Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Our Version of Jumping

Here's the cross country course out at our stable
with the stellar views of the Blue Ridge.

No jumping for us
although we occasionally step over some of the smaller ones!

Here's Sarge and Joe charging toward the water obstacle....
Could it be? 
Let's watch as they fly through and up the bank on the other side.....

Or not! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cross Country Riding: Beautiful but not for me!

We went for a ride on Friday afternoon
after Joe's shift giving tours at the Chapel.

Did I fool anyone into thinking this is me on the gray horse?

No, no, no!
I doubt that Cloud could jump much more than an average sized log across the trail.  

I was a volunteer jump judge again for one of the  cross country days
 at the Virginia Horse Trials which was held in early summer.

Other than knowing how to operate a walkie talkie and a few basics,
jump judging consists mainly of staying alert and answering a few questions:
Did they get over it, refuse, circle around, get lost and miss it or fall off?

Once again this year, the weather cooperated and it was a clear, sunny, cool day.
Perfect for sitting out in a lawn chair and watching horses fly past.
I judged three different jumps over the course of the day.  
On average the horses go by every three minutes so there's enough time 
to make notes on the sheet, radio in the information 
and then get prepared for the next to come into sight.  

I took two photos while at this jump for the afternoon session.
I find it interesting to compare the positions of the two horses and riders.
Same jump but about a two second difference in the timing of the photo.
There were a few times that I held my breath and hoped that they made it across
when their approach left them a little short or at an odd angle

There's a cross country course at our barn
but you won't find either of us jumping! 
View of the warm up area

Thursday, July 17, 2014

HIking at Riprap Hollow .... and the "After Hike".

A couple of weeks ago, the Friday hiking group 
headed north to Shenandoah National Park for a hike 
along the Riprap Hollow Trail.

We started out on the Appalachian Trail for about a half a mile 
before turning onto RipRap.
When we got to this huge slide of ..... 
yes, you guessed it:  riprap rock, 
it became clear how the trail got its name. 
Fortunately we were only passing next to the loose rock,
not walking ON it!  

At the first overlook, we had to do some creative scrambling to figure out how 
to get everyone into a photo...
But we succeeded
and no one slid to their death! 

Chimney Rocks Vista was glorious.
The views went on for miles both toward the north....

and there were more distant views 
to be seen by swiveling on my rocky perch and looking to the west.  
 We didn't do the whole circuit hike which would have been around 9 miles,
instead opting for an out and back that was much faster, 
because we were itching to get to Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton VA.
We'd worked up an appetite and the food was delicious!  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Joe!

I'm lousy at remembering birthdays or making a fuss over them.  

Chris' birthday came and went last week without me realizing it.
Owen has just received (I think) his gift for last month's birthday.
And I was late with Raeanna the month before.  
And Clark's the month before that!
(Chris yours is yet to be mailed)....

I think I'm noticing a pattern.

So let me be right on time to wish Joe a Happy Birthday!!

Since I haven't baked a cake,
I'll make do with the card I gave him this morning 
and dredging up this old photo taken on the land before we began building the house.

He isn't here in person to pose for a current photo because he's here:
He's giving tours a day or two a week at Lee Chapel on W&L's campus, 
his month he's been scheduled for way more hours than he was planning to give.   

Bridge (where we're headed tonight) doesn't make for riveting photography.  

Isn't this quote from T.S. Eliot so true?

    The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest.  You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.
                                                                                                 (T.S. Eliot)
Love you!  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Yes, We Still Have Horses!

Isn't this a cute face?  
 I haven't written about the horses in ages 
and the honest reason is that we've been neglecting them.....

I'll clarify that:  
the horses have been well taken care of by other people
while we've been absentee owners
paying the bills and not involved in TLC. 

We're boarding them over 30 miles away;
and all winter and spring,
we've always had a reason (i.e. excuse) 
why we weren't making time to get up there and see them.  

It's been a case of out of sight,
out of mind.

We'd begun talking quite seriously 
about selling them 
and then Cloud came up with a method to get me re-involved. 

She got caught up in a fence about 6 weeks ago,
 cut up her back legs 
and then got a secondary skin infection going on both back legs.
There's nothing like a crisis 
(or mini-crisis in this case)
to pull someone from apathy to action.

Dutifully I've drug up there every other day,
rain or shine, 
work or not 
and washed and treated her back legs.  
The barn manager is doing a great job also 
and takes care of her 
every other day when I can't get there.

Now that the swelling on her legs is down,
I've actually dusted off my saddle and begun riding again!
 After the Fourth of July Parade,
I headed up to the barn and made a few loops around the lake.  
(Joe was home mowing and getting ready to take charge of the inflatables)

 The property is small enough that I feel okay about riding alone
(someone will find me eventually if I take a nosedive).

After working up a little sweat, 
it was back to the barn for a shampoo
and leg/wound scrub...

Clean, medicated and ready to turn out for the night!
I changed out of my riding clothes
(too bad I couldn't have used the wash stall myself!)
and went back to Lexington for the evening fireworks at VMI.
I'm learning to sandwich my "barn time" 
in between other things 
and not try and wait for a free day.

And possibly more importantly,
I'm going by myself and not worrying if Joe can't come 
or if I don't have time to visit Sarge.

So she's got a reprieve.
There's no more talk for the present about selling....
she's too sweet.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth Festivities 2014

Another Fourth of July in Lexington!  
I can't believe that this is my third time to see the festivities.

I missed the reading of the Declaration of Independence this morning,
but made it downtown in plenty of time 
to see the Children's Bike Parade.

Uncle Sam (Mark Cline) leading the way

Bikes, wagons, 
strollers and unicycles

Barb's grandson made his inaugural roll down Main Street
in style on his tricycle.
At the conclusion of the parade, 
there is free watermelon, hot dogs and ice cream for all the kids.  
On my way back to the car,
I noticed that a few riders had decided to forgo the free meal 
and stop in at the local pub.  
No need for bike chains in Lexington....
But isn't there a law against leaving your children 
outside while you're in a bar? 
Evening found us at the VMI parade grounds again this year....
where once again, Joe was in charge of the "inflatables";
there were four monster sized ones.
The fireworks were grand.....
Hope you had an equally fun day!  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Day Hikes on the AT

Two Friday hikes from early June with Newcomers Hiking....

Thunder Ridge to Sunset Fields going southward on the AT:  
Ferns everywhere
We shuttled cars for this hike which was about 4 miles with a slight 500 foot ascent.
The trail passing under "The Guillotine"
Easy to see how it got it's name!
After walking under, looking back down the trail with the "Guillotine" almost at eye level
The next Friday, we went back to the same area 
and shuttled cars for another four mile jaunt. 
Again going south on the AT
this time starting at Sunset Fields (where we ended the week before)
and stopping at the Floyd Field/Mountain area.

I thought this little salamander was cute....
well honestly at first I thought it was a red lizard but then realized it was pretty unlizard-like.
Fact of the day is that this is the "eft" stage for the Eastern Newt 
it stays in this vibrantly red spotted juvenile stage 
for 1-3 years living entirely on land 
and then.... presto-chango,
it becomes brownish green, develops a flat ridged fin tail 
and becomes entirely aquatic (but still breathes air) 
for it's adult life. 
Don't say you've never learned anything by reading blogs!  

The rhododendrons that we'd hoped to see the week before were in blossom
Our already slow hiking turned to glacial speed
because of all the photo taking!
Got to stop and smell the roses though!  
Though it was foggy,
marveled at the view from the Black Rock Overlook
Foggy Blue Ridge as seen from Black Rock
And turned the camera on ourselves
At Black Rock (photo by Debbie Maurer)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Old News: Music and Friends

A month's absence from the blog has me with a backlog of old news
and before I forget everything
there are some memories of fun and friends
that I want to commit to the "diary" aspect of the blog.

Even without the help of wine or hard liquor, 
I found myself dancing up a storm
at the Maurer Dance Party.
I'm a total klutz and have no rhythmn 
but the older I get, the less I worry about how I look.  

Maybe next year Joe will venture out onto the dance floor 
but he enjoyed talking, eating and watching his wife act like a maniac.   

The Village People made a brief appearance....
The costume contest was a hoot....
The judges for the dance contest were "blind" but we loved them anyway....
Ah life in a small town!  

On a much more serious musical note, 
we hosted Californians Rita Hosking, her husband Sean and their daughter 
for the night
when Rita performed at one of the Krantz music parties.  
The enjoyment of getting to know the artists is my true reward, 
but I've instituted a "fee" for staying the night from visiting musicians:  
a CD!

We've about worn out Rita's CD;
it's that good!
Give her a listen at  Here (American Agency/Rita Hosking)
Maybe it's rude to try and peg someone as "sounding like" another artist, 
but she's in the vein of EmmyLou Harris, Gillian Welch, Allison Krauss and Kate Wolf.

Other recent visitors have been Leigh Ann, Don and daughter from Tampa
(met in Charlottesville)
Pennie and Greg from Baton Rouge (here for lunch while passing through)....

And Ada who came bringing her beau Vern!!
Don't they look happy?  
What to do with these youngsters who find each other on the internet?!!
You know you're with a good friend when you wish them goodbye on the driveway at 10AM 
still wearing your pajamas and holding your morning coffee cup!
My mother would be so ashamed of me!  :)