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~Yesterday was the 4th of July.  Holy mackerel, where did summer come from so fast?  Although I’m looking forward to vacation next month, I’m so NOT ready for summer to speed along out of control like this.  This being my favorite season of the year, I’d like to enjoy it a bit.  Please?

~Both my horses have been sold in he past few weeks, each to fantastic homes with wonderful people.  Selling Pea and Beau was necessary to allow me to go back to school, but it still hurts my heart.  Saying it’s bittersweet doesn’t even begin to cover the range of emotions.  I feel like a little piece of me has been ripped away.  But, as a horsey friend so wisely said, I’ll always be a horsewoman–it’s in my blood.  And when horses come into my life in the future, I’ll appreciate them that much more.

~Two very dear women to me have gotten engaged in the past few weeks, my cousin and one of my closest friends.  Add that to my brother and his girlfriend (now fiance)–who got engaged in January–and it seems like everyone I know who wasn’t hitched is about to take the plunge!  I’m honored and excited that A asked me to be in her wedding.  It’ll be my first stint as a bridesmaid!  (Girliness I didn’t know I had is popping up!)

~Since it rained here from March through May, I didn’t plant a garden for the first time in years.  I feel a little rotten about it, actually.  (Hehe)  To make up for it, I’m planting my own hanging baskets.  More on that project later…

~Salsa, corn on the cob, peaches, sangria, and grilling out may just be the very best parts about summer time.

~Poison Ivy is the very worst part about summer.  Especially when you have it in areas that it’s typically socially unacceptable to scratch in public.  (Yes, I know you’re not supposed to scratch it anyway, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!)

~This summer is all about home improvements for us.  Currently, my kitchen ceiling is down to the bare bones…which means EVERYTHING from the kitchen is chillin’ in the dining room.  (Have I mentioned how I loath clutter, chaos, messes, things in the wrong place, etc?)  This is going to be an exercise in being a little less OCD…

~Work is all about change, change, change these days.  I’m being reminded that first impressions are usually spot on, but being open-minded is golden, on a daily basis.  Also, pre-conceived notions are just plain worthless.  (We have a new hire from Richmond, VA and–since I love what I’ve seen of Richmond and have a fab friend who lives there–I got this notion that  New Girl A would be T’s clone.  Of course, the reality is that the city doesn’t make the person, just as the person doesn’t make the city.) 

~I up and decided to creatively fill my tragically boring wardrobe and have had a blast doing it!  Plato’s Closet and the thrift store have been my best buds, with a trip to Kohl’s, another to Old Navy, and an e-trip to Victoria’s Secret’s semi-annual sale thrown in for good measure.  I can now say that I’m (finally) happy with my summer closet!  Winter clothes are coming along, but I *may* need to do a little more tweaking to get it just right.  (I plan on posting pics some day!)

~I started college (again) two weeks ago.  (Yay!)  Class has been…interesting.  It’s a 5 credit hour class that meets once a week–which works fabulously for me, but makes Tuesday a long day.  Class is supposed to be 5:30-10pm, but our prof moved our start time to 6.  We’re talking about psychology during the life span–so from birth to death–which is fascinating.  What major theme have I learned so far?  That it’s very, very easy to screw up your kids.  Definitely enough to make me think twice about ever wanting any!

~I read an amazing book a few weeks ago.  It’s called I Am Nujood: Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali.  It’s a short, easy read, but emotionally draining.  Definitely worth reading, though.  That girl has more cojones than just about anyone I know.

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Working on #26, my list of 100 things that make me happy:

  1. Cuddling with my husband.
  2. Holding Kori (our Corgi dog) like a baby.  He actually likes it.
  3. Hot showers.
  4. Getting a hug from my horse.
  5. The smell of oats.  (Not oatmeal, but real horsey oats.)
  6. Hearing my girls sing their “I’m a happy hen, I just laid an egg” song.
  7. Pasta.
  8. A good Mojito.
  9. Pancakes/waffles with homemade jam & whipped cream on top.
  10. Hearing my kitty’s “chirp” the moment he hears me opening a can in the kitchen.  He’s convinced it’s tuna every time.  Micky is Pavlov‘s classical conditioning in action.
  11. Hot chocolate on a cold day.
  12. The beach.  I could SO live at the beach.
  13. Cooking/baking for pleasure.  I really enjoy cooking in general, but cooking for fun is so much better than rushing to get dinner done on a Wednesday night.
  14. Fleeces of any type.
  15. The sun.
  16. Swimming.  (It’s very difficult to be a klutz in the water.)
  17. When my hubby brings home a Praying Mantis for my garden, even though he hates bugs.  That’s true love!
  18. Reading a book that makes me think about it long after I’ve put it down.
  19. Popcorn.  My comfort food.
  20. Driving with my sunroof open and my radio up.
  21. Mondays, which I have off.  It’s nice to have a “me” day, since hubs is at work.  Sometimes I’m uber productive and sometime’s it’s a lazy day.  I love that I can chose.
  22. Doggies that smile.
  23. Finding long-lost friends on Facebook.
  24. Phone calls from my Grandpa.  Hearing his voice makes me smile.
  25. Roses.  I hate to admit it, but I’m a classic rose kinda girl.

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Thoughts on what makes hubby and I tick…

~Hubs and I both dig cuddling…lots of cuddling.  Unless one of us is deathly ill, suffering from a life-threatening injury, or majorly overheated, we–at very least–go to sleep and wake up spooning.  On a typical morning, my alarm goes off at 6:15am and–shortly thereafter–I hear, “Hmmm nmm, wanna cuddle?”  It’s a nice way to get the day started off right, though a common side effect is staying in bed too long, thus having to rush my shower.

~Since we (I) don’t believe in “his” and “her” roles, we sat down and made a list of all the jobs around the house (and farm) that have to get done daily and/or weekly. Then we each picked a job one at a time until they were all taken. Hubby picked laundry and dishes. He owns lawn care and a bunch of other duties. I have cooking and cleaning stalls and a ton of other stuff. It works for us.

~We agree on a few key deal-breakers.  Cheating, smoking, and tattoos are all divorceable offenses.

~I occasionally eat tofu and soy products.  Hubs will try everything once, and from then on I have agreed to leave him–a happy man–alone with his beef.

~When I first met my husband, he proudly sported a mustache and a goatee.   I have sensitive skin and found the facial hair a little….honestly?…irritating,.  Our compromise?  The mustache met Mr. Razor.  Now we’re both happy.

~We kiss and say “I love you” before leaving the house every morning.

~Hubs has heroically shouldered the responsibility of playing Money Manager.  How very un-21st century of us, I know.  However, I appreciate a little distance from the very thing I stress over most in life.

~My husband is a creature of habit.  He avoids change like the plague.  I, on the other hand, am a schemer and a dreamer.  I like to come up with lots of plans, many of which will never reach fruition.  To combat the obvious frustration we’re prone to experiencing with each other, hubby has learned to adopt a “wait and see” approach to my ideas.  Oftentimes, I come up with a new idea before he’s required to submit an opinion on the old one.  And I have learned to propose change gradually, giving him time to digest before expecting a response.  It usually works.

~We have His and Hers dogs, just so no one gets jealous.

~Since I tend to swell like a rattlesnake bite when stung, bitten, or otherwise faced with nature, my hubby is kind enough to handle pests, poison ivy, and other flora and fauna that are out to get me.  The one exception?  Per hubby’s request I handle any stray spiders.

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Vacation!

The hubby, my mother- and father-in-law, my sister- and brother-in-law, and I spent a week on Bald Head Island in North Carolina earlier this month.  It was our first real vacation together and it was absolutely heaven. 

(Except for the jellyfish.  They weren’t so much fun.)

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The sun was really bright on the beach!

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Sand + Ocean Water + Feet = Awesome

Kayaking

We went kayaking on Wednesday.  Kayaking in the ocean is hard work…and it made me just a tad bit seasick.

Kayaking 2

But it was still lots of fun!

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I was impressed by the size of the Palmetto leaves, so I made hubs pose for comparison 🙂

Pelicans

Nice shot of the Pelicans, thanks to my hubby.

Sunset

Our outing to the beach to capture the beautiful sunset was hindered by a few clouds.  Actually, a whole sky full of clouds.

A and T

We loved it!

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It irks me when…

…I forget to put my wedding ring on in the morning before going to work. 

Then–all day long–I feel naked and exposed without it.  Yes, I know it’s just a band of metal on my finger, but it’s a constant presence that I miss dearly when it’s not where it belongs.   Silly and a bit girly, but 100% true.

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Since today is a list sorta day…

~I hate Ohio weather.  No wonder all the retirees who have the funds move to Florida for the winter.  It’s in the single digits (with windchill) here today, but we’re supposed to gain an extra 10 degrees every day this week.  So, by Friday it’ll be 60 degrees out.  Grrr, no wonder I’m STILL sick.

~I’m going to come out and admit that I’ve now seen Twilight not once, but twice.  I feel so bad because I cheated on my friend–we had agreed to wait to see it (together) until it comes out on DVD.  Oops, sorry A!  (She knows–and has forgiven me readily–but I still feel guilty.)  I’m now totally, amazingly, pathetically hooked, and I can’t wait to see it again!  Now I desperately want the soundtrack, too.  It’s awesome 🙂  (As a side note, hubby took me to see the movie the first time I saw it and he thought it was OK–which is a compliment.)

~God bless my mother.  I received no fewer than four emails from her last night.  They were timestamped 1:11am, 1:47am, 1:47am, and 3:20am.  (The middle two were duplicates.)  The one from 1:47am read (in part),

here is quiet.  and middle of the night.  I had a very long spell with very little sleep  2 births back to back.  now my day/night is mixed up.”

As I learned well by a very young age, such is the life of a dedicated midwife.

~Hubby and I watched The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on TV last night.  We had two totally random conversations based on the end of the movie, one about “gay hobbit love” (forgive my hubby’s lack of tact) and the other about “elf-mutts”.  The GHL conversation began during the scene when Pippin, Sam, Frodo, and Merry are back in the shire, sharing a drink together.  Hubby claims they’re making eyes at each other.  (It is, admittedly, a sappy scene.)  I explained to him that they’re just happy to be home and alive after their adventure, but no, he’s certain they all madly want to jump each other.  I explained that Sam was going to marry Rosie, his hobbit lass.  Just a cover up, says hubby.  (Yes, I know this topic has been debated previously elsewhere.  Don’t tell hubs, it’ll just fuel his side of the debate!)  The E-M story centered around Aragorn & Arwen’s kiss at the end of the movie.  My dear hubby is convinced that elf parts & human parts don’t line up, and, even if they did, Aragorn & Arwen would produce weird, mutant elf-mutts.  I contend that it doesn’t matter how many chromosomes they have, their babies would be GORGEOUS!

 ~I just finished reading Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce, one of my favorite YA authors.  I might feel a little guilty reading her books–I’m probably a bit old for them (??)–but nonetheless I love them and I love her.  One of my favorite Tamora Pierce quotes is this:

I am deeply unhappy that college education standards, as evidenced by all those online lists, is still that of white men who died over a century ago and fear for the best and brightest minds educated on a standard that does not address the fact that we live in a global culture that does not recognize the primacy of the values of dead, white, European men.”

Also:

Books are still the main yardstick by which I measure true wealth.”

And finally (in reference to her early years as a very young writer):

I tried to write the kind of thing I was reading, with one difference: the books I loved were missing teenaged girl warriors. I couldn’t understand this lapse of attention on the part of the writers I loved, so until I could talk them into correcting this small problem, I wrote about those girls, the fearless, bold, athletic creatures that I was not, but wanted so badly to be.”

~I also recently read Ironside by Holly Black, The Parting & The Forbidden by Beverly Lewis, Club Dead & Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris, and Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce (prequel to Trickster’s Queen).  They are all very different books, but all of them good in their own way and definitely worth reading.

~I usually give up something for Lent, so this year I decided to do something instead.  I chose to pray twice a day (morning and night).  I did really well Ash Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Not so much this weekend.  Routine helps me, so hopefully I’ll get back on track by tomorrow.

~We found out Saturday that friends of ours here in Dayton are expecting!  We have out-of-town friends with kids, but this will be our first friend-baby close enough to visit on a regular basis.  I’m very excited!  Congrats A and T!

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Thanks to Terra’s tag, I’ve been brought back here after a (obviously long) hiatus.  I’m still having a horrible time managing my spring/summer schedule, but that’s a different story. 

Back to the tag–I probably confused the hell out of Terra when I left her a message 5/31/08 that said: “Better late than never…THANK YOU :)”.  And then what?  Yep, never completed my post.  Poor Terra, I’m a horrible friend in the summer.  Ask all of my friends, and they’ll confirm.

I get to pick which meme I want to do, but I think since I’ve waited so long it’s only fair that I do both. 

~

#1: The Seven Random (or Weird) Facts Meme

The Rules:

  • Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share seven random and/or weird things about yourself.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blog.
  • Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Let the Randomness/Weirdness Begin:

    1) One of my biggest pet peeves is morning breath.  I hate it on myself, or on my husband.  Most people brush before wake-up kissing the first few times they wake up together, right?  I still do it.

    2) I like being tall because it helps during arguments.  When we were younger, my brother (who’s four years younger than me) would defensively say, “Just because you’re taller doesn’t mean you’re right!” during a dispute.  I still have that advantage over just about everyone. 🙂  I never really understood what the advantage was, but I guess it’s harder to fight when you’re looking up.

    3) I am obsessive compulsive about many things.  One is that I have to thoroughly clean the house before I go to bed or leave on a trip.

    4) I’m allergic to most weeds & trees and ALL grasses.  (And I want an outdoor career because why?)

    5) I’m 24 and I still get horribly motion sick in the car.

    6) I have an outie.  It’s so much an outie that when I get pregnant my belly button is going to go out so far it’ll detach.  I’m kidding, of course, but it’s pretty close.  The down side of having an outie outie like mine is that I can’t get it pierced.  I tried, but it can’t be done.  Big bummer.

    7) One time a few friends and I picked up some guys on the expressway.  Yes, in our car, driving down the highway.  Hey, what can I say?  They were hot & were driving an Escalade.

    ~

    And…

    #2: The Six Truths Meme

    The Rules:

  • Link to the person who tagged you.
  • Post the rules on your blog.
  • Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
  • Tag six people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
  • Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Truths/Habits/Quirks:

    1) I’ve never paid much attention to birthdays, besides my 18th and 21st.  But, 25 has me freaked out.  And it’s only a little more than a month away.

    2) I’m addicted to experimenting with my hair color, shape, style, etc.  (It’s auburn–a reddish brown color–right now.)

    3) I’m worried that some day my metabolism will change on me.  I’ve always been slim without having to try, but I think I’m too lazy to work out if anything changes.

    4) I love to people watch.  At restaurants I always sit facing the door so I can watch who’s coming & going.  I tend to get distracted in church.  It’s a bad habit, but I enjoy it.

    5) As much as I hate admitting this, I’ve always wanted bigger boobs.  However, I would never get implants.  So, I’ll have to be happy with my 36B’s.

    6) For the life of me, I can’t walk in heels.  It’s quite hilarious at times when I try.  My husband laughs at me (which I’m OK with).

    ~

    And now, to tag!  And you don’t have to do both, pick one if you prefer.

    1) Jessica at New year, new name, new me – we share headaches and a love of mistchevious black kitties.

    2) Christina at vorare – she found my 101 in 1001 list via Day Zero, was willing to share a helpful BC story, and I admire her as a strong, intelligent woman.

    3) Chris at Life, love and happiness – who tagged me a long time ago and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t done the meme.

    4) Miss Margo at The Barn Blog – one of the best & most informative equine-related blogs I’ve found.  I love it!  

    ~

    As a side note, I’ve confirmed several truths today.  I’ve listed them in no particular order of importance:

    ~The Hess family cannot, for the life of them, keep a secret.  Grandpa Hess called me today.  He repeated the latest family news to me, as he always does because he always hears the latest gossip first.  Which is all fine and dandy except when I’m the news.  The best part is, I could tell him exactly who told him (my dear aunt) and from whom she got her info (my cousin, who knew it wasn’t supposed to travel).  I was pissed for about 2 seconds, then I realized that it’s funny and there’s not a darn thing I can do about it, so there’s no sense in being mad.  Plus, it’s (usually) nice to have a close family.  (Oh, and the ‘secret’ was that I’d bought a project horse…who is supposed to be a profitable venture, but I won’t know until he’s sold.  I didn’t want anyone to know about him until he’s proved that he’s not a mistake!)

    ~No matter what the species, females call the shots when it comes to sex.  As mentioned, I have a two year old project horse.  A gelding, mind you.  Today my mare decided she likes ‘robbing the cradle’.  I won’t go into detail about how a mare becomes a slut, but she was THROWING herself at him.  The poor baby didn’t know (or care) what had come over her, and he was very, very confused.  Pea, I concede that you call the shots, but next time pick something that has balls.

    ~I know it sounds mushy, but my husband is the greatest man on earth.  I should know, I married him for it after all, didn’t I?  But seriously, he’s great.  Yesterday he took me out to brunch and then to the driving range (for the third time ever, and first time in the past two years).  He is trying to teach me to play golf.  We’ll just say he has the patience of a saint, as there was much hushed whispering of four letter words, throwing down golf clubs, and stomping off the driving range on my part.  I just don’t get the stupid ‘sport’ and I definitely don’t like not being good at it.  Anyway, after the driving range, we went on a sunset trail ride together.  And today he cleaned stalls while I made dinner.  He is as perfect as they come. 

    ~

    Now, want to know something really, really sad?  This post was saved as a draft on 5/31/08…with just the first two sentences written.  That barely qualifies as worth saving.

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