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Showing posts from June, 2013

In which we've all headed for the hills. Back soon. Please leave a message. Beeeeep!

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It's that time of year again.
We'll be in camp through the end of the month, and will have very limited access to stuff like wifi...and running water....

Because...

it's good.

That's why.

In which our nest is rarely empty for long : we have a new lil' chick

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"This is the first year in more than a decade that we aren't bringing a kid to camp!"

My mom heard me lamenting at a recent graduation party.  For many years we've taken kids to camp with us to build trails before the Renegade Rendezvous ride.  First it was Maddy and Jill, and later Sirie, and then Will and Lisa.


But now all those chicks are grown and flown...where could we find another kid to take to camp with us?

My mom pointed to my youngest niece:


"Why don't you take that one?" she asked.


Cassidy's mom squeaked a bit at the suggestion that Jim and I would take her youngest child into the untracked wilderness with a bunch of wild equines and possibly wild equestrians


...but this morning they all showed up on the doorstep, ready to gain skills that will be useful in camp.

Within a short time, Dory got Cassidy comfortable with some basic horse-girl skills.  Not just grooming,


but also endurance-specific skills like taking a horse for a trot-out


a…

In which our youngest chick is fledged and flown away (for a little while)

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It doesn't seem so long ago that Lisa joined us at Haiku Farm.

Since coming here, she's learned to work



and ride


 and play



and work some more.


And now


she's off for a 2-month visit back to Korea to visit family and friends.


Travel safely, little bird.  We miss you already.

In which we go riding and it's good. So what else is new? (not a thing!)

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Blue skies above, so we assembled the Usual Suspects  earlier-than-usual this morning.

We have horses in all levels of maturity and fitness in the gang right now, so we divided into logical groups and headed out. 

We split up and rejoined groups a couple of times during the ride.  Dean mostly rode solo on Horus, who is getting prepped for the National Championship ride this fall, so he took the longer, faster trails.  

Ariana's shoes are at the end of their usefulness, and Flower 


has been under saddle for less than 4 months, so they took the semi-short route.  

Hana is ready for a bigger challenge, so (with flowers jauntily woven into her mane) she and Duana partnered up with Fiddle and me for the middle part of our ride.

We did a nice, long, loop of a trail--about 15.5 miles in all.  Lots of hills, but also


lots of trails.

And at the end of the trail (right before we rejoin the group back at the trailers)



LUNCHTIME!
It's good.  
You know I'm right about this.

In which this isn't a horsey post, but it's full of smiling people

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It doesn't seem like much time has passed  since Lisa arrived here at Haiku Farm.

And yet, it's been nearly three years!  

In that time, Lisa has gained language skills, an academic work ethic, a bunch of muscles, and a Whole Lotta Attitude.


Those are all things we value around here, and today we celebrated her accomplishment: graduation from high school.  

And, of course, I lied about there not being any horses in this blog post.
During slow parts of the ceremony (graduation ceremonies generally have 2 gleeful outbursts per family--everything else is dull as room-temp swampwater) I checked in on Team Fixie via Facebook.  Here's Funder's photo from the 50-mile point:

There's not much that would keep me away from crewing Funder's first 100-miler, but I guess Lisa's graduation is one of those few events.
Ah, well.
After the party was over, we stopped at the store to pick up a few essential items.
Like carrots.
Because if you really want your life (with horses) …

In which we all desperately need to get out and ride, so we do

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Patty sent out a Facebook message to the Usual Suspects last night: 


"We need to get out and ride!  Where?  What time?  Who's going?"

 Blue-er skies were forecast for afternoon, but we saddled up in the morning and headed up some steep hills.

 Flower is new at steep hills, but with practice


she got the hang of both downhill and

uphill 

We visited the monument, and took pictures (as usual).




Photos from the monument hill are more impressive on blue-sky days, but the view is still nice to look at, and it's even nicer to be there IRL. 



Dory led us down a sidehill trail just in time: 




I've seen logging operations and log trucks my whole life, but even I was impressed by the length of the load on these rigs.




The horses were interested in the racket made by log trucks, but they weren't bothered by them.

It was a good day.




Because riding?  It makes things Good.

In which I've fried my voice (and my brain), so here are some pictures

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You maybe didn't know that some librarians have an annual equivalent of "Hell Week."

In the next ten days, I'm scheduled to present booktalks to promote summer reading in 5 schools.  I also get to drive the bookmobile one morning (yay!) and spend an entire afternoon conducting a "library scavenger hunt" at a middle school.


Don't get me wrong:  I love this part of my job.  It's probably the most fun I have at work all year.

But...

it's exhausting.

It's not like talking to friends for 10 hours.  It's more like being onstage in front of an audience for that length of time.

It's hard on my voice, and it sucks up all the extra "go-juice" in my brain.



My brain, as anyone will tell you, has a LOT of "go-juice."  But the supply isn't unlimited.


That's why this blog post is pretty much just pictures from recent training rides.


The weather has been medium-to-good,


the horses have been full of happy energy,


and the…