A List

1. If strep throat and a whiteout is enough to keep you from going back and rescuing your favorite riding crop that you left in the indoor arena, you have no business riding horses. (It has this amazing squishy handle, so much better than any other crop ever.)

2. If strep throat and a whiteout is enough to keep you from going to the barn in the first place, you have no business riding horses.

3. Here is a great tip: Sometimes, if the furnace stops working, your house will get really cold.

4. When it's fixed, your house will get warm again, and you can start watching all those reality shows stored on the DVR in the coldest room in the house that is no longer cold.

5. Things that make a sore throat feel better: cough drops, tea with honey, chocolate, Ruffles, Kraft MacnCheese, and medicine.

6. Things that don't make a sore throat feel better: Juice. Why do sick people drink juice?

7. Dan has been letting me watch a great deal of RFD-TV lately.  I think pretty soon we're either going to get a horse, a cow, a tractor, or a polka band. Such is the way when you watch enough of "Rural America's Most Important Network."

8. My tea gets cold way too fast.

9. Work was so busy over College Football season, and I completely fell off the bandwagon of writing for Horse Nation. But I have a few great articles coming up soon, and I'm excited to share them with y'all.

10. I have a two hour (each way) commute when the weather is bad like today. This would be vastly improved if one could watch Romantic Comedies while driving.

11. I suddenly have the insatiable urge to have a good hard cry while watching Free Willy.

12. My barn has a music system that blasts into the arena while you ride, and some reggae came on while I was riding. Unbeknownst to me, Posie loves reggae. Best 4 minutes of the day.

13. Three musics: The Lumineers, Rose's Pawn Shop, Brandon Flowers solo album.

14. Three movies I want to see: Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

15. Three goals: Ride 3x a week, Take a class in something, Ride the train.

16. My husband is not only a bodacious babe, but he makes my most important dreams come true every day. Double threat.


Unconventional Humor

Some cold winter weekend lessons:

I learned that if you squeeze a water bottle that's half frozen in your car, the plastic might be extra brittle and break, and that the half unfrozen part might spill on everything, mostly into your cupholder if you're lucky. The solution to this could be to just put the broken bottle back in the cupholder and forget about it. Because then when you get in your car Monday morning, and everything is fully frozen, you just pull the broken plastic water popsicle out of the cupholder, and throw it away.

Bonus: It may or may not take the crumbs that were in your cupholder with it, leaving your cupholder cleaner than it was the day you bought the car.

* * * *

I learned that plaster walls are the serious downside to old home ownership. I built a custom display rack in the living room for Dan's records, which turned out absolutely awesome. Unless you sort of pound on it, and then you might notice that plaster falls out of the screw holes. la le la le.

Solution: Don't pound on that.

* * * *

I learned that I have done enough house projects with a jigsaw that never should have been done with a jigsaw to justify the purchase of a miter saw.  I am very excited about buying a miter saw.

* * * *

I learned that my dog and my cat might have been born with matching tuxedo fur outfits for a reason. #whosaidromanceisdead

I learned that trying to follow a 12 row knitting pattern while watching a particularly dramatic and creepy episode of Dr. Who might cause your knitting to turn out very maniacal. Unless you're into the pattern I invented, which I dubbed the "Help me, fuzzy caterpillars of all erratic shapes and sizes are attacking my scarf" pattern. Coming to a knitting club near you.

* * * *

I learned that eating whatever you want over the holidays makes you gain three pounds. GRRR.
And so, I made the following mostly healthy meals:

Albacore tuna over romaine lettuce with cranberries, pecans, and apple cider vinegar.
Moroccan Chicken with Dried Apricots over Jasmine Rice
Tuscan White Bean Soup with Pancetta

And Sunday morning I was going to make breakfast, but instead we went to Denny's and ate off the Fit Fare menu but wished we were eating Hobbit Breakfast and red velvet pound puppies. To reward myself for not ordering a hobbit breakfast,  I ate the rest of the minty M&Ms from Christmas. And a part of a Symphony bar. And an orange. Dammit.

* * * *

I learned a little Winter Hibernation can be fun.



Three Memories

1. A moment I experienced hundreds of times over 2 years: Being on the DC metro and going under the Potomac. You have to pay attention to even notice you're going downhill, until suddenly your ears pop. Then you know you've hit the bottom and will start back up to the other side, soon to emerge at the Arlington National Cemetery stop. It's the first above-ground stop leaving DC on the blue line. You can see the river, the monuments, and to the other side, the white stones extending endlessly over the ridge. It is as mundane, smelly, and irreverent of a moment as one could ever ask for, until suddenly you think "I'm on a train, under the Potomac River, in Washington D.C., going to work, so that I can pay for my apartment."

2. Walking through innumerable palace rooms in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Before I went, I learned the names and events and places that carved Spain into our imagination, and it made every step of that journey a sacred awakening of my academic, spiritual, and adventurous life. It made me crave people's stories. It's hard to absorb every detail you see there, and in some ways you just never will, but I do distinctly remember stopping beneath this, and feeling for a fleeting second that I understood eternity. I think I was closer to God right here than any other place or time in my life.

3. The week before I moved back to Utah from California to be closer to Dan, I was up very late packing my things and ruminating over the last several years of my life. College, Washington, books, movies, broken hearts, friendships, adventures, cravings, sorrows, injuries, injustices. I stepped outside the cottage my father had fixed up for me - a place that had been opened up to me as I healed so many open wounds - and went to find an orange from one of many ripe and selfless trees. The horses heard me, and called out softly, a sort of purr they give to acknowledge you.

Standing at the gate was Ralphy, a horse I'd had a sordid history with in my adolescence. We'd competed at Nationals together, but never quite clicked. He was smarter than me. But his eyes were soft and friendly in the moonlight. He let me shove my face in his mane, smelling his smells. Let me run my hands all over his bristly winter coat and down his long nose. He never moved, letting me make peace with every single memory I'd had since I was 15 to that very moment. He was the very same. Both of us older, both of us wiser, but there he was, the horse I'd always known.

It is with these three memories in mind that I move forward from the shortest days of the year, into a year
which will be filled with change, sameness, introspection, love, mistakes, calamity, goofiness, passion, and I certainly hope...Corn Dogs.