It’s a Glamorous Life, Indeed.

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Clint is on the ground in this picture, teaching away!

 

So, we had a private horsemanship clinic about a month ago at a ranch a couple of hours from us. Our clinics go pretty smoothly now that we’ve done quite a few. The whole family is helping out, paperwork is all in order and the sound system is up and running. It seems so together. I thought I’d give you a quick glimpse into our life behind the clinics. Or rather, my life behind the scenes.

This clinic was a Friday / Saturday affair. Clint and the younger girls were going to spend Friday night at the ranch and Brennan and I would come back home to do chores. We still hadn’t gotten a Christmas tree so B and I would leave the clinic Friday afternoon, drive in the opposite direction from home to a town where we could do a few errands and get a tree. Then, we would make the two hour drive home so we could be there to do evening and morning chores before driving back to the clinic on Saturday.

It was a good plan. When you live quite a way from town, you tend to try to kill ten birds with one stone since you’re heading in. We’re no different, we prefer to cram as much into a town trip as humanly possible. Hmmm, I don’t know if “prefer” is the right word, but, it is what it is.

Our day began at four AM. Clint and I got up (I stumbled to the coffee pot as usual). We began the process of waking the girls up. By five, everyone was up and had scarfed down an egg / cheese/ bagel sandwich – the breakfast of champions, thank you very much – and were trudging out the door to help with morning chores and catch horses that were going with us.

At five thirty, we pulled out of the ranch in two vehicles. We made it to the first town and Clint left to go drop off a horse he had finished up training that was catching a ride back to New Mexico in a couple of weeks – as I said, we don’t waste a town trip – We met back up, got more breakfast for those that wanted it, I got more coffee and we hit the interstate.

We had been on the road about 20 minutes and we had a trailer tire blow. No problem. We pull over and play pit crew, our girls are getting pretty good by the way, and then we got back on the road.

Clinic went well – it was mighty cold, but a good day all in all.

Brennan and I pulled out later that afternoon than I wanted, but it didn’t seem right to leave before we did.

We drove the fortyish minutes to our next town and got to our errands. Bank, cell phone repair store, a couple of quick stops to check on Christmas gifts, then the grocery store. The day was getting loooong and I was thinking of our two hour drive home and all the feeding that needed to be done. Also, I was saving the Christmas tree as our last stop because it was going to be tied to the top of my SUV.

We pulled into the home repair / garden store – no cutting down the tree experience this year, we just needed a tree! You know those years? – Anyway, I went in, picked out a tree and paid for it. They guy came to trim what I need trimmed and put the tree in a net to travel. Then, I asked him to help me tie it to the top and he tells me he doesn’t know anything about tying things. Well, I can’t fault him for that, he’s the tree trimming and tree net guy, not the tree tying-to-the-top-of-the-car guy, right?

I tool a minute to think this through. I can tie things down, but I’m also only 5 foot 2 inches so I’m at a bit of a disadvantage since I needed to tie something down way over my head. I also had a good hour on the interstate going 75 – 80 mph. The last thing I want is to have our tree go flying backwards off my car in the dark, in 20 degree weather somewhere in Northern Nevada on I80.

I was really too tired to think this through anymore. So, I opened the back of my Expedition, looked at tree guy and said, “Just shove it in there.”

“Shove it in your car? On top of your groceries?”

“Yep, shove it in”

Shove he did and away we drove. My car did smell quite lovely – very “Christmassy”

Two hours later, around nine pm, we pulled into the ranch. I put my headlamp on (one of my favorite possessions, right up there with my beloved Muck boots) and tugged the tree out of my car, leaving a path of pine needles. Brennan and I lugged it over to the barn and propped it up inside. Then, we fed all the horses, drove up to the house and unloaded all the groceries. We did our best to shake pine needles out of the bags before going into the house.

We put on our pj’s and heated up some canned soup around 9:45. Had to get to bed because we had to leave by about 6 am to journey back to the clinic for day two.

Brennan wasn’t feeling great when we went to bed (do you think maybe we had exhausted her? No, that couldn’t be it!). So, when I woke her the next morning at 5:15, I told her to get up and get dressed, I’d go feed and then we’d leave.

As I was putting on my winter gear to go out to feed horses, I thought about the chickens. Hmmm, we left early the day before so no one checked them. I thought I’d better take warm water down (we haul water to the chicken coop) in case their water was frozen. I filled up an extra milk jug with hot water and decided to drive down to the barn because it was pretty icy. I’m now trying to justify this decision to drive down. It’s not something I ever do, I have no idea why it occurred to me that morning.

I drove down and left the headlights on so I could see in the dark to feed the horses. Again, I had my headlamp, so I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t want to waste gas with the car running, so I turned it off, but kept the lights on. (Can you see where this is headed?)

I fed the horses and dealt with the chickens. The whole thing didn’t take more than 15 minutes at the most. As I walk back to my car, the lights look dim.

“No, No!” I pick up the pace to get to the car, skidding on ice as I went. Too late. It’s dead. ARRRRRGGGG!

I walked over to the shop – I know there’s a battery charger there somewhere, not sure if it works.

Nope, doesn’t work.

I call a friend who happens to be part of the family that owns this ranch. He works at a power plant close. Well, half an hour away. But hey, out here, that’s close.

I ask him if he knows of any other chargers around that might work. “No” he says. Then, he takes pity on me and says he’s on his way to give me a jump.

“Oh no, you don’t need to do that” I say, knowing I really do need him to do that.

A half hour later, he shows up, we hook up the jumper cables and get the car started in all of thirty seconds.

Then, we were off to the clinic.

On the bright side, my car still smelled pine fresh.

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