Friday, July 24, 2009

Estee's Temper Tantrum

Had a great ride today, but had to have a Come-To-Jesus meeting with little Miss Estes. She was being a little brat about staying on the trail, just pushing it a little bit - "Can I walk over here?", "How 'bout over here?", "Really? You want me on the trail?". Finally I'd had enough of her stuck right rudder and decided that if she wanted off of the trail she was going to work for it, so off we stepped and started working (that is, circling at a trot until she came around to my way of thinking). It didn't take too long for her to decide that maybe staying on the trail wasn't so horrible after all, but I could practically hear her cursing me out in her mind: "Fine! I'll stay on the trail, but I'm not going to like it! I'm not going to have fun and you can't make me! Man! You never let me do anything!" Her ears were back and she was stomping along like a sullen teenager - I just wish I had a video camera to catch it. I'm sure that if she'd been able to stick out her bottom lip and pout, she would have done that too.

Just like a teenager, ten minutes later it was over and I managed to not laugh about it until we got back to the lodge, but it was freakin' hilarious!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The GunDiva's Perfect Present

RCC has it all figured out...he's got his project Jeep and now I've got my project shotgun. A few years ago, as a birthday present to myself I built a tactical shotgun from the receiver up. It started out super ugly and ended up as my "12 guage flashlight". Then a couple of years later I had to sell it, but I promised myself I'd build me another, better one.
The one thing I wanted to change when I built my new shotgun was that I wanted the receiver to be able to shoot 2 3/4" as well as 3" rounds, which RCC must have remembered because my new 870 can do just that. Also, I don't have to start with just a receiver this time, RCC bought me the whole gun; I just get to customize it with whatever I want. I'm envisioning it being very similar to my original shotgun, just matte black. I'm so excited I can hardly sit still; I've already looked up most of the accessories I want and I can't wait to get back into the shop and get started. I know exactly how he feels with his Jeep!
What a great birthday present!!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Good, Good Day

Yesterday after my Dean's call, I picked up Ash and her boy d'jour, CJ, to head up the hill. Ash and CJ stayed at the Lodge with Mom, while Bill and I saddled up for our weekly ride. On Mom and Bill's last picnic ride, they came across a freshly killed young doe, so Bill and I headed out to the kill site to see what we could see.
When we got to the kill site, the doe had been drug off by a large-ish animal and "hidden" in a small stand of trees thirty or forty feet from where they had found it a few days ago. Obviously something had been gnawing on it and trying to camouflage it by covering it with pine needles.
After checking out the dead doe (yep, she's still dead and half eaten, now), we headed over to the Beaver Ponds and it was beautiful. With all of the rain we've had the wildflowers are going crazy and the mountain meadows are just lousy with them.
Feeling adventurous, I put on my big girl panties and suggested we do the Goat Trail. The Goat Trail is not for novice riders as it's essentially straight up the mountain and there is a section of trail that is quite a scramble up and over a rock. If the horse mis-steps or slips on the scramble, it's not pretty for the horse or rider and a hell of a long way down into Rock Creek. The last time I did the Goat Trail was three or so years ago and I was on Estes' daughter, Meeker, who was shod. The problem with shoes is that they don't allow the horse's frog to act as a natural suction cup and it's a lot harder for the horse to get a grip on the rock to climb. After doing the Goat Trail on Meeker, I swore I would never do it again on a horse with shoes. Well, Miss Estee, is as barefoot as the day she was born and has been up at the Lodge since April, so her hooves have hardened and her feet are as healthy as they've ever been, so why the hell not? I promised Estee treats when we got back to the Lodge if she got me up and over the Goat Trail without killing both of us.

This is what the Goat Trail looks like from about 3/4 of the way to the top. While it doesn't look that intimidating in the picture, it certaintly induces the pucker factor when at the bottom looking up. Estee climbed it like a champ and I felt kind of like a wuss when we got to the top in one piece, but then I looked over my shoulder at the hill we'd just climbed and got over feeling like a wuss. Feeling embolden and invincible I suggested we head back home over Pinky's Wash. Thank God I have a strong horse with a willing heart, because she worked her ass off for me yesterday. Any one of the trails we took would have been a hard ride, but putting the three (Beaver Ponds, Goat Trail, Pinky's Wash) together in one ride was probably not so nice to the horses, but they seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Christmas in July

Last year, RCC and I joined the Christmas Caravan for Kids as a part of the Colorado 4x4 organization. Christmas Caravan collects toys for the Marine's Toys for Tots program ( and we had a great time with our small donation of toys (I think we spent $10 each on our toys). At last year's Caravan we saw cars full of toys and watched the Marines' duece and a half vehicles fill up. When we got married, we decided that we'd start building our Toys for Tots stash. Our dream is to take a large bounty of toys to the Caravan this year. So, each payday we each take $10 out of our personal accounts and go shopping. Today was shopping day and we found some great deals! I thought that we'd found good deals last payday at Target, but today at ToysRUs, I managed to buy for four kids on my ten bucks! I found a couple of jewelry making kits for $2.00 each and a couple of MagneXT kits. I slid in just under my ten dollars.  RCC bought a larger MagneXT kit and a Speed Racer car for his ten bucks (he came in sixteen cents under). With $20, between the two of us, we managed to buy Christmas presents for six kids!
I can't tell you how good it feels to get started on this. Especially after years of wondering how on earth I was going to buy Christmas presents for my own kids. Because it feels so good, I've told the kids that once they have jobs, they will join us in building our Toys for Tots stash, but they only have to contribute $5.00 of their paychecks to the cause. I'm sure they'll have as good a time with is as we are; they love to buy for other people as much as I do.