Saturday, December 14, 2013

Long time no chat....

Wow I knew I'd fall behind, it always happens.

Anyway I'm just feeling the need to get some stuff out and on the computer screen so if you don't want to read then feel free to leave this page.

I'll start with back in the summer.  This summer, June 2013 to be exact I left my job of driving school bus a week early to start with Transport Training Centers of Canada to get my AZ license to drive Transport Truck.  That was great.  I learned what I needed to do, and that included learning how to drive standard as I had never done it before in my life, to take my road test August 7th 2013 where I passed and got my License.  YAY for me.  I totally didn't think I would pass but everyone else felt that I would.

That was great. I had my license so now came the part of finding a job. I was looking for mostly local work, meaning I would be home everyday which would have been great since Alex got the diagnoses of Aspergers Syndrome from a physcologist, well that's what she's figuring anyway.  Couldn't find local work.  Or at least any local work that people would give a chance to someone just coming out of school.  So I went back to driving school bus while talking everything over with Leo about what I was going to do.  My biggest fear has always been that I'll pay for the $8000 course and it'll do me no good cause I can't get a job.  Well we decided that for the year or so for me to get the experience I'd go to a job that would have me working over the road so after getting my passport and applying for what I needed, I applied to a few places for OTR work.  Finally I got an email and phone call from one company who incidently had come into the school to talk to us about working for them.  Anyway they told me what I had to do and I did it and I started training with them in November.  Everything was going great.  I did a weekend full of in class training, then went for a week with a trainer half days while the other half days were spent in the classroom or on the computer doing things.  Finally I was paired up with a training engineer to go out and learn about crossing the border and stuff.  That was great except for the 2nd day we turned on the heat in the truck and the windshield cracked. If we'd have gotten stopped we would have had a fine.  So we took our delivery to Illinois and dropped it off early, because it was thanksgiving for our american friend's, and drove back to the Operating center in Gary Indiana.   We went into the shop and told the mechanic about it and he said he would let the glass guy know and he should do it Friday morning cause he was pretty sure the glass guy wasn't going to be in on Thanksgiving.  So we were stuck at the OC (operating center) for at least Thursday.   Friday come along and apparently the mechanic from Wednesday didn't call it in so we were then told that the mechanic who was on at that time would call the glass guy and hopefully he'd be in that day but he may not come til Monday.   Looks like it's gonna be day number two.  So we finally find out that yes the glass guy would be in but we weren't sure what time he was coming.  The desicion was made that we would stay in a hotel room, paid for by the company, for the Friday night and then leave Saturday if the windshield was fixed.  As we were getting in the hotel shuttle the glass guy got there and was fixing the window. 

Finally we left at 6 the next morning from the hotel and were able to get a load heading back up here to the great white north.  So we do our pretrip and everything and headed out to pick up our load.  Unfortunetly we get there and we don't have a pick up number.  So once more we had to sit and wait.  We had to wait 3 hours before we finally had a number.  Thankfully it didn't take long for they loaders to load us and we were finally on our way heading to Canada.  By now this is Saturday afternoon and my TE was leaving on Holiday on Wednesday so our days were numbered.  We managed to pull into a truck stop in Windsor Ontario after crossing the border Saturday night and that's where we slept in the truck.  Sunday it was a trip to Montreal Quebec with a quick stop at another OC in Guelph, our home OC.  Finally we make it to Montreal where we dropped our loaded trailer, and then once more we had to wait on a trailer that was to go to GM.  Got the trailer over there on the Monday and then got another load to be picked up so we headed to pick up an empty trailer in Laval Quebec and headed to Gatineau Quebec where we got loaded and headed on back to our home OC.  Monday night we arrived and stayed in the truck.  Tuesday came and I spoke with the trainer who trained me in class, and even asked if I could have more days out with another TE as the guys who had trained with me were getting 10-12 days or so out before they were gonna have to do their road tests.  My in class trainer asked how many days we were out and we told him 8 and he said he was fine with that.  Trouble was I wasn't.  He started me on what they call soft skills stuff and then another trainer came up to me and said we were going to go and do my SQT (skills qualification test) well I told him I wasn't ready so we were able to put it off.  To bad we couldn't have put it off a little longer, because I had to do it the next day. 

Wednesday I showed up at the OC at 7 to do the SQT.  Went out and drove the truck and failed like I knew I would because I wasn't confident in a couple of the skills I was asked to do.  So was told that I was going out either right away or in the afternoon with another trainer to do it again.  Did they offer me any time to practice? Nope.  No time to work on what I had trouble with so I just had to go and do it again after lunch.  After lunch came and I failed yet again.  Why? Because I still had issues with the same things.  So was told I would have to do it the next day.  Was I ready? Did I have a chance to work on the issues? Again the answer is a big fat NO so went out with yet another trainer.  As we were walking to the truck, the trainer says, "When you pass today this will be your truck" I felt better, felt more confident and just prayed I wasn't asked to do the one thing I knew I couldn't do.  Did my prayers come true? Nope I ended up having to do it again.  And once again I couldn't do it.  So that made number 3 a complete fail as well.  When we got back to the OC I was asked how I thought it went. I said I thought it went ok except for one turn and that if I had a couple more days just working on that then I'd be fine and would be able to pass.  Was told that he couldn't give me anymore time and that I had failed, but he'd mark me as OK for rehire and that if I went out and got a job with a company that did more local, city deliveries that I could come back, do a road test and they'd rehire me.  So that left me unemployed.

So that brings me to today.  It's now been 10 days and I've been out applying to other jobs but so far none of them have worked out.  I had one interview and they passed on me cause they don't feel I can make the commitment for the two years they want. 

This close to Christmas and I'm depressed.  I can't afford Christmas presents for my kid,  I can't afford my horse and am seriously considering selling him since I can't ask Leo to pay for him for me.  I'm supposed to be moving him the end of the month and I don't know how I'm going to afford that either.  Leo suggested going back to driving bus, but there's only a week left before the kids are out for school break for Christmas.  I have no idea what I'm going to do cause I can't even seem to get a job working at McDonald's. 

Needless to say feeling like shit right now, and needing a way to escape reality if even for a few hours.  And seeing the Hobbit last night didn't help even if my best friend thought it would. 

I think the only thing that would help right now would be a job, but I'm beginning to wonder if that will ever happen.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Life couldn't be all roses right?

So I haven't written for a few days but here's another update.

Things with Jack are wonderful for the most part.  He's such a good horse.  So fun to ride.  Haven't done anything but walk on him and the occasional steps in trot when he was feeling grumpy.  Yes the extent of his grumpiness is getting into a trot and backing up at the halt, both no big deals for me to handle.

So for the summer months at least I was going to have him on Pasture Board where he'd be outside all day and night, then for the winter months bring him in.  June 30th was the first night he was left out, and immediately jumped or tried to jump a 4ft fence, when I say tried he ended up breaking the fence so the pasture horses all escaped, luckily the barn manager and staff were still there to round them up. 

Barn manager tried to put him in the field again with the horses on Pasture board and he didn't want to have anything to do with them, once again attempting his escape over the 4ft fence.  Needless to say he's now in a field with one other horse at night but with his friend's the rest of the day. 

Got a text today from the barn manager saying that he's not handling the outdoor board and that he's lost a lot of weight.  So now I'm scrambling trying to figure out just how I can keep him happy, and keep the weight on him and not be in debt up to my ears.

I'm going to look at one barn tonight, that is a possibility to move him too if the barn is nice and the cost is in my price range.  It wouldn't be such a big deal, I'd put him on indoor at the place we're at if I was working still, but with it being summer, I'm off for two months. If I end up staying at Walden Ridge, I will look for a Part Boarder but if I do move him to this other barn I wouldn't need one.

All of that board stuff after I actually took the plunge and got on him without my Alli safety blanket, as I call her, getting on him before me and being there for me.  :)  I got on him with Leo there watching me and holding him for me when I needed!!!!!  I had gone out the night before I got one him with the intent to get on him that night but I chickened out, using the excuse the bugs were bad when really it was my low self esteem getting in the way.  Other people were in the ring and I thought more about what they MIGHT think about me then what I really wanted to do.  So Leo and I went out yesterday morning, after I cried the night before cause I couldn't get on him, and I got on him while no one else was around. :)  I cried again but they were happy tears this time. :)  So now I know I can get on my horse without my safety blanket. :)

Our first ride together without Alli our safety blanket. 

I knew it wasn't going to be all roses with him, he had to make my life difficult in some way. :)

Good thing he's cute and I love him. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I love my horse!

I love my horse!  Have I mentioned that? I'm sure I must have because I absolutely LOVE my horse!

I went out to the barn to work him a bit tonight on the lunge line and this time we didn't need to use the whip as motivation! YAY!  He's such a smart horse.  I walked him and trotted him on both reins and then decided to see how he did on the Canter.  We picked it up on the right rein in no time! The left we were a little slower with but eventually got it. :) Then I let him off the lunge line to see what he would do and he walked right over to a corner of the outdoor ring and started munching on grass.  Yes he's very food motivated. :) I got the lead rope on his halter and then walked him around the ring a bit.  Had him step over a trot pole that was on the ground.  At first he didn't want to step over it and tried to fight me but eventually he got the hang of it and walked over like a pro. :)  We walked over a few more a few times then I thought what the hell let's try a trot over a pole.  The only time he's trotted over a pole he actually jumped it when Alli was on his back.  Tonight there was no jump. He just trotted over it like a pro star!

Have I mentioned I love him? ;)  

When I got him back to the barn I started scratching him by his the crest of his neck and he was making funny faces cause apparently that's his sweet spot. Leo got video of it with my phone.

Don't mind my disgustingness.  I'm still working on getting me in shape.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Another installment of teaching a young horse to lunge!

Ok well he sort of knows how to lunge, now it's just expanding on that. LOL

Friday night I came home from work, decided to go for supper so loaded the car with Alex, Judy and I and we went to Swiss Chalet before we headed to the barn.  I'd promised Alex he could come see Jack Friday night and it worked well cause Leo had a gaming session so he wasn't home.  Anyway we had supper then went to the barn.  As always Jack was in his stall munching, I swear he's very motivated by food. Pulled him out of his stall away from his precious hay, and put him in cross ties.  Alex at first wanted to groom him so I said he and Judy could groom him.  Suddenly Alex didn't want to groom him after only doing half of a horse.  Little brat. ;) Anyway Judy finished grooming him while I made him look like a dork. 

I know, he's a gelding but wear's purple.  He's sure of his manly ness. :)  After Judy finished brushing his tail I took him to the ring with the lunge line and we decided to do some lunging.  There were already a few people in the ring so I wasn't sure how exactly this would work, good thing the ring is HUGE!  Well he was good at picking up each rein in the walk and trot, I decided to brave it and try some cantering.  Hahahaha.  That ended up being a joke.  Couldn't get it on the one rein but got a few strides on the other.  I was happy with that.  I'm not in a big rush with him and so I'm not going to push him.  We'll progress when we're both in shape.  Course if I don't get my butt back into the gym he'll be in better shape than I will. LOL 

Anyway didn't do anything with him today since it was raining and we don't have an indoor ring but hopefully after work tomorrow I don't have to take mom to the hospital to have her knee looked at and Alli and I can get to the barn and ride him.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


So I decided to go a different route with this.  Now my blog is going to be my adventures with horse ownership. :)

As some of you may know, cause I'm not sure who actually reads this, but I bought a horse! YAY ME!  Ok I wasn't intending on buying one right right away cause I figured I'd work, save up the money to buy a new computer and then the truck and then finally a horse.  So I got a little messed up on the order.  But anyway, Alli, my coach and friend, will sometimes buy horses and train them and resell them sort of like flipping houses but with horses and the very risk of death and or injury all the time.  Now normally she get's the crazy horses and retrains them and resells them.  So when she told me she got a new horse I figured he was cute but was going to be crazy.  Boy was I surprised! She gave me the details on him- 4 years old, off the track, 16.3hh(every hand is four inches)-but imagine my surprise when she tells me he's sane and actually kind of lazy and that he'd be the perfect first horse for me!

I told hubby about it and he just smiled.  Alli kept telling me to hurry up and get the money and buy him. I was like "If only I could" she kept telling me she'd take payments.  :)  I sat down and talked to hubby, and Judy who's living with us now, and jokingly told Alli that I would talk to Judy and see if she could help me for now and I'd pay her back. Once again surprise number 2, Judy said she would!  So it was settled and Alli and I decided how much a month I would pay her and so on and so forth.  So for the next year or so I'm paying her at least a couple hundred.  Plus then I have to pay for board, and farrier (which is pretty decent since he's barefoot) and Vet. All in all not bad.

So yes I've bought a horse. 

My life is really a zoo now! 

So I haven't actually ridden him much yet, just still getting to know him.  Everything will come in due time. :) I love him already. He's a smart little cookie and nothing phases him.  Except being in his little three stall barn without his other two friend's.  Though starting in a couple weeks he's going to be an outdoor pony for the summer. :) The barn where he's at is about a block from the region's international airport, so the planes fly over head constantly.  He doesn't care.  I was walking around the arena on Friday on his back and a plane flew over head, a car horn honked right beside the ring and one drove past him and he didn't care. I love him!

I've started, since I don't get on him by myself quite yet, that I'm lunging him.  I don't do it to long with him as he is still learning this.  They don't lunge on the track so he had to be taught. The other night we tried and we just were both getting frustrated so I stopped.  He got one way but couldn't figure out the other. I let him be for a few days, he had his feet trimmed last night, so I made the trek out to the barn tonight and decided to try again.  Well I wasn't about to give up on the side he was struggling with, though when he still wasn't getting in after 20 minutes I was feeling VERY frustrated, but we kept at it and FINALLY he got it!  I'm so proud of him!  So I didn't do much more, and left it on a good note!  I love it when it clicks!  More later after our next adventure in Lunging. :)

Alli Riding him.

Never seen a pole on the ground before! Went over it!
Alex loves him too. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Something that kept me distracted

This is just something quick that I did while trying to be distracted. 

A before and After. 


  So fooling around here's a before and after.  What do you think? Skills in PSE are getting better huh? ;)

A year gone by and I miss you now as much as I did that morning.

As I sit here and look at the clock in the corner of my computer screen, that most dreaded hour creeps closer and closer.  It's hard to believe that in just a few short hours it will be officially a year since I got that phone call telling me that you had been taken to be with your brother, parents and grand children and great grandchildren that no one got to meet.  It was hard to wake up that morning a year ago to hear that phone ringing.  As soon as I heard the phone and it registered that it was ringing I knew why it was ringing at 4:30 in the morning.  You were gone and you were finally at peace.

We'd lost you years ago when the Alzheimer's took over. No longer were you the strong man we all looked to to lead our family. You were no longer the man you once were who would take your grandchildren out on the boat for the day fishing on the lake. All that was there when we looked at you were the memories of times gone by.

As a little girl I looked to you as an inspiration and a hero. You were my grandpa that I loved with all that I was. You were there for me when I needed you.

That morning a year ago, it was so hard to sit and watch your children cry, and all I could do was go and get food for everyone while they took care of making the arrangements.  When the Monday came and we all met in the Funeral home and I saw you looking as though you were sleeping it made me smile just a little knowing you weren't suffering through it anymore.  Though seeing you with a clean shaven face and with the weight loss you'd suffered you also didn't look like my grandfather, the man I remembered with the grey mustache just above that lip and how it would tickle everytime I kissed you good-bye.

Your funeral came that following Tuesday and as I sat there in the church listening I stared at the closed coffin, tears streaming down my face as I used almost a box of Kleenex surrounded by your family and friend's. Wishing we hadn't needed to say good bye but knowing it was best for you, knowing that you were now watching over all of us and fishing everyday as you looked down on us from your perch in the clouds. 

As I sit here writing this I'm reminded of something my mom told me that Alex had said once as they drove passed grandma's house:

"Grandma I'm going to get a ladder and make it go to heaven so you and nanny and I can go and see papa when he's there." He of course was four at the time and didn't understand everything.

I sit here and feel the sting of the tears as they build once again behind my eyes just as they did that morning 365 days ago. I think of how now you are probably fishing and teaching my unborn child that I never got to meet to fish, just as you did me. And giving him the love that I had wanted for him.

Good bye grandpa. I love you and still have an ache in my heart everytime I think of you.