Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
(And, yes, I admit it...that's a picture of Katie Holmes in the movie "First Daughter," but I love her purple ballgown!!!)
Monday, December 24, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Bestselling author Marian Keyes has delighted readers with the lives, loves, and foibles of the irrepressible Walsh sisters and their eccentric mammy. In this, Life in the Big Apple is perfect for Anna. She has the best job in the world, a lovely apartment, and great friends. Then one morning, she wakes up in her mammy's house in Dublin with stitches in her face, a dislocated knee, hands smashed up, and no memory at all of what happened. As soon as she's able, Anna's flying back to Manhattan, mystified but determined to find out how her life turned upside down. As her past slowly begins coming back to her, she sets out on an outrageous quest—involving lilies, psychics, mediums, and anyone who can point her in the right direction. Marrying life's darker bits with wild humor and tender wit, Anybody Out There? is a strange and wonderfully charming look at love here and ever after.
I'm really enjoying this novel and I was pleased to find out it is one of a series about the Walsh sisters (Claire, Rachel, Maggie, Helen, and Anna) and I can't wait to read more of them when I'm finished with this one!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
So, my sister suggested I contact a local East Tennessee rider who has ridden hunter/jumpers, competed in 3-day eventing, and does primarily dressage now (focusing on retraining "problem horses" through flatwork, and starting off babies/greenies). She is eager to help me with Reece, although she insists she's not sure how much more she would be able to start him with the jumping than I might be, but I'm more concerned with his dressage just to get him going for me. I just can't put in the time that he needs for a good start. She is also going to take Eddie for the month of February and do a dressage "boot camp" with him for 4 weeks before I start my event season at the end of March. If Eddie would take dressage as seriously as he does cross-country, then we might have a bloody chance at actually winning something one day! Anyway, I'm really thrilled to have found this trainer to help me out. Reece is going to her on December 29, and Eddie on February 2. Hopefully, by next March, I will have two "new" horses, ready to get going and get out there. We'll see!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
She wrote this message (below) to a group of us yesterday morning, recounting her ordeal over the past day or so, and it brought tears to my eyes. She told us that she actually laughed later when she thought of a bumper sticker she used to have that read: "I'm raising my kids to be cowboys." She said she'd like to get a new one that says: "I'm raising my kids to be farmboys."
"Ever try to find heavy equipment at 7:30 in the night when there are no farms nearby? We made phone calls for hours last night, and I made phone calls for hours this morning. I was a step away from calling U-Haul. We finally secured a trailer, to be rented from the Co-op, and the BM called her old boarding barn, and begged her to bring a tractor out- she was happy to do it, but it would cost us a pretty penny to have her haul the tractor on the trailer out there. We borrowed a truck from my roommate (hitch in place, no ball), a ball and an electrical adapter from one of my friend's students (she teaches high school agriculture and she was actually the person who was leasing Leo from me and prepping him for competitions in 2008). We were ready to do it. Four women, three of which were overly emotional to begin with.
Back-up to my friend, who teaches high school agriculture. About 11am, I get a call from my friend- "Cancel everything, I have a truck, trailer and tractor, meet me in half an hour." What?!! I hop in the car and head towards the barn, I get there and find three high school senior boys, their big ol' farm truck with flatbed trailer and bobcat on board. The boys found out what happened to their teacher's horse, called their parents to get them out of school, packed up their equipment, teacher in tow, and came out to the barn, half an hour away. They took a look at the horse, sent us in the barn, and with the dignity he deserved, loaded Leo into the flatbed, covered him carefully and brought him down the the lab for us (another half hour south). They handled everything at the lab, we never had to see anything we didn't want to witness. They were polite, please and thank you, very genuine in their concern (they didn't use chains, they found straps, closed his eyes and mouth the best they could, laid him very gently and carefully down), apologetic for the whole situation and fixed up some other things they "happened to notice needed fixing" at the barn for us.
They very grudgingly let us buy them lunch and ADAMANTLY refused any other sort of payment, "No ma'am, it's the least we could do. We're very sorry." On top of that, one of my friends called and offered to pay any vet bills we couldn't pay because "I live with my parents and have some extra cash laying around; you're on your own and I know things are tight." I can't even tell you how many times I've cried out of sheer gratitude today. People are truly amazing."
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I also frequently enjoy going to his official web site and looking at all of the beautiful photographs of his various installations from around the world. Just going and looking at his "lap pool" work is well worth the time to check out his site.
"I love to be around water. The connections between glass and water are so unbelievable and so visual. There is no doubt in my mind that water is conducive to thought. Water allows me to be incredibly creative. I work with four materials, of any scale—glass, plastic, water, and ice. And it is really light that makes those materials come alive."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
People were calling and guessing really stupid stuff or just blanking when it was their turn to guess. Nobody won, so they went to commercial, and did it again about 5 or 6 minutes later. Some girl called in and guessed "Fall," and you bet...she was right. So, Carrie with a "C" won my 3rd row seats at the Brad Paisley concert this morning. ARggggghhh. That's alright. I'll get them next time. I just went to WIVK's web site and put the contest line number on speed dial on my cellphone. Look out, peeps, because someone is about to win some concert tickets!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
(I really wish they would incorporate more purple into their uniforms. I loved when they played VT and pulled out the all purple outfits. But, then again, I'm certainly not one to complain about too much orange-and-white.)
Monday, November 19, 2007
If anything, though, it reminds me that life is short...live and love while you can.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
This past weekend, I had friends (and their children) over to my place to ride the horses. It was a very nice Saturday afternoon. The kids were great and they all seemed to have a wonderful time. I'm such a firm believer in the power of fresh air and the out-of-doors for active kids. Everyone had fun riding the horses, but I think that almost as much fun was had climbing on my tractor and jumping off of my hay trailer. As long as they're having a good time, so be it.
These are pictures of my friend Jennifer's little boy, Blake, riding Eddie. Isn't he a cutie? And, when I say "cutie," I mean Blake, not Eddie...we all already know that Eddie is
Monday, November 12, 2007
So, let's get this straight: I need to get a hunting license, but I'm afraid to go to BPS because I will buy lots of stuff (possibly even a new 4-wheeler) that I need but can't afford. I am such a Tennesseean that it's almost scary, don't you think?
Friday, November 9, 2007
My sister will be taking my mom's Tennessee Walking Horse ("Rebel") who jumps a little, but not the bigger types of coops, brushes, and paneling that are found in the TVH's hunt country. So, we'll most likely ride in the third flight and I can jump fences if we come to something that has an option where Melissa can also go around, but if we mostly end up just galloping around only jumping logs and ditches, then that's ok with me and Eddie too. Who knows, maybe Rebel will surprise us and really bust it all out. I always thought that he would love fox hunting.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
That was a much more peaceful end to my morning routine, than say, THIS MORNING, when my cat caught a little cardinal by snatching it out of a tree. Yes, he actually leapt up and caught the bird while it was sitting in an apple tree in my horse pasture. I was so devastated and I chased down the cat and finally got him to let go of the bird, at which point I picked it up and ran with it (the bird...not the cat). It was a baby cardinal, which is probably why it was a bit slow and was too close to the ground in the tree. Plus, I saw my cat headed to the tree and yelled at him before he even jumped, and the poor little bird never even saw it coming. Why are there baby birds so late in the year? Why was he sitting so low in the tree? Why didn't he fly off when I yelled at my cat for stalking him, before he even jumped into the tree?
I put him on a shelf in my horse feed room with a little bit of cracked corn. Although he was looking around and bright-eyed (and he bit my thumb really hard with his beak), he wasn't flying and he wasn't moving his legs. I'm not very hopeful, but I set him up by a window so he can see out and maybe die peacefully (if nothing else). I was so mad at my cat. I'm going to have his teeth pulled and he can eat Fancy Feast for the rest of his life, for all I care. I feed him well! He doesn't need to kill birds. Or squirrels. Or rabbits. Or mice. Or moles. Or chipmunks.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Plus, he's English, and we all know how I feel about ANYTHING English.
Friday, November 2, 2007
We had a lot of time penalties on cross-country (which means we were slow and "x number" of seconds over the optimum time; an optimum time which was too fast for an unrecognized show, in my opinion). It was very wet and slippery out there first thing Sunday morning, so there was no way I was going to tear around the horse park, slipping and falling all along the way, or sliding into big solid fences (like my friend Sarah did at the "stairs" jump, fence #6...although her horse got his hindend underneath him just in time, and they cleared it fine). Sarah was even slower than I was, and she had speed faults (meaning, she was too fast and was too far under the optimum time) at May Daze this past summer, so she and Raj aren't known to be pokey. But, since it was so muddy/slick out there, we both took our time with our horses and had clean jumping rounds, which is the most important goal in a schooling/unrecognized event: sacrifice the time penalties for clear jumping efforts. We're there to practice, not take home blue ribbons.
Neither Eddie nor Raj were 100% this past weekend. They are both pasture horses and being in a trailer on the road for 3 hours, then in a stall all weekend, really makes them stiff and "ouchy." Both of them took some "off" steps in dressage warm-up Saturday morning, so we only asked of them what they felt like giving this past weekend, and as true and honest as both of our guys are, they sucked it up and never let us down. It was a good weekend for seeing how Eddie might deal with a new level and new challenges, and I couldn't be happier with the result! He was very eager and easy throughout the whole competition, and knowing that wasn't his best effort, made me feel confident that when we are both 100% and ready to go, that our first "real," recognized Novice next spring will go great. Now, I can't wait to get back out there and do it all again! But, that won't be until March 2008. Until then...it's fox hunting season!!!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I despise how everytime there is a particular tragedy or crisis, some type of political rhetoric inevitably factors in, and takes away from the levity of the situation. Can't there just for once be a time for human emotion, without some technical issue coming to the forefront? Leave us to our love and hate, joy and pain, happiness and sorrow, fear and bravery. Sometimes, rules are just rules, and they can always be broken.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Fellow drivers in and around Lexington, beware...
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
"On a car journey from Sydney to play a show in Newcastle our driver and guide Rory, a genial and erudite ex-army man passed on his vast knowledge of the surrounding landscape, its history and its wildlife. After four days of feeling safe in Sydney (I was told on a trip here a few years back that no spiders lived in the city as ‘they’re more scared of you than you are of them’) Rory calmly answered my tentative inquiries about what things out here in the wilderness might bring about my untimely death. “As we’ll not be stopping out here,” he says, “there isn’t anything to worry about” (phew, says I). If only he’d stopped talking right there. Then he told me about the very real danger that lives in the place I’d just been feeling safe in for the last few days: the Sydney Funnel Web Spider (SHIT, says I). It’s a spider ONLY found in Sydney. Contrary to whatever liar told me there were no spiders to worry about in the cities this is one of the most deadly in the world and it lives in nearly every garden in Sydney. The place is teeming with them. Of course this is where Rory lets me have it good and proper while he has me up against the ropes and woozy as a nineteenth-century aristocrat’s daughter at a poetry reading. Before I passed out I recall him saying it had the ability to jump three feet in the air and very often the reason someone is bitten at all is because they try and step on the wee bastards and the spider, using the gift the devil gave it, leaps into the air and bites the fella on his mancakes. Bang! I hit the floor of the car. When I came to again and Rory stopped laughing he hit me with yet more tragic stories of insects and animals chasing folk (and catching folk) that would make you want to seal yourself inside a suit of armour forever. Although knowing me I’d end up sealing something nasty in there with me. I should calm down though. It’s really not that bad. For all my fears, we're yet to see so much as a moth with a funny look in his eye in all our trips out here, and all that said we’re having a wonderful last tour of this record. Australia has always been great for us and the gigs so far have been a hell of a lot of fun. Thank you all for coming and being such a great crowd."
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I don't think I'll be choosing the Princess Leia option, though, as I did when I was six years old. I love how the whole long, straight blonde hair stringing out behind the mask seemed to pose no problem for me as part of the costume. Geez, mom. You could have at least pulled it back into a ponytail or something. With the contrasting hair, it's so clear that I'm NOT REALLY Princess Leia. What gives?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Back before she and Randy moved to Charleston, we did other things than just frequent SEC football games, intoxicated to the hilt -- although, I'd be lying if I led you to believe that there were more snowy sled rides than blurry football games. :)
Friday, October 19, 2007
I do believe that Kelly's equally trashed boyfriend (and now husband), Randy, had his finger over the lens when snapping this fabulous image. We were a struggling mess, and I was obviously doing a great job of getting my "Britney Spears" on.
Tomorrow is the Tennessee/Alabama game, so I thought I'd honor the occasion with a trip down memory lane, back to those foggy, Jim Beam-filled days when I frequented Neyland Stadium every home game Saturday during graduate school. I think the last time I actually went to a game there was when Shane and I attended the TN/GA game together (or, was it the TN/Bama game? All I remember was Charlie Daniels sang at half-time!) right before he moved to Louisiana. Fortunately for Shane, I was nowhere near the same horrifying state of grace at that game as I was in this lovely photo. Ah, well: we live and we learn.