I'm having a "first world dilemna". By the way, I find that expression amusing only because I've heard it used incorrectly so many times by people who have never actually been to a "third world country". I'd say I'm having a "1% problem" but although I feel like we're really rich (when thinking of much of the rest of the world) in reality we are not even remotely rich if you're thinking in terms of the people who are called "the 1%". Actually, most of the Occupiers at least here in Seattle are extremely wealthy when you compare them to a large portion of the world. Anyway. My first world problem is coffee. Our coffee maker broke yesterday morning as I was rushing out the door with my daughter to take her to an early morning doctor appointment. Then I got stuck in traffic with no coffee and I was sad.
My boss has one of those single-serve coffee makers where you put the little pod in the top and hit "brew" and it makes an incredibly good cup of coffee. Ever since she gave me the go ahead I always make myself a cup of coffee at her house because it is so good! But, upon reading the reviews it sounds like those things have a longevity of on average 18 months. And I can't bring myself to buy something for $100+ that I know is just going to break in about a year. Especially seeing as our crappy (but supposedly really nice) coffee maker I bought right before we moved 17 months ago just died on me. This planned obsolesence crap really irritates me. Maybe I should just stick with my French press?
Last weekend we did a lot of gardening and I even managed to get my daughter out to help me weed in the Secret Garden by telling her I'd pay her (she's saving up for American Girl outfits for her AG doll). She thinks I'm being too harsh on her because I'm making her work to earn the money to buy stuff for her doll and she's "only eight years old! Geez!" And she thinks I'm being harsh because she only gets $2 a week allowance and doesn't get it when she doesn't do her chores. And it gets knocked in half if it's a fight to do her chores. I'm not going to doubt myself because she thinks I'm being harsh, but the other day I heard her friends talking and one was saying he gets $3 a week without doing anything. And I've heard other kids too get an allowance every week without any expectations. Which does kind of chip away at my brain and make me wonder if I am being too harsh. I do buy her books and art stuff throughout the year. And even the occasional Wii game. And come to think of it a toy here or there. But not very often (excepts books and art stuff - I would buy her that every day because it's educational and lasts). But sometimes I do wonder if I am too much of a drill sergeant. But deep inside me I feel such a pull to teach her to have a work ethic and not to feel entitled that I just can't bring myself to just give her an allowance "just because" without any chore expectations. So, I don't know. I'm doubting myself but I'm not to the point where I feel good about changing my stance.
In gardening news, my husband got a beautiful frame set up for bunny fencing around the strawberries in the community garden. Now he just needs to put up the wire this weekend (hopefully, the strawberries won't be ripe before then because that's when the bunnies descend en masse to consume them all during the night). My bean starts look like I may have to finally give up on them. And the bok choi starts never made it. I put my tomato, peppers and cantalope starts out five days ago and so far they haven't died so fingers crossed! And my daughter planted some pumpkin seeds and I planted some carrot seeds so we'll see how they do.
Toad is doing well. She was a crazed maniac for reasons unbeknownst to me two days ago but seemed to be doing better yesterday. On Monday when I was bringing her in from the pasture Trainer K. had suggested I use a chain because she was so wound up (I have only used a chain when leading her maybe once or twice). I thought Trainer K. was being overly cautious until we walked out of the pasture into the path leading to the driveway and Toad tried to yank her head down twice to eat grass - not in her usual "I think I'll just ooze my head over this long piece of grass and grab a nip ..." but more of a "Fuck you! I"m eating this grass!" She got so mad when I corrected her that as we turned into the driveway which goes to the barn she decided to bolt. Luckily, I was expecting it so between being prepared early on and the chain I corrected her enough to stop her before she got going, which pissed her off so much she tried to rear, but with the chain she only could comfortably go up just a little then had to come back down at which point she planted her feet firmly on the ground and looked at me as if to say "You totally suck!!!" Then she danced and tried to turn circles all the way to her stall. Sigh.
Yesterday she was doing a lot better. Although when I took her out of the grooming room to lead her to the arena for some lunge work, she tried to turn and bolt out the front door of the barn. That lasted about thirty seconds before I convinced her she needed to turn around and come do her work and she let out a huge sigh and politely followed me into the arena and did a good job in her work. I think it's just her Thoroughbred brain and she's going to have days like that and I may never know why. I'm just not going to ride her on those days and continue to remind her that no matter how she feels inside, outside she needs to stick to her manners.
The last couple days we've been doing our free lunging as we usually do, but I've been trying to keep my whip off to the side or behind my back dragging on the ground as much as I can and practicing using my body language instead. We have a communication system going where I used the whip as an extension of my arm to show where to go and stuff like that and rarely/if ever crack it or use it as intimidation. But I am trying to use my body more like Trainer K. and M. told me about from the Liberty workshop. Yesterday I was doing a lot better communicating with her that way. I mostly had the whip dragging behind me and didn't have to use it for showing direction and all that as much, or for motivating her. It's going to take a lot of work and it will help of there is another clinic this summer I can go to myself. But I think we'll eventually get it.