TUFFYBIRD's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=TUFFYBIRD TUFFYBIRD's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ 2013 in review and a few pics http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5572895 I can't believe it has been well over a year since I posted anything except pics. Where does time go? <BR> <BR> 2013 has been a very busy, but good year. I spent a lot of time at the stable, quilting, visiting with Li'l G (DGS) etc. <BR> <BR> I helped out with the summer horse camps again and enjoyed that. I taught for a couple weeks (had forgotten how much I enjoyed teaching) and was asked to continue with regular lesson students once the camps wound up. I declined - I'll gladly help o... Fri, 27 Dec 2013 10:06:24 EST Quilt http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5553421 I made this quilt for my daughter for Christmas. It is made from scraps; I'm pleased with how well it went together! It is hand quilted. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/7/l374779858.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1165370669.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1904191498.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/7/l975964726.jpg"> Sat, 30 Nov 2013 12:08:31 EST Forest Friends before and after http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5208878 I recently posted a picture of a panel "Forest Friends" that I've made into a quilt to list in my sister's on line store. I added borders and other 'touches' to make it my own; I hand quilted the whole thing. I'm pleased with the end result... this is one of the least complicated quilts I've made in a long, long time. I'm not sure why I like it so much but I do - I smiled the whole time I was working on it and I find myself looking for reasons NOT to sell it. Sis thinks I'm "losing it" ... Tue, 15 Jan 2013 19:01:53 EST Forest Friends quilt http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5190450 I'm working on a 'quick and easy' quilt to contribute to Sis's on line store. I started with a panel (pic below) and added borders and lots of my own personal touches to make it unique. This is the base panel: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/1/l516732108.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I hope this helps, Weeze. Fri, 4 Jan 2013 18:12:53 EST Sis's Christmas quilt http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5129750 As many of you know, I haven't been around the site much. Between riding and working on the quilt I'm making for my sister for Christmas my computer time has been pretty limited. <BR> <BR> I used flannel so it's soft and warm ... finished today <em>244</em> It's name is Christmas Rose. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/1/l510997708.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/6/l962999479.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is the border. It took me ... Fri, 9 Nov 2012 16:09:25 EST fall colours http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5085711 I wanted to share fall (in my neck of the woods with my SP friends). I have some other lovely ones but couldn't upload them. SP kept saying they were too big - and it's too late to fiddle with making them fit ... so here's what I could post. I hope you enjoy. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/5/l550343678.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/1/l717038005.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l211756726.jpg... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 20:30:43 EST Summer's end http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5040348 It's the first of September and I'm feeling reflective ... <BR> <BR> This summer has been wonderful, busy and so very different from any other I can remember. I've been so busy the time has passed in a blur; I've been riding several times a week, learning tons, working on quilts (the king-sized monster and a smaller flannel lap quilt) for the most part keeping up with the housework and ... volunteering at horse camp. <BR> <BR> This weekend marks the end of the camps and I'll miss 90% of ... Sat, 1 Sep 2012 18:56:39 EST Elli Mae - one day later http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5033688 I rode Elli again this afternoon. Matt (the stable co-owner and her primary rider) had watched her yesterday and was not happy with what he saw. So he and Elli Mae had a "long talk" this morning. <BR> <BR> By the time I got there her "let's go fast" attitude had been 'adjusted'. There was very little straining and pulling and she framed up nicely (although on a couple of occasions she said "are you SURE you don't want to go really fast? ... No? Oh, okay") <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> I kno... Mon, 27 Aug 2012 20:09:15 EST Elli Mae wants to be a race horse !?! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5032268 Okay - I've been fighting with SP for 3 hours re uploading photos; first they're too big, then they're too little (I thought the site was supposed to resize them automatically). I'll try again but I make no guarantees. <BR> <BR> As planned, Mr. TB and I took his camera to the stable for an "Elli Mae" photo shoot. I've been riding her for almost two months and had no pictures yet; we decided it was time. <BR> <BR> Elli isn't very big, as horses go; she only stands about 14-2 HH at the with... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 21:07:23 EST So true http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5030961 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/9/l695117564.jpg"> <BR> <BR> They forgot the 'helmet head' <em>211</em> Sat, 25 Aug 2012 21:05:16 EST Groaners for the day; thx DABLUECAT http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5008250 Stolen from my friend DABLUECAT ... <BR> <BR> GROANERS FOR THE DAY: <BR> <BR> <BR> · When chemists die, they barium. <BR> <BR> · Jokes about German sausage are the wurst. <BR> <BR> · I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time. <BR> <BR> · How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it. <BR> <BR> · I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me. <BR> <BR> · This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met he... Thu, 9 Aug 2012 12:43:27 EST Never quit pledge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5003876 Today, I promise I will not quit. <BR> <BR> I pledge that no matter, how many ups and downs I pass through, I will continue on my journey. <BR> <BR> I pledge to make a NEW START today, and forgive myself for my past, and to stop being so critical of myself. <BR> <BR> I pledge to take control of myself, to stop making excuses, and stop blaming other people or situations. <BR> <BR> I pledge to treat myself as I would my best friend, because that is who I am. <BR> <BR> I pledge to stay... Mon, 6 Aug 2012 17:55:26 EST Pics http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4986866 Here are some photos of the girls training for Friday's "jump-off". You can see by the look on their faces how intent they are. These gals are on a mission ... <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> This horse is Mack - he's a big Appaloosa cross: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/9/l790257118.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Hightower: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l181016527.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Sport: This little guy is my favourite (we shorties gotta stick toge... Wed, 25 Jul 2012 20:08:02 EST Week 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4986126 <em>335</em> It's the second week of horse camp and all the kids are here <em>335</em> <BR> <BR> Yesterday was my first volunteer day with this group of campers - it was certainly different from the others This group is 13+ and coed. There are 3 boys and 5 girls; and there seems to be a war of the sexes (well competition, not war) developing. Apparently, on the first morning one of the boys told the girls - in the barn, before anybody even got on a horse - that they (the boys) would take... Wed, 25 Jul 2012 10:36:02 EST Practice ride http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4981956 It looks like it's shaping up to be another busy week. <BR> <BR> I rode Elli today and we worked on transitions (the changes from one gait to another ... like canter to trot or trot to walk). She's a reining horse, very sensitive and fast to respond to cues; because I'm used to riding horses who are not so sensitive I tend to cue too hard and her response is to obey ... quickly! <em>40</em> So the changes are a bit *ahem* abrupt. <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> I think we accomplished a lot tod... Sun, 22 Jul 2012 16:48:57 EST Volunteering at horse camp http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4979781 As some of you know, I've started volunteering two afternoons a week at camp (at the stable where I ride). These pics are a good sample of week one: <BR> <BR> Thunder has stolen another heart: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l204943617.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/3/l434285340.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Anybody who rides ends up in this position sooner or later: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/0/l408559024.... Fri, 20 Jul 2012 21:47:55 EST Side Saddle lesson http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4958062 I had my first side saddle lesson today. I'll just say it's an acquired skill ... one which I need to acquire. <em>246</em> I didn't fall off or anything but felt very awkward and off balance. <BR> <BR> First, I'll show you what a side saddle looks like. There is only one stirrup which hangs on the left side of the saddle. The right leg hooks around the horn. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/7/l374906901.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeopl... Fri, 6 Jul 2012 13:44:52 EST The Cruise http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4955367 I'm back at my sister's house. I've been here since Sunday and we've been doing lots of riding and shopping. Yesterday we went to a big tack store near Toronto and I got 3 pair of riding jeans ($10.00 - down from $49.00) ... now that's my kind of sale! <BR> <BR> Today I got to ride sis's favourite horse - I was actually surprised she let me ride him - she's very protective. His name is "The Cruise of a Lifetime" (Cruiser) and he's big. He stands about 16-2HH at the withers/shoulders - at... Wed, 4 Jul 2012 17:01:14 EST Eli Mae http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4937353 I met Eli Mae - my new ride - yesterday. She's a nice little bay mare who stands about 14-2 HH. I can see over her withers - shoulders if I stand on tiptoes. She's a friendly little thing and fast on cues ... holy moly! <BR> <BR> I was to ride her instead of Thunder - but I'm not sure now. She's awesome at reining. Penny laughed when I - accidentally - had her weaving all over the arena ... kept saying "you told her to do that, you know". Steering her was interesting ... kind of like drivi... Fri, 22 Jun 2012 09:13:24 EST Spelunking in Bonnechere Caves http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4936382 Yesterday Mr. TB and I explored a limestone cave formation. It's located only about 3/4 of an hour from our home. The system was cut out of the limestone by an underground river. The caves are unique; they're the only major limestone deposit in Ontario, and according to the guide - rated second best in North America. Everything else is granite - because of the glaciers. <BR> <BR> The fossils, stalactites and caverns were just amazing. The fossils show that 500 million years ago what is now... Thu, 21 Jun 2012 13:50:49 EST The rest of the herd http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4905655 I've posted pics of my sister's horses (the ones I've been working with). Here are the rest - for the horse people who are interested I've included lineage: <BR> <BR> Cruise of a Lifetime (Cruiser) ... grandson of ZanParBarr and grandson of Triple Fax - Cruiser and Prophet are paternal brothers. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/9/l490684263.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/8/l88992746.jpg"> <BR> <BR> A Lotta Supreme (Lottie) ... g... Thu, 31 May 2012 10:42:21 EST Sister visit - Day 7 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4904824 I had another great lesson on Hookie today. He's such a nice, smart horse - if I cue him to do something really dumb he thinks about it and decides "naw - she can't want that - she must want this" ... and he's right, of course. <em>2</em> He takes really good care of me. <BR> <BR> Today we practiced "no reins" at walk, trot, lope/canter. The reins are looped over the pommel in case of an emergency but otherwise I'm not allowed to touch them. <BR> <BR> Walk: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://p... Wed, 30 May 2012 19:38:50 EST Sister visit Day 6 - or is it 7? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4904025 It rained heavily the night before last so the ring was too muddy to ride in; all our work was done in the arena - not an easy place to get proper lighting for pics. <BR> <BR> I had another longe line lesson yesterday (no reins for me); working on developing a smooth, independent seat - that means riding with my body, not balancing on the reins. The exercises are really helping. I just hope I can retain what I've learned when I go home. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.co... Wed, 30 May 2012 09:49:57 EST Sister visit Day 5 Pics http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4902470 Yesterday I rode yet another of DS's awesome 1/4 horses. His name is How Tyme Flys (Flyer) and he is Prophet's son. Flyer is the smallest horse in her stable - I can actually see over his withers (shoulders). <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l102953881.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/3/l738116828.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/5/l558842704.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It was incredibly hot and by the tim... Tue, 29 May 2012 10:34:15 EST Sister visit Day 5 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4901886 We had another busy day ... we rode (I was up on another of my DS's wonderful 1/4 horses) later than planned because a neighbour dropped by to visit so it was HOT - approximately 90F. My comfort level wasn't helped by the fact that I was wearing a crash vest and helmet ... necessary safety equipment no matter the discomfort. I did remember to drink water before, during and after so I didn't get dehydrated - but was I sopping wet by the time I finished! <BR> <BR> In the afternoon we visited... Mon, 28 May 2012 22:25:49 EST Sister visit - Day 4 - Showmanship practice http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4900558 Our show got rained out and it was too muddy to ride in the ring so we decided to practice showmanship instead. <BR> <BR> My training partner is Northern Prophecy (Prophet), grandson of ZanParBarr (sp?). Prophet won AQHA Open Show Grand Champion as a yearling. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/4/l448503073.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/4/l743903842.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/0/l603202562.j... Sun, 27 May 2012 23:36:10 EST Sister visit - Day 4 - Boo rain! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4900503 We weren't able to go to the show today - it was cancelled because of rain - what is it with me and cancelled horse shows? <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/8/l589342993.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Sun, 27 May 2012 22:42:20 EST Sister visit - Day three http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4899351 I don't have any pics to post tonight. <BR> <BR> We went to a clinic today and I took some but it was dark in the arena so they didn't turn out. I haven't deleted them though, in the hopes that Mr. TB will be able to adjust the lighting - he's good at that kind of thing. <BR> <BR> I did have a short showmanship lesson this evening. I'll post pics of that when they're uploaded. Tomorrow we're going to a horse show ... unless it's pouring rain. The forecast calls for thunderstorms in the ... Sat, 26 May 2012 22:08:35 EST Sister visit day 2 part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4898039 Look mom ... no hands <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/4/l345994538.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/9/l593661230.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The object of this lesson was to develop balance and seat independent of reins ... I was on the end of a longe line; DS stood in the middle and controlled the horse via a long line. Today I walked and trotted. DS tells me that before I leave I'll be cantering hands free *gulp* Fri, 25 May 2012 19:12:04 EST Sister visit - Day two ... aka "horsie camp" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4897957 My lesson pictures haven't been uploaded off my BIL's camera yet (will post later) but I will say that the experience was an interesting one. My DS put the horse on a longe line - the horse goes in big circles around her, I wasn't allowed to touch the reins, she had all the control. My job was to ride just using my body ... I sure learned a lot! <BR> <BR> I thought I'd share some pics of my DS and BILs house: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/1/l814384897.jpg"> <B... Fri, 25 May 2012 17:38:59 EST Riding - Sister visit - Day one http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4896793 Today was my first full day at my DS's. We rode twice and I learned so much! Here are a few pics. <BR> <BR> All tacked up and discussing what to do first: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/8/l888500226.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I'm riding This Captains Hooked (Hookie). He stands about 16-2 hh (about 4-5" higher than my head at the shoulders); his grandfather was the great quarter-horse "Impressive". For the horse people in the crowd - HYPP is not an issue for Hookie. <BR... Thu, 24 May 2012 21:59:19 EST Baby quilt for a friend http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4893609 As many of you know, I recently finished a baby quilt that I had been working on for a friend. <BR> <BR> It's made of flannel so it's very soft and warm. Here are the long-promised pics: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/1/l816439529.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/0/l60670470.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I hope she and her husband (and much wanted little boy) get as much pleasure out of using it as I did out of making it. <BR> <BR> Tue, 22 May 2012 21:03:31 EST English Riding http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4882368 Sunday, May 13th - our exhibition show: <BR> <BR> Me with Thunder, my big red horse (wish he really was mine instead of a lease): <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l215186853.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/6/l961113398.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Thunder has such a lovely, smooth canter. It has become my favourite gait: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/1/l618668833.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> We were being naughty her... Tue, 15 May 2012 10:45:27 EST Western Riding http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4881028 Here are pictures of my Western riding outfit ... and some fun shots just because ... <BR> <BR> First of all, the long-promised "do" - my first criteria for this cut was that it be able to withstand having a helmet jammed on it 3-4 times a week and look okay - if a little flatter: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/5/l454567428.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l125703422.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/n... Mon, 14 May 2012 14:17:10 EST Training pics May 2, 2012 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4863354 Thunder and I are working very hard to be ready for the horse show. Here are some pics. <BR> <BR> Later: OMG I just looked at the expression on my face and immediately knew what I was thinking "breathe - in - breathe out" ... lol ... I have a really bad habit of holding my breath - this would be an "out" breath. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/2/l825564284.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/9/l898121964.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="... Wed, 2 May 2012 16:02:48 EST Show Training http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4856912 I made a decision today ... for me it's huge ... I'm going to enter a horse show in a couple weeks. It will be my first ever and I alternate between feeling excited and terrified. I'll be competing against some pretty experienced folk so I don't expect to win but I do hope to ride my best and enjoy the day. It will also give me a chance to meet riders from some of the other stables. <BR> <BR> My training partner is going to the show too. She'll be competing in a different category but it... Sat, 28 Apr 2012 23:14:21 EST Happy Dance! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4819375 I'm happy-dancing all over the house ... I sure hope I settle down enough to sleep tonight ... <BR> <BR> I landed my first jump today in my riding lesson (twice actually). It wasn't pretty and it was an itty-bitty one but it's a first for me <em>334</em> I'm glad Thunder knew what he was doing because I sure didn't! <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> I almost said "I can't" and then I remembered what my first skating coach told me when I said that ... "Can't means I haven't learned how yet and ... Tue, 3 Apr 2012 22:18:40 EST Two months??? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4817376 It's been almost two months since I blogged last ... how did that happen? <BR> <BR> The Reader's Digest Condensed version of how I spent that time: <BR> <BR> I skied until Mother Nature decided to declare an early spring <BR> I've been riding <BR> I've been working out <BR> I've been quilting <BR> I've been busy with life in general <BR> <BR> My latest news is that I've decided to lease a horse (Thunder); he's the one in my profile pic. Leasing is basically the same as renting ... for X n... Mon, 2 Apr 2012 19:16:40 EST Skiing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4732643 I went back to the ski hill today. I was to meet a friend there after lunch but wanted to get a feel for my new equipment so I went early. I'm really glad I did; my skis are a different shape than the ones I've been skiing on and the edges are SHARP .... I learned very quickly that when I put pressure on one I'd better want to turn ... because I would. <BR> <BR> I spent a few minutes on the bunny hill getting a feel for how they ran (fast) and turned (fast) and then I had a lesson. I'... Fri, 10 Feb 2012 15:56:31 EST G and Grandma's excellent ski adventure http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4722754 I took my grandson skiing for the first time yesterday ... his first time ever and my first time in years. He did so well - by the end of the lesson he managed two trips down the hill without falling, learned to stop and that if he shifted his weight to the downhill ski he could turn and stop; he slalomed around a set of marker cones several times ... all without poles! <BR> <BR> I had a wonderful time too. I hadn't been on skis in decades and I had forgotten how much work it is. By the e... Sat, 4 Feb 2012 23:46:41 EST First real test of the geothermal unit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4637060 Last night was the first real test of our geothermal heating system. The temperature went down to -20 C (that's -4 to my friends who speak Farenheit). The first thing I did this morning was look at the thermostat ... it was sitting right on 22.7 C (73 F) where it has been since it was installed. <BR> <BR> We're obviously very happy with it so far. It feels strange to look out the window at the iced over bay and realize that's where the heat is coming from! <BR> <BR> It's a glorious win... Sat, 24 Dec 2011 11:11:34 EST A new day - a new horse http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4615051 When I got to the stable this morning I discovered that Sunny had injured herself and I would be riding another horse. <BR> <BR> My 'mount of the day' was a nice little red mare named Markie; her colouring is a lot like Thunder's - for those who don't know, Thunder is the horse in my profile pic. Tacking her up was a treat because I could actually see over her shoulders (if I stood on tip-toes) and didn't have to stand on a stool to saddle her. She isn't quite as sensitive to cues as Sunn... Tue, 6 Dec 2011 14:48:48 EST Geothermal - final chapter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4598850 The final stage of the geothermal installation was completed yesterday. The contractors pulled out the oil tank and furnace then installed the geothermal compressor. The compressor looks a lot like a furnace and hooks into our existing duct work. The actual footprint is pretty much the same size as the oil furnace but in reality takes up a bit more space because of the pipes that run to and from the lake. <BR> <BR> I was alarmed yesterday when really cold air started to come out of the ve... Fri, 25 Nov 2011 11:11:56 EST Riding update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4597783 A friend reminded me that I haven't talked about my riding recently... <BR> <BR> I'm still enjoying it and feel like my skills and confidence are increasing with every lesson. My goal is to ride twice a week but life has been so busy lately that doesn't always happen. <BR> <BR> Sunny and I are adjusting to each other nicely; she's sure teaching me a lot. <BR> <BR> She did buck a bit the other day. The cold fresh air will do that to some young, high spirited horses and I wasn't surpri... Thu, 24 Nov 2011 10:09:30 EST My new toy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4596665 As many of you know Mr. TB bought me a wonderful birthday present last week ... a Janome Horizon quilting machine. It is awesome! <BR> <BR> I have it set up, now I just have to learn how to use it. I'm really looking forward to that. <BR> <BR> Here it is. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/1/l617894211.jpg"> <BR> <BR> In its new home. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l153929139.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Wed, 23 Nov 2011 10:43:33 EST Unexpected effects http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4576853 Something I've been noticing in the last few weeks I've been riding ... on the days that I ride I usually go to bed about 1/2 hr earlier than I normally would but I wake up 1 to 1 1/2 hours earlier - feeling completely rested. It's almost like I sleep more efficiently and because of that I need less. It's early days, of course, but that seems to be a developing pattern. <BR> <BR> The same thing happened this morning. I was wide awake at 5:30 and knew from the minute I opened my eyes I w... Wed, 9 Nov 2011 18:47:34 EST Rest day ??? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4573245 Today was supposed to be a day off exercise. I rode yesterday and I’m going again tomorrow so today was a designated ‘catchup’ day for housework, grocery shopping etc. I was up early, as it seems I usually am the day after I ride, and got everything accomplished by 1:00. <BR> <BR> I probably should have practiced the piano then but it was so beautiful and warm outside I just couldn’t resist going for a long power walk. <BR> <BR> I really pushed myself and was pleasantly surprised when ... Mon, 7 Nov 2011 16:53:31 EST Sunny-pretty palomino mare http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4571861 My coach now has me riding another horse (Sunny - a pretty palomino mare). I met her for the first time today. She's so fast at responding to cues that she's going to keep me on my toes for a while. This is good; she's going to teach me a lot. Penny has talked about me riding a faster horse (than Thunder) since my second lesson but I've been dragging my heels on that. Thunder is a lazy knucklehead but he's a sweet lazy knucklehead and I've grown pretty attached to him. However, even I h... Sun, 6 Nov 2011 21:37:56 EST Another day another sticker http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4567363 Today was busy ... just the way I like it. <BR> <BR> I did a bit of housework in the morning and then headed out to the stable. I really enjoy riding and I feel like I'm learning a lot. It was cold and rainy but that didn't really affect the riding lesson; we just moved into the indoor arena. Thunder was a knuckle-head at times but he's a sweet knuckle-head so I forgave him. When I went out to the field to catch him he came trotting towards me. I'd like to think it's because he likes me... Thu, 3 Nov 2011 21:42:13 EST The morning after the day before http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4564607 Not only did I survive my riding marathon yesterday but I seem to have escaped relatively unscathed. <BR> <BR> I expected to be in agony this morning but surprisingly I was not. I have a slightly stiff lower back and sore shoulder and forearm muscles but that's pretty much it! I must have been in better shape than I thought. <BR> <BR> I've already gone for a one hour walk and racked up 7,638 steps today. And the day has just begun <em>224</em> Wed, 2 Nov 2011 09:09:12 EST