Crafty crafts!

Had a lovely craft day on Friday with a colleague and her adorable black pug ‘Pearl’. Giget was a bit put out by the sudden appearance of Pearl, but no matter!

We made bath bombs in a variety of shapes (snowflakes, shells, leaf, small animals) in lavender scent (blue dye) and cucumber scent (green dye). It was a lot tougher than I remember. The salts kept cracking when I forced them out of the mold and we over-spritzed the mix to prevent this from happening–and then couldn’t get them out of the molds. I was hammering at them like crazy!

Haha, it was a lot easier when I made them years ago with my mom and sister. Oh well, we had some wine and dogs and a good time.

Then, Ian and I made up hot-chocolate mixes as gifts (something to eat instead of something to keep is the key to this Xmas!). I bought all my mixes and chips at Bulk Barn–love that place!

We did up a whole bunch of baggies of hot chocolate. Flavours included:

  • Silent Night Cider- cider mix with butterscotch chips
  • White Christmas Peppermint Hot Chocolate- peppermint hot chocolate with holiday coloured chips (red/white/green)
  • Feliz Navidad Aztec Spicy Hot Chocolate- spicy hot chocolate with greek yogurt chips

Yum yum yum!

I am also planning on making Christmas pretzels. 

Horse show #9- Not so triumphant

So, Sunday we trailered back up to QMS for a hunter show that marks the beginning of the Cowichan Winter Series. And how did it go? Well…

We warmed up pretty well, and then went into the indoor for a brief warm-up over the fences. Indoors is much tighter, twisty and the jumps come up a lot faster. We had a pretty ok warm-up, with some disunited canter and a bungled last jump in the line.

My courses were pretty easy, and I was feeling ok until…I went in for my course and got a refusal at the second fence–an oxer on the diagonal. They were pretty oxer-happy!

Picked up my canter and re-did it fine, then continued on course with 1 or two ugly fences. The next course went alright but it wasn’t fabulous. Then it was time for the equitation course, and I was freaking NAILING it! Until…I got the old ‘slam on the brakes and pop over from a standstill’ from Oats, and then we demolished the fence. And then proceeded to next diagonal oxer and performed the same awkward maneuver- and I jumped off, because I was SO not into having him leap over it from a standstill AGAIN.

WTF? So….What the heck?! Why do I fall off at horse shows? My show nerves clearly got the best of me, and all I could focus on was finishing the course. UGH. That means racing through it as fast as I possibly could.

We had entered the flat class and I was kind of not looking forward to it. To my ultimate surprise Oats was so good! He was honest, he was kind and he was so chilled out about it, I was shocked. This was the pony who had been excused from EVERY flat class I had entered him in due to bad behaviour- bucking, rearing, running backwards, everything.

He was a perfect gentleman. We placed third out of a fairly large field of 15 or so. So, our 9th show wasn’t really a triumph for jumping (man, I haven’t done that poorly at a show, ever?) but he really surprised me and was great for our flat class. Funny eh? The thing I’m better at (jumping) is kind of a disaster and the thing I’m afraid of (flat class) was perfect. How odd!

Ohh well, you win some, you lose some. 

And yet more free clothing- the Cowichan sweater

Familiar with Cowichan sweaters? Large, tight-knitted bulky sweaters that are super warm, but in my mind, not super fashionable.

Enter my dear coworker, who changed my mind about that. How? She GAVE me her vintage Cowichan sweater from 1960! And it fit perfectly! Turns out her boyfriend’s mom gave it to her, and it was a titch too small and was lacking pockets. That’s not a prob for me.

I wore it all weekend, and I absolutely love how warm it is. Everyone at the stables was jealous of my fab new (vintage) sweater. 

Get Lucky!

Well, I’m currently running three-for-three right now. How, do you ask? Winning contests!!

Yes that’s right, girls in our family start the winning gene at 28, apparently.

So what did I all win? Well!…

I won a trip with Chevron to fly with the Whitecap soccer team with my husband to watch the Whitecaps play Montreal. It included Whitecaps gear (hat/scarf/jersey/zip-up/t-shirt), $1,000 in Chevron gas gift cards, the flight, hotel (Sheraton!), tickets to the game and $300 spending money and boy did we spend it FAST.

It was a total blast!!

And next? I won a Youth ATV from Canadian Tire!! It’s valued at around $2,000 and it’s pretty small. We picked it up last weekend and had a great time zipping around on it. We are selling, but if it’s not decent $$…I am keeping it!

And next? Well, I had a miserable week a few weeks ago, bad stuff going down and felt really down in the dumps. You know what the best cure for that is? Winning $5,000!!! Yes that’s right, courtesy of a contest hosted by Co-op and Dairyland, I won five grand.

Yes, my week REALLY improved after that, indeed!! And prompted some very serious, in-depth discussions at work about how much money is ‘screw-you’ money… Consensus is about $500,000. Hm..

I’m on a lucky streak! Winning is in my blood!

My mom is incredibly lucky. So far she has won:

  • La-z-boy home furnishing home makeover- valued at $20,000
  • Home chef dinner party for 10 people- valued at $5,000
  • Trip to San Fran
  • Trip to Hawaii
  • Trip to Victoria- funny(horrible) story about that but it was originally a trip to Argentina that she filled out wrong, so she had won it, and then they figured out she’d filled out the wrong drop- box. AHH!!!
  • Ski trip to Silver Star

And countless smaller winnings- gift cards to grocery stores/hmv/ticketmaster/VISA.

What can I say? It’s in our blood! And my sister is currently on a trip (Air Canada cruise) that she won. Isn’t that nuts! 

Further adventures of Mr. Oats!- Horse show #8

That’s right, Oats and I headed up-island to the private school (Queen Margaret’s) for our first attempt at Training Level 1 & 2 dressage. This is where Oats used to live, and from what I understand, garnered quite the bad reputation for being a bit of a punk.

And how was his triumphant return? It WAS triumphant! Our tests were a bit shaky (I felt tense and Oats was distracted, I rushed through my transitions and was heavy-handed). I felt not-straight, and a little bit all over the place. 

BUT…Oats was falling asleep in the warm up ring, cool as a cucumber. Coaches recognized him and were very impressed at how much he’s ‘grown up’ in their words! They did say he used to be a wild man, a bit of a shit head to jump haha. He was able to redeem his reputation and showed very well for me that day.

Our scores were good, but I felt like they could have been better- 64% for Training Level 1 and 62% for Training Level 2. But you know what? It’s just experience. This was our first time, and I was a bit tense (judge wrote that I should hum ‘jingle bells’ in my head during my ride…!!!!) haha.

Oats was a good good pony. Yay for Honey Bunches of Oats! That was our eighth horse show this season- woo!!