Every time a bell rings and angel gets it’s wings!

December 25, 2006

“Merry Christmas you ole building and loan!” I’ve long since desired the whole Bill Bailey Christmas. That experience of a rather large extended family bundled together inside by the fire with everyone drinking, eating and making merry. And… I’ve actually had it on several levels. This year was at Susan’s making stuffing, pies, cranberry sauce and the like. It was a small but fun group. The day made me reflect on what should be important to me. Right now my focus is somewhat self-centered in getting to Europe, training and learning as much as I can in my time abroad but my family of friends (old and new) is and has been so crucial to my happiness. I should definitely revisit this issue as the new year approaches and incorporate it into my plan over the next year.

Apart from Christmas day reflects, it was a fundamentally eclectic day filled with the usual cooking and drinking as well as the unusual fire bikes, feeding of the goats and general randomness of the group I shared it with. Definitely a sweet day!

Sheep girls gone wild!!

December 12, 2006

Another holiday season is rolling around and I’m very thankful to be in Ashland and getting to attend yet another Black Sheep employee party. Honestly, I should work there someday since I have the menu and seating chart memorized!

This year Susan hired a pro photographer to snap some random shots and after a couple of lemon drops we were all acting crazy. Thanks to Kari for lending me such a hot dress for the evening!

The party ended much too soon and was followed by a staggered trek to the Beau club, a sweet – albeit – drunkened kiss, a few games of Ms. Pacman and then back downtown to Sage’s apartment. What a memorable night!

Running off to join the circus!

December 10, 2006

So Susan has been enhancing my daily life here in Ashland by informing me of Tango and Circus classes. It’s been a nice cross training to simply riding and fun meeting new people. The Circus (aka Fabric or Silk) class is GREAT for upper body strength and is really starting to help me with that whole fear of heights thing! Who woulda guessed that I can gallop ’round on a 2000 pound beast yet be a bit shy on climbing a mere 15 feet off the ground! Hehe.

The tango has been fabulous to help my “feel” with my riding and that’s not to discount the helpful eyes of Lara, Tiffany and Becky out at the farm. Slowly but (and I think) surely my riding is shifting from an unconscious desire for control to a more thoughtful conversation with my horse. Who would have thought it could be this simple?!

552 0872, 552 0872, 552 0872, 552 0872

December 6, 2006

Where to start in such a full and emotional day? Yesterday was Nicole’s Life Celebration service. It started early with a ladies brunch at the Mark (sorry but I just can’t bring myself to call it Lithia Whatever-It-Is-Now). It was reassuring to see other fabulous women who’s lives Nicole has touched and hear their stories sharing laughter and tears. Next we moved on to the services at the temple. I got to be a greeter. Thanks for asking me to help Shelley! I think my Audrey outfit was a hit. I did it for Nicole but feared folks would judge and of course I said, “fuck their opinions” and did it anyway but surprisingly enough it was very well received. I guess everyone knew Nicole would appreciate the over-the-top-ness of the whole thing.

“Sister” as sung by Deidrie has been in my head since. Sister, you’ve been on my mind. Oh sister, we’re two of a kind. So sister, I’m keeping my eye on you. I bet you think I don’t know nothin’ of singing the blues. My sister, have I got news for you. I’m something and hope you know that you’re something too. You taught so many of us that we’re something too! Tanya, Ed, Shelley and Eric put together a beautiful service!

Afterwards, Debra and I absconded with some frilly paper napkins labeled in elegant curvy gold font saying simply Nicole and forged forward and on to the Black Sheep where, napkins in hand, we drank martini’s and toasted the classy broad! Eric joined with us to carry over to Tabu for Margi-tini’s and by this time I was lit and it was a mere 5:30 in the afternoon! Nicole woulda loved it! I spoke with an old acquaintance but new friend, who’d had an equally yet different emotional day, who joined up with me for yet another libation. Mine this time was a Shirley Temple as I needed to slow down or go down! About nine in the evening, he’d finished his beverage and I was almost sober so we moved on down to the Beau Club for cheap beer and Ms. Pacman and closed the place out!

All said, it was a splendid day, the best services I’d attended and such a release to be able to be here in Ashland and share the moment and the day with such twists and turns! I’ll miss you my darling but there will not be a moment of my future when I process important decisions and think “What would Nicole tell me to do?” and (wink, wink) not that I’ll follow your advice as I haven’t always in the past but I’ll definitely wrestle with your words of wisdom and try to do the correct thing!

Sit down and rest a spell!

December 5, 2006

So Sage, Elise and Miss Riley have been kind enough to let me stay at my old flat in downtown Ashland! Thanks guys! My first night, a bit tipsy after the Sheep, I was greeted by an extremely toxic moldy toilet seat! Ick, there’s stuff growing in there Sage! If I’d had the forethought, I would have taken some photos. Alas, no moldy shots. This morning, Eric obliged to accompany me to Ashland Hardware to search for a new and mold free version. Thanks Turner! In true Ashland style we ran in the Chauncey (aka John Miller) who was able to offer his professional opinion of the options that lay before us (see picture).

I’m really getting into this whole MySpace thing now. It actually IS pretty kewl for connecting with friends and rekindling previous acquaintances as I met up with a fellow I hadn’t seen in years (literally) last night for a flick and post show hot toddy (his first ever) at the Sheep. What fun and what a gentleman he’d become!

Ashland has been fabulous to me this time around reminding me to keep my heart open but not exposed thus keeping my ego in check. I’m still hella excited to depart for Spain and am still working out the details but already thinking of my return “home” to Ashland in about a year. Who knows what my ever-changing life has to hold? I do know my days and nights here are filled with incredibe twists and turns and I’m loving every minute of it. I guess the thank you goes to Nicole whom was the core reason I stopped in Ashland this time in the first place. I think of you daily my little chick-a-dee. I smile. I laugh. I cry. I grumble. I miss you! I’m looking forward to celebrating your life tomorrow and sharing a brunch with so many of the ladies lives you have touched! I hope I continue to become the crazy, cosmopolitan and classic lady you’ve always hoped I would be. I’ll forever be your little jet-setter!

Oh the times they are a changing

December 3, 2006

So I’m not quite sure where this whole Oldies song title theme came from but they just keep popping into my head. The old neurotransmitters are still communicating I guess! Denise and James came into town this past week and it was fabulous to get to spend some quality time with them. They’re back on the 14th so the fun will continue!

Joewell is going better than could be imagined after not having “professional training” for a couple of weeks now. Tiffany has been helping me and I’m learning a bit about the Anky system. The concepts are basic but not falling into the old habits is hard! Joewell seems to like the work and DAMN his top line is getting nice fast!!!

So Nicole passed and I’m sticking around Ashland a bit longer. I spoke with Bemelmans on Friday and he says he’ll be working with the team down in Spain preparing for Sunshine Tour pretty much January and February so it’s probably best if Joewell, Picollo and I simply go directly to Spain. He gave me a contact in Spain to see about arranging a box. I believe the city is Gijon which is up north near the Basque country and on the coast! I should know more on Tuesday as to obtaining a box space, training with Jean in Spain and what Spanish rider I would be training with during Jean’s absence. The plan is to transport down with the team in March for Sunshine Tour, compete in the 3 week show and return to Germany in April to continue training at Jean’s in Krefeld.

Life is ever-changing at the moment so I’m not holding my breath but it would be fabulous to go directly to Spain, by-passing the horrid German winter, getting to spend time with my Spanish friends, train with Jean, compete at Sunshine and then return to Germany once the more pleasant Spring weather comes around!

Thanks for the gumbo Denise! You’re a rocking, crazy coonass cook!! Love you!

The pict is Picollo and Rupert doing impersonations of snow bunnies this past week up behind Lithia Park.

What more could a girl want for Christmas?..

December 1, 2006

Besides two insanely gorgeous men, a warm fire, beautiful view of Ashland below and a disco tree-trimming extravaganza! Charley and Nate were kind enough to share their tree trimming experience with me. Last year Christmas was a bit of a wash after Picollo’s surgery. Twas nice to get to hang with my mom in Texas but just trying being forced to be there due to Picollo’s recovery and the whole culture shock after a year and a half in Spain. Wow! Plus all that FOX news Gary watches just drove me bonkers. Hehe! Good thing I can laugh about it now!

So yes, the boys let me help with the tree and what a beautiful tree it is!