31DC: Day 31

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Picture

Last one.  Bet you're pretty sick of all these posts now.  LOL.  Well this one is pretty vague.  A picture.  So I guess it's up to me what kind of picture I want to post.  So...

Pony love.  Nothing better.


31DC: Day 30

Thursday, December 30, 2010

3 Wishes

Just 3 wishes?  Can't I have 5 or 10?  No, alright I guess I'll stick to 3 then.

I wish for a new job.  One where I enjoy what I do, I have co-workers who appreciate what I do and don't stab me in the back.  One where I get paid an appropriate amount for what I do, where I can make enough money to support myself and my pony comfortably without having to work a second job.  Mainly I just want a job where I don't make myself sick everyday I go into the office.

I wish to meet someone.  I'm almost *gasp* *shudder* 29 *eek!*  And I'm ready to settle down and meet someone.  I want to have someone to share my life with.  Someone to come home and complain about my day to.  Someone to listen to as he complains about his day.  I want to have someone that takes care of me.  I want someone to share my love for my pony with.  I just want someone to be there for me, no matter what.  I want to have a family.

I wish I had more confidence.  I wish I had the confidence to achieve my potential when riding.  I wish I had the confidence to go out and get what I want in life.  I wish I had more confidence to take chances with my life instead of doing what's safe.

And I know this was probably meant to be an uplifting post.  Oh what do you wish for, kind of thing.  Really though it's kinda depressing for me.  All these things I wish I could have and yet it probably won't happen for me.  Ok, time to go eat ice cream.


31DC: Day 29

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Something That Stresses Me Out

Well if you've been following this blog for anytime at all you know that the big thing that stresses me out is my job.  I'm overworked and underpaid (of course, who isn't?)  I really am to the point that I'm ready for just say 'Eff You!' to this place.  My health is suffering, I'm absolutely miserable and I hate my life.  Oh joy is me.

And since even thinking about my job stresses me out, that's all she wrote.


31DC: Day 28

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Pets

Show Name:  X-Tra
Barn Name:  X, Bup, Dirtball, PigPen
Age: 1995
Breed:  TB
Color:  Bay with an interrupted stripe
Height:  15.3

Yeah, my Bup is nothing new on here.  So not too much else to say that you haven't heard already.

Show Name:  Special K
Barn Name:  Kaye
Age:  1990
Breed:  TB
Color:  Bay with a star
Height:  16.1

Again you pretty much know all there is to know about Kaye

Show Name:  Valley Miss
Barn Name:  Miss, Miss Moose, Moose Mare, Miss Moosella
Age: 1988
Breed:  TB
Color:  Bay with a blaze
Height:  16.2

Name: Squalor
Nick Name:  Squalie, Squalie-Cat, Squal-Squal
Age: 2003
Breed:  Domestic Short Hair
Color:  Black with an itty, bitty white spot on his belly

Squalie is a former barn cat who came home with me Thanksgiving of 2008.  He had been living at the barn to several years but he was low kitty on the totem pole.  The other cats would pick on him and he didn't really know how to stand up for himself.  He wasn't very happy as a barn cat.  So I decided to bring him home with me.  Since he has moved into my apartment he has become a difference cat.  He's much more energetic, he actually gets to eat  instead of being pushed out of his food.  He's such a cuddly little cat now.  When it's time for bed, he will just climb up on my chest and go to sleep.

Name:  Chloe
Age: 2000 (ish)
Breed:  Beagle/Collie mix

Chloe is our lovable barn dog.  Bonnie's daughter brought her home from Rogers Flea Market.  And for the first few years Bonnie was trying to pay people to take Chloe.  She was so bad!  You would call her and she would run in the opposite direction.  It wasn't until she got left behind for an event that Chloe started behaving better.  Now everyone fights over Chloe.


31DC: Day 27

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last 5 Books I've Read

1) Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Well I just finished reading Anne for like the gazillionth time.  I love this series, I really have lost count of the number of times I've read the books.  I can really relate to Anne, she's a dreamer and has a huge imagination.

2) Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean

Cheesy historical romance novels are sort of my thing.  I love getting lost in a cheesy, happily ever after story.  What can I say I love romance?  This particular novel was the second in a series fallowing...

3) Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

Once again just a wonderful cheesy romance novel.

4) Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

I love, love, love Julia Quinn.  If you like historical romances you must check her out.  She has a wonderful series about the Bridgerton family.  I love the series that have intertwined characters like that.  Each book stands alone as an individual story, but the characters that you have come to love will make appearances in some of the other stories.

5) A Lady's Guide to Improper Behavior by Suzanne Enoch

Yet another one of my cheesy romance novels.  I love the 'Beauty and the Beast' spin that Enoch has in this story.  A war hero that has been slandered and made to sound as though he did wrong.  Only with the love and support of a very proper English miss can he clear his name.


31DC: Day 26

Sunday, December 26, 2010

iPod on Shuffle, First 10 Songs

1)  I Want It All ~ Queen

Queen is sort of the soundtrack of the summer show season.  My trainer and I both love Queen so we will always listen to it in the truck on the way to and from shows.

2) In My Pocket ~ Mandy Moore

Love this dance song.  Matt and I always would have to hit the dance floor at Pegasus when it would come on.

3) Cell Block Tango ~ Chicago Soundtrack

Love, love, love musicals.  This is from the movie version of the show and I adored Renee Zelwiger and Catherine Zeta-Jones in it.  And this song is great.

4) Leaves and Kings ~ Josh Ritter

I was introduced to Josh Ritter by a friends parents a couple of years ago.  I first saw him live in Toronto and he was amazing.  Great folk music, and his concerts are great.  He mostly plays small clubs and things like that, so it's a great, intimate setting.  He really interacts with the audience.

5) All I Ask of You ~ Phantom of the Opera Soundtrack

This is absolutely my favorite musical of all time.  I love the story, I love the music, I love everything about this show.  I've seen it like 5 times and I will happily see it another 5 times.

6) I'm Still A Guy ~ Brad Paisley

Yeah, I'm a regular old farm girl, I love country music.  And I love Brad Paisley, not only can he sing, but he's totally hot as well.  Love this song, I just think it's so cute, and really true too.  We're always asking guys to hold our purses and things like that.

7) To Sir With Love ~ Glee Cast

Oh course I'm a huge Glee fan, I'm a broadway nerd it's only natural.  I loved this song, and in the episode I was crying as the kids sang it to Mr. Shue.

8) Cigarette Song ~ The Clarks

The Clarks are a local Pittsburgh band that's been around for as long as I've been alive.  They have great sound and it doesn't hurt that the lead singer is gorgeous.  Cigarette is one of their best known songs and it's got a great line in it about the Fayette County Fair.  They have always remained true to their roots.

9) Toxic ~ Britney Spears

Yes, I'm a huge Brit Brit fan.  What can I say, she's great.  I know, I know she's made some horrible choices in her personal life but she's got great music.  There's nothing better to get ready to go clubbing that bopping around to Britney.  And when Glee did it's Britney episode it was the best thing for me!

10) Whiskey in the Jar ~ Seamus Kennedy

My Uncle Ralph introduced me to Seamus Kennedy a couple of years ago.  He took me to see him play at Kelly's by the Riverside.  Seamus is an Irish folk singer who does a great show.  He's entertaining and really gets the crowd going with his music.  When my aunt and uncle went to Ireland several years ago, the tour was arranged with Seamus.  And every night they went to a local pub and Seamus would sing.  They both had a great time and I wish I had the money to go on one of his tours.


31DC: Day 25

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Something I've Learned

Well, I've learned a lot of things.

I've learned that nothing cures what ails you like being on the back of a horse.

I've learned that sometimes your mother really does not what's best for you.

I've learned that no matter what you can always call your best friend, regardless of the time of day or night.

I've learned that there really is nothing better than flying around a cross country course on the back of a thoroughbred.

I've learned that while mares can be absolute bitches they can also be a mother to their riders.

I've learned that you don't have to ride in clinics or take daily lessons to learn.

I've learned that just because someone is a good rider does not automatically mean they are a good teacher.

I've learned that oxiclean is a riders friend.

I've learned that you can never have too much tack.  You never know when that extra bridle is going to come in handy.

I've learned that the bond between a girl and her horse is stronger than anything else.

I've learned that just walking around the ring can be enjoyable, especially when you are walking on a horse that should have died a year ago.

I've learned that no matter what, I wouldn't give up my pony for anything.


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone, from all the ponies and I.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, filled with family, friends and of course these amazing animals we are lucky enough to call partners.  Thanks for reading!


31DC: Day 24

Friday, December 24, 2010

Favorite Vacation

My favorite vacation is one I am lucky enough to go on every year in April.  Every year at the end of April we head on the annual pilgrimage to Kentucky for the Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event.   Really did you expect my favorite vacation to not include horses?  This past year was an even better time as we had the opportunity to see the Kentucky Cup Dressage and Show Jumping events in addition to the 3 Day. 

How could you not love a weekend where you can see top horse and rider combinations performing one tempi changes, pirouettes, other Grand Prix dressage movements, see horse tackling some of the most difficult cross country questions, and them finish off the weekend with some awe-inspiring stadium jumping.  It truly was an amazing weekend.  And I can't wait to go back in 2011.  And who knows maybe someday, I'll be riding there...


31DC: Day 23

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Favorite City

What can I say I'm a hometown girl.  I love Pittsburgh.  And actually, where I'm at right now it pretty perfect.  I far enough outside of the city that I don't have the expense of living in town.  But yet I'm still very close.  So I can still take advantage of all the great things Pittsburgh has to offer.  Such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Broadway Series, and other shows.  All the great restaurants and shopping downtown.  And how can you not love a town that's home to



And let's not forget some of the great food Pittsburgh has to offer.  Like


Seriously though, some of my best memories are of Pittsburgh.  I can still remember going to the Children's Symphonies with Aunt Sandy and Uncle Ralph when I was a kid.  Then afterwards we would do some shopping in downtown at Kaufmann's and Horne's.  I remember sitting in the shoe department and Uncle Ralph showing me how to use his camera while Aunt Sandy tried on shoes.  And since then my love of the theater has not diminished.  And I still cherish every opportunity I have to see a show.  I really love going to the Benedum Center or Heinz Hall with Aunt Sandy and Uncle Ralph.  It's still just as magical an experience as when I was a kid.  And living so close to a city like Pittsburgh, I'm able to enjoy that fairly often.  


31DC: Day 22

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Something I'm Grateful For

I've touched on this in the past, specifically on my annual Thanksgiving post.  But because I think it never hurts to acknowledge this again, I'm going to reiterate here.

Most importantly, I am so grateful for my wonderful family.  Without them I would be nothing.  They support me, they are there for me no matter what.  I couldn't do anything without their love and support behind me.  I am eternally grateful for all that they do for me.

I am grateful that I have such a wonderful best friend.  Blair truly is a sister to me.  She has always been there to comfort me, let me vent or go get drunk, whatever the occasion called for!  And even though she is now living so very far away, we are still just as close as we ever were.

I am grateful for my ponies.  They each give me so much and help me in different ways.  No matter what is going on in my life I can always go in with X and hug his neck and I instantly feel better.  Kaye has taught me so much over the years.  She's been there to give me confidence when I needed it, and she's made me a better rider.  And Miss, she took care of me when I was just starting to event, now it's my turn to take care of her.


Walking the Moose

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I know I promised riding updates while doing the 31DC, what can I say though, this month has been incredibly busy for me.  Payroll cutoff at Pitt was insanely early this month because of the holiday.  So I was super busy with that.  And then I've been working 5 days a week at Wal-Mart as well.  So Jai doesn't get much sleep!  LOL  Wal-Mart has been crazy busy getting ready for the holidays of course.  Pretty much every night I'm kicking people out of my line so that I can shut down and go home. Oh well such is life.

So the kids have all been riding Kaye, so I haven't had a chance for a lesson in weeks.  But I have had some good walking rides with Miss Moose.  She's really feeling good now.  She wants to go to work.  And when we do go out she tries to use any excuse to break into a canter.  Two weeks ago I had Katie take a picture of Miss and I.  Thinking of entering it in next year's SmartPak "What Was I Thinking" contest.

Katie was laughing at us.  She said I looked like a ninja with a cape around my waist.  But I don't care!  I was warm.

Clothing Count:

  • Fleecy Britches
  • Full chaps
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • Western boots (cause my paddock boots wouldn't fit over the socks)
  • English spurs on said western boots
  • Under Armour
  • Long sleeve t-shirt
  • 2 sweatshirts
  • Windhurst Jacket
  • Exercise blanket
At least we were warm.  And Miss was working well, what do I care what we looked like.  And it's not like Boyd Martin or someone was there to see me.  LOL

I didn't make it out to the barn this past weekend, I had to get some shopping done.  Only a week till Christmas and I wasn't done.  I'm still not done and now I have less than a week till Christmas.  Eeek!  I have no clue when I'm going to be able to finish, I'll probably be out on Christmas Eve.

But Blair came home on Sunday!  Squeee!  I'm so excited.  She'll be home for a week and then next week, probably Monday, we'll be driving back to Georgia where I'll visit for a week.  Woot!  I'm almost more excited for that than I am for Christmas.


31DC: Day 21


Well there are the two obvious nicknames Jen and Jenna.  For the longest time I went by Jen.  But then in high school my best friend was also named Jenn and so I started going by Jenna.  Much less confusing that way.  Then when I went away to college, one of my friends tried to start calling my Jenny.  Which I hate the name Jenny, too many bad associations with people from high school.  So then it turned into JennyPenny, which was cool.   Because Penny was the kick ass girl from Inspector Gadget.  Eventually that got shortened to JaiPai.  And now Blair a lot of times just calls me J.

Of course there are the other nicknames that are not derivatives of my name.  XtraPony is one of them, thanks to this blog.  I had a co-worker once who called me Princess.  Perfectly fitting of course!  After all that's what I am.    And then there are the embarrassing nicknames from my childhood.   At one point I told everyone who would listen that my name was Garfield.  Hey I was like 5 at the time what can I say?


31DC: Day 20

Monday, December 20, 2010

Something I Miss

I miss having Blair in the same state!  LOL.  No really I do miss having my best friend close by.  Yeah, we talk on the phone all the time, but really it's not the same as being able to talk face to face.  I can't just call her up to go to the store, or the bar, or just to hang out.

Following on yesterday's post, I miss Bum Bev and Pap Bill.  It's been almost 14 years since we lost Bum Bev and just over 2 since Pap.  And I still miss them everyday.  Sometimes it's the stupidest things that will make me think about them and get all teary eyed.  When Jeffrey got married in September he asked me to light a memory candle for Bum and Pap.  That really meant a lot to me to be included in that way and also that he was including them in the ceremony.

Lastly, just a few months ago, my (long term) relationship ended rather unexpectedly.  With no warning to me, nothing really.  He just stopped returning my calls, answering my texts, everything.  I don't know why, I wasn't given any kind of an explanation.  Just suddenly all communication ceased.  I'm not going to lie, not here at least, that really hurt.  Was it something I did or said?  Or something I didn't do?  I don't know.  And I really miss him.  He was part of my life for so long, he was there for so much.  Talking to him and knowing that I had his support was one of the things that helped me get through my grandfather's passing.  I miss that.  I miss him, I miss talking to him and I just miss know that I had someone there for me.

Ok and we have another depressing post.  But in happier news Blair came home yesterday!  She'll be home for a week and then next Monday I'm driving back to Georgia with her and I stay till the 2nd!  WOOT!  We'll be in the same state(s) for two whole weeks!


31DC: Day 19

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Something I Regret

The biggest thing that I regret would be not spending more time with my grandparents when I had the chance.  Not to say that I didn't spend a lot of time with them, but I still wish I had more.  And I really regret that I was more interested in going to a horse show on the first day Pap was at Good Samaritan.  Because of that I missed my chance to see him when he was still aware and able to talk to us.  I did spend as much time there as I could in his last few weeks.  And even though it was really hard for me to see him like that, I'm glad that I did.  Even if Pap wasn't aware of what was going on, I'm glad that he was surrounded by family when he did pass on.  Mom, Dad, Aunt Sandy, Uncle Ralph and I were all in the room with him.  I was sitting in the chair by his bed, and was holding his hand.  He knew that he was loved by us all until the very end.  I just wish that I could have had more time.  I wish Bum Bev had been here to see me graduate, both high school and college.  I wish they both could be here to see me get married (whenever that might be).

Alright this is super depressing and making my cry.  So I think it's time to say goodnight.


31DC: Day 18

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Something I'm Looking Forward To

Well, there are a couple of things that I'm looking forward to.  More immediately I'm looking forward to Blair coming home for Christmas and then our road trip to Georgia.  I don't get to see B nearly as much as I would like to now that she's living so far away.  So I have to make the most of our time together.  And that's definitely going to happen this year.  After Christmas I'm going to drive back to Macon with her and spend a few days there.  We'll finally get to do that road trip that we've been wanting for so long.  And then I'll get to spend some time with Blair and have her undivided attention.  Yay!

And then a little further off, I'm looking forward to show season starting in the spring.  I can't wait to get out there in from of the judge again.  Whether it's in the dressage ring with Kaye, decked out in my sparkliest with Dalal or showing off Bugsy in Liberty, I just can't wait to show again.  It really is the highlight of my year when I get to show off the hard work I've put in. 


31DC: Day 17

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Dream House

Hmmm, my dream house.  Well first of all, my dream house is actually a dream farm.  Come on, you can't tell me you didn't see that coming.  And I've put a lot more thought into the barn than I have the house.  I don't want a huge barn, maybe 10 stalls max.  The stalls would all be 14 x 14 and have heated, automatic waterers and trap doors to hay from the loft.  There would be a heated tack room with a small kitchenette.  I would have a wash stall with hot water.  And there would be a laundry room, no need to drag blankets and saddle pads to the house.  Attached to the barn would be a large 100 x 200 indoor arena.  There would also be an outdoor dressage ring and another large outdoor arena for jumping. 

I would like to have enough acreage to several pastures for turnout and room for cross country schooling at various levels.  Ideally I would like to be able to grow my own hay on the property as well.  So lets throw in some hay fields. 

Now for the house.  I would like it be far enough from the barn that I don't have horses looking directly in my front window, but still close enough that I can easily walk to the barn when I need to.  An attached garage is a must.  And a mud room/laundry room between the garage and the rest of the house.  So I can strip off the barn clothes and toss them right in the laundry.  A big eat in kitchen, must be bright, with lots of natural sunlight.  I'd like to have the formal dinning room to use for when company is over as well.  And then the majority of the first floor would be taken up by the great room.  Just a place for friends and family to get together and hang out, watch the game or whatever.  Also on the first floor would be the office/library.  Of course my massive book collection has to have a home somewhere.  Upstairs there would be a large master suite.  I'd like it to be big enough to have the bedroom area plus a sitting area.  Someplace I could have a comfy chair to curl up in with a book.  The attached bathroom should have both a shower and a jacuzzi tub, as well as his and her sinks and plenty of storage.  And of course there needs to be a walk in closet.  Also upstairs would be two or three other bedrooms and a separate bathroom. 

Yeah I know I'm not asking for much here.  :)  Now to find a really rich husband to buy this for me.


31DC: Day 16

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Favorite Quotes

Well originally the prompt was for your favorite bible verse, but as I mentioned a few days ago, I'm not terribly religious, so I wouldn't be able to quote you a bible verse at all, let alone name a favorite.  So we're going to discuss favorite quotes instead.
Along with death...hope and rebirth begin.

I can't actually remember were I heard this one, it's been that long.  But it's always stuck with me.  A reminder that even though it doesn't seem like it at the time, good things will eventually come from the bad.  The whole circle of life thing.  But thinking of this quote has gotten me through some tough times.
Don't dream it, be it!  
Ahh, good old Dr. Frank-N-Furter from Rocky Horror.  Although the movie was incredibly campy, this quote is a good reminder to always go for your dreams.  Regardless of how out of reach they seem, we are nothing if we don't dream big.  And you never know if you could achieve those dreams unless you try.
If we backed off on everything because of words that Republicans found silly, we'd have a lot of pregnant teenagers and no healthcare.
And now a TV quote, this is from Donna Moss on The West Wing.  Don't let anyone talk you out of your convictions.  It doesn't matter if someone else thinks it's silly, if it's important to you then you should stand by it.  Don't listen to the naysayers, listen to your heart and what you think is right.


31DC: Day 15

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Picture I Love

Well I can't exactly narrow it down to one picture that I love, so I'll be posting a couple here.

Last fall in November, Tom and I loaded X and Dalal in the trailer and headed out to Crooked Creek Horse Park for a weekend of trail riding.  It was an amazing experience to share with my pony.  He was something completely foreign to him, X had never been on a trail ride before at all I don't think, let alone something like this.  We got there late Saturday morning and saddled the horses up before heading out on the trails.  We probably rode about 15 miles or so that day.  After we came back I hosed my very muddy pony off and snapped this picture as he was looking off to the woods.  It was just a very private moment with my pony.  Tom and I were pretty much the only ones out there that weekend, and he was already back at the stalls with Dalal.

Astrid happened to catch this one day this fall when I took X outside for some confirmation shots.  I love that I have such a well behaved pony that I can just hop on his back with nothing but a lead rope on.  And not even attached to both sides of his halter!   Big time scary thoroughbred that he is.  I could have happily sat up on his back all day while he grazed around the yard.

This was from the second South Farm Combined Test this spring.  It was our first time at Novice and Kaye and I both had a blast with the move up.  Both of us have huge grins on our faces, and Kaye's ears are perked.  She was just on that day.  Jumping everything perfectly and with tons of room to spare.  

Obviously this is a favorite, this isn't the first time it was posted to my blog.  Not to mention the fact that it currently serves as my header.  I love this picture for a couple of reasons.  The first would is pretty obvious, Kaye and I are jumping cross country, something we both love.  And although I do notice a couple of glaring mistakes on my part (I wish I had more of a release, and I hate how much my lower leg swings back) every time I look at this picture I'm reminded that I jumped a training level cross country fence.  I got over my fears and I jumped that.  It's a huge boost to my confidence.

And Buggers.  I love catching moments like this on film.  I had been practicing braiding with Bugs one day this summer.  I was just ducking under the cross ties to pull out the braids when Bugs did his signature move and tried to play with my hair.  And Astrid caught it on camera.  I just love those moments, not posed, not scripted, just a personal moment with your horse.  

Wow this is an old one.  And it actually kinda makes me sad when I look at it, but in a good way, sort of.  If that makes any sense at all.  This is William, my former best friend's son.  To him I was Aunt Jenna, although often I felt like I was his mother.  For this particular picture we were on our way home from the Outer Banks one summer and we had stopped for dinner somewhere in West Virginia.  I loved that little boy so much.  And it really hurt not to see him again when I cut off ties with his mother.  But it wasn't a good relationship for me, she wasn't a good friend to me, and I really didn't have a choice but to end things that way.


31DC: Day 14

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Goals

Yay!  Goal setting!  Bonnie has really instilled in my the importance of setting goals.  And as you can see from post over the past year, I have tried to keep up with my goals this year.  Some successfully, some not so much.  So...

Horse/Riding Goals

  • Work to overcome my own fears and confidence issues
  • Become solid at First Level with Kaye
  • Work with Twinkie on the flat and over fences
  • Start seriously riding X again, get him out to some schooling shows
General Life Goals
  • Get a better job
  • Get a better living arrangement
  • Spend more time with the ponies
  • Manage my health better
Obviously some of these goals are somewhat outside my control, but with all of them there are things that I can do to work towards them at least.


31DC: Day 13

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I Believe

Well, this is kind of a hard one for me.  I'm not a particularly religious person.  Yes I do believe in a higher power, but I haven't been to church in eons.  And I'm not sure that I necessarily believe in a God as described by any particular religion.  How can a God allow such suffering to go on in the world?  How can God allow small children to be beaten and molested?  How can God allow wars and killing to go on for so long?  I don't know I would think that God would not want his children to be put through so much suffering.  Yes there is some kind of a higher power at work, but my thoughts differ wildly from the church I was brought up in.

So what do I believe in?

I believe that there is no better remedy for what ails you than the back of a horse.  I have yet to find anything that comforts me better than hoping on the back of my pony.

I believe that nothing soaks up tears better than my pony's mane.

I believe that there is no better feeling in the world than flying over a cross country course with my mare.

I believe that a well ridden dressage test is a thing of beauty.

I believe that the thoroughbred is the epitome of grace, beauty and power.

Amazing that all my beliefs seem to be related to the horse.  Shocking I know.


31DC: Day 12

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Something I Am Afraid Of

Well there are a couple of things.  And not tangible objects, like spiders or snakes (although I'm not really a fan of either of those)  The big thing I'm afraid of is failure.  I don't want to live my life and not accomplish anything.  And right now I'm feeling dangerously close to that.  When I'm old and on my deathbed, I want to be able to look back on my life and feel as though I've made a difference somewhere, for someone.  Right now, I haven't.  This also translates into everyday stuff.  When I start something I want to be able to finish it.  Once of the reasons that I sometimes get so frustrated with my lack of progress in my riding.  I feel as though I'm failing by not moving forward.

Somewhat fitting in with that is my second fear.  Which is being alone.  Not that I mean I can't ever be by myself, but I'm afraid that I won't ever find that "one".  That I won't have someone to share my life with.  And let's be honest here.  I'm not getting any younger.  I'm going to be 29 (shudder) in less than two months.  I'm sort of running out of time if I want to get married and have kids.  I don't want to be one of those women having kids at 40 and not being able to keep up with them.  Actually right now, I'd have to say this is my biggest fear.  And I guess it's just been really highlighted lately as a lot of my (younger) friends have been getting married.   Including some that I never thought would get married.

Alright enough of that depressing stuff.


31DC: Day 11

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Picture of My Friends

The first picture is Blair and I at the Nickelback in 2009.  She was home for her birthday week and since Nickelback was playing in Pittsburgh we had to go see them.  The second picture is from our New Orleans trip as discussed in the previous post.  Not sure what else to say about Blair that I haven't already said on here.  So...

Mattykins!  Matt and I met when I hired him to work at Borders.  We hit it off pretty quickly and soon we were going dancing at the gay club every Friday night after work and going to movies and everything else.  Matt was my gay boyfriend.  After I left Borders to come to work at Pitt, we drifted apart a bit.  In the last year or so, we have reconnected and although not as close as we used to be, we are getting back to that.  The picture was from the Harry Potter 7 Midnight release party.  yes we are grown adults who dress up like characters from a book.  It was fun.  Actually I miss those days...


31DC: Day 10

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Place I've Traveled To

Well I haven't really traveled anywhere too exciting.  Canada, Kentucky, Texas, that's about the extent of my travelling.  But two years ago I did get to go down to visit Blair when she was living in Mobile, AL.  I ended up flying into New Orleans as the ticket ended up being a bit cheaper than flying to Pensacola.  Of course since Blair had to come pick me up there anyway we decided to spend the night and party on Bourbon Street.

Best decision ever!  We had the best time there.  Blair took me for my first hurricane at Pat O's

Which of course led to hurricanes number 2, 3 and 4.  So that led to...

Drunk!Blair and Drunk!Jenna.  Hey you only live once!  We walked around Bourbon Street and the French Quarter for a while.  Really just checking out all the shops and the sights.  We saw these really cool "Living Statues"  

After walking around for a while we headed back to our hotel and got ready for our night of partying. :)  We went for a nice dinner and then headed back to Bourbon Street.  We kinda just wandered for a while.  Hit whatever bars spiked our interest.  Until we came to a bar we had seen earlier in the day.  

That place was so much fun!  They had a small stage and a couple of well, "DJ"s for lack of a better word.  They would sing along with the music and really interact with the crowd.  And well it didn't hurt that the guys was really hot!

Yummy!  All in all the trip was so great.  Blair and I got to explore such an interesting area and I got to spend some serious best friend time together.


31DC: Day 9

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Favorite TV Shows

Well there's going to be quite a list for this one and I'm sure you'll notice a trend.  I'll start with JAG and NCIS since the later is a spin off of the former.  My mom and I started watching JAG together back in it's second season.  And I just loved the show.  The courtroom drama was do good.  And the military setting made it stand out from all the other Law and Order type shows.  The characters were engaging and the casting of David James Elliot didn't hurt either.  Watching him every week in his summer whites wasn't a hardship.  Even better when he was in the flight suit or dress whites.  Yummy!  NCIS was a spin off from the eighth season of JAG.  While JAG focused on the courtroom aspect, NCIS was the agency that investigated the crimes.  The main characters were all members of the Major Cases Response Team (MCRT) at the Washington, DC office.  There's a lot more banter and humor than you would see on JAG.  And a lot of the forensic aspect of crime scene investigation.

Continuing with the crime drama; Bones.  I started watching Bones after I picked up the first season on DVD for $15.  I figured for that price I would check it out.  Loved it.  I've always liked David Boreanez since he was on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  And man is he even better in Bones.  He plays Special Agent Seeley Booth of the FBI who is partnered with Temperence Brennen of the Jeffersonian Institution.  Temperence, or Bones as Booth likes to call her, is the leading forensic anthropologist in the country and the two of them work to solve cases with little evidence other than what the bones tell them.  I love the interactions between the characters, Bones is very much involved in her work and not too up to date on pop culture and things like that.  During the first and second season it was very common to hear her say "I don't understand what that means."  She is very logical and empirical, science is the key to everything, emotions have no place in her life. Booth is the complete opposite, he often follows his gut while solving cases and has tried to teach Bones to listen to her heart.

The original CSI is what really sparked my interested in the forensic investigations.  Although I had already been watching JAG, they never got much into that aspect of things.  CSI was the first for me.  It was so interesting to see the science behind the investigation.  How they could learn so much just from a single fiber or drop of blood left at a crime scene.  The characters were a good mix as well.  But after several seasons I did begin to lose interest in the show, they focused too much on just the science without delving much into character background and interactions.  And as much as I did enjoy the science, I'm ultimately a people person, and I want that character driven story.  I'll be honest, when they finally did start looking into the characters more, I didn't really care for the direction it went, and that sort of ruined the show for me.  I have though in recent months started watching again.

Glee is my feel good show.  When I heard there was going to be a comedy about a glee club with lots of broadway singing, well of course I had to watch!  The actors that were cast are perfect, so very talented.  And the songs are great!  The Rachel/Kurt duet of Defying Gravity from the first season was amazing.  And the guest stars, Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel!  Swoon!  How very jealous I am of Lea Michele to get to sing with both of those amazingly talented women!  They second season has been somewhat disappointing, not really living up to the first.  But I have hope for it yet.

Some of my favorites unfortunately are no longer on the air.  The West Wing will always be one of my all time favorite TV shows.  It follows the two term presidency of Josiah Bartlet, liberal democrat from New Hampshire.  Jed Bartlet is the man I want to actually be president of this country. 


31DC: Day 8

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Favorite Books

Yay!  Time to talk about books.  Actually this was a prompt I added.  Since I'm doing this in December I needed 31 prompts.  Since there are prompts for favorite movies and TV shows, there needs to be one for books as well.

The first is L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables.  As a young girl I really identified with Anne.  Like her I was always writing stories and I had a huge imagination.  And I'm not ashamed to admit that I still have a huge crush on Gilbert Blythe.  The Anne series chronicles Anne's life after she comes to live at Green Gables, a farm owned by brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert.  Anne's imagination and constant daydreaming get her into no end of scrapes, such as accidentally getting her best friend drunk and sinking the Barry's dory.  But Anne's heart of gold wins over even her toughest naysayers.

Another favorite of mine is Janet Evanovich's wonderful Stephanie Plum series which starts with One for the Money.  The series begins with Stephanie losing her job as a lingerie buyer.  Desperately in need of a job she blackmails her cousin Vinny into giving her one.  Only it's not doing filing like she thought.  He gives her a job as a bounty hunter.  And her first skip is Joe Morelli, Trenton cop and the boy who took her virginity when she was a teen.  Of course Stephanie has no clue what's she's doing so she turns to her very own Professor Higgins, Ranger Manso.  Ranger runs his own security company, Rangeman, and also does all the high dollar (read:dangerous) skips for Vinny.  Her books are hysterical.  For all the training and help that Ranger gives her, Stephanie is still not your typical bounty hunter.  Her gun is more likely to be in her cookie jar than on her person, she frequently ends up covered in garbage while in pursuit of her skips.  And in almost every book she manages to destroy at least one car.  But in spite of all this she still brings in her skips.


31DC: Day 7

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Favorite Movies

I guess it would make sense to split this into two categories:  horsey and non horsey movies.  We'll start with the non horsey movies first.

One of my all time favorite movies would have to be Dirty Dancing.  Love, Love, LOVE IT!  The chemistry between the Johnny and Baby is so good.  The dancing is amazing.  And how can you not just love the final dance?  Of course it doesn't hurt that Patrick Swayze is so yummy to look at.

My other all time favorite is Romancing the Stone.  I could watch it an the follow up, Jewel of the Nile over and over again.  Romancing the Stone stars Kathleen Turner as a romance novelist who goes to South America to help her sister.  While there she hires Michael Douglas to help her find an expensive jewel over which her sister was kidnapped.  Great action, plenty of romance and some pretty funny scenes.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I can remember when the first one came out in theaters I refused to go see it, can't really remember why though.  But I randomly decided to rent it one night.  I was hooked.  I forget how many times I went to see The Two Towers and Return of the King in theaters.  The movies follow the books fairly well all things considering.  The cinematography is amazing, the costumes are great, the cgi fits in seamlessly.  And there's Hottie Elf Boy, what more could you ask for?

And now on to the horsey movies. 

First up: National Velvet.  It is the story of young Velvet Brown who dreams of having a horse of her own.  through unusual circumstances she ends up with the Pie, who she trains to jump.  Eventually she takes him to the Grand National.

International Velvet is the sequel to National Velvet.  Velvet Brown's niece, Sarah,  from America has come to live with her after her parents are killed.  Velvet gives her the last foal of her champion the Pie.  Sarah raises the colt, whom she calls Arizona Pie and trains him to compete in 3 day eventing.  She garners the attention of the British team and earns a spot to compete at Ledyard.  The really cool part is the movie was filmed at the real Ledyard event and riders live Denny Emerson can be seen in the movie.

Another great eventing movie is Sylvester, staring a young Melissa Gilbert as Charlie.  She is working at an auction yard to support her two younger brothers when she sees the horse Sylvester.  Charlie sees the potential in Sylvester and plans to retrain him and sell him for profit.  After seeing him jump the pasture fence she dreams up the idea to show him at the Rolex Kentucky Preliminary Event in order to sell him for more money.  It very cool to watch the movie and recognize all the places at the Kentucky Horse Park.

And finally, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.  It's a Disney movie, so expect the fluff.  It the true story of Sonora Webster who ran away from her aunt during the Great Depression to get a job as a diving girl in a carnival act of high diving horses.  Well she's not diving girl material according to the owner but he does give her a job taking care of the horses.  With the help of the owner's son, Al, Sonora eventually learns to be a diving girl and gets her chance in the show.