Sunday, August 15, 2010

Running Around With Many Sticks in My Legs

I usually get to rest on the weekends to some degree, even if it is only for a few minutes here and there at a time, but not this weekend. The family drove two cars up into the city to drop off the car that needed to be worked on at the shop for the day. We had a nice, fattening breakfast at IHOP with a very helpful, very pleasant server who received a large tip for his kindness.

We didn't get home until 11:30 AM. I grabbed Bombay, hosed down his gimpy leg and gave him a bath. I hadn't even been outside for more than a minute, and my nosy neighbor came outside with the kid she babysits. I probably blurted out an expletive. I don't even hear it anymore, as cursing is getting to be like Tourette's Syndrome to me. Every time I'm in a hurry, which is pretty much all the time, and someone gets in my way, out comes the bleep. Fortunately, they climbed into a car and I thought they were going somewhere. But no. They just sat in that car by my fence and watched me. I wasn't sure if they couldn't get the engine started or if they intentionally came out just to watch me and got in the car to minimize the distraction to my horses. After a while they got out of the car and went right back into their house. I seriously need to post a sign pointing directly at their yard that reads, "NOT HERE FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT."

Then I washed Gabbrielle, who is supposed to be gray but was looking more like brown from rolling in the dirt to keep the flies off. Lostine didn't need a bath, but she begged for one because she was so hot. By the time I got done giving three baths and trims, it was 1:30 PM and the horses were long overdue for lunch.

I got help leading the horses out to pasture, and had planned to do a photo shoot since the horses were clean, but when I looked out the window I could see that my nosy neighbor had brought the kid she babysits out to play with my horses through the fence of my pasture. I couldn't do a photo shoot with that distraction. I waited for them to leave. Since they stayed on the side of the pasture that is against the road, I couldn't very well go out there and complain about the trespassing. They do trespass every time they take the road in front of my house, because it is within my property line, but they can't get to and from their house and their mailbox without traveling it. They picked up their mail and dawdled all the way back to their house.

As soon as I started my photo shoot, my cell phone rang. My car was ready. This meant that if I hurried, I mean hustled as fast as I could, my son could drop me off at the shop on his way to a pole vault practice in Reno. I got my son's help bringing in the horses, but my husband was busy pumping up the tires on my son's truck. I asked him to stop for a moment to help, but he said he had to finish what he was doing. I was getting nervous because we were so short on time and I didn't have a few minutes to wait. We couldn't walk the horses past my husband and his compressor, because air compressors are very loud and make sudden noises, so I had to wait for my husband to stop what he was doing.

He finished in the nick of time, because the very minute after we moved the horses back to the paddock, a huge flatbed tow-truck came up the street and proceeded to dump my nosy neighbor's broken down car right up against our fence. There was a lot of roaring and banging and the horses were terrified. There's no way we could have moved them from the pasture to the paddock with that going on.

When your car has been in the shop for two months and the mechanic can't repair it, that's when most of us take it to the dump. Not my nosy neighbors. They have it towed to their place for parts. If it turns out that this second vehicle they've been driving is broken down too, it looks like they are going to be starting another car garden against the fence of my horse paddock. I'm sure they'll have people coming and going with tools, helping themselves to items under the hoods just like a junk yard.

My son drove me part way to the shop until we discovered he was low on gas, so we had to stop. I had no cash, so I showed him how to use my debit card at the pump. He dropped me off at the shop where I paid an exorbitant amount to get my car back, but only half-way repaired. It turns out that the one mechanic they have who knows how to fix this other problem only works on week days, so either I have to take time off from work to bring the car in again, my son has to drive it up and sit in the waiting room for several hours, or I have to drive it up on my staycation and sit in the waiting room for several hours. Lovely. It's not like I haven't been waiting months for this staycation, so I can get a chance to attack other things on my To Do List. It's always the unexpected problems that win out and suck up all my time while my To Do List just keeps growing longer.

I then drove to my son's track practice, which was preceded by a barbecue. I thought this was rather ironic, because I had just been saying in another post that I haven't had time to participate in a barbecue in my entire life, and here I was participating in one the very next evening. I felt bad, because since I was so busy, I couldn't bring anything. A trip to the store would have eaten up another hour or so of my day, so I just offered to help cook, but it turned out that one of the kids on the team is studying to be a chef, so he and the coach and the coaches' wife handled it all.

This was also ironic because one of the men who picked up my manure gave me a jar of hand-grown, hand-ground seasonings to use with meat as a gift. He asked me via email if we had tasted it yet. I felt bad because I had to explain that we've been so busy these past few weeks that we've literally just been eating salad out of a bag for dinner each night. We have no time nor energy to cook. Had I thought of it and knew about this barbecue sooner, I would have brought the seasoning for everyone to try, because they served tri-tip and Alaska salmon caught by one of the vaulters on his trip to Alaska this summer. Mmmmmmmm.

After the barbecue, the kids started vaulting and I broke out my pro camera with telephoto lens. They jumped at sunset, which usually makes for great lighting, but not so much in this case where I am covering a sports event. I could only get certain shots from certain angles without everyone looking like silhouettes. I normally like to get shots of them posing with the pole before take off, shots of them running up the runway with this long pole balanced in front of them, shots of them planting the pole and bending it, shots of them flying over the bar, and shots of them falling to the pit. This time I could mainly only get the over the bar shots with my back to the sun. After the sun set, I had to use my flash, and it was messing up the athletes ability to concentrate, so I had to wait until they were over the bar before pressing the shutter release. I got some great "flying squirrel" shots out of it. Today I need to post-process all the images and mail them off to the coach.

On the way home, it was dark and I got lost in some road construction. I ended up being detoured to head in the opposite direction of home. I had to travel for miles before I found a freeway off-ramp where I could turn around. Once I was heading home and out of Reno in the country, I realized I was almost out of gas. I had to hyper-mile it and coast the majority of the way until I hit the next city and found a gas station. After that my cell phone rang. I normally don't answer phones in cars, but this was late at night and there weren't many other vehicles around me. It was my son worrying about why I wasn't home yet. I had left the track practice before him, so he expected me to be home when he got home. It's nice to know someone cares.

I usually wake up around 5:00 AM Sunday morning to feed the horses so we can hit the trails before it gets too hot, but I was so exhausted from such a busy Saturday that I overslept. The late start kind of set a bad pace to the day, and the trail ride turned out to be full of new challenges I was just too tired to face. To be continued...


Breathe said...

I'd say you don't just have sticks in your legs - you are in porcupine status.

The to do lists have become a form of oppression in my world. So I gave up vacuuming.

Life is better and you can eventually climb dust bunnies, making them an aerobic workout.

Hope you are okay today, a tired rider is not a good thing on the trail...

Leah Fry said...

You make me tired. No really. I don't know how you do it. I'm impressed that you even went riding after all that, but from the sound of it, maybe it wasn't the relaxing ride you'd hoped for. Looking forward to the rest of the story.

Maia said...

What do you want to shoot? A child reaching in to the horses is a great, timeless shot if handled correctly. It has a lot more emotional appeal than a pole vault at a non olympic level. Start shooting your nosy neighbor and watch him/her disappear. Don't let the idiots distract you. You know what you want, go for it,

Mikey said...

Hey Maia's onto something!!! TOTALLLY start taking pics of your neighbors, lol. Become the paparazzi!! Excellent idea.
I laughed at your title, and laughed my way thru this post. Your neighbors are unreal. Shoot those cars too, see what think about that. I can't believe that. I can't stand a dead vehicle in my yard more than 3 days. One up against my fence? Um, NO.
You are dang busy girl. Porcupine status for sure. Your life is always so entertaining.
And your son, he loves you :) That's the best part :)

lytha said...

you idea of a yard sign made me remember a funny one at the hardware store recently.

"Der liebe Gott sieht alles, der Nachbar mehr."

God sees everything. The neighbor sees more.

: )

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Whew! what a day. Just think, you can begin again tomorrow.

Lol, Lytha, cute sign!