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30 October 2014

Carus is in 4H!



Carus has joined a 4H Horse Club. They are hoping to do only one fundraiser this year. The goal is to have each girl on the team to raise $100 by asking for 10 sponsors at $10 each.

The funds would go to helping the girls attend the County Fair next summer, practice arena fees, horse tack, traveling fees, and to replace some old trail equipment.

I have letters to send to those that would be interested in donating. It's a tax deductible donation and we'll send you an addressed envelope so all you have to do is add a stamp and stick in the mail.

Comment here or send me a private message or text or email if you'd like to be a sponsor.

Carus and Scout thank you!



Photos are semi-staged. Scout has been a bit of a mud ball lately because he likes to roll in the dirt and our rainy season has started so the dirt he likes to roll in is mud.  And lots of it. 
So much mud. 
Carus wanted to be a mud ball with him.  

She climbed on him and got all dirtied up (including some artfully applied mud to the face) and rode him bareback so she wouldn't have to spend an hour trying to remove enough mud to put a saddle on.  Where her legs are were the cleanest spots on him by the end of the evening.   

Scout blowing us a raspberry was not staged. He's a goober.  

If you're in the area and you want to attend any of Carus's 4H shows, let me know and I'll keep you in the loop for the details of when and where and how many layers of warm clothes you should have (her first is coming up in November and rumor has it that you freeze).

26 September 2014

What the heck did you do to your foot?

I hurt it.

I'm working on getting it better though.

What I did, though?  Well, I rolled it/twisted it last year at Leakycon, on the first day, and then proceeded to attend Leakycon (I was.not. missing out!) for the next 4 days.  I took a couple days of rest afterwards and it was feeling better but once I stopped the rest it got bad again.

Rinse and repeat.

I would rest it, it would get better for a little bit and then I'd have an extra long day or busy day or it was Tuesday (meaning that sometimes I don't know why it hurt more) and it would get bad again.

I could still walk on it though.  The first few steps in the morning were horrible, but it warmed up or stretched out or whatever and it would be better.  If it was a really long or busy day, it would be bad bad bad that night. I'd ice it, elevate it, and occasionally take some pain meds.  It's the foot I use for the foot pedal at work as well, so that might have helped keep it from healing all the way.  Quite a few of my coworkers have foot, ankle, and hip injuries from using the foot pedal.

I had had an x-ray about 2 weeks after the injury happened and it showed soft tissue swelling but no breaks and all the doctors assured me it would get better - here have some vicodin (which didn't help, by the way).

And so it continued until about a month ago when I got up in the morning and couldn't put any weight on my foot.  I tried resting and wrapping it with an Ace bandage and icing it, but it didn't get better.  I would suck it up and push through to do what I needed to do or wanted to do (cause that was about when Gramma was visiting) and then cry when I could sit down again.  At Robert's and Gramma's suggestion, I put on Robert's walking boot that he had from when he broke his ankle and was able to walk again.

I hate the boot though.  It's heavy and awkward and hot. It throws my balance off - which I didn't have the best balance before - and makes me more clumsy. I've run into walls (not face first, I'm like pin-balling off walls occasionally) and the other day I stepped on my other foot. How? I have no idea.  I've tried to be careful, but I've nearly gotten Yoda and Leia who like to lay down directly behind me when I'm in the kitchen, and Timmy who is all black and still insists on laying in the middle of the hallway in the middle of the night and you can't see him, and I kind of kicked Carus with it the other day (oops). Also, I can't drive with it on. I don't want Robert to drive me around most of the time because either I'm waiting for him to go somewhere or I have to listen to him whining about me hurrying up (grocery shopping). Sometimes I make him drive me and sometimes I take the boot off, drive myself where I need to go, and put the boot back on.  Driving doesn't hurt (which weird?).

The doctor didn't assure me it would get better and throw more pills at me this time.  I think the boot made it really clear how much it hurt to walk on it and she ordered an MRI thinking perhaps I had little bitty stress fractures that don't always show up on x-rays and I could be rebreaking over and over.

I don't.  The MRI showed that I have posterior ankle impingement (That link is a Google search if you want to read up on it.) and that I have an os trigonum which usually isn't much of a problem except that one of the bones of the ankle that is supposed to fuse before or in adolescence (between the ages of 8-11) didn't fuse in my ankle.  Which is a rare common anomaly (meaning that it happens and doesn't cause a bunch of problems so it's considered normal) occurring in less than 7% of all adults.  My doctor actually sounded excited telling me about this because she had to do some research on it before calling.  It was like, "this is so awesome! I learned something new!" which is adorable. And she referred me to a specialist since she wasn't sure what else could be done beyond rest and ice and medication for pain.  The foot has a LOT OF ANATOMY, YO!

Yesterday, I went to see a podiatrist.  We really like this guy. We've seen him before for Adam's ingrown toenail removal.  He's funny and informative.  He takes the time to answer your questions and explains things very well, all while making you laugh.  When he first came into the room, he introduced himself, shook our hands and then turned to me conspiratorially and asked if I knew this guy while pointing to Robert. He diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis and recommended orthotics for my shoes, no more barefoot walking, stretches and exercises, and a steroidal cortisone shot. The first three things were easy; the shot was not.  It wasn't bad - my anxiety over how much it was going to hurt was worse.  It did hurt; it's a shot, but it wasn't the worse shot I've had. He injected it in my heel near the arch of my foot. When he finished he asked if it hurt, I said yes and he said, "I didn't feel a thing."

Last night, all was fine and well with the shot - until I got really really hot. Robert said it was the medicine in the shot - he has had 5 of these shots in his spine and SI joint in the past month or so - and I wanted to cry (but that could be hormones or September or stress or I'm just a big baby). I slept last night like I had a fever I was trying to break.  Even with a fan on me all night I was roasting.  This morning is better, I think. At least I'm not overheating.  I have the boot on again - with an orthotic in it - and while it's not 100% better, I think it is a little improved.

So yeah - that's where I am.  My foot still hurts. I still have to wear this stupid boot. I'm still going to complain about it, I don't care if you had to wear it longer Robert.  But hopefully this is the first step (heh, pun) to helping it get better.

24 September 2014

Outlander - Episode 7 - The Wedding

***Spoilers ahead - kind of.  If you haven't read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and want to, you might not want to continue reading.  If you've read the books, you know what's going to happen...the show is one interpretation. ***

***Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened.  When she is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.*** 

You can watch the first episode for free until June 2015 on Starz play.  Other episodes are only available with a Starz subscription.

Most of my "review" is written live while watching the episode and then edited for clarity.


Well, they've changed Frank and Claire's wedding. Which didn't piss me off until I thought we wouldn't get to see Jamie and Claire's actual wedding.  But before I got too huffy I figured I should wait until the end of the episode.  

I thought it was good how they went from Claire's kiss to Frank on their wedding day to her kiss with Jamie. And the look on her face, of heartbreak and despair is painful.

Jamie's toast to Claire is adorable. And then she downs three glasses of whisky (or wine?) in her nervousness.


Claire drinks soooo much in this episode. 

Watch:  Contract negotiation clip. cause I can't find an clip I can embed.

When Jamie told Claire how he married her to keep her safe from Randall and she fully realizes what that means for him, her face is so sweet. It looks like her first unguarded loving gaze at Jamie.

I like how they showed how they were getting to know each other with just bits and pieces heard through the getting to know each other conversation.

 
 

And then Rupert and Angus burst in and be goofy dorks.


So many good little tidbits in this episode and I've apparently discovered how to gif the crap out of my posts.  Just enjoy the gifs.  They say it all for me.

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Can you imagine having to lace up a corset every day?  Also - you don't have to completely unlace it, Jamie.  You just loosen it because otherwise it takes forever to do it back up the next day. 

Their first time is a bit quick, and Claire looks as if she is trying not to laugh.

Jamie then makes her laugh with his naive thoughts on love-making.

Dougal sounds jealous of Jamie.

With the amount of whisky they're drinking either they can hold their liquor or it isn't that strong. We've seen at least 5 glasses for Claire.

Lines Outlanders have been waiting to hear #624 - Jamie first calling Claire 'my brown haired one' in Gaelic.

 
 

I like that we get to hear Murtagh more on the show than in the books. It gives a sense of just how important of a relationship Jamie and his godfather have.

  
"Your mother had the sweetest smile, it warmed a man to the backbone just to see it. Claire’s smile is just as sweet." 

I go from loving Dougal to hating him to loving him again.  Here, loved him.


Jamie's conditions:
In a church before a priest.
Wedding ring.
A proper dress for Claire to wear.

Another favorite bit is Rupert and Angus getting the ring. Their silliness and teasing is the best.

  

With that scene, Carus said they remind her of Fred and George (of Harry Potter) and I agreed.

And then adorable little old Ned negotiating with a bunch of whores.


This bit was hilarious too:

 

At last, our first look at Claire's wedding dress (well, first look for those that were able to resist all the links for the sneak peak of it)(I had been able to resist) and it is gorgeous!


Beautiful. 


 
 

Jamie's face when she said she couldn't marry him was heart stoppingly sad.

The wedding was lovely.


Claire is falling for Jamie.

(Gif of Dougal and Claire.)

And back to hating Dougal.

Things Outlander fans have been waiting for #345: Jamie giving Claire his mother's pearls.

Which might be the final sweetest thing that made Claire fall in love with Jamie.

 

This shot was beautiful.

Again, I wanted the episode to continue. BUT having it be only the wedding and wedding night was a very good idea. It keeps us feeling all warm and fuzzy for Jamie+Claire.

The next episode is the mid season finale and the last one we will see until 2015. Aaack!!!

I'm excited to see this episode since we will get to see more of Frank and what frank is going through looking for Claire.

gifs taken from Tumblr

19 September 2014

Scout and Carus

Just doing a little riding.



It's amazing, the second I step out of the car at the barn a weight seems to lift from my shoulders.

Nothing and no one needs anything of me while I'm there.

The peace I get from a few hours at the barn here and there make the rest of day/week and all the stress that much easier to handle.

*Video is posted from Instagram and may not show up in emails forms of this blog post, please visit the blog to watch the video at http://smiles4u2have.blogspot.com/

18 September 2014

Garden

September garden






Green beans and strawberries. Not visible are a few tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion seed pods. 



A watermelon!  A 10 pound watermelon!



That was pretty delicious.  Sweet and juicy, and full of seeds unfortunately. 


*Photos posted from Instagram may not show up in emails forms of this blog post, please visit the blog to see photos at http://smiles4u2have.blogspot.com/

17 September 2014

Outlander - Episode 6 - The Garrison Commander

***Spoilers ahead - kind of.  If you haven't read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and want to, you might not want to continue reading.  If you've read the books, you know what's going to happen...the show is one interpretation. ***

***Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened.  When she is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.*** 

You can watch the first episode for free until June 2015 on Starz play.  Other episodes are only available with a Starz subscription.

Most of my "review" is written live while watching the episode and then edited for clarity.


We start out where we left off - with the cutie patootie Redcoat soldier (I think he's cute, but didn't put much stock in it since he's a 'bad guy'; however, other fans have attached themselves to him) asking Claire if she's alright. Dougal is doing his best menacing stare, we're holding her breath, and . . . phew, she said the right thing.

Dougal looks relieved by her answer.  Or surprised.



Um. Did they tell the rest of the group they were wandering off with the redcoats?

I didn't know the British army were called  Tommie's in WWII (and WWI was where it began: Link). Learn something new.

I'm still liking Claire's narration.

When arriving at the village/their destination, Cutie patootie redcoat had an interesting little swagger (definition of swagger) going on there.

Okay, good for him making his men care for their horses. Though, cutie patootie lost points being insulting to Scots in front of a Scot.

The entirety of the dinner guests are snotty after snotty. Seriously RUDE! General started out politely, "Cutie Patootie (Lieutenant Foster) are you going to introduce me to this noble Scottish gentleman?" And the introduction was polite. But it devolve quickly from there, "War chief, eh? I say this for you, you look the part." Dougal responded in a thick Scottish accent, quickly, which was probably deliberate. Heh, Claire's amusement makes me think she agrees. The English continued with their assery.  It's like they don't realize they're being asses.



Cutie Patootie made an attempt to call them on their assery over Dougal's accent and then Claire followed up with saying some English have horrid accents too. General replied, "the world would make a lot more sense if the world spoke like Londoners." (Meh eh ha laughs all around. So clever.)


*gif from Tumblr

"If ye wished to hear Londoners speak, perhaps should've stayed in London."

image

OoOoh, BURN by Dougal!



Funny how he can easily understand an insult.  And that is his "bitch, I will cut you" face.



Phew, Claire stepped in just in time.



General: "You do know how to order men about."
Dougal: "Ay, she does that."

*Insert our cackling laughs here.* No really, we cackled at Dougal's sass there.

And Claire looks so relaxed with her impending chance to get home. Time to drink it up! Nice chatty, happy music, laughy laughy montage.



Enter Randall! Dun dun dun! OoOoh, what is he going to say about Claire. Her expressions are brilliant here. Fear, wariness, and the relief and smugness over his exclamation of not having met her before.



Danger, Claire, danger. He's trying to get a rise out of you. Be careful.



Ugh, she wasn't careful.



Your chance is slipping away...

KNKNKNK

And Claire's character shows out. She easily abandons her concern for her welfare to go help the injured redcoat. And then she surprises Dougal by telling him she would feel better if he was scarce so they can't easily blame the injuries on him.

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Dude! That amputation was more graphic than I was expecting. Very well done.

Back with Randall, and no commanding officer to be a buffer. Nice touch with the straight razor shaving déjà vu. We get to see Claire's surprise and disorientation over two men that look so much alike.

"I look forward to revealing my try nature to you." Such an ominous statement from Randall.

Claire has much trouble keeping from making little slip ups with Black Jack.

cxxc

New tactic, new attempt, another lie.

*Adam found her description of the man of her affair hilarious as it was Randall she was describing to Randall.*

He isn't buying it.
image
*This photo is from: http://www.tv.com/shows/outlander/community/post/outlander-photo-recap-s1e06-the-garrison-commander-1410842124/

He draws?

Easy out, Claire. Give up Dougal and his men and get home.

image
*This photo is from: http://www.tv.com/shows/outlander/community/post/outlander-photo-recap-s1e06-the-garrison-commander-1410842124/

And then she mentions the flogging and gives away that she has seen Jamie. If he doesn't believe any of your stories so far, Claire, he is not going to believe you have just 'heard' of Jamie.

Randall relishes in telling her of his punishing Jamie. His pleasure in seeing how far he had to press Jamie to get him to crack and his frustration over his impotence in being able to beat Jamie's stubbornness. (Link to Sam and Tobias account of filming that scene.)

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They draw the whipping scene out so long. You get the brutality not only through the whip actually making contact with Jamie's back, the blood bursting from the old cuts with Jack's first stroke, the puddle of blood, but from the looks on the faces of the spectators and their gasps, the narration from Jack, the echoes of the whip behind that narration, and Claire's weeping. She not only cries because she saw the scars that brutality left and Jamie's embarrassment of them, but for the final realization that Jack is not Frank. There is nothing of Frank's gentleness and care for her sitting in front of her, no matter how hard she desires it. Her heart is breaking for Jamie and Frank, and herself. She repeatedly grasps for any hint of humanity in Jack so she can hold onto Frank.

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We knew this episode would be one of the harder ones to watch, but still it was hard. I felt like the whipping went on for ages. I wanted it to be over quickly, but I think with how they did it - how they made it feel longer - was well done. They need to convey Jack's sadism to us (especially considering us as viewers who haven't read the books).

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I think Jack is fascinated with breaking Claire as much as he was with breaking Jamie. He easily reads Claire's despair on her face and plays her, encourages her attempts to give him redemption and her hope. He gives her joy and relief by saying he'll let her go, and then literally and figuratively punches her in the gut.

What is a milksop?
  1. Milksop: a person who is indecisive and lacks courage.

Yay! Dougal to save the day! Phew!

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Dammit Scotland. There ya go being all beautiful again. Bastard.
image
*Photo from http://www.tv.com/shows/outlander/community/post/outlander-photo-recap-s1e06-the-garrison-commander-1410842124/

Why didn't Dougal think of St. Ninian's spring (link??) before?
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"If you drink from that and prove untrue, it will burn your gizzard out." The delivery of that line was perfection.
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"So I'm to marry you?!"
"Well, I must admit, the idea of grinding your corn does tickle me..."

'Grinding your corn' Ha! That killed me. Robert happened to be watching at that moment (he sneaks a few moments each episode, maybe testing to see if it will hold his attention...you came in too late this time, dear) and he was amused by that too. Who came up with that euphemism?

Unlike the Facebook Outlanderites, who want to turn each discussion into arguments of why they should have picked someone else to be Jamie/Claire/Frank-Jack, should have done it like, should have not changed this, should have changed that - essentially just arguing for the sake of arguing - I really like the Tumblr Outlander community. They've embraced the actors chosen and the changes and additions to the show and revel in the joy of this show. They acknowledged the darker aspects of each episode but they have made some brilliant gifs sets and memes for the good bits.  Like the interchanges between Claire and Jamie.

Especially this one:






*This gif set is from this Tumblr post.

And this one:







*gif set from this Tumblr post

Claire angrily stomping away after snatching the bottle is a perfect end to this episode.


Also, this photo:
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Murtagh is a Clairmie/Jaire (Claire+Jamie/Jamie+Claire) shipper.

Let's see. Next week's episode is The Wedding. The one a lot of the fans have been looking forward to. The story goes from just Claire's, to Claire's and Jamie's story.

How do you think they did with the whipping? Do you love/hate Tobias's Black Jack?  The first time I watched, his sniffing as Jack made me pause...but the second time (yes, I watch the episodes more than once, I'm not going to write while watching for the first time) it didn't make me pause and I only truly noted it once. Is it his (Tobias) way of getting into the Black Jack character and differentiating it from his Frank character?  Is that something other actors/actresses do when playing double (or more) roles in shows? Not specifically the sniffing thing, but something extra or different that they do with one character that they don't with the other. The first thing that comes to my mind is Fringe and Olivia and Altlivia, but I can't remember noticing quirks or nuances that the actress gave each person. Something to ponder when watching shows in the future.

*If you cannot see the photos or gifs in this post, visit the blog here:  https://smiles4u2have.blogspot.com

*Most photos in this post came from the photo recap done by:  http://www.tv.com/shows/outlander/community/post/outlander-the-garrison-commander-photo-recap-1410962129/

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