Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I've got nothing

I'm sitting here feeling a bit blah.  It's been a very busy week and things are just kind of catching up to me.  Princess Bear (PB) is doing fairly well in school and I'm proud of her.  That said there have been lots of things that aren't so ok.  Like the fact that she had her head slammed in a locker by a friend.  I know he didn't mean to do it.  Honestly the kid adores PB and wouldn't hurt her on purpose.  That said I wish the teacher was around when stuff like this happens!  Color me crazy but I like knowing that someone is looking after my child when she's at school. 

It's been rough in that I'm still going rounds with most of her teachers trying to get information.  I spent most of last year asking for a better idea of what was being covered in all her classes.  That way her tutor and I can stay on top of the situation.  No more getting the information that she clearly doesn't understand the night before a test!  There is a new principal this year and she has been very helpful.  It's pissing off PB's teachers but frankly my dear- I don't give a damn! 

It's been rough in that I had some health stuff pop up that wound up sending me to Promptcare.  Try this ointment, go on prednisone for awhile and oh by the way your blood pressure is sky high so go to your regular physician.  Ugh!  So I'm not tired because of the prednisone (like my insomnia needed some extra help- NOT!) so I'm doing benedryl to try to crash.  It's not pretty.  Mornings are never my happy time of day and this isn't helping!

There are general news events that I want to touch on.  Robin Williams.  A tough one for someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety since I was a teen.  Ferguson MO is still pissing me off a number of different ways. 

One the upside of things PB got her new glasses today and looks great.  These are prescription glasses though and she wants to be able to take them off whenever she feels like it just like she could with the plano glasses.  This transition might be tough since my daughter is as stubborn as the day is long.

I'm going to a learn how to crochet basics class on Thursday that I'm quite excited about.  I know the basic chain stitch.  That's it.  I want to expand my crochet & knitting experience.   There is also the small matter that once again PB is making me feel guilty for going out and doing something without here.  Every time this happens it makes me think that I need to get out and do more by myself.  It's good for both of us.  

I've also found out about the death of a blogger tonight that I am very sad about.  She had such a sense of humor and was so willing to share her knowledge.  I had just checked her blog to see if things had settled down a bit for her.  She was so witty and we were very in sync politically.  I'm sad to hear about her passing.  Prayers go out to her family.

So I'm just at a bit of a crossroads on what I'd like to write about.  So I'm going to take that as a sign to not really write about anything right now.  Have a good one.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Horsing around

Remember when I said that Princess Bears  (PB) first day went fairly well except for one problem that I thought was nipped in the bud?  That problem was the lack of air conditioning in her classroom.  She MUST have air conditioning since she can't control her body temperature and has a tendency to overheat.  Therefore it's been written into her IEP for years that any room she is in must have A/C.  This year her teacher moved rooms but they didn't move the A/C unit.  On Monday you could see where they had started but weren't done with the job.  Ditto on Tuesday.  I started panicking Tuesday night because the temperatures on Wednesday with the heat index were supposed to be in the mid 90's.  I started to get PB used to the idea that she might not go to school the next day.  That went over like a ton of bricks for many reasons.  First being that she loves going to school, secondly she thrives on routine and lastly because it was her friend TL's birthday on Wednesday and she wanted to give him the card she'd made for him.  I called the school at 7am Wednesday to see if any of the buildings men had been there since school dismissed at 2:30pm on Tuesday.  No go so no school for PB.  The principal called me to apologize for the lack of A/C and said she'd let me know as soon as it was in and working so PB could return to school.  She also let me know that the absence would not be counted against PB.

So I had to cancel a medical test that I had scheduled for yesterday since I didn't want to bring PB along for it.  Then it became a question of what to do with this kid who wasn't happy that she was missing school.  I spent a large part of the morning on the phone dealing with her coordinator, principal and others trying to straighten out this A/C mess.  Around lunchtime I decided to take her to Red Robin which is one of her favorite restaurants.  After that we headed to Washington IL to see the Budweiser Clydesdale horses that are here for about a week.  If you haven't had the opportunity to see them lately and they're someplace nearby you really should see them.   They are truly magnificent horses.  I love draft horses and have always joked that if I win the lottery that I'm going to start breeding Percherons.  Clydesdales are pretty incredible horses in their own right and Budweiser definitely spends a lot of time and money taking care of their horses.  The horse that PB rides is an Arabian that is about 14.2 hands.  Clydesdales are around 18 hands high.  PB looked at them and was like "those are some big boys!".  Ya think kiddo?  She was a bit bummed that the horses were all in their stables and couldn't be pet.  We actually made two trips out there yesterday.  During our second trip their mascot dalmatian was up and wondering around which also thrilled her.  She really misses the dalmatian we had put down almost 2 years ago.  After visiting the horses for the second time we went shopping for a new pair of boots for her to ride in and baby girl now has her first pair of Justins!  Below are some pics from yesterday and after that is some info about the Budweiser Clydesdale and dalmatians taken straight from their website!


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This guy below and on the right was 18.2 HH and weighs 2300lbs.  Thats a lot of horse!  Isn't he amazing?
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Just about the size of your dinner plate and about double the size of a "regular" horseshoe.
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PB and Clyde the Dalmatian
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 photo clydes1_zpsf6db4e4c.jpg The history of the Budweiser Clydesdales can be traced back to 1933 when August Busch Jr. and Adolphus Busch III surprised their father with six Clydesdales parading down a St. Louis street carrying the first post-Prohibition Budweiser beer produced by the brewery after the repeal of Prohibition. Realizing the affect that these “gentle giants” had on the crowds of onlookers, Anheuser-Busch began breeding Clydesdales for the Budweiser hitch in 1940. With more than 100 Clydesdales, the Budweiser Clydesdales have become an American icon that invoke a sense of nostalgia and national pride. What are the qualifications to be part of the Budweiser hitch? 1. Age: four years of age or older 2. Height: at least 6 feet tall from ground to shoulder 3. Weight: between 1,800 and 2,300 lbs. 4. Appearance: Bay coat, four white legs, white blaze, black mane and tail How much does a Clydesdale eat? Each Budweiser Clydesdale hitch horse will eat as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, 50 to 60 pounds of hay, and drink 30 gallons of water per day. Where are the Hitch locations? When the Budweiser hitches are not on the road, the Budweiser Clydesdales can be seen at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Mo., Merrimack, N.H., and Ft. Collins, Colo. They also may be seen at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch near Boonville, Mo. How are locations chosen for appearances? Thousands of requests for the Budweiser Clydesdales are received each year from all over the U.S. Each request is evaluated on criteria, such as: type of event, event dates, and how often the horses have made an appearance in or around that location. Check out the Clydesdale appearance schedule. Where is the official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales? The official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales is on the 100-acre Anheuser-Busch brewery complex in St. Louis. How are the Clydesdales transported to events? Ten horses are transported in three 50-foot tractor-trailers. The team stops each night at local stables so the horses can rest. Each trailer is equipped with air-cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride. How does one become a Hitch Driver? Driving the combined 12 tons of wagon and horses requires expert skill and physical strength. Hitch drivers endure a lengthy training process before they assume the prestigious role of "Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch Driver." How big are the Clydesdales’ horseshoes? Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weighs about 5 pounds - a regular horse's shoe is about 10 inches and weighs about a pound. What are the Clydesdale's hoofs made of? A Clydesdale's hoof is made of a nerveless, horn-like substance similar to the human fingernail. Does it hurt when a Clydesdale gets new shoes put on? Not at all, it is much like a person getting a manicure. What type of wagons are used at hitch events? The wagons are restored, turn-of-the-century beer wagons. Named using first letter of mothers name History of the Budweiser Dog The Dalmatian breed has long been associated with horses, and valued for its speed, endurance, and dependable nature. Dalmatians, also referred to "coach dogs" because they ran between the wheels of coaches or wagons, were known to be good companions to horses. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries. The dogs were swift enough to keep up with the wagons, and their light colored bodies and distinctive marking made them easy to see during twilight hours. How long have Dalmatians been associated with Budweiser? On March 30, 1950, in commemoration of the opening of the Newark Brewery, a Dalmatian was introduced as the Budweiser Clydesdales' mascot. Today, a Dalmatian travels with each of the Clydesdale hitches (East Coast, West Coach, St. Louis) perched atop the wagon, proudly seated next to the driver. What are the names of the Budweiser Dogs Budweiser has three Dalmatians - one for each of its primary hitch locations. 1. Budweiser Clydesdale West Coast hitch: Chip 2. Budweiser Clydesdale St. Louis hitch: Clyde 3. Budweiser Clydesdale East Coast hitch: Brewer How old are the Dalmatians? The age of the three Dalmatians range from only a year old to 7 years old. Are there any specific qualifications to be a Budweiser Dalmatian? To be one of the Budweiser Dalmatians the qualifications are pretty simple: the Dalmatian must be white with black spots, and have a good temperament. When the Budweiser Clydesdales pull into town, the excitement is uncanny and the news spreads quickly as hundreds gather to see these beloved icons. Before the crowds can see the magnificent Clydesdales though, it is time to set up and decorate! In one of the three semi-trailer trucks that take the East Coast Hitch from place to place, we carry portable stalls that shelter and protect these prized draft horses. Each panel weighs between 200-250 lbs. to make strong, stable enclosures that will keep the big guys safe and secure. Even the dog gets his own stall to feel right at home with the horses. After the stalls are set up, shavings, hay and water are added to guarantee that every horse is comfortable and at ease. Once all the necessities are put into place, the all-important Clydesdales are led to the stalls and comfortably settle in. While the horses get settled, it is time to decorate and let everyone know just how special these horses are! Awnings proudly displaying each cherished horse’s name are positioned above the stalls. In addition to these name tags, signs are added to provide viewers with basic information and insight about the Budweiser Clydesdales. Each stall is adorned further with an array of decorative items and fixtures such as flowers and mulch. These are creatively placed around the stalls to give the Clydesdales’ home away from home a little extra color and style to match the splendor of each esteemed horse. Garnishing the stall not only complements the beauty and regality of each Clydesdale, it also makes them feel loved and cared for. The process to onlookers is quite elaborate and time-consuming, but for the handlers, the extra attention to detail helps give the exceptional experience that guests have come to know and love. Loud clomping of shoes and the earth shaking under foot lets everyone know that the majestic Clydesdales are coming down the road. To be able to make this remarkable sound, the Clydesdales’ hooves must be well protected and continually maintained. We have our horses reset every 6 weeks by farrier John Soto. Every 2-3 resettings the Clydesdales get new shoes. Since we are a traveling hitch, John flies in to wherever we are to make sure the Clydesdales don't miss out on their pedicures! Horse hooves are very similar to human nails. Just as we have to trim ours, horses need theirs trimmed, so that they can have good conformation, not only in their hooves, but in their legs as well. Due to the amount of time on pavement, the Clydesdales wear horse shoes which weigh approximately 5 lbs. a piece. The sturdy shoes make it possible for horses to tread over cement and other rough surfaces without the worry of the shoes growing thin too quickly. Most of our traveling team wears size 9 shoes, which are about the size of dinner plates. In the front of the shoe there is a toe clip which helps keep the shoe from slipping off the hoof as the 2,000 lb. horses gallop and move around. Borium is welded to the bottom of the shoes for better traction on slick pavements, which is crucial for the pulling of heavy loads and cargo, such as the 4-ton wagon that the mighty Clydesdales often pull! In addition to the shoe, we add a leather pad in between the shoe and the horse's frog, or sole of the hoof. This helps cushion and protect the more vulnerable frog from being injured by any hazardous debris that may be on a road, like glass or metal. Each pad and shoe is exclusively shaped for each individual horse in order to obtain the perfect fit every time!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thanks for making me smile!

Since I've said I wouldn't post any anonymous comments I'm sticking with my own rules. That said whoever commented anonymously on Woohoo! It's Tim's post day today- you're spot on! Thanks so much for your comment!!!! It made me smile!!!!

P.S. Next just type your name if you don't have a yahoo account!

Monday, August 18, 2014

PB's first day of school

Today is Princess Bears (PB) first day of school.  She's in 6th grade now.  Where oh where has the time gone?  Last night she went through her trusty book of braids and decided she wanted a tucked in french braid.  Easy peasy PB!  Momma can handle that!  We'd taken her notebooks and binders to school and put them in her locker last week.  She's very excited to have locker #1!  We did her first day of school interview for her memory book.  Part of that is measuring and weighing her.  We'll do the same interview questions on the last day of school and more pics so we can compare how she's changed throughout the year.  Here are some pics of her today.


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 Everyone fussed over her glasses so much...her new ones will be here next week. I really hope she'll wear them!  photo Kier1stday20144_zps12dda00a.jpg Sharing a laugh with her buddy TL

 Here are a few pics from the charity Polo event we went to over the weekend. At half time they had a chuck a duck event and PB, my dad and my dad's best friend all participated.  photo Kierpolo_zpsf10a6892.jpg 
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There isn't too much to say about the first day of school. We encountered one big problem but hopefully it has been nipped in the bud. PB is pleased that so many of her friends are in her room. I'm just hoping and praying that this is a more productive year than last year. Below is a collage of PBs first days of school from 2008-2014 (we're missing 2013. Freaking cell phone that reset itself....grrr!) Several years ago a friend of mine who is big time into photography and scrapbooking suggested that I use a physical landmark to take PBs picture on the first day of school every year. I decided to use the mailbox. It's amazing how much my little girl has grown!
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Farm Kings Season 4 episode 1

Quick side note before I delve into what I thought about last nights Farm Kings episode.  I turned the TV on after I put Princess Bear (PB) down after the Farm Kings episode was over & GAC was still on.  It shows a pond in...Farmington Illinois.  Basically 15 minutes from here.  Small world.  I'd never seen Lake Life before so I watched a bit.  The company is based in here Peoria.  Even smaller world.  I was at a charity Polo event today and one of the Herman brothers from Lake Life was there.  Way small world. 

OK so now for my breakdown on the Farm Kings episode.  Of course the biggest issue in this episode was will Dan work for Freedom Farms or with Tom the contractor.  As we were watching the episode I was actually getting a bit annoyed about all the hype on whether Dan would stay with the Farm or not.  Past practice has shown that Dan always lets guilt get to him and he sticks by the family.  It's not always a bad thing but it was pretty bogus when Lisa called him home from his internship with Joel Salatin after the break in.   So I'm watching last night thinking "Of course Dan is going to take Joe up on his offer".  Dude- so wrong!  Obviously Dan decided to reach down and grab a pair!  Go Dan!  Now I'm not saying that family loyalty is a bad thing and in all actuality I think he'll go back to Freedom Farms but for now Dan is taking care of himself and his needs and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I think the 3 partners love the fact that Dan is a freaking workhorse for them but they have showed no interest in making him a partner or giving him any real say.  In their own way they've done a grand job of belittling Dan.  So there's a side of me that says "WooHoo!  Way to go for standing up for yourself and want your interests are". There is also the side of me that thinks its a pity that the partners couldn't make Dan feel valued enough to make their offer worthwhile to Dan. 

Joe having his little chart with the squares, several of which were blank, was an idea that is half cooked.  It's a great premise he just needs to work on it.  Joe, Pete & Tim also need to figure out what they're going to do for their family that makes it worth their while to stick with Freedom Farms in these lean beginning years.  The idea that one day things will be peachy keen isn't going to pay anyone's bills or give them warm fuzzies for any amount of time.  They need to come up with a plan that entices the siblings to work and in turn gives them a reason to stick around.  Also Joe trying to make a point of saying that they've invested in Dan was a load of b.s. What exactly did they invest in Dan?  He was already a farmer by birth so what exactly did they invest in him?  If Dan hadn't worked for Freedom Farms they would have actually had to spend the time which of course equals money to train someone else. 

I was a bit surprised that Bitty is once again the manager of the Donut shop since that didn't work out well for her the last time she did it.  I loved her idea of a donut cake.  Very clever. 

Once again Lisa decided that Mama Bear knows best and was going to have donuts at the sandwich shop even if it meant paying for them herself.  On on hand I give her props for doing whatever to make her customers happy even it there is a bit of a financial loss for her.  On the other hand it's a case of Lisa one more time being heavy handed and doing what she wants no matter what decisions have already been made.  On the plus side of the board I do give Lisa points for making it perfectly aware to her children that she expected them to support Dan in his job decision.   Bravo Lisa!

The part about Ben wanting to be a farmer was very heartwarming.  The family really does do a wonderful job of playing to Ben's strengths while still trying to introduce him to new things.  I think it's a beautiful commentary that Ben wants to be just like his big brothers.

Now on the technical side.  Yes there is still a narrator.  Yes this one is slightly better and I don't want to tear my hair out when I hear the commentary.  I still maintain that the narrator isn't necessary. 

So there you have it.  My take on this weeks episode.  What did you think?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ferguson MO

I live in Central IL.  If I head northeast for 3 hours I wind up in Chicago.  If I go southwest for 3 hours I wind up in St. Louis.  Princess Bear (PB) has Dr's in both places so I'm very used to hitting that highway 74 in either direction.  Both are big cities that have typical big city problems.  Gangs are rampant in both.  It just seems like St. Louis is a dirtier, more depressed area that always feels like it's on the cusp of  the $hit hitting the fan.  If you've been watching the news this week I'm sure you've heard about the rioting and looting in Ferguson MO that is a reaction to the shooting of a black teenager by a white cop.  It's a complete travesty that any of this is happening on so many different levels.  I'm warning you know that my view points my  piss you off so if you don't want to risk that stop reading NOW and check my next post in a day or so.

-First problem with any of this is the basic premise of the riots and looting.  There are lots of conflicting stories surrounding this shooting.  Bottom line an 18 year old is dead.  That is a tragedy.  A horrible, horrible tragedy.  The fact that many of the people of Ferguson are now participating in rioting and looting does nothing but detract from the fact that Michael Brown was shot.  The theory that nothing was happening and there was no attention being paid to the situation until the rioting  just doesn't hold.  The only focus now is on the rioting.  Not cool.

-The fact that it is based on race is truly taking back the civil rights movement by 50 plus years.  Don't make it about the fact that it was a black kid shot by a white cop.  Just make it about a loss of life.  Nothing more nothing less.

-Also don't make out the victim to be a Boy Scout when he wasn't.  I'm not saying that Michael Brown was a gang banger (although these pictures certainly seem to shed light on the fact that he quite possibly was.  See pics HERE).   Now some people are saying that those pictures are being taken out of context.  That might very well be the case.  It might very well be the case that they are spot on in what they portray.  I don't know.  What I do know is that we live in a world that has been made very small by the advent of the world wide web and that if you don't want something out there then you shouldn't put yourself in that position in the first place.  Growing up my mom made me crazy with one of her pieces of sage advice.  She always told us to never ever ever put anything in writing unless we were willing to back it up 100% of the time.  She also said that I should never let a picture being taken of me unless I was willing for my grandmother to see it.  Ya know what?  That was actually a pretty good litmus test for me growing up!

-I'm not going to begin to speculate as to whether the police have handled this correctly or not.  What I will say is that when a cop tells me to do something guess what?  I'm going to do it and I'm going to do it quickly.  It's just a matter of respect for the badge.  You don't have to like it but you do have to respect it.  That hasn't happened on several occasions.  The first time being when Michael Brown and his friend were told by the police officer to get out of the street and on to the sidewalk.  Being the oh so cool guys they were they didn't listen.  Things escalated and now Michael Brown is dead.  Frankly whether the cop used too much force or not Michael Brown and his attitude and lack of respect for authority had a part to play in his own death.  If you are a member of the press and cops tell you to leave you should probably listen and leave.  I'm all for freedom of speech and the fact that reporters have a duty to report things as they go on.  I get why reporters have descended about Ferguson.  I also understand that once again if a cop tells me to move I'm going to move.  If I'm a reporter I might still film while I'm moving but I'd freaking move!

-Just a preppers side note here.  The $hit is hitting the proverbial fan.  One of the first responses was for Walmart to stop selling ammunition.  While I certainly respect their right to make that decision and in some ways can even understand how they were trying to help the rioting and violence to not escalate it's still something that preppers should look at and make note off.  If you lived near Ferguson and had a gun and you want defend your home or business you need a cache of ammo.  Don't let yourself get screwed by not having this.  It is also very interesting that 2 of the 3 stores in the main strip where the rioting and looting were taking place that were not damaged in any way were those who were protected by armed citizens.  Guns do have a place in our society and this is just one positive example of that.  You can read that store HERE and HERE.

-President Obama really needs to shut is pie hole if he's going to a) negate the authority of the police, b) be a total hypocrite and talk about transparency when he truly has no idea what that concept is, c) stop playing the race card when it just inflames things.  He did it with the "If I had a son he could look like Trayvon Martin" and he's doing it again here.  You can read and see a video HERE

-Blacks inciting further violence are truly just hurting their own and need to be b#*ch slapped.  When you throw gas on a fire you risk burning yourself.  Be smarter than that.

-How sad is it that this all boils down to race and black peoples reaction to an event?  If the cop that shot Michael Brown was black or Latino you would have never heard of Michael Brown.  Blacks can complain about racial inequality but it is a cycle that they perpetuate themselves.  Below are a few very interesting commentaries for black people about this mess in Ferguson.  The first one features a woman that uses a lot of swearing.  If that bothers you don't watch this. HERE  and HERE.  I think it is incredibly refreshing and brave for these to people to stand up and call a spade a spade.  I'm sure it couldn't have been easy for them. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Farm Kings Season 4 coming soon

So who's ready for new Farm Kings episodes?  I know that Princess Bear (PB) and I are looking very forward to it.  Only thing I'm wondering about is why GAC bounced them to Friday nights at 9pm.  Isn't getting sent to Friday nights the last thing that happens to a show before it's cancelled?  I mean it's called the Friday night death slot for Pete's sake. Maybe we should start taking bets on whethere there will be a Season 5 but the idea makes me sad frankly.  That would royally suck.  The only upside of this is that  PB can watch it and not be groggy when I am trying to get her butt out of bed at 6:30am!  So I'm thinking we should do a scorecard of sorts of things that they might cover in episodes  (but most likely wont).

- Bitty's wedding.  OK we know they're covering this from the pics that were on Facebook and it was covered in their magazine.
- Maggie & Tim's wedding.  I'm going with no way no how.
- Joe & Heather's wedding.  Again, not likely.
- Tim & Maggie's baby girl.  I'd say there's a better chance of hell freezing over.


Am I forgetting anything?