Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yee-Haw! I've got cowgirls!

So last week our little girls spent the week, 20 hours worth, at horseback riding camp. How awesome is that??? Bittersweet was a little girls paradise! They rode horses, cleaned stables, played games, chased cats, ate their lunch on a mountain of hay and just plain lived the country life for the week. It was grand. Check out these cowgirls! And don't forget you can click on any picture to make it larger...

This is Emily with her favorite horse, Otis. The teacher, Mr. Jason, called him "bomb-proof" because he is such an easy going horse.

And this is Grace's favorite, Boy. Look at that huge horse! And do you know that on day 3 of camp Grace fell off him, got right back up, dusted the dirt from her boots and got right back on!

At the end of camp each girl got a beautiful medal (no cheapo plastic thing either) with their names engraved on the back and a cute little tee shirt.

Oh! And check this out! There was a newborn horse that week! Check out beautiful Triton:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fair Warning: This blogpost may contain some language not suitable for young audiences.

Boy, I hope I can find some humor in the story I'm going to share with you. Maybe it's a little early for humor, you see I am sitting here with an inch long section, actually three of them, of skin scraped off of my forehead. I can't raise my eyebrows or lower them because of the pain. And, the best part of all? They're self inflicted. You see, I got it into my head that I was going to conquer my life long fear of flying. Today. My friend has a son who is a pilot, and a darn good one at that and he wanted to take me flying, to help me. Poor kid...he couldn't have known. And BTW, he is as young as he looks. And that is a Harley shirt.

So I got to the airport and was feeling...alright. Not the best, but I certainly wasn't having the shortness of breath, dizziness, and tightness in the chest that usually hits me every time I hear a plane flying over my head.

After a bit everyone else arrived. We decide to go out onto the tarmac to pet the plane, maybe sit in it a bit. Maybe just get to be friends with it. OK. No problem. It was a little thing. Technically a 4-seater but I remember it more like the size of a tic-tac shaped coffin. The wings were weird and threw me for a loop because they were on top of the plane rather than under the windows like they are on a jet.

So, I get in (THE FRONT FREAKING SEAT WHAT WAS I THINKING???) and we just sat there while dear Mathew (the most mature 23 year old I have know to date) shows me all the dials, tells me this is the safest plane ever made, assures me we won't be going very fast. Maybe 60MPH top speed. So, alright, I think to myself, I can do this.


At first when we got in we had the windows open and a lovely propeller induced breeze was filling the cockpit. I had my arm dangling out the window. It was all pretty comfortable. Even though this AIRPLANE was the exact width of 2 people butts!!! And...did I mention it was still on the ground? And not moving? That was the part I like the best.

Then dear Mathew decides to ruin the serenity I so wanted to wallow in by saying it was time to actually fly. So, he reaches over, CLOSES THE WINDOW!! which immediately locks out any chance of oxygen coming into the cabin. I was struggling to breathe. The whole thing was going downhill real quick. So we're taxiing down the runway and the instant the wheels went off the ground you could feel this soft air under you instead of the hard ground and I. LOST. IT. Now,I don't know if you've ever seen anyone lose it before. It's not for the weak, or the young. I just wanted him to land the STUPID AIRPLANE!!! To please let me out!!!

Now, I will be seeking treatment for this but right now I'm just going to lay it on the line for you. I wanted out of that plane. I wanted out more than I wanted to live. I can't explain it to you, I can't try to make you understand. I don't know that I need anyone to understand. Maybe I do, I don't know. All I know is that discovering this little factoid about yourself while 1000 feet in the air is a pretty scary place to be.

Now let me tell you how thankful I was to have in the backseat and coming in loud and clear on my headset was the intrepid Becky Callender. As I'm begging our dear pilot to land the FREAKING AIRPLANE Becky is chattering away to me all about scrapbooking supplies...all to keep my mind busy and my hands off the door. Becky, I don't know how the whole thing sounded and looked from your vantage point but I would love to be a fly on the wall when you tell your version. Except of course flies fly and I will never again be making that mistake.

SO, after a harrowing 9 minutes in the air we finally got low enough to where I could open my eyes. Right about level with the tree tops. I felt the blessed feeling of ground under us as Mathew maneuvered a flawless landing. I also started feeling a bit of pain on my forehead and noticed what turned out to be skin and blood under my fingernails. Turns out I was busy clawing the skin off my face in an attempt to keep myself from jumping. Why I'm smiling here I don't know, except that...wait, what's that I'm standing on? Oh yes, THE GROUND!!!

Well, all in all it was pretty much the most horrendous thing I have ever attempted in my life. It was by far the most terrifying thing I have ever put myself through. The pilot was great, and I'm sure that by all other measures the flight was great. But alas, it was indeed a flight. And, as my dear friends Anne and Carrie and my wonderful mom said "maybe aviation just isn't for you."