Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Monday, May 28, 2012

Google Blogger Disaster...

Update:  12/10/13
As of today - all the photos have been replaced in the blog!  It's taken me over a year to complete!
Butch at Norpoint
OK...  Here's what happened...  I traded in my old phone for a new one!  My two-year contract was finally up!   Was so excited!  The new one is faster & has a reputation for holding onto connections!  No dropped calls!  While at the AT&T store, the service person did a really nice job of changing out my sim cards etc.  Then she asked if I wanted her to "sync" my Google account.  "Sure" I replied!  She did that, filled out a ton of paperwork - I traded in my old phone for $80. & left with my nice new one.  

Today, I looked to see if all my screen saver photos had downloaded to my phone's "gallery".  They hadn't... neither had the photos that I kept on there of the grand-kids, horses, dogs etc.  But!  It's a BIG BUT...  here were 522 photos from my blog!  Hummm... not thinking - not much anyway - I thought why do I need to have all those photos on my phone???  Couldn't think of a single reason - so DELETED them with one key stroke!

Later in the morning, I went on-line - to my blog...  Guess what I found???  I think you probably KNOW by now what I found...  As it's the same thing YOU found when you checked out the blog today...  NO PHOTOS!  None AT ALL!  ALL gone!

Disaster for me - anyway - since the pictures are what I enjoy about blogging!  I went to my Picasa Web Albums & yes - you are correct - they were gone from there too!  I looked everywhere for a restore... but NO - No restore anywhere for the pictures - or for the blog...  The "back-up" key didn't do anything at all - so no idea what that's about. 

Was so darn mad about the whole thing!  Butch & I planned to take the guns & head for the Norpoint Shooting & Tactical Training Center today in Arlington.  They have a price break for women on Monday's & offered a half-off special for Veterans today - what a deal.  Believe me - I was ready to do some shooting!  Too bad they didn't have a target with the Google Blogger logo! 

I had downloaded the first year to a web-site that will turn it into a book - so have that much intact - but now I'm faced either with saying to heck with blogging - starting on from here - or trying to remember & restore all the photos.  Thankfully I do have two external hard drives that I use as back-up!  Don't know what I'll do yet, just take a step at a time I guess & start with my background photo & go from there!

Stayed tuned - even if it's pretty darn boring without the color!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dogged Determination~

Meridian Saddle #729
This is the saddle that I've ridden endurance in for the last few hundred miles.  With mine out to sell, I borrowed this one from my amigo Dean, who wants me riding Khari in a secure seat.  As I've mentioned before, with me, it's all about staying on top.  Khari is quick & fast - it was a year ago March when I was thrown Post~  (I'd been riding in my Bighorn saddle with a shallow seat.)  After that, I went back to the Meridian & feeling safe.  You may ride & ride, come of once, come off twice, but sooner or later - if you like to ride fast, you come off & get hurt.  I've managed expert status at that - I don't brag about it...

These saddles aren't seen often anymore.  Built to last, with the nice deep seat.  Easy to rope & tie, they did the job & kept on doing it.  For me though - using it for endurance - was a struggle.  35 lbs. doesn't sound like much - until you try hoisting it up onto the back of a 15.2H mare!  At just an inch over five feet, with a short upper body etc., the horn, though low profile, was always in my way.  I broke many a fingernail on it when Khari would give those short, quick spooks that Arabs are infamous for :-) 

On the plus side, this saddle has saved my hide more than once!  Dropping into those deep, silty pools of water a few weeks ago - I used one hand & did a slight balance on the horn to keep me steady.  Another time - when Khari slipped in mud & was going down sideways - I was going into a large tree just a foot off her shoulder.  Since I stay so well put - she was able to do what she does so well - RECOVER!  Much easier for a horse when the rider isn't flopping around or coming off.

I've had my saddle - built off this design - returned from where I had it for sale & have tried it once on Farah - who's back is a little wider than Khari's.  When I pulled it off, she had dry spots on her shoulders.  Today - I remembered the custom shims I had made for it & will try those next.  Hopeful that will work - because otherwise - it's darn hard to find a saddle with a seat like this.  One that fits the horse & is light enough for me to handle.  Besides, by the time Farah is really fit - in a year or two - her back will have probably changed again & I might not need the shims!  :-)

Looking forward to more miles & sure enjoyed being back in my nice seat.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

HH Khari-Me-Home goes Home!

 Khari will soon be on her way - to the land of her ancestors;
 Saudi Arabia!  
When I first read King of the Wind - I was fascinated by the Arabian horse.  In my early teens, on a sunny Sunday; I asked my Dad to take me to visit the Lazy VV Ranch in Golden, CO - to actually see & maybe touch... my first Arabian horse!  Up to that time, my only contact with the breed was watching a costume horse in the yearly Pow Wow Parade.   Bask wasn't imported until the same year, 1963 - so Arabians in the US were still somewhat of a rarity.

Dad drove then & still owns his 1954 Cadillac.  We hadn't called first, just pulled in & were met with handshakes & smiles all around.  Dad explained this his eldest daughter was completely horse crazy, but that he was humoring me by the visit.  We were invited to the mare pasture & with a whistle, the entire band of mares started moving in our direction.  I picked out a charcoal gray!  I was told that she had a blemish on one leg & therefore could be sold at the very low price of $60,000.  I was thrilled!  She was For Sale!!!  Dad was aghast!   We had a tour of the farm that I will never forget.  Whether the stallion I saw was Rifage - I don't know, but I do know that whoever it was - he was the most beautiful animal I'd ever seen...
Once Dad had me back in the car, he said;  "Honey...  you could buy a Caddy for the price of that horse!"  :-)  Almost thirty-years later when Butch bought me my first Arabian mare - my awe of the breed had not diminished...
Khari on Dean's farm~
Now...  Khari will travel to a new land, to race across the sand of the Arabian Deserts.  It hasn't been easy - but what an opportunity & thrill to think of her going!  She sold herself, her record speaks for itself & the pre-purchase exam by James Bryant, DVM of Pilchuck Veterinary in Snohomish, WA - could not have been better.  (Dr. Bryant accompanied "Team USA" to the 2008 World Endurance Championship in Malaysia.)   Khari's upcoming trip has been the talk of the staff at Pilchuck & a few select friends :-)

http://www.ez2spotranch.com/ will be the agent responsible for her transport.  They have an interesting presentation complete with photos of the entire process.  My hope is that she will thrive in her new home; making not only her new owner -- but all of us who know & love her -  PROUD!
Khari in SA~

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Amazing Day in the USA

Flag flying at Glacier View Nursery
To Darrington we go - to do a project at our youngest daughter's home.  It was just a perfect day for what is a beautiful drive east of Arlington.  While Butch was "working" we drove to what has become my favorite nursery.
New buildings!
 We weren't disappointed, two new little buildings & what is becoming the usual selection of unique & healthy bedding plants.  With prices what they are this season, I'd cut back on my flower purchases, but still couldn't resist buying a few that I knew I couldn't do without :-)
Thimbleberry Bloom
 Before heading home, Butch & I took the walk out to the river to see how it had changed & how much water was flowing.  On the way, the woods were punctuated with the beauty of the white fresh blooms of the Thimbleberry.  
 The Sauk~
Once at the bank of the Sauk, the river was down from it's early Spring high levels, but there was still a lot of water & strong current.  It's changed so much since the kids first purchased their property, will be interesting to see if at mid-summer we'll be able to cross over to the delta.

Beautiful way to spend another sunshine Sat. in May!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Farah gets out!

Trails vs. Roads~
Finally!  Farah gets the "OK" for a trail ride!  I hadn't had her out since the 24th of March - after which - her leg was worse.  It's dry enough now, that there were only a couple of times we had to turn back & take a slightly different path to stay out of water or mud.   Garmin Stats.
Farah's ears West
 The day got hot - at least well hot enough for me!  Up to probably 80 in the sun, but when the breeze came up off the water it helped.  I'd forgotten - again - how wonderful a good walk is!  We walked the entire loop, had a couple good climbs - & Farah let me know when she needed to take a short rest.  She's a tough girl & after a few breaths - started again without urging.  When she got excited - thinking Count was going to "leave" her.... I put her in front & boy did she walk-out!  Such a big, swinging stride!  A little disappointed when we reached the trailer parking & her trailer wasn't there, but she lead the rest of the way back!   Next time I'll use the running martingale, hopefully it will help with her excessive head tossing.  She does not like being rated - but otherwise could not have been better!  Now... fingers crossed that the leg doesn't "relapse"!
Toward Mt. Washington~
I decided to have my saddle shipped home from the Horse Saddle Shop.  After over a year without any bites, I think it's worth trying on Farah.  If it works, so much the better - at least for a while.  Linda reminded me that one of our Competitive Trail Judges used to say that it took;  "Three saddles from fat to fit."  Looking forward to getting it back & trying it out.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day~

What a day it's been!  We Mother's must be doing something right here in Western Washington - to get such a day on our special day!  Was so great to be invited to eldest daughter's home in Duvall for a wonderful mid-morning brunch with the other grandparents & our son-in-laws sister, brother etc.    Food was outstanding!  But the best part of the day was spending time with two of our grand-kids!  Both had grown at least a foot from the last time we'd seen them!

On the way home, we stopped by Machias Nursery & bought a couple of my favorite lemon cucumber plants!  Sitting on the counter was a cute little plant - Stevia!  When we ate a leaf, it was like tasting sugar - only better!  It came home with us!  Can't wait to try it in my Market Spice Tea!

Tomorrow, I'm finally going to hit the trails again.  New shoes on both mares - finally!  I'd taken a couple weeks "off" just because I could!  Khari is as fit as a fiddle, loves cruising around the yard - no idea how silly she looks in her fly mask!  I visited Farah at Dean's farm last week, to find her enjoying herself in her private paddock - doing what all horses love to do... EAT!
Farah in dark gold~
With her hind leg 90+ percent healed, it's time to get her out & work off some of the excess of energy that she's stored up the last few months!  Oh Boy! :-)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Walk in our Woods~

Salmonberry Lane
It's May!  One of the two months of the year that I think are the most beautiful here in Western, WA!  The greens are so intense & the foliage so lush that I can almost spend my days drifting away inhaling the negative ions!  Since I'm going to be working on the farm the end of this month, I've been trying to get all the Spring "stuff" done!  Moving my geraniums out of the greenhouse & into pots around the house & yard.  Planted zucchini & summer squash in the garden.  Just a couple plants of each - but it should be plenty for the two of us.

With the beating that the Woods took this last Winter, we still have one very large limb out of the biggest of our Big Leaf Maples to chain saw up & figure out what to do with.  I try to find places even for the trees & downfall that ends up on the ground & usually on my paths!  It's a long way to haul it down to the yard & takes forever to use our small wood chipper - plus the noise...
Creek at West Woods
 I've found that the very best thing to do on these lovely days - is just to enjoy them!  I take that extra bit of time to walk, listen to the birds, admire the fresh green of the new ferns & the tinkling sound of the creek...  Time to be thankful for being alive!