Save a horse…

Had an opportunity to skip town for a few days.  Cap’n Bligh suggested we go ride horsies in the desert.  In the fractional nanosecond it took for me to respond, i wondered if i would end up being more of a spectator….

i spent an hour yesterday afternoon chasing five nervous calves around a paddock.  From the back of a gorgeous Appaloosa named Chip. 

And it was an absolute blast!  Who doesn’t want to be a cowboy?  For 60 minutes, i was living that schoolgirl fantasy.

These places make their money on feeding the dreams of middle-aged folks reclaiming their childhood.  The wranglers make it work… And also don’t want you (or their horses) to get hurt in the process.

More riding ahead. 

If i’ve been scarce in your comment boxes, it’s because i’m off to chase them dogies… Loping my doughy, middle-aged ass across the Sonoran desert.  Pretending that i’m a Cartwright… Singing “Sweet Baby James” to my horse. 

“Regulators!  Mount up!”

Re-entry

A few random neural firings as i recover return from 2 weeks away from home…

– After three fabulous days sailing, hiking and snorkeling the Galapagos, i had a built in “decompression” stop with my sister, T, in Miami.  It helped.  Had a chance to rest, reflect and relax before getting home and doing the mad dance to clear office e-mail, go through bills, retrieve the mutt, etc.  Need to consider building in such a day for future trips…

– Poked through ~300 work e-mail messages last night.  Walked into a frantic “30% budget cut” activity at 0730.  Found it very difficult to give a rats ass about the budget.  i was the senior staffer humming a little tune to myself while others pulled out hair by the roots, gnashed teeth and raged against the injustice of it all… Vacations rock. Fully.

– Lowered or non-existent expectations may hold the key to happiness.  Due to circumstance, i had virtually no time to prepare for this holiday.  Didn’t read the books i’d purchased to learn about the places to be visited.  Didn’t even look at my flippin’ itinerary until i got there!  The entire trip was one delightful and unexpected event after another!  i may never buy another Lonely Planet guide again!

– Picked up my dog from The Park yesterday afternoon.  Brought a friend along for company.  Mr. P had a great time – and there’s enough material for several future posts.  My friend was a bit blown away by The Trailer Park Experience*.  He knows the stories, has heard my tales of woe and glee.  And yet was still a bit taken aback to see it all play out.  Bottom line:  i don’t write fiction, folks… i truly could not make this shit up.

– i am a karaoke whore.  i cannot deny it.  looking for a 12-step program as i type…  intervention may be in order.

– If you’re gone from the office for more than a week, it’s highly probable that you’re going to forget a few passwords, entry codes, etc.  Thank god i violate policy and write them down in my blackberry…

– Nope.  Despite my specific instruction to them prior to my departure, those fucking boxes DID NOT unpack themselves in my absence.

– The difference between a “good” vacation and a “great” vacation is the company you keep.  This one was beyond “great” – due to the friends i was traveling with, as well as the new friends i met along the way!  DR and MA — you are some seriously wonderful dudes!  Hope we can swing a return trip one of these days!  An adventure is wonderful, but an adventure shared?  Sheer joy!

More travel nuggets later after i dig out a bit… i’m a lucky, lucky puppy…

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* i’m still in negotiations with Universal Studios about the rights to the thrill ride.  They balked at getting the banjo-kid from “Deliverance” as the tour host…

Going to the dogs….

In less than a week i leave for an 11 day trip to South America*.  i’m starting to get excited about the adventure.  Unfortunately, i’m also pretty overwhelmed with all of the things that must be done before i hop on a plane…

The biggest challenge, of course, is what to do with the “Brown Hole of Need”** – also known as my 100 lb chocolate lab… For short trips, i use a charming pet sitter.  She brings her dog along for “Play Dates”, plays with him and keeps him company!  When i return i always find him happy, healthy and slobbery – rather than emaciated, mute and showing far too much skin after he’d stay in the kennel…

When my niece’s husband, BJ, made his last SuperHero visit to rebuild parts of my house, he offered to take care of Pickles if i ever needed to find him a home.  Got me thinking.***  Asking the obvious question, i learned that they would be quite happy to pet sit while i’m out of the country!  They have two small dogs, two cats… and at the moment, with BJ off work due to that pesky broken back, they’re all home full time.  No shortage of company for my attention-whore dog.

Two weeks ago, on a run to The Park to take Mom out for her birthday, i brought Mr. Pickles along for a “test run” to see how he got along with their critters.  Leaving Pickles at their house, i went off to spend the day with Mom.  BJ asked if it would be ok if the dog drank from the toilet – since keeping water bowls on the kitchen floor makes the tile too slippery. 

OK.  The dog licks his own ass and eats poo, so how much worse can toilet water be?

Returning several hours later, i walked in on a beautiful tableau!  DQ on the computer, shopping for bargains on eBay.  BJ, in full back brace, resting on the couch with a cat curled up on his chest.  The Baby wheeling about happily in her walker.  And Mr. Pickles, lying subserviently on the floor.  The 9 month old Shar Pei puppy joyfully humping his ass, and the sproingy Miniature Pinscher skull-fucking him with fierce determination…  Did i mention that these are two female dogs?

Assured that he’ll get along just fine with the Trailer Park hounds, i decided at that moment that i would be a terrible “doggie mommy” if i didn’t allow my pup to spend some quality time with his “cousins” while i’m gone! 

It makes me wonder what i’m going to find when i return to pick him up.  Scary visual of a morbidly overweight, partially toothless brown hound dog sleeping on the porch… barely raising his head to lazily look at me… as if to say “What are you lookin’ at, shithead?”

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* i’ll be sharing close quarters with a man i barely know, but M is delightful!  Damn the cancer, full speed ahead!  As unprepared and excited as i am about the trip ahead, he is over-prepared and more excited!  Trying Peruvian cuisine locally, shopping for durable, washable travel gear… he’s just glowing on the eve of adventure…

** Like a “Black Hole of Need”.  Only brown… and furry…

*** Usually quite dangerous…