is going to see Tim McGraw AND Faith Hill in June. I've always wanted to see them perform together. They are wonderful people. The McGraws are both a little upset with el presidente right now regarding the clean up efforts from Katrina.

Travis is going to be home Saturday through Sunday night. I am excited, but I am not liking how my focus is off.

I am working on a good post for later today when I get home from the shop. I figured that maybe every once in awhile I should talk about something constructive on my own blog. My life isn't that interesting all the time.

Guess that means I should get a few hours of sleep.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

I should still be snoring! (my friend still is). It has been raining buckets here, which is great because I was starting to worry about the crops - this winter has been too dry! I am such a farm girl...I hate paying too much for hay - droughts cut into my pocket!

Gretchen Wilson - All Jacked Up


Wow, last night was an adventure. So I just had to share "All Jacked Up" by Gretchen Wilson. I won backstage passes a few years ago, so I met her when she was on tour with Big and Rich. She was about as down-to-earth as they come. I hope she stays that way.

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My friend Morgan and I went to the Irish and had a large time. Much to my delight, they had LIVE karaoke. OMG I was eating this up. Those guys can play anything - but sometimes they had to use sheet music. If you are new to this blog, you need to know that I would love to be singing, whether in my own band or someone elses. I get such a high from doing it.

Oddly enough, a lot of musicians were there just hanging out. The guys doing the karaoke are members of four other bands, so it was an interesting night, to say the least.

One guy, Kris, I hadn't seen in a long time. He is 33, and plays bass in the band him and his buddies started in Jr High. And they STILL play together. They are not "heavy" like my brothers band, so they get a wider audience. If Travis hadn't came back in the picture, I would have said yes to Kris about going out. *you know what they say - when ya ain't looking, the floodgates open*

The other musicians I didn't run into - they inquired about me at the bar because of my singing. Well, the gal I am calling Blonde Bitch asked about me. Kris warned me about her. I guess they have this little start-up country rock band that is a combo of what was left of two other bands that had a huge falling out over someone sleeping with someone else's wife... oh the drama *rolls eyes.* Well Blonde Bitch asked where I learned how to sing, where I was from, blah blah. She couldn't believe that my twin and I came out of the same womb. She knows him because he did her tattoos - did I forget to mention that my brother owns a tat and piercing shop?

She wanted me to sing with her; at least come and jam with them once. But before I could tell her NO (that bitch is psycho - drama clings to her like horse shit on my boots) a fight broke out over near Morgan. Poor tiny Morgan was sitting in the middle of it looking like a deer in headlights, so I had to go over and save her. She has no clue how to handle herself, and I wasn't about to let them hurt her.

The group got pretty rowdy, and Blonde Bitch ended up being the reason for the fight, as her ex-husband and her new man toy were BOTH in the fight. I didn't want to get in the middle of it, but I was really afraid Morgan was going to get hurt. Bar fights have a tendency not to be aware of their surroundings; dumbasses flock to them like intoxicated flies to sugar water.

Well, somehow I ended up pissing Blonde Bitch off trying to get Morgan back to safety. I don't know if we bumped into her or if it was my uncouth way of telling all of those drunk idiots to get the f*ck out of my way; she shoved Morgan, which set me off.

I am not a fighter, and I always try to diffuse things first. This being said, I grew up a scrapper. I bartended for years, and there are things you just gotta do. Sometimes instinct just kicks in.

The poor bartender (a chick I dubbed the bar waif) was in the middle of the brawl trying to get everyone to leave, and looked like she was being swallowed by the drunken frenzy. Morgan ran outside and called the cops on the cell phone, while stupid me tried to help the bar waif calm the fight down. I probably should have just grabbed the bar waif, but nnooooooo I had to stay.

Let's just say I don't think I will have to tell Blonde Bitch no thanks on her offer to jam with her band. Next time, she'll think twice about fighting. That whole group is barred from three bars all owned by the same guy, and I got offered a job bartending.

So, considering, the night turned out pretty good.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's Hump Day!

Cheatin' by Sara Evans

I love Sara Evans; I have seen her in concert 5 times. I am comfortable with my sexuality - so I have no problems telling ya'll she is hot! ~I took the video down, click the popup to see it~
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Check out Shayna's post on Cindy - as always Shayna has this amazing way of motivating others with her talent with words. (I personally want to thank her for sharing her comment section).
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I am enthralled with Waking Ambrose (Doug) and Belle of the Brawl (Sar). Such madness! Love it.
~*UPDATE*~ Something I said was picked in the "Tell Me Tuesday Contest - Who Had The Best Caption?" over at Sar's! Too much excitement for me.
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I am thinking about posting something constructive later because I was so motivated by the comments section over at Shayna's. I kinda burnt my hand with a heat gun today at the shop. So I am not wanting to type much. It's not bad, just ouchy.

BTW - If you are wondering why I am using a heat gun, it makes graphics stick better. The bastard gets hot!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Randomness


Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together - other than perhaps the love a mother has for her child. (Right Shayna?) I have had very few true friends in life; sometimes we lose touch, but pick right back up again as if no time ever passed. I am excited, because my all-time favorite gal pal is going to be visiting me tomorrow; crashing at my place. (Tomorrow IS karaoke night at the Irish....)

Travis coming back into my life really caught me off guard. (Who is Travis? Read all those posts below!) I don't think I have caught my breath yet. Now I am seriously rethinking some things...

I really like Bo Bice's song The Real Thing.
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The first words out of my mouth this morning - "Shit! It's froggy outside!" Anyone else say froggy instead of foggy, or is it a Midwestern phrase? It amazes me how I can use profanity to display various feelings. One little word can convey so much.
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Jack Army and Black Five also commented about the Supreme Court's decision on allowing recruiters to be on campus. Gives me some more stuff to digest regarding my previous post. Jack Army especially. I checked out what the ACLU had to say, but like Jack Army, I do not see them getting all up in arms because of all the other things the military sees as disqualifiers in enlistment, like disabilities, etc. My hairdresser (do you think HE is straight) said that he didn't see what the big deal was, as he also thinks that there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to gay rights.
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I got a wonderful compliment from our precious pixie, Shell.

A wise young lady said, "Interesting...perception is the key here."

Me...wise?

I have had several people comment on how weird they are lately. I certainly have weird quoted somewhere in my resume. Re-defining normal has always been a passion of mine. I embrace weirdness, individuality, and quirkiness. Plus a lot of other stuff. Welcome to the randomness. Perception is the key here.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dreary Monday

I think that these guys sound promising...but I might be a little biased.
Give them a listen. ~not country~ Update took it down - email me to hear. I'll post more later.

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Disclaimer: I am not a hater of any kind. I am 100% against discrimination. I support my gay friends and others (no I am not gay), and I support free speech, religious freedom, blah blah blah. So don't send me hate mail*

Found this interesting. I agree that recruiters have the right to be on campuses - to me it is like any other business recruiting for "employees." If you don't want to join the military, don't. It's your choice.

While I was in college, the military recruiters rocked - I always visited with them (they were usually cute). As long as they are there to provide information by choice, then I think they should be allowed there. It is not as if they are attacking anyone for who they are. Recruiters are not carnies out to get you to play a game at their booth; they are representing an option that no one is forced to take. It is 100% voluntary.

What I did not like on campus were some of the religious groups (along with others) that would go above and beyond annoying. I remember one time watching an interracial couple being practically attacked crossing the quad. Made me want to slap the hypocrisy out of that particular group. But I digress...

I am still digesting this:

Joshua Rosenkranz, the attorney for the challengers of the law, said that the case called attention to the military policy. "We lost a skirmish in a much larger civil rights battle for the rights of gays and lesbians, which is a movement we are winning," he said.

I am fully aware of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but I think that there are bigger fish to fry in regards to civil rights, particularly in a larger scale. Maybe because I am from a military background, I understand the policy; or perhaps I accept it because I do not have a choice. Surely there are plenty of employers out there that blatantly discriminate. The military is just a better PR target.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I HATE Not Being Able To Sleep

Looks like someone in this picture fake bakes a little too much. I'll give you three guesses as to which one is me...hint - I've got that look about me like I ran into an old flame. Come on, it isn't hard ; )The pics are starting to finally come in from the last few weeks.


Too much excitement, I guess.

The feeling remains...even after the glitter fades


Did you know that REO Speedwagon was originally from my part of the country? They regularly played at a place called the Red Lion, which is located in Chambanaland, home of the Fighting Illini. I love the local underground music scene.This area seems to be pretty good at producing some good musicians. Currently there have been a lot of good indie rock bands flowing through orange and blue country.

Trivia Tidbit: Alison Krauss grew up in Chambanaland as a bluegrass fiddle prodigy. Suzy Boggus grew up in Aledo, which is not far from one of the farms I worked at training horses.

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Need a good laugh? Hearing Doug cackle like a bohemian (Miz B, I presume?) made my day. I absolutely llooooooooveedd this story... listen to him reading it, and you will laugh.

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Last night was quite the night. I was supposed to go out for a wild night out with the girls, but decided that I really wanted to spend time with Travis before he heads back up to play doctor. Probably a wise choice, because I hear the girls ended up getting a hotel room instead of making the 45 minute drive back.

By chance, my brother's band was playing about 20 minutes from my hometown, so we decided to go because Trav hadn't heard my twin play since high school when we would hang out and listen to his buddies try to get their shit together. They were really good (that's my brother!), and I had fun making fun of their so-called "groupies." I seriously need to take my brother shopping, as it seems that his entire wardrobe is black. I love black, don't get me wrong. But isn't life worth wearing color every few weeks?

They were done playing at 11PM, so we got the wild idea to head back home because one of the bars was staying open til 2AM. My brother's friends got some weird looks from the local yocals at this place, as it seemed to be wannabe cowboy night. Ah, the draws of having a mechanical bull in town. Urban Cowboy, anyone?

At first, I absolutely refused to get on it. But they just had to dare me to do it. "What sis, are ya scared? Come on you horse girl! Chicken!"

Siblings...aren't they fun? (I swear, except for music and genes, my twin and I are NOTHING alike). But I love him anyway - even if HE wouldn't ride the bull.

I had never been on one until last night, but I actually had a fun time. Now I know that I have a harder time staying on some of the horses I have trained (the machine tends to stay pretty stationary). Travis was laughing so hard that he about choked on his beer - guess I look pissed when I am concentrating on riding like Ty Murray or Chris Shivers. I got off on my own two feet, handed my glove to the stunned operator, and made my way back to sit with the gang.

One of my brother's friends made my night when he said, "Your sisters got more balls than you do, man." It's sad, but it's true.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Giddy up!

I just love this picture of a trainer I know. Those spurs look like they could be used for self-motivation. This would only be funnier if the whip was in his hand instead of his back pocket. He is one of the most talented trainers in my breed of horses, yet he put a lot of effort into staying on that little piece of metal. Ride 'em cowboy!





Part of the job training horses is going to horse shows. Showing also has the motto of the Army - Hurry Up and Wait. Things are either busy and hectic making sure the stall curtains and tack rooms are set up, horses are getting tacked up on time, clients are dressed in their show clothes, and making sure everyone knows where they need to be when so that they make the gate for their classes. But sometimes there are big lulls in the show when no one in your training barn has anything to do.

Therefore, you create you own fun; getting motivation from some of the trainers having their own wet bars in client lounges. These people pay a lot of money to show their horses, so the least we can do is insure that they have fun doing it. Schmoozing and boozing is also part of being a trainer. Babysitting is too, as the aforementioned clients tend to forget that they might want to be able to get ON their horse - I've seen them try to get on, only to keep going on over to the other side. (Shakes head).

Sometimes declaring war on a neighboring trainer and their clients is the most satisfying. This can be done with a water fight, or perhaps rearranging all of their pictures and flowers. One of my personal favorites was during one of the biggest, most prestigious shows of the year. Someone (names withheld due to security reasons) put bath bubbles in another barn's water fountain used in their landscaping around their stalls. Bubbles were everywhere.

The all time best prank I participated in was when I was in high school. Several of my horse show friends and I had decided that since it was our last year of showing as youth exhibitors, that we should pull something off that everyone would be talking about still when we had our kids showing horses. So we put the show manager's golf cart in a manure dumpster. I know... sad.

He did it to himself for always complaining that he dealt with shit all day.

I thought maybe I should elaborate a bit about what I do to feed myself now that I am not training horses. I live in what used to be my great-grandparents place (I never knew them) - I can look out the window and see my parent's house. It was willed to my dad, and he has kept it to rent out. Luckily for me, it opened up the first part of January. I only have to pay my utilities. My parents decided to let me live in it for nothing in exchange for painting the walls, at least for now.

Currently, I work for my best friend's dad at his graphics shop. He bought a printer in the early 90's so that he could put the graphics on his own race cars, and ended up quitting farming because business was too good. I have helped him off and on; I absolutely love it. He pays cash every Friday, so I can't complain.

I have total freedom as long as I get things done on time. I work odd hours and I have no set schedule. I get paid per design I create or "tweak,"and per hour for everything else. I have his program on my computer, so I can work on things at home if I want, take it to the shop, and print it.

I design signs/graphics, cut out graphics, answer phones, and flirt with the customers that come in. I swear, he should start charging for coffee and add some rocking chairs. Somedays I feel like all they do is come in to look at my ass while I am working. Maybe I will put a tip jar next to the coffee pot.

One day I might be putting the graphics on a squad car, and another I might be putting a trucker's name/company on his rig. Bossman and I are firm believers in using only reflective material on the squad cars - they practically glow in the dark.

There is always an ambulance, firetruck, squad car, boat, or race car in the shop being worked on. Everyone who is running for a political office has been ordering TONS of signs, especially those running for sheriff. I have been putting together signs for Bowl For Kids Sake for the past two weeks; three different counties worth.

I might bitch about being back in my hometown, but everytime I see a city vehicle I smile because those are my designs! Our work is everywhere - on contractor's trucks, store windows, bumper stickers, you name it.

I think my favorite part about the job is being able to lose myself in it. Quite the sight I am, singing at the top of my lungs with the radio while putting what amounts to fancy electrical tape on stuff. Fun times!
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I had a lot of fun tonight. This post I already had typed up so that I could quickly post it when I came home. Travis is here, so I don't want to be on here long. I'll fill you in on the rest after Trav and I get back from having breakfast with his mom and dad. If you emailed me, I will email you then too while I am working on some new projects.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Good Doctor

Come A Little Closer Baby by Dierks Bentley is playing right now. How appropriate.
Come a little closer, baby
I feel like lettin' go
Of everything that stands between us
And the love we used to know
I wanna touch you like a cleansing rain
Let it wash all the hurt away
So come a little closer baby
I feel like lettin' go
I want to thank everyone for their support. It is amazing how so many awesome people pepper the country side.

Here goes the much awaited ending to As The Sawdust Turns. I tried to finish it last night (early this morning really), but I was too tired. Or something. Besides, this last part deserved more thought than my ramblings.

As I sometimes do when I go out at night, I left my backdoor unlocked. Ah, the glory of living in the country. It makes it a lot easier than fumbling with my keys. Besides, I doubt many people would get past my dog (who was THRILLED to see Travis, even after all of these years).

After Travis carried me in the house, placed me on the couch, and kissed my forehead, he headed into my kitchen.

"Where's the coffee?" he asked me, filling up the pot with water. Always the gentlemen. I got up, handed him the coffee out of the freezer, and started towards the dishwasher for two coffee cups.

"Sorry. I couldn't help myself. I hope I didn't..." he looked at me nervously, as I interrupted him.

"Overstep your boundary?" I handed him the coffee cups. "No. It was nice, I'm just a little shocked." And I was. Scared shitless really. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. I am not supposed to be an emotional person, and I was standing there next to this gorgeous man - in emotional overdrive. But of course I had to play it cool.

"Shocked? That we ran into each other after all of these years, or because there is still something between us. I felt it - you can't tell me that you didn't..." he looked at me with his piercing eyes while we were praying to the coffee maker God. We locked eyes for a second, and then I had to look away - I didn't know what to say or how to say it. So I split what was in the coffee pot between us and sat down at the kitchen table.

He sat down across from me, took a sip of his coffee, and just looked at me.

"What?" (I am way too defensive sometimes).

"You have something...an eyelash...here." He reached over and touched my right cheek. This moment was in slow motion. Caressing my cheek. My heart was going to pound right out of my chest. A shiver went down my spine. Damn, I hate how that happens.

That touch did it, I couldn't help it. I spilled."I don't want to have you back in my life, just to see you leave as quickly as you came in. My heart can't take it. What do are we doing? How can we make this work? We are hours apart, I am trying to regroup, and you are busy with your last year of medical school. How can we do this? What are we doing? Damn it Travis, why now!? Why show up now!" I looked at him like he contained the answers to the world. He is used to, and likes, the personality that explodes out of this cowgirl. Travis just smiled.

He stood up, grabbed the coffee pot, and refilled our cups. "We have all night to talk about it, and the rest of ours lives to figure it out." Those words confirmed it, I was in trouble. I couldn't run away from it now, my legs had officially turned to jello.

We stayed up talking for about another hour, and I couldn't help but start to yawn. It had been a long night, but we had came to an agreement that we were going to try to figure out a way to see each other. We were going to try to make this work, whatever "this" is. He will be finished with school at the end of this semester, and taking a job about 45 minutes from our hometown. We'll see how things pan out, and take it day by day. But I was getting tired, and tired of talking.

"Trav, I am heading to bed," putting my cup in the sink. "I can take you home, or you can just come to bed with me." Did I just say that. Damn. I swear, when I do something its all or nothing. What can I say, I'm weak.

I'm going to stop the story here. I will leave it to your imagination. What happened was so amazingly beautiful. The most perfect experience I have had in my 24 almost 25 years. I didn't think I would ever feel like this. I didn't think that I deserved to feel - well, I don't know how to describe it. Maybe there aren't any words for it. But I am sure some of you know what I am talking about.

We went out for breakfast after that night (I have already heard gossip about it, lol), and I was in shock. I could -gasp - marry this man.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

As the sawdust turns...

I would love to post something of me singing. Guess that would entail me recording it. I've never done that before (posting it), but I am game. Help me, Shayna, oh talented one!
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Aw... aren't we cute! I look like such a baby. We look so proud of our little Gatorade love-child. I always loved his mop of hair. This pic is from my freshman year. Geesh, he makes me look short (I'm 5'8). See the strawberry blonde hair! I think this was at a regional track meet where his relay won his 4 X 200, hence the tent in the background and the medal around his neck.

This eye-candy and I dated a LONG time, and decided to split up the summer before my Senior year, as he was headed to Stanford. Stanford! WTF Stanford! No way in hell to stay together, so we had a fun summer and said our goodbyes. I figured that I would never see him again.

I love this picture - I actually look happy.

This guy was my first REAL relationship. My first, well, you know ; ). Probably the first and last boyfriend I ever trusted and was 100% myself all the time. He was the only one I allowed to console me during one of the worst times in my life, which I will post about some other time, thanks to our dear Shayna making me think. Perhaps tomorrow after a few pots of coffee.
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Now that I gave you some info explaining Travis and I, I want to let ya'll know that I am slightly inebriated. I just got home. I apologize, but I felt like I better post something or Shell would kill me for leaving her hanging. I went out for my buddy's birthday, and I honestly am still feeling it (totally buzzing, and NO I didn't drive). He DJ's karaoke at some of the bars, so of course I had to go out and play. Please bear with me - I promise I will have some good pictures to post after my other friend emails them to me tomorrow. We were dancing on the bar; quite the night. Even the bartender was taking pictures.
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Flashback to the karaoke contest Wednesday night. (Again I apologize for this post - drunken tiredness is not good for this cowgirl).

I was announced the winner of the contest (yipee f-ing skippy), and after getting to talk on the radio (they made a big deal about it after someone told them I was in the ARNG), I tried to hide on a barstool against the wall on the end of the horseshoe shaped bar. This never works, but for some stupid reason I do it anyway. Old habits die hard, ya know.

Anyway, I am sitting there on that barstool, engrossed in my third beer, minding my own business. Perhaps a little overwhelmed.

"You waiting for me, Red?" says a familiar voice over my right shoulder. Could this be... no way... Travis?! I turned my head, and there he stood. Stoic. Suddenly, my heart fell in my stomach. I couldn't believe it. But no one says Red to me like he did.

"Travis!" I exclaimed, jumping off my barstool into his arms. Oops - again, old habits die hard. But I had to touch him and make sure I wasn't dillusional, or drunk. He even smelled the same.

It turns out that he was home because his grandfather had passed away. He couldn't stand being cooped up at home with his mom and dad, so he headed out to see if he could find some people he knew. He has been busy; he is in his last clinical year of med. school at UIC. Yep, my first love is a Dr.! (Paging Dr. Travis...). My heart is skipping a beat because he is in the Midwest.

We did the usual awkward small talk, noticing that neither of us had rings on our left hand. You know, all of that weird I am scared out of my mind shit. The entire time, all I could think about was kissing him. Even after all of these years, I just wanted to kiss him. We kept talking about where we had been, and what we had been doing, but all I could think about was kissing him.

I don't know why, but I invited him back to my place because it was too noisy at the bar to really talk. An innocent invitation; honestly. Country girl's honor. He had gotten a ride to the bar, so I told him I would take him home when he wanted to go.

Although we had both changed since last seeing each other, it was like it used to be. Comfortable. Eerie. Exciting. On the drive there, we are chit chatting away about what everyone else is up to; oblivious to the fact that we had not talked in close to 8 years.

In no time we were at my place, I turned my truck off, and started heading inside. I turned around to warn him about a step up onto the pathway of stepping stones (no true sidewalks in the country), and I bumped into him because he had been following me really closely. He caught me, and I absolutely melted. My mind is reeling; I don't know what to do. How do I react? Damn, I wish my brain would stop thinking sometimes.

Then he kissed me. Softly, inviting. Scared.

He just had to do that. Now what? What is he doing! What am I doing? Shit!

By now I am shaking because it is cold outside - or maybe because of all the emotions in active turmoil with my brain. Trembling; know what I mean?

Dr. Travis PICKED ME UP and carried me into the house, placed me on the couch, and kissed my forehead gently.
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To be continued tomorrow... as the sawdust turns.