Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If the shoe fits ...

I don't know if you've seen this, but it's worth the six or so minutes it takes to watch. Not that it applies to anyone I know, of course ...

Now, back to your regularly scheduled knitting. Put those scissors down!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


She was 11, and had become quite ill, some kind of digestive problem and frequently couldn't make it to the litter box in time. Meredith held her while the vet did what she needed to do. Bless you, Blossom, I know you're healthy again.

April 1997 - September 2008

Them's my kids!

If it's the back half of September, that means the CSDEA Festival, the last show of the season (for us, anyway). Both Meredith and Laurel rode on Saturday and did quite well, each getting third places or above. Sunday was the local championship — Caille Farm did quite well: eight placings in the ribbons, including four riders as Champion or Reserve Champion, including ... Meredith, at Second Level. Watching her face as she realized she'd nabbed the blue was priceless.

Sometimes it pays to hang around after most everyone else has gone home. Case in point: Saturday, a little before 7:00, I was poking around in the barns at the showgrounds when this caught my attention:

I hobbled my aching back over and got there just in time. My timing was off, so I didn't get any pictures of the huffing flames

To think that some say people who ride horses are crazy. Hmmm. I don't know that I could climb into a basket with belching flames, gas fumes, no way out and go dangle a couple hundred feet in the air. eek!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Wee Vacation

Niamh, Derry and Beau might not agree, but it was definitely a nice break -- the annual trek to Fort Robinson, Neb., for a few days of riding, relaxing and goofing off.

As always, we left just after midnight and arrived at the park at about 3:00 in the afternoon, full of candy, truck stop food, candy, coffee, candy, water and ... candy. We checked in, of course — yes, we had to wear name tags — got the horses settled and called dibs on the bathroom in our cottage. This is the view from our door (no, not the bathroom door):

This is the view from the stalls:

Over the next few days, we caught up with old friends and made a few new ones. If you ever need some inspiration, remind yourself that there were at least three riders over the age of 70, including Carleton, who got up the stomach to sit with us at dinner:

The first day was spent riding up and down hills, through water, despite Niamh's best efforts otherwise. Terri? I had longer stirrups this time. Was much better — you'd be pleased. We had lunch in the field — great soup! — before some more ups and downs and more water on the way back to the barns. That night? Team penning! Guess who had a blast:

It rained on Friday. So, when it looks like this outside:

What else can you do?

Yes, it's a "So-Called Scarf," from Ravelry. With my upside down and sideways way of knitting, I had a few false starts, but I think I finally figured it out. The yarn only looks like Malabrigo -- it's a knockoff called Mooncake, which was sold by Yarn Cafe until it went out of business this summer, which is when I bought it.

On Saturday? Cattle drive! The ratio of riders per Longhorn was ridiculous, but who cares. We broke off into smaller groups, fanning out behind the 30 or so cattle, which had slipped through the net during a previous move to the winter pasture and had found themselves a tidy hiding spot among the bluffs. One group pushed them down and the rest of us — mostly the flatlanders who stayed on the easy terrain — kept them heading toward the gate and the road.

Once they were all headed in the right direction, our job was keep them that way for a couple of miles to their new digs. Guess who had a blast:

There aren't many ways to top a day like that, but Sunday's breakfast on the bluffs will never let you down. No pictures this time — what was I (not) thinking?! — trust me that the pancakes were enormous and the ham was smoky good. And the scenery? O ja. As breathtaking as always. What a perfect way to spend ... my birthday! I am now celebrating my half-life, which makes me 25.

The only thing left to do was pack up and head home, much as I really didn't want to leave. So. Everything and everyone packed up and, with the sun behind us this time, we chased that big juicy moon as it rose over the South Dakota horizon.

Candy, anyone?

p.s. If you aren't tired of pictures yet, click here and look through the first three albums at the top.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Tickle for Your Political Bone

I haven't watched Saturday Night Live — or much of anything else, for that matter — for years. I read about this in the newspaper over the weekend and, thanks to Meema's Files, I was able to get a copy. I guess SNL can still be razor sharp. Regardless of your politics, this is hysterical:

You're welcome.

Monday, September 8, 2008

OK. Where Was I ...

I had a pretty good chuckle the other day. During a court appearance by the anarchist-leaning protesters, who'd been arrested in assorted raids days before, one of the attorneys, rightly citing his clients' First Amendment privileges, requested that everything that had been confiscated be returned to them. The judge asked: To whom should we return the urine?

Just curious. Which of these items below -- the list is from the Pioneer Press website -- are used to facilitate genuine discussion of disputed issues in a peaceful, respectful manner:

Wrist rockets (high-powered slingshots)
A machete, hatchet and several throwing knives
a gas mask and filter
Empty glass bottles
Flammable liquids
Homemade caltrops (devises used to disable buses in roads)
Metal pipes
Bolt cutters
Sledge hammers
Rapelling equipment
Kryptonite locks
Empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields
Material for protective padding
An Army helmet

That's what I thought.

None of that has anything to do with knitting. But this does:

Pay no attention to the goofy-looking model. She was pleased that the clasps worked out (Thanks to Sheepy Yarn Shoppe for special-ordering them):

and she was even more pleased to be finished with the sweater in time to take it to Nebraska for this year's trail ride at Fort Robinson.

All the knitting is finished on the green seed-stitch sweater, but the romance is over. I suspect it's going to be too small -- it couldn't possibly be my fault -- and I have to redo the little extensions that finish the neck. They're too long -- it couldn't possibly be my fault -- and are starting to ripple. THAT sweater will NOT be going to Fort Robinson.

What will be coming along with me in the wee hours of Wednesday morning is some mindless knitting: a scarf -- using the 'My So-Called Scarf' pattern from Ravelry and a second project, the yarn to make a felted pillow. I'll be casting on 100 stitches and knitting stockinette until my ears bleed. I'll felt it when I get home, of course. Then the rectangle gets cut to fit around a pillow form and sewn together with a blanket stitch.

Twenty-four hours until we leave for one of my favorite places, where I will get to do one of my favorite things: ride, ride and ride. But first, we have to load, load, load the trailer and then drive, drive, drive for 13 hours. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

See you next week.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Go away, you aren't wanted here

It's news to no one that the Republican National Convention is in town, as well as everything that comes with it: the traffic, the barricades, the general hoo-haa and, of course, protesters. Most are genuinely peaceful, here to express their views and try to apply some pressure to those inside the Xcel Center. By all means, welcome to the Twin Cities.

The problem is those who are here only to make trouble, and then whine and cry abuse when hatefulness, thuggery and vandalism is met with pepper spray and handcuffs. What kind of constructive change do they hope to exact by shoving a Dumpster into an occupied police car?

Or by smashing the windows of another squad car?

Or by blocking traffic and pouring bent nails all over an intersection?

Or by ducking away from an organized, well-behaved demonstration to smash store and bank windows?

Or by throwing garbage cans and kiosks into the road?

Go home. Do something constructive -- like get a job.
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