Monday, 31 May 2010

Treading water for the weekend

Well, this past weekend was the first horse show of the season.

I worked for my girlfriend as her groom and go-fer and do whatever is necessary person. I like doing that because I don't ride and show anymore, so I help where I can.

Friday we arrived at the show facility and got all the houses settled in the barn, with hay and water. All the tack was put into two tack stalls close to the horses. Then horses were tacked and saddled for warm up rides in the arena. I spent the day there and wandered home around 5 pm.

For some of the people (and horses), this was their very first show ever. That's where I came in. I helped with advice on show etiquette, wrapping horses' legs, adjusting tack, calming nerves (mostly people) and going in 25 directions at once all day Saturday (for about 13 hours) and all day Sunday (about 11 hours).

Now, it would have been a bit stressful for all involved simply because it is the first show (of the season and for some, of a lifetime). But the organization wasn't the greatest. There were computer glitches in their new system, there was poorly timed (or non-existent) warm-up times for people to get their horses moving after standing in stalls (the horses, not the people) before having to ride in their class.

And there was the weather. Temperature-wise, Saturday was nice. It got up to 21C. That's perfect for both riders and horses... not too hot and not too cold.

However... and this is a really big, mega-sized however... Mother Nature decided to be quite evil. Over the course of the weekend, we got about 100 mm of rain. And not just a steady rain. Nooooooo... it came down from sky-blackening, ground touching clouds that spewed massive amounts of rain in bursts. Winds howling, skies glowering, lightning flashing and thunder cracking kind of rain. Tiny funnel tails were spotted from clouds, threatening to form tornadoes, but to my knowledge we didn't get any in our area.

The barn where the horses were stabled is a metal building. Non-insulated. So you can imagine the noise of that rain hammering on steel... and the fear it would cause some of the horses. After a while, a steady rain just becomes white noise that you can live with and kind of tune out. But when it comes in sheets, accompanied by the cracking and booming of thunder, that's a completely different story. And because some horses were scared, some of their people were also, which just feeds into the loop of 'ohmygod ohmygod!' that some of the horses get into. Needless to day, lots of them were bouncing off the walls.

Even the indoor riding arena, which is also a metal building but is insulated, became deafeningly noisy during the hardest downpours. And you KNOW that's a lot of rain if you can hear it through the insulation! We could watch it cascade off the overhang of the roof over the arena door... it was literally a waterfall. Running the 75 feet between the barn and the arena meant being soaked to the skin. My jeans were wet and mucky almost to my knees from the trips I made back and forth, and because the floors everywhere are sand.

The entire area went from being relatively dry to having standing water everywhere, including inside the barn in areas where it either leaked through the roof or came in under the doors. Driving to the barn Saturday morning (before the worst of the storm) there were a few puddles here and there, but driving home Saturday evening (taking my life in my hands but I had to go because my dog was in the house), the surrounding fields were under water. All homes were now lake front properties. Fields where crops were just starting to show green were drowning under a sea of fresh rainwater. And in the city (which is usually only a 10 minute drive away), streets were flooded, underpasses became swimming pools and water filled everything.

I was concerned that my basement would be flooded but thankfully that was not the case. I'd recently built up the earth around the house and extended the downspouts away from the building, and it looks like it's paid off. I can't get my grass cut, however, because it is still raining (Monday morning) and it's down about 8 inches tall... Does anyone have a goat I can borrow? Or maybe I should just move to Arizona. I hear real estate is easy to come by down there...

Friday, 28 May 2010

To the rescue...

Zoƫ would not pee in the yard this morning when I got up. It was raining... She doesn't like the rain. And it was not a light rain, but a solid, steady downpour. She was not a happy camper.

I even tried going out with her, under my little blue umbrella, to be the cheering section... encouragement sometimes works but alas, not today.

So back in the house we went, where she munched her kibble while I got dressed. Then we had to go for a walk.
She hasn't figure out yet (in her seven years) that going for a walk in the rain means you get much wetter than if you dash out into the yard, do your thing and dash back into the house. Noooooo, she's just not that bright.

So off we went, me in my raincoat (hood up) and rubber boots, and her in nothing but a collar and leash.... her having to stop and shake off the rain every 15 feet or so.

She did her thing eventually and as we were rounding the corner to head back to the house, we stopped dead... looking at a fledgling robin sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. It squawked and panicked and tried to fly up to the top of the 6 foot fence, but failed miserably. Mum and Dad Robin were in the tree above the fence, sounding the alarm as the dog and I slowly walked forward.

Baby decided to make a run for it and flapped and fluttered out into the street. Now the last thing I wanted to see was squished bird bits so I made the dog sit and stay (she's such a good girl!) while I hopped after Baby. After several attempts, I finally managed to scoop little bird up into my hands and carried it back to the fence, deftly avoiding the dive bombing of Mum and Dad as they screamed bloody murder at me. (From the racket, you'd think I was pulling the little wings off Baby with great glee...) I showed Baby the top of the fence and it promptly plummeted over the other side into the yard.

I think I did my good deed for the day! And I am so glad I have taught my dog to not chase wild life of any kind.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The whirlwind begins...

There's things I need to get done, and in short order too. But I can't start this weekend, even though I have three days off, because I have a horse show to work at. And that's just fine with me. I am very much looking forward to the horse show.

But it is going to mean that I am going to have to kick it into high gear come the end of the show on Sunday.

I have a tv and laptop to set up in the basement so that I can start to utilize the exercise DVDs I purchased a little while back. I've been meaning to do that, and have been working on getting it done, but have had a few roadblocks along the way.

You see, my laptop, which is not my main computer (I actually dislike laptops... give me a good keyboard, monitor and a tower hard drive any day...) had to be upgraded. It has Windows XP on it, which is fine. I like XP. But it only had Service Pack 1. That is ancient history. So I needed to get it up to snuff, which meant installing Service Pack 2 and then Service Pack 3. This was painfully slow on an old workhorse that only has an 18gig hard drive.

Yes... you read that correctly.... only 18 gigabytes. My desktop has a terabyte. It's a gazillion times faster and bigger and shinier and much more user friendly. But it stays in my office. The laptop has portability... and it plays DVDs.

Or so I thought.

Turns out Windows Media Player, even when upgraded to the latest and greatest version, needs a decoder installed to play DVDs. What the hell is up with that???? Microsoft even says right on their website you need to download a decoder, which they, of course, do not supply. So I hunted around online until I found a free media player that plays my DVDs, decoder included. So I'm all set to go.

But to work out in the basement, I needed to get a lamp. There is one measly light in the recroom and it is in one corner (ceiling fixture = not easily moved) so I went to Sprawlmart and paid $20 for a floor lamp. The assembly will happen more than likely tomorrow evening, along with the relocation of the small LCD tv from my bedroom and the laptop from my office.

Then I can start getting all buff and shapely. After I get all sore and stiff and disillusioned. But I plan on sticking to it, even through all crap you initially hit when you start working out seriously, because I know... I KNOW... that I can do this and I can look HOT! Come midsummer, I plan of buying me a 2 piece bathing suit and hitting the beach. Without scaring anyone to death.

The other things I need to get done are:

- paint the spare room
- paint, cut and install baseboards in the spare room (there are none at the moment)
- hang a curtain over the closet in the spare room (there was no door on it when I moved in)
- shorten a curtain (matching the closet one) to hang over the window in the spare room
- repaint the living room
- paint the kitchen walls and cabinets
- paint the dining area, hallway and small downstairs bathroom
- plant the flower seeds in the front garden (after I dig up the weeds and grass that are growing the in the dirt there)
- wash all the windows

And if I get ambitious enough, and have the time and energy, pull the carpet out of the livingroom, put down some plywood to built up the floor, and then install some nice flooring that is easy to clean and does not hang on to cat hair like velcro and soak up dog spit to show the stains forever more.

I want to replace the vanity in the little bathroom too, because the one that is in there is original from the 70's and was made for midgets. It is 31" high. That is midthigh level for me... I'm 5'9", not 7'2". Why is it so short??? Was my house inhabited by dwarfs way back then? It baffles my mind that someone thought you should have to bend so far over to use the sink. Plus the porcelain on the sink is chipped so there's a bit of rust showing. It's time...

Have to get a new accordion vinyl door for the little pantry in the kitchen, as the cats have split it up one of the folds in their dartings about, firing toys under it and diving in to get them out.

I'd like to get all this stuff done (or the painting at least) in the next four weeks. I have company coming to visit in the third week of June. This gives me the incentive to get the ball rolling and git 'er done!

If you don't hear from me at all in the next month or so, it's because I am either much too busy doing all that crap, or I've died from overexertion...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

It goes like this...

All the good boys
get slowly broken
with hearts left unspoken
a shell of a man
and I'm left to
pick up the pieces
of someone else's messes
the best I can

And it's the same old story
"she adored me,
oh how could I have known?"
well that sinking feeling
doesn't mean you
have to swim alone

Why don't you take me home?

We'd be up late
the night getting older
and he's still on my shoulder
but I don't mind

But you play me
soothing and consoling
into early morning
I'm just the loving kind

It's the same old story
"she adored me,
oh how could I have known?"
well that sinking feeling
doesn't mean you
have to swim alone

Why don't you take me home?

If I saw her on the street I'd say
thanks for tossing a good man my way
Honey your loss is my gain

But it was a silly move to make
cuz bleeding hearts are the freshly unchained
can only be temporary

And it's the same old story
he adored me
until his ache was gone

Now that sinking feeling
tells me I've been
drowning all alone

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Didn't stand a chance

For all my talk about staying off the Interwebs, getting a real life, and taking a break from the online dating world, I have to admit in that regard I am a big failure.

At least when it comes to the online dating thing.

I have actually been accomplishing things outside the computer world, with the time away from Cyberspace. And that's a good thing, all in all.

I have stayed away from things like Twitter... I've closed that window and don't miss it at all, but wasn't doing much on it in the past few months anyway. Just seemed kind of pointless, if you know what I mean. Life is bigger than 140 characters, isn't it?

I've popped around here and there to a few blogs, mostly just to read a bit, occasionally to leave a comment, but otherwise have steered clear of a lot of that. And I'm okay with it. Miss it a tiny bit, but not the amount of time it was eating up.

Facebook visits are brief, to catch up with the small group of friends and rellies that I have, and to play a few games of Wordscraper. Not much more than that.

The dating thing... well, that is the fly in the ointment for me. I just can't stay away for long. I think I lasted two whole days with no profile on any site. I now have one profile up, with no photos for public viewing, on one site. The other one remains closed. (I was on two for a while, you see.) I decided to run an experiment. I have private images on my profile and will only share them with someone once we've emailed and established mutual interest.

So far, that has happened with one guy. I must have scared him off, because he's not contacted me again, once he saw my photos. Guess I just wasn't what he was 'looking' for. No problem... everyone has their own tastes when it comes to physical attractiveness.

Today, I received an email from another man, who read my profile and said he was intrigued enough to want to know more about me. So I replied back (after reading his profile) that his profile seems interesting to me also, and yes, I'd be interested in knowing more about him as well.

It's almost like an addiction, this online dating phenomenon. You get hooked on the little interactions, the possibilities, the snippets of interest that flare and fizzle. But my experiment is this: I am not making first contact. I am waiting to see who actually reads my little profile and wants to know more. No more 'hi, how you doing?' emails in response to my dazzling smile and brilliant blue eyes. I'm looking to see who has a brain in their (big) head and actually wants to start a conversation. When someone (like the guy today) emails me something more than three words, something that shows he read my profile and can string words together to form coherent sentences (with proper spelling and grammar, to boot), then I respond.

I actually replied to one of those stupid 'hi how are you' emails the other day and asked the guy why he wouldn't actually say something to start an email conversation. He got all defensive and told me I was obviously looking for someone 65 - 75 years old. I guess he figures you gotta be old to want to talk to a woman... DELETE

So... we'll see where this all leads. Perhaps this is a better filter than having a gut response to a picture.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Spotty Performance

Having had the odd inquiry as to how I am doing, I thought it best that I post something here.

I've not been doing much blogging of late... although I do get around and visit to read others' blogs relatively regularly. I don't always comment, so you probably didn't realize I had popped in for a gander.

Things have taken a bit of an introspective and selfish turn, and the time I am spending outside of work and sleep has taken on a more 'me' focus. I am trying to wean myself off the computer, in other words.

I have found, over the past few years since becoming single, that I spend an inordinate amount of time perched in front of this bright screen, living my life in Cyberspace and not in my own space. It was becoming almost a compulsion, to see who was online and what was happening around the globe. I was on Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and several dating websites. I also have a Windows Live Messenger account that I would log in to. Now, I am very selective about who I contact via the Ethernet, and have never done the 'chatroom' thing ever... but still, this cyberspace surfing was taking over my life.

And I was beginning to see that it was not a good thing. So I have quit Twitter, obviously haven't been in Bloggerland for a bit, and have deleted my profile from the two dating sites I was on.

That was the hardest part... the dating sites... because there was some interesting interaction there on occasion. But that is where the biggest part of my frustration with all things Cybery
comes from. So I've gone cold turkey from those. Whether or not the most recent contact will continue is anyone's guess, because of where he's at in Splitsville, but only time will tell on that. He's knows where I am and has all my contact info...

So you can see why my appearances in Cyberspace have been rather sporadic. I've decided to tone down my dependence on the computer stuff and get more involved in real life. I've been riding my bike, working around the house a bit more (just built a 'pee patch' for the dog, which involved massive amounts of sweat and about three hours of labour to dig out the sod, put down sand and then gravel, so that she won't keep killing the grass), starting an exercise program (if I can get my laptop [it's old...] to play the DVDs, that is... an upgrade to WMP11 is obviously necessary and that will take a while), walking the dog more, reading books (I've been reading the same one since October... that tells you how often I sit and read!) and generally just being in the 'here and now' where I actually live, instead of online.

So I will be around, here and there, now and then... No worries! And if anything of any significance happens, I will be sure to throw something up on here to keep you all informed.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Hoofin' it along the highway

A little bovine escapade that occurred here in Winnipeg! Too bad the video isn't a little longer...

You can't trust those shifty eyes cows...

VIDEO: Mounties capture cows on the run - Winnipeg Free Press

Posted using ShareThis
I spoke.

He spoke.

The stance of each is known and understood.

My frustrations are considerably lessened.

I am living my life the way I want to, within the means that I have.

Thanks to all who expressed concern, offered advice, showed support. It is all much appreciated.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Go away already

I've been doing this online dating thing for so long now, you'd think the uncertainty, the anxiety, the fears would just go away. What I have found, instead, is that as time passes... and it's been over 2 1/2 years already, that the fear of expressing my feelings to someone I am getting to know and to like just grows.

It's bitten me in the past, you see. Big time. To the point of shattering my heart. And I so don't want to feel that again. But not saying things is killing me. It's just not who I am. I am expressive. I can be verbose. But I am tactful in my verbosity, if that is a word... blogger didn't underline it in red so I am assuming it is.

I am so tired of getting scared of letting someone know how I feel, even if it is just the beginnings of feelings, of like, and a desire to spend a bit more time with that someone, getting to know them better, to see if anything will develop that has a future.

Because so far, the few that I have spoken to, that I have expressed myself to, have all bolted for one reason or another. One was terrified of getting hurt. Obviously he thought if he had feelings for me, it wasn't going to work anyway so might as well kill it before he got to that point. The problem is, I had already developed strong feelings for him, so I was the one who ended up hurt.

Then there was the one with a very strong connection... for both of us, it seemed... until he canceled a coffee date to get back together with his ex. I guess that connection wasn't quite so strong, was it...

And now with this one... the one who is in a state of flux because of his past... his recent past... which he is working at resolving but it will take time, as these things always do, and she's being a cow so that makes it all the messier. The one who, although he spends great stretches of time with me, has told me he can't make a commitment at this time because of his situation being what it is. He tells me he has a great time with me, that he enjoys my company, that we have great fun together... and it's true, because I can see it and feel it too. But I also sense that he's keeping me at arm's length... although the real reason isn't entirely known.

Because I have not expressed myself to him.... I have not told him that, despite knowing my words could spell the end of everything, it is killing me to keep my silence, to go with the flow, to just let things develop whatever way they may.

I am sick and tired of feeling like I have to let the other person dictate the energy flow, the speed, the direction. I am sick and tired of the fear and anxiety all this creates, like I have no say in anything. But I am also quite terrified of opening my mouth and destroying what may be slowly and steadily developing... Will it continue if I let my feelings be known? I have serious doubts. I have come to learn that most men don't want to or are afraid to hear what you feel, what you have going on inside you. I've learned that the hard way. And I just wish it would all go away.

So the battle is within myself... do I speak or not? Do I keep looking, or not? I think I have to keep looking... I can't just sit and wait and let life pass me by... because I am going crazy with the waiting, the wondering, the quiet. It sucks. I want to get on with life.

Saturday, 8 May 2010


Well, so much for feminine pulchritude and beguiling cleavage and tight jeans...

I got my ass whooped at pool last night. Not that he played all that well, but I was much worse.

However, we had a blast and will definitely be doing that again! Tons of fun, including sharing the table with two other couples who were hilarious, and a drunken birthday boy (man... he was a man... probably around 60... and falling down drunk but trying to dance with everyone!) and someone's grandma who was pretty tipsy and trying to take over a young man's game of pool in her polka dot ballerina flats and fluffy pink dress.

What can I say! If it takes losing to have that much fun, I'll do it every time. ;-)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Rack 'Em Up, Honey

Friday evening I am going to be a ball breaker...

I'm gonna do my best to beat the pants off him in a few games of billiards... or pool... or whatever you want to call it. Neither of us is very good... or he tells me he isn't. I know I'm not. I can make the odd good shot but have no consistency... which is the way it is when you play once or twice a year.

Is he telling me the truth? Or is it just a ploy to lull me into a false sense of security? We'll see....

My plan of attack includes large quantities of alcohol, a low cut neckline, and lots of bending over the table while facing him. Perhaps I can get him flustered enough to make him lose... I have a feeling, however, that beating the pants off him will have to take place outside the pool hall... er, I mean, at home.

There will be a taxicab involved as well, as driving may be inappropriate after all that ball and stick handling....

photos snagged from places like Corbis, Shutterstock, etc.