Thursday, July 30, 2009

Starting to forget what my pony looks like...

I haven't seen Granite since Sunday night. I don't foresee getting to see him again til at least Saturday. I am so sad about it, since he is so young, I always think that he will forget me! I am packing for Saturday's move tonight. Tomorrow, my mother is coming to town and she will be helping me finish packing and start cleaning the old apartment. The movers come early Saturday to take us to our new home! Hopefully, I can go see my boy and show my mother his new farm after we have most of the big stuff moved in. My mom has only met my horse once, when I was recovering from surgery and it was raining and muddy and she certainly didn't get to see his personality. I really mom has a chance to get to really know him this weekend, but it is going to be crazy busy, so who know! I will update you on the moving progress on how Mom and Granite get along.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Too busy, way too busy...

So I am too busy to write.

I have 45 hours of internship to finish by Friday (as of 11pm tonight). I am working in every waking moment to try to get this accomplished so that I can start my new job on Monday without this hanging over my head. I did mention that I am moving Saturday right? Yea, I haven't packed a single bag! I am SO grateful that my Mom is coming into town Friday to help me! But, either way, I am working 13 hour days until then... That means I probably won't see my poor pony all week. I am an awful Mom. At least I got to see him 5 times this weekend!

So abbreviated version of a post is going to be this-- Farm sitting went very smoothly. Very well mannered equines!

My photog friend just sent me the huge file of pics and I figured to hold you folks over until my world slows down, I would share some of the prize pics (even though, I am starting to think that 'hanoverian' they promised me is actually 'mule'-- check out those ears!)...

Also: I measured my boy on concrete and standing square: 16.0 at the wither and 16.1 at the butt at age 2yr 3m.

OH- one more thing, Granite's trainer just started a blog: see the "blogs I follow, and you should too" Its called Rooster.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My whole family

OK, I don't really have time to write right now, but my photog friend came out to take some pictures of Granite (I want to blow up a black and white for my new office) and she got one of my whole family...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I am in love

Yes in love, with the new Town where I will be employed starting August 3rd! I went there tonight for a board meeting and I love the building, the people, the atmosphere. And listen to this little morsel of wonderfulness-- I get dental too! If you knew me, you would know how I am about teeth... so YAY dental! Anyway, I think I am going to fit in just peachy and my office has a window. Bring it on Baby! Tomorrow is my last day at my part-time job and I have 66.5 Hours left to put in at my internship (although I only have one week to accomplish this). Plus we are moving a week from saturday, thank god for my roommie or I would be trying to pack the whole house next Friday night... EEEKKK!

In other news... I over slept this morning so Daphne had to stay at the house-- I usually take her to D's farm to play with her brother and 4 other dogs while I am at work-- but she was great for Roommie and apparently kept Roommie's dog entertained while she was trying to pack. So this may work out well for everyone when we move and it would be difficult and time consuming to take Daphne to daycare at D's farm.

I didn't have time to go to the farm tonight with the board meeting, but I went out yesterday. I put Granite's saddle and girth on and walked him around and let him graze. He was such a champ! I then lunged him and worked with him the the large arena for a while. He continued to knock my socks off, and let me tell you about his extended trot! Good lord, I think he may accidental be a dressage horse. NO Granite! Be a hunter for mommy, PLEASE! I followed this great work out with a Granite shower and he was SO good. He stood in the cross-ties and generally made me never want to put him on Craig's List :)

Farm sitting begins tomorrow... wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Farm Sitting Chronicals, Part I.

Last night I went out to my new farm to learn the feeding routine as I will be babysitting 9 equines this weekend. She sent one to training and two are going away for the weekend with her, so I am left with Granite and 8 others. She only has 5 stalls (even though there is room for at least 3 more) and she uses a John Deere 4-wheeler thing to put the poo in then I can easily drive it out to the pit where she dumps it. Only three horses will be in during the day and everyone is out at night. Only those 3 and Granite get fed dinner, everyone else only has breakfast. This should be a cake walk!
I was in a rush to get home and help roomie pack last night so I only groomed Granite. He has sores on his Jaw from the fly mask. It is totally my fault b/c I left it on for 2 days, but I thought it would be OK since it is padded. I feel soooo horrible, but I am very grateful that the owner of the farm noticed and took it off for me. I guess he will have to deal with flies in his eyes b/c I am NOT willing to let him get rubbed raw again. Poor baby horse!
I have a dinner date w one of my co-workers after work but then plan to go work with Granite before I go home and pack some more... I will let you know how it goes. For now, here is a picture of me and the big man that I took yesterday evening.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Daphne is SO going to have to get a job...

Roomie and I went to look at our new place last night. It is 11 minutes closer to my new job & Granite's barn than our old apartment is. The place is bigger (at least the floor plans say so) than our current place, but it felt small to me... which could be the fault of the ugly furniture they had in the model apartment. Either way we paid 123$ to apply to live there. They will probably turn us down considering Roomie was laid off from her teaching job and I make next to nothing as Town Clerk. It will cost us over $1,000 to move in and over $700 (not including utilities or Daphne's damage) to move out of our current Hell-Hole. I am panicking!!! I have no clue what I will do to cover all of these expenses when my new salary will barely cover my usual monthly bills. Not to mention this place is slightly more expensive (which I hope is offset by the gas savings). I am grateful to have a roommate, but I feel like I hold her back because I just want something cheap when she really wants something nice. Either way, we are going to do this even if I have to borrow some of the initial money from her. So now I must log over 100 hours at my jobs by next Friday in addition to packing to move on August 1st! I start my new job August 3rd. I may die of some sort of panic attack. Hope you won't miss me too much.

In better news, I am going to the farm today to learn the feeding routine. I will be feeding Fri-Sun and hopefully putting a nice chuck of cash toward next month's board. Also, my current boss at my internship ran the idea of doing some contract work for her by me today! These two endeavors could be a total savior for me. If I could manage to work off most of Granite's board every month by feeding or cleaning stalls or even exercising, and I can pick up some weekly hours contracting for my internship City, I may end up OK after all. I also applied for a scholarship today that may cover my last semester of school. If all of these opportunities combine, I may have the perfect storm on my hands and be able to sustain my current lifestyle! Wahoooop!

Well, sorry for the short and worrisome post today, but I am training my replacement in less than an hour and I want to get caught up on some work first. I will let you know how it went at the farm learning how to take care of all of the critters.

PS- If you think of any more clever ideas that can help me earn some extra cash on top of my 40hr a week job Tuesday night class & saturday class (not to mention night meetings for work)... please share them. I told Daphne she needs to start checking craig's list for work or at least a man to take care of her and mommy ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

This RollerCoaster of Life keeps on flying...

I didn't go to the farm Friday, I was nearly out of gas and feeling very down (too down to make the drive to visit the horsie...). So I went home and cleaned and did some data entry for work and took a long walk with Daphne. That helped and I was able to settle nicely into my TiVoed episodes of So You Think You Can Dance (Where is So You Think You Can Ride?? Then again, it would probably kick my ass...).

Saturday brought the inevitable. NMML now stands for: No Man in My Life. Things just were not working out for us. This made me very sad as he is the first guy in a long time to have long-term potential. But as we know from our equines, potential is merely that... it is no promise.

Thankfully my best friend was slated to come in town as my friends were throwing me a "Job-a-Palooza" party to celebrate my job offer. I really needed Bestest after such a crappy morning. She arrived in late afternoon and we headed straight to the horse farm. She hadn't seen Granite's new accommodations and I was so pleased that she was VERY impressed with them. Granite proved himself a gentleman as we worked in the round pen on the lunge for his "Auntie" to see. His new fly mask also stood the test of his pasturemate and I was pleased to see that it was still secured on his head when I arrived. Bestest and I had to rush off after only an hour with Granite in order to finish decorating and getting ready for our party.

The party went off without a hitch and it lifted my spirits. I have really great friends (especially my Best Friend & Colorado & Ms. Priss- a girl from my program). Sunday morning was a lazy one, as most are when they follow an evening of celebration. Bestest and I, to our delight, realized that O'Charley's serves Sunday Brunch. Then we went to go see "My Sister's Keeper". I loved the book by Jodi Picoult and for the first time ever, I must say the movie not only lived up to the book, but surpassed it. Three tissues is NOT sufficient, so I recommend that you go see it, but come prepared!

Bestest headed back home to Raleigh and my day went back down. I went to a used book store b/c I just finished one of the most fun and entertaining books that I have read in a long time: "Bitter is the New Black" by Jen Lancaster. I really wanted her next novel "Bright Lights, Big Ass". Go figure, the book store didn't have it, so I ordered it on and will have to wait until next week to get started on it. Her blog is fabulo! Check it out-- although not at all horse related, I love her Whit and blunt humor.

To top off that slight disappointment, I called home. Daddy finally asked me how far in student loan debt I am really. He was not pleased, to say the least when he got the answer. He proceeded to make me feel super guilty about all the money I spend on my animals. I won't be making much at my new job (sadly, b/c I finish my master's in only 4 class hours!) and Daddy thinks I need a part time job (I do too), but this will be difficult considering I have a Tuesday night class, a Saturday class, and must attend night meetings for work about 5 times a month... Money is going to become more a more of a struggle in my near future. Roomie and I are going to sign leases on a new place after work today. The place is less expensive (although not by much) but it is only 15min from the horse and my new job as well as school and D's farm. This is great considering I am 30min from Granite and my new job in our current crap-tastic apartment complex. It will, however, cost a fortune to get out of our current place thanks to Daphne "Destroyer of all things carpet". Thankfully, I was asked to feed the 14 horses at my new farm when the owner goes out of town for the weekend and this will take care of MOST of next months board!!! If I can work this out or maybe some exercise rides, maybe my finances in regards to the horse would be a bit more stable.... < haha, get it? Stable? hehe-- I crack myself up.

That is my weekend in a nut shell, down, up, up, down, down... Life is truly a roller coaster ride.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Its not over till the fat lady is covered in wormer...

So, I signed my "letter of intent to vacate" yesterday at my Crap-tastic apartment complex! Monday, Roomie and I are going to check out what will probably be our new digs. So many changes, so little time...
So, I went to the tack store that is about 3 minutes from my new farm to get some wormer and a fly mask (his roomie keeps taking his off). 68 dollars later, I left with a fly mask, wormer, bridle rack, 2 sponges, hoof dressing, treats, saddle soap, and a lunge whip. Hello paycheck, goodbye paycheck... I think I just realized why I am always so desperately poor. UGH!

I got to the barn and worked Granite in the round pen. He was an angel. We lunged and moved his feet around. I could tell after about 15 minutes that he was getting frustrated and I realized that my baby still has a very short attention span. I took him in and put him in the wash down. He has never been in one and I expected it to be a big deal, it wasnt! He walked right in and turned around without batting an eye! I was so proud. I didn't tie him (again) and he stood like a gentleman the whole time I groomed him. Fly spray was a non issue! He was a little nervous about the hoof dressing but it didn't take us long to work through that. After he was all cleaned up I decided to pop him with some paste wormer since he is on the feed-thru but missed a month of it while at training and he is in a new pasture, so I thought it couldn't hurt to give him a dose. He bobbed his head and would NOT let me give him the wormer. By the time all was said and done. His nose was covered in yellow paste. My shirt was splattered and I even found some on my nose (of course I realized this AFTER I went to subway). It was kind of funny, but I need to get that under control and quickly! Anyway. Here are some pictures. I swear he is a much prettier mover than these pictures portray...
It is forecasted to rain today, but I hope to make it out to the barn if only to groom. NMML is not working out so great for me right now and I could really use a big horsie hug today :(

Thursday, July 16, 2009


So NMML(New Man in My Life) did make it to the barn. We went and caught Granite (who was happily munching in his huge green pasture w/ Vino attached to him at the hip). I think NMML was equally afraid of the large bugs of the stinging variety and the large equine toddlers. When I got Granite out of the pasture, I backed him up and moved his hind quarters as instructed by Cynthia to get his mind into work mode. The Barn owner was cleaning stalls so I had to put Granite in the aisle to groom him. I chose to see if he would ground tie... I was right! He stood like a perfect gentleman and didn't even chew his rope as he is accustomed to doing! I was the proudest mama ever! He was even a gentleman for his fly spray which is the behavior that prompted me shipping him off for a month of summer camp. NMML fed him some apple wedges and brushed him a bit. He was none to happy about being there, but didn't complain or gripe about it. So I will take this as a baby step and be excited. I put Granite's fly mask on and popped him back into his field. Did I mention that he has no kicks or bites? I am thrilled with his transition to this new facility! YAY. I am heading to see him after work if it doesn't rain too much. This will be the first time in well over a month that I have had him to myself and I could actually do some ground work and have some mama-baby bonding time... Will let you know how it goes.

In other news. My apartment has gone down the shitter at an alarming rate and the last straw for me was walking out of my apartment this morning to a bad of dirty diapers and seeing a lawn littered with used baby wipes. VOMIT! So being so short on cash due to some car repairs and the $250 increase in board for Granite per month, I am concerned with the cost deposits and Daphne destruction (yes she ate a hole in my carpet last year too... its beginning to look like a trend, or a possible job skill when I kicker her out). Either way, we are looking at a new place Monday that is closer to my new job & Granite's farm. I love the floor plan and perhaps its a touch classier than my current residence.

Work(s) are crrrazy as I am leaving them in one and two weeks respectively. I am trying to leave both places as prepared as possible as they were both such wonderful places to work. However, that does mean that I am slammmmmed!

Updates to come...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Boy, Meet Horse...

Yes, my friends, you made a correct infrance when you determined that this title must mean that the New Man in My Life had (begrudgingly) agreed to meet my favorite Equine this evening! He is not happy about it, mind you, but he has yet to back out, so I am taking what I can get and running with it! He is meeting me at my house at 5:30 and we will make the 30min treck to the B-arn! YAY. I haven't checked on Granite since his move (late meeting at work last night), so I am anxious to check on him and introduce two of my very favorite boys tonight!
Updates to come...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Outer Banks-tastic Weekend, Someone's gotta pay taxes around here & Granite's Big Move... aka the saga of Rachel's life continues

Sooo much to share with you!

Friday my friend Hannah and I headed to my parents house and the lovely land in which I was born and raised, the Outer Banks of NC. Home sweet home. We took of after work at around 5:30 and drove the arduous 5 hours to my folk's house. My poor mother had oral surgery that day so she was in LaLa land but was obviously so excited for the arrival of "her girls" (myself and the dog of course).

We got up the next morning and hit the Sand after a delicious breakfast of homemade muffins and fresh mixed fruit (Jesus, why did I EVER think moving away from home was a good idea?). I got a hella tan in the 3 hours we spend on the beach :) YAY tanlines! We then headed to watch my little protege ride! I used to babysit this little girl and she adored me (perhaps says something about her character... questionable judgement much?). Anyway, this child is 16 now! Holy Monkeys, am I getting old?! I watched her ride the standardbred she is rehabbing and she did a stunning job. It is really nice to see someone so passionate about horses, I thought there were few of those children left (she has never owned a horse in her 12 years of riding and rides whatever she can get her hands on and works off lessons!). After watching her ride, Hannah and I headed back to my parent's house. We had steamed shrimp and beer on the back porch w/ Daddy (Really Rachel? leaving was a BAD choice). Then I took a nap on the hammock in the shade before being fed hamburgers, potato salad & pasta salad. To put a cherry on the evening, Daddy took us on a sunset booze cruise. I am not sure if I or Daphne enjoyed it more...

Hannah and I then got dressed and went to the bar with an old High School boyfriend of mine (who is still soooo hot! If I were single....) So saturday was pretty freakin frappin awesome....

Sunday Mom took me shopping b/c (get ready for BIG news....) I had a interview with the Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem & the Manager of Oak Ridge for the job I applied for. I needed to find a shirt to wear w/ my black pencil skirt. I found a cute pink shirt. We got home and we were welcomed by my lovely puppy and a hole in the front door AND chunks of carpet, padding, and wood, as well as door mat ripped to bits around the sliding glass door. I don't think the pup will be welcomed back at her Grandparent's house any time soon... OPS. So, yea, we ate lunch and split considering we had done quite enough damage.

Yesterday was a biggg day in the world of Rachel & Granite. I had a meeting (the aforementioned one in Oak Ridge) at 11am. Well, the "interview" was actually...waiiiit for it.... A JOB OFFER!!!!!!!!! Yes folks, I (one of the few out of my group of cohorts) will be paying taxes and am entered into the State Retirement Fund! WAHOOOO. My very first "big girl job" w/ a salary and benefits working in a Local Government using my degrees! This means I will take over my health insurance and will officially be 100% financially independent :) I am so stoked albeit scared to bits. I start August 3rd, which means these next three weeks will be insanity finding a replacement & training them for my Part Time job all the while completing my internship hours and projects before I leave my internship on July 31st. I think my life is about to begin...

As if this wasn't a big enough day, Granite came back from the trainers and moved into his new Farm... Lil' Aspen Farm. He did great on the ride over and was fairly calm about the situation. His trainer walked him around for a while then we let him into his new pasture after showing him the perimeter. I had always thought you should introduce them into the herd more slowly and over a few days, but we put him straight out with his 2 new pasture mates. They hit it off beautifully. No kicks or bites! The other 2 year old he is out with is in L-O-V-E with Granite. The 6 year old draft cross couldn't care less. The pasture is HUGE and is about 80% vinyl fencing with a super run-in and some woods too. The tack room is nice and clean and organized and the barn is well kept, yet relaxed. I think we may be really happy here. Here are some pics of the barn and pastures and Granite with his new bff, Vino.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Momma visits Granite at 'Summer Camp' for the last time...

I finally made my way to King, NC yesterday after work to visit my baby boy for the third and final time at training. His month of training comes to an end next Monday. I am so proud of him. I sent a horse who was scared of the trailer. He now self-loads. I sent a horse terrified of fly spray. He now ground ties for it. I sent a horse who had never had a bath b/c he panicked... He is now shiny clean! He also puts his head down, moves his haunches, w-t-c on the lunge. He does better going through gates and other small spaces and crosses creeks. Mainly, he has learned to think about situations before he reacts to them! I am so proud. Cynthia did a fabulous job with him. She has given him confidence in himself. She even took the time to work with me and help me to know how to direct my energy at him to get him to react the correct way. He moves to his new farm on Monday after work, so I need to begin preparing...
Here are some pictures from my visit yesterday:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On the Road Again...

Ok, I promise, I am ACTUALLY going to visit Granite at his trainer's after work today. I mean it this time! I am armed with my camera and camera phone and D is coming with me, so hopefully I will have some pictures and a nice post about his progress to share with you tomorrow.

I spent some time at the Porter farm yesterday which was really nice. I had dinner with them and visited with Karma for the first time in a really long time. I have been feeling about her like I have felt about some boyfriends in the past. I often remain friends with ex boyfriends because in my opinion if you truly loved them, you always will in a way the type of love just shifts as the individuals grow. I promise, hang with me, I am getting to the point... Anyway. When I first go through one of these breakups (and I am a pro, I go through them often) I need some space. Pretty much no contact for a month or two so I can regain my Independence and not dwell on what I lost when losing the relationship. After that, I can usually spend time with the particular ex as friends and not have those feelings of loss or jealousy etc... So, this is how I was feeling about Karma. I guess it was about 3 weeks ago when I decided to return her to her previous owner and despite an open invitation to ride her or spend time with her, I have kept my distance and haven't even groomed her or went out to her pasture to visit although I am at the farm daily to drop off and pick up the dog. Yesterday I petted her for the first time in a while. It was bitter sweet. I had missed her, but had not allowed myself to dwell on it. I think what may hurt worse is knowing that others are riding her and giving lessons with her. I feel like I know her better and that they won't do her justice... but I also know that it is only my Ego and 'Only Child Syndrome' speaking. So I have to swallow it and slowly, I hope to spend more time with Karma as 'friends' instead of 'lovers' as I have done successfully with so many ex flames...

Theres my giant analogy for the day. Thanks for dealing with me. I promise pictures of Granite and stories of what I hope will be success and growth tomorrow. He moves back to Greensboro and into his new digs next week. Official date to come...

Monday, July 6, 2009

an episode of Real World Oak Island, and thoughts on Granite's big move...

So the beach trip was fabulous! We got in late Thursday night and immediately popped tops. I ended up going for a swim at 3am and the Ocean kicked my ass! I scraped my knee, hurt my ankle, and lost my bracelet... I would totally do it again! Friday was kind of annoying as the New Man in My Life (NMML) was a complete ass. He actively seemed to ignore me and I was pissed. That evening after a few rounds of shots, I finally lost it and he and I ended up having an overly dramatic heart-to-heart. It ended well however because he was clear that I would not accept that type of behavior and he was perfectly attentive and fun for the remainder of the vacation. Saturday we went to see Ice Age 3, which provided us with an abundance of funny quotes for the rest of the weekend. Saturday night was continued fun. 1/2 of the group went to see fireworks and Rich, Colorado, and myself went home to decorate the house for NMML's birthday. We put curly ribbons up all over the place and I had a Happy Birthday banner. I think he appreciated least I hope he did. Sunday morning was lazy. None of us really wanted to leave but we began cleaning fairly shortly after waking up and we hit the road by 3ish. I was so car sick on the way back and we got stuck in really bad traffic on I-40. We made it home around 8 and I took NMML to a quick Mexican dinner then we went to my house where we passed out around 10:30. Roomie is gone until the 16th, so it will be quiet around the house for the next 2 weeks.

I had planned to go visit Granite tonight, but his trainer had to work overtime all weekend so she asked if I could come out tomorrow evening instead. We plan to discuss which day is best for moving him to his new farm. I am out of town for the next two weekends, so I think it will have to be on a week day after work. I plan to move some of my stuff over fairly shortly. I am not sure if I should keep my saddle's at D's barn or move them with me. There is always a chance that the new barn owner will ask/offer for me to ride a couple of her young paints, but I know I will probably be riding Karma on occasion. I think I may take the less expensive saddle to the new place and keep my Bates at D's where I know it is safe. Any advice on creating a smooth transition for Granite and myself to our new barn? I haven't moved farms since I was in High School! I am pretty excited by scared about keeping up with the finance end of it all. On that note... I have made the final 4 for the Oak Ridge Town Clerk position!!! The Manager was checking references this morning. Cross your fingers I get this!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4x4x4 Beach Trip

Well Well, 18min till 5:00-- productivity is long gone. So I figured I would jot a quick note about my quickly approaching Beach Vacay. 4Girls 4Guys 4Days at Oak Island at the New Man in My Life's Grandmother's Beach House. I cannot wait. Colorado and I have been scheming already of all the fun things we can do while we are there. Flip Cup, getting the Goody2Shoes wasted-face, Wiffle Ball, Man in My Life's Birthday Par-tay... Should be a blasty. I am mostly looking forward to laying on the beach and working on my tan. THIS my friends is when I can appreciate the freedom of a non-horse-owner. Although I miss my boy terribly, I can go on this vacation guilt free knowing that he is at training and I wouldn't be with him anyway. I will, however, miss my baby dog-girl terribly while I am basking in the glorious sunshine. How can you not miss that cute face? Thanksfully D is taking good care of her over the long weekend. Thank god for "daycare".