Monday, November 22, 2010

Revising the Resume(s)

Howdy Blogland! I'm back to share with you an interesting week.

Sadly, last week was lacking in horse time! Monday and Tuesday evenings rained. Its ok though because I got to spend Monday night getting excited about the MNF Redskins game. Sadly, it was a beat down and I had to turn it off before 1/2 time as to not loose my sanity. I had gotten tickets but had to turn them down for work and budgetary reasons, it was a blessing in disguise! Tuesday, TK's band had a 'gig' but things were crazy and we showed up completely underdressed! I pitched a fit and ended up wandering around in the middle of small town NC waiting for him to finish playing!

Wednesday was a blast:
I heard that Granite's brother was for sale and I was nosey, so I found him on DreamHorse. His ad described Granite to a T. Being the nosey kid I am, I emailed his owner explaining who I was and that I would love to hear about Guiness and maybe see pictures. He is 2 years older than Granite and has started over fences and began showing. Kristen sent me some photos and the similarity is striking. Check it out.

The similarity is incredible. Same eyes and nose!

BIG jump! Lets hope Granite takes to jumping too!

Before leaving work for the day I got some more good news. I was called for an interview for a great job about 40 minutes out of town. This is actually a position that I wouldn't mind retiring from. I interview on Tuesday (23rd) before heading home for the holidays. Everyone keep your fingers crossed. This would be an amazing professional opportunity and would come with a raise just big enough to ease some financial worries! I'm not getting my hopes  up too high, but its exciting. Time to dust off that resume!

Wednesday evening, I forfeited time with Granite, but for good cause. Blogger, Marissa, of Tucker the Wunderkid blog was in NC on business! She was about 1.5 hours from my house but happened to be staying in the same city where my bff Eva lives! So, I skipped out of work early and drove down to meet the ladies for dinner. Dinner turned in to 3.5 hours of horsey talk! This was the first time that we had met Marissa and it felt like we had all been friends for years! It was worth the drive and the 5:15am wake up call to get back to work on Thursday :)

Thursday brought good news to me! The folks at my apartment complex were bestowed with some sense (or realized that I was not paying for entire carpet replacement with out fight) and called to tell me that they "May have Found" some carpet that would match in order to allow them to only replace MY room! The carpet they may have found and associated installation will cost me $250.52. I like how exact that is considering the term "may" was used. Verbiage aside, this was an incredible relief and brightened my ENTIRE outlook on this moving experience! Quitting my part-time job a month before I am actually moving and realizing associated savings has been extremely difficult and scary, but knowing that I can afford the carpet replacement and it wont be some 4 digit amount is wonderful!

Friday was FABULOUS! It was my first friday night off in months! I think I counted 3 friday nights that I had previously had off since May! I rode Granite with my free time-- obviously! I was tacking him up and taking with Becky and Kansas and Becky mentioned how surprised she was that I hadn't tried him out over some cross-rails yet. In my mind, I want to have transitions smooth and quick and many more on-the-flat issues corrected before I even contemplated jumping. But, I have been going over trotting poles for some time now and I've noticed a drastic improvement in him not clipping them and being able to adjust his stride to clear them. I had a great evening ride alone in the arena and I thought "what the heck, lets set up an itty bitty cross-rail". So I put up two trotting poles and a very tiny crossrail. I steered Granite over it and he did the trotting poles then hesitated then walked over the "jump". The next go round he hesitated briefly then trotted over the "jump". The third time he wasn't very straight in our approach but he picked both front feet up and JUMPED the little crossrail! No hesitation, like he had been doing it his whole life! I was sooooo proud! I fist pumped the air! It was a great moment. If I could bottle that feeling for any time in the future when I thought it would be easier to sell him, it may not be worth it, or he wouldn't become the horse I hoped he would. Granite will be upgrading his resume to include "started over fences"!!!

Saturday was a blast as well. I got up early and went to ride. I brought TK and he took some photos for you. I felt like the ride was great, despite the photographic evidence displaying otherwise. Granite jumped 3 more times on Saturday. I was really proud. After the barn we got cleaned up and headed to the Wake Forest football game. My friend JB joined us! A great time was had by all (except for the Wake Football players who went home after quite a defeat).

Sunday was non-horsey but nice. It was TK's mom's birthday. So we spent all day eating and celebrating with a slight break to watch the Redskins pull out a close victory over the TN Titans. Go skins!

I'm heading home for the holidays tomorrow (after my interview). Tonight will be my last ride/Granite time until next Monday! Thank god for great barn owners who I can trust with my man while I'm away. I hope you all have a great holiday filled with family, food, fun and football. Until next week, enjoy some photos from last week and this week's rides :)
 Daphne and her brother

 Baby Cross-Rail
 Trot Poles!
 TK's first time on Granite... They both look confused!
Pretty boy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A mixed bag.

Well.... This past week has been interesting. Good and bad.

TK and I went to our new apt. complex on Monday only to be treated poorly and to discover that the unit we wanted had been previously leased but it wasn't properly noted. We left disappointed and upset but after reevaluating decided that we would give them another shot (only meeting with the woman who originally showed us around).

I gave up a second day of riding on Tuesday to go back to the apt complex. It was a much more favorable experience and we applied and were accepted for a 768sq foot 3rd floor 1 bedroom apartment. We move in the day after Christmas (and the day before TK's birthday). We are thrilled!

I had Veteran's Day off. I slept in a bit before heading over to the barn for a farrier appointment. His "special fin" is looking good and the farrier seemed pleased. I rode him and he was great. He was very forward and responsive. I spent 4 hours at the farm cleaning tack, grazing my boy, riding and whatnot. We also have FOUR new horses at the barn. Reno left on Thursday :( and was replaced by 2 QHs, 1 Cremello Paint and an Appendix. Unfortunately with new horses come people and their children. I am not a fan. The barn is my quiet place. My happy quiet place where I want to be left alone to be with Granite, not make small talk and try to ignore children. Oh well, I guess 1.5 years of quiet was enough. Hopefully it won't be too much of an adjustment.

I worked at the Restaurant on Friday. I was supposed to be the last server off (of 5) and at 7PM on a Friday night the manager told me that the owner changed me to first off and that I could go home. At 7PM on a FRIDAY NIGHT! I made $30 and was pissed. I was scheduled to work this Wednesday as well, but they can forget about it. I gave a two weeks notice and tried to be the bigger person here, but clearly they had to have the last laugh. I'll gladly drop off my apron this week and tell them to forget Wednesday! Then on the way home Friday night, I ran over a bunny! I had wine as a result and TK brought home a dozen roses to make me feel better. He is such a knight.
Saturday was fantastic! My roommate was out of Town and so was TK. This left me with a whole day in my apartment to myself to do a big cleaning. I did a billion loads of laundry and cleaned and dusted and organized. It was great! I feel so peaceful when everything is tidy and I know my chores are caught up. I got in a run on Saturday then went out with two of my favorite girlfriends that night. It was a really productive and nice day all around.

Sunday morning was a lazy coffee morning with my friend Jordan who stayed the night. We chatted and relaxed until TK got home. Then TK and I headed to the barn and to run some errands. We spent the evening with his family and had another super-relaxing day! I was feeling so peaceful.

And then... today happened. Its Monday. I am busy. But, my mind is completely pre-occupied with drama. Scary and potentially expensive drama. As I may have mentioned. Daphne ate some carpet in my current bedroom. Its at most 3ftx2ft. Its by the door because she escaped from her kennel one day and because of her separation anxiety, she tried to escape. Thankfully she didn't damage the door. Anyhoo-- as I have signed a "roommate release" so that my roommate can take over our whole lease and I can be released to leave at the end of December. I also wanted to get the carpet damaged repaired and paid for so that everything would be cleanly separated for me to begin leasing at another location. I notified the office staff and they had their maintenance staff examine the damage. I received a follow-up email today alterting me that they "don't do partial replacements" and will have to replace the ENTIRE unit! They seem to expect me to pay for "furniture removal" (since my roommie is clearly staying there for at least another 6 months and has her furnishings in place) and for carpet (which they claim has 2.5 years remaining on it) and installation. This is completely asinine to me. How on earth is it logical to tell me that I have to replace an entire apartment with carpet when there was only damage done to one 1/2 of one room (because a seam separates 1/2 of the room from the damaged portion). Has anyone had experience with this? I told them that I was obligated to at most pay for replacement of the entire bedroom and associated installation fees but would not be willing to pay for anything else. I know they've probably protected themselves in the lease (which I need to dig up and review tonight). But I would rather pay an attorney to review this for me than to let them win. First because I can't afford to carpet an entire apartment (last time this happened it cost me $185, so I allocated $300 for this instance) and second because my principals tell me that they are trying to do what they had to do anyways on my dime and it is an injustice! And now I'm crying at work.... fabulous.

Sorry for the rant.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunshine and Gleefulness

Oh yes, you read it right. This Negative Nancy is turning things around! I have lots of good news and photos to show you.

Where to start?

How about I start with last week. I asked Kansas to begin riding Granite once a week. This is tough for me and I am nervous but it frees me up a little and insures that the big man gets more time under saddle. She is now riding on wednesdays and she rode for the first time last week. She said he was fairly good, so thats a start.

I only got two rides in last week myself but they were really good. Marissa is always right when she tells me just to keep going forward and working through issues without overthinking them. He has already improved in ducking below the bit. I just keep asking him to go forward and leaving his head alone and he seems to work out the issues independently. I am so proud of him, I just have to learn not to harp on the small stuff just yet. We are getting more canter transitions and more flexibility in lateral movement and tempo at the trot. I feel like Granite is figuring out where his hooves belong and how to user his big body and muscles.

I rode Saturday morning and was rudely reminded that winter is almost here! It was 41 degrees at 8:30am when I drug my lovely bf and puppy to the barn with me. Granite was great. TK played photog and I have lots of photos to share with you as a result! I love looking at them and comparing them to the photos taken in early summer. There is so much improvement! YAY!

Want to hear some of the best news? In less than two weeks I will have my choice of 4 weekday evening during which to ride my horse every week! Why is that??? Because on Friday, I gave my 2 weeks notice at the Restaurant! I am sooo thrilled. That place was slowly killing my spirit. I am moving soon which will save me quite a bit of money and I've made some contacts asking if anyone knows of someone needing barn sitting etc, but the solidifying factor in quitting now was that TK's mom's "cleaning lady" recently had surgery and is out for a few months. TK's mom has offered me $100 each day to clean her house two times a month. This was JUST enough to get me by at least until I move! I started on Saturday and although its a relatively awkward situation, me cleaning my bf's parent's house, it isnt waiting tables. I get to bring Daphne with me and I get cash for only 2 days of work a month! I get my week day evenings back and escape the stress of waiting tables! WAHOOOOOOOOO. I feel like a have a new lease on life now that I know the light at the end of that tunnel is quickly approaching!

Speaking of Leases.... TK and I spent all day Saturday searching for a new place to call home. By moving into a 1 bedroom apartment, he is getting out of his parent's house and I am saving money (enough to quit!) and gaining so much time to be with my horse! We found a great place that is close to Di-Aunts (where I drop the pup daily... so it will save me time and gas money too). Its inexpensive and safe and the floor plan is 780sq feet. We are going to turn our applications in after work TODAY! If everything goes as planned, we hope to have a moving date of January 1, 2011 :)

In other news, I had an interview last week. It was really promising although I haven't heard anything about a second interview yet. I also applied for a position with another municipality. I haven't heard from them yet, but I am hoping to secure an interview since I have a friend who knows the HR director. I still have many hurtles to conquer and money is still a big issue, but TK and I (and Granite and Daphne) seem to finally be moving in a positive direction. I am freeing myself up to be with my horse and save time and money and energy. If I get a new and more challenging and rewarding job, I will be on cloud 1,000 :)

Enjoy some Photos :) I enjoyed the ride during which they were taken.

(TK and the Coon Hound puppy that he wants and CANNOT keep...Daphne being jealous)

Monday, November 1, 2010

A testament to Granite's personality....

Grace and Baby Granite

Granite's Mother, Grace, is for sale. I have kept in relative contact with the owner/breeder from whom I bought Granite (who currently still have his dam). She emailed me this weekend asking if I would be willing to write her a short testimonial about Granite and his personality for her to use in Grace's sale ad. This is tough! I can go on and on about how great Granite is, but when I try to write a sentence or two to sum up his personality (that don't involve the words "dude" or "stoner"), I hit a road block. You all practically know my guy.... any suggestions??? And anyone want a rock solid Hannoverian Certified Broodmare?? Shes a peach and makes babies like Granite :)

The White Rabbit... Mad Hatter & Robin Hood