Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Happy Birthday to me!

Yes, folks.  I am yet again 29!  It was a lovely, lowkey type of day.  Randy got off work early, picked me up from work and we went to Detroit.  First we drove around Belle Isle and got some pics, then took another 1/2 hour to find parking (we totally forgot Aretha Franklin's funeral was happening) and then had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. 
 It was a nice day. 
 Amaretto Sour & Bahama Mama
Spirit of Detroit & the Renaissance Center

  I think it's calmed down a wee bit around here so I'm able to maybe concentrate a bit on a post!
For a moment anyway.
Let's start with a random sunset pic from the other night.  So beautiful!
Yes, there are trees changing colors around here.  This was actually a baby tree, so I wouldn't believe what it has to say yet.

The 11th, Miss Angela wanted to go to the Armada Fair and instead of really trying to find friends to go with,she asked me to go!  The problem is, I had an event early Sunday morning with the SAR group and had planned on going to Laurie's to help bathe the horses & load up, etc.  So we asked Laurie to go, too! 

We went thru thru the exhibition barns & checked out all the animals & enjoyed ourselves some good ol' country tractor & truck pulls!
I've been to see monster trucks 100 times, so this was a pleasant change. 
We enjoyed ourselves a lot.   I wish I'd splurged on the deep fried Snickers instead of the deep fired cookie dough, tho.  It just tasted like a cookie.  

Laurie & I were up before dawn to load the horses & get into Lapeer for the "Run Drugs Out of Town" 5K run.
There ended up being 6 of us doing traffic control over 3 streets - stopping cars so the runners didn't have to worry about them. 

I was at a corner with Lt. and 3 sheriff's department Explorers, aka high school kids.  I gather it's like ROTC but for law enforcement instead of military.
We had to cross this wooden bridge across a lake.  All the horses did well going over it. 
The first runner to go by - I could only imagine what Kisses was thinking!

Once she settled down, she was good.  We stood in the traffic lane until a car came our way.  I'd circle her around, and the Explorer right there would actually do the traffic directing.  Then we'd go back in the road & stand. 

Also on our corner was a steel stamping plant and Lt & I both noticed that there was a truck scale in the their parking lot.  He commented that we were going to take the horses over the scale after the race was done.  Heehee!   And we did!  I secretly felt really good that him & his little horse & lightweight sheriff's dept saddle weighed pretty close to the same as me with my big horse & heavy western saddle! 
As we rode back toward the finish line afterward, we got a shout out from the DJ and a round of applause from all the runners still in the area. 
I look like a hot mess, but Kisses looks pretty!
I got a haircut.  Randy's not a fan - he likes longer hair.  
I'm still getting used to it.  I'm used to being able to pull it back in a clippy & call it a day.  Now it's not long enough for anything other than a headband.  

So I'm going to keep this short - time to call it a day!  We did lots of walking today - and since Randy had picked me up from work, I was in a skirt & flat dress shoes, so my feets are feeling it!


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Life lately - again!

How's it going?  It's been a while - again!  

I sure haven't been keeping up with my first word of the year - "consistent".  Maybe I should have gone with something more along the lines of "scatterbrain".  I'll sit at the desk with every intention of blogging & end up binge watching police department lip sync challenge videos or something like that.  
tom and jerry smile GIF
So.  Let's be random!
I went to my VFW meeting last week and they had delivered our M60 tank that very morning!  
Since I was Navy, I don't know crap about tanks, but you have to admit this is pretty freakin' cool.  The only thing that would be better is maybe an F14.....
I found a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble in my purse so I jumped on this bandwagon.
I haven't started to read them yet, but I will!
I didn't know we even had turkey vultures in SE Michigan, but this one swooped down and circled the neighbor's yard next door, before settling in on her shed to eat a snack of what looked like flattened squirrel.  It stayed over there for a good half hour before taking off.  This thing was enormous!
Krogers has ceramic pumpkins out!  
I also found a Michael's gift card in my purse, so I grabbed the witch & skeleton nutcrackers. 
I didn't know I needed a skeletal flamingo for my Halloween display - but I did!
This year's new headstone is well underway.  It's now assembled & the body color painted.  I just need to attach the license plates & add the name -"Fortiac" in memory of the Ford (Lorenzo) and the Pontiac (Gertrude) that Angel wrecked.  
The gas company has been working in our neighborhood and graciously left all this in our front yard.  Luckily, it was just some plywood & cones the first day.  This was the second & the third day was a fresh patch of dirt & tire tracks all over the yard.  Looks like I'll have a fresh grave outside the cemetery this year!
At least this customer at work makes the effort of changing the date on their stamper....
I'm quite sure they didn't receive their freight on July 33.
I love that we're learning to much with the Search & Rescue group!  
Last week we did a lot of cavalry formations with the horses and the farm we were at (OMG - that place is amazing!) belongs to the Metamora Carriage & Driving Association so they have obstacle courses that they use for driving events (totally on my bucket list to go see!) that we got to go thru, too.  It's pretty great to expose the horses to road signs & flags & wood bridges, etc.   We also did a "hasty" search - where we spread out in a line as if we were looking for someone in the tall grass and had to keep pace with each other.  

 Only 1 small bit of excitement this time.  Spoiler - I didn't fall off this time!  After we were done with the chatting as seen above - Lt decided to gallop his horse back to the trailers (I'll keep my thoughts about *that* to myself) and Kisses took off after him.  After some tight circles, bucking, jumping a ditch & overall fighting,  I managed to stop her & settle her down. I took her to the back of the group, which happily was next to Remmie and we slowly went back to the trailer.   Actually, other than that little hiccup, she did really well!  Mares tend to come into heat (imagine PMSing) when they're in a group, so she was dealing with that along with some crazy humidity.  She was just done and that's how she told me.   
Fun fact - raspberry leaves help keep a mare's cycle toned down.

Speaking of excitement - here's what my arm looked like a week after the episode at the fairgrounds.
(Kisses spooked as I went to get on & this is from the saddle as I hung on - clinging to her side, almost upside down...until I fell off, thankfully right as she went onto the lawn)
I still have a knot (2 1/2 weeks later) where that red blotch is, but the bruising is entirely gone now. 

Sunday we had a "mock search".  We had no idea where it was going to be, other than that we'd get the activation page at 0730.  We went to a campground and the scenario was a missing camper.  We divided into teams & each had a quadrant to search.  We ended up finding a throwing knife, which was not related to the drill at all!  

Once we were done with the mock search, some of the team had their K9s with them so some of us volunteered to go out in the woods to lay a trail for them to follow.  Of course I volunteered.  I went down the trail & left a trail of little flags so the handler would know they were going the right way (the dogs don't pay attention to them). Then I stood behind a tree.  Once the dog found me, a big deal was made & treats were given.  
Waiting to be found!
Dog's noses are amazing tools.  The fact that a quick whiff of my ballcap was all they needed to be able to track me down thru the woods filled with a zillion other interesting scents. 

I also have a new respect for those obnoxious retina-burning orange shirts!  They're fairly heavy so when I was stomping thru the woods and blackberry bushes, 10 feet off the road - my arms were protected.  And it was easy to keep track of each other thru the brush, too. 
Laurie & I opted to not go to lunch with the rest of the group since it was in the opposite direction of her house.  So we stopped along the way (heehee, dressed in our equally bright orange t-shirts, baggy tactical pants, hiking boots & ballcaps) and then had every intention of going for a ride around her area.  After some dozing on the couch during a rainstorm, we did get the horses out.  
I wasn't really in the mood for a ride and I don't think Kisses was, either.  I'd never seen her move that slow!  Laurie had to keep stopping Remmie to wait for us.  But Laurie needed horse therapy.  Ya see,  Saturday, she had to have her dog Barney put down.  Just earlier in the week, she noticed blood on his paws from his mouth, so she took him to the vet.  He had a mass on his gums, so they put him on antibiotics.  When I was at her house Thursday, I noticed his entire snout was swollen & he kept licking.  We looked in his mouth using a flashlight & saw that the mass was bleeding slightly & that several of his teeth were loose.  She wasn't able to get him back in to see the vet until first thing Saturday morning and the plan was to pull those loose teeth & look closer at that mass.  It ended up being a very aggressive tumor that had spread across the roof of his mouth & into his nasal passages.  He wasn't going to get better, so the most humane thing to do was to not even wake him up from the anesthesia.  
Image may contain: dog, grass, outdoor and nature
RIP Barney

Of course I'd been out working in the yard at my house and didn't have my phone near me, so Angel & I couldn't make it out to her house quick enough to be with her for the end, but we were with her to go get him from the vet and also when the neighbor came with his backhoe.  I had Angel take Laurie into the house and I made sure he had one of her tops, his favorite toy and his blanket to cover the box.   And then I learned a whole lot more than I ever cared to know about burying farm animals from the very chatty neighbor!
I had to leave & take Angel home, but I went back since I had planned on spending the night before the mock search.  She was still OK with me bringing my Jack with me, but it was so sad since he kept looking for Barney, too!  She was looking for a certain bag in the closet and I was sitting on the bed.  Jack sat there between us and kept looking between her & me & the door.  
   sad cry GIF
She's really taking it hard, and I'm a lousy sympathy person!  

So that's about it for what's been going on.  
We have stuff going on every weekend for a while.  This Sunday we're taking the horses & working at a "Run Drugs Out of Town" 5K.  The 25th, I'm finally having Angel's dance pictures taken.  I'm having the same photographer who did her senior pics.  First stop will be the studio get get pics of every trophy that Girl Power won - especially that 6 foot tall National Champion trophy!  Then I'd like to go to Belle Isle & downtown Detroit.  The 29th is mine & Laurie's birthday!  Then there's Labor Day.  I still have a shack to build for the H'ween display.  It's going to be around 6 feet tall & 4 feet wide.  At least I don't start setting up until the day after Angel's birthday 9/28 - GASP - she's going to be 21!!  It's a Friday so I'll take her out for her first legal drink at midnight Thursday night.

Whew!  Where's that hamster wheel meme when I need it?