dancing_crow: (Default)

Apparently the last Hurricane (Irene) made an impression on my subconcious.

Last night it rained and rained, I heard it in my dreams. About 4 am I woke up convinced the river was rising and we should get to higher ground. I peered out windows and saw nothing amiss, but the echo of 4 am haunted me in the morning. I convinced the kids to put things they treasured into the car, in case we had to run for higher ground, or in case I couldn't get back to the house later. So I spent the day with Aerin's bassoon and laptop, Alice's ancient and beloved bunny, and my computer and camera. 

In retrospect, I think I must have been listening to the neighbor's noisy gutters coping with the aggressive mist, rather than actual pelting rain all night. A tour of the local rivers showed them high: the Deerfield was well into the floodplain but not in anyone's basement, the Connecticut was over Elwell Island and up to the front porch of the marina on Rt 9, but not creeping across the fields to me the way I'd imagined. 

By the end of the day we'd returned the precious things to the house. But it was an interesting exercise. 

kids, bassoon, stuffies, computers - what would you save? 


dancing_crow: (Default)
in other news, the Boy, and his fish, which I made and am deeply proud of

The fish, not the Boy.

The Boy I am simply smitten with, as he is clearly the best and sweetest and smartest and funniest nephew I have ever had.
dancing_crow: (Default)
250 miles, 3 migraines, 2 cars, two adult children, two spouses, three grandchildren, two official family dinners - one realllly long weekend

We (Alice, Aerin and I) went to see my mother Friday. My brother was there with his wife and new baby. They were touring with the baby - his handlers and himself, on view to the masses...  For two happy days, plus this morning, I got to hug my nephew, who has to be one of the best babies of his age in the whole world. On Saturday we visited and ate non-stop. We saw my aunt and uncle, who are lovely in small doses. We saw my spare parents, and hugged them a lot. Al even drove in for lunch and supper, and drove home again. Aerin went with him because she was getting sick (mostly just snot; I am always grateful when there is no puking involved) and finally this morning Alice and I got blown about on Crane's beach before heading home. Honestly, it was 25 or 30 knots of wind, with whitecaps everywhere. We were joking about putting a string on Alice, and maybe a little more sail area and we could have flown her like a kite.

exercise: some beach, lots of hugging
horses: none, not even any on the beach to pine after
fabric: done and a view of the pieces so far


dancing_crow: (penny)
Yesterday was one of those 4 pants, don't stop kinds of days.

I did go to Yoga, and did a small number of very hard things, and made the teacher laugh. It still feels like a small, sneaky triumph to make the teacher laugh, no matter how old I get.

I rode the two younger horses. Penny, I keep forgetting, is 4. She doesn't feel like 4 because she is sensible and huge. It is easy to forget youth when the horse behaves like a slow geezer, but I can see it her balance. She can get some very nice trot work going; round and forward, and on the bit, but cantering is like waltzing with elephants. She tips, her shoulders go a different direction, and she has serious steering issues. So I spent a lot of time today trying to loosen her up on the right rein. She is stiff to the right trotting, and that translates to appalling canters to the right. We did a lot of shoulder fore and leg yielding to try to help her stretch her left side out around right turns. Then we did tons of canter departs, working on getting her bending right instead of dropping her shoulder and ploughing right. It is getting there, but slow.

Penny also has some issues with being saddled, mounted and dismounted. I've been taking it much slower, and trying to make sure she is comfortable and unworried at each step. The dismounting has to be the funniest to watch. She used to tuck her tail and squeal when I swung my leg over to get off. Now she swings her head around to find the carrot I am offering her as I lie over her back. I swing my legs around, and climb part-way off and slither back on again, praising her all the way. The plan is for her to get so used to me thrashing around up there that nothing bothers her.

Ruby is the opposite of all that. It is easy to think she is young because she is short and springy, and she looks a little sneaky. She is 3, she gets huge props for doing what she does calmly and well. What she does is walk, trot, turn and stop. We practice that a lot, and then we go walking and trotting in the woods. I was thinking she would be fun to do a walk-trot dressage test with next spring.

I re-upped my New England Dressage Association membership, so I get a list of shows and a membership card. The owners I ride for are cheerful about the idea of me competing their horses. I am laying in long term plans for some dressage competitions in the spring. Starting with learning my tests.

The rest of the day was driving to Brattleboro and a family circus class. We did mostly partner acrobatics. Both kids get flown, but the big one is starting to be just a little too heavy for me to carry easily. We all three line up to toss the little one around. Last night she was up for it, and we all had a pretty good time.

We are going to see They Might Be Giants tonight!! They come to my town. I walk to the show. I love this place.
dancing_crow: (Kaboose)
Who knew that the up side of riding a really difficult horse was that the return to an easier horse was BRILLIANT? 

Kaboose and I turned in a series of sterling canter departs, after some suppling and bending exercises I had used on the lesson horse. It was that feeling of holding between my should blades, and sitting harder or softer, that made a huge difference, plus the fact that I wasn't being propelled from the saddle by the size of her movement. I used less hand (thank you midnightsjane, you are completely correct - the worst part about Tuesday was yielding in the face of what felt like uncontrolled acceleration) and thought about buymeaclue's image of having horse in front of me. Whatever it was, it worked, and we got a series of soft, sweet, forward canter departs, with a good deal of much nicer, balanced canter, and even some non-rushing, non-falling-on-our-forehand down transitions. She was so light and I was so together, we tried a handful of walk-canter transitions, and she was so awesome I stopped.

Then I rode baby Ruby, and she was great too - we walked and trotted and halted, steering around in circles and experimenting with light contact. Then I tried to get her to move away from just one leg. A tiny, baby turn on the forehand. After some thought she got it figured out off my right leg, so I tried moving her off my left leg. I cracked up when she offered to move right into it - she'd figured out sideways, but forgot she had another side. Or something. We got that straightened out after a couple tries, and she was done. We went for an amble down the road to explore a little, and got brought home by the rain. I was pleased I'd thrown over my yoga/pilates for riding, because the riding days are feeling increasingly precious as the winter comes barrelling towards us.

In circus, I still remember and can still do my routine on the trapeze. I ran through it twice and then stated feeling wobbly. I hated the trapeze I was using - the ropes were too short and for one move I had my hands on the straps holding it to the ceiling. Which was vile. And handstands and headstands, and poor Al was practicing cartwheels. He bends at the waist, on the wrong way, so Bronwyn had him cartwheeling between two upright mats. It looked claustrophobic, but both girls could do it. Well, the older one cartwheels like breathing. The little one still has to fling herself at things.

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