Happy 2018, friends! I missed posting last week because I had a water pipe burst on Friday afternoon, which threw my whole day out of whack! Pro tip: When temps have been super cold for a week and you suddenly get a 45 degree day, don’t randomly test your outside water tap to see if it works. All I did was turn it on and back off, and WHOOSH! Flooding everywhere. And I’d been SO CAREFUL all week to leave sinks dripping so nothing would freeze. Expensive lesson learned!
Here’s what I’ve loved over the past two weeks!
1. You know that feeling of relief and gratitude when something bad happens but you realize just HOW much worse it could have been? That was me last week.
I was out feeding the horses and realized we needed more grain ASAP. Google said there was a feed store less than 2 miles away but they were closing in half an hour, so I hopped in the car to make a quick trip over. I’d just turned from the rural road onto the highway and had gotten up to 65-ish with the flow of traffic when I saw there was a car stopped to turn JUST ahead. I braked pretty hard and I guess my wheel must have been slightly turned because my car fishtailed and I lost control and ended up in a small ditch facing the wrong way.
Somehow, my car was fine other than some kind of scuffed up tires. I was able to just pull out of the ditch and head back to the barn (I was fine but pretty shaken up by the whole thing, so I decided we could do without grain today). I actually stopped by the Walmart garage on my way home to have them take a quick look at my car and make sure I wasn’t missing something and they seemed to think it looked fine, too.
The last time I lost control like that it was on black ice just outside of St Louis and instead of ending up in a ditch, I spiraled into a big concrete wall dividing the interstate lanes and totaled my convertible, so I know how badly these things can go. I’m still blown away that I was able to just drive off without even a flat tire or scratched up car.
How crazy is it that during a super cold week with icy temps, I lose control on the first day we actually get back up to 32?
2. I’ve scored some awesome post-Christmas clearance deals this month! I got a light-up Christmas cat sweatshirt for $7, a fleece cat-eared hoodie for $3.75 (it’s not even Christmas-y, so I have no idea why it was marked down from like $15), black leggings for $1 (also not Christmas so ??), a cake pop for EIGHTEEN CENTS, and this masterpiece for $1.75 (Yes, it also lights up):
3. I’ve finally found a way to keep the cats from breaking into the bags of deliciousness that Chewy.com sends us to review each month as part of their Chewy Influencer program. You know the coat hangers with clips for pants? I use one of those to hang the bag of treats or food over the top of a door so it’s totally unreachable! Even my little evil geniuses haven’t managed to get up there. (Yet.) But it did work with the Stella & Chewy Freeze Dried cat food that Chewy sent my meowers this last month!
We got the Grain-Free Salmon & Cod variety, which is made from sustainable, wild-caught fish and can be served right out of the bag or re-hydrated. I love the convenience of something that the cats consider as exciting as wet food without the mess! The re-sealable bag is especially convenient.
4. WORK. I’ve had almost NO writing work since before Thanksgiving, which has left my bank account very, very sad. Finally, things picked back up this week and I’ve been pretty busy! Not quite “full time income” level again yet, but “Hey, cool, I probably won’t die of starvation!”, which is a major step up. YAY WORK. (The $ I made horse-sitting while my riding instructor was out of town SAVED me when it comes to paying bills this month!)
5. Speaking of horses, I took advantage of the mid-50s temps on Wednesday and managed to fit in a riding lesson! I hadn’t ridden Folklore in like 3 weeks and he’d only been ridden once in that time span, so we were both a little stiff and achy from the cold. Once we got warmed up, though, things were good! He’s such a great horse for me to learn Hunter/Jumper skills on because he’s pretty well behaved overall, but enough of a challenge that I do have to think and stay engaged and actually work.
Actual rays of sunshine!!
My current challenge is that he’s a BIG horse and when I ask him to trot, he wants to default to this HUGE, powerful, extended trot that’s on par with an average horse running. (Trotting is supposed to be on par with jogging for humans, speed-wise.)
So basically, I’m asking for this…
And getting this:
I need to see if I can get an actual video of it because I’m super curious what it actually looks like! I’d probably be way too embarrassed by my crappy equitation to actually post it here, though.
In non-fav news, my mom’s kitty Pepper (who I take care of) got in a fight last week and managed to take a claw to the eyeball. It’s exactly as gross as you’re imagining, but as long as we can avoid infection there’s a chance of it healing up well. She’s doing really well so far, but I don’t think I’ll stop worrying until it’s totally healed!
The weekend and most of the week ahead is supposed to be Cold AF again, so hopefully I’ll have enough writing work to justify spending a lot of time snuggled under my electric blanket! After how crazy the past few weeks have been, I’m actually hoping for a super-chill, almost boring week!