Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Introducing Prince and Wild

Last Friday was a really exciting day at work. We went to pick up 2 new horses! We've been asking the owner for more horses and he finally pulled through. Two prior race horses from mainland Japan were put into a shipping container, put on a ferry and boated on down to Okinawa.

We went to the Naha seaport to watch the boat come in, dock and unload the containers. A huge crane picked up the horses container off the boat, brought it down to the dock and then a fork lift tractor thingie picked up the container and moved it to it's assigned spot. Of course it was pouring down rain, but nothing could make us more excited to see the new boys for the first time. It was like Christmas!

We don't know too much about these boys except that Wild was never in a race. It looks like he has a prior injury - blew out his knee. And he was gelded only a few days before transport. Prince has been used for riding off the track already, we think. They both sure look like race horses!

The shipping method here in Japan is sure different from what I've seen before. The horses were put in a metal container in non break-away halters, tied to the side. Prince broke his lead rope leaving a metal clasp hanging off his halter and Wild untied his so his was just hanging down so he could trip all over it. The bottom of the container was disgusting, as in like inches of muck. They had buckets of water that promptly spilled everywhere leaving them nothing to drink and even more icky stuff to stand in. Fabulous. But, they both seemed very calm and totally fine with all of it!

I was pretty nervous about how the horses would load onto the trailer, but they both went on just fine. As you can see the "horse trailer" is totally not what we think of in the states. Once we got back to the barn they both came off the trailer fine too except Wild decided to totally skip the ramp and just jump from a stand still cross country style all the way down to our surprise, especially Madie's since she was leading him.

We immediately turned the horses out into the arena so they could stretch their legs after their long journey. Here is a video of them when they were first set loose:

They had fun showing us their moves! Both are super pretty movers. As a side note, in the video I call the horses by the wrong names. Yama goes "I made a mistake!" The names are opposite! Prince is the chestnut and Wild is the young bay.

They also got to go out on the grass for a little bit before we brought them in to look them over and shower them off. Then into the barn they went to meet the other boys and eat their first meal.

I'm totally in love with them already!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Typhoon Party

This holiday weekend was very rudely interrupted by super typhoon Songda that rolled in Saturday night. Since all the planes have to be flown out by our husbands to avoid the storm my neighbor had a typhoon party for the wives. Wine, lots of good food and fun music is the perfect way to let the storm pass. Since Brad didn't have to fly out the planes since he's leaving soon I left the party a bit early and we snuggled up on the couch and watched a movie when we weren't watching the crazy storm out the windows.

The cat3 typhoon got pretty strong around 10pm. Our doors and windows were shaking so bad from the wind, it was actually pretty scary. Our lights flashed a few times and the street light kept going off and on, but fortunately we didn't loose power. A lot of off base places were without power all night and into the next day.

The next day we went for a run over to Tropical Beach check out the damage. This storm was not very friendly to the trees and plants that's for sure. So many trees went down. And all the plants look totally dead now. Everything looks brown and bedraggled. But, knowing how fast these island plants grow I'm sure they'll make a comeback in no time. I've heard a lot of people say that this is the worst storm that's come through here for a while.

It's not even officially typhoon season yet and already two storms have come through. Lets hope that Mother Nature is just getting them done early this year.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Big "D"

There is a country song I heard a while ago with lyrics about The Big D, and while we're not going through a divorce or Dallas like in the song, we are getting ready for a different Big D. Deployment. Things were really up and down there for a while, weather he was going or not going, but it ended up that he is going, for about 6 1/2 months. I debated if I was even going to mention it on here. I'm not going to get into any specifics about where he's going and what he's doing (opsec! ha), but I know all you out there will have lots of good advice and will keep my spirits up while he's away.

My guest room is under here somewhere and so is my yoga mat. What you can't see in the picture are 2 closets with it's contents spilling out and more in Brad's office. It's a pretty incredible amount of gear.
As Brad gears up, I'm trying not to feel like the next half of the year is looming ominously ahead of me. I'm trying not to think about how the bottom of my stomach feels like its falling out. I know I'll be able to talk to him, see his face on skype and I know he'll be fine. I'm going to work on setting up some goals and milestones to work towards while he's away to keep myself motivated. And of course I'll be busy with work and friends. And I'll throw some traveling in there. I'm pretty excited about making the next 7 months go by as quickly as possible!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good Advice

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.

Good advice on Yogi tea bag this evening.

I have been seriously slacking on blogging lately. For one big reason that I'll share with you soon. Stick with me, I promise I'll get back to adventuring and posting interesting things.
This weekend was full of friends, parties and bbq's for us.
I hope you all had a fun weekend too!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

We've been getting an awful lot of rain on Okinawa lately. Last week we had a tropical storm. It seems like it's been going on for weeks. Hello rainy season. Rain sucks a lot as is, but when you work outside it sucks even more especially when it means people won't be coming for lessons. Yesterday it down poured all day and once again all my lessons were canceled. So, the day was filled with playing with the horses and bunnies! Lots of fun.

The horses don't get a lot of turn out time as is, but when it rains they get even less. So, I turned them all out into the arena yesterday afternoon and they were running around having a blast.

They all rolled, of course, and got totally covered in wet sand. I had to give all 9 of them showers when they were done playing.

*Sky thinks he's a giraffe!

Recently some new baby bunnies were born at the barn. Ummm can you say overload of soft adorable cuteness?! These bunnies just opened their eyes. Love. Last week all the bunnies in the "bunny stall" were freed! Freedom! All the bunnies now come and go from their stall and they seem much happier. They are fast and there is lots of places to hide if something was to chase them, so I think they will be fine. They are staying close by to where they know they'll get food and water too. One night a bunny hopped into Makoto's stall and he was so careful to tiptoe around the bunny and even put his nose down to smell him. Adorable. Makoto has a little bun bun buddy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Seaside Lunch

This weekend I wanted to take Brad to a wonderful cafe right accross the street from the water. I went to the cafe with my girlfriends a few months ago and wasn't sure if I remembered how to get there, but after only one wrong turn we found the Seaside Cafe. This cafe has a homey and comfortable atmosphere, an amazing view of the water and delish food.

All the outside seating was taken, so we settled into a comfy table inside. I got a tuna sandwich and lemonade. Brad got a french toast set with eggs, sausage and hash browns and a banana chocolate smoothie. We shared our lunch with the owners adorable little dog and enjoyed every bite.

After lunch we went for a stroll down the seawall over to Araha Beach.

Simple afternoons like this make me love this island!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Weekend Recap

Hope all you moms out there had a wonderful Mothers Day! I spent the weekend mothering my spiky baby monster and missing my fabulous mommy.

This weekend we also celebrated Cinco de Mayo with the squadron at the Hail and Farewell party. I had a blast and may or may not have paid for it the whole next day. Maybe less tequila next time. Oops. And sadly this is the only picture I have of the night.

Sunday we headed out to spend some time in the great outdoors. We went over to Ishikawa People's Park for a nice hike (found on this hike list). Well, this park was so strange and appeared to be abandoned. The grass was unkempt and while the trails were passable you could tell that they hadn't been traveled in awhile. I think we were the only people in the whole park and it was creepy! There were 3 different hiking loops ranging from short to long. We started out, Brad kept going on and on about zombies (we just finished watching the show Walking Dead and Brad has a thing about zombies) and I was in front taking the brunt of the spiders/spider webs. We didn't last too long. We turned around and agreed that something was definitely weird about the park and that we shouldn't be there if no one else was.

Disappointed and not wanting to call the day a total loss on the way home we stopped at Cape Zanpa. I was here once before, but Brad hadn't seen it yet. We climbed to the top of the lighthouse, watched the fishermen and took in the seascape. It looked quite different from my first visit. The first time the waves were huge, scary and smashing against the cliffs. This time there was hardly any waves at all and it was peaceful rather than powerful.

We went over to see the goats and there were 3 adorable babies playing together. I wanted a baby goat immediately. On the other side, we explored a bit of the beach. It was extremely low tide making fun tide pools.

Hope you all had a fun Cinco de Mayo, Mothers Day and weekend in general!