"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Work, ride, party! (Part 1)

Work has been crazy lately.  We have major deadlines back to back.  However, I made it to the barn every day but Thursday this week.

Tyler and I had our first ride Tuesday night.  It's been hot and humid here, much like the weather at home.  On Tuesdays and either Wednesdays or Thursdays, we meet up with Carol who rides Murphy and Angela who rides Stan.  It's very nice for all of us to relax, ride, and escape from office work.  

Since I couldn't make it Thursday this week, I asked Marshall (project guy) to go with me to the farm as my 911 dialer. ;)  Marshall is from Idaho and does a lot of large game hunting from horseback.  Mondays and Wednesdays are the quiet days at PCF.  Marshall, Tyler, and I all enjoyed a peaceful evening out and the humans appreciated the non-office environment.

Thursday night I worked for awhile to meet the Friday deadline and catch up on paper work.  Around 9pm a group of us headed down to SummerFest for opening night.  We wanted to see Sheryl Crow.  Before she went on there was a 30 minute firework display over the lake.  The concert was great and lasted an hour and a half.  

Matt, Jen, and Danielle

My Milwaukee BFF, Danielle, and the crazy towel guy.

Milwaukee lights

I met my Friday deadlines, dropped Rob (project guy) at the airport, and headed up to the barn.  Tyler and I had a nice dressage ride together.  Our canter needs work, but he's moving much better since the hock injections and we're both learning the new feel.  I watched Charles give a lesson to a cute palomino mare and Kathy who are preparing for the event derbies this summer at Lamplight.  Big thanks to Stonewood Farms for teaching my horse to jump in and out of a stone dust ring into the grass field.  We're a step ahead in that department! 

Friday night we headed to Andy's house (local project guy).  Detroit Dan (project guy) is staying the weekend as is Marshall and his wife, Devin. We had a BBQ with Donna (boss lady) and her husband Pat, Stefan (project manager) and his fiancee Colleen, and Nichele (super cool project admin) who are all local to the Milwaukee area.  After a great venison steak dinner, we drove over to Muskego Park to listen to Georgia Overdrive.  They are a country rock band with a connection to our project client staff.   It was a perfect summer night for a BBQ and little festival! 

There was a Harley parking lot, car lot, truck lot, and boat lot!

Mom - lots of nice lake houses! 

Nichele and I at the festival.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Daily Grind

Here are some photos of the office I work in:

 The countdown clock and all the desktops.

Lots and lots of computers.

My desk.  Exciting, huh?

A really spectacular view from my desk.
The Click. Yes, click.  
We spend more time together than any four people should.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer digs

The first full day in Wisconsin was busy!  

Dad and I had breakfast before he was off for his flights home.  Dad reported in that his flights were on time and uneventful and Mom picked him up when she was supposed to! :P  It was a very different, but good, Father's Day weekend.

Of course I headed straight for the barn after taking Dad to the airport.  Tyler was outside with Murphy in one of the big, green pastures.  Murphy is one of Anne's appendix QH retired upper level event horses.  Kelly, who is one the barn gals, said Tyler went out, sniffed Murphy and his pasture neighbors and began to mow.  She didn't say nibble, no, she said mow!  
Tyler and Murphy. 

Tyler was absolutely filthy from being flat out while he slept last night in his stall.  I rinsed him off and then let him get back to mowing.  Kelly and Charles (Anne's son) helped me unload the trailer and all of Tyler's stuff was set up quickly.  It's been reported that Tyler has passed the test and has been accepted as a good horse at the farm.  Let's hope he keeps that up.
Here are some photos of Pigeon Creek:

The second, smaller and older, barn.  

 The outside wash stalls and entrance to the indoor ring which is attached to the main barn.

The outdoor ring.

Tyler's stall.

So what'd you do today? I drove to Wisconsin.

I have the best dad ever. Seriously. Tomorrow is Father’s Day and his birthday is Monday and he’s driving the rig while I attempt to start today’s blog on a really bumpy Ohio interstate.

Yesterday was a bittersweet day at HVS. I had a fun lesson from Sally with Lauren and Cindy. Then there was lots of packing and last minute prep. I fell asleep around 10:30 and was up at 2:30am. Thankfully Tyler came in for breakfast without a fight and we were on the road by 3:45am.

It is wonderfully peaceful in the back pasture at the farm so early in the morning. I called for the boys and the response was many footfalls and soft snorts of interest. It was a good way to start the day.

Dad drove the first leg so I could sleep. Not long after the Ohio border, I took over driving so Dad could nap. Mom loaded her iTunes playlist on my iPod last night so we would have tunes when the radio was unreliable.

 Interstate 80 in Eastern Indiana

Interstate 80, which runs along the north border by Lake Erie, is a crappy road. However, the drive is flat and straight. We are a little behind schedule because we took some smaller stops to let Tyler cool off. Even with the great airflow in the trailer, it is 90 degrees and humid. Tyler keeps eating his hay and has devoured many apples. He’s also made several friends at the fuel stops.

Ok, skip to Sunday night and I’m trying to catch up.

My plan to miss Chicago failed. Tyler has driven through quite a few big cities now. I drove the last 4 or 5 hours to the barn and totally missed I-294. We won’t do that on the way home. Luck was on our side, thankfully, and we never sat for more than a minute. It was a slow go, but we moved with traffic and only added 20-30 minutes.

Finally, we arrived at Pigeon Creek! Tyler popped off the trailer in search of grass. He’s a champ. Dad moved him around the farm while I set up his stall. Dad and I stayed long enough to survey Tyler and settle him in. We ate a quick dinner at Applebee’s and crashed after arriving at the hotel. The trip took us 15.5 hours which is not bad with several small stops to let Tyler relax and air out during the humid trip.

Random thoughts:
For anybody who’s going to drive like this, get EZPass and IPass! Drivers in Ohio and Indiana could not handle the directions PUSH BUTTON FOR TICKET. Also, I-80 is a very long, very boring two lane highway from State College, PA to Gary, Indiana. Dad drove most of it because it made me a little stir crazy. Being able to recline my seat in the truck was worth every penny I’ve shelled out for that thing.

That pretty much sums up the big trip. Nothing exciting – just what I hoped for.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A trip to the hospital.

The inventory crew at the VA hospital gave us a tour today of their supply chain and how it relates to the nurses, doctors, and patients at the Milwaukee VA hospital.   

One of my responsibilities at work is to help design the processes and software for the handhelds the VA personnel will use.  We wanted to see what they currently do and what the results of our changes will be. 

In order to see parts of the hospital, we had to wear bunny suits.
My co-workers in their bunny suits.

I had to put the suit on over my heels and skirt.  Awkward.
We toured the warehouse in the basement and then went up stairs to see the smaller wards and the operating rooms.  We saw the life cycle of case carts (all you need for a surgery on a big rolling toolbox).

The operating rooms we saw are brand new and still under construction.  
They are very high tech!
The booms (large round things) will be voice operated.
Everything is monitored and changed through digital controls built into the walls.

It was very interesting to see the places and people my work will impact.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Nope, sorry, not talking about the World Cup. (GO USA! Had to throw that in there.)  Tyler and I reached a goal I had set for us at the end of 2009.  We competed at USEA recognized events this year and after four tries we qualified for the American Eventing Championships.  Tyler and I won't enter the September championships, but I'm thrilled to know we could qualify.  Also, competing four times by June helped earn me a spot on the Beginner Novice Adult Amateur leader board.  The leader board changes each week, so I'm enjoying the moment.

 Aiken 2010

In other Tyler news, I rode him for the first time today after having both hocks and his left front coffin bone injected.  WOW!  He feels much more balance, he responded strongly to my commands, and his left turn was no problem at all! We jumped eight or ten fences and I was grabbing mane each time.  The difference is amazing and very exciting! We have a lesson with Sally on Friday and I am giddy to see what Tyler can do.

 Plantation Field HT June 2010

Three posts in one day, do I have a blog obsession already?

One week until departure!

With only a week before I leave, this weekend has been spent doing last minute fixes to the Green Giant and trailer.  I also started packing.  

My dad has been spending many, many hours since we bought the Green Giant to get it in shape for the trip and a summer away from his mechanical eye.  I would never be able to do all the equine activities I do if I didn't have my dad.  This week the GG has an appointment with a diesel specialist to check the transmission and then it's cleared for travel.  The trailer required less work.  Unfortunately, the customer service where I bought the trailer did not live up to my expectations and so Dad is cramming a few last minute minor fixes in this week.  

There are two huge suitcases packed with work, barn, and fun clothes sitting upstairs in my room.  I work in MKE (Milwaukee) Monday to Wednesday this week and head home Thursday morning.  Thursday and Friday will be spent packing the trailer with our things.  

Sitta/Jenna has the house to herself this summer.  She starts nursing school on June 21 and I doubt she'll notice I'm not here!  She bought a patio set and grill, so I expect she'll have many nice evenings cooking.

Oh boy, it's 9:30am already!  I have lots to do today must get a move on.  Maybe later today I'll spend some time exploring this blog and its options.

Milwaukee 2010

If you haven't heard by now, this is your notice.  On June 19, Tyler and I leave for Milwaukee, WI.  We are going to live there for 10 weeks.  How about a little background as to why this trip came to be?
In a month, I celebrate my fourth year with IBM.  I'm a supply chain consultant who travels to client sites all over the country week.  Last May I started a project with Veteran's Affairs. It was supposed to be a year long project.  The new estimated completion date is set for 2011.  We are required to spend Monday through Friday on site.  Let me tell you, that doesn't leave much time for TRose!

TRose?  You do know TRose, right?  Tyler is my 16 year old, gray, Thoroughbred gelding.  I have owned him for the last three years and since then we've become eventers and had many adventures together.    
(Eventers = 3 Day Eventers.  It's a horse trial including three phases: dressage, cross country, and show jumping.)

Here's the summary plan of our big trip.  Tyler and I are leaving our Harvest View Stables family for two months and will be joining the Pigeon Creek Farm crew in Mequon, WI.  I found PCF last summer and have been riding there once a week with Anne Jennings.  Anne has already found three opportunities for Tyler and I to compete in the mid-west.

My dad, who is kick ass and my mechanic,  volunteered to make the drive with us from home to Mequon. It may take us 15 to 16 hours.  We are going to drive straight through.  HVS departure time is 4am Saturday! I have been staying at the Milwaukee City Center Double Tree for several months now and it will be my summer home.  Dad will spend the night and then he has a flight home Sunday.  

This is my new truck and trailer.  We're going in comfort and style!

I suppose I should add that this isn't all about Tyler.  I will be able to get extra hours in at work and gain lots of experience.  I expect the effort to pay off. (Cha-ching!)

My summer plans will end August 28 and 29.  There's a lot to do before that weekend!  There's SummerFest, the Wisconsin State Fair, friends with boats, the lake front of Lake Michigan to enjoy, and lots of horse shows and events.  I hope this blog will allow you to follow my travels and enjoy the fun.