Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In which we attempt another round of Geocaching and Survive the Great Ranger Radiator Escapade.

Last opportunity for geekness for awhile, perfect early morning after some monster storms last night, appropriate targets selected.  Heigh Ho Heigh Ho. . .

One of the really special things about geocaching is the opportunity to find interesting out of the way sites right in your own backyard.  This morning's grand adventures started out just that way.  We picked three caches within a close distance to one another, and started with the one entitled Poison Ivy.  After reading the description carefully and realizing we had no heavy gloves we opted to attempt Pothole in the Woods instead. 

General area located, GPS gpsing, off into the wilderness we trekked.  Soon found ourselves standing directly on top of where the cache claimed to be located.  After about 15 minutes of wandering around in circles, with much muttering, swearing and snorting involved, it was determined the area of focus should be broadened.  Came face to face with a large traffic cone, in the middle of the woods.  WTH?  Took several mintues for it to register this was our intended target.  More muttering from the retired military guy about military geocachers.  Log signed and on to cache number two.  Still no gloves, but we decided to give it a try anyway, what's poison ivy between good friends? 

What we found was a lovely rural cemetary, full of area history, life and dreams and in at least once instance, a mother's broken heart.  The poison ivy turned out to be artificial and we learned a bit out this particular cacher, who is new to our area.  His third hide site was nearby - three for three - hoo-rahh!

Now, children, it gets ugly.  We decided to try for three more, just south in the Gamelands area near a military training site.  Made a wrong turn on the gamelands, with failing GPS (oh how I HATE AT&T and my aging iPhone!) and a poor road map.  The geocaching vehicle du jour is a POS 2002 Ford Ranger.  Doesn't run particularly well, gets lousy gas mileage and is both very underpowered and very light in the back end.  (Note: please see above reference to monster storms prior to proceeding). 

At this point we have made several wrong turns but are confident because at least one of us claims to have a general idea of a. our location and b. our destination.  This portion of the adventure has required some large puddle/stream crossings and after one very deep water hole the POS 2002 Ford Ranger sputters to a stop.  Drowned.  After repeated attempts to restart, accompanied by much swearing and sputtering, we proceed up a fairly steep incline.  (NOTE: please see reference above to light in back end and underpowered.)  Halfway up the hill we find ourselves buried up to the rear axle in soft sand.  More swearing and sputtering ensues.  POS 2002 Ford Ranger is eventually extricated and backed down the hill.  Decision is made to attempt the next cache at all costs.  Cue dramatic music.  To Be Continued. 

In which I contemplate the other woman in the bedroom

Ha! Not what you were thinking was it!  Gabbie is the Empress of Immenseness and she lives solely and strictly in our bedroom and bathroom.  She defends her territory with the fierceness of a mother lioness defending her cubs, and admonishes us for transgressions real and imagined like Sister Euphenia at Our Lady of Perpetual Grace Academy.  No opposible thumbs, thankfully so at least no ruler. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In which you meet the human love of my life and Sunday morning pursuits

He's the guy I have been living with for the past 35 (ack!) years.  My soulmate.  Companion in crime.  Sparring partner from time to time.  And that's one of the other women in his life, Pancha.  Miss P.  Belligerent Bitch.  Queen Latifah.  She has many names, come to think of it, so does he!

One of the very many things the love of my life does is indulge me in silly pursuits.  One of the silliest is geocaching.  Geocaching is a real world, outdoor treasure hunt.  Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices, and then share their experiences online.  Really.  That's a direct quote from the website.  It's the ulitmate in outdoor "geek-dom".  Gives us a great opportunity to yell at each other in the great outdoors, trek through the underbrush in search of pill bottles, pieces of PVC pipe, ammo boxes, tupperware containers, tiny little capsules with magnets, bird houses (some geocachers have WAY TOO MUCH time on their hands!) and along the way collect useless pieces of swag, travel bugs, real bugs, ticks, chigger bites, and experience close encounters with snakes, wasps and the local constabulary.  The love of my life won't let me collect the caches along main roads as apparently we resemble terrorists. 

Geocaching run this morning at 6:30 am yielded four finds in an hour.  After a year, I am finally getting the hang of the high speed made especially for geocaching GPS we bought last summer.  That didn't come with anything resembling useful directions.  The iPhone app is equally useful, although very annoying as cell phone service is spotty at best here.  What this goofy pastime does give us is a common goal, and a view to places in our area we had no idea existed.  Magellan Geocaching GPS $200, Lumber River State Park $10 in gas and 30 minutes, time with my guy - priceless. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

In which I introduce the equine love of my life

My heart horse.  Silly really, as I find him difficult to ride, but there is something about his goofy face that touches my soul.  I live to feed him peppermints and miss him when he is not in my barn.  He calls to me twice a day - it's cupboard love, I know that. 

He is Cold Harbor, aka "Bo".  Somewhere around the place I have a photo of him as a gawky four year old, named Hobo.  Hairy, gangly and just down from the Great White North, Bo is a Canadian Sport Horse, which seems to be horsespeak for "mutt".  He will turn 11 sometime in July, and I've been his owner for 6 years.  He was originally partnered with my son and they enjoyed a rare relationship together.  Bo ended up in a crazy, charming, confident Australian's eventing barn. What started as a temporary arrangement to get through the spring season has developed into a partnership of the first water - erste Sahne - as my german husband would say and now we eagerly await what the future will bring.  He has close relatives who reached greatness, only time will tell if he can follow their lead. 

Funding an upper level event horse is pricey, and I count my pennies at every turn.  Funny how the little decisions we make in life can have long lasting repercussions.  We opted to bring Bo back home for summer vacation after his last big event, to save a little money, and give me the opportunity to stuff peppermints at a truly unhealty rate into his snout.  The choice may well have been life saving as six of Bo's barnmates perished in a barn fire a week later.  I can't bring myself to ask if he would have been in that night, and I don't truly want to know.  May God bless those horses who perished, and grant their connections the peace and healing that time brings. 

Bo heads back to the crazy, charming, confident Australian in about a week's time.  I will miss his face in my barn, but look forward to watching him do circles in the sandbox, and run and jump the big fences and the funny colored poles.  And count the days until his face is in my barn once again.

In which I venture into Blog Land

So.  Here I am.  55 years old and venturing off into blog land.  Everyone else is doing it.  How hard can this be?  Cue silence.  You can hear a pin drop.

So.  Introduction.  55 years old.  Unemployed, well at least not working outside the home.  I do work, functioning as the personal concierge for numerous beasts, one or two with two legs and several more with four. 

So. Location.  Outside a small town in south central North Carolina.  Raeford is the Turkey Capital of the US.  Really.  There are more turkeys raised and processed here than anywhere else, or so they claim.  I do know there is a Turkey Festival that takes place every Spetember and that for the last 13 years, I have avoided making an appearance at the Fest. 

The main cast of characters in my life include my husband of almost 34 years, my almost 21 year old son, five horses, one pony, three house cats and a greyhound.  The equines are supposed to provide a diversion, the cats comfort and the greyhound love and affection.  Sometimes.