Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

hahaha ok so the title might seem a little misplaced, but Mum and I celebrated Mother's Day on Wednesday :) May was just a little too cold.

So for Mother's Day I wanted to find something we could do together and I stumbled upon the idea of an Urban Quest. My dad would later describe it as a car rally on foot -- and it seems that's fairly accurate. A series of challenges that would take us on a tour around part of Toronto and end us up at a mystery restaurant. For dinner you pick the type of food -- we went for pub -- and they make your reservation somewhere...

So we picked an evening that I had off from the barn where the weather looked good (this combination is not as easy to find as you might think!) and signed up!

They gave a suggested parkinglot -- Adelaide and Spadina. Ok we get there and the first clue is a word puzzle. Solve the puzzle to find out where to start. hahaha so sitting in the corner of the parking lot while rush-hour pedestrian traffic past us by, we solved the puzzle and learned we were to start in Kensington Market. Sweet.

Only one problem -- neither Mum nor I had any idea where Kensington Market may be. hahaha oops. So Mum hit up the smart phone, googling away, while I took the more old fashioned method and made a new friend. Random woman who looked like she knew her way around town - quite cheerfully gave us directions. And off we went.

Wandered through Chinatown for a bit, and with her directions and a little help from Google, found it. And while I'd heard the name many times, I honestly had no idea anything about it.

It was highly entertaining! Colourful and busy, the street housed a variety of shops from various places and decades of the world. Mostly of the alternative variety. Found a fairy store I was quite amused by :)

So our quest took us in search of a cat on a chair. Ummmm I think maybe you'll have to wait for the pic of that one :) It'll come, just not tonight. Then cutting back through china town looking at dragons, lions, and lettering we couldn't read. hahaha lots of fun.

From here we explored the walk of fame looking for names of various stars, and took in some of the jazz festival while we were there. And this led us to the key to unlock our reservations.

Now since I hadn't checked my email since I started said quest, I never got the message with the url for the mobile aps. So we fought with the normal url for quite some time. Booo. But eventually we got it to work and found where we were going to eat.

Food was great, and tons of it! And just enough of a walk back to the car to walk some of it off :)

Was a great day, have some fun pics that I'll add in shortly :) Definitely worth a go if you want a slightly different thing to do for a couple hours...


So at 8:30 tonight I was exhausted. Didn't want to go to bed cause I figured I'd wake up at midnight wired. So I figure go kill half an hour and then go to bed. All good right? Well now it's after 11, I'm part way into a new excessive project that I have exactly 4 days left to complete. Oh comeon - you know I'd never do anything the easy way. I've also discovered my nanonovel never actually uploaded the final version. hahaha the html version worked with the ending but all the downloadable versions didn't -- so when I wanted to download it, I couldn't. Sheesh.

Alright back to work. Or sleep. Or something.

#FridayFlash 56 - Home

Happy birthday Hailey! Hope you have a great summer of amazing rides :)

Slightly different style of Flash this week -- let me know what you think!

Please note that all characters and events in this work - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional >;-P

Alana was grounded. Again. And this time it really wasn't fair! All she'd done was mention that it was Jessi's turn to do the dishes and ask why she should have to do them. Jessi would certainly never have to do her chores. But now she still had to do the stupid dishes for her stupid sister AND had no access to her phone or computer for a week! How was she supposed to do her homework? Did they *want* her to fail? Probably. Then they could ground her for that too.

She finished the chore and fled the house, slamming the door as she went. They'd hate that, but she knew by the time she got home it'd be forgotten. Hopping on her bike she peddled furiously to the one place that was hers; the one place her siblings and parents never interfered. The barn.

Alana ditched her bike and went into the barn, the smell taking the edge off her temper as quickly as it would've made her younger brother cringe and whine. The horses were all outside, and the barn was spotless - her coach was insanely picky about that. It's just a barn after all. But the girls all knew things just went much better when you smiled and did it the way she wanted.

She quickly cut through the barn and, grabbing a halter and lead line, headed out to the paddock; she could hear a lesson going on in the distance, but that wasn't why she was there. As she approached the gate she called her pony's name. He looked up from his grazing, nickered, and trotted away from the herd towards her. 'At least somebody loves me', she thought as she fed him his carrot and wrapped her arms around his neck.

They'd told her she'd have to sell him -- she was growing too tall and needed a bigger horse. But how could she sell her best friend? She buried her head in his neck and wiped the tears with his mane. He turned his head around and nudged her shoulder with his muzzle as if to tell her it'd all be ok.

Haltering him, Alana led him out of the paddock, closing the gate behind her. She contemplated hopping on him bareback and riding him back to the barn. It'd be fun. And he'd let her do it. She knew he would. But she had no helmet. And her coach just *might* kill her if she found out. Or worse, kick her out! And she would find out. There was no doubt about that. So she dutifully led her pony back the way she'd been trained.

She groomed and tacked up quickly. Usually a task she enjoyed and spent endless hours doing, today she just wanted, needed, to get out. And he understood – picking up on her mood and fussing in the cross ties instead of standing quietly as he’d been trained to. As quickly as possible she and her pony were back outside, dressed and ready to go. She vaulted into the saddle, a move she was quite proud of, and turned away from the lesson still going on in the background. Still mad at her parents and devastated that they’d even consider *mentioning* selling her beloved Prince, she turned and headed out to the field. He started to dance underneath her, picking up on her distress and knowing a calm walk through the woods wasn’t going to be the answer for either one of them.

They picked up a power trot, the pony straining at the bit, eager to go faster. She started to relax as she smiled at his antics. “Not yet Prince,” she told him out loud, “you have to warm up first.” They trotted two laps around the conditioning trail; she laughed out loud when he used a squirrel racing up a tree as an excuse to bolt. “Not yet,” she repeated as she checked him. Half way through the third lap she let him roll into a canter, and by the time they hit the start of the fourth he was flying.

Her heart pounding she raced with her pony; they flew around the track – he stretching as fast as possible, she leaning low to his neck, loving every minute of it. The only sound was his hooves crinkling the grass as they hit, and his breath matching his stride. She couldn’t see – the wind was too sharp in her eyes. But she trusted him completely. And so they flew.

Eventually, after what seemed a lifetime and only a split second all at once, she knew he’d gone far enough and sat up to slow him down to a more reasonable pace. They trotted for a little while down some of the side paths, just enjoying being together. When they got to the pond, she hopped off and let him have a drink and a graze, enjoying just being with him.

She had all but forgotten what had sent her fleeing to the barn in the first place, and knew deep in her heart her parents would never really make her sell him. They could be totally horrid and always favoured her sister, but that was a line not even they would cross. She picked a dandelion and fed it to her pony who accepted it with quiet grace before she remounted to head home.

The ride back was quieter than the trip out, but the grin from the wild gallop remained on her face as they sedately strolled back, reins on the buckle, Prince a calm old school pony once more. Back at the barn, carefully controlled chaos reigned, as the lesson had finished so the students were all gossiping and reliving their lesson while untacking and bathing their horses. “Have a good ride?” one of the girls asked Alana as she and Prince joined them. And as easily as that, she was welcomed home.

The real 7 wonders of the world

So I've mostly been posting things on the GRS blog lately -- have that *almost* caught up now, just the Wayne Roycroft clinics (which were *amazing* btw. Having a multiple-Olympian school your pony? Pretty sweet!) and we'll be good to go. Pics of the amazing superpony jumping crazy high and the girls' first horse shows... All *finally* up. Still waiting on some pics for the Caledon HT to go up on FB, but in the interim, the blog will be a good start.

Up crazy late now. Not sure why. Just trying to get things done and on a bit of a roll so I figured I'd keep going. Might regret it tomorrow. hahaha ah well. Dixie goes in for her xrays tomorrow, so will be good to know what we're dealing with there.

Loving the storm right now. Problem is that storms like that tend to energize me which is not really the look I'm going for at the moment.

Random thing - I noticed my hair's turning blond for the first time since I was like 8 :) hahaha only thing is, since the top half is always covered by a hat, it's still dark, so now looks like I have a wickedly bad dye issue. Which might matter if I ever went anywhere that I cared how I looked *g* Fortunately not so much of an issue these days.

hmmmm so cats and touch screens - bad combination. Just an fyi >;-P

Oh yeah - the original point to this post (I knew there was one somewhere!). I got this in an e, and while I'm quite certain it never occurred in any classroom anywhere, it's still a good read. Enjoy :)

Junior high school students in Chicago were studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. The Taj Mahal in India
3. The Grand Canyon in Arizona
4. The Panama Canal
5. The Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."

The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

1. to touch...
2. to taste...
3. to see...
4. to hear... (She hesitated a little, and then added...)
5. to feel...
6. to laugh...
7. and to love.


Crazy crazy crazy week... For those interested in the horsey thing, check out the GRS blog -- there've been several posts there about the entertainment and at least two more to come (hopefully soon!)

These include:
- our bbq and jump school day (photos will be added in the near future :)
- Foxcroft CT (where both riders took home ribbons -- Rowan took FIRST!)
- horse shopping adventures (yes I have another horse. And she's absolutely lovely.)

And coming soon:
- Wayne Roycroft riding clinic (he got on Lissy!)
- Caledon HT
- WR coaching clinic (next week :)
So this just amused me:

Gotta love the stuff you find on the internet. The photo goes SO well with the statement :)

Off to Caledon!

Things I love about summer

Ok so admittedly a rather boring title, but sometimes you just need to be accurate... hahaha so that being said...

Things I love about summer:

XC!!!! hahaha comeon, you know that had to be first :)
Heat! Wonderful glorious heat.
Ice cream -- the perfect companion to the wonderful glorious heat.
XC :)
Grazing my horse in the long grass next to the stream after xc :)
Longer days and less brutal work -- a brilliant combination.
Weed eating -- ok so I realize this is technically a chore, but there's something fun about utterly and completely destroying something that's been annoying you. And my visualization skills are strong *g*
XC >;-P
Swimming -- or more accurately occasionally rolling off a floaty toy into pool/river/lake and then climbing back on said floaty toy until warm again.
Driving with the windows open and the radio blaring :)
Sunlight! That's all it takes to make the day at least a little bit better.
Have I mentioned xc???

Yes so I took Li'l Lissy xc this am. What a superstar. Once she got over the "I'm ALONE!?!?!?" panic she was a complete pro. By the end spotting her own fences and taking me to them :) We went exploring and found random things to go over that she's never seen. Forged the river in several locations with never a hesitation. By the second try had figured out how to keep her balance trotting down the hills. But I just loved her attitude. She's see a fence, ears perk forward, body all happy "Hey, let's go jump that! Can we jump that? Sweet!" And then we'd get a little closer and you could feel the equine equivalent of her eyes getting wide... "Ummm are you *sure* we should jump this?" Yes Lis... "Oh, ok then. If you say so." and body relaxes again and away we go. Landing with "wheee! We jumped it!" hahaha she was *such* a superstar. I did have to pull her off the line to one of the T fences she picked that I felt she wasn't *quite* ready for yet since she really should only be doing PE this year (hahaha given that we rarely jump above 2'9" in the ring prob best if we don't try 3' with a drop on the landing on xc :) But dead honest and eager w/o being hot. Within a year or two I can see her and Bella battling it out for being the first year rider show superstar of the group :)

Anyways - was a fun day :)

I love summer.

Just a test post...

Soooo.... What do you think of the new look? Was having lots of issues with the old one (not the least of which was the castle not showing so it just looked like a dreary grey background). I'm not sure I actually like it... But it'll do for tonight.

Had a great time at the Lucinda Green clinic today :) Details on the GRS blog. Yeah for xc :)

No Friday Flash this week, but have been posting the occasional "one word" sixty second story on I'm telling you stories... Even in my world I can find sixty seconds most days :)

Off for now.