Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving flew by at the speed I should be used to by now. Everything is going by so fast! I celebrated with my barn friends and about 30 people total at my girlfriends house this year. She made 2 delish turkeys and a ham and we all brought the sides and desserts. I wish I had taken a picture of my apple pie, it was a beauty this year. I spent the morning cooking, afternoon napping and snuggling my new kitten, Jade (I finally named her), and generally being homesick and feeling a bit lonely, despite the good kitten company. That all disappeared the moment I walked into Alexis's packed house and suddenly it felt like Thanksgiving. I cannot thank her enough for inviting us all into her home, she is such a gracious hostess. It was the first year I ever saw sushi and Okinawan foods included in the Thanksgiving spread. It was so fun to share our Thanksgiving celebrations with Japanese neighbors and friends. I spent most of the evening on the rooftop next to a fire holding my friend Madie's newborn baby laughing until my cheeks hurt. The food was amazing, but for me Addison stole the show. She was the highlight of my night. So in love with that little angel!

It was a wonderful Okinawa Thanksgiving and it made me very thankful that I have horses, horse friends and a newborn baby girl in my Okinawa life. I missed Brad for sure and I really missed my family. Brad is still deployed, but the days are quickly winding down. He and a lot of the guys out there participated in Movember. Check out that stash. Awesome. Not. I hate it, but it was for a good cause and as long as it's gone before he comes home, whatever! Also, the group Brad's with made this lil video to say Happy Holidays. I don't see Brad in it, but maybe I just don't recognize him with that horrible mustache.
Hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baby Kitten

So, this is a bit of an add on to the last post. Yet another baby girl has come into my life! On Monday during a lesson the rider told me she could hear a cat meowing, but couldn't see it. I walked over and saw a tiny ball of fluff crying her head off practically right under the horses feet. I scooped her up and knew I was instantly in love. She stopped crying and would purr and fall asleep as I carried her around an taught the rest of my lessons that day.

I took her to the vet that night to have her checked out. Other than a minor eye infection requiring eye drops and medicine for any possible parasites I was told I don't have to worry and that she's in pretty good shape. She is about a month old. She weighs almost nothing at all. The vet told me she was probably dumped, not a stray because she didn't have any mites, fleas or ticks. Who could dump this adorable little girl?!

So, she came home with me. She is such a sweet little kitten and she loves to snuggle. I hope she stays that way. I don't think my husband (who is still deployed) was too happy with this at first, but I know that he will fall in love with her too. And if she turns out to be a total terror she can always become a barn cat. We could use a good mouser. But for now, she is just loving her new life I think. She is eating and sleeping a ton. She is great about using her litter box and hasn't had any accidents. The worst thing she does is wake me up at night wanting to play. Fortunately playing only lasts about 5 minutes before she's tired again. She thinks my fingers and her tail are great toys.

So I guess I have a cat now. I'm not exactly a cat person, but I didn't exactly go out looking for a cat either. She just walked into my life and I can't turn her away. I'm very glad my apartment changed the rules and lets us have cats now. Because I'm in love!

I have still yet to find the perfect name for her. I just can't decide. I need to just pick one. She is starting to think her name is Kitty or Mowser. My life is so full of babies right now. What is going on?!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Baby Girls

I love rainy mornings. I'm currently listening to Edith Piaf, enjoying pumpkin spice coffee with my spiced pumpkin candle lit beside me and I just made pumpkin spice pancakes for breakfast. This gray, rainy day makes it almost feel kind of chilly and Fall-ish. And I got an unexpected morning off from work since most moms don't want their kids riding around in the pouring down rain. So I get to enjoy a nice, slow morning and I get to share my latest news with you ... which is...




Two beautiful baby girls came into my life last week. My co-worker and good friend Madie had Addison on Friday. I got to go visit them in the hospital on Saturday and I have to say that Addison is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! She is so little, soft and warm. I could just cuddle her all day. So very happy for Madie and her husband, Justin!

This was also my first big shoot using my fancy camera. I totally love it. Glad I got to capture some Addison on her first day of her life.

I got Addison that headband along with a matching zebra print with hot pink trim tutu and zebra print shoes with the same hot pink poof on them. Adorable. It will be a while before she fits into them though. "Aunt Eve" plans on many future photo shoots involving Addison in pink, fluffy outfits.

And now Lucy:

On Sunday the barn owner delivered a very special bundle to the barn. We got a 2 month old baby piglet who I promptly named Lucy. I have wanted a pig for a very long time and I am overjoyed! She is pink, playful and curious. I spend most of my free time with her now! She will grow up to be a very large piggie. I'm not exactly sure if the owner plans on eating her... I sure hope not because I'm overly attached already. I don't eat pork, haven't in a long time, and pretty sure after this I never will.

When she first got to the barn the owner put her in this awful little wire cage. She had to sit on the metal and had no room to move and I felt so bad for her. I knew there was no way I would sleep at night knowing she was in that cage, so I moved her into the back of the barn to an unused stall. She now has room to move and play and sleep comfortably on the stall mats and shavings. Like most babies, she sleeps a lot! I'm going to get her a harness and so I can walk her around and let her get out into the grass and sunshine.

I'm having fun bringing her food and treats. She has tried watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, peanuts, raisins and apricots. She is a fan of watermelon for sure. Check out the video:

I'm totally in love with these new baby girls in my life!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Makoto and I want to wish you all a very Happy Halloween!

I don't know why he puts up with me. Probably because of days like this when I let him do his favorite thing, jump! This horse would be an amazing eventer in the States. He is so stinkin' talented I just can't believe it. He is coming back from an injury however, so this was one of his first days back to jumping some actual height and not just cavalettis. Yay Makoto!

My eventer friend Alexis has turned this horse, Sky around. He's like a different horse. A really springy and talented jumper horse. I had a blast jumping some pretty big jumps on him yesterday with Alexis.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Last Thursday we got a special delivery. Meet our new 7 month old baby pony!! He is the cutest, softest and most adorable lil baby. He is curious and playful and smart. Today we decided on his name. Kokopelli. Koka for short. I am totally in love!

Check out this little cutie playing and running around:

The owner is in the video and he doesn't speak much English, but he says "Bambi" which is really funny because so many people have said he looks like a baby deer or reindeer. Love it!
We are going to have a lot of fun with this little colt. He will be so showered with love, that's for sure.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Horse Show

The Fall Horse Show earlier this month was a huge success. I worked my tail off, so I'm thrilled that it went off without a hitch. I think everyone had a really good horse show experience and had a lot of fun.

The week before the show is always crunch time. It's long hours at the barn and a ton of prep work at home. This time it was extra time consuming with 4 injured horses to nurse on top of everything else. But, as always, the kids make it so worth it.

The afternoon and evening before the show is the Horse Show Prep time where the students come out and help get the horses ready for the show day by giving baths and braiding manes and tails. My least favorite chore of the day is putting up the dressage arena... loathe. But, it was my third time, so it's easier each time. I topped the dressage letters with yellow and orange fall flowers (that's my favorite part). The whole barn area was decorated with a Halloween theme. We hung up lanterns in the trees, taped Fall and Halloween decorations everywhere and draped Halloween garland around doorways and around railings. I had a bucket for bobbing for apples and carrots. It was wonderful!!

The morning of the show I set out all the Halloween plates, cups, food/drinks and decorated the picnic tables. Of course there were buckets and boxes over flowing with Halloween candy on every table. I made each rider a Show Folder with a program, their show number and copies of the courses for the other events. Each rider got a goodie bag with Halloween Chex Mix when they checked in and received their folder.

The morning started off with dressage. The students had practiced their tests so many times and many had memorized them. We did USDF Intro Test B, USEF Training Level Test 1 and my young determined and totally focused 9 year old student did a USEF First Level Test 1.

We had a "short stirrup" class of two 5 year old and a 6 year old. Totally adorable. All these youngsters came away with blue ribbons since the judge just "couldn't make up her mind." :)

Next was the jumping classes. We had a trot jump class and a trot/canter jump class. The jumps were prettied up with fall flower boxes and pretty fall leaves decorating the standards.

Each participant received a horse show trophy. Ribbons were awarded 1st-6th place for dressage and jumping.

And then came the really fun part. The Obstacle Course. This fun class wasn't judged 1st-6th, but rather each participant got a certificate award for their best aspect of the course. And riders were encouraged to wear Halloween costumes! We had witches, cats, bat girl and bat horse, Mario and Luigi, a hippy, goddess, vampire, fairy, lady bug and other fun outfits. I was a candy corn/arena cone. Madie, the other instructor who's pregnant, was a cat who swallowed a fish bowl. Alexis, the judge, was Rainbow Bright.

The riders were timed and had 10 obstacles to navigate such as getting a treat out of a Halloween bucket and giving it to the horse, going over a wooden bridge, halting in a square, a small jump and "around the world." This was so much fun and such a good way to end the day, with lots of laughs! And one of the horse show moms was sweet enough to give the me, the other instructor and the 2 judges flowers at the end of the day.

So, no one fell off. All the horses were angels. No one was crying or a poor sport. It didn't rain. I think this was the best show yet!