Friday, September 25, 2009

September 12, 2009 - Merry Acres Benefit Show

It's been a while since we were at a competition, most of the trips away from the farm lately have been for schooling. But we managed to get everything together and over to a nearby farm for this event. Maya looked good, as did my daughter. She did Intro A and Beginner Novice Dressage tests - no jumping or cross country this time. They looked great and won second in Intro A and first in the Beginner Novice classes. Her trainer thought she should have won both.

I managed to get a video clip this time.


video

They are doing so well together :-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

September 2 - 7, 2009 - Seattle Trip

We jetted off to Seattle to visit with AM's friends Kim and Mark over the Labor Day weekend. We started off the first day there with a trek into Seattle to see some of the sites. The troll under the bridge was our first stop. Then we headed down by the water to wander around.


Day two, we headed off to hike up to Mt Freemont Lookout. I hadn't hiked anywhere in years, but managed the climb, even though at times I had to take some deep breaths and just watch my feet, since the path was narrow and the dropoff distracting. When we took a moment to stop and look around, the views were amazing. Mt Ranier was just a ridge or two away, and the top was clear in the morning as we were driving there, but was covered in clouds by the time we made the hike. It was a 5.5 hour trek for us, and my tired feet were thankful when we finally got back to the car. I am glad we did it, and I have a ton of great photos (just a few here), and I did not feel at all guilty having a big dinner that night. :-)


Day three and four, we headed back into the city to see Pike's Place market. There was tempting food around every corner. The Original Starbucks was a stop, as well as the fish market where they were throwing fish to each other. We stopped at Beecher's cheese shop and picked up some snacks before heading back for Wii Sports challenges with our hosts. Also picked up some delicious apple cinnamon rolls from Piroshsky Bakery


We didn't get up anything here.. but what an interesting idea for a store... all kilts?


It was a lovely trip.. we got to meet the only bunny we know that has her own blog. She is very cute and did not seem to mind us in her guest room for a few nights.


August 30, 2009 - Bench Dedication

The neighborhood where my Dad used to live had a touching dedication of a bench that holds the names of residents who are now gone, but made contributions to the neighborhood. So far there are three, including my Dad. Betsy was there to help dedicate it, along with a large group of neighbors. The bench sits on the corner as you come into the development, a very thoughtful gesture.


Getting caught up... no horse pictures lately you say? Coming...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I guess I am on a bimonthly blog schedule at this point. Somewhat related to when I download all the photos of my memory card. I am going to have to post these over several days, since I have too many photos.

August 8 - Day Trip to Philadelphia

AM and I shot up 95 to meet up with friends Linne and Kenny. Did the touristy things and saw the Liberty Bell, the Napolean exhibit at the National Constitution Center, had an authentic Philly Cheesesteak at Campos, wandered over to see The Betsy Ross house (but were prevented from that site by the arrival of Michelle Obama and daughters, who were doing their own site-seeing that day), dropped by the Franklin Institute later in the day and had a look at the Star Trek Exhibit. Walking back to where the car was parked, we saw two weddings have photos done at a local fountain square. It was a great day trip... we came back with an interesting souvenir, a lenticular photo of us from the Star Trek exhibit. When you change the angle, we disappear from the transporter pad. Yes, it is the geekiest souvenir ever! :-)




More to come...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Where does the time go? When we last left off we were starting shopping for a new horse. We trekked around Virginia a bit, found a horse we liked… it sold before we could even get our trainer to look at the videos we had taken. Drove up to Pennsylvania and looked at another, then found a good candidate at a farm south of Frederick, just 40 minutes from our house. A trip out with the trainer, check out by the veterinarian and a check out of my bank account later and we had a new horse. This one is now called Maya. She is a beautiful mare and with any luck will be all the horse my daughter will need for a long time!

Updates:

July 4-5, 2009 – Willy Wonka and 4th of July party






Enjoyed the last two performances of the CCPC theater troupe performances. AM’s youngest and Peggy’s daughter were in the production. It was a lot of fun. After the Saturday performance we all headed back to AM’s for a cookout, pool party and fireworks.

June 21-28, 2009 Outer Banks vacation








We packed up for a week at the beach. It was AM and her three kids and three of their friends, along with me, my daughter, and her friend. Peggy came and joined us for a few days as well. We had a great time… beautiful weather. Had to rent a big Ford van along with AM’s Saturn Vue to get all these kids and our stuff down there.

June 19, 2009 – School’s Out for Summer
(singing along with Alice Cooper)

The freshman year in high school is done. Phew! It was a lot of new experiences for all of us, getting her to school by 7:20 am was no fun, but we have a few months off before we start that again! Ended up with a 3.0 overall, so we are all pretty happy with that… but always room for improvement.

June 18, 2009 - New Horse arrives





Maya arrives at the farm a week or so after my daughter’s 15th birthday. Wasn’t really planning a horse being a birthday present, just sort of worked out that way. ;-)

June 9, 2009 - My daughter’s 15th birthday

Dinner out with her mom at her favorite restaurant – The Melting Pot. That weekend, I had her and a couple of friends sleep over and do some shopping at the Columbia Mall. Happy birthday!

Lastly – caught this license plate on one of our jaunts to Hunt Valley. So true!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Remember me? I used to blog here... Things have been a little busy lately.. but I will try to do a quick catch up.

As mentioned in my last post, we have been leasing Lilly... this has resulted in spending about 4 evenings a week at the farm, and then usually Saturday as well. The daughter has been making great progress with her jumping and has started entering some shows away from the farm. I had to get a crash course on saddles so we could find the two she would need. Long flap, forward flap, close contact, adjustable gullet, deep seat... these were all terms I had to learn in this endevor, including a lot of driving around to tack shops, testing saddles, and then returning them to try another... phew.. that is done! We now have a Bates Caprilli Dressage saddle, and a Collegiate Convertible Diploma saddle for jumping. I even learned how to change the gullets so they would fit Lilly.

The next adventure starts this Friday... Lilly's owner has told us that she is going to need to sell Lilly, and while we do love this horse.. she's a bit small for my daughter longterm, so rather than purchase her ourselves, we are going to start looking for another horse. We plan to drive to Virginia on Friday (only about 90 minutes with luck) to look at a few potential replacements.

As for all the stuff that has happened since February, here are a few photos and links. :-)

May 10 - Mother's Day - a beautiful day at AM's. The Dad's cooked quite a feast for the seven mother's in attendance. See - http://byrtlesgirl.blogspot.com/2009/05/mothers-day-2009.html

May 4 - Annual Golf Tournament - Two years now that AM and I have known each other.. it keeps getting better all the time! So is her golf game, she made some great shots! She played through a pretty lousy golfing day in the rain. I am a very lucky fellow to have this wonderful woman in my life! Anne posted a bit about the golf day on her blog - http://anneshouse.blogspot.com/2009/05/fore.html

May 3 - Horse Trials at Equilibrium
- The first horse trials show for my daughter and Lilly. It was a miserable rainy day, but a good learning experience!



April 30 - Schooling show at Iron Bridge - getting experience with cross country courses at the farms that will be having horse trials later in the season. AM and I went to the "Symphony with a Twist" in Baltimore that night, last one.. the series is being discontinued. Next year it will be called "Off the Cuff" and a slightly different format.


March 29 - Went to see my daughter's friend ride in a horse show at the Prince George's Equestrian Center. She won grand champion. It was a muddy mess after several days of rain, but a sunny day for the show.


March 19-22 - Memphis Trip
- attended the ASIS&T conference. AM came along and did some sightseeing while I was in the meetings. It was a geekfest.. which I sort of fit in with ;-) It was nice to see Memphis again, I lived there when I was young, just starting school. AM has a nice description - http://handywoman.blogspot.com/2009/03/if-youve-never-been-to-memphis-you.html


That's a few highlights. I have also been enjoying AM's kids events, chorus concerts, lacrosse games, her oldest was in a production of "All Shook Up", which was very entertaining. I am lucky to have the company of such talented and entertaining kids... mine included! ;-)

I hope to get a chance to get out and read some other blogs and post some comments, but when you work with computers all day (and part of the night lately), you really want a break from reading and typing.

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day and are looking forward to the summer vacations coming soon :-)

Oh and have to add this... it's too cute. See how puzzled kittens get with computers that don't have a mouse!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We have a new addition to the family, her name is Lilly and she is a cute little thing. We have sort of adopted her... OK, it's a horse. We have her on a "free" lease, which means we only have to pay for board, vet and farrier... not so "free", but she and the daughter have bonded already in the short three days they have been together. This horse has a lot of potential.. she has not been ridden much over the past year, but is cantering around the ring (sometimes on the wrong lead) and even jumped a fence or two. My daughter is delighted.



Last weekend AM, Julie and I played tourist in Baltimore and visited the Visionary Art Museum. Visionary means that they have no formal training, and from the descriptions of the artists, many of them had some mental issues, or at least induced some artificially. There were some very interesting exhibits, including a model of the Lusitania made from 190,000 toothpicks. There was also artwork made from matchsticks, telephone wire, and others from recycled junk. Definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in Baltimore. From there we dined at the Rusty Scupper with a nice view of the harbor, then up to the Charles Theater for a movie.



Oh, and I finally got this photo off my iPhone.. its AM and Livingston Taylor from the concert we attended a few weeks back.


Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day. We will be celebrating that, along with AM and her Dad's birthdays this weekend.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I was going to write about the inauguration, but my sweetheart expressed things so much better than I ever can. I was inspired by our new president, his eloquence, his grasp of what this country means, the tasks that lie before us. I feel like he has the tools to move things forward, if we can just overcome politics as usual in this country. I did miss out on the champagne toast with AM and her oldest, but I hope to toast many of this president's accomplishments in the future. As for the rest of today, I had to get home to a less than healthy young lady. This week is high school midterms, so she dragged herself into school for the test, but then home soon after since she was not feeling so well. Hopefully we will make it through the rest of this week of half days and exams.

I finally got around to downloading my memory card in my camera, so here are a few samples of the past few weeks.

Our post Christmas trip to DC... playing tourists.




Happy New Year to everyone!


The noisier of the two new kittens that took up residence with AM over the Christmas break.