Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tune in now!

NBC News is presenting a pretty neat show called Education Nation. It's hosted by Brian Williams, and I'm happy to be a part of the Teacher Town Hall going on live online right now! Check it out - it's an important conversation about where we are and where we're going as a nation where education is concerned.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

to all my non-helmet wearing, horseback-riding friends out there...

...(and, confoundingly, that list includes most of the equestrians I know in Arizona):

Please read this touching, funny (especially the "testicles of steel" part) article by Jody Jaffe in The Chronicle of the Horse.

I was uber-impressed this past weekend when a new student came out for a trial dressage lesson and told me that not only does she have a normal riding helmet, but she also has a western style helmet. It's a bit of an odd look - a "cowboy hat" with a huge noggin' bucket, but the last time I checked, it was possible to fall off a horse while riding western as well.


Friday, September 17, 2010

was gonna sell it

Found it this past spring at Goodwill, tossed into a bin with the random castoffs of various lives.

Figure it's from the 40's or 50's - even got the card of a quilt appraiser so I could get an idea of what it might fetch on eBay.

I'm gonna keep it, though.

Clearly, it has important work to do here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

this post brought to you by the letters k, v, e, s and h

One of the first things I did when I bought this place was head out with a tape measure to the half-acre that was going to be my arena. I wanted to make sure that the fence lines already in place were going to work for at least a standard-sized dressage arena. They were, and I was a happy camper. Still, a big part of one of the long sides was missing, which was just one more thing to add to the infinite to-do list that perhaps inevitably comes with a fixer-upper. Fortunately, whoever built the original fence did it right, with anchored and cross-braced railroad ties for all the corners, so it’s not like the entire arena had to be built from scratch. Still, running fence is a lot of work, and it’s a hard thing to put at the top of said to-do list with fall fast approaching and other, more practical, issues at hand (firewood stockpiling, front gate replacement so the seasonal cattle don’t invade the property like they did last year when I left one of the gates open, etc.).

Enter The Man, who decided to just show up with the necessary corner posts to finish the job and run that last bit of fence line for me. We’re still waiting for one more fence delivery to make it really really complete, but for all intents and purposes I’m once again blessed with a fully-enclosed arena. I’ll probably wait until spring to hang my dressage letters (the side just completed almost spells out "kvetch," which seems somehow appropriate), since they’ll just spend all winter buried in snow if I do it now, but in the meantime I can feel more secure when my kids and beginning riders are working in there. Also, it’s a nifty turnout for the boys, who have spent the past few days weeding the arena for me.

Oh, did I say boys? Plural? I haven’t mentioned the Project Pony yet? Ah well, there’s a topic for another post.