Man, I haven’t had a good dressage lesson in…2 months? Soo many things came up, unfortunately.
Nov we had extreme flooding, so had to wait for the roads/arena to dry up, and there was a gasoline shortage too. Fun!
Dec we had abscesses for weeks (not so fun), snowstorms, holidays. Boy that really adds up! We also had extreme cold- a week and a half of -9 so people had frozen pipes, frozen/black ice on roads and a ton of snow. Needless to say, not a productive month.
Jan my trainer got COVID so we had to wait until she was feeling better, and now she is! Yay!
And I was thrilled with how lovely Oats was feeling. Man this guy- 20 years old and he blows me away with how lovely and accepting he was in my lesson. We worked on a little pole circuit, and to the right he was foot-perfect. To the left, we started off really well but managed to kind of blow it to the pink poles. SIGH. Something to work on, as I know going left causes my body to twist in ways I don’t really want, lol. Oh well, guess it can’t be totally perfect, can it?? It was close!
So on new year’s day, I had the dumbest/best idea, springing from one of my barn mates. She had taken her mini out and had him pull her around on her skis! I don’t have xc skis, but I do have downhill skis, so I figured…If she could do it, so can I! I will just get Ian to control Oats and I talked it over with Oats’ half leasor and she suggested I loop the longe line through his girth, and use that as a handle. So we did it!
Ian dug my skis out from the netherworld of our stairs storage (not an easy feat mind you!) the day after NYE (and we weren’t even that hungover, lucky us!!) and off we went to give it a try 🙂 And how did it go? Really well! At first…
We cruised around, Ian suggested he NOT ride Oats in the field but instead run him, which turned out to be a very smart suggestion, lol. We cruised around, my barn mate rode her horse and took pictures and video for me, and we had a blast!
Until… The last go-around where I said let’s do it one more time! And Oats thought…yeah one more time WHERE I GO BANANAS And he took off bucking and bolting, and I was like oh fuuuuck first he’s going to kick me, or Ian, but then we let go of the ropes and reins and he bolted straight up the hill…To my barn mate’s horse, who lost her shit and bolted through the gate to the barn yard. FML. So, I got dumped with my skis at the bottom of the effing hill, and had to begin the grim march up, wondering if Oats had murdered my barn mate and her horse… But everyone was ok! They had a bit of a rough ride through the gate, eek, but made it with all tack and persons intact. PHEW! So, that was the end of that little adventure, hahaha. But it was fun! So that counts I guess 🙂
When I last left, I had a nice time in Kelowna visiting family, despite the growing spectre of bad weather + Omicron threatening most of everyone’s Xmas holidays!
I came home (flight was only delayed for over an hour) in the evening and then by morning we were up and packed for Christmas in Royston with my in-laws! When we left it was chilly and rainy, but that would immediately change…
But first, we visited the lovely Kingfisher hotel and spa to check out their beautiful lights display with my inlaws. They live quite close to it, and it is really a gorgeous place.
We cruised around Courtenay to look at the Xmas lights and were amazed by this guy- as it turns out, this house and skeleton are owned by an acquianteance of mine’s parents. Small world!!
Then my husband generously got us visits to the Kingfisher’s Hydropath experience, which I LOVED. Soooooo nice and relaxing, it’s a very expensive but super nice things to do and wow, you leave feeling tired hahah.
But we still had Christmas! It snowed a TON up in Royston on Christmas and we also lost power at his parents house, booo. We also spent three hours shoveling. Three of us! The worlds longest driveway?? Snow sooo heavy and thick, man. At least it wasn’t super cold out, but it did make me feel excited for our next adventure- back to cross-country skiing! 🙂
And on Xmas eve we visited with my friend and her sister and mom, of whom also bought houses close to my in-laws. That makes four people I know who have moved up-island…Maybe the writing is on the wall? Should I move to Cumberland, Courtenay or Comox???
We swam around in her mom’s AMAZING giant hot tub/therapy swim pool and it was sooooo cool. I loved it!
And were all limbered up for skiing the next day too! We hit the slopes in the afternoon and I rented everything online, so it was a breeze to swing up to the Alpine Centre at Mt. Washington and go for a good few hours of x-c skiing. The weather was pretty good, considering it was basically a blizzard the day before (we walked to my friends’ mom’s place, lol). A bit tricky to drive but wow, such a gorgeous day for skiing. Of course, I took Ian on the longest route possible by accident (Far East) and we had to hustle our buns to get back in time before the rentals closed and so did the trails, eek!
We did get a chance to feed the whiskeyjacks though, so cute, I just love them!
It felt nice to get out and get active for sure. The only downer part was the absolutely miserable weather we drove home in on Boxing Day. WOW it was nightmarish. Basically a blizzard with black ice most of the way back, with a special shout-out to Nanaimo for their absolute HORRENDOUS highway conditions. We got caught waiting after two minor accidents, so it was a good 5.5 hours home. At least we made it alive, jesus. It was bad.
I traveled a fair bit over the Christmas holidays (narrowly avoiding what turned out to be an absolute disaster of travel later, as many airlines cancelled due to their staff getting Omicron… ) and it went well!
I wasn’t in a great headspace due to the issues mentioned earlier (colleague dying, being way understaffed at work, Oats lame with what turned out to be a months-long abscess journey- thankfully that was it though?!!) but I figured it’s better to be away from all of that nightmarish mess, isn’t it?
I visited my family in Kelowna and it went completely fine. We had lots of activities and I enjoyed being in a winter wonderland for Christmas, we we don’t normally get snow here (and as I write, we have had the WORST weather in all the years I have lived here sooooo yeah we have a lot of snow here this winter?!).
We enjoyed skating outdoors in a beautiful little outdoor rink in downtown Kelowna, we went to Mission Hill winery for a truly fantastic little private tasting event, we went to see House of Gucci, we decorated gingerbread houses, I took my mom cross-country skiing to a hill near their place, and we went to a lovely and extremely pricey dinner at the Eldorado Hotel.
It was a very nice experience and something I didn’t know I needed- to get away from my own life.
Next up- actual Christmas in Courtenay at my in-laws house. And they had a ton more snow? Why/how is this winter weather chasing me?!
And I am definitely remiss in my reviews but I have a good excuse- the lead up to the holidays/end of the year ended in a tragic and sad series of events and I didn’t feel it was appropriate to have something fun or bright to post about.
That being said, I also know that we need something interesting and exciting to look forward to, soooo here we go: I ate the tinned daggertooth eel!! As per the recommended display, I ate it with a fork. So daring! To be honest, it felt a bit anticlimactic. Kind of a mirror to the end of a holiday season, is it not?
All the hype, bling and excitement and then poof! It’s over, and you’re left sitting on your sagging couch watching the ceiling stains from a slow leak in your roof grow larger, wondering what happened to all of the chocolate you got from Christmas. I listened to a podcast over the holidays (Dateline’s Too Fat to Kill) and I couldn’t help but feel like I identified in some way with it.
Also a curious title- was the person too fat to physically kill? Or too fat to muster the energy to kill someone? As it turns out, it was the latter, but hey, makes you think, right?
Anyways, the Christmas chocolate is gone because I ate a lot of it and also because Ian treaded into extremely dangerous territory by forgetting to buy me my half-pound Reese’s. HOW? A travesty!
To make up for it, he went and bought me more (non half pound but still ok Reeses) from Boxing Day sales and I already ate some. So, a partial redemption maybe but if I were Ian, I’d sleep with one eye open… So the daggertooth, looks slimy and unappetizing, also weirdly red?
But I’m here to tell you to be brave. The red is from a slightly sweet sauce, think that red sauce that you have on fried chicken balls from your best Western-Chinese takeout or buffet and the eels are slightly crunchy but stiffer than their similarly crunchy cousin- the sardine. I think the crunch comes from the spines?
I pulled out a spine or two for Gidget, but she has yet to crawl out of bed to try it… So they actually aren’t bad, and certainly don’t taste very adventurous. You know what is adventurous? Eating chapulines. Man, their little crickety legs got stuck in between my teeth every single damn time so I don’t eat them anymore, but you get it.I would compare daggertooth eel to a sort of crunchier, sweeter sardine. Not a tinned-fish favourite, but honestly not that bad!
I do prefer canned octopus, smoked oysters and mussels. YUM. Basically any fish out of a can is great, oh and don’t get me started on canned vegetables like mini corns, or mushrooms. YUMMM… I love the mushrooms, little button ones in a can. Amazing as a snack, and as a bonus, the eating experience takes me weirdly down memory lane to my grade 8 classmate, Constance Kaminiski, who told us her father died in a mushroom factory accident. We, as grade-eight prime assholes, thought it was the funniest thing. As an adult, I can fully recognize how terrible we were to poor Connie.
Maybe I enjoy mushrooms in particular in homage to her, in retrospect? Food as an experience links us to our past, and our future. Try going to Fairway and dig up a can of something strange yourself, really get out there. You only live once!
Actually, I had pre-Christmas blues instead of post-Christmas and WOW they were horrible. I wrote a cheery blog post two days before I had time off, I had talked with a counselor and I was feeling pretty darn great!
And then my last day of work, basically everything exploded and it was horrible.
I learned that two of our staff members were leaving, to add to the two who had already left in Dec. I went to the gym for lunch, and came back to work and was called in to my friend and former manager’s office urgently.
I was curious, wondering why she needed to see me so urgently?
Our friend and my former colleague had died that week. 😦
I was completely shocked, stunned and heartbroken. She is so young, only in her early thirties. I knew she had been sick, but I had no idea how bad her illness had been, and how long she had been in the hospital for. It was heartbreaking.
I numbly went back to my desk and felt terrible.
I stumbled through work that day, talking with our mutual friends and colleagues. I felt like I was sleepwalking, that this wasn’t happening to her. When I came home, I cried.
I also learned that Oats was lame again, literally three days before I was also supposed to be flying to visit family in Kelowna. WTF.
I collapsed, basically. I didn’t know what to do and it felt like my entire being, not just my brain, was collapsing inward on itself like a dying star.
My dear friend who is a total sweetheart came by and gave me some of her delicious toffee-bark and chocolates (she is the best!!) and she could tell that I was having a terrible time of it. I was.
So there I was, a few days before Christmas and my world imploded.