Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For the ladies

My dad used to get annoyed with me for not changing my own oil any more.  This just goes to show I was right for putting away the tools and pulling out my debit card.  =)

Oil Change instructions for Women:

1. Pull up to jiffy place when the mileage reaches 3,000 miles since the last oil change.

2. Drink a cup of coffee.

3. 15 minutes later, scan debit card and leave, driving a properly maintained vehicle.

Money spent:
Oil Change:  $24.00
Coffee:   Complementary
TOTAL:  $24.00

Oil Change instructions for Men:

1. Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and a scented tree, and use your debit card for $50.00.

2. Stop by Beer Store and buy a case of beer, (debit $24), drive home.

3. Open a beer and drink it.

4. Jack truck up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.

5. Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.

6. In frustration, open another beer and drink it.

7. Place drain pan under engine.

8. Look for 9/16 box end wrench.

9. Give up and use crescent wrench.

10. Unscrew drain plug.

11. Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil: splash hot oil on you in process.  Cuss.

12. Crawl out from under truck to wipe hot oil off of face and arms. Throw kitty litter on spilled oil.

13. Have another beer while watching oil drain.

14. Spend 30 minutes looking for oil filter wrench.

15. Give up; crawl under truck and hammer a screwdriver through oil filter and twist off.

16. Crawl out from under truck with dripping oil filter splashing oil everywhere from holes. Cleverly hide old oil filter among trash in trash can to avoid environmental penalties. Drink a beer.

17. Install new oil filter making sure to apply a thin coat of oil to gasket surface.

18. Dump first quart of fresh oil into engine.

19. Remember drain plug from step 11.

20. Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.

21. Drink beer.

22. Discover that first quart of fresh oil is now on the floor. Throw kitty litter on oil spill.

23. Get drain plug back in with only a minor spill. Drink beer.

24. Crawl under truck getting kitty litter into eyes. Wipe eyes with oily rag used to clean drain plug. Slip with stupid crescent wrench tightening drain plug and bang knuckles on frame removing any excess skin between knuckles and frame.

25. Begin cussing fit.

26. Throw stupid crescent wrench.

27. Cuss for additional 5 minutes because wrench hit truck and left dent.

28. Beer.

29. Clean up hands and bandage as required to stop blood flow.

30. Beer.

31. Dump in five fresh quarts of oil.

32. Beer.

33. Lower truck from jack stands.

34. Move truck back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during any missed steps.

35. Beer.

36. Test drive truck.

37. Get pulled over: arrested for driving under the influence.

38. Truck gets impounded.

39. Call loving wife, make bail.

40. 12 hours later, get truck from impound yard.

Money spent:
Parts: $50.00
DUI:  $2,500.00
Impound fee:  $75.00
Bail:  $1,500.00
Beer:  $20.00
TOTAL:  $4,145.00

But you know the job was done right!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished...

That was the conversation Donald and I had first thing this morning after I noticed his finger bandaged up.  Apparently, he had jammed his finger while trying to help a friend with their horse.

Wouldn't you know, the same thought applied to me today?!?!?!

Chele, Julianne, Cory, Donald, and I met at Jennings for an early (sort of) morning ride.

I rode Linc.

View from the Dawn cam

Cory and Donald have a staring contest while Chele offers Dawn some water.

We had a nice ride - not too hot, no bugs, horses were well behaved.

As we were heading back towards the trail head, we came across a young couple walking.  They had been playing on the dirt roads and gotten their truck super STUCK.  They didn't have a phone or water, and they really had no idea where they were going.

We offered to help.  Julianne let the boy friend use her phone.  No one answered, so they decided to walk back with us since they seemed all turned around and confused.

This is where I went wrong.  I noticed the girl huffing and puffing as she walked.  I offered to let her get on Linc.  She had been telling me about her horse they used to have and her mom's horse.  Stupid me thought she could ride.

She's on Linc.  I am jumping on the back of Rocky with Cory.

Boy friend leading the way.

Things were going great for a while.  Linc was walking slow and taking care of his passenger.  Good ol' Rocky didn't seem to mind lugging both me and Cory.

Somehow, we got a little spread out.  Linc being Linc, started to trot to catch up.  All of a sudden, I heard the girl screaming bloody murder.  Linc got scared and started to canter.  The girl leaned forward and goosed him in the flanks.  He hunched up and off she went.  She never once picked up the reins or said "Whoa!"  Thankfully, we were on a soft, sandy road.  Julianne (the nurse) hopped off and checked her all out.  She was shaken up and sore, but for the most part she was fine. 

WTF!?!  I thought she could ride.  Now what???

Well, we got her up and brushed off.  Poor Linc looked like he lost his best friend.  You could just tell he wasn't trying to be bad.  He's become my Mr. Reliable.  I would pretty much put anyone on him these day.

Everyone agreed she needed to get back on.  We didn't want her to be scarred for life.

I decided to hand walk her all the way back.

It was hot, and I was tired.  BUT...  I made it all the way back on foot.  Thank God, Emery and I have been going to the gym.  Walking in 98 degree temps with jeans and boots ain't no joke!

Their family was at the trail head waiting for them.  They hopped in the truck and were on their way.  They didn't really say thanks, goodbye, go eff yourself, nothing...  Go figure!

Never again will I be so stupid.  That could have turned out VERY bad.  She could have gotten hurt and sued me for the little bit I have.  Thankfully, luck was on my side for a change.

Take it from me...  Let them walk!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Thanks to Liz and Heath, I have my truck back.  Can't wait to make like horse poop and hit the trail!  WOOHOO!

The problem was with Injector #4

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Staying positive...

Sometimes that is a hard thing to do when you feel like nothing is going right.  You know the saying, "If it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all."  That is the story of my life at the moment.

First, I had to put my daughter's pony, Beauty, down.  She had impacted, and I had two choices - surgery or humane euthanasia.  Thankfully, this was something I'd already thought about.  Beauty was 24ish years old.  She'd been loved and lived a full life.  Colic surgery is expensive, and I couldn't see putting my family in severe debt.  As hard as it was, I chose option number 2.

A day or two later, my husbands 50" Panasonic Plasma TV died.  No warning, no storms, no power surges, just poof...  DEAD!  It irritates me because the TV wasn't even 3 years old.  I bought it for Erik when we moved into this house.  It was a birthday, anniversary, you name it gift.  $1200 down the drain.  Now it's black with no signs of life (unless you count the two red blinking lights of death).

If that was not enough, my truck is ill.  I took it to have the oil changed on Thursday.  On the way home, I stopped at Shell to fill up.  That night, it started running rough.  Friday morning, I bought an air filter and took it back to the shop to get the fuel filter changed.  Cory and I go to drive it home, and it was still messed up.  Back to the shop it went.  Monday, they tell me they think it may be an injector and quote me $1000+ in repairs.

UGH!!!  You can see why I am frustrated. 

Anyway...  A couple of days ago, my friend, KD, posted on our yahoo TROT group about her recent "Woes and Pros."  She'd been going thru some rough times too, but instead of bitching and moaning like I was, she was trying to focus the positives.

Can you say reality check???  So here's my attempt at being positive...

Beauty - I am grateful that she came back into our lives.  We had tried to rehome her with Miss Marilyn, but for various reasons, it didn't work out and she came home.  We'd spent lots of time with her in the last few months.  I thank God everyday for the passion and the skills she taught Cory in the 6+ years we had her.

TV - Although it's a fairly new TV, technology changes quickly.  I plan to replace it with something 3D ready when we get the money.

Truck - Things could have been worse.  I could have been hauling my trailer.  I could have been broke down on the side with a full load.  What a pain that would have been!  We have picked the truck up from the first shop and have taken it to our friends, Liz & Heath. They have a diesel repair shop.  I know it will be fixed right, and I will be on the road before I know it.  Love those guys!

Other positives...

I have rejoined the gym.  Over a year ago, I dropped my membership to save money.  I did "OK" at keeping my weight off (gained back 10 of the 20 pounds I lost 2 years ago).  Although I am super sore, I am happy to be feeling healthy.  I missed working out with Emery.

Oceanway Tsunamis swim season has begun.  Cory has moved up this year.  She is now with the 9-10 year olds.  She's focusing on getting her strokes right and is having a ball.

My 3 pony boys are getting along better.  The loss of Beauty has brought them together.  I am still very pleased with Ranger.  He is a pleasure to work with.  Cory's really embraced helping me with the horses.  She's learned to lunge both Rocky and Linc.  We are working together to keep everyone exercised.  She even rode Linc bareback the other day.  :)

Erik's job has been keeping him busy.  Times are tough, and it's good thing when you have "too" much work.

So there you have it.  I thank God for my husband, my family, and my friends.  They are there to lift me up and/or kick me in the ass when I need it.  Life is good!