Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sign of the Times

Unfortunately, the sign says, "Going out of Business."

Today I decided to head down to Paul Taylor's for a bucket of Sand Clear and to look for nylon halters with an adjustable noseband. I never made it past Sergeant's, which is maybe a half mile or so north of PTs. It was packed. There were people parked along the highway and a line to get in the parking lot. The person behind me probably would have been pissed at my impromptu turn, except he decided to check it out himself. I had heard they were going out of business a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't gone home that way in awhile, and was unaware of the sale.

I'll be honest and say that I have not been a regular Sergeant's shopper.
I bought my helmet and a set of stirrups there, but not much more. Their stuff is nice enough, but half the store is boots and apparel, so they don't have nearly the selection of horse products and tack that Paul Taylor has. PT has no clothing and very little "fluff," and I haven't found any place cheaper.

The sale must have just started, because there was still a good selection of everything. All the grooming and health products were 10% off, so I bought some stuff I needed anyway: the last 2 buckets of Sand Clear and 2 quarts of Bronco fly spray. Believe it or not, on days when it's not windy, the flies are still a nuisance.

Almost everything else was 20% off. All the gift items were 40% off.

I bought a pair of black seamless breeches. They are heavy, soft cotton jersey and spandex, with microfiber reinforced thigh/knee and seat patches. The brand is Kerrits.

I bought a Wahl cordless clipper. Right now, I just roach Jaz's mane, but maybe I'll get more adventurous with grooming next spring/summer. I would not have bought it had it not been on sale, or at least I would not have bought such a nice one. I've been borrowing Heather's.

I found nylon halters with adjustable nosebands to replace their ill-fitting ones,

a nice pad,

and a beautiful new bridle. I wish you could see the tooling better. It's sort of a basket weave pattern, which matches the tooling on my saddle. My near-antique camera's not great at close range.


I think I'll start coming home that way every day for awhile to see how far they mark down the saddles. Today they were only 20% off. I know the discounts will get better, but then you run the risk of missing the best selection. Not like I actually have the money for a new saddle, mind you. But if the price is right, it might be worth thinking about.

If there's a Sergeant's near you, I suggest you check it out before all the good stuff's gone.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our son and his wife and our niece and her boyfriend made plans to be with their in-laws for Thanksgiving, which left Mr. Fry and I fending for ourselves. WOO-HOO! We're not cooking and looking forward to doing anything or nothing at all this entire weekend! We are thankful to be alone with each other -- just the way we like it!

We had some fresh, homemade tamales we planned on having for Thanksgiving dinner, but they were still hot when I brought them home, and we already ate them all up! I bought a small smoked turkey breast and some shrimp, and made our favorite yummy mixed white and sweet potato casserole (to die for, whether you're a yam fan or not -- honest). And Butterfinger ice cream. We have a fridge full of Shiner and a couple bottles of red, so we're calling it good. If we do get a hankering for a full turkey dinner, we'll head to the IHOP in Gainesville, where they serve a family-style meal all day.

And Happy Anniversary to Pokey and me! It was two years ago tomorrow that I brought home my first horse. Ah yes, I remember it well: the excitement, the abject terror, the utter cluelessness and naiveté.


This is the photo posted on his sale flier. This is like one of those "how-many-things-wrong" games on just about every level. He was not the noble steed of my girlhood dreams, but there was and is something about that face that makes my heart skip a beat.


The above two photos were taken at his former owner's place, where he stayed for at least a month until we had the place ready. Look how fat he is and how thin I am! Our roles have reversed, it seems. Ah, cruel fate.

Poco's first day home. It was almost a week before I could get any closer than this without him taking off. He was alone until Jaz came in January.

I am thankful for how far we have been able to come with the help of both Heather and her family and my entire online extended family.

Have a great Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Photo courtesy of my dear friend Rose, over at Short As A Minute.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Once in a Blue Moon

Reading y'all's descriptions and seeing pix of wintry weather got me thinking about the common misconception that it doesn't snow in Texas. It snows all the time in the panhandle (Amarillo); it's rarer here. It only happens maybe once or twice a year, and then it's usually just a dusting, but every now and then, we are gifted with a guilt-free stay-at-home day.

These pix were taken March 6, 2008. We had 7.5" of snow. By the following afternoon, it was sunny and in the high 70s. The photos are clear, but for some reason, the process of rendering them into a slideshow compromised the resolution, so they look a little blurry. Turn up the sound and enjoy a little Indigo Girls.

video

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Want It All

This post is the acceptance of an open invitation from Liz to play a musical game. Like she did, I will add the artist and album, just for some reference. You can learn a lot about a person by what's in their iTunes.

Directions:

  1. Put Your iTunes on Shuffle.
  2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
  3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
  4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
I don't have an iPod, so I used the iTunes on my MacBook. Just hit "Party Shuffle." You'll have to hit Refresh somewhere down the line to get a new list so you have enough songs to answer all the questions.

If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
Good Year For The Roses — Elvis Costello & the Attractions — Best Of

How would you describe yourself?
Heavy — Train — (self titled) [oh, I already don't like where this is headed]

What do you like in a girl/guy?
Let You Down — Dave Matthews Band — Crash [well, maybe a few times]

What is your life's purpose?
Night In The City — Electric Light Orchestra — Out of the Blue [not so much anymore]

What is your life motto?
Calling All Angels — Train — My Private Nation [that's better]

What do your friends think of you?
She Has No Time — Keane — Hopes and Fears [ok, this is getting creepy]

What do you think of your parents?
Serious — Duran Duran — Greatest Hits

What do you often find yourself thinking about?
Middle Man — Jack Johnson — Brushfire Fairytales

What is 2+2?
I Shot The Sheriff — Eric Clapton — Cream of Clapton

What do you think of your best friend?
Heartache For Everyone — Indigo Girls — All That We Let In

What do you think of the person you like?
Devoted To You — Everly Brothers — Very Best Of [awwwwww]

What is your life story?
You Can't Resist It — Lyle Lovett — (self titled) [I could tell you stories]

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Laid So Low — Tears For Fears — Tears Roll Down [I hope not!]

What do you think of when you see the person you like?
You Tell Me — Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers — Damn The Torpedos [and don't ask again!]

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Don't Eat The Yellow Snow — Frank Zappa — Apostrophe [ROTFLMAO!!!!]

What will they play at your funeral?
See You When I Get There — Wallflowers — Red Letter Days [of course they will!]

What is your hobby/interest?
Get Some — k.d. lang — All You Can Eat [snort]

What is your biggest fear?
I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down — Elvis Costello & the Attractions — Best Of [almost swallowed my gum]

What is your biggest secret?
Car On A Hill — Joni Mitchell — Court And Spark

What do you think of your friends?
Bust — Outkast — Speakerboxx

What will you post this as?
I Want It All — k.d. lang — All You Can Eat [hell yeah I do]

That was fun and made me laugh! Kind of like playing with a Magic 8 Ball on steroids. Nobody is tagged, but give it a try!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Something Completely Different


Mr. Fry and I have apparently been living under a large rock for quite some time. His folks (thanks, B&B!) sent us the gift of tickets to something called Celtic Thunder (Nov. 21, 2008, Nokia Theater, Grand Prairie, TX), our response to which was, "Huh?" We both just assumed it was yet another incarnation of the once-ubiquitous Riverdance.

I had planned on posting about it whether I liked it or not. It was only upon Googling to find a photo yesterday afternoon that I learned what it's all about. Upon our arrival at the theater and their entrance to the stage, I suddenly felt as if we were the only ones who had no idea who these guys were. It was like the rock concerts of my misspent youth! Well, except that nobody passed me a doobie.

We had 7th row center seats. The front few rows were filled with screaming, jumping girls and young women. The girl behind us kept squealing and shouting, "I love you, Damian!" These guys have groupies! There were drums, strings, bagpipes, some sort of flute, electric and acoustic guitars and bass. The music ran the gamut from traditional Gaelic folk music to 1950s pop (Paul Anka's [and later, Donny Osmond] "Puppy Love") to Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is." The latter was sung by the blonde guy — I thought the green-shirted groupies would storm the stage! Hey, I like good looking men as much as the next woman, but then there's men in kilts. OH. HONEY. Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about. There is something about men in kilts that so does it for me.

If you ever have the opportunity to see them, do. It is refreshingly different.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Not quite wordless. The first 3 photos were taken in the parking lot at Paul Taylor's last Friday. The last one was about 10 minutes later a little closer to home. What can I say? I like taking photos of the sky.




Saturday, November 15, 2008

Necessity's a Mutha

"You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you might find
You get what you need."

— Mick Jagger

In looking back through the archives, it occurred to me one might infer from the lopsided subject balance of posts that I care more for Poco than I do Jazu. It's true that Poco is my first horse, and I need say no more. The reason "little man" doesn't get more headlines is because he's so danged perfect all the time, there's not a lot left to say! Jaz has his moments — don't they all? — but he's a great teacher and I would have given up long ago it it weren't for his sweet, patient ways.
Not to mention that he's a character, and just a hoot! I am privileged to own him.

Poco gets the headlines not in a cover-of-Rolling-Stone kind of way, but in a National-Enquirer-scandal-du-jour kind of way. Continually raising the bar, he has forced me to keep stepping outside my comfort zone to keep up with him, for which I am grudgingly grateful. Jaz is smart, but Poco is smart in a different way. Poco is ... clever. He seems to be very much in his own head — you can almost see the wheels turning. He is easily bored and his (warning: imminent anthropomorphism) mantra is, "What's in it for me? Can it please be food and can I trick you out of it instead of actually having to do something to get it? Oh hell, just give me the damn cookie!"

I am always looking for ways to interact with Poco on the ground that are easy for me and engaging for him.
Sometimes I make little obstacle courses that I walk him through — stuff like that. I have been very successful driving him, but I have yet to grasp the finesse of longeing. I keep saying I want a lesson from Heather and Nita, but when we get together, we always end up doing something else more fun. I don't have a lot of time these days to spend with the horses, and I want it to be quality time. I thought long and hard about buying the Parelli Success Series DVDs, but I simply can't afford it. And I absolutely refuse to pay for their implements. That said, I gritted my teeth and bought the Seven Games DVD.

As I began to watch it, I realized I was going to need similar tools. Armed with the confidence of one who passes probably six good tack shops on my way home, I left work a few minutes early yesterday and headed to Candyland, aka Paul Taylor's. I spent about 40-45 minutes digging around and here's what I found:

*Prices taken from a flier I got when we saw them in Fort Worth (regular prices, not Savvy Club prices). As Emeril Lagasse says, "Hey, I don't make this stuff up."

Lest you think I'm bashing them in any way, let me reiterate that my background in marketing makes me admire the empire the Parelli's have built. More power to 'em, and to those who can afford their stuff — I can't. I think I did a pretty darn good job of finding substitutes to make this work without breaking the freakin' bank!

And sorry, but I couldn't let this go without mention. This is a replacement closure on the Parelli 12-ft., 22-ft., and 45-ft. lines. The line I bought has one just like it. They want $26.60 ($19.95 for Savvy Club members). Paul Taylor price: about $2. If you have any of the Parelli lines and this breaks, send me $5 and I'll be glad to mail you a replacement.

I had hoped to get out there today and put all this to the test, but I tweaked my back somehow. I have no idea how or even when (middle age BLOWS) but I know my body well enough to take it easy today and maybe it will be good enough to play tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Church of the Divine Walkabout

Nita & Jazu

Me & Poco (note Jaz's ear at the bottom of the pic)

It was an absolutely PERFECT Sunday here in North Texas. Nita, my friend and Jazu's former owner (also Heather's mom), came over and we headed down the road. I must tell you, I was not expecting to get too far. I honestly expected trouble from you-know-who. He hasn't been ridden in probably five-six weeks, since he was at Heather's. Last time he was ridden was either in her round pen or arena. On the other hand, I was hoping that he'd behave well just because we were with Jaz; he always does better with Jaz. The last time Nita and I took them down the road together, Poco was nearly perfect. Today, he was perfect — there were challenges, but he came through them like a champ. He was amazing, and I'm very proud of him.

We were out for hours and miles. Both horses will be sore and tired tomorrow. Couple glasses of Llano Texas Signature Red and I'll be out for the count.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

You couldn't ask for more gorgeous weather to spend with the horses. It's great while the light lasts, but that's the problem: the light doesn't last long enough. By the time I get home, it's dark and the horses are standing around the grain locker like, "Feed me, Seymour!"

Ah well, the weekend's almost here. Enjoy some recent random pix.

Sunrise over Casa Fry.
Morning, Lake Ray Roberts, Tioga, Texas. My part of Texas is generally flat as a tortilla. I love it when the clouds form in such a way as to give the illusion of mountains in the distance.
It makes me miss Nevada.

Morning sun through the trees on the back 2.5 acres.

Jaz has no such markings. He's just always dirty. And note he's standing in a lovely patch of poop. He's such a knucklehead. He'll poop in his own food bucket.

Poco, The Old Silverback, roaning out for the winter. My woolly bear.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Queen of Everything

"I wanna be a boss
I wanna be a big boss

I wanna boss the world around

I wanna be the biggest boss

That ever bossed the world around"

-- 10cc ("I Wanna Rule The World")


It's not Wordless Wednesday, but I couldn't wait to post this photo, taken by my friend Pammy last week at Coco Cay, Bahamas.

Yup, that about says it.
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