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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Busy Times

We have entered that time of year when time speeds up and there is never enough of it. It is the last four of five weeks of school and our schedules fill up until bursting and something has to give. Usually, we just run out of time for riding the horses. And that leads to a whole other set of demands on our time just deferred to a later date. Kira is preparing for a school trip to Washington D.C. (I have to have her at the air port by 4:15AM on Mothers Day). Her sixth grade class just performed their class musical, which was a blast. She is in honors choir so she has a few more performances and we have a bit extra work to do in math. Nothing major but it all adds up.

So, Kira has joined Lacrosse. They practice twice a week and have games on Saturdays. I got to go to here first game which they won 7 to 4. I did not get to go to her second game which they lost 13 to 8. Saturdays are Westernaires days so I have to take the horse(s) to the fair grounds. That makes it hard to get to her games. Fortunately, most of her games are very close to the fair grounds so I should be able slip over to watch. As soon as she gets her uniform I will post a picture of our Lacrosse star.

Kumi tried out for a spot on the White Grand Entry team for Westernaires and she won it. That means that at the beginning of every show Kumi and 17 other kids will present the colors and do a short routine. To get on the team the kids have to show a high level of horsemanship and control of their horses. They are expected to show a much higher level of coordination in there drill and they have to do their drill at a fast lope. She loves loping on her horse so she is having a grand time.

Kira did a lesson on Ebony last night and it was a good lesson. Ebony tested her and Kira was frustrated. But Carly talked her through it and in the end, Kira won. Ebony would not go into a lope no matter how hard Kira kicked her. So we got out a dressage crop. Horses are funny critters. Ebony ignored the kicks but when Kira popped once with the crop Ebony said, "Oh! You mean it!" and stepped up into a very nice lope. Kira's look of frustration turned into a smile pretty rapidly after that. Kira loves to lope as well and Ebony has a nice smooth lope.

I went for a ride on my horse last Sunday. It was crazy windy, the kind of wind that makes horses crazy. As I climbed up into the saddle I thought to myself, what am I doing? Mariah is a bit jumpy under the best of conditions and I am going to take her out into the open space where horse eating plastic bags and evil waving signs wait to devour her. So, being male with that gift all males have for ignoring common sense, off we went. We had a great ride. She was much more collected and controlled in her trot than ever before. I credit Carly for that. Carly told me in our last lesson that I need to expect more from Mariah and keep the pressure on until she does what I want. So I did. We did circles and figure eights for a while and she got the idea.

So off we went down the trail. The first small spook as at a plastic sign advertising a housing development. It was waving in the wind and she tried to side step it. I didn't let her and she knew what was coming next. She is not allowed to get past a scary thing until she puts her nose on it. She put her nose on it almost immediately so we proceeded down the trail that runs next to the ditch. The coyotes must travel along that trail pretty regularly because she was real jumpy the whole time. She didn't spook but I had to keep a short rein on her to keep her focused and calm. The next small spook was a steel sign with the name of the open space on it. It didn't wave in the wind but it is as tall as she is so it was obviously about to eat her. Again, she touched it with her nose with very little coaxing on my part but we spent about 20 minutes at that sign just trying to get her to stand quietly next to it. I will go back to that sign again for the practice.

The big blow up came in the place I least expected it. We were trotting along at a nice slow trot and all of the sudden we were side-passing at a lope. I am happy to report that my seat is sure enough that while I was unbalanced for a moment, I did not come off. Cool. So what spooked her? A dark spot on the trail where a puddle had been. There was no water, just dark mud. It took me five minutes to get her step over that horsey eating black-hole of death.

(Note regarding horse psychology. Horses look at the world by determining the answer to two questions. Question 1, will it eat me. They always assume that it will eat them until proven otherwise. Assuming the answer to question 1 is no, they ask the second question: Question 2, Can I eat it? It is amazing what horses will eat. The horses of people I know at Westernaires have eaten the following: Oreo's, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, live fish, cheese burgers and one likes Pepsi.)

We spent about two hours on the trail and working on some circles and figure eights and all of it was fun. It was so much fun I didn't even notice my knees were getting tired until I got off the horse and me knees almost buckled when I hit the ground. I held onto Mariah for a few steps until my knees remembered how they are supposed to work and then all was good. A good day of riding.

Project house has another project that is one step closer to completion. The new electric panel is set and some of the wires a terminated. This is the new wire waiting to be connected to the meter.
The board at the bottom of the pictures is just holding the conduit in place while the insulating foam cures. Once cured, that board will go away.

The next step will be to connect the new panel to the meter and then move the circuits from the old panel to the new. That will be an all day project so I am thinking Memorial day. Nori has to work, there is no Westernaires and no Lacrosse games so I will have the whole day. And I will need it. Moving those circuits from the old to the new means each one has to marked, a new piece of wire added to it and then connected to the new breaker. Its not hard, but it is very time consuming. And the price of wire doesn't help at all. I bought 50' of 12/2 romex wire (the kind of wire used for nearly all household wiring) and it was $62.00. $62.00!! That is over $1.00 a foot and that is just crazy! Ah, well... Such is life.


  1. You guys are busy.
    Glad you enjoyed your ride. Miriah is keeping you alert. Happy for Kumi and won't we have fun watching her in the arena with the colors fluttering above her head. Kira is doing great with Ebony. Love to all Hugs to Nori. B

  2. "Horses look at the world by determining the answer to two questions. Question 1, will it eat me. They always assume that it will eat them until proven otherwise. Assuming the answer to question 1 is no, they ask the second question: Question 2, Can I eat it?"
    This caught me by surprise, and I laughed so hard I choked (in a nice way?). You nailed it. ;)
    Very impressed with your electrical skills. Putting in a new panel? Way to go!

  3. We just finished electrifying the Casita, requiring rewiring the power supply. That was a pretty small job, but helps me understand your wiring job. DRM