Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Aftermath

I've gotten a bit behind. The usual combination of LIFE IS TOO HARD and BRAIN CHEMISTRY IS BROKEN. Nothing especially exciting, just busy busy at work and the usual mental health failings.

But that's boring. Let's talk about what happens after it snowed! So, of course by the next day the snow was all gone. It was warm and sunny and that snow just disappeared. But...I guess it's okay. It made our desert snow even more magical!



Remember that time it snowed so much Truby could levitate?


A few days later (Sunday), I needed to go to the barn after work, come hell or high water. I realized, as I was in the middle of bitching about how other people are trainwrecks, that I had forgotten to pay Truby's board. I immediately texted the barn owner, apologizing my fool head off, offered her my firstborn, and begged her not to kick Truby out into the cold, wet desert. I swore I'd drop off a check the next day.

Barn owner seemed completely unconcerned, probably because I'm AT the barn every day, sometimes twice a day, and am more of a flakey blonde than a potential sell-my-horse-for-back-board kinda person. Also, everyone loves Truby.

So, that's how I found myself HAVING to go to the barn after a long-ass workday. If I didn't have to drop off that check, I think I would have just gone home and collapsed. Instead, I headed down the road, easterly.

There's two ways to get there from my work. I usually go down Speedway, which runs East-West. I could also go down Tanque Verde, which run parallel to Speedway, and is the next road over to the north. From my work, it's easiest to go straight down Speedway, hook a left onto Wentworth, and then into the neighborhood.

So that's what I did. Seems straightforward. Go the more direct route, right? EXCEPT, the Tanque Verde Creek runs between Speedway and Tangue Verde. The "Creek" is actually a wash, so usually it's just a sandy riverbed with no water in it. There is a bridge spanning Tanque Verde Creek at one point, but the smaller roads running between Tanque Verde Road and Speedway just run across it at ground level.

I have no idea if any of that made sense to anyone. I'm so sorry if it doesn't. Come visit me in Tucson and I'll drive you around until it makes sense!

So, the whole reason I (poorly?) explained all that, is because when my tired, frazzled brain came upon this:



But how will I visit Truby????




We had a morning of light rain, but that was apparently enough to melt a lot of snow in the mountains and bring it all down into the valley. The wash did what washes do, and we had a river! So I did what anyone would do, hooked a U turn, parked, and got out to take pictures.


North towards the Rincons



 Looking Northish. Wentworth Road follows those telephone poles




Looking west



Watched a dumbass kid drive a jacked up pickup through the running wash
Arizona has a "dumb driver law". If you drive through a running wash, 
you are 100% solely responsible for the cost of your rescue. 


I usually drive through a sandy wash. I like to slow down a bit and look around. Sometimes I see people riding horses, or walking their dogs. I once saw a family doing a photoshoot. Sometimes I see coyotes. That day I stood at the edge and marveled at the rushing water. The current was strong, the water was loud. It was bright and the water sparkled. 

In addition to the dumb kid in the truck, I also watched an older man ride his horse down the wash. He came down the trail alongside Wentworth, and then just causally slogged through the edge of the water, and headed north on one of the 'islands'. The dumb kid made it (he stopped on the other side and then stood next to me to take glory pictures, we chatted a bit.) but I don't know what happened to the old guy. I guess he's fine, since I haven't seen any news reports about it. 



Desert washes differ quite a bit from normal waterways. They're far more unpredictable. Water volume and speed can vary drastically in short amounts of time. Many times, people who get caught in them, either taken by surprise (the can pop up suddenly) or by foolish action, can be swept away and die. Sometimes they're not recovered. "Turn Around Don't Die" is a common motto out here. Because while beautiful, washes can be very deadly. It's just another thing to be aware of when hiking or trail riding. Water, sunscreen, weather report. Rain or snow recently can cause washes to flow. Sometimes a fun splashy trickle, but sometimes....


Anyway. After enjoying the view, I drove back down Speedway, took the bridge over Tanque Verde Creek, and then all the way back down to the barn. I paid my board, and let Truby out for some quality roll time.


First, find the *best* place....



 Flop down and really work those itchy spots...





 Get those shoulders....



Awww yeah...



gather your momentum to flip over....




Work both sides evenly...



Don't forget to work the poll




Take the time to balance....




Evaluate. Are you finished?



 Nope!




Don't be afraid to go back and rework your hips.




All done? Okay!




Just heave yourself up and....



Shake it off!



Just a reminder that she *can* be clean and white and shiny.
I use my tears to get out the mud stains.






Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Year, New M-OMG WHAT HAPPENED????

clouds swirling around the Catalina Moutains



So, in case you missed it, Arizona decided to try "New Year, New Me" in a pretty crazy way. IT SNOWED! 

I was a bit disappointed, waking up New Year's Day, to no snow. Oh sure, I could see snow in the Catalina Mountains, I have a nice view of the Catalinas and Thimble Peak from my apartment. It was pretty, but snow on the ground. Bummer! 

I went out to unblanket the ponies, and was excited to see snow!




Climbing out of our little wash




Wheeee!


I know it's hard to tell, but Truby is actually in those pictures. I know, I know, she blends into the snowy landscape, you can barely see her!



 Truby always thinks these fronds are food
They are not food.


They were calling for MORE snow that night. And again, I woke up annoyed at the lack of snow. Some of my friends further east, or much south were posting more pictures of all their snow. And I had none! Husband and I decided to go see the new Spiderman movie that morning. (I have a long standing dislike of Spiderman movies, mostly because how many freaking origin movies do we need?????? The answer apparently being ONE MORE, because the new one is awesome!) I loved it. It was fun and sweet and different and the perfect movie to see on a cold, grey morning. 


Our sad little dusting of snow


So while we left the house that had just a teeny tiny bit of snow, just a few miles down the road, the desert changed dramatically. It was incredible! I hope you want a ton of pictures, because after the movie, we went out to let  Truby play in the snow!



The Catalinas shrouded in clouds






Tanque Verde Wash
(Remember this view for my next post)



Tanque Verde Wash
(Remember this view for my next post)








 Rincon Mountains 






 The barn is at the end of the road











 She was SO HAPPY to play in the snow!



 Wheeee!













I told them to look cute for a pic for Cinco's Mom.
Brats!




 It was quite dark and overcast




Coyote tracks in the little wash








Cinco was confused about the whole "snow" thing
"Hello! What is white stuff????"



Cinco's mom leaves Truby baby carrots sometimes



 It's really cute, especially since Truby doesn't find them right away



Truby and Cowgirl's runs




And one more, because Saguaro cacti in the snow is rare!


It very rarely snows here, obviously. I read only three times since 1990? Something close to that. It can get cold out here, but rarely is it ever cold enough AND wet enough to get snow. Well, our mountains get snow, but valley snow is very much a rarity. 

It was really exciting to experience! I'm a winter girl, so I was in heaven. Truby had a blast, feeling very feisty, rolling in the snow, playing and cavorting. Cinco was baffled, both by the snow and his friend's behavior. I don't know that he's ever seen snow before. 

It was gone by the next day though. It was a fun way to start the new year. Unusual. Unexpected. Amazing. If you'd like to see more pictures, here some links. Earther and Washington Post seem to have the best round up of photos (note: I didn't look very hard for more pictures, so I'm sure you can find a ton with a quick google search!) 








Monday, December 31, 2018

Closing Out 2018




All in all, I think my 2018 was a pretty good year. Of course, it came immediately after 2017, which was just a fucking dumpster fire of a year, so it's hard not to improve on that. (Fun fact, on the 30th or 31st of December 2017, there was a literal dumpster fire at a nearby dump. It was *great*.)

This year has been much, much better. The new barn that we moved to in February continues to be wonderful. Truby continues to be happy and sound. And we've gotten to explore trail riding a little bit more,  with walks and rides on the nearby Loop Trail! 


Getting in a hike before a storm rolls in


Recently it's been COLD. Like, for reals cold. Low 50s during the day, and down into the low 30s or even 20s at night! Brrrrr! Truby's staying snug as a bug in her rugs. I've been layering her new Back on Track mesh sheet under a no fill rain sheet, and her Back on Track quick wraps, to keep her warm and toasty at night.


I'm toasty!


This past week or so we've gone for two walks out on the Loop, and two arena rides - with a saddle! I finally feel up to fully tacking her up for rides. Plus she's pretty slick and slippery with her nightly blanketing. A bit of self preservation!

The first time we did a saddle ride, she was NOT amused. She wanted to lollygag and sightsee, and I decided that saddle = work. Bareback rides can be for fun, but riding with a saddle will mean SRS BSNS time. 





She wasn't too bad. A couple times she threw her head up and jigged forward. Highly disappointed that that didn't intimidate me, and I could bring her back to a walk in a few strides with just my seat. She also kicked out at my leg once, when I gave her a little thump to remind her not to ignore me when I squeezed. Sorry, Grumpy Pants McMareFace, leg means stuff! And you gotta do it. She gave me a good reminder to kept my leg on, even when she was being 'hot' and 'racy'. I mean, as much as a couch potato can be hot! Still, we ended on a good note, and a few days later, she was much more amiable about going for a working saddle ride. 


When I was driving home after that first ride, I looked over and saw a HUGE, BRIGHT rainbow! A double rainbow! I pulled over as soon as I could, and grabbed a picture. Then I texted M, Cinco's owner, and told her to look north! (She was still out at the barn.) And of course, as soon as I got home I grabbed the husband and made him got out in the rain to look.


taken from the side of the road




Decent panoramic photo from our apartment complex


M sent me this picture from the barn


I'm taking that huge rainbow that stretched from past my home to past the barn, covering them both in sparkly rainbow glory as a good sign. 2019 could be another year of change, and possible chaos. (Husband graduates and will get a new job in a new field. Anything could happen.) But we're starting it in a good place. Truby's happy. I'm happy. Things are going well. And hopefully they will only get better! 

Yeah, yeah. But a girl can dream, right?


Truby's ready!

Aftermath

I've gotten a bit behind. The usual combination of LIFE IS TOO HARD and BRAIN CHEMISTRY IS BROKEN. Nothing especially exciting, just bus...