Our Saturday, in pictures...

I finally got all my tack together, so we went to visit Polor on Saturday.  I'm so ready to bring him home!

He wanted to ride all day.

Michael and I traded off with Polor.  He did really well for his first time in an English saddle.

Blaze is 29 years old!

Despite some issues with the new tack, Polor was very good with Michael.

Gus got to ride Blaze after Austin.  He fell in love too!

I think he's decided that maybe these horse things aren't too bad after all.

Isaac had a difficult morning, but wouldn't get up on a horse.  He had a lot of fun petting them once he finished this melt-down session (he had to go into time-out right after this pic).

We had a really good day.  Polor was wonderful, even though it turned out he had an allergic reaction to something on his saddle pad.  It took us a while to figure it out, and even though it wasn't easy, Polor behaved very well despite the difficulties.  Three weeks until he comes home!

**Yes, I know I'm the only one wearing a helmet!  If the boys had been on any horse other than Blaze, they would have had my helmet.  We'll bring theirs next time as I've always made it a point to wear one.  Michael needs to find one that will fit him.  We'll plan better next time.


What's up?

Okay, I know I haven't blogged in quite a while, so I'll try to give an update of the big points from the past several months.

Of course, as you can see from one of the posts below, Sparky died on March 31st. Still not over it and never really will be. He was a very unique cat and we all miss him terribly.

Michael started working for ONG toward the beginning of May (sorry, can't remember exactly when!).  He's really enjoying the position and is excited about growing into the company.

After careful consideration of our finances and the housing market, we've decided to stay in Stillwater for another year.  We'd hoped to find a CNG truck to commute in but that didn't work out so well.  As soon as we started looking, they all disappeared.  So for the moment we're just relying on one vehicle and a borrowed car from Dad.  We're still looking for a CNG truck, but we're also considering hybrids or diesel cars - something with good mpg.

June was a really tough work month for me.  The office I'm in is already pretty small, but for one reason or another it shrank down to three geologists for the month - at the same time that we got an unexpected flood of jobs.  Lots of long hours and worked-weekends later, it turned out to be a good month professionally.  I'll be seeing the results of all my hard work throughout the next year.  Feels pretty good.

I've mentioned the chickens before, right?  I think so, if not, we have chickens!  Raised from chicks, we've had them since the end of February.  A mixture of Wyandottes and Araucanas.  Nice looking birds, there are eight hens and one rooster - which we didn't order but received with the rest of the chicks (if he gets mean, he's gonna get eaten).  Anyway, one of my hens started laying about a month ago and now it looks like several others are laying as well!  Wyandottes lay brown eggs and Araucanas lay tinted eggs (green so far), so our egg carton is very colorful.  We're just now getting to the point that we no longer have to buy eggs.  These are a bit smaller than store bought eggs, but as the hens get older the eggs should increase in size.  The smallest eggs are about half the size of a "Grade A Large" egg.  The largest eggs we've gotten, while the size of the store bought ones, are consistently double-yolked.  There is a REALLY big egg in there from last night - larger than anything they've given us yet.  Can't wait to break it open!

My really big news is that I NOW HAVE A HORSE!!!  LC Polor Express is an eight year old, 15.1 hand Arabian gelding.  As you can see below, I've included a few pictures of him.  If any of you have known me for any amount of time, you'll know that I've always been a horse nut - now I have a chance to satisfy that urge.  Polor will come home on Labor Day.  Its been too hot to do anything but lay in front of the fans inside, so I'm okay with not having him home yet.  I've visited him a few times and will be going again this Saturday - looks like the weather should be reasonable then, though I'm keeping an eye on it.  I'll have someone take a few pics of me riding when I go.

He has high withers and a narrow body - makes him a perfect fit for me!

The rider is the husband of the woman who sold Polor to me.

Look at those kind eyes!  He's a sweetie.

My main reason for getting Polor (other than the fact that I just love horses) is that I want to get into endurance riding.  I'll be doing my first 25 mile Limited Distance ride with him this fall, and maybe by this time next year I'll be able to move up to a 50 mile Endurance Ride.  It just depends on how well I'm going to be able to juggle work, family, and training.

A final big piece of news is that I'm being sent to Vienna, Austria at the end of August for a geological field trip - in the Alps!  Michael asked if I was going to bring any rocks back - of course I am!  They'll be all 'Alpy' - I have to add them to my collection!  :)

That's about it in a nutshell.  I'm sure I'll remember some other things later, and I'll have a big post (with pics) after my trip.