Saturday, September 28, 2013

In which the weather is quite soggy, but we are promised a medal

I don't blame Fee for wanting to stay inside the nice, dry horse trailer.

"You go on without me.  I'll just wait here."

It's been almost a week since our last ride, and that one was (understatement) not as quick as we would prefer.  We were clipping along at a nice pace and decided to take a nice gallop up a hill.  So we were galloping, galloping, hurrah-hurrah-hurrah

The quote from Go-Pony blogger Ashley, who is also Renegade's Customer Service rep:
"That damage is a result of some epic overreach."
Well.  Yes.    That's why we call it "The Big Thing."  

...and then we weren't galloping anymore.  Fee's soles are so tender that she needs hoof protection.  But this boot wasn't going to protect anything.  We picked our way gingerly back to the trailer and called that a day.

Today, nobody wanted to out with us.  In fact, Monica said that we'd deserve a medal if we went out because the forecast called for substantial rainfall.

Trails are closed now, we stayed on the logging roads.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is even worse.  I'm pretty sure I heard a radio announcement about animals lining up two-by-two.  So, we went out today.

Pretty.  But soggy.

I wanted to try out a new raingear combination anyhow.  Not new gear, just the new combination of stuff.

The outer layers consisted of the same things I wore at Foothills 2012:  the Much Better Jacket and the purple gortex-and-polarfleece rain chinks  but I needed to experiment with the inner layers.  Temps right now are 55-60*, so I don't need fleece and wool.  I ended up choosing the same tech-top that I wore at Bare Bones this year, plus a mid-weight set of tights that are not padded in the knees and crotch--if padding gets wet, it chafes like crazy.   Plus a new-ish set of waterproof riding boots, since my "old" boots sprung a major leak last week.  (a little more than a year old--booo hiss.)

Good mushroomin'...but since I don't know mushroom from toadstool,
I stayed aboard the Dragon and just walked on.

Final score:

Crummy Weather  :   10
Excellent Raingear:     12

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyFitness

And my good pony?  Well.

Awesome Dragon deserves a medal.

She's good.  She's way, way, WAY good.

Monday, September 23, 2013

In which we "Bug Out" for a few hours and spend some time with some fun Volks

My younger brother has a thing for bugs.

Not the insects.

A few years ago, he started really getting involved with the local Volkwagon Club, and started (re-) building Bugs.  His first car was a bright yellow "late bug" (post 1968) called The Grumblebug, and then he brought hom Dieter:

Dieter is a ragtop.  In other words, not a practical Swamplandic vehicle.
But a cool one!

He explained to me that his housing choices were made in a manner similar to mine:  we looked at the pasture quite closely, and sorta glanced at the house before buying Haiku Farm.  He's got a GIGANTIC enclosed garage with a cute little apartment upstairs.   I get that.

Apparently there's a(t least one) car skeleton in the garage, waiting to be turned into something the bugs we saw displayed at the first (and hopefully annual) BUG BLITZ managed by my brother the bug fan:

A bunch of Bugs

Santa Jim thinks my brother's next project should be a bright-red bus, decorated with snowflakes, so Santa can drive to gigs in style.  

Unlike the VW Vanagon I used to drive, these buses are cool.
(Consumer Reports once called the VW Vanagon a
"comfortable place to wait for AAA to come rescue you."

No report yet on my brother's opinion of this plan.  But we did see some pretty cool vehicles at the Bug Blitz.  Some were restored, with careful attention to vintage detail:

Others were modernized and "customed":

Hand-painted by the owner to look like a WWII fighter plane

As with endurance events, it's perfectly acceptable to press family members into service for a gig like this. 

Santa Jim and I worked registration and helped the bug guys count votes for awards

Lisa bossed traffic around

My mom and the floofs collected admission for spectators

Niece Cassidy oversaw the bouncy house for kids

My dad (not pictured) watched over the crayon table

On a break from working the show, we wandered around to admire the vehicles.

The long/tall bus is cool, but I'd hate to drive it in a high wind!

Interior of the long/tall bus

I found my favorite, right off.

Custom painted Karmann Ghia

Near the end of the show, we tallied up the votes in each catagory and printed out winner certificates.  I started out as part of the certificate crew

Martha Stewart does not lose sleep over my talent

but they decided my artistic talents and attention to detail skills were a little too lame for this crowd.

At the end of the event,

Brother Randy (finally) takes a break!

we were tired.  And hungry!  But look what our next-door-neighbor brought over:

Deer, elk, and bear meat, courtesy of our neighbor

Combine a nice deer roast with some fresh garden vegetables,

"Purple Dragon" carrots, regular carrots, baby butternut squash
and inevitable zucchini, plus purple, red, and yellow potatoes

to create

Caramelize the vegetables, brown the meat, then
combine in a slow cooker for a few hours

Dear me/deer meat stew for dinner.

And (you guessed this already, right?)

It was good.
(Coming soon:  more horse stuff!)