I hadn’t realized that although we are nearly 6 months into 2014, I never changed the title of this blog from Life in 2013 to 2014… so, I finally made that change! Now I’m really catching up to the times, right?!
Well, I have not been blogging terribly much lately but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to talk about. Boy, do I have a ton! It’s been very busy for me lately and my absence from the computer is simply a reflection of the fact that I’ve been busy as hell! (Which is code word for ‘this post is going to be huge’)
Last week was our 10 year anniversary. It’s hard to believe 10 years have come and gone since I said “I do”. When I think about what has transpired over the last 10 years and question where we’re heading to during the next 10, it gets a little overwhelming!
Despite everything that continues to go on with our lives, we did manage to observe our anniversary with a visit to Door County, Wisconsin. It was a nice road trip, and a nice vacation. We stayed at a beautiful hotel with an indoor pool & hot tub (yay!), and I did enough walking/hiking/climbing during 3 days that I may actually have lost weight had I not eaten my way around the peninsula. Did someone say Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream? Yes, please, I’ll have some more!
(There will be a video eventually when I can get done editing). I took a lot of pictures which I am not happy with how they turned out, I made a newbie mistake with my camera settings and my pictures suffered for it. I didn’t realize the error until I returned home, and 3 days later finally got around to editing the images. But, I’ll share them here anyway.
I was personally more impressed with this:
$5 million luxury yacht still being built. Could you imagine having $5million sitting around to squander on something as frivolous as a yacht? Must be nice.
We also saw several lighthouses. Door County is home to 13 of them, but we did not have time/energy (or desire) to see them all. Some of them you could get to only by ferry or see them via a scenic pleasure cruise. A lot of those attractions were not running during the week we were there.
After getting a good dose of maritime history in more forms than I can possibly ever want, hunger drove us to the first restaurant of the trip, where we participated in a traditional fish boil.
All the patrons stood around watching our fish, potatoes, and onions, boil and cook in a huge kettle.
Just before the food was done, they “boil over” the water by dousing the flames with fuel. Since it was very cold that day, it felt nice to have the warmth for a minute.
And finally, once back inside and seated, we dined. The fresh caught whitefish was absolutely amazing. My blurry crappy cell phone photo doesn’t do it justice 😉
The next day, although still cold with the lake air and breeze, we toured a couple state parks, several towns, did quite a bit of shopping, ate more Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream 😉 , and got plenty of lovely views.
This was my favorite of the state parks, Cave Point. It was hard to believe that that’s a lake out there, and not an ocean! The water was furious and the waves were hitting the shore with brilliant splendor – none of which I captured on camera (well maybe in the video I did).
Just some more views:
This was at the top of a 75 foot observation tower. I can’t believe I managed to hoof it up there without keeling over. This vacation certainly did challenge my athletiscm. My husband waited in the car far far below.
I also tried a little bit of night time shooting. I’m not terribly thrilled with the image, but in my defense, it WAS 2 am, and in light of all the climbing, walking, shopping, and ice cream I managed to eat, I’m amazed I was even awake enough at 2Am to climb over the balcony railing at the hotel (we were on the first floor), and go out at take this photo at all.
I also tried a sunset photo, which I am even less pleased with.
This vacation, in addition to providing beautiful views, awesome food, and the splendor of nature, also provided a little adventure.
I had decided on the second day, that I wanted to give zip lining a try. Why not, right? OK, I admit, when I saw this 35 foot tall tower that I had to climb up, I was leery about doing it.
But, I went up it all the same (I’m in the blue at the far end). The top of the platform was a 3foot wide catwalk, and as I was clinging to my safety line for dear life, looking down at the tiny spec that was my husband, I dubbed the tower the “oh shit what was I thinking” tower.
But, soon, off I went!
I zipped over to another tower, which involved climbing a 20 foot ladder to the top of another 35 foot pole, manage to climb onto a 3 foot x 2 foot plank of wood without knocking the instructor off the platform, and then zip off again. After landing on the next platform, I zipped one more time — and missed the landing platform! Gah! I got turned around on the line, so my legs weren’t facing the right direction to land properly, and I ended up zipping halfway back the wrong direction.
Lol! It was actually loads of fun, and I would definitely zip line again. I wore my GoPro, but I have as of yet not gotten to editing the video. I’ll share it as soon as I do.
After driving home on the last day, going an hour south of home to get the dog, come an hour back to home, unpack food, luggage, and start laundry, I still somehow managed to crawl my way to the barn and work both Luke and Chewbacca who were amazing for their arena drive.
The next day, I headed off to a friend’s barn where she works and visited with Leo & Dexter, drove Leo, and also drove a new Clyde X Qh mare, Sue. It was pretty hot that day, but it was wonderful to have such sunlight, greenery, and horses a’plenty for driving.
Look at Leo’s blonde locks!
The following day, the adventure continued!
We loaded up Luke & Chewie and met my friend (from Leo’s barn) and her husband out at a new (to us) trail system.
It was lush, green, and just simply amazing. The trail was about 5 miles long, involved 3 water crossings, crossing a little drainage ditch, a wood board/bridge/thingie, and we managed to get in probably about 3/4 – 1 mile of cantering in addition. Chewbacca was brilliant, Luke was amazing (it was only the 2nd time this year my husband has driven Luke), and the other 2 horses, being ridden, were just as great, too. It was truly a great day, although exhausting. By this point, my sunburns had developed sunburns.
And yet, the super long (11 day total) vacation had not quite ended. I should say that the Friday before we took that vacation, we also spent about 4 hours driving back and forth on a failed adventure to purchase a project cart to restore. The cart, even for being a project, was not what I had expected or wanted, and ultimately, that was a total waste of 4+ hours and plenty of gasoline. Sigh, oh well.
Having worked Luke & Chewie both on Thursday and Saturday at the park, that left only Jesse lacking in the work department, so Sunday was a “light day” with just the one horse to drive. He was super too, of course. Jesse seems to have fallen into a “once a week” work schedule as I find myself lacking in time, daylight, or most of all energy, to drive him regularly. I think he likes the once a week schedule, but although he’s been going out on longer drives than normal, I would like to try to concentrate on getting him more fit.
I still do have it in my head to buy a project pony to train and resell, but it is so late in the year at this point, that if I do get a pony, I may very well end up keeping it until next spring before I list it for sale, which will allow me to put more time & training into it, so that could be a good thing.
Anyway, yes, here I am complaining about lack of time & energy and then turning around to say I want yet another horse to train. What IS wrong with me?
Memorial Day morning started out with a very early morning nature walk, and I got lucky finally in my quest for wildlife photos!
Ok, well, it isn’t a hawk, nor an awesome shot of an eagle pulling a fish out of the lake, but non the less, it IS a new bird species for me.
This is called a Northern Flicker, it is a female yellow shafted Norther Flicker to be exact, and it is a variation of a woodpecker. The bird was literally tossing leaves in the air and I nearly stepped on it. I was inches away from it and was a little surprised it didn’t spook and fly off. It did finally flutter over to a nearby log and I was able to capture this image, which I am quite happy with.
I also too a sunrise photo which came out OK.
And my nature walk also involved finding a super teeny tiny snapper, probably the smallest I’ve seen over the years:
Oh come on, he’s cute, now isn’t he? He was literally less than 2″ long from nose to tail. I honestly thought it was a rock. I guess nature/animals photography is a little more up my alley, because I am happy with the photo of the turtle and the woodpecker. I really really really need to get out and do some early morning or late evening equine photography and try to get some good captures.
In between working horses and visiting with them (yay! I went to the barn Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday! woooo!) I also tried out my newest “toy” – a macro conversion filter attachment for one of my lenses. The attachment(s) magnify objects by 2,4, and 10 times normal, to allow for close up photography of very small objects, like this:
I found this guy floating in the water trough and saved him. He was alive, and it made a perfect opportunity to use the macro filter and I am really happy with the image!
I can’t wait to take more macro shots! I’m hoping to get out this weekend to do some photos, so we’ll see what happens!
In the mean time, stay tuned as I try to work on videos and get our vacation video & the zip line video up, and hopefully get out to do photos of horses either at the barn or at shows in the coming weeks, too.