Monday, April 25, 2011

Put some excitement between your legs

Now that winter is long gone and the warm weather appears to be here to stay, I’ve been back in the saddle on a regular basis.  (Well, when it isn’t raining!).  After a fairly rough start earlier this spring, (read: Misty had no interest in being ridden and nicely tried to tell me this with a few well placed bucks and spins), we’re on our way to a routine training schedule.

Unfortunately, Misty had lost quite a bit of muscle tone after being out of commission since last October with an eye ailment (I’ll deliver this sad, long, expensive story sometime) and crappy, icy climate.  With lots of trot work, which she loves, (not at all), she’s built herself up nicely and we’ll be cantering circles and figure eights in no time, (but not if Misty has something to say about it…which she will!).  If the rain goes away and I can get in some solid training, it will be off to the shows!

But regardless of Misty’s behavior, riding her always brings plenty of excitement for me…and plenty of entertainment for our audience!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mucks vs. Wellies

When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to have my horses in my backyard. We had a small farmette that was just perfect for our two spoiled equines. Like any horse crazy girl, asking me to go muck stalls was not a chore – it was something I did willingly, without being asked, every single day. I’d come home from school, change into my barn clothes, and off I’d go.

 During the hot summer months, I’d wear slip-on clogs, but during the rainy weather (which seems like everyday now!), I’d wear what I called muckluks – or my mucks, for short. These boots were awesome! I could stand in a solid foot of the mud and slop in front of the barnyard and be perfectly fine. I LOVED my mucks! Sometimes on hot, rainy days when I knew my feet would get wet in my clogs, you could find me in a t-shirt, shorts, and my mucks – with no socks. Even though the mucks fit my feet, my skinny little legs would peak out the top – loose yet not uncomfortable. Whenever I see a pair of mucks, I am catapulted back into my childhood and picture a lanky pre-teen carrying a pitchfork and rake who used to beg her mother to let her sleep in the barn at night with the horses.

My mucks - plain and simple

My husband is a photographer and does a lot of product work – mostly shoes. One day I came home and saw all these brightly colored, fancy-looking mucks at the house, (he has a small backdrop in his office and does most product work at home). “What are you doing with these mucks,” I asked. “I think they’re rain boots…called wellies or something,” James replied.

Mucks on crack...

What?! Since when did my mucks get a make-over? Since that day I’ve been astonished to see how popular these so-called wellies are…how their patterns have evolved, and how they have made their way into the wardrobe of non-horse people.

Not that I mind – I’ll share my mucks – but that’s what they’ll always be to me – my mucks!

Cute and preppy mucks

Monday, April 11, 2011

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Distillery

When people heard we were planning a trip to Lexington, they all encouraged us to tour a bourbon distillery.  James and I aren’t big drinkers, but if there’s a chance for me to learn something about anything, I’m in.

There are multiple distilleries in Lexington to tour, but we chose Woodford Reserve for no particular reason.  On our way out there, we made a wrong turn and ended up driving by this old, abandoned distillery.  We joked that we got here just a few years too late!

Woodford offered a two hour tour and it was packed full of info about the Kentucky area itself, as well as the bourbon distillery process.  Apparently, once the state of Kentucky realized how great their land was for making bourbon, they tried to pass a law stating it would be illegal for any other state to produce it as well.  Unfortunately, their request was denied.

During the tour, we were ushered from one large building to the next.  I can’t remember all the specifics, but one building was extremely hot – this was where all the oats and barley and whatnot were mixed together.  We saw how the barrels were made and how an empty, finished one was placed on railroad tracks and rolled down hill to the next building to be filled with bourbon.  They allowed one person from our tour group to use the wooden hammer and nail the final cork into the side of the barrel.  I REALLY wanted to do this, but so many of the men in my group seemed eager to take a swing at it, so I kept my hand down.  What a Good Samaritan I am!

The second building was where they house all the bourbon while it distills for 7.5 years before they bottle and sell it.  This building held many millions of dollars worth of bourbon…and it smelled delicious!  The air in this building was kind of smokey/sweet…very enticing!  I believe the tour guide said they called the smell, Angel’s Breath.  (I could be wrong, but I doubt angels are chugging bourbon).

 The final building reminded me of one of my favorite shows, How It’s Made.  There were conveyor belts and packaging materials…and all types of assembly line stuff that also reminded me of certain episodes of Mr. Rogers’.  (Favorite episode of all time – when Mr. Rogers visits the crayon factory!).

Finally, we were able to try some bourbon!  It was definitely strong for James and I who rarely drink, but it was sweet and nutty and quite good if sipped little by little.  Then it was off to the gift shop to purchase some bourbon chocolates! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yes, I want my milk in a bag

This is not a horsey blog…this is just me whining…


Every time I go to the grocery, I buy milk. I’m not a ravenous milk drinker like my best friend, Mary, but I love milk in my cereal and when I’m eating more than my fair share of sweets.

Recently, I’ve found that every time I buy milk, the cashier at the store either asks me if I want my milk in a bag or just scans it and puts it in my cart without giving me the option. Really? Why wouldn’t I want it in a bag? Yes, I’m that customer who then hands the milk back to him/her and asks for the dang bag!

Aren't cows cute?  I will totally have a cow one day...

Milk is cold…do you think I want to hold its icy handle as I’m making my way to the car? If my milk is in a bag, I can then slide it on my arm along with my other 15 bags so I only have to make one trip from the car to the house. If my milk is naked and just hanging out, that throws off this whole grocery juggling process.

Also, when milk is out of the fridge, condensation builds up on the outside…which means, things will stick to it. A bag-less milk in my car is a frightening thing. Residing in my car, at any given time, is a ton of riding equipment, horse halters and lead ropes, a German Shepherd, barn boots, extra jackets and gloves, etc. What this means is that my bag-less milk has about 10 seconds of freedom before it is attacked by dirt, dog hair, dust, horse hair, and who knows what else. And then I have to put it in the fridge with the rest of my food?

So, yes, I want my milk in a bag!

Does anyone else get this question? Do any of you out there actually like a bag-less milk? And yes, James, I’m really blogging about this.