There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Umm, another 6 months has gone by...

I tried to log in and post but couldn't remember my password :P Just goes to show you shouldn't leave it 6 months to post! LOL

Hmm, what has happened in the last 6 months:
* Number 3 son and I have continued riding lessons and now go twice a week - absolutely love it and we plan on getting our own horses (hopefully next year)
* I turned 40
* I completed a Statement of Attainment in Farm Planning (TAFE) which was really enjoyable
* The brand new chook house is completed and brilliant
* We got more chickens - Aracaunas, Dorkings and a couple of bantam Wyandottes
* I learned how to treat scaly leg mite (reminder to self - need to 'dip' the chickens again this weekend)
* Dogs and cats are doing well - just love them to pieces
* Number 2 son is now in Year 12 (OMG)
* Number 1 son is settling in to being an adult but still has to learn some things the hard way ;-)
* Parents are awesome and don't know what I would do without them!
* Had ups and downs, just like everyone else - is balanced though
* Love my job and appreciate the support of my boss and workmates
* Had to miss a couple of family birthdays due to illness and stuff - disappointing
* Stewarded Radburne War V - was great
* Stewarded November Crown - OMG - stressful, frustrating and very rewarding! LOL I think it will be a while before I consider doing anything like that again ;-)
* Was not planning on going to Festival next year but now having second thoughts :P Will decide by end of February.
* Not much left of SCA local group - still a few of us die hards around and a certain Noble Gnome who keeps the merriment and joy of the SCA alive :-)
* Number 3 son can authorise as banner bearer in February 2012 and husband wants me to get in armour too :P
* Going to have a very quiet Christmas again this year - just us and my parents I think. Will still be nice. Having a New Year's Eve party but don't think we will get any takers - still going to send out invites tho :P
* Despite the odd frustration that still crops up, have decided I am very content with my life :-)

Break over - back to work :-)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reflective Mood

I read an article yesterday in the UK Horse and Rider magazine that I could really relate too regarding riding and nervousness around horses. As I was driving home, I was in a reflective mood so I switched the radio off and just let my thoughts flow (concentrating on my driving of course!) on the way home and further into the evening. Part of this has also come about because I have taken up riding again after many years with my youngest son who is thirteen. I thought it might be beneficial for me to reflect on where I have been and where I want to go with this. Sometimes by reflecting on the past and laying it bare, we can put it behind us and move on. For me, writing helps me do this.

So, starting from the beginning I guess.

My first experience with a real, live horse came at Wiseman’s Ferry near Sydney when I was aged 12. We were there with the family for my dad’s annual work picnic with National Panasonic. They had horses for hire there and mum and dad caved in to my pleading and hired a lead pony for me to have a ride. The reins were long and held by my dad and I was on a jockey pad type saddle with no stirrups (and in a tracksuit). Dad led me back to the picnic area and all was going well. Mum came to take a photo and I convinced dad to let the reins drop so that the photo would look good. The next thing I know the horse has spun around and bolted back to the coral (a good distance away). I managed to stay on until it went down a table drain to cross the dirt road – I vaguely remember hearing the thud as I hit the ground and then waking up feeling a bit numb and spitting several teeth out. The horse was almost back to the coral by this stage so I guess I was knocked out for at least ten to thirty seconds (I have no idea). I had a concussion, went into shock, cracked my elbow, broke all my bottom teeth and my balance has been pretty shot since. I spent a week in bed before I could even walk on my own again due to the balance issue/concussion. And that was my introduction to riding.

It took about 18 months before I got on a horse again (and I daresay it would have been very difficult for my parents to let me too) – we went for a trail ride at a different riding centre. Non eventful, just plodded and it was scary but okay.

I then went for a ride with my brother at a different riding centre – he is three years younger than me and turned out to be an absolute natural with no fear! We worked there weekends for a little pocket money and the ability to ride all day. They were nice people and meant well but looking back, not confidence building for me. The style of riding suited my brother – his horse knew two speeds; flat out and stop. Probably why he ended up riding track work, training race horses and playing Polocrosse! I was always a little nervy and walk/trot was and is my comfort zone. This one day they put me on a horse called ‘Honey’ and she was anything but ;-) She would get stubborn and not want to ride past the coral so I would have to get on and ride her out and back in – she would go so far and then spin really fast and of course I fell off (several times). Their motto was if you fall off enough, you will learn not to do it. Hmmmm. Towards the end I just did not feel like riding anymore and I started going less and less. I remember being so frustrated that I could not get this horse to do what I wanted that I was on the verge of tears many a time.

The first time I tried to canter, I was on a horse called Tiny and we were out in the back blocks rounding up cattle as all the livestock was being moved. (The place they were leasing had been sold.) They brought the wrong bridle so when I cantered up the hill; the bit fell completely out of the horse’s mouth! Thankfully Tiny was a quiet horse and just stopped! Very nerve wracking though for me! I did not attempt to canter again ;-)

I also remember clearly one day I had been reading some riding books and they explained the dismount as removing both feet from the stirrups and sliding down the horse’s left side. I did this one day at the riding centre and got yelled at for my efforts being told I would have my butt kicked if I did that again. I was told I should always use the stirrup to dismount. This did not make sense to me because you ran the risk of being caught and dragged if the horse got spooked or took off. I did as I was told however.

Once the riding centre moved to a new place (I was about 15 by now) I was riding Smokey this day and they decided I needed to canter – so they got me to ‘kick the horse up’ and canter. Problem was the horse had quite a choppy canter, I had no idea what I was doing and with me bouncing obviously upset the horse – he bucked me off and I hurt my back and hip. Not a pleasant experience. Not long after this I started part time work and the riding centre closed so my horse riding finished for a little bit. I then saved up and bought my first horse………

Princess was a flea bitten grey and because I was so nervous I brought my brother to ride her for me – ‘Do you think I can ride her?’ I said to him. ‘I can’t see why not’ was his reply. It was an interesting experience taking Princess home in the hired float – every time we pulled up at a set of lights or a turn off, she would start walking in the float which would make the car bounce! We got her to our leased paddock about a ten minute drive from where we lived. I let her settle before attempting to ride her. Princess had lovely manners on the ground and I was never concerned however when I got on her, all she seemed to want to do was take off. She was very toey and I had no idea what I was doing wrong (a lot of it probably had to do with nerves in hindsight). I decided to get ‘proper’ lessons to help me ride better. I went to a school in Mulgoa near Penrith for a group lesson and explained to the instructor my situation and nervousness etc. The first lesson was okay but the second one they gave me a crop and put me on a horse that pigrooted for the whole lesson! I decided I would not go back as they obviously were not the right ones to teach me. I persisted with Princess for some time longer as she was a lovely horse. I left school and got a full time job and then cars and boys came into the picture. I decided I was not doing Princess any justice so I sold her to a friend of my brother’s. I heard later on that Princess was doing well at shows so I know I did the right thing.

About 18 months after this I had a yearning to get another horse and was thinking about it. The people that we met through the riding school where we helped out knew someone that was selling an Anglo Arab that had been to the Sydney Royal Show and they thought she would be perfect for me! I went and took a look and had a ride but to be honest, I did not feel a connection with her. I did however let people talk me in to buying her. Again she was a lovely horse however it became very clear very quickly that because she was well trained and I had no idea what I was doing, the signals I was giving her were confusing her. I had no desire to wreck such a lovely horse so I sold her to a show home.

We left Penrith and moved west of the Blue Mountains to the Orange/Wellington area. There was so much other stuff going on that dreams of horses faded. When we moved further west to Nyngan and Dubbo for me, I met my husband who is not a horse lover :-) Marriage happened and then three kids so no horses.

When my youngest was about 6 months old, I had lessons once a fortnight with a wonderful local dressage instructor on a schoolmaster horse of hers – I really enjoyed it for a couple of months however having three young boys under 5 and with finances the way they were, I needed to put my dreams of riding on the back burner again.

Now my sons are 18, 16 and 13. I have had some health issues recently and other stuff going on so decided it was time for me to do something for me. My youngest has also been keen to ride for a long time (after having a couple of brief rides a number of years ago) so we decided we would get lessons together at the local riding centre.

So six weeks ago I rang the local centre and was told the only opening they had was at 3pm on Saturday. I had heard nothing but praise for Gary and his horses so I was looking forward to the adventure.

Saturday came about and we excitedly drove out (although my mum had to drive as I was very dizzy – only time I wasn’t was when I was riding). I completed the paperwork and had noted on there that I was nervous. Gary talked to me about my experiences and put me on a wonderful horse called Calibre. He is the cuddliest teddy bear of a horse and absolutely perfect for someone like me! The first two lessons we had were ½ hour private lessons so Gary could assess us and since then we have had 3 x 1 hour group lessons (myself, my son and another young girl aged 10 who started riding the same weekend we did). I rode Calibre the first two lessons, Mister the next one, Buffy after that and then back to Mister last week. I even managed a small canter when we were out in the field. The difference this time was that it was explained to me what to do and I was put on a horse with an easy canter.

I panicked and held my breath at first, Mister’s ears went back to me and Gary in a calm voice said, ‘just relax’. I did, and remembered to breath, I rode the canter and Mister put his ears forward and relaxed too. We then went back to a trot and continued the rest of our ride in a walk/trot and talked. By the time I got back, the enormity of what I had accomplished in such a short time with Gary’s help hit me and I felt on cloud nine. We will work more and more on the canter over the coming weeks. The thing I love about our lessons is that we do half in the arena (stretches, exercises and technique) and the remainder is a trail ride out in the paddocks.

My son is doing really well too and picking things up very quickly – it is a great time we have together doing something we both love. The goal is one day to have horses of our own – possibly in twelve months time as we need to fix the paddock up first with fencing and a shelter etc. Our lessons will continue regardless as they are so worthwhile!

I can’t wait for this Saturday!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rowany Festival was awesome!

Just on a five minute coffee break - Festival was awesome, lots of memories, lots of laughs and photos to upload! I have been too tired of an evening to post anything and too engrossed in the mini series 'Pillars of the Earth'.

Just quickly though, Wolfstanus and Conrad both received their AoA's!!! Huzzah!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Only 2 more sleeps to go........

But who's counting? LOL

I have been more motivated today, especially now my wonderful manager has given me approval to have tomorrow as a rec day! Maybe I won't have anymore nightmares now about what goes wrong with pre-packing for Festival! LOL Me stressed, never! :P

Tidying up things at work this afternoon and then I have a whole week off - I am so looking forward to the break. I love camping and this Festival looks like it will be an exciting one. I have started lists of things to pack and a list for tomorrow. At least now we should get packed at a reasonable time as I will get the shopping done through the day and not after work ;-)

Young Gryffen has been a gem the last few days - he cleaned the house yesterday and has called this afternoon to see what he can do for me. It is so nice to have some help! Wolfstanus of course has spent this week socialising in town - can't say I blame him :P

Bought candles, citronella candles, cleaning gear, garbage bags and a big purple umbrella when I went for my walk today. A few more things to cross off the list!

Anyhow, back to work - lunch break is over. Better get a move on if I want to get away on time!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is it possible to be unmotivated and excited at the same time?

When it is with regard to two different things I guess it is! I am just having a coffee break at work and realising how unmotivated I am to be here today - I keep thinking about Festival! I really wish I had of taken all of this week off now - oh well, too late! I will just have to wait the three more sleeps! LOL I only have 2 hours left today, then Tuesday and Wednesday before the mad dash begins. Wednesday evening have to do the final grocery shop and then pack the trailer, ready to head off by 8am on Thursday! At least all the meat is bought and in the freezer!

I can't remember when I have been so excited about an event - I hope I am not building myself up for disappointment :P We have an awesome camping spot, lots of activities on, good group of us going (including Wolfstanus' girlfriend who is just lovely), I am not on crutches (bonus) and I am going to have a good time if it kills me (or the other half) LOL

The only down side is that I will miss my animals for the 5 days we are away - no purring kitty cat on the bed putting me to sleep :-( The dogs, cats and chickens are so much apart of our lives that I really do miss them when we go away (not that we go away that much).

Most of my sewing is done - I just need to finish the camica (gathering at the neckline and sleeves). I cannot thank my mum enough for all her help with the mountains of hemming etc she has done for me - I certainly could not have done this much sewing without her help.

Anyhow, back to payment vouchers :P

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Found it!

It had something to do with the format and the back ground picture - sigh of relief! Oh look, nearly time to go home :P

Where have all my posts gone?

Hmmm - playing around with templates can be a bad idea! I ended up with a trojan on my computer and now all my posts are gone. *sigh* Will need to figure it out and some stage - too much other stuff to do now though!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Good but busy weekend

Well, another weekend has come and gone and we are only 11 sleeps away from heading to Festival! Had a lot of laughs this weekend and good company, plus getting a lot of sewing done means feeling accomplished. I was going to write a good, lengthy post tonight but I am feeling really tired - think I will have an early night instead :-)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Festival is only 2 weeks away!

Actually, it's about 2.5 weeks away but still scarily close! I am excited but nervous at the same time - it has been 3 years since our last visit, lots has changed but some things are still the same! LOL It will be the 5 of us plus Ranif and Johanna making up the Radburne contingency.

Both Conrad and Wolfstanus need to re-authorise and Wolfstanus can now authorise as an Archer, hope they are both successful! T is also thinking about fighting alongside Ranif - is taking his armour anyway. Will depend on mood/how things go if he fights or not. We decided to get the local saddler to make leather gorgets - still waiting on them but we have been promised they will be ready in time!

The new armour Terry has made looks awesome - can't wait to see them all kitted up! Gryffen still has ten months to go before he can authorise as a banner bearer so I plan to try and do lots of stuff with him so he doesn't get too bored ;-) Need to make sure I take the camera etc too! I still have some sewing to do but mum is helping so it is more manageable ;-) I haven't been well for about the last month so haven't been doing much - I spent all afternoon tracing patterns and cutting them out, need to get off my feet though for a bit as they are painful again. I don't want to jinx myself but at least this Festival won't be spent on crutches!

I think we will be better prepared for Festival this time around but I am still nervous about the whole thing - T is more involved with the SCA now so hopefully should be better. He enjoyed Spring War even though he didn't get to fight so I am more hopeful this time but don't want to get my hopes up too high - less chance of being disappointed then ;-)

T has also made a take down double bed (timber) which means no air mattress and no sleeping on the ground! Huzzah! The boys all have bigger tents too now they are older which will fit their stretchers and gear. We also have a common tent for the group so should be better.

So what is on the list for the next two weeks:
* Make cotehardie for T
* Make cloak for T
* Make cloak for me
* Make chemise for me (extra one)
* New shirt for Conrad and Wolfstanus (mum is doing those for me)
* Finish T's banner (if I get a chance)
* Pre-cooking for Festival (things that can be frozen such as soups/stews etc)

Not too bad, will keep me out of mischief anyway! Really looking forward to catching up with people! Looking forward to seeing who wins Autumn Crown too as they will be Royalty for November Crown which Radburne is hosting!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yay for Friday!

Well, this week went quick!

Went and saw Tangled at the movies on Wednesday evening - awesome, funny movie - we all loved it! Gotta love Maximus and Pascall ;-)

Caught up at work ready for hand over on Monday, hand over for the RLDO job Tuesday. Enrolment at TAFE Thursday, then training Friday :-)

I have taken all my photos down and packed my little box ready to move desks next week :-)

What's on this weekend:
* Beading project - thinking about entering a piece of Tudor jewellery for A & S comp at Festival. Plus I want to make some more spiffy stuff for me :-)
* Need to sew some more of my new Renaissance gown
* Want to start my new scribal assignment
* Need to do research for illumination for Book of Ceremonies title page
* Terry has the bob cat so will spend most of the weekend playing in the dirt :-)
* Preparation for the building of the new fort and new tavern
* And of course the usual house work and getting things ready for the boys for school/TAFE
* Movies Sunday afternoon to see Yogi Bear
* Clean out the chook pen
* Bath the dogs
* Spend some time training Shakespeare :-)

I love my life :-) (No, this is not sarcasm - I *really* do love my life!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Productive day

Well today was productive - went to work a bit earlier and got a whole lot of filing and stuff done. On target for handover next Monday and to start my new job on Tuesday - oh boy! Exciting and scary at the same time :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Good start to the year

It looks like this year is going to be the year of lots of things happening - apart from all the special birthdays and SCA events, work wise things are moving along too! I have been offered to act in the Regional Learning and Development Officer position for 3 months whilst it is recruited too. I have never applied for it before as I don't have a tertiary qualification, you need to have a minimum of Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. I have decided to enroll in said course at TAFE at the end of the month - they are running it part time here on a Wednesday evening. If things work out, I may even apply for this job permanently as it is an area I have always been interested in. Exciting times ahead - the boys are on a warning that they will be expected to do what they need to do without me yelling at them all the time. Could be a long road :-) LOL

Went to Penrith on the weekend - had a lovely time on the Nepean Belle Saturday evening for a dinner cruise for my friend's 40th birthday. It was great catching up with everyone, and despite the awful humidity and heat, we all had a great time. I also got to go to '2 bead or not 2 bead' and bought some lovely things there. Many projects to do!

I also got good news with my latest Scribes assignment - it has made the grade and the AoA will be given to the person intended. I still have a long way to go but it is good to know I am getting there. I also need to start designing the illumination for the title page of the Lochac Book of Ceremonies we are making for November Crown.

We are heading off to Festival this year - really excited about it. Lots of sewing and preparation to do. Can't wait to catch up with lots of lovely people and attend some classes etc.

The animals are all going well including my border collie Shakespeare (who I got last year.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Poor neglected blog......

Yes, it has been months since I have written anything. Christmas and New Year has been and gone, had a couple of relaxing weeks home with the kids playing computer games, Guitar Hero, did some SCA stuff, veged out etc :-)

Back at work this week - work is very busy but good :-) I like that it is not a chore to go to work :-)

Dubbo had floods prior to Christmas which meant lots of road closures and lots longer to get to and from work. It was inconvenient for us for a few weeks but no other major concern.

Lots of stuff happening this year - lots of milestone birthdays including eldest boy of doom's 18th and my 40th. I have nick named 2011 as the party year! LOL Also have extended Radburne War for an extra day and I am running November Crown this year. We are going to Festival (huzzah) for the first time since 2008 and we will be camping ;-) Will also be going to Spring War again this year. Really looking forward to increased activities and lots of catching up with people.

Oh well, 5 minute break over and time to get back to payment vouchers. I really should try and write here more often. Maybe I should set myself a task of an entry a day, even if it is only one line! Hmmmmmm.........