Monday, February 28, 2011

Letters to Taco

My guys told me today that they wanted to write a letter to their pen pal, Taco, so I obliged them.

Dear Taco,

You look very handsome in your new suit. I am also naked now, I'm not sure what happened. First I was cold and wet, then Aunt Megan came over and I went to sleep. When I woke up I had a spiffy new hair cut and mom gave me lots of cookies. I thought you might appreciate a photo of me with my new "do." Thanks to Aunt Megan for helping mom give me a shave down. I'll be much more comfortable without my yak hair. Unfortunately, you can't see the nifty clip Aunt M did on my face. They "compromised" and clipped only half my face because I wouldn't let them clip my ears or nose, even while I was sleeping!


Dear Taco,

Please have your mom teach my mom how to clip better. She took a really long time and left a big fuzzy patch on my butt that everyone likes to touch. It feels weird when they touch it, but they keep calling it a cactus, so it must have a purpose. She also yanked my mane out, so she says I look handsome now, but it stung a little.
I also tried to express to her that I don't appreciate loud buzzing things near my head, but she told me I was silly and tricked me into letting her clip my bridle path and head, so I'm also totally hairless! I have a neat new suit as well, mom bundles me up cozy and warm when its going to be chilly. 

Mom says I'm going to my first horse show in about six weeks! Will I see you there?

You buddy,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quote of the day/week/month/year

This was in Wofford's article in Practical Horseman this month:

'You only need three things to be happy: Someone to love, something to do and someone to do it with. If you love horses, this takes care of itself.' -Wofford

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Show Schedule, 2011

March 26- open schooling at PWP (coaching)

2- Walnut Trace 3-phase (coaching)
3- Open schooling at PWP (riding)
8-10- Chattahoochie Hills HT (Ari, N)

7-8- Area III Championships, Poplar Place Farm- (Brandy, N)
21- Celebrity H/J Show (coaching)
May 27-28- May Daze, Kentucky Horse Park (Brandy, T)

11- Walnut Trace 3-phase (coaching)
25-26- Midsouth HT, Kentucky Horse Park (Ari or Brandy or both??)

9-10- Champagne Run HT, Kentucky Horse Park (Ari, N)
23- Hunters Court Jumper Show (coaching and riding)
30- Poplar Place Farm schooling show (coaching, maybe riding)

13-14 Becky Holder Clinic, Hoosier Horse Park (Ari)
20- Open schooling PWP (coaching)

17-18 Flying Cross Farm HT (Ari, N)
24- Hunters Court Schooling Show (coaching)

1-2- Jump Start HT, Kentucky Horse Park (??)
8-9- MTPC/Pine Top HT (Ari, N)
29-30- Octoberfest schooling HT, Kentucky Horse Park (coaching)

19-20(?)- Stones River PC Dressage and CT (coaching)

I would be glad to coach anyone at the schooling shows and XC days we're headed to- the more the merrier!!- please let me know if you'd like to be on my email list for show information!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Words can't explain...

How happy this photo makes me.

I was just looking through my MTPC album for something unrelated. And remembered how much I just love this picture. Don't ask me why. But I do. So there.


So, it snowed again last night.

We barely have 1.5", but it closed Nashville roads DOWN. It took my friends between 2 and 7 hours to get home from work last night. SEVEN HOURS TO TRAVEL SOME 30 MILES. It just came down so quick and everyone tried to leave work at the same time. Brutal. So, everyone has made it home safe and I woke up to these pictures, which does make me feel a little better about my choice to live in Nashville. Of course, if I lived in Northern IL, where these were taken, they'd have salt trucks. And snow plows. And HEATED INDOOR ARENAS. AHHHHHH.

Pics stolen from Miss Shofner, Amanda O and Craig S.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Non-horse blog #2: About me!

Aliese suggested I do some "about me" meme's, so here are some good ones! Fancy HTML coding... when I was a kid, we just copy and pasted them, then had to delete the answers and fill them back in!

Ultimate 'About Me'

by Sooz_123
    001. What is Your Name? Lauren 002. How old are you? 26 003. What is the link to your website, blog, or myspace? General 004. What is your height? 5'8" 005. Do you have any siblings? Yep! One, my darling brother, Vince 006. What is your eye colour? Brown 007. What is your hair colour? Brown 008. Do you wear glasses or contacts? Glasses. I need new ones. 009. Are you right handed or left handed? Right 010. Do you have any piercings? Nope, got my ears peirced when I was little, but let them close up 011. Do you smoke? EW, no. 012. Do you swear? Uh, yes. Maybe a little too much 013. Do you get along with your parents? Yep! 014. Your heritage I'm 1/2 Irish, 1/4 Italian and 1/4 Lebanese. 015. Your fears I'm a horrible passenger in the car 016. Goal you would like to achieve this year I'm going training, dangit! 017. Most overused phrase on an instant messenger LOL- are you really laughing out loud? Really? I've replaced it with "ha" 018. Best Physical Feature Smile? 019. Your bedtime midnight, usually 020. What time do you arise in the morning? uh... I'm choosing not to answer this question 021. First thoughts waking up? "I. Hate. Morning." 022. Do you shower daily? Yep! It's the only time I'm warm anymore. This Or That? 023. Bright or dark room? Depends what I'm doing! 024. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla 025. Dogs of cats? Dogs!!! DOGS DOGS DOGS! 026. Pepsi or Coke? Sprite. 027. McDonalds or Burger King? McDonalds because I actually pass them once in awhile. 028. Ant or Dec? I don't know what you're asking me, here. 029. Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea? Neither? 030. Cappuccino or Coffee? Cappuccino, for sure. In the last month have you... 031. Drank alcohol? Nope 032. Gone to a mall? Yep 033. Eaten a box of Oreos? Nope 034. Eaten sushi? Nope 035. Been on stage? I think yes 036. Been dumped? Nope 037. Gone skinny dipping? HELL NO. It's COLD. 038. Stolen Anything? No Have you ever... 039. Laughed for no reason? All. Thetime. 040. Been caught doing something you weren't supposed to do? Of course. 041. Been in love? Yep 042. Fired a gun? Not a real one 043. Been drunk? Nope 044. Been called a Tease? Yep 045. Been beaten up? Nope 046. Shoplifted? Nope What was the last.... 047. Furry thing you touched? I cleaned some muck from the corner of my trailer with my fingers today... 048. Thing you've said? Outloud? "Bye" when I hung up the phone 049. Song you've listened to? I Run to You, Lady A 050. (Who was the last) person you've spoken to on the phone? A guy who's horse we're looking at on Sat 051. Movie you watched? No Strings Attached. Freaking Hilarious. 052. Thing you were doing before this? Eating. 053. Time you cried? This pas weekend? 054. Song you've sang? Sugarland "Little Miss" 055. Time you looked at the clock? Uh... 056. Food and drink you've had? Fannie Mae Trinidad. YUM. 057. Flavour of gum you've chewed? Who knows. 058. Shoes you've worn? My winter crocs! 059. Store you've been in? Doctors Valu Vision Favourite... 060. Planet? PLUTO IS A PLANET! 061. Age you've been so far? I... don't... know.... 062. Season? NOT WINTER 063. Number? 15 064. TV show? Glee! 065. Flower? Whatever Random... 066. How much cash do you have on you? In the house or on my person? "A lot" in the house and "none" on my person 067. What's a word that rhymes with 'door'? Floor? 068. What T-Shirt are you wearing? Thermal long sleeved 069. What brand of shoes are you wearing? Socks 070. What did your last text message say? It was Nancy asking if I wanted to work in the morning 071. What were you doing at midnight last night? Reading 072. What's your current desktop picture? Same as the header on my blog 073. What's a word that you say a lot? "Really?" 074. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Pink 075. How is the weather right now? I don't want to talk about it. 076. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Smile 077. Are you too shy to ask someone out? Depends on the someone 078. Can you do a headstand (not using a wall)? Hell no. 079. Who would you like to see right now? Uh... 080. How many pillows do you sleep with? 2! 081. Would you go on a date with someone on MySpace? Probably not. 082. How do you want to die? I don't? 083. What do you want to be when you grow up? I'll never grow up! 084. What country would you most like to visit? Ireland 085. How many CDs do you own? More than I can count and I don't know where any of them are 086. How many things, in your past, do you regret? Not a whole heck of a lot 087. Do you think you are attractive? Yep 088. Do you believe in yourself? Sure do 089. Do you want to get married? Someday In a boy/girl... 090. Favourite eye colour? Blue 091. Favourite hair colour? Dark 092. Short or long hair? Long 093. Height? Taller than me? 094. Weight? Squishy.
Take This Survey | Create a Survey by | Great Deals

Personality Type Quiz
Funny/Clown Personality Type You relate to people with laughter. When you make friends, you crack a joke, if you’re feeling insecure, you make fun of yourself before anyone else does, and when your date is laughing non-stop, you feel like you’ve made a good impression. You like having an audience. Humor is your greatest and most prominent gift.
Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by Quibblo

Zeus You like power and are strong. You are a leader and are always chosen by your peers.You are a person of action and when someone does something to you you strike back. You like people who are loyal and keep their word. You protect the weak and hurt the bad people.
Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by Quibblo

What color are you?
green your cool and calm... love nature and having fun .... your also smart and mysterious
Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by Quibblo

Your Vampire Name (Girls)
Maeve "intoxicating" You enjoy anything that deals with the arts or history. Your intelligent, wise, and you have the rare gift of balancing your emotions and your mind. You are a very aloof and secretive person and you have a hard time trusting others. Those who are lucky enough to be your friend are considered worthy of your trust and they are very few. But once you do open up you are a self-sacrificing friend. Men adore you for your originality, intellegence & independence and they love a good mystery.
Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by Quibblo

What Ice Cream flavor are you?
Strawberry You have a sweet soul.. and people like you and have fun with you.
Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by Quibblo

What Disney Princess are you?
Belle Loves reading, loves any man as long as he's kind.
Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by Quibblo

Okay, there is my dose of adolescence for the next couple years!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Non-horse blog #1: Glee?

Stacy told me I ought to blog about Glee.

At first, I thought, "That's silly, who wants to hear me talk about Glee?? If they wanted to hear about Glee, they would watch the show!"

But then I thought about telling you all WHY I love Glee so much. My friends from high school and college probably understand already, but anyone who knows me in a strictly "horse" sense won't.

I've been obsessed with horses since I could say the word-
My first encounter with a horse- it's all downhill from here...

But, growing up in the Chicago suburbs wasn't the best opportunity for full-immersion-horseness. My county had the highest ratio of horses to people in Illinois, so there were LOTS of horses to be had, and my parents gave me every opportunity to have lessons, usually twice a week, working at the barn for practice rides etc, but I had to find something to do in school, too. 

So, with my brother three years ahead of me in school, he started band in the fourth grade. Drums, of course. I would have been in first. Full band started in fifth grade, and by the time he was in sixth and I was in third, I couldn't STAND it. I HAD to play an instrument. I think I'd decided on sax at that point, but I can't be sure. In my school system you had to play clarinet before saxophone, so I was obliged, I got put into lessons and started playing clarinet. 

My timeline may be iffy here, but I think I'm close. We got tested for instruments in 4th, started band in 5th. My band director in 4-6th grade was Mrs. Zimmerman, probably the least noteworthy of my music teachers. My band director in 7th and 8th grade changed my life. I can't really describe it now, why or how it happened, but she had such passion and drive and determination, it led us, as Jr. High kids, to thow our whole heart and soul into playing and be BETTER than anyone could imagine. We played countless festivals and traveled as far as Washington DC to perform. She would hand us music and say "This is a high school level piece. No one will believe we can play it. Lets go." And we would.
Miss Shofner directing the band at the American School Band Directors Association Convention in June of 1998

Not only that, but I had a great group of "lunch buddies" in Jr. High. We would eat lunch and then go into the band room instead of recess and do whatever Miss Shofner wanted us to do- fill the pop machine, hang out, practice occasionally. Whatever. 
Jenni, Me, Laura, Kristi, Kelly, Jill and April

I switched to Tenor Sax my 7th grade year. Kristi played Alto, Jenni, April and Jill played clarinet, Kelly played French Horn and Laura played flute. We were inseparable.

In high school, I stayed in band, but it took a backseat to choir after my freshman year. I think I just lost my drive- we excelled SO much in Jr. High and then my freshman year I had a lot of the same "Shofner graduates" and when they graduated, I just fizzled. I stayed in, all four years, but it just kind of got pushed to the wayside. I tried out for drum major my junior year and when I didn't get it, I think I was just done. We still made our fun, though. Noon football games on Saturdays in wool uniforms, trips to Disney, stripping on the band bus to change into uniforms...

Silly-stringing Mr. Blakewell at a game. Me and Chris Warren plotted this whole thing, I have no doubt.
I joined choir my sophomore year and that was IT for me. My director, Mr. Jensen (Dr. J), only worked in the range of "spectacular and more spectacular." He was fresh out of school, had talent oozing out of him and again, passion and drive like you couldn't believe. In that way, he reminded me of Miss Shofner- he would also hand us a hard piece of music and craft it into what he believed it could be. Our end of year "Pops concerts" were nothing short of full on productions. Everyone was on stage, we sang showtunes and current music and brought faculty on stage, sang in the audience, anything you could imagine. 

The entire choir on stage singing, I believe this was Les Mis

 Secret Garden

The talent in our department was fabulous. I will listen to original cast recordings and think "eh, we did it better."

Aside from the music and talent and productions, I, again, had a great group of friends. We could spend HOURS together all week long. We were silly. We broke into random song and dance. We wore matching PJs and pigtails and made T shirts and carried stuffed animals. We stayed up all night after prom and took a limo to Six Flags the next morning. We made up words like "Yo-eth."

Betsy, Chris, Me and Steve dancing at Six Flags the day after prom
Steve, Laura, Jess, Ryan, Scott, Colleen, Michelle, Chris, Ryan, Jen, Amanda and Me at our hotel in Disney
Singing Moulin Rouge with Laura and Jess on a table at Randall Oaks while Julie, Susan and Jenni look on. My 17th birthday, I think
Murder Mystery dinner with Tobe, Lubna, Julie, Jim, Verun, Susan and Matt

 Julie, Me, Laura, Susan, Jenni, Matt and Jim

And, in high school, I discovered my love of theatre. No, I didn't want to be on stage, but I wanted to be backstage and I wanted to do EVERYTHING I could. I started as stage crew, moved to props mistress, assistant stage manager and eventually stage manager. We stayed after school every day. EVERY DAY. We had more fun backstage than anyone should ever have. Our teachers were young- younger than I am now, and we had a ball together. Another group of inspiring individuals who made it FUN to stay after school and learn how to dress sets, build flats, do lights, sound. I remember being lost at the end of the year when we'd struck our last set and didn't have anything else to do in the scene shop. We did a talent show at the beginning of the year, followed by a fall play, musical in the spring and a spring play. Nothing we did was boring. Dr. J did the spring musical and by my senior year, more than 10% of the student body was involved. Almost the entire football team, cheerleading squad and the pommies tried out and Dr. J did his best not to cut anyone.

My fellow techies helped shape me into who I am today. Another thing that you can't put into words, you can only try to describe it.
On the set of Hello Dolly with Laura, Betsy, Jenni, Hillary, Jen and Jake
Me, Justin, Laura, Steve, Sarah, Shuana, Lauren, Jenni, Kent and Michelle backstage
Mr. Seiler, Miss Kawa, Ms. Burg and Mr. Cummins. Fabulous group of teachers.
Sr. theatre girls prank on the boys dressing room
Props crew for The Phantom Tollbooth, one of our greatest productions ever
In high school, we would get dismissed from study hall to go to the band room and hang out. I was in band and choir and Spanish, so I got no lunch. I would leave band 10 min early to go to the cafeteria to grab lunch and eat it in the first 10 min of choir with all the other crazies. We were always laughing. We got to school 40 minutes early so we could sit out in front of the fine arts department and chit chat. Thats just what we did.

The last time I played my sax was at high school graduation, but I made the last minute decision to join choir at college my Freshman year. In college, all the choir people knew I was an equine major, but the equine people thought I was a music major. I tried out with "My Country Tis of Thee"- I literally walked into Dr. Almquist's office and said "Hi, I was in choir in high school and didn't think I wanted to join in college but I can't imagine life without music and I'd love to try out but don't have a piece prepared." He handed me a songbook, babied me through my audition and totally humored me. I managed to make it into choir and made some of my best friends in college that way. They helped me find my place in the world until I could figure out how to funtion with my fellow "aggies." I joined the professional music sorority- Sigma Alpha Iota- which allowed me to be involved in the longest running student produced musical for my four years of college- aka- more theatre. Again, incredible friends who could break into random song and dance, spend hours and hours together at all hours of the day and night, make horrible tasks seem fun, go on trips together that could have been the most hellacious times ever- and still have fun.
SAI rush, my MIT class sisters
Performing Lion King with my sisters, no Michelle is not supposed to be on her butt
Singing to Abby in the Quad on Valentines day my freshman year
We used to gather after choir for Chicken Strips night at Winslow. We would LITERALLY clear the cafeteria with how obnoxious we would be. There could be up to 20 of us taking over a table and being quite... resonant. (Loud.)
We were ALWAYS in hysterics.
Board games in Josh's room usually ended up with all of us in a pile on the bed.

So, if you've made it this far, you might remember that this blog started with me talking about Glee. The reason I love Glee so much is because I lived it.  Glee is like a sitcom about my LIFE. The love, hate, passion, he-said, she-said, who's dating who, who's gay, who's not, are you gay, straight, neither or both, crushes on teachers, bullying and standing up for one another, being singled out and uniting as a group under pressure, bus trips and competitions, lunch room drama, rivalry over who is better, rivalry over which group should get more respect, locker room craziness, fund raising and... well...everything... I laugh and cry because most of the time- I've BEEN there!

Any time anyone compliments me as a teacher, asks me how I got into it or where my passion comes from, I refer back to my music teachers- Miss Childress (my elementary teacher that I didn't delve into because it was too long as it was!), Miss Shofner, Mr. Blakewell, Mr. Jensen and Dr. Almquist all taught me what it was to be dedicated, driven, determined and love what you do- and how to pass all that on to their students.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A blogging challenge?!

We'll see how far it gets, but this was posted by a friend of mine:

"I decided the other day I need to break a way from the constant horse related posts on my little blog. Especially because I originally made the blog to document my entire life. That means just a bit more than riding and scooping poop. lol

So I came up with a list of topics having to due with other things about myself and will be discussing them for the next few posts. I like to see yours now! What else do you do outside of the horse world? Your awesome/weird/terrible job? How you met your SO? Where you've always wanted to travel to?

I challenge all horsie bloggers to spend atleast 3 posts in a row on subjects that have nothing to do with horses!"

So, my challenge is to post about 3 non-horse-related things, and honestly, I can't think of a single one that doesn't involve whining of some sort. Isn't that the point of a blog, though? Making you listen to me whine?!

So, here's where you come in: I've decided this is an interactive challenge! If there is something you would like me to write about, post a comment here or on facebook and I will do my best to delve into your subject, or at least touch on it briefly!

Anyone interested?!


Friday, February 4, 2011