Sunday, March 31, 2013

Back to a life of leisure ...

Aka back to the life of unemployment.  I got laid off on Wednesday because apparently there was a girl who really wanted my job and had been asking my boss to find a way to get rid of me since the week I started and he finally decided to do it.  She starts on Monday so they had to have me gone by Friday.  At least for my self-esteem they were honest about it and said I had done nothing wrong they just wanted to give her a job and mine was the one to give her.  So, my self-esteem is intact but my income is non-existent.  I'm very frustrated about that. VERY frustrated, like to the point I can't even talk about it without getting really upset.  So with that in mind I'll leave it with I am sending out resumes and making myself open to all opportunities from working off board for my horses at a barn as opposed to a "real job" to completely changing fields to whatever accounting job may come along that feels right.  To the most horrible of possibilities - giving up my horses because if I can't find a job that lasts longer than two months I won't be able to afford them.  And I already gave up going to help my sister-in-law in August with her new baby because I can't afford airfare and they can't afford to buy it for me.  I'm bitter about that.  OK, I'm just bitter all around.  And I think I'm cursed.  And I need to definitely not talk about this right now.

In the rest of my life things are going great.  My friends and family have been very emotionally supportive and there's been a lot of "check up on J." and "let's cheer J. up" going on which has been lovely.  I went rock climbing with Trainer K., M. and another friend, T.I. from the barn on Friday and that was a blast.   T.I. is an excellent climber and it was fun to have her coaching Trainer K. instead of the other way around.   A couple times she shouted up to Trainer K. to do something that is similar to what Trainer K. tells us - like "pull your elbows in to help your center of gravity" and both M. and I would chuckle.  I had a lot of fun but I over did it a little with my back still healing and I had to spend some serious heating pad time yesterday.

Yesterday they had an Easter celebration at church and my daughter got to meet her first real live baby bunny.  She loves bunnies in general and of course sees the wild ones running around outside our house in the summer and has a lot of stuffed bunnies but she's never had the opportunity to hold one and she was hooked!  We also learned how to dye Easter eggs with natural dyes by boiling tumeric and onions and cabbage and blueberries (separately of course).  Then you wrap the eggs tightly in some old nylons and you can put in little flowers or moss or little tiny cedar cuttings and make really cool designs on the eggs.  I am never buying commercial egg dye again - it was so cool!

After that I met my friend, Lisa, at the kid's horse riding school she works at and keeps her horse at so that I could meet her horse, DJ.   I've known Lisa long before I got back into horses but we never seem to find time to hang out even though she lives in the small suburban town right next to mine.  We took a lovely long walk down the path that runs along the Sammamish Slough searching for somewhere to get espresso (which was freakishly hard to find ...???)   We finally ended up at The Barking Frog and I commented bitterly on how "Oh, there's a restaurant I will never be able to afford to eat at the rate things are going." But we did agree they probably have espresso and stopped in and got some to go.  I also got to meet The Herbfarm pigs who were incredibly cute (another restaurant I can never afford to eat at the rate I'm going with bad job luck). 

I helped Lisa with some barn chores back at the school, like bagging hay for breakfast the next day and turning out a couple horses.  I made the mistake of saying I'd take the "problem horse" Chip because he's a school horse and all.  I should've thought twice when they had to unlock a padlock on his paddock gate.  Hmmmm ...   Anyway, he was a little bouncy at first but I stopped him and made him back up so he wasn't rushing ahead of me.  But as we got close to the pasture he was being turned out in he jumped and bolted and I did a little waterski move for a moment and he had to twirl around because I was still holding the lead rope.  I scolded him and got in front of him as fast as I could but he kept trying to push in front of me.  Meanwhile Lisa was yelling from the pasture, "Are you OK? Do you need help?" and I felt like such a dork!  I finally got in front of him and told him in no uncertain terms he was not getting let loose in the pasture until he behaved.  So he walked in nicely, bolted in front of me and started eating grass.  So he got a slap in the chest, raised his head and looked at me like I was the devil, reached over to nip me and I poked his face away and held his head up until he finally sighed and stood quietly and then I took his halter off.  And of course he turned tail and took off with a dramatic "screw you!" swing of his tail.  I was very embarrassed and felt like I had really screwed that up but Lisa was very sweet and said, "You've obviously been handling horses a lot lately."

My reward was getting to ride a school horse named Beetle who I immediately took too because he had a sweet look in his eye but he was also very mischevious and would try to unzip your coat and stick his nose in to find treats (if you let him) and was like a little trickster kid.  The instructors didn't like him and I can see where that would be hard for beginners, but there's something to be said for a nice lesson horse who will put up with beginners to begin with.  I got on him and he stretched his neck out and brought his back right up and had the most lovely walk.  Then we trotted and he did the same thing - his neck nice and stretched out and he listened to my leg really well and I had the reins down to the buckle (where the reins meet) most of the ride.  I didn't even have to adjust the reins because he didn't bring his head up.

I stopped and commented to Lisa and one of the teen instructors what a lovely horse he is and the teen snorted and rolled her eyes and Lisa said, "He's being strangely good today," and immediately, he decided he was going to wander over to the other horse in the arena and not listen to me.  I was warned not to let him near the other horse because he'd bite and harass him, so I actually had to ride him and tell him not to do that instead of sitting comfortably up there just letting him stretch and trot and move off a light leg.  Then when I had dropped the stirrups and was stretching my legs and tried to take him to the middle to dismount he decided he didn't want to listen to me again so we had to ride a little longer than I'd intended so we could end on a good note.  But he was a lovely little horse.  I guess if I was trying to teach beginners on him I'd get frustrated but he was so solid and safe feeling I just loved him.  He's a lot like Maiden but moved off the leg much better than she does right now - but she's learning and if I keep riding her correctly then I'm sure she will continue to improve quickly.

I've got to get off my butt and go see my own horse this morning, then it's gardening and planting seeds for starts this afternoon.  I meant to do that two weeks ago.  So the one good thing about unemployment is that I can catch up on a lot of projects like my novel and gardening in the next week.


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