30 October 2010

NASCAR is coming to Phoenix...the week of November 12-14


Phoenix International Raceway, also known as PIR to locals, is nestled in the foothills of the Estrella Mountains southwest of Phoenix about twenty miles. The surrounding neighborhood is quiet except for the two times a year NASCAR comes to the valley of the sun to visit.

Zoomtown is one of the largest fan based RV parking areas on the circuit and is within walking distance to the track. Zoomtown swells to more than one hundred thousand on race weekends and is the safest place to stay. It has it's own Urgent Care Facility and supermarket, so once you're there, there's no need to leave the track to go into town for gorceries, beer or whatever you need. It's all there for you. Turn out is always excellent. The last two years, PIR has lowered spectator seat prices to bring the fans out. The concept has worked well even in this poor economy, the fans come in droves.

There's always something happening in and around the track and Zoomtown during race weeks. You can choose from a variety of venues, pretty much anything you could want to spend money on, and it's not inexpensive either. It's simply what one would expect for any sporting event. NASCAR is no exception.

I haven't spent a weekend at Zoomtown, though it might be fun to do with a bunch of people just once. I generally get to the track early enough to find a decent parking space close enough to where my seats are and have time to wander through the all the vendors looking for something I might not be able to live without. In the past I have bought a few things to put into a scrapbook with other race week memorabilia. Yep, anyone who is a fan of NASCAR has favorites. I'm no different, I have mine too.

Funny thing is, NASCAR isn't like other sporting events where you want to be closer to the action. Tickets for other 'close to the action' sporting events are premium priced. At NASCAR, you want to be higher up from track level action to be able to see all the action. This is where the cost gets pricy. The higher up you go in the stands, the pricier tickets are.

I've had seats nearly at track level and right across from pit road, and I've had seats on turn four where most of the wrecks happen when they're racing in Phoenix. Not that I'm a fan of wrecking, mind you. I could see more from this postion. Next time I go to the races, I think I'll opt for turn four again and splurge to get a seat higher up. It will be worth the extra dollars to be able to see almost all of the track.

The chase is on. PIR's November race is the next to last race of the season before a Chase winner is crowned in Homestead, FL. This one mile track offers fans a great deal for the money, and it's always an exciting race for the drivers too.

Welcome race fans! Have a safe and fun weekend!

29 October 2010

What's it going to take?

The American dream? America, land of opportunity, of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The opportunity for a good education, the opportunity to work in any sector you want to work in. Where has the American dream gone? It's not in my back yard. I was born here, I was raised here, I was educated here.

What American dream....I should be having the time of my life. I should be looking forward to retirement. I shouldn't be worrying about where my next meal or shower might come from. I can't retire, I'm not having the time of my life. I'm screaming inside....I'm homeless! I'm unemployed! I need a job! I need insurance to cover medical expenses! "Who can help me?" I certainly don't have a clue anymore. What's it going to take?

What's it going to take for you to realize our elected officials are not only paid from our tax dollars, but also from excessively large donations paid through 501-C not for profit entities that don't have be reported because the Supreme Court ruled these 501-C contributions don't have to be. You wanted clean elections? Not happening!

So what's next? The rich get richer and the middle class slides into the abyss to become poor, and those that were already poor to begin with get poorer. More and more become homeless right along with those of us who have been under employed for more than two years, or have already lost jobs, lost their health care coverage, and are now loosing their homes.....

And they say times are tough? Who made times tough? It certainly wasn't me or or you? Who was it then? My opinion...Corporate America, the need for absolute control and power over the government! I don't care much about political party affiliations. I don't have any. I want fairness within the system.

I do care when I haven't been able to buy health care coverage for over ten years, because employers I've worked for haven't been required to offer it, and haven't paid enough wage for me to afford to buy my own. I certainly don't live above my means in anyway shape or form, either.

Then I lose my job and apply for unemployment. I get sick, too. I ask for help to cover catastrophic medical expenses and do you know what I was told? You make too much money to qualify....denied!

After all that, my unemployment benefit gets delayed while the Congress (republicans and democrats, house and senate) debate where the money is going to come from to help states pay for extended benefits, because more and more people are becoming unemployed.

Wow! I'm homeless now! What a shock that was, especially since it happened just before I went in for major surgery (I did get medical coverage because of this catastrophic illness). I still don't have money coming in, my health will suffer because I have to jump through hoops to get medical services...pretty sad state of affairs for someone who is close sixty years old, and should be looking toward retirement. I'm still looking for a job, too.I will have to keep working past retirement age, too.

I pay taxes every year, faithfully. I get taxed on the limited amount of money I receive from unemployment, too. I earned the right to have this benefit, and it's a pittance of what I could be earning if I could find a job. I'm not asking for much.

To hear some extremist say people receiving unemployment are lazy, makes me crazy! It is so not true! Who are these people and where have they been? Have they been hiding in their cushy offices, not paying attention to what's happening in their districts, getting paid to look the other way by some special interest lobby group while a 'mega' corporation can reap in ridiculous profits in a recently past quarter? To hear another say they will work (if elected) to raise the retirement age, to do away with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (I'm sorry privatize Social Security and Medicare). What are they thinking?

Aren't these people in D.C. are supposed to be working for 'main street' America? They're not working for me! They aren't working for my district! They aren't working for the state I live in! They're working for special interests and the lobby's. My tax dollars pay their salaries, pay their health care, and pay their retirements even if they're not re-elected. Your tax dollars pay for that, too. This kind of stuff really, really makes me angry! Who are these people? What's it going to take?

25 October 2010

We need a bigger apartment.....

I've been staying with a friend since the end of June. I've been unemployed and had major medical issues for about a year. When the Senate delayed passing unemployment extensions for thousands of unemployed in the United States, I was one of them. This forced me to reconsider how I was going to make ends meet and keep a roof over my head. Because of the lack of income, I moved in with my friend a scant three days before I went into the hospital for major surgery. I've recovered sufficiently to look for work and go back to work. Many applications later, I finally landed an interview last week. Having been unemployed for so many months is an issue with the prospective employer, because there's no current experience for him to draw from, or that I can prove I can do the job at hand, and he doesn't know me. There is one plus in my favor. I've been a 'casual' driver for the company a number of times in the last few years. I know their system.

After that interview, I commented we needed to find larger accommodations. My friend has agreed in principle, but suggested we wait to see where jobs land us. My point was that while we're not working we should be scoping out potential places, have an action plan in place, just in case.....we do get back to work full time and aren't able to arrange to have time off together to get a move done. Pretty logical stuff here. He's lived in this apartment for more than ten years and has admitted that he hates to move. Well, okay, I hate to move too. I get that.

We all know the economy is poor. Jobs are tough to get even as truck drivers. Neither of us wants to go back over the road as drivers and be away from home weeks on end, that doesn't equal quality of life for us anymore. This apartment is one bedroom, so my bedroom is in the living room. My bed is a queen sized fold up air bed with a collapsible frame. It's a pretty neat thing. Works well because it can be collapsed and pushed out of the way. The new job (if I do get it) will take me away overnights for twenty-four hours at a time, and I would have to sleep between runs when I am here. Logically speaking, the best case scenario is we share a place until (if or when)the economy improves. I'd already started scoping places out because when I came to stay here it was gong to be a temporary thing. I wanted a place of my own with my 'stuff' around me. Selfish thinking, I suppose, times have changed.

I had a starting point anyway when I made the suggestion we go looking. Unfortunately, the economy is not cooperating and is forcing us to combine our resources and share a place together. It will be beneficial for both of us for the time being. I have priorities. First is a budget. I've lived on a tight budget for so long it's just something I do. Affordability is a must in a new place (two bedrooms). A new place has to be a place that either of us can afford if something happens to one or the other of us. Second is location, location. It has to be convenient to our jobs and a short ride down to where I keep my horse. After all that is shopping, banking and paying the bills. This complex has all that and then some.

So off we went to look at Southwest Village where a friend of mine has lived for five years. It has the location and it has affordability. What we save in fuel consumption, will be absorbed in slightly higher rent from where we are now, and splitting expenses will actually help in the long run. We looked at a 2 bedroom 2 bath unit, which had apparently been upgraded, and would cost $50.00 a month more than she'd already quoted us. Strike one, the appliances were black and the cabinets had been refinished poorly. Strike two, the parking left some to be desired, my friend wouldn't be able to look out the window and see his vehicle. Strike three, there were small children next door. Not that we don't like children, we just like them quieter than these were....

I do have to say the views were nice. I could see mountains from the front porch, something I have missed since staying where we are now. The yard in front of the building was huge and overlooked a large alfalfa field. The exposure is to the southwest which might be an issue when it comes to keeping the place cool. The kids would not be a deal breaker but $50.00 a month more for black appliances would be. We've decided that this particular unit will not due for us not because of the parking or kids, but because of the black appliances and poorly finished cabinet upgrade.

On the flip side, we have decided the complex is suitable for our needs. It's affordable and meets the rest of our criteria. Next order of business is to finalize the deal and set a date to move. We don't know when that would be, they will have to find us a unit in a suitable location in the complex for us.

Apparently, my enthusiasm is infectious. He's caught up in it too. One of his concerns is that he has big furniture. Yeah, so what? I've been there before with big furniture. I took a tape measure with me to measure rooms for just that reason. One look was all it took for me to know that it would work his furniture and us. I know how to make furniture work! I already have in mind where stuff will go. We don't know when the move is going to happen.....stay tuned.

16 October 2010

Grandmother taught me...

I'm again reminded of some advice my Grandmother imparted when I was young. This also from the pix from my sister's blog @ www.tildentalks.com

Grandmother had lots of advice. For instance, she washed dishes by hand, because we didn't have automatic dishwashers back then, and I was learning how to be 'the dishwasher' in our household. She said, 'do the pots and pans first. That gets them out of the way.' Then she said to wash the plates, bowls, saucers, etc. I wondered why she had left the silverware and utensils for last, so I asked. She said to change the wash water in the sink and replace it with the hottest water to be found. She went on to explain that doing this would get the gook and grime off the silver and utensils faster and at the same time kill any germs on them. In essence sanatizing them. She said a light scrubbing after the water cooled down would see them shinney clean and after rinsing in hot water they would be ready to use again.

In this case, she had heated water on the stove to boiling. She poured the hot water over the silver and utensils and squirted a tiny bit of dish soap into the mix. Then to my amazement she dried her hands, walked away and poured herself another cup of tea. She had to explain (I was really young about five or six at the time) the water was too hot to put her hands into, she would wait a little for the water to cool down before she finished. Made sense, I wouldn't want my hands burned either.

It was much later in life when I was reminded of another piece of advice she'd given me. When she prepared Sunday dinner or holiday meals such as Thanksgiving, she used to spend much of her time in the kitchen. She always seemed to be a the sink, too. Once I asked why she didn't come and sit down with the rest of us. She explained that as she prepared meals and used utensils and things she would wash them and put them away to keep the kitchen more orderly. After she put a roast in to roast, she would get out serving dishes that had not been used in a long time and wash them for the table setting. She said after the meal was over there wouldn't be so much clean up especially when everyones belly's were full. The clean up would take less time. It made sense, and today I still use her method when I'm preparing a festive meal.

I think we all had grandmother's who tried to teach us things when we were growing up. Today those lessons are probably a lost art. Many of us have dishwashers in our kitchens that are used religiously. I've always hated doing dishes and I have a dishwasher. I have to admit, my dishwasher is used to store stuff I don't use often. I wash dishes by hand as my grandmother did. I do this because I live alone and leaving dishes in the dishwasher unwashed for a week isn't healthy. I don't care how well they may have been rinsed. It's just not healthy. Besides if you're going to rinse them profusely, you might as well wash them and get it over with. Running a half load of dishes in a dishwasher is costly in hot water and electricity. Yep I'm penny conscious. Sage advice from long ago.

Grandmother's pearls

I'm going to add a link to my sister's blog; www.tildentalks.com just because the 'picnic' pix she posted reminded me. This pix had my sis, that's the first place your eyes go, and she wasn't smiling. Then there were my brothers, my mum and Grandmother dressed in black and wearing pearls. Yep, sure enough pearls and a tiny hat. I suspect they had been to church before they had that picnic and I don't remember where I was when it was taken. I do know the picture was taken at my grandparents summer home in Wolfeboro, NH. It's a vague memory, but I remember Papa building that table and painting it that horrible green. Anyway, I thought it was a horrible color, turns out it was a common color, forest green.

Grandmother always had advice for accessorizing or dressing up whatever you might have in your closet or dresser. She was definitely a penny pincher. In the thirty's, forty's, and fifty's pearls, gloves and lacy handkerchief's were a lady's inexpensive accessory to any outfit. I don't ever remember a picture of her without those pearls around her neck.

Pearls will compliment most any type of dress. Excellent for an evening out dancing with friends, going to the movies, going to work, and to church on Sundays. Yes, I also have a set of pearls and I'd wear them if the occasion arose, and yes, I'd wear them with blue jean's and boots, too.

Blue jean's and boots are my favorite attire on any given day, 'cause I'm working around the horses, or driving a big rig. I wouldn't consider wearing pearls to do daily around the house chores like Grandmother did. The work I do is much harder on a string of pearls than what Grandmother's lifestyle was. I've been known to dress up which is not often, mind you, but always blue jean's and boots. I've put pearls around my neck, on my fingers, and in my ears, and then I have topped it all off with a dressy cowboy hat for the occasion.

When Grandmother dressed for the day, she knew what she was going to do for that day, whether or not it included dong housework, going to the grocery, or whatever she had planned. She never went anywhere without her pearls. She definitely did not go out of the house without them, her gloves, or that lacy little handkerchief poking out of her handbag.

I wouldn't dress like that today, and I'm a grandmother, but I'm not your average 'stay at home' grandmother either. I still work. In those days, grandmother's and moms stayed at home raising children and taking care of the home. Men brought home the sole income. Times have changed seventy-five plus years later, but I still have 'my' pearls.

14 October 2010

8 years later....it's finally done!


Yeah! Hooray! The Hoover Dam Bypass project is complete and set to open...(as reported by the Associated Press) I saw this blip on a local media outlet website this morning.

WoooHooo! Finally! The project began 8 years ago. It was originally designed to remove thru traffic from the dam, which is a tourist 'must see' if you're in the area, and to keep the dam safe from would-be terrorism attacks (after 9-11).

The dedication is today and is expected to have dignitaries from both NV and AZ as well as media crunch and who knows how many tourists. I liked the idea of the bypass from the get-go. The dam has been closed to big truck traffic since 9/11/2001 and this new bypass route is opening ahead of schedule, too! Yeah!

I've been over the dam in a big rig one time, and many other times in a four wheeler. I don't quite know how to describe the experience in the big rig, or the roadways leading to and leaving from the dam. But I'll give it a shot. The evening I crossed the dam in my big rig, the sun was going down and hindering my sight. It was hairy. I just crept along hoping and praying. A CB radio was a good tool to have on board. I had one and it was on. I could listen to the chatter and maybe miss the guy coming at me in another big rig, by not crossing paths at the same time on one of the tighter turns. It was nighmarish and nerve wracking. The roadway was/and is narrow and twisty. Traffic was slow, moving at a snails pace and sometimes stopped all together. This of course due to the tourists walking along the dam taking pix and the 25 mph speed limit. There was no getting across here in a timely manner. Two fifty-three's (a truckers term for two rigs with long trailers) couldn't pass each other at the same time on a tight turn without scraping sides, never mind a four wheeler who thought he was in a hurry and trying to pass where there just wasn't enough room to do so. Scary stuff this.


Anyway, I'm sidetracked again with musings from the past....

The new bridge will open next week according to the media report. The dam ittself will be closed to auto crossing traffic. There will be parking avaiable to stop and take pix.

I've been up to the construction site a number of times over the years, but have not worked on the project...wish I had, but that's beside the point... The new bridge is awesome and high above the Hoover Dam. I'd be just one of many who might not be able to use the new bridge because of it's height. I'm terrified of high places and this definitely meets the criteria for that fear. This new span is 890 feet above the Colorado River, half again higher than the Hoover Dam is already. Yikes! I might not be able to ride/drive across the new span because of this, which would ultimately be a shame because the views will be spectacular! Although, hopefully authorities will not allow traffic to stop to take pix on the new span.

I'm sure there will be more media coverage the next few weeks as things get back to normal after the official opening.... Maybe I'll even make the trip and have a crossing for myself. Shudder! I'll keep you posted.

Note: Pix in this post were taken by me.

13 October 2010

Curmudgeon

Curmudgeon is old...not as old as one would think, but old...I've heard old people don't sleep much. I can attest to that fact. Curmudge, as I call him for short, lived alone for a long time before I came to stay with him the end of June. The place was a disaster area! I had to wonder how on earth he hadn't gotten sick. I shouldn't even go here, but I have to. Anyway, back then I only had a few days to spruce the place up before I went into the hosptial for major surgery. I was away for six days and came back to find the place disasterized again. It was awhile before I could get about and after the cleaning again. I was pretty slow moving. The place needed drastic attention! Today, my chief complaint is he's stopped doing anything for himself.

Curmudge hasn't been sleeping well at all. He hasn't been feeling well either, for about three weeks now I guess. I've been trying to reason with him...he just can't hear me. No, no, it's more like he doesn't want to hear the truth, so he turns a deaf ear. Stubborn, very, very stubborn. I get that he might be hard of hearing, this is what he tells me anyway; but I think his hearing is selective, especially when I'm trying to explain something he doesn't want to hear. He's copped to not listening once or twice. Now that's a milestone. I win! Or do I? I wonder.

I'm concerned he may have developed type 2 diabetes. His feet are so swollen. He insists he doesn't have diabetes, and his reasoining is that the docs would have found it in July when he had a physical prior to having surgery on his wrist. His asumption might be correct, but I think not. Anyone his age can develop diabetes of the aged. It's common in folks over 60, and he is that, over 60. Nag, nag, nag. That's what I do...I suppose. The point is, I'm concerned about his feet and his overall health. He hasn't been taking care of himself.

I've finally managed to get him to call his doctor...he did that this morning. He's on a waiting list. If another patient cancels they will call him to come in. I'm a little miffed. He told the nurse he'd been sick about a week. That's just not true! It's been almost three weeks. But what do I know? He's known to have indulged in excesses of alcohol, he might well have alcohol poisoning. But then I can't make that determination, only the doc can. I don't want to go into too many details, it's not supposed to be my business anyway. He wouldn't be a happy camper if he knew I was blogging about him.

I've been after him for about a week now too, to get himself into the shower, wash his nappy clothes, and the soiled bed linens. EW! YUCK! GROSS! My reasoning was and is, if he cleaned himself up he would feel better? I dunno, maybe, could just be wishful thinking on my part. 'Nuf said on this point.

Wooohooo! Hooray! Finally some motivation! Everything is getting washed! The stink will go away, maybe? Here's my thinking on this...if it is odorous enough that I can smell it with my dysfunctional sniffer, then others can too. It's worse than my kittes litter boxes and that's pretty bad, 'cause I take care of the litter boxes every day faithfully. They're parked next to my desk.

......and the latest good news is, he didn't wait for the docs office to call him in. He just announced he was going to the office to wait to see someone. Hooray! Wooohooo!

06 October 2010

Are these cats goofy or what?


This is Puzzle, she is mama to Nilly and Gibby. She is kind of timid most of the time and finds herself anywhere she can to either hide or sleep. Lots of times I have to rescue her from under my friends bed, because Gibby chases her there, and I guess she doesn't much care for him anymore.



This is Nilly. She is Gibby's sister. She too likes to sleep in unusual places. In this pix she found herself a place behind my friends laptop computer and just before I snapped this pix she was laying her head on my book as if it was a pillow.


This is Gibby. He sleeps like this alot. I wondered if it was unusual for cats to sleep like this, but come to find out, it's not all that unusual. Recently, I took him to the vet and had him neutered...something absolutely necessary after I came to stay with my friend and his all night caterwalling made it nearly impossible to get any rest. My friend was close to letting him out just to get some peace. Since his neutering the caterwalling and carrying on has stopped and he's become a pretty good guy to have around. He will even sit in my lap (but only for a few seconds) or sit patiently beside me on the couch...something he never used to do.

I'm often surprised how kittenish all three can still be. They love to zoom around the apartment, especially after we've settled in for the night. Puzzle rarely enters the game, but will sit and watch at a descrete distance. The weather has finally begun to cool down and we can leave the front door open for a short while in the morning and early evenings. I've witnessed all three of them sitting side by side looking out the door. They remind me of guard cats, which I'm sure they are not! If someone were to even come close to the door they would scoot away and hide.

In the evenings, the neighbor cats will pass by to say 'hello' and have a good sniff. Mine will sometimes fluff up aggressively, but all is well when the outside neighbor moves away. There is no hissing or spitting through the steel screen door. I know my kids would love to go outside, but I just can't let that happen. There is too much traffic here and I'd be afraid they'd get chased into the streets by the other cats possibly to get hit or lost. Are they resigned to being kept inside? I don't think so, I think they're hopeful one day their human Mum will let them out again....

I don't mind that they romp and zoom at night (only occasionally when they land on me as they go by). I don't mind spending fifteen minutes every morning after the food is put down recovering kitty toys that have been pushed out of paws reach. At least I know they're doing what they like to do best...they're having the time of their lives. Zoom..zoom.

03 October 2010

Sunday mornings

Sunday mornings are for sleeping in. Sunday is the first day of the new work week. A day for rest or relaxation or whatever you want to do with it. BUT, it's not for getting up at the crack of dawn especially after you've finally gone to sleep three hours earlier. I'm sitting here in a fog nursing a massive lack of sleep headache even the coffee isn't curing this morning....

I couldn't get to sleep last night. Even the usual routine of reading didn't relax me enough to fall asleep. Usually it doesn't take long to fall asleep after reading for a few minutes...not last night! I've been stretching the waking hours the last few days because my roommate has been watching TV until the wee hours...the lack of quality sleep is catching up with me I suppose.

Still trying to clear the fog. My roommate got up early early, a rarity on any other day. But, I sleep in the living room and when you sleep in the living room, it's not cool to turn on the TV and disturb the other person trying to sleep. I went off! He didn't go to bed until after midnight and then he bumbled around the apartment all night...he was trying to be quiet but didn't quite succeed. I'm sure he thought about turning on the TV again, to sit and stare into nothingness, but at least he had the courtesy not to do that. If he had, I think I'd have gone over the edge and would have hastily exited taking myself and the kitty's to a motel which I know I can't afford. Yes, I'm complaining!

"But I thought you wanted to get back into the routine of getting up early?" He said (sort of contritely)....I bit my tongue to avoid making any comments that would bring on a loud disagreement between us, we have too many of those as it is...Yep, sure, I want to get up early and get back into a routine, but hell I don't want to do it at the expense of my rest! And I was thinking; 'Yeah the routine would be great if you'd go to bed at a reasonable hour and go to sleep'. (Early to bed early to rise....is that the old adage?) They say older folks don't sleep as much as they did in their younger years....My roommate is old! I guess that accounts for the lack of sleeping he does....maybe not.

I apologised after the initial outburst and so did he, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm probably going to stay a grump all day. He'll stay out of my way, I'd guess. He watched as I stumbled around picking up my bedding, folding it up, and breaking down the air mattress...I sleep on a queen sized camp air mattress on a sturdy frame, in the living room. It's way cool and convenient. This is a small apartment and we are cramped here.

With all this going on, in the background and under my feet there's a kitty voice calling 'feed me, feed me'. It's persistent and an everyday occurrence. They wait patiently until I get up and make it past them without stepping on them, then the one voice becomes three chiming all together. Routine. They get fed first even before I get my first cup of coffee.

Used to be, before I came to stay here, I had all sorts of big and little kitty voices talking to me as I made my way to the kitchen first thing in the morning. Fortunately, I only have three now. Back then sometimes the multitudes would come in and play the zoom game over under back and forth to wake me up. It got my attention. Back then, too after the kitty's were fed, there was at least two cups of coffee, then out the door to feed the horses at the neighbors. That used to be the 'usual' routine. I haven't had that routine for more than three months now. It's way past time to get back into some kind of practical routine.

Anyway, I've never been one to go back to bed after taking care of the necessary feeding of the animals, unless I was truly not feeling well or confined to bed with some sort of ailment. I couldn't do it here anyway. The sun shines into the living room where I sleep and wakes me. With the summer officially over, daylight comes around five fifteen, sunrise occurs sometime just after six fifteen, and doesn't make it's bright 'light bulb' presence known until around seven AM, after that I am unable to sleep. In the back of my mind, too, there's this niggling feeling, I might miss something if I don't get up and get functional.

I can always find something to do...I've been in recovery mode for a number of months now and not been on any kind of regular schedule or routine. In general, I can get up after six or seven hours of rest without the assistance of an alarm clock. There are days when I can (and probably should) take a nap, but I really don't like to nap, it's screws up the rest of the sleep pattern. Regular routines are supposed to happen during the working week and not on weekends! And of course this is my opinion.

In any case...SUNDAYS ARE FOR SLEEPING IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(if you can ha!) Not in this house!

01 October 2010

Getting ready...Woohoo! It's riding season again!

October 1st. Riding season is finally here!

This week I had Traveler trimmed. In other words, I had the farrier/shoer out to trim his long unkempt hoofs. It was way beyond time for this to be done, and something I can not do myself. Horses hoofs grow like our fingernails and if they're not cared for by someone who knows what they are doing, it can be devastating not only for the horse, but for the owner as well.

Anyway, the farrier says his hoofs are in excellent shape and in a few weeks we can trim again and shoe. This farrier is new to me and to Traveler. He comes recommended and I was impressed how he handled himself around Traveler. He took his time and didn't in anyway abuse my horse. For that I am very thankful, and Traveler seemed to like him too. A big plus in my book.

I haven't been riding in nearly two years. Traveler has been standing in his pen, always ready to go, or in the pasture with the other horses. I wouldn't take him off property right now without another rider with me. This is just common sense, and also I don't need to get hurt.

There are no good excuses why I haven't been riding, though I can think of a couple....Maybe because there's been no one to ride with? Maybe because I've had a myraid of health issues?...In truth, my laziness accounts for most of why I've not been riding. But for whatever reason(s) I haven't been riding all this time, it's time to get my butt in gear and get ready to ride!

Safety first. It's going to take some work on my part to get Traveler ready to leave the confines of the property where I board him. I'm not fooling myself that he isn't going to be a handful and unruly when we do go off site....But we can start in the pasture and work there until I feel comfortable and relatively secure that we can leave the site without unjury to myself, to him or someone else. It's just common sense. He needs some muscle tone and I need the sore muscles before we can head for the trails in South Mountain Park. I figure it's going to take about four weeks of work, three to four times a week to get him and myself ready, so the timing is good. He will have new 'nike's' by that time and we'll be ready to go.

It's finally starting to cool down in Arizona. I don't ride during the heat of the summer. It's too hot for the horse and too hot for me. Some like to ride at night during the summer months. I stopped doing that a few years ago, when I couldn't get a good handle on things in the dark. Traveler has excellent eyesight in the dark and he would never allow me to get hurt, but you never know what is lurking out there.

Am I a wus? Probably. I'm getting older and so is he. Neither of us needs to get hurt, me especially, and I'd be horribly upset if he did. We are a team and have been since he was three years old. There is complete trust between us.

So, I'm gong to storage today. My saddle and other tack for Traveler have been there since I moved earlier this summer. It needs to be cleaned and checked out. Again safety first. Heading out on the trails with tack that is in disrepair is a recipe for disaster. I suppose one could liken it to ski season. You wouldn't head out for a day of skiing without first checking your equipment. The same applies here. Hopefully, there won't be any accidents or incidents on the trails this season.

Wish me luck! 'Cause I'm getting ready to ride!