Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crib Notes - Reading can be DANGEROUS

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of labels on my food. Sure, I read labels a great deal when they first appeared on food packages and then again when the kids were first born. When our girls were tiny I hovered over them like a preservative guard, determined that no food I couldn’t pronounce would find its way into their tiny, pure tummies.
Back then I vowed they would only eat the food that had been lovingly grown by nuns in beatific organic farms, wrapped in grape leaves and delivered by doves to a local farmers market which I would frequent with both of my sparkling, lovely children running between aisles of fresh produce and flowers. I’d take the food into the kitchen where I would then cook in non-Teflon cookware, seasoned with equal parts love and extra virgin olive oil using recipes handed down by generations of cooks, all of whom raised Nobel winning scientists and poets.
Needless to say, THAT didn’t last long (although I STILL think the cookbook would be a good idea). But I tried to maintain some standards, usually revolving around food dye. Even that fell to the wayside as our schedules got crazier and crazier.
Lately, though, I’ve had to face a very hard reality. Egg nog is way too persistent. Recent events in my closet have required me to face a brutal truth – if I don’t start reading labels, I will have nothing to wear but yoga pants and sweaters.
So when we were off on a longish trip, we stopped by the convenience store for “provisions.” My one vice will not give up is my affection for sweet tea. I’m Texan, for goodness sake, and there are some things I simply cannot and will not surrender, yoga pants or not. I was reading the label on one particularly tall can of ice tea, a bit surprised at how little it had in the form of calories.
Mireya, who had already grabbed her milk and cookies, came to check on me. “What’s wrong?”
“Well, I want to buy this tea because it has fewer calories, but it says it has three servings! Does that look like three servings?” I said, incredulous. “Who would ever open a can and then only drink a third of it? Who? Who? Who?”
She smiled and wisely went off to look for her sister.
I grabbed the can and gave the whole situation some serious thought. I could just switch to water or try to find a diet drink I could stand.
Then again, I actually do have some pretty cute yoga pants and sweaters…  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What I did today - Off Topic

Technically there is a horse in this video...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Crib Notes: Low and Slow, Low and Slow

We were driving to a friend’s house the other day when we noticed an unusual sign. It was one of those warning signs, a yellow diamond shaped sign with a black silhouette designed to slow traffic.
It said “Slow Children at Play” and had a design of two kids on a seesaw.
“A SEESAW?” Sierra said incredulously. “The symbol for kids is a seesaw? Who plays on seesaws anymore?”
I had to admit she had a point. A see saw is just one out of many types of playground equipment that I managed to survive. I also survived those whirling things that we sat on and spun around in circles until we were about to lose our afternoon snacks. Of course, in hindsight, I realize that I’m one of the lucky few to have made it through countless hazards of childhood relatively intact.
Most folks might recall that there was a pair of slides locally that were pretty darn scary. Or maybe I was the only one scared to climb up those spiraling stairs to the top of the twin slides in Landa Park. Sierra was about five years old the first time she begged me to go on that slide set.
This was back in the day when I had this crazy theory that I needed to encourage my daughter to be brave by demonstrating that there was nothing to fear. I wanted to teach her to face her fear, whether it was lady bugs or dirt. Unfortunately I failed to make the “ridiculously tall slide” exception.
As we were going up the ladder, I took note of the 5,000 ways I could injure myself on this slide. I wondered if our medical insurance would refuse to cover my hospital bills since clearly I should know better. It seemed likely that my claims adjuster was going to deny my bills, citing some sort of “you got to be kidding me” clause.
Frankly the slide down from the lofty height was rather anti-climactic. Then we had to climb back up the OTHER side and mommy nearly hyperventilated.
The crazy tall twin slides are long since gone, replaced with safer options. So are most seesaws and whirly-go-rounds in playgrounds. It seems like highway department may need to update those signs on my friend’s street, since plenty of kids born after 1980 won’t have a clue what a seesaw looked like.
I’d like to suggest they could go with a nice, low profile slide instead.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dreary rainy days without my horse

I haven't seen much of my horse these days. Lily is over due for shoeing and my farrier is having challenges making my schedule work.

I'm longing for those long Summer days when evening light stretches toward 9 pm, where the sun teases the night with her brilliance, where blue skies reign until stars insist on having their due, at least for a few hours.

For now I wait. Lily feels so far away, her new home is so much further, and I long for the days when I could walk outside and see her there, right there.

In one of Austin's many green spaces 
The last time we rode. the other horses were loose and they decided they'd run after us, creating quite a bit of jigging from my normally calm horse. Nothing like having a herd run after you to wake everybody up. But she was good, especially considering how little we've been riding.

I'm hoping for less of the soupy mess we've had tomorrow so we can get some time together. I hope, I hope. It's tough waiting for weekends to see your horse.

My new job is so much fun I can barely believe it. It's challenging, engaging, engrossing. And I feel like I've once again found a family, a place I belong. It's such a blessing.

It makes the fact that BOTH our cars broke down seem like just a silly joke. Not a particularly funny one, but one of those things where you just throw your hands up and say "FINE, but you can't get me down!"

Monday I'll be in Kansas City. Last week I was in South Padre Island.  The week before I was in Galveston.

And in another couple weeks I hope to be in the saddle. I hope, I hope.